Page 1

Crossing counties,

look inside for info on the best events and activities in

West Dorset and


South Somerset

An exclusive interview with international fashion designer


Issue 241 April 2021

See p20


Ilminster and South Petherton | The Alternative Indian

Win a Pilot’s Licence! | Test drive the Rugged Wrangler | Financial spring clean Serving Bruton, Castle Cary, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Langport, Sherborne, Somerton, Wincanton, Yeovil & Surrounding Villages

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Established in 1826, Pittards is world-famous for its high quality leather and still makes it locally in Yeovil today. Visit the factory store to buy direct from a huge range that includes gloves, bags, accessories and leather for crafts. Pittards, Sherborne Road, Yeovil, BA21 5BA Coffee shop, free car park. Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm

Crafting quality timber buildings and gates since 1912 Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7LH Tel: (01963) 440414 | Email: | @sparkfordtimber |

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From the Editor Welcome to the April issue and I am so pleased that we have an exclusive interview with international fashion designer Alice Temperley inside. We are so grateful to Alice for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak to our fashion correspondent Sarah Jane Lewis about her move to Ilminster. It is always particularly heart-warming when someone who is known on the international scene puts their money where their mouth is, returning to their roots and supporting many local businesses as a result. Look out for our super fashion feature next month when, dare I tempt fate, it looks like we may be returning to some sort of normality at last! Also in this issue look out for articles on travel, food, book reviews, gardening, walking, history, motoring and many other topics that I hope will bring you some very happy reading time! You can also find us online, or give us a ring on the number below and arrange for a regular subscription copy delivered to your door.




MAY DEADLINES News and Articles: FRIDAY, 9 APRIL Advertisements: MONDAY, 12 APRIL

WHAT’S ON p4-6 Info on markets, online workshops and social activities


Ilminster and Alice Temperley


ARTS p23-25

Exhibitions, online activities & Movies

Win a pilot’s licence!

GARDENING p10-12 Clever design ideas and what to plant


Latest antiques news


WALKING p38 Rachel’s Rambles

Our compelling children’s serial

Visit our website for more Events, Services and Classifieds Unit 4, Barton View Business Park, Sheeplands Lane, Sherborne DT9 4FW | 01935 424724 | © The publisher is The Conduit Magazine Limited. The layout, format, design and all other aspects of this magazine are an original idea and therefore copyright of the publisher. No part of the contents may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission in writing. Whilst every care is taken in compiling the contents of this magazine, the proprietor assumes no responsibility for mistakes and omissions. The views of our contributors is not necessarily the view of the publisher.


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Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.


What’s On Charity ONLINE St Margaret’s Hospice Care Fundraising Campaign St Margaret’s has launched its ‘Your year, Your challenge, Your hospice’ fundraising campaign. The Somerset charity has created a catalogue of online challenges to choose from that can all be completed no matter what restrictions are in place. From walking 21 miles, a flexible yoga challenge, giving up chocolate for a month or even the staircase mountain step challenge – there is something for everyone! So, why wait? Sign up today! For more details about this campaign and for further fundraising ideas, visit SHERBORNE School Readers Required! The Schoolreaders charity provides volunteers to listen to children read in primary schools, at no cost to the school. Covid and lockdown have affected primary school literacy levels badly. Please sign up now (due to the recruitment process and DBS checks) in order to start in schools as soon as they reopen. No experience needed, just a good command of the English language and a spare hour or two a week in term time. Illiteracy affects all areas of life! If willing to help, please complete the online application at www.schoolreaders. org or call the Schoolreaders team on 01234 924222. YEOVIL Yeovil Hospital Breast Cancer Unit Appeal Yeovil

Hospital Charity would like to thank everyone who has donated to this appeal; just over £1.7 million raised so far! A total of £2 million is required to build this much needed dedicated Breast Cancer unit. The charity is still collecting any unwanted or broken jewellery and watches to help raise the final amount. To donate, please call Maggie (appeal committee volunteer) on 01963 250108. Yeovil Hospital Charity would like to thank Acreman Street Antiques for their invaluable support.

Food ALHAMPTON Levant Lockdown Takeaway Treats Delicious, fresh, safe homecooked food. Collect from the Corner Cottage front door between 5.00pm and 6.00pm. 5* Food & Hygiene rating. Please check the website for the week’s menu and collection day. To place an order, email tanya@ or text 07779 093020. Payment by BACS or cash. For further information, call 01749 860314 or visit www. ILMINSTER Kitchen Door Takeaway Available Friday and Saturday between 4.00pm and 6.00pm from The Gallery Café, Ilminster Arts Centre. Bored with cooking? Looking for something more than the ‘usual’ Friday night takeaway? Then check out the exciting menus on Facebook (@ susanforemanatthegallerycafe

We’re Back ….Just Like the Good Old Days!


Trains, cars and lorries, soldiers, etc Britains, Dinky, Corgi, Hornby, Meccano, Tri-ang, etc

01935 816072 (07527 074343)

Pastimes of Sherborne,

3 Westbury (in front of the Abbey) 4

Contact: Julie Locke




and Ilminster Arts Centre’s page). Pre-order from Tuesdays. To book a meal and a collection time, call 07883 852724 or email susanforemancatering@gmail. com. LOPENHEAD The Trading Post Farm Shop is a veritable Aladdin’s cave, bursting with local organic produce from over 120 local suppliers – locally baked bread, locally made jams and chutneys, West Country cheeses, biscuits, deliciously tempting tiffin, cakes, meat, smoked fish, and charcuterie. Visit the amazing zero waste room packed full of loose organic dried goods: cereal, rice, grains, pasta, herbs and spices, dried fruit, nuts and seeds – over 200 lines! A weekly organic fruit and veg box scheme is available for delivery or collection. For further information, visit www. SANDFORD ORCAS The Mitre Inn Takeaway Meals Evening meals available from Wednesday to Saturday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm and Sunday lunch available from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm. The menu is published each Monday (see Restaurant section on website). A collection system is in operation (collect from the porch). Pre-order 24 hours prior to collection. Deliveries available within a three-mile radius. Hope to open the garden from Wednesday 14 April, weather permitting. Please check the website for up-todate opening hours. For further information, call 01963 220271, email or visit SHERBORNE Sherborne Food Bank relies solely on the generous food donations from the community and under the current circumstances urgently needs help. Critical essentials include rice, cereals, dried pasta, tinned foods, biscuits, squash and long life milk (for a full list, visit the website). Donation points can be found at Abbey Pharmacy, CoOp, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Cheap St. Church, Sherborne Abbey, and others. For further information, visit www.sherbornefoodbank. org. SOMERTON The Unicorn Hotel Takeaway Meals Available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

from 5.00pm to 8.00pm and Sunday roast only from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm. To order online, click on the takeaway menu on the homepage. Collection from rear of Unicorn Hotel. For more information, visit www. or call 01458 272888. WEST CAMEL The Walnut Tree Hotel Takeaway Meals Available from Tuesday to Saturday from 12.00 noon to 9.30pm and on Sunday from 12.00 to 4.00pm. See Facebook page for the full range of take-away meals (including meals with a Caribbean twist). Specials: Wednesday – home-made pies, Friday – fish and chips, Saturday – grill. Call 01935 851292 to order and arrange a collection time. www.

Market CASTLE CARY Every Tuesday from 8.30am to 2.00pm at the Market House is a weekly openair market. Possibly the friendliest market in Somerset! Food stalls: West Country sourced fish, extensive range of cheeses, greengrocery plus Roots Organic, artisan bread, home-made preserves, home-made pies and pasties, Swanky Cakes, freshlycooked Thai food and sauces, and Jack’s Mac and Cheese. Contact 01963 351763. www. CREWKERNE Every third Saturday from 9.00am to 1.00pm outside Henhayes Centre is Crewkerne Farmers’

We are always keen to buy antique silver and old Sheffield plate at current prices Please telephone or call into the shop

01935 816828


To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •

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Contact us for your free, no obligation quote; Phone: 01935 509057 Freephone: 0800 2425012 Mobile: 07853 275379 Email: Market. It has a comprehensive selection of around 16 stalls, offering bread and baked goods, dairy and eggs, drinks, fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, as well as preserves and honey. For further information, visit www. DRAYTON Every third Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Village Hall is the monthly market. Produce includes bread, vegetables, meats, butter, cheese, cakes, preserves, honey, desserts, savouries and plants. Refreshments available. Free parking. ILMINSTER Every Thursday from 8.00am to 5.00pm at the Market House is the Ilminster Town Market. Normally, this market offers Mediterranean food products and kitchen products, barber, bakery, fishmongers, and more. However, during lockdown, only market traders who have food stalls can be invited. For further information, contact Ilminster Town Council on 01460 52149. MARTOCK On Saturday 10 April from 10.00am to 1.00pm at the Moorland’s Shopping Precinct is Martock Farmers’ Market, with stalls selling all key foods such as vegetables, cheese, coffee, chicken, beef, cordials, jams, bread, savouries and plants. Card payment preferred, but cash handled carefully. Please observe the advice on distancing and queueing. Any enquiries, please phone Fergus on 01935 822202. SHEPTON MALLET Every Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm at the Market Place is Shepton Mallet market. This historic market, which dates back to 1318, offers a wide range of fresh local produce, such as fruit, veg, bread, cheese, seafood, and cider. For further information, visit the market’s Facebook page or phone 07912 769731. WINCANTON Every first Friday from 9.00am to 11.30am at The Barn (via the Peace Garden) is the Wincanton Country Market. Enjoy locally homegrown produce including cakes, cheese, jams, vegetables, and flowers.

SHEPTON MALLET From Monday 12 to Friday 16 April at Kilver Court Designer Village, there is a Paul Smith Warehouse Sale. Paul Smith combines tradition and modernity - ‘classic with a twist’! At regular warehouse sales for many designer brands, the most coveted pieces are offered at a fraction of the original price tag – so sign up to the mailing list to be among the first to know and take advantage of exclusive VIP events and previews. For further details, visit www. From Thursday 29 April to Monday 3 May at Kilver Court Designer Village, there is a Ted Baker Warehouse Sale. At regular warehouse sales for many designer brands, the most coveted pieces are offered at a fraction of the original price tag – so sign up to the mailing list to be among the first to know and take advantage of exclusive VIP events and previews. For further details, visit www.

Social ONLINE On Tuesday 6 April at 11.00am and Monday 19 April at 7.00pm via Zoom, join Spark Somerset for its fortnightly carers online support group. This is an informal support group for unpaid carers to connect with other carers to share ideas and thoughts, support each other and find out useful information on local health and wellbeing support. Members of the Spark Somerset and Somerset Carers Service teams will be on hand to answer any questions. To register, please use the link at Every Monday at 7.00pm online, come and join ‘The Choir‘ for an uplifting Sing-along, all from the comfort of home. The Zoom sessions are led by Jo. Help can be given with set-up for anyone not familiar with Zoom. Sessions are £4 and words will be provided. Come along, join in and have fun! For more details, contact Jo on 07800 767712 or josykes@ Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11.00am, join in with the Goldies Online Sing-along. The fun, free online sessions are led by Rachel and Cheryl. The sessions are recorded and go ‘live’ on YouTube. The words of the songs are on the screen so join in and Sing&Smile from home! The online sessions include some gentle chair-exercise at home, so get ready to sing, smile and stretch! For more information, visit Martock & District U3A is still active, with members able to keep up with hobbies and interests online. The group is sourcing online talks for members, keeping in touch through online coffee mornings, and sharing news, stories and support through a members Facebook group. Struggling with lack of company? Why not join the group? The focus

is on fun and making friends. Membership open to anyone no longer in full-time employment. For further information, visit the Facebook page,, email, or phone 07510 178094.

Sport YEOVIL On Monday 29 March, Yeovil Golf Club reopens. Members and green fee players can be assured that the Club is not only complying with the current Covid Regulations but has also been awarded SafeGolf Club accreditation from England Golf. Yeovil Golf Club, situated on the Dorset-Somerset border, is a private member club with two parkland golf courses and a floodlit, covered driving range. For further information, contact 01935 422965.

Talk ONLINE On Saturday 27 March is the online Rotary District 1200 Celebratory Conference. The theme is ‘Caring for our World’, which is what Rotary is all about. The conference will look at the many projects and initiatives within Rotary which impact positively on the world’s population. There will be a lot happening during the day, including inspirational speakers addressing diverse subjects - see website for details. All welcome. Free, however, advance booking essential via For more information, contact the local Rotary club or Rory on 07710 961593. On Wednesday 7 April at 5.00pm via Zoom, the Arts Society presents a lecture ‘Foreigners in London 1520-1677: The artists who changed the course of British art’ by Leslie Primo. The talk looks at why foreign artists came to London at this time, why the aristocracy preferred them to native-born painters, and examines their impact on English art and art practice. Talk begins at 5.00pm. Please join by 4.45pm. Members will receive links. Non-members (£5) contact On Friday 9 April at 2.30pm, don’t miss Somerset Rural Life Museum’s informal ‘Talk and Teas’ on Zoom! Settle in with a cup of tea and enjoy a relaxed afternoon talk, as writer and gardener Abigail Willis shares stories from her book The Secret Gardens of Somerset. The book is a personal tour of twenty of the UK’s most beguiling gardens found in Somerset. Hestercombe, The Newt in Somerset, Cothay Manor, The Bishop’s Palace and Kilver Court are amongst the much-loved places featured in the book. Book online at On Wednesday 14 April at 2.00pm via Zoom, there is a Martock & District U3A talk. Ashley Jones from Avon & Somerset Police will talk on the subject of Fraud Protection. The presentation seeks to raise awareness

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: • 85301 Conduit (April 2021).indd 5


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Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.


of the dangers of economic crime, highlight typical case studies and offer advice and tips on staying safe. Members will be sent Zoom details. For membership information, contact 01460 240788. For further information, visit the Facebook page,, or email martocku3amembership@gmail. com. On Wednesday 21 April at 7.30pm via Zoom, there is a Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group talk. Kate Whitaker will speak about ‘Building with Sarsen Stones in Southern England’. Recent research on the movement of the stones from Wales to Stonehenge makes this highly topical! Free to all. Please email secretary@svbrg. for the Zoom link. On Tuesday 27 April at 7.30pm via Zoom, Peter Daniels will give a talk on waste management entitled ‘What a Load of Rubbish’. The talk explores the history of solid waste management. Free to all. Please email fergus.dowding@ for the Zoom link.

