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DorsetLife The Dorset Magazine


Ferndown's Slop Bog

No. 428 NOVEMBER 2014


The Vikings in Dorset

A story of community action

Three centuries of bloodshed

The Dorset coast

Lyme Regis's Belmont

A photo essay

From ornate stone to John Fowles

Gillingham's cinema Putting method in Methodist

Two Dorset walks Cranborne & Folke

Ken Ayres shoots Shillingstone THE WHITE HORSE AT OSMINGTON



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k NOVEMBER 2014 Letters & contact details 48


Our view, your letters

A Dorset miscellany

Pilsdon Pen, Canford Magna and boiled lamb!

Drawn to the coast 53


Down my Way A unique painting project at Tyneham

Photographer Andy Farrer's coastal shots

Living in Dorset 54


Dorset Life walk 1 A walk in Sherborne and Folke

News from around the county

Focus on Stalbridge 59


Dorset Life walk 2 A short walk around Cranborne

Behind the scenes with the Stalbridge Players

Focus on Blandford 63


Colin Varndell's wildlife year A sika hind at Arne

The town's art society

Focus on Portland 64


Gillingham's community cinema From Methodism to Twelve years a slave

The diaries of a WW1 Portland soldier

Shillingstone: a photo essay 69


This month in Dorset Upcoming events in the county

Ken Ayres in and around a North Dorset village

Ferndown's top bog 77


The wonderfully named Slop Bog explored

Christmas is coming

From special events to shopping opportunities

Raiders! 85


Eat, drink, stay… Restaurant review, food and drink

The story of three centuries of Viking conflict

Langton Herring 89 Dorset's 'Doubly Thankful' village

Bedrooms & interiors Independent living The Dorset Directory

From showhome to holiday home

Classified Dorset businesses


91 Lyme Regis's Belmont House 94

40 44

Dorset villages 98

Jess of the Dairyfields

John Chaffey in the chalk stream valley villages

A map showing Dorset places mentioned in this month's issue

Jess tries to make sloe gin




Fontmell Down

Child STURMINSTER Okeford NEWTON Shillingstone Okeford Fifehead Holnest Fitzpaine Neville Bryanston Minterne Winterborne Gardens Stickland Evershot Folke


Cranborne Tarrant Gunville Pimperne BLANDFORD


Noth e Durd le Do or Lulw orth Cove Worb arrow Bay

Whit e


kThe cover image of the White Horse at Osmington is by Jeanette Baker. International Photo Bank




WAREHAM Corfe Old Harry Rocks Castle Tyneham Langton Matravers SWANAGE Kingston Da nc ing Le dg e


10 km


Canford Heath


5 miles


Lytchett Minster

n to rls


Moors Valley Slop Bog


Milborne St Andrew Stratton Kingston Higher Maurward Bockhampton West Bay DORCHESTER Martinstown Hardy Monument West Stafford Portesham Broadmayne Abbotsbury Ridgeway West Hill Langton Herring Lulworth WEYMOUTH Ch Fleet es il B ea ch


VERWOOD Hinton Martell

Colehill Kingston Lacy FERNDOWN Pamphill WIMBORNE Canford Magna





Sandford Orcas

Pilsdon Pen


 kThe centre-spread image of Fontmell Down is by Anthony Blake


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Editor's letter The real message of 5 November At some stage of our lives, we will all have heard the nursery rhyme: 'Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason, should ever be forgot.' Although the American version of Hallowe'en has extended the firework season forwards, and its tradition of parentally endorsed begging for sweets at one's front door has largely replaced the parentally legitimised begging for money in the street under the guise of 'Penny for the Guy', we should not forget the lessons of our own Thanksgiving Day, as it was initially known in 1606. Puritans in Dorchester are thought to have been the first to light a bonfire in celebration of the previous year's foiling of the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and whilst Guy Fawkes may no longer be burnt in effigy terribly often, his likeness is now the face mask of choice for those protesting against overintrusive surveillance legislation – a reminder that Catesby and Fawkes et al were driven to their murderous attempt on Parliament by religious intolerance and the state's condoning of it. Fawkes may have been hanged, drawn and quartered, his fellow conspirators shot and their heads displayed at Parliament, but the greater and enduring lesson, here and elsewhere, is not those punishments as a lesson to other would-be rebels. Rather it is that ignorance and intolerance – whether hidden behind a shield of faith, of government or of peer-group values – beget hatred and violence. This year, we should celebrate the fact it hasn't happened again, not that it happened once.

is published on the last Thursday of each month by The Dorset Magazine Ltd from 7, The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DY. ISSN 0959-1079. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission. All rights reserved.


Telephone: ....... 01929 551264 Fax .....................................01929 552099 via website at ........... www.dorsetlife.co.uk @dorsetlifemag www.dorsetlife.co.uk/social

Readers' letters k To comment on anything published in Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine, or on any aspect of living in Dorset, please send

an email to editor@dorsetlife.co.uk or write to: The Editor, Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine, 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham, Dorset BH20 4DY.

Memories of Bournemouth Lower Gardens A friend passed me a copy of your January 2014 edition of Dorset Life in which there was a lovely painting of a little boy playing with a yacht on the stream in the Lower Gardens in Bournemouth. My brother and I used to play here in 1924, when we stayed with an aunt and uncle in Bournemouth; I would build k Although this image predates Brema and Bram Williamson's 1924 visit to a harbour for his yacht and the Lower Gardens by a decade, it evokes memories of innocent games he would sail into it. I also remember that there always used to be an old man who sat 'I lift mine eyes up to the hills' on a bench near the stream – not the I applaud your article on Dorset Hills one in the picture, but nearby – and (October 2014); as an ex rambler I he would always be covered with a have wandered over many a mile of carpet of sparrows, which he would hills. As you say, it is a joy to behold feed every day. Colmer’s Hill on my drive home, B WILLIAMSON knowing I am back in Dorset. Fawley, Hants Have you ever visited Rawlsbury Camp Hill which adjoins Bulbarrow? Why not a Dorset Life calendar? Unless you walk there it’s easy to miss. It is lovely to receive my little fix of With great views to the Dorsetshire Dorset through the post in the shape Gap, it has a large wooden cross on of Dorset Life, but I often wonder why top. Whilst I have not been to church you don't do a Dorset Life calendar? since 1953, on a glorious summer’s You have such lovely pictures it day, I could quite easily sing would be nice to have them on Jerusalem at the top of my voice. display a bit longer around the house, If you look at the Landranger rather than just in the magazine. 194 OS map, alongside the words P A STOPS Bulbarrow Hill is Rawlsbury Camp, Slawston, Leics an ancient hill fort, only a few metres lower than Bulbarrow. You only need to look closely at the concentric rings If you too would like us to produce of contour lines to know this is a hill a calendar, please contact us at the address below left. If there is sufficient worth exploring. interest, we'll talk to our photographers P WAREHAM about doing one for 2016... Poole Publisher ...................................Lisa Richards office@dorsetlife.co.uk Editor ............................................ Joël Lacey editor@dorsetlife.co.uk Advertisement Sales Director............. Dave Silk 01305 836440


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DRAWN TO THE COAST A deep-seated attraction to the sea is what inspires Andy Farrer’s coastal shots


ndy Farrer’s love of the sea in general, and the Purbeck coast in particular, come from the fact that he was born and bred in Swanage. His love of photography comes from the moment when, on returning from a holiday to the Isle of Wight, for which he’d been bought a Kodak Instamatic, his photos turned out to be better than those taken by his father. He tried many different photographic fields after going to art college – doing weddings, portraits, even working in laboratories – but left the hobby alone for a while.


In 2007, he was blown away by the quality of the digital pictures taken by the photographer at his wedding and so he started back up again. He’s not looked back since. Andy’s trademark shot can probably best be described as a familiar scene, but shot in a way that’s different to the sometimes hackneyed views that have been taken by visitors. This comes from Andy’s familiarity with the subjects, his proximity to them (which permits him to see scenes at all times of year, many of which will not be familiar to those who only visit Dorset) and, his willingness

kOPPOSITE TOPShooting the Cobb from an angle which doesn’t show its curvature at all was both a deliberate attempt to get a different look, but also a [somewhat rare] nod to self preservation as the seas were crowning the Cobb regularly and it wasn’t safe to go along it. As Andy says: ‘There were epic waves on this day, so it was shot with as fast a shutter speed so that I could capture as many droplets of water frozen in mid-air as possible.'

kABOVE This was from the first set of storms in February 2014. As Andy recalls: ‘This shot is practically at low tide, despite the foam on the beach reaching the cliffs. There was a boulder – about the size of a commercial wheelie bin – being tossed in onto the beach and then out. In the morning, the waves (not the spray, but the waves) had been hitting the cliffs up to the level of the grass. The beach was completely flat after the storms. ’

kOPPOSITE BOTTOM ‘This is my best-selling Old Harry shot by a mile, but it’s so rare to see the foliage and flora, it’s often quite threadbare. This is a good viewpoint for summer sunrises, in the winter you’d have a job to get the sun in the same shot.’

kBELOW Shot from the same place as the Old Harry shot, this summer sunset shot is one of the few in Purbeck – indeed Dorset – where you can get a westward-looking sunset shot with sea in it




to go out in all weathers and at all times of day to be there when the particular magical combination of light direction, cloud positioning and tonal range required for a particular shot appears for a brief moment. This is perhaps exemplified (if not in terms of health and safety) when he went out twice on the first day of the major storms that battered the Purbeck coast in February this year. He headed straight for Durdle Door thinking he might be the person to get the last picture of the Door itself – or perhaps the first picture of the gatepost left after the storms had battered it. As it turns out, he sat for hours in the morning, but the light was wrong, all his drying cloths were soaking and he himself was too. After a brief trip home, he returned to catch the memorable shot shown in this piece of Durdle Door almost wholly obscured by the massive waves battering it. Fortunately, both Andy and Durdle Door survived. In terms of photography, his revisiting of his favourite scenes means that he can ‘allow nature to make the patterns. The coastline changes a lot and you can take a sequence of pictures which, whilst technically the same, show different clouds, different light, different seas.’ As to his constant attraction to the sea, Andy describes it thus: ‘The sea is a lot louder than the woods; the noise blocks everything else out and you can just be.’ Z kLEFT‘I first photographed this composition,’ remembers Andy, ‘when I was at art school. It’s an iconic shot now and I was living about 500 yards from here when I took it. People recognise me for my colour work and I was lucky with the colours and the clouds’ shape and this shot is how I would do it if I could control the clouds. This has been a special place for me. I feel I’m a bit more entitled to take this shot as a Swanage man than others!’ kRIGHT'I was pining to get a sunset and this boat in Poole Harbour is a nice focal point for that sunset. It’s very easy to imagine yourself on it with a glass of wine.' kBELOWTaken on the morning of Andy’s 40th birthday, this winter sunrise of Dancing Ledge was shot deliberately without the swimming pool, to differentiate it from the standard Dancing Ledge image

to the coast

kLiving in Dorset

kLEFT Timo Lieber’s picture of a long and winding road embedded in the coastal hills next to Lulworth Cove ABOVE Jake’s winning shot of the Jurassic Coast

Sixteen year-old Jake Pike from West Stafford in Dorchester is among the winners in this year’s Take a View, Landscape Photographer of the Year contest. He won the Youth Classic View category for his image (right) Jurassic Coast, Looking East from White Nothe. ‘I came to take my image after coming across the view walking along the Jurassic Coast in the summer,’ says Jake, who was 15 at the time. ‘I had never seen the view photographed at sunrise and thought the location was perfectly suited to a winter sunrise.’ Other Dorset winners included Alan Courtney whose Early morning steam at Parkstone was

commended and was winner of the Judge’s Choice, Your View category. In all, five award-winning and highly commended/commended images feature Dorset. The others were: Serpentine (left) by Timo Lieber and Corfe Castle by Mirek Galagus, in the Classic View category; Rebourne, Southbourne Beach by Russ Barnes, in the Your View category. An exhibition of the images is being held at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest from 1- 23 November, one of the few places you can see the exhibition. The Landscape Photographer of the Year competition was founded by renowned Dorset photographer Charlie Waite. www.moors-valley.co.uk/events/ www.take-a-view.co.uk

kChildren with Nicola’s silk-screen painting that is on the cover of her book Bizzy the Blenny

A blenny called Bizzy and limpet called Lesley are the stars of a new book that aims to educate children about the importance of marine conservation as well as entertain them with tales of the creatures that live undersea at the Fleet Lagoon. Written by local artist Nicola Dennis and Chesil Beach Centre officer Marc Smith, it features delightful illustrations from Nicola, which were originally created using traditional silk screen painting techniques. ‘Art is a wonderful way to draw attention to conservation issues,’ says Nicola, who moved to Dorset when she was six months old and has a home studio at Bothenhampton, Bridport. She had donated some work to the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Chesil Beach Centre and then explored the idea of the book with Marc. The result is Bizzy the Blenny and the Treasure of the Fleet Lagoon. ‘Nicola’s work is so bright and vibrant and really appeals to children,’ says Marc. ‘Bizzy is designed to be a curious character who goes out exploring and meets other creatures. At Chesil we try bring the outside environment to life.’ The book is available at the centre or at the DWT online shop. www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/shop_online.html



GREEN ACCOLADE FOR POOLE SCHOOLS Four schools have achieved the School’s Environment Award from the Borough of Poole, which encourages children to learn about and care for their environment. Bearwood Primary & Nursery School, Lilliput CE VC Infant School, Merley First School and Springdale First School were all adjudged to have made significant improvements in the school’s eco-friendliness. Bearwood and Springdale received the silver award while Lilliput

and Merley achieved gold status. There are several steps to winning the award that focus on areas such as natural world, waste and recycling, healthy living and transport. Improvements made by the school included regular litter surveys and picks, pond renovation, introduction of compost bins, holding surveys to establish storage areas for scooters and bicycles and making bird feeders and nest boxes. Sixteen schools have held the award since it was launched in 2007. 11

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kLiving in Dorset

kABOVE & RIGHT Rylands Farm aims to transform lives of young and older people

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE Rylands Farm in Holnest, Sherborne, home to the Future Roots social enterprise which transforms the lives of disadvantaged and disabled children, has benefited from a generous spruce-up donated by the Shaftesbury-based, The Wessex Group. Thirty employees came forward and put in new electrics, carried out safety work in the barn and erected a donated field shelter. Jim O’Brien, who works for the group, and partner Julie Plumley, bought the farm in 2006 and set up the not-for-profit organisation. They converted the barn into a teaching area and run a number of projects such as Future Farmers, which offers vocational training for 14-21-year-olds who are interested in farming and Field 2 Fork, accredited outdoor

PILOT RADIO COMES TO BRIDPORT A week-long community radio pilot in Bridport attracted global as well as local listeners. Even though Bridport FM was broadcasting to a two-three mile radius on the 87.7 FM frequency, it picked up listeners from around the world via the internet. ‘The feedback has been great,’ says Kate Wilson, learning coordinator at Bridport Arts Centre which ran the project. Bridport FM broadcast 84 hours of listening across the week and the content included original dramas as well as music, talk and magazine shows and programmes aimed at children. Kate explains that the centre would love to repeat the exercise next year but the cost of radio makes it prohibitive without proper funding and this year it was fortunate to have a Heritage Lottery grant. ‘This is a great outreach project for us but radio is expensive and it’s also dependent on the goodwill of all the volunteers,’ she says, adding that some 200 volunteers were involved this year, double the number

GRASS-FREE LAWN FIRST? Dorchester’s Borough Gardens will become home to a grass-free lawn in what is thought to be the first project of its kind in Britain. Individuals can contribute plants they have grown at home to the lawn with a grand planting day on Easter Monday (6 April) next year. Joy Wallis, community conservation officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s kDWT's Joy Wallis and Dr Lionel Smith looking at a grass free lawn

education for 5-21 year-olds with complex learning needs. In addition to helping young people, they have set-up the Countryman’s Club for rural men aged over 60 who may feel isolated. Jim and Julie, a social worker who grew up on a farm in North Dorset, employ the use of care farming, which is the therapeutic use of farming practices. ‘We find those who come really benefit from being with the animals and helping out on a working farm,’ says Jim. Future Roots is also behind the popular Holnest Country Fayre which will be in its fourth year in 2015. who took part in a previous pilot. All of the programmes broadcast can be downloaded as podcasts and the centre would be interested in hearing from anyone who would like to get involved in the project in the future via www.bridport-arts.com and www.facebook.com/BridportFM

kOn-air at Bridport FM

(DWT), which is supporting the project along with the town council, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Gardens Group, says such a lawn is fifty times more beneficial to bees and butterflies than a standard lawn. ‘This is something to be encouraged as all our pollinators are struggling to survive at the moment,’ she adds. Mayor of Dorchester, Peter Mann, has made the lawn the subject of his Mayoral Appeal and hopes it will involve large numbers of all ages from the local community. He was among those who visited one of the few grass-free lawns in the country at Reading University where he met leading authority on the subject, biological sciences researcher, Dr Lionel Smith. For those interested in growing plants for the lawn, Joy advises that among the best species are trefoils, clovers, bugle, self-heal and yarrow. They should be grown in peat-free compost with only mono-cultures in each seed tray (ideally 8-10 plants in each one). Joy will provide free compost and seed trays and can be emailed at jwallis@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk. 13

A specialist Dementia Care Home designed from the ground up to stimulate, enhance and comfor t the lives of our Residents. Our new Dementia Care Home sits in the attractive market town of Fordingbridge easily accessible from Salisbury, Ringwood, Bournemouth, Southampton and surrounding areas. Designed in conjunction with Stirling University (acknowledged experts in dementia care) it embraces the very latest thinking in terms of nursing care, environment, aesthetics, comfort, security and stimulation. Built over three floors each one is independently operated with its own nurse station, lounges dining room and kitchenette Themed memory seating areas are situated on all floors throughout the home to help orientation, stimulate thoughts and prompt conversations between residents carers and family. The secure, attractive and sunny gardens offer a wealth of seating with raised planting areas for those with green fingers. Plus a large glass panelled terrace offers peaceful and relaxing views over the grounds. If you would like to know more we welcome visitors to the home at anytime. Just call 01425 333101 to book an appointment or for further information.

