The Welcome Booklet is regularly updated and given to each new family arriving in Berwick St James as soon as they arrive. For many this area they have just moved to is unfamiliar, so the booklet is designed to be a helpful guide to them for local contacts and events that are coming up in the near future. For those who have received one, please send any feedback and useful additions to me.
We are delighted to welcome you to the village and very much hope that you enjoy living here.
Berwick St James, with a population of approximately 160 residents, is a linear village with most of the 75 houses situated on the High Street. The village is an active and friendly community, engaged in a number of initiatives.
The focal points of the village are St James Church, The Reading Room, The Boot Inn (just reopened) and the Old Forge Farm Shop. Berwick also has an active Cricket Club, and the South Wiltshire Guide Centre is located in the old village school building at the south end of the village. Over the last couple of years Covid19 restricted most village activities until recently, and we hope that such constraints are now behind us.
The Berwick St James website, which is continually updated with village news and views, is a mine of information on village history and on past, current and future activities in and around Berwick: Go to: https://www.berwickstjames.org.uk or contact Neil MacDougall 01722 792761 ([email protected]).
Please feel free to contact me if I can help in any way.
Chair Berwick St James
These meetings are the equivalent of Parish Council meetings but referred to as the Village Meeting. All villagers of 18 and over are most welcome to attend, participate and air their views as voting members. Only those votes counted at a meeting are recognised when decisions affecting the village as a whole are made. Notice of the meetings is published on the noticeboards, website, and through the village email system. There are generally three or four meetings a year and are normally held in the Reading Room. The email system, run through the Village Chair, is a useful tool for keeping everyone informed about upcoming events and matters of general interest. All recipients’ email addresses are treated as confidential. The next meeting will be held on Thursday 25th January ’24.
Village Notice Boards
There are two Notice Boards. One situated beside The Reading Room and another by the bus shelter in the middle of the village.
Village WhatsApp & Facebook Page
Together with the email system, the village also has a WhatsApp group that is useful to help with communication across the village. Please contact Sarah Humphreys (07966 195627) to be added to the group.
We also have a village Facebook page that is called ‘Carry on Berwick’ which is a closed group for Berwick Villagers only. Just send a request online to Sarah to join the group.
The Reading Room [Opposite The Boot Inn]
This is our village hall, which is used for Village Meetings and also for Christmas Bazaars, presentations, plant sales, fete meetings as well as yoga classes and other social functions. A committee runs The Reading Room and is available for private hire. For bookings and pricing, please contact Nigel Rodgers on [email protected] or phone him on 790622. Alternatively, contact Nicky Street on [email protected]. A Diary of Events is posted on The Reading Room Notice Board next to the entrance.
The Old Forge Farm Shop & Café
Sam Shipley-Baker’s business, The Old Forge Farm Shop and Café has now been open for business for the last 6 months. The village website page which features the Farm Shop & Café has been updated with a number of photos and relevant information about the shop & café, such as opening times, produce that she sells, etc. In the relatively short time that she has been established in Berwick, the shop has recently won first prize as the Best Farm Shop in Wiltshire! Furthermore, on Wednesdays between 10:00am and 12:00am she holds Chatty Café mornings which is a charity which encourages people to get together.
Old Forge Farm Shop Opening Times
The Boot Inn
Ross & Amy Anderson are the new landlords and intend to launch a full dining service in the New Year. In the meantime the pub is open for drinks on most evenings (click to view).
The Berwick St James Cricket Club
The Cricket Club participates in the Wiltshire Cricket League and also in friendly matches. It has the highest cricket pitch in Wiltshire from which one gets superb views of the surrounding countryside. There are around 15 leagues matches played on Tuesday evenings in the Old Sarum Invitation League (home and away). The captain is Richard Foster, telephone: 07881 915911. If you are interested in joining, give Richard a call.
Young Residents Co-ordinator
Although we don’t have a large number of young residents in Berwick, we try to ensure that families with children of all ages are given useful information and kept informed of any activities that may be of interest to them. Kate Glyn-Owen (Tel: 07970 115710) acts as co-ordinator and can put people in touch with babysitters if required.
