The Conduit Magazine - November 2021

Page 1

Crossing counties, look inside for info on the best events and activities in West Dorset and South Somerset



Issue 248 November 2021



Win tickets to Bath music gig | What next for Castle Cary lawyer?

How Bradfords is helping energy efficiency | Yeovil dentist makes people smile Pick up a pumpkin … and cook!

Serving Bruton, Castle Cary, Crewkerne, Ilminster, Langport, Sherborne, Somerton, Wincanton, Yeovil & Surrounding Villages

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 10.00am-5.00pm

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

From the Editor If you are very quick you will have the chance to win a pair of tickets for Minterne Gardens’ forthcoming firework display on 29 October. Nothing says the approach of winter more than the colourful displays that light up the sky on the nights around 5 November and although I am always careful to make sure our animals are safe inside, I still enjoy the colour and noise of fireworks! I also appreciate a good live performer and had the opportunity to hear Paloma Faith at the Bath Forum recently which was absolutely brilliant – see our interview on page 28. Another act coming up at The Forum in December is Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel. Readers of The Conduit can enter a competition to win a couple of tickets for the gig on 19 December. Elsewhere in the magazine find out more about our front cover business which specialises in coaching people while they are enjoying nature and turn to our Nature Spot to see some beautiful images of the short-eared owl; he may be visiting some rough grassland near you!





WHAT’S ON p4-12


Info on markets, workshops and social activities

Paloma Faith


Christmas plants and planning ahead

MOTORING p32-34 Test driving a hybrid



The Castle Cary lawyer

How physical activity helps reduce stress

ARTS p23-31

Exhibitions, Music & Movies


p45 An owl called ‘Shortie’

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.


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 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. 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 or call the Schoolreaders team on 01234 924111. SOMERSET Your Year, Your Challenge, Your Hospice For this fundraising campaign, St Margaret’s Hospice Care has created a catalogue of challenges to choose from – walk/cycle any route any distance, daily yoga, the staircase mountain step challenge, go chocolate or alcohol free, and more. Each month, pick a challenge. There is something for everyone! So, why wait? Sign up today! For more details, visit uk/fundraise-your-way. YEOVIL New Breast Cancer Unit Appeal The total is now over £1.86 million and rising. Yeovil Hospital Charity hopes to be able to build the new unit throughout 2022. The target is still at least £2 million, so with this in mind, the charity is still collecting unwanted and broken jewellery and watches to raise money to achieve the amount needed. This unit will be such an asset to Yeovil Hospital and the

Breast Cancer team. To donate, please call Maggie (appeal committee volunteer) on 01963 250108.

Christmas CREWKERNE On Saturday 20 November from 9.30am to 12.00 noon at the Henhayes Centre, there is a Christmas Craft Fair. Stalls to include crafts, resin items, marquetry, knitting, jewellery, clothing, books, and more. The fair also coincides with the Henhayes Big Breakfast! For more information, call 01460 74340 or visit the centre’s Facebook page. SANDFORD ORCAS On Saturday 20 November from 10.00am to 1.00pm at Sandford Orcas Village Hall is the Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair. There will be art, jewellery, books, toys, Christmas gifts and decorations, local village produce, food and wine, plus a tombola in aid of the Hidden Needs Trust. Refreshments available. WELLS On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November from 10.00am to 4.00pm at The Bishop’s Palace, the Christmas Artisan Market returns for its sixth year! There will be a plethora of unique, unusual and inspirational artisans, curated from the heart of the West Country – plenty of gift inspiration, decorations, cards and much more! Get Christmas shopping started with a bang! Tickets £8, child (5-17) £4, under 5s and Palace Members free. Tickets include entry to the whole site (normally £15), available on 01749 988111


Visit David Andrews’ stand selling:


At the Digby Memorial Church Hall, Sherborne

On Saturday 20 November Tel: 01935 814288


Contact: Julie Locke




or at In aid of The Bishop’s Palace.

Cheap Street Church Hall is Coffee Time. Everyone welcome.

WINCANTON On Tuesday 23 November from 10.00am to 4.00pm at Wincanton Racecourse is Wincanton Christmas Fair. Entry £3. In aid of Children’s Hospice South West.

SOUTH PETHERTON Every last Wednesday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at The David Hall, there is a coffee morning. Pop in for a cup of real coffee and a chat. Look around the book and bric-a-brac stalls and, more often than not, listen to some live music. Free entry.

YEOVIL On Sunday 14 November from 11.00am to 4.00pm in Westlands Main Hall is a Christmas Arts and Crafts Fayre. Find Christmas gifts for all the family with this impressive range of arts and crafts stalls. Get into the festive spirit with carols, mince pies and mulled wine! Free entry.

Coffee Morning SANDFORD ORCAS On Saturday 13 November from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Sandford Orcas Village Hall is the Village Café. Enjoy a warm welcome, with cakes, coffee and chat. SHERBORNE Every Thursday from 10.00am to 11.30am at


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)

WEST CAMEL Every Thursday from 9.15am to 11.30am at The Davis Hall, there is a coffee morning. There will be the usual tea, coffee and cake, a selection available from The Bakery, eggs and local produce as available, plus post office. Free entry. WINCANTON On Saturday 13 November from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at St Peter and St Paul Parish Church, there is a coffee morning and Christmas Fayre. Cakes, books, Christmas gifts and raffle. Everyone is

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


WINCANTON SPORTS GROUND Moor Lane, Wincanton BH9 9RB (formerly at Yeovil Show Ground)

Now open after tremendous start!


Room for 400 sellers. All sellers £5 for as much room as required £1 for public car parking. We do not operate a charity car parking scan Strictly no buyers before 12 noon. Strictly no dogs on site Gates open to sellers at 10am, if raining will be on tarmac

Further info: Tel 07979 345914 or Tel: 07479 476809

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •

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 welcome. For more information, call 01963 824503. YEOVIL Every Thursday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at Yeovil Baptist Church, opposite the library, there is a coffee morning. At ‘Jacob’s Well’, hot and cold drinks are served, along with a delicious array of homemade cakes, scones and other goodies. Covid secure premises plus an outdoor seating area. Entry is free, and a warm welcome guaranteed!

Fair SOUTH PETHERTON On Saturday 6 November from 9.30am to 12.30pm at The David Hall, there is a Craft Fair – a ‘Support The Hall’ event. Enjoy a relaxing morning wandering around the delightful stalls of craft producers. Find a ‘one of a kind’ artwork, great for that special Christmas present, or a personal treat. Free Entry.

Festival WINCANTON On Saturday 27 November, 4, 11 and 18 December from 5.00pm to 9.00pm at The Greening the eARTh gallery is the Wincanton Town Festival of Lights – an illuminating trail of light installations themed on sustainability. The Greening the eARTh gallery is located at 7 High Street. For more information, visit @wincantontownfestival.

Fireworks BRUTON On Saturday 6 November at Durslade Farm is the Bruton Community Bonfire Night – an evening of fireworks, food and music. Gates open at 5.00pm, bonfire lighting at 5.30pm and fireworks at 6.30pm. Durslade Farm Shop will remain open until 6.30pm. Roth Bar and Grill is open for reservations from 6.00pm. Tickets £15, under 15s free with accompanying adult. Tickets via Eventbrite. CREWKERNE On Saturday 6 November next to the Stage Coach Inn, there is a bonfire

and fireworks night. Enjoy the full bonfire night experience: food, candy floss, glow ropes and sparklers. Gates open at 6.30pm, fire lighting at 7.00pm and fireworks at 7.30pm. Adult £8, child £2. Parking available. Organised by Crewkerne Rotary Club. LEWESTON On Thursday 4 November is Leweston’s annual fireworks night, with musical entertainment, a giant bonfire and fireworks. Gates open at 6.15pm with fireworks starting at 7.30pm. For more information, visit the Leweston Events Facebook page.


THU 28 OCT - WED 3 NOV 2021

MARTOCK On Sunday 7 November at Martock Recreation Ground is the Martock Parish Council fireworks display. Come along from 6.00pm. Fireworks start about 7.30pm. Free event. No parking on site except for disabled. The lantern parade will leave Bracey Road Rec at 5.00pm. MINTERNE MAGNA On Friday 29 October at Minterne House, there will be a Halloween Firework Display. Come and enjoy a spectacular firework display at Minterne Gardens. Wrap up warm, grab a sparkler and celebrate Halloween with a bang, quite literally! The garden gates open from 6.00pm with the display starting at 7.30pm. A selection of delicious food and drink will be available to purchase on the night. Earlybird tickets £15 per person, on the gate tickets £20 per person, under12s free. Tickets available via the website or through Eventbrite. SHERBORNE On Saturday 6 November at Sherborne Castle is the annual Firework Extravaganza. There’s hot food and drink, a bar and funfair to keep the family entertained before the stunning laser and light show set to music prior to the main fireworks event. Gates open at 4.30pm, laser show starts at 7.00pm and fireworks display starts at 7.30pm. For more information and ticket prices, visit the Sherborne Castle Fireworks Facebook page.

Food ALHAMPTON Levant Takeaway Treats Delicious,

fresh, safe home-cooked food. Collect from the Corner Cottage front door between 5.00pm and 6.00pm (at other times by arrangement). 5* Food & Hygiene rating. Please check the website for the week’s menu and collection day. To place an order, email or text 07779 093020. Payment by BACS. For more information, visit CREWKERNE Every third Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Henhayes Centre, the yummy Henhayes Big Breakfast is served! Last orders at 11.30am. Breakfasts start from £5. Full breakfast menu and vegetarian options are available, with vegan options on request. ILMINSTER The Gallery Café at Ilminster Arts Centre is open for coffee and cakes, and light lunches. Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am to 2.00pm. LOPENHEAD The Trading Post Farm Shop is a hidden gem that delights with its selection of farm grown organic vegetables, locally sourced food, drink and unusual locally crafted gifts – it’s a wholefoods market, a greengrocer’s, a deli and a treasure trove, all rolled into one!

The farm shop supports over 150 local suppliers providing the best produce that the West Country has to offer. Open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 6.00pm and Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm. For more information, visit www. SANDFORD ORCAS The Mitre Inn has set out a number of measures so that guests can have a safe and enjoyable dining experience. Booking essential as seating inside the pub is limited. The outside bar is open for drinkers as is the garden and marquee. Open: Wednesday to Friday from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm; Tuesday to Saturday from 7.00pm to 10.00pm; open for drinks only on Sunday and Monday evening from 7.00pm to 9.30pm. For more information, call 01963 220271, email cheryl@ or visit www. SOUTH PETHERTON Frogmary Green Farm Stop by the Farm and Field Café for a salad bowl, loaded panini or a delicious Clifton coffee and a piece of gorgeous homemade cake. Indoor and outdoor seating.

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •



Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm (last food orders from the kitchen at 3.00pm). Find more details and latest menus via social media or website, or call 01460 242775.

Market BRADFORD ABBAS Every Tuesday from 1.00pm to 2.00pm at the Rose and Crown car park. Local suppliers including meat, veg, bakery, florist and other stalls. CASTLE CARY Every Tuesday from 8.30am to 2.00pm at the Market House is a weekly openair market. 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, freshly-cooked Thai food and sauces, and Jack’s Mac and Cheese. Contact 01963 351763. market. CREWKERNE Every third Saturday from 9.00am to 1.00pm outside Henhayes Centre is Crewkerne Farmers’ Market. It has a comprehensive selection of stalls, offering bread and baked goods, dairy and eggs, drinks, fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, as well as preserves and honey. For more information, visit www. DRAYTON Every third Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at Drayton Village Hall is the monthly market. Produce includes bread, vegetables, meats, butter, cheese, cakes, preserves, honey, desserts, savouries and plants. Refreshments available. Free parking. EAST COKER Every Friday from 3.00pm to 4.00pm at the Recreation Ground. Local suppliers including meat, veg and bakery. ILMINSTER Every Thursday from 8.00am to 5.00pm at the Market House is the Ilminster Town Market. There are a variety of stalls, including a barber. Regular traders sell fruit and veg, bread, cakes, fish, preserves, olives and nuts, cheese, decorative items for the home and plants. For more 6

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. information, contact Ilminster Town Council on 01460 52149.

the market’s Facebook page or call 01458 273008.

LEIGH Every Wednesday from 1.00pm to 2.00pm at Leigh Village Hall car park. Local suppliers.

Every Saturday from 9.00am to 12.00 noon at The Unicorn Hotel skittle alley is the Wessex Country Market offering a wide variety of artisan produce. Home-made baked goods using locally sourced ingredients, jams, marmalades, chutney and pickle – all unique to this market. Locally sourced butter, cheese, meat and fresh vegetables in season. For more information, visit Scrumerton Facebook page or call 01458 273926.

MARTOCK On Saturday 13 November from 10.00am to 1.00pm at the Moorland’s Shopping Precinct is Martock Farmers’ Market, with stalls selling vegetables, cheese, coffee, chicken, beef, cordials, jams, bread, savouries and plants. Any enquiries, please call Fergus on 01935 822202. MILBORNE PORT Every Saturday from 10.00am to 1.00pm at The Square. Local suppliers including meat, veg, bakery, florist and other stalls. ODCOMBE Every Friday from 1.00pm to 2.00pm at Odcombe Village Hall car park. Local suppliers including meat, veg and bakery. SHEPTON MALLET Every Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm at the Market Place is Shepton Mallet market. This historic market offers a wide range of fresh local produce, such as fruit, veg, bread, cheese, seafood, and cider. For more information, visit the market’s Facebook page or call 07912 769731. SHERBORNE On Saturday 6 November from 9.00am to 12.30pm at The Digby Hall, Hound Street, there is an indoor market. Arts, crafts, food and more. Cafe. Toilets. Free entry. On Sunday 21 November from 10.00am to 3.00pm, The Sherborne Market will take place along Cheap Street, Digby Road and Pageant Gardens. This hand-picked and selected artisan market features local producers and suppliers, amazing food, plus arts and crafts. @ thesherbornemarket. Every third Friday from 9.00am to 1.00pm at Cheap Street, there is a Dorset Farmers’ Market. Come and support local Dorset traders with a gorgeous selection of outdoor stalls. For more information, visit www. farmers-markets. SOMERTON Every first Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm at the Buttercross, Market Place, is the Somerton Market. Vintage, retro, artisan food, bike repairs and more. For more information, visit

WEST COKER Every Thursday from 10.00am to 11.00am behind Saunders Butchers. Local suppliers.

Quiz SOUTH PETHERTON On Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm at The David Hall, there is a Quiz Night – a ‘Support The Hall’ event. Come along for an evening full of fun and facts, enjoy a ploughman’s supper and raise money for The David Hall at the same time. Tickets £7, including supper. Maximum four team members. Advanced booking only by Wednesday 17 November. No tickets available on the night. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www.

Sale CREWKERNE Every third Saturday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Henhayes Centre, there is a table-top sale. £5 per table. Set up from 9.00am. To book a table, email office@ Sale to coincide with the Henhayes Big Breakfast! WINCANTON Every Sunday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm at Wincanton Sports Ground is Wincanton car boot sale. Room for 400 sellers; all sellers £5 for as much room as required. Gates open to sellers at 10.00am. Strictly no buyers before 12.00 noon, no dogs on site. £1 for public car parking. For more information, call 07979 345914 or 07479 476809.


ASHILL Every Tuesday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Ashill Village Hall, there is Scottish country dancing with a fully qualified teacher. Only £3.00 per session. It’s a great evening, so come along for fun, fitness and friendship. All welcome. For more information, email Anita Wilson at anitaandjim22@gmail. com. CASTLE CARY Every first Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00 noon at The Shambles, Market House, is Castle Cary Carers Group’s monthly meeting for unpaid carers. Informal chat around large table with chance to ask for private space for peer support. Professional and escapist speakers. Contribution to refreshments. For more information, call Florence Mills on 01963 359081or email CREWKERNE Every Monday from 11.00am to 2.00pm at the Henhayes Centre, there is a Monday Memory Group for the over 55s who suffer from dementia or memory problems. The group is a happy, social session for up to fifteen people, providing those attending with company, comfort, and stimulation, while providing their family members and carers some often much needed respite. Sessions start from £6.50 per person with the option to add drinks and a two-course lunch at an additional cost. To book, email office@henhayescentre. org. Every Tuesday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Henhayes Centre, come along to the Henhayes Computer Group for the over 55s. Get help with computers, tablets, and smart phones in a welcoming and social environment. £3.50 per session, includes tea/coffee and a biscuit. To book, email office@ Every Tuesday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm at the Henhayes Centre, there is a Henhayes Knitters session for the over 55s. Enjoy a knit and natter session, whilst raising funds for the Henhayes Centre. All abilities are welcome. In 2019 the Henhayes Knitters raised an amazing £840 for the Centre! To book, email office@

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •

ET T RK 2 1 S MA OV ST N LA 21: 20 OF

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.


Every Friday from 11.00am at the Henhayes Centre is the new Meet, Greet and Eat group for the over 55s. This consists of many smaller clubs, such as, the chess, bridge, scrabble, craft and book clubs, meeting each week for companionship and camaraderie, followed by a special roast lunch. £11 (members £9.50), includes club of choice and lunch. Tea/coffee and a biscuit on arrival. Twocourse roast lunch, served at 1.00pm, followed by tea/coffee and a chocolate. (Lunch only can also be booked.) To book, email ILMINSTER Every third Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Ilminster Medical Centre is the Ilminster Carers Group’s monthly meeting for unpaid carers. Chat and offer peer support to each person’s needs. Professional and relaxation speakers. Lift to upstairs room. Refreshments from Monks Yard. For more information, contact Alison Birket on 01935 427825/07774 231996 or email a.birket@btinternet. com. SHERBORNE Every second Tuesday from 11.30am to

1.30pm at Sherborne Library, there are ‘Family and Local History’ sessions with the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society. Share stories and get help with family research – all welcome. For more information, call 01935 812683.

the year and is always keen to find volunteers. There is always a warm, friendly welcome and a cuppa, plus a chance to chat. For more information, call 07961 027089, email contact. or visit www.

ArtsLink Fizz! groups are restarting! Parkinson’s Dance, Art for Memory and Art for Parents are all restarting under new management! All previous participants have been offered a place, the same wonderful tutors will lead the groups and Kate Osman, who manged this project for ArtsLink, is helping with the transition to new management. For further information, contact Kate at uk.

WINCANTON Every second Monday from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at the Balsam Centre is Wincanton and Bruton Carers Group’s monthly meeting for unpaid carers. Informal chat and socialise around a large group table. Contribution to refreshments. For more information, call 01963 33397 or email janeupsall@balsamcentre.

