Compton Bassett News Archive

Philip BromileyOur Rector's Last Service at St Swithins

From the

The Communion at 10.00am on Sunday 29th January at St Swithins will be Philip's last service in Compton Bassett as our Rector.

Philip first burst into our lives in 2006 when he became the priest in charge of The Oldbury Benefice and then to be inducted as the Rector of Oldbury Benefice. He has been responsible for enhancing the community and introducine many new events which have become a tradition already that will I am sure be carried on for many years to come.

Philip will be moving on to his new role as team leader in the Stonehenge Deanery and together with his wife Anna and their family will soon be moving to their new home at Durrington.

If you would like to join us and come along to St Swithins to wish him well in his life in his new post that would be wonderful.

Compton Bassett Alan Lewis Legion of honourAlan Lewis Receives the Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honour


2016 has been a momentous year for Alan Lewis as, after a passage of 72 years, France has bestowed upon him their highest military or civil award, the rank of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honour. It reflects his part in the D-Day landings of June 1944 where the Western Allies fought to finally liberate the Nazi German-occupied countries. Alan boarded an American Liberty ship at Tilbury docks, later transferring at sea into a Tank Landing Craft and then onto a beach east of Caen, codenamed Sword. They attempted to move on towards St Lo, a distance of some 50 miles inland, but met stiff resistance from the Germany army in a wood near Carpiquet airfield until calling in for American aerial bombardment which relieved the situation. He then joined the Royal Engineers and helped prepare the roads and temporary bridges for the incoming Allied tanks.

Alan?s citation from the French Ambassador to Great Britain, reads:

I have the pleasure of informing you that the President of the Republic has appointed you to the rank of Chevalier in the Order National de la Legion d?honneur. I offer you my warmest congratulations on this high honour in recognition of your acknowledged military engagement and your steadfast involvement in the liberation of France during the Second World War. As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget heroes like you, who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by the liberation of France. We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.

Sylvie Bermann

Ambassador to Great Britain.

Remembrance Day in Compton Bassett

Compton Bassett War Memorial


The Compton Bassett War Memorial was the scene of the act of remembrance on Sunday 10th November. Across the nation thousands of people at small village memorials like ours or major monuments in towns and cities fell silent for two minutes as the nation paid tribute to those who have given their lives in well known and lesser known acts of heroism and sacrifice in conflicts right up to the present day.


In Compton Bassett, the act of remembrance was lead by Dr Tony Milsom. Alan Lewis, (pictured above with Dr Milsom) is a veteran of the D-Day landings at Arromanches, and was also mentioned in the War Memorial Trust Bulletin article from 2002, was there to read out the names of those killed during both World Wars. He ended with the immortal lines "We shall remember them". He is now over 90 years old which I think makes him our oldest resident.


The Centenary of World War 1


Frederic Greenstreet
Walter Powell
William Cook
Tom Cook


H S Wolford - 'Sid'

Sid Wolford


Sid Wolford who received a long service award this year from the Royal Bath & West Show Society. A prestigious award that is only given to six candidates every year it marks over fifty years of unbroken service to agriculture. The award was presented at the opening ceremony of the show by the President of the NFU and afterwards Sid was presented to the Duchess of Cornwall before sitting down with Pat to a special lunch in the marquee. Following army service Sid went to work for Mr Bernard Barnett at Compton Farm in September 1957 and has continued both there and at Manor Farm ever since. A quite remarkable countryman he has kept as fit and strong as a man half his age; an example to us all. He is a skilled ploughman and has won numerous ploughing championships including County Champion.



Sid Wolford

After completing his National Service he worked for a while with an agricultural contractor. He then worked at Compton Farm until his retirement aged 65 years.

He is a well known figure at the various ploughing matches in the county and has indeed won at many of them.

He is still today helping on Compton farm and on Manor Farm in the village.

Sid is pictured with his wife Pat.



The Compton Bassett Pothole Team

Mending Potholes in Compton Bassett

A very big thank you to all who helped in the BriarLeaze Pothole day on 26th April '2014, particularly Andrew Slade whose estimate of the tarmac requirements were totally on the money.

The pothole team worked to a very high standard with hidden talents emerging from everywhere in the village.

Thanks also to the ladies for the cakes, scones, flapjacks � the Pothole gang certainly appreciated the support and sustenance.

One of the Mums at the children’s party in the Benson Village Hall asked how on earth we managed to get Wiltshire Council to do our potholes.

When she learnt that it was the Compton Bassett Village Pothole Team � she said “Wish we had such a wonderful village spirit”

Well done to everyone!

The Centenary of World War 1

Across the nation at 10:00pm on 4th August lights were turned out and households, offices and public buildings were left with a single candle lit to mark the moment when Britain was officially at war. Inspired by the quote by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, on the eve of Britain’s entry into the first ever global conflict: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

In his memoirs, he recalled making the remark while standing at the window of his office in the Foreign Office on 3 August watching the lights being lit along the Mall as dusk fell.

There is a Centenary evening service on 10 August at 6pm to be taken by Dr Tony Milsom at St Swithin's.

Briar Leaze Pothole Fundraiser

Compton Bassett Pothole Team

There was a wonderful turn out for this fundraiser in aid of the pothole fund for Briar Leaze in the Benson Hall on Saturday night 25th January, with twelve teams of up to six people.

The road outside the Village Hall is unadopted, so it’s the Village Hall responsibility � it is planned to carry out the work after April when its drier and warmer, for the Tarmac to be laid properly � we may be back to ask for some manpower to help lay it.

Peter Alberry, who organised the event together with his team of willing helpers were pleased to be able to announce that the evening raised over �1200 towards the fund. Peter has asked for his thanks to be given to Steve & Judy Izatt; Dave & Marion Coward; Peter Barnett and his wife Nicky for their help on the night and to everyone for their generous raffle prize donations, particularly Robert & Sarah Buttle (Rare breed Pork dinner) and Libby Barnett (amazing cake).

A duplicate first prize was given to the lady who missed out in the raffle due to the organisers colour blindness � we thought it only fair.

And of course all congratulations to the winning team 'Apathy' for their impressive win for which they were presented with the Compton Bassett cup which is theirs to keep..... for now!

Jennie Brooks

Congratulations to Jennie Brooks who took part in the Devizes Open Door - Sleepout 2013 on Friday 1st March. Just a few miles away there are people sleeping rough in weeds and church porches, people who find themselves isolated with no friends or family and others who do not have the means to feed themselves adequately. For many, the meals and fellowship offered by Open Door will be the only hot food they eat and the only companionship they experience.

Jennie herself raised �290 by sleeping out on a freezing cold night with fifteen others ranging in age from 14 to 75, well done all of them.

The Dogs Dinner

Hounds for Heroes

Hounds for Heroes is a charity which raises funds to provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and Civilian Emergency Services.

As a fund raising initiative the 14/15th September was designated as �Dogs dinner weekend�

In Compton Bassett 23 people supported the event by coming to a supper hosted by Caroline Ransom and Judy Izatt.

We had a three course supper which was greatly enhanced by Marian Coward�s delicious vegetarian quiche, Stephanie Milburn�s scrumptious trifle and, as a complete surprise for Michael Ransom, a magnificent �doggie� birthday cake. Luckily for all he was happy to share. We had a dog quiz (e.g. contrary to popular belief dogs do not sweat by salivating, they sweat through
what?*), guess the dog silhouette and how many dog biscuits in the jar, all of which produced much debate and laughter.

A great fun evening raised �380 for Hounds for Heroes. Satisfaction all round!

Spotlight Compton Bassett

Spotlight Compton Bassett

The Benson Memorial Hall was the venue for this event intended to give a forum for those who run businesses, cottage industries, clubs & societies, or just have an interest they wish to show off.

There were cakes, jams and chutneys from folks within the village and simple taster dishes from The White Horse. There was art and photography from our local talent and a fascinating displayon the history and archives of the village.

With over sixty guests coming through the doors and a large contingent of exhibitors, there would have been over half the residents of Compton Bassett in the hall that afternoon!

Over the coming months we will be doing our level best to bring some of the history and interest displayed at the Benson Hall to you on the pages of this site.

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field are now three!

