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FEBRUARY 2020 ISSUE 060

www.winchestertoday.co.uk

‘GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD’ AA urges Highways England to “think again” about M3 smart upgrade By KEVIN GOVER News Editor THE recent Panorama programme which highlighted the problems of safety on so-called ‘smart’ motorways, along with the report from the Daily Telegraph about possible corporate manslaughter charges has brought fresh appeals from the AA motoring agency based here in Hampshire. They came just hours ahead of a rollout of smart motorways was suspended pending the outcome of a major safety review. Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said stretches of smart motorway currently under construction “will not be opening” until new safety measures have been introduced. Jack Cousens is head of roads policy for the AA, and told

Winchester Today more about the AA’s thoughts: “The AA has long held safety concerns relating to ‘smart’ motorways, especially in relation to the lack of Emergency Refuge Areas. “The proposed scheme on the M3 between Winchester and Eastleigh would space these lay-bys every 1.5 miles. On this spacing, comparable schemes have found that 40% of vehicle breakdowns happen in a live lane. Since 2012 we have called for the distance between the refuges to be placed every 0.75 miles. The doubling of ERAs would mean drivers have more chance to get out of a live lane and reduce the risk of being hit from following traffic. “Technology has been pitched at the heart of this scheme, but by Highways

By Highways England’s own reports the various systems are not fit for purpose

England’s own reports the various systems are not fit for purpose. On average it takes 17 minutes to identify a broken down vehicle in a live lane, three minutes to then show a red ‘X’ and then a further 17 minutes for a Traffic Officer to attend (37 minutes in total). For more than half an hour, drivers are a sitting duck.” In January, the AA polled its 17,000 members and more than two fifths (42%) said that the rollout of ‘smart’ motorways should stop while the safety review takes place. “As Highways England have not yet put a spade in the ground on this stretch of the M3, we urge them to go back to the drawing board and design the safest motorway possible.”

HAMPSHIRE CHARITY BACKS PATRON

Kings’ Science Fayre a success page 4

A breathtaking Swan Lake page 6

The charity Naomi House and Jacksplace at Sutton Scotney has told Winchester Today it fully backs its patron Alastair Stewart. The backing comes after a Twitter row forced him out of his news reading post at ITN.

He’s kind, compassionate and generous

Hillier’s big plans for Chelsea

Letter From The Editor on page 2 ➜

page 16

Photo: Naomi House and Jacksplace

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2 winchestertoday.co.uk

February 2020

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

R

W

emember all those years of contraflows and reduced speed limits on the M3 just so that we could have a ‘Smart Motorway’ at the top end around Junction 2? The moment it opened we told you our opinion that there’s nothing smart about smart motorways at all. The fact that sunlight in the morning blocked out the signs… that drivers would still insist on using the far right lane until the very last minute so that they could then veer left right over the hatched area and go on the M25... and most of all that the sudden lack of a hard shoulder meant we didn’t feel safe. Just last week, lots of us heading north on the M3 near Junction 2 got stuck behind a car that had broken down in the live inside lane. The family involved were out of the car but obviously scared. Then came the Panorama programme about how they cost lives and the front page story of the Daily Mail involving John Apter from the Police Federation where he said we’d been misled over them. Now we also publish findings from the AA on what THEY think. They’re based in Hampshire and have more reason than most to know what they’re talking about.. We say again. SMART MOTORWAYS DON’T WORK. When is someone going to listen? *****

ABOUT US

winchestertoday est 2012 n EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Kevin Gover kevin@winchestertoday.co.uk 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

Alaistair Stewart: Backed by local charities Photo: Naomi House and Jacksplace

PUZZLE PAGE ANSWERS CROSSWORD Across: 7 Sombrero, 8 Rack, 9 Falsetto, 10 Aids, 11 Siesta, 14 Ice cap, 15 Gas, 16 Gemini, 18 Tubing, 20 Plan, 21 Alphabet, 24 Czar, 25 Electric. Down: 1 Rota, 2 Abuses, 3 Teat, 4 Motorist, 5 Grease, 6 Acid rain, 12 Idealize, 13 Agitated, 17 Ignore, 19 Blasts, 22 Peek, 23 Exit. CODEWORD

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SUDOKU – MEDIUM

e used to follow Alastair Stewart on Twitter and he followed and replied to us all the time. He used to infuriate us sometimes with his constant updates and spoilers about the latest F1 race when the season was ongoing, when all we were looking forward to were the highlights of the race later in the day. A minor issue I’m sure. A kind of ‘look away now if you don’t want to know the results’ kind of thing. However, it seems like an ‘error of judgement’ cost him dearly. Social media and emails can be a cruel thing. What you write is not often interpreted in the same way when it reaches the other end. Whatever happens between us going to press and when you read this, one thing is clear. I’ve followed Alastair on the telly, spoken to him when reporting locally and even bumped into him in Winchester’s High Street and at a radio awards ceremony. He was most kind and gracious to me at all of them That includes a huge opening event at Naomi House and Jacksplace in his capacity as a patron there. They have backed him fully. Chief Executive Mark Smith told Winchester Today: “As Alastair himself states, he may have made an error of judgement. However, the Alastair we know is kind, compassionate and generous to a fault. We remain indebted to him for all he has done for our charity over many years of tireless service.” Kevin Gover


