News and events

Singing the praises of Salisbury in spring

06 April 2018

​Over recent weeks the eyes of the world have been focused on Salisbury, as it finds itself at the centre of an international incident, with a former Russian spy and his daughter being mysteriously poisoned by a nerve agent.

Adoring bold, bad and beautiful Diana Dors

06 April 2018

WHEN SWINDON Siren Diana Dors was young she would close her eyes and dream of owning a mansion, a swimming pool and a beige telephone. She was to grow up a superstar who had all those things, becoming the youngest person to own a Rolls-Royce. ‘Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe’ died young at the age of 52 and perhaps never reached her full potential, but she left behind some valuable films, and warm sentiments among her legion of fans. One of those is artist Anna Mazzotta. The two women are inextricably linked as we will find out.

Wherever did you get that hat? Do tell!

06 April 2018

​A framed photograph of a demure Catherine Middleton wearing a beautiful and barely there feathered headpiece hangs in the Wiltshire showroom of milliner Vivien Sheriff. It was taken during Kate’s first official engagement in Anglesey in February 2011, before her marriage to Prince William. Despite a fierce wind on an incredibly grey day, the headpiece, fixed by an invisible comb, didn’t move an inch and proved the perfect complement to a cream tailored military-style coat by Katherine Hooker.

A street named Elsie Knocker Grove

06 April 2018

​I realise that I come from a very sheltered background, but to me a knocker was always a thing on your front door. How was I to know that it’s a rude word in several contexts? It came about when Marlborough Town Council was asked to suggest names for the roads on a new estate. A colleague came up with the splendid suggestion that, in the centenary year of the ending of the First World War, it would be appropriate to name them after people who returned, as against those who never did, whose names are on the war memorial.

Wiltshire Life Homes and Gardens supplement

06 April 2018

​Wiltshire Life's Homes and Gardens supplement focuses on restoration and regeneration, whether that be turning a historic but water-ravaged wreck into the beautiful B&B, Prince Hill House, once a meeting place for Churchill and Eisenhower, or successfully negotiating the process of a grand residential building project.

Salisbury's inspirational dancing hares

05 February 2018

For hundreds of years, the legend of the Salisbury dancing hare captivated people in south Wiltshire. To see a hare dancing under a full moon was said to bring good fortune for the rest of your life. Salisbury’s dancing hare folklore was to inspire local artist Julieann Worrall Hood when more than two years ago she won a sculpture commission for the St Peter’s Place housing development being built by Persimmon Homes on the outskirts of the city.

Wiltshire women's fight for the right to vote

05 February 2018

In 1866, out of more than 1,500 signatures which made up the first mass women’s suffrage petition to be presented to Parliament, only three had been placed there by women from Wiltshire. Beyond the fact that two of these were teachers from Corsham we know very little about them or what motivated them as individuals, but we can say that they were the pioneers of a movement which took a long time to take root within the county, which being predominantly rural and sparsely populated, was not likely to be easily won over.

Tree planting project commemorates Wiltshire's lost soldiers

05 February 2018

One hundred years since the end of the First World War, Wiltshire is to mark the anniversary by planting thousands of living tributes. More than 100 community groups across the county have signed up to help by planting 10,000 trees around the county to mark the 10,000 soldiers who gave their lives in the conflict.

Lost treasures of Stourhead to be revealed

05 February 2018

Emily Utgren loves the idea of time travel. The gardener/arborist’s dream destination would be Stourhead in the 1700s, which would afford her a glimpse of long lost features. “I wouldn’t want to live back then, but I really like the thought of visiting. Wouldn’t it be fascinating,” beams Emily, a Stourhead employee for the last 12 years who is now working with volunteer Julia Mottershaw on preliminary research into forgotten treasures before the 10-year Genius of the Place project begins in earnest next year​.

My Wiltshire: Sebastian Salt, Director of historic W Carter and Son Jewellers

05 February 2018

Wiltshire has been my home for 39 years, all of my life, in fact. We can trace our family history back 250 years in Great Durnford, in the Woodford Valley where I was born. When Charlotte and I got married in 2016, we held our wedding at St Andrew’s church in the village and it was lovely to be able to do that. When I was young my family moved from Great Durnford to Salisbury to live in my great-great-grandparents’ home, so my memories of my time there are hazy. Probably my only clear recollection is of my brother taking me to see the great bustards on the land at the back of our house.