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Spring 2018 Issue 26

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Your guide to Midsomer Norton’s vibrant community


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elcome to the Spring issue of LIFE which is packed with details of community projects, events and activities for the year ahead.





It never ceases to amaze me how much energy we have in our town which seems to grow every year. Take for example the 2018 Major Town Events page with 10 events in the calendar involving year round planning to enable them to happen and attended by thousands of local residents.






















The Town Council meanwhile itself is entering a period of growth and development. Our Town Clerk Clive Stilwell who has done so much to turn our vision for Midsomer Norton into a reality by working to deliver key projects such as the Asset Transfer and the Town Park is moving on. On behalf of the Council and the community I would like to thank Clive for his immense contribution and wish him well. Our new Clerk, Donna Ford arrives on the 12th March, closely followed by interviews for a new full time Grounds person to oversee our growing list of green spaces. Along with Carole Sims, our expanded Town Council officer team will be working with the 11 Town Councillors to oversee and deliver the recently approved Town Council budget for 2018/19. Full details of how the money provided by local residents as a precept will be spent. As the year unfolds we look forward to seeing real and tangible improvements as work starts on projects as diverse as the Town Park and Town Signage Project to the relaunch of the Community Cinema and the birth of new community groups such as the MensSheds Project. Cllr Paul Myers Mayor of Midsomer Norton

The next edition of Midsomer Norton Life will be in May 2018 If you would like your group to be included in the next edition, please contact us on 01761 410141 before the deadline of 14th May 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.





ew release cinema films will be returning to Midsomer Norton’s Community Cinema, the first time since the closure of the Palladium 25 years ago, thanks to the Community Trust. Backed with the support of the local community, the Trust has raised over £50,000 of investment to install the latest generation of digital projection equipment, a new ticket office and upgraded bar facilities – all backed by a deal with a top film distributor. Alex Davis, Trust Manager said, “We’ve sold over 8,000 tickets since we launched the Community Cinema, but until now despite our investment a couple of years ago in full surround sound, state of the art digital projection and a massive fixed screen – to date film screenings have been tied to blu ray release dates. What this has meant in practice is that we were showing films several months after their cinema release dates, when films were already available on DVD or to watch online. Now we will be able to not only offer releases around the same time as national chains, we will be significantly expanding the range of films on offer to appeal to a much wider audience”.

The new cinema will launch on the 9th March 2018 with a programme allowing residents to catch up with some of the biggest films of the year so far. The first films include Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, The Greatest Showman, The Darkest Hour and The Post. There will also be a range of top family films including Coco and Aardman’s Early Man. All this has been made possible thanks to an amazing fundraising effort by the Trust. The largest grant funder has been the Ralph and Irma Sperring Trust – contributing £15,000 to the Community Cinema in recognition of the initiatives impact on tackling loneliness and providing an affordable and assessable entertainment venue for those who cannot afford/physically travel to Bristol or Bath. B&NES Ward Councillors, Chris Watt, Paul Myers, Michael Evans and Barry Macrae together contributed £7,000 from their Ward Cllr Initiative Funds. Volunteers from the Community Trust and the Sarah Ann Trust were able to raise the balance for the investment. “The Community Cinema has helped create a great community spirit offering a night out people



can walk to. With new releases to be screened on Fridays and Saturdays on two weekends a month, this has the potential to really draw people into the town and expand the night time economy. A real bonus is that every penny of every ticket sold goes back into the community. I would encourage local people to get behind this new opportunity to help ensure its success and allow the project to grow even further�, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. For more information on the latest Community Cinema listings, as well as how to book your tickets to a range of upcoming screenings head to www.

The Choral Hall then evolved into the town’s first dedicated cinema, the Empire Cinema, in 1913. It was two years later that the next owner changed the name to the Palladium Electric in 1915. This was followed by a major refurbishment in 1934 when the Art Deco interior and front facade were installed. However, reducing audiences with the growth of video in the 1980s and DVDs in the 1990s resulted in the Palladium closing its doors for the last time in 1993.

HISTORY OF CINEMA IN MIDSOMER NORTON This latest development of the Midsomer Norton Community Cinema is the latest stage in a century of cinema evolution in the town. It is likely the magic lantern shows and very early films were shown in what was Midsomer Norton Choral Hall created by William Beauchamp when he converted part of the Smiths Brewery in the 1890s.

