Thursday 31 May 2012

Kingsley Footpath 20 fence vandalised

On Tuesday evening I walked FP20. The gate blockages had been removed and the barbed wire fence had been almost completely replaced with short open link fencing. The stiles remained as did the "FOOTPATH CLOSED" notices. The situation was still not satisfactory but did represent a step in the right direction. I filed a response with the Bordon Herald to last week's front page article.

Unfortunately, sometime during Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, someone vandalised the new fence by cutting it at frequent intervals.

When the barbed wire fence was cut I thought that one possibility was that it had been cut to provide an excuse to close the footpath but that explanation doesn't really make sense this time round.

Rory McCarthy the landowner has been talking of keeping pigs or sheep in the field next to FP20. If true then the new fence, though unnecessary and in the wrong place, represents an attempt on his part to improve the situation. Even if not true, cutting the fence does not improve the situation and will serve only to anger Rory.

What do we want to achieve? We want the land to be what it should be, Hampshire open countryside; farmed rather than fallow or developed; accessible to all.

How are we to achieve that? Let's start by simply asking. I'm sure that by now Mr McCarthy is well aware of the strength of feeling about the local rights of way. So far his attitude hasn't been one of making friends and influencing people but everyone deserves a second chance.

Will that work? I don't know. I do know he was quick to inform the Bordon Herald of Tuesday night's vandalism so that's one channel he pays attention to.

On 24th April everyone behaved as they should, let's please keep it that way.

Friday 25 May 2012

Rory McCarthy "some creep from the village"

Rory McCarthy told the Bordon Herald this week that he closed [footpath 20] after becoming a victim of vandalism that had made the route a health hazard. You'll have to buy a copy yourself if you want to read the full nonsense but briefly he was just trying to do the right thing and "some creep from the village" has put him to enormous cost and inconvenience and public safety at risk.

According to this letter from Hampshire County Council, he has until today to remove the stiles, remove the "FOOTPATH CLOSED" notices, remove any barbed wire affecting the path and make it good again.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Unit 8 Kingsley Business Park

This application 53984 seeking permission for


is marked as open for consultation until 22nd June

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Kingsley amenities

In this the second excerpt from the Kingsley Parish Plan survey, several village amenities are ranked according to the level of support expressed for the view that they were an "important amenity".

Amenity Support Oppose Neither
Kingsley Centre Shop 99% 0% 1%
Kingsley Centre Post Office 98% 0% 2%
The Kingsley Centre 92% 1% 7%
Cricketers Pub 91% 2% 8%
Kingsley playground 90% 3% 8%
The Country Market 81% 2% 17%
All Saints Church 78% 4% 18%
Kingsley Sports Club 75% 2% 23%
Montessori School 66% 9% 25%
The Golf Club 61% 8% 31%
The Tennis Centre 59% 7% 34%
St Nicholas' Chapel 59% 10% 31%

Monday 21 May 2012

Kingsley Parish Council - Thursday 24th

Kingsley Parish Council will meet in the Kingsley Centre this Thursday, 24th, at 7:30pm


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 26th April 2012
6. Matters Arising : Queen Jubilee:
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

7. Planning : Applications ongoing:
34313/017 Oak Tree Farm, Gibbs Lane, Shortheath Common Bordon GU35 9JS

20661/048 Selborne Brickworks, Honey Lane, Selborne, Alton GU34 3BS
Construction of an anaerobic digester

30633/021 Grooms Farm, Frith End Road, Frith End, Bordon, GU35 0QR
Full change of use of building for events associated with existing hotel, agricultural uses and hot air balloon storage with associated works, parking and access from frith end quarry haul road

22732/015 Sandyfield Farm, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NG
Retropective change of use of part stable block to ancillary habitable accommodation to Sandyfield Farm

26242/043 Dean Farm Golf Course, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9NG
Increase in roof height of clubhouse to form gable ends and storage area below

New application:
37484/001 Westarkirk, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9ND
First floor extension to rear, single storey extension to side, conversion of garage and workshop to living accommodation. Detached garage to front

