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2024 - Archived

April '24


Congratulations to Lucinda Bailey and Samuel Jobling on their engagement, we wish you happiness in your future together.

We are so sorry to hear of the recent deaths of Tony Gatling and Peter Smith, our sympathy and condolences to Guy, Patrick and their families, and Gabrielle and all her family, and to all their many friends.


Mary spent  her childhood in Broad Chalke, and later with her grandmother in Berwick. She got to know Berwick well, walks in the woods and swimming in the River Till, and seeing the horses at Druids Lodge. Tony moved around the country as a child as his father worked for the post office, he went to Oxford University to study Physics, then worked in Birmingham. Disliking this life he took up pig farming and moved to Ivy House Farm near Solihull in 1965.

Mary lived in London, then, after marriage, to Singapore where she rode in races at the Singapore Turf Club, including a race win as an amateur jockey. They moved to Germany, and later to Herefordshire. Mary had two sons, Guy and Patrick. There were summer holidays with Mary’s parents on the Isle of Skye where the family continues to holiday to this day.

Needing some hay for her horses Mary went to the farm in Warwickshire where she met Tony, and within a year they had married. Later Mary and Tony started travelling – especially to Italy. Tony retired at the end of the 1980’s and they moved to White Lodge in Berwick. They spent winters in warmer climes, exploring Australia and New Zealand amongst many other places.

Mary was a member of Wilton RDA for many years, a churchwarden, active in support of the Reading Room, and village fetes, she drove the initiative to get the phone box listed and also in getting the defibrillator. We will remember both of them walking through the woods, and miss them very much.  


Our sincere thanks to Yvonne Allen for taking the Mothering Sunday (March 10th) service and I would also like to thank Kate Glyn-Owen and her daughter Georgie for making the beautiful posies, for children to give to their mothers. They were much appreciated.

In April the services are a Holy Communion at 9.30am on Sunday 7th April and a Matins service at 10.00am on Sunday 21st April.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting

The Meeting of Parishioner will take place in the Church at 6.30pm on Friday 12th April. These meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend and all are most welcome.


Come and join us for a fun evening of CHOCOLATE PRIZE BING0 for all ages raising money for the Reading Room,

When; Friday 12th April from 6pm

Where; The Reading Room, Berwick St James

Cost; £3 entry which includes a bingo book.

Extra bingo books and refreshment will be available for cash on the night. Bring your own drinks.

Tickets are on sale NOW at The Old Forge Farm Shop. Get yours quick before they sell out.

Donations of chocolate for prizes or general raffle prizes gratefully received at the Farm Shop.


Saturday 13th April 10.30am

Spring is here and things are growing fast!

The Church garden is a beautiful place to visit and to appreciate the life in and around the river. Our hard work last year and the upkeep of it by the church yard maintenance team (Greg Moss) has created a special place. But we’d like to spend a few hours doing a bit more clearing, principally of stinging nettles, to attempt to stop them taken over! We’d welcome helpers to join us on the morning of Saturday 13th April. We will start at 10.30 and go on until we’ve had enough, a tea break included of course! Please bring sturdy gloves, forks, secateurs, tubs/tarpaulins and anything you think might be useful. We look forward to seeing you, Anika and Bill.

TEA and CAKE and CHAT.

We are carrying on with two Tea and Cake and Chats each month as we are delighted to say that they are very popular! Thank you to everyone for their generosity in donating biscuits – come along and enjoy them!

The next Tea and Cake and Chat will be on Tuesday 2nd April come anytime between 2.30 and 4pm for free tea or coffee, and cakes and biscuits, and a lovely chat with friends. This is in the school holidays and we welcome children, babies and toddlers too! The second April Tea and Chat is on Tuesday 16th April.

The first May Tea and Chat will be on Tuesday 2nd May and the second on Tuesday 21st May.


For March we are reading “Days at the Morisaki Bookshop” by Satoshi Yagisawa. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 27th March in the Reading Room. The next book is “The Satsuma Complex” by Bob Mortimer. Should you like to pop along you will be warmly received, we have a great chat with refreshments! Please email [email protected] or contact Hayley on 07774 926567 for further details.


Opening times: Easter.

Good Friday open 9am. Easter Saturday 9am-4pm. Easter Sunday CLOSED. Easter Monday 9am – 4pm.

Good Friday – Easter Afternoon Tea 2pm. Pre-bookings only, limited availability. £19.50 Adults. £7.50 Children.  



