New here - a fellow abused Winchester NH resident


I met up with Dave Ridley yesterday as we live in the same town pretty close to each other.

My family and I have had ‘dealings’ with the town of Winchester. One of my neighbors used to be a selectman and he’s still friends with a lot of the elements which bullied poor Gary Chase. People in this town are afraid to speak out and fight back because this place is run like Boss Hogg’s little berg in the old Dukes Of Hazzard TV show. Should you step out of line with them, they come after you - or at least they used to. I haven’t heard much about it lately.

But, not long after what happened to Gary Chase, our ex-selectman neighbor decided to bully everyone around him. I guess he was emboldened by it. So, he put in a complaint with his buddy at the Health Department (LeRoy Austin) and said he was getting a huge smell from our property that was probably our septic tank. Sure, our septic tank was 30 years old. But, it wasn’t leaking. Our neighbors decided to get horses on their barely 1 acre of land and there was a HUGE manure pile there. (They’ve since sent the horses to an actual farm - mercifully.) But, the ex-selectman decided to target US instead. We’d been nothing but good neighbors to him for 30 years plus! So, along came LeRoy and he THREATENED my elderly mother that the town would take our house and kick us out unless we got a new septic tank.

So, we called a company to inspect the property and put one in. Even the guy who owned the company had to go searching for our leech field because he couldn’t smell anything at all! After an inspection, our septic tank was fine other than just being old. So, to appease the town, we had a new one put in. It cost us nearly $20k - which we’re still paying payments on 6 years later! Could we have fought the town and went to the state? Yes. Would the state have done much of anything for us? Nope. All that would have ended up happening would be us getting the Gary Chase treatment.

It’s no wonder that I’ve seen a LOT of people move out of the town in the recent years. Winchester and Hinsdale have the reputations as THE most corrupt small towns in all of Cheshire County. I’ve lived in both and,YES, they live up those reputations!

Myself, I’m a retired performing musician and computer technician trying to just live the quiet life with how much life I have left. My health is really bad - so, I had to stop performing. I’m a stroke survivor, have bad COPD, arthritis, and other health issues which are basically shortening my time greatly. You would think that the town would have taken all that into account and left us alone. But, nope. That’s not how Winchester operates. They just don’t care how long you’ve lived here or how steadily you’ve paid your taxes. They’ll go after anyone who’s not one of their friends.

My lovely ex-selectman neighbor went after his neighbors on the other side of his property about zoning lines. He did this just after they had lost their son to leukemia. The guy is a real piece of work. Honestly, people like him should live on an island somewhere where he can only harass himself! I’ve caught him on my property spray painting one of my trees because he said he was marking property lines. He wasn’t even a selectman when I caught him doing it, either! But, he’s in very good with the town since they’re all buddies. So, I couldn’t do anything about his trespassing and vandalism. I’ve been outside sitting on my deck and caught him walking around our property line. The thing is, the thin strip of property between our properties ISN’T EVEN HIS! But, on the upside, I haven’t seen him there in a few years now. He did his damage with the septic system complaint. And now he’s probably too old to bug us.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I just keep a low profile in this town and don’t mess with anyone - especially the town govt. I want to just live out what time I have left in peace and without strife.

Welcome to the foums Axess2084!

You got one heck of an interesting story. Hope to see you at some of our upcoming events. Check out some of the other posts and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Forkfest, Manchester market Day, the Pig Roast, or any of the numerous other events. You can find more events at if you click on the calendar.

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yayyyy alex great to have you here, and in the neighborhood. Nice feeling to be out exercising and have someone pop out of their house with the words "Ridley Report! "

I’m going to read your story in more detail, however I have to admit that despite some chest beating and censorship attempts by a couple people, the town has been fairly tolerant of my ambush interviews and first amendment audit type stuff…or whatever I do. I have never done so much of that stuff, within a town where I live…as I have in Winchester. That’s because the lockdowns interfered with other coverage further away. And with exceptions they have taken it fairly well; Chief Tollard even invited me over to the copshop any time i like, to ask questions. Now he’s gone but WPD has behaved ok in front of me so far, and our equivalent of a Mayor seems transparent enough. On the other hand, that’s just what I see… other people have different experiences. I have camera-questioned them about Gary Chase outside their meetings, for what little that is worth.

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Yeah, the new Chief (Tollard) is pretty cool.

There were a lot of BAD cops over the years here. At one point (around 2005-2010) the department was stocked by a bunch of law-breaking bullies. There are many tales that a lot of people can tell you about what went on. But, imagine the worst crimes people can do without ending up on Death Row - and you get the idea.

sorry i meant to type axess not alex

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Calling someone by the wrong name is a sign of wisdom for us older folks! haha!

i read your story above and am glad to hear they appear to have finally left you alone! be sure to let me know if they bother you again!

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Will do! Thank you, Dave!

and i hope you’ll get video if they come at you!

Welcome @Axess2084 !

For readers who don’t understand the Gary Chase references: