Milverton, Somerset
13/07/2024

Recent flooding

The Parish Council would like to thank all those who helped parishioners who were affected by the flooding on 9 May and our thoughts are with those who were directly affected – it is hard to imagine how those people felt seeing their properties damaged and having to move out of their homes. We are conscious of the ongoing help that will be needed over the next few months.

Whilst investigations are still ongoing into the flooding, the following has taken place to the date of this report (13 May).

Somerset Council’s Flood Relief Engineer visited Milverton and was shown the areas affected by the flooding. As so many properties were affected, he now has to write a formal report on why the flooding occurred and make recommendations to Somerset Council. This report will be sent to the Parish Council for comment before being finally submitted to Somerset Council.

Somerset Council’s Civil Contingency Unit met residents affected. Civil Contingencies Unit can provide help and support. They can be contacted by email at somersetdutycco@somerset.gov.uk

Somerset Council are encouraging people to get in touch if they’ve been affected – anyone who has experienced property flooding can report it by emailing flooding@somerset.gov.uk or flood reporting tool.

If you are aware of anyone who needs support please advise them to call 0300 123 2224 and choose option 1 during office hours – call the same number and choose option 4 out of office hours.

Somerset Prepared also gives useful advice.

Checks on the surrounding area are being made to see what factors contributed to the severity of the event. Local rainfall data is also being collected.

The Parish Council is collecting photographs and witness accounts of the flooding. Please send these to admin@milvertonpc.org.uk.

Whilst causes are still being investigated and possible solutions devised, it will take some time before final conclusions can be drawn. In the meantime, we will seek to keep you updated on progress.

For all householders, this may be a good time to refer back to the Home Emergency Plan distributed in the last quarter of 2022. We shall revisit and update this to take into account any lessons learned. Should you have any other concerns please let us know.

Rod Burton
Chair Milverton Parish Council

Wheeling in Wellington

Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela

Two of our most distinguished military leaders have been Admiral Lord Nelson of Battle of Trafalgar fame and , perhaps lesser known, but equally important, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. It was he who beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.(Hence the Wellington monument). He won his fighting spurs in commanding the forces, including both Portuguese and Spanish troops, which drove the French out of Portugal and Spain.

That campaign covered much of the Iberian Peninsula but Wellington’s offensive against the French began at Torres Vedras a town 30 miles north of Lisbon and finished in Toulouse, four years later. As the crow flies that’s a distance of 775 miles via the A62. In 1810, of course, there was no A62. The road system hardly existed. An army could march about 11 miles a day. Think of going on a walking holiday taking your food and water for several days as well as carrying a rifle and ammunition. And I nearly forgot – there were canon weighing about a ton with all their paraphernalia to get from a to b.. I hope you get the picture?

When a friend suggested let’s follow Wellington’s campaign by bicycle – why not? We could cycle more than 11 miles a day. And unlike Wellington’s infantry, we would stay at inexpensive hostelries en route – meals provided. What we hadn’t appreciated was the terrain, the weather and the state of a lot of the roads. Imagine cycling up many hills steeper than Cothelstone, on a gravel rutted surface into a stiff wind. Thank goodness for electricity! We were lucky. Wellington’s troops didn’t have electricity and at the end of an exhausting march they often had a battle to fight and frequently food and water to find.

Our efforts were rewarded. Averaging 12 mph one can get a much better feel of geography and place. Although the spring flowers were glorious, much of Spain is drying out. Even the weeds looked thirsty. The climb up the Serra da Estrela was rewarded with spectacular views and a nine mile free wheel into Mantegais. Similarly the views as we climbed up from Irutzun to Etxerri in the Basque Pyrenees were stunning. As were our stops in Salamanca, Burgos, Pau and Toulouse, not forgetting Lisbon. And Wellington’s battlefield sites. They are now under industrial parks or housing estates except Talavera. That is marked by a crumbling monument.

Many thanks to William Waddington who completed this epic cycle ride.
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Heritage Day

Heritage Day 2023 display
Heritage Day display 2023

Milverton & District Archive a very successful Heritage Day on 1 May in the church with a constant stream of visitors.

The Broadmead display in particular drew people in to see the story of this important family to the village. The tithe map too proved of interest for people from far and wide. Far being someone from Nr Stawley !!

The First AGM of the MDA to be held 29 June at 7pm in the Pavillion in Buttsway.

