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Covid-19 - Previous Updates

Berwick St James Parish CoronaVirus - Previous Updates

Update 22 January '21


I have just attended on online Covid 19 update meeting hosted by Wiltshire Council. The present infection rate in Wiltshire is 330 per 100,00 having only reduced slightly from the pre-lockdown figure of 387. It is clear that there have been infections in all villages in our area and Berwick is no exception. Please take all the precautions that you can and behave as if everybody you come in contact with (including yourselves) has the virus. This is the only way to keep us all safe.

Salisbury Hospital is looking for volunteers – Please find attached some information about the various volunteering roles.

At the meeting a number of ideas to keep us entertained during lockdown were discussed and it was agreed that the following would be fun for the village:


In years past in Berwick we used to have a Vegetable League culminating in Pumpkin Day and we thought it might be fun to revive this in a small, simple way. All entrants will be supplied with a Giant Onion plant and a Potato bag at the beginning of the growing season. The onion can be grown anywhere in a pot, tub or in the ground and the bag can be filled with any type of soil or  whatever you think is best. All they require is water, love and your secret winning ingredient to create the heaviest onion and the heaviest crop of potatoes.

For keener gardeners we can have a Runner Bean league, heaviest 3 tomatoes and the largest Sunflower head.

We do need to know the potential number of entrants and so if people could email 

[email protected] to let me know how many entrants you might have in your household. Perhaps you have a neighbour that doesn’t have internet so perhaps you could reply for them? You can call on 790212.

We do hope that this creates a little Covid friendly fun!

Toby Humphreys

Village  Online Scrabble League

The trial runs have proven this to be great fun. We have resourced a web based platform, which enables 4 people to play a game of scrabble together online. Each game lasts approximately 45 – 60 mins, as the system automatically works out your score and each turn is limited to 2 minutes. If you try and enter a word that does not exist or is mis-spelt, the other players do not see which word you tried to use – as the system rejects it and you miss your turn.

Once we have a full list of who would like to participate; we will compile a schedule for the league, ensure all are comfortable with the online system (with one to one chats and dry runs with Andy) and get ready to socialise whilst paying scrabble. Be prepared for lots of laughter!

If you would like to take part please contact Hayley on [email protected] or 07774926567 ASAP.

Wine Tasting – round 2!

Back by popular demand…  Bill and Greville have agreed to run another wine tasking evening. They are both in the process of working out the finer details and more details will follow on a separate E mail – Can’t wait!

Village Art Competition

We are launching a village art competition with the theme of ‘Berwick in Winter’. Artists can be creative within their freestyle, materials and technique, using their choice of watercolours, oils, chalk, wax crayons or pencils etc.

Entries are welcome from everybody in the village and will be judged within two age groups. First – Children aged 12 years and under. Second – Anybody aged 12 years and over.

The winning entries will be displayed on the village noticeboards, inside the reading room and the will also be featured as the main picture on our village Facebook page. There will be a prize for the 12 years and under winner! Please send a photo of your entry to [email protected]. Should you wish to submit the original or have any questions,  please contact Hayley on 07774 926567. Closing date for the competition is February 28th 2021.

Many thanks

Christian & Sarah


URGENT: Call to action – Salisbury District Hospital needs extra volunteers

We are looking for assistance with two volunteer roles as described below.

Ward Buddies

This role supports ward staff to enable them to concentrate on the clinical tasks.  Tasks will include moving equipment, answering the telephones, running errands,  maintaining cleanliness of ward kitchen and general tidying up of patient areas, making patient drinks and delivering food.  Full PPE will be issued as well as volunteer t-shirts.  Enhanced buddy roles with more patient contact such as feeding some patients.  These will require enhanced PPE.  There will be a fast track deployment so most of the training will be on the job.  We’re looking for you to ideally commit to a 2 – 4 hour session once a week every week for the foreseeable future.  Volunteers need to complete a health questionnaire and health risk assessment as part of the recruitment process in order to ensure a suitable match.  Volunteers must be over 17 years of age, fit and able to do a full shift on their feet and feel comfortable working under their own initiative within defined parameters, in an environment that may feel pressured at times.  Free parking at the hospital is available when on shift and/or reasonable travel expenses will be paid. 

Mass vaccination centre volunteer

There is a new mass vaccination centre opening in the City centre from next week and potentially running through to the Summer.  We are looking for volunteers to help marshal to move people through the vaccination hub from beginning to end, keeping orderly queue management and some administrative roles booking people in, etc.  This role requires you to be stood on your feet for potentially long periods of time. We’re looking for you to ideally commit to a 4 hour session once a week for at least a month.  Surgical masks will be worn.  A simple fast track recruitment process will take place including a health risk assessment.  There will be on the job training.  Free parking in Salisbury city centre will be available when on shift.

If you are interested in either or both roles, please email us on [email protected] stating which role is of interest, your name and contact details, and for the ward buddy whether you have any previous experience volunteering or working in a hospital or medical environment, which  is not necessary but could be beneficial.

Thank you for considering this and we look forward to hearing from you.

Please stay safe and well.

Best wishes

Jo Jarvis and Monica Wilson

Voluntary Services Team

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust – Salisbury District Hospital

[email protected]


Update 7 January '21

Dear All,

We hope that you are keeping well? The purpose of this E mail is to put in place measures that we hope will give us all a fighting chance to avoid catching the virus until we are able to receive the vaccine.

