Parish Awards 2020 and 2021

Atworth Parish Council were delighted to give awards in grateful recognition for outstanding service to the community of Atworth Parish. One was given to former PCSO Maggie Ledbury and the other to fellow Parish Councillor Richard Clark.

Maggie Ledbury had been the PCSO for Atworth Parish for thirteen years. She had worked effectively and efficiently in her role, and has established the confidence and trust of the community. She had used her excellent interpersonal skills of being calm and tactful, to build friendships especially with older people, and had become a valuable asset to our village life. She has used her knowledge, advice, good judgement, and sound common sense to benefit lives here significantly. Maggie has been an exceptional representative of Wiltshire Police. Her work was very much valued and appreciated, and she is greatly missed.

Maggie continues to serve the wider community in her new role with SpeedWatch.

Richard Clark is well known and respected in Melksham as he has been a volunteer Link driver for over ten years. In Atworth he is valued for his work with the Atworth Village Hall and Recreation Ground Charity. Richard has been Chairman of Trustees for the past eight years. Under his dedicated leadership and personal input, the Village Hall has been sympathetically modernised, renovated and repurposed providing an excellent facility at the heart of the community. His helpful, friendly, and always positive outlook make him a popular personality in the village.   He keeps busy as Village Hall Manager, Booking Clerk, and maintains the Recreation Ground.

Census 2021

The next census takes place on Sunday 21 March 2021.

It’s a survey that happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. It helps plan and fund public services, like transport, education and healthcare.

By taking part and encouraging others to do the same, you’ll help make sure you and your community get the services you need.

There is plenty of help for people who need it.

Find out more at

or those requiring assistance or advice, or that may have concerns there are Census Support Centres in Wiltshire , where you can get support over the phone or book an appointment over the phone for assistance, in person visits may be allowed after April 12th depending on COVID restrictions. 

Census Support Centres in Wiltshire are : 

1) Chippenham Library, Timber Street Chippenham, SN15 3EJ, Telephone:  0124965 0536, Email:  

2) Devizes Library, Sheep Street, Devizes, SN10 1DL, Telephone: 0138082 6190, Email:

3) Trowbridge Library, Ground Floor,County Hall,Bythesea Road,Trowbridge,BA14 8JN,Telephone: 0122571 6700, Email:

4) Salisbury Library, Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1BL, Telephone: 0172232 4145 , Email:

5) North Bradley Peace Memorial Hall, Southwick Road North Bradley Trowbridge Wilts, BA14 0SH, Telephone: 0798276 3182  Email:

6) Warminster Library, Three Horseshoes Walk, Warminster, BA12 9BT, Telephone: 0198521 6022 Email:

7) Wylye Coyotes Afterschool Club CIC, Greenlight Cherry Orchard Codford, Warminster Wiltshire, BA12 0PN, Telephone: 019 8585 1713, Email:

Further you can use the Census contact information  for anyone to use via the national call centre, text relay, language support, and assistive technology support for those with disabilities as follows: 

  • England- 0800 141 2021 
  • 18001 0800141 2021 (Text relay service) 
  • Language helpline 0800 587 2021

You can request a paper copy from the call centre if that is your preference. 

To complete online go to

Apply to be a Councillor!

Elections are scheduled for all parish, town, and city councils in the Wiltshire area on 6th May 2021


 The polls will all take place on Thursday 6th May 2021 and polling stations will be open between 7am and 10 pm.

All existing councillors cease to be councillors and will have to be nominated for election if they wish to stand again for the next term (2021-2025)

A timetable of relevant and specific dates can be found at

It includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • 29th March 2021 (no later than) – Publication of Notice of Election

  • 8th April 2021 – Candidates have from the date stated on the notice of election up to 4 pm on Thursday 8th April to submit nomination papers

  • 8th April 2021 – Deadline for withdrawal of nomination (4pm)

  • 9th April 2021 – Publication of Statement of Persons nominated

  • 27th April 2021 – Publication of Notice of Poll

  • 6th May 2021 – Day of Poll

  • The previous council stands down on 10th May (4 days after polling day) and the new council takes office on the same day.


Within 14 days of the new council taking office, the annual meeting of the council must be held. The first business of this meeting is the appointment of Chairman.

To be able to stand for election (or co-option) to a local council, an individual must meet certain qualifications (by law). They must be:

  • Over 18 and a UK, Commonwealth, ROI, or EU Citizen and

  • An elector for the parish, or

  • For the last 12 months, have occupied land or premises in the parish, or

  • Work in the parish (principal or only place of work), or

  • Live within 3 miles of the parish boundary

    Someone cannot stand for election, if at the time of their nomination and on polling day:

  • They are employed by the parish/community council or hold a paid office under the parish/community council (including joint boards or committees).