Walk ONLINE Sherborne Walks has developed a number of Zoom presentations that look at the beauty and interesting aspects of the local area. A catalogue of journeys around the area with booking details is available on the website. The group specialises in guiding around this historic town and the surrounding area, delving a little deeper into the stories, characters and people that make the area so fascinating. www. MINTERNE MAGNA Every day until November from 10.00am to 6.00pm at Minterne House, visit the gardens - a haven of tranquillity to explore and inspire. The garden is full of interest throughout year, with its world-renowned and completely unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas, spring bulbs, cherries, maples and many fine and rare trees. Wander the trail, around a mile in length, and enjoy the chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. Book online for tickets. Adults £12, under 12s free, season tickets available. For further information, visit or phone 01300 341370.

WELLS Every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm at The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, the Bishop’s Palace Gardens remain open. If local and want to take daily exercise in beautiful surroundings, why not come along to the gardens. The Bishop’s Table cafe is open with a full menu for takeaway only (last orders 3.45pm). The Dragon’s Lair playground is also open. Please follow current lockdown guidelines. Tickets available to purchase at www.bishopspalace.

uses basic art materials, just use whatever is at hand. New activities will be added regularly; most include image and video links. Share creations on ArtsLink’s social media pages. www. WELLS From Monday 12 April at 10.15am at The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, there will be a six-week vinyasa flow yoga course. Join instructor, Ellie, every Monday for an outdoor yoga experience in the shadow of the ruins of the Great Hall. Enjoy an hour of vinyasa flow yoga, where the participant can connect with their breath to stretch, strengthen and find some calm. £57.50 for members or £60 for nonmembers. To book, visit www.

Workshop ONLINE From Thursday 4 March to Thursday 1 April from 2.00pm to 4.00pm, there is a fiveweek online workshop ‘Working in Oils’ with James Budden. This live virtual course costs £60. For further details and how to book, visit (select ‘Weekly Courses’ from the What’s On tab) or call the ArtsLink office (01935 815899). ACEarts has been able to produce more online workshops, thanks to Arts Council England. Visit the website to find makealong videos – be inspired, be creative! For further information, visit

From Thursday 22 April from 11.00am to 12.00 noon at The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, there will be a six-week Tai Chi course led by local practitioner John Beasley. The course will run every Thursday in the magnificent gardens. As an exercise, Tai Chi comprises gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness and is suitable for all, regardless of age or ability. Pre-booking advisable but not essential. Attendees require a valid entrance ticket or pass to the Palace – there is no additional cost for the sessions, although an optional £5 donation in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice can be made.

Free initial consultation

A personal and friendly approach to business that will work for you Offices at Yeovil, Crewkerne & Langport 01460 279000

ArtsLink Art at Home Visit the Art at Home page on the website to enjoy a series of activities to share with family or to do individually. Each activity


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Boost for local employment in North Dorset as customer base grows by 27% Blandford based employer Wessex Internet has doubled its employee numbers to support its continued growth. This follows a four-year migration to full fibre delivery from its previous wireless focus. Today, the privately owned business employs 81 people from its rural base on the Ranston Estate – a number which has seen an increase of 100% since last year.

up scheme to extend its network to new communities in the county that otherwise would be stuck with a sub-standard internet connection. In December 2020 Wessex Internet was awarded the contract from Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) to deliver full fibre broadband to South Somerset as part of a government subsidised programme.

The network consists of more than 150 wireless masts and over 2,000 km of fibre delivering ultrafast fibre and wireless coverage across Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and parts of Hampshire too.

Managing Director Hector Gibson Fleming said: ‘Our focus is to expand our fantastic service to even more of the countryside. We want to significantly grow our customer base and continually improve our service experience for existing customers. We have everything in place to achieve this – robust systems, a strong management structure and the specialist skills that contributed to a successful 12 months. We will continue to recruit more people over the coming year.’

In Dorset, Wessex Internet is one of the first providers to use funding from Dorset Council’s Rural Gigabit top

For more information, visit

Established over a decade ago, Wessex Internet grew from its founder’s need for a quality internet connection to his farm in Dorset. The business provides ultrafast connectivity to rural areas considered unviable by other providers.


We are a husband-and-wife team and have been married for over 25 years. We have been focussed on running a Zero Waste shop for many years. Due to a redundancy, we decided that this is the right time to make plans and start doing something for ourselves, which will hopefully have a positive impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing with the added benefit of looking after our fantastic planet.

Our Ethos

The Healthy Weigh is a food retailer providing an organic Zero Waste shop based in Sherborne, Dorset. Most of our products are organic whilst using the minimal amount of packaging and the products sold in packaging are recyclable or reusable. We are passionate about offering our customers the best products that money can buy at an affordable cost. We are not like supermarkets that dictate the amount of produce that you purchase or what that product is packaged in. Their ethos is to earn as much money from you that they can with little regard to your health or the planet. A lot of the products that are purchased in supermarkets are wasted as the amount that you need is far less than the quantities that they are willing to sell to you.


We offer a full range of products where you can buy as much as you want - this could be as little as 30g or 100g depending on what your need is to whatever amount you wish to buy. By selling produce in this way you get the quantity that you want, the planet doesn’t suffer, and you don’t waste £££s.

Local Quality Products

We have searched the local areas and have found some fabulous local suppliers. Why buy products from large supermarkets when you have got fantastic suppliers right here on your doorstep in Dorset and the surrounding areas. We believe in what we sell and have tasted our products, we will not disappoint. We believe in giving our customers what they want and if there is anything that you need that we have not got in our shop then we will ensure that we source this for you, just ask us and we will do all we can.

SHERBORNE’S NEW ORGANIC ZERO WASTE SHOP Enjoy an affordable, healthier lifestyle whilst having a positive impact on our planet. High quality sustainable produce, much of it locally sourced Tofu, Tempeh, Komboucha, Pasta, Herbs, Spices, Coffee, Preserves, Chutney, Olive and Rapeseed oils + much more. Orders now being taken for bespoke Easter hampers please visit our shop or email for more details The Healthy Weigh, 6 Swan Yard, Cheap Street, Dorset DT9 3AX | 07772 505571


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BOOK REVIEW By Wayne, Winstones

8, Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset. DTP 3PX 01935 816 128

OPEN FOR BROWSING 12 APRIL….HURRAH! We are very much looking forward to welcoming customers back into the shops on 12 April and in the meantime here are two suggested titles to pass the time. We are reviewing a book on an extraordinary event in British history and a novel of pure entertainment.

Frostquake: The frozen winter of 1962 and how Britain emerged a different country by Juliet Nicolson | £18.99 hbck

Flappy Entertains by Santa Montefiore £12.99 hbck

On Boxing Day 1962, when Juliet Nicolson was eight years old, the snow began to fall. It did not stop for ten weeks. The drifts in East Sussex reached twenty-three feet. In London, milkmen made deliveries on skis. On Dartmoor 2,000 ponies were buried in the snow, and starving foxes ate sheep alive. It wasn’t just the weather that was bad. The threat of nuclear war had reached its terrifying height with the recent Cuban Missile Crisis. Unemployment was on the rise, de Gaulle was blocking Britain from joining the European Economic Community, Winston Churchill, still the symbol of Great Britishness, was fading. These shadows hung over a country paralysed by frozen heating oil, burst pipes and power cuts. And yet underneath the frozen surface, new life was beginning to stir. A new breed of satirists threatened the complacent decadence of the British establishment. A game-changing band from Liverpool topped the charts, becoming the ultimate symbol of an exuberant youthquake. Scandals such as the Profumo Affair exposed racial and sexual prejudice. When the thaw came, ten weeks of extraordinary weather had acted as a catalyst between two distinct eras. From poets to pop stars, shopkeepers to schoolchildren, and her own family’s experiences, Juliet Nicolson traces the hardship of that frozen winter and the emancipation that followed. That spring, new life was unleashed, along with freedoms we take for granted today.

Underneath her graceful exterior lies a passion nobody knew about, least of all Flappy herself... Flappy ScottBooth is the self-appointed queen bee of Badley Compton, a picturesque Devon village. While her husband Kenneth spends his days on the golf course, she is busy overseeing her beautiful house and gardens, and organising unforgettable events, surrounded by friends who hang on to her every word. Her life is a reflection of herself - impossibly perfect. Until the day that Hedda Harvey-Smith and her husband Charles move into the village. Into an even grander home than hers. Taking the front seat on the social scene, quite literally. That simply will not do. Flappy is determined to show Hedda how things are done here in Badley Compton. But then she looks into Charles’s beautiful green eyes. And suddenly, her focus is elsewhere. She is only human, after all...

(Signed copies available)

‘Cutting deftly from ordinary lives to extraordinary ones, the author vividly evokes a time of almost molten change and innovation’

‘An enchanting read, overflowing with deliciously poignant moments’

DORSET AIRFIELD TO GIVE AWAY FREE PILOT’S LICENCE! Compton Abbas Airfield is running a unique competition to find one lucky winner who will complete their Light Aircraft Pilot’s licence absolutely free. The winner will complete the training at the airfield’s prestigious training facility, which has been schooling pilots for the last 30 years – many of whom have gone on to commercial or military operations. The winning entrant would be gifted all 30 hours of their licence, pilot kit, exams and their final general skills test to become a fully-fledged pilot.  Laura Hughes, the airfield director, says ‘we really wanted to give the local community something to get excited about. As everyone knows, the last twelve months have been really hard

on us all – and we thought giving the opportunity to someone who can potentially use this to change their whole career would be a bit of positivity we all need at the moment!’ Entrants can apply for this special opportunity by emailing their CV and a cover letter to The cover letter should include their favourite aviation story! Entrants will then receive a response with further steps. Contestants must be physically fit and healthy enough to gain a flying medical – please read the terms and conditions located on the news section of the website


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There’s a sense of optimism in the air: spring is definitely on its way boosted by the proposed lifting of the restrictions that we’ve endured over the past year. At Bradfords we’re busy preparing for the landscaping season, ready to help our communities improve their outdoor spaces in time for longer evenings and finer weather (despite that I am writing this as a gale batters us up at Barton View!). To be ready, it’s really all about having what people want in stock. Many of you will no doubt remember the national shortage of plaster this time last year. The effort put in by the team behind the scenes at Bradfords in sourcing products to keep supplying our

customers over the past twelve months has been nothing short of remarkable. At one point we had over 150 suppliers either shut or offering an extremely limited service. Whilst challenges still remain, we’re readier than we’ve ever been ahead of this busy period. The timing of the restrictions lifting conveniently coincides with National Community Gardens week, which runs from 5 to 11 April. Perhaps there’s no better time to develop and encourage the use of shared community spaces as this. These past twelve months have really highlighted the benefits of getting close to nature and being outdoors, something we’ve always supported



at Bradfords. I have fond memories of the work we did with Sherborne Primary on their sensory garden and remain humbled by the letters of thanks and subsequent Christmas cards the children sent. These outdoor spaces are all the more relevant to Bradfords as we work in conjunction with our partner charity, Mental Health UK, which is championing the theme of connecting with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week in May. If you have any queries about how to improve your outdoor space, then we are always delighted to help and we look forward to re-engaging with more of you as the restrictions lift.




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Sandhurst Garden Design Julie Haylock Garden Designer


20 Sandhurst Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2LG

Tel: 07899 710168 Email: Contact Julie for garden and border design, planting plans, plant selection advice and garden styling

BBC Gardeners’ World Live Gold Medal Award Taunton Flower Show Gold Medal Award and The Western Daily Press Cup for Best Show Garden

By Julie Haylock, Sandhurst Garden Design When I visit my clients for their initial garden design consultation meeting, part of the process is to complete a questionnaire. This is a great way for me to get to know my clients a little better and to find out what they have on their wish list, as well as to focus on the types of materials they would like to use. Two of the questions that form part of the questionnaire are: what are your favourite plants and what are your least favourite plants? Most of my clients have very definite ideas of the types of plants they like, but their least favourite plant list is usually much shorter or non-existent! If you were to sit down and make a list, which plants would be on your list? In making our choices, colour and scent will influence us, as well as how easy the plant is to care for.

A few years ago, the Gardeners’ World Magazine did an interesting survey about just this subject which had some fascinating results.

grandparents growing them in their own gardens. They are easy to grow from seed and come with the licence to pick as many as you like to encourage more to flower.

Not surprisingly, the rose featured as one of the nation’s favourites, and it is fair to say has a timeless appeal to gardeners both young and old. There are lots of varieties to choose from, and many are now bred to be disease resistant making them appeal to us even more. There are roses you can grow in patio containers, shrub roses for your borders, climbers for your rose arch and ramblers to head skywards and scramble their way through trees and hedges, there are even ones for ground cover, so what’s not to like?

The hardy fuchsia is a plant that seems to go in and out of fashion with gardeners, but I think it’s a useful plant. The hardy variety ‘Mrs Popple’ has delicate flowers of scarlet and purple, and is perfect for that partially shaded area of your garden to give it a tropical feel.

