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HERE COME THE GIRLS! Poppy Lawrence (left) and Amelia Carpanini (right) take to the ice rink at Winchester Cathedral as the girl choristers joined in with the launch for the first time in its history. The Girl Choristers are singing the Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve at the Cathedral this year. More details on p14. More details on the rink and the Christmas Market are inside on page 5.

Countess of Wessex visits historic chapel page 2

Why mice invaded the Mayflower page 12

All Cathedral Christmas services listed page 14

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December 2018

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Have you seen the video that’s trending again which features a man listening to cassette tapes recorded by his departed mum? This Christmas Day, I’ll wager that there will be an empty space around the dinner table. Those we love dearly sometimes depart before we do. Life has to go on. My uncle Ray left us recently. He was a huge part of my life in the 60s and 70s. My sister says he was the best uncle imaginable, as he was always laughing about something. Round his house we used to do silly things like make a picture of a car suddenly - magically - have headlights and tail lights. He did it by drawing a car on the bottom part of A4 paper, making sure he coloured in the red that the tail lights would make. He then folded it over, and then cut out the shapes of the front and back lights on the back piece of the paper. Hold it up to the light - voila. He also had this infuriating horse racing vinyl


winchestertoday est 2012

n EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Kevin Gover n CONTRIBUTORS • David Cradduck • Drew White • Gavin Harris • Rachel Gover • Helena Gomm • John Ellery • Chrissie Pollard • Freya Storey • Eleanor Marsden • Chris Book • Edyth Miles • Ben Hardy n LAYOUT DESIGN • Jon Heal Winchester Today Media Partner to Winchester Film Festival and Bishop’s Waltham Festival


Charity Partner - supporting Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance until December 2020.

record that you could play on the record player and lay bets on which horse would win. As an eight-yearold I had no idea how multi-grooves worked. It was just magic. Happy Party Days. It was the same with my Grandad… the entire family spread over four generations would always be round at his house on New Year’s Eve. Always. I can always remember us trying to speak at midnight to the relatives Down Under. In those days you didn’t have direct dial to Australia. Everything had to go through the operator, would probably cost a mortgage - and we would sit there excitedly for up to half-an-hour waiting for the phone to ring back. Happy New Year Days. Yet, for various reasons, I hadn’t seen Ray for years. Then, suddenly, he was gone. Ray’s funeral in places was far from sad as things were said in the service that made us go: “Oh yes!” and even things that we never knew.

I’m really glad that the guys I spent seven years with back at Beechen Cliff School back in the 70s are reunited as a group after 35 years apart - and that we’ve all met up twice for a reunion and school visit. Also, when I lived in Brussels back in the 1980s I made many friends, and I’m really happy that they’re friends to this day, especially thanks to Facebook, even though I haven’t seen them since 2008. That’s too long, and it’s time to do something about it. I’ll bet - if you think about it enough - that there’s someone who was once very close to you, who you haven’t seen for 20, 30, 40 years…? Don’t leave it too late to see them, until it really is too late. As we left the crematorium, music from Glen Miller played… ‘In The Mood’. It immediately brought a smile to my face, just as intended. Happy, Happy Days. Kevin Gover

Royal Visit Marks Multi-Million Pound Refurbishment SINCE our last edition, we’ve had a Royal visit to the county. HRH The Countess of Wessex came to see the newly-refurbished chapel at the Royal Victoria Country Park to mark its formal opening, and to unveil a plaque on the original hospital foundation stone. The historic chapel is all that remains of the British Army’s first purpose built military hospital. The visit follows a £3.5 million project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Hampshire County Council to conserve the Chapel for future generations and give access to many areas for the first time. The Countess took a tour of the chapel, before signing a scroll which will be placed in a time capsule and buried under the original foundation stone of the hospital. This act recreated the moment when Queen Victoria laid the same foundation stone in 1856, along with a time capsule containing the plans, which has now been recovered and conserved. Since the hospital’s demolition in 1966 the foundation stone, weighing

Historic: The Countess of Wessex places the signed scroll in the time capsule


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an impressive 2.5 tonnes, has been on display at the Royal Army Medical Museum in Aldershot. As it returns, for the first time in 52 years, it has been laid in the exact same spot it was taken from.


Ray Stokes 29th June 1932 - 3rd October 2018 Uncle, Brother-in-Law

The foundation stone returns, for the first time in 52 years

Want to be in the next edition? Call our sales team on 07456 065100

Remembering you at Christmas The trips to Butlins and Twerton Park, the Watney’s Party Sevens and singing in church! Keith, Mavis, Kevin, Michael and Stephanie

CHRISTMAS MARKET AND ICE RINK 2018 OPEN NOW! Ice Rink tickets available from 01962 857 276 |

December 2018

news 3

New Focal Point of Remembrance IF you are driving out of Bishop’s Sutton towards Ropley and Alton, or in the opposite direction towards Alresford, you will see a new feature on the verge to the South side of the main road. Last month, many volunteers from the village armed with spades and crowbars turned out to plant a row of three different types of flowering cherry eleven to commemorate young men from Bishop’s Sutton who fell in WW1 and three who died in WW2. The trees were planted in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and each tree hosted a poppy and cross of Remembrance. From an original idea by Melissa Simm (the gardener at Manor Farm) the appeal was given an immediate boost by donations from the Ship Inn and Bishop’s Sutton Parish Council. As word spread, many residents of the village made very generous contributions, making a total of £780 - far more than had been hoped for. As there were additional funds it was decided to plant more mature trees than in the original plan and also to affix a plaque to each tree with the name of the serviceman it represented. Spring bulbs were planted along with poppy seeds around the base, which together with blossom will give colour for many months of the year. A fifteenth tree was added, this to remember Anthony (Tony) Sheppard, killed at age of 19 in the Korean War, often known as the ‘Forgotten War’. Tony’s body has never been found. This


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Poignant: It is hoped no family will ever have to plant another tree

final tree was planted by his sister and brother who still live in the area together with a group of his friends who all went to the village school. After the planting there was a short dedication service and wreaths were laid by the family and on behalf of his Regiment, the ‘Glorious’ Gloucesters. The Last Post was sounded and the Royal British Legion Standard and Union flag lowered in the memory of The Fallen. Another of Tony’s sisters was unable to attend as she was making a pilgrimage to Korea to visit the battlefield

where he died. Since the end of the Korean War many young villagers have deployed to conflicts both past and present, the most recent to serve in Afghanistan. All have returned safely. It is hoped that the line of trees will never be extended and that no family will ever have to plant another tree. Organisers are confident that over the years the trees in this Avenue of Remembrance will grow and blossom, and the names of those they represent, and who made the ultimate sacrifice, will live evermore.



December 2018

CHRISTMAS ON A VEGAN DIET If you’ve ever stressed about being a vegan and still wanting to enjoy Christmas for you and your friends, why not try these Christmas recipes given to us by Ben Hardy at - enjoy!

Roasted vegetable wreath

Wholemeal mince pies

I love the contrasting flavours and textures of this easy to make pastry wreath. The roasted seasonal vegetables and mushrooms, slow cooked garlic, crisp puff pastry and how the finishing sprinkle of rosemary adds a rich, warm flavour. It’s designed to be made a day or two in advance and kept in your fridge ready for baking on the day. Many non-butter puff pastry blocks are vegan – but check the ingredients list to be sure.

