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Dateline: 20th December 2017

Thefts from vehicles

There have been a series of thefts from vehicles in the Chilton Foliat and Aldbourne area on this night of 18th-19th December. The vehicles in particular are works vehicles and tools are being taken.

On this occasion vehicles have been damaged when the offenders have tried to gain entry.

Please can we remind you to remove any items of value when you can, and to mark up your property with your postcode when possible. This will help us should we locate stolen items.

We are doing targeted patrols around the Marlborough area and surrounding villages to help combat this ongoing issue, however we need your help by keeping your eyes open and reporting any suspicions activity using the 101 number.

Message sent by Mark Braithwaite (Police, Community Support Officer, Wiltshire East Community Policing Team)

Dateline: 28th November 2017

From Nic Coome

Recreation Ground

As many people may know, a revised application for the development of the Recreation Ground has been submitted to Wiltshire Council. The Parish Council discussed it at its last meeting on Tuesday 14 November.

The original development plans were contained in two separate applications which were approved, with many conditions attached, in May 2015. One of the conditions was that a start needed to be made within three years, i.e. by May 2018. No work has yet started as the developer has determined that some of the conditions put on the development rendered it financially non-viable.

One issue which has emerged is that the two original applications, whilst linked in many ways, were approved separately. This means that, theoretically, the development on the Recreation Ground could go ahead without that adjacent to the school. This would not be in our interests at all. The new single application encompasses both sites which makes more sense than the previous situation.

The new application, which can be seen on the Wiltshire Council website, number 17/09443/FUL, is not a major departure from the original applications. In summary, the number of houses on the Recreation Ground has been increased by one, making ten in all. This has been achieved almost entirely by making the gardens slightly smaller than the originals and by extending the edge of the housing on the south side (adjacent to The Wheatsheaf) slightly closer to Stag Hill. Overall, the amount of Ďuseableí space remaining for recreation is almost unchanged from previously and a play area for small children is still being provided.

The number of social houses in the new scheme has been increased by one. Following discussions with a suitable provider of social housing, the scheme now provides for all the six social houses to be on the site adjacent to the school. This means that all the houses on the Recreation Ground are private houses for sale.

Finally, the site adjacent to the school originally contained a football pitch (sized for younger children), two games areas and a small changing pavilion. The new scheme omits the latter two, on the grounds of cost. This is disappointing, of course, and not what the Parish Council would prefer, although the space originally occupied by these facilities remains, thus giving the Parish Council an opportunity for development in the future.

The traffic arrangements at the bottom of Stag Hill remain as in the original application.
Overall, the Parish Council considered that the increase in the number of social houses counterbalances the removal of some of the leisure facilities. Accordingly, we voted unanimously to support the revised application, provided that the conditions we required are once again put in place.

Those conditions included the irrevocable transfer of ALL land not occupied by housing to the Parish Council and the provision by the developer of a sum of money to assist with the increased maintenance of the new developments.

The closing date for comments on the revised application is 14 December. The Parish Council consider that the relatively small differences between the old and new applications does not warrant a public meeting although we are willing to hold such a meeting if sufficient people request it. If such a meeting is required, it will have to be held between now and the closing date. Of course, any member of the public is fully entitled to submit their own comments, irrespective of the views held by the Parish Council.

Dateline: 23rd November 2017

From Sean Nelligan

The Village Hall Committee AGM was held on Tuesday and the minutes are available on request from

Save the date
Chilton Foliat Village Hall, St Patrick's Quiz Night (details to follow) on Saturday 17th March 2018

Dateline: 9th November 2017

Dateline: 1st November 2017

From Nick Davies


My wheelchair crowdfunding campaign has now reached 92% of its target, or £1,013, thanks to the 38 generous people who have kindly donated. I only launched it on Saturday afternoon, and canít believe how fast it has grown. Thank you if you have donated. Itís very exciting, and the new wheelchairs will make a huge difference to my life. Thank you again. Bionic legs next?

Please donít forget to share this link with all your friends, as I need to get up to 100%:

In my last email to you about crowdfunding, I said Iíd also be sending you information about the much bigger crowdfunding campaign Iím about to launch for My Easy Suppers. I said I hoped to send it to you on Monday, but it got delayed, Watch this space

My old university, the University of Birmingham, has an annual alumni magazine, Old Joe. In this yearís edition, there is a feature on me and My Easy Suppers. The digital version is live now at Iím the 3rd story down the page(1976). The printed magazine goes out to 170,000 alumni this Friday.

Dateline: 28th October 2017

From Nick Davies


I hope this email finds you well. Unless you have been very unlucky, your health will be much better than mine. MS is taking its toll on me badly.

And apologies for not sending you a personal email, but time does not permit.

This email is to ask for your support for 2 crowdfunding campaigns I am launching.

I launched the first only today, and I aim to launch the second, much bigger, one on Monday.

