Parish Council News – June 2011

New Chairman

At the Parish Council AGM on 17th May, Mr Neil Burchell was elected as Chairman of South Marston Parish Council, with Mr Stuart Young remaining as Vice Chairman. The Parish Council thanked Mr Colin McEwen for all of his work and dedication as the previous Chairman for the last five years.

The following Working Parties and representatives on Outside Bodies were also elected:

Parish Council Working Parties

Strategic Planning, Property & Finance: Chairman – Neil Burchell. Sylvia Brown, Ken Millard, Malcolm Phillips and Barry Thunder

Operational Planning: Ken Millard, Brian McGlone, Stuart Young

Environment: Barry Thunder, Neil Burchell, Brian McGlone, Robbie Taylor

Emergency Planning: Ken Millard with SBC

Allotment Liaison: Barry Thunder

Village Expansion Working Party: Chairman – Neil Burchell. At least three Parish Councillors and local residents.

Representatives on Outside Bodies

Highworth United Charities: Brian McGlone

Friendly Club: Brian McGlone

Swindon Area Committee: Sylvia Brown, Ken Millard and Colin McEwen

Tower & Tap/Website: Clerk – Gemma Cheal

Transport & Police: Robbie Taylor

South Marston Recreation Association: Stuart Young

Swindon Community Planning Forum: Stuart Young and Colin McEwen

Allotment Update

The Clerk and the Parish Council Allotment Liaison have recently carried out an inspection of the allotments in South Marston. We are pleased to report that generally, the allotments are being maintained to a very good standard.


Conservation Site News – June 2011

On 19th May we worked on tidying up the new season’s growth. The newly planted hedgerow is growing well with only a few plants lost to the lack of rain. There are a few meters of hedge still to plant next year.

The new path foundations are settling well and we hope to add the finer top layer of grit after the summer. The design for the two bridges is being worked on and we hope to have enough funds to build these toward the end of 2011. Work on the pond sitting is going well and we hope to be putting it in place over the next few months.

We are still looking for native plants to use on the site and welcome any contributions from the village. Any donations, please call Brian on 826243 or Barry 826697.

We always welcome new volunteers and help them in any way we can. Please come along and see what is going on, between 2pm and 5pm on18th June.


South Marston Enterprise Group – June 2011

This small group of villagers has been meeting to talk about and share experiences of being in business for about 18 months. We come from a variety of backgrounds and our experience of being in business varies from a few months to several years; but we all have something to contribute.

In 2010 the group members were able to share knowledge and skills on subjects as diverse as business processes, presenting your business and time management. It’s not a formal group – we meet in each other’s homes, chat and usually indulge in something good to eat and drink.

We’d like to invite anyone with an interest in business or enterprise (you don’t have to run a business) to join us at our meetings, which take place on the first Thursday of each month. You don’t have to commit to every meeting and it costs nothing.

In June we will be learning how to use PR to promote your business – we will be sharing ideas, tips and techniques, which you will be able to take away and put into practice. We will meet at 7.30pm on Thursday 9th June at 1 Byron Court.

If you’d like to come please call Hannah Jones on 01793 823035 or e-mail her at

Church News – June 2011

High Five

The next High Five service for children up to 5 years will be on Friday 10th June at 10am.

‘Craft Company’

We are meeting again at Mary Cooper’s house (Dryden House) 2pm Wednesday 8th June. More details form Mary or Vicky Fleming.

Saturday Scene

Saturday Scene meets on 11th June in the Village Hall 4-5.15pm. An exciting church event for young families. Stories, songs, crafts, games and food. Contact Donald Page on 825693

The 7:30 club

The 7.30 Club for 10 to 16 year olds from Stratton, Stanton & South Marston.

On alternate Sunday Evenings – 7.30 – 8.45pm, St Margaret’s Centre. The 7.30 club, preparing young people for Confirmation

– if you are interested please contact Vicky Fleming for more information.

Church Funds

Many of you will remember Mrs Win Smith. She was very involved in village life and is remembered with great affection. Win loved this village and its church. Sadly Win died last year but she remembered her church to the last and has left £1,000 for Church funds. We wish to express our deep gratitude for this generous and thoughtful gift.

We are also grateful for other donations we have received for our guttering appeal—wouldn’t it be good to get this work done before the winter comes? Damp brings so many problems to old buildings and the more we can do to prevent it the better. Its is after all our heritage we are looking after. We can’t do it without your help.


Have you noticed how tidy the church grounds are now? A huge thank you to Colin and Jenny McEwen for cutting the Glebe grass and Richard Sansum and William Hiscocks for working hard in the churchyard. PLEASE help us to keep it tidy by disposing of nonbiodegradable things in the bin provided and compost the rest in the designated area. Thank you.

Domesday Reloaded – South Marston

If you are of a certain age then you may remember the Domesday Project. Modelled on the Domesday book from 1086, commissioned by William the Conqueror, it was a project commissioned in 1986 by the BBC. The intent was to provide a snapshot of our communities and everyday life, and it achieved this by inviting over 1 million individuals to contribute articles about their home area. This information was compiled onto Laserdiscs and was intended to be navigated around using a trackball, which was cutting edge technology at the time, which could be read by BBC Master Computers.

The intent was this equipment could be used in schools. However due to the cost of the equipment it never took off, and very few people got to see the fruits of the work.

Now 25 years later in our age of the world wide web, digital photography, email and social networking, its time to have a look at those entries again, to bring the project up to date, and perhaps to lay down another layer of local history.

The BBC have now made all of the original content from the Domesday Project available online, on a website called Domesday Reloaded.

You can rediscover and explore images and articles from the original project to find out how life in Britain has changed… and how some things have stayed the same.

In addition, you will be able to update the project by re-photographing the images today and updating text entries.

To see the Domesday Reloaded information for South Marston, and potentially update it for future generations visit here.

Advertiser – Greenlight for Solar Farms

Solar panels near Dukovany Nuclear Power Station.
Image via Wikipedia

Swindon Advertiser today ran an article regarding the planning application for two Solar Farms to be sited in South Marston and Sevenhampton.

TWO new solar farms will soon bolster the town’s green credentials after they were given planning permission by Swindon Council.

The two farms, at Roves Farm in Sevenhampton, and in South Marston, both measure 32 acres in size and will produce enough electricity for 4,000 dwellings.

“This scheme will mean Swindon leads the way with one of the largest solar fields of any town in the UK.”

George Paton who acts for the landowners

Roves Farm owner Rupert Burr said he was delighted to have secured planning permission for the project, which will see a five megawatt capacity solar farm built consisting of 17,000 solar panels.

He said: “We were reasonably optimistic about this outcome but we are very pleased because we have been working towards it for a long time. Everybody I have spoken to has been very supportive of the plans, in fact I haven’t met anybody who has said they disagree with it and I presume this was shown in the letters of support that were sent to the planning committee.”

The scheme, which will stretch across about 30 acres of land in two fields immediately to the west of the Roves Farm buildings, is the largest eligible for support under the new government incentive scheme known as the “Feed-In Tariff” announced last year.

Rupert, who has run Roves Farm since 1992, said the first phase of the project must be completed by August 1.

“Obviously there are some formalities to sort out before then,” he said. “But it is early days and the first phase has to be completed by August 1 to be eligible for the government scheme. The next stage is to try to market the electricity and find companies who are interested in it, I hope there will be an interest out there so we can start pushing it a little bit more.”

George Paton who acts for the landowners said: “This is a fantastic step for Swindon in meeting the challenges set by Climate Change. This scheme will mean Swindon leads the way with one of the largest solar fields of any town in the UK.”

The developers AEE Renewables plan to start work on the site in the next four weeks. Power generated will be fed into the national grid.

For more information call Roves Farm Visitor Centre during normal working hours on 01793 763939.

Prospect Hospice Starlight Walk – 25th June

With only a month to go until registrations for the Starlight Walk ends, Prospect Hospice are urging ladies who haven’t yet signed up to register now.

The Starlight Walk, supported by Nationwide Building Society, takes place on Saturday 25 June and is the Hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year. Last year saw over 700 ladies stepping out for a summer-night’s sponsored walk beneath a starlit sky, raising £80,000 for the Hospice. And with over 300 women already registered for this year’s event, fundraiser Becky Gammon is urging would-be participants to sign up before registrations close on 30 May.

“We have been pleased with the sign-up rate so far, but we’ve still got a long way to go to break the record.” says Becky. “We’re hoping that there are a lot of ladies out there planning to take part who haven’t yet registered. If you’re one of them, either phone us or visit our website to sign up and register.

“It’s a really fun girl’s night out, a physical challenge and a brilliant way to help raise much-needed sponsorship for Prospect Hospice. I’m really hoping there are still ladies out there who just make that decision to take part and join us for what I know is going to be a really great event.”

Taking part in the Starlight Walk for the first time is Nationwide Building Society employee Sam Sealey. Sam will be tackling the 10k route as a way of saying thank you for the care her mum Rita received at Prospect Hospice in the final weeks of her life.

“Prospect Hospice wasn’t something I had known about until Mum was admitted there last October,” she says, “We would sometimes visit the Prospect shops, but I either didn’t know or didn’t want to know about the Hospice. When Mum needed their support, I was so glad that the Prospect Hospice was there.

“I’ll be thinking of Mum, of course, but it’s also my son Joe’s birthday. Before she died, Mum would tell Joe that she would watch down on him from the moon, so a Starlight Walk on his birthday seems very fitting.”

Ann Vince will also be taking part in the Starlight Walk for the first time, setting herself the challenge of the 15k route. The date is an important one for Ann, as it marks the second anniversary of the death of her best friend Delphius King at Prospect Hospice.

“Delphius was someone very special, and we were friends for many years. Prospect was a huge source of comfort to her in her final days and they cared for her extremely well. It was clear from Del’s stay that the Hospice is such a great place and that’s what encouraged me to take part in the walk.

Del’s experience has made me feel very close to the Hospice and what it does. Del’s daughter-in-law has said that she will sponsor me, so clearly she feels that Prospect Hospice is a charity worth supporting too.”

To sign up for Prospect Hospice’s Starlight Walk before registrations close on 30 May, visit Registration costs just £15 and walkers are encouraged to aim to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.