STALBRIDGE Every last Monday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm at Stalbridge Village Hall is the Stalbridge Cancer & Recovery Support group (SCARS) monthly meeting. SCARS offers friendship, information and support in a caring and confidential environment to cancer sufferers and survivors, their families and friends. SCARS, a self-funding group, holds fundraising events throughout


YEOVIL On Wednesday 24 November from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at Mudford Rec Café is the first meeting of the Yeovil Carers Support Group. Looking after the other half, family or friend who is ill, elderly, disabled or needs a bit of help? Come along and chat with others who are also recognised as unpaid carers to share laughs, ideas and support in a relaxed atmosphere. Regular professional speakers and signposting. For more information, contact Jacky on 07836 762246. Every Friday at 1.00pm at The Gateway, Yeovil Community Church, there is a Yeovil Good Afternoon Choir session with conductor Chris Grabham. No auditions. No charge for the first rehearsal. Sing for fun – everyone welcome. For more information, visit www.goodafternoonchoir. org or call 01761 472468.


Wincanton Racecourse

Tuesday 23rd November 10-4pm: £3 entry

in aid of


CREWKERNE Every Monday and Thursday from 9.30am to 10.30am at the Henhayes Centre is Physio Fit for the over 55s. A chair-based exercise/physio for all abilities. aimed at those suffering with mobility issues or recovering from health problems. £4 (members £3). To book, email Every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 4.00pm at the Henhayes Centre, there are Tai Chi sessions. This is gentle but potent exercise with a calm mind – relax, breathe and move. Open to all ages and abilities, including complete beginners. £7 per session. To

book, email blftcsomerset@ Every Thursday at the Henhayes Centre, there are two new Yoga classes for the over 55s. From 9.15am to 10.30am is Gentle Yoga, suitable for beginners or those wishing to go at a slower pace. From 10.45am to 12.00 noon is Mixed Ability, a friendly and relaxed class, suitable for all, with or without previous experience. £7.50 (members £5.50). To book, email office@ Every Friday from 9.30am to 10.30am at the Henhayes Centre, there is a Keep Fit class for the over 55s. A weekly, fun workout session to get the blood pumping and body moving! £4.50 (members £3.50). To book, email office@henhayescentre. org. SHERBORNE Every Monday and Thursday at 7.30pm at Leweston School, there are Sherborne Touch sessions. Touch rugby is a minimal contact game for men and women, young and old, with an emphasis on fitness and fun. No experience necessary, no need to book, just pitch up and play. £2 a session (first four are free!) For more information, call 07887 800803 or visit www.sherbornetouch.

Talk CASTLE CARY On Tuesday 2 November at 8.00pm at Caryford Hall, the South East Area Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust will restart its monthly wildlife talks with a talk about ‘The Dynamic World of Hedgerows’. Tea and coffee from 7.30pm. Entry £3, children free. On Tuesday 9 November at 7.00pm at The Market House, Café Scientifique Somerset’s talk is about ‘Saving the Planet with Fungi or Saving the Planet from Fungi’. The speaker, Daniel Henk of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, will be looking at the powerful duality of these commonly found organisms in healing or harming humanity. Doors open 6.30pm. These sessions will take place on the second Tuesday of every month from October to June. For more information, contact Colleen

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •

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. Bower on 07375 890751 or email

novel. Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets £5, available from Winstone’s, Sherborne. For more information, call 01935 816128 or email winstonebooks1@gmail. com.

HENSTRIDGE On Tuesday 2 November at 3.00pm at Henstridge Village Hall, there is a Blackmore Vale u3a talk about medieval carols, which were sung all year round, not just at Christmas. Early and medieval music specialist Dr Frances Eustace will talk about their early origins as she plays on a number of instruments while jigging about and making fun. Frances aims to dispel the post-Victorian romantic view of medieval Christmas celebrations and carolling and give a more realistic impression, some of which was very irreligious! Doors open 2.15pm. Members £1.50, visitors £2.50, Includes tea and cakes. For more information about Blackmore Vale u3a, call 01963 371544 or visit www.u3a.

On Thursday 11 November at 7.00pm at The Digby Hall, a public meeting will be held to consider the development of a Community Land Trust (CLT) in Sherborne. A CLT aims to provide really affordable housing for those who struggle to get on the traditional housing ladder. It seeks out land at reduced price, oversees the building of the homes and manages the housing scheme in a way that restricts buyers to those in Sherborne. Learn all about CLTs at this meeting. Anyone interested should register in advance by emailing their name to by Wednesday 10 November.

SHERBORNE On Thursday 28 October at 7.00pm at Cheap Street Church, come and meet the multi-award-winning crime novelist, Elly Griffiths, author of the Dr Ruth Galloway novels. Elly will be talking about her new book The Midnight Hour, a Brighton mystery

On Wednesday 17 November at 7.30pm at the Digby Memorial Church Hall is the monthly meeting of the Sherborne branch of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. This month’s talk is ‘Otters and the Stour Valley Way’ by Ken Hutchinson. Doors open at 7.00pm. Cost £3, cash please.




It’s not too late to enter our competition to win

two tickets to the Halloween Fireworks at Dorset’s Minterne House and Gardens taking place on

Friday 29 October. Gates open at 6pm and the fireworks start at 7.30pm.

Tickets available from To enter just answer the following question:

What county is home to Minterne House and

Gardens? Send answers by 11am on Friday 29

October with your name and contact details and the subject heading ‘Firework competition’ to or post it to the Conduit address on p3. Good luck and be quick!

To advertise – 01935 424724 • email: •


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


Free initial consultation

A personal and friendly approach to business that will work for you Offices at Yeovil, Crewkerne & Langport 01460 279000 For more information, call 01935 872742. On Friday 26 November from 3.00pm to 4.00pm at Sherborne Library, join local author Jackie Winter for a talk about her book Exploring the Quiet Lanes and Villages of West Dorset with an accompanying photo presentation. Booking is essential. Book online via Eventbrite or call 01935 812683. Every Monday from 2.00pm to 3.30pm at Sherborne Library, there is a calm and relaxed shared reading session ‘Feel Better with a Book’. Come along to read with others and have group discussions. For more information, call 01935 812683. Every Thursday during termtime from 1.00pm to 3.00pm at Sherborne Library, there is

‘The Scribes Writing Group’. Come along to share personal work, discuss how to improve and receive inspiration and ideas from others. For more information, call 01935 812683. WINCANTON On Friday 5 November at 7.30pm at Wincanton Memorial Hall is a Wincanton & District Gardeners Association is hosting a talk ‘Victorian Gardening’ by Christine Stones. Refreshments available. Raffle. Membership renewal available, £5 per annum. All are welcome, including new members. For more information, call 01963 33160. YEOVIL On Friday 5 November at 7.30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Yeovil Archaeological and Local History Society has an interesting talk ‘St Ivel: The History of Aplin and Barrett’.

The speaker is Joseph Lewis, heritage coordinator at the South Somerset Heritage Collection. Guests £2 at the door. Masks may be removed in the meeting room, after registration. For more information, contact James Fison on 01935 477174. For more information, visit www.yalhs. or the group’s Facebook page. YETMINSTER On Wednesday 10 November at 2.30pm at Yetminster Jubilee Hall, Yetminster History Society is hosting a talk ‘The Cat and the Fiddle: Images of Musical Humour from the Middle Ages to Modern Times’ by Jeremy Barlow, an eminent musician, musicologist, lecturer and author. Jeremy’s talk will range from pigs playing bagpipes, Hogarth, and Victorian children’s book illustrations to Gerard Hoffnung and Ronald Searle, with music and illustrations. A delight for lovers of political history and music! All welcome.

Walk MARTOCK Every third Friday at 9.30am at Martock Precinct is the start of the Martock Health Walk. This is a friendly walk lasting about 60 mins led by trained volunteers at a pace suitable to the group. Booking is essential so that contact details can be recorded for the NHS Track and Trace to ensure

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Tel: 01258 472564

Tel: 01935 389665

WELLS Until Sunday 31 October from 10.00am at The Bishop’s Palace, join in the fun family Autumn Treasure Hunt during the October half term. Collect a trail from the Visitor Reception and follow the clues around the site. To find out more, visit YETMINSTER On Saturday 30 October at 10.30am at the Old Gallery café, join a tour of the village – a unique historical gem – with local Blue Badge guide Paul Birbeck. Meet at the cafe. £10. Book at www. For more information, visit the website or call 07989 453966.

Workshop HARDINGTON MANDEVILLE From Tuesday 9 November to Tuesday 14 December at 2.00pm at Hardington Mandeville Village Hall, there is a WEA Coker Branch course entitled ‘Lorna Doone’ with tutor Greta de Plage. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone is a novel set in the seventeenth century, at the time of the Monmouth Rebellion. However, this novel, published just over 150 years ago, shows how the text was shaped by the cultural influences of the century in which it was written. The course comprises six sessions. Fee £36. To register, visit www. or call 0300 303 3464. Local contact: Viv (01935 863954). ILMINSTER On Friday 29 October from 10.00am to 3.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a one-day ‘Beginners Sewing Machine – Cushion’ workshop with Paula Simpson. Learn how to make a simple patchwork cushion using cotton fabrics, old and new. Or continue to develop the skills learnt in the previous workshop (Saturday 23 October). Cost £35. Lunch, 12.15pm to 12.45pm, bring a packed lunch or visit the cafe. For more information and to book, email Paula at hello@ www. On Saturday 30 October from 10.30am to 1.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a one-day ‘Introduction to Calligraphy’

www.EB *Terms & Conditions apply. Sold as an agent of Euronics Limited. All rights reserved. All offers are subject to availability while stocks last. Delivery & Installation charges may apply. Exclusions & radius applies. See in-store for full details. Images for illustration purposes only. Copyright Euronics 2021. E&OE September 2021.


everyone’s safety. To book a place, contact Maggie 01935 824252 or Pam 01935 826429.

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16/08/2021 12:34

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.


Contact us for your free, no obligation quote; Phone: 01935 509057 Freephone: 0800 2425012 Mobile: 07853 275379 Email: workshop with Ruth Sutherland. The perfect taster session in the art of calligraphy; learn some of the basics in hand lettering, using pen and ink with step-by-step instruction and bite-size tips and tricks. Perfect for beginners. Cost £30. To book, email or call 01460 54973. On Tuesday 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November and 7 December from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a ‘Figure Drawing’ class with Heather Ford. Improve drawing skills and discover the joy of drawing from life in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Suitable for beginners as well as those with more experience. Bring along materials or use Heather’s for just £2. £16 per session. To book, email or call 01460 54973.

From Wednesday 3 November to Wednesday 8 December from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a weekly ‘Acrylic Paintings’ workshop. Explore and develop a personal painting style in this wonderfully versatile medium. This supportive and friendly workshop is suitable for students of all abilities, with particular attention given to individual needs. £90 for six workshops. To book, email or call 01460 54973. On Saturday 13 November from 10.00am to 2.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a one-day ‘I love Chickens!’ free-motion machine embroidery workshop with textile artist and designer Gary Mills. Chickens, always a firm favourite as a cheerful motif design, is an ideal project to practise the skill of free-motion embroidery using a simple sewing machine. Suitable for beginners or those with some machine sewing experience. Cost £40 plus £10 for materials. To book, email or call 01460 54973. www.themeetinghouse. From Wednesday 17 November to Wednesday 15 December from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a weekly ‘Experimental Drawing and Printing with Nature’ workshop with Julia McKenzie. During this observational ink drawing and printmaking course, the student will create expressive drawings using tools found in the natural world and the man-made environment, and will then translate the drawings into prints using various techniques. Suitable for all levels. Five-week course £100, including materials. To book, email or call 01460 54973. On Friday 19 November from 10.00am to 3.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a


one-day ‘Christmas Gift Felting’ workshop with Geraldine Field. Try 3D needle felting and make a Christmas decoration, or perhaps wet felting and create a scarf or glasses case as a gift for someone this Christmas. Suitable for complete beginners as well as those with a little experience. Cost £30 (materials available to purchase on the day if needed). To book, email or call 01460 54973. On Friday 26 November from 10.00am to 12.30pm or from 1.15pm to 3.45pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a half-day ‘Slow Stitch – Scandi Xmas Decorations’ workshop with Paula Simpson. Come along for a fun session of creating and stitching in the Scandinavian style – create Christmas tree decorations or gifts for friends and family. Explore how simple embroidery stitches can be used to create interesting designs. Cost £20 per session (book for one or both!). For more information and to book, email Paula at SHERBORNE Art Classes are back at The Digby Hall! ‘Language of Drawing’ with Alex Cree on Mondays, ‘Oils Open Studio’ with James Budden on Wednesdays, ‘Understanding Oils’ with James Budden on Wednesdays, ‘Portraiture’ with James Budden on Fridays, ‘Life Drawing’ with Susan R Hughes on Fridays. For more information and to book, visit the new website at www. SOMERTON Every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at The Courthouse, Market Place, is a weekly life drawing session. Tea and coffee provided. Please bring along drawing materials. Limited numbers, booking essential. £12 per session. Book online at

Win tickets to STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel play Bath Forum on 17 December and The Conduit has two tickets to give away! Steve Harley celebrates his 48th year in music in 2021 and continues to play concerts around the world. He says that playing live is more than a job, it’s almost his life’s blood. Considered one of the most charismatic live performers at work today, the original Cockney Rebel tours with a full six-piece rock band and also fronts the Steve Harley Acoustic Band. Music is very much still his first love. ‘We see the world and play to great audiences; how good is that! I see great cities and their galleries and museums in our downtime, beautiful landscapes from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean coast, all in my life as a touring musician. It’s still the greatest job on earth!’ Harley said recently.

The live shows include the big hit singles, like ‘Judy Teen’, ‘Mr Soft’, ‘Love’s A Prima Donna’, the legendary ‘Sebastian’, as well as the evergreen ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)’ – that song is noted by PRS as one of the most-played songs in history on British Radio. Steve was awarded a Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Songwriters, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for Acoustic Music by the British Festival of Acoustic Music in 2018.

To enter just answer the following question: What song has been noted by PRS as one of the most-played songs in history on British Radio? Send answers by Monday 6 Dec with your name and contact details and the subject heading ‘Steve Harley competition’ to info@ or post it to the Conduit address on p3. Good luck!

Recent critical acclaim has included such comments such as ‘A consummate professional at the top of his game’ and ‘I doubt there was a better gig anywhere in the world last night. Seriously’ – Daily Mail reporter. Rod Stewart, who has covered Steve’s song ‘A Friend for Life’, describes him as ‘One of the greatest lyricists Britain has produced.’

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News and Articles: FRIDAY, 12 NOVEMBER

The Daisy Chain

Advertisements: MONDAY, 15 NOVEMBER

I bought an old book the other day, The cover worn, and pages frayed. Tom Brown’s School Days, a great tale indeed, I turned the pages and began to read. Enjoying my cup of tea and biscuit too, I came across crumpled well-pressed tissue.

Questions for the Qualified

Peeling it gently open, there it remained, Linked together a perfect daisy chain.

Tough times require a community willing to help and support one another. Due to the restrictions in place in Somerset (and the nation) we have had to halt our popular free Legal Clinics in the villages/towns dotted around South Somerset.

I admired the faded pretty petals there, Imagining the person taking such care. Reading on as it was such a good book, A few days later, I took another look. To Robert Christmas 1921, love from Mum, On inside cover, message written to her son. Had Robert made the daisy chain long ago? For his sweetheart, only he would know. Either way I felt the sentiment, Of a floral memory, and a special present. Andrew Haylock


We have endeavoured to continue to help our community by offering other free services such as The Friendly Law Podcast which covers a range of important legal topics, but we would like to offer a further solution: The Pardoes Free Legal Helpline will commence on the 22 February and will run every Monday between 16:00 and 18:00. It will be manned by qualified staff

Please book an appointment using our enquiry form at the bottom of our website homepage Alternatively, please check our website/social media platforms @PardoesLLP to find out who will be taking calls and their number. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Bishop's Palace, Wells

Christmas Artisan Market 6-7 November 2021 10am-4pm decorationS, cards, unique, hand-made gifts & more!


The Legal Helpline

It is our ambition that dedicating this time to give free legal help will ease some people’s worries and give back to the community of which we have been a proud member for over 100 years.

Special discounted entry: £8 Adults, £4 Child 5-18

Book Online at: @PardoesLLP


Low Maintenance Garden Railings


Guaranteed not to corrode or flake for 10 years, our garden railings also benefit from being another low maintenance product from ColourFence that you can fit, forget and simply enjoy. ColourRail garden railings are a superior alternative to wrought iron railings, ideal for where full screening is not required. It can be mounted free-standing or between existing pillars or on top of walls. Available in Flat top, Spear, Loop & Spear, Ball Top and Ball & Loop finishes.

Six colours are offered as standard including cream, blue, green, brown, anthracite grey and gloss black. Both railings and gates are finished by hand in our own workshops and are high quality, economic and very attractive alternative to more costly wrought or cast iron.

Manufactured from 16mm galvanized steel tube, it is available in a number of standard heights up to 1.5m or made to measure. Our garden railings come at a standard width of 2.4m but can be cut down according to your needs.

To arrange a free site survey and no-obligation quotation call 01935 481013 or for more information visit www.







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

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

PLANTS AS CHRISTMAS PRESENTS By Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group and chairman of the Garden Centre Association

Christmas is coming and if we are careful and lucky, we may be able to celebrate this year, with family and friends visiting – remember the old days? It’s great to be able to fill the house with natural colour and scent as well as the usual decorations. A few years ago, we were having a New Year’s Eve party with lots of friends coming round and I had decided to decorate with poinsettias and amaryllis. If you don’t know amaryllis, they are large trumpet flowers on tall stems in dramatic colours of red, white, pink and sometimes bicoloured too. We stock some fabulous and very large amaryllis bulbs, and the rule is the larger the bulb the more flowers will appear. I potted them on in early December and they began to grow well, but still to my astonishment, they all began to flower in time for New Year’s Eve. Whereas the celebration was for one night, the flowers kept going and in fact were still going until May! I added to the collection in subsequent years and kept repotting my original batch and now four years on, I had flowers 14

until August and then another came back into flower in midSeptember. Amaryllis make a great Christmas present to a friend or to oneself, as do many other indoor bulbs. Hyacinths can be very useful with their glorious colours and powerful scent. These come from ‘prepared’ bulbs planted in early September. However, if you’ve missed out on hyacinths at the bulb stage then our growers grow them as individual pots and then group together those at the same stage to ensure even flowering. We have them as planted bowls but also as individuals if you are doing your own arrangement. Other bulbs include the powerfully scented Paperwhites, a form of narcissi, which are so easy to grow and great value too. In normal temperatures in the house, they take around six weeks from potting until flowering. My suggestion is to grow them in cool conditions so that they stay sturdy and robust,

and then gently increase the warmth to get them into flower. Cyclamen are also a seasonal favourite. They are grown from corms (a sort of bulb) but the indoor types are available as ready grown plants and can be kept from year to year. They enjoy cool conditions and must be watered from the base to keep them in good form. What the plant doesn’t drink after a quarter of an hour can be tipped away leaving the plant in a dry saucer. The flower colours are

stunning from purest white to darkest reds and purples, as is the range of sizes from minis through to the very large. Such bulbs in bud or flower at Christmas make wonderful presents and with our ecofriendly gift wrapping and free delivery service this can be an ideal gift. But of course, don’t forget that it’s important to cheer ourselves up too so, go on, treat yourself!

