The August 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
Plant Sale
Portesham Surgery Flu Jabs
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
Flooding Survey
Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd. are carrying out a study for the Environment Agency on resilience to flooding. We are currently collecting views and opinions and are interested in questions such as: Are property owners and occupiers aware of Property Flood Resilience measures? Do property owners and occupiers have any measures installed (e.g. flood doors)? Are there any issues that are hindering owners and occupiers from taking up Property Flood Resilience? We are using an internet-based survey to collect opinions on Property Flood Resilience from owners and occupiers. The survey can be accessed via: We would like to ask you to kindly pass this invitation on to property owners and occupiers in your area, so that we can find out what they think about Property Flood Resilience. The study is part of wider work on increasing resilience to flooding (see funding-to-boost-action-on-making-homes-more-resilient-to-floods for more information). If you would like any further details on the survey and how the data collected will be used, please do get in touch. Thank you in advance for your help. Kind regards, Emma Emma Cary Consultant Office hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd Suite C, 2nd Floor, The Atrium, St Georges Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1AB, UK Direct: +44 1603 558518 ǀ Switchboard: +44 1603 558442 Email: Website:
Portesham Surgery would like to invite you to book your 2020 flu vaccination appointment. The arrangements will be slightly different this year so please read this email carefully. All our flu clinics will be held at two of the larger village halls where there is plenty of space for social distancing and with separate entrance and exits. However if you need an appointment at the Surgery during late September or October (for example with a nurse or for a blood test) we can give you your flu vaccination at the same time so you will not need to book into one of the village hall flu clinics. Village Hall Flu clinic arrangements: You must book an appointment and arrive on time - not early or late. If you are early we will ask you to return to your car or wait well away from the queue until the appointed time. If you are late we will ask you to book a new appointment, to ensure we do not have too many patients waiting at any one time. Do not come if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or think you have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, including if you have returned from a travel destination which now requires you to self-isolate. Be prepared to wear a face-covering or mask from the time you join the queue, if you are able. This will help to protect other patients who may be feeling anxious, and our staff. Wear a short-sleeved top so you can easily bare your arm. There will be nowhere to put coats, sweaters or bags etc so please leave your belongings in the car. Come alone. Unless you need help, anyone accompanying you but not having the flu vaccination should wait in the car or outside, well away from the queue. Be prepared to stand. The vaccinations will be done standing to minimise the cleaning of touch points, so you should be in and out within minutes. Bring your wheelchair or walker if you need. The toilets will be closed in both village halls, so plan ahead before you leave home! If you will struggle with any of these arrangements or you are shielding, please ring us so we can make alternative arrangements for you. This year's flu clinics will be held: at Portesham Village Hall, 2 - 5pm, on Thursday 1st October, Thursday 15th October and Wednesday 21st October at LATCH (Litton and Thorners Community Hall) on Wednesday 28th October. Ring us on 01305 871468 to book your appointment. If you don't want to have the flu jab this year it would be really helpful if you can let us know (ideally by email to, to save our phone lines!) so we don't keep contacting you - thank you.
Village Newsletter for September 2020
From St. Mary’s Church: Harvest Service – Sunday 4th October 9.30 a.m. Due to the current Covid restrictions our Harvest Service on Sunday 4th October will still take place, but at 9.30 a.m. not 11.00 a.m as was previously announced, and there cannot be a shared lunch afterwards of course. However, if you would like to bring an offering of tinned or dried goods as a Harvest thanksgiving to the service they will be passed on to appropriate recipients. It would be lovely if you could join us for our Harvest celebration even if it is not quite the same – and the choir has recorded an anthem! As the fete could not take place this year, St. Mary’s will be looking at other ways to fund-raise for the upkeep of our beautiful church – we’ll hope to have some information later in the year. In the meantime, if you have any bright ideas, do let us know! Ride & Stride – Congratulations to those who rode and strode for the benefit of St Mary’s and Dorset Historic Churches Trust on Saturday 12th September. Our grateful thanks to Freddie Spicer, Diana and Tom Cheater, Gregg Ellman and Hugh Warrington. Litton Cheney Parish Council September’s Meeting - Probably the best attended meeting in a while, albeit virtually, but then the main subject was the possible establishment of a speed limit in the village so that may explain why. The outcome? The draft minutes of the meeting on the village website will give you the full details but the Parish Council will be requesting Dorset Council to consider imposing a 30 mph limit in the village, with the possibility of a 20 mph limit along School Lane. A speed survey is an option that could be taken up by the Parish Council if thought appropriate. Stop Press: It has just been reported, for a second time, that the hand sanitiser