I love all mince pies, but wholemeal pastry mince pies are by far my favourite. The crisp, light pastry’s wheat flavour is a great contrast to the sweet, juicy mincemeat inside. Most mincemeat is now vegan and using vegetable rather than animal fat suet, but double check the jar’s ingredients.

Serves: 6-8 Ingredients 800g butternut squash (peeled and cut in to chunks) 500g button mushrooms (whole) 250g brussels sprouts (cut in half) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 whole garlic bulb 50g pine nuts 500g block of vegan puff pastry 5-7 sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves only, finely chopped) Method

1. Mix the butternut squash, mushrooms and brussels sprouts in the olive oil and spread out in a large baking tray. Wrap the whole garlic bulb in foil and place in the tray. Roast in a preheated oven (gas mark 6, 200 °C, 400 °F) until the vegetables start to brown (around 50-60 minutes), add the pinenuts and

Servings: 12 pies Ingredients Pastry: 175g Plain wholemeal flour 40g Dairy-free margarine (chilled) 40g Coconut oil (chilled) Cold water (as needed) Filling: 411g Jar of vegan mincemeat To serve: 1 Tablespoon icing sugar

roast for 15 minutes more. Remove and allow to cool. 2. Unwrap the garlic, press out the garlic cloves and discard the skin. Crush the cloves and mix into the vegetables along with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to 25 x 80 cm. Spread out the roasted vegetables along the middle and roll the pastry up to make a tube. Shape this in to a circle and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make some cuts in the top to reveal the vegetables inside.

4. The wreath can now be baked or stored covered in the fridge for up to two days. 5. Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 6, 200 °C, 400 °F) until the pastry is crisp, expanded and golden (around 45-60 minutes). Sprinkle with the rosemary and serve. Notes

If you need to save oven space the wreath can be cut in half after rolling up and baked as two logs on a smaller tray.

Vegan Christmas Pudding RICHLY spiced and filled with juicy fruit, this vegan Christmas pudding creates the traditional dish with plant based ingredients and a simplified, quick method that produces a pudding you can serve right away without maturing. Careful choice of ingredients and a good overnight soak in brandy give this pudding an excellent flavour right away, so it’s perfect to make even a day or two before Christmas. The banana and wholemeal flour are crucial flavour building ingredients. You don’t directly taste them, but their flavours meld in perfectly to create depth and richness. Using a good quality, well-matured brandy (I used a Cognac) also gives a huge flavour advantage. However, any brandy will add a good flavour and the alcohol is important for extracting the spices during the soaking stage – so don’t skip it. Almost any type and ratio of dried fruit will work, just chop up any large pieces. I’ve kept things simple and used a bag of mixed dried fruit, but dried figs and apricots make a delicious addition. Candied peel is valuable for it’s crisp, sharper flavours so I would always keep some in the mix when selecting my own fruits – but not go above 50g. Serves: 6-8 Ingredients To soak overnight: 1 ripe banana (peeled and thoroughly mashed) 350g mixed dried fruit (sultanas,

raisins, currants & mixed peel) 75g glacé cherries 75g dark brown sugar 50g ground almonds 2 tablespoons molasses (aka black treacle) 3 teaspoons mixed spice (level) 1 teaspoon cinnamon (level) 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (level) 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (level) Zest of one orange 100g dairy-free margarine (melted) 75g brandy 150g apple juice To add right before cooking: 100g wholemeal flour 1/3rd teaspoon baking powder (level) To grease pudding basin: 1 tablespoon margarine Method

1. The day before cooking place all of the ingredients from the ‘to soak overnight’ list in a bowl, mix well, cover and set aside overnight. 2. The next day generously grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with the 1 tablespoon margarine, then place a square of baking paper (6 x 6 cm) in the bottom, pressing down well to adhere it to the greased basin. This will help the pudding release from the basin when you serve it. 3. Sift the flour and baking powder in to the previously soaked ingredients, then mix together well to form a thick batter. 4. Pour your batter in to the basin. Cover the basin with a layer of

greaseproof paper, then a layer of aluminium foil. Secure these tightly in place with an elastic band around the basin’s rim. 5. Place the basin on a trivet in your slow cooker, then add boiling water to roughly 1/3rd the way up the sides of the basin. Put the cooker’s lid on and cook on high for 6 hours. If using a multi-cooker set it to just below 1000C Turn off the cooker, but leave the water and pudding in there until cool. 6. Once cooled, remove the pudding and replace the paper and foil with fresh pieces. It will keep for up to one week in a cool, dry place. 7. Before serving the pudding can be reheated by placing it while covered in paper and foil in the slow cooker with boiling water – just like the cooking step – and heating for 2 hours. Turn out carefully from the basin and remove the square of baking paper. Running a flexible spatula around the edge before turning it out may help it release cleanly. Notes

If you don’t have a pudding basin, a 1.2 litre pyrex bowl is also suitable. Cooking in a slow cooker (or multicooker) is much less work than steaming on the hob as the temperature is controlled. If you don’t have one, you can place the pudding on a trivet in a saucepan with boiling water and cook on a low heat. You’ll need to check periodically to ensure it doesn’t boil dry however.


1. Pre-heat your oven (gas mark 6, 200°C, 400 °F) for at least 20 minutes before baking. 2. In a bowl combine the flour, margarine and coconut oil. Rub the fat and flour between the palms of your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. To this add cold water a little at a time and lightly mix in, gently pressing together until a cohesive dough forms. You’ll need roughly 50-75g water. Just press it together, no kneading or heavy mixing as this can make the finished

pastry tough. If it’s not coming together but becomes hard to mix in more water, you can add a little more and repeatedly slice through the dough with a table knife to incorporate it. 3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 3-4 mm thickness, then cut out 12 large and 12 small circles – enough to line and top pies in a 12-hole cupcake tin. 4. Line the tin with the large pastry circles and fill with mincemeat. Using a fork make holes in the small circles and put them on top the pies, pressing around the edges to seal them to the bases. 5. Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven until crisp and lightly golden (around 30-35 minutes). They’re quite fragile when hot, so allow to cool a little before gently removing from the tin. 6. Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving.

