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Ellisfield Ladies Club

Committee Events

Ellisfield's 2016 Scarecrow Festival (1st/2nd October) - Slideshow

The slideshow (below right) will start as soon as you click on the middle "PLAY" button. To pause it, click that button again and then you can go left or right manually by clicking the MINUS and PLUS buttons (or you can click on a thumbnail).
The display sequence is from the top of the village all the way down Green Lane, then Axford Road, College Lane and Bell Lane.

We are fortunate to live in a most delightful rural village surrounded by bluebell woods and farmland. It is a very spread-out village which unfortunately has not got a shop which would otherwise be a focal point where the ladies would meet and pass the time of day. (It has, however, got a very nice Public House called The Fox, where the men of the village discuss matters and put the world to right.)

Thus, the Ladies of the village formed a Social Club some 38 years ago, in order that we could meet and get to know not only our immediate neighbour but also the village community as a whole socially. This has proved to be very successful and we are growing all the time  At the time of writing (November 2012) we have about 60 members.

We hope that if you are not already a member, you will take up our invitation and join us and keep the community together.

We meet once a month, and this may take the form of many different types of social events. We have events ranging from Skittle Matches, Dances, Walks, Theatre trips, Harvest Supper Entertainment, Prom Concerts, Christmas Carols and much much more – something for everyone we think.

But most of all we help and care for one another. We hope this has stimulated you enough for you to find out more about us and come along to one of our meetings which are publicised both on this website and within the Hill and Dale. Please call (numbers below) to find out more.


Diane Sandeman



Kim Evans


Committee Member

April Carroll


Committee Member

Sue Self


Committee Member



Tue, March 17 (7.30pm): Annual General Meeting and the Memorial Hall


Members only. After the club business has been discussed, there will be refreshments in the form of cheese and wine to round off the evening!

The Club is 46 years old this year, and was originally created in the mid 1970s by and for the wives and ladies of Ellisfield to get together and socialise with some fun events, as well as to help each other out with any practical domestic issues that needed sorting out.

NEWS & EVENT REVIEWS by Diane Sandeman (Pre March 2016: Celia Lunn)

OCTOBER 2019: Cookery demo

Some fourteen of us assembled at the Ellisfield Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 19, kicking off with some coffee/tea and biscuits followed by a cookery demonstration by Natasha Beatty of the Fresh Kitchen Cookery School. She formerly worked at Riverford and subsequently set up her own business about a year or so ago.

On the menu for the day were: Sourdough and vegetable dips; harissa slow roasted chicken; quinoa herby salad and a leafy seasonal salad. Desserts were a lemony sponge pudding with cream, and meringue nests with seasonal fruit.

All the recipes were delicious and nutritious and straightforward to make, once Natasha revealed various hints and tips to help us in future!

Natasha is an engaging and energetic person, so she easily coped with the fact that she was almost an hour late due to the M3 being shut! With a large family and a thriving business, her energy knows no bounds. I’m sure we’ll have her back to demo more inspiring recipes and give us her ideas on how to cook in a more healthy way!

AUGUST 2019: Ed Hack’s 10,000 mile Bike Ride!

The Ellisfield Ladies – joined by a strong contingent of other people from the village – attended a fascinating talk by Ed Hack at the end of August. He told us all about his recent bike ride of 10,000 miles from Ellisfield to Perth in Australia, in aid of his nominated charity - the Trinity Homeless Projects. He and his co-cyclists raised not far short of £5,000 for this worthy cause. Ed told us some marvellous tales about the sights he experienced and about some of the eccentric and mostly very kind characters he met along the way with some great photographs for us to view. I liked the one of his bicycle and all his kit taken from overhead, to show how little he took with him!  He only had 23 punctures in the whole 12 months and 8 days of illness out of 365 – pretty good.

He and his companions took in some amazing countries during the 12 months they were on their bikes: France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Uzbekistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia – to mention a few! Of all the countries, Ed’s favourite was Turkey, and he even learned some of the language whilst there.

Ed’s key messages were to just go out there and get travelling, and see the world!  Travelling over land (ie. as opposed to in the air) will give you a better experience in his opinion. His other main point was not to be afraid to go to countries which seem to be in the news all the time because they’re in conflict zones: most people are good people, and would infinitely prefer to be living in peace and they’re not all out to fleece us or do us harm. Ed and his companions experienced a lot of kindness and generosity from complete strangers, which they found heartwarming.

The audience of over 30 people really appreciated the fact that Ed took the time to come and talk to us, and for someone who isn’t used to doing this, for a 23-year old, he was very inspirational to the young (and older!) members of the audience, as well as being very humorous and passionate about his experience. Chris and Sharon (his parents) and his brother, were all there to provide moral support on the night, and they must be very proud of him indeed – deservedly so. Hopefully he will go and speak to other local clubs or school groups to inspire them too!

If anyone would like to make a donation to the Trinity Homeless Project, you can still do so by looking up Ed’s name on the Just Giving website.

(Article written by Diane Sandeman)


For those of you unable to make it to the lively and enjoyable AGM, here are the topline notes of the decisions reached.

The current committee of Sue, Kim, April and myself agreed (albeit reluctantly in my own case) to remain on the committee for one more year (which will be our fourth year) - no surprises that this was unanimously agreed. You therefore have one year to think about who will succeed us! Please ask any of us for any info or ask to join a committee meeting if you are interested in standing next year.

We were very pleased to welcome into the fold a new member, Andrea Lilley, who lives where John and Jane Evans used to live; she and her family are settling in well and look forward to meeting more of us as time goes on.

There were many, many good suggestions from the floor for different types of events, which the committee will look into. We will of course require help from members if any of the bigger event ideas come to fruition.

The annual subscription. now due, will remain at £5 per person. Anyone who would prefer to pay their fiver through BACS can do so by contacting any committee member (phone numbers are above) for our Bank details (EDITOR: not shown here for security reasons). Please ensure you put your full name and 'sub' if possible, so we can easily identify who the monies are coming from. (In fact, please also confirm by email that you're paying by BACS, thank you.)

Finally, the cheese and wines were delicious!

Best wishes
Diane, April, Sue and Kim

FEBRUARY 2019: Ellisfield Ladies’ Puddings Evening

Twenty-two people attended our Puddings Evening in the Memorial Hall, eagerly awaiting the prospect of devouring some sweet culinary delights made by six keen cooks from the Ellisfield Ladies Club. Traditionally this event has only been attended by the Ladies, however this year we invited partners and husbands along to help eat the puddings, as it’s usually a struggle to finish them all!

A light(ish) first course of cheese, pâtés, ham, bread and salads provided by the committee got our taste buds going before we approached the tough task of sampling all of the following entries in the Puddings extravaganza:

Rose Cleave’s Apple Pie (gorgeous)
Pat Gould’s Lemon Meringue Pie (scrumptious)
Sue Self’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (delicious)
Jacqui Matthews’ Chocolate Velvet Truffle Cake (sumptuous)
Debbie Foster’s Chocolate Orange Almond Cake (tantalising)
Maggie Heath’s Brioche Bread & Butter Pudding with Caramel Glaze (sublime)

Before announcing the winner of the Puddings Competition, we had 14 raffle prizes to give away, which raised an impressive £78 for Zacky’s Dare to Dream campaign.

Finally, we declared the results of our favourite puddings: in third place was Jacqui’s yummy chocolate creation; in second place was Debbie’s zesty orange creation and, in first place with a stunningly sophisticated version of Bread and Butter Pudding, came Maggie (see right).

Very well deserved!

Diane, on behalf of the committee, thanked all of the participants for taking the time, expense and trouble to create their tasty delights for the event.

They were all stunningly delicious and they absolutely topped off another successful, sociable Ellisfield evening! (Thanks go to Rose Taplin for permitting the inclusion of the two photos.)


