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Cheriton - Romsey - Littleton - Alresford - Chandler’s Ford

March 2013

… and not forgetting Cheriton, Romsey, Stockbridge, Hursley, Kings Worthy, Littleton, Alresford, Chandler’s Ford, Micheldever, Bishop’s Waltham, and everywhere in between!

Monthly • Issue 006

FREE @winchestertoday

Wedding Special 2013

Man With the Plan

Exclusive features about that magical day Pages 9 - 12

Chris Polatch lets European students in on Winchester’s local beauty Page 8 Hospital ‘Clean’ – But Staffing an Issue

Choo choo ch’bikey!

An inspection of the Royal Hampshire County Hospital here in Winchester has met all three care and cleanliness standards required by the Care Quality Commission – but action appears to be needed in staffing. The CQC carry out spot-check reviews of compliance in all areas of health and safety including the care and welfare of people who use the services, the cleanliness of the hospital, standard of infection control and the monitoring of service provision. The inspection was carried out at Royal Hampshire County Hospital in January 2013 and included talking to staff, patients and family members about the services. It found that there should be more members of staff to keep people safe and to meet their welfare needs. But it was identified as a minor concern by the CQC – who say that the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is aware of the situation and was taking action.

Coming through! All aboard the 1502 to Hockley as Dani King leads children from Compton All Saints Primary School to officially open the newly-restored Hockley Viaduct. More on Page 4 >>

MP To Lead Major Inquiry On Breast Cancer Access, treatment and support all under scrutiny By Kevin Gover - Editor Winchester & Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine will lead a major inquiry in Parliament this Spring on the subject of breast cancer. The inquiry will explore access to treatment, services and support for older people with breast cancer. It’s being organised by The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and will be led by Steve who

is co-chair. He says he wants to know why it is some may not be receiving the proper treatment: “As a group we are deeply concerned by suggestions that older breast cancer patients are being denied access to the full treatment and support options that are available purely as a result of their age. By learning from those at the heart of this issue we hope to gain a clear picture on what barriers are currently preventing the best care and ways in which to eradicate them.”

12,000 women a year die of breast cancer and Steve says he hopes the figure can be driven locally, too: “We have a higher rate of breast cancer in this part of the country than almost anywhere else, and I hope the response will be huge and eventually play a part in saving lives.” The group is backed by Breakthrough Breast Cancer and supported by the UK’s leading breast cancer charities including Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign.

Evidence for the inquiry will be collected from a range of first hand sources, including older breast cancer patients and their families, partners and carers. The All-Party Group will also be looking to speak with healthcare and social care professionals, cancer care commissioners, the Department of Health, academic researchers and voluntary organisations to ensure a thorough understanding of the current situation. It will also focus on surgery for breast

Continues on Page 3

Winchester Today - Your local FREE newsaper - out every month.

Chief Nurse Donna Green says the praise handed over is largely thanks to the hard work and commitment Full details on Page 4


The Blues Brothers Their mission continues at the Mayflower Review ...................... 7 Prize Crossword and activities page, worth over £200! Prize ........................ 17 University teams tackle homophobia Sport ....................... 20



Welcome News in Brief

Business news eBusiness and ERP solutions specialists Emerge Information Technology Ltd (Emerge IT) is expanding to meet the needs of its clients.

Stories for the breakfast table.

The company recently moved into new premises in School Lane in Chandlers Ford, following a property agreement arranged by estate agents Keygrove and Lambert Smith Hampton. The move has doubled the space of the old offices from 1400sq ft to 2800sq ft, enabling the company to increase staff levels.

Letter from the editor Promises, promises, promises... ever since we started on this adventure of discovery back in July, we have tried our best to fulfill all that we set out to do. Our promise at the time was to bring a fresh look to journalism in the city. We are very grateful to all of you who are helping us along the way with your stories, photos and messages of encouragement. Every week we are discovering more and more people to talk to - and more people and teams are finding us. More and more people are following us on Twitter @winchestertoday and we are very grateful for that. Our mission is to expand as much as we can, as soon as we can. You will already have seen our page count expand in the right direction, and not just to fill the newspaper with nonsense. We know that these things take time and thank you for your patience. *** Promises, promises, promises... we have seen the gritters out on

far too many occasions since December. We declare here that we know how much work, dedication and cost has been invested by the council to keep us running. How is it then - as evidence from our photos show - that snow will still stop cars getting up Andover Road when it really matters - and that they had to be bailed out by the staff at Pets Corner? *** Promises, promises, promises... so, how has the Lent promise gone for you? Did you give up chocolate only to find yourself ‘accidentally’ tucking into a chocolate brownie? Erm, like I did...

Your Winchester Today Thanks to all these wonderful people who have agreed to stock copies of Winchester Today for their customers: Halfords in Weeke Flower Pots Inn, Cheriton The Co-op, Alresford County News, Alresford Plaza Theatre, Romsey Cheriton Stores and Post Office Keats, Alresford Mid-Hants Railway (Watercress Line) Tichborne Arms Steve Brine’s Office, Stockbridge Road Dever Stores, Sutton Scotney Three Cups Inn, Stockbridge Marwell Hotel

Paul Hellard & Co, Alresford Alresford Group Surgery IVC (Itchen Valley Cars), Alresford The Sandwich Shop, Alresford The Winchester Book Shop Nanoo of Stockbridge Road The Naked Grape, Alresford The Station Mill, Alresford Laurel House, Alresford Perins School, Alresford The Horse and Groom, Alresford The Running Horse, Alresford The Cricketers Inn, Alresford The Alresford Cobbler The Courtyard Tearoom, A’ford Alresford Dental Practice Long Barn Shop and Café, Alresford

Whatever you are doing for Easter, we hope you manage to find some time to relax, that you will have a great time, that the sun will shine, and you will remember why you made that promise at Lent. Chocolate brownies excepted. Kevin Gover, Editor

Green News

Centre can see examples of how to save energy, save money and stay warm. Insulation for lofts, walls and floors, solar panels and the latest LED energy-saving light bulbs are on display, along with lots of leaflets and information.

Five new people have been employed, bringing the total staff level to 26. Eighteen of them are housed in the new premises in Chandlers Ford. Emerge IT also has an office in Manchester, which is currently manned by four staff, one in Warwick with three staff and the company will be opening a new office in Exeter by mid-2013.

News Oxbridge

Symonds who receive offers from Oxford or Cambridge universities. There are very few schools or colleges of any kind, anywhere in the UK, state

or independent, who can match this figure. It is a testament to the talent and hard work both of the students and also of their teachers and advisers.”

Winchester’s MP Steve Brine is pictured alongside Roger Huxstep from the city’s environment department and staff from the Green Deal Winchester free help centre. Visitors to the centre in the old Hawkin’s Bazaar shop in the Brooks

Fifty three Peter Symonds students from twenty nine different secondary schools have been successfully accepted - with conditional offers - for places at Oxbridge this September - 33 from Oxford and 20 from Cambridge. Pictured are those from former Winchester and Romsey schools who have been successful. Principal Neil Hopkins says it’s great news for the city and the college: “I am very proud of the disproportionately high number of students from

One of the best things about living in Winchester is that every effort is made to bring our history alive. Civil War soldiers mustered at one of Winchester’s ancient gateways recently - the old Westgate – to transport people back in time to the 17th century and find out more about the life of a soldier during the English Civil War, 350 years ago.