37484/002 Westarkirk, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9ND
Internal alterations to form en suite shower room and new doorway into first floor extension to rearm single storey extension to side, alterations to window and doors, conversion of garage and workshop to living accommodation. Detached garage to front

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Croucher
To agree to keep the burial rates accepted in November 2011

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

10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
To receive an update for Upper Green
To receive an update from Cllr Lazenby on Cradle Lane
To receive an update from Cllr Lazenby on other local Rights of Way'

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
13. Sports, Recreation and Leisure : Allotments:
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

14. Kingsley Village Forum  
To receive an update from Cllr Croucher

15. Parish Plan    
To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

16.  Housing, Business & Commerce
17. Communications: To receive a written report from the Clerk detailing correspondence

Website: To receive an update from Cllr Scrivener

18. District Councillor
19.  Procedures, Finance and Payments
To accept the long term agreement with Zurich Insurance
To accept new future payment method by BACS
To receive an update on the internal audit report 2011/2012
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept

Date of Next Meeting: Thursday 28th June 2012 - 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre 

Friday 18 May 2012

Old Park Farm

I note the present planning controversy with regard to Old Park Farm which has appeared in other areas in the Blog and since Old Park played such a significant part in my life at Kingsley I thought I would devote an article to the place. Readers might enjoy knowing of its former glory when it was a fully working mixed farm.

Those who have read my early articles will be aware that my father worked at Old Park Farm after the war when I was a baby. In fact, it was to one of the farm cottages that I returned after leaving the nursing home in which I was born at Rowledge. Whilst I describe the buildings as farm cottages they were rather less substantial than cottages are usually imagined to be. The Old Park buildings were of a bungalow type and were wooden clad and painted black. More substantial brick structures were added much later. I imagine these are still there.

I don’t actually recall how long father worked at Old Park but it must have been for quite some time and I am sure he was there for the whole of the time that we lived in The Straights.Having moved to Woodfield he remained on the farm until, at some stage, leaving to go and work at the camp in Bordon.

During my early years the farm was owned by Mr. Nicholson. Bernard John Nicholson who was first and foremost a business man. Mr. Nicholson owned Robialac and Berger paints and, indeed, he created a paint in a shade of pink which was known as Kingsley Pink. The main farm buildings were all painted in this rather unusual shade. However, it was quite subtle and didn’t really seem out of place. All of the dairy buildings, which were on the right side of the farm drive, and the brick walls of the buildings on the left were in this colour as were the buildings in the square on the left a short way up the drive. Mr. Nicholson drove a bronze coloured Rolls Royce which bore the number plate BJN ….. I forget what the numerals were. He was a short dapper little man whom I remember as being grey haired for all of the time I knew him. He sported a short well clipped moustache. He used glasses to read and these were of the half moon type which he perched upon the end of his nose and would peer over them at one. I knew him throughout my childhood and as my boss when I went to work at Old Park farm much later in my life.

In the early days the farm was managed by Geoffrey Leat (?) who lived with his wife and two children, Jennifer and Richard, in Foundry House. Mr. Leat was Mrs. Nicholson’s son by a former marriage. Geoffrey was ex military and was dark haired also with a dark moustache and a very upright bearing. He was also quite tall. Mrs. Leat was a dark haired beauty of the Country Life style, she came from Chile and had a lovely dark olive skin and her two children were both blessed with her dark good looks.

From my early memories of Old Park there was a flourishing dairy herd of Guernsey cattle, a couple of battery houses for chicken, a walled in garden, ( in production ), and a pig unit opposite the then village shop. Apart from lots of grass land for the cattle there was also a lot of corn grown and some potatoes. The land with the farm extended from to the right as you face the farm from the B3004 road down almost as far as Coldharbour where it met Mr. Marshals land at Malthouse Farm. To the side and back of the farm the land extended down Sickles Road all the way down to the railway line and along well down the side of Alice Holt Forest probably more than half way towards the Farnham road. There was also a block of land on the other side of Sickles Road which included the Sports Hut and the small copse beside the railway back up to and behind the school and as far west as the public footpath which begins opposite the Cricketers. At a later date Mr. Nicholson bought further land along Green Street on the left hand side as you go towards Alton and Mowlands Farm at Frithend. Quite a large amount of land in those days.

