Villages Article Count: 1
Chilton Foliat Article Count: 1
News from Chilton Foliat
Chilton Foliat and Littlecote
Minal, Rabley and Axford Article Count: 1
News from Minal (Mildenhall), Rabley and Axford
Villages along the East Kennet Valley comprising Minal, Rabley and Axford
Oare and Wilcot Article Count: 1
News from The West Kennet Valley
Comprising Clatford, Fyfield, Lockeridge, West Overton and East Kennett
The Ogbournes Article Count: 1
Ogbourne St George, Ogbourne St Andrew and Ogbourne Maizey
West Kennet Valley Article Count: 2
News from the West Kennet Valley
Villages along the West Kennet Valley comprising Clatford, Fyfield, Lockeridge, West Overton and East Kennett
Baydon Article Count: 1
Features Article Count: 319
Dr Nick in Calais Article Count: 8
Dr Nick in Calais
In May of this year (2016) Dr Nick Maurice worked for ten days in and around the Calais 'Jungle' - primarily as a medical volunteer. But as he explained in his diary entries written for Marlborough.News, there was a lot of other work that needed to be done.
At the end of September he returned........
Marlborough People Today Article Count: 10
Features - Arts & Entertainment Article Count: 239
Features - Arts & Entertainment - Reviews Article Count: 94
Jazz Festival Article Count: 2
Marlborough's International Jazz Festival has been a major event in the town's life for more than thirty years.
When Nick Fogg became Mayor of Marlborough (for the first time) in 1985 he made a promise to the town to set up a festival which would culturally enhance and do justice to this historic market town that earned its Royal Charter in 1204.
From its inception as the Marlborough Music & Arts Festival, and later as the Marlborough International Jazz Festival, this great event has owed its development to the generosity of sponsors both near and far, as well as to the hard work and committment of generations of volunteers and keen supporters.
The inaugral Jazz Festival was held in July 1986 and since then has developed to become internationally famous with artists attracted to play in Marlborough from all parts of the world.
LitFest Article Count: 4
2019 Article Count: 7
'The Salt Path' Competition Article Count: 2
Below are a selection of entries to 'The Salt Path' competition
Respondents were asked to write a short piece of about 300 words (maximum 400 words) on one of the following topics:
Who was your favourite visiting author of the past nine LitFests - please describe why she or he meant so much to you.
Why do you think that LitFest it has become such a popular part of Marlborough's calendar?
A free copy of 'The Salt Path' will be sent to the first twenty contributors
2018 Article Count: 26
2017 Article Count: 18
2016 Article Count: 11
2014 Article Count: 14
2015 Article Count: 10
2013 Article Count: 11
Features - Environment Article Count: 37
Features - History Article Count: 26
Features - Gardens & Gardening Article Count: 8
Features - Clubs & Societies Article Count: 12
Features - Health & NHS Article Count: 110
Marlborough Puppetry Festival Article Count: 4
Marlborough Celebrates 70 Years of Pelham Puppets
The Marlborough Puppet Festival to be held on July 8 and 9 will mark the seventieth anniversary of the start of Pelham Puppets. (put in link to Tony’s article on March 17 2017 and to https://www.britishpuppetguild.org.uk/index.php/2017/01/20/marlborough-puppetry-festival/)
Marlborough.news has been finding out more from the people who knew Bob Pelham, founder of Pelham Puppets, and from those who worked in the Pelham Puppet factory.
Bob Pelham and Pelham Puppets are fondly remembered by Tony Gray. Tony was owner of Ducks Toy Shop, Marlborough from 1965 to 2008, a former Marlborough mayor and town councillor. He has recently been presented with a life-time achievement award by Marlborough town council.
Tony told marlborough.news: “ Initially Bob Pelham had his own shop in Kingsbury Street and in the post war period used a lot of ex-army materials, convoluted tubes from gas masks, as well as wooden coconut balls. As the business expanded to the factory down by the Kennet, off London Road, Pelham Puppets became a huge employer in the town with wonderful esprit de corps among the workers.”
Tony shared his memories of Bob Pelham who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1980.
