Spotlight on Wickham

As the Cultural Olympiad calls on Britain to Open Up at its launch later this month, the scenic village of Wickham is taking the opportunity to show off its charms. The historic and award-winning village is marking the beginning of this nationwide cultural event with the release of a brand new Wickham Pocket Guide, published by Winchester City Council and Wickham Parish Council in conjunction with The Co-op.

On Friday 12 September at 5pm local councillors, business people and residents are gathering at Greens Restaurant & Bar in The Square at Wickham to celebrate the publication of the new guide, devised to increase awareness of Wickham as a visitor destination and publicise the wide range of high quality businesses and services on offer. Residents are welcome to attend.

Cllr George Beckett, leader of Winchester City Council said, "In a time of economic uncertainty the council is actively looking for ways to support and develop business opportunities throughout the district. So we are delighted to be supporting rural tourism in our district with this timely guide. We have a particular commitment to our small and independent businesses, which add so much to the character of the district, and hope that this guide for residents and visitors alike will pay dividends for Wickham’s shops and eateries."

Hosting the launch is Carol Duckworth, owner of Greens Restaurant and Bar, and winner of the parish council’s ‘Business contributing most to the local community’ award. Carol commented, "Wickham is a vibrant village with a warm welcome and great community spirit, and it has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike which I am sure this brochure will demonstrate."

Angela Clear, Chairman Wickham parish council said, " Wickham is enviably situated surrounded by the attractive countryside of the Meon Valley. There exists a great community spirit here and I am sure this Tourism Guide will amplify why a visit to Wickham is most worthwhile."

And speaking on behalf of The Coop, Ted Merdler added, ‘"We are delighted to be sponsoring a project that will benefit the Wickham community as a whole."

Local produce is the focus of the launch event, with wines from Wickham Vineyard and a selection of Hampshire produce, including cheeses provided by The Hampshire Deli. Local brewer Bowman Ales is also showcasing their infamous ‘Swift One’ – winner of Hampshire Beer of the Year Award. Green’s Restaurant and bar are also offering a range of soft drinks from Hartridges in Hambledon.

And of course it’s no coincidence that the occasion is timed to take place at the beginning of the Heritage Open Days weekend. To mark this, a guided walk of the village is taking place between 6pm - 6.45pm courtesy of Wickham History Society. The walk will uncover many of the hidden features of this historic settlement remodelled in the 13th century around an imposing two acre medieval square, the second largest in England.