Attempts to run film clubs in the town were made until the launch of the Midsomer Norton Community Cinema on the 31st March 2012 with a temporary screen. A fully digital cinema with full 8.1 surround sound and a fixed screen was installed in 2014. Since 2012 an amazing 8093 cinema tickets have been sold at the Town Hall. With the new release film schedule now announced and many more screenings, cinema audiences look set to significantly increase going forward.






he town’s Annual Civic Service at which awards to recognise volunteers in Midsomer Norton are presented will take place at 6pm on Sunday 17th June at Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. Originally started in 2007 by the Midsomer Norton Society, these awards have developed into an important part of the town’s civic calendar. The Town Council took on the awards when they were formed in 2011 as a way of recognising the contribution of local residents who volunteer their time. “Over the years many people have been honoured for everything from specific projects to a complete lifetime of achievement. What is clear is that in Midsomer Norton at least, year on year there is no shortage of dedicated individuals

and groups to honour”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. Anyone wishing to nominate an individual or group for an award can do so by contacting the Town Council by email (townclerk@ or call 01761 418701. Nominations should be received by Friday 30th March 2018. There are a number of awards for individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the community and the Town Council welcomes suggestions from the community so there is no restriction on what people may be nominated for. All nominations will be considered at the Town Council’s meeting in April 2018 and the whole community is warmly invited to attend the Civic Service on 17th June.






he Friends group was formed nine years ago and became constituted in 2012— with our first AGM. Since then we have developed a long term management plan to transform the woods and meadow into a vibrant welcoming place for wildlife and the community. Anyone who has been will see the results our volunteers efforts - renewing and making new pathways, restoring the ancient Springhead, cleaning out the pond (it was a muddy area full of rubbish when we started) - now it supports newts and many other water creatures. We have installed seating, put up bird nesting boxes and looked after the meadow by having it cut every year. Recently we have installed a bin in the woodland, made hedges alongside Park Way footpath and the top pathway with the expert help of Chris Chivers. As well as Green Flag awards we have received seven Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards – five of them ‘Outstanding’.

We realise how lucky we are to have a mature woodland in Midsomer Norton which is available to not only individual residents of all ages to come and experience and enjoy – but also many community groups. We organize a complete calendar of activities and events throughout the year from volunteer days working on projects to full open days to enable the public to find out more about the wildlife at the Reserve. Trees are most important to help combat flooding, reduce global warming as well as contributing to an overall sense of wellbeing. The next stage of our development involves securing an Asset Transfer of the Reserve from Bath & North East Somerset Council to the Town Council – in order to come under the umbrella of the Midsomer Norton Town Trust. We believe that more local ownership of the Reserve will not only secure the future of the Nature Reserve, but get it on a firmer footing by developing closer partnership working. To this end we are currently preparing an updated 5 year Management Plan with the Town Council to take us forward to 2025. We are always looking for new members to support our work so if you would like to become a Friend of the Silver Street Nature Reserve please get in touch 01761 411292.



OUT & ABOUT IN TOWN FIRST THURSDAY SOCIAL Come and enjoy live music in the town with the First Thursday Afternoon Social, which takes place at Welton Rovers between 2pm and 5pm on the first Thursday of every month. Entry is just £3! Each month features live music, bingo, a raffle and there are hot and cold refreshments available from the bar. March’s entertainment comes from the fantastic band Nightshift, who are guaranteed to get you dancing. In April we have the wonderful Hayley Mallon returning to sing some of your favourite songs and in May we welcome back popular local singer Bennie Vee. The social is a great chance to have a laugh, meet old and make new friends and dance or foot tap the afternoon away. The Trust would also like to thank Midsomer Norton Town Council and Welton Rovers for their continued support of the Social - as well as the departing Terry and Annette for their efforts in establishing the event throughout their time at the football club.