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

01935 330 095 01460 353 046

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Sandhurst Garden Design Julie Haylock Garden Designer

By Julie Haylock, Sandhurst Garden Design

20 Sandhurst Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2LG

As the nights draw in and the days become shorter, there is still lots to enjoy in the garden. The low sunlight at this time of year highlights the last of any autumn colour in the borders and makes the red, yellow, and orange berries, foliage, and hips glow like the embers of a bonfire.

Viburnum Opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’ or guelder rose is a yellow-fruited shrub making an excellent large specimen in the garden. In June, this shrub has white lacecap blooms that develop into bunches of translucent amber bead-like berries.

Perennials like Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’, which in late summer and autumn had deep pink flower heads loved by bees, now turn a tawny red as seed heads die back and look great covered by a layer of sparkling frost.

At this time of year some varieties of roses produce fantastic hips of all shapes, colour and size, and one of them is Rosea Moyesii ‘Geranium’. The arching habit of this Chinese species of rose has scarlet blooms early on and then delivers with a bang again later in the year bearing bright red hips on thin stalks.

Trees like Betula Jacquemontii and Prunus Serrula have great bark colour and texture, and when combined with the stems of Cornus Midwinter Fire or the golden grass stems of Stipa Gigantea look stunning backlit by the sun and underplanted with winter-flowering heather and bulbs. Evergreens in your garden give it structure. Here is my selection of some shrubs that look great at this time of year. Ceratostigma Willmottianum; this dainty trueblue shrub likes to be in a sheltered spot, in well-drained soil. This shrub has tightly packed flower heads that open a few at a time.

Clerodendrum Trichotomum var. Fargesii; I remember the first time I saw this exoticlooking shrub growing in full sun in a sheltered garden on Exmoor. This large deciduous shrub from China produces fragrant sprays of white flowers in summer followed by shiny berries surrounded by beetroot-coloured bracts that start green before turning to duck-egg blue which then ripen to a dark teal colour. November is the perfect time to plant your tulip bulbs in beds and borders. Last year I

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

planted combinations of tulips in containers, and I will do the same again this year. Choose a couple of varieties that complement each other. Tulips do not like standing in wet soil so place some crocks over the drainage hole in the base of your container and add a layer of grit. Place the first layer of bulbs in the base of the container on a layer of compost and then cover with another layer of compost. Add a second or even third layer of bulbs depending on the size of your container and remember to add a label recording which bulbs you have planted in which containers. Then finally to make the container look attractive until the bulbs pop up, add winter flowering pansies for an instant splash of colour. Until next time, Julie


In order to really make the most of your outdoor space, it should be usable all year round, not just in the summer. Now that we’re getting into the cold, gloomy winter months, we can feel as though there are obstacles for outdoor use, so many of us decide to retreat indoors to avoid the cold. However, with the help of heating and lighting, the outdoors can also become a luxurious and comfortable outdoor living space during winter as well as summer. All our patio roof structures are fully watertight when closed which protects the space from any rain or snow. For further protection and warmth, especially in the colder months, you can choose to add sliding glass doors and blinds to your construction which would create the cosy indoor feeling. The main reason people tend to

stick to the indoors in the colder months is due to the freezing cold weather. To be able to ensure that you can enjoy your outdoor space at a comfortable temperature all year round, you can add heaters to the glass room. The heaters, being radiant, only heat up your body and not your surroundings so there is no need to worry about burning yourself on anything around you. Winter months offer the least amount of daylight which is why adding LED lighting would be a bonus, whether you choose the LED spotlights, LED linear lights, or both. Incorporating good lighting into your outdoor space will provide an additional feeling of warmth and comfort. The linear lighting is RGB which means you can change it to any colour you desire.

and sometimes we may not know where to store it. With our garden room you can be certain that your furniture is safe. This is where our glass doors come into play; they seal everything safely inside when they are closed. During fairer weather you can open them so you can enjoy the fresh winter breeze, indoors. The roofs on all of our sunrooms are completely watertight, as mentioned above, but they also

won’t cave in under the weight of the snow either. This means you can rest easy knowing that you and all your belongings will be safe. A sunroom is perfect for winter because it provides you with space, space for gatherings over Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year; the whole holiday season in fact. They will provide a warm and homely atmosphere for all to enjoy!

Outdoor furniture often requires protection from winter weather

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DO YOU HAVE A FINANCIAL PLAN? By Mark Salter, Fort Financial Planning Remember, Remember the 5th November!

might need to enjoy yourselves and perhaps help the children financially.

Firework night is nearly upon us and hopefully this year we will all be able to celebrate with some sparklers.

The following steps will help you create a solid financial plan:

We may remember this date each year, but do we remember to check our finances each year? Do we have a financial plan? It’s vital to keep on top of what you have and haven’t accomplished. An annual financial plan is a way to determine where you are financially at a particular moment. This means taking into consideration all your assets – how much you get paid, what’s in your savings and current accounts, how much is in your retirement fund – as well as your liabilities, including loans, credit cards, and other personal debts. Don’t forget to include things like your mortgage or rent, plus utility bills and other monthly expenses. This snapshot should also factor in what your goals are and what you’ll need to accomplish in order to get there. This can include things such as when you would like to be mortgage free, do you want to retire early or reduce your working week and how much money you think you

Establish your financial goals – having financial goals is the foundation for your financial success however ensure that they are well defined and prioritised accordingly. Start an emergency fund – it is important that one of your goals includes a plan to deal with emergencies which may occur. You want to make sure that you are prepared to weather a storm. Pay off debt – sadly, you can’t really kickstart your future if you are carrying a ton of debt. It is important to pay off any debt, so you may need to create a debt repayment strategy which is consistent. Create a financial plan to invest – investing is key to building wealth. Well-defined objectives and goals are needed as well as understanding that investing is a long-term activity which needs commitment in order to gain rewards. Get the right insurance – after working hard to earn your money,

the last thing you want is an unplanned occurrence to wipe you out. Ensure that you and your family are adequately protected in the event of sickness or death. Create a plan for retirement – in order to have your desired lifestyle in retirement you will need to plan for it adequately. You'll need to determine how much you are going to need to retire, of course taking inflation into consideration, and how you plan to save and invest in advance for that period of your life. Plan for taxes – not planning for taxes can impact your cash flow in a major way. In addition, you will definitely want to look into tax savings investment options and stay up to speed on any relevant tax deductions you can apply to help you save money on tax payments. Create an estate plan – estate planning is not something a lot of people like to think about, but it's essential! It allows you to determine exactly what happens to your assets after you are gone.

It involves listing out all your assets, creating a will, and making it accessible to the people who need to have access to it. Review your financial plan frequently – once you have your financial plan in place, it’s important to review your plan frequently and make the necessary adjustments if your goals or the circumstances around your life change. At Fort Financial Planning we offer a fully comprehensive financial service which includes building financial plans for our clients and in turn helping them achieve their financial and life goals.


By Dean Holloway

Holloway Insurance Services has been sharing ways that you can reduce your insurance premium spend and ensure you are effectively covered. This month we are explaining the types of insurance that your business may need, so you can begin to consider what you may want to buy. • Employers’ liability is mandatory for all UK employers. It covers legal and compensation costs for bodily injuries or diseases their employees may suffer in the course of their employment, including through stress. • Property protects your commercial buildings and contents from a broad range of risks. Check that you have your outdoor equipment covered. • Business interruption recoups lost income when an event causes your business to be unable to operate as usual eg fire or storm. Check exactly what is covered in yours. 16

• Public liability covers you for third-party injury and property damage arising from your business’s operations or property. This is not a replacement for a good risk assessment. • Product liability insures against damages and costs arising from accidental injury or damage caused by products supplied by your business, e.g. if your product fails and causes a fire. • Directors and Officers insurance is intended to protect directors from personal losses against their alleged wrongful acts such as a breach of health and safety policy. It covers the legal defence cost and compensation. • Cyber Insurance is vital in today’s world but not yet mandatory. Our insurance protects you against the following but check to see exactly what yours offers:

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Future Farming Resilience Free, tailored one to one advice, webinars and business skills development workshops to help farmers and land managers navigate the changes brought about by the Agricultural Transition.

By Patricia Marks ‘Sausage Wars’

about individual businesses and how they can do better for themselves, their customers and their industry.

‘Fallen stock – What happens to the UK’s unwanted pigs?’ ‘Christmas meats' under threat due to shortage of butchers' These are some of the recent newspaper headlines about the meat industry, so why does this matter to me? Well, over the last couple of weeks I have found myself as a ‘Saturday butcher’s assistant’ in a small boutique artisan purveyor of the finest meats and produce in Castle Cary, supporting my husband who helps our friend Andrew. It is such a significant change from my normal day-to-day activity as the CEO of a business support agency and a very enjoyable switch. The switch got me thinking

In the butcher’s shop, I found myself discussing the meatrelated news headlines with customers, commenting on the state of the economy connected to the cost of food, and debating whether the education system in the UK is fit for purpose given the lack of butchers. I provided cooking suggestions for recipes and chatted about the local carnival and what it meant for the town. Fortunately, I have a good knowledge of the meat industry through my husband and the work I do with DEFRA, I keep abreast of the UK economic situation for my real job, I am an Enterprise Advisor in a local school, I can



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cook and I read The Conduit advertising the carnival. Clearly when you are a micro or small business lead, you must be aware of so many things to be able to engage and connect with your key stakeholders. For me it’s about knowing, showing and growing. Knowing – once in business it is essential to keep on knowing what is happening in your business world – both the micro- and macro-operating environments. Keep an eye on both national and local issues. For a butcher it may be the veganism and emissions debates as well as local planning issues around new housing estates. Knowing the sector trends that might affect you or your key stakeholders – for a butcher it may focus around changing diets, the need for new products, the concern around allergens and the lack of time people have to cook. Knowing what is newsworthy – for a butcher, pork is a topic people want to talk about as is the cost of the Christmas meal this year. A poorly skilled labour force and lack of people coming into the industry is another hot topic. It’s good to know all of these things to help support your business. Next comes the showing of it.

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01935 433000


Showing as a business you are up to date with the latest trends demonstrates the business is progressive and responsive. For a butcher, it may be the development of a new sausage flavour or providing a recipe card. Show support for local causes and activities – for a butcher, have a petition in the shop for people to sign, provide a burger stand at the local carnival and give a prize for a local charity event.

Get in touch to learn more and register

01458 254 331

prepared to talk with people and exchange views and opinions. Encourage the debate. A butcher’s shop is a great place to debate whilst waiting for a shoulder of lamb to be boned and rolled. All this showing and knowing are the extra building blocks for business growth – essential for business survival. Most businesses grow to become bigger, through increasing sales or market share, but size isn't the only driver. Many other benefits motivate businesses to grow. For example: • greater sustainability or resilience in the market • lower costs – due to economies of scale • greater market dominance • greater buying and bargaining power • ability to mitigate commercial risks through diversification • ability to reduce the threat of competition • ability to survive market fluctuations and downturns • ability to attract the best talent and staff Growth may not be feasible or practical for all businesses but stagnating is likely to lead to missed opportunities and vulnerability. It’s amazing what you need to know to be an SME lead and what a Saturday in a different business can teach you!

Show your knowledge of industry/ sector/local issues by being

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Managing and growing your own business can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling ways of spending your life. For many it comes second only to family life. So it’s dispiriting to see the vibrant business that consumes so much of your energy and your waking thoughts reduced by your accounting system (or maybe your bookkeeper or accountant) to a sheet of lifeless numbers. Last month I wrote about the importance of understanding the business model – the story of how a business creates value for its customers, delivers value and captures value – before starting to examine the numbers. Financial reports and accounts tend to all look very similar, but every business is different, reflecting the unique skills and personalities of its owners as well as the tastes and requirements of its customers. So the numbers that are important will be different for each business. Modern accounting systems like QuickBooks and Xero do a pretty good job of presenting financial information in dashboards with clear tables and good-looking charts. What they are not so good at is identifying which of the numbers, ratios and trends are most important. And what about the numbers that don’t even appear in the accounting system? Let’s look at some examples. For a hairdresser the numbers that drive profitability would include: number of regular customers, how often they have their hair done, how long they remain as customers,

how much they spend on each visit, premises costs, and the number of appointments per stylist and their employment costs. These numbers matter because they can be worked on and they directly affect profits: persuading the average client to rebook every five weeks instead of six will boost sales by 20%. Similar numbers will also apply if you’re managing a restaurant. But you will also want to break down sales and margins per cover between different sessions and different days. And it’s important to monitor margins on individual dishes and know how much is being lost to wastage. For a subscription business (maybe a gym, a software business or a weekly vegetable box company) some of the critical numbers are: monthly recurring revenue, the rate at which customers fail to renew (churn), the marketing cost to acquire each new customer, and the cost of supplying each customer with their weekly hit of organic veg. What numbers are important in your business? If you’re struggling to uncover them I’d suggest you don’t start with your accounts, but think about how your business creates value for its customers, how it delivers value to them and how it uses pricing to capture value. Getting better at these three things will inevitably improve profitability. If you own a small business and you’d like to tell me about how you create, deliver and capture value, I’d love to talk to you. You can get in touch via my website



USERNAMES AND PASSWORDS: THAT OLD CHESTNUT! By James Flynn, Milborne Port Computers Living the digital world of 2021 means we’ve become accustomed to usernames and passwords. They are used in everything you do online; from Amazon to Tesco, BBC to email; in fact, it’s been estimated that we each have over thirty logins, and that number is on the rise. But why do we even need all these usernames and passwords in the twenty-first century? Computer passwords are a modern-day adaptation of techniques soldiers have used since ancient times to verify who is approaching in the dark. ‘Who goes there; friend or foe?’. ‘It’s me, James’. ‘… and what’s your password’. ‘********’. ‘OK! You can come in from the dark’. The importance of passwords today is that you are protecting your whole persona against theft and misrepresentation. So, let’s start at the beginning. In most cases your username is your email address; some older websites force you to choose a name or word, but usually want your email address as well. It is therefore imperative that you should use a separate and very secure password for your email account as, once hacked, your email account can be used to reset passwords for just about everything else! I usually recommend at least 10 characters long and at least one each of uppercase, lowercase, number and symbol. It doesn’t have to be difficult to remember either; take your two first names (mine are James and William) then mix it up a bit – 8illi@m>jAme5 – for instance. Avoid the commonest

number symbol combination which is 9 and !. After that you just need to consider the importance of each login and assign a suitable password to each. If you must write them down, then hide them somewhere sensible and not with your computer on a sticky note for the world to see. I tend to use permutations on a theme when choosing a new password – something simple would be abcd1234 then Abcd1234 then Abcd1234! then DcAb4312! etc. Then there is two-factor authentication (2FA). This is a second layer of security to protect an account or system. Users must go through two layers of security before being granted access and this is usually a password and PIN, or password and code supplied by text message. Highly recommended for peace of mind, but a bit of a faff sometimes. Finally, if asked to set up memorable information, try to be a bit creative – mother’s maiden name = bicycle; favourite colour = Austin Allegro; first job = yellow. I’ve never seen the need to change a password unless you think it might have become compromised or if odd things start happening. Just make sure you keep that email password secure, and if you ever have to change your email address, then remember that you’ll have to change all your online accounts as well to match! The choice as always is yours, but if you think you need advice, you know where to come.



Battens Lawyer gives her personal vision for the town

By Sally Manning, Battens Solicitors Battens Solicitors is a 300-year-old law firm with long established roots in the community across Somerset and Dorset. Sally Manning heads the firm’s Castle Cary office in Fore Street. Here, she gives The Conduit an insight into what makes her tick as a lawyer and what the future holds post pandemic for her team in Castle Cary. When asked why I chose to be a lawyer I always give the same answer: I like to help people. It still motivates me today and has been especially important during my time working through the challenges of the pandemic. I must confess that my first career choice was to teach English to 11-18 year olds. I liked the idea of assisting students to achieve what they could. I took my degree in English and started my PGCE, but soon decided that though I would be someone who always supported teachers and teaching, it would not be from within the profession. I still had the drive to help others and so while I was working at Battens as a paralegal I decided I wanted to qualify as a lawyer. My heart is very much in the West Country. I was born in Sherborne and worked for Battens in Yeovil and Sherborne before setting up a new office in my home town of Castle Cary. Living and working in the same town is a huge bonus. I think it makes it easier for me to build good relationships with my clients. They often spot me in town shopping and it’s great to say hello. Although our Castle Cary office is small in size we have a wide reach, and Battens can offer help from all our departments right across the practice. I really want people to be aware of this. The Castle Cary office acts as a legal hub, where

clients can tap into a broad range of specialist legal advice. And clients don’t need to go very far, as our advisors will travel to Castle Cary. This is so important for people living in places such as Bruton and surrounding villages, where many services are not easily accessible in the same way as they are in a city. I want people to see Battens as being part of the community. We are always happy to go the extra mile to give advice, and we will continue to do this, developing pop-up legal clinics in outlying areas, giving talks to local groups and supporting local businesses in the best way we can. I hope that clients can sense our desire to help.


Specialist legal advice and solutions For whatever life brings - at home or at work

I am also very proud of the role that the Battens Charitable Trust has played in assisting a variety of local groups, from food bank donations to helping local schools and sports clubs, as well as the town’s much loved carnival. The trust has donated more than £500,000 to local charities in Somerset and Dorset since it was set up in 1985. I have worked for Battens for almost 19 years. The firm continues to thrive, with plans for expansion under its new board of directors. But the heart of Battens remains the same: we are here to help and always will be. To contact Sally Manning, call 01963 407060 or email sally.