Attached to this E mail is a letter which has been written by Dr Sally Hiscock for the village regarding the current situation. As you will see, the risk of catching the virus in Berwick is over 20 times higher now than it was in the first lockdown in March.  During the first lockdown Wiltshire’s infection rate was about between 10 and 15 per 100,000 and this has now risen rapidly over recent weeks and now stands at about 300 per 100,000 people. We need to be so so careful over the next few weeks. In order to enable us to avoid placing ourself in risky situations we have put in place the following:

Berwick C19 working group  - This group comprises of the following:

Dr Sally Hiscock

Charles Street

Hayley Burry

Andrew Green

Sarah Humphreys & Christian Lange

We will meet regularly to see what needs to be done – please feel free to contact either of us should you need anything or have any suggestions.

Buddy Groups – We are continuing with the existing buddy groups which have worked well so far. This would be a good time to get in touch with each other to see if anybody in your buddy group needs anything. Please contact Christian if you are unsure as to which buddy group you are part of.

Farm Shop – Marilyn intends to keep the shop open as usual with the same hours. We all need to do what we can to keep Marilyn safe and observe the safety measures that are in place – please sanitise hand before entering the shop and there should be no more than two people (ideally only one) in the shop at any one time.

Marilyn may well start up deliveries again, but, as she is working on her own at the moment,  we need a volunteer who is not themselves in any of the risk categories to help (under 50 and no underlying conditions). We will send out an update when we have one.  Please contact either Marilyn or Christian if you would like to volunteer to help.

Shopping for those who are shielding – Please contact us if you need any help with your shopping. A number of people in the village have volunteered to help so please don’t be shy – please keep safe and take up the offer of help if you are in any doubt as to whether you should be going supermarkets or any shops in the next few weeks. More details to follow after the village meeting.

Village Meeting Thursday 14th January 2021 at 7Pm

We will discuss the plans for lockdown in more detail at the next online village meeting. We will look at things that we can organise in the village to keep ourselves entertained and connected for the next two or three months. We may look at bringing back things such as the Pubquiz, more online wine tasting which was very popular and explore new ideas such as online scrabble / Monopoly leagues or something similar, puzzle exchange etc. Do bring ideas to the meeting.

Here is the link for the village meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 931 8354 9094

Passcode: 616774

It is possible to phone in using a landline. The number to call is 0203 695 0088 and enter the meeting ID and passcode shown above.

Village Social Media

The group WhatsApp has been very useful for Covid related requests and calls for assistance for a variety of things and as lockdown continues it would be good if the village Whatsapp group was for lockdown or more urgent issues. Please remember that each message that is sent results in about 55 telephones ‘pinging’.  It is good practice to use the private messaging facility when making arrangements which don’t concern the rest of the village. Please send your mobile number to Sarah to be added to the group.

The village Facebook page ‘Carry on Berwick’ on the other hand is the best place to discuss issues and for general chat, sharing of pictures etc. This is a closed group which means that it is only available or visible to people who are part of the Berwick St James group.

Many thanks and Keep safe!

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys


Update 17 November '20

Dear All,

We hope that you are keeping well during this lockdown period.

The village had a special meeting last week. One of the main subjects that we discussed was around what the village can do during lockdown to keep ourselves entertained and avoid people feeling isolated. The minutes of the meeting are attached and here is an update on some of the matters that were discussed:

Village Farm Shop – The Farm shop will remain open as usual. Marilyn is happy to consider introducing deliveries in the village again if the need arises.

Berwick Lockdown Wine tasting – 6pm 27th November

Berwick Lockdown Wine tasting – 6pm 27th Novembe

Bill Hiscocks and Greville Bibby invite you join them for a zoom wine tasting at 6.00pm on Friday 27th November 2020.

On advice from Majestic Wine we will taste four Chilean wines, two red and two white, with Greville guiding us through the tasting notes.

Participating households have the option to buy four full bottles (approx. £40), or four half bottles (approx. £20) which will be delivered to your front door a few days before the evening. (Please be aware Majestic do not sell half bottles so we will decanter them from full bottles).

We hope this will be a lot of fun and should last no more than one hour.

If you would like to get involved please email or text Greville [email protected]

or 07825735072 by Wednesday 18thNovember and indicate if you would like full or half bottles.


Greville and Bill

NB – We may follow this with online bingo for a bit of fun! (TBC and more to follow)

Village Lockdown Treasure Hunt – Sunday 10am 29th November

This should be fun for everybody – Nicky and Hayley are putting together a Treasure Hunt for the village where people will follow 10 clues across the village. This will get us all out and about in such a way that we can also adhere to the Covid 19 restriction and also learn a bit about the village. Individuals and groups will be given staggered start times from 10.00 onwards which will be worked out in advance.

If you would like to take part please E mail Hayley on [email protected]

More details to follow.

Online talks  - Plans are being developed for a variety of talks. These may be art talks, masterclasses on how to make your home greener and maybe even a talk about nettles. More details to follow over the next few days.

Christmas Wreath making competition – This is a fun idea for the village that has been put forward by Helen Riding. The idea is that Helen would provide all those taking part with the same 6 inch ring (cost of £1.00) and people then build their wreath using whatever they have available at home or in the garden. There will be a small prize for the participant’s best wreath displayed on their front doors. We will take pictures and add them to the website.  Helen needs a little notice so that she can get the rings. Please contact Helen on 07446966159

Village Bake Lockdown Bake Off – This was suggested by Gabi and should also be fun. More details to follow. Perhaps the product of the competition could be eaten at the carol service.

Village Salvation Army Clothes bank – This is just a quick reminder that there is a Salvation Army clothes bank located by the Farm Shop. The village receives funds for the weight of clothes that are collected from this clothes bank and the Salvation Army also make good use of the clothes that are donated.