This year’s theme for the Ellisfield Scarecrow Competition was ‘Heroes and Villains’ and 15 keen residents produced a great array of both from history, cartoons, politics, folklore, TV and entertainment.

The judge was Felicity Edwards, MD of Destination Basingstoke who champions the Basingstoke Half-Marathon. She had a tricky job deciding on the winners, as the standard of scarecrows was typically very high. Everyone who entered a scarecrow was highly commended for their very considerable efforts.

Tim Thomas won the cup with his rendition of The Wolf and Red Riding Hood (see right); closely followed in second place by the Gilvears with Donald Trump and, in third place, Susie Deane impressed with her scarecrow of Guy Fawkes! All worthy prizewinners.

The 1,300 entrants for this year’s Basingstoke Half Marathon would have been rewarded with the sight of these magnificent scarecrows, as well as being blessed with a sunny, if cold, day to run around the hilly course. Ellisfield’s residents were, as ever, out in force to cheer them on.


Another great turnout of 36 people for an Ellisfield Ladies event!

You wouldn’t really believe that watching battery-operated, fluffy pigs racing down a track could be so exciting and hilarious, but it really was! For some people it proved to be a profitable evening if they won any of the races!

Added to the pig racing were an equally hilarious game of ‘Higher or Lower’ and a ‘Mr & Mrs’ game, along with trying to identi fy songs from their first lines. All in all, great entertainment.

We enjoyed a delicious supper of a variety of lasagnes with garlic bread and salad, followed by a few different types of apple crumbles and cream. Thanks to the committee for organising the event and also for making the delicious food.

The raffle also raised £80 – fabulous – which we have given to Zacky’s Dare to Dream campaign.


Powers of discrimination were tested a dozen times recently on an August Saturday evening in Ellisfield, as nearly 40 members and friends of Ellisfield Ladies participated with enthusiasm in a Wine Tasting Event.

Organised and orchestrated by Sue and Dave Fripp (see right), we started with an individual challenge tasting six white and six red wines; Sue had produced excellent tasting notes and we all joined in very eagerly!

Working our way through all twelve samples, trying to differentiate white wines made from Viognier, Albarino and Riesling grapes and likewise red wines made from Nebbiolo, Gamay and Pinotage grapes… you will appreciate it was a hard task!

Jacqui Matthews won the individual challenge – possibly making her the official Ladies Club Wino. The committee had provided a delicious array of cheeses, etc. to complement the wines and you might think that was enough for one evening but Sue and Dave had two more challenges for us; with our brains well lubricated we faced the task of unscrambling 15 anagrams hiding the names of wines or grapes varieties, and then answering 20 questions, you’ve guessed it, about wine.

In true Ellisfield style we threw ourselves in with gusto; this was a group challenge won by “Bubbles”, comprising Sue and Phil Self, Debbie and Seumas Foster & Joanne and Mark Thomas, all well-known wine aficionados.

(Words supplied by Jacqui and photo courtesy of Kim)


We had a lovely lunch with Jane on Sunday 15th July at the Memorial hall. An impressive spread of food and drink was provided to give her a good send-off and to wish her and John all the best in the future. (Photo courtesy of Jacqui.)

We were also joined by Pam Frankham, Betty Bailey and Pauline Parnell-Hopkinson who have previously been members of the Ellisfield Ladies and whom many of you will know, so it was a pleasure to meet them too.

Jane sent us a thank you card, and has advised that their move date has been confirmed for 17th August. Let me know if any of you would like their new address. Jane would like to remain a member of the club, which is great.

A big thank you again to those of you who provided food and help on the day.

Best wishes, Diane


Further to the AGM on March 13, just to let you know that we discussed quite a few ideas for this year's programme of activities:

The 'new' committee resolved to discuss all of these points at their next meeting in April and will release a new programme of events soon after that.

Also, given the healthy state of the club's finances,  we unanimously voted to make this year's annual subscription just £5 per person! Most attendees paid on the night, so we look forward to receiving more subs asap from the rest of you! Please either hand over to Sue at choir, or to Kim or I at yoga, or feel free to drop it into one of our houses when passing.  (A couple of you didn't rejoin last year, so please advise me of your intentions so I can remove you from the members' list and therefore the email list if you don't wish to rejoin.)

Will be back in touch soon with some more confirmed dates.

Best wishes
Diane, April, Kim and Sue


A very lucky thirteen of us made our way to the Whitchurch Silk Mill on Sunday 6th August and it was a delightful afternoon out! It is the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building. A gem of industrial heritage in beautiful, rural Hampshire, the Whitchurch Silk Mill is a Georgian water mill that weaves silk using 19th century machinery.

It is not known why the Whitchurch Mill was built but it has been producing silk since 1817, when it was bought and converted by a silk weaver from Spitalfields, the heart of the British silk industry. Originally built in 1815, it has seen a variety of owners until 1985 when the charity Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust heard of the company's plans to build on the front lawn, they bought the Mill and set about restoring it. Four cottages and two houses were sold to help fund the project. In 1990 the Mill was opened to the public under the management of Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust.

On our tour we marvelled at the original mill wheel and Victorian machinery, the many fabulous fabrics which have been produced there and an impressive display of silk threads in a stunning array of colours, all in a peaceful setting by the River Test.

In its time, the Mill has woven ribbons, serge, silk linings in 22 colours for Burberry and, during World War II, silk for insulating cables. Later, the Mill wove black ottoman and satin for lining legal gowns and even, it was said, cream silk for a scarf, tie and handkerchief for the Kray brothers. Today, the mill can weave customised silk textiles for interior design, historic projects, modern fashion houses and many other uses including private commissions.

Apart from being steeped in history and set in a rather lovely location, it is supported by a small staff and a fabulous set of volunteers and they also serve very good cakes!  See if you can fit in a visit before it closes at the end of September for about a year for some serious renovations.


Seven of the Ellisfield Ladies ventured out to the Old Stables at Dummer Down Farm to participate in a workshop run by Tony, who, amongst other things, teaches people how to upcycle their furniture. We were introduced to how to apply paint and wax, just practising on pieces of wood to start with before being let loose on our own flowerpots!

It’s rather exciting to see how, using a few simple tools and applying useful tips and techniques and some smart paint, you can transform the look of not just wood, but also glass and plastics, into something rather quirky and appealing!

Apart from showing us the basics during the three hours we were there, Tony also had a shop chock full of projects he has worked on. One was a most impressive kitchen cabinet which he’d given a fabulous make-over to, but there were all sort of things like old suitcases, cupboards, chairs, stools and trunks which he’d also transformed.

Tony has an admirable ethos for his Eco Workshop business – to help the environment by repurposing things you might have otherwise thrown away. Equally, teaching people some new skills which they can use for life – brilliant!  He’s a very personable chap who runs his workshops with a lot of humour and knowledge. Great fun, and thoroughly recommended.


What is it about a quiz which appeals to us all so much? When we ran this Quiz evening There were 56 attendees, which was excellent. The marvellous quizmasters for the evening – Dan Cleave and Howard Nason (see right) - had allegedly been working out the tricky and testing questions for a few months, in top secrecy from their other halves!

All of their hard work paid off, as there were half a dozen or so challenging topics each with ten questions apiece to tease our grey cells with, including a music round.

We were allowed some brief respite when the fish ‘n’ chips eventually arrived. The driver said her satnav had taken her to ‘Mutley’ which we thought most amusing … Never mind, all’s well that ends well and the food was soon demolished, followed by a rather spectacular display of home-made crumbles which the Committee and other volunteers had made, appropriately showing off the fruits of the season – SCRUMMY.

The final result of the evening saw the winning team – Diane’s Dynamos (see left) – take the top spot, with our chosen charity for the evening – Naomi House – receiving a lovely cheque for the £165 raised from this event.

