Broad Town News - the Broad Town Village Newsletter



I remember as a child hiding under a blanket and not being able to see out. Yet with patience I discovered that, as my eyes adjusted, I could see through the weave of the blanket.

Last year I've sometimes wanted to hide under a blanket! However,  as the vaccination programme has rolled out and I’ve heard that someone has had their jab it has been a pinprick of hope giving me courage and hope.

I’m so impressed with people, who are scared of needles or for some reason or other nervous of vaccinations, going ahead and rolling up their sleeves to let this happen to them.  I also understand why for some communities the histories around HeLa cells mean that there can be genuine ethical dilemmas around accepting vaccination.

HeLa cells are so named for the African American woman Henrietta Lacks, who died in 1951 aged 31. A tissue sample was taken and used without her consent. Since that time that tissue sample has been the origin for cell lines used in many areas of medical research, including those involved with Covid-19 vaccination.  I am delighted that medical research can bring us these advances, but I am saddened at the way this was done. Her family, among them her grandson Alfred Lacks Carter show enormous wisdom and compassion. For, in spite of the racism and systematic failings that lead to this happening, he says: “They were taken in a bad way, but they are doing good for the world”

When I had my first vaccination recently, I said a prayer of thanksgiving for Henrietta Lacks who has done good for me. And as Easter approaches, I am reminded that my faith is rooted in the story of Jesus, a man who also laid down his life for his friends and even his enemies. In images of Jesus Christ after the resurrection of Easter Day I see not simply pinpricks of hope, but the nail marks that remind me that suffering can indeed lead to and bring the renewal of Hope.

May this Easter bring us confidence and trust in the renewal of hope and patience to wait for the full glory of this to unfold.

Information about Henrietta Lacks can be found (among other places) in this issue of Nature



Deadline for next B T News is 23 April



EASTER FOODBANK COLLECTION   Saturday 27th / Sunday 28th March.  9am – 4pm at Village Hall.  All the usual items + Easter Eggs –  let’s put a smile on the faces of those still struggling to “make ends meet”   Local radio recently reported that Wiltshire foodbanks have had a record number of people needing help from them.

SHELTER   Our Shelter of Hope has been dismantled in readiness for our Broad Town Easter Shelter, which is being decorated on Friday 26th March. If you have any Easter themed decorations etc. please let us have them or add them to the shelter at anytime after 26th.

 I plan to lime the White Horse on the morning Sunday 23 May. Current government guidance suggests that on that date most legal restrictions on meeting outdoors will have been lifted. Assuming all continues well, I will be able confirm the date in May’s Broad Town News and will ask for volunteers at that time. In the meantime, please put the date in your diary.                                                                                                               Andrew Law

CHURCHYARD    We are delighted to have received a grant from the Good Energy Fund to enable us to keep the grass cut in the main part of the Churchyard and it is hoped we can soon resume our work mornings for volunteers to keep the rest of the churchyard tidy. We will inform you when we propose to start again but, in the meantime, anyone who would like to spend some time strimming around the graves or cutting the hedges, please do so and thank you to all those who are already doing this.


The book club meets once month and we’re always happy to welcome more members who enjoy reading and a chat - the more the merrier! Don’t worry if you don’t think you’ll always have time to finish the book - we don’t mind!  We are currently reading:

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The next book club is on Wednesday 7th April at 8pm if you’d like to attend. The facebook page (search Broad Town Book Club) has all the details regarding books, dates, times, joining instructions etc - alternatively, for more information you can email:

Happy reading 📚♥

NATIONAL DAY OF REFLECTION   -  The anniversary of the first Covid lockdown.  On Tuesday 23 March there will be a minute's silence at 12 midday to remember everyone who has died during the pandemic.                       

People will then be encouraged to light a candle from 8pm and leave them in a window or on a doorstep.                                                                                                         A small number of battery candles will be available in the shelter for anyone wishing to light one.


Thomas Spackman Educational Trust Grant

Are you, or do you know, a young person living in the Clyffe Pypard or Broad Town area who would benefit from a grant from The Thomas Spackman Educational Trust?

