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| Police bulletin |No.16-September 1999 | No.17-December 1999 | No.18-October 2001

Swallowcliffe Up-date

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 Millennium
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.

Open Day
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 ones.

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.

Swallowcliffe Newsletter
No. 18 - October 2001
Contents click to jump to article
The Millennium
Open Day
Diary dates
Important changes
Foot & Mouth Disease
Village maintenance

Important Changes
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 Disease
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.

Village maintenance
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.

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