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Autumn 2018 Issue 28

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hat an amazing summer we’ve had so far with wonderful weather and Midsomer Norton’s fabulous programme of community events. It’s testament to the vibrancy of our town that so many people give up their time to organise Pride, the Midsomer Arts Festival, The Town Fayre and M-Fest and, on behalf of the town, I would like to thank them for their time and dedication. When ordinarily it would be quiet in August, work is starting by B&NES on repairs to the Town Hall, under the terms of the Asset Transfer Programme which will bring the building up to standard before the building transfers to the Town Council. Amidst so much bad news on the nation’s High Streets, it’s great to see the building work as part of a massive investment in the JD Wetherspoon site at the old Palladium in ours really taking shape for its opening in September. The Town Park Masterplan and feedback from the Community is due to be considered by the Town Council in September along with final designs for improved signage in the town centre. This issue of LIFE is packed with community activities and events for the Autumn months. I look forward to our community coming together for events as diverse as Remembrance Day, which this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War, our amazing Carnival, the Christmas Event and much, much more.

Cllr Paul Myers Mayor of Midsomer Norton







































The next edition of Midsomer Norton Life will be in November 2018 If you would like your group to be included in the next edition, please contact us on 01761 410141 before the deadline of 1st November 2018. If you have difficulty reading the print please contact the Town Clerk for a large print copy. You can also view Midsomer Norton Life on the council’s website at Midsomer Norton Life is produced by Ignyte Media Ltd, Unit G5, Second Avenue, Westfield Industrial Estate, Radstock, BA3 4BH Tel 01761 410141. While every care has been taken to ensure the data contained in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Ignyte or Midsomer Norton Town Council does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any retrieval system in any form without the prior permission of the publisher.





fter two years work planning and designing the Town Park, the Master Plan for the project was consulted on at the Town Fayre and is set to go to Full Town Council in September for final decision. If approved, this will release £300,000 of funding so that work can start in earnest on Phase 1 to create a new Town Park. Following the original purchase of the land in February 2016 by the Town Council, work has been in hand to turn it into a Town Park which will meet the needs and aspirations of the whole community.

CONSULTING WITH RESIDENTS During 2017, the Town Council created a vision and themes for the park. The Town Council established an Operations Working Party and a Town Park Steering Group to develop ideas. These groups also ran a public consultation exercise to ask for local people’s views. This led to a number of key features being identified for inclusion in the Masterplan. The following consultation exercises were then carried out: • An initial public consultation at the Annual Town Meeting in April 2017 • Three focused workshops (June 2017), with input from B&NES Council teams, neighbouring Parish and Town Councils and groups with specific interests in the Town Park. • A further public consultation event was held on 8th July 2017, from which a final list of characteristics and features were identified.

• A display including the draft Masterplan was presented at the Annual Town Meeting on 23rd April 2018. • A Community Wildlife day was held in the Town Park on 28th April 2018, which was attended by 40 local people, comprising mainly of children and families. • A number of update articles about the project have also been included in Midsomer Norton Life during 2017 and 2018 and a further consultation was held at the latest Town Fayre event with the final masterplan. In addition, in 2017 the Town Council developed an interim Management Plan and undertook work to sign the entrances to the new Park, and clear large overgrown areas.

THE CREATION OF A MASTER PLAN In November 2017, the B&NES Environment & Design Team were commissioned by Midsomer Norton Town Council to work with them to develop a Masterplan for the Town Park site. The draft Masterplan that has been developed between November 2017 and June 2018, for further public engagement and delivery of Phase 1 has been published for consideration by Midsomer Norton Town Council and the local community. This draft Masterplan document can be viewed via the Town Council website, or as a hard copy from the Town Council Office or Library.


1c 3b


2a 3a

PHASE 3 3a Wild Meadow 3b Amphitheatre 3c Footbridge link

PHASE 2 2a River Somer Pool 2b South Entrance (Pit Rd) 2c Batch Top Beacon

PHASE 1 1a Sensory Garden 1b West Entrance (Gullock Tyning) 1c Celebration Meadow 1d River Somer Walk

Midsomer Norton Town Park Masterplan Proposal Have Your Say













&NES is funding a range of repairs to the Town Hall which will see the much loved building covered in scaffold during August and early September. The works will bring the building up to standard in time for the now imminent Asset Transfer of a range of community buildings in the town from B&NES to Midsomer Norton Town Council. Cllr Paul Myers, Chair of the Midsomer Norton Town Trust, explained to LIFE: “The repairs will begin with new deep flow gutters being fitted and all the blocked and damaged downpipes sorted out. The B&NES team have been fantastic – really working with the Town Council to tackle perennial problems by commissioning mesh to prevent leaves and bird nests blocking the hoppers in future which have led to damp walls in the past. The perspex panes put in to replace broken windows in the 1980s and which have frosted with age will also be replaced on the middle floor. A ‘French Drain’ (ditch filled with gravel) will be dug along the rear yard of the building to tackle the rising damp caused by the soil build-up over the last 157 years. The infamous cellar drain is to be

repaired in order to avoid water running across the pavement which freezes in winter. The whole building will be painted outside (including the fire escape), windows repaired and in the process, there are plans to release 3 more of the original sash windows in the Assembly Room which have become painted up over the years – offering proper ventilation for things like the cinema. However, the jewel in the crown will be a NEW passenger lift which will replace the existing one which has given nearly 30 years’ service. “Whilst all the repairs only put right aspects of the existing building to bring it up to standard, they are nonetheless vital to ensuring that the Town Council can keep the building running pending securing funding for the larger scale Town Hall Transformation Project when it takes on the freehold from B&NES.” It is good to see that 12 years of effort on the part of the Sarah Ann Trust, Midsomer Norton Community Trust and more recently the Town Council look set to come to fruition.





ocal residents from across Midsomer Norton taking part in the Big Dig flocked to the Town Hall on Saturday 21st July with finds from holes dug in their gardens.

resident found an intact 19th century clay pipe in a garden in Park Way, on the original site of Norton House. It was even possible to put back together two pieces of pottery found in separate gardens.

Run by a partnership of the Midsomer Norton Society and B&NES, the aim of the day was to engage the community in an archaeological dig in a bid to discover more about medieval Midsomer Norton. Following an excellent response and overcoming the challenge of the heat and granite like ground conditions, a number of residents brought some very interesting finds in to show a panel of experts.

“It was great seeing so many residents who had never done any archaeology before engaging with the history of the town beneath our feet. On behalf of the town, I’d like to thank all those who took part as well as B&NES Officers and the Midsomer Norton Society members for making it possible”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton.

Amongst the finds of the day was medieval pottery found by Ollie and Henry Purchase in a garden excavation in Station Road, Welton. Another

In the coming month experts in B&NES will be examining the finds in even more detail before they return to Midsomer Norton to be displayed in September.

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The origins of the custom of ‘Beating the Bounds’ are believed to date back to the days of Alfred the Great and Æthelsatan and may even have derived from the Roman festival of Terminalia held in February. Terminus was the god of landmarks and in practical terms the idea was that in the days before maps, if you lived in an area, you needed to know where your ‘tribe’s’ territory began and ended and thereby stop neighbours encroaching.


partnership of the Midsomer Norton Society and St John’s Church is set to recreate the age old ceremony of ‘Beating the Bounds’ on Sunday 9th September 2018 meeting at the Town Hall at 2pm. Midsomer Norton’s forthcoming event will draw on the tradition of bringing together the young and old in the community to walk the boundary of the Town. In Midsomer Norton’s event planned for the 9th September, Rev Christopher Chiplin and the Midsomer Norton Society, armed with wooden staffs, will walk the Boundary and the community is invited to join in. Prayers will be said for the town’s protection in the forthcoming year and Psalms 103 and 104 will be recited. Upon completion everyone is invited to return to the Town Hall Assembly Room for scones with jam and cream. The reason for choosing to walk the Town Boundary is that the Parish Boundary reflects the pre-1933 map of Midsomer Norton (over 20 miles long) before we lost significant lands – the Parish for example includes Clandown and Clapton.

