AUGUST 2019 ISSUE 054
MP: RAIL BALLOT RESULT ‘A DISGRACE’ By KEVIN GOVER News Editor WORKERS on South Western Railway who are members of the RMT Union have voted to continue industrial action on South Western Railway. The dispute over guards on trains is a long-running one. Winchester Today understands that the vote was carried by 86% of those RMT union members eligible to take part. It’s the fifth such ballot. Winchester’s MP Steve Brine called the move a “total disgrace”: The RMT have lost the argument and should
recognise that. My constituents have had more than enough of problems on SWR and, right now, sweltering journeys – so the last thing they need is more strikes that belong in a different age.” A South Western Railway spokesperson gave this statement to Winchester Today: “We are very disappointed with the result of this ballot as we have been very clear that no jobs are at risk and we have offered a guarantee of a guard on every train as part of a framework to resolve this dispute. In fact, our plans over the course
The last thing my constituents need is more strikes
of the franchise mean we will continue to recruit and employ more guards, not fewer. “The ballot result shows that many thousands of customers and colleagues could now be subjected to further strike misery at the behest of less than half our total guards workforce. “It’s time the RMT union was honest with their members about what it is exactly they want given the assurances that have been provided by the company. “The constant threat of further disruptive strike action is not fair on anyone.”
Drones a boon, say Police page 4
Kings’ students go to the Prom centre pages
BOY MEETS GIRL MEANS TROUBLE... Perins pupils take over the West Side. Our review is on page 12
Photo: Leela Bennett Photography
Rock of Ages has us believing page 10
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As I was writing up the details of the Worthys Festival for September, there was one event that immediately caught my eye. The Scouts and Guides campfire! Yes! I cannot tell you how many of those I enjoyed over the years in my days as a cub, scout, venture scout and cub leader. My friend Chris Book (who writes our film reviews) will back me up entirely on this that there’s something about a campfire that brings everyone even closer together. The sounds, the smells, the songs… the showbiz! The first one I can really remember was back in 1971 when our troop went on a fantastic trip to Liechtenstein. We camped at a beautiful place in Vaduz.
Swimming in a lake or walking in a mountain forest — or climbing a mountain during the daytime, and then the campfire when the sun went down. Showbiz. One of the adults had a guitar, I sang a song from the forthcoming Gang Show (red neckerchief level, if you please…) and a group of leaders led us in hotdogs and tunes. It was on this trip that I really got to know our Bosun, Keith Jones. He was the one who encouraged us to save money beforehand towards the trip, in an age when £10 would have lasted you the entire two weeks to enjoy ice cream and cable car passes, bring back Swiss lighters (yes, lighters), Swiss knives (yes, knives), Swiss cow bells with a decorative strap and a Swiss cuckoo clock for
mum. We went through Paris as well, but none of us bought anything there. Keith had a reputation for keeping the fire going and always having the tea ready. He was also the epitome of patience and advice. I can’t remember a single day of seeing him angry about anything. Chris told me recently that Keith had gone to the great jamboree in the sky. I was genuinely saddened to hear this news. He was one of those people who guided us properly, made us better men and led us in the right direction. The world of scouting is poorer for his passing. Kevin Gover
Week Of Fun For Worthys
From duck races to flower festivals, treats are in store this September
winchestertoday n EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Kevin Gover email@example.com n CONTRIBUTORS • David Cradduck • Drew White • Gavin Harris • Rachel Gover • Helena Gomm • John Ellery • Chrissie Pollard • Freya Storey • Eleanor Marsden • Chris Book • Edyth Miles • Richard Horsman • Simon Newman Richard Horsman portrait by Chris Eastham n LAYOUT DESIGN • Jon Heal Winchester Today Media Partner to Winchester Film Festival and Bishop’s Waltham Festival
ORGANISERS of the Worthys Festival are gearing up for what looks like a fantastic week of events from 14 September in and around the various parts of the area. It all gets underway with a Village Open Day on Saturday 14 September. There will be a flower festival at St Swithun’s Church (right, main picture) which continues all week, tours up the Tower at St Mary’s (right, inset), exhibition football on Church Green, free bus rides around the village with King Alfred’s buses — and the inaugural St Swithun’s Duck Race at 2pm! Events through the week include a Quiz Night, bike ride with the Worthy Wheelers, film night at St Mary’s, campfire songs with the Scouts and Guides, jazz at the Cart and Horses and a Community Tea Party. The final weekend of the 20th - 22nd sees a whole host of events around the marquee at Eversley Park, including a beer and cider festival and food festival. Friday night will also see a ceilidh, while Saturday sees an arts and crafts market, fairground rides, festival fun
The final weekend sees a whole host of events at Eversley Park runs for adults and children and an allday music festival. Sunday sees a fun dog show, Scout BBQ, wildflower meadow walk, flower arranging demonstration and the Worthys Football Club tournament, with a festival finale of fireworks at Eversley Park at 8pm. More details will be available in the Festival programme, available in the village from mid-August.
