Monday, 20 November 2017

Coats

In my recent article regarding beating and Autumn etc. I expressed the wish that our first day’s beating would be a fine one. Well, the Gods were not with us and it poured down. Matters were made even worse by the fact that the rain came at the start of the day which meant the first drive was very wet and we all got a serious soaking. To me this is the most undesirable of circumstances as the rest of the day then has to be endured wearing wet clothing, the ground is wet and everything around is also wet. Moving through woods and along hangers is much more of a challenge and all of the surrounding trees and bushes liberally deposit the water from their leaves upon the beaters below. What I think is called a double whammy. 

Unlike the beating days of many years ago,when I was a child in Kingsley, most beaters these days have decent clothing and one could be forgiven for assuming they would, therefore, remain dry. The beaters of yesteryear very often relied upon all sorts of strange cladding to attempt to stay dry. I suppose, by far the favourite, was the hessian sack. These sacks were used for many purposes and were quite thick. They held crops such as potatoes and grain and were widely used for animal feeds. The animal feed one's were generally not favoured as the dust from the feeds, which had been contained within the sacks, got down the neck and into the hair of the wearer, not nice. But needs must and the sacks were draped around shoulders over whatever garment the wearer had on. The sacks were also folded widthways with one corner being pushed up into the other, on the closed end of the sack, to form a hood and a sort of cape. The head of the wearer went into the corner and the rest of the sack hung down the back. A bit like a Red Riding Hood cape. However, the overwhelming problem with this getup was the fact that, a) the sacks were not water proof, and b) they became very heavy as the sacking absorbed the water. Once the sack was saturated the water came through and the wearer got wet and ultimately, cold. 

Although far superior to sacks modern wet weather gear is not all it is cracked up to be. Undoubtedly there are garments available which are waterproof, there are garments which are windproof and there are garments which prevent internal condensation but, as yet, I have been unable to find one which effectively does all three. The completely waterproof type of coat or cape is usually made of a plastic material through which water cannot penetrate nor, for that matter, can the wind. The big trouble is the huge amount of condensation which is created within the garment. Apart from soaking the clothing the condensation will lead to chilling and cold which in extreme cases can be quite dangerous for the person clad in such a garment. Not the sort of clothing for serious walkers and really wild places. On the plus side, these garments are not pricey. There are many dozens of intermediate garments which claim to tackle the problems outlined above but all that I have tried fall down in one area or another. Windproof does definitely not mean water proof. The many claims of being "breathable", and therefore preventing condensation, I have also found to be well, suspect shall we say! These garments can range in price from under a hundred pounds to well over that figure. 

There are many garments advertised in the sporting press which claim to have almost super qualities in terms of style, design, and serviceability and to be the last word in comfort. Unfortunately, the price tag which comes with such garments, hundreds of pounds, is not within my budget. I am, therefore, unable to comment upon the claims made of such products. No doubt the producers of such excellence will be delighted to learn, in the unlikely event that any of them should read this article, I am happy to test their products for them during the rest of the beating season. 

Well, there it is, we beaters continue to endure winter after winter and put up with varying degrees of wet, cold and wind. There are those, one not a million miles from where I write, who think we are quite bonkers. 

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 23rd

You are requested to attend a meeting of Kingsley Parish Council on Thursday, 23rd November 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 October 2017
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe
51188/001 Kingsley Quarry, Forge Road, Kingsley
Scooping Opinion – Extend the quarry to the east, extend the end date for operations and amend the restoration scheme for the existing site
The correct reference number for this is SCO/2017/0431(Application for Advice submitted to HCC)
Advice given in Decision Report dated 07.08.2017
26242/058 Former Dean Farm Golf Course, Forge Road, Kingsley, GU35 9NG
Farriers/blacksmith forge with shoeing bay and parking
57470 Sheds adjoining Nightingale Cottage, Forge Road, Kingsley
Prior approval for proposed change of use from agricultural building to a dwelling house (class c3)
22246/009 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley GU35 9NA
Addition of utility room, ground and first floor adjustments, change of main access, new garage/home office/hobby workshop
22246/010 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley GU35 9NA
Listed building - utility room, ground and first floor adjustments, change of main access, new garage/home office/hobby workshop
54919/004 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Kingsley
Six garages and associated works
30633/032 Groomes Farm, Frith End Road, Frith End, Bordon, GU35 0QR
Variation of conditions 4,10,11 and 18 of permission 30633/026 to enable the implementation of the planning permission without prejudicing the council’s ability to review and approve details reserved by condition at an appropriate stage.
New applications:
26718/022 2 Sandrock Cottages, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LS
Two storey side extension and extended front porch following demolition of conservatory
22246/009 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Addition of utility room, ground and first floor adjustments, change of main access, new garage / home office / hobby workshop [amended proposal]
22246/010 Sickles House, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NA
Listed building - utility room, ground and first floor adjustments, change of main access, new garage / home office / hobby workshop [amended proposal]
SDNP/17/05558/HOUS
Christmas Cottage (formerly Foxes) Green Street Kingsley Bordon Hampshire GU35 9NN
Oak framed carport and log store
57573 Land and Buildings South of Kingsley Tennis Centre, Forge Road, Kingsley, Bordon
Change of use of land and building to storage associated with a landscape contractor