The first is to raise funds to buy 2 wheelchairs for me, that the NHS can't supply. I need them, because my MS has deteriorated dramatically over the last month or so. To donate, just go to Every little helps!

And please share this link with all your friends, and on your social media pages too.

The second campaign is one I have been planning for most of this year, and will enable me to turbocharge My Easy Suppers. I am helping a lot of people with this page, and now have nearly 22,000 fans who follow my Facebook page. I need a lot more money for this campaign, and aim to email you the link on Monday when it goes live. Keep your eyes peeled!

I would really appreciate your support for both these campaigns. Thank you.

Dateline: 23rd October 2017

From a local resident

Dear Sir or Madam,

I want to make people aware that dogs which they bring to Chilton Foliatís Recreation Ground, and to the village as a whole, often leave their poop behind them, and this is sometimes not picked up by their owners.

Children playing in the Recreation Ground, as well as adults, can easily step in dog mess hidden in the grass, which can be hazardous for everyoneís health.

I live on the main road in Chilton Foliat, and recently I was walking to my car, and stepped in some dog poop on the pavement next to my car, which I had to remove from my shoe before I got in my car. Stepping in dog poop is unpleasant for anyone, and itís even more difficult for me, as I am an older person of 84 who has to walk with a stick.

Dog walkers should be aware that there is a £100 fine for people allowing their dogs to make a mess, rising to £1,000 if it is not paid within a week, and goes to Court. There is also a fine of £100 for people caught walking their dog without carrying a poop scooping bag.

Dateline: 20th October 2017

Dateline: 12th October 2017

Dateline: 8th October 2017

Dateline: 1st October 2017

Dateline: 4th August 2017

Dateline: 22nd July 2017

Dateline: 14th July 2017

From The Adviser

Dateline: 30th June 2017

Dateline: 29th June 2017

Dateline: 29th June 2017

Harry Dodson's remains finally interred

From Vic Gardener

Hello again,

As you were kind enough to publish my email about the news that the late Harry Dodson's remains were finally going to be interred, perhaps you would like to see some photos which were taken at St. Matthew's, Blackmoor, on 19th June 2017.

You may have already read elsewhere that the congregation included Lord and Lady Selborne, Adrian and Sarah Scrope and Amanda Ward from Chilton, members of the Norris (Harry's mother's) family, and members of the BBC's 'The Victorian Kitchen Garden' team, including Keith Sheather, Jennifer Davies, and others. Jennifer Davies also spoke as part of the Service which was led by the vicar of St. Matthew's, the reverend Dom Clarke, who did a brilliant job. As did the 'Friends' of St. Matthew's, who made everyone very welcome, and who also kindly provided tea and cake afterwards.

Any tinge of sadness the congregation might have felt was more than outweighed by the sense of 'the right thing' finally being done.

The photos include shots of: the new gravestone (which also commemorates Harry's mother and his late wife, 'Jane', who, I suspect, is still remembered by people in the Chilton area); flowers brought from Chilton (grown in the walled garden, of course); flowers from the 'Victorian Kitchen Garden' team; and a passage from Kipling's 'The Glory of the Garden', hand-written by Jennifer Davies which, she said, Harry used to quote. The stone vase in the general view of the grave is the original memorial to Harry's mother, who died in 1963.

With best wishes,
Vic Gardener.

PS. And the local Blackmoor newspaper reported the service and interment here:§ionIs=news&searchyear=2017 with the headline: "Harry's ashes finally come home"

Dateline: 17th June 2017

Harry Dodson 'coming home'

From Vic Gardener


I know that in the past you've had lots of fans of the 'Victorian Kitchen Garden' TV series contacting you, asking for more information about Chilton and the characters they saw on-screen, etc. Well, if you can stand a bit more, there is a bit of 'new' news pertaining to the head gardener, Harry Dodson.

That might sound a bit strange, as Harry passed away in 2005. However, what didn't happen at the time was the interment of his ashes, as no-one knew at the time where that should take place.

Finally, Harry's wishes are now known and next Monday, 19th June 2017, a Service and the interment will take place at St. Matthews Church on the Blackmoor Estate, where Harry grew up and started work.

I only found out myself due to this article in the Bordon Herald, a paper local to Blackmoor:§ionIs=news&searchyear=2017

So, although for everyone who knew or remembers Harry it'll be a slightly sad day, it's also a comfort, knowing that Harry's remains are finally going to be laid to rest where he requested.

And the timing is also somewhat fitting. 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the first 'Victorian Kitchen Garden' broadcasts, and 70 years since Harry became Head Gardener at Chilton.

