The Duchess of Cornwall to Undertake Engagements in Wiltshire



Thursday, 2nd December 2021 

Engagement 1

The Duchess of Cornwall will attend a short service to mark the 100th anniversary of the Seend War Memorial and join a service of Rededication. Her Royal Highness will also meet families whose ancestors are named on the memorial.

On arrival at the Church of the Holy Cross, Her Royal Highness will be greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Wilshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton and Chairman of the Royal British Legion, Mr Robin Heartley. Her Royal Highness will also meet Reverend Jane Knowles who will conduct the service of Rededication. 

Following the service in the church, The Duchess will greet Royal British Legion members and supporters of the church and war memorial and local residents (some of whose family members are mentioned on the memorial). Her Royal Highness will also lay flowers at the memorial and wreaths will also be laid. 

Her Royal Highness will also meet children from Seend Primary School. 

Seend War Memorial, Seend 

The church at Seend dates from about 1450 although there is evidence of a much earlier building on the site. The church is entered by the north door and porch which was built, or rebuilt, by John Stokes (1498) who was buried there. The family lived in Seend for six generations. 

A fairly recent addition to the church is the Millennium window which was dedicated by the Bishop of Ramsbury in 2003. The aim was to depict something of the history and life at Seend including the importance of its agricultural way of life showing the corn growing, sheep resting and cattle grazing in a farm environment. It also shows the woollen and weaving history and the other industrial side of Seend. 

The churchyard contains a rich collection of tombstones, some of which date back to the 15th century. 

Seend War Memorial 

The Seend War Memorial, constructed of Cornish granite, is an obelisk standing on a three-tier base, and was unveiled on 8 February 1921, by Field Marshal Lord Methuen and dedicated by The Archdeacon Wiltshire, the Venerable E J Boddington. A short half hour service, conducted by the vicar the Reverend H Cromwell Bush, took place in the churchyard attended by a large number of parishioners. 

An article in the Wiltshire Gazette, dated 10 Feb 1921, reported: ‘There did not seem to be a house, from the leading residence to the humblest cottage, which had not its representative. Just as all were united during the war, they were united now; just as they honoured those gallant youths in life, so they honoured and reverenced them now that their earthly careers had so nobly ended. Two buglers from the Wiltshire Regiment Depot sounded ‘The Last Post’ and the impressive little ceremony ended with a verse of The National Anthem’. 

The WW1 Commemorative Bench that sits near to the War Memorial commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War and the 25 soldiers from Seend Parish who died during the conflict. 

Engagement 2

The Duchess of Cornwall will meet independent Spar shop owner, Mr Derek Tinnion and his family who work in the shop. Her Royal Highness will visit the shop and thank the family and staff for their tireless work in supporting the Devizes community for over 60 years especially during the pandemic.

The Duchess of Cornwall will meet Derek Tinnion outside his shop. Mr Tinnion will then introduce Her Royal Highness to local suppliers who provided a continual service to the shop during the pandemic. Her Royal Highness will also meet staff, some of whom work in the shop’s post office, before meeting members of Mr Tinnion’s family including his 95-year-old mother. 

Mr Tinnion will say a few words before presenting Her Royal Highness will a small hamper of local produce. 

The Spar shop is a small shop serving Devizes. The shop provides all provisions including locally grown fresh meat, from Poulshot Lodge Farm, locally grown vegetables from Pagets Produce. The Post Office within the shop is a key service that is provided from the shop. 

The shop is run by Mr Derek Tinnion, who is the third generation of his family to operate the business over the last 60 years. He has been involved for 38 years and has 8 members of his family working for him. The business originally came into the family in 1960 when his mother Irene (now 95 years old) and father John (deceased) moved from London to Wiltshire and took over the grocery business. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the shop played a crucial part in supporting residents and vulnerable individuals that used the store. Actions included: offering a new phone service to ensure residents received their groceries; providing free puzzles and colouring books and running a puzzle competition; supplying easter eggs to boost morale; and offering low-cost fruit and vegetable boxes to keep a family of four supplied for a week (which they still sell today). 

For around six months the store worked around the clock, with staff working 24hrs to replenish stock. The shop worked closely with local suppliers who provided amazing support and they were able to help keep stock at an adequate level with produce, fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products. 

Engagement 3

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Eric Ravilious-downland Man Exhibition at the Wiltshire Museum. The exhibition showcases the work of artist Eric Ravilious and his paintings of the Downs of Southern England. 

Engagement 4

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit the newly converted Parade Cinema and meet supporters who have helped restored and transform the 1817 Chapel into a facility for the community.

On arrival at the Parade Cinema, Her Royal Highness will be met by Robert Hiscox Chairman and local dignitaries. On entering the museum, The Duchess will meet David Williams, General Manager and staff members and supporters associated with the conversion of the chapel to a cinema. 

Her Royal Highness will view a display of photographs showing the transformation that the chapel has undergone. 

HRH will then take a seat in the auditorium before watching a short collection of trailers. 

Following the film, Mr Hiscox will say a few words before Her Royal Highness unveils a plaque to mark the visit. 

The chapel was built in 1817 by non-conformists, of which Marlborough was one of the chief strongholds. The Minister’s House was added later. The chapel finally closed its doors in 1984 and became an antiques centre which closed in 2016. 

The freehold of the building was purchased by local investors who also paid for most of the renovation work, however £3 million pounds was also raised by the local community to support the project to provide a local cinema. 

Work on the Parade was completed in September 2021 and the cinema now provides Marlborough with its first independent, community-focused cinema in 50 years. 

The Georgian building houses a state-of-the-art cinema with 206 seats, 70 in the stalls and 36 in the balcony. It has a fully licensed bar and café which serves food and drinks from 0930hrs till late. The additional upstairs seating linked to the balcony can be hired for private parties. 

Outside, there is a paved garden where food and drink are served can be served and enjoyed. 

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