The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?
I went to see a West End theatre production recently. But I didn’t have to travel to London or pay a small fortune for my ticket; it was at Thornden Hall and the ticket was only £15.
This was one of the National Theatre Live productions – live theatre beamed to cinemas around the country. [Read more…] about West End Theatre in our own Backyard
JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL AND THE SARAH SIDDONS FAN CLUB
One of my favourite authors is going to have a Festival in Southampton in 2017 thanks to the Sarah Siddons Fan Club winning a Heritage Lottery Grant to co-ordinate such an event. [Read more…] about In the Footsteps of Jane Austen and Sarah Siddons by Allison Symes
Out in Sri Lanka there is an interesting group of people, the ex-pats. These people have decided to make their lives on the tropical island for a number of reasons. None of them is quite sure where home is, here, there, or somewhere else. Perhaps home is a different concept for them, home is where they happen to be today. Here are the stories of some of them. [Read more…] about Ex-Pats Lives; Where is Home?
One of the great joys of writing for Chandler’s Ford Today (and in reading it too) continues to be the wide variety of topics it covers. It’s only due to CFT that I found out about the Road to Agincourt Project and, due to my love of history, started writing about it.
I’ve particularly liked The Story Shuffle Project and the Sir Bevis of Hampton posts as the first is a phenomenally good idea to get kids involved in creative writing and a local legend. The second post was, of course, all about that local legend. [Read more…] about Introducing Guy Stauber – Marvel at Sir Bevis Comic
The house of my childhood has been demolished. I am told that the staircase, complete, is for sale. It is solid teak, of excellent quality, impervious to termites. Someone said that one of us should buy it.
Buy a staircase? The million times I ran up and down those stairs, chased by my brothers and sisters, running up to complain to father, running down for dinner. If I buy that staircase, with its brass fixtures and its knurled banisters, will I hear father coming down in his wooden clogs? See the emerald green of his eyes? Will my mother give me refuge from the persecuting siblings? Will I hear the gentle shuffle of her feet? [Read more…] about A Staircase for Sale
My first son was born in Delhi in 1987. Two months after his birth, like Prince Siddhartha Gautama of Lumbini, I kissed my sleeping wife and son and travelled to Rishikesh, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. I didn’t know then that I would return there 22 years later. But that is another story, to be written when I have the mental fortitude to narrate it.
For now, let me tell you about my spiritual quest and how unlike Prince Siddhartha, I failed to become the Buddha or the enlightened. [Read more…] about Experiments with Spirituality
Yesterday, we went to see the Mummers street play in Otterbourne, Hampshire.
It is a very old and traditional folk play and depicts King George slaying the dragon, Turkish knights and other adversaries. It was good fun to watch and the costumes were very colourful. [Read more…] about Otterbourne Mummers: Traditional Mummers Play in Otterbourne, Christmas 2016
One of the highlight Chandler’s Ford Today posts for me this year was the Top Ten Classical Music Greats list and many thanks to all who added wonderful contributions to this. I’ve loved listening to them all.
The biggest problem I had was in working out which piece had to go into this list. It left me with a number of pieces I would have loved to have included but very conveniently these are film scores/extracts so a new post on Top Ten Film Themes would seem to be in order! [Read more…] about What’s Your Favourite Film Theme? My Top Ten
Someone intending to visit the UK for the first time asked me for some tips on British etiquette. This is what I came up with.
Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet once wrote A Man’s a Man for a’ That. My advice to you therefore is – be yourself and you will be fine. However, since you ask, I will jot down some thoughts accumulated over a quarter of a century on this island. [Read more…] about British Etiquette: a Survivor’s Guide
Last Sunday I had a brief interview with Frank Damerell, the 92-year-old war veteran from Chandler’s Ford.
Frank arrived at the War Memorial on Hursley Road just after 10.30am, accompanied by his son Phil. Frank later laid a RAFA (Royal Air Forces Association) wreath during the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the war memorial at St. Boniface Church in Chandler’s Ford. [Read more…] about Meet 92-year-old War Veteran Frank Damerell
I have another little memory from my childhood in Chandler’s Ford prompted by a very old photo of Station Lane in Chandler’s Ford.
I remember there was a Mills’ family. They had moved down from Bootle in Liverpool. Mr Mills was I think in the The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) during World War Two, but he was in the St. John Ambulance brigade. [Read more…] about Chandler’s Ford Memories: Station Lane; Being a Cadet in the 1950s
About two hundred people gathered at Chandler’s Ford war memorial for Remembrance Sunday service and laying of wreaths this morning.
From 10am this morning, many people started walking towards the war memorial on Hursley Road at St. Boniface church. [Read more…] about Remembrance Sunday in Chandler’s Ford 2016
Eastleigh observed a two-minute silence at this morning’s Armistice Day service at the town’s war memorial.
The Remembrance Sunday service in both St. Boniface Church and St. Martin in the Wood Church will start at 10.45am. [Read more…] about Sunday 13th November 2016 – Remembrance Sunday Service in Eastleigh Borough
One thing I promised myself this year is that, for once, I would listen to all of the BBC Proms and not just the fantastic Last Night. I kept that promise and enjoyed a wonderful series of concerts.
And all credit to Sir Henry Wood for coming up with such a fantastic idea of bringing wonderful music to as wide a range of people as possible. [Read more…] about My Top 10 Classical Music Greats
November is a month of remembrance.
Remembrance services will be taking place throughout the Borough of Eastleigh on Sunday 13 November 2016.
The Royal British Legion calls on the nation to unite in commemorating Remembrance Sunday at the 2016 Cenotaph Service and Parade in Whitehall on 13 November.
[Read more…] about Remembrance and Thanksgiving
I saw a photo of Station Lane on this website: Chandler’s Ford Memories (Facebook). It is the bottom end of Station Lane before going onto the Railway property and yard and Station beyond.
The year is unknown but very old as the railway line that served the old brickworks at the bottom of School Lane can be seen through the gate this is way before my time. [Read more…] about Memories of Station Lane, Chandler’s Ford
One place that is always a joy to visit is beautiful Bath, which is an UNESCO Heritage site.
The trip from our station gets you to Romsey in just over 5 minutes and from there the Romsey to Bath journey takes about an hour and twenty minutes. [Read more…] about Away Days: Bath by Allison Symes
The free Medieval Weekend, organised by the Road to Agincourt project, was recently held at Manor Farm and Country Park, Bursledon.
This post continues with a look at the lives of typical villagers re-enacted over the weekend. And I discover what a fletcher was… [Read more…] about Road to Agincourt: When Medieval Life Comes Alive Like Magic
I remember “The Parade” of Chandler’s Ford well. It is along Bournemouth Road, coming from Southampton, just past the School Lane lights, down past the advertising hoardings. It’s the row of shops on the left before you get to Hursley Rd.
At that time, the Butchers shop where I worked was the first on the left, L.S. Horn, next was Lowmans the bakers, then I think it was the Lloyds Bank, Jenkins sweet shop, G.H.Baker & Sons, and grocers. I can’t remember the next one or maybe two shops, and at the end it was Mr Perrot’s fishmonger. [Read more…] about Where is “The Parade” in Chandler’s Ford? Memories from my 1950s Childhood