Thursday, 26 May 2016

The Naked Chicken Seller

Having been transferred from Wandsworth prison to Dorchester and spent, a not unpleasant, time lodging in a local pub I eventually moved into our new home in a lovely little Dorset village. Set in the head of a valley and at a dead end, we were quite hidden away from the world. Villages like this are quite common in Dorset and, although people are now much more mobile, they still offer the sort of freedom for village children that Kingsley did in my own childhood days. People living in these villages all know one another and community life is still strong although things like the village school, post office and shop have, for the most part, long gone.

Well, having moved in, and settled back into normal family life my thoughts once again began to focus upon getting a few chickens. We had a large garden, which since the house had once been a farm house, we also had an old brick barn with a built on pig sty. All that was needed was a decent fence and the pig sty would do very nicely as housing for the hens. So it was that I turned to The Blackmoor Vale Magazine to locate my birds. This magazine is the local weekly free publication which, in these parts, is an indispensable part of life. Quite simply it is invaluable both from the point of view selling things and finding, almost, anything an individual might need. Within its pages are advertised all manner of services, items for sale, forthcoming events, housing, places to eat and, if that were not enough, there is also a sprinkling of local news.I turned to the livestock section,which rests beside the farming pages, and found there to be several, adverts for poultry.One advert in particular caught my eye as the seller appeared to have a significant range of breeds to choose from. Located in the Piddle Valley, the sellers place was only a few miles from where we lived so I phoned and made an appointment to go over and see for myself what was on offer.

The instructions I had been provided with were good and I found myself driving down a narrow lane towards a fairly substantial house. Parking in front of the building, I rang the bell and waited. Nothing had prepared me for what was to follow. Having been a Prison Officer for a lot of years there wasn't much that took me by surprise, as the reader will understand, Prison Officers get to see a whole range of weird and wonderful people. As I waited and looked around me, it was clear to see, what had been a large garden was now a large chicken pen. There were chickens everywhere and cockerels crowing in every direction. After a short wait I heard noises from within the house and the door opened, there before me stood a man in his birthday suit. He was stark naked. Trust me, this does take one by surprise. Clearly my face said it all because, said gent, began to provide me with an outline of his life style choice and to explain that he was a dedicated naturist. Frankly, I thought he must be a complete perve! However, it takes all sorts and, having bought quite a lot of hens from him over the subsequent years, I got to know him and, strangely, became used to his appearance. Although, I thought his way of life to be bizarre, he was actually, quite a nice chap and was never improper in any way just, well, different. There are still many strange characters to be found in the heart of this very rural area, some seem not to have embraced modern life in any way, but this particular man was, so far, the strangest I have encountered.

In any event, his chickens were of good quality and over the next few years I bought birds from him and in so doing I learned quite a bit about the man. He had worked in service all of his life devoting most of it to one particular, very rich, gentleman. He had been, what he described to me as, a gentleman's gentleman. Travelling around the world with his boss tending to his every need and in the process seeing a very privileged life style. The boss had a large yacht and consequently spent much time cruising around the social hot spots of the world. At the time of meeting my chicken selling friend, his boss had died and he had retired. The house he lived in had been left to him by his former employer together with a huge amount of, no doubt, very valuable antiques. The house itself was not the sort of place most people would recognise a home. Apart from the huge amount of antiques, every room was filled with incubators, and or, brooders. This was his production line, hatching eggs and chicks were all over the place. The other striking thing to confront the visitor, (no pun intended), were the clocks. Clocks were everywhere and nowhere was free from their incessant ticking and chiming. The former boss had left all the time pieces, which he had spent his life collecting, to the chicken seller. Goodness knows how he would have felt had he seen his collection as they then were, covered in chicken food dust. Everything was covered in the dust and, although,there was a local woman that came in to clean I saw little evidence of her efforts. The sink in the kitchen always appeared to contain a week's supply of crockery and cutlery and it probably occupied the cleaning lady for most of her weekly visit in a mass wash up.

 The chicken seller had a strict routine, lunch was at the local pub, The Poachers Arms, and this was also where he spent his evenings. The pub was within walking distance of his home and, basically,when he wasn't selling chickens or asleep, was where he could be found. The landlord insisted upon a dress code and so the chicken seller had to comply but his compliance was minimal, he wore a pair of shorts, no shoes, no shirt just shorts.

The last time I tried to contact him to buy chickens he had passed on and that was now, a long time ago but I suspect he is still remembered and talked about in the pub and village.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Kingsley Parish Council Thursday 26th

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 26th May 2016 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 Meeting held on 28th April 2016
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
Enforcement APP/M1710/W/15/3141363 Land at Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon, Hampshire, GU35 9LL
Update from Cllr Lowe on the Inspectors’ Hearing that took place at the Kingsley centre on May 4th.
TAG Farnborough Airport Air Space Change Proposal
SDNP/16/01234/FUL Land South of Foxes Green Street Kingsley, Hampshire, GU35 9NN Change of use of existing agricultural land to provide two equestrian stables and tack room
Chimney and use of industrial buildings, 4 Park Ironworks, near Churchfields, Kingsley
1 Orchard Cottages, Oakhanger Road, Bordon GU35 9JP
Two storey side extension, and pitched roof to replace existing flat roof
New application:
56703 Orchard House, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LT
Lawful development certificate proposed - rear single storey extension
21297/002 The Spindle, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9ND
Single storey rear extension
24117/020 Dean Farm Cottage, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NG
Retention of use of part of existing garage as ancillary annex with conservatory
54616/011 Land West of, Farnham Road, Bordon
Retention and continued display of two non-illuminated free standing signs

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

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
To receive an update from Cllr Lowe on Main Road/Forge Road naming ballot and Lengthsman Scheme

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
To receive an update from Cllr Gregory
To receive an update on SSE application for wayleave under footpath 6 for electrical supply to new house

11. Community Resilience
12. Fest in the Field Event
13. Environment and Biodiversity
14. Kingsley Village Forum
Annexed village forum minutes held on Wednesday 04th May 2016 at the Kingsley Centre

15. Housing, Business & Commerce
16. Review of Capital Projects
17. Communications
The correspondence received this month was listed by the clerk and circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting.

18. Broadband
To receive an update from Cllr Clayton and Cllr Coury

19. District Councillor
20. Procedures, Finance and Payments
Banking arrangements
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden
Internal audit
To acknowledge internal audit report and consider actions
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept

May 2016 Payments Schedule
Payment DatePayeePayment ModeDescriptionAmount
23/04/2016EurofficeChqInv no 2906164 - Stationery68.71
23/04/2016Do the Numbers LtdChqInv no 12/423 – Internal audit185.00
23/04/2016The Landscape GroupChqInv no GM733804 dated 26/01/15 – St Nicholas cemetery & Upper Green last cut Oct 14284.09
23/04/2016Karine Nana YonkoChqInv 0002/2016-17 clerk's May 2016 expenses80.50
23/04/2016Karine Nana YonkoChqClerk's May 2016 salary332.20
23/04/2016HALCChqInv no 0764 – Affordable Rural Housing Publication1.00
Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council –
To consider cancelling the PC meeting on 23 June 2016 as it is referendum day

Friday, 6 May 2016

New PCC Michael Lane

The Conservative candidate, Michael Lane, has been elected as Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire with a toital of 153,990 votes and a 29.14% turnout.