- The Hoburne 5
- Peaceful path closed
- Thomas & Lucia Closed
- Mr Simms for Sale!
- A New Shop for Christchurch
- The Somerford Road Works
- Bins – and Traffic
- Another One Gone
A Defibrillator for Highcliffe
This morning the Highcliffe Rotary were outside the Co-Op, collecting for a publicly-accessible defibrillator for Highcliffe. It was busy all morning, until they finished at lunchtime.
Here is an explanation of defibrillation:
Stopping fibrillation – which is the trembling of the heart’s muscles – a defibrillator uses a high voltage to pass an electric current through to the heart. Defibrillators are becoming more and more commonplace in public areas due to the success rate being favourable, though AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) can now do a lot of the work for the person using the device.
Using a built-in computer, an AED uses self-adhesive electrode pads to analyse heart rhythms and detect any abnormalities. Some models will automatically administer an electric shock should the patient require one, others will prompt the person who’s using the defibrillator to deliver the shock if one is needed.
AEDs are aimed more towards inexperienced users, and that’s why they are ideal for use in public locations such as bars, shops, and in workplaces.
Here is the Rotary leaflet explaining the purpose of this (pdf, opens in a new window).
You have no doubt heard about the new water fountain outside the toilets in Saxon Square. This has had a lot of use since its recent installation. Thanks to the Council.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christchurch without there being some controversy, as reported in The Echo.
Well, on the theme of water, it never rains but it pours! There are now issues with the renovation of the toilet block (see another Echo article).
Here are two pictures of the inside, taken today. Don’t worry, they were not in use at the time! For obvious reasons there are only pictures of the men’s. I assume the ladies’/disabled are similar. Click if you would like a bigger version of the picture!
As something of a connoisseur (don’t ask!) here are the recently-built toilets in New Milton. There are nine separate cubicles, usable by men or women, each separately accessible from outside, with clear indication on the door when they are occupied. The seats do not fold up, to reduce the risk of vandalism, and there are containers for the usual things, including sharps. Sadly, drug use is all too common, and these encourage them to dispose of the paraphernalia properly instead of throwing it in the street – or even a normal waste bin.
More about the Christchurch toilets on Saxon Square – 23 September
It is reported in the Christchurch Times, 20 September, that the renovations will provide four ladies’ cubicles, two men’s urinals, five unisex cubicles and two accessible or family cubicles. It is hoped to reduce vandalism (though I have seen very little there) and also cut down water and electricity use.
It sounds rather like New Milton plus-plus!
Another One Gone
New Look is a national chain and one of the last few fashion stores in Christchurch. It will close on Tuesday (11 September) and it is rumoured that another coffee shop will take its place. However, this is only a rumour for now. There is an application to operate a gym above the store and in the adjacent premises. This is still in the pipeline but there are no actual details about the store itself. Here are three comments from one of the Christchurch Times’ famous informal surveys!
- It is a similar situation all over the country. I think the rents and rates are the main issue.
- It is a shame because there are not many fashion stores left in the town. The sale isn’t fantastic as a lot of stuff is going to all the stores.
- It is a shame with all the closed shops. There isn’t really a range. It looks pretty miserable for holidaymakers.
So there will be nothing at all except the Bay Tree Health Food Shop at that corner of Saxon Square. Here are two slightly depressing pictures of the closed store, taken on Thursday.
New Bins, and Traffic
You may remember an article in The Echo (21 August) about the waste bins. Here is a quote: ‘The new, larger bins were chosen by councillors to meet the needs of the borough and have animal proof lids. This should have a positive impact on keeping the High Street and Bargates clear of litter.’ Here is the article
I wondered where they were, as it is now September 10 and until now there had been no sign. Then today I spotted my first one, very impressive indeed!
As you are also aware, there have been a lot of traffic problems in Christchurch, made worse by the work on the Spur road. This morning there were long queues on Somerford Road, an Echo article today describes it as gridlock. Trying to be clever – always a mistake! – I decided to return via Purewell, only to discover that Stanpit is completely closed, not even a traffic control to let us through.
Update, 22 September – more bins, the first outside HSBC bank:
And another, with the sweet shop in the background:
11 September – A Little More
It seems appropriate to show more information about this. The header image has been changed to show the workmen in action. Must say, they did seem to be working hard!
Finally, here is a picture from inside the Meteor Park, showing why access has to be through the side entrance.
16 September – It’ll be great when it’s finished!
The control has a cover and should soon be in use, though I hope that the road won’t need to be closed again to sort out the electrics!
