Village News masthead
Village News
What's On
The Church
The Pub
The Village Hall
Women's Institute
The Parish Council
The School
Photo Album
Where to stay
Neighbourhood Watch
Health Services
Local Businesses
In the press

Dateline: 6th December 2013

Report on the Village meeting in the Village Hall

Received from a villager.

Tonight saw an open meeting of the village at the village hall, called by the Parish Council, to allow any villager to express their views on the proposed development of the Recreation Ground.

About 40 people turned up, out of a total population of about 300. So fractionally over 10% of voting villagers. Every home in the village had been sent a leaflet announcing the meeting.

Four (out of five possible) Parish Councillors were present: Nic Coome, Gary Crumpler, Paul Outridge, and Jim Hynes.

At the meeting, the situation was very clearly summarised by Parish Council Chair, Nic Coome. The following is a very brief summary of what he said.

The Recreation Ground is not owned by the village, but by Sir Seton Wills, who used to own and live in Littlecote House, as did his ancestors. Sir Seton has granted the village full use of the Recreation Ground for a nominal rent, for several decades.

For many years, he has wanted to develop the site and build houses on it. Of course, he could have bulldozed his way in (subject to planning consent), but didn’t. Instead, he has provided substantial consultation proposals, and has listened to the village’s opinion. The current proposal is not the first to have been presented, and key features are that both the number and sizes of the proposed houses are substantially reduced from previous submissions. It also contains a small number of ‘affordable’ houses.

In recent years, the lease has been shortened to a 1 year lease. The current lease expires in March 2014, not far away. Sir Seton Wills’ options appear to be either to develop the site, or to let it revert to agricultural land. If he did the latter, the village would lose the facility entirely. If the site is developed, the current plans allow for 85% of the current space to be retained as land for the village to use. He also proposes to build some houses, as well as a good quality sports facilities, near the school. Of course, if the development is not approved by the Council, he could just give it to the village rather than turn it into agricultural land. This option was not aired at the meeting. Of course, if the landowner did that, although the village would gain ownership, it would have great difficulty funding the enhanced recreation facilities included in the current proposal.

If you want to see the detailed plans, please scroll down to links to the plans below.

If the development proceeds, one of the Parish Council’s preconditions would be to transfer ownership of the remaining open land to the village, as well as ensuring that play facilities for younger children are incorporated in the new development.

The meeting generated some lively debate, and one new villager was especially vocal against the proposal.

A ‘straw poll’ vote was taken on a show of hands. Almost half those present abstained, but 17 voted for the proposed development, and 7 against.

It was proposed that a postal (or leaflets delivered to every house) referendum was carried out in the village, to assess the village’s feeling. A number of people volunteered to help.

At the meeting, in addition to discussing the proposed development, various concerns were aired about the ability of 4 key facilities in the village to survive: the school, the church, the village hall and the pub.

There seemed to be no hesitation about the school surviving. The church has just had an estimate of £140,000 to re-roof it, which is badly needed. All these facilities are essential to maintain local property prices, and it is estimated that the absence of just one of these would reduce property prices by at least 15%, although this view was not aired at the meeting. The moral of this, of course, is that all villagers have a vested interest in ensuring that all 4 survive and prosper.

At the end of the day the decision rests with Wiltshire County Council’s planners. Although, if the landowner decided to withdraw the proposals and turn the site into agricultural land, neither he nor the village would gain.

Dateline: 29th November 2013

Received from Robert Bray

Dear Sir or Madam,

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of visiting your charming village of Chilton Foliat. Ever since the BBC first broadcast the Victorian Kitchen and Garden series in the late 1980s, I have longed to see where this delightful programme was filmed. Now that I am retired my ambition has see fulfilment, even though the timescale was much longer than I had envisaged! I now know that the Head Gardener, Harry Dodson died in 2005 and that the walled garden is derelict. It was sad to see the garden in its present state, but I can understand how the cost of maintaining such a garden would be prohibitive. No doubt the Leverton Estate would have capitalised on the success of the BBC series if they thought it was a viable proposition. However, it was good to see the magnificent stone walls well maintained and the head gardeners cottage appears to be completely rebuilt.

I wonder if anyone living in the village now, knows where the late Harry Dodson was buried and what happened to his wife, Jane, after he died. Any information would be treated with the utmost respect and confidence. I did look round the churchyard of St. Mary but could not find any memorial to Mr Dodson.