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

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
Speedwatch
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green
To receive an update from Cllr Gregory
To consider quotations received from contractors for replacement of bench at the bus stop

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
To consider the annual payment of £350 to the Landowner of the Allotment Site for the year 2018

13. Kingsley Village Forum
To consider a grant application from the Trustees of the Kingsley Organisation for £2731.60 for the purchase and installation of external lighting for the Village Centre.
To consider a grant of £420 covering the purchase of external decorations to support village Christmas activities.

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.

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

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
Preparation of budget for year 2018/19
Clerk contract of employment to be signed

Payments to be made & Accounts to accept
To consider the payment of invoices on the schedule included in the agenda of the meeting
November 2017 Payments to be authorised
Payment Date
Payee
Payment Mode
Description
Amount
17/11/2017
MacDonald Oates
BACS
Inv 36673 Wayleaves/Easement to SSE Power Distribution
1500.00
28/11/2017
Paul Grace
BACS
Inv dated 15/11/17 ground maintenance Upper & Lower Green
3948.00
28/11/2017
Richard Thorpe
BACS
Inv E26312 St Nicholas Chapel extinguisher annual service
48.24
28/11/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's November 2017 salary
414.60
28/11/2017
Karine Nana Yonko
BACS
Clerk's November 2017 expenses invoice 0008-2017/18
90.50
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
Thursday 25th January 2018 – 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Autumn

It’s the time of year again when my routine changes quite dramatically all the way through until the end of the winter. Autumn is with us and that, for me and many others, means the beginning of the shooting season. The truth is, I don’t actually do much shooting these days, I have the odd day here and there and that suits me nicely. My particular love is beating. Once again, as with so many things in life, that love began in my childhood at Kingsley in a time when there were quite a lot of shoots in the area and, then as now, young boys were welcome. I was going on to write, well behaved boys, but in those times all boys were well behaved! Not least because the game keepers would not have minced their words and a clip around the ear was, by no means, out of the question. Somewhat different from today’s attitudes, although a good old fashioned "rollicking" is still a distinct possibility the ear clipping option is long gone. Parents these days would probably get a lawyer involved. Although, true to say, most of the younger lads that come out beating that I have met are pretty good, there have been the odd one or two that have been sent home. Usually because they think they know more than the keeper and are prepared to argue a point, something we would never had done. We knew our place, as the saying goes!

On Thursday of this week we had a work day on one of the shoots which I attend. These days are great fun, lots of banter and gossip. For the most part, when the season finishes,the beating team don’t see one another until it all starts again in the autumn. There are odd occasions when, at country shows or other rural events, one bumps into a fellow beater but, by and large, the team come from far and wide and so meetings out of season are rare. Consequently, pre-season work days are eagerly anticipated and, generally, a good time is had by all. On these days no money changes hands the work is done on a voluntary basis but plenty of snacks, drinks and a good lunch are all provided by the keeper. There are also added bonuses this week, for example, we had to do quite a bit of tree felling in order to open some of the gun stands. Quite a lot of wood was felled and the logs were shared out between the helpers. I came home with the back of my truck filled with some seriously good burning wood. 

Like many of the beaters and, of course the "pickers up", I get the greatest pleasure out of being able to work my dog. To my mind there is nothing quite like working a decent dog in the fields and woods of the English countryside. Beating gives the dog owner an opening for dog work when, otherwise, getting permission from a landowner or farmer can be(understandably) quite difficult. Most gamekeepers encourage well behaved dogs as they can save a lot of time and effort when it comes to flushing birds from thick hedges, brambles and all manner of other difficult terrain. Having trained my lurcher to respect poultry and not to bother them, I now have to teach him that pheasant and partridge although, of course feathered, are perfectly ok to be flushed and made to fly. Thursday, on the work day, was the first time Bertie had encountered pheasants, lots of them. Somehow he seemed to know that there was a difference with these birds and pretty quickly developed an interest in them. Luckily I was able to let him have a couple of runs at the odd pheasant before the day was over and he didn’t disappoint. 

The forecast for our first day isn’t good so I am hoping the forecasters are wrong and the rain keeps off. The cold doesn’t matter but getting soaked, especially before lunch, is pretty miserable and makes the day seem a whole lot longer. Last season was a very good one and we got away with very little rain and most of it later on in the day so here’s hoping. More to follow later.