SELECTED NEWS ITEMS
PARISH COUNCIL NEWS.
At their meeting on 12th January, 2016, the Parish Council heard about, or discussed: The Parish Precept, a safety survey of The Street, an application to de-register some common land, a county-council survey regarding subsidised bus services, and plans to clean up the village in preparation for the Queen's 90th Birthday celebrations this coming spring. There are also to be some road closures in March affecting Dean Lane and Moor Lane. For more details, click here.
WILTSHIRE BUS SERVICES CONSULTATION.
The Passenger Transport Unit of Wiltshire Council are currently conducting a survey of attitudes to subsidised bus services, and the "consultation period" ends on the 4th April (2016) at 4.00 pm. Although they claim that no decisions have been made, there is a clear intention for at least some services that are currently the subject of a local-government subsidy to suffer a reduction or removal of the subsidy, with the inevitable consequence of a reduction or removal of some services, and possibly of some routes.
The Transport Unit are asking for input whether you are a bus user or not, so if you are concerned about the future of bus services in the county, and in particular in our rural area, please complete the survey. Introductory information is at this web address; while the survey itself can be found by clicking here. Without wishing to be controversial, one imagines that some of our esteemed leaders in County HQ might find it quite difficult to imagine themselves as OAPs, with no transport of their own, living out in the rural areas that make up the vast majority of the county, and facing the prospect of their one lifeline being chopped. So the survey is an opportunity to give Trowbridge a hint.
LOCAL CRIME IN DECEMBER.
To judge from the most recent local crime bulletin, December 2015 was a relatively quiet month in our immediate area. Across all of the 13 villages and communities that are covered, a total of only 16 crimes (in the qualifying categories) were reported. Seven of these were criminal damage to vehicles. Whiteparish almost made it right through the month with "no reported incidents", but what would otherwise have been a clean sheet was spoiled by a single burglary on New Year's Eve . . . For more details, click here.
ageUK NEED VOLUNTEERS.
The Salisbury branch of ageUK are again looking for voluntary advisers and helpers in our area. For more information, see their poster by click here.
100+ CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY, 2015
The Annual Christmas Party of the 100+ Club was held in the Memorial Centre on Saturday 12th December and was the usual happy mix of good food, wine and beer, friendly people, and Ian's wide ranging and brainteasing quizzes. This year, we enjoyed a delightful extra—entertainment by local artist Ed Hailwood, who kept feet and fingers tapping with his renderings of songs by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Ed performed before and during supper, and then, after our meal, we were encouraged to sing along to some old favourites. After this, there were the eagerly awaited monthly and Big Christmas draws for 100+ Club members (click here for results), plus the raffle and the results of Ian's brainteasers. Thanks are due to all who contributed, including Ed Hailwood, all who provided delicious food, raffle prizes, and who helped with the setting up and clearing up.
The event raised £436 towards the operating costs of the Memorial Centre.
For a mini-gallery of some random snaps taken at the party, click here.
MORE ON SGT. WHITTLE.
If you're a close follower of the website (well, we can but hope!), you may recall a recent article here about Sergeant "Lofty" Whittle, RAF, who was killed in action over Belgium in a Fairey Battle aircraft in 1940, and who is featured in Whiteparish's Memorial Book .
M. Pierre Michiels, a member of a historical research team operating in the area where Sgt Whittle's plane crashed, has sent a photo of the plaque (see left) which his team plan to install near the crash site in the village of Bercheux, as a tribute. He writes: "The plaque has just been delivered and our intention is to proceed to its unveilling on next May 2016. It will be placed in the little garden at the entrance of the Primary School of Bercheux because it is a very symbolic place and because the aircraft bellylanded 300 yards behind the school.
As you know, out of the 3 crew members, Lofty was the only one to die that day near the village of Bercheux. So we wish to contact any of his relatives to invite them to attend the creremonies."
So, to repeat our earlier request, if anyone knows of any relatives of either Sgt Whittle or of his late widow, the former Phyllis Burden of Yew Tree Farm, please get in touch and we can give you M. Michiels' contact details.
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING, 3rd December 2015.
In their last meeting of 2015, Whiteparish Parish Councillors were pleased to receive (on behalf of the village) certificates and a cheque for £60 won by Whiteparish in 2015's Best Kept Village competition from Dr Peter Claydon, who was represnting the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). There were also twelve planning applications to consider. Residents are reminded that they are welcome to attend Parish Council meetings, where there is time set aside at the beginning of each meeting for members of the public to raise any village matter, including planning applications. Councillors also heard the results of the recent Metro Count traffic survey. Wilts Council have completed the survey as it relates to speeding, but are still analysing the data about types of vehicles using The Street. For more information about these topics in the meeting notes, click here.
NEW FACEBOOK PAGE FOR WHITEPARISH MUSIC AND MUSICIANS.
Eddy Hailwood has asked us to mention that he has started a new Facebook page "Whiteparish Music". As Eddy says in his introductory text there:"Hi all music lovers in the Whiteparish area. My name is Ed Hailwood and I am responsible for organising the music for the June 18th 2016 Whiteparish Fete. I also wish to get things going musically in the village. Please contact me if you wish to be involved. You can be anyone from a Pro to a person with no previous experience. This is for music of all genres. Anything from Classical to Rock. Are you a singer, guitarist pianist--whatever your musical interest I want to hear from you."
And you can message Eddy from that same Facebook page. It'll be interesting to see how this initiative develops.
LEARN ABOUT BECOMING A "DEMENTIA FRIEND".
The South Wilts Area Board (SWAB) have asked us to publicise a special event focusing on dementia that they are hosting in Alderbury Village Hall on 26 January 2016. The introduction to their press release reads:
"Southern Wiltshire has the second highest rates of recorded dementia in Wiltshire and as a result of this the Area Board has made it its theme for 2015/16.
The aim of the event is to bring like-minded people together to look at practical ways communities can support people with dementia. One way you can help is to become a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts. To become a Dementia Friend all you need to do is attend a 1 hour information session."
And the release goes on to ask: why not make it your New Year's Resolution to book a place on one of the Alderbury sessions?
To learn more about the event, click here.
