May Newsletter

MAY 2017

As you may already know Annabel Walters has just stepped down from the management committee having helped with PR and marketing, including editing this newsletter, for the last four years. She leaves with sincere thanks from us all and although no longer officially involved we hope to see her and her family in the shop and HUB on a regular basis from now on.  She hands over her role with the shop and HUB in very good health and whilst we do not want to become too obsessed with targets it is still good to know that the business is successful as the the chairman reported recently at the AGM. This is very motivating for Ellen and her team who, along with all the wonderful volunteers make a visit to the shop and HUB such an enjoyable and relaxing experience.  It just shows if the product is right the customers will follow, so well done and thank you to everyone for their loyalty and support.  Talking of volunteers a number of people have recently joined the team so expect to see some new and no doubt familiar faces behind the counter when you next come in. However, we are always looking for more regular as well as occasional volunteers as there are often times when Ellen is in need of extra help sometimes at short notice.  There’s a great team spirit so the more local people involved the better.

Now that we are enjoying longer days and some lovely Spring weather, the shop is gearing up to welcome more summer visitors, particularly with the Chalke Valley History Festival having moved to Broad Chalke.   Extra stocks of drinks and ice cream are beginning to fill the shelves!

Laura Loncan, who runs Chalke Valley Produce and who is already a regular supplier to the shop, is now supplying lovely fresh salad and kale. There is always something extra special about knowing that produce is locally grown which sets it apart from a supermarket and how much more satisfying to support a local grower.

Don’t forget that fresh fish is delivered to the shop each Thursday, straight from Penzance in Cornwall.  This is proving very popular so if you would like to order in advance you can do this on the website or by filling in a form in the shop.  The deadline for advance orders is Tuesday lunchtime.

Fjordling Smoke House held a taster session in April at which a variety of their products were available to try.  These included smoked trout, chicken breast as well as duck, trout and salmon pate.  Judging by the enthusiasm of those who were there, these products are likely to become very popular. If you haven’t done so already, why not give them a try in salads, starters or just as a light meal.

The HUB has become part of a scheme called Safe Places.  A designated Safe Place is somewhere where anyone can go if anything goes wrong or they feel unwell or upset when they are out and about. A Safe Place provides a secure and sympathetic environment where these setbacks can be sorted out.  We feel this is very much in keeping with our ethos as a supportive community centre . There are leaflets available in the coffee shop with more details.

Post Office LogoThe Post Office remains popular and busy.  If you have plans to go abroad at any time in the future remember that Euros are always available whenever the Post Office is open (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 0900- 1300).  Other currencies only need twenty four hours notice.  A number of people are already finding the Post Office useful for a variety of banking services not forgetting mobile phone top ups, passport applications and as the season opens on our local rivers, fishing licences as well.

Whatever your reason for popping in, Ellen and her team look forward to seeing you.

April Newsletter


This was held on Thursday 16th March in the village hall. It was very well attended, with delicious refreshments on offer. Will Hillary, the Hub chairman, Michael Roe, the Secretary, and Henry Flint, the Treasurer all gave presentations.

John Lace was re-elected to the Management Committee and has kindly agreed to continue in his HR role. Andrew Boys, from Alvediston, was elected to the Management Committee and has kindly agreed to take on the PR and marketing following the retirement of Annabel Walters from the committee. Andrew brings a wealth of PR experience to the role.

Both the shop and coffee shop are doing extremely well, thanks to the support given by our customers and to the growing army of wonderful volunteers without whom we could not survive, never mind thrive. A huge thank you to you all. And if anyone else can spare a few hours a week – it doesn’t have to be every week – please do get in touch as we still need more helpers, especially in the coffee shop.


We have had a fresh delivery of EBBESBOURNE HERD meat including steaks. It’s local, it’s organic, it’s delicious.


FJORDLING SMOKEHOUSES are coming to the coffee shop for a taster session on Friday 7th April from about 10am. They do cold and hot smoked trout, smoked chicken breast and duck, trout and salmon pate. Perfect for starters, light lunches or any occasion.

