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, Aug 21 2018 08:50PM

THE grandmother of YouTube sensation Joe Sugg who is to show his moves on this year's Strictly Come Dancing is likely to be able to give him a few tips.

For Phyllis Sugg, 95, was a bit of a dance expert in her younger years and once danced at Blackpool's famous Tower ballroom which is the goal for most contestants on the BBC show.

Joe's uncle Gary Sugg, who trained Joe as an apprentice thatcher before he gave up roof tops for another type of high life, is not sure how he will do.

Mr Sugg, whose thatching business is based in Bromham, near Devizes said: "He showed very good balance when he was learning to thatch and hopefully that will stand him in good stead. As a family we are all avid Strictly fans so we will all be watching with interest and cheering him on.

"My mum Phyllis was a very good dancer so I am sure she will give him some tips. She loves Strictly and danced herself at the Blackpool ballroom."

Mrs Sugg, who has five sons and two daughters and lives in Lacock, said: "He was quite sporty and flexible in school but ask him to dance and he wouldn’t be too keen.

"I’m not sure how far he can go in the competition. He’s never been one for dancing so this will be something completely new for him.”

On Saturday Joe told his Twitter followers that his gran was already giving him advice. He wrote: "I’m at my nan's house and she’s trying to teach me how to ballroom dance from her chair. 1 2 3 1 2 3.”

He also reported that his family is making jokes and wrote why do I feel like this isn’t going to stop after his father tweeted: "I asked @Joe_Sugg if he was looking forward to the Argentine Tango, he said 'Not really, I prefer Diet Coke'...oh dear."

Joe, 26, who is a former pupil of Corsham School along with his vlogger elder sister Zoella, was brought up in Lacock and attended the village primary. His father Graham is a property developer and his mum Tracey is a beautician.

Commentators have highlighted the face that few people over the age of 40 will have heard of Joe who goes under the name of Thatcher Joe on social media but he is said to be worth millions of pounds and has 8.2 million followers on his main YouTube channel.

Gazette and Herald - 20 August 2018

By Bromham Webmaster, Jul 1 2018 03:16PM

KEEN cyclist Dave Read has just set off on a nine day cycle ride to help the primary school in the village where he lives.

Mr Read will cover 543 miles around the coast of Scotland to help with a project to refurbish a mobile classroom at St Nicholas Primary in Bromham.

He sets off on Wednesday and wants to raise as much as possible towards the revamp which is expected to cost £19,000. The school has already started fundraising and so far has raised £3,700.

Headteacher Jo Lewis said: ""We are really grateful to Dave for taking on such a challenging ride to raise money for our school. He is a fantastic supporter of our school. The mobile building will be such an asset to the school once refurbished and will be used for many things including a new home for our after school club.

"It will also provide additional space for music lessons and a variety of other activities including a base for outdoor learning."

Sponsorship forms have been sent home to parents and they are being urged to get friends and colleagues to join in the fundraising. To donate email admin@st-nicholasvc.wilts.sch.uk or drop a donation into the school office.

The school is also celebrating success in Bromham Carnival where its dragon entry created as part of a topic on ancient civilisations took a top prize. Mrs Lewis said: "The children had lots of fun making masks and the walking dragon which paraded around Bromham as part of the carnival procession.

"The topic covered everything from the pyramids of Egypt to the ancient dynasties of China."

29 June – Gazette and Herald

By Bromham Webmaster, Jul 1 2018 02:58PM

CARNIVAL fever has hit villagers who are in for a fortnight of events and celebrations before Bromham Carnival night on June 23.

The teddy bear trail will be put up at the weekend as over 20 entries take part in the fun route around the village.

The family friendly hunt will challenge visitors to identify which country the cuddly creatures represent, with flags strictly banned.

The carnival has been running for more than 50 years and raises around £4,000 a year for a range of local charities, including the church, children’s groups and recently Julia’s House children’s hospice in Devizes.

Pet shows, bingo and a music quiz night have already taken place and a garden talk tonight (Thursday) is in the Social Centre from 7.30pm. Tomorrow (Friday) night there will be fun on Millennium Field where residents will be pitted against each other in a series of traditional village pursuits including welly wanging, hay bale throwing and milk churn rolling.

Treasurer Cathy Welsh moved to the village three years ago and said taking part in the carnival was the perfect way to get to know people in Bromham.

She said: “The great thing about the Bromham carnival is that it crosses all boundaries. There are people we see at carnival that you never seem to see for the rest of the year.

“As an outsider I have found organising the teddy trail a fantastic way to get to know people.

“There are lots of traditional events like the field day but we also have newer events like the photography competition and the bake-off, which were introduced last year.”