“Bob Pelham was a very shy man. He seemed to communicate through his puppets. He would come to the shop on a Saturday morning with new puppet designs and walk up to kids with the puppets. The kids would talk to the puppet and not to him.”
Ducks Toy shop became one of the main retailers for the puppets, along with Hamleys in London and Schwarz in New York.
‘We used to go down to the factory to pick up the puppets and this gave us the pick of the bunch. At Christmas we would have a special animated (motorised) Pelham Puppet display in the window of Ducks.”
When Tony became Mayor of Marlborough in 1971 he invited local businesses to a trade fair and asked them to mount a display. Bob Pelham created an eight foot Bimbo the Clown puppet especially for this event. ( See photograph of Tony and his wife with Bimbo the Clown.)
The puppets were always successful, especially with American tourists visiting Marlborough. Some of the best-selling puppets in Ducks included Muffin the Mule, Mcboozle, and in 1966, World Cup Willy. In the 60’s and 70’s The Magic Roundabout characters were very popular, particularly Dougal the dog.
Bob Pelham was meticulous in sourcing exactly the right materials for his puppets. He went to Iceland to buy Icelandic sheepskin for his Dougal puppets because he believed that Icelandic sheepskin had just the right texture for Dougal’s coat.
Wessex Archaeologist Phil Harding, well known for Channel 4’s Time Team and BBC’s Digging for Britain, has many happy memories of his first full time job – at Pelham Puppets.
Phil went to work there from 1970-71 after leaving Marlborough Grammar School where a fellow student, Bob Pelham’s niece, recommended him for the job.
He told marlborough.news:“It was my first real job. I knew I wanted to be an archaeologist but I hadn’t got the A-levels, I was resitting them. The job at Pelham Puppets was ideal as the hours were flexible and the atmosphere relaxed.”
Phil remembers his first day there vividly. He printed faces on to wooden heads that were destined to become puppets. Very soon he was promoted and spent most of his time building ventriloquist puppets. “I had to fit the jaws, make the handles, spray the heads. The whole process probably broke today’s Health and Safety standards. I was given a face mask and a daily pint of milk to line my stomach to protect against paint fumes.”
“Bob Pelham,” says Phil, “was obsessive about puppets – they were his whole life. He was always very friendly and relaxed. He once decided to introduce a clocking in machine at the factory which didn’t go down very well as most of the workers were women who were working flexible hours because of home commitments. In the end the machine wasn’t used because Bob said it didn’t matter.”
Many of the workers in the Pelham Puppet factory had worked there since the factory was founded in 1947. Phil remembers Old Siddy who had lost a leg in the Battle of Anzio, in the Italian campaign of World War 2. Old Siddy was responsible for building Number 1 puppets which were the 8 foot Bimbo the Clown puppets, suspended on big springs. These were sold to Hamleys toy shop every Christmas.
Another ‘old hand’ Phil remembers was Handel Collins, named after George Frederick Handel. “He had been a publican and a pattern maker for Great Western Railway and was very skilled. He had a work box with his own tools and pictures of locomotives. You never went near his box !”
Handel Collins was retired but was employed by Bob Pelham part time and Phil worked alongside him.
It was while he was at Pelham Puppets that Phil’s chance to become an archaeologist was given to him. He had taken a two week holiday to participate in a dig at Ludgershall Castle. While he was there, the trench supervisor, Mike Adey, asked him to go and dig with him at Southampton. “He told me, you’ll give up your job and come and dig with me.”
Despite some parental misgivings, Phil took him up on the offer and the first step towards a career in archaeology was taken.
“I have very fond memories of Pelham Puppets,” says Phil, “it was a crucial time in my life.”