The sweet pea is a flower that evokes memories of times past, of parents and

Now to the plants that are not quite so popular with us gardeners. Perhaps not so surprising was ivy. One of the dislikes about this plant is that it harbors snails! True, this plant can be very invasive in the wrong place, but equally it is evergreen, and will cover an unsightly wall or fence. Ivy is an important plant to support wildlife. It provides shelter


This month we are talking about the various awnings we provide and why they are the best alternative to the traditional patio parasol. Awnings are particularly useful now that we are in the spring months when we expect the sun to start coming out and the weather to improve. Let’s start off by examining the minimal design of the awning’s cassette. When the awning is retracted, it is hidden nicely inside a cassette attached to the side of your property; there are an unbelievable number of options when it comes to the style of the cassette, meaning there is a cassette style for every architectural style. Did you know you will never have to worry about retracting or extending the awning because we have clever options to take care of that? There is the choice to include weather sensors which detect adverse weather conditions and automatically retract the awning so it doesn’t get damaged in the wind, rain or snow. Alternatively, there is also the option to include a sensor that detects sun and will automatically extend the awning. Almost any size of area can be covered by one awning: a patio, a hot tub area, a terrace, a deck, etc. It goes without saying that they cover a greater area than the traditional parasol which traditionally only tends to cover a small table and chairs set. 10

There is also the possibility of choosing LED lighting which can be installed in the awning if you want to use it at night. This can create an incredibly atmospheric feeling in your outdoor space and can make it a much more pleasant place to relax in the warmer evenings ahead of us. Having this option could extend the amount of time an outdoor space can be used; it could certainly create the perfect atmospheric night’s dining under the stars. Our awnings can not only provide you with protection from the sun, but can also extend the area you can use during those hot summer days. This means that instead of squeezing your family around a small wooden table under a parasol, you can upgrade to a more spacious table and utilise your whole patio or deck area as an outdoor dining space. Fingers crossed; lockdown is slowly being lifted so we can start getting back to our old way of living. Make sure you all stay safe and do what you can to plan for more convivial times ahead.

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for insects, is a source of nectar for bees and makes the perfect nesting site for birds. Good old bamboo! This is another plant that people either like or loathe. If you plant it in your garden into the ground, make sure you choose the clump forming varieties, like Fargesia ‘Red Panda’, otherwise it will

spring up all around the garden from roots that run underground. Alternatively plant your bamboo into a suitably sized container with good drainage. This keeps the size of the plant in check by restricting its growth, but allows you to benefit from the privacy screen it provides, and still enjoy the sound the leaves make as it rustles in the breeze. Consider removing the lower leaves from the plant to reveal the lovely stem colour which looks so attractive. I guess there will always be plants that have the ‘Marmite’ effect on some people and not on others, but remember the golden rule, right plant, right place and you cannot go wrong!

Garden Landscape & Construction Services 01935 324737

THE FENCING & GATE COMPANY Domestic Fencing Specialist All types of fencing and gates supplied and erected Over 30 years experience Free Survey and Quotation 10 year guarantee • No VAT

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Until next time, Julie





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CASTLE GARDENS New Road, Sherborne DT9 5NR Tel: 01935 814633 BRIMSMORE GARDENS Tintinhull Road, Yeovil BA21 3NU Tel: 01935 411000

By Mike Burks, Managing Director of The Gardens Group

Very much on trend at the moment, and hopefully for many years to come, is the establishment of wildflower plantings to encourage insects. Butterflies and bees of course tend to be the headline favourites! There is some confusion around wildflower gardening, as some think that it is just a case of allowing areas to go wild, whereas it will in fact need managing. Actually most ‘wild’ areas are an artificial state. Take for example traditional hay meadows. These were created and perpetuated by agricultural techniques, whereby before the extensive use of weed killers and artificial fertilisers, hay meadows were full of wildflowers as well as a huge range of grasses too. In fact, any species that could grow, flower and set seed before the hay was cut would be selected by the farmers’ habit of cutting at the same time each year. Selective weed killers and also high nitrogen fertilisers have destroyed these areas and the richness of the food and vitamin source for the livestock too. Some organic farmers use fields with a diverse range of plants as a recuperation ward for animals that have been

unwell or off colour, and the range of plants in their diet can work wonders. The cornfield display with lots of poppies was again perpetuated by a farming system. Poppy seeds fall to the ground at harvest and germinate the following year only when the ground is cultivated (in daylight) for another wheat (or other) crop. Without that cultivation the seed remains dormant. This is why when new roads are created in rural areas a wonderful display of poppies appears in the first summer after the road is opened. In order to get success from such systems in our own gardens we need to understand this principle. In my own garden we leave areas of the lawn un-mown in graceful curves rather like the shape of an informal border. We also don’t feed the lawn, which reduces the vigour of the grass and helps the

growth of non-grass species. In a fairly short time, we are rewarded by a proliferation of lots of wildflowers, such as self-heal, bugle, lots of daisies, clovers of different sorts, and, early on, violets. The insect activity, particularly bees and butterflies, is enhanced very speedily, and the scent from the clover is wonderful too! The rate of development of such areas can be increased by the addition of species grown from seed from our Thompson and Morgan, Fothergills and Suttons seed ranges. These can be sown direct, but I prefer to sow them in seed trays and prick the young plants out into cell trays before planting them into the turf. Other ways of creating such areas are to cultivate parts of the garden and to sow the wonderful special collections that we now have available, including mixes to promote ladybirds, birds, butterflies, or to create floral meadows, with

POUNDBURY GARDENS Peverell Avenue, Poundbury DT1 3RT Tel: 01305 257250

annual as well as perennial mixes too. Once the area has flowered and produced what should be a wonderful display, some mixes need to be mown and then the debris collected a few days later once the seed has fallen to the ground. Others can be left over the winter and will look wonderful with the frosts of the autumn on them, whilst they also provide a food source for the birds. Such gardening requires a different mindset to the traditional. It can be enormously rewarding and as well as some spectacular displays, there is also a detail that is really pleasing. At the same time, it assists nature and our struggling pollinating insects. Not only that, dare I say it, it tends to be fairly resistant to the lack of water that may be a feature of this summer.


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By James Flynn, Milborne Port Computers Bloatware has two specific meanings. Firstly, it is software that has unnecessary features that use large amounts of your computer’s resources and has become so unwieldy that its functionality is drowned out by its useless features. Secondly, it is a slang term for the numerous programs that are pre-installed on new PCs, many of which are limited trial versions designed to entice new users to buy or subscribe. That’s what we are going to talk about. Let’s start with a bit of name and shame. HP, Acer and Toshiba are just loaded! Does anybody know what Toshiba Reeltime is; or HP Jumpstart; or Acer Grid Vista? … I thought not! Manufacturers usually get paid by the software companies to install this stuff, as well as trial versions of Internet Security products such as Norton and McAfee, so if you use the program you must subscribe and the vendor gets a kick-back. Further insult is added when manufacturers add their own ‘utilities’ that add little to the end user’s experience. If you load a clean version of Windows, it doesn’t come with all this clutter and the computer works so much better without it. So what’s to do? Simply put, you can pretty much uninstall all of it using the control panel, programs and features

section. If a program has the manufacturer’s name against it and it doesn’t say ‘driver’, then get rid of it. What’s the worst that can happen? Just go to their website and download it again! Windows 10 will usually recover from a removed driver automatically so don’t worry too much about getting it wrong. Many uninstall programs ask you to restart your computer or laptop afterwards but you can ignore this if you are removing lots of programs … Just restart your PC when you’re finished. Some bloatware is now embedded within Windows as an App. No problem, just right-click on the app and choose uninstall from the menu: Happy Days! I hate to think how many hours I’ve spent removing clutter from new and used computers, but it’s always satisfying as the computer performs so much better without it. Lastly, don’t be tempted to download free internet ‘clean-up’ utilities, or buy them from your antivirus company as they just clutter up your computer even more and do little to really make things better. I am delighted to say that our standard service includes decluttering and all new computers get the treatment before delivery but, as always, if in doubt or if you need help, you know where to come!



By Jim Rayner

Last month we looked at a big pricing myth: the perception that most people are price sensitive. The reality is that around 80% of us are value sensitive and not price sensitive. Despite that, you might be thinking, ‘If I put my prices up I’ll lose customers!’

What if you increase your price by just 2%? What about 3%, or even 5%? How much can you increase your average price before you start to see a reduction in sales quantity? You will never know unless you test. Of course, there’s a limit isn’t there? If you put your prices up by 20% you definitely will lose sales volume. Or will you?

Not necessarily. Consider your own buying behaviour and one of your favourite products. Perhaps it’s your coffee or your favourite wine. Would you still buy it if the price increased by a small amount, let’s say 1%? For example, if your favourite bottle of wine is currently £8.49, and the price rose tomorrow by 1% to £8.58, would you still buy? Or would you switch? The answer for the vast majority of people is likely to be ‘No’. When a product or service is valuable and of high quality, you won’t switch for a tiny 1% increase in price. It’s irrelevant. Now think about the product or service that your own business sells. Is it good quality? Do your customers like it? If so, chances are they wouldn’t switch either if you put your prices up by 1%. Small incremental price rises are likely to have no impact on your customers’ buying choices. And yet the profit impact can be significant because your costs are unchanged. The additional sales revenue is added straight onto profit.

People often use price as a short cut in assessing quality. Since most people are value sensitive rather than price sensitive, an increase in the perception of quality, brought about by a price rise, can paradoxically result in extra sales. It’s the prestige phenomenon. In fact a recent research study at the University of Basle has demonstrated that the link between price and perception is even more psychologically subtle. In a blind wine tasting they asked regular, but non-expert, wine drinkers to rate their enjoyment of Italian wines. The twist was that some were told the true price of each wine, some received no price information, while others were given misleading prices. Their tasters reported a more pleasurable drinking experience when they were led to believe a wine was priced at four times its true retail price, of around £8. The higher price tag didn’t just add prestige, but actually increased quaffing pleasure! You can download a free copy of my eBook Profitable pricing – a guide for Ambitious Business Owners from www.james-rayner.


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Part VI: The Rescue When I was six years old, I was fostered, briefly, by a farmer. That was a long time ago, before I met my Great-Aunt Agatha and her dog Ted; before I became the two-hundred-and-fifteenth Guardian of the Skygate; before old-Wessex, Mother Tree, the horse-clan and – Sorry… I must slow down. Like I said, there was a farmer. He kept cows, sheep, goats, horses and a little pony named Marmaduke. Those long days spent on Marmaduke, riding across the moor, resting my head on his neck when I became tired – my nose filled with the warm, sweet, velvety smell of horse – were the happiest of my childhood. Perhaps that’s why it was easy to trust Lytania. Everything about her reminded me of Marmaduke and those sundrenched, rare, happy days. Lytania, leader of the horse-clan, busy rubbing a soothing lotion onto my burnt legs. I take the opportunity to stare: her hair is dark and wiry, curling in tight twists around a kind face, her arms and torso are human but at the hips her human body breaks into dark shining hair. Four legs. Four hooves. Long, black, swishing tail. She is half-horse, half-human and – somehow – I am not afraid.

Red arrives in Sherborne, hoping to start a ‘normal’ life with distant relative, Great-Aunt Agatha. But Agatha has other ideas. Before Red can unpack a suitcase, they have been pushed through to the Skygate, a magical ledge positioned hundreds of miles above oldWessex. Now, with help from Agatha’s Labrador Ted and Lytania, leader of the horse-clan, Red must become the newest Guardian of the Skygate and stop her evil brother before he sets fire to the ancient forest, destroying everything within it...

‘Please – Lytania – before we hunt him down – tell me what you know about my brother.’ Lytania looks at me with pity in her eyes. I know what she’s thinking, ‘Poor orphan Red. So desperate for family she’ll ignore the fact her own brother tried to cook her.’ But I don’t care. I need to know more. Surely he wasn’t always evil? Lytania brings me a cup of wine and settles onto her haunches, ‘For hundreds of years my horse-clan and the human settlers lived in harmony. We protected Mother Tree and the ancient forest, and they protected us in return. But before too long, the human settlers became greedy. Wanted more land, more wood, more food. The Guardian of the Skygate came often to restore the peace, and for a long time we thought it would be ok. When your mother was Guardian of the Skygate, she lived with the humans and that’s when your brother was born. He was just a small boy when she disappeared. Perhaps that’s why he turned on the forest? Anyway, he soon rose to power and began destroying the forest in earnest. And without a Guardian of the Skygate, he was free to do whatever he wished. He attacked my clan members, leaving us no choice but to move to the

other side of the forest. And we would have stayed there, if I hadn’t heard Ted’s call. I promised your mother I would come if I ever heard his howl. And so you cannot imagine my astonishment when I found not her, but you.’ She smiles and it seems like she has more to say, but the sound of stamping hooves sends a look of fear across her face, ‘Red, we really must hurry.’ Lytania helps me from the tent. I gasp. The horse-clan are gathered outside, at least a hundred Lytanias – half-human, half-horse. They are impatient, their backs taut, muscled arms reorganising sheaves full of arrows. They know what my brother is capable of. We may have won the first battle, but Lytania believes he will burn the whole forest rather than see me live. On the opposite side of the camp, the human settlers huddle together. They look cold and afraid without my brother, their old leader. Lytania turns to them, ‘People of the forest. I introduce to you Red, your twohundred-and-fifteenth Guardian of the Skygate.’ Everyone is staring at me. There is a long silence and then, finally, I catch on. They want me to speak. My mind is a


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SKYGATE AUTHOR BIO Zoe Gray grew up in the Somerset countryside where she and her brother made up whole imaginary worlds full of witches, troll-families and duck-queens. She has always loved magical stories and spent her childhood either reading or writing them. Later she studied English at Lancaster University, going on to share her love of words teaching in a London secondary school. Although missing her wonderful students, she is happy to be back in the countryside with her husband, son and Labrador Teddy. Zoe is currently writing her first novel for children. blank and I feel my face burn red-hot, ‘Right. Yes. So…I know my brother was in charge and…we look…similar, but… the thing is…he had it all wrong. You need to care for the forest.’ I can feel the words now, spilling out of me and, is it my imagination, or can I hear the trees around us, clacking their branches and whispering in support. ‘From now on, you will use the fallen trees, or those that are dead or dying. And you will plant trees to replace those you clear —’

My legs sag with relief. I have kept my promise to Mother Tree. The forest is safe, for now.