Thanks again to everyone who came along to support this lively and well received event, and especially to Howard and Dan for their time in preparing such a great quiz. Same time next year lads?


Our recent trip to the Andwell Brewing Company proved a great success. Set up in 2008 by Adam Komrower, Andwell’s has established a great reputation for producing high quality beers which have won many awards. The brewery is based in an old trout smoke house, uses Bavarian Brewery Technology and has a bespoke 20 barrel brew plant.

Adam is well practised at giving tours and our group of 25 people were all highly impressed with his depth of knowledge and passion for his business. We were able to taste the different types of malted barley he uses in the brewing process, and smell the variety of hops which they carefully select with their different aromas and bittering qualities, as well as to understand a bit more about the fermentation process. Think we may have supped the odd beer sample or two as well… allegedly!

Due to Andwell’s success in consistently crafting an excellent range of beers, they are expanding to include a new Shop, Café and a Meeting & Venue space. A return visit by the Ellisfield Ladies and partners is definitely on the cards for some more sampling!

After an excellent morning’s ‘work’, 18 of us went onto the local Derby Inn in North Warnborough for an equally excellent and most convivial lunch. More please!


It was a dodgy looking July evening on the weather front when we all met at The Dairy on Grammarsham Lane for our trailer ride, however we got away with dry and at times warm temperatures.

Chris started the proceedings (see left) by saying that the dairy herd in Ellisfield had been combined with the Farleigh cows in order to make the dairy more efficient. They do not buy into the herd, but produce all their future milking cows themselves (see right) and this method has kept the herd pure.

He gave us some stats on how many Holstein Friesians he keeps and gave us a glimpse into the milking parlour to describe the efficiency of the milking stalls and equipment.

Chris’s cows have a bigger milking capacity these days (10,600 litres per year) and so outgrew the farm’s collection tank, meaning that we now see a daily tanker thundering through the lanes to collect the daily milk output!

We then all set off in the trailer wagon (see left) valiantly pulled along by Rose on the tractor to see the views across Millennium Woods, Rifle Butts before heading into Manor Farm to get a glimpse of some impressive kit which is used to reap: proper grade wheat for beer, winter barley and oilseed rape, as well as spring barley, potatoes and spring beans.

Chris and Seumas explained more about the crops, minimum tillage and a lot of other farming terminology! It’s very inspiring seeing people so passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects!

Finally we were taken to our picnic spot, which was on Swallick Hill once again, overlooking Basingstoke. Chris and Caroline very kindly handed every one of us a glass of fizz (see right) to top off the evening, prior to us enjoying our picnics, and sitting back to enjoy the wondrous view and the youngsters running around having fun!

Another excellent evening, with huge thanks to the Allens and Rose for hosting us.


It was on a gusty, slightly cool July evening that a group of sixteen of us went to the Fur and Feathers pub in Herriard to join in the Barn Dance, which Diane Southam of Herriard has been organising for the last few years. Originally planned to be held in the local Herriard hall, the venue was changed due to sales of the tickets not quite being up to the level of previous years, thus the F&F kindly stepped in to host the event.

I hadn’t realised that the F&F boasts a rather fab garden out the back, well tended and laid out, including a large patio area which provided the ideal dancing surface! The band - the Woodsiders Ceilidh and Barn Dance Band - were excellent, playing all sorts of group square, circle and line dance music which, along with the equally efficient and humorous caller Barbara, kept us amused the whole evening while we tried to remember her instructions and not mess up too often! There were at least 75 to 80 people there, with plenty of room for everyone. The burgers and chips went down very well, with the pub’s bar understandably doing a roaring trade! Good fun and a great laugh. Don't think any of us will be giving up our day jobs any time soon!


Over twenty of us descended on the pub’s skittle alley for a fun night negotiating the best way to hurl (?) the balls down the alley to achieve the optimum score! That’s why I like skittles: it’s a great leveller because even if you have played it before, the uneven alley surfaces and dented balls challenge your ability to set them on the right path to hit the skittles!!

Jacqui Matthews and Gary Evans emerged as the highest scoring lady and gent respectively, with Graham’s team winning the ‘Heroes’ chocolates (although they did have an extra person playing on their side!). The buffet food served up by the friendly team at the Northbrook Arms was very nice indeed and there was so much left over that quite a few of us took ‘doggy boxes’ home with us. Not sure any pets would have seen them though, as the food was too good for their uncultured palates!

It was a very enjoyable way to spend an evening with the odd beer and glass of wine consumed too. We would go back to this lovely pub in East Stratton – with or without skittles!


A small group of seven of us went to see the Milestones Museum, to see what life was like for Hampshire people in the past by wandering through the old cobbled streets and inspecting the old style shops and their wares. Had we realised, it would even have been possible to buy a pint in The Baverstock Arms, the small traditional pub in Jubilee Street!

One of our favourite parts of the museum was the gadgets area called Collections Corner! How many vacuum cleaners have there been?! There was an abundance of different types of cameras and then what about the toys and board games which we used to have? You can even change some money into old 1d coins and play in the Penny Arcade.

There were also a lot of beautifully restored vintage vehicles throughout the museum, including Victorian trams, lorries and a Romany caravan to classic motorbikes and vehicles (like fire engines) from the 1930s and 40s. There was also agricultural machinery, steam engines and a miniature railway.

To my mind it’s a well presented social history of Hampshire and the Basingstoke area and I’ve seen something different on the three visits I’ve made there. Some of the group weren’t quite so enthusiastic about Milestones, but I’d still recommend it. This time I was viewing the exhibits with some ‘slightly older’ friends and we had a good laugh reminiscing about shops and businesses that used to be in the town centre, or just marvelling at how little space people used to have to live in with such large families. It was so interesting to see how the industrial processes have progressed over the years and changed our lives. We did used to have impressive engineering skills and often forget that so much of it was done by hand.

A cup of tea and biscuits in the café afterwards enabled us to mull over what we’d seen and nicely rounded off the afternoon!


A small but select (!) group of the Ellisfield Ladies Club went to the Pots to Doodle Do! Studio in Cliddesden on the evening of Wednesday, 27th April. We had a highly entertaining few hours as the patient owner, Tracey, guided us through the various options of how we could decorate our chosen pots. Round and square plates, a tray, a jug and even pet bowls were selected out of a myriad of things, and we set to work with the various techniques of stamping, silk screening, colouring in, freehand designing, sponging, dotting, and lots of other good stuff. Some of us got very messy, and one or two of us discovered that, happily, any errors made could be washed off!!

Of course, our creative juices were considerably helped with the odd swig of wine and nibbles. We were all pleasantly surprised with how good all of our efforts looked by the end of the evening, and here (see right) you see evidence of our work. Glazing and firing all the items just finished them off nicely. Despite being initially daunted by the range of pots, colours and techniques to choose from, all six of us really enjoyed ourselves, had a good natter, concentrated our minds on doing something very different and wondered at the miracle of actually producing something useable and colourful at the end of it. Therapeutic or what? The Ellisfield Ladies will definitely be returning there soon! Thank you Tracey!


The Ellisfield Ladies AGM, held on March 15, was well attended. The Chairwoman, Maggie Heath, read out a report of the year’s events, commenting how well they had all gone down and thanked all those who contributed to them in any way. She said that the whole committee would be stepping down and asked for other members to consider putting themselves forward to go onto the committee to keep the Club going. It was a great last speech, delivered with Maggie's inimitable sense of humour.

The club's accounts were made available to members via Mandy Lunn in Sharon Rudd's absence, so that everyone could see that the year ended with a healthy balance. It was suggested by the outgoing Chairwoman that as we had such a healthy balance, it would be nice to again donate £100 to Naomi House as had been done in the past. A show of hands agreed to this being done. It was noted that membership of the Ellisfield Ladies had fallen to 47 and hopefully in 2016 this would increase.

