Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

GUNS

Of course the world has changed dramatically since my childhood days in Kingsley. Many of the things we did as children have been banned by useless politicians who resort to banning as the first port of call when anything goes wrong. Experience tells the world at large that the banning policy never actually works. In the case of guns, it is now, not possible to legally own a pistol in the U.K. if you are an ordinary citizen. Problem solved, well not quite, as there is now more gun crime involving pistols than there ever was before the ban was imposed. The only people inconvenienced have been lawful gun owners whom held licensed weapons. Criminals don’t apply for licenses or ` obey the law, sadly politicians don’t seem to understand this simple truth. I have never had, nor do I want to own a pistol. Just in case anyone thought I was banging the drum as a disgruntled ex-pistol club member or something similar. The point being that the only people inconvenienced by the banning culture are ordinary decent and law abiding citizens, banning makes not a jot of difference to the criminal fraternity.

So, as far as I, and many of my childhood friends were concerned, we began our association with guns at an early age. In those days western films featuring cowboys and Indians were all the rage and consequently most little boys had toy guns and holsters just like their cowboy heroes. These, quite fancy, pistols fired caps which made a crack rather than a bang. They did not discharge any sort of missile. The first gun I had that actually shot something from its barrel was a very basic pistol. Known in those days as a pop gun, it had some sort of plunger. A cork was pushed into the end of the guns barrel and when the trigger was pulled the plunger was released and the cork fired by the compressed air which had been released into the barrel. The cork left the gun with a loud pop, hence the name of the gun. All very harmless but it was the beginning of the process of teaching us the correct way to handle guns. Even with such a harmless toy, the principles of gun handling were rammed home to me by my parents. In short, you never, ever point a gun at a person. This simple rule was drummed into me and, I am sure, my mates. There were no half measures, break this rule and the wrath of God would have descended upon you. So it was that those of us that had guns learned to handle them safely and with respect, I do not recall a single accident or injury involving a gun in Kingsley during the whole of the time I lived there.

From pop guns most of us acquired an air gun. These came, in those days, in two forms, pistols and rifles. The operating principles were much the same in that the barrel was broken and pulled back to compress air in a cylinder which was released after the barrel had been closed and the trigger pulled. Thus a lead pellet was fired. Depending upon the size and power of the individual weapon a pellet could be fired quite a long way and with enough force to kill rats, birds, squirrels and rabbits etc. As children (and with a resident village Policeman) we were able to wander around with our air rifles unhindered. Just imagine the almighty fuss if a child did that today. I am sorry to say, for the most part, we used our rifles to shoot living things and whilst rat shooting was seen as a bit of a service by farmers I regret having shot some of the non-offensive birds which fell victim to us. Although crows, magpies and other egg stealing species were considered fair game.

Later in life as I became a teenager I acquired my first shotgun and was then able to shoot some rather more edible game in the form of rabbits and pigeons with, very occasionally, a stray pheasant. I still have the first twelve bore I owned. This was given to me by my grandfather Charley Gilliam. It is an old hammer gun of extremely dubious condition. The old barrels are worn very thin and there is much slack when the weapon is closed. Beneath the under lever is a washer which grandfather had fixed there in order to take up the slack.There are also other modifications, no doubt, designed to make good the general wear and tear of this old gun. I didn’t fire it many times as, realising that the gun had been made to fire black powder cartridges, I considered the modern nitro cartridges had a very good chance of bursting the barrels. None of this really mattered, the gun was, and is, a treasure for me. For many years it graced the wall above our fireplace in our old Dorset farmhouse, but of course, that is now banned and the gun remains securely locked away in a steel gun cabinet bolted down so as to be immoveable. It was even suggested by the Licensing Officer that I should destroy it!

