Marlborough Area Board Latest Report


Marlborough Area Board Latest Report

Report from Froxfield representative attending the bi-monthly Marlborough Area Board meeting
The Marlborough Area Board meeting, held on 23rd January,
Report by Claire Costello, The College, Froxfield.

The most recent Marlborough Area Board meeting stepped back in time!

The Mayor was invited to give a presentation on behalf of the Marlborough History Society, which was established over twelve years ago, and meets on the third Thursday evening, from September to May, at St. Peter's Church. The presentation included details of the 7th Wiltshire battalion in the First World War. Marlborough’s role in the English Civil War and the impact of the Great Fire of 1653, “which apparently started around 7 am in a tanner's yard and spread quickly since at that time most buildings in the town had thatched roofs. The prevailing wind spread the fire and within three or four hours the Guildhall, St Mary’s Church and the County Armoury, together with 224 dwellings, inns, shops and taverns, were destroyed.” One can only imagine the heartbreak and hardship that ensued. The destruction has been described as nearly total. The town had lived through turbulent times and Oliver Cromwell, grateful to the townspeople for their support in the civil war, ordered a national collection to enable the inhabitants to rebuild.
For more information and to view upcoming talks and guest speakers visit

Clyde Nancarrow gave a presentation on the Merchant’s House in Marlborough’s High Street, once the home of Thomas Bayly, and was built following the Great Fire. “Over the years 1653 to 1700 a fine timber and brick building was constructed, its interior rich with wall paintings, panelling and a commanding oak staircase. A substantial amount of the fabric survives and previously hidden painted decoration is still being revealed. Thomas Bayly was a prosperous silk mercer whose lifestyle is reflected in the elegant rooms. Apparently, the typical Puritan 'middling' household was not so dour, and enjoyed music, alcohol and bright, cheerful clothes and surroundings, although religion was a central and guiding influence on all.” In times that are more recent the building had been bought by the Town Council and survives on a peppercorn rent. The Chairman Cllr. James Sheppard thanked the guest speakers and encouraged attendees to visit the Merchant’s House. For opening times - or telephone 01672-511491/01672-511690

And then it was back to the present. Andrew Jack presented details of recent projects to address the community priorities. These included support from MAPAG for deprived families to access facilities at the leisure centre; funding granted to support a mobile youth club; drop-in sessions at Marlborough Library for those with dementia and their carers, and finally, funding from MADT to buy specialist computers to develop coding and digital skills. The Great British Spring Clean, will take place on the weekend of 2nd to 4th March, although picking up is not confined to one weekend! Over the last two years, communities across Wiltshire have participated in the litter picks and more than 30 tonnes of litter has been collected. Join in, form a group, choose an area, bin bags and gloves at the ready and thank you for helping your community. For more info. – email

There were updates from the MAB Partners. A video from the Police and Crime Commissioner on his 18/19 precept proposals was shown. Wiltshire Police reminded those present not to leave any valuables in parked vehicles. For more information -

Recruitment Campaign - Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue has now started a process of whole time recruitment. This began in November and is still ongoing. The Community area has a dedicated Fire Service ‘Safe and Well’ advisor who can visit people, within their own homes, advising on home safety and wellbeing. A Safe and Well visit is FREE and normally last about one hour. For more information on our Fire and Rescue Service

Milly Carmichael, Transition Marlborough update - the group was launching a Repair Café at the beginning of March and would be running film nights at the community centre. TM was also working to promote biodiversity amongst flying insects, particularly bees, to increase the population of pollinators; details of recent studies were provided. Following questions from councillors, it was confirmed the group would be in touch with the National Farmers Union via the Space for Nature project, additionally, a page on how residents could support the bee population would be available on the Transition Marlborough website.

Other news – the Town Council had started a tourism Working Party, an anti-dog fouling campaign and the council had some funding left in its grant pot to give to community groups, and the Area Board considered three grant applications.

There was a lot more, but this is just a flavour of the last meeting. The full minutes can be found at The next meeting of the Marlborough Area Board - 13 March, at 7 pm.