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The Parish Magazine of St. Faith, Havant with St. Nicholas, Langstone

NOVEMBER 2005 (Internet Edition)

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From the Curate - An Inclusive Church

The Church of England is at present in a period of considerable change.  We have just had elections for the General Synod, which will sit for the next five years.  In this period, we may expect that decisions will be made on the admission of women to the episcopate and there may be some resolution to the current controversy over human sexuality across the Anglican Communion.  The divisions being encouraged by such people as the Archbishop of Nigeria risk the break-up of world-wide Anglicanism.  I think that it would be a shame if this happens; the communion gives our churches a measure of fellowship and support across the world.  However, it is perhaps better to preserve our own integrity and accept division rather than to allow prejudice to gain the upper hand. 

In this country, the early indications are that there has been some increase in the liberal representation in the synod.  Let us hope and pray that this is so. 

Resolving the question of how to appoint women as bishops without dividing the church will be a challenge to the new synod.  It is important that this is done without making the sort of compromises that were made over the ordination of women priests.  The damage that those compromises made to the unity of the church and the role of women within it need to be avoided in the next stage.

St Faith’s church has been very slow to accept the ministry of women.  November will be an important month in that acceptance.  I know that we have had guest preachers who are women before.  But, to the best of my knowledge, this month will be the first time that a woman will preside here at Holy Communion.  On 20th November we host the Reverend Wendy Kennedy at the 9:30am service on Sunday.  Wendy is the assistant curate at our sister church, St Francis, in Leigh Park.  You will probably remember her as she preached here for one of the series of Lent sermons in 2004.  I hope we will welcome her as she helps us bring St Faith’s into the twenty-first century.  This may be an innovation for us; but across most of the rest of the Church of England it has become entirely normal.

The coming year or so will be an interesting time for the development of our church.  I do hope that we can move forward in friendship and unity.                                                                     David Williams

About The Parish

Last month in ‘About the Parish’, I wrote about Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar but what about the heroics of the seamen.  In his excellent book, "Trafalgar - The Biography of a Battle", the author, Roy Adkins, tells a remarkable story of a sailor wounded during the battle.  James Spratt, a master's mate from Harrell’s Cross in Ireland, led a boarding party from the Defiance to board the French ship Aigle.  Spratt, with cutlass between his teeth, jumped into the water and swam to the Aigle, urging the rest to follow him.  He got aboard and fought his way single-handedly to the poop deck.  Putting his hat on the point of his cutlass, he waved it in the air to attract help from his shipmates.  A French soldier came at him with a bayonet on the end of his musket.  Spratt knocked the bayonet down with his cutlass but the impact caused the musket to discharge shot into his leg which shattered two bones.  Dangling his bleeding leg over the side of the French ship, Spratt called out to his captain (Durham), "Captain, poor Jack Spratt is done up at last!"

However, Captain Durham had by now got his ship alongside the enemy one and Spratt was rescued.  The surgeon decided that the leg would have to be amputated.  In those days, operations were without anaesthetic and patients invariably died during the operation through shock or gangrene.  Spratt was regarded as one of the most handsome men in the Fleet and holding up his good leg, he exclaimed, "Never!  If I lose my leg, where shall I find a match for this?"  The surgeon sent for Captain Durham but he refused to authorise an amputation, so after the battle Spratt was landed with the other wounded at Gibraltar where he spent 17 weeks in hospital. The wound left him lame but he was still a strong swimmer.  He arrived back in England and eventually was put in charge of the telegraph station at Dawlish in Devon.  He died in nearby Teignmouth on 15 June 1852 at the age of 81!  In 1905, to mark the centenary of the battle, a large wreath was placed at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square from the surviving sons and daughters of the officers who had served at Trafalgar.  In the list of contributors was the daughter of Jack Spratt.

