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.

The November Meeting (13th at 2pm)

TALK SWITCH: 

The talk scheduled for November, as listed on the Membership card, has been postponed. Instead, Chris Matcham, who previously spoke to us about Hedgehogs, will give a talk about the Otters of Hampshire.

(All the statements in the Forum and the What’s On have not updated their schedules, so their published information is wrong)

 

AGM report 2017

Minutes of the AGM held on 13th February 2017 in the Community Centre

Attendance

Approx 26 members (apologies received from Olive Gillespie, Ann Bravery, Jean Bax, Joan Wimbleton, Joan Mantell)

The meeting was opened by Nick Denbow who read out the 2016 AGM minutes in summary. Copies were also provided at each table. These 2016 minutes were proposed for acceptance by Diana Goulding, seconded by Jeanne Nicholls, and voted as approved.

2016 Report

Nick Denbow as Secretary reviewed the year, which had included some very enjoyable and memorable talks, plus enjoyable events in the garden party and Christmas party. With membership still at around 40, the Group is still active, and not many members have dropped out. The Committee have spent a lot of time on trying to identify new sources of funding, and two new sources have been approached for 2017.

Treasurer’s Report

Clive Earthy made his report as Treasurer, after thanks to Jackie Earthy for typing and printing the accounts, and to Jenny Hayes for checking them. Copies of the report were available at each table.

The income last year (2016/17) compared to the previous year was much increased. This was because the membership subscriptions were increased to £15 per person, giving a total of £562 (cf £340). Donations at £717 included two external grants, one from NATC for £350, and one from the Pigs for £145: but the largest proportion (£222) came from the members themselves in donations for recycled equipment, and purchases of other aids. The Raffles income increased yet again, to £150 (cf £117). All Social Services and HCC or similar funding has disappeared. So total income was £1430, (compared to £638 previously).

Cost totals year to year were up slightly on the previous year, (£1335 cf £1153 last year), where we had committed to some expensive speakers, giving their fees at £175 (cf £98), and a more expensive garden party + Christmas party at £270 total (cf £142): this was what the Pigs donated the £145 to support. Clive did note that a lot of mulled wine was consumed at Christmas. With £713 in the Bank, the group financial projection was reasonable, and better than last year: Clive proposed that the membership fee should remain unchanged.

The Treasurer’s statement and report for 2016/17 was proposed as accepted by Audrey Chalk, seconded by Tessa Purkiss, and agreed in a vote by the meeting.

Chairman’s Summary

Nick Denbow explained that the Chairman, Lin Parker, had resigned in July, and so with Brian Purkiss also stepping down, the Committee had co-opted two new members, Patrick and Angela Hartley, to help with running the Group. This was in accordance with the Giles Constitution – which also requires that three long serving Committee members step down after three years. The three stepping down this year were Nick Denbow, Clive Earthy and Jeanne Nicholls, who all offered themselves for re-election. This was proposed by Una Yeates, and seconded by Wynn Stowell, and the meeting voted to approve this unanimously.

Next it was necessary for the Committee to find a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman: after receiving suggestions and discussing options, the Committee proposed Patrick Hartley as Chairman and Diann Adam as Vice-Chairman. The formal vote was proposed by Nick Denbow and seconded by Clive Earthy, and agreed by the meeting, unanimously.

Thanks were then expressed to Diann, Nan and Gina, as well as Audrey Chalk, for their constant and varied supply of teas and cakes for the meetings, and for the drop-in Tuesdays. Plus a major vote of thanks to Peter Cutler for driving the Minibus. Clive will supply Membership cards for 2017 in return for the new subscriptions, which gives the future schedule of talks.

Members Proposals 

Jeanne Nicholls asked as ever for Member’s suggestions for the Minibus trip destinations: mostly these have concentrated on garden centres, but this next week the destination is Petersfield.

Rosaleen McDonald suggested a possible speaker in Neil Macareth, who had spent some long periods in Nepal with the Gurkhas.

Wynn Stowell expressed her thanks to the Committee for the work they do, on behalf of the Members.

The 2017 accounts are attached below

giles-2016-to-17-accounts

The Home Library Service

Nicolette Morgan writes that she is wishing to raise awareness of the Home Library Service, a free service available from all Hampshire libraries including Alresford library.

The Home Library Service is for anyone who finds it difficult to get to their nearest library due to ill health, disability or caring responsibilities. We can usually arrange for one of our local volunteers to visit to exchange library materials on a monthly basis. We appreciate that often the social contact with a volunteer is as important as the library items they choose and deliver. There are no charges to hire audio books, and no overdue charges for late returns. All our volunteers are DBS (CRB) checked and comply with instructions and standards as set out by library staff.

We can deliver a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books in standard and large print formats, specialist books including ones suitable for those living with Dementia, items from our Reminiscence collection, audio books on CD, MP3 CD (a whole book on one disc) and Playaways which are easy to use digital players. We can also offer National Talking newspapers and Magazines which library staff can download onto a memory stick for you to listen to through any device with an MP3 USB connection.