A VILLAGE SHOP CLOSES . . . (NO, NOT THAT ONE!).
Whiteparish residents living geographically closer to Sherfield English than to Whiteparish (and there are quite a few of us) will probably know by now (but some others may not) that the Sherfield village store closed down very recently (though the sub-post office on the same premises is still currently operating). It was nice to have a village shop within walking distance, even if it wasn't in "our" village. But presumably the closure–though a very sad loss for Sherfield–may help ease the situation for the Whiteparish Village Store that we reported on a few weeks ago.
CRIME REPORTS FOR NOVEMBER.
The November 2015 summary of crime reports from PC Henry Clissold shows a mixed month for our area, with seven of the 13 communities covered showing "No reported incidents", but four or five incidents in most of the remaining villages. Whiteparish had five: two for drugs offences, two for criminal damage involving vehicles, and one a theft of dogs from secure kennels. (The grapevine says there have been a rash of attempted dog thefts in the area over recent weeks.) For more details of the crimes summarised, click here.
NEW MINI-WEBSITE ABOUT MEMORIAL CENTRE.
The Memorial Centre now has its own "website within a website", with a home page plus further pages about: what's inside the centre (with a plan, photos, and a panorama of the main hall); how to hire a room or the hall; a list of activities; a map to help people find the centre (mostly for non-residents); and some of the history of the project. We hope all this will be interesting and useful, and it's now been available on the website for a few weeks, accessible from the main menu under Amenities -> Memorial Centre or by clicking here. Something that's new as of now (early December 2015), is the ability to view an online calendar of existing bookings (accessible via the Hiring page), which should be particularly useful when you're planning a meeting or function and want to know what dates/times are free. It's not an online booking system as such, because the master booking record is still held on paper, but the online calendar will usually reflect the current bookings recorded on the paper system.
The Memorial Centre mini-site replaces a lot of information that was previously scattered around the rest of the website in a not-very-organised way, much of which was out of date. This is part of the first stage of a much larger effort to clean up, reorganize, redesign, and generally modernise the whole Community Website; which will continue well into 2016, and possibly beyond.
SGT EDWARD "LOFTY" WHITTLE (RAF).
We recently received the following email enquiry from M. Pierre Michiels, of Neufchateau, southern Belgium:
" . . . I'm a member of a local historical research team.
We wish to pay tribute to the sacrifice of the forgotten ones, the RAF airmen that died in the first days of WW2, trying to slow down the rush of german panzers through the Ardennes on their way to Sedan and Dunkirk.
We are focusing on Fairey Battle light bomber crews that have died from May 10th to May 12th, 1940 in the region of "Central Ardennes" (from the German border up to the French city of Sedan).
All 5 crash sites have been definitely identified thanks to photographic documents, local witnesses reports and metal detector investigations.
Last May, the first ceremonies were led in the region of the City of Bouillon as remembrance services and plaques unveillings were organised. 300 people attended with relatives, RAF representatives and local Authorities. local TV broadcast was made.
We are now focusing on Sgt E.J.M. Whittle's aircraft, that crashed 20 miles more in the north, near the village of Bercheux.
After so many years, Villagers still take care of his grave. We wish to pay tribute to his bravery by unveilling a similar plaque at the crashsite.
We are searching [for] ANY information on Sgt Whittle and his relatives that would wish to attend a future ceremony. Would you be so kind as to help us?"
We sent M Michiels the text of a page in the Whiteparish Memorial Book (which commemorates all Whiteparish residents who died fighting in the two world wars) that deals with Sgt Whittle (to see the text, click here). Although born and bred in Lambeth, Edward "Lofty" Whittle joined the RAF and while stationed at Boscombe Down he was married in All Saints Church to Phyllis Burden of Yew Tree Farm in Parkwater Road, Whiteparish and presumably they then lived in Whiteparish together. If you know, or know of, any relatives of either Sgt Whittle or his widow (who died in 1987), or can help M. Michiels with any other information, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will forward any news to him.
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR WASTE & RECYCLING COLLECTIONS.
Rescheduled end-of-year collections will be as follows:
Blue-top Bin Recycling (plastic bottles, card, etc) and Black Box Recycling: Monday 28th December 2015, and Saturday 9th January 2016.
Black Bin (Household Waste): Monday 4th January 2016.
After the above dates, collections revert to alternate Fridays, as before.
SEASON'S GREETINGS!—AND YET ANOTHER SCAM WARNING . . .
Now that we're all ordering more things online than ever before, the Christmas season gives the internet's bad guys even more opportunities to defraud us. Suppose you're expecting delivery of a Christmas package you bought on the web, and you have to unexpectedly leave the house during the delivery slot. Later that day an email headed "UKMail 988271023 tracking information" (or similar) tells you a package could not be delivered because no-one was home, and includes an attachment which (the email claims) gives details of how and where you can retrieve the package. You might naturally associate the missed delivery with the email, and open the attached MS Word document.
DON'T ! It's probably a scam. Opening the attachment will run a macro (little program) that will install malware on your computer. Only open an attachment if you are expecting one, and if you absolutely trust the sender.
Yesterday we received an email exactly like the one described above. How did we know it was a scam (after all, there IS a company called UK Mail)? Three main reasons: (a) we weren't expecting a package—though we could have been; (b) there are several email addresses associated with the Whiteparish website, and identically the same email was sent to each of them; and (c) we've learned to be suspicious of everything that arrives in our inboxes. These days you just have to be, and even more so at this season, alas. There will be many more scams out there, on the same lines as the one just described.
The latest local crime reports bulletin (for October 2015) from PC Henry Clissold shows a quiet month overall for the local communities featured, with six villages showing "No reported incidents". However, unfortunately Whiteparish was not among them, and our village actually had more crimes listed than any other, with three cases of criminal damage, plus a theft of timber and a burglary. (For more details, click here.)
PC Clissold also wrote "As some of you may be aware Guy has moved stations, he is still working for Wiltshire Police but at a station nearer to his home, this means that a replacement is now with us. PCSO Tina Roylance has finished her training and is now based at Alderbury police station with the team. I am sure you will make her feel welcome as she gets to know the area."
