Page 1 SEPTEMBER 2011



unt and disco worth up to


fastnet finale and moth world champion something old

something new the guide to what’s on modern vintage weddings

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welcome SEPTEMBER 2011


September already; kids back to school and the summer is slipping away fast. “What summer?” I hear you ask. Yes it has been another disappointing year for that expected warm dry weather and probably worse for sun cream sales. Just maybe an Indian summer is a possibility to brighten our lives a little – but don’t take my word for it. Its time for that makeover and this month we feature both home and garden redesign, with some great ideas for both this year and getting things ready for next. Weddings with a vintage vogue are becoming popular; we have lots of ideas for a modern wedding with that period twist. For the past few months we have been following the crew of Koru – the Fastnet ladies. We have reported on their relentless journey to train, qualify and compete in one of the toughest sailing races in the calendar. Our story comes to a conclusion with a full report of their race and homecoming with some wonderful personal reflections from some of the crew. There is a full complement of our usual items, with seasonal looks at walks, nature, travel and gardens. Plus we are privileged to have met with Chris Packham to enjoy some of his stunning wildlife photography. Enjoy the coming month and the peace now that school term has got the attention of our little darlings and maybe let’s keep our fingers crossed for that Indian summer!


Solent Life Magazine Tel… 01489 583800 • Fax… 01489 583803 Online… • Email… WEBB HOUSE, 20 BRIDGE ROAD, PARK GATE, HAMPSHIRE, S031 7GE

12 40


in this issue… features 10… Simon Payne… • Abarth Moth World


Champion Sailor.


Dave Hill – Managing Editor Tel… 01489 583743 • Email… David Rose-Massom – Senior Journalist Email…

Advertising Sales Sarah Kent Tel… 01489 583815 Email…

Janet Grimm Tel… 01489 583800 Email…

Tina Maggs Tel… 01489 584057 Email…

Abby Champkin Tel… 01489 584010 Email…

Design & Production Design by SolentLife Email… • Online… Deadline for advertising copy & editorial for next issue: 16th September 2011


12… Land Ahoy • Our Sailing Queens reach home. 18… The Interview • This month, our own Managing Editor, Dave Hill.

24… Something Old, Something New • Lovely and Vintage wedding special.

29… Education • Happy New School Year! 45… Out and About • Solent ‘Life’.

regulars 06… Artist Review • Have you seen Solent Scene? 22… Restaurant Review • Sailors’ Swanwick Pitstop. 33… Back to Nature 36… Gardening • Redesign your outdoor space. 40… Road Test • Small but Spacious Mitsubishi Colt. 46… What’s On Guide • Reviews, events, theatre and music coming your way.

49… Mindgym • try out our latest puzzles.

Published by Living Coast Media. © Copyright Solent Life 2011. All rights reserved. No part of Solent Life Magazine can be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions contained within. • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


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Usually the artist review pages are given over to one, or, just occasionally, a select group of artists but this month Solent Life is previewing an entire exhibition. Not only that, this exhibition is one of mixed media, a combination of painting and photography shown side by side. words • david rose-massom



nne Middleton is the organiser of many excellent exhibitions, showing many of the local artists that have been included in these pages, and she took time out from one show to speak to Solent Life about her next. “The latest exhibition to be held here at The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is going to be slightly different to others I have organised in that it will be a mixture of paintings and photography; work from some of the best artists and photographers in the county.” She told Solent Life. “It is the first time I have held a crossover exhibition and the parameters are going to be quite strict, hence the name of the show Solent Scene.” She explained. “All the work on show must come from within the confines and boundaries of The Solent.” Anne showed a map with vertical lines drawn straight down from Portsmouth to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight on the

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

eastern side and then from Keyhaven down to Alum Bay on the island at the western end of the Solent. Anne continued to explain the brief for the artists. “Within the Solent I wanted the artists and photographers to journey up the creeks and rivers, along the shores, through the nature reserves and with a keen eye on the landscapes and seascapes as well as the flora and fauna that thrive within that area. This is a wonderful coastline and we feel this is a great way to celebrate that beauty.” “We have long wondered what the response would be to a joint exhibition and there are currently 13 photographers and 13 artists who will be displaying their work. This means there will be close to 100 pieces of work on display and available to be purchased.” As with all of Anne Middleton’s art exhibitions there will also be greeting cards, posters and prints to purchase making it affordable for all pockets. “With the date

The latest exhibition to be held here at The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is going to be slightly different to others I have organised in that it will be a mixture of paintings and photography; work from some of the best artists and photographers in the county.

of the exhibition set to span the month of September and into October, it will also be a great time to buy early Christmas presents.” Anne added. “Exponents of both genres have really embraced the idea of the crossover show; plus they love the concept of working within the Solent.” “With all the work to be included in the show now accepted, I have been looking for a good interpretation of life along the Solent, not the commercial aspect or the warships, but hopefully the less-known Solent such as the creeks and rivers, the backwaters and especially the sunrises and sunsets. I personally love the images of sunsets. It must be artistic and it has to be the artist’s interpretation of this wonderful and diverse area.” “I have lived on or near the Solent for all of my married life and I have walked its edges, sailed along its length and I love the sunsets and the colours, it is an artists’ palette

waiting to be turned into amazing art forms.” Access and entry to the exhibition are free, and there is also the opportunity to enter the gardens for the normal entry fee and enjoy the colours and plant displays as it moves from summer into autumn. As an added bonus for art lovers there will also be the last few weeks of Art in the Garden; now in its 12th year it is probably one of the country’s most exciting exhibitions of contemporary sculptures. Over 100 magnificent pieces of work are spread throughout the gardens. l

Solent Scene is also a very special exhibition for Solent Life as a select panel of our editorial team will be judging the work of the artists and awarding the Best Image in Show title. The winning painter or photographer will then be our featured artist for the October edition of your favourite magazine. A special version of the double-page layout

will also be framed and presented to the winner. For details of the Solent Scene exhibition go to where in the What’s On section of their website it will detail the stunning exhibition of painting and photography featuring Hampshire’s beautiful Solent. Framed originals and a wide selection of unframed paintings, prints and greetings cards will be on sale. Solent Scene – Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 2nd October – Free admission

ARTIST REVIEW SPONSORSHIP Our Artist Review is kindly sponsored by HISCOCK GALLERY, 11 Stanley Street, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2DS. 023 9282 5330. Creating quality with style • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


When Poor Health can Increase your Income… Recent research undertaken on lifestyle changes and medical issues shows it is now estimated that between 55% and 65% of people retiring could have a condition that might qualify for an enhanced annuity and obtain a much needed boost to their income in retirement. If you have any severe medical conditions, you may already be aware that you could be entitled to an increase in income during your retirement years, but what of the conditions and lifestyle factors that are often overlooked? Just how many people fall into this category? And it doesn’t necessarily have to be you, your spouse could qualify for enhancement too. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption and being overweight can all be taken into consideration and will sometimes qualify on their own. Coupled with occupation and post code regions, the list of acceptability for an enhancement continues to grow. Also many conditions that have been previously overlooked can now qualify for an enhanced annuity either separately, or in combination with other issues. There is now significant new evidence for medical conditions that have previously not been considered when evaluating whether someone can obtain an enhanced annuity. Conditions such as Diabetes, Asthma, Depression, Dementia and many more can all be eligible for enhanced terms (although not always independently) and this evidence shows that the majority of retirees may have conditions that could qualify. Steve Webb of Retirement and Investment Solutions says “We want to make sure everyone approaching retirement is in the best position they can be. If you are about to retire, it is vital you get the best advice. We are currently offering a Free Over 50’s Pension Review to make sure everyone is getting the very best income solution for their retirement – so if your popping a pill a day, declare it!” Call Retirement and Investment Solutions on 01489 878300 or contact via the website Retirement and Investment Solutions is a trading name of Meon Valley Financial Planning Limited and is authorised and regulated by The Financial Services Authority.




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A sensitive, funny, occasionally disturbing, story of one day in the life of the town. All life is here and with a cast of over 60 very distinctive characters Dylan Thomas paints affectionate portraits of the childhood seaside people he knew so well.


Mary Shelley’s iconic book adapted for the stage as a victorian melodrama, echoing the nostalgia of those wonderful Hammer Horror Films.


View our programme of shows through to Christmas 2011 at Support your local arts centre. 08…

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •


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on the shirt tails of the

gods “You never lose it, once you have been World Champion you will always have been a World Champion!” Simon Payne said as he spoke to Solent Life. This is a man who has not been the champion of the world just once, he is a double champion and he is planning on making it a triple next year.

means some sort of arrested development. It must be to want to go out and beat others in sport all the time!” What was it like to be a World Champion? “It words & images • david rose-massom dawns on you that you are best at just that regatta, the he first time of winning the World one where you get to win the championship. Moth sailing championships was After winning I looked at the trophy and did the best; because once it was won feel like its custodian, and it was a lovely there was a sense of relief.” He said feeling.” An understatement I am sure as we sat chatting in a waterside pub on from a man who does not boast about his Hayling Island. “When I was younger I sailed achievements. in the UK Youth Squads and even tried for Did it change anything for him? “With the Olympics – but then I met a girl, married success you attract sponsors and you and just slipped into playing golf.” become about brand delivery and so your “After 15 years of marriage, as it does for many people, it led to divorce and then there sponsors then have to get good PR and that becomes my responsibility and a duty.” He was the questions of where do I live and said. “It does then, in some ways, become what do I do?” He admitted. “So I moved work and there is more to it than just getting to Emsworth so that I could take my boys the boat on the water. Some of the frivolity sailing. I was at a point when I should have of sailing is gone and I have to perform well given up sailing and concentrated on work, when I am out on the boat, racing.” but I gave up work and concentrated on In the recent National Championships held sailing - and, it was a brilliant way of living!” in Gosport’s Stokes Bay, Simon did not “With the divorce etc., life did not feel good perform as well as at past race series. “To be and it was quite a dark time, but winning honest I did not really want to be there and races changed that, it kept me going and was ill prepared. I had just finished back-tobrightened things. I had been working back races and was tired. I had been in three hard so had saved a little nest egg which world championships; in Portland Oregon, allowed me to live the life of a sailor.” Simon Sydney Australia and Dubai as well as two continued. “I had worked for a toilet tissue European events and all in just 18 months.” company, it’s a fascinating product, but it “I just wanted to do some testing of different is dull. When I eventually had to return to kit on my boat. I have always been a good, work, I returned to something a lot more natural sailor but then someone gets quicker interesting.” than you and you need to test yourself and The Moth, the class of sailing craft that your gear to get the best from everything.” Simon excels in, is sailed single handed and “I have had chance to work on all that now riding high from the water on hydrofoils it is and I feel really fast again. You can go racing, a tricky boat to sail and sail well. “It is like but your skills have to come from training a nautical motorbike, and when I get on the and practice or you will just get slower.” water it leaves all troubles and problems Simon explained. “To me it’s about project behind.” management; I want to win the Worlds in “To want to win all the time probably



• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

Lake Garda, in Italy next year. If I never win a Nationals event or an open race series again it does not matter, its about winning the Worlds in Garda. It is my favourite place to sail; I won the Europeans there in 2005. I also love it as a place to visit.” “I am at an age now where I need to enjoy the venue as well. ” Simon is a very young and very fit 47. “It is about mind, body and spirit, so if I can sit between race series and enjoy a cappuccino in beautiful surroundings then it is all part of it. It is about having the right kit and knowing how to use it and get the best from it – you need to be at one with the equipment.” “Things happen really quickly on a Moth so you have to be very aware and almost operate on automatic. Sailing is just about me, there has to be a certain amount of being selfish to succeed. I am not the most talented on the water; I am probably not the fittest, but I am probably the strongest mentally! A friend described me as a streetfighter on a sea full of boxers!” Simon seemed to enter another zone as he described sailing a Moth. “I love the technicality of Moth racing, and it is the yacht category that everyone wants to take part in at the moment; I love the fitness levels and the speed. Sometimes when you are rocketing across the water there is nothing better, it is like riding along on the shirt tails of the gods.” Simon described one stunning moment when sailing in a race on Lake Garda. “I was sailing along the course and a sea eagle swooped right down in front of me and then flew along the same line as me. It got to the point where I had to make a decision; follow the eagle or tack on the sailing course.” Simon is a professional, he chose the race line. l If you want to know more, follow Simon Payne’s blog on Simon Payne is sponsored locally, among others, by Meridien Milano Abarth. Meridien Milano Portsmouth, 111 Havant Road, Drayton, Portsmouth, PO6 2AH Tel: 08433 204437 Web:




It seems hard to believe that four months ago three women, none of whom looked as if they could fight their way out of a paper bag, were sitting in the Solent Life offices and telling us of a dream to take an all-woman crew racing in one of the world’s toughest and most dangerous yacht races. We had just been introduced to the crew of Koru, a 36 foot yacht based in Gosport a crew who would have to train together, qualify together and then take on luck and the elements together in the hope of just finishing the race. This is the final chapter of the story and the amazing achievement of the women of KORU. words & images • david rose-massom THE FASTNET RACE The challenge and pre-race thoughts from Penny Priddy


he Fastnet Lighthouse, known as the The Teardrop of Ireland, was the last sight of Ireland for emigrants sailing to America. The Fastnet rock stands proudly 4.5 miles southwest of Cape Clear and southwest of Mizen Head. There are two pinnacles of hard clay shale with veins of quartz rising to a height of 30m, above low-water mark, surrounded by deep water and frequented by whales… soon to be joined by many yachts!!! One named KORU. Preparations… by now Koru will have been checked and tested from bow to stern, mast head to under the keel, internally and


externally; riggers and marine electricians dutifully working under the watchful eye of skipper Jannine. Rae has been making and baking more delicious food for us, she is a wonder woman with her culinary skills. Kit bags packed and repacked, water proof pillow cases meticulously packed with essential dry clothes, travel towels (that resemble large chamois leathers) squeezed inside the one spare pair of shoes. Then my final check on kitting up, I resemble a mixture of a member of the S.B.S, a lost coal miner and a bank robber. I just always wear my warm balaclava whilst sailing and of course for sleeping; avoiding heat loss from the head. I have studied charts, tidal

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

atlases, followed numerous weather sites on the internet, followed by calculations and predictions but nothing is guaranteed and we shall be in the hands of the elements. Vannessa and Linda have dutifully assisted everyone with sea sickness remedies, Sara for ever making us such welcome hot drinks, Clare keeps us amused with her never ending stories, and Chloe; wonder weather woman! Jannine, what better a skipper could there be. How lucky are we to have this opportunity to take on this challenge? We may not be professionals, or even a touch experienced, but we are determined - and we respect the sea”.

FROM THE GOSPORT PONTOON… The Solent Life send-off from Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport had been a great affair, a warm day, a great BBQ, jazz band playing and the girls of Koru singing ‘Sailing Queens’ their re-worded version of the ABBA song Dancing Queen. Applauding them were a crowd, well over 100 strong, of family, friends and Solent Life readers (thank you), the only long faces to be seen were those of the sailors on other vessels who drifted off toward Cowes with not even a solitary wave from the marina wall! At around 6.30 that evening, we waved off the eight-strong crew of determined women, as they pulled away from their pontoon the evening before the start of their big adventure. It was a magical send-off. • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


adventurecontinued Four and a half days later, after around four hours of driving, and much laughter during the journey, three of the Solent Life team stood by the harbour wall in Plymouth. As the sun set, we watched race yacht after race yacht arrived, battle weary, but safe after rounding the Fastnet. Trust women to keep us waiting! It had been a pleasant evening drive to Plymouth and then we waited… and waited. Looking out into the darkness, midnight had long gone by, we watched as mast head navigation light after light slowly drifted into view. Beneath the masts tired but elated crews were greeted with loud cheers from the Crew Bar where sailors already in port enjoyed a well earned drink and appreciated the efforts of those that followed. Every few minutes we left our marina-side perch and went into Rolex Fastnet race HQ to check their progress on the computer tracking system. Finally at 1.30am Koru crossed the finish line, but still we had to

BACK HOME… Crew member Sara Banks is a super-mum to three children 15, 14 and 12 years of age and back in Gosport she told her story of the adventure. “My children are really proud of me, I got a text at the start of the race from them saying, ‘Go for it Mum, so proud of you.’ Sara said as she relaxed for the first time in almost a week. Her first memory was of the finish. “For an hour at the finish we were all doing just one knot, 50 or 60 boats coming together all around us and all we could see were the navigation lights on their masts. But, it was all in total silence from us and the other boats, it was like an alien film, and we were all holding our collective breath hoping for wind and still being fiercely competitive.” Sara had been sailing for two years prior to this adventure. “I had done some corporate sailing and did a Start Yachting course and worked my way up to Day-Skipper.” She explained. “Now the whole family have been on sailing holidays and the kids also have reached Competent Crew; so it’s something we all do together. I was looking on the


wait another 40 minutes for them to reach the yacht-packed marina. The finish line of Rolex Fastnet Race was becoming so busy that organisers had to use three different marinas; suddenly we were told that Koru would be at a mooring in a different Marina. Now we had a race of our own as we leapt into cars and hurried around half of Plymouth to get to the pontoon for the girls’ arrival. Thankfully we all arrived at the same time and the cheers from the small crowd of friends, family and a small dog echoed across the pitch black of the harbour. After four days and 14 hours of racing, around 112 hours of sailing and 47 hours of night-sailing, Koru was tied alongside; hugs exchanged, champagne burst open, sprayed and drunk, and tales of daring, dolphins and danger were told. We quickly discovered that shortly before they rounded the Fastnet Rock their race and adventure had been in deep jeopardy. The batteries, that keep the navigation

equipment and lights working, were draining and the engine had been started (allowed under race rules for safety) and the batteries revived, until the engine began overheating. Skipper Jannine was quickly into the engine bay cutting away a coolant hosepipe and refitting it. Imagine the situation, the boat is rising and falling in busy seas, the skipper’s head is deep into the engine compartment with all the smells of overheated engine and oils, not only were the conditions of working tough, she had to battle the nausea and sickness as well – for one and a half hours. Job done, Koru’s race was saved and every crew member used the phrase – ‘heroic’; about their skipper’s leadership. Finally on the quayside they could happily tell us all of their amazing adventure and we all felt as if we were a small part of their amazing story.

internet back in the autumn, interested but not thinking I would have time. My husband, Nigel, phoned Jannine and discovered there was room on the crew for me. It had begun!” At the start off of Cowes, her heart was racing. “It was a warming farewell at the start because we had so many friends out on boats to see us off, it was very emotional and then the gun sounded and we were off!” “We had been counting down the time in readiness for crossing the start line and we were among some of the giants of yacht racing such as Dee Caffari who was just a few feet away from us.” The fixed smile broadened even further as Sara recalled the start. “The whole thing was WOW we are here!” “It has been an adventure, all the way. As we left the Solent we saw dismasted yachts being dragged back to Cowes which was a bit of a reality bite and then in the Irish Sea when the waves were massive and we were getting tired, we would just switch jobs to get through it.” Her thoughts were jumping from race experience to race experience. “I was asleep when they spotted the first

dolphin.” Sara had never seen one in the wild. “They got me up to see them and we had them dancing around the hull for days which really lifted any spirits that may have been dropping.” “The Rock looked just as it did in all the pictures we had seen, it was a beautiful morning with blue skies and the night before had been really clear with shooting stars flying overhead.” “It was fantastic as we sailed past other boats, then our speed dropped and it was a different part of the race, we would tip-toe around the boat trying to keep her moving at maximum speed. At The Lizard we came in at an angle and we were flying among a mixture of big boats, it was serious racing and we were flying past so many boats. Then there was a beam of light across the finish line to enable the race organisers to read our race number. Suddenly the gun went off and we were over the finish line.” “We were safe, there was a massive sense of achievement and it had been an adventure; an adventure with many different elements to it.” Sara said finally.

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •


of us. That is when the dolphins appeared and joined us. Then it all just started to Jannine Stoodley may have been the happen and it was amazing.” skipper, but it was also her first Fastnet. “As we were nearing home we passed the “Even before leaving the start I was worried Lizard and all the girls came on watch to about gear failure and suddenly realised this help us keep the boat moving and there was not going to be a walk in the park.” She were about 60 boats around us but we said as the sun shone down on us in Gosport, were moving up the rankings.” A little local where we had said goodbye to Koru the know how helped them pass a few more week before. “Then the jib sheet just ripped competitors. “Emma and Clare with their away, but we had to keep going.” local knowledge took us very close to the “Out of the Solent and we headed south rocks and we just kept going, the crew were to avoid the tidal wind at Portland and we amazing, nobody moved from the rail and knew the wind would veer and allow us to nobody shifted their weight, they even took come back in toward the coast.” their hot chocolates on the rail. We just kept “As we rounded Lands End it got a little going; stealth sailing!” uncomfortable as we heard that the big “The whole crew have made me feel so boys were passing us on their way back in proud.” Jannine said with a smile that had toward the finish. Everyone was getting tired been stuck on her face since their arrival at and there was sickness. Then we had a major the pontoon in Plymouth. “I just feel really problem.” proud of the journey we have all been on. It “We were running the engine to charge the has been a personal challenge for me as well batteries and suddenly there was a smell and taken me right out from my comfort of burning rubber coming from the engine zone; it has been an amazing adventure!” and we had to sort it out because if not we “For me the greatest joy has been to see how would have to turn back and retire before our race has inspired so many people. I had night fell.” Jannine explained. “The engine no idea how many people were following our was too hot to work on and so I had to take progress and wishing us on. It has provided a power-nap before I could work on it. I was such a ‘lift’ in these times of negative newsthen down in the bilges with the bucket both to sailors and non sailors alike; just alongside me because I was being so ill amazing. I know we could not have had the down there. A coolant hose had collapsed result we did without great teamwork-both at one end, which meant I had to cut it away onboard and even more importantly with and reattach it. If the collapse had been in the team ashore who helped to get us to the middle of the hose then we would have the start line. The ‘behind the scenes’ team had no option but to pull out.” deserve the biggest congratulations- we had “Our low point of the race was down off ‘top notch’ food to keep us going throughout, the Scillies as we were following the sailing Koru was ready for her race – it all slotted instructions which were to keep eight miles into place – a huge thank you to all!” south of them, we were really low as the wind dropped and boats were passing inside


Solent Life would like to thank the following for their help with the features and support of Koru and her crew… Dream or Two – the sailing business that put this dream together and brought it to reality. White Dog Gallery or the printing and framing of the Koru prize print Pussers Rum for the donation of a fine decanter of ‘Nelson’s Blood’ their best rum awarded to best crew member during the race, which was Clare Pengelly. G’s Wine Bar and Restaurant for joining Solent Life in hosting the excellent farewell party for Koru. Berkeley Homes and Janine Leadbeater for their support and help with the Farewell Party GP Sails – Grant and Lindsay Piggott who made a new mainsail in double quick time and fabulous spray dodgers for Solent Life and Koru And finally from all at Solent Life to the crew and shoreside team of Koru for allowing us four wonderful, exiting, extraordinary and emotional months as we followed your journey.

with Dream or Two-whatever your dream, you can make it happen! • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


The Alpha course at Holy Rood Church, Stubbington.