‘Red,’ Lytania touches my arm and points at an old couple, arm in arm, limping forward.

Within minutes we are moving out of the human settlement, galloping over the cleared ground and then weaving our way into thick forest. My hair pulled back in the wind. Ted tearing along beside us. The sun is coming up and it’s a beautiful spring day. Despite the fact we are chasing my evil brother who has his heart set on destroying me, I feel pretty good.

The old man speaks, his wrinkled face full of smile, ‘Guardian of the Skygate, it is a joy to meet you, finally. You look so much like your mother and sound like her too. Thank you for removing your brother, but, with the greatest respect, we have always known how to live in harmony with the forest. We tried to tell him,’ he spits at the ground in fury, ‘but he would not listen. Locked us up whenever we tried to offer advice. It has broken my heart to see the forest destroyed like this.’ He gestures towards the ridiculous wooden towers and gates. ‘We swear that, while you are away, we will care for the forest.’

But the impatient clank of hoof reminds me, we must hurry. We must stop my brother before it is too late. Lytania moves beside me, ‘Climb on, Red. And beware, I will not put up with you kicking.’ She is smiling, but I realise it is a great honour to ride the leader of the horse-clan.

snarl. The flames are growing, licking at the trees surrounding us. Members of the horse-clan immediately begin trampling the fire. Lytania aims an arrow at my brother. ‘You will let my clan destroy this fire and hand yourself over quietly.’ He laughs, ‘I’ll die before I become your prisoner.’ And then several things happen at once. My brother lunges towards us, Lytania releases an arrow and I find myself hurtling off her back, knocking my brother down so the arrow sails over our heads. We stare at one another in disbelief. I have saved his life.

To be continued…

A cry goes up ahead of us and I feel Lytania quicken until we are at the head of the clan. We swing left, then right into a clearing. Smoke and the sound of crackling wood fills the air. Beyond a huge bonfire stands my brother. The same red hair, the same face, the same build as me – but his eyes are hard and his mouth is set in a cruel 15

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By Mark Salter, Fort Financial Planning Many people that come to see us have been busy living life, buying houses, bringing up the children, changing jobs and then suddenly find themselves with numerous bank and savings accounts, ISAs, shares, life assurance policies and pensions. They have spent many years accumulating lots of different accounts, plans and policies which they probably needed at the time, but aren’t sure why they were set up and what they should be doing with them now. You may be one of these people that often thinks about why you have so many different pensions and whether having one pension would be better or whether the life assurance policy you set up many years ago when the children were still young and you had a mortgage are still necessary. Sometimes the easiest option is to do nothing, I like to refer to it as a ‘ceiling of complexity’. There is so much to do and so much to think about that you just can’t get past it. The ‘ceiling’ is pushing down on you and decisions become harder to make.

The trouble is doing nothing and not taking action could have a detrimental effect on your future or even your family’s future. Wouldn’t it be nice to break through that ‘ceiling’ and feel so well organised and know that everything is in the right place or being held for the right reasons. When this happens everything becomes simpler and decisions about what to do next become clearer. Most people can start this themselves by setting aside some time to go through their finances. Perhaps start by looking at where you are now, how much you are earning, how much you are spending and then build up an accurate record of all your various assets, liabilities, pensions and insurance policies. You then need to ask yourself some important questions. What do I still need and what will help me achieve my goals? Will my family be financially secure if I died or was unable to work? Do I need to spend less and save more? Is my money working hard for me and could it be simplified?

Getting started is probably the hardest thing to do, so when you know where you are and where you want to be, you can begin taking action. At this stage you may choose to get specialist advice to help you. A good financial planner will be able to dig deeper into your plans and goals for the future and review your existing pensions, investments and protection policies. They will help you on your quest to become financially well organised and ensure everything, including you, are all working in the right direction. You can then spend less time worrying about what you’re not doing and more time doing the things you enjoy.

Battens law firm in change of ownership Leading South West law firm Battens

Solicitors has today announced a change of ownership. After many years as

majority shareholders, Chairman David Stephens and Commercial Property

Director Ray Edwards will step down, with five of Battens’ senior solicitors becoming the new owners and directors.

The five new owners include Ceri Stephens, who will take the reins as managing director, and Peter Livingstone, who will become chairman. They will be joined in the running of the firm by equal shareholders Katherine Gilmour, Head of Company & Commercial, Louise Gidley, Head of Family, and Naomi Dyer, Head of Private Client. Despite interest from external parties in the 150-strong firm, with offices across Somerset, Dorset and beyond, the former owners wanted to prioritise passing the firm on to existing members of the Battens team. Commenting on the new ownership, former Battens chairman, David Stephens, says: ‘Ray and I are both absolutely delighted that it has been possible to pass the ownership

and running of the firm on to existing Battens team members. Ceri and Peter will continue as directors, and Louise, Katherine and Naomi who are becoming directors have been well versed members of the management committee for some time, so we’re leaving the business in really safe hands. ‘What’s tremendously important and particularly beneficial is that all five have been with the business for at least ten years and in fact, Ceri, Naomi and Katherine have been with us since joining as trainees. We wish the new team every success, and naturally we will be on hand to ensure a smooth transition.’ Battens has chosen to make this announcement on International Women’s Day (IWD) to celebrate the fact that four of the five new owners of the firm are women. This year’s IWD ‘Choose to Challenge’ theme fits the firm’s commitment to equal opportunities for all and reflects its new structure as a majority female-owned and led law firm. Managing Director Ceri Stephens says: ‘We are all really excited to be at the helm of Battens and writing the next chapter of the business. I hope that being a board made up of 80% women will inspire others, both within

the firm and externally, to fulfil their potential. ‘With all five of us already involved in the running of the firm and having a fantastic team of people behind us, we are looking forward to keeping the business going from strength to strength. And despite the challenges the pandemic has brought over the past twelve months, it has given us insight into new ways of working and how to remain agile and customer-focussed in a fastmoving market. We will definitely take what we have learnt during this period of change forward with us as we continue to evolve and develop as a firm, for the benefit of our clients and our staff.’ Chairman of Battens, Peter Livingstone, adds: ‘Given the turbulence of the past twelve months with the virus and of course Brexit, we are extremely grateful to David and Ray for helping us to steer the ship and for waiting for the right time to make these changes. We are very pleased that they will continue to work alongside us. Ray will remain working with us in the commercial property department and with the Battens Charitable Trust, and David will continue his invaluable compliance work. We are very thankful for all their support in making this happen.’


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By Catherine Murton, Head of Private Client, Pardoes Solicitors LLP Have you at last been able to buy the house of your dreams thanks to the stamp duty holiday? Stamp duty has always been a significant expenditure that has to be factored in when deciding whether you can afford to move to ‘the perfect house’ and the opportunity to move without this additional expense has seen a stampede of buyers wanting to complete purchases before the end of March, when the holiday comes to an end. Unfortunately, lots of people have also found themselves furloughed due to the pandemic and, as a result, mortgage lenders have insisted that, where a couple are buying and one partner has a reduced income the mortgage can only be assessed on the income of the working partner. The ownership of a property consists of the legal title and the equitable title. The legal title is what is shown at Land Registry and the equitable title refers to the monetary value of the property. When a property is purchased in one

name, the legal title will be shown at Land Registry in the sole name of the purchaser. There is a presumption that the legal owner has the right to the whole equitable title.

the interests of all concerned. I can prepare the necessary paperwork quickly and there will be no delay to the conveyancing process.

If you would like to talk to me about Declaration of Trust, please call me on 01935 382689 or email at catherine.

However, it may be that the other partner who is unable to go on the legal title has contributed towards the purchase price. In this case a Declaration of Trust can be executed by both parties to state how the value element of the property is to be divided on sale after the payment of the mortgage. A Declaration of Trust can also be used where two parties buy a property together, but they contribute unequal shares to the purchase price. In this case, the agreement can state that one party gets back a lump sum and the remaining equity is split equally between them, or it might provide that they receive different percentages of the remaining equity once the mortgage has been paid off. If you are rushing to complete your purchase before the end of March please don’t overlook the importance of executing a Declaration of Trust to protect 17

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THE RUGGED WRANGLER JEEP By Tim Saunders, Motoring Correspondent The Jeep is an iconic vehicle, with a long association with the US military, following its introduction in 1945. The rugged Wrangler is both capable and a luxurious offering, large enough for the whole family to travel wherever in comfort. Externally it is striking with its prominent grille, a smattering of chrome and the no mess design that has gained it a loyal following since its launch in 1986. Big chunky tyres surround 18-inch polished aluminium wheels with their black centre. Unlike most other vehicles on the road the door hinges sit on the outside of the bodywork and are themselves a design feature. I also like the metal aerial for the radio beside the front windscreen. You don’t see many of those anymore. Yes, it is a design classic.

Tim Saunders is an advanced motorist and journalist. He has always been passionate about motoring and regularly reviews cars from the leading manufacturers. His first report on a BMW 520i was published in the Dorset Echo when he was 17 (just after passing his driving test) in 1995. He went on to become business and motoring editor at the Bournemouth Echo.

original Land Rover. Nothing wrong with that. My first drive is devoted to surprising my three little rambunctious children by picking them up from school. An automatic, it’s simple enough to drive and surprisingly responsive if the accelerator is pressed down. It is a large vehicle which means that I can’t park in the usual spot I would in my tiny Ford Fiesta. But I find a space and as I lock it the lights stay on for a short while, which is a little unnerving. But they do turn off eventually. This vehicle cries out to be driven off-road and we find an open field near Alresford where we can put the Jeep through its paces. It’s a matter of putting the automatic

gearbox into neutral and then selecting the 4-wheel drive control on the stick next to the gearbox. It needs a firm push into position and then you’re ready to go and we all love bumping along through the undergrowth. It becomes clear how much of a difference 4-wheel drive makes when I return it back to two wheels and we’re still partially in the field; there’s quite a bit of wheel spinning. Driving through Alresford a man steps out of his Porsche and gawps at the Jeep as if he’s never seen anything so cool. He could have bought two of these. Overall, the Jeep Wrangler has quickly become a very much loved member of the family and we’re all sad to it go.

It comes loaded with mod cons; press the key fob to unlock the central locking and you are met with a hardwearing black interior complete with black leather seats: far more luxurious in fact than I imagined. Although it is possible to step into the cabin without treading on the running board, it is easier if you do. Sitting in the driver’s seat my left foot is uncomfortable due to a lack of space to the left of the footwell. Apart from that, the seat is comfortable and the ride height is noticeably high. Often these days a dashboard is quite deep but in Brewers Garage.qxp_Layout 1 16/03/2020 14:23 Page 1 the Wrangler it isn’t, reminding me of the

BRISTOL ROAD GARAGE Western Ways Yard, Bristol Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4HR



Call us on 01935 18



Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Overland 2.0 GME Price: £50,325 OTR incl options and accessories 0-60mph: 7.4secs Fuel: Petrol Economy: 24.8mpg Power: 272bhp Top speed: 110mph CO2 emissions: 260g/km Watch the video at

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Love where you live


Lately, everyone’s home has become more than just a place – it’s a feeling. With the stay at home message, we’ve all found ourselves reviewing our decor choices at one time or another over the past few months to make sure we truly feel at home in our own home.

The kudos brought to an area by an internationally recognised name like Alice Temperley is not to be under-estimated and the next few pages are testament to a whole raft of exciting businesses that are located in and around the area which Alice has chosen as her new home and HQ.

Supporting those with a newfound love for interior design is Grants of Somerset, based in South Petherton. Opened in October 2019, this independent retailer has managed to fill its boutique-style village shop with a treasure-trove of goodies – supported by a website that’s full to the brim.

Ilminster takes its name from the River Ile and the Minster church dating from 1450. The town grew up around the church and some of the oldest buildings are close to the churchyard including the grammar school founded in 1549.

Grants of Somerset specialises in home decor and gifts, with products ranging from gorgeous, majestic lamps to stylish vases, luxurious cushions and a range of candles, right through to fine glasses and flutes and greetings cards. One of their more exclusive product ranges features desk lights, book lights and clocks – all of which offer a truly innovative feel with a little fun thrown in (seriously, check out their Gingko range and their magical moon!).

In Victorian times the town was an important staging post for travellers with east-west and northsouth routes converging there. Market Square has a colonnaded market cross rebuilt in 1813 and is surrounded by handsome buildings. Close to Ilminster, just off the A303, South Petherton was once of great strategic importance on the Fosse Way. This compact little hamstone town has a quiet, unhurried charm with a variety of cafés, shops and an inn. South Petherton’s fine church has an octagonal central tower with twelve bells. The David Hall Arts Centre, one of South Somerset’s premier rural performing arts venues, is also located here.

Skincare, Home of Maybird, Somerset Toiletry Company, Dandelion and Peacock, and Sally Kent Glass from Somerset, and The Recycled Candle Company and Amanda West sourced just over the border in Devon. With such a wide range on offer, it’s hard to believe that they’ve squeezed so much style, flair and charm into one village shop. What’s more, they offer free nationwide delivery on orders over £15 and free local delivery (any amount). So, whether you’re looking to make your home more homely, or want to put a smile on someone else’s face with a fantastic gift, make sure you drop into Grants of Somerset on Market Square in South Petherton or visit them online at

On offer across all products is a fantastic mix of hand selected items with some notably high quality local brands on the books with Make

The Yard at Rose Mills. Hort Bridge Ilminster TA19 9PS ANTIQUES








ARTIST’S STUDIOS & WORKSHOPS We expect to be re-opening through the Spring / Summer of 2021, offering exhibitions, workshops and galleries. As well as being a quiet and secluded site to visit, The Yard offers coffee and food both outdoors and in.