My time in Chilton Foliat was rounded off by a visit to The Wheatsheaf where I received a convivial welcome and enjoyed some excellent refreshment.

Your village is a hidden gem and everyone who contributes to its upkeep must be congratulated.

Yours faithfully,
Robert Bray.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Harry Dodson's remains, please let the webmaster know so that we can pass the information on to Mr Bray.

Dateline: 20th November 2013

Recreation Ground Development

The Parish Council, at its meeting on Tuesday 12 November, decided that it was in the best long-term interests of the village to support the proposal, subject to certain conditions. We would now like to take the opportunity to set out our views and to listen to the opinions of the residents, in advance of the formal submission for planning consent by the agents acting for the owner, Sir Seton Wills. We have, therefore, arranged a meeting in the Village Hall on Friday 6 December at 7:30 pm. The Planners who have drawn up the proposals will not be present at this meeting. We hope that as many residents as possible can attend.

Nic Coome
Chairman, Chilton Foliat Parish Council

Click on the images below to see the boards developed by the architects Fowler Architecture and Planning Limited showing the proposed scheme.

Click here to view the Wiltshire Council document 'Chilton Foliat Conservation Area Statement'.

Dateline: 6th November 2013

Received from Liz Outridge

The WI Pudding Club is coming to Chilton village hall, Saturday February 15th so note the date, more info very soon !

Dateline: 28th October 2013

Further news on the proposed development of the Recreation Ground

Received from Nic Coome, Chairman, Chilton Foliat Parish Council

The Parish Council have had a chance to look at revised plans for the possible recreation ground development. In our opinion they are a big advance on the first set which were presented to the village a few weeks ago. The plans are scheduled to be shown publicly in the school on Friday 8 November, when the school are also holding their firework display. Please come along and make your views known to the planners and to a Parish Councillor.

Following this, the plans will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 12 November.

Dateline: 27th October 2013

EA Morris - Missing prize winner

Received from Liz Outridge

This is a bit embarrassing, we have a winner of a 100 Club prize but no address and no one seems to know Mr / Mrs or Miss EA Morris? We regularly receive their subscription via DD so can you help at all by advising them or someone who knows them that they have won and how we get the cheque to them, many thanks, Liz

Dateline: 27th October 2013

Halloween Quiz in the Village Hall

Quiz master and acting Dumbledore Peter Camfield did a fantastic job with the recent Halloween Quiz in the village hall.

The hall had been decorated with themed balloons supplied and part sponsored by Helen and Bob of Kaleidoscope of Hungerford to add to the atmosphere as 42 residents and friends came along to take part in this light hearted quiz. There was not one but two tie break questions to decide the winners but one family from Stag Hill were the outright winners and well done to them. Stag hill did well all round as one resident received not one but two of the 100 Club draw winning numbers as well so congratulations to them.

During the break patrons were treated to a very warm meal supplied by Jackie Vance aided by Liz Camfield and Liz Outridge and the committee wish to say a big thank you to Jackie for all her efforts. After expenses have been deducted the treasurer is pleased to announce a profit in excess of £260 was made for hall funds which is fantastic, praise and thanks indeed to the village hall committee for staging this event.

From the committee we would like to thank all those who supported us especially as most of them stayed behind to help clear the hall and wash up, many thanks to you all.

The next hall event will be the AGM on Tuesday 19th November and we do hope to see some of you there.

Dateline: 24th October 2013

Development of the Recreation Ground

Received from Liz Outridge

Well done to the correspondent, a very balanced view and I whole heartily agree the children should be listened to, they are the future of this village and we are lucky to have a group of young people who care about their village and are prepared to voice their opinion. Well done!

Dateline: 8th October 2013

Received from Liz Outridge

The case of the disappearing clock

It was one of those moments in the village hall when you glance at the clock to check the time only to discover it isn’t there anymore. Having questioned the members of the committee and then the regular hirers of the hall no one seemed to know when or how it disappeared. Is the tale of a hall ghost really true?

Then whilst setting up for the Art Ex, hey presto the clock was found ......................... in the plates cupboard in the kitchen! Curious and even more curious, so can anyone please enlighten us as to who took it down, why it was moved and why put it in a plates cupboard? Bizarre

Dateline: 7th October 2013

Development of the Recreation Ground

Received from a villager.

Thursday 26th September saw the public unveiling of the first draft of new proposed plans for the Recreation Ground (the Rec), which the owner, Sir Seton Wills, wishes to develop. This is about the third time plans have been proposed, and the village hall saw a constant stream of interested villagers, all of whom have a vested interest, since they live here.