Private Client Solicitors who are always on your side Our specialist team can assist with Wills, Trusts, Estates, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Contact us today: 0800 652 8373 Yeovil, Sherborne, Castle Cary, Dorchester, Wareham, Bath and London 19


Put yourself in the picture By Rachel Woods When did you last do that? Have you ever considered using a coach? Coaching really is all about you. The results that it can support, impact and drive are becoming clearer and clearer. A recent study of Fortune 500 companies found that coaching resulted in a 61% improvement in job satisfaction scores and a 48% rise in performance when employees had experienced coaching.* That’s on top of many anecdotal accounts of personal and career successes. How would you know if you’d benefit from coaching? Consider the following: •

You’re frustrated and you’re ready to make a change.

You want to find a better way to mesh work and life

You want to start something new

You want to stop doing something

You understand that change starts with you

You’re open to looking at yourself as key to the solution

Chats with your friends just aren’t cutting it

You understand the value of investing in yourself

It pays to be clear on what to expect from a coach. *Source: The Manchester Review 2021

Maura’s Story

Maura† felt trapped. She was working in a nice role for a nice company, with a nice team and a nice package. Sadly, nice wasn’t cutting it. Maura was bored. She was frustrated at the lack of opportunity to learn, stretch herself and improve her income. Maura is humble, empathetic and conscientious. All great strengths but ones that she overplayed and were holding her back. Afraid to rock the boat or let anyone 20

down, she put her own needs last over and over again. Eventually she began to resent those that benefited from her generosity and then felt guilty for thinking like that. Maura had a desire to follow a more meaningful career; one that fed her desire to deliver a great service and fed her needs to flex her intellectual muscles. Her home life required a safe income, so she wanted to find a way to make her current role more appealing while she looked for her next opportunity. She came to me through referral and she liked the idea of being able to meet faceto-face, safely, outdoors. She loves nature, finding it restorative. We spent three of her sessions exploring parts of the Stourhead estate, sharing without walls or ceilings. Some, we spent on Zoom due to rain and I facilitated visualisation and storytelling to connect Maura with her sense of purpose and to be clear on what she really wanted. We built a picture of the skills and capability of this remarkable lady and Maura was able to celebrate and recognise this to build up her sense of self-worth. We created strategies to fulfil her drive to be useful, without ignoring her own needs. We recognised the things that tethered her to her job and what she was telling herself; things that blocked her from taking action. We got to know her inner critic and I helped Maura create an accessible cheerleader to balance her thinking. Through our discussions, Maura discovered ways her current role could be enhanced through short term projects and mentoring. She’ll move on when she’s ready and is enjoying looking at possibilities through new eyes. She’s excited to be planning her future feeling resourced, confident and capable. †name changed for confidentiality

About Coach in Nature Coach in Nature was launched just before the first lockdown in 2020. In turbulent times, Rachel set out to build her business and personal brand with a clear vision and buckets of energy. Her Pathfinder coaching programme has supported individuals in their careers, in their business direction and those planning for retirement. With a background in Senior HR partnering, an accredited coach and qualified in coaching supervision, Rachel is carving a unique place in the coaching arena with the option to work with clients in a natural environment. Yes, the office can be replaced with the outdoors. Working mostly with professionals that find themselves at a crossroad in their work or life, she works to celebrate everything they’ve learned, achieved and collected so far; to recognise what will help them and identify what’s holding them back or blocking their path. All clients have a free consultation call where they can outline their needs, their challenges and Rachel will soon let them know if she’s the right kind of coach for them. If she can’t help, she is well known for providing great contacts and potential sources of support from her extensive network. For more information, visit www. or email rachel@ For an eclectic mix of nature and professional services, follow Rachel on Instagram @ coachinnature.


THE DRIVE TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY By Paul Harvey, Branch Director Bradfords, Sherborne

The Bradford team reveal how they will be helping customers become more aware of energy efficiency in 2022 Halloween is here and I’m excited about the pumpkin challenge we’ve set the school children from Sherborne Primary - more to follow on this in the next issue. At Bradfords we’ve been focusing on what 2022 is going to look like and how we continue to give our loyal customer base what they need. Which brings me (briefly – I promise!) back to our communities, especially the next generation, and those pumpkins. This edition I want to start the conversation about environmental sustainability, and of course that’s about all of us playing our part, and when it comes to pumpkins, perhaps making some dietary and landuse choices which challenge some long established habits. I’m going to step aside this edition and hand over to my colleague, Bradford family member and local Sherbornebred boy, Giles Bradford, our head of sustainability, to talk to you about the challenges ahead. What are we doing at Bradfords to help our

communities to navigate what housebuilding is going to have to look like for us to meet the targets which keep us the right side of a tipping point when it comes to our environment. ‘Thanks, Paul. The challenge is huge. We need to get to net carbon zero in the UK by 2050, and ideally significantly before. From a construction perspective this means looking at the entire process of building, from the source and manufacture of materials, through to the process of construction itself, on to the use of the building by its occupants, and beyond to how it’s disposed of at end of life.

with the environment in mind. At Bradfords we’re proud to have taken the lead in the conversation from a materials supply perspective, but what that means is that we’re in a great position to help our customers and communities to navigate the challenges and requirements of building sustainably from now on. ‘For all but the few who already live in a net carbon zero home, the commitments that the UK has made to achieve net carbon zero by 2050 means we will have to make material improvements to our properties. If you’re building new then factoring this into

your design, although not yet required by law, is essential. Imagine being forced to retrofit your new build just a short time after completion. But for most of us, the challenge is to take our existing homes and adapt them to achieve much improved energy efficiency. At Bradfords we’re creating the events, online resources and training, working closely with our suppliers and national organisations to ensure that we can support as best we can. In the meantime, we know we’ve got to play our own part, and set the example. We’re all on a journey and at Bradfords we’re modest about still being near the start.’

‘Boris has on a number of occasions stated that construction will be the growth engine for the economy as we emerge from the pandemic, but with the built environment as the contributor of over 40% of the carbon emissions in the UK, that growth comes with a huge responsibility to do so

L-R Three generations of Bradfords: Giles holding younger son Tom next to Dad Stephen and elder son Jack




By Wayne, Winstone’s

Meet historian and author Saul David, the author of SBS: Silent Warriors 7pm, Tuesday, 23 November

Saul David’s fascinating new book SBS: Silent Warriors tells the incredible story of the Special Boat Service and the work they have done to ensure we enjoy the freedoms we have today. We very much look forward to welcoming you to what looks to be a compelling talk with an accomplished historian. Tickets are £2 including a glass of wine. The event will be at Winstone’s bookshop, Sherborne.

About the Book Britain’s SBS - or Special Boat Service - was the world’s first maritime special operations unit. Founded in the dark days of 1940, it started as a small and inexperienced outfit that leaned heavily on volunteers’ raw courage and boyish enthusiasm. It went on to change the course of the Second World War - and has served as a model for special forces ever since. The fledgling unit’s first mission was a daring beach reconnaissance of Rhodes in the spring of 1941. Over the next four years, the SBS and its affiliates would carry out many more spectacular operations in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Channel and the Far East. These missions - including Operation Frankton, the daredevil attempt by the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ to paddle up the Garonne river and sink Axis ships in Bordeaux harbour - were some of the most audacious and legendary of the war. Paddling flimsy canoes, and armed only with knives, pistols and a few sub-machine guns, this handful of brave and determined men operated deep behind enemy lines in the full knowledge that if caught they might be executed. Many were. Yet their many improbable achievements destroying enemy ships and infrastructure, landing secret agents, tying up enemy forces, spreading fear and uncertainty, and, most importantly, preparing the ground for D-Day - helped to make an Allied victory possible. Written with the full cooperation of the modern SBS - the first time this ultra-secretive unit has given its seal of approval to any book - and exclusive access to its archives, SBS: Silent Warriors allows Britain’s original special forces to emerge from the shadows and take their proper and deserved place in our island story. Sunday Times bestseller. ‘A terrific book ... It really is one of the most enjoyable histories I’ve read in many a year.’ James Holland ‘An absolute must-read if you are a fan of derring-do and Andy McNab. I am going to be telling everyone to buy it.’ Rob Rinder

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


THE MEDIA GETS PAT ON THE BACK FOR REPORTING CLIMATE CHANGE – NOW THAT MAKES A CHANGE! By Steve Haigh, Station Manager, Radio Ninesprings 104.5 FM Prepare to be told a lot more over the next few weeks about the urgent need to save the planet. The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will be a beanfeast for journalists and broadcasters. With almost every world leader and top scientist in attendance, the job of reporting the latest climate change issues could not have been made easier. In the run up to COP26, a debate has been taking place about how the media has reported climate change. Greta Thunberg may have got the issue talked-up, but it has been the mainstream media – print, TV, and radio - that has brought the debate to where it is today. One interesting recent study into the media’s handling of climate change was conducted by Professor Max Boykoff of Oxford University. He investigated thousands of published articles and broadcast items and found that 90 percent of what had been written and spoken had accurately represented the scientific consensus that human activity was driving global warming. His study was wider in scope than previous investigations. Not only did he analyse articles and broadcast items in the UK but also America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. His findings were in sharp contrast to a comparable study in 2004 where half of published articles and broadcast items had treated dissenting opinions as equally valid.

Boykoff found in print, on TV and radio, the coverage had been good for the scientific community, but that social media had been less good and had confused the public. He identified that broadcasters had struggled to find creative ways to bring climate change to the screen and airwaves. The response had been to reframe the debate; not just tell it as an environmental issue but one that affects people with everything they do. No doubt we will hear a lot of discussion about how the media reports climate change at COP26. It could make a debate all of its own at the summit. When it comes to reporting the facts, the popular view, and that of the scientific community, is that on climate change the mainstream media is getting it right. And, as someone who works in the media to be told that, it makes a pleasant change! • Source: ‘The rationale for presenting opposing viewpoints in climate change reporting’ by Professor Max Boykoff. To listen to Radio Ninesprings: Yeovil and South Somerset 104.5 FM Chard/Ilminster 107.6 FM Wincanton/Bruton 103.3 FM To listen online:

ListenStation on Smart Speakers: New Local Radio for say: ‘Alexa enable the Radio Yeovil and South Somerset Ninesprings skill’

There are many unregulated platforms that put out information – stories that are often misleading, yet shape people’s opinions on climate change.

R ADIO 104.5 FM

thereafter: ‘Alexa play Radio Ninesprings’ Radio Ninesprings can also be heard on Amazon TV




By Julie Locke


Until Saturday 30 October from 10.00am to 5.30pm at David Simon Contemporary Art Gallery, Castle Cary, there is an exhibition ‘The School of Paris’. This is a collection of original works on paper by some of the most influential names from the twentieth century – Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. Open: Monday to Saturday (closed on Wednesday and Sunday). For more information, call 01963 359102 or visit www. Until Saturday 30 October from 9.30am at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is a solo exhibition of paintings, etchings and calligraphy by Janet Jordan. Open: Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm and Saturday 9.30am to 3.00pm (closes at 1.00pm on the final day of the exhibition). For more information, call


Presenting fine art, prints and lithographs from internationally renowned artists

01460 54973 or visit www. Until Saturday 6 November from 10.00am to 5.00pm at Courthouse Gallery, Somerton, there is an exhibition of works by Moish Sakal. The opening exhibition of this new gallery showcases the stunning artwork of Somersetbased artist, Moish. Working in watercolour, his artwork is filled with an uplifting light and vibrant colour. Open: Wednesday to Saturday. www.


1 9 N ovemb er – 24 De cemb er Wednesday to Saturday

10am to 5pm

Market Place Somerton Somerset TA11 7LX

SOMERTON ARTS QUARTER EXPANDS AS NEW GALLERY OPENS The arts quarter in Somerton is expanding with the opening of a new art gallery. The Courthouse Gallery is situated in the Courthouse Mews development, in what was its former sales office. With regular everchanging selling exhibitions of contemporary masters and ‘Meet the Artist’ events, the gallery has much to offer art enthusiasts and collectors. Its opening exhibition featuring works by Moish Sokal runs until 6 November, and has been well received by visitors. It will be replaced by

an exhibition of authenticated lithographs and prints by Henri Matisse, which have been supplied by the famous Goldmark Gallery Rutland. This exhibition, which will run from 19 November until 24 December, will be a considerable draw to Somerton for art lovers and will include various suites of Matisse’s work including ‘The Last Works’ (Edition unknown 1954), ‘Ronsard’ (Edition 320 – 1948) and ‘Poésies Antillaises’ (Edition 250 – 1945-46). It is hoped that this will be the first of many collaborations with the Goldmark Gallery

Rutland, which will make works by internationally renowned artists such as Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, John Piper, and Wassily Kandinsky accessible in South Somerset. Many of the works will be authenticated lithographs and prints, and there will also be occasional original works.

Frank Martin, director of The Courthouse Gallery, said, ‘We are delighted to open a new gallery in Somerton and further promote its reputation as a destination for art enthusiasts. Moish Sokal’s opening exhibition has been very well attended, and we are really excited to bring works by Matisse to the town.’

The Somerton Arts Quarter also includes the established ACEarts, in the Old Town Hall, which offers both exhibitions of local artists and classes; as well as the Somerton Vintage Market and SomArton.

The Courthouse Gallery is open from 10am-5pm Wednesday to Saturday. For more information, visit www.



Until Sunday 7 November at OSR Projects, Church Street, West Coker, there is an exhibition ‘What Are you looking at?’ by Angela Charles (also known as Angela Blackwell). Since graduating from Goldsmiths in 1989, Angela has had parallel careers as an award-winning curator and visual artist. And yet, unbeknown to buyers and galleries, for the last eleven years Angela has been losing her sight. In this exhibition of new work, Angela explores notions of ‘seeing’ in art from the perspective of a visually impaired painter. This project marks a crucial period of transition whilst she adapts to her sight loss. Open: Thursday to Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm and Sunday 11.00am to 3.00pm. For more information about workshops and events, visit projects/what-are-youlooking-at. Until Wednesday 10 November from 9.30am to 5.00pm at The Jerram Gallery, Sherborne, there is an exhibition of Still Life and Landscape by Ann Armitage, Caroline Frood, Bryan Hanlon and Mhairi McGregor. Gallery open: Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, visit www. or call 01935 815261. Until Monday 3 January from 9.00am to 6.00pm at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, there is an exhibition ‘Thoughts Unseen’ by Thomas J Price. The artist’s inaugural exhibition with Hauser & Wirth in Somerset presents two decades of conceptual enquiry spanning film, early sculpture and the artist’s largest figurative bronze to date. His personal approach readdresses historic narratives and inverts a sense of familiarity, distilling signifiers of status to question the mechanisms in place that reinforce our cultural values. From Saturday 30 October to Saturday 13 November from 10.00am to 5.00pm at ACEarts, Somerton, there 24

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. is an exhibition ‘Repetition, Reconstruction and Rhythm’ by Amy Bonsor. A collection of tactile pieces exploring repetition, transition and changing surfaces. Constructed with paper and stitch and inspired by the macro and microscopic, observe these tiny unnoticed moments of beauty from stone walls to lichen and moss. Exhibition open: Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, call 01458 273008 or visit From Tuesday 2 to Saturday 27 November from 9.30am at Ilminster Arts Centre, there is an exhibition entitled ‘Neroche’. This exhibition, by a mixed group of artists, includes paintings in acrylic, watercolours and oils, plus etchings and sculptures. There is an opportunity to meet the artists on Sunday 31 October from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. Free entry. All welcome. Open: Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm and Saturday 9.30am to 3.00pm (closes at 1.00pm on the final day of the exhibition). For more information, call 01460 54973 or visit www.

as the Cornish landscape for exploring her technique. This retrospective exhibition includes work from the 1980s through to the later years of her career. Open: Monday to Saturday (closed on Wednesday and Sunday). For more information, call 01963 359102 or visit www. From Friday 19 November to Friday 24 December from 10.00am to 5.00pm at Courthouse Gallery, Somerton, there is an exhibition of authenticated lithographs and prints by Henri Matisse. This exhibition of Matisse lithographs comprises work this innovative modern artist completed during his later years as he developed his artwork. Open: Wednesday to Saturday. www.

Jude’. ‘Yesterday’, ‘Get Back’, ‘Penny Lane’, ‘Lady Madonna’ and many more. Tickets £20. To book, please email musicbookingsIAC@gmail. com or call 01460 54973. www. On Saturday 30 October at 8.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, Calan is back with a great show of fabulous music and fun. This multiaward-winning Welsh folk band of five virtuoso musicians was formed after they met at a folk music course in Sweden. They won international acclaim at the world-renowned Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient, France, where they eventually became the first Welsh ensemble to win the coveted International Band Trophy, and in April 2019, they were voted Best Band at the inaugural Wales Folk Awards. Calan comprises Bethan Rhiannon (accordion, vocals, clog dancing), Patrick Rimes (fiddle, Welsh bagpipes), Angharad Jenkins (fiddle), Sam Humphreys (guitar) and Shelley Musker-Turner (harp). Tickets £18, concessions £17. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www.

Matisse Exhibition


From Thursday 4 to Saturday 27 November from 10.00am to 5.30pm at David Simon Contemporary Art Gallery, Castle Cary, there is an exhibition of paintings by Romi Behrens (1939 - 2019). Romi lived in Cornwall and was associated with many eminent St Ives painters. A semi-figurative painter, she found any household object as suitable a subject

On Friday 29 October at 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, celebrate the fabulous music of Paul McCartney, The Beatles and Wings with Howie Casey and his twelve-piece band, Beatles with Wings. Band leader and sax player, Howie, played with The Beatles and Paul McCartney’s group Wings through the 60s and 70s. This will be a spectacular evening of nostalgia for everyone of a ‘certain age’ who remembers classics such as, ‘Jet’, ‘Let Em In’, ‘Silly Love Songs’, ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘Hey

Calan On Friday 5 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Garry Pease brings his amazing sound to the stage with ‘The Rod Stewart Experience’. This show is dedicated to one of the biggest music legends of all time, the one and only Rod Stewart. Garry, backed by his powerhouse band, performs hits ranging from the late 60s to the present day, such as ‘Maggie May’, ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’, ‘Sailing’, and many more. The show will have the

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. audience spellbound from the very start! Tickets £18. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137).

Garry Pease – The Rod Stewart Experience On Friday 5 November at 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, Concerts in the West presents a concert by pianist, Riyad Nicolas. Riyad will play works by Schubert, Liszt and Scriabin – for the full programme, visit www. Riyad, who was born in Aleppo, Syria, has already established himself as a leading pianist of his generation. He studied at the Purcell School, the Royal Academy of Music, and finished his studies at the Royal College of Music. Throughout this period, he has been promoting peace and raising awareness for the plights of the Syrian people through music. Tickets £15. To book, please email musicbookingsIAC@ or call 01460 54973. On Saturday 6 November at 8.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, enjoy an evening of folk music with popular wife and husband duo, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. To celebrate over twenty-five years of making music, the couple will revisit and reinterpret songs which span their career. From the early days of folk supergroup Equation through to Personae, the evening promises a whistlestop tour through their artistic journey to date. Tickets £18.50, concessions £17.50. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www. On Friday 12 November at 7.30pm at Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil,

‘The Power Ballad Show’ performs the biggest and most well-known ballads and rock anthems – hit after hit from artists such as Heart, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Alannah Myles, Cher, Roxette and many more. Featuring some of the UK’s finest musicians and vocalists, honed by years of touring the UK theatre scene including London’s West End, and accompanied by a stateof-the-art sound and light show, ‘The Power Ballad Show’ promises a top quality evening of entertainment. Tickets £22.50. Box office 01935 422884. www.westlandsyeovil. On Friday 12 November at 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre is Mike Denham’s 25th Speakeasy; this evening’s guest is Ben Cummings. Ben, one of Britain’s finest trumpet players, has played with most of the top UK names. He plays and sings with a very mellow sound, reminiscent of the great Chet Baker. Mike is a brilliant pianist, playing across a wide variety of vintage styles, and also a great story teller. Ben’s singing and playing combined with Mike’s many distinctive piano styles will make for a fascinating evening’s entertainment, so book early! Tickets £16. To book, please email musicbookingsIAC@gmail. com or call 01460 54973. www. On Saturday 13 November at 7.30pm at Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil, music legends Phil Beer and Steve Knightley return as Show of Hands to captivate audiences with live renditions of their award-winning hits and festival favourites. The evening will feature a set of iconic signature tracks from the last 25 years, encapsulated on their new album ‘Singled Out’, whilst the second set will bring together new material and classic Show of Hands tracks. Tickets £15.50 to £29. Box office 01935 422884. www.

Show of Hands On Saturday 13 November at 8.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, see Martyn Joseph on stage – for just one man and a guitar, he creates a performance with a huge far-reaching sound that is energetic, compelling and passionate. Martyn has a career spanning 30 years with 32 albums, over a half a million record sales and thousands of live performances. A unique talent driven by passion, social awareness and love for his trade, he’s a jaw-dropping guitar player with a unique percussive style, plus a powerful show-stopping voice – he’s been called ‘The Welsh Springsteen’. Tickets £19, concessions £18. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www. On Friday 19 November at 8.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band will be preaching its unique ‘Cosmic Country Blues’ sound with just two old guitars and a bucketful of aching harmony. From a lonesome shack in the hills of north Wales, over the past decade Jim and Sam have honed their craft on a diet of country classics and ‘down home’ roots records, culminating in their own brand of trippy yet soulful acoustic blues. A not-to-bemissed event! Tickets £17, concessions £16. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www. On Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm at The Dance House, Crewkerne, Concerts in the West presents Trio Klein. Kamila Bydlowska (violin), Shiry Rashkovsky (viola) and Ella Rundle (cello) will perform works by Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Penderecki, Bach and


Klein – for the full programme, visit www.concertsinthewest. org. Tickets £15, students £5, under 12s (with an accompanying paying adult) free. Tickets available from Town Hall Information Centre (email uk or phone 01460 75928) or Concert in the West (email or phone 01823 252658). On Sunday 21 November at 3.00pm at Cheap Street Church, Sherborne, there is a concert by Wessex Strings. The programme includes: ‘Serenade for Strings’ and ‘Elegy’ (Elgar), ‘Brook Green Suite’ (Holst), selections from ‘The Loves of Aeneas and Dido’ (Purcell), ‘The Foggy Dew’ (Harrison) and ‘Lullaby’ (Gershwin). Tickets £10 (cash only) from Winstone’s, Sherborne, or £12 on the door. Under 18s free. Ticket price includes tea and biscuits. On Thursday 25 November at 8.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, there’s a ‘Chance to Dance’ event with award-winning Skerryvore. With fiddles, accordions, pipes and whistles, alongside guitar and vocals, underpinned by driving bass, drums and keys, Skerryvore represents the best in contemporary Scottish traditional music. Their six studio albums demonstrate the wide range of influences the individual musicians bring to the mix – a unique fusion of folk, trad, rock, and Americana, with even some jazz! The band’s wide range of influences and talent produce a musically expansive, high-energy set that excites and captivates audiences. Tickets £23. To book, call 01460 240340 or visit On Friday 26 November at 7.30pm at Sandford Orcas Village Hall, enjoy an evening of folk music with popular wife and husband duo, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. To celebrate their many years of making music, the Dartmoorbased couple will revisit and reinterpret songs which 25

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.


span their career. From the early days of folk supergroup Equation through to Personae, the evening promises a whistlestop tour through their artistic journey to date. Tickets £10, under 16s £6, family £25. Advance online tickets only available via Artsreach. For more information, call 01963 220208.

the bandoneon (Argentine concertina) played live – it’s the true sound of tango. Whatever age, come along to dance or to sit and drink in the atmosphere. Bar available. Limited numbers. Tickets £10. To book, call 01935 814199 or visit www.

Tango Calor

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman On Friday 26 November at 8.00pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, there’s an evening of swinging mainstream jazz with Nigel Price, Martin Dale and Craig Milverton and his Trio. Nigel is an award-winning guitar player whose playing can be described as anything between soulfully bluesy and absolutely blistering. Martin, one of the busiest and most popular saxophonists in the South West, runs his own quartet and appears regularly as a guest soloist. Craig is a regular performer at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club; he has played at all the top UK jazz venues and with the best known names in the jazz world. The very best of UK jazz! Tickets £18. To book, please email musicbookingsIAC@ or call 01460 54973. On Saturday 27 November at 7.30pm at Charlton Horethorne Village Hall, take a journey from the backstreets of Buenos Aires to the salons of Paris with Tango Calor, one of the most exciting tango bands performing in the UK. The trio was started by bandoneon player Mirek Salmon in Bristol in 2016 with jazz pianist and film composer Daan Temmink and Cuban vocal sensation Indira Roman. A rare opportunity to see 26

On Saturday 27 November at 7.30pm at Long Sutton Village Hall, join the Somerton Concert Band for its Festive Concert. Tickets £7, under 16s free! Refreshments in cost of ticket. Doors open 7.00pm. For more information, see the band’s Facebook page. On Saturday 27 November at 8.00pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Los Pacaminos play the very best in Tex Mex Border music, from The Texas Tornadoes and Ry Cooder to Los Lobos and even Roy Orbison. The group, featuring Paul Young, Drew Barfield, Mark Pinder, Steve Greetham, Jamie Moses and Melvin Duffy, formed in mid-1992, when pop star Paul Young found himself with some downtime and phoned a few musician friends with the intent of starting a Tex-Mex band. Twenty-five years later and they show no signs of stopping. With an unmatched live reputation, two acclaimed studio albums and two live albums under their belts they continue to explore the music of the Southwest. Tickets £20. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137).

PERFORMANCE On Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Sturminster Newton Amateur

Dramatic Society presents ‘The Opposite Sex’. A contemporary farce about marriage and relationships with a bittersweet twist. Set in the 1980s, the story follows two couples who, unbeknownst to each other, have a secret in common. Full of laugh out loud moments. Written by David Tristram and directed by Denise Hobbs. Tickets £12. Book online at or via the box office (01258 475137). From Thursday 28 October to Monday 1 November at The Octagon Theatre, Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil Library and Waterstones, Yeovil, is the annual Yeovil Literary Festival. The festival presents an exciting programme of literature, comedy and arts events from well-known literary figures, comedians, celebrities and exciting new writers. For full details, visit www. On Saturday 30 October at 7.00pm at Bishop’s Palace, Wells, come along to All Hallows’ Eve for an evening of unbelievable tales of saints, demons and monsters with storyteller Beth Webb and folk singer Dora Darling. ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ will follow the old tradition of telling tales of extraordinary battles between good and evil; including St Brendan’s fantastic voyage to search for extraordinary beasts and the Pearl of Promise, followed by curious yarns of a dog-headed saint, how a wife’s cooking beat the devil and the uncanny ballad of the Lampton Wyrm. Suitable 14+. Tickets £15 includes drinks on arrival. For more information, visit or call 01749 988111. On Thursday 4 November at 7.30pm at Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil, celebrate the seventh year of ‘Forbidden Nights’ with two hours of breath-taking action and seductive choreography. The talented cast of acrobats, live male vocalists, fire acts, aerial artists and worldrenowned circus performers

flip and spin across the stage in this high-octane show. This fun, entertaining evening with ‘Forbidden Nights’ is guaranteed to be a night to remember. Tickets £25.50 to 29.50. Box office 01935 422884. www.westlandsyeovil.

Forbidden Nights On Saturday 6 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, it’s Jenny Eclair’s new show ‘Sixty! (FFS!)’. Having hit sixty (but still a year younger than Madonna!), comedian Jenny aka ‘The Face of Vagisan’ confronts a new decade of decrepitude. Now that it takes twenty minutes of scrolling down to find her date of birth when she’s filling in forms online, should she celebrate or crawl into a hole? What will her 60s hold for this 1960s babe and is it a legal requirement to buy Nordic walking poles? Tickets £20. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137). On Saturday 13 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Forever In Blue Jeans presents ‘Voice of the Heart’, a stunning show celebrating the music of The Carpenters. It is now just over thirty years since the legendary Karen Carpenter passed away; she left behind an amazing catalogue of hit songs and is still played daily on radio stations throughout the UK. With superb vocals from Carole Gordon and outstanding talent from the brilliant Blue Jeans band and singers, it will be a ‘sparkling’ night to remember. Tickets £19 to £20. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137).

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. On Thursday 18 November at 7.30pm at Kingsdon Village Hall, near Somerton, there’s a night of dance and cabaret with Jo Fong and George Orange in ‘The Rest of our Lives’. Jo is an old dancer and George an old clown; international artists with 100 years of life experience between them. They’ve reached the mid-way point, and are now wondering, what next? Armed with a soundtrack of floor-fillers, a book of raffle tickets and a sprinkling of eco-friendly glitter, they negotiate middle-life together with humour, tenderness and a tentative, outlandish optimism – hopefully hopeful! A celebratory night of dance, circus and games! Suitable 14+. Tickets £10, child £6, available from Kingsdon Village Shop or online at www.takeart. org. For more information, call 01935 841402 or visit the website.

Jo Fong and George Orange On Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Howard and Stu are back with Living Spit’s unique take on the gruesome gothic horror, ‘Frankenstein’. Switzerland, 1823. Deeply affected by the death of his mother and his pet hamster, Greg, young Frankenstein comes up with a plan to conquer death, once and for all – by creating life itself! Will it work? Or will it be a huge mistake? With original music, preposterous puppets, grotesque gags and diabolically desperate dance moves, this rib-ticklingly raucous monster of a show will leave the audience in stitches. Suitable 14+. Tickets £13 to £15. Book online at or via the box office (01258 475137). On Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm at The Davis Hall,

West Camel, Little Barn Theatre presents a murder mystery ‘Who Killed the Director’ by Chris Martin. Doors open 7.00pm. Bar available. Limited numbers. Tickets £25 includes dinner, pudding and murder! Tickets available from Rich and Cath Hooper on 01935 850394. On Saturday 20 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, there’s must-see show for all 50s and 60s music fans, ‘Lollypops and Moptops’. Join funny man Alan Mosca, formerly of Freddie and The Dreamers, as he retells the stories of yesteryear with song and a touch of comedy. Rave on with Buddy Walker as he brings back to life the look and feel of Buddy Holly. Walk right back with The Temple Brothers, well known for their fabulous tribute to The Everly Brothers. And finally the Dreamers, formerly Freddie and The Dreamers, as they recreate many of their smash hits. Pure class, nostalgia and fun for all the family. Tickets £20. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137). On Friday 26 November at 8.00pm at Halstock Village Hall, Kuumba Nia Arts performs ‘Sold’, the story of a woman’s extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery. Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage. Through theatre, song, music, drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre by Kuumba Nia Arts is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot. Suitable 12+. Tickets £9, under 18s £5, family £22. Book in advance. For more information and to book, visit or call 01935 891744. On Saturday 27 November from 7.30pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, it’s Acoustic

Night. Petherton Arts Trust encourages budding artists of all genres to come to The David Hall and perform on a professional stage. Everyone has the opportunity to deliver for 10 to 15 minutes with full PA and lighting. Please prebook – don’t walk up on the night. To attend as a performer or audience member, please email Chris Watts at folk@ or call 07715 501157. Entry by suggested donations of £2. Every first and third Monday from 7.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, come along for a Jazz Jam. These informal sessions generally involve a group of a dozen or so jazz-minded individuals of varying levels of ability. All instruments are welcome, as are vocalists. Give it a go, or just come and listen. £3 per session. For more information, call 01460 54973 or visit www.themeetinghouse.

CHILDREN On Wednesday 27 October from 10.00am to 11.00am at the Henhayes Centre, Crewkerne, there is an October half term children’s ‘Yoga and Mindfulness’ workshop for 8 to 11 year olds. Through a range of creative and engaging activities, all delivered in a child-friendly way, yoga brings children into the present moment, where they can pause, reflect and be calm. For more information and to book, email office@henhayescentre. org. On Thursday 28 October at 7.00pm at The David Hall, South Petherton, the duo GreenMatthews performs a brand-new musical adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s wellloved classic ‘Wind in the Willows’. Chris Green and Sophie Matthews use music, song, light and sound to bring this timeless tale to sparkling life. Join Ratty, Mole, Badger and of course the irrepressible Mr Toad, as they embark on various adventures – on the


river, on the road and in the dark and dangerous Wild Wood. Using traditional English folk melodies set to lyrics, the show paints a vivid picture of Grahame’s world, from the humble comfort of Mole End to the grandeur of Toad Hall. Suitable 8+. Tickets £13, child £9, family £36 (2+2). To book, call 01460 240340 or visit www.

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews On Sunday 14 November at 3.00pm at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Sonia Sabri Company presents ‘Same, Same … But Different’, inspired by an Anglo-Asian phrase. This show mixes three exciting dance styles: Kathak, Hip Hop and Contemporary dance, plus beatboxing, moments of live music, comedy and physical storytelling. In this jam packed show, three very different dancers together conjure up a playful and colourful world for everyone to enjoy. A fun and magical dance show, engaging for children and grown-ups alike! Suitable 5+. Tickets £6, under 18s £5, family ticket available. Book in advance online at or via the box office (01258 475137). www.

Sonia Sabri Company – Same, Same … But Different Every Friday from 10.00am to 10.30am at Sherborne Library, it’s ‘Rhyme Time’ - songs and rhymes for children under 5. Booking is essential so please call 01935 812683.



Paloma Faith reveals why she’s feeling optimistic By Neill Barston

Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, singer, songwriter and actress Paloma Faith spent her downtime creating, learning to produce and just thinking about the world. The enforced downtime was creatively fruitful and taught Paloma that, for most of her career, she’s been like ‘a rat on a wheel.’ Finally, lockdown gave her time to take stock of her frenetic career and decide what was meaningful to her. Paloma has emerged from lockdown with a new sense of her priorities, reconnecting with her roots. Read Neill Bartson’s interview about this new Paloma Faith, a Paloma Faith who has retreated within herself and found not the careful, polished veteran of show business – but the 22-year-old art student being led by her own creativity.

exploring new territory as an actor in the Batman prequel spin-off, Pennyworth.

sweeping orchestral ballads that stem from an artist who is at the top of her creative game.

Amid a global pandemic, 2020 was a year to forget for many, but as Paloma Faith revealed, she felt notably blessed by her second child’s arrival. After a hugely testing trial of repeated rounds of IVF treatment, the Brit Award winning singer announced that the latest addition to her family happily coincides with her latest musical baby in the form of her fifth studio album.

As she admits, inhabiting her line of work can often make you ‘whimsical in going with the flow,’ yet she reveals that having a toddler and new baby to take care of has, by necessity, required greater time management. ‘It’s made me go for the jugular more,’ she notes in having to be far more focused. Consequently, being ever creatively restless, material soon flowed while at home completing her latest album, led by its lyrically powerful lead single, ‘Better Than This’, a reflection on the fractured state of the world and hopes for the next generation.

‘We live in a very volatile world that now seems as if we only get one chance, so I have been lucky that I’ve been able to put releases out there and put myself on the map,’ she says of her latest recording.

Since her last release, The Architect, achieved coveted number one status, Paloma has featured as a coach on ITV’s The Voice Kids, been nominated for a clutch of industry accolades, as well as

It stands proudly paving the way for what is a bold, uncompromising record brimming full of confidence and self-assurance, taking on everything from her trademark soulful pop, through to

From gaining number one album success through to battling her way to becoming a mother, Paloma Faith’s remarkable career continues with her setting her sights on a return to the charts with an ambitious new album, Infinite Things.


However, it’s been a far from straightforward journey for the half-Spanish East-London-born singer, who holds a degree in contemporary dance, and an MA in theatre directing that saw her initially consider other artistic directions. But after early stints in cabaret, bar tending and modelling, she gravitated to singing, and has been doing things her own way ever since. Her debut album provided plenty of vindication in reaching the top ten in 2009, setting the tone for a career to date packed with notable

milestones. There have been plenty of highlights beyond the icing on the cake of multiplatinum sales, including her friendship with the late Amy Winehouse, to whom she has been widely compared, who she penned a tribute to on her last album. To her credit, she has stood firm on other key issues, notably on one of her biggest hits to date, ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’, which featured a video with an interracial love scene. When US executives asked her to reshoot it on grounds it ‘wouldn’t sell’, she refused and never spoke to them again, even if it might cost her a stateside breakthrough. As she concedes, her latest recordings, which were selfproduced in her basement, allowed her the chance to push herself artistically more than ever before.