located at the children’s playground has been severely vandalised by persons unknown. It has been reported to the police. Someone has also smashed glass on the hard standing. It appears we are still privileged to have a number of mindless individuals in our midst. The next Parish Council Meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday 10th November when further discussions no doubt will be held regarding the speed limit, and the council reviews finances in advance of deciding on the village precept. There is currently a vacancy on the parish council. This is your chance to be actively involved in the administration of the village, and perhaps add impetus to the work of the council. Interested? Please contact Parish Clerk, Maggie Walsh for more details here: Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall With Covid compliance in place, the hall is in use once again by Thorner’s School for KS1 lunches and individual music lessons in the meeting room. Yoga classes are returning and Portesham Surgery will be holding their flu clinic on Wednesday 28th between 2.00 and 5.00 (appointments necessary). Our risk assessment and additional conditions of hire are available on request from Bookings Secretary Wendy Firrell Tel: 01308 482532 Litton Cheney Social Committee Unfortunately the VILLAGE FAMILY FUN DAY had to be cancelled due to the change of Covid regulations. Thanks to everyone who gave their support; absolutely necessary and very welcome. The poster designed by Andy King is in storage for whenever it is possible to hold this event!! Village Litter Pick During the week commencing 14th September various teams of volunteer local residents scoured the village for litter. The result of their toils were deposited behind the bus shelter and subsequently picked up by Dorset Council. Our grateful thanks to all those who gave up their time and energy to help keep our village devoid of litter, and also to Dorset Waste Partnership for providing the necessary litter picking equipment. For those who sadly missed out helping this year, the good news is we will do it all again next year so all is not lost. Premier Crew Re-emerge My thanks to members of the Premier Crew who, on two occasions recently, after bouts of torrential rain, rallied to the cause and cleared the debris, rocks and gravel that had accumulated at the bottom of Whiteway and down into Main St and the entrance into the playing field. It was good to be back in harness, with the light hearted banter and a short refresher course on how to lean on your shovel/broom with panache. If you would like to join this merry band we would love to meet you – no qualifications necessary, gender equality prevalent and absolutely ageless – please call John Firrell 482313. A number of recent additions have thankfully reduced the average age by a decade or two so come one, come all. The Village Telephone Kiosk is being adopted BT have indicated their intent to remove the village telephone kiosk, along with kiosks in many other Dorset villages, because of a lack of use. No calls have been made from the kiosk in the last eighteen months. The Parish Council have objected to the kiosk’s removal and have applied to adopt it at the cost of £1. Once the process has been completed, the telephone equipment will be removed. Local residents are now being asked to decide what use the kiosk should be given – so, the world is your oyster – let your imagination run wild! When we eventually assemble for our belated annual village gathering, we will be asking for your opinions but you don’t need to wait until then as you can pass your suggestion to John Firrell Many thanks in anticipation of a deluge of (polite) suggestions! Stop Press: Latest suggestion – paint it dark blue, call it Tardis and sell tickets to far off places. Great idea, but surely you can do better! BRIDE VALLEY FILMS at Litton Cheney Community Hall. BVF had hoped to show our two spring films, Judy and Knives Out, in the autumn; however the Covid situation continues to be unresolved. Although we can seat 34 for a socially distanced viewing in Litton, Burton cannot achieve their break even numbers in their hall. So screenings are not viable at present. With this in mind and the fact that many people may not be happy to attend indoor events until possibly a vaccine is created, we have decided to delay any new dates until 2021; hopefully we may be able to resume then. At such time we will need to try to ascertain whether everyone has seen all available films during lockdown etc. so we can confirm titles. And finally, but never least………….. The White Horse – Andy & Liz Venning We should have been reporting on the great time had by all at the Village Fun Day which would have culminated at the pub but sadly it had to be cancelled. Bank Holiday Monday was amazingly busy and business generally has been very good. Thank you for all your support during these strange and confusing times. We are here for you and we will continue to seek out events and happenings that don’t break the rules but manage to add a little normality and joy into our lives. Who knows what Autumn will bring?
Ride and Stride 2020
Dorset Historic Churches Trust - 2020 Ride & Stride Sat 12th Sept A perfect day for cycling and walking enabled Gregg Ellman and his brother in law Hugh to cycle to no less than 36 churches (2 short of the village record Gregg so you’ll need to tweak it for next year!). Diana Cheater and son Tom cycled off to some out of the way villages in the direction of Powerstock. Elizabeth Kingston and Pauline Price took off to visit pastures new with churches around Swanage and Corfe. Freddie Spicer tramped round the 8 Bride Valley churches accompanied in part by son from London and daughter from Cornwall. Early indications are that the total sponsorship raised for the Trust will be over £1000 – huge thanks to the many generous donors and the riders and striders.