Of course, there are strong feelings both for and against the plans. For most people living in the village, the Rec has always been there in everyone’s living memory, and has always been a core community feature, especially for the children. Many people feel that Chilton Foliat wouldn’t be Chilton Foliat without the Rec.

What many villagers don’t realise is that the Rec is not owned by the village at all, and never has been. It’s leased to the village on a peppercorn rent by Sir Seton Wills, the past owner of Littlecote House, whose ancestors first leased it to the village. The village has benefitted from the Wills family’s generosity for nearly a century.

But Sir Seton is not just steam-rollering ahead with redeveloping it, which, in theory, he might be able to do, causing untold conflict and grief for everyone involved. Instead, he is offering a very generous alternative to the village. In exchange for being allowed to build some houses, he proposes to construct fantastic recreational facilities (and affordable housing too), the likes of which the village has never seen.

Your correspondent talked to many adults and children after the display. Of course, the adults' viewpoint is important. But most important is that of the children. Why? Because they are the people who most benefit from the Rec at the moment and will do in the future.

The proposal is that houses should be built where the Rec is at the moment, and that a recreational facility would be built alongside the village school.

Your correspondent asked a member of the architect’s team for images of the impressive plans, so that they could be published on this website. Sadly, they have not materialised as of the date of writing, so website visitors must wait until they do. No doubt they will be published in due course.

So, your correspondent talked to the children, and not so much talked to them, but listened to what they said. In fact, He could hardly get a word in edgeways! They were very vocal and firm in their beliefs.

If you’re interested (it’s very relevant!), the children’s ages were: 1 X 8 year old, 1 X 11, 2 X 13, and 2 X 15 year olds. They have all used the Rec for all of their lives, and are all villagers. So their opinions maybe count more than all the adults combined!

They were independently (they spoke at different times and not in a group) unanimous in their opinion. Yes, they loved the proposed new amenities. They thought they looked great. But... they all felt very strongly indeed that the sites of the housing and the recreational facilities should be swapped around. Why? They were very clear in their reasoning:

  1.The existing Rec location is central to almost anyone in the village. It is easily accessible. The risk involved in crossing the dangerous Stag Hill road is minimised.

  2.If the new recreational facilities were built as proposed near the school, fewer children would use them because:

    a.The proposed recreation site is too remote. Children feel they would not be safe playing there without an adult presence, as it is isolated and not near any residential areas. It is too remote.

    b.It would be more difficult to get to for them as it is on the northern outskirts of the village, and most children from the village would have to cross the unsafe Stag Hill road.

    c.The existing Rec location is central, and the children feel safe playing there, even as it gets darker. Their parents probably feel the same.

  3.Aside from their views about siting, they were also concerned about upkeep and maintenance costs of the tennis court.

A small number of adults in the village have worked tirelessly over the years to bring about the best result for the village, negotiating with the landowner and the Council. Their incredible effort should never be undervalued, as they have done it selflessly and in the village’s interest.

The children’s viewpoint seems to be, go ahead, but swap around the housing and recreational locations.

Of course, the children, being too young to be able to vote on anything, are not be able to influence anything in conventional democracy and so they are not necessarily listened to by the bureaucrats and adults, if at all. Their opinions may be ignored in this whole, long-running debate.

However, they are the people who will most benefit from the Rec and its proposed evolution. And it’s in their parents’ interests to support them 100%. It is in the interests of every adult in the village.

The future of the village is its children. Every adult owes it to them to listen to them, very carefully, and with great respect for their feelings.

Dateline: 29th September 2013

Rose & Christy at the pub

On Saturday, the pub was host to a very entertaining Irish duo (and their Bodhran (Irish drum) player and also singer), Rose & Christy. Rose is a very able singer, flautist, and whistle player. Christy is a talented singer, raconteur, guitar, mandolin and fiddle player. All three perform all their roles incredibly well.

The pub was full, and the audience enjoyed every minute of it, joining in when required.

A great evening was had by all.

Dateline: 29th September 2013

There has been a lot of activity in the village during the last few days.

- First was the first public viewing of the proposed development plans for the Rec (recreation ground). This affects everyone in the village. This was on Thursday.

- Next, starting Friday, was the ArtEx art exhibition by local artists in the village hall.

- Then there was the fabulous Irish duo, Rose & Monty, playing at the Wheatsheaf pub on Saturday.