December 2018

news 5

An unforgettable Christmas at Winchester Cathedral WINCHESTER has undoubtedly become a must-visit destination for all those in search of an authentic Christmas experience, and you’ll find the majestic Winchester Cathedral at the heart of the festivities. Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe, with over 100 chalets. Last year over 400,000 visitors were attracted to the Christmas Market, travelling from far and wide to soak up the bustling festive atmosphere. Inspired by traditional German Christmas Markets, you’ll be captivated by the sights, sounds and smells of Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, with tempting seasonal treats and exclusive Christmas gifts. Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market will be open daily from Saturday 17 November – Thursday 20 December from 10.30am, until 6.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 8.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Admission to the Christmas Market is free. Located at the heart of Winchester Cathedral’s famous Christmas Market, the real open-air Ice Rink enjoys stunning views of the Cathedral whilst the clear roof guarantees a rain-free skate whatever the weather. Regularly voted as one of the top 10 Ice Rinks in the UK, and recommended by Countryfile Magazine, Families Online and Days Out with the Kids,

The open-air Ice Rink enjoys stunning views of the Cathedral Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink is the perfect destination for skaters of all ages and abilities this Christmas. Penguins and banana skate aids are available and special Parent and Toddler sessions offer a family-friendly environment for younger skaters. There are several new additions to the Ice Rink this year. Fabulously festive decorations and a large Christmas Tree in the centre of the rink will fill skaters with festive cheer, whilst a brand new mulled wine and cider bar at the Ice Café offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy an après-skate before exploring the Christmas Market. The evening sessions have also been transformed, with Silent Discos on Ice

every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7pm & 8pm from 20 November - 20 December. There is no extra charge for these sessions, so simply grab your skates and dance to the sound of your favourite tunes! Skaters can also enjoy reduced ticket prices for 2018, with Ice Rink tickets available from £6.95 - £11. Advanced booking is advised, especially for weekend skating, and tickets are available from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857276 or online at Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink will be open from Saturday 17 November 2018 – Wednesday 2 January 2019 from 10am – 9am (last session starts at 8pm). Visitors from near and far should also take time to explore the magnificent Cathedral itself, one of the finest medieval Cathedrals in Europe. With a towering Christmas tree and traditional carol services throughout December, Winchester Cathedral really does epitomize the true joy of Christmas. So after a long day of shopping at the Christmas Market or skating on the Ice Rink, visit Winchester Cathedral to make your own treasured memories. You won’t be disappointed! To plan your visit to Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market and Ice Rink, please visit

CHRISTMAS MARKET AND ICE RINK 2018 WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS MARKET 17 NOVEMBER - 20 DECEMBER 2018 WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL ICE RINK 17 NOVEMBER 2018 - 2 JANUARY 2019 Explore one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe, renowned for its high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere, before skating on the spectacular real Ice Rink in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral. Ice Rink tickets available from £6.95 - £11. Book your Ice Rink tickets today from the Cathedral Box Office 01962 857276.



Squirt and Squidge Leaving your legacy

Freya Storey continues to share her life as a mum-of-two I’M only 36, so I guess on reading the title of this blog piece some may think - WHAT? Leaving a legacy? What is she on about?! But to me for some funny reason it is a question that haunts me, I think it’s because I’m naturally quite an ambitious person, I also think it’s because I have a burning passion inside that for some reason feels the need to leave a kind of legacy. I don’t know where it comes from, but I remember it has been with me since a young age. As my role has evolved over the years from single career woman to ‘attached career woman’ to its present state ‘wife,

I hope, most importantly, they can call me a friend


mum and career woman,’ I don’t feel that passion has ever left me; sure, it’s been dampened by a change in situation and my role has had to adapt towards my primary priority as mum. But deep down there’s remained a stirring, an unresolved ambition that needs to be fed. Just the other night, I caught myself watching a group of ladies in their mid twenties on a well known entrepreneurial tv show, battling it out with their career ideas. It made me drift off for a moment and remember myself the same age - in London, working my way up in TV, fearless and determined. It also weirdly made me think of my children, it made me question what path they may choose in life, I hope they turn out strong individuals pursuing their ambitions. I contemplated the current vision my children may hold of me as ‘MUM,’ and what the term MUM meant to them. Hopefully they see me as MUM - a person to trust and tell anything to. MUM - a person to come to when they are hurt and need a cuddle and to be reassured everything’s ok. But I would also like them to see me as ME - with a hope to show them who the person is underneath. MUM. Who the backbone to MUM is - and how important it is that she remains holding up the structure. I guess what I’m saying is that I hope that as my children grow up they get to know me on different levels... not just as mum, but as someone who has worked hard to achieve things, someone who has tried to balance those everspinning plates and someone who, most importantly, they can call a friend.


A brush with success! TODAY the children tried out our new brushes from Brush-Baby – baby toothbrushes and toothpastes – AND THEY’RE A BIG HIT! You may have heard of this local success story already as they’re the brainchild of Dominique Tillen from Alresford. She came up with the concept - inspired by a mother watching her daughter chew her toothbrush and having a sister who is a dentist. Anyhow, there was much excitement after receiving their new toothbrushes in the post. Both with vibrating brush heads, they couldn’t wait to get them out of the packaging and press the button to make them ‘GO.’ Not only did the toothbrush vibrate, but it also lit up – really cool! Along with the toothbrushes, we used the Applemint 0-3 toothpaste and the Tutti – Frutti 3-6 yrs paste. They really liked the taste and loved the cute packaging. For me, I was really impressed that they were vegan friendly, SLS free and contained a ‘magic ingredient’ xylitol which helps reduce sugar acids – fantastic! On to the brushing … both couldn’t get the brushes into their mouths quick enough. After the initial giggling about

The brushes and toothpastes, developed by Dominique Tillen (bottom right) are a big hit with the children (below)

the vibrations, they were disappointed when I told them to stop, helpfully prompted by the clever in built 2 minute flashing timer. I let them carry on and they went to bed with squeaky clean teeth. Brush-Baby has definitely been a WIN in our house – cute practical products that have been well thought out with early dental care at the root of what they do. Now a firm place on our family sink! Available at Tesco, Mothercare, Boots etc.

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K ings’ School



CALLING ALL EX DANEMARK AND KINGS’ PUPILS! DID you leave school in a hurry? Did you forget something? Were you so excited it was all over that you forgot your exam certificates? Nicky Harris is the Exams Coordinator at Kings’ school, and has been looking to reunite over 400 exam certificates with their rightful owners and here’s an update. If you were you at Danemark school between 1967 and 1984 and you think you have not collected your certificates please contact Nicky on 01962 861161 or email: n.harris@ Please state the year that you left and your name at the time of being at Danemark. We also have old certificates left here by Kings’ school pupils for many years between 1991 and 2015. If you didn’t collect your certificates at the time then do please get in touch. We are only required to keep old certificates for one year and we desperately need some more space in the exams office so please contact Nicky soon. Over the past year Nicky has been reuniting Danemark certificates, to date 141 have been reunited.

Nicky has been looking to reunite over 400 exam certificates with their owners

FOLLOWING a chance encounter during lunchtime one day, I was approached by a learning mentor from the school; would any of my dogs be suitable to come into school to help support some of our pupils, she wondered? There was one stand-out candidate - Peppa (yes, named after Peppa Pig on account of having a very long nose!) - my 3 year old smooth coated fox terrier.

AT the beginning of November, Kings’ school welcomed some very special international guests. David Hatch - the co-founder of the 7 Habits of highly effective teenagers programme - flew in from Ohio in the US, and Marcel Konning - Franklincovey’s European Education Director - arrived from the Netherlands. They had both heard of the fantastic work we have been doing at Kings’ involving the ‘7 Habits’ and wanted to learn more. In particular they were interested in the pupil led learning we have introduced and wanted to capture on film some material they could use to show good practice to other teachers throughout the world. The day was a huge success with our pupils proudly sharing their knowledge and expertise, as well as gaining experience of working with a professional film crew.