March '24


We are all so sorry to learn of the deaths of Mary Gatling and Roy Palmer. We send our condolences to their families and our thoughts are with you all.

Goodbye and good luck in the future to Fraser and Carrie-Ann Deans and Maisie. We will miss you in the village.


With Easter falling his year in March, it looks to be a busy month for the church in Berwick with four services planned. These are; Sunday 3rd March 9.30am Holy Communion.

Sunday 10th March Mothering Sunday – 10.00am Family Service (please note this is a deviation from the usual schedule of services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month). Children of all ages, mums, dad, grannies and grandads – in fact everyone is invited to this short informal service. It is a chance for children and indeed all who attend to give thanks for, and to remember the people who play or have played a mothering role in our lives. There will be flowers for the mums and the service will be followed by refreshments.

Friday 29th March Good Friday 2.00pm. A time of reflection in words and music as we ponder the meaning of, and our responses to, Jesus’s journey to the Cross.

Sunday 31st March Easter Sunday 11.00am. An opportunity to rejoice together at the hope and new life that Easter Day offers all of us, in this Family Service and Holy Communion.

Charity Lunch. In addition, we are planning a convivial informal village charity lunch between 12.00 and 2.00pm Tuesday 19th March in the Reading Room. The aim is to raise money for local charities, with proceeds being split between Salisbury Hospice and Naomi House. Lunch will consist of home-made soup, bread and cheese and fruit is provided free of charge. All ages are welcome. Do please come and bring your friends with you.

Church Brass. After many years of cleaning the brass, Gail Lovett has decided to retire. We are so very grateful to Gail for all her help and we would love to hear from anyone in the village who would be happy to take her place. The brass only needs to be cleaned about once every two months. Please contact Janey C-J on 790325 for more information.

Church Boiler. Various plumbers have looked at the church boiler and have unanimously confirmed that it is at the end of its life. We are therefore looking at alternatives. Meanwhile we would like to thank Chris Lange for the loan of the heater so we can continue to heat the church AND the congregation.


We would like to brighten the church railings with decorated crosses over the Easter weekend. If you would like to decorate a cross, please contact Kate Glyn-Owen and she will drop one off for you. They are wire florists’ frames, and can be decorated with flowers, foliage, craft materials or anything else you like! Adult and children’s crosses all welcome. Thank you very much. Kate 07970 115710. Please tie your completed crosses to the railings outside the church on Easter Saturday (30th) or leave them with Bill.


Special event!

Mother’s Day. Afternoon Tea. Sunday 10th March – booking essential. Please call 01722 790490.


Thank you to everyone who took the time to join the Berwick St James Village Meeting on the 25th January. We expressed our condolences to the family of Mary Gatling, especially Tony and his sons, and noted our gratitude for all Mary contributed to in the village and wider community. She will be missed by us all.

We had a short talk from Sergeant Caroline Ralph and PCSO Will House. Thanks to them for taking time away from their local evening patrol. The Village Questionnaire is now closed and results are ready to be analysed and evaluated for recommendations to be made back to the village. Those willing to spend a little time on the analysis please contact Julian Glyn-Owen and we will organise a short meeting to

accompanied with an auction. Those willing to support this or other ideas, please also contact Julian and Hayley via the BsJ WhatsApp.


Hello villagers and neighbouring villages

I am delighted to tell you that together in 2023 we raised an amazing £739 pounds for C.R.UK. It wasn’t an easy year by any means, what with growing conditions and the Boot closing down resulting in not much footfall but all was not lost, the Old Forge Farm Shop and Cafe came to the breach taking on produce from me, letting us run a Tombola and of course the wonderful Christmas tree wish baubles. I can’t thank Sam and Team enough and all you lovely people for your continued support.

I have been sowing seeds and have got lots going on in the propagators hope you gardeners are getting as excited as I am for a great year, so lets get the growing bug and make 2024 another bumper year.

Yours Aye Christine X

TEA and CAKE and CHAT.

We held two Tea and Cake and Chats in February and both were marvellously popular! So we will have two in March too, and, depending on interest, we may continue on the first and third Tuesdays.

The next Tea and Cake and Chat will be on Tuesday 5th March, come anytime between 2.30 and 4pm for free tea or coffee, and cakes and biscuits, and a lovely chat with friends.

Then on Tuesday 19th March (this is after the Charity Lunch being held on the same day). The first April Tea and Chat will be on Tuesday 2nd April and the second on Tuesday 16th April.


For February we are reading “The Stonehenge Legacy” by Sam Christer. Our next meeting is on 28th February.  Should you like to pop along you will be warmly received.

Please email [email protected] or contact Hayley on 07774 926567 for further details.


February 2024


We are delighted to welcome several new villagers -welcome to Alice and Ed Faulkner, and Benjie, Rollo, and Ottilie. And Dave and Amanda Northway, and Bill Moore. We do hope all of you enjoy living in Berwick.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the Christmas services such a success. Very special thanks to Stephen Bush for organising the Candlelit Carol service – his 19th. As ever, it was supremely well organised and the church looked lovely (thank you flower arrangers), the children read beautifully and the church was full. These services take many hours of work in preparation, so we are particularly grateful to Stephen for having taken on this task.
Our second service in January was held on Plough Sunday, and to mark the start of the farming year we bless the plough so thank you once again to Charles and David Street for supplying it.
Turning to next month, in February, we have our normal Holy Communion service at 9.30am on 4th February and Matins at 10.00am on Sunday 18th, the first Sunday of Lent. With Easter falling this year in March, next month will inevitable be busier.

TEA and CAKE and CHAT.
A full Reading Room welcomed in the New Year with the Tea and Chat on 9th January despite the cold weather (we turned the heating on early!), it was lovely to see so many villagers.
The next Tea and Cake and Chat will be on Tuesday 6th February, come anytime between 2.30 and 4pm for free tea or coffee, and cakes and biscuits, and a lovely chat with friends.
The March Tea and Chat will be on Tuesday 5th March.

For January we are reading “The Transit of Venus” by Shirley Hazzard. Our first meeting in the New Year will be on Wednesday 31st of January, and we will be welcoming another two new members to our group of thirteen. Should you like to pop along for a taster session you will be warmly received.
Please email [email protected] or contact me (Hayley) on 07774 926567 for further details.

 Local History  

A couple of months ago, the cover of this magazine had a lovely picture of Berwick Mill. I thought you might be interested in the history of this building.
This Grade 2 listed Mill is built of flint and clunch with brick dressings and a slate roof. It is a bridge mill, straddling the river Till which is some twelve to eighteen feet wide at this point.
The mill was built in about 1845 to grind animal feed and to power machinery in the farm yard. It replaced the old mill beside Mill House.  As there had been a mill there from at least 1478, and probably 1250, if the river had been diverted to power the mill that long ago then this has become the main stream.  
There are two brick arches over the river on the south side, the eastern one has two hatches to hold back water for the wheel and to regulate the water flow, and the western one contains the water wheel.
The breast-shot cast-iron water wheel and associated machinery was put in by P Curtis of Shrewton. The wheel is 10ft in diameter, 7ft wide with 32 nine inch vanes around its circumference. Some of the original gearing remains, along with one set of grinding stones on the first floor and grain bins on the second. The ladders and flooring on the upper floors are unsafe.
The Mill was operated as part of Berwick Farm. In 1891 Jacob Rolfe (29) was the miller, but he lived in the northern end of the village. In 1910 the Mill was operated from the Dairy House by the dairyman David Draper.
On 12th November 1910 Harry Christopher Furness aged 28 was visiting his father at The Manor House (now Berwick House). He came down to the Mill and put the wheel on, and was caught and dragged through, he struggled to the Dairy House and died shortly after.
From 1921 the mill provided (rather dim) electricity to Berwick House as well as pumping water for the whole of Berwick from a borehole up to reservoirs above the village. It continued powering the pump for many years, and was restored in 1978/9. The wooden hatches were replaced with steel in 1974, and the Environment Agency replaced those, and the joists and beams of the hatches in 2010.
The Mill is owned by Berwick Hill Farm, and pumped water for the stock and for the farmhouse until recently. The hatches are operated now to maintain the water level above and below the mill under Environment Agency instructions.
Written and researched by Nicky Street.

Regular views of a Kingfisher flying to and from the river above the mill in Berwick.
A Muntjac deer on Stapleford Car park on 9th January. Also a Reeves muntjac on the floodwater over the bridge to Great Wishford.  On 6th January a 2nd winter Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) which breeds mostly in Eastern Europe into Western Asia, also seen on the floodwater by the bridge to Great Wishford.
All reports very welcome – from all our villages. Nicky Street [email protected] The Dairy House Berwick St James.