Interested in becoming a sport contributor or joining the training project for 16 to 25-year-olds, Project:Alfie150? Drop us a line to WinchesterToday est.2012 Editor-in-Chief: Kevin Gover Deputy Editor: William Brougham Designers: Johnny Blonde - Layout Editor Katie Chappell - Ad Design Assistant

Property Editor: Adam Zuchetti

Photographer: Lisa Gigante

Music Editor: Rebecca Rayner

Logo and Web: Gavin Harris at Plastic Box

News & Features Correspondents: William Brougham Annabel Radcliffe Dina Burgess

Business Development and Marketing Consultant: David Cradduck

Sales and Advertising: Accounts: Dilyara Gover

01962 868234 Winchester Today, Suite 123 80 High Street Winchester SO23 9AT

Winchester Today is a publication printed on newsprint, so after you have finished with it please pass it on so others can read it or take care to recycle or re-use it. Be kinder to the environment, thankyou!


Breast cancer inquiry to look at older peoples’ struggle with access to treatment Continued from front page cancer among older patients and will hear from renowned breast surgeon Dr Dick Rainsbury who is based at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. Mr Brine and his co-chairs (Annette Brooke MP and Sharon Hodgson MP) recently met with Prime Minister David Cameron at No.10 Downing Street to discuss the fight against breast cancer and brief him on the inquiry. Mr Cameron has since publicly backed the initiative and has promised the Department for Health will engage with the inquiry and respond to its recommendations. The Prime Minister says he’s really pleased the all-party group are conducting the inquiry into older people with breast cancer and wishes it well: “We have made solid progress in fighting breast cancer in recent years but there is so much more to do. Of course we must do better with cancer


Steve Brine, Annette Brooke and Sharon Hodgson - along with representatives from the breast cancer charities - meet with the Prime Minister

outcomes across the board in this country and that absolutely includes breast cancer. I look forward to seeing the final report and the specific recommendations within it.� In a joint statement, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care say that the risk of breast cancer increases with age: “Currently more than 340,000 women aged 65 and over are living with this disease in the UK. With an aging population this number is expected to be four times higher by 2040. We are supporting this inquiry as it is vital to ensure older people with breast cancer have access to all treatment, information and support options now and in the future.� You can answer the call for evidence and be kept up to date with progress of the inquiry, via www.stevebrine. com/breastcancer and key recommendations from the inquiry will be published in summer 2013.

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Fifty New Affordable Homes for Abbotts Barton

- but the wait goes on for thousands of other families. By Kevin Gover Fifty new affordable homes will be built in Abbotts Barton in the next few years as part of Winchester City Council’s plans to tackle the district’s serious housing shortage – but it falls well short of the number of families who are on the waiting list. The council says it wants to develop 350 new affordable homes for the district over the next 10 years in areas such as Abbotts Barton, Stanmore, Weeke, Highcliffe and Winnall. But there are around 3,500 households on the waiting list, with 100 more joining the register each month. A household with average needs and no special requirements could expect to wait three to six years for a property to become available. For the first time in seven years the Council has been forced to use temporary bed-and-breakfast accommodation to meet housing needs. Ian Tait is leading the council’s ‘New Homes Programme’ and told Winchester Today that it’s both a privilege and a challenge: “I recognise that getting the balance right between maximising the number of homes delivered and ensuring that they respect the needs of the existing community can be very demanding. Winchester is a city that has seen continual development over its history and good quality, well-designed homes will only go to strengthen and enhance this vibrant place. As we move forward with our proposals to deliver around 50 new homes in Abbotts Barton we will continue to work with local residents and take into account their thoughts and issues as far as we possibly can.�

The Abbotts Barton proposals will be considered through the normal planning process, and we are promised that new homes will be well-designed with high environmental standards. Significant improvements to enhance recreational facilities and ecological enhancements are also planned. Average house prices in the Winchester town area are over ÂŁ350,000 and an income of more than ÂŁ60,000 is needed to get a mortgage on a two-bed property. Around 500 new affordable homes have been built in towns and villages in the Winchester district in recent years. These have included homes for rent and shared ownership, family homes, homes for single people and for those with a disability.

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Review: ‘Celebrate The Bard’ Loch Fyne Restaurant, Jewry Street, Burns Night, Friday 25th January, 2013

Full Steam Ahead! Back to glory for a much-loved railway bridge by Kevin Gover - News Editor From front page, main The sky may have been grey with a brisk chilly wind, but 123 years on since the first steam train chugged its way over the Hockley viaduct it was a proud moment for those involved in the £1m restoration. Olympic and three-times World Champion Dani King led bikers across the viaduct as children were joined by junior sports leaders from a number of local sixth-form colleges. The Mayor of Winchester, Frank Pearson, held one end of a long red ribbon. The other end was held by former leader of the city council George Beckett, seen by many as the driving force behind the project. They both stood under a newly-replaced signal which stands proud over the viaduct. Dani says she has a lot of friends and family in Winchester and the surroundings make for great training: “I’m incredibly proud to have been involved in this today; it’s brilliant for the local community and it’s great to have such a long route that’s off-road and safe for young children, families and elderly people.” Dani is surrounded by children from Compton All Saints Primary School as we talk – and it seems they’re just as proud to be involved in the big day, as well as taking some tips from Dani herself: “They’re really excited which is lovely to see how I’ve inspired some young children. They’re really interested in how I’ve trained and what I’ve done in the Olympics.” Dani also has some advice to them to get ahead and up to her level: “Just to enjoy it. I just love riding my bike. I work really hard, but I enjoy what I do and I think that’s so important. Never give up, because I haven’t won every bike race I’ve done – so I think even if you don’t win, keep going and one day you can make it.” The line was built in 1890 for the London and South Western Railway to provide a link over the River Itchen and water meadows. During the First

World War it was in the main supply route to France, and in the Second World War it was used to carry military traffic for the invasion of Europe. Some 16,000 trains crossed the viaduct’s single track in the year leading up to D-Day.

Looking on proudly some 70 years after that was Chris Webb, Chairman

of the Friends of Hockley Viaduct: “I’m absolutely delighted. We thought we’d never see it. We would hopefully like to dedicate the new signal we have here (left) to the railwayman who made the effort leading up to D-Day possible.” He’s very proud of everything the constructor has achieved: “They really went the extra mile to create this, so come and enjoy what we’ve got now!” As I look around, I can understand the passion and pride that has gone into this project. Some sections of the viaduct have even been lowered so that you can see out over the river and beautiful countryside. The Mayor of Winchester, Frank Pearson, is another one with a huge smile across his face. “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s an important link in the National Cycling Network but beyond that it’s a treasure for Winchester as well. We now have a fantastic walking and cycling route across the viaduct to Winchester town and Southgate Street and back again, so it’s an important amenity as well.”

Right from the off my wife and I knew we were in for a good night. Loch Fyne was buzzing, and the space around the open fire was full of people. The end of January can be cold, dark and gloomy. Christmas has long gone, and somehow there needs to be a reason to celebrate. We were shown to our table and I was impressed that a special fold-out menu had been created for the night. Small things like this make a difference. Despite the restaurant being full, our food arrived promptly on all courses, and was both hot and delicious. We both deliberately went for different things so that we could compare and contrast; we also made the decision to go as much as possible for anything Scottish. I went for Haggis, Neeps and Tatties for starters and would have been happy if the evening had ended there and then. We also had Game Terrine with spiced plum chutney. Both were beautifully presented.