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KEEPING THE MEMORIES ALIVE World War 2 Accounts Needed for Hampshire Project VOLUNTEERS are being asked to come forward to help with the National Lottery funded project, Home Fires, which is exploring the lives of women and children in Hampshire during the Second World War. It wants to hear from people who were children or young women living in Winchester and the surrounding area during war-time, and who wish to participate in this project by recalling their experiences. Relatives who grew up listening to stories about life during the war are also welcome to get involved. These will be documented by a volunteer team and the information will help to create a pop-up exhibition that will tour public buildings, as well as a schools workshop. Some of those who come forward to recount their stories will also have the opportunity to sit for a portrait by Winchester School of Art student, Chloe Withers – who will weave people’s stories in and alongside their pictures. Chloe is working with Live Theatre Winchester Trust’s Engagement Producer, Kat Henderson as part of an Internship Programme. The portraits will be exhibited in the autumn. As well as exploring the lives of people living in the region during the Second World War, Home Fires will also look at how Theatre Royal Winchester
entertained, provided comfort, and news from the front live, to audiences living at the time. The Home Fires project also sees Martin Jakeman hosting an immersive experience about the lives of people in Hampshire on VE Day – when Germany surrendered, marking the end of the Second World War. This can be seen at Theatre Royal Winchester’s Open Day on Saturday 21 September; and at Serles House – The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, in Winchester on Sunday 22 September, as part of their Heritage Open Day. Martin was the first winner of Hat Fair’s Top Hat Competition – launched at the festival in summer 2018 – which gives current and recent graduates of University of Winchester the chance to perform at Hat Fair and win the public vote to return the following year as one of the billed acts. Martin has been mentored by Hat Fair Director Andrew Loretto over the last year to create this immersive experience that was premiered at Hat Fair 2019. The Live Theatre Winchester Trust announced in May that it had secured a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help support the project. For more information, or to submit an application, please email Kat Henderson at email@example.com
CRIME FIGHTING DRONE TESTS ‘GOOD NEWS’ Technology must be ulitised, say Hampshire Police HAMPSHIRE and Thames Valley Police are joining together to test the capability of drones in fighting crime in the two force areas. Each force will have three drones at their disposal during the trial, and 34 drone operators have been trained across the areas. The drones can be used in a variety of incidents such as searching for missing people, responding to major incidents, capturing aerial crime scene imagery, at road traffic collisions, large public events and other policing operations. The drones are made by Yuneec and are a six engine model with high definition, optical and thermal imaging cameras and flown up to a maximum height of 400 feet. Members of the public will see the use of drones from mid-August when the pilot scheme goes operational for both Forces. Assistant Chief Constable David Hardcastle is responsible for operation across Hampshire and Thames Valley: “This is an exciting opportunity for both Forces, which will mean officers can get an aerial view of large areas in a short periods of time, so their use should really assist with finding offenders suspected of crime or disorder and, missing people in large open expanses or wooded areas, providing live feeds for officers at major incidents or football games and protests
and many other applications. “Both Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary are committed to using technology to fight crime and make the public safer and hopefully the use of drones will be another tool available to do this.” PC Andy Sparshott told Winchester Today he knows drones have attracted a lot of negative publicity: “We hope that the public sees this as a good news story. We’re doing this for legitimate purposes to help our officers on the ground. “We can attach a life preserver or rescue aid to the bottom of the drones for river work for example. It saves on manpower when we’re looking for missing or wanted people as well, so it can only be positive.”
It saves on manpower ... it can only be positive
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HANTS CHIEF SUPPORTS NEW POLICE NUMBERS PLEDGE by Richard Horsman
POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Michael Lane, has welcomed Boris Johnson’s pledge to bring in thousands of new police officers across the country within three years: “The Prime Minister’s announcement that 20,000 new police officers will be recruited nationally over the next three years is very welcome. “Such a significant increase in police numbers will have a real impact on tackling crime and offending in Hampshire, ensuring that we can get ahead of future threats. This is a huge opportunity to grow a workforce with the skills, technology and capability that will see us into the future and keep our communities safer for years to come. “The Chief Constable and I stand
Such a significant increase in police numbers will have a real impact
On yer bike, lad
Michael Lane: Sees a ‘huge opportunity’ in Prime Minister Johnson’s commitment
ready to work with the Government and partners to ensure that we are able to meet the ambition of these plans” His enthusiasm will face tough challenges though, with claims across the media shortly after the announcement that the three-year timescale is completely unrealistic. Others reported on the reluctance of young people as new recruits to face confrontation in tackling criminals and to work on weekends.
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CROSSWORD Across: 6 Abdicate, 8 Yaks, 9 Salad dressing, 10 Climatologist, 14 Reincarnation, 17 Weatherperson, 20 Anon, 21 Solidify. Down: 1 Lira, 2 Bandit, 3 Cereal, 4 Eyesight, 5 Akin, 7 Braille, 11 Monotony, 12 Our, 13 Show-off, 15 Ageism, 16 Nipple, 18 Etna, 19 Reds.
I loved playing with my Chopper when I was a kid. I had hours of innocent fun, cycling up and down the roads round a suburban estate with only a few cars parked on the street, and virtually no one with two vehicles, except maybe in the posh Phase Two development with the private houses, all fake Georgian windows and carriage lamps, where some executive-style properties boasted a double garage as an added amenity. It was what one aspired to, together with the extra large serving hatch from the kitchen into the dining room big enough to pass a nice warm bottle of sweet Blue Nun through, and the lethal waste disposal unit in the kitchen sink ready to instantly liquify whatever you fancied chucking down the drains. Or your fingers. Mine wasn’t a real Raleigh Chopper of course. We weren’t made of money. It was a knock off Chopper-ish lookalike, probably made in East Germany. Solid, workmanlike and heavy up hills even with a funky gearshift on the crossbar. It’s the last time I enjoyed riding a bike. I loved the idea of a Honda nifty fifty when I reached 16, but dad wouldn’t hear of it. He was in the motor trade, so instead I was bribed with the promise of a car for my seventeenth birthday, a promise which was kept with the arrival of a Triumph Herald convertible, customised in hand-applied Dulux green gloss to match the mould on the bits that weren’t rusty. I burnt the clutch out in a fortnight practicing hill restarts. Back to the bike was tough after that. Apart from the odd weekend at Center Parcs, when we could pretend to be all environmentally friendly and Dutch with our fake wood smokeless logs and continental saunas, I’ve never ridden a bike since. I’m not cut out to be a MAMIL – a MiddleAged Man In Lycra. I don’t have the legs for it, either in pushing power or aesthetic terms, and fluorescent colours give me a migraine. I drown in sweat if I look at an incline. I can’t neck Lucozade straight from the bottle. Neither do I fancy strapping multiple cameras to my extremities so I can post real-time angry videos on social media each time an HGV with a “No Sleep Since Vladivostok” sticker cuts me up outside Tesco. As for puncture repair outfits, the least said the better. I’m more of a REPTILLEE .. Retired, Executive
There are idiots on the road on two and four wheels. I know where I’d prefer to be when there’s a dispute Persuasion, Think I’d Like Leather and Electric Everything, thanks very much. I also lack the inbuilt sense of absolute moral superiority to be able to assert, like my mate Jezza, that a taxi driver should cheerfully brake for the cyclist who’s just blindly sailed across a junction through a red light in front of him “because they’d lose momentum if they had to give way”. There are idiots on the road on two and four wheels. I know where I’d prefer to be when there’s a dispute. Now, however, I’m facing a dilemma. If that lot parking yellow boats on bridges are right, we’ve not got long to find an alternative to pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even boosting beer production 10,000 percent would only use a fraction of it, and besides, I never drink keg. The Wolseley will have to stay a dream. Instead, some lovely PR people have offered me the chance of riding an electric bike for a week, and reporting back on my experiences. Not motor driven, but power assisted, so I pedal like a wimp and a multiplier thingy makes my efforts equal to those of Wiggo sprinting for the Arc de Triomphe in a yellow jersey. Not sure I’m ready for the ultimate test, mind - cycling down the exact centre of a one way street at 5mph, whistling a carefree tune whilst a stream of rush hour traffic inches along behind me, but bring it on. Cycling meets cynicism. There can only be one winner.