I doubt very much if the boys of today’s Kingsley are able to wander the fields, woods and commons with any form of air rifle. Sadly, if they did, I expect within a very short time there would be a police armed response team, helicopters overhead and a major incident declared. Without a doubt those of my generation had the best of it, this free and pleasant land of ours is now subject to multitudes of freedom restricting rules and laws all courtesy of politicians whom consistently fail to deal with the real problems and causes of crime and violence. Have things got better or safer, if they have I will eat my hat. Enough said.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Parish Council Thursday 24th

Kingsley Parish Council meets on Thursday, 24th July 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

5. Approval of Minutes of the Meeting held on 26th June 2014
Matters Arising
Encroachment and bins on Sandy Lane
To receive an update by Cllr McCorkindale

6. Planning Applications
Applications ongoing:
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

SHCC/2014/0138 Sandy Bridge Farm, Main Road, Kingsley, GU35 9NQ Variation of condition 1 of planning permission F24847/015/CMA to extend the time period for tipping of inert waste and to revise the final restoration contours

54919 Land at Kingsley Golf Club, Forge Road, Sleaford, Bordon
Retention of access from Kingsley Golf course onto the B3004, erection of gate and close board fencing

Appeal:
APP/M1710/A/14/2214126 Appeal by: Mr Dragjoshi
Land south and east of Service Station, Farnham Road, Bordon

New applications:
24847/031 Sandy Bridge Farm, Main Road, Kingsley, GU35 9NQ
Variation of condition 1 of planning permission F24847/015/CMA to extend the time period for tipping of inert waste and to revise the final restoration contours

7. St Nicholas Cemetery & Cemetery Chapel
8. Transport, Highways and Road Safety
To agree the lengthsman scheme

9. Commons, Village Greens and Rights of Way
Upper Green: To receive an update from Cllr Rigden

10. Community Resilience
11. Environment and Biodiversity
12. Kingsley Village Forum   
13. Housing, Business & Commerce
Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing
To consider housing survey for Kingsley

14. Communications
15. District Councillor
16. Procedures, Finance and Payments
Payments to be made & Accounts to accept

Date of Next Meeting of Kingsley Parish Council -
       Thursday 25th September 2014 - 7.30 pm at the Kingsley Centre 
      

Downsizing the Nevilles

• SALE • SALE • SALE • SALE • SALE •
DOWNSIZING SALE
FURNITURE
SOFAS - TABLES - CHAIRS
SUPER KING BED - MIRRORS - LAMPS
GLASS - CHINA
PAINTINGS - ORNAMENTS
KITCHEN UTENSILS
GARDEN POTS - TOOLS
LADDERS
Crossing Gate Cottage
Sickles Lane, Kingsley, GU35 9PB
Tel: 01420 488912 / 477894


Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July
10am - 4pm daily
• SALE • SALE • SALE • SALE • SALE •

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Oakhanger road closure

Oakhanger Road from its junction with Hartley Lane to its junction with Oakhanger Road/Latchford Lane will be closed from 25th August 2014 for a period of three months to allow South East Water to lay new supply to new property.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Vicars

Readers who have been following my jottings will be aware the church played a significant part in village life during my childhood. The village school was a Church of England School, many children, probably most of us, belonged to the Sunday School and church choir at some time or other. Village events were quite often arranged by groups which included contingents from the Church. This is not to suggest that we were all deeply religious, certainly in my case and many of my friends, this was not the case at all. We attended the various church functions because they were available and, in the absence of anything else, that is what we did. It was also the case that if your friends went you did as well, so I suppose, peer pressure played a part in all of this. Anyway, as a result of the various church activities, I and many of the other village children came into contact on a regular basis with the vicars who served Kingsley.

For most of us that contact would have begun with the visits to the school made by the vicar, during the week, for prayers before lessons began. I don’t recall now how many days a week this occurred, I have a feeling it was probably twice, but it could have been more. It was also common practice then for the vicar of the day to visit parishioners who were sick either at home or in hospital. He, for in those days it was always a male, would also visit the bereaved. I have no idea if this still happens, but it did then.

