Friday 30 September 2011

Local expert wanted

To help promote the use of the local footpaths and bridleways we're looking for a knowledgeable local to write a series of articles describing them in rather more depth and less formal language than the summary on the blog's Footpaths and Byways page.

These articles should describe individual routes and should not be used to promote claims or apply pressure for new rights of way. The target audience is people who might be encouraged to use the existing routes.

Obviously maps, photographs, videos, etc can all be accommodated and you won't need to be a web posting expert as the technicalities can all be handled for you.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Kingsley Centre, Main Road, Kingsley

This application, 28397/014 valid since 23/9/11, seeking permission for:-


 is currently marked as open for consultation until 25th October.

Saturday 24 September 2011

No new bridleway

You may recall that a Public Inquiry took place at The Kingsley Centre in July in connection with Maureen Comber's application for two new bridleways joining Cradle Lane with Headley Bridleway 54. The decision has now been published (you can read the full text here) and the order is not confirmed - in other words, the application has been refused and no new bridleways will be dedicated.

The application needed to show, on the balance of probabilities, that such a public right subsists or is reasonably alleged to subsist over the land in question. In other words, if the application succeeds it merely acknowledges and confirms an existing right. No "new" right is created.

Evidence for the claim largely consists of two threads: a 1787 survey map appearing to include the claimed route as part of an historic public road and witness statements asserting regular use "as of right" by the public over the required (Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980) period of 20 years upto that "right" being challenged in 1997.

The 1787 map evidence must be balanced against the fact that no subsequent maps or surveys support such a claim.

The witness evidence has several flaws: oral evidence failed to agree with the written evidence submitted with the claim but more importantly included evidence that the 20 years was interrupted both regularly by a scout camp and permanently by storm damage in 1990.

In short, the application failed to establish, on the balance of probabilities, that rights of way exist.

Friday 23 September 2011

The Straits (part 3)

As previously stated life was happy and free for the few children that were around The Straits at that time. Bernard Taylor, who was a bit younger than me and Robbie Woodward who was a bit older were the two boys I spent most of my time with over the years I was living there. We wandered around the fields and woods doing all the sorts of things country boys did in those days. Many of which were determined by the seasons and time of year.

More of those matters in later editions when I will deal with them in greater detail. But the woods known as Stephenfield Copse on the O.S map and the hanger listed as Jude Copse was where we spent more of our time than other places. Stephenfield Copse, although I had no idea that was its name, was particularly valued as it had a large yew tree in the centre of it and towards the highest point of the hill. Given that playing Robin Hood was most popular with us, this tree represented The Greenwood Tree. We hid under it when it rained and we climbed it to get views of all around. I hope it is still there. I expect most Kingsley readers will be familiar with the term hanger as it is a local term as in Oakhanger. It is the name given to a wooded bank and I believe unique to Hampshire where there are many of them around the county. Anyway Jude Copse was and I imagine, still is a hanger. There we roamed between Wheatley Hill and around to South Hay lane.

The place I loved the most has, sadly long gone, and most readers will not now know of its existence. For me it was a magical and mysterious place, far enough away from home to represent a bit of an adventure and hard by Alice Holt Forest.

On the O.S map if the route of the old railway line is followed from Sickles Road, where the old Halt was, toward Alice Holt Forest and turn right off the line where the footpath and stream cross. Follow the footpath and stream down the edge of the forest and between it and the little copse. Just beyond the little copse, along the route of the footpath there used to be, and probably still is, a raised pathway. There is actually what looks like a small pond in blue at this point on my map. At the time I am writing of this raised pathway was wide enough to permit a vehicle, (tractor), to cross. The sides of this raised area were then supported by brick or stone work along its faces. To the east was the long narrow field known then as Forest Field which ran for a considerable distance along the edge of the wood. Upon the raised area itself were a row of huge and beautiful Elm trees, these were to the east side. To the west was a large pond. I imagine the raised and walled path was there as a retaining wall for the pond and its water. The pond was probably around half the size of the present Kingsley pond in the village. It will, therefore, be understood that it was not small or insignificant. Much bigger than the small blue area on my present map. It did not seem to have defined banks but just merged into the surrounding field with large areas of marshy ground. The pond contained fish. I don’t know what they were as I was still too young to fish. I know there were fish in the pond as a result of seeing herons catch them and the small silver creatures wriggling in the bill of the birds.

I spent long hours hiding in the small copse which allowed me to observe the comings and goings of the wildlife that visited the pond. For the most part the place was quiet and undisturbed save for the seasonal agricultural activities. It was a wonderful place for a little boy to be. Foxes, Hares and occasional Deer were all visitors. Herons were common and frequent visitors so were large numbers of small waders. Mostly Snipe but also others that I couldn’t then identify. There were also large flocks of Lapwings. These nested in the surrounding fields. Dragon Flies were numerous and the marshy area attracted large numbers butterflies. It was just so lovely. When not in the copse I would sit on the wall above the water and just soak up the beauty of the place. It was here on the wall that I first learned how to squeak a fox. This can be done by pursing the lips and making a squeaking noise which sounds like a trapped rabbit. Any nearby foxes will come to investigate in hope of an easy meal. The secret is to be well concealed and not to move as the slightest movement will send the fox running away.

One day I went to visit my secret place and the tractors were there, not this time cultivating the fields but dumping large amounts of rubbish in the water. As long ago as it was I can still feel the lump in my throat and the feeling of nausea in my stomach.When the dumping was complete the tractors began pushing surrounding soil into the pond and filling it in. Eventually after several days the pond was no more, the place was changed forever. I cried. It was a long time before I returned to the spot. For a long while afterwards the area remained boggy, (perhaps it still is), and the snipe continued to visit. I was eight when we moved from the Straits in 1953 so the above would have occurred sometime before then. I would guess that I was probably six or seven, therefore, the pond was probably filled in during 1951 or 1952. I hope the little blue spot on my map does indicate a pond, however small, is still there and has managed to thwart the efforts of the tractors so long ago. I shall visit the spot when I next return to Kingsley.

