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MAY 2012


urs’ an ‘afterichkoet to family t life

Marwell Wild

Diamond Days

Looking forward to Jubilee Celebrations











W H AT ’ S O N




MAY 2012

Forget the wet and windy weather, forget the cutbacks and for a few weeks at least, put thoughts of a double-dip recession on the back burner and open your hearts and minds to a summer of celebrations, fun and achievement and fabulous flypasts. The first big event is of course the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which will enable friends and neighbours to get together with street parties and cement that strong bond of community. In this month’s Solent Life, we feature the three Cunard Queens that will rekindle the glory days of Southampton as the gateway to the World and who will be joined in their pageant by the Red Arrows. We head down to the South Atlantic for a unique insight into life on the Falkland Islands as we are marking the 30th anniversary of the conflict there and also a ‘day in the life’ on board HMS Protector supporting the British Antarctic Survey. We continue in our build up toward the Olympics and the Portsmouth Air Festival and look towards spending the Summer in the back garden with a garden makeover feature. For the Royal Wedding last year, we visited some 15 wonderful street parties and met hundreds of our readers. If you are organising a Jubilee street party in June, please let us know, we would love to come along and meet you all, join in with your celebrations and take some pictures for our ‘Jubilee Special’ Out and About section. Be happy, stay safe and enjoy this wonderful summer. | MANAGING EDITOR



in this issue… features 32… Life on the Falkland Islands Three decades after the conflict.


44… A Trio of Queens

Tel… 01489 583800 • Fax… 01489 564549 Online… • Email…

48… Spitbank Fort

The Jubilee meeting of the Three Queens in Southampton.


We visit Clarenco’s exclusive island retreat.

50… Day in the Life The Leading Officer of the Antarctic Survey Ship.


88… Portsmouth Air Festival The Director of Flying talks about his role.


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

Advertising Sales Sarah Kent Tel… 01489 584010 Email… Steve Walker Tel… 01489 584057 Email…

Janet Grimm Tel… 01489 583800 Email… Barbara Smith Tel… 01489 583719 Email…

Design & Production David Ives-Farren, Joe Parker & Adam Barnard Tel… 01489 583718 Email… // Deadline for advertising copy & editorial for next issue: 14th May 2012

regulars 6… The Walk Noah Lake and the Alver Valley.

24… Restaurant Review

Woodland Fare in the New Forest.

50… Artist Review Life on the ocean wave.

76… Coast & Country The crowning glory of Stansted Park. 78… Road Test BMW’s 320d lays down the gauntlet. 96… What’s On

Reviews and theatre productions coming your way.

Published by Living Coast Media. © Copyright Solent Life 2012. 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.

MAY 2012 • …3

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Also, GHD have released their first hairdryer to complement their styler range. Called the “air” it is designed to be lighter than normal hairdryers and to drastically cut the time it takes to dry the hair, saving valuable time. These are available whilst stocks last. For gents. Don’t forget we offer a gents barbering service on Friday afternoons and Saturdays. We offer a walk in service or you can book if preferred. For further advice or to book that special treat call Room 8 Hair & Beauty on 01489 582660. We will be glad to be of service to you.

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Cars, cars, cars…

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solent | walk

soaring, swimming &

singing words & pictures by david rose-massom

Midway around the Alver Valley walk a pair of sturdy wooden benches sat upon a small hill and offered a perfect place to just sit awhile. A cooling breeze took the heat from the spring day sunshine and overhead a glider flew silently and lazily back toward the airfield at Lee-on-the-Solent.

6‌ • MAY 2012


he white aircraft’s wings dipped and it turned to fly behind me and over the roofs of the newish Cherque Farm Estate. Over the trees in front of me, that stretched down through the shallow valley, a pair of buzzards soared and wheeled as a duet; almost as if giving lessons to the human aviator. In the distance the iconic landmark of the Spinnaker Tower could clearly be seen above the treetops. It had not been all quiet and tranquil during the early part of this month’s Solent Life walk; the sharp report of shotguns had echoed across the nature reserve as clay pigeon shooters with salvo after salvo rid the skies of small flying plates. The shoot was being safely held behind fences and high hedgerows with plenty of signage warning of the event, as if the sound of the guns had escaped our attention. The strange thing was that it did not spoil in any way the enjoyment of the walk, if anything the birds sung even louder to overcome the cacophony of the guns. There was one fat bumble bee that buzzed off into the distance, weaving as if evading the rapid fire. But now, on my hilltop, the guns had ceased as the sportsmen headed home for their Sunday lunch. Suddenly there was stillness and quiet and the reserve took on an eerie silence, the birds had also ceased their chattering for the time being. Back to the start of the walk though; it begins across a narrow stretch of scrubland, the largest grassland area in Gosport, where the footpath travels alongside Noah Lake. A tithe map from 1837 of the site named the nine acre field as Noah Field. The lake is reclaimed from a quarry digging and also acts as a balancing pond to take flash water from the Cherque Farm Estate. In the midst of its calm waters there are two islands which

are a good nesting site for Coot, Moorhens, Canada Geese as well as gulls. Often Cormorants can also be seen on the banks of the island drying out their wings. The ancient nursery rhyme claims ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl’, etc but I have no idea where it goes when around 30 magpies are dancing, squabbling and arguing in one mad black and white melee. It can be a Tittering, Tiding, Gulp, Murder or even a Charm of magpies apparently; whereas it should be a Racket or Commotion of magpies with the noise they make. The rhyme itself has its origins in the superstitions connected with magpies, I still salute a lone one, as they are considered a bird of ill omen in some cultures, and in Britain, and this goes back to at least the early sixteenth century. The rhyme was first noted around 1780. Continuing, the pathway, which is a hardcore surface and would be passable for a wheelchair, or easier walking for the less able-bodied, curves away from the lake and drops down into a marshy area, now dry due to our mild winter, and traversed by a short boardwalk and wooden bridge; a good place to stop for a bit of bird watching as many of the smaller birds seem to congregate down in that dip. A second lake, which I used to enjoy walking around because kingfishers could often be seen sitting on low branches and diving for small fish there, has now been fenced off for the use of an angling club who manage and protect the lake. A little way along the fence there is an opening where walkers can stand and admire the attractive expanse of water, so it has not been hidden totally from view. The pleasure of that opening was heightened when I spotted a Heron on the far shore, almost hidden in the reeds. The pathway continues on to the charmingly named Apple Dumpling Bridge, which we have visited on a previous walk, so I took a diversion up

over the hill which led to those wooden benches. All around me in the stubby growth of grasses, birdsong was heard from hidden birds and suddenly at my feet a beautiful, brown Common Lizard scampered by, far too quick for my camera lens to be aimed, then as I looked down at the lizard, a screech from a woodpecker made me look up again just in time to see one of the green variety as it zipped past in its familiar dipping and rising flight pattern. Why can’t nature just sit still now and again and let me focus my camera? Still, beautiful to watch none the less! Noah Lake and the surrounding nature reserve of the Alver Valley is a wonderful place to walk and to watch wildlife. Roe deer can often be seen, along with foxes and even the odd badger if you are lucky. It is a mixture of grassland, woodland and lake and there is much to be seen and enjoyed on the ground, in the air and on the water. l

The Lee resident’s website has details of the flora and fauna that make up this nature reserve. Directions From the M27 take exit 11 and follow the signs to Gosport. Once under the viaduct get into the right hand lane of the A32 and take the fork for Newgate Lane toward Lee-on-the-Solent (B3385). This road eventually becomes Broom Way and at a set of traffic lights by the entrance to the airfield the road turns left onto the Gosport road (B3333) this is alongside the Cherque Farm Estate and the small car park is by the roundabout.

MAY 2012 • …7

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MAY 2012 • …13

solent | ‘life’

I know

loneliness words by fiona cooke

I know loneliness for he sleeps on my right shoulder. He slumbers for much of the time, but he can awaken when I turn to share a moment with someone who is not there. He’ll wait in the silence of my empty house, and draw me in as the light fades and night falls. He whispers to me as I close my eyes and steals my sleep in the hours before dawn.


an there be many of us who have not experienced loneliness at some time or another? For some, especially the elderly, it is a feeling they live with from day to day. It is the reality of losing a partner after many years together, the inability, due to age or infirmity, to go out and seek the company of others or busy themselves with activities which distract them and pass the time. For others it is a feeling of being isolated or disconnected from the wider world. Loneliness can be found in a relationship which no longer works, on a social media page of someone who has many friends but no real intimacy, or at a party where everyone but you is engaged in a conversation; loneliness is being on the outside looking in. Few of us like to admit to feeling lonely; it can be seen as the failing of someone who lacks friends. But that is not always the case, where one person finds loneliness the next might find the pleasure of enjoying his, or her own company. Loneliness is individual; it strikes us at different times and in different ways, and the remedy is not always found by being in a crowd. It can come from the feeling that you are understood by, or connect to at least one other person in way which goes deeper, or from the knowledge that

14… • MAY 2012

you are part of a wider community that cares for you in a personal way. Yet our communities are disappearing. Many of our elderly live out their latter years on their own and contact with others can be fleeting; a phone call from a friend, a few hours with a relative or the morning visit from a Carer. The older generation share a longing for the days when we lived in each other’s pockets, when front doors were left open, when everybody knew everyone else’s business, when the only way to communicate was in person. Perhaps loneliness is the malaise of the modern world, a world that, as it expands its methods of communicating by email, text or through online forums, potentially isolates us more and more. Maybe we are substituting electronic messaging for the real and meaningful connections that can only be found in person. Communication is many faceted, words make up only a small portion of how we get our message across and we miss out on the smile, the warmth, the empathy, the touch that can say so much more than the words on a computer screen. So the temptation to find a solace from loneliness in the relative anonymity of an online connection can exacerbate the issue. It may leave one with a feeling that there is something missing, that as much as

an evening spent in online chat may keep the shadow of loneliness at bay, it does little to banish the awareness that you are alone when you switch off your computer. When I did some research for this article (admittedly online), I came across a forum that recommended ways of combating loneliness. Amongst the many suggestions was one that struck me as the hardest, but also the one that possibly would help the most. That was to embrace your loneliness. Rather than avoid it with activity, or denial, or try fighting it, merely accept it. Explore the feeling, allow it to be. As much as we want to only experience the positive feelings that life brings, the reality is that life brings duality. To appreciate the positives you have to experience the negatives, at least some of the time. So the experience of loneliness can make the enjoyment of the connection that banishes it all the sweeter. Another idea comes from the story of a woman who was paralysed after an accident. Rather than live the rest her life bemoaning her fate she made it her mission to help others in a similar situation to find meaning in their lives. She recognised that in reaching out to help others she helped herself. So maybe therein lays the answer; embrace your loneliness, allow it to sleep on your right shoulder and use that awareness to recognise loneliness in another and to reach out and offer a hug. In today’s world we may not be able to stop loneliness but we can make it easier to live with by acknowledging it in ourselves and others and maybe then feeling less alone by knowing we are not alone! l

JOIN ON OPEN DAY AND GET 20% OFF MEMBERSHIP! The members at Warsash Tennis Club would love to meet you at our annual Open Day on Sunday 13th May 2012, all ages welcome. Come along and have some fun and try out your tennis skills for FREE on the day (racquets and balls supplied). There is a special ‘one day only’ price for new adult members of £100.00 (normally £125.00) and for new family membership of £170.00 (normally £210.00 for two adults and two children) so there is no better time to get on court. Our juniors (only £15.00 annual membership) are very important to us with plenty of weekly fun activities plus a new adult beginners group will be starting in early June, so sign up now to be guaranteed a place at this popular session and, before you know it, you’ll be playing in one of our 27 teams entered in this year’s National, County and District summer leagues. For more information about our Open Day please call David Sadler on 07775 866225 and for coaching questions please call Rob Norris on 07519 633559. We look forward to welcoming you to Warsash Tennis Club very soon.

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An exciting new venture with The Bard in the Barn. A Festival of Shakespeare


Why Shakespeare was here in Titchfield, living, working and his relationship with his benefactor the Earl of Southampton. 23rd - 26th MAY (two shows on Saturday at 5.30pm & 8.30pm)

> 16th – 26th MAY

‘Through our children we live, that is how we cheat death.’ This moving play, inspired by the real life evacuation of Jewish children escaping from the horrors of Nazi Germany is doubtless worth two boxes of tissues. This dark often brooding story is told from the heart with love and poignancy.It is an exceptional piece of theatre… not to be missed.


> THE HISTORY BOYS by Allan Bennett

JULIET AND HER ROMEO The star crossed lovers as you have never seen them. 18th - 28th JULY And much more. For more information or

> SMITH • 10th – 12th MAY London in 1745, vagrants,thieves, pedlars soldiers, the underbelly of London is alive. Smith, a 12 year old pickpocket finds that one of his ‘actions’ leads him into a sinister and dangerous web of murder,intrigue and betrayal! A classic childrens story fit for adults told by children.

> 13th – 23rd JUNE One of the finest plays written by Alan Bennett, packed with superb one liners, a play of depth as well as dazzle, intensley moving as well as thought-provoking and funny. DAILY TELEGRAPH

Shakespeare for Kids. TYT are running a Shakespeare Summer School for children. An exciting 2 week course culminating in a production of Romeo and Juliet For more information contact Julian Sluggett on 01329 556156

why not get a copy of our Theatre Calendar Card to remind you of what’s coming up. Just phone 01329 556156 and we will send you one free of charge.


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MAY 2012 • …19

photography April’s winner… paul stone


portraits words by John Dallimore

Arguably not the time to be indoors with summer upon us but with the increased light levels, this can be a good time to experiment with natural light. Shooting with natural light will also help avoid the harsh shadows caused by flashguns. Point and shoot digital cameras can get some great images but as always, a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex or one with an interchangeable lens) gives you the benefit of more control. When using a modern digital compact camera, it may well have ‘scene’ modes in the menu. Within this mode there is usually a portrait setting which is normally depicted by a head-wearing-hat symbol. This mode can also be found on a lot of DSLR cameras. When posing your subject, keep an eye out for distracting background objects such as light switches or picture frames. Planning and thinking about a shot will often enhance the result. Think about the position and height of your subjects, and whether or not you wish to include the sofa or coffee table in the shot! In Fig. 1 & 2, I used a kitchen stool to help level the head-heights. Both shots were taken against a plain wall with a sofa against the wall (which I avoided FIG 2 • MAY 2012




If you would like to learn more about aspects in photography we run photographic tutorials in the Fareham branch of London Camera Exchange. Please contact us on 01329 236441 for details. Mention Solent Life and this article to receive a discount on our Tutorials.

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




getting in the frame). They were both taken on a compact camera in portrait mode. I hope that this highlights the fact that compacts can return good results with minimal planning. The DSLR user can benefit from finer control over depth of field (this is the distance of sharpness in front of and behind the subject. If you look at Fig. 3, the background is completely blurred. This is because I used a large aperture (Image taken on a Nikon D200 + 50mm f/ 1.4 - at f/ 2, 1/160th sec, ISO 800 and f2.2, 1/200th sec). When using a wide aperture, be aware of where the camera is focussing. For an engaging portrait of people or animals, try to get eye-contact and focus on the iris. Fig.4 and 5 shows how the colour balance can be affected when using artificial light. Daylight and flash both give a relatively natural colour balance when compared with light-bulbs or fluorescent lighting. I personally like the warmtone effect created by artificial light. Reflectors are a useful tool for bouncing light back into the darker areas of a picture

(eye sockets and under the chin are good examples). Starting at around £15.00 they provide a versatile bounce card with up to 5 different colours from gold to silver. These different colours will change the quality of light. For example, silver can give a harsh reflection, whereas gold lends a warm or golden hue to your subject. The great thing is that they can enhance most photos and are a relatively inexpensive way to improve your shots. There is a lot more to indoor portraiture but experimentation is the key to getting good results. When shooting portraits, keep it light hearted but plan your composition and think about your lighting. l

THE RULES: All images must be taken by the named photographer and the photographer should not be a professional (eg earning the bulk of their income from photography). Images should be ‘landscape’ in format, saved as Jpegs and named for their location. Images should then be sent via email as high resolution and accompanied clearly with name, address and a contact number. The judges decision each month and for Photographer of the Year is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Send your entries to DON’T FORGET THAT THIS YEAR we have an extra prize of The Young Photographer of the Year. Our thanks for the continued sponsorship from the London Camera Exchange, Fareham branch.