Celia Lunn, the Publicity Secretary, gave her report. She thanked the committee for all their hard work during the course of 4 years and said it had been a very happy committee and a pleasure to serve with everyone. She and the rest of the committee were looking forward to 2016 with new ideas coming from the new committee!

The new committee were then duly elected as follows:

Diane Sandeman, Chairwoman (proposed by Celia Lunn and seconded by Theresa Webb)
Kim Evans, Treasurer (proposed by Maggie Heath and seconded by Rose Cleeve)
April Carroll (proposed by Meg Freeman and seconded by Linda Knight)
Sue Self (proposed by Jayne Nason and seconded by Rose Taplin)

There is still a vacancy for one more Committee member and hopefully someone will come forward to fill that vacancy.

Diane commented that the new committee members would take it in turns to do the secretarial duties at their meetings!

The events and activities schedule for 2016 would be decided upon by the new committee, and there were some good suggestions made by members on the night. The new committee will publicise the list on the Ellisfield website as soon as possible - early April.

It was agreed by all present that the annual subscription for club membership would remain at £7 per person.

The meeting closed at 9.00pm and food and wine were enjoyed by all present (thanks to Maggie for organising this!).

The new committee would like to say - on behalf of all the Ellisfield Ladies - a very big thank you to the outgoing committee members, who have put in a sterling effort over the last four years in organising lots of memorable, good fun events and activities. We will do our level best to match the high standards you have set and will encourage more membership once we have confirmed the year's programme of events.


The Darts Match evening was great and Adam and Tracey won again.

Steve and Julia were runners up.

Sue and Don of the Farleigh Club hosted the event and a great evening was had by all.

NEWS (Saturday December 5, 2015): Ellisfield's Belles of St Martins Choir at Festival Place, Basingstoke

Belles of St Martin's in Festival Place (click for larger image)The Ladies of the Choir were delighted to have been invited to sing in Festival Place on Saturday morning as part of the Christmas festivities.

We entertained shoppers with two 25 minute slots of Christmas Songs and then joined in singing with the mass choirs, singing carols.

This was all in aid of the Mayor’s Charity which, this year, was the Ark Cancer Trust.

Yet another new challenge and experience for the Choir. (Click picture for larger image.)


Twenty excited members came to sample the delicious puddings made by nine members in secret, but first of all we enjoyed a ploughman’s supper to wet our appetites. The puddings consisted of Trifle, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Tart, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Bread and Butter pudding and lots more.

The winner was Maggie (right) with her Lemon and Raspberry Posset, a worthy winner. Everyone enjoyed the evening and went home well satisfied with their fill of puddings. Well done to everyone who made a pudding, it was appreciated.

NEWS (Friday November 6, 2015): Committee Alert

The present Committee have served four years and it is anticipated that at the next Annual General Meeting in March 2016 there will be vacancies for new Committee members.

Would any member who is interested in serving a term of office please give their name to Maggie, or any Committee Member, before the March AGM. This step has been taken to ensure that the Ellisfield Ladies have new ideas in 2016, and it is hoped that this will keep the Club as fresh and vibrant as it is today. So, please don’t be shy, put your name forward.

NEWS (Friday November 6, 2015): No Village Carol Singing This Year

Following a committee meeting held yesterday evening, the Ellisfield Ladies Club has announced that "there will, unfortunately, be no Carols around the Village this year in December due to pressure of commitments".

October 2015: Ellisfield Scarecrow Festival (3rd and 4th of November)

What fun the Village had with their many scarecrows cheering on the Half Marathon Runners, there were smiles all round. Everyone entered into the spirit of it and there were over 28 scarecrows in all. Well Done Everyone.

First Prize went to Pat Gould for her interpretation of Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally (see right), a very original idea, Second Prize was Mrs. Dee Haas with her Architect and Third Prize was Terry Gilvear with his Old Man. Well done to all those who took part and we hope you enjoyed making them as much as we all enjoyed seeing them. Thanks to Theresa and Andy for organising it again this year, and thanks to the Rev. Stephen Mourant who had the hard job of judging them. Please look out on the Notice Boards for a Thank You letter from the organisers of the Half Marathon.

EDITOR: All the scarecrows were photographed and these images have now been incorporated into a slideshow which you'll find at the top of this page.

UPDATE: Theresa Lunn has received a letter from Felicity Edwards, Managing Director of Destination Basingstoke, the organisers of the Half Marathon. It said:
"I wanted to write to thank you and all your members at the Ellisfield Ladies Club for your magnificent efforts in creating the wonderful array of scarecrows that entertained all the runners on Sunday. It was an unexpected but very welcome addition to the atmosphere of the race and we are so pleased that the people of Ellisfield have so embraced the spirit of the half marathon.
"... We would be very grateful if you could help get the message out to everyone in your area about our gratitude for both their patience with the road closures and (their) enthusiastic support."

September 2015: Macmillan Big Coffee Morning

Pat, Theresa and I would like to thank everyone who made cakes, gave donations and came to the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning. It was a lovely sunny day and we opened the new doors to embrace the atmosphere when 100 or more people from the Village and beyond enjoyed the wonderful display of cakes. We had walkers passing through as well as friends and neighbours. We raised the magnificent sum of £636.36 which was sent immediately to Macmillan to carry on their good work. Please look on the Notice Boards for the Official Thank You from Macmillan.

September 2015: Tour and Tasting at Jenkyn Place Vineyard in Bentley

By Linda Knight:

On a bright sunny afternoon, twenty eight Ellisfield ladies, husbands, partners and friends wandered between the vines hanging with bunches of grapes to broaden their knowledge of English sparkling wines. We were privy to the wealth of information from Simon Bladon the owner on growing, pruning and diseases needed to bring the crop to harvest in October.

We were also very lucky to be able to take a guided walk around the beautiful gardens which are no longer open to the public. Of course no visit to a vineyard would be complete without a tasting. We sampled the Jenkyn Place Brut, Rose and their piece du resistance, accompanied by strawberries and shortbread. All in all a great afternoon in the countryside doing what we do best!

A big thank you to Sue Self for arranging the visit.

NEWS (August 28, 2015)

At the Ladies Club annual general meeting back in March, it was proposed and agreed to donate £100 to Naomi House and Jacks Place (based in Sutton Scotney, near Winchester), the respite and hospice for sick children and young adults.

In August, Maggie and Celia were asked to visit Naomi House to see the "Giving Tree" and the leaf commemorating the Ladies Club donation.

The picture on the left shows Maggie and Celia in front of the "Giving Tree" pointing to the Ellisfield Ladies Club leaf (shown right).

August 2015: Visit to see the Jersey Boys at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton

Visit to The Jersey Boys (click to view larger image)Nearly 20 members went to The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton to see The Jersey Boys Musical. It follows the rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as they struggled to make a name for themselves.

The show really came alive when they donned their red jackets and broke into the songs we all know and love, such as Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby and many more, finishing with Rag Doll.

Thanks to the Committee for providing the transport to Southampton. (Click on picture to view larger image.)

July 2015: Ellisfield Ladies 40th Anniversary Concert

Ladies Club 40th Anniversary ConcertWhat a wonderful 40th Celebration of the forming of the Ellisfield Ladies we had in the Barn at Farleigh with the Heritage Orchestra lead by Neil Streeter. The programme was just right, with music from Dusk to the Dam Busters, World War II Medleys to Jerusalem, and everyone was in full voice, especially our soloists, Matthew and Theresa. The Barn looked at its best, beautifully decorated by the Concert Committee lead by Julia and Rose and we are very grateful to all those who helped in any way. The Orchestra were well catered for in their Rest Room with food and drink provided for their every comfort. Thank you Caroline and Chris for allowing us to use this room, they appreciated it very much. In fact, the Orchestra have informed Neil that they would all love to perform again at such a wonderful venue some time in the future.

