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Marlborough Food Assembly

Sam Bertram

7 June 2017

We’re setting up a Food Assembly in Marlborough to put local consumers in touch with local food. We do need at least 150 members before we can launch, so please sign up so you can shop at the assembly. We’d love you to join us in supporting our local foodies and help you discover some amazing food right on your doorstep. So, what is a Food Assembly? In a nutshell as a Food Asssembly member you can shop local produce online and go to the same venue every week to meet the producers and pick up your pre-ordered local produce. We’re going to be holding the Marlborough Food Assembly at The Rugby Club on Thursdays from 4.00pm to 6.00pm. We’re hoping to have some other fun things going on at the food assembly like talks from some of our producers and cooking demonstrations from local pubs. We’ve got some other fabulous non-food unique independent Wiltshire businesses on www.localuncovered.com too so we’re also looking at fun ways to include them. So why should you join? 1. It’s a convenient way to shop as you can plan your food in advance, and a quick, easy stop to pick it up. That’s why we love the rugby club as a venue as it’s easy for parking but also convenient to the centre of town. 2. If you’re interested in the quality of food and its provenance then the Food Assembly is for you. We’re talking to local producers to get them on board and are hoping to have produce come from no more than 25 miles away – even more local if possible. You’ll get to chat to producers about the food you’re eating and know more about the food you eat. 3. People say the problem with the modern world is the loss of our communities. Community is at the heart of The Food Assembly connecting neighbours to farmers and neighbours to each other. We’re hoping the assemblies themselves will be an event you look forward to. 4. Reducing waste is key as farmers and food makers know exactly how much to deliver in advance and food miles are decreased. 5. You’re supporting your local economy. Did you know for every £1 spent locally, 90p stays in the local economy? That’s got to be good for the place you live and call home.   What are you waiting for? Sign-up and to become a member and help us build the best Food Assemblies out there. You can do it Marlborough! Launch date tbc. Marlborough - https://thefoodassembly.com/en/assemblies/10229    

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Wiltshire Handmade Furniture

Sam Bertram

12 August 2016

With so much mass produced furniture on the market there’s nothing better than having some handmade wooden furniture in your home. We spoke to Bill Hazelwood at Wiltshire Timbercrafts to find out more about what he does. Tell us about the wood you use to make furniture ‘I mainly use oak and burr oak but have just taken delivery of two lovely Elm butts.  I can also get Ash which is slivery white on the outside and dark towards the middle but people don’t like Ash furniture anymore. These days it’s tricky to get Elm which has a beautiful grain. Unfortunately most Elms were killed off by disease and what little you can get is from Scotland and quite rotted.  Elm used to be about 3/4s of what I did and was very dry and stable. I do have some walnut that I love working with but there’s not much demand for it as it is so dark so I work with it for my own satisfaction only. I get all my timber from Studley Sawmills between Chippenham and Calne so it’s all local and I can get it all year round. It’s a long term project buying wood as after buying it you need to lay it down for a year before kilning.  So I have lots of wood in stock.’ What are your most popular items? ‘The most popular items I make are coffee tables and nests of tables and I’ve recently sold a lot of my mini chests which people use for storage cabinets or storing things like jewellery etc. I have one on my desk at home which is full of my papers.  However I also do cabinets, chest of drawers and tables etc to order.’ What do you love about woodwork? ‘I get a big kick out of converting a rough piece of timber into something that looks beautiful. It gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction so I’m lucky to have a business that I love.  I’ve been making wooden furniture for 50 years although only 31 years of that has been fulltime. Finish is important and that takes almost as long as constructing the item in the first place.  It’s important to have a soft looking finish. It’s not as enjoyable as constructing the item itself but it’s obviously a really important part of the process. I mainly use a water based acrylic from Fiddes in Cardiff.’ How have things changed? ‘Afrormosia and Parana Pine used to be very popular but became banned timbers because of the dereliction of forest from which they were poached. I’ve still got an Afrormosia chopping board. The sort of timbers you can use have changed really dramatically.  I was lucky to get hold of some spalted hornbeam the other day.  Tastes have really changed though – I used to do curvier designs but now people prefer things straighter and more angular and light wood rather than dark. It’s the Ikea effect!’ Where can people find you? ‘I have some of the items on my website but you can always ring up and visit me in my workshop. I also go to a lot of fairs throughout the summer. I’ll be at Stonar Park near Henley over the August Bank holiday weekend, Penshurst place in Kent on 9th to 11th and Hyde End near Great Missenden in 7th to 9th October. It’s still a way off but I’m also doing a Christmas show at Wield & Downland Open Air museum near Chichester which is a lovely venue. I can do commissions but also have lots in stock ready for purchase. Even better it’s all local UK wood and made by fair hand in Wiltshire. Come and visit.’ www.wiltshiretimbercraft.co.uk  

