Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dorset John

There are, sometimes in life, quite by chance, when something occurs which makes one believe the world is a better place. For me this happened about eighteen months ago when my brother Don and I were fishing on the south Dorset coast on that great bank of pebbles which is known as Chesil Beach. This beach fishing lark is quite strange in itself … sitting in all weathers, waiting, and hoping that some sort of fish, in fact any fish, will be kind enough to take the bait you are offering. Well,I hear you say, that is what happens with all fishing, and yes that is, of course, correct. However, if you are by a pond or river there is, always or almost always, some cover to take advantage of if things get dodgy. A sudden storm, strong winds, searing sun, really anything the British climate can throw at the angler. 

Stuck out on a beach where as far as one can see to the right and the left is just a huge stretch of pebbles and the same to your rear, cover is just not there. In front, of course is the sea and that is pretty unforgiving. Well,of course, there are all sorts of wonderful shelters, tents, mobile huts etc. which can protect the beach angler …but they all come at a cost and are not cheap. Not only that, but they have to be carried to the chosen fishing spot. It didn’t take me long to learn that the best spots are always, by far, the longest distance from the car park. So, it was, that I had been persuaded by my dear brother that beach fishing was one of life’s great joys which I should not miss out on. Hence, over several months, I found myself to be a regular visitor to that particular part of the Dorset beach. The routine is much the same on each occasion one goes to fish. 

Upon arriving, and meeting in the agreed car park, discussion takes place as to the best spot to fish on this occasion. This is usually based upon any intelligence which may have been gathered from the man behind the counter in the tackle shop. Here is the chap that sells the sea fisherman his bait. Lug Worms, Rag Worms, Squid and all manner of stuff, which the buyer is assured is the best bait for the occasion. Encouraged by the info that a man had caught a monster cod on just the bait one had purchased and in the very spot to which one was intending to fish, one leaves the bait seller in a state of high anticipation. If I am honest that high state of anticipation is, for me,still waiting to be fulfilled. 

So, there it is, a sort of edited background as to how and why an angler finds himself on a beach, well anywhere, but in this case in south Dorset. Once one settles down in the chosen spot and, for the life of me, I am still trying to work out how this is established, the rig of the day is setup and thrown as far out into the waves as the angler is able to achieve. For the most part, it is then just a question of waiting and watching the tip of the rod. During this period,which can be agonisingly long, it is usual to have a brew, a snack, check the phone, read a book …actually anything which provides some sort of diversion and overcomes the overwhelming sense of … what the hell am I doing here! But don’t tell my brother!! 

It was, during one of these regular, and prolonged periods of inertia that we first encountered Dorset John. As, is the case, whilst beach fishing there are other people, who use the beach, to be encountered. Health freaks, (these are the people whom, whilst deep breathing and taking the ozone, adopt all sorts of weird and wonderful poses. Most of which have long been beyond the capabilities of myself and my brother.) Then there are runners, walkers, dog walkers, photographers and many more all attracted by the great beauty of the beach and sea. Dorset John is a dog walker. John lives locally and walks the dog every morning, in fact, you could almost set your watch by him. I suppose he covers about a half a mile down the beach from the car park and, of course half a mile back. John stops and chats with all of the anglers he encounters along his way. There is no doubt that John is a very friendly sort of chap but he is also a keen beach fisherman and, therefore, any info he can glean from the fishermen he encounters is put to good use when deciding where and when he will next fish himself. It was on just such a meeting that Don and I first met John. I have no idea what his surname is but we Christened him Dorset John as he has a delightful Dorset accent and lives in the county. I suppose our meeting went along the lines of all Johns meetings, he wandered up to us, wished us a good morning and asked if we had had any luck. We had not, and, upon hearing this piece of news John settled down on the pebbles beside us and began to roll a cigarette whilst outlining the many reasons why we probably were not catching fish. 

Of course, he would not be using the bait we were and the tides were all wrong this week, We would have a much better chance next week when the tides would be almost perfect. Well to cut a long story short, Don and I engaged John in conversation and he spent a couple of hours chatting away and giving us a potted history of his life. All of which I will reveal in my next edition.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 23rd 7:30

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 23rd March 2017 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Declarations of Personal/Prejudicial Interest
4. Public Question Time
Public Questions
Consideration of agenda items which will be open to public participation

5. Approval of Minutes of the Meetings held on 26th January 2017
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
Update from Cllr Lowe regarding CAA Consultation meeting on Feb 17
54919/001 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon
Erection of 7 houses and 6 flats with associated car parking and external works
30633/030 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 1 of planning permission 30633/019 to allow the continued importation, handling and re-sale of aggregates until 31 December 2022
30633/031 Frith End Sand Quarry, Grooms Farm Lane, Frith End, Bordon GU35 0QR
Variation of condition 2, 5 and 24 of planning permission F30633/012/CMA to revise the approved timing, working and restoration of sand extraction operations
27396/048 Old Park Farm, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LU
B8 storage building after demolition of existing grain store/dryer
57024 Bakers Court, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NZ
Two detached buildings for use as offices and workshop
52947/003 Old Park Farm (Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane), Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land for the siting of up to six tourism pods, car parking and general landscaping (Amended plan received 01/02/17)

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch update
Lengthsman Scheme

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green, Lower Green
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
Allotments
To consider the emergency repair of the Allotment fence at a cost of £140 ex VAT

