With the general exodus of MoD staff from London to Abbey Wood in early 1996, my husband was posted to this part of the world. I joined him in October of that year, and already being in the home civil service, it was a case of “if you cannot beat them, join”, so I also joined MoD. I knew next to nothing about Charfield and its surrounding area, and for a few years I must admit that working full time did not give me a lot of spare time to become familiar with the area, especially as I had once more become involved in scouting.
One of the best ways I initially had of finding out what was going on in the village was via CHADRA. Towards the end of 2009 the newsletter contained a request for additional Parish Councillors, and although I had no previous knowledge or expertise in this field, it seemed to me to be an excellent way to become more involved in village life, so I volunteered. Having now retired, it is much easier to be more involved in the life of the village and the area in general. I have developed a particular interest in the environmental side of living in the village and represent Charfield on the S.Glos Environmental Forum. This forum has representatives from other local Parish and Town Councils in the area, and groups such as the Avon Wildlife Group and the Ramblers, and enables a lot of sharing of information, together with hopefully resolution or advice on any current problems.
I think that the biggest challenge we all face in Charfield is to try to keep what has been and is still thankfully the character and vitality of an extremely vibrant village. How long we will be able to do so successfully is really in the lap of the gods, but I do try to bear this in mind especially when we have planning matters before the Council.