The Meteor Centre has its usual entrance back (top picture).
As you can see from the bottom picture, the little island at the junction of Edward Road and Somerford Road has also been removed.
I was quite surprised: I have crossed there many times and never had a problem, but I suppose the Council knows what they’re doing!
Anyway, here’s to progress …
26 September: Echo article about the legality of the crossing – or not!
Main article below (17 September), this picture 5 October
17 September – REALLY GOOD! Both the Cause and The Fun …
Thanks to Gary and Tracey this morning for letting me in to their new shop in the Precinct. To be honest I had let myself in, as I had seen them working as I passed. Well, they were stuck with me then, and to be honest they seemed rather pleased about it.
So what were they doing? You may remember last month an article on this site about Topsies, the closed ladies’ fashion store which was looking rather forlorn, and had been for some time. No longer! The store will be open in a few days.
It is supporting the Dorset Blind Association. Do have a look at the link to their excellent website. As the name suggests it is local charity, but I was surprised to see that it is their 100th anniversary this year. Here is an excerpt from their website. Read the rest, it is very impressive!
1918 – Dorset Blind Association was formed under the name Dorsetshire County Association for the care of the Blind (DCAB). It was intended to help veterans returning from the war who sustained injuries affecting their sight.
So it is appropriate that Christchurch is getting their second shop. I used the word ‘fun’ in the title as they were both working really hard setting everything up, yet they enthusiastically explained what was happening, and always with a smile.
As you can see from the picture below, there is a fair amount of merchandise to be put out. However, it would be great to have the shop jammed with goods when it opens soon. It is very close to Saxon Square car park, so you would not have to carry donations very far, and if you’re tired even after that short trip there are seats in the precinct on which to have a rest and maybe even examine your purchases afterwards!
SO PLEASE – DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED
LET’S MAKE IT WORK!
Pop in, or phone 01202-021132, Monday-Friday 9-5pm
UPDATE – MONDAY, 8 October – 9.30am
Opening. Note that this is a ‘soft’ opening where the doors will be opened and the customers welcomed. – there will a ceremonial one with a famous person soon.
19 September – Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe
You may have read articles in The Echo about the likely closure of this shop. I visited for the first time on Monday and was incredibly impressed. The scene on entering is impressive, I never knew that so many kinds of sweets actually exist!
Unsurprisingly, the man standing at the counter is not Mr Simms, but Geoff Morris, the current owner. After years of his success with the Christchurch branch of this franchise, he and his partner Heather are taking their well-earned retirement. It will certainly happen after Christmas, but before if possible. Do pop in to chat to him if you might be interested.
20 September – More in the Christchurch Times Today
Another interesting survey on the back page. As usual nine people were interviewed. Here are four as a taster (get it?).
‘It is nice having a range of shops and I try to support the independents. It is a great shame if it closes.’
‘It is not good to see and it the same everywhere you go. Everyone is struggling.’
‘When you go through the town you see how many coffee shops are there. If you are a holidaymaker it is not going excite you.’
‘I think what the town offers is brilliant. A lot of little towns are dying on their feet, but I hope Christchurch will be able to carry on.’
if you want to see the rest of the comments, just buy the paper.
23 September – Thomas and Lucia are no more
Another shop in Christchurch closed yesterday. This was Thomas and Lucia, on Bargates, Here is a statement from the owners, Sue and Matthew Clayton, reported in The Echo on 16 September:
‘After over ten years of running a high street shop, we have decided to close the bricks and mortar shop in Bargates, Christchurch so we can concentrate our efforts on other aspects of the Thomas & Lucia business.
We have loved the experience of running Thomas & Lucia over the last 10 years and we would like to thank all our wonderful and loyal customers, many who have become friends over the years.
We will, of course, miss preparing the shop for each new season and particularly getting the shop ready for Christmas and welcoming you all to our Christmas open days.
Here is the shop early the in the week, with their closing down sale on:
28 September – Path Closed
Today I walked down by the small fishing lake near to Mudeford Wood Community Centre. You may know this lake, it is a quiet path and the lake often looks beautiful and placid.
It is a looped path, meaning that you continue and then reach the Community Centre. Unfortunately today, because of vandalism, I had to retrace my steps.
Lucky With the Weather!
You may remember last year’s Hoburne 5 run, which took place on a rather dull, damp day. It was a little like that just before the beginning, but then, five minutes from the off, the sun appeared!
Here are two pictures from the start, at 10.30. Click each one for a larger version, which will open in a new window.