Marlborough Area Weekly News – 2023 Archive

To see the current Marlborough Area Weekly News section, please click here.

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated (except by the addition of the previous post every week). Some web links may no longer be active (usually indicated by a score-through), for instance when draft parish council minutes are replaced by adopted ones or when a consultation has closed.

Click here for the 2022 archive

Click here for the 2024 archive

Thursday 21 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a fridge, a tent, a partner, a safe space and bad jokes – plus a look back at some of the main things we’ve covered in this column in 2023. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Morris Dancing and carol singing. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Marlborough Community Fridge is hoping for generous donations over Christmas – especially anything in date that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their opening times here over the Christmas period but check their facebook page first as opening times depend on donations.

Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership are delighted to announce that Dr Stuart Daly will be joining the Partnership from 1 January 2024, working three days a week.  Dr Robert Springthorpe will be leaving KAMP at the end of December.  It is sad to see him go, and everyone wishes him all the best for his onward career. The majority of Dr Springthorpe’s patients will be moved to Dr Daly.

• Fletcher Legg, General Manager of The Parade Cinema Marlborough wants to extend an enormous thank you to all those  that supported their recent campaign to ‘Keep Our Tent’. Wiltshire Council has granted  permission to have the tent up for ten months a year, but it must  be taken down for two concurrent months. They have chosen to remove the tent for January and February as they expect it will then be too cold for most customers.

• While Christmas can be a time of enormous joy for many, heightened emotions can also magnify loneliness and grief. If you find Christmas stressful or depressing, you are not alone. See here for advice and help that is available.

• At this time of year when all normal routines take a buffeting and emotions can be stretched, a little levity and lightheartedness doesn’t go amiss. With this in mind, we folks at Penny Post are challenging each other to come up with the best Christmas cracker joke – or should we saw the worst because there is a good psychological reason why cracker jokes are so bad. Perhaps you and yours could do the same? Here is one to get you started: What do frogs wear on their feet ? Open-toad sandals…

• From Thursday 11 January Marlborough will be part of the Happy Cafe Network courtesy of The Mustard Seed Book & Coffeeshop. The aim is to offer a safe space for those interested in wellbeing to chat and give mutual support. The Mustard Seed will offer this opportunity every Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For enquiries contact Emma on 07436 036843.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• A look back at 2023

Each week in 2023, with a couple of exceptions, we’ve provided an overview of what’s been going on in the area. The more important ones have merited their own sections. Some of these have been referred to time and time again as there are very few issues of any significance that can get resolved within seven days. 

All the previous versions of this column are archived: follow the links at the foot of this post and then thereafter to locate them. You can use search (command + F on a Mac, control + F on a PC) to find a particular subject. Many of these appear very frequently. Here I’ve picked out a few stories in this area we’ve covered this year.

Neighbourhood development plans are complicated, time-consuming and important projects that periodically disappear from public view for some months while background work goes on and then emerge back into the public gaze when engagement with residents is required. Marlborough’s was finally adopted in March 2023 and we covered the last stages of this (as well as a judicial review which delayed natters). This was followed only six months later by news that Wiltshire is considerably increasing the town’s housing allocation. We’ll be keeping an on this (as Marlborough News also is).

• There have over the last few years been concerns that Forestry England intends to make changes to access to the Savernake which was of concern to many local residents and parish councils. We provided coverage of this and links to the various official policy documents and statements.

• The train services between Bedwyn and Newbury has for several years been woefully short of what it once was and should be. Fortunately, there is a highly effective lobbying organisation, the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group, and we’ve been pleased to provide regular updates from them.

Other matters that we’ve covered included planning applications and the disputes that sometimes attend these; the new on-demand bus services that link Marlborough to Hungerford, amongst other places; the continuing issue of roadworks in the town; ash-tree felling; nutrient neutrality issues, which affect some of the Marlborough area; and Marlborough TC’s attempts to get some improvements made to the town’s leisure centre. We also provide a link to the most recent town and parish council minutes and, for the first few weeks after they’re published, provide a summary of these.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 20 Jan LDN Wrestling  are returning to The Marlborough Town Hall

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; the proposed 20mph zone; broadband; the pond; financial matters; footpaths and highways; and an improved postal service.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bike jump; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 13 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; rights of way; Police report; the proposed transfer of services from Swindon Council; the draft Parish Charter; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: action points form the last meeting; the new on-demand service; the emergency plan; financial matters; Green Great Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: patching, a safe space, holiday activities, mouth-watering photos, trees and a look (in the company of Marlborough News) at a local campaigner who’s trying to save our juries. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Morris Dancing and carol singing. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• The farmer-led Marlborough Downs: Space for Nature group is looking for volunteers to help plant trees for tree sparrows on the downs this Saturday 16 December. See here for details and how to book your place.

• The patching work along the B4192 approaching Aldbourne due to take place last week, has been rescheduled for Monday 18 December and will be completed by the morning of Wednesday 20 December between 7pm and 6am. See here for more details.

• From Thursday 11 January Marlborough will be part of the Happy Cafe Network courtesy of The Mustard Seed Book & Coffeeshop. The aim is to offer a safe space for those interested in wellbeing to chat and give mutual support. The Mustard Seed will offer this opportunity every Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For enquiries contact Emma on 07436 036843.

Splat Messy Play Swindon & Marlborough still have spaces at their children’s Christmas art and craft party on Friday 22 December at Marlborough Bowls Club.The children will get the chance to be creative with some festive crafts that they will be able to take home at the end. This session is aimed for children 4 years and over but younger siblings are welcome. To book your space, please click here.

Marlborough St Mary’s Primary School  is looking for two governors who can spare four or five hours a month with finance, accountancy, HR, health and safety or general business skills, to sit their Finance and Resources committee. If you think you can help please email governors@marlboroughstmarys.wilts.sch.uk

• Wiltshire Council’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, FUEL, is back for the Christmas holidays to support eligible families, providing a range of activities during the holidays. Click here for all the details, including how to apply.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Marlborough’s jurors

Marlborough News reports here that on 4 December “Marlborough resident Jo Ripley joined with others outside the Crown Court building in Reading to defend the historic role of the jury.” This has, the article explains, recently seemingly been undermined when, in September, “the Solicitor General announced the intention to prosecute a 68-year-old retired social worker, Trudi Warner, for contempt of court, for holding a similar sign outside Inner London Crown Court in March” at a trial involving climate protestors. Two women were also arrested in October for a similar offence.

The article also refers to the work of campaign group Defend our Juries. “Juries are widely accepted to be the safeguard we all have against the tyrannical abuse of power by politicians, ministers and those in positions of authority in our courts,” the home page on the group’s website reads. “But following a pattern of jury acquittals of those exposing Government dishonesty and corporate greed through direct action, Judges in UK courtrooms are denying both defendants and jurors their rights by restricting what defendants can say in their trials and by limiting what jurors are allowed to hear. People have been sent to prison just for using the words ‘climate change’ and ‘fuel poverty’ in court and banned from explaining their motivations to the jury.”

“Thankfully,” the article concludes, “Jo evaded arrest but were that to happen at any future protest we hope that she would be judged fairly.” Perhaps part of her was hoping that she would get arrested: there are certainly worse causes. As for whether she would get a fair trial, the jury is, as it were, still out on that one. Defend our Juries appears to doubt this, as do others. Where is Horace Rumpole now that we most need him?


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 16 Dec DOC Rock, Aldbourne Sports and Social Club

Sun 17 Dec Morris Dancing & Carol Singing The Barge Inn

Thu 21 Dec Candlelit Winter Solstice Downgate Pub.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; the proposed 20mph zone; broadband; the pond; financial matters; footpaths and highways; and an improved postal service.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bike jump; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 13 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; rights of way; Police report; the proposed transfer of services from Swindon Council; the draft Parish Charter; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: action points form the last meeting; the new on-demand service; the emergency plan; financial matters; Green Great Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: arts, holiday food, nature, lunch and mouse nests – plus a look at Marlborough’s provisional precept and an admonishment to absent members. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: an orchestra, choral treats and festive markets. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• There is an opportunity to enjoy a celebration of the Winter Solstice on Thursday 21 December from 6pm to 8pm in the Plume of Feathers Garden  with a free cup of Mulled Apple Juice and the glow of 1000 candles.

Marlborough Christmas Lunch at the Town Hall  Call Vicky on 07717 107623. If you’d like to attend, please pick up a form from the Jubilee Centre

Splat Messy Play Swindon & Marlborough still have spaces at their children’s Christmas art and craft party on Friday 22 December at Marlborough Bowls Club.The children will get the chance to be creative with some festive crafts that they will be able to take home at the end. This session is aimed for children 4 years and over but younger siblings are welcome. To book your space, please click here

• To mark the Battle of Marlborough 1642, The Merchant’s House will host Devereux’s Regiment on Saturday 9 December from 10am to 5pm. This spectacle will allow you to learn more about military and civilian roles in the past as they bring the whole House to life.Tickets avaialble here.

• The farmer-led Marlborough Downs: Space for Nature group is looking for volunteers to help plant trees for tree sparrows on the downs on Monday 11 December and possibly Saturday 16 December as well. See here for details and how to book your place.

• Every year the Marlborough Christmas Lunch finishes with a raffle where guests don’t pay for tickets and every single guest gets a prize. Many of the guests do not receive gifts at Christmas so the organisers like to make sure everyone goes home with a little something. If you are able to donate a small prize they would be so grateful – anything from toiletries sets, wrapped boxes with some treats, socks, chocolates and biscuits etc. Please contact 07717 107623 or email vellis@thomasmae.co.uk

Marlborough St Mary’s Primary School  is looking for two governors who can spare four or five hours a month with finance, accountancy, HR, health and safety or general business skills, to sit their Finance and Resources committee. If you think you can help please email governors@marlboroughstmarys.wilts.sch.uk

ARK – Action for the River Kennet need volunteers to help survey for harvest mouse nests. It is contributing to the Mammal Society‘s National Harvest Mouse Survey by carrying out their annual check for the nests of Britain’s smallest mouse in the water meadow at their Stonebridge Wild River Reserve on Wednesday 6 Decemberfrom 9.30am to 3pm. Advanced booking is essential, so email anna@riverkennet.org

• Wiltshire Council’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, FUEL, is back for the Christmas holidays to support eligible families, providing a range of activities during the holidays. Click here for all the details, including how to apply.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Marlborough’s precept

This is the budget-setting season for councils at all levels. The main interest will be focussed on the district and county councils which raise council tax. Here, the increases are except in a few special cases limited to 2.99% (plus an extra 2% if the authority has responsibility for adult social care). Given the pressure that all councils are under, it would very surprising is pretty much all of them didn’t go for the maximum.

Even that might not be enough to retain all the services the main council currently provides. Many things are in whole or in part discretionary and these will get shed if there’s a risk that otherwise the authority won’t be able to meet its statuary obligations such as social care, education and recycling. If matters like clearing gullies, emptying dog bins and cutting verges can’t be done regularly or at all, then the town or parish will need to take them over if the service is to be retained. Some of these may require those councils to raise their precept (the amount each requests from its parent authority). It’s therefore against this backdrop of uncertainty that the parochial budgets are being prepared.

Town and parish councils, however, are not limited in the amount by which their precept can go up by. Marlborough News reports that Marlborough Town Council recently held a meeting to discuss this and it seems that the “likely increase (against the current year) will be ‘less than 8%’.” There are still some details to be confirmed, such as the planned Civil War re-enactment planned for next summer. The figure will be confirmed at the Town Council meeting in January.

The article concludes with an admonishment of councillors – and one (unnamed) councillor in particular – who do not turn up to meetings and so risk making them inquorate. “Being a Town Councillor is a position of privilege,” the piece concludes. “Each represents their fellow residents and it is a position of responsibility. Any meeting failing to reach quorum places an additional strain on those fellow Councillors who do turn up.”

I presume the councillor in question knows who they are and will, hopefully, improve their attendance record so as not to incur the wrath of this local publication again. Well done to MN for highlighting this: exactly what such publications should be doing.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 9 Dec Indoor Christmas Craft Gift Market Barge Inn Honey Street.

• Sat 9 Dec Marlborough Choral Society Christmas Concert St Mary’s Church Marlborough.

• Sun 10 Dec Phoenix Brass Band and Lynham Military Wives Choir Marlborough Town Hall.

• Thu 21 Dec Candlelit Winter Solstice Downgate Pub.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bike jump; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 13 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; rights of way; Police report; the proposed transfer of services from Swindon Council; the draft Parish Charter; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; 20mph consultation; footpaths and highways; the village halls; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: action points form the last meeting; the new on-demand service; the emergency plan; financial matters; Green Great Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; beating the bounds; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; the Aldbourne Resilience Plan; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 30 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: roads, trees, a battle, mouse nests, raffles and menus. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: an orchestra, choral treats and festive markets. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• There is an urgent road closure to George Lane, starting on Thursday 30 November for 5 days from 7.30 am to 5.30pm. The urgent mains repair will occur from outside St Thomas Moore Church in a westerly direction for approximately 25 metres. Diversions will be clearly indicated by traffic signs. Access will be maintained for residents and businesses where possible, although delays are likely. For further information please contact Thames Water 07759 124010 or track progress here.

• To mark the Battle of Marlborough 1642, The Merchant’s House will host Devereux’s Regiment on Saturday 9 December from 10am to 5pm. This spectacle will allow you to learn more about military and civilian roles in the past as they bring the whole House to life.Tickets avaialble here.

• The farmer-led Marlborough Downs: Space for Nature group is looking for volunteers to help plant trees for tree sparrows on the downs on Monday 11 December and possibly Saturday 16 December as well. See here for details and how to book your place.

• Every year the Marlborough Christmas Lunch finishes with a raffle where guests don’t pay for tickets and every single guest gets a prize. Many of the guests do not receive gifts at Christmas so the organisers like to make sure everyone goes home with a little something. If you are able to donate a small prize they would be so grateful – anything from toiletries sets, wrapped boxes with some treats, socks, chocolates and biscuits etc. Please contact 07717 107623 or email vellis@thomasmae.co.uk

Marlborough St Mary’s Primary School  is looking for two governors who can spare four or five hours a month with finance, accountancy, HR, health and safety or general business skills, to sit their Finance and Resources committee. If you think you can help please email governors@marlboroughstmarys.wilts.sch.uk

ARK – Action for the River Kennet need volunteers to help survey for harvest mouse nests. It is contributing to the Mammal Society‘s National Harvest Mouse Survey by carrying out their annual check for the nests of Britain’s smallest mouse in the water meadow at their Stonebridge Wild River Reserve on Wednesday 6 Decemberfrom 9.30am to 3pm. Advanced booking is essential, so email anna@riverkennet.org

• Wiltshire Council’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, FUEL, is back for the Christmas holidays to support eligible families, providing a range of activities during the holidays. Click here for all the details, including how to apply.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• until Sun 3 Dec ‘Passage’ Art ExhibitionWhitehorse Bookshop

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Sat 2 Dec Baby and Children’s Nearly New Clothes sale St John’s School

• Sun 3 Dec Christmas Craft Fair  Aldbourne Memorial Hall

Wed 6 Dec Harvest Mouse Survey, Stonebridge Meadow

Sat 9 Dec Indoor Christmas Craft Gift Market Barge Inn Honey Street

• Sat 9 Dec Marlborough Choral Society Christmas Concert St Mary’s Church Marlborough

• Sun 10 Dec Phoenix Brass Band and Lynham Military Wives Choir Marlborough Town Hall

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: correspondence; matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bike jump; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 13 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; rights of way; Police report; the proposed transfer of services from Swindon Council; the draft Parish Charter; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; 20mph consultation; footpaths and highways; the village halls; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: action points form the last meeting; the new on-demand service; the emergency plan; financial matters; Green Great Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; beating the bounds; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; the Aldbourne Resilience Plan; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 23 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a school governor appeal, harvest mice, a silent auction and a speeding issue – plus a closer look at Marlborough Town Council’s objections to Wiltshire’s surprising housing-number announcement and a consultation about traffic calming. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: A brass band, festive lights and a choir. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Quick reminder that the High Street will be closed to traffic from 4pm to 8pm this Friday 24 November for Marlborough’s Christmas Lights Switch on and Festive Market.

Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard is changing its late night shopping from Wednesday to Friday next week only to coincide with the Christmas Lights Switch On on Friday 24 November. For more details about the shop see their facebook page here.

Marlborough St Mary’s Primary School  is looking for two governors who can spare four or five hours a month with finance, accountancy, HR, health and safety or general business skills,  to sit their Finance and Resources committee. If you think you can help please email governors@marlboroughstmarys.wilts.sch.uk

• It’s time to register for St Michael’s School Christmas Fair and Silent Auction by clicking here and bid for some amazing prizes.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet need volunteers to help survey for harvest mouse nests. They are contributing to the Mammal Society‘s National Harvest Mouse Survey by carrying out their annual check for the nests of Britain’s smallest mouse in the water meadow at their Stonebridge Wild River Reserve on Wednesday 6 December  from 9.30am to 3pm. Advanced booking is essential, so email anna@riverkennet.org

• Wiltshire Council’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, FUEL, is back for the Christmas holidays to support eligible families, providing a range of activities during the holidays. Click here for all the details, including how to apply.

• The Merchant’s House is raising money to repair its roof. Please help support this cost to safeguard this nationally significant historic building. Donations of any amount are very gratefully received, either by cheque in the post, visiting their website here or by visiting The Merchant’s House to donate by cash or card.

