Broad Chalke in the Ebble (or Chalke) Valley has a tremendous community spirit recognised by a visit from Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Sarah Rose Troughton.

Residents have rebuilt their village hall; built a new primary school and sports centre, and bought their village pub. They have also organised the conversion of their village chapel into an award-winning Community Hub incorporating stores, post office and coffee shop but retaining chapel services. They have also created a causeway path and village green; and are developing a community housing project to meet local needs and keep the village thriving into the next generation.

Photos ©2020 John E Fry

Local resident Ashley Truluck CB CBE, chairman of Wiltshire Community Foundation who became High Sheriff of Wiltshire earlier this year, invited Mrs Troughton to join him in celebrating the village’s community spirit – exemplified during the recent pandemic.

The visit began at the Chalke Valley Community Hub which won the award for Best Village Shop in UK when it was founded in 2013.

Hub Chairman Derek Brown and Shop Manager Tony Patel welcome the Lord Lieutenant to the Hub, which also acted as the hub for community support work during Covid lockdown.

Photos ©2020 John E Fry

At the village pub – The Queen’s Head – recently bought out by local residents and now thriving despite Covid restrictions, the visitors met The Queen’s Head pub manager and chef.

Mrs Troughton talked to residents who formed the local Covid Community Support Group, headed up by Nicki Tinkler OBE,

and visited the site designated by villagers for Community Housing:

The Lord Lieutenant said she found the visit inspirational– and villagers agreed it was a great morale-booster for Broad Chalke after a difficult six months of Covid restrictions.