Rosie’s Christmas Hampers – Rosie Hiscocks is planning to put together some excellent Christmas hampers for delivery to Berwick or postage elsewhere. Do have a look at the attached flyer if interested.

So.. lots of stuff going on to keep us going.

All the best

Christian Lange and Sarah Humphreys


Update 3 November '20

Dear All,

Many people have said that, if we have to have another lockdown, we are fortunate to live in Berwick St James and I totally agree.

Here is a quick update for what is being planned:

Special Village Meeting – Monday 9th November at 7pm  - We plan to hold a special online meeting to look at the following:

  • Revisit the our Covid 19 support plan
  • Explore ideas as to how we can entertain ourselves and remain in touch during lockdown – Ideas include, online wine tasting, village treasure hunt, online bingo fun, masterclasses, Yoga? etc
  • Carol Service – possibly on Zoom with something outside the church.

Here is the zoom link for the meeting. Everybody is welcome to come to the meeting. The virtual room will be open from 6.45pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 932 0137 1351

Passcode: 606937

If dialling in the number is  020 3695 0088 – Please follow telephone prompts and use the meeting ID and passcode shown above.

Remembrance Sunday 8th November

Unfortunately this year we cannot hold a remembrance day service in the church but an alternative plan has been developed so that people can still take part whilst standing on their doorsteps. The plan is as follows:

  • 10.55 - People to stand on their door steps from 10.55am on Sunday 8th November
  • 11.00 - The last post will be played through a sound system positioned at the Church. Depending on the weather, it should be audible as far as The Boot.
  • 11.00 - Two minutes silence
  • 11.02  - A few words will be said and the names of those who lost their lives will be read out.
  • 11.10 - End of the service

We have been asked to request that people remain at their doorsteps and avoid congregating at the Church. Those whose homes are out of earshot may wish to walk towards the village but are asked to avoid congregating.

The Village Farm Shop

Marylin plans to keep the shop open as normal during lockdown. She may well start deliveries again for those who are unable to come to the shop. She will see how things develop over the next few weeks. We will circulate updates.

The Boot Inn

Unfortunately The Boot will shut for the duration of lockdown.

We look forward to seeing you at the village meeting on Monday

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys


Update 5 October '20

We hope that you are keeping well. Here is a quick update for you:

Village meeting – The village meeting which was held on Monday 28th September are now available on the village website by click on LINK. The meeting was a late AGM where we went through the village accounts and election of the Chair, Deputy Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also covered issues such as the Covid 19 village support plan,  village playground and ideas for fundraising. The meeting was held over Zoom and the recording of the meeting can be seen on this LINK : You may need to enter the following Access Passcode: AYEvmT0^

The next meeting will be held in January 2021 but we may need to bring this forward depending on Covid and other issues.

Green Home Grant Scheme – The government has just launched the green voucher scheme which provides homeowners or landlords a grant of £5000 (or £10K for people in receipt of certain benefits) to cover two thirds of costs for insulation or to install low carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your homes produces. This is a very time limited where improvements must be completed by 31 March 2021.

In short, this means that you could use the grants to fit an Air Source Heat Pump or insulate your home at a much reduced cost for you. This is an excellent opportunity if you are thinking of replacing your boiler to a device which will significantly reduce carbon emissions. Christian would be more than happy to provide advice and a number of local trusted suppliers – Do call on 790 122 to discuss.

Details of the scheme can be found on the following LINK

A303 works – The existing exploratory works on the A303 are due to be completed by 9th October. We have now received further notification of works as follows:

Highways England will begin maintenance work east of Countess roundabout at Avon Bridge on Monday 19 October, which is expected to last until March 2021.  

The bridge which carries A303 traffic over the River Avon needs repair. This work involves concrete repairs, replacement of the bridge bearings and joints, and replacement surfacing and lining. Most of this work will require lane closures.  

Traffic management information

Lane closures 

  • Eastbound – Lane 1 will be closed 24/7 for the duration of the works but will be re-opened for the Christmas getaway period. 
  • Westbound – Lane 1 will be closed overnight Monday to Friday from 8pm in the evening to 6am the following morning;  20 October to 27 November 2020. 

Full overnight road closures will be in place from 8pm in the evening to 6am the following morning on the following dates – 

  • Eastbound 
    • 4 Jan 2021,  
    • 1, 2 March 2021  
    • 10,11,12,15,16 March 2021 
    • 26 March 2021 
  • Westbound 
    • 10 Feb 2021 
    • 4,5,8,9 March 2021 


Locally signed diversions will be in place. 

For up to date information on all closures, please follow @HighwaysSWEST alternatively, please 

We’d like to thank local residents, businesses, and the travelling public for their patience over the past few weeks, and in the coming months while we carry out essential maintenance work.

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys


Update 25 August '20

We hope that you are all keeping well. Here is a quick update for the village.

Village Meeting

We have now been notified that Village Meetings can now legally carry out their formal business on virtual platforms such as Zoom or Webex. Up until now, we have been unable to hold elections for posts such as the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer or confirm the village accounts. The next village meeting will be held online again on 28th September 2020 at 7pm and will be  treated it as late AGM. The existing post holders (Christian, Sarah, Bill and Kate) are happy to considered for re-election for the rest of the year. If anybody is interested in standing for any of these posts (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer & Secretary) please contact Kate at least two weeks before the meeting. An agenda with the relevant Zoom or Webex link two weeks before the meeting – Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any items to be on the agenda.