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K ings’ school

Winchester

BULLETIN

FIRST EVER SCIENCE FAYRE A HUGE SUCCESS! AN evening full of technological wonder was experienced at Kings’ School during its first ever Science Fayre. Professional scientists came in from industry to judge the exhibits, along with Mrs Gratton who was representing Kings’ School. The hall was “buzzing” with the enthusiasm, creativity and confidence of Kings’ pupils, who eagerly explained their projects which ranged from ‘The Biology of Breeding Guinea Pigs’ to ‘Colour Changing Mocktails’ Some exhibits and memories of note included: l An experiment to show that animals reduce stress; l An aerofoil chamber, using incense showing movement of air over the object; l How many presents can santa fit in his sack; l Cool spirograph robots; l A baking soda volcano! l Presentation of micro plastics; l Catching a marshmallow, testing of

reflexes; Mr Leeming looking into the infinity mirror; l The computer programme created to show you how to make the perfect pot. As in all competitions there has to be winners. In the KS3 category, it went to a detailed and in-depth look at the viability of living on Mars, including 3D printed hydroponic soil. The level of detail and explanation impressed the judges, especially when the pupils were questioned. In the KS4 category, an amazing display of real-life periodic table elements, complete with in depth self-made videos (under supervision) of radioactive materials and how they interact with the world. Mr Lean and Miss Gibbs would like to praise all those who entered for not only representing the Science department to a high standard, but the school as a whole. They would also like to thank the extra pupils and parents who made the time to attend the event. We might even do one next year! l

Year 9 pupils support The Rainbow Trust

BRINGING POETRY ALIVE

THE Rainbow Trust provides bespoke support for families who have a child with a serious illness. They offer the whole family support, regardless of diagnosis and are there for as long as a family needs them.

They depend on donations and support from the wider community They have eight care teams of Family Support Workers in nine locations across the UK who provide emotional and practical support for families at home, at hospital and in the community. As the charity depends on the donations and support it receives from the wider community, it was a real pleasure for our Year 9 group to choose the Rainbow Trust as their nominated charity and to raise £700 for them.

You need hands... Taking their cue from the ancient tiles on the floor of Winchester Cathedral, pupils from Kings’ have used all their ingenuity to recreate them… including the use of used coffee grounds!

READING’S Hexagon theatre played host to 100 Kings’ pupils, who joined peers from a variety of schools in attending Poetry Live 2020. Current and previous Poet Laureate’s Simon Armitage and Carol-Ann Duffy were joined by the charismatic Caribbean wordsmith John Agard for a day of literary entertainment and education. Kings’ pupils proved themselves to be an active and engaged audience, conducting themselves with maturity whilst filling pages of their personal notepads with GCSE relevant annotations. Seeing the syllabus poets up close gave our year 11s the opportunity to gain valuable insight in to the methods and meaning behind the key GCSE texts.

Kings’ pupils proved themselves to be an active and engaged audience

Kings’ School Class of 2010 Reunion THIS is a message for all of you who joined Kings’ in 2005 and left in 2010… we are looking to hold a reunion of the Class of 2010, a memorable year group in the history of Kings’ School! The Summer of 2020 will mark the tenth anniversary of your departure from Kings’ and we would like to mark this date by inviting you back to join us at the School’s Summer Fayre which will take

This will be a very informal event

place on Saturday 16 May 2020. This will be a very informal event, with a bbq and bar among the stalls on the day, and we hope that it will give you the opportunity to catch up with friends from your Kings’ days. We’re also hoping that your Heads of Year, and a number of your teachers and tutors will be present, alongside current staff, to help bring those memories back.

It would be great to know who is going to be there, so if you think that you’re likely to attend, let us know by sending a quick email to alumni@kings-winchester. hants.sch.uk . We’ll then arrange for further details to be sent to you nearer the time. We hope to see you in May... Best wishes from all at Kings’ School.


news

February 2020

BIRD WATCH ON THE SOLENT REPORTS HUGE SUCCESS

A new nature-based event hit for the Solent appears to have been a huge success. Open to all the public, the ‘Great Solent Birdwatch’ helped to highlight amazing birds such as curlew, sanderling and redshank to communities living across the area. Locations such as Newtown in the Isle of Wight, Hythe near Southampton, Lepe in the New Forest and Farlington Marshes in Portsmouth were popular places for the event. 7-year-old Jess went along to Broadmarsh: “There were lots of ducks in the mud. My favourite is a wigeon as its very colourful.” The event was created by ‘Bird Aware Solent’ – a local partnership of conservation groups and Solent councils that aims to reduce disturbance to coastal birds. Participants recorded the type and number of birds they saw on the coast. In total, an impressive 72 different species of birds were counted. Councillor Seán Woodward is Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, a body that oversees Bird Aware: “The Solent is a special place and the birds that migrate here every year play a big part in that.

Popular: Youngster Jess (main photo) and family get the binoculars out in Broadmarsh

by Richard Horsman

What’s the beef with going veggie? Right. The decision’s made. I’m giving up meat to save the planet. It’s the only option, given that the only alternatives appear to be trying to cross the Bay of Biscay in a pedalo in search of warmer climes to escape the English winter, or changing into electric blue Lycra at an age when most men would be better advised to ditch the denim in favour of a nice elasticated corduroy. Look at the facts. I read on the internet only the other day that it requires the deforestation of an area the size of Andover to facilitate the production of one prime-aged 200 gram fillet steak, and with numbers like that even I can see some justification if Greta looks at me in A Very Disapproving Way. That’s before you even take into account that no-one employed in catering in the entire British Isles seems to share my concept of the word “rare”. Or “mustard”, for that matter. I’m not going to be obsessive about it. I’m not going to cause a scene in Le Vieux Signaleur de Virtu because it’s discovered Gaston once prepared a veal cutlet on the same bench he de-stringed the haricots for my bean surprise. And if anyone even suggests offering me a dish containing tofu it’s straight back to bangers and mash. You’ve been warned. I’m convinced tofu is a sinister plot dreamed up by a cartel of triad gang bosses in Shanghai to make the rest of the world eat all the polystyrene they can’t recycle. Except tofu’s not as crunchy as that, nor nearly as appetising. Tofu is that dream where you eat something that lasts for ever and tastes of nothing, and then you wake up and find you pillow’s disappeared. Then there’s bacon. Bacon is a special case, and in effect a food group all to itself. We have some long time veggie friends (as opposed to

72 different types of species logged

An impressive 72 different species of birds were counted “If you visit the coast this winter please keep an eye out for the birds and take care not to disturb them.”

winchestertoday.co.uk 5

I’m convinced tofu is a sinister plot dreamed up by a cartel of triad gang bosses in Shanghai

Vegemites, who are those hipster Australian lads you had a few beers with at the cricket last summer). When dining out with them in France a few years back the waitress was indignant that our companions complained about the bacon pieces mixed in with the peas in the supposed vegetarian option. “But wizout ze lardons, ‘ow do you expect ze pees to test of anyzink?”. The waitress was from Poland, obviously. But ... bacon. Nothing is more comforting for instant gratification as dawn breaks after a long night, whether that be working or partying. Nothing’s more guaranteed to perk up the most jaded traveller after two hours of contraflow on the M3. It accounts for a fair chunk of the GDP of both Denmark and Canada, and you name me two more wholesome or rosy-cheeked countries on the face of the earth. Coincidence? I think not. Vegan is not an option. It’s just being awkward. It’s like the bloke who gets the window seat on the train and then complains he’s actually at the end of a window and has a restricted view. It’s the one hit wonder pop band who demand a tin of only purple Quality Streets in their trailer. And it means giving up cheese, the only food group infinitely superior to bacon. I have a friend called Stu who’s a chef. What he can do with a carrot is beyond belief. It ceases to be a vaguely humorous vegetable and becomes a thing of beauty, poised with perfect precision on a plate ready to give up its very being of essential carrotyness in a ceremony of fork and tongue that can only be described as communing with the divine. Stu took over a greasy spoon café and took it upmarket. It’s not normally veggie but it is for one weekend a month. Given the place’s heritage, a few punters still wander in expecting chips with everything. The conversations are fun to overhear. “So what’s all this, then - you don’t have anything with meat in it tonight?” “No, sorry .. it’s our vegetarian weekend .. like it says on Facebook – and on the door behind you” “None at all? Fine, I’ll have the chicken then” “But chicken’s meat …” “Not in ‘ar ‘ouse. There’s proper meat, then there’s chicken. No fish, neither?” “No, sorry, on account of it being .. y’know .. like I said .. veggie weekend”. “Alright, alright, my bad – liver and onions it is” “But liver’s offal, and it’s v …” “I know it’s awful, but everything else on this menu is blummin rabbit food ….”

A fear with no name When life has its ups and downs, you’ll find me taking the stairs. I’ve had a phobia about lifts ever since, as a toddler, I ran to get in one at the flats where my grandparents lived. Mum couldn’t keep up. The doors closed … and I was too tiny to reach any of the buttons. I was only trapped for seconds, but these things leave an impression. Fast forward 20 years and I avoided the Paternoster lifts at University because … what would happen if I failed to step off at the top (or, possibly worse, the bottom)? Would I be transported to a parallel universe, or crushed in the mechanism? I arrived at many lectures breathless from an eight-floor climb. Now, dear reader, there’s a new horror. Lifts with no buttons at all. I discovered the other day a place where you select your destination floor on the landing , and the panel directs you to step in a particular lift cage. All very Star Trek, even though I successfully resisted the temptation to call out “Bridge” as the doors closed. There is one very real practical benefit to

There is one very real practical benefit to suffering a fear of lifts – heart points suffering a fear of lifts – heart points. I get my daily 20 minutes worth in no time. But here’s a thing. My condition, according to Google, has no name. There is no “-phobia” that’s a specific fear of elevators. Just me, then.


