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Dateline: 16 November 2008

Received from a web visitor. If you can help at all, please click here to email Lynne directly.

I am researching my family history and I recall some years ago a relative was very surprised to find a photograph which was hanging in a pub in Hungerford. Unfortunately he can’t remember which pub he visited though!
This photo was of a jockey who rode locally – I believe for Earl Beatty. The photo must have had a name plate below it saying either “W H Pye” or “William Harold Pye”. 
Please do you have any knowledge of such a photo or do you know any pubs locally which might display such photos?
The webmaster cannot help, but hopes that you can. His only experiences of visiting pubs remind him that it can be difficult to remember which pub was visited, and when. He is sure that many readers of this column will have shared similar experiences!

Dateline: 16 November 2008

It's the School Christmas Bazaar this Friday, 21st November, from 3.30pm to 7pm. There will be lots of stalls, including jewellery, hand made decorations, the children's own stalls, a bistro, Father Christmas, kids' activities, a children's DVD room, nearly new women's and men's clothes, and lots more. Be there and have a great afternoon of it. All proceeds go to the school, where it will be held.

Dateline: 12 November 2008

Your webmaster is (pleasantly) surprised by the number of people who miss the website when the server goes down, as happened recently (Monica, don't even go there - it's got nothing to do with Bill!). Please read the entries, below with today's date on them, to get up to date, and make your contribution.

Dateline: 12 November 2008

If anyone thinks that the new American president-elect is of Irish origin, please remember how to spell his name. It is Obama, and not O'Bama.  Having said that, there are Irish roots in his family, but that's another story and nothing to do with how to spell his name!

Dateline: 12 November 2008

Received from a web visitor:

Welcome back! Not having our website is like missing an old friend. Just to publicise what's coming up in the village hall:
Chilton Foliat Village Hall Events
The next Chilton Foliat Parish Council meeting will be in the village hall on Tuesday 11th November at 8pm
Chilton Foliat WI International night will be on Thursday 13th November at 7.30pm This year we will be featuring New Zealand. Visitors are welcome for just £2.00 per person to include refreshments.
Saturday 15th November Quiz & Hot Supper Night with a 100 Club Draw<.br> Tuesday 18th November Village Hall Annual General Meeting at 8pm.
Your chance to have your say and or to volunteer for the 2009 committee
Friday 19th December Carols Around the Tree in St. Mary's Church grounds to be followed by a torchlight procession to the village hall for warm refreshments and a Christmas 100 Club Draw. (Marshals will be on duty along the route for safety) This is a free event and open to all and donations of mince pies are always welcome. Thank you.

For any further information or bookings for Chilton Foliat Village Hall please call 01488 682391 or 01488 681334. Thank you.

Dateline: 12 November 2008

Received from a web visitor:

I was looking at your lovely website. We are currently living in London with a small child and wanting to move to Chilton Foliat or nearby. My husband's grandmother was from the area and we are keen to get back to his roots. Do you know of any 4 bed houses to rent in the vicinity? Or who to contact? I would be extremely grateful for any help you could give me.

Click here to email Polly if you can help.

Dateline: 12 November 2008

Received from a web visitor:

The Abingdon Air & Country Show in Oxfordshire is seeking companies interested in sponsoring their next event in May 2009. To be staged at Abingdon Airfield (Dalton Barracks), the event will combine a spectacular flying display featuring aircraft old and new as well as numerous ground attractions including exhibitions, displays and family entertainment. Conveniently located just off the A34, and within short travelling distance of the M4 and M40, the show’s catchment area includes the Thames Valley, Chilterns and the Cotswolds. Visitors cut across a wide range of social groups and ages, ranging from affluent retired people to flourishing, settled and secure families and aircraft enthusiasts. 

Email here if you would like to help or attend.