PARADIS PALM COURT TRIO On the first Friday of the month the Paradis Palm Court Trio (Jacquelyn Bevan – piano, Lisa Betteridge – violin & Linda Stocks – cello) play a lunch-time concert, 12.30-1.30pm in the Assembly Room at Midsomer Norton Town Hall. Each concert is themed and comprises pieces of music in a wide range of styles. Rosemary’s delicious home-made cakes are on sale, along with tea & coffee. The themes for the Spring 2018 series are ‘The Romantic Piano Trio’ (March), ‘Easter Gardens’ (April) and ‘Birds & Bees’ (May). The concerts are free to enter with a retiring collection that, alongside funding from Midsomer Norton town Council, is vital for keeping this popular concert series going. For more information on these events phone 01761 419133 or head to


12 10 4 8 8


01761 411414



NT Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to broadcast world-class theatre live to cinemas in the UK and internationally. Launched in 2009, broadcasts have now been experienced by over 5.5 million people in over 2,000 venues around the world. Using the latest satellite technology, High Definition Projection and full digital surround sound, Midsomer Norton residents can now experience some of the finest productions in world theatre at the Town Hall. The fully licensed Sarah Ann Bar is available at all screenings. Tickets are available now by phoning 01761 419133 or by heading to Any remaining tickets will be available on the door.





Ben Whishaw (The Danish Girl, Skyfall, Hamlet) and Michelle Fairley (Fortitude, Game of Thrones) play Brutus and Cassius, David Calder (The Lost City of Z, The Hatton Garden Job) plays Caesar and David Morrissey (The Missing, Hangmen, The Walking Dead) is Mark Antony. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London.

The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.

Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. Nicholas Hytner’s production will thrust the audience into the street party that greets Caesar’s return, the congress that witnesses his murder, the rally that assembles for his funeral and the chaos that explodes in its wake.

Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.





f you live in Midsomer Norton you will pay for the services provided by Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council, the Town Council, Avon Fire Authority and Avon and Somerset Police in one single charge – usually referred to as your Council Tax.

For 2017/18 a Band A household with two adults would have paid about two-thirds of the band D rate and a Band H would have paid twice the Band D rate. The Council Tax for 2018/19 will be calculated by B&NES Council and your bill is usually sent out in March each year.

The actual amount that you pay depends on the property that you live in and the number of adults that live there. Each property has been put into one of 8 valuation bands, according to what it was worth on 1st April 1991. This valuation was completed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of HM Revenue & Customs and not the Town or B&NES Councils. The band your home is in is shown on the front of your Council Tax bill.


If you’re on a low income you can qualify for Council Tax Support. This reduces the amount of Council Tax you have to pay and will be taken straight off your bill. If you’re renting your home, you may also be able to claim Housing Benefit. For the purposes of this article we will explain how the Council Tax for an average property in Council Tax Band D (with two adults) is calculated and what the Town Council’s costs and income are.



B&NES Council Adult Social Care (an additional 2% increase endorsed by Central Government)


Town Council Precept


Avon Fire Authority


Avon and Somerset Police Total Council Tax Bill

£181.81 £1,624.97

The amount of Council Tax collected for Town and Parish Councils is usually referred to as the Precept. Midsomer Norton Town Council sets a Budget at its meeting every February and then agrees how to raise the funds required to meet that budget by setting a level for the Precept. The total income required by the Town Council is shared amongst the total number of households paying Council Tax – a figure is provided by B&NES Council each year. In 2017/18, this figure was 3778 which meant that the Precept was set at £89.55 for a Band D household with two adults. This produced around £338,000 total Precept income last year. In order to level out the impact of the residents who do not pay the full Council Tax amount (for a variety of reasons) Parish and Town Councils have historically received an additional payment, known as a support grant. Obviously this can vary between different Parishes or Towns. In 2013 the Government changed the way that any reduced income for local Councils was compensated and it transferred responsibility to the billing authority – in our case B&NES Council. Although B&NES Council initially passed on the full support grant to Parishes and Towns, it decided in 2015 that reductions in its own income from the Government meant that it could not continue to do this. So the original grant of £32,000 has been reduced by £26,000 since 2015.


SO WHAT IS THE TOWN COUNCIL BUDGET AND PRECEPT FOR 2018/19? Faced with this cumulative reduction in the support grant of £26,000 (around 8% of its previous Budget) the Town Council has agreed a Budget for 2018/19. The net total amounts to just under £360,000 against last year’s Budget of £351,173. The way that the council plans to spend the Budget for 2018/19 is set out below. CHANGES IN THE PRECEPT FOR 2018/19 Despite keeping the budget increase down as much as it could, the Town Council has had to increase

BUDGET 2018/2019


the Precept by 2.5% which will help to cushion the impact of losing almost the entire support grant. This all means that a Band D average household will pay an annual Precept of £91.79 to fund the Town Council’s work. The tax base for the coming year will be 3842.5 which multiplied by the Precept of £91.79 gives an income of £352,703 which with the final year support grant of £6,400 produces budget income of £359,103. The Town Council had previously set itself a target not to raise the Precept each year by more than inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, and this increase meets that target.

