Later this year Hampshire County Council (HCC) will be introducing a registration scheme to use the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Barriers and Automatic Number Plate Registration (ANPR) systems will be installed to allow access only to vehicles with a pre-registered number plate. Non-registered vehicles will be subject to a £5 charge – for each visit. [Read more…] about Registration required for Household Waste Recycling Centres
It seems that pretty much every singer has recorded a Christmas song. Some are originals; some are covers (which may or may not be better than the originals). Some of the songs are quite enjoyable; others are less so.
Here are some of the less well-known songs that have made it to my Christmas playlist. You may or may not agree with my somewhat erratic and eclectic selection.
I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey is possibly the oldest recording in the list. This is such a fun song that it is permanently on my MP3 player – proving, perhaps, that a Hippopotamus isn’t just for Christmas but for all year round. [Read more…] about Christmas Songs
Just over a week to go to Christmas, and churches will be preparing for their carol services. Technically, there is a difference between a Christmas carol and a Christmas hymn, but I’ve never been able to definitively put my finger on which is which. As a rule of thumb, I think that songs that tell a story – such as While Shepherds Watched or Good King Wenceslas – are probably carols while those that are more worship-based – such as Hark the Herald Angels and O Come All Ye Faithful – are probably hymns. There are also Easter carols, but let’s leave those for a few months.
Some carols/hymns I like more than others. The Holly and the Ivy, for example, has always struck me as a collection of rather tenuous links. [Read more…] about Christmas Carols old and new
I visited the Many Mangers exhibition at St Martin in the Woods church this weekend, not knowing quite what to expect.
Well, obviously I was expecting nativity scenes. But the flyer stated “over 100 from all over the world”. Really? Where was a small church in Chandler’s Ford going to get hold of such a variety?
The answer was simple yet amazing. From local parishioners. Dozens of people had come forward with their cherished nativity scenes, lending them to the church for a few days before they took on their annual role as part of the family’s Christmas decorations.
A helpful leaflet gave details of the background to each model. One common topic came out loud and clear. These scenes all had their own family history; sometimes going back decades. Each year they are brought out from storage, and each year they evoke particular memories to their owners. How they were made; where they were bought; who broke them; who mended them; and, in one case, how the Baby Jesus disappeared, only to reappear in the pocket of dad’s best suit at Easter (presumably the next time he wore it).
Nativity scenes from far-flung corners of the world had been bought as souvenirs of travels. Wherever the set came from, the scene was familiar: Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, shepherds, wise men, and a few animals (no Catalan caganers, though). But each country portrayed the human elements in local style.
The three wise men, I learned, are sometimes thought to represent the three then-known continents of the world: Europe, Africa and Asia. In this scene, from Mexico, they also represent youth, middle-age and old-age.
All in all, a fascinating display of nativity scenes that were similar yet different; familiar yet surprising. And a great outreach opportunity for the parish of Chandler’s Ford at the start of the Advent season.
Hello, it’s Chippy again with a few more photo teasers. My last photo quiz ended with a picture of the logo from the former Peter Hansford cycle shop and I hinted that this might have been a link to my next quiz. And so the theme this week is Cycling. More specifically cycle paths and their bridges. [Read more…] about Weekend Teaser
A return to the occasional “spot the location” quiz this weekend, with guest quiz-master Chippy Minton.
This week’s theme is Signs, and I’ve been out and about to see what I could find. Four photos this week – and a chance for a Chippy Bonus Point hidden somewhere (but I won’t tell you where, as then it wouldn’t be hidden). [Read more…] about Weekend Quiz
Work will soon begin to upgrade the M3 between Junctions 9 and 14 (Winchester to Eastleigh) to a Smart motorway. Site clearance and preparation works will start in the winter, with main construction scheduled from later in 2020 until 2022. When complete, the upgraded motorway will neatly dovetail between the new Smart M27 and the proposed improved junction layout at Winnall. Does this sound like a coordinated plan of road improvement schemes? I think it does.