WHITEPARISH PUBS: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES?
30 years ago there were four of them. From east to west, we had the Parish Lantern (formerly the New Inn), the White Hart, the King's Head, and the Fountain Inn. Don't know if that was the most that Whiteparish ever had, but back in 1985 the village we'd just moved to definitely didn't seem short of watering holes! In fact, though it may seem like sacrilege to say so, four was probably too many.
Anyway, that was sorted out after a few years when the White Hart was sold for housing. Three seemed a good number, perhaps the "Goldilocks number", and things stayed that way until very recently, when the dear old Kings Head closed its doors as a pub for perhaps the last time, in the spring of 2014. Down to two—not really enough, one thought, though plenty of larger villages seem to manage with just one pub nowadays, or even (perish the thought) none.
Where's all this going? Well, we're not sure.
But very recently the sale seems finally to have gone through of one of the two remaining working pubs (the one with an "F" in its name). We live in uncertain times, folks. And that's not always a good thing . . .
VILLAGE SHOP & POST OFFICE: SURVEY.
A slightly worrying report in the November 2015 edition of Steeple & Street reveals that there has been a recent slow decline in the monthly turnover of our much-valued Village Store, to the point where it has just started making a loss. The management team warns that "If this decline accelerates, the continuation of the shop cannot be guaranteed." However, they are taking steps to halt the decline and hope that these will make a difference.
They are very interested in learning what people want from the store, and what would make them want to use the shop more regularly. To this end there is a questionnaire online which you can access by clicking here. Please help the team by completing it, either online or in paper form (which will be circulated shortly). As the report says: "Remember: USE IT OR LOSE IT!".
PARISH COUNCIL NEWS: OCTOBER MEETING.
At the Parish Council meeting on 15th October, councillors heard that Whiteparish had done well in the 2015 Best Kept Village competition, coming 3rd in our category in the County Round. To quote from the meeting notes: "Judges enjoyed the scarecrows set out all around the village during the District Round and the churchyard was most beautifully kept. They thought we were fortunate to have such a magnificent Memorial Centre and playing fields and the surgery was in a delightful location. The school was neat and tidy and everyone they met was helpful and friendly. Many congratulations Whiteparish!".
Other topics discussed included: our stretch of the A27 remaining on the Freight Assessment and Priority Mechanism (FAPM) list of the Wilts Council Community Area Transport Group; Wilts Council's Community Emergency Plan; damage to the recently installed high kerbs at the Miles Lane/A27 junction; Rights of Way; and the fact that a "metro count" has been requested for The Street. (A quick google suggests that this last is a traffic survey and analysis system, possibly using kit from a firm called MetroCount.) To see the full notes, click here.
MEM CENTRE CAR PARK LIGHTING: FOLLOW UP.
At their meeting on 20th October, the Memorial Trustees discussed the problem of lighting in the Memorial Centre car park, and considered opinions from villagers who were present or who had made passed comments to the trustees earlier. The majority view was that the proposed level of lighting offered poor value given the limited lighting that would result, which would also add to light pollution. It was therefore agreed not to proceed with additional lighting at this time.
However it was pointed out that the main issue for hall users was the uneven-ness and poor state of the car park surface, and that in view of the limited funds available to the Trust perhaps this should take precedence. The Trustees therefore agreed to set up a working party to explore short and long term solutions to the issues raised, and understood to keep villagers informed. The Trustees also reminded the public that they are invited to attend Memorial Trust meetings.
DR GOTHAM TALK A SELL-OUT.
. . . well, they ran out of chairs, anyway! On 27th October 2015 Dr Chris Gotham spoke on two main topics—Diabetes and trends in GP practice—to a large and appreciative audience of Whiteparish Surgery patients and others (88 in all) in the Memorial Hall, and took part in a question and answer session afterwards. All whom we spoke to afterwards felt it had been thoroughly worthwhile. The Whiteparish Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG), who organised the evening, hope that this will be the first in a series of events about medical and related matters over the coming months. We understand that there may be a video available of the event in due course on the Whiteparish Surgery web site.
SPECTACULAR RAINBOW ON 24th OCTOBER.
Mike Thorne sent us this nice photo of the impressive rainbow that could be seen from various places round Whiteparish late on Saturday afternoon. Mike writes "the attached photo . . . [was] taken from our house in Nunns Park on Saturday 24th Oct at about 17.30. The rainbow was the most intense i’ve ever seen, with several layers of colour banding inside the bow. It’s framed by the autumn leaves on some local trees, and contains some houses in The Triangle."
TALK BY DR GOTHAM—ALL PATIENTS INVITED.
The Whiteparish Patient Participation Group (PPG) invites all Whiteparish Surgery patients to a public patients' meeting in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 27th October, from 7.30 to 8.45 pm (tea/coffee and biscuits available from 7.00 pm) to hear Dr Chris Gotham talk about "Diabetes Awareness and the Changing Face of General Practice".
The PPG hopes that a large number of patients will attend this inaugural event, and that this will be the first of a series of meetings aimed at keeping patients well informed on health and Practice issues. They look forward to seeing you there!
Another in our occasional series of things to beware of in your email inbox! We received today a remarkably authentic-looking email message from Ocado, about a delivery scheduled for this afternoon. How did we know it wasn't genuine? Only because we're not Ocado customers. Increasingly, these phoney emails are modelled very closely on real communications from well-known companies, and are very convincing. The object is to get you to download the attached file, which is usually an MS Word or Excel document described as an invoice or receipt. If your operating system is Windows, opening the phoney file will install malware on your PC, typically a keylogger to try to steal bank details, etc.
The best advice, as always, is NEVER to download attachments that you weren't expecting, even if the accompanying email seems to have come from a familiar source. The internet's full of bad people. From a quick Google search, it seems the fake delivery notification we received today, or rather the MS Word attachment that came with it, contained a macro that would have installed a keylogger program called Dridex on our PC. (For more information about Dridex, click here.)
FROM THE JOURNAL.
