Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Elderly Care  -  A Broken Promise

When the Conservative party were elected as the governing party on the 7th May 2015 into this countries 56th Parliament  one of their election mantras was that the most anybody would have to pay on their long term elderly care would be £72,000.

Shortly thereafter on the 17th July 2015 this promise was broken and some say consigned to the long grass never to see the light of day again.  The principle is contained in the Care Act 2014 and can be reviewed under the Act in May 2020.  This broken promise can be viewed as political cowardice or political pragmatism depending on your point of view.  The truth is that as things stand there is no solution to the long term elderly care funding and resource gap now reported to be at a tipping point.

If reports from those in the know are to be believed the latest solution is to increase Council Tax by as much as 7% to pay for the lack of resource. An announcement is expected by the Communities Secretary this Thursday the 15th December.  This proposal has already been attacked as nothing more than a short term fix and dumping a problem of the governments making on local authorities who are the biggest providers of social care in this country. 

The truth of the matter is that reform of elderly social care in this country is a difficult matter.  Some say impossible.  That may be true but others say nothing is impossible. The reality is that something has to be done at a time when it is reported that :-

          1.    One third of residential care homes are at risk of closure.

          2.    5,000 care beds have been lost in the last 18 months and                               one tenth of the social care budget since 2010.  
          3.    One in ten people have elderly care bills of £100,000 or more.

No matter the unfairness it is still vital that the existing system is understood. It is the need to understand what the system can and cannot provide, combined with the need to be persistent and to get advice early that is key.

The above is an overview only.

Andrew Douglas

For a FREE appointment and to find out
answers to the questions that need answering 
also to get the care you or a loved one needs
email Andrew Douglas and his  team
or simply call on 0800 072 8636.

Alternatively visit our website abdcare 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016


Make sure your kids don’t get double sprouts – planning Christmas across two households

Christmas is traditionally seen as a time for families. But parents know only too well, it can bring plenty of challenges too – there is always so much to do, and there can be stresses and strains as you try to ensure that your children have a great time.

For divorced and separated parents, Christmas can require particularly careful planning. After all, how many children like brussel sprouts, let alone facing the dreaded “greens” twice, and possibly on the same day! 

More seriously, Mum, Dad and the children can find themselves feeling confused, disappointed and frustrated during the festive season.

Christmas across two separate households, and between extended family on both sides, can be very difficult for children and for their parents too. But with a bit of planning and willingness to compromise, separated parents can go a long way to ensuring that their family still has a merry Christmas.  The main thing to remember is that you are both still parents – and putting the children’s needs first is essential for their well-being and happiness.

The first Christmas apart can be especially difficult. The emotional pain of the split may still be strong, and even if this is not the case Christmas can bring unfamiliar expectations, pressures and decisions. Understandably, both parents will want to be with their children. But, separate homes with perhaps additional travel time in-between, visiting extended family, etc. can all make splitting Christmas and Boxing Day a real headache. It is important to remember though, that arguing can be very damaging to the children. 

Here are my top 10 Christmas tips: 

1. Put your children’s needs and feelings first. Discuss arrangements with the other parent and try to share both the pleasure and the responsibilities. 

2. Plan early. Leaving arrangements to the last minute can make discussions much more difficult. Agree the plans, and keep the children informed about them.  Agree how handover times will work as these can be particularly difficult. 

3. Think long-term and stay flexible. You may want to be with the kids on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Sometimes it’s not practical to split the time for a variety of reasons including, travel distance and, visiting relatives, etc. Bundling children into a car on Christmas Day when all they want to do is play with their new toys and eat the chocolate off the tree, may not be the best way to start a happy day. It may be fairer and easier on your children - to agree to alternate which household the children spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in, from one year to the next. 

4. Don’t ask your kids to choose between Mum and Dad. This puts them in an impossible and unfair position. Difficult decisions should be taken by adults.

5. Let the children know that even though things will be different, Christmas can still be special. Work together with your children to create new Christmas traditions in each home.

6. Take the children to visit family and friends. Christmas can be a good time to strengthen the children’s important relationships with relatives like grandparents or cousins. This also helps provide some stability for children when their lives are changing.