One of our young workers, Sebastian Body, is leaving to continue his studies. He has been a huge asset to the Hub so a big thank you and good wishes to him. And a big welcome to Ben Barrett who is replacing him.

Our promotions are back so keep an eye out for brilliant deals that compete with supermarket prices.


Finally, we have recently become a ‘Safe Place’. This is an initiative set up by Wiltshire council to encourage vulnerable people to get out, by identifying places where they and their carers can go in the knowledge that if something was to happen, we are here to help. To find out more:

March Newsletter


Many thanks to the hundred or so people who took the time to complete our Customer Survey. And special thanks to Roger Boon, a retail marketing specialist who moved to Broad Chalke last year, for volunteering to analyse all the completed surveys and to prepare a detailed report for the Management Committee.
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of those who completed the survey were extremely positive towards the Hub and seem to have a warm affection for its staff and the contribution which they make to the local community.
A number of constructive comments and suggestions were made as to how the Hub might improve the service it provides. These are currently being considered by Ellen and her team, and by the Management Committee. Any significant changes resulting from this will be reported in future newsletters.
Will Hillary, Chairman of Management Committee


This Annual Members’ Meeting will be held at Broad Chalke Village Hall. Refreshments will be served, so do come along – volunteers, customers, members of the community. This is your chance to hear about how the Hub has been faring, our plans, and to ask questions and give your feedback.


Michael Roe is standing down as the Hub’s Secretary and so the search for someone to take over the role is underway.
The Secretary is appointed by the Management Committee, not elected, although can be a member of it.
Duties include the administration of the Management Committee, some formal company obligations towards the Financial Services Authority, maintaining the Rules of the Society and assisting the other Society Officeholders.
Whilst a knowledge of company procedures and law may be helpful, it is certainly not essential not least because of the depth of professional and commercial experience existing within the Management Committee.
Help is always on hand from those colleagues and Michael is happy to mentor his successor, until he or she is established in the role. Please contact Michael, Will Hillary, or any other member of the Management Committee if you are interested.
We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Michael for all his hard work over the last five years and ensuring that everything has run so smoothly.


If anyone with Public Relations or social media experience would like to undertake this role, which involves communicating news about the shop via social media and this monthly newsletter, then please get in touch with Will Hillary or Annabel Walters ( It’s a great opportunity to put your toes back in the water if you’ve taken a break from work for a few years, or just want to contribute something to the community.


The Hub is always interested in new projects and ways of bringing people together and as part of this we will shortly start a book swap and borrow scheme. We have had a wonderful collection of books donated to us by Penelope and Michael Millburn. They belonged to Penelope’s late sister, Jessica de Lannoy and Penelope says she would have been thrilled to know they were going to form the basis of a lending/ swapping scheme in the Hub:
‘When she was a little girl, Jessica made a lending library out of all the family books, so, to this day, many of the much-thumbed books of childhood have her home-made library pouches for tickets inside their front covers, as well as the stern instruction, in her eight-year-old script, to “Please return to Jessica Home” regardless of which member of the family they actually belonged to. These books were indisputably hers, collected and enjoyed by her from the mid-1980s, when she first went to live in Brussels, until her death here in Alvediston in 2015. They are not precious volumes, but all very readable and reflecting the interests of a vivid personality. Enjoy!’

Many thanks to Penelope and Michael for this kind donation and fantastic idea.


A post has become vacant for a young person, aged 16 or over, to work at the Hub every other Saturday from 11am-5pm. This is a paid position and a great opportunity to gain work experience. Please contact Ellen:

February Newsletter



Don’t forget our fantastic FRESH FISH from Seafresh. If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to eat more healthily, fish will definitely feature heavily in your diet: just one serving of fish a week boosts your brain health. So do come and buy it from the hub.

We get a weekly delivery of a variety of fish, every Thursday. If you want any specific type of fish you can order it by Tuesday 12noon for delivery on Thursday. Order forms can be found in the shop opposite the counter.

