Fovant Badges Society
What we did on Your Holidays - Summer 2021
As restrictions from Covid eased FBS, with the Royal Signals, embarked on a project to restore and re-chalk two of the ten Fovant Badges;- The Centenary Poppy, (CENT), sadly lacking in chalk from its original construction, and the Royal Signals Badge (ROYS), left until 2020 to be renovated as a mark of the Centenary of the formation of Signals, and the 50th anniversary of the creation of the ROYS badge. We all know what happened in 2020…..
After some detailed planning this summer, and some re-profiling marker-spray painting to correct the profile ‘drift’ over the years, Cpl Matt Mills of 11th Signals and his team of volunteers arrived mid September and began the weeding and preparatory works on ROYS, courtesy of Ed and Sue Williams of East Farm. Over the next three working days Matt and his men and women then shifted the 23 tones of chalk, placed from our stockpile into two borrow piles directly above the two Badges by Kevin Callacher of KDC Landscaping, Dinton. He was ably assisted by Martin Wallis who was allowed to drive the dumper ! . CENT was knocked off in little over a morning’s hard work in splendid, almost ideal weather, and then ROYS was tackled over the following afternoon and the next two days, rebuilding revetments, profile cutting and filling, and then re-chalking.
The white scars around these two badges will soon be absorbed by the herbage and the chalk will consolidate naturally into a cementitious weathering skin after a few rain/sun cycles.
We are always keen to hear from people who would like to help publicise, maintain, join a working picnic, or generally help out with FBS’ work, be it adults with time and inclination, 30 degrees in our case, or children’s school projects.
email@example.com to get in touch. Leslie Brantingham
Photos credit>> JC Photography Ltd.
FOVANT BADGES Soc. News October 2022
What we’ve been doing of late…WORKS 2022.
FBS have almost completed our year’s ‘repair, realign & stabilise’ programme for the 10 Badges in our care. Working with both KDC (Dinton) and charities Seeds4Success and Alabaré we hope that all 10 of our Badges will be shining bright in the evening sunlight by December.
Good progress was made over the summer and what a summer! but the conditions became untenable; full sun, facing white chalk. Work stopped for 6 weeks. Lack of labour (Covid & Brexit) delayed matters further. KDC used innovative methods on the sward (a Flymo) and a rotavator on larger chalk areas. KDC are working to finish the two remaining badges ACMF and PORI. Stop at our A30 lay-bys and admire them, knowing the hard graft that goes into maintaining what you see; these wonderful scheduled moments and memorials to our forefathers. Don’t forget the Coin Drop when you’re there!
S4S and Local Veterans charity and Fovant Badges The charity Seeds4Success helped on CENT by using the hillside as an opportunity for its young charges to gain experience and establish self confidence in dealing with challenges by weeding some of our Badges. The CENT emblem hosted our famous Fovant Flaming Crown J70 Beacon.
Signals and Poppy (ROYS and CENT) were looking tatty by autumn so they have been done again, enlisting the sterling help of a Salisbury based national charity, Alabaré. In no time at all arrangement were made and nine ex-Armed Forces personnel started on 20th September as part of the ‘Boots on the Ground’ programme which is focused on helping veterans improve their mental and physical wellbeing by taking part in activities in the outdoors. www.alabare.co.uk
And Onward! By the end of 2022 all our 10 badges will be re-chalked, and ready for a few years rest as it were. FBS now plan to run the Badges on a Planned Maintenance/TLC basis until another major rechalking exercise is needed. Next year we aim to broaden the appeal and reach of FBS and if at any time you would like to help (and I stress that whilst anyone who would like to actually do some physical work on our badges would be welcome, and you wont get a better ‘office view!’, we would really like to hear from people who would like to help organise and run the Charity in any capacity). We are planning to run the renowned Drum-Head Service again next year and help with the organisation of that, and for anyone with an archivist / history interest (and here is a LOT of stuff out there) or an IT skills set with Social media, and time to do it, would be welcome as Flowers that bloom on the Down. Tra-la!
Leslie Brantingham — FBS - Conservation firstname.lastname@example.org
Alabaré’s Boots on the Ground and veterans mental wellbeing services provide support for veterans who have struggled in their civilian lives. The Alabaré team provide opportunities for veterans to take part in outdoor activities, building confidence, self-esteem and team endeavour. Each activity improves mental and physical wellbeing and provides the chance to share experiences and camaraderie with others. www.alabare.co.uk