Manager wishes

It is with great regret that I write to inform the people of Andover of the death on February 7 of Yvonne Bradbury, the Manager of the Andover Crisis and Support Centre, following a short illness.

Yvonne had been the Manager of the Centre for over 30 years.

During that time the Centre had developed and made a positive contribution to the lives of hundreds of clients in one way or another.

Due to her illness the Centre has not been able to thank all the Individuals, Organisations, Companies and Churches who gave so generously at Christmas.

May I please add the thanks of the Staff and Management Committee for the continuing support that the Centre receives. It could not function as it does without your help.

Following the news of Yvonne’s death the Centre has been overwhelmed with expressions of sadness at her passing from former residents and supporters who acknowledge Yvonne’s unswerving devotion to the Centre and the help that she gave to all callers.

We all send our condolences to Yvonne’s family and friends.

John Barlow

Chair of Management Committee, Andover Crisis and Support Centre

Cops vaccine

Why aren’t the Police receiving their Covid vaccinations urgently, as they are front-line workers in close contact with the general public every day?

I think it’s terrible that they are never even mentioned, as it only ever seems to be teachers, care workers and NHS staff who are recognised for putting their lives at risk. Could TVBC please include them as an urgent priority in the vaccination programme?

Name and Address supplied

Therapy centre welcome

I was very annoyed to read the report in last week’s Andover Advertiser of the Test Valley Borough Council Planning Meeting where I Can Therapy’s application for use of the Rendezvous premises was discussed.

Before Cllrs Ecclestone and Coole pontificate about various issues in the town perhaps they could do some research into the subjects. I hope this letter will give them some understanding especially as they claim to represent the general public in the town.

I have been a user from Day one of I Can Therapy Centre to help with movement following various injuries. I do not consider myself to be part of a select group of clients but someone who wishes to move better so that I can maintain some independence and feel happier day to day.

Cllrs Ecclestone and Coole should know that I Can provide an important service (as a Charity) which benefits a large number of people in our community. For myself, as a member of the general public, it was the first time I had been able to exercise with proper supervision, without the risk of causing further damage to my injuries. The fact that it is relocating to the Rendezvous in Andover town centre makes it easier for a greater number of users to attend.

This service is made available to many people including recovering stroke and heart patients, Parkinsons sufferers, MS sufferers, patients recovering from injuries and operations, to help them move again and at the same time hopefully improve their recovery and quality of life. It does this by providing help and assistance in a caring, fun and friendly atmosphere with support from volunteer mentors as well as the highly qualified staff. I am sure Cllrs Coole and Ecclestone would understand that this can also benefit the mental wellbeing of those using the centre.

It is not only the young that need support in our town but other sections of the community who are struggling both physically or mentally.

I would like to thank the other members of the TVBC Planning Committee for supporting the application and I am looking forward to going back to the Therapy Centre again when Covid restrictions allow.

Frances Lynn


Brexit woes

Some of us will have noticed that even when our shops here around Andover are open there are shortages, especially in fruit and other perishables. This also applies to many items that you can buy online. However, it came as a shock that the volume of exports from British ports to the EU fell by 68 per cent compared to January last year. What is telling is that up to 75 per cent of lorries from the EU were going back empty. The conclusion is that even considering the impact of the pandemic trade is being severely disrupted. The harsh reality is that we are dealing with a failed government policy over the implementation of Brexit agreements. Out of the 50,000 custom agents required, only 20 per cent are in place to help companies deal with the extra mountains of paperwork. Goods from the EU have an exemption until July 1 after which we will find that our trade infrastructure will be stretched even further.

Industry is dealing with this using a number of different approaches. Hundreds of companies have set up European subsidiaries to deal with trade in the EU, whilst others have started looking for alternative markets. As fishermen are finding out, and they have suffered, alternative markets for perishable goods not easy to locate. Furthermore, additional costs can often render many such markets uneconomic.

To me this is not about Leave or Remain. We are well past that. We left over a year ago. We have now left the transition period. What we have is a government driven by slogans rather than the hard detailed work that is required to get things done properly. We often get the impression that ministers believe their own slogans and propaganda. Gove, the Cabinet Office minister and effectively the PM’s deputy, declared victory with the Northern Ireland protocol yet it is unravelling on a number of fronts with supermarkets finding it difficult to stock their shelves.

What does this all mean for us? We want to ensure that we do not end up the sick man of Europe. We need competent government at all levels of our society. Slogans are no substitute for the hard work of government. Demand better for our communities.

Luigi Gregori

Charlton Road, Andover

Picket 20 name

Like many readers I am very much enjoying the contributions from David Borrett. I was very interested also to read the letter about the origin of the name Picket 20. Certainly possible as it lies alongside the Icknield Way.

However, I have another suggestion!

I have a facsimilie of the Ordinance Survey maps of 1817 in which the area is marked as Pickittrenthay!

Perhaps the owner of Picket Piece had rented the land? Just a thought.

Rev Jill Bentall

Enham Lane, Charlton

Dry forever

Back in December we estimated that 6.5 million people would be taking part in Dry January – then on January 4 the third national lockdown was announced, and almost immediately we began to see people saying that Dry January was ‘cancelled’.

Yet what we saw, in fact, was a further surge in people getting involved.

Research has shown that 7 in 10 people who do Dry January with our support are still drinking less six months later. So whether you used Dry January to bust lockdown drinking habits, kickstart cutting down, or test out going alcohol-free longer-term, February 1 isn’t the end – it’s the start of healthier, happier drinking habits year-round.

Dr Richard Piper - CE of Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January