In later times beating the bounds had a religious aspect which is reflected in the rogation where the accompanying clergy beseech (ie rogare) the divine blessing upon the parish lands for the ensuing harvest. As a result Beating the Bounds was held on Ascension Day or Rogation Sunday. This feature originated in the 5th century, when Mamertus, Archbishop of Vienne, instituted special prayers, fasting and processions on these days. This clerical side of the parish boundsbeating was one of the religious functions prohibited by the Royal Injunctions of Elizabeth I in 1559, but it was then ordered that the perambulation should continue to be performed as a quasi-secular function, so that evidence of the boundaries of parishes might be preserved. “Whilst modern surveying techniques and maps have largely made the Beating the Bounds ceremony obsolete, at least for its secular purpose, I think it will be good to revive the ceremony in Midsomer Norton as a way of strengthening the community and its sense of place. As everyone returns at the end of the Summer break, the view was that a September date for a revival seemed like a good time to get together as Midsomer Norton’s contribution to the Somer Valley Walking Festival”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton.





he Spring issue Midsomer Norton Life brought news that the Town Council and B&NES Council jointly committed more than £30,000 to improve wayfinding and signs for the town centre in 2018. The improvements will see a suite of new finger posts and a new town map installed along the High Street that links with the newly installed signposted pedestrian route connecting the town centre, Welton and Westfield. WHAT’S IN THE 2018 WAYFINDING PACKAGE? • A Signed Pedestrian Route connecting the High Street, Welton & Westfield. • New Town Centre On-street “finger post” signs, helping residents and visitors find facilities and enjoy attractions. • New Town Centre Arrival Map providing essential arrival information where people need it. • De-cluttering the High Street by removing old signs and repairing the broken ones. Since the Spring, the Town Council has been working with the B&NES Council team and local business and community representatives to design the improvements. We now have a new Town Centre Map and emerging proposals for a suite of black finger posts with gold detailing. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? When the designs are complete in the Autumn, the Town Council will be publicising the scheme in the High Street before the scheduled installation ready for Christmas. If you have any questions please contact the Town Clerk on 01761 418701 or email



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his year’s Midsomer Norton Civic Service was hosted on Sunday 17th June by Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. Local residents and representatives from community groups celebrated community with hymns, readings and prayers before the event culminated with the Midsomer Awards.

lost our space in 1961 and it wasn’t until 1975 that Carnival returned to the town. For over 40 years Hazel has been Secretary of the Midsomer Norton & District Carnival Association – giving her time and energy to not only keeping Carnival alive but also working tirelessly to see it return to the High Street and meet the modern Health & Safety challenges.

“As a Council, we continue to be very keen to say thank you and acknowledge those who give their time volunteering and making such a huge difference to our town. This year there are ten awards to people nominated by residents, community groups and councillors”, said Cllr Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton.

4: BUSINESS INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR: Somerset & Dorset Railway As our local economy evolves to meet the challenges of the 21st Century – tourism is a key opportunity for Midsomer Norton. Our premier tourist attraction, bringing in thousands of visitors a year from around the globe, is our much loved Somerset & Dorset Railway. With an opportunity to ride on steam trains and a wonderful year round programme of events – the S&D do a fantastic job.

This year’s awards included: 1: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Dick Graham Joined the RAF in 1942 as a boy and went on to serve in India and Germany. He left the RAF in 1956 with the rank of Sergeant. He then joined the Royal British Legion. He has written four books and is working on a fifth. For the last decade he has been the compere at the Remembrance Sunday parade at the town’s War Memorial – reading out the names and organisations of those laying wreaths. 2: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Kathy Dymond For many years Kathy was supervisor of the school meals at Midsomer Norton Primary School. Kathy then went on to volunteer for many years as leader of the Tuesday lunch club at Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. Overall, she has given a great deal to help make our community a better place. 3: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Hazel Franklin Carnival is one of the town’s most loved annual events and it can only take place because people give up their time to organise the route and create amazing carts. Midsomer Norton was instrumental in establishing the Carnival Circuit in 1947. Sadly we

5: COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR: 173 Bus Campaign When a chance comment from a bus driver earlier this year revealed that the 173 Bus route was to change – cutting a transport lifeline for hundreds of people – local resident Chris Smith began a petition which became the 173 Bus Campaign. Involving residents and Councillors working together to put pressure on the bus company, it was possible to come up with a compromise route. 6: COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR: Housebound Library Service/Eileen Colburn Eileen Colburn is the coordinator for the Housebound Library Service in Midsomer Norton and has worked as a volunteer for this service for well over 30 years. Eileen and her volunteer team use their own transport and choose, deliver and return books for people who are unable to get to the library themselves. As such this is both an individual recognition and a team effort Award.


7: YOUTH GROUP LEADER OF THE YEAR: Siobainn Chaplin of Off the Record In recognition of Siobainn Chaplin’s dedication in her work over many years supporting the young people in Midsomer Norton. Beginning in youth work, Siobainn was instrumental in helping young people turn their dreams for a Skate Board Park into a reality. More recently Siobainn, working for Off the Record, has worked incredibly hard to establish a telephone helpline for young people based in the Town Hall, backed by counselling services which are addressing a real need in our community. 8: COMMUNITY PROJECT OF THE YEAR: The Community Cinema – Community Trust On the 9th March 2018, the Midsomer Norton Community Trust achieved something phenomenal – the return of regular screenings of new release cinema films to the town after an absence of 25 years. In true Midsomer Norton style, there was a grand opening ceremony, with the The Sperring Trust, which gave a £15,000 grant towards the new cinema equipment, unveiling a commemorative plaque at a formal reception on Friday night, just before the first screening. Also recognised were contributions from Midsomer Norton B&NES Councillors, from their


Ward Cllr Initiative funds. The Sarah Ann Trust also presented a cheque for £8,000. 9: COMMUNITY YOUTH GROUP OF THE YEAR: St John’s Primary School Quiz Team St John’s School brought honour to the town by winning the national televised competition of ‘Top Class’. Answering questions with lightning speed on a wide range of topics – the team of Izzy, Alex, Carys and John were crowned the UK’s smartest school. Well done to the team and everyone at St John’s Church of England Primary School. 10: COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Michael Moxham When Michael Moxham came to the Town Council to highlight his concerns over access issues to public toilets in the town, a process began which has seen significant improvements. Michael worked with B&NES on the design of the toilet in the new Modern Library in the Hollies. All the disabled toilet facilities have been upgraded in the Town Hall and the new public toilet open during office hours has clear signage. Throughout Michael has been instrumental in helping ensure these facilities are designed with users in mind.



