Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lisa and Graham served on the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce from 2000 to 2017

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Melksham, Month by month through 2011

It's December 2011 ... and the run up to Christmas. Yesterday afternoon, I was tidying up thousands of picture I have taken this year, and I've chosen one picture from each month - link [here] - to show something of Melksham and remind you about what's been happening in the town / surrounding area.

January's Picture - "An Opportunity for Melksham?" advertises the shop front, during a consultation on the re-coming of the Wilts and Berks Canal. That's a scheme that has progressed well through the year, and will indeed by a tremendous opportunity. A few weeks ago I saw some updated / fine tuned plans, and I look forward to the time that an active waterway brings investment and people to the town. [more]


February's Picture shows trees felled at Sainsbury's for their store extension. Both Sainsbury's and Asda did themselves no favors with their ground clearance activities - mature trees lost which many considered unnecessary at both. But the howls of outrage were somewhat muffled when trees at the nature reserve were pollarded; that looks to the uninitiated like "cut down" too, and serves as a reminder that trees are transient to some extent and will grow again and back in fresh places. Both Sainsbury and Asda are now open in their expanded or new form, and both appear to be doing well. The high street, too, has been busy of late and the overall picture is of a town that's developing and doing well. [more]


For March, I have chosen a picture of the padlocks on the electric substation at Beanacre. Not so much "in the news" but a reminder of services that we all rely upon - the gas, the water, and the electricity. Not to forget the IT superhighway - broadband connection. We've upped our own connections to 100 Mbit this year - those are spectacular figures compared to what we could have even a couple of years ago. The picture in not as rosy in some of the villages, and even BT's "infinity" system is far from infinite in our area; their sales rep called me to invite me to upgrade to just 38 Mbit the other day. Melksham Broadband Comparison and [more]


April saw proposals for a "Melksham Campus" being pushed ahead, care of the Area Board of Wilthire Council. In my view, it's sensible to replace a whole series of outdated facilities, with expensive maintainable bill ever rising, with a far lower number of purpose built modern facilities which will cut maintainable costs, and allow facilities to be open far longer by sharing running costs, and allow those facilities to provide for what's needed now and in th future rather than what was needed 20 years ago. However, the single site chosen on land at Woolmore farm (farm buildings pictured for April) was considered by many people to be inappropriate - a library that's a mile and a half out of town and a youth centre that's right beside the school didn't seem exactly ideal. [detail] and [more]


My May picture shows road works in Melksham's Town Centre. The replacement of the pavements - which has taken place over a very long period - has resulted in major disruption in the town centre. Local businesses have complained at the effect on their trade, and many people have asked whether it had to be so slow. Comparison was made to the speed of road changes at Lidl and Asda, which appeared to be much more major and happened in a short period. [more]


In June, I attended the launch breakfast for the publicity machine for the Melksham Festival of Food and Drink, now becoming a regular feature on the Melksham Calendar. Here, at the launch at Leekes, are Andrew Morgan of the Town Council and Sam Geddes who - amongst other roles - is press officer for the Chamber of Commerce.


July saw the Melksham Carnival and Party in the Park. As ever - a great day, with large crowds attending both events. My picture shows one of the carnival floats wriggling around from Coronation Road to Warwick Crescent - back on the "old route" from previous years. [more]


In August, First Great Western ran some extra trains early on Sunday mornings on the TransWilts line that serves Melksham. It was something of a "trial" - a challenge to those of us who've campaigned for an improved service to show that we could bring in extra business for them. Alas, First Great Western had to change their planning to lengthen the trains from their initial plan twice over, and they were still full to the point of being almost overcrowded. And that was after we scaled right back on our advertising to the extent that people complained that they hadn't heard about the service until it was too late! [detail]


Parking - both roadside and in Council owned car parks - has been a major issue across Wiltshire this year. Wiltshire Council has, against howls of protests from some, raised charges dramatically. This has resulted in a change in the metrics of parking - almost emptying the previously full (previously free for 1 hour) central car park, and bringing much more roadside parking, as well as a major increase in use of car parks such as Lowbourne and Kings Street which are more convenient to many, and are now at the same price as the Central Car Park. My September picture shows daytime parking in Ruskin Avenue, where proposals for restrictions are now going through. Further article (personal view [here].