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• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

The Alpha course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith. It’s relaxed and friendly and is a place where people can ask questions, delve into issues and look for answers together. Each evening starts with a hot two course meal, then a talk, then discussion in small groups. The next ten week course at Holy Rood Church centre starts on Tuesday 27th September, 7.15pm, so to book your place or find out more phone the parish office on 01329 661154 email:

or visit the website... Lots more information about Alpha, including what people say about the course, can be found at

Solent Day Care Solent Day Care is a fantastic new day centre for adults, we would pride ourselves in being the only private centre of its kind. We offer much more than the average day care can offer we support each client as individuals and provide activities to meet each person’s personal needs. Outings can be arranged to go shopping, or down to coffee shop to watch the world go by. We strive to provide the very best, we just want you to smile and have fun... For some of our younger visitors we can arrange sailing and water sports under strict trained conditions. Some of these boats are equipped with full wheelchair facilities. We have activities to suit most needs and if we don’t have it we will endeavour to get it. We have set fees with no hidden extras this includes your day at the centre, travel covering a large area, snacks and drinks throughout the day, and a lunch and sweet prepared by a chef that has been in top hotels for the past 30 years. Wine and beers can be served with your meal if you wish at no extra cost.

Solent Day Care Days you want to remember… Fun Safe Stimulating Company

Do you need a break? Do your carers need a break? ● W e can of fer you that deserved rest and look af ter your loved ones to the highest standard. ● We can collect you from your home and return you at the end of the day. ● W e provide a full meal at lunch time and snacks and drinks during the day when you are at the centre. ● All inclusive with a set day rate with no hidden cost. ● W e provide care for age groups 18 to 100 plus half day and hourly rates are available on request. ● W e are a person centred day care and provide activities to meet all needs of the individuals attending. ● All staf f have NVQ qualifications in care.

We can also arrange respite care, and half days, and hourly rates please call and ask for details.

The centre is run by Mrs. Jan Loman (Cooper) who has 28 years experience in all fields of care. The centre has the following facilities: Wheelchair access • disabled toilets • sleep/medical room We have pool tables • darts • cards • dominoes • baking aromatherapy • indoor golf • skittles • horse racing • bingo and much much more.

Have a few days well deserved break and know that your loved ones are in a very special caring environment.

Tel: 02392 522773 for more information

All clients will be assessed before placement is offered but all diversities are catered for. We do accept clients that receive financial support from funding and government grants.

Remembering Loved Ones… The final resting place for your loved one is of special importance. As a family run, privately owned and independently operated public Memorial Garden we have had the personal experience of losing close family members and are sympathetic and fully understand how important the grieving process can be. The gardens, linked together by meandering streams and pathways, are complemented by a beautiful lake and fountains which provide an unrivalled setting for reverence and reflection. Unlike most crematoriums whereby the ashes are scattered and a plot reference issued, we are able to offer a personal individual grave for ashes to be laid to rest by casket burial or grave scattering. All our graves can have a memorial stone to personalise the tribute. A ‘memorial only’ option is also available.

15% discount off the total cost of any new order or pre purchase lease for solent life readers Valid Until 30/11/2011

Every year we hold a moving Memorial Service around our lake & temple area in remembrance of the deceased.

Six acres of beautiful landscaped gardens offering a final resting place for the burial of your loved one’s cremated remains along with an individual memorial Location: first left after crematorium entrance

01329 828250 • SEPTEMBER 2011 •





Due to unforeseen commitments, our planned subject was unavailable for The Interview for this month. However, the rest of the team at Solent Life realised we had an ideal candidate right on our doorstep – who not only has an influence on the local community but is motivated by the people and passions within it; the Editor of Solent Life, Dave Hill. words & images • david rose-massom


olent Life is something that I have come to quite recently; its concept was borne into fruition more than six years ago, it is still most avidly supported by founder, owner and publisher Nick Clench. Nick has always impressed the need for Solent Life to have, what he calls, a signature, a recognisable identity that is unique to Solent Life, even through change.” Dave Hill explained as he sat in his office, nervous of being in unfamiliar territory, being grilled by his Senior Journalist. “Our reason for being is to bring an inspirational lifestyle magazine to the community but the difference is that we


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have two things that separate us from the others in a similar field. Firstly, we pride ourselves on quality, readable and informative features relevant to the area. This in turn gives us our second attribute which is a huge readership; this provides the ability to present a platform to showcase the products and services offered by businesses and organisations from around the region.” Although the aim is to keep the style, content and products aspirational for our readers, Dave also wants it to be realistic. “There are many publications that concentrate on the high end, elite products that will only reach the few; and although we

are an aspirational magazine we do try not to go down the route of the unachievable or unreachable – well not too often anyway, there is always some room for dreaming” Having now been with Solent Life for almost a year, Dave Hill has a solid idea of what type of publication it should be. “There are, of course, two sides to the magazine. On one side there is the readership, the audience if you like; while the flip-side is about our advertisers.” He said. “Whilst we are a commercial operation with all the normal overheads such as rent, wages and production costs, which can only be paid for with the advertising revenue, the whole concept has been about making this a free magazine that offers the advertiser more than just a space on a page!” “We believe that Solent Life has the largest and most appropriate audience and by that I mean that we are welcomed and treasured each month in homes across the region, we are read by the whole family and retained to be re-read and used long after other publications are discarded.” “The reality is that there are 20 or so other magazines in the area that offer inexpensive advertising space on a page of wall-to-wall advertisements that seem to offer very little readable content” He continued. “It is our engaging features that draw the reader to our magazine, and we endeavour to maintain an equal amount of space for advertisements and editorial features. Over the past year, we have evolved the magazine from its early style to widen its appeal – and from the feedback we receive, we have been very successful. ” “I have immense pride not only in our end-product and in the changes that have been brought about by a superb team effort but I am also proud of the team that create our publication and who are as passionate and committed about what we do every month as I am.” “When the magazine arrives from the printers each month the office is filled with smiles brought about by that pride as they scan through the pages. That said, within moments there is also critical appraisal about how we can continue to improve and what we should have done differently.” “Because it is usually of a positive nature and although we cannot please everyone all the time, we enjoy immensely the feedback we get from our readers and advertisers. The fact they take the time to contact us is a compliment to our work anyway, but we always appreciate a pat on the back or that little bit of criticism (which of course is seen by us as feedback) when we do get it wrong.” Before Dave Hill joined Solent Life his career had been in selling and delivering

international IT solutions to multinational corporations and he had no experience of the publishing world. Over the ensuing months he has worked at and learnt his craft. As he sits behind his cluttered desk, the sure sign of a busy editor, in his broad, pink braces that loop down over a striped shirt he looks every inch the weary and pressured editor. In the office we are certain his swept back mop of greying hair has turned even whiter as the months have passed. As Senior Journalist it is my task to be devil’s advocate so I asked the boss why are we not more confrontational with our features. “We could be a little more hard-hitting if we chose to go down that route and confront the more controversial issues affecting our region and maybe take up the cudgels against things we feel need addressing. There are several aspects to this; firstly, there are newspapers and their supplements to take up that mantel, and they do that very well. Another reason is that we are a monthly publication and often by the time we have addressed current affairs issues – they are old news. And finally, the world seems to be full of bad news or sensationalism and is thrust at readers at every turn. We offer some relief from that and want to offer a calm, relaxing and enjoyable experience to our readers.” Dave explained. It is tough to get him talking but once he begins it is just as hard keeping up with him as his passion for the magazine and business rises to the surface. “We, as a magazine, are more about promoting the good things in the Solent Life area and the positives. We like writing about the people among us who inspire, those who have done well and deserve to be applauded such as the ladies who are sailing Koru in the Fastnet Race.” “Since I joined almost a year ago now we have re-designed the magazine and also focused more on the content to make it even more about the community but we have never lost our original reason for being. We are about opening doors and helping readers understand more about the area, such as with The Interview which has featured the Chief Constable, the Vice Chancellor of Portsmouth University and the head of the Chamber of Commerce among others, where the subjects have a huge influence over the communities where they work and live. In doing this maybe we too have an influence over that community through our pages.” “We aspire to get the whole community involved in what is going on around them.

One of the other things this has made me realise is that it is about the power of collaboration between us, local businesses and local councils as well as between business to business contacts; we have realised that so much more can be achieved when not having to just operate alone. Outside of the magazine, we work behind the scenes with community leaders, business associations etc, to find ways of promoting trade, collaborations and developing areas,” “Our greatest pride though comes from reporting the inspirational among us such as our armed forces, our charity workers, our driven young people and those who have just excelled at the arts or in business; there is someone every month that leaves us feeling as if we have done something to help their cause.” Asked about the difficult aspects of the job Dave replied “Not so much difficult as challenging, are the perceptions that so many businesses have about advertising. Of course it is a subject of specific interest for us because it is our lifeblood. Advertising is a vehicle for great success if done properly, but needs to be planned and understood. Successful businesses budget and plan properly, select the medium with the right audience for their product and treat it as a strategic part of selling. It is my intent to try and bring some insight to our business community about the complexities, the variables and how to select the right partner and the best value (and value is not cost) to their advertising” Asked about the future Dave said “We try not to stand still for too long and as a good friend of ours once told us, you can’t shrink to success. With this firmly in our minds and with our success, support and encouragement in time of recession, we are proud to be announcing our latest venture and the imminent launch our new magazine ‘Living Coast’ that will be available in areas adjacent to the ‘Solent Life’ distribution area. We sincerely thank our supporters, advertisers and readers and assure them of our wish to continue developing successful relationships and an interesting read.” l • SEPTEMBER 2011 •



Eastern Coast Explorer Australia, a vast colourful country of constantly changing landscapes, so completely different to anything you will find in the Northern Hemisphere. With so much to offer from flora & fauna to just the positive can do attitude of the locals it is easy to see why it has become such a big seller for Amity World Travel. words • jeff kilby


f there is a problem with visiting Australia then it is the sheer size, almost impossible to see everything in one single trip. This means you need to prioritise what’s important to you and spend some time on the logistics of what can actually be fitted in to the time span you have allotted and that’s why you need to speak to an expert such as Jeff Kilby or Susan Taylor of Amity World Travel. One of the most popular itineraries is a combination of road and rail along the Eastern Coast, this works for both first time visitors wishing to see Sydney and the Reef as well as those looking for something new, with opportunities to break the rail journey at the Whitsundays and Fraser Island amongst others. Where better to start your adventure than Sydney; this exciting and vibrant city always has plenty to offer from breathtaking Harbour views to singing waiters at the Opera House. Sydney is always a city


that excites and you will find that there is more than enough to keep you occupied for a week or so before taking the car and heading out of town. The 800 mile drive north to Brisbane has plenty of opportunities to break the journey and you can expect the warmest of welcomes with the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Port Stephens amongst the most popular stopover destinations. As you amble up the coast your time will be easily spent with bushwalking, fine dining, wine tasting, dolphin watching, surfing, in fact the list is almost endless. Handing the car back at Brisbane you will find this city very different to Sydney with its café culture and laid back lifestyle it is always worth taking a couple of days out to explore before you let the train take the strain as you head north to Tropical North Queensland. The Queenslander is a 4 star experience with 5 star food, so definitely not a time to be thinking of your waistline. This

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

all inclusive style of travel, featuring comfortable, twin-berth accommodation; fine dining in an exclusive restaurant car; and a host of special touches for a memorable experience. The journey north gives you ample time to get to know your fellow travellers and discover life the Australian way. If time allows a recommended break is at the Whitsundays where you may just think you are in paradise. With so much natural beauty on our doorstep you can snorkel or scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, soak up the sun on Whitehaven Beach or sail around the Whitsunday Islands. You can choose to stay in one of the many beautiful island resorts or base yourself on the mainland and enjoy the fun & friendly atmosphere of Airlie Beach. The final leg of your journey will take you to Cairns and Port Douglas, you can be assured that on arrival in Cairns you will be well rested and ready for the adventure that waits in Tropical North Queensland. From the Rain Forests to the Barrier Reef, Aboriginal Culture to the Undara Lava Tubes and the Outback you can be sure that Tropical North Queensland will be the grand finale to your East Coast Experience. Whichever part of the Southern Hemisphere you may be visiting be sure to call in and speak to the experts at Amity World Travel first. l

Book with confidence at

Your Local Fully Bonded Agent 21 Night East Coast Explorer, from £2999.00 per person Includes 7 nights Sydney 5 night self drive to Brisbane 2 nights in Brisbane The Queenslander to Cairns 7 nights at Port Douglas Return flights from London with Qantas 4 star accommodation throughout. Based on 2 persons sharing twin rooms, departures up to 30 November 2011. Price is subject to availability at time of booking.

