The Magazine for the people of the parishes of New Alresford and Ovington is published monthly (except for January). It is on sale at the west end of St John’s Church and at Six West newsagents (both right in the centre of Alresford) from just before the start of the month.
Here we give you a taste of what is in the current issue – we hope you will come and buy a copy. It’s a real bargain at £1.20 with many interesting articles including: our excellent gardening page by Rose Briar; a recipe in Parish Pantry; an update of the music-making at St John’s; information about many local events – and the always amusingly quirky Scenes from Alresford Life. We also publish news of Baptisms, Weddings and Successes to celebrate in People Matter, together with obituaries. There are details of many local events, and you will also find many useful trade advertisements.

Editorial from July edition of The Magazine


Hello and welcome,

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far. The weather has not been the most cooperative for basking in the sunshine (June, I am looking at you) but onwards and upwards for July!

We have a number of events this month that would benefit from some dry fine weather but as long we are prepared and equipped with our ‘just in case’ gear all should be grand. July’s outside events include the Winchester Festival (July 5th – 13th), the Annual Cricket Match at Old Alresford Pitch (July 7th) and the CTiA Picnic in the churchyard at St. Mary’s (July 21st).  Why not stay a bit longer after the picnic and attend the ‘Songs of Praise’ service at 5.30pm?

The Old Alresford Mothers’ Union is holding a Coffee & Cake fundraising morning on July 10th for ‘Summer of Hope’, which supports families and mothers in different parts of the world.  I do hope you can join them. See page 4 for contact details.

Would you like to contribute to our magazine?

We always welcome contributions from our readers.  There is an opportunity to share a wide variety of reports, stories and items of interest.

We would love to hear from you!  

Articles on the following are keenly sought after:

Local area walks

Travel/adventure stories

Spiritual life and growth

Recycling tips & advice/Reducing plastic waste

Photos, alone or with a story

An event you would like publicised

Your contributions can be from as little as 50 words to a full page article of 750 words.  Photos are lovely accents to articles and also mean there is less for you to write!

If you would like to contribute, please feel free to contact me (details below).

All the best for a happy and healthy July.


Penny Forbes (Editor)



Leader from July edition of The Magazine 

Soul Food

Some porters were hired to carry a group’s possessions on a trip through the jungle. The pace quickly increased until the head porter called a halt: ‘We’ve come so far, so fast we need to take a break and allow our souls to catch up with our bodies!’ I really LOVE that phrase!

June was a particularly busy month of celebrating for us at church, with Pentecost and St John the Baptist Festival. It was a special month for Tasha our Curate as she was ordained as a Priest on June 29th in Winchester Cathedral! What a fabulous day and a fabulous Curate ! Thank you Tasha for all you are and all you do.  We hope to have some photographs of our various celebrations in next month’s edition.

July is a month when many of us take a break. Our youngest, along with all her peers will be very glad to take a break after exam season….but sometimes it feels like every month is as busy as the one before and that ‘quieter month’ just doesn’t happen. In such times we need to especially look after our souls.

We have all been told for years about our ‘5 a day’ fruit and veg we should eat ….I think it is 10 a day now!  And we all know we should walk instead of drive places! Thankfully more and more is being recognised about the condition of our mental health too and the need to rest as well as to exercise our minds. There is so much that can make us worried or anxious these days and internal pressures can mount up and be overwhelming.

Jesus once said to his friends ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ (Mark chapter 6: verses 31&32).He saw how tired and stressed his disciples were and wanted to give them a break from their busy lives. He loved them and cared about their wellbeing. He longs to do the same with us, so we can restore the balance of work, rest and play in our lives. (That reminds me of an advert for a certain chocolate bar!).

Jesus understood the need for us to recoup spiritually as well as physically and mentally, that we might tend to our souls. He said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…..

you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew Chapter 11 verse 28.)

Many folk say to me how peaceful and special and beautiful and tranquil it is when they come and just sit for 5 minutes in church. I am SO thrilled to hear how  the church space is a sanctuary of silence and stillness. I believe that this is due to 100s of years of prayer and worship that those stones have ‘soaked up’ and to the presence of God’s spirit. Whilst we know that God is everywhere, it is hard to sense His presence in the busyness of the noisy, ever-changing world. Statistics tell us that going to church is good for your health! So why not come in anytime for your special 10mins a day ‘soul food’….. priceless ….and  totally free of charge.



People Matter from July edition of The Magazine


Nancy King

Nancy was born on 18th September 1920 in the village of Langford in Bedfordshire. Her father, Ernest, was a bricklayer, her mother Alice a dressmaker. She had a sister, Rosalie who was born in 1928.

Nancy attended the local primary school, then the secondary school in Biggleswade, the nearby town. Donald King attended the same schools. She left school at the age of 14 and became apprentice to a hairdresser in Biggleswade. Donald also left school at 14 and trained as a grocer in the same town. Eventually romance blossomed.