FOR THE FOLLOWING YEARS WE HAVE: 1973................21 1974...............27 1975...............35 1976...............29 1977................ 17 1978..............28 1979..............42 1980..............24

1981..................19 1982................. 31 1983................. 17 1984...............35 We have one certificate for the years 67, 70 & 71

Total 325 still to reunite

‘Project Dog’ turns hearts and minds

by Chris O’Leary

Initiative draws international interest

Regular visitor: Peppa is always ready for some attention

She came to me as a terrified, starving ex-stray 2 years ago and has blossomed into a happy, sociable dog who simply loves people! The next step was getting permission from management; Mr Leeming thought ‘Project Dog’ was an excellent idea and so began the paperwork; risk assessments, parental consent forms and finally references from dog training professionals. With all this in place, Peppa started visiting in May and hasn’t looked back! Peppa now has regular visits to school. She provides a positive distraction to some of our pupils. Peppa is always ready for some attention, whether is a tickle on the tummy or a pat on her head. A trick performed will gain a treat which she will happily accept in a gentle manner. Peppa is just the tonic that our pupils sometimes need to reduce their stress and anxiety levels or as a distraction if their mood is low. As Peppa is so well behaved she is happy to sit on a chair so that pupils can continue working during her visit. The pupils seem to agree: “Peppa is the school nurture dog. When she comes in she says hello to everyone and if you are sad she sits with you and you can stroke her and you feel content and more relaxed. I like her visits.” “Peppa is great when she comes in because it helps take my mind off everything and gives me something good and happy to think of which leads to a serotonin increase.” A few weeks later, I was approached by the Drama Department. The school production would be Oliver! and they were wondering if Peppa might play Bullseye? We went to meet the cast, attended rehearsals and spent time learning to pick pockets. Unfortunately nerves got the better of her on the first night, but she performed brilliantly on the other days appearing right on cue - “Look, there’s his dog!” and took her bows with the cast at the end.

We have had a House photography competition. The winning photo was by Phoebe Ruffles for Stuart House a stunning photo!

PLUS: Kings remembers – see bulletin extra on page 8



December 2018

KINGS’ SCHOOL REMEMBERS A special report by Edyth Miles THE flag dropped to half-mast as the haunting strains of the Last Post rang out. The crowd stood motionless, respectfully still and silent. No, not in some civic centre or outside a town hall, but on the playing fields of Kings’ School, where the entire school community assembled to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that ended the Great War. Remembrance Day is marked every year at Kings’, usually with a small but solemn service which is attended by the Old Boys of St Thomas’s school. St Thomas’s was the Winchester school which predated both Danemark and Montgomery of Alamein, the schools that eventually amalgamated to become Kings’. The school closed many years ago but its network of old boys retained a strong bond, and some quarter of a century ago, Kings’ became the custodians of St Thomas’s war memorial. The board, headed Pro Deo et Patria (for God and Country) now hangs in the foyer at Kings’ and lists the names of boys and masters who died in the Frist World War. Names familiar to many in Winchester to this day. With this year’s centenary commemorations requiring a much

The entire student body participated in a short act of remembrance

higher profile than usual, the entire student body participated in a short act of remembrance. The Old Boys of St Thomas’s were joined by invited guests; parents and past pupils with links to the armed services. A bell signalled the moment the children left their lessons and walked calmly and quietly to the field. They understood the importance of the day, the need for respectful silence. A year 11 pupil, Flo Lindlahr, took on the onerous responsibility of playing the Last Post, and did so flawlessly. The sound carried across the bowed heads of almost 2,000 young people standing reverently under leaden skies. Not even a sudden shower disturbed them. The Rev. Neil Birkett, a former deputy head of Kings’, lead the readings and recollections from some of our pupils, before wreaths were laid. Mr Roy Williams, on behalf of St Thomas’s Old Boys, Mr Colin Williams, on behalf of the governors and staff, and two pupils, Jasmine Corrie and Sebastian Eaton, who laid their wreath on behalf of the pupils of Kings’. Invited guests then joined pupil representatives from across the school in a relaxed tea in the Library, where they had the opportunity to mingle and chat, and then, once the rain cleared, guests and pupils alike made their way back to the field to plant markers of remembrance. This made for a poignant display as our 2,000 markers represented just a fraction of the 20,000 lives lost on just one day during the Battle of the Somme. The pupils of King’s will remember this day. And more importantly, we will never forget.


December 2018 9

PERFECT SETTING FOR A RARE TREAT Beccy Conway gives 5 stars to what she calls “a triumph” MANON Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

★★★★★ FOLLOWING the excellent reception of Kenneth MacMillan’s Sleeping Beauty in 2017, English National Ballet returned to The Mayflower to showcase MacMillan’s Manon. Reviving an interpretation first performed by the Danish Royal Ballet, Manon is the tale of a young woman’s inner conflict between real love and the pull of material gain, a pull which will eventually lead to her demise. First created by MacMillan in 1974, Manon is one of the late, great choreographer’s most admired works, though it is a rare treat to find it performed in the UK outside of London. The considerable breadth of The Mayflower stage is made use off to full effect in this piece, which opens on a busy courtyard outside an inn, where revellers from opportunist beggars to gentlemen, actresses to courtesans all converge. There, Manon, danced by Erina Takahashi, meets her ill-intended brother, Lescaut (Ken Saruhashi), who makes a deal with the wealthy Monsieur GM, selling Manon to GM to be his mistress. Manon meets young student Des Grieux (Jeffrey Cirio) and the couple fall

It is a rare treat to see it performed outside London in love, escaping to his Paris apartment. There they perform the first of Manon and Des Grieux’s pas des deux, declaring their love in a dance of passion and playfulness lead by Takahashi, as Manon implores Des Grieux to abandon his letter-writing to dance with her. But, when Des Grieux leaves Manon is discovered by Lescaut and Monsieur GM, and they persuade her to come away, tempting her with jewels and expensive clothing. Manon is a ballet in three distinct parts, Shakespearean in its drama, twisting narrative and ultimate tragedy. In Act II we’re taken into a gambling den where girls dressed in marshmallowlike costumes compete for the attention of rich men. The atmosphere is one of

Debauched: Des Grieux attempts to cheat GM at cards

Photo: Laurent Liotardo

debauchery and mischief, but tension bubbles below the surface as Des Grieux attempts to cheat GM at cards. Dmitri Grudeyev, former ENB principal dancer, returns to the company to appear as Monsieur GM, his portrayal of the character imperious and menacing. Act III opens on a dockyard in Louisiana. Manon has been arrested and deported for prostitution, having scorned Monsieur GM. She and the other girls are filthy and weak, their hair cut short as a sign of shame. She encounters the Gaoler, who tries to take advantage. Des Grieux, still determined to protect Manon, follows her off a ship and kills the Gaoler. The couple dance their final pas des deux in striking juxtaposition to their first, this time Des Grieux is seen pulling Manon about the stage. She is doll-like in her frailty as images of her life twirl around them, until eventually her body succumbs. Perfectly paired back lighting design by Mikki Kunttu and sets hired from the Danish Royal Ballet allowed space for the huge ensemble company, who performed this traditional yet highly modern interpretation with vigour. The newly renovated Mayflower auditorium was filled with the sounds of the National Ballet Philharmonic, who bring to life Martin Yates’ re-orchestrated version of Jules Massenet’s score. After the success in Southampton, Milton Keynes and Manchester, Manon will now be staged at the London Coliseum between 16-20 January 2019. If you get the chance to see it, I cannot recommend this triumph of a production highly enough.

