Letter From The Editor


Posted by News Editor

Posted in News

winchester cathedral winter


Letter From The Editor – 30 November 2016

Let’s start with the irony. Completely unplanned and unexpected is the song that’s playing on the radio at the very moment I’m writing these words. Alexander O’Neal’s ‘Criticize’. Yes, I know – before you ask – American spelling. That’s how it is on the record, don’t criticise. At this very moment he’s singing: “I’m fed up ‘cos all you want to do is criticize…” I’m laughing, because I know what I was about to write about and had it all planned out in my head… comments made against Winchester’s Christmas Market. And then… on came the song!

I’m going to say right now that I defend our Christmas Market every year against those cities that seem to have just cashed in. We have the right location, the right motivation and an appreciative audience. Or so it seemed.

Yesterday, I was invited by the Market Facebook app to add some comments about my visit on Monday afternoon. I’m always wary about comments. Those you see on Trip Advisor sometimes seem to be moaning for the sake of it. You’re sitting in a place that you barely recognise from the comments. Anyhow I thought I was going to see positive things, more or less the same as I was going to post – (essentially – beautiful sunshine, not too many people, increased stalls, better laid out, my daughter and I both bought things that I’ve never seen in shops etc. That’s what I was going to say…)

Winchester Christmas Market

I was astonished that out of the first twelve comments I saw, ten were negative. And most were simply not true. “Full of food stalls and expensive…” was one. Well, the eat-on-the-spot food stalls are deliberately at the far end of the market – and yes, I must admit that £3.50 is the top end I was prepared to spend for a paper cup of mulled wine. But surely, you are there for the experience? And the non on-the-spot food stalls were amazing. I’ve never seen cheese displayed like the one from Godminster Farm.

“Same old, same old…” was another one. Well, I don’t know about you, but I expect to smell those spices from the first chalet as you come into the market. I expect to see the Belarus chalet.

Then there was another comment moaning that they’d put a roof over the ice rink which wasn’t see through, which ruins the view and meant that you couldn’t see the Cathedral any more. Well, I’m sorry – but my picture clearly shows that you CAN see through the roof – and that is definitely the Cathedral. (Reminds me of Fawlty Towers: “It’s over there between the land and the sky…”

Winchester Christmas Market

HOWEVER: (there had to be a however…) – we all seem to agree on one thing. The Market gets rammed, it’s uncomfortable at times and it’s the biggest thing that everyone moans about. As the market appears to be getting bigger every year, I would implore those in the know at the Cathedral that an alternative exit is now needed at the other end, and that even more needs to be done about utilising the space at the front of the Cathedral, just as it has been done this year. I dread to think of what might happen should there be a real emergency.


All good things must come to an end – as was witnessed this week with photos posted from the Cheriton Players as they took down the set for ‘Cash On Delivery’. Weeks to build, three hours to dismantle. There have been many comments about this one being the best ever. My abiding memory is the audience leaving the auditorium after the performance still laughing. Always a good sign. Onwards and upwards, my friends.

Cash On Delivery


Lots of comments on social media from irritated rail users about the continuing shutdown of rail lines around Winchester over the last two weekends, particularly for those who had to get to London. Only companies who couldn’t possibly have communicated with each other could have conspired to close both the rail lines AND the M3 for that entire weekend… surely?


Hope you are enjoying our Great Destinations Radio Show. So far, we have visited the Great Barrier Reef, Vienna and Biarritz. This Saturday, Keri Jones is off to San Juan. Lucky boy. It’s on at 1pm, repeated at 8pm and 0200 on Sunday. Just click the radio link to listen.

Great Destinations San Juan


Thank you Apple for finally admitting that yes – along with many others – my iPhone 6s does have a battery problem and that it will shut down despite saying I have 37% of power left. It’s only taken you a year…


And finally…

It’s cold approaching the winter months? Shocker.


Winchester Today – part of the community since 2012. Beware of any pesky imitations.