The November 2020 edition of the Bride Valley News 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
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
a village in the Bride Valley Litton Cheney Dorset
Message from Parish Council re. Corona Virus
Covid19 Update & Rewind – November 2020 Dear Litton Cheney Resident, Parishioner & Neighbour, Once again we enter a time of uncertainty, and a second lockdown. Should you require assistance please know that as previously there are people in the village very willing to assist you. If you do become concerned, fellow residents are able to help, so if you need anything please do give one of us shown below a call. This might be for nipping to the shop for some groceries, collecting prescriptions, a chat on the phone or looking on the internet for information. We will find someone to help. We did it before and we will do it again. Assistance is on offer including via the Litton Cheney Observer Facebook Page, The Premier Crew, and various individuals who have told us they are available to help where necessary. More information will be made available on the Litton Cheney Website and there will be updated notices on boards in Litton and other villages in the Bride Valley. We are of course conscious that not all residents have internet access. Once again this is the time when we all need to pull together, and once again, as before, we are sure it will happen without any prompting. If you do know someone who needs help or keeping an eye on, and you perhaps are not always available to offer that support, please let us know. This is an ever changing situation. The Litton Cheney Trust have asked us to mention that if anyone is suffering severe financial hardship to contact Trustee Richard Jones on 482602. “Once more into the breech, dear friends, once more………………!” We will overcome this ghastly plague, when we can congratulate and thank our community as a whole for being hugely supportive to all in the face of adversity. Good Health & Stay Well, and do please find time to check on a neighbour. Very best wishes, Bill Orchard - 482669, John Firrell - 482313, Andy King - 482594, Diana Maston 482321, Andrew Price - 482828, Bella Spurrier - 482367 and Parish Clerk Maggie Walsh - 281561
Plant Sale
Ultrafast Broadband
Village Newsletter November 2020
St. Mary’s Church At the time of going to press we have no idea whether the Christmas services will go ahead, but hope and pray that they will. All being well, there will be a Carol Service on the 20th December at 5.00 p.m. with the usual readings and live music from Paul on the organ plus recordings of carols made by members of the choir. On Christmas Eve we hope to hold a Crib Service at 4.00 pm as well as the 11.30 pm service of Holy Communion. In all probability numbers will have to be limited to comply with social distancing. A leaflet will be delivered around the village with full details of all the Christmas services once the current lockdown is lifted and the revised restrictions have been announced. Brighter news is that there are now new floodlights to replace the ones that failed last year through old age. If you would like to light up the church to celebrate an occasion or remember a loved one over the Christmas period please contact Freddie Spicer ( or 01308 482617) to arrange dates and provide a donation of £5 per night. In Remembrance Due to lockdown we were unable to involve ourselves in traditional events and services in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. Headteacher at Thorner’s, Mike Sitch, however, came up with a splendid idea that involved the school children, local residents both in Litton and the surrounding villages in an act of remembrance. A candle or a light was placed by the front door or in the window of participating residents at 6 pm on Wednesday 11th November (Remembrance Day) – by such an act, the sacrifice of many over past decades was remembered. Thank you to all who got involved including villages and residents throughout the Bride Valley and thank you, Mike, for the inspirational idea. On both Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day itself St Mary’s church was floodlit and the Union Jack flew from the church tower from Sunday 8th through Wednesday 11th November. Litton Cheney Parish Council The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 12th January 2021 when the level of parish precept will be decided for 2021/22. Please join us and become involved with the workings of your council. At this point we assume the meeting with be via Zoom and full details of how to join the meeting will be given on the agenda. After giving several years of valiant service Kathryn Brooks has stood down as a parish councillor. In her time on the council, and as part of her brief, Kathryn ensured the council accepted and adhered to the myriad of rules and regulations that these days govern the current workings of smaller councils, and then took on the planning brief which inevitably is the most active area of the council’s responsibilities. We thank Kathryn for her wisdom, diligence and hard work during the course of carrying out her duties – she will be much missed and we wish her well in life beyond the Parish Council. We will shortly be seeking a replacement for Kathryn via the usual process. We welcome to the Parish Council, Diana Maston, who has recently been co-opted to fill a long-standing vacancy. Diana has lived in the village for a fair number of years, knows the lie of the land and is looking forward with considerable enthusiasm to playing a more proactive role in the life of Litton Cheney. 