Saturday February 24 (7.30pm): Quiz Night (with Fish & Chips) at the Memorial Hall,
Those two marvels Howard and Dan will be hosting a Quiz (for members, partners and
friends) to challenge our brainpower. There will teams of eight per table and Prizes
will be on offer! There’ll also be a raffle.
The cost per person is £10. There will be a Fish & Chip supper (sauces and bread
& butter will be provided) and there will be home-made puddings and cream for dessert.
Bring your own drink and glasses, cutlery and bowls for your pudding.
Please book your tickets by emailing Diane Sandeman, and also please drop off the
money to her once you get confirmation back.
Tuesday March 13 (7.30pm): Annual General Meeting at the Memorial Hall, Church Lane
We'll discuss events past and planned, elect committee members and then indulge in
cheese and wine! Nearer the time an email will be sent out to find out who’s coming.
NEWS & EVENT REVIEWS by Diane Sandeman (Pre March 2016: Celia Lunn)
OCTOBER 2016: QUIZ EVENING
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
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?
AUGUST 2016: TRIP TO ANDWELL BREWERY AND LUNCH
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!
JULY 2016: FARM VISIT AT HILL FARM
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
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
Another excellent evening, with huge thanks to the Allens and Rose for hosting us.
JULY 2016: BARN DANCE AT HERRIARD
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
JUNE 2016: SKITTLES AND SUPPER AT THE NORTHBROOK ARMS
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
MAY 2016: TRIP TO MILESTONES MUSEUM
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!
APRIL 2016: EVENING AT “POTS TO DOODLE DO” (POTTERY PAINTING AND DECORATING)
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!
MARCH 2016: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
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)
Evans, Treasurer (proposed by Maggie Heath and seconded by Rose Cleeve)
(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
FEBRUARY 2016: DARTS NIGHT
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
NEWS (Saturday December 5, 2015): Ellisfield's Belles of St Martins Choir at Festival
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
NOVEMBER 2015: PUDDING EVENING
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:
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
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
What 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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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).
We 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
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.
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
October 2012 – Pudding Evening
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
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
We 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
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
Well 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.
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
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).
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
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.)
February 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
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.