The EBBESBOURNE HERD meat has proved very popular – not surprisingly as it is so delicious and fits the Hub’s ethos of buying local, buying organic. If on occasions we don’t have any of their fresh meat in, we always have some in the freezer so it’s worth asking one of the managers.

We are going to start selling fresh herbs and if they prove popular over the next few months then we will continue to sell them. If there are any other products the customers would like to see in the shop or coffee shop, please talk to Ellen or mention it to a volunteer. We are constantly trying to serve the community and to stock what our customers want.

We will also start up the promotions, every month some items will be reduced so keep an eye out for the colourful stars again.


In this cold weather, Jenny’s lovely fresh soups and our freshly made paninis are proven even more popular. Next to our yummy cakes, we have now introduced an apple crumble, served with cream: who can resist a little bit of sweetness after a lovely lunch?




This Annual Members’ Meeting will be held at Broad Chalke Village Hall. Do come along – volunteers, customers, members of the community. This is your chance to hear about how the Hub has been faring, our plans, and to ask questions and give your feedback.


POsqWe are seeking a part-time Post Office assistant – please see the advert.

Christmas and January Newsletter

A New Year’s Message from the Chairman:

I am pleased to report that 2016 was an excellent year for the Hub with sales in both the shop and the coffee shop ahead of the previous year.

My thanks are due to all of our wonderful volunteers and staff for all their hard work in making this happen, and to all of our customers for supporting us. I wish all of you and your families a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Thank you also to all those who have completed the survey. Your replies and comments will be very helpful to us in improving our service to the local community. We will be analysing the results and will give you an update in the next Broadsheet on any changes which may be planned as a result.

Will Hillary


Shop News:

The pub and hub carol singing event in December was a great success. Special thanks go to Broad Chalke School and their wonderful choir who sang so beautifully. Also to Jack and Emma at the Queen’s Arms, Andy Wilson and Simon Hiscock for the lovely tree and lights, Keith Hitchings for the sound system and Janet Roe and Jenny Truluck for the mince pies and biscuits.

The Christmas table, hampers and other Christmas produce were all a success, so thank you to those who bought and those who supplied.

This is a good moment to remind ourselves of why the Hub is so good for our community. Stocking local suppliers supports local businesses, which is good for all of us. It also benefits the wider community because these suppliers use fresh, local products wherever possible, reducing ‘food miles’ and creating less impact on the environment.

Many of us wish we could do more about the devastation caused by producing some of the most common foods and household products – did you know that 50% of supermarket products use palm oil, and that palm oil plantations are devastating the rainforest in places like Borneo, destroying the habitat of animals such as orangutans, which are now facing extinction?

So by buying local goods you are doing your bit for the wider world too, as well as keeping our shop, coffee shop and Post Office thriving.





December Newsletter


Christmas Carols at the Pub’n’Hub at 5.45pm on Friday 2nd December.
Wrap up warm and join us for carols at the Hub. As usual, Broad Chalke School choir will start us off with some lovely singing, then the Christmas tree lights will be switched on at 6pm. The tree has kindly been donated by Simon Hiscock from Prescombe Farm in Ebbesbourne Wake where you can buy lovely, locally-grown Christmas trees. Afterwards there will be a hog roast outside the Queen’s Head and of course other refreshments inside, so come along – it’s a wonderful way to start the festive season.

Turkeys, meats and Christmas cakes
Smiley face
Harry Street’s delicious turkeys are available to order through the hub. There is also mince, sausages, steaks and joints of beef from the Ebbesbourne Wake herd. And why not save yourself the trouble of baking a Christmas cake and buy one of these beautiful cakes from cakesmith, Alix Fauvel? All the cakes are handmade in Cranborne in small batches, matured with regular feeds of brandy then decorated with glazed fruit and nuts, or iced and hand painted.

Christmas Gifts
The Christmas table is now festooned with wonderful Christmas treats from locally produced chocolates to handmade gifts and Christmas decorations.
Christmas Menu at the Coffee Shop

Come and try our seasonal soups and paninis, cakes and mince pies.

