Your questions to the Taro Centre’s manager

Dave West manages the Taro Centre for Everyone Active and EHDC.
Dave West manages the Taro Centre for Everyone Active and EHDC.

As the Taro Centre in Penns Place reopens after nearly four months of closure, we ask its manager Dave West what we can expect inside.

We also put your questions about fitness classes, sessions for the over-50s and whether you can get subscription money back because of the restricted service.

The reporter is Kate Fairweather.

Morning Report – Friday 31 July

Harrison RB and Stephen Martin round-up all the essential local information you need to get you safely and enjoyably into the weekend.

Including details of the Taro reopening, the finger post signs in Petersfield that point the wrong way and why Chapel Street may be the best-dressed road in Petersfield.

You make it shine

Send your information updates, questions and thank you messages for people who’ve helped you locally to or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

It’s a sporty one today with details of what’s happening at the Taro and the Open Air Swimming Pool.

Why Chapel Street could be the best dressed road in Petersfield.

And don’t follow the new signs – as new finger posts in Petersfield confuse people, we’re talking about going the wrong way. Has that ever happened to you?

But first, Stephen has today’s top stories.

Good Morning. Petersfield’s Taro Centre reopens tomorrow. The sports facility in Penns Place has been closed for nearly four months and facilities will still be restricted when it unlocks its doors in the morning, as Meg Allin reports:

The gym at the Taro will be the first part of the building to open, along with group fitness facilities which will also be available for use from tomorrow. You’ll need to book in advance, and you can do that on the Everyone Active app or website.
If you want to swim you’ll have to wait a few more days and when the pool does open it will be for lane swimming only. You’ll need to book a lane and there’ll be no bombing down the slide or sitting in the steam room just yet.

We’ll talk to the Taro team tomorrow so if you have any questions about how things will be in the centre you can email or call us on Petersfield five, fifty five, five hundred.

New ‘finger post’ direction signs in Petersfield point the wrong way. The decorative signs are newly-installed as part of a wider project to update signage in the town centre. But some of the finger posts are wrong.

That’s a long walk from the Festival Hall to its car park, according to new finger posts in Petersfield.

One for the open air swimming pool is well off-beam and another suggests the Festival Hall car park is at the opposite end of town from the hall itself.

These shoppers seemed baffled and amused:

IN: “They point…”
DUR: 39”
OUT: “…on the radio”

Petersfield Town Council tells us the signs were correct when they were installed and they’re supposed to be tamper proof. They say contractors will put things right.

What do you think of the new signs? And have you spotted any more that are wrong? Petersfield 5 55 500 is our number.

How are you coping with life during Coronavirus? That’s the question posed by East Hampshire District Council in a new survey of local people.

The council wants to measure how this year’s developments have affected our lives, what services we’ve received and how we’re feeling about it all.

They say they’ll use the results of the survey to identify support that’s needed in the community and to see what more can be done to help with the recovery.

The survey is open until the twenty third of August and you don’t have to give your name. Here’s the web address –

Petersfield Open Air Swimming Pool has shared more details of the renovation work that’s nearing completion at its town centre site.

The biggest renovation project in the pool’s fifty-eight year history will result in improved facilities behind the scenes and many features we can all enjoy when it reopens next year.

You’ll notice a new tiled surround to the pool and smoked oak-enhanced grain decking. Smart new stainless steel rope anchors and pool lights will be fitted to the pool walls with stainless steel drainage grills too.

Behind the scenes there are new skimmers and the plant room gets an upgrade.

As Petersfield Community Radio reported two weeks ago, pool trustees have decided not to open the popular swimming centre this year because it wouldn’t be financially viable with social distancing in place.

A Petersfield charity says it’s grateful to you if you helped its fundraising book fest outside Lloyds Bank last Saturday.

Petersfield Lions Club held the event which made a large selection of books available for a donation.
This was their first sale since March and despite last weekend’s weather it raised over £25.

And you’re up to date.

[Chat: gyms, fitness and going the wrong way]


A new menswear store opens in Petersfield tomorrow. Its owner is Joe Bicknell who joins us now.

[Audio: listen to the programme for the full interview]

Hector’s menswear opens on Chapel Street tomorrow.

Reopening Petersfield

The weekend is here, so let’s see what’s open for fun and business over the next day or two whatever you choose to wear.

If you have children who are bored with the summer holidays already then why not get them to enter the Bug House Competition run by Petersfield Community Garden? That’ll keep them busy.

