South Newton & Stoford, Wiltshire, UK


Parish Council Meeting:

Wed 9th May 18.  Minutes


Next Meeting Wed 6th Jun 18 at 7.30pm. Agenda.

Swans WI.  June meeting report plus May walk & 5th July meeting details 

200 Club - May Winners


Valley Art; details here

St Andrew's Church - and a "Thank You" from the  Parochial Church Council


An Extract from Secretary's Report



Swans WI (formerly South Newton, Wishford & Stapleford Women's Institute)

More details on WI here 


THURSDAY, 31st MAY, 2018



This month we took more of an enjoyable leisurely stroll instead of our usual countryside ramble.


Heale House and gardens are situated in the attractive Woodford valley, the gardens having a lovely backdrop of a verdant woodland that towers above them.


We parked up and paid the entry fee of £6.00 as we entered the garden via the pretty tearoom.  Immediately outside we spotted a pretty corner of foxgloves, overhung by rambling pink shrub that nobody recognised.


It was raining lightly as we began to walk around the separate areas admiring the roses, honeysuckle, and other  herbaceous plants that deliciously perfumed the air.  In the vegetable garden everything seemed well in advance and we wondered at the remarkably slug free lettuces; indeed slugs did not seem to be a problem throughout the whole garden perhaps due to it’s organic ecosystem.  


As we looked at a marvellously old lichen covered wooden bench a little creature (mouse or shrew) hurried past to take cover under a row of hostas.   Looking up to see where a delicate perfume was coming from we were in awe of white and mauve wisterias that wound around the wooden pergolas, and which a huge number of bees were working hard to extract the sweet nectar.


A stream (the River Avon?) runs through the garden, water from the surrounding sheep grazing meadows pouring into it.  A trout darted away as we approached.  By the stream a Japanese tea house nestles under the trees but as this is a private area we were unable to take shelter from the now increasingly heavy downpours that were following us around; the only bonus being that we had the garden to ourselves so were  able to truly appreciate the peaceful traffic free atmosphere only interrupted by glorious birdsong.


Stopping in front of the house to admire its architectural features we wondered what it would be like to live in this attractive country home.


As we returned to the tea room the sun came out and shone on the delicate petals of the roses, and lit up the grasses growing alongside native flowers in the natural wild areas,  that have been allowed to flourish in several places under the variety of trees that provide a good canopy for some of the shade loving plants.


We had spent just over an hour in the garden so the pot of tea was most welcome, as were the pretty china teacups that enhanced the flavour of the brew.  A time to sit with friends, enjoy some cake and much chat before reurning home with our memories of a wet but enjoyable afternoon’s excursion.

Members from SWANS Women’s Institute recently arranged a luncheon for invited guests and VIPs at the Wiltshire Federation of Women’s Institute’s Annual Council Meeting at the City Hall.


This is the second year running they have been asked to arrange the lunch, and they were again pleased to receive many positive comments from the guests.  


SWANS WI are involved with many activities.  They meet at South Newton Village Hall every month and have members from the surrounding villages, Wilton and Salisbury. For details go to and follow the WI link.

2017 Swans WI

A warm welcome awaits any-one who would like to come along.  We welcome members from all the surrounding villages and nearby areas and if you are interesting in joining our friendly Women's Institute please contact:






Visitors are also welcome to our meetings or monthly walks.

President: Vicky Archer

Secretary: Loraine Sherlock 01722 743577

SWANS WI hosted a Three Valleys Group Meeting on October 16th in South Newton and Wishford Village Hall.  


Members from Harnham Evening, DInton, Hindon and Fonthills, and Broadchalke WIs were entertained by the Salisbury and Ringwood Scottish Dancing Group, with some members joining in the dancing.  


A competition held for the best homebaked shortbread was won by Hindon and the Fonthills, although our entry baked by Kathleen Stewart

(Photographed) looked very impressive and tasted delicious.  


Our member, Carol Marks, organised  a ‘Scottish’ themed raffle, and a delicious afternoon tea provided by our members was organised by Vicky Archer.  

SWANS WI are 90


SWANS WI recently pulled out all the stops to celebrate their 90th anniversary.  


The celebrations at South Newton village hall began with a warm welcome of a champagne reception for members and invited guests, and a chance to look at a display of memorabilia cataloguing their past activities as South Newton, Wishford and Stapleford WI to the present day under their new name of SWANS.  After a rousing rendition of Jerusalem, a delicious two course lunch was served prepared and cooked by the committee, followed by coffee and an amazing selection of petit fours baked by members Venice, Diane and Margaret. Next on the Programme was the unveiling of a new tablecloth designed and stitched by the Creative group under the direction of Lin, and the draw for a Denman scholarship that was won by their secretary, Loraine.


Guests were then entertained to a comical stage performance, that had been written by two committee members, Pamela and Carol, entitled ‘A very special meeting of the Old Birds WI’ that was performed by all the committee with much hilarity.


A special birthday cake baked by Vicky and beautifully decorated by Phillipa was cut and enjoyed with a welcome cup of tea, during which time a grand raffle took place with a variety of prizes generously donated by local businesses.


The day ended with the National Anthem before guests departed clutching special 90th birthday balloons, having enjoyed and shared this special time with SWANS WI.



At the start of our June Meeting, Vicky our President had the task of requesting a minutes silence to remember Maria Long who has sadly  died.   She was a member who had a kind and cheerful word for all and will be greatly missed.

There was much business to report, especially from our Treasurer, Anne, who has been doing a great deal of work on our behalf recently.   Sue gave an interesting report on the Annual Federation Meeting at Cardiff which she kindly attended on our behalf.


With everything in our gardens blooming beautifully for June, it was appropriate that this months Speaker, Maureen Hinton, talked to us about "Pots, Plants and Patios".   My goodness, what a lot of helpful hints, tips and advice she gave us, whilst creating beautiful floral displays in a variety of shapes and containers - mesmerizing!


All of our "special interest" groups are active, from our talented scrabble players to our Creative gathering and Walking  group who, last month, spent a really enjoyable afternoon (despite getting soaked) at Heale House Gardens.

We are entering a team in Quizzical Pursuits  later in the month - good luck girls!   Several members will be attending a Summer Garden Party soon and a visit has been arranged to the Poppy Wave in Portsmouth.


Diane took some photographs of us to send to our Australian Link  (hope they aren't put off!).   She has just sent them an interesting email, with all our news, and we look forward to their reply.


We rounded off the afternoon with raffle prizes, competition results, tea, cake and chat - what's not to like?!


If you are interested in coming along to a meeting, please ring Loraine on 01722 743577.   We meet on the first Thursday of the month 2.00p.m. at South Newton Village Hall.   Our next Speaker will tell us all about Lebanese cookery, with some new ideas for something different for supper perhaps.

SWANS WI 90th Celebrations

Picture from the May walk:

A collage of the 90th Anniversary

(Click on photo to enlarge)