Announcement from a Galaxy, Far, Far Away at Association of Petersfield Businesses AGM | Ampersand



2014.05.13 14:21:02

On Monday 12th May 2014, at the Folly Wine Bar and Restaurant Upstairs the Association of Petersfield Businesses (APB) stunned the audience with the announcement that Dearth Vader and his Storm Troopers would be taking a short break from filming the new Star Wars movie on Friday 14th November to Switch-On the Christmas Lights in Petersfield!

The characters are great supporters of the Dreams Come True charity, chosen by the APB to be the charity partner for the event for a second year and have agreed to visit the town to laser sabre the switch, (fully risk assessed and cleared by the Health and Safety team of course).

Dominic Humphries, Chair of the APB and manager of The Red Lion said, "This is such an amazing opportunity for the town, Star Wars is one of the most famous movie franchises in the world. Having the characters here in Petersfield will draw crowds of all ages from far and wide. It's also a fantastic theme for all businesses to get involved with."

APB members already working on themed events include Chris Pearsall Photography, looking to maximise the chance for fans to have their photo with the stars and Petersfield Festivals is currently developing a themed trail across the town.

Martin Neal, Fundraising Manager for Dreams Come True on making the announcement said, "We're thrilled to have been chosen once again to be the charity partner for the switch-on. We know the power the Star Wars characters have to bring people to an event. The atmosphere in Petersfield will be out of this world, providing opportunities for businesses and fundraising, the perfect recipe for a charity partnership."


The APB will keep the business community and residents up to date with developments via Twitter, follow @APBPfield and on its website due to be re-launched on 21st May Members will receive regular e-newsletters.

There was an update on the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan and exciting news from The Petersfield Museum.

Richard Besant of the Neighbourhood Plan reported  on the Preview weekend held at the Festival Hall on 8/9th May which was attended by over 1,000 people. He encouraged all residents to visit the website and review the plans which are now going into a final stage of consultation prior to the referendum in October.

Bill Gosney, trustee of Petersfield Museum, told of the exciting plans to buy the Police Station building to enable the museum to expand, of the Dance initiative in July to depict how the town coped with the impact of the1914-18 war backed by The Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund grant to research the ancient burial barrows on the heath.

He also encouraged attendees to join the museum as members of friends - visit

The towns forthcoming events were presented by Petersfield Festivals, with some new initiatives including the Lavant Street Market on Sunday 5th October and a Music Festival at The Festival Hall on 26th October.

Unfortunately non of the organisers of the Food & Drink Festival proposed for 14th /15th June were able to attend so an update was provided by EHDC. Road Closures and a Premises License have been requested and the consultation period is now open.

It is recommended that businesses and residents in the town consult the documents on the EHDC website and lodge any comments by 27th May 2014. - See Petersfield and High Street

Comments can be made via email or writing to: Licensing, East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, Hampshire GU31 4EX

Also at the meeting Maxx Design presented a FREE "Social Media for Businesses" workshop and showcased the APB's refreshed website.

Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire sent his apologies with this short message, "Petersfield has a diverse and thriving business community at the heart of the South Downs National Park.  This community has a strong voice in the Association of Petersfield Businesses, made up of business owners who give their time voluntarily to organise events like the Christmas Lights Switch-On and attend Neighbourhood Plan meetings or liaise with the local authorities regarding events. I would encourage businesses in the town, whether new or long-established, to look at getting involved. The wealth of knowledge, expertise and advice available to members is extremely valuable – and of course the greater the membership the louder the voice"

Membership of the Association is just £25 per year representing exceptional value with special opportunities to promote your business, keep up to date on what's happening in the area and advice on how to exploit the latest marketing techniques.

The meeting concluded with complimentary light refreshments provided by the team at The Folly Wine Bar and Restaurant Upstairs and a chance for attendees to network.

For further information contact or call 01730 268295

Follow on Twitter @APBPfield or visit  from 21st May 2014


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