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Bond soundtrack – ‘I was born to do Bond’ she asserts, yet is also acutely aware that the more she mentions it, the less likely it will happen. But in spite of whatever occurs, it seems there’s a strong level of support out there for her. As she explains, she and her other half Leyman Lahcine, a French artist, have endured a lot in recent years, including handling a total of six rounds of fertility treatment. While they may have challenges ahead, including Paloma revealing she’s prone to postnatal depression, they’ve demonstrated a strong degree of resilience. ‘I’d pretty much resigned myself to giving up with this latest treatment, and I thought that this just wasn’t going to happen. It felt like it was the last chance saloon and I was thinking to myself, where am I going with this? ‘I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes land in places that are wonderful, and I wouldn’t make them if someone else was there. So I feel like there’s more intimacy in this record, and that there’s more truth in the way that I am singing,’ she explains thoughtfully, noting that the album is very much focused on motherhood and the pressures, hopes and expectations that it brings. ‘It is so great being a mum and I feel very lucky, as the lockdown meant that we’ve spent a lot of time together as a family, which has been a positive. Usually, it had just been one or the other of us looking after our daughter, who has now started really learning about family,’ says Paloma of her now three-year-old. She adds that the record’s title track ‘Infinite Things’ is about her youngster, and was inspired from previously reading Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borge’s short story, The Aleph, in which its central character experiences

the full spectrum of human emotion, from pain to joy, within a single moment. ‘With the title track, it’s about seeing things through my daughter’s eyes and it’s about becoming a parent, and how that it is all about continuing humanity. You experience the worst heartache with it.

‘With IVF, I think it’s sad that men don’t really talk about it in public, and it’s one of those things where society always assumes that it is a female issue. It’s something that can be hard on relationships,’ she admits, keen to put across the fact that they’ve split their childcare as evenly as possible.

As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, she’s greatly enjoyed the opportunity to explore acting roles – notably in the Batman series, Pennyworth, which she describes as an ‘amazing experience’ that she would love the chance to repeat. Somehow, beyond being a recording artist, mum and actress, she’s still found time to devote to other personal interests, including being an ambassador for Oxfam and Greenpeace, which of great significance to her. ‘Being an ambassador is fantastic, as I feel like when you’re in my industry, it’s easy to lose sight of the reality about the world. The truth is, there are a lot more pressing things going on out there than singing a pop song, so if I can use my platform for the greater good then I absolutely should and intend to. I also find it something I get a lot of enjoyment out of and it’s not for superficial reasons that I’ve pursued this career,’ she remarks, looking forward amid an uncertain world with a true sense of optimism.

‘The album is also a commentary on society as well, in respect of issues raised by living in the pandemic, and also knowing people who have lost loved ones. ‘It’s also about enduring love, as we’re most used to hearing about the initial parts of a relationship on that first spark, so it’s an area that that’s underrepresented. I think there’s a big cultural hole there that I’m aiming to address,’ notes Paloma, who isn’t afraid to tackle some difficult subject areas that many would shun. There’s certainly a bittersweet edge to one of the album’s standout tracks, the spinetingling ballad ‘If Loving You Were Easy’, which would not seem out of place on a James


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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.


Martin is a fisherman without a boat, his brother Steven having re-purposed it as a tourist tripper. With their childhood home now a holiday let, Martin lives the estate above the harbour. He creates friction with tourists and locals alike until a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world. A dark tragi-comedy in a Cornish fishing community – original, quirky, gritty and visually striking, shot in black and white. Starring Edward Rowe, Giles King and Chloe Endean. SHOWING AT Batcombe on Friday 5 November, Jubilee Hall, 7.45pm. For information about Batcombe Film Society and for guest tickets, call 01749 850307.


This film tells the story of the last years of T.E. Lawrence - Lawrence of Arabia. Retiring to his cottage in Dorset, Lawrence hopes to forget his past fighting in Arabia but soon he is drawn into political intrigue and his many enemies begin to plot against him. Was his fatal motorcycle crash an accident or an assassination attempt by the British Secret Service? Starring Brian Cox, Hugh Fraser and Michael Maloney. SHOWING AT Sturminster Newton on Thursday 9 November, The Exchange, 7.30pm. Tickets £8 to £10. To book, call 01258 475137. Film followed by director’s Q&A.


Young lawyer Bryan Stevenson works to free Walter McMillian, a black prisoner facing the death penalty for a murder he did not commit. A powerful and thoughtprovoking film based on Stevenson’s 2014 memoir. It is a sobering examination of injustice and discrimination which contributed to Virginia becoming the first southern state to ban the death penalty in March 2021. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. SHOWING AT Batcombe on Friday 19 November, Jubilee Hall, 7.45pm. For information about Batcombe Film Society and for guest tickets, call 01749 850307. 30

After losing everything in the Great Recession, Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman in her sixties, packs her van and embarks on a journey through the American West, exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. SHOWING AT Castle Cary on Wednesday 27 October, Caryford Community Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Advance tickets: The Market House and from Tessa Gayford on 01963 350132. Kingsbury Episcopi on Tuesday 2 November, Community Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets £5. Contact: 07964 294230.



A heart-warming true story of the triumph of the underdog. Dream Alliance is an unlikely racehorse bred by small-town Welsh bartender Jan Vokes. With no money and no experience, Jan persuades her neighbours to chip in their meagre earnings to help raise Dream, in the hopes he can compete with the racing elites. Starring: Toni Collette, Owen Teale and Alan David. SHOWING AT Castle Cary on Wednesday 24 November, Caryford Community Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Advance tickets from Tessa Gayford on 01963 350132 and The Market House. Hinton St George on Saturday 13 November, Village Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 in advance from Personal Services Store and Dorothy’s Tearoom or £5.50 on the door. Contact: 01460 74959. Norton-sub-Hamdon on Tuesday 9 November, The Lord Nelson. Information and tickets from 01935 881227.


Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. Starring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Ralph Fiennes, and Rami Malek. SHOWING AT Yeovil on Monday 8 November, Westlands Entertainment Venue, 2.30pm, 7.00pm. Tickets £5 to £10. Box office 01935 422884. Yeovil on Tuesday 9 November, Westlands Entertainment Venue, 11.00am. Tickets £6.50 to £10. Box office 01935 422884.


When Sarah dies in a tragic accident, her dream of opening an artisan bakery in Notting Hill is fulfilled by her daughter Clarissa, her mother Mimi and her best friend Isabella. Enlisting the help of an expert pâtissier, they produce a range of exquisite cakes and pastries that reflect the neighbourhood’s cultural diversity. Starring Celia Imrie, Shannon Tarbet and Bill Paterson. SHOWING AT Hardington Mandeville on Thursday 25 November, Village Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 in advance from Springfield Stores (01935 862363) or £6 on the door. Odcombe on Monday 1 November, Village Hall, 8.00pm. Tickets £5 in advance or £6 on the door. Contact: 07934 737104.

No Time to Die

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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.


Music Gigs

All Music Gigs are FREE entry unless mentioned.


When dysfunctional adult, Al, agrees to mind his smartass 10-year-old nephew for a week, his job and home are placed in jeopardy. In a bold bid to save Al’s job, they steal his mum’s campervan, become best friends and embark on a criss-cross adventure putting up posters all over Ireland. Then things go wrong! How will Al manage to get his life back together! Starring Trevor O’Connell and Ryan Minogue-Lee. SHOWING AT West Camel on Friday 26 November, The Davis Hall, 7.30pm. Admission £5 on the door. Contact: 01935 851214.


30 Cover All Bases, Covers, The Arrow, Yeovil, 8.30pm Darren H Presley, Elvis Tribute, The Preston, Yeovil, 9.00pm Lewis & The Sound of the Suburbs, Ska/2-Tone, The Rose and Crown, Bradford Abbas, 9.00pm Roadstars, Rock/Pop Covers, The Manor House Inn, Ditcheat, 9.00pm Slipstream, Rock Covers, Stoke-sub-Hamdon Working Mens Club, 9.30pm Unknown Identity, Covers, The Beehive, Yeovil, 9.00pm


Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a musician and a novelist, partners of twenty years, are travelling across England in their old camper van visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have. SHOWING AT Halstock on Saturday 20 November, Village Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6.50 from Halstock Shop or on the door. Contact: Tony Hill 01935 892485.


Anthony, an ailing, octogenarian Londoner, refuses all assistance from his daughter as he gradually succumbs to dementia. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality. Starring Anthony Hopkins (Oscar-winning performance), Olivia Coleman, and Mark Gatiss. SHOWING AT Milborne Port on Friday 19 November, Village Hall, 7.30pm. Advance tickets £5 from Wayne the Butcher or £6 on the door. Contact: 01963 251217. South Petherton on Friday 26 November, The David Hall, 8.00pm. Tickets £5. To book, call 01460 240340. Yetminster on Tuesday 2 November, Jubilee Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Advance tickets: Spar Shop. Contact: 07770 806990.


5 Lewis & The Sound of the Suburbs, Ska/2-Tone, Yeovil Labour Club, 8.00pm Roadstars, Rock/Pop Covers, Coopers Mill, Yeovil, 9.00pm 12 Bad Edukation, Classic Rock, Fleur De Lis, Stoke-subHamdon, 8.30pm 13 Caught On The Back Foot, Classic Rock, The Globe Inn, Somerton, 9.00pm Powercut, Acoustic/Electric Rock/Pop, The Bell Inn, Yeovil, 9.00pm 14 Ross Kirk, Rock Covers, The Lord Nelson, Norton-subHamdon, 3.30pm 19 Chris Knott, David Essex Tribute, The Quicksilver Mail, Yeovil, 8.00pm. £8 advance, £10 on door 20 Bad Edukation, Classic Rock, White Hart Inn, Crewkerne, 8.30pm 27 Roadstars, Rock/Pop Covers, The Bell Inn, Yeovil, 9.00pm 28 Simple Chaos, Acoustic/Electric Rock/Pop, The Lord Nelson, Norton-sub-Hamdon, 3.30pm


An elderly man, Tom, whose wife had just passed away, uses only local buses and his free bus pass on a nostalgic trip to carry her ashes all the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End, where they originally met. Unbeknownst to Tom, his journey captures the imagination of the local people that he comes across and ultimately becomes a nationwide story. Starring Phyllis Logan, Timothy Spall, and Grace Calder. SHOWING AT Leigh on Monday 22 November, Village Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Advance tickets: Bridge Stores. Contact: 01935 873269. West Camel on Friday 29 October, The Davis Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the door. Contact: 01935 851214.

The Quicksilver Mail Hendford Hill, Yeovil BA20 2RG presents


WITH (No 1 Tribute in UK for David Essex)




TEST DRIVING A HYBRID By Tim Saunders, Motoring Correspondent In a way it’s surprising that the Toyota Rav 4 has a 2.5-litre petrol engine. Often these days larger vehicles can be equipped with smaller engines than we might expect, for instance, the Honda Civic has just a 1-litre engine, the Seat Leon a 1.5 litre and so on. But this large Rav 4 is a hybrid so that must compensate by relying on the electric charge. I wonder.

Founder and editor of ‘Travel & motoring magazine’, Tim Saunders is an advanced motorist and journalist. He has always been passionate about motoring and regularly reviews cars from the leading manufacturers.

advantageous when driving down badly potholed country roads because it is high enough to avoid any damage to the underside. A standard car, lower to the ground, could easily get scraped. The children like it in the back. The black leather interior is hardwearing and comfortable. It is easy to adjust the driver’s seat, which is electrically operated. ‘Can you remove the blind from the sunroof Daddy?’ asks Henry (5). ‘I can go one better than that,’ I reply, opening the large panoramic sunroof – very welcome on a hot summer’s day. There’s also excellent air conditioning and a great sound system; everything you need for a family outing.

These days whatever you choose to do, from taking a photo to driving a car, the process has been simplified so that anyone can do it without too much difficulty or indeed expertise. I can’t help feeling this when I sit on the black leather driver’s seat and gaze We point it towards the South around at my surroundings. Downs and I soon discover Gone is the manual gearbox the speed limiter which and traditional handbrake. Like allows me to set it at 50mph with a digital camera, the Rav so that I don’t get caught 4 is very much a point and click by the speed cameras on affair. Push that starter button the motorway. Gone are the while holding the foot brake days when you could drive down and off you drive. It at 70mph on the M27. But doesn’t seem to matter that this change is good for you they is a large vehicle, you could be say. It can’t be progress though, a driving a considerably smaller can it? One thing’s for sure Yaris. That’s an achievement the Rav 4 provides its driver for the designers. That must and occupants with a relaxing be why so many mums on environment. the school run favour these massive machines. The ride It is a pleasingly fast vehicle height allows for a good view and the boot is large enough to of the road ahead and seems cope with our needs. to give an enhanced feeling of security. this is also hugely BrewersBut Garage.qxp_Layout 1 16/03/2020 14:23 Page 1


Toyota Rav 4 Excel 2.5 Hybrid 2WD + Premium Pack 0-60mph: 8.1secs CO2: 131g/km Economy: 48-60mpg Top speed: 111mph Power: 214bhp Watch the video at

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Local Engineering Firm Launches MOT Service A local engineering firm with over 35 years of automotive experience has recently expanded to provide its rural community with vital vehicle servicing and MOT facilities. Brotherwood, an engineering company based in Beer Hackett, between Sherborne, Yeovil and Yetminster, has specialised in designing and manufacturing wheelchair-accessible vehicle conversions for over 35 years; serving the needs of wheelchair users and their families not only across the UK but further afield, exporting vehicles across Europe and as far away as Australia. With a skilled workforce brimming with years of specialist engineering and mechanical knowledge, Brotherwood has long employed a team of manufacturertrained technicians to prepare its new and used wheelchair-friendly vehicles for delivery to clients nationwide. With new investment in a dedicated service and MOT facility, carrying a range of the latest state-of-the-art workshop equipment,

they are now delighted to be able to offer maintenance and testing for all makes and models of vehicle to their local community. A dedicated new aftersales management and administration team has also been appointed, to ensure a friendly, efficient service, with express appointment availability for routine servicing, MOT tests, computerised 4-wheel alignment, air conditioning servicing and more. Managing Director John Daniel commented: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer a state-of-the-art servicing and MOT facility to our local rural community in Beer Hackett and Thornford. With so much disruption to local services as a result of the pandemic, availability of testing and servicing is in huge demand, meaning long delays for people trying to book an MOT test. Our new workshop is open for business to help keep you on the road.’ Brotherwood offers a free collection and delivery service for all MOT or service bookings within five miles of Beer

Hackett. To find out more, and to make an appointment, contact the Brotherwood Service team today on 01935 713515 or visit



FJ CHALKE HELPS CUSTOMERS SWITCH TO ELECTRIC Independent car retailer FJ Chalke has partnered with electric vehicle benefits company Zoom EV to make the decision of buying an electric vehicle (EV) in its showrooms easier.

Knowing that customers have a support service from our electric specialists, and also the infrastructure in place to support any queries they may have once they are on the road, is invaluable.’

FJ Chalke, which was established in 1929 and has a series of showrooms across the south of England, will now offer Zoom EV’s unique EV Driver Benefits Bundle to its customers providing a range of services and discounts designed to ignite their electric car journey.

‘Our management team is always trying to find ways in which we can help reduce the amount of carbon emissions we generate as a business – generally, by choosing products which have a lower carbon impact. Our electric specialists are keen to discuss the various options available, helping our customers choose the right model to suit their lifestyle. They will assist with the range, how it’s charged, how their driving style can affect the performance and most importantly how it will reduce their impact on the environment, making an electric car a preferable option to petrol or diesel.

Customers purchasing new or used fully electric vehicles from the dealership will receive a free 12-month Zoom EV Bundle which gives access to benefits and discounts covering public charging networks, smart home charging units, EV home energy tariffs, parking and EV accident aftercare services. FJ Chalke Managing Director Steve Fowler said: ‘The partnership with Zoom EV will give our customers an opportunity to be reassured when they are considering making the switch to an electric car.

‘Whether our customers are buying for business or pleasure, undecided on new or used, we can guarantee an electric car is the key to happy, clean affordable, lowcost motoring.’

Greg Fairbotham, Zoom EV's CEO, added: ‘Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular by the day but some people remain unsure about the technology or its usability. This confusion makes customer buying experience absolutely critical as the country moves toward an emissionfree road network. ‘We will be working with FJ Chalke to ensure that their customers’ experience in transitioning to electric is seamless and provide them with what they need to run their EVs and save money, whether they’re at home or on the road. ‘This partnership will guide customers on their EV journey, remove barriers to EV ownership and lower the decision-making bar for many.’ Kia, Nissan and Fiat are all leading brands within the FJ Chalke portfolio that have fully electric models, with more coming to other brands in the near future. For more information, contact


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INSPIRATIONS FOR THE CURIOUS SHOPPER By Dawn Woodward, The Emporium, Yeovil A very warm, November welcome to all of our readers. We look forward to seeing you soon in our wonderful shop. There’s much to celebrate here at The Emporium and we’re delighted to let you know that we have some very exciting news! We were recently awarded the title of ‘Best Retail Business’ in the 2021 Yeovil Chamber Business Awards, a fantastic result for us and the second year we have won this award. Furthermore, The Emporium Cafe was a finalist in the Best Hospitality and Leisure Business category, and our own shop manager, Amanda Reed, was voted Employee of the Year. An outstanding set of results and a testament to the dedication of our hard-working team of staff and traders, thank you all! Our incredible live music with supper events are back and we’re looking forward to working with many talented musicians over the coming months. A particular favourite of ours are the Sshhh… Secret Suppers – excellent folk/ acoustic evenings arranged by the Bearcat Collective accompanied by a delicious menu from The Emporium Cafe. See the list of upcoming events below. Still on the subject of our cafe, have you been to visit us recently? Our team is spoiling us with the most delicious food and drinks, the standard is outstanding and the creativity of the clever bunch seems endless. Contact us to book

a table and treat yourself to breakfast/brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. Our shop continues to provide a lovely shopping experience for customers. We have 76 different traders currently supplying stock into our shop; it’s an incredible mix and the perfect way to spend a few hours browsing and discovering hidden treasures. Every visit is like a voyage of discovery, definitely a destination for curious shoppers. Antiques, arts, collectables, fashion, homewares and gifts – come and see what you find in store. Our Christmas shop window displays will be launched on 15 November and our magical Christmas shopping event will commence. Come and shop with us this Christmas, support our community of small, independent shops and give wonderfully unusual gifts this year. We’re always delighted when new traders join us, the diversity of shops is our strength. If you have an idea you’d like to run by us, why not get in touch? We’re experts at helping small retail businesses too.

