‘We need poets like Joelle’

The next guest of poetry and music cabaret Write Angle is Joelle Taylor, on September 20, at the Townhouse 28 High Street, Petersfield, 7.30pm.

Bejamin Zephaniah said of her: “In these times of austerity, hypocrisy, political corruption, and mindless reality television, we need poets like Joelle Taylor.”

She’s a renowned spoken word artist, poet, playwright, author and cultural terrorist.

She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society Arts in 2015 as well as being named “one of Southbank Centre’s Nelson Mandela Change Makers for positively affecting cultural Britain”.

Her new collection of poems ’Songs My Enemy Taught Me’ will be published in 2017.

In 2001, she co-ordinated the first London-wide youth slam championships for the Poetry Society and is currently the Artistic Director of ‘SLAMbassadors UK’, the national youth slam championships. Joelle is also the coach of the national team and delivers Master Classes and ongoing mentoring for emerging poets and spoken word artists.

She was the joint founder and Artistic Director of ‘Spin’ with Vanessa Lee and has written numerous plays for the Oval House Theatre, the Kings Head Theatre, and Royal Festival Hall.

A documentary about her life and work, Life Changing Verse, was made by Don Productions in 2010 and broadcast on television. She recently featured in ‘Educating the East End’ for Channel 4.

Write Angle organiser Leah Cohen said: “This promises to be an evening of powerful poetry!”

There is the usual open mic spot, and drinks are available at the bar.

Admission costs £5. See www.petersfieldwriteangle.co.uk

Joelle Taylor
Joelle Taylor

Community Post Office for Haslewey needs support

Haslewey Community Centre, opposite Lion Green, has ambitious plans to house a new Community Post Office, following the closure of the original.  “We listened to the people of Wey Hill, who felt isolated without their local Post Office. We soon realized what a huge boost a Community Post Office would be for the elderly and most vulnerable people in Haslemere. It would be conveniently located between Tesco and Marks & Spencers whilst supporting local businesses who have also been impacted by the closure,” said Haslewey Manager, Kerry Morren Jeffs.

“People of all ages like having a local Post Office, because apart from the wide range of services they offer, a local Post Office symbolizes a unique focus on Community life.”

A well supported Post Office within Haslewey Community Centre would be a lifeline for many local people, she said.  Older people, families and business colleagues will be able to pay their bills, post items and take advantage of a range of other services, followed by lunch and a catch up with friends at the onsite Wey Terrace and Café, which is open to everyone.

Haslemere Town Mayor, Sahran Abeysundara, has pledged his full support to the scheme and is hopeful that this bid by Haslewey will succeed, to benefit the whole community.

“This is what Haslewey is all about, supporting and benefitting the Community,” said Kerry.  “We would like to see a Community Post Office run as a vital asset, covering its own costs, without the need for massive profits, while providing work placements and employment for local people. However, we will also need volunteers to make it viable. The Haslemere public need to get behind us and show the powers that be at the Post Office, that this is what the people of Wey Hill want.

“Haslewey is not grant funded and therefore may need to have a Crowdfunding page for the initial costs. We are encouraging everyone to like and share our Facebook page to raise awareness. There will also be a petition of support at Haslewey Reception for locals to sign.”

Call 01428 648716 and speak to Kerry or William for more details and to get involved or follow progress on Haslewey’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/haslewey and like/share.

Curry and quiz for Hounds for Heroes

Working closely with the Petersfield-based charity Hounds for Heroes for the last three years, the Holiday Inn Winchester has been sponsoring accommodation for injured veterans to train with their new assistance dogs. The staff at the hotel look forward to hearing the patter of paws around the hotel while hosting the regular training sessions, and have become very attached to the beautiful,  intelligent dogs that bring positive changes to the lives of the veterans.  
The hotel will be hosting a special charity fund raising event for Hounds for Heroes on Thursday, October 6, with the evening including the winning combination of a home-cooked curry, specially prepared by the hotel’s 2 AA Rosette Award winning team, and a quiz.
The hotel’s recently appointed General Manager Marc Solarz is a very keen quizzer and said: “Curry and quiz nights are always such a popular event. We wanted to create a fun way of raising funds and awareness for this very special charity that we sponsor.”
Tickets are available at £14.95 per person to include the curry buffet and quiz, with a prize for the winner and a raffle.  Food will be served from 7pm and the quiz will start at 7.45pm.  Maximum team size of 10 people.
To book call 01962 670700 or email events@hiwinchester.co.uk