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kLiving in Dorset LADY OF THE LAKE A Dorset mum has been presented with a prestigious Gatsby award, an honour created by philanthropist Lord Sainsbury, for a research project aimed at helping scientists understand why the lake in Poole Park becomes clogged with algae in the summer. The work has led to her being offered a place at Aberdeen University on a five-year course in embryology and developmental biology. ‘I can hardly believe what has happened and it will be a huge life change for me,’ says Kate, 31, who set out

to be a dental hygienist but decided to study biology under the Access to Higher Education course at Bournemouth & Poole College. Cyanobacteria are responsible for creating the blooms of algae and one of the ways officials have tried to treat it is by using decaying barley straw which is believed to produce a microbe that attacks and kills it. As part of her study, Kate tested samples of the bacteria in the lab in barley straw decomposition products and found levels measured on a spectrometer decreased noticeably. ‘Although I only had kAlgal blooms on time for one experiment, the results were Poole Park's lake encouraging,’ says Kate, who has always loved the lake in Poole Park having grown up around it, as did her mother. ‘More study is obviously needed under rigorous conditions but I think there is potential to move the research forward.’ The one down side is that Kate will now have to leave her beloved Poole Park behind when she and her five-year-old daughter move to Scotland.

kKate on Poole Park lake


stones’ and was determined to make it a burial site worth visiting, especially as Visitors from around the world have it already received an average of three already been making the pilgrimage visitors a month. Restoration work began to Lytchett Minster cemetery to see with a genealogical search to ensure the refurbished burial site of one of the no family permission was needed while country’s renowned soldiers, explorers funding was sought from the Queen’s and spiritual writers. Lieutenant Colonel Dragoon Guards regiment and the World Sir Francis Younghusband, a member of Congress of Faiths, the organisation the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards, became founded by Sir Francis. Local stone mason president of the Royal Geographical Dennis Gillard’s skilful restoration revealed Society and later chairman of the Mount some impressive letter-cutting and artistry Everest Committee. He died while on one of his frequent trips to Dorset in on the stone which included a carving of Everest. The reverse also features an 1942. Former Purbeck School teacher inscription to Younghusband’s wife and Graham Hall, who has himself climbed in kSir Francis Younghusband’s headstone the site has a memorial to his son. ‘We’re the Himalayas and served in the 1st The delighted with the result and are grateful to everyone who Queen's Dragoon Guards, was alerted to the grave by his helped in the project,’ says Graham, who is now warden of neighbour. Then warden-in-waiting of the parish church, Lytchett Minister Parish Church and St Dunstan’s. Graham found two ‘grubby and dangerously leaning

WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THOMAS HARDY The new Thomas Hardy visitor centre linking the author’s cottage at Higher Bockhampton to the surrounding landscape has been officially opened. The timber-built centre in Thorncombe Woods is only a 15-minute walk from Hardy’s birthplace so visitors can literally walk in his footsteps. It has been designed to have minimal impact on its setting and includes a space for schools and communities. As well as educating visitors about Hardy’s life, they can also learn more about the conservation tasks needed to look after the environment in which it is located. The centre is a joint project between the National Trust and Dorset County Council. ‘We would like the project to help people learn more about the author and his writing and relate it to the surrounding landscape,’ says Councillor Peter Finney, the county council’s Cabinet member for environment and economy. Hardy wrote his early works in the cob and thatch cottage in Higher Bockhampton.

k The timber-built Hardy visitor centre


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kFocus on Stalbridge

MAKING A DRAMA…OUT OF A PANTO Sue Weekes on the Stalbridge Players, a dramatic group who take comedy seriously


hose who have always fancied taking part in panto but have found Christmas commitments get in the way will be pleased that the Stalbridge Players have broken with tradition and are staging its production not in December but March. The ‘flavour’ of this has yet to be finally decided, explains the group’s secretary Colin Butt, but the auditions will take place on 13 December 2014 at Stalbridge Hall in Lower Stalbridge Road with chairperson Jackie Newell at the helm as director. The Stalbridge Players were founded approximately 70 years ago by the Stalbridge Women’s Institute, but have been an independent group for some years. Colin, who k Characters from the Players' 2011 production of The Wizard of Oz. Whilst the eponymous has been a member of the amateur dramatic society for wizard is presumably in character behind the curtain, the real string puller (pictured between around 20 years and whose first part was the tin man in the Tin Man and Dorothy) is Jane Newman, the co-director with Colin Butt. the Wizard of Oz, explains that the Players try to stage three productions over a two-year period, one of these of the committee and outside of this has a wider body of being a pantomime. ‘We have, over the last few years, members who are always keen to get involved in new also completed “junior” productions,’ he says. ‘These are shows. ‘Doing a production can be an intense period of specifically geared to young people in the area (under-18s) time but it is nice to get together for a few weeks and then to allow them to get larger roles and be involved with the have a break, making everyone keen to do the next one,’ technical side.’ says Colin. Outside of productions, the group holds some The last production, The Lion, the Witch and the social get-togethers such as quiz nights and the odd visit to Wardrobe, was a junior production with an age range the theatre, the next one being a trip to see The Full Monty. of six up to sixteen. ‘This was very well received by the The longest serving member of the Players is president audience. The cast of sixty-plus – however did we manage Ann Moore, whom Colin describes as a tour de force. ‘Or to get them all on stage? – all seemed to love every minute should that be tour de farce,’ he says. ‘She has acted of it and the production had a great review courtesy of the and directed and her opinions and experience are most local press,’ says Colin. valued.’ Many other members The Stalbridge Players are have notched up a good few most definitely a drama group years’ service but new blood is not a ‘panto society’ and always welcome whether an outside of pantomime stages individual’s interest lies on stage predominantly plays and or behind the scenes. ‘We don’t typically comedies on the basis like to turn anyone away and that people ‘like to laugh’ when try to accommodate everyone they go out. Past productions but obviously if the play has only 10 parts then only 10 people over the years have included can get a role,’ says Colin. He ’Allo ’Allo, Hi-de-Hi and Michael adds that ‘commitment and Frayn’s Noises Off, a play enthusiasm’ are the basis of within a play which follows the any production whether it is capers of a theatre company acting, lighting, sound, makebackstage at rehearsals through k A poster for the Players' production of Michael Frayn's Noises Off up, costumes, choreography or to their first night. ‘So you are stage management. ‘We will rehearse three times a week playing an actor and the part they play,’ explains Colin. for a 10-week period for a show that will run for either ‘It was challenging and hard work but it was also a great four nights (a play) or six performances (a panto),’ he says. production to do.’ The group has also put on a cabaret and ‘There is a great sense of camaraderie in the group and you even produced a live radio play which saw the Players end up spending quite a bit of time with people who you speaking into microphones on the stage. ‘It meant we wouldn’t see normally. We certainly have a laugh but you didn’t have to learn any lines,’ he says. also have to take things a little bit seriously because an Productions are generally held in Stalbridge Hall audience is paying to see you perform and we like to think and are well supported which gives a great feeling of people walk away thinking it was money well spent.’ Z ‘community spirit’ says Colin. ‘More space would be lovely as this would enable us to complete more complex kAnyone interested in auditioning for the 2015 pantomime, productions,’ and he jokingly adds: ‘I personally would like which will be staged in March, can call Colin Butt on to make an entrance flying in on a wire maybe one day.’ 01963 362739. There is also a Facebook page at The group has a core of people who make up the bulk www.facebook.com/StalbridgePlayers 17

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kFocus on Blandford

ART OF BLANDFORD Sue Weekes appraises the work of Blandford’s Art Society


he principle behind Blandford Art Society has remained the same since it launched more than 40 years ago: to promote the education and appreciation of the visual arts. ‘We aim to be a focal point in the community for everyone,’ explains the society chairman Mike Lofthouse, who adds that this was certainly realised during its open exhibition held in August. Whilst half of the pictures shown were by members, the society also hosts any artist who wants to submit work. ‘This year’s exhibition stretched from project work by 11-13-year-olds from the Blandford School all the way through to work by professional artists and everything in between.’ The society’s membership ranges from beginners to professional artists, including some of the founder members, but new recruits are always welcome. ‘Even those who just want to attend workshops and sessions initially to get a sense of the atmosphere,’ says Mike. ‘There are plenty of people to learn from and some of our members are also tutors.’ The society meets once a month at Pimperne Village Hall and as well as the summer open art event it holds a members exhibition which typically takes place in the spring. It has also just launched its 2014-18 project in which members are invited to put themselves forward as artists to record some of the World War 1 events being held

k A small selection of the work on display at the society's August open exhibition

by other organisations in the area. It has already being involved in creating a backdrop at the Corn Exchange on to which members of the community then painted poppies. With no shortage of artistic talent in Blandford area, Mike says that the large number of arts-related groups has helped to create a great community spirit in the town. He adds it also helps that people are often members of more than one of these groups. He himself is also involved in the museum and sits on the committee of Forum Drama, Blandford’s community theatre: ‘So you get this tremendous crossfertilisation of ideas from which everyone benefits and it contributes so much to the town.’ Z kblandfordartsociety.weebly.com/

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A REMARKABLE MAN Sue Weekes on a Dorset History Centre project about the diaries of Portland soldier RSM George Beck


he diaries of a soldier from Portland are providing a unique snapshot of life on the frontline of World War 1 via an online blog posted by the Dorset History Centre. Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM) George Beck was originally from the Midlands but married Portlander Eliza Jane Attwooll, daughter of a quarryman, in 1907 and settled on the isle. RSM Beck served on the Western Front throughout the conflict and, unusually for a noncommissioned officer, was awarded the Military Cross. The diaries were provided by George’s granddaughter Caroline Milverson who, like other members of the family, still lives on Portland: ‘I am delighted that more people will now be able to learn about my grandfather’s thoughts and feelings as he wrote his diaries 100 years ago,’ she says. So far three diaries have been transcribed by Dorset History Centre volunteer Alison Schwalm, who immersed herself in the life of RSM Beck, carrying out additional research for the project. Sam Johnston, county archivist at Dorset History Centre, explains that the centre has received two more diaries from George’s granddaughter and hopes to run the project for as long as the diaries run. While there isn’t an entry for every day, George’s writings provide insight on several major battles, as well as events such as the Christmas Truce and the

Dorset History Centre, collection reference D1820

kFocus on Portland introduction of gas in the trenches in May 1915. They also mention his occasional but precious leave home to Portland. ‘He was obviously a remarkable man who cared very much for his men,' says Sam. ‘And we’re delighted to be able to provide access to his world.’ His posting of Monday 24 August concludes: ‘Told we are 60 miles from the fighting. Everyone excited & eager.’ George had served in the Boer War and was awarded the South Africa Medal and several Clasps, including the King’s Clasp in 1901. He remained in the army after the war and worked as an instructor but was discharged due to illhealth. After this he worked as an inspector for the Portland Bus Company. Sadly this World War 1 k RSM Beck hero died at the age of 47 in 1928 of pneumonia and influenza in Avalanche Road, Portland. His funeral was with full military honours at St George’s Church. A letter of condolence from a former Adjutant described George as ‘one of the finest men I knew with a wonderful war record and a wonderful peace record’. Z kRSM Beck’s diaries can be read on line at http://news.dorsetforyou.com/rsm-beck-diary/

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SHILLINGSTONE: A PHOTO ESSAY Ken Ayres travels to a North Dorset village with more than its fair share of items of interest


f you are asked to name a place which once had two railways, which was named the ‘Bravest village in England’ after World War 1 and was, somewhat appropriately therefore, the place where the music to the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers had been composed, you may now reply with confidence: ‘Ah yes, that’ll be Shillingstone’. As with Sixpenny Handley, Shillingstone’s name has nothing to do with the £.S.D currency system. It was known as Akeford Skelling early in the 13th century, the more comprehensible – when taken in the context of the abutting villages Okeford Fitzpaine and Child Okeford – Okeford Shillyng in the late 14th century, and is derived from the family name of Schelin (a Swedish/Norman name later rendered as Eschelling), who held it at the time of Domesday in 1086. Its church – the parish church of the Holy Rood – was largely built in the 12th and 14th centuries, but there are embellishments, adornments and ornamentations from the 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It received the gift of a pulpit from a merchant named Keen in the 17th century. Mr Keen had fled London to escape the great plague and came to live in Shillingstone early in 1666. His commercial premises in Bread Street were at the centre of the Great Fire’s zone of destruction, under half a mile from Pudding Lane, and in a direct line

kABOVEShillingstone still has a pub and a Post Office (two days a week in the church centre) kBELOWShillingstone Railway Project has restored the village's former railway station


kABOVEA batsman looks forlornly and erroneously towards the boundary during a cricket match (at Shillingstone's Rec) as his leg stump is knocked backwards kBELOWA terrace of brick and flint cottages opposite the cross kBOTTOMShilingstone's Parish Church of the Holy Rood has a brightly decorated barrel ceiling kRIGHTOne of Shillingstone's two crosses; the base and cross were made centuries apart kOPPOSITE BOTTOM The Wilson-Haines footbridge over the Stour was named for the former footpath officers whose parishes of Shillingstone and Child Okeford the footbridge connects



from there to the old St Paul’s Cathedral, so he had much for which to be thankful. In 1906, Sir Frederick Treves described Shillingstone as ‘a charming roadside village,’ and praised its ‘beautiful and graceful village cross’. The cross, one of two in the village, is still there; the road is too, but no doubt a bit less charming than it was 108 years ago owing to traffic. Running parallel to the village, which sits between the River Stour and the Blandford Forest, if not to the meandering Stour, is the North Dorset Trailway. This runs behind the village’s recreation ground and leads to

a photo essay

the Shillingstone Railway project, the only extant station on the old S&D Bournemouth West to Bath line. The other, sadly now departed, railway was designed for the transport of pigs in the grounds of Shillingstone House. When the former railway station was in its pomp, it carried moss, gathered from the north slope of Okeford Hill, for delivery to Covent Garden for the dressing of stalls. There is no evidence that any of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Ian Stewart or Brian Jones was ever engaged in this industry. Z


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kKingfisher Creek

FERNDOWN’S TOP BOG Tony Burton-Page discovers a wildlife oasis in busy Ferndown


then man had started to make his mark on the wildwood – his grazing, burning and cutting prevented woodland returning to the sandy soils, and thus the heathland developed. The heath was harvested by the local inhabitants, who used the bracken for their stables (and in later years the Verwood potteries used it as a kind of bubble wrap), the gorse as a fuel for their bread ovens, and the heather not only as a fuel but also instead of thatching for their roofs. In 1611 John Speed, the innovative Tudor mapmaker, published an atlas containing the first maps of the British counties, and in the accompanying text he describes the Dorsetshire heathlands between Poole and Wareham as ‘yielding furze and ling’ for fuel that were ecomically important for the local community. He mentions that the heathlands were wild enough for smugglers to ‘travel George Dunkling

erndown has the reputation of being one of Dorset’s most thriving towns, having successfully expanded over the last hundred years or so from the little village of Fern Down to the second largest inland town in the county, exceeded only by Dorchester. A large part of the town itself is made up of tranquil residential areas, and on its western outskirts is the largest industrial estate in East Dorset. So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that there is a 56-acre nature reserve within minutes of all this. And the name of this oasis is even more of a surprise: Slop Bog. Perhaps the unattractiveness of its name is responsible for its lack of fame, for the hallowed cliché ‘hidden gem’ hardly does its obscurity justice – one naturalist who uploaded a Youtube video of wildlife at Slop Bog commented that he had driven past it thousands of times without being aware it existed. But locally it is indeed known and loved by a caring few, including the self-styled Slop Bog Guardians, a group which was formed in 2003 in response to concerns about tree-felling in the area. ‘Guardians’, note, rather than merely ‘friends’: a justified designation, because Slop Bog has been under threat for many years. It is all that remains of the old Hampreston Heath, which was once part of a vast area of heathland extending from the New Forest to Purbeck; by 1985 it had been gradually whittled down to its present size. The heathland itself had been created when Bronze Age man started farming and cleared the wildwood, the name which has been given to the natural landscape which developed after the last Ice Age. So much of Britain was still woodland when Julius Caesar arrived with his first invasion force in 55 BC that he is said to have grumbled that the whole island was ‘one horrible forest’. But by

kA male silver-studded blue butterfly is one of many species to be found at Slop Bog


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top bog

George Dunkling


kA green tiger beetle

within so as to conceal their contraband’. A century later, Isaac Gulliver was still making use of this uninhabited stretch of heathland for his nefarious activities. By then, Slop Bog was no more than a small wet corner of Hampreston Heath. The Hampreston Enclosure Award of 1815 makes mention of locals having ‘Turbary Rights’ for Slop Bog, which meant that they were allowed to cut a certain amount of peat or heather turf which they could use as a slow-burning fuel. Ordnance Survey maps from the late 19th century show conifer plantations on drier parts of the heath, and their descendants stand on Slop Bog today. In 1859 David Stewart, whose father had nurseries in Scotland, started a branch nursery in Ferndown to take advantage of the milder climate for growing less hardy stock. Slop Bog was used for the growing of pond plants (particularly lilies), as Stewart’s nurseries were situated next to it. Many of the lily beds can still be seen today, although they were abandoned in the 1960s. David Stewart’s descendants opened the first ‘garden centre’ in the UK in Ferndown in 1955. During the 20th century, much of the land surrounding Slop Bog was divided into smaller plots for housing, and the ‘suburban sprawl’ ate into the countryside: in the 1970s the bungalows of Hazel Drive were built, followed in the 1980s by Cedar Way and Redwood Drive. Slop Bog’s final boundaries were defined by the construction of the Ferndown by-pass, the A31, in 1985. But by this time awareness of the importance of the environment had increased significantly, and the realisation that the heathland of Dorset was now at 15% of its 1850 levels led to the designation of Slop Bog as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The citation mentions that ‘the bog communities on the deep peat of Slop Bog are exceptionally rich’, pointing out such rare species as marsh gentian, mud sedge, bog asphodel, brown beak sedge, as well as at least eleven species of dragonfly, including the rare small red damselfly.

Dorset CC bought Slop Bog in 1992 and ten years later declared it a Local Nature Reserve; it is now managed by Dorset Countryside. Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2005, access for local residents was much improved, and waymarkers and information boards were installed; but perhaps the most significant development was the building of a boardwalk, which means that visitors have the rare opportunity to cross a sphagnum bog without getting their feet wet. It also gives younger visitors the chance to indulge in pond dipping, an educational activity in which they dip nets into the water and investigate the tiny creatures they have caught. So Slop Bog has now come of age as a ‘visitor attraction’, and the very unattractiveness of its name is part of that attraction – a decidedly 21st-century phenomenon. But the contemporary fascination with wildlife and the environment is far more responsible for the interest in Slop Bog, and there is indeed much to see here if you are patient. The bird life, for example: stonechats have nested here, and so have the much rarer Dartford warblers, a species which almost became extinct in the UK in the last century.

kA work party clears unwanted conifers



top bog

kPond dipping at Ferndown's Slop Bog

Nightjars and greater spotted woodpeckers have also been recorded, and snipe have been seen near the boardwalk in the winter. Entomologists have even more delights in store, not only because of the eleven species of dragonfly noted in the SSSI citation (and since then three more species have been recorded). The silver-studded blue butterfly is listed as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and is often described as being rare, but from June to September great numbers can be seen on the wing here. Other butterflies which have been recorded at Slop Bog include the brimstone, the grayling, the ringlet and the speckled wood. Botanists, too, will find that Slop Bog has much to offer them. The marsh gentian is rarely seen in the UK, but here the conditions are perfect for them. The snag is that the flowers only open fully when the sun is shining, and this elusiveness contributes to their rarity. The insect-eating sundew can also be found here, as can bog asphodel,

George Dunkling

kA pirate spider

cotton grass, white beak-sedge and bog myrtle. As for fauna apart from insects, lizards are frequently seen on the boardwalk on sunny days. Slow-worms are also lizards, despite their snake-like appearance, and they can be found, again on sunny days, on the pathways across the dry part of Slop Bog, as can the UK’s only poisonous snake, the adder, although those of a nervous disposition will be comforted to learn that only a few are seen each year. Moreover, it only attacks to defend itself. Somewhat less alarming but more frequently encountered are the common frog, the grass-snake and the palmate newt. Nowadays havens of nature such as Slop Bog must be managed to ensure not only their present idyllic state but also their future, and this task has been entrusted to Dorset Countryside. Among other things, this involves grazing small numbers of hardy cattle or ponies during the summer months to check the spread of purple moorgrass, which would otherwise overrun the area. Coppicing and thinning work encourages a more diverse range of trees, and the non-native maritime pine trees will be felled and replaced with native alder, buckthorn, birch, holly, hazel and oak. The traditional practice of small-scale peat-cutting continues in the summer months, when water levels are low. When the wet turves are laid out to dry, the newly-created ponds are used by dragonflies to lay their eggs. Dorset Countryside and its team of Rangers is assisted by the Slop Bog Guardians through wildlife surveys, practical work parties, fundraising and encouraging local participation. Natural England, the government’s adviser on the natural environment, regularly assesses the condition of Slop Bog, and recent years have seen its status upgraded from ‘no change’ to ‘recovering’. The efforts of all concerned have brought this about, but it is a sobering thought that a lot of hard work is needed to protect and maintain a natural site such as Slop Bog in the 21st century. Z


Look and Learn


lcuin of York, later confessor to Emperor Charlemagne, wrote: ‘the heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets,’ after the Vikings raided the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast in 793. He also wrote: 'Never before has such terror appeared in Britain.’ While this deliberate attack is still largely heralded as the start of the Viking Age in England – over two hundred and fifty years of persistent harrying, repeated invasion from Scandinavia and settlement – it was not in fact, the first recorded visitation by the Heathens to our shores. Some years earlier, around 787, opinions differ as to the exact year, three long ships, from Hordaland, western Norway, were spotted off the Dorset coast; they eventually made landfall at Portland. Sticking out from the Dorset coast like a giant arm reaching into the ever-widening expanse of the English Channel, Portland was a surprisingly barren place, reminiscent of the more remote corners of Southern Ireland as waves crashed on to the treacherous rocks at the Bill; gulls cried ceaselessly in the skies above and the wind blew incessantly across the headland. The seasoned mariner of today will be only too aware of the great tidal races that rage in the perilous surrounding waters. It was, arguably, the combination of the local weather and the sea conditions that led to this first recorded visitation 32

Irish Film Board/Take 5 Productions/World 200 Entertainment/The Kobal Collection

Harry Bucknall recounts three very different Viking incidents in Dorset over three centuries

kTravis Fimmel, playing the legendary Viking raider Ragnar Lodbrook

Look and Learn


they were treated in the intervening hours. But, when Beaduheard and his entourage did arrive, there was an evident problem. Legend has it that the Reeve demanded the Vikings be moved to Dorchester to register as merchants in accordance with law; perhaps he attempted to impose an immediate levy. It is perfectly possible that what was intended as mere detention, ahead of the arrival of a suitably senior figure, was seen by the Vikings as capture. Perhaps the Reeve’s arrival, before matters escalated beyond their control, was what the Vikings thought was their only chance to escape. Whatever the motivation, Beaduheard – and all his men – were slain and the Heathens put back to sea. News of this incident, which was received with outrage and horror, was reported widely throughout the land in the various chronicles maintained in the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms; each recording different details such that the whole story can be quite faithfully pieced together. After the attack on Lindisfarne, a year later Iona was raided in the same unforgiving manner. As time progressed, so the size and frequency of these attacks along the East coast increased until in 865, it is reported that Ivar the Boneless raised the Great Heathen Army: a marauding force that would conquer the kingdoms in Northumberland, East Anglia and Mercia. This was allegedly revenge for the execution of his father, the legendary warrior king, Ragnar Lodbrok. The sagas record that Lodbrok, the scourge of both England and France, had been thrown into a pit of adders after capture by King Ælla of Northumberland. Ælla himself, at the hands of the invaders, would suffer the suitably vengeful death of ‘the blood eagle’ (details of which really need not be gone into here, but suffice to say

by Norsemen to the British Isles in the Kingdom of the West Saxons, better known as Wessex. This was to be the forerunner to a period of our island’s story that would span over 250 years as the Vikings ventured as far afield as North America and even the Caspian Sea leaving a lasting impression on history and, at the time, representing a threat so great that the many kingdoms of our land would be forged into the one nation state of England. Even today, the motive for Scandinavian expansionism remains unclear; some believe it may have been in retaliation for Charlemagne’s northward forays to forcibly convert the pagans to Christianity. It is fair to say that the Frankish methods and incentives for conversion – convert or die – were not entirely well received at the time. However, as England was the first target for attack, this revenge hypothesis would seem unlikely. Alternatives are that the population outgrew the land, that the young males were sent in search of women given a shortfall in females, or that it was simply to seek new trade routes following the fall of the Roman Empire. No single hypothesis stands the test of full scrutiny. Imagine the stir that the sight of the three long ships – overriding symbols of the Viking Age – would have created among the Saxon watchmen as they appeared on the horizon, moving in unison with their sleek lines, raised prow and stern posts and magnificent square sails. The ensuing events that day explain why the Lindisfarne episode is more generally seen as the start of the Viking Age in this country; the long ships landed at Portland, initially in peace, and presumably were met by the local inhabitants. Some historians believe that this was meant to be a trading mission, others that the weather or sea conditions forced them to put in but whatever the reason by very merit of the scale, method of landing and choice of destination, it is evident that the intentions were not initially aggressive – the opposite of Lindisfarne. The fact that there were no further similar episodes in the area for some years would also tend to indicate that the event was unplanned. The King of Wessex at the time, was Beorhtric, and his appointed local official, or Reeve as he was known, was Beaduheard, quartered in Dorchester. On hearing news of the Vikings’ arrival, the Reeve rode down to Portland to meet with the visitors. It would have taken some time from the landing to the Reeve’s arrival and it is impossible to know whether the Norsemen were detained or how

Viking ships at sea. James Gale Tyler/Art Archive/Superstock

kConcerned Saxons watch Viking ships in the English Channel

kThe Vikings' ships were both seaworthy and shallow drafted enough to use rivers


Oxford Archaeology


kThe decapitated skeletal remains of an unfortunate hoard of Vikings?