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very pleased to tell everyone that W etheareMidsomer Norton Men’s Shed, part of the MSN Community Trust, is now up and running very successfully. Many people have contacted us offering help and we have been given boxes of tools and other equipment which has set us well on the way. From our kick off just before Christmas last year and through our official opening last month by our Mayor, Paul Myers, we now have a physical shed, thanks to the Farrington Farm Shop, loads of tools and a steadily increasing number of active members. The generosity of people has amazed us and so we’ve since spent time sorting out the tools and building racking to store them. Of course, now we have a workshop we should make things! We have made our first Bat box and also refurbished an old Bird box. Those will be put to good use by our flying friends we are sure. We were tempted to add a small sofa in the Bird box but perhaps that was taking things too far! The principal objective of a Men’s Shed has been met successfully in giving people a place to meet and chat, usually over tea and coffee and it’s wonderful to see new friendships starting. Such is

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the success that we have now opened a Tuesday session in addition to the Friday session. Men and women are welcomed equally in the Shed as we all have talents that can help each other. Our most regular lady is delighted to have found a mentor to help her with her carpentry. If there is enough interest we may open a ladies’ only session on a Monday for those who would prefer that arrangement. We have many plans for our future and the first will be to extend the shed to provide more dry storage and possibly allow us to carry out work on projects in there if space allows. This is still in the early stages of planning. If you are interested come along on a Friday between 9am and 1pm and say hello, we don’t bite! A cup of tea or coffee is guaranteed along with a warm welcome.


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SUICIDE SALVATION HERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU NEED IT Katie Liddle lost her brother to suicide W hen in December 2017, she and her family tried to search for support to help them cope with their loss. But a search online made them realise that most of the organisations and groups offering support were based in Bath and Bristol, leaving vulnerable people in need of help in the outlying villages having to travel; something that isn’t possible for everyone. This led Katie and her aunt, Steph Hedley-Heal, to think about starting their own group for the people of Midsomer Norton, offering help and support to those who have survived suicide and mental health problems but eliminating the need to travel into the city. Suicide Salvation, founded by Katie and Steph, started up on Thursday, 3rd May this year, holding meetings on the first Thursday of every month at the Salvation Army centre in Midsomer Norton. The sessions run for two hours a time, starting at 6.30pm and welcome anyone who would like to come in and talk. Katie said: “Our group isn’t just for the bereaved, but for people who have mental health problems and those who have tried or thought about suicide. We figured if we got both sides together, we can gain some understanding on why someone may feel like they don’t belong in the world and for them to see how devastating and impacting suicide can be to those left behind. We hope that being able to talk about it will lead to saving a life.” The couple of sessions the group have held so far have had a good turn out and is a safe space for attendees to talk without judgement or fear. Katie said: “The group has helped me see that it will get easier over time and that its ok to be happy,

even with the pain, just as it is ok to not be ok. Most importantly I’ve learned that it is so important to talk about how you are feeling and your thoughts. Your family and close friends are always there to listen and there are charities and other organisations that can help you, like the Samaritans and MIND, as well as smaller groups, like ours.” If you would like to find out more about Suicide Salvation and how they can help you, they meet on the first Thursday of every month at the Salvation Army centre in Midsomer Norton. You can contact them via their Facebook group by going to alternatively, you can call Steph on: 07543 001658. If you are struggling and need to talk to someone about a bereavement or a mental health issue, there are a number of organisations that can help you. Speak to a GP or phone 999 if you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else or call the Samaritans on 116123, Mind on 01225 316199 or B&NES Talking Therapies on 01225 675150.





ff The Record is a local charity that is led by the emotional health and well-being needs of local young people – providing listening services like counselling; groups like our LGBT+ SPACE; advocacy support for those most in need; and chances to influence and shape OTR and other local services in B&NES through youth voice. Off the Record B&NES provides a free, confidential, and independent Listening Support Service (LSS) for young people aged 10 to 25 through counselling and one-to-one listening support sessions. The young people we support face a range of issues which affect their lives such as abuse, anger, anxiety, bullying, depression, domestic violence, health issues (including substance misuse), homelessness, relationships, self-harm, sexual health and/or because they want

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something in their life to change. There is no other provider in the region offering anything similar. Would you recommend our service to someone else? “Yes. It has helped me immeasurably, and I’ve found the sessions to be great.” If you or a young person you know would like some support, or would like to get involved in the other services we provide please contact us: Phone: 01225312481, Text: 07753 891 745 Email: Website: Follow us on Social Media to keep updated on the latest news and events Twitter: @OTRbanes, Instagram: @otrbanes Facebook: @otrbathnes (Off The Record Bath & NES)

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he Committee is pleased to announce Level 4 Coach Jon Randall, ex-head coach at City of Bristol, Exeter and Derby, has joined the club along with his two sons. Jon’s claim to fame is he coached Olympic swimmer Liam Tancock in his formative years. Club volunteers’ commitment was recognised at the Somerset ASA AGM. Joseph was runner up in the Young Volunteer category, Pat Pulsil received the Wyvern Plate in recognition of outstanding services to aquatics and Nicky Vause received a county award for 20 years voluntary service to the club, and services to officiating at county, region and national events. Nicky recently passed the challenging British Swimming referees exam and subsequent poolside assessment, making her the first referee in the club’s history. Congratulations to former club member Daniel Crocker on his selection to the GB Under 20 Trialthalon Team. Daniel will be competing in Glasgow at LEN in early August. If you are interested in arranging a three-week free trial, please email Head Coach, Kay Willcox, on:


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Julie (12A) Thursday 6th September, 7.00pm

King Lear (12A) Thursday 27th September, 7.00pm

Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire) and Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner) feature in the cast of this brand new production, directed by Carrie Cracknell (NT Live: The Deep Blue Sea) and broadcast live from the National Theatre to cinemas.

‘Ian McKellen reigns supreme in this ***** triumphant production.’ (Daily Telegraph)

Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends into a savage fight for survival. This new version of August Strinberg’s play Miss Julie, written by Polly Stenham, remains shocking and fiercely relevant in its new setting of contemporary London. Please note that Julie will contain strobe lighting.

Broadcast live from London’s West End, see Ian McKellen’s ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear in cinemas. Chichester Festival Theatre’s production received five-star reviews for its sell-out run, and transfers to the West End for a limited season. Jonathan Munby directs this ‘nuanced and powerful’ (The Times) contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play. Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.


The Madness of King George III (12A) Tuesday 20th November, 7.00pm Multi-award-winning drama The Madness of George III will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse. Written by one of Britain’s best-loved playwrights Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991. The cast of this new production includes Olivier Award-winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall, NT Live Coriolanus) in the title role, and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey, Upstairs Downstairs, After the Dance). It’s 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King’s mind unravelling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man.


COULD YOU SPARE SOME TIME TO VOLUNTEER AT THE COMMUNITY TRUST? The many events and activities run by the Community Trust would not be possible without the support of volunteers. We have a range of small tasks on our rota each month ranging from selling ice cream at the Community Cinema to helping put out chairs for the Paradis Trio performances. If you think you could spare some time to give something back to the community, then please ring Alex on 01761 419133 or email manager@midsomernortoncommunitytrust. for further details.



LIVE CONCERTS The Community Trust are delighted to present two unique concerts at the Town Hall this September, as part of a busy autumn season.

Michael Lunts: Tickling The Ivories Sunday 16th September, 4pm Actor, pianist, singer and general one-man band Michael Lunts presents this potted ‘history’ of the comedy song, mining the archives from the 1870’s to the 1970’s, from Gilbert and Sullivan to Tom Lehrer, from Music Hall to Monty Python. While offering a fascinating overview of the comedy song, in all its variety, ‘Tickling The Ivories’ is first and foremost a musical entertainment, a smile-inducing, laughterengendering entertainment, as Michael works his way, and his fingers, through ten decades of musical wit. One man, a white jacket, 88 piano keys and a treasure trove of musical mirth, ‘Tickling The Ivories’ is a show that is guaranteed to tickle anyone’s sense of humour.

