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Man Arrested in Andover Gas Main Collision

Gas Explosion in Andover
Credit @ Google

A man has been arrested following a collision between a van and a gas main on King Arthurs Way this morning at 1.06am (20th October 2019).

It appears the van had been stolen.

Some residents needed to be evacuated from their homes because of a major gas leak as a result of the incident, which also involved a street light.

Andover and Villages can now report that 35-year-old man from Andover has been arrested for driving whilst unfit through drink, aggravated taking of a motor vehicle and driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level is above the limit.

The man remains in custody.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North said, “A commercial vehicle crashed into a lamp post and a gas main at the junction of King Arthurs Way and Newbury Road, damaging the gas main.

“There were two issues, a gas leak and a dangerous lighting column. There was the potential for 500 homes to have to been evacuated but it was assessed that it was safer to leave people in their homes rather than evacuating them. The damage to the gas main was subsequently fixed and SEE have also fixed the lamp post.

“Test Valley Borough Council had an officer on the ground from 1 am until the incident was made safe – and it has been confirmed to me that the situation is now back to normal.”


Sparkling Customer Service Award for David Mellor Jewellers

Best Customer Experience David Mellor Jewellers in Andover

Andover’s David Mellor Jewellers were awarded the ‘Best Customer Experience’ award at the Retail Jeweller’s Inspiring Independents Awards in London last week.

The popular Andover store were one of nine retail jewellers in the section.

Amy Mellor and her brother Jim Mellor were at the event to collect their award in person.

The Mellors paid tribute to their customers on their facebook page saying, “Obviously, we couldn’t have won ‘Best Customer Experience’ without having amazing customers like you, so thank you all for your continued support & loyalty over the years.”

The following day, the jewellers offered a store and online 15% discount to thank their customers for their support, this offer ends at midnight on 25th October 2019.

David Mellor Jewellers has been trading for 43 years, started by Amy and Jim’s Dad, David Mellor.

Freaky Down Farm Returns for 2019

Finkley Down Farm has had a FREAKY makeover for Halloween and its frighteningly good!

The farm has been covered in pumpkins and skeletons in preparation for the spooky season.

Along with the spooky makeover, Finkley has put on a host of activities across the farm for visitors to enjoy.

Along with all the usual amazing activities at Finkley, you can also enjoy the following from 26th October – 3rd November 2019;

    • Spooky Stables
    • Halloween Discos
    • Storytime
    • Witch’s Potion Trail
    • Walkabout Characters (not too scary!)
    • Fancy Dress Parade
    • Meet The Snakes and Lizards

Finkley Down Farm is open every day from 10am-6pm.


Longparish Little School Pumpkin Show Success

Longparish little School Pumpkin Show 2019
Dexter Wins the Carved Pumpkin Competition

Longparish Little School had a spectacular spooky pumpkin show on Saturday 19th October 2019.

Held at the village hall in Longparish, there was lots to do for visitors, including a trio of games for the children; hunt for the bugs, put a smile on the pumpkin and pumpkin bowling! The tombola and raffle were very popular as was the refreshments and the bookstall.

A fancy dress competition saw children dressed as princesses, dragons, knights, wolves and crocodiles!

The main event was the pumpkin competition, one for carved pumpkins and the other for decorated, the standard was high and there were pumpkins galore! Mrs Sykes from Longparish Primary School judged the competition.

The little people at Longparish Little School made an amazing pirate ship and island out of an enormous pumpkin donated to them by Longparish resident Jeremy Barber.

Dexter won the carved pumpkin competition with his fantastic dinosaur pumpkin.

Cassidy-Rose won the decorated pumpkin competition with her beautiful gold sparkly pumpkin.

The show raised a fantastic £300.

Longparish Littleschool has spaces available and also offer 30 hours funding for those parents who are eligible. To find out more, please phone them on 01264 720455 or email admin@longparishlittleschool.org.uk


Andover Bonmarche at Risk of Closing

Andover Bonmarche

Andover’s Bonmarche store located at Dobbies Garden Centre may close after the company went into administration on Friday.

The latest victim of the High Street downturn, Bonmarche has collapsed into administration, putting 2877 jobs at risk.

Placed into administration by its board of directors after a sustained period of challenges and cash flow pressure, the business was no longer able to meet its financial obligations.

The business has 318 stores across the UK.

Administrators have said that there is every sign that the company can continue to trade whilst they attempt to find someone to take on the business.

Andover Gas Leak Sparks Major Evacuation Plans

Gas leak in Andover

A collision on Kingsway Gardens in Andover caused a serious gas leak in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 20th October 2019).

It is understood the incident that caused the gas leak involved a collision with a van and a gas main.

Southern Gas Network worked through the night to isolate the leak and were advising on an evacuation.

Several homes were evacuated during the incident, a strong smell of gas has been reported in the area.

Locals were advised not to smoke or to use light switches and if they could smell gas, to open the windows and leave the property.

All emergency services were on the scene.

Contact newsdesk@andoverandvillages.co.uk if you were affected by last nights incident

Star Staff in Andover’s Rosebourne Christmas Department

Rosebourne Christmas

Andover and Villages visited Rosebourne Garden Centre in Weyhill today for a look at their 2019 Christmas department.

Last year, a hanging Christmas wreath caught my eye but I never got around to making the purchase, on our visit today we had a good look to see if we could find it. After an unsuccessful search, I approached a member of staff in the Christmas section for help, his name is Brandon.

I gave Brandon a very vague description of the item I was looking for and asked if he knew if they had any in stock, he informed me that there was another week of deliveries to come, but would go and have a look to see if he could find what I was looking for. He said he would be a few minutes and so we continued to wander around the shop.