arts

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February 2020

THE MOST ELEGANT OF SWANS Kevin Gover sees a breathtaking production of Tchaikovsky’s evergreen favourite

SWAN LAKE Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography: Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Peter Wright

THERE’S no denying it. Once you hear THAT oboe in Swan Lake, with THAT tune, the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. This performance at a packed auditorium at the Mayflower was no exception, and brightened up January for everyone who went along. Music that you know and love, stunning costumes and beautiful dancing from Principals Céline Gittens and Tyrone Singleton right through to the cygnets and Swan Maidens, the Birmingham Royal Ballet has it all in bucketloads. The transformation of the set during the first three-minute ‘pause’ from castle to lakeside by moonlight was so startling that I heard audible gasps from people in the audience around me. The ballroom scene in Act 3 was grand, bold and brash. The huge stage at the Mayflower ensured you could have 30 people on stage yet still have tons of room for grand entrances, pointing, waving and, quite frankly, lots of showing off. If you’ve ever been to the Bolshoi, you’ll know what I mean. So

I heard audible gasps from people in the audience

Applause from the audience justifiably broke out mid-routine much so that the appreciative applause from the audience justifiably broke out mid-routine in places here for Céline and Tyrone. On top we had fantastic Russian-style dances, a Neapolitan dance and Spanish dance… Act 3 is worth the entrance fee alone. The costumes here were just stunning, and many of them are now 40 years old and have their own storage and transportation. The production was designed in 1981 by acclaimed director and designer Philip Prowse. As I looked around, I was delighted to see the number of children in the audience, bearing in mind this was a school night. For some, no doubt, it was a first, second or early continuing visit to the theatre, and what a fantastic ‘show and tell’ this will have made. I was equally delighted to see a special section in the programme devoted entirely to children and which explains the story at their level. A bit like how Mrs Wilkinson explains it to Billy Elliot when he asks to

Impeccable: Céline Gittens as Odette and Tyrone Singleton as Prince Siegfried (main photo and right); Ana Albutashvili and Alys Shee as Swan Maidens (above) photography: Roy Smiljanic; Andrew Ross

put a tape on in the car! The Company is also giving dance students of the future an opportunity to perform alongside their own dancers in specially created performances called ‘Swan Lake Dreams’ in Southampton, Birmingham and Plymouth. They too will use the amazing set. What an incredible and generous opportunity for them. Back to this performance, and an impeccable orchestra with credits and individual worldwide experience as long as your arm merely added to the delight. Conductor Paul Murphy’s direction of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia led to warm, generous and heartfelt applause at the end. And whoever thought of the way to start Act 4 (which I won’t spoil) – well, that was just pure genius. This production of Swan Lake continues after the Mayflower right through until April, moving on to the Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry in Salford, the Sunderland Empire and the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. Tell your friends around the country to grab a ticket!


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news

February 2020

BRAND NEW LOOK FOR STAGECOACH FLEET Customer feedback drives new bus designs STAGECOACH – which serves Winchester and Hampshire – has unveiled a brand new look design for its buses, shaped by the needs of customers it serves across the UK. The operator has placed people at the heart of its new design, incorporating feedback from thousands of customers to create a new simplified and colour coded design for its various bus services. The new colour coding and a restructuring of how its services are

People are at the heart of its new design classified are aimed at making it easier and instantly recognisable for passengers to identify their required service, and are represented by three different types of journey; Azure blue for its Local service, Amber yellow for Longer, and Ocean green for Specialist. The new bus design will be rolled out across the fleet of 8,400 buses over a three-year period, with customers seeing the first buses on the road from February.

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arts

February 2020

winchestertoday.co.uk 9

PUTTING PEOPLE IN THE FRAME We preview a major new exhibition celebrating the British Portrait Tradition AS You See Me is a new and original exhibition at Salisbury Museum that celebrates the British portrait tradition. It highlights a studio practice called sight-size, where the canvas is placed alongside the sitter so that both appear the same size when viewed together from a given distance. It was a technique used by artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney, Henry Raeburn, John Hoppner, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and John Singer Sargent - among others - whose paintings introduce the exhibition. Bringing the sight-size tradition up to date, the exhibition will showcase the work of Salisbury-based portrait painter Nicholas Beer. Nick was a senior teacher at the Charles Cecil Studio in Florence from 1992 through 2012. He founded the Sarum Studio in 1995, which became a full-time school of art in 2013. Within the oak panelled walls of the studio (the Wren Hall), Nicholas and his students study and paint the people of Salisbury (and beyond) as a contemporary expression of the British portrait tradition. Nicholas explained more about the joy

Nicholas and his students study and paint the people of Salisbury (and beyond) of portrait work: “The wonderful thing about working from life is that nature constantly changes and so presents new ideas to the artist throughout the painting process, which must be edited to reveal the essence of the sitter�. The exhibition opens on 2 May and runs until 27 September 2020. Pictured right: Wilhelmina Bowlby c, 1825 by Sir Thomas Lawrence Courtesy of Bagshawe Fine Art

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arts

February 2020

A HIDDEN GEM UNCOVERED IN STYLE David Cradduck sees one of the best musicals you’ve never heard of! MAME Salisbury Playhouse