On 26 October, five days after the battle, Admiral Collingwood gave despatches with news of the victory to a Lieutenant Lapenotiere, commander of the small schooner Pickle, to take to England.   He arrived at Falmouth after nine days and went overland to London, arriving at the Admiralty late at night on 5 November (200th anniversary of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot).  It was not until the early hours of 6 November that the Prime Minister, William Pitt, and King George III had news of the victory.  The lateness of the news meant that The Times did not print it until 7 November.  A fishing boat had encountered the British fleet a day after the battle and brought a report to Gibraltar from Admiral Collingwood.  The Gibraltar Chronicle published the news of the great victory on 23 October, in English and French, and included a letter from Admiral Collingwood to the Governor of Gibraltar, giving an account of the battle.  France and Spain did not publish news of their defeat.  So this was another great victory!  The little Gibraltar Chronicle had scooped the world's press including The Times!                                                                                                                  Roger Bryant


Harvest Festival 2005

This year, Harvest Festival was held on Sunday 2 October with a difference.  Instead of asking parishioners to bring vegetables, fruit and tins for the needy, the Rector asked for money to support the charity “Send a Cow”.  Helen Penfold from the charity gave a very interesting talk on the history of the charity and the support it gives to some of Africa’s poorest countries, namely, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The charity was founded in 1988 and supports new and established projects by supplying cows, goats, pigs, poultry, bees and fruit trees, and is piloting schemes to provide rabbits, fish and draft oxen.  It hopes to expand substantially over the next decade, giving more African farmers the means to work their way out of poverty for good.

Helen used a “model cow” in her talk and invited the children to draw items from it, such as a calf, a milk bottle and manure, to demonstrate the necessity of milk for the health of children, how the surplus milk is sold to buy food and other essential items, and how the land is improved by the use of manure.  The talk was very interesting and educational for both the children and the adults.

The ladies decorated the church in their usual artistic way for the harvest service.


Afternoon Bible Study Group

Further to David’s reference to the above in the October issue of “Faith Matters”, the first meeting took place on 28 September.  It was a very interesting and informative study on the book of RUTH, led by Trevor, but only attended by four people!  We have heard that others would like to attend and we look forward to welcoming them in the future – perhaps you could add your names to the list in Church.  The next meeting is scheduled for 2pm on Wednesday 9 November and thereafter on the second Wednesday of each month.                                                                           Ken & Mary Bracher

Correspondence Column


Dear Friends,

Thank you for your many good wishes on the anniversary of our Golden Wedding on 17th September – I must admit that I did not expect to be serenaded in church in the absence of our usual birthday song, to avoid which Alan had quietly sneaked out during the last hymn! 

Ian and I met at Birkbeck College, London – students there have daytime jobs and so attend evening lectures, so are rather older than the usual undergraduate.  We were both taking Biology degrees and chance sat us next to each other in the laboratory, which doubled as a lecture theatre.

Our first date was to see a film at Studio One in Oxford Street and Ian had left his wallet in his “other jacket”, so I had to pay.  Next we went on a cruise up the Thames – the boat broke down and Ian was nipped by a swan (the fuss he made!) and we haven’t looked back since.  I should have learnt!

Nevertheless we have successfully raised four children and have reached our dotage together, so something must have been right!                                                                                                 Ruth Tunks

(Ruth and Ian were married at Eastcote, near Pinner, Middlesex in 1955.  If you have an anniversary or special occasion coming up, please let the Editor know before the due date.  If you are shy, then perhaps a friend would let me know!)

Birthday Thank You

I felt very depressed on my birthday morning.  My family and neighbours were away.  I would be alone all day!

I want to say a big thank you for the beautiful birthday cake, your cards and good wishes.  When I got home after ‘the meeting’ I found a fantastically gorgeous basket of flowers on my doorstep.

Again thank you to those from St. Faith’s who made my birthday a happy one and chased the ‘blues’ away.                                                                                                                               Molly Griffiths

My Testimony

How oft in danger, dread or grief

I lift my eyes to seek relief

And there, before my upward gaze

The cross stands out before the haze

And one who trod this earth before

Who conquered sin and triumphed o’er

Looks down with pitying eye

To one so weak and frail as I.