There was a period during which the village had no appointed vicar and the parish was served by a series of stand-in vicars whom came out of retirement, from Bordon I think, to cover services etc. until a new permanent vicar was appointed. Not having kept a record of the dates, I now have no idea when this was and I am not sure which vicar it was that was eventually appointed. However, during this period there was one vicar that I remember well. He was a little balding man, he wore glasses and was obviously getting on a bit. The reason I remember him was due entirely to his particular style of preaching. He was from, what then, would have been known as the hellfire and brimstone school. His sermons were nothing, if not impressive, and ensured that those present in the congregation listened to what he said. No dozing in the pews when this man was in the pulpit. His sermons could reasonably be described as a bit of a rant but actually I found his presentations quite interesting and he succeeded, well as far as I was concerned, in making the listener think. In preaching terms I imagine that is the objective and therefore he could claim to have done his job well. I have long forgotten this good man’s name but I have often thought of him over the years. So, the period of visiting vicars came to an end and a new incumbent arrived, and here I have a problem, because I don’t recall which of the two village vicars that was. For the most part during my links with the church there were two vicars one was the Rev. Barras,(?)not sure of the spelling, and the other the Rev Jones. Guessing, I tend to think they served in that order but in any event parish records will guide anyone who wishes to establish this point. I will deal with the two of them in the order I have suggested and in the hope that it is the right way around, although, the interest in these two is concerned with the men not the dates when they served.

The Rev. Barras, a bachelor, arrived in Kingsley with his mother whom I think was a widow. She was a pleasant kindly lady and, as would be expected, a regular church attender. The pair took up residence in the vicarage which was opposite and just below the Cricketers. It quickly became clear that the Rev Barras was rather more High Church than his predecessor. I clearly remember the wagging tongues of condemnation amongst the adult community which I came into contact with. Many of whom, it must be said, seldom entered the church. Kingsley, like hundreds of similar rural villages of the time was rather conservative and not a little staid. Therefore the Reverend's form of conducting church business was not universally well received. Indeed, I heard it referred to as "bowing and scraping!. In real terms, it would have been noticed, that the new vicar tended to kiss things around him rather regularly and introduced the incense burner which he waved around during services causing a heavy perfumed smoke to waft all over the place. Previously and for as long back as could be remembered proceedings had been conducted along what was referred to as "Low Church", an all-together more sombre way of doing things and far less theatrical. There were even those that were heard to suggest that things had become rather Catholic and, some I could name, were not impressed. Be that all as it may, the vicar seemed to settle nicely into the village community and its way of life. I learned during my recent visit to the village exhibition in the old school, that he had been instigatory in raising money to provide for new school toilets. No doubt a very well received and welcome contribution at the time. I don’t recall how long Rev. Barras served as the Kingsley vicar but his downfall and departure were as dramatic as they were swift.

Reportedly, the Rev entered a toilet in Alton which had a certain reputation for "goings on". Inside he was said to have propositioned a man who turned out to be an undercover police officer engaged, in what would today, be known as a sting. Arrested and brought before the Courts, the Reverend was in disgrace. I seem to recall a custodial sentence and, of course he was defrocked. It should be remembered that until 1967 when the Sexual Offences Act was passed, all forms of homosexuality were against the law. Not having researched those murky waters in any great depth, I can only imagine that such behaviour in a public toilet would still be against the law. From the start of my life in Kingsley until I left in the late sixties I cannot recall another incident that caused such an overwhelming sense of shock and disgust in equal measure. The matter was to be heard on most peoples lips and there was also a general sense of sorrow and sympathy for the vicars mother, whom I believe, was very much liked and respected.

The Rev Jones followed, he was an older, married man. He and his wife quickly settled into village life and involved themselves in most aspects thereof. As I write this piece I am becoming more confident that I have reported these two vicars in the correct order. It occurs to me that I was confirmed during the Rev. Jones’ time and since, by then, I would have been a teenager the Rev Jones was probably the last vicar that I had any contact with. I also recall that I used to wash the vicars car each Friday evening. A large black Rover, which the vicar liked to be highly polished, I was paid half a crown for each wash. My father, for quite a long time, looked after the vicarage gardens and grounds. In those days there were quite large flower beds, large expanses of lawn and a good sized vegetable plot. I well remember father having an ongoing battle with the ground elder which was widespread in the gardens then. It was during the Jones’ time at the vicarage that the village fete was held within its grounds. The couple remained until the vicar retired and were very well regarded in the village. It is quite possible that during my time in Kingsley there were other vicars, if there were I don’t recall them. If they appeared as I moved through my teens, I would not have encountered them as my visits to church ended. Although, for most of my life since leaving Kingsley, I have lived in villages which had parish churches I have never felt the need to engage with them other than to attend weddings, funerals and christenings with the occasional harvest festival thrown in. Our daughters were both christened and confirmed and in turn our grandchildren have been christened. Both daughters were married in church but that was their choice and had nothing to do with any influence from me. Although I support village events and quite like the Church as a village institution, my days of church life in Kingsley did little or nothing to make me a great follower and religion holds no attraction for me. Perhaps, not least, because as a result of a career of over thirty years in the Prison Service, I encountered a high number of religious men, vicars, priests etc. from all sorts of denominations which were locked up. For the most part they were locked up for offences of a sexual nature which often involved children and young people. But, of course, that is another story for another day!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Scams Bulletin June 2014

The purpose of this scams bulletin is to enable Hampshire residents to be aware, and therefore guard against the type of scams currently being reported to the Hampshire Trading Standards Service.