In October 2009, this was a field. Here, in October 2011, are houses - as Melksham expands to the East. A great pity for those of us who used to walk our dogs here, but there are other field areas remaining and I - for one - am very encouraging of the growth of Melksham. It's good to help maintain the town at the sort of size that it can support a vibrant High Street, a good rail service, a flexible and modern campus, a secondary school, a tourist industry, and much more. I welcome the newcomers to the town.


Melksham HAS changed dramatically over the years - and Mr Seager's slide show on 23rd November showed us just how much. A few - a very few - of the shops he showed us from 30 years ago remain. But gone are the Temperence Hotel, the International Stores, the Halifax, Currys, Dewhursts, and many, many more. Changes are also opportunities. Mobile phone shops, curry houses, baguette bars, Komix, Computer Games shops and a host of others who serve modern industries would have been ahead of their time in the 1950s and would have quickly folded. But now, these shops are running strong and long may they continue to do so. [more]


For December, I'm finishing up with a view of Melksham House. But that's because it's really a starting point. Through a bit of lateral thinking, and a willingness to be flexible by many people, the proposed Campus site has been switched from the fields of Woolmore Farm to Melksham House, just a few yards from the Market place. In the spring, Woollmore Farm was hailed as the only option. But in October, Wiltshire Council purchased Melksham House from Cooper Tires, and on 13th December the Council gave the green light to a major expenditure there to put in new facilities. All very sensible - Melksham House has in any case been something of a community centre for quite a while, and so it's an ongoing facility rather than a totally new one. And it meets the needs of the "single site" and the "town centre" sides who appeared to be locked in an unjoinable divide in the Spring.[more]





By Choosing just one picture per month, I have had to exclude a whole series of items / pictures that I could have chosen. The occasional "no news" month has been more than made up for this year by months which have overflowed with good news stories ...

Here - in the order I went through the year - are the items that I considered, but then didn't make the lead for the month. Each a good story in its own right, and each of which will have a positive influence for next year.

Well House Manor Opens for Cream Teas [detail] / Independent Traders group formed / Melksham Forward [more] / Defibrillator Campaign [more] / A further Dog [more] / Santa Train [pictures] / Christmas Lights [more]




What WILL next year bring? I don't know for sure, but I have the following major items on my agenda / calendar to keep an eye on ...

