Monday, 30 July 2012

Kingsley Countryside Challenge


On Sunday 26th August the inaugural event takes place primarily aimed at 12-18 year olds and youth groups but it is open to all ages.  It is a great chance to get out and about, explore the local countryside and enjoy a challenge!

Further information about the challenge with details of how to enter by following the link above or by emailing

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club

This application 52947 or 790/388 is a


is marked as open for consultation until 7th August

The fields concerned are marked in red on this plan diagram.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lobbying for stuff

Under the heading "Traffic and Transport" the parish plan survey asked respondents to support or oppose various potential actions. The top five most supported actions were:-

Support Oppose Don't care
Encourage owners/Highways Authority to cut back hedges 72% 11% 17%
Lobby Hampshire County Council to remove B3004 from lorry route 72% 13% 15%
Lobby Hampshire County Council to restrict use of country lanes for diversions 68% 16% 15%
Lobby Hampshire County Council to improve maintenance of road ditches and drainage 68% 11% 21%
Lobby Hampshire County Council to implement speed restrictions in lanes 65% 24% 11%

Looks like we mostly want Hampshire County Council to do stuff for us.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Motorcycle filtering

My advanced driving test examiner's day job was Metropolitan Police armed response motorcycle officer and he was unimpressed by my skill at filtering - good enough to pass the test but ...

Filtering, also known as lane splitting or lane sharing, is sometimes (unfairly) seen by non-motorcyclists as "queue jumping" and "dangerous" but is regarded as a key skill by advanced riders, especially for its contributions to improved rider safety and improved traffic flow. The examiner spent some while after the test was over improving my understanding of the opportunities and tactics to be employed.

A few days later and at irregular intervals ever since, including today, I made a point of riding across  London specifically to practise and improve my filtering expertise. On my way into the city today I was a car driver who happened to be riding a motorcycle, almost no filtering at all but then the city started to work its magic, helped greatly by the regulars: pizza delivery boys, couriers, etc. After a few miles I was pretty much staying with some of them and by the time I'd clocked up around 25 miles of serious central London traffic, becoming attuned to the traffic with its sudden lane changes, taxis who own the entire road, rocketing emergency vehicles and suicidal cyclists and pedestrians, I had become that armed response officer, on my way to a 'shout'.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cradle Lane - the harsh reality

After the recent rainfall I thought I'd wander along Cradle Lane today to see whether it had been damaged by horses or motorcycles. It hadn't but it was impassable at its southern end as you can see from this image. Yes the mud is way over ankle deep, occupies the full width of the track and extends for several hundred yards. I could take an offroad motorcycle along the track and I'm sure that some horses could be persuaded to get their feet wet by a strong rider but on foot you'd need waders.

No change then in the last 100 years or so despite spending vast amounts of public money making the ford and northern section suitable for motorised traffic shortly before banning most motorised traffic.

Despite this being the height of summer Cradle Lane is little more than an expensive dead end for the hordes of city dwellers who were to be encouraged to bring their wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters along the almost paved path; they won't get further south than the river until the next drought or when hell (and Cradle Lane) freezes over.

Kingsley Parish Council - Tuesday 24th

Kingsley Parish Council will meet in the Kingsley Centre this Tuesday 24th, at 7.30pm.


1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence: District Councillor David Ascroft
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 June 2012
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning

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

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

37484/001 & 002 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
53984/FUL/AE Unit 8 Kingsley Business Park Gu35 9LY
Change of use from Light industry (B1) to car repairs (B2)

New application:
34068/002 Land to the south of Periwinkle Cottage, Main road, Kinglsey
Change of use of land for stationing of a mobile home for residential purposes for single gypsy pitch with associated hard standing and utility shed

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

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 consider the quotation for works on Upper Green
To consider the quotation for works on Lower 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
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

18. District Councillor: No report
19.  Procedures, Finance and Payments
To consider providing a financial contribution towards a Community Notice board to be erected outside the Kingsley Centre
Internet Banking: To receive an update
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept

Date of Next Meeting:  Thursday 27th September 2012 - 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Boys and girls