My Sweet Patootie Friday 28th September, 7.30pm My Sweet Patootie embraces the fun that makes live music so intoxicating. With a sly wink and a grin, they draw you into a world of carnival barkers and nostalgic romantics, making you feel like you’re a part of it all. Shades of vintage swing, country blues, folk, and ragtime collide in an uplifting vaudeville-style show performed with tight vocal harmonies, instrumental virtuosity, and humorous storytelling. It’s a unique musical experience that transcends the borders of the acoustic-roots genre, promising to entertain music lovers of all kinds.

This dynamic trio is comprised of singer Sandra Swannell on swing fiddle, zany drummer Paul Clifford on junkyard percussion, and singer Terry Young, who’s flashy fingerpicking functions simultaneously as the group’s guitar and bass. Mariposa Folk Festival, CA - Mike Hill My Sweet Patootie is an outstanding band. The combination of technical skill, songwriting and knowing how to interact with an audience make them ideal for any kind of venue. Musicport Festival, UK - Jim McLaughlin Incredible professionalism and stunning musicianship plus great audience rapport and stagecraft makes My Sweet Patootie a perfect festival band.

A SUMMER OF FUN IN MIDSOMER NORTON Organised by the Community Trust

Images by Richard Sykes




f you visited Midsomer Norton Fayre this year then you would most likely have heard the dulcet tones at some point during your visit of Alastair Slade, Deputy Mayor, who was Master of Ceremonies and general announcer for what was very grandly called the ‘Event Space’, otherwise known as the Somer Centre car park. LIFE caught up with Alastair to ask him about his role at the event. “I would like to begin by thanking the Community Trust who ran the event and other volunteers who worked so hard to make the day a success. However, we do need more help from members of the public. If we don’t get more people to help by volunteering before, during and after events like this then we just won’t be able to put them on. Please contact the Manager of the Community Trust with your details on 01761 419133 if you are able to help with this kind of event. PS – due to the changes in data protection if we had your details in the past we may well not have them now as we had to delete a lot of data. Please renew your expression of interest to ensure you find out about help that we need to run community events.” “I thought I would get that plea in early in case you don’t want to read about the amazing things that happened on the day. “I spent most of the day in the Event Space so only got to see the other things that were going on briefly but may I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all the stall holders and those who put on entertainment of all sorts for the public to enjoy; it was very much appreciated. “There were three main areas of interest during the day in addition to the stalls along Gullock Tyning. The Event Space, the Somer Centre itself (with the Town Show Marquee behind it) and the Town Park (which had the Children’s Activity Marquee also located within it which is also

there in case it rains on the day and we need to move some of the events/activities under cover). Wasn’t it nice that we didn’t have to though as the weather was kind to us yet again! In the Event Space the day kicked off with the Maypole dancing where six local schools demonstrated six dances; always a pleasure to watch and a lovely way to open proceedings. That was followed by dance troops, puppeteers, the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band and the James Brooks Guitar Group, some performing a couple of times over the day.



“Out and about in other locations nearby and in the Town Park itself there were birds of prey, goats, a drumming workshop, a Street Organ, a tractor, and classic cars to see and other fun things for the children including bouncy castles and a number of places to get something to eat. “At the end of the day in the Town Show Marquee the trophies were awarded to the winners in the separate categories and over all. As usual, the entries were all of a very high standard and judging them as difficult as ever I imagine. “I trust that has given you a flavour of the event and if you didn’t come along this year, maybe you will come next year and join in the fun. There really is something for everyone!” “In the Somer Centre there was a Victorian Tea room as well as a selection of different photography, art and craft displays and various stalls. “In the Town Show Marquee entrants had dropped off their exhibits in the morning to be judged which were then available for all to see later in the day once the prizes had been awarded. Also through the day there were judo and weaving demonstrations as well as information stands by the Midsomer Norton History Society, and the new Town Park consultation. “We are all very excited about the new Town Park and although we won’t be able to do everything we want to straight away, due to budget constraints, if you saw the displays we trust that you will see that we have tried to include something for everyone in the designs being put forward. “In the Town Park Marquee there were several activities being put on for children by the Wansdyke Play Association as well as a Punch and Judy show and other fun things to see and do.

Images by Richard Sykes





Section C – Cookery

1. Annie Davenport 2. Diane Lawrence & Carole Morgan 3. Wendy Treasure

1. Diane Lawrence 2. Janet Brimacombe 3. Nick Waton

School’s Trophy

Section D – Men Only

1. St John’s 2. St Benedicts 3. Welton Primary & Midsomer Norton Primary

1. Noel Avis 2. Phil Caple 3. Ian Simmons & Richard Robertson

Shop Window Display

Section E – Handicrafts

1. Cats Protection 2. Care & Share 3. Out of Asia

1. Bernice Drew 2. Margaret Johnson, Lucy Wise, Joan Lee & Sue Russell

Section Results

Section F – Art & Photography

Section A – Vegetables

1. Jean Cowley 2. Ivy Goatcher 3. Janice Cuer

1. Rosemary Blatchford 2. Annie Davenport 3. Carole Morgan

Section B – Flowers 1. Lynn Plumley 2. Wendy Treasure 3. Selina Ashman

Section G – Children’s 1. Erin Nash (KS1) & Oliver Aldred (KS2) 2. Milo & Thomas Aldred (KS1), Benjy Noall (KS2) 3. Paige Noel & Jessica (KS2)



DANCING IN THE STREET WITH THIS YEAR’S M-FEST latest EP. Bath’s Indie rockers The Shucks brought their unique raw energy to proceedings with a stand out set on the lorry stage, whilst in between sets ‘Stack up Sound System’ kept the party alive in the Hollies Garden, spinning some of the finest reggae and dub available.

This M-Fest, organised by the Community Trust volunteers, was a success as revellers enjoyed a range of music in the sun. The afternoon kicked off with M-Fest stalwarts GUTS, who played a range of their own tunes to modern rock covers. After a lively set from Hughmongous, there was a dose of lo-fi indie as Abstract Typography performed tunes from their

As crowds gathered for the headline sets in the evening, they were not disappointed. It must have been years since the High Street danced so much when Troy Ellis brought his authentic Kingston, Jamaica sounds to Somerset. His reggae vibes were then followed by the delightful folk from The Publicans who blended Celtic and English influences to create songs about very modern issues. The night was then closed by a spellbinding performance from the soulful Verdisa. After touring much of the UK and Europe, it was something of a homecoming for Sam, Andy and Jonny who closed the event to rapturous applause.

Images by Richard Sykes



WPA AND NORTON YOUTH CLUB JOIN THE FUN AT MIDSOMER NORTON TOWN FAYRE/MFEST EVENT Wansdyke Play Team were out to play for the fabulous Midsomer Norton Town Fayre/MFest event in July and located in the Children’s Big Tent at the Town Park, just past the Somer Centre. Families and children engaged happily in an array of beach-themed arts and craft play, a beach sand dig, scrap build and giant games. Laughter echoed from the photo booth where entertaining poses and props were snapped. At

the MFest end, based at the Hollies, Norton Youth Club had Staying Safe and other activities with social Chat & Chill on offer to enjoy the music and atmosphere. The Play Team were pleased to be welcomed back to the Somerset & Dorset Railway Station for their free summer Family Fun Day. Children enjoyed their ‘Dig and Splash’ on WPA’s Mendip Beach. WPA look forward to welcoming back Saturday Club (new members by application to admin@ and Norton Youth Club on Thursday evenings, term-time at the Town Hall. Check out groups and play on our Twitter/ Facebook pages @Midsomer_NYC, @MidsomerNYC, @WPAPlay for further information.