A laugh out loud Coward comedy FALLEN ANGELS Village Hall, Cheriton

THERE’S nothing like a good laugh, and the Cheriton Players are always up for that… whatever the theme. And the theme here once caused a great stir. Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels has a background of loose morals, pre-marital sex and two women contemplating adultery with someone they both once knew – while their husbands are off on a golfing weekend. We probably think nothing of it today. Things were different back in 1925 when it was written though, and the play only went ahead in London through the personal intervention of the Lord Chamberlain. It managed to get banned altogether in Amsterdam – but was soon picked up on Broadway. None other than film and theatre siren Tallulah Bankhead appeared in the first production in London, albeit at the last minute. Since the original production and revival, it’s gone on to be performed around the world.

The set was beautiful as were the costumes

Hats off: Denise Truscott Claire Smith and Fiona Mackay

Images: Craig Robertson

Denise Truscott and Fiona Mackay took on the roles of Julia and Jane admirably, especially in the third act where there are some real laugh-out-loud lines. Their ‘suitor’ – Maurice Duclos – was wonderfully portrayed by Pete Shepherd, who seemed to have an entire fan club to himself in Row F.

The set was just beautiful – as were Denise and Fiona’s 1920s costumes which were elegant and sparkling. The audience really appreciated the parts of the play in which the maid Saunders appeared. Claire Smith had just the right amount of ‘know-it-all’ about her. Hats off as well to the person who thought of including a short black-andwhite film of the two husbands (played by John Weston and Matt Jones) on their golfing weekend which split Act 1 and Act 2… genius!



December 2018


by Helena Gomm SERGEI Prokofiev had apparently toyed for some time with the idea of making an opera out of Tolstoy’s epic novel War and Peace, which deals with Russian society before, during and after Napoleon’s invasion of the country in 1812. However, it was the political climate in Europe during the 1940s, with another foreign army once more threatening to breach Russia’s borders, that spurred him into action. Tolstoy’s novel had survived the strictures of the censors, in spite of its focus on the lives of the pre-revolutionary Russian aristocracy, because of its patriotic themes, and Stalin’s Communist Party was keen to encourage works that celebrated the heroism, patriotism and defiance of the Russian people. As a result, the opera is liberally peppered with stirring, nationalistic and somewhat bombastic songs of praise for the Russian homeland and the determination of its people to defend it to the death, some of which were added to please the propaganda-hungry authorities. While the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera (led by Tomás Hanus in an outstanding performance) are still making their preparations to start, we see the figure of Tolstoy sitting at his desk writing, the words flowing from his pen projected on the screen above and behind him. Gradually, people come onto the stage and circulate around him, as if they are the characters from the novel whirling around inside his head and waiting to be assigned their place in the story. As more and more of

them arrive to join the melee, you start to wonder how the stage is going to accommodate them all – the Mayflower stage is vast, but it is filling up fast. Add to this the fact that most of the cast are playing multiple roles (some as many as seven), and you can see that this is going to be an epic rendition of an epic novel. Suddenly, without warning, the characters assemble themselves into formation and burst with fierce enthusiasm into the first rousing patriotic chorus. Seated amongst them, Tolstoy continues to write, as if chronicling the defiance of the Russian people in the face of the foreign threat. The story proceeds to move through multiple locations, and this is cleverly achieved by having a basic set consisting of a high-walled wooden construction, reminiscent of half a bull ring, with a high gallery from which the characters can

look down on the action, and space above for a series of projections. The projections are helpful in Act 1 (Peace) to convey the different interiors, including dancing chandeliers for the St Petersburg ball, and red and gold wallpaper with shifty-looking faces for the French-styled decadence of Hélène Bezukhova’s boudoir of vice and corruption. They are even more effective in Act 2 (War), where clips from Sergei Bondarchuk’s 1966 film of War and Peace are used to convey the sheer numbers of troops involved in the Battle of Borodino, to display the violence and brutality of the conflict and to show the horrors of the subsequent burning of Moscow. Several major figures from the novel are missing, including Natasha Rostova’s brother Nikolai, and the ‘Peace’ side of things concentrates on Natasha’s (ultimately broken) engagement to

Those of you who have already seen her, remember that moment

noise from anywhere in the auditorium. I know for a fact that tears were shed in the auditorium. How Anush can manage that level of singing whilst lying on a bed is beyond comprehension. You could tell from her reaction during the curtain call that she had loved her performance and rightly so. Go and watch on Friday. Remember that

You wonder how the stage is going to accommodate them all Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, the attempt to seduce her by Hélène Bezukhova’s brother Anatole Kuragin, and hero Pierre Bezukhov’s rescuing of the situation and quest for his own identity. Lauren Michelle makes a convincing and appealing Natasha, whose fresh-faced

naivety are so well conveyed that the apparently precipitous haste with which she abandons her engagement and falls for Anatole’s dubious charms seems forgivable because of her youth and ignorance of the wicked ways of the world – though she probably doesn’t need the services of a stuffed toy in her elopement luggage to emphasise her child-like innocence. As Pierre (a fine performance by Mark Le Brocq) forces Anatole to leave the country to avoid embroiling Natasha in further scandal, and realises that he himself has strong feelings for her, the news breaks that Napoleon has crossed the border, bringing an end to Act 1 and an end to peace. How Pierre came to be married to the ghastly Hélène in the first place is one of the things that have been cut from the story, along with most of his dabblings in Freemasonry (reduced to a few casual remarks with a friend) – but if all the events of the novel were included, the audience would still be sitting there now. Along with the representation of the battle for Moscow (seen from the points of view of both the Russian and the French camps), the death of Prince Andrei (movingly played by Jonathan McGovern) and the eventual retreat of the French army, unable to feed itself and ill-equipped for the severe Russian winter, Act 2 focuses more on Pierre and his journey of self-discovery. Of all the characters, he would seem to be the one closest to the voice of Tolstoy himself, and this is well represented in this production – and brings it to a satisfyingly symmetrical close – by having him in the final scene before the last stirring patriotic chorus, sitting and writing at Tolstoy’s desk with his beloved Natasha at his side collating his papers, just as Tolstoy’s wife Sofia and, indeed, Prokofiev’s partner Mira had done.