30 MPH Speed Limit – Progress Report Litton Cheney Parish Council has pressed a case for introducing a 30 mph speed limit for the village. Thorner’s school, which serves our surrounding area, supports the proposal and encourages parents in the village to let children walk and cycle to the school. Numbers of children in the village have increased substantially in recent years, as have traffic volumes and speeds, causing concern both to parents and also to elderly residents. The Council therefore welcomes the news that Dorset Council have now included this request in their programme for 2020-2021 and the Traffic Regulation team will be starting the consultation and legal processes during this financial year. New Turnstiles at The Rocks You will surely have seen that new turnstiles and gates have been installed at the top and bottom of The Rocks footpath. You will no doubt also appreciate the incredible artisanal skills that have been applied to their construction. That is down to Russell Randall and son Steve. Our grateful thanks to Russell and Steve, also to Philip Dyke for the design and The Litton Cheney Trust who have made a generous grant to cover the cost of this important piece of village heritage. Telephone Kiosk has now been adopted At a cost of £1 the Parish Council have now approved the adoption of the village telephone kiosk. At some point in the near future BT will remove the telephony equipment. In the meantime we will begin to review the various ideas and schemes that have been put forward by local residents and start to put the selected use into place once the telephony kit has been removed. Covid – Assistance is Available – You have only to say Nowhere has it been more apparent that a tremendous community spirit exists in the Bride Valley than during Covid-19. Local residents requiring any form of assistance have been instantly attended to by willing neighbours, and other residents who perhaps up until that moment had been strangers. We know that willingness to help continues to this day, and it may well be required as we head into winter, so the message to everyone is quite simply – if you need assistance, you have only to say. You can do that via the village website, village FB page or by calling one of the numbers on the PC letter found on notice boards and website or by contacting a neighbour. Christmas 2020 What does Christmas hold for us this year – who knows? We would sincerely hope that we do get to spend some time with our family and friends. You can keep up to date with what is happening, or indeed not happening, by checking the village website, Litton Cheney Observer FB page or phone a friend. Sadly there will be no carol singing around the village this year, but we can expect to find the village Christmas tree “planted” at The Triangle in the lead up to Christmas and there will undoubtedly be several village residents decorating their houses in the traditional way. Please find time to check that those who live nearby are okay, and have all that they need during this period and beyond – see Covid above. The Parish Council wishes everyone in Litton Cheney and the Bride Valley a Happy Christmas and a vaccine available 2021! Census 2021 There will be a National Census held on Sunday 21st March 2021, more details for which will be made available over the coming months. Events at Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall - LATCH The second lockdown brought with it a number of cancellations, and at this point we do not know what restrictions will be with us in December but we remain hopeful the community hall can be put to good use during December and into 2021. The Wednesday evening Yoga class has been cancelled and will hopefully start again in the new year. Table tennis on a Wednesday at 4.00 pm may start up again in December depending on how and when restrictions are lifted. We look forward optimistically to 2021 with the hope that our usual range of classes and social events will be able to resume at some point. It’s Curtains for the Hall The four sets of large curtains in the main hall at LATCH, have been taken down and re-lined by Madeleine Hickling. It was a mammoth job, yet accomplished within the space of ten days. Thank you, Madeleine – another example of community spirit without reward – there’s a lot of it about thankfully! Ali Halliday – Plantswoman on behalf of Weldmar Hospicecare. In May of this year Ali decided to fund raise for Weldmar by selling plants she had planted and cultivated herself. To date she has raised over £1500, and Ali provides a continual supply of plants for sale outside her house in Barges Close. Thank you, Ali, for your magnificent effort on behalf of Weldmar – we are extremely proud of you for your efforts on