Thanks must go to Lord and Lady Portsmouth and Lord Lymington for generously allowing us to use the Barn. Thanks also to The Belles of St. Martin Choir who added a special touch to the evening when they sang The Rose, Wherever you Are, and Sing. We should, at this point, also thank Theresa our Choir Mistress for her patience and expertise in music, in getting us up to strength.

There was a bottle of Champagne (or the like) placed on every table along with nibbles for everyone to enjoy with their picnic and Maggie, Julia Kime, Celia and Meg (who formed the club all those 40 years ago) cut a cake made by Celia which was then distributed to all.

It was truly a magical evening and the good news is that it raised the magnificent sum of £800 to be given to the Basingstoke Hospice. Thank you all for your generosity and also for joining in the celebrations.
Picture of Maggie, Julia, Meg and Celia cutting cake to follow.)

May 2015 - Heritage Light Orchestra Concert at Richard Aldworth School

This is a yearly charity concert given by the Heritage Light Orchestra conducted by Neil Streeter, with several of the BATS soloists including our own Theresa Lunn who sang “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, one of my personal favourites. It was nice to see so many members and their guests supporting this event, and perhaps hearing the Heritage Light Orchestra for the first time. We are so fortunate that we have the Orchestra helping the Ellisfield Ladies celebrate their 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Club on Saturday 18th July at the Barn at Farleigh. Thank you Theresa for reserving our tables and obtaining great seats.

April 2015 - St George's Day Celebrations and Quiz

The stage was set, the atmosphere was great, and the quiz was just right. Fifty members and friends enjoyed a most magical evening at the St. George’s Day Celebrations.

We must give a big thank you to Adam and Andy (see left) who worked so hard not only preparing the Quiz but taking over proceedings on the night, it was a truly spectacular celebration. They managed to gauge it just right – not too difficult, but then again not too easy.

At the half way stage we all enjoyed a Fish & Chip supper delivered without charge to the Hall by “Fish ‘n Chicken” of Brighton Hill, they were great fish and chips and we can highly recommend them, they went down well with a glass or two of wine/beer. There were rolls and butter and sauces on offer if required. The puddings of Apple Crumble and Cream were made by the Committee plus one, and were delicious. The Red Lion Table won the Quiz who were presented with a monetary prize, with Amanda’s Table coming a close second. Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the evening. We were very fortunate that we had a preview of the wonderful new doors that have been installed in the Hall, I can’t think why this has not been thought of before – a wonderful addition.

March 2015 - Annual General Meeting

The AGM was well attended as usual. Members recalled the activities during the year and then set about organising the programme for the year ahead. We are grateful that the whole committee are standing for another year in office. Several annual events were penciled in to the Programme and several other suggestions were taken into consideration.

This year we have our Big Celebration of our 40th Anniversary Concert with the Heritage Orchestra (along with contributions from the Belles of St. Martin Choir) taking centre stage on Saturday 18th July in the Barn at Farleigh and have formed a Sub-Committee for this event. Above is the 2015/16 Programme but it may be subject to change as the year progresses.

If you have not already done so, would you please give your subs of £7 to any Committee member.  We would like to say that new members are always welcome as well as past members whom we do not see now, we would be so pleased if you would come and join us.

February 2015 - Darts Match at The Farleigh Estate Club

We would like to thank Don and Sue for their warm welcome and hospitality when 22 members of the Ellisfield Ladies gathered for their annual Darts Match. We all had a little practice before the event and then we were off. Those of us who had not thrown a dart in years were soon eliminated but we enjoyed watching the experts do their stuff whilst drinking a glass of wine or two.

The well deserved winners were Tracey and Adam Gilvear (pictured right) beating last year’s champions Sue and Phil Self in the final round. We are most grateful to Adam for organising the teams and thus making the evening flow without a hitch. We would also like to thank Maggie and her team who provided a splendid Ploughman’s Supper as usual.

December 2014 - Christmas Carols with the Salvation Army

A great evening was had with the Salvation Army Band when they kindly came to Ellisfield to partake in Carols at the Village Hall.  It was a really special evening, something that we have not attempted before, so we were very fortunate to have a brass band to play not only some familiar carols, but also some unfamiliar ones which we soon got to grips with.

The hall was decked, the mulled wine flowed and everyone was in full voice. It was a lovely atmosphere and we are very grateful for the support we received from the members of the Ellisfield Ladies. It was also so nice to see the people who came from outside the village.

The committee would like to thank Jacqui for loaning us her Christmas tree, all the ladies who made mince pies and sausage rolls, Theresa for organising the event and the Salvation Army Band for coming to our village. However, the biggest thank you must go to all those who gave so generously. The evening raised the magnificent sum of just over £200 for the Salvation Army who, as you know, do such wonderful work for the homeless.

November 2014 - Visit to the Sapphire Gin Factory at Laverstoke Mill

There were 30 ladies and guests who came to the Laverstoke Mill Gin Distillery in November and we were all very impressed with what they had done with this historic Mill. They have kept all the wonderful buildings with the clear river water running through the middle. They have a lovely patio area next to the river with tables and chairs just right for a summers evening gin and tonic. Sapphire Distillery have also added a botanical glasshouse designed by Heatherwick Studio to house the different botanical plants associated with the infusion of their Gin.

You may roam around freely and explore many parts, taking in the Aroma House where you can smell and even taste, if you wish, different infusions of Pine, Spicy, Citrus, Floral or Earthy/Woody which you can then put on your Aroma card given to you. It is then interpreted into your own personal cocktail at the end of your tour. Mine was a Laverstoke Cocktail and wonderful it was too. The tour and talk lasted for about 30 minutes before we all adjourned to the Bar for our specialised cocktail, a most enjoyable afternoon. We also made a short visit to the on-site shop where purchases of Gin, glasses and other items were on sale.

October 2014 - Pudding Evening

Well done Debbie (Richards), you have done it again and won the Best Pudding of the evening. You really are the queen of puddings with this time your Lemon Cheesecake which was the No. 1 choice of all the puddings. Here is a photo (see right) of Maggie, our Chairlady, presenting Debbie with her trophy plus the prize of a bottle of Champagne.

There were nearly 30 ladies who sampled all 11 puddings which were spectacularly presented and wonderful to taste. We do appreciate your support and the Club is only as strong as its members. Maggie has asked me to specifically thank all those who made a pudding and says that without your contribution there would be no event. So, to all eleven of you, well done.

September 2014 - Harvest Festival Service at St Martin's Church

It was wonderful to join in the Harvest Festival Service and lead the singing of the hymns to an almost full congregation.

The Church looked absolutely magnificent with so many bright and colourful arrangements of flowers. We sang two individual pieces, one being Let There Be Peace on Earth, which we had sung in the Anvil previously. The Belles will be rehearsing again soon for the Christmas Service.

September 2014 - The "World's Biggest Coffee Morning" at the Memorial Hall

We are so fortunate to live in a village with such a big heart. This became apparent when we had our Coffee Morning in aid of the Macmillan Nurses which raised £610, a most magnificent sum. (Picture shows Rose and Theresa before the rush started!)

We have to thank all of you who came and passed a wonderful hour or so socialising with neighbours and friends over a cup of coffee and thank you for being so generous in your donations. Thank you also to everyone who made cakes, we were overwhelmed by the variety and beauty of them all (and the taste was even better). The winner of the "Guess The Number Of 100s And 1000s On The Cake" was Jayne Nason and the winner of "Spot The Double Shot" game was Jane Park-Weir - well done to you both. The raffle alone raised the magnificent sum of £128. Thank you Theresa and Tracey for organising the games and raffle.