Your overworked correspondent will try to get you reviews of all of these (he/she was at all of them), and they will be published shortly. Be patient!

Dateline: 24th September 2013

R.I.P. Jean Coles

We are sad to report the passing away of one of Chilton Foliat’s residents, Jean Coles, who lived her life in our village.

Jean died on 12th September, and her funeral and service of thanksgiving of her life was held at St Mary’s, our village church, on Monday 23rd September.

Jean, born on 15 January 1954, was married to her loving, caring husband, Ian, for 26 years. For many years, she suffered from Myotonic Dystrophy, a very debilitating, progressive condition. Ian, who survives her, was Jean’s constant and key carer since the start of her condition.

The church was full of her grieving family and friends, and everyone repaired to The Wheatsheaf after the service to gather to pay their collective respects to Jean.

Dateline: 13th September 2013

From the Hungerford Adviser

Dateline: 13th September 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

The Village Hall refurbishment is now complete and we are open again for business. We now have baby change facilities and a toddler seat in the cloakroom as well as new facilities in the kitchen, well worth a look.

The Art Exhibition will start on Friday 27th September at 7pm when the residents will have the chance to preview the exhibits before it opens to the public and also reserve items for sale. Light refreshments will be served and entry is free.
The Doors open to the public on Saturday 28th at 10am and again on Sunday also at 10am and finishes at 12 midday on the Sunday.

Dateline: 24th August 2013

Received from our resident blogger

Felix Davies, aged 16 who lived in the village since he was only 2, has attained 10 excellent GCSEs this week, including an A*, and 7 As. He is justifiably proud of his achievement. It goes without saying that is parents are too!

As well as doing very well at academic studies, Felix is an outstanding squash player, and is vice-captain of squash for his whole school. He was also bass player for 5 years in the local (Ramsbury-based), highly regarded, TV-featured young band, The Demented, who got together when he, and all the other boys, were only 9 and at Ramsbury Primary School.. He loves IT and computers, and is very gifted mathematically.

Felix continues the tradition of the Davies boys’ outstanding academic results. His older brothers, Louis and Oscar (who also grew up in the village), both attained very high GCSE and A level results, and are now at universities in London. All 3 boys attended the same school, Christ's Hospital School in Horsham, West Sussex, funded by generous scholarships from the school.

Felix is looking forward to continuing his education at Christ's Hospital School, studying for his A levels in maths, IT, physics, and economics. As always, he will be popping back into our village to say hello to his Dad, Nick, who lives here again, and founded this website.

Dateline: 19th August 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

WI News

The next WI meeting will be on Thursday 12th September in the village hall starting at 7.30pm. Jackie Vance will be our guest speaker and she will be conducting a flower arrangement workshop. Members of the public are welcome for a small donation to funds we will hold a raffle and there will be refreshments served during the evening. For more information please contact the secretary on 01488 681334 or email Thank you.

Village Hall

The Art exhibition will be the next event in the hall starting on Friday 27th September until Sunday 29th September anyone still wishing to exhibit please contact the bookings officer as soon as possible, details below.
By now I am sure you will have heard the news that our refurbishment of the kitchen and toilet facilities are almost complete and if you haven’t seen it yet then I advise you to pop in and take a look. Our grateful thanks go to the National lottery fund for their grant and a huge thank you to our own 100 Club members for their support has meant we had a large sum to add to the grant making it possible to finish the task.
Local builders Stratagem have completed the build with expertise, precision and great care and the committee would like to pay tribute to Jon and Ollie for their work. All of the labour was put in by two members of the committee namely Brian and David without whom the costs would have soared beyond our finances and the chairman wishes it be known how proud and grateful we are to them. Painting was also helped along by the committee and our past chairman Peter Camfield also came in to lend a hand. All in all a truly wonderful job well done and I am confident everyone will be as amazed and delighted as the chairman and committee are at this wonderful transformation. It is your village hall so please come along to see and use it, bookings can be made through emailing or by the link from the village web site.

Church Fayre

The St Mary’s Autumn Fayre will be on Saturday 14th September starting at 11am be sure to enter the vegetable competition or the vase of flowers competition. Details will be through your door very soon.

Dateline: 8th August 2013

Received from Sian Stokoe, Chilton Foliat Parish Council

Chilton Foliat Best Kept Village Entry

Unfortunately we didn’t win this year’s Best Kept Village award but we missed winning by just one point! However, we should be extremely proud of the village as the judges’ feedback was glowing:

"On walking around the village the sense of a strong and vibrant community was evident in many areas. Overall the village was well presented and well kept. The edges and the roadside verges, together with the footpaths and river banks, were well cared for which reinforced the impression that that residents took pride in their village.