Village Fund Raising Events
Traditionally the village has held an annual fund raising event in the village. In the past it has usually been a Fete and Dog Show which has taken place in recent years in the grounds of Berwick House (opposite the Church) in early June. However, recently we have tried a number of different events as fundraisers. In 2015 and 2018 we held Open Garden Weekends which raised around £5,000 on each occasion. Among other functions, normally arranged on an annual basis, village parties were arranged to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday in 2016, her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, and in May last year King Charles’ Coronation. As well as outside charities, the proceeds from these events are divided between the Church, The Reading Room and the Village Community Fund.
The South Wiltshire Guide Centre
This is situated in the Old School on the southern edge of the village. This facility belongs to the Wiltshire Guides and is a great asset to the village. They are most helpful and have very kindly hired the Centre out to the village on numerous occasions and as well as to individuals for certain events as long as the requested booking does not clash with their own events. The website is http://www.girlguiding-wiltshiresouth.org.uk through which bookings can be made.
Community Matters, The Parish Magazine
This is a Church/Village magazine that includes the villages of Berwick St James, Stapleford, South Newton/Stoford, Great Wishford and Winterbourne Stoke. It is published monthly on the first of each month, and delivered to all the houses in the Parish free of charge. It also includes a number of classified trade entries, which you may find useful.
If you wish to include any news items, please contact Nicky Street (email [email protected]) by 14th of the month before publication.
St Mary’s Church in Stapleford has six bells. If you would like to learn how to ring bells or you have rung in the past and would like to start again, please contact Mick Geoghegan at Stapleford on 01722 790488. Bell ringing practice is on alternate Fridays at 19.30.
St James Church
The first reference to St James Church was c1190. The doorway and nave are thought to be late Norman and the font dates back to 1236. The history of the church is available in the Church.
Our vicar, Reverend Jonathan Plows lives in the rectory at Steeple Langford with his wife Debbie, and has nine Parishes under his pastoral care. There are generally three Sunday services a month which are detailed in the Parish Magazine.
The Services are as follows:
1st Sunday of Month 09.30am
Parish Communion (2nd or 3rd Sunday of Month) 10.00am
Matins (4th Sunday of Month)
No Service in Berwick (5th Sunday of Month)
Group Service in one of 9 benefices 10:00am
There are two Church Wardens for the church: Bill Hiscocks, (tel. 01722 790213), and James Douse (07585 355362).
To arrange a Holy Baptism or a wedding or if you wish to learn more, please speak to one of the church wardens. Alternatively, contact Reverend Jonathan Plows (01722 790616)
The Church has many volunteers who keep the Church in good order. They include cleaning the church, arranging flowers, cleaning the brass, unlocking and locking the Church daily and also occasionally reading the lessons on Sundays. If you would like to volunteer for any of these, please contact Bill Hiscocks to find out what it might entail and frequency. The Church organises a number of events during the year to raise funds, such as the annual Harvest Supper at The Guide Centre.
Other Church Denominations
There are no churches of other denominations other than Church of England in our five Parishes. The nearest churches for other denominations are:
Baptist Amesbury or Salisbury
Methodist Shrewton, Amesbury, Bemerton or Salisbury
Roman Catholic Larkhill, Wilton, Bemerton, Amesbury, Salisbury or Wardour
United Reform Salisbury
There is an active Book Club in the village that meets on a monthly basis. If you would like to join please contact Hayley Burrey on 07774 926567.
The village is part of a Community Speed Watch scheme which is a police initiative and fully supported by them but run by village volunteers. The speed camera records speeds and details of speeding vehicles are reported to the police. If you would like further information or would like to be a volunteer, please contact Neil MacDougall as the village co-ordinator on 791762 or [email protected].
Berwick runs a scheme, run by volunteers, to make our community safer by increasing vigilance, highlighting crime concerns and providing guidelines for protecting our property. It is also establishing a good community/police liaison. For further details or a full info pack contact our Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, James Hardy on 790520, or [email protected].
Garden & Household Waste
For most houses, recycling waste (blue bin) consisting of plastic bottles/cardboard and papers/glass/cans/foil and aerosols is collected by Wiltshire Council on alternate Tuesdays, and general household waste (black bin) is collected on Thursday mornings of the same week. A circular issued by the Council is given to each household advising them what is being collected and when. Whatever is being collected needs to be left by the pavement in the appropriate bin(s). Large items can be collected by arrangement with Wiltshire District Council on 01722 434319. There is a bin provided by the Salvation Army close to Berwick Old Forge Farm Shop for old clothes, blankets and shoes, for which the village receive payment. Garden waste is collected (Green bins) on Mondays on weeks that alternate with Household & Recycling Waste collections. There is an annual £66 charge for this facility.
