(1j) March 2019

1 March

New Month – Just To Get Started As you are aware, the Saxon Square toilets have been closed for some time, prior to their rebuilding.  The previous item shows them last month, and this gives more information about them, from January. To quote from the Echo article: Work on the site will involve completely removing the entire existing facility and installing new modern individually accessed toilets, a disabled toilet and family facilities. During the project, temporary toilets, including disabled and family facilities, will be provided at the rear of the Regent Centre in Wick Lane car park. Additional disabled and family facilities are also available in Bridge Street outside the Civic Offices in Christchurch. Here is what they looked like today.

4 March

Going, Going, Soon to be Gone. This morning I passed the building and was surprised to see how much has been done. Unfortunately the wooden hoardings are prominent, and I could not get nearer, or climb them, for a better view. Ah well …
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5 March

Shrove Tuesday I was surprised this morning to see in The Echo that the annual pancake race was taking place, so it was post-haste to record the occasion. In recent years the venue has been the  old Bowling Green, opposite the Kings Arms hotel. There will be a fuller report soon. For now, a few pictures. Go to ‘View full size’ in each case to see a larger version which opens in a new window. Close the gallery by clicking the cross, top right. Back to top

9 March

‘The’ Crossing! This week there is, at last, good news about the now notorious pedestrian crossing outside the Meteor Centre. The end might be nigh! Click the picture below to see the Echo article. It is not a new picture, but was taken on February 5. Not much has changed since, so there was little point in taking a new one!The are various items throughout this site, use the search box to find them. Here is one from February. Back to top

10 March

Lymington Road Half-Blocked! This morning at 11 o’clock there was a traffic jam stretching nearly to the Hoburne roundabout. Half of the road was blocked, as a tree had fallen across the road. It had been a windy night, and it seemed to be getting gustier today. Here are two pictures taken from the junction with Shelley Close. Thankfully Read builders live a few yards away, and were on hand to get to work with the chainsaw. Apparently this is not the first time they have stepped in to help!
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15 March

A New Eatery? You may remember the Crafty Wood Shop, an interesting place but which has been closed for a long time now. There is now an application for change of use from Class A1 (shop) to Class A3 (restaurants and cafes). You can see the application here. As you can see from the picture, three would be next to each other. The documents for this application are not very interesting (sorry!) so here is my summary:
  • The aim is for an upscale cafe/restaurant
  • Licensed to serve alcohol with food
  • Open from 10.30am to around 5pm on weekdays Open in the evening no later than 11pm at weekends, and on request for weekday special occasions
  • 24 seats inside and possibly a ‘presentation table’ at the front.
Finally, more progress further up the road. The site is being prepared.
Click to see what it looked like in February
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16 March

The Grange School It was good to read the following items in the Christchurch Times this week: ‘Pupils at a school in Christchurch have taken second place in the Bournemouth heat of a national performing arts competition. ‘The Grange School stormed to runner-up spot in the latest stage of the Rock Challenge competition which was held at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre on Monday night. Seven schools from across Dorset competed. ‘The students’ piece, entitled Let’s Revolt, was inspired by the Peasants’ Revolt which saw major uprising across large parts of England in1381. ‘Chelcie Peryer, drama teacher at The Grange School, said, “All the students get really involved, they’re really supportive of each other and it’s great for them to meet other schools and see other dances. We’ve had a group of almost forty students in years 7-11 working on our piece. They’ve been working tirelessly and have absolutely brilliant.”’ The first picture below is photographed from the Christchurch Times, the original looks great!
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Finally, below there are three reduced-size pictures from the excellent Christchurch Times collection. You can see all 34, and bigger, here. Further, there is also to be a new Head at the school. Jason Trevarthen is taking over in September. A teacher for over 23 years, he trained in Plymouth and got a B.Ed (Hons), specialising in PE and ICT. Jason sees sport as being valuable in that it encourages teamwork, leadership and high expectations and standards. He came from Paignton Community and Sports Academy, where he was Deputy Head. Back to top