Robbie Williams Compton Bassett


Robbie Williams and Ayda Field are now three!

Compton Bassett resident Robbie Williams and his Turkish American wife Ayda Field have proudly announced yesterday on Twitter, the birth of their new baby daughter. They have named her Theodora Rose Williams.

On his blog he added: "Praise be, it's Theodora Rose Williams, affectionately known as Teddy... Born 3.33pm on 18.9.12, 7lbs 4oz."

"Baby, Mummy and Daddy are all rockin...Thank you for your best wishes."

His Take That friend Gary Barlow tweeted a message to the couple: "Massive congrats Rob and Ayda. So happy for you."

In interviews Robbie had previously said that they had always planned to use a traditional style of name for their daughter, "No mad celebrity baby name. It's not Appleesque. It's a very solid, old-school name." He has made it known that they wanted their daughter to have a British passport and be eductaed here in England to give her traditional English sensibilities.

The people of Compton Bassett wish the new family every happiness for the future.

Watch his recent interview on the BBC from a few days before the birth where he talks about his impending fatherhood.

Compton Bassett Village Fete

Calne Town Silver Band Compton Bassett

Blessed with a perfect summer�s day our Church Fete was a great success. What else could it have been with Calne Silver Band playing all the afternoon for our entertainment. Lots of happy willing helpers, lots of generous giving and spending. Roundabouts, sideshows, teas, barbecues, ice-cream, bottles, books, cakes, DVDs and records, produce, bric-a-brac, nearly new and side shows. The Grand Draw first prize of �100 was won by J.May, 2nd prize Dinner for 2 at the White Horse was won by Isobel Reis.

Children�s competitions, Painting 1st Lara Candy, 2nd Kitty Henly, 3rd Edward Candy. Decorated Cup cakes. 1st Lara Candy, 2nd Edward Candy. Fancy Dress (up to 5 years) Charlotte Swanton (6-11) 1st Amelia Hayley, 2nd Edward Candy, 3rd Lara Candy.

One very special helper aged 12 William Smith (Enid Taylor�s grandson) deserves special mention because on his own, volunteered to run Rope the Steer, which he did for the whole of the afternoon and the winner was Paul Rossiter. The Chicken Dinner was won by Pam Evans and the Box of Groceries was won by Anna Lane.

Thank you to everyone too numerous to name who all made the afternoon great and an extra thank you to Pete Szezesiak who keeps it all ticking over. We raised �1,600. [In 1967 we made �155 and in 1987 �1,038] how about that?!

Anything that was not sold has gone to raise money for the Great Western Hospital�s Special Care Baby Unit which is a registered charity and we do have a Mummy and a Daddy who have a special baby that was born at 34 weeks.

St. Swithin�s Concert

St. Swithin�s hosted a second Concert within a month on 16 June. The Galliard Trio entertained an appreciative audience to a varied programme of classical and modern pieces that demonstrated their talents on the flute, oboe, core-anglais, bassoon and harpsichord. We even had a world premier with their transcription of two J.S.Bach figures. After the concert the audience lingered over the refreshments and were joined by the Trio. One topic of conversation was the family connections of flautist Andrew Morris with Compton Bassett, Yatesbury and Hilmarton that went back to the 17th century. The surname was Eatwell.

The Village Singers� Concert

Held at St.Swithin�s, this was a very enjoyable evening. Their choir�s ethos is to have fun while making music. Our church was bedecked with bunting and Union Jacks which created a special atmosphere. Their programme was very varied, each song relating in some way to our Queens 60 years. So we enjoyed listening to music by Mozart and Handel, Gershwin and Elgar, Rutter and Goodall and much more with a grand finale at which everyone sang Jerusalem. What is so special about this choir of 65 is that their membership ranges in age from the elderly to the very young. The beautiful vegetable garden cake made by Libby Barnett raised �50 as a raffle and the total evening raised �477 which was shared equally with the choir and the church.

Gardens Open Day In Compton Bassett

Garden Open Day Compton Bassett


Sunday 10th June


Four gardens in the village were thrown open to the public by their generous (some may say brave) householders to raise funds for The Dorothy House Hospice.


