March 2021 News Update

This year seems to be going quickly, here we are in March already – thank goodness do I hear you cry? Hopefully by now most of you will have had at least your first vaccination.  Sadly we have had to delay our Hi-De-Hi production yet again, now looking forward to October to be back to entertaining an audience again.  In the meantime please say ‘Hi’ to everyone you meet out walking, it may be their only personal contact that day, there are still people isolating or staying as safe as possible keeping socially distanced.  Spring is sprung – enjoy the wonderful flowers that nature provides to give us the lift we need at this time, after all, they are putting on a show for you too.  


Rest assured we will get back together just as soon as it is safe to do so.  Carry on singing, even on the days you don’t feel like it.  Singing is so uplifting, unless of course you like Leonard Cohen songs, there are some that make me cry or would increase any depression!

We are extremely grateful to our membership for supporting us through good and bad times – without shows our funding is declining, as with most groups at the moment, so a BIG THANK YOU to our members.

News Update 2021

Good news on the Vaccine front of course, and although our venue, the V and A centre is currently closed, we have to look forward and hope for a bit of normality at some point, for all our sanities!

We are currently planning a Charity Social Evening at the end of June, start of July, in memory of our dear friend Lesley Parish, this being the first opportunity we have had as a group to formally remember Lesley, and be thankful for all her numerous years of dedication to Hag. The evening will include a few songs from the Choir, a Quiz and a Raffle, and will be open to all members and their guests. We will have a retiring collection, and all monies will go to a charity in Lesley’s name, as nominated by her family. More details to follow of course.

Well “Ho De Ho” campers indeed, as we can’t now put our show on in June with all this uncertainty, so the play will take our booked October slot. Third time lucky!
OCTOBER 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th & 16th

In anticipation (!) we’ve booked the Victoria Hall for April 19th, in the hope we can all get back to the Monday evenings we are missing so much, even if it means reduced numbers on a rota system. More news as we have it.

After all that we have been through 2020 and now 2021 we are so grateful to our Membership for sticking with us through thick and thin (well thin mainly!). All the Membership Fees help to keep our Group afloat, especially when we haven’t been able to put on any productions or run the Choir. There are still costs that have to be paid, even if nothing is happening (certainly the story of 2020 sticking to COVID rules) money still goes out for rental of storage facilities, etc.
So THANK YOU each and every one of you who paid their subs last year. Now unfortunately, I have to ask you to support us again this year! If you want HAG to continue please, please renew your membership on 1st April.

February 2021 Update

I don’t think any of us were surprised to have another Lockdown.  Unfortunately we are now faced with more uncertainty regarding our productions for 2021. But, we are thinking positively and hoping upon hope that Hi-de-Hi will go ahead in June.  Bring on the vaccines! Casting and initial rehearsals may require Zooming, but we are getting more and more adept with that. Please contact us if you would like to be informed when ‘things’ happen, members will automatically be kept in the loop.


Obviously our intended start back in January didn’t happen. Members will be notified as soon as we are able to get back on track. Meanwhile, carry on singing along to the radio or TV or maybe your vast record/tape/musical DVD collection.

We are extremely grateful to our membership for supporting us through good and bad times – without shows our funding is declining, as with most groups at the moment, so a BIG THANK YOU to our members.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining our fun group in whatever capacity.  Stay safe and take care.
Hartley Arts Group’ website: we are also on social media Twitter, Facebook etc.

January 2021 Update

Well, what will 2021 bring us?  The Hartley Arts Group is hoping that a vaccine will be rolled out very quickly, so that we can safely entertain our audiences again.  Rehearsals are on hold until we can safely meet indoors.  It is a pity we can’t form ‘a bubble’, but with so many actors required it would certainly burst!  Hi-de-Hi is dangling like a carrot and we are raring to go when safe.