behalf of others far less fortunate. Litton Cheney Social Committee Best Christmas Wishes to everyone, and let us hope that 2021 is a much more social year! The ducks are certainly looking forward to a dash down the stream, with a visit to The White Horse at the end! Keep healthy and safe. The Social Committee. Bride Valley Films at Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall. We have decided to delay any new film dates until 2021; hopefully we may be able to resume then. At such time we will try to ascertain whether everyone has seen all available films during lockdown etc. so we can confirm titles. That’s all folks! - for now. You Are Always Welcome at the White Horse So here we are in lockdown again and at the time of writing we should be able to open early December. But who knows? Will we be open for Christmas? And if so, what will that look like? We can’t imagine we will be able to do the Christmas parties we did last year, or that the bar can be as packed as it was last year on Christmas Day, but all being well, we will be doing a Christmas Roast on Sunday 20th and Cottage Pie Night on Christmas Eve - our chance to thank YOU for your support during the year. But we do know one thing; as with all of 2020 we will keep adapting, doing what we can to be here for you and to keep you safe. It’s been a tough year for everyone but most of us have survived. Huge love to anyone who has been ill themselves or lost someone, in fact to everyone. Have the best Christmas you can, and we can only hope for a better 2021 for everyone. Andy and Liz xxx
Dear Bride Valley Resident A group of us are writing to check that you know of a government-funded initiative to improve internet speeds in rural communities. Most current local internet speeds vary from 3mbps to 40mbps; many of us are still suffering from slow speed and the internet dropping out. We could be getting Ultrafast speeds from 70 - 1,000 Mbps. I thought ultrafast broadband had recently been installed? No - recent upgrades have given us fibre from the exchange to cabinet (FTTC) using current copper wire cables, but ultrafast uses new cable and could bring ultrafast broadband into every house. Ultrafast has just been installed in Littlebredy, but there are no plans at present to upgrade the rest of the Bride Valley or surrounding areas. What if I feel the current speed is sufficient? Day by day the information being transmitted via the internet is becoming more and more detailed and space hungry so staying with our current speeds means we will be in danger of being left behind. We need to use this opportunity to prepare for the future. What are the benefits? Faster internet speeds bring advantages such as instant response times when opening pages, no lag when sending or receiving emails; better connectivity for meetings for business or with family and friends; improved home schooling; download a full HD film in seconds. Fast internet speeds are increasingly an important requirement for a house sale. Are there any downsides? The scheme brings the cable to a pole near your house. You then arrange with your internet provider to connect to the pole. Not all providers can do this. So the worst case scenario would be having to change provider if you wanted to connect to the faster broadband. The Long Bredy exchange itself is stretched to the limit and wifi within our houses can cause problems with thick walls etc. so there are other factors involved an improved service. But we feel we must give ourselves the best chance. What about the cost? Fortunately government funding is available to homes and small businesses in rural areas to cover some or all of the costs of installing the faster ‘fibre to home’. The basic grant voucher scheme is for £1500 per home and £2500 per business and more grants are available from Dorset Council. The more people who sign up, the more grant money is available. Enough people signed up in Askerswell to make the installation FREE. Is there a time limit to apply? Grants are only available until March 2021; funds are on a first come first served basis so a response is urgent. Community involvement is needed to make it cost effective for Openreach to install it. We already have assembled an initial joint list of 57 names for Litton Cheney and Long Bredy and this has been submitted to BT/Openreach. It would add weight to the cause if we could demonstrate a greater community interest and we understand those extra names can be added to the list. The only obligation at this stage is just to put your name down. Openreach will then give a costing and if there is a charge we can decide whether or not to proceed; if the new cable is installed each resident can then choose to stay with basic fibre at a similar broadband price they pay now or upgrade to a higher speed at a slightly higher monthly cost (plus faster speeds which are priced in tiers). If you are interested (NB this does not commit you to proceed any further at this stage), please email: 1 . Your name 2 . Address with postcode 3 . Phone number NB LANDLINE to or phone Angus Handoll 01308 482215 Alternatively phone Charlotte Kinghorn, Chair of the LBKR Parish Council at 01308 482264