East Woodhay Society

The local society for the residents of the wonderful area of Woolton Hill and the local hamlets within East Woodhay

Newsletter November 2014


East Woodhay Society Newsletter for November 2014

East Woodhay Society Events

Friday 5th & 19th December & 2nd January – Walking for Health Starting at the Woolton Hill Church Hall & Friday 12th December Starting at the Rampant Cat

The walks last about an hour and are at a gentle pace. Please wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking in the weather. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day and register. All walks start at 10.30am, but if you are coming for the first time please arrive at 10.20am to register. These walks are free and available to both members and non-members. The weekly walks normally start from the Woolton Hill Church Hall on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Friday and from the Rampant Cat on the 2nd & 4th Fridays.  For those who would like to join us, but are worried about keeping up, we now also cater for slower walkers by having a shorter walk at a slower pace. We try and arrange for all walkers to arrive at the end destination at the same time. Afterwards stay for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.

Saturday 15th November – AGM & Wine Tasting Quiz

The AGM was well attended by 30 members and it is pleasing to note that all the existing Committee Members agreed to stand again and were duly elected.  The previous AGM Minutes were accepted and the Chairman and Treasurer both gave their reports for the last year.

At the AGM the Chairman presented Mr Merv (Myrrdin) Rees with a cheque for £1,125 from the monies made from various events. This sum was matched by the Greenham Common Trust thus raising £2,250 for the Ark Cancer Centre. Since the meeting we have heard that following our entry into the Crafty Craft Race and subsequent discussions with the Newbury Round Table, they agreed to donate £750 to our chosen charity. The Newbury Round Table also agreed to put their donation through the Greenham Common Trust, so we are pleased to say, and the Ark Cancer Centre agree with us, that although we only gave them £1,125 ourselves, they have received a total of £3,750 as a result of our efforts.

Following the presentation, Mr Rees gave a short, but inspiring talk on the Ark Cancer Centre Charity.  Its aim is to raise £5 million towards a cancer treatment centre, to be built by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and to ensure the provision of a range of complementary and support therapies in one inspirational building.  This is to be built alongside a new Critical Treatment Hospital to the south-west of Basingstoke, and it is hoped that planning consent will be granted early next year.

The Society’s Chairman then announced that the committee was in favour of continuing to support the Ark Cancer Centre Charity over the coming year.  This was unanimously endorsed by the members. Members were invited to suggest other charities to receive our support, but none was proposed.

The ‘Call My Bluff’ wine was a great success, with all attendees having a superb time while trying to decide which of the three wise judges really knew their wines and the winning team having to wait until the very last round to claim their prize.

Saturday 27th December – The 30th Village Christmas Walk in Association with the East Woodhay and Highclere Societies

Meet at the Red House, Highclere at 10.30am for group photograph and a prompt 11am start, returning to the pub by 1pm. The route will meander through Highclere and, by kind permission of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, through Highclere Park. Everyone is welcome; there is no need to book, just turn up. Sturdy waterproof footwear is recommended but not pushchairs or wheelchairs as the walk can be muddy in places and there are stiles. Dogs are also very welcome, but MUST be kept on leads at all times without exception. The charity collection this year will be for Anna’s Challenges, a charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for children with Cystic Fibrosis in Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

All welcome, just turn up and join in.

As one Society member recalls:-

The Village Christmas Walk, 30 years of waist disposal!

“30 years ago this Christmas a small band of parents, pressganged children and dogs set off on the day after Boxing Day to walk from Coombe Gibbet to the Axe and Compasses at East End, taking hip flasks and mince pies to sustain them along the way. Since then, on the same day each year; the 27th of December at 10.30am, a walk has taken place to help lighten the burden of the turkey and Christmas pudding and escape from over indulgence for some fresh air. The few, now, have become many, as the walk is open to anyone who wants to take part. New friendships have been made along the way, old one rekindled. The first parents have become grandparents and the children parents themselves, so the walk has always been a family event for all generations, the young and the ageing. Over the years the route has been varied to cover different parts of East Woodhay, Highclere and the surrounding parishes, but lasts no longer than 2 hours or less and always starts and finishes at a pub. The hip flasks have also been replaced by distribution of free mulled wine or soft drinks and mince pies at a half way stop where a collection is made for a local charity. In the last 10 years over £5,500 has been raised for charity from the walk.”