The annual Midsomer Arts Festival, organised by the Community Trust and led by Martyn Plant, was a great success again this year. Running from the 16th to 24th June with a wide variety of events and activities, some run by local people and others by people from outside the area, all intended to give an opportunity to engage in the Arts. This year’s art theme was flags, and many individuals and groups decorated flag shapes, which were displayed around the town. The first event was the opening of an exhibition of A Level students’ artwork at PaperworkPlus, which was on throughout the festival. This was a great evening with some wonderful work on display, and music provided by local band Hughmungous. There was much art on display around the town, including the work of pupils from Norton Hill and Somervale schools in shop windows, creating the ever-popular School’s Art Trail. Photographs taken during the pre-Festival Photo-Marathon were also displayed. The main event day, on Saturday 23rd, was the Art and Craft market in Hollies Garden, with a wide variety of work on display demonstrating

great skill and imagination, such as cakes, candles, prints, pottery, painting, wicker and jewellery. Local organisations CAM Valley Arts, Radstock Museum, Bath Museum Services and Lions Club also had stalls. There was gorgeous music from a diverse range of individuals and groups, including Norton Hill School, Merriman Theatre and Susan Hill Dance, The Chumley Warner Brothers and Paul Rogers. Frome-based Soulcats played beautiful summery folk music, local bands Guts and the Original Barn Finds had the audience clapping and dancing along, and Bath musician James Harriman bought the event to a close with energetic and crowd-pleasing songs. There were activities including drawing and flag making which many children and adults took part in. Graffiti artists DeeKay, Guts, Street and MimiInc created an impression with their incredible and large artwork made during the day. There was also a rich and varied exhibition of art and photography in the Council Chambers, and the high street was decorated with artworks made by local people, groups and schools. Other highlights of the week were Bath Opera’s performance of La Boheme, and Helena’s Harmony Workshop, both at the Town Hall, two quite different but uplifting and enjoyable events. The Festival drew to a close with a singers and songwriters Showcase in the Town Hall, headlined by Sharon Lazybird, and renowned singer/ songwriter Helena Softley. The Community Trust organisers are very grateful to all the people who performed or contributed to the Festival, and to all the people that supported the events and activities. Plans are already in progress for next years’ event, and any suggestions or interests are welcome.

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his year’s Midsomer Norton Pride Festival broke new ground with an evening session where local members of the LGBT community, family and friends had the opportunity to share their experience ‘LGBT Life in the Somer Valley 2018’. The resulting nearly two hour session of at times a moving discussion, gave some fascinating insights into local life and a general consensus on the need to form an ongoing group to organise Pride and respond to issues locally on the LGBT agenda. “It was fantastic to see people of all ages come together to not just discuss the challenges but how we can improve things going forward. In summary, the reality of life for the LGBT community in the Somer Valley today is that whatever equality laws are passed by Parliament, their impact on ordinary people’s lives depends on residents actually taking them on-board in terms of our attitudes as we live our lives together as a community. To put it another

way, changing attitudes on the ground in society means siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, friends, acquaintances, businesses, community groups – in short everyone – accepting, respecting and celebrating difference”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. The rest of the Midsomer Norton Pride Festival events including the Friday evening film screening, Saturday afternoon Bake-off and the evening extravaganza “Putin on the Ritz” drew larger attendances than ever before. In total, an estimated three hundred people took part in the weekend and stonewall and had a stall.

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WHAT’S ON AUGUST 24th & 25th - Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

3rd - Full council meeting in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. 5th - Lunchtime Recital. This recital is brought to you by the letter ‘S’ - songs of Shropshire, songs of Shakespeare, songs about sleep, and songs by Strauss. 12.30pm - 1.30pm St John’s Church, Midsomer Norton 6th - First Thursday Afternoon Social featuring The Sneakers, Welton Rovers FC, £3. 6th - NT Live: Julie, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm, £12 for adults and £10 for U18s. 7th - Paradis Palm Court Trio - “Hearts and Flowers”, 12.30 – 1.30pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall.

25th - Cinema: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (TBC), Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm. £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

8th to 9th - Volunteer Recruitment Weekend. Help us to rebuild the iconic Somerset and Dorset Railway. Find out more about volunteering with us. Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton.

25th - Live Music at the Riverside - Stealth legion, 9.15pm start.

8th - Live Music at the Riverside - Elvis.

26th - Live Music at the Riverside, Zero hour, 7pm start.

10th - Planning Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm.


11th - Finance Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 5.30 - 7pm.

1st - Farmers Market, 9am – 1pm, Hollies Gardens, Midsomer Norton.

11th - Operations Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm.

9th - Beating The Bounds – see page 9.


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12th - Lunchtime Recital, Colin Hunt on the organ. St Johns Church, 12.30 -1.30pm. 13th - Norton Hill School Open Evening, 4.45 7.30pm, Norton Hill, Midsomer Norton. 15th & 16th - National Heritage weekend at Midsomer Norton Station, Silver St. 15th - Big Dig, Display of ‘finds’. B&NES Archaeology Team with Midsomer Notron Society. 11.00am - 4.00pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall.


6th - Live Music at the Riverside - Angel Heart. 8th - Planning Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. 9th - Finance Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 5.30 - 7pm. 9th - Operations Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. 13th - Live Music at the Riverside - A Frayed knot.

15th - Live Music at the Riverside - Limelight.

20th - Beatles Celebration, Midsomer Norton Town Hall from 7.30pm.

22nd - Live Music at the Riverside - Tamber band.

20th - Live Music at the Riverside - Forgery.

27th - Somervale School Open Evening, 6 8.30pm, Somervale School, Midsomer Norton.

21st - Beatles Celebration Open Mic night, Midsomer Norton Town Hall from 7.30pm.

27th - NT Live: King Lear, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm, £12 for adults and £10 for U18s.

27th - Radstock Museum Fundraiser: Trash or Treasure, 10am - 4pm Somer Centre.

29th - Live Music at the Riverside - The Publicans.

27th - Real Ale Train event at Midsomer Norton Station, Silver St.


27th - Live Music at the Riverside - Dirty Harry.

2nd - Radstock Museum’s Bygone Days Talk, 7.30pm Somer Centre.

28th - Pumpkin on the Platform at Midsomer Norton Station, Silver St.

4th - First Thursday Afternoon Social featuring Bernie Vee, Welton Rovers FC, £3.


5th - Paradis Palm Court Trio, “Vive la France”, 12.30 -1.30pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall.

1st - First Thursday Afternoon Social featuring Nightshift, Welton Rovers FC, £3.

6th - Farmers Market, 9am – 1pm, Hollies Gardens, Midsomer Norton.

1st - NT Live: Allelujah! 7.00pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall. £12 for adults and £10 for U18s.

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2nd - Paradis Palm Court Trio - “Following the Gypsies”, 12.30 – 1.30pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall.

13th - Finance Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 5.30 - 7pm.

2nd - Midsomer Norton Society, The First World War and Midsomer Norton, 7.30pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall.

13th - Operations Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm.

3rd - Live Music at the Riverside - Snake Eyes. 3rd - Farmers Market, 9am – 1pm, Hollies Gardens, Midsomer Norton. 5th - Full council meeting in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. 10th - Mendip Male Voice Choir Remembrance Concert, 7.30pm, St Johns Church. 11th - Remembrance Sunday, 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. Midsomer Norton High Street.

14th - Planning Committee in The Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. 20th - NT Live: The Madness of King George III, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm, £12 for adults and £10 for U18s.

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12th - Midsomer Norton Carnival from 7.30pm.

