The Whistler – October 2010

Red Bull Bikes

Home Grown

Have you seen the amazing new windows at the Hall? It was a very difficult and big job to replace all the enormous windows but beautifully planned and executed by Simon Kelly of Sky Dec. He lives locally and advertises with us. The wooden frames were made locally by Lee McCatty of Compton Avenue. So you see, the enterprise was all home grown with the Association paying the bill.

The Whistler received many compliments following the last issue which was dedicated to the kind and generous soul who was Pam Bean, a tireless worker for the good of others. It is difficult to talk of future events without her but Vinod and Meena Mashru of Bright News are planning for the possibility of another of their marvellous Christmas parties. The proposed date is Saturday 11 December.

Have you any outdoor plants you need to get rid of? Can you take cuttings?  Any contributions would be gratefully received for the garden at West Hill Hall. Many thanks from the West Hill Community Hall Gardening Group. Please contact Sue on telephone number 01273 321648 email 

Letters to The Whistler

Dear Editor
I’ve seen some correspondence in The Whistler recently about the heartbreak that grandparents suffer when they are denied contact with their grandchildren. Readers may like to know about a new website for grandparents, which can offer support.

It has information and advice on a whole host of topics, from the serious issues like denied contact through to helping children to learn at home and fun activities that grandparents and children can do together. The website contains expert advice on caring for children and keeping them safe, as well as guidance on everyday issues around growing up, and there are confidential online advisers trained to deal with legal and social issues. Most importantly, it is a place for grandparents to talk to each other about the issues that matter. If any grandparents in the area need any support on any aspect of grandparenting, they’ll find help at
Julia Shipston

Dear Readers
The new extension to Area ‘H’ has created problems for various businesses and, most of all, for Mac’s Café in Arundel Road. The Council did not include any exclusive pay and display bays, only shared bays or permit only. This is causing a great problem when trying to park and visit the café or shops in the area. I have presented a petition to ask the Council to correct this oversight, and that a 1 hour tariff be included rather than just half and two hour charges.
Continue reading Letters to The Whistler

Graham Miles

Graham Miles
Graham Miles

I spoke to local resident Graham Miles of Albert Road recently, and asked him why he was all over the news in September. He told me that although his remarkable story of will power and determination started a number of years ago, it had been picked up by national newspapers and the BBC and had become ‘hot news’ in late August 2010.

In 1993 Graham suffered a massive stroke, was paralysed from head to toe, and was diagnosed with ‘locked-in syndrome’ – where he remained conscious and was able to think and reason as normal.
Doctors said he would be a prisoner in his own body for the rest of his life and would never recover. Everyone told him what he could not do, but he was determined to get his life back, which he did in spite of the hospital consultants.
Continue reading Graham Miles

The Caroline Lucas Tapes

Pizza Girl is on holiday this month but we have an exclusive and probing interview by 8-year-old Hermione Fisher-Gate of Guildford Road with our MP Caroline Lucas.

Caroline Lucas
Caroline Lucas

Are the queues long at the Westminster canteen? Do they have vegan options of the day?
I haven’t spent a great deal of time there so far – the odd rushed coffee! I’m not vegan, but I’m campaigning for meat-free Mondays in all of Parliament’s canteens.  I’m much more likely to snatch a sandwich and eat at my desk.

What is your office like? Does it come furnished?

It’s an older building, so it doesn’t have quite the flash modernity of Portcullis House where many MPs have offices but it’s got more space, so much more practicable.

When you won the election you were seen jumping for joy. Do you think this is correct behaviour for someone of your elevation?
I’m not sure if I was jumping for joy that much as I was pretty exhausted after the campaign and staying up so late – after all, it was around 6am when the result was declared at the count.  But, yes, I was obviously thrilled to have been elected so must, I’m sure, have shown some emotion.
Continue reading The Caroline Lucas Tapes

Brighton Life

Sirena Bergman
Sirena Bergman

Brighton is a summer town. One of those places where people go when it’s sunny and hot – well, Britain’s version of hot, ie slightly less freezing than usual – to sunbathe, buy overpriced candyfloss on the pier, have barbecues on the beach, romantically gaze at the stars with a loved one, or strut down West Street in absurdly tight dresses, because even Oceana in Brighton is way better than Oceana anywhere else.

In Spain, where I grew up, July and August do not tend to make people happy. It’s great for the holiday-makers, who live in air-conditioned hotel rooms with private pools, enjoying the novelty of stifling humid heat compared to the subdued UK summer they’re used to. When you live there, however, you have to go to work, do the housework, deal with family obligations and attempt to keep your body functioning despite the unpleasantly high temperatures. Having complained about enduring this for ten years, I can’t complain about our summers, where no matter how hot it gets, every evening requires a cardigan and where you will wake up the day after a heat wave to the sound of torrential rain. But for those of you who disagree and dream of retiring to a Caribbean island, I have to say you should first try spending a winter in Brighton.
Continue reading Brighton Life