Sew happy to win more awards!

Jo Watts, Sew Creative, Petersfield

Sew Creative in Lavant Street, Petersfield, has won three more awards.

The first award, ‘Best for Inspiration’ by Sew magazine was in recognition of the fabulous Sew Saturday/ Second Birthday celebrations held in October 2016.

Jo Watts, owner said: “We are delighted and thank our fantastic team and our wonderful customers who all made the event such a success. How do we top this next year?!”

Sew Creative has also been awarded two runner-up national awards for the second year running, for Best Independent Haberdashery Shop in the South of England and Best Sew Saturday Event.

Jo said: “We are naturally delighted and thank all our customers who voted for us. A special thanks also goes to our team who provide such amazing service every single day and maintain our unique busy atmosphere and welcome.”


Goodwood Members’ Meeting tickets are likely to go quickly!

This year’s 75th Members’ Meeting, taking place at the Goodwood Motor Circuit on March 18-19, will celebrate some of the most competitive and exciting touring cars ever to race, 30 years since the inaugural World Touring Car Championship took place in 1987.

2016 Goodwood Members Meeting, 74th Members Meeting, Brooks Trophy. Photo: Drew Gibson

Running for a single year in 1987, the WTCC was open to cars complying with the FIA’s Group A regulations. The championship featured legendary names such as Roberto Ravaglia, Emanuele Pirro and Johnny Cecotto in BMW M3s battling with the Ford Sierra RS500s of German aces Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz and British Touring Car Championship frontrunners Steve Soper and Andy Rouse. The Group A regulations helped spawn numerous unlikely, but superb, racers, and the demonstrations will highlight the diversity of the era, with Rover SD1s, Jaguar XJSs, Ford Mustangs and Volvo 240 Turbos sharing the Goodwood asphalt alongside the M3s and RS500s.

Goodwood Road Racing Club Members and racegoers will witness two batches of Group A greats, with the early Group A machines, including BMW 635s, Jaguar XJSs, Rover SD1s and Volvo 240 Turbos, in one and the younger RS500s, M3s and Alfa Romeo 75s on track in a later demo.

Watch Goodwood’s official track tester, 2013 BTCC Champion and Members’ Meeting and Revival race winner Andrew Jordan, test-driving a BMW 528 at the Motor Circuit on Goodwood Road and Racing this Thursday on

A limited number of public tickets for the 75th Members’ Meeting are available and likely to be sold out within the month. Tickets are on sale at and at the Goodwood Ticket Office on 01243 755 055.

Liss village’s Spirit of Music Festival now a two-week music extravaganza

The fourth Spirit of Music Festival gets under way in April. This festival in Liss has grown over the years into two weeks of events, centred around the local community.

Organiser Sara Deborah Timossi said: “This year offers plenty of opportunity to participate and engage with great music – dancing along to swing tunes, sipping your tea to Mozart’s Hunt quartet (as Jane Austen would have done 200 years back), or watching a film about music’s great serious genre, the Requiem. And plenty of opportunity to make music yourself in one of our workshops.

“Our festival boasts much local brilliance with Flight Brigade making a very welcome return to West Liss, and the Petersfield Choir teaming up with the SouthDowns Camerata and well-known soloists for a day of divine music inspired by the Lutheran Reformation.

“Composers Joel Knee, Alessandro Timossi and Dorry Macaulay all contribute new works, and local string-playing children will look forward to the final concert featuring them amidst the SouthDowns Camerata with some melodic material of their own. World-class guitarist Amanda Cook, and successful dance school Liss Forest Ballet School will crown the final afternoon with magical performances.

“It all starts with a fanfare by Liss Band on the Village Green in front of the Triangle Centre!”

See to find out more.


Flight Brigade


Friday, April 28, 7pm,  St Peter’s, West Liss

Flight Brigade

Internationally successful band Flight Brigade returns to Liss by popular demand with an acoustic set. 

