Picket Piece
Regarding the item in your paper on the 5th January about unusual local place names, you state you could not discover the origin of Picket Twenty. 
In Roman times they positioned soldiers at intervals along roads to halt enemy armies . These were known as Pickets and consisted of 20 men. 
I assume one such force would have been stationed at Picket Twenty. 
Ken Kingston, Whitchurch

Rule plea
 I FIND it unbelievable that the people of Andover have such a disregard for themselves and others. 
Driving my granddaughter to work (essential worker) it’s as if there is no lockdown in place. We are in tier five, people are dying. 
Think of the NHS when you are out there buying Christmas decorations in January. Essential shopping?? I think not. So abide by the rules, you could be the next casualty. 
Name and address supplied

P20 Coop
The news that the Co-op store in Picket Twenty is finally set to open later this month is very welcome. Let’s hope this heralds a new period of cooperation between developers, councils and local businesses to give this vibrant and growing community the amenities it needs.
Residents have been promised a shop since plans for the development were approved in 2009. There are now around 1500 properties at Picket Twenty and no shops within sensible walking distance carrying heavy shopping. This store is long overdue. We can be really proud of the school, community centre, play areas and sports facilities at P20 but plans for a pub and other retail outlets have been quietly shelved, roads remain unfinished, street lighting is inadequate and ongoing drainage issues remain unaddressed. We want to change that.
Developers are focused on building and selling more houses and the County Council has let Picket Twenty slip down its priority list until outstanding issues are resolved. Local Liberal Democrats are working with Picket Twenty residents to end this stand-off and get things done. If you’d like to get involved and help this campaign please contact us at davidihallld@gmail.com or through the Advertiser.
Getting the Co-op open is a great start to 2021. Now let’s finish the job.
David Hall
Test Valley Liberal Democrats

Charity thanks 
I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of your readers who supported Barnardo’s across the South East through 2020, a year like no other. 
Our shops closed, they asked when they would open, they opened and they returned with their donations and custom. This was a huge boost to the charity as all of the proceeds from our shops in any area go towards supporting children and families. Throughout the year the support shown to our services by the local communities was truly humbling.
During the run-up to Christmas, again at a time when everyone was and is suffering in some way due to the pandemic, the generosity shown by individuals and local companies has been amazing, from supplying food parcels to gift tokens and offers of support.
I would like to extend a special thanks to all of our volunteers who have returned to the charity whenever they could. Their support is simply invaluable. To them and to our staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, a very sincere thank you – and we hope to see you all in 2021.
Emma Bowman
Director, Barnardo’s South East Region

Children need us
The New Year is usually a time for a fresh start – making resolutions, getting fit, setting new challenges and goals. But with the continuing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems harder to commit to make a change.
With restrictions ongoing, it’s becoming even more important for us to find new and innovative ways to raise vital funds to help children at risk of abuse.
Children have been strongly affected by the pandemic. Since the first lockdown measures were introduced, the average monthly number of referrals from the NSPCC’s helpline to agencies such as the police or children’s service increased by 81% in the South East. And the effects are far from over.
Even with social distancing, there are still lots of ways you can fundraise for us. From hosting a virtual quiz or coffee morning to selling handmade crafts, cakes or old clothes, we’ve got lots of great virtual fundraising ideas you can try while following the government’s advice on social distancing. By volunteering just a couple of hours each month fundraising in your local area, you can help make 2021 a better year for children.
So please think about using your New Year passion and enthusiasm to come up with some ideas to fundraise and help us be there when children need us most.
Kate Hershkowit
NSPCC Supporter Fundraising Manager for the South East

Aerial views
I WAS entranced by the stunning air photographs provided by Jez Rolfe and his drone in this week’s edition.
Wandering through some of my old photographs I came across an aerial picture of a part of Western Andover that has dramatically changed since the seventies. Here is a 1960’s mega blast from the past which was my playground circa 1959.
It was a magnet for all my football school mates and a dozen or so bikes piled on top of each other was a regular sight outside our house.
People from all walks of life must remember the greatest sporting arena that Andover once had. It is Kellys’ Sports Ground in all its summer glory. What a playground it was!
It is framed at the top right by the rail line and Weyhill Road. Millway Road houses and gardens form the right hand side and Salisbury Road runs along the bottom. The left hand side of this aero shot is taken up by Burnfields golden wheat fields where playing amongst the straw bales at harvest time was a must for little urchins like me. In the right top quarter stands Kellys printing works surrounded by a good number of air raid shelters that we used to play in as kids amid the rusty ladders and broken glass. Millway Close makes its way in from Weyhill Road, top right, and vehicular access continues all the way through the centre of the allotments. At the apex of the sports field can be seen Kellys Club, later New River Club. Many a boisterous Friday and Saturday night would be enjoyed there.
Next to it can be seen Kellys Dance Hall which was home to many enjoyable pantomimes in the ‘50’s and was a superb venue for bands and groups in the years that followed.
The sporting arena itself had two hard courts for tennis and also a hockey pitch. If you look carefully a match can be seen in progress. In the centre was the jewel in the crown of this sporting utopia and was by far the best cricket square for miles around. Next and closer to my heart is the football pitch where I scored many goals, a few real ones and many more imaginary!
On the left hand side standing guard, is a posse of beautiful trees which were known as the Seven Sisters. Nearby, the hedgerow can be seen running down towards the allotments and meeting the triangular orchard that was Mum and Dads. My sister Tina and I shared it with around forty chicken as well as a dozen vicious geese and Dads prize winning pigeons. This area is known today as Magnolia Close. The lower wheat field is Floral Way and the upper wheat field is where St John the Baptist School and John Hanson School reside. Their grounds led up to what was SCATS grain silo which is just out of shot to the left.
Down through the mists of time there were a great many sporting achievements by the sportsmen and sports ladies of Andover, and indeed from afar, who once upon a time enjoyed this top sporting mecca of yesteryear.
John Porter
Millway Road, Andover