THE first professional UK revival for 50 years of Jerry Herman’s glitzy musical enjoyed a limited two-venue tour concluding at the relatively intimate setting of Salisbury Playhouse. It may be a small-ish production in comparison with some big West End shows but it packs a powerful punch and is perfect for the Wiltshire Creative setting. You would be forgiven for not having heard of MAME (especially when not suffixed with the usual title of ‘– The Musical’). Google the word MAME and you are more likely to get pages of information on something called a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator than the Broadway show that earned Angela Lansbury her first Tony award in the mid-60s or the Drury Lane production that ran for 14 months and made Ginger Rogers the highest paid performer in the West End in 1969. MAME (the musical) is based on Patrick Denis’s ‘Auntie Mame’ 1955 novel from which a play was spawned before the musical version was launched on Broadway. It is set against the backdrop of the dizzy 1920s when New York, like a lot of America, witnessed a post-war recklessness amongst the white, wealthy sector of the community. Excessive partying, gambling and drinking (helped by Prohibition rather than curbed by it) was the norm for the ‘leisure classes’ before the crash in 1929 which led to nearly two decades of austerity, bankruptcies and hardship for all but the richest of millionaires. Out of this madcap maelstrom of frenetic partying comes the character of ‘Auntie’ Mame, a fun-loving, stylish, sophisticated woman in her prime, played superbly with theatrical excess by Tracie Bennett who has a list of stage, TV and film credits as long as your arm

Jessie May is absolutely hilarious as Patrick’s nanny and her cigarette holder combined. A sophisticated, amusing, raunchy and honest performance by Bennett provides the centerpiece for the show, around which the plot and the other characters revolve. Mame is in the middle of one of her all-night parties when the arrival of her 10 year old and recently orphaned nephew Patrick almost stops her in her tracks. But such is her resilience to such important matters that she carries on regardless and young Patrick, far from being given a good, clean US upbringing, learns how to mix Martinis before he has even had some ‘proper’ schooling. Patrick grows up, of course, and in the second act we see him as a young man establishing his own path to adulthood and the conflicts that that rite of passage sometimes entails. Young Patrick is played by three different, alternating young actors. At our performance, Harry Cross had that honour and what a talented young man he is too; this is a demanding role not

It really is up there with the great classic Broadway and West End musicals

Theatrical excess: Tracie Bennett brings Mame to life superbly

just in acting terms but singing and dancing as well. Several other principal characters revolve around both Mame the character and Mame the plot: Harriet Thorpe as longtime friend largerthan-life performer Vera is suitably glamorous and puts in a lovely, raunchy performance; Jessie May is absolutely hilarious as Patrick’s nanny, transforming from understated, demure, teetotal bespectacled frump into sexy, sassy beauty in one wave of Mame’s magic wand and a large drink. She gets most of the best lines, is a clever comedic antidote to the serious class issues kicking off in the sub-plot

Images: Pamela Raith

and for my money she steals the show. Darren Day, fresh from his frenetic one-man show activities as Smee in Peter Pan in Southampton, puts in an enjoyable performance as wealthy plantation owner Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside who becomes Mame’s beau in a trice and marries her, allowing her to quickly shake off any post-crash blues and to continue living her chosen lifestyle. His southern drawl sounds convincing to me, but perhaps a true native of Tennessee might be a better judge. All accents, New York, southern or otherwise, all come across as authentic. Benjamin Wong as Ito, Mame’s faithful manservant, puts in an entertaining performance slightly reminiscent of Fawlty Towers’ Manuel and Peter Seller’s Cato combined. Soo Drouet doubles as amusing Madame Branilslowski and Beauregard’s imposing mother. The supporting cast is strong and the dancing throughout is superb, showing off tightly choreographed and varied routines, many of them blending seamlessly with dances of that era like the Charlston. On a small stage where every inch is used, it’s surprising that some of the moves don’t end in collisions (testimony to the precision of the dancers and skill of director and choreographer Nick

Winston). Costumes and lighting are second to none, creating the various atmospheres required for multiple scene changes and settings from Grand Central Station to Mame’s bedroom. The simple set works well on the whole, allowing the faultless orchestra to be partially visible upstage. Rather annoyingly a black curtain drop allows forbidden glimpses of backstage goingson, actors waiting for cues and a green emergency exit light. Although offset by the rather unnecessary and slightly distracting over-use of the smoke machine offstage, the illusion is broken every time the curtain isn’t closed properly. Possibly something to do with adapting the set for a different shaped and size stage, the curtain seems a bit of an afterthought in an otherwise meticulously plan. It is a shame that this sparkly musical is not better known and has not had more public recognition in the past half century – it really is up there with the great classic Broadway and West End musicals. Jerry Herman’s music and lyrics are of the time and brilliant (one tune most people will recognise is the title song, ‘Mame’, which is given a good airing in the Act 1 finale and the odd reprise). Perhaps this mini-tour from Hope Aria Productions will widen the show’s appeal and lead to more adaptations in the future; it is a musical with a funny, thought provoking (and sometimes serious) backstory. It covers a decade (1928-1938) of huge cultural and economic change in America and class attitudes, some of which brought out the best – and the worst – in people. MAME has the required amount of bling, fluff and glitter to earn the title of ‘musical’ but to date remains a hidden gem it would seem.


