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Thank you voters

WE write to say thank you to the residents of Trowbridge Drynham ward. They turned out in significant numbers last Thursday to choose their next Wiltshire and Trowbridge Town Councillors, and we are honoured and deeply grateful that they voted for us.

Over the past two months we have spoken to hundreds of people. Clearly, like us, they are worried by what is happening in our County Town. Much needs doing to restore the economic health and state of our town centre, create opportunities for our young people, secure fair funding for local schools, support our elderly and vulnerable residents, and protect our much valued green spaces.

Our commitment is to work hard on both councils to achieve these goals for the residents of Drynham, and we welcome the support of anyone who shares our interest in the community, town and county, regardless of how they they chose to use their vote.

Councillor Andrew Bryant, Liberal Democrat Wiltshire Councillor for Trowbridge Drynham

Councillor Denise Bates, Liberal Democrat Town Councillor for ‎Trowbridge Drynham

Vote of thanks

I would like to thank all those residents who voted for me in the recent by-election in Drynham Ward on the 4th July 2019. Despite me not being selected as the Conservative Candidate, I did as an Independent Candidate achieve a respectable 25 per cent of the poll.

Due to the overwhelming support that I have received, I have decided to stand again in 2021, with a much larger team.

John Knight, Independent, Stallard Street, Trowbridge

Jam tomorrow...

IT IS interesting to learn yet again, that a plan for the Bowyers site in Trowbridge will be shown to the public for comment “in the Autumn”. I think that this has happened several times before.

I would accept that this prevarication may because of the difficulties in utilising the listed buildings and trying to negotiate with the railway authorities about station access. My fear, though is that if the Autumn date is, in fact, met then we will just be told what will go on the site and there will be little or no ability to get any significant changes made to the proposals.

The Times’s report gives an exhibition date of October or November and a planning application “before the end of the year”. This gives no time for any changes to be made. There has been such a long time in the gestation of the scheme, which is really important for Trowbridge. Surely there was time to come to the Trowbridge public with concepts, possibly with alternatives, to test public reaction. Why are developers so shy of doing this?

It’s an important site in an important town. It deserves a high quality scheme. Let us hope that the developers are up to it.

David Feather, Broadley Park, North Bradley

A military success

Congratulations and a big thanks to everyone who were involved with the planning and all arrangements for the recent Forces Weekend at Trowbridge.

This was a wonderful event for which as a town we can be proud. The thousands of people who attended on Saturday and Sunday will without doubt take away special memories.

For me it was the procession through the town on Sunday afternoon, led by gun carriage and the band of The Band of Royal Artillery. Followed by the Shrewton Silver Band proudly playing the Regimental March of the Wiltshire Regiment - To be a farmers Boy - as they passed the saluting dais.

I wonder if many of the large crowd lining Market Street would have realized that this marked an historical connection with the past.

The anniversary of something which still features so prominently in the life of the town. In the summer of 1939, William Nelson Haden presented to the people of Trowbridge the bandstand in the park. I was just a small boy in the large crowd watching the ceremony.

I have however a newspaper cutting from the time which reports, with photographs, that performing was the Band of The Royal Artillery Portsmouth which in an amazing way spans the years and links up with the event of today.

Well done also to Salisbury for hosting the national event. Again an excellent weekend, but why not another time Trowbridge.

With our military heritage and The Park as a wonderful venue we could and should as County Town be given the opportunity to lead the nation in celebrating the achievements of our armed forces and remembering the veterans who have served us so gallantly over the years.

Stanley H. Jones, Hilperton Marsh

Bramble problem

I’m writing as a disabled person who uses a mobility scooter to take my dog for a walk around North Bradley and the Virgin Mobile route.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get around due to the state of the pavements, brambles and hedges in a state of very poor maintenance.

A lot of the pavements have dips and bumps in that cause severe pain in my back and in some parts I have to lean against the camber which feels like it’s going to tip me out. Also I have to take a pair of secateurs with me to trim back brambles that encroach on the pavements. I’m not the only person who uses the footpaths and it can’t be fun for the joggers especially in the hot weather running in shorts.

There’s a particularly bad section as you come along the road from Platinum into North Bradley where a hedge has been allowed to grow over the pavement and almost into the road. I don’t know who is responsible for keeping the footpaths clear but whoever it is is clearly not doing a very good job of it.

If it wasn’t for taking my dog for a walk I would be stuck in the house for days on end and I urge whoever is responsible to spare a thought for those who are disabled and keep the footpaths clear.

Mick Moore, North Bradley

Readers needed

Each week the Trowbridge Talking News provides free of charge a summary of the Wiltshire Times to people in Trowbridge and the surrounding area who have difficulty in reading a newspaper due to being blind or partially sighted.

This service is provided on a USB memory stick which they play in the comfort of their own homes and so they are not excluded from all that is happening in the local area. The backbone of this service continues to be the Readers and Duplicators who operate the portable equipment in their own homes.