St Mary’s church, its grounds and the war memorial were extremely well looked after and a credit to the village. Similarly, the primary school, the village hall, the Wheatsheaf Public House and the Stag Garage were all well maintained with obvious signs of care and good management. The car park and recreation ground were in use during our visit and provide an ideal venue for the village’s many social events held throughout the year."

Many thanks to everyone that helped smarten up the village before the judging and for the many hours that are obviously put in throughout the year to look after and support the village.

Dateline: 22nd July 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

WI News

What a night we had!

A rather bemused president was picked up and taken on a rather scenic route for the July meeting only to arrive back in Chilton Foliat at the village hall which by now had been decorated and laid out for a very special birthday party. WI ladies were all assembled and Ellie was thrilled to greet and meet all there especially one of our members who has not enjoyed good health recently and has not been able to come to meetings. Delicious food was served and we were entertained by the lovely voice of Hilary McNeil accompanied by one of her sons, Callum playing the guitar. Later Ellie was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a wonderful cake to round off the evening, certainly not a regular WI event but an extremely enjoyable one and one we will all remember.

The next ‘regular’ WI meeting in Chilton will be Thursday September 12th in the village hall when Jackie Vance will be helping the ladies with a flower arranging class, we start at 7.30pm and visitors are welcome for a small donation to WI funds. For information please see our web page on the Chilton Foliat web site or call 01488 681334 or email

Village Hall

As previously announced the village hall is now closed for business until September 2nd 2013 for refurbishment. Any inquiries or bookings for after that date can be made through the web page on the Chilton web site or the Wiltshire village halls Ass. web site, or be emailing Many thanks.

Dateline: 3rd July 2013

Received from Nic Coome, Chairman, Chilton Foliat Parish Council .

The Wheatsheaf

The Localism Act 2011 makes certain provisions for local people to have a say in the future of facilities which are important to communities. Taking advantage of this, the Parish Council have successfully applied to have The Wheatsheaf entered onto the register of Assets of Community Value, held by Wiltshire Council. We did this as we were becoming increasingly concerned at the recent disruptive events, particularly the closure over Christmas.

This means that the owners (Admiral Taverns) cannot dispose of it without:

- letting the local authority know that they intend to sell the asset or grant a lease of more than 25 years;

- waiting until the end of a six week ‘interim moratorium’ period if the local authority does not receive a request from a community interest group to be treated as a potential bidder; and

- waiting until the end of a six month ‘full moratorium’ period if the local authority does receive a request from a community interest group to be treated as a potential bidder (in the first six weeks).

It is the view of many in the village that the pub plays a vital part of village life and we can ill afford to lose it. This move does not guarantee its survival but it allows us a major say in any possible plans to close it down or convert it to another form of business.

Ann and Darren, newly installed in The Wheatsheaf, are already making a difference, and the best way we have of ensuring its long term future is for all of us to use it, even if only once a week. Regular, not to mention increasing, patronage will ensure that it stays at the heart of the village for many years.

Dateline: 3rd July 2013

The Tally Ho In Hungerford Newtown

The locals in Hungerford Newtown have now bought The Tally Ho and are working to restore it to its working condition. This involves putting back that which was removed during the property developer's abortive attempt to turn it into an estate agent, and refurbishing and redecorating it prior to reopening it later in the year.
Good for them!!

Dateline: 3rd July 2013

Received from Nic Coome, Chairman, Chilton Foliat Parish Council .

The Road

The long-running saga of the state of the B4192 may be coming to an end soon. Wiltshire Council have indicated that they have programmed comprehensive resurfacing stretching from the county boundary right through the village to a point adjacent to the 30 m.p.h. Signs at the west end. The work is provisionally set for September/October.

Clearly this work is likely to be quite disruptive, not least for the local businesses, although I'm sure that everyone accepts that it is long overdue. Wiltshire have promised a meeting with the Parish Council to suggest ways in which the work can be implemented with the minimum of disruption and I will make sure that all villagers will be given the opportunity to make representations on the matter.

Dateline: 18th June 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

WI News

Chilton Foliat WI ladies took in a culture evening for their June meeting with a trip the Watermill theatre to see the Laurel and Hardy story. For a nice change the weather was lovely and the setting of the Watermill is so tranquil it made a welcome change for the group.