“Welcome to our little piece of rural Somerset”

The Yard at Rose Mills The Yard at Rose Mills is a collective of art and craft businesses with facilities to eat and drink and enjoy time out on the outskirts of Ilminster. The businesses to be found here currently are: Phoenix Rising Antiques, Airs and Graces Interiors and Decorative, Green Rhino Interiors and Furnishings, Fruitbat Textiles, Glassification - splash backs and more in glass, Orwin Studios - photographic studio, Glow Beauty Salon, Jon Hodgson Arrows and Medieval Art, The Courtyard Café, along with artists in residence and artists’ studios. Also here you will find the Mill Gym, and we are looking forward to The Riverside Restaurant and Farm Shop due to open later in the year. We have good parking and great outdoor facilities. It’s been a long haul through Covid but we look forward to welcoming the summer with safe and interesting galleries and workshops, and welcoming you to our little bit of rural Somerset.

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19/03/2021 09:01


Alice Temperley MBE Relocates to Somerset

Interview by Sarah Jane Lewis, former Vogue Magazine Retail Fashion Editor, for The Conduit Magazine April 2021

Alice founded her eponymous label Temperley London in 2000, a year after On a dimpsy, dark day in January graduating the Royal College of Art. I was heartily cheered up by a Temperley Bridal was launched in 2006 and the brand currently operates four standFacetime interview I had arranged alone stores in London, Dubai, Qatar and with the beautiful and brilliant now Somerset. Alice is a member of the fashion designer, Alice Temperley. British Fashion Council Advisory Board and Last year Alice relocated her London enjoys speaking at key industry events. She was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services HQ to Ilminster. Born and brought to the fashion industry. up in Somerset, she is close by to I asked Alice some poignant questions her parents Julian and Di Temperley, about her move, her love of the countryside and the impact on fashion in founders of the Somerset Cider the current climate.

Brandy Company.

1. We are thrilled to see you back in Somerset – your homeland county and delighted you have restored the courtyard of the iconic Cornhill building in Ilminster into your new HQ - Phoenix Studios. Did you consider other properties in the south west? We put in an offer on an old mill house locally but are really thrilled to be in the middle of Ilminster and the heart of a great community. Everything is on hold at the moment, re – weddings, parties, festivals, etc., but it gives us time to complete refurbishment on our building which has been derelict for 13 years. The name ‘Phoenix’ equates to rebirth and we felt it appropriate. 2. What is so special about Somerset and do you think your move will attract other fashion related businesses to the area? Yes – there are so many people relocating out of London and for me particularly, I have sourced wonderful outworkers/ suppliers, i.e. a Tulle factory in Chard, 20

shoes, leather works, etc. Ilminster is on the cusp of ‘exit London/moving to country space’ without being too far. 3. What is your advice to aspiring fashion designers? It may not be too easy to access fashion college at the moment – you offer training workshops – would that be a better option or must students already be fashion graduates? Internship is key rather than college; studio work in pattern making, cutting, printing, product development, textiles, PR, etc. My advice is to gain experience on the work floor particularly technical experience agility with the changing mood. Then go to college choosing a course to train in your preferred specialism. 4. What influences your beautiful creations on a seasonal basis? For example, ancient art, history, nature and wildlife, abstract or even politics!? Currently, scenes from the 1960s film ‘Blow-Up’ incorporating black and white graphics and then 1970s freedom influences based on festivals, art, travel, style. Historically amazing women like Amelia Earhart – a pioneering aviator who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 5. What global effect do you consider the pandemic will have on fashion design/ manufacturing and delivery? For instance, with all the lockdowns are we likely to see a more casual approach to fashion and will working from home mark a significant shift in our approach to work and therefore how we dress?

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Yes – escapism in clothes. Lots of casual wear, knitwear, sustainable hoodies, lounge wear, comfort quilts, handbags, using local suppliers. Once we are through the pandemic, hoping to return to a 1920/30s influence. Working from home is now here for good and provides great quality of life. Over 50% of people in fashion now do so. 6. What effect will BREXIT have on your business from manufacturing to delivery? Does all your manufacturing take place in the UK? Our manufacturing is across Europe, India and China with distribution hubs in Italy and Portugal. It is not easy at the moment getting deliveries out from those hubs. Our total UK team workforce is 45 people from design and conception to delivery. 7. Are you often asked about sustainability and recycling fabrics? – Your brand spokesperson recently said: ‘The World of Temperley experience has been conceptualised to keep pace with the new expectations of luxury in a post-pandemic world - more sustainable practices, more comfortable elegance and

more lifestyle offering. ‘A bespoke service making use of dead stock fabric will truly connect the customer’s own creativity with the handcrafted artistry of the brand, as well as limiting waste.’ (Chard & Ilminster News, 20/10/20) Yes, and all excess fabrics are converted into lounge wear here in Somerset. More licensing of recycled (or dead stock) fabrics is required. We are proud to be the second most sustainable collection at John Lewis. Added to which we are now only presenting two collections a year, not four. Ilminster is currently based on virtual sales, with my sister Mary opening a skincare range soon, my parents opening a cocktail bar (The Somerset)) and a fine local bakery providing insatiable goodies!

have just bought a huge shire horse called ‘Tiny Brown’!), photography and painting, and I am hoping to start a course in mirror gilding soon to expand my design ideas. The new HQ in Market Square, Ilminster, comprising 22,000 square foot, is multipurpose: housing design, training, a store selling current collections and archive. Further development will include a clothing factory, laser technology factory, warehouse and the brand’s photo production as well as a cocktail bar ‘The Somerset’. For more info visit: www.

8. Finally, when you have time, what are your hobbies/ pursuits? How do you keep so fit, healthy and sane!? Walking, particularly on the Jurassic Coast, horse riding (I

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19/03/2021 09:01


The Trading Post The Trading Post Farm Shop can be found just a stone’s throw from Ilminster - in the tiny hamlet of Lopenhead. A veritable Aladdin’s cave, bursting with local produce, the Farm Shop is on the site of an old filling station. Its unimposing exterior is a wrapping just waiting to be torn off - as you enter you are welcomed with a cheerful greeting, and immediately your senses are bombarded with every possible colour and scent.

The Trading Post offers a weekly organic fruit and veg box scheme for delivery or collection, and in the past year has been delighted to be able to increase its offering to include delivering weekly groceries to those customers who have been unable to visit the shop. Future plans for 2021 include extending the plants range in the newly built garden centre area out the back of the main shop and to work with even more local producers to fill the already overflowing shelves. TRADING POST Ad_DH_aut18.pdf




From locally baked bread to deliciously tempting tiffin, from delicious local jams and chutneys to a beautiful array of West Country cheeses, there is plenty to tempt your taste buds. All this as well as an assortment of biscuits, cakes, meat, smoked fish and charcuterie are found alongside tables packed full of jars of artichoke hearts, capers and tubs of black garlic. C

In one unexpected corner of the shop you turn and walk into their amazing zero waste room - packed full of loose organic dried goods; cereal, rice, grains, pasta, herbs and spices, dried fruit, nuts and seeds – over 200 lines of everything you could possibly want with the reminder that you can buy as little as you need! M

Local Organic





This shop, a farm shop by name, is so much more than you would expect tucked away in the Somerset countryside. Loyal to their longstanding ethos of organic and local, they support over 120 local suppliers.


Deli Counter










Over 80 Local Producers

Toiletries & Home Corner

Come& vis it

The Old A303, Lopenhead TA13 5JH

01460 241666 Follow us


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18/04/2018 10:35

Kitchen Door Takeaways Kitchen Door Takeaways at the Gallery Café offers a variety of uplifting dishes, and weekly-changing menus providing restaurant quality food at home. Our quirky café has opened its ‘Kitchen Door’ for takeaways during lockdown. Since launching in November, the takeaways have been a runaway success, brightening up people’s evenings with delicious dishes. Inspired by street food, traditional classics and time-honoured dishes from around the world, seasoned cook Sue Foreman has fused together innovation and comfort with her contemporary spin on restaurant quality food to heat and enjoy at home.




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Each week brings a new menu from which you can choose between an exciting selection of mains, sides and deserts. Once you’ve placed your order with Sue (via website or phone call), collect from the kitchen door at a time to suit you. Post-lockdown Launch Come summer we will be cranking our main entrance doors open wide! Join us for Italian barista coffee and fresh lemonades in our garden seating area with scenic views. Situated in an old chapel at the top of town, our café is perfect for enjoying hearty brunches, freshly baked cakes and savouries along with our renowned cheese scones that we serve warm from the oven. Our daily menus are always suitable for vegans and include a variety of alternative dietary options to suit all tastes and requirements. And for those on the go (or back at the office), we will have a good selection of hot and cold breakfasts and lunches to take away. Keep up with our social media channels for weekly menus and daily specials along with upcoming community events, meetups and workshops. For more information or to order from this week’s takeaway menu visit: or call Sue on 07883 852724. Pre-order from Tuesdays. Collect from 4pm Friday and Saturday. Find us atThe Gallery Café, Meeting House Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0AN | | instagram @sueforemanatthegallerycafe.


@conduitmag 19/03/2021 09:01




By Julie Locke


Whilst cinemas and other venues remain closed until further notice, take advantage of the numerous opportunities to watch film and television shows online. For a list of useful film-related websites and information, visit Yeovil’s film society website, Somerset Film, dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through film and digital technology, is focusing on 20 films from 20 years via its Instagram page; for further information, visit www. Explore www.moviola. org for ideas about what to watch and where to find it.


Until Friday 30 April is the 2021 international Literary Prize, an annual writing competition with cash prizes, launched by Yeovil Community Arts Association (YCAA). Now in its 18th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize has matured into a highly regarded writing competition, attracting submissions from across the globe. The competition has four categories; Novel, Short Stories, Poetry and Writing Without Restriction. Its continued popularity means that this year’s cash prizes are bigger than ever. All money raised supports talented local youngsters training for careers in the performing and creative arts, who may not otherwise be able to continue their studies. Previous judges have included literary agents and publishers, as well as accomplished authors and poets. For further information, visit Calling All Cultural Writers to get involved in the 2021 Page Turner Awards. These inclusive writing and book awards, sponsored by ProWritingAid, have with one goal – to change the lives of as many writers as possible. The team at Page Turner Awards passionately believes that talented writers can be from any background, age, race, religion, or interest. Page Turner Awards gives writers and authors the chance to enter unpublished or published fiction and nonfiction and screenplays, to be read by a carefully curated judging panel made

up of influential players in the publishing industry. Prizes span everything from mentorships to audiobook production and publishing packages. Submissions close on Monday 31 May. Find out more about The Page Turner at www.pageturnerawards. com.


From Saturday 27 March to Saturday 8 May, Somerset Art Works (SAW) has joined forces with Black Swan Arts for a unique SAW members’ exhibition ‘In Pursuit of Spring’. This exhibition has been inspired by poet Edward Thomas’ account of his journey by bicycle between London and Somerset to meet the arrival of spring in 1913. Responding to various themes in Thomas’ book In Pursuit of Spring, such as hope, change and renewal, around fifty SAW members have created artwork to illustrate the Somerset leg of Thomas’ journey. The exhibition will be online from the beginning of April. For further information, visit uk or

offers a hub of virtual galleries to those in lockdown or in self-isolation. It is not designed to replace real world galleries, but to offer support during these difficult times. Created by an artist wishing to offer fellow artists the opportunity to continue exhibiting in a 3D virtual and interactive world. Take a look around at www.


From Saturday 3 to Saturday 10 July is the Somerton Music & Arts Festival. The festival will start with a family fun day, followed by a variety of events at venues across town, and reach its finale on the last day with Somerstock, Somerton’s own family friendly music festival. There will be more than 14 local and original bands performing across three stages, headlined by pop and soul legends, The Christians. Somerton Recreation Ground, the venue for Somerstock, has plenty of space for all festival-goers as well as for family entertainment, food, licenced bars and on-site car parking. For information and festival tickets, visit

Somerton Music & Arts Festival In Pursuit of Spring Exhibition Evolver, the Wessex Arts and Culture Guide. For virtual exhibitions and online tours, plus entertainment, visit www. The Absent Gallery is a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic; its aim is to provide professional and emerging Somerset-based artists and galleries with a platform to showcase their artwork in a series of curated virtual 3D exhibitions. It is a platform targeted to share and promote virtual exhibitions created independently by artists and galleries. The Absent Gallery

Bowjangles This intrepid string quartet presents its most magical show so far; a theatrical, musical journey through myths, folklore, legends and a portal in a cello case, in the quest to find the most priceless relic of all, a magical violin bow known as Excalibow. Expect tales of monsters, ancient gods, historical figures and characters of pure fantasy in this action packed show, all presented in Bowjangles’ own inimitable and unique style, full of comedy, energy, panache and almost every musical genre imaginable - may contain traces of Abba. Find out more at www.

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19/03/2021 09:01

Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change.


Concerts in the West For wonderful music and dazzling performances, visit Planning has now begun to restart live concerts in May 2021. Donations to support performers and Concerts in the West would be very welcome. Paprika, UK’s leading Balkan band, fuses together Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical music in a whirlwind performance of frenzied virtuosity. Fiery melodies and foot-tapping rhythms are interspersed with lilting laments in highenergy sets. Specialising in bringing rare or lost traditional Balkan music back to life, both the curious listener and the well-versed aficionado are sure to enjoy a host of surprises and fast-paced entertainment. The band has performed all over the world, from New Zealand to Japan, including Womad and Glastonbury festivals and prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Find out more at www.artsreach. Petherton Folk Fest 2022 will be back bigger and better on Saturday 18 June 2022! Chair of the Petherton Folk Fest Committee, Pete Wheeler, said: ‘it was not an easy decision to forego this year’s Folk Fest but it is important that the event takes place in an environment where everyone is safe, so it is sensible to hold off until next year. We are already planning for 2022 and looking forward with huge enthusiasm to welcoming hundreds of people to a memorable day of music, dance and children’s entertainment.’ Full details of the 2022 programme will be released early next year and will feature events in Market Square, The David Hall, The Brewers Arms pub, St Peter and St Paul’s Church and The Blake Hall - together with stalls, and other attractions.


