Solent Life Magazine West December 2011

Page 1


A N ICKAERAD GIFT worth £500

Chefs secrets and inside

Hampshire’s palace

Christmas is coming

guide the

to what’s on

plus your essential

local business directory











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contents 60


I can’t believe it is December again already. It was the December edition last year that was my first with Solent Life and what an amazing year it has been for me. I have met so many people in our community and made many new friends. As November rolls into December, there is always a realisation that a year has passed surprisingly quickly and Christmas is once again upon us. An air of anticipation begins to build as younger members of the family begin to look forward to the excitement of Christmas day and all that goes with it. The theme may be Christmas, but we have something for everybody this month, including a fascinating insight into the life of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu’s Butler; Pick up some tips on the perfect Christmas dinner from the Executive Head Chef at Meon Valley – a Marriott Hotel and Country Club and our walk this month is aimed at a gentle Boxing Day stroll around some of the historic parts of Winchester. There is plenty more besides to ensure a captivating read in those relaxing moments throughout the month. I have to report that our Wessex edition of Solent Life has been wonderfully received and with so much great feedback. I would however, urge organisers and leaders in various organisations throughout the Wessex distribution area – that is across the New Forest, through and around Romsey and up into Winchester – to send in details of their events, shows, meetings etc, so that we can include them in our What’s On and Community News sections. The team at Solent Life wish all of our readers and customers a most wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.




in this issue… features 16… The Interview The Vicar of Stubbington preparing for Christmas.

18… Solent Life Celebrity Calendar Girl – Lynda Bellingham.

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


22… Solent Life Charity Home for Christmas with Two Saints.

24… The Perfect Christmas Dinner Top tips from a top Chef. 47… What the Butler Saw Talking to the butler at Palace House, Beaulieu.


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

regulars 06… A Boxing Day Walk

Around Winchester.

12… Artist Review

Advertising Sales Sarah Kent Tel… 01489 584010 Email…

Janet Grimm Tel… 01489 583800 Email…

Steve Walker Tel… 01489 584057 Email…

Abby Champkin Tel… 01489 583815 Email…

Diane Mabbs Tel… 01489 583852 Email…

Design & Production

A garden of Angels.

30… Motoring Review

Dyathinkyasaurit! The new Mini coupe.

36… Green Fingers Feed the Birds... 60… Coast & Country Winter in the Countryside.

64… Solent Life Out and About

Images from around the region.

72… What’s On

Design by SolentLife Email… • Online…

Deadline for advertising copy & editorial for next issue: 15th December 2011

Reviews events and theatre coming your way.

74… Mind Gym Try our latest puzzles.

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


be part of our vibrant local team Due to our continued growth and success and the fact that our sales representative Abby is going 'walkabout' in Australia, Solent Life Magazines are looking for…

Two Advertising Sales Representatives To join our successful sales team and sell advertising in our three aspirational lifestyle magazines You should be a team player, professional, innovative and flexible. Enthusiastic and self motivated you should be able to offer the best in customer service and build strong business relationships with clients from all walks of life. The role is a combination of field and telesales. A full driving licence and your own vehicle are essential Free parking and generous business mileage allowance. Applications with CV to: Janet Grimm, Sales Manager

We are also looking for a Webmaster (Junior) Creative and Innovative with a will to drive change in our stylish online lifestyle magazine in association with our three printed editions. You should be a team player with excellent Web and Graphic design skills. You should have an understanding of SEO and PPC and be familiar with Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, HTML and CSS. You will be able to redesign and maintain our website and to design online magazine advertising. You should also be willing to maintain and update Facebook and Twitter communications. Applications with CV to: David Ives-Farren, Senior Designer

Christmas gift ideas at Room 8 Hair & Beauty Stuck for Christmas ideas? There are plenty of gift ideas at Room 8 in The Locks Heath Centre. Gift vouchers are now available to any value for hair and beauty services. You can make up your own package or pay an amount and let the recipient decide. Treat the one you love to something special and relaxing… a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure or make up are just a few ideas. For hairdressing, a colour, restyle or cut and blow dry. GHD special edition Scarlet Christmas gift packs are now in stock, as well as the normal GHD’s. Also, in stock are the Tigi and Redken Christmas gift packs for that special treat to the hair. Jessica Nail Christmas gift packs will be as popular as ever, as will Dermalogica beauty products. What a great and easy way to shop at Christmas… Job done! If you haven’t booked your Christmas hair or beauty appointment yet, don’t leave it too late and be disappointed. PS The annual Open Day will be on Saturday 14th January 2012 from 1.30-4.00pm… put the date in your diary. For further information or to book an appointment, please call 01489 582660. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

our “Wishing alls a customer as tm Merry Chris erous and a prospar” New Ye


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in the footsteps of a

Well, the big day is over; the brain is fogged from the imbibing and the stomach is bloated with no room for the cold cuts of meat, pickles and bubble-and-squeak that are the Boxing Day treat. A family walk is the answer; a fine stroll to clear minds, get out of the house into fresh-air and work off the excesses of Christmas Day. words • david rose-massom


he attractive stone bridge at the Winchester City Mill is a fine beginning; the footpath is just down a few steps from the road and curves away, following the sweep of the River Itchen as it quickly flows around the edges of the historic city. The walk takes its route alongside ancient walls, past weirs and wooden bridges, around old mill buildings, on past the large wooden doors that guard a world famous seat of learning, along by an old palace ruin and finally past the cathedral in all its glorious splendour. The broad but shallow, clear river is fast moving and it sweeps its way alongside walls built of a mixture of red brick and stone and behind the walls, are houses


• DECEMBER 2011 •

of varying sizes, ages and colours. It’s as if a colour-blind youngster has gone berserk with his Lego bricks but the end result is one of an amazing architectural beauty. Foliage grows around the foot and across the tops of the walls, while weeds spring from the ragged lines of rough mortar. During pre-historic times, the Itchen followed two distinct channels close to the Cathedral, and followed the foundations of the Roman town. From around 70AD, a new artificial channel was created and it is this channel we follow today. This originally formed a defensive moat and during the medieval period the river was twice the width it is now. I explored this historic route one Sunday, back in the autumn and the sun beamed down through the oak and willow trees that lined the river bank. Along the pathway families walked, chatted and handed stale bread to their children to feed the ducks and swans. It was an idyllic scene. On one side of the path was the river; on the other were the Almshouses of St Mary Magdalene where a Right Rev, Bishop of

Winchester laid a foundation stone in 1929. These almshouses replaced six others which had originally been built on the site in 1788. In fact throughout the walk it is an idea to keep gazing at walls and houses as there are plaques with dates that tell brief histories of this wonderful city and its pathways. Amidst all the stone and masonry there is still a place for wood, the rails along the solid river bank are rustic and a fine looking wooden bridge traverses the river. It is a footbridge leading to a private garden but it looks strong enough to have taken an army as it marched from the palace. Nearing a converted mill a lone fisherman dangled his hook in the stream and the sound of a shallow weir echoed along the path. Behind overhanging trees the stream narrowed and poured through the flow-gate, as it hit the lower level just a couple of feet or so below the main stream, it was shaded by the huge leaves of elephant rhubarb. I have no idea if it is actually rhubarb, only that it is definitely not edible. Actually, I don’t know if it is really known by that name, but it is how my family have always referred to it and its broad spreading leaves. Yet another plaque tells that there has been a mill on the site since the 12th Century and it takes its name from Segrim’s Fount, a stream which was diverted in 1360. Fresh air, an easy walk and gentle history lessons; who could ask for more? The palace has received one or two mentions up to this point and some readers less knowledgeable about Winchester may be wondering ‘What Palace?’. Wolvesey became the residence of the Bishops of Winchester in the late 10th Century and sadly the ruins are closed to the public until March of 2012. Should you get the chance, do return in the spring as they are really attractive ruins set among the meadows on the outskirts of the city. The name itself comes from Wulf’s Island which was the higher ground between the two streams of the river. If you are full of energy and wish to make this casual stroll more of a hike, then continue on along College Walk and follow the signs to the Water Meadows where the grass is lush and the river ceases its controlled route and once again meanders

The City Mill is not open on Boxing Day, but should you wish to visit its working water wheel then on New Year’s Day it will be open and producing flour as part of a day when vintage buses will be carrying enthusiasts and visitors around the city for free. Discover details of the mill and events on www.nationaltrust. or

and winds its way across the countryside. My mission however, was for the gentle stroll and with the world-famous Winchester College to my left I follow the road toward the grounds of the Cathedral. On the way, another plaque, above the door of a very unassuming house, points out that it was there that Jane Austen lived until she died on the 18th July 1817. At the end of the row of buildings is a wonderful old-fashioned book store, then further along and under an ancient archway, another delightful shop of books and prints, tucked away and built within the walls; akin

to something expected from a Harry Potter tale where the wizards would purchase their books of spells. This is Kingsgate, which was first mentioned in 1148 as one of the main five entrances to the city. Turning right is another gate, with a magnificent coat of arms between its arch and the castellated wall top, leading into the grounds of the Cathedral. Before reaching the famous main hall, there are some wonderful houses, buildings and an amazing sculpture made by one of our greatest artists, Dame Barbara Hepworth. Based on the Crucifixion and made in the style of, and as a tribute to, the artist Mondrian, it is a bronze painted structure and its modernity is in stark contrast to the rest of the surroundings. One of my favourite parts of the walk around the cathedral is the second hand book stall which sits behind a trio of gothic arches. It may not be open on Boxing Day but on most other days a wonderful hour or so can be spent just rummaging through the boxes and shelves. The Cathedral itself needs no introduction; it is a beautiful Anglican cathedral and the present structure, dating mostly from 1097, is the longest cathedral in the country. A Saxon church was built on this spot in 648 and was soon used as a Benedictine monastery which came to be named the Priory of St. Swithun. Saint Swithun, who died in 862, was Bishop of Winchester and a tutor to the young King Alfred. Despite his importance in life, the saint humbly requested that he be buried outside upon his death. He was initially buried in the churchyard in accordance with his wishes, although in a highly prestigious position. When the Saxon cathedral, the Old Minster, was enlarged in 971, the saint’s remains were moved inside. According to legend, it then rained nonstop for 40 days and still folklore has it that if it rains on St. Swithun’s Day (July 15), 40 days of rain will follow; hard to tell with our summer downfalls if the legend is true or not! Eventually our journey brings walkers out into the main shopping precinct, it should be safe with credit cards maxed and cash spent on Christmas itself, but we take no blame for anyone enticed by any sales that may be on. Walking down the hill the iconic statue of King Alfred is your guide, a short diversion through the gardens behind the stately Guildhall where there is a great little playground should the kids still have energy. Sadly, within moments our Boxing day stroll is at an end and it is home for an afternoon nap before tucking into the cold turkey and hopefully putting an end to the giant bird before it becomes a curry! l • DECEMBER 2011 •


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Flockr - No hidden costs! There is exciting news for any of our readers who shop at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth with the introduction of a new FREE mobile voucher service from Flockr which has just launched there. The service works by people signing up online at www.goflockr. com with their mobile telephone number. Once a ‘Flockr’ is signed up to the service their phone will be detected whenever they are in the vicinity of Gunwharf Quays (as long as it is switched on!) The team at Flockr will send them fabulously good deals, free and diwrectly to their phone as they shop. If they want to take advantage of the deal they text ‘YES’ to the offer (this is the only charge incurred and is a standard text rate) Flockr then send a 2D barcode to the phone which the shopper shows at the till and which is instantly applied. This means that the “Flockr’ only pays when they are actually purchasing the item/offer in store and there is no payment up front as with other online services and, of course, there is no cost for using the service. To launch the service and because the team at Flockr know that budgets have been squeezed this Christmas, every Friday in December is “Flockr Friday’ and one lucky Flockr shopper at Gunwharf Quays between 11am and 12noon will receive a text winning them £100 Gunwharf Quays Gift Card. • DECEMBER 2011 •


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paper folds

angels fly

It is a site where Saxon freemen held their village moots, or meetings; a location with clear, flowing water and fish, and an ideal setting for the religious community which flourished on site from 1201, providing hospitality for pilgrims. Now as we move from 2011 to the New Year it is the venue for two very exciting and original art exhibitions. words • david rose-massom



n the website of the National Trust there is a brief history of one of the most beautiful estates in the Solent Life region, situated just outside of Romsey, Mottisfont. The original building was a priory, founded by William Briwere in 1201. He was a trusted adviser to Richard the Lionheart, and he was one of the barons who signed the Magna Carta. At the dissolution of the Monasteries the priory was acquired by William Lord Sandys, who converted it to a house. Then in 1934 the estate was sold to Gilbert Russell, a direct descendent of William Briwere, and his wife Maude. Mr Russell died in 1942 and in 1957 Mrs Russell gave the Abbey and Estate to the National Trust, which has cared for it since then. Joanna Crosse is with the National Trust and

• DECEMBER 2011 •

she explained about the winter exhibitions in what is normally regarded as a spring and summer venue for visitors. “Winter visitor numbers have been growing over several years and this is mainly as we build Mottisfont as a leading art venue in the region.” She said. “It is a massive job to undertake and to create the house as a recognised venue for art and to that end we have turned some of the upper rooms into a wonderful gallery. “The plan is not just to grow as an art venue for the near future but as part of a long term goal so we remain a leading exhibition venue for years to come.” Joanna added. The first exhibition we highlight is something very different and although called ‘Paper Art’ it is a long way from basic origami!

CUTTING EDGE: CONTEMPORARY PAPER ART The beautiful river side National Trust property is showcasing work by leading contemporary artists; Rob Ryan, Ed Kluz, John Dilnot, Eileen White, Sally Sheinman and Jonny Hannah who use techniques that include collage, print-making and paper cuts to transform paper into fragile and breathtakingly beautiful illustrations and sculpture. Inspired by the rich gardens at Mottisfont, Winchesterbased artist Eileen White has designed a 15ft paper cut mobile that cascades from the ceiling of the Long Gallery. Hundreds of tiny leaves, flowers and other natural elements are suspended in the air, casting long shadows created by dramatic lighting, and moving gently in the draughts and breezes that move around this old house. Originally a printmaker, artist Rob Ryan is now one of Britain’s most highly regarded paper cut artists. The paper cuts are all cut by hand from one single sheet of paper using a scalpel, and can take from one day to several weeks to create. As the paper is cut, a picture or ‘story’ is revealed, traced in silhouette. Award-winning screen printer John Dilnot, whose work is housed in collections at the New York Museum of Modern Art and the British Library, creates beautiful ‘vignettes’ inside glass fronted boxes. John


Our Artist Review is kindly sponsored by WHITE DOG GALLERY Lee On Solent 023 9255 2255.

is also displaying new examples of his popular screen print books. Filled with richly coloured illustrations, earlier editions have featured old apple varieties, cows, the English home, even garden pests. American artist Sally Sheinman celebrates humankind with her work ‘Being Human’ – a 200-foot long paper sculpture made from 25,000 pieces of handpainted gold Japanese rice paper to symbolise the number of genes in the human genome. She also explores aspects of our shared genetic history, with 700 drawings of the human form, and the question for visitors: what makes you unique? You may not be able to take the work home with you but limited edition prints are available for sale during the exhibition, along with design products for the home. It is outdoors for the second of the winter exhibitions with ANGELS IN THE GARDEN In December; the gardens become a haven of angel-themed tranquillity. Inspired by the famous 1930s Angel mosaic which can be found on the South side of the house, the gardens are hosting a series of festive and magical angel installations. Local artists have created eight magnificent angel sculptures that appear to have come to earth at Mottisfont and settled in the grounds. Artworks include Jilly Sutton’s ‘Female

Angel’, inspired by early Mexican carvings of saints used in previous centuries to convert native Americans to Catholicism. This life-size ethereal figure is constructed from bleached lime wood with wings of eucalyptus. Ed Elliott’s Crouching Angel is carved from wood found on the Mottisfont estate, and is evocative of the folklore and myth often attached to woodland. The figure appears literally to have just landed, the tips of its huge wings (a 14ft wing span) barely touching the earth. Nigel Williams’ contemporary steel angel greets visitors from the clear waters of the famous River Test, as it flows under the bridge that brings people into the gardens. Kirsten Linnings’ 50 tiny angels, laser cut from a light coloured acrylic, hang in clusters on trees around the grounds, catching the low sunlight and creating a bright presence against a muted winter backdrop. The Light Bearer or ‘Tarja’ is Andy Rawlings interpretation of an ancient Celtic legend. This highly polished metal sculpture has fine mesh wings and is set in a yew ring sourced from Wiltshire – a tree known to protect against evil and steeped in magic. There is even something for younger visitors as there are hundreds of tiny angels hidden around the property for children to discover, with prizes for those who find the most. A beautiful house and gardens sitting alongside the River Test and filled with stunning works of art; it has to be a must visit for the whole family before Christmas. l

THE WHITE DOG TIP LOOK AFTER YOUR ART! When framing an image consider using UV glass to protect your artwork from damaging UV light. Pigments are broken down by harmful UV light (either the sun or electric lights) which over time cause fading. UV glass will protect your artwork from fading up to 98% and is a good option for originals, which can’t be replaced; valuable artwork which could be devalued by fading and cheaply produced printed matter such as magazines and newspapers.

Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art: On until 29th January 2012, 11am to 5pm (or dusk if sooner). Angels in the Garden: 2nd to 31st December, 10am until dusk, free after normal admission charge. Mottisfont Abbey, Mottisfont, Romsey SO51 0LP. Tel: 01794 340757.

Take careful note of opening days and times please: The gardens, shop and café are open from 10am to 5pm. The property is closed entirely from 20 – 25 December. It re-opens on Boxing Day (26th) and it is open every day after that. • DECEMBER 2011 •



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• DECEMBER 2011 •

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Discover a magical forest at Royal Victoria Country Park’s brand new Christmas Tree Festival, December 10th – 24th. Explore the winter wonderland inside our stunning Victorian Chapel, and enjoy some festive family activities. Help Sammy Star on the puzzle trail, hang your festive wishes on our wishing tree, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite decorations! Join Wave105’s Simon Clarke on Saturday 10th for the special launch event featuring live music, Christmas craft stalls, and festive food and drink. Visit Santa in his grotto, and get creative in the Elves Workshop. Proceeds from the event will be going to local charity Wave105 Cash for Kids, helping disadvantaged young people in our region. You can find out more by visiting or calling us on 02380 455157.

Y-TEL – New Generation Business Communications New Voice-over-Internet (VoIP) telephone technology opens up many new opportunities for business owners because telephone numbers no longer need to be tied to physical lines. You make and receive calls via any internet service anywhere – even 3G mobile data connections. One internet connection allows several calls to be handled at the same time. It’s ideal for home-based workers who only have one phone line and for tradesmen on the road who want to publish a landline number which they can answer anywhere. Local telecoms company YTEL are specialists in this technology and they will be pleased to discuss the options with you. Unlike most other telecoms companies they never ask you to sign a long-term contract and you can try before you buy. Contact YTEL on 023 9267 8800.

> A CHRISTMAS CAROL >10th – 17th DECEMBER This Christmas Charles Dickens’ heartwarming family favourite A Christmas Carol comes to life in a fabulous new stage adaptation. Will Scrooge change his ways in time for Christmas Day? It's just a little story, but it packs a wallop bigger than the most potent Christmas punch. Not to be missed!

Support Your Local Arts Centre View our Spring and Summer Season of shows for 2012 at your local arts centre.




A fantastic start to your Christmas. Join us and let your Xmas spirit flow in a great line up of festive music, dance and jive from the fabulous FB’s.

>PERFECT PITCH by John Godber

>18th - 28th JANUARY

The caravan holiday from hell! Ron and Yvonne, a retired headteacher and his wife, have purchased their first caravan not quite the cruise they are use to but it does have all the mod cons. Enter Steph and Grant in their beaten up caravan but with love making that would make anyone blush. The encounter has hilarious consequences for all and the lives of Ron and Yvonne will never be the same. A fabulous comedy penned by one of the UK’s finest playwrights.

WHERE: ST MARGARETS ARTS, ST. MARGARETS LANE, TITCHFIELD PO14 4BG. TIME: START AT 7.30PM. MONDAY TO THURSDAY – £9. FRIDAY & SATURDAY – £11. DISCOUNTS: £1 OFF FOR STUDENTS, SENIORS, UNEMPLOYED, PARTIES 4+ £1 PER TICKET DISCOUNT. BOOK 2 SHOWS OR MORE £1 PER TICKET DISCOUNT. SPECIAL RATES FOR SCHOOLS AND PARTIES OF 10+. In addition, the Christmas Carol will be performed on Sunday December 11th, at 7.30pm, and, as a matinee, on Saturday December 17th, at 2.00pm. Ticket prices £9, less discounts, for each performance.

BOX OFFICE 01329 556156 OR AT • DECEMBER 2011 •




interview In a time gone by the local vicar would be like the Pied Piper, leading his flock to his own tune. But, times have changed and although your local vicar does still have influence in these so called, enlightened times, that leadership is carried out with a great deal more delicacy… interviewed by • david rose-massom


• DECEMBER 2011 •


he influence we have in the community today is far more subtle than it was years ago.” The Reverend Stephen Girling is the vicar of Crofton Parish which includes Holy Rood Church and Crofton Old Church in Stubbington. “The authority of the church is diminished now because our society is less of a Christian society than it was, although people do still have Christian values.” He told Solent Life. “Belonging to a Church is more by choice now than culture and people choose to go to church as it fits in with family life and its commitments; it has to fit in with the rhythm of family life.” Rev Girling continued. “A good example of this fitting in is our monthly event on a Wednesday after school, called Messy Church. This happens not just in our church but is now part of an international movement; it’s called ‘Messy’ because there are lots of crafts involved with glue and paste and stuff, and families love it! It gives the opportunity to still be part of church when the demands of modern living do not fit in with the normal Sunday service.” Stephen is well aware of the pressures of family life; being married to Diane with four children he still finds time to play squash, tennis and enjoys kayaking on the Solent. To unwind Stephen enjoys painting, drawing and gardening. “The more subtle ways in which we work now are through the schools, residential homes, community groups, the workplace and the like – less of a ‘come to us’ more of ‘let’s serve together’ model.” He continued to explain. “One time the vicar was at the sharp end but now it is the members of the church who mostly occupy that place. It is a much healthier way of working as the vicar is not a Jack-of-all-Trades. So much of the work is done by members of the church community itself, but with my guidance; I am still the front man, if you like, but in terms of influence over family and the community, that primary influence is now from the people that I lead. “Take salt, it comes packed in a very attractive salt pot, but for it to do its work it needs to be spread over the food to make a difference. I myself can have limited influence but all of us, spread out in our communities and places of work, that’s where we can have the greatest influence, through God.” With each sentence the Rev Girling stops and thinks carefully, every answer is considered, words carefully chosen and yet there is a freedom of expression from him

and a true passion and belief in every word he speaks. It is refreshing and comforting to listen to a man who is totally integrated with, and committed to the community and families he serves. “A great many people feel that they have to support the vicar, but really it is about me supporting them!” Stephen continued. We then went on to speak of tolerance for other beliefs and non-beliefs. “I hope people, would take their Christian beliefs into their workplace and these would make a difference in how they work and in their attitudes. I was introduced to the word magnanimity by the Archbishop of York and that is basically one big step further forward than just tolerance. If I do not understand and relationship does not exist with my neighbour or my work colleague then I am diminished as a person. By being magnanimous I learn more, I grow more and become more human through them. “I grew up in a very loving but rather insular Christian family, a wonderful Christian bubble if you like!” He explained. “I was pretty isolated from other beliefs and opinions, in what we would call a middle class, conservative; with a small ‘c’, upbringing. Very loving and nurturing but not broad. It felt like the Church in that context thought they had the answers and that their answer was right!” As anyone in his position would be, he is interested in the people around him. “I am fascinated about what makes people tick and I believe I have found truth in Jesus Christ. However, I have yet to plumb the depths of this truth and am open to learning more from others of faith, and no faith. “I do not believe in ‘supermarket faith’, a sort of pick-and-mix to suit. However, I do believe that people’s paths do intersect my path and I appreciate the perspectives they bring. “One of my main roles as a vicar is to create space for healthy relationships between people in the community and God and also help those relationships shape the wider community.” Rev Girling continued. “People can then explore their own faith and cross each other on their own paths. It is more about relationships now and in a good relationship you learn so much from each other – a dynamic relationship between vicar and community.” He admits there is pressure in that leadership and its responsibilities. “Pressure is always there, the same as anyone would feel who works within the public eye. I have to live up to the job of being a vicar;

it is a privileged position and a pleasurable one. But that pressure is not just on me as my family also have to live up to that expectation. “At this time of year, around Christmas, we all have huge expectations such as a great family day, a well prepared and tasty dinner and a great celebration; but often that bubble bursts as we fail to get the present we wanted or there’s a family tiff. But, the essential message at this time of year is about God coming to earth and giving a thumbs-up to earthly stuff and saying this is good – but there is also a need to put things into perspective with the whole celebration thing. “The act of giving a present is not so much about the gift itself but about the quality of the relationship between ourselves and the person to whom who we are giving the gift and the love we offer when choosing and giving. “Am I challenged by the privilege, comfort and ease of life in our society, when compared with many around the world? Everyday - not just at Christmas! When I do finally relax with my family on Christmas Day and enjoy a glass of wine, I have earned the rest but I still think of others. The church is family too: and a large one at that, with some 500 members, including children, over six different congregations. I work very closely with the leaders of those congregations and the responsibility sort of cascades down the family tree.” A final thought at this time of year from a very busy and popular vicar. “The Nativity story is about God coming to an ordinary family; messy, complicated and in difficult times. So, whatever struggles and challenges face us, God wants us to know his presence, through Christ. He’s with us even when things are messy and complicated. He does not hand us all the answers but he does open our eyes to see things differently and that is when hope is formed and gives us fortitude to move forward and not be alone.” l

If you are alone on Christmas Day – or struggling – then get yourself some company by joining the Christmas dinner at Holy Rood Church. Dinner is free (unless you want to make a donation). Call 01329 661154 and transport can be arranged if it is needed. • DECEMBER 2011 •



lynda in conversation with

on calendar girls

A warm-hearted and throaty chuckle and an immediately engaging personality are among the first impressions you receive when you meet Lynda Bellingham, who plays Chris, the driving force behind the basic idea in Calendar Girls. Lynda may have played her share of darker characters, including an extended stint in The Bill, playing a criminal mastermind - or should that be mistress-mind? – But comedy is not only her first love but it also a genre for which she is supremely well qualified. Lynda has funny bones, as they say. Yet she claims that her ability to create laughter and general good cheer has sometimes been held against her. interviewed by robin hancox


hen I did a play called Sugar Mummies at the Royal Court I was told by a certain individual there that they never thought they'd have someone like me working at the Royal Court. When I started in the business, I was thrilled to discover that I could make people laugh but you quickly realise that there's a tremendous amount of snobbery about. Apparently being funny is less ‘creative’ than playing Lady Macbeth. It's very depressing." Not that Lynda should get too downcast. In Calendar Girls, she has audiences chortling at the stream of witty one-liners which playwright Tim Firth has provided for her. What was her reaction when she first heard that she was playing Chris? "I was thrilled" says Lynda feelingly. "And a bit grateful and relieved as well. I'd taken


• DECEMBER 2011 •

part in a rehearsed reading in front of the producers. The awful thing about doing auditions is that you never know whether or not you should present yourself as you or to be as much as possible like the character you're hoping to play. Not that I presumed for a moment that I'd be in the money to play Chris." Lynda says that in the excitement of learning she'd been cast in Calendar Girls it didn’t occur to her that she'd eventually be shedding her clothes eight times a week on stage. "It didn't cross my mind" she replies. "Had I thought about it, I would have been a bit apprehensive since I've always had a problem with sex scenes - not that I want anybody to get the idea that I think of myself as some sort of siren. When you're an actor, I think that you have always to believe that the ends justify the means. It was so important that we rehearsed the photoshoot scene on a closed set and that we could help each other with our insecurities. There's a lot of trust in this production. Most of us are over sixty and there's a mutual recognition that we all feel vulnerable and a bit apprehensive of how we're going to do that scene in front of an audience. At the same time, there's an energy that is generated between this group of women whenever we do the show - an energy that is wonderful." You'd have thought that after playing Chris on and off in Calendar Girls since September 2008 at Chichester, on tour and in the West End of London, that actress Lynda

Bellingham would have had her fill of the character for the time being. Yet here she is, getting ready to go back on the road, finding new aspects to Chris and apparently loving every moment of it. "I can't believe it myself" says Lynda. "There aren't many plays that I would do again but Calendar Girls has a very special place in my heart. I've never done a play where you get such a level of positive feedback - it's so uplifting. Everybody can relate to this show: people who come to see it all have similar stories to tell.” Lynda argues that one of the reasons for the success of Calendar Girls is that it deals with a demographic that has been curiously overlooked by the artistic powers-that-be. "It's a true story; it's about cancer which most of us have experienced either personally or

within our family or friends and the audience is largely made up of human beings who are historically ignored. Everybody is obsessed by attracting the 19-35 age group which, it's believed, have that crucial spending-power. Consumers they may be but they are mostly consuming on the back of us over-fifties. I also believe, without being fundamentalist or inward-looking, that this country needs to regain a sense of its self-worth and Calendar Girls celebrates both heart and a community spirit – two classic British virtues. "The show celebrates the good side of human nature. People at the Stage Door tell us that they have laughed and they have cried in equal measure. In the play there is that wonderful juxtaposition between the tragedy of John's death and the laughter which is produced by the womens' attempts

to do something to mark it. The biggest laughs in the show come as a release from the tension the audience feels. To get the audience to both laugh and cry is a real pleasure." “I always used to think that by the time I'd reached sixty then all the other actresses would have fallen by the wayside but there's just as much competition as ever. But the success of Calendar Girls has encouraged me to think that I might be able to keep a play together. I'd love to write fiction next – how dare I even say such a thing? - and I'd love to move in that direction. I like the writer's solitary existence. I can shout to myself, for example. And unlike with the day job, I don't have to kow-tow or be nice to anyone." l

Calendar Girls returns to The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton for the final time 5 – 10 March 2012. Tickets from or call 02380 711811. • DECEMBER 2011 •



As December 25th approaches the editor asked me to write about Christmas from the perspective of the wife of Father Christmas.... and,

the mother of all

Christmases I both love and dread Christmas. Whilst it can be time of magic, happy children, wonderful food and company it can also be a time when, as a woman, I feel that the pressure is on me to deliver all of the above and more; there are always a few things I forget – witness last year’s cracker-less Christmas. This weekend, as I was counting down the shopping days left until the big day, I spared a thought for Mother Christmas – how is it to be the spouse of a man who is so loved, revered and capable of shouldering such a tremendous work load? Surely it can’t be as easy as dropping down the chimney with a few gifts, being rewarded with a mince pie and a bottle of reindeer ale, and then departing with a Ho, Ho, Ho? They say that behind every great man is an equally great woman and whilst we are led to believe that Father Christmas and his elves do all the work, I suspect that it is Mother Christmas who holds it all together. I wonder if Mrs C., like countless other women, starts her Christmas planning with a pad of paper and a bottle of wine in an evening which goes something like this: words • fiona cooke


our first glass of wine. Start with To Do List. Buy presents, wrap presents, label and sort presents in to piles for under tree, stockings, family, friends and posting. Buy cards, list who to send cards to, write cards, buy stamps, and send cards before last posting day. Plan meal menus for three days, list food to buy, make note to pre-order turkey and buy extra large cooking foil. Buy CRACKERS. Clean the house, prepare the spare room, chill wine, buy new guest towels, find the decorations, decorate the house and the tree, find the stockings. Make list of alcohol to buy. Include an extra case of wine for you to drink as you do everything on the lists. Buy reindeer ale, fake snow and a new Christmas tree base. Find the Father Christmas outfit and let it out - Again! Pour second glass of wine and move on to the Make It List. Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies, Victoria sponge, stuffing, brandy butter and two


quiches. Mulled wine. Lots of mulled wine. Help children make ginger bread tree decorations. Wish it was a tradition you had never started. Feel the list is too short but calculate how many hours of cooking are involved and cross off Christmas pudding, mince pies and stuffing and add them to the Food List. Now on third glass of wine, consider going abroad for Christmas, but man up and deal with the Invitation List. Accept invite for drinks at neighbours in the interest of repairing damaged relations over the football/lounge window incident, invite parents and Aunt Maud to stay for TWO DAYS only. Decline invitation from in-laws to go there, whilst being fully aware that this is their year, but preferring sanity over duty. Remember that Aunt Maud is a vegetarian; add meat free sausages to the Food List. Add Collect Aunt Maud from station to the To Do List. Make a List of Events to Attend; Partner’s Christmas