’t It ’s y ou r h olid a y so d on er th row it a wa y, y ou ’ ll n ev g et it ba ck!

Telephone: 01489 579975



4 Manor Court, Barnes Wallis Road, Segensworth East, Fareham, PO15 5TH • SEPTEMBER 2011 •





Two young and lanky lads looking uncomfortable in suits two sizes too big for them attempted to bulk up by tucking into plates of Velsheda’s well loved all day breakfast while a Swedish sailing team building up strength ready for the Fastnet Race crowded round their tables with tall glasses of cold beer and plates full with chunky fries and towering beef burgers. It was lunchtime in one of the best located restaurants in the Solent Life area. words & images • david rose-massom


he sun broke through the thick blanket of cloud that had covered the Hamble all morning and it reflected like diamonds on the swift flowing river and from the brightwork of chrome on a thousand yachts lining the pontoons. Velsheda’s, a bistro and bar, is part open-air decking, part canvas covered decking, part lounge bar with deep comfortable leather couches and part restaurant and it sits in a Bursledon marina and totally suits its location. It is frequented by boaties and yachties, of course it is, but it is also has families, couples, singles and locals among its clientele. In fact it is a bar and dining room for all and sundry; ideal for morning coffee, afternoon tea and lunches any day of the week. Velsheda’s moniker is taken from the racing yacht ‘Velsheda’, a ‘J’ Class thoroughbred


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racer that took its name as an amalgam of original owner Stephenson’s three daughters, Velma, Sheila and Daphne. A yacht with the most beautiful lines she raced with, and against, some of greatest names in classic yachting. Rebuilt, she still sails and is one of the most amazing sights on the water when under full sail. She was built by Camper & Nicholson at Gosport in 1933 for the owner of the Woolworth chain of shops. Maybe the bar and bistro does not have the same classic lines but it is still filled with the passion of yachting and its history, and yet it is a venue that is just as comfortable for those that have no feelings whatsoever for boats. It does have great view across and down the river though and there are few people who cannot be moved by a sunny day down on the Hamble. But what of the food I hear you say, enough about the venue! Well of course that’s good as well or it would not be getting featured in these pages. My colleague, Janet, and I drove down the hill into Bursledon from our Park Gate office looking for an escape from the taskmaster, our editor and Velsheda’s was the perfect location for an hour’s respite. One look at the menu and Janet called immediately for whitebait, for me it was the more delicate prawns wrapped in filo pastry from the specials board. Oh, one word of warning, take an appetite with you. The whitebait are crisply coated and served

with a tangy tartare sauce, they crunch to the bite and are fresh to the taste buds, as are all the fish dishes. The food is freshly prepared, locally sourced where possible and handled with care. My prawns were hidden in long tapers of crisp, clean filo pastry and once dipped into the pot of chilli sauce and bitten through they were a delight to eat as well as delightful on the eye. The pastry flaked easily to the bite and then the fleshy prawn ‘popped’ between my teeth; a nice combination of gentle flavours and great textures. Then the added bonus of the chilli bite came along to complete the deal. Both starters were finger food at its very best, perfect for a lunchtime break and a friendly chat; in fact the flavours were so good they still came through over an indepth discussion about the shocking season finale of an American TV cop drama that had been aired the previous evening and enjoyed by both Janet and me. Main courses were placed on the table, my dining partner’s eyes widened and her smile broadened with the comment of “How do you want your ham; one lump or two?” Her ham, egg and chips, simple fare, but well served and attractive on the plate had thick slabs of tasty Wiltshire ham, two perfectly cooked eggs and chunky chips. No skinny pommes frites in this restaurant! Two minor complaints from that side of the table, the chips although properly cooked,

could have been just a little crisper. This at magazine headquarters. would have made the fluffy insides even Here at Solent Life we have been using more of a contrast. And Janet, being a hen Velsheda’s since it first opened a few years keeper and egg expert, pointed out they ago and its standards have never wavered. were not free-range eggs; something we Over time the decking was added which both prefer. That said however she tucked in made the al-fresco dining even more with relish and enjoyed every mouthful. enjoyable. And for any lunchtime through My dish was also simple fare, but one that summer, autumn and winter what better can be great or a disaster. The chilli and rice location than being on the waterfront eating was great. Fat and fluffy light rice mixed hearty food from an eatery that cares about well with the deep coloured chilli which had tastes, textures and standards. l just the right amount of spiciness. It smelled good and spicy, it was served piping hot and there was a very pleasant VELSHEDA’S BISTRO bite from the fresh green and red chillies that were in the mix adding Food at Velsheda’s is excellent value for money colour as well as taste. It was not with our two-course lunches both costing too hot; restaurants do have to around £14 a head. Best value though is the be wary of every taste, so not so all-day breakfast, known as A Velsheda’s, at hot that diners would be reaching just £6.95. As a footnote, a day later I called for the fire extinguisher but more in again for lunch and ordered the Tempura like making the cheeks blush with Battered Vegetables with a sweet chilli sauce warmth. and they were an absolute triumph, crispy and On other tables towering burgers full flavoured; highly recommended. And, as a were being devoured with cheese plus, Velsheda’s owner Natalie assured me that melting down the sides of the thick the eggs would be free-range in the future. patties of meat; while another diner No need to book, just drop in and enjoy the battled with Moby Dick wrapped food and company, you will discover it is also in a crisp batter. Behind us spotted one of the friendliest restaurants around. dick and custard, individual and Velsheda’s Bistro, Swanwick Marina, delicious looking cheesecakes and a Swanwick, SO31 1ZL nice selection of other desserts were Tel: 01489 885745 being served; but it was time for us to head back to the frenzied activity • SEPTEMBER 2011 •




More and more brides are looking to the past for their wedding inspiration; vintage and retro appears to be the fashion for today.

words & images • david rose-massom


ne location for buying that stylish, vintage dress may surprise you when searching on-line, Oxfam! Probably not your first port of call but a recent look at the website had seven stunning retro dresses that any fashionable bride would look great in – and with the bonus of being a budget price. If you want to burst the budget though and look like a bride who has stepped from the pages of Vogue then a trip to Bloomsbury in London will be on the cards as you call in at the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. But somewhere between the two will be a budget and design to suit your greatest desire. It is not just the dresses that are making retro-weddings de-rigour as couples keeping with the trend are going the whole nine-yards for the complete by-gone era

wedding package. Back in the days of your Grandparents nuptials they had no choice but to marry on a tight budget as post war posterity was not a thing of choice. Surprisingly it seems to be part of the fun with this new fashion trend. There are websites where ideas for vintage wedding invites and stationary are available, and free; and there are also sites for stylish but retro wedding gift lists. The dress, possibly from Oxfam but still featured on the 1950s pages of Vogue, has been picked. The gift list has included retro toasters and floral pattern, Sunday best china and then there is the car, or will you go even further back in time with a horse drawn carriage. The vintage Rolls Royce, large and highly polished, the Jaguar E-Type with the top down and wind in the hair, or, as was voted best car for the retro wedding in the offices

of Solent Life, the Jaguar Mk 10, sleek, wide, flat and glamorous. Not only do companies such as the Sussex based Vanilla Splits have the classic cars for hire, if you would also like a retro style honeymoon, why not hire a wonderful VW camper van and take your first mornings as a married couple slowly, cooking breakfast in your camper with fantastic views across the English countryside or the ancient coastlines of Devon and Cornwall. If retro and vintage are your thing, then there are plenty of websites and information available to make your wedding a little different, a lot more fun and although you will be taking your guests and your marriage back to a different era you will be doing it with panache and in the height of fashion. l Useful websites

Hazel’s Florist At Hazel’s Florist we understand the importance of your wedding flowers. Our staff provide a friendly professional service to help you choose the right flowers, colours and design. We can provide flowers for all aspects of your wedding day. T: 01489 892366


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Lovely and Vintage Lovely and Vintage Wedding Fayre, Sunday 6th November, Titchfield Parish Hall. Enquiries Janet Mist 07917611127 Also Tailored Wedding Plans

Hands and Treat Hands and Treat, based in Southsea, delivers the best in beauty and massage therapy to your door, or on site. Frankie Rusby will put you at ease and ensure that you look and feel your best, emerging relaxed and de-stressed ready for the big day.

Solent Bug & Bus Classic VW Wedding Hire Arrive in cool retro style in a chauffeur driven, classic VW. The Bride & Groom in an iconic Karmann Cabriolet Beetle and up to five passengers each in either of our beautiful buses. For more information, prices and package details, call us today on: 02381 780 494 Email us at: or visit:

Just For Guys You’ve seen the rest… now choose the best! Formal suit hire for that special occasion. Phone/ Fax: 01730 894969 T: 07879 456773 Email:

The Tea Party With a vast range of services available, we are able to help you create your perfect wedding. We have a beautiful range of vintage crockery and decor for hire as well as Afternoon Tea catering services. For Further information please call Lauren on: 07528 987614 or Stephanie on: 07723 712866

Blanche & Lola Blanche & Lola create handmade vintage jewellery, bridal headbands and accessories using genuine vintage and vintage-style treasures inspired by the whimsical and the wonderful. Commissions are available so you can have something made just for you.

Eden Florist Emma Dunaway has over 22yrs experience in all aspects of floristry, make sure you drop by Eden Florist before that special day. Eden Florist, 16 Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth, P01 2NR T: 023 92 733305

Tiers & Tiaras We are a Husband and Wife team, providing many wedding services including, wedding planning, an extensive wedding accessories online shop, wedding table decoration hire and set up service, personalised napkins plus much more. T: 07702044023 • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


Sweet Heart Gift Sweetheartgift offers a range of unique bath products and sweets beautifully presented in our range of traditional glass jars. We provide wedding favors and childrens party bags. There is something for everyone at sweetheartgift. T: 07896846012  facebook & twitter sweetheartgift

Hamilton Wedding Cars Hamilton Wedding Cars, caters for Wedding Hire, with their unique 1930’s Style Beauford’s, please call with any Rental requirements you may have... T: 02392 780095

Occasional Cakes A special cake for your special occasion, individually created for you and to your own design. Handmade sugarpaste decorations a speciality. T: 07511617283

The Bon Temps Sisters

Daisy Mae Designs

The Bon Temps Sisters are a Chichester based swing, blues and boogie-woogie trio with a passion for all things vintage and retro. The eight piece ensemble are available to play for all types of functions and ensure everyone dances the night away.

Bespoke vintage style broach bouquet. A few selected pieces of family jewellery can be added to make it even more personal. Each bouquet contains a watch face set to the time of the wedding, a family heirloom to be handed down the generations. T: 07738562798

Charles Burley Photography Wedding Photography Tailored to suit you. Capturing all of your special moments. High quality reportage style at an affordable price to all. T: 07595601006

Elegance Hair & Beauty Why not treat yourself to a gorgeous cut, style and highlights. Elegance Hair & Beauty specialise in long hair, beauty and wedding packages, and provide complete top to toe care for that special occasion! T: 07737 899237

Pansy’s Creations Whatever your venue, Pansy’s Creations can offer a full service from design to venue dressing. We work closely with our clients to create the design and feel of your day. T: 02392 637175 E:

Looking Back with Elegance For a company that has only been in business weeks rather than years, Anya Bridal Couture has placed themselves in a great position to have brides beating a path to their countryside door. In fact they are in the perfect setting in which to choose the all-important wedding gown. Situated in a stunning converted barn in the Hampshire countryside, Anya Bridal Couture offers privacy, space and most importantly an experience that brides will treasure. Solent Life took a drive to just north of Wickham to visit the delightful barn, complete with massive oak beams, where the owners enjoy private one-to-one sessions with their brides to talk about their new business and about the stunning trend for vintage weddings. Co-proprietor Anja Yilmaz was intently busy with a broadly smiling bride so her business partner Lisa Davis and I sat up on the mezzanine floor and looked down on the fairytale array of gowns. “We wanted to improve the experience brides receive when choosing their dress”. Lisa explained. “We work to two hour appointments, and only by appointment, so the brides can have uninterrupted time in The Barn all to themselves and with one-toone attention. They are treated like princesses and they get the mirror all to themselves and realise that it is a time to feel really special.” “We operate from 8 till 8 daily so that we can fit in with the bride’s busy schedule, and it is a beautiful setting here in the middle of the Hampshire countryside, but basically we are here for the brides benefit not our own!” But what about this year’s amazing trend for Vintage? “We adore vintage here, the Barn itself is full of shabby-chic which makes this just the right setting for the fashion. Both Anja and I are very passionate about vintage styles and there is also a massive demand for our new collection.” Lisa smiled as she spoke. “The new collection is about lace and vintage lines and 20s and 30s styling.” “Many of the dresses from the new Anoushka G collection, are more like an elegant evening dress style, that can be worn by brides of all ages and they flatter everybody. It is a modern take on vintage styling, which means they are designed for today’s bride and with today’s woman and figure in mind; with the materials and designs though they are very much of the era.” Lisa went on to explain that vintage was very much of the 1980s and on back to the 20s and 30s; but personally she is very much a fan of the styles of the 40s and 50s.”I love the lines of wedding dresses from the post-war era; it was a new age of elegance that required creativity, which is why it is also my favourite era.” “For many others in the business it seems to be about 50s style T-length gowns with a full skirt and those dresses are everywhere at the moment.” Lisa said. “But at Anya’s we are picking up on the elegance of vintage and focussing on styles and lines that flatter the bride.” Email: Tel: 01489 878084

Vintage Bridal Wedding Fair, 15th September 2011, 5.30- 9.30 pm • SEPTEMBER 2011 •




• SEPTEMBER 2011 •


meet the



nlike other independent schools we have featured, Meoncross is part of a bigger organisation; in fact owners Cognita, have 54 such establishments across the UK, Europe and South East Asia with almost 16,000 pupils in their care. Does this mean that Head Teacher Sheila James must run her school with the corporate in mind? “The idea is that belonging to Cognita you do not necessarily belong to just one school; there are openings around the world for the highest quality teachers.” She explained in her office which reflected the peacefulness of the campus that sits on the edge of Stubbington village. “The important thing for the students and pupils here is that we have an organisation behind us that offers support and back up for what we are achieving within our own walls.” Another thing that stands out from the crowd is a phrase in the prospectus that in today’s society may almost be frowned upon as being politically incorrect – Clear Christian principles… “At this school the clear Christian principle was just that at the outset, a religious statement.” Sheila said. “Today it is more about the principles of Christianity; the goodness in the children no matter what religion or belief they may follow. Good behaviour is paramount and if that is in place then a good education follows through the students own self-discipline.” “Many rules here are social rules; we work together as a community – an ethos of ‘do unto others’”. She added. “We don’t always get it right but we do keep on top of it.” “The wish is that good behaviour grows through the school from the very young and is helped by the older students.” That brought the conversation onto the diverse age range of the pupils which runs from just two and three quarters to 16 year olds. “It is fairly unusual to have such a broad age range and we are very careful not to lean toward the ‘clone’ mentality; we are careful to promote the independence of the young person and enhancing what they have to offer. If they are good at something, even if it does not follow the crowd, we will

She joined the school 29 years ago as a teacher, but for the past 18 months Meoncross Independent School and its pupils have been in her charge and for the Head Teacher it has been a lifetime of commitment and loyalty to a bastion of educational excellence. words & images • david rose-massom encourage and promote that skill.” “They leave this school as very confident and well rounded people. When a pupil comes to Meoncross they seem to soak up everything and they grow and change almost as soon as they arrive here.” Individual achievement is very important to Sheila James and the school. “I have to take note of the league tables as we do go for excellence in education but it is much more about the individual student. By having a school of good, strong individuals we have a complete school.” “There could be a danger they are not conscious of the real world around them so we work hard to ensure they are aware of what is outside the school gates and we also encourage that on leaving here they progress on to a sixth form college as a stepping stone. The children leave here as young adults, articulate and confident.” “Children only have one chance at education through their school years so we have to be very pro-active with each and every child.” “The parents like the fact that their children are being protected within the school and we are getting more and more students moving over from state run schools for varying reasons. It is a choice for the parents to send their children here and they are more aware of the effect that school has on them, they only want what is best for the children.” “We are not an insular organisation for the children, they go out into the community and sport is always the biggest vehicle for mixing with their peers. Our life within the school is structured and purposeful and the child’s parameters are very clear, which in turn brings on a strong work ethic while allowing for independent growth and

development.” Meoncross is also a co-educational school. The Head explained “The fact that the boys and girls are brought up through the school together means we have never had a respect problem between them; it makes for its own discipline and respect as they grow through the years.” The Head Teacher’s door is literally always open. “Students, staff and parents know they can walk into my office and speak with me, if the door is closed they know I am already with someone. But an opendoor policy means that I don’t miss out on things going on within the school. As a Head teacher I have been able to remain an educator and I do still teach.” Sheila James’ life began at Meoncross following a knock on her door almost 30 years ago when she was asked if she could teach the ‘gals’, as they were referred to back then, some maths as a supply teacher. She loved the place so much she stayed and now it is in her capable hands. “This school has been my life, and the support I have received personally has been wonderful. The school is my extended family but I am also fully aware that nobody is indispensible and so I must continue to keep the standards high and work hard at the excellence within the school. MEONCROSS SCHOOL I am mindful Burnt House Lane that I have a Stubbington PO142EF wonderful job. Tel: 01329 662 182 It has been a blessing and a privilege to work here.” “My greatest joy is to see and hear happy children and this is a happy school.” l • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


Congratulations to the GCSE students at Wykeham House School An excellent 61% of GCSE results achieved by girls at Wykeham House School were A* and A grades with 96% of girls passing at least five GCSEs with A* to C grades. Girls and teachers are delighted with the outstanding results, which continue to be of an excellent standard each year. Lynn Clarke, Headmistress at Wykeham House School said ‘We are all very pleased with the excellent GCSE results and offer our warmest congratulations to the girls. They worked incredibly hard through the year and we are very proud of them all. The results are a true reflection of their hard work, the dedication of the staff, our small class size and the close interaction between parents, staff and girls.’ If you would like to look around the School there is an Open Day on Saturday 8 October between 10am and 1pm or call Mrs Colbeck on 01329 280178 to book an individual appointment.


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Meoncross School Success Meoncross School is again celebrating success amongst its pupils as 90% or more pupils have achieved a minimum of 5 A*-Cs at GCSE for more than 10 years in a row. Head Girl, Victoria Tucker was delighted with her results achieving seven A* passes, and four A grades. Victoria who is going to be studying Mathematics and Sciences at A Level commented, ‘‘All the support has been great over the years at Meoncross’’. Samuel Carr, Head Boy, also passed eleven GCSEs including seven A* passes, and 3 A grades, and is now looking forward to attending Peter Symonds College to study Politics, Philosophy, English and History before pursuing a career in Law or Politics. He reflected that, ‘’Meoncross has been like a family, my time here has been brilliant’’. Results were strong across all subjects within the school, with 75% of candidates achieving A* or A in the individual science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and all candidates taking Statistics achieving A* or A. Mrs Sheila James, Headteacher commented, ‘’Our results are a credit to all of our staff and pupils who have worked so hard to maximise each child’s potential. I am delighted to have shared some of the successes of pupils across a whole spectrum of abilities and talents, and it is days like today that help remind me of our core aims and values of nurturing the best in individuals”.


• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

Whole school open morning Saturday 15th October

For further information, please telephone the Registrar:

01329 662182

Burnt House Lane, Stubbington, Fareham PO14 2EF

The King’s School for children aged 3 to 16 The King’s School opens in September to an increased number of pupils for the fifth consecutive year. Whilst fees are among the most affordable in Hampshire, parents are also attracted to the unique Christian ethos which offers children love, safety and security. It seems that these are key ingredients in preparing young people for a changing world. Many comment on the real sense of peace that they experience when visiting and surveys show that pupils find the school experience deeply fulfilling and enjoyable. Recent major building development has seen the school expand to a potential capacity of 325. This year, 266 pupils line up for their classes which means that there are now just a handful of places left in most year groups. Head Master, Paul Johnson, has also worked hard at recruiting a team of top teachers and school leaders who are both well qualified and deeply committed to the vision of promoting Christian values. “Our motto is, ‘wisdom, stature, favour’, which is the way the Bible tells us that Jesus grew as a child. I cannot think of a better example for our children as we encourage them to be the people of influence we need in this world. The King’s School, Lakesmere House, Allington Lane, Fair Oak, Eastleigh SO32 1DX Open Morning on Saturday 24th September 10.30am – 12.00, Open Day on Monday 26th September 10.00am – 2.00pm. Taster Days for Year 6 pupils on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th October. Call Amanda 023 8060 0986.

OPEN DAYS 2011 Sunday 18th September

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Sunday 23rd October Halloween Special Autumn Steam Festival

Sunday 20th November

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Find out what Fareham College can offer you Come and visit the College on 5th and 6th October 5-8pm to discover the possibilities available to you. A pass rate of 99% for both A-levels and BTECs has been achieved this year with many students going on to Higher Education or employment. There are over 130 courses to choose from depending on what direction you want to take your studies in. Our Sixth Form courses incorporate A-levels, Digital and Information Technology and Visual and Performing Arts. If Vocational studies are more where your passion lies, then courses such as Motor Vehicle, Air Cabin Crew, Hospitality and Catering, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy among others are another option. Qualifications gained through these vary but include NVQs, City and Guilds, BTECs and Apprenticeships, depending on what you want to achieve. If you want to do something practical that encompasses theory and prepares you for Higher Education or employment, then a range of Applied courses are available including the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy which trains students who wish to start their own business. Lecturers, Student Ambassadors and the Student Services Team will be on hand to help you make an informed decision about where to take your studies.


• SEPTEMBER 2011 •


events at Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve… Farlington – Bird Watch Sunday 30th October 12.00 noon – 3.00pm Get close to the hundreds of waders and birds on the marshes and lakes around high tide at Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve. Guides will be at viewing areas to help you identify the birds and tell you about their behaviour. Drop in anytime during the session to improve your bird identification skills. Parking is available off the Eastern Road (A27/A2030) roundabout (Map ref. SU 679 044). For further details, please contact Jamie Marsh, Solent Reserves Officer, on 01489 774429. Suggested donation £1.50.

wildlife September

September is a month of change at Farlington. The autumn bird migration builds momentum and the flora and fauna begin to change as summer slowly moves into autumn. words • nikki magee image • david kilbey


nsect numbers begin to fall as late summer turns to autumn, this means for many migrant birds such as swallows, swifts and warblers its time to move on and travel south to find new food sources. It’s not all one-way traffic though, as birds migrating south are replaced by birds arriving from the north. At Farlington this will mean the arrival of ducks, geese and waders. Many of these species will have spent the summer in the Arctic and Northern Europe. They travel south to over-winter at coastal sites around Britain. The south coast is a particularly good area as birds find refuge in harbours like Langstone and Chichester. Here they feed on the rich mudflats in the harbours sifting through the inter-tidal mud for worms and crustaceans or on the lush grass on the marshland. Mudflats and grass are not the only food sources available. Fruits, nuts and seeds will be in abundance now providing a food source for other bird species that over-winter and also for many small mammal species. Blackberries, rosehips, elder berries and sloes will all be evident out on the reserve and provide a much needed energy boost for the foraging birds and mammals. This time of year offers one of the best chances to see some of our small mammals. In order to survive the winter individuals need to lay down fat reserves. This leads them to take on riskier behaviour running the gauntlet of feeding on berries in broad daylight, scampering up and down bushes. So if you are walking through the reserve

keep an eye for movement in the brambles! With all these comings and goings now is a good time to spot unusual birds at the marsh. If you have not visited the reserve before now is an ideal opportunity. Your local Wildlife Trust The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust works to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in Hampshire and the Island. As the leading local wildlife conservation charity, it looks after 61 wildlife reserves, has 27,000 members and 1,000 volunteers. The Trust manages its own land and advises other landowners how to manage their land with wildlife in mind. Staff and volunteers also carry out surveys and gather data to monitor how our local wildlife is doing. Find out more at

Join us today …and enjoy the benefits of being a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. For more information contact our membership team on 01489 774408. l Unlimited FREE visits to over 55 wildlife

reserves in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and 2,500 reserves nationwide l A welcome pack when you join l Hampshire and Isle of Wight Natural World, the Wildlife Trust’s magazine, delivered to you (or your partner) three times a year l The chance to take part in local group and community activities offering you a variety of opportunities to be involved in more than 400 walks, talks and events throughout the two counties

Can you help? We need help checking the cattle that roam the marshes. It is very simple, can be done as part of a walk around the sea wall and you do not need to get too close to the cows. If you can spare a few hours, please call Jamie Marsh on 01489 774 429.

Farlington Marshes Reserves Team Every Tuesday A small team of volunteers meet every Tuesday to carry out practical work on the reserve such as fence repairs, scrub clearance and path maintenance. No previous experience necessary. For further details about any of the above please call Jamie Marsh on 01489 774429.

Visiting Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve Farlington Marshes is 125 hectares of coastal grazing marsh situated south of the A27 between Portsmouth and Havant. The reserve is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust on behalf of its owners Portsmouth City Council. How to get there Rail: Hilsea train station is 1.5 miles from the reserve with trains from Fareham and Portchester every 30 minutes. Bus: 21 between Havant and Portsmouth Harbour. Closest stop is at Farlington Sainsbury’s, 15-minute walk to the reserve. Service is hourly Monday to Friday with a reduced service at weekends. Road: The car park is off the Eastern Road roundabout (A27/A2030).

l Join by direct debit and receive your

FREE full colour Local Wildlife Reserve Guide. Visit and discover your local Wildlife Trust • SEPTEMBER 2011 •



Swan Systems Furniture Now Open 7 Days a Week Autumn Sale Prices

How is your bedroom looking today? Is there a place for everything? Have you enough storage for your outfits for the different seasons? Are your drawers bulging with clothes? Do your drawers and wardrobe doors close correctly? Is your bedroom a beautiful place to be? These are dilemmas we help people resolve on a daily basis with our fabulous ranges of fitted bedroom furniture, luxury Swan Sliding Wardrobes, bespoke interior storage units, home office furniture and economy range of sliding doors (ideal for guest rooms). We would like to invite you to either of our showrooms to have a look at what we can create for you. Both showrooms are now open 7 days a week – and we also have an on-line shop which is open 24hrs a day 7 days a week. We’ve been in The Tanneries in East Street, Titchfield for 3 years and our West End showroom has been trading for over 25 years. We have 10% off everything this autumn – from September 1st to October 30th 2011. Fitted Bedrooms We can create a bedroom layout for you incorporating sliding or hinged doors, bedside chests and cabinets, dressing tables, combination wardrobes, over the bed storage, head boards, triple mirrors and stools – in a very wide selection of door designs, materials, colours and handles. All installed by our own dedicated fitters. Sliding Wardrobe Doors l Luxury Swan Range: The frames of our Swan Systems Sliding Doors are available in 12 popular bedroom colours e.g. Light Maple, Swiss Pear, Ivory, Pippy Oak, Ferrara Oak and Hampshire Beech. With over 300 door insert types. l Contemporary Range: the Kenya Aluminium framed and Zanzibar Steel framed sliding doors are excellent quality and a more economical choice – come and see the displays at Titchfield. We offer excellent products, design (CAD designs) and service at continuously low prices. We are a family run business with many long serving and hard working people in the team. We look forward to seeing you soon. 34…

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

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Jobs for this month: l Collect and sow seeds from perennials and hardy annuals. l Divide herbaceous perennials. l Take stock of your grow-your-own successes and failures, in readiness for next year.


greenfingers I hope you’ve had time to enjoy your garden over the summer. September is a great time to be outdoors, so make the most of autumnal colours and get your garden looking good for this season. words • anne watson


t’s also the month to look forward to next spring, by choosing bulbs for the first burst of colour after the winter. As well as planting bulbs in your borders, arrange more than one variety in a planter to flower at different times, starting with snowdrops that are the first to appear. There are so many bulbs to choose from. As well as all the varieties you would expect, we’ve got a nautical theme at Garsons. My favourites include the Cape Cod tulip, which will grow to 30cm high and flowers from April to May. It’s bright orange tinged with yellow. Dreamboat is a short stemmed variety, and is a lovely shade of apricot, growing about 25cm high. Lastly on bulbs, Double Fashion is a double narcissus which is creamy yellow with an orange centre and will grow to about 35cm in height. And how about the scented hyacinth, positioned close to the house so


you make the most of the fragrance? Conditions are good for planting as the soil is warm and showers will water in your new additions. Ornamental grasses give year round interest and can be combined with flowering plants that complement the style of planting. It gives a natural, unstructured look, with grasses of different heights, shades and textures mixed in with perennials for colour and shape. Mix rudbeckia goldsturm, which offers dark red autumnal colour, with grasses for a high impact effect. Heathers also mix well when placed in front of grasses. Your poor lawn has had a hard time, what with a cold winter and a fairly dry summer. Scarify with a rake to remove moss and dead grass, then aerate with a garden fork to allow air and water to get to the roots. Choose an autumn lawn treatment to boost root growth and help it through the winter. l

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

l Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them, they can be stored in hessian sacks which are available at Garsons. Potatoes keep for months in a cool dry place. l Reduce the frequency of houseplant watering – they need less water over the winter months. l Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the autumn. There are products available to ensure you have clean and pest-free greenhouse for the next season. Keep birdbaths and feeders topped up for our feathered friends. Until next time, happy gardening!

Competition Winner Pictured are Jon Saner from Garsons with the lucky winner of the barbecue competition, Mrs P Brightman from Hedge End. Mrs Brightman entered the Solent Life competition to win a Weber One Touch barbecue.

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All you have to do is answer the following question. What year was Ruscrete established? (A) 1956 (B) 1966 (C) 1976 To enter, email quoting ‘Ruscrete Garden Design’, with your name, contact details and answer! Alternatively post your entry to Solent Life, Webb House, 20 Bridge Road, Park Gate, Hampshire, SO31 7GE. Closing date 30.08.11 Competition entries can also be handed in at both Ruscrete Branches (see editorial for details).

tele: 01329 840940 (Fareham) 023 8086 5046 (Southampton) email: • SEPTEMBER 2011 •



Local Dental Practice Excels! Southside Dental Practice, based in the heart of Southsea, is currently celebrating its achievement after reaching the high standards required to join the Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme. The programme, developed by Denplan, is the first programme to be approved by the Patients Association and helps dentists to develop better relationships with their patients through good communication. It was developed as a result of studies showing that patients who enjoy a good relationship with their dentists are less anxious about examinations and treatment. Principal Dentist at the practice, Dr Sanjay Dave, commented: “This is a fantastic achievement and we’re looking forward to sharing the benefits with our patients. We think it’s vital for dentists to work to improve all aspects of the relationship with their patients - not just clinically, but also personally through better communication and support.” The Excel accreditation ensures the whole team provides patients with clear information regarding their treatment at all times, and that patients are fully involved in making decisions about the future care of their teeth and gums. “As part of the Excel programme, we are able to offer our patients the innovative Oral Health Score, to ensure that they get a true representation of their dental health,” Sanjay added.” It’s a sure-fire way for patients to know and understand their overall oral health status and be aware if it’s improving, stable, or needing extra attention.” For more information about the practice please contact the team on 02392 817 144 or visit

Photo shows the Southside Dental Practice team celebrating their Denplan Excel Accreditation. Pictured standing from left to right: Sanjay Dave, Dentist; Toni Hobbs, Practice Manager; Deborah Ralph, Dental Nurse; and Jayshree Dave, Receptionist. 38…

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

Y our local stocklist is...

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small but

spacious The word Colt has many meanings or connotations, mostly sporting, firearms or horses yet to reach maturity. The Colt in our Mitsubishi test car reflected none of these things – but instead, perhaps added something new. words • dave hill & janet grimm


he Colt is the entry level in the diverse and interesting range that is the Mitsubishi stable. Starting at just over £9,000 and peaking in the high £14,000’s which will get you the model with the biggest engine and the most ticks in the standard equipment list; the collection probably has something to satisfy most requirements. The car tested this month was the CZ2, 1.3litre, 3 door manual model, which places it around the middle of the Colt range. Its 390cm length makes it compact and when stood next to it, yes – it looks small. However, this apparent compactness is deceptive. For a car of its class, it appears to be one of the most spacious once inside. Aimed, I think, primarily for the city market, it probably fulfils all criteria for that purpose; small, manoeuvrable, versatile and economical. In addition to this it has a pleasing style and received favourable comments on the modern appearance and its elegance compared with others in it class. Getting in and out was easy, with seat heights and the absence of pronounced lateral support cushions that abound in more sporty cars, there is no concept or illusion that one is climbing over something to get in – just slide in and slide out. This of course will have a great appeal perhaps to the slightly more mature amongst us that


are maybe not as flexible or mobile as in our younger days. I really did appreciate this even though my youthfulness has not deserted me (although I cant convince my kids or colleagues of this). First impressions were that this was a fairly simple but basic car. However, little features kept being discovered that made it seem good value. Whilst the test car didn’t have every luxury gadget, it had more than enough to be quite acceptable. With cruise control, CD player, temperature selectable air conditioning, iPod/MP3 interface and plenty of cup holders, equipment levels were more than adequate. On the road however, was where most surprises came. This is a small inexpensive car; probably less than half the price of a lot of cars that we see and so my expectations were appropriately tamed. Actually, this little car on the road, in my opinion, punched way above its weight in so many ways. Smooth and well tempered on motorways giving very reasonable performance. The level of sound deadening was much better than on many other small cars resulting in road, wind and other ambient noise levels being subdued to a very acceptable level. Suspension settings were nicely balanced to give an excellent ride over most surfaces. On some ‘ridged’ concrete motorway surfaces however, the combination of tyres and suspension gave rise to some odd harmonic noise,

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

but usually these can be eliminated by just varying the speed. In addition to the seats being accessible, they were firm and supportive. In fact after about 3 hours straight driving, both my wife and I were still quite comfortable. Whilst actual fuel consumption wasn’t monitored with any accuracy, the gauge seemed reluctant to suggest we had used any; and with Janet having driven it round for an evening before me, I can’t help but conclude that it must be pretty economical. Claimed figures are 36.7 (urban), 56.5 (extra urban) and 47.1 (combined). There is a ‘ClearTec’ model available which has a number of additional economy features that improve these numbers further. Without trying passengers in the back I cannot comment on space – but looking over my shoulder from the driver’s seat – there did seem a lot of space back there. It is important to remember here that this is a car built to a specific budget range and therefore it is unsurprising that there is not too much burr walnut and hand stitched leather. Some bits may seem a little on the ‘economy’ side – but Mitsubishi have not compromised on the things that matter. It has a real feel of the traditional Mitsubishi unbreakable.

His summary A spacious but small car with a feeling of robustness where it matters; Pleasant to drive, economical and good looking. The trade-in offers available at Sparshatts the moment, will make the Colt very appealing to many budgets.


he little car in a pretty shade of blue is sitting in the driveway facing towards the window as I wash up after dinner. There is no particular hurry to go out and complete this month’s test drive and, its confession time, I have already apologised to the children for bringing home a Mitsubishi Colt! But glancing again at the car, there is the realisation that it is actually, nice looking, its styling belies its initial impression and it has a level of thoughtful design higher than that of most, more expensive, cars in its class. My favourite stylish touch is the triangular side indicators which echo the shape of the Mitsubishi badge; neat! Driving this little car is really quite fun, the seats are firm and comfortable and the steering wheel controls, the good ICE with MP3 connectivity, and simple, clear dials help improve the experience even further. Driving on the motorway is easy, cruise control makes it effortless and the noise levels stay low so there is no need to turn up the stereo to hide the road noise. From a very girly point of view, this car has lots of places in which to put ‘stuff’ and I have never been in a car with so many cup holders- there’s one for each member of the family! The three door version tested meant that climbing in and out of the back was not particularly elegant but nor was it difficult. Legroom is not extensive but is sufficient and although it may become

uncomfortable for a family on a long journey it would mean that the Colt would be ideal for a couple and perhaps the occasional grandchild! The boot was sufficiently big enough for Bear the dog, who has now been joined by a new family member, Amber, a slightly smaller big dog! Although they are very fond of each other they may have begun to get a bit fed up if we had a long journey to take. The shopping that the current family budget will allow for fitted in easily, however the huge savings that we would make on fuel if we drove the Colt everyday would mean an increased budget and then it might not fit! What a nice quandary to have! l

Her summary An attractive, good value car, quiet and comfortable and perfect for thirsty travellers!

The car tested was a Mitsubishi Colt 3 door, CZ2, 1.3 and was kindly provided by Sparshatts of Fareham. For more information: Sparshatts of Fareham, 01329 828727 Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 1AL • SEPTEMBER 2011 •





Henry Ford never actually said, ‘You can have any colour you like as long as it is black’, but vehicles of the time all looked the same, so how to tell them apart?

As horse power of the four legged kind had begun its redundancy in favour of petrol derived horse power and as the trend for the motor car grew, it became necessary to display something to show the vehicle as being registered. With this need to give vehicles an identifying number, the government created the first vehicle registration scheme. To begin with the need was small and so each registration mark was made up of one letter and one number as this was deemed sufficient to distinguish between them. The first number plate, ‘A1’ was issued in 1903 by London County Council. A good friend of mine back in the late 1980s had the registration, ‘D4’, on his vintage Rolls as a personal plate, it was an impressive sight. It came as no surprise then that this system soon ran into trouble as car numbers outgrew registrations so this format was short-lived, so new, longer formats had to be adopted. These new plates consisted of two letters and four numbers, the letters being incremented as and when numbers became exhausted. Eventually the new format, recognised by many of Solent Life readers as the registrations on their first car, consisting of three letters followed by three numbers

was introduced in mid-1930s, but by the mid-1950s all registrations using this layout had been allocated, they had run out once again. As a simple solution, the format was reversed. In 1965 the number plate format needed to be changed yet again, with a suffix letter being added – a change from 6 digits to 7 allowed an increased number of plates to be issued before the registration format, once again, was exhausted. 1973 saw the introduction of the reflective plates and in 1983 the suffix letter was dropped and the prefix letter introduced. This prefix letter was followed by the 3 numbers, 3 letters configuration. In 1999 the standard one-plate-per-year system of car registration was increased to two plate changes a year to basically aid car sales, 1st March and 1st September registrations were now introduced. Finally just ten years ago, the new, and current, registration format was introduced after much debate and argument; number plates would have a format composed of 2 prefix letters, 2 numbers, then 3 letters. The 2 prefix letters are determined by the location of registration, the numbers relate to the year of registration, and the remaining 3 letters are random registration marks. The allocation of numbers and attaching


words • david rose-massom registration plates to vehicles has subsequently given rise to another industry; one that is often little more than an ego boost, but still one that many of us desire; that of personalised number plates, or as they have become known, cherished plates! People’s initials, birthdays or even names spelt out, although it is illegal to alter any of the components to increase the illusion of it being something other than the number/ letter configuration originally set out. Meaningful or just plain rare, the DVLA has lists of numbers available and prices include VAT and the £80 Assignment fee for your car. Some go for staggering amounts – the value of earlier mentioned D4 plate – well who knows, but the nearest I could find was 14 A – and that is available at a cool £60,000. Many of the more interesting numbers are actually auctioned on line so be prepared to dig deep for that ego trip on your car. For me DRM1, which is currently available, would set me back a mere £49,495 or if I wanted to show off my photographic credentials PHO7O is a bargain at £14,495. Enjoy driving your ‘61’ registered car, and if you cannot enjoy that, then just enjoy ‘61’ spotting on the 1st September. l

Wheely Great! As wheel designs and finishes have evolved, so has the scope and sophistication of wheel refurbishing processes offered by specialists – long gone are the days of simply grabbing a roll of masking tape and letting loose with a spray can! Mobile repair can offer a temporary cosmetic repair, but they can’t prepare the wheel properly, produce a long lasting finish or anywhere near the range of services that customers at The Wheel Specialist Fareham receive. Vernon Kerr explains “If your car is clean, the wheels can quickly let it down, having them refurbished will give them a whole new lease of life. We spend a lot of time with the customer, explaining the numerous stages in the refurbishment process, telling them about the choice of finishes we can offer. We do things properly and feel it’s imperative to explain this – by the time we’ve finished, the wheel finish is often better than manufacturers. While some customers simply look for a finish to match how their car looked when it was new – there’s a huge scope for customisation.” There are examples of every finish available at their premises in Fareham – why not pay The Wheel Specialist a visit to see how they can help you and your wheels! Coffee and doughnuts are always available on a Saturday mornings! Open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm.

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• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

The Rotary Club of Fareham Meon

Rotary Fareham Meon have started a beneficial publicity relationship between local business and Rotary designed to raise regular and reliable extra charitable income and raise the profile of Rotary throughout the community. The photograph shows Phill Upshall proprietor of Titchfield Motors handing over his membership fee of £100 to Vice President of the club James Fullarton. Titchfield Motors joins K100 Kitchens of Porchester as the second local business to sign up. Business Partners will receive regular publicity in all the clubs publications and web site, press releases when appropriate and opportunities to attend Rotary meetings and functions. Phill who celebrates 40 years ‘man and boy’, at the family garage business says “We are delighted to support our local Rotary Club with their fundraising, which benefits so many in the local community.”

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child’s play

this months winner... Andrew Gregory

An entry in this month’s Calendar Photographic Competition is frankly, not very good, well not by the standards that have been set in previous months! There is one small difference with this image however; it was taken by three-year-old Harry Allen. words • david rose-massom


e know this because Harry is my grandson and he took the image with my digital Canon SLR. It is not the best image we have received, not by a long shot, but what it proves is that if a three-year-old can do it, so can other youngsters. Because he is family Harry will only be receiving the pride of his grandfather and will not be entered for the competition, plus he is not good enough yet, despite my teachings. What do you have to do to get a three-year-old to pay attention! It has been the only disappointment of this Fareham branch of London Camera Exchange sponsored competition, that we have had few entries from younger readers. When out and about with my cameras I often see youngsters taking great care with their subject matter and with the way they record the image. We have some fabulous young photographers out there, so why have we not seen your work! Parents, if you feel that your offspring have talent with a camera then encourage them to send in some of their work. We are still looking for images from October through to February that photographers may have in their collections so get your children to look through their libraries, we would love to see what they can do. There will even be a special Solent Life trophy for the best image from an under 16 year old.


• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

runner up...

Harry Allen’s entry The 2012 Solent Life calendar will soon be going to print and will be on sale through our pages in plenty of time to buy as a special stocking filler for Christmas or just as a gift for yourself. Keep your images coming in, especially those for the months October through to February so that we can complete the 2012 calendar.

PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION SPONSORSHIP Our Calendar competition is kindly sponsored by the LONDON CAMERA EXCHANGE FAREHAM & NIKON, 135 West Street, Fareham. T: 01329 236441. E:


out&about Solent Life has been venturing out across the region to capture and bring to you some of the best events in the past few weeks… words & images • david rose-massom

Bus Stop

Every year the seafront along Gosport’s Stokes Bay has an event that diverts the eye from the water and attention heads inland. For the passionate anorak it is all about the buses, both old and new, that not only line a grassy field just a few yards away from the shingle shore but also take residents and visitors on free road trips around the area.

Chilli Weather

The annual Chilli Festival at West Dean Gardens just north of Chichester has now become a Mecca for food lovers with a taste for the spicy and hot. The food is hot, even the ice cream, the music from various areas around the grounds is even hotter and the weather for the last two years has also been a trifle warm.

Showing Off

The New Forest Agricultural Show is one of the finest events of its type in the UK. This year the sun shone and the crowds came out. Country sports, country clothes and of course agricultural machinery new and vintage were all on display over three magnificent days. • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


Local events across the Solent region.

on guide what’s

The Point, Eastleigh Tel… 02380 652333 Chichester Festival Theatre Tel… 01243 781312 Salisbury Playhouse Tel… 01722 320333 Mayflower Theatre Tel… 02380 711811 Theatre Royal, Winchester Tel… 01962 840440 King’s Theatre, Southsea Tel… 02392 828282 Tower Arts Centre, Winchester Tel… 01962 867986 Ferneham Hall Tel… 01329 231942 Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham Tel… 01329 310600 The Concorde Club Tel… 02380 613989

If you have anything going on, tell us here at Solent Life and we will include it in our feature Tel… 01489 583800 Fax… 01489 583803 Email…


REVIEW Something borrowed and something new! Tamsin Withers is the marketing guru for Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre and she told us of the exciting new season ahead and of a great Christmas show. “October sees Southampton playwright Maggie Nevill “The Nuffield is thrilled to present some terrifically team up with The Nuffield Theatre Company once again, exciting artists this autumn! An eclectic programme to premiere her lively and timely new play Alchemy includes contemporary classics, vibrant new writing, in the UK (20 – 29 Oct). A writer with real freshness thought-provoking drama, stunning contemporary and wit, whose work has been seen all over the world, circus and top comedy acts, as well as brilliant family Maggie has been described by The Telegraph as “a shows, charming children’s theatre and weekly sessions writer positively brimming with talent”. Alchemy in and workshops for all ages and abilities!” the UK follows the popular comedies The Shagaround “Some of our top choices in the Main House this season and The Grizzled Skipper, and looks with honesty, sassy include Bang Bang Bang (27 Sep – 1 Oct), a new play humour and heartfelt tenderness at the issues involved from Out of Joint – one of the UK’s leading theatre with being in and out of work in Britain today. (oh… companies, Speechless (4 – 8 Oct), a riveting new play and was it Banksy who painted the little girl with the from Shared Experience, inspired by the best-selling balloon?)” book The Silent Twins, Motet (3 – 5 Nov), a fabulous And, finally for this wonderful season as it reaches circus spectacle and great family entertainment for Christmas Tamisn kept the best for last. “Enter into all ages, and A Clockwork Orange (11 – 12 Nov) from a world of adventure and imagination for a magical Volcano Theatre – a radical company not seen in Christmas story that has been delighting the littlest Southampton before.” Tamsin explained. children and the biggest grown-ups for years and “Studio highlights include a feisty reworking of years - The Borrowers (24 Nov – 8 Jan). With music, Shakespeare’s Othello (14 – 17 Sep), and the return of jokes and fieldmice, this Christmas treat comes from the multinational storytelling company You Need Me with team behind 2010’s A Christmas Carol and 2009’s The Death Song (1 – 2 Nov). The Two Wrongies celebrate Wind in the Willows - one of The Independent’s Top 5 and re-interpret the classic double act in World of Christmas Shows!” Wrong (14 – 16 Nov) and highly acclaimed writer and performer Tom Wainwright presents the razor sharp satire Pedestrian (17 – 19 Nov). Apples and Snakes host For further information and bookings, please call the Box Office on 023 8067 1771 or visit another season of 451 performance poetry evenings, where full listings and (24 Oct & 12 Dec) and Roy Hutchins brings the poems online booking are available. of Heathcote Williams to life with a theatrical flourish in Zanzibar Cats (21 – 23 Nov).”