Berwick Village Fiesta – 2nd May 2021 – Save The Date

The Berwick Fiesta that we had planned for 8th May 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. At the village meeting we will be proposing to now hold the event on Sunday 2nd May 2021 (it's a bank holiday). Do put the date in your diary and consider inviting friends for the weekend etc. The plan will be similar to what we had planned for this year apart from the fact we may start the event later in the day. 

A303 – likely delays for between 14th September and 9th October.

We have received the following message from Highways England: 

I’m writing to you to let you know that we’ll be carrying out surveys along the proposed route of the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down (Stonehenge) route.  

As mentioned at our recent Community Forum meeting the next phase of investigation work will focus on Countess roundabout at Amesbury from Monday 14 September.   

Local residents and drivers may need to allow extra time for their journeys during weekdays as lane closures will be in place. These are needed to ensure the safety of the workforce drilling boreholes and digging trial pits on behalf of Highways England.  

Lane closures will be in place from 10am Mondays and removed by 6am Fridays

The work is planned to finish on Friday 9 October.   

We would like to thank local residents, businesses and drivers for their patience while this work is being carried out, and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.    

Kind Regards

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys


Update 29th June 2020

Reading Room

The Berwick St James Reading Room will continue to stay closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September the committee will decide again if a date can be set for it to be opened again fitting in with government guidelines.


Update 13th June 2020

Church Opening

St James Church will be open as of Monday 15th June from approximately 10am to 4pm.  Over the last 10 days much discussion has taken place with The Reverend Jonathan Plows and others concerning the opening of the church;  that, combined with observing the guidance given by the Church of England, will ensure that anyone entering the church is as safe as possible from COVID-19.

The Churchwardens ask that anyone going to the church follows the instructions given below for your own safety and that of others.

  • You will find the door propped open.  Please leave it propped open throughout your visit and on leaving the church so that people do not need to touch the door handle.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer provided just inside the church on both entering and leaving the church.
  • If you sit in a pew, please place a white tile with a red stripe across it where you have sat.  These are on the stool just inside the church.  This will assist later cleaning of the church. Advice given, for your own safety is that you sit 2 metres away from any previously placed tile.
  • Please respect others who may be in the church by socially distancing at 2 metres.
  • For your safety and that of others, please do not touch any books and please touch as few surfaces as possible.
  • Please be aware that you are responsible for your own safety as regards COVID-19.

The church will periodically be closed for 4 days for cleaning (3 days for any virus to die and one day for cleaning).  There will be a notice on the noticeboard by the gate when this is going to happen.

Village Meeting 

It was good to have so many people join the virtual village meeting on 4th June. We were delighted that we were joined by Mike Doldon, the new Tenant of The Boot Inn. Please find attached the minutes of the meeting which have kindly been prepared by Kate.

We also have a recording of the meeting meeting which can be seen on the following link:    The password is : XxFuqg2b

VE75 Village Photobook 

We have now received over 20 orders for the book which is excellent as it means that the cost will come in at less than £50 per book. Christian will be in touch when the books arrive.

Virtual Pub Quiz Tonight

As mentioned at the village meeting we had a break from the virtual Pubquiz last week but we will have another this evening (Friday 12th June) starting at 7.00 

Cancer Support Salisbury Charity Virtual Pubquiz – 7.30 – Friday 19th June

John Stephenson suggested that we do a virtual Pub quiz with Cancer Support Salisbury who do some superb work in the Salisbury Area. The quiz will be along similar lines to the other quizzes that we have done but will be promoted to the membership of the charity. It would be great if the people who normally take part in the Berwick quiz and others could join in. The link will be the same as usual and I will send more details out closer the time. Please put get your teams together and make a note of the date in your diary! (NB – This will most probably be the last pub quiz for the village)

Thank you from Kathy & Giles

We have received the following message from Kathy & Giles: “Could you please send an email to the village to let all those who contributed to our leaving collection, we have bought a new dining table and chairs (as pictured) with the money collected.  We would like to thank everyone again.

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys

Update 28th May 2020


As some of the Covid 19 restrictions are starting to be lifted we thought we would give you a quick update about various things:

Buddy system and help with shopping

The Buddy system in Berwick has worked very well and we have been impressed how everybody has pulled together to provide assistance for neighbours who need help. This system will stay in place for the next few weeks as many people are still  ‘shielding’ and will appreciate the help. Let's hope that we do not get a second wave of infections, but we know that Berwick can work together well should that happen. The E mail addresses for help with prescriptions and shopping remain in place for the time being.

Farm shop orders

The system of placing orders for the farm shop via E mail has also worked well and has reduced the need for some people to visit the shop in person. We still get about 10 orders via E mail every week. This system will also continue for the next few weeks. As Georgina Lange is no longer able to do the deliveries as she has a new job as a carer in Salisbury, the E mail order will be forwarded to Rosie and Harry instead who will continue to help Marilyn. Please continue to use the same E mail address for farm shop orders.

Burning Smells in the village  

There have been various complaints about the unpleasant smell of  burning across the village. The smells come from the incinerator which is used and managed by Jem Pratt who runs the Chicken Farm. Jem was contacted last Friday and he identified that the burner had a fault which is being repaired. The following has been agreed with Jem in order to reduce the problem:

  • Residents are encourage to report the problem as soon as it is noticed. Christian is willing to be the point of contact and he will pass a message on to Jem. Please either place a message on the village WhatsApp group (preferred method as that way we keep a record of times and dates) or call Christian (790122) and he will inform Jem.
  • Jem will change burn days so that they will now be on Monday and Thursdays (previously Fridays)
  • He will also burn earlier in the day to avoid problems in the evenings
  • He is looking in the longer term to move the burner further away from the village.