The cross, the cross, how it urges on anew

The broken heart, where sin or sorrow has a part

When to no mortal can I claim

The right to listen as my words I frame

‘Tis thou, who bends to hear my call

And in thy mercy, God of Grace

Bid me once again the world to face.

The cross, the cross, Oh! May it be my ever dear delight

And in its beauty radiant bright.

May I rest content both day and night

In youth in age, in life, in death

And still with every trembling breath

Hold fast and shelter neath the cross

My standard, Christ my King

To thee my prayers and praises bring.

Elsie Abbott (nee Martin)

This poem was written by Jennifer Trodd’s mother Elsie when she was young. Elsie was a Sunday school teacher and was married in St. Faith’s in 1932.  It was found by her granddaughter Susan when she was looking through her books. Elsie is now 99 years old and lives with her son in Bishop’s Waltham.

Christmas Greetings

Would you like to send a Christmas greeting to parishioners at St. Faith’s Church and St. Nicholas’ Chapel via the magazine instead of sending individual cards as was introduced last year?

Should you wish to do this, please write your greeting, giving details to whom it is for, with your own name, clearly marking it “Christmas Greetings” and put it in the brightly coloured red “post box” on the table in the Church by Sunday 13 November.  Greetings will appear in the December edition of the magazine.  It has been suggested that a contribution of £5 to the Restoration & Redevelopment Fund could be made (monies to Sandra Haggan).

News from Nottingham

When I told my friends that I had met a llama in church, they thought I had finally gone mad.  But the recent RSPCA animal service in Derby Cathedral is just one example of the huge variety of new things I have been enjoying this month.

Before beginning the second year of our training, we are all doing a month’s placement (six long days a week) in a local church; my “church” is Derby Cathedral – so really this month it’s “News from Derby”.  Once term begins, I will continue at the Cathedral on Sundays and some other days, up to Easter, so it will be (and already feels like) my home church.

Derby Cathedral became a cathedral only in 1927, but there has been a church on the site since 943, the present building being the third one.  It is unusual in having a (huge) medieval tower on an otherwise 18th century classical building; inside, it is similar to St Martin in the Fields, having been designed by the same architect.  Two of its claims to fame are the oldest set of 10 bells in England (all over 300 years old) and the tomb of Bess of Hardwick, who famously had four husbands, each richer than his predecessor. 

All thoughts of whiling away my time playing the (three) cathedral organs were quickly despatched as I began an action-packed month, which has included helping at services and pastoral visiting, as well as getting to know Derby and the people and groups based around the Cathedral.  I have also learned lots of useful tricks, such as how to organise a massive collection of vestments and how to iron different types of altar linen.  On my third day, I was told that I was leading Evensong – a scary prospect until I was assured that, it being a Saturday, the congregation would consist of me plus a verger; this proved to be true at the beginning, but during the service the congregation grew to five – which sounds very impressive if you call it a 150% increase!

I’m working mainly with the Canon Precentor - the cathedral clergyperson who is responsible for liturgy and music.  Working with the director of music and other clergy, he plans and organises the regular cathedral services – about 25 a week – plus extras, ranging from the animal service to the forthcoming installation of the new Bishop of Derby.  As if all this were not enough, before presiding at the 9.15 Eucharist on Sunday mornings he presents a 3 hour live show on BBC Radio Derby, so I have also visited the radio studios and sat in on some interviews.  For a student on placement, an advantage of a cathedral is that, as well as its own clergy, it has other clergy attached to it who work for the diocese.  So altogether there are eight clergy for me to follow about and interrogate, not to mention a cast of diocesan clergy, archdeacons and bishops.  I have also visited the acclaimed multi-faith centre at Derby University and its chaplaincy team, and by the time you read this I will have spent a day with the chaplains in Uttoxeter prison.

One of the great strengths of cathedrals is that they can offer excellent worship in many different forms.  During the month I will have attended over 60 services, of many different types.  The music is great: there are several excellent choirs and it’s a joy to be able to listen to the wonderful music without having to do anything!  There are five main choral services a week, sung by the girls’ choir or the boys’ choir, with and without men, or by an adult choir of men and women.  And there are various groups who provide music for other services.