Indian Restaurant 25 Shore Road, Warsash

T: (01489) 573110 or 582226

Open Sunday To Thursday 12 noon - 2.00pm & 5.30pm - 11.30pm Friday & Saturday 12 noon - 2.00pm & 5.30pm - Midnight

• Try our new special dishes • 3 course lunch 12-2 £5.95 everyday

Fully Refurbished • Exciting new menu

MAY 2012 • …21

travel | focus

plenty cape of

words by jeff kilby

The Western Cape of South Africa, a vibrant land full of energy and natural beauty, the dynamic of this truly beautiful country offers a wide range of interests and adventures from the breathtaking landscapes of Table Mountain and the open savannah of its National parks, to the rugged beauty of its unexplored coastline, The Western Cape makes for a superb holiday.


great starting point

for any South African holiday is Cape Town, The mother City of South Africa; here you will find the brightly coloured buildings are perfectly in tune with its residents, buzzing with life and full of fun. Cape Town has plenty to offer, Museums, galleries, walking tours, Botanical Gardens and it’s most famous of sites Table Mountain are but a few. There are many paths that lead to the Table Mountain range, the easiest option is the cable car, from the top of Cableway you can look down to the little enclave of Camps Bay, hemmed in by the mighty Twelve Apostles and Lions Head you will begin to understand what all the fuss is about. Table Mountain is at the heart of Cape Towns tourist industry and offers a wide range of activities from Abseiling to gentle walks in the Kirstenbosch

22… • MAY 2012

National Botanical Garden, and can easily keep you occupied for much of your holiday. The problem is that by the time you have experienced the views from Table Mountain you will realise there is so much more to see in the Western Cape. Just a short drive away is Cape Peninsula, en-route you will find Chapmans Peak Drive, a 9km route that offers 180 degree views as you skirt the rocky coastline, with its numerous parking bays along the route there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view. A little further on Cape Point and its National Park can be found, With its new Funicular Railway (due to open this April) The Flying Dutchman, over 20 shipwrecks, hiking tours, lighthouses to visit and Whales to spot from June to November, there is plenty to keep you busy. East of Cape Town you will find the wine lands of Paarl, Stellenbosch and without doubt the most picturesque

and a must visit even if wine is not your thing, Franschhoek, surrounded on 3 sides by the Groot Drakenstein and Franschhoek Mountains it really is a picture perfect town. Here you will find around 30 wineries to choose from and where there is wine you can expect to find great food, and Franschhoek boasts some of South Africas finest restaurants in town, amongst the 34 (last count) . Not that you have to venture out of Cape Town for good food as again the options are plentiful with the highly colourful Malay Quarter brimming with its choice of restaurants and bars whilst the more modern V&A Waterfront has become a huge success story. And it is from here that you can take the ferry to Robben Island, a prison that dates back nearly 400 years, now a museum, made famous for the incarceration of Nelson Mandela. Whether you make Cape Town and the Western Cape just the start of your holiday or choose to extend it beyond, you will find it to be a place of awesome diversity, where the scenery is endless, exciting and unexpected, a place that you will want to visit again and again. For further information and expert advice and help in planning your perfect holiday of South Africa, contact the tailor made experts at Amity World Leisure Travel today. l

Are you planning a major holiday? Whatever your reason for planning a trip of any kind, you want to be sure that the arrangements are just right and that you have the holiday of your dreams. One way to be certain of this is make Amity World Travel your first port of call in order to discuss your plans. Here, you can be sure that you will be offered expert advice and assistance in putting together your perfect holiday. Amity World Travel has been trading since 1970 and has been based at its current location in Segensworth since 1994. This unusual location for a travel agency offers a “non shop” setting where clients are welcome to drop in (often by appointment), and meet with a consultant who can take as much time as is needed to discuss your plans over a coffee, suggest a variety of options and make the necessary arrangements in quiet and relaxed surroundings. As an independently owned, ABTA and ATOL accredited company, Amity is able tailor the widest choice of travel options match your own personal needs. Through years of experience they have built direct

Chill, you’re going to just love South Africa

relationships with ground handlers and hoteliers around the world, and they may be able to offer unique experiences that you just won’t find in a mass-market brochure. Amity World Travel blends old fashioned qualities of customer service, choice and impartiality with modern day booking technology to help give them the edge over their competition. As the leisure travel division of one of the most successful Business Travel Management Companies in the south of England, their consultants use the most up to date reservation technology, and have millions of “contract” rates for worldwide flights, hotels and car rental. Put this together with the 60+ years of travel experience that Jeff, Sue and Lisa have between them, and you have a winning formula that sees clients returning year after year to put their trust in travel arrangements planned and booked at Amity World Travel. Telephone: 01489 579975

Your Local Travel Experts 10 day Western Cape Self Drive Itinerary from £1495 per person

Price includes Direct flights, car hire, 4 nights Cape Town, 2 nights Stellenbosch, 2 nights Hermanus and 2 nights Swellendam Departing between 1st September and 30th November. Based on 2 persons sharing twin/double rooms.

As members of Advantage, the UK’s leading consortium of independent travel agents, we have the widest choice of tour operators from which to choose your dream holiday. Our expert consultants can also piece together the elements of your dream trip into a tailor-made holiday while you relax, safe in the knowledge that your arrangements are fully bonded.

Telephone: 01489 579975



4 Manor Court, Barnes Wallis Road, Segensworth East, Fareham, PO15 5TH MAY 2012 • …23


restaurant | review


words & pictures by david rose-massom

A working lifetime had been spent as an insurance underwriter in London and dealing in unbelievable amounts of money. A month’s break from the high pressure job brought about some fresh thinking and the need for a change; so Robert and Imogen Anglaret began the search for a new career and a new way of life...


he Woodlands Lodge Country House Hotel, a few trees away from

Ashurst, sits in the heart of the New Forest and on a warm spring evening we joined Robert for a stroll around the grounds and the kitchen garden. Robert proudly explained that the biggest adventure so far was during a New Year Eve Gala when wife Imogen gave birth to their newson – the first baby born in the New Forest this year. Their lives certainly had changed! This may be a new career for Robert and Imogen, that carries a new type of pressure, but the young couple have attacked this change with passion, commitment and real style and instead of the traffic noise and movement from outside their former Islington home, they now have the cacophony of bird song and ponies wandering into the back garden. Robert had invited me out to Woodlands to try out the menu at Bentleys, the hotel’s restaurant, and after our pleasant evening stroll I took my seat and perused the menu without realising that after many years of reviewing eating establishments one of the finest complete three course meals I had ever eaten was about to be served. The dining room is beautiful; classic country house hotel in styling, with a simple chandelier hanging down from the centre of the room, surrounded by a stunning inverted and colourful plaster rose garden. Five starters and seven main courses on the menu with choices of tasty description following delicious description meant it was not an easy choice! Served on a grey slate plate, a small dish of olives with a bright red strip of sweet red pepper accompanied the fresh baked bread rolls that were still warm and offering up that intoxicating aroma of dough that has been recently pulled from the oven. The surprise of an amuse bouche served in a small cup was placed in front of me and the aroma floating over the table changed. It was a foamy little soup with rich earthy flavours from the mushroom content with a slight hint of truffle, my taste buds were more than amused, and they were thoroughly entertained by the warm-up act.

24… • MAY 2012

The bottled spring water I had requested to accompany my meal carried the New Forest food marque and Robert and his chef, Kenyan born John, work hard at sourcing produce locally, especially from the New Forest. Robert had mentioned earlier that one of the differences from living in London was that they now noticed the seasons changing; this is even further heightened by the choice of that local produce. On my arrival at the hotel it was explained to me that the kitchen may lose the chef at any moment; as his wife was due to give birth that day – it must be something to do with the New Forest air. Scallops, artistically presented, took centre stage and sent a new aromatic adventure my way and without even lifting a fork there was a confidence that this would be a stunning dish. The sweep of sauce, pureed Jerusalem artichoke, was gentle in flavour and yet divine and with a slightly coarse texture. The scallops, topped by crisp prosciutto tuile, were sweet, succulent and soft and offered a dance of flavours and textures. It was an amazing and delicate dish that still presented itself as a full-on first course. Chef John may have been worried about the impending addition to his family, or the fact he had a food reviewer in his restaurant but none of the added pressure showed as the main course arrived. Next on stage was a Pork Three Ways which included a confit of belly, a hoi sin marinated fillet and a superb crackling

crumble served with sage rosti, gingered apple sauce and jus – I warned earlier that the descriptions were delicious but would this one live up to its billing… The sauce was dark and shiny; the side dish of vegetables crisp, hot and earthy; and the pork dishes – perfectly tender and tasty; full of flavour and a mixture of textures. Each of the trio had their own distinct taste and texture. It was as if the Three Tenors were top of the bill; the three of them in perfect harmony when singing together and yet great soloists on their own. For the dessert course I had been tempted, and teased from the description, with the white chocolate marquise which came wrapped in dark chocolate and served with a mango sorbet and I have no idea how I resisted the decadence; but the passion fruit flavoured crème Brulee had me intrigued, especially as it was served with lime jelly and a coconut tuile. Once again the dish was beautifully presented – the costumes in this production had all been well designed and executed as well as adding to the overall drama. The crisp tuile biscuit was dark and mysterious; the lime jelly offered a splash of bright colour and a welcome cutting edge of sharpness. Then the spoon broke down through the firm caramel topping into the smooth and creamy Brulee that carried the fruity hint of the passion fruit. It was a medley of taste and texture that completed a truly fine meal. Woodlands Lodge, and its restaurant Bentleys, is a perfect weekend retreat,

great for family Sunday lunches or a romantic meal for two – or failing any of those special occasions just to use it as an excuse for a drive through the Forest and some superb cuisine in beautiful surroundings. The staff are friendly and seemingly always smiling, the hotel is comfortable and inviting and it is also the ideal venue for that special celebration or wedding. Good food and dining out is about entertainment and all the senses have to be catered for. The sight of the dish as it is placed in front of you, the aromas they send out, the sound of the dining room around you and finally the tastes and textures offered by the food itself. In Bentleys I was thoroughly entertained and if there had been room within my pleasantly full body I would have called for an encore. l

This is a privately owned 3 star country house hotel and is perfectly placed to explore the forest, which can be accessed directly from the hotel gardens. The original house was built in 1550, and is reputed to have been owned by the Duchy of Westminster and used as a Royal Hunting Lodge and was first converted into a hotel in the 1950’s. It is also a dog friendly establishment. Bartley Road, Woodlands, SO40 7GN Tel: 02380 292257 Email: Web:

MAY 2012 • …25

solent | jubilee

diamond jubilee celebrations in Titchfield The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. This momentous event will bring a whole host of celebrations to Titchfield to be held over the Jubilee weekend from 2nd – 5th June 2012.


he community of Titchfield came together to celebrate the Silver and Golden Jubilees and now in 2012 a team of volunteers and community groups from the village have worked together to create a programme of events to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee in style. Come along and join in the celebrations as this historic Hampshire village marks this historic event with live music, exhibitions, gardens and flowers, dancing, lunch, strawberry tea, lighting a beacon, walking the dogs and lots of other fun and festivities centred around this historic and traditional village.

All weekend events l Decorate your house with bunting and flags l Flower Festival, St Peters Church l Poems, The Wordsmiths – around the village l Titchfield over the last 60 years – Community Centre l Wheatsheaf Beer Festival – The Wheatsheaf

Saturday 2nd June l Children’s Party, Parish Rooms 2 – 5pm Sunday 3rd June l Celebration Church Service 11am, St Peters l Big Lunch 12 noon Community Centre Including a live broadcast of Radio Solent’s gardening programme and Big Screen coverage of the National Jubilee celebrations l 50’s Dance 7 – 11pm Community Centre Monday 4th June l Jubilee Jamboree 2 – 5pm Barry’s Meadow l Strawberry Tea 2 – 5pm Parish Rooms l Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon 10pm (Gates open 7pm Please Bring a Picnic – Alcohol free preferable). West Hill Park School Tuesday 5th June l Bell Ringing 10am St Peters. 5040 celebratory bell peals lasting approximately 3 hours l Open Gardens 2 – 5pm l Dog Walking Lunch 11.30am – 1pm (Two different walks available) Meet in Queens Head car park l Queen’s Afternoon Tea 1 – 3 pm For ticket availability, prices and all further information please see the Titchfield Jubilee Celebrations website…

26… • MAY 2012

General Garden Maintenance Lawn Mowing • Weed & Feed • Borders We can help if you are… Elderly or infirmed who want a reliable and friendly service Landlords or owner of buy-to-let properties Small Firms and Commercial Properties Anyone who wants a break from mowing the lawn!

Call Will on 07768 107777 for a FREE quote


Local Strawberries & Asparagus Spring Flowers PYO Fruit available from mid-June Open 7 days a week from 9am – 5pm

Tel: 01329 84536




Call in and see our displays at... THE ULTIMATE SHED Co LTD Fontley Road, Titchfield, Fareham, PO15 6QX (Opposite Garsons) Open 7 days - Call for opening times

Tel: 01329 841 700

BAR • RESTAURANT • MEETING ROOM FUNCTION ROOM • WEDDINGS The village of Titchfield is the perfect setting for this country pub.With historic surroundings this family run pub has all you would expect from a village pub. Its open fires, wooden beams, historical photos and comfortable décor give it a very welcoming atmosphere. The bar has a good selection of real ales and an extensive bar menu.There is also a weekly meat raffle, lottery and quiz night.The restaurant has a menu full of traditional home made English meals prepared with locally produced ingredients. The Queens Head, High Street, Titchfield, PO14 4AQ 01329 842154 |

ST. MARGARETS Sponsored by the Bugle Hotel, Titchfield; The Rising Sun, Colden Common; The Seahorse, Gosport and the new and exciting venue of the Market Tavern, Fareham. Soundchaser are a multi-talented Rock Covers band from Tenerife. Voted Tenerife’s Best Band in 2011 and working in the Tenerife bar/restaurant scene has led Soundchaser to ‘well known’ status. Fans come by the dozens to hear classic rock, modern rock and the band’s original material. The evening’s playlist ranges from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd.

Tour Dates


Open 7 days

May 3rd The Market Tavern (Fareham) May 4th The Lapstone (Hampshire) May 5th Lakeside (Cirencester) May 6th The Rising Sun (Colden Common) May 7th The Seahorse (Gosport) May 10th The Brook (Portswood) May 11th The Bugle (Titchfield) May 12th The Colonial Bar (Hampshire)

As must see for all music enthusiasts young and old.Check out Tour Venues and Dates and get Rocking! | or tel: 01329 841888

St. Margarets Lane, Titchfield, Fareham. Just 200 yds from A27 off St Margarets Roundabout. MAY 2012 • …27

Body & Bumper Ltd T itchfield F a reh a m Specialist Plastic Bumper & Car Body Repairs ●  Crash Repairs ●  Welding ●  Body Kits ●  Body Repairs

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The Wheatsheaf’s events over the Jubilee Jubilee Beer Festival runs for 10 days 1st to 10th June all day. Live music on Friday 1st June from 8.30pm by Terry Anne. BBQ all day 4th June. Jubilee Day. BBQ all day, live music from Bob James during the day & evening with a disco & a Fancy Dress Competition (The Royal Flush) Beer Festival continues 6, 7 & 8th June. Cider Day on 9th June with live music through the day traditional folk style (this is relatively open music session contact the pub if you wish to join in). 10th June Beer festival closes 4pm.

28… • MAY 2012

Titchfield’s Fish & Steak place

Sunday Roast £11.95 for two courses Steak Nights every Tuesday from 6-9th Telephone The Wheatsheaf 01329 842965

Abbey Garden Centre A huge range of plants, furniture and garden products available. Join our Garden Club and receive regular email newsletters and use your reward card every time you make a purchase.

Abbey Garden Centre, Mill Lane,Titchfield

Tel: 01329 842225

Abbey Garden Centre

Free Regular Tea or Coffee after 3pm Monday to Friday This voucher is valid until 31st May 2012

S teve Harris LTD Pick your own Strawberries

Available from early June onwards Meon-bye Farm, Posbrook Lane, Titchfield Follow signs from Coach Hill, Titchfield

Catering Orders Welcome! • Raspberries to follow... • Ready Picked Broad Beans





ret rga

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MAY 2012 • …29

money | matters

pension reform set to have

major impact words by justin stevens

New rules designed to resolve the UK’s pensions savings crisis are set to have a major impact on employers and employees alike when wide-reaching reforms take place later this year. With people living longer and facing the possibility of funding a retirement that could now last 20 years or more, the Government is getting employers to enrol their workers automatically into a workplace pension to make it easier for people to start saving and not rely solely on the state pension. This automatic enrolment will allow people to decide whether to stay in or opt out of a workplace pension. It will begin in October, starting with the largest employers, and workers will automatically join and pay into their employer’s staff pension schemes which could be an existing or new scheme to which the employer and the Government will contribute too by way of tax relief on personal contributions unless they specifically opt out. Smaller employers and newly formed businesses will have until 2016/17 to comply. It is all designed to reinvigorate pension saving in the UK, create a simpler system to help people make better informed decisions about how much they need to save privately, and make it easier for them to plan for their retirement. Minister for Pensions Steve Webb has described the new reforms as “the start of a much-needed seismic shift in pension saving in this country” (Source: Department of Work & Pensions press release 1st February, 2012). The reforms follow the failure of stakeholder pension schemes, which foundered because they required no contribution commitment from the employer and excluded many smaller employers. Automatic enrolment

30… • MAY 2012

recognises that the solution lies in private provision and compels all employers to enrol eligible jobholders in a workplace pension scheme, unless they are already a member of a qualifying scheme. Contributions will be collected and paid to the scheme by the employer through the payroll system. For automatic enrolment, employers will have to choose a pension scheme, perhaps an existing one or a scheme set up with a pension provider. Information from the Pension Regulator will be available to help companies make this decision later in the year. A fundamental principle is that the jobholder must be enrolled and will then be able to opt out. The success of the proposals will be largely due to apathy - jobholders not getting round to opting out. Employers will be banned from incentivising opt-outs. ‘Another option open to employers is the National Employment Savings Trust, or NEST, a centralised pension scheme being run by a Government agency (NEST Corporation) to ensure that employers, including those employing low to medium earners, can access pension saving and comply with their automatic enrolment duties NEST has a public service obligation which requires it to accept all employers who apply and offers a range of funds and fund managers designed to meet differing member needs, and to offer a default fund. As a registered pension scheme, NEST enjoys the full range of tax reliefs as well as being a qualifying scheme. It is intended as a low-cost option but does

come with some restrictions. Pensions can seem a confusing subject, full of financial jargon and complicated rules, and the new reforms provide much food for thought. Certainly for employers, a proper strategy is going to be essential and most large scheme advisers consider that planning should already have started. The project will require an accountable manager and team. Employers should be mindful too of the requirements and restrictions of the Financial Services Act. They may invite an adviser to present to staff, and there is no problem in giving staff information that includes no recommendation or advice. In addition, there is no problem recommending that employees join a scheme to which the employer contributes. It is vital that the employer informs the employee that advice is available from a financial adviser, and the employer should take no financial reward for establishing a scheme. For employees, it is important to remember that your life in retirement is going to be very different from your working one, both personally and financially. Outgoings are likely to be lower, but you may want to spend more money on leisure activities. Retirement is like a holiday – but every one of your retirement years has to be paid for. That is why it is essential to seek professional advice and start planning for retirement now, whatever your age, to provide an income that is going to see you through potentially many more years than those enjoyed by previous generations. l

To receive complimentary information on your Wealth Management, Retirement Planning including your Options at retirement or Inheritance Tax Planning needs, produced by St. James’s Place Wealth Management, contact Justin Stevens, Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management on 01489 790797, by email justin.stevens@ or visit

The Coffee Shop & Restaurant

Freshly Home Cooked Food Every Day Good Service & Good Value

Exclusive for Solent Life Readers Kindly sponsored by Justin Stevens (Dip PFS)

Financial Surgery, FREE one hour appointments with advice and no obligation quotes. Worried about your mortgage payment increasing or paying too much for your life insurance?

