Letter From The Editor


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Letter From The Editor – 8 November 2016

I love Autumn. How can anyone not fail to be moved by the glorious gold, red and yellow colours that surround us every year – as our picture from Kings Worthy shows… even walking through the outskirts of the city from Winchester Today Towers and up the footpath by Barton Farm, for me there’s nothing better than getting out, shuffling through the leaves, smelling the real fires.

Each year at this time I also get out one of my favourite books, which I first encountered back in the late 60s. At my junior school we had a wonderful teacher called Mr Terrett, and it was through him that I also became hooked on books like Stig of the Dump, The Family From One End Street, The Mystery of the Cross-Eyed Man, Over Sea Under Stone and the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Most of these books were issued by Puffin – edited by a fab lady called Kaye Webb. She ran the Puffin Club and I was a fully paid-up member, badge and all. At one point she was married to Ronald Searle – what a literary team!

Letter - Autumn
Something To Do – Puffin, 1966

Anyhow, one of the gems from Mr Terrett’s list was a book called ‘Something To Do’ by Septima, which was so popular that it had to be re-printed EIGHT times between 1966 and 1971 alone… and re-printed twice in three of those years. Essentially, it’s a book for rainy days. Hundreds of ideas are on offer in the book, accompanied by beautiful line drawings. Okay, some of the ideas (a Twizzler anyone?) and the English used may seem a bit quaint 50 years on, but for me it’s an escape in itself.

I always used to love the pages from October / November, where they talk about conkers, hedgehogs, autumn fruits and berries… November’s pet is a dog – with details on how to properly look after one BEFORE getting one at Christmas. “Don’t forget the dog licence” says the book, available from the Post Office for 7s. 6d.


… which brings me on to Halloween. Why, oh why is this now spread over 4 days? Next year it’s on a Tuesday – so expect a five day extravaganza. I’ve come to loathe what Halloween has become in the way it is now celebrated. Not the dressing up or the simple things, but the way in which it seems to go on and on. I know I’m not the only one. However…


… I always enjoy seeing the pumpkins on offer in the streets around Winchester Today Towers. I’ve also learned that you can’t compete with the neighbours on this front!


… which brings me on to fireworks. I’m a fan of both organised and private displays. As I child, I used to love going round to Grandad’s house for a bonfire and a box of ‘Standard’. We always had a great time, and it was safe. That’s despite those being the days of bangers and Catherine Wheels as well as the fountains and rockets. But they were quite tame. The guys in a house near near us over the weekend had what could only be described as mortar-style fireworks. Surely not right? I also hear that residents in Cheriton were subject to a very noisy display at 11.30pm. Great for the animals (not).

Also – wasn’t it the case that not so long ago firework night was held on ONE day – or you could expect a visit from the Bill?


Winchester Today is very proud to continue its support for the Winchester Short Film Festival. Hope you’ve been enjoying the screenings – up from two last year to seven this – in some amazing venues in Winchester. We also hope that you’ll enjoy the presentation ceremony on Saturday 12th November at the Discovery Centre.


I’m very pleased to say that our radio station is now taking the Great Destinations Radio Show, which is a fab listen from Keri Jones. It’s on every Saturday at 1pm. Last week we were in Santa Fe. This week it’s Vienna!

More details here


Finally, ‘Break a Leg’ to the Cheriton Players for their performances of ‘Cash on Delivery’ 23rd-26th November at the Village Hall. As I write this there are only 18 tickets left. Don’t miss out!

Cheriton Players

Buy tickets here


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