BUILDING COMMUNITY LIFE: CATEGORY ONE
Bromham is a thriving, living village, still mainly inhabited by the old local families, retaining traditions and values, which contrives well into a sense of belonging and being part of a much bigger family, but is also welcoming to the many new families coming to live in the village. We are proud of our heritage, but equally we pride ourselves on our sense of hospitality, and the spirit with which we welcome newcomers, as well as encouraging both young and old together, embracing new and traditional ideas - all contribute to Bromham’s well known community spirit.
In this age of speed and technology, we feel today, more than ever it is vital to retain a sense of belonging, a pride in our surroundings and the knowledge that we are doing our best to retain out village environment.
It is also important to know that Bromham is also a working village providing employment for over 450, a place where everyone is working together to retain all amenities, and endeavouring to provide even more to encourage the welfare of the people of Bromham as well as maintaining a wonderful village community spirit making it a special place to live.
Bromham is rather special being made up of 7 small hamlets; where planning restrictions locally has favoured us with no large estates but allowing small developments enabling the village to grow but also retain all its village ambience, allowing us to retain our village shops, post office and encourage local businesses.
Bromham being in Wiltshire the most crime free County in the Country; is reflected in Bromham having only three reported crimes in the first six months of this year. Of course we have had our share of boisterous teenagers, but our solution is to spot it early and resolve the problem – through special meetings between teenagers and the Parish Council and a chance to discuss needs, resulted in the New Generation Youth club being opened, and an area for skate boarding and basketball constructed. The Social Centre Club also allows youngsters of 14years to join, all addressing the problems highlighted and giving the teenagers of the village a say in a choice of activities.
The Parish Council consisting of 13 Councillors, meeting every month; the first 10 minutes of each meeting is open to parishioners to air any problems or concerns. All agendas are advertised on the village notice boards, minutes are available on a village web site, and a report of each meeting is put in the monthly parish magazine, is printed, collated and delivered by volunteers to all of our 801 dwellings free of charge, along with any notices of special meetings or events. The village newspaper correspondent is also present at all meetings and reports are put in the local newspaper. The Parish Councillors are from all parts of the Parish and therefore know most parishioners within their area, making them approachable, helping to identify any problems, or areas of need. A welcome pack containing a village DVD, Parish Booklet containing all information, history, organisations, activities, local and essential contacts etc. and a copy of the Parish Magazine Inspire, is given to all new families by their local councillor when moving into the village. Three District Councillors also attend meetings and hold surgeries before the Parish Council Meetings. They are our link to wider information for local councils, planning, organisations, local groups, funding and essential services available. Other advisory services are made available through adverts in the Parish Magazine, village notice boards and specific organisations have the relevant information for their clients.
Bromham was the first Wiltshire village to form twinning links, we are twinned with Avoca in Ireland through the historical link through Thomas Moore the Poet, and also with Ingrandes Sur Loire, France, chosen as a village very similar to ours. We have had several exchanges from groups forming new friendships. All visitors are accommodated by families within the Parish, also email links have been formed by the schools who exchange information on a regular basis. Ingrandes Sur Loire is also twinned with Lack in Poland, and during a recent joint visit more new links have been made. Local businesses employ and provide accommodation for foreign workers, and foreign student placements are accommodated. Our village web site provides information for tourists, and has received interest from all parts of the world, as well as providing information and local contacts for local people and organisations; it has been recently updated to be more user friendly with local organisations being encouraged to update their own information etc. Bed and Breakfast, holiday chalets and caravan/camping sites are all located in the village encourage business and visitors.
Local people needing care are supported within the village; we have Angell House a sheltered accommodation including bungalows which are warden controlled, where organised events, professional help and information are available. This also includes the Monday Club for the elderly of Bromham and our neighbouring village of Rowde held at the Social Centre, all members are collected by volunteer drivers. Meals on Wheels are regularly delivered. The elderly can be supported in their homes by local carers. The village butchers deliver door to door, with two local door to door vegetable rounds, as well as a fish and chip van. The Parish council also administer the Raby Fund, a fund originally set up for the poor of the Parish, now supplemented with donations from other organisations, all pensioners living on their own receive a Christmas card and £5.00 every year; last year 62 pensioners received the Dr.Raby gift.