Royal British Legion
The Stapleford, Berwick St James and District Branch meet at a local pub on the first Monday of the month at 19.00 between September and March each year. Contact Mick Geoghegan on 01722 790488 if interested in attending.
Berwick has joined with Stapleford, Great Wishford and South Newton Women’s Institute and is called Swans WI. They meet the first Thursday in the month at 14:00. For information contact Loraine on 01722743577.
There is an hourly bus service that comes through the village running between Salisbury and Devizes. There are three bus stops in the village and bus timetables can be found by the bus stops. This facility does not operate on Sundays.
There is only one post box in the village (by the Post Office Cottage). Collections are Monday to Friday about 09:00 and Saturdays at 10.15
Wiltshire District Council
For general customer services contact telephone 0300 4560100 or visit their website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk
Berwick St James is now on the superfast broadband network, having finally been connected to the system in April ‘16. Normal broadband speeds in the village vary from very poor (0.5 – 1.5 mb/s) to acceptable (4 – 5 mb/s), but moving to superfast broadband can increase the download / upload speeds up to 30-40 / 10-15mb/s. Although there are several providers that give this improved service, not all do.
The mobile library was withdrawn in October 2017. However, there are Public Libraries in Wilton and Salisbury.
The nearest Post Office is in Shrewton within the Co-op village shop.
Till Valley Link Scheme
This is a very good neighbourhood scheme run by volunteers that enable people who do not have access to transport to get to doctor and hospital appointments, shopping, hairdressers, day centres, etc. Donations are always welcome. Contact 07502 426398.
Local Police and NHS Emergencies.
Contact local police on 101 and NHS Emergencies on 111
The Old Orchard Surgery, South Street, Wilton 01722 744775
The Wilton Health Centre Partnership, The Square, Wilton 01722 742404
The Till Orchard Surgery, Shrewton (also in Codford) 01980 620259
The Cherry Orchard Surgery Codford 01985 850298
Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury 01722 336262
New Hall Private Hospital, Bodenham, Salisbury 01722 422333
Drew & Partners, 16 North Street, Wilton 01722 742100
The Chequers Dental Practice, 18 Endless Street, Salisbury 01722 329959
Langdale House Dental Care, Salisbury 01722 333656
The Borough Dental Practice, Downton 01725 510303
Shrewton Dairies (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday) 01980 620065
Fireplace Installers / Chimney Sweeps
Mr Hopkins 01722 415451
Joey Hardingham (Embers Fires & Stoves) 07505 911425
Heating Engineers (Boiler/Aga)
Alexandra Heating Services Ltd 01722 417873
Tim Walsh 07919 603884 / 01980 652803
Roy & Nick Palmer 01980 620082
Simon Tothill (Turnstone Renovations) 07971 581041
Bob & Rita Pope (Pope Plan & Build) 07973 143006 /01980 610476
Darren Robertson (Robertson Building Contractors Ltd 07970 759596 / 01980 731084
Bob Bunn 07900 276038
Painters & Decorators
Shaun Haggaty Painter & Decorator 07919 962139 / 01722 790746
PDF Decorating (Paul Furneaux) 07846 306947 / 01980 611905
Kim Haydon 07907 462262
Wilton Alarm Services, Wilton 01722 744744
Aurum Alarms, Salisbury 01722 503232
Avon Security, Amesbury 01980 626000
L.Z. Heating & Plumbing (Luke Collinson) 07796 147463 / 01722 782782
D. & M. Cannings 7855 052244 / 01980 611943
S.B Plumbing Services (Stefan …..) 07770 502522 / 01722 331697
Elite Plumbing & Heating Ltd (Joey Hackford) 07772 980741
Chris Blake 07771 628703
Jim Campbell 07827 974474
Andy Cashmore 01722 337134 / 07754 582391
DJP Electrical Services (Dave Philpots) 07843 229959
Ridges-Steer Electricals (Ben Ridges-Steer) 1722 239289 / 07534 262633
Chris Brain (Druids) 01722 790728 / 07920 131678
Nigel Arnold (Woodford Valley) 07966 233119
Chris Rowe (Durrington) 07860 601242
Heating Oil Deliveries
H B S Fuels 01264 860263
W P Group 0800 9806174
Total Butler Fuels 01380 728564
Minster Fuels 0800 1694981
Watson Petroleum 01249 657640
Kinch Fuels 01380 727102
Home Fuels Direct 01642 700725
Nadder Valley Oil Buying Club http://nadder.oilbuyingclub.com
Note: It pays to ring around the various heating oil companies to get their best quotes. Orders for more than 1000 litres will generally generate a more competitive rate.