As well as the Cathedral itself, there is a beautiful medieval chapel - the Bridge Chapel - on a bridge over the River Derwent.  Here we have smaller services and the atmosphere is quite different from that in the Cathedral.  Some of the Bridge Chapel services are very traditional, with incense (which we don’t have in the Cathedral because the smoke detectors don’t like it) and some are more informal, including a monthly Taize service and a thought-provoking Sunday evening service called The Mass, run by students, who use clever technical wizardry to produce exotic music, lighting, videos and other special effects.

Twice a year, the Cathedral holds two big Schools’ Days and I was lucky that these happened during my placement month.  About 120 Year 6 children came on each day, from various Derbyshire primary schools.  The children did lots of activities, ranging from monument quizzes to trips up the tower, to stained glass making; more importantly, it was an opportunity for them and their teachers to learn more about the Christian faith. 

The Cathedral community has been wonderfully welcoming.  It is a parish church as well as a cathedral and has several congregations, just like any other church.  On my first Sunday I was introduced to each congregation, which certainly makes it easier to march up to people I don’t know and introduce myself, but it does seem to be a very welcoming place generally. 

A great place to meet people is in the cathedral coffee shop over the road, which was opened by the Queen in 2003 and has won several awards.  I have spent two entertaining but exhausting days as a waitress – starting as dishwasher/clearer-upper and progressing to taking and delivering customers’ orders.  Thankfully, the customers were all delightful, and very forgiving of my ineptitude.  The Cathedral staff enjoyed laughing at me in my uniform polo shirt and baseball hat, but I considered it a major achievement that I survived both days without dropping anything on a customer.

So if you have never been to Derby, why not come and visit?  If you’re unlucky, you might even get served by me in the coffee shop!                                                                                          Rachel Phillips

(Just a reminder that Rachel was for many years organist and choirmaster of St John's Stanmore and is the niece of Alan Hakim)

"War of the Worlds - The Crusades"

Last month we left Peter the Hermit and his Crusaders in Constantinople with the Emperor Alexius who wisely moved this undisciplined mob a safe distance across the Bosporus into Cibotos. He advised Peter not to attempt to attack the Turks until more troops arrived from the West but this sound advice was ignored with appalling consequences for the Crusaders.  Meanwhile, they were fighting one another, with the Germans quarrelling with the Italians and both at odds with the French.  To make matters worse, none of them would accept Peter as their leader.  After a few tentative sorties against small groups of Turks, the Crusaders decided on more ambitious moves.  First the French sallied forth to destroy a few Turkish villages, committing appalling atrocities on defenceless people, many of whom were Christians.  Men, women, children and even babes in arms were murdered in appalling fashion and all in the name of Christ!  The Crusaders fled with their booty when Turkish soldiers appeared on the scene.  

Not to be outdone, the Germans and Italians managed to halt their differences and band together with a force of 6,000 to march on the city of Nicaea, where the Turkish Sultan had his capital.  They pillaged and killed all they encountered in route, although, unlike the French, they at least spared the Christians.  When they at last met up with the Sultan's army, they fled into a deserted castle, which the Turks proceeded to lay siege to.  The reason it was deserted soon became evident to the defenders because there was no water supply within the castle, just a spring at some distance from the castle walls which was behind the Turkish lines.  The Crusaders were driven almost mad with thirst and after eight days were forced to surrender on a promise that those who renounced their Christian Faith would be spared.  A few did and were sold into slavery; the rest were killed!

Worse was to follow because, while Peter was away in Constantinople, a young French knight, Geoffrey Burel, took charge in his absence.  He persuaded the rest that they should march out from Cibitos to find better defensive positions, leaving the women and children, together with some monks and priests, in the camp.  They had to pass through a narrow valley some three miles away, heavily wooded on one side, where the Turks massed to ambush the oncoming Crusaders.  The Crusaders took no precautions, marching along nosily in no sort of order, singing and shouting with no thought of danger.  The Turks sent a hail of arrows into this disorganised mob, decimating the Crusaders before what was described as the avalanche of death swept over them in the form of disciplined armed soldiers who slaughtered everyone they could reach as the Crusaders fled back to camp.  When the Turks reached the camp, the holocaust continued unabated until even the Turks became tired of killing.    This allowed some Crusaders to flee to a castle by the sea where somehow they managed to keep the Turks out until Emperor Alexius sent a squadron of ships to rescue them.  The architect of this disaster, Geoffrey Burel, was among the rescued!  

Back in Western Europe, armies were being assembled.  It occurred to their leaders that it was not necessary to travel 2,000 miles to fight the enemies of Christ, when they were present at home in the form of Jews who were living peacefully in the Rhineland and neighbouring areas.  There then followed yet another holocaust as the Jews were slaughtered in their thousands in a series of atrocities and all in the name of Christ!  Soon the Crusaders were on the march to Constantinople, stopping to murder the Jews of Prague before entering Hungary, where they quickly fled from the Hungarian Army but not before suffering heavy casualties.  The killing of Jews ceased as these mobs completed the rest of their journey to the Byzantine Capital.  Soon the Princes of Europe were making their peaceful way to Constantinople with their own private and disciplined armies.  As these armies started to assemble outside Constantinople, Emperor Alexious sought to exercise control over them by requiring the Princes to swear an oath of allegiance to him.  

One, Godfrey of Bouillon, with his two brothers Baldwin and Eustace had arrived at Constantinople with an army of thousands of Northern French, Lorrainers and Germans.  He refused to swear allegiance to Alexious and, after a number of local skirmishes, astonishingly launched a full scale attack on the Byzantine capital on Thursday in Holy Week!  Alexious was a Christian and ordered his archers only to fire from the city walls at the horses, not wishing to kill fellow Christians in Holy Week.  However, eventually he had no alternative but to launch his cavalry on the Crusaders, who were routed with heavy casualties.  Coming to terms with the reality of the situation, Godfrey met with Alexious on Easter Friday and swore allegiance to him.  Soon huge armies started to appear from all over Western Europe until the largest military force seen since the Roman Empire, some 100,000 men, had assembled.  They were undisciplined and did not have a single leader, so it was with great relief that Alexious saw them off on their march to the Holy Land.  We will be with them next month for the campaign which led to the capture of Antioch and Jerusalem.                                Roger Bryant

From the Registers - October

2nd Baptism of Madison Rose Kelsey & Harvey Jacob Lee Dorn

9th Baptism of Molly Charlotte Abigail Willers

16th Baptism of Rufus Duncan Keay


From the Editor

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established by Royal Charter of 21 May 1917.  Its duties are to mark and maintain the graves of members of the forces of the Commonwealth who died in the two world wars, to build and maintain memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown, and to keep records and registers.  It is fitting that this month when we remember, inter alia, those who died in the two world wars, that the word search features some of the graves world-wide.  Many of the names will be unfamiliar, but is the name of the war cemetery in the country concerned.

Last month Beryl and I went to Paris by Eurostar for a romantic few days for her birthday which she shares with Halloween.  It was our first visit and we did all the usual tourist attractions, including a cruise on the River Seine, viewing the beautiful stained-glass windows in the Notre-Dame cathedral, not forgetting the Eiffel Tower, and having dinner on the pavement on the Champs Élysée by the Arc de Triomphe as the weather was unbelievably warm for October.                                                  Colin Carter

Parish Share 2006

The draft Diocesan Budget for 2006 shows an increase for St. Faith’s of £1,045 or 2.94%.

Here is a comparison for some of the Havant Deanery areas for 2006:

Parish Area

SES Score



Per Head































Rowlands Castle





For a comparison with the 2005 figures see the breakdown in the January 2005 edition of “Faith Matters”.

The total Parish Share for the Havant Deanery is £739,685, and is the highest for all the deaneries in the Portsmouth Diocese - Fareham, Gosport, Bishops Waltham, Havant, Petersfield, Portsmouth, East Wight and West Wight - out of a budget of £3,571,038.


