Friday, 30 November 2012

16 Woodfield, Kingsley

This application, 54712, seeking permission for


is marked as open for consultation until 28th December

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Carols in Kingsley

It's that time of year again and this year we have not one but two carol concerts in Kingsley.

This Sunday, 2nd December at 4pm, the place to be is All Saints church in the centre of the village.

Next Sunday, 9th December at 2pm, St Nicholas church near the Bakers Corner junction.

I can't attend either as I shall be off to London to watch my wife (and the Worldham Choir) (and several other choirs) sing MESSIAH FROM SCRATCH at the Royal Albert Hall and next weekend we'll be in Staffordshire attending the Annual convention of the UK Iron Butt Association.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stolen statue

Please keep an eye out for this statue that has been stolen from a property near Alton at the end of last week. If you see this anywhere for sale then please report it to Police. It is a large garden statue made of bronze.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Michael Mates doesn't get it

That should have been the title of this report.

Anyone watching Mr Hayes' and Mr Mates' speeches at the count can see for themselves one reason why he lost; what a grumpy miserable whinge. This week's Bordon Herald reports that in a letter to the electorate (but not to me apparently) he complains

"It's rather galling to have won comfortably ... and then to stand by and watch while the Labour and Liberal Democrat voters were given a second chance to vote again ... that's coalition politics for you - foisting on us all an unfamiliar and flawed system whereby the people's second choice is declared the winner."

No, Mr Mates, you did not win comfortably: 80,000 wanted Mr Hayes, 65,000 wanted you and 65,000 wanted someone else. That's 140,000 people who expressly didn't want you. No, the Labour and Liberal Democrats didn't get to "vote again", they just didn't want you. The "coalition politics" is what you get when not enough people want to elect Conservative candidates, that's your fault, not the fault of the electorate, nor of the voting system.

As for the unfamiliar and flawed system; presumably the flaw of which you speak is that the system failed to elect the Conservative candidate?  Did you happen to notice that the same "flaw" also defeated John Prescott in Humberside?

Having "fought 9 elections over 40 years", I would have expected you to be rather more clued up on how to win this one, according to the actual rules of this election rather than some longed-for Valhalla under which only Conservative candidates can win. I'm disappointed though unsurprised.

I'm not disappointed that you didn't win the election and I wish you a long and happy retirement.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Trees: Elms, Poplars, Oaks

