Grand National

Dear Editor,

It was interesting to see the photo of Highland wedding after winning the Grand National in 1969. But he was not the first local horse to win the race. In 1930 the winner was Shaun Goilin ridden by Tommy Cullinan for the owner Walter Midwood and trained by Frank Hatigan at Weyhill Stables.

He ran those stables from 1905 until shortly before his death in 1952.

Diana Coldicott, Andover

A polecat in garden

Dear Editor,

I have to share with you my delight today was simple yet amazing, to view a polecat in our garden, in Fyfield.

He simply peeped up looking at me, and I was so delighted I could only say hello! My memories suggested not trying to stroke him, or he, but he didn’t run away.

So of course I am sharing on Facebook, with neighbours etc in case he is your pet?

I looked up on Wikipedia that they have come into our country and south. The Wildlfie Trust tell us it almost became extinct yet now increases in numbers in Wales and parts of England. So here we are in Hampshire with a polecat!

It is protected by the Wildlife and countryside Act 1981 and can be seen mostly in January to December.

He is a member of the Mustelid family, which includes stoats, and badgers. They like marshes, river banks and or farm buildings and dry stone walls. So perhaps when I opened our shed door he or she was settling in, as we have a meadow with a stream?

I read they have a litter each year 5 – 10 young in the summer. So will I see more? I hope so but also hope we give them space and peace in our friendly environment. I may keep my camera close with hope to picture but will keep a good distance.

Linda Price, Fyfield

April fool stories

Dear Editor,

A couple of local April fool stories to make your readers smile?

A member of the Andover Advertiser Camera Club escaped injury after falling from a ladder whilst trying to photograph birds nesting under the eaves of his house.

To prevent similar occurrences, his family has bought him a zoom lens.

An Andover man experienced blurred vision after receiving his corona virus injection. After phoning for help he was told not to drive but that he should return to the centre immediately and collect his spectacles from the desk where he left them.

Allan Pothecary, Andover

Glass collection

Dear Editor,

I was amused that Conservative Test Valley announced with a fanfare of trumpets and drums rolling that they would introduce doorstep glass collection and a whole host of other green measures at some time in the future. This was not through a sudden greening at the borough council. No this was due to the government’s environment bill which will make it mandatory for councils to do so. Currently we languish with one of the worst recycling rates in the UK at about 37%. Good councils recycle about twice what we do. When the council boasts that it sends little to landfill, the reason is simply that we incinerate so much. Doorstep glass collection is a particular bugbear of mine and many of our fellow residents. Yet Lib Dem Eastleigh has been doing it for years and so has Conservative Basingstoke. It appears that what is good enough for Basingstoke and Eastleigh is not good enough for us in Test Valley.

One other aspect is plastics which we know are a major source of contamination in our environment. In Test Valley we put them in the black bin for incineration. Yet if we crossed the border to Salisbury, we find that they are recycled. I had the pleasure of meeting an environmentally conscious gentleman who pointed out that he collected these plastic boxes and exported them to his family in Salisbury for recycling during his visits. Well done, Sir!

I understand that there has been some concern in Conservative leadership circles that the public cannot handle more than two types of bins. To make recycling effective then we really need to do the sorting out at home. Again, if London can do it so can Andover and Test Valley. Residents are already fairly confused over what can be recycled. The large number of brown bins with yellow stickers signifying rejection shows that the current system is not working. The main problem is that there is a real lack of education of what can be recycled in Test Valley despite the best efforts of our bin men and women. Let us recycle better and sooner. And not leave it to the future.

Cllr Luigi Gregori, Charlton Road, Andover

Puzzle Special

Dear Editor,

I’m a great fan of your weekly ‘Puzzle Special’ but could you possibly make the squares a bit larger in the Giant Crossword, please?

This could be achieved by locating ‘Splits’ and ‘Logic Sequence’ elsewhere in the Supplement, and/or by making the text for the clues a little smaller.

In anticipation and with congratulations for a great local publication.

Lynette Jarvis, Andover

For older people

Dear Editor,

Like all charities and community organisations, we have been greatly affected by the Covid Virus regulations and Lockdown. We were unable to hold an AGM in April last year and executive committee members agreed to continue in their existing roles for another year. We have done our best to keep in touch with members and have designed and produced a Newsletter called Andover and District Older People’s Forum Notice Board ; up-dated members contact details ; held a competition about member’s experiences of Lockdown ; extended and up-dated our Website including Covid regulations and advice and sent out Christmas cards to members.

Sadly our annual ‘ Full of Life’ day on October 1 also had to be cancelled but we hope to hold one this year on or around 1st October - the International Day for Older People. We want to hear from the public about any intergenerational activities in Andover. From schools and youth groups to Seniors groups and individuals , if you know of any intergenerational projects or are interested in planning something yourself, then please get in touch as we want to plan our event around the theme of Intergenerational Learning.

We are very conscious that the Pandemic separated families for months at a time and grandparents didn’t see their families and grandchildren nearly all year. We want to recall and resurrect the happier times when grandparents taught the younger family members to read , write and live independently while grandchildren showed nanny and grandpa how to use a mobile phone or computer. We need your help to do this.

Perhaps it could be just letting us know about intergenerational activities you are planning to re-start again. Perhaps it could be an idea you have for this sort of project for example encouraging children to do a drawing of a grandparent teaching them something or them showing gran or grandpa how they do something in this digital age.

Help us to help and inform you by sending your ideas to

And finally, we do plan an AGM on April 29, but it will be virtual using Microsoft Teams and it will be basic business only. If any member of the public who is over 50 years old wishes to attend virtually then please send your name and e mail address to Mollie Antrobus at We always welcome new members.

Mollie Antrobus, Andover and District Older People’s Forum