When the war came Don went into the army and Nancy had to leave hairdressing, as it was a luxury occupation. She went to work in Bedford on the switchboard of the Fire Service and enjoyed her time there despite the war.

Don and Nancy were married in 1943 and Don returned to the army.

In 1947 Peter was born and they were housed in a Post War “Prefab”. Nancy’s friends were very envious of her two bedrooms, bathroom, fridge and washing machine. In 1953 Valerie was born. Nancy was a housewife and Don was manager of the local Co-op.  She began hairdressing for local ladies, travelling round the village on her bicycle, probably one of the first mobile hairdressers.

In 1958 they were re-housed to a house in the same street as Nancy’s sister and Don’s brother. The three families were very close and the cousins all grew up together.

In 1982 their first Grandchild, Christopher was born. Val and Ian were living in Hitchin at this time, about ten miles away, so they spent a lot of time with Chris.

In 1984 Don died suddenly of a heart attack. Nancy was bereft, but with the support of her family and many friends in the village she remained positive and coped well. In 1985 Nancy’s second grandchild, Sarah, was born.

Nancy continued to live happily in Langford. She continued to cycle round the village hairdressing. She was a member of the Mother’s Union, the Sisterhood, and on the Church flower rota.

In 1989 Val and Ian moved to Alresford. Nancy visited regularly for holidays and Christmases and really enjoyed her visits. Val had always told her that if the time came that she needed some help and wanted to live close to them they would find a suitable property for her.

Eventually, in 2006 at the age of 86 she felt that it was the right time to move to Alresford to be closer to Val.

She bought a flat at Alders Court and settled in quickly. She attended St John’s Church and made lots of friends. She joined the Mother’s Union, which had closed many years earlier in Langford. It was very special to belong to the Mother’s Union in Old Alresford – the home of it’s founder Mary Sumner. She also joined the Giles Group, enjoying both the meetings and the outings on the minibus.

Having been Practice Nurse at Alresford Surgery since 1990 Val told her patients that her Mum had moved to the town. Initially patients were asking Nancy “Are you Val’s Mum?” That soon changed to patients asking Val “Are you Nancy’s daughter?”

Nancy met Margaret Stewart at Church one Sunday and they became close friends. Margaret played a big part in her life. She took her shopping; picked her up to go to various meetings and organised Sunday lunch at The Swan most Sundays with other ladies. Margaret became known by the family as “Nancy’s second daughter”.


Nancy loved being part of the family Get Togethers. She enjoyed both grandchildren’s weddings and was very grateful to have met three great grandchildren.

Recently, Nancy had become very frail. After a fall in her flat she was admitted to hospital but developed pneumonia. She died peacefully on 11th April.

Val and Pete have received many lovely cards and letters. Nancy had a smile for everyone. She never complained, even latterly when life was difficult.

Her funeral took place in Langford.  She was buried with Don in the Churchyard.

She will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

A Service of Thanksgiving for Nancy’s life was held at St. John’s Church on June 8th.


Living with Cancer for the third time.


By the time you read this I will have had a second mastectomy for a third primary cancer. I’m feeling really well, angry more than anxious as I will be going through treatment again which will leave me feeling tired, even generally unwell. I can remember feeling so weak that getting out of a chair to go to the bathroom was a major challenge. I didn’t enjoy eating or drinking as everything tasted wrong, I felt sick, my mouth was sore etc, not every day, but the few days after chemo.


At the same time we had weekends away, days out, spontaneous trips to Hinton Ampner with friends, a daughter’s wedding in Barbados. I recovered and I’ve had seven healthy years. I’m annoyed because it all puts pressure on my family and friends who are wonderfully supportive but have busy lives of their own. The fact that I’m holding onto is that thanks to the skill of Winchester Hospital Breast Cancer unit, this cancer has been found early, before it can do too much damage. I’m alarmed at how many people ignore an invitation to have a mammogram, take the test for bowel cancer or have a smear test. It’s not a comfortable experience but for the second time it has saved my life.


Fear can stop us going to the doctor if we dread a bad diagnosis, but the earlier that diagnosis is made the better the chance of recovery. Any test for cancer must be better than the alternative. Having cancer, especially the first time, is terrifying. However, treatment is improving all the time and I expect to make a full recovery, by the end of the summer if I avoid chemotherapy, otherwise by Christmas.


Living with cancer is possible. I’m not fighting it, there’s no point, it is what it is, but I expect to have many enjoyable times, before, during and after treatment. There will be bad days of course and I’ll need to deal with them when they come; to quote the Beatles I’ll get by with a little help from my friends. The big C is what we all fear, and with good reason, but people are living longer after diagnosis than ever before. I’m hopeful that I will continue to live, with or without cancer, for some time to come.