• ARK (Action for the River Kennet) welcomes all to its AGM on Wednesday 29 November with guest speaker Mark Lloyd, CEO of The Rivers Trust.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for three months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides’ Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Calming the traffic

For some time, both Marlborough Town Council and Wiltshire Council have been looking at possible traffic-calming measures in the Frees Avenue area on the western edge of the town. Currently the 60mph national speed limit comes into force just before the entrance to Marlborough Cemetery. Wiltshire Council has issued a proposed order to implement a 40mph limit between the Cemetery and Rockley.

Over the last few years residents have appealed for more safety measures to protect pedestrians along Frees Avenue adjacent to the Rugby Club, Marlborough Common, Cemetery and the Wessex Ridgeway footpath.Some measures, such as white posts to highlight regular crossing points, have already been implemented.

There’s now a consultation on the matter, the full title of which is “TRO Consultation for C18 Frees Avenue, Marlborough, Preshute and Ogbourne St Andrew – 40mph Speed Limit.” You can click here to see this and to take part. This closes on 11 December. (This seems to be rather shorter than the six weeks that I thought was required for such things, but that’s what it says.)

At its planning committee meeting on 13 November, Marlborough TC resolved that it “welcomes the proposed introduction of a 40MPH speed limit between Frees Avenue and Rockley.” On this matter, therefor the two councils are in agreement. The same cannot, however, be said for the issue that we mentioned last week, that of the proposed increased housing allocations…

• Marlborough’s numbers

Last week (see below), we referred to an article in Marlborough News which “in effect proposed a further 370 new homes to be built within the Marlborough town boundary area, an extra 305 beyond the number identified in the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan.” NDPs take a long time to do. Many might wonder what the point of them is if the housing numbers are dramatically revised upwards within months of ratification.

Wiltshire Council has a long-standing problem of not being able to demonstrate a five-year housing-land supply. This, coupled with the fact that its local plan needs refreshing, makes it easier for developers to win approval for applications on appeal. These higher targets would seem to be an attempt to address this. Marlborough TC, however, has other ideas. Having just done its NDP it has a good sense of what the town needs and what it can support.

This matter was discussed at the meeting of the town’s planning committee on 13 November 2023 and the following points were noted:

  • Strong objections to the proposed housing site at Chopping Knife Lane, which had been removed from the draft Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan (MANP) following objections from residents. There were concerns about vehicle access, increased traffic on roads already at capacity, lack of safe walking or cycling routes, the setting within the  AONB, building on a greenfield site and the threat to the nearby River Kennet, an internationally recognised important chalk stream
  • Water: the local plan recognises that Marlborough Treatment Plant’s capacity to treat sewage is already inadequate and a wastewater upgrade will be required
  • Action for the River Kennet had raised strong objections about the proximity of new homes to the River Kennet and the potential wastewater issues with sewage discharging into the river
  • The site at Barton Dean had received many objections from residents and Preshute Parish Council, resulting in the Parish withdrawing from the MANP.
  • The Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan, made in March 2023 after 6 years of consultation and approved by residents, identified an additional 65 homes in 3 locations plus an additional medical facility. The Local Plan increased this to 600 new homes, of which 230 were not already developed, under development or approved/within the planning process. This was an unacceptable number.
  • With few employment opportunities within the town, the increase in population would result in the majority of new residents needing to travel elsewhere for employment, impacting already congested roads
  • A strong preference to find locations on brownfield sites or to extend existing settlements rather than build on greenfield sites
  • The Town Council had recently declared a housing emergency, and the 40% allocation to affordable housing was welcomed.

In conclusion, it was resolved that Marlborough Town Council has strong objections as outlined above to the proposed number of homes and the two locations at Chopping Knife Lane and Barton Dean. It supports in principle 40% of new developments to be affordable homes. The Town Council would prefer to see plans focusing on brownfield sites or extending existing settlements where possible.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

Fri 24 Nov Marlborough Christmas Lights Switch on and Festive Market  Marlborough High Street

Wed 6 Dec Harvest Mouse Survey, Stonebridge Meadow

Fri 24 Nov Christmas Lights Switch On and market Marlborough High St.

• Sat 25 Nov Ramsbury Christmas Fair & Artisan Market Ramsbury Brewery

Thur 30 Nov Clubhouse Christmas Market  Ogbourne Downs Golf Club

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Sat 2 Dec Baby and Children’s Nearly New Clothes sale St John’s School

Sat 9 Dec Indoor Christmas Craft Gift Market Barge Inn Honey Street

• Sun 10 Dec Phoenix Brass Band and Lynham Military Wives Choir Marlborough Town Hall

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the Police; the Mayor’s announcements; Marlborough’s housing emergency; a possible re-enactment event; the Salisbury Road Recreation Ground; the cemetery extension; and a reaction to Wiltshire Council’s Council Tax changes.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings and agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; beating the bounds; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; the Aldbourne Resilience Plan; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bile jump (see separate section above); repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 9 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 16 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a new-look football club, a musical request a restoration plea and volunteers – plus a look at some news from Wiltschure Council which has produced a “strong objection” in Marlborough. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: live performances, dark skies, nearly new clothes and Christmas signposts. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• There was a good turn-out for Marlborough’s Remembrance Parade on Sunday, congratulations to the organisers and particpants. If you missed it here is a video on Marlborough Notice Board facebook group.

• Marlborough Town Football Club (MTFC) and Marlborough Youth Football Club (MYFC) have come together to create a seamless ‘5 to 105’ football organisation in Marlborough. A ceremony to sign the agreement took place in the now-shared Elcot Lane clubhouse on Monday 13 November, marking the association and a formal way forward. For  5-18 years enquiries click here, 18 + years enquiries click here and for 50+ enquiries click here.

• Still time to have your say here on the Wiltshire Local Plan before the consulation closes on 22 November. The Local Plan sets out the vision and framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years. See detailed comments on the plan here from Action for the River Kennet.

Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard is changing its late night shopping from Wednesday to Friday next week only to coincide with the Christmas Lights Switch On on Friday 24 November. For more details about the shop see their facebook page here.

• Any small school choirs or local choirs are invited to perform in the foyer at Tesco Marlborough to entertain customers with Christmas carols in the run up to Christmas.  Ideally, it will need to be acapella/ acoustic as space is limited.  You can also fundraise for charity too. Please contact Carol Harrison, Tesco’s Community Champion, in store,  if you are interested.

The Merchant’s House has a complicated puzzle of roof, guttering, gable ends and voids created by additions and modifications over the years and it now needs repair and significant maintenance. The roof project was split in half, and they are now seeking funds for Phase 2b, to complete the works on the west side of the building. The project budget is £60,000, and once complete the historic building will be in a secure condition ready for the next exciting stage of The Merchant’s House plans. Please help support this cost to safeguard this nationally significant historic building. Donations of any amount are very gratefully received, either by cheque in the post, visiting their website here or by visiting The Merchant’s House to donate by cash or card.

Connecting Wiltshire’s new direct Marlborough-Devizes 100/100x bus service is now running on Monday to Friday’s. Pre-booking is not required unless you wish to travel to or from a location with P displayed on the timetable.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is still looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

• Wiltshire’s Bobby Van Trust provides free home security service and online safety service to vulnerable local people. To raise funds they are holding a pop-up pre-loved clothes sale on Friday 17 November in Marlborough Town Hall between 9.30am and 4pm.  This year their Vice Patron, Lady Landsdowne and Marlborough Mayor, Cllr Nick Fogg will be opening the event. See details here.

• St Michael’s PTA invites you to their popular Festive Wreath Making Evening, which will be held in the school hall from 7pm on Thursday 7 December.Tickets are £30 and can be booked online, paying by card or bank transfer (booking fee charged) or by emailing aldbournepta@gmail.com. All materials and festive treats provided, just bring your secateurs. Bar serving mulled wine and prosecco too.

• ARK (Action for the River Kennet) welcomes all to its AGM on Wednesday 29 November with guest speaker Mark Lloyd, CEO of The Rivers Trust.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne is hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for three months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides’ Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

Marlborough’s numbers

Marlborough’s local plan was only made (the technical term for being adopted by the planning authority) in March, but already Wiltshire Council seems to be ignoring it. It’s worth stressing that, once made, the NDP becomes part of the local plan and as much a part of it as if the local planning authority had drafted it itself. It’s therefore its own plan that Wiltshire Council is ignoring.

Marlborough News reports here that at the 13 November meeting of Marlborough TC’s Planning Committee , “councillors voted overwhelmingly to object to the section of the Wiltshire Council ‘Local Plan’ that in effect proposed a further 370 new homes to be built within the Marlborough town boundary area, an extra 305 beyond the number identified in the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan.”

The article goes on to provide MTC’s response to the announcement: “Marlborough Town Council has strong objections as outlined above to the proposed number of homes and the two locations at Chopping Knife Lane and Barton Dean. It supports in principle 40% of new developments to be affordable homes. The Town Council would prefer to see plans focusing on brownfield sites or extending existing settlements where possible.”

One of the advantages of doing an NDP – which is a prodigious piece of work – was that the town or parish/s involved then had a lot more in common than previously as they were both working from a document which both of them had drafted. That theory seems to be about to be put to the test in Marlborough.

“Maybe,” the Marlborough News article concludes with understandable waspishness, “Wiltshire Council’s team were actually looking at Marlborough New Zealand, or even Marlborough Massachusetts. Looking to find space and supportive infrastructure for a further three hundred plus homes in this actual town, they might as well have been.” Ouch…


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 17 Nov Pre-loved Clothes Sale Marlborough Town Hall

Sat 18 Nov Broken Dolls, New Lamb Inn

Sat 18 Nov  Marlborough Dark Skies Blackett Observatory stargazing

• Sun 19 Nov Christmas Craft Fair, Marlborough Rugby Club

• Tue 21 Nov Last 2023 HUGS Collection for Ukraine, Hungerford

Fri 24 Nov Christmas Lights Switch On and market Marlborough High St.

Thur 30 Nov Clubhouse Christmas Market  Ogbourne Downs Golf Club

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Sat 2 Dec Baby and Children’s Nearly New Clothes sale St John’s School

Sat 9 Dec Indoor Christmas Craft Gift Market Barge Inn Honey Street

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; beating the bounds; the Clerk’s report; repairs and maintenance; tree planting; the Aldbourne Resilience Plan; and a report from the Wiltshire Councillor.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bile jump (see separate section above); repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 9 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Clerk and the ward members; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; Police report; planning matters; and reports from the committees.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 9 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a nomination plea, a consultation, wreaths, volunteers and rugby – plus a proposal to declare a housing emergency in Marlborough. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include:Crocheting, dark skies, nearly new clothes and Christmas signposts. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Last chance to have your say on what bus services you would like to see in Wiltshire. More information can be found here. Closing date is a minute to midnight on Friday 10 November.

• Quick reminder that all town centre roads will be closed this Sunday 12 November between 10am to 11.30am for the Remembrance Parade. See more details on Marlborough Town Council’s facebook page including a cello and piano recital in St Peter’s Church in the evening.

1st Marlborough Rainbows is still looking for volunteers. Please get in touch here if you are interested in helping four to seven year olds on their adventures.

Marlborough Town Council are keen to remind residents that there is a Planning Committee meeting on Monday 13 November in the Town Hall, starting at 7pm with public question time. See agenda here. The meeting will take place in the Court Room on the ground floor of the Town Hall.  Entry is via the side door opposite Costa Coffee.

• Local charity Greatwood  is looking for your support to help it raise an extra £5,000  to continue to provide their great services to young people. The Benefact Group have created a Children & Young People Special Draw, during which over 5 days, 10 charities could benefit from a cash grant of £5,000 each. Nominations are now open for you to support the incredible work that so many charities do to support children and young people and Greatwood would like to ask you to nominate them for this wonderful opportunity. Remember that the draw is only open for 5 days so nominate your favourite youth charity today here asap.

Love Marlborough Kids Meals are looking for Volunteer Cook & Kitchen Helpers on Fridays between 2.30 and 5pm. Training will be given. Send a message via facebook or email volunteer@lovemarlboroughkidsmeals.org

• Wiltshire’s Bobby Van Trust provides free home security service and online safety service to vulnerable local people. To raise funds they are holding a pop-up pre-loved clothes sale on Friday 17 November in Marlborough Town Hall between 9.30am and 4pm.  This year their Vice Patron, Lady Landsdowne and Marlborough Mayor, Cllr Nick Fogg will be opening the event. See details here.

• St Michael’s PTA invites you to their popular Festive Wreath Making Evening, which will be held in the school hall from 7pm on Thursday 7 December.Tickets are £30 and can be booked online, paying by card or bank transfer (booking fee charged) or by emailing aldbournepta@gmail.com. All materials and festive treats provided, just bring your secateurs. Bar serving mulled wine and prosecco too.

• ARK (Action for the River Kennet) welcomes all to its AGM on Wednesday 29 November with guest speaker Mark Lloyd, CEO of The Rivers Trust.

• Still time to have your say here on the Wiltshire Local Plan before the consulation closes on 22 November. The Local Plan sets out the vision and framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years. See detailed comments on the plan here from Action for the River Kennet.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne is hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for three months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides’ Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Marlborough’s emergency

This refers not to a flood, or traffic gridlock, or a power cut or a heard of escaped cattle (though all these have had their time in the media spotlight in recent years) but to the matter of social housing, or rather the lack of it, in the town. This is not a problem unique to Marlborough – most places in the area we cover would with justification say the same – but what’s rare is the the suggestion that the Town Council declare a housing emergency.

The proposal comes from former Mayor Mark Cooper and he articulated it at a meeting of Marlborough Town Council on 6 November. “The Social Housing situation is really poor,” he said. “Housing is being ‘sold off’, and it’s really difficult to get, and anything that we can do as the Town Council, working with other groups in the community is vital.” You can read the full story in Marlborough News here.

It’s an interesting idea. Town and parish councils, being only consultees in the planning process, have little direct power or influence unless they happen to be landowners. They do, however, have a good deal of coercive and perhaps even pester power as they can press for change, lobby district councillors and MPs and mobilise public opinion. Marlborough and, just down the A4, Hungerford are two examples of towns with effective town councils that enable them to punch above their weight when it comes to getting things done for their communities. This could be one way of doing it. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Marlborough news describes the proposed initiative as “in effect raising of a big red flag which says – ‘there is a problem’.” The colour of the flag is not, the author is quick to point out, a political statement. after all, Marlborough’s Council is, like Hungerford’s, apolitical.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Mon Nov 13 Nov Crochet Wreath Workshop and Festive Crafting

Wed 15 Nov Charity Masterclass: Movember Kind of Magic St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Thurs 16 Nov Author Talk with  Kassia St Clair about Race to the future   at The White Horse Bookshop

Thurs 16 Nov Crochet Wreath Workshop  and Festive Crafting

Sat 18 Nov Broken Dolls, New Lamb Inn

Sat 18 Nov  Marlborough Dark Skies Blackett Observatory stargazing

Fri 24 Nov Christmas Lights Switch On and market Marlborough High St.

Thurs Nov 30 Clubhouse Christmas Market  at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Sat Dec 2 Baby and Children’s Nearly New Clothes sale at St John’s School

Sat Dec 9 Indoor Christmas Craft Gift Market Barge Inn Honey Street

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bile jump (see separate section above); repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 9 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Clerk and the ward members; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; Police report; planning matters; and reports from the committees.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; letters to Thames Water; and Wiltshire Council; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; the emergency plan; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 2 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: rugby, wreath making, wreaths, cooks and tokens – plus a look at Gigaclear’s planned work on the High Street in early November. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Classical and contemporary musicians. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

BBC Children in Need has commended local Marlborough resident Thomas as one of their Young Fundraiser of the Year nominees. Thomas who  has UPD41, a rare chromosome disorder which affects his mobility and speech, was inspired by the Rickshaw Challenge, and cycled 67 miles on a tricycle over 3 weeks to fundraise for Children in Need!

Love Marlborough Kids Meals are looking for Volunteer Cook & Kitchen Helpers on Fridays between 2.30 and 5pm. Training will be given. Send a message via facebook or email volunteer@lovemarlboroughkidsmeals.org

• Wiltshire’s Bobby Van Trust provides free home security service and online safety service to vulnerable local people. To raise funds they are holding a pop-up pre-loved clothes sale on Friday 17 November in Marlborough Town Hall between 9.30am and 4pm.  This year their Vice Patron, Lady Landsdowne and Marlborough Mayor, Cllr Nick Fogg will be opening the event. See details here.

• St Michael’s PTA invites you to their popular Festive Wreath Making Evening, which will be held in the school hall from 7pm on Thursday 7 December.Tickets are £30 and can be booked online, paying by card or bank transfer (booking fee charged) or by emailing aldbournepta@gmail.com. All materials and festive treats provided, just bring your secateurs. Bar serving mulled wine and prosecco too.

• ARK (Action for the River Kennet) welcomes all to its AGM on Wednesday 29 November with guest speaker Mark Lloyd, CEO of The Rivers Trust.

• Good news that The Wiltshire Connect service will be Connecting Wiltshire even further by extending the on-demand bus service to cover the rural area to the east of Marlborough to Hungerford. In addition, the service will be launching new timetabled/semi-flexible services from Monday 30 October as follows: 100 Marlborough-Devizes, 101 Pewsey-Devizes (Revised timetable) , 110 Marlborough-Great Bedwyn-Hungerford  For more information and timetables please click here

• Still time to have your say here on the Wiltshire Local Plan before the consulation closes on 22 November. The Local Plan sets out the vision and framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years. See detailed comments on the plan here from Action for the River Kennet.

• Have your say on what bus services you would like to see in Wiltshire. More information can be found here. Closing date is a minute to midnight on Friday 10 November.