On Friday night Lola Turnnidge and Kyron Haddon were chosen as the carnival prince and princess with Logan Lewis, Lilly Norris and Ezmay-Rose Burgess as the young prince and princesses.

The carnival itself on June 23 starts at 2pm on the Jubilee field, with live music in the evening.

19 June - Gazette and Herald

By Bromham Webmaster, Mar 22 2018 08:19PM

OLD soldier Vic Reed from Bromham, near Devizes, celebrated his 99th birthday with his lifelong friend and comrade Ivor Gardner, who will in turn be 99 in December.

Mr Reed, on the left in our picture, happily shared a drop of the 'good ole mountain dew' with his friend.

The two men joined the army together in 1937 and three years ago were honoured by the French government for their part in the Normandy landings in 1944 when they were made Chevaliers de la Legion d' honneur.

Having joined the local T.A. before the war, they disembarked on Gold Beach on June 6, 1944 as members of the mortar platoon of The Wiltshire Regiment.

They were inseparable until Mr Reed received leg wounds at Else, near Nijmegen, and was repatriated. He nearly lost his legs, but finally made a full recovery.

Mr Gardner fought on, to be a member of the relief party at Belsen. Since the war, they have remained close friends.

Peter Holt the standard Bearer from Bromham branch of the Royal British Legion said: "Good luck and many happy returns to this gallant gentleman."

The two men first became friends at Bromham Primary School and were together in The Bell at Bromham, which later became the Oliver Cromwell and is now an Indian restaurant, on the first Sunday evening following the outbreak of war in September, 1939.

A sergeant arrived and told them to meet in Devizes the next morning to join the Wiltshire Regiment.

Mr Gardner said a the time of them receiving their French honour: "We managed to stay together and were in the same platoon. I think we were just lucky that it worked out that way."

During the immediate months after landing on the beaches, they were engaged in many of the key battles to liberate France from the Germans. Both men attained the rank Sergeant.

They then took part in the liberation of Belgium before carrying on into Holland. It was near the Dutch town of Nijmegen that the two were finally separated when Mr Reed was seriously wounded in battle and had to return to England, where he spent many months in hospital.

The two men were helped to get their medals by friend Ray Cargill after French President Francoise Hollands announced in 2014 all surviving veterans who had fought in the liberation of France would be given France's highest award for bravery.

Gazette and Herald - 16 March 2018

By Bromham Webmaster, Jul 13 2017 08:23PM

MARK Wilkinson, a designer and inventor from Bromham, died on Wednesday 5th July aged 66 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Tributes have been paid to an ‘incredible’, ‘passionate’ and ‘generous’ visionary who will likely be best remembered for his furniture design and the creation of the tradition English country kitchen style. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia, and adult children Gregory and Victoria.

Mark, who was awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours for his services to the furniture industry, founded Mark Wilkinson Furniture 36 years ago and ran the company with his wife, Cynthia until it was bought out in 2005. He returned as creative director in 2009 when the company was taken over by Canburg Ltd.

Mark and Cynthia also formed the Mark Wilkinson Foundation for Innovation and Employment charity to help people with dyslexia, a condition that affected Mark so badly that he could not read or write when he left school.

Cynthia, who was married to Mark for 37 years, said this week: “In his death Mark has left a cavern that cannot be filled. There will never be another Mark Wilkinson. He was a true individualist with an enquiring mind, delicate soul and a wicked sense of humour.

“He was so inventive and there was nothing he couldn’t do. His dyslexia meant he really had to make his own way in the world so he invented and created whatever he needed.

“While Mark was a busy man he was only too happy to help people, and since he died we’ve been inundated with people saying what a difference he made to their lives. He is very well respected and would be very proud of the legacy he’s left – I know I am.”

Mark’s friend of 30 years, Graham Morrison said: “Mark was really an artist and wood was one of his main mediums. Out of that came beautiful, beautiful furniture and other objects for the home. This was a guy who was told by his school teachers to go and stand in a bin because ‘that’s where you belong’.”

Ingrid Sidmouth, headteacher of local special needs school, Rowdeford added: “Mark has been a very enthusiastic and generous supporter of the school over many years and whenever he visited Rowdeford he was always so deeply interested in the children, the staff and our work.

“He will be a very great loss to Rowdeford Charity Trust and the school. We send our love and best wishes to Cynthia and their family at this very difficult time.”

When quoted in a group of famous dyslexics with Erin Brokovich, Mark said: “Dyslexia brings more gifts than glitches. If you have it, flaunt it. When you stumble hold out a hand. Help will come. When you achieve, stand proud and then lend a hand with humility.”

Mark’s funeral will be held at 1.30pm on Wednesday 19th July at St Nicholas Church, Bromham.

Gazette and Herald - 12 July 2017

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