Every week and in every edition of the Gazette, we include community news from around Basingstoke and surrounding villages.


On 3rd July, ‘Let’s Move’ exercise class were honoured to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress David and Amanda Leeks to the Millennium Village Hall. Home Instead’s director Bob Nicholson, care manager Mary Selim and previous Mayor and Mayoress Paul and Sandra Miller were also in attendance. The guests observed Community Champions Janet and Deanah, assisted by Michelle, lead the group through movements designed to improve strength and mobility.

‘Let’s Move’ sessions are held weekly at the Millennium Village Hall, on a Monday, from 2pm-3pm. These sessions involve seated mobility exercises for the elderly and disabled (with the option to stand, if you wish), all to the tune of music from bygone eras. Tea and talk follows for those able to stay until 3.30pm. Please note that Let’s Move runs in term time only so, now that we are into September and the children are back at school, it is the perfect time to try it out for yourself!

Class numbers are restricted for health and safety reasons, so please book your seat in advance by contacting Janet by text message (07540 975 094) or email (community.basingstoke@homeinstead.co.uk); all you need to bring is a water bottle and a smile.

Helen Walker


Hatch Warren and Beggarwood

Review of the School Crossing Patrols: Hampshire County Council is considering a proposal, along with many others, to reduce the school crossing patrol (SCP) service to zero, in the hope of saving over a million pounds each year. At the time of writing, I am preparing myself to attend the scrutiny committee (on Monday 18th September), to speak against this possibility. In Hatch Warren, parents of children at St Mark's School are encouraged to park in the community centre car park and then walk across Woodbury Road. If the crossing patrol is removed, I see the danger to children increasing.

Not Pre-Judging the Review: The proposal in the report includes launching assessments of each School Crossing Patrol site to determine whether alternative safety measures could be put in place which would enable the crossing patrols to be safely withdrawn. I would not be averse to seeing zebra crossings or traffic-light-controlled options put in place. The review should also consider whether the service simply cannot be safely withdrawn. I want to check whether all the potential savings are being put into the budget before the reviews are undertaken. If they are, I fear that would be seen as pre-judging the outcomes and make people think that the decisions have already been made.

Transferring the Costs: Where the HCC-funded SCP provision is withdrawn through this process, schools and other bodies will be able to pay to keep them through a service-level agreement with the county council. That may sound reasonable, but we all know how stretched school budgets are.

Brighton Hill Roundabout: There are more overnight road closures being planned for October. This is to allow for resurfacing work. The roads affected are A30 Winchester Road (Monday 2nd October for four nights). Harrow Way and Old Winchester Road (9th October for four nights) and A30 East (16th October for four nights). Diversions will be signposted.

White Lines: Earlier this year a resident brought to my attention how badly faded the white lines were at the junctions in the Centurion Way / Magnus Drive area, and I reported the issue. I was delighted to see a crew out refreshing the paint last week but it looks as if only three of the junctions have been refreshed. I shall check on the timescales for the rest.

Stephen Reid


Conservation work parties are up and running: Old Down and Beggarwood Wildlife Group meet at Old Down Hall on Thursdays from 10-12 (but not in the rain). Kempshott Conservation Group will be in the Old Orchard (access via Kendal Gardens) on Sunday 24th, also from 10-12. Kempshott WI meets at the Village Hall on 25th at 2.30 when Jenny Mallin will be speaking about India and the Fishing Fleet. Her topic is not to do with marine life, so if ladies are intrigued as to what it is about, they are welcome to visit.

If you have been missing the Village Hall quizzes, you have an opportunity to take part in one shortly. Basingstoke Breast Cancer Self Help Group is holding a quiz at the Hall on 28th October. Entry is £5 per person and a table can be booked by phoning Renee Smith on 07717873090. If you are not part of a team, you are still welcome to take part.

Diana Manville


Old Basing and Lychpit

The Churchyard Conservation Group will be starting their autumn and winter programme on Thursday 28th September at 2pm. All are welcome to join them - just turn upon the day.  If you would like to find out more about their work there will be an Open meeting Tuesday 26th September at 8pm in St Mary’s Parish Rooms.

The Loft Music Night at Lychpit Community Hall promises another eclectic and enjoyable mix of talented musicians on Friday 29th September at 8pm. The line up this month is: Paul and Glen, Ruby Dawn Duo and The Whispering Pines. The cost is just £5 at the door and take your own beer and nibbles.

Old Basing Royal British Legion Social Club are looking forward to presenting a Karaoke Night on Saturday 30th September. This is a new venture for the club and everyone is welcome.

Also, on Saturday 30th September, Basingstoke Lions Club will be holding a Race Night at Old Basing Bowling Club at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £5 per person but as numbers are limited, tickets will need to be bought in advance. Contact tony.bamberger@hotmail.co.uk or mauricehockley@hotmail.com or telephone 01256 850254 or 10256 421867.

Elspeth Lee



Beer Festival: The annual beer festival takes place this Saturday at the village hall from midday until 10pm. There will be 30+ beers, 12+ ciders, gin and Prosecco. Payment can be made either by cash or card. There will also be live music and food all day. Tickets can be bought online from Sherfield Beer Festival or it is £6 on the door.

On Friday 29 September the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning will be held at The Coffee Shop in the village from 10am until 12. Cake donations will be very welcome and also cash donations via the collecting box or online at justgiving.com/cm23046599. Do come along and support this very worthwhile charity.

Some future dates to put in your diaries: On Friday 13 October, 10am at the village hall, there is a presentation on ‘Scam and Fraud Awareness’.  It’s a good idea to know what is out there and how you can be on your guard! Then on Saturday 9 December is the annual Reindeer Trail.

Chris Horton