  • They are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order.

  • They have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more (including a suspended sentence), without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day.

  • They have been disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which covers corrupt or illegal electoral practices and offences relating to donations). a person has been reported guilty by an election court or convicted and lasts for five years.

    There is guidance for candidates and nomination forms at elections-england
    Candidates are also advised to check the relevant principal authority website:
Candidates need to have two subscribers (a proposer and a seconder) and will need to advise them that they will require their Electoral Register number and how it will be used (for GDPR purposes). This information will be in the nomination form and candidate pack.

Nomination papers have to be delivered in person. Wiltshire Council is encouraging appointments to do this and has created a booking system – see for details.

Will a poll take place for the local council election in Atworth?

It depends. If, by 8th April only the same number, or fewer candidates than there are seats on the council have been nominated, they will be elected unopposed. If there are more candidates than there are seats on the council – it will go to the poll on 6th May.

How is the current Coronavirus situation affecting the elections?

Government has produced a polls’ delivery plan which can be read at and each principal authority is putting plans in place for the safety of polling stations and the count.


Wiltshire Council Local Plan Review – March 2021

Wiltshire Council are undertaking a consultation to inform the preparation of the Wiltshire Local Plan Review, with the draft plan due to be completed towards the end of 2021. The topics covered include:

  • How growth (additional new homes and employment land) is distributed around the county (‘Emerging Spatial Strategy’ paper)
  • Levels of growth, potential locations for development and place shaping priorities for each of the county’s main settlements (documented in a series of ‘Planning for’ papers for each Market Town and Principal Settlement)
  • Improving the framework for rural communities to meet housing needs (‘Empowering Rural Communities’ paper)
  • The opportunity to inform proposals about how the council’s planning policies can be shaped to address climate change and biodiversity net gain (‘Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Net Gain through the Local Plan – raising the ambition’ paper)

Atworth Parish Council was invited to respond to the Empowering Rural Communities paper. A copy of the council’s response may be found here:

Our near neighbours Melksham Without Parish Council and Melksham Town Council also responded to the Market Town paper. Their response may be found here:

Accessibility Statement

Atworth Parish Council’s website is fully accessible in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. 

For those using a screen reader, other accessibility software or plugins this means that the following functions can be made:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% or disable stylesheets while preserving content
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

The language used on these pages is plain and simple wherever possible.

Unfortunately, most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software.

Should you find a fault with the accessibility on this website, please report it to the Parish Clerk at

Atworth Remembrance Service

Remembrance Sunday Atworth 2020

Many of you may not be able to attend the very shortened act of Worship and Remembrance to be held on Sunday 8th November at 10.50am at the Clock Tower, because of Covid -19 restrictions. Please consider having two minutes silence at 11:00am at your door or gate to remember those who died or were wounded in war, and pray for peace in our world.

Below is the “Lights Out” service compiled by our Chairman Effie Gale-Sides, and held at Atworth Clock Tower in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the Great War. Sixty-five villagers took part, and it was considered to be very moving, reflective and informative.

Poster of First World War soldier advertising Lights Out 2014

Occasion to mark the start of the Great War
Held at Atworth Clock Tower, 4th August 2014

Effie Gale-Sides Chairman Atworth Parish Council

Welcome to Lights Out

The inspiration for this event is the remark made by Sir Edward Grey, foreign secretary, on   August 3rd 1914.     Knowing that war was imminent, he gazed out at gas lamps being lit in St James’s Park and said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
While the Lights Out hour is designed to be a sombre time of reflection for lives lost and the irreparable damage caused by World War, it is also, a reminder of a country’s solid nerve and determination through the first major war waged on land, sea, and air, around the world.

1914-1918 saw more than 9 million military killed, 6 million civilians killed, 20 million wounded.  40 countries involved, political borders re-drawn, and the fermenting of other conflicts which continue to this day. On the first day of war, 19,240 died.
Around 5 million men recruited from UK for the Great War Almost one million British troops were killed with two million wounded.

Invitation to light candles /torches

Rodney Price Atworth Independent Church

‘It is hard to understand British society at the time of World War One if you subtract the Bible from it.’

The Bible was a defining influence on British culture across class divides. From the public school to the Sunday school, from art and music to political debate, the Bible was in the blood of British people

When war broke out in 1914, every member of the British Armed Forces was given a Bible as an essential part of their kit.

 ‘It was hugely consoling for individual soldiers, ‘There are poignant stories of bodies being recovered of men who had died with a New Testament in their hands. ‘What else could you do if you were alone, badly wounded and going to meet your maker

This is a reading  from our Lord’s “Sermon on the Mount” ” found in Matthew 5:14-16 followed by what Jesus said about Himself.