Customer Survey
Please don’t forget to fill the customer survey that has been circulated around the valley. We would really appreciate your feedback.

November News Letter


Christmas Carols at the Pub’n’Hub at 5.30pm on Friday 2nd December
This has now become an annual event, signalling the start of Christmas in the Chalke Valley. As usual, Broad Chalke School choir will start us off with some lovely singing, then the Christmas tree lights will be switched on at 6pm. The tree has again been kindly been donated by Simon Hiscock from Prescombe Farm in Ebbesbourne Wake where you can buy lovely, locally-grown Christmas trees. There will be mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies offered by the Pub and the Hub at the Queen’s Head after the carols. Bring your coats, torches and singing voices!

Christmas shopping and eating at the Hub
We will have more Christmas-related news in next month’s newsletter but don’t forget that you can do a lot of your Christmas shopping at the hub. Our Christmas table will have a wonderful array of Christmas food and gifts and we will be stocking everything from cranberry sauce to sausages. Harry Street’s delicious turkeys will again be available to order through the hub. And the coffee shop will have a special Christmas menu so keep an eye out.

Ebbesbourne Beef
Ebbesbourne Herd beef reared on Tom and Ellie Hooper’s farm has arrived in the shop. It is grass-fed and delicious. Buy local, buy fresh. Joints, steak, mince, burgers: don’t miss out!

Dry Rot
The damp proof work has now been successfully completed in the chapel/ coffee shop with minimal disruption so a big thanks to Peter Pay and Chris Rothwell for all their work on this, to the URC for ensuring all went smoothly and to our customers for your patience.

Customer Survey
Next month we are going to ask you what you think about the hub: what you like, what you think we are getting right, what you want to see more – or less of! So please look out for the survey that will soon be coming your way. We would be really grateful for as many completed forms as possible.

Christmas opening hours and postage dates
We will publish the Christmas opening times and Christmas postage dates in next month’s Broadsheet.

Heating Oil
As the weather gets colder, don’t forget to sign up to the community heating oil scheme kindly set up by Chris Rothwell. You really can make big savings: check the website for details:

October News Letter


Coffee Shop Closure & Renovation Work

Like all old buildings, the chapel sometimes needs a bit of renovation and restoration. This month we will be carrying out work to deal with a dry rot problem in the coffee shop.

The good news is that the coffee shop will be in great shape when it is finished. However, there will be some disruption while the works are being carried out, on 7th October and probably 10, 11th October as well.

It’s likely that the coffee shop will have to close for this period, but the shop will remain open. We will keep you informed about this through signs in the shop, so please keep an eye out for these. We do apologise for the inconvenience this will cause and will try to keep disruption to a minimum for our customers. Please bear with us, thank you in advance for your patience.

Thank you too for your understanding while we had to close the shop for stocktaking. It has been a success and the Hub is still going as strong as ever.

Shop Produce

This is a great time of year for home produce such as squashes and courgettes. Some of the valley’s generous gardeners have been donating theirs to the coffee shop where they make a lovely display.  Customers are welcome to take them home for a small donation towards the Hub.

Great news for beef-lovers: Tom and Ellie Hooper will soon be supplying delicious beef regularly to the shop from their farm in Ebbesbourne Wake. They will be coming to a ‘ meet your supplier’ morning in the coffee shop in October, date to be confirmed so keep an eye out for notices in the shop.

September Newsletter

Shop and Coffee Shop News

August is usually one of our quieter months because lots of people are on holiday, but this year it is looking to be a very good month.  We have had an increasing number of cyclists and walkers from further afield who plan their routes around the Hub. Cyclists make us their lunchtime stop to have lunch in the coffee shop or to buy food from the shop, and walking clubs use us as their starting point.