Contact us as always in the following ways: Phone: 01935 411378 Email: Website: Visit: The Emporium, 39 Princes Street, Yeovil, BA20 1EG 35


GOING GREEN By Alec and Caroline Grant, from Grants of Somerset

When it comes to decorating a home, we tend to prioritise paint colours, furniture and soft furnishings. Plants are usually an afterthought if they’re thought of at all. However, if you open yourself up to having a few plants in your home, you’ll find they give you a lot back in return. With the weather turning and time in the garden become less appealing, bringing some of the outside in can help lift your room and your mood, and foliage can actually make your room feel bigger! On top of that, plants remove toxins and increase oxygen in the air around them. Any houseplants can give you these benefits. In this article we’ll help you find ways to incorporate them in your home.

Something like a snakey Sansevieria is a great choice as their leaves grow tall and straight meaning you’ll never feel crowded.

Right plant, right place

While most plants are green, they come in lots of different shades and tones. Some will have colouring to the leaves or reveal new hues when the light is behind them so consider light sources when placing.

Plants are versatile and portable, meaning you can pop them almost anywhere. Shelves make great homes as pots can be arranged together or dotted alone among books and candles. Using shelving increases your plant’s impact by bringing them closer to eyeline. Greenery is easy to mix and match too. Just like cushions, you can combine sizes, shapes and textures to create visual interest. A feathery fern alongside something more structured like a peace lily offers a great contrast. Got a smaller space? Then pick plants that won’t spread out too much. 36

If you have a big space, you could opt for a statement piece like a Monstera with its large fan-like leaves. Statement plants can be as big a talking point as a piece of art.

Caring for your houseplants

Watering is the easiest and most important part of caring for your plants – generally, you only need to water them once a week (or once a month for succulents). Some, like ferns, are a bit needier but you’ll soon get the hang of it – if the soil feels dry or the leaves seem a little droopy give it a drink. Be careful not to overwater though, it can be more harmful than not watering at all!

There’s no avoiding the fact that whatever you bring into your house is going to need dusting and plants are just the same. Dust on leaves can stop them photosynthesizing. Once a month take a lightly dampened cloth, carefully hold a leaf and gently wipe or brush the dust off. Many houseplants do like a bit of sunshine but it is important not to let them get too hot. Avoid direct sunlight and radiators where you can, and as the angle of the sun changes over the year, try moving your pots a foot either way to keep them happy and healthy.

Give green

Plants have traditionally made great gifts. We have a big range of easy-to-care-for plants in stock as part of our Christmas gifting selection. Pop by the shop and we can help you find green gifts so good you’ll want to keep them for yourself.


PICK UP A PUMPKIN… AND COOK! By Khrishma Preston, The Alternative Indian With the days drawing in and weather turning, it’s definitely starting to feel like winter out there. Small local independent businesses are already beginning to advertise and sell their Christmas wares. I have been holding the reins with it as much as I can, however, I think it’s time I also got into the Christmas spirit. On Monday 1 November we will be launching our online shop through our website www. Here you will be able to purchase our branded stainlesssteel tiffins, spice boxes with/or without spices, spice mixes and our eco-friendly Christmas crackers. Thus, we have a special offer for our Conduit readers. All readers that purchase anything from our online shop by 5pm on 1 December, using the offer code CondMagMix on check out, will receive a packet of my Signature Tikka Masala Mix with recipe instructions.

I also wanted to tell you about an exciting new pop-up we are also going to be starting in November. Partnering with the brilliant Hannah and Sadie of Vineyards of Sherborne, we will be launching wine pairing nights at their new location at Old Yarn Mills. The ladies at Vineyards believe that every bottle tells a story – from grape to glass. They also have created their own fabulous range of spirits. Keep an eye out for upcoming events on our websites. With this month’s article out in time for Halloween, I wanted to give you a related fun recipe using locally sourced pumpkins from Trough Farm, Yeovil. I made the puree at home, but it’s time saving and gives more consistent results by using canned pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin filling!) Due to the amount of pumpkin flesh, in varying sizes, we obtained from

two medium-sized pumpkins, it was easier to use a large pot and boil them, then reduce to a simmer until tender, rather than bake on several sheets. Once tender, the water was drained, and the puree put back on the stove top on an extremely low heat to further reduce and concentrate. If the puree is too watery, it will affect the bake. You want to reduce the puree until there is no water released when removed from the heat. This took a couple of hours, stirring regularly to ensure the puree does not stick to the pan. Pumpkin puree can be made ahead of time and stored in food-safe containers in the fridge for up to one week or freeze for up to three months. If frozen, defrost overnight in fridge.

Almond Vanilla Chai Pumpkin and Chocolate Blondies Prep time 10 mins | Cook time 40 mins | Makes 12 large or 24 minis



• 2½ cups plain flour

Preheat the oven to 175C or 155C (fan).

• 1½ tbsp Chai Masala* spice

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, Chai Masala spice, baking soda and salt. Set this aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla. To this slowly add the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Fold in the chocolate. Butter a piece of parchment paper and place in a 9”x13" baking dish, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan and then remove from pan. Cut into bars, top with flaked nuts if you so wish and enjoy!

• 1½ tsp baking soda • 1 tsp kosher salt • 1 cup unsalted butter • 1¾ cups granulated sugar • 1 large egg • 1½ cups pumpkin puree (see note above) • 2 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla seeds • 1½ cups melted chocolate • 40g roasted almonds (or you can use pecans)

Store and freeze: Allow to cool and store in an airtight container or bag for up to three days. Layer slices with baking paper in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours prior to serving. *You can use any shop bought Chai Masala or you can find my recipe for it in The Conduit Magazine January 2021 issue available online. Don’t forget to visit and use offer code CondMagMix to purchase some spicy Christmas gifts!

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If someone had asked me twenty years ago what I thought I would be doing when I hit the grand old age of 46, I very much doubt that owning an award-winning farm shop in beautiful rural Somerset would have been high on my list of achievable goals. Twenty years ago I was an advertising exec, working for an international commercial property insurance company, jetting across the world organising exhibitions and client events – however glamorous that might sound, it really really wasn’t. Getting up at crazy times of the morning to catch a flight to some foreign land, visiting the most beautiful cities but only seeing the airport, the exhibition hall and the hotel. I was lucky, I stayed in some utterly beautiful places, ate amazing food and met some really interesting people but one day after flying back from a five-day stint in Perth, Australia, with no internet connection and having to go straight back to the office to plan the next event, I knew something had to change. It was fate that I happened across a small side street delicatessen in my then hometown of Windsor and enquired as to whether they had any jobs, I needed to do something totally different and that decision was set to change the course of my life.

When we first moved here we lived in a 16ft caravan for the first few months on a campsite near Lyme Regis soon to be upgraded to a beautiful farm in Colyton. There we lived in a mobile home during one of the coldest winter I have ever known, often waking up covered in ice – we actively encouraged the dog to sleep on the bed as extra warmth! Then in 2008 we moved to South Petherton, to an actual house. I applied for a job at a little local farm shop that we had discovered, called The Trading Post - the rest, they say, is history! I had my interview with Sue, the owner, in the pub over a pint, and once I set foot inside the shop I truly hoped that one day it would be mine.

Being able to spend more time at home I was able to pursue my hobbies. I then met Andy, now known as The Husband, at a local musical theatre group.

The shop and I have grown, for the last 14 years, together. I regularly serve loyal customers that I met in my very first week here - we have been through a lot together, highs and lows, births, deaths and marriages, and I enjoy nothing more than taking time out to catch up with customers old and new.

For our second Christmas together I bought Andy tickets to go down to River Cottage HQ for Burns Night. On that evening we got talking to a lovely chap who told us that River Cottage were going to be opening a deli/cafe in Axminster, I applied immediately for a job there and seven

So here we are in 2021, a lifetime away from where I began, and on the 14 November Andy and I will be celebrating four years of owning the Trading Post Farm Shop and, my oh my, what a journey it has been!!


By Peter Luscombe BVSc, PgC SAD, MRCVS

We recently cancelled our planned thirty-year college reunion (for the second year!) because of the changing international COVID-19 situation. This made me reflect on the changes in our profession and the continuing progress in our practice. Veterinary practice has changed dramatically as new knowledge is gained and new treatments developed. As a profession we continually strive to make improvements and certainly as a practice we wholeheartedly embrace this philosophy. When I qualified, the typical vet in Somerset and Dorset was still tending to ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, working with any species of animal that was presented, willing to have a go at anything. Specialist services and referral were relatively uncommon and largely restricted to University Veterinary Schools. Many 38

months later we upped sticks and moved ourselves lock, stock, barrel and springer spaniel to the West Country.

modern diagnostic techniques were still in their infancy, and even routine blood tests would be sent to an external laboratory with results available in 3-4 days. We had to be real general practitioners, making a diagnosis based on our clinical examination and deciding on the best treatment available and accessible. With the advent of reliable and userfriendly laboratory machines, much of our testing is now done in the surgery with results being available very quickly, even while you wait. We also have access to equipment which in the past was only available in specialist referral centres. Our practice has invested in a lot of modern equipment, and just as importantly the training to use it effectively. X-rays have moved into the digital age, giving us better images but also allowing us to easily seek the opinion of

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

external specialists in difficult cases. We regularly use ultrasound examination to look inside animals with minimal risk to the animal which can give us a lot of useful information in ways that were unheard of when I qualified. We have recently invested in a new video endoscope, which allows us to look inside the stomach and intestines of animals with much more clarity and allowing us to share opinions on what we are seeing. These types of investigation have enabled us to make an accurate diagnosis for many animals without risking major exploratory operations.

New colleagues have joined the practice bringing new knowledge and ideas, stimulating continued improvement. Recently we have started a monthly cardiology clinic with a specialist cardiologist, allowing advanced referral level examinations in the surgery without the need to travel long distances for this level of expertise. We also have visiting surgeons who perform some of the more specialist orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries for us. All this has introduced new ideas to the practice, improving the quality of service we can offer, and our shared knowledge benefits colleagues, our patients and pet owners.

With the continual advancement of knowledge, many of us have developed special interests and undertaken training for higher qualifications. We have a range of vets with advanced interests in surgery, emergency and critical care, skin problems and eye diseases.

At our Newton Clarke Vet Practice, we offer an experienced, progressive and forward-looking team, but our independence allows us to maintain our traditional professional values and personal approach.


CANADA IS OPEN TO VISITORS… By Heather Muir, Manager – Miles Morgan Travel, Yeovil

With Canada now open to travellers, here at Miles Morgan Travel we have seen an increase in demand from customers wanting to visit this amazing and diverse country. When most people think of Canada, they probably think of vast peaks and sprawling glacial landscapes. That's all fine and well, but really the first thing that you need to know is that Canada is incredibly diverse and pretty huge. How huge, you ask? Canada spans over 9 million square kilometres and comprises six time zones. You're probably not going to be able to explore those 9 million square kilometres in one lifetime, so that’s where the Canada specialists at Miles Morgan Travel can help. Our Canada specialists can offer expert advice on a huge selection of escorted tours, self-drive itineraries, city stays and cruises, along with a wide range of amazing wildlife experiences including bear watching.

Discover Canada with the Specialists ü Expert Canada Specialist in Yeovil

Here we share with you our top three favourite itineraries but there are hundreds more. Rocky Rail and Alaska Cruise – beginning in Victoria before visiting Whistler, Blue River, Jasper, Icefields Parkway, Lake Louise and Banff. Then take the journey on the Rocky Mountaineer before boarding an amazing Alaska cruise. The Rocky Mountaineer is a must, but book early as availability is always limited. Polar Bear of Churchill – wildlife and adventure – each year in the fall, along the west shore of Canada’s Hudson Bay, magnificent polar bears gather near Churchill, Manitoba, waiting for the bay to freeze over so that they can begin their annual hunt for seals, their choice prey. Not accessible by road, the small northern seaport of Churchill is often referred to as the ‘polar bear capital of the world’. Eastern Journey – visiting Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal. Discover Canada’s mix of old-world charm and vibrant urban pleasures. Fortified towns, canals

ü Self-drive, independent and escorted tours ü Amazing wildlife experiences including bear watching

ü Wide range of hotels and sightseeing options

ü A great range of cruises to Alaska, Eastern Canada and New England

ü Rail journeys including The Canadian and The Rocky Mountaineer

Contact our Canada Specialist today Phone lines open until 10pm

01935 428 488

14-16 Middle Street, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1LY

and historic forts coexist with cosmopolitan cities with world-class attractions; and urban adventures make way for legendary natural splendour. So, if you are thinking of visiting Canada, or any other destination, then please pop in and see us at 14-16 Middle Street, Yeovil or call us on 01935 428488. We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you soon.

WHERE TO ENJOY OPERA OUTDOORS WITH KIDS! By Tim Saunders, Travel Correspondent Playing in the park while listening to opera. That is what the children are able to do at Waterperry Gardens in Oxford. This really is the first time that they have been able to do such a thing. Countless studies have shown how beneficial it is for children to listen to classical music and what a great way for them to start, if they haven’t already done so. There’s a picnic area near the park making this helpful for visiting families. Despite changeable weather this is a funpacked day out. The rural museum is full of interesting objects from the past including a Victorian cucumber straightener, an old cash till once owned by the comedian Ronnie Barker and various items used for cutting hedges. Gordon the curator is a mine of information and has filmed short videos on YouTube. ‘Gordon is just who you need when visiting a museum,’ says Caroline. ‘He brings it to life.’ She enjoys his demonstration of an agricultural device for scaring the birds which was simple but effective. We love gardens and this eight-acre estate is a pleasure to roam around. It’s not too large to be daunting, and a great deal of work has

been carried out here to make it as visually stunning as possible. It is home to the worldfamous longest herbaceous border at 200ft long – it is also stunning and classical in its design. It is not surprising to find that it is an RHS Partner Garden. Think of a flower, tree or shrub, and you should find it here. As we savour our surroundings, up above us we spy a wonderful kite circling.

keeping with the story’ Harriett reminds us. The trail gives a nice introduction to the gardens for all of us. We are then able to spend time in each part. At Yew Henge the children enjoy playing hide and seek. There are plenty of benches dotted about and there’s even a viewing tower. Waterperry’s ornamental garden is home to the National Collection of Kabschia Saxifrages.

I have missed seeing dahlias this year as I forgot to sow any at home and last year’s haven’t returned. So it is a joy to see the variety at Waterperry Gardens, which was founded as a school of horticulture for ladies by Beatrix Havergal in the 1930s. It is still possible to come here to study gardening.

For more information, visit www. Watch the video at

On entering the gardens the children are given instructions for the Alice in Wonderland trail and Caroline is given the prizes – we can’t queue due to Covid restrictions. This is an excellent idea because it really gets the children excited about visiting and even though it is raining they clutch their sheets and read carefully, Harriett (10) and Heidi (8) showing Henry (5) where to go. We all get lost but eventually find all the characters and the children each win a pink flamingo, ‘very in

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MANAGING STRESS By Amanda Whitlock, Total Wellbeing Matters Everyone experiences stress at some times in their lives. Due to the pandemic our levels of stress are higher than ever before. But what is stress? Put simply, stress is our body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. Stress is normal and can actually be a motivating factor in helping us achieve things in our daily life. Stress becomes an issue when we feel overwhelmed, become anxious and feel unable to cope. When this happens, we can become unwell – both physically and mentally. When I realise that I am getting stressed, there are various things I do that help me regain control. 1. I practice gratitude – every night before I go to sleep, I write down three things that have gone well that day or have given me joy. These can range from a walk with my dog, a hug from my husband or a positive comment from a client. Some days it is easy to find three things. Other days it is much more difficult. These are the days when I can only see the difficult things that have happened – the friend that let me down, the work project that didn’t go as I had planned. On those days I have to dig deep to remember the smile at the shop, the flowers in the garden and the friends that I know are there for me every day. 2. I consciously remove those things from my day that I know make me stressed. For example, I always try to leave the house earlier than I need to as I don’t like being late. I also add things to my day that give me joy and make me feel relaxed – walking my dog is one of my greatest


pleasures – his joy in the walk makes me feel joyful too. 3. I think about the language I use to myself and others. I believe that we all need to be kinder to ourselves and to those around us. Being kind does not mean that we always agree – it means treating everyone with respect and being non-judgemental. Being kind is a willingness to be compassionate. I try to talk to myself as I do to my best friend. 4. I try and eat well, limit my caffeine intake, and I rarely drink alcohol. Some people, especially during lockdown, use alcohol to relax. This can work in the short term but in truth that gin you have in the evening is a toxin and you are just adding more stress to your body. I also try and get some form of exercise each day. 5. Talking to my support network is a great stress reliever enabling me to come to solutions and resolve issues before they become insurmountable. Managing stress is unique to each and everyone of us. The trick to learning to manage our stress is to understand what our stressors are and our reactions to them. We owe it to ourselves and to others to put in place active steps to reduce the effects of stress. This will be trial and error – what works for me may well cause you to recoil in horror! Just find things that help you relax, that make you feel strong and in control. Selfcare is not selfish or self-indulgent – it is essential. It is also important to remember that if you are constantly feeling overwhelmed, it could be beneficial to talk to a medical professional who can help.



Why Princes Street Dental Practice wants to make its patients smile! Princes Street Dental Practice has been providing dental care in Yeovil since 1864 and remains independently owned by the dentists at the practice. It offers a range of dental care, from routine maintenance to innovative restorative care including advanced root fillings as well as cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening and alignment of uneven teeth with clear aligners. There are also three dental hygienists within the practice. Princes Street Dental Practice has built its reputation as a family friendly practice, and does everything it can to support and calm nervous patients.

MEET SOME OF THE TEAM Mark Hampson qualified in 1985 and joined the practice in 1987. He is particularly interested in minimally invasive dentistry and prevention of dental disease.

Don Gibson qualified in 1981 and joined the practice in 1998. He is interested in general family dentistry.

George Dobrescu qualified in 2002 and joined the practice in 2021. He is interested in all aspects of general dentistry, good communication and a holistic approach to dentistry. Dooha Elbouni qualified in 2017 and joined the practice in 2019. She is particularly interested in general restorative dentistry, as well as clear aligner treatment for teeth straightening.