The Art Archive/Historiska Muséet Stockholm/Collection Dagli Orti

and attack until it finally fell to Canute when he invaded once again up the River Frome in overwhelming numbers. if you look them up you may never look at a spatchcocked He would later die, King of England in 1035 at Shaftesbury. chicken quite the same way again). But the latest turn in the Viking story of Wessex comes Ten years later and much of England had been full circle back to the area above Portland when, in 2009, brutalized by merciless Viking campaigning, the crown of work began to improve the A354 Dorchester to Weymouth Wessex had passed to Alfred on the death of his brother road prior to the 2012 Olympic games; the very same route Æthelred while, on the other side, command of the Great that in all probability the ill fated Reeve, Beaduheard, Army had passed to Guthrum, founder of Danelaw, as would have taken just over 1200 years earlier on his way Viking-held Britain (with its capital at York) was known. In to meet the very first Vikings to our shores. On top of 876, the ambitious Guthrum, intent on the capturing the Rigdeway Hill, on the commanding heights that overlook fiercely resistant kingdom of Wessex, made a bold move the coast, a mass grave was uncovered (in what had and invaded the fortified town of Wareham from the sea. previously been a disused Roman quarry) containing The attack was a success. It was only after reinforcements fifty-four dismembered human skeletons… but only fiftywere lost in a storm that Guthrum’s men sued for peace one skulls. and Alfred’s blockade of the town was eventually lifted Forensic tests indicate that the remains were all males after an exchange of hostages, to guarantee that peace, aged predominantly from their late teens to 25, with a and swearing of oaths. handful of elders – the perfect profile for the crew of a The Vikings however murdered their charges and made medium-sized longship of the time – all put to the death good their escape westward, hotly pursued by Alfred. at the same time with the use of a heavy sharp instrument It would take almost another such as a sword. Tests run by the two years, including a decisive British Geological Survey prove defeat at Chippenham and a almost conclusively that the men long winter in the Somerset originated from Sweden and radiomarshes, before Alfred’s great carbon dating places the killings victory at Edington would between 910 and 1030 AD. turn the tide. His pursuit and Motive for the executions and successful siege of Chippenham dismemberments are unclear; it forced Guthrum to negotiate a was possibly part of Æthelred the peace, one of the conditions of Unready’s St Brice’s Day massacre which, Alfred stipulated, was of 13 November 1002, when, to be the Dane’s conversion to for fear of an imminent Viking Christianity. At the baptism, overthrow, all Danes in England Alfred not only forgave his long were ordered to be killed. But time adversary but also took perhaps the most rousing thought him as his godson. Guthrum is that the brave men of Wessex, never broke his oath of peace with conscious of the great legacy of Alfred again. King Alfred, captured a lone raider But while Alfred’s persistence that had been blown off course and fortitude put pay to the once and wanted to send a clear and imminent threat of a Viking resounding message back to the invasion of Wessex for the best warlords of Scandinavia that this part of 150 years, the Kingdom time: Dorset was no longer to be was continually subjected to raids kViking Smiss picture stone from Gotland, 9th century AD tangled with! Z 34

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k A picture of bucolic peace, Langton Herring

LANGTON HERRING Stephen Roberts visits Dorset’s only 'Thankful Village'


irtually every community in the United Kingdom suffered losses during World War 1. Each November their war memorials naturally become the focus of remembrance, but what of the small number of villages that do not have a memorial? The term ‘Thankful Village’ was coined by writer Arthur Mee in the 1930s to describe a village that suffered no fatalities amongst those of its men who went off to fight in World War 1. Of the estimated 16,000 villages in England Mee identified 24 that could be called Thankful. More recent research has identified 53 parishes in England and Wales from which all the soldiers returned (there is not a single one in Scotland or Ireland). There are nine such villages in Somerset, but none in Wiltshire, Hampshire or Devon, and there is just one in of Dorset: Langton Herring, which lies behind Chesil Beach in the west of the county. Langton Herring, like thirteen villages in England and Wales is ‘Doubly Thankful’, having had all those who served in the armed services during World War 2 also returning home. Langton Herring lies about five miles north-west of Weymouth and is set on a ridge above the Fleet. It was on this lagoon lying behind Chesil Beach, where in the spring of 1943, Barnes Wallis conducted the prototype tests of his famous ‘bouncing bomb’. The village is also within sight of the hilltop memorial to Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (of HMS Victory fame). It is a small village with a population that has averaged around 150 36

souls over the last century, peaking at 169 and dropping as low as 110 in various census returns over that time. The name of the village is derived from the Old English ‘Lang’ and ‘Tun’ meaning long farmstead or estate, with the 13th Century ‘Harang’, being a family name of the then lords of the manor. The village has always been extended or strung out but continues to have one principal landowner. The old open fields were enclosed in 1761, but signs of open strip cultivation are still visible to the trained eye. A mile to the east of the village is Langton Cross, a medieval stone monolith, evidence of human habitation going back hundreds of years. The village has retained its quaint appearance, with thatched cottages from the 17th and 18th centuries still in evidence and houses predominantly built in the local yellow stone. This mainly agricultural and one-time fishing village is pretty much hidden from the main road. The small stone Gothic church of late 13th-century origin is the squat parish church of St Peter, which is one of the village's four listed buildings; it has a fine 15thcentury font and a list of rectors dating back to the end of the 13th century. The other listed buildings are the Old Rectory, Village Hall (formerly the village school) and Village Pound, a stone walled enclosure close to the 400-year-old pub, the Elm Tree Inn. There is, of course, no war memorial in the village, there being no war deaths to remember, but there is a horse chestnut tree planted in the centre of the churchyard in

k The village hall at Lnagton Herring is made of the warm stone typically used for older buildings in the village

memory of Sir Winston Churchill, with a small plaque bearing the words, 'We shall never surrender'. The porch of the church also includes a splendid wooden roll of honour board from World War 1 naming the 31 men ‘of the village’ who went away to fight. Eleven of the 31 were seamen (ten Royal Navy and one Royal Naval Reserve). Of all the Thankful Villages that have rolls of honour naming each man’s unit, Langton Herring has the highest proportion who served at sea, probably due to the closeness of the Portland Naval Base. The memorial includes five men by the name of Mowlam, four Farquharson and three Stone. It is incredible really that such a small community could have sent away as many as 31 men to fight and, given the carnage of the World War 1, even more incredible that they all returned. This is not entirely true, though; the first-named of the men honoured on the roll of honour did not actually return home. Charles Frederick Bailey, born in the village, but later a resident of Hampton, Middlesex, enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment and died from his wounds in 1917. He is remembered on the memorial screen at St Mary’s Church, Hampton, but as Bailey’s mother still lived in Langton Herring, his name was also added to the Dorset village’s roll of honour, so that this son of the village could be remembered in the place of his birth. The fact that he was not resident in the village at the time of his enlistment means that Langton Herring’s status as a thankful village holds true. There is also a World War 2 war grave in the village, that of Aircraftman LW Welham RAF, who died in 1941, aged 21, but again, he was not a 'son of the village' at the time of the conflict. At remembrance time, poppies are sold in the village of Langton Herring and the church is also decorated with poppies. Co-churchwardens Judy Barrett and

Margaret Connolly explain: 'St Peter's is usually empty on Remembrance Sunday and therefore silent. It is a wonderful silence, soothing and tranquil. For me,' says Judy, 'that silence links this, a Thankful Village, with every other Act of Commemoration taking place, from Whitehall to the Menin Gate. We grieve with the nation. We are a part of it, not apart from it.' Margaret adds: 'As there is no Langton Memorial, we don’t have a remembrance service. Instead we go to our sister churches (in Abbotsbury and Portesham), who hold it alternate years, so that we can all be together, to honour family, friends and strangers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. My uncle-in-law is buried in Portesham. My

k The 13th-century church that houses the roll of honour


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k Though doubly thankful, Langton Herring nonetheless played its part in the wars; Barnes Wallis tested a prototype of the bouncing bomb on the Fleet

mother’s great uncle never came home from 1914/18; his name is on the Menin Gate. Another came home but had been gassed. He suffered ill health for the rest of his life.

These are all bound together in my remembrance prayers.' For every thankful village there are countless others that were not so fortunate. Dorset has some 350 villages in total, so one thankful village represents under a third of one percent of the total (around the same as the national average). In all, around 700,000 British servicemen were killed, but over twice that many were wounded, and many more suffered with the after effects of what they had seen and experienced. Categorising villages as ‘thankful’ and ‘non-thankful’ in this context is a moot point. All communities were affected by the first truly global war. We today should all be thankful that our generation has not been involved in such a horrific conflict. The epitaph on Aircraftman Welham’s gravestone sums up that which we should all try to do: 'Not just today, but every day, in silence we remember.' Z

k Langton Herring has a village roll of honour, rather than a memorial list of the fallen

k Langton Herring still retains its peaceful atmosphere today


BELMONT: FROM SHOWHOME TO HOLIDAY HOME Sophia Moseley on an iconic Lyme Regis building’s troubled history and its bright future


ohn Fowles, who lived in Belmont House from 1968 until 2005, wrote: ‘It is a beautiful June evening, I shall walk down the hill to the bottom of my steep plot, past the cream-white furbelows, bee-loud and brave against an azure sea, of the acacias…’ in Wormholes. However the garden he so treasured was drastically excavated and his rambling Victorian home has shrunk back to one of its earlier manifestations. The Landmark Trust bought Belmont House in 2007, by which time it had already started its slow descent into deterioration and during the following five years, its dilapidated state was further aggravated, while the new owner decided what to do with it. When planning permission was finally granted, the Landmark Trust set about restoring its Georgian grandeur. However, by removing the alterations and additions from the past 250 years, including the large Victorian extension, is there a danger of detracting from the story this seaside villa has to tell not just about itself but also the historic town of Lyme Regis? After a period of decline, the late 18th century saw a return of prosperity for Lyme Regis. It was also a time of improved health, albeit mostly for the wealthier members of society with an emergence of ‘sea bathing’. So with this kCould this be the only likeness there is of Eleanor Coade? There are no known portraits of her, the suspicion being because she thought she was unattractive.

kFireplace that had been covered – the chimney was stuffed with various materials to keep the draught out!


combination, an increased number of impressive houses were being built in desirable locations. In 1774, Simon Bunter, a successful lawyer who had built ‘the best house in Axminster’ (The Buildings of England) wanted ‘to take the sea air’ so he built a seaside property on the hill overlooking Lyme Regis harbour, calling it Bunter’s Castle. Very little is known about the original building, except it was likely to have been a tower construction, and it was just 10 years later that Eleanor Coade was given Bunter’s Castle by her uncle. Eleanor Coade (1733-1821) was a very successful businesswoman who owned Coade's Artificial Stone Manufactory in Lambeth, producing artificial stone that was used by 18th-century architect Robert Adam; it can be found on many historic buildings including Buckingham Palace and the Brighton Pavilion. One of her most popular schemes was to decorate the plain front of brick buildings with classically designed porches and statues; keystones above windows and doors were one of her greatest successes and Eleanor set about redesigning Bunter’s Castle, extending it and making it


into something of a Coadestone show-house. She also changed the name to ‘Belmont House’ a name that had become popular and synonymous with grandeur and beauty and also described the house’s location ‘beautiful hill’. The front of Belmont House is ornately decorated with a swagged frieze – from one side to the other – embellished horizontal banding and a cornice parapet with six Adamstyle urns on top. The windows and door have ornamental stone blocks and the keystones portray Neptune, Amphitrite and various sea creatures, in keeping with its nautical rationale. But the extravagance is not limited to the exterior of the house; inside you find elaborate Coadestone fireplace surrounds and some remaining door décor. There is very little information detailing her life; there are no portraits, pictures or photographs. There is a theory she was not a particularly attractive woman and thus shunned any imagery and it is said the face on the door knocker is the closest we will get to see what she looked like. Following her death, the house was rented by various people then, in 1883, bought by Dorset doctor Richard Bangay, who had a large family along with a number of staff. He was a member of the Dorset Natural History & Archaeology Society, a keen amateur geologist, botanist and astronomer. He extended the house, adding two wings, a conservatory and a polygonal observatory tower complete with winding gear to rotate the roof. For the first half of the 20th century it had various tenants and some of the Victorian extensions were poorly and insensitively renovated until John and Elizabeth Fowles bought Belmont House for £18,000 in 1968. In John Fowles, The Journals Vol. 2 he said ‘…the feel of the house, almost gratitude…it has a kind of female feel…a bit of an old whore, with its splendid façade and all the mess that lies behind…’. Like the previous owner, John was an enthusiastic botanist, entomologist, naturalist and local historian and found his greatest pleasure in the sometimes unusual fauna and flora that flourished in the sheltered south-facing three acre garden. But he also needed solitude to concentrate and found Belmont a wonderful refuge to the hustle and bustle of life outside. John also had a unique combination of thinking in French (he read French at Oxford) but with a British dry sense of humour; he would collect the small toy dinosaurs from cereal packets and place them around the windows in the tower, leading people to believe that was where he worked! John’s writing room was actually in the main house on the first floor with windows overlooking the gardens and of course the Cobb. It was here that he wrote The French Lieutenant’s Woman along with many others including Shipwreck, Mantissa and The Maggot. Both John and Sarah’s greatest worry was that Belmont would be converted into flats or a care home; it was John’s wish that it should retain its literary bond and whilst he contacted many organisations including America’s Stamford School and the Arvon Foundation, it was obvious the house needed a substantial amount of investment which was putting a lot of people off. When John died in 2005, Sarah continued their effort to protect Belmont and finally approached the Landmark Trust who bought it in 2007.

from show-home to holiday home

kThis shot of the back of the house shows the level of works that needed to be done not just on the house, but to make the steeply sloping site stable

It was the variety of extensions, combined with the haphazard alterations, that presented the Landmark Trust with a difficult choice. With a limited budget and worsening state of the property, a decision was made that was unpopular with many – including John’s widow, Sarah, whose dismay is well documented – it was the Eleanor Coade phase on which the Landmark Trust wanted to focus. An unsung national hero, not only did she manage to overcome the stigma of being a single woman and successful entrepreneur; she also played a crucial role in Britain’s architectural heritage. The Trust devised an ambitious restoration programme to return the house to its Georgian maritime villa appearance, and to help pay for its keep, turning it into a holiday retreat for up to eight people. – however, John’s writing room will be a centrepiece of the project They plan to complete the project in time for a grand opening in 2015 to mark the Trust’s 50th anniversary; missing this date is apparently not an option! Using forensic style investigations alongside extensive

kCoadestone pieces salvaged from outside


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from show-home to holiday home

kThe stable, where there will be a mini museum/information centre about the house

It also became apparent that the staircase had been moved; there is an original cupboard that did not fit and by using a number of techniques including paint analysis, they established just the upper part had been altered. The kitchen is still in its original place but sadly the original flagstones are missing. The aim of the Trust is to restore the heart of the building, recreating the Coadestone flagship house, albeit with the Victorian observatory tower, whilst upholding the legacy of John Fowles to encourage and inspire a love of literature. The stable block will be transformed into an exhibition area where the story of the house will be told through photographs, plans and a number of artefacts. When the Trust set up their appeal in 2007 they were looking to raise £2.1million and ran a ‘Guardians of Belmont’ scheme encouraging people to donate £6,000 entitling them to various benefits. As with many appeals there was a shortfall of around £302,500, but, thanks to a generous legacy from the late Mrs Shelagh Preston, the next chapter of Belmont’s fascinating if checkered history is ready to unfold. Z

kThe tower that has been completely separated from the main house. Many people believed this was where John Fowles did his work and he used to put toy dinosaurs on the windows!

research, the Trust team uncovered the outer walls of Bunter’s Castle, but interesting as this is, it is unlikely any of it will be seen once the refurbishment is complete. With the help of original plans, they mapped out the old building so they could unpick what has been done and, by looking at lintels and lifting floorboards, can work out where walls have been removed and doors would have originally been. They have even found doors that were simply papered over! Fireplaces that have been moved are sometimes easy to identify especially if the stonework surround has been reinstated or if the ‘look’ of them just isn’t right. There is also the reliable Georgian love of symmetry and whilst seaside villas didn’t obey all the rules and often explored new architectural territory, there are some standard designs to look out for such as cupboards and alcoves either side of a fireplace.

kNeptune and his wife Amphitrite - on the outside of the house


kThe beautiful church of St Nicholas in Winterborne Clenston is a joyful surprise to those who come across it as they head north from Winterborne Whitechurch to WInterborne Stickland

Dorset Villages

THE CHALKLAND VALLEYS In the penultimate of his epic trek around Dorset’s villages, John Chaffey wanders the county’s chalk river valleys


t is in the verdant open valleys of Dorset’s Chalklands that the village scene finds its finest expression. From the Gussage in the north-east to the Frome in the south-west villages line the course of the streams, representing a period of occupation that extends well over a thousand years: once-important villages now only survive as a farm or a few cottages. Villages sites are usually terrace-based, overlooking the small floodplain in the valley bottom, but parishes extend well up the valley sides to the flinty fields on the waterless downland above. The Gussage (‘gush of water’) valley in the north-east carries only three villages of its name, each reflecting the name of the patron saint of the parish church. Gussage St. Andrew, with its attractive chapel-like church, lies upstream in a dry valley that only carries a stream in the wettest of winters. Downstream Gussage St. Michael has its church on a small mound above the village that straggles along the valley bottom. The largest village is Gussage All Saints, with its splendid church, built of flint Greensand and heathstone, high on the valley side. Its thatched cottages are of brick with flint banding and cob; they overlook the widening Gussage, which shortly joins the River Allen below Bowerswain Farm. The Crichel 44

stream rises a mile or so downstream from Chettle, and supports two villages that carry its name. Long Crichel’s brick cottages line the valley and its bakery is rural industry at its best. More Crichel is only a remnant of the much larger village that was destroyed in the 18th century

kThe Old School House, Tarrant Hinton shows another variation of mixed material building


villages The Chalkland Valleys

kThe model village of Milton Abbas, created to house those made homeless when Middleton was razed to allow the landowner, Joseph Damer, to have improved views

kThe Westbury Cottages at Tarrant Gunville show a mix of the popular vernacular building brick and flint banding styles

in order to create Crichel House and Park, the former almost hidden from view apart from the brick stables. Ornate gates give access to the park and its huge Crichel Lake from Witchampton. The villagers were rehoused in Newtown, two miles away on the banks of the River Allen, where there was a paper mill until recently. Westwards, the Tarrant ‘river liable to flood’, nourishes eight settlements to which it gives its name. High in its valley is Stubhampton, merely cottages and farms that line the valley bottom. Tarrant Gunville has some of the finest brick and flint-banded cottages in the valley, particularly the row of Westbury Cottages, and The Old Post Office next door. Tarrant Hinton has its lovely medieval Greensand church, with its flint-banded interior. The Tarrant now flows in brick-lined channels alongside the main street. Downstream Tarrant Monkton – served with a pub and with some of the counties easiest on the eye cottages – is reached only by ford or packhorse bridge. Tarrant