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BEATLES WEEKEND Following on from last year’s very successful Midsomer Norton Beatles Celebration, commemorating the release of The Beatles’ seminal album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, there will be a second Beatles event this October. This time the focus will be the latter part of the Beatles’ career, from 1968 onwards. This period yielded classic albums The White Album, Abbey Road and Let it Be, as well as popular singles such as Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, Something and Get Back. Once again popular Beatles tribute band All You Need is the Beatles will perform on the Saturday night, 20th October. Last year the band really impressed with the authenticity of their performance, and their fun and enthusiastic delivery of classic songs. The audience were on their feet dancing and singing along for much

of the evening. As last year, this will be followed on Sunday 21st October, by an evening of Beatles songs performances by local acts, some well known and others not so familiar. Expect to hear thoughtful and imaginative interpretations of well-known songs such as Hey Jude, Let it Be and Back in the USSR, and a few surprises. Organised by the Trust, the intention is to programme some other related events during the weekend so keep checking the Community Trust website or Midsomer Norton Beatles Celebration Facebook page. Please get in touch if you are interested in taking part in the Sunday night event.

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SPORTS ROUND UP Midsomer Norton Cricket Club can reflect on good progress made this season, including a first trophy for the club’s women’s team, but there is still plenty to play for between now and the end of the season. Following the First XI’s successful promotion campaign in 2017, the club now play in the West of England Premier League Premier 2 Bristol/ Somerset Division. After an indifferent start to the season, Norton won three games in a row in June to take them to third in the league. Teams that Norton have played this season have included players of the quality of former South African international and Somerset player Charl Willoughby and current Somerset and international player Roelof Van Der Merwe. Recent results have not gone Norton’s way and in a tightly contested division, has slipped down the league table. There are enough games and sufficient spirit in the club to see them move towards the right end of the table before the campaign ends. The Second and Third XIs have performed well this season and are currently holding their own in their respective divisions in the Bristol & District Cricket Association. Midsomer Mavericks, Midsomer Norton Cricket Club’s women’s cricket team, were crowned the county’s first ever women’s softball champions at Weston Super Mare. The Mavericks enjoyed a great season, remaining unbeaten in their normal season fixtures and their unbeaten record was maintained on finals’ day, as they saw off the other top teams from across the county to secure the title. Skipper Jennie Webb says that the conduct of the players on and off the field has been outstanding all season. “This was shown by the amount of support we received when the Mavericks reached the final. Many of the teams that we had already

played stayed and supported us and showered us in champagne when we won! We would like to thank everyone for their support and Balance, the Countryside gym, for its continued sponsorship.” The Mavericks train on Thursday evenings at Withies Lane. Friday night sessions for junior players are especially popular with current and new members having an opportunity to learn more about the game from qualified coaches. Mums, dads and friends are always welcome to make it a real family evening. So, if you just want to come and watch then you are welcome to join as a social member. For more information, contact Nick Potter on 07872 383499 or email Results and fixture news can be viewed at www. The start of the new Western League season will be greeted with renewed optimism at Welton Rovers. Welton’s 8th place finish in the League was made all the sweeter by their two nil victory over local rivals Radstock Town in the last Coalfield Classico in May. Welton begin the Western League campaigns on August 4th against Corsham Town at West Clewes. Friendlies against Bitton and Bridgwater have had to be moved to Odd Down Sports Ground, as the West Clewes pitch recovers from the heat, yet both highly competitive encounters have provided Clive Scott with the opportunity to hone his squad for the coming season. Clive said, “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to keep hold of the core of last seasons squad and the additions we’ve made in the close will only strengthen us. Last season showed real progress and I’m looking for us to be build on that and push on this season”.



training and competitive games for boys and girls from 7 to 12 in its Mini Section on Sunday mornings. There are also teams for each age group from U13s to U18s. For more details please contact: Club coach, Martin Blackmore on 07513 480270 or Director of Rugby, Ian Tiley on 07765 053225 or email ian.

MSN Rugby Club coach, Martin Blackmore and Club Captain Tom Fear. Returning for another season is the Toolstation Western League Podcast, hosted by former Somer Valley FM Sport Show presenter Ian Nockolds. The podcast, which can be found at: www. and is downloadable from iTunes, provides Western League fans with a weekly round up of all the news, views, fixtures and results across both Western League Divisions. At Norton Down, preparations for the new season are already underway at Midsomer Norton Rugby Club. Over the summer, the club took part in NatWest RugbyForce 2018, a nationwide programme which helps local rugby clubs improve their facilities. There was a very healthy turn out as social and playing members joined together to upgrade the clubhouse facilities for the coming season. Preseason training has now commenced on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7pm. This season, Midsomer Norton RFC will field three Senior sides, with the 1st XV taking part in the highly competitive Western Counties North division, the 2nd XV competing in Somerset 2 (North) and the 3rd XV competing in Somerset 3 (South) and the Bath Combination Merit league. Coach Martin Blackmore and Captain Tom Fear are looking to actively encourage new membership of players of all ages & abilities to give rugby a try. The Club also has a thriving Junior Section which has over 230 members and provides coaching,

It’s been a busy few months at Mendip Hockey Club. Following the change of surface at Norton Hill School, Mendip have sourced four new venues to keep hockey alive for the people of Midsomer Norton. Senior Men’s and Ladies Hockey will take place at St Gregory’s School in Bath on Saturdays from September. Meanwhile senior training will take place at The Blue School, Wells on Monday evenings for the ladies and at Chew Valley School on Wednesday evenings for the men. Sunday morning junior hockey has moved to the astro pitch at Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse. Venues for post match teas and social events have yet to be decided, but Chair Andrew Baird is clear in his message that Mendip Hockey Club is very much open for business, and a warm welcome will be extended to players old and new. You can keep up to date with fixtures and events on the regional league websites www.wcwhl. and on the Mendip HC website www. If this report has wetted your sporting appetite, tune in to Somer Valley FM every Saturday at 4pm on 97.5FM for all the latest news from Welton Rovers, Midsomer Norton Cricket Club and Midsomer Norton Rugby Club, along with a host of our other local and professional teams. Special thanks go to Charlie Matthews, Ian Tiley and Carrie Tiley for their contributions towards this article.



MIDSOMER NORTON AND RADSTOCK SILVER BAND HAVE BEEN BUSY! celebration evening at the Bath Pavilion. A couple of our members were able to stay and enjoy the celebrations after.

The band have had a busy start to 2018 attending a variety of events. In April, the band were invited to play at the Man Engine event in Radstock. They were thrilled to be part of such an unusual local event. Later in April we marched through Wells with the Somerset County Federation of WIs to celebrate their Centenary. A highlight in May was being invited to play at the Radstock Co-op 150th Anniversary

At the beginning of June, The Natural Theatre Company asked the band to perform at an arts event in Radstock. A couple of band members had to join in the acting, I think we were all agreed that they should stick to playing! They also performed at the Midsomer Norton Fayre and it was a pleasure to be able to play for the local community. Anyone who is interested in learning to play a brass instrument, any players who would like to come along to a rehearsal or anyone who would like to enquire about booking the band, please visit or email hello@msnrsb.

30 YEARS OF MIDSOMER NORTON TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD The Guild was founded in November 1988 and still has three founder members, President Elsie Kite, Jean Brewer and Sheila Patterson. An early celebration was held at the hall on June 20th 2018 when we welcomed TG friends from other Bath Guilds and members of the public to share the aptly-named talk “A passion for pearls” by jewellery maker Frances Carlaw which covered the beauty, colours, myths and legends of pearls. Tea, yummy cakes and happy chatter, a generous raffle to which Frances had donated two pairs of pearl earrings and to which local stores Sainsbury’s and Tesco also kindly contributed, ensured a special afternoon.