As the result of a Parish Council housing survey, a need for social and affordable housing was highlighted. Following negotiations, the Crown Commissions provided low cost land and Kennet allowed special planning permission to allow Rural Housing and Sarsens to build 8 Eco- friendly Social Houses, now completed; and a self build scheme for 12 affordable houses, due to commence building in January 2007 all for local families.
We have a local voluntary car service Devizes LINK which will take socially isolated villagers shopping or to the hospitals etc. and, following a recent survey we have just provided a new volunteer transport scheme using a shared mini bus with another local village of Seend, Bromham provides three volunteer drivers on a rota which pick up where the normal bus service does not including Angell House, and will stop by request. This runs two days a week to the local towns of Devizes and Melksham. A local bus service also runs daily to Bath where our largest hospital is situated. We have our own hairdressers that have just celebrated forty years in business, as well as at least two mobile hairdressers. We still have a Post Office, Butchers and Village Shop which sells most things at very competitive prices.
All village amenities are accessible by pavements that have lowered kerbs for disable access; the two village play areas have new level tarmac access and are being updated to conform to the Disability Act. . Two new bus shelters with new higher kerbs for easy access have just been installed. The new school buildings are all of easy access and the Social Centre has disabled facilities.
Bromham has 14 acres of recreational fields – The Jubilee Field and pavilion; used for League and Youth football, Carnival and other charity events. The Millennium Field has a perimeter tree planting scheme for the Millennium (all children and organisations planted a tree) this was purchased as a canvas ready to be painted by future generations. The Pound Playing Field has a play area, plus teenager’s recreation area for basketball and skateboarding, goal posts and tennis court.
The Village Social Centre, built in 1974, caters for all events in the village, the main hall, complete with stage; holds 300 people. There are two committee rooms and a well equipped kitchen, a large entrance hall with comfortable seating. Also pictures of committees and Twinning Certificates and Best Kept Village awards as presented. A Parish Council plaque made and donated by Mark Wilkinson Furniture (a village business), a stitched collage of the village made by the WI, a large notice board and list of all hall and committee room booking. This building also accommodates a club lounge bar, and a separate bar including games room with two skittle allies. The centre has easy access and disable facilities, the whole building is double glazed and regularly redecorated, all modern seating and tables for 200+. There is accommodation for the present club landlord. Hanging baskets decorate the outside in summer, with trees and shrubs at the entrance to the car park with a seat that was presented by the Bromham Horseshow Committee. The centre is open to all, membership from the age of 14, with concessions to locals for hiring the hall etc. it is run by two committees, the Club Committee, and the Social Centre Committee made up of representatives from local organisations, with a Booking Secretary and Treasurer. The Parish Council are the Trustees. Due to the location, parking, facilities and size of the hall, it is used by many non-village organisations, it is a great asset to our village and is used regularly by the 25+ village organisations, to host concerts, pantomimes, cabaret, for meetings and fund raising events. The hall is also used for private hire for Yoga and dance classes etc, functions and family celebrations, and until last year was used twice weekly for school activities, the preschool also held all it sessions in the hall and committee rooms.
Both due to community fundraising – £130,000 for a new school hall and classroom- £72,000 was the target over 18 months but was well exceeded due to PTA and community efforts, as was the preschool amount of £32,000 raised again £5,000 over the target. Bromham has a wonderful reputation of fundraising for village projects or special causes, many village organisations are at present raising money for a parishioner to receive special medical treatment an example being one event which has just raised £3,000. As well as the Social Centre and Club there are three thriving pubs, all serve excellent food, encouraging visitors to the village.
Bromham has several organisations committed to raising funds for the good of the Parish.