Three items in the October 15, 2015 edition of the "Salisbury Journal" caught the eye as affecting our part of South Wilts, or the county as a whole:
(1) Apparently Wiltshire County Council have decided that they can't afford to maintain 24 public toilets around the county, and is looking to offload them to parish councils or other local groups or failing that to close them. The toilets in question are scattered round the county, but they include some in Amesbury, Downton, and Salisbury. Could be important for Whiteparishioners visiting those nearby places when out shopping or socially! So if you want to comment, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/publicconveniencessurvey.htm and tell the council what you think. (For the full story, see Journal page 2.)
(2) In a half-page story on page 5, the Journal features interesting quotes from Dr Rachel Clapton of Whiteparish Surgery, in her role as Communications Director of the Wessex Primary Healthcare Alliance (WPHCA), which represents 25 South Wilts GP practices and cares for more than 200,000 patients (including most of us, presumably).
(3) Finally in this little round-up, in an editorial on page 2, titled "Complaints against police rise as staff numbers fall", the Journal takes a dim view of the trend that the title alludes to, and of certain statements by Police Commissioner Angus Macpherson.
WHITEPARISH YOUTH GROUP PAGE.
We were very pleased recently to be asked to add a page about the Whiteparish Youth Group (WYG) to the website, which you can view by clicking here.
FOLLOWING ON FROM THE ABOVE.
If you represent any Whiteparish club or organisation that isn't currently featured on the site—please get in touch and we'd be delighted to add a page for you too. Like the Youth Group, your organisation may already be using social media (Facebook, Twitter, whatever) to communicate with members, and that's obviously fine; but the Community Website can play a part too. As well as being useful to those living here (hopefully), it gives the outside world an idea of who we folk of Whiteparish are, what facilities we have here, and what we get up to (within reason!), in our village.
The most recent visitor stats show that in one week the web server served
3236 sessions in responding to website visitors. Even after we discount the 953 of those that were initiated by robots (!), that still leaves well over two thousand visits in a single week. And a proportion of those visitors would quite possibly have been people thinking of moving here, and probably wanting to know—amongst other things—about the clubs and other organisations here, and whether Whiteparish seemed like an active and lively place.
Just a thought . . . .
NEW MOBILE LIBRARY SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED.
Wiltshire Council have announced the schedule for Whiteparish's Mobile Libary Service that will apply after the 27th October 2015. Starting on the 7th November, the service will call at Ashmore Close on Saturdays, at four-weekly intervals, between 11.45 am and 12.15 pm. Starting on the 19th November, the service will also visit the village on Thursdays, at four-weekly intervals: stopping at Ashmore Close between 10.35 and 11.05 am, and at Whiteparish School in Common Rd between 11.10 am and 12.10 pm.
For your convenience, we've included a table showing the schedule up to 7th April 2016 on the website; to view, click here.
CAR PARK LIGHTING FOR MEMORIAL CENTRE.
Some users of the Memorial Centre have complained about the lack of lighting in the car parking area. The Memorial Trust are concerned that a suggested solution that would be acceptable to the County Ecologist would be both (a) expensive, and (b) possibly not bright enough, meaning that car-park users might still have to use torches to light their way to the Memorial Centre for night-time events. All interested villagers are therefore invited to attend the Trust meeting in the Cowesfield Room at 7.30 pm on the 29th October, to make their views known. For the full version of the Trust's notice on this subject (the above is only a very brief summary), see the Oct 2015 issue of Steeple & Street or click here.
2015 ANNUAL FIREWORKS.
The date for this year's Whiteparish Fireworks Display has been set for the 14th of November, and the venue is to be behind the Parish Lantern. The proceeds from this event go to support Whiteparish All Saints School. It is organised by the school PTA, and kindly staged and sponsored by local firm Pains Fireworks; more details to follow. It's always a really spectacular display— so don't miss it!
SWAB MEETING IN DOWNTON, 1st October 2015
The next meeting of the Southern Wilts Area Board (SWAB) will focus on dementia, but other items on the agenda are activities for young people, the future of the footpath project, a report from the Police & Crime Commissioner's office, Community hubs, Community Area Transport Group, and Community grants. To find out more, you can click here, where there's a link to the full agenda (however, at the time of writing, it wasn't working). The meeting just referred to will be at the Trafalgar School, starting at 7.00 pm (refreshments available from 6.30 pm). If you're interested in dementia, or any of the other topics mentioned, or just curious about what the Area Board gets up to, why not go along?
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING, 3rd September 2015
According to the notes of this PC meeting, eight members of the public attended to express concern about the speed and weights of traffic using The Street. Other topics covered were forthcoming new schedules for the mobile libary service, the work of local volunteers on South Wiltshire paths, co-option of a new Councillor (Mr John Herrett), and the Community Area grants that the South Wilts Area Board (SWAB) can make available to local voluntary groups etc for suitable projects; SWAB say that these awards can really make a difference in helping communities get schemes and projects started. For more details of the meeting, click here. If you're interested in grants or other aspects of what SWAB does, there's a SWAB meeting in Downton on 1st October (see above item).
2015 FLOWER & HOBBIES SHOW PHOTOS
The Garden Club's Flower & Hobbies Show was staged this year on 22nd August in the Memorial Hall, and was enjoyed both by competitors and by non-competitors who had just come along to admire the high standard of the entries on display. Keith Hobbs was kind enough to give us a selection of photos taken at the event, and we've put together a new gallery which you can view by clicking here.
LOCAL CRIME REPORTS, August 2015.
With the most recent crime reports bulletin, PC Henry Clissold writes: "More trouble this month, with a spate of damage to vehicles; enquiries are ongoing with the hope of a good result shortly." And indeed around our neighbouring communities there were 13 separate cases of damage to vehicles, in most cases smashed windows with nothing taken. In Whiteparish no vehicle damage was reported, but a whole car, and a generator, were stolen. For more details, click here.
MORE HEALTHY OUTDOOR STUFF—NEW FOREST WALKS.
New Forest National Park Authority are organizing an autumn Walking Festival, 2015, comprising a wide variety of walks to be held within the New Forest area in the last two weeks of October. To find out more about the festival, click here. To download lists of walks by category and date, click here.
ORGANIZED CYCLING IN SOUTH WILTS AND BEYOND.