The Readers choose news and interesting articles from the Wiltshire Times and dictate them onto the USB memory stick before the Duplicators carry out the more administrative tasks of ensuring that copies of it are despatched in pouches to the service users each week.

The Annual General Meeting of Trowbridge Talking News will be held on Wednesday 07 August (7.45 pm) at the Trowbridge Rugby Football Club, Doric Park, Hilperton, Trowbridge when the management committee for the following year will be elected.

Anyone who already supports this service or anyone wishing to learn more about it is cordially invited to attend and will be made most welcome.

Volunteers to help provide the service are always sought and further information on the roles of Reader, Duplicator and the management committee can be obtained from the Secretary at ttnenquiries@gmail.com, by ringing 07528 841930 or by attending the AGM.

Chris Williams, Secretary, Trowbridge Talking News

Wiltshire Quarrymen

I AM in the process of revising, for republication, my small book Some Notable Wiltshire Quarrymen. Although all the major characters are now dead, there may be living people who can send me information about them or about others in the extensive Genealogical Table. I am particularly interested in the Barnett, Bishop, Cainey, Cole, Dancey, Hancock, Knott, Light, Lodge, Mizen, Shepherd, Tinson families - some for later use. It may be there are photographs of some of the men mentioned in SNWQ, or even of others - all preferably in quarrying attire.

I shall welcome any additional information, pictorial or written and undertake to return anything where requested.

E-mail: rogertucker@live.co.uk, 18 Springfield Grove, Westbury Park, Bristol

Forgotten war memorials

On Sunday members of Devizes Royal British Legion took part in a pilgrimage to the Veteran’s Day at the Nation Armed Forces Day in Salisbury.

The aim was to commemorate the fallen from all three services and raise the profile of military memorials in Wiltshire. There were 18 branch members, including one 94 year old WW2 veteran. We visited seven war memorials between Devizes and Airman’s Corner culminating as part of the celebrations at Hudson’s Field in Salisbury.

“We met at Devizes War Memorial for an Act of Remembrance and Kohima Epitaph at 1000hrs on Sun 30 Jun and laid a wreath at the memorial and where appropriate laid a Poppy Cross next to Commonwealth War Graves.

We then did the same small ceremony at the following memorials; Potterne, West Lavington, Tilshead, Orcheston, Shrewton and the two crosses at Airman’s Corner and Fargo Wood at Stonehenge.

We then completed the pilgrimage by driving to Hudson’s Field to join in the celebrations and watch the world record breaking human poppy attempt. We were joined by local dignitaries at some of the memorials, including our mayor, Cllr Judy Rose. Additionally we contacted the Imperial War Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to give them photos and details of each location and what remains were contained there, so they could update their records. (IWM for memorials, CWGC for graves)

We wanted to bring to the public’s attention that there are local war graves that do not receive any visitors from one year to the next and, by seeing what we were doing they might show an interest, not just around Armistice Day but throughout the year. There is little so sad as seeing a neglected war grave or memorial.”

Bob Haslam, Chairman

Depressing prospect

Based on his track record to date I was amazed to see that Philip Whitehead has been anointed by his Conservative colleagues as the new Leader of Wiltshire Council.

As the then Cabinet member for Finance, Cllr Whitehead bears much responsibility for the hotly disputed attempt to sell-off Braeside and Oxenwood and the equally unpopular plans for new Special Schooling provision. The manner in which WC tried to circumvent democratic consultation on these proposals not only created outrage locally, but also brought the Council into disrepute at a national level.

Events during Cllr Whitehead’s prior role in Highways and Public Transport also give rise to questions about respect for due process. His involvement (both as Cabinet Member responsible and also as the local Councillor) in the ridiculous decision to create a PROW through the grounds of Urchfont Primary School is a case in point.

This decision has now been overturned by a public enquiry, despite costly legal efforts by WC to uphold it. The illegal attempt by WC to declare private land in Royal Wootton Bassett to be a village green bears a disturbing similarity.

This decision was also overturned (by the Court of Appeal) at a further cost to local taxpayers

Admittedly, Cllr Whitehead does take his wider ‘pastoral’ responsibilities seriously, and recently asked Urchfont Parish Council to complain formally to the local Church magazine about the inclusion of an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Good to see someone go the extra mile to shield his constituents from the baleful influence of these religious ne’er-do-wells. Given the lack of competence shown by the Tory Party in Government we clearly can’t expect too much from them at local level.

Nonetheless it is a thoroughly depressing prospect if Philip Whitehead is the best person they can find to lead them.

W Barnett, Eastcott Common, Devizes

Thank everyone

MANY welcomed and enjoyed the events marking Armed Forces Day.

But I wonder why we set no day aside to celebrate the work and achievements of say, our health professionals, the police, farmers, journalists. Margaret Thatcher asserted ‘There is no such thing as society’ - but there clearly is. We are all interdependent.

John Boaler, Woodland Park, Calne

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