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St George's News

St George's Ladies Group

Doorstep Crime

On 27th March Jane Gulliver came to talk to us about Doorstep Crime. Her office is based in Winchester and it covers the whole of Hampshire.

Most old people aged from 70 upwards have failing eyesight, hearing or some disability. These people are the most vulnerable.

Jane told us a tale of a lady that lived in Liss who was told she needed two new pieces of guttering, and he could get them for her from Gammon & Smith in Petersfield. He asked to use her toilet, and took £150. He obviously didn’t get the guttering and she found her money gone later on. She did tell her story to the local paper to make people aware.

There are four types of “Con Men” or in some cases women, but mainly men.

1 The Tarmacer
He is the one that knocks on your door, and says he has been doing a job down the road and has a bit of tarmac over and he could do a small job for you to use it up. He will charge double the originally quote and doesn’t even use the tarmac.

2 The Gardener
He will knock on your door and say your hedge needs trimming. Jane told us a story of a lady who had her hedge trimmed, she was told it would cost £40, when she went to pay, was told it would be £400.
The hedge was in a terrible mess, and needed to be done professionally again, as it made the lady very worried and anxious every time she looked out the window and saw it.

3 Gutters and Fascias
The con man will knock on your door and say I can see that your guttering needs repairing and while I am doing that I could replace your fascias as well. In one case, Jane said, the job was well done but when the person went to open her windows she couldn’t. The fascias had been fitted too low.

4 The roofer
He will tell you that your tiles need repairing, because there will be one broken at the front door as evidence to the occupant. The elderly lady or gentleman will be grateful that someone can get on the roof and sort out the problems for them.

They will come down from the roof and say the chimney needed repointing; they will charge the elderly person a great deal of money for doing nothing, get the address of a relative or friend and try the same trick on them.

5 Distract burglary
This is when a child knocks on the front door and says “there is a ball in the garden”. The back door is unlocked. The accomplice will get in through the back door and look for a handbag. The child will keep the person talking at the front door and will know exactly how long to be there, so the burglar can get out of the house before the person closes the front door.

There is the meter man, or a man from the water board. They will want to gain access into your property. They will be working perhaps in two’s, so one person can get upstairs and look around the bedrooms, especially under the mattresses, as elderly people sometimes keep their money rolled up and under the mattress.

Jane did this talk at another meeting and a lady called Florence kept her money under a mattress. She had £5,500 under it. She didn’t know how long she had been saving!

When someone comes to the door, always ask for their ID. Have your chain on the door, then they can’t barge their way in.

Check the picture on the ID is the same as the person standing in front of you. If in doubt ring trading standards - 01962 833620 - not the number on the ID (it might be a false one). No ID, then don’t let them in.

The only two persons that can come into your property are a customs officer and police with a warrant. We were given a pack each with useful tips in.

A very interesting talk. I could go on. Jane did briefly mention the scam of receiving letters in the post getting money from you, saying you have won a holiday or won on the lottery.

Best thing to do with them is to throw them away. They mostly are not what they say they are, they just want your money, and you will get nothing in return.

We must shred everything.

Priscilla Barlow

The Titchfield Tapestries

When I saw the title of the talk to be given by Tessa Short, my first thought was why had I not heard of them before, but soon all became clear.

Tessa Short, a drama teacher, came up with the idea of the tapestries as a Millennium project for Titchfield and asked John Harper, a local historian and artist, to design the panels. The idea was to incorporate collage, patchwork, beadwork, embroidery and some metalwork in the six panels which would depict six different periods of history, Saxon, Norman, Mediaeval, Wriothesley, Delme and 20th century.

About forty volunteers were involved in the making of these tapestries, some experienced sewers and some who had never attempted anything like this before. Tessa Short’s home was used for assembling these panels which were stretched on frames. The background was the first thing to be done and people would work on a person, animal or building at home and then bring the completed piece to be stitched onto the canvas.

The Saxon panel shows a simple scene with a flock of sheep, farmers ploughing with oxen, peasants carrying out their job and there is a church.

The Norman panel shows Halley’s comet at the top. There are sheep, farmers ploughing, archers and hunters chasing deer in the forest. At the forefront of the panel are figures from the Norman period, William the Conqueror with his brother Bishop Odo and soldiers.

On the Mediaeval panel there is an abbey as well as a church. King Henry V is shown visiting Titchfield, well known for its archers, trying to raise volunteers for Agincourt. There is a wedding feast depicting Henry VI marriage to Margaret of Anjou by proxy. There are many figures, maypole dancers, servants waiting on guests at the wedding and a butcher, a baker and brewer going about their business.

In the Wriothesley period Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries and the abbey at Titchfield is destroyed. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign Henry Wriothsley, the second Earl of Southampton, inherited estates at Titchfield and the Queen is shown visiting him. William Shakespeare is shown as the third Earl of Southampton was one of his patrons. The third earl’s son was a friend of Charles I and Charles and his Queen are shown. Samuel Pepys, the diarist is depicted and Charles II with Queen Catherine of Braganza with their dogs.

The Delme panel is very busy with many figures; there are soldiers, a coach and horses, bear baiting, cock fighting, a train, a group of school children and a game of cricket is being played. When the Wriothseley line came to an end Peter Delme II, MP for Southampton, bought Titchfield Manor and the estate.

The 20th century panel is the busiest of all with many buildings and figures, the left hand side depicting war and the right hand side peace. On the left side is a barrage balloon, soldiers from both wars, a battle ship, barbed wire and a pill box. On the other side Halley’s comet is shown and there is the Carnival Queen with her attendants and the horse drawn floats and marching bands. Well known buildings are also shown.

These Tapestries were started in October 1998 and finished in March 2000 and on 11th April the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mrs Mary Fagan, inaugurated the Tapestries. They are on display to visitors in the Titchfield Parish Room on four Sundays in the summer holidays.

Margaret Deal

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