Rushton gave its name to one of World War 2’s great D-Day airfields, and has a rather quaint cruciform church. Tarrant Rawston, on the other side of the valley, is essentially a farm and a small private, recently restored church. Beyond the Wimborne-Blandford road (with its True Lover’s Knot public house), Tarrant Keyneston is a substantial village. Just before the Tarrant enters the Stour at Tarrant Crawford, there is the Greensand and flint mediaeval church of St Mary, now disused, but well maintained The Stour crosses the Chalk from Shillingstone to just above Wimborne. Charlton Marshall lies above the flood plain (although not entirely so in the floods of earlier this year), and downstream linear Spetisbury rests safely on a marked shelf above the river. On the opposite bank from Spetisbury, Shapwick needs protection from flooding, particularly its church of St Bartholomew, which is very close to the river. Riverside Sturminster Marshall is a big village, with its two greens, two pubs and surviving village stores. The North Winterborne rises at Winterborne

Stubhampton Chettle Gussage St. Andrew Tarrant Gunville Gussage All Saints Gussage St. Michael Tarrant Hinton Long Crichel


Tarrant Monkton Winterborne Tarrant Rawston Stickland Tarrant Rushton

More Crichel

Witchampton Charlton Marshall Tarrant Keyneston Tarrant Crawford Winterborne Clenston Shapwick Spetisbury Milton Abbas Winterborne Whitechurch Sturminster Marshall

Winterborne Houghton Minterne Magna Alton Pancras Cheselbourne Dewlish

Winterborne Kingston

Cerne Abbas

Winterborne Tomson

Piddletrenthide Sydling St Nicholas Godmanstone

White Lackington Piddlehinton Puddletown

Zelston Winterborne Zelstone WIMBORNE

N 0

5 miles

R. F



kThe villages mentioned in this feature





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www.yafflecare.co.uk 46


kCheselbourne church has 13th-century elements, but is thought to be on the site of a church which was built 300 years previously

Houghton and counts eight settlements along its banks. Winterborne Stickland is its key focus in the upper valley, with its school, stores and public house. Downstream Winterborne Clenston only retains its steeple church with some lost villages nearby. Winterborne Whitechurch endures the busy main road, and Winterborne Kingston has seen modest recent growth. The delightful church at Winterborne Tomson is now redundant, but well maintained. Secluded Winterborne Zelston has its fine heathstone and flint church. Milton Abbas is one of Dorset’s most iconic villages, in reality a relatively new village, built to house the inhabitants of the old ‘town’ when they were evicted by Lord Milton in 1780. Today the thatched, whitewashed cottages in the long, tree-fringed dry valley are one of Dorset’s most photographed sights In the central downs, the Devil’s Brook supports two villages, Dewlish and Cheselbourne, secluded and not often visited.

villages The Chalkland Valleys

The Piddle flows through the Chalk from Alton Pancras to just above Puddletown and settlements line its banks almost continuously. It rises close to the church of St Pancras and thatched cottages lead away to busy Piddletrenthide. This is the straggling main village of the upper valley, with hotels, shops and a thriving new school. Its church, built using Ham Hill Stone and flint, dominates from slopes high above the west bank. Sitting betwixt the two Piddles is the relatively banally named White Lackington, and although some give it the soubriquet of ‘Piddle in the middle’, it actually marks the end of Piddletrenthide. Piddlehinton is altogether more compact village, focusing on its centre, with thatched cottages and a much-restored church. Remnants of lost villages survive downstream as farms or groups of cottages. Chalk downland separates the Piddle villages from those in the Cerne valley. Minterne Magna is dominated by Minterne House and its beautiful gardens. Cerne Abbas is one of Dorset’s largest villages, offers a wide range of services: its fine church, attractive buildings and hillside Giant bring in many visitors. A wide range of building stones has been used in its houses and larger buildings. Downstream lies Godmanstone, which once had the smallest pub in the country, alongside the Cerne. Charminster, with its huge church, continues to grow because of its nearness to Dorchester. Beyond, to the west, lies remote and quiet Sydling St Nicholas, its many attractive brick and flint-banded cottages lining the muchbridged Sydling Water, a lovely clear Chalk stream, as evidenced by the nearby watercress farm. Z

kThis former smithy at Godmanstone was a pub called the Smiths Arms, claimed to be the smallest in Britain


kDorset Miscellany

100 years ago kFrom the Dorset County Chronicle 5 November 1914 Sensational double tragedy While a fast down goods train was travelling between Grimston and Dorchester on Wednesday evening, the driver’s attention was attracted by seeing what was apparently the dead body of a man lying in the fourfoot way, and arriving at Dorchester he promptly

Dorset’s open spaces kPilsdon Pen The angular profile of Pilsdon Pen is probably one of the most familiar summits in West Dorset. At one time it was regarded as the highest of Dorset’s hills, but nearby Lewesdon at 279 metres is now commonly accepted as being two metres higher. Both hills are made of Upper Greensand, a resistant sandstone that also forms the summits of other West Dorset hills such as Lambert’s Castle Hill, and Hardown Hill. Within the Upper Greensand sequence there are some bands of chert, a particularly tough siliceous material, and this has contributed to the resistance to erosion of these Upper Greensand summits. Pilsdon Pen dominates the Vale of Marshwood to the south; the extensive views from its summit take in much of the Dorset and East Devon coast. On a fine day, with good visibility, the distant hills that

Dorset place name kCanford Magna This name has its origin in the Anglo-Saxon period and is first on record in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cheneford (a characteristic Anglo-Norman spelling). Other early medieval spellings include Keneford in 1181, Kaneford in 1195 and 1210, Caneford in 1200, and Canforde in 1307. The meaning is most probably 'the ford belonging to a man 48

reported the discovery. District Reliefman, W J Smith and Ganger Walter Rawling, together with PC Cox of Dorchester proceeded on a trolley on the Up line and between Poundbury and Grimston Station they found the decapitated body of a man lying by the side of the rails. The remains were brought to Dorchester where they were placed in a shed. An insurance ticket found upon deceased led to the discovery that the man’s name was James Way. In a water meadow opposite where the man’s body had been, the body of a woman was found by PS Arnold immersed in the water. She had apparently been drowned about the same time as the man met his death. The woman was ascertained to be Florence Jane Douch of Puddlehinton.

can be seen include the Quantocks, and the Blackdowns and the Mendips. Its summit is easily accessible by the steep path that ascends from the road from Birdsmoorgate to Broadwindsor that runs at its foot. Some Neolithic (Stone Age) tools have been found on Pilsdon Pen, and two Bronze Age burial mounds exist. However, it is the spectacular Iron Age hill-fort crowning the summit of Pilsdon Pen that commands attention. The oval shaped fort occupies an area of just over three hectares. It is bounded by two sets of ramparts and ditches, with additional ramparts on the longer north-east and southwest sides. Chert rubble was used for the inner ramparts, but less dense material for some of the outer ones. Within the ramparts there were fourteen roundhouses, and evidence of goldsmithing was found in one of them. The Iron Age populations in this area, which was then relatively lightly settled, would seem to have been at the very western limit of the influence of the Durotriges. k John Chaffey

called Cana', from an Old English personal name and ford, here referring to a crossing of the River Stour. The Latin affix Magna 'great' is first on record in 1774. Before that it was referred to as Mochel Canford in 1472 (from Old English micel 'great') and Greate Canford in 1612. All these affixes distinguish it from the manor of Little Canford in Hampreston on the opposite bank of the River Stour, recorded as Parva Caneford in 1263 (from Latin parva 'little') and Lytel Canefford in 1381. There are references to Canford Heath from the 16th century and to Canford Park as early as 1291. kA D Mills

Dorset around the world kWimborne, New South Wales This is a rather strange entry for Dorset around the world, because the population of this place is, well, zero. Parallel to the Manilla River runs Wimborne Road, which runs to and from a place called Wimborne, but that place is defined by the Australian postal services as a ‘spot’: the same level of size classification as, say, a house, or a pond. Wimborne, which lies in the District of Tamworth, New South Wales – just six hours’ drive from Sydney – is midway between Lake Keepit and Split Rock Reservoir and is overlooked by Mount Borah where the world paragliding championships were held in 2007 (and won by an

Englishman). As far as can be ascertained, Wimborne in New South Wales has almost nothing in common with Wimborne Minster or Wimborne St Giles… except it has a disused railway station like the former, and is a couple of miles from Knowlton, like the latter.

Dorset recipe

Instructions for meat Put the meat in a saucepan with just enough water to cover, with a little salt, pepper and allspice, whole or ground. (Other spices, e.g. cloves, can be used, but not too much of any if you are going to use the water as stock afterwards.) Bring slowly to the boil, remove the scum with a slotted spoon, and simmer for 20 minutes to the pound and 20 minutes over. Like ham, the lamb should just simmer, not boil wildly. If part of the joint remains when it has been carved, return it to the cooking water to cool. This prevents shrinking, and is a good idea with ham too. When all is cold, it can be removed. Instructions for sauce Melt the fat, add the flour and mix together well. Gradually add the liquid until the consistency you require is reached, add the capers and cook for 5 minutes.

kBoiled lamb with caper sauce Apart from ham, boiled meat is pretty uncommon today. 18th-century cookery books, though, are full of it, and it remained popular into the 20th century. Thomas Hardy's favourite dinner was boiled lamb with caper sauce, a classic. Capers have an unusual strong taste: they are most familiar in sauce tartare. The meat is good from boiled lamb: tasty, firm and not greasy, but the joint does not look pretty. The cooking water makes good stock for soups and stews. Leg is the best joint for boiling as it is less fatty than, for example, shoulder. Ingredients: leg of lamb, salt, pepper, allspice, water. Sauce ingredients: 1 oz fat, 1 oz flour, 1/4 pint milk, 1/4 pint of the cooking water from the lamb, about 2 tablespoons pickled capers

Dorset nature note If you'd asked me a few years ago to describe bird watching in November I would probably have referred to the arrival of wintering thrushes, the return of Northern wildfowl, flocks of woodland birds and the last few autumn migrants. Much of this still holds true but, over the last few years, regular survey work has highlighted that migration during the first half of November can equal anything the rest of the year has to offer. In particular, the visible movements of finches, wagtails, larks and pipits can be spectacular in early November. Amongst these birds are several species which are not traditionally considered as migrants, and none exemplifies these more than the, normally sedentary, bullfinch. It is certainly an odd experience to see small flocks of these rather portly little finches flying high overhead in the

kReproduced from Dorset Food by Jo Draper, published by Sutton publishing at £12.99, ISBN 978-0-7509-4458-8 www.suttonpublishing.co.uk

company of their more streamlined relatives. Even at a distance their distinctive, flat whistling calls makes identification relatively easy. On one memorable morning in early November (I won't even mention the pallid swift!) Nick Hooper and I witnessed a British record count of 118 bullfinches flying south over Durlston - a memorable sight indeed. If you'd like to know more about migration at Durlston and other sites there is an excellent website called Trektellen which collates the daily records of a growing network of observers across Britain and Europe. Why not go a step further; sign up and contribute your own sightings - every little helps build up the fascinating picture of bird movements across Europe. kHamish Murray kOverleaf: Fontmell Down by Anthony Blake


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Down my way

TYNEHAM SKETCHBOOK Billa Edwards on her unique access to the 'lost village' and its surroundings


she captured landscapes, ruined hen Billa Edwards got a buildings and even abandoned bound sketchbook, she little military vehicles in Tyneham and realised that it was to be Povington. She had no plan as to how the catalyst for a unique exercise in long her project would last; she just recording the afterlife of a village. sketched, painted and wrote until her Tyneham was famously occupied sketchbook was full, three years later. by the Ministry of War with the She showed it to the Adjudant of the promise that its residents would be Lulworth ranges and he suggested allowed to return to live there. that she 'should do something with That promise was broken and the it'. The result is a book – My Tyneham villagers never came back to live. Sketchbook – which faithfully Their village and its surroundings reproduces her images, accompanied were part of an army range to which by some explanatory text. entry was prohibited until the current It's almost 50 years since Billa first situation of days and weekends when visited Tyneham, courtesy of her the village is open to visitors was kBilla Edwards with Mr Punch, who accompanied her to Tyneham husband Simon, who was with the negotiated. There is, however, much and who would sit quietly for hours while she painted, only 'muttering under his breath' if someone else approached army at Lulworth when they moved to of the range to which access is still Purbeck in the early 1960s, and she has completely denied to the public. always considered Tyneham to be a magical place. Whilst At least almost all the public. Billa Edwards negotiated she feels very strongly that the promise made should have access, under strict conditions and in specified locations, been kept, unfettered access to the area makes her think with the officer in charge of the ranges and set about recording what she saw of Tyneham village and the area that life would have been very hard living there and that around it. It is now (when the guns aren't firing) a peaceful the move to newer housing for the villagers was not a bad place, gently going to rack and ruin in some places as thing. Certainly the Tyneham area is uniquely unspoilt by nature seeks to reoccupy the village. Starting in 2009, progress, and Billa has forever captured those parts that Billa painted what she saw and wrote what she felt as we would not ordinarily otherwise see. Z


The Dorset walk - 1

FOLKE AND SHERBORNE PARK Matt Wilkinson and Dan Bold walk where Sir Walter Raleigh once trod

kFolke's church of St Lawrence


herborne Castle is a monument to Sir Walter Raleigh, who acquired what is now the Old Castle in 1592. He built his new castle two years later and spent most of his time here once he had fallen out of favour with Elizabeth I because of his marriage to Bess Throckmorton. It was in the grounds that he was famously smoking some of the tobacco that he had been the first to bring to England from Virginia when a servant, thinking that his master was on fire, threw a bucket of water over him. When Raleigh lost his head on the orders of James I, the castle was bought by the Digby family, whose descendants own it to this day. An 18th-century Digby commissioned Capability Brown to lay out the gardens and park, creating the magnificent landscape through which this walk passes. Much of the route outside the park is on land owned by Sherborne Castle Estates, too, and is eloquent proof that an enlightened and wealthy private landowner is the best guarantee of the preservation of all that is best about the English countryside. In the hamlet of Folke, where the walk starts, the lovely 16th-century manor house stands opposite the church of St Lawrence. The church’s interior is delightful for its 54

wooden furniture and decoration. In a glass case there is a wooden chain of 769 single links and a cross. Nothing special about that at first sight, but the whole thing was carved from a single piece of lime wood by Rev. William Mayo, a former rector. The only other settlement of note on the route is Haydon, where the 19th-century church of St Catherine has now been turned into a residence. THE WALK Walk down the track at the end of the road, with the church on the left. At the end of the track, turn right and follow the right-hand field-edge. Go through a gate and continue straight ahead, along the right-hand edge of a second field. In the first corner, enter a small patch of woodland, go down some steps onto a lane and turn right. Where the lane bends sharply to the right, cross the verge on the left in order to continue in roughly the same direction, alongside a line of trees on the left. The path is quite overgrown at first but shortly reaches a more distinct path, where turn left. The path winds through woodland for almost ½ mile before widening out into a rough track that leads to a main road.



and Sherborne Park

kOne of a number of views of Sherborne Castle to be seen from the walk

hill, next to no. 309, bends to the right. Here go straight ahead on a grassy path, past playing fields on the left and across a paved drive. At the first fork after the paved drive, keep right, immediately after which the path descends to a gate.

3 kDuring the summer months, the arable land is at its most attractive


Cross carefully, turn left and in about 25 yards right, to go through a kissing gate in the impressive railings immediately next to The Lodge. Follow the track ahead as it curves away uphill. The track starts to descend steeply, then becomes a paved lane which, at the bottom of the Distance: About 7½ miles Terrain: Woodland paths in the Blackmore Vale mean mud after wet weather, and pock-marked ground needing a little care after dry, but there is usually a way round the worst patches. There are a couple of steep but short climbs. Start: Outside Folke parish church. OS ref ST659133. Postcode DT9 5HP. How to get there: From the A3030 Sturminster Newton to Sherborne road, take the turning south, signed to Folke, at a crossroads between Caundle Marsh and North Wootton. In Folke turn left down a no through road, at the bottom of which is the church. Maps: OS Explorer 129 (Yeovil & Sherborne), OS Landranger 194 (Dorchester & Weymouth) and 183 (Yeovil & Frome). Refreshments: None on the route but plenty in Sherborne.

Go through the gate and turn immediately right through a kissing gate onto a path which runs along the hillside with the roofs of Sherborne away to the left, beyond the River Yeo. The path is easy to follow as it passes above the gates of Sherborne Castle and reaches a gate of its own into Sherborne Park. Continue on the path with a splendid view of Sherborne Castle on the left, and glimpses of the lake and of Sherborne Old Castle above the trees. At the end of the first field, go through a kissing gate and straight ahead onto a track which curves to the left between two fences. Go through the next kissing gate and continue ahead, gently uphill. SHERBORNE


The Camp

Sherborne Castle

4 5

no. 309





track road, lane or paved drive

1 The Lodge

reference to route description

½ mile







and Sherborne Park


Pass a shuttered thatched cottage on the right and follow the track up a sharp slope, round to the right and into woodland. The track turns sharp left and follows the edge of the wood briefly before plunging into the trees again. Here it is concrete and passes buildings on the site known as ‘The Camp’; both the concrete and the name are relics of when the park was occupied by US troops during the preparations for D-Day. At the end of the wood, turn right on a drive which shortly reaches a cross-roads. Here go straight ahead, through open fields dotted with trees, and reach ornamental gates with a road beyond.


Turn left and in about 100 yards right over a stile. Bear slightly left to walk down the field, beyond which walk straight uphill, aiming for the right-hand edge of a thick wood, where it joins the hedgerow. Here cross a stile and continue ahead. In the first corner of the field, go through a

kSherborne Castle again, but this time with the the town beyond it

gate on the left and continue on a path just inside the edge of the wood. As the woodland on the right thickens up, continue in the same direction and reach a gate into an open field. Follow the left-hand edge and in the first corner go through a gate onto a track which runs along the top of the field with a steep slope to the left. Bear right through the first gate on a track that leads to a lane.


Turn right and follow the lane for 1¼ miles to a road junction, where turn immediately left. Where the road bends to the left, turn right, then immediately left into a field, then right to follow its edge to a stile. Bear left to cross the next field diagonally to a stile and a short, narrow path to a lane on the edge of Alweston. Continue ahead in the same direction and follow the lane as it bends left, right and left again to reach a main road. Turn right and walk about 30 yards, keeping a very sharp eye on the hedgerow on the other side of the road, where there is an overgrown stile.


kLooking back to Sherborne, whose abbey dominates the town


Cross the road and the stile and walk down the field beyond to an opening 35 yards to the left of the far right-hand corner. Bear slightly right to cross the next field diagonally to a stile in the far corner, just after some power lines. Follow the right-hand edge of the next field and cross a double stile and bridge in the first corner to continue in the same direction, again following the right-hand fieldedge. As you cross another double stile and bridge in the first corner, Folke church comes into sight. Once again follow the right-hand field-edge, which soon swings to the right and reaches a stile. Follow a path along the fence on the right. A bridge and stile lead into an open field, at the end of which go through the gate on the right and turn right to return to your car. Z

The Old Vicarage A caring home in the Dorset countryside Winner of over 25 National and Regional Awards since 2000

Celebrating 30 years of providing quality care in Dorset A family run residential home set in extensive gardens with panoramic views has been recognised in the care sector for winning numerous awards for care, management, activities and pets. Our award winning activities organiser provides regular and varied activities, trips and concerts. Our chef sources all the food from local suppliers. Free WiFi is available in all our rooms with resident-friendly computers in the library.

The new rose garden

Please visit our website www.tovic.com to get more information and download a brochure. Or give us a ring on 01935 873033 and arrange a visit. The Old Vicarage, Leigh, Nr Sherborne, DT9 6HL



CRANBORNE STORES 1 The Square, Cranborne, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 5PR

TEL. 01725 517210


Lunch or dinner, throughout December £19.95 for 3 courses or £29.95 for 5 courses



5-course £69 The package Inn at Cranborne is a stunning 17th Centu for 5 courses, idyllic village of Cranborne, near Wimborne. J £25 for under 12's & website Woodhouse Please Hall see our for menusBadger Ales, seasonal me ingredients and eight beautiful letting rooms Join us for a mulled

We are a village shop as village shops should be; we cater for all tastes, everything from a safety pin to smoked salmon. We sell newspapers, fresh baked bread, greetings cards, general groceries, plus some speciality goods. Our fresh local meat includes Tarrant Valley beef from Langton Arms butchery and Stone Family Farm pork, bacon and sausages from Verwood. We also sell homemade cakes and savouries, both of which can be ordered for your special occasion.


dur|ing OPEN MIDDAY TO 11PM LUNCH 12-2 the fesSERVED tive season Dorset Tourism Award winner Gold - Best Dorset Pub of the Year 2013 Silver - B&B/Guest Accommodation 2013

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Free measuring & advice.

Tel: 01202 825555

Fitting service available. The Inn at Cranborne, Cranborne, BH2Cranborne, 5PP | 01725Wimbo 551249 The Inn atWimborne, Cranborne, www.theinnatcranborne.co.uk | info@theinnatcranborne.co.uk www.theinnatcranborne.co.uk | jane


La fosse The perfect English countryside retreat â&#x20AC;&#x201C; La Fosse at Cranborne The Restaurant at La Fosse, led by Mark, has a welcoming, relaxe d atmosphere where guests can enjoy delicious food, which is sourced ORFDOO\ XVLQJ RQO\ WKH ¿QHVW VHDVRQDO LQJUHGLHQWV 7KH IRRG LV complemented by a well-priced wine list and local beer and inv i ting sitting URRPVZLWKRSHQ¿UHV7U\WKHIDEXORXVDZDUGZLQQLQJFKHHVHERDUG La Fosse Bed and Breakfast, led by Emmanuelle, has comfortable and HOHJDQWHQVXLWHURRPVWRFRPSOHPHQWWKHUHVWDXUDQW 2XU)HVWLYH'HFHPEHUPHQXLVQRZRXW,QGLYLGXDOWDEOHVFHOHEUDWLRQV ZLWKIDPLO\IULHQGVRUZLWKFROOHDJXHVIRUDODUJHUJHWWRJHWKHUDUHZHOFRPH Or why not have a priva te celebration for New Year with your love d ones at La Fosse? Looking for a gift with a difference? Gift o v uchers either to stay with dinner or maybe a cooking lesson by Mark in your own home are a great way to improve cookery skills with \RXURZQHTXLSPHQWXQGHUWKHJXLGDQFHRIDSURIHVVLRQDOFKHI

Re-opening under new ownership on THURSDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2014 official launch in Spring 2015

CHRISTMAS ...in the Gift Shop Dorsetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original lifestyle store popping up in our gift shop from Thursday 20th November until 24th December

...in the Garden ...in the Café New season roses in stock from December along with winter shrubs, hellebores and planted containers

The cafe open daily offering a delicious selection of homemade cakes and light lunches

DECEMBER EVENTS Christmas trees on sale from 1st December The Anonymous Travelling Market will be at Cranborne Garden Centre on Friday 12th December 10am-2pm & Saturday 13th December 10am-3pm For more information on La Fosse, please iv sit: www.la-fosse.com For booking enquiries, please contact: lafossemail@googlemail.com or

Call 01725 517604




CRANBORNE, DORSET BH21 5PP. TEL: 01725 517248

www.cranbornegardencentre.co.uk Follow us onddddd

Dorset walk - 2


Teresa Rabbetts goes on a gentle stroll in and around one of Dorset’s most picturesque villages


which was enlarged in the 17th century by Robert Cecil, First Minister to Elizabeth I and James I, when he was granted the Manor and Lordship of Cranborne by James I in 1607. The statues of Justice and Mercy stand over the south porch as a reminder of the days when the laws of Cranborne Chase were administered here. After a time the Chase came into the possession of the Pitt-Rivers family who monitored the area and protected their deer by Chase Law. These Laws actually prevent small landowners from uprooting the vegetation on their own land which, by the 18th century when farmers were increasingly keen to introduce modern farming techniques and mechanisation, led to bitter complaints that the Chase Jacks Hedge Corner


N 4

mR d

h St

n St

The Sq


route of walk Churc h St

other roads or paths


reference to route description

Manor Farm


Crane St

e St




y St bur

¼ mile


Cranborne Farm

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This is a relatively gentle and short stroll exploring Cranborne and its immediate area. The terrain is easy and unchallenging but gives the walker plenty of opportunity to visit the village and church, to enjoy glimpses of Cranborne Manor and the wonderful trees in The Close and offers a taste of the surrounding rolling countryside, with the anticipation of easy access to tea and cake (or something stronger) at the end. Distance: 2½ miles Start: Cranborne is on the B3078 between Wimborne and Fordingbridge. Water Street Car Park, Cranborne (follow P sign). OS REF SU057137, postcode BH21 5QB Maps: Ordnance Survey Explorer 118, Landranger 195 (plus, annoyingly, about 1100 yards on Landranger 184) Refreshments: The Café at Cranborne Garden Centre, the Inn at Cranborne and the Sheaf of Arrows, all in Cranborne itself

kA shady avenue leading to Cranborne Manor


he village of Cranborne lies in the valley of the River Crane, at the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the diverse landscape offers rolling chalk grassland, ancient woodland, chalk river valleys, downland hillside and is as rich in interest today as in its past. The ancient Town of Cranburn was an important and powerful settlement, in fact possibly one of the most important in Dorset; it had a regular market, two fairs a year, a Grammar School, and a Manor House that was regularly frequented by royalty. Following the surge in turnpike roads during the mideighteenth century, Cranborne found itself abandoned by the main coaching traffic that travelled between Poole and Salisbury when the new road by-passed the town being built instead from Salisbury to Blandford. The once-busy town became the peaceful village we see today. The monastery of Cranborne was founded as a Benedictine abbey by Aylward Sneaw in about the year 930, but the abbey was pre-dated by a church. Following an ‘act of discourtesy’ to Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, the Manor was confiscated from Aylward’s descendents and granted to William Rufus then to Robert Fitz-Hamon. the Patron of Tewkesbury. He decided to transfer the Abbot of Cranborne and community of 57 monks to the church of thereby reducing Cranborne to a priory, subject to Tewkesbury Abbey until the 16th-century dissolution of the monasteries. The priory buildings were demolished in 1703 leaving the impressive church of St Mary and St Bartholomew as the parish church of Cranborne. The first significant property on the site of the current Cranborne Manor was a hunting lodge, built by King John,

6 2

Cranborne Manor

1 7 Cranborne Garden Centre


Wate r


THE WALK Park (for free) in Water Street car park, and walk towards the Square - pass along the front of Cranborne Stores. Follow the road from the Square into the High Street and it bears right into Salisbury Street. Stay on the left hand pavement and follow the footpath which is signposted between 15 and 17 Salisbury Street towards a gateway.

1 2 kMural in the church of St Mary & St Bartholemew

law was preventing them from doing so. By now the Chase had also become an area of lawlessness that was popular with poachers, highwaymen and smugglers, who found it a perfect place to carry out nefarious activities. Thomas Hardy referred to the dark reputation of Cranborne Chase writing that it was ‘a truly venerable tract of forest land, one of the few remaining woodlands in England of undoubted primeval date’. He was less than complementary about the village, though, referring to it in Tess of the d’Urbervilles as ‘a decayed market town,’ which locals visited to partake in ‘curious compounds sold to them by the monopolizers of the once independent inns.’ This wild location was the scene of Tess’s fateful meeting with Alec d’Urberville. The manor house sits amongst beautifully laid out gardens and trees which were originally established by the famed English naturalist, gardener, collector and traveller John Tradescant (the Elder) and Mounten Jennings. Most of the current garden was the work of Viscountess Cranborne and has evolved over the last fifty years into an interesting mix of formal and informal areas of herbaceous borders, herb gardens, neat yew hedges and walkways alongside wildflower meadows which are overlooked by some fine old trees. A newly independent garden centre with tea room sits adjoining the property.

kCranborne itself is a lovely mix of architectural styles


On going through the gate, follow the clearly marked track straight across the middle of the field, this area is called The Close – there are glimpses of the parish church, Cranborne Manor and an avenue of trees to the left.


Follow the path through Manor Farm, with the house on the left and the farmyard on the right (the River Crane will be on the left) and follow the track to Cranborne Farm.

4 5

On reaching Cranborne Farm turn right and follow the path as it rises uphill until reaching a crossroads.

Turn right here; the crossroads is an area known as Jack’s Hedge Corner and is the site of a RomanoBritish settlement. Follow the track which becomes a tarmac road and leads back to a junction.

6 7

Turn right into Salisbury Street and Cranborne village.

The Church of St Mary and St Bartholomew is a reflective way to finish the walk. This church, which is particularly magnificent for such a small village, contains many gems but perhaps most notable and beautiful are the mural paintings on the south wall of the nave. Discovered under lime-wash in 1870 are unique murals depicting The Tree of the Seven Deadly Sins and The Tree of the Seven Virtues and nearby a portion of St Christopher survives wading through the water; these delicate pictures are believed to date from between 1240 and 1400. Z



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kColin Varndell's Wildlife Year - November

k A sika hind in late autumn on the RSPB Arne nature reserve


kThe cinema has a fire-safety limited capacity of 60 patrons, but at least fewer patrons means more legroom

BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY Gillingham Community Cinema is just a year old but is already a successful and important feature of the town, as John Newth has been finding out.


he Methodist church is one of Gillingham’s most notable buildings, its distinctive spire standing out as a landmark on the High Street, close to the Town Bridge that John Constable famously painted. Opposite the church is a furniture store which occupies the site which until some fifty years ago was the home of Gillingham’s cinema. Since that cinema closed there had been little opportunity for people in the town to enjoy regular showing of films until October last year, when Gillingham Community Cinema opened in the hall of the Methodist church. The idea for the venture was born in the middle of 2012, when a projector and screen were installed in the 64

church itself, the gift of a generous benefactor. This was in keeping with the trend for churches to project onto a screen the words of hymns and Bible readings and even PowerPoint presentations by more digitally-minded preachers. As one of the organists at the church, Gordon Amery welcomed this development because, he says, congregations sing much better with their eyes up, looking at a screen, than when their heads are buried in hymnbooks. As a film buff, Gordon was also excited by the idea of showing films on the equipment: faith-oriented films, certainly, but also more wide-ranging productions to which a wider public would want to come. Reactions to his proposal varied, and he dropped it out of respect for


the views of those members of the congregation who were uncomfortable with the idea of the main church space being used to show secular films. Nevertheless, Gordon was determined to pursue what he was sure was the seed of a good idea, and he turned his attention to the hall which is part of the same group of buildings as the main church. There was only one problem: all the projection equipment was in the church and could not be moved, so he effectively had to start again from scratch. This meant buying all the relevant equipment, at a cost of several thousand pounds. The Methodist church was prepared to make a contribution, both out of its responsibility to the community at large and because it would bring people into the church buildings. Then Gordon had the brainwave of approaching the Town Council who, in his words, ‘bit my hand off’. The Council’s willingness to match the Methodist church’s grant was understandable in view of their aim to keep as many active facilities in Gillingham as possible, and to provide entertainment for those who say that there is not enough to do in the town, especially in the evenings. Not only did the Town Council become an enthusiastic partner, they made it plain to Gordon Amery that he should not cut corners on the equipment but do it properly or not at all, on the principle of ‘only the best for Gillingham’. Mindful of this attitude and with the resources to put it into practice, the Community Cinema was able to buy a four-metre retractable screen, an HD projector and seven speakers and a sub-woofer that create a Dolby Surround Sound system that is remarkable for a church hall. It was also necessary to erect curtains – the hall had none previously – that would provide a complete blackout. The existing plastic moulded chairs were a problem but there was enough money to buy much more comfortable padded seats that do not produce ‘numb bum syndrome’ after they have been sat in for a couple of hours. The auditorium holds 60: fire regulations have restricted it to rather fewer than the organisers had originally hoped, but at least it means plenty of leg-room. The hard work and investment paid off in October last year, when Gillingham Community Cinema staged two showings of its first film, The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. This might be seen as fairly typical of the mainstream film that appeals to the cinema’s primary audience; productions such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are almost guaranteed a

kThe cinema shows a range of films for all tha family

the community, for the community

kIn an era where church buildings are often underused, Gillingham's Community Cinema brings visitors into the building and keeps audiences in contact with one another

sell-out, and by popular request, Mamma Mia is the film for December. But the organisers are conscious of their obligation to all sections of the community and of the dangers of being hide-bound, so titles like The Hobbit and Pompeii have also figured on the programme. As yet, it is proving harder to attract the younger members of the community, despite films chosen with them in mind and vigorous promotion on Facebook, in the Western Gazette, in the Blackmore Vale Magazine and around the town. Given its origins and its locale, the organisation is careful about its choice of films. ‘PG’ and ‘12A’ tend to predominate among the classifications, although Twelve Years a Slave is a ‘15’ and was shown this summer, and so is The Railway Man, to be screened in November. ‘I can’t imagine that we would ever show a film classified “18”,’ says Gordon Amery. Films are submitted for the minister’s approval, which so far has never been withheld. For the most part, films are shown once a month at 7 pm on a Saturday night. If a film is heavily over-subscribed, there is an extra screening at 2 pm. Occasionally, a children’s film will be shown in the afternoon and a different one in the evening; for example, there will be an extra day in December with The Lego Movie followed by – it is hoped, if licence problems can be sorted out – Quartet. The church has a public performance licence anyway, but under copyright law, a separate licence has to be obtained for the showing of each film. This can be done for individual films, but the easiest way is to belong, as Gillingham Community Cinema does, to an organisation called Filmbank. They take care of all the legalities in return for a subscription and a fee per film. Filmbank will also supply the disks which drive the projector, although it is often as economical simply to go out and buy the disk, using Filmbank only for the licence. However, Filmbank often have access to a film before it is generally released on disk: Pompeii, for example, was premiered in cinemas only in May and was shown in Gillingham in October, well before its general release through video hire shops. Blu-Ray disks are used in preference to DVDs. The Great Gatsby was shown on DVD and Gordon Amery still 65

kNot your average-looking cinema

Terry Fisher Photography

cringes at the memory: ‘On the big screen the image was pixellated and the movement jerky, but then again, I was probably the only person who noticed!’ More often than not, the auditorium is full for a screening. Ticket prices are currently £4 for adults and £1 for children; they are intentionally kept as low as

possible, in keeping with the concept that the venture is a facility for the whole community. Most films just about break even and contribute something to the fund that is being built up to meet the replacement of equipment and other expenditure as it becomes necessary. As you arrive, there is a presentation playing on a continuous loop, acknowledging sponsors and other supporters. This is followed by a brief introduction and welcome, including information about the intermission. During the intermission, as well as before the show, ices, popcorn, sweets and soft drinks are sold. Some commercial cinemas make more profit from the sale of refreshments than they do from ticket sales, and these extras provide important income for Gillingham Community Cinema, too. A possible source of revenue in future is the hire of the hall and equipment to companies and schools for presentations. The whole operation is run by a committee of five, who choose the films, organise the finances and so on, and they are supported by a team of helpers. Initially the organisers came exclusively from the Methodist congregation, but now there is more involvement of other members of the community. Everyone is a volunteer, either still in full-time employment or busy with other aspects of their lives. It is this, along with a realistic view of the likely demand, that limits Gillingham Community Cinema to one film in most months. Apart from the occasional film at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, the nearest cinemas to Gillingham are in Yeovil, Salisbury and Frome. Not only are these all at least half an hour’s drive away, a family of four could easily spend £50 on travel, tickets and refreshments. The equivalent at Gillingham Community Cinema is £15. This financial advantage should mean that its future looks bright, which is good news for the town, and no more than the team behind the venture deserves for their prudence and hard work. Z

kOrganisers promote the cinema through as many different media as possible; there is a website (www.filmatgmc.org.uk)


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LAYARD THEATRE Canford Magna, Wimborne

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Box OfďŹ ce 01202 885566

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1 Nov 8.00 KIKI DEE & CARMELO LUGGERI Tickets ÂŁ16.50

20 Nov 7.30 ROY CHUBBY BROWN Tickets ÂŁ20 (over 18's only)

2 Nov 2.30 ANDRE RIEU'S 2014 MAASTRICHT CONCERT ENCORE SCREENING Tickets ÂŁ13.00 (ÂŁ10.50 concs)

21 Nov 7.30 DR FEELGOOD Tickets ÂŁ16

6 Nov 7.30 ERIC & LITTLE ERN Tickets ÂŁ17.50 (ÂŁ15 concs) 7 Nov 7.30 ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW AND THE LOW RIDERS Tickets ÂŁ20 8 Nov 11.00 & 2.30 THE SOOTY SHOW Tickets ÂŁ12. (ÂŁ10 concs) ÂŁ38 family of 4

22 Nov 7.30 (mat 2.30) WMTS presents

THE MAGIC OF MUSIC Tickets ÂŁ12 (ÂŁ10 concs; 1 in 10 free all perfomances) 26 Nov 8.00 (over 16's only) MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE - JE M'ACCUSE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I AM MARCUS Tickets ÂŁ15.00 27 Nov 7.30 BLAKE IN HARMONY Tickets ÂŁ20

10/11 Nov 7.30 FRANKENSTEIN â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘

Tickets ÂŁ12.50 13-15 Nov 7.30 (mat 15th 2.30) TAKING STEPS Tickets ÂŁ10 (mat 8)

28 Nov 7.30 CHRIS FARLOWE with the NORMAN BEAKER BAND Tickets ÂŁ16.50

19 Nov 8.00 RICH HALL'S HOEDOWN Tickets ÂŁ17.50

29 Nov 7.30 JULIA FORDHAM Tickets ÂŁ20


Programme subject to change â&#x20AC;&#x201C; please conďŹ rm dates with the Box OfďŹ ce

Support YOUR Local Theatre

kThis month in Dorset: Your guide to what's on in the county Philip Sutton RA

Fireworks Dorset has a wide range of Bonfire activities. Annual shows include free displays over Poole and Weymouth, while the Littledown Centre in Bournemouth hosts one of the county’s biggest events. In Sherborne the display at the Castle even has a well-organised litter pick the next day. There are also major events in Lyme Regis, Beaminster, Dorchester, Wimborne, Wareham and Christchurch. Here are just a few of this year's events. 1 November, 7.00 Corfe Castle, Greyhound, Corfe Castle, 01929 480205, www.greyhoundcorfe.co.uk 1 November (tbc), 6.30 Beaminster Big Bang, St Mary’s School, Beaminster, 01308 862201, www.stmarysbeaminster.sch.uk Community Bonfire and Fireworks 1 November, 6.00 Stanpit Recreation Ground, Christchurch, www.christchurchrotary.org.uk 1 November (tbc), 7.00 North Dorset Rugby Club, www.shaftesbury-gillingham.roundtable.co.uk 1 November, 5.00 Wimborne & Colehill, St Michael’s Middle School, Colehill Lane 5 November, 2.00 Weymouth Beach, 01305 785747, www.visit-weymouth.org.uk 5 November, 5.30 Poole Quay, www.pooletourism.com 5 November, 6.00 Dorchester Rugby Club, 07968 203932 7 November, 6.30 Wareham Rugby Club, 01929 552224, www.warehamwednesdays.org 8 November, 5.00 Littledown Park, Bournemouth, 01202 417600, www.littledowncentre.co.uk/events 8 November, 5.30 Butchers Coppice Scout Camp, Bournemouth, www.fireworksbournemouth.com 8 November, 6.30 The Harbour, Lyme Regis, www.lymeregiscarnival.co.uk 8 November, 5.00 Sherborne Castle, 01935 812072, www.sherbornecastle.com

Colin Tracy Photographer Colin Tracy holds an open event at his studio in Martinstown on the first Friday of every month to exhibit photographic art, local landscapes, natural history images and more. ‘I am curious about everything and my photographs are one result of this curiosity,’ he says. ‘I photograph what

To welcome the arrival of Philip Sutton RA and his family to Bridport, Sladers Yard has selected work from his long career for a major solo show of this major figure in British art. Through the Life of Philip Sutton RA, features woodcut prints and painted ceramics as well as the larger canvasses for which he is perhaps better known. Born in Poole, Philip Sutton left school at 14 and worked for three years in a drawing office, waiting for lunch so that he could borrow a drawing board and draw. After National Service in the RAF, a grant allowed him to study at Slade School of Fine Art under noted realist painter William Coldstream. He designed the rose logo for the Labour Party, stamps for the Post Office, a poster for London Underground and crockery for the Royal Academy restaurant, while his paintings include a series inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry V. He will present a talk at Sladers Yard on 7 November. Until 30 November, 10.00 (not Sun) Sladers Yard, West Bay, 01308 459511, www.sladersyard.co.uk