Olympics / Re-franchise of local rail services / Golden Jubilee / Campus / Canal

Each and every one of those will be big subjects in Melksham. They can all be tremendously positive. And in each case, we have the ability to influence the way they happen and make the very best of what they provide. I'm really looking forward to 2012.
(written 2011-12-23, updated 2011-12-24)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z402 - Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  [717] A customer service company - (2006-05-11)
  [1223] Asda opening large new store in Melksham - (2007-06-08)
  [1250] Business speed networking - a place tonight! - (2007-06-28)
  [1429] Remembrance day - inside a church and inside the day - (2007-11-11)
  [1432] Wiltshire County Council - Budget Consultation - (2007-11-15)
  [1476] Shopping for Christmas and looking forward - (2007-12-17)
  [1504] Flooding by Asda-s proposed new supermarket - (2008-01-12)
  [1507] Comments on proposed Asda Superstore for Melksham - (2008-01-14)
  [1633] Changing a screen saver from a web page (PHP, Perl, OSX) - (2008-05-06)
  [1642] Summer! - (2008-05-15)
  [1748] Hotel room prices - Melksham, Wiltshire - (2008-08-11)
  [1792] All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses - (2008-09-10)
  [1880] Melksham Chamber of Commerce, or the FSB - (2008-11-12)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1892] Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry - (2008-11-17)
  [1904] Ruby, Perl, Linux, MySQL - some training notes - (2008-11-23)
  [1934] Lidl opens in Melksham - (2008-12-11)
  [1979] Looking forward, in Melksham, in 2009 - (2009-01-05)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [2043] Confidence, Customer Service and Tourism in Melksham - (2009-02-15)
  [2095] Blue Ridge and Melksham Chambers of Commerce - (2009-03-21)
  [2111] Business Networking for Melksham - 23rd April - (2009-04-01)
  [2119] Make your business a DESTINATION business - (2009-04-05)
  [2181] You cannot please all of the people all of the time - (2009-05-14)
  [2194] Melksham Business Map - Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Information and Town Council - (2009-05-21)
  [2220] Melksham Traders - where do we go? - (2009-06-05)
  [2260] Important - the future of Melksham / Chamber of Commerce - (2009-06-28)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2289] pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15)
  [2328] Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town - (2009-08-08)
  [2437] Wiltshire Unitary News - Chamber of Commerce Intelligence - (2009-10-04)
  [2459] New Web Site for Melksham Chamber of Commerce - (2009-10-18)
  [2465] Melksham Town - asleep or awake? - (2009-10-21)
  [2487] Melksham Forum - (2009-11-01)
  [2495] Planning the future of Wiltshire - (2009-11-07)
  [2508] Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20)
  [2514] The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27)
  [2521] Melksham Market - Tuesdays, 09:00 to 14:00 - (2009-12-01)
  [2531] Melksham - new Tuesday Market - (2009-12-09)
  [2540] Rock and hard place .. and the relaxing right one won - (2009-12-18)
  [2544] Vision for Wiltshire - (2009-12-20)
  [2546] How well do you know Melksham - a quiz for Christmas - (2009-12-21)
  [2568] Forums for your Melksham and open source discussions - (2010-01-09)
  [2594] Melksham Area - your community view is sought - (2010-01-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2683] Car Parking in Melksham - (2010-03-18)
  [2725] How do our tactics help us meet the strategy, for the greater good? - (2010-04-16)
  [2770] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - Presidents report to AGM - (2010-05-19)
  [2779] The history and future of Melksham Chamber of Commerce - (2010-05-25)
  [2782] Tell the Melksham Chamber or you only have yourself to blame - (2010-05-26)
  [2827] Melksham - a gem in Wiltshire - (2010-06-26)
  [2837] Lorry Parking in Melksham - (2010-06-29)
  [2853] Transport in Wessex - today and into the future - (2010-07-04)
  [2867] Cycling in Melksham, and looking forward - (2010-07-11)
  [2872] Moved - Melksham Lorry Park - (2010-07-15)
  [2883] Melksham Oak - photos of the new community school - (2010-07-22)
  [2891] Wiltshire Council ask how they can help businesses - (2010-07-27)
  [2932] Getting into and out of Wiltshire towns .. a.k.a. Car Parking? - (2010-08-23)
  [2957] Welcome to Countrywides new Melksham store - (2010-09-15)
  [2959] A Melksham news roundup - (2010-09-18)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2995] A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11)
  [3088] Melksham - two many councils? - (2010-12-16)
  [3113] Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham - more roadworks, even slower journey over the winter - (2010-12-30)
  [3117] Opportunities for Melksham - new businesses in the town - (2011-01-01)
  [3141] Wiltshire Rail services - a golden opportunity - (2011-01-21)
  [3162] Keep your business customer-friendly! - (2011-02-09)
  [3172] On consultations, car parking, and Melksham town centre - (2011-02-17)
  [3173] What is the Melksham Chamber of Commerce? - (2011-02-18)
  [3188] What proportion of the British Workforce still works a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, week? - (2011-03-01)
  [3193] Melksham Campus - what, why, questions, concerns and how you can input - (2011-03-04)
  [3214] Melksham Campus - any last minute inputs from Melksham businesses? - (2011-03-26)