Spurgeons Wiltshire Children’s Centres are offering a free session at Marlborough Library for families of 0-5 year olds to have some real fun with a range of activities based around stories and whats more every child receives a free book. Book your space by calling 0800 970 4669.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne is hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for three months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides’ Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• For those wondering what to do with their pumpkins after Halloween, here are some creative suggestions. Just please don’t leave them on the ground in your garden or in woodland, as they are dangerous to hedgehogs and attract rats – see more in this request by the Woodland Trust

• Gigaclear is (or soon will be) here

Marlborough Town Council has received a statement from Avonline Networks working on behalf of Gigaclear regarding works which have recently started in Marlborough High Street (though there seems no physical evidence at the time of writing). This includes the assurance that excavation work (though perhaps other work) will not take place on market days. The result will be the provision of ultrafast full fibre broadband to business and properties on the High Street.

“During these works Avonline will be completing their excavation predominantly in the carriageway utilising a narrow workspace,” the statement explains. “This won’t affect traffic flow but will result in some parking bays closest to the shops on the south side of the High Street being suspended. However, this will be a rolling suspension as site moves and will be limited to five to six at a time. When the works are required to go into the footway an alternative walkway will be provided in the carriageway, but these works will be minimal. Access to shops will not be impeded and if works outside business is required it will be completed when these businesses are closed or only if access can be maintained to minimise disruption.”

The works should be completed within three weeks and will not affect the twice weekly markets or any planned town events, such as Remembrance Sunday or Christmas light switch on. Anything excavated will be reinstated same day and site will be cleared at the end of every day to minimise disruption. In addition, the contractors have promised that letter drops and door knocks in advance of works commencing will take place for business advising of the works.

We spoke to Marlborough Town Council on 2 November to see if there was any confirmation of how long the works might last for and we told that they’re expected to be finished by 10 November. Of course, such things have a habit of over-running. Despite the inevitable disruption, hopefully the results will be worth it. Hopefully also there will be no repeat of the connectivity and post-installation problems that recently affected several Gigaclear customers just down the A4 in Hungerford; and also not of the clear-up problems that followed its work in Burghfield and Mortimer.

Any enquiries should be directed to networkbuildqueries@gigaclear.com  or phone 01865 591131.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough Police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

For the latest information on rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we strongly recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 3 Nov Fireworks Night, Marlborough Town Football Club

Sat 4 Nov Savernake Forest Scouts Fireworks Night, Savernake

• Sun 5 Nov Sausage Dog Walk, Marlborough Common

Wed 15 Nov Charity Masterclass: Movember Kind of Magic St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

Sat 18 Nov Broken Dolls, New Lamb Inn

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bile jump (see separate section above); repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 9 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Clerk and the ward members; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; Police report; planning matters; and reports from the committees.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; letters to Thames Water; and Wiltshire Council; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; the emergency plan; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 26 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: bus options, parents, a mural, a consultation and a big new hut – plus a look at the Marlborough part of the local plan’s housing allocation, a new on-demand bus service and a proposed bike jump in Ramsbury  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: dance night and Scouts fireworks night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Quick reminder to put your clocks back this Saturday and enjoy an extra hour in bed…

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are proud that the Stonebridge mural continues to grow. Spray paint artist Janey Louise Fletcher is back to continue showcasing the River Kennet and Stonebridge Wild River Reserve and the wider Kennet catchment too. The wall features lots of amazing chalk stream creatures and plants; and other species you might be lucky enough to see near by as well. Check out a video of the mural here Pop along this week to see what’s new or to find out more about the reserve visit  www.riverkennet.org

• If you have been wondering why the water in the River Kennet recently turned cloudy brown, ARK provides the answer here.

• Good news that The Wiltshire Connect service will be Connecting Wiltshire even further by extending the on-demand bus service to cover the rural area to the east of Marlborough to Hungerford. In addition, the service will be launching new timetabled/semi-flexible services from Monday 30 October as follows: 100 Marlborough-Devizes, 101 Pewsey-Devizes (Revised timetable) , 110 Marlborough-Great Bedwyn-Hungerford  For more information and timetables please click here

• Still time to have your say here on the Wiltshire Local Plan before the consulation closes on 22 November. The Local Plan sets out the vision and framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• Have your say on what bus services you would like to see in Wiltshire. More information can be found here. Closing date is a minute to midnight on Friday 10 November.

Spurgeons Wiltshire Children’s Centres are offering a free session at Marlborough Library for families of 0-5 year olds to have some real fun with a range of activities based around stories and whats more every child receives a free book. Book your space by calling 0800 970 4669.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne is hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for 3 months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

Wiltshire’s local plan

Marlborough News has recently taken a look at this important but also dauntingly complex and technical document as it affects the Marlborough area. West Berkshire’s recently submitted one ran to about 10,000 pages so be prepared. MN reports that just the Strategy for the Swindon Housing Market Area is 376 pages on its own but it has helpfully extracted the eight pages that relate to Marlborough.

600 homes are due to be built in the 2020 to 2038 period, although some of these have already been built. All of these new dwellings, the author correctly points out, “raise the question of infrastructure.” As many settlements in the area we cover, Wantage and Thatcham in particular, will attest, it’s a lot easier to build homes than it is to get the developers to do the mitigation measures: of, if they’ve agreed to pay for these in kind through S106 agreements, to get them to find the money and then for the planning authority to get the work done.

See the section above for details of how you can take part in the consultation on the plan (you need to have done this by 22 November).

I shall now stand back from this discussion and let Marlborough News, which has looked into the matter in this area more carefully than I have, take up the story from here

• On-demand travel

Wiltshire Council’s new Wiltshire Connect on-demand bus services in the Pewsey Vale area has, a recent statement says, had “a hugely successful start, with more than 5,000 passengers travelling on the service in the first two months.” The service, which launched at the start of August, initially covered the area west of Pewsey, from Pewsey to Devizes, but now two additional Wiltshire Connect vehicles will begin on Monday 30 October, covering the rural area to the east of Marlborough to Hungerford.

For more information, please see this post on Wiltshire Council’s website.

• Ramsbury’s jump

The following is taken verbatim from the minutes of Ramsbury PC’s meeting on 16 October 2023:

“Six members of the public attended the meeting in support of a young resident’s appeal for the PC’s permission and support in creating a bike jump somewhere in the village. Questions were asked about what form they thought this might take, what it would look like, and where it might be located bearing in mind the need to avoid potential disturbance to nearby residents. After some wide-ranging discussion a possible site was mooted on an area of grass owned by the PC close to the surgery and this might be considered. The question of public liability for this activity could be a problem and one of the appellants volunteered to investigate what councils may have done about that in creating similar facilities elsewhere.

“It was agreed this idea should be given further consideration at the next meeting.”


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Marlborough police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Sat 28 Oct Lasso the Moon Dance Night, Great Bedwyn

Sat 4 Nov Savernake Forest Scouts Fireworks Night

Wed 15 Nov Charity Masterclass: Movember Kind of Magic St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

Sat 18 Nov Broken Dolls, New Lamb Inn

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising;; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; play areas; environmental matters; a proposed bile jump (see separate section above); repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the Memorial Hall; the next Police Surgery (in the Lychgate Room at 7pm of Thursday 7 December); and the School.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 9 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Clerk and the ward members; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; Police report; planning matters; and reports from the committees.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; letters to Thames Water; and Wiltshire Council; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; the emergency plan; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 19 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: bus preferences, stress management, bulb planting and Christmas lights – plus a “warmly welcomed” presentation to Marlborough Town Council. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: dance night and Scouts fireworks night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Quick reminder to have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan, with 16 drop-in events & an online event being held across the county and on Our Wiltshire. The Local Plan sets out the vision & framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• All welcome at the Community Planting Day this Saturday 21 October from 1pm to 4pm at St George’s Church Yard. Gardening tools and bulbs supplied as well as a cup of tea to keep you going.

• Emma Gibbs is offering affordable ways to improve employees’ and individuals’ wellbeing on zoom. Whether you are negotiating remote working or an office environment, her 15 minute Wellbeing Pop-Ups could help you relax and connect. First two sessions are free with a request to donate to The British Red Cross Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory Appeal. See more details here or contact Emma on 07929 935448 or emma.gibbs@gmail.com

• Have your say on what bus services you would like to see in Wiltshire. More information can be found here. Closing date is a minute to midnight on Friday 10 November.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are having a bulb planting day at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve on Wednesday 18 October from 12.30 to 4pm. If you would like to help please email anna@riverkennet.org

Spurgeons Wiltshire Children’s Centres are offering a free session at Marlborough Library for families of 0-5 year olds to have some real fun with a range of activities based around stories and whats more every child receives a free book. Book your space by calling 0800 970 4669.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Marlborough police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• Quick reminder to buskers if you want to play at the Christmas Switch-on Event please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council on charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk.

• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough’s Hughenden Yard is pleased to announce their first giveaway and it’s of their new local and sustainable Bramley Bath, Body & Home refill brand and the chance to win the entire range worth over £100. See here for how to enter by 30 October.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne is hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for 3 months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

• Elm Tree’s plans

An article in Marlborough News looks at the plans for the redevelopment of the Elm Tree Cars site at Pelhams Court, details of which were presented to the Town Council’s Planning Committee meeting on 17 October. You can read MN’s report on this by clicking here.

Elm Tree’s owner, Mark Lovelace, is quoted as saying, in answer to the question as to why this was happening, that the current site “is a large brownfield area much bigger than we need and is always requiring a significant investment. It is ideal for housing with a beautiful river frontage and we are incorporating a number of wildlife and environmentally beneficial features in to our application.” He added that the company has “no plans to cease trading” and is searching for a more suitable site elsewhere, presumably in or near the town.

The article also pointed out that this was’t an application but “an early presentation of the initial ideas and plans so that the Town Council could comment and advise before any formal submission.” It went on the say that the councillors “warmly welcomed” this approach.

I’d imagine they did. This kind of pre-presentation doesn’t always happen. It demonstrated a useful blend of prudence and courtesy which is often not seens. Town and parish councils do not get to decide planning applications, only to comment on them, but they can make a fair bit of trouble if they wish.

One of the reasons they might be miffed is if they feel the application has been sprung on them. Also – and here’s a point that some developers ignore, though perhaps less so ones who are based in the area – town and parish councils do tend to know a bit about the area, and the planning system, and thus may be able to offer useful advice. In any event, building anything is an expensive and fraught enough process as it is without needlessly making enemies. All in all, an auspicious first step for this proposal.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 20 Oct Scouting For Girls Marlborough College Memorial Hall

• Tue 24 Oct Hibernation and migration event for families Rockley Reserve, Marlborough

• Sat 28 Oct Lasso the Moon Dance Night, Great Bedwyn

Sat 4 Nov  Savernake Forest Scouts Fireworks Night

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: outstanding issues; letters to Thames Water; and Wiltshire Council; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; the emergency plan; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 2 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; planning matters; a report from the ward member; the 20mph consultation; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; trees; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; the Emergency Committee; the Green Committee; horses on the open-access land on Springs Hill; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Hall; the Police surgery; the school; and vandalism.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public participation; action points from the last meeting; highways; speeding; financial matters; donations; repairs and maintenance; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: mops, rugby, planting, packaging and schools. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Marlborough area events include: Marlborough Mop, Lasso the Moon dance night and more. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• We are sure you don’t need reminding that it will be the second Marlborough Mop this Saturday 14 October so the High Street will be closed for parking on Friday and Saturday. The fair will finish about 11pm on Saturday. See details here.

Marlborough Rugby Club will be hosting ‘Rugby Royalty’ London Welsh this Saturday 14 October at 2pm on The Common. The Club will also be screening this weekend’s World Cup Quarter Final matches. All welcome.

• Congratulations to Marlborough Law for reaching their 700th client after just 7 years in business as a small, local firm. Director Karen Salmon says “this achievement is not just a number; it represents the trust and confidence that our clients have placed in us over the years. As we celebrate our 700th client, we also celebrate the stories, challenges, and successes that have shaped our journey.”

• If you would like to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint, there is a great opportunity this weekend to find out about a range of sustainable options at Green Open Homes across the Bedwyn, Hungerford and Pewsey area. Book appointments to talk to homeowners and see a range of systems in action and take advice from those with experience (who aren’t trying to sell something).

ARK – Action for the River Kennet are having a bulb planting day at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve on Wednesday 18 October from 12.30 to 4pm. If you would like to help please email anna@riverkennet.org

Spurgeons Wiltshire Children’s Centres are offering a free session at Marlborough Library for families of 0-5 year olds to have some real fun with a range of activities based around stories and whats more every child receives a free book. Book your space by calling 0800 970 4669.

• Quick reminder that Girls Rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

Marlborough police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join here.

• All welcome at the Community Planting Day on Saturday 21 October from 1pm to 4pm at St George’s Church Yard. Gardening tools and bulbs supplied as well as a cup of tea to keep you going.

• Quick reminder to buskers if you want to play at the Christmas Switch-on Event please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council on charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk.

• Don’t forget to have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan, with 16 drop-in events & an online event being held across the county and on Our Wiltshire. The Local Plan sets out the vision & framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough’s Hughenden Yard is pleased to announce their first giveaway and it’s of their new local and sustainable Bramley Bath, Body & Home refill brand and the chance to win the entire range worth over £100. See here for how to enter.

• For families living east of Marlborough, Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their last Open Morning Tour on Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or jogoffice@excalibur.org.uk

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne are hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434.

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for 3 months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides Big New Hut project. Help them get the maximum donation of £1500.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Merlin’s Mound history and information can now be found at marlboroughmoundtrust.org.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group. Please email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

Sat 14 Oct  Marlborough Rugby v London Welsh, Marlborough Common

Sat 14 Oct Marlborough Mop Marlborough High St

• Fri 20 Oct Scouting For Girls Marlborough College Memorial Hall

• Tue 24 Oct Hibernation and migration event for families Rockley Reserve, Marlborough

• Sat 28 Oct Lasso the Moon Dance Night, Great Bedwyn

• Sat 2 Dec Marlborough Concert Orchestra, St Mary’s Church, Marlborough

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; trees; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; the Emergency Committee; the Green Committee; horses on the open-access land on Springs Hill; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Hall; the Police surgery; the school; and vandalism.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public participation; action points from the last meeting; highways; speeding; financial matters; dog bins; repairs and maintenance; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:   outstanding issues; Thames Water; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; crayfish; verge cutting; a pond clearance on 4 November; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; a councillor co-option; reports from the ward members; the surgery; financial matters; planning matters; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; ward member’s report; speeding; financial matters; footpaths and highways; poor mail deliveries; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; the ward member’s report; planning g matters; co-option policy; Hooper’s Field; highways; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 5 October 2023

This week we cover dance, rugby, nature, literature, friends a mound and a local plan  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Girls rugby is really taking off in Marlborough and there are lots of opportunities to get involved as players, sponsors or volunteers. See here for more details and how to sign up for the Monday evening training on the common.

•Marlborough Town Council  is excited to support a new website explaining the history of the Marlborough Mound (better known as Merlin’s Mound to locals), with articles, images and more. Check it out here. 

• On Tuesday 24 October, from 10am to noon, come to the reserve at Rockley, Marlborough SN8 1RT and see which animals leave our country for warmer climates and which animals build nests and sleep all winter?  Come to the reserve and let’s see what is still around. There will be a craft activity included in this event and this family session is aimed at children aged 4-8 years. The event is free but please make sure you apply for a ticket for adults and children over here.

Marlborough police would like to encourage people to join one of the many watch groups available through Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. Farm Watch is the most appropriate for farmers and those living in rural areas of our beautiful county to receive alerts and crime prevention advice in real time for the area you live. It is a free service and you can join Farm Watch by clicking here.

• If you don’t think dance nights should just be for festivals, bop along to the pop-up dance event at Bedwyn Village Hall on Saturday 28 October for one night of uplifting dance on the doorstep. The local organisers have lined up 2 amazing  DJs who will be opening up their record boxes for us with  tunes to lift the spirits and make you smile. Please come and support this new venture, Lasso the Moon which promises to be a fantastic event.

Clare Harris is putting a shout out to any local buskers who would like to come along to the Christmas Switch-on Event on Friday 24 November from 5pm – 8pm. Spaces will be allocated along the length of the High Street  to entertain the crowds. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in and would like to find out more, please contact Clare Harris – Marlborough Town Council charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk

Marlborough Literature Festival have a Children’s Litfest this year with free storytelling slots, craft activities and free author talks to local schoolchildren as well as a bumper crop of children’s authors on offer. This year an expanded children’s programme features more events than ever for all ages. Pick up a leaflet in The White Horse Bookshop , Marlborough Library or shops along Marlborough High Street, for all the details. More information here.

• Quick reminder that the Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group which has been going for over 8 years. They are mainly a retired group and their official working meeting morning is the second Monday in the month 10am to 12pm, and some established volunteers go on Fridays mornings as well.  They support Marlborough Town Council in keeping this beautiful cemetery as a special place where people can walk through or just sit and reflect on life. If you’d like to know more email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

• Don’t forget to have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan, with 16 drop-in events & an online event being held across the county and on Our Wiltshire. The Local Plan sets out the vision & framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• Wiltshire Connect buses now cover Marlborough For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough’s Hughenden Yard is pleased to announce their new opening hours and a new counter service where you can drop off your shopping list for the staff for fulfill for you.

• For families living east of Marlborough, Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their Open Evening on Thursday 12 October and their Open Morning Tours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or jogoffice@excalibur.org.uk

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne are hosting a tour for parents who child will be starting school in September 2024. Contact the office on admin@stmichaelsaldbourne.co.uk or phone 01672 540434

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for 3 months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides Big New Hut project. Help us get the maximum donation of £1500 it will make a big difference. Thank you in advance.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely new Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Marlborough Community Fridge in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to all and a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. See their facebook page for details.