The Carnival Committee donates all proceeds of the two weeks of Carnival events to village causes/organisations. We have a jointly organised flower festival by the Methodist Chapel and Parish Church; an annual 10k run organised by the School PTA which has a minimum of 500 runners from all over the Country; these events attract support from outside the Parish, raising funds for Parish organisations. The Wednesday Club members are men from the village committed to raise funds also for local causes, as is the 20s Club made up of local business men. The Friends of the Church with the help of the village has just raised £72,000 from with in the parish with a further grant £176,000 secured from English Heritage for the restoration of the only complete Polychromatic 15th Century ceiling in the Country in our Church of St Nicholas. The Chittoe Heath Charity consists of a piece of land donated by a local land owner to be used for parishioner’s recreation. Many of the village organisations raise funds within the village for the village. All events are advertised in the Parish Magazine Inspire, on local notice boards and in the village shops and businesses functions, tickets to be sold are sold at the village shop and Post Office, as are raffle tickets.
Events are also publicised and a report given in the village articles submitted each week for the local newspaper by our local correspondent.
List of Social Centre Activities:
Club side: Darts, 12 team skittles league, Pool 4 team tournament league, 101 Club.
Hall and Committee Rooms: Used by all village organisations for meetings and fundraising events, outside organisations/activities i.e. Yoga, dance classes, venue for meetings, private parties and functions.
See attached timetable/bookings for October/November 06 (4 weeks):
BUSINESS: CATEGORY TWO
Bromham is very much a working village; for many years Market Gardening being its main industry, but times change and Bromham has been able to fully adapt, still maintaining employment for over 450 local people.
‘Bromham Growers’ evolved from the Market Garden Industry when the main marketing channels disappeared. This enterprise was formed in 1996 with the primary intention of consolidating the products and services of all the village’s growers under one banner, thus strengthening each member’s hand as new horizons came into view. A local site was secured, with 450 acres of growing land within the company. Changing their outlook from speculative growing to production in line with demand, under one site, being able to meet new health and hygiene standards, using machinery from existing farms, using local labour and operating seven days a week, it has become a thriving community business venture.
The Parish Council let around 100 acres of allotment land, mainly to the market gardeners, although still retaining some for domestic allotments, which are also used by parishioners of all ages even the Busy Kids Pre School.
Mark Wilkinson Furniture (MWF): started as a husband and wife business in 1982 in a private 12’x12’ garage in the village, and is now known nationally and internationally as the best. With inspirational designs and ideas which revolutionised the English country kitchen, remains the most prolific design and innovation company in the furniture trade. Mark Wilkinson now employs almost 300. It currently has ten of its own showrooms in England, with others abroad including New York, Paris, Moscow and shortly in Dubai. Its Head office remaining in Bromham, knowing how important it is to keep locally grown companies to the fore, it always endeavours to use local skills when researching and developing products and production. They are based in three areas of the village, with most of their employees drawn from the local community, who are able to walk, share lifts and cycle to work.
An average of five apprentices are taken on to do a three year course, the Apprentice Scheme was officially formalised in 1998. MWF actively promotes people from within, developing them to their full potential; many employees have been with the company for many years.
MWF is very environmentally friendly, in 2003 all waste was going to landfill, but now all is recycled and a reduction of waste in their production process and with a change to re-usable packaging, their annual electricity contract changed to a supply of Green Electricity. MWF has a Timber Purchasing Policy, to source products where possible from well managed sources.
R Keen, ‘Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon’ started in 1936 with a small diary herd, pigs and chickens. It was taken over by the son in 1960 and by the 1980’s there was a large pig herd supplying the local bacon factories in Chippenham and Calne, this has turned into a thriving business, ensuring the future of the farm. With 21 staff mostly from within the Parish, three delivery vans and a farm shop. This year received the Best Regional Food in the Daily Telegraph ‘Best of British Taste Awards 2005, providing Wiltshire bacons, hams and products which are delivered throughout the country. Looking to the future cows have been brought back onto the farm, which grows excellent grass and corn to feed the pigs. This autumn they began selling home reared beef direct from the farm.
P Collins Farm Shop was recently expanded to include other local farm businesses all under ‘one roof’ selling locally produced products opening seven days a week, allowing local farmers to sell their produce; a community business.