• DECEMBER 2011 •

Party, add buy New Dress to To Do list; School Nativity Play times two, School Fund Raising Ladies Night, Carols around the Tree in playground if it is not raining. Pray for rain. Consider home schooling as a way of avoiding spending much of December in the assembly hall. Drink more wine. Remember that two nativity plays means two costumes to add to the Make It list. Hope that they are both Wise Men (old sheet and tea towel) rather than an animal, or (more prayers), the star of Bethlehem. Phone Jane and ask if she needs a contribution to her Xmas Eve drinks and nibbles thing. Breathe sigh of relief when she says it is all in hand. Move on to present list. Children, cross off request for Xbox and life sized remote control helicopter. Allow mobile phone for eldest and drum kit (with deep misgivings) for youngest. Write down gift ideas for close family, friends, children’s friends and teachers and partner’s boss. Have no idea what to get Aunt Maud other than slippers and a box of chocolates. Again. Realise you’ll need to spend at least three days solidly shopping, and with limited shopping days left and all but one of those taken up, you will need to perform a Christmas miracle or spend your evenings shopping on-line. Consider that is not such a bad idea, as you can drink wine and ice the Christmas cake at the same time. Go to pour another glass but find the bottle is empty. Move on to the final list. The To Do list for Father Christmas. Buy tree, put up tree, get the sleigh out of the garage and harness up Rudolph and co. Drop down some chimneys. Eat mince pies, drink reindeer ale. Open another bottle of wine as you reflect on the fact that he will be too hungover to get up early with the children on Christmas Day, will snore in his armchair all afternoon and expect a pat on the back for remembering to wrap your present this year. Hmmm. I don’t know about you girls, but I don’t doubt that whilst Father Christmas gets all the kudos it is Mother Christmas who is the real power behind the throne! Happy Christmas! l


o rt. of this adv2.e2011 .1 Offer ends 31 • DECEMBER 2011 •



heading home It is Christmas Day, the family are all gathered around the brightly lit tree, under its branches are a mass of gifts wrapped in gay seasonal paper, proud parents sip on tall glasses of sparkling wine and the children begin to tear the paper from the gifts. What an idyllic scene, except, something is wrong with this picture… words • david rose-massom


hat is wrong? You are outside the house gazing through the window from the cold outdoors and into the warm interior. You shrug down into your worn and shabby coat and head for a spot you know will get you out of the drizzling rain and away from prying eyes. You head back to your own ‘home’ a dry spot under a hedge, or a narrow space under some stairs that lead up into the church entrance. Anywhere to get out of the rain and cold, to hide away from society – because you are one of the homeless! Peter Holding is Communications and Fundraising manager for Two Saints; a local charity that supports and offers a brighter future for homeless people. “We were launched some 10 years ago when two organisations joined forces; St Dismas and

St Petroc, hence the name of Two Saints.” He told Solent Life when we visited the charity’s Fareham office. “In that time we have been building awareness slowly and we are now beginning to make people sensitive to the human face of homelessness.” He explained. “The average person believes that homelessness is something that is self-inflicted and that those on the street need to ‘sort themselves out’ and change their lives. “But these homeless individuals may suffer


mental health issues, relationship problems; there are a whole range of reasons for being where they are. Our clients come to us from all directions and are people with a huge variety of issues and we regularly get stories of how we saved lives.” Peter went on to describe one client, a young woman, who was homeless as a consequence of being a heroin addict. As he said this, it was perhaps difficult to empathise with the girl’s situation. He went on to explain that the reason she was an addict was because her parents were addicts and to keep their young child quiet, while they enjoyed their highs, they would inject their own daughter with heroin to keep her out of their way. With the support of Two Saints that young woman now leads an independent and fruitful life. “We support those who are homeless, or those at risk of becoming homeless and work with them until they gain independence, for many of them this can mean finding careers and work, becoming taxpayers and contributing to society as a whole. It is not an easy road and that transition could last two years to reach staged resettlement.” Peter continued talking with a strong passion for the work that is undertaken by everyone within the organisation including staff and volunteers. “It is a case of crisis intervention and we give high levels of support until they are in a position to control their own lives and then, it becomes a case of care within the community, where we can support and keep an eye on them. There is, of course, a cut off point, but we are always here for continued help. “Every person we deal with will have a different story; that could be anything from abuse, both in childhood and adulthood, or something as harsh as not being able to handle the stress of high pressure in their working life. “We do have to be careful of the message we put out, but the key selling point of what we do is hope. None of our clients have planned to be where they are and as a charity for the homeless, we do not have

• DECEMBER 2011 •

a pretty face as say a children’s charity or animal charity would have. Our message is that our people are on a journey back to independent living and we support them in their drive to rebuild their lives and create a position for themselves within the community. “Not only that but they become a valued part of that community, who pay their taxes, maybe start a family and become a part of society in general. We are successful at getting people back to independent living.” Peter continued. “We work slowly with people, help them understand their problems and then be able to manage them. We encourage and motivate and finally coach them back toward reintegration. We teach them skills and teamwork, by definition the homeless have no support network!” Peter went onto explain, “If you took a snapshot, those we help fall into three categories; the first group are those still a long way from resolving their issues. The next group are those teetering on the edge of self-help and finally, those committed to a new life where they have had a glimpse of the future; and they want that. “These people we help are the ones that society try and avoid, they cross the street to get away from them; at Two Saints we do not judge and we let them know there is a helping hand.” Peter put this into perspective. “If you were in a darkened room and had no way out and then a hand reached out and touched you – you would grab it. We are holding out that open and helping hand!” Maybe next Christmas, many of those that Two Saints are helping now will be enjoying Christmas in their own homes and surrounded by loved ones. Go to and read about some of their success stories; you will discover many uplifting tales. Solent Life readers can also discover how they can help with volunteering or fundraising. l

It is short notice but on December 9th the charity will be holding its Christmas Ball; a great evening of entertainment, black tie event to be held at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. Full details on their website.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… from all of the team to all of our readers.




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the perfect

turkey It is a stressful period in any cook’s life, the family descending upon you for the festive feast. Sprouts, overcooked carrots, non-crispy roasties and, the most damning comment of all, ‘Does this turkey seem a little dry to you?’ Well with that annual disaster in mind we popped along to the Meon Valley, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club and asked their superb Executive Head Chef, Satish Yerramilli, to give us a few simple tips… words • david rose-massom


et us deal with the Turkey first your turkey is ready. Just remember to let and make sure it not only stays the meat rest for around 20 minutes before moist, but also has a little flavour carving and you should have a beautiful, twist. Make a brine of salt and water, don’t moist and tasty turkey that will impress. panic if you think it is too salty, you will Prepare your vegetables the day before rinse it off later; but add a cinnamon stick to avoid panicking. Now for the much for a little spicy touch of flavour. Chill the maligned Brussels sprout, Satish had brine and then put the turkey in to soak for a lovely trick to improve their appeal. 24 hours. This can be done Christmas Eve “Remove the bottom of the sprouts and because there is plenty of time to cook the then take all the outer leaves from the meat on Christmas morning. This soaking vegetable.” “Sauté some chopped streaky will help your turkey meat stay really moist. bacon then add the leaves of the sprouts “Gently rinse off the brine and dab the bird and some black pepper for seasoning, dry, leave it for a few minutes to let all the bacon should have enough saltiness.” the moisture go. Then rub a little salt and A simple and delicious way of serving pepper into the skin and also some butter. sprouts. You may also wish to add maybe a little “The carrots are sliced and a shallot honey to that.” Satish continued calmly. chopped; add a knob of butter and two “Then it is ready to roast, if you have a fan cloves of garlic and put into cold water; 1ltr oven this can cause the meat to dry out of water per kilo of carrots. Then simply so put a metal dish of water in the bottom bring to the boil and simmer until the of the oven and make sure that there is carrots are tender.” water in there to create a little steam while The next tip had my mouth watering even cooking. more; it was for maple roasted parsnips. “Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees “The maple syrup is wintery in flavour, it is centigrade, and put the turkey in for around Christmassy.” Satish said. “It is a pleasant 15 minutes just to let it start turning that little twist on flavour instead of using lovely golden colour. Then turn the oven honey. These can be pre-prepared the day down to 170, a five to six kilo turkey should before so cut the parsnips nice and chunky take around two and a half hours. Cook, and then with butter in a pan colour the basting regularly, until the juices from the parsnips over a gentle heat and season bird run clear, stick a skewer, or sharp blade, before adding a generous drizzle of the into the fleshy part by the leg and then maple syrup. Take them out and put them press the flesh, if the juices are clear then to one side overnight ensuring you keep


• DECEMBER 2011 •

the cooking juices and then in those same juices, so you keep the full flavour, they will need around 8 minutes in the oven before serving.” Potatoes; the all important part of any roast! “Simple but delicate and these are best cooked just prior to serving so as to keep them crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. Maris Piper or Red Desiree are best when choosing potatoes – peel them and chop to size and then drop into cold water, with salt, and then bring to the boil and cook until the outsides begin to break away. “Goose or duck fat are now readily available and these ingredients do produce the best roasties, for vegetarians clarified butter is best. Line a baking tray with parchment to prevent sticking, then add the fat and heat in the oven. Once hot, carefully add the potatoes and baste with the fat. Roast at around 180 to 190 degrees and if you want to add a little twist of flavour to them cook with a sprig of either rosemary or thyme. They are done when golden brown and crispy.” Keen cooks will always produce their own jus, or gravy, but to avoid panic and to make this part of the meal easy, but still tasty, Satish had another tip. “We are going to produce delicious cranberry gravy. Take some fresh or tinned cranberries and put into a pot with some sugar, a whole cinnamon stick (so you can remove it before serving) and half a pint of cranberry juice and then cook until the berries go soft. Blitz half the cooked berries to a smooth consistency and leave the other half whole then add both halves to the gravy you would normally serve. Reduce to the required thickness.” Delicious and different! Last but not least, the stuffing. “This is also quite simple; sausagemeat, tinned chestnuts, sage and seasoning. Fry off in some butter a finely chopped shallot and then add chopped chestnuts and seasoning and then allow to cool. Mix it in with the sausagemeat and chopped sage (always using fresh herbs). Spread out some cling film and roll the mixture into a sausage, if too long make two sausages, wrap it in the cling film and then in some foil to keep the cylinder shape watertight. Then poach gently in simmering water on a low heat for some 15 to 20 minutes, if you have a food thermometer just check it is at 72 degrees in the middle.” “Finally, let the stuffing cool down and then slice before putting into a little melted butter and place in the oven for a couple of minutes so as to serve warm. You could also add just a spoonful of the poaching liquid at this point just to keep the stuffing moist.” Simple; and a panic free Christmas dinner with moist turkey, crisp roast potatoes, slightly different vegetable selection and a delicious gravy and stuffing. How can the family complain after such a feast? Me, well I am off to Satish’s house for Christmas dinner! l

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Jolly Farmer

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is the place to celebrate any occasion





Festive Celebrations

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Why not make your Christmas shopping easier this year and purchase a gift voucher from The Jolly Farmer Treat your family and friends to a great dining experience at our Country Inn Fleet End Road, Warsash

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The Fabulous Baker Brothers Park Gate Bakery & Café Finger Buffets, Christmas Cakes, Fresh Bread and Rolls all baked fresh daily on the premises. Short and puff pastry mince pies. Breakfast and Lunch. 4 Middle Road, Park Gate. 01489 589087. Merry Christmas and many thanks for your continued support.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Pre-Christmas Lunch Menu 3 courses & coffee £16.95

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Cork and Cheese • Park Gate Bespoke Hampers for your loved ones Prices start from £2.99 plus your choice of goods. Excellent for corporate gifts. Give us a budget and let us do the rest. Telephone a member of our team on 01489 588255 or call in to see us at 44 Bridge Road, Park Gate, Hampshire, SO31 7GF • DECEMBER 2011 •



great news for


…it’s time to begin again!



The hard work from many photographers over the past year has finally come to fruition, the winners have been announced, the Solent Life/London Camera Exchange Photographer of the Year has been notified and the 2012 calendar is now on sale. The calendar is an ideal stocking filler for Christmas, as the images are stunning and all were taken by Solent Life readers of scenes within our Solent Life area.




uch has been the response and success of the photo competition that the sponsors, the Fareham branch of the London Camera Exchange in conjunction with Nikon, have asked us to continue with the competition and produce a calendar for 2013… so time to begin sending in your images each and every month. The standard last year was high, the bar has been set, so it is up to you, our readers, to improve on those images we received in 2011, and make the next calendar even more of a treat. THE RULES: All images must be taken by the named photographer and that 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. If you are under 16, please include your age. The judges decision each month and for Photographer of the Year is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Send your entries to

So the ball is in your court, we live and work in one of the most beautiful regions of the UK and the wildlife we have is spectacular, so get out there with your cameras and begin snapping. We will give you tips each month to help you improve your photography and we are looking forward to seeing your results so please keep sending those images. l

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


• DECEMBER 2011 •

December 2011s winner... David Phillipson The Solent Life Calendar is available at the following outlets:

(+ p& p £1.0 0)

Finishing Touches – Lee on the Solent London Camera Exchange – Fareham RSPCA – The Ark, Stubbington & RSPCA Charity Shops Partners – West End Gallery 77 – Lee on the Solent White Dog Gallery – Lee on the Solent Solent Life Offices – Park Gate





The only disappointment for judges in 2011 was that we received so few entries from our young photographers, so this year our Senior Journalist and Photographer David Rose-Massom will be awarding a special trophy to the SOLENT LIFE YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR for the under 16 year-olds. This will be awarded to either the best image from a young person, or the best body of work should more than one image be sent over the year and is not dependent on whether the images make it to the calendar or not. So don’t forget to include your age in the entry details if you are under 16.

You may ask… do the borrowers actually exist?

well… of course they do! Have you ever lost something and not found it despite looking absolutely everywhere? Well… the Borrowers took it.


ave you ever left a slice of cake on the dish and come back later to treat yourself only to find that THE BORROWERS HAVE EATEN IT? Enter into a world of adventure and imagination at The Nuffield Theatre for a magical Christmas story that has been delighting the littlest children and the BIGGEST grown-ups for years and years! Arrietty and her parents are The Borrowers, tiny people who live under the floorboards. They own nothing and borrow everything – all without being seen by the ‘human beans’ who live in the house above their heads. Girls aren't supposed to go borrowing, but Arrietty is an only child and when her father says “Just this once.....!” Mother agrees, and Arrietty sets off through the hole in the skirting-board. What an adventure! Then something Really Extraordinary happens… Arrietty makes friends with the Human Boy living in the house...

I’m delighted to join The Nuffield Theatre this Christmas! The Borrowers is such a magical story – and it’s been very ‘honey we’ve shrunk the adults’ rehearsing among giant props! star julia hills tells solent life

With music, jokes and fieldmice, this magical tale comes from the author of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and from the team behind 2010’s A Christmas Carol and 2009’s The Wind in the Willows – one of The Independent’s Top 5 Christmas Shows! Julia began her career playing a ‘Trembling Tree’ in pantomime at Theatre Royal York, but is probably better known for her role as Rona in the long running BBC series 2 Point 4 Children, and for playing all of the women (and some of the men) in the Channel 4 Comedy sketch show Who Dares Wins during the 1980s. Most recently, Julia has been seen as Caroline Joyner in Casualty, and can currently be heard playing Annabelle Shrivener in The Archers. Julia says “I’m delighted to join The Nuffield Theatre this Christmas! The Borrowers is such a magical story – and it’s been very “honey we’ve shrunk the adults” rehearsing among giant props!”

Tickets start at just £8.50 and are on-sale now. Performances over the Christmas holidays are filling up fast so make sure you don’t miss out and book your seats today! For more information or to book tickets please call the Box Office on 023 8067 1771 or visit • DECEMBER 2011 •



cruising with your local specialist If you are looking to take a cruise for your next holiday, there has never been a better time to book. The cruise market is one of the fastest growing areas of the travel industry; and whilst you may expect this to mean high prices due to high demand! Not in this instance. The industry has been building ships at a rate of knots never seen before, with each new cruise liner claiming to be bigger and better than the previous one. P&O Cruises have announced that it will expand its fleet with a 141,000-tonne cruise ship, scheduled to enter service in March 2015. The as-yet unnamed 3,611-passenger vessel will be the largest in the P&O Cruises fleet, as well as the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market. words • jeff kilby


his has meant that despite the market growth there is still a massive amount of capacity to fill and the only way to do this is by offering deals too good to miss. Not wanting to miss out on their share of the market, Amity World Travel have employed their very own Cruise Specialist in Elaine Puddicombe. Elaine joins the team with 30 years experience in the Travel Industry, much of which has been selling to the cruise sector. With such a wide choice of cruise options it is easy to tie yourself up in knots trying to make the right decision and this is where it pays to speak to an expert such as Elaine, who can help point you in the right direction, give you clear choices and make sure you are looking at only the cruises that fit with your requirements. So many new ships has bought with it the challenge to find worthwhile new destinations to visit; The Far East and


Australasia seem to be winning this one with many operators now running services between the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Auckland, making for a great addition to any planned trip down under. Closer to home the Middle East has some great winter sun itineraries, taking in the ports of Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Bahrain and Khasab amongst other; and with prices as low as £700 for a 7 night cruise it all makes for a great alternative to your more traditional Dubai Beach holiday. If your interest is more one of scenery than sun then the Norwegian Fjords this winter promise to be extra special with the Northern Lights expected to be even more spectacular than normal, and what better way to see them than from the unpolluted skies of the

• DECEMBER 2011 •

Norwegian coast aboard one of Hurtigrutens 11 ships that travel the stunning coastline. Cost is always going to be a major factor and with recent changes made by Carnival Cruise Lines in the way they pay agents it means that local agents such as Amity World Travel can now compete with the web based operators and call centres which should give clients the chance to have a very personal experience when booking their cruise at a competitive price. Add to this some very exclusive deals with top Cruise operators such as Celebrity & Voyages of Discovery; including a 20 night Far East itinerary for under £2000 per person this January and you can see why it makes sense to speak with your local travel expert. With so much choice it is easy to get lost in the myriad of cruise companies and offers, so whether you’re looking to book your first cruise or your 50th your first port of call should be Amity World Travel, where we will endeavour to find the perfect cruise for you. 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

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

Cruise into 2012 with your local travel experts Your Local Travel Experts 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 • DECEMBER 2011 •




coupe cooper ‘S’ I have seen the advertisements and images and my initial thoughts were that styling was inspired by having seen a car crushed by a fallen tree! Then I saw the real thing – how wrong were my original perceptions – what a sweetie! I will start with my summary conclusion – I want one! words • dave hill & janet grimm


o lets go back to the beginning again; the styling was unique and with eye-appeal and a certain amount of attitude. Even the roofline with the extended aero piece over the rear window looks like a baseball cap that is being worn backwards. Quite a lot has changed from the standard shape; windscreen angle and the rear door profile of course result in a radical revision of the accommodation; especially in the back. In fact there are no back seats anymore this revised layout does, of course leave a huge space for a really useful boot. Let’s get to the fun part – driving the new Mini Coupe. The smile appeared on my face after about 100 yards – and the broad grin of fun hasn’t stopped yet! Like every car that’s ever been made there are bits that are great and bits that perhaps don’t work so well. In most cars, one might be critical of some things and they become an irritation. What is strange about the Mini Coupe is that anything that doesn’t immediately seem quite right is happily accepted as being a natural consequence


of making the car what it is and so, if it wasn’t like that, it wouldn’t be so good; if that makes sense? If I had any criticism at all, it would be in the rear quarter visibility caused, of course, by the new styling; but really, it wasn’t a problem, it just wouldn’t look that nice if it wasn’t like that – see; that’s how it makes you think. Again, like every other car, it had its own little quirks and characteristics – but unlike most other cars, they brought a personality to this little car that made it alive and just a joy to drive. The pure rigidity of the body structure and the changes in weight distribution together with the excellent suspension setup give an agility that perfectly matched the characteristics of the 184bhp, 1.6litre turbocharged engine. I have driven cars with more power, that are faster and that handle better; but the balance in the way that this all comes together in the Mini Coupe, is just perfect. This driving experience is complemented by comfortable seating and excellent

• DECEMBER 2011 •

driving controls. Switches and minor controls are a little quirky perhaps, but if they weren’t like that… well, you know the rest. BMW have been totally successful in converting a model into a brand and have retained many iconic features of the original that keep the fun alive. The most dominant of these is of course the giant central circular speedo dial which now also houses the screen for the satellite navigation and computer information system. I could continue to describe all of the other bits and pieces that make up this car. But no, they are irrelevant; it is the complete package that is important and the way it all comes together. If you enjoy driving; as I do, just try it; then you will understand what I mean about this great little car.

His summary In summary then and this is easy – I want one – really, I do want one!


ike Dave, I had seen the adverts for the Mini Coupe on a Saturday night talk show and my initial reaction was that it was not the best looking car I had ever seen but as we approached the dealership I caught my first 'real life' sighting of this car and it was love at first sight. I love the quirky styling, the angled front and rear screens and the fact there are no seats in the back – no room for children but plenty for shopping bags and if I so required ,and with the help of an opening hatch, even room for a pair of skis- or a broomstick as Dave suggested – cheeky! Via the same hatch you can also access the boot from behind the front seats- I'm not sure why- but you can! The car has fabulous retro styling: black leather bucket seats with white piping, clocks that reflect those found in a classic Mini, a secret compartment in the dashboard and my favourite feature – heater and air-conditioning controls laid out to recreate the winged Mini logo. Another favourite is the colour changing LED lights alongside the rear view mirror. It’s like having your own personal disco lights – a perfect accompaniment to a fine sound system too. My love for this sporty little car knew no bounds when I took it out onto the open

road. It is simply great fun and exhibits a huge personality! The retro styled seats are comfortably squidgy but hold the driver and passenger in place as this car corners niftily. Everything about the driving experience indicates that there is nothing boring about this car – especially when you flick the little switch located behind the gear stick into sports mode. Wow! The model we drove came with all the extras. The computer system and satellite navigation system displays in the large central dial are easy to operate and clear to view. The children and my husband, taken out one at a time for a 'spin' all approved of the Mini. Praise indeed from my 18 year old who himself, drives a classic Mini and has treated the more modern version with the distain of a classic car enthusiast until now. Bear and Amber, the dogs, were not even allowed to try out this car although I suspect they may have banged their heads on the sloping rear screen. This is a going out car – not a dog walking one! l

Her summary The Mini Coupe is the first car unanimously agreed on by the whole family. They all want one – and me – I love it!

The vehicle tested was a Mini Cooper S, £20,935 OTR and was kindly provided by Snows, Portsmouth. For more information: Snows, 02392 655225 Eastern Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO3 5FF • DECEMBER 2011 •


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BARTLEY Independent BMW & BMW Mini Specialists Now the colder weather is here, it is vital that your BMW is prepared for safe and reliable winter motoring. Bring your BMW or BMW Mini into the South’s leading independent BMW specialist: l Is the servicing up to date? Pop into Bartley and we can quickly check for you.

l Are the fluid levels correct?

l Do the exterior and dashboard lights work?

l Does the battery hold adequate charge?

l Are the tyre treads and pressures safe?

l Are the wiper blades in good condition? As well as following the BMW service specifications and the Motor Industry Code of Practice guidelines, the Bartley service includes a full safety inspection and checks:

l Lights

l Battery strength

l Wipers l Oil levels

l Tyre pressure, tread & condition

l Water levels

l Brakes

l Anti-freeze levels

l Suspension

Please contact Bartley on 02380 661 499 or see the website for more information:


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Sit in on the



Breeze Breakfast Show

Wishing All rs e Our Customrry e a Very M Christmas

Solent Life Magazine is offering the chance for one reader and a friend to see The Breeze breakfast show first hand. You’ll get the chance to sit in on the show, see the studios and join David Perry as he broadcasts across the South. To enter you’ll need to answer this question... What FM frequency does the Breeze broadcast on in Southampton? To enter: email… quoting 'Breeze Breakfast show' 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 31st December 2011.

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Are you performing to a small crowd with your advertising?

or in tune with our huge audience

To be successful in these difficult times, you need to be a head-liner receiving standing ovations Solent Life’s pricing structure offers a highly competitive rate and yet with our huge circulation and coverage the cost to you per thousand readers is unbeatable. No other magazine in the region can compete with our circulation or readership and our feature content is also tightly linked and relevant to the community in which we publish so that Solent Life is retained by our readers and continually re-read, meaning that your advertising has multiple opportunities to be viewed and acted upon.


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Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Conference sees launch of fresh business support hub A new support organisation for Hampshire businesses was launched this week at the inaugural annual conference of the county’s chamber of commerce. words • denise barlow

GET INTO THE SPIRIT ACROSS HAMPSHIRE Members of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce from across the region are getting into the spirit of Christmas at their annual lunches. December 6th Portsmouth, Grosvenor Casino, Gunwarf Quays. December 8th Southampton, St Mary's Stadium. December 8th Winchester Hotel Book any of these events on line by visiting


he Hampshire Business Alliance is intended to co-ordinate a range of help for large employers down to small business start-ups. It will bring together separate sources of information, advice, representation, research, events and training in a one-stop hub. The collective approach reflects increasing government emphasis for regions to set their own business support agendas following the demise of Business Link. As well as Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the county’s biggest business membership organisation, the new body includes the Hampshire Enterprise Partnership and the Southern Enterprise Alliance. Jimmy Chestnutt, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber, announced the new organisation to more than 200 business leaders gathered for the conference at Winchester Guildhall. He said: “Our conference is the perfect platform to launch this combined support service. Given the rapidly changing business landscape, it is vital to ensure companies of all sizes can access the information, advice and support they need easily and quickly. “The Hampshire Business Alliance will cut duplication of effort and provide the most comprehensive and cost-effective support services possible, capitalising on each organisation’s skills and strengths.”

Alliance partners will retain their own Board and governance arrangements and stay responsible to their own membership and stakeholders, but will be able to share their services more widely. They will also be able to offer more collective input to the new Solent and Enterprise M3 Local Economic Partnerships. As well as the Alliance announcement, the conference discussed a number of current economic issues including the need to boost investment and growth and keep the pressure on government and banks to ensure businesses have access to capital. Speakers included Neil Clifford, Portsmouthborn boss of the luxury shoe retailer Kurt Geiger, and Nicola Youern, Chief Executive of the Fareham charity for vulnerable people, YOU. After her speech, Ms Youern was presented with a British Chambers of Commerce Award for excellence in people development. A panel of experts debated hot topics and took questions from the audience. In the chair was Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy for British Chambers of Commerce. Panel members were Zac Toumazi, Commercial Director of The Rosebowl, Malcolm Thixton, partner at chartered accountants BDO, Marc Long, partner at law firm Clarke Willmott, Gill Gould, Managing Director of Southampton marketing agency Carswell Gould and Paul

Morgan, Managing Director of Winchesterbased Warrens Office Supplies. The conference, held in association with Newsquest Hampshire, marked a full year since the county’s three main local chambers merged to form Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, now one of the country’s biggest regional business networks. The event was chaired by Stewart Dunn, Newsquest Hampshire Managing Director and Chairman of Hampshire Economic Partnership. Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is the independent voice of local business across the county and one of the largest regional business networks in the UK. It brings together the combined influence, strength and expertise of Hampshire’s three former major chambers of commerce. The combined membership numbers around 2,000 individual firms spanning all sectors and sizes of business. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter at hantschamber. Media enquiries and interview requests to Scott Sinclair, Deep South Media, on 07500 796666 or scott.sinclair@ • DECEMBER 2011 •



arch march through the

Pride, aspiration, opportunity – words used carefully and yet spoken from a point of expertise and experience. Solent Life went to one of the south’s leading schools, The Portsmouth Grammar School, and spoke with the Headmaster James Priory MA to try to discover why this establishment has such an impressive reputation… words • david rose-massom


ames Priory has been at the school for twelve years and has been the Head for the last four of those years and although he is a very relaxed and confident man we wondered if his position in such a well-recognised school put him under extra pressure because of its history and success. “I am well aware that this is a city that markets itself on pride and the same goes for the school,” he explained. “It is a shared drive and ambition with everyone involved, from the staff to the pupils. It is a real privilege being a part of it. There are very few children who do not want to be here and so many opportunities to be gained in this school. “The parents, in many cases, make enormous sacrifices so that their children can attend PGS, and the children respect that.” Mr Priory continued, “It is not just about their schoolwork though; there is no self-consciousness about the extracurricular activities either. The school develops aspiration, but the fact they, the parents and children, have chosen to be here means they have ambition already.” From the images around the inspiring school buildings, it is obvious there is more

to the school and its students than the academia. “There is learning outside the classroom as well as inside, so much so that we now have a Deputy Head responsible for the co-curriculum; the core philosophy of the school is that there is a breadth of opportunity for everyone here.” With such an undertaking, does it ever feel like a chore for the Head and his staff? “I have never felt a sense of the ‘treadmill’ and I still get the ‘buzz’ of the place that first attracted me to teaching here all those years ago,” he said. “There is a creative energy and pace to life in the school and that mixed with the sense of history of the building and the site we stand on means that it is an inspirational place in which to teach and learn. “We are profoundly aware of our history and the pupils themselves helped to research the school’s recently published history and we are aware that from this place, men went to war and yet now, children come here to work and play.” An impressive archway, complete with Latin mottos, leads into a central courtyard; it is more than just an entrance and exit though! “There is a transition when pupils walk through the arch.” He explained. “Affectionately coined the ‘March through the Arch’ the 6th For details of the school, its prospectus, events and Formers on completion of their history go to or for a prospectus education here, walk through telephone 023 9236 0036. the archway and down the High Street to the Cathedral. They

leave the quad as young adults and step out into the world beyond with knowledge and confidence.” “There are two principles which are important to us here at PGS; we want our pupils to be happy and successful, in that order. But we also like to think where our pupils will be at 25.” The 6th Form is an important part of the school and although many pupils work their way up to that part of the school, having joined us in the Junior School, we also attract students from outside to make up the 300 strong body. “We interview all candidates and we are selective but we try to focus on the potential of young people, because we know that there is still a big journey ahead of them! As a heritage-rich seat of learning, The Portsmouth Grammar School does expect great things. “Sometimes in education the expectations are not high enough, the focus seems to be on just passing exams and not about each child performing to their very best ability. “Taking the pupils right through their education allows us, at PGS, as an aspirational school, and especially now that we offer the IB as an alternative to A Level, to help them become people who are global citizens!” The Portsmouth Grammar School is not just about learning, it is also about developing fully rounded human beings who are confident and aiming for a successful life within the school and in life afterwards. When speaking with him, the Headmaster strongly reflects the determination and commitment to achieve this; he has an immense pride in the school and the young people, that work and play within its confines. He speaks quietly, but he speaks with great passion about the history and successes, but it is obvious after being in his company for a few minutes that pride and aspiration are by-words for the way he runs his school. l

Early next year Solent Life will be revisiting The Portsmouth Grammar School to learn more of the building’s fascinating and long history.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Senior School Entrance Assessment 26th & 27th January 2012

99% pass rate for A-levels Thinking of the next step to take in education? Fareham College can offer you a range of 30 AS and A-level courses to choose from. The College is conveniently located, with easy rail and bus access, and ample parking for students. The Sixth Form Centre, opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2010, is on the main Fareham College campus and offers students their own Study Centre in addition to the materials in the Learning Resources Centre. The Centre works closely with local universities to offer students progression routes through university visits and guest speakers. Many of the College’s former students have gone on to institutions such as St George’s, University of London, Oxford Brookes, UWE and University of the Arts London. The pass rate for 2011 was 99% with a third of students achieving A*- B grades. There is an emphasis on personalised small group work as well as weekly tutorials for academic work and pastoral care. Students comment that they enjoy the close-knit community that comes with studying at the Sixth Form Centre. A-levels are an ideal choice for those wishing to progress on to Higher Education or those who are unsure of what they want to do and achieve 5 A* - C grades. You can choose to study around four subjects at AS level rather than one subject as a BTEC or NVQ qualification. To find out more, visit the College on 7 February 5-8pm or book now for the Taster Day on 29 February 9-1.30pm. Call (01329) 815200, visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter. • DECEMBER 2011 •


Hampshire Collegiate School At Hampshire Collegiate School (HCS) we focus on students as individuals, we feel that each and every one has talents and it is our job to define and refine these. We have a winning attitude towards life and work; it is infectious, inspirational, and expected. A large number of our students represent both county and nation in a variety of sports, rugby, cricket, hockey, golf, sailing, and equestrian events, and we know that our students, whether they study medicine, law, engineering, drama, or art for example, all leave with a sense that Hampshire Collegiate School was perfect for them.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

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New Year, new improved you! With the New Year approaching, we look ahead to the future and make plans to improve our lives: New Year, new start, new improved you! Perhaps you want a promotion at work or to enjoy more ‘you’ time? So, why not study for an additional qualification or take up a new hobby? To help you succeed with your New Year plans, look into Adult Education courses at Itchen Sixth Form College in Southampton where you'll find a range of opportunities available for people over the age of nineteen. A popular New Year resolution is to sort out your finances, essential in these difficult financial times. If you can’t quite work out why the money in your hand slips away so quickly then learn how to be more adept with numbers by taking a Maths course. Already working with numbers? Get a professional qualification with the Sage Computerised Book Keeping course. You may already have a wealth of life experience and skills and would like to share them with others by becoming a teacher or teaching assistant; with Itchen’s flexible teaching courses you can take that first step. With a wide range of Adult Education courses starting in January 2012 and with sessions taking place during evenings and weekends, you’ll find a course that fits into your schedule. For more information and to find the right course(s) for you please contact Itchen’s Adult Education team on 023 8044 6156. Beginning your ‘New Year, new improved you’ activities might be much easier than you thought! • DECEMBER 2011 •



are you a

crone? Older women, or women of a certain age, have a lot going for them. Not only have they left behind (most of the time) the vanities and trivialities of youth, but they have acquired wisdom, strength and self assurance, all of which, to my mind, are worth so much more than the physical appeal of the younger woman. Or so I keep telling myself when I look in the mirror! words • fiona cooke


e live in an age where appearance is all important. We are bombarded with messages from the media and beyond, that tell us we should resist ageing, that to be old, to look old, is somehow wrong and we are exhorted to slap on the face-saving cream, pop the anti-ageing pills and even inject sagging muscles with poison in an effort to retain the beauty of the young. Yet doesn’t beauty come from within? And what is wrong with growing old gracefully or; preferably, disgracefully? Ageing is a fact of life. We cannot avoid it so why are we being encouraged to deny it? Life seems so much better from where I sit. At just over fifty, I am far more at peace with myself, I know who I am and have moved on from worrying about what others think. I have been known to sit down on the floor in the middle of the supermarket in order to embarrass my children out of an argument over who pushes the trolley (it worked), dance alone in the shopping precinct (again I embarrassed my children, although that was not the intent), and stand on a chair in the street to take pictures of the sunset. Best of all I can firmly state that it matters not a whit that my handbag does not match my shoes. I even like my wrinkles and lines. They are visible signs of the life I have lived, of the countless times I have laughed and the, also countless times, I have creased my brow in thought. My less than firm belly reminds me of the delight I took in being pregnant, and the untold joy of delivering two gorgeous, if now infuriating, children. I admit that I dye my hair, but that is as far as I go in the effort to turn back the years. I am lucky in that my family genes mean I am slim and look younger than my age, but


