The July 2020 edition of the Bride Valley News (much of it out of date for obvious reasons) can be read HERE
The deadline for copy for any month’s issue is mid-day of the second Thursday of the preceding month. All material for publication must be sent to the Village Correspondent. For Litton Cheney this is:John Firrell, Tel: 01308 482313 email:
Want to contribute to the well-being of Litton? Why not join the Premier Crew, a group of well-intentioned citizens of our village who clean and tidy up areas when they need a little bit of care and attention. Your ability to help will undoubtedly depend on your availability and you are not expected to turn up everytime there is a call to arms. Gender equality is alive and well, as is the bonhomie or bonfemme on offer whenever we meet. With enough volunteers we could even become the Grand Crew! If you would like to join us, please contact John Firrell on 01308 482313.
Premier Crew – Come & Join Us
The Litton Cheney Trust continued to serve individuals and the community during 2019. Payments totaling £5350 covered Christmas gifts to older residents on limited means and grants to young people going into higher and further education or moving from school into employment. Grants were also made towards refurbishment of the Chalk Pit Lane finger signpost (£250) and the renovation of the floor in Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall (£1466). Income for the year amounted to just over £7500, comprising rent for a grazing field owned by the Trust, dividends on investments and bank interest. The Trust’s investments performed strongly during the year, showing capital growth of 15% to a total of just under £145,000. The full accounts may be inspected on application to the treasurer, Richard Jones (482602).
The Litton Cheney Trust
Plant Sale
Village Newsletter July 2020
A highly experienced team of digital volunteers from the Dorset Digital Hotline have been praised for the way they helped a 'shielding' couple connect with loved ones and the outside world during the COVID lockdown. The big 'thank you' from Wareham residents Arthur and Daniel Brown marks this year's #LetsTalkLoneliness Week (15-19 June 2020). The couple are keen for more people to know about the hotline which can offer support to anyone who wants to get connected with friends and family by video and provides help with any other IT or digital problem. Arthur and Daniel, who are both 'shielding', moved to new sheltered accommodation with hours to spare before lockdown but their broadband connection didn't move with them. In a new town, with lockdown taking hold, the couple found themselves isolated, alone and no connection to the outside world save their GP surgery. Arthur said: "We were on our own for 10 weeks in all. We have always been loathed to go digital but our motivations changed during lockdown. It became crystal clear that all essential services and human contact relied on us getting broadband and video conferencing. "We tried some internet service providers but the cost was too high and neither of us are able to work. Our GP surgery suggested we call the Dorset Digital Hotline who immediately suggested we apply for the BT Basic Broadband package. This was installed extremely efficiently and with full safeguarding adhered to. Dorset Digital Hotline advisers have been on the end of a phone throughout to make sure the broadband and video technology works for us.” Daniel continued: "The BT Basic Broadband package is available for people on lower incomes. It was installed midweek and last Sunday we were invited to a 70th digital birthday party on Zoom. There were multiple screens so we could catch up with lots of people, many we hadn't seen for years, and all party together. It was wonderful. Anyone who needs IT or digital support should get in touch with the hotline now, we thoroughly recommend it." A selection of some of the support the Dorset Digital Hotline can provide – no problem too small! helping families with digital applications for home schooling providing help to get online for home shopping support for all digital NHS services and e-Consult setting up video calls such as Skype and Facetime to keep in contact with friends and family support to use all digital appliances and solve problems Cllr. Gary Suttle, Dorset Council cabinet lead for skills, said: “Without broadband or digital skills it must be incredibly difficult to shield. During the COVID lockdown, people without broadband have effectively been shut off. I am delighted we have been able to work as a team to find a good all-round solution for this couple." Anyone can call the Dorset Digital Hotline with an IT question on 01305 221000 (Option 2) weekdays from 10am to 12 noon, or leave a message.
Dorset Digital Hotline
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Dog Owners & Dog Walkers - Your Annual Reminder
Farmer Richard Cuzens has already vented his spleen on the Village Group Facebook page but the overall message is worth repeating here. Whilst most dog walkers of Litton Cheney are responsible, thank you, there are a few who allow their dogs to poo in fields where there could be livestock and do not pick up wherever it happens, track or field. Where dogs are allowed to run free in fields, perhaps chasing a ball, the ball is often left by the dog for livestock to find. It's not rocket science to work out what the consequences of that could be. Richard found a tennis ball in the mouth of one of his cows, Melody, which if swallowed would have probably meant certain death. Hopefully message received loud and clear!
