Thankfully my days being dressed up by the kids as a zombie and lumbering along the streets weighed down with Halloween paraphernalia are over. Now the kids are older, they are happy to just buy their own sweets at a shop without the rigmarole of having to dress up!
For those of you wanting to partake in some Halloween fun, there’s plenty on offer this month. There’s pumpkin carving, a 5k zombie fun run, ghost hunts and even a Halloween stage make-up master class. For those wanting a more sedate October, do read on, it’s not all ghouls and monsters, I promise!
Soprano Joanna Weeks returns home to Alton on Saturday 3rd to give a recital themed on her recent travels. Accompanied once again by pianist Benedict Lewis-Smith, the concert ‘Around the World in Twenty Songs’ takes place at St Lawrence’s Church in Alton at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 and available to buy from Waterstones in Alton and on the door. This concert is raising funds for two local charities Home-Start Weywater and The Rosemary Foundation, Hospice at Home.
It seems they are not the only local group trying to spread the word. Ahead of the UN Climate Change conference in Paris, Riding Lights Theatre Company’s autumn tour, ‘Baked Alaska’ will deal with the issue across the globe. For this project, Riding Lights is working in partnership with Christian Aid and Operation Noah, both members of the Climate Coalition, and the Diocese of Lichfield. The will be at The Church on the Heath, Elvetham, Fleet, on the 1st October from 7.30pm and then St Paul’s Church in Addlestone on Friday 2nd. Tickets can be bought by calling the box office on 01904 613000.
On Tuesday 27th October the Farnhamian 400 Trust will be presenting the 26th Farnham Lecture at South Farnham Junior School. The lecture will commence at 3pm with doors opening at 2.30pm. This year’s speaker will be Sir Andrew Carter OBE, headmaster at South Farnham Junior School. He was awarded the CBE in 2003 for his services to education and in 2014 was knighted for his working planning to improve education for pupils and students throughout the country. Tickets for the lecture entitled ‘Education in the United Kingdom – A Personal View’ cost £5, with students free of charge, and are available by calling Brian Williams on 01252 715430
Raise a glass at the Phoenix Beer Festival on Saturday 3rd. They will be celebrating the great brewing tradition of the south east with excellent beer from a selection of local breweries including FFF and Hogsback. Throughout the day there will be local acts performing in the theatre and a barbecue provided by local butchers Smallbones. The lunchtime session runs from 12-4pm and will be family friendly but the evening session is over 18s only. Tickets are £6 per session or £10 for both sessions. The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre, Station Road, Bordon, GU35 0LR.
Looking to get a way for a quite weekend this month but don’t want to venture too far? Why not take part in the Isle of Wight Walking Weekend over the weekend 23rd – 25th October? The autumn scenery is supposedly beautiful and there are over 70 guided walks to choose from. Each one will take you to glorious part of the Island can where you enjoy an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They have some interesting historical and fun walks and a selection for children too. You can check out times on the website www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk oh, and did I forget to mention, most are free, or with a donation to charity?
Enjoy a night of Folk in Farnham on Saturday 3rd October. Three times nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and double winners of the Spiral Earth Awards, husband-and-wife duo Megson, bring their Chapels & Churches Tour to the URC in Farnham. Comprising Debs and Stu Hanna, they present an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars. Sounds like a great night out. For information and to book tickets visit www.megsonmusic.co.uk or www.wegottickets.com
This month’s afternoon cinema at The Phoenix in Bordon takes place on Tuesday 6th. Suite Francaise will be playing from 2.30pmstarring Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott Thomas and Margot Robbie. Set in 1940s France and based on the international best-selling work of Irène Némirovsky, it follows beautiful Lucile Angellier who awaits news from her husband, a prisoner of war whilst leading a stifled existence with her domineering mother-in-law. When German soldiers take up residence in the villagers’ homes, Lucile’s life is turned upside down by Bruno, the handsome and refined German officer who has been posted to live with them. Tickets are £5 and £3.50 for members and concessions.
Blackmoor Estate’s famous Apple Tasting Day will be held on Sunday 11th October. Fruit bats can spend the day tasting the new and old apple and pear varieties they grow and you will be entertained by a range of other attractions including nursery tours a rural craft fair and demonstrations, a community fete; produce stalls, horse and cart rides; cakes and teas, a climbing wall as well as live music, Morris dancing and lots of Blackmoor cider. It’s a free event taking place between 10am and 4.30pm.
There are spooky goings on down at The Phoenix Theatre on Saturday 31st. You are all invited (as long as you are over 13) to a special Halloween screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic thriller Pyscho. That’s not all because it’s a one off event on conjunction with The Phoenix Players and I gather they are up to something. I would enter with caution! Tickets are £5 and it begins at 7pm. The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre, Station Road, Bordon, GU35 0LR.