I still face the fact that the next generation write me off as a middle aged woman, with little value in their eyes. Yet they are so wrong! At the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, the Dalai Lama said that “The world will be saved by the western woman.” When I first read this I felt as if I, personally, had been called. I entertained visions of myself, in a Wonder Woman type outfit, (along with a lot of under-wiring) single-handedly stopping wars, saving famine stricken nations and kicking a few politicians into touch. Once I had come down from that particular flight of fancy I realised that, whilst I might not have super powers, I do have much that I can offer. In ancient times the older woman, or The Crone, was valued in society. She was recognised as having a wisdom and knowledge that came from her life experience, and was called on to advise in tribal decisions and to give spiritual guidance. The Crone was a powerful figure and played an important role, which was only achievable due to her advanced years. Isn’t that wonderful? Who wants to be Wonder Woman when they can be a Crone? In the last few years I have changed my thinking from that of a woman who is concerned very much with herself, and her family, to being interested in much wider issues. I now have the courage to speak out and to want to take action over things which previously I would have accepted. I feel passionately about many of the issues which affect our society and our world and have the energy to be part of a movement for change. I now look on the world in a very different way than I did when younger. I feel that instead of the world being here to serve me, I am now here to serve the

• DECEMBER 2011 •

world. I want to share my wisdom, to teach that whilst the ego driven striving to achieve and to build, that is so important to the younger generation, has its place, so too does acceptance of self and others, compassion, empathy and the willingness to give. I do believe that many changes are needed within our society and that women of my age and beyond have a large role to play in calling for those changes. There are many smaller ways in which we can share our wisdom. I was recently talking to the young mother of a ten month old boy. I shared with her that when my children were small I could remember feeling, other than continuously tired, that I had lost my sense of self. I felt that my world had shrunk to include only my family, a few friends and the same old four walls. She told me that these were words she needed to hear – to confirm that she was not alone in experiencing this and it was part of her life’s journey to go through this time. We are all so scared of appearing vulnerable, of admitting that at times we struggle. Yet it only takes one person to share that they, at times, find life hard, for others to own up to the same. The relief to find that you are not the only one is immense, and very freeing. Maybe age gives you the courage to be able to talk about your own journey and how it is not always an easy ride. It is only with age that you can look back and understand how it all slots into place; that the things which appear important at the time do shrink into insignificance. It is only with age that you can see that the lessons you learn along the way serve you well. From that perspective you can support and council those that come behind you on the path; for you can also see that they need to tread the same path in order to grow and to mature. We older women have an important role to play. We should not undervalue all that we have to offer within our families, our community, our society and the world at large. We can share all that we are, all that we have learned and all that we wish to be. And, all importantly, we can celebrate the fact that we can only do that because we are of a certain age! l


you and your

money When it comes to financial planning, your individual needs will require a bespoke solution, but in broad terms your objectives are likely to fall into three key areas: l Build and preserve capital l Manage cash and borrowings l Gain financial protection against risk words • justin stevens


f course it is likely, because of changing circumstances and priorities, that you will need advice on all three areas and a good wealth manager should be able to do this. Building and preserving capital will cover a number of needs such as retirement planning, investments, portfolio management and trust and estate planning. When building capital, the management of risk is critical and can be best summed up in one word- diversification-both by asset class and by investment manager. How much money should you hold in cash to meet your short-term needs and for emergencies? What is the right mix between UK and International equities and how should you gain exposure to commercial property and other alternative asset classes, are all central to the successful accumulation of capital. These asset allocation strategies can only be truly successful if the managers looking after the individual elements are of the highest quality, so its important to understand how your wealth manager selects the managers ultimately making the investment decisions. Of course, in building your capital every effort should be made to take advantage of the tax efficient vehicles available. Changes in legislation can open up fresh opportunities such as the new rules on pensions introduced on 'A' Day (6 April 2006) and subsequent changes in December 2010, some of which became effective from 6 April this year. These have introduced a simple, single system making it easier to plan for your retirement. Individuals are now able to invest 100% of their salary or £50,000 per year, whichever is lower. In addition, from 6 April 2012 the lifetime allowance will be reduced from

£1.8m to £1.5m. If a fund exceeds this level the excess is liable to be taxed at 55%. The majority of people have to save more for their retirement and, having made a retirement plan, you have to commit to it and take action. Similarly, making regular use of Individual Savings Accounts has enabled people to often build up meaningful sums of capital in a tax-efficient environment and the management of these is a key element of any strategy. Some of us have created individual share portfolios in which we have taken an active and enjoyable interest, but may have reached the point where the daily management has become too onerous. This may lead us to appointing a discretionary portfolio manager or perhaps reviewing the arrangements all together to consider our options. So whether we are looking to build or preserve existing capital, there will be an ongoing need for high quality fund management. It is important to note that the favourable tax treatment given to ISAs may not be maintained in the future and is subject to changes in legislation. Having built up significant assets preserving your capital for your chosen beneficiaries, how do you protect your wealth against a rising tide of taxation and HM Revenue and Customs taking a keener interest in your trust and estate planning strategies? Soaring property prices in recent years have brought the issue of Inheritance Tax (IHT) to the forefront for millions more people in the UK. But while many people are aware of the existance of IHT planning, few still do anything about their potential liability. The calculation is often, although not always simple. Broadly, you count up the value of all the assets remaining on death (including existing investments) subtract the current £325,000 nil-rate band for individuals, or £650,000 for married couples or civil partnerships- and what is left is taxed at 40%. Therefore careful IHT planning is a

central plank of any wealth management strategy in order to protect wealth, ensuring the bulk of it is passed on to families and not the taxman when you die. But how do you draw up your Will in the most tax-efficient way? How can you transfer assets by making lifetime gifts and create an IHT-efficient trust to help beneficiaries meet the tax liability without disturbing family wealth? The last thing you want is for your family to have to face a large IHT bill when you die, whereas with careful planning, it is possible to ensure that the taxman does not take a greater share of your wealth than is necessary. Along the way, you will of course need to manage your cash and borrowing your requirements-so advice on mortgages, commercial banking, deposit and current accounts may be needed. Again the choice will be vast, so guidance on the most appropriate product or service is paramount to ensure that whether you are borrowing or depositing cash, the interest rates are competitive. These days some banks take a more enlightened view, allowing clients to offset the balances on any savings or current accounts they have with the Bank against any mortgage borrowing before calculating the interest payable. The key is to put into place any arrangements that are most advantageous to you. The last component of the planning process is to consider financial protection against risk- to your health, life, assets and, if in business, your partners and employees – to create a cushion against the unexpected. A wealth manager can help you determine and establish both adequate levels of insurance and appropriate kinds of cover, to protect you and those who depend on you, against all the most serious risks that you face and specifically to your life and your health. It can also be used in conjunction with certain types of trust as part of IHT mitigation strategy ensuring that more of your wealth ends up in the hands of your chosen beneficiaries. So whilst insurance may not be the most exciting area of financial services it is, arguably, one of the most important. l

To receive a complimentary fact sheet covering Wealth Managament, Retirement planning or Inheritance Tax Planning, prduced by St James Wealth Management, contact Justin Stevens, Partner of St James's Place Wealth Management on 01489 790797, by email or visit

As Justin will also be Solent Life's 'Money Expert' for 2012 he would welcome your questions relating to money matters. Send them to Solent Life Money Expert at info@solentlife. or Solent Life, Webb House, 20 Bridge Road, Park Gate, SO31 7GE. • DECEMBER 2011 •



Titchfield Dental Health

Scoops National Award Titchfield Dental Health in Park Gate received the accolade for Best Patient Care at the Private Dentistry Awards 2011 in November at Park Lane, London.

Winners of Best Patient Care Private Dentistry Awards 2011

“Incredible amounts of time are devoted to individual patients,” David Houston, head of the judging panel. Discover how a patient-led practice can make a difference to your dental experience and the health of your mouth. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, look no further than Titchfield Dental Health.

Call us now on 01489 581158 Look out for the green and white picket fence. 63 Southampton Road, Park Gate, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 6AH

T: 01489 581158 | F: 01489 582220 | E:

Titchfield Dental Health’s principal dentist Clare Chavasse (left) and practice manager Sharon Nanson are overjoyed at receiving the award for best patient care.

The national ceremony rewards exceptional individuals, teams and practices with an active interest in staying at the top of the profession.




Head of the judging panel, David Houston, said: “Incredible amounts of time are devoted to individual patients in clinical situations, oral hygiene instruction and administration. Titchfield Dental Health has matured over its 18 years in existence. This triumph should mark a very happy coming of age!” Clare Chavasse, principal dentist, said: “Winning the Best Patient Care crown is the crème de la crème for any dental practice. Providing excellent patient care has always been the priority in my practice. We think about what the patient would want, treat each patient as an individual and as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

Feet Wave offer Fish Pedicures with a difference. Why not go and visit them in their amazing and glamorous 1950’s Retro Style American Airstream, located in Port Solent and Locks Heath Centre.

W: T: 07900 930 720 E: Find us on Twitter and Facebook:


• DECEMBER 2011 •



Drop 2 dress sizes in 4 weeks! Pre launch offer 75% discount off a course of

8 Strawberry Laser Detox Treatment during December. Limited availability by appointment only. 8 Treatments RRP £1500 (2 per week) for JUST £375. Call now to book an appointment.

Lisa… 07917 104777 Nikki… 07867 897662 Main No: 0844 5447898


PA R T Y H A I R Shampoo Finish Only £9–£19 (depending on level of Stylist) Including straightening if required.

GHD Curls Only £15 Just Straight Only £7

Come in with hair washed and dried and we’ll give it a professional straight look. Woven Colours, Shampoo & Finish Straighten if required Only £52–£70 (depending on level of Stylist) CONCESSIONS FOR STUDENTS & OAPS (MON/TUE/WED)

Southampton’s premier Unisex Non-Surgical Cosmetic Health and Beauty Clinic will open in Locks heath in the New Year.

PERFECT GIFTS GHD Hairdryer Air £99 / Gold Series Straighteners £119 £149 for Ultimate Gift Scarlet Pack (straighteners, box, bag, clips & hairdryer)

Offering a wide range of treatments the clinic will provide a luxurious haven with the very latest treatments for fast effective and maintainable inch loss. The Strawberry & Cream Laser Lipo treatment takes 10 minutes and is followed by a 10 minute Vibroplate workout, finally 30 minutes relaxation in the Dr Detox Far Infrared Therapy Cabin and you are ready to face the world looking and feeling fabulous! There is limited availability for December and this is strictly by appointment. Call Lisa on 07917 104777 or Nikki on 07867 897662 to book an appointment now.

Redken Haircare Gift Box £19 Gift Vouchers Available O P E N T I L L 8 P M W E D E S D AY & T H U R S D AY F R E E PA R K I N G 48 Warsash Road Warsash

01489 885775

111 Highlands Road Fareham

01329 843350

It’s never been easier to Stop Smoking! Book now for more than 50% off our Stop Smoking session!! Offer must end 31st December 2012 Becoming a non-smoker is much easier than you think and our team of Stop Smoking Specialists recently received the following feed- back from clients after their life changing, one hour, Stop Smoking sessions “It will be one year on the 31st of next month since you did the business for me TVM. Cheers Frank”. “It’s a year today since I became a non-smoker with your help. I’m a winner!! Thanks Ben” Visit us at for more success stories and videos of our successful Non-Smokers. Become the next non-smoker success story with this very special offer. You’ll need to act fast as we are only able to offer this amazing offer price for a limited period. For December only, the fee for our Stop Smoking session is just £95 (saving a massive £130 on our usual £225 session fee). Why not give yourself an early Christmas present and a wonderful smoke free start to 2012 by calling us on 0800 970 4776 or e-mailing us at and booking your Stop Smoking session for just £95. It’s a proven fact… you can become a non-smoker, stop smoking for good, in just one hour! If you really want to stop smoking then our successful team of Stop Smoking specialists is here to help you. All you need to do is pick up the phone and you can quit smoking for good! • DECEMBER 2011 •


Ava GIFT VOUCHERS ilab l e fo r Ch ristm as Finally, a non-invasive, pain free and affordable solution with proven measurable results for women and men.

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As we expect a high demand for appointments, it is advisable to


01489 796669 or 0800 0837121 Expect a warm welcome and relaxing, successful visit. Botley Mills, Mill Hill, Botley, Southampton, SO30 2GB

After a course of 8 treatments


Oska Hair in Park Gate welcomes new and exciting stylist Michelle Hope Due to relocation Michelle has joined us from Bournemouth and Poole College where she has been teaching hairdressing for the past 2 years. Michelle is full of great ideas and techniques, and wishes to share her enthusiasm with all clients. She enjoys all aspects of hairdressing and specializes in the Brazilian blow dry treatment, hair colour, creative cutting, and hair up. To book an appointment call 01489 565456

On presentation of this voucher you will receive


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a cut and blow dry with Michelle EXPIRES 31.1.12

Inspirational cutting, styling, and colouring Be your best... Call for a free consultation

01489 565456 COLOUR SPECIALIST DEGREE SALON | First Floor, 20 Middle Road, Park Gate 46…

• DECEMBER 2011 •

A Seasonal Sale

50% off selected designer eyewear Don’t miss out From 1st December to 14th January 2012 We always welcome new patients

Tel: 01489 576947 4 Shore Road, Warsash SO31 9GQ


Christmas and the butler

In a smart blue suit Chris Morley almost skipped down the imposing staircase towards us as we waited in the grand entrance hall. Although butler to Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Chris looked more like the manager of an exclusive hotel, and rather than being a servant of the household; he moved around with confidence, ease and authority. words • david rose-massom


hristmas is a time for getting things just right.” Chris said as we sat in one of the ‘upstairs’ rooms and chatted about his life and work as butler in the lead up to the festive celebrations. “I do get very ‘hum-buggy’ as I am working over Christmas and it will be a very busy time for us. The household will be joined by around 30 family and friends of Lord and Lady Montagu, sitting down to a traditional Christmas lunch.” Chris has been working at Beaulieu for some time as, from 1996; he was catering manager at the Brabazon Restaurant in the museum grounds. “I trained as a chef but always felt more comfortable working front of house. I learned my butling skills from the previous incumbent, Trevor Barnes, who was more of an old-school butler and served the Montagu family for 39 years before retiring. I would follow him so far with each of his tasks but then have to stop short of, say, the dressing room, so it meant I actually knew very little about the real job when I took over.” He explained. “It was on New Year’s Day in 2002 that I took over fully and it felt a little like being thrown in at the deep end.” It was Lord Montagu who put Chris at ease. “When I took over that day Lord Montagu just told me; ‘If you need to know something, ask; and, if you think you have done something wrong - don’t worry.’ He was that helpful. On the flip side when someone says lay out my grey suit, and he has many, or he needs a certain tie to go with a certain event, it’s not so obvious.” “It is a pleasant part of the job that I have always been able to be myself around Lord and Lady Montagu. I work closely with the House Keeper and Lord Montagu’s P.A. and we do manage the house between us.” Chris continued. “I do know my place, I speak only when I have to, but I also know

I can speak freely with Lord Montagu if I need to. Trevor was more traditional as a butler but I am more of a Jack-of-all-Trades than just a personal man-servant.” Chris has to carefully balance his life as he has a family of his own, who share his Estate cottage, but he feels that he does get the balance just right. As if life were not complicated enough; on top of his work and home commitments, he is also one of eight retained fire fighters in the village of Beaulieu. While most people look forward to festive holidays though, Chris and the household are gearing up for an even busier time. “Christmas starts for us with the Christmas Fayre that is held in the house the third week of November.” He explained. “That is our marker for starting and then Lady Montagu begins to make her list of family and friends who will be joining them for Christmas lunch. Once the list is complete the kitchen can begin with their own preparations by planning and ordering everything, right down to ingredients and schedule for making the puddings and the cake. “The season’s events continue with the Estate Dinner toward the end of November and that is usually for around 150 people. I just oversee the top-table and try not to get involved with the whole occasion. Things continue with the arrival of the trees, normally around December 1st; although they have arrived a little earlier this year. “It is about this time that Lord Montagu begins discussions regarding food. He likes his caviar and so we order that in plenty of time. The family all do their bit as well; Lord Montagu’s sister, Mrs Weston, for example, supplies the Fortnum and Mason Christmas crackers.” Chris said; as he also revealed that there are no paper hats inside F&M crackers!