Clapping for the NHAS on Thursdays

It has been suggested by the person who started off the 'clapping for the NHS’ that this Thursday be the last time that we do this. We propose that we also make this Thursday our last but biggest ‘Hoorah!’ for the NHS. After that time Christian will take away the lights illuminating the church etc. We can always re-introduce this initiative if things get bad again. People are obviously free to carry on should they wish to do so.

VE 75 Village Photo Book

The superb pictures taken by James Whatley on VE day can be found on the village website on this link

The photos have been arranged into a photo book which is being printed and we expect delivery any day. This will be treated as a ‘prototype’ to show people should they wish to purchase their own. It will consist of about 73 pages and as a result is relatively expensive and is likely to come in at just under £50.00 per hard backed book. More information to follow. 

Agenda for next village meeting

Our next village meeting will be held online again on Thursday 4th June at 7pm. Please find attached the agenda for the meeting. Please could you let us know if you would like anything added to the agenda. 

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys



Update 16th May 2020


Date of the next village meeting

We have set the date for the next village meeting for Thursday 4th June at 7pm. It is more than likely that we will do this online as per the last two meeting. More details and agenda to follow in due course.

VE Day

Wasn’t it a wonderful day! Didn’t the village look great! Thank you to everybody who helped make it so lovely.

VE Day photos 

The many excellent photographs of the residents of Berwick St James and their homes, taken by James Whatley are now on the village website for viewing.  Click this link to go directly to the page on the website where the pictures can be found.  All of them are high quality photographs, and can be copied and downloaded directly from the website by right-clicking the required photo and following the displayed instructions.  If you have any problems copying the pictures you want, please get in touch with Neil MacDougall (01722 792761) who will do it for you.  A selection of other photos taken on VE Day by many of the residents will soon be available for viewing on this website.  If you haven’t already done so, please send any that you took on the day to him ([email protected]) for inclusion on this site. A big thank you to both James such excellent photos and to Neil MacDougall for sorting them out on the website.   

Christian Lange is in the process of putting together a book of these photographs that will be professionally printed. We hope to have example ready within a week or so and which will be circulated. If there is enough interest we can order up more copies. More details to follow in due course.

Tonight's (Friday) Pubquiz ..(Sorry a bit late, maybe join in next week.)

The regular Friday night virtual pub quiz remains popular. Do join in if you have not had a chance yet. You are welcome to make up a team with friends and family outside the village should you wish. Just send them the link above below. Doors open at 6.45pm with a 7pm start. Please send your team name and members to Hayley on 07774926567 via whatsapp. Here is the Webex link to the virtual pub room - | 629 868 105

Fund raising (ok not fund raiding!) for the village – Lottery?

We are going to find it very difficult to do any fund raising for the village this year. It was suggested at the village meeting that we could have a village lottery similar to that held in Stapleford where about £3000 is raised each year. I have attached a copy of the rules that are used in Stapleford. The Lottery would be run to raised funds for the Church, reading and community Fund. In order to make this work we would need a good proportion of the village to be involved. Please could you let us know if you would be interested or if you have any ideas on the subject.

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys



Update 4th May 2020


VE75 celebrations for Berwick

It was good to have so many people at  virtual village meeting on Thursday. At the meeting it was agreed that it would be fun to have a street party to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th. We obviously need to adhere to  the social distancing guidelines but we should still be able to feel like we are celebrating together. The suggested plan is as follows:

  • People to have a picnic or BBQ on their front garden, driveways or outside their front door starting from about 12.00
  • Some people may like to come a little closer to the High Street if it ca be done safely.
  • Let's have fun and decorate our houses. The attached pack has templates to make bunting etc.
  • Chris will set up a sound system for the village playing WW2 music (let him know if it gets on your nerves!)
  • Play some old games in family groups as suggested in the pack

Do have a look through the attached ‘party pack’ produced by Wiltshire Council. It has some good templates to make bunting, posters etc and also ideas for games that would have been played in 1945.

Whilst we plan to inform people who do not access to E mail about this party, please do contact your neighbours to ensure that they are aware of what is being planned.

Village Photo Millennium Book

Back in 1999 Dick Last kindly took photographs of people standing outside their houses and created the ‘Millennium Book’ . This has been scanned and can now be found on the village website on the following link:

It is very interesting to see look at and you can see that several families have moved from one house to another. 

It has been suggested that this VE 75 Day would be an ideal opportunity to record the village’s celebrations for posterity. Because the original Millennium Book was created over a number of days, it will not possible to exactly replicate it in a single morning in quite the same way. As far as is possible however, it is intended to make a photographic record of current residents of Berwick St James on Friday.

To that end, James Whatley will be making his way through the village from north to south starting at 11.00am to photograph residents and their decorated houses. Obviously not everyone celebrating will be outside their houses from that time, so James may be knocking on doors to ask families or individuals to stand in front of their house so that he can photograph them at an appropriate distance.

We totally understand that some people may not wish to have their photographs taken in this way. Please could you contact us to let us know if you would prefer not to be included and we will pass this information on to James.

Village Fund Raising Quiz

Nicky Street has kindly offered to put together a VE Quiz for the village. There will be a small entry fee which will be donated to an NHS charity. Details to follow. 

Recording of village meeting

As mention in the online village meeting, the meeting is recorded so that those who could not be there can see what was said. Here is the link to enable you to access the recording:

The password is:  JgT6sQ2T

Do not hesitate to contact either Christian or Sarah should you have any questions or suggestions for the party or photos.