If you know someone who could benefit from this service, please talk to staff at your nearest library, call us on 0300 555 1387, or apply online at http://www.hants.gov.uk/library/servicesforyou/homelibraryservice I am also happy to take direct referrals.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me (nicolette.morgan@hants.gov.uk). I would be happy to deliver a talk to your group on the Home Library Service and what else is available from their local library.

Giles trip round the Soton Docks

It was the longest day of the year, 20 June, when the Giles Group monthly outing went out on the Alison MacGregor launch from Hythe for a trip around the Solent, which in this case meant around the docks in Southampton and up the River Itchen for a look round there. Despite the rain all morning, which made two with faint hearts drop out, the weather was marvellous, and no-one got wet, even from the spray.

The Alresford Minibus set off early to meet the boat by 2pm, and after a little messing about in the Marina we managed to find a toilet with disabled access, in the Marina Restaurant: many thanks to them for opening up for us specially! Then we set off out of the lock gates, although since the tide was in there was not much change in water level. This made the trip all the better, as we could see more on the docksides – which mainly was taken up with thousands of cars, Minis and Range Rovers, being exported in big car transporters.

You have to wonder how leaving the EU will affect the traffic in and out of the port – but there were a lot of JCB excavators as well, and JCB were one of the companies supporting the ‘Out’ campaign. Other notable items being prepared for export shipping were several large wind turbine blades, which the skipper described as ‘the last ones made on the Isle of Wight’, as production had been transferred to Norway – or maybe it was Sweden.

The commentary from the skipper describing the passing sights was really useful in understanding what we could see: whether it was related to the history of the port, or the old ships now being restored and used for pleasure trips, or the new docks for the large cruise liners – filled that day with yet another car transporter. Apparently these big ships with their multiple decks of cars get unloaded and loaded up again within 24 hours! There was also some banter from dissident members of the crew, who were concerned to explain that “Left” meant “Port”, and “Right” meant “Starboard” when the skipper gave his commentary!

Everyone enjoyed the trip, and all fell asleep on the Minibus on the way back, except for the driver: we arrived back home in time for tea, well refreshed by an afternoon on the water!

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The view of Southampton Docks as we left the Hythe Marina

 

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Car transporters

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One of the Cruise ships – the AIDAprima, German owned but registered in Genoa
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The old Calshot Spit light vessel behind the new cruise terminal

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3D Paper Sculptures on show

The Giles Group January meeting was delighted to listen to a presentation by Pauline Cherrett, showing off her interest and talent with 3D Paper Sculptures. While Pauline has been collecting these sculptures, cards and books from around the world, she was fascinated to report that one of the most interesting came from a bookseller in Alton! The 3D talk is difficult to describe in words, so the photos below show some of Pauline’s presentation items passed round, for us all to appreciate at close quarters.

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Christmas Festivities

PC140134The annual Giles Group Christmas party was held in the Alresford Community Centre on December 14th: the weather was good, so there were plenty of members in attendance, and the town Minibus brought twelve more, thanks to a volunteer driver from the Alresford Pigs. There were also several guests invited, who had helped in many ways to run the group’s activities throughout the year, in the background.

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This year we were delighted to have the Acabellas, eight girls in their final years at Perins school, led by Mel Cotton, Head of Music at Perins, to start the party proceedings, with music, carols and their singing. In fact the Acabellas were also to sing in St John’s Church the following evening, so the Giles Group was delighted to have an a preview of the show. Following some traditional carols the girls also sang some modern songs, with items from Phantom of the Opera, plus ‘Walking in the Air’, and ‘Feed the Birds’ with some excellent soloists. This was not just singing, they also demonstrated some ‘Chime Time’ bell ringing, all accompanied and arranged by Mel Cotton. We were grateful to the girls for this excellent show, and also to the boys who carried the equipment and music stands up to the Community Centre beforehand.

Then the afternoon tea started, which also added mulled wine and soft drinks – plus plenty of cakes and varied sandwiches and savouries made or supplied by various Giles Group members. The Christmas quiz was a test for everyone, but as usual there were several tables who scored maximum points. Everyone was delighted to take a “Goddies” bag home, full of more cakes, to enjoy later……

One committee member was seen escaping from the festivities, by the back door, claiming a previously arranged Hospital appointment, and wearing his Scrooge hat! We are also grateful to Jeanne Nicholls, also on the Giles Group Committee, for copies of the photos seen here.

Coming up to Christmas!

As we come up towards the Christmas party at the December meeting, it is worth looking back to review the last two talks, which have been very different. In September we had David Groeger from the Alresford Chiropractic Clinic at the bottom of West Street, who explained some of the history of his profession. There seemed to have been a few family arguments over how to treat bad backs, but not in his family at least! Once David has put your back, neck or leg back into action, he is a great advocate of using the proper style of walking stick, to keep your head held high. Maybe this should be possible around his practice building now that there are no longer any big holes and mounds of tarmac in the pavement there.