18 March

Missed it! You may remember the exploratory oil rig saga, which has been going on for some time. The picture below was taken from Highcliffe on Sunday, 10 March. It was the first clear day for ages. Note that the sea has been darkened to make the rig stand out. It is left of Hengistbury Head, in the distance. It didn’t actually dominate the horizon from there, so today I decided to ascend Hengistbury Head to get a better view. I scanned and scanned the horizon, and finally spoke to a nice lady runner, who stopped and told me it had been removed. Here is the Echo report. Unfortunately the Echo article does not say exactly when it had been removed (remember – who… what… when… where… why for a news report?), but the aforementioned lady said it was in the last day or two. However, the journey was not wasted, Having reached the beach huts, I decided for a change to try to get back along the beach. I’d seen this before, but it looked as if if was just blocked. It isn’t!
Heading towards Bournemouth
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Looking back
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It was an arduous journey, stones and shingle all the way after the deep sand. It was spectacular, though. Having finally reached the path near to Bournemouth, heading for the Visitor Centre the Priory looked beautiful.
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At last, at the Visitor Centre, there is an interesting new statue there, with the legend ‘your talking Stone Age man will be coming soon!’ Unfortunately I have been unable to find more information about this, so if you know anything, please email me. Click either of the pictures to get bigger versions. Back to top

19 March

Somerford Road Pedestrian Crossing – Finished At Last! Today, at around 9am, driving towards the Somerford Roundabout I was surprised to see a traffic jam going across the roundabout. That is unusual at this time. So I – very quickly – glanced left and saw that the pedestrian lights are working. Later that morning I stopped and took a photograph of a shopper waiting, having pressed the button (upper picture), and then preparing to cross with the lights red (lower picture), joined by a lady in a red coat, with slightly less shopping. This local news is surely even more exciting that Brexit! Back to top

21 March

Tragic Accident in Purewell On Monday, 18 March, an eighty-year-old lady was killed after being knocked down by a car on Somerford Road, in Purewell. It was at the junction, pictured below, where the entrances to the hardware store, In Excess, and Christchurch Garage. As you can see, there are two entry/exit points next to each other. The smaller one also has a footpath next to the garage. Both of these can get very busy. Here is a link to the Echo article.
Flowers left at the scene
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Commiserations to the friends and family of the lady.

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22 March

So Far Away, But Our Friends Now that it has been a week, it seems appropriate to speak about the terrible atrocity in our twin town in New Zealand. A lone gunman went to two mosques and killed fifty worshippers, injuring many more. There have been funerals over the last couple of days, and more to come. Further, some of the injured require multiple surgeries and remain very seriously ill even now.

As the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said, she will never utter his name; out of respect I also will not name the terrorist here. There has been much admiration worldwide about how she has dealt with the enormous sadness of this tragedy, her compassion and her determination. It is the same with the Mayor of Christchurch, Lynne Dalziel. She is pictured on the left.

Our own Mayor, Cllr Lesley Dedman, said the following in this week’s edition of the Christchurch Times (21 March 2019): ‘The Borough of Christchurch is deeply saddened by the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. We share a strong affinity with Christchurch, New Zealand, despite the miles that divide our towns. ‘Personally I would also like to offer support to Lynne Dalziel, the current Mayor. This is a very dark time for the City of Christchurch and her message to ensure that this dreadful attack unites, and doesn’t divide us, is echoed in her twin town in the UK.’ The picture below shows Cllr Dedman signing the council’s book of condolence. Residents and visitors are invited to record their message in this book, available in the reception of the Civic Offices on Bridge Street. Note that the picture below is scanned from the newspaper, hence the relatively low quality. If an article becomes available online I will add the link.
Our Mayor, Cllr Lesley Dedman, signs the book of condolence.
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26 March

Great Weather, a Warning, and Progress Today was yet another almost like summer. There was no need to wear a jacket or gloves, it is very different from last year, when we were just recovering from the cold snap and the snow not long before. The picture below was taken at around 9.30 this morning. The sun was already bright, hardly a cloud in the sky, and it continued throughout the day.
A summer’s day?
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Click the hornet to go to the newspaper article for more information.
However, every silver lining has a cloud! It is reported in the Daily Mirror that Asian hornets have arrived, Brockenhurst being one of the two areas mentioned. They are not deadly unless you go into an anaphylactic shock, but the sting is very nasty. They also threaten our native species. Apologies for the picture, but it is as well to be aware. If you see them they should be reported. See the article for details. Finally, back to a silver lining. There is good progress on the Saxon Square toilets.
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27 March

Have a Close Look Despite having lived in the area for a long time, today I had a close look at the Christchurch sign, next to the Somerford roundabout. I had never seen the plaque before, and it shows that the original sign was produced in 1920. The description is below, and the text typed next to it.



This award winning sign was completely restored in 2012. The picture was faithfully repainted as a faithful copy of the original by:

Renowned local artist Chérie Wheatcroft


One side is very dirty, the other side less dirty. I blame the traffic!
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Finally, click to see Ms Wheatcroft’s excellent website Back to top