The Straits (tradespeople)

During the time we lived at The Straits we were served by a number of tradespeople.

Bentley Store had a converted bus which came around twice a week and carried almost as much produce within as a small store would do. We had a butcher who delivered and was always dressed in a white overall with a traditional blue striped butcher’s apron. Where the butcher came from I don’t remember but it was probably Bordon. The delivery man was just as a butcher should be, he was of medium height, quite stocky, red faced and had large chunky hands. Shady’s, (I’m not sure of the spelling), were the bakers and they delivered from their bakery in Oakhanger on the edge of Shortheath Common.

My father had worked for Shady’s prior to the war and going into the navy. I remember a large range of cakes and pastries being available in the back of the bakers van together with the loaves. I have often read that the memory stores smell within its data base. Incredibly, whilst writing these notes I can recall the smells associated with the various tradesmen. Especially so the Bentley Stores bus which had a complex blend of wonderful aromas. In addition to the above there was, of course, the milkman who came daily and supplied milk to all whom did not work on a farm.

It was in those days a perk or part of the wages, depending how you looked at it, of working on the farm, a can of milk was provided daily. This was probably a two pint vessel. I found the milkman's van fascinating as he carried a large range of produce other than milk but most of all because the milk bottles all had different coloured foil tops. Red, blue, green, gold and silver. There was even a striped top. I remember the gold top indicated full cream Channel Island milk. This had been produced by be either Guernsey or Jersey cattle. What the other colours signified I no long recall. Whatever it was they were eagerly collected by small boys for various purposes.

By far my favourite tradesman was Mr Bunch, he came from Binsted and drove his produce around by pony and trap. The Bunch family had a shop and some ground at the top of the lane on the right opposite the church in the area where the South Hay lane arrives at the church. There they grew fruit and veg which was sold from the trap. Mr Bunch himself was a slightly built man, always well turned out wearing a collar and tie. Often he wore a waist coat and always a Trilby hat. The trap was covered by a sort of tarpaulin which was lifted up to display the goods when Mr. Bunch arrived. The pony was quiet and well behaved and I loved it. Once again, how Kingsley influenced me, is apparent in that I have a pony of my own now and it is my great wish to get him between the shafts of a trap. It has been something that has been with me over the years and I am sure had its foundations with Mr Bunch and his pony all those years ago.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Stroll round Kingsley

As you know, the Kings World Gardening Club arrange walks around Kingsley and surrounding villages and this Saturday 24th is no exception.

Brian Lazenby will be leading this walk, for about an hour, starting at the Kingsley Centre at 10:30am

All are welcome, even non-gardeners!

Friday 16 September 2011

Results of the Headley by-election are as follows:-

County Councillor: Conservative 73.5%, LibDem 13.4%, Labour 11.9%, Green 8.2%, Justice 6.7% this resulting from a "couldn't give a toss" factor of 81.47% who didn't bother to vote.  Encouragingly for Maureen Comber, 32 more voted for her than for the Labour candidate!

The two District seats also went to the Conservatives with 27% and 29% followed by LibDems, Labour and Greens.

Monday 12 September 2011

Autumn bulb planting - that means you

KBF is planting bulbs in the village again this autumn and we need your help.

We have identified the best places to plant and we have sought expert advice from within the village about what to plant and when but this is your village and we want you to participate directly by contributing bulbs and we want you also to help with the actual planting.

The plan is to plant bulbs in four locations: near the speed limit signs at either end of the village, outside the Kingsley Centre opposite the church and on Lower Green below the pub and in front of the cottages there.

We have arranged for a supply of each of four bulbs to start us off.  The bulbs we have chosen are: Crocus Tommasinianus, Tenby Daffodil, Pheasant eye daffodill and Frittilaria.

What we’d like you to do is to purchase the remainder of the bulbs yourself.  You can choose more of the bulbs above or you can choose something different, entirely your choice as long as what you buy is suitable for autumn planting.  Springfields Nursery at Oakhanger and Country Market at Sleaford  both have a wide range of bulbs priced between £1.80 and £5.

Collection boxes are available in the Kingsley Centre and the Cricketers Inn, just drop your bulbs in and we’ll take care of them.

We would also like you to help plant the bulbs.  We plan to plant them on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th September from 10am onwards.  We’d like you to commit now to helping on one of those days, just an hour will be fine or all day if you’re keen.  There is a sheet next to the collection boxes, please add your name to the list of planters or in the comments below.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Pets in church

This Sunday, 11th September, All Saints, Kingsley will be hosting a special service with children in mind - bring your pets to church - 11am

Saturday 3 September 2011

Old Park Farm - waste bulking station

Although the blog has a link to planning applications it does not let you know of those for waste and minerals, which are controlled by Hampshire County Council.

Locals may be interested to know that there is a planning application for "Proposed bulking station for skip waste" in Old Park Farm. Skips would be delivered via the entrance to Ganders Business Park next to Bliinx opticians. Details can be found on HCC's website - Application HCC/2011/0161.

This application is open for consultation until 22 September 2011 and you can comment either by email to or using this form.

Good neighbours

Once again the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK have set the standard in good neighbourliness by distributing gifts throughout the village to mark the end of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr.

They didn't have to do that, they didn't have to do anything.

Islam often gets a bad press in this country, these people more than help correct the impression that Islam itself is at fault.