Trading Standards will collate information on scams to provide information and intelligence to the public and other agencies but will normally only intervene when the victim is vulnerable and has been financially abused
.
In appropriate cases Trading Standards will also seek to take enforcement action through the courts.

If you are worried about a potential scam please contact: Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
03454 04 05 06 or online using the Online consumer complaint form

Bank Account Fraud

Hampshire Trading Standards Service has received recent enquiries about a sophisticated
bank account fraud. The fraud is very convincing, and Hampshire residents are urged to keep alert should they receive a telephone call from someone alleging they work for a fraud or security department connected to their bank. The caller will cause alarm by warning the customer that their
bank account has been compromised in some way and suspicious activity has occurred. They will ask their intended victim to phone their bank’s fraud department without delay.

However, unbeknown to the receiver of this call, the fraudster has kept the telephone line open. Therefore, when the victim phones what they believe to be an official number, they are re connected to the fraudster. The fraudster this time, posing as the bank, will then ask the customer to transfer their funds into a separate holding account. Once this is done, the call is terminated and the money is
lost.

Real life case study

Mr C received a call during the evening from someone who said they worked for
the ‘Visa Verification Department’ at his bank. He asked Mr C to confirm who his bank was. Mr C was told someone had attempted to access his account, and he was asked to phone the fraud department at his bank. Mr C found the telephone number on the internet so had no reason to doubt he was phoning the correct department. He was then asked to transfer his current account funds and savings into a holding account. Mr C transferred approximately £18,000. When the call was terminated, Mr C began to question the authenticity of this matter. He decided to phone the fraud department again. This time, he spoke with the correct office who advised him he had been scammed.

Trading Standards Officers visited Mr C and he agreed to change his telephone number. This is the only way Mr C can stop the fraudster from contacting him again. Mr C is pursuing his complaint through the Financial Ombudsman Service, in the hope he receives his money back.

Should you receive a similar telephone call DO NOT engage in conversation and hang up
as soon as possible. Check the validity of the call with your local bank branch, but DO NOT
make a phone call from your land line as this may reconnect you to the fraudster. Use a
mobile phone if you have one, or ask a neighbour/friend to check for you. Best of all, visit your bank branch in person.

Most banks have security systems in place to deal with fraudulent attempts on an account.
Normal practice is to place a block to prevent money from being taken. They will not ask a
customer to transfer funds over the phone in these circumstances.

If you are worried about scams please contact:
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 Or online using the Online consumer complaint form

Real life case study 2

Mrs E received a phone call from a male who alleged he worked for ‘Visa Payment Security’. He asked if she had lost her debit card, as £900 had just been taken by a well known shop. Mrs E found her card in her purse, and told the male she had not lost it. He advised her that she may be victim of a fraud, and to phone the number on the back of the card. Mrs E dialled this number
immediately. She was advised to transfer all her money, £25,000 in total, into one account. Mrs E did so using internet banking. She was then advised to transfer this amount into a separate holding account, and he gave her a sort code and account number. Mrs E was not prepared to do this, and said she would drive to her local branch for help. The caller said he suspected the fraud was being committed by someone in the branch, and he advised Mrs E to say she was transferring the money into a relative’s account. During the journey she began to doubt the validity of the call. On arriving at the bank, they advised her this was an attempt at a fraud. Thankfully, no money had been lost.

Copycat ‘Government’ Websites

Hampshire residents are warned to look out for numerous copycat websites that they may find
using a search engine or receive a link to in an email. Copycat websites charge a fee to process or renew documents, such as passports or visas, which can be done for free or much cheaper through the official organisation. Although it is not against the law for a private company to offer a similar  service, their website should carry a clear disclaimer explaining it is not affiliated with the official body in any way.

