Wiltshire communities pull together to beat snow

The Colerne community cafe open for business today

The Colerne community cafe open for business today

First published in Wiltshire

Villages across Wiltshire came into their own today as they served residents who were stranded by the snow.


Despite living in one of the more isolated villages in Wiltshire, residents of Colerne have pulled together today to make the best of the snow.


The so-called ‘village on the hill’ received 10cm of snow overnight, leaving many residents unable to get to school or work.

However, neighbours have banded together to deal with the snow, clearing roads and driveways.

Village resident Phil Chamberlain said: “We don’t expect to get the council up this far to clear the snow, but we’ve got a local farmer who’s had his snow plough out clearing the roads for us.

“I think Colerne originally meant ‘cold hill’, and it’s definitely been living up to that reputation today. Some of the children haven’t been able to make it into schools in Corsham and I know of one boy who made arrangements to stay over with a friend in Bath so he could still make it in.

“Lots of people have been out sledging on the hill, and there’s been a really nice atmosphere, with everyone just out enjoying themselves.”

At the heart of the village is the Colerne Cafe, which has remained open all day serving hot food and warm drinks to those stranded.

Natalie Pike is one of the owners of the cafe. She said: “It’s been absolutely manic today, one of our busiest days ever.  Everyone who has been sledging on the hill has been coming in to make use of the radiators.

“As there’s no passing trade we’re just here for the villagers two days a week and we’ve already run out of sausage, bacon and eggs.

“It’s been lovely, really busy, just what we wanted when we set it up.”

The Galleries Shop and Cafe in Freshford also saw an increase in trade as children tobogganed in the field next door.

Duty manager Charles Malir said: “It has been three times busier because everyone is off school. The children have been coming in and out and we have been serving produce to residents whose cars are snowed in.

“We are stocking up our produce by hook or by crook and are sending people out in 4x4s.”

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