We were hoping that the choir could start up again on January 11th, but as I write this, having the whole choir in the Jubilee Hall is looking unlikely. Rest assured the HAG Committee is trying very hard to find a solution to the challenges Covid sets us. Members will be notified as soon as we are able to get back on track. Meanwhile, I hope you still have your singing mojo and are singing along to any source of music you have.

Dare I say Happy New Year 2020 is behind us – let’s look to the future –things can only get better (now is that a cue for a song?)

Please contact us if you are interested in joining our fun group in whatever capacity.  Stay safe and take care.
Hartley Arts Group’ website: we are also on social media Twitter, Facebook etc.

Sadly missed this year. HAG Rocks Christmas Show.

HAG Rocks! Choir and our talented HAG actors and crew are really missing The Christmas Show, which should have been this week, 4th & 5th Dec. Our annual event, which is so popular with us, and our audiences, sadly cannot take place. But we promise to be back next year, bigger and better than ever, to start off everyone’s Christmas celebrations with a joyous evening of music and laughter!

It’s such a long time since I’ve sent out an email to you and it seems an eternity since we were last together at choir rehearsal on a Monday night.  I know how much everyone has been missing our regular get-togethers, meeting one another & singing the music that we love so much. It has felt strange not to be working on new songs for you and we miss doing that too.
It’s such a tragedy that so much has been taken away by this ghastly virus & depriving us of such good times.
I hope you & your families have all managed to avoid coronavirus infection and if not, avoided complications. It’s clear that we won’t be able to start choir again until we’ve been vaccinated, so let’s hope that’s not going to be too far away. Obviously, we’ll get going as soon as we possibly can and it’s safe for everyone.
Do have as good a Christmas as you can in the circumstances, it’s all going to be very different this year but we have to stay safe until those vaccinations have been given.
Doris, Amanda & Charlie send you their love & very best wishes for Christmas & a much brighter & more normal 2021. We look forward to seeing you some time in the Spring & getting those vocal chords going again!


Keeping You Up to date


The HAG committee is holding monthly meetings (via Zoom) and looking onwards to 2021, as positively as we can.


PERFORMANCES:  18th, 19th & 24th, 25th, 26th June 2021

Next June we visit Maplin’s Holidy Camp, to see what your favourite TV characters have been up to! Ted, Spike, Jeffery, Gladys, Yvonne and Barry Sturt-Hargreaves, the yellow coats and not forgetting Peggy the chalet maid, are among the great fun parts to audition for. So, If you’re re booking your holidays for next year and you want to be involved, note our show dates above and make sure you’re available!


In these sadly uncertain times starting in September does not seem likely, so we are pinning our hopes on January 11th 2021. Fingers crossed ! Everyone  tells us how much they are missing our Monday evenings, meeting up with friends and reaping the health benefits that singing brings us. We are continually receiving enquiries from folks wanting to join us, and we will be back – watch this space!

Radio Play: Welcome To Our Village, Please invade Carefully

We now have a cast for our radio play, Welcome To Our Village, Please invade Carefully. This play is a comedy, where the Buckinghamshire village of Cresdon Green has been invaded by an alien race called the Geonin. The village has been cut off from the outside world. Most of the village are actually quite happy to have the aliens around, who are being very friendly and polite and making sure that the village has everything it needs. The only person who isn’t happy is Katrina, who was visiting her parents when the invasion happened and is now trapped. Rehearsals will be starting next week. Please keep an eye out for further details on how to listen to the show.

  • The Cast
  • Liz Sinclair – minion, old person, villager, printer
  • Sue Molyneux – Computer
  • Paola Burgess – Katrina
  • Amy Spiller – Lucy
  • Margot Konitzer – Margaret Lysons
  • Peter Hornsby – Richard Lysons, Scottish Doctor
  • Richard Clifford – Uljabaan
  • Brian Drew – Graham
  • Ian Mabon – Chris
  • Kelvin Fay – Ron
  • Jim Goodman – Lawrence

Lesley Parish – Urgent Funeral update

At the very last minute, that the route has been changed, and will now be going around the cricket green, passed the golf club and along the High Street ( A30 ) towards Basingstoke. Therefore I think it’s necessary for us to move down to the other end of the green, by the roundabout where we have our show banners, so we see it go by along the A30. HAG and HAG Rocks! members will be gathering at around 9.30am on the 10th July to say farewell to our friend Lesley Parish, so please join us if you would like to.