Bromham has also an additional vegetable produce shop; and two other vegetable delivery businesses, all earning a living and providing a service within our community, as well as attracting trade from outside the village.
Stiles the Butchers is a family run business, with its own abattoir, providing meat for many local businesses, also providing a door to door service; used by many older residents. The abattoir is used by many farm businesses in this region, providing employment opportunities within the village.
R W Sanders Garage & Audi Car Sales, adapted from a family garage business which has now retained the petrol station, allowing a new separate on site cars sales a local family business being retained, but allowing expansion by outside business opportunities. We also have two self-employed car mechanics
There are three village Pubs, all serving food, all playing active roles in our community, hosting fund raising events, especially during the Carnival period, creating employment and attracting visitors to the village.
Other businesses in the village include:
Two Family businesses making and selling garden sheds and furniture.
The local hairdresser has just celebrated forty years in business. Wiltshire Rural Housing Association has its offices in the Village High Street, utilising two former vacant premises.
We have many self employed businesses, some advertise in the Parish Magazine, Post Office, the village shop and on notice boards. These include- accountants, Corgi registered engineers, mechanics, garden services, pet food delivery service, cleaning/domestic help, plumbing and heating engineers, planning consultant, foot health consultant, builders, painters, electricians, picture framing service, tree work, cattery, odd jobs, beauty therapist to name just some that are available from within the village, all are employment opportunities.
There are also bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday chalets and caravan and camping sites within the Parish.
Bromham encourages new and old business both within, and from outside the Parish, this provides employment, keeping the younger generations in the Parish area, this also bring new life to the village, which in turn ensures its survival, and also help us to retain other businesses such as the Village Shop and Post Office.
YOUNG PEOPLE: CATEGORY THREE
Bromham values and nurtures its younger people, being its future generation.
All age groups are catered for within our village.
Busy Kids: originated from the playgroup which was in existence for aprox. 30 years and took place in the Social Centre three mornings a week. Among the many activities were included events at Christmas performed for the Monday Club and at Angell House linking the young and old; and also links with St Nicholas School for smooth transition from playgroup to school, joint services are held in the Church.
Two years ago land was made available for an on site pre school building at St Nicholas School, due to once again marvellous community effort funding of £32,000 was raised. A new building was acquired and Busy Kids evolved, being able to offer a much wider range of facilities. It is a registered charity providing affordable child care for children aged between 2-11 years, (also being able to incorporate the two toddler groups) Monday to Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm, and as from September 2006 opens for 50 weeks of the year. This includes an after School Club of cookery, themed topics, pool nights and a bingo night, and the Holiday Club operates every holiday except Christmas, even a Parish allotment is cultivated. Links with the school, church and other organisations in the community are continued.
St Nicholas Primary C of E School: situated in the heart of the village, used by up to 100 children from the ages of 4-11 years, it has recently been refurbished and new entrance hall, library, permanent classrooms and hall being added to the existing Victorian Building-the result of another very successful community project to raise money to match a pound for pound grant from the LEA, which was well exceeded. The school has good links with the village community, uses village volunteers for projects and help, is involved in the Living Churchyard conservation area, have formed links with our twinned partners, as well as links with Gambia. The School is in its second year of a Wiltshire Vibrant School Project. The PTA has been supporting the development of an outdoor classroom and improvements have been made to the school’s computer system with the provision of laptop computers, all with internet access. In a recent newspaper report on the school the new Head teacher said “I am really excited to be here, the strengths of the school include its church links and its Christian ethos, its strong community links and the fact there’s so much going on in the community the school seems to be the hub of the community” all factors which attracted him to the school.
Bromham Youth Club:
Following the retirement of the original organisers of the Youth Club, meetings with the Parish Council were held at the request of the young people of the village who felt that there was insufficient for them to do. So in 2002 The Young Generation Youth Club was formed by local parents, opening on a Wednesday evening, 7.30-9.30pm at The Social Centre with between 25-30 young people attending on a regular basis. Run by a small management committee with a parent’s rota where each young person’s parents attend at least once a term, making this a well supported community group.