13. Kingsley Village Forum
14. Housing, Business & Commerce
15. Review of Capital Projects
16. Communications
The correspondence received this month was listed & circulated to all Cllrs prior to the meeting.
Parish email database

17. Broadband
To receive an update from Cllr Coury & Cllr Clayton

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
To discuss digitisation of Parish Council legal documents
To agree final budget for 2017/18

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
February 2017 Payments authorised by Cllr Rigden & Lowe
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 expenses invoice 0011-2016/17 85.00
28/02/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's February 2017 salary 332.20
28/02/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE February 2017 3.80
28/02/2017 Kingsley Organisation BACS Amended invoice no 13335 dated 15/11/16 700.00
28/02/2017 Euroffice Ltd BACS Invoice 3086390 37.21
28/02/2017 CCP Groundcare BACS Inv 11734 supply & fix 21 post at the allotments site 312.00
March 2017 Payments Schedule
Payment
Date Payee
Payment
Mode Description Amount
28/03/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's March 2017 expenses invoice 0012-2016/17 103.10
28/03/2017 Karine Nana Yonko BACS Clerk's March 2017 salary 399.60
28/03/2017 HMRC BACS PAYE March 2017 20.40
28/03/2017 MacDonald Oates BACS Inv 36365 Solicitor fee for wayleave to SSE 252.00
28/03/2017 Headley Parish Council BACS Inv C/1617/43 SLR deployments 2016/17 342.00
28/03/2017 CCP Groundcare BACS Inv 11776 Fence repairs at the Allotments 168.00
28/03/2017 Open Spaces Society BACS Annual subscription renewal 45.00
28/03/2017 South East Water BACS Inv 14 Water Allotments period 13/09/16 to 09/03/17 29.46
28/03/2017 PCS BACS Inv 2921 Mole control Upper Green 140.00

Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 27th April 2017 – 8.00 pm after the AGM at the Kingsley Centre

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Butterflies

As a result of a very mild and sunny Saturday 18th of February there was, in these parts, a bit of a flush of butterflies. Having noticed some myself and read reports from my email box I began to, once again, think about butterflies and the forthcoming summer. 

Since retiring I have spent quite a lot of my spare time in the summer doing butterfly transect walks in two local woods for the Butterfly Conservation Society. This involves following a pre-planned walk which is divided up into sections. The walker records all butterflies seen in each section and then submits them to the central records office. This has been going on for some thirty years and has provided very valuable information into the butterfly population in general and the winners and losers, in particular, each year. It is a very pleasant way of spending a few hours a week and takes place between April and September.I have become hooked because this butterfly watching business gets very addictive. There is the constant hope that a, hitherto, unrecorded specimen will present itself. I always carry a camera with me and can, most of the time, get a picture of anything special. 

My particular love of butterflies, as with many things that make me tick, goes all the way back to my childhood days in Kingsley in general and to Mrs. Morris, my school teacher,in particular. For, as I have mentioned in previous articles, Mrs. Morris had a great love of the outdoors and the creatures which could be found around the village, on the common and in the pond. Our class room was usually well supplied with jars, tanks, and boxes of caterpillars, eggs from various moths and butterflies, fish, tadpoles etc etc. For me this was a great and abiding influence for which I remain forever grateful to that lady. 

That said, I guess, that like most people when holiday time comes around I find myself looking for a book or two to take with me. I am not generally into novels preferring rather more factual stuff. So it was last summer when I began my usual search for a couple of decent volumes to accompany me across the channel and divert me from all of the other boring things like drinking and eating etc. which holidays demand. Well I came across a gem, at least I think it is. As I shall relate, it came as something of a great surprise to me as much of the book relates to matters around Kingsley and North East Hampshire. 

The book, In Pursuit of Butterflies ….A fifty Year Affair, is written by Matthew Oates. Whilst I had come across his name, probably in a magazine or something, I was by no means familiar with him or his work. Matthew worked for many years as an adviser to the National Trust, his expertise being in matters relating to habitat and butterflies and moths. The book deals extensively with his school days and the more I read the more I warmed to Matthew as much of his school days were spent in pursuit of the same creatures I and the other pupils of Kingsley school had also pursued. 

Matthew lived near Selborne for several years and during that period he scoured a wide area in search of butterflies. At the top of his list was the magnificent Purple Emperor. A butterfly, incidentally, that I have never seen in the flesh. I found this all the more surprising as Matthew refers to populations of this butterfly in Alice Holt Forest and in the Straits enclosure which were areas that I frequented during the whole of my time in Kingsley. Whilst I knew there were butterflies, in those days, in great numbers, all around those places, I was blissfully unaware of the Emperors presence. Noar Hill, near Selborne, and the East Hampshire hangers feature extensively in the book. 

Frankly I was amazed that I had not come across Mr. Oates before or learned of his work, but hey ho, better late than never. It was a joy to spend holiday time in France reading of my old hunting grounds and all of the wonderful species to be found in the area. An easy and pleasant style of writing with plenty of humour and loads of local interest, I have confidence that anyone with an interest in that part of Hampshire and the flora and fauna living within it will not be disappointed with this book. Oh, and if you happen to like cricket, Matthew is an avid fan and the book contains bits and pieces relating to cricketing events. Don’t miss it.