Stacey Kent One of the world’s foremost jazz singers, Stacey Kent was invited to sing at Clint Eastwood’s 70th birthday party, was championed by no less a luminary than Humphrey Lyttleton, appeared in Ian McKellen’s 1995 film of Richard III and had Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro write the liner notes for her album In Love Again before going on to co-write four songs on her album Breakfast on the Morning Train. Not bad for a girl from New Jersey who moved to Europe to study French, Italian and German for a Master’s degree in comparative literature. Her latest album The Changing Lights is her tenth release and finds her singing in English, French and Portuguese as she covers standards including One Note Samba and Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, as well as three more songs co-written by Ishiguro. 7 November, 7.30 Regent Centre, Christchurch, 01202 499148, www.regentcentre.co.uk catches my attention and often this is simply shape and colour in abstract form. As well as having many landscapes of Dorset, l have photographs of all things natural – flowers, trees, insects, animals and birds.’ Pictured here is Colin's Dawn Poppies. 7 November, 10.00 17 St Martinsfield, Martinstown, 01305 889476, www.fullyfocusedphotos.photodeck.com 69

kThis month in Dorset Wimborne Literary Festival

John Mayall

She was with The Beatles in Rishikesh, the inspiration behind Donovan’s hit Jennifer Juniper, married to Mick Fleetwood and the sister in law of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Now a doctor of psychology Jenny Boyd spent four years interviewing a host of famous musicians for her book, It’s Not Only Rock ’n’ Roll, and will be talking about her experiences as part of this year’s Wimborne Literary Festival. Other famous names lined up to grace the festival venues include Antiques Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury (pictured) who’ll be sharing some of the stories that didn’t make the show’s special programme to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1; Rose Prince, winner of the Best Cookery Writer at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drinks Awards, will doubtless touch on the current popularity of all things baked and baking. After last year’s sell out success, renowned conservationists Bob Gibbons, Simon Cooper, Jim Crunley and Ruary Mackenzie Dodds are the special guests at the Natural History Day; and Andreas Campomar, the great-grand-nephew of Dr Enrique Buero, who persuaded Jules Rimet to stage the World Cup in Uruguay, discusses his history of Latin American football. Finally, Kate Adie closes the festival with a talk about her book, Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One. 1-9 November, daily Various venues, 01202 882677, www.gulliversbookshop.co.uk

Fifty years ago John Mayall played a weekly residency at the Le Disque A Go Go club in Bournemouth. He backed John Lee Hooker on tour then recorded his first album that December. His then band included future Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and drummer Hughie Flint; over the years Mayall’s famous Bluesbreakers would include guitarists like Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Peter Green, bassist Jack Bruce and drummers Mick Fleetwood, Jon Hiseman and Colin Allen. Mayall's latest album, A Special Life, was released earlier this year. 7 November, 7.30 Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth, 0844 576 3000, www.bic.co.uk

Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers Just five years ago Zoe Muth was teaching young children by day, playing bars and clubs at night in her native Seattle. Any spare cash went towards putting out her first album in 2009, but when the follow up, 2011’s Starlight Hotel, generated ripples on both sides of the Atlantic, Zoe and drummer husband Greg Niles decided to go full-time and headed 2140 miles southeast to Texas. Her latest release, World of Strangers, has brought her even more acclaim and with band the Lost High Rollers makes a first visit to Poole. 6 November, 7.00 St Aldhelm’s Church, Branksome, 07785 765959, www.poolerhythmroots.co.uk

Christmas Craft Fair Christchurch and District Arts annual Craft Fair has entertainment from harpists Bernice Cutler and Elena Bantock, who won the 2013 CADArts Youth Trophy. With nearly 50 local craftspeople offering a variety of crafts from paintings to pottery, bags to bears, crackers to cushions, and a range of different jewellery, the event will raise funds to enable CADArts to continue its support of local artists. Pictured is a painting by Lisa LeQuelenec. 16 November, 10.30 Hoburne Farm Holiday Park, Christchurch, www.cadarts.com

O’Shea & O’Gaukroger Marina O’Shea and Tessa O’Gaukroger are actor/ comedians on a mission to find every opportunity to laugh. Their new show, We’re Dead Serious. People Keep Laughing includes short films and a host of alter egos including Wolfgang, an American jazz poet with a penchant for vegetables, an over zealous pair of recruiters, and Trevor, a man who fails to understand the necessity of trousers in public places. 14 November, 8.00 Lyric Theatre, Bridport, 01308 424294, www.bridport-arts.com

The Whispering Road Bubbling with vivid imagery and music, The Whispering Road springs between song, music and the spoken word on a fantastical journey to a land where every bird and beast has power – and every encounter a deeper purpose. Drawing on the rich Swedish folk tradition and instruments, the story is brought to life with the accompaniment of traditional Scandinavian music on the Swedish nyckelharpa, kohorn, accordion and guitar, and with three-part close harmony singing featuring Nick Hennessey, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, collectively known as Serious Kitchen. 21 November, 7.30 Halstock Village Hall, 01305 269512 22 November, 7.30 Hinton Martel Village Hall, 01305 269512 23 November, 7.30 Milborne St Andrew Village Hall, 01305 269512, www.artsreach.co.uk 70


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Springfield Country Hotel Leisure Club & Spa, Grange Road, Wareham, Dorset. BH20 5AL T : 01929 552177 xF : 01929 551862 www.thespringfield.co.uk


Further dates for your diary kMinterne Gardens Until 9 November, 10.00 Minterne House, 01300 341370, www.minterne.co.uk kJoey & the Jivers 1 November, 7.30 The Hub, Verwood, 01202 828740, www.verwood.org kFrances Bankes’s Ball 1, 2 November, 12.00 Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, 01202 883402, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy/ kExhibition: First World War Stories 4-11 November, 10.00 Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne, 01202 882533, www.priest-house.co.uk kIsland Voices Community Choir 4, 11, 18, 25 November, 7.30 St George’s Centre, Portland, 07593 063551, www.facebook.com/pages/ Island-Voices-Choir/476156602439106 kGuided Tours 5, 12, 19, 26 November, 3, 10, 17 December 11.00 Shire Hall, Dorchester, 01305 267992 (TIC), www.dorsetforyou.com/shirehallproject kExhibition: Julia Whatley – Dancing With Cranes 6-9 November, daily Slade Centre, Gillingham, 01747 821480, www.sladecentre.com kWimborne In Bloom Charities Fair 8 November, 10.00 Wimborne Minster, 01202 888703 kChristmas Craft & Gourmet Food Fair 8, 9 November, 10.00 (tbc) Kingston Maurward, 01305 215000, www.kmc.ac.uk kChurch Fayre 8 November 10.00-12.00, St Martin’s Church Broadmayne, 01305 854385 (Carol Wightman) kDave Kelly Band 8 November, 7.45 Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 01297 442138 (TIC), www.marinetheatre.com kSpitfire Day 8, 9 November, daily Square, Wimborne, www.wimborneminster.net kMarnhull Acoustic Sessions: The Moulettes 9 November, 7.00 Marnhull Village Hall, www.marnhullacousticsessions.co.uk kHorrible Histories: Barmy Britain 11-15 November, 7.00 (Wed-Fri also 10.30, Sat 10.30, 2.30) Lighthouse, Poole, 0844 406 8666, lighthousepoole.co.uk kWimborne Art Club Autumn Exhibition and Sale 14, 15 November 10.00 (Fri 1.00) Pamphill Parish Hall, 01202 892064, www.wimborneartclub.org.uk kWareham Remembers Commemoration Concert 15 November 7:30, Lady St. Mary Church Wareham www.freewebs.com/warehamcs/

Phyllis Wolff Having studied art at Goldsmiths College and St Martin’s School of Art, and taught at Kingston School of Art before moving to Dorset, Phyllis Wolff’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries in England and abroad. Although she works in watercolour, charcoal or makes prints, Phyllis’ preferred medium is oil on canvas and most of her work is figurative –

kMulti media: Wildlife Wonders on Our Doorstep 16 November, 3.00 The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, 01258 475137, www.stur-exchange.co.uk kWildlife walk for Health Bring sensible footwear and warm, waterproof clothing. 17 November, 10.00 Canford Heath, 07703 607630, www.rspb.org.uk/events kTalk: River Frome – From Source to Sea 19 November, 7.30 Wareham & District Development Trust, Parish Hall, Wareham, 01929 556267, www.wddt.org.uk kFiddler on the Roof 20-22 November, 7.30 Coade Hall, Bryanston School, 01258 484623, www.bryanston.co.uk/coadehall kIndustrial Archaeology Day 22 November, 2.00 Family History Society Research Centre, Sherborne, 01935 389611, www.sdfhs.org kCraft Fair 22 November, 9.00 Town Hall, Bridport, 01308 456722 kBridport Chamber Orchestra 23 November, 3.00 St Swithin’s Church, Bridport, 01935 824786, www.bridportchamberorchestra.co.uk kWareham Court Leet 24-27 November, daily Various venues, www.wareham-tc.gov.uk kLecture: Late Turner with Julian Halsby 26 November, 7.30 Digby Hall, Sherborne, 01935 815341 (TIC), www.sherborneartslink.org.uk kBlake 27 November, 7.30 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 01202 885566, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk kRoyal Marines Christmas Spectacular 27 November, 7.30 Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth, 0844 576 3000, www.bic.co.uk kBournemouth & Poole National Trust Association Talk: 2nd Baron Montagu, a saga of sunken secrets 27 November, 2.15 Hallmark Hotel, Bournemouth, www.bournemouthpoole-nta.org.uk/ kChristmas Tree Festival 27-30 November, 10.00-4.00 (Thurs 12.00-4.00), Kingston Church; email judyforgan@hotmail.co.uk to sponsor a tree kMark Steel 28 November, 8.00 Dorchester Corn Exchange, 01305 266926, www.dorchesterarts.org.uk kTalk: Chris Packham – Tadpoles Not Included 4 December, 7.30 Regent Centre, Christchurch, 01202 499148, www.regentcentre.co.uk kSlightly Fat Features in Variety Soup 4, 5 December, 7.30 Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 01297 442138 (TIC), www.marinetheatre.com portraits, still life and landscapes. Her new exhibition, Recent Paintings, at the County Museum includes Brownsea Island (pictured here), one of her recent map paintings of which others include Mupe Bay, Lulworth. 22 November – 24 December, 10.00 (not Sun) Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, 01305 262735, www.dorsetcountymuseum.org 73

kThis month in Dorset Bournemouth Bach Choir Reformed in 1987, Bournemouth Bach Choir has performed the major choral works of JS Bach, as well as the Brahms, Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart settings of the ‘Requiem’; Mozart and Haydn Mass settings and Brückner Choruses and Motets. The Choir also stages an annual Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah in Christchurch Priory. Conducted by Tim Hooper and with Chris Dowie at the organ, this month’s ‘Music for Remembrance’ programme at Wimborne Minster includes Fauré’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Verleih uns Frieden, How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings by Brahms and Stainer’s God So Loved the World, as well as Wesley’s Thou Wilt Keep Him and Ireland’s Greater Love. 8 November, 7.30 Wimborne Minster, 01202 824413, www.bournemouthbachchoir.org

Namvula Rennie Combining the influences of her Zambian homeland, Scottish heritage and London’s music scene, Namvula Rennie is one of the few Zambian artists performing in Europe, she has collaborated and shared the stage with the likes of South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Zambian singer Maureen Lilanda and sitar player Anoushka Shankar; while her touring band includes bassist Liran Donin of Mercury-nominated Led Bib and Senegalese percussionist Mamadou Sarr, who tours with Baaba Maal. 7 November, 7.30 Pamela Hambro Hall, Winterborne Stickland, 01305 269512 8 November, 8.30 Evershot Village Hall, 01305 269512, 9 November, 7.30 Studland Village Hall, 01305 269512, www.artsreach.co.uk

Ministry of Entertainment

Frankenstein There could be no more appropriate choice for the revived Shelley Theatre’s first film presentation – director James Whale’s definitive adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Starring Boris Karloff in his signature role as Frankenstein’s monster, Colin Clive plays the ambitious scientist who gives him life, with Mae Clarke as Frankenstein’s fiancée Elizabeth and Dwight Frye as his hunchbacked assistant Fritz. The evening will also feature a short tribute to the late Margaret Brown who devoted much of her life to preserving the legacy of the Shelley family and was one of the first champions to the cause of re-opening the theatre. 15 November, 8.00 Shelley Theatre, Boscombe, 01202 413600, www.shelleytheatre.co.uk

The Women of World War One A powerful portrait of women’s lives, The Women of World War One features the poetry and prose of factory workers, nurses, those in the Women’s Land Army, fiancées, wives, mothers and daughters. Using their letters, diaries and poems, these are real stories illustrated with slides and with music for piano, stringed instruments and voice by female composers who were writing during 74

Colin Hawkins

In the Ministry's latest show, Normal Service Will Be Resumed, it’s 1962 and East and West are about to collide over Cuba. In the BBC emergency wartime studio, cleaner Skippy Catford dusts away 20 years of cobwebs; Stanton Drew, everybody’s favourite velvet-voiced heartthrob presenter prepares for action. When international tension suddenly rises, Stanton and Skippy are trapped underground with nothing but a pair of coconut shells and a swannee whistle to keep them amused. Listen with Mother will never be the same again! 7 November, 7.30 Tarrant Gunville Village Hall, 01305 269512 8 November, 7.30 West Lulworth Village Hall, 01305 269512 9 November, 7.30 Memorial Hall, Piddletrenthide, 07775 902516 14 November, 7.30 Powerstock Hut, Powerstock, 01305 269512 15 November, 7.30 Sandford Orcas Village Hall, 01305 269512 16 November, 7.30 Langton Matravers Village Hall, 01305 269512, www.artsreach.co.uk


Commissioned by Pavilion Dance South West, the winner of the 2014 Sky Arts Award for Dance, Mark Bruce brings Bram Stoker’s haunting, erotic tale Dracula to life with an eclectic mix of music from Bach and Mozart to Ligeti and Fred Frith. Bruce explores choreographic styles ranging from the subtlety of classical etiquette to visceral contemporary dance as Jonathan Goddard plays the infamous vampire Count, whose sinister ambitions challenge the very fabric of Victorian society. Dracula is lit by Guy Hoare and designed by Phil Eddolls, with costumes by Dorothee Brodruel. 18 November, 7.45 Lighthouse, Poole, 0844 406 8666, www.lighthousepoole.co.uk the War including Rebecca Clarke, Mélanie Bonis and the recently rediscovered songwriter, Muriel Herbert. The piece has been created by Musicians South West, is narrated by Petra Schofield of Magic Penny Productions and the music is performed by Trio Paradis: Jacquelyn Bevan, Jamie Hughes and Cressida Nash. 21 November, 7.30 Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 01297 442138 (TIC), www.marinetheatre.com






Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th December

A Christmas Market Plus a variety of seasonal family activities, talks and tours


PASS ANNUAL bsite for

See our we


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Terms an

tankmuseum.org THE TANK MUSEUM Tel: 01929 405096 Registered Charity no: 1102661


01725 516971


A DULTS : £4.00 C ONCESSIONS £3.00

6.00PM - 9.00PM


Includes a Complimentary Welcome Drink

christmas & new year

Christmas think

with the BSO

•Crackers •Hats •Novelties •Decorations & more!

Poole Lighthouse



Handel’s Messiah

concert season 2014 ⁄ 15

Reid Street, Christchurch BH23 2BT t: 01202 489361

wednesday 17 december 7.30pm

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 9am to 6pm Plenty of FREE Parking!


10.00AM - 4.00PM

saturday 20 december 7.30pm

Last Night of the Christmas Proms

tuesday 23 december 7.30pm

Celebration of Christmas Carols

thursday 1 january 3pm ⁄ 7pm

New Year’s Day Johann Strauss Gala

0844 406 8666

Weymouth Pavilion

saturday 10 january 7.30pm

New Year Johann Strauss Gala

01305 783225

For more information and online booking visit bsolive.com

Advertisement feature

Looking for ideas of Christmassy things to do? There’s plenty going on in and around Dorset before the end of December

9Take a step back in time and discover how Christmas was celebrated during the two world wars and beyond at the Tank Museum Christmas Festival and Craft Fayre on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 December. Learn about life on the Home Front and stroll around the indoor Christmas Market with over 50 traders offering local crafts and produce. And don’t miss the star attraction – meet Father Christmas and see him arrive in style as he pulls up in a tank! 9 T h e L a r m e r T r e e C h r i s t m a s F a i r onFriday 5th December (6.00pm-9.00pm), Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th (both 10.00am- 4.00pm) has become a fi rm favourite, showcasing the amazing talent of local crafters, producers and musicians. The weekend is a fantastic opportunity to buy unique Christmas presents and Christmas trees, together with musical entertainment and delicious food. Adult tickets are priced at £4.00, concessions £3.00 and children free, which includes a free winter warming drink of mulled wine, mulled cider or apple juice. 9 P e e k s are Christmas crackers – a one-stop-shop for festive favourites from trees to tinsel, baubles to bunting, stockings to Santas. They’re teeming with streamers, have shelves full of elves and in true Christmas spirit, their products are available at rock-bottom prices. So for lights and lanterns, party poppers and presents, cards and stars, bells and smells, hats, sacks and

party packs it simply has to be Peeks. Find them at Reid Street in Christchurch, or call 01202 489489 for a catalogue. 9 The B S O ’s Christmas season in Poole starts on 17 December with the traditional performance of Messiah, followed by festive classics in the Last Night of the Christmas Proms on 20 December. With all the best Christmas songs and pieces from famous musicals, it’s fun for all the family! A Celebration of Christmas Carols rings in the festivities on 23 December. Bring in 2015 in style on 1 January at the Johann Strauss Gala, BSO’s annual celebration of the Waltz King. 9 Celebrate a memorable and magical Christmas at the Bournemouth Carlton & East Cliff Court hotels... Let them do all the work while you enjoy and unwind this festive season with family and friends. Located side by side on Bournemouth’s East Cliff, choose from the grand traditional Carlton Hotel or the contemporary East Cliff Court Hotel. Christmas party night packages start from only £14.95 per person, which includes a delicious three-course meal, before dancing the night away to the early hours with their resident DJ. A fabulous Christmas day lunch is available from £65.00 per person (children’s prices are available) and their annual New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner is always popular, so make sure you and friends secure your place. Prices start from just £85.00 per


Christmas Party Nights from

£14.95 per person

Christmas New Years ' Day Lunch

Eve Gala Dinner from



£65.00 per person

Children's prices are available

per person

Christmas Party Nights - Enjoy a fabulous three course dinner before dancing the night away until the early hours with our resident DJ Themed Party Nights - Murder Mystery Nights from £37.95 per person and Jazz & Blues Evenings from £29.95 per person

Carlton Hotel, East Overcliff, Bournemouth, BH1 3DN East Cliff Court, East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth, BH1 3AN Tel: 01202 544114 bco@menzieshotels.co.uk www.menzieshotels.co.uk 77

Christmas is coming

Visit the working studio and meet our Throwers, Artists and Designers. Watch demonstrations of pot throwing and decorating. Feel inspired? Have a go at painting your own masterpiece! Fun for all from £6 Relax in our Pottery Café on the first floor Discover the largest collection of Poole Pottery in the world, including Giftware, Lighting, Studio Pieces, Quality Seconds and Vintage. Free Fre re ee E Entr Entry ntry ntr y - Open O Daily* Monday - Saturday 9.00am - 5.30pm, 5.30 Sunday 10.30am - 4.30pm The Quay, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HJ * Closed Easter Sunday and Christmas Day

Tel: 01202 668 681 enquiries@poolepotteryretail.co.uk


person. To make a booking or to ďŹ nd out more information about any of these festive packages, please call 01202 544 114 or email bco@menzieshotels.co.uk 9 P o o l e P o t t e r y â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich history in the town dates back 140 years. Today you can see the largest collection of Poole Pottery for sale in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; giftware, quality seconds and vintage tableware â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a collectorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; corner for real connoisseurs. Find some great Christmas gifts with two ďŹ&#x201A; oors of housewares, gifts, fashion and accessories from leading brands at great prices. See the skilled artists at work in the studio and why not paint a pot yourself or just relax in the cafĂŠ. 9Inspire is full to the brim with a wide variety of craft from beautifully delicate collectables to fun affordable pieces. WalfordMillCrafts have hand-picked a distinctive collection of work, each carefully handcrafted by skilled makers, taking the hassle out of ďŹ nding those all-important gifts for this festive season. Late night shopping Thursday 4 December, 5.308.00pm, with 10% off everything. 9 Get the festive season wrapped up with T h e C h r i s t m a s D e c o r a t o r s ! As the season to be jolly speeds round, it can become more stressful than restful, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where The Christmas Decorators come in. The newly opened, family-run, regional branch of The Christmas Decorators specialises in creating stunning, bespoke Christmas dĂŠcor for businesses and homes. From single Christmas trees to fully themed winter wonderlands with twinkling lights, garlands and wreaths, all dĂŠcor is individually designed and made to measure inside and out. Piers Brown of The Christmas Decorators says: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The trick is to keep decorations tasteful while still capturing the magic of Christmas.