Dateline: 12 November 2008

Received from a villager:

Hi Webmaster … soap box time!!!!
Your Big Brother comment on the website is, I think, a bit misleading and uncharacteristically biased. As I understand it, the proposal to create a giant database of all internet and mobile traffic is a proposal to look at the traffic not the content of the email or mobile call. Your example of any nefarious activity like calling a friend on your mobile to tell them that the Chilton Foliat web site is working again will only log that phone A in Chilton Foliat contacted phone B in wherever at whatever time. How does this infringe your personal liberty? However, if you were a terrorist, the information could then be used to put you or your friend in a particular location at a particular time. I have no problem with this. This technology is already used by police when an ‘at risk’ person is missing, to help locate them. 

As far as the internet is concerned, I would vote for any party willing to take a stand on those who pedal child pornography or plan terrorism. I think that we sometimes get too caught up in protecting our liberty whilst demanding protection from those elements in our society who seek to do harm.

Webmaster's comment: Yes, I agree with the villager's comments about child pornography and terrorism 100%. But it's a difficult balancing act to achieve being protective enough and being over-protective. On the one hand, we all want to protect ours (and others') children against abuse, and also we don't want to be blown up by suicide bombers here in the village, or anywhere else. On the other hand, we are increasingly living in a 'big brother' society, which can be abused massively by malevolent authorities. After all, Adolf Hitler was elected democratically, and millions of people (deceased and living) would not agree that it was beneficial that he was able to control such a massive state power because of this.

If you would like to add your comments to this debate, they will be published here. Just click here to email your message to the webmaster, who will add your comments to this gossip column word for word, just like the one above has been..

Dateline: 5 November 2008

Today is fireworks day in more than one sense. First of all, Chilton Foliat is unlikely to witness any fireworks tonight, partly because there are so many thatched houses in the village that the fire risk is huge.  But on a global level, the fireworks are in America, where Barack Obama has been elected the new President. This is a major event, whether you are for Obama or against him. The webmaster very rarely voices personal opinions in this column, but would like  to say that he thinks it is the most amazingly positive result. Not only is Obama the first black president in US history, a huge event in itself, but also his party has a majority in the House of Representatives, meaning an end to hung political initiatives like the recent attempt by Bush to inject a rescue package into the economy, that was undermined by his opponents in the House of Representatives. On top of all that, Obama is a liberal, and a politician and thinker of immense ability. There's no doubt he inherits massive problems; a global financial crisis of unprecedented proportions, as well as the fiasco of the political mess that is Iraq. But his election will change world politics dramatically, and the webmaster, living in the humble little village of Chilton Foliat, wishes him every success in his presidency.

Dateline: 3 November 2008

We are sorry to report that a senior villager, Margery Stubbs, died on Thursday 30th October, aged 80, after suffering a long illness. She will be missed by her family, especially her two sons, Tim, who lives in the village and has made significant contributions to many village activities, and David, who is flying back from China for the funeral. The funeral will be at St Mary's Church, in the village, on Wednesday 12th November at 11am. All are welcome to the church, and after at the village hall.

Dateline: 28 October 2008

Here's one for the techies. When the webmaster loaded the village web site onto the new server last night, it took nearly 3 hours to transfer all the files. The web site is 128Mb of data big, which is a vast amount of information about the village. No wonder your webmaster looks rather gaunt these days, since he has been responsible for creating and uploading 100% of this since he started the web site over 3 years in February 2005!

Dateline: 28 October 2008

Big Brother is coming. The government plans to create a giant database of all internet and mobile traffic. This seems to mean that any nefarious activity like calling a friend on your mobile to tell them that the Chilton Foliat web site is working again will be logged, and you could end up in prison as a result. Click here to read all about it.

Dateline: 28 October 2008

The web site is back up and running again, as you will see if you are reading this. For all you techies out there, it was a problem with the web server, which has now been rectified. It is amazing how many people all over the world read this web site, since the webmaster has had numerous complaints about the web site being down. Humble apologies to all!

