I can’t believe that I am writing my last news of 2016 – my mother always said that the years went by faster as you get older, and of course I never believed her – but she was right, bless her!
If you have been following the journey of Robina and Terry Richter in Tanzania, you will be pleased to know that they have managed to have a couple of wonderful trips on land and sea. They have been on safari and taken a fabulous boat journey along the lake. Terry was home for a couple of weeks in November and he kindly brought a couple of DVDs of their trips which were magical. I suggested that they might do a couple of lectures for the village on their return next autumn and I think Terry already had this in mind so watch this space.
Looking back, our Harvest Festival was well supported and a large amount of foodstuff was taken to Stonepillow, a charity for homeless people in the Chichester area. They are not alone – it is frightening how many people now rely on Food Banks for sustenance and they, too, need our support. I try every week at the supermarket to buy an extra tin of food or a toiletry and then I pop it into a box at the back of the Church which is marked for donations. The Church is open daily from 1000 – 1500 so if you are able to donate something you would be helping some very needy people.
Because we couldn’t have a police presence on Remembrance Day this year it was decided to hold the ceremony around the memorial with people congregated around the graveyard. We were blessed with a crisp, sunny morning, and I certainly felt that there was a very special atmosphere as the choir led the singing and the bugle calls were made.
The village now has a new free private online social network, NEXTDOOR which has been set up by local resident Shaun, to help us all keep in touch. It can share recommendations for traders, plan neighbourhood events, discuss safety, post things for sale and muh more on our website and mobile app. Go to https://nextdoor.co.uk and the invite code is: NKNRQF.
It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Jane and Chris who have closed Ellesmere Nurseries after 25 years when they joined Jane’s Mum and Dad, Lionel and May when they retired. The Nursery was established in 1946 when Lionel left the Army after serving in the Royal Artillery in the Second World War and married May in August 1946. In 1951 when their bungalow, on the corner of what is now Ellsmere Orchard, was complete they established the nursery which became Ellesmere Nurseries names after their bungalow “Ellesmere.” They expanded the business by introducing a mail order service distributing seeds and corms etc by post. The business thrived and went on to produce and sell bedding plants, shrubs, wreaths and floral decorations, and bespoke pots for Christmas. We wish Jane and Chris a very happy future and a huge thank you for all that they have given to the village community over the years
It’s lovely now that it is December to see lights going up in house windows, and trees starting to be decorated around the village. Especially the tree in the Square which is such a wonderful focal point in the village. What I find hard to cope with is all the Christmas razzmatazz which starts as soon as children go back to school in September. But it is delightful that there has been a Christmas Tree Knitting Team who have been making rectangles to adorn the metpm.al railings around the tree in the Square. A big thank you to Polly Tassell for making this happen. Well done.
The village Christmas Tree lights are being switched on on Saturday December 10th and there will be the annual Carols in the Square on Saturday December 17th at 6pm.
There has been considerable debate on the Parish Council about the need for a Car Park in the village. But the major issue is where to site it. Several spaces have been suggested but mostly rejected – and there are those who feel that a car park would just bring more people into the village – watch this space!
As ever the residents of Westbourne supported the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and raised a superb total of £2,824.67p. This was made possible by the many collectors who made house to house collections and in schools, at shops, pubs, garages, clubs, church and surgery. The team would welcome more helpers so if you are able to join the team for next year contact Celia Shannon on 01243 374458 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are wondering about a Christmas present for a loved one, why not sponsor or adopt a tree in Westbourne’s Community Orchard? The Hampshire Farm Meadows off Westbourne Road now has 24 trees and several have been planted in memory of loved ones. I am going to have one in memory of my husband Bill who died in September as he asked me to donate one as he was so delighted to know that the space was being so sensibly used.
As many of you will know Jim Barlow started the Westbourne website over 10 years ago and this month it has passed the 100,000 visitor number. Jim has been tireless in his quest to find someone to take the website over and the village is very lucky that Anna Tonkin has come forward to take over from Jim. I very much look forward to working with Anna who I think has lots of good ideas to take the website forward.
But I must end this year by thanking Jim for having the vision for this amazing village website, and Anna for taking it over.
May l wish you all a very Happy Christmas and health in 2017