LA TRAVIATA Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Kevin Gover THE Welsh National Opera never do anything by halves. Right from the off, the stage was full of people – more than 40 all at once enjoying a party. I felt so involved I wanted to go down and join in! If you know the Mayflower stage, you will know its huge size… yet even it seemed crammed! The noise was fantastic and full-on, just like the orchestra. That party was given by Violetta, a courtesan who is not well. She’s introduced to Alfredo, who confesses he is already in love with her. There then follows love, shame, assumed betrayal, cruelty, breakup and reconciliation. That’s not to mention a duel! Kang Wang admirably handles the portrayal of Alfredo. His achievement in the 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition precedes him. And so on to Anush Hovhannisyan, flying the flag for Armenia as Violetta. Those of you who have already seen her, remember that moment. Others who saw her perform the role for the Scottish Opera in Glasgow have already proclaimed the ‘star is born’ moment happened there, and that a new Violetta was born. Act 3 – in Violetta’s sickroom – is breathtaking. There was not a single

moment. There seems to be a lot of other cooperation from the Scottish Opera too with the scenery, costumes and props, which led to other moments to cherish including the dancing gypsies from afar, and the matadors. Even a second ‘setting’ – backstage, while a separate performance was happening ON stage

was fantastic. The performance is in Italian with English surtitles. If you’re not sure of the story, it’s a good way to follow the story – of course you have to take your eyes off the action sometimes, but these are spot on and right in time with what is being sung, an art in itself. Production images by Betina Skovbro


December 2018 11

LA CENERENTOLA Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Helena Gomm ROSSINI’S take on the Cinderella story, appearing as part of Welsh National Opera’s autumn season triple bill, is an absolute delight. It is such a shame that WNO’s visits to the Mayflower attract a primarily elderly audience, as this captivating production would be just the thing to introduce opera to a much younger clientele – it might well get them hooked for life. La Cenerentola is always a crowd pleaser, with its familiar storyline, comic characters and extravagant language – and with just enough instances of mistaken identity and role reversal to enable it to hold its head up amongst

The singers not only sound wonderful, but look as if they are having enormous fun

Gaudy night: Aoife Miskelly and Heather Lowe excel as Angelina’s stepsisters

other, more serious operas, with their characteristically complicated plots. However, Joan Font’s production, revived here by director Xevi Dorca, takes the piece to a new level of enchantment. Joan Guillén’s vibrant commedia dell’arte costumes and cartoon-like set designs make it a joy to look at; the singers not only sound wonderful, but also look as

if they are having enormous fun; and the orchestra are on top form – with a particularly lovely sound coming from the woodwind section. From the moment they appear on stage with their gaudy Marge Simpsonlike hairdos and frilly bloomers, Aoife Miskelly and Heather Lowe excel as Angelina’s stepsisters, Clorinda and

Images: Jane Hobson

Tisbe. In this version of the fairytale they are not ‘the ugly sisters’, as this is a story of virtue, generosity and good manners triumphing over greed, pride and narcissism, rather than a simplistic pantomime tale of beauty versus ugliness. The combination of the sisters’ haughty vanity with the pomposity and venality of their father Don Magnifico (Fabio

Capitanucci) make the ‘bad’ characters an impressively vile family firm. Tara Erraught’s feistiness and commanding stage presence rescue the role of Angelina (aka Cenerentola) from any hint of the ‘weak and downtrodden woman rescued from servitude by handsome prince’ stereotype, presenting her as an appealing heroine for our times, in full control of her destiny. Matteo Macchioni has a lovely voice and makes a dashing prince, aided and abetted by Giorgio Caoduro as his valet Dandini, who takes full advantage of the chance to masquerade as his master by forcing the prince to pick up his casually discarded hat at every opportunity. The relationship between master and valet is beautifully delineated, and the audience is given the impression that the singers are having just as much fun as we are. Spot-on choreography means that everything proceeds at a smooth but cracking pace, and the characters come alive through nuanced gestures and synchronised movements, often shadowed by a completely irresistible team of mice: six talented dancers who scamper their way through the entire production, cleaning their whiskers, scratching their ears, moving props and scenery and mimicking the actions of the singers with balletic ease. In a lesser production, these scene-stealing mice would completely upstage the singers, but there is clearly some formidable teamwork going on here, and all the elements work well in complementing and enhancing each other.



December 2018

‘FOOTPRINTS’ MAKING A MARK THIS CHRISTMAS! Wind Song Theatre bringing magic to the Discovery Centre LILY Streames has been in contact with Winchester Today to tell us about a Christmas show written and produced called Footprints in the Snow. It’s being staged at the Winchester Discovery Centre and is a festive treat full of music and bright energetic characters, aimed at younger children (3+, but the whole family will enjoy). Lily says they are a children’s theatre company called ‘Wind Song Theatre’ and aim to be inclusive, offering 2 relaxed performances as well as the regular shows. Lily says she fell in love with Winchester two years ago when she and her business partner Rebecca Ward

Lily says she fell in love with Winchester two years ago

We do two things on our internet radio station...

1: talk about Winchester 2: play fantastic music


Lily (above) presents a magical tale for children of all ages (left) one of the show’s curious characters

met as actors on tour and spent 10 days at the Winchester Discovery Centre. They say they’re working like busy little elves to bring you the most magical festive treat! Good luck!


December 2018 13

A FESTIVE FEEL-GOOD CRACKER Chris Book is glad he came along for the journey




★★★★★ WHEN my wife and daughter suggested to me about watching a film with Nutcracker in the title, I have to admit that I balked a little at the thought. Pictures of ballet, princesses and all things tutu sprang into mind! However, to keep the peace along I went for the journey and how glad I was when I got there. The film follows Clara (Mackenzie Foy) as a young girl growing up in Victorian London who along with her brother, sister and father (Matthew Macfadyen) are facing their first Christmas without their mother who has recently passed away. The whole family attend a lavish Magical: Mackenzie Foy is part of a stellar cast

The CGI and special effects are superlative

Christmas Party at the house of Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) on a snowy Christmas Eve. When hunting for her Christmas present, Clara enters a world via a golden thread that is a cross between Narnia and Middle Earth called the ‘Fourth Realm’. The action takes place in a giant fantasy castle (which reminded me of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow) as Clara attempts to locate a golden key with

a link to her mother. Her new found friend there, the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kiera Knightley) soon turns out to be anything but a friend. There are also some delightful ballet scenes and a wonderful storyline that has been adapted from E Hoffmann’s original Nutcracker written in 1816. The CGI and special effects are superlative. I’m a sucker for a snowy Victorian London at Christmas and

there is oodles of that here, along with everything else. Be warned though, the PG rating is there for a reason as characters the Mouse King and Mother Ginger could be rather disturbing for the little ones. There is a stellar cast in this film... too numerous to mention here. It’s a cracking story with a real feel good factor which will hopefully have you leaving the cinema in a truly festive mood. I loved it.

The boys are back in town The Jersey Boys will be at the Mayflower from 19th - 30th March next year. Chris Book went along for a preview in Bristol JERSEY BOYS Hippodrome, Bristol

★★★★ IT didn’t start well - the cast struggled somewhat with the New Jersey accents which made them in places difficult to understand what was being said. This didn’t help as the story of the early days of the group was being explained very quickly which left me rather confused at times. BUT it finally got into the swing when the hits started coming and boy was it worth the wait. Michael Watson as the workaholic long distance father Frankie Valli is superb, his falsetto voice pitch perfect for all those hits and he is more than ably supported by Simon Bailey (Tommy De-Vito), Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio) and Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi). Griffiths’ performance stood out for me as portraying Massi as the quiet sensible one of the group. Perhaps in hindsight the rest of the line-up should have listened to him earlier on in their career - which at the start was apparently a total disaster. The group was renamed almost every month, they were arrested and imprisoned half way through a tour and ended up over a million dollars in debt due to some financial mismanagement.

The interactive stage set is excellent - slick changes with some very clever special effects which shows the group singing to a TV audience whilst the black & white pictures are portrayed at the rear of the stage. I particularly liked the end of the first act when we as an

The hits come thick and fast throughout

audience were suddenly at the back of the stage looking out behind the group as they performed to a concert audience. Their classic hits come thick and fast throughout, Oh’ What A Night, Walk Like A Man, Sherry and many more raised the roof and left the audience with plenty of the songs going through their heads for the trip home. This show is a must see. Oh what a night it certainly was. (Note: Not suitable for a younger audience as there is some very choice language. The cast may be subject to change.)