“The Beaulieu Chocolate Shop produces a large chocolate Santa which is the centrepiece for the family’s dining table. After dinner, the children have great fun smashing it up into little pieces. “The meal is a very traditional feast with turkey and all the trimmings.” Then Chris had a further surprise to add to his list of skills as butler. “I happened to mention that I played the bagpipes, so every year now it is also my job to pipe in the pudding. I don’t wear a kilt but I do find time to slip into a pair of Gordon tartan trews to keep the mood in the right tone!” Of course the house works to a tight timeline on Christmas day. “Everything will be done and finished in readiness for the Queen’s Speech at three o’clock. The celebration part of the day begins at midday when the family begin to arrive. We have lots of visitors then and it is also time to open the gifts. As there are only a few staff working that day, the grandchildren and the nephews all help us to clear away the table after dinner.” Christmas dinner is not such a relaxed affair for the staff that are working or for Chris’s own family. “My family come over and we have a sort of Christmas dinner in what we call the Day Dining Room, but we have about fifteen minutes in which to eat our meal so we can then get back serving the Montagu family. “I finish work around five that evening and for the rest of the day and Boxing Day the family essentially look after themselves. Like everyone else at Christmas, Lord Montagu looks forward to leftovers on Boxing Day.” Although he is employed by the company that run the museum and attraction of Beaulieu, Chris very much feels as if he works for Lord Montagu and he talks fondly of the man and his life serving him and the family. “I really enjoy the personal side of butling and that is probably the same as it ever was, but the job has changed to fit in with the modern world.” Chris concluded. “The ‘company’ may run the business side of things but I, along with the others working for Lord and Lady Montagu, run the house.” l A very Merry Christmas to Chris and his household at Beaulieu from all at Solent Life. • DECEMBER 2011 •


Little Angels Charisma of Fawley Charisma of Fawley will be adding John Charles and Alfredo Vaez to their Mother of the Bride & Groom collections for Spring & Summer 2012. As well as being main stockists for Condici and many other stunning labels we carry a range of complementary accessories and millinery. Spring stock is now arriving. School Road, Fawley Village, Southampton, SO45 1EA T: 02380 894500


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Let us look after your Little Angels on your Special Day. Nanny and nursery agency specialises in providing top quality childcare. We can help you plan and organise all your childcare requirements (including toy and equipment hire, children’s entertainers and goody bags etc). All of our nannies are professional, experienced, qualified and hand selected for every wedding, according to the ages and specific needs of the children. T: 01489 784471


wedding SHOW

From the venue to the menu, from the proposal to the Big Day, The Hampshire Wedding Show at the University of Southampton offers excited newly-weds-to-be everything they need to help them plan their dream wedding. All in one place, all in one day visitors can choose wedding gowns, occasion wear, menswear, accessories, favours, cakes, photography, flowers, gift lists, honeymoon destinations, stationery, beauty, entertainment, venues and much more.


n the 4th March the pages of the glossy magazines will come to life at the largest interactive Wedding event Hampshire has ever seen. Visitors can taste the most fabulous cakes, smell the most beautiful flowers, try on the most incredible dresses and even listen to the very best Wedding entertainment. There is so much to see and do with more than 140 of the best Wedding suppliers in the Hampshire area attending. l 140+ exhibitors l An amazing atmosphere l Interactive Exhibitors l Dedicated Vintage Room l Hampshire's best Wedding Suppliers

l Entertainment and Performance Room l Win your Wedding l Performances all day l A great day out

It is the ultimate wedding experience with thousands of ideas and experts for whatever stage of planning the happy couple are at. Its a fun and inspiring day for all the Wedding party, the bride and groom-to-be, their mothers, bridesmaid, pageboys, the best man and even the stags and hens.

Further inspirations can be found in the unique Vintage room, packed full of the very best vintage and vintage style suppliers in the industry. Visitors can even sit back and relax in the very special Music, performance and entertainment room which will see a number of entertainers perform throughout the day. And of course its not all about the Bride, which is why the Hampshire Wedding Show will ensure that they have the very best in groomswear from traditional top hat and tails to contemporary styles as well as a selection of bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, mother of the bride , and groom, outfits and occasion wear. For the first time we are offering our brides the chance to enter a competition that could win them the prize of a lifetime... The Wedding of their dreams. Enter the competition on entry to the show and one lucky couple will win everything they will need for their perfect day. The Hampshire Wedding Show is on the 4th March and further information can be found at hampshireweddingshow.itsadoddle. com or by calling 0800 1588 188 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

The glamorous Wedding show offers various specialist rooms, each with a unique theme and atmosphere. Whether you are watching one of five catwalk shows or participating in some of the live samples offered by hair and beauty experts, newly weds-to-be will find everything they need for their perfect day. • DECEMBER 2011 •


Jan Zawada Photography As a wedding photojournalist, Jan's discreet observant nature and intuitive eye for detail enable him to work barely noticed. From the details of your wedding gown to a quiet glance you can be sure that the passing details of your day will be captured forever. His passion is natural, unobtrusive photography because he loves the intimate stories these pictures tell. He shoots instinctively and has an innate ability for expressing the relationships and connections between families and friends. Jan likes to tell the whole story of your day so coverage begins with the anticipation and emotion of the bridal preparations to the relaxed celebrations of the wedding breakfast, speeches and first dance. Please use the website contact form to email or telephone on 01489 573741 for more details.


Book the wedding of your dreams at a price you can afford. Our indulgent wedding package for 50 people is available from just £3995 and includes champagne and canapés, gourmet wedding breakfast with wine, reception buffet, chair covers – all the components that will ensure your day is magical. For more information please contact Lisa Norton on 01329 836829 or email


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Ladies Designer Fashion

spoilt for

We specialise in outfits for Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom and other guests


2012 Stock Now In Matching hats, Renata shoes & handbags. Stockists of Condici, John Charles

In a beautiful Georgian town house in the heart of the High Street in the old part of Fareham you will find Davina's Ladies Fashions; home to an extensive range of fabulous outfits from many of today’s most respected designers. words • janet grimm


n entering the 'tardis-like' shop you first come across a light and airy room dedicated to classic and elegant daywear with trousers, skirts, blouses, dresses and knitwear from designers such as Joseph Ribkoff, Lucia and Basler. Mannequins show the outfits at their very


& Many More

Over 250 outfits in stock Sizes 8-20 71 High Street, Fareham, PO16 7BB

01329 826123

best and as you pass the elegant staircase and the original exposed beam and plasterwork wall and enter the second room you will discover a rainbow of glittering, floaty and classy evening wear, cocktail dresses and ballgowns. There is a selection of summerwear that owner , Davina, keeps in stock all year round ready for those winter sun holidays and cruises. Onto the third and final room; an Aladdin's Cave dedicated to dressing the mother of the bride, mother of the groom, wedding guest or perhaps even the bride herself. There are colourful layers of stunning outfits, hats, accessories and fascinators including classic Condici, Medici, Frank Usher and Gina Bacconi, or the more ruched, slightly younger look of John Charles in a range of jewel or pastel colours. There are over 250 outfits to chose from. Chiffon, wild silk, frills, layers, patterns, jackets and Carol Middleton style coats , they are all here and available in

sizes 8-20. Davina also carries a range of matching Italian leather shoes and handbags to complete the outfit in style. But there is more behind the Georgian exterior of Davina's because here you will find that the highest level of customer service is en mode. Davina and her team strongly believe that shopping for a special outfit should be a pleasurable experience and their extensive knowledge of, and experience in working in the world of fashion means that they can ensure that any lady leaving Davina's does so looking and feeling stunning and full of confidence. Davina and her team appreciate that some ladies will arrive knowing just what they are looking for and what will suit them, others won't feel so sure so they will offer as much friendly and helpful advice as is required. They will encourage you to try on numerous outfits, even some that you don't think are necessarily for you, to ensure that you find the perfect ensemble. Gentlemen are always welcome to accompany their ladies and to assist in the decision making process. So, if you are looking for a Wedding outfit or something special for a Christmas party or cruise; or maybe you are planning a trip to Ascot, Goodwood, Henley or an investiture or garden party; whichever it is pay a visit to High Street Fareham and Davina and her team will ensure that, whatever the occasion, you feel a 'million dollars'.




A Table Comes First! A dining table, no matter how humble, is the heart of any family home. It gives us the opportunity for everyone to get together for a good chat, a few laughs and a few arguments of course.

We guarantee to beat any other quote by 5%

So much of modern life is spent on our own in front of a computer screen, the TV or, some social networking device. Texting, Facebooking, Twittering and e-mailing have moved us away from the necessity to talk face to face. That meal together with friends and family is an unrivalled joy of noisy discussion and argument! So, forget that tray in front of the telly and get around the dining table as often as possible, even if it’s only for our indispensable Sunday lunch. Remember the adage “The family that eats together stays together” For an unsurpassed selection of dining tables to suit every home, make your way to The Furniture Collection, The Solent Trading Estate, Hedge End. This workshop based company specialises in solid wood ranges- all finished on the premises to ensure the very best quality. In particular, oak is a beautiful timber. For centuries its strength has ensured an enduring popularity for high quality furniture and they have superb ranges for every room of your house. Your home is important for so many reasons. It’s your own personal space and you decide the way it looks and feels. It’s the one place where you can fully express yourself – your individuality and your personality. We understand that and offer our furniture in a range of finishes you can choose to blend perfectly with your home’s interior. It’s vital any living area meets aesthetic and practical needs We offer a friendly and relaxing service to help you fulfill both. If you have furniture that exhibits the ravages of family life, why not let us restore it to that ‘as new’ condition. All quotations are entirely free of charge. The Furniture Collection deliver free of charge within a radius of 35 miles. All furniture is fully assembled, guaranteed and supplied mostly supply from stock. January Sale prices apply right now so if you need something before Christmas why not pay them a visit?

Fit a new Kitchen/Bedroom or Transform the one you have FREE survey & quotation CALL 01329 830111 NOW! Heming & Co The Square, Wickham PO17 5JT


• DECEMBER 2011 •

or ly f s r a a ke



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H.M. Fine Art Gallery

H.M FINE ARTS (formerly Brown’s Fine Art)

Helen and Martin invite you to enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at their

Special Christmas Exhibition Saturday 3rd December 10:00am - 4:00pm Featuring a selection of local artist’s paintings, prints, greeting cards, jewellery, ceramics and other affordable unique gifts

01489 587179 Opening Hours: 9:30am - 5:00pm Tuesday - Saturday (closed Mondays) H.M. Fine Art is located at 36 Locks Heath Centre, SO31 6DX, at the top of the stairs

H.M. Fine Arts is run by Helen and Martin offering art tuition, bespoke framing, fine art and photographic printing and a gallery which is open to the general public. Helen, a very experienced art tutor, holds weekly art classes in a variety of medium and subjects. Along with other artists she also runs regular Saturday workshops. The framing shop offers a comprehensive selection of mouldings, mounts and presentation techniques. We can print your photographs onto canvas or other fine art papers, making that special gift for someone. The gallery offers you the opportunity to purchase affordable, individually crafted fine art gifts from local artists; including paintings, prints, photography, greeting cards, jewellery and ceramics. For more information please call us on 01489 587179, or visit us at 36 Locks Heath Centre, at the top of the stairs.

Fully guaranteed Fully insured

GUTTER Cleaning • • Gutters Cleaned Out Fascias & Soffits Cleaned • Block Paving Cleaned & Re-sanded • Patios & Paths Cleaned • Patios & Paving Sealed • Decking Cleaned (Restaining optional) • All Pressure Cleaning Undertaken


01489 881 110 / 07540 878 089 • DECEMBER 2011 •


Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year

BOTLEY BATHROOM CENTRE with 36 years experience, let us build your dream

Largest family run bathroom centre in the area

70% OFF Selected Shower Cubicles

Designed • Managed • Guaranteed Extensive Clearance Area Now Open

Large dedicated shower & bathroom showrooms Evening Planning Appointments Available The Malthouse, Church Lane, Botley, Hampshire OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK tel: 01489


Solent Flooring Ltd

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green fingers December

This month’s Greenfingers is devoted to helping your garden wildlife through the winter. As their natural food declines in the colder months, many wild birds rely heavily on food placed on bird tables and in garden feeders. Food should be high energy as smaller birds in particular – such as sparrows and robins – need large amounts to keep energy levels high. Ideal choices are balls of fat, suet cakes and treats, dried mealworms, peanuts and high energy seed mixes. words • anne watson


id you know different bird feeders suit different types of birds? Garsons has a new Pet and Wildlife Centre with a comprehensive range of feeders and feed. The knowledgeable team will be happy to advise you on how to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden. Make water available throughout cold weather as birds will not only drink but bathe to keep their feathers in good condition. If nesting boxes are left up over winter, birds will use them for night-time roosting.

Plants recommended for winter wildlife The winter garden can be an important food source for our wildlife, especially if there’s snowfall. Autumnal rain has made the soil easy to work, so enjoy some fresh air while you get planting wildlife-friendly shrubs. The Cotoneaster not only provides winter colour, it gives a source of berries right through the winter – blackbirds are especially partial to them. It grows happily in full sun and partial shade. Cotoneaster


Dammeri is a spreading dense shrub with glossy leaves which produces lots of red berries. For an alternative to the tall-growing Cotoneaster, the Horizontalis variety provides ground cover and will grow to about 3ft 4” /100cm high, with a spread of about 180cm. All varieties of Pyracantha are loved by birds. Because of their thorny nature, they provide a good security barrier round the edge of your garden. Berberis Darwinii is a fast-growing evergreen shrub, ideally suited to hedging and at the back of your border. It produces masses of golden-orange flowers in spring followed by berries in autumn. Again the birds love the berries during the autumn and winter months. This very hardy all-rounder grows to around three foot square. As well as being useful to wild birds, the advantage of these recommended shrubs is that they give interest through the less colourful months in the garden. l

• DECEMBER 2011 •

Jobs for this month l Check winter protection structures are securely in place l Prevent ponds and stand pipes from freezing l Prune open-grown apples and pears (but not those trained against walls) l Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and remaining root crops Turning our attention indoors, go for natural Christmas decorations with indoor plants. The garden centre is full of inspiration, from cyclamen and orchids to the traditional poinsettia. Choose a needle-retentive Christmas tree that’s been pot grown. Garsons’ trees are reared to give a good root system. Don’t forget your snow shovels and ice breaker to clear those paths this winter, and until next month, happy gardening and merry Christmas!

Christmas decorating and Donkey Nativity. Pick up some tips on making Christmas wreaths at Garsons Garden Centre. The home and gift evening on Tuesday 6th December from 6pm to 8pm includes demonstrations from a decorating expert. Then on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December, Mary, Joseph and real donkeys will bring the Nativity to life. The donkeys from Hayling Island will be visiting from 10am to 4pm. See for more details.

