Remember, remember the fifth of November! I love this time of year, but it seems most of you are bypassing Guy Fawkes Night and simply heading, head-first, into the Christmas spirit! Er, since when did Christmas begin in November? Oh well, we’re here to get you feeling festive!
As the summer season progresses I become more and more adventurous, thinking I’m some kind of Michelin-starred barbecue chef; serving up everything from simple sausages to sirloin steak. it’s not entertaining in the garden, there’s always plenty happening out and Pax Hill Care Home in Bentley, near Alton, will be holding its annual Christmas Bazaar on Sunday 22nd, from 2-5pm. There will be a vintage theme to this pre-Christmas event held in a heated marquee in the home’s central courtyard. There will be mulled wine, cake stalls, crafts and gift stalls, music, entertainment, hot food and Father Christmas has promised to pop in! Everyone is welcome. For more information visit www.paxhill.co.uk or call on 01420 525880.
Bells Piece is a thriving community providing support for adults with learning disabilities. They are busy getting ready for their Christmas Fayre which they will be holding on the 14th from 10am until 3pm. There will be stalls selling gifts for Christmas, jams and chutneys made at Bells Piece, gifts made in Simply Unique, winter bedding plants and wreaths, plus many other stalls selling gifts. Homemade soups, pastries and cakes will be on sale all made and prepared in Bells Piece’s training kitchen. Please put the date in your diaries, they would love to see a full house. For further information please call 01252 715138.
Odiham are having their Affordable Art Fair on the 28th from 9am to 4.30pm. This is the ideal opportunity to purchase that one-off unique piece of art at reasonable prices. This event has become a popular event that supports local charities and many local artists from the Farnham area and villages take part. Entry is free and scrumptious refreshments are available. The event will take place in the historic Cross Barn, Palace Gate Farm, Odiham.
The Alton Bottle Collector’s Club will hold their biannual event on Sunday 15th at the Community Centre. Over 50 stalls will be there selling old bottles, enamel signs, postcards, tins, pot lids and so much more. The doors open to early birds at 9.30am where there will be a charge of £3 and then public entry opens at 10.30am for £1. For more information please call Faye on 01420 88773.
Are you a fan of vintage clothing? On Sunday 15th the Alton Assembly Rooms will open its doors to a hall full of vintage and retro goods. From 10am visitors can enjoy hours hunting through stalls of clothing, kitchen wear, small pieces of furniture, toys, ornaments and more. Refreshments and homemade cakes will also be available from their pop-up vintage tea rooms. Entry is free to all. Happy shopping!
What nicer way to spend a cold, rainy November afternoon than snuggling down to watch an old movie? On Tuesday 3rd November at 2.30pm you can do just that at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Bordon when they will hold their ‘afternoon cinema’. They will be showing the film Woman in Gold, which tells the tale of a Maria Altmann and her escape from Austria during the Nazi invasion. Tickets are £5 each and concession tickets are £3.50.
St Andrew’s Parish Church in Farnham’s Christmas tree festival will be taking place between the 2nd and 6th December. There will be decorated tree of all shapes and sizes, some with a modern twist others traditionally decorated. In total there will be exhibits from more than sixty local charities, organisations, individuals and flower club. Entry is free although donations will be greatly appreciated. The doors will be open all day from 9am apart from Sunday when they open at midday.
The Bordon Whitehill Town Partnership is holding its annual fireworks display and funfair at Country Market, Kingsley, Bordon, on the 4th. Gates open at 5.30pm and will cost you only £2 per person and under-fives go free. There will also be free on-site parking as well as a free shuttle bus from Bordon and Headley if you decide you want to enjoy a few glasses of mulled wine! Just be aware that there will not be a bonfire.
The magic of Christmas is set to arrive early at Paulton’s Park in Hampshire, as the family theme park; home to the world’s first and UK exclusive Peppa Pig World, will be will be transformed into a sparkling wonderland of twinkling illuminations, seasonal music and giant Christmas trees from Saturday 14th November. There will be elves, and singing reindeer, Peppa and George and the chance to meet Father Christmas himself. All visits must be pre booked. Visit www.paultonspark.co.uk for further details and opening times.
The Alresford Craft Show takes place at the community centre on Saturday 28th. Crafts will include bee products including honey and skin care, sewing, door harps, silk floral arrangements, traditional decoupage work, fused glasswork, beaded and semi-precious stone jewellery, wood tuning, cards, original watercolours, door harps and photography. Doors open at 10am and entry is free. Why not pop along and make a start on your Christmas shopping?
It does seem a little early but Basingstoke shopping centre, in Festival Place, will kick off their Christmas entertainment on Friday 13th November with their famous annual Christmas Light Switch On. The Military Wives choir will be performing and there promises to be a rather spectacular firework display. The fun begins at 5.30pm but due to traffic I would recommend arriving in town a little earlier than necessary. It is a very popular annual event.