Morning Special £3.25

Access to products from a carefully chosen panel of providers that could save you money each month.

Please take advantage of a FREE ‘Wealth Consultation’ with no obligation (One hour appointments only).

FINANCIAL SURGERY DATES: Wednesday 9th May Monday 21st May Between 10.00am – 4.00pm on all days Held at St James’s Place House, 1480 Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, PO15 7AF

Please contact Justin to book your review.. Tel: 01489 790797 Email:

Traditional English Breakfast Cooked all day

Extensive Lunchtime Menus Including Gluten Free

Large Selection of Tea’s and Coffee’s Our warm and friendly staff will ensure your visit with us will be one to remember!


The guest speakers include British Powerboat Champion, Shelley Jory-Leigh. Places are limited so please contact Justin (Tel: 01489 790797 and Email: to reserve your place and receive your personal invite.

Afternoon Special £3.25

Homemade Cakes Our Speciality


Justin Stevens DipPFS – Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management and Scotthall Hampshire BMW cordially invite you award-winning cars, award-winning advice and award-winning wines Starting at 6.30pm on Wednesday 23 May 2012 Scotthall Hampshire BMW, 1 Stoney Croft Rise, Chestnut Avenue, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 3YU

Egg on Toast, Sausage and Bacon with a standard cup of tea or coffee.


Any cake (including gluten free) and a standard cup of tea or coffee (excludes speciality cakes – please ask for details).



Financial issues covered: Investments, ISAs, UTs, Investment Bonds, Portfolios, EIS & VCT, Trustee Investments, Onshore and Offshore Investments, Junior ISAs, Retirement Planning.





Woodhouse Lane, Botley, SO30 2EZ (Hidden in Hilliers Garden Centre)

Telephone: 07971 935535 MAY 2012 • …31

solent | history


years on interview by dave hill

It is hard to believe that it was 30 years ago that the Falkland Island conflict changed life forever for the Islanders. There will be much written about the events of 1982 and that, without doubt, will lean toward a military view. We aim to mark the anniversary with a view of what it is like to be an Islander, and how life has changed as a consequence of those events of three decades ago.

Here at Solent Life we wanted to bring an understanding of the life in a remote overseas territory and we posed our questions directly to an Islander and spoke to Sharon Halford, a Member of the Legislative Assembly, to get a rich and wonderful insight into life there and how things have changed.

How has life changed on the Falkland Islands over the last 30 years? Life has really changed dramatically. Before the conflict, our economy was almost entirely reliant on wool exports, prices for which were in decline. In the late 1980’s we designated our Fisheries Zone, and the advent of commercial fishing in our waters changed everything. It gave us the economic security to invest in infrastructure, communications, education, health and other development. We have been able to build roads all round the islands; we have modern communications with the majority of our homes having broadband internet access, even on our remote farms; many more of our teenagers are now sent abroad for further and higher education and our health service continues to grow with much emphasis being on prevention. We were able to diversify our economy, and now export high quality meat products to the EU. The Falkland Islands are now a modern, financially self sufficient and forward looking society, and we enjoy an excellent quality of life. How has it changed as a direct consequence of the conflict? If it hadn’t been for the conflict, it is difficult to imagine that we would be where we are today. Throughout the 1970s, our economy and our population were in decline, the latter were leaving

32… • MAY 2012

as they did not see much of a future for the Falklands at that time and did not want to be handed over to Argentina. Life was very hard. The development of the past 30 years would not have occurred, or at least not to the same extent, if it had not been for the conflict. Whilst the events and terrible loss of life in 1982 can never be justified, in a very strange way it gave us a future we might not otherwise have had. Our success today is the legacy of the sacrifice made by those brave men and women who liberated us 30 years ago, to whom we are eternally grateful. Where do your everyday supplies come from – are they shipped direct from mainland UK or imported from closer countries? Our everyday supplies come from a variety of sources. We are highly self sufficient, and enjoy excellent local produce. Our fish, lamb, beef and pork is some of the best in the world. Root vegetables are grown locally, and a local business has a hydroponic garden enabling us to enjoy fresh vegetables most of the year round. Soft fruits and things like bananas come in every Saturday as cargo on the Lan Chile air link with Chile. Things like tinned and frozen food and other domestic goods come by ship from the UK. We have Waitrose and Sainsbury goods on the shelves – to most people the range of goods on the shelves wouldn’t seem dissimilar to a UK supermarket.

After the conflict it was reported here that there were many mines left and there were efforts made to clear them – have they all gone now and is everybody happy to let children run and play where they want or are there still areas where it is felt that danger remains? After the conflict numerous minefields, booby traps and unused or unexploded munitions were left by the defeated Argentine forces. The British military, at great personal risk, fenced and marked these areas, they also embarked on an educational process in the schools to make children aware of the dangers. Thanks to their hard work and bravery, no civilian has ever been harmed by landmines in the Falkland Islands. All the minefields are incredibly well marked. As the British Government signed up to the Ottawa Convention on Demining they are obliged, under that Convention, to clear all the landmines in the Falklands. In 2009/10 the British Government paid for the clearance of 3 minefields in the vicinity of Stanley, including two by one of our popular beaches. This year, a further very large area of land was released back to the community having been thoroughly investigated and made safe. These areas are still fenced, and marked as cleared minefields, but are regularly accessed and are perfectly safe. According to the Island’s website it seems to suggest that the population generally is quite young – why is that? This is incredibly difficult to answer, but is likely to be a combination of factors. It may have something to do with the fact that other small communities may tend to lose their youth who may leave in search of work, adventure or a better quality of life. This is not so here; whilst nearly all our students study in the UK at some stage, the vast majority come home. Falkland Islanders feel an incredibly close bond with their home and their community, and for many there is no other place they would want to live. Falkland Islanders feel an incredibly close bond with their home and their community, and for many there is no other place they would want to live.regularly accessed and are perfectly safe. Is there a traditional or signature dish enjoyed by islanders, or a special recipe? Yes, at Christmas the traditional dish is roast baby lamb. Other than that there is not a

“national dish” to speak of, but we all enjoy, and are very proud of, our fantastic local produce. Our lamb, beef and fish would not be out of place in the finest restaurants in the world. Traditional Falkland’s cuisine unsurprisingly utilises this local produce, and could probably best be described as great farmhouse cooking. regularly accessed and are perfectly safe. What is the best thing about being a Falkland Islander – what is the worst? The best thing is probably the sense of community, and the feeling of belonging plus the lack of serious crime, the wide open spaces, fantastic beaches, plentiful wildlife and general tranquil surroundings. The Islands are very much our home, and as with many small communities we are resourceful and self-reliant. We look after each other, we know each other and the sense of community spirit is incredibly special. The worst thing is undoubtedly having to live with the constant harassment from the Argentine Government. Whilst little they do has any tangible result, it is a constant irritation. All we ask is to be left in peace to choose our own future, and responsibly develop our home for our children and generations to come. Do you have a variety of Pubs, clubs, restaurants etc that allow an active night life? We do indeed. Stanley has numerous pubs, ranging from the more traditional British style pub to those with dance-floors and music. Our restaurants and hotels are of extremely high standard. We have a gym, sports hall and swimming pool, and Stanley has its own golf club. We are a very social people, and if we aren’t out in one of the pubs or restaurants meeting friends and family we are round at each others houses. People living in the rural areas also have clubs and lodges where they can enjoy evenings out. Memories of World War II in Britain are now more confined to history and with a knowledge that it happened, but not necessarily impacting on everyday life. Is it the same with the conflict of 30 years ago – has it now slipped away to being a history item, or is it still very real and has an impact on everyday life?

It is a common misconception that the Conflict drew a line under the issue. Would that it had done so, we would have been able to move on. Unfortunately, despite having no grounds to claim our home, and having been roundly beaten 30 years ago, Argentina has not dropped its spurious claim. More recent Argentine actions – such as attempts to ban our ships from entering South American ports, Decree 256 which seeks to restrict innocent passage of vessels transiting to and from the Falkland Islands, the banning of charter flights in support of our tourism industry, laws taking sanctions against companies involved in peaceful commerce in both countries – all point to a desire by Argentina to frustrate our international trade and an attempt to isolate us. We live under constant threat and harassment from Argentina, and are currently experiencing its attempts at an economic blockade. Because there are many young people that may not have a direct memory of the conflict, is it kept alive for them by those that lived through it – or something that happened in the past? Both really, the constant sabre rattling from Argentina ensures that our younger generations remain painfully aware of a perceived threat and because we are a small community, we all have friends and family members who lived through and were affected by the invasion and occupation. We all know brave veterans of the Falkland Islands Defence Force, normal members of our community who were deployed on the night of the invasion to defend their home and slow the Argentine advance. Three Falkland Islanders were killed in the conflict. Every year we welcome returning British veterans back to the Islands, who come to remember their fallen comrades. Our entire community, including our young, have profound respect for, and owe a debt of gratitude to those who liberated us.

Editors Note: It has been a real pleasure to chat with the Islanders about life after the conflict and as a magazine, Solent Life would like to thank them and wish them a happy and peaceful future.

MAY 2012 • …33


Chaye Cooper Hairdressing



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34… • MAY 2012

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A wide range of services are available here, all things Nails, Brows and Lashes along with all the latest products and trends in Acrylic and Gel Nails, Christian Brows, Myscara (Semi Permanent Mascara), Lash Extensions, Minx, Shellac, Axxium, Tiniting, Threading Waxing and the latest nail colours from OPI. In our Treatment Rooms you can get all your maintenance services for your holiday or that special occasion, both Male and Female Waxing are available, Pedicures and Spray Tanning. or for that time when you just need to relax and unwind, loose your self in our Therapy Suite where you can receive the best Massages, Facials and Body Treatments. Our Therapists will indulge you with candles, relaxing aromas, furry fabrics and herbal beverages, Robes, Slippers and Peace of mind are what you can expect from here. Couples and Friends can hire the Therapy Suite “Dual Treatment” Room so that they can share the experience, or maybe you would like to book a Hen or Birthday Party at the Therapy Suite. House Of Trinity opens in April and look forward to seeing you there, if you would like to receive VIP invitation our open evening please email

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36… • MAY 2012

Book one of the following treatments “Shellac or Axxium Gel Manicure, MyScara – Semi Permanant Mascara, Luxury OPI Pedicure, Minx Pedicure, Full Body massage, Luxury Wash Cut & Blowdry”, during May & bring this editorial with you to recveive a £5.00 off “welcome credit”. For more information or to make a booking call 01489 559900, email:

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MAY OFFERS After the success of the New Year offers for Whitening and Botox, Titchfield Dental Health are once again offering patients new and old the chance to have a free of charge assessment for either Whitening, Botox or both! If whitening is booked during May we will give a 25% discount (usual price £470) that is a massive £117.50 off! Nicky Wright carries out the fine line reduction in the practice using Azzulure. She is offering a free of charge consultation to see if you are suitable (usual price £130). If you are suitable and want to go ahead during May there will be a 10% discount from the price for up to 3 areas (usual price 1 area – £140, 2 areas – £220, 3 areas – £280). Ring the practice on 01489 581158 and we will make you an appointment.

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MAY 2012 • …37

solent | spotlight

arts &

community in Bishop’s Waltham BISHOPS WALTHAM FESTIVAL 19th to 26th May The festival commences on Saturday 19th May and continues through the week, tickets available from The Coffee House, High Street, Bishops Waltham or the Library (in person) or at the Theatre Royal, Winchester 01962 840440 For more information go to

words by david rose-massom

It is all about community; about bringing the people of an area together and about

Following on from the success of 2011, the festival will continue to focus its events and performances in the heart of the town using the High Street and local venues to continue its role of staging high quality performances and community participation. As the festival has blossomed, there has been a growing level of participation by schools, groups and individuals. Festival day, introduced ten years ago, is the focus for this work with opportunities for the whole community to witness and join in a wide range of performance, craft and visuals arts. Bishops Waltham Festival 2012 continues the emphasis on showcasing local talent and giving opportunity for all to join in, there is the ‘Battle of the Bands’ and the children’s workshops which will lead to performances on the stage in the High Street on Festival Day (Sunday 20th May) with fun for all the family alongside an Italian Market. And to end a wonderful week, the well known rock’n roll band, the Atlantics, will perform in the Jubilee hall. This year an exciting new venue will be the refurbished Crown presenting a Comedy night supported by brewers Fullers who are new Festival sponsors. l

businesses and residents supporting each other – and nowhere does this better than the close-knit community of Bishop’s Waltham, when it comes to an annual arts festival.


ishop’s Waltham Festival was founded in 1996 with the aim of bringing high quality performing arts to the town and throughout its time a small group of enthusiasts have managed the annual event, supported by volunteers, sponsors, donors, friends and, above all the audience from the town and the surrounding rural communities. For many years, Bishop’s Waltham Palace, a wonderful venue on the very edge of the town was the arena and backdrop to the core events of the festival. In this historic, unique and stunning setting, the Festival has played host to classic theatre, rock and jazz legends, orchestras, artists and musicians from the national and international touring circuits. Last year however, there was a change in the thinking of the organisers that proved to be a great success. Debbie Walker is a new member to the organising committee having only joined their ranks this year. “We brought the Festival out of the Palace grounds last year and into the heart of the ‘village’,” she told Solent Life. “What that did was to bring the community even closer together. It came into the main street, into the library, into the church and even into some of the small businesses. It involves everyone and it is for everyone. “Our Festival is designed to be something for everyone, there is something for the young children, plenty for the teenagers and for the older people in the ‘village’. It is a street festival for everyone to get involved in,” Debbie continued. “It is about bringing the arts to the whole ‘village’ and bringing the community together and it is run by a few volunteers who work almost all year round to bring the events all together. Once last year was over, the committee took the summer off and then started the hard work all over again in the autumn.”

38… • MAY 2012

To complete a summer of celebration, Bishop’s Waltham are holding a street party for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on 3rd June from mid-day to 6pm. Tickets are £5 (under 16s free) all are welcome.

The Coffee House The perfect place to meet… breakfast, homemade cakes, & cookies, light lunches, coffee, tea & cold drinks. Eat in or takeaway. Open 7 days. 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. 9am to 4pm Saturday. 10 High Street, Bishop’s Waltham T: 01489 896990

Butterfly specialises in providing outfits for the mother of the bride/groom and wedding guests. We also stock other occasion wear and smart casual clothing with a difference! Shoes, accessories, hats, jewellery and a styling service too! Pop in and see us soon. Tel: 01489 808223 The High Street

A specialist Boutique stocking a large selection of quality pre-owned Ladieswear, often unworn! Designer brands at affordable prices, including evening & casual wear, prom dresses, wedding outfits, shoes, hats & accessories. The Old Smithy, Brook Street, Bishops Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire SO32 1AX

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ST U D I O F O UR Studio Four are proud to support Bishop’s Waltham Festival and Jubilee Street Party Come inside to find a range of Jubilee products including commemorative mugs and teatowels, Union Jack bunting and napkins as well as our extensive range of cards, gifts, toys and toiletries.

Bishop’s Waltham Butchers Special Offers on Sausages & Burgers We have some wonderful new flavours in our extensive sausage range. Check out the sausage of the week! Honey & Mustard are really lovely. Look for new burger flavours too. Summer is not that far away. T: 01489 891937

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MAY 2012 • …39

solent | education

field of dreams words by david rose-massom

Sparsholt may have more than a century of teaching and learning in its history but Tim is a firm believer that excellence is still available in a contemporary context. “I think there is a sense of continuity in the experiences being delivered to the learner but now we put it into place on a contemporary basis. Even a few years ago it would not have been possible to send students off to work on their course in Scotland or Ireland say, but such is the way the courses here are designed olent Life recently spoke to today, that students can go where they can best learn the Principal of Sparsholt College, and we can support that learning outside of the college Tim Jackson. “Inevitably you have confines. We can deliver learning to suit the current to liken the college to a business lifestyles. with a £30m annual turnover, and “We have a superb National Aquatic Centre here at every cost centre and investment is Sparsholt, but a few years ago it was Guernsey cows accountable as we have no local authority grazing in a field on that same site. The species may to fall back on – we can go bust if we get have changed and the technology that supports it but it wrong!” he explained. it is still about the student’s learning experience and that Tim Jackson is an instantly likeable man is always top of the agenda.” with a wealth of experience. “I took over as Tim talks of the series of leisure based programmes to Principal in 1998 but I had been a course attract and involve the community with things such as tutor in agriculture since 1986. Then of artisan food production of meat and sausages for course we also took over what was known example, or dog agility as well as a host of other things as Cricklade College in 2007 and that is to serve that community that he feels so involved in, but now Andover College and very much part of the college the true pride during his tenure as Principal comes from organisation. the reinvestment. “With the careful management and “Sparsholt has two personas if you like; it is a specialised the reinvestment into the facilities here over the years further education college with a local and national it is something I am particularly proud of with my reputation for excellence, but we are also a specialist contribution.” higher education supplier in applied science of land, There is still much to do and with Tim at the helm, both environment and sustainable resource management.” Sparsholt and Andover College can only go from Tim went on to explain that much of what he achieves is strength to strength. As we spoke, the first passion successful because of delegation; to that end his staff all seemed to return to what the college is best known for worked together to come up with a core belief of what – its agriculture and horticulture. “There is a real shortage the college was about. “The staff came up with eight of agricultural workers and there are more jobs out there words that summed up what we are doing here and than we can produce students. There is a belief that the what we needed to believe in; they are: Excellence, industry is a poorly paid one but a Head Herdsman can Passion, Teamwork, Integrity, Innovation, earn upward of £30,000 per annum and have a cottage Sustainability, Supportiveness and finally, Value of and vehicle thrown in – agriculture can be well paid and Others.” Tim explained, “We also spent a long time yet we cannot keep up with the demand for an ensuring we understood those beliefs and making sure educated and experienced workforce. we put them into practice. “As a college we are comparable to any university with “Beliefs should form the way we do things around here the diversity of courses and our core purpose is always and we need the consistency of those beliefs. It is like to inspire learners to achieve their full potential.” holding a mirror up to ourselves whether we are Tim concluded. l students or professionals. That way the students develop the soft skills needed in the workplace and that is something that employers value,” he added.