Our July meeting is to be a special birthday celebration for our president and as I am sworn to secrecy of the details that is as much as I am allowed to reveal but members and guests will be notified via the newsletter and anyone (except Ellie Skehan) wishing to have more details can call the secretary on 01488 681334 or send an e mail to Please note the date will be Thursday 4th July and not our normal second Thursday.

We do not have a meeting in August so the next general meeting will be on Thursday September 12th, this will be an open meeting and we look forward to seeing you then.

Village Hall

We continue to hold our regular weekly events that are proving very popular but would like to remind everyone that the hall will be closed from Friday 26th July until Monday 2nd September for the refurbishment. Anyone wishing to make a booking up to the closure date or after the reopening please email or call Liz on 01488 681334 and we will do our very best to help you, thank you.

The Wheatsheaf

Ann and Darren managers of the Wheatsheaf public house, would like to say a huge thankyou to all Chilton Foliat residents and those from the surrounding area for their warm welcome to the village. The family have been delighted and overwhelmed by the kindness and support they have received and want to express how grateful they are to all their patrons.

Can we say Ann and Darren, we are mighty glad to have you here too! To contact the Wheatsheaf please call 01488 680936.

Dateline: 21st May 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

WI News

When the weather is cold and the lights go out one would think a WI meeting would have to be cancelled, well you would be wrong. On a very blustery night in May Chilton along with other areas suffered a major power failure but true to form one of our members, Rita Colclough, invited the ladies to her candle lit home with a warm gas fire burning to conduct our Resolutions meeting. As you would expect as we started the meeting the lights came on but president Ellie Skehan gave full praise to Rita for hosting the evening which was a lovely relaxed event enjoyed by all.

The resolution was read which promoted some in depth discussion and sadly no one decision was made as there were many issues with the way it was written, our comments along with others in the Membury Fort group will go to the AGM in Cardiff next month for a final vote.

The next meeting will be on Thursday June 13th in the village hall Chilton Foliat, for details please call the secretary on 01488 681334 or email thank you.

Village Hall

The recent Quiz night was another success for the committee and volunteers when around 30 people came along under the watchful eye of our quiz master Peter Camfield who keeps a tight but light hearted ship, thank you Peter.

There was tight finish when it was thought we had a tie but in the end the first winners came from Whitelocks Piece, and many congratulations to them. At the interval we conducted another 100 Club draw and the raffle after being served a lovely hot meal produced by Jackie Vance, who fully deserves our thanks and appreciation for the time, effort and hard work she does for the village hall on many different occasions.

Thanks also to committee members for their help and to those who supported the event, treasurer Brian Vance was pleased to announce a profit of £234 for hall funds, so well done to all.

In September we will be hosting another Art Exhibition and if you would like to take part please contact the bookings officer for details, thank you.

If you were involved with the ‘litter pick’ or just strolling through the village you will have noticed the flower baskets and troughs now outside the hall and dare I say another thank you to Jackie and Brian for this they look fabulous.

If you would like to book the hall or want any information please call 01488 681334 or email and we will do our very best to accommodate you. Alternatively you can look up ‘Wiltshire village halls for hire’ on the internet, choose ‘Wiltshire East’ and you will find all the details of Chilton Foliat hall.

Dateline: 14th May 2013

The Wheatsheaf, our village pub, has a new family running it. Welcome to Darren, Ann, and their 4 daughters.

The village will miss Chris, the outgoing manager, who did so much to revitalise this flagging essential community centre.

It is hoped the village will support Darren and Ann, who have great plans to continue, and improve on, Chris’s excellent start.

Dateline: 14th May 2013

Your correspondent recently got very excited when he encountered traffic lights at the Littlecote House turning. He wrongly thought that at last the Council was repairing the many potholes in the road.

Sadly, this was not the case. They were doing something mysterious with a cherry-picker in the hedge.

Dateline: 18th April 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

WI News

At our last meeting we were delighted to welcome Anneliese Setchell from ‘Tonic Health’ in Hungerford. Anneliese is a fully trained nutritionist and was very thorough in explaining the way to good health through diet. We also discussed the very common problem of sleep disorders as well as osteoporosis and some guidelines of how to deal with them. Many of these and other health concerns are directly linked to diet and by simply changing one or two vital ingredients we can all achieve some benefit. Tonic Health has a trained nutritionist in the shop every day and they are very happy to discuss any queries or problems you may have as well as providing solutions.