For main, I had Sirloin Steak Balmoral (above) which was served up with a delicious whisky, mushroom and cream sauce. The wife chose Baked Fillet of Scottish Salmon. This came with roasted parsnips, spinach and a mustard sauce. Both were heavenly. There wasn’t much room left for dessert if we were both going to be honest; however we somehow managed to squeeze in the traditional

Scottish dessert Cranachan. I have no doubt that a lot of care and attention went into this evening; the food was amazing and the place was packed, after all. That’s why we both gave the evening 5 stars. I also know that a special effort was made this year to provide more in the form of Burns-themed entertainment. We even had Burns poetry recited at the table. But, as it was a special event, I would have liked to have seen more that would have involved all the diners as a whole. I would have encouraged all the staff to have sourced more costume or dress... and that more time investment is made next year if music entertainment is to be involved. The staff who provided the music were good, very good - but they had other jobs to do as well, and I’m sure those who were there would like to have heard more. We had three courses for £23.95 each - amazing value for money. The price included either a dram of Talisker (delicious) or a glass of wine. Even with further drinks on top, we would have been well within the Winchester Today budget of £60 for two. An excellent night that will be remembered for a long time. By Kevin Gover


Staff pleased with CQC report Continued from front page, right of the staff. “It is good to see that the CQC particularly noted the quality of care we provide for those in our elderly care wards where we have additional staffing to help at mealtimes - and with personal care and where the lead ward nurse is a trained dementia care champion. We recognise the CQC noted a minor concern on staffing numbers and are working hard to

increase the numbers of nurses on wards. Our recruitment campaign is already underway and we are working hard to attract and recruit more nurses.” Donna says that overall, she’s pleased with the CQC report: “It recognises our commitment to care and cleanliness in our hospitals, but we’re never complacent - care, cleanliness and staffing numbers will continue to be top priorities.”


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The Phantom of the Opera The Mayflower, Southampton - 8th February 2013


TeaForTwo - Review: Thyme & Tides, High Street, Stockbridge, 5th February 2013

Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than escaping the cold, the wind or rain at any time of year than with afternoon tea. There are so many fantastic places around us - both established and hidden - that we concluded 100% that this is an area we need to explore(!) Here we are then: TeaForTwo. No holds barred as to the areas we cover; even though we will focus on Hampshire, from time-to-time we will include the places we visit and even Sydney is not off-limits. But just like our restaurant reviews we have imposed a strict budget here too: tea, coffee or hot chocolate for two, each with cake, and the bill

spread out before you as you walk in. The scallops are deeee-licous; but that’s another story! In another part around to the left, you have a pleasant seated bistro area. This part has been constructed in such a way that you can hardly hear the traffic from the High Street outside. We had a large tea, a regular hot chocolate, almond slice and carrot cake. Not all carrot cakes are the same - and this carrot cake was perfect with a delicious creamy icing - and pleasantly moist. The bill was £9.60 and absolutely within budget. It’s testament to the welcoming environment that people who arrived before us were still there as we got ready to

This January and February the Phantom took up residence at the Mayflower theatre in Southampton, with audiences filling the auditorium to the brim, ready to experience this spectacular show. Now in its twenty-fifth year, Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Sir Cameron Macintosh’s operaticstyle musical is in the midst of a UK anniversary tour, wowing the nation with its astounding combination of fantastic vocalists and dancers, magnificent sets and of course the iconic Phantom of the Opera music. Carrying the show is Earl Carpenter, who has trod the boards

as the Phantom in over one-thousand performances. He demonstrated his considerable experience in the world of musical theatre, taking us sublimely through the Phantom’s feelings of bitterness, un-requited love, vengeance, sadness and ultimately his benevolence. The audience squealed delightedly as the Phantom caused the enormous chandelier to swing perilously above the stalls at the end of the first act, with many people giggling and whispering admissions of real concern as they queued for their interval refreshments. Leading Lady Katie Hall has a phenomenal voice and captivated the audience with her performance of the inadvisably yet charmingly trustful Christine, and Simon Bailey completed the love triangle compellingly as Christine’s fiancé Raoul.

Reviewed By

Beccy Conway The other prolific performance came from Angela M Caesar as Carlotta Giudicelli, the actress robbed of her part by Christine after the Phantom’s interfering. Caesar’s over-the-top protestations make for moments of appreciated respite from the Phantom’s murderous actions. The chorus of dancers held the stage with great professionalism, doing justice to the superbly intricate and skilfully executed set designed by Paul Brown. The full orchestra, under direction from Craig Edwards, created a potent atmosphere unrivalled by the sounds of a pre-recorded score. Whether or not you are usually a musical fan, I defy anyone not to have been astounded by this simply mesmerising new production of one of the best-loved shows ever created.


Next Month at the Theatre Royal:

Review by Kevin Gover

Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales - 4 - 6 April - for children aged 3+

Mayflower, Southampton - 6th March 2013

The Blues Brothers

Three Acts of Play - Candoco Dance - Wed 10 April

should be no more than £10. Our first visit was to Stockbridge on a bitterly cold afternoon in early February. Stockbridge is a delightful area that many pass through on the way to somewhere else. However, it should be the law that you have to stop, park the car and walk all the way up the right-hand side and then down the left and to look in all the shop windows on the way round! We took in Thyme & Tides, which is a deli, bistro and fishmonger. In one part you have a whole array of fish

leave. Perhaps the great atmosphere was helped by the splendid jazz music that was being played. The loos were excellent - and at first I wondered why there was such a delightful smell. As I looked around, I noticed that it was coming from a small bottle in a dish, marked as being of camomile, lavender and peppermint; just as it said on the bottle label ‘the scent of the English countryside’. As we left, the sun was setting and cast a beautiful glow right above the bistro. Beautiful!

An Audience With Jonathan Miller - Fri 12 April

The Gruffalo’s Child - Sun 21 to Mon 22 April - for children aged 3+

I could simply say that this is a marvellous show, and you would be mad not to see it. Because that’s exactly what it is. But the whole point about this show is the something extra, the bits from our past, the association; the hats, the music, the image... The thing about the Blues Brothers is that you remember Saturday Night Live, or you remember the film - or you want a whole new experience. And this is MOST DEFINITELY that experience. An opportunity to dress up too; many of the audience had done just that, from the very young to those-of-a-certain-age. Right from the off we had marvellous vocal performances from Brad Henshaw and Chris Chandler - and I loved the Joe Cocker impression of his ‘With a Little Help’ Woodstock performance. There was also a HUGE sound from their backing singers ‘The Bluettes’, who had plenty of opportunities to shine in their own right, with huge smiles and dazzling costumes. Brad and Chris also took time to inject a little comedy into the proceedings. ‘Rawhide’ - who on earth saw THAT one coming?!

Then there are the songs. We knew them all, even if we had never seen the show before. There was plenty of audience participation and we were all urged to get up and dance. There were poignant moments too. The vocal arrangements on slowed down and gospel-like versions of songs we are familiar with at a breakneck speed were breathtaking. I loved the band; they were together, they were tight and they made a whole lot of blues and soul come alive. The brass section comprises just two players, but if you closed your eyes you would swear there were ten up on stage. I particularly enjoyed Ricky Mian’s tenor saxophone playing. There was a great light show, and the staging and lights made full use of the tall and wide stage that the Mayflower offers. The stalls at the Mayflower were jammed - impressive for an opening night. Then we danced out into Commercial Road. Like I said, this is a marvellous show and you would be mad not to see it. (Continuing on tour until May, including Bath Theatre Royal)



Man With the Plan

Never Give Up Hope? A stolen dog from Winchester has been reunited with her owner after being missing for more than two years. The springer spaniel dog was stolen from a garden in Kings Worthy in November 2010. The dog is now back with her owner after a member of the public found her in Fareham and took her to a vet. At the time of Winchester Today going to press, a 34-year-old man from Fareham was helping police from the North Hampshire Countrywatch Team with their inquiries.