 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

And conclude with Jesus words about Himself in John 8 v12 

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”


‘Till the Boys Come Home by Ivor Novello with words by Lena Gilbert Ford published on 8 October 1914 we will join together with very well known song.

Keep the Home Fires Burning

They were summoned from the hillside
They were called in from the glen,
And the country found them ready
At the stirring call for men.
Let no tears add to their hardships
As the soldiers pass along,
And although your heart is breaking
Make it sing this cheery song:

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
There’s a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out
‘Til the boys come home

Overseas there came a pleading,
“Help a nation in distress.”
And we gave our glorious laddies
Honour bade us do no less,
For no gallant son of freedom
To a tyrant’s yoke should bend,
And a noble heart must answer
To the sacred call of “Friend.”

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
There’s a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out
‘Til the boys come home


Over in Europe, indeed our soldiers were thinking of home. Astonishingly, it only took two days for a letter from Britain to reach the front in France Up to 12 million letters were delivered to the front every week. there were thousands of letters between family, friends and sweethearts.  Here is what Private Fred Key from Staffordshire wrote to his fiancée at the beginning of his service, full of optimism and hope.

Phineas Gale-Sides Resident:

‘At 3 o’clock the Germans started to shell us, and hit the trench that I was in about 15 times.

‘So you bet that when they were doing that I began to fancy that I should never write this at all.

‘The trenches around here are on ground that is full of dead, and when there is any digging on –  it stinks something dreadfully.

‘You are not to worry about anything, it is sure to turn out well in the end and then God willing, we must have some good times together.’

: ‘What a happy day that will be when we have a home of our own, I suppose that you would live with me in a state of bread and cheese and kisses, but not until I can afford to keep you.

‘No I won’t say that, when we can live together in a style that at least you are used to, but I shall if I can manage it live in the country, it is much cheaper as regards rent etc. and a nice motor cycle & sidecar for us to take some enjoyable runs together and which I can go to business on.

‘How does that strike you, with a nice front garden and a big one at the back, with a lawn where could take tea in the Summer.


Much later, his mood was one of resignation and realism, when he writes in a further letter.


 ‘Yes it is very nice to know – that now I have met you, you will never be parted from me, except perhaps for a few short years.

 ‘The parting would no doubt be long for you but very short to me, and you will find me waiting for you in spirit.

 Still I hope that we shall live together on this earth many years yet, and that when the parting does come, it will be very short;

 I love you my own sweet darling, with every fibre of my being, I just love you.’


Private Key died as his regiment led the first charges of the Somme on July 1st, 1916.


The Great War is strongly linked by the symbol of the red poppy. The sight of these delicate, vibrant red flowers growing on the shattered ground caught the attention of a Canadian soldier by the name of John McCrae. He noticed how they had sprung up in the disturbed ground of the burials around the artillery position he was in.

A young friend of his Lieut. Alexis Helmer had been killed by a shell burst on May 1915.  He was buried later that day and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain. Later he was inspired to write this well known poem.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


In November 1918, this reply to that particular poem was written, and it was  entitled   We Shall Keep the Faith

Lynne Spencer St Michaels Church Atworth:

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch, – and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields


This reply was written by American academic, Moina Michael to promote the making of handmade red silk poppies. These were then brought to England by a French lady, Anna Guerin. The (Royal) British Legion, formed in 1921, ordered 9 million of the poppies which they sold on 11 November that year. The poppies sold out almost immediately and that first ever “Poppy Appeal” raised over £106,000, a huge amount of money at the time

. The following year, Major George Howson, who had received the Military Cross for his role in the First World War, set up a factory off the Old Kent Road in London where five disabled ex-Servicemen began making poppies.

Three years later the Poppy Factory moved to its current site in Richmond, Surrey and today produces millions of poppies each year.

Such was the demand for poppies in England in 1922 that few were reaching Scotland. Earl Haig’s wife established the “Lady Haig Poppy Factory” in Edinburgh to produce poppies exclusively for Scotland. Over 5 million Scottish poppies (which have four petals and no leaf unlike poppies in the rest of the UK) are still made by hand by disabled ex-Service men at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory each year.


Official government policy was that you had to be 18 to sign up and 19 to fight overseas.250,ooo underage soldiers fought in the Great War In the early twentieth century most people didn’t have birth certificates, so it was easy to lie about your age. It didn’t help that recruitment officers were paid two shillings and sixpence (about £6 in today’s money) for each new recruit, and would often turn a blind eye to any concern they had about age. At the same time, though, some officers thought the fresh air and good food of the army would do some of the more under-nourished boys a bit of good.