At our May meeting, we don’t have a speaker as it is traditionally our ‘Resolutions’ night, but this year, following the business of the day, we will be holding a Picture Quiz and there will be a Photographic competition to enter. The resolution this year is: ‘The Decline of our High Streets and Towns’. If you would like to come along you will receive a warm welcome on Thursday 9th May starting at 7.30pm. for a small donation to funds, refreshments will be served and there will be a raffle.

More details from the secretary on 01488 681334 or email

Dateline: 9th April 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

Village Hall Secures Grant

Chilton Foliat village hall has been successful in receiving a Lottery grant of just under £10,000 and this along with £2,500 from our 100 Club will go to re-fit and completely refurbish the kitchen and toilet facilities. Over the years many have talked about it and the hall committees have been let down by either plans or funding in the past so it is a wonderful achievement to at last see the project going ahead.

This does mean we will have to close the hall for business from Friday 26th July for approximately five weeks whilst the work is in progress and it is sad that if anyone was hoping to stage an event during that time we will have to decline the booking. However, I know you will all appreciate the benefits of this project for many years to come as it will make the hall a much nicer place to hold your events whatever they may be.

Can I take this opportunity of saying that although receiving the grant is amazing, the committee would like to say a huge thank you to all members of the 100 Club as without their support we would be far short of the funds needed to complete this project.

Liz Outridge

Dateline: 5th April 2013

From the Newbury Weekly News, Thursday 4th April 2013

Dateline: 5th April 2013

The Strange Case Of The Disappearing Road Repairs.

Visitors to this website may be aware that the road between the Village and the boundary with West Berkshire was due to be repaired during February. They will have known this because a notice of intended road closure, sent to the Parish Council, was posted on the website, as well as being pinned up in the Wheatsheaf.

Sadly, events didn't turn out as planned. Work to a different road which was listed on the same notice was carried out. However, when it came to the work mentioned above, nothing happened, except that some completely different work was undertaken on a different part of the road, to the west rather than to the east of the village. This work also involved a road closure which was not notified. The switch of repair was said to have been on the grounds that the part which was repaired was a high skid-risk which is quite ironic considering that there were two cars in the ditch by Littlecote Cottage in the very week that the change was made!

The Parish Council, along with every villager who has used the road towards Hungerford, is well aware of the state of the entire road right from the west end of the village to the West Berkshire border. In view of the debacle outline above, we will be pressing very strongly for proper repairs to be carried out on the entire stretch as soon as physically possible.

Wiltshire Council's Principal Highways Engineer is now intending to meet with me and our local Councillor, Chris Humphries, to discuss the whole issue. I am pressing for this meeting to take place as soon as possible.

In the meantime, now that Wiltshire Council have been made aware of the situation, if anyone suffers any vehicle damage or personal injury as a result of the poor state of the road, there should be no defence against a compensation claim being lodged with the Council. Remember to take pictures of the damage and the part of the destroyed road surface which was responsible.

In addition, I suggest that anyone who has concerns about the state of the road, and the Council's inadequate response, should take it up with the Cabinet Member responsible for Highways. His name is Dick Tonge and his email address is:-

Nic Coome
Chairman, Chilton Foliat Parish Council

Dateline: 4th April 2013

Received from Liz Outridge.

Mary Mariner

Mary’s funeral will be held in St Marys Church at 2.30pm on Thursday 11th April and afterwards in the village hall Chilton Foliat.

A much respected member of our community who will be forever in our thoughts, rest in peace Mary.

Dateline: 3rd April 2013

Received from Liz Outridge

Will Chilton Foliat soon become a scrapyard?


In response to your comments regarding the disgusting state of the road I fully agree with you as I have definite damage on my car resulting from the situation.

No doubt like us most of the village have recently been sent their council tax renewal and reading where the money goes it appears that two sections relate to highways. May I suggest as a village we withhold this amount from our council tax until such time as the roads have been correctly repaired and maintained as I do feel this will be the only way the highways will take notice.

I will add that our Parish council have been working very hard to solve this situation and I would like to thank the chairman for his efforts.


Dateline: Easter 2013

Will Chilton Foliat soon become a scrapyard?

Unless the Council does something to repair the road between Hungerford and Chilton Foliat this seems likely.

There are so many big potholes, especially approaching the Littlecote corner from the Hungerford direction, that it is impossible to drive safely, keeping on the left side of the road, without risking damage to tyres or wheels. Your correspondent knows of at least 3 locals who have had to replace tyres or entire wheels thanks to damage caused by the potholes.