If you're interested in some late summer/autumn cycling locally, with like-minded people, there are a wide variety of both guided and social rides featured on the sky|ride website, as part of a scheme endorsed by Wiltshire council and involving British Cycling and (one imagines) largely subsidised by sky. The rides cover a range of difficulty and distances. To take a look, click here, decide whether you're interested in guided rides or social ones, and enter your postcode or the area you're interested in pedalling in.
LOCAL CRIME REPORTS, June and July 2015.
PC Henry Clissold (Community Beat Manager for Alderbury and Laverstock) has been recovering after a minor operation, but by June he was back to office duties and hoped to be out and about soon. In the meantime, Henry has forwarded the local crime reports for June and July, which show quite a flurry of crime in June, particularly in Laverstock and Old Sarum, and to a lesser extent in Whiteparish (where someone thought it would be clever to pull one of the competition scarecrows apart and scatter the contents all over the road . . .); but thankfully July was much quieter, with no reported incidents in Whiteparish and not many anywhere else. It's worth remembering, though, that not all categories of incidents are listed in these reports, and apparently in June there was a higher than usual rate of "domestic" incidents—one of the incident types that don't appear.
To see the June report, click here; for the July report, click here.
RECORD-BREAKING PROCEEDS FROM 2015 FETE.
As we noted at the time, this year's village fete seemed to be quite well attended, with more people staying right to the end than in some previous years, and we wondered if the profits (which are shared between All Saints Church and School) might be a new record. Were they ever?! The fete and related events raised a remarkable £8,500, not just a record but a whole £2500 or so more than in 2014. Congratulations again to all who played a part in making the 2015 fete such a success. One imagines that the next fete committee will be doing some careful analysis to try to figure out what things went especially well in 2015, to try to carry this great result forward.
Talking of which, the first meeting of the 2016 Fete committee will be held as soon as Tuesday 6th October, at 7.30 pm in the Parish Lantern. If you're interested in helping to make 2016's fete even more successful than this year's (though that may be a bit of a challenge), do please come to the meeting.
BEST KEPT VILLAGE 2015.
In the report of the 9th July Parish Council meeting comes the good news that Whiteparish has come first in the South Wiltshire Large Village section of this year's Best Kept Village competition. Winning villages in each category now go forward to be judged in the County Round. So congratulations to everyone who has contributed to keeping our village clean and tidy.
Other topics covered during the same PC meeting include Mr Neil Sutherland being co-opted onto the council; a vacancy for another councillor; new opening times for the county's recycling centres; and different ways of reporting "highway issues". To read more about these, and other items discussed, click here.
"COMPLINE" SERVICE AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH, SUN 26 JULY 2015.
Richard Tulloch has asked us to pass on some information about a special service this coming weekend, as follows:
. . . This Sunday (the 26th) at 8pm, the service of compline will be held in All Saints Church. The Revd Jane Dunlop will be officiating and the music will be sung by the church's choir.
The music is largely plainsong, and this reflects the service's origins, as the last office (or service) of the day in many monasteries, many centuries ago. However, the plainsong will be contrasted on Sunday with full polyphonic singing, in three or four parts, by the choir at three points in the service. The purpose of the service is to allow members of the congregation to reflect on their day and prepare for a peaceful night, secure in God's love."
HISTORY GROUP'S 2015/2016 PROGRAMME.
The Whiteparish History Group's latest winter programme of evening talks—held roughly monthly in the Memorial Centre—looks just as interesting as in recent years, and you might want to put some (or all) of them in your diary. First up in the new season will be a talk by Ross Dunsworth on Whiteparish's Anglo-Saxon period, at 7.30 pm on September 17th. More details of the programme are on the History Group page, which you can see by clicking here. After quite a few years of sterling service in the role, Jenny Harrison has stood down as "Chair" and is replaced by David Pantling. Similarly Ches Carpenter has decided to stand down as Secretary, but as yet no replacement has been found for Ches.
2015 FETE, SATURDAY 13th JUNE.
Thanks to the sterling efforts of the Fete Committee and many other volunteers, this year's fete was very enjoyable, and yet another in a long succession of mostly rainless fetes over recent years. Neil Stace—Great British Sewing Bee finalist and former Whiteparish resident—returned to be our enthusiastic and entertaining fete-opener and prize-giver, and to join in the festivities and say hallo to old friends. With plenty of stalls and activities to keep people entertained, attendance seemed well up with previous years too, and we're looking forward to finding out how much the "Whiteparish Week" events raised in total for All Saints Church and School. Could 2015 be another record year?
One part of the programme that was a little disappointing was the very low turnout for the pre-opening procession, which this year was reduced to just a handful of participants. Their costumes were excellent—and good fun—but one wonders if this year we might perhaps have seen the last of the fete processions. Let's hope not.
Any drama had occurred on the preceding evening when, apart from the unexpected arrival of the helicopters (see next story), it looked at one point as if the expected delivery of booked Portaloos wasn't going to happen! However, happily they did turn up, and the Friday night Hog Roast and and Bands Night went off smoothly, though the weather was a tad damp.
We've added a selection of fete photos to the galleries section of the website. which you can see by clicking here.
"IS THAT PART OF THE SHOW . . .?"
. . . is what someone asked, reasonably enough, as the first of TWO helicopters landed on the Memorial Ground on the Friday evening before fete day, just as the "Wacky Olympics" were drawing to a close before giving way to the Hog Roast and Bands Night! Well, no, it wasn't part of the show—the medical staff at Whiteparish Surgery had an emergency on their hands. A patient needed to be flown to hospital, and the second helicopter had flown in a volunteer consultant anaesthetist who had to treat the patient before their flight.
After hearing an explanation of what was happening, the early arrivals for the Bands Night were very cooperative and stayed back as the patient was loaded onto one helicopter and the anaesthetist back on to the other, so that the two aircraft could take off again safely. Later it was suggested that perhaps it would be a good idea to take up a collection on fete day for the three charities that had been involved in the exercise (Great Western Air Ambulance, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, and SWIFT Medics).
Well the most important thing about the whole exercise was of course the patient, and we're glad to be able to report that they are well, and back at home. But another good result is that thanks to the generosity of fete-goers the next day, the whip-round raised a very worthwhile £145.52 to share between the three charities.