As the reader will appreciate, my time in Kingsley was spent well in advance of the concept of political correctness and The Health and Safety Act, much abused by idiots, had not been conceived. Life was very different and there was  much more freedom, both in speech and actions, back then. I often wonder how we all survived. If viewed by today’s standards much of what we did, as the daily norm, could not exist. For a start boys did what boys did and girls likewise. It was not the norm for girls to join in with the boys, they played girly games based upon dolls, nurses etc whilst the boys played soldiers, cowboys and Indians and went birds nesting etc. In fact, the then, common verse summed it up rather nicely. Sugar and spice and all things nice, that is what little girls are made of. Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, that is what little boys are made of. I can't imagine such a ditty being acceptable in today’s classrooms! Be that as it may, there was a clear divide between the activities of the two sexes.

Boys went about in groups, I hesitate to call them gangs as to do so would, no doubt, convey an altogether false image based upon modern images of thugs and thuggery associated with gangs. Although the groups in Kingsley were roughly based upon the two council house estates, Gold Hill and Woodfield, there was never any aggression or nastiness between the two. In fact the groups were often blurred by members of one joining in with the activities of the other. It all worked rather well and without conflict. I suspect this was due to much more discipline in both the home and schools  and the ever present village policeman. The policeman knew us all and had a pretty good idea of what was going on within his village. You didn’t mess with him.

Perhaps even more surprising was the array of implements we carried and used on a daily basis. Many of which would not be permitted today and for the most part would be designated as offensive weapons. For example, bows and arrows, catapults, air rifles and pistols and knives various. Wooden spears and pea shooters were produced and carried by most boys at some time or another. As far as I was concerned, my first gun was an air gun which fired corks. Air pistols and Dianna or Webley air rifles followed at various stages as I grew up. Pen Knives and sheath knives were readily available and carried most of the time. We had knives for cutting sticks, whittling, skinning and filleting and all manner of other uses, but none, absolutely none of those uses were of a violent nature. I never knew of a single occasion when a knife, or indeed any other weapon was used against a person or in anger. Quite simply this sort of behavior did not exist within our community. Why? simple, because we had all been brought up to respect such implements and taught how to use them properly. All had valid uses in a rural setting. We were also in no doubt that one breach of the accepted standards would not only result in the wrath of God descending upon us, but, these our most cherished possessions,would have been removed from us with little chance of them being returned. It will be appreciated that we did not have televisions, computers and the mind boggling range of electronic games which are now available to modern children. It followed, therefore, that those possessions which we did have were treasured and not put at risk of removal. For the most part our playground was the great outdoors and many of our most popular toys had to be made from materials which were to be found in the hedges and woods.

Pea shooters were seasonal as they were produced from the hollow stems of cow parsley. A straight length of the stem, about five inches long, was cut from the plant and each end of the shooter was cut square. Peas were not used, we used the buds of the hawthorn bush. These tight little buds would be picked from their umbrella like clusters and stripped of their stems. These were then placed in the mouth and forced out through the tube of the pea shooter by blasts of air from the mouth. The little buds would come out under some pressure and could be directed quite accurately in any direction. Not dangerous in themselves, the production of pea shooters carried with them a considerable danger to the unwary or ill trained country boy. It was vital, when selecting the stem to be used,that the right plant was chosen. Although, thankfully, it never occurred in Kingsley there were usually reports in the press of boys dying as a result of selecting the stems of the very poisonous hemlock plants as their pea shooter. Placed into their mouths the poison soon did its deadly work. It is difficult, when you know the plants concerned, to understand how anyone could make such a mistake. Hemlock, although not entirely, is more of a water side plant. It also has quite clear red / crimson spots upon its stems. Unlike the cow parsley stems, which are ridged, the hemlock stems are smooth. Notwithstanding all of these factors most years reports of tragedies appeared. Pea shooters no longer being the playthings they once were such matters are a now thing of the past.