After about ten minutes, Brandon appeared carrying my hanging wreath, he told me that it was the last one and asked if this was it?

I was very excited and happy to see the exact item I was looking for and was surprised he had managed to find it given my pretty rubbish description, I told him it was exactly what I was looking for, Brandon then told me it had been reduced to half price!

Too often in shops, staff can be unhelpful and occasionally obstructive when a customer asks for something out of the box, the response, ‘if it isn’t on the shelf we don’t have it’ is an all too often coined phrase, but there was none of that today with Brandon.

What a breath of fresh air – lucky Rosebourne and lucky customers to have such a great member of an already fabulous team.

Chantry centre set to have lift refurbishment

Chantry centre andover

The lifts at the Chantry Centre will benefit from some much-needed renovation.

After purchasing the shopping centre earlier this year, Test Valley Borough Council has been reviewing the issues with the lifts in the multi-storey car park.

Following a comprehensive review by independent engineers, the council announced that it will undertake urgent interim work to resolve the immediate issues before the Christmas rush, before completing a complete refurbishment of the lifts at the beginning of next year.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Phil North, said: “Since purchasing the Chantry Centre back in April we have been doing all we can to resolve some of the long term problems with the mall and its facilities.

“One of our first projects was to refurbish the toilets and I am pleased that this work is already underway. But the constant problems with the lifts are simply unacceptable. They were not maintained as they should have been by the previous owners and with Christmas fast approaching we plan to do the necessary interim work to keep them operating reliably, pending the works to completely refurbish them in spring 2020.

“I would like to thank shoppers and businesses for their patience and understanding as I recognise how frustrating it must be. I wish to offer my assurances that we will get this problem resolved once and for all.”

While managing the interim repairs over the next few weeks, the council will also procure a company to complete the full lift refurbishment. Due to anticipated timescales to source specialist parts, this work cannot be completed before spring next year.

Police appeal after hit and run injuries cyclist

Amesbury burglary

Police have launched an appeal after a driver failed to stop following a collision in Tidworth.

The incident took place on October 14, just after 5pm on the A338 Salisbury Road.

A cyclist, a man in his thirties, was cycling along South Drive and crossed the roundabout to go straight ahead into the Rokes Drift Drive.

A car approached at speed from the left and did not slow down or give way to the right, colliding with the cyclist and causing minor injuries.

The vehicle which was driven towards Amesbury, is believed to be a black Volkswagen Golf, the driver failed to provide any details or check the cyclist’s well-being.

Police would like to hear from anyone that witnessed the crash, or from anyone driving in the area who might have caught the incident on a dash-cam.

Please get in touch via 101 and quote log number 250 of October 14.

Environmentally Friendly Andover School Success

Harrow Way’s Eco Club ensures that with the introduction of a range of exciting new projects, the school holds the environment at the forefront of its agenda. The school is combating waste, pollution and litter with the aid of the Eco Club and a number of partners as it works towards becoming more environmentally friendly.

Donna Robertson, the teacher leading the Eco Club explains further: “With 934 students and over 120 staff on site, the Harrow Way community can produce a lot of waste. The Eco Club has a two-prong approach. Firstly we are trying to educate our community about how they can make changes to reduce their impact on the environment and secondly where there is waste, the Club has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure this is managed in an environmentally friendly way as possible.”

Harrow Way has partnered up with a number of external organisations including SSI SCHAEFER, a world leader in waste engineering. It generously donated 12, 140 litre wheeled bins, 6x 15 litre and 6x 30 litres of carry caddies to the school. Test Valley Borough Council’s experts have been mentoring the Eco Club and have also donated a special bin so that students and staff can continue their good work in recycling crisp packets. A number of students from Harrow Way have been working on their various initiatives with Andover Trees United.

The building of a wall of plastic bottles around the half-mile school field is an important effort underway that will both have a symbolic meaning while serving a functional role. This will display the size of what is usually discarded and also stop garbage from reaching the school site in order to keep wildlife safer.

Year 7s will not contribute to the contents of the wall, however, as Harrow Way has introduced reusable water bottles to reduce their single-use plastic for all new starters. Mrs Robertson continues: “Year 7s won’t miss out on helping us become a more environmentally aware and friendly school as we have also introduced litter picking duties and we also ensure that all paper used in the classrooms is properly recycled.”

A significant change for both staff and students is the removal of plastic cutlery in the canteen of the school, opting instead to use wood. All organic waste from the catering department and the staff room will now be composted into the latest composter.

Ms Robertson concludes: “We have to equip this younger generation with the knowledge and skills to be more environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly. It needs to become second nature and we hope that by embedding these habits now, our students will act as positive ambassadors when in their own homes and away from school.”


Gas Explosion in Andover

Man Arrested in Andover Gas Main Collision

A man has been arrested following a collision between a van and a gas main on King Arthurs Way this morning at 1.06am (20th...
Best Customer Experience David Mellor Jewellers in Andover

Sparkling Customer Service Award for David Mellor Jewellers

Andover's David Mellor Jewellers were awarded the 'Best Customer Experience' award at the Retail Jeweller’s Inspiring Independents Awards in London last week. The popular Andover...

Freaky Down Farm Returns for 2019

Finkley Down Farm has had a FREAKY makeover for Halloween and its frighteningly good! The farm has been covered in pumpkins and skeletons in preparation...
Longparish little School Pumpkin Show 2019

Longparish Little School Pumpkin Show Success

Longparish Little School had a spectacular spooky pumpkin show on Saturday 19th October 2019. Held at the village hall in Longparish, there was lots to...