HERE IS THE LATEST NEWS . . . October 6th 2008


At long last the BLISSTERS website is being revised and updated. This was long overdue after a long period of inactivity and your webmaster apologises for the delay.

It is hoped that normal service will now be resumed and that you will once again be able to use the site for reference. For the time being, information will be restricted to matters concerning the BLISSTERS group in Liss, but in due course we hope to extend our coverage to the greater East Hampshire area.

Unfortunately, some of the older pages need significant work to bring them up to date so please bear with us while this is being done. Please return later if the information you are seeking is not yet available. Notices to this effect are displayed on the appropriate pages.



Fifteen members of BLISSTERS formed the core of a coach trip which visited the attractive town of Bouillon in the Ardennes region of Belgium from 29th September to 3rd October.

Despite poor weather which descended on Bouillon after our arrival everyone had a good time and enjoyed an interesting series of walks around the hills and rivers, concluding with a visit to La-Roche-en-Ardenne.

During our return trip, we had two brief opportunities to shop for bargains before boarding the ferry. An attempt by French fishermen to blockade the port of Calais fortunately only lasted two hours and although we were delayed, we were only a little late arriving back in Liss.

All our participants are extremely grateful to Terry for organising this, our second European walking holiday under his guidance.

SUNDAY WALKS and other outings

The summer of 2008 has not been at all conducive to walking on Sundays. In spite of that, we have had enthusiastic support from a small number of walkers for those trips we've made when it hasn't been raining.

Recent trips took us to East Worldham, and to West Marden, with Mary K, to Odiham by coach in dreadful weather, to Bournemouth and Christchurch, again by coach but this time in sunlight, and to Portsmouth and Southsea when it was mostly fine.

Harting Down in beautiful weather proved a worthwhile and successful walk, even if it took us further afield than intended - up and down - as well as horizontally.

Mainly fine weather also allowed us to visit Bosham and West Itchenor, West Itchenor and West Wittering, Alresford, and Winchester and St.Catherine's Hill.

Pam and Ken led a very enjoyable walk from Langstone to Emsworth and back. High tide at mid-day forced us to find an alternative route from the seashore on the outward journey, leading to a false detour inland. We eventually managed to get through (without the aid of machetes) adjacent to but above the beach.

For the second consecutive year we were invited by Jenny to take part in the Cricket Club Treasure Hunt. For the second year running, we failed to win first prize, but also failed this time to qualify for the booby prize! A good time was had by all, followed by ploughman's lunch at the cricket club house. Thanks to all concerned at Liss Cricket Club.

Jane invited a few Blissters to make their own way to Wales during what turned out to be a period of particularly foul weather and they were lucky to escape the serious flooding which affected many areas around the beginning of September.

Another small group, invited by Mary K, took a day-trip by fast ferry to Cherbourg during extremely hot weather. The café where they enjoyed a hilarious meal will not forget them quickly!

On top of all that, your webmaster fitted in a wonderful cruise to Norway and Spitzbergen, followed by three weeks of wildlife photography in South Africa, so that may be blamed for some of the recent delay in updating the website (!) Once again, sorry.

OBITUARY: Alan Rice 1927-2008

It was with deep sadness we learnt of the passing of one of our longest serving, and
most respected walking companions on
3rd July 2008.

About five years ago Alan Rice joined Liss Walking to Health at the Triangle Centre in order to assist his own recovery from a quadruple heart bypass operation. In that ambition he most emphatically succeeded, becoming a central and very active member
of the Group, joining in all of its activities.

Alan rapidly made friends with many of us
and soon took on responsibility as a
Volunteer Leader for Walking to Health,
a task he pursued enthusiastically, even
after the group spun off to become the
Liss Happy Wanderers - later BLISSTERS.
Following a period of illness he continued walking with BLISSTERS, even though he relinquished his role as a Leader at the Triangle Centre.

Click on photo for enlarged version

His enthusiasm for life was infectious, and we shall all remember him for his generosity, sense of humour, wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience. Who could forget his impromptu lessons on armoured vehicles whenever we walked out to the Old Tank on Longmoor Firing Range, leaving us in no doubt that it was not a tank?

During the many years he and his wife Dot spent in Liss, Alan developed a wide range of interests and he was active in many aspects of village life, making a valuable contribution to all of them, not least the Liss Conservation Volunteers and Neighbourhood Watch. He was a keen and knowledgeable fisherman and recently took up bowls once again. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues in and around Liss.

Shortly after Alan celebrated his 80th birthday he made the decision to apply for residence at the Royal Chelsea Hospital and so to become a Chelsea Pensioner. He was overjoyed at his acceptance and there is no doubt that the excitement of moving there must have helped him through the extremely difficult process of dismantling his life in Liss, selling his house and finally leaving.

It was obvious, once he had moved into Chelsea and acquired his wonderful red overcoat and tricorn hat, proudly worn when he came down to visit, that he was going to put his heart and soul into everything he did in, and on behalf of the Hospital. He often represented the Chelsea Pensioners, raising awareness of, and funds for, the work of the Hospital, and was looking forward to visiting Portugal to compete in a bowls tournament. He left his mark at Chelsea, just as he had everywhere else he lived, worked and played.

In a mere five years, representing just a tiny proportion of his lifetime, Alan made a profound and lasting impression on the small group of friends who call ourselves Blissters. We share our loss with his family and wide circle of friends here in Liss and elsewhere, and offer them our deepest sympathy while remembering Alan with great affection.

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