ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO — 22 DECEMBER 1893

SUTTON SCOTNEY — AFTER MANY DAYS

At the Winchester County Bench on Saturday, George C---, a hawker, was summoned for making a fire beside the high road at Sutton Scotney on February 27th, since which he had travelled about and the summons had not been served till recently.—He said it was a cold morning, and he lighted the fire to warm his six youngsters.—Fined 1s. and 4s. costs.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO — 20 DECEMBER 1918

CORRESPONDENCE — HELP THE RETURNING BANDSMEN

During the Christmas season the Salvation Army Band purpose [sic] playing, as usual seasonable music throughout the town.

In view of the imminent return of the bandsmen from the front, the local Band and Corps are striving to raise at least £70 in order that each man may be presented with a new instrument on his return.

When the men joined up the girls came forward and filled their places, and have done nobly, as also have the young lads who took up the instruments laid down by the men.

Naturally these girls and lads do not wish to give up their instruments now, and we cannot ask them to do so, after what they have done, so we must provide others for our fighting men. The Bandsmen draw no pay whatever from the organisation, but on the contrary are expected to buy their own uniforms, pay for the upkeep of the Band, and contribute towards the Corps expenses. This they do and work through all seasons of the year.

Every eligible man joined up, one has made the Great Sacrifice, one won the D.C.M., the rest we are expecting home soon.

The work of the Salvation Army is well known and the Bands have contributed in no small extent to the success of the work.

Will you please show your appreciation not only to these men, but to the thousands of others who have fought, and to those who have helped to take HOME to the men out yonder,

WM.DARBY, Ensign, Officer in Charge. 12, Old Winton Road, Andover.

Donations may be sent to the Bandmaster, Mr.W.G.Latimer, Bootmaker, Junction Road; the Treasurer, Mr.A.E.Kinge, 8, High Street.

SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO — 24 DECEMBER 1943

GIFT OF PLAYING FIELD

Kingsclere and Whitchurch District Council, at their meeting held on Tuesday, decided to accept with gratitude, a gift by Mr.M.C.Kersley, in memory of his father, of a piece of land at Overton, to be used as a recreation ground by children, The deed of a gift contained the following provisos: That the field be known as the “Edward Kersley Playing Field”; that only children of school age be entitled to use it; that building erected thereon be used in conjunction with it; that in the event of the land being required for road widening or for the erection of school premises, the purchase money or compensation available be used for providing another recreation ground.

Compiler’s note: An update about this land in 2018 was featured on page 12 of the Advertiser dated October 12 and also in a letter from some of the descendants of Edward Kersley published on October 26.

FIFTY YEARS AGO — 20 DECEMBER 1968

RETURN OF TROOPS FROM “HONG KONG FLU” AREA

South Tidworth councillor, Mrs.E.B.Williams has attacked the Army for bring 160 troops back to their home garrison from the “Hong Kong flu” stricken area of Colorado, U.S.A., without the men receiving vaccine.

The men, who arrive late tonight, have spent three weeks at Fort Carson, less than 100 miles from Denver, a town where one in eight of the population — 100,000 people — have been hit by the flu in a major epidemic.

Councillor Mrs.E.B.Williams, is bringing the matter up at Monday morning’s meeting of Andover Rural District Council as a matter of urgency.

“This could be a very serious matter,” she said. “I want to look into it very thoroughly and make sure there is no danger for the people of Andover and Tidworth.

“I think they should definitely put all these men into isolation until they are sure they have not got the virus.

“Starting Friday, staged through to Monday, troops will be leaving the barracks and going on Christmas leave all over Britain.”

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO — 24 DECEMBER 1993

DREAMING OF A LESS HECTIC CHRISTMAS

As most of us wind down for Christmas, there’s still work to be done for some before they can sit down to a well-earned glass of wine and mince pie.

At the Andover Sorting Office, last minute cards and parcels have been pouring in bound for destinations all over the world. But, says assistant manager, Glen Wright, the hard working posties have been sending them out as fast as they have been coming in.

“We’ve had a pile coming in towards the end, but we’re clearing the mail as it arrives,” he said.

And do the sorters mind the extra workload?

“No, they’re all happy,” added Glen.

And unable to put his feet up and relax is Test Valley Mayor, Cllr George King, who will have to wake up extra early on Christmas Day to open his presents, before setting off to fulfil his appointments at Romsey Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital, before arriving for lunch at St Ann’s Hall.

Cllr King’s busy schedule elicits little sympathy from his secretary, Clive Judd.

“It’s all par for the course. The Mayor is always busy during the Christmas period,” he said.

TEN YEARS AGO — 19 DECEMBER 2008

LEISURE CENTRE FACELIFT

Andover Leisure Centre is undergoing a major £350,000 revamp.

The last was carried out in 2003 by Valley Leisure Limited — the charitable trust providing leisure services in partnership with Test Valley Borough Council. The 2003 work resulted in a large gym of 167 exercise machines grouped in three distinct areas: The fitness gym, the strength gym and a separate women’s gym.