Catapults  occupied much time in their construction as it was necessary to locate a suitable branch of appropriate size with an even fork. The fork was required to be about four to five inches long on each side and the handle below was generally a hands width. Probably about four inches. Hazel trees were much favoured for catapults but ash was also good and very hard. Having selected a suitable forked stick, the tops of each fork were carefully slit with a knife to a depth of about an inch. Into these slits the catapult elastic would be placed. The end of each side of the elastic would be bent back to form a small loop and the resulting double strands would be stretched until they could be pulled down into the slits. The loop would be on the side of the fork away from pulling side. Once the doubled elastic had been placed into the slit the loop end expanded back to its former size and thus prevented itself from being pulled through the slit when the catapult was in use. the slit above and below the elastic would then be tightly bound by string or cord to prevent the slit from extending down the fork and the elastic from working its way out of the top. This, of course was the same on each side of the fork. The two lengths of elastic would them be cut at the preferred length and each side would them be looped through a piece of leather and bound on each side to form a pouch, this formed the receptacle from which missiles could be launched. Pebbles were the preferred ammo but any stone could be used. These little weapons could be surprisingly accurate and had a considerable range. We used them mostly for shooting at tin cans and bottles and other static targets. Unfortunately we would also use them to target small birds but our success rate was never very good. The other delight was to use the catapult to skim pebbles across the surface of the pond. By getting down low and firing the pebble to hit the water surface at not too steep an angle, a considerable number of bounces could be achieved as it sped across the water. Great fun!

Bows and arrows were much used toys and again the preferred wood for our bows was the hazel. Long, straight and of even thickness, the hazel was ideal. A length of several feet would be selected, on to this a groove at each end of the stick would be cut about an inch from the end. The groove would be cut on the slant in order, that when bent and strung, the string would be at the right angle and not slide from its position. Arrows were made from small straight branches, again mostly hazel. However there was a large clump of Yellow Rod plants that had, no doubt, been thrown out from a garden which grew on the scrub land below the pub. (Cricketers). This area was between the pub and the stream and was just sort of common in those days, there were a few trees as well as brambles etc. Anyway, the dried stems of the Yellow Rod which were left after the plant had flowered dried up at the end of the summer made very straight and light arrows. About eighteen inches in length, a two inch nail would be pushed down into the pithy core of the stem at widest end. This added a necessary weight to the otherwise very light shaft. The pointed end of the nail went into the shaft and the blunt end was flush with the end of the arrow. These were remarkably good arrows and groups of boys could often been seen gathering these much prized stems.

Hazel being, for the most part, long and straight also provided the shafts for both spears and thumb sticks.The spears were used as toys for our regular games of cowboys and Indians. Although they were thrown by the "Indians" at the cowboys and their wagon trains they were not aimed at individuals. Having said that, on one unfortunate occasion, a misplaced throw of my spear resulted in Lorralie (?) Haydon receiving a blow to the side of her forehead. The incident, bad enough as it was, was made even worse for me by the fact that the poor girl arrived in school for the next week or so with a huge bandage around her head and forehead. My humiliation was complete, all whom asked were, correctly, advised that Derek Yeomans had done it!!! Horror of horrors, I have never forgotten it.

Our sticks were carved in all manner of designs which were made by cutting shapes out of the bark of the wood. This enabled the white wood below the bark to highlight the circles, triangles, bands and zig zags which we cut into the darker bark. Sometimes a stick would be shaved completely and no bark at all left upon the shaft but this was not the norm.

More of such matters in a future edition.

Kingsley Parish Council TUESDAY 24th

Exceptionally, the date for the July meeting of Kingsley Parish Council has been brought forward to:-

7:30pm, Tuesday 24th July 2012 in the Kingsley Centre

Thursday, 5 July 2012

South of Periwinkle Cottage

This application 34068/002 seeking permission for


is marked as open for consultation until 1st August

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Postcard from Berlin

As I'm currently in Berlin I can't post new articles on the blog (well, apart from this one obviously; and any others I make later, or in the next few days) so unfortunately you'll all have to find stuff out by yourselves.

Sorry about that.

Of course, if you wanted to post something yourself that would be ok or you could text me juicy gossip and I could post it for you.

Or you could ignore the blog until I get back. Whatever makes you happy.