Man With The Plan: Chris Polatch, ‘English Naturally’

Chris Polatch knows that his work brings money into Winchester. He’s Director of ‘English Naturally’ which encourages students from across Europe to come here, learn the language and stay with host families while they’re here. Having said that, he says that sometimes he’s not sure if prospective students actually know where we are - and mistake us for Manchester: “Wherever I am, they always seem to say the same thing once they know I’m from England.

They either say: “Ah! David Beckham!” or: “Ah! London!” But Chris says they soon realise how beautiful it is here: “Even if they’re not sure where Winchester is, they love the place once they’re here. They just have to be convinced that there’s a coast and beautiful countryside across Hampshire and Dorset. You can’t beat it.” Chris has lived abroad, working in Milan (“very hard working area”) and Lisbon – and says it has only given him a positive advantage in knowing what students want – and thereby helping Winchester’s

economy: “We’re an export company. People bring their euros in; we’re not a big business, but we’ve grown over the years and we’re proud of bringing people in to enjoy the place and bringing money in. Yes, we have to pay host families and teachers, but companies like us play a big part of the economy within the education sector.” Chris knows that he has a lot of persuading to do with people abroad to develop the business: “You can’t sell a course over the phone. There’s some word of mouth but we have to work with agencies

who know prospective students. They come over here and stay with the host families at our expense, and so it grows.” Chris says his job is a great way of involving families and students at all levels: “What we want to do now is develop different services and not just rely on what happens in the summer. We have developed oneto-one courses now with students across the country who want to learn French or Russian for their everyday jobs.” 01962 859700

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Would you like to join a friendship club for people in the South? Are your children up for...

the chocolate challenge? We run fun and messy Children’s Chocolate Parties for children aged 8 and over.

Brendoncare Clubs are devoted to giving older people the opportunity to meet new friends, take part in activities and enjoy club outings. Here are the clubs running in your area. Why not come along and try out one of the activities and see how you can become a member....we’d love to welcome you there. Allbrook Good Companions Club (Eastleigh) St Peter’s Church Hall, Shakespeare Road, Boyatt Wood, Eastleigh SO50 4FP 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 2pm-4pm Badger Farm Friendly Club (Winchester) Badger Farm Community Centre, Badger Farm Road, Winchester SO22 4QB Alternate Thursdays, 2pm-4pm Romsey Companions Crosfield Hall, Broadwater Road, Romsey SO51 8GL Alternate Mondays, 1.30pm–3.30pm Romsey Tuesday Luncheon Age Concern Centre, 24 Linden Road, Romsey SO51 8DB Every Tuesday, term time, 11.30am-1pm

Parties last 1½ hours. Check out the website below for details or give us a call! 01962 732731

Weeke Gaiety (Winchester) St Barnabas Church, Fromond Road, Weeke, Winchester SO22 6DY Alternate Fridays, 2pm-4pm

We really enjoy our weekly meetings, this club is great and we thank Brendoncare for making it possible. Margaret Townsend

If you enjoy meeting new people and would like to know more about joining as a member or helping as a volunteer, we look forward to hearing from you. For more information, please contact Norma, Clubs Administrator on 01962 852133 or visit Registered Charity No: 10913454



Team With the Dream:

Sarah Aslin, Shellie Jarvis and Charlotte Troester at Marwell Hotel

Getting Hitched Wedding Special

Location, location, location: wherever you want to hold your wedding, everyone wants something different. This time round we’re speaking with a team with a dream. Just one thing makes this team happy: a big smile from the bride and groom at the end of their Big Day. Winchester Today is sitting down with Sarah, Shellie and Charlotte just after the refurbishment of one of their main wedding rooms – Oakwood and asking how they can play a big part in fulfilling that Dream Wedding. “It’s not easy – but we have to make sure it’s as THEY want their wedding, not as we want it. Where can I get a chocolate fountain from? That’s not exactly in the job description, but we found one. Neither is finding an owl to fly down the aisle, but we got one of those too!” Shellie is speaking of the different scenarios they face every week all year round – and how ‘Alice’ fulfilled the role of that short flight as the owl ring-bearer: “I don’t know whether the guests knew it was going to happen, but it was pretty amazing.” Sarah says they get a different buzz from different situations: “We had a futuristic-type wedding once with

toy characters. That was great to see. People love Gothic, others like flowers and fairies – all the various cakes they’re all different.”

Are you ready for your wedding?

Have they ever had to say no? Charlotte says they do, on occasion: “We draw the line at live animals. People think that because we’re next to the wildlife park that we can have a tiger on hand as well. They’re joking and know it’s a no-go, but some do ask about animals.” They all agree that it’s important to react quickly if things go wrong and to sort it out behind-the scenes. Communication between everyone appears to be the key to be getting it all back on track. As we speak, it’s a day before two weddings take place on the same day – and we hear from all three that staging two weddings on the same day is a challenge in itself, but all part of a military operation. Neither bride is intentionally allowed to be in the same place at the same time, so each has their own special moment. As for the refurbishment, we’re taken round the Oakwood room – including a new oak wood floor - and agree that the money has been well spent.

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Beauty Within 01962 856000 - 88a Cromwell Road, Stanmore, Winchester, SO22 4AD




Blooming Fantastic

The art of beautiful wedding flowe By Kevin Gover As I stand outside the shop front of Catkin and Pussywillow in Winchester, my entire head is filled with the aroma of flowers carefully arranged in containers before me. Not just any old containers either; as the is emphasis is on retro and vintage they’re more likely as not to be poking their heads out of battered watering cans. There’s little wind, and for a moment I am lost in a world of gorgeous smells. Like most beautiful shops in Winchester they cry out to be discovered. This one is to the left of the railway station on the side of Platform 2 towards the south coast. Maybe you have popped in before on the way to catch the 0948 to London Waterloo to order some flowers – and then picked them up later when you come back. I say that because I have rarely seen the shop closed during daylight hours!

In fact, if you imagine me as a customer, I probably fit in as a customer profile to a ‘T’. The shop relies on passing trade and word of mouth. They don’t advertise anywhere (including Winchester Today!); even the website wasn’t live at the time of speaking (although it is now and looks stunning). I had used the shop for the first time just a week before as a passing customer. The bouquet they created for my wife was so stunning, there were tears of joy. They didn’t know who I was, and I went back a week later to tell them about the effect their bouquet had, and to ask if they wouldn’t mind contributing to this feature. Ellie Marlow is the owner – and so here we are speaking in the shop that’s crammed full of beautiful flowers and vintage artefacts. It’s mid-way between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. It’s very, very busy. I promise

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hat the interview will only take utes. I hope she doesn’t mind the extra 3 minutes in the end it on top of that! “We’re trying to Kevin!” Ellie jokes: “But I’m ng here doing an interview!” I he message and get on with it…

tells me about the shop: “It to be an office used by the rvatives and then it was actually for three years. I picked it up and 6 months ago. It’s been a y… the hardest thing I’ve ever but very rewarding. We’re based etely on organic growth and g trade. We’re amazed by the amount of people who come in y they didn’t know we’re here.”