Roman villa renovation project launched at Butser Ancient Farm

Butser Ancient Farm's replica Roman villa
Butser Ancient Farm will soon be launching a brand new campaign to renovate their iconic Roman villa. Built in 2003, the villa starred in the famous ‘Rebuilding the Past’ documentary on the Discovery Channel, a show that was watched by thousands of people across the country. Thirteen years later, the farm now welcomes 30,000 schoolchildren and 20,000 visitors every year – and the heavy footfall is starting to show! The building is used for teaching children, special interest lectures, cookery workshops, archaeological research and as the headquarters of our own Roman re-enactment group. The Butser team are now raising money to renovate the villa and bring it back to its former glory as the home of a wealthy Roman Briton and his family.


Roman villa in need of attention

On Saturday, August 27 , they will be launching a new crowdfunding campaign to raise the first £2,000 needed to begin the renovation. To launch the campaign for the bank holiday weekend, the farm will be celebrating all things Roman with a ‘Meet the Romans!’ weekend extravaganza! There will be Roman cooking, fantastic weaponry, authentic costumes, ancient carpentry, Roman numerals and archery demonstrations, plus ancient textile demonstrations, and all the usual activities and children’s trail. Plus – cake and coffee in the visitor centre! The Butser team will also be at the South Downs National Park’s ‘Secrets of the Heath’ event in Petersfield at the beginning of September, where public can have a go at firing their giant Roman catapult.

Meet the Romans on Aug 27

The renovation project will allow the walls to be completed, taken right up to roof level and finished with lime plaster. The floors will be levelled and a layer of opus signinum (a sort of Roman concrete) added. Finally, the roof will be repaired and the outside of the building restored. All progress will be shared throughout the project via social media, the Butser blog, and through publicly-accessible academic research papers. The project will pave the way for future schemes on the site, such as laying authentic mosaic floors to impress the high-flyers of Roman society, and a beautiful Roman garden in the space outside the villa. These projects will also involve the help of a fantastic team of volunteers, enabling them to learn new skills and be part of a truly unique experience.

Roman Legion at Beltane festival

See www.butserancientfarm.co.uk

Award ceremony for Petersfield in bloom winners

The winners of Petersfield in Bloom will be meeting on October 6 to receive their prizes.

Petersfield Town Council has been involved with the event since 2013 and preparations start in January, when members of the Grounds Committee meet to discuss the initial ideas and plans for the event.  Categories and dates are decided, and gardening societies and clubs are invited to participate in the judging.  Publicity and letters are then put together to invite businesses and the general public to participate in the various categories of the competition.

Preparations continue until the day of the judging, when judges from two or three gardening clubs arrive on the morning of the judging at around 9.15am to meet with the Town Mayor and organisers of the event. This year, the judges were greeted with a hot drink and homemade cakes before being photographed with the Town Mayor and being briefed on the day’s proceedings. Judges and councillors were then split into four teams to go and judge the various entrants for this year’s Petersfield in Bloom.  Once again, standards were very good, but clear winners emerged from all the categories.

TV and radio presenter, and book writer Pippa Greenwood, who is the President of Petersfield in Bloom, will be joining award winners on October 6, along with the Town Mayor and head of East Hampshire District Council to present the rewards in the Rose Room at the Festival Hall. All are welcome to see the worthy winners receive their prizes. The evening starts at 7.30pm with refreshments served at the end of the evening.


The winners are:

Category 1:  Environmental Award – Cathy Robinson, 40 Marden Way

Category 2:  Street/Part of Street – 14-35 Alderfield

Category 3:  Front Garden on a Residential Property – Veronica Seagren, 64b Moggs Mead

Category 4:  Basket/Container On A Residential Property  – Graham and Sandra Fripp, 82 Willow Drive

Category 5:  Retail Frontage – Rowlands Funeral Services, St Peter’s Road

Category 6:  Basket/Container on a Commercial property – Monoloco, Pages Court

Category 7:  Public House/Restaurant/Café/Guest House – The Square Brewery, 7 The Square

Category 9:  School/Youth Garden Project – Petersfield Infant School, St Peter’s Road

Category 10:  Residential Home/Nursing Home/Sheltered Housing – Mr P C Roots – Flat 11, Ramscote

Category 11:  Public Service Building/Area/Places of Worship, Accessible by the Public – Winton House, High Street

New technology prompts rethink over South Downs history

Some exciting discoveries have been made in Petersfield as part of the Secrets of the High Woods archaeology project. And experts who have led this work will be visiting Buriton village to give a talk about their findings.

