Hampshire Farm Meadows Community Orchard

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About two years ago, Greening Westbourne planted the first fruit trees at Hampshire Farm Meadows. The community orchard has now grown to 53 trees and, alongside apple, now boasts pear, cherry and plum trees. The most recent planting took place on Saturday 10th February and was well attended by members of the Community Orchard Group as well as sponsors of the ten new trees.

Of particular poignancy to Greening Westbourne, was the planting of a Fiesta apple tree by Helen Barlow, in memory of her husband Jim, long-time webmaster of the Westbourne Village website and founding member of the community orchard. Jim lost his brave battle against Motor Neurone Disease in April of last year. Alongside the tree for Jim was one celebrating the achievements of local astronaut Tim Peake, whose request for an apple tree was linked to the fruit which is said to have alighted on the head of Isaac Newton in 1667.

Westbourne Spring Clean Day – a date for your dairy

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Our annual Spring Clean Day will be taking place this year on Sunday 8th April. Ours is a lovely village but is too easily spoilt by litter, much of it thrown out of the windows of passing cars. Join us in this community event, which sees us take responsibility for our immediate environment and also provides us with an opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow villagers. Further details will be found in the April issue of the Westbourne Magazine: all you need to know now is that we meet at 2.00pm in the Square.

Richard Hitchcock

Neighbourhood Plan – Update

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Your neighbourhood plan is nearing completion. The public hearing requested by the independent examiner took place on Wednesday 25th October. The session was well attended and the parish council was represented by Piers Mason (WPC and WNPSG), Roy Briscoe (WPC and WNPSG) and Patricia Goodhew (WNPSG). They were ably supported by our planning consultant Lisa Jackson. The fact that the hearing, which commenced at 10.00am, concluded shortly after 12.30pm is in no small measure down to the fact that our representatives had prepared themselves thoroughly and were therefore in a position to respond appropriately and effectively to the questions posed by Jeremy Edge, the independent examiner. We now await Mr Edge’s report and are relatively confident that only relatively minor changes will need to be made to the Plan before it goes to referendum early in the new year.

Please continue to follow updates in the Westbourne Magazine as well as on the Parish Council and Village websites as we will need your vote at the forthcoming referendum. Only if the neighbourhood plan gains the support of the parish will it become part of planning law, which will enable us to have a at least a degree of control with regard to any future development.

The Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Greening Westbourne Campaign Update  

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WHAT’S YOUR BIG GREEN ISSUE?

Are you batty about bats? Are you passionate about bees and other pollinators?  Does the condition of our trees concern you? Or are you a supporter of the struggling hedgehog?

Or do you have another burning environmental issue close to your heart, like litter or pollution or sustainable transport?

At Greening Westbourne we’re starting to think about activities for next year. If you’re passionate about something and want to do something practical about it, come along to our next meeting on 14 November at 7.30pm at the White Horse, and let’s talk it over.

In the meantime, we’re pushing on with our proposal for bike parking in the Square, and working on these events:

7 Jan – Christmas tree recycling in the Square

With new gift recycling fun. Bring a wrapped unwanted gift and get a mystery swap.

21 Jan – community orchard wassailing event

Celebrate the success of the orchard the traditional way.
Pop in and see us at the White Horse or drop us a line at greeningwestbourne@hotmail.co.uk

The Westbourne Christmas Knit

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The Westbourne Christmas Knit

Calling all those wanting to help knit decorations for the Westbourne square – any  experience welcome!

We meet to knit and knatter in the cosy White Horse pub on a Tuesday evening at 7.15pm, please come down!

Or, if you would prefer to knit from the comfort of your own home – please drop any knitting completed to the White Horse by 5th December.

Please contact Polly Smithson on pollytassell@hotmail.com or enquire within the White Horse for more details and knitting dimensions.

Jim Barlow – by Richard Hitchcock

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Westbourne will miss Jim Barlow, who passed away in April. Not only did he set up and run the very successful village website for many years but he was truly interested and engaged in the life of the community. Some might argue that there are more stimulating ways of spending a Thursday evening than attending a parish council meeting but Jim was invariably there, always asking pertinent and insightful questions and constantly seeking to ensure that the community was kept fully informed.

Jim was often asked if he would ever consider becoming a member of the parish council, as his interest in, and understanding of, Westbourne made him an extremely suitable candidate but he always insisted that his contribution to the village was predominantly through the running of the website. His contribution, however, was far greater. In addition to his input at our monthly meetings, Jim became involved in many important projects. For example, he was a member of the Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, working on the document which it is hoped will soon form the third tier of planning law and enable us to have some element of control over how the parish develops in the future. Jim was part of the small group which promoted and eventually ensured

that we were one of the first villages in West Sussex to have a 20mph zone. Jim was involved with the planning of the installation of the village gateways, which now greet people as they drive into Westbourne and encourage them to ‘Please drive slowly through our village’ and thanks them for doing so as they leave. And it doesn’t stop there. From the outset, Jim was involved in the Greening Westbourne Community Orchard project at Hampshire Farm Meadows, his understanding of trees being invaluable to the less experienced members of the group and his willingness to muck in with the planting and protection of the trees was, as always, exemplary.

Having known Jim initially and primarily as a consequence of our shared interest in the community, it is easy to overlook that his numerous community-focused activities had to be fitted in alongside his many other interests. Jim, and his wife-to-be Helen, met in their teenage years and spent all their 48 years of married life in Westbourne. Not only did they raise their two lovely children Jo and Michael here, but also transformed their property in Mill Lane into a veritable paradise. Who could resist the beautiful cottage set in a truly magnificent garden, in which a great deal of love and expertise had clearly been invested? Not to mention the field at the back, hosted many party families.

Jim was one of those rare people who one can love, respect and admire in equal portions. The strength and dignity which he demonstrated when diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and throughout his final year, came as no surprise. I will never forget, when visiting Jim in the Rowans Hospice, just three days before his passing, his apologising for not being particularly social. It says it all.

Commiserations go to all Jim’s family, especially Helen, whose love and support throughout many years of married life – and in the last difficult months – are surely an example to us all.

I would like to end with the committal piece chosen by Jim and read out at his funeral. Jim, you were a success and you will be sadly missed.

“What is success?

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882). American essayist, lecturer, and poet.

Richard Hitchcock