LOCAL CRIME IN MAY 2015.
According to the latest bulletin from our Neighbourhood Policing Team, there were a fair sprinkling of burglaries, and instances of criminal damage (including one in Whiteparish) during May, but three of our neighbouring villages had no crimes reported (in the categories that appear in these bulletins, anyeay). For more detail, click here.
2015 BANDS NIGHT RUNNING ORDER
Bands performing at the Hog Roast and Bands Night, Friday 12th June, will be as follows:
6.30 pm: Missing Monkeys
7.00 pm: Frenzied and the Diligent
7.40 pm: Maddie Cooper
8.10 pm: Big Fret
9.00 pm: Lucy Gilbert
9.30 pm: May Contain Nuts
11.00 pm: CLOSE
NOTE: Acts and timings are subject to change.
Whiteparish's population of scarecrows continued to grow; up to over sixty, we hear. Could have reached seventy or even eighty, but it depends on how you count the groups. Anyway, the closing date for entering the competition to choose your favourite scarecrow is now past, and Keith Hobbs has been prowling the Whiteparish highways and byways, seeking out scarecrows to photograph. We've put over fifty of Keith's scarecrow pictures in a gallery on the website, which you can view by clicking here or via the Galleries link in the "Village" menu. Some of the image files are quite big, so please allowa few seconds for the gallery to load.
Because this gallery is the first we've built using some new software, it's not fully integrated into the website yet, so once you've finished looking at the gallery you'll have to click on the "previous" tab or use your browser's history to get back to this page. We'll sort these things out, and hope to add any scarecrows currently missing, as soon as possible.
WHITEPARISH INVADED BY SCARECROWS!
Over the last few days, Whiteparish's population seems to have gone up dramatically—by over fifty newcomers: lounging around, involved in petty crime, even playing cricket on the verges of our busy roads. Scruffy dressers, too, some of them. Well in case you didn't realize, they're all part of what has already turned out to be a very successful idea from this year's fete committee.
Yes, other villages around these parts may have done something similar, but Whiteparish's version is off to a flying start, and at the time of writing 58 households had committed to joining in by making and displaying their entries in the Scarecrow Competition and Trail, which enters them in the competition for Best Scarecrow (with "mystery prize"). Unfortunately the closing date for new scarecrows has now past, but there's a second part to this event. From the 3rd of June you can buy a map of the Scarecrow Trail from the Village Shop or School, check out the scarecrows, and vote for your favourite. Voting slips will be entered into a prize draw. For a bit more information, you can view or download the Scarecrow Competition and Trail poster by clicking here.
MEMORIAL TRUST TRUSTEE REQUIRED.
Under the constitution of the Memorial Trust the Parish Council is responsible for appointing three Trustees, who can be either Parish Councillors or members of the public. A vacancy has arisen due to the resignation of a Parish-Council-nominated Trustee, and the Council wishes to appoint a member of the public as a Trustee to fill this vacancy.
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please contact the Parish Clerk at maria.pennington456 @ btinternet.com (note: the foregoing address is not a link, copy and paste it into your email program and delete the spaces).
PARISH COUNCIL VACANCIES.
Are you interested in serving the community? There are two vacancies on the Parish Council, which will be filled by co-option at the next Parish Council meeting, on July 9th, 2015. For more information please contact the clerk, Maria Pennington, on 01722 711 858.
PARISH COUNCIL AGM.
The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Memorial Centre on 20th May. Amongst the the items covered at the meeting were the election of Chair and Vice Chair (Trevor King and Mike Hayday, respectively) and of councillors as representatives and committee members (details to follow); the existence of two vacancies on the Parish Council (see separate story); and forthcoming the halving of the Wiltshire Council Mobile Library service, meaning that visits to Whiteparish will be reduced from fortnightly to four-weekly. (However, there will be a "consultation" with users.) For more details of these and other topics covered, click here..
LOOKING BACK ON THE 2015 WHITEPARISH MUSIC FESTIVAL.
It was good to see from Festival Secretary John Hall's report of the April 11th to 18th Festival in Steeple and Street that the event as a whole had raised £2,300 for maintaining the church and churchyard, which as John said was a splendid result. We were only able to attend one of the concerts—Will Pickvance's "Anatomy of the Piano"—which we thought was terrific; so much so that we were inspired to write a brief report of our own for the website. You can see it, along with a (not very good) photo, by clicking here.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE WEBSITE.
New British Legion Page. We were very pleased to be asked to add a new page (with corresponding menu entries) for the Whiteparish Branch of the Royal British Legion. You can see contact information and some background about the Royal British Legion by clicking here.
World Wars Memorial/Remembrance Book. We have also added a page about the "Whiteparish Book of Remembrance to the Fallen of the Great Wars" that a team of volunteers recently compiled to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. For a little more background about the book (which we understand may eventually go on display in All Saints Church), click here. To go straight to view a pdf file of the book's inside pages, click here.
CHURCH PAGE PROBLEM
Apologies to anyone who has tried to access the website's page for All Saints Church recently (in particular the monthly diary of services), and has been greeted with an error message instead. This has arisen because whiteparish.co.uk's hosting company recently upgraded their servers, causing some glitches here and there on the website. The problem with the church page has been the most stubborn, but we're working on it with the hosting company and hopefully it will soon be fixed. (It was actually working yesterday, but has since broken again. Grrr.)
BROADBAND DOWN THE A27.
A new poster notice to do with fibre broadband was stuck on the green BT box outside Courtens recently, and on further investigation we were delighted to find that we could actually order it now, from our chosen supplier. Many of us down in this corner of the Whiteparish exchange area will be quite a distance from the green box, but hopefully most of us could see a worthwhile improvement in broadband speeds by ordering a fibre package.
Are there any other pockets of the Whiteparish exchange area that are still waiting to be able to order fibre? We'd be very interested to know.
GET WILTSHIRE WALKING!