Sparsholt College Hampshire has been established for over 100 years, and has a very wide expertise and experience in the land-based sector. Over the years, the breadth and diversity of the subjects have widened, student numbers have grown significantly and the College has evolved into one of the largest land-based colleges in the country. In addition, Sparsholt College Hampshire merged with Andover College in August 2007, providing students and the regional community with an even greater range of subjects.


40… • MAY 2012

There’s still time to apply for a course at Fareham College. With exams fast approaching, many school students may be worried that they haven’t applied for a college place. If you’re thinking about the next step of your education, then find out what Fareham College has to offer. If you’re academic and want to go to university, but are unsure of what direction you want to go in, then A-levels are a good choice. You can study 3-4 at a time and choose something new that you haven’t done at school. These are taught in our purpose-built Sixth Form Centre with its own Study Centre, in addition to the Learning Resources Centre which all students use. If you’re thinking about university but don’t like doing exams, then BTEC courses are practical and hands-on with no exams. A Level 3 course equates to 3 A-levels and such courses include Childcare, Fashion, Music and Performing Arts. NVQs are vocational qualifications which are taught in industry standard facilities to prepare you for employment. These are jobspecific and incorporate subjects such as Hospitality and Catering, Motor Vehicle and Motor Cycle and Hairdressing. Whatever course you choose, you are sure to be supported by our Student Support Team who have been graded ’Outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2011. You have two tutorials a week – one for academic work and one for pastoral care. This ensures that all students feel supported in all aspects of their life. To find out more and to take the next step in your education, visit, call (01329) 815200 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

MAY 2012 • …41

COLLEGE GETS £1.5m BUILDINGS BOOST St Vincent College has received a £1.5m grant from the Government to continue its ambitious buildings improvement programme over the coming 12 months. The Mill Lane campus has already been transformed by a similar grant last year, which has enabled the college to re-furbish its main building with cladding, new windows and energy-efficient insulation. And now that work can be extended to the eastern side of the building. In addition, the college has been able to convert a previously derelict studio into a state-of-the-art hair salon (pictured). Principal Di Lloyd is delighted at the news: ‘Everyone who has visited the site has remarked at the transformation in our main building and the news we have been allocated further funding is yet another boost for the college and the young people of Gosport. ‘It is our 25th anniversary this year and by the end of it, once this additional money has been invested, I am confident we will have a college campus to be proud of,’ she added. As well as completing the refurbishment works, the college also plans to reconfigure its sports hall building to provide purposedesigned classrooms for the PE department. People can come and see for themselves the changes going on at the college at a special 25th anniversary open day organised for Saturday June 30 (11am-4pm). For more details visit

there’s an app for that... Why not check us out online?

Scan the QR code on your smart phone for a direct link to the Solent Life website! Keep up to date on the move, read this months features and enter our competition! Visit our website at:

STAR IN A FILM THIS SUMMER Youngstar Film school in Hedge End are running a very exciting film acting course in the school holidays, students will create and star in a film then attend a redcapet Hollywood premiere to watch their screen debut!! Youngstar offers a modern approach to drama (7-20yrs) at renowned weekly classes and holiday courses, students take part in their own films, Music Videos and TV Dramas with Premieres at a local cinema, linked with one of the top agencies in the UK and even their own TV drama ‘Darton High’! watch students in action.

42… • MAY 2012

Help your child to succeed with Kumon Kumon’s maths and English study programmes work throughout the year to ensure your child is constantly learning and developing their ability. The unique programmes are tailored to your child’s age and ability, helping them to excel academically and develop independent study skills. For a Free Assessment, contact Locks Heath Instructor, Mita Thakrar on 01489 565 832.

Boundary Oak Celebrates a Year of Success! Boundary Oak Prep School, Fareham celebrates its most successful year to date. A new pupil and parent survey has shown the school to be the overall leading Co-Educational Prep School in Hampshire. If you would like to more information on this survey, please visit With the Summer Term now in full flow, children from Years 4-8 are looking forward to exciting PGL residential trips away and importantly the Year 8’s are gearing up to sit their Common Entrance exams that will see them move on to their chosen senior schools. Scholarship success has already been celebrated with a number of awards being given to Year 6 and Year 8 pupils by their first choice senior schools. Drama is big on the curriculum and last term saw an amazing show of Pirates and the Curry Bean (PIC). The lead role was played by Redmand Rance (Year 7) who has now left to star in the West End productions of Singing in the Rain and Billy Elliot. Sporting success has been celebrated too with the Under 10’s remaining unbeaten and more wins gained for other year groups than seen for many years. If you would like to come to discuss how your child will flourish here please visit us on our Open Day on 11th May or call the Registrar on 01329 280955 to arrange a tour with the Headmaster.

MAY 2012 • …43

solent | history

a trio of

Queens words by david rose-massom

With all three Queens in the Cunard fleet about to sail through the Solent together and into Southampton water, accompanied by a display from the Red Arrows, it is a time to reflect on the links between our long-serving monarch and the great and iconic cruise ships.

44‌ • MAY 2012


s Princess Elizabeth

ascended to the throne in 1952 it was a time of change for cruise liners. During the war years the Queens carried over two million servicemen and Churchill estimated that the two Queens in the Cunard fleet, the Queen Elizabeth (named after the Queen Mother) and the Queen Mary, helped to shorten the Second World War by at least a year due to the large troop-carrying capacities. Following the war Cunard battled to regain its position as the largest Atlantic passenger line and by the mid 1950s; it was operating twelve ships to the United States and Canada but toward the end of that decade transatlantic passenger ships were again in decline and becoming increasingly unprofitable because of the growing popularity of air travel. The Queen has had links with the famous shipping company for much of her life and she is the only person to have attended the naming of all three Cunard ‘Elizabeths’, beginning in 1938, when she was just 12, with the original Queen Elizabeth, then 1967 when she launched Queen Elizabeth 2 and finally in 2010 when she named the newest of the ships to carry her name, Queen Elizabeth.

Now in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee the three current ‘royal’ liners will be sailing in together for the first time and it promises to be the most spectacular event outside of London. The Cunard fleet of the Queen Mary II, the Queen Victoria and, of course, the Queen Elizabeth would have brought excitement enough to the Solent and Southampton Water with crowds of onlookers guaranteed to be lining the shores, but Cunard have now announced that the world-famous Red Arrows will be an extra highlight of that Three Queens Diamond Jubilee Event by performing their first-ever display over Southampton. It will be a fitting finale to the celebrations of the extended bank holiday weekend when all three ships of the Cunard fleet sail through the Solent in formation soon after first light on the morning of 5th June, sailing in single file, with a flotilla of small boats expected to welcome them in. Southampton is, of course, Cunard’s homeport and the skyward part of the displays will be focused above the Marchwood area of the City’s docks. The Red Arrows part of the display will begin around six o’clock in the evening. As Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria tie up at their berths, Queen Mary 2 will follow on, turning in the upper swinging-ground and then passing each ship in turn, with

crews lining the foredeck of all three vessels, and the ships’ whistles sounding in salute of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. As darkness falls, the celebrations will culminate in an evening spectacular where all three ships will be brought within close proximity of each other, and a fusillade of fireworks and special effects will light up the evening sky beyond them. Queen Mary 2 will then lead Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, in single file out of the Solent as the three ships set out on their celebratory Diamond Jubilee voyages. Mayflower Park will provide the best vantage point for those interested in seeing the arrival of the fleet, the fireworks, and the departure of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. For the Red Arrows display, Hythe Marina and Town Quay will also offer good viewing. With the Queen’s lifetime of links to Cunard it seems to be a fitting way of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of her ascension to the throne and offers the people of the Solent Life area an amazing opportunity to share in that celebration. For many of course it will also bring back those glory days of the ocean liners when Southampton Water and the Solent would truly be the Gateway to the World as liners almost queued to get into the busy passenger terminals of the docks. l

MAY 2012 • …45

sniffer | dogs


BOY words & images by david rose-massom

When we first met Ted he was just under 12 weeks old and he had not even begun his puppy training; but he was a cute little feller! “His early training was socialising, with both people and other dogs; finding and searching for balls and basic dog training, the same as anyone would do with their pet,” explained Mandy Worsell who, along with business partner (and soon to be husband) Roy Waller, owns and operates the company which trains and supplies dogs for explosive and drug detection.


olent Life first met the pair and their dogs a little over a year ago and while chatting to them about the dogs and their tasks of keeping us safe we met the young and fluffy Ted. “With our dogs we have just little bit more of the ‘hide and seek’ games.” Mandy added. “At around three to four months old, scents were introduced to Ted, different scents to see which he was best at noticing. Dogs can be used for drugs, tobacco or explosives and for Ted; it was the smell of explosives.” We watched Ted go to work, and although at just a year old he is still a little excitable, the same as any young dog, when he is working he soon settles into his stride. On that day’s trial run he had to find Semtex covered RDX (a military explosive), a small amount of detonation cord and a TNT flake. Working one of the long corridors in Southampton’s Ocean Terminal he quickly found the explosive traces and just sat, as he is trained to do; the last thing needed is a dog to begin pawing at or playing with the explosives he discovers, so sitting is the indicator the handler is looking for. “The hardest thing for any new dog is overcoming the natural instinct to get excited around people.” Mandy added. “It is not something that is discouraged too much; if someone fusses him all it will do is slow him down a little and he will wag his tail, but the important bit is the other end of

46… • MAY 2012

the dog and all the while he is still sniffing and working.” Ted is a Springerdor, a cross breed between a Labrador and a Springer Spaniel. “He has grown through his training and performances as we would expect any intelligent dog to do and Ted is heading toward being a very good working dog. It will be another year though before he is at his very best and self-tasking.” Mandy offered us a small amount of explosive so we could ‘sniff’ the product, and to be honest is smelt of nothing; it was a TNT sample the size of a soap flake. Yet Ted, and dogs trained like him, will pick up the scent from six or seven feet away despite the myriad of other smells and aromas that waft around buildings, ships interiors and people. Ted, like any worker, is paid of course and he is paid upon success. The reward for finding a hidden explosive cache, or discovering nothing untoward; he gets to play a game of go-fetch with a ball that is thrown for him. Easily pleased some workers! ● On June 12th Mandy and Roy get married and all at Solent Life would like to wish them a happy day and a happy life together. When we asked Roy how he proposed, and did he get down on one knee he replied that Mandy told him they were getting married; and she had arranged it all! It was a leap year after all!

For further details and Chiefglen K9 training programmes go to: or Email:

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MAY 2012 • …47

solent | luxury

island of dreams It was built to repel the invasion forces of Napoleon III, it is where the expression ‘a Bolt Hole’ comes from; and now this circular Victorian island fortress with its 15 foot thick wall has truly become a bolt hole, for anyone wanting comfort, pampering and privacy – and a little bit of the WOW factor in their lives… words by david rose-massom The Departure Lounge, a fine prelude to everything that would follow, is akin to an old ocean liner’s lounge but this time it is situated in the converted wharf building at the water’s edge in Gosport’s Royal Clarence Marina. Solent Life had been invited along for a long dreamt of visit out to Spitbank Fort but this was not to be just a fun jaunt out on a boat and a history lesson – it was to be a step into luxury, into an afternoon of pampering in magnificent surroundings and to an experience that just left all of us with a feeling of being spoilt on our own private island; oh, and there was a bit of history as well! First a little piece of modern history. Mike Clare was the owner of a shop selling sofa beds, the first shop of its kind in the UK, and he called that shop Dreams. After many years as a successful businessman he sold, what had become, his chain of stores and decided to fulfil a few dreams of his own. Mike Clare wanted to purchase properties for his friends and

48… • MAY 2012

family to hold private events and his years of dedication to his business had put him in a position to do this; and the property portfolio of Clarenco has become a collection of amazing retreats in spectacular locations. Then three years ago he dreamed of owning a Solent Fort, he now owns three and the first multi-million pound transformation is complete and he should feel very proud of Spitbank Fort, as it has now become an amazing island retreat. Life jackets handed out, safety instructions given, and a nip of Plantation rum to keep out the chill of a spring morning and we climbed aboard a powerful rib for the smooth ride out to the Fort. The boat skipped across the water of Portsmouth Harbour and out into the Solent, all the time over the pointy end of the boat the towering Fort came closer and closer, and higher and higher; it also became more of an imposing edifice. It was as if we were approaching a mystical castle.

For further information Email: or telephone: 01494 682 682 For other venues and destinations Email

Stepping from boat to gangway was a slightly tricky moment, but the team from the Fort take great care of their charges and clients. From the top of the steps, and before ducking through the Victorian doorway, a moment to take in the first of the views, spectacular was soon to become an overused superlative! The lounge area with its cleverly lit, curved, brick, vaulted ceiling was stunning, a series of cosy areas furnished with historic memorabilia and comfortable furniture and at the far end, over the inset rails of the gun placements was the Laurent-Perrier Champagne bar, the blend of history and luxury defined in that one moment. Our host for the day, Mark, summed it up; “It was built as a fort, and it should remain a fort!” and, that is just what has happened. Rather than remove the history, owner Mike Clare and his team have added their own story to the most obvious of Palmerston’s Follies sitting out in the Solent for all to see. Quiet areas abound in which to sit and play the piano, read a book, or just sit and sip your Champagne as sunlight floods through and onto the antique leather wing armchairs. The eight bedrooms circle the fort, each of them decorated in almost decadent luxury and yet, that feeling of comfort and cosiness remains. Windows offer a magnificent view and on the wide sill are bottles of ‘Spit Water’; which strangely is the only part of France to have got past the walls of these forts. The tasty water is drawn from the Fort’s 400 foot deep artesian well, and

that water has none of the characteristics of local water and, in fact, comes up from the French water-table. At the moment the water is exclusively for the use of Spitbank clients but will soon be on offer at other local establishments. The Fort built to house some 200 soldiers; it now hosts private parties for 60 guests with accommodation for 16 overnight guests in eight double rooms all with luxurious bathrooms. On the lowest level of the Fort, the historic aspects of this island have been retained and displayed. This is where we visited the ‘Bolt Hole’; something we, in modern times, have used to describe a place of safety, a refuge from danger; but who knew that this expression came from the middle of the Solent. It is a dark, confined tunnel that encircles Spitbank Fort and from where the nuts were removed that fixed the bolts that threaded through the 15 foot thick walls to hold on the exterior armour plating. When damaged the Victorian soldiers would enter the ‘bolt-hole’ and knock the bolts out through the holes – it was the safest place in the fort. As the spring sunshine warmed the day we took the spiral staircases up to the roof areas, where there was a sauna, with impressive views across the Solent and the city beyond, a large hot tub and outdoor areas to just stand or sit and watch the watery world pass by. Standing at the rail, guests look across to the newest of the Solent’s iconic landmarks,

the Spinnaker Tower, and the coastline of Portsmouth and Southsea almost within reach and yet on this fortress island you are far enough away that it cannot touch you. A superb lunch, which measured the quality of food on offer in this island hotel, was served just below the red and white striped lighthouse, in the penthouse lounge area that for views cannot be beaten anywhere on the Solent. As we ate, total strangers became friends, being on an island and being treated as if we were special had that effect of spreading bonhomie. Such was this unique destination that I could write double the amount of words in describing what we saw that day and what we experienced but suffice to say I would soon run out of superlatives, but I would never be able to tell the whole story because there is so much more to Spitbank Fort than its history and its modern place in the Solent as an exclusive, but comfortable and cosy, destination for corporate meetings, for special celebrations, and for a weekend that really does get away from it all. Our one day taster, the things we have to put up with for our Solent Life readers, has left us desiring a revisit or a journey to try out one of Clarenco’s other unique castles, converted monasteries or lodges. One thing is for certain, owner Mike Clare may have sold his original Dreams, but he is now bringing new dreams within the reach of everyone who wants to feel spoilt and pampered. l

MAY 2012 • …49

art | focus

surfsup... words & pictures by david rose-massom

“I love body surfing, my husband is a very keen surfer and my two daughters, six and two years old, have both got their own wet suits and over Easter we are all off on a surfing safari.” Karen Tyler’s inspiration as an artist comes from the sea, the pounding surf and the surfing lifestyle and when viewing her work it is obvious she has a great affinity with that world.


lived in Australia for a long time but when our visas ran out we had to come back,” she continued. “But, much of my inspiration still comes from the photographs I took while we were there.” Sadly for Karen she cannot ride a board like her husband as a childhood illness left her with back and balance problems, but she still bodysurfs. Bodysurfing is the art and sport of riding a wave without the assistance of any buoyant device such as a surfboard or bodyboard. So not only is her art a reflection of her love of the sea and the surrounding lifestyle, but also her form of escapism from the disappointment of not being able to stand up and ride the waves. Before we take our chat with Karen any further, it is important to point out to the uninitiated how tricky it is to record the power of the sea and the waves. As an experienced photographer I have tried for many years to give due justice to this powerful force of nature and still cannot quite achieve it. Karen on the other hand,

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seems to be able to ‘read’ the sea in the same way as we would read the paragraph and page of a book. “I have always been fascinated by the sea, I recall standing on the North Shore of Hawaii and feeling the earth beneath my feet trembling as the waves curled and hit the shore; that sort of power is tremendous inspiration. “It is a complete fascination with a natural phenomenon – my husband has taught me to read the waves and the sea, something he has learned through his surfing, and if I can relay that through my painting it is a wonderful feeling.” While we talked at her Southsea home, her dust covered husband appeared from the loft where he is building Karen a new studio. “It will be magical when it is finished as I will be able to escape into my newly completed studio.” Painting has always been an escape for her. “I used to watch my granddad work; he was a professional graphic artist who also worked in water colours and he really inspired me.