After the Battle of Trafalgar

Vice Admiral Collingwood took over as the Commander of the Fleet, on hearing the news of Nelsons death.  The conflict of feeling from elation at annihilating the enemy and satisfying expectations of prize money, to grief and a sense of loss, caused additional strain on men stunned and weary from the fight.  Few men had long to contemplate their survival, gain or loss.  The seas continued to rise in the early evening, and during the night a storm hit the Fleet - neither side was equipped to meet it, with rigging, masts and sails, not cleared from the decks.  Tow ropes snapped and many of the prizes slipped away in the darkness and were lost.  HMS Victory was one of the worst damaged, the struggle for survival against the storm was as bad as the previous afternoon. 

Several of the French and Spanish ships were scattered and never recovered.  Others were swept on to the lee shore - the French Indomptable, with 500 survivors from the Bucentaure onboard, was lost, with one thousand French drowned struggling to reach shelter.  Collingwood now ordered other ships to be scuttled and burned, amongst those was the Santissima Trinidad (130 guns) - thus the net loss to the French and Spanish was twenty two ships out of thirty three ships engaged by Nelson - only four prizes were taken into possession. 

Collingwood's dispatch composed during the storm brought the first news of Trafalgar to England.  The schooner, HMS Pickle, reached Falmouth in eight days, the Captain, a Lieutenant, drove straight to London, 265 miles in 37 hours and the news was in the First Lord of the Admiralty's hands by one o'clock in the morning and the King's at dawn.  Meanwhile HMS Victory, with Nelson's body which was placed in a barrel of brandy, remained on board for the tow by HMS Northumberland to Gibraltar for repairs. Whilst in Gibraltar a coffin was made from the mast of L'Orient which was lead lined.  Nelson’s body was transferred to the coffin, which was then filled with spirits of wine and completely sealed, and was replaced on board the Victory.  

On 3rd November 1805, HMS Victory sailed for Portsmouth, arriving at Spithead a month later.  A week later Victory sailed for Sheerness (Kent), where Nelson's body was transferred to the Commissioners yacht for conveyance to Greenwich.  On the 8th January 1806, Nelson's body was taken up the river Thames to the Admiralty by barge, with a naval escort.  Nelson's funeral procession from the Admiralty to St. Paul's Cathedral was magnificent, the head of the procession reaching its destination before the rear had started to move.  Nelson’s body was laid in a marble sarcophagus, made for Cardinal Wolsey, set on a pedestal in the crypt.  William Sagrott


Gift Subscription of Faith Matters

Would you like us to send a copy of ‘Faith Matters’ each month to family or friends on your behalf?

Gift subscriptions for 12 issues during 2006 will be posted to UK addresses for £8.00.  Postage to other addresses will be advised on request.

If you would like to take up this offer, please contact Beryl Carter.


BUPA Great South Run 2005

The BUPA Great South Run was held on Sunday 9 October.  Among the runners in the 10 miles event were four from St. Faith’s Church – Penny Britt, Colleen Carter-Smith, Simon Creasy & Sons (Dominic & Oliver)   and our Rector.  Here are their thoughts.


The atmosphere in Portsmouth that sunny, autumnal morning was fun and lively as the crowds gathered to watch or participate in the run.  I crossed the start line, along with 16,000 other runners, and began the 10 mile run through the streets of Portsmouth.  From the pyramid centre through the docks and Old Portsmouth into Eastney and then back along the seemingly never ending seafront!  1 hour and 24 minutes later my very tired legs were crossing the finish line - what a relief!  The crowds cheering us on and the live bands playing along the route had definitely helped to keep me going!