Tickets £8 (students & teens £5, children free)


Sat, April 29, 2-3pm, outside The Triangle Centre, Liss

Opening Promenade

Liss Band give an open air promenade concert as the official opening to the festival, followed by a workshop.



Sat, April 29, 7.30pm,      St Mary’s, Liss

Swing and Dance Evening

Travel back in time and enjoy popular swing tunes with the Havant Youth Band and the Joel Knee Jazz Combo. Bring your dance shoes! 

Tickets £8 (students & teens £5, children free)

Sunday, April 30, 3-4pm, St Peter’s, West Liss

Mozart with Cream Tea

Enjoy tea and scones listening to the Mozart’s ‘Hunt quartet’ and Mendelssohn’s quartet in E flat performed and introduced by the 

Rotherhurst String Quartet.  

Entry free. Cream tea £5 and retiring collection.


Friday, May 5, 7pm, The Triangle Centre, Liss

Film: Requiem

Award-winning film director, John Bridcut, presents his music film about the musical form the Requiem, from its beginnings in plainsong to 21st Century.

Tickets £10, to include canapés & glass of wine

Sat, May 6, 3pm + 7.30pm, St Peter’s, Petersfield

Luther’s Musical Inheritance

The festival marks 500 years of Lutheran Reformation in Germany with two concerts.

3pm            Bach and the Divine –

The Chamber Music

Piers Burton-Page, Sara Deborah Struntz, Mikhail Ledzkan and Alessandro Timossi trace the Divine in J.S. Bach’s solo works for violin, ‘cello and piano as well as extracts from his Art of Fugue.          

7.30pm       German Choral Traditions

Hear Mozart’s Requiem and a wealth of Lutheran protestant music by Bach, Schutz and Mendelssohn, performed by The Petersfield Choir and the SouthDowns Camerata. Including a new commission by Alessandro Timossi.

Pre-concert talk at 7.15 pm. 

Entry for both concerts free, retiring collection

Sun, May 7, 4pm,  St Mary’s, Liss

SouthDowns Camerata

Amanda Cook, Guitar;

Liss Forest Ballet School

In their ever popular family-friendly orchestral concert, the SouthDowns Camerata team up with guitar virtuoso Amanda Cook and Liss Forest Ballet School for a magical afternoon including Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto, Albeniz’ Tango, Telemann’s Burlesque Overture, and an original piece by Liss’ music children, arranged by Dorry Macaulay for the Young SouthDowns Strings.

Free entry, with a retiring collection


In advance: online via and from The Triangle Centre, Liss, by calling 01730 301000 on Mon-Fri 9am to 1pm or Sat 10am
to 11.30am.


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels invade Kings Theatre

Two con men, a beautiful woman and the elite of the French Riviera collide in a sexy and irreverent farce at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, in March.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, based on the hugely popular MGM film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, takes us to the French Riviera for high jinks and hilarity. Sophisticated, suave and with a good dash of mischief, this hysterically funny comedy features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty) and was nominated for a staggering 11 Tony Awards on Broadway before its smash-hit West End run that starred Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, performed by CCADS

Lawrence Jameson makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson swindles women with fabricated stories about his grandmother’s failing health. After meeting on a train, they attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn’t big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate, wins and the other must leave town. A hilarious battle of cons ensues that will keep audiences laughing, humming and guessing to the end … .

CCADS Theatre promises a laugh out loud funny, tuneful and visually spectacular night of song, dance and humour, featuring a cast of the area’s finest, award-winning talents backed by a full orchestra and performed on stunning sets.

CCADS Artistic Director John-Paul McCrohon once again takes on double duties – fresh from recent Curtain Call award wins as Best Director of a Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Into the Woods – as he both directs and follows in the illustrious footsteps of David Niven, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Jonathan Pryce and Robert Lindsay in the role of Lawrence Jameson. He is joined by an array of familiar faces from the local scene, many award-winners and nominees included, notable amongst which are Pete Westmorland, Lauren Kempton, Danny Owen, Kerry McCrohon and Charlotte Thomas.

The creative team is completed by Louise Helyer – recent ‘Best Musical Director’ award winner – and the Cats choreographic team of Lydia Thorne and Charlotte Williams.

In addition to undergoing intensive rehearsal, the cast have been out and about promoting the show – notably at a special event in collaboration with one of Southsea’s hottest new venues, Café au Cinema, at which leading cast members performed numbers from the show before introducing a screening of the original film, and at a special photo shoot hosted by the Queen’s Hotel.

The company is proud to once again bring comedy to a theatre that, in past years, has housed the legendary likes of Laurel and Hardy, George Formby, Frankie Howerd and Noel Coward to name but a few.

John-Paul said: “This is a show that will appeal to theatregoers and non-theatregoers alike  – and which has one foot in the screwball musical comedies of yesteryear as well as a foot raucously and outrageously in the present! A great night is guaranteed for all!”

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is performed Thursday, March  16 – Saturday 18 at the Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Nightly at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Tickets priced £17.50, £14.50 & £12.50 (inc fees); concessions – £2 off all Dress Circle and Stalls seats; family ticket – £52 (stalls only) are available from the box office on 02392 828282 or

The Village Inn, Buriton – hearty food packed with flavour


The Village Inn, Buriton, Petersfield

February 14, 2017

Owner Chris Cooper, with chef patron Heinrich Boreniok and designer Rebecca Barnes, have transformed this boutique pub/hotel in the little village of Buriton, just off the A3 south of Petersfield.

The welcome is warm; logs blazing in the comfortable fireside area, the staff friendly and knowledgeable.

The interior is elegant, spacious and light, with tables of various sizes and styles, and some quirky touches – such as the gin shed with its 35 varieties of gin and a delicate painting of juniper; little felt ducks picking up on the Buriton sign (the duckpond is just along the street); the wallpaper with its colourful glasses motif; a vice holding books; and the mismatched collection of chairs and rustic bar stools made from pallets.


Our visit had to include a section from the gin shed – so I chose Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb, made using a crop of rhubarb originally grown in the kitchen garden of Buckingham palace during the reign of Queen Victoria. The rhubarb juice is extracted using a traditional fruit press and blended with Harrington Dry Gin.

My colleague Chloe selected a Williams Pink Grapefruit gin which was crisp and aromatic, a good aperitif.

The food is beautifully presented – unfussy, hearty portions and packed with flavour.

We started with the Home-made Potted Cognac-infused Duck (£7.50) and Crispy Devilled Whitebait, with fried Parsley, Lemon, and House Tartare Sauce (£6.50). The whitebait was huge; not the usual tiny slivers of fish one usually gets, and the tartare sauce was chunky and fresh – a great accompaniment. The duck – succulent shards of meat in a pot of delicious stock – came with sourdough toast made by renowned Froxfield resident Vicky Christie. The crunchiness of the toast contrasted perfectly with the rich duck.


Main courses include Blackmoor Estate venison, Goodwood Home Farm free-range organic pork sausages and gammon, fisherman’s pie, and South Downs Lamb.

But I selected the Rib-eye (300g) steak (£25.00) which came with enormous, triple cooked chips and grilled cherry tomatoes on the vine, and I chose a Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Garlic Butter (£2.50) as a side dish.

Heinrich’s menu is centred on ‘top notch, dry-aged steaks matured on the bone for a minimum of 30 days and then fired over white hot oak, beech, hickory and cherry wood’ using the Big Green Egg – a giant barbecue device which can smoke (the Village Inn smokes its own salmon)  as well as grill and roast. The steak was melt-in-the-mouth, juicy and tender, with a lovely smoky, caramelised flavour – highly recommended.

I accompanied it with a glass of the recommended El Púgil Tempranillo (£16.90 bottle, glasses £3.40, £4.20, £5.80). The wine list at the Village Inn is lengthy and comprehensive – plenty of choice there for wine-lovers.

Chloe chose the ‘Half Chicken & Chips’ – free range, roasted, virtually boneless chicken, served with its own Pan Juices, Winter Slaw and Triple Cooked Chips  (£15.50). The mighty portion of chicken, freshly cooked to order, was moist and flavourful, with a delicious crisp skin.

We both liked the rustic, outdoorsy style of cooking – there are plans to extend the kitchen so that diners can see their food being cooked – a nice bit of theatre that should go down well.

Replete, we were still tempted by the dessert menu and Chloe chose a plum crumble with custard – perfect traditional warming fare for a cold February evening.

I decided to sample another recommendation, QB by Pinkster – a quince and wild bullace gin – a beautiful golden liqueur with a subtly sweet aromatic flavour.

It is probably best to book in advance if you want to eat here – since it opened in January it has been very busy and is already picking up great reviews.  And it’s easy to see why – the food is fabulous and the atmosphere relaxed. Something I really like is that you can actually hear yourself here – despite the spaciousness, it retains a comfortable, home-from-home feel, with a sense of humour.

See or call 01730 233440 to find out more about the menu, the wine and gin lists, or to book a room at The Village Inn.

Kat Wootton 

Roman villa renovation begins

Work has finally started on the renovation of the Roman villa at Butser Ancient Farm in Chalton, near Petersfield, as the £2,000 raised from its crowdfunding campaign last year has been used to sandblast the heavy wooden beams this half term.

Local workman John Grant and his assistant Toby Hoff from Airstrip will be working on the villa all week, sanding off the old beams to remove flaking paint and dirt, and reveal the beautiful grain of the timbers beneath.

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 Butser’s own Roman re-enactment group.

The Butser team is 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.

The rest of the work will follow throughout the year, and while the villa is closed for renovations, there will be a special Roman Summer event throughout August to celebrate all things Roman. This will include Toga Tuesdays and a special Games Day with real fighting gladiators!

See to find out more.

Oona the puppet elephant pulls the heartstrings

Photo: Dan Tsantillis


Running Wild
, by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Samuel Adamson

Chichester Festival Theatre

A new star has appeared in the theatrical firmament. She’s called Oona; she’s an Indonesian elephant; she’s a life-sized puppet; and she’ll pull your heartstrings. Her character – from a novel by Michael Morpurgo, the writer responsible for the wonderful War Horse saga – has been adapted for the stage by Samuel Adamson.

Oona and a host of humans and animals are caught up in the maelstrom of a tsunami in Indonesia. The sheer force of nature drives a thrilling tale which has environmental, ecological, political, emotional, cultural, and relational overtones.

The human heroine is nine-year-old Lilly (Jemina Bennett), whose close relationship with her soldier father is ended when he is killed in Iraq. Grandma (Liz Crowther) funds a holiday in Indonesia for the grieving Lilly and her Mum (Balvinder Bopal). Lilly quickly forms a loving union with beach elephant Oona, but the holiday is shattered by the onslaught of a tsunami. This drives Oona to run wild and head off into the jungle with Lilly on her back.

In the jungle they experience wild and wonderful adventures with a tiger, a crocodile, orangutans and the creatures of the forest. They fall into the hands of a murderous gang run wicked white hunter Mr Anthony (Jack Sandle), who kills big game and monkeys to sell skins and young animals to greedy capitalists. The poachers also cut down the rainforest, replacing it with palm oil plantations for shampoo, soap and household foods.

Morpurgo’s deep affinity with Rudyard Kipling began with the Jungle Book and The Elephant Child. Having harboured a secret desire for many years to craft a wildlife adventure, the chance came when he learned of a true life tale of a child allegedly rescued by an elephant in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. The rest is history, or rather a remarkable theatrical tour de force.