DENPLAN Many patients prefer to have their dental care provided by the practice through a fixed monthly payment scheme. At Princes Street Dental Practice, Denplan Care has been available for over 25 years. Denplan is a part of Simply Health and covers all routine care, (including root fillings) within the practice at a fixed monthly charge. SOME OF THE SPECIALIST TREATMENTS AVAILABLE: CEREC When a tooth requires a porcelain crown, many practices take rubber moulds of teeth for a technician to produce a crown and this is usually fitted two weeks later. At Princes Street Dental Practice, the Cerec system is used to digitally scan a copy of the teeth, then computer design the crown, precision mill it and fit at the same appointment. This avoids the need for temporary crowns and a second visit to fit the crown. ALIGNERS Clear aligners are orthodontic devices that are a transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth. Miss Elbouni is particularly interested in this treatment for patients who wish for straighter teeth. ROOT FILLINGS The dental practice routinely provides root fillings on all teeth including molars. If a patient is a Denplan member there is no additional cost. Root fillings are fiddly and time consuming but should not be uncomfortable for a patient. TOOTH WHITENING Tooth whitening or bleaching is only allowed to be carried out by a dentist. A mould is taken of your teeth and bleaching trays, that fit your teeth only, are manufactured in the laboratory and then fitted and you are given a supply of bleach. The dentist gives you full instructions on what to do, and more bleach can be purchased. Just speak to your dentist if you are interested. To find out more about these treatments or to get in touch, go to or call 01935 475962.

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Keep Moving this Winter

By James Cattigan, Sherborne Sports Centre Manager Here we go again! Dark mornings, extra layers and the ground slowly shifting from green, grassy tracks to a trail of mud baths and slippery roads. Suddenly your usual routes seem a little less appealing, and the motivation to keep up with your summer self-care and exercise can start to waiver – time to rethink your fitness plan of action. The change of daylight-saving hours can be a great time to readjust your fitness routine and gain a fresh perspective on why and how to stay committed to your workouts throughout the winter months. Your motivation may have shifted from event training to maintenance mode or maybe you want to boost your mood to look out for your mental health throughout the darker days. For many, this can be a difficult time of year, with the change of seasons affecting mood and energy levels, so finding ways to combat this can be important. Working out can release feel-good chemicals in the brain that can improve self-esteem, give space away from negative thoughts and, for some, if done regularly, aid symptoms of depression and SADS

(Seasonal Affective Disorder). Regular exercise is also proven to strengthen the immune system, helping it to fight off infections, so at a time of year when we need it in full working order, what better incentive to stay active? Whether it's to maintain your health during flu season, beat the winter blues or avoid winter weight gain, here at the sports centre, we are excited to be once again offering a range of facilities and classes to help with this. We have the return of Indoor Cycling to keep you pedalling all year round – a high intensity workout on stationary bikes with upbeat background music that's lots of fun and suitable for all levels of fitness. AquaFit and SwimFit classes will keep you warmed

up and building your cardio fitness in the pool, and our Senior Active and Move to Improve classes will support you to stay strong and mobile. Kate has also resumed her popular Vinyasa Flow yoga classes to leave you feeling strengthened, challenged, balanced, and restored so there's something on offer for everyone at all levels of fitness. Why not come along to try something new in our friendly and sociable setting? Whatever works best for you, if you're joining us at the gym or continuing to embrace the great outdoors, remember to keep moving this winter! Visit our website www.sherbornesports., find us on Facebook and Instagram or give us a call on 01935 810548 for more information.

Appeal to provide SchoolBags for Afghan Refugees The Somerset-based charity, School in a Bag (SIAB), has launched an appeal to fund SchoolBags for 3,000 Afghan refugee children who have arrived in the UK. SIAB is working with its partner Afghanistan and Central Asia Association (ACAA) founded by Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi who himself arrived in the UK in 2001 by lorry, stowed in the back of a refrigerator container, having fled the atrocities taking place in his own country. Within two years of integrating his family into a new life in the UK, Dr Nasimi set up the ACAA to provide community-based, first-hand knowledge and information for families to help them overcome the challenges he faced during the resettlement process. Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan this summer, the ACAA has become the first point of contact for the government, media and the 8,000 newlyarrived Afghan people, making them extremely busy with unprecedented levels of demand. For the last 20 days, 600 people, including unaccompanied minors, have met at their office everyday queuing 42

from 5am to access clothes, translation services and immigration advice. The ACAA has listed enrolling the children into school as a priority, to get them in the education system as quickly as possible to provide them with routine and a safe, stable environment in which to learn. Luke Simon, founder and CEO of SIAB, said: ‘We received a desperate email from Dr Nasimi explaining how overrun the ACAA had become with the influx of Afghan nationals and that they needed volunteers and funds. I explained that we were not in a position to fulfil their requests but could offer SchoolBags. My reply went on to say that if the need was for more than a few hundred, we would have to create an appeal. When the very prompt reply asked for 3,000 SchoolBags, we knew we had to spring in to action!’ He added: ‘This is a gigantic consignment for us so we have approached our suppliers to ask if they are able to help out. It is a crisis situation and we are striving to get SchoolBags to the refugee children

as quickly as we can, to help ease the burden on the families and help make their integration into school as smooth as possible.’ All the money raised will go towards funding SchoolBags. Donors will be credited under the title ‘Afghan Refugee Appeal’ on the SIAB database, meaning that all the contributors will be granted recognition within the collective total of SchoolBags funded. To help us fund SchoolBags for the Afghan refugee children here in the UK, please donate at



Stress busting!

By Samantha Welch, Centre Manager Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, more and more people have become mental health aware. Not only have more people recognised their own mental health but they have noticed how others are coping (or not) with their mental health. The enormous impact COVID-19 has had on our everyday lives has increased the prevalence of awareness of our health, both physical and psychological. Many of us who thought we were immune to stress and worry found that we were thrown into this almost unreal situation where we had no control over what was happening, especially when the country went into lockdown, and everything stopped. We struggled to know what to do. So, we took to the streets! Walking, jogging and cycling were the biggest forms of exercise in the periods of lockdown. I know that in my village I have never seen so many people walk, run or cycle past my house in all the years I have lived there. Everyone was active (all socially distancing you understand) in some form or another chatting (or shouting) across the roads/ fields to each other.

Nietzsche ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.’

The government gave us the best promotion we could have asked for, in that exercise and physical activity is good for you. This is something we, at Oxley, have known for a long time and so this free publicity was music to our ears. Not only does exercise help your physical health it vastly improves your mental health

too. It improves our mood – you feel more awake, calmer and more content after exercising. It reduces stress – active people tend to have lower stress rates compared to those less active as it alleviates stress and can help us mange and make better decisions when we are under pressure. It has a massive effect on our self-esteem – people who have improved self-esteem can cope better with stressful situations and improve relationships with others. It is effective for both preventing and managing depression and anxiety, and its symptoms have been described as a ‘wonder drug’. Many doctors now will prescribe physical activity on its own or along with other treatments.

Buddha ‘To keep the body in good health is a duty

… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.’

And all of this is free and is so easy to do. Managing stress, anxiety and depression can be an awkward thing to do if you do not recognise that you are suffering. The first step is to allow yourself to listen to your body and mind, and if you think you need to get help then do. There are so many professional bodies, forums, and helplines available, dedicated to helping those going through a tough time. You just need to give yourself a break, both mentally and physically, and allow your mind and body to heal.

Check out our NEW Indoor Cycling Studio

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THE BURIAL OF THE UNKNOWN WARRIOR By Tracey Warren, Stoodley and Son ‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’. As we stand silent on Remembrance Sunday at the eleventh hour, we pause and our thoughts turn to those lost in wars past. This year is even more poignant with the foundation of the British Legion on 15 May 1921. Set up to bring together the four national organisations of ex-servicemen, it was established to give support to those that had suffered after service during World War I. In September 1921 the Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. The following year the poppy factory opened in the Old Kent Road in London. The factory offered employment to forty service men that were injured during World War I, and they manufactured 1000 poppies a week. Today the Poppy Appeal still provides employment to disabled veterans across England and Wales. The factory now makes approximately 36 million poppies a year. For those that have visited Westminster Abbey, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been a place of pilgrimage for those paying their respects to the fallen, and it has been the tradition of Royal Brides to lay their wedding bouquets on the grave after their wedding; this was started in 1923 by Elizabeth Bowes Lyon as a mark of remembrance to her brother who was killed. The Unknown Soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey on 11 November 1920. The idea for this tomb came from Reverend David Railton. He was a chaplain at the front and one day noticed a grave in Armentieres; it had a simple cross on it with the words ‘An unknown British Soldier’. Reverend Railton wrote to the Dean of Westminster, Herbert 44

Ryle, to gain permission for burial in a vault. A burial party attended the four battle areas, Arras, the Somme, Ypres and the Aisne, and exhumed the remains of four unknown British servicemen. The servicemen were brought back to St. Pol Chapel where they were met by Brigadier General L J Wyatt and Colonel Gell. The bodies of the four exhumed servicemen were placed on stretchers which were covered with Union flags. There were no identifying marks or anything to tell the officers the battle ground each soldier had come from. Brigadier Wyatt chose one serviceman, and his remains were placed into a coffin. The other three servicemen were then buried, possibly at St. Pol though there has been some dispute about this. The coffin was then escorted by chaplains from the Church of England, Roman Catholic and Nonconformist faiths, for its journey back to the UK. The coffin was placed into a larger coffin provided by funeral directors, Nodes and Son, who were also in charge of the burial arrangements at Westminster Abbey. The coffin was made from oak from a tree in Hampton Court Palace and lined with zinc. The coffin plate was engraved: A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 For King and Country The coffin was draped with a flag that David Railton had used as an altar cloth during World War I (It is often referred to as the Padre’s Flag).

The coffin was bound with wrought iron bands in which was placed a sixteenth century crusader's sword from the Tower of London collection. On the morning of 11 November the coffin was placed on a gun carriage and made its way through London, its first stop was Whitehall where the Cenotaph was unveiled by King George V. The coffin was then taken to Westminster for the burial service, and during the service King George dropped a handful of earth from France onto the coffin as it was lowered into the grave.

The grave was then covered with an embroidered silk pall, whilst mourners filed past. The grave was filled in using a 100 sandbags of earth from the battlefields. On 18 November a temporary marker was placed over the grave; this was then replaced on 11 November 1921 with the ledger stone we see today. Today it is still a poignant reminder to those that visit Westminster Abbey; a chance to stop and pause ‘We will remember them’.



A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER By Barbara Elsmore Tap, tap, tap – we would hear Dad tapping the barometer in the hall and if this was followed by a sucking of the teeth, a shaking of the head and the pronouncement ‘glass is going back’, we knew our planned visit to the seaside was doomed. Same with ‘too bright, too early’ another of his favourites which usually meant the early morning clear blue skies and bright sunshine would soon give way to rolling clouds and rain. On the other hand, if we woke up to an early downpour, ‘rain before seven, fine by eleven’ proved altogether a better prospect for a seaside visit, despite the early signs to the contrary. Dad would tell us about what very high cloud, mackerel skies and mares’ tails meant, how to spot rain in the distance, and when the far-off horizon was much too clear to mean the

fine weather was going to stick around. These are just some of the things he would have picked up as a boy growing up in a farming community where the ability to work out the prospects for the following day might be crucial. Many years later, when by this time I was married and we had our first home, Dad produced a beautiful barometer that he had kept in the loft. It had belonged to his father and must have been the source of the start of his own boyhood education in the ways of the weather. The barometer still takes pride of place in our hall in a perfect position to be 'tapped'. It is known as a banjo-shaped barometer and has a patent number and the name 'H B & H Petter, Yeovil'.

I wanted to know more about the makers, so I contacted Bob Osborn who runs Yeovil's Virtual Museum (www. and he helped me date my barometer: 'In 1901, Percy and Ernest Petter reorganised their many companies in Yeovil – their brothers Harry and Hugh, trading under the name of H B & H Petter, managed the original business including the Foundry and Engineering Works in Clarence Street and particularly the ironmongery and hot water heating side of the company in the Borough. But, as Percy recalled later “It was, for some reason, not very prosperous, and Hugh left to commence business and carry on missionary work in Buenos Aires, and later Harry left with his family to take up farming in Australia.” Your barometer would not have been made by

Petters, but simply bought in, rebranded and retailed under the business name of H B & H Petter, probably from their shop in the Borough. Its date would therefore be between 1901 and, say, 1910.' I am very grateful to Bob for this information as I now believe that the barometer was a wedding present to my grandparents on their marriage in April 1908.

The Nature Spot The short-eared owl typically arrives in Somerset and Dorset during the months of October and November, however this year they were showing up as early as mid-September. Local wildlife photographer Colin Lawrence managed to capture some images of this outstanding bird.

and about in the daytime, where it can be seen hunting for its favourite diet of voles. Look out for them as they spectacularly swoop and dive over their favoured habitat which is lowland, rough grassland and heath.

There is little to compare to the astonishing and piercing stare of a short-eared owl. Bright yellow eyes set in black, and a bird that is not afraid to stare back at you whilst sitting in the open during the day. In the UK short-eared owls breed primarily in Northern England and Scotland, but we are blessed by visits of this magnificent bird during the winter months, some coming from as far afield as Scandinavia, Iceland and Russia. Unusual for an owl - the ‘Shortie’ as it nicknamed often prefers to be out 45



To follow up on my celebration of the autumn season, I thought I’d revisit some of my favourite walks in Somerset and Dorset for this time of year. Hestercombe. This is one for truly varied styles and scenery, you will find three centuries of gardening across 50 acres near Taunton. Walk with Georgians, Edwardians and Victorians through the shrubbery, landscaping, ponds, streams, waterfalls and formal gardens. A good one for your big coat, there are plenty of places to sit and absorb the tranquillity. When nature adds her autumn colour display to the manicure, it’s spectacular. Exmoor National Park. I’m biased; I love Exmoor at any time of year. The moor boasts plenty of walks to suit all levels. A gentle ramble, meandering stroll or robust hiking; Exmoor has something for you. A perfect place to spot deer, squirrels and its famous rare breed ponies. Seek out sights like the Tarr steps, the climb to Dunkery Beacon and the villages nestled in the valleys with their welcoming pubs. Great for a wellplanned day trip.


for some spectacular seasonal colours.

Bath Skyline. From the hills surrounding this beautiful city, you can see why the Romans chose it. The walk stretches to about six miles in total, so booking a guided one is a great idea. This can make for a very safe and informative way to navigate this stunning hilltop walk. Not the easiest but I believe there are some options that are a little kinder on the legs. The views across the city are mesmerising and never more so than in that special kind of light we enjoy at this time of year.

the house and cafe too, so it’s a great one for a cold day. Look out for their special events.

Montacute House. Well-tended gardens surround the beautiful hamstone house. Just outside Yeovil, Montacute House is surrounded by well-caredfor gardens. There are some endearing hedgerows, lovingly called ‘wibbly wobbly’ after not really recovering after a harsh winter in the late 40s. You can visit

Sherborne Castle Estate. The old stomping ground of Sir Walter Raleigh, and you can see why he may have liked it here. The surrounding countryside has some of the best displays of autumn colour I can think of and there are paths that head through the open parkland and woodland of the castle estate. If it’s open, it’s a treat to pop in to Sherborne Old Castle (check times on the English Heritage site). The newer castle estate has an impressive collection of Japanese maple which can always be relied on

Corfe Castle. A beautiful spot to visit at any time, there’s a five-mile walk here called the Commoner’s Way which follows the story of the people who lived off this land for thousands of years. There is a leaflet which guides you through the history and landscape as you walk which is worth picking up. In the absence of a personal guide to the Isle of Purbeck, it’s a wonderful resource. Corfe village is a great place to find a warming bowl of soup too.

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Thorncombe and Hardy’s Cottage. I know I’ve written about this before so I’ll keep it short, but it’s a stunner, especially in autumn. Do remember your wellies. The woodland is served by a decent public car park and there is a great little cafe to defrost if you’ve got chilled in the woods. Hardy’s cottage is a short walk from the car park and is managed by the National Trust. Last but not least. Sturminster Marshall. There is a longer but captivating walk of about eight miles here from Sturminster Marshall that follows the old railway line, footpaths and bridleways to Spetisbury. It then follows the river of the Stour Valley Way to provide a wonderful photo opportunity for White Mill. It can be muddy but that can be the case for any of these walks. This is England after all. Walk safe, plan your journey and wrap up. I’d love to hear of your adventures while you make the most of the season before the colours fade.



Bargain Hunters Corner If an item/items are valued at more than £200 there will be a £6 charge. Wanted adverts are also charged at £6.


Dry Stone Walling and Paving

Dave buys all types of tools.

All types of stone walling undertaken

Tel: 01935 428975

Patrick Houchen - DSWA member

01963 371123 Professional & reliable service

GUNS WANTED FOR CASH Any Condition. SOS to all air rifles and pistols any maker or model. We collect in any area. Top prices paid in cash

07970 742471

Get connected. Stay connected. WiFi • Email • FaceTime • WhatsApp Skype • Google • eBay • Amazon Facebook • Twitter • Instagram

R Laptop R Tablet R Smartphone R desktop PC

Victorian balloon back chairs, set of 4, very good condition, photo available £50 Tel: 01935 426197 Terracotta plant pots, vintage and later, selling in lots of between 5 and 12. Photos available. From £10 per lot Tel: 01460 55105 (Ilminster) Mitox chainsaw, petrol, CS4116, 16 inches bar, owner’s manual included, good condition. £90 ono Tel: 01935 476815 (Bradford Abbas)


PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Tel: 01935 411813 Mob: 07811 070 498

• Interior and exterior decorating

• Carpentry and small cabinet work • Restoration of timber windows

• Making/restoring leaded windows • Hanging doors

• Fitting fences and gates • Exterior lime mortaring

• Friendly, patient, and knowledgeable help • Keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues for free over the Internet • Sell online easily, quickly and reliably

• Buying advice, setup and installation

I’m Phil Hudson, your local tech expert and trouble-shooter. I’ll come to you and sort things out, at a time that suits you. Or you can drop off your machine at my workshop for quick, efficient care and maintenance.

Call me now on 07805 783147

With over 20 years’ experience for a friendly reliable service please give me a call

01935 808052

Domestic and contract flooring specialists 34 Princes Street, Yeovil BA20 1EQ

Tel: 01935 478100

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Providing Dental Care for the Yeovil area since 1864

NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Princes Street Dental Practice is an independent private practice where you will see the same dentist at each visit. We keep up to date with, and like to invest in, new technology. We have invested in a CEREC technology which allows us to fit crowns and bridges in just one visit – no impressions!

We are proud to be members of the Denplan Excel scheme. Please feel free to ring and ask any questions, or come in and meet our lovely staff.

45 Princes St, Yeovil BA20 1EG

01935 475962