Sue Clarke


People Matter from June edition of The Magazine

Beryl Lewer

Beryl was born on the 1st June 1932, in the village of Lasham, to William and Lavinia Court.

The family worked on a farm. Beryl attended Lasham school where she passed the eleven plus and gained a place at Eggars Grammar School in Alton. She enjoyed school, playing lots of sport, including hockey and tennis.

Having left school at 15 she went on to study at Sparsholt College to learn about the care of animals. During this time, the family moved to Cheriton and lived at Hockley Lodge where she had the opportunity to help at Corbetts farm at weekends and holidays. She was delighted to have the pleasure of helping with the showing of cows at the local agricultural shows.

When she finished at Sparshot College at the age of 17, Beryl and the family moved into Ventry, her grandparent’s house, in Alresford where she kept a pet pig. She also hand milked a local farmers blind cow twice a day, cycling to and from Ladycroft where it was kept.

Beryl then went on to work at Portals paper mill at Overton, where they made bank notes and watermarked paper. Following the sad loss of her mother, she took on the role of running the home for her father and younger brother, Keith.

In 1956 Beryl met Leonard Lewer at an old time dance in Alresford, and in 1958 they married at St John’s Church. They carried on living at Ventry for the next 10 years working and saving hard to be able to buy a place of their own.

In 1967 Beryl and Len purchased Hydaway in Gundleton, a fitting place for them, in the countryside with a lot of peace and quiet. They carried out a lot of renovation and then spent a happy 48 years there together. Beryl and Len were ahead of their time, they were very practical people, leading a very self-sufficient lifestyle.

Beryl decided to become a home help carer, travelling from house to house. This gave her the excuse to ride her motorbike, even though she owned a car.

Beryl made use of the land at Hydaway breeding and milking goats, and also looking after orphaned lambs. She enjoyed being outside in her garden, growing both flowers and vegetables. She took great delight in showing her vegetables at the local shows where she won many prizes. Her talents also included knitting and sewing.

For over 20 years she owned and doted on her horse, Jimmy, a welsh cob. She rode and also drove Jimmy using a carriage and cart along the country lanes as well as taking part in the Alresford carnival several times, driving the carnival queen and leading the procession through the town.

Her nieces, Angela and Janette always enjoyed visiting her; she was a good cook and always baked homemade bread rolls in the Rayburn especially for their visits. She was pleased to show them her latest animals and on one occasion they were able to walk two of her goats from Gundleton to Bighton and back on a lead, which did attract some attention from locals and dog walkers.

The last two years of Beryl’s life, were spent at Westholme Nursing home where she received the best of care until she passed away peacefully. Her sister in law Pearl and Angela and Janette would like to thank the staff of Westholme.

Beryl will be fondly remembered by anyone who knew her and sadly missed by her family.



Edith Ann Roadnight

Edith was born on the 31st of July 1934 in Winchester to Alfred and Ivy Dowling.

After leaving school, she worked in the foundry in Kings Worthy. She was 20 when she met 25 year old Cyril (“Nobby”) Roadnight at a dance at the Lido. Nobby worked on the watercress beds. They married in 1955 and lived in Bishops Sutton and then in John Bevans cottages and 7 The Brook, Old Alresford. They had a daughter, Penny. Edith worked in the kitchens of Old Alresford Place when the nuns were there.

Holidays for Nobby and Edith were day trips to Hailing Island, Southsea, Swanage and Weymouth where they spent all day on the beach, eating cockles and mussels and fish and chips with a flask of tea. Nobby would always hire a white Austin Allegro from Cheriton for these trips.

Edith was a fan of the Carry On films and “On The Buses”. She loved cats. Nobby grew the vegetables and Edith cooked them. She loved her rose garden in the front and her favourite “Iceberg” rose – pure white. On summer evenings they joined their friends going to the “Peaceful Home” pub in Alresford.

As a mum Edith was a traditional and very loving mother, she was always encouraging. In her late 40s, Edith began to struggle with osteoarthritis in her spine and her knees with regular hospital trips for injections, later on in her 50s she became registered disabled. When Nobby died aged only 56, Edith mourned for years, it broke her heart losing the love of her life.

A couple of years later in 1988, Edith move to Robertson Road in Alresford. She began to go with her great friend Eve Philips to the Makins Court bingo. They went to The Swan for lunch almost daily with friends and they loved to go to garden centres.  Eve said to Penny once – “your mum and me have conquered every garden centre in the south!”

The Community Centre was a frequent place they visited, Edith loved the silver and the amber jewellery and the home-made gooseberry jam. Eve said that Edith was a lovely woman with a heart of gold and that she was always pleased to see her circle of friends, very sociable as well as independent.

In later years Penny became her carer and mother and daughter became very close. Penny made sure that Edith never felt alone and Edith was very grateful to her. In the last couple of years, Edith suffered some serious illness. She had an incredible inner strength and never complained.

Edith will be sadly missed by both family and friends alike.