The Get Wiltshire Walking! campaign, sponsored by Wiltshire Council and part of the nationwide Walking for Health initiative, provides free walking groups led by trained walk leaders operating from over 20 locations around the county. According to the information we were sent, walks may be "starter walks" lasting around 30 minutes, "fit walks" lasting around 45 minutes and designed to get heart and lungs working harder, and "standard walks" which last around an hour and a quarter. Most of those listed seem to be standard walks.
Unfortunately nearly all the starting points for the walks are located north of Salisbury (from Amesbury upwards), but there is one in our neck of the woods (starting at the Borough Cafe in Downton), and and of course there are many independent walking groups, such as Salisnury and District Walking for Health. For a leaflet in pdf format about the Get Wiltshire Walking! scheme, including contact details for some independent walking groups, click here. For information about free training as a walk leader, click here.
PARISH COUNCIL: ANNUAL PARISH MEETING.
The Annual Parish Meeting was held on 24th March 2015, in the Memorial Centre, followed by a regular Parish Council meeting.
At the Annual Parish meeting, points raised by the 15 members of the public present included rubbish on the A36, a 20 mph speed limit on part of Common Road, possibly unnecessary road markings on Parkwater Rd, access to Mean Wood, and artwork design for the skate ramp. For details, click here.
Topics covered at the normal Parish Council meeting included a vacancy on the Parish Council (contact the parish clerk or a councillor if interested), the Miles Lane/A27 junction, the Parish Council boundary fence, the skate ramp, the Best Kept Village competition, rights of way, and dog mess (again). For details, click here.
CRIME IN MARCH 2015; NEW PCSO.
According to the lastest reports from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, March was a quiet month for Whiteparish crimewise, with just one theft listed. However, PC Henry Clissold also writes:
"New PCSO in Training
Our new PCSO Guy Hamel has started with the team and is currently under tutorship, I am sure he will be seen around the villages in the coming weeks, please make him feel welcome."
For more details, of local crime in March, click here.
WHITEPARISH MUSIC FESTIVAL: 11 to 18 April
Just a reminder about the week-long Music Festival being held between the 11th and 18th of April, in Whiteparish's All Saints Church, in aid of church funds. The events kick off on Saturday 11th April with a "Come and Sing" rehearsal and performance of Puccini's "Messa di Gloria", directed by Michael Keeley. On Tuesday 14th All Saints Church Choir perform music by Thomas Tallis and Thomas Ravenscroft, followed on Thursday by the Farrant Singers performing choral classics. Finally, on Saturday Will Pickvance (the chap on the left) brings his Edinburgh Fringe show "Anatomy of the Piano" to Whiteparish. All performances very reasonably priced; for more details, click here.
COMMUNITY NEWS IN SOUTH WILTSHIRE
A couple of recent announcements from this SWAB-run email newsletter:
Local Youth Network for Whiteparish cluster of villages
Got an idea for a youth project? Want support setting up a group? Got nothing to do and want to let us know what you want?
It is also an opportunity to be part of a working group to help support what is needed for youth within your community,
as well as:
• A chance to generate ideas, visions and people to move forward with positive youth activities in your area
• An opportunity to learn about Area Board funding and grants available.
To see the whole newsletter, click here.
Do you need funding for your group?
Our challenge is to make a positive change in Wiltshire and Swindon by helping local groups make life better for their communities. We want to help you to support those who need it most. For more information and to see the whole newsletter, click here.
VOLUNTEERING FOR AGE-UK.
Recently we received a press release from the Age-UK office in Salisbury about a new push for volunteer home visitors. Although the release doesn't make it obvious, they tell us that volunteers can be matched to areas, so if you wanted to join the scheme and concentrate on visiting in and around the Whiteparish area, that is presumably possible. For more information, you can see the press release by clicking here.
PARISH COUNCIL NEWS.
Among the topics discussed at the 24th February Parish Council meeting were the following:
A 20 mph speed restriction along part of Common Rd, which is now to go ahead.
The poor condition of Miles Lane.
A temporary closure of Dean Lane between its junctions with The Green, and bridleway 33, to enable Wessex Water to work on the carriageway. This closure is expected to last for one day.
For more information about these and other matters discussed, including a telephone number for enquiries about the Dean Lane closure, click here.
LOCAL CRIME IN FEBRUARY 2015.
For the second month running, according to the regular bulletin from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, Whiteparish had more reported crimes (three this time) than any of our twelve neighbouring communities, eight of which had no reported incidents (in the categories of crime included in these bulletins). So a very quiet month in general, but not for us! For more details, click here.
MUSIC FESTIVAL, 11th to 18th APRIL.
Following the success of previous events over the last few years, the 2015 Whiteparish Music Festival will include four separate concerts to be staged in All Saints Church during April. These will be:
Saturday 11th April: “Come and Sing” Puccini's Messa di Gloria, directed by Michael Keeley.
Tuesday 14th April: “A Tale of Two Thomases”—music by Thomas Tallis and Thomas Ravenscroft, sung by the All Saints Church Choir
Thursday 16th April: “Nunc Dimittis, choral classics from around Europe”, sung by The Farrant Singers.
Saturday 18th April: “Anatomy of the Piano”, Will Pickvance performs his Edinburgh Fringe Show.
For full details, including times and where you can get tickets, click here.
AREA BOARD SURVEY
Area Boards like the Southern Wilts Area Board (SWAB) have been operating in Wilts for over five years, and Wiltshire Council would like to know what you think of them (even if you've never attended one), and other related facilities such as the online-issues system and the Our Community Matters website and newsletters. To fill in the Council's online survey, click here. But hurry, because the survey closes on 9th March 2015.
For a round-up from "Little Owl" of what our local Brownies got up to during 2014, click here!
BROADBAND DOWN THE A27.
Residents living in the heart of Whiteparish have had the opportunity to connect to so-called "Superfast" broadband since the middle of 2014. However some who are further away from the village exchange haven't, and if you're among them (like us) you may be wondering if we've been forgotten. We're glad to be able to report that for people living in the village outskirts on or around the A27 in the Romsey direction there's hope. We contacted Wiltshire Online recently and got the following reply:
"Thank you for your query. Your premise is served by Cabinet 1 from the Whiteparish exchange which is in the progress of being upgraded as part of this project. Unfortunately we are having issues with getting a power connection to the new fibre cabinet. Ordinarily the power would be brought from a suitable power supply through an underground duct however, in the case of your cabinet the power is having to be brought via an mixture of both underground and overhead power. In addition we are also having to connect to a high voltage cable which will require us to shut down the power to the area. Unfortunately all these issues mean that we are reliant on the power company providing us with a specialist resource who is able to undertake the required works.