Pat and I would just like to thank all the ladies (too numerous to mention individually but you know who you are) for setting up the event, working hard during the event, and clearing the Village Hall afterwards, we could not have achieved such a successful coffee morning without you.

August 2014 (August Bank Holiday weekend) - Ellisfield Scarecrow Festival

THANK YOU to all the Village from Theresa and the Committee for joining in and making this such a fun event.

We have watched as cars, cyclists and walkers have gone through our village, everyone with smiles on their faces. What a wonderful way to cheer the world up. The winning scarecrow was made by April and Paul from 1 Widmoor Cottages (see right), with runners up being Sharon and Mandy Lunn with their wonderful horse and rider, and Dee Haas with the artist. They were all good and well executed and unfortunately we are unable to mention them all, but special mention goes to the Hungry Caterpillar, the Surfer as well as the Pirate. Thank you PC Andy Reid and the Rev. David Chattell for the difficult job of judging and well done to everyone for their support.

The rain held off for our picnic on the Common and a good time was had by adults and children alike. There have been calls for this to become an annual event so get your thinking caps on for next year.

We raised £24 which has been put into Ladies Funds for future events.

July 2014 - Festival of Choirs at the Anvil

Click to see larger image ...WOW we did it girls. After months and months of rehearsing we finally got to The Anvil Theatre in Basingstoke and performed with 400 other voices, as well as the Heritage Orchestra, in the great production of A Century of War and Peace. We enjoyed performing and hope that all those who came to support us enjoyed it just as much.

We were so proud to be able to represent the parishes of Ellisfield and Farleigh and hope that they were proud of us too. It is anticipated that there will be a similar concert in two years time and we hope we can be included to represent “The Belles of St. Martin's” again. Well done girls. (Click picture to see larger image.)

June 2014 - Sarah and Jayne's Summer Cookery

We enjoyed so much the cookery demonstration by Sarah and Jayne on Saturday, June 7. We arrived to the smell of fresh coffee and wonderful home made biscuits, after which we took our seats for a really great cookery demonstration. We were treated to Michele’s Asparagus and Parmesan Tart, Lauchtorte (Leek Pie), Piccalilli and Potato Salad as well as the wonderful Strawberry Elizabeth. Such a variety and all equally delicious. Naming no names (Linda) but some even managed to squeeze in a glass or two of wine while watching.

This wonderful demonstration was followed by the spoils. With so much to choose from it was difficult to say no to anything. We ate our fill and then started on the delicious puddings, followed by coffee. What more could we ask for?

Thanks must go to Jayne and Sarah for such a great day, and thank you also to those who contributed to the raffle, which raised over £50 and so helped towards the cost of the hall. Thank you also ladies for helping to clear up the hall and make everything ship shape again. The photo (above left) shows us all enjoying the afternoon. We do hope we can persuade Jayne and Sarah to do it again (but not too soon, we will give them a rest first).

May 2014 - Concert with the Heritage Orchestra and Soloist at Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke

There were 23 members with guests who enjoyed an evening of sheer indulgence when we went to the Concert given by the Heritage Orchestra conducted by Neil Streeter. The music varied from the Archers Theme tune, to World War Two songs, and ending with the usual rousing Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. We enjoyed the guest soloists, Rob Wilson, Tracey Gonzarto, David Allard, Theresa Lunn and Mark Winter as they took us for a journey around Britain.

Thank you all for supporting this event. We did very well in the raffle too with three prizes being won by our tables.

April 2014 - Ellisfield Ladies Club Darts Match at the Farleigh Club

By kind permission of Sue and Don, the Ellisfield Ladies held a Darts Evening which had not been done for a few years.

Maggie, Pat and the Committee did a wonderful supper of a Cheese Ploughman, together with sausage rolls, sausages and pate, followed by scones, jam and cream. The event was well supported when 20 members along with guests tried their hand at winning the coveted trophy. Rose kindly took a couple of photos for the album which shows Phil Self as the winner of the trophy, and Sue his wife won the Dart Trophy.  Both received a bottle of wine as an extra bonus.

Thank you everyone who came and made the evening such a success, and thanks also to Pat, Maggie and the Committee for reviving this popular event, which may be one of our regular features.

March 2014 - Annual General Meeting

Members spent an evening at the AGM organising the year ahead. We were pleased that the whole committee were again serving another year of office. Several events had already been arranged but members were invited to make comments on the leaflet read out by the Chairman. These have been compounded into the Year’s Programme (see above) but may be subject to change.

The Club funds are healthy and it was said that we wished them to remain so as in 2015 we are intending to celebrate our 40th Anniversary with the Heritage Orchestra concert on the 18th July 2015. If you have not already done so, please pay your subs for 2014 to any Committee member. We would like to stress that new members are always welcome so please come and join us.

January 2014 - Burns Night Supper at The Fox

This event certainly showed that Ellisfield is a vibrant village. About 35 members and their partners were at The Fox by kind invitation by Sue and Graham for the Burns Night meal, and what a meal it was. We started with a prawn cocktail or pate and then had a choice of Haggis or Beef Bourguignonne all of which was superb. Well done Sue, it was a great evening and a special thanks for the wine and whiskey at the end.

Most of the guest wore a splash of tartan and the prize of wine and whiskey went to Sue Self and Alison Swanston who were well deserving of the prize. The photo (left) though is of Linda and Dave who came a very close second. Thanks to all the members and their guests who supported the evening.

December 2013 - Christmas Carols at The Fox

The Fox public house was full to capacity on Friday the 6th December when Sue and Graham hosted the Ellisfield Ladies Festival of Carols and Songs for Christmas. What a great response from everyone in the village and the Ellisfield Ladies Committee would like to thank all those who came, sang and gave money for the very good charity of Naomi House which raised the fantastic sum of £200.

Our hosts supplied us with Mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls which were enjoyed by all and much appreciated. Many villages have lost that sense of togetherness especially at Christmas but Ellisfield is a village that thrives on getting together for all occasions and always gives generously to all good causes. Thank you Ellisfield and Farleigh for your support (what would be do without you all?), thanks also to Sue and Graham for being wonderful hosts, and last but not least thank you to soloists Jenny and Harriett, musical directors Theresa and Neil, and The Belles for their great singing.

November 2013 - Pudding Evening

There were puddings galore to try at the Pudding Evening when 21 ladies challenged Sue for the title of Pudding Champion. We started the night with a wonderful home cooked ham salad with jacket potatoes, all enjoyed with a glass of wine or two. Then came the trying of all the puddings and the secret voting of which one would take the coveted trophy away from Sue.

The puddings were all splendid and thanks must go to the ladies who made them, they tasted as good as they looked, but we did have a clear winner and we are happy to announce that our new Pudding Champion is Debbie Richards with her Blueberry and Passion Fruit Cheesecake – an absolute WOW.

The photograph (right) is of Debbie receiving her trophy from our Chairwoman, Maggie. Hold on to it Debbie, I will try and take it from you next year.

October 2013  - PIG RACING

We had an evening of sheer joy and pleasure at the Pig Racing event in October. Watching battery operated fluffy pigs racing down a track with so much riding on them was exciting and profitable. Laughter rang out from the Village Hall from all quarters and thanks to the Committee and Dave it was again a great evening of fun for all.

We enjoyed a great supper of either curry or steak pie followed by blackberry and apple crumble and cream. Thanks must go to everyone who helped and who contributed a crumble or raffle prize, but mainly to Maggie and her team for such a great evening of entertainment and food.

September 2013 - September Garden Party at the Grange

The storm soon subsided and the weather improved for the 40 or so guests who enjoyed the lovely Garden Party hosted by Doreen and Chris. The buffet was superb and for this we must thank everyone who contributed a plate of goodies. There was a raffle with prizes donated and a bottle of champagne which was auctioned.

The purpose of the evening was not only to enjoy Chris and Doreen’s lovely garden and everyone’s company, but also to raise money for the Ark Cancer Centre. We are pleased to say that the magnificent sum of £904 (and rising!) was raised and we would like to thank not only those who came to the event but also those people who so generously gave a donation, including the Ladies Club. It still is not too late to get in touch with Doreen and give a donation. Thanks again to our wonderful hosts.

August 2013 - Visit to Court Lane Vineyard, Ropley

click me ... go on, click me ...The god of wine (EDITOR: Dionysus, or Bacchus to the Romans, was the god of Wine, Merry Making, Theatre and - close your eyes Ladies - Ecstasy) must have been looking down on us when we visited the Court Lane Vineyard, as the rain stopped and it kept dry whilst 11 of our party went amongst the vines and examined the crop. The Vineyard is very much a cottage industry with a great result at the end of it all. It was established in 1978 by Mr Stephen Flook and his wife and the varieties are Muller-Thurgau, Huxelrebe, Reichensteiner and Seyval Blanc Vines, all making wonderful Dry, Medium Dry and Medium white wines.

They do make a small amount of red but are known mainly for their white wines. In fact in 2011 they won the Cup from the Wessex branch of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association for their Classic Medium Dry. It has been a good season so far for the grapes and the vines were laden, all of which will be harvested by local friends and family in October.

Stephen Flook took us into the Winery to show us the process of making the wine from grape to the finished product. Then we did the tasting with cheese and biscuits. The visit was absolutely fascinating and if I mention a Dulux tin, those present will know exactly what I am talking about (EDITOR: “Huh?”). If you get a chance to go to Court Lane Vineyard please take it, but if you are unable to do so and wish to purchase some of this excellent wine he is at The Alresford Show usually in September each year.

The wines to look out for are:
(1) Ropley Dry Reserve 2011, 12.5% and good with trout or any fish (my personal favourite).
(2) Ropley Classic 2010, 11.5% Medium Dry and Linda says just right for sitting on the patio and sipping.
(3) Ropley Classic 2011 which won the cup a Medium Dry of 11%.

The wines are not expensive and range from £7 to £8 a bottle, a bargain. Thank you all for coming, thank you Mandy and the Committee for arranging such a pleasant afternoon.

July 2013 - Exploring Hill Farm, with a Picnic

It was the most glorious evening when we all met at Hill Farm for a trailer ride around the farm. We all see the tractors working the farm every day, but do not know enough about the finer points of farming.

Chris (see right) started the proceedings by saying that the dairy herd in Ellisfield had been combined with the Farleigh cows in order to make the dairy more efficient. They do not buy into the herd, but produce all their future milking cows themselves and this method has kept the herd pure.

We all set off in the tractor and wagons to the milking parlour where Rose kindly demonstrated the efficiency of the milking stalls and equipment. Chris informed us that one of the main reasons the farm is such a thriving farm is because it is self-sufficient. They have their own equipment for the jobs in hand and, therefore, do not have to rely on contractors. We got into the wagons again and rode across fields and through woods until we reached Nutley, where we were treated to the most spectacular view down through the Candover Valley and we could see as far as Winchester. All the fields were different colours just like a patchwork quilt, a truly wonderful place to rest and stay for a while. At this point Seumas explained about the different crops and what they are mainly going to be used for.  

We were now heading towards our surprise picnic place. It was on Swallick Hill, overlooking Basingstoke. A truly magical place, with the world laid at our feet. Out came the picnics, wine and chairs and we sat back to enjoy the wondrous view and watch the sun set over the landscape.

Thank you Chris, Caroline and Seumas for such a great evening – one for the memory book. We should also like to thank the two drivers who gave up their evening and who did such a splendid job of manoeuvring the tractors and trailers. Well done Committee for suggesting and arranging a truly magical evening.

May 2013 - Concert: “The Heritage Orchestra” at Queen Mary’s College

Members enjoyed the concert at Queen Mary’s College by the Heritage Orchestra conducted by Neil Streeter, with soloists Theresa Lunn (see right), Tracey Gonzarto, David Streeter and Rob Wilson.

The programme was varied and ranged from Housewives Choice, South Pacific and Oklahoma. The orchestra were superb as were the soloists and one of the highlights was a rendition of Star Wars. We are very fortunate to have such talented artists within our midst and we all hope that the orchestra will be invited back again to perform next year.

Thank you to everyone who supported this event and to those who gave up their time to perform. The proceeds of the evening will, as you probably know, be going towards funding for a radiotherapy unit for Basingstoke to save cancer patients having to take the long arduous journey to Southampton or Guildford for treatment. The evening also donated £1,000 to Sebastian House, a particular charity dear to our hearts.

April 2013 - Summer Baskets and Tubs

There was nearly a full house when Cathy Clarke came from the Dummer Garden Centre to talk and demonstrate the variety of plants and foliage that could be used in our summer baskets and tubs.

There was such a variety and ones I had never thought of using before. The questions and answers were very useful and I think we all learnt a great deal, so as we drive through the village the baskets and tubs will be exceptional …

We had a raffle again to subsidise the hire of the hall, and thanks to all those who contributed to the prizes. This photo (right) is of Cathy displaying the results of her handywork. Thanks for all your support and we look forward to the Concert on the 4th May at Queen Mary’s College.

March 2013 - Annual General Meeting

A pleasant evening was spent at the AGM organising the year ahead. We were pleased that the whole committee were again serving another year of office and that the subscriptions for the Club remain at £5 – a bargain!

Several events had already been arranged but members were invited to make suggestions from the leaflet passed around and to make suggestions of their own. These have been compounded into the Year’s Programme (see above) but may be subject to change.  The Club funds are healthy and it was said that we wished them to remain so as in 2015 we are intending to celebrate our 40th Anniversary with a Summer Ball.

If you have not already done so, please pay your subs for 2013 to any Committee member. We would like to stress that new members are always welcome, so please come and join us.

January 2013 - A Winter’s Kitchen, by Sarah and Lesley

A Winter’s Kitchen was a very appropriate name for this event as we had about 4 inches of snow the day before. Undeterred and with wellies at the ready (as well as combined lifts by those who owned a 4 x 4 vehicle), 25 ladies bravely assembled to enjoy the cookery demonstration and lunch in the Village Hall with Sarah and Jayne (unfortunately, Lesley was unable to make it because of the adverse weather conditions).

Sarah (right) with JayneWe were welcomed with a cup of coffee and lovely home made biscuits, which warmed us through nicely. We then sat down to enjoy the demonstration by Sarah with Jayne helping (picture shows Sarah, on the right, with Jayne), making nibbles first, which she passed around for us to sample. Parmesan Muffins and an Artichoke Dip were two of the favourites.

Sarah then concentrated on the main course demonstrating, amongst other dishes, a wonderful Pork Sage and Cranberry Wellington (an absolute hit) and a Chicken Pastry Wrap which also had a vegetarian option.

The sweets were just as exciting, one being Sweet Soldiers but my favourite was Tequila Lime Ice – a WOW.  A Recipe leaflet was given to all present so that we could try these recipes at home and we certainly will.

Thanks must go to Sarah and Jayne for a wonderful “Ladies who Lunch” event and hopefully we can persuade them to come again.

December 2012 - Christmas Story and Carols in the Barn at Hill Farm

Christmas Story & Carols (Choir, Rev. Mourant and farm animals)This was a great start to the festive season, when about 100 villagers gathered for Carols in the Barn at Hill Farm, hosted very kindly by Chris and Caroline Allen. The scene was set, the animals were there, including a “donkey” kindly loaned to us by Dummer Garden Centre, and then everyone came from far and near to enjoy the Christmas Story, narrated by the Rev. Stephen Mourant, and so wonderfully portrayed by our lovely village children dressed accordingly.