Nothing stays the same and this is never more true when considering how much Kingsley and its landscape have changed over the years since I was a boy in the village.
The most dramatic and, indeed, speedy change occurred as a result of Dutch Elm Disease. This wiped out twenty million elms within a decade in the UK. As far as Kingsley was concerned there had been a large and healthy elm tree presence before the disease struck. The mature elms, of which I speak, were nothing if not magnificent. They were huge both in girth and height and, of course, provided homes for a vast range of wildlife. The trees were scattered all around the vale between Kingsley and Worldham, over into Oakhanger and across the fields towards Buckshorn Oak and beyond. They were an integral part of the landscape, huge and gentle upon the eye.
Readers might recall an earlier article regarding the pond which was filled in beside Alice Holt Forest where I used to go and watch various wildlife. On the east of that pond the, raised up, causeway had a whole row of huge elms upon it. The road out of Kingsley from Dean Farm towards Bakers Corner had lots of huge elms on either side,and beyond where the railway bridge once was,there were some of the biggest specimens. On the right hand side up to the Bakers Corner junction the bank had a large elm every few yards and on the junction itself and up the old lane towards St Nicolas church there were many of them. I suppose the most staggering thing about Dutch Elm Disease was just how quickly it hit those trees and caused their destruction. Much was written about the disease in the press and those of us who lived in Kingsley were well aware that it was around. But, somehow, those huge trees seemed almost invincible to me and I really did not believe they could be wiped out as was being stated widely.
How wrong I was. First of all their leaves began to wilt and then discolour and gradually the whole tree was in a sorry state. Once the tree was infected there was no hope for it and before long it was cut down. I have no idea if the timber of an infected tree was still useable. I suppose the trees had to come down as a large dead elm would probably have been a major danger. Any way down they came and in a few months the face of Kingsley had changed and probably changed for ever. I recall that a great deal of research was carried out into the disease at the Forestry Commission’s Alice Holt research station but I have no idea if healthy elms will ever grace our countryside again. Anyone not knowing what a mature elm looked like or the impact it made upon the countryside can get a pretty good idea by looking at the many Constable prints that exist and feature elms. The Haywain being just one of them. It is probably the fact that elms were so wide spread and impressive,(before the disease), that Constable featured them in his work.
The other trees which played a major part in the lives of small boys in Kingsley were the poplars which were on either side of the railway line in both directions and in varying lengths between Bentley and Bordon stations. Our particular group was between Kingsley Halt and the Kingsley Mill bridge. The railway authorities pollarded the poplars at about six or eight feet of height and this caused them to clump. From that point the new growth that followed would send up thin new stems which were left to grow for a few years before being cut back again to the original pollarding point. I have no idea why the railways went to so much trouble when the trees could have been left to do their own thing. However, I am sure there must have been a reason I just don’t know what it was. From a boys point of view there were many benefits which, no doubt, the railway people were just as unaware of. These benefits came in the form of providing wonderful nesting sites for a number of birds. Where the trees had been pollarded the clump that followed and the new shoots sprouting from it provided good cover and a secure location. As the trees aged many of them developed hollow areas which attracted other birds which preferred to nest in holes. Little Owls for example. In addition Stock Doves and Pigeons with an occasional Jackdaw also used the poplars for their nesting sites. The trees themselves were not without beauty as their leaves were a dark green on one side and a silver colour on the other. This resulted in an attractive rippling effect when the wind was blowing and also a characteristic rustling noise.
After the loss of the elms, the most significant trees in the fields around the village were, of course, the oaks and these gnarled giants provided sanctuary for a whole host of life forms, birds, insects, butterflies and moths. Our attentions centered primarily upon the birds and those were predominately crows which nested high in the branches of the oaks. There were a number of old oaks on the right hand side of the old lane beyond St Nicolas Church,towards Binsted,which had hollow areas in them and these, (still there), usually housed owls and or jackdaws each season.
Other trees of importance to us were Hazels and Chestnut each provided nuts, and as previously mentioned, the Hazel all manner of implements for little boys.
Since beginning this article the Ash tree has come under attack from some foreign virus and the predictions for its future are gloomy. The Ash in and around Kingsley provided us with sticks to make into walking sticks, this, because of its great strength. Ash had traditionally been used for wheel spokes and tool handles, again because of the strength of the wood. It would appear that yet again our wonderful politicians have done nothing and the problem is now at an advanced state. I suppose our rural areas will once again be subjected to dramatic change as the Ash tree follows the Elm into obscurity. I started this piece by writing, nothing stays the same, having written the last couple of sentences, it occurs to me that, actually, there is one thing that remains pretty constant. Our politicians remain just about as useless and ineffectual as they always did!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Kingsley Parish Council - Thursday 22nd

Kingsley Parish Council will this Thursday, 22nd November 2012 in the Kingsley Centre at 7.30pm.


1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
2. Apologies for Absence
Cllr Linda McCorkindale

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 25th October 2012
6. Matters Arising
7. Planning
Applications ongoing:
34313/017 Oak Tree Farm, Gibbs Lane, Shortheath Common Bordon GU35 9JS

38992/004 Dunroaming, Shortheath Common
Detached Single Storey Dwelling and Detached Plant room and Garden Store….

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

New applications:
24601/036 Country Market Osborne Farms, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LW
Provision of prefabricated toilet facilities unit for car boot sales event

22947/001 Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane, Kingsley, Alton
Solar Farm

8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
To receive an update from Cllr Croucher
To review the reservation of burial plots

9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
To receive an update from Cllr Lazenby

11. Community Resilience
12. Environment and Biodiversity
13. Sports, Recreation and Leisure
14. Kingsley Village Forum   
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

To receive an update from Cllr Scrivener

18. District Councillor
19. Procedures, Finance and Payments
To review the clerk contract of employment
To consider the purchase of a new cupboard for Parish Council papers
To consider an increase to the donation made to Kingsley Centre for use of the meeting room
To agree the budget 2013/2014
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept

    Date of Next Meeting  - Thursday 24th January 2013 - 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre 

Country Market Osborne Farms polytunnel

This application, 24601/038, seeking permission for


is marked as open for consultation until 18th December

Friday, 16 November 2012

Election cockup

Well who'd have thunk?