We wish all our valued customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! English Nordman Christmas Trees Free local delivery Fresh Holly Wreaths Made daily Indoor Baskets & ‘Pot Plants’


Tel: 01489 584476

46 Brook Lane, Warsash, SO31 9FG (off junction 9, Fareham West)

Medina Nurseries wish to congratulate our many prize-winning customers, who entered this years Fareham in Bloom competition. We look forward to seeing you all again next summer. Well done! From the end of November until Christmas Eve, Medina Nurseries will be selling English locally grown Nordman Christmas Trees, and you will find Jeanette making fresh holly wreaths daily. The best you will see locally at reasonable prices. Medina Nurseries has donated the Warsash Village Christmas tree for 2011, with Peter Nash Specialist Cars supplying the decorations and lights. Tel: 01489 584476 • DECEMBER 2011 •



events at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve… Swanwick Toddlers – Christmas is Coming! 6 December 2011 10.30am –12.00pm or 1.00pm – 2.30pm As we get ready for Christmas, our wildlife is getting ready for the long winter. Come and celebrate with us at this event for pre-school children. Please contact Dawn Preston or Jess Daish-Miller on 01489 570240. Suggested donation £3 per child. Please bring warm coats and wellies. Booking is essential. Haiku Poetry Workshop 10 December 2011 10.30am – 12.00pm

wildlife DECEMBER

December is a very busy time of year at our bird feeders. Daylight hours are at their shortest this month and the birds need to make the most of every minute to find food. Birds need high energy (high fat) foods during the cold winter weather as they need to maintain their body reserves to survive the frosty nights. Contrary to popular belief, bread is not actually the best food to put out, as it has a fairly low nutritional value. We regularly put out peanuts, sunflower seed hearts and niger seed to attract a wide range of species. words • jess daish-miller images • darin smith


iny black niger seeds are a particular favourite of Goldfinches. The collective noun for Goldfinches is a ‘charm’ and they certainly are charming to watch. They will sit at the bird feeders for several minutes at a time, unlike many of the other birds who flit back and forth. The sunflower hearts and peanuts attract Greenfinches as well as Great Tits, Blue Tits, and Coal Tits. It’s great to see the colourful Great Spotted Woodpecker coming to the feeders, along with the neat and tidy looking Nuthatches. Dunnocks and Chaffinches feed on the scraps on the ground beneath the feeders and some water birds, such as Mallards and Moorhens wander in to pick up what is left. This is a great time of year to start feeding the birds in your garden and bird feeders also make wonderful


Christmas presents. Your local birds will benefit from the additional food and you will have the pleasure of watching them as they go about their daily lives. Alternatively, why not come down to Swanwick Lakes, watch the birds by our Study Centre and enjoy a brisk walk in the winter sunshine? 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

• DECEMBER 2011 •

Discover the wonder of words at Swanwick Lakes. Our poet in residence, Haiku Poet Pearl Elizabeth Dell May, will be leading workshops to enable you to put the beauty of the seasons onto paper. The events will be suitable for families with children aged 7 and over. Further sessions will be held on 14th January, 11th February and 10th March – come along to just one session or every month. For further details, please contact Dawn Preston or Jess Daish-Miller on 01489 570240. Suggested donation £3 per child. Please bring warm outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes or boots. Booking is essential. Weeds – Worthless or Worthy? 12 December 2011 7.30pm Dr Rosemary Hopewell will give an illustrated talk on weeds, both garden and agricultural – the law, their downside and their uses through the ages. To be held at Holy Trinity Church Hall, West Street, Fareham PO16 0EL. Parking is available in Western Road or Trinity Road car parks. For further details please contact Peter Adams on 01329 287653. Suggested donation £2. Solstice Celebration 22 December 2011 11.00am – 1.00pm Come along and celebrate the shortest day of the year. A walk around the woods will be followed by a story and a hot drink around the camp fire. Please feel free to bring a packed lunch to eat during the session. An event for families with children aged 6-12. For further details contact Dawn Preston or Jess Daish-Miller on 01489 570240. Suggested donation £3 per child. Please bring warm outdoor clothing and sensible shoes. Booking is essential. 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.

This month Solent Life talks to Andy Turner, Programme Director for the Breeze Radio Network.


ell us about the Breeze, who’s it aimed at? The Breeze is your new radio station for the South Coast, playing the Smoothest sounds in the South. The Breeze has something for everyone, young and old, male and female but to be more specific our target listener would be 35+. We’ve purposely designed the station around the music for a more discerning listener than the other radio stations in the area. What kind of music does the Breeze play then? The Breeze is all about great songs with great melodies, nothing too hard or taxing. We play a broad variety of songs from a mix of decades featuring a wide range of artists like Elton John, George Michael, Michael Buble, Michael Jackson, Take That and Diana Ross. But we don’t just play the older established artists, the Breeze also features the fantastic new generation of quality artists like Adele, Beyonce, Christina Perri and Ed Sheeran. We have a bigger playlist with more choice and variety than many other stations in the area. Does that make it different from the other radio stations in the area? Absolutely, we feel the over 35’s are under served in this area. The other commercial stations tend to cater for young audiences and are totally driven by what music is in the charts. We like to think ‘Quality’ rather than ‘fads’ regarding the music we play, coupled with some interesting chat and intelligent local news and local information makes the Breeze a real alternative to the other stations. My opinion, give the Breeze a try and see for yourself. The Breeze feels like it’s my local radio station, is that just me or are you doing something special? The beauty of the Breeze is the fact that we have three transmitters across the South, Portsmouth 107.4FM, Southampton 107.8FM and Winchester 107.2FM which allows us to be truly local. Unlike the competition, who may only have one transmitter covering Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset, We really can focus on each different area, and by giving a truly ‘local’ service to listeners the information is far more relevant and engaging without all the regional baggage that you get elsewhere.

I love the David Perry Breakfast show each morning, particularly ‘The Word is Out’ competition, it’s now worth big money, could you give me a clue as to what the answer is? (Laughs) Our listeners have really taken to the competition. As the prize increases so does the interest. We have a full switch board every time we run the game. I can’t believe the current Olly Murs missing ‘word’ has gone on for so long, it’s currently worth over one thousand two hundred pounds (at time of interview). All I can say is we’ve had a couple of guesses heading in the right direction. To try and help listeners we post all the wrong answers on our website and in answer to your question, sorry no clues, but you can always phone in at ten past eight each morning and have a go yourself! At the moment along with the Word Is Out we are running the ‘Stick it to win it’ promotion which has seen 12 listeners already win their share of £5000 just by having a Breeze sticker in their car. Also look out for our new promotion where we post photos of listeners on the Breeze website (the attending the Breeze events and if you’re in the photo you could win a prize.

‘Stick it to win it’ The £5k Giveaway Request your car sticker and register to play at Then listen to The Breeze, if we spot your car and read out your number plate, you’ll have till 6pm that day to call in and claim your cash.

Competition Win an opportunity for a reader and a friend to sit in on the Breeze Breakfast show. A really unique behind the scenes view of how a radio show comes together. Look for the competition on page 35, send in your answer to the simple question and you could be sitting in the studio with our very own Dave Perry.

The Breeze is available across Hampshire on:

Portsmouth 107.4FM Southampton 107.8FM Winchester 107.2FM on DAB and on-line at • DECEMBER 2011 •




wonderland If forecasters are to be believed, by the time you read this, snow will be falling and our countryside will once again be covered by a soft white coating that will transform our landscape. So how does our wildlife not only survive such an extreme drop in temperature but use it to thrive… words & images • david rose-massom


now; it gives such amazing and stunning landscapes for us to enjoy, especially here in the south where, for a few days at least, it is a rarely expected treat. However, we soon tire of it as the population slows down, or in case of the trains – stops all together. But for the animal kingdom it can mean death and starvation. Snow makes it harder for the carnivores to hunt, because their prey will either be in hibernation because of the cold, or are dying because of the lack of plants. For the herbivores, the plants and fruit they eat will perish in the extreme cold which will leave them barely enough food for survival.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Yet freezing temperatures are not all bad for British wildlife which, in reality, is perfectly adapted to long, cold winters, which until recent years were the norm. In fact the cold weather helps to restore the balance of nature. Hibernating creatures; bats, butterflies, bees and the like are less likely to emerge, as they have in the milder winters of recent years, only to succumb to a sudden cold snap. In some mild years the bird population begin nesting too early and flowers occasionally erupt as they are fooled into thinking spring has arrived, but then get killed off by surprise frosts, or heavy snowfalls as we had last winter. The weather office stated it was the worst December weather since 1890, and the second coldest since records began back in 1659, and this year many long range forecasters have predicted we may get something similar; to quote one source ‘This winter it is very likely we will have a winter’! The good news is that extended cold spells and snow falls kill off viruses and parasites which will benefit their usual hosts and

helps reduce the threat of disease. There is also a migration from the rural regions to more urban locations for a proportion of wildlife, especially the bird population as more people put out food for them during very cold spells. Whilst this is a good thing, please remember; if you do put food out then continue with the feeding as the wildlife will be searching for, and expecting, your provisions. Sudden removal of the food source can cause problems. Also if you use feeders, as you would with your own food containers, clean them regularly to avoid the spreading of disease. The weather last year was so bad that the RSPB warned that British wildlife was facing an emergency following the longest period of freezing weather for almost 28 years with the bird population being the most affected as they found it impossible to feed, as the ground and bodies of water became frozen solid. So it is also a good idea to put out water, and one little tip is to leave an object such as a small ball floating in that water so that as any breeze moves the ball it stops the water from freezing over totally. Although it was thought that the two heavy periods of snow in the south last year would have an adverse affect on the population of small birds, the RSPB reported that the drop in small bird populations witnessed in the Birdwatch survey of 2010 during the those cold spells was rectified by excellent breeding conditions during the following spring. Small birds in recovery included goldcrests, long-tailed tits and coal tits.

Another interesting result of the survey was the numerous sightings of waxwings, reflecting both the large numbers migrating from Scandinavia that winter and the “bird-friendly” berry-producing vegetation that people are increasingly planting in their gardens. In fact the beautiful waxwings became the must see birds for photographers and birdwatchers as spring came and as they filled our lush berry bushes across the south; it was a magnificent sight. As for vegetation a thick layer of snow acts rather like a blanket so that heat does not leave the ground and only a thin layer of the soil will freeze under a thick layer of snow. The air temperature could be well below freezing but, just below the surface, because of the insulation qualities of the snow, the ground temperature might only be zero or slightly above restricting the damage to the dormant plant life. Many plants can be damaged or killed by cool or freezing temperatures, especially if, as in many gardens the plants are of the exotic variety, plants from the tropics or sub-tropics can die when they are exposed to frost; whereas plants from temperate climates can tolerate lower temperatures and are quite hardy. Snow and a hard frost create a sparkling white coating on all your garden plants and although beautiful to look at, that snow and frost can be a major problem for the gardeners among you, damaging plant growth and killing tender plants. Most keen gardeners are well aware of how to protect

their plants against the severe cold with natural and man-made thermal coverings. In the natural world though it seems that our native plants have an in-built ability to protect themselves against the severe winters and such is the insulating effect of the snow it even helps some plants to grow bigger. Nature is designed to overcome the bad weather; it helps sort out the weak from the strong, as with the hurricanes that have hit Britain where the weak trees are felled and the strong and healthy remain standing. One thing seems evident however; it is the human population that appears to have the most problem trying to continue as normal in the snow. So remember to put out food and water for the wildlife and also remember to keep those food containers and feeders clean and free from disease, then at least if you are stuck in your home with the snow closing rail and road networks, you can at least watch and enjoy the wildlife in your garden. One final note of warning; so extreme were the weather conditions last winter that one national newspaper reported polar bears being washed up on the Scottish coast, thankfully for the islanders mentioned in the report it was noted that the date on the paper was April 1st. If the harsh winter returns this year, as forecast by some, maybe it would be an idea to keep your eyes peeled down off Lee-on-the-Solent; just in case!. l • DECEMBER 2011 •


communitynews NEW MUSIC MAKERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT Friday 16 December 7.30pm & Saturday 17 December 2.30pm. Methodist Church, St John’s Rd, Hedge End. Tickets £7 (£5 under 14’s) from ‘Jesters’, Hedge End or Telephone 01489 781836. CHRISTMAS SERVICES AT LOCKS HEATH FREE CHURCH Sunday 18th December 10am Children present ‘It’s a Party!’ 5pm Carols by Candlelight featuring the Brookfield Brass Ensemble (separate activities for children aged 0-7) 7.30pm Carols by Candlelight featuring the Brookfield Brass Ensemble. Then Sunday 25th December 10am Christmas Day a Family Service at Locks Heath Free Church, 255 Hunts Pond Road, Titchfield Common. 01489 579669. BUTTERCUPS NURSERY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAYRE Saturday 10th December at the Whiteley Community Centre from 2pm – 4pm. Come along and join in the Christmas fun! Santa's Grotto, Tombola, Raffle with some fantastic prizes, games, stalls, face painting, refreshments and much more! Free entry! WHITELEY TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD Will be celebrating the Festive Season again by holding their annual Christmas Social Evening. Would you like to meet new people in 2012. Why not go along to the meetings At Whiteley Primary School, Gull Coppice, off Yew Tree Drive, Whiteley on the third Wednesday of each month at 7.15pm. They have a varied programme of events and speakers. They have a craft section, reading group, gardening group, lunch club, cinema/ theatre club & weather permitting, a walking group. New members and visitors are always welcome. Meetings always end with a cup of tea, or coffee and a chat. For more information please contact: Mrs Pauline Register (Chairman) Telephone: 01489 603356 or Mrs Chris Gray (Secretary) Telephone 01489 880421. BOTLEY CHORAL SOCIETY Botley, All Saints Church. Christmas Concert on Saturday 10th December, 7.30pm by Botley Choral Society. We are singing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and traditional Carols, with audience participation. Tickets £12 and £10 concessions. Telephone 01489 890007 or Likely to sell out. SINGERS AND THEIR SONGS The Friends of St. Andrew's, Hamble welcome the West End Singers on Saturday 10th of December for a concert of Old Songs, Secular Songs, Christmas Songs, New Songs. Time 7.30pm. Tickets on 023 8045 2148. Price of Admission £10 including refreshments, canapés etc; Raffle and Bar. OH LA LA AND DUDES AT BOTLEY MARKET HALL! Two extraordinary live shows at Botley Market Hall will mark the beginning of another year of high quality entertainment at this village hall: On Saturday 11th February, 7.30pm, the “OPERA DUDES –



community news Your essential guide to all the local news and events in your community THE CODFATHERS OF CROON” features an evening of songs and jokes from a couple of entertainers with the style and sophistication of Il Divo, the talent of Bocelli, the sharpest suits and the corniest of jokes! Tickets £14 which includes a fish and chip supper. Tickets for the event can be purchased from local shop ’Etikett’ or ring 01489 781155, to obtain more information SOLENT BRANCH OF THE EMBROIDERERS' GUILD On Monday 15th January, the Solent Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild will be hosting an Inspirational Talk from Jane Hall. This is a return visit from Jane who left the Guild spellbound last year. Jane’s inspirational talks explore nature and provide an informative insight into the methods she uses to create her delicate fine art embroideries. So please, go along to share her passion for the natural world and transforming it into stitch. If you would like to join in, please go along. You will be made very welcome. They meet in the Parish Rooms in Titchfield, 7pm for 7.30pm. Visitors £5. For more details please contact Jenny Buckley on 01489 578117 or Christina Eustace by email; christina.eustace@ or visit our blog on CHRISTMAS CONCERT Come and listen to all your festive favourites, played by the Warsash Band on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December at the Victory Hall in Warsash. Both concerts will have Father Christmas leading the traditional carol singing and will begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are priced at £7.00 and £5.50 for concessions and will be available from Dave Gasser at the Victory Hall from the 1st December. Telephone 01489 572913. CHRISTMAS FLORAL ART Art gallery Gaf is holding a series of Christmas Floral Art workshops led by Christine Wright. The workshops will be held at the GAF Centre Bursledon on Saturday mornings 3rd December and 10th December. The Children's workshop will be from 9.00 to 10.30 am and cost £10 for the three workshops. Adults will be from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm and cost £20 for the three workshops. Costs will include all materials used and refreshments. For further details design.html or phone Sue Osmond 023 8040 4649. ST JOHN THE BAPTIST, Church Road, Locks Heath have a variety of services over the Christmas period, and warmly welcome

• DECEMBER 2011 •

visitors. Contact the Church Office on 01489 578082 for more information about any service. Sunday 11th December: Christingle Service with Jazz Band. 4.00pm. Light the way, prepare for Christmas & support the work of The Children’s Society. All Children will receive Christingles, and the Church will be candlelit for a part of the service. Young children will love this service, and all are warmly welcomed. Saturday 24th December: Specially designed with children in mind: Crib Service 2.00pm & 3.30pm. Blessing the crib, a short service for little ones. Sing carols as the children make the crib for baby Jesus. Candlelight Celebration. 5.00pm & 7.00pm. Titchfield Abbey WI At the meeting of Titchfield Abbey WI to be held on Tuesday 13 December at Titchfield Community Centre there will not be speaker as usual, but following a 9.30am start with coffee or tea and biscuits, there will be light-hearted Christmas Entertainment for all members and visitors, who are welcome. The first meeting of the New Year will be on Tuesday 10th January 2012 when new members will be welcome to join; more information to follow. BURRIDGE & PARK GATE WI will be holding their next meeting at the St. Margaret Mary Church Hall, Park Gate, on Tuesday 3rd January at 7.15pm. Peter Trott will be telling us of his life as an extra on screen and TV. Visitors are very welcome to join us. Happy Christmas to all. WARSASH LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY will be looking forward to welcoming members (and visitors) to their next meeting on Wednesday 7th December. This will be the A.G.M. meeting but a presentation by local historian George Watts will follow. This is a welcome return for George and his theme this time is entitled “Drovers and the Droving Trade”. Meet in the Bartholomew Room of the Victory Hall commencing at 7.30pm. and the evening will end in usual festive style. Glenda Edmondson (Secretary) 573755. PHOTOGRAPHIC CANALS Thursday 5th January 2012 Southampton Canal Society “Waterways Photographic Evening and Competition” 7.45pm Chilworth Parish Hall, Chilworth Southampton SO16 7JZ Visitors welcome.