look around, I ask how they ge to keep everything looking od: “We’re always against the It’s all about timing; there’s only ch you can do within the time. 24 hours before last Mother’s


thank us… we get cards sent to us and we’ve had references in magazines as well for the work we’ve done so far. Everything we’ve done so far we’ve had huge thanks for” Day I worked 23 of them. The main thing with the flowers is that it’s a quick turnover; they’re only here for a couple of days. Everything is fresh; I don’t like old flowers hanging around, for example. I’d rather throw old flowers away than sell them.” As for weddings, Ellie applies the same principles to a Big Day that she will in the shop. For example, when I was sorting out my own bouquet, I was asked a number of questions to get it right. For a wedding, Ellie will sit down with the bride and a wedding co-ordinator for at least an hour to an hour-and-a-half to get it right: “Every bride gets a free consultation to get everything clear. We have got to get everything clear right at the start. You’ve got to set a date in advance for the consultation, I cannot stress that enough. I ask the bride to bring in a photo of their dress, the bridesmaids dresses, clippings of the flowers they like, details of the venue. People trust us because they know we have an eye for colour and flowers. I know a bride knows what she wants, but if there’s any doubts about the colours we talk about it.” What about the day itself? “It’s wonderful when it works and there’s a big smile. The bride and relatives come in to the shop afterwards and

You can see some of the results in the images that Ellie has kindly provided for us. As we talk, I have it confirmed – as if I didn’t know already - that Ellie is of a strong character. Very strong. She also has a fantastic proactive team around her. They’re also experts with a perfect eye for colour. Trust me. Catkin & Pussywillow is at Station Hill, 01962 860345

Top Tips 1 Plan in advance 2 Save the date for the consultation at the florist 3 Bring as much info to the consultation as you can 4 Trust the eye of the florist



Marwell Hotel A dream wedding venue situated amongst ancient Hampshire woodland. Wedding packages from only ÂŁ2600.00 for 60 guests. t 01962 777681 e w




Escape to Vail

an oasis of snow in the heights of Colorado, USA By Paul Newman This month we welcome Paul Newman to Winchester Today. He jumped at the chance to join some team mates for a short getaway and a bit of fun in Colorado in January. Some of you may know him from presenting on the radio in the area, and he would certainly describe this as a ‘poptastic’ place! At this time of the year, the town of Vail (about 2 hours’ drive from Denver, the “mile high city�) is completely snowbound. Hardly surprising, since Vail is a mere 8,000 feet above sea-level and enjoys spectacular views of the mountain peaks just behind it. The highest peak is actually 10,600 feet placing Vail in the top 3 resorts in the US. It’s the second largest ski resort in America behind Whistler Blackcomb resort at 7,400 acres. I have only had one skiing lesson in my life, so I was relieved to learn that my activity involved a recreation known as “Tubing�. We were divided into teams and taken by cable car up the mountain to 10,600 whereupon we received instructions on the use of a rubber ring with which to slide down the icy 500m slopes. The team effort was necessary as we progressed through the heats of Solo, Duo, Trio and finally a Four Leaf Clover descent where all four of them were strapped together to achieve the

Speaking of home...



In what has probably been one of the coldest and prolonged winters in a long while, Winchester was transformed into a winter wonderland on 18th January. The snow fell for around 8 hours solid - and just stayed! Our pictures show the scenes around Hyde and the Andover Road at 9.20am, just a few hours after the snow started to fall. Despite the promise of gritters, none of these cars on the Andover Road could get very far up the hill - especially the huge M and S lorry in the background. It was only due to the efforts of staff at Pets Corner that they eventually started moving.

maximum surface contact and thus, the most speed across the ice. Unfortunately though, my team didn’t win. Of course, at altitudes of 10,600 feet, the air is pretty thin which means that even a short walk up a slight incline leaves one feeling out of breath. But the fresh air and the pure mountain water supply certainly helped me feel rejuvenated despite the 15 hours’ of flying across seven times zone to get there and then four days later, to get back. It was a short break in the Marriott Vail Mountain Resort – perhaps a blessing actually when you think how much it costs. The normal rate for a room is about $340 which is 200 quid plus. It’s an expensive area. The climate was darned cold - but on the last day the sun was out and it was surprisingly warm in the sunshine. And the main difference that I noticed with the climate was that it was a dry chill, as opposed to the damp air in the UK when we have snow. Evidently, I brought the snow back home with me, because just hours before I landed at Heathrow, the UK became engulfed in a blizzard. Still, at least when I stepped off the plane I was already dressed for the occasion!



Escape Madrid

Winchester Today’s Deputy Editor William Brougham goes off in search of some winter sunshine in sunny Spain

Madrid is always a pleasure to come back to. Only two hours flight from England and you can be in this lively, colourful and vibrant Spanish city. Another bonus is that it only takes about half an hour from the airport on the inexpensive but efficient and easy to use Metro system to find yourself in the centre of this amazing city. The first stop will be your hotel and you could do no better than stay in the centre of town. The early twentieth century built Gran Via is the main thoroughfare and it has some of Madrid’s best shops, theatres and cinemas. Be prepared to be impressed by the architecture of the tall buildings including the Metropolis and the Edificio Grassy. Best of all you will be close to all the city’s main visitor attractions. Stay in the newly opened Vincci Via Hotel. The staff speak good English and the rooms are decorated in an art deco style. They are very comfortable and spacious. There is a good restaurant attached. It also has a wonderful roof terrace which is great for catching

the sun in warmer weather. Remember to take full advantage of the grand sweeping views of the city from it. Madrid is very walkable. In fact we could walk to all the major attractions from our hotel within twenty minutes. However, one of the best ways to get an introduction to the city is to do the Hop-on Hop-off Madrid Bus Tour. The company offers two tours. One is for modern Madrid and one is for historic Madrid. Each lasts about 75 minutes. There is no live guide but you are given headphones and can listen to an audio tour in English. Sites include the Palacio Real, Museo Del Prado and the Puerta Del Sol. After your tour you may well require a spot of lunch. In fact eating is a popular pastime in Madrid. Meals can be very filling so I suggest you try something light. I often find the best food in Madrid can be found away from the main touristy restaurants on the Plaza Mayor. One restaurant in a side street off the Plaza Mayor that I love is Casa Rua. Here you can enjoy

some of the tastiest calamari you will ever eat or some delicious papas bravas which are potatoes in a spicy sauce. Try the calamari in some bread and I guarantee it is every bit as good as a bacon sarnie. Between about 2 to 5pm many of the shops close for the siesta period and then reopen until 9pm so you can take advantage of some night shopping. However, the afternoon is a good time to visit some of the city’s attractions. You should take note that many of the attractions such as the Museo Del Prado and the Palacio Real do not allow photography. Do not let that put you off visiting them as they are fascinating. The Palacio Real De Madrid is a beautiful large white building which is the official residence for the Spanish Royal family when they are in Madrid though it is now only used for state ceremonies as the royals prefer to live in the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela. The Palacio Real is on the site of a 9th century fortress though construction on the present palace began in 1738. The palace supposedly contains 3,418 rooms and is the second largest palace in Europe after the Louvre in Paris. Obviously not all the rooms are open to the public. The rooms are very grand and you can admire artwork by the likes of Caravaggio, Velázquez and Goya. You can also visit the Royal Armoury and see the world’s only Stradivarius string quintet. On the outside of the palace you can see statues to former Spanish rulers such as Philip V and Ferdinand VI. I quite enjoyed the Royal Pharmacy which gives you an insight into the medicines used in centuries gone by. The Armoury includes full armour and weapons that Emperor Charles V used in the Battle of Mühlberg in the 16th century. If the art works at the palace have not yet blown you away then your next stop should surely be the Museo