On Wednesday 24 and Wednesday 31 March at 7.00pm via Zoom, take a contemporary dance class with Somerset graduate dancer, Drummond Ross. Each class starts with a fitness or yoga-style warm up, leading into contemporary techniques, such as Limon, Cunningham or Release. Within his class, Drum aims to challenge participants to find their own internal timing mixed with musical queues, to expand their current dance knowledge and to challenge and explore their own movement patterns. Age 16+. Booking available until 3.00pm online on the day of the class (or until 4.00pm via the Box Office on 01935 422884). Tickets £3. A Zoom link will be sent to participants before the class starts. Book online at On Thursday 25 March at 8.00pm via Zoom, there is a murder mystery ‘Sherlock in Homes: Murder at the Circus’ from Sharp Teeth Theatre. Armed with deerstalker hat and notepad, play detective for the evening and attempt to unmask the murderer with fellow audience members in this Victorian case of dastardly behaviour and deadly death at The Bearded Lady’s Circus of Wonders! E-tickets £8 per device - availability limited. Find out more at www.

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A Winter Warmer for the South West Artsreach has been involved in the national Winter Warmers campaign, led by The Inn Crowd and supported by Pub is the Hub. The ‘Winter Warmers’ initiative is based on a collection of seven heart-warming poems about pubs, specially commissioned by The Inn Crowd, who work with touring schemes like Artsreach to provide pubs with access to live literature events made especially for pub audiences. The final winter warmers’ poem has been released, and it’s the South West poem! Take a moment to listen in, and celebrate Dorset’s pubs today. Listen online at www.artsreach.

Murder at the Circus - Sherlock in Homes

The People’s String Foundation, fronted by duo Ben Sutcliffe and Zaid Al-Rikabi, mixes world, classical and urban styles. Their musical show ‘Res Publica’, recorded at The Hall for Cornwall in 2018, presents the live duo alongside a 32-piece virtual gypsy orchestra. Using music, puppetry, cinematography and animation to create an immersive and exhilarating show, ‘Res Publica’ invites the audience on an incredible journey of discovery. In the second half of the show there is a chance to hear The People’s String Foundation’s most popular songs and compositions from their time working as musical directors for theatre companies such as Kneehigh, Rogue and Minack. Find out more at www. 24

From Friday 26 to Sunday 28 March between 3.00pm and 7.00pm, Stute Theatre presents a new telephone theatre play ‘You Don’t Know Me But...’ This 20-minute intimate one-woman play is performed live over the phone – expect live music, beautiful writing and immersive sound effects giving audience members a unique and moving theatre experience in their own homes. Vick is a care worker in a residential home. As her working day progresses, the day’s encounters gradually uncover a deeply hidden childhood memory that changes her outlook forever... Age 16+. Limited performance slots available. Free (donations welcomed). Booking essential. Contact Artsreach on 01305 269512 or visit www.artsreach.

Winter Warmers - The Inn Crowd Artsreach is sharing some of the brilliant cultural events that its artists have released digitally. Take a look online at past performance programmes from seasons gone by. The page is constantly changing so keep checking and keep sharing it. For more information, check What’s On and Digital Diary at Somerset Emergency Theatre was launched by Wassail, a registered charity, with the aim of keeping Somerset culturally connected. During Summer 2020 lockdown Wassail used grant income received from Arts Council England, South Somerset District Council and Somerset Community Foundation to commission,


@conduitmag 19/03/2021 09:01

Events listed are correct as we go to press but we advise checking with organisers before attending any event as the Covid-19 situation may change. support or employ freelance theatre makers. As a result, there is plenty on the website to enjoy from home during this lockdown. Help artists in Somerset continue making excellent theatre by donating to Somerset Emergency Theatre. For further information, visit www. Songs of Friendship Award-winning storyteller James Rowland has toured his ‘Songs of Friendship’ trilogy (‘Team Viking’, ‘A Hundred Different Words for Love’ and ‘Revelations’) around Dorset in recent years. Now James has released a unique audio series based on the shows. Listen to the audio series at news/digital-diary. Symphony of the Countryside captures the images, words, music and sounds that make up the rural landscape, featuring content collected by rural touring schemes across the country including Artsreach in Dorset. Armed with cameras and smartphones, volunteers from across the UK captured sound and video content from their communities during the March 2020 lockdown. These were stitched together by filmmaker Gemma Wearing to create a visual landscape overlaid with music and poetry. To enjoy this short film, go to www. The Living Spit Podcast Living Spit has launched a podcast! Artsreach favourites, Howard and Stu (and the occasional special guest) look back at past shows and discuss a whole host of things from how they were conceived, to tour stories and more, all with a dose of their usual humour! Tune in and listen at news/digital-diary. The One Minute Festival During the first lockdown, Somerset’s theatre making community was inspired by Ged Stephenson’s call-out to create a oneminute piece of digital theatre. Wassail teamed up with Barn Theatre (Take Art’s theatre development initiative) to commission 35 one-minute films, all created at different stages of lockdown. Watch them all at www.wassailtheatre. The Thief’s Tale Take a listen to the second podcast from acclaimed storytellers, The Devil’s Violin. Through music and spoken word, The Devil’s Violin retell one magical adventure over five ten-minute episodes. In the best tradition of both Scheherazade and EastEnders, each episode will end with a cliffhanger. Be warned, this tale is definitely one for the grown-ups! Be prepared to be charmed, thrilled and

chilled... To listen to ‘The Thief’s Tale’, click the link at digital-diary. Twisted Tales Cornish company ‘Owdyado Theatre has created an epic series of short audio plays to enjoy from home ... or from anywhere really! There are many titles to choose from, such as: ‘The Undertaking’, an appointment to discuss a death in the family is far from business as usual; ‘Mouse’, when a wealthy couple return from holiday to find a dead mouse on their living room carpet, their world starts to fall apart; ‘Ten Items or Less’, a supermarket cashier gains insight into her customers’ lives by observing their mundane purchases, and one man’s shopping basket conveys a dark secret. Listen to the Twisted Tales at


On Tuesday 30 March at 6.15pm online, there is a Somerset Youth Theatre class, with David Reakes in association with Tor Theatre & Wassail Theatre Company, for anyone interested in devising, writing or performing. No previous experience necessary - just come wanting to be creative, have fun and make new friends. Somerset is full of funny stories, brilliant characters and strange myths. The time has come to turn these tales into plays, and bring some of the county’s bestkept secrets to life! Age 7 to 18. Booking available until 2.00pm online on the day of the class (or until 4.00pm via the Box Office on 01935 422884). Tickets £5. Book online at

Until Sunday 18 April, available online is Protein Dance’s family workshop ‘The Little Prince’. Entertain the little ones at home with Protein’s fun and fast-moving workshop inspired by their awardwinning show ‘The Little Prince’. Join performers Faith and Andy as they lead twenty minutes of dance and movement, exploring the world of the Little Prince, how he spends his days on his tiny planet and how he eventually meets and befriends the charming Fox. This family workshop is available to rent for £2 and to stream for 48 hours. Age 5 to 11. For


further information, visit www.artsreach.

From Saturday 3 April, Wassail and Tall Tails Theatre’s production of ‘The Tale of the Charming Rat’ will available for families to watch online. This 25-minute pantomime video for audiences of all ages features high levels of access provision. Expect a Somerset-inspired retelling of the classic Cinderella story, following the adventures of her beloved rat when he is transformed into a human for just one night. The Octagon Theatre will be sharing the film for free throughout the Easter Holidays. For further details, visit www.

On Saturday 17 April at GingerFred Dance Studio, Langport, sign up for a free taster session with Somerset Youth Theatre (SYT). The free sessions are from 11.00am to 12.00 noon for SYT Group (age 7 to 11) and from 1.30pm to 2.30pm for SYT Company (age 12 to 18). To book a place, email rose@wassailtheatre. For further information, visit www. From Friday 23 April at 3.45pm and 5.00pm at GingerFred Dance Studio, Langport, Somerset Youth Theatre (SYT) sessions will be running after school on Fridays during term time. Come along and explore devised theatre at Langport’s allnew SYT Group, in association with Wassail Theatre and Tor Theatre. No experience necessary – although a willingness to play is essential! SYT Group (age 7 to 11) starts at 3.45pm; SYT Company (age 12 to 18) starts at 5.00pm. £5 per session. To book a place, email rose@wassailtheatre. For further information, visit www.

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19/03/2021 09:01


LISTENERS SAY BIG THANK YOU TO LOCAL RADIO By Steve Haigh, Station Manager, Radio Ninesprings 104.5 FM

Radio stations have received a huge thanks from the public for the help they’ve given during the lockdown. Research has shown that daily listening to radio – local and national - has grown substantially since the start of the pandemic with radio being one of the most trusted for news and information. People working in isolation at home say radio helps boost their mood and keeps them connected with the outside world. Half of respondents say they listen to radio for longer each day, suggesting new listening habits have been established. They particularly like local radio because the presenters/DJs sound friendlier and tell them about local things happening with the pandemic. Some of our leading politicians have commented also on the role of radio during the pandemic: Chancellor Rishi Sunak said with people separated from family and friends, radio has been more important than ever. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said radio had kept people informed and entertained throughout the pandemic.

The national body representing our sector – the Community Media Association – has launched a campaign to persuade the government to use CR as a platform of choice for public messaging, be it for health, road safety, cutting crime, registering to vote, etc. CR stations are uniquely placed to communicate these messages, not least, because of their closeness to audiences, many of whom are ‘hard to reach’. Like other CR stations, Radio Ninesprings has playedout public messages for the government throughout the pandemic but has not been paid for doing so. This is in contrast to newspapers who were given substantial sums to run government information ads. Airtime was given across the CR sector for government messaging at no charge because, with the country in an emergency, it was the right thing to do. CR is sufficiently important to justify being given limited public funding, albeit in the form of the government paying for public service ads. Given that the government spends huge amounts on TV and national radio marketing, this is not a lot to ask for.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Radio) Oliver Dowden said listening to radio was like having someone in the room. It was a lifeline for people who lived alone.

I regard stations like Radio Ninesprings as being no different to a council-funded theatre or leisure centre – we are all important community assets and deserve to be funded likewise.

It’s good that radio is getting this recognition on such a high level.

If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it has been the need for good local communications.

New Local Radio Station for Yeovil and South Somerset

The hope is that it will translate into greater government support for Community Radio (CR).

R ADIO 104.5 FM 26

Social media and websites plays a part, but with radio it’s real people you hear talking, and


this human element is what makes radio such an effective medium. Next year will mark one hundred years of the BBC. The ‘wireless’, as it was called, has come along way in that time. But radio is no longer the preserve of the BBC, nor is local radio the preserve of just BBC local radio. There are now more than 300 Ofcom-licensed CR stations in the UK, attracting sizable audiences. People will always listen to the local station closest to them.

There’s still a lot of talking to do with the government before they are persuaded of the true value of local community radio. But our support is building, our case is a strong one, and eventually we will win through. Source of research: Media Nations Report.

Radio Ninesprings thanked for supporting local NHS Appeal An appeal broadcast on Radio Ninesprings 104.5 FM – local community radio station for Yeovil and South Somerset – has helped to generate donations of 5,000 personal products for giving to local NHS workers. The ‘Nurturing Hospital Staff Appeal’ was launched in January to collect personal products for giving to NHS employees at both Yeovil and Dorchester hospitals. Drop-off points were set up in shops and houses for people to take their donations. Products donated during the six-week campaign ranged from face cream to bath salts and included certain food items. Organiser of the ‘Nurturing Hospital Staff Appeal’, Anna CarrickSmith said: ‘Stress levels in the NHS have been quite high and being able to give staff these personal items helped bring a little comfort. The public’s generosity was fantastic. We’re grateful for the support given by local businesses and to the local radio station, Radio Ninesprings for broadcasting the appeal.’

The local businesses that supported the appeal are: The Beauty Room in Beaminster Boden Ltd Branche D’Olive Eloise Hall Forever Living Hannah’s Retreat, Crewkerne Kombucha Drinks Neals Yard Margaret Balfour Saloon, Sherborne Oleo Bodycare Ruby Red The Newt, Bruton Summerdown Radio Ninesprings 104.5 FM

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By Dawn Woodward, The Emporium, Yeovil

Spring heralds optimism and enthusiasm for reopening! We are more than ready for this and look forward to welcoming our traders and customers back to The Emporium. We’ve been very busy throughout lockdown, behind the scenes making improvements to our lovely shop. We’ve also been growing our team and have some new members of staff to introduce once we reopen. The Emporium is home to over 60 different individual businesses, all trading under one roof. The variety of types of shop and the stock within each business can be quite staggering! We’re fortunate to be receiving lots of enquiries from new traders wishing to join us at The Emporium and it’s going to be great to reveal all of our news over the coming months. Speaking of being busy, did you spot any photos from our café around Mother’s Day?

We’re continuing with our regular Friday Afternoon Tea takeaways once we reopen, they’ve become so popular, along with our ‘Cake-Away’ patisserie service. So do visit our website and search for afternoon tea or cakes and see if anything takes your fancy – they are all available to collect every Friday. In the meantime, we hope that everyone is well and we’ll look forward to welcoming you back, and please do get in touch if you’d like to join us as a trader at The Emporium. Contact us as always in the following ways: Email: Phone (shop): 01935 579482 Phone (office & cafe) 01935 411378 Website: www.theemporiumyeovil.

We were blown away by the response to our Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea takeaways; it was massive! We still can’t believe how busy we were and would like to thank everyone who ordered. We loved making these (200!) teas for you and your mums, all tied with their pretty pink ribbons! Our amazing cafe team smashed it, I’m so proud of the dedicated and talented individuals we have working at The Emporium.