“My love of the sea has also been there for most of my life but it was not until around seven years ago, when I became pregnant, that it gave me the chance to paint for any extended length of time.” Karen explained. “I knew then that what I wanted to paint was the sea and its waves; the nice thing was that I was getting some great feedback from people who saw my work and that encouraged me to move forward with my art. I am lucky in that people seem to like the images I paint, hanging on their walls.” So, how does she get that movement of the sea down onto canvas? “I sit by the sea with my sketchbook and watch as the waves curl into the shoreline, I then reflect that movement with a large brush onto

my page, as the wave curls so does my hand and brush; I follow the movement and sweep of waves; this puts the motion into my painting. Then back in the studio, from photographs, I add the colour, shading and light.” There is so much activity in Karen’s painting of waves, viewers get to follow the wave through its journey. In the bottom corner of the canvas the sea is drawn up into the curl, when it reaches the vortex there is a maelstrom of activity before the sea is thrown out into a pipeline of racing water and light. “The hard part as an artist is knowing when to stop; it is possible to totally overwork a piece and take away the raw energy. When painting the sea it has to look real and carry the power.” There is also a gentle side to Karen’s work as an artist, such as images of peaceful moments at the end of a surfer’s day being reflected by gentle sunsets, calm seas with ebbing tides and iconic camper vans sitting on cliff tops. As a diversion, but only a slight one, Karen is also producing great, fun cushions shaped like stuffed shirts and made from Hawaiian shirt fabric… “I have to be creative all the time or I would just go mad!” she said finally. l Karen Tyler’s work is also on display and for sale at White Dog Gallery, Lee-onthe-Solent and Hiscock Gallery, Southsea. E-mail at:


Our Artist Review is kindly sponsored by WHITE DOG GALLERY 8 Milvil Court, Milvil Road Lee-on-the-Solent Hampshire, PO13 9LY 023 9255 2255.

THE WHITE DOG TIP Placing a mount around a picture may seem just a matter of course when framing it, but there are many reasons why an image should be framed with a mount. Firstly, it keeps the artwork away from the glass. The hygroscopic quality of glass means that it attracts moisture and therefore placing your image directly onto glass could lead to damage. By positioning a mount you can “choose” which part of the image you wish to frame and also “choose” the size of your artwork – for instance cropping in close to the image. And the mount can “hide” any marks or blemishes too. Mounts should always be acid free ensuring you artwork is cared for and finally any mount will enhance your image, transforming it into a beautifully framed piece.

MAY 2012 • …51


Create your dream bathroom Ask the experts

If you’re thinking of improving your bathroom in 2012 but finding it hard to be inspired by the limited space, Ripples trained designers can advise on how to make the smallest room in the house the place you want to spend the most time. l B ath or Shower position is very important as they tend to be the largest items and will take up the most space. I would start by positioning these. Look at possibly using a smaller bath with a shower above instead of being a separate item. Also, in some spaces curves are a better option than square as they are softer and less obtrusive. l Wall hung units give the impression of greater space by keeping everything off the floor, maximising floor space and giving the illusion of more space as your eyes are drawn to the edges of the room. Consider using space saving sanitary ware such as corner wash basins, counter top models or sanitary ware with short projection. l Recessed mirrored cabinets also have the dual function of hidden storage and light reflecting qualities to make the room appear larger. Good lighting is very important making the Bathroom bright especially if there is no window. l When faced with limited space, problem or awkward areas, it is well worth considering made to measure and other bespoke products, so whether it’s a sloping ceiling causing you issues or you would like to transform an otherwise wasted space there should be nothing stopping you. If boxing around pipe work or raising a floor area is unavoidable, accentuate the work creating a feature with accent tiles, shelving, lighting and curves. l Larger tiles can make the room look longer depending on how you place them. Using the same tiles for floor and wall can create a seamless appearance, and open up the space. Large format tiles make a room feel more spacious as they have less grout lines and therefore look less busy. I would personally go for lighter tiles such as limestone to keep the space light. l Lighting is a crucial part of any bathroom scheme in order to give the desired dramatic ambience. Down lights will give a general wash of light, however to create an interesting scheme, consider placing coloured LED lights in to alcoves or floor positioned LED lights behind focal areas such as a freestanding bath to give a romantic touch. Under cabinet lighting also helps to give the appearance of space. These can all be placed on to different circuits to create multiple lighting states.

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solent | theatre

magnolias and

The character who holds everything together in Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias is ‘Truvy’; whose hairdressing salon and beauty parlour provides the meeting place for the town’s prominent ladies and for Denise Welch, in the role of Truvy, this means only one thing.


not marvellous with props “she confesses. “And I spend a lot of the play walking, talking, and doing nails. We’ve had Nicky Clarke in to teach us and so I hope that it looks as if I know what I’m doing. It has to be so tightly choreographed that the sooner I can put the script down, the better.” We first got to know Denise in such series as Coronation Street and Waterloo Road and more recently, she has established herself as

60… • MAY 2012

a plain-speaking presence on ITV’s Loose Women. With all her other activities, it’s easy to overlook Denise’s theatre career that first began at the Live Theatre in Newcastle and within hailing distance of her birthplace in County Durham. But, what attracted her to choose Steel Magnolias as the vehicle for her return to the stage? “I hadn’t toured for about twenty years because I was bringing up my children and

I would just say no thanks almost automatically. However, when Steel Magnolias popped up, I thought to myself that I loved the film, that it had been about eight years since I’d done any stage work and also the tour wasn’t that long a commitment in terms of time. So I decided to go for it!” Denise explained. “Steel Magnolias is an ensemble piece and so I wouldn’t be carrying the weight of the play on my shoulders – everybody has an equal share; and I would be working with some proper grown-up actresses.” Denise explained the differences between stage and television. “After a great deal of television, I was desperate to come back to the stage where I could give a performance without somebody shouting ‘Cut!’ Rehearsals are a great luxury. On television the lines are in your head only about five minutes before you’re due to go on the set to say them.” Of her character in Steel Magnolias she said. “I don’t think that these women are particularly well travelled, although Truvy likes to think that she’s the font of all knowledge, which is mostly gleaned from the pages of fashion magazines. These women deal with the worst of situations with humour and although they may appear callous in the way they behave as the plot unfolds, it’s their means of getting through it.”

Like the ladies in Steel Magnolias, Denise treasures her real-life moments at the hairdressers. “They are friends, they’re counsellors…” She enthuses. “You sit down, you relax, you have your coffee and you start to gossip; and I love to gossip with my friends. I love my female friends and it’s the Girl Power aspect of Steel Magnolias that was one of the reasons I wanted to do the play. I don’t quite trust women who don’t have many female friends and those friendships in the play are already reflected through the cast. The first day of rehearsals is a bit like the first day of school; to begin with, you think you’re the only person who is a bag of nerves and who is worried and anxious about everything but you soon find out that everybody’s in the same position.” At various stages of the tour, Denise will be returning to London to join her colleagues on Loose Women, the show that opened up a whole new presenting career for her. “I was originally a guest on the show and I was eventually asked to be a regular member of the team. I tend to be a bit of an open book and that gives the viewer an access into what is happening in my life. People believe that I tell everybody everything; but I’m just being myself.” Denise makes it clear that these days a performer survives only by exploiting every skill they have to offer. “You have to diversify and Loose Women keeps my profile high.

These days, if you’re not on television, people assume you’ve either retired or died.” The date that will mean the most to Denise is the week that Steel Magnolias plays the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. It was in the city that Denise made her professional debut and it was at school, in a production of the Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow, that Denise had first felt that life aboard the wicked stage was for her. “I was a terrible show-off as a child and I could never understand why my mother kept me hidden away whenever she had company since I was more than happy to entertain them. When I took part in that school production, it was as if a light bulb had gone on inside my head. I thought originally of becoming a drama teacher but Dad, who was a very keen amateur actor and who eventually got his Equity Card at the age of 60, persuaded me to try for drama school. My mum and sister are very supportive but they prefer to keep their distance from the showbiz world. Many parents are against their children going on the stage but Dad positively encouraged me. For some reason he didn’t think I’d make a teacher - and after working on Waterloo Road, I knew he was right.” l

MAY 2012 • …61

day in the life

numbers all about the


words by Commander Don Mackinnon

Minus 5, minus 15 and 8… it’s the numbers that stick in your head. It’s 7.45am on a cold morning in Antarctica and a bright red ship stands out in stark contrast against the brilliant white vista. HMS Protector’s Command team are beginning the morning brief for today’s operations… and as usual, its the numbers that stick in your head; outside air temperature minus 5 degrees centigrade, with wind chill, minus 15 degrees centigrade; and the all important one, 8, the maximum number of minutes someone is likely to survive in the water… in Antarctica, these numbers rule the day. Commander Don Mackinnon Royal Navy Executive Officer HMS PROTECTOR

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MS Protector is the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol ship. Her role is three-fold: providing a UK presence to support the Antarctic Treaty; supporting the British Antarctic Survey (BAS); and finally conducting hydrographic survey and oceanographic research. Today is day 21 of a four-week patrol. The ice concentration is moderate and the ship is threading its way through drift ice to land a small scientific team ashore. With one of Protector’s three qualified, Royal Navy ‘ice pilots’ on the bridge, the ship glides through the water at a modest 5 knots, or around 6.5mph. Where a path, or lead, through the ice is not apparent, the ice pilot needs to assess the thickness of the ice and whether or not the ship can ‘break’ its way through. Coming to a decision the pilot steers the ship towards what appears to be the thinnest section, carefully gauging the underwater ‘foot’ of the icebergs around, allowing him to see, through the clear water, how thick the ice below the surface is.

As we close, the view of the ice shelf disappears as it passes under the bow, and the bridge team wait for the, hopefully gentle, impact and the expected splintering of the ice; but it does not come. Instead there is heavy vibration and the ship rises onto the ice sheet, accompanied by a groaning from the hull and the whole ship slides to one side before coming to a halt…the ice is thicker than expected and it has defeated the ship’s first attempt. The ice pilot backs the ship off into the open water astern, noting as he does that ice is already closing in behind the ship. Here, ice is constantly moving so if the ship stops it quickly begins to coalesce around the stationary hull…in the ice, perpetual motion and momentum is everything; even in the 21st century a modern icebreaker can become beset in the ice. So, having backed off, the ice pilot quickly adjusts the angle of the bow to aim for a slightly more promising lead and applies forward power, as Protector literally ‘takes a run’ at the ice. Impact! The ship physically rises up again onto the ice shelf…for a moment nothing happens, everyone waits…then the reassuring crack and splintering noises of ice breaking under the weight of the bow, the ship drops down, surges ahead…and we are through. Ice breaking takes the rest of the day; in a long twelve hours the ship has covered just forty miles. It has been a day of intense concentration on the bridge as even a single misplaced approach or unexpectedly thick ‘bergy bit’ or ‘growler’ – small free floating ice – could damage the ice-strengthened hull if hit too fast or at the wrong angle. But of course the rest of the ship has been busy too; naval chefs have prepared lunch and then dinner for 80; sailors have been shovelling snow off the deck, and the never ending routine business of administration, maintenance, cleaning, and training goes on. By the time we approach the landing site that evening, logisticians have completed a monthly muster of provisions, the fire party have put out a ‘practice’ fire, engineers have finished an overhaul on a generator, and the doctor has given a lecture on how to deal with a casualty recovered from the freezing water. Routine business…but now it is time to put the team ashore before the light fades and temperatures fall further in the evening. You might be surprised just how much equipment a team of four needs for just four days…over a metric tonne and a

half. But in Antarctica, everything must be taken ashore with you, and nothing must be left behind…the unofficial motto here is ‘…leave nothing behind but footprints.’ So the team need food, a shelter, toilet facilities, water, medical supplies, scientific equipment, rescue and emergency equipment and of course personal gear… a weekend camping expedition this is not! The first task is launching a small boat, with some of the ship’s Royal Navy surveyors on board, to assess the approach to the beach and choose a landing site. Having sent this boat on its way Protector’s deck team now turn their attention to the far larger work boat that will take the scientific team, and all their equipment, ashore. Lifting this boat from its position on the deck with the main crane is a complex, but often practiced, task and is quickly achieved. With the boat in the water alongside, the crane is unhooked and returns above the deck to lift stores into the boat. The final task is the embarkation of the landing party, down the ship’s side by ladder, into the boat. This has all taken an hour by now and the last of the light is beginning to fade. Time is getting tight, but with the beach survey complete, and a landing site chosen, both boats head off into the twilight to set up camp ashore. An hour later it is now dark; lights bathe the ship in a halo of artificial light as we await the return of both boats. By radio the BAS team, together with our own Royal Marine cold weather experts in support; have reported they are safe and well. In the gloom, picking a way through the drift ice surrounding

the ship, the spotlight of the workboat becomes visible and before long the boats and crews are all safely back on board. It is time for the Command team to discuss the intention for overnight. The weather forecast is not good so the decision is made to stay close to the landing site in case the weather turns for the worst. Decision made, the team stand down for a late dinner and the overnight watch keepers take the burden around the ship, as everyone else settles down for a little relaxation in a couple of hours before bed; a DVD, a game of cards, or for some, a good book. Although the ship never truly ‘sleeps’, the core working day is over… until tomorrow, and tomorrow’s numbers… because it’s the numbers that stick in your head, and tomorrow’s numbers might be quite different. l

HMS Protector is still down among the ice packs and Solent Life would like to thank Commander Mackinnon and the Royal Navy for their help with this feature.

MAY 2012 • …63

charity | focus


words by janet grimm & images by two saints

Over the last few months Solent Life and Two Saints has introduced you to Neil, Catherine and Bill. Their stories represent the success that people who are homeless can achieve, with just that little bit of extra help and support on their journey towards becoming fully functioning members of society.


ou can help Two Saints and ensure that we are able to bring you a new success story every month! The best way to help someone without a home to get back to a normal and rewarding life is through real opportunities in training, education and employment. Two Saints rely on the generosity of the public through fundraising and there are many ways to contribute. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it could be a coffee morning or cake sale. Maybe something a little more active, like the IOW Randonnee cycling event that we mentioned a couple of months ago. If cycling is not your thing then perhaps you might like to run the Bupa Great South Run for Two Saints. There is a slightly less taxing 5km or the full 10km courses to choose from. Contact Two Saints via their website www. for more information on entering.

Rainbow Guides and recently the girls of the 6th Hedge End group, all aged between 5 and 7, achieved a special ‘Chocolate Challenge’ badge by holding a sponsored 7-day chocolate amnesty with all money raised going to Two Saints. Not only did they earn their badges, but they also raised a whopping £532! Their leader Joanne told Solent Life, “I was both astonished and humbled by how hard the girls worked on this and also the generosity of their friends and families. They really want to do more to help people who are homeless during the year which just goes to show that our motto really works, ‘Think of others before yourself and do a good turn every day’ ” ●

Two great examples of putting the FUN into FUNdraising. This year is both the Olympic and Jubilee year and the locally based surveying company, Rund partnership are also celebrating their 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion and to raise funds for Two Saints, more than 15 of the partnership are taking part in a sponsored 2012 event. They aim to complete a total of 2012 miles and raise a minimum of £2012 by running, cycling, swimming and even rowing. Perhaps a team from your company would like to complete this challenge. Also celebrating their 25th anniversary this year are the

64… • MAY 2012

For more detail on how the staff at Rund Partnership, the Rainbows at Hedge End, and many others are helping to make a big difference, and how you can get involved please visit or call on 01329 234600

MAY 2012 • …65

solent | wildlife

40 Marwell at

Think of Marwell Wildlife Park and you think of giraffes, lions, tigers and the odd rhino

biodiversity had been lost due to modern agricultural methods and development. 15 years ago the team started managing the site. They introduced grazing management and tied this in with their project to re-introduce the Przewalskis to Mongolia. By using Eelmoor as a semi-reserve, taking the captive born animals and allowing them to grow and develop in a more natural environment, they provided a half way house. Several have now gone on to be re-introduced into Hungary release sites. And the Violet? It has gone from a mere 150 plants at the start of the project, to several hundred two years later and today there are thousands – too many to count. Today, the way zoological parks operate and how they cater to the public are changing and Marwell is at the forefront of that shift. They recognise that in order to compete with theme parks and activity centers, they need to offer a really engaging experience. So along with exhibits that allow the visitor to observe the animals in the right way, take great photos and have a certain amount of activity and interpretation with them, they are seeking to engage people and build some enthusiasm for wildlife. But they are also looking to lead by example when it comes to educating visitors about sustainability and to offer practical solutions that they can follow at home. If you eat in the cafe or visit the shop you will find products which are sustainable and support projects elsewhere in the world. The Park is also working on reducing its carbon footprint by generating its own energy from a system which converts animal waste and bedding, using anaerobic digestion, combined with wood chip biomass heating to replace oil fired heating. Long term they hope to become carbon neutral. The park also offers education for the next generation; Tim finds that the children coming into their classes are far more aware of our environment than a generation or two ago; they care passionately and are looking for us to do something about it. My children certainly support this. When I talked to them about this interview the story that had the most impact for them was about the Partula Snail, which is a Polynesian Tree Snail. Giant African land snails were introduced to the Polynesian Islands as a food source for the local community, who ironically didn’t want to eat them. So another species of snail, which predates the African land snail were introduced as a bio-control, unfortunately it was decided that the native tree snails were far tastier and so ate them into extinction. Once an invasive species is introduced into the environment it is difficult to eradicate them, so the Partula Snail cannot be re-introduced, and Marwell holds between a third and a half of the world’s remaining population of this tiny snail. As much as my children enjoy the bigger animals and the fun of the day that a visit to Marwell brings, I know they also see behind the entertainment factor to what they consider to be important. They asked that the next time we visit Marwell we go and see the Partula Snails; as my son said; “They’re homeless because of humans so we should go and say sorry!” l

or two. Many of us go to the Park because our children want to see the more exotic wildlife they house “up close and personal.” Yet Marwell Wildlife is about much more than giraffes words by fiona cooke and meerkats.


arwell Wildlife is celebrating its 40th birthday this month and it has come a long way from its beginnings; as one of the earliest zoological parks in Europe to place an emphasis on animal conservation. Whilst protecting endangered species within the zoo is vitally important, Marwell Wildlife is also a key player globally, but doesn’t always get recognition as such. Solent Life talked to the Director of Conservation, Dr Tim Woodfine, who explained “I don’t think there is a square yard of the planet that doesn’t need some conservation effort so we tend to go to the places that have been overlooked and haven’t had the attention of the major conservation organisations.” Tim heads up a team which is involved in not only protecting several endangered species at the park but also working worldwide on the conservation and restoration of the natural habitat of many other diverse species of animals, plant life and whole eco systems. Tim says “If you’re going to have an impact in conserving the world’s global biological diversity you’ve got to be out there in the wider world with the habitat and eco systems these species depend on. So we have a conservation strategy that links what we do in the Park all the way through.” As an example take the Scimitar-horned Oryx. This was one of the first species to be kept at the Park. It became endangered in 1986, due to hunting, habitat destruction and competition for grazing with domestic livestock. In 1999 it was declared extinct in the wild. Marwell Wildlife coordinates the European breeding programme and has been working for over a decade with the authorities in Tunisia to restore a natural habitat within Bou Hedma National Park and release Oryx from the programme. The team, working globally under the umbrella of Marwell, are involved in several projects worldwide. As well as working in Tunisia, their resources are mainly focussed in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Overall they focus on long term projects because it is the longevity of effort that gets the best results. In Northern Kenya they are working with local communities that have decided for themselves to set aside a space for wildlife, which offers an alternative form of land management. As Tim says “They can utilise the wildlife in a different way, it’s not just about the charismatic species such as elephants and lions, it’s about the smaller species, the plants, the whole eco-systems which people can use directly for food and medicine.” Tim continues; “Nature is a remarkable thing because given a break, life comes back pretty quickly, and quite often that is as simple as it needs to be. Every species has the ability to become super abundant if the conditions are right.” Proof of this comes from closer to home with one of the Parks most successful biological projects, which has involved a Marsh, the Pale Leafed Violet and the Przewalskis Horse. Eelmoor Marsh in Hampshire is a fragment of lowland wet heath, bog and grassland; much of the area’s ancient

66… • MAY 2012





Now’s your chance

to WIN a family visit to Marwell Wildlife after hours or even a behind the scenes experience. June 1st will be party night at Marwell when the park will re-open from 6.30pm for an evening of live entertainment, animal talks and lots of fun to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Marwell Wildlife. To coincide with the celebrations a new ‘behind the scenes’ experience has just been launched with the chance to meet and feed some of the animals and help prepare food, muck out their enclosures and see what its like to be a zoo keeper. For your chance to win a place on a ‘behind the scenes’ experience or to win a family ticket to ‘Party in the Park’ for two adults and two children answer this simple question:

What was the name of the collapsed giraffe at Marwell in 1977? Was it…

(A) Victor (B) Trevor (C) Nigel TO ENTER, email quoting ‘Marwell Competition’ with your name, address and telephone/mobile number together with your answer! Alternatively, post your entry to Solent Life, Webb House, 20 Bridge Road, Park Gate, Hampshire, SO31 7GE. The closing date is 25.05.2012

TERMS & CONDITIONS Enter by 25 May 2012. Prize is valid for 1 June 2012 only and allows entry to Marwell’s Party in the Park for 2 adults and 2 children. Behind the scenes experience is for one person aged over 16 only and must be taken in on a Wednesday during 2012. No cash alternative is available.

