Tuesday 29 April 2014

European elections next month

Do you already know who you'll vote for next month? If so it's probably Nigel Farage (or perhaps Daniel Hannan). What makes me think that? Well here's the list of candidates, go on admit it, you've never heard of any of them have you?

On what basis will you vote? Will you carefully examine the manifestos of each of the parties, or the track records of the candidates? Perhaps you'll employ some tribal thinking : "I always vote Labour"; "I'm worried about climate change so I'll vote Green".

I was going to complain about the lack of campaign info about the election but I've just seen an election broadcast by the Green party. Unfortunately, they're led by that awful Australian woman so no-one's going to vote Green apart from the diehard "science is settled" mob.

Surely we should all vote for Jean-Louis Pascual, no?

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Kingsley Parish Council, Thursday 24th

Kingsley Parish Council will meet on Thursday, 24th April 2014 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 Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing Presentation from Catherine Kirkham, Rural Housing Enablers working for Community Action Hampshire 5. Approval of Minutes of the Meeting held on 27th March 2014 6. Matters Arising 7. Planning Applications Applications ongoing: Enforcement Appeal EC/51617/002 Land West of, Sickles Lane, Kingsley, Alton 30633/024 Grooms Farm, Frith End Road, Frith End, Bordon, GU35 0QR Ancillary building for events associated with existing hotel, together with landscaping, parking works (including waste water treatment plant) and retention of frith end quarry haul road for access to the site and hotel 22959/005 Unit 4, Kingsley Business Park, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LY Change of use from B1 and B8 to B2 use (general industry) 20136/047 LMC Sleaford Garage, Farnham Road, Bordon, GU35 0QP Extension to part rear, part side workshop and parts storage building; enabling removal of existing ad hoc detached storage buildings and containers (revised application including Flood Risk Assessment and Highway information further to 20136/045) 52947/002 Land to the East of Kingsley Sports Club, Sickles Lane, Kingsley, Alton Installation of 5mw photovoltaic (solar) farm with associated equipment 30663/025 Grooms Farm, Frith End Road, Frith End, Bordon, GU35 0QR Display of 5x non illuminated directional signs 55450 Area 1 and 2 Kingsley Quarry, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon Variation of condition 3 (working scheme) of planning permission F24847/014 (Plans available to view on the HCC website) Appeal: APP/M1710/A/14/2214126 Appeal by: Mr Dragjoshi Land south and east of Service Station, Farnham Road, Bordon New applications: 24601/042 Country Market Osborne Farms, Main Road, Kingsley, Bordon, GU35 9LW Roof mounted PV solar array 8. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel To receive an update from Cllr Pearson 9. Transport, Highways and Road Safety Road Safety: To receive an update from Cllr Rigden 10. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way Upper Green: To receive an update from Cllr Rigden 11. Community Resilience To receive an update from Cllr Pearson 12. Environment and Biodiversity To receive an update from Cllr Scrivener 13. Sports, Recreation and Leisure Allotments: To receive an update from Cllr Rigden 14. Kingsley Village Forum To receive an update from Cllr Pearson 15. Parish Plan To receive an update from Cllr Rigden 16. Housing, Business & Commerce Parish representative on Whitehill and Bordon regeneration consultative tier To receive an update from Cllr Rigden 17. Communications 18. District Councillor 19. Procedures, Finance and Payments Payments to be made & Accounts to accept Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council - Thursday 22nd May 2013 - 8.00 pm at the Kingsley Centre   The Annual General Meeting will be held prior to the Monthly Parish Meeting at 7:30pm

Thursday 10 April 2014

Old bangers

Having passed my driving test at the age of eighteen I became eligible to drive upon the roads having previously been restricted to driving tractors and farm vehicles around the farm and fields of Old Park Farm. At that time the farm was host to an agricultural student called Tim and Tim's field of expertise was machinery. Tim and I became great friends and his knowledge of how things worked proved to be a God send as far as I was concerned. Machinery and I have never been particularly harmonious bed fellows! It proved to be, again and again, that Tim would revive the particular old banger I happened to own at the time. These, dear reader, were the days before M.O.T tests had been thought of and consequently one could own and drive almost any old heap that moved. Most old cars in those days were seriously affected by rust which would, inconveniently, rot away all sorts of bits of body work both visible and out of sight. As a result of this we spent much time and money engaged in filling holes with fibreglass resin and various plastic fillers. Smoothed down and sprayed over these substances restored holes in the body work of rust heaps to something vaguely resembling normality. In some cases the vehicles had almost as much filler as it did good metal.

My chief source of supply for the many old bangers that I had the dubious privilege to own was Broxhead Motors. This garage and car sales was located where the road which leaves the A325 at Sleaford, and goes up and over Broxhead Common, meets the B3002 Bordon / Lindford road. The garage was located into the left on an area known as Broxhead Farm. The establishment was owned by Jock Watt, a fairly small man whom had taken up the garage trade having left the army. To say Jock stocked many vehicles at the lower end of the trade, is being both polite and generous in one's description. That said, Jocks vehicles met exactly the market niche that I, as part of the young Kingsley motor buying public, aspired to. I have little doubt if Tim and I had not relieved Jock of the vehicles we bought from him they would have found their way to the scrap heap.

For the most part the cost of these wonders would not exceed thirty or forty pounds and one, a Vauxhall Velox V6 I secured for just five pounds. But more of that later. Jock was a decent fellow, thirty or forty pounds was then a lot of money and on a weekly wage of ten or twelve pounds young men did not have that sort of spare cash to splash out. Hire purchase had not been invented, or if it had, I don't recall it being in wide use in or around Kingsley at the time. Jock, therefore, was decent enough to provide his own form of extended credit to us. The arrangement was the buyer gave him what they could afford and dropped the balance off in weekly installments until the full amount had been paid. Jock provided a payment card upon which was entered each payment. These were not fixed, one simply paid what one could. In a week, for example, when overtime had been done Jock got a bigger payment. He was very relaxed about the whole thing and trust played a major part in the dealings we had with him. Jock would often put right or repair the many minor problems that were commonly associated with the quality of vehicle we purchased from him. All in all the relationship worked well and I and other friends continued to patronise Jock's establishment , no doubt, to our mutual benefit.

It should be remembered that young men of eighteen, by and large, had discovered the delights of young ladies. It, therefore, followed that any serious pursuer of the fairer sex required a set of wheels in order to enhance his pulling potential. It was, based upon this, most serious of matters, that Jock's on going trade with us was secured.

My first purchase from Jock was an Austin A30 Somerset, a fairly large black vehicle. Of course, most cars were black in those days. This beast attracted me the moment I got into it and for no other reason than the row of square dials across the dash board, Petrol gauge, battery gauge, oil pressure gauge and a fourth meter of some kind which I now cannot recall. However, it seemed to me that this display of high tech was most important if not vital, I bought the car. I don't recall how long we stayed together but from day one this object of my desire proved to be troublesome. There was obviously something seriously wrong with the electrics as fuses blew with alarming regularity. This problem Tim ingeniously overcame. Most of us smoked in those days and inside the cigarette packet the solution to the fuse problem was to be found. Tim would simply take out the silver foil which wrapped the cigs and roll this into a fuse shaped cylinder and push it into the fuse holder. This had the great advantage that it did not blow and consequently lasted much longer than the proper fuse. What impact this had on the safety of the vehicle I have no idea but we didn't come to any harm as a result. The other common defect which seemed to plague our vehicles was the exhaust systems. These seemed to rot out as fast, if not faster, than the bodywork of the cars. The A30 was no exception and on one occasion its exhaust system gave up the ghost and dropped off right outside Alton Police station when it was at its old location on the left just before the Butts. Tim and two girlfriends were on board when this catastrophe struck. Tim was somehow able to jam the system in place long enough to allow us to remove ourselves from the attentions of the police. It didn't last long and having dropped off again, the vehicle sounded like a Lancaster bomber. My next purchase was the Vauxhall Velox V6 which proved to be the rust heap to end all rust heaps. Having bought the car for five pounds and found it went like a rocket, I was really quite keen on it. The huge six cylinder engine was, for the whole time I owned it, trouble free. This magnificent brute had a column gear change and a bench front seat, very well suited to a cosy drive with the girl of your dreams. However, it didn't take long to discover the rust problem. Actually, Vauxhall cars in general, had a major rust problem in those days. The car was a dark maroon colour and the rather scalloped orange trim to the bottom of all four doors should have alerted me to the possibility of a greater rust problem lurking out of sight. But having heard the throb of the engine and seen the large leather seats and experienced the smooth change of the of the column gear lever and felt the horse like kick when the accelerator was pushed, this set of wheels had to be mine. Shortly after the purchase had been completed Tim casually commented that the vehicle seemed to be crabbing. Crabbing, what on earth is that? Not running squarely I was told, one side at the rear was lower than the other and, therefore, the car travelled in a crab like way. Tim's investigation revealed a rear spring attachment had broken through the floor of the car and thus it was now uneven. The demon rust! No matter, I was told, Tim would simply weld a plate of metal over the offending area and with the aid of a jack he would restore the car to its former level state. This he did after several abortive attempts. The problem being, the rust had taken over large areas of the floor, and finding metal solid enough to weld a plate to was a major challenge. Challenge or not Tim achieved, what to me, would have been the impossible. My pride and joy was now once again crab less and ready to go. Go she did and I kept her for, what in those days, was a long time for a car. I suppose the next notable event worthy of record in the history of the Velox occurred one summer evening when I was taking my girlfriend, the future Mrs. Yeomans, on a drive to an old shepherd's inn. This wonderful old inn was located in the downs just south of Harting. To get to it you drive up Harting Hill, (I think East Harting, could be west ), and having gone over the summit there is a turning to the left which takes one on to a lane, which goes right down between the hills to the location of the pub at the end of the lane. A dead end. The pub in those days was unspoiled and was used by the numerous shepherds whom worked the downs back then. Sadly I don't recall the name of the pub. We did go back once many years later and it had been completely "improved". It was rumoured that on a Friday night the pub remained open for as long as the sheep men wanted to stay. This was in an era when licensing times were rigidly enforced and police officers regularly appeared at closing time in order to catch offenders. But, of course, I could not possibly confirm if these allegations were indeed correct. I have, however been in the premises when many shepherds have been present and remained, after I had left, quite near to the closing hour. The pub then featured inglenook fires and the floors were all of flag stones and I suppose the best way to describe it is to say it had a very Hardy-esque feel about it.