There were people running for hundreds of different charities. The Rainbow Trust was one of these and had 70 people running for it.  The Rainbow Trust is a charity that provides practical and emotional support to children with life threatening or terminal illness and their families.  They do this both through care in the families' own homes and respite breaks at their two houses.  Thanks to peoples' tremendous generosity I have raised £200 for this very worthy cause.  I would like to say a big "thank you" to everyone who sponsored me.               Penny Britt

I decided to do the Great South Run in spring after completing a few 3 mile runs around the block - it seemed like a great personal challenge and a chance to get fit with regular running.  Six months later, on the starting line on a very hot October day I wondered what I could have been thinking of!  I had never got around to practicing a 10 mile run (only about 6!), but I did feel as ready as I'd ever be.  I then made the mistake of taking an active part in the ½ hour warm up with one of the Hot Gossip Dancers, and I was feeling like I needed a sit down then before I'd even started!

Once underway, it was a pleasure to run and take in the wonderful sights of Portsmouth on a sunny day; Old Portsmouth, the Dockyard, Gunwharf, Eastney, Southsea seafront all looked fabulous and I'm sure all the first-time visitors to our city were impressed.  The support of the crowd and the run-through shower kept me going during the crucial 5 to 7 mile distance, and before I knew it I was into the final and hardest mile along the seafront with the sun beating down.  My aim was to complete the course in under two hours which I achieved by five minutes

After a quick sprint when the finishing line came into view I was shattered, but so pleased that I'd got through my challenge.

There are so many animals whose every day is a challenge and I chose to support the RSPCA knowing the money would go directly towards their crucial work with sick, injured, abandoned and cruelly-treated animals.  In the end I raised a respectable £242.00.            Colleen Carter-Smith

A Family Perspective.  Having competed in the Great South run on several occasions since it moved to Portsmouth from Southampton in the early 90s I have seen it grow from a fun 10 mile jaunt on Southsea seafront to the world’s second largest 10 mile race.  I have particularly enjoyed the last two years where Oliver, and then this year Dominic, have competed in the Junior Great South Run.

In previous years the junior run took place on the morning of the main event but, due to the popularity of both competitions, those under 16 years of age now race on the Saturday before the Great South Run on the Sunday.  The boys did not do any formal training for the junior run but thought that the exercise involved in running the length of a hockey pitch (Oliver) and football pitch (Dominic) several times each week would be preparation enough for the 2½ kilometre race.

Oliver started well using his tried and tested technique of "running like the clappers" from start to finish.  Dominic took a more considered approach maintaining a steady pace for the duration of the course.  Oliver managed a particularly credible time of just under 10 minutes followed closely by Dominic at a fraction under 11.  Both enjoyed the race thoroughly and appeared to completely recover about 15 minutes after finishing!

I raced on the Sunday, a clear and warm October day, and felt particularly bright at the start.  Unfortunately I flagged at the six mile mark and, unlike previous years, did not manage to pick up my pace again before finishing.  I managed a disappointing time of 80 minutes but enjoyed the day thoroughly.  I wonder how long it will be before my two running prodigies will be at my heels!!                                                  Simon Creasy

I am sure if you ask my friend Tricia which of the two times recorded in her name (T. Ellis) on the official listing refer to her she will assure you that she ran the Great South Run in 1 hour 27 minutes and 13 seconds, and that the second entry of 1 hour 52 minutes and 52 seconds is mine.  That the reverse is actually the case is really immaterial to anyone (except me).  But is the time of any consequence?  Is it not the experience that is all important?  After all it is a wonderful event – ten miles is a sane distance to run: while it is hard work and does require training, it is not dangerous to the degree that a marathon clearly is.  It can even be described as fun to the greater degree, especially on a day that affords marvellous views of the Solent.  The crowd is immensely supportive, cheering on all and sundry, and one’s fellow runners are an inspiration, running as they mostly are to raise funds for numerous charities, many personal (‘For a great Mum’, etc.)  I also enjoy running around the city I have known since childhood reflecting upon the changes that it has seen (who would have imagined some years ago the Dockyard being as open to the public as it is now?).  Mostly it is a good thing to have done.  Next October seems a long way away.                            David

Coffee Morning

In aid of St Faith’s Restoration & Redevelopment Appeal at 10am on Tuesday 15th November at Watermill Court, Springwell, Havant (new McCarthy & Stone development  of retirement flats).


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