The Christmas Decorators enjoy a wide number of clients, from the Hilton Hotels to A-list celebrities. Some clients keep decorations â&#x20AC;&#x153;on trendâ&#x20AC;?, so for 2014 that will be champagne shades; others prefer their dĂŠcor to be traditional in Victorian reds and greens. We offer a bespoke design service to reďŹ&#x201A; ect the tastes of our clients.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Decorations are available to hire or purchase and prices begin at ÂŁ500, with service including installation, disassembly and storage. 9 The National Trust at K i n g s t o n L a c y are continuing the spirit of the Bankes family by inviting you to visit, explore and create new traditions and memories with friends, family and loved ones. With Kingston Lacy house closed this year for essential conservation work, the team are decorating the garden and laundry areas instead, to create a traditional servantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Christmas. Come and enjoy a taste of yesteryear with food and drink tastings, traditional craft activities for

Christmas is coming and it's not just the children who are getting excited

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Christmas is coming



DON’T MISS THESE FORTHCOMING EVENTS: Spitfire on the Square 8th & 9th November - this iconic aircraft returns. 'Switch On' of the Christmas Lights On the Square on Saturday 29th November at around 4.00pm. There will be entertainment provided by the community for the community throughout the day from 11.00am. Late Night Shopping 10th December - Make Wimborne part of your Christmas list for this year.


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young and old and the opportunity to help make the longest ‘Christmas Wish’ paper chain in Dorset. As twilight falls, follow our Christmas-lit garden walk and, at weekends from 6 December, visit Father Christmas. The shop and restaurant will be open daily for delicious seasonal meals and snacks, and for those perfect Christmas gifts. Kingston Lacy will be celebrating Christmas daily from 28 November to 21 December, 10.30am to 6pm (7pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays), but may close earlier in poor weather. Normal admission applies. 9The ever-popular Christmas Spectacular with the Glad Rag Production Company is an eagerly anticipated treat on the R e g e n t C e n t r e ’s calendar. It is now in its third year at the Centre and is a festive feast of fun, comedy, dance and music with colourful costumes, sparkling sets, singing Santas, polar bears and showgirls. This fantastic family winter-warmer is live from Saturday 20 to Wednesday 24 December, 2.30pm

and 7.30pm, and is a fabulous hors d’oeuvre to the day itself! 9 Children’s favourite and Blue Peter Presenter Barney Harwood will be playing Peter Pan in this year’s pantomime at the BournemouthPavilion. He is has played the part several times previously, including at the Pavilion in 2008. Barney is one of the best-known faces on children’s television having presented many of CBBC’s top programmes including Smile, Totally Doctor Who, Prank Patrol, Basil’s Swap Shop, Basil’s Game Show, Bear Behaving Badly, Barney’s Barrier Reef, Barney’s Costa Rica and of course Blue Peter amongst others. Mark Benton will be co-starring as Captain Hook. Mark is fresh from the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing and is well known for his role as Mr Chalke in BBC1’s Waterloo Road. 9 Christmas in W i m b o r n e promises to be extra special this year and plans are well under way to provide lots of festive promotions and events for both the shopper and the visitor to the town. The Christmas lights in Wimborne will be switched on Saturday 29 November at 4.30, completing a day of entertainment for the community by the community on a covered stage in the Square. Refreshments will be provided in association with Wimborne’s twin town in Germany. Father Christmas will once again be paying an early visit this year and will be there to greet young and old, with the proceeds going to Julia’s House. He will also be in the Square on Saturday 6 and 20 December. The festivities continue throughout the month and include a latenight shopping evening on Wednesday 10 December and a Save the Children Parade on Saturday 13 December. The traditional Christmas Carol service takes place in the Corn Market on the evening of Friday 19 December. For more information visit www.wimborne.info

When late-night shopping, the street decorations can get one in a festive frame of mind




28th Nov – 4 th Jan makeitbournemouth.co.uk


Christmas is coming available in the cafĂŠ. It's the perfect place to buy your presents, 9 New for this year, B o u r n e m o u t h â&#x20AC;&#x2122; s C h r i s t m a s Christmas trees and decorations. Don't miss Christmas craftL i g h t s P r o c e s s i o n â&#x20AC;˘ (from 6.00-7.00 on 28 November) ofďŹ cially starts the Festive celebrations! Helping Father making in the cafĂŠ at weekends (ÂŁ1). Christmas light up the town centre and open the magical 9This is a fantastic time to visit the W i l t o n S h o p p i n g â&#x20AC;˘ illage. On 7, 8 and 9 November, the village will be holding Gardens of Light in the Lower Gardens, the procession starts V with the stars of the Bournemouth Pavilionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s swash-buckling its annual Christmas gift and stocking ďŹ ller fair. This year it is bigger and better than ever with over 45 different stalls, selling pantomime, Peter Pan, as they lead families and children everything you need to kick-start your Christmas shopping. through the town centre to the gardens. And it only gets better from there: not Everyone is invited to join in â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you can only is there a great array of shops to even get involved with glow sticks! choose from but a real ice rink! You will Wrapped in winter wonderment, the be able skate every day of the holidays Lower Gardens will be hosting the (except Christmas) right up until 4 stunning Gardens of Light alongside the January. The skating season kicks off ice rink, Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grotto in the Bandstand on 21 November from 6.00 till 9.00 and the award-winning beach hut light with the ice rink launch night; there will pods, all of which open on 28 be plenty of entertainment and fun for November. Promising a magical start to the whole family and, best of all, a free the Festival season, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect prize draw to win free skate sessions evening for everyone and you could also that evening. Tickets will be handed do a bit of Christmas shopping or grab a out to the ďŹ rst 300 people to arrive at bite to eat at the same time! For full the village from 6.00. The fun doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t details, costs, online booking and stop there as there are many exciting opening times visit events and sessions for you to choose makeitbournemouth.co.uk from, such as Skate with Santa, Toddler 9There's more to Christmas at Skate, Skate and Date singles nights, C o m p t o n A c r e s : late night Disco Skate and adult only skating shopping on Friday 5, 12 and 19 sessions for a more relaxed skater. So December until 7.30, with free parking, come on down to the Wilton Shopping carol singers and, from 6.00 until 6.30, a Village and make your Christmas special appearance from Father Once all the shopping is done, it's time to relax, whether at home in unique. Christmas. Mulled wine, home-made front of the tree or out with family at a Christmas event mince pies and Christmas treats will be


Come and see Father Christmas Â&#x2C6;Breakfast with Father Christmas  9-10.30amIZIV]7EXYVHE]MR(IGIQFIV1SRHE]  RH8YIWHE]VHERH'LVMWXQEW)ZIEQ  8MGOIXWÂ&#x2020;Â&#x2020;ERHYRHIVÂ&#x2020;  Including a full English breakfast and a quality Christmas gift. Â&#x2C6;Visit Father Christmas in his Grotto  TQIZIV]7EXYVHE]MR(IGIQFIV  ERHKIXEPSZIP]TVIWIRX if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been good!

Individual visit ÂŁ7 per child Family visit ÂŁ6 per child

BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW KEVHIRW$GSQTXSREGVIWGSYO Compton Acres 164 Canford Cliffs Road Poole BH13 7ES for full details visit www.comptonacres.co.uk


Making your Christmas


Icerink 21st November - 4th January

Shop. Eat.

be Unique!

Icerink Launch night 21st of Nov 6pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9pm

Breakfast with


Santa ChoirDay

13th, 20th & 21st December

6th December

For more events, opening times and to book tickets please visit



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THE PRIORY Hotel & Restaurant on the River

Upper Deck Restaurant 2-Course Autumn Lunch £19.95 October & November excluding Sundays

Afternoon Tea

Cream Tea £8.95, ’Ritzy’ Tea £19.95, Champagne ‘Ritzy’ Tea £29.95

A La Carte Lunch Daily, excluding Sundays

Table D‘Hote Dinner 3-Course Menu with Pre-Dinner Canapes & Coffee with Petits Fours

Overlooking Poole’s Quayside and Harbour Open every day for lunch & dinner Sunday Luncheon served from 12 noon, last orders 3pm Offering excellent à la carte and traditional Sunday roast menus Christmas Party and Christmas Day Luncheon menus now available

Christmas Party Menus Lunch & Dinner, 1–23 December

Gift Vouchers

£5, £10, £20, £50 & £100 denominations

Please see our website for menus: www.corkers.co.uk (Gluten-free catered for)

Church Green • Wareham • Dorset • BH20 4ND • 01929 551666 reservations@theprioryhotel.co.uk • www.theprioryhotel.co.uk



Reservations: 01202 681393 The Quay, Poole BH15 1AB



Festive Christmas Luncheons during late November and throughout December The Quay Inn, The Quay, Wareham BH20 4LP 01929 552735 www.thequayinn.com 84

swanagerailway.co.uk 01929 425800


kEat, Drink, Stay: the review

The Saxon Arms

20 The Square, Stratton, Dorchester DT2 9WG 01305 260020 www.thesaxon-stratton.co.uk

A la carte menu# 7 starters 16 mains 6 puddings

PRICE(£) 4.95-7.25 9.95-14.95 5.55-5.95

Cost of a meal for two including house wine: For two courses £44.70-59.30 For three courses £55.70-72.20 Red wines: 13 on list White wines*1: 9 on list Rosé wine*1: 2 on list, both at Sparkling wine: 6 on list

£14.90-27.90 £14.90-29.00 £15.90 £18.50-46.00

*1 Excludes sparkling; still wines are available by the glass from: £3.00 per 125ml glass, £4.00 per 175ml glass, £5.20 per 250ml glass #Extensive specials menu also has five starter and nine main course options


he Saxon Arms is one of a trio of pubs under the same ownership (the other two – both called The Kings Arms – are in Longham, Ferndown and Stoborough, Wareham). Whilst all three have a shared aesthetic style and culinary philosophy, each has its own identity and implementation. The Saxon Arms is a thatched pub with a long bar, one end of which is a cosy local, the other an area for diners. It's not a terribly deep room, but this means that whilst one is aware of the other diners and drinkers, there isn't that feel of a big barn that one sometimes gets with combined pub/restaurant spaces. Despite the appaling weather in the days around our visit, the bar area was very busy, the dining area slightly less, which created a lively, welcoming atmosphere without it being overwhelming or intrusively noisy if you fancy an intimate tête-a-tête. My companion for the evening was Piddletrenthide

artist Sarah Hough (http://sarahhough.com) and we selected from both the specials menu and the à la carte. For her starter, Sarah opted for the twice-baked, threecheese soufflé and I selected the chicken liver pâté. Sarah described her soufflé as 'very cheese-y, and a hearty starter for a chill autumn night. There's a lot of sauce to it, but it's all going to be eaten'. My pâté was perfectly spiced and seasoned, velvety in texture and served with a very nice bread accompaniment. For our mains I went for the chicken, pancetta and wild mushroom linguine, Sarah for the specials board option of wild boar burger topped with goats' cheese. Pasta can sometimes be a safe if uninspiring choice on a menu, but the linguine was much more subtle and sophisticated than your traditional pub fayre, with every element working towards a whole that was better even than its excellent individual parts. Wild boar is a flavour-packed meat but its texture is often grainy, almost gravelly, when minced for a burger; the goats' cheese topping at the Saxon Arms is an inspired choice, smoothing out the texture and blending and enhancing the strong meaty taste. It's fair to say, though, that thanks to the melted goats' cheese, this is probably one burger that even the most finger-food obsessed diner will be content to eat with a knife and fork. For pudding, Sarah opted for the Dorset apple cake which came with an apple and cinnamon ice cream, I went for the plum and almond tarte with crème anglaise. Both puddings were very good examples of their type, but the ice cream that came with the Apple cake was almost overpoweringly cinnamon flavoured, rather than apple and cinnamon. My tarte was just divine. The meal unfolded over a period of about two hours, from when we arrived at our table to when we left the Saxon Arms. This left plenty of time for conversation, but one never felt as if one had been waiting for any of the courses, nor as if one were being pushed to order or to hurry up. The service was unfussy, indeed almost unnoticed, which is not to say it wasn't excllent, rather the opposite. The staff simply knew when to appear and when to be invisible. All in all, it was an very pleasant evening out with a wide variety of food, which was very well executed in the kitchen, then very well served in a comfortable ambience; it is hard to know what else one could wish for. Z Julian Powell 85

Where to: eat, drink, stay

Take advantage of our extensive guide to restaurants in and around Dorset to help you ďŹ nd somewhere special.


Child Okeford

Crown Hotel, 8 West Street. 01258 456626. Elegant hotel nestling in the heart of Dorset offering luxury accommodation, function rooms, awardwinning beers and freshly prepared food.

The Saxon Inn, Gold Hill. 01258 860310. www.saxoninn.co.uk. Hidden in the village of Child Okeford, we are well worth finding. Nestling under Hambledon Hill, ideally situated for walkers in need of sustenance. 4 ensuite bed & breakfast rooms.

Bournemouth Arbor Restaurant at The Green House, Grove Road BH1 3AX. 01202 498900. info@thegreenhousehotel. com. www.arbor-restaurant. co.uk Serious food in a chilled-out setting offering guilt-free dining. Unfussy, knowledgeable service from staff that love food.

Christchurch The Lord Bute Hotel & Restaurant, 181-185 Lymington Road, BH23 4JS. 01425 278884. www.lordbute.com. 5-star luxury boutique hotel offering award-winning food and impeccable service, set in the romantic Highcliffe Castle grounds. Licensed for civil ceremonies.


menu, vegetarian options, snacks and traditional pub grub. Corfe Mullen (Near Wimborne) The Coventry Arms, Mill Street, Corfe Mullen, BH21 3RH. 01258 857 284. www.thecoventryarms.com 15th-century pub, open all day. Delicious local food, real ales, riverside garden and open log fire. Bookings recommended.

The CafĂŠ, Cranborne Garden Centre. 01725 517546. www.cranborne.co.uk From morning coffee to afternoon tea with a light bite in between. Ideal for walkers and gardeners, or just somewhere to rest. East Burton, Wool (Near Wareham) The Seven Stars, 01929 462292. www.sevenstars.co.uk. A wide range of homemade meals and steaks, fresh fish, vegetarian and daily specials. Fine wines, real ales, lagers and ciders, Large beer garden, children's play area andplenty of free parking. Farnham (Near Blandford) The Museum Inn, 01725 516261. www.museuminn.co.uk. A superb country inn situated in the picturesque village of Farnham, Dorset. Irresistibly fresh, seasonal, sensibly priced food. 7 days.

The Ship in Distress, 66 Stanpit, Mudeford. 01202 485123. ship-in-distress. co.uk. 300-year-old smugglersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pub, awardwinning restaurant and two bars offering Ă la carte


Steve & Gill Wish all our customers, old and new, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy & prosperous New Year

Museum Inn Pub . Rooms . Dining

A superb country inn situated in the picturesque village of Farnham, Dorset


Two course ÂŁ17.95 Three course ÂŁ22.95

Pre-orders please. ÂŁ10 per head deposit required when booking.


01725 516261 E: enquiries@museuminn.co.uk W: museuminn.co.uk The Museum Inn, Farnham, Blandford, Dorset DT11 8DE

Cream of broccoli & stilton soup

Supplements at ÂŁ4.95

Homemade farmhouse course patĂŠ

pan fried in an orange and black cherry sauce

Prawn and avocado cocktail

pan fried with king prawns and saffron butter

with croutons

served with a plum chutney; toast & butter King prawns on a bed of salad with avocado and Marie Rose sauce.

Individual smoked salmon terrine

MonkďŹ sh medallions

Slow cooked pork belly

served with black pudding, apple mash & parsnip crisps

with cucumber and a lemon and dill dressing

All served with seasonal vegetables, roast and new potatoes


with clotted cream and a raspberry coulis

Roast topside of beef

with Yorkshire pudding and a horseradish sauce

Roast Dorset turkey


Duck breast

***** Lemon tart Chocolate brownie sundae

with Cornish vanilla ice cream and a hot chocolate and caramel sauce

Hazlenut meringue

with sausage & bacon rolls. stufďŹ ng & cranberry sauce

with brandy soaked berries and vanilla cream

Roasted squash, spinach and goats cheese Wellington

17th century classic christmas pudding with brandy custard

with a red wine & balsamic glaze

Poached ďŹ llet of Portland plaice

in a white wine, spring onion & cream sauce

Figgy pudding

Cheddar, stilton and brie

served with grapes, biscuits and chutney. Supplement ÂŁ2.75

Book now for your Christmas party: 2 courses ÂŁ18.95 ~ 3 courses ÂŁ22.95 Now also booking for New Year 66 Stanpit Mudeford Christchurch BH23 3NA Tel: 01202 485123 www.ship-in-distress.co.uk email: shipindistress@rocketmail.com


East Burton Road, Nr Wool, Wareham, Dorset DT2 8RL Tel: 01929 462292 www.sevenstars.co.uk

Lytchett Matravers (Near Wareham) Rose & Crown, 178 Wareham Road, BH16 6DT. 01202 625325. www.roseandcrownlytchett. co.uk. Good beer and homemade food are served in this charming family friendly pub. Extensive choice of food on the menu and specials boards.

'Upstairs @ the Custom House' Restaurant, The Quay. 01202 676767/677737. www.customhouse.co.uk. Relaxed sophistication in our fabulous à la carte restaurant. Modern English/ French cuisine. Outstanding views over Poole Harbour. Sherborne

Morden (Near Wareham)

Sturminster Newton Sturminster House Tea Rooms, Sturminster House Tea Rooms, Bath Road, DT10 1AT. 01258 471808. www. sturminsterhousetearooms. co.uk. Light, wholesome meals and evening meals (please book), using local produce. Relax in traditional tea rooms with scrumptious cream teas, pastries and cakes.

the river Frome with views of the Purbeck Hills; fine wines, award-winning beers and freshly prepared food.

Symondsbury (Near Bridport)

The Cock & Bottle, 01929 459238.www. cockandbottlemorden.co.uk. Our head chef is renowned for his cuisine. We offer light lunches, bar meals, Sunday roasts and a full à la carte menu.

Symondsbury Kitchen, Manor Yard, DT6 6HG. 01308 538309 www. symondsburykitchen.com. Stunning café offering delicious home cooked, seasonal food. Breakfast, Lunch, Cream Teas. A magical spot, available for private hire.

Poole Corkers Café & Bar (Lower deck), Restaurant (Upper deck), Guest rooms (Top deck), The Quay. BH15 1AB. 01202 681393. Quayside and harbour views. Menus on www.corkers.co.uk. Sevens Boat Shed & Crow’s Nest Restaurant, Poole Park, Poole. 01202 742842. www. sevensboatshed.co.uk. Sevens Boat Shed offers exceptional food in a unique location within Poole Park.

Tarrant Monkton (Near Blandford)

The Eastbury Hotel, Long Street. 01935 813131. www.theeastburyhotel. co.uk. Enjoy an awardwinning dining experience in this 2 AA Rosette restaurant that doesn’t just pay lip service to quality fresh local food.

The Langton Arms, 01258 830225. www. thelangtonarms.co.uk. Pub/ restaurant. Guest rooms, civil ceremony licence, open seven days a week, food served all day on Saturday and Sunday.

The Coventry Arms Country Pub and Kitchen ^ŽŵĞƟŵĞƐƐŝŵƉůĞŝƐƚŚĞŽŶůLJǁĂLJ͘͘͘ ϯϭͯDŝůů^ƚƌĞĞƚͯŽƌĨĞDƵůůĞŶͯŽƌƐĞƚͯ BH21 3RH e.ŝŶĨŽΛƚŚĞĐŽǀĞŶƚƌLJĂƌŵƐ͘ĐŽŵ w.ƚŚĞĐŽǀĞŶƚƌLJĂƌŵƐ͘ĐŽŵ

t. 01258 857 284

Springfield Country Hotel, Grange Road. 01929 552177.www.thespringfield. co.uk. Set in six acres at the foot of the Purbeck Hills. Bar lunches, afternoon teas and full à la carte dinner. Private function rooms available. Wimborne

Sturminster Marshall The Red Lion, 01258 857319. www.redlioninndorset.co.uk. A family-run pub which offers you a warm welcome and delicious homemade food. This historic building is situated in the stunning village of Sturminster Marshall

The Quay Inn, The Quay, BH20 4LP. 01929 552735. www.thequayinn.com. Very popular riverside pub serving steak, seafood and breakfast. Fine selection of ales and beers. Live music at weekends. Quality bed & breakfast available

Wareham The Old Granary, The Quay. 01929 552010. Beautiful pub-restaurant on

Angels Coffee Shop, Quarterjack Mews. 01202 849922. The place to visit whether you want a hearty breakfast, morning coffee, a great value lunch with wine or a cream tea by the river. Mon-Sat 8.00 to 4.00. The Olive Branch, 6 East Borough. 01202 884686. A stunning and elegant pub-restaurant a minute's walk from Wimborne centre, secluded riverside garden, award-winning beers, fine wines and freshly prepared food.


Bookings now being taken for Christmas Parties www.saxoninn.co.uk 01258 860310 87




BEDROOMS *ask for details

Carrieres Courtenay So much more than just a curtain shop... Really expert know-how on fabric, poles, blinds and all interior design An outstanding range of fabrics wallpapers and finishing touches in stock Our own workrooms, and a cutting-out service available 57 Salisbury Street, Blandford Forum

01258 455221

Frome Valley Kitchens & Bedrooms of Dorchester Grove Trading Estate, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1ST

Tel:01305 264490 www.fromevalleykitchens.com Est. 1968

Visit our showroom or we can visit you in your home to discuss all your requirements and supply you with a full plan and quotation.