A NIGHT AT THE OPERA Released: 21 November 1975 EMI/Elektra Records Whenever Christmas comes around, I’m immediately transported back to 1975 and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and THAT video. Absolutely every single 15-year-old like me at the time just went “oh boy!” Queen were already quite high in my playlist anyway because of gems like ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ and ‘Now I’m Here’. But this one just took it to another level. For me, it MADE Christmas, despite not being an obvious Christmas song. It irritates me somewhat that despite the conquest over the arguments about its length (just perfect Freddie), and despite the fact that Kenny Everett played it on Capital in full 14 times in a weekend before release, it eventually spent so long at number 1 that Radio 1 soon got bored and played an edited version instead. They’ll deny it happened of course, but it happened. It’s just like the edited versions of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or ‘I’m Not in Love’ - you just don’t play them! The album was released three weeks after the single and was then played in my household every week during 1976! It equally deserves every fanfare though, because all tracks were there to be played loudly… ‘Death On Two Legs’ for its message on their financial state of affairs - ‘I’m In Love With My Car’ for its pounding energy (and Roger Taylor’s vocal) - the other single ‘You’re My Best Friend’ the superb guitar on ‘Sweet Lady’ and the simply wonderful left/right multi tracked echoed acapella on ‘The Prophet’s Song’. Ah, people can you hear me?! Kevin Gover



December 2018

WINCHESTER Christmas Message from the Dean of Winchester, CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS SERVICES The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle Saturday 1 December, 6.30pm ADVENT PROCESSION A service of seasonal readings and music by candlelight, moving from darkness to light. Sunday 2 December ADVENT SUNDAY 7.35am Morning Prayer 8.00am Holy Communion 10.00am Sung Eucharist 3.30pm Choral Evensong Sunday 9 December, 11.00am CHRISTINGLE SERVICE FOR CHILDREN’S CHURCH Undercroft/Wessex Learning Centre The Cathedral invites children from years 1–7, accompanied by carer/ family, to an Advent children’s service to celebrate the hope in the coming of Jesus Christ. For further information contact childrenschurch@ Sunday 9 and Sunday 16 December, 3.30pm A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION – FAMILY CAROL SERVICES Family-friendly afternoon carol services. Visitors to the Christmas Market and Ice Rink are especially welcome. Congregational carols will be led by the Cathedral Choir on 9 December and the Girl Choristers and Lay Clerks on 16 December

Tuesday 18, Wednesday 19 and Friday 21 December, 6.30pm (doors open at 5.20pm) CATHEDRAL CAROL SERVICES Wonderful services filled with beautiful music sung by the Cathedral Choir. The first service is ticketed, with priority booking for the Cathedral Community – any remaining tickets will be available via the Cathedral Box Office. The second and third services are not ticketed and all are welcome. Monday 24 December CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES 11.00am & 3.00pm Nativity Services Children are encouraged to dress as characters from the Christmas story and, for those that wish, join together at the front of the nave during the service. Collection for the Children’s Society. 5.30pm Carols with Blessing of the Crib 11.30pm Midnight Eucharist sung by the Girl Choristers and Lay Clerks Tuesday 25 December CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES 8.00am Holy Communion 10.00am Festal Mattins 11.15am Festal Sung Eucharist 3.30pm Evensong with Procession to the Christmas Tree

IN a world of uncertainty and change, the message of Christmas is trustworthy and true. It’s a simple yet profound message about the birth of a baby. God’s own son born among us. As we celebrate with Nativity plays and carols, we are reminding ourselves that love is at the heart of the universe and that this is the greatest gift of all.

Love is at the heart of the universe and this is the greatest gift of all As you plan for Christmas, do make coming to the cathedral, or to your local church, part of your plans. You will be very welcome to the wonderful services and events. May God bless you and may the love of the Christ-child fill your heart this Christmas.


December 2018 15

What’s On in Winchester and beyond December 2018 Until Thursday 20th December Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

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 or tweet us the info @winchestertoday All event details listed are correct at time of going to press.

Inner Close, Winchester

Until Wednesday 2nd January Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink


RACHEL GOVER Saturday 22nd The Snowman Film with Live Orchestra Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Lymington. 2pm - 2.30pm/3.10pm - 3.50pm/4.30pm - 5pm

Sunday 23rd Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols

The Close, Winchester

Until Sunday 6th January 2019 Beauty and The Beast Pantomime Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester.

Winchester Cathedral, Winchester. Performed by the Cathedral Choristers and harpist Anne Denholm, official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales. All are welcome – a retiring collection will be taken. 3.30pm

Saturday 8th/Sunday 9th Santa Specials at The Watercress Line

Sunday 23rd/Monday 24th Breakfast with Father Christmas

Station Road, Alresford. 10.00am – 4.30pm (also 15th, 16th and 19th - 24th)

The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Sarson Lane, Weyhill, Andover. 9.00am – 11.00am

Saturday 8th Eastleigh’s Artisan Market

Monday 24th Midnight Mass

Wells Place, Wells Road, Eastleigh. 9.00am – 4pm

St Mary’s Church, Fratton Road, Portsmouth. 23.30pm – 00.30pm

Saturday 8th Hampshire Pop Up Studios Christmas

Tuesday 25th Merry Christmas to One and All!

Stockbridge Town Hall, High Street, Stockbridge. 10am - 4pm

Wednesday 26th – Thursday 27th Christmas Leave on The Watercress Line

Saturday 8th Christmas Supper with Miscellany Theatre Group Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyn’s Lane, Ampfield, Romsey. 7.30pm

Saturday 8th Christmas Concert by Candlelight for Rowans Hospice Portsmouth Cathedral, High Street, Portsmouth. 7.30pm

Saturday 8th Compton & Shawford Festival Choir Performing Puccini, Parry & Karl Jenkins at Methodist Church Chandlers Ford 7.30p.m. £15. Under 16 Free.

The Spitfire Sisters bring their close harmonies to the Theatre Royal on Thursday 20th

Sunday 9th Chocolate Craft Workshops

Saturday 15th Footprints in the Snow

Unit 1, Upton Park Farm, Old Alresford. 10.00am – 12.30pm/2pm - 4.30pm (also 13th and 14th)

Winchester Discovery Centre. Continues until 24th - more details of performances on page 12 of this newspaper!

Sunday 9th A Victorian Christmas with Robert Powell and Susan Jameson

Sunday 16th A Taste of Christmas Chocolate and Sweet Fair

Theatre Royal, Jewry Street, Winchester. 7.30pm.