A model new career I’ve achieved a scientific miracle. Not turning base metal into gold, or perpetual motion, but close. I’ve found a way to monetise sleep. It all goes back to a chance social meeting a year or so ago with an old school friend. I’d gone on to a career in news, she became head of art at a secondary school. Whilst chatting over a glass of wine and a handful of Twiglets at a gallery opening I sensed I was being assessed, professionally. Then the question came – did I
The key qualification is the ability to keep still – really still – for up to an hour at a time
fancy sitting for my portrait painting? The result can be seen at the head of this column, I’m dead chuffed with it and the artist is Chris Eastham (give her a Google and tell her I sent you). One thing led to another, my name was passed on, and I’ve discovered an entirely unexpected retirement sideline as an artists’ model. Here’s the thing. It’s one of the few benefits of ageing. Art groups traditionally like their models to be young, beautiful, well defined and athletic. That was never me. Nature decreed I skipped straight into the 25-55 category of being a bit boring, like London beer. Then, in the past few years I’ve magically started to acquire the required wrinkles, bodily flaws and general wizenedness to become of artistic interest again. The key qualification is the ability to keep still – really still – for up to an hour at a time. I find it’s a great opportunity to do the accounts in my head, or list the places we’ve been on holiday since 1988 in correct order. When it gets uncomfortable I start counting. There’s no level of pain that can’t be endured for a count of 300 (5 minutes) when necessary. One doesn’t actually go to sleep, but it’s certainly a chance to zone out. All quite pleasant, and then they give you pocket money. As for what one is wearing during these creative interludes, that’s maybe best left to the imagination. Sweet dreams.
And THIS Is How We Deliver a Baby! Pupils swap their classroom for a clinical education suite A group of 14 and 15-year-olds have had an insight into working in healthcare with a visit to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester to learn more about a possible career in the NHS. The pupils from Hedge End spent the day with the clinical skills team at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Interactive sessions included testing out their CPR skills and learning how to save a life, helping to deliver a baby thanks to a high-tech simulation mannequin and catheterising a dummy patient. The students also learned about hand hygiene and how far bugs could travel, after which the pupils were all put to the test on how well they cleaned their hands. The team also showed them how to don surgical gloves without contamination, and the student with the least contaminated gloves won a prize. As well as the hands-on learning, staff from across Hampshire Hospitals all delivered short talks on their career within the NHS, as well as the future
The day had sparked interest in working for the NHS
It’s a great opportunity for students to experience the diversity of roles within the NHS
opportunities that could be available to them in the NHS. Talks were given by a range of clinical and non-clinical staff to demonstrate the variety of roles available. A show of hands at the end of the visit highlighted that the day had sparked interest in working for the NHS, with it being high on the list of possible careers for many of the pupils. Assistant head teacher at Wildern School, Sally Wheeler, said it had been an incredibly informative and unique experience for the students: “It’s been
Hands-on: The Hedge End pupils practised life-saving techniques
lovely to see them all engage with the workshops and have opportunities they wouldn’t usually have access to. It’s a great opportunity for students to experience the diversity of roles within the NHS, and we want to say a big thank you to Hampshire Hospitals for such a wonderful day.” Andi Bullard is clinical skills lead for the Trust, which runs Winchester hospital: “Our role in education is not just nurturing, supporting and developing existing healthcare professionals, it’s also about reaching out to future generations that will become the NHS staff of tomorrow. “The whole team loved the day and we hope to put on more educational events like this in the future. A huge thank you to everyone who helped on the day, including the many members of our HHFT team who inspired the pupils with their own career journeys.”
winchestertoday HAMPSHIRE-BASED online marketing specialist ‘Pixal Marketing’ are celebrating victory yet again after scooping a ‘Global Business Excellence Award’, in the ‘Outstanding Marketing Team’ category. It’s just the latest in the collection of wins which reach back to 2015 – with the brand being consistently recognised for excellence in the highly competitive online marketing sector. After launching in 2010, Pixal Marketing established a strong foothold in the online marketing world, specialising in Pay Per Click management via Google & Facebook Ads. They have developed a reputation built on delivering outstanding results, for a wide range of small and medium sized businesses. The Global Business Excellence Awards were generous in their praise: “Pixal Marketing’s team of experts has a proven track record of helping its clients better manage their pay-perclick advertising campaigns and grow their business. The results from customer campaigns are simply outstanding.”
PIXAL TAKE PLAUDITS AGAIN Nine years on, the online marketing specialists continue to win awards
MP BACKS BIKE SCHEME
MORE FLIGHTS FOR EASTERN EASTERN Airways is increasing services from Southampton Airport to Leeds Bradford Airport up to three flights a day, Monday to Thursday, as it offers more choice on its Flybe franchise services.
From 9th September, the UK regional airline will introduce a 3pm afternoon flight from Southampton and a 1.10pm service from Leeds Bradford as part of its weekday offering.
The new afternoon flights increase capacity by a third with up to 15 flights a week in each direction with Southampton Airport facilitating connections from Jersey, Guernsey and other European destinations.