Children who make a bug house or bug hotel could win a cash prize, and get their creation displayed in the community garden. Details of the competition are at

Hogmoor Distillery reopens its Gin School today with reduced class sizes. You can book classes on Fridays and Saturdays at

Good news from the Good Intent. The pub on College Street is re-opening its kitchen today.

And just a couple of days left to pick-up hand printed, embroidered, unisex and ethically-sourced T shirts from the Petersfield Space on Lavant Street. T shirts from Daisy Lou Designs and Stay Salty Ts are available in the pop-up shop.

and Butser Ancient Farm is now open for most of the week, and all weekend long. There is a limit on places at the attraction so your tickets will be for a specific time slot. Book online at


On the roads, The barriers remain in Petersfield town centre for social distancing, with car parking suspended along the High Street and in The Square.

If you haven’t been up Lavant Street recently you can now park for half an hour for free there. And the Tesco car park remains free of charge.

SSEN continues its digging along Swan Street towards the centre of town, and we can expect disruption and closures there for the next couple of weeks.

South East Water is scheduled to complete its work on the Causeway today.

Openreach is doing cable work on the Winchester Road outside Langrish Manor Farm, that’s just after the bend.

And in South Harting there’s electrical work with temporary traffic control on The Street.

If we’re not saying what you’re seeing, please let us know – you can reach us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or via email,


Loads more sunshine today and we’re expecting temperatures up to 28. Partly cloudy skies in the afternoon with the chance of a passing shower. Winds staying light from the south. And this weekend will see good sunny spells and staying dry, but a little cooler than today.

And we love to hear from you – because this is community radio and you make it shine. Petersfield 5 55 500 or if you want to suggest a story or get involved – Petersfield 5 55 500.

…and if you haven’t heard this week’s P pod yet – it’s a great show direct from the Tattoo Lounge on Lavant Street – you don’t need a tattoo to listen but you will learn about inked skin from owner Geoff Richardson. Michael Auger of Collabro drops in for a chat about his pro-celebrity showbusiness lifestyle and Claire Vennis reveals her secret past on stage.

Get the P pod at or just search “Petersfield” on your favourite podcast app. The Morning Report returns on Monday with Lucy and Harrison – until then, stay safe and have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Morning Report – Thursday 30 July

Laura Sheppard and Suzie Wilde bring you fast facts and local information for Petersfield and its villages.

New housing for the elderly, your chance to comment on care home plans and are your vegetables good enough for Buriton’s virtual village show?

You make it shine

Send your information updates, questions and thank you messages for people who’ve helped you locally to or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

Hello, it’s your regular Morning Report on Thursday the 30th of July.

Laura and Suzie here, with your fast, fact-checked fix of local information.

Today is set to be a hot one, so we bring you some ice cream … in a way!

And you’ll also hear some great ideas for what to do over the summer.

So let’s get started with your local information updates

Another victim of the coronavirus crisis is Challengers, a disability charity for young people. The Petersfield branch has had to close due to falling funding.

August usually brings us Live at Langhams. This popular event staged by Langhams Brewery every year will still go ahead: but this year will become the ‘LiveStream@Langhams’ on Saturday 22nd August , from 7p.m to 9.30 p.m.
Raising money for the South Downs National Park initiative ‘Trees For The Downs’, the evening’s entertainment will include comedy, live music and more. Full details Via their Facebook page

Petersfield Community Garden is set to host a working group of volunteers aged 15 – 17 years old as part of the National Citizens Service. They will work in the gardens and the allotment site over two weeks in August. They will help to clear the stream and hope to build a pond and possibly create a wildflower meadow in that time.

Weald & Downland Living Museum reopens with ‘Wonderful Weeks’ throughout August. It has not been possible to run the hugely popular ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ due to safety restrictions, so the museum staff have devised an alternative that will enhance daily visits during the summer holidays.

A simple activity pack will be available from the entrance for visitors to pick up each day, with additional activities around the site.There is a different topic each week and they run from Monday to Sunday. Full details on the museum website.

Staying with the museum, there will be three nights of open air theatre in August – taking your seats at 6.15pm for a 7 o’clock start.

  • 23 August – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (6.15pm for a 7pm start)
  • 30 August – Much Ado About Falstaff (6.15pm for a 7pm start)
  • 31 August – Choice Glenfell (6.15pm for a 7pm start)

To ensure social distancing restrictions can be maintained, only limited numbers will be allowed to these shows. Instead of individual spaces, there will be the offer of 40 ‘bubbles’ – each bubble will be 1.5 metres apart, with four people per bubble. Each bubble will cost £40. Booking in advance is essential – and tickets are available right now.