7. Don’t over-do things. Sometimes separated parents can feel guilty which leads to them over-compensating by doing too much. This can overwhelm children and leave them feeling exhausted and stressed. 

8. Don’t compete with your ex over presents for the children. Instead, discuss what presents to buy so that you don’t duplicate. Consider whether it would be helpful to continue the tradition of a joint present from both of you; and allow your children to decide where they will keep their gifts.

9. Help your children make or buy gifts for their other parent. Children need to experience the joy of giving. This also lets them know that you support their relationship with the other parent.

10. Compromise and be positive. If you don’t get exactly what you want, be gracious about it for the children’s sake, as well as your own. Holding grudges, is a negative emotion that will stay with you for a long while. It may well end up colouring your better judgement on other issues.  You can always try a different arrangement next Christmas; and if you are spending Christmas without the kids, use the time positively – make plans with close friends and family members or take time to do something special for yourself.

Peter Berry
Family and Collaborative Lawyer

Peter Berry is a Family and Collaborative Lawyer
who is based at
the firm's Marlborough Office.

Please contact
Peter Berry for
further details and if you wish
to organise a free initial

Friday, 2 December 2016


What do I have to consider?

"My husband and I split up two years ago. There were no serious arguments; we both felt we didn’t want the same things, or each other, anymore. I live in the family house in Marlborough with our children, aged three and six. He sees the children at weekends. He gives me money for them and he pays the mortgage. I would like a divorce now so I can move on with my life. What do I have to consider?"

Divorce or Separation is a very worrying and stressful point in anyone’s life. Decisions often do not come easily, by any means. Here are some of the initial issues that may need to be considered:  

Are there any remaining emotional issues?

It’s clear how you feel, but is your husband ready to move on finally? You have been able to agree a lot between you, but it would be sad to see one of you left unhappy at the thought of final closure particularly if this impacts on your children. 

Do you have grounds for a divorce?

Yes. The marriage must have broken down irretrievably and one of the following facts must be proved: - adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation for two years with consent or five years without consent. In England and Wales, divorce is still based upon either “blaming your spouse” or a long period of separation. You have been apart for two years so with your husbands consent, it is possible. 

DIY Divorce?

The so called “DIY quickie” or “internet” divorce ends your marriage, but that is only half of the story. It does not resolve your children’s arrangements, the financial arrangements, or help you plan for the future. 

Parenting Plan

If you and your husband would like to have a written agreement concerning your children’s up-bringing and the time they spend with each of you, then a Parenting Plan would be worth while considering. This could provide you both with reassurance and certainty for the future.

Financial Arrangements

Financial arrangements are far from straight forward. Is it likely that your family assets will be shared, but sharing does not necessarily mean equal shares and how soon will it be before you each receive your shares? Will the family home be sold or preserved to a later date and who will be paying the mortgage in the meantime? Do you need a monthly payment from your husband to maintain the bills, can he afford to continue paying anyway?  All quite practical issues but far from easy to resolve, even leaving aside more thorny questions like pensions, new relationships etc. Are you able to talk to your husband about his views and plans for the future? 


Do you and your husband have one, do you need one? A divorce is a fundamental legal change in your status and you should both certainly think about want might happen. Planning ahead may not be the most important thing on your mind at present, but only you know what you wish to happen, and time spent now, will undoubtedly save your family and friends a great deal of extra worry and stress.  

Bespoke Advice

To coin a phrase, “there is no substitute for good advice” and divorce is such a fundamental change in life that good advice is vital. Each family is different, and the advice we give is carefully tailored to your particular circumstances.  

If you and your husband would like to work out all the “details” together and remain in control of decisions concerning your families future, then I recommend that you both consider:-

a “Collaborative” Law approach  www.collaborativefamilylawyers.co.uk

By choosing legal representatives who are committed to the constructive
  resolution of family disputes and issues.