Reading Well book collection at Marlborough Library supports children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids makes sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals as required. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. Parttime, paid, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the Diary

• Fri 20 Oct Scouting For Girls Marlborough College Memorial Hall

• Sat 28 Oct Lasso the Moon Dance night, Great Bedwyn

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

Transition Marlborough Hub Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.


News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; trees; correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; the Emergency Committee; the Green Committee; horses on the open-access land on Springs Hill; repairs and maintenance; the Memorial Hall; the Police surgery; the school; and vandalism.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public participation; action points from the last meeting; highways; speeding; financial matters; dog bins; repairs and maintenance; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included:   outstanding issues; Thames Water; planning matters; the Clerk’s report; the 20mph survey; repairs and maintenance; crayfish; verge cutting; a pond clearance on 4 November; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; a councillor co-option; reports from the ward members; the surgery; financial matters; planning matters; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; ward member’s report; speeding; financial matters; footpaths and highways; poor mail deliveries; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; the ward member’s report; planning g matters; co-option policy; Hooper’s Field; highways; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 21 September 2023

This week we cover steaming, the Litfest, scouting, a river watch, cemetery friends and recycling – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

We’re taking a bit of time off so this post will next be updated on Thursday 5 October.

This week’s news

• It’s Crofton Steam Engines last Steaming weekend on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September at Crofton Beam Engines. Step back in time to when steam ruled all and explore this hidden gem in Wiltshire’s history. Learn of the station’s history, and its restoration. Speak with volunteers in and around the Engine House. Discover the engineering challenges and the people who overcame them to build the canal and make sure that it had a plentiful supply of water. Opening times 10am to 5pm  Tickets here  

Marlborough Literature Festival have a Children’s Litfest this year with free storytelling slots, craft activities and free author talks to local schoolchildren as well as a bumper crop of children’s authors on offer. This year an expanded children’s programme features more events than ever for all ages. Pick up a leaflet in The White Horse Bookshop , Marlborough Library or shops along Marlborough High Street, for all the details. More information here

• Scouting For Girls return to Marlborough for an exclusive outdoor performance at Marlborough College Memorial Hall on Friday 20 October at 8pm to celebrate the release of the much loved trio’s new album ‘The Place We Used To Meet’. Tickets and album bundles available here  from 11am (please note- the ticket link will not be live until that time).

• Quick reminder that the Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group which has been going for over 8 years. They are mainly a retired group and their official working meeting morning is the second Monday in the month 10am to 12pm, and some established volunteers go on Fridays mornings as well.  They support Marlborough Town Council in keeping this beautiful cemetery as a special place where people can walk through or just sit and reflect on life. If you’d like to know more email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

• Don’t forget to have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan, with 16 drop-in events & an online event being held across the county and on Our Wiltshire. The Local Plan sets out the vision & framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• Wiltshire Connect buses have arrived in Marlborough this week. For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

• Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough’s Hughenden Yard is pleased to announce their new opening hours and a new counter service where you can drop off your shopping list for the staff for fulfill for you.

• Action for the River Kennet encourage everyone to join The Rivers Trust‘s first ever Big River Watch from Friday 22 to Monday 24 September. You just have to spend 15 minutes observing the wildlife, water colour, litter and pollution in your local river or stream to help gather vital data on the state of our rivers, to support the work being done to improve and protect them. Find out more here.

• For families living east of Marlborough, Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their Open Evening on Thursday 12 October and their Open Morning Tours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or jogoffice@excalibur.org.uk

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Aldbourne

• Anyone that shops at Tesco in Marlborough please note that from October (for 3 months) the token drop will be open to support the Aldbourne Scouts and Guides Big New Hut project. Help us get the maximum donation of £1500 it will make a big difference. Thank you in advance.

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely new Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

Community notices

• Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

• Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• For Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times, see here.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; ward member’s report; speeding; financial matters; footpaths and highways; poor mail deliveries; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 14 August and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: maTTERS Arising; reports from the ward members; CIL funds; financial matters; planning matters; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 14 September 2023

This week we cover a cemetery, a local plan, a councillor vacancy, singing and a school open day – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• The Friends of the Victorian Cemetery are looking for more volunteers to join their existing group which has been going for over 8 years. They are mainly a retired group and their official working meeting morning is the second Monday in the month 10am to 12pm, and some established volunteers go on Fridays mornings as well.  They support Marlborough Town Council in keeping this beautiful cemetery as a special place where people can walk through or just sit and reflect on life. If you’d like to know more email margaretrrose@hotmail.co.uk or check out marlborough-tc.gov.uk/the-victorian-cemetery

• Don’t forget to have your say on the Wiltshire Local Plan, with 16 drop-in events & an online event being held across the county and on Our Wiltshire. The Local Plan sets out the vision & framework for housing, infrastructure and land for employment growth for the next 15 years.

• There’s an extra-ordinary meeting of the Full Marlborough Town Council  on Monday 18 September in the Town Hall at 7pm. This meeting has been called for Councillors to co-opt a Councillor to fill the vacancy for Marlborough Town Councillor – East Ward following no residents requesting an election.  It will, as usual, begin with Public Question Time for which the agenda is here.

Wiltshire Connect buses have arrived in Marlborough this week. For more information on the service and to download the Connecting Wiltshire booking app click here.

Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Marlborough’s Hughenden Yard is pleased to announce their new opening hours and a new counter service where you can drop off your shopping list for the staff for fulfill for you.

Bedwyn Music Society welcomes you to a world class Piano Recital by Yuanfan Yang, this Friday 15 September at St Mary’s Church Great Bedwyn. Tickets £15 on the door.

• Action for the River Kennet encourage everyone to join The Rivers Trust‘s first ever Big River Watch from Friday 22 to Monday 24 September. You just have to spend 15 minutes observing the wildlife, water colour, litter and pollution in your local river or stream to help gather vital data on the state of our rivers, to support the work being done to improve and protect them. Find out more here.

• If you love to sing why not join Marlborough Choral Society who meet on Monday evenings at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, starting next Monday 18 September. Check here for more details or call Sally on 07778 038963.

• For families living east of Marlborough, Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their Open Evening on Thursday 12 October and their Open Morning Tours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or jogoffice@excalibur.org.uk

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Aldbourne

• For latest news from Aldbourne Deli, Store and Post Office, visit their facebook page for mouth-watering photos of Eddie’s amazing menus (take-away and eat-in) and the lovely new Wiltshire 2024 calendars now in stock.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• For Wiltshire Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) locations and opening times, see here.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 16 Sept Marlborough Folk Roots: Phil Beer, St Mary’s Church Hall

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Walking Rugby at Marlborough Rugby Club. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers welcome new members (no previous experience required). Contact marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 4 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; ward member’s report; speeding; financial matters; footpaths and highways; poor mail deliveries; and community safety.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 14 August and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: maTTERS Arising; reports from the ward members; CIL funds; financial matters; planning matters; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Friday 8 September 2023

This week we cover first aid, bridge, murals, rugby, support groups, a charity sale and a revised planning application in York Place – plus there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Apologies that this is a day late. As many of you will know, we were recently beset by IT problems severe enough to make us wonder if we’d ever get this out at all. Apologies on behalf of the gremlin or gremlins responsible.

This week’s news

• If you would like to increase your confidence to act appropriately in an emergency situation do or need to renew your accredited first aid certificate then you can join these first aid courses on Wednesday 13 September (click here) or Wednesday 1 November in Marlborough ( click here ) Each course has options for number of hours and level of accreditation.

• Claire Jolly wants to seek out other  female motorbike riders who would like to join a club. The Fallen Maidens sisterhood are an all female club that meets up once a fortnight; at a child friendly pub, with lots of other meets also and regular ride outs to be organised. Why not go along to one of their meetings and see what they’re about. Message Claire Jolly on facebook.

• If you are aged between 16 and 24 and looking to take the next step towards a new career Greatwood have a free accredited course starting next month. For more information please phone 01672 514535 or email alex.shaw@greatwoodcharity.org

• The Parade Cinema Marlborough invites all local businesses to be part of their regular Networking Group, in partnership with Print Image and Mcfarlane Property Marlborough  on Thursday 14 September at 5.30pm.  It’s a great opportunity to meet with fellow local businesses, share news & ideas and make connections!

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet recommends a visit to the spray paint mural on Stonebridge Lane showcasing the fantastic wildlife found in and by the Kennet at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough and beyond.

• A Parents and Carers Support Group for people with neurodiverse children is starting from Monday 25 September at Great Bedwyn Village Hall on the third Monday of the month, from 6pm to 7.30pm. Contact Katie on 07958 369754 for more information.

• The Silks on the Downs in Ogbourne St Andrew is delighted to confirm its bridge group will meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. If you would like to join the group please contact jonandruthfleming@gmail.com.

• The Friends of Savernake Hospital are always on the look-out for good quality paperbacks to sell in their shop in the foyer of the hospital, or via their ward trolley service. If you have any that you would be willing to donate, the shop volunteers would be delighted to receive them (Opening hours: 10-1 Monday to Friday).

• The Trussell Trust’s Step Up September Challenge is in aid of preventing the need for FoodbanksPlease click here if you would like to sponsor Penny doing the challenge.

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet is happy to announce that spray paint artist Janey Louise Fletcher is busy working on the second section of a mural, which features many of the species you might be lucky enough to spot when you visit Stonebridge Wild River Reserve in Marlborough. See here to find out more about the reserve and view the extraordinary mural.

• Don’t forget Marlborough Common’s Charity Car Boot Sale will be on Sunday 10 September. Gates open at 8am.

• Marlborough Rugby Club invites you to have a go at Walking Rugby. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

• ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

• Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

Same number, different plans

Marlborough News reports that “the housing association Aster, the owners of York Place in St Martins has now submitted a second (revised) Planning Application following the reaction to that originally submitted (PL/2023/03305). Same reference, now updated. However, at last night’s meeting (Monday 4 September) of the Marlborough Town Council Planning Committee this latest revised application was unanimously rejected by Councillors.”

If you want to read more, click here for the full article.

Community notices

• Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

• Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

• Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

• Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

• Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

• Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

• Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

• Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

• Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

• Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

 Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

• Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

• The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

• The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

• The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 August and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters;  financial matters; rights of way; play areas and seats; the Emergency Committee; the Green Committee; highways; the Marlborough Area Board; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the public toilets; the Nature Reserve; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 7 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the 20mph speed-limit consultation; a councillor vacancy; overgrown verges; financial matters; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereClick here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish CouncilSavernake Parish CouncilChiseldon Parish CouncilOgbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 31 August 2023

This week we cover parental support, bridge, walking rugby, pride, a mural and air quality  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for a report on ash-tree felling, the chance to wander with a ranger in the West Woods and the possible demise of the nutrient neutrality regulations which affect planning decisions in some parts of this area.

This week’s news

A Parents and Carers Support Group for people with neurodiverse children is starting from Monday 25 September at Great Bedwyn Village Hall on the third Monday of the month, from 6pm to 7.30pm. Contact Katie on 07958 369754 for more information.

The Silks on the Downs in Ogbourne St Andrew is delighted to confirm their Bridge Group will meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. If you would like to join the group please contact jonandruthfleming@gmail.com.

The Friends of Savernake Hospital are always on the look-out for good quality paperbacks to sell in their shop in the foyer of the hospital, or via their ward trolley service. If you have any that you would be willing to donate, the shop volunteers would be delighted to receive them (Opening hours: 10-1 Monday to Friday).

• The Trussell Trust’s Step Up September Challenge is an inspiration to walk 30 minutes each day of the month to raise funds to help build a future where nobody needs to use a food bank. If you would like to join our Penny Post Team, please search for ‘Penny’ when it asks you to find a team (thanks to Leo Sumner for setting this up). Or if you prefer to sponsor Penny, please do so here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet is happy to announce that spray paint artist Janey Louise Fletcher is busy working on the second section of a mural, which features many of the species you might be lucky enough to spot when you visit Stonebridge Wild River Reserve in Marlborough. See here to find out more about the reserve and view the extraordinary mural.

• Don’t forget Marlborough Common’s Charity Car Boot Sale will be on Sunday 10 September. Gates open at 8am.

Marlborough Rugby Club invites you to have a go at Walking Rugby. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• After the original date was ‘washed out, Pewsey Pride will take place on Saturday 2 September 2pm at the Cooper’s Field.   Supported by Pewsey Carnival and open to all come and celebrate diversity.

• Join Menopause Morning at Space NK Marlborough on Wednesday 30 August to discover more about the menopause and feel like your best self.  Click here to book your free place.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• Aldbourne Band is looking forward to the final summer series concert on the village green on Sunday 3 September at 6.45pm.Rounding off the 108th Aldbourne Carnival celebrations. The concert will follow a short service from Aldbourne Churches Together starting at 6pm, also held on the green. Featuring music from their newly released CD ‘Aldbourne Rejoicing’, in addition to fantastic solos and other toe-tapping tunes, this will be the last concert by the band before they head to Symphony Hall to compete at the British Open.

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

Felling the trees

Forestry England has announced that work has started along the edge of roads through the Savernake Forest to remove diseased ash trees.  The mainly affects the road south of Marlborough towards Burbage’

“Earlier in the summer,’ a statement form Forestry England reads, “I wrote [to local councils] to let you know of the work that was about to happen on the A346.  As I am sure you are aware, this work never started. This was due to the contractor being delayed at another site. I thank you for your patience whist we have been trying to reschedule works. ” This work has now started.

Traffic along the A346 will be managed by a single land closure with two-way traffic signals operating 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday between Postern Hill and Leigh hill. There may be occasions when traffic lights are double red for a short time to allow safe working. Road users should expect delays on the A346 during operating hours.

Why is this needed? “All the ash trees showing more than 50% crown dieback within a tree length of the public highway will be felled or otherwise made safe, ie pollarded and left standing” Forestry England explains. “At the same time, we are removing some additional trees because they are growing close to veteran trees. This ‘haloing’ gives the veterans more light and space to remain healthy. The understorey of smaller trees and shrubs within five metres of the road will be coppiced to improve visibility along the road.

The statement goes on to say that “felling trees is an important part of sustainable forest management and well managed forests support more wildlife. Before we start any forestry work, we carry out thorough ecological surveys to check for species such as birds, mammals, rodents, invertebrates, flora, and fungi. We consider our findings against complex factors including tree health, how the ground slopes, soil condition, and likely rainfall when planning forestry work. Where it is safe, we will leave some standing dead trees to provide insect habitat and perches for birds, and we will leave as much dead wood on site as possible to support Savernake’s important dead wood habitat. Our forestry team will keep all machinery at least five metres away from all veteran trees. While working, we continue to check for wildlife and adapt, pause or suspend work if necessary.”

There is more information about this work on the Forestry England website.

Wander with a ranger

And still with Forestry England, you can get closer to nature this autumn with a guided woodland wander during September. Forestry England will host two FREE guided walks through beautiful West Woods, 10 minutes from Marlborough, on 13 and 20 September. FE invites you to “join our friendly and knowledgeable ranger to learn what makes each of the nation’s forests unique and how they are cared for by Forestry England. Explore the trees of West Woods and find out how the forest provides a place for people to enjoy, space for wildlife to thrive, and sustainable timber for the UK economy.”

“Every forest is special in its own way and West Woods is no exception with so much to discover,” Community ranger and walk leader, Siân Brewer, explains. “These walks will set out along the historic Wansdyke to explore the many tree species in the forest and try spotting signs of wildlife. We’ll discuss some of West Woods’ other special archaeology, including the 40 metre Neolithic longbarrow, and look at some of the ways West Woods is managed and cared for to protect its special character while growing sustainable timber that becomes essential wood products.”

Walks will start from West Woods car park on Wednesday 13 September, 6.00 to7.15pm and Wednesday 20 September, 6.00 to 7.15pm. Places are limited so booking is essential.

Nutrient neutrality

In the last eighteen months we’ve heard a lot about these Natural England regulations which were introduced in several parts of the country including Lambourn catchment area (which includes a good chunk of West Berkshire and also extends into the Vale of White Horse and Wiltshire) last year. The intention was to reduce the amount of phosphates and nitrates which entered our waterways; and the number-one target was held to be new housing developments of any size. Trying to implement these new regulations caused local planning departments considerable headaches and certainly caused delay to decision-making. Now, just when officers seem to have got their heads round the issue, the government has said that it wants to do away with the whole thing. This will, Whitehall’s rationale runs, remove another EU-imposed shackle on national growth and help ensure that we get our house-building targets back on track.

In this separate post, we take a look at what the nutrient neutrality policies are (and are not), why they are in several ways misguided and what positive effects they have so far had. We also consider the political time and the legal implications of the announcement and wonder if the environment has, as campaigner and musician Feargal Sharkey suggested, “been left to fend for itself.”

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 August and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters;  financial matters; rights of way; play areas and seats; the Emergency Committee; the Green Committee; highways; the Marlborough Area Board; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Stewards; the public toilets; the Nature Reserve; and financial matters.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 7 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the 20mph speed-limit consultation; a councillor vacancy; overgrown verges; financial matters; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 24 August 2023

This week we cover a mural, new packaging, play equipment, two campaign awards and two boot sales – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for a report on Marlborough’s air and a reminder about a campaign by the Town Council.

This week’s news

ARK – Action for the River Kennet is happy to announce that spray paint artist Janey Louise Fletcher is busy working on the second section of a mural, which features many of thespecies you might be lucky enough to spot when you visit Stonebridge Wild River Reserve in Marlborough. See here to find out more about the reserve and view the extraordinary mural.

