Spring is in the air…

Spring is in the air…

Oriental otters to find a new home at the Bournemouth Oceanarium

As we see glimpses of spring appearing, we can appreciate with fresh eyes how lucky we are to live in this stunning area, and from what we’re hearing, it seems there’ll be some exciting new things to experience and enjoy for the summer season ahead. Watch this space, we’ll keep you in the loop!

In the meantime, make the most of a deal being offered for the whole of March to anyone living in a BH postcode. When fuel prices are getting ever higher and other increases are pinching our pockets, it’s nice to hear of someone looking after their locals. Oceanarium Bournemouth is once again offering half price entry to BH residents this month; it’s the perfect excuse to take the family or indulge in some tranquil time out. The Oceanarium is one example of a business creating something new for the 2011 season – they’ve got some new friends arriving. Otters! Their very first mammal arrives this spring and we’re looking forward to helping them celebrate with launch events and special activities. A whole new enclosure is in construction to welcome the pair of naughty Oriental small clawed otters, who are known to be funny to watch and extremely playful and mischievous.

Talking of playful and mischievous, I was recently treated to hang out with some very well-dressed footballers, courtesy of AFC Bournemouth. Not being particularly into football, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I accepted an invitation to lunch and a match one Saturday to watch the Cherries v Huddersfield with my kids, our events manager, Chloe and her lovely partner, Jason. I thought it was important that we got to experience a live football match – something I had never done before (yes I got ribbed for that). Well, I admit it; I totally get it now. Watching anything live is always a buzz and we really enjoyed ourselves. Having a sociable lunch first in the restaurant was a great way to start the afternoon and I’d recommend it to anyone. You even get tea and cake in half time! The children thought they were in heaven.

As we finished lunch and wandered out to find our seats in the stadium, I was very excited to see we were surrounded by other AFCB players. Suited, booted and Barbour’d up to the nines, Chloe quietly thought she’d gone to heaven too!

The atmosphere and the energy in the packed stadium was magical. Watching the match play end to end, and seeing the stadium explode as the Cherries scored, made our day. Sadly, Huddersfield equalled it right on the wire and the result was a draw, but we’d had a fantastic time and would like to shout a big thank you to the Club for inviting us. We’ll be back for sure.

From my blatant plug of the month to a tip from us about ‘blatant plugs’! Like us, many of you will be regular users of social media, and from now on you have to be much more careful about how you talk about the company you work for online. And not just for fear of getting the sack! The advertising standards people are cracking down on anyone trying to influence others through blogs, status updates or other online communications. You need to ask for guidance from your boss as to how you promote the company you work for online, and if you are a boss, please show your staff how to play it or you might be penalised for your employees saying nice things about you! It’s nice to plug something you believe in, but if anyone is paying you in any way to have that opinion, make sure you make that clear. There’s always something new which makes us busy in our world……and that’s just how we like it!

I hope your month is as mad as a March Hare, until next time……



Tickets are ‘Hot Property’ for Awards

The finalists have been announced and with just weeks to go, tickets for the very first Dorset Property and Architecture Awards are selling well. Endorsing the high profile nature of property in the County, the event on Wednesday February 9th 2011, has attracted TV property expert, Phil Spencer, to host proceedings for the evening.

This is a sector which is often the gauge of economic up or downturn, so attracts plenty of interest.  Property in Dorset has always been a subject of much debate on a national and international level.

Tickets are priced at £50 per head and include a sparkling drinks reception sponsored by PH Warr and a three-course Dorset supper with wine. Cheques should be made payable to Dorset Property & Architecture Awards and sent to Planning Solutions, Russell House, Oxford Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 8EX. For more information go to www.propertyawards.org or call 01202 707558.

The finalists are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Best Architectural Practice:

