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

Hatch Warren and Beggarwood

Hatch Warren Christmas Fair: The weather was damp and cold, but inside the Community Centre it was warm and Christmassy. The annual Christmas fair was another success, with the main hall full of stalls selling gifts, crafts, jams and chutneys. It was good to see a steady stream of people walking round to enjoy the event.

Brighton Hill Roundabout: Work has been undertaken this week on utility works and street lighting. I am expecting to see the traffic lights switched on soon which will be a sure sign that the scheme is nearing completion.

Cycle Paths and Footways: I attended a briefing last week about the proposed cycle path and footway improvements along the A30 between the Brighton Hill roundabout and the Winchester Road roundabout. I have concerns about the removal of a bus layby to accommodate the upgrade: that is a busy stretch of road and stationary buses in the road will cause congestion. The briefing also touched on the possibility of extending the cycle route in the Hatch Warren direction. I expressed the hope that this could be done without reducing the width of the current carriageways on the A30.

Active Travel Drop-Ins: On the same subject, the county council is organising two drop-in sessions. The first is at the Baptist Church in Brighton Hill today (30th November) from 1.30pm to 6pm and the second is at the Basingstoke Sports and Social Club (that's the cricket ground in Bounty Road) on 6th December, 3pm to 7pm.

St Mark's School is running a petition to save its school crossing patrols and is inviting everyone to sign it. Details are on its Facebook page.

Stephen Reid


You have to be quick for the first item. Basingstoke Horticultural Society have their Christmas Social on 11th December, but if members have not already signed up, they only have today, Thursday, to email Philip Wraight to reserve a place. Jackie Dimmock will be entertaining with part two of her Life in the Police Force, illustrated with her quilts. Those of you who have heard Jackie on other occasions will know what a treat is in store.

On Friday, 1st December, the Rugby Club hosts Andover Mind’s Carers’ Support Group from 11am till 1pm.

As the weather turns colder, community spaces such as libraries, churches and village halls are opening up as Warm Welcome Spaces where everyone is offered a friendly space to keep warm, connect and create new friends. Here in Kempshott, a Warm Welcome Space is open on Tuesday afternoons from 1pm till 4pm at St Mark’s Church, Homesteads Road. Tea, coffee and cake are available without charge, although optional financial donations are welcome. You can find out more about all the Warm Welcome Spaces open across the UK at warmwelcome.uk

The Sunday Market at Kempshott Village Hall is the Christmas version and will be on 10th December.

Diana Manville

Old Basing and Lychpit

First of all, a reminder that the Village Café in the Parish Room of St Mary’s will be open tomorrow, Friday 1st December at the usual time of 2pm-4pm.

On Sunday 3rd the Old Basing Royal British Legion Fayre will be holding their Christmas Fayre from 1pm-3pm in the Jack Morris Hall with a number of stalls, refreshments and the band playing carols throughout the afternoon. There will also be a chance to try out some of their instruments and even the big base drum.

The next WI meeting takes place on Tuesday 5th December at 7.30pm in the Parish Room of St Mary’s Church when local photographer Sandra Sargeant will be giving tips on how to take a good photo. If you would like to find out more, please join them at the next meeting or contact President Sue Stewart by email at oldbasingpres@hampshirewi.org.uk

Also on Tuesday, but at 7pm in St Mary’s Church itself there will be an open meeting by The Friends of St Mary’s Church. This group was established 28 years ago to raise funds to maintain the fabric of the church, a beautiful Grade 1 listed building which unfortunately receives no direct funding from the government or Church of England. The Friends of St Mary’s would now like more people to join their group particularly their Management Committee. If you would like to find out more, please go along to the meeting or contact Ian Kershaw telephone 01256 55500, email: igfkershaw@btinternet.com 

Mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies, savoury snacks, festive music from a local school orchestra and a chance to see Father Christmas are all available if you pop along on Thursday 7th December from 6pm-8pm to Christmas in the Courtyard at Lychpit Community Hall.

A big thank you to those who supported The Children’s Society coffee morning in October. The event made £389 and so with the sale of Christmas cards £855.80 has been raised for the charity.  There are more cards available please call 01256 355500 if you would like some.

Finally, it is some time away but places are limited and filling up fast for the complimentary Christmas meal at Old Basing Village Hall on Friday 29th December. To book a place or volunteer please call Rosy on 07544 998292.

Elspeth Lee


December is almost here and so the Christmas festivities and celebrations are in full swing. On Tuesday, December 5 Father Christmas will be in Sherfield, outside the Four Horseshoes at 5.45pm and he’ll be with the Loddon Valley Lions on their float which will travel around the village. For details of the route, which may vary from its usual route, check their website.

Christmas Fair and Market is at Sherfield School on Saturday, December 2 from 11 am to 4pm. There will be Artisan stalls, donkey rides, Santa’s Grotto, mulled wine and mince pies, carols, raffle and tombola. Tickets for the event can be booked at www.ticketsource.co.uk/friends-of-sherfield. More information from events@friendsofsherfield.org.

Road Closure: the closure of the Bramley Road at the bridge is causing distress, and inconvenience and local businesses are also suffering.   

Chris Horton