Letter to Members - March 2020

Dear Downton Society member,

Three weeks ago, I was drafting a Spring Newsletter which stated that, because of Coronavirus, we were having to postpone some of our activities for “a couple of months” (notably the AGM in May and April’s Moviola). We are now faced with a much longer shut down period, and there will be no surprises on the action we have to take.

To say that we are living in unprecedented times is almost an understatement – and if, like me, you were looking forward to a summer filled with visits to friends and family, to high days and holidays or just gentle strolls down to the pub or local garden centre, you may be feeling a bit downhearted. The depressing tone of the daily news doesn’t help. But we may take heart from things that are happening locally - village community groups are springing up, local shops and pubs are offering home delivery services and neighbours are looking out for each other.

The InBloom team also sees this period as a potential opportunity. During the shut down, we are likely to spend more time in our gardens or allotments – perhaps getting down to those tasks we have been meaning to do for ages: cleaning, tidying, planting, being creative. If possible, the Society may run a front garden competition later in the summer and individual members may be able to plant up tubs on the Greens (new ones having been approved by the Parish Council). Rather a lot of “maybe’s” at this stage, but our hope is that the village can be made to look attractive during the summer and autumn. And that this will help to lighten our spirits.

There is not a great deal of practical assistance the Downton Society can offer, although we are engaging, as far as possible, in community assistance networking and will post updates on this website. We are all following government guidance - for up to date details see www.gov.uk/Coronavirus and, for more local information, www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-Coronavirus

Your committee will also keep themselves informed about what is going on in our community and are happy to act as a focus point for members. Please do not hesitate to contact me, Susan or Claire - even if all you need is a chat during these days of home isolation. Our contact details are on the Committee page.

We all hope that you and your families and friends will keep safe and well

With warm regards
Nikki Wilson
(Downton Society Chair)