A Smart motorway is a motorway with an extra lane instead of the hard-shoulder. A host of electronic gismos allow Highways England to monitor traffic flows, respond to incidents, and generally keep the traffic moving. [Read more…] about M3 to get Smart
Many years ago, when my siblings and I were all of primary-school age, we went for a family walk around a country village a few miles from home. As we walked from the car, my sisters and I spotted a sign outside a cottage: [Read more…] about Family Histories – pas devant les enfants
Armed with the research I’d already undertaken, I set off on my bike to see what I could see at the Pine Road Cemetery. [Read more…] about Pine Road Cemetery (part 2)
A letter came into the Chandler’s Ford Today office recently asking abut the graveyard in Pine Road, near the junction with Hursley Road. I’d never noticed this before, and neither had the editor. “You like local history”, said the editor, “and you’ve got a long weekend coming up. Go and find out about it”. OK, that may not actually be how she said it, but it is how I heard it. [Read more…] about Pine Road Cemetery (part 1)
In a slight variation on the Saturday morning quiz, I thought I would combine it with my occasional “days out” features, and post some pictures of somewhere I’ve been this week.
All photos are of the same place – but where?
Looks as if the ceiling hasn’t been swept for some time … [Read more…] about Where Was I?
If you want refreshments on a train journey today, your choice is pretty much limited to plastic-wrapped sandwiches and instant coffee served in a paper cup. But there was once a time when the meal was as important as the journey itself. You would sit at a linen-clad table and eat from china plates using steel cutlery; smartly uniformed waiting staff would provide silver-service at your table; and all this would take place in a specially designated restaurant car.
You can still recreate this golden age of railway catering on Hampshire’s Watercress Line, where the Countryman Dining trains offer Sunday lunch and Friday and Saturday dinner excursions. Ideal for that special occasion, or when you want something a little different. [Read more…] about Dining on the Watercress Line
There were two differences to Thornden School’s summer production of Guys and Dolls. The first was that it wasn’t in the summer, it was last week (29 January to 1 February). The second was that it wasn’t in its usual location of Thornden Hall.
Almost time to start eating the Christmas cake – but first I better make it.
I use the trusted recipe I’ve been using for years – and my mother used before me. It comes from an old and well-used recipe book. [Read more…] about Baking the Christmas Cake
Regular listeners to Radio 2’s Simon Mayo programme will be familiar with the Confessions slot where listeners write in with their admissions of guilt for past misdemeanours. With the imminent departure of Mr. Mayo from the station, I no longer have an opportunity to bring my Christmas confession before the nation. Instead I seek forgiveness from the good readers of Chandlers Ford Today.
As we approach the weekend of Christmas carol services, I am reminded of this shameful event from when I was a child of ten or eleven. [Read more…] about A Christmastide Confession
I’ve been writing my Christmas cards this weekend. I’ve been using pretty much the same Christmas Card list that I’ve used for the last few years and it always strikes me that it contains a couple of anomalies.
Firstly, there are the people for whom our only communication is the annual Christmas card. Should I still bother sending them cards? Secondly, there are the people I know won’t send me a card. Should I still bother sending them cards? [Read more…] about Christmas Cards
Just as traffic gets back to normal after this weekend’s motorway closure, we have more roadworks to cope with. This time it’s more local, but the good news is that, like Radio Luxembourg, they only come out at night. [Read more…] about Another road closure ahead
There is likely to be severe traffic disruption this weekend when the M27 is closed between Junction 3 (M271) and Junction 4 (M3). The closure is in both directions and will be in place from 10:00 pm on Friday 28th September to 5:00 am on Monday 1st October. It is the first of three weekend closures over the next twelve months to allow the Romsey Road bridge to be replaced. [Read more…] about Road Closure Ahead
You probably know a few mondegreens, even if you didn’t know they had a name. It’s when the words of a song or poem are misheard to give a different meaning. The word comes from 17th-century ballad “The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray”:
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen [Read more…] about Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear and Other Mondegreens
Where can you see a dolphin near Portsmouth?
Well, I suppose “looking out to sea” is a possibility, but Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill is more likely. The handles on a cannon barrel are also called dolphins – because of their resemblance to swimming dolphins arching out of the water.