Awdry Bailey Douglas have two highly skilled Collaborative Lawyers within its Family Law Team, myself and Cindy Ervine

Also, all of our Family Lawyers are members of Resolution, a national organisation that is committed to a constructive, non-confrontational approach to sorting out family law matters. Members of Resolution follow a clear code of practice and work to find solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular the best interests of any children.  
Peter Berry
Family and Collaborative Lawyer

Peter Berry is a
Family and Collaborative Lawyer 
who is based at the
firm's Marlborough Office.

Please contact
Peter Berry
for further details and if you wish to organise
your free initial consultation.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


“I am sure my wife is planning to end our marriage. We are arguing about our money worries,  I fear losing my job and any hope of getting another mortgage if we do split up. I feel like I am about to lose everything, what should I do? "

The “double whammy” of Christmas bills and financial uncertainty will make January 2017 a very stressful time for many families. Recent surveys suggested that nationally up to 1 in 4 relationships are under strain and one of the major factors is money worries. “RELATE” the national relationship counselling service, have reported a 59% increase in the number of enquiries it is receiving.   

Financial worries are rarely the main cause of a relationship break down, the added strain of money worries tends to open more deeply routed personal issues. Couples find it more difficult to ignore their differences. Accusations start flying and relationships can quickly fall apart.

If you have not already done so, I recommend that you both seek help to communicate about your feelings for each other. Your arguments may be the end result, but the causes are likely to run much deeper than money worries. Wiltshire has some of the best Couple counselling services available.     

If your marriage is truly over, then beware the stress and strain of trying to manage on your own. You have already started to worry about what the future holds, and it is very likely that your spouse has similar fears and concerns.  When you add these issues together, along with the prospect of losing your employment, it is without doubt a hugely stressful time.  

There is never going to be such a thing as a ‘good’ divorce or separation but in my experience the traditional approach of going to Court first before resolving issues, polarises attitudes quickly, and forces couples to highlight their differences. This can lead to the acrimony and family “feuds”. The emotional costs of this approach are enormous and the effect on children and wider family members can be long lasting. 

But does it have to be this way?

The majority of people really do want to resolve issues without confrontation. Protecting their children from emotional harm and the worry of separation is a high priority. Love may be lost, and you may not “agree” everything, but one thing is clear, if parents can retain a positive and respectful relationship, their children are more likely to grow up happier and more secure as a result. So how do we achieve this?

Expert advice and good communication are the keys. Finding the right process to resolve differences, and committing to resolve the problems are the first stepping stones.  So what “process” or approach might be best for me? 

Get legal advice, so you know where you stand.

Get help with emotional issues, your GP may have a practice counsellor, or can refer you. 

RELATE help couples communicate, whether trying to rebuild their relationship, or to help cope with parting.    
Mediation can also help couples trying to plan a way forward, particularly for child arrangements.     
Collaborative Family Law, enables couples to meet with their legal advisers to find solutions together, around a table.     
Court. The last resort for many, but sometimes a timescale and a clear set of rules are needed.                        

Peter Berry
Family & Collaborative Lawyer

Peter Berry is a Family and Collaborative Lawyer who is based at
the Firm's Marlborough Office.

Please contact
for further details and if you wish to organise
your free initial consultation.


Monday, 28 November 2016


The New Code of Practice

I am a proud member of Resolution which is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.

Resolution membership is about the approach I take to my work. Resolution have a Code of Practice which members follow and  means that  I will always seek to reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation, support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first and act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.

I have been working as a family law professional for over 21 years and appreciate, that clients reach the best outcomes when they are helped to understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions. This is why I use experience and knowledge to guide my clients through the options available to them.

As a Resolution member, I have signed up to a Code of Practice that will demonstrate to clients the approach I will always take. The Code promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular the best interests of children.

If you decide to work with me, this means:-

I listen to you, will be honest with you and treat you with respect.

Explaining all the options and giving you confidence to make the right

Helping you focus on what’s important in the long-term.

Helping you balance financial and emotional costs with what you 
        want to achieve.

Working with others to find the right approach and the best solutions
        for you.

Managing stress in what can be an already stressful situation.