Everyone was in full voice for the carols, including “The Belles of St. Martin’s Choir” who lead the singing. They also did a special song called Happy Birthday Dear Jesus as a solo.

Christmas Story & Carols (Choir, children, angel and donkey!)Christmas Story and Carols (Audience - those lucky enough to get seats!)Afterwards, refreshments consisting of mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls were served and, for those special little people, chocolates and orange juice. There are too many people to thank individually but a special mention must go to Chris and Caroline for allowing us to use their barn and Theresa for her vision of the evening in the first place which consequently turned into reality.

Also, our thanks to Caroline Cazenove for her musical talent on the organ and to the Ellisfield Ladies for making all those mince pies, not forgetting  Rose who worked so hard to make the evening a success.   

The Ellisfield Ladies would like to thank all the village for their support and generosity in raising £351 which, after expenses. will go to The Milestone School Academy in Kent for Autistic Children.

November 2012 - Concert by the Hampshire Constabulary Band

It was a great evening at Queen Mary’s College when the Hampshire Constabulary Band performed lovely numbers such as a selection from Broadway musicals, Toccata in D Minor and Crown Imperial, and we enjoyed hearing Theresa Lunn, their guest soloist, performing several numbers but in particular I Dreamed a Dream. There was wine on the table and nibbles to be enjoyed and in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening with good company.

October 2012 – Pudding Evening

Ladies Club - Sue Self (Pudding Winner 2012)It was a great evening with thirteen lovely puddings aligned down the table for us all to try and what a choice there was. The evening started with a savoury course of jacket potatoes with home cooked ham and cheese with a side salad, and then it was the turn of the puddings to be voted upon, all enjoyed with a glass or two of wine.

It was a blind vote in order that no one knew the cooks of each pudding and the winner as you can see from the photograph was Sue Self with a wonderful chocolate and hazelnut roulade. The trophy will be kept for a year and then passed on to the 2013 winner. Many thanks to all those who made puddings, the Committee for the savoury course, and to those who provided raffle prizes.  

September 2012 (but held in October!) - Owls by Moonlight

Ladies Club - Maggie Heath and Feathered FriendWe had a really good response to the Owls by Moonlight outing to the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Weyhill when 31 of our members and guests enjoyed a great evening at the Woodland Owls Area.  There were flying demonstrations and an opportunity for us to hold a British owl – quite an experience.  Here is a picture of Maggie enjoying the experience.  Hot drinks and chocolate brownies were enjoyed at the end of the evening which were most welcome.  Thanks must go to Amanda and Sharon for all their hard work in organising this event but not forgetting to thank Debbie whose idea it was. Thanks also for the wonderful turnout from the members, it is only your support that keeps the club alive.

August 2012 – Battle Prom Concert at Highclere Castle

A few members went to the Battle Prom Concert at Highclere Castle in August, it was thankfully a dry evening and wine and picnics were enjoyed as well as the wonderful music. The highlight of the evening was seeing a Spitfire doing a flypast which to many of our generation was a wonderful sight and sound. Maggie managed to capture it on film with the sun setting in the background – a great picture worthy of an award.

July 2012 – Zumba

After all the celebrations of the past months we thought an evening of doing Zumba Gold was the order of the day to try and get ourselves fighting fit again. Our instructor for the evening was Maz Pennington from Cliddesden who put us through our paces but as this was Zumba Gold it was slightly less energetic purposely programmed for those of us who are not as agile as we used to be. A great evening and we thank Maz for her patience. We then retired to the Jolly Farmer where a lovely feast had been prepared so we then undid all the good work we had just done! Thanks to everyone who supported this evening, especially Theresa who arranged it with Maz.

June 2012 – The Diamond Jubilee Street Party

Ellisfield's Jubilee PartyWell done to all the people of Ellisfield for your support. Everyone joined in the spirit of the Jubilee celebrations and how great it was to see, not only the adults enjoying the Big Lunch on Monday, but so many of the children of the village bonding together and playing on the wonderful Bouncy Castle, arranged by Tracey and supplied by the proceeds from the raffle at the 1940s evening. The games were very successfully organised by Sharon and Mandy for which we thank you. We even had a surprise visit from Peppa Pig.

Ellisfield's Jubillee Party (Celia and Maggie with THE cake!) An army of helpers arrived on that morning to collect tables and chairs and to assemble them in a horseshoe shape around the car park, the ladies putting the finishing touches to the tables with patriotic tablecloths and flags.

We cannot list everyone to thank them for making this day so wonderful, but to you all from the whole Committee we extend a big THANK YOU, as we could not have done it without you all.

May 2012 - 1940’s Night to Remember

Ladies Club - Four 40's Girls! (Meg, Julia, Tracey & Maggie)It was overwhelming to see all the different costumes and ideas everyone had thought of when arriving for the 1940s evening of cabaret, supper and music. The hall lent itself to the era of the 1940s and when decorated by an army of helpers it brought the whole event to life, and you could have been forgiven for thinking that the clock had been turned back to that time. The cabaret was received with enthusiasm and was much appreciated by all. This was immediately followed by a cold buffet supper with ham and quiche and was finished off with delicious apple pies and crumbles, made by the ladies themselves, served up with cream and ice cream. A feast to behold.  Maggie’s raffle made the magnificent sum of £175 which will be put towards a Bouncy Castle for the children at the Jubilee Celebrations. The profit of £250 from the ticket money will be divided between boosting the Ladies Club funds and a charity of the Ladies Club choice (to be voted upon at the next AGM).

Ladies Club - Pastor and his Pastorettes!There were so many people who helped to make the evening a success that it would be impossible to name them all, but thank you ladies we could not do it without you. Thanks also must go to Phil who helped with the decorating and Mick and Maggie who cooked the ham to perfection. I would also, however, just like to thank Theresa for her wonderful singing, and for her musical patience during rehearsals, and finally a special mention to Maggie and Stephen for their performance and spoon playing in Lambeth Walk, along with Tracey, Jenny and Jayne for their excellent solo performances.

March 2012 – AGM

Ladies Club - Maggie Heath (Chairman)The Chairman (Maggie Heath) read out a report of the year’s events and expressed thanks to those who organised them. The Committee was thanked for their help and support throughout the year and a wish was expressed for more event ideas from members.  The carols had raised £250 for Sebastian House and it was suggested that names be drawn from a hat to decide who would attend the opening.

The Treasurer (Sharon Rudd) presented the Accounts and reported that the year had ended with a healthy £1,712.86 in the bank.  The Secretary (Amanda Lunn) thanked the Chairman for her leadership and the Treasurer and Committee for their help during the past year. It was agreed that non-members would also receive event emails sent out to members.

The current Committee agreed to stand again and were accordingly re-elected. It was announced that there was no limit on the number of Committee members and so if anyone was interested then they should talk to the Chairman.  Subscriptions were held at the current £5 per year.  In any other business, it was mentioned that responsibility for the Club’s Album of Events has been handed from Theresa to Celia.  (A copy of the 2012 AGM Minutes is HERE.)

Ladies Club Outing - Theresa and TracyFebruary 2012 – Dreamboats and Petticoats

The only way to describe this event is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. In February, thirty-three members of the Ladies Club enjoyed a trip to the Mayflower theatre in Southampton to see this fantastic show.

It transported you back to the 1960s with all the special music of the day including “let’s Dance”, “The Wanderer”, “Sweet Nothin’s” and “Only Sixteen”, to name but a few.

It was a fast moving and colourful show which had us all dancing and singing in the aisles towards the end.  Thanks go to Maggie and the Committee for arranging such a marvellous outing.

January 2012 - Burns Night at the Fox

The evening was well supported when 31 of our members and partners sat down to Haggis or Steak pie. Lots of people had managed to find an item of tartan to wear and the winning team for the best dressed went to Phil and Sue Self who were well deserving of the title.

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