Update 17th April 2020 

Village Meeting:

Please find attached the minutes of the last village meeting which was held online on 26th March. The next village meeting will be held on Thursday 30th April at 7pm. As with the last meeting, it will be held online using the same link or telephone number as before – Details will be sent out with the agenda. Please do let us know if you would like anything in particular on the agenda.  

Regular village newsletter 

Hayley Burrey has kindly started to put together regular village newsletters. The first of these is attached to this E mail. These have already been printed off and delivered to those who do not have access to E mails. Do send Hayley any suggestions or requests for anything to be included in future editions.

Farm shop bread orders

The farm shop have advised us that would prefer it if people simply listed their shopping requests on an E mail rather than completing the form as this saves on paper. Please continue use the form as a guide as to what is available.

The bread options have changed and we have attached the new options for you. Neil has kindly revised the ordering form which is also attached but please just provide a list of what you would like on an E mail and use the form as a guide.

Virtual Pub quiz

Our next virtual pub quiz will be held tonight at 7pm. Here is the webex link that we use for it:  |  629 868 105

Please send your team names and members to Hayley via whatsapp before the start of the quiz. Her number is 0777492567


The following message has been received from Barbara & Tricia

A very big thank you to all those who contributed to the leaving collection for Cathy and Giles and for taking the time to complete the message cards which have been compiled into a book for them to keep.

Due to the current circumstances, we are unable to have a formal presentation so, Barbara and I decided that we would just give Cathy and Giles the money collected so that they could buy something themselves to remember us by.  So, together with the book of messages, we gave the collection to Cathy and Giles last week.

With very many thanks again to all concerned.

Barbara and Tricia“

Bonfires :

The following request has been received from Wiltshire council

With the current nice weather, we know that members of the community will be getting out in the garden and will be tempted to have a bonfire.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are asking people consider the need whether they need to start bonfires at all during this period as any the smoke can cause distress to neighbours, especially when they can’t see the cause, and it’s all too easy for such fires to get out of control. 

Related call-outs pull the Fire Service away from vital work to support our communities and means firefighters are potentially exposing themselves to coronavirus.  If members of the public decide to have a fire they are advised to site them well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures, stay in attendance at all times with a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to accelerate, and to be considerate to those nearby.  

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys


Update 5th April 2020  (From Sally Hiscock)

As you are aware the pandemic is hopefully approaching peak levels in London but is beginning to flood our way . The South West remains the area which has lowest recorded cases of Covid 19 but it is likely that the number of cases with grow rapidly over the next few weeks in line with what has happened in London.

It is wonderful to see everyone so committed to social distancing but we must keep it up and even tighten it up .

Marilyn in the Farm shop has been working tirelessly to keep us fed but we must look after her.

Please do not visit the shop if you can at all avoid it.

Email your shopping list or phone the shopping hot line if you cannot complete the attached electronic Order form.

Please E mail orders to:  [email protected] These go to Christian whom prints them off for Marilyn to save here time. Carolyn MacDougall has kindly offered to complete order forms over the phone if anybody is struggling with sending forms via the E mail address. The telephone number is 01722 792 761.

Marilyn would also prefer people to reduce the number of times they phone her in the shop so she can concentrate on her stirling work. Please either E mail or phone Carolyn as mentioned above.

To protect her from exhaustion she has decided to close the shop on Tuesdays and Fridays to concentrate on filling her orders .

Please remember if you do visit the shop or collect an order wash your hand before you go and on your return home.

Even when it is delivered, it would be good practice where possible to sponge off shopping 

The Council bins are due to be collected this week ..... we hope . Remember to wear gloves when bringing the bins in .Wash the handles and top of the bin with soapy water then wash your gloves ! 

Let’s all keep well and continue to look after each other but especially those working in the shop .

Sally Hiscock

Update 3rd April 2020

I hope that you are all keeping well. Here is another update.

We had hoped to keep the number of E mail that we send out to a minimum but have found this challenging to do over recent weeks. This update will include a number of topics.

Buddy System

The Buddy system which was set up a couple of weeks ago seems to be working well. Please do contact either Christian (790 122) or Sarah (0790 212) or Sally (790252) should you need any help or if circumstances change.

Wiltshire Council Welfare Hub

The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub has been put together by Wiltshire Council and is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time, such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help. We hope that Berwick is doing relatively well at supporting itself  but understand that people may prefer to contact the council hub instead.

People can get in touch with the hub via email at [email protected] or by calling 0300 003 4576.  It’s available from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Village Book Club

We are forming a new Berwick Book Club, with the view of connecting residents with a love of literature. Understandably, we cannot meet to review the books over a glass of wine in the Reading Room (at the moment…) However, we will be organising the group review / deliberation to be carried out via a conference phone call or online visual.

The books can either be read or listed to on an audible basis.

If you are interested in joining this group, please do let us know ASAP? We already have 5 people keen to commence and are looking forward to developing this idea.

Please E mail [email protected] 


The village Facebook Site “Carry On Berwick”  launched last week, now has a healthy 47 members and is filling with new content daily. There is a list of ‘Topics’ (eg: Informative, Village Meeting, Humour, Cultural, etc.. ) which provides easy access to what may interest you most.

We will be taking some extracts from this page to go into the Newsletter – which in turn will be delivered to all residents who are not online. Any contributions you post / share are both valued and appreciated. We have already seen some informative, useful and fun posts – plus village interactions, which are  keeping us connected at this challenging time.