Expenditure Central Services - Council Office, Staff, Equipment, Professional Fees


Democratic Process - Newsletter, Website, Training, etc


Parks and Play Areas - Equipment Maintenance


Allotments - Water and Grounds Maintenance


Ground Services - Maintaining the Town Environment Memorials - Maintenance

£61,500 £2,000

Street Marshals


Community Support - Grants


Community Events


Youth and Children Activities


Community Trust and Neighbourhood Plan


Town Park Development Costs


Capital Projects and Loans (less Town Trust loan)


To Capital Fund


Total Net Budget Expenditure


Less misc Income and transfer from Reserves


Total Expenditure


(Compares to 2017-18 Budget)


Income Precept Received


Local Council Tax Support Grant


Total Budget Income





£1.77 PER WEEK Based on an annual Precept of £91.79 for a Band D household.


• 24p on a Wide Range of Community Events

• 30p on Council Administration, Pensions, Rent, IT, Training and Equipment

• 4p on Youth Club and Children’s Activities

• 7p on Capital Projects and Loans • 4p on Parks, Play Areas and Memorials • 17p on Grounds Services and Horticulture • 10p on Street Marshals

• 7p on the Neighbourhood Plan and the Community Trust • 16p on Building the Council’s Capital for the Future • 11p on LIFE Newsletter, Web Site, Councillor Training

• 10p on Community Grants



£46.75 +VAT

Contact Zoe 01761 410141

Midsomer Norton Farmers’ Market 1st Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm Hollies Gardens March 3rd, April 7th, May 5th Fresh, local & home made food & drink





or the second year running Midsomer Norton residents gathered to ‘wake up the apple trees’ on Saturday 20th January.

Society for working so hard to revive this tradition in the town”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton.

For those who were unfamiliar with Wassailing, there was a short introduction to this centuries old tradition. Then the Wassail King and Queen were crowned by the Town Mayor, and this year Oliver Bird and Monica Evans were chosen. The gathering was then led by musicians to apple trees planted last year in memory of Town notables David Strawbridge, David Fisher, Ted Hallam and Norman Voake.

The event overall was run by a partnership of the Midsomer Norton Society and the Community Trust and whilst a free event a collection was taken to help cover the costs which raised £65. We look forward now to a fruitful harvest of apples and to the 2019 event.

When the Wassailers arrived at each location the traditional ceremonies were performed using the town’s Wassail Cups to ‘wake up’ the apple trees. This year they were also joined by the Cam Valley Morris Men, bringing to the event a really important traditional Wassail element which was missing last year. The Wassailing concluded with the company returning to the Town Hall to tuck into scrumptious apple cake baked by Muffins the bakers in the High Street. “It was fantastic to see the second Midsomer Norton Wassail so well supported and also with the inclusion of the Morris Men in the 920 eden treatment rooms_Layout 1 24/11/2017 13:45 Page 1 proceedings. Thanks go to the Midsomer Norton

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ANNUAL TOWN MEETING P reparations are in hand for Midsomer Norton’s Annual Town Meeting which will take place on Monday 23rd April 2018 at 7pm in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall. The meeting gives an opportunity for the Council to update the town’s residents on the progress it has made since last year’s meeting whilst setting out its broad aims for the coming Council year. “It’s been another very busy year as some of our large projects have been implemented at various stages. Our Annual Town Meeting offers residents an opportunity to hear a comprehensive update on the wide range of projects that we have been working on to take the town forward as well as being able to ask questions on the issues”, said Cllr Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. This year the Council will be explaining how its plans to acquire community buildings in the town

are progressing and most importantly to consult the community on its final plans for the Town Park. The Town Council meets every month and in May it holds its own Annual Meeting at which the Town Mayor is elected and representatives for various internal and external appointments are selected. It will take place on Monday 14th May at 7pm in the Town Hall Assembly Room.

NEW BATHROOM & TILE SHOWROOM OPENING IN MIDSOMER NORTON It’s a new year and spring is fast approaching so why not treat yourself to a new kitchen, bedroom or bathroom with the help of Firenza’s friendly team.


