(2d) September 2018

1 September

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.
John Spencer (centre), this year’s President, with two helpers.
Here is the Rotary leaflet explaining the purpose of this (pdf, opens in a new window).
Click for a larger, printable version. Opens in a new window

3 September

Toilets! 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!
Christchurch Toilets Saxon Square
Going in
Christchurch Toilets Saxon Square
Wash your hands before leaving!
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.
New Milton toilet block
Inside one of the cubicles. My bag is there for scale. The sides are vertical: it was taken with a fisheye lens so there is some distortion in the picture.
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! Back to top

5 September

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.
New Look, Christchurch
The final few days. Taken Thursday, 6 September. Click for a larger image, in a new window.
Open for some bargains. Taken Thursday, 6 September. Click for a larger image, in a new window.
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.
Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version
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10 September

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!
Click for a larger version
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. Here is the roundabout from near Sainsbury’s. A big problem is actually getting on to the roundabout as that, too, is often jammed!
Click for a larger picture
Update, 22 September – more bins, the first outside HSBC bank:
Click for a larger version
And another, with the sweet shop in the background:
Click for a larger version
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. Back to top

16 September – It’ll be great when it’s finished!

Meteor Centre Christchurch
Sunday morning, with the Meteor Centre now free of roadworks. Click for a larger picture.
Well, after a week of disruption, the road works are almost complete. 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 …
Edward Road, and the missing traffic island. Click for a larger picture
26 September: Echo article about the legality of the crossing – or not! Back to top

Almost Ready

Main article below (17 September), this picture 5 October

Dorset Blind Association Christchurch shop
Opening on Monday.
Click for a larger version.

17 September – REALLY GOOD! Both the Cause and The Fun …

Dorset Blind Association
Let’s get them dressed!
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!


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.
Dorset Blind Association
Getting ready. Click for a larger picture.
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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!
Click for a larger picture
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.
Click this image to go to the Mr Simms website

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.’ Two of the above comments are from visitors. One is from a lady from Glasgow, who has visited for many years. Another one is from a visitor from Peterborough. I wonder if you know which two? if you want to see the rest of the comments, just buy the paper. Back to top

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:
Click for a larger image
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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.
Click for a larger version
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.
Closed. The Community Centre is just over the bridge.
Sadly, this is why.
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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.
Hoburne 5 Run, 30 September 2018
Click for a larger picture
Hoburne 5 Run, 30 September 2018
Click for a larger picture
Update, 29 November Today I saw a letter about this year’s race on the notice board at Sainsbury’s. Click the image if you want to see the actual letter; however, the text is reproduced as well.


23 October 2018

The Community Investment Committee BAE Systems. Air Warton Aerodrome (W182C). Preston. PR4 1AX Dear Lisa, On behalf of the charities who have benefitted and of the runners who enjoyed taking part in our race, we would like to express our sincere thanks for your help this year.
Hoburne 5
Click for a larger image
The Hoburne 5 tries to appeal to new runners. so we are keen that the entry fee is kept low (typically £11) and that the rewards offered encourage all abilities. This year‘s race broke records for both attendance (336 runners) and the amount raised. We were chosen as a Dorset County under 17 championship race and as a Dorset Road Race League event. Christchurch Runners provides the management and materials needed for free. However, we rely on sponsors such as you to cover our race administration costs as well as to provide category and raffle prizes and other items given to competitors in goody bags. We would therefore like to say a big “thank you’ to Sainsbury’s at Christchurch for donating 2 x £10.00 vouchers which were used as raffle prizes. I have been Race Director for only the last five years. During that time, with the help of an increasing number of sponsors many of whom have been with us since the start, the race has been able to donate more money year-on-year to predominantly local charities. This year we were able to donate over £3,000 to the following charities: Macmillan Caring Locally – £1,500 The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy – £1,500 Abby’s Heroes – £300 I know that many competitors take part as a personal challenge, often in memory of loved ones. These people use our event to raise yet more money through sponsorship, further adding to the total received by charities via this race. With our sincere thanks for your ongoing support Peter Wallis Chairman of Christchurch Runners and Race Director of the Hoburne 5 Road Race Back to top