But back to the car, as we made our way down the lane towards the pub we encountered a rider upon a large horse coming in our direction. The lane being very narrow there was not a lot of room to spare. Pulling into the side as far as I could I stopped the car and waited for the horse and rider to pass. As the animal reached the gap between the car and the off side bank it reared up on to its back legs and brought its front feet down on to the bull nosed bonnet of the Velox. The young lady on the horse remained in the saddle and regained control of her horse. She was most distressed at the sight of the dent which the horse had made. She clearly had visions of paying for damage. However, I reassured her that the vehicle had little value and I dined out on the tale for some time thereafter. Oh, and the claim culture had not been dreamed up for the benefit of lawyers then, people were rather more civilised in their dealings with one another.

The Velox and I remained partners for some time after this event but parted company after I had been stopped upon the Christchurch bypass by a motorcycle police officer when I was visiting my girlfriend who then lived in those parts. During our discussions I was asked where I came from and when I told the officer Kingsley he began telling me of his brothers motorcycle business in Alton. By chance and not a little good fortune, my father, a motorcyclist, had bought his latest motorcycle from this officer's brother. Upon revealing this the officer became very friendly and I think, at that point, decided not to "nick" me.

Instead he told me that he had pulled me over because the vehicle was crabbing! Crabbing, what was that I asked? Patiently the officer, no doubt thinking I was a complete idiot, explained to me in almost the same words as Tim had used many moons earlier. I would, I assured him, take the car to the breakers as I had been considering moving it on. Much to my relief he let me go on my way, not least as I was a Special at the time! Finally, the base plate Tim had put in place, had given up the will to live as the floor crumbled once again. The following week my dear old, rusty, Velox went to the breakers and I went back to Jock for the next car. Motoring has never been the same since!

Friday 4 April 2014

Telephone scams

Trading Standards advise residents to be on the alert to suspicious unsolicited telephone calls.  In recent reported cases the caller purports to be a Police officer.  The caller asks questions about  home security and personal circumstances.  Attempts are made to book appointments for home visits to discuss Police burglar alarms or loft insulation.  When the resident becomes suspicious and makes enquiries about the caller, they hang up.

Trading Standards would advise consumers never to give out personal details over the phone, and not to entertain visits from callers who make unsolicited telephone calls.  The Police do not sell burglar alarms or loft insulation, and will not operate in this way.  Advice would be not to get into conversation with this type of caller which includes similar telephone calls from ‘Banks’, and to report the matter to Trading Standards or to the Police.

Trading Standards would also advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call or via a leaflet drop. Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.

Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair.  All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing buy.with.confidence@hants.gov.uk or via the website www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 7 day cooling off period.  Work should not commence until this period has ended, unless written agreement is obtained from that consumer beforehand.

If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council's

Quick Response Team on 01962 833666
(Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs)
where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.

If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service
Montgomery House  Monarch Way
Winchester  Hampshire  SO22 5PW
Tel: 01962 833620
Fax: 01962 833698  
E-mail: doorstep.crime@hants.gov.uk

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Bells in Kingsley

Following the piece in the Kings World on bellringing so many people from Kingsley have applied to become bellringers that the Ringing Foundation has agreed to provide matching funds to build a new tower at All Saints, Kingsley!

This will be the first new tower in the district since 1897 when St Matthews' tower was built in Blackmoor and is a very exciting project. The tower will contain a ring of six to replace the current three chimes and on completion Punch Taverns have agreed to change the name of The Cricketers Inn to The Six Bells.

If funding proceeds in an orderly fashion the new tower and bells will be complete in time for Easter 2016.