The new Code of Practice is being launched TODAY  (28.11.16) to commence the start of “Good Divorce Week”. This years’ campaign will be focusing on no fault divorce and improving rights for cohabiting couples.

If you have any queries or seek further information please contact me Cindy Ervine.

Cindy Ervine
Matrimonial Solicitor and Collaborative Lawyer

Cindy Ervine is a Matrimonial Solicitor
and Collaborative Lawyer who is
based at the firm's Devizes office.

Friday, 25 November 2016


Owning your home, and claiming that your partner only pays “rent” towards the bills, may be a recipe for disaster...

Mr Burton found this out the hard way when his ex was awarded £33,522 by a Court in compensation, for payments she had made to the property he owned.  Liden v Burton 2016 EWCA.

Cohabiting couple families are the fastest growing family type in the UK. National Statics show that cohabiting couples have more than doubled, from 1.5 million families to 3.3 million families in 2016.

If you own your own home then before a new partner moves in, it is very important to establish exactly what they will contributing to, why and how much. This may sound clinical or even off putting, but had Mr Burton taken advice and set the ground rules properly, he would not need to pay £33,522 now.   

Protecting your property from claims, or agreeing the share your new partner will be entitled to if they contribute, is something that can be achieved in a Cohabitation Agreement or a Declaration of Trust. Later on,  if marriage is contemplated, it is also possible for the Agreements to continue within a Pre-Nuptial.  

Take advice, before its too late, or you could be heading back to see your mortgage broker sooner than you thought.

Peter Berry
Family and Collaborative Lawyer

Peter Berry is a Family and Collaborative Lawyer who is based at
the firm's Marlborough Office.

Please contact
for further details and if you wish
to organise a free initial


Monday, 21 November 2016


Then make sure your Pension rights are properly checked out. 

Due to new state pension rules, people who Divorce now will only be entitled to a state pension based solely on their own National Insurance (NI) record.  Well why not, some might say….

However, if you have not worked, perhaps because you have been caring for your children then you may not have made any NI contribution for a number of years.  You may have thought that your husband or wife’s NI contributions could be used to top up your NI record.  After all, you have been at home caring whilst your spouse has worked.  You have both contributed towards  your families needs, but in different ways.  Under the old pension rules, a Divorcee could claim missing NI contributions from their ex-spouses NI account and in the vast majority of cases, this had no impact or loss for the ex-spouse.  For many getting divorced, this was an important provision, which enabled them to receive a full state pension on retirement.  Not so anymore.

The new “single tier” state pension has replaced the old two-tier system of basic and additional state pensions.  Entitlement to a state pension is now solely based on your own National Insurance (NI) record.
There will be a lot  of people,  predominately women who are not working and have no idea about this change. The new full state pension is currently set at a maximum of £155.65 a week, based on 35 years of NI contributions.  For each year under the 35 limit you lose 1/35th of the full amount, equivalent to £4.45 a week or £231.25 a year.  You need a minimum of 10 years of contributions to receive the state pension.  If a spouse takes a career break for 5 - 10 years or possibly more whilst caring for children, then the impact of this break in NI contributions could be very significant on retirement.

Pension rights on Divorce and seeking a Pension Sharing Order are complex matters and essential  to get right.  Pension Sharing Orders allow spouses to balance out the pensions that they have, to achieve a fair division.  This can involve a division of the value of the pension schemes, or the pension income that will be received on retirement. Where one spouse will lose out, perhaps as a result of a shortfall in their National Insurance record, a Pension Sharing arrangement can often be used to redress that shortfall.

Whilst pensions may not be top of your priority list right now,  getting expert advice will set you up for a more secure retirement prospect later in life.

If you are Divorcing or thinking of separating, take specialist advice from our Family Team.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Does Dementia care at home create a “ living hell”!!

This week warnings by the Alzheimer’s Society highlighted shortcomings in the quality of care at home for people diagnosed with Dementia. Some 850,000 in the UK have been diagnosed with this condition, half of whom rely on care workers coming into their home.