RBS closure of centre ‘over 200 jobs are lost’ UNITE - the union which represents staff working at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - has called the bank’s decision to close their contact centre in Southampton “deplorable.” The closure of the Brunswick Gate customer contact centre will result in the loss of 227 bank staff. The Southampton workforce work within Personal and Premier Distribution and are responsible for the direct telephony and support functions that look after bank customers. Rob MacGregor is Unite national officer: “This is a betrayal by the taxpayer backed bank of its 227 staff. The closure
This is a betrayal by the taxpayer backed bank of its 227 staff
of this site will devastate the hundreds of highly trained, skilled and loyal staff, many of which are from the local community. Unite is calling on the bank to reconsider this decision and protect their workforce. “While the bank claim some jobs will be created in Manchester and Southend, this will serve as little comfort to the Southampton centre employees. “Unite is pressing RBS to work with local employers to find staff alternative employment, and representatives will be at the site over the coming weeks to support the workforce.”
MP Steve Brine has visited what he terms as a ‘go-ahead’ Chandler’s Ford business as he saw a new cycling scheme in action. Following a grant from Southampton City Council, Condor Office Solutions company has purchased two e-bikes, and Steve and local Borough councillor Margaret Atkinson were keen to hear more and try them out. Condor’s David Bayles says the environment is a key factor: “We thought there was a great potential for e-bikes to cut out short journeys we were doing by car, such as toner deliveries, visiting customers, staff popping out to the shops for lunch, or even going to and from home. “We’re in the process of training staff up right now, and one of the reasons it will work is because it is great fun. It puts a grin on your face and that’s why staff will be ready and happy to use them.” Steve says it’s a no-brainer: “Condor have really embraced it as well as integrating it into their business model for short local journeys making the most of a government scheme delivered through the local council. With councils across the country — including at last in Eastleigh — declaring climate
One of the reasons it will work is because it is great fun emergencies, this could play an important part in reducing short car journeys and the Borough playing in part in getting to net zero carbon. “It’s also tremendous fun and more cycling, for health reasons as well as traffic and air quality, is a fine end in itself if you ask me.” Cllr Margaret Atkinson appeared bowled over too: “This is something I want to take back to Eastleigh Borough Council to promote the use of e-bikes throughout the borough. It’s a fantastic initiative and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed riding the bike!”
K ings’ school
THE MAGIC OF A PROM Not long ago most British schools didn’t have school proms. They probably had a simple school disco at the end of term. Now, more than 85 percent of schools in Britain have a prom. Proms are big news in Britain these days. A school prom is a formal party to celebrate an important date at school such as the end of secondary school after completing school exams in Year 11. Proms are traditionally held in June or July, around the end of exam time. The idea is to have fun with your school friends and celebrate your time and achievements at school. The Kings’ School Prom is an important celebration of the hard work and achievement of our pupils at the end of
their five years at the school. This year saw a glorious evening where our pupils had one last opportunity to socialise with their friends and teachers at school before leaving to face fresh challenges. The school playing field was transformed with a marquee and the superb weather allowed everybody to enjoy a fun evening with the close marked by spectacular fireworks. The theme this year was ‘Into The Woods’. All in all, the Prom was a very fitting end to their time at Kings’ School and we wish them all the very best for the future. Ian Pickles Business Manager, Kings’ School Images: Giles Fletcher
ROCKING OUT WITH A BIG SMILE Beccy Conway joins the show’s cult following and has a thoroughly fab time
ROCK OF AGES The Mayflower, Southampton
1987: The Sunset Strip. Aspiring actress Sherrie, straight off the bus from rural Kansas, meets Drew outside the Bourbon Room, where he works behind the bar whilst dreaming of becoming a rock star. Their first date is followed by a series of misunderstandings and poor judgements as the pair are caught up in the rock and roll lifestyle of the City of Angels. The couple’s tale is told to the backdrop of change on the Strip as dastardly German developer, Hertz Klinemann (Vas Constanti) comes to town with the aim of cleaning up LA and ridding it of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It’s clear the show has a cult following; before curtain-up I hear people around me animatedly discussing the various
Lonny playfully mocks the typical musical theatre tropes characters and their past incarnations. I know little about the production other than a vague recollection of the underwhelming 2012 film adaptation (which the show does an entertaining job of snubbing), so it’s with an open mind that I wait for the show to begin. Bright lights flash over the audience and reveal a set made up of stacked Marshall speakers and scaffold pipes. In the first few minutes we’re greeted with crowd-pleasers including We Built This City and Cum On Feel the Noize. Lonny, the Bourbon Room stagehand played by the hilarious Lucas Rush, immediately addresses the audience, beginning a steady stream of heckling and audience interaction throughout the production, always to raucous laughter. Rush continues to break the fourth wall as he acts as narrator, at one point telling Drew to stop worrying, he’s just a performer in a musical… We particularly enjoy when Lonny produces a ‘Musicals for Dummies’ book at the end of Act 1, while he playfully mocks the typical musical theatre tropes – “I love jazz hands!” For tonight, the role of Drew is performed by the understudy, Joshua Dever, though we’d never have known it as he handles the part marvellously. Jodie Steele as Sherrie is a phenomenal lead, and both their voices are really suited to belting out the glam rock numbers. Be prepared to see Kevin Clifton – fresh from his 2018 Strictly Come Dancing win with Stacey Dooley – in a new light, as he takes on the role of womanizing rock frontman, Stacee Jaxx. It’s fun to see him get into the comedy of the role, though he also earns an appreciative whoop from the audience during the curtain call when he pulls out a few signature Latin steps.
Frontman: Kevin Clifton (left) plays against type as the womanising Stacee Jaxx Images by Richard Davenport.
We’re all out of our seats and singing along to Don’t Stop Believing as the show closes.
The cast as a whole have brilliant comic timing; notable performers include Rhiannon Chesterman as Regina, the city planner turned protestspearhead who galvanises the inhabitants of the Strip to fight back against the demolition of their historic home. Franz Klinemann, played by Andrew Carthy, has everyone in stitches with his camp rendition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and Kevin Kennedy as Bourbon Room owner, Dennis, completes a fantastic comedy duo with Rush. The ensemble dancers and on-stage band heighten the already-electric atmosphere, and we’re all out of our seats and singing along to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing as the show closes. A musical chock full of rock classics, which doesn’t take itself at all seriously and whose cast you’re convinced are having the time of their lives.
August 2019 A household name teetering on the brink of national treasure status, awardwinning comedian Ed Byrne enjoys worldwide acclaim for his stand-up. With 25 years under his belt, Ed has parlayed his on-stage success into a variety of notable television appearances. A regular on Mock The Week and The Graham Norton Show, Ed has recently co-presented Dara & Ed’s Big Adventure and its follow-up Dara & Ed’s Road To Mandalay, and managed not to disgrace himself on Top Gear or whilst tackling one of The World’s Most Dangerous Roads. As a semi-professional hill-walker himself and fully paid-up humanist, he also brought a refreshing warmth and honesty to BBC2’s recent hit The Pilgrimage. But the Irishman is still best-known and best appreciated for his stand-up performances, and you’ll be able to witness that here in Winchester at the Guildhall in early October. A quarter of a century at the comedic coal-face has equipped Ed with a highly evolved story-telling ability and a silky mastery of his craft. Yet his wit, charm and self-deprecatory observational humour is often underpinned by a consistently hilarious vitriol and sense of injustice at a world that seems to be spinning ever more rapidly out of control. Having recently hit a new peak with shows such as the sublime Spoiler Alert and reflective Outside, Looking In, which explored the minefield that is modern parenting and a generational sense of entitlement, Ed’s new show If I’m Honest digs ever deeper into a father’s sense of responsibility, what it means to be a man in 2019, and whether he possesses any qualities whatsoever worth passing on to his two sons. Occasionally accused of whimsy, If I’m Honest is a show with a seriously steely core. Gender politics, for example, is something Ed readily engages with – deploying his customary comedic zeal: “I’ll admit that there are things where men get a raw deal. We have higher suicide rates, and we tend not to do well in divorces, but representation in action movies is not something we have an issue with. It was Mad Max: Fury Road that kicked it all off, even though nobody complained about Ripley in Alien or Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Of course, social media means this stuff gets broadcast far and wide in an instant, which emboldens people. “The problem with men’s rights activists is that it’s not about speaking up for men’s rights, it’s about hating women. If you’re a men’s rights activist, you’re not
25 YEARS AND LAUGHING Ed Byrne tells Jason Barlow about the wealth of experience he’s bringing to the Guildhall
There’s something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you
Balanced: Ed ’s new show has a steely core to go with its whimsy
going to care about the fact that there’s an all-female Ghostbusters remake. That’s nothing to do with men’s rights or female entitlement. That’s everything to do with being, well, a whiny baby.” As ever, Ed manages to provoke without being overly polemical, a balancing act that only someone of his huge experience can really pull off: “I did stuff about Trump and the Pizzagate
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right wing conspiracy, and a couple of the reviewers said, ‘Oh, I would have liked to have watched a whole show of this’, and I think, ‘well you might have, but the average person who comes to see me would not like to see that’. I like to make a point or get something off my chest, or perhaps I’m talking about something that’s been on my mind, but the majority of stuff is just to get laughs.
“People who come to see me are not political activists necessarily, they’re regular folk. If you can make a point to them, in between talking about your struggles with aging, or discussing your hernia operation or whatever it is, you can toss in something that does give people pause as regards to how men should share the household chores. “It’s not that I feel a responsibility, I think it just feels more satisfying when you’re doing it, and it feels more satisfying when people hear it. When a joke makes a good point, I think people enjoy it. It’s the difference between having a steak and eating a chocolate bar.” Ed broke through in the mid-1990s when the New Lad became a genuine cultural phenomenon. He doesn’t want to submit to any unnecessary revisionism, but admits that if the times have changed, he has changed with them. He reflects a little ruefully on one of his most famous jokes: “There’s an attitude towards Alanis Morissette in the opening of that routine that I’m no longer comfortable with, where I call her a moaning cow and a whiny bint… slagging off the lyrics of the song is fine, but there’s a tone in the preamble that I wouldn’t write today.” The new show also takes his natural tendency towards self-deprecation to unexpected extremes: “I do genuinely annoy myself. But the thing of your children being a reflection of you, gives
Great art coming in small sizes New and creative fundraising initiative cARTes postales – art on postcards - is an exciting initiative by The Friends of Erlestoke Prison and The Salisbury Museum, working in partnership. The aim is to sell over 300 postcardsized works of original art for only £40 each, in the style of a lucky dip. This will help raise funds to support rehabilitation projects at HMP Erlestoke, including a much needed all-weather sports pitch, but also money to support the museum and the Salisbury Museum for Future Generations project, which has just been awarded initial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It’s an opportunity to own a piece of art by such talented people as Antony Gormley, Richard Deacon, Paul Kidby, Almuth Tebbenhoff and Sir Tony Robinson, to name but a few of the incredibly generous people supporting the campaign. More details on salisburymuseum.org.uk
Image: Latch by Antony Gormley. Carbon and Casein on Paper
you an opportunity to build something out of the best of yourself only for you to then see flashes of the worst of yourself in them. It’s a wake-up call about your own behaviour.” When I challenge him over the degree of self-loathing he displays, he disagrees: “Self-aggrandising humour is a lot harder to pull off than self-deprecating humour,” he insists. “A lot of people get really annoyed when Ricky Gervais is self-congratulatory. I always find it very funny when he accepts awards and does so in the most big-headed way possible. I think it’s a trickier type of humour to pull off, talking yourself up in that way. “So no, I don’t think I’m being massively hard on myself. The fact is when you’re the bloke who is standing on the stage with the microphone, commanding an audience’s attention, you’re in a very elevated position anyway.” That said, If I’m Honest brilliantly elucidates the frustration that arrives in middle age – and lives up to its title: “I’m bored looking for things, I’m bored of trying to find stuff, because I can never find it, and it is entirely my fault. Nobody’s hiding my stuff from me. Although my wife did actually move my passport on one occasion.” He insists that, while the show might have mordant and occasionally morbid aspects, it’s also not without its quietly triumphant moments: “I thought I was being quite upbeat talking about the small victories. You know, finding positivity in being able to spot when a cramp was about to happen in your leg and dealing with it before it does. I was very happy with myself about that.” Age, it seems, has not withered him. Especially now that he’s figured out how to head off ailments before they become a problem: “You see comics who are my age and older but are still retaining a level of “cool” and drawing a young crowd. I can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that. But there’s also something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you.” Ed Byrne is at the Guildhall in Winchester on 3rd and 4th October at 8pm. Tickets are £25 and you can book on 01962 840500.