MAY 2012 • …67

garden makeover

grow? how does your garden words by fiona cooke

One of the great delights of having a garden that is less

neighbours and friends; but when it comes down to it, it seldom looks as imagined. Do we want formal or exotic, bold architectural plants, or cottage garden borders? Swathes of colour or shape and form? Should it be low maintenance, high maintenance, decking or grass? What about height, ground cover and soil type and north facing corners? The list and therefore the planning can go on and on, bringing hours of frustration until someone points you in the right direction. Then there are the names! Am I alone in going to bed and wondering what are Black False Hellebore, Woolly Willow, Dazzling Phormium and Golden Feverfew? The names alone are enough to make me want to have them in my garden. I don’t care what the plant looks like; I just want to be able to mention in passing that my Cootamundra Wattle is in flower! Do you ever wonder why we garden? It is more than just creating an outdoor space that pleases us, it is a matter of personal pride. Even after the experts have gone, and cleaned up the mess, there are still lovely hours to be spent pottering in the garden to allow us to forget the timetables of daily life, and immerse ourselves in a world outside of our everyday life. One which brings pleasure from small things such as the early blossom in the spring, the heavenly scent from a bed of Lavender and Iris, or simply pausing and watching a bumble bee as it meanders from flower to flower. The heat of the sun on your back and the sound of birdsong and leaves rustling in the breeze can bring a feeling that all is well in your world and if it happens to be pouring down with rain, as it has done this spring, then enjoy it all within the protection of the conservatory. Gardening is a never ending love affair. Once you discover its joys you are hooked. Whether it is discussing with your planner how to transform a rectangle of grass or adding a new border, the part-time gardener longs to be out there, watching the professionals creating a space that is individual to you, the owner. Gardening is about instinct and knowledge gained over the years; you cannot rush it (unless of course you are trying to cut the grass before the heavens open.) You have to take your time, observe, see how things grow and adapt, the garden demands respect and a willingness to allow things to take their own course; so if you do not have that experience to hand – find a man, or woman, who does! I think the garden brings us back to our true selves; beings that are part of the cycle of life, that are meant to be at one with nature, to enjoy it’s fruits but also to recognise that we are powerless to change it… as much as you might wish otherwise, sometimes you just have to accept that the your Argyranthemums really do need well drained soil! l

than perfect is that you can dream about improving it. Some just need to be tweaked; a pergola here, an award winning clematis there, whilst others cry out for a complete makeover. Then panic strikes at the heart as the realisation hits that work and family commitments once again stop you spending time in your beloved sun trap and getting the work done so as to enjoy the fruits of your, or somebody’s, labours…


herein lies the challenge; to get the garden to a place of enjoyment and sanctuary but without the time to design, plan, plant and tend. If it was a new fitted kitchen needed you would bring in the professionals, other than for the placement of the toaster, but for the garden many just tinker and trim lawns. So you need vision, you need to be able to see how it will all come together in five or ten years time and you need someone to chat with about how your vision will become a reality. If you don’t have the time, or in many cases the patience, then call in the professionals, and rely on them to include your wish list of bowling green lawn, hot tub, year round colour and interest, outdoor lighting and heating, well stocked pond with split level waterfall, barbeque, space for the children’s trampoline, a patio area that will accommodate family and friends on those few summer’s evenings when it is clement enough to sit outside and sip cocktails, AND make it all look pleasing to the eye. Unless you are a confirmed DIYer or a builder by profession would you attempt to design and build the conservatory or garden room? Then why, unless you are a passionate gardener with time and designs at hand, would you struggle to transform the biggest ‘room’ in your home, the outdoors. Alas most of us are limited by time, and many of us just do not have the required green fingers, so we have to do things in stages; a new lawn one year, a patio the next, and then looking at your work and thinking, ‘that’s not level’! We can gaze at our outdoor space and imagine it transformed, a gazebo in the corner, a swing set for the children and, of course, where to safely put the Barbie without risking the fencing and the shed! We can pore over garden design books and plant catalogues, and watch Monty, Alan et al. We can play pick and mix at the garden centre and steal ideas from

68… • MAY 2012

MAY 2012 • …69

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70… • MAY 2012

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or in tune with our huge audience

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Website… MAY 2012 • …71

solent | gardening Win £500 It’s scarecrow building time at Garsons Garden Centre in Titchfield, so get your entry form in before the 31st May deadline. There are £1,000 of cash prizes to win, including £500 for the best scarecrow. Get your form at the Customer Service Desk or on the events page at

green fingers May

words by anne watson

April showers have watered the garden but it’s been an otherwise dry start to the year, so follow our tips to help keep your garden looking fresh right through the summer. Mulching Add a layer of bark chippings around your plants. It helps suppress weeds, keeps moisture in the soil for longer and it looks good!

Be water-wise Install a water butt wherever you have a gutter downpipe. You can even have one next to a garden shed. Re-use clean house water for patio plants close to the kitchen. If you water later in the evening, it’s absorbed before evaporating. However, if a plant is wilting, give it a drink immediately. It makes sense to move container plants to a shady spot during hot spells and water them daily. Love your lawn Mature lawns are fairly drought-resistant and bounce back in the autumn. Here’s how to keep yours in good condition: l Raise the height of lawnmower blades and don’t cut your lawn too short in summer. This makes it dry out even faster. l Cut the lawn less frequently than usual. l Scarify in spring and autumn. A buildup of thatch can prevent water from penetrating into the soil.

72… • MAY 2012

l Aerate soil with a fork to help water get to the roots of the grass.

Hanging baskets and containers l Add water-storing crystals to reduce watering by up to four times. One application lasts all summer, and they can also be used around annual plants. l Add rolled-up newspaper to the base of your containers and crops that require lots of watering to helps retain water. l Water spikes are a great little product if you’re away for a few days. Fill a water bottle with water, screw on the water spike and push into your containers or next to plants in the borders. Look out for the EcoCharlie Aqua Drip.

Hanging baskets and containers l English lavender l Rosemary l Trees and shrubs l Geraniums l Lilacs l Ornamental alliums l Pelargoniums l Petunias

Top of the list is lavender, a favourite of butterflies and bees. Being Mediterranean, it’s hardy and tolerates drought and difficult conditions. Favoured for its aromatic foliage and displays of flowers, it suits most situations. Two of the best loved and hardiest lavender varieties are hidcote and munstead. They produce fragrant flowers and are at home in garden borders or containers. They prefer a sunny position and in a cold winter would benefit from being in a sheltered spot. Lightly prune established lavenders around now to keep them looking neat.

Other jobs for your garden l Deadhead daffodils and tulips, allowing daffodil foliage to die down naturally. Applying a liquid fertiliser will encourage next year’s flowers. l Once the frosts are over, prune shrubs by cutting back dead and untidy branches, keeping new shoots and buds. l Give shrubs, climbing plants and roses a feed.

Enjoy the outdoors and until next month, happy gardening!

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coast & country


glories Shortly before they travelled up to London and took their place among the royalty, Lords, Ladies and gentry from around the world, the 9th Countess paid a brief visit below-stairs to show the servants the ermine trimmed robes and coronet she would be wearing for the Coronation. This was not a case of showing off but a moment to allow the servants to be a part of the amazing celebrations.


hroughout June, and as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations,

words & pictures by david rose-massom

76… • MAY 2012

Stansted House is pulling out all the memorabilia, newspapers and clothing that have been tucked away in storage and displaying them in the upstairs and downstairs parts of the house. Janet Sinclair is part of the team that run and operate this historic house under the Stansted Park Foundation, a charitable trust. “The ermine trimmed robes would have already been in the family but the coronet was especially made for the occasion of the Coronation and her parading the full outfit in front of the staff would have been very much about making them a part of the event.” Janet told Solent Life as she showed us around below stairs as the House prepared for the new exhibition. Stansted Park is a house we have often visited over the years and as a regular visitor there are two parts that have become favourite focal points, the magnificent and comfortable Library, where we later took tea and chatted, and the ‘below-stairs’ which are a fascinating insight to how the housekeepers, footmen, valets, cooks and butler lived. On the website for the house and grounds Stansted Park is thus described; ‘It all began with a hunting lodge in the forest 800 years ago. After several owners and a disastrous fire in 1900, the present mansion was rebuilt on the ‘footprint’ of a 17th century house and the estate became the home of

the Earls of Bessborough in Through this year and the 1924. The ancient chapel of St Jubilee celebrations it is the Paul now stands on the site Ascension to the throne of of the first great house. Lord Queen Elizabeth we remember, Bessborough’s book “The the Coronation did not take Enchanted Forest” tells the place until June 2nd 1953 but story of Stansted Park since the as the events are inextricably 12th century. The house was linked, Stansted are using all of enjoyed by the families of the their memorabilia to celebrate 9th and 10th earls throughout the momentous event. their lifetimes and is presented “While some of the staff would to visitors as a family home, have been taken to London, with splendid family portraits back in the house those that and contents. The downstairs remained would have still been servants’ quarters are a unique a part of the day, although there and evocative experience. was TV then, the staff would Since 1983 the House and more than likely have been Estate have been owned by gathered around the radiogram Stansted Park Foundation, listening to the events unfold.” a charitable trust set up Janet said. “Bunting would by Frederick, 10th Earl of have been strung around the Bessborough.’ servant’s quarters and there It was an important event would have been a real party for the entire household and atmosphere with family, friends for the invitees there was a and children all in attendance.” strict pecking order in a list During the search and research of importance; the Earl and for Stansted’s Jubilee display Countess were sent invite one brown-paper wrapped number ‘105’, well up the list parcel was uncovered and among the 8000 or so invitees. unwrapped. “It was a huge 11’ by “The coronet would have 6’ Union Jack made especially been made especially for the to fly from the flagpole that event and would have been stuck upright from the dome on carefully positioned upon top of the house. The pole is no the Countesses’ head and longer there and so we do have held on with special in-built a problem of where, and how hair clips.” Janet continued best, to display the massive to explain. “There would have flag.” also been a tiara for later Now safely wrapped in acidin the day but during the free paper to protect the coronation ceremony, as Queen delicate historic object, Janet Elizabeth was crowned by the carefully unfolded the great Archbishop of Canterbury, the flag. It was like no other flag princes and peers gathered I have seen and it can only be would have all lifted the crowns surmised that the flag was and coronets from their heads made from remnants. It is not and shouted “God save the made of the heavy canvas-like Queen!” at the exact moment cloth normally recognised with St Edward’s Crown touched the flags but it is a light and thin monarch’s head; then, whilst cheesecloth type material and they were replacing their regal made up of strange off-cuts headgear, a 21-Gun Salute was stitched together. fired from the Tower of London.” “It is easy to forget they were

difficult years then it was following the war when materials were not readily available.” At this point Janet showed us the red gilded book that was the Order of Service and Guest list for the Coronation, it was quite simple and yet still regal. Another shown to us was from a previous coronation and this was ornate and coated in twisting, artistic gold leaf designs. “Stansted is a house where things can be touched and examined; it is only the valuable that is kept behind glass and protective casings. During the celebrations this would have been a house filled with merriment and fun and we want to reflect that in the exhibition.” There are two other objects, that although simple to look at, the story is as strange as any during the opening months of the Queen’s reign. “In the hallway are the two Coronation chairs; the very ones that the Earl and the Countess were sat on during the ceremony. It was a sort of 1950’s goody-bag, in that they were allowed to keep the chairs they occupied that day. The Abbey had been opened at 6am, and everyone had to be in their seats shortly afterward and so they were sat in them for sometime in all their regalia. We must assume they actually purchased them, but outside of Westminster Abbey, following the day’s events footmen and chauffeurs could be seen racing back to their cars carrying a pair of chairs. It must have been a very strange sight!”. l

The House and Grounds are now open to the public and used for events, weddings, and exclusive corporate functions. The tearooms have recently been extended and the complex maze has now grown into a great topiary puzzle. Attractions at Stansted also include a miniature railway and extensive garden centre. There is also now a wonderful new Farm Shop that stocks a great range of local, seasonal produce including venison from the Stansted Estate. Please check the website for opening times.

Turn Back the Clock – Diamond Jubilee 4th to 27th June Royal Coronation memorabilia Upstairs, the Housekeeper’s accounts and celebration memorabilia in the Servants Hall Below Stairs. The exhibition is also on during the very popular Garden Show. The Garden Show at Stansted Park – Friday 15th to Sunday 17th June 10am-5pm See www. thegardenshowonline. com for contact details and more information about exhibiting, ticketing and group bookings.

MAY 2012 • …77

road | test



Over the past months in Solent Life, we have tested a good variety of cars and each one driven is usually the latest generation in the evolution of the model. With each evolution, with each new model, I am astounded by the relentless march of innovation and improvement that manufacturers find and year on year, everything we touch, seems to take another step further in terms of comfort, economy and performance.


words by dave hill & janet grimm his is true of the very latest BMW 3

series; the sixth generation of 3 series since its introduction in 1975. I think I am right in stating that from the previous version there is no new radical individual feature, but more like a thousand smaller improvements – the sum of which makes a significant difference. We tested the latest 320d Sport, not hugely different at first glance, but really you need to drive it to understand what this car has to offer. Minor styling revisions such as rear light clusters and various trim variations don’t immediately jump at you; the fact that the car is a few inches longer and a little wider would also probably go unnoticed at first glance. However, the benefit of these dimensional changes manifest themselves as additional head and knee space for rear passengers and a larger boot space – and quite a generous space it is too. The first striking feature is the front sports seats; not only deep and comfortable but the seat squab length is also moveable to provide full support right to the back of your knees. In addition to all of the usual seat adjustments, the lateral supports can be optimised for both comfort and effective control of side to side movement. So, when you slide into the driver’s seat, you do feel part of the car, difficult to explain – but you are not just a passenger or accessory – you do feel that it has been built around you and this is quite satisfying. Every part of your body in the seat is supported and comfortable. This is as good a seat as I have ever driven in and would love the opportunity to try it on a long journey of several hundred miles to see if it really is as comfortable as it seems. Having said all that, I have only got as far as the front seats and there is so much more; so what next – how about suspension? My favourite key feature to make or break a car and this suspension is excellent; firm without being hard, handling performance is really nice with very little body roll. Steering is precise with reasonable feedback and when driven with those sports seats, one does feel very confident about the cars manoeuvring capability; it is entirely without drama. For those interested in the technical bits, the engine is a two

78… • MAY 2012

litre four cylinder diesel with BMW Twinpower technology which produces 184bhp and 380Nm of torque. The consequence of that is a 0-62 time of 7.5 seconds, a top speed of 146 mph and a claimed combined fuel consumption of 61.4 mpg. Who remembers past days of motoring when they had an original Mini Cooper S or a Cortina GT, with claims to have impressed everybody; so stunning was its performance – and yet they were scary (if not dangerous) to drive quickly, and in reality achieved half of this performance at best and barely returned 30 mpg – haven’t things moved on? And, we refer to them as ‘the good old days’ – yeah right! There really is too much in this car to talk about each and every feature. There are so many more options available to enhance every element of its technology, performance, driver aids – it goes on and on. The brochure makes interesting reading and is a technocrats dream (or is that a technophobes nightmare). However, the basic car is extremely good, it is hugely comfortable, it has excellent handling and performance characteristics; these lists of options just allow you to add a selection of features that will customise it exactly to fit your desires. I have sadly noted with a previous BMW that perhaps its perfection in the way that it delivers everything makes it, well, a little clinical – without character or personality. This model though is totally different; the fact that you feel part of it now makes you relish that perfection in delivery. l

HIS VERDICT Has BMW thrown down the gauntlet again to provide the class standard? You betcha! It’s right up there; try it, you will see for yourself.


hortly after completing this

month’s test drive my family and I set off for a holiday in Scotland. At the best part of 500 miles, it is a lengthy drive and although our own car is a comfortable German model I found myself longing for the BMW 320d. How I coveted those incredibly comfortable, supportive, soft leather seats that Dave has already enthused about. Most of all I longed for the fantastic fuel economy delivered by this luxurious car. I think my bank manager might well have appreciated less frequent stops at service stations along the M6 too! The BMW 320d is not a cheap car to purchase, and the friendly sales team at Scotthall Hampshire will do nothing to try and convince you that it is; but when you climb inside the tastefully styled, refined saloon it feels expensive and well built. The value in the BMW comes from living with it every day. The fuel consumption is excellent, emissions technology means that road tax is low and servicing costs are excellent value for money also. So the initial purchase price is not the whole story, when taken as a complete driving package the BMW 320d proves to be a great value car to live with. At your fingertips you have everything

you need to ensure that driving this car is an easy and pleasurable experience. Our test model was finished in a lovely rich red colour and made a bright change from the popular but rather drab colours so prevalent in the new car showroom. I particularly like the fact that you sit right down inside this car, it feels solid and secure and unlike so many modern cars the view through the windscreen is of the bonnet stretching away – lovely. Like many of the cars we have driven recently the 320d has several different driving modes. I felt that the engine lacked the torque I expected from a diesel engine when driven in the economy mode but that is a small price to pay for the fuel economy, and every mile per gallon saved is displayed clearly on the dashboard, especially as diesel prices hit an all time high. In the other modes the BMW delivers as much performance as you could possibly desire – whatever your driving style. I wondered if I would just leave the car in one mode if I drove it every day but I believe that the difference in performance and ease of selection would ensure that any driver would use the modes to sometimes enjoy maximum performance or the efficiency options with ease. The saloon model we tested was really spacious and the boot was plenty big

enough for holiday luggage. An estate version would be perfect for my family with plenty of room for the children and the dogs, Bear and Amber. The seats are just so comfortable for driver and passengers; it has great performance, and great fuel economy. I would love to return to beautiful Scotland very soon and when I do I’d like to make that journey in this car. l

HER VERDICT A fantastic all rounder perfect for everyday family driving and longer trips too.