A survey carried out by the charity reveals that almost a third of home care workers have no training in dealing with the condition. Lack of training can have devastating effects and can be life changing.  The survey has highlighted that shortfalls in care have resulted in people ending up in hospital because of infections being missed, having to stay in soiled clothing because care workers don’t know how to calm them enough to change their clothing.  There have also been instances of people being found in the middle of the road as a result of home care workers not properly securing peoples homes. Clearly the examples used can create a “living hell”.

Warnings by the Charity serve a purpose because hopefully it will drive up the standard of training in the care industry. The charity estimates that an extra £25 million would cover the cost of the training and which would pay for itself. This is because a consequence would be a reduction in hospital admissions and a reduced need for people to move into care homes.

The cause of the poor care highlighted by the charity is not only lack of training but lack of resource and an inability to then risk assess people with Dementia.  If you find that you or a loved one has or is suffering in the ways described you can complain to the Care Quality Commission.  If the care has been put in place by your Local Authority you can use their complaints procedures. Other remedies for poor care caused by lack of training and failure to risk asses can include a claim for damages because of breach of duty of care.  Injunctions are relevant if the care is tantamount to abuse.  There are in addition other options.  If you use the options, standards will eventually improve.

The above is an overview only.  For a FREE appointment and to find out answers to the questions that need answering  and to get the care you or a loved one need email Andrew Douglas  or his  team. Alternatively call us on               0800 072 8636.

We have offices In Marlborough, Royal Wootton Basset, Devizes & Chippenham. You can visit our website www. abdcare.co.uk
Andrew Douglas


Are Local Councils failing to meet the needs of the elderly!

Age UK have published a report today the 17th November 2016  identifying the fact that 1.2 million people don’t get the help they need from adult social care services in their area and some 696,000 people get no help what so ever.  This of course is an indictment on the system but not necessarily a fault which lies at the door of adult social services.

Local Authorities in this country are the main providers of care for the elderly both in the community and in more structured residential care homes.  They have a must do duty pursuant to the Care Act 2014. This duty is to provide care services to people in their community for the purpose of preventing, reducing and delaying the need for care and support.

Why therefore do so many elderly people go without either adequate or no help what so ever.  There are of course a number of reasons.  Firstly the sheer numbers of people requiring care and support makes a Local Authority’s task almost impossible.  Secondly there is lack of budget at council level.  Thirdly the test which is applied and adjudicated on by Local Authorities only requires them to provide services where there is a significant need on the part of an adult or carer who needs care and support.

A further reason why some people get no support at all is because they do not know their rights or where to go to start the process.

Most people will not know that a Local Authority must (not should) carry out a needs assessment on anyone who has needs for care and support now or in the future irrespective of whether those same needs will be eligible or will qualify financially.  Further, if you are rejected, you need to know that there is an appeals process. For the purpose of starting the process contact by telephone, email or call in to your local adult social care department.  Do not take no for an answer.

The above is an overview only. For a FREE appointment and to find out answers to the questions that need answering  and to get the care you or a loved one need email Andrew Douglas or his  team. Alternatively call us on               0800 072 8636.

We have offices In Marlborough, Royal Wootton Basset, Devizes & Chippenham. Alternatively visit our website www. abdcare.co.uk

Andrew Douglas


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pay your maintenance or you could end up in Prison…

Mr Migliaccio, a former city banker, narrowly escape the four walls of a Prison cell when the Court of Appeal upheld a claim by his former Wife that he owed unpaid maintenance and other monies to her of £9,600. 
This recent Court of Appeal decision (Magliaccio 2016 EWHC 1055) highlights that whilst punishment by way of imprisonment is a very rare occurrence in Family Law cases, the Courts are becoming increasing more forthright in punishing spouses who defy Court Orders. 
Mr Migliaccio claimed before the Court that he had resigned his job at the bank and had unilaterally decided to reduce his maintenance payments to a level he wanted to pay, rather than the amount set by the Court. Needless to say, the Court was not impressed. The Judge noted that at the time of the original Order in 2015, Mr Magliaccio had assets of over £400,000 and an income of over £140,000 p/a. 
Mr Migliaccio was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment, but this was suspended for 28 days so that he could pay up, or face the prospect of a prison cell in default. 