The concrete road that ran through the farm and behind the walled garden and farmhouse was, in those days, called Picadilli. Why, I have no idea. In front of the farm and either side of the farm drive beside the road, were areas of grass and it was quite usual to see two great Guernsey bulls tethered, one on each side. They were attached to a long bar which was in turn attached to a sort of wheel which allowed the animals to walk around in a circle. As far as I remember the wheel structure was on a spike which was hammered into the ground and could be moved as required. The bulls wore head harnesses similar to those worn by horses but made up of chains. A long central chain ran from the animals forehead down through the ring in its nose and continued on until it was attached to the wheel structure having passed through the long revolving hollow bar. The fact that the chain went through the bulls nose ring ensured that the animal did not attempt to break free as any thrust of the head would have resulted in the ring pulling on the nose thus causing discomfort if not pain. The bulls were led to and from there grazing station by a bull pole. This was a steel bar of about five feet in length with a pair of strong pinchers at one end and a controlling handle at the other. The pinchers went through the nose ring and secured the bull rigidly between the person handling it and the other end of the pole. The handled locked the pinchers once they had located the nose ring. In this way bulls could be steered around without much risk as again any attempt to play up would have resulted in the nose ring doing its work. In order to get the bulls attached to the bull bars the tethering chains could be reeled in to the end of the tethering bars by a sort of crank on the central wheel. This meant the bulls head was held securely at the end of the revolving bar until the bull bar had been secured through its nose ring. I somehow doubt that bulls would be permitted to be tethered beside a public road without fencing in today’s Kingsley. At night the bulls were returned to their separate bull pens
beside the dairy.

The farm employed many men and there were general farm workers, tractor drivers, cowmen, pig and poultry men not to mention the people that were employed in the gardens both of the house and the market gardens. Seasonal jobs provided even more work and at times of harvest and hay making villagers undertook part time tasks in order to get the various crops in.

Over the years there was a great turn over of workmen on the farm and as machinery developed the numbers required reduced. The village men seemed to moved away from the farm and many of them found employment at the army camp at Bordon which was a large local employer. Men taking up employment at Old Park Farm began to be recruited from much farther away and I remember people coming to the farm from Norfolk, Hereford and Morton in the Marsh. I suppose one of the longest serving employees must have been Roy Taylor who looked after the gardening side of the farm. He ran the market gardens which produced much in the way of fruit and vegetables but also lots of pot plants for sale. Chrysanthamums, Cyclamen and many more varieties. It was a very busy and, I have no doubt, profitable enterprise. Roy remained on the farm until he retired. He and his family resided at 5, Goldhill. The farm remain in the ownership of Mr. Nicholson until his death after which it was bought by, I think, an insurance company. I was working on the farm at the time of Mr. Nicholsons death and he very generously left me £50 in his will, a lot of money at that time. More in a future edition.

Lies, damned lies, statistics

So here's the first excerpt from the results of Kingsley Parish Plan survey conducted last November. Just under half the questionnaires were returned and the percentages below obviously relate to the returned questionnaires.

In this case the question was "What sources of information about what goes on in Kingsley does your Household use?"
Resource Is used: very well informed Is used: fairly well informed Is used: not well informed Is not used This source of information was not known
The 'King's World' Parish Magazine 54% 32% 4% 6% 4%
Local newspapers 24% 38% 16% 21% 1%
Notice boards located at the Kingsley Centre 19% 37% 8% 20% 4%
Parish Council Meetings 19% 25% 6% 43% 7%
Village Meetings 10% 21% 8% 47% 14%
The Village Diary 6% 4% 7% 31% 53%
Kings Blog website 3% 11% 4% 46% 36%

Wednesday 16 May 2012

FP20 FOI response received

The response to my freedom of information request is

With reference to your recent request for information around Kingsley Footpath 20. Your request has been considered under the Environmental Information Regulations Act (2004) EIR. EIR is broadly similar to the Freedom of Information Act, but applies to environmental information.

This particular path is currently being investigated by the access team to try to establish the definitive line and width of the public footpath. They will be in contact with you, once an outcome has been reached.

Packed Parish Meeting

Last night's parish meeting was a very well attended affair with the main hall bursting at the seams.

Following a review of his first year from our shiny new district councillor David Ashcroft we were treated to a fascinating talk by South Downs National Park Authority member Doug Jones.  Doug, a Buriton parish councillor explained the history of the National Parks movement, the buildup to the South Downs National Park, how the authority membership is made up, what they do and how it affects us here in Kingsley.

Jude Simpson from East Hants District Council gave us a brief overview/reminder of what Parish Plans are all about before handing over to Brian Herbert who brought us up to date with where we are with our own parish plan here in Kingsley.

Brian was able to present to us the findings of the survey carried out last November in which all households were asked to complete a questionnaire on many aspects of living and working in Kingsley. Nearly half the questionnaires were completed and the results will form the evidence base for planning decisions affecting Kingsley as well as many other improvements to village life.

The full results are available here on the parish plan website. Please read them, consider what actions they call for and ask yourself "how can I help make that happen?"

Monday 14 May 2012

Kingsley footpath 20 blocked

The Sickles Lane gate to footpath 20 is still unlocked as reported on Friday but a large slice of treetrunk and a large chunk of concrete seem to have fallen just inside the gate thereby making access difficult.

An eyewitness reports seeing a red Manitou (such as might be used on a farm for shifting heavy loads around) putting them there this morning. One possible explanation might be that they fell out of the sky and the Manitou was trying to remove them but failed. Another possibility is that Rory McCarthy is openly taking the piss.

Tue 15/05/12 4:46 PM
Thank you for contacting Hampshire County Council by email.
I have passed your enquiry onto to Countryside Headquarters in Winchester.

Your reference number is: 111001081311 Please quote this reference number in any further correspondence related to this issue. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us again.

KUSC Race Night Saturday 26th

Kingsley United Sports & Social Club, Sickles Lane will be hosting a RACE NIGHT with the first race at 8pm on Saturday 26th May.

Free fun money for betting is provided. A Cash BBQ will be available.

Selborne Brickworks: retention of clay storage shed

This application HCC/2012/0176 seeks permission for

Permanent retention of the clay storage shed

Public consultation ends 1st June.

Friday 11 May 2012

Kingsley Footpath 20 unlocked

Walking along footpath 20 today I was pleasantly surprised to find the gate at the Sickles Lane end unlocked, no sign of a padlock and chain.

As you can see, the "FOOTPATH CLOSED" notice is still in place as is its mate at the other end of the path.

No attempt yet to clean up the appalling barbed wire and shoddy stiles.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Hampshire County Council FOI242687E

Freedom of information request submitted 09 May 2012 11:56:42 with reference number FOI242687E

Please advise the exact location and dimensions of Kingsley Footpath 20. In particular, I wish to know whether the path runs in the area currently fenced in by the landowner or along the track marked "strictly no vehicles".

Re: Your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act

Hampshire County Council have received your new request on 9 May 2012 and will send a response within the 20 working days allowed in the Act.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Parish Meeting Tuesday 15th

Kingsley Annual Parish Meeting is to be held on Tuesday 15th May, 2012 at 8.00pm in the Kingsley Centre. Your attendance would be appreciated.

8:00 Chairman Parish Council to call meeting to order and welcome

8:05 District Councillor (David Ashcroft)

8:10 County Councillor report (Mark Kemp-Gee)

8:15 The South Downs National Park (Doug Jones*)

8:40 Introduction to Parish Plan Survey (Brian Herbert and Jude Simpson*)

Short break for drinks

 ‘What Kingsley Wants’ – Survey Results (Brian Herbert)

9:40 Questions and Conclusion (Brian, Jude and Doug)

More drinks and refreshments

*  Jude Simpson from EHDC
*  Doug Jones, Member of South Downs National Park Authority

Thursday 3 May 2012

Westarkirk, Main Road, Kingsley (2)

This application 37484/002 seeking permission for


is currently marked as open for consultation until 12th June

Westarkirk, Main Road, Kingsley (1)

This application 37484/001 seeking permission for


is marked as open for consultation until 12th June