Dateline: 28 October 2008

Credit Crunch update - It has now been about a month since the global financial crisis started with Lehman Bros going down in America. Since then, it has been a litany of unprecedented disasters, with Merrill Lynch in big trouble, LloydsTSB taking over HBOS, banks' share prices and stock markets plummeting all over the world, and property prices plunging to depths hardly witnessed before. And if that's not all, governments across the world have been bailing out banks left right and centre. Northern Rock is now effectively nationalised, and many of the big names have gone cap in hand to the government asking for cash. We're not talking abut pennies here, it's billions. UK, USA and many other governments have suddenly found vast sums of money to prop up their financial sectors, and even Gordon Brown seems to have become a global hero by taking the lead. Of course, cynics might say that the UK situation would not have happened if he had not presided over the economy or over ten years as Chancellor of the Exchequer. There is no such thing as a secure job any more ((not that there ever was!), and redundancy headlines are the norm.

So does this affect sleepy Chilton Foliat? Yes, it does. Although the financial centres are far way in London, New York, Tokyo and elsewhere, there's no getting away from the fact that we will all be affected. After all, many councils nationally deposited large amounts of rate-payers' money with Icelandic banks, which have now gone bust and caused major international furore. Small businesses are badly affected by the banks' unwillingness to lend to support their cashflow, and pension values have been drastically reduced because of the fall in stock markets, in which most of their money is invested. Everyone is touched by the crisi, and it's not going to be an easy or comfortable ride for anyone over the next few months, or even years. The webmaster has now finished at last on this subject (loud sighs of relief all round), but felt he had to write something to this column on this subject, as the situation is unprecedented.

Dateline: 16 October 2008

The webmaster has just come across a really excellent history of Chilton Foliat, that anyone interested in the village should read. Click here to read it.

Dateline: 12 October 2008

Michael Goodfield's funeral will be at the village church on Thursday 16th October at 2pm. Everyone in the village is invited to pay their respects.

Dateline: 12 October 2008

Received recently from a villager (and the webmaster echoes her sentiments):"Rather belatedly, I would like to say a huge thank you to David & Edwina Hickford and their intrepid team of volunteers who made this year’s Harvest Supper the very best ever. What a fabulous village event. I have heard nothing but praise for the evening and wanted DH etc to know how very much everyone enjoyed the evening."

Dateline: 4 October 2008

The late Gerald Ward's Service of Thanksgiving took place yesterday in the village church. About 500 people attended to celebrate this popular landowner's life, and to bid farewell to him in style. The service was conducted by our soon to be retiring vicars, John and Sandy Railton. The church could not seat everyone who attended, and so two marquees, complete with candelabra and large television screens, were erected in the church grounds. Gerald died playing golf, and will be sorely missed by his family at Chilton Lodge and the estate. Gerald was a remarkable figure, contributing generously and enthusiastically to the community, both locally and nationally, inputting not just donations, but also a very considerable amount of time. He was a good friend of Prince Charles, who gave an excellent, heartfelt, address at the church, and was godfather to Prince Harry, who was also at the service. Needless to say, the paparazzi were out in force to steal shots of the royalty. After the service, guests were invited to join the family at Chilton Lodge for refreshments in the marquee erected in the grounds. The family asked the webmaster not to take intrusive  pictures, and so he respected their wishes. Some snaps were taken of the guests at the church, and you can see them by clicking here.

Dateline: 4 October 2008

We are sad to report that villager Michael Goodfield died yesterday morning aged 58, in the Great Western Hospital, after suffering from cancer for some time. He leaves his two sons, Oliver, aged 26, and Claude, aged 19, as well as Pam, Claude's mother. He will be sorely missed.

Dateline: 1 October 2008

This weekend, the Wheatsheaf pub in the village is having an evening which should be most enjoyable. It's a Monty Python evening, starting at 6pm on Sunday 5th October. Be there and have a great time!

