To all our visitors, welcome and greetings from Swallowcliffe.
The website (courtesy of Chris Stanbury, Managing Director of Cravenplan
Computers) is proving very popular and has helped put the village
on the map, actually not quite true, we have been around for over
a thousand years. Originally we had a hard copy, quarterly news
letter, which ran for about four and a half years but, it was proving
very difficult getting enough material to keep it going. So, we
thought we would try a shorter version of it on the web. It has
been a year since the old news letter finished so perhaps it would
be a good idea to briefly cover the year since then.
The village celebrated the millennium in style with a festive weekend
at the end of last June involving the Village Hall, the Parish Council
and the Church Council. To leave something for future generations,
villagers were invited to write their thoughts and history to be
sealed in a time capsule, which was then buried in the village.
Possibly the highlight of the celebrations was the reception hosted
by the Village Hall Committee for over 100 people when the magnificent
embroidered map of the village (created by ladies of the village)
and a side panels depicting Swallowcliffe flora and fauna were unveiled.
These have attracted many visitors and universal praise from visitors
as far a field as California and New Zealand.
Another very successful event was an open day that was held in the
Hall. Villagers brought along a whole variety of possessions ranging
from dolls to fossilised sea shells and flint hand axes that had
been found in the village. The thriving history group had an excellent
exhibition displaying a host of detail on Swallowcliffe's past.
This exhibition was of particular interest to the many past residents
who came and took the opportunity to meet old friends and make new
As well as special events, Swallowcliffe also has regular monthly
events, all held in the village hall. For example, the Luncheon
Club meets every 2nd Wednesday, this is a very popular monthly social
event well attended by over forty people. The local school kitchens
in Tisbury provided the food, in the past. These services have now
been contracted out and we are waiting to see how the quality compares.
Regretfully, the contractor let the club down for the month of September
by failing to let any one know that they would not start services
until the end of the month. The Computer Club meets every 2nd Thursday
of the month. The Swallowcliffe Art Group meets Thursday afternoons,
in the Hall in the winter and, weather permitting, at various outdoor
venues in the summer.
A couple of dates you may like
for your diary.
On October 20th there will be another musical
evening featuring Ten Strings and a Bow with Iain and Martine, they
play acoustic guitar and violin. These evenings have proved very
popular and it is advisable to book in advance as seating is limited.
Doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm. Normally these quarterly music
evenings are run to raise funds for the Village Hall but this event
will raise funds for the Fovant Badges Society to help towards their
appeal for funds to restore the 'badges in the chalk'. You can find
more information about the badges on their web site www.fovantbadges.com.
A worthy cause which we are happy to help with.
On Friday, 28th September, 1030 - 1200 in the
village hall, Swallowcliffe will be taking part in the World's Biggest
Coffee Morning in support of Macmillan cancer relief. The event
will include a bring and buy stall plus, a raffle. Your support
for this other worthy cause would be much appreciated.
So there you are, we are not just another little,
sleepy, old village that time passed by.
Perhaps one of the most important changes has
been the arrival of the new tenants, Steve, Jenny and Carly Brown
at the Royal Oak. Over the past few years the pub has been teetering
on the brink of closure, the reasons being many and varied. They
closed the establishment for about ten days on taking over in order
to completely refurbish it. This they did very successfully and
once again it is proving a very popular venue. The menu has been
completely revamped and offers a very varied selection of excellent
food. Bed and breakfast is also available. These days, in order
to make a living, the majority of village pubs are no longer just
drinking places but, restaurants that sell beer. The Royal Oak has
followed this path.
Foot & Mouth
Being very rural, Swallowcliffe did not fully escape the fall out
from the disastrous foot and mouth epidemic, which, regretfully
seems to be regenerating itself. Although there are cattle on some
of the farms in the vicinity, the big farms grow mainly cereals.
All the footpaths were closed which effectively stopped the many
ramblers who normally come our way but, with their re-opening a
while back we have seen them return.
The wet weather earlier in the year has been making its'
effects felt this late in the year. The harvest is all in but the
yields are down from four tons per acre last year to, just over
three tons this year. The straw yield is down by half but there
has been a good market for it with nearly all local supplies having
been sold. Some farmers have resorted to making straw from rape
seed instead of chopping it up and ploughing it back into the soil.
In keeping with other small villages Swallowcliffe does not do very
well out of central funds when it comes to having essential maintenance
carried out. One glaring example is the lack of maintenance of minor
roads through the village. The powers have declared that there will
not be any for the foreseeable future, despite the increasing deterioration.
Even more seriously, during the winter months when we have heavy
frosts, the roads become ice rinks but we are not entitled to any
gritting in spite of the fact that to get in and out of the village
we have to negotiate hills. One could go on forever but it will
do no good and we know we are not alone with these problems. Maybe
we will highlight some more next time. How does your village fare?
Despite the problems we encounter (they pale into
insignificance one suspects, when compared with some areas) people
still want to sample the Swallowcliffe experience. This year alone,
three new houses have been built on sites where the old houses were
knocked down. This follows the national trend of developers moving
in and building executive homes, way beyond the price range of youngsters
who would like to stay in the area. We have been fortunate, the
new arrivals over the last couple of years have become involved
in the community. This is always a bonus, as one often hears of
those who just arrive and contribute nothing.
Hopefully in the next update we will include something
about Swallowcliffe's past history. If you want know anything about
the village contact
us through the web site.
Disclaimer: The points of view expressed do not necessarily
represent those of the committee.