Del Prado which is the main national museum for art and sculptures in Spain. It features some of the finest European art from between the 12th century to the early 19th. Artists include Goya, Titian and Reubens. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings. Outside the museum there is a statue to Spanish artist Diego Velázquez who provided the Prado with many of his own works. There are plenty more cultural and historical places you can visit but those are my favourite two and I feel no visit to Madrid would be complete without seeing the palace or the Prado. Other places include the spectacularly designed Teatro Real, the 16th century Convento de las Descalzas Reales which contains some exquisite tapestries and paintings along with nuns who still live there and football fans can enjoy a stadium tour of Real Madrid. By now you will of course be cultured out so a visit to the beautiful Retiro Park near the Prado. It is a huge park and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It includes the Crystal Palace, a pretty lake for boating and various monuments such as the one of Alfonso XII featuring a semicircular colonnade with a statue of the monarch on a horse. The Spanish tend to eat late so perhaps go to a bar for refreshments or enjoy the vast street entertainment. You can see street artists, clowns, people dressed up as Disney characters and even illusionists who

appear to levitate. Two great places to see this are the Plaza Mayor and opposite the Ministry of the Interior. In fact in Madrid you are surrounded by entertainment. The Plaza Mayor also contains some very good though often expensive restaurants. You could try some Spanish tapas or some traditional ham and cheese dishes, a tasty potato tortilla or even pig’s ears. Leave the Plaza Mayor and look for restaurants where the Spanish are eating and you will be very pleasantly surprised by the quality of sumptuousness of the food. For a real Spanish experience visit the Museo Del Jamon. This rather elegant charcuterie is a meat lover’s delight as long as you like pork or ham or anything else that comes from a pig. You can buy some excellent cuts of ham to take home and there is a restaurant attached. The food is inexpensive and you can enjoy some choice cute of meat with a beer or Sangria. No night is complete without enjoying some churros and hot chocolate. A churro is long frieddough pastry that tastes a bit like a doughnut minus the jam which you dip into a thick hot chocolate. It is a simply delicious experience. The place to go is San Ginés in the Pasadizo de San Ginés which is open until 7am. A friend from Madrid took me here and it is always busy but seats tend to be easy to find. It is a great way to unwind. If you want an affordable holiday full of colour and history that is close to home then Madrid is surely a destination that takes some beating.


Turn it Up!

The ones to watch in 2013

2013 – The Year of Rock!

By Rebecca Broxton - Although it’s still only really the beginning of year, British rock music is already creating tidal waves; these tidal waves are following on from the ripples created back in 2012. Rock was the second biggest selling genre in the UK last year after Pop, and at 31.3% rock claimed its largest share of the market since 2008.

‘Muse’ who have been around since ‘1994’. This phenomenon is known as the British Rock Renaissance. Major players in this scene are band ‘You Me At Six’, who at the end of last year played a massive show at Wembley stadium showing just how much the British public love this new breed of rock music.

That’s right - rock music is gradually becoming even more popular. It is no coincidence that this phenomenon is happening now. We are in the midst of some exciting new bands emerging up alongside the enduring talent of well known names, such as stadium rockers

This month I have taken the time to discover the talent emerging out of the British Rock Renaissance scene that are set to become big names in 2013 with exciting new albums released and headline tours planned.

Mallory Knox

Mallory Knox, above Don Broco, below

‘Hold On’ Don Broco talk ‘Priorities’ Bedford four-piece Don Broco are quickly become a cult favourite. With the release of their debut album ‘Priorities’ in 2012 sparking intense interest, the band are about to embark on their first ever headline tour. I spoke to drummer and backing vocalist ‘Matt Donnelly’ about what he thinks about their current UK tour, The Joiners in Southampton and his views on current rock music scene. Rebecca Rayner: You’re about to embark on your first UK headline tour, which includes a sold out show at The Joiners in Southampton. How are you feeling about the tour? Matt Donnelly: “Really, really excited as you can imagine. The Joiners is actually quite a special venue to us as well. We were really good friends with the in house booker when

we first sort of started to make inroads in towns outside of our hometown, when we first started playing shows. We always made the trips down there and were treated really well. Its one of the first shows to sell out actually on this tour, we’re looking at nearly all of them being sold out pretty soon. Joiners is one of the smaller venues so it’s going to be really packed and sweaty, and just like I said we’ve got a lot of history there so it’s good to go back.” RR: I’m not sure if you are aware but the Joiners is facing quite a crisis at the moment so what’s your opinion on that really? MD: “I wasn’t really that aware, I didn’t know too much about the situation until some kids on twitter started linking us to the BBC article about how The Joiners was facing financial difficulty. That’s one of the reasons why, you see on the tour of our posters in circulation we have upgraded

Following the release of their ‘Pilot’ E.P back in 2011, their ‘Pilot acoustic’ E.P in 2012 and their relentless touring across the UK, melodic rockers ‘Mallory Knox’ are finally emerging as huge players in the rock scene this year. The band already boasted an impressive fan base and quickly became favourites amongst the Radio One DJ’s, such Daniel P Carter. But the real hype surrounding the Cambridge rockers came from the release of their highly anticipated debut album ‘Signals’ on 21st January 2013. This album is extraordinary and immediately sums up exactly why these guys are the ones to watch this year. From the offset you are flung straight into the deep end. The first song on the album ‘Beggars’ is spectacular, perhaps the best song on the entire album. The chorus is instantly memorable, lyrics residing to the emotional core of the song writing talent continually offered up by the band, harmonising with rifts strong enough to make you burst. Third single to be released off the album ‘Lighthouse’ follows - which is equally as powerful and pleasurable. Song ‘Death Rattle’ gives you goosebumps as you’re mesmerised by singer ‘Mikey Chapman’s’ expressive vocals that exposes a depth of emotion and torment. ‘Hello’ is made to be chanted by crowds at gigs, with chorus, “Hello, I am looking for her out there, why hasn’t anybody seen her...” song ‘1949’ offers a surprising change of pace on ‘Signals, the perfect love song shows just how versatile Mallory Knox is as a band and somewhat affectionately reminisces their earlier ‘Pilot’ material. The melodic guitars chime along across the background with lyrics proclaiming ever-lasting love flowing effortlessly above. Living up to their namesake, just like the Deathly character from Quinton Tarantino’s ‘Natural Born Killer’ This band provide Toxic hooks, Lyrics that contain raw untamed emotion with hollowing screams and beautiful singing that brings the words to life. The band had a weight of expectations on their shoulders with the release off their debut album but now it looks like 2013 will be their year. Mallory Knox’s New Album ‘Signals’ is available now on iTunes for £7.99

venues in other towns but we really wanted to stay at Joiners, we didn’t want to move the show from there. It’s been a venue which has sort of given us a chance on the way up and an opportunity now to go back when were capable of selling tickets to give something back because, like I say it’s been good to us.” RR: You’ve toured with some big names like ‘You Me At Six’, what was that like for you? MD: “Yeah it was amazing actually, they’re good friends of ours - we went over to Ireland with them last year. That just really opened up our eyes to the potential for the bands in our genre and in our scene because when you see the way that, you know, the fans react when going to their shows, they are just superstars to them. So yeah it just sort of shows you through hard work, endeavour and good song writing, you really can build something quite special.” RR: Currently it’s a really good time in the UK rock scene with some amazing bands emerging. What do you think about how it’s going at the moment? MD: “Yeah it’s amazing. We are definitely in one of the healthiest positions we’ve been in for a long time. Having been actively touring for a few years now, most of the new bands cropping up we bump into at festivals and things like that. I think the greatest thing is the camaraderie. All of the bands sort of know each other and are good friends, everyone’s really nice, everyone’s polite and were all trying to help each other out. Bands like ‘Lower Than Atlantis’, ‘We Are The Ocean ‘and ‘Mallory Knox’ are all doing great things at the moment, I think its gonna be like that for sometime to come. And it’s amazing to see some bands, ourselves included, get a bit of a run at RR: After your tour, what are your plans for radio which hasn’t always been there in the past including Radio One, which is the biggest station 2013? MD: “The tour actually takes us into April now in the country, are really starting to take notice of because some extra dates have been added, so the momentum that’s building behind us.” RR: And for somebody that hasn’t seen Don we’re going to be on the road quite a long time. Broco before, how would you sum up what you But after that its pretty much festival season do and what could they except to see at one of straight away and we’re looking at a very, very busy festival season. Hopefully we’re be doing your shows? MD: “Ok well a Don Broco show is definitely some support tours as well, that’s probably in the gonna be a lot of energy and if you’re going to later part of the year, and at some point we’re come along to a Don Broco show be prepared gonna get down to thinking about writing a new for some crowd involvement and participation. record. So it’s going to be really, really busy but its Basically we want everyone to go home with a going to be really exciting because the reception smile on their face, we want everyone to have a to ‘Priorities’ last year was amazing towards the good time. We’re very, very energetic on stage end of it, and we’ve built a foundation to work and we like to try and reflect that. So you’re from so onwards and upwards.” gonna see a lot of mayhem, energy and it’s going to be very loud. You’re just gonna have a good time, you’re gonna have a great time. It’s defi- Don Broco’s album ‘Priorities’ is available now on iTunes for £5.99 nitely a show that we hope you won’t forget.”



News Extra Clear Goal

Apprentices put their backs, and hearts and soul into community project

meadow and update local gravestone records. To receive this type of outside assistance from the apprentices is just fantastic and will benefit all of the community.” The apprentices were challenged to find a community project that offered them a team task that would benefit the residents of Winchester. Having already collected food to boost supplies for Winchester Basics Bank, they took on this project with enthusiasm.

By Kevin Gover An overgrown churchyard in East Stratton is now clear for people to enjoy for the first time in years - thanks to an ‘A-team’ of apprentices from Winchester City Council. Residents of East Stratton have been busy raising funds to improve their village amenities for many years. The most recent project was to restore their parish church and grounds. The actual goal to clear overgrown boundaries and recover headstones would have been a particular challenge for local residents - and indeed have taken many weeks and many people to achieve.

Winchester City Council’s apprentices’ team (the A-Team) selected the project from a range of opportunities suggested by residents and community groups. The team of 10 young apprentices then secured funding from the vInspired cashpoint programme and set about planning the one-day event to transform the church grounds. Pat Craze has been project-managing the church restoration and says they were blessed with good weather: “On Saturday the sun was shining and the apprentices successfully cleared the boundaries and moved a pile of headstones that had been buried in the overgrowth for over 40 years. The community can now progress the project to create a wildflower

Griff Wood joined the City Council as an apprentice last year and says even they were initially a bit daunted with the prospect of completing it in one day: “We worked as a team and grew in confidence, planning the day and securing the help and finance needed. To see how much we achieved at the end of day was so motivating. Apprenticeships are a great way to develop skills and the challenge will help me show how well I work in a team.” Stephen Godfrey is responsible for supporting apprenticeships in the city and says they are committed to helping young people obtain work-related skills and experience: “We introduced a community challenge to help them bond together as a group and to help them develop personal and communication skills. This group is a real credit to the council and themselves. I am very pleased with their results.” Photograph: Craig Wartnaby, one of the ‘A-team’ apprentices, who is working with Winchester City Council’s Environmental Health Team.

Horse meat scandal:

Moves to reassure parents over school meals With many of the national newspapers suggesting that school meals are now under scrutiny for possibly containing horsemeat, the County Council has twice contacted Winchester Today to try to offer parents of schoolchildren here and families of residents in care home some reassurance that beef in their meals IS 100% beef. Officials have told us that Hampshire’s meals contain locally sourced ingredients such as Hampshire beef and pork, and meatballs and beef burgers on the lunchtime menu for schoolchildren are produced locally from Laverstoke Park Farm near Overton, which contain 100% beef. Leader Ken Thornber says that as they serve around 45,000 meals each day to Hampshire pupils they have to be very sure about food safety: “We take the food chain back to source by looking at where the food comes from, and we also carry out strict hygiene and cleanliness checks in school kitchens to ensure that the meals served to children remain of the highest standard. Our school meals service remains the only one in the country to hold the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group Award for the removal of over 70 additives in food that may cause children a behavioural or medical issue, such as colourants, sulphites and trans fats.” He says the food is subject to

Transport News

SWT passenger satisfaction up - not so says Which?

Station facilities lead the way for SWT passenger satisfaction - but not so for commuters, according to Which? magazine.

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stringent checks: “Hampshire Scientific Service check at source all the suppliers of food throughout the year, from supply to kitchen and all the stages in between, which also include verifying the authenticity of ingredients.” A second reassurance was sent to us towards the end of February, once Hampshire County Council Trading Standards became involved in the first part of the Food Standards Agency’s national sampling programme to investigate the extent of horsemeat in food products. Based on specific criteria laid down by the FSA, this involved taking food samples from eight premises at various levels in the food supply chain e.g. small butchers shops, retailers, caterers and large and small wholesalers. In addition five samples of locally produced ready meals were also taken. This was co-ordinated nationally, alongside action by the industry, to avoid duplication and the samples have been submitted to Hampshire Scientific Service as the Public Analyst for onward transmission to be analysed by Worcester Scientific Service for horsemeat DNA. Worcester Scientific Service is one of only a few enforcement laboratories able to undertake the testing required by the FSA. The FSA is expected to announce the full results of its sampling survey in April.

Passengers using services at South West Trains appeared to be more than happy with the upkeep and repair of stations across the network. The results are highlighted in the first survey carried out since the launch of the joint South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance in April 2012. There’s been a significant 11% increase in satisfaction, whilst station cleanliness saw an 8% increase. Ticket buying facilities and facilities at stations were also rated highly by passengers, recording a 3% and 12% respective increase in these areas. The survey also shows that 85% of passengers are generally satisfied with their train service. Tim Shoveller is Managing Director of the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance and says it’s good to see that satisfaction with the services has improved: “Since the launch of our new joint Alliance in April 2012, we have put a huge amount of effort into improving every aspect of our service for passengers. By working together with Network Rail, we can work together much more effectively to reduce delays and deliver better customer service. It’s clear that this joint Alliance – which is a first for the UK rail industry – is starting to have an impact on the service we deliver to our passengers.” The joint South West Trains/Network Rail Alliance means that there is now a single senior joint management team with responsibility for both trains and track on the route operating out of London Waterloo in a first for the UK rail

industry. The new alliance is also expected to benefit rail freight operators who use the Wessex route. But a commuter survey carried out by Which? claims that rail users are said to be unhappy with customer service on more than half of train companies in the UK. Eleven of them received a score of 50% or fewer. According to the survey, that includes Cross Country at 51%, South West Trains at 47%, and First Great Western (which runs through Romsey) at 43%. A spokesperson for the South West TrainsNetwork Rail Alliance told Winchester Today that they were not happy with the poll size - a similar view to that of the Association of Train Operating Companies: “We are always pleased to get feedback from our customers to help build on the work we are doing to drive up the quality of rail travel. “The results of the Which? online poll are based on relatively small sample sizes and only cover a fraction of the 200 million passengers who travel with us each year. By comparison, independent watchdog Passenger Focus surveys up to eight times as many people a year. Last month, this independent passenger survey demonstrated that 85% of passengers were satisfied with South West Trains. The survey also demonstrated that satisfaction with the train service was at 83%, 2% higher than the sector average for London & the South East, whilst train punctuality also recorded a higher than average figure of 85%. “However, we are not complacent and we take into account all passenger feedback as part of our commitment to deliver a better railway for passengers.”