Do come along to hear the Latest plans to Create a Venue so that all the interesting items held in the Archive may be on show and available to all visitors.

Maggie Dinning

Garden Club June update

We have had some very interesting speakers this year with a good attendance. We now have a break from meetings until October, when we will have our own ‘Gardeners Question Time’.

We are making preparations for the Flower Show on Saturday 15 July in the Victoria Rooms. The schedules will be available soon from the Post Office and the Shop. If you were lucky enough to win a piece of silverware last year, please return it to me at Hilltop, Buttsway.

We look forward to receiving your entries.

Ruth Beaumont



Busy Bees pond dipping

In May we met in Wilscombe Woods, and while parents could walk the bluebell trail, join the Rogation Service, and have tea and cakes, the Busy Bees were having a wonderful time pond dipping. It was a brilliant afternoon, and we were very grateful to Bridget Goldsmith and Chris Mann for their help, expertise and enthusiasm. With the aid of nets, white containers, white plastic spoons and magnifying glasses the Busy Bees surprised us all by finding and identifying newts, tadpoles, dragonfly larva, caddis fly larva, water boatmen and much more. The sun shone and no one fell in; a session we shall all remember!

Julia Hatfield

AmDram in June

Well, that’s it for another MADS show, As the character of Nigel says, “La commedia e finita.” The dressing room is empty, the chairs are away, the set and stage are cleared. All of us in MADS would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters who put up a poster, shared some flyers and came along to see our production of A Bunch of Amateurs. We have enjoyed rehearsing this play, but what brings it to life is playing in front of such appreciative audiences. As the character of Dorothy says, “You are the most important people in any theatre,” and this was never more true. Over the past year we’ve seen the group grow, both in membership and audience support which is wonderful news.

One of the best things about belonging to this group is the sense of community. We were very proud to be involved in the Street Fair where we ran a free dressing-up tent for the youngsters who enjoyed the magic and creativity of costumes. Highlights included ninja princesses and sword-wielding dinosaurs. We were even able to help a few adults with costumes for fancy-dress parties and were glad to oblige.

Rehearsals for our next panto will start in September, but we have a few things in the pipeline for over the summer, especially for our younger members. If you are thinking of getting involved, there’s never been a better time. The best way to stay up-to-date is to make sure you go on our mailing list for the newsletter (milvertonamdram@gmail.com) or check out our website (www.milvertonamdram.co.uk)
Looking forward to seeing you all very soon!

From the Vicarage in June

Goodbyes…

Goodbyes….

Thank you all for your response to last month’s letter, by the time we have gone to print all of our APCM’s will have taken place, and we will have welcomed new volunteers to keep our churches running, but we have also thanked those standing down for all their hard work and commitment, not really a goodbye, more of a change of direction.

We are also preparing to say goodbye to our curate Emma, she has now finished her training with us and has secured herself her first post of responsibility, a long way from us, but much closer to her family. She will be Priest in Charge in the Local Ministry Area of Bro Teifi in the Diocese of St Davids, with primary pastoral responsibility for the communities of Nevern, Newport and Dinas. The Archdeacon of Cardigan is aiming for Emma’s licensing to be at the end of September. We say goodbye in September and wish her well.

A more permanent goodbye is the tragic but inevitable time when a loved one dies.

I have recently had some very sad situations and conversations with family and friends who have struggled to deal with their loved one’s choice to invest in one of these national, prepaid companies, who whisk the body away to somewhere up country, cremate and then deliver the ashes back, so that…”my loved ones can remember me the way they want to, with a party, etc.” These are called “Direct Cremations” and, despite the advertising, they can be booked and prepaid with any LOCAL Funeral Director, same cost, but staying local, AND, if the family decide that they would like to add their own touch to their farewells they can add to the financial package through the local Funeral Director.

It is so very hard for family and friends who feel cheated of the chance to say goodbye their way. My funeral is planned and paid for, to save my children the “expense,” but I recognise they may wish to adapt those plans to suit their needs too.

Who is a funeral for? Ask yourselves this? Talk about this with loved ones. Talk about this with your chosen funeral director. There is no one way of saying our final goodbyes, each of us is different, and all beautiful in our own way; each of our family and friends are unique and their way of expressing their love for you will be their way.
Ignore the adverts and talk to those who matter to you, please, for their sake.

Helene