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Small Business Saturday winner

Sam Bertram

17 December 2015

We've got a winner for the prize draw we ran with Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership on Small Business Saturday  - a national initiative to promote small businesses across the UK and encourage the public to spend locally.  Ray Spreadbury shopped at Marr Green Farm Shop on 5th December and is the lucky winner of a two course meal for 4 including a house bottle of wine at The Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn. Congratulations Ray!  Here's the pic of James and Ashley Wilsey from The Three Tuns drawing his name out the bag! We'd like to say a big thank you to all the lovely local shoppers and local businesses who took part. We have a best local shopper too - Libby Strutt shopped at 6 different businesses on Small Business Saturday. We salute you! With every £1 spent with a small business 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.  Shopping locally helps boost your local economy & keep the place you live the way you like it. Here's a reminder of the fabulous local businesses that participated on the day - please keep supporting them.   - Ambience Interiors - 1 Market Place, Pewsey, SN9 5AA - The Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn - 1 High Street, Great Bedwyn, SN8 3NU - Sticks and Stones - Unit 3, Nursery Farm, Woodborough Garden Centre, Pewsey, SN9 5PF - Rushall Manor B&B and wedding venue - Rushall, nr Pewsey, SN9 6EG - they are also offering one night half price if you book for 2 nights - My Flower Patch - 2 Alexander Fields, Upavon, Pewsey, SN9 6NB  - Indigo Antiques - Dairy Barn, Manningford Bruce, Pewsey, SN9 6JW  - No 10 B&B, Farm Lane, Great Bedwyn, SN8 3LU - they are also offering 2 nights accommodation for the price of one on Small Business Saturday weekend - Marr Green Farm Shop - Collingbourne Road, Burbage, SN8 3RT - The Applecart cafe - 14 High Street, Pewsey - Fioriblu - Avebury - shop online or visit them at The Pinewood Christmas Fair on 5th December - Pewsey Gallery - High Street, Pewsey  - Gastro Nicks - shop online or visit them at Unit 4, Garlands Estate, Cadley Road, Collingbourne Ducis, SN8 3EB - Charlton Manor self catering cottage or campsite, Charlton St Peter, SN9 6EU - Woodborough Garden Centre - Nursery Farm, Woodborough, Pewsey, SN9 5PF - Around The World - 27-29 North Street, Pewsey, SN9 5ES - YourCMO - 15 Wexcombe, SN8 3SQ - Crystal Clear - 8 High Street, Pewsey, SN9 5AQ - The Village Store - 11 High Street, Upavon - Digger & Mojo - Unit 9, Salisbury Road Business Park, SN9 5PZ - China Rose - 7a, High Street, Pewsey, SN9 5AF - Pewsey Velo - 12 High Street, Pewsey, SN9 5AQ - S J Hussey Opticians - 2 Old Ford Court, High Street, Pewsey, SN9 5AQ    

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Gift 35 - Pampering products

Sam Bertram

27 November 2015

We're giving a gift idea a day through October and November. See what Wiltshire has to offer for Christmas shopping and shop local this year. Haney's Holistic Therapies in Pewsey has their own range of gorgeous natural products - rattan reed diffusers, facial serums & essential oil candles. Beautifully fragranced & handmade in Wiltshire they make a fabulous gift.  New for Christmas is their festive spice candle and spiced Rhubarb candle - perfect for bringing festive cheer into your home. As well as scents & pampering products a gift voucher for one of Carol's fabulous holistic treatments will go down a treat... While their shiny new website is being prepared you can order from Carol by email or phone or pick up her products at Mipo in the Old Potato Yard, at Dauntsey's fair this Saturday or Preshute School fair on Saturday 5th December.  Spoil yourself or someone else this Christmas.

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