Passengers report burning and smoke on a train at Petersfield

Emergency services on platform 1

Emergency crews from the fire service and police attended Petersfield railway station today after passengers reported a fire on board a Northbound train.

South Western Railway staff stopped and evacuated the ten-carriage train at Petersfield after passengers noticed smoke and a smell of burning in the fifth carriage.

Fire crew members told us that nobody was hurt.

We spoke to these eyewitnesses and passengers affected by the incident.

The train on which the fire was reported is one of the recently-refurbished “Class 442” units which are 30-years old. They entered service on the London Waterloo to Portsmouth line this month.

The affected service was the 10.15 from Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo.

It arrived into Petersfield just one minute behind schedule at 10.48 but didn’t leave the station until 12.51 when it was driven to Haslemere. The onward service to London was then cancelled.

Portsmouth News journalist Tom Cottterill was in Petersfield when the train was evacuated

Control point in the car park

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service deployed four vehicles including three fire engines and established a control point for the incident in the car park off Frenchmans Road. We counted 18 fire service staff at the railway station.

South Western Railway organised replacement buses to take passengers to their destinations. Some trains started to run after one o’clock but delays and cancellations continued to show on the station boards into the afternoon.

Eyewitness tells of smoke and smell

Sarah was one of scores of passengers on the train who were caught up in the drama. The disruption meant Sarah had to reschedule a hospital appointment. She told Petersfield Community Radio what happened to her.

I was on the carriage in front of where it happened and apparently it filled with smoke and there was a smell. Most people left the train because of an electric fire smell. Then we were all told to get off, and all told to steer clear of the train and then we were all told to evacuate the platform.

What could have caused it?

We know Fire and Rescue Service personnel used heat-detecting equipment to identify an overheating brake. The brake would have caused a lot of firey smoke and heat but nobody has reported seeing flames.

Railway experts who have spoken to Petersfield Community Radio suggest that the brakes in the fifth carriage could have been locked because of a fault or even human error. We understand this train was in for overnight maintenance last night.

While modern trains will alert the driver to a locked or “dragging” brake, our experts say the only indication a driver would have of such a fault on these older ‘442’ units would be if they could feel the train not pulling properly, or if somebody raised the alarm.

Another bad day for train users

In addition to the fire scare in Petersfield, a piece of railway track was damaged between Rowlands Castle and Petersfield today. This meant that trains had to travel through that area Northbound as slow as 5 miles per hour at one time.

There is no suggestion of any connection between the damaged rail and the overheating brakes that caused today’s evacuation.

Three fire engines were in the station car park
Railway workers closed the line in both directions

Family and friends raise urgent funds for Wendy

The Wilson family joined the Petersfield Post‘s Jon Walker, left, to discuss their fundraising

Petersfield mother of two Wendy Wilson, 54, was told just before Christmas that she needed urgent, expensive treatment on a tumour.

Her family and friends needed to raise £60,000 in just three weeks. 

Wendy, husband Grant, and daughter Mollie joined the Petersfield Post‘s Jon Walker, at a recording of the P pod, to discuss their fundraising efforts.

To donate to the appeal visit the GoFundMe page.

Don’t forget the bins!

East Hampshire residents are being reminded to check their bin collection calendar for changes over the Christmas and new year period.

The changes will affect collections over a three-and-a-half-week period from Christmas Day.

Collection calendars that began at the start of collections by Norse South East (on Monday 30 September 2019) include the changes.

Residents who do not have a calendar can find it by searching for their address in the council’s ‘where I live’ section. 

More information is available on the council website.

Louise campaigns in memory of her father

Louise is pictured with her late father, in happier times

Last month saw the launch, in London, of a pressure group called the ‘5FU Test Alliance’.

Petersfield resident Louise Brown is heavily involved in this campaign after losing her father two-and-a-half years ago following the prescription of the chemotherapy drug 5FU.

Louise popped along to a recording of the P pod and discussed the campaign with presenter Joff Lacey.

For further information visit 5futestalliance.org, or follow the group on Twitter at @5futestalliance.

David Buxton, Liberal Democrat, answers your questions

David Buxton

Petersfield Community Radio asked all six candidates in the East Hampshire constituency to answer some questions suggested by P pod listeners.

Unfortunately, Eddie Trotter, the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party candidate, has been ill and unable to meet with us.

However, five candidates did join us and we posed the same six questions you suggested to each of them.

The interviews were carried out by P pod volunteers Alan Cosh and Dave Bowers.

Here is the interview with the Liberal Democrat candidate, David Buxton, and his interpreter Zoe.

Damien Hinds, Conservative, answers your questions

Damien Hinds

Petersfield Community Radio asked all six candidates in the East Hampshire constituency to answer some questions suggested by P pod listeners.

Unfortunately, Eddie Trotter, the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party candidate, has been ill and unable to meet with us.

However, five candidates did join us and we posed the same six questions you suggested to each of them.

The interviews were carried out by P pod volunteers Alan Cosh and Dave Bowers.

Here is the interview with the Conservative candidate, Damien Hinds.

Gaynor Austin, Labour, answers your questions

Gaynor Austin

Petersfield Community Radio asked all six candidates in the East Hampshire constituency to answer some questions suggested by P pod listeners.

Unfortunately, Eddie Trotter, the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party candidate, has been ill and unable to meet with us.

However, five candidates did join us and we posed the same six questions you suggested to each of them.

The interviews were carried out by P pod volunteers Alan Cosh and Dave Bowers.

Here is the interview with the Labour Party candidate, Gaynor Austin.

Jim Makin, UKIP, answers your questions

Jim Makin

Petersfield Community Radio asked all six candidates in the East Hampshire constituency to answer some questions suggested by P pod listeners.