news

February 2020

winchestertoday.co.uk 11

BARTON PEVERIL’S HOCKEY HEROES Four pupils earn places on National College teams FOUR Barton Peveril Sixth Form College students have been selected for the Association of Colleges England Hockey Teams. Two male and two female students were selected for the Men’s and Women’s National Teams, respectively, after a rigorous series of trials against hundreds of students from around the country. Former The Hamble School pupil Abi Bowens and The Gregg School pupil Mollie Wilkinson were selected for the Women’s Team, whilst Upper Shirley High School alumni Sam Mackenzie and former The Henry Cort Community College pupil Aidan Page were selected for the Men’s Team. The four Barton Peveril students attended a regional trial, before attending a final trial at Reading Hockey Club. At the final trial, which pitted the nation’s best young-hockey players against one another, 23 students were selected for each team from a large pool of original contenders. All four Barton Peveril students will travel to a training camp with their respective teams preparing for a series of matches against the other home nation teams in the summer. Mollie Wilkinson spoke about her selection: “I am so excited for the opportunity to represent the College in this squad, on a national and international level.

Their selection is testament to their hard work and the effort they put into every match “With a chronic shoulder injury, it was debatable whether I’d make the squad or trials. It was a challenge but I’m so happy I managed to fight and earn my place in the squad.” Paul Yeates is Barton Peveril’s Teacher of Sport and Hockey Coach: “The four Barton Peveril students were selected amongst a very competitive group of students from around the country, and should be proud of their achievement. “Their selection is testament to their hard work and the effort they put into every match for the College and for their clubs.” Called up (l-r): Abi Bowens, Sam Mackenzie, Aidan Page and Mollie Wilkinson

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news

12 winchestertoday.co.uk

February 2020

High Street Boost From Christmas Market Festive sales bringing in revenue everywhere, research finds STORECHECKERS – the research company which supplies research and mystery shopping – says data they gathered here in Winchester in December indicates the Christmas Market also helped boost the High Street. In December 2019, Storecheckers researched visitors at four UK Christmas Markets... Liverpool, Manchester, Peterborough and Winchester, to assess the impact of festive markets on our high streets. In Winchester, 71% (v 47% nationally) of respondents said the main reason for their visit to the city was to attend the Christmas Market. Once in the Winchester centre though, market visitors spent an average of 20% more in the high street than at the Christmas Market; £37 average spend for the market against £45 in the centre. 97% of visitors to the Winchester Market were from outside the local area, confirming that the market was drawing people in. 84% stated their Winchester Market spend did not have any impact on their spending elsewhere in the city. Their Managing Director is Jeff

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79% stated they would like the Christmas Market to grow

Caplan: “This feedback busts the myths that Christmas Markets took money away from year-round town centre based businesses”. When asked what they liked best about the Winchester market, the highest responses were: 44% (v 37% Nationally) for Festive feel and atmosphere and 26% (v 30%) for Food and drink. 79% stated that they would like Winchester’s Christmas Market to continue and grow, when asked what they would like to see in the future.

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arts

February 2020

winchestertoday.co.uk 13

A GREAT WAR FILM THAT HAS IT ALL Chris Book finds that with ‘1917’ the film does actually live up to the hype

ESSENTIAL

VINYL

1917 Dir. Sam Mendes

★★★★★ BEING an avid fan of war films over the last forty years or so, I’m going to be quite honest in that not many good films about WW1 spring immediately to mind compared with those excellent black and white films regarding WW2 that came out in the 1940s and 50s. Perhaps, though All Quiet on the Western Front, Oh What a Lovely War and a bit more recently, War Horse. Well, I can reliably inform you that this film rates as one of the best of the lot. Young Lance Corporals Blake (Dean Charles-Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are selected by their sergeant for a daring mission deep into No Man’s Land early evening to deliver a message to cease an attack later the following morning by another regiment that will save the lives of 1600 men. With all lines of communication down, time is of the essence as they set off on into the unknown. As they pick their way across the battlefield, the full horror of trench warfare is laid bare for all to see; this film is definitely not for the squeamish as death, carnage and destruction from both sides is evident in every scene. The young NCO’s build an unbreakable bond as they come across impassable barbed wire, deep shell holes, abandoned tunnels, bodies of fallen comrades, mud and the local rat population. They eventually reach an abandoned farm where things go tragically wrong on the back of an earlier dog fight which they witness between two Royal Flying Corps planes and one German bi-plane. The film is brilliantly filmed in one continuous shot, following the action without a break of any sort. The action scenes are spectacular in every way; watch out for the one where L/C Schofield is shot at by a German sniper as he crosses a broken bridge over a canal and later as he makes good his escape from a desecrated village in the early morning.

FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME Brilliant: The film unfolds in one, continuous two-hour shot

I sat there mesmerised throughout Director Sam Mendes manages to capture the futility of that war so well; the innocent suffering of the local population in a touching scene with a local French girl and a baby; the portrayal of some of the officer classes – “Lions led by Donkeys” immediately springs to mind. The wit and the camaraderie of the British Tommy is evident throughout with a couple of laugh-out-loud moments which lightens

© 2019 Universal Pictures and Storyteller Distribution Co.

the tension of the film just when it needs it. It also shows the Germans in, shall we say, a most untrustworthy light. A stellar cast is in evidence if, but in minor, almost fleeting roles. Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden and Colin Firth are three very senior officers at either end of the film and Andrew Scott, who steals the show as Lieutenant Leslie, a very jaded, but inspirational leader of his men who is obviously at the end of his tether with the fighting. This film has it all. I sat there mesmerised throughout, as were the rest of the full house around me as the story unfolded. The 1 hour 59 minutes flew by in an instant and I left the cinema with a tear in my eye as I thought of that lost generation of young men and women who took part in that awful futile conflict 103 years ago. If you only see one film this year, go and see this one. You will not be disappointed.

Mo brings smooth jazz to Theatre Royal IF you’ve ever fancied something slightly different for a Sunday, then Theatre Royal Winchester might have something just up your street. It’s hosting a free smooth jazz session in the Cafe Bar on Sunday 16 February, from 11.30am – 1pm. Singer Mo Woods has over 25 years of performing experience from the age of 13. Specialising in jazz standards and alternative covers, Mo is classically trained in singing and piano, and has experience performing with everyone from small groups and choirs to large live bands and musical ensembles. Her band now has eight members, including Mo, made up of guitar, bass, drums, piano, brass section and backing vocals. It is inspired by old school funk and female soul singers, including Betty Davis and Aretha Franklin.

Released: October 1984 ZTT Records As we try to move away from part of our relationship with Brussels, I can’t help but think fondly about the place. I’ve recently come into contact with some new workmates and old friends who were there at the same time as I was. One thing we’ve all been talking about and agree on is that there were some amazing concerts. We’ve reminisced about the good ones – and the ones we regret missing. For me, it was not going to see Frankie Goes To Hollywood at the Forest National. I can’t for the life of me even remember why I didn’t go, as I saw so many other concerts. It’s ironic that you can buy the actual ticket for the concert on eBay; someone who went doesn’t want to keep it or the memories. FGTH were huge on our radio station. I mean, huge. My French co-presenters were even more nuts about them than I was. I had to give translations from Scouse into French so they could understand everything. I can still remember the time when I was in my kitchen when I had the radio on and I heard ‘Two Tribes’ for the first time. I just stood there open-mouthed at what I’d just witnessed. Then came this double album of sheer perfection all the way through. We had no hesitation in playing the full version of ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ on the radio. We loved their version of ‘Born To Run’ with the accompanying Scouse humour at the benefit office. We loved their versions of ‘War’ and ‘San Jose’. We loved the imagery, production and the Ronald Reagan impersonations. We just loved it. Enough of the sales pitch. Just get one! Kevin Gover


puzzles

14 winchestertoday.co.uk

February 2020

CROSSWORD

SUDOKU – MEDIUM Across 7 Broad-brimmed straw hat (8) 8 Tiered shelves (4) 9 Forced high notes (8) 10 Helps (4) 11 Midday nap (6) 14 Polar top layer (3,3) 15 Chatter (3) 16 Third sign of the zodiac (6) 18 Flexible pipework (6) 20 Scheme (4) 21 Kind of soup (8) 24 Autocratic ruler (4) 25 Exceptionally tense (8)

Down 1 Roster (4) 2 Mistreats (6) 3 Baby’s bottle feature (4) 4 Driver (8) 5 Lubricant (6) 6 Polluted precipitation (4,4) 12 Put on a pedestal (8) 13 Excited (8) 17 Discount (6) 19 Explosions (6) 22 Secret look (4) 23 Way out (4)

WORD SEARCH Anklet Apron Beret Bib Bonnet Bra Busby

Caftan Clog Coat Cowboy boots Crown Fez

SUDOKU – HARD

WORD LADDER Flat cap Hat Jacket Jeans Kepi Kilt Muff

Pants Robe Shawl Shoe Sock Stole Suit

Tails Tam Toga Trunks

Change the bottom word into the top one a letter at a time, making a new word with each change. Write your changes between the rungs.

     

ALL SOLUTIONS ON PAGE 2

CODEWORD


news

February 2020

winchestertoday.co.uk 15

What’s On in Winchester and beyond February 2020 Thursday 13th and Friday 14th February Roald Dahl Tales

You do NOT have to pay to have your event listed here! You send details by email to news@winchestertoday.co.uk or tweet us the info @winchestertoday All event details listed are correct at time of going to press.

Chesil Youth Theatre. 7.30pm. £8/£10

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RACHEL GOVER Saturday 2nd May Sunday 27th September As You See Me Salisbury Museum

Thursday 13 February Rhino Wars - a presentation on the battle to save the African rhino

Tuesday 12th Saturday 16th May Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, 7pm Tickets via Eventbrite

Mayflower Theatre. 7.30pm, 2pm Thu and Sat.