Dateline: 28 September 2008

Our rectors, John and Sandy Railton (who are married to each other), are retiring from the the parishes they have looked after so well over the years. Their final service will be at Ramsbury's Holy Cross Church on 26 October at 11am, with drinks and nibbles in the Memorial Hall after.

Dateline: 28 September 2008

There's a Service of Thanksgiving in St Mary’s Church, Chilton Foliat, for Gerald Ward, who died this week, on Friday 3rd October at 11.00am.

Dateline: 28 September 2008

There's a Guided Walk on Sunday 5th October, which sounds good for anyone interested iin the village. It's the Two Rivers Autumn Walk led by HEAT Biodiversity Group. Meet Hungerford Town Hall steps 2.30pm for a 3.5 mile guided walk across Hungerford and Chilton Marshes. Break for tea & cake in Leverton and return via Eddington around 5pm.

Dateline: 28 September 2008

The annual Harvest Supper took place last night, ably organised by David and Edwina Hickford, and their willing team of volunteers. A fantastic evening was had by all the villagers who came, including a few new faces. Click here to see the photographs. 

Dateline: 24 September 2008

It is with sadness that we have to report that local landowner Gerald Ward died yesterday, aged 70. Gerald was a notable local figure who  always contributed actively to village life. He will be  sadly missed by his family and villagers alike.

Dateline: 21 September 2008

A hot air balloon landed in the Rec yesterday. It was captured by a villager, with his daughter standing guard.

Dateline: 16 September 2008

Yet again, the village was invaded by massive farm machinery, and this time, your webmaster managed to get his camera out in time. Traffic came to a standstill, as the mobile library van was parked by the side of the road, and this made the road too narrow for the behemoths to pass, creating gridlock in the village.  Click here to see what it looked like.

Dateline: 13 September 2008

Mamma Mia happened in the village hall tonight. Well, it did for all the women. As you can see from the pictures (click here to see them), men were noticeably absent from the dance floor. Everyone had a fantastic time, and the proceeds from the door will go to the school and the village hall, where it happened. The webmaster has resisted the temptation to caption the photographs.

Dateline: 13 September 2008

There will be a Coffee Morning at The Wheatsheaf on Friday 26th September 10am-12pm in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Please come and give your support

Dateline: 11 September 2008

Mamma Mia (an Abba night, as you might guess from the title) comes to the village this Saturday 13th at 8pm. It'll be a great evening, and tickets at £10 are cheap! Bring your own drink and snacks, or buy them at The Wheatsheaf next door. The evening is in aid of charity, specifically our village school and the village hall. Buy your tickets from Jackie on 01488 682779.

Dateline: 11 September 2008

OK, so the webmaster's been a bit slack over the last month. Not a load of updates. If any. It's been a miserable summer, as everyone knows, and the great English weather has not let us down by being unrelentingly gloomy and wet. Of course, we know when summer was supposed to come back in July, when the village was full of the sound of strimmers and mowers, and gigantic farm machinery like something out of star wars started rolling through the village. It was amazing that not more of the village was demolished, and only a piece of guttering was dragged off by one of the behemoths. It was quite amusing to see the groom (it was his wedding morning) chasing the machine in full wedding regalia including tails. Amusing for the onlookers, but probably not for him!

Dateline: 11 August 2008

A few days ago it was mentioned here that a new Bed and Breakfast had started in the village, Curers Cottage. They now have their own web site live, www.CurersCottage.co.uk, where you can see everything about this pretty and welcoming home.

Dateline: 11 August 2008

Saturday was very wet and windy. Which was a shame, because the landlady of the village pub had organised an impressive hog roast in the pub garden to celebrate her birthday. But despite the efforts of the British weather, a good time was had by all in the village hall.

Dateline: 5 August 2008

The village has a new Bed & Breakfast, situated conveniently at the bottom of Stag Hill. Julie and Peter charge very reasonable rates, and, according to the first guests a couple of days ago, the breakfast is delicious. Not surprising, really, since Julie is an excellent cook. Phone them on 01488 684490 to book.