‘It couldn’t be easier’

The area’s largest independent carpet stockist. Buying off the roll will save you ££££s & we always stock a massive selection of remnants. Also a great choice of quality beds available

01305 251385

3 Abingdon Road, Nuffield Ind. Est., Poole www.haleandmurray.co.uk 01202 678431

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-5.30 Sat 9.00-4.00

Quality furniture at prices you can afford

Great Western Trading Estate, Dorchester




Indoor style As winter approaches we spend more time indoors so make sure you are happy with your surroundings The friendly and knowledgeable team at Carrieres Courtenay are pleased to help with all aspects of interior design. The selection of wallpapers, poles, tracks and trimmings as well as fabric can all be part of the new scheme, or they are very happy to help brighten up or replace just one element. The in-house workroom will alter or make from scratch. Large curtains or one cushion, one small bedroom to whole country houses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all receive the same attention and interest. In over thirty years, Frome Valley Kitchens have completed hundreds of kitchens and bedrooms. In days gone by a bedroom was just a room with a bed, but the modern bedroom has to do more. Frome Valley can supply inspirational ideas to provide space to recoup from the stresses and strains of everyday living in the master bedroom, or to create flexible space for homework and fun in the kids' rooms - and all at affordable prices, as projects are strictly controlled from design to installation. Now in his fiftieth year in the carpet trade, the ever-amiable Barry Mould can offer sound and professional advice on all aspects of flooring at Dorchester Carpets & Beds. Their buying power enables them to stock a vast selection of makes, colours and sizes at competitive prices, by buying straight off the roll in their large showroom opposite Dorchester Market. They also stock a vast selection of room-sized remnants at even keener prices and also hold a fine array of rugs, vinyls and laminate flooring options. When it comes to fitted kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and studies in Poole and the surrounding areas, there is only one you need to remember: Hale & Murray. Established in 1968, they have been designing and installing bespoke kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and studies ever since. You can visit them in their extensive showroom, to see traditional, modern and classic designs, or they can come to your home to advise you and to design your project. As well as a full design and installation service, they offer a wide range of appliances, sinks and taps, granite, quartz, Corian, wood and laminate worktops, and all trades â&#x20AC;&#x201C; building, plumbing, tiling etc. A replacement service for doors and worktops is

available. They provide a friendly and professional service, with free planning and quotations, plus project management from start to finish. Country Image of Blandford Forum have over 30 years experience of supplying and fitting high-quality bedroom furniture. Comfortable and restful, simple or opulent, a bedroom is the ultimate expression of your personality within your home. Country Image bedrooms are bespoke, manufactured individually and made to measure to fit perfectly into your interior. With a wide range of options from textured wood grains, high gloss or painted effect designs, there is an extensive choice of finishes. Visit the showrooms to discover the latest innovative ideas, or arrange an appointment for an experienced designer to visit you at home to plan your new bedroom or home office. The designer will provide you with a floor plan and itemised quotation of the proposed scheme. The in-house installation team install the bedroom furniture with the greatest care and minimal disruption. The showrooms are open 9am until 5pm from Monday to Friday and 9am until 1pm on Saturday.

kMake sure your bedrooms and interiors are cheery not gloomy as the nights draw in

design & installation supply only option inspirational showroom est. 1982

7 Sunrise Business Park Blandford Forum Dorset DT11 8ST


01258 454821

countryimage.co.uk 89


Carewatch Wessex Tel: 01747 826505 The Farmhouse Kingsmead Business Park Gillingham | Dorset | SP8 5FB


We offer residential and dementia care, short breaks and day care. Call now for details of current career opportunities The Laurels & Pine Lodge 33-37 Foxholes Road, Oakdale, Poole, Dorset BH15 3NA

For a brochure, please call 01202 743202 www.hartfordcare.co.uk

FREE PHONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CALL: 0800 980 5224 www.carewatch-wessex.co.uk

Southmead Rest Home ... because we care

A purpose-built nursing home run by Christchurch Housing Society, a charitable organisation. Delightfully set in landscaped gardens. Individualised care provided by well trained and motivated staï¬&#x20AC;. Well equipped to provide for all nursing needs. Short stay and respite care by arrangement. Very attractive fee rates. En-suite rooms available.

Tel. ï&#x2122;&#x192;ï&#x2122;&#x201E;ï&#x2122;&#x2021;ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x2C6; ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x160;ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x152;ï&#x2122;&#x201E;ï&#x2122;&#x152;

Please contact the Manager, Suzanne Cross rn, Silverways Nursing Home, Silver Way, Highcliffe. Bhï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x2020; ï&#x2122;&#x2021;LJ


A comfortable, smaller family-run home in a quiet part of Broadstone with feature gardens A place where individuals matter and our 24-hour care is tailored to a wide range of needs. Please visit us and feel the difference. Gold Standards Framework End of life care - Beacon Home

01202 694726 - www.southmead.co.uk

LOOK LIVELY! Older people being cared for at home benefit in body and mind from activities that take them out of themselves and give them the satisfaction of learning something new. Rachel Gower offers some suggestions. As we get older and less physically active, we have two basic choices: to vegetate, or to make the most of the powers that we still have to continue to take an interest in the world and indeed to contribute to it. Taking the latter path is proved beyond doubt to prolong life and, as importantly, to combat depression and feelings of isolation. If you are still able to get out of the house, there are literally hundreds of opportunities out there to enjoy a change of scene and to meet new people. To keep your mind alert, try your local branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A). You might be amazed to find how wideranging their programme is, and there is a good chance that you will find something to appeal to you. The word ‘University’ is a bit misleading: not everything they do is intellectual and no-one is going to judge you, so it’s worth having a go. There is immense satisfaction in giving something back, so you might consider volunteering. Every charity relies on its volunteers, and if you can give only a limited amount of time in a fairly menial role, that will be immensely valued. An aunt of mine used to walk the 150 yards from her home to a charity shop once a week to spend a couple of hours helping to sort out the clothes that had been donated. It

was a genuinely useful job and, for her, the highlight of the week. Old people and children have a special bond, and it is very likely that your local primary school will accept enthusiastically an offer to hear the older children read or to help in some other way that is not too demanding. Stay as physically active as you can, trying to walk a

kThere are activities of a bewildering variety available from cosmology to international dancing and all points in between


little each day if that is possible. Some sports centres offer gym sessions speciďŹ cally designed for retired people: a gentle work-out at your own pace, with no obligation to pound the running machine or to throw weights about. There are clubs speciďŹ cally designed for older people, covering everything from intense discussion groups to purely social gatherings. And if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never tried the WI or Townswomenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guild, they offer a chance to learn new things and make new friends. It is completely understandable that older people sometimes suffer from a lack of conďŹ dence. As we age, become a bit shakier and lose our youthful looks, we also lose some of our self-belief. It is a matter of realising that your experience of life means that you still have a lot to offer, and that people will be interested in what you have to say. And, on a practical level, if you go to a club or activity once and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like it, no-one is going to make you go again. But what if your condition means that you are housebound? There is still an alternative to vegetating. Physical exercise becomes if anything more important, even if it is a limited range of movement. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to do anything strenuous; for example, get up out of your chair and sit down three times. Or lift a tin of baked beans from a table to above your head ten times. Or lift one foot off the ďŹ&#x201A;oor while sitting in your chair six times. The key thing is to exercise regularly: why not work out a little set of exercises and do them twice a day? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel better, and improving your strength and balance will reduce the risk of a fall. Being stuck at home doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try new things. Perhaps a patient grandchild could introduce

you to the wonders of the internet and email â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not as difďŹ cult as you might think, and it could expand your world and literally change your life. Hobbies can be adapted: for example a keen knitter can use outsize needles and still make useful garments. You can still set yourself targets, such as ďŹ nishing a jigsaw in a certain time. Make the targets challenging but achievable. So summon up the conďŹ dence and give some of the things I have suggested a try â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you might be pleasantly surprised!

kSome U3As offer three different levels of walking group depending on your fitness level or any movement impairment

Care... when you want it, where you want it. The Perfect Fit Our forward-thinking  options are designed for your future, so no matter how your care needs might change, you can simply switch to the most appropriate service for care that fits around you.

The Perfect Balance



CARE â&#x20AC;˘ IN 92

Residential Care

5 YE AR â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 S


Altogether Care is a family business established for 25 years and brings family values to life. Creating the ideal environment and support for individuals we deliver just the right balance between independent living and professional care.           

01305 300161 info@altogethercare.co.uk www.altogethercare.co.uk


Your guide to choosing care – it’s the care that counts... Thinking of moving into a care home? Every day, over 450 people in the UK make the decision to move into a residential care or nursing home and begin the process of choosing the right one for them. As a not-for-profit charity, Care South’s focus is not on targets or sales, but a genuine dedication to supporting people in the community who need help to get the best out of life, by offering high quality, compassionate care, which can be adapted to suit individual needs.

Five steps to choosing the right care home for you: 1. Research – It’s important to look at all the options so that you, or your loved ones, can make the right decision for you – the individual. Different care homes have different facilities on offer. Care South has residential care homes across Dorset, providing a range of options, from short-term respite care to full time specialist dementia care.

2. Get the details – Contact the homes and ask for a brochure to find out more information. It is difficult for care homes to tell you the exact price of their services until a full assessment has been made, but care homes should be able to tell you their price ranges for the different levels of care they offer.

3. Visit – Make sure you visit the care homes that you are considering, to ensure they can meet your current and possible future needs. Care South offers a handy checklist which can be used in your visits, so you can easily compare its homes to others, in areas such as facilities, staff, meals and activities, as well as comparing more subjective factors such as the atmosphere of the home and the friendliness of the staff.

4. Undertake an assessment Once you have made your decision on which home you would like to choose, book a time for an assessment to be made. Everyone’s needs are different and care homes will want to undertake an assessment to ensure they are fully up to speed with your needs, in order to offer the best balance of care. Care South works with every family to make the process as smooth as possible, and they want to understand your requirements and your lifestyle preferences.

5. Plan your transition Ask the staff at the care home what can be done to make the move as easy as possible. Care South encourages residents to bring their own favourite pieces of furniture and possessions with them to help create familiar and comfortable surroundings, whilst staff are keen to work closely with families to make the transition as smooth and as settling as possible.

To find out more about Care South residential, dementia and home care, please visit

www.care-south.co.uk or call 01202 712400

Need a little extra help at home? Care South’s home care service offers personalised, flexible support to meet a range of care needs, aimed at improving the quality of life for people of all ages. Well-trained staff can help with everything from personal and night care to general support and companionship. They can help you around your home with some light cleaning, assist with your weekly shop, prepare meals or accompany you to and from hospital and other appointments. We also provide life skills support such as cooking and using modern technology.

The Dorset Directory: your guide to local businesses in Dorset

PRICES (excluding VAT)


Danmor Lodge Care Home

(Months to be consecutive)

Boxed ads 2.5cm single column: 3 months £115, 6 months £215, 12 months £340 5cm single column: 3 months £235, 6 months £405, 12 months £620

24- hour care fo r longterm or respi te requi rement s 2l ungeo s,one with ne w cons erv a tor y Two8- pe rsonpa ssenge r lifts • Hydr ot herapyba ths Situa ted ne ar tot he eb aut ifu l Weym out h coa stline , the major ityfo our co m for tabl e room s are en- sui te 14 AlexaPart ndr ofa the Roa Alexandra d, Wey m care out hgroup DT47Q H Tel: 01305 75462 w ww.d anmorlodge.c om Danmor Lodge is situated near to the beautiful Weymouth coastline.



Dorset Life

is well worth keeping...

Unboxed ads 3 months £85, 6 months £145, 12 months £270

and here is a convenient way to keep it. Call 01929 551264 for more details

Careford Lodge is a purpose built single-storey home set in fi ve acres including a paddock to enable residents to enjoy the horses and the country views

for further details, call 01460 75592 Church Street, Merriott TA16 5PR

To place your order, or for further information, telephone 01929 551264

Binders are just £9.95


Homecare & 24 hour live-in care Supporting you in the comfort of your own home

Call: 01202 880697 e: dorset@abicare.co.uk www.abicare.co.uk



Clifftop Care Home

36 Salisbury Street, Blandford, Dorset DT11 7PR

01258 455898 www.robertsaerials.co.uk

***** 5 star TLC Clifftop is an elegant Edwardian country house by the sea, voted No. 1 for security, comfort and companionship.

Est 1982

Dorset's largest specialist

Antiques & collectables

6 West Street, Wareham Tel: 01929 554171

For a brochure or to enquire about our 'FREE 1 MONTH' Trial Stay ‘phone 01929 422091 8 Burlington Road, Swanage


THE CYDER BARN Hamilton-Jones

Antiques and collectables wanted for established client base.

All oriental items, single items, collections, complete house or bank box contents purchased. Books, coins, china, clocks, furniture, jewellery, silver, stamps, pictures or anything unusual. We have been trading for 40 years in the area. Immediate settlement. You are invited to contact 01202 733550 or e-mail michaelhamiltonjones@btinternet.com or write to: Hamilton-Jones, PO BOX 6570, BH14 8HA


Care Providing Care in the Community from 30 mins to 24 hours 0330 2020200 | www.apexcare.org

35 comfortable rooms all with ensuite WC and will soon benefi t from a new two-storey extension with lift. for further details, call 01458 834945 West Pennard,Glastonbury BA6 8NH www.cyderbarn.co.uk National Care Association Members. NVQ Trained Staff

Country clothing A purpose-built nursing home set in landscaped gardens. Silver Way, Highcliffe. Bhï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x2020; ï&#x2122;&#x2021;LJ

Tel. ï&#x2122;&#x192;ï&#x2122;&#x201E;ï&#x2122;&#x2021;ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x2C6; ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x160;ï&#x2122;&#x2026;ï&#x2122;&#x152;ï&#x2122;&#x201E;ï&#x2122;&#x152;,www.silverways.co.uk

Quality Care in a homely environment Offering all aspects of nursing care, including dementia, within a new purpose-built, family-run, 42-bed home set amongst beautiful woodlands.

Yaffle Care

100 Dunyeats Road, Broadstone, Poole, Dorset BH18 8AL


Tel: 01202 693224 Email care@yafflecare.co.uk

berties C O U N T RY

Inspired Country Brands for Ladies and Gentlemen 28a West St, Wimborne BH21 1JS 01202 888302 www.bertiescountry.com Open 9.30am to 5pm Mon to Sat.



We supply and fit all types of high-quality carpet, rugs and hard flooring with the highest level of workmanship and service. No job too small or too large. 49 Poole Road, Bournemouth BH4 9BA Tel: 01202 767400 www.carpetgalleries.co.uk


HARRY TOMES LTD. Funeral Directors A Family Business of Quiet, Efficient & Personal Service Pre-Arrangement/Pre-Payment Plans Available

Estate & letting agent Alison Owens, HomeXperts Wimborne

Tel. 01202 826699 Fax. 01202 822533 email: casecarpets@gmail.com www.terrycasecarpets.com



Tel: 01202 733446


Carpet & Hardfloor Specialists

A family run company with funeral homes across Dorset

1a Madeira Road, Parkstone, Poole BH14 9ET

Carpets & ï¬&#x201A;ooring

The Carpet Gallery

Douch Family Funeral Directors Â&#x2C6; Ferndown Â&#x2C6; Poole Â&#x2C6; Wareham Â&#x2C6;;MQFSVRIÂ&#x2C6; Parkstone Â&#x2C6; Swanage Â&#x2C6; Corfe Mullen


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The Woodlanders A Hardy photo essay

NO. 429 DECEMBER 2014


House The VC of Parnham Moorho use The life of flyer William Rhodes

Just who was Treves?t Man Surgeon to a King and the Elephan

Why I love Westbourne Residents and visitors explain

Anna Del Conte

Shaftesbury's queen of pasta

Ghost signs of Dorset

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By Jessica Miller; the illustration is by Becky Blake


lackthorn-finger aside, I always look forward to picking sloes in November and this year was no exception. On one of my meandering rides around Fifehead Neville I had spotted a sloe bush, the branches of which were drooping under the weight of thousands of plump berries. I stopped and looked at them hungrily, admiring their dusky blue bloom and mentally calculating how much sloe gin I could make if I stripped the bush bare. When I got home I set about sterilising the dozen Kilner jars that had been collecting dust in the utility room all summer, and then went to the discount supermarket to buy ten bottles of cheap gin. (My mother-in-law is a proficient maker of sloe gin and maintains that the cheaper the gin, the better the end result). The next day, having dropped Lily at school I drove to Fifehead Neville, parked at the top of Green Lane bridle path, and set off the half mile or so across the fields. It was a stunning morning. The sun shone in a cloudless sky and the hedges sparkled beneath a sharp frost. My breath hung in the crisp air as I climbed the steep incline to the ridgeway. I poured myself a coffee from the thermos and began stripping the branches, whistling cheerfully as I dropped the sloes into Granny’s treasured AGA stock pot, which she had kindly lent me for the job. I was surprised by how long it took to fill, but it was a beautiful morning and I worked steadily, enjoying the feeling of the sun on my back. By 11.30 the stock pot was full and I set off across the fields feeling very pleased with myself and day-dreaming about sipping sloe gin in front of the fire on Christmas day. I also planned to fill small bottles, put pretty hand written labels on them and give them to people for Christmas presents. As I emerged onto Green Lane I met Mrs Bodkin walking her dog and stopped for a chat. ‘Good heavens! How long did it take you to pick all those?’ she exclaimed. ‘Three and a half hours’. I replied proudly. ‘I’ll be glad to get back to the car. This pot is so heavy that my arms are aching.’ ‘I’m not surprised, there are enough sloes there to sink a battle ship!’ she chuckled . I got back to the car, put the pot on the roof and flexed my aching arms. I couldn’t wait to show Jasper my bounty and imagined how pleased he was going to be to have a hip flask of homemade sloe gin when he goes shooting. 98

All I had to do now was pop them into the freezer overnight, buy a big bag of sugar and I could begin. I rubbed my hands gleefully, started the engine and set off home. I was driving down the narrow lane toward the ford at Fifehead Neville when a sheep shot out of the hedge in front of me. I swerved violently and braked sharply to avoid hitting a fluorescent bollard. Something shot over the roof of the car and crashed into the ford with a splash. For a millisecond I thought it was a bird, until I saw the sun glinting off the stainless steel and realised with abject horror that it was the stock pot. Sloes rolled wildly in all directions but most of them had landed in the water on the side of the lane. The sheep bleated in surprise and put its head down to eat one of them, before spitting it out in disgust and trotting off up the lane. I could have wept. The air in the car was blue as I cursed my own stupidity and the wretched sheep for choosing such an inopportune moment to emerge onto the lane. My efforts had been fruitless I thought. I felt utterly wretched as I got out of the car to retrieve Granny’s stock pot which was 20 yards up the lane. The rumble of an engine was approaching and I broke into a run. The driver was clearly in a tearing hurry and barely slowed down at the bend in the lane. I had almost reached the stock pot when old Bob appeared round the corner in his tractor pulling a roller which rumbled over the concrete making the ground shudder. I waved my arms wildly at him as he bore down upon the stock pot revving his engine. I can only assume that he didn’t see me because the sun was in his eyes, because he drove straight over the stock pot which disappeared beneath the roller and was dragged along the lane with a deafening clatter and a crunching of metal. The sun glinted off Bob’s bottle bottom glasses as he roared past me with an imperious wave and disappeared up the lane at great speed. I shook my fist at him, swore loudly and did an involuntary jig of rage as I surveyed the flattened piece of metal that had once been a stock pot. Granny was going to be furious, I thought dismally as I retrieved it and trudged back to the car, trampling sloes underfoot. Jasper was in the kitchen when I got home. He took one look at my stricken expression and the newly low-profile stock pot and struggled to keep a straight face. ‘Is that Mum’s stock pot?’ ‘It was.’ I said dismally. ‘What happened?’ ‘I decided against gin…, in favour of squash.’ Z

Cosmetic Surgery Open Evening at New Hall Hospital Monday, 10th November between 17.30 and 20.00 If you are considering cosmetic surgery youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to make sure you make the right choice with a hospital you can trust. Come along to our Open Evening where you will have the opportunity to meet a Consultant Plastic Surgeon who will be delighted to answer any questions you may have and explain the different options available to you. Places are limited so please call us to reserve your space.

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Profile for Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine Ltd

Dorset Life November 2014 (Issue 428)  

In this issue: Andy Farrer's coastal pictures Dorset village: Shillingstone Ferndown's Slop Bog explored Vikings: the three-century impact o...

Dorset Life November 2014 (Issue 428)  

In this issue: Andy Farrer's coastal pictures Dorset village: Shillingstone Ferndown's Slop Bog explored Vikings: the three-century impact o...