It’s a dog’s life at Canine Partners

Stephen Rigby, pictured, is an advanced trainer for Canine Partners and can be found frequently training his future canine assistants in Petersfield town centre.

Stephen’s the one in the middle, with the wet nose …

Shine Radio’s John Welsman caught up with Stephen to find out more about assistance dogs, the work of the organisation, and how residents of Petersfield and the surrounding area are volunteering to support Canine Partners’ work.

Salad days – Noni Needs’ Recipe Exchange

Hail Caesar!

Noni Needs visits writer James Fairweather to discuss two classic salads: Niçoise and Caesar. But whatever you do, DON’T put tuna in your Niçoise or James will send the boys round!

A naughty Niçoise … this is Antony Worrall Thompson’s recipe, honestly James!

Traders of the lost art – the market returns

Petersfield market has been trading throughout lockdown with essential food vendors part of the relief effort.

The market is back in full swing – but not quite as intimately as this …

Our correspondent, Beth Svarovska, has been shopping and talked to some of the stall holders and shoppers to reflect on their experiences and their hopes as the town comes back to life.

PCR correspondent Beth Svarovska

Walking with poetry: Abigail McKern in conversation

Buriton actor Abigail McKern joined Morning Report presenters Suzie Wilde and Harrison RB to discuss her new project: a YouTube channel where she goes walking with poetry locally.

Abigail McKern - picture credit:
Abigail McKern: actor, YouTuber, poetry reader, and a favourite of Petersfield Community Radio

They also chatted enthusiastically about the mental-health benefits of nature, acting and Shakespearean sonnets.

This is the full-length interview from which an excerpt was taken for the Morning Report on Friday, 12 June.

Visit Abigail’s website at and tell her Petersfield Community Radio sent you.

Meeting Mr Write: Greg Mosse in conversation

Local writer Greg Mosse is one of the judges in the Weald and Downland Living Museum’s historical fiction short story competition – along with our own Suzie Wilde.

He joined this week’s P pod to speak with Claire Vennis about his career and the competition.

Greg Mosse: writer, tutor, judge and all-round nice guy

A great encourager of writers, Greg has delivered successful writing workshops for Guardian Masterclasses, Edinburgh Book Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Chichester Festival Theatre and many others.

This is an extended version of the interview carried in this week’s P pod.


There are two categories:

  • Historical fiction short stories, which relate to an aspect of the collection (houses or artefacts) of the Weald & Downland Living Museum, and are set between the years 900AD and 1930.
  • Or historical fiction short stories, which are simply set anywhere in that same time period.

This competition is for adults, although there is a separate under-18s’ competition too. Here the categories are:

  • An illustrated story – or picture book – of up to 100 words, aimed predominantly at children in year two or below; or
  • A story of between 400 and 600 words, which you may or may not choose to illustrate.

Entries must be original stories written by the entrant (though a little help with spelling is considered acceptable). The closing date is 5pm on Friday, 4 September, 2020.

For more information and entry forms, visit the museum’s website.

Jo’s ‘sewing fairies’ ensure GP gowns are ready

Jo Watts, from Sew Creative, in Lavant, Street, popped into this week’s P pod to explain how an email galvanised more than 100 people into stitching and producing clinical gowns for GPs in East Hampshire.

‘Sewing fairy’ Carol Tubbs displays proudly a gown she has produced

This is the full interview with Claire Vennis that was featured, in abridged format, in the P pod

*To help fund Sew Creative’s clinical gown production, visit the GoFundMe page here.

What’s in a name? It’s the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival

Lucy Hollis, left, and Clare Glancy are still hoping to put on the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival

Suzie Wilde removes her walking boots just long enough to speak with Petersfield Shakespeare Festival directors Lucy Hollis and Clare Glancy, about this year’s event and how anybody can be a part of it.

The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is scheduled to take place at Bedales School, from July 16-25.

Coffee beans and local scenes at Gallery No30

Fifi Crowley popped into the P pod this week … actually, the P pod popped into Fifi’s Gallery No 30

Fifi Crowley gave up a career in the city to fulfil her desire for a career change and to open a café.

Now she’s enjoying life at Gallery No30, in the High Street, having opened an art café which not only serves great cake* but also showcases the work of talented local artists.

Fifi explained why she chose to open the café in the town – and how welcome she’s been made to feel here – to Petersfield Community Radio’s John Welsman.

*Recommendation supplied by a very satisfied John Welsman

Donations – and men! – required to help charity’s Big Sale

Save the Children’s Penny Blois, left, and Helen Davies, second right, spoke with P pod presenters Claire Vennis and Joff Lacey

Helen Davies and Penny Blois, from the Petersfield branch of Save the Children, popped into a recent recording of the P pod, to chat with presenters Claire and Joff about their big annual event in the town: the Big Sale, which takes place from April 3-4, in the Festival Hall.