Public Notices Article Count: 1
Armistice Article Count: 22
Sport Article Count: 11
Sport - General Article Count: 12
Sport - Athletics Article Count: 4
Sport - Basketball Article Count: 3
Sport - Boxing Article Count: 3
Sport - Bowls Article Count: 1
Sport - Cricket Article Count: 13
Sport - Cycling Article Count: 10
Sport - Football Article Count: 56
Sport - Golf Article Count: 32
Sport - Hockey Article Count: 208
Sport - Karate Article Count: 1
Sport - Motorsports Article Count: 0
Sport - Netball Article Count: 5
Sport - Polo Article Count: 1
Sport - Racing Article Count: 3
Sport - Rowing Article Count: 1
Sport - Rugby Article Count: 7
Marlborough RFC - 2018-9 Season Article Count: 33
Marlborough RFC - 2017-8 Season Article Count: 4
Marlborough RFC - 2016-7 Season Article Count: 18
Marlborough RFC - 2016-7 Season:
Marlborough RFC - 2015-6 season Article Count: 12
Marlborough RFC - 2014/5 Season Article Count: 10
Marlborough RFC - 2013/4 Season Article Count: 2
Sport - Running Article Count: 3
Sport - Shooting Article Count: 3
Sport - Swimming Article Count: 1
Sport - Tennis Article Count: 11
Business Article Count: 270
Reader's letters Article Count: 418
Letters are published at the editors' discretion and may be shortened if considered necessary.
Details of identity – a home or business address - is required, though not necessarily for full publication.
Preferred length is no more than 400 words.
About Us Article Count: 6
News In Brief Article Count: 1207
Schools & Education Article Count: 95
Visiting Marlborough Article Count: 5
Jobs Article Count: 22
Welcome to the marlborough.news jobs section
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Advertising a job costs £25.00 and will stay 'live' for up to FOUR weeks.
marlborough.news regularly attracts well in excess of 20,000 different visitors every MONTH, with the majority of the traffic coming from the Marlborough and surrounding area, which includes Pewsey, Hungerford, Devizes, Calne and Swindon as it's core towns so where better to promote a vacancy.
Job seekers searching for jobs in these areas will likely be directed to here, as entering the name of the town, then '.news' (e.g. swindon.news) will automatically arrive at marlborough.news
The content of job advertisements are subject to the approval of marlborough.news ltd. Marlborough.news ltd reserves the right to accept or decline to publish a job advertisement. Marlborough.news ltd reserves the right to remove, reject or cancel any advertisement uploaded or posted to the website. Marlborough.news ltd gives no warranties, express or implied as to the accuracy of any job advertisement and accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions relating to the details of the job advertisement.
Columnists Article Count: 1
Columnists - Claire Perry MP Article Count: 2
Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Conservative Member of Parliament for the Devizes constituency
Columnists - Andrew Studdert-Kennedy Article Count: 31
|Rev Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy, Rector of Marlborough’s Anglican Team|
Columnists - Michael Cope Article Count: 4
Michael Cope started teaching in 1974 at Marlborough Secondary Modern school, which merged with Marlborough Grammar school in 1975 to form St. John's Comprehensive. He taught English across the age and ability range, becoming Deputy Director of the English Department, before retiring in 2005. He has since maintained contact with the school - supporting Pupil Premium students.