In October we had a very different talk, from Aiden Simons of Ropley, who talked about his experiences while helping several children’s schools in Kenya, which he after when he spent some time in the country monitoring various international development projects. Since then Aiden and his wife have been helping find materials and donations to build schools, and even teaching some of the classes, having become firm friends with the leaders of the local Churches. Aiden was about to depart on another trip before Christmas. The stories he told were very moving, making all appreciate living in a society where such things would not be tolerated, particularly in relation to the teaching of deaf or blind or otherwise disabled children. The members had a collection for Aiden to spend in things needed for the children he was going to visit, which amounted to £70.

For our Christmas party on December 14th, we have part of the Perins school choir coming to sing some Carols, and then will organize a Christmas quiz and raffle. One of the raffle prizes is to be a jar of Galaxy Hot Chocolate powder, which they have kindly donated: the second jar we are using for some hot drinks on the day!

Our Alison MacGregor outing

The July outing on Monday 20th included a trip on the Alison MacGregor – maybe not what you would have chosen to do for two hours on a squally misty evening, but it turned out to be a lovely trip all around Southampton port and docks!

Travelling down to Hythe we decided to visit Lepe Country Park to go for a cup of tea and a cake: but while we saw the Isle of Wight as we got out of the Minibus, the squalls started and the island disappeared. Never mind, the Cafe was close by, so we rushed indoors. There we found teapots that were impossible to pour, and some of Simon Chadwick’s books about the adventures of various hedgehogs in the shop. Well Lepe is really in the New Forest, almost, so it seems reasonable.

Pam, June, Audrey and Jeanne well wrapped up!
Pam, June, Audrey and Jeanne well wrapped up!

Back at Hythe in plenty of time for a 6pm start we wondered whether we could escape, and looked for waterproofs and umbrellas…but then were reassured by one of the crew that it had never rained on his trips so far all Summer. So he had something to remember us by at least, because it was pretty wet, and soon they brought out waterproof sheets and lovely crocheted woollen blankets to wrap everyone up.

Diann washing up even on an outing!
Diann washing up even on an outing!

Diann had said she was really not a very good sailor, and said she was worried about being seasick, but after she had run around the boat taking photos she disappeared into the cabin at the front and was seen to be steering the boat. When she left the steering wheel we seemed to go up and down a lot over some big wash of a ferry, so that was obviously a result of her steering. Later on she was seen washing up, maybe to try and make amends.

Like sentries waiting for someone to salute, the container-ship unloading berths
Like sentries waiting for someone to salute, the container-ship unloading berths

The port and the cranes and the stuff on the dockside were fascinating, and really impressive, in terms of the size of the ships and the cargo on board, or inside in the case of the car transporters. After two hours we made David wait in Hythe while most of us ate some fish and chips, and then we meandered back to Alresford via Romsey, a closed road, Southampton General Hospital, and eventually the M3 back to Winchester, arriving quite late!

More pictures are in a separate album, follow the link, printed here:

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Diann getting the photos, while the rest are under cover.
Diann getting the photos, while the rest are under cover.
June getting a picture on the rainy side
June getting a picture on the rainy side
It was the Redjet that made the biggest waves!
It was the Redjet that made the biggest waves!
Diann washing up even on an outing!
Diann washing up even on an outing!
A sleek private yacht, that should be in better weather....
A sleek private yacht, that should be in better weather….

 

 

Meanwhile here are a few photos.

Valuable exports en route to China, to come back as knives and forks maybe.
Valuable exports en route to China, to come back as knives and forks maybe.
Pam and June still interested in what the ships are, despite the weather
Pam and June still interested in what the ships are, despite the weather
A wall of containers
A wall of containers
The award winning rubbish chewing incinerator, looking like an Armadillo, or a space bug.
The award winning rubbish chewing incinerator, looking like an Armadillo, or a space bug.
Quite a few containers arriving - possibly from China
Quite a few containers arriving – possibly from China

It’s June: it’s the Garden Party

On the afternoon of 8th June the Giles monthly meeting was the annual Garden Party, once again held in Peter and Fabia Wright’s garden in South Road. We were hoping for a sunny, pleasant day, and the weather was not too bad, although there were complaints when the clouds came over! This year we welcomed Fabia too, and the garden looked really marvellous.

There were about 23 at the party, with 11 on the Minibus and several scooters. Andrew Wilcox stood in for the regular bus driver, and we all appreciated his help.

The tea was made up of lots of different sandwiches, fruit cake, scones with cream and strawberry jam, and even strawberries, followed by strawberries and cream. There seemed to be a strawberry theme really. Many thanks to Nan and Lin, Una, Diann and Gina for all the preparation and food serving!

Peter took lots of embarrassing photos, so look out for those shortly…..

Since you did not need your sun hats, maybe bring them out again next week for the June drive on Monday, which hopefully will be down to the coast somewhere. Plus then there is the Pigs sponsored evening drive the day after, on 16th June.