And they want men!

For further details visit the charity’s website.

Music-mad Michael puts his role in focus

Petersfield Community Radio volunteer Michael Clement, pictured, is a renowned portrait photographer, who, has worked with Angelina Jolie, Adele, Chrissie Hynde and Jeff Goldblum … and he was also persuaded to come along to Sew Creative, to record visually a recording of the P pod.

We also thought he’d make a very interesting interviewee – and we weren’t wrong.

You can see more of his work at

Sew Creative provides material benefits

Claire Vennis, far left, spoke with Sew Creative’s Steven (at rear) and Jo Watts, second from left, and customers (from left to right) Janice McNeill, Wendy Beardall and Ben Pope

Jo and Steven Watts very kindly invited us along to their shop, Sew Creative, in Lavant Street, to record an episode of the P pod.

Here you can discover how their colourful store has become part of the fabric of the community, with additional contributions from three of their loyal customers: Wendy Beardall, Janice McNeill and Ben Pope.

And, if you’re wondering about the clicking in the background, that’s local photographer Michael Clement recording the event for posterity. However, the picture shown here was taken by Joff Lacey, on his phone, which explains a lot …

It’s been a great year for Petersfield Community Radio

Stephen Martin works with schoolchildren at the successful schools’ audio day

It’s almost the first anniversary of the launch of Petersfield Community Radio and, to celebrate the milestone, co-founder Stephen Martin joined P pod presenters Claire Vennis and Joff Lacey to discuss the project’s progress … and future.

They were also joined by volunteer Alice Payne, 17, who has been producing the P pod as part of her work experience.

Why don’t you get involved? Just contact

Down the pub with… Sarah Parish and Jim Murray

Petersfield Community Radio’s Dawn Clare, centre, with Sarah Parish and Jim Murray

Actress Sarah Parish returns to our TV screens as the lead in ITV drama Bancroft, on New Year’s Day.

However, when Petersfield Community Radio’s Dawn Clare met with Parish and her husband, fellow Cutting It actor, Jim Murray, they concentrated more on their fundraising efforts, than their day jobs.

In 2009 the couple lost their first daughter, Ella-Jayne, to a congenital heart defect, despite the care afforded her at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, in Southampton Hospital. In 2014, they founded the Murray Parish Trust, which is dedicated to the advancement of paediatric emergency medicine across the south of England.

And, in that time, they have helped raise more than £2.5m for Southampton Hospital.

Dawn Clare is ‘down the pub’, in The Bush, with Sarah Parish and Jim Murray …

Pratt demonstrates his worth

Antiques expert Jonathan Pratt is a familiar face to viewers of daytime TV with regular appearances on BBC’s Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip and Flog It.

He credits his love for antiques to mid-80s BBC series Lovejoy, starring Ian McShane.

Dawn Clare played the role of Lady Jane Felsham to his tousle-haired Lovejoy, when the two sat down for a chat in the Queen’s Head, at Sheet.

Dandy Cat leaves you feline good

There’s a new and very different barber’s shop in town, offering ‘a little bit of Piccadilly’ in Petersfield.

Ben and Karina Swann are loving life in Petersfield

Alastair Stewart looked like he needed a trim, so we sent him along to meet Dandy Cat owners Karina and Ben Swann.

A shorter version of this interview featured on a recent P pod.

Policing Petersfield – a history

Police check out the ‘new’ speed monitoring system

A new book by Petersfield Museum, Policing Petersfield: 1840–2016, was launched last week.

It chronicles the story of police in Petersfield from the early days as one of the original 12 divisions of the newly created Hampshire Constabulary in 1840 to the closure of the town’s police station in September 2016.

Written by historian Diana Syms and including more than 140 photographs, the book shares previously unknown stories of policing in Petersfield.

Diana dropped into the P pod to discuss the book with presenter Claire Vennis.

Kenya puts faith in Watoto Trust

The Watoto Trust helps put smiles on the faces of Kenyan Children

The Watoto Trust helps Kenyan children reach their potential and escape the cycle of poverty. The charity also helps in a wider way to increase awareness of the problems facing Kenya, including pressure on natural resources and loss of habitat.

Petersfield Community Radio’s 13-year-old reporter, Nina Vennis, went along to meet three of the team ahead of a big fundraiser.

Nina Vennis has her ticket

The Watoto Trust Christmas Fair takes place on 12/13 November, at the Tithe Barn, Ditcham (GU31 5RQ), from 9am-4pm. The £5 entry fee includes tea/coffee and a slice of delicious cake from Madeleine’s Kitchen.