On Saturday the 25th November 2017 Eastleigh Lions Club Santa will arrive at the Brambridge Garden Centre Grotto in style on a 1960s Southampton City Bus, kindly provided by the Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust, driven by Dave. [Read more…] about Eastleigh Lions Club Santa at the Brambridge Garden Centre Grotto
Once a year I go to the Joint Charities Annual Christmas Market in Chandler’s Ford to buy a few Christmas cards (I don’t have that many friends to send cards to) and use it as a chance to catch up with friends, and also have my coffee morning with friends at the Dovetail Centre Café. [Read more…] about Review: Chandler’s Ford Joint Charities 44th Christmas Market 2017
This play Murdered to Death performed by Chameleon Theatre Company in October was an obvious parody of an Agatha Christie murder mystery, right down to one of the characters being called Miss Maple, after the Miss Marple character. Poirot was also referenced, from Miss Maple knowing a Belgian chap, to Pierre Marceau resembling Poirot physically.
The funniest character was Inspector Pratt, who is the most incompetent detective ever. [Read more…] about Review: Murdered to Death by Chameleon Theatre Company
When did you last experience the Christmas Nativity story? No, not hear the story, experience it.
We’re probably all familiar with the story: Mary and Joseph, Donkeys, Bethlehem, “no room at the inn”, manger, shepherds, angels, and all. But what does it all mean and – more pertinently – why is it still important and relevant 2000 years later?
This year, Eastleigh Baptist Church will be seeking to answer this question with the Nativity Experience on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November – planned to coincide with and complement the Christmas light switch-on in the town centre. [Read more…] about The Nativity Experience, 18th and 19th November
It is one of those oddities where writers, so often renowned for leading a solitary life chained to their desks scribbling away for all their worth, also know they have to “put themselves out there” and spread the word about their writing. Well they do if they want any sales!
Some writers take to the spreading the word idea readily and get right into the spirit of things by taking along props. I know a crime writer who takes a noose to her events – and you should see what is on her tablecloth. Let’s just say it wouldn’t pass the old Daz advert for being “whiter than white”! [Read more…] about Writers Getting Out and About: Book Fair 2017
I interviewed Anne Wan, local children’s author, earlier in the year and discussed with her the joys and woes of writing children’s fiction.
As I mentioned in my piece on Why Children’s Fiction Matters, all writers of adult fiction, including me, owe children’s writers a huge debt.
Nobody just “comes into” reading. There is nearly always a lifelong love of reading which has been encouraged and nurtured, but to have that, there must be the great children’s books that have rightly gone down as classics in their own right. [Read more…] about Anne Wan: Book Launch – Friday 29th September 2017
Yesterday morning, a few of us from Chandler’s Ford Today attended the unique ribbon-less re-opening ceremony of the Dovetail Centre at the Methodist Church. It was a warm and friendly place as usual, buzzing with excitement.
It was certainly a day of celebration, and also a day of reflection on the problem of loneliness in our community, and how we could all reach out to support one another. [Read more…] about Re-opening of the Dovetail Centre: to Engage and Share, and Fight Loneliness
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes
This year’s Extravaganza was on Sunday 17th September and, despite a cloudy start, the sun finally emerged during the afternoon, which in itself seemed to bring out more visitors.
I was at the writers’ stand with Brenda Sedgwick, Karen Stephen, Catherine Griffin, Maggie Farran and Sally Howard. Many thanks to all who popped by to see us to buy books, talk about creative writing and so on. It was good to see you and share information about writing classes, the Hampshire Writers’ Society and so on. [Read more…] about Overview of Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017
Yesterday afternoon I had a rather good time at Hiltingbury Extravaganza. There were quite many people and lovely animals (pigs, horses, dogs, owls…). Musicians, dancers, writers, volunteers, and many businesses all helped to make this special event remarkable.
Credit to The HCA (Hiltingbury Community Association) at The Hilt for its organisation for another fantastic Extravaganza community event on the Hiltingbury Recreation Ground.
The Hiltingbury Extravaganza was officially opened by Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford. [Read more…] about Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017
Recently a tweet by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) caught my eyes:
“Chandler’s Ford Infant School Project – April Rapley. Shortlisted for Student our Excellence in AT Award.”