Click here for full report and pictures.


On a Windswept hill at Easter

Cross on the hill Cherhill

The Easter tradition of a Cross being placed on the hill near Oldbury Castle and the Cherhill White Horse was observed again this year. A crowd of parishoners gathered in Cherhill and the procession then wended its way out of the village and up the hill, following the cross. The younger members of the congregation also had their own smaller version of the cross to bear on their journey.

The procession was lead by our Rector, Philip Bromiley, from St James church following a church service. After erecting the cross, there was a short service of dedication and hot cross buns and hot drinks were laid on after the return journey.

The cross remains during the Easter period. The poignancy of the cross on a lonely hilltop, silhouetted against the dark skies we have endured this Easter weekend, cannot be overlooked and is perhaps a fitting reminder to all of the Christian faith.

St Swithins Church Roof Theft!

St Swithins Compton Bassett

Our church has been really going through the ways since Christmas!

It was indeed a sad day when some of our ancient church roof was stolen and became another statistic in the worsening trend of metal thefts that plagues our society all over the country. About three tonnes of lead was removed from the church roof one night recently and the matter is currently in the hands of our church insurers for the repair of the damage and replacement of the missing roof covering.

A great deal of time and money is given to the upkeep and general maintenance of our church, not just now, but our village ancestors have done so before us for hundreds of years. It is a tragedy of our times that there are those who feel it is their right or privelage to attack the focal point of our community with such impunity and apparent disregard for the history we have fought for so long to preserve. We would all like to be able to hand our church on to future generations in the same good order that we ourselves have recieved it in. Church security is being reviewed as we understand it, but perhaps now is a timely point to remind ourselves that a cautionary eye cast over the church and its access route as we drive past each day and our willingness to report cars or other vehicles parked at a suspicious time or behaving in a suspicious manner may be enough to prevent further attacks on our collective historical village property.

The Bishop of Salisbury Blesses The Oldbury Benefice Crib

Bishop of Salisbury Blessing

'Twas a dark, wintry, mid December afternoon, with the cold rain stinging the faces of those foolish enough to brave the world outside their own front door when there was an almost biblical parting of the clouds. With dark storm clouds, threatening, but staying to the north of us and a slightly lighter yet no less threatening sky to the south, but with a light blue sky directly overhead the combined parishes of the Oldbury Benefice joined together for the first visit of the Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam to bless the crib on the A4.

The Bishop, newly appointed, was telling the gathered crowd how last year he was blessing the crib in Trafalgar Square in London in his previous role as vicar of St Martin in the Fields. But, because of his recent elvation to the role of Bishop, was fearful he may not get the opportunity to bless a crib this year. So he was very pleased to be invited to come and bless the Oldbury Benefice crib.

The Cherhill CofE School's "Sing Up" choir delighted the gathered crowd of worshippers and well wishers with their singing of carols. The representative of the Children's Society, the beneficiaries of The Oldbury Benefice Christmas 2011 Charity Project, thanked everyone for their efforts and told a little of the work that the charity does throughout the year.

Philip thanked the hosts of the crib and providers of the electricity to light it, The Divine Cafe as well as a large list of businesses and individuals who had all worked to make this crib possible.

The tableau was illuminated every day over the Christmas period until the twelfth night. During that time over �250 was raised for The Children's Society to aid the valuable support they give to very needy children.

The project team would like to say a very big thank you to all those who sponsored the event and the volunteers who gave up their time making and painting the figures and building the stable.

The Last Hercules to Leave Lyneham

Four Hercules aircraft, such a familiar sound and sight in the skies above Compton Bassett were the last planes to leave RAF Lyneham at 10:30 BST today, 1st July 2011. They were seen yesterday flying in formation over the village as they planned for today's ceremony. Lyneham has been the home of the planes which have earned themselves the nickname "Fat Albert" since 1967 until today due to restructuring and cost saving from the government cut backs have distated that the base should close completely in 2012 and transfer operations to Brize Norton. In the ceremony, station commander Gp Capt John Gladstone said "It will be a very sad day for everyone at Lyneham but it's just a new chapter in the history of the Hercules." as he boarded the last plane to leave.