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Whitchurch Parish Fete 2017

Photos taken at the 2017 Whitchurch Church Parish Fete on The Lawn, next to the River Test.

Videos from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

I have created a page for the various videos that I have digitized from S-VHS; that is to say, videos that I made in the 1980s and 1990s. Some are on our family YouTube channel, but most are hosted only here.

The videos are grouped (no doubt this will change over time but for now) into these areas:

University of Waterloo (1987-1992)
Ontario Science Centre Science School (OCSS, Semester 9)


Overton Scarecrows 2015

A walk around Overton, Hampshire this weekend rewards you with many creative scarecrows!

Parish Fete 2015

The Lawn was the place to be today, for the annual Parish Fete!

The Lawn was the place to be today, for the annual Parish Fete!

A wonderful time as usual at the annual Parish Fete! It was once again held on The Lawn, next to the River Test across from All Hallows church, Whitchurch, Hampshire.

Congratulations to Tosha for winning the darts competition!

Over at the coconut tent, Tolii managed to topple one… and promptly drank its milk and ate the meat. His friend Jack also smacked a coconut off its pearch.

Andrew had some luck at the Tombola: a fine bottle of red wine was won; as did Tosha, who won a… spoon!

Doesn’t Katya look wonderful in her home-made floral wreath?

A First Visit to the Laverstoke Gin Distillery on its Opening Day

The entrance to the Mill

The entrance to the Mill

I had some errands to run in Basingstoke this afternoon; on the way back I stopped by the new Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstoke, next to Whitchurch, Hampshire (or Overton depending on your allegiances).

Today was its first day open to the public. It is wonderful to behold.

Thankfully you don’t have to pay to see the front area (exteriors and lovely River Test) and to enjoy the shop and bar (open til 6 for cocktails) – I didn’t have much time (or the inclination to pay £15 without bringing the family along too – kids to age 11 can get in for free) so the cocktails will have to wait until next time…when we cycle over!

The staff were all very welcoming and quite receptive to ideas put to them (!) about incorporating silk from the Whitchurch Silk Mill into say silk ties for their uniforms; and a nice ribbon for the £100,000 crystal bottle of gin (and lesser items).

The staff are all encouraged to cycle, walk, take the bus, or car share to get to and from the site. They’re considering putting on a bus to shuttle people from the Whitchurch and Overton train stations too. The managers and staff that I spoke with also like the idea put to them (!) about reducing the road danger along the B3400 with the creation of space for cycling ie a segregated path (several cycle into work already).

Laverstoke Mill gear at Kingfisher day centre, Testbourne (Feb 2003)

Laverstoke Mill gear at Kingfisher day centre, Testbourne (Feb 2003)

They said the bicycle storage building will open up in the spring after the last of the building works are complete. Whilst I was in the bar, the place was unofficially launched: a just-filled glass of gin cocktail was accidentally smashed (not by me!).

The company has rejuvenated the Mill and made it a place to behold. They won the BREEAM award for their “best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation” and rightly so from what I saw and what I heard from the staff on site.

Aside: Earlier today we toured Testbourne – rated an ‘outstanding’ school by OFSTED! – as our son Tolii will be starting there next year. The caretaker told me that the big gear that used to be on the pedestal in front of the ICT building had come from the Portal family who refurbished the Mill a few decades ago now. Unfortunately, a lorry driver banged into it in the mid-2000s and toppled it over, breaking the massive cast iron gear. Presumably it got carted away and melted down.

My short video on YouTube: Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery opens in Laverstoke, Hampshire