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

Music MUGENKYO TAIKO DRUMMERS This Euro-version of traditional Japanese drummers will be on tour in the UK with their full concert of powerful taiko rhythms, huge drums, dramatic choreography, haunting bamboo flute & playful percussion, presented in a theatrical stage show. They have been the driving force behind the growing taiko movement in the UK since their establishment in 1994. Through years of rigorous touring as Europe’s leading taiko drum group, Mugenkyo have developed a gritty passionate style that is uniquely their own, retaining the traditional spirit of taiko yet creating a contemporary sound and a modern stage show that has captivated audiences everywhere. If you have never experienced the thrill and beat of taiko then this will be a real treat and something to be experienced before you can describe it. THE BERRY THEATRE, Eastleigh Saturday 8th October at 7:30 pm. Ticket prices: £16 / £12, Box Office: 01489 799 499 Website: www.theberrytheatre. TALKING HEADS charity music gig All acts are playing for free and the venue is free so 100% of moneys raised are going to charity. Since early 2007 rifles battalions have been deployed almost continually on operations, the intensity and ferocity of which has cost the lives of 54 riflemen killed in action with a further 290 seriously injured. Of these, in excess of 40 have sustained life changing physical injuries which will require long term assistance. For example, the regiment now has 25 amputees, 3 of whom are triple amputees and 8 are

Theatre & Events Children double, as well as two riflemen who are completely blinded and three more in neurological units. It is anticipated that many veterans will suffer from psychological problems at some stage in the future. These heroes are local to Solent Life and among the more contemporary music acts The Bugle Platoon from The 4 Rifles-Bulford will be playing in full dress uniform. TALKING HEADS, Portswood, Southampton, 24th September. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets £8.00 - £10.00 on the door. www.thetalkingheads. SUBMARINE ANNIVERSARY Live Banjo and Ukulele’s groups will be performing at a one off special day – the Arnold Forster Banjo Fest to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the launch of the very first Royal Navy submarine Holland 1 and the beginning of the submarine service. Top UK banjo artist Richard Collins will be performing with Dalebilly alongside Portsmouth’s own uke orchestra, the Pompey Pluckers. Bill Sainsbury, Event Manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum said, “Banjo and the ukulele were very popular instruments in the early 20th century. Their size allowed them to fit easily into a submariners’ kit. Holland 1, the first British Royal Navy submarine was launched 110 years ago and her commander Arnold Forster was known for his love of the banjo, so it seemed fitting to commemorate the beginnings of the submarine service with an afternoon of Banjo and Ukulele music featuring the leading Banjo musicians of today.” ROYAL NAVY SUBMARINE MUSEUM, Gosport, Sunday 2nd October. For more information visit www.submarine-museum.

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR Following a record breaking West End season at the Garrick Theatre where it was nominated for BEST NEW WEST END MUSICAL, TV’s newest East Ender star, DAVID ESSEX, stars in his own musical set in a world of an authentic East End funfair. Inspired by David’s album ‘All the Fun of the Fair’, the original storyline is a heartwarming tale about an East End fairground family with David playing funfair owner ‘Levi Lee,’ recently widowed and father of a rebellious teenage son, ‘Jack.’ Dodgems and motorbikes, crafty cons and candy floss, fairground horses and fights, along with romance and rock and roll mean you’re sure to go on a rollercoaster of a ride, but beware… all is not always fun at the fair! MAYFLOWER THEATRE, Southampton, 11th to 15th October. The Mayflower Box Office 02380 711811, online at or in person from the Mayflower ticket shop in The Marlands, Southampton. CINDERELLA AUDITIONS Are you aged 7 years or above? Would you like to appear in this year’s Kings Theatre pantomime? NEW PANTOMIME PRODUCTIONS Ltd. is holding CHILDRENS DANCE AUDITIONS and they say the more the merrier when it comes to those wanting to attend. With an audition time of 9.00 am it is boys & girls aged 7 yrs and over Max. Height 5’2” and at 12.00 pm Boys & girls to audition as Seniors Min. height 5’2” and everybody should wear clothes which are suitable for auditions. All candidates will be auditioned in groups and taught a short dance routine. Those auditioning should ensure that, if successful, they would be available to attend every

rehearsal and these start on Sunday 27th November, mainly after school and weekends Please be aware that this is a competitive dance audition and those who are successful will be chosen to perform as dancers in the pantomime. Please note that these positions are unpaid. KINGS THEATRE, Albert Road, Southsea on Sunday 18th September. GOODWOOD REVIVAL With just a few weeks to go, Goodwood has confirmed an impressive line-up of over 70 star drivers and riders attending this year’s event. Well-known faces from most motor sport disciplines will be in action at this year’s Goodwood Revival, including Formula One stars, rally winners, endurance racing champions, tin top tearaways and top bikers; often competing in the most unlikely of machines. Expect to see Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Chief Technical Director Adrian Newey, ex-Ferrari F1 driver Gerhard Berger, Jaguar’s 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace, and Peugeot’s endurance ace Nicolas Minassian. Goodwood stalwarts Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Murray Walker and Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will also be in attendance. GOODWOOD CIRCUIT, West Sussex, 16th to 18th September. To order advance tickets for 2011 Goodwood Revival, please contact the Ticket Hotline: Telephone: 01243 755055. Email: Book online: motorsport • SEPTEMBER 2011 •


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community news Your essential guide to all the local news and events in your community SING FOR WATER The Big Splash Community Choir after just 9 weeks of rehearsal, 50 local people who have never performed together before, sing in exquisite harmony at a concert to raise money for Water Aid. The Big Splash Choir is led by Fiona Funnell, singer/song writer and choir leader and she has been running ‘Sing for Water’ choirs for the past seven years. This year the choir will be raising the roof with songs from Nigeria, South Africa, Georgia and the UK. The songs are uplifting and infectious. Other performers include The Slow Arrangers Ukulele Band and a vocal quintet. During the interval, light snacks and drinks will be available as well as a variety of other curiosities such as face painting, CD’s and a raffle. ‘Sing for Water’ supports WaterAid’s life-saving projects in India, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi bringing clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene education to thousands of people. St Mary’s Church, (next to City College) Southampton, Saturday 17th September at 8pm. If you would like more information, visit the website at ART EXHIBITION Fareham Art Group proudly presents its annual exhibition of members’ artwork at Ferneham Hall, Fareham Monday 19th September to Saturday 24th September 2011. Open daily 10am – 4pm, Tues – Fri evenings 6pm-10pm, Saturday all day 10 am – 10 pm. Free entry. Fareham Art Group also holds monthly meetings on the last Thursday of the month and weekly art workshops on Tuesday afternoons and evenings. For more details see www. Email: info@ or telephone Chris on 01489 785615. JOHN LEWIS presents Fashion and Beauty at Portsmouth Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth on Wednesday 14 September 2011 at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the Cathedral Shop or Box Office 023 9289 2967.


COFFEE AND CAKE ANYONE? Sue Vines is organizing a Coffee Morning as part of “The World’s Greatest Coffee Morning” in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday 30th September from 10am till 3pm at Hill Head Sailing Club, Cliff Road, Fareham, PO14 3JT. Fabulous views over the Solent, probably the best views; and home made cakes into the bargain. Great venue, nice change for morning coffee and help a great charity event into the bargain. BYGONE FAREHAM On Saturday 10 September there is the return of the firm favourite Bygone Fareham which will take place in the town centre from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Fareham’s open air pedestrian shopping area is expected to be full of local owners classic vehicles – more than 50 cars are expected from members of the South Hants Vehicle Preservation Society, Morris Marina Owners Club and the Portsmouth & Southampton Mini Owners Club. In the Performance Podium, members of Now That’s Jive will dance to music from the 40s and 50s. Chris White, Chairman of the SHVPS, which is expected to bring up to 30 vehicles, said “Our members thoroughly enjoy chatting and reminiscing with both the young and old about their cars. There’s always enormous interest from the people of Fareham, and so we are very pleased to be returning for another event this year.” SOUTHSEA SEAFRONT SUNDAY STROLL Whether you fancy a gentle stroll or a brisk march, come and join The Rowans Hospice Portsmouth South Support Group on Sunday 11 September at 10am for a walk along Southsea seafront. Starting and finishing at the Canoe Lake café, you can choose the distance and pace to suit your mood. This event is suitable for all ages and abilities and whether you are on your own or part of a group, everyone is welcome. The event has been organised by the Portsmouth South Support Group to raise money for The Rowans Hospice and is now in its 5th year. Alan Lihou, Chairman of the

• SEPTEMBER 2011 •

Support Group, said: “This is a lovely social occasion for a leisurely stroll with friends, old and new. We ask just £3 per person and £1 for accompanied children although people are welcome to make an additional donation or raise sponsorship for the walk if they wish.” Please pre-book by contacting Alan Lihou on 023 9281 4321 or END OF SUMMER BALL Featuring a dance demonstration by the present UK Professional Latin American champions; Oleksii Ivanets and Lisa Bellinger-Ivanets. With compere Claire Taplin and music by Colin Mansbridge it promises to be a great evening for all ballroom dance fans. Thornbury Hall, Bury Road, Gosport, on Saturday 24th September at 8pm. Tickets just £12.50 and available from Barry Sears on 02392 529768. PUMPKIN TIME Pumpkins and scarecrows go hand in hand and they are to be celebrated in a festival at the Royal Victoria Country Park on October 8th in aid of the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Visitors are expected to bring along their own scarecrows and enjoy music, crafts, food and drink. For more information go to TOWNSWOMEN Fareham West Townswomen’s Guild meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in St John’s Church Hall, St Michael’s Grove, Fareham at 2.15pm. The next meeting will be on 21st September when the speaker will be Chris Cockburn talking about ‘Birds at Farlington Marshes’. The Guild holds coffee mornings and arranges outings and various events and also has craft, art, singing and scrabble groups. Visitors are very welcome. For more information please call Jackie Walker on 02392 298768.

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Solent Life Magazine - Park Gate - September Issue 2011  

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