WE ALL LOVED TO BE IN AMERICA Kevin Gover is blown away by Perins’ amazing version of one of the all-time classic musicals the programme: “Recognising a real passion for the performing arts in a local school warms the heart. Giving over our theatre… gives us a real thrill.” There are so many songs to love. Both the leads managed all their top notes faultlessly, soaring around the theatre. I loved the ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ segment, as it’s not easy to get those words out. Ah, did I mention words? Don’t think I heard a single stumble. The ‘Community Orchestra’ was simply splendid — and congratulations to all those students, staff and parents in the orchestra who stepped up to the mark.
WEST SIDE STORY, SCHOOL EDITION Perins at the Grange
“I think I’ll go back to San Juan…” – “I know a boat you can get on. Bye-Bye!” Thoughts from the White House? Happily, no… these are from the song ‘America’ – created by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein in 1957 – and yet which rang true and hit hard in this splendid production of West Side Story. But how can it be that some things appear not to have changed in more than 60 years? Boy meets girl, boy and girl are from different ethnic backgrounds, girl’s family don’t agree, prejudice ensues, a rumble ends in tragedy. Tony (Ben Watts) and Maria (Isabelle Packer) are caught between street gangs, the ‘American’ Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Boy, I’m sure that all the cast members of Jets and Sharks enjoyed THAT bit… yeah, just go and be wild on stage! Above all, this has not been watered down in any way, either – the creators of the ‘School Edition’ point out that they’re only trying to make the musical “more accessible and meaningful for high school performers.” Hatred, violence and prejudice as we know is still relevant today. The score and lyrics are still there. After all, they’re surely some of the best ever written? Jerome Robbins’ choreography is also largely followed throughout – especially in the beautiful portrayal of the ‘Cha Cha/Meeting/Love at First Sight’ sequence and in ‘I Feel Pretty’ (think there was something in my eye on both counts…).
Working with the students is amazing. They’re so enthusiastic You will all know of course how important the choreography is to the film and musical, so congratulations to former pupil Olivia Painter who graduated from Perins in 2012 and was given the task. Since then she went on to the Royal Academy of Dance in ballet, and now works as a teacher: “It’s quite a task, but I’m loving it. Working with the students is amazing. They’re so enthusiastic and the level of commitment is outstanding. “Because I’m a teacher, I suppose I can bring in a bit of crowd control. It’s never a trouble with them, they are so enthusiastic they’re really ready to go. As long as I convey my thoughts to what I would like to see them do on stage, we do a little bit of technical training, and make sure that everyone is on the same level.” Olivia agrees that the whole cast always wants to take it a little bit further: “To put it in The Grange, to put it on a professional stage with a whole orchestra in the pit… well, they just take it to new levels each time…” As far as The Grange is concerned, the Artistic Director of the Grange Festival, Michael Chance, is delighted to have everyone there as he wrote in
It was very difficult at times to remember these were children on stage
Intense: Dance numbers, high drama and classic Sondheim and Bernstein songs performed with a splendid orchestra made for an unforgettable experience Images: Leela Bennett Photography
One thing very noticeable of course is that the whole story is dark and moody. On the lighting front the actors were always in the right place at the right time… but the lights didn’t always seem to follow them. To create light and shade, I would have liked to see cheerier, brighter lighting in the big dance scenes, to show the contrast between those and the moody, dark sequences. It was very difficult at times to remember these were children on stage? Ben Watts and Isabelle Packer are teenagers from Perins? Get out of here. These two leading lights are going to be true stars, if not already. They received a standing ovation – as did Maisie Stride (Anita) – which was well deserved. No. This wasn’t a school performance. This was a professional, slick, romantic and gritty show. The last four minutes contained some of the most intense drama I have ever seen. Well done to all the young performers too, who drew a cheer from the crowd as they made their own curtain call. Yes this was YOUR show as well. Fantastic.
THIS ‘LION’ DOESN’T QUITE BITE Chris Book enjoys the spectacle of Disney’s remake, if not the message
THE LION KING Dir. Jon Favreau
★★★✩✩ WHENEVER I see a film involving talking animals, there is only one person that springs to mind and that is the legendary Johnny Morris on his keeper duties at Bristol Zoo bringing all those animals to life during those old black & white clips from the BBC’s Animal Magic in the 1960s/70s. How times have changed! Move on forty odd years to Disney’s latest live action remake of The Lion King and I must admit I think I still prefer Johnny Morris over the current, as his animals had much more depth of character and emotion. The Lion King is based on the age-old royal story of family rivalry and the internal battles and contests to be next in line of succession. Simba is the new born heir to the throne whose parents are the current king of the pride, Mufasa and his mum, Sarabi. Unfortunately, lurking ever present in the background is Mufasa’s brother Scar, an ageing, embittered lion who is insanely jealous of his brother and his new offspring who wants the title for himself. The film starts with Rafiki, the local witchdoctor, conducting Simba’s christening and then presenting him to the rest of the pride. For those of you who are of a nervous disposition and don’t like heights, this film may not be for you as very high rocky outcrops and cliffs feature a lot in this film with camera shots always from above looking
The wildebeest stampede will have you wincing in your seat
Taking pride: Young Simba, voiced by JD McRary, has a lot to learn
down on the action which will certainly bring the vertigo out anyone if you happen to suffer from that affliction. After the christening, Rafiki dangles Simba over the edge of a particularly high ledge which reminded me of what Michael Jackson did to his son Blanket on that balcony in Berlin many years ago. There are some very touching early scenes with Simba and Mufasa as dad teaches the ever increasing know-it-all Simba the ways of the world and pitfalls come a plenty. This happens especially when dad warns son not to venture into the land of shadows on the edge of their territory, which is the local elephant’s graveyard where a pack of some very unpleasant hyenas live and where Uncle Scar ever lurks menacingly in the shadows. You can probably imagine what happens when the cocky Simba pays a visit to this land with his young playmate and future partner, Nala. The film is visually brilliant, from the African sunsets right through to desert and jungle scenes which are superb. Watch out for the wildebeest stampede in the gorge – so good it will have you wincing in your seat as they seemingly thunder past and all over you. Sadly, the plot is not as good as the visuals and it lumbers somewhat through the first half
As with most films these days, there is a political message and only just about picks up in the second, until some well-injected comedy livens things up from a rather daft warthog and meerkat – who for a change hasn’t got a broken Russian accent and can sing. Coming up close behind in the comedy stakes is local sage/messenger Zazu, a rather well-informed uptight hornbill who crops up at various times during the film as a guide and advisor to our local lions and who does provide some good laughout-loud moments throughout. As with most films on view these days, there is a political message. Hunting is quite rightly mentioned a couple of times and Simba must be the only lion cub
©2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc
in cinematic history who during a film grows from a cub to a fully grown lion on a diet of grubs and ants. Can lions be non-carnivore? Probably not me thinks. However, insects do feature large on the menu of our animals here with only one dead antelope featured whose only outline you can see briefly. What the rest of the pride ate during the film I know not. I’m not sure if it is just me, but I’ve never been comfortable with actors being classed as “stars” in these animated films. They don’t actually appear, just their voices in which I didn’t recognise any of them apart from Beyoncé who voiced Nala, so I will leave it up to you to look them up if you wish. The film does feature some reasonably good tunes from both her and Elton John amongst others. Disney even manage to slip in Tight Fit’s version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from 1982. This film left me cold in the end and as much as I wanted to enjoy it, I just couldn’t. Watching these talking animals with no emotions did nothing for me I’m afraid and I longed for it to finish so I could get back out in the summer sunshine. Some of the younger fellow members of the audience I watched it with felt the same, judging by the relief on their mum and dad’s faces as we filed out into the foyer to enjoy the rest of our day.