Simon Hayes (Independent) won and is the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire. The votes were as follows:-

Candidate1st Preference2nd PreferenceTotal votes
Michael Mates52,61613,18865,804
Simon Hayes47,63233,03780,669
Jacqui Rayment38,813
David Goodhall27,197
Don Jerrard24,443
Stephen West21,185

The first problem is that 52,000 people who were just completely unable to control their urge to vote Conservative will not understand how their man didn't win. Some of them will blame the LibDems, some will blame UKIP or the EU, some will just bang on for years about how the idiot in charge got it all wrong.

Now let's consider some of the more interesting statistics:

Turnout: 15% On those rare occasions when elections are held for parish councils they usually manage 20%

A total of 5,595 ballots were rejected including:-

1,904 "Voting for more than one candidate as to the first preference vote"
1,900 "Unmarked as to the first preference vote"
1,733 "Void for Uncertainty"

You see? those who rejected AV last year on the grounds that it's too complicated for thick English voters knew what they were talking about.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dinsdale on the mend

Dinsdale is back with us after his trip to Bristol on Friday. He is very much on the mend and has retained all four limbs, though bearing a significant amount of embroidery at present. He is eating well and keeping himself clean and the surgeon expects him to make a full recovery over time. They did manage to remove all of the lead fragments and these are now with the RSPCA for further analysis.

Michael Mates carpetbagger

During a trawl of the BBC news site this morning I came across this item pointing out that Michael Mates is the only candidate who doesn't live in Hampshire and he's had to rent a flat in Winchester to make his candidacy legal - but only for nine months apparently.

"I'm perfectly prepared to rent a flat, I'm prepared to make that investment for nine months - and quite a considerable investment - because I really want to do this job." He said he had stayed in the flat on "a number of occasions" and would live there if he was voted into the post. "We have taken the flat, we have put furniture in there, put some of our possessions in there - it is perfectly legal to have two residences," he said.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Time to call it

I've been giving some thought to who I shall vote for in Thursday's election and my reasoning is as below. Feel free to disagree with me and vote for whoever most tickles your fancy but you should at least drag yourself down to the Kingsley Centre and make some sort of mark on a ballot paper.

I don't think we should be voting on a party political basis in this election. Political parties are all the same, they promote "politicians" and what we want is an individual capable of making up his/her own mind and getting on with the business of policing, not more bloody politics.

I don't know any of the candidates apart from Michael Mates who I've met and been unimpressed by so I'll start by dismissing him. He's also the Conservative candidate and well past his sell-by date so ruling him out is what most rational people will do anyway.

David Goodall's election statement begins by telling us how bad the Conservatives, Labour and UKIP are and concludes with a rather bland "I'm a project manager and a local councillor". Just another would be politician.

Don Jerrard and Stephen West look like minority sport weirdos to me so it's between Jacqui Rayment and Simon Hayes both of whom appear well qualified.  Rayment's photo makes her look a bit weird and she's the Labour party candidate but on balance I think I'll vote for her.

Don't forget that this uses the hugely confusing and complicated Supplementary Vote System so I'm actually going to vote 

First preference = Jacqui Rayment
Second preference = Simon Hayes

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Dinsdale shot

Meet Dinsdale, a silly ginger fluffball with a character several times his, admittedly substantial, size. Those in the village having made his acquaintance will testify that he is gentle soul, quick to purr and trusting to a fault. Yesterday afternoon he was shot at close range with an air rifle by person or persons unknown at the rear of our house and is currently under the care of those wonderful people at the Cedars Veterinary Surgery in Alton. He is stable at present,  though heavily sedated, with a nasty injury to his lower jaw and a similarly nasty multiple fracture to his shoulder. He will be making the journey to Bristol on Friday to meet an expert orthopaedic surgeon who will attempt to remove a number of large pellet fragments, one of which is lodged in the fracture. If he is lucky he may remain a quadruped – very lucky that is.

Both the Police and the RSPCA are taking a keen interest and would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed anyone hunting with an air rifle recently in the vicinity of Inverallen the adjacent yard and the allotment area. Police Constable Louisa Whatmore is managing the case and may be contacted either via email at or by dialling 101. I will update further if we discover any more about the  particular circumstances in this case but in the meantime Please be very careful with your cherished pets.

There is a special place in hell reserved for those who offer cruelty to animals, and for the particular individual concerned  I would gladly hold open the door.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Police and crime commissioner

You've forgotten about it already even if you were aware in the first place but two weeks from today you'll be expected to vote for one of the six candidates for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire.

That link provides access to the candidates own statements but I include below google search links for each so you can also read what they don't want to tell you themselves.