For more information, please contact  peter.berry@awdrys.co.uk 

Peter Berry is a Family & Collaborative Lawyer who is based at the firms Marlborough office.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Brexit vs Parliamentary Sovereignty

I'm confused. One of the main reasons many people voted for us to leave the EU was because they don't like the power the EU has to impose laws on us nor the power that the Court of Justice of the European Union has to overrule the decisions of UK Courts. Many people voted for us to leave the EU because they wanted our Parliament to have the final say. They voted to take a stand for Parliamentary sovereignty which is a fundamental part of our great constitution. For those unfamiliar with this principle, 19th century philosopher AV Dicey described it best:

"The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this, namely that Parliament has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever: and, further, that no person or body is recognised by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament" (A.V.Dicey 1885). Note that "no person or body" includes the Government.

For many there has always been a perceived conflict between Parliamentary sovereignty and the EU,  so having voted in June to leave the EU in order to transfer power back to Parliament you would expect these same people to welcome any High Court ruling which upholds the supremacy of Parliament and the English constitution?

Apparently not.

Instead of congratulating Gina Miller in her land mark victory to uphold and protect the Supremacy of Parliament, she and the three High Court judges who found in her favour have been subjected to racist attacks and have been condemned as "enemies of the people" by a proportion of the mainstream media.

It is essential for people to understand that the High Court ruling has absolutely nothing to do with Brexit. It certainly isn't an insult to democracy. Quite the opposite in fact. What kind of democracy would we live in if the current Government who were elected having received just 36.7% of votes in the last general election had an unfettered power to make whatever changes they liked? This would be wholly unsatisfactory for the 63.3% of the country that didn't vote for them and is exactly why we have a supreme Parliament which includes the democratically elected House of Commons which is intended to be representative of the population, to ensure that nobody's view is ignored.

Unfortunately for Mrs May, what should have been made clear to the public is that referendums are not legally binding. Promises by her predecessor have put her in a difficult position. Had Parliament intended to enable the Government to trigger Article 50 this would have been made clear in the statute. This is not the case. So what now?
Tom Paget - Solicitor, Commercial

If Mrs May is serious that "Brexit means Brexit" then she needs to bring the decision before the Members of Parliament as quickly as possible and we must rely on those members to represent and give effect to the wishes of those that elected them.

However you voted, what is clear is that we will gain nothing by leaving the EU unless we respect the High Court's decision and the supremacy of Parliament.


Thursday, 27 October 2016


Good, bad or indifferent?
When the UK voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 many business and property experts made some pretty bleak predictions about the effect this would have on the commercial property market in the South West and for our local businesses.

Without doubt there was an initial “jolt” in the business world and the fact that the decision came just before the summer when there is usually a lull in activity anyway made it difficult to tell the real effect of Brexit but three months on it doesn't feel as bad as many had feared.

Business as Usual?
The feedback we are getting from our clients is that that they are getting on with "business as usual".  Fears of a recession seem to have subsided for now but the biggest issue still seems to be that no-one really knows what Brexit will actually mean when it eventually happens, or indeed when that will be.  For example how hard will it be for some of our clients to employ staff from other EU countries and will our clients who sell goods to other EU countries be hit with tariffs?  We just don't know.

Property Market
In the meantime the UK is still seen as a safe haven for property investment by many overseas investors and quality commercial property in good locations continues to attract strong demand as there is a general lack of supply.  The weaker pound also has helped make the UK more attractive to outside investors.

House builders are still under pressure to find more sites to meet the Government's targets for new homes so landowners with good sites should feel comfortable that they are still in a strong position.

Investments and Portfolios
Finally with interest rates at record lows many feel that now is a good opportunity to invest or expand their portfolios.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this or would like further information, please contact me jonathan.bailey@awdrys.co.uk                                   
 Solicitor, Head of Commercial

Monday, 26 September 2016

Awdry Bailey & Douglas visit Noah's Ark Zoo Farm!

The largest zoo in the South West!