 In fact the first British soldier who died after war was declared, was Private John Parr who gave his age as 17 years but was actually 14. He died on August 21st when as a reconnaissance cyclist, he went out to look for missing platoons.


When World War 1 broke out, Thomas Winter knew he had to be there,

The trouble was that he was 59, so too old for active service. The upper age limit was 51years. Instead he joined the YMCA, In 1914 to set up in France and then Italy YMCA huts where he ran the social centres, that soldiers away from the front line could use.  It was a remarkable action for a teacher-cum-farmer from a quiet village in the depths of Buckinghamshire’s countryside. He was able to help and support those in need and soon got to know that a 1lb jar of Bovril made 48 cups of drink,


Edith Cavell, a British nurse executed by the Germans during World War One, is now to be featured on a new commemorative £5 coin.

In 1914, aged 48, she headed for German-occupied Belgium. Here, she and her nursing team treated soldiers from all sides.

She also helped some 200 Allied soldiers escape from Belgium. It was for this that she was captured.

During her trial she read her Bible and prayer book .

On the night before her execution on October 12 1915, the local chaplain, the Rev Horace Gahan, visited her.

She said the words that are now chiselled into her statue in Trafalgar Square, ‘I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone.’

She took communion, said the Lord’s Prayer and then recited the words of her favourite hymn, Abide with Me.

The next morning she was taken at 5am to her execution. The last entry in her diary reads, ‘Died at 7am on Oct 12 1915. With love to my mother, E Cavell.’


Let us all join in together with this prayer shown in your handouts.

“Lord Jesus, you have taught us that we can only be forgiven as we ourselves learn how to forgive: help us to bear continually in mind our own shortcomings and our many failings. If we remember the injuries we suffer and never deserved, help us to remember the kindnesses we received and never earned, and the punishments we did deserve and never suffered. Help us to be thankful for your unfailing mercies and those of other people; for the glory of your holy name.” Amen


 Now we will sing Edith Cavell’s favourite hymn together. Abide With Me by Henry Francis Lyte

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
when other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s dark sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


 “Ode of Remembrance” is an ode taken from Laurence Binyon‘s poem, “For the Fallen“, which was first published September 1914

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.


From the front row, starting at the left, one by one, please blow out your candle, or switch off your torch


Eternal Father, the darkness is no darkness to you, and the night is as clear as the day. Accompany and protect us as we enter the night; give us eyes which watch for the dawn and hearts to learn again the lessons of love, that reconciled to one another and to you we may walk through this world’s perils and sorrows as children of light. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Effie, Rodney and other readers switch off their lights

Clock tower light is switched off

Clock tower chimes at 11.00pm then the Last Post is played.

Notice of Traffic Order




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT Wiltshire Council proposes to make the above Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004 to amend the following restrictions in Atworth in the Parishes of West Wiltshire Consolidation Order 2019 by revoking Map Schedule Nos. DS27 and DS28 dated 25thNovember 2019 and replacing them by the insertion of revised Map Schedule Nos. DS27 and DS28 and the insertion of new Map Schedule No. DS29 the effect of which will be as follows:

a) To introduce No Waiting at any time on the following lengths of roads:
A365 Bath Road – south side – from a point 34 metres east of its junction with Fleetwood Rise to a point 13 metres west of that junction
A365 Bath Road – south side – from its junction with Bradford Road to a point 135 metres in a north westerly direction
Clock Tower View – west side – from its junction with A365 Bath Road to a point 11 metres in a southerly direction
Clock Tower View – east side – from its junction with A365 Bath Road to a point 14 metres in a southerly direction
Fleetwood Rise – both sides – from its junction with A365 Bath Road to a point 10 metres in a southerly direction

b) To extend No Waiting at any time on the following lengths of road:
Mead Park – west side – from a point 13 metres north of its junction with A365 Bath Road to a point 48 metres north of that junction
Mead Park – east side – from a point 32 metres north of its junction with A365 Bath Road to a point 48 metres north of that junction

Documents will not be deposited for viewing at Council Offices which are currently closed to the public due to Covid-19. If you would like copies of documents or further information on the above proposal please email Full details can also be found by visiting

Comments on the proposal together with the reasons for which they are made should be sent by post to reach the Traffic Order Team, Sustainable Transport, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN allowing 7 days, by email to or using the response form on the website at to reach the Sustainable Transport Group by 26th October 2020 quoting reference LJB/TRO/ATWO.

Sustainable Transport Group, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN 2nd October 2020

Press Notice

Traffic Order Notice

Order Amendment Notice

Statement of Reasons

Map DS-27

Map DS-28

Map DS-29