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Claire Vennis and Joff Lacey bring you essential information for Petersfield and its villages.

Also today, an insight into the work of Petersfield-based charity FitzRoy and a lookahead to Thursday’s Petersfield Dark Skies Night when we encourage you to stop and stare and take-in the majesty of space.

Send information updates or thanks to those who’ve helped you to team@petersfieldradio.uk or call 01730 555 500.

We share information with the Petersfield Coronavirus Resource Hub, the Petersfield Voluntary Care Group and other local agencies.

Look forward to looking up

Information transcript

A helpline has been launched for frail and vulnerable residents to call if they need help during the coronavirus pandemic. East Hampshire District Council has joined forces with Hampshire County Council, voluntary groups and other districts and boroughs across the county to set up the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline.

The line can be used by residents who do not have support from families, friends or their local community, and who need urgent assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness.
The number – 0333 370 4000 – will be manned seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.

The current restrictions on movement may mean that home-visiting and group work can’t be offered, but Home-Start Butser is working tirelessly to stay connected with families and continues to support families remotely when they can’t visit them in person.

Home-Start Butser volunteers are making regular contact with families, offering a listening ear and practical advice. It is also working alongside partners in the local community to ensure families get vital food, baby goods and other supplies delivered to them during the outbreak. If you are able to make a donation to their appeal, or if you are in need, please visit homestart-butser.org.uk.

Do you enjoy driving? And do you have some free time? Petersfield Voluntary Care Group, based at Winton House, needs drivers under the age of 70 to take patients from Petersfield and Froxfield to their doctors, hospitals, dentists, and opticians, and to shop for the housebound. Expenses are reimbursed. Call 01730 266 046 if you’d like to volunteer.

If you are affected by cancer, then you can contact the Hampshire Macmillan Citizens Advice Service on 0344 847 7727 and speak to somebody between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or email the service on macmillan.cahampshire@cabnet.org.uk.

Nosh news

The Malabon Tandoori Restaurant, in Dragon Street, is remaining open seven days a week for deliveries and collections between 5.30 and 10.30pm. Although it’s trying hard to offer the full menu, there may be shortages of some ingredients which make some menu items temporarily unavailable. And, because of shortages and increased costs they’re unfortunately unable to offer their usual 10 per cent discount on collection until we’re back to normal. Visit malabon.co.uk.

Sarah, from the General Wine Company, in Lavant Street, tells us it’s still open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and can sell to you at the doorway; but you can also call on 01730 235 923 and either collect your order or have it delivered to your home. Check out thegeneralwine.co.uk.

To coincide with the new moon on Thursday, it’s the inaugural Petersfield Dark Skies Night where we can all stare out of our windows or upwards from our gardens and explore the night sky, while we can’t explore our local area in the normal way.

Petersfield Dark Skies Night

Because we live in a Dark Skies area we should get one of the best views of planets and star constellations enjoyed by anyone in the UK.

We’re joined now by two experts in this field – and don’t worry, they are keeping two meteors apart: Steve Broadbent, is chairman of the Hampshire Astronomical Group, which runs the observatory at Clanfield, and Dan Oakley is the South Downs National Park’s dark skies ranger – that makes you sound like the physical incarnation of Buzz Lightyear, Dan … In Findon and beyond!

Welcome both of you. Now this all sounds very exciting: our meteorologist, Richard Marks, tells us the skies should be clear this week, so what can we expect to see?

[listen to the audio for their responses]

Support local business

While you’ve been enjoying this summery weather our ceaseless team of volunteers has been busy contacting local businesses to see if they can still offer a service to their customers during the lockdown. Here’s just some of what they discovered …

Mail order business M and L Paints hasn’t stopped since the lockdown. It continues to offer classic paint finishes in 120 colours that can all be seen at mandlpaints.com. Orders can be placed on the website for delivery by DPD, or over the phone to their office on 01730 779 911 for delivery or collection from Alitex, at Torberry Farm, on the Harting Road.

Melanie Wilkes, at Empower Physiotherapy and Pilates, is now offering live online physio-led Pilates classes five days a week, with recordings available for anyone who can’t make the scheduled times. You can book a full online consultation which lasts 45 minutes to discuss any new injuries, ongoing rehabilitation, women’s health needs or even one-to-one pilates sessions. Melanie is also offering free 15-minute physiotherapy consultations to discuss any aches and pains, and how to alleviate them. Find out more at empower-physiotherapy.co.uk or email Melanie on info@empower-physiotherapy.com.

Sew Creative is, sadly still, closed, like so many shops, but is able to take orders if you’d like to buy a sewing machine. It’s also currently producing more than 1,000 clinical gowns for the NHS – and you can hear our interview about that with proprietor Jo Watts on our website. Call on 01730 858 020 or go to the website at sewcreative.org.uk. And that’s sew, S E W, of course.

If you’re interested in wildlife, check out Bird&HedgieTelly on Facebook and Twitter. Set up locally to provide a little back-garden entertainment for those isolating or unable to access outside spaces during these challenging times, Bird&Hedgie Telly aims to bring a little cheer to lockdown by sharing the adventures of blue tits and hedgehogs, via a birdbox camera and a night camera. Go to Bird&HedigeTV on twitter or Bird&HedgieTelly on Facebook for your wildlife fix.

Travel

Following the recent infrastructure enhancements at Guildford, Network Rail is undertaking follow-up works at the weekend – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26th – which will again affect services in the Guildford area. So make sure you check if you just have to travel at the weekend.

Network Rail is also undertaking a major renewal of the railway lines through Petersfield which continues until April 26. All the work will be carried out between 10pm and 7 the next morning.

If you live near the railway it will be noisy at times with a mechanical stoneblower and thermal welding equipment running in the middle of the night.

The level crossing at Kingsfernden Lane is expected to be closed for two to three nights early next week (April 27-29) as Network Rail continues its works on the Portsmouth-Waterloo line.

On the roads, the diversion on the A272 as you head towards Rogate is scheduled to be in place until July 3 – good grief – and that means the road will be closed until at least 3.30pm on a daily basis.

South-East Water is to undertake works on the B2146 Sussex Road, close to the Tesco crossroads, from April 30 to May 1 inclusive, and traffic control will be in operation. So avoid that if you can – it’s enough of a bottleneck when things are running smoothly.

Hampshire County Council is scheduled to finish its work on kerbs along Hylton Road today. Cones until complete though.

Weather

Clear skies by night and day mean plenty of sunshine again tonight and a cool night. Temperatures similar to yesterday up to around 18° this afternoon but the freshening breeze will make it feel much cooler unless you can find a sheltered sun trap.

Things currently looking good for Petersfield Dark Skies Night on Thursday.