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Local newspaper previews a murder that’s announced in the local paper... AN all-star cast is set to take to the stage for an Agatha Christie murder mystery at the Theatre Royal in Winchester in November. Presented by Middle Ground Theatre Company, A Murder is Announced – A Miss Marple Mystery features a host of well-known actors with a wealth of experience between them, including Sarah Thomas (Last of the Summer Wine) as the beloved Miss Marple and Tom Butcher (Doctors) as Inspector Craddock. Also starring are Kazia Pelka (Heartbeat and Casualty), Jenny Funnell (As Time Goes By), Lucy Evans (Coronation Street) and Tom Gibbons (BBC Radio 4’s The Archers). This critically acclaimed production witnesses the residents of Chipping Cleghorn astonished to read an advert in the local paper saying a murder will take place that Friday at Little Paddocks – the
home of Letitia Blacklock. Unable to resist, a group gathers at the house at the given time, when suddenly the lights go out and a gun is fired. Enter Miss Marple, soon on the case to unravel a complex series of relationships and events, which led to the murder. The classic whodunit has been adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon and produced by the same company who brought to the stage, the best-selling courtroom thriller The Verdict.
Acclaimed: Tom Butcher and Sarah Thomas (left) head an all-star cast
Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced – A Miss Marple Mystery will be at Theatre Royal in Winchester from Monday 11 – Saturday 16 November. You can find out more, or book tickets by visiting the Theatre Royal website www. theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk, or by calling the Box Office on 01962 840440.
DEACON BLUE WHEN THE WORLD KNOWS YOUR NAME Released: April 1989 Columbia Records
This is Deacon Blue’s second album following on from their glorious Raintown album. Do you remember the cover of that first album? Glasgow on a rainy day, and three great singles to bring them to a wider audience in the form of Dignity, Chocolate Girl and When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring). That first album has sold a million copies around the world, and perhaps that success led to the name of the second? When the World Knows Your Name got to Number 1 in the UK Album Chart and was already like a greatest hits album in its own right. Some may have a ‘difficult’ second album, but not so with this one.It’s fantastic to get three, perhaps four great singles from any album — but there were FIVE singles released from this second album, and they were all crackers. Count them: The first, Real Gone Kid, got into the UK Top 10 and sold 200,000 copies. Then came Wages Day, Fergus Sings The Blues, Love and Regret and Queen of the New Year. I saw the mighty Deacon Blue on 3rd May, 1994 at the Portsmouth Guildhall for Our Town - The Greatest Hits Tour. The place was packed, probably due to the fact that they’d announced that they were going to call it a day. But the fact remains that they were totally in control of their audience. They were superb, the crowd was jumping and a fab time was had by all. At the end of 1994 they split, but thankfully got back together five years later. Sadly, Graeme Kelling died in 2004 at the age of just 47 from pancreatic cancer. You may know Dougie Vipond now from presenting sport on the telly, and you probably know Ricky from the radio. You may even have seen them recently on tour again in the UK, or may know someone Down Under who will see them later this year as they tour Australia and New Zealand. Six million albums sold in all, two of them UK number 1s. Not so bad. Kevin Gover
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ALL SOLUTIONS ON PAGE 6
What’s On in Winchester and beyond September 2019 Every Wednesday until September Guided Tours, Winchester Cathedral A number of free specialist subject tours are available at Winchester Cathedral on Wednesdays. These tours are free to attend upon admission to the Cathedral but need to be pre-booked via the Cathedral Box Office. For full tour descriptions, please visit winchester-cathedral.org.uk/whats-on
You do NOT have to pay to have your event listed here! You can send printed leaflets or brochures to Winchester Today, Suite 123, 80 High Street, Winchester, SO23 9AT, send details by email to email@example.com or tweet us the info @winchestertoday All event details listed are correct at time of going to press.
