Sorry its been six months since my last Grayshott what’s on newsletter but I was waiting for someone to admit that they had missed it. So thanks Will for that.
This leaves a big gap to fill. Where to start? I seem to remember that the last words back in April were wise and encouraging ones from uncle Phil. So has all the doom and gloom left the building since then? Have we all got over ourselves? Yes! Phil was right and Grayshott is Great once again. Read on….
Grayshott has recently added even more village awards to its burgeoning trophy cabinet, so we won’t have to get the ‘welcome to Grayshott award winning village’ signs replaced after all.
Although runner up again, this time to Lyndhurst, Grayshott having won so many awards was honoured as ‘Champion of Champions’ alongside last years winner Bembridge.
Our Parish Council were given an Excellence in Localism Award for their vision and partnership working with the ‘Three-Pavement’s’ project’ which itself was commended for Best Environmental Improvement. This, in case you are wondering, is the provision of new footpaths around the village, namely the new path from the pottery to the primary school, the new path down Hammer lane to Woolmer hill school and the controversial path down Headley Road to who knows where. It was disappointing, to me at least, to find that the footpath extension to Firway has been stopped. I made my views known on the subject on our forum which was met with a deafening silence so perhaps I’m on my own again on this one. In short I think we should extend the footpath all the way to Headley Down to safely link our communities, and am happy to argue the case with anyone who thinks otherwise. The footpaths progress, at least past Applegarth to Kiln Way, having now been recognised for the environmental improvement it undoubtedly is, makes the recent decision to block the next phase to Firway seem at odds. Am I the only one to spot the irony? I have a feeling that opposition to a footpath is somehow driven by a desire to mind the gap. I’m not sure exactly how a pavement alongside a busy B road is supposed to put the local gap, whatever that is, at risk. Don’t we all want our roads, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike to be safer. Can we not at least talk about it before I get run over?
The surprise award of the night, although it should be no surprise to us, was a lifetime achievement award for an inspirational individual which went to Ferris Cowper. Ferris as our district councillor, and for a while, county councillor, has fought Grayshott’s corner for longer than I can remember and the list of his achievements grows and grows, not least the three pavements. Floss Mitchell is our new county councillor and I know she is already working with Ferris on sorting out the parking issues in Grayshott.
So what has been happening in our village retail centre over the summer. Roof repairs mainly. The extra workmen have all been music to David’s ears at the village cafe which continues to grow its customer base. The Grayshott Post Office is now considered a jewel in the GPO’s crown and was visited by the chief exec, no less, to see how their new mobile van service was going. Grayshott post office is a real success story with an increase of 700 to 1,100 post office customers a week since the refurb. Well done Michelle & Noel. It is also nice to see Jimmy Whittle join the team after his post office was closed in Headley Down. At least now the downers can use the new mobile service.
On the downside two more empty shops, Keats and Gascoigne Pees, have recently joined the increasingly empty retail landscape. Should we be worried when even estate agents can’t make it in Grayshott? Probably we had too many and the ones that are left do an excellent job, so no worries. The latest threat our shopkeepers face is rate revaluations and we should ensure that EHDC does whatever it can to protect our small businesses from increasing costs. How can we encourage new retailers to come into the village?
We have had a year with no Grayshott Markets and I wonder did you really miss them? You might think that they were all done and dusted but the parish council want to hear your views on whether you want them back, or not, at a public meeting on 25th October. Details of the meeting are in the October Grayshott Today on page 14.
When it comes to music Grayshott continues to play all the right notes. We recently enjoyed the Dvořák at Grayshott Concerts and marvelled at the skill and passion of young Yoon-Kyung Cho astride her cello. The next treat on 19th November is Magnificent Mozart.
Grayshott Folk Club kicked off another season with Connan and this Saturday is Keston Cobblers Club. Des continues to pull in world talent to entertain Grayshott folk.
Grayshott Jazz Club meets every last Tuesday of the month at the social club and Mike puts on the occasional special concerts like the FB Pocket Orchestra and the annual excursion from the Temps. For one night only Richard and Bill will be acoustic at FirkinFriday, our opening session at Grayshott’s original FirkinFest beer festival. I say original FirkinFest because you will be interested to hear that they are now spreading throughout the world and are particularly popular in the US where craft beers have really taken off. But we were the FirkinFirst. FirkinFriday is intended to be a relatively quiet night so you can hear yourself drink. There are some lovely beers and ciders to try and tasting notes to discuss and tick off as you do.
If you prefer your beer a bit more lively come along on Saturday and bob along to the 2 tone of Mainly Madness. They are really good with a full brass section for added monster sound. Come to one session, or come to both, and get your tickets from the social club, lightlines or online in advance because they are cheaper and guaranteed to get you in.
If ska is not your thing how about whooping it up at the Wild West Party in aid of Macmillan which is on the same night. The King Brilliant band will be in residence and there will be absolutely no square dancing chaps. Save that for the school Barn Dance Saturday week in the village hall.
I would mention here the return of the Karaoke tonight at Grayshott social club… but I was talking about music.
Now you might be wondering why I am Faragesquely still at the helm of the village website having declared Grexit at the parish assembly. Worry not, all is in hand and my second meeting with the parish council to discuss the next phase for our village website is already planned. I anticipate that gcom mark III will probably steer away from the social network framework that I think we have enjoyed over the last 6 years, and be a more traditional village website packed with useful information, but essentially more read only. There is a good argument for moving the social aspect of grayshott.com to another well established social network platform that has already taken over the rest of the world. Maybe I’m jumping the gun but I anticipated this might happen even back in 2012, when unsure of how successful I’d be in emulating the social networking craze sweeping the nation. So as well as reinventing the wheel I also got Grayshott going on Facebook.
If you didn’t already know we have a well established Grayshott Page (444 likes) and Group (315 members) on Facebook which you can like and join and share and post, and for good measure you even can find us on twitter at @GrayshottTweet. Nevertheless all of this currently pales into insignificance compared with the mighty grayshott.com (1,470 members). Back in 2012 not everyone was on, or wanted to be on, Facebook. Perhaps grayshott.com has been a gateway drug to many of our older members who have since taken the Facebook plunge. Anyhow these days just about everyone uses Facebook including large well respected organisations with brilliant websites, like the BBC, so perhaps it’s time we put all our social eggs in the same basket? If you can’t beat them, join them.
Until the new village website is up and running, which could be sometime, I will endeavour to keep this one going and have made a few tweaks recently to enhance the posting and editing of updates which include photos. I’ve also fixed a bug in the private messaging which was caused by the deletion of a spammer who messaged the entire membership back in May. Since then we haven’t had any unwanted new members offering us personal services, which may have come as a disappointment to some. How have we achieved this amazing firewall against spammers you may ask? Simple, new members now have to answer a security question, which means having a copy of Grayshott Today to hand. The question is… Who advertises on the back cover? See, it works.
If you don’t want to wait another six months for the next what’s on, try leaving an encouraging comment below, or contribute to or start a forum topic on any issues raised. You can always email me if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. Or you could always buy me an early beer 🙂 But please don’t leave me and grayshott what’s on in suspense.
Mind the gap!