Other Events

Saturday 29th November – St Martin’s School Fair – East Woodhay Village Hall

Come along and see Santa’s Grotto, Handbell Ringers, East Woodhay Silver Band. There are lots of stalls including Tombola, Games, Raffle, Beautiful Gifts, Cards. Children’s Stall, Mince Pies, Mulled Wine and Teas.. To be held between 2.00pm – 5.00pm.  All welcome.

Saturday 6th December – Highclere & East Woodhay Conservatives Annual Sausage & Mash -Highclere Village Hall

Kit Moorhouse, Parliamentary Candidate will be in attendance. Tickets £12.50  adults and £6.25 children from either Molly on 253264 or Diana on 254677. Lunch 12.30pm – 2.30pm.

Wednesday 24th December – Christmas Eve at the Red House

On Christmas Eve the East Woodhay Silver Band will be playing Carols starting at 9.00pm with last food orders also at 9.00pm.

Wednesday 31st December – New Year’s Eve Party at the Red House, Highclere

Why not celebrate the New Year in style at the Red House. This year’s theme is an Alice in Wonderland Party starting at 8.00pm. Dress either black tie or themed. Tickets cost £15 to include food and disco. Please call the Red House on 255531 to make a booking.

Saturday 17th January – A Concert by The Quiristers of Winchester College

A concert by The Quiristers of Winchester College at St James’ Church, Ashmansworth at 7.00pm. Tickets for the concertare £15 to include wine and canapés; afterwards supper at the Village Hall at £15 per person; BYO drink.  To book either or both events please call Ann Rowe on 253040.

Sunday 18th January – “The Real Downton Abbey”

A lavishly illustrated talk by Diana Mitchell, head guide at Highclere Castle followed by a Reception and Buffet Lunch in the Conference Centre at Hermitage Barracks. The event is in aid of the ABF  The Soldiers’ Charity and starts at 11.00am. Tickets cost £22.50 and are available together with further information from Horace at horace@highclerevillage.com or on 254677.

Help with winter fuel bills

Are you a pensioner, resident in East Woodhay, and worrying about winter fuel bills? If so then please read on.

The East Woodhay Charities exist to provide assistance to residents in the Parish either in need or in sickness, and one of the ways they do this is to provide help with the cost of winter fuel bills, so if you think they can help, please contact them.  There are no forms to fill in, and all requests for assistance will, of course, be treated sensitively and confidentially. To apply for assistance from the Charities, please contact:

Sue Wren (Hon. Sec)  83 Harwood Rise, Woolton Hill, Newbury, Berks RG20 9XZ Tel:  01635 254875 or

Rev Christine Dale (Chairman)  The Rectory, Mount Road, Woolton Hill, Newbury, Berks RG20 9QZ Tel: 01635 253323

Book Grants For Students

Are you or your children heading off to university or college next year with a long list of books to buy for the course and no money to buy them with?

The Trustees of East Woodhay Charities would like to help.  In 2015 we are able to offer ten book grants of £30 each to students from the Parish of East Woodhay. If you would like to be considered for a grant, please apply in writing to the secretary at the above address by 27th February 2015. Please give your name, address and the name of the course and university/college you will be attending.

All applications will be considered at the next meeting in March 2014.

East Woodhay Society

If you are not a member, but are interested in joining the society please print off a copy of the form on our website www.wooltonhill.com/ews_news and send an email to eastwoodhaysociety@wooltonhill.com. If you would like to respond to any of the items above please use the above email address.

Police & Crime

This is the crime summary for the month of October 2014 for the parishes of:

Ashmansworth, East Woodhay, Highclere, Burghclere, Newtown, Litchfield, Ecchinswell & Sydmonton.

