Once again I spent the May Bank Holiday at Fryern Funtasia yesterday – as I did every single year in the past few years.
I really love the traditional open-space event, where I met up with a few old friends there, and soaked up some local news (or gossips) from just walking about.
I bumped into Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, and we had a good chat, while watching the beautiful performances by the beautiful, talented dancers from Eclipse Elite in Chandler’s Ford.
Mr Brine is a very friendly MP, and I find him open and approachable. He comes to Fryern Funtasia every year – who doesn’t need to unwind after never-ending meetings in London?
We chatted about local performances by the Chameleon Theatre, and Mr Brine said he’s interested and would like to watch some shows.
Lionel Elliott (who is the clever man behind the lights and sounds at the Chameleons) recommended their highly popular pantomimes. So don’t be surprised if you see Mr Brine shouting out “
Steve Brine MP also wrote about his family enjoying the Fryern Funtasia, in his own blog: “We enjoy this event, especially the displays in the main arena which this year were very entertaining…”
The Mayor of Eastleigh Councillor Bruce Tennent
I also bumped into The Mayor of Eastleigh Councillor Bruce Tennent. He told me he has enjoyed being a mayor as he has met so many people at various interesting events. This event was one of his last official engagements.
I last met the mayor at the book launch of Margaret Doores’ Love’s Greatest Gift – Remembrance at St. Boniface Church in Chandler’s Ford, a few months ago.
Community spirit: acts of kindness
The beauty of Fryern Fantasia is the community spirit.
Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” People behind great organisations showed people the amazing work that they do, and they welcome volunteers like you so that their good work can continue to thrive.
These organisations amongst us include Chandler’s Ford Churches Together, Chandler’s Ford Good Neighbours, the Rotary Club, One Community, Cancer Research, Scouts Association, Girlguiding Chandler’s Ford, Chandler’s Ford Stroke Support, Chandler’s Ford Community First Responders, and Three Rivers Rail Partnership. Of course there are many others.
All these groups rely on good people like you to volunteer, and here is one example:
Girlguiding Chandler’s Ford
There are currently around 48,000 girls and young women on waiting lists across the UK, and Chandler’s Ford is just as popular.
Why not volunteer for Girlguiding? Contact them directly as they really welcome volunteers.
Gloria Brown, Division President of Girlguiding in Chandler’s Ford, told me that due to data protection, it’s now even harder to contact would-be volunteers as they are not allowed to keep people’s contact details. So if you would like to volunteer, do contact them directly.
— Nick Farthing (@nickfarthing57) May 6, 2019
Chandler’s Ford Boys’ Brigade Band
Music played by the Chandler’s Ford Boys’ Brigade Band was absolutely delightful, as always. One of the songs they played was “I will follow him” – I simply enjoyed listening to it without trying to record their performance with my mobile phone (also because mine is a Huawei phone 🙂 ).
Here I found this lovely song on Youtube – if you are a nostalgic kind of person, this song is just for you.
The conductor was David Carter this year. But, where was the bandmaster Simon Farrenden then?
Well, Simon was playing some strange games on the field with some children, as he was busy trying to recruit band members and sharing information with people. (I do feel for him!)
I’m most intrigued by this orange instrument:
Eastleigh Operatic & Musical Society
It was so wonderful to meet this gorgeous couple – Rachael and Louis Spencer, and members from Eastleigh Operatic & Musical Society.
They were promoting their upcoming show, Thoroughly Modern Millie, at The Point, Eastleigh, from Thurs 9th to Sat 11th May. Make sure you grab the tickets to watch this show.
Did you see Millie and Trevor at the #fryernfuntasia in #chandlersford? They hope you’ve booked your tickets to see #thoroughlymodernmillie @PointEastleigh this week. Still 2 for £20 tickets available for Thursday. Don’t miss out!#amdram #eastleigh #mayday #funtasia #booknow pic.twitter.com/1pKmcB8jOW
— EOMS (@EOMSociety) May 6, 2019
Chandler’s Ford Today get-together
It was so great to meet up with the most prolific Chandler’s Ford writer, Allison Symes, yesterday afternoon as well. Though we lived just about 200 metres away from each other, we don’t normally find the time to meet up.
Sometimes when I tried to meet Allison, her dog seems to take the priority over me! The Fryern Funtasia thus gave us a great opportunity to catch up.
We (two middle-aged women) even managed a selfie! We’re getting there!
We also had a little Chandler’s Ford Today reunion yesterday – Roger Clark and his wife Lyn were also wandering about, so we had a good chat.
Three Rivers Rail Partnership – what happens to Fordy?
Do you still remember the train planter Fordy at Chandler’s Ford rail station? It was built by Eastleigh Men’s Shed in December 2016.
I asked Mark Miller, Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership Officer, what has happened to Fordy, and “When are you going to add some plants to Fordy?”
I could hardly believe the answer that Mark gave me. Mark said, the sign for Fordy had been completed 6 months ago, but he is still not allowed to go to the platform where Fordy is.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because the Network Rail hasn’t renewed their Risk Assessment yet!”
Mark also sent me the sign for Fordy.
There was a special offer – one raffle ticket for a Station Walks book. I bought 2 and one book will be given to my friend Chippy Minton to help him explore our local areas more – so that he can write more for us after his visits.
Back in 2015, our friend Allison Symes also wrote a review of the Station Walks book.
Chandler’s Ford Stroke Support Group
The group meets on the second Thursday of every month from 14.00 to 16.00 (speech therapy focus) and the last Thursday of every month from 14.00 to 16.00 (physical therapy focus).
Their meeting place is Dovetail Centre (next to the Methodist Church) on Winchester Road.
Please contact the group for more information and find out more here.
Claire Bennett, who volunteers for Cancer Research, told me that they raised £781 yesterday.
Claire wants people to support the Relay for Life Southampton from 21-22 July 2019.
And, our celebrity dog Monty was entertained by the fire workers and many children.
Monty went to a fun day for a Chandlers Ford community thing pic.twitter.com/fy6R5RiD7S
— David Lamb (@DavidLa82382564) May 8, 2019
Education and Wellbeing
— Leightons Opticians (@Leightons_1928) May 6, 2019
— Eastleigh Police (@EastleighPolice) May 6, 2019
Thank you to all the lovely people who came to my stall at Fryern Funtasia. I had the best of times!
Mr Mayor came to say hello and chat about the importance of languages. A true gentleman.#kidslingo #fryernfuntasia #mayfayre #spanishforkids #mayorofeastleigh pic.twitter.com/10w8nOeHi8
— Kidslingo Spanish Eastleigh & Romsey (@KidslingoAinhoa) May 6, 2019
Scouts Groups: energy and creativity
I love observing all sorts of fundraising activities. Creative fundraising ideas can spark interest and generate more sales.
Chandler’s Ford Scouts had various interesting activities and superb gifts. Their gifts are unique – especially the beer bottle openers, and the Lego cufflinks.
Local events and community information
Fryern Funtasia is the best place to gather community information.
There’re local community cafes, children and youth activities on Sunday in various churches, Curious Cafe at the Methodist Church, Big Brekkie with Christian Aid, Chandler’s Ford First Responders, and many others.
If you want to look at these posters closely, you can pause the slides, and download each poster as you wish.
Well done to the organisers – David Shute and his son Christopher have put in a lot of work, and many volunteers have put in their time time and effort. Well done Chandler’s Ford Parish Council, all the sponsors, local businesses, and volunteers!
We’ll add some of these events up on our Events page soon. Allison Symes is also writing up a review, which will appear on Chandler’s Ford Today soon.
Let’s look at their promotional video: