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9:28pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
• Local Preston youngster, 19 year old George Bell, is a merchant seaman cadet in training, which involves a mixture of University courses at Warsash Academy near Southampton and time spent at sea. He is presently two weeks into an eight week period on a ship working out of Aberdeen, servicing oil rigs in the North Sea. On finding an exercise bike on the ship’s bridge he decided to raise some money for a charity close to his heart, Breast Cancer Care. Calculating that it is about 1000km from Aberdeen to his home at Preston, he is inviting sponsorship to cycle that distance in his spare time on the boat. The picture shows him hard at work, with the North Sea visible through the bridge window! So far he has covered over 200km, a distance equivalent to leaving Aberdeen and travelling through Dundee, Perth and Stirling. He is now, virtually, on his way to Glasgow! If you would like to help speed his progress ‘home’ and help a very good cause with a donation, go to https://www.justgiving.com/George-Bell/ or text GCFB 93, with an amount, to 70070.
1:30pm Sunday 28th April 2013
• Mark Tewkesbury, Chairman of the Borough Planning Committee, spoke to over 45 villagers who attended the Sutton Poyntz Society AGM in what proved a lively and stimulating discussion. The evening then proceeded with AGM business, the approval of the Committee's annual report and the Treasurer's report, with no change to the annual subscription. There was satisfaction at the continuing bus service into the village, albeit reduced, and the Borough Council have now accepted responsibility for pruning the trees around the pond. There is no news yet of the application to open the Ridgeway track to motorised vehicles. The Village Biodiversity Group has been very active, and all Society events were well supported throughout the year. The committee elections left a shortfall of members, especially the absence of a Treasurer. It is important that the Society adequately reflects the views of the Village on such things as planning applications, and being a Committee member is not a huge commitment. Volunteers are urgently required.
12:39pm Tuesday 23rd April 2013
• No doubt you will by now have driven over the new roundabout at Overcombe Corner, mainly because it is so big that you would have trouble trying to drive around it! Apparently it shouldn’t be that big, but County Council officials are quoted as saying it was “an honest mistake”, so that’s all right then! It was also an obvious mistake, which makes me wonder why someone didn’t spot it earlier, and also how many less obvious “honest mistakes” have been made?
1:30pm Wednesday 10th April 2013
• I got on the No. 4 bus at Overcombe Corner recently, but it didn’t move off for three minutes, despite nobody else boarding. I then alighted at Chalbury Corner, and by the time I had walked to Wyke Oliver Road, 2 or 3 minutes later, it was still idling at the bus stop! In that 4 or 5 minutes it could have travelled along Oakbury Drive, using no more diesel than idling at the bus stops. I have also been told that the service quite often waits at the bottom of Seven Acres Road. If you feel that the bus route along Oakbury Drive should be reinstated, and I know that well over 200 people felt strongly enough about this matter to email David Mannings, then he tells me that the person to email with your concerns is the local First manager Mark Williams, who can be reached on Mark.Williams@firstgroup.com You could also write to the First Customer Service Department, Empress Road, Southampton, SO14 0JW. Let them know what you think about the route change, which adversely affects a great number of potential passengers.
9:23am Wednesday 27th March 2013
• March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and to mark the event Theresa Clayton organised a very successful Teddy Bears Picnic and Pyjama Party in the Church Rooms in aid of the Eve Appeal charity for research into this disease. The Church Rooms were packed and nearly everyone was dressed in pyjamas, carrying a teddy bear or both. There were lashings of tea, homemade savouries, sandwiches and cake, a quiz about teddies – nobody got more than half the questions right – and a grand raffle controlled by Sue Sadler, also fetchingly attired in her nightwear! Theresa and everyone who helped are to be congratulated on a fun event enjoyed by all who attended with lots of money raised for such a good cause.
10:21am Wednesday 13th March 2013
• The news of changes to the First 4/4B service is good and bad. The excellent news is that Sutton Poyntz has retained an hourly service into the village, with a review of the route in June. However no buses will now run down Oakbury Drive, a change that will only save First 4 minutes on every trip but will create great difficulties for many residents! Time for another protest?