The car tested was a… BMW 320d Sport. OTR price £29,080 and was kindly provided to us by Scotthall Hampshire For more information: Scotthall, Chestnut Avenue, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 3YU 023 8068 9800

MAY 2012 • …79

charity | focus

rhyme and reason With any illness or disability there are tales of sadness but there is usually the balancing act of an equally moving story of triumph over adversity. For every unwelcome ending there is also a story that inspires and raises hopes. Two stories have crossed Solent Life features desk this month and both inspire hope. Although one has the sad ending, the other is a tale of overcoming a disease; both stories are uplifting.


tacey Edwards arrived into this world weighing just 5lbs 11oz on the 4th January 1991 but, at just 4 days old, she was diagnosed with the debilitating disease – cystic fibrosis. In January this year, she spent her 21st birthday at Southampton General Hospital, connected to a 24-hour intravenous drip & an oxygen tank, fighting a losing battle against the condition which affects the internal organs, particularly the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus, making it very difficult to breathe and digest food. In a number of cases, the only option to survive involves a lung or lung & pancreas transplant. Stacey was on the transplant waiting list and most recently had endured two false alarms for replacement lungs. During a moment of darkness, she put pen to paper and wrote this emotive Poem which tells of her plight:

“One wish, one dream for life and lungs, The call that means my battle is won, A call that ends my struggle to fight, This war with my body, each day and night. I long, I hope, I beg and I pray, As I begin and end each day, That today’s the day I get my turn, And the day I make my return I’ll be the new and improved me, I’ll make myself the best I can be, With new lungs, new health and a new way of life, Each day is not a constant fight… I don’t think I’m asking for much? I have never made such fuss.. So I’m making this simple plea.. Cross your fingers and pray for me”.

80… • MAY 2012

At 12.30pm on the 18th April this year Stacey sadly lost her fight and passed away at Southampton General Hospital. Life in general does have a way of balancing the good and bad that come our way and while Stacey offered great inspiration and bravery through a life of struggles and setbacks that few of us can even imagine, life was about to show its positive side. On a cloudy and cool day at the end of April, 30 year old Mike Mackay from Witham in Essex completed the Virgin London Marathon to raise vital funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a disease that claims on average, two lives each and every week in the UK. Mike has Cystic Fibrosis and five years ago, having been considered to have no chance of life, benefited from a transplant. He wanted to test himself to the limit by running the London Marathon. Mike told Solent Life “I have never run a marathon before, or had much sporting experience at all, but I thought this would be a challenge worth doing. I wanted to show off my new life with my new lungs and I wanted to do something that could help the charity that supports people like me living with the disease. The CF Trust also funds research to find a treatment that could help people with CF live longer and have better lives.” Mike hopes to raise over £2500 for the CF Trust and it is still possible to sponsor him at: mikesnewlungs “Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically inherited illness that affects the lungs and digestive system. Today there still is no cure.

With the money raised from sponsorship on my London Marathon page, every penny raised will go towards that all important, and significant, gene therapy research helping to save thousands upon thousands of lives.” Mike added. l In 1964, only 20% of children diagnosed with the Cystic Fibrosis would be expected to reach school age. The evolution of treatments as a result of research into the disease have had a marked improvement in life expectancy – a child born with Cystic Fibrosis today would be expected to live beyond 41 years; a tremendous difference. Only continued awareness and support can sustain these advances.

National Cystic Fibrosis Week takes place until 5th May.

MAY 2012 • …81

solent | nature

events… at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve… Post a Poem Sat 12th May 2012 10:30am – 12 noon Would you like to see your poem in print? With the help of Pearl Elizabeth Dell May, Swanwick Lakes Poet in Residence, we will be collecting your poems in our Poetry Post Box for all our visitors to read. Pearl will be at the Study Centre to encourage you to create seasonal poems inspired by the wildlife and wild places of Swanwick Lakes. For further details contact Dawn Preston or Jess Daish-Miller on 01489 570240. Please wear outdoor clothes and sturdy shoes or boots.

wildlife May

words by jess daish-miller | images by darin smith

May is a marvellous month to be out and about at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve, fairly frothing with activity!


he creamy may flowers festoon the hawthorn trees, and are mirrored by the creamy heads of the group of plants known as ‘Umbellifers’, of which Cow Parsley is a common example. These plants, with their umbrella – like green spokes, are a common sight at this time of year and are very attractive to insects. One of our regular insect finds is the ‘Soldier beetles’. These bright red invertebrates can also be found on the flowers – but they are not attracted by the nectar. They are in fact lying in wait for any unwary insect that stays still long enough! By May, a number of our butterflies are also on the wing. One of our favourites here at Swanwick Lakes is the ‘Speckled Wood’ which can be seen in woodland clearings around the reserve from late March onwards in a warm spring. By May,

82… • MAY 2012

this is joined by a number of other butterflies, including the ‘Common Blue’ and ‘Holly Blue’ and the familiar, but spectacular, ‘Red Admiral’. This latter butterfly is actually migratory, spending the winter in more southern parts of Europe and moving north in the spring. Its larvae feed on nettles – a very good reason for not tidying the garden too rigorously this spring! If you are interested in butterflies, why not come for a walk in the late spring sunshine and see them on the wing. We monitor the butterflies throughout the summer months at Swanwick Lakes and we are always interested in hearing about your butterfly sightings and any other wildlife you spot while you are out and about. l Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve is an 86 acre reserve located on Sopwith Way, off Swanwick Lane. The reserve is owned by NATS and managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The reserve is open from dawn until dusk for all to enjoy. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust works to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in Hampshire and the Island. Find out more at

Swanwick Lakes Wildlife Watch Group Wildlife Watch is a local club for young people who are interested in wildlife and the environment. The Watch Group has two events in May. Booking is essential. Den Building Sat 5th May 2012 10:30am – 12 noon Worm Charming Thurs 17th May 2012 6.30 – 8pm For more information or to book your place please contact Carly Fretwell on 07733 980980 or Michelle Crooks 07784 391604. Fareham District Members Group Walk at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve Mon 21st May 2012 10:30am – 12 noon Join Geoff Moss for a wild flower and birdsong stroll. Walking boots or stout shoes advised. Meet and park at Swanwick Lakes. Contact Geoff on 01329 663078. Suggested donation £2. Mon 21st May 2012 7.30pm Join experts from the Hampshire Bat Group to learn all about these fascinating creatures. There will be an illustrated talk, followed by an evening guided walk to listen for bats at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve. Contact Dawn Preston or Jess Daish-Miller on 01489 570240. Please bring a torch, outdoor clothing and sensible shoes or boots. Booking essential as places are limited. Suggested donation £3 per person.

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.

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MAY 2012 • …83


solent | community

Your essential guide to all the local news and events in your community. Teenage Cancer Trust are holding a Golf Day at Southampton City Golf course in aid of the Southampton hospital Teenage Cancer Trust appeal for 18 teams of 4 with many other golf related activities going on during the day. The event begins at 11 o clock in the morning and is followed by a prize giving and barbecue between 4 and 6 o’clock in the afternoon – a great way to end the Queen’s Jubilee week! The price is £160 per team which includes a breakfast roll and the barbecue. The barbecue is open to all at a cost of just £12.50 per ticket for adults £5 for children. To book a team (or part team) or purchase barbecue tickets for this beautiful venue please contact Jacqui Ellis 01329 319989. St Peter’s Church Fete Titchfield Saturday 12th May. Gates open at 1pm and fete finishes at 4.30pm. There will be many great attractions, and this year they welcome the Acoustic Jazz band quartet who will be playing music throughout the afternoon. A grand draw will take place; the winner will receive £100.00 plus many more top quality prizes to be won. Tea, coffee, soft drinks & cakes will be available along with ice cream from the parlour, and burgers & sausages from the grill. Come and enjoy the day in lovely surroundings at the Old Vicarage, Church St, Titchfield . Admission Adults £1.00 Children 0.50p

WARSASH HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY The popular Annual Plant Sale at the Victory Hall will take place on Saturday 12 May from 10.00 am till 12 noon selling quality plants (including vegetables), shrubs, etc. There will also be a cake stall. The next group meeting will take place on Wednesday 30th May in the Bartholomew Room of the Victory Hall starting at 7.30 pm. The speaker will be Tom Hart Dyke whose presentation is entitled “Plant Hunting in Columbia”. New members and visitors welcome to every meeting. Glenda Edmondson (01489 573755) RIVER HAMBLE HARBOUR MASTER’S CRABBING COMPETITION The clue to this event is in the title; and what a great fun way to spend a few hours as a family. Registration: 12.30pm and get your crab buckets before the competition begins from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Entry fee: £5.50 to include crabbing kit but £3.00 if using own equipment. There is a trophy for overall winner and prizes for each age group with a certificate awarded to all participants. Age Groups: 7 years & Under, 8 years to 11 years and 12 years & Above. Refreshments & Cakes will be available to purchase on the day. All proceeds will be used to purchase outdoor educational equipment for Warsash Victory Hall Pre-school. SATURDAY 26th May at Harbour Master’s Jetty, Warsash.

WARSASH LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY The 3 day Exhibition entitled “Warsash through the Ages” comprising photographs, maps and other archive material and memorabilia will take place in the Victory Hall from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on 5th, 6th and 7th May. Entry £2 per adult, children under 16 free. Refreshments will be available. The next group meeting will take place on Wednesday 6th June with a welcome return by local historian George Watts whose presentation this time is entitled “Hook through the Ages”. Learn more about this ancient village so close to Warsash village centre. All meetings in the Bartholomew Room of the Victory Hall from 7.30 pm. New members and visitors welcome. Sarisbury Green Floral Art Society are a small friendly club that welcome anyone interested in making the most of flowers from their garden, the supermarket or the florist. Membership for the year is just £32, or visitors can join for any meeting for £5. The next meeting, on May 15th, will be a workshop ‘Flowers for an Occasion’ for beginners and competent arrangers. If you are interested in coming, please contact for details of what to bring with you. At Sarisbury Green Community Centre, SO31 7AA, on the third Tuesday of the month (except August) from 7pm. For more information, please contact Ailia Ashworth on 01489 579863 or email ailia@ Lee-on-the-Solent Residents Association (LoSRA) Monthly Community BOOST Event -Table Top sale The next LoSRA BOOST Event will be held on the 16th May in the Methodist Church Hall, Lee High Street, Lee-on-the-Solent,


Please note we need 6-8 weeks notice of events.

84… • MAY 2012


set up at and open to the public between 9.30 – 13 00 pm. Meet community groups/ organisations. To book a table, 6ft at £5.00 and 4ft at £3.00, payable on the day, at the BOOST events, contact Ray Harding 023 92 551706 or Gill. Masterson 023 92 551303 And the next Lee Historic Walk and Talk will take place on Tuesday 8th May when the leader is Anthony Stutchbury. The walk will commence at Elmore Car Park Marine Parade East, next to the Fishing Club Compound at 10.a.m. The route is along Lee Promenade to the Old Swimming Pool Site, returning to Elmore Car Park. Talks, lasting around 45 minutes, to Groups and Organisations can also be arranged for a donation to LoSRA Community Fund. Contact Ray Harding 02392 551706 or email

PLANT SALE Locks Heath Horticultural Society is holding a plant sale on 12th May at 47 Locks Road between 10am and 1pm. So come along and bag a bargain! The large gardens will also be open for viewing. Also the Locks Heath Horticultural Society will hold their next meeting on Wednesday 9th May at 7.30 pm at The Memorial Hall, Locks Heath Park Road when Richard Thornton will speak on ‘Plant Hunting in China’ The Society looks forward to welcoming members and visitors. HOW SHOULD I FEEL? Is billed as An Art Exhibition and Meandering Imagination Show and is produced and presented by local artist Mark Michael. Admission is free and the exhibition is running until 31st May, open seven days a week and is at the Jewry St. Gallery and Art Cafe in Winchester’s Jewry Street opposite the Theatre Royal.

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E-mail: MAY 2012 • …85

out & about


about words & images by david rose-massom


Mid April saw events all over Southampton to mark the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic. For the businesses of Oxford Street it was a step back in time to 1912 when restaurants put on special menus, visitors followed the Titanic Trail and a special maritime themed street market sold art works and memorabilia. It was a fun day with lots happening and everyone joining in with the theme of the event.

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Solent Life has been venturing out across the region to capture and bring to you some images from the notable events of the past few weeks…


It was back to the war years at the end of the Easter school break for Explosions Museum on Gosport when the Spirit of the 40s recreated scenes from the period. Mock street battles, gunnery displays and music of the era all got visitors, many in period costume, in the mood.


Easter weekend saw changeable weather but plenty of Egg Hunts. Solent Life visited National Trust properties near Romsey and Basingstoke in the search of chocolate and Easter Bunnies. On the Saturday the sun shone at Mottisfont where families picnicked on the lawns while on Easter Monday the rainy weather did little to spoil the fun of kids and families in North Hampshire determined to enjoy themselves around the stunning gardens at The Vyne.

EVENTING AT SOMERLEY HOUSE The cream of British equestrianism saddled up in front of Somerley House near Ringwood for the annual Somerley Park International Horse Trials, one of the first big meetings of the year in Eventing. The weather was stunning and the action exciting with show jumping, dressage and a tough crosscountry course.

Holding an event you’d like us to feature? Simply email details of your event to and we will do our best to cover the most exciting and interesting events.

MAY 2012 • …87

air | show

plane sailing E V ENT P ARTNER

It takes a certain kind of experience to have the confidence to take control of the pilots and aircraft in the flying displays of an Air Festival; that is why Portsmouth’s inaugural flying extravaganza has been put in the hands of Commander Ric Fox OBE RN, a Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilot of 32 years standing… words by david rose-massom


For more information on the work of the Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity please visit the website

88… • MAY 2012

hen the first aircraft flies low over the Solent to signal the beginning of the Portsmouth Air Festival, in front of the crowds lining the shore at Southsea, the amiable and smiling Ric Fox will have retired from Navy flying. “I am a helicopter pilot by trade, with a long background in rotary flying with the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm,” he told Solent Life. “I began in 1978 flying Westland Wessex HU.5s in the Falklands; I have flown Wasps off the back of ships, flown Sea Kings and learned to do things the Navy way – such as flying from the back of ships in the middle of the night; not easy!” He is back on flying duty at the moment after several desk jobs, including Commander (Air) at Yeovilton. “It is that posting which qualifies me to organise the flying displays at the Portsmouth Air Festival,” Ric continued. “That and 32 years experience of flying. “Air shows are well constrained by appropriate rules and regulations so we have to conform to ensure the safety of crowds and participants, these conditions apply to all air shows. The risk assessments are taken from previous air shows and born from experience so for us it is a relatively straight forward affair.” The planning for this year’s show is still a work in progress, but everyone involved is working to one end – a great and successful show. “Because there will always be sailing traffic on the busy Solent, despite having a clearly marked no-go zone for the displays, we will probably lift

the minimum flying heights. The planning from all parties is still in progress and will probably go on right up until the day itself. “The whole event also has to be organised in conjunction with all the rescue services,” Ric continued to explain in a clear and confident manner. “We have to take on board other happenings within the overall festival; there is a great deal more to control and support other than the flying, and as an organisation we have to ensure everyone’s safety at all times, so it is vital we work closely with the police and other emergency services.” It seems that there are many differing bodies Ric and his team will have to deal with. “Of course, we must liaise with the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) to get the airspace, and they are being very helpful and very pro-active. My experience to date is that everyone is being supportive and on-side from the beginning to ensure the Festival is a safe and successful event. The other important thing for a festival being run over the sea is working with the Harbour Master, especially because of ferry movements across this busy stretch of water.” Once everything has been organised who looks at the aircraft and pilots? “All pilots and aircraft get scrutinised by a committee of experts who look at their paperwork, their planned routines etc and that committee works under me. As the Director of Flying I have total control over the displays and I call in the experts that are needed around me.”

I am an aviator; its part of my blood. Flying, even after all these years, gives me a thrill and I will always want to fly.