Total Crimes reported – 8

House Burglary – 0

Criminal Damage – 1

Thefts from sheds and outbuildings – 1

Theft from Vehicles – 1

Theft of a Vehicle -1

Other Theft – 1

Other Crime – 3

The community Policing priorities for this area are :

Prevent thefts from garages, sheds and outbuildings (including theft of metal)

04/10/14 –  Harts Lane – Burghclere – A garden shed was entered by unknown offender/s. Handsaw and Micro Scooter stolen.

Reduce anti-social behaviour across the beat area

Woolton Hill recreation ground – We have received reports of anti social behaviour at the recreation ground in Woolton Hill. These reports include underage drinking, illegal use of fireworks and littering.

Reduce speeding across the beat

Community Speedwatch Set up in the Highclere and East Woodhay area is moving along steadily. Several volunteers have come forward for both areas and we encourage more people to join in. Volunteers can give as little or as much time as is suitable for them and there is no requirement to travel to police stations for training or data input.

Other incidents of note

08/10/14 – Theft from a vehicle – Highclere – A vehicle parked in the Westridge/Hollington Lane area of Highclere was targeted by thieves. Thieves made off with a large number of items from Drills to Chainsaws, they also took a large Breaker which would require at least two people to carry it and a vehicle capable of carrying large goods.

13/10/14 – Theft – Litchfield – A quad bike was taken from outside a property in Litchfield.

Theft of a vehicle – A vehicle has been reported as being stolen between July and October. This is following a dispute between two parties known to each other.

13/10/14 – Drug offences – Ashmansworth – On a routine patrol, officers sighted a male well known to police in a vehicle in Ashmansworth. The male had no good reason for being there and was subsequently searched. A small amount of cannabis was found on his person and he was issued with a fixed penalty notice for possession. The male has also been reported for several driving offences.

13/10/14 – Dog bite incident – A person was bitten by a neighbour’s dog in the Highclere area. This has been dealt with via community resolution. Steps have been taken to ensure that the dog is not a risk to the public.

22/10/14 – 23/10/14 – Criminal Damage – Cosmetic damage has been caused to a vehicle belonging to a Bishops Green resident, it is not certain where the vehicle was parked when the damage was caused.

Suspicious vehicle – A number of reports were received in October regarding a male van driver. The van is a white ford transit and is marked with ‘A1 ROOFING’ on the side of the vehicle. This vehicle has been seen in Litchfield, Ashley Warren, Sydmonton, Crux Easton, Ashmansworth and Old Burghclere. Please take note if this vehicle is seen or the occupants of similar vehicles are asking about items for sale in yards, they may be looking to return at a later time.

A dark coloured vehicle, possibly a Vauxhall Astra or Vectra, was seen within the grounds of an estate in the Highclere area. The occupants were paying attention to barns or trailers stored nearby. When seen the occupants got back in to the vehicle and this then drove at the witnesses at speed.

A similar vehicle was seen in the area of Smannel near Andover, possibly involved in a burglary there.

A driver reported a suspicious vehicle on the A343 in Washwater. The vehicle was an unmarked car, possibly a ford, displaying blue flashing lights. The driver did not stop for the vehicle as he was uncertain about whether it was a police vehicle or not. The vehicle then turned off of the A343 but continued to display blue flashing lights. Please do not be alarmed by this as there are a number of possible legitimate reasons for an unmarked vehicle to have flashing blue lights. This could have been a car belonging to an on call fire fighter or other emergency service worker. It is not clear whether there was any attempt to get vehicles to stop and as such may have been using lights to alert other drivers to their presence in order to make progress to an incident. Important advice – If you feel vulnerable and are unsure whether an unmarked vehicle is a police car, make steady progress to the nearest public place before stopping. See the following for more details –https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q587.htm

On the 24th November, between the hours of 0110 and 0130 offenders unknown have forced entry to the grounds of an estate property in Woolton Hill. The offenders have cut a padlock securing a gate and have forced this gate, allowing entry to the grounds. The offenders have then forced entry to a workshop on site. Nothing has been taken. The offenders were using a 2 tone 4×4 vehicle. If you have any information relating to this incident please contact us on 101 and quoting 44140421429.