GRAND OPENING SATURDAY 7 APRIL FROM 9AM Firenza Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms

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Come and join us from 9am onwards on Saturday 7th April for the grand opening of Firenza’s new bathroom and tile showroom in South Road, Midsomer Norton. We already have a small range of bathrooms and tiles in our existing kitchen, bedroom & bathroom showroom on Radstock Road, but we are excited to announce the opening of a second Firenza showroom. This will give us the opportunity to showcase additional products, giving our customers more options to choose from. We’ll have a variety of beautiful porcelain and ceramic wall and floor tiles on display which will be available to order, along with tile accessories such as tile trims, grout and adhesive which you can pick up and take away the same day. Stunning bathroom displays will demonstrate the numerous options on offer, from shower baths to walk-in showers, his and hers basins to vanity units with semi-recessed basins, plus fitted bathroom furniture to streamline your bathroom and conceal all those annoying dust-collecting nooks and crannies. Please come and join the celebrations at our new South Road showroom on 7th April or visit our friendly team at our existing Radstock Road showroom for a beautiful display of Crown and Firenza kitchens. We look forward to seeing you.





esidents are being invited to join in a community archaeological dig in a bid to discover medieval Midsomer Norton. The first of a series of events took take place at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, during half term, on Thursday 15th February 2018. The initiative, open to all ages, is being led by a partnership of B&NES Heritage and Planning Services and the Midsomer Norton Society with the aim of involving as many local people as possible in the big dig on Saturday 21st July. This is when people living in the town will be invited







Fosseway Press email:

to excavate a 1m square patch of ground in their gardens. “This is an incredibly exciting initiative. The more people take part, the more excavation squares we can have, and thereby build up a clearer picture of the nature of Midsomer Norton on the ground in medieval times to add to the extensive research amassed by the Society. And we’re really keen to have children and families all working together”, said Michael Rich, Chairman of the Midsomer Norton Society and Town Councillor. At the opening event there were displays on how the ‘Big Dig’ will work and details of why the experts are interested in digging in the town. Visitors had the opportunity to discover about life in Medieval times and handled objects of the period from the Roman Baths collection. They were also able to find out about the Historic Environment Record and look up their house/ its location online to see what things have been found nearby. The Midsomer Norton Society also gave short talks on the medieval history of the town based on original research carried out over the last decade which took members at one stage to France. Finally, there was a chance to have a go at ‘striking’ medieval coins so that by the end of the afternoon there were enough to fill a medieval royal treasury and a wonderful time was had by all. Registration for the ‘Big Dig’ opened on the 15th February – but there is still time to take part. Visit www. Once you’ve registered you will receive a briefing pack for the main event on Saturday 21st July 2018.

7 Frome Road Radstock BA3 3PT

Tel: 01761 431919






bold new project has been launched by Midsomer Norton Town Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES Council) to improve signage and street furniture in and around the town. Three key areas of work are being taken forward – improving how the town is signposted from approaching main routes, ensuring that signs around the edge of the town are clear and accurate and finally following up on a comprehensive audit of town centre signage to clear any unwanted signs and introducing information posts for walkers and cyclists (including key cycle and walking routes). The extensive audit of the town centre was carried out by B&NES Council Officers in partnership with the Town Council in December 2017 and amazingly there were 129 items of street furniture, including signs photographed and plotted on a map, just in the High Street and The Island! The audit identified 38 bollards, 34 signs and 22 benches, some of which are in a poor state of repair or serve little or no purpose – some of the signs are actually pointing the wrong way or contain information that is out of date. The audit found that while many of the items were in good condition, others were not and remedial work will be taken forward on those that are of value and worth keeping. Improved signs are also being proposed along some of the key walking and cycling routes in and around the town (including routes from neighbouring areas) and will be used to encourage residents to consider other ways of visiting the centre of the town, rather than bringing their car. Finger posts will be installed to highlight key civic, leisure and retail destinations for residents and visitors alike once they reach the town centre. Further information points are also being considered, perhaps utilising mobile technology rather than littering the area with more signs.

The project is being funded through a grant to the Town Council under the Community Empowerment Fund and from regeneration money earmarked by B&NES Council. Design principles are likely to maintain the tradition of black with gold letters for finger posts and the traditional blue for walking and cycling signage. “The results of the very detailed audit were somewhat shocking when we sat down with B&NES Council Officers to review the findings” said Cllr Steve Plumley, Deputy Mayor of Midsomer Norton. “This is a real opportunity to continue the improvements in and around the town that we have worked on since 2011. At a time when market town centres face enormous challenges from larger retail locations and the growing on-line retail offer, having untidy and frankly unhelpful signage is an ‘own goal’ that we cannot afford to allow to continue.” The outcomes of the project will also be used to inform another project to sign-post the Town Park as it develops and a set of design principles will be created to ensure that the whole leisure strip along Gullock Tyning is well signposted in a ‘brand’ that everyone can recognise.