Anders Roberts & Associates

Broadway Malyan

David James Architects


HGP Architects

Ingenium Archial Ltd

Morgan Carey

Philip Proctor & Associates

Quantum Group

Terence O’Rourke

The Architects Design Group

Trinity Architects

Western Design

Williams Lester


Best Conversion or Extension

Anders Roberts & Associates – The Exchange Building, Hinton Road, Bournemouth

ASN Capital – Badorgan Road, Bournemouth

Graemar Group/Tesco – Westbourne Methodist Church, Bournemouth

G Warren/Harriplan – Breeze, 1 Charminster Road, Bournemouth

Morgan Carey – The Goods Shed, Wareham

Western Design – Pump House, Spetisbury

Williams Lester – 1 Bury Road, Poole

Best New Commercial or Mixed Use Development

Barratt/HGP Architects – Honeycombe Chine, Bournemouth

Christchurch Harbour Hotels Ltd/Broadway Malyan – Christchurch Harbour Hotels

DWP – St Clements Road, Bournemouth

Graemar Group/Tesco – Westbourne Methodist Church

Williams Lester/Brightwater – Studland Dene, Bournemouth

Best New Community Project

Dorset County Council/Surestart – Children’s Centre, Swanage

Ingenium Archial Ltd/Borough of Poole – Hamworthy Community Library

Philip Proctor & Associates – The Exchange, Sturminster Newton

Terence O’Rourke/Dorset County Council – Milldown Primary School, Blandford

Best New Residential Development

Anders Roberts & Associates – 21 Buccleugh Road, Poole

David James Architects/Banner Homes – Crichel Mount Road, Poole

Philip Proctor – Grosvenor House, Shaftesbury

Quantum Group – Aspire, Alton Road, Poole

Quantum Group – Bailie Park, Poole

Terence O’Rourke – 29a Western Avenue, Poole

Best Eco or Environmental Project

David James Architects/Towncourt Homes – Canford Crescent, Poole

Dorset County Council/Surestart – Children’s Centre, Swanage

Western Design/Portus Homes – Partridge Walk, Poole

Zeroc Holdings – St John’s Way, Poundbury

Best Estate or Letting Agent

Dave Wells Properties (Letting Agent) – Bournemouth

Edwards Estate Agents – Ferndown

Move on Rentals – Parkstone, Poole

Realty Property Solutions – Parkstone

Richard Godsell Estate Agents – Southbourne, Bournemouth

Slades Estate Agents – Bransgore

Slades Estate Agents & Letting – Christchurch

Slades Estate Agents – Highcliffe

Slades Estate Agents & Letting – Southbourne

YouHome Estate & Letting Agents – Bournemouth

Best Rural Development

Morgan Carey – Burngate Stone Carving Centre

Waitrose/John Lewis /Morgan Carey – The Cricket Pavilion, Wimborne

Williams Lester/Wilton Homes – Chantry Farm, Gillingham

We look forward to welcoming you on the night!

Hoburne Holiday Parks on BBC News at Six


Hoburne Naish

Chairman of Hoburne Holiday Homes, Rosie Burry, talks to BBC News at Six about the growing trend in holidaying at home in the UK.


With many tour operators increasing the price of summer holidays abroad this year, Hoburne Holiday Parks, which has already seen advance booking figures increase year-on-year, is poised for a further rise in reservations as families reluctant to sacrifice their break away from it all look for holidays closer to home.Chairman of Hoburne Holiday Homes, Rosie Burry, talks to BBC News at Six about the growing trend in holidaying at home in the UK

The bookings boost over the past few months has followed the rise in popularity of UK-tions – holidays in the UK – last summer, when the combined force of the credit crunch, the strength of the euro and fuel increases pushing up the price of long haul flights convinced many families to send foreign breaks packing.

Now with the likes of Thomas Cook increasing prices by eight per cent in 2009, the euro stronger than ever, the economy in turmoil and climate scientists predicting that the UK will enjoy a hot summer, more and more people are set to revisit the holidays they loved as children and book British seaside or countryside breaks.

Managing Director of Hoburne Holiday Parks, James Lapage, said:

“The economic downturn is pushing families to cut their spending, but they understandably don’t want to give up their holiday. It’s been a harsh start to winter. Not only are people concerned about what is around the corner, but the freezing temperatures are now taking their toll. It’s little surprise that families are looking forward to getting away from everything together and great news that 2009 is set to be in the top five warmest years on record.

“Families can look forward to getting out and about exploring the great outdoors together or enjoy playing by the sea along some of the most stunning coastlines. Our Holiday Parks across the south from the Cotswolds to Cornwall have a wealth of natural treasures on the doorstep just waiting to be found or rediscovered. Whether you want a quiet escape or an activity-packed break, we have it all – and nobody needs to go anywhere near an airport check-in queue or bureau de change.”

Success for Synergy Blandford

I was pleased to pop into the new Synergy salon in Blandford over the weekend and hear how well received it has been by the local fashionistas.

Since opening their doors in June 2008, Vicki and her team have really settled in and had a successfully hectic couple of months infusing the market town with contemporary and classic cuts and cool, creative colouring. I also discovered something that I wanted to share with you…all appointments booked will receive a full consultation on colour and cut and…most exciting…entry to a free make-over with the Synergy team that includes style and make-up advice. If Synergy have their way we will all look as good as their promotional photos!


Winchester Cathedral

This Saturday Liz is delighted to be attending a concert by the Southampton Youth Orchestra at the kind invitation of our clients, Hoburne Holiday Parks, who are proud sponsors of the event. The concert will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Winchester Cathedral, which will also serve to provide protection from the gale force winds and torrential rain of our Indian Summer!

The SYO, under their conductor Jane Higgins, has gained a reputation as one of the country’s finest city youth orchestras. They will be playing a number of popular works direct from their summer tour of Vienna: Overture Egmont, Beethoven; Overture Semiramide, Rossini; Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky, and Symphony no 3 in C minor (The Organ Symphony), Saint Saens.

The concert has been organised by the Rotary Club of Southampton Magna and will raise funds for Naomi House Children Hospice which is located just north of Winchester.

Click on the link below for more information about the event http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/events/3/