At our true anniversary meeting in November, we will enjoy “Junk and birthday capers” with Stewart Sheppard. The Guild is affiliated to Bath Federation of TGs which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year and Denis Burn, High Sheriff of Somerset and Deputy Mayor of Bath, Cllr Dr Anthony Clarke were honoured guests at the 65th anniversary luncheon on July 26th at Cumberwell Park Golf Club, Bradford-on-Avon.



MEET OTHER LOCAL CARERS AT MONTHLY COFFEE MORNINGS The Carer’s Centre for Bath and North East Somerset are an organisation that dedicate their time to helping people who care for others to improve their lives and help them continue to care for as long as they want to. With a hub in Bath and one in the Somer Valley, the Carer’s Centre are locally based and able to provide a range of advice and support directly to over 4,000 carers a year in B&NES, over 500 of which are young carers aged between 5 and 25 and all of whom are caring for a seriously ill or disabled family member. As well as providing information and support on carer’s rights and ensuring their voices can be heard, they also have trained staff and volunteers who can offer counselling and emotional support. There is also a programme of respite activities for carers to ensure that they are able to take a break


and share their experiences with others in similar circumstances. One of the regular events held by the Carer’s Centre is their monthly coffee mornings which take place at Mardons Social Club, any carer in B&NES is welcome to come along to socialise and meet the team. Carers living locally can connect with each other and make friends, as well as find help and advice with how to look after their loved ones. The peer support helps carers to feel about to continue caring with renewed energy. The Carer Support Officer is also able to promote other health and well-being activities to the carers that attend events. You can find out more about their programmes and the work that they do online: www. or call 0800 0388 885.




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A CENTENARY THEMED REMEMBRANCE On the 10th of November the Mendip Male Voice Choir will be giving a ‘Remembrance Concert’ at 7.30pm in St John’s Church, Midsomer Norton. Then there will be the traditional Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday 11th November – with a commemoration at the town’s War Memorial of a minute’s silence, the laying of wreaths and parade to St John’s Parish Church for a Service of Remembrance. Whilst in previous years there has often been a gathering at the War Memorial when the 11th of November falls mid-week, this year the 11th is actually on a Sunday. For further details, please see the local media or visit the Community Trust website at www. midsomernortoncommunitytrust.


he Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month this year, marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. Months of planning have been in hand to recognise the anniversary with a range of events. The Midsomer Norton Society will be holding a talk Friday 2nd November in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall. Speaker Nick Waton will be giving a talk entitled ‘The First World War and Midsomer Norton’ with insights into those from the town who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. The Community Trust is planning a First World War related screening at the Community Cinema to commemorate the 100th Anniversary – details will be announced nearer the time.


MIDSOMER NORTON TOWN ALLOTMENTS When the Midsomer Norton Town Council came into being in May 2011, it found that amongst other interesting assets it now owned the Allotment Gardens on Radstock Road. A group of four councillors were drawn together to become the Allotment Working Party with the responsibility for managing the allotments.

It further came to light that some allotmenteers held more than one plot which, in the light of the size of the waiting list was felt to be not a truly equitable situation but that nothing could be done to alter the status quo but in future limit plotholders to just one plot.

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During a meeting when these matters were under discussion, the Working Party also considered the suggestion that the allotment plot holders would be the best people to manage the affairs of the Allotment Gardens because there was an inevitable delay in hearing of the need for something and the Working Party being able to convene, discuss and decide upon the matter, so the plot holders were approached with the idea of forming an Allotment Association. The suggestion was taken up and the model of onsite management has proved to be more effective than being run at a distance by the Town Council. Other examples show that there is not the level of commitment to keeping the plots tidy if there is a distant administrative control as opposed to a committee, present and willing to serve. Social events take place from time to time and the first on-site event took place on 24th July this year where the Association was host to a local gardening group. Facilities that are appreciated, particularly in this dry weather, are the presence of main water tanks which have made a huge difference. Most of the other local allotments have had to make do with water butts or carrying water to the site. Currently, there is 100% occupancy but applications are invited for vacancies, should they become available, via the website:



CHANGE AT RADSTOCK & MIDSOMER NORTON LIONS Radstock and Midsomer Norton Lions Club had an excellent and enjoyable meal at the Mendip Golf Club to mark the end of Lion Alan Denham’s year as President of the club and the induction of the new President, Lion Robert Jamieson. In his retiring speech, Lion Alan thanked all club members for their help during his year and wished Lion Rob all the best for the coming year. The Lions year runs from the beginning of July to the end of June and Lion Alan said that in all his years as a member of Lions, he could not recall holding the handover on the actual day! Lion President Rob thanked Past President Alan for all his hard work during the past year and looked forward to members continued support for him in his coming year.

Photo: Lion Rob with the chain of office, being thanked by Past President Alan.

You can find out more about us on our website, just google Radstock Lions.

MIDSOMER NORTON COMMUNITY WIND BAND Our local community wind band is now well established and rehearsing in the Town Hall every Tuesday from 4.30 to 5.30pm. Formed back in November as a result of local peripatetic teachers Amanda Garland and Katherine North identifying a need to give the local community a musical outlet and an opportunity to bring music lovers of all ages together in a group to perform. Led by Fiona Langley the band has played from strength to strength, doubling in numbers and performing at numerous concerts and events.

‘It is important to give young people the opportunity to play as part of a group for so many reasons’ explains Amanda Garland. ‘Rehearsing as a group develops social skills, team building and resilience as well as developing performing skills and above all else, having fun!’ ‘We are aimed at musicians of all ages from around Grade 2 and above’ adds Katherine North, ‘our current age range is from 10 to 72 and we are seeking to recruit new musicians all the time’. For more information please contact Amanda, Katherine or Fiona at



DUCK RACE @ TOWN FAYRE Midsomer Norton Town Fayre on the 14th July started with the annual Radstock and Midsomer Norton Lions Duck Race. Having removed cans, glasses and bottles from the river, enough to fill three bin bags, the flow down the Somer was excellent and we had no problems with ducks getting stranded, in fact we had to be vigilant and captured 30 potential escapees!

Photo: Lion Tony catching the lead ducks of one of the heats, watched by an excited audience.

As the river is fairly narrow, we were unable to send all the ducks off in one go, so had a number of ‘heats’. The first 10 ducks from each heat then took their place for the final race. Joan won the duck race with the £50 first prize, Karen and Lucy collected the runners up prizes of £30 and £20. Our thanks to everyone for their support, we raised over £500 for Lions’ charity funds.

To find out more about us, just google Radstock Lions.



THE NORTON RADSTOCK U3A Norton Radstock U3A meets at The Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton on the second Monday at 2.30pm for a speaker meeting and again on fourth Monday at 10.30 for a coffee morning. The speaker meetings each month vary from talks on The Kennet and Avon Canal, Life at the BBC and The Shakers. There are some forty individual groups run by members of U3A ranging from Creative Writing, Psychology, Reading groups, Current Affairs, Scrabble and Mah Jong to name but a few. You can learn French, Table Tennis, Computing and how to play the ukulele. The groups are too numerous to list them all here but there really is something for everyone.

Visits are planned to the Bath Races, Wells Cinema for a streamed Andre Rieu concert as well as trips to the Albert Hall and Bristol Hippodrome. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year with a number of special events including a Gala Dinner with speaker Ann Widdecombe. Two people from the creative writing and poetry groups have put together a book of poems provided by some of our almost 500 members to help commemorate the anniversary. If you would like to find out more please telephone 01761 479606.