For those who have not yet joined – please use the following link to connect:

If anyone needs any help in opening a Facebook Account to join – please do ask us! Looking forward to seeing you on there…..

Village ‘pub’ Quiz

Several people thought that it would be fun to try and do a ‘pub’ type quiz online using a similar system to that used for the village meeting. It could be complete chaos but could also be fun. We may do this on either a Thursday or Friday evening next week. More details to follow but please let us know if you have any ideas how this could be run.

E Mail from Cllr Kevin Daley

Yesterday we received a long and detailed E mail from Kevin Daley, our new councillor, which explains what the council  is doing. There is lots of interesting information contained in the E mail including issues relating to council TAX, Rubbish collection, business support etc.. I have attached a copy of this E mail under the name of Covid-19 update. 

Thanks to everybody

Apologies for sending out such a long update but thank you for getting to this bit. I must say that I am continually reminded as to how lucky we are to live in such a lovely, friendly and caring village. So many people have come forward to offer help for all sorts of things. Thank you to everybody for everything that you are doing to make it that bit easier to get through these difficult times.

All the best and stay well.

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys. 


Update 28th March 2020

As we approach the end of our first week of ’social distancing’ and staying at home we seem to be settling into  a new routine. I hope that you are keeping as well as could be expected under the circumstances. We live in a fabulous village and there is plenty of help available if you need it. 


The shop will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Opening hours are 0900 to 1400

The Farm shop is doing well and on Friday 10 deliveries were made to houses across the village.  The order ‘wish-list’ form that I sent out a couple of days ago has proved to be difficult to use. The MacDougalls have kindly redesigned the form and it should be easier to use. It is attached for you (Not on website - ed).  I suggest that you enter your Name and address etc into the form and then save it on your computer somewhere. When you then complete your shopping order, save the form giving it another name and E mail the form to the following E mail address  [email protected]

 ‘Order by’ deadlines and other information for telephone orders can be found on the attached form.

Reeves the Baker have reviewed the way in which bread orders will be taken. Ordering specific items is not possible (a shame as I really wanted cheesy twists!) so the order has been simplified to 4 different option. Please see the attached picture  showing the 4 options. Prices can be found on the order form. In order to ensure that the bread arrives in time please give 5 days notice for bread orders.

Village online meeting: 

Our first online meeting was very well attended with about 45 people taking part. The meeting was recorded and can be seen on the following link .  You will need the following password. eM7u5myQ.

Village Social Media

The village facebook page is becoming popular and is a good place for interesting news and lighthearted stuff. Here is the link :

Do let us know if you need any help to open an account.

We also have a Whattsapp group for the village which now has over 50 members. It is being reserved for village support purposes only in order to keep it useful. 

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or need any help.


Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys

Co-Chairs Berwick St James village meeting.


Update 21st March 2020

It looks like the crisis is going to be with us for quite a long time, so we have been working to put a number of things in place to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. There is a lot to report on but I will try and keep this update as brief as possible. So here goes:

  • A C-19 plan has been developed for the village. It is a two page read and explains what we planning to do over the coming few weeks. The can be downloaded using one of the above links. It will continually be updated as things develop. Please do comment if you have suggestions.
  • The list of Buddy Groups has been changed to include everybody. This has been circulated by E  mail.
  • The Boot pub is looking into the possibility of providing take-away meals – details to follow.
  • A WhatsApp group is being set up – Please send us your mobile number if you would like to be included – This group is only to be used for coordination purpose and ‘chit-chat' to be avoided. 
  • A facebook page is being created – this is where fun things can be added and where people can chat etc.
  • A weekly newsletter is going to be created for the village – This will be printed off and delivered to those who do not have access to the internet/emails.
  • We now have 35 volunteers who are willing to help with a variety of things in the village. Most are now on the Webex video/telephone conferencing system.
  • We are looking to coordinate the collection of medication from local pharmacies. More details to follow.

The village meeting will be going ahead online on Thursday 26th March at 7pm online – People will be able to either use their electronic devices to join the meeting or simply phone in. Details to follow.

The Farm shop has proven to be extremely valuable for the village as Marilyn has started to deliver supplies to people in the village. Everybody at the shop is working extremely hard.   We need to protect Marilyn and other people working in the shop. If they become ill, we will lose the shop. In order to help please be aware that:

  • There should be no more than two people in the shop at any one time.
  • Please keep a distance of at least 2 to 3m at all times
  • Wash hand before you visit the shop and afterwards 

The medical advice is simple – These simple steps may well prevent infections and save lives.

In order to minimise contact with the farm shop staff, it would be helpful if you could phone your order  (Tel 01722 790490) or E mail in advance and give plenty of time.  The E  mail address is [email protected] – E mails may only checked at the end of the day as Marilyn is so busy.

Advice is also being given to volunteers within the Buddy groups who are visiting people who they are supporting:

  • Wash your hands well before and after visiting someone
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 meters at ALL times
  • Do not enter people’s houses unless absolutely necessary.

Many thanks

Christian Lange - Co Chair - Berwick St James village meeting.


Update 18th March 2020

Please see below a letter which has been prepared by Dr. Sally Hiscock who has been working to formalise ‘Buddy' groups within the village so that we can ensure that everybody within the village have the support they need. 

The people coordinating the support for the village are, Sallys Hiscock, Christian lange, Sarah Humphreys, Charlie Street, Bill Hiscocks and Andy Green. We are meeting again online this evening to develop the plans further. We then plan to publish the draft plan and we will be very open to suggestions as to how it can be improved. 

We are still hoping to hold the village meeting that was due to take place on 26th March but this will be online or by phone using the Webex system. We hope to be able to set up the system so that it can call landline numbers free of charge for those who want to be part of the meeting. More information on this to follow as we get used to the system.

Here is Sally’s letter:

Dear Resident,

In light of the Governments advice for anyone over the age of 70 yrs. to self isolate from this weekend for an indefinite period of time we as a community need a plan to support each other .

It is imperative that our residents aged 70 yrs. or above reduce their forays out of the village to a bare minimum to reduce their risk of contacting the illness.

Just to be clear anyone young or old may walk around the village as long as we respect each other’s personal space by a distance of 3 meters. Simply washing your hands after a walk in case you have touched a gate or other hard surface will suffice to keep the virus at bay.

Over the coming weeks we will need to escape from our homes for the sake of our Mental health and we are so lucky to live in Berwick St. James.

With all this in mind we have set up a system of “budding” that is allocating residents to small groups for mutual support. In most cases it has been a simple matter of formalising arrangements between neighbours, which already exist.

Currently the idea is for each small group to supply simple logistical help with shopping and prescription collection for each other. In the next few days and weeks this may be adapted depending on how the situation evolves. No one will be asked to give nursing or personal care to a neighbour.

Getting prepared now will reduce stress and worry later. Those over 70 yrs. could consider setting up online shopping or contacting Shrewton dairy on 01980 620 065 who will provide fresh milk, bread and other supplies. Berwick Farm shop on 01722 790 490 who are also willing to deliver to Berwick residents for order over £15.00.

This is the first step in the community management of the virus. In the coming weeks we will need to consider how to support those who go into complete isolation, these are likely to be the younger members of the community.

As the situation evolves we may be able to simplify the process e.g. the collecting of prescriptions Some people may like to register with PHARMACY 2 YOU who dispense prescriptions very efficient and do home delivery. Here is the link to their website:  Tel 0113 265 0222

The situation is fluid but I am sure the Berwick St James residents will be both capable and adaptable to reduce the enormous impact this virus has imposed on all our lives.

Please see the attachment the list of  ‘Berwick Buddies’.

NB – The ‘Berwick Buddies’ list will NOT be placed on the village website but the above letter will.

Many thanks



Update 16 March 2020

Today we saw a significant announcement by the Prime Minister, which has added a sense of urgency to ensuring that volunteers are in place as soon as possible.  The volunteers also need to know how the system will work. For this reason a number of coordinators met (online) to develop the plan for the village. In brief, the following was agreed:

  • Dr. Sally Hiscocks will be making phone contact with all of those in the village who are not on the E mail system and/or those who may be advised by Government to self isolate. She may follow this up with a face-to-face visit at the door from a distance of at least 2 meters.
  • Christian will prepare a written update for people who are not on the email system. These will be hand delivered on Tuesday.
  • The Coordinators will meet again online on Wednesday evening to finalise the plan for the village – this will be continually developed as things progress.
  • We have started to use an online conference system called Webex. This will be used in the future for meetings etc. People can also call in using their normal landlines. We will start by asking the volunteers to get used to using this system. Christian will offer support where needed.
  • Christian will write to the group of volunteers with an update.

People who are self isolating need to be able to exercise and take walks. In order to ensure that they are safe and that they can take walks in confidence it is vital that we all avoid getting too close to people who are out walking. The ‘new normal’ and as a matter of courtesy people need to keep at least 3 or 4 meters away from people who they see out and about walking.

In the mean time you may like to know that the following food suppliers are willing to deliver:

Berwick Farm shop – Tel 01722 790 490

Shrewton Dairy – 01980 620 065

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or suggestions as to how we can better support our residents.

Many thanks

Christian Lange – 01722 790 122 or 078 2525 3848

Sarah Humphreys – 01722 790212

E mail – [email protected]


Update 15th March 2020

The Corona Virus is taking us into uncharted territory but what is clear is that we are in for a very challenging time. It is for this reason that our village website has been changed so that local Coronavirus information can be found very easily.

This page will keep you updated as to what we are doing as a village to ensure that we support each other during these difficult times. We will place local documents here but we do not aim to replace sites such as the NHS or Government websites, which provide up to date health and national updates.

One of the best aspects of our British Society is that we work together to support each other in times of crisis and I don’t think this will be an exception. We recently sent out an E-mail asking for a team of volunteers and in just two days we have over 30 people in the village willing to help. This represents about 30% of the village population which is truly outstanding!

Berwick is normally very good at providing help and support to those who need it. During this crisis it is important that we are well organised and that support is coordinated. It is possible that those who normally provide support to others become unable to do so. We want to ensure that everybody who needs help feels confident to ask for it and knows how to do this.

So.. what have we done so far and what are we planning to do?:

  • Call for volunteers as mentioned above to help with shopping, walking dogs etc.
  • A team of village coordinators are meeting on Wednesday to put together a plan for the village
  • Exploring ways to introduce a video-conference system that the whole village can use.
  • Started to list documents, which are relevant to us in Berwick or Wiltshire.

Marilyn has already volunteered to say that The Farm Shop will carry out free home deliveries for orders of over £15.00. 

Please watch this space for further updates. We aim to have a plan ready by Friday, which will provide the following information:

  • What the volunteers will do.
  • How will they be tasked and coordinated.
  • How people can request help.
  • How we will communicate with each other.
  • Anything else that we can think of that will help.

Whilst we are awaiting a further update do not hesitate to contact us with any comments or ideas for the village. We can be contacted by clicking on the following link.

Many thanks

Christian Lange & Sarah Humphreys

Co-Chairs Berwick Parish Meetings