St Mary’s Church Following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, St Mary’s Church is now (more or less) back to its old regime and welcomes visitors. It is open daily during daylight hours for private prayer and reflection, although still subject to social distancing rules and hand sanitising. Part of the church is also cordoned off to reduce the cleaning task. Enquiries should be directed to Church Wardens, Richard Jones (482602) and John Vercoe (482110). During the period of lockdown St Mary’s organist and choirmaster, Paul Cheater, has been regaling many residents on a daily basis with music from his own repertoire and played by other musicians via You Tube. During the week it was a piano piece, with an organ voluntary on Sundays. Paul hopes that when life returns to some sort of normality that a fundraising concert can be arranged at LATCH when he can play these pieces “live” to an even wider audience. Thank you, Paul; you provided a daily musical treat for many of us that made life just that little more pleasant and bearable in these testing times. Litton Cheney Parish Council The Parish Council plan to hold its next virtual meeting on 14th July. Draft minutes will be available on the village website and main noticeboard in due course, post meeting. You can “attend” this meeting online and more details will be made available closer to the time. All councillors and clerk are available to be contacted by local residents. Contact details can be found on noticeboards and village website. Roadside Verges in and around the Litton Cheney and Bride Valley Recently concerned voices have been raised by both the Parish Council and several local residents regarding the cutting of the roadside verges. The matter has been taken up with Dorset Council. To avoid a reoccurrence the Parish Council have been asked by Dorset Council to identify areas and verges that they would recommend for a different management regime in terms of care and conservation. If you know of an area or location that would benefit from that measure please pass the information to Parish Clerk, Maggie Walsh The information will be passed to Dorset Countryside rangers for assessment and recommendation. Children’s Playground – Village Playing Field The playground will open again on Saturday 4th July. Recently there have been several instances where security arrangements put in place to prevent people entering the Litton playground during lockdown have been compromised. Once the playground is open again please ensure you follow all the necessary guidance that will help safeguard other users. Please think of others even if you think you or your family are immune to infection. Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall From Saturday 4th July LATCH will begin to emerge from its lockdown slumber. Careful consideration will be given as to the guidance on offer and the particular circumstances existing at the hall. Clearly more cleaning will need to be carried out, especially once the school has returned in September. Bookings will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and acceptance or refusal will be based on rules and guidance relevant at the time of the booking enquiry. We should be aware that in the event of a local spike in infections it might be necessary to close the hall at short notice. More information will be made available on the village website, LC Observer FB page and village noticeboards as more becomes known. When the hall is re-opened use of the hand sanitiser on entry will be obligatory. Bride Valley Films Bride Valley Films at Litton Cheney Community Hall have been postponed due to the Coronavirus situation. The hope is that “Judy” will be postponed until Thursday 1st October and “Knives Out” postponed until Thursday 5th November. This will however be confirmed nearer the time on the village website and in later issues of the Bride Valley News. Stay Updated on the Coronavirus and All Things Local There is a wealth of information available online regarding Coronavirus, local community support, current local information and much of this can be found on the village website or the Litton Cheney Observer Facebook Page. Thank you to all those stalwarts who very quickly came to the fore when lockdown loomed to offer their assistance to the vulnerable, those self-isolating and others less able. Please remain at your post a little longer until we honestly believe the worst is over. Whilst we are aware that community support for others is very strong in the Bride Valley generally and most know who to call if they have a problem, not everyone however has access to online communication. Please remember those who live on their own and/or are isolated. In these trying times we ask you to CYN – yes, really - CHECK YOUR NEIGHBOUR please! PLANT SALES - raising money for Weldmar Hospice Alison Halliday, with husband John’s help, have started selling plants from outside their home, The Old Granary, 7 Barges Close in Litton Cheney in response to the general lack of allowable Fundraising Events this year, from which Weldmar has suffered. During the past few weeks this venture has raised a good deal of money and Alison has decided to put out plants on a daily basis for the next year, from about 10.00am until dark. Plants will of course be seasonal, but many will be slightly unusual and vary in their needs - sun, shade, moisture etc. mostly hardy perennials but including some bulbs, houseplants, succulents and veg seedlings when donated. At the moment there cannot be any grasses, shrubs or bedding plants but she guarantees something of interest at a range of prices. Alison can be contacted by emailing and she is usually around to offer help if needed. 100% of sales are donated to Weldmar and receipts are displayed outside. Unwanted flower pots are welcomed along with any good seedlings and newly ‘dug out’ plants which may be left in the drive. Please, no massive thug plants though! A guess at naming them is also helpful and Alison is happy to re-pot and improve things to make a good quality plant. A big thank you to all who have been to look and bought plants to date.
Parks Farm Cheese Factory
Outsourced cheese processing could return to the Parks Farm, Litton Cheney site under a proposal approved by Dorset Council. The company has been given permission to build a new cheese processing building and add additional car parking space. Long Bredy and Kingston Russel parish council returned a neutral response to the application fearing additional traffic for both of its parishes. But while the council’s transport development team say the opposite is likely to be the case with a decrease in vehicles, the council’s highways team say it would result in an increase of 6-10 vehicles movements each week. Ashley Chase Estate has been given consent for what it describes as “a modest building’ of 180 square metres on a third of a hectare site to match others already there. The new unit would be immediately to the north of the existing complex within the car park area which itself would be expanded. An application report says the use of the building would allow work which is currently outsourced to be brought on site. An agent for the company says the changes to the car park will increase the number of spaces by ten to 55 in total although it says it expects no increase in the workforce which, at the time the application was submitted in mid- March, was 125 full-time and 20 part-time. The application says both the proposed car park extension and new building will sit below the general ground level to the north and, when landscaping has been added, neither will be conspicuous in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Mary Anderson’s Channel Walk
In difficult times we all wonder what we can do to help others. Mary is not very mobile and is now, at 85 years old, wanting to show support so has decided to walk the distance of The Channel (19 miles at its shortest distance). She will do this by going up and down her garden. The following is a report of progress so far. “Only 5 of the 19 miles to go now of my Channel Walk The money raised will be divided between three Charities - Prostate Cancer; DCH Covid 19 Appeal and The Margaret Green Animal Sanctuary. The response and encouragement received has already reached £941 and that is truly amazing My progress is slow but I plod on and hope to finish mid-summer If you would like to help too - please go to: and click on the Charity of your choice, alternatively you can pop a donation through the letter box of Talisman. THANK YOU so much Everyone for your support & help it is very much appreciated.” Mary Anderson