Current Copycat ‘Government’ Websites to look out for include:

  • Passport Renewal or Checking Service
  • EHIC Card
  • Congestion Tax
  • Car Tax
  • Driving License Renewal
  • Tax Refunds

There are a number of ways to spot a copycat website:

  • Read the homepage of the website carefully as it may even state it is not affiliated with the official body.
  • Don’t be mislead by a ‘.org’ address. This does not guarantee it is the official site.
  • Look out for ‘paid for’ search engine results. These are boxed adverts displayed at the top of search engine results pages. Quite often the official site is not the top result.
  • Check to see if the web address begins with ‘https’ as this acts as an encryption to
  • protect personal details.

Do not open any links contained in an email if you are not sure of its source.
DO NOT open an email or any attachments if you have any concerns about its source or content.

For further advice or to report a scam please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or online using the Online consumer complaint form

Real life case study

Mr B needed to renew his car tax, and carried out an internet search to find out how to do this. Mr B found what he presumed to be the official website and made a payment online. However, three weeks later, he had not received his tax disc. He contacted the DVLA who confirmed this was a scam.

Computer Telephone Scams

Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service continues to receive enquiries from concerned consumers and businesses who receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from their computer support service. Once the caller has got the consumers attention they may try to:

  • Sell and install software that may damage the computer
  • Request payment details to pay for non existent services
  • Take control of the computer remotely
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites that will ask you for personal and financial
  • information
Should you receive a similar unsolicited phone call, remember:

DO NOT purchase any software or services
NEVER give control of your computer to a third party
NEVER Provide your credit card or financial information
HANG UP as soon as possible

If you are worried about scams, please contact; Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 Or online using the Online consumer complaint form

Real life case study

Mrs P received a call from a man who alleged to work for her computer software support centre. He said that her computer operating system was out of date and he could install an update. Mrs P was in the process of moving house, so she told the caller her computer was disconnected and had been packed up. The man terminated the call. This made Mrs P suspicious and on checking with Trading
Standards she was advised this was a scam.

Crimestoppers July

Did you know that the value of bikes stolen each year exceeds the value of property stolen from people in house burglaries? Bicycles are expensive nowadays and having one stolen is not only costly but also extremely inconvenient.  At this time of year, the ‘fair weather’ cyclists are also all out and about and so there is an even better selection of bikes for the would-be thieves to choose from.

Without a doubt, your chance of keeping possession of your valued bicycle is to buy a quality lock for it AND REMEMBER TO USE IT! It is advisable to position the lock to include as much of the frame and other parts as possible. With most locks, the frame and at least one wheel can be protected. Any accessories such as lights, pump, water-bottles should be removed wherever possible when your bike is parked otherwise the chances of still owning them when you return to collect your bike is serious reduced.

Many cycles are stolen when owners leave them against shop windows. They are only ‘nipping into the store for a few seconds’ and believe that they can ‘keep on eye’ on their bike so they don’t bother with a lock. Thieves know this too, and are happy to help themselves.

Youngsters are very good at dumping and temporarily abandoning their bikes because something has attracted their attention; their friends, a football game. No time to use a lock as every second counts when there are other things to think about, and valuable time will be lost when it comes to cycling away at a moment’s notice, not to mention looking ‘uncool’ by being seen to worry about security. Losing a school jumper will get you in trouble with your mum or dad, but losing your bike as someone has ridden off on it whilst you were hanging around with your mates is a far more costly practise!

Other vulnerable bikes are those that are left on roof or boot racks on vehicles. These are very popular nowadays and when these vehicles are left unattended in car parks, or when waiting for ferries, they can be targeted by thieves for a very quick and easy steal.

Please have your bike security marked, or get your postcode stamped on the frame. Hundreds of bikes are recovered by the Police each year but many are never traced back to their rightful owners. Make a note of your bike’s details and vital statistics, so that should the worst happen, you may get to see your bike again.

If you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give Crimestoppers a call on 0800 555 111, or you can click www.crimestoppers-uk.org and tell us what you know online. Either way is entirely anonymous and no one except you (unless you tell people yourself!) will know that you gave information.

For regular updates, please follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp

PC 741 Simon Wright