Milverton, Somerset

Friday Club November update

We are now well and truly into autumn and feeling a nip in the air and those extra layers of clothing are starting to emerge, even more important with soaring fuel bills.

If you are worried about increasing costs and how it affects you, we may be able to direct you to people who may be able to help you. This is not a time to be proud; this is a time to seek help and assistance and stay SAFE.

The group has now been meeting for a month since our summer break and we are all pleased to be back together.
Over the past month we have enjoyed a newspaper debate, sponsored walk for Wivey link, a quiz, which is always a laugh, and to end the month we had a bingo game with prizes for all winners.

Continuing our activities into November and December we look forward to welcoming the Somerset Heritage Trust, Age Concern, giving instruction on chair exercises, an extremely interesting presentation on The Royal Marines and our annual Harvest festival auction. This is just some of the things ahead.

If you have an interesting hobby, interest or career and would like to share it with us in an informal presentation, we would love to hear from you. Please give us a call to discuss further.

We emphasise the Friday club is NOT just a lunch club; we are a social group for the more senior members of our village. Our aim is to try and reduce social isolation and loneliness; to offer a safe environment for friendship, enjoyment and laughter. Then of course we tuck into the ever-important lunch.

We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team. They help set up from 09:30, serve coffee and lunch, and interact with the group. Times and dates can be arranged to fit in with your busy lives and we hope you may be able to spare us a couple of hours.

Hope to see you soon at the Pavilion, Recreation Ground, Butts Way, Milverton every Friday from 10.30am to 2pm

Carol Davidson
Group Leader
Phone 01823 400095 or mobile 07795 264478
Supported by Wivey Link on 01984 624666

Victoria Rooms November update

Your village hall needs you! As mentioned over the last couple of months, a number of our long-serving members are retiring from the committee at the end of 2022. To this end we urgently need more volunteers to come forward to help with the day to day running of our village hall to ensure that it continues to be at the heart of our community for many years to come. If you feel you can spare a few hours per month and would like to get involved, please contact the current Chairman, Philip Knowles, on 01823 400609 or email, who will be happy to give you some more information. Even if you don’t feel you are able to become a Trustee, the committee is always pleased to welcome Friends of the Victoria Rooms, upon whom they can call for occasional help, such as setting up or clearing away after the monthly market or a fundraising event. If this is of interest, please contact Sue on 01823 400609 or email

Our next monthly market is on Saturday 5 November and, as always, there will be a wide variety of items on sale. There may be a few tables available for future monthly markets and, if you are interested in booking one, please contact Sally on 01823 400320 or email The monthly draw for our 100 Club winner will take place at the market. The winner of the October draw was Katherine Reynolds – well done Katherine.

Our Autumn Craft Fair takes place on Saturday, 12 November. This is the perfect opportunity to purchase some unique and locally made Christmas presents. The Fair will run from 10am to 1pm and, this time, there will be additional stalls in the Reading Room, so even more exciting items to look at and purchase. Free entry.

Our pre-Christmas event – “Mince Pies & Merriment” – is on Friday, 9 December. This will be a brilliant evening of music, readings, poems and sketches, all with a Christmas theme, ending with everyone joining in to sing some of our favourite carols. Tickets are £7 each, which includes mince pies and a glass of mulled wine. There will also be a bar. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are available by contacting Sue on 01823 400609 or email Do put the date in your diary – this will be a great way to kick off our Christmas celebrations.

Our Facebook page is an excellent up to date source of information about what is happening in our village hall so do take a look at  and check out what is going on. 

To hire the Victoria Rooms for a new club or society meeting or for a family celebration, please contact Geoff on 01823 401365 or email

WI November update

The WI meeting held on 6 October was well attended, and we celebrated Bridget Anderson’s milestone birthday with a delicious birthday cake. 
Our speaker was Zoe Fox who works for the charity ‘School in a Bag’. Zoe explained how the charity evolved after a young man, Piers Simon, was killed in the tsunami in Thailand in 2004.   
Piers’ brother, Luke, and their parents set up the Piers Simon Appeal in memory of Piers; for four and a half years it provided funds to disaster victims in 13 countries. This appeal joined the charity ShelterBox and in 2019 School in a Bag became a stand alone charity. It’s aim is to offer the means of education to children in countries such as the Gambia, Swaziland, Ghana and many other countries.  
The red rucksacks are filled with stationery, water bottles, eating utensils, learning resources – colour, shape and a stencil to trace around. It now provides school bags to many under resourced countries in the world, and thus the means of education for children who would otherwise not have access to this vital resource.
Our next meeting will be held on 3 November 2022 at 2.30 pm in the Victoria Rooms when the speaker’s subject will be ‘History and Work of Commonwealth War Graves Commission’.  
We look forward to welcoming visitors and members.

Christmas vouchers 2022

There are charities in the village, some of which were set up hundreds of years ago to help needy parishioners, particularly in the winter months. There is an invoice in the records, dated Christmas 1920, for 3 fancy cloth overcoats supplied to the Rev Preb Maynard for the Milverton Charities by W. H Westlake & Son Ltd, of High Street, Taunton (Tailors, Clothiers, Hatters, Hosiers and Outfitters – Agents for Jaeger’s Underwear and Burberry’s Weatherproof Coats) for the sum of £7-10-0.

Since then the Welfare State has come into being and, although there is still need, it is mostly met from State Funds. The Trustees decided some years ago that vouchers, to be spent in the Milverton Stores, should be given at Christmas to parishioners of Milverton (and Preston Bowyer). The vouchers are available for anyone who is 65 and over who has lived in the parish for at least five years. Anyone who is eligible should apply to Jean Ainsworth-Smith at Knutsford Cottage in North Street by Friday 25 November. There is no need for anyone already on the list to apply again, but please let us know if there has been a change (perhaps a partner has died or is now eligible).

