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We intend to hold the Summer Party and BBQ on Saturday 2nd July. We expect to have all the usual things, including bouncy castle and children’s games. Invitations will be sent out nearer the time but put the date in your diary.

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If you live in Ethelburt Avenue and have a standing order to pay your Road Repair Fund and the HCERA annual subscription of £5, you will need to amend it. The last HCERA AGM changed the Road Repair Fund contribution to £35. Please therefore amend your standing order to £40 (including HCERA subscription). At the same time, please make the day of payment any time from tomorrow until 1st August. This is so we receive your payment well before the end of HCERA’s accounting year of 31st August.

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J.L.Wren Ltd, for building an extension. Phil has been a consummate professional and only uses sub-contractors he has worked with for many years. Phil’s number is 07831 248 666.

Merryhill Envirotec for removal of asbestos containing soffits. This licensed asbestos removal contractor did a fantastic job removing our soffits. See Tel: 01794 515 848.

A.A.Hughes Ltd for installing new wooden soffits and fascias. See
Tel: 01794 517404 and email

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by Dan Hopgood and John Dixon

A full-fibre broadband data network is currently being installed throughout much of Southampton by the provider toob; see It is proposed that fibres for this network be laid within our Estate, each of which would terminate at a small access box at the front boundary of every property. Connection may then be subsequently made between the access box and the property if the house owner chooses to take up the fast data service offered by toob. The situation will be different for houses that receive their telephone service by overhead wires from a pole. Then if the service is taken from toob, the fibre will be connected overhead to the house from the pole.

Installing the fibres will require trenching throughout much of the Estate which will cause some disruption and short-term damage to both grass verges and gravel roadways. Underground duct access chambers will also need to be installed in the verges at a few locations. HCEL agrees in principle to the proposal on the grounds that the fibre network would provide further competition in high-speed data services for residents. More information will be provided to residents once further, more detailed discussions with toob have been undertaken.

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by Dan Hopgood, Organiser

The next two dates for Ethelburt Avenue working parties are:
Saturday 19th February 2022
Saturday 21st May 2022

All are welcome to attend any (or all) of the sessions, with works commencing at the top of Ethelburt Avenue at 9am on each date. I would like to make another appeal for new volunteers for teas and coffees for the road gangs at around 11am. This would be very much appreciated. Please contact the Road Improvement Group (RIG) on rig at

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by John Green

Since the last Newsletter, directors have been meeting to draft a new policy for alterations to properties. While a new draft policy, and a flowchart showing the steps to take for applying for permission to make alterations, are almost complete, we cancelled the last directors’ meeting in December. Given the need to avoid unnecessary contacts before the Christmas break, we decided it was not essential. The next meeting to agree the final draft will now take place in the the new year, and depending on Government advice may have to be via video conferencing.

It has always been our intention to share the new policy with members at a meeting, so that we can get their feedback before final publication. The concern over the level of Covid infections makes the timing of this difficult, but we will still include this in our plans for the new year.

In the meantime, we are continuing to deal with applications for alterations on a case by case basis, using the existing policy as a guide.

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by Michelle Hickling

This annual event is a great time for residents to get together and celebrate the season.
Ocean Brass did a great job again this year, despite low numbers, due to many members having to self isolate!
A big thank you to Lawrence and Louise for keeping us in order, and sharing some lovely poetry and prose between the carols.

We are so lucky to have communal spaces, and holding it on the Top Green feels very special. Thanks to Helen and Tim for sharing their front lawn and letting us plug in the lights.

The band did bring a donations bucket this year which raised £35.40 and is being put towards purchasing new music for their spring/summer concert programme. Many other generous donations were made to Peter’s collection for the St Albans food bank.

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by Peter Martin

This note is especially for those residents who are not on the HCERA Facebook Group
We have now sent continuous contributions to either the Foodbank collection points in Shirley or in Millbrook, or to St Alban’s for about 21 months. The food and goods go to needy families and individuals, for whom times are hard. We have had especially large donations at the two Christmases so far, and also during school holidays, when and if children don’t get school meals.

Goods have included non-perishable foodstuffs, toiletries, household cleaning materials, and imaginative products to make people feel special for a moment. The work has a wide team membership of donors, transporters, leafleteers, notice laminators, encouragers, and a few people who give monthly by standing order. It is a show run by a team, and that is what it makes it what it is. Various people have often offered goods on the site for free to neighbours with the encouragement to give to the food project. Our accounts will be inspected in January, and receipts are always available to anyone who requests to see them. Currently we have collected over £3,500 in cash alone.
We realise that some people, who have thought the issue through very carefully, and regard such projects as a sop to poorer people, or as an excuse for the government not to provide for its people. This view is respected, although there are many who think that both “upstream” work and “downstream” work are together important. For some it is very simple: if someone is hungry, you feed them. Whatever the thinking, as a community, we try to respect each other’s ideas and stances. The frequently-emptied box for food etc. is always outside 52 Ethelburt Avenue, if you would like to give.

From January onwards, I shall also be happy also to process current UK coin, stored in jars, old handbags, trouser pockets etc., that may not be used now most things are routinely bought with touch-and-go cards. I will put them in a supermarket machine that gives “goods” credit-notes in exchange for coins, and then will buy whatever is needed with it. Sadly I cannot count this up, so if you want a receipt, you will need to add up the amount yourself. Otherwise, just put it through the door.

Thank you for your consistency and neighbourliness in all these endeavours.

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In November, we planted about 110 wildflower plug plants supplied by Ian Bailey, Engagement Officer, Southampton City Council.

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