Ric explained that his centre of operations during the day of the Festival will be at Southsea Castle because of the superb views from the structure. “It has yet to be confirmed but it does look as if it is the best vantage point for us.” He said. As Commander (Air) at the Royal Navy Air Station at Yeovilton Ric is very familiar with the role of Air Display Director and he is also used to being in charge and under pressure. He was former Chief of Staff at the Commando Helicopter Force and involved in the withdrawal of the Force from Iraq and its re-deployment to Afghanistan and other front-line operations. In the 2010 New Year’s Honours List he was awarded an OBE for his outstanding achievements. With many of the displays still to be confirmed, Ric and his crew have a job that will keep them busy; but has he any real fears for the event and what would be his ideal event? “The biggest fear of course is the weather, we will have liaison with Southampton Air Traffic Control who will keep us advised but mostly it will be down to visibility and cloud height and there is a minimum weather window within which we can work,” he

explained. “The best scenario will be to get through the weekend with everyone having a good day and it all being safely achieved – it is what we are all doing it for!” So why is Ric doing this? “I am an aviator; its part of my blood. Flying, even after all these years, gives me a thrill and I will always want to fly. I am an instructor now teaching other young men to fly and I still get that thrill, you never stop learning and when flying there is always something different happening – it is a 3-dimensional thing. With driving you only have the two dimensions; with flying you get all three. Why am I doing this for the Portsmouth Air Festival? Simple, because they are partly doing it in aid of the Royal Navy & Royal Marine Charity.” SOLENT LIFE would very much like to thank Cmdr Fox for coming to Portsmouth and breaking a hectic schedule to talk to us.

PORTSMOUTH AIR FESTIVAL 18th August 2012 For the latest news go to

MAY 2012 • …89

90… • MAY 2012

solent | business

Southampton family business double in size!


Andy and Jo Findlay took over the Franchise of Dyno Rod, Southampton in 2011, which was a big step for the family which consisted of husband & wife team Jo and Andy, 3 children and a dog. 11 years after this move the business has doubled in size. “We have worked hard to achieve our success said Jo Findlay, however, it was also in part due to the business securing the contract from Southern Water and also we are one of three suppliers to Wessex Water, this was a huge win for us”


ndy Findlay said “Most people

tend to look at Dyno Rod and think of blocked drains at home but we do so much more. The list is too long to go through in this editorial as we really do such a lot. A typical example would be a restaurant that needs fat grease removal or a business that has a bothersome tree root that needs to be removed, right through to Tanker services such as grease trap and septic tank emptying. All our work is guaranteed and we have recently acquired ISO14001 accreditation which we are very proud of as only 4000 companies in the UK hold it”. Said Andy – “We not only fix emergency problems, which is one reason why we needed a telephone system that could cope with calls, we also have maintenance contracts to fulfil. Because of our expansion we needed a new telephone system and one that was future proof with room to grow and adapt. We had trust issues, following a bad experience with another company in the past which is why we went to the Chamber. As members we trust that they would partner us with a reputable company that we could trust. Chamber Communications working with Peach are able to supply every product from systems to calls/lines, broadband and mobiles on one bill”.

Andy is very pleased that DynoRod now has a future proof system with room to grow. Their VM engineers can leave messages so office staff can deal with more calls during busy times. Instead of office staff trying to call engineers to leave messages, they can email them so they could pick up message on their smart phones. The office has headset compatible handsets, freeing up staff to use both hands to complete their work and provide faster response times. The system will allow divert to mobile and mobile extension which means each engineer’s mobile can become an extension of the system enabling seamless communication between office and on site engineers. l



words by kevin whatton

To join the Chamber of Commerce telephone 0844 4990446 or visit our Web site

MAY 2012 • …91


Tel: 01489 885491

Extensions & Renovations


Hogs & Bars



Project Management


For a first class installation with tiling that’s second to none CALL

Small Parties Catered for

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Free computer advice available 9am - 9pm, Mon - Sat AREAS COVERED: Fareham, Stubbington, Lee-On-Solent, Gosport & Portchester

07850 239643

Tel: 01489 662012 Mob: 07833 323992 *

Cleaner Chimneys Chimney Sweep All Hampshire covered

Your local papercraft supplier Stockist of: • Creativity magazine • Papermania products • Anita’s outline stickers • DoCraft acrylic paint • And much more!

Certificates issued: l Member of National Association of Chimney Sweeps l Trading Standards Approved l Cowls Fitted • MAY 2012

Contact Pete on: 07900 082882   02392 135938

02392 200874

Silk Computing PC Tuition and Maintenance • Repairs • • Troubleshooting • • Upgrades & Tuition • • No Fix, No Fee • Tel: 01489 580124 Mobile: 07885 175550

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Peter Hake



Home & Business Users No Call Out Charge Low Rates

Do you have a computer? Not sure how it works? Do you want it explained in plain English?

Warsash Hampshire

New Builds Extensions/Renovations Loft Conversions Project Management Kitchen & Bathroom Installations All General Building Work

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Competitive ~  Extremely Reliable Honest


Tel 01489 572 900

& DIY Hog Roasts

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& Limited Companies



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Reporting & Taxation Sole Traders, Partnerships


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£5 off any repair with this advertisement

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advertise your business here?…


Business Directory

CYCLE REPAIRS Nigel Tidman - Mobile Service Experienced & Friendly Mechanic • Same day repairs available • Service £40 • Collected & delivered to your door • Some 2nd hand bikes bought & sold

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NO VAT – Call Now

Grounds Maintenance Services





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01489 482855 Solent Garage Doors

Gutters Cleared

UPVC conservatory & window cleaning. Gutter repairs & replacement.

Please ring BeeWise and Call Us

• Discount Sheds made to Order We will beat • Repairs any writt en • Gates quotatio n • Decking • Patios & Paving

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● Garden Maintenance ● Lawn Mowing ● Bush & Hedge, Cutting & Pruning ● Planting & Replanting ● Patios & Decking ● Fencing & Walls

Steve Allen Tel: 07983 622747 01489 588533


• Manual • Automatic • Spares & repairs • Maintenance free • All leading brands supplied & fitted

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One to one tuition Beginners to Advanced All Ages Under 7’s Special Tuition All Types of music taught, Classical and Jazz etc.

Please contact us on…

All types of decorating, paper-hanging a speciality, no job too small. Public liability insurance held. FREE ESTIMATES For a professional service with over 30 years experience call:

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undertaken on any average size room (approx 12’ x 12’). Ceilings re-skimmed


Est. 23 years

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A GIFT of lessons for someone special could be the start of years of enjoyment and fun.

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Call Derek on

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Mobile: 07725 210869 Home: 01489 589516

ESCAPES All Aspects of Hard & Soft Landscaping

• Patios & Decking • Pergolas & Pathways • Fencing • Water Features Jonathan Pearman: 07974 195874 William Pearman: 07793 116017 98 FUNTLEY ROAD, FUNTLEY FAREHAM, HAMPSHIRE. PO17 SEE

94… • MAY 2012

• Block Paving • • Tarmac • • Gravel • • Concrete • • Drainage • • Brickwork • • Slab Work • • Fencing • • Decking • • Free Estimates • • Family Business •

Tel: 01329 286619 or 07768 072627 BeeWise and Call Us


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over Artex to a flattened and smooth finish.

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We help everyone to attain their potential in a relaxed and friendly environment.

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advertise your business here?…


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PLUMBING & HEATING Boiler Servicing, Central Heating, Dripping Taps, Landlord Safety Checks, Blocked WCs, Bathroom Suites All Plumbing Work Undertaken

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All aspects of tree work

» Crown Reduction » Crown Lifts / Felling » Target Pruning » Dismantling » Hedge Work » Stump Grinding

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CALL JIM ON 07984 501822

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Not Written Your Will yet?

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Tel: 0845 6200016 or 02380 403781


» Emergency Tree Work Undertaken & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE


UPVC Fascia & Soffits • Velux Windows Gutters • Loft Conversions Dorma’s etc • Insurance Work


Block Paving • Fencing Garden Decking • Garden Walls Re-Pointing • General Property Repairs

Steve Allen NPTC Qualified Fully Insured

Why not check us out online?

Scan the QR code on your smart phone for a direct link to the Solent Life website!



07983 622747 01489 588533

01489 574306 • 07960 947971

there’s an app for that...

MAY 2012 • …95



Call Paul on 01329 841416 or 07876 194823


• Flat Roofs • Tiled Roofs • • Slate Roofs • • Re-Pointing of Brickwork • • Chimneys • • Valleys & Ridges • • UPVC Fascias & Guttering All Aspects of Property Maintenance Over 20yrs Experience. Fully Insured. Free Estimates.


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West End Cars




For All Your Plumbing & Heating Requirements, From a Dripping Tap to Bathroom Installations & Power Flushing Fully Insured – Free Quotations


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Events across the Solent region.



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

If you have anything going on, tell us here at Solent Life and we will include it in our feature. 01489 583800

96… • MAY 2012

the garden show at stansted park 15th to 17th June


ART, DESIGN AND YOUR GARDEN ighteen years ago the Garden Show at Stansted was launched to celebrate the joys of the garden and create a forum for innovative businesses. Set within Stansted’s spectacular parklands and with the backdrop of the stunning country house this accessible event is a great opportunity to find everything you need to update and even recreate your garden and home. Solent Life are regular visitors to the show and we said of one visit; ‘During our visit to The Garden Show at the beautiful Stansted Park on the Hampshire Sussex border; people’s faces beamed as they strolled round in glorious June sunshine while in the shade of the trees there were owls and hawks from a local conservancy, wandering minstrels stopped amid shoppers and played cheerful tunes and visitors made several trips to the cars carrying a mass of purchases. ‘To say it was a happy show would be an understatement and we could see nothing but smiles on the faces of everyone there. As the catering areas began filling then people took to the steps of the house to sit and enjoy lunch while others spread themselves on the green lawns and picnicked. The youngsters were all well entertained and therefore they too were happy and were not left to run amok among the weary visitor. It was a great day out and an excellent show; and then there was the gentle added bonus of the jazz.’ Visitors return each year to meet growers and producers with a passion for gardening, to buy beautiful plants, gifts, art, crafts and sculpture; to sample delicious country foods and wines and to indulge in relaxing complementary therapies; plenty everywhere to tempt everyone!

The popular Plant Doctors will be back again to solve any gardening problem and as always there will be a diverse selection of workshops, talks and demonstrations – learn lessons from the land: find out how to create garden containers out of recycled waste, about the principles of good garden design, the best drought tolerant plants, how to transform garden herbs into useful balms and creams or how to stretch those gardening aches and pains right out of your body! This year some of the sculptures from the Better Tomorrows’ Sculpture Challenge will be exhibited in the parklands and another challenge will be to play Giant Chess on the lawns. This is a great day out for the whole family with the chance to explore and relax in stunning Stansted Park, its house and chapel. There is plenty of action and fun for the children too, with rides on the model railway, games with marionettes, jugglers and magicians or why not get lost in Stansted’s confusing maze? It is a real family event. THE GARDEN SHOW Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, PO9 6DX Open 10am - 5pm daily. Adults: £8 | Concessions: £6 Children: £5 | Family: £24 Tel: 01243 538456 Stop press! A new Garden Show, modelled on Stansted’s success will take place at the beautiful Loseley Park, Nr Guildford, Surrey on July 20-22.

Music, Comedy, Events & TheatreChildren JOOLS HOLLAND Boogie-woogie piano master Jools Holland is set to take his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra with Roland Gift, Fine Young Cannibals frontman as special guest, on the road once again for what has now become one of the UK’s most popular annual tours. The 34 date tour will bring Jools’ famous ‘bigband’ sound and the ultimate party experience across the length and breadth of the country, with some very special guests to accompany him; a foot-stomping show-stopping performance that never ever fails to leave the audience wanting more. Jools will be at The Mayflower Theatre Southampton on Sunday 11th November at 7.30pm Tickets are on sale at or Mayflower Box Office tel: 02380 711811, and in person at the Mayflower ticket south shop in The Mall (Marlands). ENGLAND v USA POLO In the Fifth Annual St Regis International Cup, Cowdray Park Polo Club will host this first senior international of the UK polo season on Saturday 19th May when England takes on the USA in a test match to be played for The St. Regis International Cup. Earlier in the day Young England will face Young South Africa in the John Cowdray trophy making for a full day’s international sporting action. The ticket price is £15 per person, under 12s free, and includes parking. Prime pitchside picnic spots are available at £150 which include tickets for 8 adults and guarantee the perfect position for viewing the high-octane action. A shopping

village, funfair, food and bars add to the attractions. COWDRAY PARK - to book tickets online please visit the website www.cowdraypolo. or call the Polo Office on 01730 813257. BLUE APPLE THEATRE PRESENTS HAMLET In a bold new adaptation by William Jessop, Blue Apple Theatre reinvents the world’s greatest play in a fresh and powerful adaptation using Shakespeare’s original language. Blue Apple Theatre tour Shakespeare’s most famous play and bring the talent of learning disabled artists to audiences and stages around Hampshire throughout spring and early summer. Come and discover Hamlet as he has never been seen before! Blue Apple Theatre is an award- winning inclusive theatre company which promotes the talents of actors with learning disabilities. Hamlet features Tommy Jessop in the title role. Tommy, who has Down’s syndrome, is a founder member of Blue Apple Theatre and has numerous stage and screen credits. www. blueappletheatre.hampshire. The Berry Theatre, Hedge End, Thursday 10 May at 7.30pm. Thurs 10th 7.30pm Tel 01489 799499 Forest Arts, New Milton. Fri 18th 7.30pm, Tel: 01425 612393 Theatre Royal Winchester, Thurs 28th - Sat 30th 7.30pm Tel: 01962 840440 (full company gala production). BEAULIEU SCULPTURE TRAIL One of the largest exhibitions

of sculpture in the country will open on 24th May at Beaulieu, creating a stimulating Sculpture Trail that will lead visitors from the world famous Motor Museum into the enchanting gardens that surround Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. The sculptures have been carefully selected from the works of over 300 Surrey Sculpture Society members - from talented amateurs to the artistry of top professional sculptors - who come from all over the South of England including a number from Hampshire. The exhibition runs from 24th May until the 2nd September from 10am daily. For further detailed information about the exhibition visit www. As well as admission to the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and Palace House and Gardens, visitors to the Sculpture Trail will also be able to enjoy all of Beaulieu’s many main attractions. For information call 01590 612345 or visit www.beaulieuevents. ALZHEIMER’S SUMMER BALL Organiser Samantha Feerick said of the event, “I made a decision late last year to arrange a charity ball in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause very close to mine and I am sure many other people’s hearts. Everyone will enjoy an evening of great music, get to dress up and have fun whilst raising some money for a truly amazing cause. Millions are affected by Alzheimer’s, I am sure your readers all know someone, that will compel them to spend £55 on an evening of food, drinks, music and dancing, while helping others fight back from this, or even better

avoid our parents, children and grandchildren ever suffering from it themselves. DE VERE GRAND HARBOUR HOTEL, Southampton on 14th July. Tickets £55 – E-mail or call 07917 354 645. KEN DODD By jove! How tickled you’ll be!! Don’t miss a truly “tattifelarius” evening of laughter and songs with a comic genius and showbiz legend. Enjoy a funfilled variety show for all the family with guests, jokes and songs celebrating more than 50 hilarious years of ‘Happiness’ with The Squire of Knotty Ash! KINGS THEATRE, Southsea, 3rd June at 7.30pm Tickets £19.50 - £18.50. Box Office 023 9282 8282 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY The summer season programme at Theatre Royal Winchester contains a feast of treats for drama lovers of all tastes and ages, and starts with a visually rich costume drama Sense and Sensibility (10-12 May) featuring six actors and an original score. The show is a clever adaptation of the classic novel by one of Winchester’s most celebrated former residents, Jane Austen, with themes that are as relevant today as they were over 200 years ago in this tale of two sisters and their search for love in a society bound by financial fortune. THEATRE ROYAL, Winchester; For full details of the new Summer season and all it offers in Winchester or to book tickets, please call the box office on 01962 840440 or book online at www. MAY 2012 • …97

puzzle time

mindgym the

Train your brain with our selection of puzzles. Solutions are printed at the bottom of the page... Easy Sudoku










7 5 2 1 7 5 8 4 8


9 10




15 16




Hard Sudoku












8 1 5 3 6 9 4 7 2

2 4 6 8 1 7 9 3 5

6 2 9 7 8 1 5 4 3

5 3 1 6 4 2 8 6 7

4 7 8 9 3 5 2 1 9

1 8 2 4 9 3 7 5 6

3 5 4 2 7 6 1 9 8

9 6 7 1 5 8 3 2 4 • MAY 2012

7 9 3 5 2 4 6 8 1


With many thanks to for the sudoku puzzles, and for supplying the crossword puzzle.

8 1 9 5 2 3 7 4 6

check your answers here!

3 6 4 1 7 8 5 2 9


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6 1 9

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7 9 3 4 5 1 6 8 2


5 4 8 3 6 2 9 1 7

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2 1 7

DOWN 2 A break on an automobile trip (3,4) 3 Long arduous journey on foot (4) 4 Flasher (13) 5 Centre of the warm season (9) 6 To answer a charge in court (7) 7 Loathe (6) 11 Clearly; evidently (9) 13 British car manufacturer (7) 14 To satisfy (7) 15 Legendary sea-monster; giant squid (6) 19 Shock; daze (4)



ACROSS 1 Standard; benchmark (7) 5 Extinct flightless bird (3) 8 Apply tension; lengthen (7) 9 No longer fresh (5) 10 Pigpen (3) 11 Sphere (3) 12 A substance converted into a vitamin in tissue (11) 16 Rowing implement (3) 17 Consumed (3) 18 Farewell (5) 20 First (7) 21 Score in rugby (3) 22 Usually accompanied by lightning (7)




A R R A L I G 14 N S A 17 A T I I A T D E



MO I D 9 S T U M A M I E A R 19 S N I T U H U N



E X H I B I T I 16 O N 20 I S T

6 2 3





T O R E T K 11 O B O V I O E U S L R Y




4 2



1 6 1 4 7 6 5 1 4 9 3 2





E P I I 8 S T R S 10 S T Y O 12 13 P R 15 E K R L 18 A D I K A E N 21 N T


Quickish Crossword

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