Tuesday 11th Silent Discos on Ice

Saturday 8th Carol Singing for Everyone

Winchester Cathedral’s Ice Rink. 7pm - 8pm and 8pm - 9pm (also 13th/18th/20th)

Alresford Community Choir, St John’s Church, Alresford. 7.30pm. Tickets £15, £12 concessions. Available here –

Wednesday 12th Space Lecture

Saturday 8th Carol Service and Christmas Story Themed Craft Activities for all ages! The Undercroft, Winchester Cathedral, Winchester. Light snacks and drinks will be available. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 14.30pm – 17.30pm

Saturday 8th Waynflete Singers: A Christmas Fanfare Winchester Cathedral, Winchester. Tickets from £12.50. 7.30pm

Saturday 8th Helping Hooves Christmas Fundraiser Cheriton Village Hall. 7.30pm

Sunday 9th Winchester Farmers’ Market

Winchester Science Centre, Telegraph Way, Winchester. 4.30pm - 6pm/6.30pm - 8pm

Wednesday 12th Christmas Service with Local Handbell Ringing Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere. 11.00am – 12.00pm

Friday 14 December Cathedral Christmas Concert An evening of festive music and carols with Winchester Cathedral Choir, including a special première of Queen Elizabeth’s Winchester Carol, composed by Roderick Williams and commissioned by the Friends of Winchester Cathedral. 7.00pm Tickets available from the Cathedral Box Office.

Friday 14th – Sunday 16th Christmas Tree and Wreath Festival

Middle Brook Street, Winchester

St Margaret’s Church, Wellow, Romsey. 10.30am – 3.30pm

Sunday 9th Festive Winery Tour & Tasting

Saturday 15th The Snowman

Hattingley Valley Wines, Wield Yard, Lower Wield, Alresford. 10.30am – 12.30pm/2pm - 4pm. (Also 16th)

The Snowman: Experience the magic of The Snowman in a whole new way this Christmas. Watch this enchanting film on the big screen in the Cathedral Nave with music provided by a live orchestra and the Cathedral Choristers. Presented by Carrot Productions. Tickets from £11. Shows at 1pm, 3pm and 7pm

Sunday 9th Andover Santa Fun Run Riverside Bowl, 22-30 Bridge Street, Andover. 8.00am

Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lyndhurst. 10am - 4pm

Sunday 16th Miller’s Ark Farm Open Days Miller’s Ark Animals, Blackstocks Lane, Hook, Basingstoke. 10am - 3pm

The Railway Station, Station Road, Alresford. 9.30am – 5pm

‘ Tis the Season ... ... for family fun

Monday 17th Santa’s Christmas Party Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street. 10.30am/1pm/4pm

Thursday 20th The Spitfire Sisters’ Christmas Special Theatre Royal, Jewry Street, Winchester. 7.30pm

Thursday 20th – Monday 24th Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience Winchester Science Centre, Telegraph Way, Winchester. 10.30am - 5.30pm

Friday 21st Christmas Story-telling for Pre-Schoolers Winchester Cathedral, Winchester. Enjoy a Christmas themed ‘make and take’ craft activity and hear the story of the first Christmas. No booking required. 11.30am – 12.00pm

Friday 21st/Saturday 22nd Carols and Owls by Moonlight The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Sarson Lane, Weyhill, Andover. 6.30pm - 9pm

Saturday 22nd Chamber Choir Concert Winchester Cathedral, Winchester. An hour of varied music to soothe and inspire, performed by the Cathedral Chamber Choir. All are welcome – a retiring collection will be taken. 1pm


the final word


OUR CHRISTMAS FILM FAVOURITES And finally, if you get some spare time at Christmas, what’s your essential film? What’s the must-see at Yuletide? We asked our crew… whether you agree with them or not, we hope you have a great time! Rachel Gover: For me, Jack Frost (1998) will always be on the television at Christmas time. It is mine and my Dad’s film, which will always bring great memories. This film will always light up my day, a feel-good family film. A rock-star turned snowman, Michael Keaton brings joy to the screen. A heart-warming watch, as Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” will guarantee to bring a tear. Chris Book: I think it has got to be the Disney 2009 version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. The first time I watched it was with my wife and daughter. Having just seen a small clip of it before we went I was under the impression it was going to be a child friendly Disney feel-good film for all the family. How wrong I was!! From the start when they showed a close up of Scrooge’s former business partner Jacob Marley dead in his coffin with two pennies on his eyes to his ghost then appearing first in the door knocker of Scrooge’s house and then coming through the door into his lounge later on that evening scared me half to death and still does every time we watch it! Then the other Ghosts and the very dark scenes that go with them certainly gives it a real edge. The special effects and the CGI are brilliant, I love the way they show old Victorian London especially from above and the other characters that are so lifelike. As a family, the three of us now make point of watching it every year a couple of days before Christmas on the DVD. We switch the lights off, light the fire and a few candles and still get scared, but when it ends we are all truly in the Festive Spirit and have that feel good factor as well.

with Alistair Sim. I remember this when I was a small lad and in black & white the ghost scenes seemed quite real. Apart from liking black and white movies this one seemed to set Christmas for me with the Dickens characters, and snow - something we rarely have on Christmas day. It’s kind of how I want my Christmas to be - log fire and snow, but no Mr. Scrooge. I think it sent me into a fantasy world and fired my imagination. Jon Heal: My favourite Christmas film is Die Hard. (Whaaaat? I don’t think he read my message properly… Ed). A few other classics run it close (It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Gremlins, the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol) but I can watch Die Hard again and again - and again. It has a cracking setup, a bouncy script that doesn’t let you go and Bruce Willis in his pomp before he got too pleased with himself. The icing on the Christmas cake is Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber - a screen baddie for the ages with a black heart and all the best lines “he won’t be joining us for ... the rest of his life”. People sometimes forget it’s a Christmas movie, but it has all the ingredients for such a film: coming home for the holidays, reuniting with family, heartwarming friendships with strangers (Willis and the wonderful Reginald VelJohnson’s Officer Powell) and the odd unexpected party guest to make things interesting. Note: It is very sweary, so Gremlins is a better family choice.

Beccy Conway: My favourite Christmas film is The Holiday because it’s cosy, has a wonderful soundtrack and it celebrates kindness. It’s the only Christmas film I’ll happily watch year round! Eleanor Marsden: Miracle on 34th Street (the Richard Attenborough version). I fell in love with that film the year it came out and always wanted to live in the ‘Catalogue House’ which they move to at the end of the film. I would watch it with my father every year, even when I came home from university for the holidays. It’s such a feel-good movie and still has the power to make me shed a tear! Richard Attenborough really was Father Christmas! Chrissie Pollard: It’s a Wonderful Life... because you feel better even if you haven’t had the best of years. John Ellery: Scrooge, The 1951 film

Freya Evans: It’s got to be the old classic The Snowman, which makes me well up every time ... especially watching my children enjoy its magic too. Helena Gomm: Would you count The Snowman and the Snowdog? (Yes! - Ed) It’s only a short film but they often put it on at Christmas and it’s guaranteed to make me cry! David Cradduck: If you mean the films they always show at Christmas, Sound of Music is Sally’s (DC’s wife) fave feel-good flick. I don’t have one. Bah, Humbug. Maybe A Christmas Carol then… (Don’t worry everyone, I’ll get him a nice large G and T… Ed)

We’ve told you time and again how much we love Autumn and great pics. What do you get if you combine the two…? This! A wonderful image of the scene around Cheesefoot Head on a stormy day recently, captured by David Cradduck.

December 2018

Winchester Today - December 2018  

The online version of the December 2018 edition of Winchester Today

Winchester Today - December 2018  

The online version of the December 2018 edition of Winchester Today