Grindstone

The grindstone is being renovated by volunteers.

This picture from Mary Snow's collection, which is on the www.longparish.org website, shows it in the early 20th century. It has been a feature of the village for more than 80 years and with any luck should last another 80 when it is mended. The Parish Council minutes record that the renovation in 1929 was paid for by "a lady of the village". Again, this time, there will be no cost to the village as the expenses are being met by a villager, who prefers to remain anonymous. The Parish Council is very grateful to the volunteers and the donor for helping to preserve this piece of our history.

FoLS 100+ Club

I would like to say a big thank you to all who bought 100+ Club numbers. I was touched by the generous and prompt response.

The winners of the January draw were

1st prize Mrs J.Healey
2nd prize Paul Taylor
3rd prize Joan Hofland-Gibbs

The next draw is on February 19th at the Senior Citizens' lunch at the school.

It is not too late to join. If you would like details, please contact Debbie Skinner
tel. 01256 8995013

Marmalade Jars

Many thanks to those who gave and offered me jars.
The marmalade will be sold at the school May Fayre.

Skateboarding

Like many villages, we don't have much for young people to do. The cricket club wants to encourage young people and has built new nets but not everyone plays cricket. They can play football on the football field or use bridle ways for mountain biking. But where can they hang out, muck about, use their skateboards and make a bit of noise without upsetting people? After all kids need somewhere to play.

That's a difficult question. And one where the Parish Council has done research and asked for advice. A proper skateboard park is very expensive and the one in Andover has been closed because it was vandalised. Whitchurch is going to have one in the next few months, so do we need anything here? Lots of people say that skateboarding is just a passing phase. But the fact that people keep on doing it without proper facilities and despite complaints from nearby residents shows there is demand.

The Parish Council thinks we should trust the young people in the village and try to help. Nothing can be done without money, so the Council is raising £2,000 from the rates. With grants from the Borough Council that will give up to £8,000 to spend this year. The Borough Council will give £3 for every £1 raised locally so raising £500 would bring the total to £10,000. And if the young people concerned are prepared to make a case then other people may give grants as well. That's how the cricket club got their new nets.

So the money side of things may be ok but it needs a site which can be used safely and without causing trouble with the neighbours. That's a difficult one. The army camp has hard surfaces but it is too far from the village and people would skate down the hill on the way home which would not be safe. The spare space in the playground may not be big enough and a skateboarding place might put young children off using the playground. If you are a user or a neighbour what do you think?

Please get in touch (direct to me on 720459 or via our village website: www.longparish.org.uk) if you want to use a new area and can help specify what it needs or you can offer a bit of space. Thanks very much.

Jeremy Barber
Chairman Longparish Parish Council.