All the Dylans Ice Cream van bookings are cancelled until September at the earliest. Meanwhile, they are looking for somewhere to park up the van and open a mini Dylan’s. If you know of somewhere, such as an empty car park or even a shop, that they could use for a couple of months, please let them know direct or via Petersfield Community Radio.

And you’re up to date.

Thanks Suzie

That was a bit of a cheek, selling us the idea of ice cream – what’s your favourite flavour? etc
Open Air Theatre
Men unwilling to wear masks (Middlesex University joint research with Berkeley US findings in survey of 2,500 people) and more likely to experience negative emotions when they do wear one. True only of America or are Brits as bad? Worse in counties where mask-wearing isn’t mandatory.

What more is opening-up across the area?

Butser Ancient Farm is now open from Wednesday all the way through until Sunday every week. Despite being ancient, the farm has secured one very contemporary accolade – the team has been awarded a ‘Good to Go’ certification from Visit England for the measures it has taken to follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines. Places remain limited at the attraction and your tickets will be for a specific time slot. You can book online at

A new menswear store opens on Chapel Street this weekend. Called Hector’s, it’s in exactly the same place as the much loved Frasers store was for as long as many of us can remember. The owner of Hector’s, Joe Bicknell, told us he sees his new shop as “a playful negotiation of things old and new”. It opens its doors for the first time on Saturday.


SSEN continues its works around the Petersphere – currently working its way along Swan Street towards the centre of town, and we can expect disruption and closures there for the next couple of weeks.

Temporary traffic lights remain in place on Station Road, between Sandringham Road and King George Avenue while the pelican crossing is upgraded to a puffin.

On the Causeway near the Jolly Sailor roundabout South East Water will have lights and traffic control later today so its teams can fix a broken meter lid in the road… that shouldn’t take long

And a couple of items in the South Harting area… SSEN is doing work on The Street in the centre of South Harting for a couple of days, and on Bohemia Hollow, Southern Water is fixing some kind of hydrant thing. We don’t really know to be honest – we just enjoy saying Bohemia Hollow.

If we’re not saying what you’re seeing, please let us know – you can reach us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or via email,


The jet stream has tracked northwards, bringing a burst of settled weather. Today, it’s full sun with maximum temperatures of 23 degrees and a warm southerly breeze. The sun is strong at this time of year , especially tomorrow, so UV levels are high.

And if you have any stories, shout outs and thank yous or if you have an idea for something you think we should feature or talk about, please let us know on Petersfield 5 55 500 or

This week’s P pod includes a chat with our own Michael Auger of Collabro fame and my Wilde Walk this week is … a swim! Tomorrow’s Morning Report will be brought to you by Dave and Harrison.

Until then, stay safe and have a wonderful Thursday. Have a great day.

Sewing Bee brings bit of a buzz

For the last six years, Jo Watts, and her team at Sew Creative, on Lavant Street, have hosted the Petersfield Sewing Bee competition with various challenges for adult and junior sewers.

This year’s creations have been displayed in the shop’s window to view over the last few weeks – and they looked absolutely amazing.

Our youngest reporter, Nina Vennis, went along to the final on Saturday. She caught up with the winner of the Junior Sewing Bee, 11-year-old Liddy Sobey, and then chatted with Jo Watts and sewing expert and judge of the sewing bee Wendy Gardiner.

Congratulations also to Penny Hearn, who won the adult competition and to our own Nina, who, modestly, forgot to mention her success in the challenge one Junior section for her wellness bag.

Money Moment with Martin Bamford

Informed Choice independent financial planners is a specialist investment company in Petersfield, which can help you make decisions about money.

Every week, Martin Bamford compiles a selection of money stories that will help you keep in touch with our changing world as you consider how best to spend and invest.

This week

We’re spending more on ice-cream … but less on personal grooming (let’s hope the two are not related); property owners can now add up to two floors without planning permission under a change in permitted development rules; the Chancellor has been accused of drawing a line under coronavirus support packages; and a report finds there is now less funding for long-term care.

All with Martin Bamford and presented with Informed Choice, independent financial planners of Petersfield.

Martin Bamford

Be informed and plan for your future with the Money Moment from Petersfield Community Radio. Sponsored by Informed Choice.

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