Best wishes,
Vic Gardener

From Webmaster:
See also

Dateline: 12th May 2017

Dateline: 5th May 2017

Dateline: 19th April 2017

Dateline: 24th March 2017

Death of John Cameron-Hayes

From the Hungerford Adviser 24.3.2017

Hungerford and its district has lost an outstanding soldier, gentleman and community contributor. Colonel John Cameron-Hayes, MVO and his wife Patricia moved to the Hungerford area in 1993. Out of the gate (an appropriate racing terml}, they involved themselves with the community and thoroughly enjoyed their new life. John was a member of the Chilton Foliat Parish Church Council for many years and ran the Church fete with great military precision. He wrote a column in the Adviser commenting on various local and international social events with style and panache. He gave lectures at the Hungerford Historical Society on the American Civil War, one of his great hobbies, and he was connected with the Museum at Littlecote. One of his greatest enjoyments was forming the Arcadian Lunch Club, which attracted many local residents and is now ably run by James Brown.

John passed away peacefully on March 4th at The Great Western Hospital in Swindon. True to his early love of horses and racing he has asked for donations to be made to The Injured Jockeys Fund.

23rd March 2017

Spotted in today's Newbury Weekly News

From Nick Davies

16th March 2017

8th March 2017

4th March 2017

27th February 2017

St Mary's Roof Repair Project

The work on the roof of our Church is to all intents and purposes finished. To fund the work almost £200,000 came from various donors; some of these have been charitable trusts and many have been individuals. Tim Williams has put together a ten page leaflet which briefly describes, with illustrations, how their money was spent and the work that was done.

Click here to view this fascinating account which is full of before and after pictures


Bishop Edward, the Bishop of Ramsbury is coming to hold a Celebratory service in the church on Sunday 19th March at 11.00am. This service is to thank all those who contributed and to show off our beautiful refurbished church.

18th February 2017

Safari Supper

Date: Friday 24th Feb
Time: 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Come dine with us!

On Friday 24 February, the Friends of Chilton Foliat Primary School will be hosting our first Safari Supper to raise funds to purchase much needed IT equipment for the school. The evening will kick off with drinks at the school from 7.30pm. During the evening, you will experience a delicious three-course meal, with each course taking place at a different venue around the village. The evening will come to an end at The Wheatsheaf pub at 11.30pm.

You may opt to provide a course for up to 8 people at one of the host houses or simply be a 'roamer' and enjoy the hospitality of others for what will be a fun and different evening. Pairs (couples or friends) move around the village together and you will meet different people at each venue.

Tickets are £20 per person, or £10 per person if supplying a course (£10 for your partner as well!). There is no charge for hosts. The ticket price includes pre-dinner drinks and a three-course meal with wine (or soft drink). If you would like to purchase tickets, or offer to provide a course, please contact the Friends at

Safari Supper guests can book transportation for the end of the evening by contacting Mark at 1st Direct Cars (tel. 07590 722953) who is giving priority bookings to our guests and is happy to organise group logistics.

Please share and spread the word about this fantastic event and invite your friends along too. We look forward to seeing you there for what will be a fun and sociable school and community event!

Dateline: 11th February 2017


It is with regret that at the end of term, Rachel and I will be stepping down from running Chicks to concentrate on work and our families.

The responsibility is very straightforward...turn up, set up, and plan some fun stuff to do with the toddlers! The mums that attend Chicks are very helpful in tidying away and volunteering for snack duty.

It would be a real shame to see the group close and it has not been a decision I have made lightly.

Please do PM us if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

If you have some spare time available and would like to help run Chilton Chicks then please get in touch or drop us a message to or tweet @ChiltonFoliatPC

Dateline: 25th January 2017

Dateline: 13th January 2017

Dateline: 5th February 2017

Swindon council sells loss-making Thamesdown Transport bus firm

From the BBC

One of the last council-owned bus companies in the UK has been sold after the authority said it had "incurred losses over the past five years".

Swindon Borough Council said the sale of Thamesdown Transport to operator Go South Coast "offered the best value".

Councillor David Renard said it was in the "best interests" of bus users and Thamesdown Transport employees.

Go South Coast, said it would be "business as usual as far as our customers are concerned".

Conservative council leader Mr Renard said they were "one of the few local authorities in the country to still own a local bus company".

But "despite continued financial support from the council", Thamesdown Transport had "incurred losses over the over the past five years due to difficult trading conditions".

He said: "We have had to change the way we provide services across the council while balancing the ever increasing demand on adults' and children's services."

'Sad day'

Andrew Wickham, from Go South Coast, said it was an "excellent opportunity" to develop services in Swindon and north Wiltshire.

He said: "Any tickets or passes they have will still be valid, and our 85 buses will continue to serve existing routes with no change to timings."

Claire Walters, from Bus Users UK, said: "This is a municipal bus company but that means most people would see Thamesdown as belonging to them and the fact that they have not been consulted seems a little bit strange."

Labour councillor Jim Grant said: "It's a very sad day in the history of Swindon that Thamesdown Transport had to be sold off."

The council said it would arrange a joint meeting with Go South Coast and bus user groups to discuss any concerns.

Dateline: 1st January 2017