Sunday 16th February Jazz Session featuring singer Mo Woods

Wednesday 13th Saturday 16th May Murder Weapon

Theatre Royal Cafe Bar. 11.30 am - 1pm. Free

Cheriton Players

Friday 21st February Half Term Family Drama Workshop

Sunday 19th July Simply BMW Beaulieu. 10am - 5pm Advance tickets £10.50 (adult) £5.25 (child)

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. Tel: 02380 711811

Saturday 8th August and Sunday 9th August Seafood Festival

Friday 21st February David Baddiel ‘Trolls: Not The Dolls’ The Anvil, Basingstoke. 7.30pm

Lymington. 11am - 8pm (Saturday) and 11am - 6pm (Sunday)

Sunday 23rd February Hampshire Farmers’ Market

Sunday 20th September Simply British Classics

The High Street, Winchester. 9am - 2pm

Jamie Cullum brings his jazz influences to the Portsmouth Guildhall on 27th March

Sunday 2nd March Opening of Man Up!

Sunday 8th March Hampshire Farmers’ Market

Friday 27th March Jamie Cullum

Sunday 29th March Hampshire Farmers’ Market

Chawton House. New permanent galleries dedicated to early women writers.

The High Street, Winchester. 9am - 2pm

Portsmouth Guildhall. 7pm Tel: 0844 847 2362

The High Street, Winchester. 9am - 2pm

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Beaulieu. 10am - 5pm Advance tickets £10.50 (adult) £5.25 (child)

Tuesday 21st April Saturday 2nd May The King and I

Monday 2nd November Stranglers

Mayflower Theatre. 7pm, 2pm Thu and Sat.

Portsmouth Guildhall. 7pm. Tickets £38.23


the final word

16 winchestertoday.co.uk

February 2020

THE GREAT CHELSEA TAKEOVER Hillier plans its ‘greatest ever’ RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.

By KEVIN GOVER I’VE been reporting on Hillier’s exhibitions at Chelsea for the best part of 30 years. Yes, back in 1989 Hillier had not even reached the magic 50 consecutive gold medals, and yet here we are now on the brink of 75 in a row. What a journey it has been. Back then it was a marquee-type pavilion blowing about in the wind or trying to keep the rain away. These days it’s state-of-the-art, yet Hillier has always taken the same spot, around the monument. This year though the STIHL Hillier Garden will be a momentous celebration of the company’s 155-year history and achievements, as it aims for a landmark 75th consecutive gold medal. Hillier holds the world record for the most consecutive gold medals at the show. The company will be taking centre stage with its vast exhibit in the Grand Pavilion. It will be an immersive walkthrough, winding around the famous central monument bursting with planting inspiration throughout. The stunning display will cover a phenomenal 387.5m2, that’s a staggering 85% increase on the 2019 garden. Visitors will first approach an historic shop front replica of the original Hillier shop in Winchester (that was purchased in 1864). This instantly transports visitors back to the humble beginnings of the company which started from a single florist shop and small patch of nursery land. Following a path past the shop, visitors will discover a large garden with a stone-walled walkway taking them on a journey filled with semi-mature trees, large shrubs and colourful herbaceous planting schemes. The finale of the garden’s winding walkway will be a water feature– a place to reflect on 155 years of history. Lilly Gomm will join the team as designer for the second year running. Lilly made her Chelsea debut with Hillier in 2019, winning gold: “It’s an absolute honour to be working with Hillier again,

Even the original Hillier shop front in Winchester will be recreated

Spectacular: The plan for this year, (inset) the original shopfront and (below and right) exhibits from the 2019 Chelsea display

particularly this year as the company celebrates its history with its exhibit. The design this year is intended to capture the essence of Hillier, stand out and be memorable, at the same time as featuring the detailed stunning planting and variety that Hillier is known for.” Already famed for creating one of the largest floral displays at the show, Hillier will be taking its design to new heights as the garden will feature a staggering 21 Hillier mature trees. Among the trees there will be pockets of planting and splashes of colour. The garden will highlight the extensive variety of plants grown on the Hampshire nursery and available in all 17 Hillier Garden Centres, offering inspiration for every type of garden. Chris Francis is director of retail and wholesale: “This garden recognises and celebrates something incredibly special so it’s only fitting that we have our

greatest exhibit ever! “We are thrilled to be working with Lilly again. She is immensely talented and created a stunning garden for us last year. This year’s design is incredible; the idea of recreating the original shopfront is certainly going to be remarkable and I know real attention is being paid to historic detail. We can’t wait to see it all come to life!” Simon Hewitt is Head of Marketing for STIHL GB: “The Hillier designs wow us every year, yet each time they seem to create something even more spectacular and breathtaking. “With the huge space and shopfront recreation, not to mention the planting and horticultural expertise, we have no doubts that this year’s garden will be the best ever. We are thrilled to sponsor it and to be working with Hillier to once again create one of the biggest talking points of the show.”

Profile for Winchester Today

Winchester Today - February 2020  

The online version of the February 2020 edition of Winchester Today

Winchester Today - February 2020  

The online version of the February 2020 edition of Winchester Today

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