  [3217] Vandalism and riot from the minority - the effect - (2011-03-28)
  [3246] Melksham - the way forward. 26th April, Well House Manor - (2011-04-13)
  [3249] Events - Spring and Early Summer 2011 in Melksham - (2011-04-17)
  [3272] Melksham Car Parking - current charges and limits - (2011-05-01)
  [3275] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - grows to appoint new Press Officer. Welcome. Sam - (2011-05-02)
  [3279] Letter to The Editor - (2011-05-06)
  [3299] Presidents Report to Melksham Chamber of Commerce, 24.5.2011 - (2011-05-24)
  [3307] Melksham Community Radio launches - (2011-05-28)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3334] A lesson from the sporran market? - (2011-06-25)
  [3340] Summer Sunday Timetable - TransWilts Trains - (2011-06-30)
  [3343] Summer Sunday Train Service Starts - Swindon Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - (2011-07-03)
  [3380] Melksham Jelly - An Occasional Office for Home Workers - (2011-08-06)
  [3383] Are people who walk into Melksham being asked to subsidise parking? - (2011-08-09)
  [3420] Making best use of the new enthusiasm for Melksham - (2011-09-05)
  [3423] 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 12? - (2011-09-07)
  [3427] What is on the Melksham Agenda? - (2011-09-09)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3470] Currently pictured in Melksham - (2011-10-09)
  [3475] Havant - Shop Frontages. - (2011-10-12)
  [3481] Some thoughts in answer to some Melksham Campus questions - (2011-10-14)
  [3492] Upcoming events in and about Melksham - more dates for your diary - (2011-10-22)
  [3495] Looking forward - Chamber of Commerce has 2012 and beyond on the agenda - (2011-10-26)
  [3496] Melksham - Business to Business Speed Networking - build ahead for 2012 - (2011-10-26)
  [3527] Melksham - changing times, an opportunity for the future - (2011-11-23)
  [3598] Melksham Civic Awards - report and pictures - (2012-01-29)
  [3627] Meeting Report - Tuesday 21st Feb - to Melksham Chamber of Commerce from Shadow Community Operations Board - (2012-02-27)
  [3663] Changing shops and organisations - Melksham, the last and next five years - (2012-03-21)
  [3672] Melksham Train Service - please support the TransWilts case for regular trains - (2012-03-25)
  [3677] Some advise for guest speakers at meetings - (2012-03-31)
  [3682] Melksham Business Newsreel - (2012-04-03)
  [3693] Wiltshire Business Support Service - (2012-04-11)
  [3696] Melksham government and business organisations - (2012-04-14)
  [3697] Events in Melksham - read all about them, and tell us about yours - (2012-04-15)
  [3700] Why do people use chains rather than independent traders? - (2012-04-18)
  [3706] An exciting Chamber of Commerce AGM - sound like an Oxymoron? - (2012-04-25)
  [3710] Encouraging business in Melksham and its neighbourhood - keep business local?? - (2012-04-27)
  [3714] Just 12 winners? Or 371 or more? Town Centres. - (2012-04-30)
  [3732] Ten more visitors to your premises every day? - (2012-05-14)
  [3739] Go green - business seminar in Melksham - (2012-05-21)
  [3748] Not everyone has a computer - 9 more ways to learn about the Melksham Campus - (2012-06-03)
  [3751] Public transport for international arrivals into Melksham - (2012-06-04)
  [3752] Melksham Visitors Map - Bus routes and train lines to and from the town - (2012-06-04)
  [3767] How well do you know Melksham? - (2012-06-17)
  [3768] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - looking to our future shape. Pivotal meeting next Tuesday - (2012-06-19)
  [3787] Melksham Pride - the Chamber of Commerce, and the future - (2012-06-29)
  [3812] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 1, Campus and Chamber of Commerce - (2012-07-22)
  [3818] Making things happen - litter and ASB and lost dogs in Melksham - (2012-07-25)
  [3850] Bus times - Chippenham Station to Melksham, with London connections - (2012-08-25)
  [3867] The difficult interface between the business, council and voluntary sectors - (2012-09-19)
  [3880] Chamber of Commerce - looking forward in Melksham and in Wessex - (2012-10-04)
  [3889] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - whence in 2013 and beyond? - (2012-10-12)
  [3948] Quiet little town? Advanced Technology Centre? - (2012-12-08)
  [3987] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - join us in our future - (2013-01-21)
  [4002] Images of Melksham you havent seen before - (2013-02-13)
  [4014] Costa Coffee in Melksham - is it a good idea? - (2013-02-22)
  [4041] Report on the last year - Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Melksham Without Parish Council - (2013-03-11)
  [4046] Over a hundred welcoming businesses - Melksham Town Centre - (2013-03-17)
  [4097] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - Report for AGM, 21st May 2013 - (2013-05-21)
  [4103] Questions from children about Melksham Campus - (2013-05-26)
  [4151] Tell me a bit about Melksham - (2013-08-10)
  [4164] Melksham Market - every Tuesday - (2013-09-03)
  [4170] Herman Miller coming to Melksham - the Chamber of Commerce is briefed - (2013-09-10)
  [4278] Future Swindon - Westbury train services. At current level into the future? - (2014-05-25)
  [4399] The Campus in Melksham - name, logo, and livery choice - (2015-01-18)
  [4672] Annual review of Melksham Matters for Chamber of Commerce AGM - (2016-05-15)
  [4738] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - my final Presidents report - (2017-05-10)


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