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LATE MARCH AUCTION OFFERS WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF ASIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN TREASURES Acreman St. Antiques February auction saw strong bidding and some very good prices were achieved. The star item was the Charles I stumpwork picture, featured in last month’s Conduit, that sold for £4,200. Another item that sold well was a small seventeenth century book published in 1674 on The Art of Metals that went for £1,200 along with other rare books that also achieved some good prices. There was also fierce competition for all 235 lots of jewellery that included 45 lots being sold on behalf of the YEOVIL HOSPITAL BREAST CANCER UNIT APPEAL. Items have been coming in thick and fast for our 26 March auction. The catalogue is available to view on Live bidding is also through ONLY; commission bids can be taken by phone or email before 6pm on Thursday 25 March. We have on offer a wonderful collection of Asian art and antiquities, to include Japanese woodblock prints. The earliest is a 1790s Okiyo-e-bijin woodblock of a woman holding a Kiseru tobacco pipe with an estimated value of between £2,000-£3,000. There are also various silk hand-painted scrolls and screens, Bhutanese Thankas, Indian watercolours and Middle Eastern and Persian rugs and carpets. Of particular interest is a large (14’ x 8’8”) Persian Kerman carpet with a 28

floral border and Indigo tree decoration on a pale blue, pink and beige background. This has an estimated value between £500-£1,000. From the same vendor we also have on offer a collection of Jean Muir dresses and suits from the 1970s -1990s, estimates from £80-£100. In our furniture section there are three 1930s chairs from The Amsterdam School comprising a pair of stylised hardwood framed chairs with original rattan seats, est. £1,000-£1,500. In our jewellery section, thanks to your generous donations, we have on offer 50 lots for the Yeovil Hospital Breast Cancer Appeal, and in our silver section we have an Elizabeth I silver seal top spoon, est. £100-£200 and a later cased set of early matched silver gilt apostle spoons, est. £300-£400. Also on offer are many lots of general antiques and collectors’ items. We are offering a low cost delivery service within a 30-mile radius for our upcoming sale as well as click and collect by appointment. We are now taking in for our 30 April auction by appointment. Please don’t hesitate to call us to arrange a home visit, for free valuations, advice or to arrange a complete house clearance by calling Gill Norman on 07908 333577 or 01935 508764 or email auction@






We are now taking in for our 30th April Auction For all enquiries please contact Gill Norman 07908 333577 / 01935 508764

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WHAT DID SHERBORNE RESIDENTS DO FOR ENTERTAINMENT IN THE PAST? PART 2 By Paul Birbeck, Sherborne Walks & Blue Badge Tour Guide Last month my article posed the question what was the purpose of the Shell House in Sherborne and is there any link to Vauxhall fashion? The house was built at the zenith of Georgian pleasure gardens which remained popular until the 1850s when public parks started to develop in our towns. The Shell House is a Grade I listed building sited in the walled garden at Harper House in Hound Street, and is currently owned by Sherborne School. The structure is a very rare and early example of a classically-inspired shell house, dating from circa 1750 which I was able to visit in October. The following description is based upon the English Heritage listing. From outside, the building looks rather plain and unpretentious, nestling semi-hidden by herbs and low shrubs. The house is around 7m high; the walls are constructed from local limestone rubble, and the conical roof is thatched. The building is set into the outside of the wall surrounding the walled garden and the entrance doorway is set into this wall. The doorway consists of half-glazed double doors dating from the

twentieth century but copied from an earlier design. Step inside and it is a different world. An octagonal room is split into eight panels, each separated by moulded ribs, delicately covered in a wide variety of British sea shells, mainly from the Dorset coast. Each of the seven closed sides of the room has a semi-circular headed alcove, with a moulded limestone seat; above each niche is a decorative panel or shell arch. Above the alcoves are ribbons and leaves made from painted lead; trails of tiny flowers made from shells glued to cork and fixed to copper wire run around the ceiling panels. There are acanthus leaf motifs above which is a border of stylised butterflies with shell, flower, oak leaf and fleur-delys motifs. The entire inner surface of the shell room is delicately decorated: no two panels are exactly alike and the shell work is of very high quality, with the shells exquisitely matched and closely fixed. So who built it and why? Expert opinion is split. Some believe the house must have

been commissioned by a wealthy, probably, aristocratic family. Others that it was built by a wealthy local family. Records show that around 1820 the garden was purchased by Samuel Whitty, who was married to the daughter of a prominent local banker, Simon Pretor, who lived in Long Street. Their houses were directly to the south of the Shell House garden, but separated from it by land they leased from the Digby family. These two areas of land were separated by the wall which still forms the southern boundary of the Shell House garden. Whitty created a new access door in the wall, and a map of 1834 shows how he laid out his new garden with a new path leading directly to the Shell House, which was evidently intended to be the focus of the pleasure grounds. By 1852, the plot adjacent had also been laid out as a pleasure garden, with serpentine paths and planting. Maybe problematic, but could the original garden and Shell House be an ornamental garden feature inspired by visits to fashionable Vauxhall Gardens. The garden then evolving into a private

pleasure garden which allowed the unique Shell House to be preserved? You choose what you want to believe. Depending upon Lockdown restrictions, later this year Sherborne Walks hope to offer a new town walk which will consider the development of pleasure and leisure activities, including a visit to the Shell House. Booking details will be on www. or contact me if you’d like to do the walk.

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By Khrishma Preston, The Alternative Indian Did you know India is the world’s largest milk producer? India is also considered as a farming country in which the major proportion of population is vegetarian. Thus, milk plays a significant role in the diet as a source of animal proteins. Paneer, a common Indian cheese used in cooking, has distinct characteristics which means it works well as a great meat substitute or can be enjoyed by itself. This unaged cheese is soft but firm, yet does not melt. It also does not contain rennet but is instead made with curdled whole milk. It is consumed as a breakfast, snack, or main course across India. In itself paneer doesn’t have a very strong taste but it has distinct flavours - a cheese that is a bit sweet, sour and buttery, with a hint of a nuttiness. It can be purchased from most local supermarkets or can be made at home there are several recipes available online to make paneer from scratch. My paneer tikkas are ideal for baking in the oven or cooking on the BBQ now that the days

are getting a little warmer. If you wish to, you can always substitute the paneer with chicken as the marinade will compliment this also. These are ideal served with my quick sweet spicy Pea, Tomato and Pepper

Relish, the video of which is out now on my YouTube channel: thealternativeindian. The relish can be made in the time the paneer marinates and cooks.

Oven Baked Paneer Tikka Serves 4 large kebabs – serves 6-10 people

Marinate time min 1 hr, ideally overnight; Prep time 10 mins | Cook time 30 mins

INGREDIENTS 1kg paneer, cut into large 1-1.5 inch cubes 1 large red onion, finely chopped 4 tsp chilli powder 6 tsp heaped cumin-coriander powder 1 tsp heaped turmeric powder 3 tsp heaped cumin seeds 1 tbsp ginger powder 2 tbsp garlic powder 1 tsp green cardamom powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1½ tsp salt 2 tbsp tomato puree

METHOD Tip - You may have noticed I haven’t used any oil in the recipe, except to try to keep surfaces non-stick. If you are cooking these on the barbeque, add 2 tbsp of oil to your marinade. When dicing paneer, try and keep these as large as possible, as you will notice that the cheese is soft and can easily crumble if not handled delicately. The larger the cubes the easier you will find to get them on skewers without them breaking apart. In a large bowl mix the cubed paneer with all the other ingredients and combine gently. Cover the bowl and place in fridge for at least an hour. If you are using metal skewers, make sure these have been rubbed with oil to ensure the paneer doesn’t stick to them. If using a BBQ, wooden skewers should be pre-soaked in water. As I am baking my kebabs today, I have lined a baking tray with foil and placed an oiled grill rack on top to prevent the kebabs from sticking. Prepare the paneer onto the skewers and lay these on the grill rack. I had some cubes of paneer that fell apart but I just put them directly onto the rack to cook through. Place the kebabs on the racks and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins at 160C fan.

2 tbsp heaped yoghurt 2 tbsp heaped Besan flour (chickpea flour) 30

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EXPLORING SIR HAROLD HILLIER GARDENS By Tim Saunders, Travel Correspondent, who visited Sir Harold Hillier Gardens before Lockdown

Mathematics is even more influential than I realised. It plays a vital part in nature, we discover during our trip to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, Hampshire. Mathematics is even more influential than I realised. It plays a vital part in nature, we discover during our trip to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, Hampshire. As we walk without a care around this wonderful garden we come across a sign about cones, which reads: ‘Pine cones are a mathematical marvel! The pattern of the cone follows the Fibonacci sequence, an amazing pattern found in nature. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and so on. The pattern creates the spiral found in cones, starting at the base of the cone and spiralling out to the tip.’ This same pattern and number sequence appears all over the natural world, for example in sunflowers and cacti. It allows for the most efficient use of space possible, covering the most surface area. Petals and leaves use this arrangement, too. At just under 180 acres this magnificent landscape is home to more than 42,000 trees and shrubs, including magnolia and rhododendron. On arrival there are a lot of visitors and we queue at 2m intervals to enter. It is also necessary to queue for the toilets but only at busy times. The entrance to the gardens is very busy and so social distancing is difficult but as all the visitors spread out we feel like we are on our own. The weather is good to us and we are able to explore much of the grounds. We walk past a tall euonymus, which prompts me to recall the line from Sir John

Betjeman’s A Subaltern’s Love-Song that refers to this very tree: ‘Her father’s euonymus shines as we walk And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk’ There are a number of metal sculptures of such things as cones, and just up from these are some benches at the top of a hill so we make our way to them for our picnic. After lunch the children race back down. We have visited a number of gardens now and each one has its own unique design and appeal. Throughout our visit little Henry (4) complains of this or that but being hungry mostly. So it is fortunate that we have brought enough supplies for the little lad. We’ll need to bring a separate trailer in future… Anybody would think we didn’t feed him, the way he carries on. And so it is a real joy when he forgets about all of this and starts playing hide and seek with sisters Harriett (9) and Heidi (7) in the gardens surrounding Jermyn’s House. Caroline and I are able to sit on a bench and relax while the children look for hide outs among the shrubs. They love roaming free. Sir Harold George Hillier (1905 to 1985) was an English horticulturist. In 1921 he joined the family firm, Hillier Nurseries, his early career spent in assisting his father in rebuilding stocks depleted by World War I. A fine day out for all the family and a chance to relax and forget about life’s difficulties, just for a moment. For more information, visit uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens. Watch the videos at

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IT’S TIME TO START PLANNING TO TRAVEL AGAIN…. By Heather Muir, Manager – Miles Morgan Travel, Yeovil As a main agent for Fred. Olsen, this month we bring you some exciting news about the launch of their new 2022/23 cruises. These cruises went on sale last month and we have seen a surge in bookings, from not only past cruisers, but also a high proportion of new to cruise customers. As a family-run cruise line, Fred. Olsen really take your experience personally and here at Miles Morgan Travel we have a huge following of regular customers and staff who insist on sailing with them. While many in the cruise industry have gone for bigger ships, brimming with more and more people, Fred. Olsen have always believed that smaller is better. They treat passengers as guests; they dock at smaller ports in more interesting places; and they avoid overcrowding both aboard and ashore. At capacity, their smaller ships will only ever sail with between 900 and 1,400 guests. The 2022/23 launch includes two new ships and a whole host of cruises from Southampton and Portsmouth. The new ships, Bolette and Borealis, exude classic,

elegant style in their exterior and interior design, featuring spacious and comfortable public areas, and have all the facilities and special touches you need for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. Itineraries include closer to home around Britain and Ireland cruises, Baltic, Northern Lights, Fjords along with Mediterranean and worldwide itineraries. Book early with us and enjoy either a free drinks package or on-board spending money, but hurry as this offer must end soon. Many of you will be aware that we offer escorted cruises with Fred. Olsen that all come with free return transport to the port from Yeovil and are full escorted by one of our cruise escorts. For 2022 we currently have three cruises available: Arctic Norway, 14 nights on 24 March 2022; Discovering the Balkans, 18 nights on 14 June 2022; and American Waterways and Canada in the Fall on 26 September 2023. These cruises always sell fast, and we are adding

NEW 2022/23

FRED. OLSEN CRUISES ON SALE NOW Prices start from only £399pp Early booking offers:

Book now and choose from... • FREE drinks or • On board spend

Main Agent for Fred. Olsen Cruises Phone lines open until 10pm

01935 428488

14-16 Middle Street Yeovil BA20 1LY

extra departures all the time, so if these cruises interest you please do contact your local cruise specialists in Yeovil for up-todate details. As we write, we do hope that our shop at 14-16 Middle Street will be open for face-to-face enquiries and bookings, but if not our staff will be working normal hours from home so please do call us on 01935 428488. Our phone lines are open seven days a week until 10pm. We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping you to get back travelling again.