Watch this space.

Dateline: 1st April 2013

Received from our resident blogger

The Wheatsheaf pub has taken on a new lease of life this year, under the management of the popular new manager, Chris Smith, and his assistant manager, Zoe Lepetit, supported by Mark Legg in the kitchen. It hasn’t been this consistently busy for a very long time, and makes a welcome and overdue change.

One of the things Chris has done, as well as thoroughly cleaning the pub with his team, and bringing in a tasty new menu, is to host live music events.

These kicked off on Saturday 16 March with the dynamic 4-piece band, FuZe ( They are the resident band at Littlecote House Hotel, and have been resident on many cruise ships too. They are amazing!

The pub was packed with good-natured people having a ball. The music was just the right volume - perfect for dancers, but also low enough for people who just wanted to chat.

FuZe were followed 2 weeks later, on 30th March, by talented singer Sarah Lockey. She belted out a lot of popular numbers to a smaller, but appreciative audience.

FuZe are back at The Wheatsheaf on Saturday 27 April. Turn up in good time, as it is likely to be very busy.

Another event instituted by Chris is the Monday Quiz Night. This is becoming very popular, with a number teams vying for the winning position. The Quiz features a Snowball – every week, a question is asked, which must be answered 100% accurately. If there are no winners, the prize is rolled over to the next week. As of 1st April, it stands at £114.80. And no, this is not an April Fool!

Dateline: 30th March 2013

Received from our resident blogger

Very sad news to report. Local, long-time resident, Mary Marriner, died this week, aged 79. She was born on 21 April 1933.

Mary was a kind, and good neighbour, and loved animals. She lived over the road from the church, and, amongst many other things, devoted herself to opening and locking it (essential tasks), as well as working with the late-lamented Bob Bourne tending the churchyard and maintaining it in its beautiful state.

She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Dateline: 29th March 2013

Received from Darren Outridge.

Sad news - Ellie advised today that Mary Marriner has died.

She lived next to Bob Bourne.

More details to follow.

Dateline: 16th March 2013

Kath Cooper, a much-loved, long-time resident of our village, sadly passed away on 5th March. Kath’s large family, spanning many generations, gathered, together with many villagers, to bid her a fond farewell and pay their last respects, in St Mary’s our village Church. It says much for Kath’s family, and popularity that the Church was packed, and there was standing room only.

After Kath had been laid to rest in the churchyard, the congregation repaired to our village pub. The Wheatsheaf. The pub, like the church, was also packed to overflowing.

Kath was born on 22nd May 1932, and is survived by her husband, Alec, who still lives in the village and their numerous children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Dateline: 7th February 2013

Your correspondent is pleased to report that the new landlord and staff of The Wheatsheaf, our village pub, are being very well received by villagers. Trade seems to be constant and steady and, from an outsider’s viewpoint, things seem to be much improved on its previous recent history. Good to see, and long may it continue.

On a much less happy note, your correspondent (who doesn’t get out much) has had his attention drawn to the highly visible vandalism on the new-build house at The Weirs, located on the south-east end of the village. It looks like someone has got a pot or two of white paint, dipped brushes in it and splashed it all over the house. Jackson Pollock would have been proud. Which must be the opposite of what the owners are feeling. This website does not have knowledge of who the owners are, but extends its sincere sympathy to them.

Dateline: 25th January 2013

Like most of the country, the village has had a covering of snow for the last week or so.

Although inconvenient, the village weathered it well, and it is now melting fast.

Dateline: 13th January 2013

Last night (Saturday 12th January) saw the official re-opening of The Wheatsheaf.

There was music, food and Champagne, all laid on by Chris, the new landlord.

And the place was packed. It was definitely standing room only. Everyone your correspondent spoke to (which was practically everyone) really enjoyed themselves.

It has been a very long time since the Wheatsheaf was this busy and cheerful. Long may it continue.

Dateline: 1st January 2013

2012 ended, and 2013 started with a very pleasant and discrete bang. No, that’s not another way of describing an intimate encounter! Or even a new name for a cocktail.

The bang happened on New Year’s Eve, and involved a fairly small number of villagers. It was the first proper evening of the pub opening under the direction of its new landlord, Chris Smith.

Everyone present enjoyed the evening and, although it was a quiet affair, Chris did a great job at even opening the pub, since it was only his second night there.

Villagers wish Chris all the best with his new post, and know that he will make a refreshing change after some recent very patchy landlords.