• Sarah, the new owner of Packaging Not Included reports on her first month of running this lovely zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard just off Marlborough High Street.

Marlborough Town Council is sorry that an item of play equipment at The Recreation Ground in Salisbury Road is temporarily out of action.  The safety surface is damaged and awaiting repair so it has been closed it off for your protection.

Postern Hill Campsite is very excited to have partnered with Explore the Great Outdoors to run some Woodland Activity Events on site every Monday until the 28 August, an amazing outdoor activity for all ages. Campers under the age of 18 will need adult supervision at all times.

• Don’t forget Marlborough Common’s Charity Car Boot Sale will be on Sunday 10 September. Gates open at 8am.

• Congratulations to the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group (which has been campaigning for improved rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford, Kintbury and Newbury since 2006) which recently picked up two gongs at Railfuture’s annual awards. More information on this and the BTPG’s latest news on services, please click here.

• To honour the memory of beloved horse Ouzbeck, Greatwood have decided to launch a new fundraising campaign to keep his legacy alive. Currently Greatwood does not own a horse lorry but thanks to Ouzbeck’s incredible work at care homes and within the wider community, the need for external support has increased considerably to the point that they would now like to purchase their own vehicle. See more details and how to donate here.

Marlborough and District Rotary Club invite you to their Bank Holiday Car Boot Sale on Monday 28 August at Marlborough Rugby Club. Sellers to turn up at 7am, buyers at 8am, closing at 12pm. For further information click here.

Marlborough Rugby Club invites you to have a go at Walking Rugby. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• Join Menopause Morning at Space NK Marlborough on Wednesday 30 August to discover more about the menopause and feel like your best self.  Click here to book your free place.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• Don’t forget it’s Aldbourne Carnival at the Football Field on Saturday 26 August from 2pm to 8pm including live music, soap box race, car boot sale (from 1pm to 3pm), barbecue and bar.

• Aldbourne Band is looking forward to the final summer series concert on the village green on Sunday 3 September at 6.45pm.Rounding off the 108th Aldbourne Carnival celebrations. The concert will follow a short service from Aldbourne Churches Together starting at 6pm, also held on the green. Featuring music from their newly released CD ‘Aldbourne Rejoicing’, in addition to fantastic solos and other toe-tapping tunes, this will be the last concert by the band before they head to Symphony Hall to compete at the British Open.

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

The air that we breathe

The Gazette and Herald reports that “recent data from Wiltshire Council reveals Marlborough has dangerous levels of pollution – and traffic has been found to be one of the key culprits.” The town apparently has the third-worst air in Wiltshire: not one of the country’s most polluted counties, but even so. The article says that the levels have improved since 2012 but “are still too high to be deemed acceptable.”

Slow-moving traffic in the High Street (when is it ever at any other speed?) is certainly part of the problem and in July 2023 the Town Council introduced a “no idling” campaign which is still very much active. This urges people to turn off their engines when waiting for lights, traffic jams of whatever else is holding them up. It also suggest that people sometimes leave engines running while dropping something off. Having learned to drive and spent the best part of my life living in London, I would never do that: someone would have leaped in and driven off before I’d rung the door bell.

The Council also suggests that people often do this while parked to check their phones. This may be true but there’s another danger here. My understanding is that it’s an offence to use a mobile in a car unless you’re parked and the engine is switched off. So, checking that text with the engine running will not only release more particulates but could also cost you three points on your licence.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 7 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the 20mph speed-limit consultation; a councillor vacancy; overgrown verges; financial matters; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: co-option of councillors; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; committee reports; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 17 August 2023

This week we cover a car boot sale, rugby, classic cars, road closures, a village fete and a walking festival – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Marlborough and District Rotary Club invite you to their Bank Holiday Car Boot Sale on Monday 28 August at Marlborough Rugby Club. Sellers to turn up at 7am, buyers at 8am, closing at 12pm. For further information click here.

• Enjoy a classic car event at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club this Saturday 19 August. Classics to arrive from 11am, open to visitors from 12pm to 3pm with bar, refreshments, music, charity stands. Children but must be accompanied by an adult.

• Quick reminder that the rescheduled Minal Village Fete is this Sunday 20 August on the Sports Field from 1pm to 4.30pm followed by live music. See here for details.

• There will be a temporary road closure from Friday 18 to Saturday 19 August in High Street, Manton. For further details check here.

Marlborough Rugby Club invites you to have a go at Walking Rugby. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139.

• Join Menopause Morning at Space NK Marlborough on Wednesday 30 August to discover more about the menopause and feel like your best self.  Click here to book your free place.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• Enjoy Two Complicated playing live at The Blue Boar in Aldbourne on Sunday 20 August from 5pm.

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm to 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 7 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the 20mph speed-limit consultation; a councillor vacancy; overgrown verges; financial matters; and footpaths and highways.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: co-option of councillors; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; committee reports; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 10 August 2023

This week we cover camping, dark skies, rugby, air quality, recycling and a car boot sale – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Marlborough Rugby Club invites you to have a go at Walking Rugby. Email simon.barter1@btinternet.com for full details or call him on 07734 724139. The club also invites you to an exciting pre-season game against the Welsh Championship side Brecon on Saturday 12 August. The fun begins at 11am, with a display of classic cars, games, and delicious food and refreshments available to purchase.

Greatwood charity’s Summer Camp is for Year 5-7 students looking to boost their confidence with the horses, dogs and chickens. The course runs from Monday 21 to Friday 25 August and costs £120. Apply to education@greatwoodcharity.org

Minal Village Fete has been rescheduled to Sunday 20 August on the Sports Field from 1pm to 4.30pm followed by live music. See here for detaiils.

Marlborough and District Rotary Club invite you to their Bank Holiday Car Boot Sale on Monday 28 August at Marlborough Rugby Club. Sellers to turn up at 7am, buyers at 8am, closing at 12pm. For further information click here.

• Join Menopause Morning at Space NK Marlborough on Wednesday 30 August to discover more about the menopause and feel like your best self. There will be a menopause / midlife hair expert, Angharad Beck, to discuss hair and a colour specialist will be demonstrating a makeup look for mature skin and other skin challenges. Click here to book your free place.

• There is a free ‘Marlborough Dark Skies’ children’s activity taking place in a mobile planetarium in the Town Hall on Saturday 12 August from 10am.  will be in town. Please be aware, that the planetarium can only hold a limited number of people at a time, so admission will be on a first come, first served basis.

• This week, Housing Secretary Michael Gove is urging social housing tenants to complain about substandard housing. Residents are being encouraged to make their voices heard by complaining to their landlord in the first instance and then escalating to the Housing Ombudsman if they are unhappy with the landlord’s final response. For more information click here.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: co-option of councillors; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; committee reports; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a Police report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; footpaths and highways; parking; the Clerk’s report; planning matters; a letter to Thames Water; the virtual paths; the 20mph survey; tree planting; speeding; reports from councillors; and verge wilding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the proposed 20mph speed limit consultation; matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; school safety zone for Bishopstone Primary School; repairs and maintenance; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 3 August 2023

This week we cover blue badges, dark skies, rugby ferrets, air quality, an offer for artisans and eco examples from other town and parish councils – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Marlborough Town Council is pleased to report that Wiltshire Council has issued a press notice to confirm that an order came into operation on 1 August meaning that, once a valid parking ticket has been purchased, holders of a blue badge are entitled to an additional hour of parking free of charge in pay and display car parks across Wiltshire. Furthermore from 31 July an on-demand bus service is serving communities between Pewsey Vale to Devizes. For full details and to download timetables, click here.

Marlborough Rugby Club are grateful for the support of sponsors and attendees alike for their ferret racing evening. They are open again this Friday 4 August, the final Friday opening before their season officially starts. They’ll be offering buy one get one free on all  draught beverages and prosecco at £12.00 per bottle, as well as skittles and pub games to try for free.

• Congratulations to the pupils at Ramsbury Primary School who raised over £1,100 for the charity ARK, (Action for the River Kennet) in this year’s Schools Triathlon. See full story on marlborough.news

• There is a free ‘Marlborough Dark Skies’ children’s activity taking place in the Town Hall on Saturday 12 August from 10am. Thanks to the North Wessex Downs AONB, Marlborough Town Council and Bath Astronomers, a mobile planetarium will be in town. Please be aware, that the planetarium can only hold a limited number of people at a time, so admission will be on a first come, first served basis.

• Quick reminder that Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).  Click here for more information and how to have your say.

Marlborough Rugby invites you to an exciting pre-season game against the Welsh Championship side Brecon on Saturday 12 August. The fun begins at 11am, with a display of classic cars, games, and delicious food and refreshments available to purchase. The match starts at 1.30pm, followed by the England v Wales game live on the big screen at 5:30pm. Feel free to bring your picnic tables and chairs for a delightful afternoon of rugby and entertainment.

Our Wiltshire is working with 16 organisations to provide this year’s Summer FUEL programme, providing a range of fun activities throughout the county. All the details on how to book places can be found here.

• For ladies concerned about the cost of HRT, a new Prescription Pre-payment Certificate (PPC) is now available, where you can make a much lower one-off payment. Visit gov.uk for details. One lady paid just £19.40 for the year (yes a year), and that covers her for every HRT prescription she now gets – a saving to her of around £76. This scheme only came out in April this year, so please spread the word.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• Don’t miss out on everything that Aldbourne Music and Song Festival has planned from Friday 28 July to Sunday 6 August. There’s something for everyone.

Aldbourne Band‘s annual ‘Proms on the Green’ concert will soon be upon us. Held on the village green on Sunday 6 August at 4pm, this concert concludes the Aldbourne Music and Song Festival. With a tea and cake stall and an exciting raffle organised by the Friends of Aldbourne Band, this event is one of the highlights in the band’s calendar. Pack a picnic, a flag and bring along your best singing voice for an afternoon of pomp and celebration. As ever, should the weather be inclement, the concert will move into St Michael’s Church.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

• It’s great news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

An offer from the Show

After a three-year pause – two due to Covid and the third to a change of management – the Newbury Show is back on 16 and 17 September. The organisers have recently announced a special offer for any local artists, artisans and craftspeople who want to take a stall. A 3m x 3m stand will cost only £300 for anyone within 15 miles of the Showground, rather than the usual £500. The Show is expected to attract 50,000 people over the weekend, so one way of looking at this is having about one third of the population of West Berkshire coming to see your wares.

For more information on this offer, and the Show generally, click here.

Parish councils making the change

The minutes of the 17 July 2023 meeting of Ramsbury and Axford Parish Council include a report on a recent event that a councillor had recently attended. This was “Parish Councils Fighting Climate Change” organised by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and included presentations from three bodies (Swantage TC, Drafron PC and The Centre for Sustainable Energy) about what steps each has taken to introduce appropriate policies and initiatives. These include schemes relating to reducing plastic and pesticide use, energy reduction measures, encouraging cycling, support for sustainable-energy projects and home insulation. The CSE also offered advice about starting small, ensuring community engagement, light-touch education and the importance of local councils getting involved in any wind or solar farms from the outset.

Many organisations and individuals are striving to do more in these areas but it can be hard to know where to start. This kind of achievement sharing will help provide ideas, as well as points of contact from councils or or other bodies that have already started work on a particular initiative. It’s also encouraging to know that others elsewhere are doing similar things.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; repairs and maintenance; the Parish Steward; potholes; the Memorial Garden; the Library; and the play area.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: co-option of councillors; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; committee reports; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a Police report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; footpaths and highways; parking; the Clerk’s report; planning matters; a letter to Thames Water; the virtual paths; the 20mph survey; tree planting; speeding; reports from councillors; and verge wilding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 27 July 2023

This week we cover idling, rugby, pink stumps, a run, a children’s book and summer fuel – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for the coming of an on-demand bus service to connect Marlborough with the east and the west.

This week’s news

• On the back of Marlborough Town Council’s switch off when idling’ campaign launched last week, Wiltshire Council is consulting on its draft action plan about air quality.  This is your chance to read and contribute comments.They’ve started a six-week consultation on our draft Air Quality Action Plan and Air Quality Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Click here for more information.

Marlborough Rugby invites you to an exciting pre-season game against the Welsh Championship side Brecon on Saturday 12 August. The fun begins at 11am, with a display of classic cars, games, and delicious food and refreshments available to purchase. The match starts at 1.30pm, followed by the England v Wales game live on the big screen at 5:30pm. Feel free to bring your picnic tables and chairs for a delightful afternoon of rugby and entertainment.

• This Saturday 29 July, Marlborough Common 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer will meet 8.50am at the blue flag. This is for anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis and their family to run or walk the 5k your own way (or any distance). Exercise helps in recovery. If nervous about attending please email on marlboroughgroup@5kyourway.org With 1 in 2 people receiving a cancer diagnosis, you are not alone. Meet afterwards at the Marlborough Golf Club for a coffee.

Trail Break‘s Ride to Remember returns on Saturday 11 November, raising funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.  The event will be returning to it’s original Marlborough Downs home, but based at a great new venue, where they’ll be working with a fantastic hosting partner – full details and event booking open very soon.

• Come and support Pink Stumps Day at Marlborough College on Monday 7 August at 11 am. Enjoy a great game of cricket whilst helping to raise funds for Breast Cancer Charities.

• Everyone who knew her was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Kennet Valley School’s Headteacher Emma Russell in December 2022. Now, Kennet Valley School’s Bursar, Suzanne Parnell-Dunn, has written a children’s book in Emma’s memory which encapsulates the legacy Emma left behind. The books are available to buy from the White Horse Bookshop on the High Street in Marlborough and cost £12. Although the book is about and for Emma, it is also just a nice little picture book about kindness and self-confidence. Stocks are very limited, so if you would like a copy, please visit the White Horse Book Shop early to avoid disappointment.

Our Wiltshire is working with 16 organisations to provide this year’s Summer FUEL programme, providing a range of fun activities throughout the county. All the details on how to book places can be found here.

• For ladies concerned about the cost of HRT, a new Prescription Pre-payment Certificate (PPC) is now available, where you can make a much lower one-off payment. Visit gov.uk for details. One lady paid just £19.40 for the year (yes a year), and that covers her for every HRT prescription she now gets – a saving to her of around £76. This scheme only came out in April this year, so please spread the word.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

English and science tutoring is needed over the summer holidays for 11 year old boy in Little Bedywn. If you can help please call Jacina on 07879 470570.

• Please support Marlborough Community Orchard’s community pruning events on 25 and 29 July. Please see this post for more information.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• Don’t miss out on everything that Aldbourne Music and Song Festival has planned from Friday 28 July to Sunday 6 August. There’s something for everyone.

Aldbourne Band‘s annual ‘Proms on the Green’ concert will soon be upon us. Held on the village green on Sunday 6 August at 4pm, this concert concludes the Aldbourne Music and Song Festival. With a tea and cake stall and an exciting raffle organised by the Friends of Aldbourne Band, this event is one of the highlights in the band’s calendar. Pack a picnic, a flag and bring along your best singing voice for an afternoon of pomp and celebration. As ever, should the weather be inclement, the concert will move into St Michael’s Church.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

• It’s fantastic news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

Buses on demand

A recent article in Marlborough News confirms something which I first heard mooted at a meeting of Hungerford Town Council several months ago, the implementation of which has been slightly delayed. This concerns an on-demand bus service which will be launched in the Pewsey Vale area by Wiltshire Connect next week. As the article explains, the service “will operate on a pre-bookable, on-demand basis, allowing you to travel between any designated pick up and drop off point within each zone.”

The reason that Hungerford Town Council was discussing this is because later in the year the service will be extended to provide a “new off-peak timetabled service operating between Marlborough and Hungerford via Great Bedwyn.” On-demands are seen as a viable way of providing a bus service in rural areas although it may take time for people to get used to how they work.

I’ll try to chat to Wiltshire Connect in the next couple of weeks and will share any further information then.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and deputy; actions from the previous meeting; the draft flood plan and emergency plan; speeding; financial matters; highways and footpaths; risk assessments; Great Green Bedwyn; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: co-option of councillors; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; committee reports; and risk assessments.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a Police report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; footpaths and highways; parking; the Clerk’s report; planning matters; a letter to Thames Water; the virtual paths; the 20mph survey; tree planting; speeding; reports from councillors; and verge wilding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 20 July 2023

This week we cover parking, the Savernake, bellringing, pruning and recycling– plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for a proposed letter to Thames Water, a no-idling campaign and concerns about Marlborough’s Leisure Centre.

This week’s news

• Good news that Marlborough Library is now re-opened as their building works are complete. Please see its facebook page for their opening times and a reminder of the activities you can enjoy at the library.

• Those who park in Marlborough and prefer to pay by cash or card will be gratified to learn that Wiltshire Council has no plans to replace these with meters that only use an app. “on the contrary,” Councillor Thomas reassured the Marlborough Town Council meeting on 26 June, “over the next 12 months Wiltshire Council will be replacing all its car parking meters with versions that have the facility for both card (contactless and inserting cards) and cash payments alongside the MI Permit app. This is a very costly exercise, but Wiltshire Council recognises the importance of this issue.” Some meters across the county will be removed completely but replacements will be relocated in more appropriate/more accessible locations where this is the case.

At the same meeting, it was resolved that the Town Clerk writes to Forestry England once again, re-iterating the original invitation from the Town Council, as a primary stakeholder, to present at a Full Council meeting, with full and detailed information about their plans to manage Savernake Forest. As reported here and in Marlborough News, there has been much uncertainty about the proposals for some time.

• St Mary’s Marlborough Bellringers are recruiting. If you would like to have a go (no previous experience required) contact for more information by email marlborough.branch@outlook.com or phone Julie on 07392 768266

Marlborough Town Council have a Planning Committee meeting in the Town Hall, starting at 7pm  on Monday 24 July with public question time. Have your say. See agenda here.

• Enjoy Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in the Garden on Wednesday 26 July in Ogbourne Maizey in aid of KHARPP (The Kharkiv & Przemysl Project) supports Ukrainian refugees. For full details see here  or email contact@kharpp.com.

• Due to a substantial levy being imposed by Ramsbury Brewery on Marlborough Classics with only two weeks notice before their next event ‘Eleven 2 Seven’ on July 22, Marlborough Classics have no choice but to cancel this event and sadly will no longer hold any future classic car events at this venue.

English and science tutoring is needed over the summer holidays for 11 year old boy in Little Bedywn. If you can help please call Jacina on 07879 470570.

• Please support Marlborough Community Orchard’s community pruning events on 25 and 29 July. Please see this post for more information.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

ALEC – Aldbourne Light Entertainment Club’s next production will be “When We Are Married”, a period farce by J.B. Priestly, to be performed on Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October, directed by Debbie Page.Last opportunity to audition will be on Monday 24 July.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

• It’s fantastic news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

No idling, please

After receiving a plea from a resident about air quality in Marlborough after noticing the number of drivers who leave engines running in stationary vehicles next to the pavement in the High Street and at sport clubs while waiting to collect children, Marlborough Town Council’s Planning Committee agreed to spread the word about the harmful effects of toxic exhaust emissions.

“Marlborough is a busy town with A-roads meeting in the town centre,” a statement on MTC’s website reads. ” School and club entrances are close to houses and many people live or work next to busy roads and shopping or other commercial areas. Leaving your engine running, or idling, wastes fuel and money and increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air. Every minute, an idling car produces enough toxic exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons. Reducing emissions from idling vehicles can significantly contribute to a better environment for everyone – saving money and reducing noise, smells and toxic emissions.

The statement also cites several medical sources which claim that air pollution is responsible for between 29,000 and 40,000 deaths in the UK.

Leisure displeasure

We recently wrote about the public dissatisfaction that exists about the state of the Leisure Centre in Wantage. At it most recent Town Council meeting on 26 June, it was the turn of Marlborough’s Leisure Centre. The matter was raisednin public forum by a member of the public but was on the agenda anyway. Here’s a verbatim account from the minutes:

“Councillor Davies opened discussions confirming that she has had concerns for some time over the declining condition of Marlborough Leisure Centre and has been actively lobbying Wiltshire Council for action. Some remedial repairs have been carried out, but considerable investment is required going forward. The following other comments were made:

  • The Leisure Centre is vital to the community not just for physical health reasons but mental wellbeing also.
  • Its location is more accessible than St John’s and more available than Marlborough College facilities which are always booked up.
  • We need guarantees that this facility, which is such a valuable community asset, is retained.
  • Has usage dropped since the building fell into a poor state of repair?
  • Wiltshire Council leisure facilities are back up to 83% usage post Covid.
  • The closure of the café and creche had a massive impact on usage. Small level local investors could re-instate these facilities which would immediately enhance the current offer.
  • Lots of residents chose to travel to Pewsey Leisure Centre, which has undergone massive investment, however many do not have the means to get there.
  • Very little information is available in town or online about Marlborough Leisure Centre. The facility needs a relaunch and more publicity around the activities being offered.
  • It is hoped that the appointment of a new manager, currently being advertised will bring a new lease of life to the centre.

“Councillor Thomas confirmed that there are no plans within Wiltshire Council to close any of its leisure centres or libraries. They are actively investing in these facilities and work is underway.

“It was suggested that the Town Council write to Wiltshire Council strongly supporting future investment in Marlborough Leisure Centre, which is a valuable community asset and vital to the needs, interests and health and wellbeing of the town.

“Resolved: That the Town Clerk will draft and send a letter to Wiltshire Council as outlined above.”

A dirty-water letter

The patience of Aldbourne Parish Council finally snapped at its meeting on 5 July. There was a discussion about a planning application that was proposed to be called in to committee. This Wiltshire Council had refused as “the poor sewer network in the village…is not a material consideration in terms of planning.”

“It was resolved unanimously, the minutes continue, ” that the Clerk, in consultation with Cllr Muirhead and Cllr Josephy, is delegated to write a press release about the failure of Thames Water to supply a sewer system that can cope with the capacity of the village as it currently stands (let alone in the future) and the consequences of this failure, which includes public health. This article will hopefully be the first of several that will be written to highlight the problems suffered across Aldbourne for very many years, and not just the further capacity issues that will be caused by any new housing. The articles will be aimed at raising awareness of the failure of Thames Water to provide an adequate system for Aldbourne with a view to putting further pressure on them to take action.”

It Aldbourne PC would like to send us a copy of this and any future ones we shall be happy to publish them.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: confusing addresses; the Leisure Centre (see also separate section above); the proposed development at York Place; questions to and from Wiltshire Councillors; parking meters; the Mayor’s announcements; financial matters; the Herbert Leaf Charity; an invitation for Forestry England; and committee reports.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a Police report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; footpaths and highways; parking; the Clerk’s report; planning matters; a letter to Thames Water; the virtual paths; the 20mph survey; tree planting; speeding; reports from councillors; and verge wilding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 13 July 2023

This week we cover sheep, stamps, cats, golf, fishing, the bard and recycling– plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for a pair of bovine Maisies and two community pruning events that are coming up.

This week’s news

Marlborough Town Council is pleased to announce that nine Wiltshire horn sheep were welcomed this week to continue conservation grazing in Cooper’s Meadow, Marlborough. Volunteer Sheep Lookers will be checking on them everyday. Thanks are extended to the local sheep owner for workingto enable this long-term project to continue and the volunteers for their commitment too.The east section of water meadow in still accessible to everyone but a reminder that all dogs are to be on leads at this site.

• A reminder that time is running out to use regular stamps without a barcode. After 31 July anyone using non-barcoded 1st and 2nd class stamps with the Queen’s profile risks a surcharge being added to their post. So here’s how the changeover is set to work: special stamps, printed to commemorate a person or special event are not going to be barcoded, and these will remain valid for postage and while Christmas stamps are soon to get their own barcode, previous non-barcoded Christmas stamps will also remain valid after the deadline so there is no need to rush to use them up or swap them out. See here for more details.

Cats Protection is offering financial assistance to eligible residents for neutering and microchipping your cat. 

• On Sunday 16 July from 5pm to 7pm there’s an old St. John’s School Sixth Form band reunion from 1990 when Gothic Acoustic Matinee: Chapter III perform at The Blue Boar.

• Due to the bad weather forecast this Saturday 15 July the organisers of Minal (Mildenhall) Village Fete have reluctantly decided to postpone the event. The probable new date of Minal Village Fete will be Saturday 19 August

Marlborough Golf Club is calling all junior golfers. Come and enjoy a fabulous golf course and play in our Junior Open on 27 July. Book Here

KHARPP (The Kharkiv & Przemysl Project) supports Ukrainian refugees arriving into Poland and those who stayed behind in the frontline eastern city of Kharkiv. Please support their latest fundraiser, Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in the Garden on Wednesday 26 July in Ogbourne Maizey. For full details see here  or email contact@kharpp.com.

• See below for details of community pruning events on §5 and 29 July.

• This year’s Summer Reading Challenge will launch on Saturday 15 July from 10am to 12 noon at Marlborough Leisure Centre. Library staff will be at the leisure centre to sign 4 to 11 year olds up to the challenge. Once the Marlborough Library re-opens, you’ll also be able to sign up for the challenge by visiting the library at anytime throughout the summer.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Aldbourne

• It’s fantastic news that Aldbourne Guides are set to reopen in September 2023. If you have a daughter rising 10 year old or under 14 who are interested, please contact Wendy Beattie on Wendybeattie19@hotmail.com

• The Annual ALEC – Aldbourne Light Entertainment Club Summer Barbecue will take place on Saturday 15 July at 6pm . Debbie Page has very kindly offered her garden as a venue (Castle Street, Aldbourne). Just bring your own food for cooking on the barbie and drinks – salad and bread will be provided. All ALEC members, family and friends are welcome.

• Rehearsals for ALEC’s October production take place on Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 July at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. More details to follow but please save the date.

• Plots are available at the beautiful allotments in Aldbourne, including one with ready made raised beds (even including some plants to get you started). If you are interested contact Valerie hoodvalerie@gmail.com.The allotments are on Marlborough Road (by Valley View) and the rates are very reasonable.

Aldbourne’s Royal Family for Aldbourne Carnival 2023 will be: King and Attendant – Elliot Gosden and Simon Bartholomew, Junior Attendant – Daisy May Lewis, Carnival Prince & Princesses – Harriet Brazier, Molly Gibbs, Sebastian Whiting and Keira Heary.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

Community pruning

Transition Marlborough (TM) and Marlborough Community Orchard (MCO) invite you to the upcoming pruning events at the community orchard sites.The first will take place on Saturday 15 July starting at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation, on the common, just below the rugby club, moving on to Roger’s Meadow. The second will take place on Saturday 29 July starting in Wye House Garden, then moving on to the trees in Waitrose car park as well as those in Priory Gardens, St Mary’s and St Peter’s churchyards.If you are unable to attend at the start you are most welcome to call Philippa Davenport on 07963 313 822 to find out where we are.

The group is also looking for people to help manage the website, run socials and organise events.

Please see this post for more information on both these matters.

The case of the two Maisies

Marlborough News reports that “this year’s cattle have been released into the conservation grazing areas within the 15-acre water meadow which is part of Stonebridge Wild River Reserve.” Over the next few months the two heifers will peacefully graze their way through the dominating vegetation thus helping to improve the biodiversity of the water meadow.

Anna Forbes from ARK (Action for the River Kennet) which manages the site commented that “we are beginning to see a wider range of native wild grasses and flowers in the water meadow, because of the way we manage the area.” Cattle are, she points out, more environmentally friendly than mowing machines. Dog owners are advised that their pets must be kept on a lead in the Reserve. Given the fact that there are two sturdy heifers at work on the mowing and numerous ground-nesting birds in the area until the end of August, it’s probably better not take dogs in at all during this time (that’s my suggestion, not ARK’s).

All this seems perfectly clear and, with one exception, this is very lucid report. There is one omission, however, mentioned in the first paragraph but not explained. The question still rings in my head any may well keep me awake tonight. It is this – why are both of the heifers called Maisie? I think we should be told…

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: crime and disorder; nominations to standing committees; representatives to outside bodies; and other formal business.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 29 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can read the minutes here
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 6 July 2023

This week we cover a nature walk, golfers, a festival, a raffle and a comedy of errors– plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for news of something nasty in the Savernake.

This week’s news

The Marlborough Downs: A Space for Nature are hosting a free sketching nature walk on Saturday 8 July near Marlborough to their tree sparrow village. Jo Beal – Artist will be guiding us on a journaling workshop ramble of about a mile. No experience necessary. Just bring a sketch book, pencils, picnic and your good selves to exerience nature off the beaten track.This walk is aimed at adults and older children and sorry but no dogs permitted on this occasion.Bookings here

Marlborough Golf Club is calling all junior golfers. Come and enjoy a fabulous golf course and play in our Junior Open on 27 July. Book Here

• On Saturday 8 July  The Parade Cinema Marlborough host their annual Parade Family Festival, with a line up of artists performing. Kick off from 12noon. www.tarteinabox.co.uk will be there too with slices of savoury, sweet & chocolate Tarte, handmade traditional and vegetarian sausage rolls & fresh scrumptious doughnuts. If you would like to pre-order (especially the doughnuts) please drop  a message or call 07808 152218

KHARPP (The Kharkiv & Przemysl Project) supports Ukrainian refugees arriving into Poland and those who stayed behind in the frontline eastern city of Kharkiv. Please support their latest fundraiser, Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in the Garden on Wednesday 26 July in Ogbourne Maizey. For full details see here  or email contact@kharpp.com.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s Summer Raffle is nearly upon us. The raffle draw will take place on Friday 14 July  at 7pm. Tickets are still available to buy from students, staff and also from Nationwide & The New Lamb inn Marlborough £1 per ticket £5 per book. Don’t miss out, only a limited number of tickets available and so many chances to win some fantastic prizes

• Transition Marlborough (TM) and Marlborough Community Orchard (MCO)  invite you to the upcoming pruning events at the community orchard sites.The first will take place on Saturday 15 July starting at the Diamond Jubilee Plantation, on the common, just below the rugby club, moving on to Roger’s Meadow. The second will take place on Saturday 29 July starting in Wye House Garden, then moving on to the trees in Waitrose car park as well as those in Priory Gardens, St Mary’s and St Peter’s churchyards.  If you are unable to attend at the start you are most welcome to call Philippa Davenport on 07963 313822 to find out where we are.

• If you are a LitFest member you can now buy your tickets for Marlborough Literature Festival from from 28 September to 1 October with over 40 events covering a range of genres for all ages, including an exciting mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s authors and free schools events, workshops, a translation duel as well as LitFest’s annual Big Town Read. The festival programme is available to view online here or festival brochures are available from The White Horse Bookshop and local libraries.General booking opens 13 July.

• If you have reported anti-social behaviour but no-one seems to be doing anything and the anti-social behaviour is continuing, the ASB Case Review has been designed for you. If you (or others with your consent) have reported 3 incidents (or more) within a 6 month period you can activate the ASB Case Review through your Local Authority.  This has been designed to give you, the victim, the right to demand that agencies deal with persistent anti-social behaviour.

• Tickets are selling fast for the amazing 2023 St John’s School musical Les Misérables on stage from 10 to 14 July. Bookings can be made here.

Marlborough News reports that a recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council has decided that, following formal requests from Wiltshire Council and the Boundary Commission to examine the matter, there will be little to be gained (and a lot of time and money to be lost0 in merging the two neighbouring parishes of Preshute and Savarnake with Marlborough.

• There will be lots of traditional fete games and attractions, dog show followed by live music from 6 – 9pm at Minal (Mildenhall) Village Fete on Saturday 15 July.

Marlborough Library is temporarily closed for building repair works but is offering an order and collect service throughout the closure, with Rhyme Times being held at Marlborough Leisure Centre whilst the library is closed. Find out more from their facebook page here.

• Join The Parade Cinema Marlborough on Saturday 8 July for The Family Festival filled with incredible music, refreshing drinks, and boundless family fun. The perfect lineup for an unforgettable day includes Ann Liu Cannon, The Zoots ,Crystal Tides, The Vooz Hip Route and Nothing Rhymes With Orange.

• Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but we need willing volunteers to help get this initiative off the ground.All volunteers will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. Please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte MendelsonMike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

• The Annual ALEC – Aldbourne Light Entertainment Club Summer Barbecue will take place on Saturday 15 July at 6pm . Debbie Page has very kindly offered her garden as a venue (Castle Street, Aldbourne). Just bring your own food for cooking on the barbie and drinks – salad and bread will be provided. All ALEC members, family and friends are welcome.

• Rehearsals for ALEC’s October production take place on Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 July at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. More details to follow but please save the date.

• Plots are available at the beautiful allotments in Aldbourne, including one with ready made raised beds (even including some plants to get you started). If you are interested contact Valerie hoodvalerie@gmail.com.The allotments are on Marlborough Road (by Valley View) and the rates are very reasonable.

• There are currently  a wide range of Toys and Games for all ages at the Aldbourne Community Junction Charity Shop. A great place to get the most from your pocket money!

Aldbourne’s Royal Family for Aldbourne Carnival 2023 will be: King and Attendant – Elliot Gosden and Simon Bartholomew, Junior Attendant – Daisy May Lewis, Carnival Prince & Princesses – Harriet Brazier, Molly Gibbs, Sebastian Whiting and Keira Heary.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

Found in the forest

The Forestry Commission’s website claims that “the history of the forest goes back for a thousand years or more.” (Wikipedia adds that “the first mention of a woodland Safernoc was made in AD 934.”)  “This long history,” The Commission continues, “has left us with an outstanding legacy of old trees, rich landscapes and diverse habitats.” The habitat has recently become a bit more diverse for, as Marlborough News reported on 6 July, someone has dumped about two tonnes of asbestos there.

Wiltshire Councillor Caroline Thomas said that “we suspect that the person who had the work done on their property would have expected the waste to be removed legally, as most of the asbestos is wrapped in plastic, so there has been some care to remove it safely from the property.” The problem is that homeowners are frequently reminded that they can be in the firing line if stuff they give to someone else is not disposed of properly. The incentive of a £200 high-street shopping voucher may not be enough to make the home- or business-owner come forward.

If you think you know where this came from – and there can’t be that many places which have recently shed two tonnes of asbestos – then see the foot of the MN article for details of how to report it.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 1 July Summer Fete, St Katharine’s Church, Savernake.

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: crime and disorder; nominations to standing committees; representatives to outside bodies; and other formal business.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; action points from the previous meeting; police and community report; ward members’ reports; financial matters; planning matters; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; complaints about the loss of the weekend bus service to Hungerford; the WWII Memorial Project; the Clerk’s report; the NDP; planning matters; speed limits; the virtual paths; the football field; play-area inspections; repairs and maintenance; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; rewilding; and highways and footpaths.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 29 June 2023

This week we cover summer music, dogs, a library closure, no takeover of two local parishes, a family festival and further problems on the trains– plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• The Bedwyn Music Society’s Summer Concert is this Friday 30 June at St Mary’s Church in Great Bedwyn. This year’s performers are the Chloe Piano Trio and their programme will feature works by Shostakovish, Rebecca Clarke and Brahms. Tickets on the door. See more details here.

• The Macmillan Committee stall on Marlborough High Street will be selling plants this Saturday 1 July with all proceeds go to MacMillan Cancer Support.

St Katharine’s Church in the Savernake welcomes you to their Summer Fete this Saturday 1 July.

• Tickets are selling fast for the amazing 2023 St John’s School musical Les Misérables on stage from 10 to 14 July. Bookings can be made here.

Marlborough News reports that a recent meeting of Marlborough Town Council has decided that, following formal requests from Wiltshire Council and the Boundary Commission to examine the matter, there will be little to be gained (and a lot of time and money to be lost0 in merging the two neighbouring parishes of Preshute and Savarnake with Marlborough.

Marlborough Town Football Club are organising a charity summer evening walk on Wednesday 5 July from 6pm to 8pm, in aid of Hope and Homes for Children, an international charity working in eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and Africa. Donation of £5 per person, or more if you are feeling generous. Please contact: Sally and Trevor at trevhbrown@gmail.com or just turn up on the day.

• There will be lots of traditional fete games and attractions, dog show followed by live music from 6 – 9pm at Minal (Mildenhall) Village Fete on Saturday 15 July.

Marlborough Library is temporarily closed for building repair works but is offering an order and collect service throughout the closure, with Rhyme Times being held at Marlborough Leisure Centre whilst the library is closed. Find out more from their facebook page here.

• Join The Parade Cinema Marlborough on Saturday 8 July for The Family Festival filled with incredible music, refreshing drinks, and boundless family fun. The perfect lineup for an unforgettable day includes Ann Liu Cannon, The Zoots ,Crystal Tides, The Vooz Hip Route and Nothing Rhymes With Orange.

• Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but we need willing volunteers to help get this initiative off the ground.All volunteers will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. Please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte MendelsonMike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

Aldbourne Doggy Day and Classic Car Show are looking for help to set up the children’s area, tombola’s etc. on Saturday 1 July andalso need help on Show Day Sunday 2 July.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

On the trains

Strikes dominate the latest update from the Bedwyn Train Passengers Group (BTPG), which you can read here. ASLEF has announced an overtime ban from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 July which might cause short-notice alterations or cancellations. The RMT union has also announced strike action that will affect rail services on Thursday 20, Saturday 22  and Saturday 29 July.

Other items include a cracked crossing at Theale this week (now hopefully sorted), short-formation trains and bus services from Bedwyn to Marlborough.

The BTPG has been campaigning for improved rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford, Kintbury and Newbury since 2006. If you use these stations, we recommend subscribing to BTPG newsletters by emailing info@bedwyntrains.org.uk.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 1 July Summer Fete, St Katharine’s Church, Savernake.

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: crime and disorder; nominations to standing committees; representatives to outside bodies; and other formal business.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; action points from the previous meeting; police and community report; ward members’ reports; financial matters; planning matters; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; complaints about the loss of the weekend bus service to Hungerford; the WWII Memorial Project; the Clerk’s report; the NDP; planning matters; speed limits; the virtual paths; the football field; play-area inspections; repairs and maintenance; and a report from the ward member.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; rewilding; and highways and footpaths.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 24 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 22 June 2023

This week we cover a relocation, a fridge, drama, music, gardens and a family festival – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This week’s news” for a look (in conjunction with Marlborough News) and proposals for the re-development of York Place in Marlborough and why two school’s river days were scuppered by a sewage alert.

This week’s news

The Merchant’s House Open Gardens is happening this Sunday 25 June from 1pm – 5pm. Advance tickets cost£8.00 from the Merchant’s House website Here. Tickets on the day £10.00 from the front of the Merchant’s House.

• If you’re thinking about having a clear out please support Marlborough St Mary’s with their Bags2School initiative. Please drop off seed bags via the school car park on Sunday 25 June before 8am. Email friends.msm@yahoo.com for further details.

• Great news that the future of Packaging Not Included zero waste shop in Hughenden Yard is secured as founder Hayley Lambert is selling the business to regular customers Sarah and George. The handover will take place in July and Hayley thanks all her customers for shopping in PNI over the past 4 and a half years. She says “it has been brilliant and I have been inspired and motivated by you all.” In the meantime the shop will close a bit early this Monday 26 June as Hayley needs to leave to view a house. See more details here.

Marlborough Community Fridge recently celebrated their second birthday and wants to thank all their volunteers for their past and continuing support. New volunteers always welcome. They are usually open at 9am on Thursdays and Saturdays, and 1pm on Fridays but this is dependent on sufficient donations, so please keep an eye on their Facebook page the evening before.

• The Bedwyn Music Society’s Summer Concert is on Friday 30 June at St Mary’s Church in Great Bedwyn. This year’s performers are the Chloe Piano Trio and their programme will feature works by Shostakovish, Rebecca Clarke and Brahms. See more details here.

• Join The Parade Cinema Marlborough on Saturday 8 July for The Family Festival filled with incredible music, refreshing drinks, and boundless family fun. The perfect lineup for an unforgettable day includes Ann Liu Cannon, The Zoots ,Crystal Tides, The Vooz Hip Route and Nothing Rhymes With Orange.

• Many people enjoy this kind of heat but fewer animals do. There is lots of advice for pet owners and wildlife lovers during a heatwave. Some people think it’s okay to leave their dog in the car if they’re parked in the shade or the windows are open, but a car can become as hot as an oven even when the weather doesn’t feel that warm. If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, this is what the RSPCA recommends that you do.

• Are you involved with a community gardening group? BBC 1’s The One Show in partnership with the RHS are recognising new growers who have transformed a green space in their area in their Growing Together Award 2023 for Community Gardening. They are particularly keen to hear about projects that involve a diverse range of people who are traditionally under-represented in gardening and have really benefited from starting to garden or having a new outdoor space to use. The winners will receive National Garden Gift Vouchers, a plaque and certificate. Apply here by Tuesday 11 July.

• Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but we need willing volunteers to help get this initiative off the ground.All volunteers will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. Please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte MendelsonMike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

Aldbourne Doggy Day and Classic Car Show are looking for help to set up the children’s area, tombola’s etc. on Saturday 1 July and  also need help on Show Day Sunday 2 July.

Roves Farm Visitor Centre have donated a wonderful Silent Auction prize to raise money for St Michael’s School, Aldbourne.Have a browse and see if there is a Day Out that you would like to bid for.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

No play today

Pollution from untreated sewage in the River Kennet kept school children out of the water for their safety on 20 June 2023. Action for the River Kennet (ARK) had planned to run a day of river-school activities for pupils from Preshute and Great Bedwyn Primary Schools, but woke to find untreated sewage pouring into the river at three points in Marlborough and were forced tell children they should not enter the river downstream.

“Class 4 at Great Bedwyn School were not only sad to miss out on thir filed trip to investigate the invertebrate in our local, rare, chalk river but also shocked and appalled that is not illegal for Thames Water to spill raw, untreated sewage into them,” Class Teacher Kathryn Bengtsson commented. “We have written letters to our local MP Danny Kruger and are working with ARK (Action for the River Kennet) to build a rain garden in our school to help alleviate our flooded sewer system. Many Bedwyn villagers are also building rain gardens and we hope that more will get involved to help save our rivers.”

Click here for the full story, including a link to Thames Water’s sewage discharges map which shows that the problem is by no means restricted to this stretch of the Kennet.

Redeveloping York Place

This article in Marlborough News described the “redevelopment plan by Housing Association Aster. The former elderly residents have been moved out into other accommodation, not necessarily nearby and close to friends, family and their community, so at best, disruptive, in many cases.” The article goes on to point out that the economics of the re-development will considerably reduce the number of dwellings designed for elderly residents. It adds that “the recent Planning Meeting of the Marlborough Town Council the committee agreed to object to the application ‘on the grounds that it does not contain social housing to meet the needs of the community as specified in the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan; insufficient car parking provision, and inaccuracies and omissions in the Arboricultural Report.” The next stop is Wiltshire Council’s Eastern Planning Committee in July.

All of this has echoes of what happened, or nearly happened, in Stratfield Mortimer in the east of West Berkshire last year. For York Place, read Windmill Court; for Aster, read Sovereign; otherwise, the details seem quite similar. I don’t know if Aster’s announcement was performed as clumsily as was Sovereign’s but both seem to have caused a similar amount of upset and distress. At Windmill Court, a better solution has now been arrived at, thanks in part to the way the parish council asserted itself when it finally found out what was planned. Time will tell what happens here.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Thu 23 June Mansfield Park, The Old Manor, Aldbourne.

Sat 1 July Summer Fete, St Katharine’s Church, Savernake

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: crime and disorder; nominations to standing committees; representatives to outside bodies; and other formal business.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 12 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; action points from the previous meeting; police and community report; ward members’ reports; financial matters; planning matters; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; defibrillators; new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; the play area; the Coronation; the Marlborough Area Board; the allotments; village maintenance and repairs; the School; the public toilets; and anti-social behaviour.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; financial matters; cspeeding. tree-naming; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here. iIems covered included: thanks from the Bedwyn Footpath Group for gBPC’s continued support; the proposed new on-demand bus service; actions from the previous meeting; financial matters; repairs and maintenance work; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 24 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 15 June 2023

This week we cover volunteers, a festival, speedwatch, recycling, and a summer fayre – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This week’s news” for information about the new Wiltshire Chief Constable’s first 107 days in the hot seat.

This week’s news

Marlborough Town Council wants to thank the town’s incredible volunteers who make so many things happen and often go unnoticed, helping out with youth activities, event preparation, planning and marshalling, first aid, litter picking, fundraising, community fridge, helping the vulnerable, bulb and tree planting and so much more…

St Katharine’s Primary School in Savernake is looking for your support on Saturday 17 June from 3pm to 8pm at their Family Festival. With pony rides, a barbeque, live bar and much more tickets are £7 pp with children under 11 free.

Marlborough Community Fridge recently celebrated their second birthday and wants to thank all their volunteers for their past and continuing support. New volunteers always welcome. They are usually open at 9am on Thursdays and Saturdays, and 1pm on Fridays but this is dependent on sufficient donations, so please keep an eye on their Facebook page the evening before.

• The Bedwyn Music Society’s Summer Concert is on Friday 30 June at St Mary’s Church in Great Bedwyn. This year’s performers are the Chloe Piano Trio and their programme will feature works by Shostakovish, Rebecca Clarke and Brahms. See more details here.

• Join The Parade Cinema Marlborough on Saturday 8 July for The Family Festival filled with incredible music, refreshing drinks, and boundless family fun. The perfect lineup for an unforgettable day includes Ann Liu Cannon, The Zoots ,Crystal Tides, The Vooz Hip Route and Nothing Rhymes With Orange.

• Many people enjoy this kind of heat but fewer animals do. There is lots of advice for pet owners and wildlife lovers during a heatwave. Some people think it’s okay to leave their dog in the car if they’re parked in the shade or the windows are open, but a car can become as hot as an oven even when the weather doesn’t feel that warm. If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, this is what the RSPCA recommends that you do.

• Are you involved with a community gardening group? BBC 1’s The One Show in partnership with the RHS are recognising new growers who have transformed a green space in their area in their Growing Together Award 2023 for Community Gardening. They are particularly keen to hear about projects that involve a diverse range of people who are traditionally under-represented in gardening and have really benefited from starting to garden or having a new outdoor space to use. The winners will receive National Garden Gift Vouchers, a plaque and certificate. Apply here by Tuesday 11 July.

• Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but we need willing volunteers to help get this initiative off the ground.All volunteers will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. Please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487

The Merchant’s House Marlborough Open Gardens is on Sunday 25 June from 1pm to 5pm. Enjoy an array of beautiful gardens all within easy walking distance of Marlborough High Street. Tickets and full details can be found here.

• On Sunday 18 June Bedwyn Footpaths Group will meet at Bedwyn Memorial Village Hall for a Health, Fitness and Wellbeing Walk starting at 10am.

Action for the River Kennet reports on another successful River School with Year 4 at Great Bedwyn Primary, last week, in preparation for this week’s river visit. Covering a range of topics, including pollution of our local rivers. The students saw the images of sewage pollution on the River Og last September and learnt how they can help their rivers by not using wet wipes, or if they do use them, to NOT flush them down the loo.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte MendelsonMike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

•The Ignite Film Festival returns this summer to The Parade Cinema Marlborough with 5 nights of incredible independent films running from Monday 19 to Friday 23 June 2023. Grab your tickets here

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

Aldbourne Doggy Day and Classic Car Show are looking for help to set up the children’s area, tombola’s etc. on Saturday 1 July and  also need help on Show Day Sunday 2 July.

Roves Farm Visitor Centre have donated a wonderful Silent Auction prize to raise money for St Michael’s School, Aldbourne.Have a browse and see if there is a Day Out that you would like to bid for.

• There will be a funday fundraiser on Saturday 12 August at Aldbourne Football Field in aid of a memorial stone for WW2 servicemen and personnel who were stationed in Aldbourne. If you would like to donate a raffle prize or have a stall please contact Sharon the organiser on facebook.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

The Watermill Theatre‘s Mansfield Park on Tour will be at The Old Manor, Aldbourne on Friday 23 June. More details here.

107 days

Marlborough News reports here that on 13 June the Marlborough Area Board and members of the public were introduced to Wiltshire Police new Chief Constable, Catherine Roper, as she said, “on her 107th day in the role.” If nothing else, therefore, the meeting proved that the new supremo is serious about keeping records and getting figures right.

As the article goers on to explain, there is much work for the Wiltshire force to do. In 2022 it was “rated as ‘Inadequate’ in a PEEL (Police Efficiency, Effectiveness and Legitimacy) report and placed in ‘Special Measures’ as a result. Part of the negative findings of that report related to dealing with the public and Catherine Roper and Philip Wilkinson’s presence at the Area Board meeting was part of addressing that.” The next PEEL inspection will be in March 2024 – in about 300 days – and should “hopefully yield significant improvements.”

This work will take place against a familiar backdrop of funding shortages and recruitment challenges. In April, Sky News reported in April that the Home Office had recently hit a target of recruiting 20,000 more officers since 2019, although this only appears to return the situation to where it was before austerity started to bite in 2010.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 16 June St Michael’s Aldbourne School Summer Fair, Aldbourne

Thu 23 June Mansfield Park, The Old Manor, Aldbourne.

Sat 1 July Summer Fete, St Katharine’s Church, Savernake

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 March and you can read the minutes here.You can also click here to read the minutes of the annual town meeting on 17 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; financial matters; rabbits at the allotments; village maintenance and repairs; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; defibrillators; new correspondence; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; the play area; the Coronation; the Marlborough Area Board; the allotments; village maintenance and repairs; the School; the public toilets; and anti-social behaviour.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; financial matters; cspeeding. tree-naming; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here. iIems covered included: thanks from the Bedwyn Footpath Group for gBPC’s continued support; the proposed new on-demand bus service; actions from the previous meeting; financial matters; repairs and maintenance work; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 8 June 2023

This week we cover a fun run, speeding, a festival, gardens and authors – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This week’s news” for information about a Wiltshire Council webinar and a link to Marlborough News’ explanation of when a pothole isn’t a pothole.

This week’s news

St Katharine’s Primary School in Savernake is looking for your support on Saturday 17 June from 3pm to 8pm at their Family Festival. With pony rides a barbecue, live bar and much more tickets are £7 pp with children under 11 free.

•It’s time for the Great Bedwyn fun runs Still time to enter and join, with distances to suit everyone plus bouncy castle, face painting, tombola, children’s games, a range of stalls, beer tent. Open to everyone, bring your friends & family. Enter here or just turn up on the day from 9am

• Marlborough Town Council is supporting Wiltshire Police with the setting up of Community Speed Watch schemes for each of these areas but we need willing volunteers to help get this initiative off the ground.All volunteers will be trained up by Wiltshire Police and will be given all the equipment needed to do the job. Please contact Clare Harris at Marlborough Town Council via email charris@marlborough-tc.gov.uk or give her a call on 01672 512487

The Merchant’s House Marlborough Open Gardens is on Sunday 25 June from 1pm to 5pm. Enjoy an array of beautiful gardens all within easy walking distance of Marlborough High Street.Tickets and full details can be found here.

Wiltshire Council are pleased to announce that from Monday 5 June, they can collect small rechargeable electrical items as part of their blue-lidded recycling collection. So if you have unused items like shavers or mobile phones pop them in a carrier bag and put them out next to your blue-lidded bin. For more details see here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

• There will be a Collection of Aid for Ukraine on Tuesday 13 June at Marlborough Town Football Club. Please see details here or contact hungerfordukraineaid@gmail.com if you have any questions about items on the list or are unable to get there on the day to make alternative arrangements. The next collection is planned for the north-side of Newbury in September.

• Local children’s author Larry Hayes is on a mission to get local primary school kids loving writing and loving books. To celebrate the publication of his new book How to be a Kid Boss, he’s taking his hugely popular Creative Writing Workshop for kids on tour to primary schools in West Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Reading and Wiltshire. Any primary school can book Larry for one of 50 free workshops suitable for Years 3 to 6. The workshop is for 30 to 60 children at a time. For more details contact laurencechayes@gmail.com

• On Sunday 11 June from 9am to 2pm Great Bedwyn School Association is running a fun run and family morning. If you would like to bring a stall along please get in contact with Jenny Macneil. There are limited spaces which will cost £15 a slot.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte MendelsonMike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here

• Don’t forget that Marlborough Community Fridge is usually open at 9am on Thursdays and Saturdays, and 1pm on Fridays but this is dependent on sufficient donations, so please keep an eye on their Facebook page the evening before. For instance this week they received 100 boxes of eggs from Fowle Play and frozen meals from Cook, Marlborough.

• There’s a new drop-in for teenagers in Marlborough. After school, in term time on Mondays from 3pm to 5pm, join Wiltshire YFC Youth Worker Steve Dewar at Church Cottage on Silverless Street. Enjoy a safe lounge space to relax, chat with others, enjoy a range of activities and be encouraged.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

•The Ignite Film Festival returns this summer to The Parade Cinema Marlborough with 5 nights of incredible independent films running from Monday 19 to Friday 23 June 2023. Grab your tickets here

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

• There is an opportunity to experience relaxation, breathwork and meditation at the Methodist Hall in Aldbourne on Monday 12 June from 7pm to 8.15pm. Book via eventbrite here or contact Kate Digman on 07824810629. No commitment just pay £5 for each session you attend. Come and give it a try.

• St Michael’s Aldbourne School Summer Fair is on Friday 16 June from 4.30pm to 7pm. There will be a barbecue, family fun activities and games, children’s crafts, stalls full of treats and a licensed bar with some fantastic prizes in their Silent Auction See more here.

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

Aldbourne Doggy Day and Classic Car Show is happening on Sunday 2 July from 10.30amto 4pm at Farm Lane, raising funds for animal rescues and village groups. Check out aldbournedoggyday.com for full details.

The Watermill Theatre‘s Mansfield Park on Tour will be at The Old Manor, Aldbourne on Friday 23 June. More details here.

Digital potholes

You can always tell when a council has realised that local matter has reached a critical level of public concern: it organises a webinar about it.

This accolade has been accorded by Wiltshire Council to the county’s pothole population which has experienced a period of rapid growth in the last year thanks to near perfect breeding conditions of a hot summer followed by a wet and cold winter. We received a record number of 3,623 pothole reports through our MyWilts reporting system this January”, Caroline Thomas, Cabinet Member for Transport, said in February. “This compares with 924 reports in December and 677 reports in November, which illustrates the scale of the problem we’re dealing with across over 2,500 miles of roads in Wiltshire.

As for the webinar that will, as Marlborough News reports, take place from 6pm to 7pm on Monday 19 June and you can book your place here. The aim is to explain to people “how potholes are inspected, prioritised and filled throughout the county, as well as information on long-term maintenance schedules and resurfacing. There will also be the opportunity for people to ask questions to the panel, and people can also submit written questions beforehand – though questions should be focused on the general issue of potholes and highways maintenance, rather than specific potholes…”: otherwise, presumably, the webinar would last a lot longer than an hour.

The article concludes with an explanation of why the pothole in the photograph (which isn’t technically a pothole) hasn’t been filled in, even though it’s probably more than three inches deep. That could be one of the specific potholes that Wiltshire Council doesn’t want mentioned at its pothole webinar: on the other hand, perhaps this can be mentioned, because it isn’t a pothole, and it’s only real potholes that can’t be mentioned, not fake ones. All will be revealed on 19 June.

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more and fill out and application.

• For the latest information changes to rail services between Bedwyn, Newbury and Paddington we recommend following the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 16 June St Michael’s Aldbourne School Summer Fair, Aldbourne

Thu 23 June Mansfield Park, The Old Manor, Aldbourne.

Sat 1 July Summer Fete, St Katharine’s Church, Savernake

• Regular events

Sustainable Marlborough’s monthly social meet-up on the third Thursday of the month.

Kennet Vale Table Tennis Club at Kennet Valley Hall. Juniors meet on Fridays from 5.45 to 7 pm and they are always on the lookout for adults to play socially or competitively. Call Richard on 07568 648468 to book a space.

Sing-a-long and Social at St Mary’s Church Hall every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm. No need to be alone/lonely come and have some relaxed fun with tea and biscuits. Call Anna on 07852 191378 for information.

Marlborough Walking Football offers exercise and friendship. Ideal for the over 50s, meeting on Mondays at 6pm for more details see here.

Carer Café  at the Jubilee Centre, 28 Marlborough High Street on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 10:30am to noon. No Booking required. Join in on a relaxed chat over a hot drink with other carers and support workers or volunteers from Carer Support Wiltshire.

Sing A-Long and Social Group on Tuesdays 6pm – 7pm in St Mary’s Hall in Silverless Street, Marlborough.

Rhyme Time for babies and toddlers, every Wednesday and Friday 11am 11.30am at Marlborough Library. If you don’t already have a library membership, please sign yourself and your child up before you attend.

Great Bedwyn Stay And Play is on Mondays term time 1pm to 2.30pm at Great Bedwyn Village Hall. There are games and free play with lots of themed music to enjoy with your little one. All are welcome. Prices for sessions can be found on their Facebook page.

• The Transition Marlborough Hub Group meet on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm currently by zoom. To get involved please email enquiries@transitionmarlborough.org.

• Marlborough Park Run is a free, weekly, timed five km walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday. Open to all ages and abilities. Organised entirely by volunteers. Click here to see their Facebook page.

The Stroke Association monthly drop-in support sessions at The Jubilee Centre for stroke survivors, their families and carers on Monday mornings. See here for the next date. For more details contact Katie Fielding on 07908 952740 or katie.fielding@stroke.org.uk

• Marlborough Floral Club meets 2pm on the first Thursday of the month at the Mildenhall Village Hall. For details please see here or call Micky Graham on 01672 514301.

The Menopause Matters Marlborough facebook group provides a forum for women in Marlborough and the surrounding areas to access information and support relating to menopause.

The White Horse Bookshop is offering workshops until the end of the year, click here for the full list.

News from your local councils

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent full meeting of Marlborough Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 March and you can read the minutes here.You can also click here to read the minutes of the annual town meeting on 17 April.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for the latest on Marlborough’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Chiseldon Parish Council for which minutes are available, took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; actions from the previous meeting; reports from the ward members; financial matters; rabbits at the allotments; village maintenance and repairs; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Bishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council, for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; matters arising; planning matters; a report from the ward member; financial matters; cspeeding. tree-naming; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Bedwyn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 May and you can read the minutes here. iIems covered included: thanks from the Bedwyn Footpath Group for gBPC’s continued support; the proposed new on-demand bus service; actions from the previous meeting; financial matters; repairs and maintenance work; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Aldbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: election of the Chair and Deputy; financial matters; outstanding issues; a possible memorial on Farm Lane; planning matters; the South Street footpath; repairs and maintenance; a report from the ward member; and the SID device.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Click here for more information on Aldbourne’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Ramsbury & Axford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Wanborough Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St George Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for a list of current consultations being run by Wiltshire Council.

• Marlborough area council contacts

Parishes: Marlborough Town CouncilAldbourne Parish CouncilRamsbury & Axford Parish Council, Great Bedwyn Parish Council, Savernake Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, Ogbourne St George Parish Council, Wanborough Parish CouncilBishopstone and Hinton Parva Parish Council  and Ogbourne St Andrew Parish Council.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton & DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 1 June 2023

This week we cover gardens, aid, a festival, teenagers, recycling, no fishing and reading – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This week’s news” for the latest on the problems with the Bedwyn to Newbury train line and Mansfield Park comes to Aldbourne.

This week’s news

The Merchant’s House Marlborough Open Gardens is on Sunday 25 June from 1pm to 5pm. Enjoy an array of beautiful gardens all within easy walking distance of Marlborough High Street.  Tickets and full details can be found here.

Wiltshire Council are pleased to announce that from Monday 5 June, they can collect small rechargeable electrical items as part of their blue-lidded recycling collection. So if you have unused items like shavers or mobile phones pop them in a carrier bag and put them out next to your blue-lidded bin. For more details see here.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet would like to remind everyone that there is no permission is given for fishing at Stonebridge Wild River Reserve, Marlborough.

• There will be a Collection of Aid for Ukraine on Tuesday 13 June at Marlborough Town Football Club. Please see details here or contact hungerfordukraineaid@gmail.com if you have any questions about items on the list or are unable to get there on the day to make alternative arrangements. The next collection is planned for the north-side of Newbury in September.

• Local children’s author Larry Hayes is on a mission to get local primary school kids loving writing and loving books. To celebrate the publication of his new book How to be a Kid Boss, he’s taking his hugely popular Creative Writing Workshop for kids on tour to primary schools in West Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Reading and Wiltshire. Any primary school can book Larry for one of 50 free workshops suitable for Years 3 to 6. The workshop is for 30 to 60 children at a time. For more details contact laurencechayes@gmail.com

Elcot Festival – Live Down the Lane is back as promised this Saturday 3 June from 2pm to 11pm at Marlborough Town Football Club. Bring a blanket and set yourselves up for the day but  no glass – bag checks will be carried out. Kids are free (under 18’s) but do have to leave the site by 8pm. This year it’s a ticketed event – see facebook event for more details.

• On Sunday 11 June from 9am to 2pm Great Bedwyn School Association is running a fun run and family morning. If you would like to bring a stall along please get in contact with Jenny Macneil. There are limited spaces which will cost £15 a slot.

Marlborough Literature Festival is excited to announce new sponsors and authors for the 2023 line-up. Included in the itinerary are Frank Cottrell Boyce Charlotte Mendelson  Mike Brearley and Sebastian Barry. For more details see here

• Don’t forget that Marlborough Community Fridge is usually open at 9am on Thursdays and Saturdays, and 1pm on Fridays but this is dependent on sufficient donations, so please keep an eye on their Facebook page the evening before. For instance this week they received 100 boxes of eggs from Fowle Play and frozen meals from Cook, Marlborough.

• There’s a new drop-in for teenagers in Marlborough. After school, in term time on Mondays from 3pm to 5pm, join Wiltshire YFC Youth Worker Steve Dewar at Church Cottage on Silverless Street. Enjoy a safe lounge space to relax, chat with others, enjoy a range of activities and be encouraged.

• Worsley Training is running First Aid Courses in St Mary’s Church Hall, Marlborough: Adult First Aid on Thursday 15 June; Paediatric First Aid on Friday 9 July.

Friends of Marlborough St Mary’s are having a Summer Fayre on Friday 14 July from 4.30pm to 7.30pm with a variety of crafts, raffle and sports. Free to enter.

•The Ignite Film Festival returns this summer to The Parade Cinema Marlborough with 5 nights of incredible independent films running from Monday 19 to Friday 23 June 2023. Grab your tickets here

Marlborough Town Council reminds residents that Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) have now reverted to their summer opening hours. They open at 9am (instead of 10am) on each day they’re open. Find your nearest HRC here.

Marlborough Town Council in collaboration with Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living are holding Wiltshire Vision events to see how people want social care delivered in Wiltshire. Please click here to have your say.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet invites residents for a led Nature Trail. Discover the nature on your doorstep on Saturday 3 June, taking you to a variety of the town’s green and blue spaces. This event is part of North Wessex Downs AONB‘s Walking Festival, to book you places and find out more please see here.

• The charity Home-Start North Wiltshire (formerly Kennet) is looking for volunteers to offer practical and emotional support, working with each parent on what they need most. Find out more about things they can help with, or how to become a volunteer Here.

Aldbourne

St Michael’s School, Aldbourne are thrilled with their new Outdoor Play and Learning area and grateful to the wider community for helping resource it.

Deadlight Dance will be appearing at The Blue Boar in Aldbourne on Sunday 4 June from 5pm to 7pm with an acoustic set and some goth-ing up of some 80s classics

Aldbourne Nursing Home is grateful for visits from pupils at St Michaels School who read to the residents as well as a four-legged visitor from Greatwood.

Aldbourne Doggy Day and Classic Car Show is happening on Sunday 2 July from 10.30am  to 4pm at Farm Lane, raising funds for animal rescues and village groups. Check out aldbournedoggyday.com for full details.

The Watermill Theatre‘s Mansfield Park on Tour will be at The Old Manor, Aldbourne on Friday 23 June. Tickets will be on sale at Aldbourne Post Office from 2 June. 

• For the latest news from the Time Team dig on the Aldbourne site linked to the United States Army’s most famous regiment of the Second World War, the legendary Band of Brothers, see their facebook page which features Sir Tony Robinson visiting the dig with Richard Osgood of Operation Nightingale and Tim Taylor of Time Team.

Aldbourne Community Junction Charity Shop is open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on a Saturday, and currently has a selection of cushions, throws, curtains and accessories to brighten up rooms throughout your house and refresh your home for Spring.

Off the rails

We’ve written many times about the pretty terrible rail service between Bedwyn and Newbury and highlighted the excellent work done by the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group (BTPG)  to lobby GWR into doing something to improve this.

Local MP Laura Farris has recently issued a statement on this matter in which she says that she has asked for government time to debate “the adequacy of GWR’s performance” through West Berkshire. This, she explains, “follows changes to timetables that have seen capacity on the busy morning commuter service from Newbury to Reading slashed, resulting in overcrowding, in a move that Ms Farris has called “short-sighted”. Ms Farris says she was told by GWR that the decision to reduce capacity on this service was a result of a network-wide need to reduce fleet size due to financial constraints.”

The statement adds that “this intervention by the Newbury MP follows a continued campaign to improve local rail services. Last year, Ms Farris and her constituency neighbour Danny Kruger MP (Devizes) successfully campaigned for service improvements which resulted in the reinstatement of one direct evening service between Hungerford and Paddington.” This also includes a comment from the BTPG that the shuttle service “is causing missed connections, extending journey times and making passengers having to run at Newbury. The three stations have had the majority of their direct trains allocated elsewhere with no consultation.”

I contacted the BTPG about this and the group confirmed that it had recently had a Zoom meeting with Laura Farris’ office. “It’s good that she is highlighting this,” a spokesperson told me. “This is likely to form part of a wider campaign over the rest of this year to try to get our through services reinstated.”

I also asked to what extent the group had been involved in the restoration of the service to which Laura Farris referred. “The two MPs have made efforts to improve matters,” I was told, “and the evening service mentioned was one success. We did specifically ask for this train to be reinstated. Just to get this back took a considerable effort.”

We’re all being exhorted to use trains although there’s little in the either the simplicity or the prices of the tickets to encourage this. Having a perfectly simple journey to Reading or London split in two with an unreliable connection doesn’t make it stack up on timing or convenience either.

To some extent, this is down to the failure to electrify the line west of Newbury (the whole network could be been electrified for the cost of HS2) but I was more surprised by the reference to the “financial constraints” placed on GWR. This is, of course, a trump card for any organisation to play – don’t blame us, guv, it’s the government’s fault. However, I thought these companies were privatised, so enabling them to invest what they wanted in order to attract customers. Could it be the the Department for Transport is micro-managing their spending?

A bit of research suggested that this is exactly what’s happening. It’s less clear why. Perhaps the government doesn’t trust the rail companies. Certainly, several of them have been placed on the naughty step over the years. It also seems pointless privatising something if you’re then going to try to do everything yourself. Rail privatisation only created an artificial market in any case: if I want to go from Hungerford to London, I don’t have a choice of operators in the way that I do with telecoms or utilities. In this respect the rail firms are like those that provide our water.

It thus seems even odder that whereas GWR would perhaps like to improve the service, the DfT is preventing it from doing so and telling it how to spent its money: whereas with the water companies, which have only recently woken up to the fact that they need to improve their services, the government and its agencies seem disinclined to force them to do so. Just remind me – why did we privatise these industries in the first place?

Mansfield Park on the road

As part of its remit, the excellent Watermill Theatre in Newbury produces a summer show which goes on tour round the area before coming back to HQ for a short run. This year, the touring performance is a dramatisation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. The Watermill’s website describes this as “an inventive and intelligent outdoor production (which) reveals a fresh perspective on Jane Austen’s classic romance.”

There are 15 touring venues in all. Seven of these are in the area covered by Penny Post and these are listed below. For more information on the production and details of other venues, please click here. All except East Garston’s are for one performance only.

  • 7 and 8 JuneEast Garston Village Hall – Book online
  • 9 June: Shrivenham Memorial Hall – Book online
  • 14 June: Cold Ash Acland Memorial Hall – Tickets available from Cold Ash Post Office (cash only)
  • 16 June: Kintbury The Old Vicarage – Book online
  • 19 June: Bradfield Village Hall – Book online
  • 23 June: Aldbourne The Old Manor – On sale soon: visit the Watermill website for further details.
  • 24 June: Brimpton Village Hall – Book online

Community notices

Marlborough Community Fridge, located in the Community Room in the George/Figgins Lane Car Park (just behind the public loos) is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met and it is a good way to use up surplus food from supermarkets and businesses that would otherwise go to waste. Please see their facebook page for more details.

Walkers, horse-riders, off road cyclists please be mindful of your impact on ground-nesting birds this spring and summer. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

Marlborough Library has a Reading Well book collection to help support children and teens’ positive mental health. Chosen by children and teens themselves with health experts these books are free to reserve and borrow from any Wiltshire library.

Love Marlborough Kids is a great community initiative to make sure all Marlborough children have access to free meals during the current crisis and beyond. No fuss, no forms, no referrals. Just meals for families who need them. See here for how to apply.

• Anyone in the Marlborough area wanting to host or support Ukrainian refugees are invited to join this Facebook page: Ukrainians and their sponsors in Marlborough and surrounding areas. Or if you can volunteer to teach English please contact Nastia on nikasling@gmail.com.

Marlborough Fire Station is looking for new on-call recruits, ideally those who live or work within 5 minutes of the station. On-call firefighters are paid but they are not based at the station like full-time firefighters. They can have other jobs and commitments, only responding to emergencies when their alert goes off. Anyone over 18 with a good standard of physical fitness can apply. Please see Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue to find out more an