On Saturday 17th September 2016 a group of Awdry Bailey & Douglas Staff and their families gathered together to have a lovely day out visiting Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo in Wraxall, Bristol. The zoo has over a 100 species of big zoo animals to look at and interact with. 

Tickets were very kindly offered to us by Joe Reevy whose company (Words4Business) provide excellent legal updates and articles.  Thanks again to Joe for his generosity.

The sun was shining; there was barely a cloud in the sky and temperature spot on!  

We all had a wonderful time on Saturday, Phoebe, my 2 year old 
was particularly concerned that she would be fed to the Tiger as we were lucky enough to see snack time.  The girls absolutely loved the tractor ride and whooped and cheered. Ella, my 4 year old, was delighted that Gerald the Giraffe (from her story book, "Giraffes can't dance") was real and was the "Daddy One" of George and Geoffrey Giraffe.  Personally, I was particularly impressed that we got to see a Rhino having playtime and teasing his mate and doing laps of his field - who knew that Rhino's had personalities!!  Could have watched them all day.
Rebecca Vassie

Was a great day - although I think I was more tired than the kids by the end of it!
Carina Kervin

Thank you! We had a wonderful day out!
Lucy Daniels

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for organising the trip to Noah's Ark Farm Zoo on Saturday. We had a really lovely day and hope the rest of you did too. We really enjoyed our day at Noah's Ark Farm Zoo. It was lovely that the children had the opportunity to feed goats, sheep and chickens and they particularly enjoyed the tractor ride, especially when it went quite fast (and very bumpily) up and down a hill. In addition to the animals there were also several play areas, indoor and out, so there was no chance of them getting bored! A great family day out. 
Rachel Fereday

My little boy loved the tractor ride and all the different soft plays!
Jonathan Bailey

What a marvellous place Noah’s Ark Zoo is! There is much to see and do and lots of play areas. Watching the gibbons doing their acrobatics was great fun and all the animals looked wonderfully cared for. We couldn’t fit everything in so we’re planning on going back again.
Gill Ephgrave

 Love animals? Go to ABD  Pinterest for more!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016



Awdry Bailey Douglas recently hosted their Golf Day Event at the magnificent Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf resort. The weather was set to be a fabulously hot and sunny September day… 

It was coffee and bacon butties for starters in the Clubhouse Brasserie followed by a welcome speech from ABD partner Andrew Douglas and off they went.  The format was easy!

PGA Pro – Simon Shanks was on hand to give advice at the Pro Clinic Driving Range and there was putting practice on the green beforehand. 

And then they were off... 

Perfect for a round of golf on the magnificent 18 hole course, starting off from the 1st tee in their four ball teams. 

Not just a simple round of golf
Rain, thunder and lightning were thrown in too!

Back at the Clubhouse Paul McLean Director of Golf/PGA Head Professional at Bowood was busy checking out the weather conditions which didn’t look too good.  The clouds were turning a sinister grey and a cool breeze had started up! Finally, as the sound of thunder boomed overhead and lightning struck, the horn sounded and everyone came off the course as quickly as they could adding excitement to the game!  After 40 minutes they were off again but this time with gloriously warm and sunny weather.

Course competitions included: 

Individual Stableford competition, silver tees
Longest Drive
Nearest the Pin
Straightest Drive
Putting Competition

Pre-drinks were served in the Clubhouse Brasserie afterwards followed by a delicious 3 course meal, speeches and prize-giving. 

Winners of the day whilst former ABD champions
 looked on were;

Individual Stableford Competition Winner - Paul Goodman.
Nearest the line and most birdies  - Andrew Gale.
Nearest the Pin – Chris Elias
Longest Drive – Will Fuller 
ABD Putting Champion – Steve Smith, 
ABD Golfer of the Day – Paul Goodman

Many congratulations to the winners and everyone that took part!

Gross Two's Competition

Thanks to everyone who entered the Gross Two's Competition. £115 was raised and will go to a locally chosen charity.

A good night and a TRULY memorable day was had.


For more information about this event go to ABD Pinterest  where you can scroll down and take a snapshot look...