11:21pm Wednesday 6th March 2013
• The last Sutton Poyntz Society Coffee morning of the season was, as always, well attended. The chance for a chat with friends and neighbours, the charmingly served coffee and delicious homemade cakes are always a great draw, but on this occasion there was an additional attraction. Villager John Newbould had prepared a presentation on the work of the National Trust, with particular emphasis on Dorset. NT volunteers are asked to undertake a minimum of 50 hours in a full year, and John’s contribution can be gauged by the fact that he has already put in over 50 hours in the first two months of this year alone! In fact, John’s tireless contribution has been recognised. Part of his Mission Hall display was the certificate presented by Prof Hansell when, accompanied by wife Liz, John received Honorary Membership of the National Biodiversity Network, at the Royal Society building in London in November 2012. This honour, which only one other volunteer has received, recognises John’s 40 years of work for the Trust, especially as a botanist, where his detailed work has built up a picture of complete habitats. This lifelong passion, which started in his Yorkshire Primary school in the early 1950s, has not abated, and he has now “started on mosses”! John’s enthusiasm is infectious, and I am sure we all left the Mission Hall a lot more aware of what is going on around us.
7:36pm Sunday 17th February 2013
• The Sutton Poyntz Society Coffee Morning in the Mission Hall was well attended as ever. An attraction on this time was not just the usual opportunity to catch up on Village news, but to taste, on a scone and cream, the entries in a Jam and Preserves competition. There were over 10 samples to try, and the winners were selected by public vote in two categories – Best Taste and Best Presented. The winner for Best Taste was Manor Farm Blackberry Jam made in October 2012 brought along by Pat Bellis. However, with typical journalistic thoroughness, I discovered that this jam had in fact been made by her daughter Ann Louise Bellis, so Pat collected the wooden spoon for Jam of the Year on her daughter’s behalf! A Blackberry and Redcurrant offering was adjudged the Best Presented Jam, which turned out to have been produced by Bill Egerton, President of the Society. Where does he find the time? The next, and last of the season, Coffee Morning, at which there will be an exhibition on the work of the National Trust presented by John Newbould, is on Friday 1 March, when I for one will be celebrating St David’s Day by wearing a suitable floral display!
1:15pm Wednesday 6th February 2013
• While recently I have been reporting on attempts to open up the byway tracks above Sutton Poyntz to motorised vehicles, on the roads below the First Bus Company seem intent on REDUCING the number of their vehicles. They have made an application to completely withdraw the 4B service to Sutton Poyntz and to change the No. 4 service so that no buses go along Melstock Avenue, Oakbury Drive and Wyke Oliver Road, but along the Preston Road instead! This latter would save all of 4 minutes on the route! These changes are not only a huge blow to the many elderly – and not so elderly! - people living on the Overcombe Bay estate and in Sutton Poyntz, but also to holidaymakers who have a long walk, often with their luggage, up the hill past the Spice Ship to the Seaview Holiday Park. The 4/4B routes are not subsidised by the Council but difficulties of reversing buses into Old Bincombe Lane is one reason given for the changes. It’s odd that green methods of travelling such as cycling are supported, whereas equally green bus services are being curtailed. David Mannings has been distributing information leaflets asking worried travellers to contact him via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) so that he can bring your concerns to the attention of the relevant authorities. Individual responses are needed, so fire off an email now (or drop a letter into me and I’ll see he gets it) if you want to try and save these vital services.
5:12pm Wednesday 30th January 2013
• The Mission Hall was packed for a Wine Tasting evening recently organised by the Sutton Poyntz Society. Bill Egerton introduced ‘mine host’ for the evening, well known local resident Jack de Carteret, who had worked for Eldridge Pope and during which time he became a Master of Wine. Jack explained that the Master of Wine institute was established to promote excellence, interaction and education in wine matters and that he had become a member in 1964 after a long examination which involved both blind tasting and written papers. He had selected six types of wine for the evening, and after a (small) quantity of each was tasted the audience were invited to give their opinion and an estimate of the cost. I enjoyed the wine and Jack’s interesting analysis of each, but have to confess that my palate is not as well developed as I might have hoped. However practice makes perfect! The evening concluded with a heartfelt round of applause in appreciation of Jack’s expert knowledge and much friendly discussion about what had been learnt over, of course, a glass of wine!
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