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Aerial view from the church around the Wiltshire village of Bromham in Wiltshire, near to the towns of Calne, Melksham, Devizes and Chippenham

By Bromham Webmaster, Jul 21 2016 09:27PM

AN explosion of colour, noise and creativity came together to light up the 2016 edition of Bromham Carnival on Saturday.


Hundreds took part in the 2pm parade with even more cheering them on from the roadside before all of them descended upon Millennium Field for the showpiece event that has run since 1961.


Entries in the parade included Bromham Brownies dressed as air hostess majorettes, a Rio Carnival theme for St Nicholas Primary School, The Owl Pub staff as the Muppets and Lego characters.


Alongside them were the Trowbridge and Britannia Majorettes, the Cricklade Marching Band and a Dennis the Menace float.


The Mortimer family and friends came first for their Lego costumes and float in the family and best overall category.


"We are absolutely delighted to win these awards. 'Everything is awesome' is a good way to describe it," said Paul Mortimer.


"The kids came up with the idea for it and my wife Rachel is quite artistic and she did the rest - we are so happy with the final product and the kids are loving the day out."


Angela Napier, from the Owl Pub which won best float for pubs and clubs prize, said: "We always do something for the carnival, we love it too much not to.


"We actually ran out of ideas of what to do, so we thought of something that would make people laugh and we have delivered on that. The community loves it and it is a great way to support that community."


Brown Owl of the Bromham Brownies - who won the accolades for best children's float and best effort - Tracy Hillier said: "The kids loved every minute of it and they were so excited by it all.


"This theme is very apt as it was the Queen's 90th and the Euros are on so we are flying the flag so to speak."


Kevin, Stephanie and their baby boy Freddie won the adult walker group for their stag night costume, seven-year-old William Geary claimed the age six-11 walkers title for his Bear Grylls tiger-bike entry and St Nicholas School won the children's walking group crown.


Bromham carnival committee chairman Pete Davis said:"We were very happy with the way it went. It was one of, if not our best turnout yet.


"We had people who had lived here before coming back from all over the country, even one chap came over from Canada. It was a wonderful occasion and puts Bromham in a wonderful light."


What followed was scores of locals flocking to Millennium Field for a family fun day of games, vintage cars, rides and stalls, with all proceeds going to local causes and charities.


The fortnight long event list will end on Sunday with songs of praise at 6pm in the parish church.


Gazette and Herald - 18 June 2016

By Bromham Webmaster, May 26 2016 07:40PM

TWO communities came together as one last week to say farewell to outgoing vicar the Rev John Rees, who is taking up a new post elsewhere in the county.


Rev Rees, who has been serving the churches of Rowde and Bromham for six years, said he felt it was time to move on and his service to both villages was celebrated with a farewell service at Rowde Academy last Wednesday.


“The farewell service was incredibly moving,” the 58-year-old said.


“I have loved being a vicar in Rowde and Bromham because I’ve tried to link the village communities and build church connections in helping people discover Christian faith.


“I had some very kind things said at the service, much of which reflected on how I have been working together with both villages. I am not often lost for words but I really was at the service.


“I think one of the things the villages have enjoyed is the way the church has been at the core in getting them to work together through a leadership team and there has been some lovely things we have been able to do together. For example in Bromham we have held a community event to enable an African village to have clean water.


“It is all these things and seeing how people grow in confidence in leadership in church that has been rewarding.”


Prior to moving to Bromham, Rev Rees along with his wife Anne, were based in Highworth where they had lived since 1982. Before getting ordained, Rev Rees worked as a business development manager for BT Defence and it was trying to juggle both his passions that led him to fully dedicate his time to ministry.


He added: “The journey of being ordained was a long one. The idea was posed to me when I was aged 20 and I had a very clear sense of wanting to have a role within the church as I was already a church warden.


“I loved doing my work in the defence industry and I was finding that trying to fit in 50 hours of work and 20 hours with the church was difficult so I went freelance in defence communications.



“It became clear to me that I needed to go full-time in my ministry role and it fitted in well with where my family were at the time.


“The role of being a reverend is a privilege and joy because there has been some sad occasions where you work with people in very difficult times of their lives but on the opposite of that you work with people in their most joyous moments.”


Rev Rees’ final service will be held this Sunday at St Matthew's Church in Rowde at 11.15am. He will take up his new position at the Canalside Benefice of Hilperton, Staverton and Semington on June 27.


Gazette and Herald - 23 May 2016

By Bromham Webmaster, Apr 12 2016 07:28PM

A CHURCH primary school is top of the class with inspectors who judged it to be outstanding and to have an inspirational head.


St Nicholas Church of England Primary at Bromham, near Devizes, underwent a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAM) to look at its Christian ethos and teaching.


Head teacher Hilary MacMeekin was delighted with the result and is now hoping to repeat the success when OFSTED inspectors visit. The school is at the moment classed as good by OFSTED.


Mrs MacMeekin said: “As a church school we are inspected by the National Society once every five years. SIAMS is similar to OFSTED, they look at key areas of the school and make a judgement about our performance. I am overjoyed that we have been judged to be outstanding.


“This is a reflection of all the hard work from the staff, governors, chapel and church communities and also of the amazing children and parents that we work with.


“The inspector commented on the day on the strong social conscience that the children have throughout the school and how much they value and support each other.


“She talked about their attitudes to learning and how much they enjoy being in school.


“She talked about the warm and welcoming ethos of the school and how we include everybody and celebrate in the many gifts and talents we have across the school.


“I am so incredibly proud of everyone at the school, as what she saw on the day is how we are in practice every day.”


The inspector said the only way for the school to improve was for it to involve children in innovative ways to lead the monitoring of all collective worship.


The inspection said the school was outstanding and praised its Christian ethos. The report said: “The Christian ethos of the school, led by an inspirational head teacher and supported by committed staff and governors, informs every aspect of school life.


“The confidence and behaviour of children reflect the care and dedication of staff and governors in developing the unique potential of every member of the school.”


“The Christian vision encourages all members of the school community to develop their gifts and talents and use them to serve others.”


On Monday the children dressed as pirates as the final part of a themed event which has been going on all term and has included story telling and history lessons.


Gazette and Herald - 26 March 2016

By Bromham Webmaster, Jan 18 2016 09:41PM

EVERYTHING was shipshape at a village primary school on Monday when the youngsters went aboard the Rascal's Revenge.


The young pirates from St Nicholas primary, Bromham, got in the mood for the term's new topic of Arrr Pirates thanks to the ship made by the Stiles family for the village carnival.


It was also brought alive by James Smith or Cap'n Jim as he was introduced to the children. Head teacher Hilary MacMeekin said: "We always try to start our term with a event or activity that inspires the children’s learning back in class.


"This term we asked James Smith, as a retired headteacher and amazing storyteller, to come and kick off the term with his historical tales of piracy and where the legends we know about today come from.


"Then when we saw the Stiles family carnival entry we persuaded them not to take it apart and burn it for bonfire night, as they had planned to, but to keep it for long enough that we could have it on the playground to start our topic.


"So, as the children arrived they walked past the pirate ship and got their first glimpse at their new topic."


All 80 pupils then went on board for a photograph.


Year six pupils Abi and Emily were inspired to do a report about the visit. They wrote: "The children all learnt sword fighting moves and how long pirates would have had to practice each day to be the best swordsmen they could be.


"They learnt that captains had longer swords that the crew because crew men’s swords would get caught up in the rigging if they had long ones like the captains. They learnt about Blackbeard – who was only captain for two years but we all remember him. His motto not to kill people if you don’t have to, he used smoke and intimidation to scare people into giving up their cargo.


"We are all really looking forward to an exciting term learning about Pirates."


Gazette and Herald - 5 January 2016

By Bromham Webmaster, Oct 6 2015 07:23PM

PEOPLE in and around Devizes are celebrating after they were given grants from Devizes Area Board.


Awards totalling £18,100 were given out by the Devizes Area Board meeting on Monday (Sep 28) a total of £18,104 was given to various projects in Devizes.


Bromham has scooped two grants, with the parish council delighted to learn they are going to be given £5,000 towards refurbishing two of their play areas for children.



They will receive a further £5,000 for solar panelling at the Bromham Social Centre.


Peter Paget chairman of the parish council said: “The stuff at the park has gotten a bit tatty and we want to clear it all for both parks.


"We have been thinking about making these changes for about five years now. We haven't been able to because it is so expensive, especially in the times we live in now.


“It’s very pleasing that we got this grant for the solar panelling as well.


"We get to produce our own electricity in a clean way.


"Once again, we are very pleased with the council’s decisions.


“I have been on the parish council for 52 years and lived here all 76 years of my life.


"It isn’t a bad place to live and we have been very lucky to build the social centre.”


Devizes School will get £4,900 to install a new disabled bathroom just off the main hall of the school.


Caenhill Countryside Centre has also been given a grant to pay for the development of some workshop facilities, where they intend to invite young people with special needs and soldiers working with Help for Heroes to learn more about farming and rural skills.


Rowde community shop has also been given £850 for a new computer system to keep all of their information up to date.


In addition, West Lavington village hall has been given £2,350 for new wall panelling to help refurbish the 50-year-old building.


Gazette and Herald - Thursday 1 October 2015

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View from the tower of SAt Nicholas Church, Bromham, Wiltshire