Friday, 29 July 2016

Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors take part in The Forever Friends Appeal 2016

Awdry Bailey & Douglas Team (Devizes and Chippenham offices) alongside other participating solicitors will take part in The Forever Friends Appeal again this September 2016 “Make a Will Month”  by waiving  their legal fees  in order to help raise monies for Royal United Hospital in Bath.

“The Make a Will month runs for the duration of September and clients will receive Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors exceptional level of professional service and Will preparation in return for a reduced fee being donated to the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.”   

Last year a fantastic £33,000 was raised for this important charity! 

The Royal United Hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, provide a vital service to help improve the hospital’s environment, providing additional medical equipment, facilities as well as the finishing touches and extras that help care for patients more effectively, together with its on going research and development.

For more information about this go to;


Monday, 18 July 2016


This fantastic fusion of warm summer weather and balmy evenings was very apt for Marlborough Jazz Live again this year. The town of  Marlborough becomes like a mini New Orleans!

Jazz   Blues  Traditional   Afro   Fusion  Swing   Latin   Bebop   and MORE!

The Marlborough venues were packed out with 100’s of people enjoying wonderful live music all throughout the town and in particular down at the Awdry Bailey & Douglas Priory Marquee...

A full house - Marlborough jazz hits the note in the Awdry Bailey & Douglas Priory Marquee

Amazing performances took place once again this year at Marlborough Jazz Live International festival.  As always a huge turnout and the weather stayed warm and pleasant…

The Priory Marquee sponsored by Awdry Bailey & Douglas was packed out as always and the marquee side curtains were opened allowing people to sit out on the grass to enjoy the vibe.

The weekend starts here

After the grand opening outside the Castle and Ball Hotel which took place in the presence of the Mayor of Marlborough and the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, the festival began...

“The closest thing to Jools Holland and his Big Band Jazzwise”

The Red Stripe Bands amazing boogie-woogie, rock ‘n’ roll and jump jive performance with Neil Drinkwater on the piano and vocals were in full swing on the Friday evening in the Awdry Bailey & Douglas Priory Marquee followed by Ray Harris & The Fusion Experience until midnight.

Saturday was another story  

Sticky Wicket and his Swing Orchestra kicked Saturday off to a winning start with Sticky doing “his thang” on the drums!  This is 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s Swing at its absolute best!

Hot jazz!

The Bratislava Hot Serenaders specialising in 1920’s and 1930’s foot tapping “hot jazz” were true to form.

This Slovakian entertaining 18 piece orchestra led by brilliant trumpet player Juraj Bartos and supported by the Serenaders Sisters played “gramophone” style arrangements – Paul Whiteman, Duke Ellington, the Goldkette Orchestra but to name a few whilst dressed in traditional costume.

The Bratislava Hot Serenaders

The Jive Aces were back!

Combining a mixture of swing, jive, R&B classics along with their own mix this popular sextet provided 2 hours of fabulous foot tapping music! A show not to be missed! The Jive Aces are fun!

The audience was up and on their feet dancing

The legendary Adam Winslet and his octet of vocals, guitar, drums, keyboards, bass, sax trumpet and trombone really got the audience swaying and on their feet playing a mix of funk, rock and soothing soul to dance the evening away. The marquee was in full swing.

Adam Winslet

A Summer’s Day in the Priory Marquee sponsored by Awdry Bailey & Douglas -Sunday

Accompanied by her 16 piece Hollywood Orchestra Award winning singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal was back by popular demand to perform her latest show “Twelve O’clock Tales”.  An eclectic mix of jazz infused, story telling ballads and compositions.   As always, she is a true privilege to listen to and enjoy.
Clare Teal with Keshani Douglas (ABD)

A triumphant ending!

Another year of fantastic music all round with talented performers.

Left to right: Alexander David (ABD) with Neil Drinkwater and Tim Hotchkiss (ABD)
Alexander David (ABD) with Chris Jagger and Tim Hotchkiss (ABD)

Let’s see what next year brings...


For more information on Marlborough Jazz Live International Festival go to www.marlboroughjazz.com