What makes this super saga work is the puppetry underpinning Oona and the orangutans, the tiger and the croc. Oona has four puppeteers, in the head, heart, trunk and hind; and there are two for the adult orangutan. The action is fast, furious, and well-managed by the creative team – joint directors Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks – backed by powerful music, sounds and special effects.

This is a well-conceived and well-executed joint production by Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Theatre. For his adaptation of Morpurgo’s novel, Samuel Adamson won the 2015 award for Best Play for children and young people for his CFT production; and last year it was staged at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

If you enjoyed War Horse you will love Running Wild. The show, which deserves the maximum number of stars, leaves Chichester after February 18 on a national tour. This goes to Coventry in February; takes in Sheffield, High Wycombe, and the Hackney Empire in March; and finishes in Wolverhampton in June.

By Nick Keith

Hounds salute Hays Travel for its fundraising dog bandanas

The staff at Hays Travel in Petersfield have been working with Petersfield-based charity Hounds for Heroes for around a year now.

This charity provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services.

From left to right: Charmaine (Travel Consultant) with Miley, April (Assistant Manager), Kelly (Apprentice) and Fiona (Manager) with Woody. In front: Allen (Founder of Hounds for Heroes) with assistance dogs EJ and Rookie.

Charmaine at hays said: “We wanted to think of something that we could do in order to continually raise money for Hounds for Heroes rather than  a one-off event and wanted this to coincide with the type of charity that we were working with. After much thought about our fundraising, we decided in March 2016 that we were going to handmake unique dogs’ bandanas and sell them for £5 each with 100% of the profit going to Hounds for Heroes. We bought our materials from Sew Creative in Lavant Street or online on eBay and made the bandanas ourselves in out-of-work time.

“We did display our bandanas in our shop window, but being a Travel Agent not many people would recognise what we were aiming to do, so on the 1st April 2016 we set up our Facebook page Handmade by Hays (

“Since setting up our Facebook page we have raised £302 for the charity which we presented to founder Allen Parton on Saturday, February 4,  and are continuing with our fundraising indefinitely, in the hope of raising a lot more for the charity in the future.”

Allen Parton (Founder of Hounds for Heroes) said: “The level of support the charity receives is overwhelming at times, every penny received makes a huge impact on our ability to create and provide life changing Hounds to our injured service personnel. Hays Travel; we salute you!”

Conference for women with social conscience

In the run up to International Women’s Day (March 8), local Soroptimists are encouraging everyone with an interest to learn about how the lives of women and girls are being transformed locally, nationally and internationally. The local club for women with a social conscience will be running a one-day conference in partnership with the University of Winchester on Saturday, March 4.

Speakers include Chief Inspector Claire Taylor, Commander Winchester District, Hampshire Police who will speak about how local women and girls are protected and safeguarded by her force. Jane Walker, of the Purple Communities Fund, will address how her organisation works to transform and rebuild the lives of marginalised people worldwide. Pauline Monk from the Purple Teardrop campaign will speak about how the lives of trafficked women and girls have been transformed by the work of her charity, and Amanda Dukes DVA Co-ordinator of The You Trust will address residential and outreach support for women living with domestic abuse. Ruth Healey, Regional President of Soroptimist International of Southern England will address the conference and Margaret Barnfield of SI Winchester will give a presentation on the work of the Winchester Club. There will additionally be a video message to the conference from Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years.

Conference organiser Liz Batten and a Past President of the Winchester Club said: “Our plan is to throw a spotlight in the run up to International Women’s Day on some of the difficult issues faced by women and girls throughout society and how their lives are transformed and supported at all levels, by authorities, charities and groups like ours. There is always more to do and the day will provide everyone with an interest the opportunity to learn more, to discuss the issues and to address the challenges we can face together in the future.”

The conference, which is being held at the University’s Stripe Building in Sparkford Road,

Winchester, runs from 10am to 4pm and includes tea and coffee and a buffet lunch as part of the conference fee which is £25 and £20 for students.

Booking is via the Club website at

Or by going directly to Eventbrite at


SI Winchester members