Think! Prize Page

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Prize Crossword N°005

Difficulty: Medium

Concise crossword for a quick break 2












17 20




18 21


Down: 19




Sudoku 001

Last issue’s answers:N°004

Across: 1.blood 8.afterburner 9.oily 12.pen 13.stand 14.ale 16.kent 19.illustrator 20.planks 21.snack Down: 2.leftovers 3.oregon 5.rare 6.needy 7.ability 10.paleozoic 11.indents 15.attain 17.flea 18.punk

Prize Sudoku: 1st prize is £30 in Waitrose vouchers for a correct and completed entry drawn out of the hat. 2nd prize £20. 3rd prize £10.


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answers in the next issue

Elkie: here’s your chance to have a listen to some of the

Win a family ticket to Marwell worth over £60!

albums we have talked about in ‘Bit at the Back’... We have 3 CDs of the Elkie Brooks ‘Two Days Away’ album to give away.

ns etitio p m o C ded exten until arch! 31st M

Thanks to the team at Marwell Wildlife for offering a family ticket for our readers... Pictured is an Amur Leopard which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Critically Endangered. Fewer than 35 are said to live in the wild. To be in with a chance of winning, tell us: In the far south east of which country is the Amur Leopard primarily found? Good luck!

How To Enter

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question; On this album was one of Elkie’s most famous singles which reached Number 8 in the UK Top 40. Released in February 1977, it told the story of a failed singer who still thinks about the success that she might have had. What was the name of that singer?

All entries by post ONLY to Winchester Today, Suite 123, 80 High Street, Winchester SO23 9AT. One entry per household, per competition. Closing date: 31st March. Winners will be announced in the next available edition.





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To find out more about volunteering please contact Volunteering Manager Julie Lamont on 01962 857097 or visit

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Shirley Moon Home Beauty is a home based beauty salon overlooking the green vistas of South Winchester Golf Course. All treatments are by appointment only. 11 Seldon Close Winchester SO22 4JG Tel: 01962 853 920

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Bit at the Back

Bit at the Back

Review: Chinese State Circus

The Anvil, Basingstoke, Saturday 23 February

Exhilarated, enchanted, engaged - the audience at The Anvil were all this and more in a 2-hour journey of beauty, skill and emotion. ‘Yin Yang’ has you wondering how on earth the performers can achieve what they do, even at the very limits of endurance and skill. For those not in the know, The Anvil is a beautiful modern and spacious auditorium. It’s wide - and tall! The stage lends itself perfectly to this kind of entertainment; when you’re hat juggling you need all the height you can get!

There was a good crowd for the afternoon performance - with a mixture of all ages ready to cheer the artists on. Right from the off there were heart-stopping moments; when you have performers hurtling headfirst down flimsy poles and stopping with their noses just inches from the floor you know that they’re out to play with all your emotions. Can you imagine ten people each spinning eight plates - and then doing forward and backward acrobatic dances? Oh, and how about walking on top of each other whilst still keeping the plates going? Well they

can, and they did! The “don’t try this at home” moment came in the form of the Shaolin Warriors who had everyone stunned with their bravado. Pain appears to have no barriers! The Chinese love to involve their ‘Good Luck Lions’ and this part of the show was certainly eye-catching, colourful and noisy! We particularly liked the bicycle act - 10 people on one bike . Okay, one bit went wrong, but credit is due to them for picking themselves up and making it better second time around. You could hear the initial disappointment echo around the auditorium, followed by huge applause after the success. Much laughter was supplied by the ‘Monkey King’ - whose job it is to provide continuity while the stage is being re-set. The origin of the King is a major part of Chinese culture. Just as he does in real life, he makes members of the audience his friends and invites them to join him on stage. The best is saved until last - the hoop diving (or swimming through air) drew gasps from around the whole auditorium. We loved the thought and emotion that has clearly gone into this show. Beautiful and colourful costumes, skill and emotion brightened up a freezing February afternoon.

24 – 27 April 2013

An ordinary man. An extraordinary story. Edward Jones is about to face the ultimate mid-life crisis.

All tickets £9 (Over 65s concession on Wed 24th)

Curtain up 7.30pm (doors open 7.00pm) Cheriton Village Hall SO24 0PZ

Tickets available online from

or tel 0844 8700 887 (lo-call rate, 5p per min.)

Telephone bookings cost £1.50 extra per booking for mailing etc. Telephone box office hours 9am–7pm Mon-Fri, 9am–5pm Sat.

<Scan Here

The electrifying comedy by DAVID TRISTRAM




Inside: News Extra p16, Wedding Special & More

Legacy of the Superhumans

– driving forward disability sports participation across Winchester By Kevin Gover Do you remember the wonderful Channel 4 tv trailer that was shown in the build-up to the Paralympics last summer when we were encouraged to meet the Superhumans? Or the tongue-in-cheek bits between the Olympics and Paralympics when the Paralympians said: “thanks for the warm-up?” Well, a drive is now underway here in Winchester to build on that momentum so that Winchester Disability Sports Forum can set its plans for the future. The creation of the Forum was the first move by the city here to create a Paralympic Legacy. To that end, anyone with disabilities and those who care for people with disabilities across the District are now being asked to give their opinions on provision for disability sport.

XV-ictorious! lead by responding with their views. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete, and attempts to understand the barriers and issues that people face when looking to participate in sport and physical activity.

sport professionals involved in the group. We have a fantastic opportunity to ensure Winchester District benefits from the Paralympic legacy and that what we do has a positive impact on local disabled people.”

Richard Uren is Chair of the Winchester District Disability Sports Forum, and says it’s really exciting to be involved in the forum’s first project: “We have a number of representatives from local clubs through to disability

The closing date for submitting the survey is Sunday 31 March (5pm) – and you can find out more by ringing the Sports Development Officer, Chris Peach on 01962 848532, or by emailing sport@

Team Winchester Backs Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Campaign

half of LGBT students at college and university who took part in the study do not participate in any sport (46.8%) and find the culture of sport to be alienating. More than 40% said they had a negative experience at school which meant that they don’t want to get involved.

Paralympic GB gained 120 medals from the London 2012 Paralympic Games in September, and there seems to be a determined effort to build on that positive attitude. The group has been working hard to develop a survey to assess the current provision within the district. The first survey was completed by local Paralympian Adam Knott (pictured, left) and the forum is asking more people to follow his

The University of Winchester’s sport teams are urging players, fans and students to show their support to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport, by signing the Government Charter for Action. This forms part of

a commitment to challenging discrimination and working to rid sport of homophobic and transphobic abuse both on the stands and in the field. A report published by National Union of Students found that almost

This Issue:

Bit at the Back wants you! The Winchester Today Awards 2013 are here!

Just turn the page!

Congratulations to Winchester’s Colts XV - who at the time of Winchester Today going to press had made it through to the last 16 of the National U18 Colts Cup, having beaten Colchester 15-24 in an away fixture. Picture by Martin Lampard.

Jonny Brason is Vice President of Activities and is welcoming the move: “Today’s signing is a further step towards achieving this goal and making sure Team Winchester is a friendly and welcoming place for everyone”.

Winchester Today - March 2013  

Online version of Winchester Today - March 2013