The discoveries were made after airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) technology was used to map part of the South Downs National Park that had been hidden under woodland for hundreds of years.

The cutting edge LiDAR surveys let experts peel back the woodland cover to reveal archaeology which had been both hidden, and protected, by the trees.

One of the biggest findings was the discovery of a vast area farmed by pre-historic people on an astonishing scale: extensive, well-preserved field-systems which have probably been untouched since the Romans left 1,600 years ago and which may go back much further.

The field systems raise many questions. Who was growing these crops and who was eating all of this food? The surveys have not found signs of settlement so where were they living? The scale is so large that it must have been managed, suggesting that this part of the country was being organised as a farming collective on a very large scale.

It is being suggested that the degree of civilisation that this implies is completely unexpected in this part of the world at this period of time – something closer to the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians than current views of pre-historic Britain.

The research sheds new light on the history of the area and should ensure that future management will help to protect these exciting discoveries.

As one of the leaders of the project said: “Archaeologists are going to have to rethink the human story in this part of the country.”

The project also revealed a ‘missing link’ in the Roman road network and, closer to Buriton, a series of old chalk quarries and lime kilns on the slopes of the downs.

The talk will take place in Buriton Village Hall on Thursday, October 20 at 7.30pm.

All are welcome.

Admission is free with a retiring collection.

Crop circles – beautiful curiosities

By Lucy Pringle

Many people think that crop circles are a modern phenomenon and therefore might be surprised to learn that the earliest recorded ones were in the 1660s.

John Aubrey, philosopher and antiquarian historian, (the blue stones at Stonehenge are named after him) was intrigued by the circles he found on the Wiltshire Downs, as was a farmer in Hertfordshire who was terrified when he found part of this crop laid down in a circle after hearing strange sounds and seeing strange lights in the sky that night. It was recorded in a famous woodcut, The Mowing Devil.

Indeed it may be possible that they have been with us forever, as evidenced by ancient stone carvings at New Grange in Ireland and petroglyphs worldwide. In the Kalahari in Botswana you will see crop circles in the sand. Here, the sand is blown away but some of them stay for weeks.

Simple circles were reported in the early 1900s, and during the Second World Wars pilots flying over fields in southern England regularly observed circles.

Whereas it is generally acknowledged that certain crop circles are of human origin, others seem to defy all rational explanation. The complex tangential and integer-ratio geometries found in most crop circles, even those of 1,000 feet in diameter, are awesomely accurate.

By contrast, the events publicised as ‘man made’, no matter how impressive they may look, always reveal gaping mathematical and geometric errors.

So what are crop circles?

Crop circles are indentations in the crop, with a sharp cut off point between the flattened area and the standing crop. In genuine circles there is no damage to the fallen crop. They are found in any medium that will take an imprint. Fields of potatoes, carrots and beans have played host to circles, as have frozen rivers, such as the George River in Massachusetts and many in Canada. They have also been found in snow, sand, grass, heather and reeds.

In the USA where, due to the geography and varied climate, crop circles appear in every month of the year, the majority appear on limestone, which has the same properties as chalk land.

I have researched this phenomenon for more than 20 years and my current area of investigation is focused on the temporary relief of Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor. I work with scientists from all over the world conducting tests such as EEG (brain activity) and measuring Tremor. The results are remarkable, revealing a noticeable difference when sufferers are tested whilst inside a circle as opposed to the tests conducted several miles away from the circle.

Crop circles also attract countless reports of electrical failures in equipment such as cameras, mobile telephone and camcorders; on one occasion a pilot reported that his electrical instruments failed when flying over a crop circle.

Whatever the answer, these majestic shapes show a superb elegance of line that touch the heart as well as the mind.

Lucy Pringle will be giving a talk on crop circles at Petersfield Community Centre on Saturday, October 15, starting at 7.30pm. Email lucypringle@aol.com or call her on 01730 263454.

Russian Snow Circle Crop circle at Silbury

Seabright’s moves into Good Fish Shop premises

Newly-opened Seabright’s butchers in West Street, Haslemere, (at the former  Good Fish Shop premises) would like to remind customers that it offers a fish counter on Fridays and Saturdays, selling sustainably-sourced fresh fish.

The butcher’s shop also sells local traditional breeds meat with “full traceability, bought directly from farmers”.

Call 01428 661555 for details.