The family have asked for no black to be worn at the service, so I’m thinking that HAG polo shirts, and our choir red tops and bright colours will be therefore be appropriate.

Lesley Parish – Funeral details

An update for you all on Lesley Parish’s funeral, please see below information which Lesley’s daughter Nella recently posted on Facebook:

Mum’s funeral is going to be held at Basingstoke crematorium on Friday 10th July. For obvious reasons numbers are limited but we intend to hold a huge party in celebration of her life when all this Covid19 and social distancing stuff is over. However, if you would like to pay your respects on the day, we have arranged with the funeral directors for mums coffin to be driven from the family home, up through St John’s Road, past the allotments and down the fleet road (past St John’s church and the green space on the common) before heading off to the crematorium, that way everyone who knew mum can stand by the roadside to say their goodbyes as she passes. We will leave the family home at 09:30.

Although mum loved flowers, we would like to ask that instead of sending flowers, donations are made to either the Woodland Trust or St Michael’s Hospice. It was one of mum’s missions to plant several trees this year and we feel a donation to the woodland trust would go some way to honouring her intentions. We also want to thank St Michael’s Hospice for all the love and care they gave mum in her final days. The funeral directors have created an online donation page for mum on their website. To use this facility please visit the Holmes Funeral Service website at: and click the donate button. You will then be asked to enter Lesley Parish’s name in order to gain access to her unique donation page. Please feel free to donate as much or as little as you like (or maybe not at all) to either charity.

Thank you once again for all your kind and lovely comments, I’m sure mum, aka Mrs P, would have felt very special to know how much she meant to you all (I know we, her family) do.
Nella, Charlie, Josh, Kate and Mike (dad)
It was suggested at the AGM that perhaps HAG and Choir members may feel they would like to gather together on the common, as the hearse is to be driven down and through the village that morning. Choir ladies might like to wear their red tops, and if others have HAG logo polo shirts they might like to wear those, so we can join together to say our final goodbyes.

Finally, as mentioned above, the family have requested donations in lieu of flowers to the Woodland Trust or St Michael’s Hospice and have provided details on how to do this.

Lesley Parish

I want to share with you some very devastating and upsetting news. For those of you who haven’t heard, our dear friend Lesley Parish lost her battle with cancer at St Michael’s Hospice on June 17th.

Lesley was a founder member of HAG 45 years ago, and since then her contribution to the group, her enthusiasm and her energy have been immeasurable. She has sat on the Committee several times, acted on stage, directed, ran our Youngstars Group and made so many beautiful costumes that we have a store room bulging with them. Over the years and especially of late she has been instrumental in our fundraising activities. She spent many hours working on securing multiple grants to help us pay for our much needed technical upgrades. We now have brand new lighting and sound equipment which will benefit the group for many years to come. None of this would have been possible without her hard work and determination.

She was also a prominent member of our HAG Rocks! Choir, in the front row of the Altos, and I find it hard to imagine standing conducting the Choir without her being in front of me. Over the 17 years I have been a member of HAG we have worked on numerous shows together. I cannot put into words how grateful I am personally to her for all the help and support she has given me over this time.

I would not, I think, be overstating anything if I said that she was a village “icon”.  So very many people from all the various activities she was associated with over the years will feel her loss.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to her husband Mike and all her family at this very sad time.

We at HAG, the group she loved so much, will consider how we can honour her memory.

With Very Best Wishes,
Lesley Nicholls 
Chair: Hartley Arts Group.