Jean Ainsworth-Smith
(Clerk to the Trustees) Milverton United Charities

Parish Council emergency plan

You should have received with your Parish Magazine a ‘Personal Home Emergency Plan’ which has been produced based on a national government template. Hopefully this will help you prepare and think about what you and your family would do in an emergency (such as the recent flooding). Please do read it and keep it as an aide memoire, or indeed make notes and then place it in a safe place where it can be retrieved if you are unfortunately faced with such a situation.

This is just part of the work which the Emergency Sub-Committee of Milverton Parish Council has been updating, as the last plan for the village was completed some years ago. The plan does require quite a few volunteers to be named who would be willing to help in a crisis. There are a variety of roles needed: this could be as a named representative in your part of the village who would be willing to alert others in the area, or if we had to evacuate residents to the Victoria Rooms, help would be needed in distributing blankets, making tea etc. These are just a few examples.

Once the plan has been completed, it will enable Milverton as a village to be proactive in identifying possible hazards and lessening the effects of unexpected events. For example, reporting blocked drains to be cleared would hopefully reduce the chances of flooding.

If you would be happy to offer assistance in any emergency situation please contact the emergency committee via the emails (or indeed any member of the Parish Council). The plan will only work if we have enough volunteers. The best case scenario is that you’re named on the plan but never called upon to do anything!

Chris Mann

Anita Dakowski

Phillip Chambers

Milverton in 1950’s

Milverton Local History Group, village life in the 1950’s

The village changed its street gas lights to electricity in 1952, the same Year Queen Elizabeth II came to throne after the death of her father King George VI. 48 lights were supplied by South West Electricity Board.These were checked by the parish council as they paid for them.

Halt signs were requested for the Butts Way and Sand Street junction as cars were beginning to cause problems in Milverton. Parking outside the Victoria Rooms was also a problem.

Owners of the raised cobbled causeways in Fore Street were not happy to be asked to repair the cobbles, especially the owner of Devonia, who running a shop was told it was his responsibility!

Fish and chip papers would blow around the Silver Street corner as there was a fish and chip shop at the bottom of New Buildings.

A second council estate was planned for Creedwell Orchard on the old tanyard lands behind the Victoria Rooms which had stood empty for over 100 Years.

Olands House, which had been built around 1820 by the Broadmead family, had been sold to the Somerset County Council in 1948 who used the main house as a residential home for children who needed extra care.

A county library operated out of the Victoria Rooms and after the village demanded a resident policeman, a new house was built in Buttsway in 1957.

Doctors operated out of their own houses, but at St Mildreds North Street, Dr Watson had his own surgery with very steep stairs to climb up to it.

The road was still very busy through the village as the bi-pass road did not come until 1974 and all the Barnstaple traffic used it.

The railway was still operating to Barnstaple and Taunton.

The charity vouchers could be used in 3 of the many shops, Tuckers at Swan House, Storms on the corner of Silver Street, and the one shop which is still used today which was the County Stores then.

Those were the days as the saying goes!

If you would like to join the team to create this new Milverton and District Archive please get in touch.

Maggie Dinning
Milverton and District Archive
Phone 01823 400142


Wivey Food Project

Wivey food project crate
Wivey Food Project in Milverton

Milverton are very fortunate to shortly have a Wivey Food Project freezer in St Michael’s church, by the west door.

We would be very grateful to all who have spare fresh vegetables and fruit to give to the food project to please leave it in the 2 black crates by the Methodist Church on any Wednesday 10am till 5pm and also up at the allotments where you will find a crate. They will be collected that day and cooked the very next.

A very big thank you to all who can help.

Lucy MacLeod

Milverton Music November update

Our pre-Christmas party evening features the brilliant soul band Gee Baby I love You. Tickets £18 each, include a buffet supper. There will be a bar. Phone 01823 400416 or email

At the October open night mic everyone sang a Paul Simon song. Thanks to all our musicians and singers for a superb evening of music. Good to see some new singers and the return of our regular players. We heard some wonderful Paul Simon songs:

  • Old Hickory – Sound of Silience
  • Zig Grochala – Kathy’s Song and Homeward Bound
  • Gordan Campbell – Still Crazy After All These Years
  • Peter Luke and James Richardson – The Boxer
  • Nick Girone Maddocks – Gracelands
  • John Hartoch – Lincoln Duncan
  • Dan Davies – America

More details on Milverton Music Club.


Village and Community Agents November update

Staying warm and well this winter

This year, more than ever, many people will be extremely concerned about the rise in fuel costs and the coming winter months. Please do get in touch if you are struggling with fuels costs – we want everyone to be warm and well this winter! Alternatively, you can contact the Centre for Sustainable Energy and their Home Energy team on 0800 082 2234. They are on hand to deal with fuel debt, help find cheaper fuel, aid in switching suppliers and much more. Watch this recent Talking Café for fantastic tips and advice for saving money on your fuel bills and keeping a warm home. 

Are you are over 60, or rely on electricity for medical or mobility reasons or have a hearing or visual impairment or a long-term health condition? Sign up for the priority services register. There is advice on the website for registering with your other utilities too such as water and gas.

Crisis Fund appeal

The CCS Crisis Fund is distributed by our Village and Community Agents to help people in crisis situations. A small grant can make a huge difference in a person’s life – and we need your help now more than ever!

Please visit Somerset Crisis Fund to find out more. You can donate to a county-wide ‘pot’ or text CRISIS to 70580 to donate £10.

If you think your local CCS Village Agent help you in any way, please call 01823 331 222 or visit agent call back and request a call back.