Congratulations to April Rapley, Architectural Design and Technology graduate from Southampton Solent University! Her re-design of Chandler’s Ford Infant School on Kings Road has been shortlisted for the Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology (Project) 2017. [Read more…] about Re-designing Chandler’s Ford Infant School: April Rapley Shortlisted for Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists Award
There are many great local events in the coming weeks in Chandler’s Ford. Here are the highlights of some of them.
For more events in the Chandler’s Ford community, visit Upcoming Events Chandler’s Ford page. [Read more…] about September and October Events in Chandler’s Ford
As always, I had a great time at Eastleigh’s 12th annual Mela on Sunday 30th July. The word means “a public event held to celebrate a special event” (Cambridge Dictionary) and comes from the Hindu word for a festival.
Ours is a multicultural carnival of music, dance and cuisine with such diverse contributors as; Irish Dancers, Southampton Buddhist Centre, Thai dancers, a band from Afghanistan called the Kabul Boys, traditional Indian dancing, Chinese Lion Dancing, the local Nepalese association, more bands including Crestwood’s Panatical steel drum band, who who always make me feel cheerful when I hear them, and a large range of stalls. [Read more…] about Review: Eastleigh’s 12th Annual Mela on Sunday 30th July 2017
Velmore Church is launching a fortnight of events from Sunday 20th August to Sunday 3rd September 2017, at Velmore Centre.
The Big Event (actually it’s a series of interesting events) seems comprehensive, covering music, craft, talks, African experience, holiday club, family fun day, magic show and others. The location is: Velmore Centre, Falkland Road SO53 3GY Chandler’s Ford. [Read more…] about Velmore Centre: The Big Event – 20th August to 3 September 2017
This is the best time to support our local artists.
Hampshire Open Studios this year is from 19th to 28th August. There are over 250 venues exhibiting from this Saturday to the August Bank Holiday. [Read more…] about Hampshire Open Studios: 19th – 28th August 2017
Last weekend, I revisited the Medieval Village in the River Hamble Country Park, set up as part of the Medieval Weekend arranged by the Road to Agincourt Project.
Image Credit: All pictures taken by Allison Symes at the 2017 Medieval Weekend
The weekend was fun. I learned all sorts of things from the “villagers” I talked to such as the cook and her girls once being camp followers and having to change their back story as they were “ladies who provided a service” (and not food either!). [Read more…] about Revisiting Medieval Hampshire in 2017
Image Credit: Many thanks to Janet Williams for taking the signing photos at the railway station. Like many women, I can multi task but there is a limit and even I couldn’t take a picture of myself signing a book!
Many thanks to all who came to my book signing at our lovely railway station on Saturday 8th July. Particular thanks go to Mark Miller and Nick Farthing of the Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership, Hilary Stone for “manning” the drinks and snacks bar, Janet Williams, Richard Hardie and Daniel Symes.
[Read more…] about Why have Book Signings? Report from the Station – Allison Symes
AGINCOURT MEDIEVAL WEEKEND: JULY 15TH AND 16TH 2017
Why am I interested in history? I suppose it is because I love stories of all kinds and history in many ways is the ultimate tale.
When all is said and done, history reveals, only too clearly at times, who we are, where we came from, what horrible mistakes we’ve made in the past (and sometimes what things we did right!). [Read more…] about Medieval Weekend – 15th and 16th July 2017
Here is a glimpse of some exciting events in and around Chandler’s Ford in the next few days / weeks.
Visit the Upcoming Events Chandler’s Ford page for regular updates. [Read more…] about Exciting Events in July in Chandler’s Ford
In the 1980s there were no fancy coffee shops in Chandler’s Ford. It wasn’t common for supermarkets to offer you ‘free’ coffee either. Many young mothers found themselves isolated at home with young children, and elderly people were struggling to meet someone for a friendly chat.
One person saw that acute problem in Chandler’s Ford and decided to do something about it, to change for the better.
Her name is Jane Archer. She has run the Coffee Room based at the Dovetail Centre at the Methodist Church on Winchester Road for 37 years. Many babies who had played at the Coffee Room have grown up to become parents themselves. [Read more…] about Jane Archer – A Simple Vision, and 37 Years Leading The Coffee Room at Dovetail Centre