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

PLEASE HELP OUR ANIMALS To make sure our animals are well fed and cared for throughout the busy festive season and beyond PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR WINTER WARMTH APPEAL Just £20 could help provide 40 meals for the animals here. Your gift will provide food and care for the many vulnerable, mistreated & unloved animals at the shelter – some cheaply discarded like wrapping paper on Christmas morning


£500 GIFT




We have a everything you need to host your family Christmas party

Please send your donation to Vanessa Eden, Stubbington Ark Animal Shelter, 174-176 Ranvilles Lane, Fareham PO14 3EZ 01329 666916

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T: 01489 5801 4 5 • M:07867 5 2 0 6 8 0 E: • DECEMBER 2011 •



out&about 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… words & images • david rose-massom

Remembrance Day

Even the seagulls fell silent as veterans, service men and women and families bowed their heads in silence and remembered those lost in conflicts around the world on Remembrance Sunday at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial just off the shoreline in Lee-on-the-Solent. Services like this were conducted across the south at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Lest We Forget.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Cool Running

It was a perfect day for running as the start gun went off and 25,000 runners dashed from the start-line for the Great South Run which took them past the Spinnaker Tower, through the gates of the Historic Dockyard and past great ships Warrior and Victory. All the way round crowds turned out to cheer on the elite runners and the thousands of fun runners as they ran for glory and for charity.

Tesco Opens in Fareham

It was a big day for Fareham shoppers last month as Tesco opened the doors of its new store. The Mayor of Fareham cut the ribbon and accepted a £1,000 cheque for his designated charities from store manager Jon Roberts. Jon then sprayed champagne across the assembled crowd in the style of a grand prix winner. Among the 270-strong team who are working at the store there are 187 local people beginning new careers. • DECEMBER 2011 •


out&about Kit List Opening

Last month we featured the unique new business of Kit List Camping where you can hire everything you need for that family camping holiday. Since then we at Solent Life have been invited down to their store on the banks of the Hamble where mulled wine and mince pies took the chill from the misty morning as Fareham West District Scout Commissioner Lester Eryes cut the official opening ribbon with a scout knife.

Movie Premier

Over 80 children enjoyed the Red Carpet treatment at their very own film premiere in Southampton’s Ocean Village last month. Their films can be viewed on-line at but it was a trip to the Harbour Lights Cinema for the previews as around 700 friends and family lined the red carpet and cheered as the mini-stars stepped from their stretch limos into the limelight.


• DECEMBER 2011 •

Christmas Lights ‘Switch On’ in Fareham and Winchester It is an event that gets everyone in the Christmas mood and kicks off the festive season with the community all coming together for an afternoon and evening of celebration as Christmas lights are ceremonially turned on. Solent Life joined The Breeze FM in Fareham and Winchester for two days of great fun, great entertainment, Father Christmas and fireworks. Merry Christmas from Out and About…

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. • DECEMBER 2011 •


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• DECEMBER 2011 •

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

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All Aspects of Hard & Soft Landscaping

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Gardening Services

Private and Commercial All Aspects of Hedge Work Target Pruning / Trimming Mowing and Brush Cutting Garden Maintenance Site Clearances Planting / Re-planting All Green Waste Disposed of

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Green Fuse Gardens A reliable and efficient garden care service offering single, occasional or regular visits. For a free informal chat, in your garden, telephone David White on:

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• Grass Cutting • Hedge Trimming • Pruning • Planting

General Maintenance


Gutters Cleared

Gutters Cleared

using the reach vacuum Also:

UPVC conservatory & window cleaning. Gutter repairs & replacement. Proud members of where reputation matters Call Mark 023 80 4779 80 or 07762 807824

0800 955 0888 31 Bentley Green, Southampton • DECEMBER 2011 •


Business Directory Florist

Music Tuition

Christmas at…


Piano & Keyboard


Phone Julia & Claire

01489 576764

Heating (Gas)


All types of decorating, paper-hanging a speciality, no job too small. Public liability insurance held.

One to one tuition Beginners to Advanced All Ages Under 7’s Special Tuition All Types of music taught,

For a professional service with over 30 years experience call:


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Decorating Services Est. 23 years

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We help everyone to attain their potential in a relaxed and friendly environment. A GIFT of lessons for someone special could be the start of years of enjoyment and fun.

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E S TA B L I S H E D 1 9 8 0

Your local florist & greengrocer


•Internal/External •Paperhanging •Insurance Work a Speciality

Call Derek on 01489 581 269 • 07780 910 799




M: 0778 9394486 T: 023 8083 9211 E: W:



T: 01489 581168 M: 07917 133223



All aspects of plumbing & heating undertaken • OAP Discounts for boiler servicing • Boiler changes/replacements • Reasonable rates • Power flushing • Free estimates • Local and reliable • Bathrooms


● Full gas central heating installations ● Gas boiler servicing ● Gas central heating repairs ● Gas boiler replacements

Boiler repair & servicing Power flush Moving radiators Landlords safety certificates ● Gas safety inspections ● ● ● ●

Stubbington Gas Central Heating Services Fareham, Hampshire

T: 01329 510372 M: 07711 144577 ☎ E:

Landscaping Graham Thomas

Landscape & Construction Driveways, Patios, Paths & Walls Turfing, Fencing & Decking Ponds, Water Features & Drainage Block Paving Specialist 20 Years Experience Fully Insured, Free Quotations

Tel: 01329 315409/07970 780490

Dan Morgan

All Aspects Of Garden Maintenance & Landscaping

• Hedge Trimming • Pruning • Patios • Border Maintenance • Decking • Pergolas • Fencing

Mobile: 07725 210869 Home: 01489 589516





01489 576209 OR 07799 498494 FOR A FREE QUOTE


30+ years experience TELEPHONE: LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT

023 9255 0844

• DECEMBER 2011 •

Plumbing/Heating P.M. Services

W.R.A.S Approved 01489 691541 07711 812966 or 07977 807057



01329 845279


(Formerly G.T. Services)

Proctor Plumbing & Heating Services For All Your Plumbing & Heating Requirements, From a Dripping Tap to Bathroom Installations & Power Flushing Fully Insured - Free Quotations Tel: Dave 01329 847056 Mob: 07852287476 Gas Safe Registered


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

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advertise your business here?… from as little as


per month. Please contact us on…

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For a professional service call 07596 989422 or

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Building Plots & Houses in need of Renovation in Warsash and the surrounding area.

Call Paul on

01329 841416 or 07876 194823 Domestic Electrics




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


01489 574306 • 07960 947971


Grab a Cab Airports, Seaports, Clubs Local & Long Distance Wheelchair and pushchair friendly

01329 825045 Tree Services


Registration Number:CB/pn5511ul

CALL JIM ON 07984 501822

Team Greens

Tree Services

All aspects of tree work » Crown Reductions » Crown Lifts / Felling » Target Pruning » Dismantling » Hedge Work » Stump Grinding » Emergency Tree Work Undertaken

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!

Steve Allen NPTC

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For all your repairs & wiring.

From a single socket or light fitting to a complete rewire by a qualified engineer T: 01489 576056 • M: 07808 530834

01489 584 550 07780 877955 1 Mulberry Lane, Sarisbury Green

Qualified Fully Insured

Tel: 07983 622747 01489 588533 • DECEMBER 2011 •


Local events across the Solent region.



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

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


A magical

Christmas treat If like me, you love Mary Norton’s stories about the Borrowers, then this stage adaptation will certainly not disappoint and if you don’t know the books then you are in for a treat. words • sue brooks

The story is about the Clock family who are six inches tall and live under the floorboards of a big house. They make use of the things that human beings leave behind. Everything changes when a boy comes to stay at the house and the world of the Borrowers is literally turned upside down when their worst fears are realised and they are seen. This is a lovely family show with just the right balance of story and audience participation to keep even the youngest children enthralled. The audience at the performance we saw, was full of small children, not known for sitting still for long, but everyone one of them seemed to be totally caught up in the enjoyment of it all – not a fidget among them. The cast are exemplary; David Alcock as Pod and Julia Hills as Homily played their parts with aplomb and Eleanor Yates as their daughter Arrietty, gave just the right amounts of vulnerability and feistiness. Oliver Hoare plays both the part of the boy and of Spiller, a Borrower who the family meet when they are forced to emigrate into the outside world, so well that my husband didn’t realise they were played by the same actor. Nicola Blackman as Mrs Driver, the villain of the piece, was well received with customary boos and hisses and Matt Devereaux as Crampfurl entertained with both his acting and his musical talent. A big thumbs-up must go to the team of children who

• DECEMBER 2011 •

performed throughout with great enthusiasm. This production at the Nuffield Theatre is directed by Patrick Sandford, who as Artistic Director of the Nuffield Theatre, has been responsible for many of the Christmas shows staged here which are so enjoyed by adults and children alike. The sets are beautiful and very cleverly designed to get the right mix for the miniature world of the Clock family and the larger-than-life world of the human beings. Full marks then, to Patrick and his team for an imaginative and creative adaptation. This show should not be missed this Christmas. Take the whole family and lose yourselves in the magical world of the Borrowers. l

Music, Comedy, Events & Theatre ELVIS COSTELLO. THE SPECTACULAR SPINNING SONGBOOK The popular singer and songwriter reinvents the wheel when his tour comes to the U.K. in May of next year. An overture of five uninterrupted rock and roll tunes announces Elvis Costello and the Imposters to the stage, after which members of the audience are invited to spin the gigantic vaudevillian contraption and select the next song. Fortune may deliver such hits such as “Oliver’s Army”, “Everyday I Write The Book” and “Watching The Detectives” or land on a “Jackpot” selection such as “Time” and “Girl”, demanding a sequence of songs, each containing these words. BIC WINDSOR HALL, Bournemouth, Sunday 20th May and Tickets are on sale now. Call BH Live Tickets on 0844 576 3000, book online at www. or visit the BIC or Bournemouth Pavilion Ticket Office in person. Tickets: £36.50 & £42.50. BILLY CONNOLLY and JULIAN CLARY Two legendary comedians are heading for the south early next year, Billy Connolly and Julian Clary. For one night only the legendary Billy Connolly will perform live at The Mayflower Theatre on Sunday 4 March 2012 as part of his UK tour. Julian Clary brings his unique talents to the theatre with his new tour: Position Vacant, Apply Within on Sunday 30 September 2012. Master of camp Julian Clary is scouring the land in search of love. He’s promised to leave no straight unturned. Both shows are likely to sell out quickly and tickets for both shows are on sale online only at and on sale at the Mayflower Box Office tel: 02380 711811.

SNOW PATROL As part of the promotional tour for their new studio album ‘Fallen Empires’, this amazing and popular band will be visiting Bournemouth in February. Windsor Hall, BIC, Bournemouth, tickets are on sale so call 0844 576 3000, book online at www. or visit the BIC or Bournemouth Pavilion Ticket Office in person. Wednesday 8th February Doors 7pm Tickets: £32.50. ASPIRING PLAYWRIGHTS The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton is again opening its doors to anyone interested in becoming a playwright. The theatre’s writers’ group meets every two weeks, for two hours on a Thursday evening, over a two-year period. During this time, members investigate the essentials of playwriting, from dialogue to structure. Over the two years, they will produce a 10-minute play, a 40-minute radio play and a full length piece for the theatre. Applicants will be selected on the basis of an interview and two samples of their work. The group is free of charge and is run by the theatre’s Script Executive, John Burgess, a freelance director well known for his work with new playwrights. Interviews will be held from January and a new group will begin after Easter 2012. Anyone interested should contact Alison Thurley at alison.thurley@ or on 023 8031 5500 ex 205. CHRISTMAS AT MOORS VALLEY This year Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, near Ringwood, offers a sustainable ‘one stop shop’ for all your Christmas needs with everything from beautiful Christmas trees to sumptuous festive food available on site. You can even make your own festive gifts and cards

Children and buy fantastic local crafts! Children are invited to decorate the Park’s giant Advent calendar and make their own Christmas cards. The ever-popular Forestry Commission Christmas Tree Shop opens for business on Saturday 3 December. This year it’s one of only two Forestry Commission sites locally where you can pick up a real tree; open from 10am to 4pm each day and there’s free parking for everyone who buys a tree. Moors Valley Country Park and Forest Entry is free, although parking charges apply. For details, visit www. or call 01425 470721. TOTEM – CIRQUE Du SOLEIL TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Sounds like new-age preaching but for anyone who has been to a Cirque Du Soleil production will tell you; it is all about the strange, the unusual and the amazing acrobatic trickery and the fantasy of a whole new world. If you have never been to this version of ‘circus’ loo out you are in for entertainment that will amuse, amaze and leave you awestruck! ROYAL ALBERT HALL, London, opens on Jan 5th and although advertised till Feb 5th the run may well be extended, it usually is because of demand. Tickets from just £20 up to £195 for Premium and VIP experience. Book online at www. totem/tickets/london-2012 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA It is over a year away but once tickets go on sale there will be a rush to secure seats for the world’s most popular musical. Producer Cameron Mackintosh

is delighted to present a spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and it will be arriving at The Mayflower Theatre, in January of 2013. It will star Earl Carpenter as ‘The Phantom’ and Katie Hall who will play the role of ‘Christine’. It has been seen in 145 cities in 27 countries and played to over 130 million people. www.thephantomofthe MAYFLOWER, Southampton from 22nd January to 16th February 2013. Box Office 02380 711 811. See website for details THE KING AND I Tells the heart-warming story of the British governess brought to the court of Siam to tutor the King’s many children, told using one of the most beautiful scores ever written with sweeping melodies such as ‘Shall We Dance’, ‘Whistle A Happy Tune’, ‘Hello Young Lovers’, ‘The March of the Siamese Children’ and the unforgettable ‘Getting To Know You’. Ramon Tikaram will play the role of ‘The King’ and Josefina Gabrielle will play the role of ‘Anna’. This breathtaking new production is a lavish, grand-scale spectacle with giant gold Buddhas, sumptuous costumes, a chorus of adorable children, acrobatic dancers. MAYFLOWER THEATRE, Southampton, from 20th to 24th March next year Tickets for The King and I are on sale from The Mayflower Box Office on 02380 711811, online at or in person from the Mayflower ticket south shop in The Mall (Marlands), Southampton. Ovation Restaurant bookings 02380 711833. • DECEMBER 2011 •





Quickish Crossword

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










Easy Sudoku

2 6


6 1 7 1




3 2 8


4 9


9 4 5

5 2 8 3

4 2 7 3

5 6 7 5 4

6 1

6 5 2 8

6 7 5 9 4









Hard Sudoku 2






8 2 6 3 5 4 7 1 4 8 9

ACROSS 1 When it comes to this… (6)

DOWN 2 Status of a monarch. (5)



Large flatfish. (6)

4 Farmhouse and land. (9)


5 Thumbtack. (3)

Tend to. (8)

10 Opponents of the Axis. (6)

6 Writer of fables. (5)

11 Marvellous!. (6)

7 Central banking exchange. (13)

12 Kill. (4)

11 Exercise with it on your wrists or head. (9)

14 Look with this. (3) 15 Big noise. (4)

13 Quite big. (7)

16 Find it underfoot. (6)

15 Make or sell liquor illegally. (7)

18 Prize. (6) 19 Woody climbing plant with drooping flowers. (8)

3 7 8

Wanting anxiously. (7)

8 Write mechanically. (4)

17 Speak. (5) 20 Man known for his photographs. (3)

21 Praise. (6) 22 Small red stoned fruit. (6) 23 Stabbing Weapon. (6)



C R O 8 T Y A A L 10 1











4 6 7 1 5 3 8 9 2

9 1 3 8 4 2 5 6 7

2 8 5 6 9 7 1 4 3

6 4 8 5 7 1 3 2 9

5 3 1 9 2 4 6 7 8

7 2 9 3 8 6 4 1 5

1 7 2 4 3 8 9 5 6

3 5 4 2 6 9 7 8 1

8 9 6 7 1 5 2 3 4


4 9 7 1 8 3 2 6 5

1 8 5 4 6 2 3 7 9

3 2 6 9 5 7 8 1 4

7 1 8 6 3 5 4 9 2

5 4 2 8 9 1 6 3 7

9 6 3 2 7 4 1 5 8

8 7 4 5 1 6 9 2 3

2 3 1 7 4 9 5 8 6

6 5 9 3 2 8 7 4 1

• DECEMBER 2011 •



B O 19 O T 21 L E G


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

U N C H P L E O I 9 P E M I N I D E 11 L I E S S U L T W 14 E Y E A Y 16 A A 18 O U N D T R L B 21 S T E R I A I A N 23 E R R Y D A

check your answers here!

S L A 16 17 G R G 20 W I S C H




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