Unfortunately, Eddie Trotter, the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party candidate, has been ill and unable to meet with us.

However, five candidates did join us and we posed the same six questions you suggested to each of them.

The interviews were carried out by P pod volunteers Alan Cosh and Dave Bowers.

Here is the interview with the UKIP candidate, Jim Makin.

Zoe Parker, Green Party, answers your questions

Zoe Parker

Petersfield Community Radio asked all six candidates in the East Hampshire constituency to answer some questions suggested by P pod listeners.

Unfortunately, Eddie Trotter, the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party candidate, has been ill and unable to meet with us.

However, five candidates did join us and we posed the same six questions you suggested to each of them.

The interviews were carried out by P pod volunteers Alan Cosh and Dave Bowers.

Here is the interview with the Green Party candidate, Zoe Parker.

Martin Bamford’s Money Moment

It’s Martin Bamford’s weekly round up of the money news that could inform your investment and spending decisions …

This week: Household debt rises; HSBC to introduce new overdraft rate; £ hits seven-month high; and an increase in ‘premium’ car thefts …

Money Moment is brought you with Informed Choice independent financial planners of Petersfield.

Learn more about Martin Bamford at https://icfp.co.uk/team/martin-bamford/



Police seek witnesses to ‘flashing’ incident

Hampshire police would like to speak with this man

Hampshire police have released a CCTV image after an alleged flashing incident in which a man reportedly exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl.

Officers say a man reportedly followed the girl before approaching her and exposing himself to her. The girl quickly left the area.

The alleged incident is said to have taken place on the Causeway, near Tesco, in Petersfield, at 3.45pm on Thursday 7 November.

Officers have now released CCTV of a man they would like to speak to following the incident.

A spokesperson said: “We appreciate it is not the clearest picture.

“The man is described as being white, aged between 35 and 45, slim build, and wearing black sweatshirt, dark blue trousers with a white stripe up the outside of the leg and trainers

“If you recognise this man, or witnessed anything in the area of The Causeway and Hylton Road on 7 November, officers would like to hear from you.

“Anyone with information can call 101, quoting 44190400985. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Via dailyecho.co.uk.

Free parking on Sunday

East Hampshire District Council is offering free parking this Sunday, to coincide with local festive events.

At the beginning of the crucial Christmas shopping period the council is removing car parking charges as an early gift for visitors.

Petersfield car parks will be free on Sunday 1 December, to coincide with the Hometown Christmas Festival. (The Tesco Car Park in Petersfield is not included).

Parking meters will be bagged and clearly signed on the dedicated days. Penalty Charge Notices will still be issued if cars are parked improperly or in disabled bays.

Purple reigns as EHDC looks to improve experience

East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) will go purple on 12 November to join in with Purple Tuesday.

Purple Tuesday is an international call to action focused on changing the customer experience for disabled people.

To take part in the day, organisations must make at least one pledge that will improve the experience that disabled people have.

EHDC is pledging to carry out an accessibility audit on its website, make any necessary improvements and to deliver disability awareness training to all staff.

Brian Wood, head of customer services at EHDC said: “It is really important to us that everyone has a positive customer experience, regardless of ability.

“We are dedicated to making sure of this every day of the year but taking part in Purple Tuesday is a great way to show the public our commitment.”

Throughout the day the council will be sharing stories and advice on the subject of accessibility on Facebook and Twitter.

Home Malone, as world music workshop comes to Petersfield

Renowned choir director Rosa Malone is returning to Petersfield to host a one-off world music workshop open to everyone.

Rosa Malone, far right, is bringing a world music workshop to the town where she was raised

Rosa, who was raised in Petersfield and studied at Trinity College of Music, has been directing choirs in Greece for six years, and specialises in making choral singing fun, inspirational and open to all people, regardless of their experience. In addition to regular choir practices, Rosa runs singing retreats in the Greek Islands, holds online singing tutorials and regular workshops.

In the workshop in Petersfield, she will be teaching adults and children of all abilities to sing songs from around the world, including some Christmas songs, in an informal day during which singers can bring and share lunch and enjoy the music together in a relaxed atmosphere.

She explained: “People always gain confidence during these workshops and they go away feeling energised and uplifted. It’s just what we need in the dark days of November and the start of the busy Christmas period. We have songs from Macedonia, Ghana, Brazil and many other places, all presented in a way which is easy to pick up without the need to read music.”

The session will be held in the United Reformed Church Hall in College Street, Petersfield on Saturday, 23 November, between 10am and 4pm and further details can be found at www.vocallibre.com.

Martin Bamford’s Money Moment

It’s Martin Bamford’s weekly round up of the money news that could inform your investment and spending decisions.

Non-starter homes; Back to the 70s for government spending?; House prices up year on year; No women and children first for Mothercare, which wants to stay out of pension lifeboat …

Money Moment is brought you with Informed Choice independent financial planners of Petersfield.

Learn more about Martin Bamford at https://icfp.co.uk/team/martin-bamford/

Herbert Hedley’s Autumnal Wonders

For the next week or so, Herbert Hedley has an exhibition of Autumnal Wonders, at the Petersfield Space, a pop-up venue in Lavant St, which offers a showcase for different shops on a regular basis.

Suzie Wilde walked in … for a private viewing.

Big Draw hopes to be a big draw

Vicki Ostersen, left, and Claire Vennis with flowers created by the afterschool art club
at Herne Junior School

Treefrog Art’s Vicki Ostersen popped into Monday’s recording of the P pod, at the Townhouse, to speak with Claire Vennis about the Big Draw Festival, which is at St Peter’s Church until 4 November.

Here is the extended version of the interview.