As yet I don’t have a date for when the work can be undertaken; may I suggest contacting me again in 4-6 weeks for an update?"
So it looks as if there's light at the end of the tunnel for premises connected to Cabinet 1, though just how super the "superfast" will be if you're an appreciable distance from the cabinet remains to be seen. We'll try to remember to check on progress in a few weeks. Meanwhile, are there any other areas served by the Whiteparish Exchange where superfast is still not orderable? We'd be interested to hear from you. (To find out which cabinet you are connected to, click here.)
WILTSHIRE & SWINDON COMMUNITY MESSAGING LAUNCH.
Katrina Fleet of Wiltshire Police writes to ask us to publicise a new service, as follows:
"You can now sign up for free messages - by email, text or voicemail - about policing and crime matters relating to your area and interests by joining Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Wiltshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, are committed to involving communities in the prevention and reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour. Working alongside Neighbourhood Watch, Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging aims to improve the flow of information between communities and the police.
PCC Angus Macpherson, who is commissioning this new initiative, said: “The whole of Wiltshire is now covered by Swindon and Wiltshire Community Messaging, bringing the public into contact with the police and Neighbourhood Watch.
“I now look forward to working with other partners in Wiltshire and Swindon to extend the excellent services provided by Wiltshire Police and to build on the title ‘Community’ Messaging.”
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Pat Geenty said: “Community Messaging enables us to reach out to all the people that may not use social media and other channels. It provides the public with messages in a format that suits them and keeps them up to date with police matters in their local area.”
People signed up will be able to receive messages about policing and crime matters in their area, such as community policing news and events, appeals for information and crime prevention advice. They will also be able to reply to messages, feeding back information to their local neighbourhood officers to help them in policing their local area.
To find out more and to sign up visit www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk or speak to your local police officer.
Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging will NOT be monitored 24 hours a day. People should always call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency."
PC Henry Clissold, our local Community Beat Officer, adds: "As a team we would love you to sign up to this new initiative which provides us a great opportunity to get messages and information out to our areas in a timely fashion."
EASTER CHILDREN'S COURSES.
In the usual smörgåsbord of interesting items appearing on the "our Community Matters" website for southern Wiltshire recently are two Easter courses for children, to be run fairly locally. These are
"Shine"—aimed at helping children aged seven to eleven to lose weight, held at Manor Fields Primary School in Salisbury, (click here for more details); and
"Sloggerz"—cricket courses for eight-to-14-year olds, male or female, held at Bishop Wordsworth's School, (click here for more details).
For the current issue of Our Community Matters, click here.
LOCAL CRIME IN JANUARY 2015.
In the first month of the new year, Whiteparish had more reported crimes (four) than any of our neighbouring communities, including thefts of heating oil and a trailer, and burglary of a garage. A quiet month for West Dean, the Grimsteads, and Pitton though, with no reported incidents. For more information, click here.
PROPOSED SOLAR PARK.
The developers Hive Energy are holding a second presentation on Wednesday 25th February about the proposed Solar Farm at Witherington Farm, just off the A36 on the outskirts of Whaddon. At the meeting, interested local residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and see images of the proposed development. This meeting will be in Alderbury Village Hall, starting at 7.30 pm, with doors opening at 7.00 pm. You can see more on Hive Energy's website by clicking here.
PARISH COUNCIL NEWS: ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
At their meeting held on the 20th January 2015, the Council invited villagers to come and meet their Parish Councillors and find out what the Parish Council does at the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday 24th March at 7.30pm in the Memorial Centre.
Everyone is welcome. Although the meeting is chaired by the Parish Council Chairman, it is just what the name suggests: a meeting of the parish. If you have any concerns or wish to raise a particular matter of local concern, then why not come to this meeting and have your say, and find out what else is hsppening in the parish?
Other topics covered included a possible change of status for the Post Office, from a branch to one of the new "local branches" Dog mess (again), and opportunities for volunteering to improve public paths in South Wilts. For moare about what was covered at the meeting, click here.
CORE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT PLAN ADOPTED
Wiltshire Council have distributed the following announcement:
"On 20th January 2015, Wiltshire Council adopted the Wiltshire Core Strategy Development Plan Document (the Plan). The Core Strategy sets out the vision, objectives, spatial development strategy and overarching policies that will guide development in Wiltshire to 2026.
The Plan was the subject of an independent examination conducted by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The Inspector’s Report was published in December 2014 and the adopted Plan incorporates the main modifications recommended by the Inspector in his Report.
Any person aggrieved by the Plan may make an application under Section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to the High Court on the grounds that the document is not within the appropriate powers or that a procedural requirement has not been complied with. Any such application must be made by no later than six weeks from the date of adoption, 20 January 2015.
Details of where you can view the Plan and associated documents (including the Inspector’s Report, Adoption Statement, Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report and SA Adoption Statement, and Habitats Regulations Assessment) are set out in the Adoption Statement attached." (Viewable by clicking here.)
CRIME OVER CHRISTMAS.
According to the local crime reports for December 2014, provided as usual by our local Neighbourhood Policing Team, December was, perhaps surprisingly, a fairly quiet month locally—everywhere except Whiteparish! With most of our neighbouring communities experiencing no crimes or one (in the crime categories covered by these reports), we had five, including two incidents involving stolen chainsaws and one instance of security camera theft! For more information, click here.
ARCHIVED HOME PAGE ITEMS
By late 2009, and then again in late 2012 and 2013, and then again in 2015, the home page had grown to a ridiculous length (because we'd simply been adding to it for far too long). So there is a separate archive page for older material, which you can view by clicking here.
Forthcoming News and Events:
Click here for our Forthcoming News and Events list, or see the diary
sections for individual organisations. To suggest an event to be featured on the website, email us at email@example.com.