The Charity’s main focus is education or work-related training and apprenticeships, but The Charity may also be able to help a promising individual develop a particular talent; perhaps help fund tuition in a musical instrument or develop a sporting skill.

Applying is very easy. If you wish to find out more about the application process, please email or contact Karen Hawkins 01793 853895.

All formal applications need to be in by 30th April 2021.

The next opportunity to apply will be September 2021

100 CLUB DRAW    Results for January, February & March

January -      1st Prize – Anonymous (winnings donated to church funds)       
                      2nd Prize – Margaret Green          3rd Prize – Janet Drury
February  -  1st Prize – Rupert Bastin     2nd Prize – David Crocker    
                      3rd Prize –        Anonymous     (winnings donated to church funds)
March  -   1st Prize – Annie Crocker  2nd Prize – Carolyn Crocker
                  3rd Prize – Annette Moore

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone for your continued support.

Parish Council – March meeting

Replacing the fencing at Redhills Playing Field

We are delighted to report that we have now raised over £11,000 to be able to replace the fencing at the Playing Field. The Parish Council has been reserving funds for this major maintenance project over the last 3 years from the precept and has also secured two significant grants from the Good Energy Community Fund and from the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board. We would like to thank both organisations for their grant support and Sue Hughes and David Bowler for their support at the Area Board.


Councillors wanted

Elections are taking place on 6 May at which your Parish Council will be elected and new Councillors will be warmly welcomed.

Your Parish Council addresses local issues, oversees some village facilities, and approves the distribution of grants from the Community fund which help community groups to function, especially in these difficult times. The Council meets once a month and is supported by a professional clerk, the time commitment is usually no more than a few hours a month.

If you feel these things are important and would like to make a difference in your village then please stand as a Parish Councillor in the forthcoming election.

Further details are available on the BTPC website and at

If you are interested then:

The Polling District is ‘MJ1’ and your Elector number can be obtained by contacting the Clerk (see below).

Let us know if you do not have access to a printer and we can print off the Nomination Papers for you.

The deadline for completed nomination forms is 4pm on Thursday 8 April to be handed in to Wiltshire Council Chippenham office. This needs to be done by booking an appointment however an existing councillor is willing to deliver all the forms together on your behalf – please contact a councillor or the clerk.

Any queries or if you need help with the above, please contact the Parish Clerk, Mrs Emna Diamant on 07990 040675 or

Vacancy for Parish Clerk

We continue to look for applications for the above vacancy and would encourage anyone interested in this remunerated role to contact the current Chairman Mrs Jackie Jordan at


Good Energy Community Fund grants

The Parish Council were very pleased to be able to support the following grant applications, especially at this difficult time when it is hard for community organisations to raise funds through their own fundraising or other activities

  • Broad Town Village School: for Forest School
  • Broad Town Footpaths Group: for the circular walk project
  • Broad Town Pre-School: for laptops
  • Christ Church: for grounds maintenance


April Meetings

The next Parish Council meeting will be at 6.30pm on Monday 12th April on Zoom and all are welcome.

The Annual Parish Meeting, which is a chance to hear from community groups about their activities in the village, will be held on Monday 26th April also on Zoom. Details for both meetings will be posted shortly on the Notice Boards and on the Parish Council website





Deadline for next B T News is 23 April










Midday Supervisory Assistant (MDSA)


Broad Town CE Primary School

Broad Town

Swindon SN4 7RE

We require a Midday Supervisory Assistant (MDSA)

to supervise children while they eat their lunch

and to encourage positive play in the playground.


Hours 5 hrs/wk

12.00–1.00 pm Mon-Fri

Term Time only

Pay scale B1-B2 (£9.25-£9.43 per hour)

dependent on experience

Working with KS1 & KS2 children

but must be flexible dependent on staffing.


Start Date: as soon as possible.

This is a temporary position until July 2021

and may be extended if required.

If you are interested in this position then please contact

the school office for an application form

or download it from the school website


Tel: 01793 731395






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