Are you a fan of all things vintage? Maybe you need some inspiration for Christmas presents this year? Why not pop down to Grayswood village on Saturday 31st October and visit the Artisan Country Craft & Vintage Fair? There will be a large selection of vintage stalls selling everything from textiles, furniture, clothing and lots more gorgeous finds for all you treasure hunters. There will also be tea and cakes to keep the whole family happy. www.homeandvintage.wordpress.com
Birdworld’s Halloween grotto will be open during half term. Kids can walk through the creepy corridors to see a spectacle of spooks and a coven of very wicked witches. Expect plenty of fun with a little bit of fright. No booking is required and usual park entry ticket prices apply. For more information, call Birdworld on 01420 22992.
Amateur photographers can enjoy some Halloween fun by making creepy photograms with resident photographer Angela Walker on October 28. Held at the Farnham Maltings, participants will be able to create real photos without a camera in the Maltings’ darkroom and make them into a hanging mobile to take home. Materials provided. The event starts at 10am, tickets cost £10 and are available from the Maltings box office on 01252 745444.
On Saturday 17th, Alton College will hold their a Magna Carta themed Community Festival which will see local school kids perform a dramatisation off the 800 years of English democracy. There will also be sports groups, clubs, societies and activities offering family taster sessions and information as well as food and live music. Gates open at noon. For more information visit their website www.altoncollege.ac.uk
Saturday 24th Archery Festival: Jubilee Fields. To commemorate 600 years of Agincourt. Free event for all the family. Date and details to be confirmed www.alton.gov.uk
There is a kids, Halloween disco taking place on 30th at Alton Assembly rooms. For two hours they can enjoy fun, music and magic with plenty of ‘tricks and treats’! There will also be a fancy dress competition for both the parents and little ones. Hot dogs and other refreshments will be available on the night. It has proved to be rather popular in the past and tickets run out fast. If you would like to book tickets visit www.altonassemblyrooms.com
Farnham Speakers’ Festival takes place at the end of the month. Television presenter Peter Snow opens the event on the 22nd with his account of the Battle of Waterloo Experience. Over the following few days there will be a plethora of guest speakers including Stanley Johnson – father of Boris and former MEP, Tony Little, Headmaster of Eton, the former Minister for Europe, Denis McShane and celebrated writer, Harry Mount, of the Telegraph who will tells us of his Greek Odyssey. For a full list of all speaker and to book tickets to any of the events please go to www.farnhamspeakersfestival.com or call 0333 666 3366.
Walking enthusiasts are invited to join the Alton Ramblers this month. They cover a large area of East Hampshire and the South Downs with an interesting variety of sceneries. There is always a mid-week walk of approximately 5 miles and a Sunday walk of about 10 miles all led by their experienced walk leaders. On 25th October, there will be a circular walk taking in Puttenham Common, Cutmill Ponds, Britty and Binton woods and then through the lovely village of Puttenham and back to the car park. For more information and a full list of walks visit www.altonramblers.org.uk
When Cecil the lion was killed his death made headlines around the world. One Gloucestershire artist felt so distraught that she had to put paintbrush to canvas and in so doing produced a magnificent portrait of him. Now, some of the proceeds from the sale of prints of this painting by Alexandra Churchill are going to the Born Free Foundation. If you were affected by the images of Cecil then why not buy one of Alexandra ‘museum grade’ prints of her painting which are selling for £50 at www.alexandrachurchill.co.uk . Twenty per cent of the sale price is being donated to The Born Free Foundation.
The Fernhurst Over-Sixties (aka The Good Companions) are holding a special Ploughman’s Lunch with a silent auction in Fernhurst Village Hall on Wednesday October 7th at 12.30pm. Tickets are £5, to be bought in advance, from Fernhurst Post Office or Val Newman on 01428 648979. There will be twenty exciting lots to bid for on the day, including a ride in a vintage car, a trip to London/Gatwick Airport and a large saucepanful of specially-made Italian bolognaise sauce !
Squire’s Garden Centre held a very successful ‘Late Summer Flowers with Grasses’ Gardening Workshop last month and they hope that this months will be just as informative. On 16th they will hold an ‘Autumn Colour Barrel’ Workshop between 10am and 2pm. For the price, £25 per person you will also receive a free voucher for tea and coffee on the café afterwards. They run different workshops on the 3rd Friday of the month which can be booked through their website www.squiresgardencentre.co.uk
G Live in Guildford will be holding a Halloween stage make-up masterclass on 31st from 10am until 4pm. This full day session will see participants working with professional products to create realistic wounds, colourful bruises and zombie-like make-up and hair effects. Tickets cost £30 and are available from the G Live box office on 0844 7701797.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA