by Michelle Hickling

A little slice of ‘normal’ returned to HCERA, with the annual carols taking place on Thursday 17 December.

Following Government guidelines for carol events, and an extra marquee for the band to adhere to their own social distancing, we went ahead and gathered on the top green of Ethelburt Avenue. About 40 separate household groups joined in on the night, singing and enjoying the poetry and readings.

No cash charity collection this year, however the band suggested an extra food bank donation on their behalf, or a donation to your own favourite charity. Peter at No 52 will continue to collect for the Basic Bank in 2021.

A big thank you to Ocean Brass for the magnificent playing, Lawrence for leading us and sharing some seasonal readings, and Tim and Helen for the front lawn and the power.

A date for your diary: we have provisionally booked the band for the 23rd December 2021.

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by Ray George

In the middle of several of the terraces, there is a passage which leads to garages at the back. How is the ownership distributed between the two properties? Ownership of land extends vertically downwards into the soil below and upwards to the air above, so it depends on the rooms above the passage. In Fig 1, the upper floor is wholly in one house. In Fig 2, the front room belongs to one property and the backroom belongs to the other.


Fig.1                                                                                          Fig.2

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In the figures, the boundary of one of the properties is marked in red. You might have anticipated that the drive at the rear, to the garages, would be divided equally in width. On the contrary, the full width of the drive belongs to one property and the other only has a triangular area in front of the garage doors. What about at the front? This depends where on the estate. In Fig. 1 the front lawns and front drive are not included in either property, while in Fig. 2 the full width of the drive belongs to one of the properties.

Does one of the neighbours have to trespass to get to their garage and are the visitors to the barbeque in their back garden trespassing? No, they have been granted a right of way. They are fully entitled to enjoy this without let or hindrance and have a clear unobstructed route.

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By Jane Cattell, 70 Bassett Green Road

Currently, I am offering refills of Ecover washing up liquid, fabric conditioner and all purpose cleaner, Faith in Nature body wash and a hand sanitiser that is not an ethical product. The prices are below supermarket prices. Although this is not plastic free (the thin plastic ‘bag in a box’ has to be recycled), there is a big reduction in plastic waste compared to buying similar products and putting their containers into our refuse collection. Please email janecat@btopenworld.com or text 07930 444 541 to arrange to drop your empties on my doorstep, which I will refill and deliver to your doorstep. Payment can be as cash through the letterbox or by bank transfer.

Save hundreds of plastic bottles from landfill!

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by Debbie Smith, Bassett Green Road

Since my article in the summer Newsletter, Swaythling Councillor Matthew Bunday, Ray George and myself have had an on-site meeting with Ian Bailey, the City Council’s Engagement Officer, Education, Environment and Ecology. He now has the permissions. The meeting was to firm up on the plan for the Bassett Green Road verge between No. 2 Leaside Way and No. 51 Bassett Green Road. He was keen that we did not bite off more than we can chew. So the plan is to take out a spade-width strip of turf. The turf removed will be placed upside down beside the strip. In the strip and on top of the upside down turf, we will plant a native meadow seed mixture of 12 wild flowers and 7 grasses. In the area behind the strip, we will plant some perennial wild flowers as plug plants. We propose to plant the strip this autumn and plug plants next spring.

If you would like to help please email me at hcera@herbertcollins.co.uk

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by Dan Hopgood

Dates for Ethelburt Avenue working parties are confirmed as:

Sat 21st Nov 2020 – upper team
Sat 20th Feb 2021 – middle team
Sat 15th May 2021 – lower team

The intention is to retain the previous format of nominal upper, middle and lower teams, but volunteers are welcome to whichever of these dates they can make. As always, these groups are a good way to get out, get active and get to know others in the road whilst helping to keep the road usable for everyone. I will contact all volunteers in advance about arrangements to ensure we remain strictly within the Covid-19 law. Activities for each session start around 9am at the top of Ethelburt Avenue. If you have any queries, please email

I have been getting quotes for pothole repairs and overlay of the tarmac surfaces at the top and bottom ends of the road. I hope shortly to contract for the work at the lowest quote. The plan is to have the tarmac surface-dressed in the summer to give it an appearance more in keeping with the gravel road.

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by Peter Martin

Our attempt at some kind of normality with a Table-Top Sale, the so-called “Masked Stall” event, took place on the top green in Ethelburt Avenue on August 15th. It was planned as a community event and also to raise money for the nominated charity, The Southampton Families Trust. The weather was not kind, but on the other hand not too cruel to the 16 or so stallholders who braved the drizzle. There were not too many residents attending but given the weather and the strangeness of the times, still a good showing. The stall holders raised £200 for the Trust, and my personal stall raised £100 for the Food Bank. This was a bit of a tentative try out, because of the circumstances. Next time, we will publicize more widely, when a bit more certainty comes our way.
Thanks to all who helped by providing and putting up flags, moving stalls and clearing up.

Well done everybody and nil desperandum!

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The band Ocean Brass has been booked for Thursday 17th December. At the moment, we don’t know what will be possible “within the rule of six” or whatever the regulations are at the time. Perhaps a band of six, but it will be difficult to ensure that the audience remains in groups of six and do not mingle. Any decision will have to wait until nearer the time.

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We intend to hold a Zoom AGM and the date chosen is Tuesday 10th November. Notices will be sent out about 2 weeks in advance. Do we have your email address? This will be very much an experiment. Let’s hope it does not have to be a regular event.

At recent AGMs, there has been little time to take any other business. But at this AGM, the intention is to give AOB plenty of time. So please email your items now.

Email us if you would like a practice using Zoom.

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The Association’s secretary, Lizzie Cox, tells us that she will not be continuing after the AGM as she will be moving away from Southampton for at least for two years.

Without a secretary, HCERA cannot function, so if you think this job may suit you, do not hesitate to send HCERA an email.

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