Young people can attend as they start school year 7, with no upper age limit as older members are encouraged to become junior leaders and take an active part in running the club, and training is offered to support them.
A wide range of activities are available including pool, table tennis, badminton, table football, air hockey, cooking, arts and craft and team building activities. A range of informal educational activities are also provided which have included drug awareness, bullying and healthy eating.
Activities and competitions arranged by external organisations include five-a-side football, road safety days, night walks, fishing competitions, archery, football and It’s a Knockout.
The young people take an active part in planning and choosing activities and equipment, subs are paid weekly and cover the cost of the hall and a popular tuck shop which helps generates income that is put back into the club.
The group takes part in many community activities such as the Bromham Carnival, and is supported by all members of the community. Funding is given by the Parish Council and local organisations enabling the regular update of activities and equipment to keep the young people actively engaged in purposeful activities, which is the aim of the Youth Club.
Other Clubs available:
Scouts, Cubs, Brownies, Rainbows, Youth Football Team- 50 members, Youth Cricket Team-30+ members, Young Troupers -Pantomime etc drama group, Church and Chapel Sunday Schools, Tennis Club.
The Young children of the village are encouraged to be involved in village life.
The Parish Council have links with the school (The Clerk was Governor for twelve years followed by two Councillor Governors. The children are encouraged to be involved with the Conservation Area, and projects such as designing the play area and ideas for the Millennium Field.
Through special meetings with the Parish Council the New Generation Youth Club was formed. As was the request from teenagers for their own area at the Pound Playing field which resulted after special meetings to discuss what they wanted, an area for basket ball and skateboarding was provided.
CATEGORY FOUR: OLDER PEOPLE:
Bromham treasures its older generation and their traditions, they are the backbone of our village.
Bromham provides a variety of activities:
The Bromham and Rowde Monday Club has now been running for 22 years. It was started in 1984 by a group of community minded people from both Bromham and Rowde villages with an idea for a weekly club for those residents who were more mature than most would be nice. A steering committee was formed and through discussions, plans evolved that a hot lunch would be served, plus activities, entertainment and transport would be provided using volunteer drivers. This would enable those who were housebound or lived alone to come and enjoy a day of companionship with others. The venue being Bromham Social Centre. It is run by a committee with an organiser and volunteers from the community enabling the club to flourish. At this time there are 26 members, of whom two are in their 90’s, and seven well into their 80’s, all members are either widowed or single, there are no married couples at the moment.
Over the years traditions have developed which reflect what people enjoy, coach trips throughout the countryside, pub lunches and of course a Christmas Lunch each year with all the trimmings which is enjoyed by all.
An Autumn Fair raises funds which are usually over £500.00 thanks to the generosity of the parishioners who support us on every occasion. Donations are also received from the Parish Council, Carnival Committee and also donations from individuals throughout the village.
The Phoenix Club was started in 1992, it was set up for those of 50 plus as there were no activities for the age group of 50-65 years - those who had taken early retirement but were not eligible for the 65+ groups. Starting with 16 members and growing to 45 with in the first four years, it now has 60 members. Meeting are held at the Social Centre on a Tuesday with local speakers, including those from local charities. There are outings to local beauty spots, trips to the coast, ten pin bowling and other activities.
They also have an annual weeks’ holiday away, and an annual flower show.
Angellfield Club: formed in 1992 for the residents of Angell House and Highfield sheltered accommodation (hence the name) run by a committee of seven, with a annual subscription of £2.00. Meetings are held in the evenings.
Events include 6 bingo sessions per month, 2 whist drives per month, one social gathering, a weekly lottery bonus ball competition and raffle, these all help fund the entertainments and coach hire.. A monthly Lunch Club with pub lunch, outings and BBQ’s. An Autumn sale is held in October, and a Christmas meal is arranged.
Tuesday Afternoon Club: formed in 1970 with 46 members over the age of 55, meetings are held every other Tuesday at Angell House, with a variable programme of speakers, film shows, bingo, musical afternoons, quizzes. Funds are raised with a raffle and auction at every meeting which covers the cost of outings throughout the year.