Columnists - Nick Maurice Article Count: 18
Nick Maurice was for 25 years a GP in Marlborough the sixth generation of his family to practice as a doctor in the town. Before arriving back in Marlborough, he spent years working as a volunteer teacher in Togo, a medical assistant in Papua New Guinea, a doctor in Nepal and a nutritionist in Oxfam’s emergency team in Cambodia in 1980 after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime. Following the publication in 1980 of the Brandt Report “North South – A Programme for Survival”, he set up with others the Marlborough Brandt Group and the link between Marlborough and the Muslim community of Gunjur in The Gambia. www.mbg.org
Columnists - David Chandler Article Count: 7
David Chandler was born in Marlborough and started his working life in the family saddlery business of Fredk J Chandler. He was the seventh generation of his family to be a saddler. He had a career change in his 40’s and taught in schools in England and finally in Swaziland. He retired to Marlborough twelve years ago. He was one of the last Mayors of the former Borough of Marlborough in 1971. The Borough was absorbed by Kennet District in 1974 and Marlborough became a ‘Town’
Columnists - Robin Nelson Article Count: 6
Robin Nelson lives in Avebury. He is a former Head of Music at Marlborough College, currently Musical Director of the Swindon Choral Society, a composer and renowned as an ornithologist. For Marlborough News Online he begins a series of articles on his career in music. His story starts in a distant corner of the 'blackboard jungle'
Columnists - Wordsmith Article Count: 20
Columnists - Nick Fogg Article Count: 2
Nick Fogg, recently re-elected County Councillor for Marlborough West, two-time mayor of Marlborough and impressario of Marlborough's International Jazz Festiva
Columnists - Peter Noble Article Count: 1
|Peter Noble, He has travelled and lectured widely and been involved with many Marlborough groups - especially the University of the Third Age|
Columnists - Molly Scott Cato Article Count: 3
Molly Scott Cato, MEP for the South West representing the Green Party
Columnists - Dave Waltham Article Count: 11
Professor Dave Waltham, geophysicist & Marlborough resident
Tourism Article Count: 3
advertising Article Count: 1
Election Special - Candidate Lists Article Count: 3
Website Housekeeping Article Count: 4
Election Special 2015 Article Count: 12
Marlborough in Bloom Article Count: 11
Welcome to Marlborough in Bloom 2015
Following last year’s unexpected success in the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition, Marlborough will again be entering using all the experience gained first time round to become a stronger and more rounded entry and aiming for a ‘Gold’ award as well as turning Marlborough into a better place to live.
‘Britain in Bloom’ is intended as an enjoyable, positive experience which aims to bring the community together in a celebration of the places where we live. The competition has significant benefits for businesses as well as residents and visitors. In fact, areas with successful ‘In Bloom’ initiatives often bring increased revenue to the area, as well as higher footfall, reduced vacancy rates and tangible commercial advantages.
As a nation, Britain has long had a love of horticulture and floral landscapes, from individual gardens to allotments and town centre displays. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than through the dedicated efforts of the thousands of volunteers who take part in the annual Britain in Bloom competition, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.
|Latest displays around the Town|
|Click to view some of the beautiful displays set out in many parts of Marlborough|
Run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) since 2001, the nationwide competition has gone from strength to strength, involving 200,000 volunteers across the UK. Complementing the ‘In Bloom’ competition is the ‘It's Your Neighbourhood’ (IYN) scheme which aims to support small volunteer-led community groups. Marlborough in Bloom has three IYN entries, all dedicated to create long term environmental improvement with involvement from as wide a section of the community as possible: The Victorian Cemetery on Marlborough Downs, Stonebridge Wild River Reserve and Manton Village.
Judging Day for Marlborough in Bloom is set for July 14th (see map of judges route above - click to enlarge) when Marlborough will be judged on three main criteria:
HORTICULTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: The colour scheme for 2015 is citrus flowers; the Chamber of Commerce is arranging for their members to display and maintain citrus themed hanging baskets along the judging route. Gardens in River Park and Marlborough College gardens will be assessed for good practice in cultivation and maintenance and the parks and open spaces around the town will be groomed to perfection by Marlborough's devoted Grounds and Estate Management Team.
ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: This looks at how well the community as a whole has been involved, as well as the media coverage generated and overall public awareness. The litter-picking days are very popular because Marlborough's citizens are proud of their town and cleaner, greener streets make for a more cohesive community.
COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION: This is where the fun begins! For the children, there's worm charming in Priory Gardens and an RHS Childrens Painting Competition with all the entries on display in the Town Hall.
We shall also be introducing our ‘Citrus’ theme inside the shops (watch this space!) on the High Street and bands of volunteer litter-pickers will be out on the first Monday of every month keeping the streets clean. On Judging Day, Faux Arts is organizing a street-painting event in the Parade.
All your efforts will be welcomed, the more of us that become involved, the stronger the entry and we all end up with a better place to live. And maybe a ‘Gold’ award at the end. Hold on to your hats - Marlborough in Bloom is going for Gold in 2015.
Below are a selection of pics taken by Marlborough in Bloom's photographer, Eric Gilbert, capturing the beauty of Marlborough across the period from last year's event to the early plantings for this year's entry. Click any pic to enlarge