BE PART OF SOMETHING AMAZING! The most breath taking community event in Midsomer Norton and the surrounding district will soon be coming to the High Street on Monday 12th November 2018. We’re always actively looking for people of all ages and abilities to join with us to organise this year’s spectacular illuminated carnival. We want to secure the future of our carnival for generations to come and to have an illuminated

carnival to rival many of our neighbouring towns’. However, we need extra help to make our common dream a real reality. From full blown members, to those that just want to support our cause, we’re looking for help to take the next step; we’ve got a number of roles that we need to fill and plenty of jobs that need to be done. Some require little commitment and others a bit more but the important thing is that no matter what time you can spare or what abilities you have, we’ll experience the challenges and rewards as well as the sense of achievement and joy that carnival brings but most importantly we’ll do it together as a community. You can find much more information, details about how you can support us and how you can contact us, see

If you look after someone, who looks after you? The Carers’ Centre provides free advice, support and breaks for people who care for family or friends. If you’re looking after someone who is ill, disabled or frail, we’re here for you. Call weekdays 10am —1pm on 0800 0388 885 for advice, or visit

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GADGET BUSTERS CAN HELP SOLVE ALL YOUR TECHY TROUBLES all the instructions down in a notebook so she can follow them at home. “I can’t tell you what Gadget Busters means to me,” she says. “It’s lovely to be reassured.” “Christine is very typical of people who come to Gadget Busters,” says Simon. “We’re all having to use the internet now, it’s the only way to do certain things. As people get older and housebound they need that access to the outside world even more.” For anyone who is baffled by their smartphone or wants to learn how to send an email, use Skype or has any other techy problem they can’t solve, Age UKB&NES’ Gadget Busters can help. Trained volunteers are on hand at the Beauchamp Room in the Town Hall every fortnight 10am – noon to help explain any IT issues people may have. “I wanted to learn how to use Ocado, the online supermarket, so I can stay independent if I can’t get to the shops myself,” says Christine Jacobs, a regular Gadget Busters visitor. “I walk with two sticks and still drive so I can get out and about, but it’s for when I can’t.” Since Age UK B&NES’ volunteer Simon has taught her how to navigate Ocado’s site, Christine now orders her shopping over the internet. She writes

Simon, who is retired, learned to use tablets and smart phones by himself and now enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. “It’s something I can do that’s useful to someone else,” he says. “I can sometimes learn things from the people I’m teaching too.” As well as offering a drop-in service, one-to-one sessions with a tutor can also be booked and there are plans to run specific courses in the near future on such topics as Skype, digital photography, internet banking and shopping. For more information or to book your place, please contact Age UK BANES’ Active team on or 01225 484510. To find out more about the other services, clubs and classes AGE UK BANES provides, visit

HIGH STREET D.I.Y. WELTON CABS 01761 417600 Friendly and reliable service 4 - 6 seaters cars Airport runs available Trusted courier service

Hardware, Electrical, Gardening, Paint, Tools, Plumbing, Key Cutting, And Much More... Free Delivery Midsomer Norton High Street • 01761 414355



NORTON RADSTOCK PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY The Norton Radstock Photographic Society is a friendly, welcoming club that meets at 7.30pm almost every Thursday evening between September and July. Established over forty years ago by our current Chair, Margot Witcome’s father, the club continues to thrive and grow providing an interesting and varied programme for all its members. During the summer months, whilst we do not meet formally at our base in Midsomer Norton, groups with specific interests get together and organise local visits during the lighter evenings. This summer has seen visits to the Owl Sanctuary at Newton St Loe, the lovely city of Wells, Clifton Suspension Bridge, the dockside in Bristol and to capture the action at a Speedway meeting. A small group of members also plan an annual away visit of approximately three days, usually to a city. Last year it was Liverpool and the Beatles, this year we are off to Newcastle for the bridges and a date with The Angel of the North! These trips always generate

high quality images that members use in club competitions throughout the year. Take a look at our website ( where you will find a host of galleries and background information that may be of interest to you. We resume our regular meetings on 6th September 2018 when we hope to welcome members both old and new. Our programme of events is on the website and the only other information you need that is not featured there is the date of our Annual Photographic Exhibition, which will be held in Midsomer Norton on Saturday October 27th. We are looking forward to another year of camera fun and camaraderie – why not join us with your camera?

DEDICATED CHAPEL OF REST Nicholas J. Maggs FUNERAL DIRECTORS Highfields House Bath Road, Oakhill Radstock BA3 5AF

We also have an office in Shepton Mallet Tel: 01761

418921 or 01749 840499


Fosseway Press

7 Frome Road Radstock BA3 3PT

Tel: 01761 431919





Following my appointment as Town Clerk in March I have spent much of the early part of the summer working on the Town Park consultation process and Masterplan alongside B&NES. I’m pleased that we now have a clear Masterplan which went through the final consultation process at the Town Fayre. Thank you to everyone who came along to the event and put forward their ideas. During the Town Fayre I also ran a consultation on the West Clewes Play Park and what types of equipment children would like to see. The event proved popular with the children identifying several clear favourites and I will now be working on a final design plan. In terms of funding, whilst the Town Council has a budget of £7,500 to improve and add to the existing equipment, I am currently also looking at other funding sources in order to increase the budget to provide more equipment. Throughout the summer we have been busy managing our green spaces. Over the last three years we have been running a systematic programme of pulling up the Himalayan Balsam on the upper reaches of the Wellow Brook Walk. This has been successful in almost eradicating it in that

part of our land. However, this year the planned focus was to address the area along the river bank with contractors booked to work at the Wellow Brook as part of a concerted grounds maintenance effort at the same time as preparing the Town Park for the annual fayre. As a result the Wellow Brook walk was mowed to provide access for a team of workers to pull up the Himalayan Balsam along the river edge which in previous years has proved difficult to access. Whilst it will take several years again to totally eradicate the infestation the Town Council is very much on the case in addressing this invasive plant. Looking already to 2019, as well as an annual river check we are exploring setting up a concerted annual ‘Balsam Bash’ in conjunction with all the landowners upstream of the River Somer above the Wellow Brook Walk. Finally I would like to welcome the newest member of the Town Council Team, Dave Paisey, who joined our team in a newly evolved role as Town Warden on the 1st August. Donna Ford Town Clerk





Paul Myers Mayor 07530 042627

Alastair Slade (Deputy Mayor) 07714 898902

Brian Lawrence 07701 007277

Midsomer Norton Town Council Town Hall, The Island, Midsomer Norton Bath BA3 2HQ - 01761 418701

Glyn Davis 07713 353430

Michael Evans 01761 235996

Gordon Mackay 07806 604302

Steve Plumley 07913 952901

Amy Purchase 01761 411860

Michael Rich 07812 170943

Lynda Robertson 01761 415629

Richard Robertson 01761 415629

Instead of telling you what we’ve seen, we can show you! Our new Horus Scope will allow us to capture images of your eye from the front to the back. Images captured can aid in the early detection of eye diseases. The camera captures the lens of the eye as well as the retina, so we can see the whole health of your eye and keep a record for future comparison.

YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT OPTICIANS Home visits available for those unable to attend the practice due to health reasons (5 mile radius) A fabulous selection of frames and contact lenses to suit from budget to high fashion New patients always welcome

ReadEZ Approved test centre M-Pod machine used for measuring the density of macular pigment Digital imaging of the whole eye

Established in 1939, we have provided eye care for nearly 80 years 2 Mansbrook House, 15 High Street Midsomer Norton 01761 413212

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Midsomer Norton Life Autumn edition  

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