Meetings for Nov/December 2021

In November, the Giles Group meeting in the Community Centre on Monday 8th will have a Q+A session about health, vaccinations and Pharmacy services: leading the event will be Mr Suki, the Pharmacist in charge of Wessex the chemists in Alresford. The meeting will start at 2pm approx. and be followed by the normal tea and a raffle.

The Minibus outing will be on Monday 15th November, visiting either the Eastleigh Swan Centre or the Kingsley Village market.

In December the normal meeting will be replaced by the Christmas party, from 2-4pm on Monday 13th December. We are hoping to start with some Christmas carol singing from the Perins school Music Department, followed by a Bingo game or similar, and tea, with mulled wine as an alternative! The normal visitor fee of £2 will apply to non-members and visitors at this event.

There will be no Minibus outing in December

Schedule for 2022

By January we hope to publish the talks schedule for 2022, as far as it can be arranged, with new membership cards.

Coffee Mornings

Working with the Community Centre management, we are cancelling coffee mornings when they have other bookings for the downstairs rooms at the centre, as this enables them to use the room more profitably (in blocks of several days at a time). We therefore will NOT hold coffee mornings on:

26 October,

16 and 23 November,

7 and 14 December.

September Meeting! (+October too)

The next regular monthly meeting of the Giles Group will be on Monday September 13th, at 2pm in the Alresford Community Centre.

There will be a speaker, probably a young lady called Ellie, from The Environment Centre in Southampton ( They are an independent charity that aims to reduce carbon emissions, encourage sustainability, improve air quality and provide affordable warmth. They are financed by Hampshire County Council, and help local residents in Southampton, Portsmouth and rural Hampshire by providing tailored advice on energy use, heating, and insulation: they also advise on support such as the priority services register, and switching energy tariffs.

Ellie and a colleague will give a brief talk about these topics, and their “Hitting the Cold Spot” Service…. and then answer any specific questions you may have about home heating in general. They are also available on 02380 336172.

Afterwards we will have the normal teas and cakes, plus the raffle.

October Meeting

For our October meeting, on Monday October 11th, Mark Turner, the Chef and Restaurant Manager at Wayfarer Place will give a slide show covering his visit to Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru.

Early morning in wonderful Machu Picchu

Image by Pedro Szekely,

Meeting in August!

The First Giles Group meeting for 2021 will be held on 9th August, the second Monday of the month, at the Community Centre in Alresford, from 2pm to approx 3.30pm.

This marks the re-start of our monthly meetings, but this first meeting will not have a Guest speaker: instead we will explain what has happened over the last 15 months, and discuss what our members would like to see as activities for the future.

There will also be a short slide show showing a selection of photos of some previous Giles outings, and some amusing kids with animals/pets pictures.

Plus teas as usual!

The Town Minibus will be available for anyone who needs transport one way or both ways, with collections starting at 1pm from the Meryon Road garage. The bus fare will be £2 this year, for the return trip.

Please advise numbers wanting the bus to Nick Denbow, before Monday 9th

Contact data for Nick Denbow (Giles Group Secretary) is, or phone 01962 734824 (leave a message if not available)

[Plus don’t forget the Tuesday coffee morning sessions have restarted as normal, every week on a Tuesday 10.30-12 o’clock, with the doors wide open and small tables to spread us all out!]

Giles to re-open on 20 July

In common with other social groups for the elderly, following the UK Government requests, the Giles Group closed all operations as from April 2020.

The drop-in coffee mornings are planned to re-start on Tuesday 20 July 2021, in the Community Centre.

Whether subsequent monthly meetings and coffee mornings will continue will be reviewed next month, as currently there is no information about when the town Minibus will be operating again.

Nick Denbow, 734824

How we were…back when?

In the earlier days of the Giles Group history – for after all it has been going for nearly 30 years – there was a Group photo taken by Brian Champion, in the Community Centre lower hall, showing the Group of members one Summer, assembled for their “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.

The sober photo shows a group of very respectable elderly citizens:

Can you recognise anyone?

On the back row, starting from the left, we have identified the following:

Liz Lawrence – Unknown – Mary Keer – Unknown – Brian Purkiss – Unknown – Geoff Sayer – Unknown – Tessa Purkiss

Then in the front row, starting again from the left:

Mr Lawrence – Unknown – Molly Cook – Maureen Proudfoot – Fabia Wrigley – Unknown – Monica Dore.

Then approximately across the middle row mainly of ladies we have:

Unknown – Gladys Ashe – Unknown – Unknown – Joan Ogilvie – Peter Middleton – Unknown – Nan McNamara

After the formal photo there was another, dressed for the Mad Hatter’s tea party:

Same people, different hats.

When was this picture taken? It was a long time ago, the Community Centre walls were papered, and had no tapestry or pictures on there. So probably pre-2000? If anyone can tell us when, or add names, please do!

Giles AGM for 2019

The AGM for the Giles Group was held on 10th February 2020, in the Community Centre. The meeting was well attended, by about 30 members. The year was very positive, with many new members joining, primarily from McCarthy & Stone’s new development: the total of active members is now over 40.  The funding received at the year end from the Co-op boosted our finances for the next 12 months, and attendance at the meetings and the coffee mornings are at record levels: possibly boosted by the cakes at the meetings, and the Tesco bread at the coffee mornings.

The financial report is as below:

2019 FY Giles results

The full AGM minutes are as below:


Minutes of the AGM held on 10th February 2020 in the Community Centre

The meeting was opened by Patrick Hartley, the Chairman: copies of the 2019 AGM minutes were on each table, as well as copies of the financial summary accounts for the year to January 31st. There was a good turnout, with around 30 members attending.

2019 Chairman’s Report: Patrick Hartley, the Chairman, reported a good year in general. The only hiccup was possibly from the problems with finding drivers and helpers to man the Mini-Bus – but with help from the Pigs and Margot Power we have kept the outings going, all thanks to them, and we now have Ray as an allocated driver, which is excellent.

The Coffee mornings regularly see 12 sitting round the tables, and the free Tesco bread deliveries have been well received. New members have been streaming in, from the arrivals at Wayfarer’s Place, recruited by Una!

Generally the Giles Group has been doing well, over the last year, with a variety of different talks, and this seems set to continue for 2020. Patrick expressed his thanks to all the Giles committee and other helpers, like Gina and Audrey Chalk, for their support in all the meetings.

2019 AGM The Secretary, Nick Denbow, then read a summary of the minutes of the 2019 AGM, and asked for these to be accepted by the meeting. Proposer was Tessa Purkiss, seconded by Paul Gunner: the vote in favour was unanimous.

Treasurer’s Report: Clive Earthy presented his financial report, thanking Carole Cook for auditing them, and Jackie for typing them. The total income was up £230, mainly thanks to a generous donation from the Co-op of nearly £800. Without this the outlook would have been a lot different. The expenditure was largely the same as the previous year, where we had cut back significantly on speaker’s fees.

Without the Co-op windfall we would have faced a poor outlook, so with relatively fixed outgoings, we need to boost the income. It was proposed that we increase the membership fees by £2 to £17 per annum, and also seek further NATC funding for our activity later in the current year. The regular raffle at the meeting would be reviewed, possibly to have fewer prizes, of a higher value.

The report was proposed by Clive, seconded by Nick Denbow, and passed with a unanimous vote of the members present.


Three of the Giles Committee members, Patrick, Diann and Jeanne, stepped down from the Committee and offered themselves for re-election. There were no other nominations for the Committee, so these three were re-elected.

Ann Holliday, on behalf of the members, thanked the Committee and their helpers for their work in making the Giles Group continue to run well.

Jeanne reminded members that the Alison McGregor trip round the Solent is scheduled for the evening of June 15th: with only 12 seats available please book early!




Giles Christmas party 2019

The Giles Group of Alresford enjoyed a well-attended Christmas party this December, starting with some Carols (and other songs) from the Perins school girls choir, led by their music teacher, Mel Ashford.


The event this year brought a successful year to a close, with many new members, and with notable support from the New Alresford Town Council and several of the major supermarkets. In particular Tesco in Broad Street has made regular donations of bakery products via the Giles Tuesday coffee morning, which is then also delivered to Makins Court. In November the Giles Group were delighted to receive a donation from the Co-op National Community Support Fund, which has helped the strained finances. Plus, as seen in the photo above, Sainsburys kindly donated their used Christmas decorations to the Community Centre,which brightened up the meeting room.

After being entertained and even joining in the sing-song with the choir, the Giles members enjoyed some cakes and sausage rolls, contributed by several of the members, plus quite a lot of Mulled wine!

More pictures of the choir and audience follow:

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Financial results for 2018

The February 2019 meeting of the Giles Group was also the AGM, where the financial performance over the 2018 year was discussed.

The overall spend for the year was £1115, in fact just £7 less than last year. The income was approx £130 more than in 2017, but this included two separate donations from the New Alresford Town Council, of £325 each – these payments replaced a similar level of support from other bodies, classed as ‘Donations’ in the previous year. Two other sources of revenue were down on 2017, Membership subscriptions were down £40 for the year, and the raffles earned £40 less than in 2017.

The full figures can be seen in the report below.

Scan Giles AGM

The funds carried forward into February 2019, the start of the Group’s next financial year were £1024, which should cover costs for the rest of the year.

25 years in Alresford

The Giles Group has now been established for 25 years in Alresford.

The founder members were mainly women, who saw the need to pass on their knowledge of help and support systems and networks to other disabled people.  Three of these pioneers still live in the Alresford area: Tessa Purkiss, Hazel Worland and Mary Keer. Sadly, in January 2019, Fabia Wrigley finally lost her long fight with Multiple Sclerosis, aged 74, and a Service of Thanksgiving for her life was held in St Johns.

Fabia Wrigley

The founder members were mainly women, who saw the need to pass on their knowledge of help and support systems and networks to other disabled people.  Three of these pioneers still live in the Alresford area: Tessa Purkiss, Hazel Worland and Mary Keer.

Sadly, in January 2019, Fabia Wrigley finally lost her long fight with Multiple Sclerosis, aged 74, and a Service of Thanksgiving for her life was held in St Johns. Regrettably also, our past Chairman, Brian Purkiss, is no longer attending meetings, having moved to live in a Nursing home locally. The members are grateful for their contributions to establishing and running the Giles Group in Alresford.


The Giles Group in 2019

The Giles Group continues the normal schedule of meetings in 2019.

After the successful Christmas party in December, the next Monday afternoon meeting will be on January 14, when Gerald Wyeth from Ropley will discuss “The Life of a Shepherd” – ably assisted by his sheep dog, I am told! All our monthly meetings are on the second Monday in the month – a full listing can be found in the 2019 programme shown elsewhere on this website.

As usual the town Minibus will collect those who have asked for the service, starting at 1pm from Meryon Road, and working round the town from the West. Please stay in your houses and wait to be collected, do not stand outside in the cold! There is a £2 total charge for the Minibus journeys to town and back.

Also on EVERY Tuesday morning throughout 2019, coffees and teas will be available at our small meeting in the Town Hall, to let you take a break from shopping. At the same time, any surplus bread and pastries from the Tesco store are distributed free of charge, when available. This recycling of short dated food has run very successfully for two years, and is continuing: the Giles Group is delighted to help Tesco in this community exercise. Any surplus food remaining at 12 midday when the coffee morning closes is taken to Makins Court.