Jason Bayliss 01980 624534 / 07765 201461
Laurence Johnson 01980 670583
Jonathan Davis 07940 483282 / 01722 412365
Manor Farm Vets, Codford 01985 850752
Elston Clinic, Elston Lane, Shrewton 01980 623960
Wylye Newsagents 01985 248225
Garden Machinery Sales and Repairs
Salisbury Garden Machinery, Churchfields 01722 322414
Stewart Penny Garden Machinery Services 07714 212806
C & O Tractors, Wilton 01722 742141
Gardening & Tree Cutting Services
Ted Thompson (Grass Cutting) 01722 790224
Neil Moss (Grass Cutting 07957 685690
B.W. Garden & Fencing Services (Hedge Cutting) 07912 091976 / 01722 781246
Dominic Ridley (Tree Cutting) 07733 231010 / 01722 790841
Stuart Larter (Tree & Hedge Cutting) 07563 645043
James & Aaron Cruise (General Gardening) 07784 203380
Jeff Drake (General Gardening) 07502 226021
You will find Recycling Centres at Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury and at Boscombe Down Business Park in Amesbury.
Other Miscellaneous Services
Additional suppliers, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc. can be found in our Parish Magazine.
There are a large number of state, church and independent schools in the area which cater for children of all ages. For a full list of all local schools please visit: http://php.wiltshire.gov.uk/dirschool/. Mothers with toddlers should find this website useful: www.netmums.com/southwilts .
Salisbury Railway Station
Situated on South Western Road, Salisbury. Enquiries: 0845 600 0650, or www.southwesterntrains.co.uk. There are frequent trains to Waterloo, Portsmouth, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.
Wilton Market opens in The Square in Wilton every Thursday. Salisbury Market operates on Tuesdays & Saturdays and the Farmers Market takes place in The Square in Salisbury on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. Amesbury has its Open Market every Wednesday.
Wilton and Shrewton have small Co-Op Shops. Salisbury offers a number of out of town superstores such as Waitrose Home (Churchill Way), Tesco and Lidl (off the Southampton Road). In the centre of town you will find Sainsbury’s and another Tesco store. Amesbury also has large Tesco, Co-op and Lidl stores. However, local business is very dependant on local stores, so do use the independent stores in the area.
The nearest cash machines can be found by the Esso Garage in Stapleford or the Co-Op in Shrewton. Otherwise it’s a visit to Wilton or Salisbury.
Trade and Retail Outlets
Many of the trade and retail outlets are located in the Churchfield Trading Estate including motor trade, bathroom stores, building materials, etc. Others can be found off the Southampton Road, such as B&Q, Currys, Majestic as well as carpet and furniture stores.
These can be found on the A303 in Winterbourne Stoke and on the A36 in Stapleford where you can also find basic groceries and newspapers.
There are 2 main garden centres near Salisbury: Wilton House Garden Centre on Wilton Rd and In Excess garden centre on Netherhampton Rd.
Salisbury offers a number of leisure facilities which include fitness and swimming at Five Rivers Leisure Centre and Parkwood Health and Fitness Centre; Salisbury and South Wilts Golf Club; Salisbury and South Wilts Sports Club; Salisbury Racecourse; three tennis clubs; and much more. Amesbury also offers a Sports Centre.
Historical and Cultural Attractions
Stonehenge, Avebury and Salisbury Cathedral are the main historical attractions in the local area, but there are many others (see Visit Wiltshire). There are live performances at City Hall and Salisbury Playhouse; an Odeon cinema; and a range of activities (live music, film, theatre, dance, exhibitions and workshops) at the Salisbury Arts Centre.