The Chalke Valley Community Hub is making quite a name for itself all over our part of the country, and this is only possible because of the support and hard work of our local community. Massive thanks to all our customers, staff and volunteers and to all our other supporters.

ken-leslie Last year, we missed out on Ken Leslie’s Chalke Valley calendar for 2016, but he has kindly agreed to produce a limited number of calendars for 2017.  He’s supplying them to us exclusively which means that when they’re gone, they’re gone! We’ll be selling them for £10 each.  Ellen has put an order form and copies of the featured photos on the counter in the Shop. If you would like to order, please add your name to the form before it’s too late, and don’t forget to tell us how many calendars you would like to buy!

Canvas Shopping Bags
Also, please look out for a new stock of Chalke Valley Stores canvas shopping bags and a new line – Chalke Valley Stores mugs.  Both are expected to arrive in mid-September.

The new school term is nearly upon us, so remember to look at our Back to School table in the coffee shop.  It’s a great way of reminding you of last minute things that may be needed.

During August, we have recruited two new volunteers for the coffee shop, and our recently introduced seasonal products have been well received and others are being planned.  If you would like to become part of this increasingly vibrant part of the Hub, do please come and join us!

And, finally, a date for your diaries: our financial year-end stocktaking will be on Saturday, 1st October when the Shop and Coffee Shop will be closed.   However, newspapers (but nothing else) will be available between 8.00 am and 9.00 am.


Post Office Logo    Post Office News

We’ve had a good response to last month’s plug for the Post Office’s highly convenient local services, but do please continue to use them whenever you have an opportunity.  The improved level of business must not just be sustained, but further increased if we are to retain the Post Office’s current opening hours of 9.00 am to 1.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

 And another reminder:

 Every time you need to withdraw cash – use us!

Every time you want to deposit a cheque – use us!

When you need to pay your council tax bill – use us!

When you need travel insurance or foreign currency – use us!

And please remind your friends!

August Newsletter

Shop and Coffee Shop News

We held a party at the Queen’s Head to thank all our wonderful volunteers for everything they do. More than seventy volunteers came and had delicious food, supplied by the pub. Thank you to you all.


Big congratulations to our supplier Purbeck Ice cream – it was named in The Telegraph as one of ‘Fifty Foods to try before you die!’ What better time to enjoy this delicious ice cream, produced on the Isle of Purbeck using local milk and double cream. Come and get it!


Aburtons_best_logo_cropnother fantastic product we are stocking is Chalke Valley Store Chutney, produced especially for us by Burtons Best. Perfect with barbecued meat, cheese and pretty much anything!




On the subject of barbecues, we have everything you need here from delicious Cool’s Farm and Manor Farm Meats to disposable barbecues.

Congratulations to Henry Thorne, one of our young volunteers in the Coffee Shop: he is starting an apprenticeship in Wilton. Seb Body will be taking over from him at the end of the month.

We are open all summer, as is the coffee shop, and continue to be a popular stop-off for cyclists, walkers and, most importantly, local people. However we are closed on the Bank Holiday Monday 29 August.

Later this month we will have a Back to School table in the coffee shop for all those school bag items you need to stock up on for the new term.

We’d like to wish all our customers and suppliers a wonderful holiday.


Post Office LogoPost Office news:

The Post Office is very important to this valley, but it really needs a good level of use in order to sustain it. There is a danger that, if it doesn’t get enough custom, it will no longer be able to stay open on Fridays.

It would be a real pity to reduce this fantastic service. So please:




You can do your personal banking and some business banking here

Every time you need to withdraw cash – use us!

Every time you want to deposit a cheque – use us!

When you need to pay your council tax bill – use us!

When you need travel insurance or foreign currency* – use us!

Every transaction that takes place here will count and help to keep the Post Office open, retaining the current days and hours. So please, do your bit by stopping off here rather than traipsing into town!

We are currently open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. It would be a shame to lose opening hours if there is not enough trade at the Post Office. It’s in your hands!

*There’s currently a Special offer on Post Office Travel Insurance

If you buy more than £50 of foreign currency you get 25% off travel insurance. We can set up your travel insurance then and there. This is a really great deal so do take advantage of it if you’re going on holiday.