Downton Abbey fans can learn more about the History of Highclere Castle during a talk at Haslemere U3A’s November meeting on the 9th. From 2pm, Diana Mitchell, head guide at Highclere, will give a visual presentation and anecdotes to bring to life the real history of the castle and the fictional stories of the TV series. Admission is £2 and non-members are very welcome. For membership inquiries please call Margaret Mowatt on 01428 652338 or for more information on any meetings please call Alan Davis on 01428 717115. www.haslemere-u3a.org.uk
Remembrance Sunday takes place on the 8th when many of us will spend the day in quiet contemplation. But what about the Germans? Little is known about their complex post-war process of remembrance which, very different from ours, had to embrace apology and atonement. On Tuesday 17th at 10.30am Angela Findlay will give a talk at Farnham Maltings entitled The Other Side: Germany’s post WW2 culture of Memorials and Counter Memorials. With her Anglo-German roots she will gives us insight into Germany’s ongoing efforts to find artistic forms for remembrance. www.farnhamdfas.org.uk
A reminder that Four Marks Horticultural Society meet at Four Marks Village Hall, Lymington Bottom, GU34 5AA, on the second Monday of most months. They are a friendly bunch who would love to see a few new faces in the crowd. If you are interested, feel free to pop along and have a chat.
Grayshott Folk Club have plenty of upcoming events to keep you busy entertained this month. On Saturday 7th at Grayshott Social Club the wonderful, Canadian band Fish & Bird will play their own unique folk and country music and on Friday 20th from 7.30pm at Grayshott Village Hall, they will have their first ever Barn Dances/Ceilidh. It promises to be a crazy night of music and dancing. Tickets can be bought by calling Des O’Byrne on 01428 607096 or at the door on the night.
Serenity Hampers understands the needs of people experiencing cancer and ill health by providing compassionate gifts to help them to recover from their treatment, to live life in comfort and with a sense of well-being. Serenity Hampers donates to Cancer Research. If you are looking for a special gift for a loved one or friend why not take a look at www.serenityhampers.com or contact Alicia Dent on 07985 577550.
The annual Macmillan Christmas Fair at Grayshott Village Hall takes place on November 21st. Organised by the Haslemere & District Committee of Macmillan Cancer Support, doors open at 10am and the hall will be full to the rafters with stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts ideas. A new feature this year will be the Macmillan Christmas Tree Decoration Challenge, with 8 local schools competing to decorate a tree. Visitors to the fair will be able to vote for the ‘Best in Show’ and there will be prizes for the top three. Admission is £3 and children are free.
Alton Assembly Rooms will play host to AODS’ production of Alan Ayckbourne’s dark comedy Absurd Person Singular from 12th to 14th November. The play follows the changing fortunes of three married couples on consecutive Christmas Eves. There will be three evening performances and a Saturday matinee for which concessionary tickets are available. Tickets are available from the Curtis Museum or via www.aods.org
It’s that time of year again when Treloar hold their annual art lecture. This year guests can look forward to a dazzling lecture on ‘Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion’. It promises to be a bewitching whistle-stop tour through the history of magic and mystery from 3000BC to the 21st century given by the master of storytelling and illusion, Bertie Pearce. It takes place on Wednesday 19th November at Treloar’s Campus in Holybourne. Tickets are only £25 per person including drinks and canapés and all profits will help support Treloar’s disabled students.
Grayshott Decorative and Fine Arts Society continue their autumn programme on Thursday 5th November when Dr Janet Robson’s subject will be ‘Not just Giotto: Reassessing Art in Florence c1280-1348’. Then on Thursday 19th November they have a visit to The Banqueting House and The National Gallery for the Goya Exhibition. They are a busy bunch, because then on Thursday 3rd December they meet again as Alan Read explores ‘The Inventors of Christmas’. For more information about the society and these events please contact Caroline on 01428714276 or visit the website www.grayshotttdfas.org.uk
On Wednesday, 4th November, Grayshott Flower Club will hold a workshop to prepare for later in the month when they will be making the seasonal arrangements and wreaths for their stall at the Grayshott Christmas Market on December 5th. The meeting will be held in the Studio at Grayshott Village Hall from 7pm. For further information please call 01428 651956.
Farnham’s evening DFAS’s next lecture takes place on Wednesday 25th when Mike Higginbottom will explore The Big Apple: The Architecture of New York City. New York City is home to some of America’s most famous and iconic buildings and this lecture will look at the difference between the comparatively ancient 19th century building to the skyscrapers of the first half of the 20th century and the most modern additions to the famous Manhattan skyline.
Farnham & Bourne Choral Society will be singing Rossini’s beautiful Petite Messe Solennelle, accompanied by piano and organ, at 7.30pm on Saturday, 14th November in the church of St Thomas-on-The Bourne. The four young soloists will be headed by soprano Alison Langer, who performed so admirably with the choir at two of their recent concerts. F&B’s ever-popular Christmas Concert will be in the same church on Saturday, 19th December. Tickets for both events are priced at £13 in advance from choir members or by phoning 01252 721075, otherwise £15 at the door if still available.
Hedgehogs… the most important creatures on the planet? A bold claim, but one which our Hedgehog Champion, author Hugh Warwick made in our wildlife special in last month’s issue! I’m always amazed by the response from readers, especially when it comes to all things wildlife-related, which is why Doug Allan was such a wonderful Talking Point star this month. Shirley Hawley, who lives near Alton, wrote to say: “Just by chance I was out late one night and something scuttled pass me and to my delight is was a hedgehog. I put food out every night from first sighting (about March) until late Nov early Dec for the last five years along with fresh water out and I put hedgehog nuggets with peanuts and sultanas in a bowl and on the bird tray. This year I have had total of three of them and what a wonderful sight!” To find out about hedgehog populations near you, visit www.bigheadgehogmap.org and happy hedgehog sighting!
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA