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Faux outrage at new track

I WRITE with regard to your article regarding the athletics track recently laid at Dauntsey’s school which you covered last week in your article Athletes banned from ‘eyesore’ running track.

I do not condone a breach of the requisite planning permission, if that was indeed the case, but I think it is important to retain a sense of perspective. Statements of faux outrage by parish and county councillors who are appalled at what they have seen regarding a state of the art sports facility that is barely visible from the surrounding countryside are, perhaps, a little over the top. Such phrases should be reserved for events such as the use of Novichok nerve agent by Russian spies in Salisbury. As far as I am aware, there are no dwellings on Strawberry Hill, but there are three mobile phone masts. And as can be seen from photos taken from the high ground above West Lavington, it is quite difficult to be ‘appalled’ by something that is a challenge to see. I am sure that the track can be surrounded by additional trees and shrubbery and any last remaining sight of the track will be hidden.

BRENDAN SHAW, High Street, Market Lavington

An open letter to MP Claire Perry

AS the MP for Devizes, and much of Salisbury Plain where many of our soldiers work I cannot understand why you have not spoken out against the action of the Government

Action being taken against a number of army pensioners who served their country in difficult times in Northern Ireland is unacceptable to the vast majority of the public. Over 300 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers lost their lives in the conflict with the IRA, as well as many serving army personnel.

This country was at war with the IRA ,which bombed London, killed and maimed hundreds of people on the main land.

This action to prosecute, or even consider prosecuting old men in their last days, some for actions they took in protecting their colleagues and the public 50 years ago is not in the public interest.

I would ask that you stand up for your constituents both serving and retired, and I am sure you know that there are many retired servicemen living on your patch. If you stay silent many in your constituency including myself will concur that you are in support of these prosecutions.

I do not expect you to go as far as Jonny Mercer MP, but you need to speak out now and apply some pressure to stop this witch hunt.

IAN JAMES, Woodborough, Wiltshire

Trying to trace an old college friend

I AM hoping readers might be able to help me with the following quest.

I am trying to trace a friend who was at University College, London with me (1965-1968), where we both studied History.

Her name was MARGARET R. CRATE and she lived from about 1960 to the early 1970s at 35, Tugela Road, Chippenham.

Her stepfather, who died in Chippenham Hospital in September 1977, was Lawrence Arthur Chapman; her mother, who died at home in August 1988, was Gwendoline Rose Chapman.

I assume Margaret went to secondary school in Chippenham, but I am not sure if, in those days, there was more than one.

She married Alan R. KILLICK in 1972 in the St. Pancras District of London. I would be most grateful for any help you can give me. My contact details are email:

KENNETH HILLIER, Kings Newton, Melbourne, Derbyshire

Big thank you from the Bobby Van Trust

I WOULD like to send a big thank you to everyone involved with Calne Lions and the Calne Duck Race on Saturday.

Calne Lions presented a cheque to The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust for £1,000.

The trust could not carry out its vital service of keeping people safe in their homes without such local support. The trust had a stand at the event and it enabled us to hand out the flyers advertising our upcoming Stay Safe Online drop in coffee mornings to be held at Marden House, Calne from 9.30 to 11.30 am once a month starting on Friday 17th May.

The Trust’s Stay Safe Online Team of seven police trained volunteers have visited over 190 homes and talked to over 25 community groups since its launch in May 2017. They have already helped several multiple victims of cyber-crime from being lured in again via online dating scams and fraudsters. We hope through these free coffee mornings to reach as many over 60s and 18+ registered disabled residents of Calne as possible to offer them advice on all aspects of cyber-crime in a friendly and relaxed setting with coffee and cake.

JENNIE SHAW, Director of The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust

Garden Gathering for Parkinson’s UK

WHATEVER the weather and wherever you are, why not gather with friends and family this summer and help raise vital funds that will help cure and support everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

I’m proud to be supporting charity Parkinson’s UK’s Garden Gathering fundraiser, and we’re calling on people to celebrate the summer their way – whether it’s with tea and cake, or cocktails and a BBQ.

By holding your own Garden Gathering, you’ll be raising money that could help end Parkinson’s forever. Parkinson’s is a serious neurological condition and I’ve seen first-hand the impact it has on people.

My mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010 and it’s hugely debilitating. But Parkinson’s UK’s research provides hope that one day there will be a cure, and the charity believes that scientists could now be on the verge of a major breakthrough.

Organising a Garden Gathering is easy, so please sign up for your free fundraising pack and you’ll be making a huge difference to the 13,600 people living with Parkinson’s in the South West.

To start planning your fun-filled summer fundraiser please visit:

SIAN LLOYD, TV Broadcaster and Parkinson’s UK supporter

What benefit will closures bring?

WILTSHIRE Council is voting on May 22 on their proposals to close two popular local special schools - Larkrise in Trowbridge and St Nicholas in Chippenham.

Shockingly, they appear to have completely ignored the issue of how this will impact the economies of these two towns.

Their plans make no mention of job losses or the effect on businesses who supply these schools. They do however estimate that there will be benefits to Devizes and Rowde.

I have just asked town councillors if they know what the projected financial implications are - and they don’t have a clue.

So if you are one of the many enterprises associated with these two fine schools, you might like to email councillor Laura Mayes (, with your concerns.

Ask her how YOU will be affected. Because Wiltshire Council doesn’t seem to realise that a school is more than a place for educating children, it is a contributor to the financial health and well being of the community.

NICOLA GROVE, Horningsham, Wiltshire

Seeking a former Devizes mayor

IF any reader has details of John Farmer King (1874-1924) who was the Mayor of Devizes in 1920, we would be pleased to hear from them.

MJ ROBINS, Lower Stanton St Quintin

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