Friday 13 September Martin Kemp 80s Gold Winchester Guildhall. 8.30pm
RACHEL GOVER Friday 20 September Starlit Trail (For Wessex Cancer Trust) Starts at Winchester Guildhall at 7.30pm
Saturday 14 September Worthy Festival Village Open Day See elsewhere in the paper for list of events
Saturday 14 September An Audience with Lesley Garrett
Ongoing Kings and Scribes Winchester Cathedral
Theatre Royal, Winchester. 7.30pm. Tickets £28. Tel: 01962 840440
Friday 27 Saturday 28 September The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure Theatre Royal Winchester. Fri/Sat 7.30pm, Sat Matinee 2.30pm. Tickets £19, Friends £17, U26s £14, Families/Groups (4+) £16, Schools/ Groups (8+) £10. Matinee Tickets £17, Friends £15, U26s £12, Families/Groups (4+) £14, Schools/Groups (8+) £10. Tel: 01962 840440
more details on winchester-cathedral.org.uk
Monday 16 September Doug Allan: Wild Images, Wild Life
Sunday 1 September Romsey Farmers’ Market 10am - 1pm
Theatre Royal, Winchester. 7pm Tickets £21.50, Friends £19.50, U26s £19.50, Families/Groups (4+) £19.50. Tel: 01962 840440
Sunday 1 September Woodland Adventure Day Hartford Woods, Beaulieu. 10am-4pm. Tel: 01590 612377
Tuesday 17 Wednesday 18 September No Man’s Land
Tuesday 3 September Kitchen Masterclass Rick Stein Restaurant, High Street. 6pm-7pm. £15/person
Friday 6 September Michael, The Magic of Michael Jackson Winchester Guildhall. 7.30pm
Saturday 7 September Littleton & Harestock Show Littleton Recreation Ground. Gates open 12:00
Lesley Garratt comes to the Theatre Royal on Saturday 14th September
Saturday 7 September Backstage Tours: Family/Heritage Theatre Royal, Winchester Family 9.30am/Heritage 12pm Tickets £8 U12s (Family Tour only) £5 Tel: 01962 840440
Saturday 7 September Alresford Show 8.30am until 6pm
Sunday 8 September Hampshire Farmers’ Market Winchester
Truly local radio for Winchester from Winchester, by Winchester
Charity, WINCHESTER RADIO which has provided the hospital radio service for patients in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital since 1984, now provides a truly local radio service across Winchester and the surrounding villages. We promote grassroots community groups, events and activities, telling you what’s happening locally, and encouraging active participation and engagement.
Tune-in on 94.7FM Listen online at winchester.radio Listen on your smartphone or tablet using the Radioplayer app Tell Alexa to… “Ask Radioplayer to play Winchester Radio”
Do you enjoy listening to Winchester Radio? Support us by taking out a £10 voluntary monthly subscription - simply visit winchester.radio and click on “Donate”. Or donate by phone, text RADIO followed by the amount (up to £30) to 70085 – to donate £20, text RADIO 20 to 70085.
Thursday 12 Friday 13 September Bleak House Theatre Royal, Winchester 7.30pm. Tickets £19, Friends £17, U26s £13, Schools/Groups (8+) £11 Tel: 01962 840440
Theatre Royal, Winchester. Tue/Wed 7.30pm, Wed Matinee 2.30pm. Tickets £21, Friends £18, U26s £15, Schools/Groups (8+) £10, Matinee Tickets £19, Friends £17, U26s £14, Schools/Groups (8+) £10. Tel: 01962 840440
Friday 20/Saturday 21/ Sunday 22 September Worthys Festival Final Weekend At Eversley Park
Saturday 28 September The Fulflood Ball Winchester Guildhall. £85 (dinner at 7.30pm) or £35 (party at 9.30pm). fulfloodball.co.uk
Saturday 28 September Tiff Stevenson (Comedy Festival) Discovery Centre. 7.30pm. £16
Sunday 29 September Hampshire Farmers’ Market Winchester
Sunday 29 September Sofie Hagen (Comedy Festival) Discovery Centre. 7.30pm. £15
Sunday 29 September One Small Step Theatre Royal Winchester. 1.30pm, 3.30pm. Tickets £12, Families/Groups (4+) £10, Schools/Groups (8+) £9. Tel: 01962 840440
the final word
NEVER STUMPED FOR A GOOD TALE Roger Morgan-Grenville’s latest book delivers another lively collection of musings about the summer game
ROGER Morgan-Grenville, along with everyone else who knows him, describes cricket as “the most magical game on earth.” Anyone who saw the Final of the Cricket World Cup will surely agree with that sentiment. How on Earth did THAT happen? And how many of us really knew what that last over was all about? Roger has brought together tales of the White Hunter Cricket Club in his previous book, Not Out First Ball. I met Roger as he launched his latest book Unlimited Overs at Wells Bookshop in town. He’d talked during the presentation about cricketing wives, battles and ‘getting it’: “I didn’t lay my hands on a cricket bat until I was 16. I just watched Viv Richards in the summer of 1976 (we were probably at the same match). I’m playing more now at 60 than I ever was in my 20s. I ask him to explain more about ‘getting it’: “All life is within a cricket match. It’s a battle within yourself, it’s about a battle within the team, it’s a battle against a team, it’s a battle against the weather…” He was even super excited about getting a draw in a recent match. “If you had told me years ago that I would get super excited about getting a draw I would have thought you were mad. But we actually worked really hard to do it. I batted for an hour!” Roger was even super excited about going on a tour to The Hague, knowing they would probably get thrashed: “It’s a band of brothers shared endeavour.” And the cricketing wives? “There’s no fun in being a cricketing wife. But they have
Dreams can actually come true, like having to get four off the last ball of the match to win
I’m playing more now at 60 than I ever was in my 20s
to do their own thing as well. Just make sure they’re allowed to do something selfish on their own!” A fun part of this book is the fact that no-one has names, just descriptions. The Gun-Runner, The Graduate, the Yacht Designer, The Tree Hugger. You can just imagine. And dream, because there are many dreams in this book about how it could be ‘your day’ - and how those dreams can actually come true, like having to get four off the last ball of the match to win. There’s a mid-wicket conversation on how to tackle that last ball. Don’t try anything fancy, just get the thickest of edges, put it over the slips and down to the boundary for four, and a win. Yes, dreams can come true, just like the World Cup. Unlimited Overs- A Season of Midlife Cricket is published by Quiller, priced £12.95
Meanwhile, the Cricket World Cup Final may have seemed like the climax of the one day match for the summer... but there was one more to go. The annual cricket match between boy choristers and clergy at Winchester Cathedral took place when the Pilgrims’ School playing field resonated with leather upon willow rather than hymns and psalms. Nobody at the Cathedral knows precisely when the tradition started, but the annual cricket match has been enjoyed for a number of decades and the choristers almost always win – this time just by one run: they must have been taking advice from our international players!
The online version of the August 2019 edition of Winchester Today