Famous Local Explorer requires horse riding doctor/medic to join team on summer expedition to Mongolia Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE will be leading another ‘multi-purpose’ expedition to Mongolia this summer (24 August – 13 September) and as always, requires a doctor/medic to join his team and preferably one who horse rides! Named The Mongolian Khan Khentil Expedition to be centred east of Ulaanbaatar in the Hentii mountain range, the team will undertake community aid projects including dental and medical help for the local people and perform archaeological, biological and zoological tasks with the help of Mongolian scientists. Travel will be by horse and 4WD vehicles. Accommodation will be in tents and at the end of the expedition two days will be spent in the Khustain Nuruu National Park (west of Ulaanbaatar) studying the Przewalski horses and further zoological research. For further details and application, please contact Colonel Blashford-Snell. Tel: 01747 854456 Email: 32

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142 Preston Road, Yeovil Somerset BA20 2EE Lower Acreman Street Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3EX

By Peter Luscombe BVSc GPCert(Derm) MRCVS

This is such an easy question to ask but never straightforward to answer. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all treatment. I have always been a believer in making an individual treatment plan for a patient after considering all the relevant factors. As an owner you should be clear what your expectations are; are your priorities an absolute cure or is maintaining quality of life your priority? As vets we should discuss the options available and the pros and cons of each. We need to decide what sort of treatment is appropriate. Is hospitalisation necessary? Is surgery required or is medical treatment appropriate? What will that involve? Do we need to treat at all? If a condition is purely cosmetic or is unlikely to progress, we may choose to leave alone and monitor only. In an old patient with a slowly progressive condition requiring major surgery, we may decide it is in the pet’s best interest not to treat. This is okay if the pet’s welfare is not compromised. Before deciding, we must think about all the implications:

We must consider the patient. We need to think about the pet’s temperament and age, also other background illnesses or issues. Is it possible to give tablets twice a day or baths twice a week? How would your pet cope with hospitalisation, would this cause excessive stress and anxiety? Are other pre-existing conditions present that could affect the treatment choice or outcome? We also need to consider the owner. Is there time to apply the treatment in a busy schedule? Are you confident giving tablets? At home, the owner gives the treatment and any aftercare. Are costs an issue? Is there a limit to what you feel is acceptable to put your pet through? Some owners have ethical issues such as supply and sustainability of products or recycling of packaging. Next, we must discuss the proposed treatment. Is it effective, what success rates can be expected? No treatment is 100% effective in every case. Can we expect sideeffects and are they acceptable? Are there any other risks? Is the treatment compatible with other medications already in use? Are there

How it works

We have been asked how you go about having your pet cremated with us at Companions at Peace Pet Cremation. We want to make the process as easy as possible for you at such a difficult time. Whatever the circumstances, a phone call to us will be all that is required to start the process. We can then arrange a time that suits you to bring your pet to us, or for an individual collection from your home or vet surgery. We have a quiet and peaceful farewell room that offers bereaved owners a chance to say their final goodbyes to their beloved pet … where you will not be rushed, and you can take as much time as you need. We offer a choice of caskets, urns and scatter tubes, and aim to return your pet’s ashes to you within 24/48 hours. As a pet owner, you do have a choice, you can choose to leave your beloved pet with your vet, or you can choose to entrust them to us at Companions at Peace, but before making that decision, it may be helpful to ask your vet to explain how your pet will be looked after whilst waiting to be collected by their chosen Crematorium, how they transport your pet, and when will the ashes be returned to you. At Companions at Peace, we only carry out genuine individual cremations, we do not take part in mass cremations or the incineration of veterinary clinical waste.

any safety issue for the owners? if you have an allergy or have a suppressed immune system this could affect the treatment choice. We also need to consider the expertise and equipment available in the practice. Should we consider referral to a specialist for advanced investigations and treatments? These are not isolated questions but relate to each other. You should be clear in your own mind what your expectations are and be ready to ask any questions. An open two-way conversation is important. Owners should engage in the decision-making process and making the treatment plan. This improves compliance and ultimately improves success; no treatment will work if it cannot be given properly. What is the best treatment? It is a wellinformed treatment plan discussed and agreed for an individual patient and owner, after considering all the factors.

Companions at Peace Pet Cremation Independent family run business offering a very personal, caring pet cremation service to bereaved pet owners. • Collection Service • Farewell Room • Out of Hours Service provided Located in a rural countryside setting on the Somerset Dorset border

Contact us on: 07900 654 440 Even if your pet is healthy and you simply want to find out a little more information for future reference and peace of mind, just give us a call on 07900 654440. Our opening times are Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (emergency out-of-hours service provided).

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GRIEF – THE LAST ACT OF LOVE By Tracey Warren, Stoodley and Son

In my last article I looked at the loss of a parent between childhood and 30s; this is a follow on looking at the loss of a parent in later life. As discussed before, every experience of loss depends on the relationship you had with them. There are no rights or wrongs about how we feel after a loss. The death of a parent in your 40s and 50s

For people in this age group the care-giving roles of the parents may have been exchanged. It is now time for the child to provide care for the parent, this could be in the form of doing simple tasks like shopping or collecting their prescriptions, or in other cases this could be end of life care. This responsibility, however willingly assumed, can on occasion create tension, not just with the person being cared for but with the immediate family as well.

wish I had said’. This feeling of grief may not be understood by those around you because they are not aware of the reasoning behind the estrangement, however, it is no less painful or legitimate.

‘Fear not nor grieve at my departure, you whom I have loved so much, for my roots and yours are forever intertwined’

The relationship may also have become more equal, a friendship, time spent getting to know the parent more, and exchanging shared experiences. The death of a parent can mean adjustments including the realisation of our own declining abilities and mortality; our parents represent a barrier between us and our own death. It can cause us to re-evaluate our own lives and choices we make. They will also need to readjust to the loss of that care-giving role, trying to find things to do in the day, missing the shopping trips into town. Many families I speak to say they still subconsciously put things in their shopping basket that was ‘on mum’s shopping list ‘.

The death of one parent can mean some reorganisation in your relationship with the surviving parent.

This may mean an increased responsibility to assist with the maintenance of a household and the arrangement of financial matters or the sale of property and settling the surviving parent into a new situation. There may be feelings of resentment and guilt – did I do enough, did I say everything I wanted to say?

It is a mistake to expect that the death of an elderly parent will not evoke strong feelings.

You have lost a person who has known you, usually loved you, since birth. This was a person with whom you were able to be a child. Feelings such as ‘who is going to look after me now?’ may well arise, even in situations where the parent in reality has not looked after you for many years. The loss of a parent provides us with the opportunity to look at who we are and who we can yet become. There may be the occasion when the relationship had broken down, this loss can be just as emotional. Often there is a feeling of regret; ‘I


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Grief is a state of mind rather than an actual emotion, following the loss of someone that we loved, and is a very important process. A grieving person may experience feelings of sadness, loss, loneliness, fear, isolation, guilt or even anger, and allowing these emotions to surface, and to work through them is vital! Suppressed grief may result in severe depression or the development of complex conditions due to the body absorbing the impact of the suppressed emotions, and the inevitable weakening of the immune system. There is definitely something to be said in favour of those cultures where crying and wailing is held to be completely normal, unlike the stiff upper lip attitude that we Brits used to be known for. I speak as someone who understands grief very well, having been present at the passing-on of my beloved partner just a few days ago, after five years of mental and physical illness. The ending, when it came, was remarkably peaceful. Believe it or not, I have sat with two previous husbands up to the moment of their death; one from prolonged alcoholism, and the other from cancer. To inject a little humour here, let me say that I wouldn’t recommend myself as a wife or partner, other than as someone who understands the dying process well, and has no fear of bearing witness to it!

that the Light is waiting for them and that when they feel ready, to go into the Light, where those who love them will be waiting to welcome them home. Be sure to let them know that you will be okay and to not hang on because of their concern for you or others who they love. This is a very important message to pass on. I have worked with many people to overcome their grief, so if you feel you need help on this or any other emotional issue, please call or text me on 07973 346 747, or email me at mail@nikicassar. com. I am a specialist at online hypnotherapy sessions!

My experience has taught me that it takes a minimum of one year to truly overcome grief, because of all the ‘firsts’ we need to go through: the first week, month, birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Easter and other memorable dates, after which hope gradually appears on the horizon, like the dawning light. By allowing ourselves to celebrate the past, rather than to mourn it, then we can move on and begin to look forward to the future. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learnt from losing people very dear to me. Firstly, never wait until it’s too late to tell them what is in your heart, but speak it often while they are strong and healthy, so there are no regrets later. Secondly, if they have serious health problems, then say those things, and more, making sure there is nothing left unsaid. Lastly, in the last few days and hours of their life, tell them that it’s okay for them to let go, and that they have nothing to fear. What more you say to them will be according to your beliefs and theirs. For me, it is a clear message

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Three miles from Sherborne on the Yeovil road is a steep climb up the east face of Babylon Hill - hard work for horses in coaching days - and if you glance left at the top, you will see the cluster of buildings that is the site of the Halfway House Inn. Not a coaching inn, for there were enough of these in Sherborne and Yeovil, but a convenient spot for local travellers to alight for Nether Compton. The inn was quiet - traffic passed, the hunt met, auctions were held, and only occasionally would something out of the ordinary occur. One such was when Samuel Braine fell ill while driving the Sherborne omnibus from Yeovil. He passed the reins to the passenger sitting next to him, but made no further utterance. When the coach reached the Halfway House, he was lifted from his seat and carried into the inn, stone dead. Sam Braine was well known as a ‘knight of the whip’, having driven the London to Exeter mail coach for many years. The inn was old - even when James Gillard

was landlord in 1839. He was followed by Charles Hyde, and then William Hyde took over from his father and remained in charge until the 1880s, when the inn closed. Nowadays, as cars sweep by along the dual carriageway, there is no sign of the inn, just the group of buildings mentioned earlier. In September 1863, the local newspaper reported that a pub named the Griffin’s Head had been granted a licence, and it appears this was the Halfway House given a new name. In 1877, William Hyde applied successfully to transfer the Griffin’s Head’s licence to premises in the centre of the parish, while the inn on the turnpike became the Halfway House again. The old inn had been a long walk from Nether Compton, and as the Goodden family developed the village, the need for a public house at the centre became more pressing. William Hyde sold up in 1882 to be followed by George Bartlett. Two years later, William Vaux took over - the Vaux family was to run the Griffin’s Head for the next 63 years.

William Vaux was killed in a tragic accident in 1890, when his two-wheel trap overturned at the Hinton crossroads, near Mudford. The licence was transferred to William’s widow, Susan, who retained it for the next 14 years, before her son, Richard, took over. Richard’s first act was to apply to the magistrates for a reduction in the Griffin’s Head’s opening hours - the pub remained closed until eight o’clock on Sunday evenings, so that Richard could sing in the church choir! Richard did not retire until 1947 - he had held the licence for more than thirty years - he was followed by Alan Gapper. The Griffin’s Head was sold by the Goodden estate in 1954 and acquired by the present owners in 1969. CAMRA identified the inn as having ‘an historic pub interior of some regional significance’, and it is included in their book, Real Heritage Pubs of the South West.



Has anyone been as fascinated as me by David Attenborough’s recent TV series Life in Colour? I was particularly struck by the miniscule but gorgeously coloured tree frogs. Anyone remember that beautiful tree frog that featured on the cover of Life on Earth back in the late seventies? Anyway this programme made me think how we often tend to ignore the reptiles and amphibians on our planet, and focus on the softer, cuddly animals that are often more tactile and approachable, but rarely as colourful. This has been the inspiration for this month’s Wordsearch. Just find the hidden reptiles and amphibians in the grid below, ring each word until you have found all of them and when you have completed the puzzle send it to: The Conduit Magazine, Unit 4, Barton View Business Park, Sheeplands Lane, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4FW. The lucky winner receives a £10 cheque. The closing date is: Monday 19 April. Good luck.




Name:__________________________________________________________ Tel :_________________________Email:______________________________ Address:_________________________________________________________ 36 ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

If you would like to know who has won our Wordsearch Puzzles see our website.

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Do you have a favourite walk? A route you’ve travelled many times that encourages you to observe the changing seasons? One of my favourite walks is a circular route from Alfred’s Tower near Bruton that circumnavigates the wider Stourhead Estate - a blend of pine forest and ancient woodland, well managed and maintained as part of a sustainable forestry initiative. The pathways are gravelly and, although occasionally boggy, I’ve never known them to be impassable. As the seasons revolve, the experience changes. I’ve rarely done the same walk twice, even though the route remains the same. In the summer the cool of the woodland paths is a welcome respite from the sun, dog walkers and families play in the clearings and among the trees. Often an ice-cream van is around; a welcome reward at the end of a hot, sticky walk. In 2013, I was training for a charity trek and these woodlands provided a training ground with a good supply of steep hills and rocky paths. My spaniel, Bess, and I spend a 38

happy summer exploring this web of forest paths. Sadly Bess is no longer with me, but her spirit remains in this woodland and every walk brings me happy memories of our adventures. Autumn offers a wide range of fungi in the trees, on fallen logs and in the grass, emerging as fairy rings in damp grasslands on the edge of the forest. The ancient broadleaves scatter their gold, russet and burnt umber confetti generously and widely. The sound of the wind, the crunch of crisp leaves on a cool day is refreshing. On a wet day, the shelter of the forest takes the intensity out of the rain. Winter doesn’t change the pine forest; it stands rebellious to the seasons. The winds at any time of year do take a toll and the estate teams should be credited with minimising danger and interruption by observing tree health. I recall a visit on a frosty day where catkins appeared to have been laminated in ice and the hedgerows looked to have been scattered with sparkling gemstones. It was magical.

Of course, it helps that there are the National Trust Facilities offering hot drinks, cake, icecreams and, of course, WCs. Although somewhat disrupted due to the pandemic, I welcome the return of a post-walk hot chocolate so I don’t need to bring in a flask.

As the end of April approaches the bluebells carpet the woodland floor, a sight to behold and the cause of my phone memory bulging with my pathetic attempts at the perfect shot. Every year I try, every year I give up and sit and gaze instead. As a mindful walker, the ‘same old route’ can be exciting. Nature evolves and does things in her own time. This being said, she still gets it done. I bring my work here and it’s often noted how restorative the

For trails in and around Stourhead, visit www. trails - please note Covid restrictions and guidelines. Happy walking, do please share your favourites with me at

My favourite time is now. As spring starts to show its face, snowdrops, crocuses

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environment is, how the shifting landscape of woodland, forest and meadows has a calming effect. How the lack of ceilings and walls opens our minds and hearts to more creative thinking.

and primroses demand my attention. Birds are starting to build their nests, butterflies and bumblebees become visible again and the weather is often pleasant enough to pause a while, sit and watch.


@conduitmag 19/03/2021 09:02



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The Conduit Magazine - April 2021  

The Conduit Magazine - April 2021  

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