Short Mat Bowls Club: was formed in 1998 with a grant from Age Concern, with currently up to 40 members, with 90% over 65 years of age. Played on a Thursday afternoon and evening at £2.00 per session. The oldest member is in his mid-eighties and has been a member for four years.
There are two teams of eight players who play in separate leagues, with the Bromham Wildcats winning their league. The average attendance of each session is 20 members, fourteen ladies and twenty six men increasing in the November season, with popularity growing due to the warm welcome given to new members, so much that membership is higher than any other club in the County. An annual dinner is usually held in January and depending on Funds this can be subsidised, the presentation of singles and pairs competition also take place during the evening.
Bromham Footpath Group: Open to all ages but is mainly retired parishioners. The group meet every Thursday at The Social Centre Car Park at 9.00am throughout the year, to walk our parish footpaths - a walk lasting two hours, there are 37 miles of footpaths within the Parish, but once a month, a walk is arranged in other Parishes. Additional walks are sometimes arranged for Tuesday mornings to maintain the paths by cutting the undergrowth, as well as working with WCC erecting stiles and footbridges.
St Nicholas School encourages links with the older generation, volunteer helpers in class, performing the Christmas Nativity and other celebrations for the Monday Club, call upon speakers to recall traditions and past events. Work in the Conservation area with retired helpers.
Bromham has access to Devizes Link which is supported by the Parish Council, a transport scheme picking up mostly pensioners from their homes to take them to hospital and doctors appointments and shopping etc.
This year the Parish Council, following a survey, identified a need for an additional transport scheme within the Parish, picking up where public transport does not, this includes Angell House and locations off the normal bus route. With a grant from Community First, this joint scheme with the neighbouring village of Seend, uses their mini-bus the ‘Seend Shuttle’, with three volunteer drivers from Bromham, taking passengers to Devizes Market on Thursdays and Melksham market on Tuesdays.
Volunteer drivers are used to transport members to the Bromham and Rowde Monday Club every Monday.
One pensioner writes a column for the Parish Magazine Inspire every month titled
‘I remember it well’.
ENVIRONMENT: CATEGORY FIVE
Bromham has pride in our surroundings, and knowledge that we are doing our best to retain our village environment as well as being aware of the wider environmental issues.
The Parish cooperates fully with the local district council (Kennet D.C.), with their intense policy of waste recycling. In addition, the Parish Council employs a street cleaner who makes sure that all the discarded waste she collects is placed in the appropriate recycling receptacle. The street cleaner, who enjoys walking, covers the whole Parish with her litter-picking task. The Bromham Footpath Group, which meets every week, also carries out ‘Litter picking’ whilst walking. This group also meets to build stiles, footbridges and to maintain the 37 miles of footpaths in the Parish.
The village primary school has a strict ‘no litter’ policy.
A recycling point is positioned in the Parish, at the Social Centre car park, paper, bottles and clothing skips are provided. Kennet D.C. proved skips to the Parish expressly for metal, cardboard and plastics, on a regular basis. This service is advertised in the Parish Magazine Inspire (which is delivered free to every house).
The eight dwellings that were recently erected in Breach Close under the auspices of the Wiltshire Rural Housing Association were built with the environment in mind; having the highest standard of heat efficiency built in; this includes solar heating in each dwelling.
The centre of our village is a listed conservation area.
The Nature Conservation Churchyard: The Additional Churchyard at St. Nicholas Church was erected and opened in 1858. The last burial in the churchyard took place in 1960. By this time the Bromham church authorities could not afford to pay for maintenance, and the area gradually became rather unkempt. Eventually the area was left untended, and became overgrown. In early summer 1991 Dennis Powney was given permission by the Parish Council to use their ride-on mower to clear the path that ran around the interior perimeter. This was continued throughout that summer enabling access to the area for the first time in some while. In the spring of 1992 the area was mapped and all the gravestone inscriptions recorded. In 1993 the area was entered in the Bishops Award competition for nature conservation in churchyards, and received a commendation certificate. In 1994, a grant of money was obtained from the Wiltshire Rural Action partnership; this was used to repair, and paint, the entrance gates, and railings and to plant trees, shrubs, etc. Bromham Parish Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust also gave help at this time, and a grant of money was received from Bromham carnival committee. Over the years, help has been given by the local schoolchildren who have made bird-boxes, planted wild flowers and helped to keep the area tidy. The area won the Bishops’ Award in 1995 and has been awarded certificates for the continued excellence of management each year up to 2006.
The Additional Churchyard was officially closed for burials in 1998 and then the Bromham Church Council handed the maintenance to the local council; their workers now mow the paths and other areas, as requested. Local volunteer work parties are arranged on a regular basis, to maintain the area. The work includes erecting bird boxes, controlling the spread of brambles, and judiciously pruning the bushes and trees.
The after school Nature Club at St Nicholas school makes use of the area, making regular visits to learn of the wildlife therein.
The area continues to be managed, under the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts ‘Living Churchyards’ scheme, for the benefit of both humans and wildlife.
Netherstreet Farm: Netherstreet Farm, Bromham, is a grain-growing farm; however, sheep and Galloway cattle are kept there for the purpose of managing the environment on the nearby Downs; Beacon Hill and Bromham Castle (Part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)). This is done under the guidance of Natural England (was English Nature) for the benefit of the rare plants that grow there. This project started in 2002 when some seven kilometers of fencing and gates was erected on the Downs. This fencing is in place to ensure that the management of grazing is carried out successfully. Already this scheme is showing results; the swathes of cowslips and orchids that were to be seen there in spring 2006 had not been witnessed for decades. Other Market Growers in the Parish have joined in the scheme whereby strips of land, along hedgerows and field boundaries are left uncultivated; again for the benefit of wildlife.
Irrigation Lagoons: In the 1960s many irrigation lagoons were excavated, for the storage of water, for the benefit of the Bromham Market Gardeners. Most of these are now unused; some have been filled in, but others, of which some are quite large, are now dedicated for the benefit of wildlife. With trees and bushes now surrounding the water they are a great attraction, and a haven, to all types of wildlife.
The large lake at Bromham House Farm was purposely built as a wildlife haven in the 1980s. This being situated beside an ancient wood and well away from human habitation has greatly increased the wildlife in that area.
Spye Park: Some 90 hectares of Spye Park, Bromham, notified under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The area comprises of lowland open parkland and woodland area of broadleaved, mixed and yew. The site has oak woods, and some of the finest undisturbed alder woods in the county; also an area of dry acidic grassland containing several locally uncommon plants. Below the spring line, the open canopy and the waterlogged soils give rise to a diverse ground flora.
Spye Park is one of the richest sites for epiphytic lichens in the county; it is also an important site for breeding woodland birds, Buzzard, Redstart, Nightingale, etc.
The SSSI was marked as being ‘Unfavorably declining’ at the latest assessment date, 15th March 2005. However, as the Spye Park estate has gained new owners since that date it is believed that the present owner will employ a stringent SSSI management plan.
Historic Conservation: After almost twenty years of fund raising by the ‘Friends of Bromham Churches’, the work of conserving the 15th century polychromatic ceiling in the chantry chapel of the Parish Church has just been completed. It is said that the ceiling, and the mediaeval timbers supporting it, are the most complete example, of that age, in the country. This work was done under the auspices of ‘English Heritage’.
Another ancient building in the parish, which has recently received extensive conservation work, is the parish ‘Lock-up’, or overnight prison. It dates from 1811, and known locally as the ‘Blind House’, because it has no windows! The stone tiles were removed and the roof timbers repaired and treated with preservative; roofing felt was then added prior to the tiles being replaced. The timber walls were then coated with preservative. The Parish Council, the registered owners of the building, paid for this work.
INFORMATION COMMUNIACTION TECHNOLOGY (ICT): CATEGORY SIX
Bromham endeavors to move with the times, especially in this day and age of speed and technology.
The Bromham village website has been around for over 6 years, and in the past 6 months has had a major redevelopment to allow for the whole community to interact with the website, everything from Notice boards, Village photos, information about the village, through to viewing all the Parish Council minutes online.
The Village Website, not only holds all the information about the village, but is kept up to date by all the main bodies within the village, as all the organisations, local business and Council members have a full involvement in the running of the Village Website. Each village member has a section to maintain and keep up to date. This also allows for constant updates, as each member can update their own section, if they can write a Microsoft Word document they can edit the content on the website, it’s as easy as that.
Each month a new set of Parish Council minutes are published on the website keeping everyone informed, this is enter by the Parish Council Clerk.
The village it’s self was one of the first adopters of broadband, this was a result of hard effort and motivation of over 300 house holds partitioning to BT to upgrade the local exchange, and we currently have up to 8 meg download speeds in the village as a result.
With the recent redevelopment, a small group of villagers planned and a local artist designed the look and feel of the website, to provide a simple to use website which is easy to navigate for all villagers.
Over the years we have found that the Village Website was extensively used as a means for genealogy, and as such historical information has been loaded on to the website, and a special area set aside for researchers to ask questions.
We have close links with the local Council and we work hard to produce not just links to other resources but a means of cross referencing between important information that each Villager needs on a day to day bases.
The Village website provides an e-mail shot which is a method of informing Villages that have signed up about possible up and coming events or changes. Members of the website also have the ability to monitor special sections of the website for the latest updates, so they can be informed as soon as information has been published.
With an RSS news feed all the latest news is available for everyone, both villagers and the outside world to be kept up to date with latest news. The news is updated by all members of the village website, so gives a diverse range of news on a day to day base.
With so much information on the website, and current events it attracts many outside villagers to the Website, from people who are thinking of moving to the village, tourists, researchers, through to people leaving messages about what the village used to be like when they lived in the village, we also have a number of recent villagers who moved abroad and use the Village website as a means of keeping up to date with what is happening in the village.
The web site is run by volunteers who keep costs down to a minimum, and the ownership lies with the Parish Council, as they have the overall say on what is published or removed from the site if required.
Through all the hard work of a small group of people, the village is open to the world and beyond.
The Parish Council provided an outside electrical point for the WCC Mobile Learning Centre, this mobile unit came until recently to the village for approximately two years every Wednesday morning during term times to give parishioners a chance of ICT tuition, which ranged from free ‘taster sessions’ to acquiring a qualification. With 14 computers on board this proved to be very useful, successful, and well used by all ages of the community, especially the retired parishioners who wanted to either learn to use a computer, to improve or learn new skills, but unfortunately due to demand around the County we have to now wait our turn for another session.
Communication via email is used by St Nicholas School to exchange news and information with the primary schools in our twinned villages of Ingrandes Sur loire, France and Avoca, Ireland. Links are also forged by the Parish Council Twinning Committee with our twinned villages, being able to exchange information concerning our villages, plans and timetables etc for exchange visits, as well as being able to exchange photographs and correspondence with immediate replies.
The Parish Council provides a Computer and Internet links for the Parish Clerk.
PLACES OF INTEREST
1. Social Centre/Pavilion and Recreation Fields
2. Post Office
3. Conservation Area/Cemeteries
4. St Nicholas Primary C of E School
5. Breach Close
6. Village Car Park and Bus Shelter
7. Blind House/Flag Pole Area
8. Village Butchers/Rural Housing Offices
9. St Nicholas Church/War memorial
10. Village Shop and Chantry
11. Methodist Chapel
12. New Village Car Park
13. Play Area/Millennium Cross
Walk around village 30mins
- Refreshments WI/Bromham Wives (at end)
- Dennis/Keith – photo/history display/conservation area
- School presentation + display of village ideas etc. 15mins
- Transport Scheme – KM
- Paul Mortimer Self Build Scheme /Rural Housing 15mins
- Post office/village shop display
- Inspire – Heather/Michael 10mins
- Monday Club – Claire Ladd 10mins
- Web Site – Bryan Avery 15mins
- Local Business – Phil Collins – Bromham Growers – Mark Wilkinson 20m
- Other displays – Youth club, Busy kids, stitchers etc