MEET YOUR LOCAL FARMERS AT THE MARKET at the Midsomer Norton Farmers Market you are helping to support our local food economy and help keep small traditional farms in business. It’s also providing a platform for new innovative food producers who are creating exciting new foods with local ingredients and often catering for those who have a gluten or dairy free diet.

We are regularly bombarded in the media with confusing messages about what we should be eating, continuing food scares, animal welfare violations and whether we want chlorinated poultry from the States! Perhaps one of the simplest things you can do in response is come and visit a farmers market and ask those questions yourself of the local producers who have grown, reared, harvested or baked the food on sale. You’ll find out the stories behind a whole range of local farmers, maybe even arrange to visit on open days and learn about their products. Although it’s unlikely you’ll find an avocado or banana on sale the range of foods produced in this region is wide ranging and enough to satisfy most household tastes. By choosing to shop for locally produced food even just once a month

So whatever your tastes we will have full range of fresh loaves of bread ,local sustainably caught fresh fish , cheeses produced from sheep, goats, cows and buffalo milk, nutrient rich microgreen salads and vegetables. Organic beef and free range Somerset pork from traditional and rare breeds aswell as goat’s meat and milk, apple juices and from March cider and craft ale! From March we also have plants and shrubs available plus free expert gardening advice! Finally we always include an interesting community stall providing information about local projects such as the Silver Street Nature Reserve. With locally reared musicians playing it’s always a friendly and sociable morning out. For the full list of producers who attend the market on a regular basis visit www. The next Midsomer Norton Farmers Market will take place on the 3rd March and is always the 1st Saturday of the month 9am-1pm.


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MEN’S SHED - MIDSOMER NORTON NEEDS YOUR HELP! Men’s Shed Midsomer Norton needs your help – we are setting up a group where anybody over the age of 18 (male or female) can get together, socialise and support the local community. We are looking to engage with anyone who is feeling isolated, lonely, or wants a friendly chat, with the aim of reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing. At the same time, we want to be commissioned by the local community for projects (with the only costs covering price of materials, and small donations towards the running of the shed as we are entirely non-profit). It’s important to say that we will not take on work that will impact other local businesses. We want this to be a good space where people can come together, have fun, and have a positive impact for everyone involved: “Men don’t talk face to face; they work shoulder to shoulder”.

Perhaps you have some spare power tools or hand tools that you would be willing to donate? We need screwdrivers, saws, drills, and everything in between! Anything that can be spared will be gratefully received and put to good use. Do you have carpentry skills that you want to share – everyone here is eager to learn? Or are you just looking for a coffee and fun afternoon? Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved – everyone welcome! For more information please contact Richard Jordan on: 07818 420685 or email Can you help? We have a space for a shed – we are just seeking a redundant shed looking for a good home. So if you know of a large shed please can you let us know by ringing 07818 420685.

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TOWN SHOW 2018 This summer’s Midsomer Norton Fayre will host the fifth edition of Midsomer Norton’s annual Town Show, celebrating the creativity of the people of our town and the surrounding area. Entries are invited across a range of categories from all ages and abilities. Whilst there will be a number of trophies and medals to be won, above all we hope everyone will be a winner through the enjoyment of participating. Many people are eager to get preparing their entries already, so here is a first look at the

categories! Once your entries are completed bring a completed entry form to the Town Show Marquee between 6pm and 8pm on Friday 13th July or between 8am and 10am on Saturday 14th July 2018. Entry forms - complete with the full entry guidelines, cake recipes, as well as helpful hints and tips - are available from the Town Hall or online at www.midsomernortoncommunitytrust.

TOWN SHOW CATEGORIES 2018 Section A: Vegetables 1: Three Courgettes 2: Three Beetroot 3: Five Tomatoes 4: Two Cucumbers 5: Three Carrots 6: Three Onions 7: Six Pods of Peas 8: Five Potatoes 9: Six Broad Beans 10: Three Sticks of Rhubarb 11: Three of the same vegetables not above 12: A dish of any type of the same fruit

Section B: Flowers 1: One Perfect Bloom 2: Three Roses 3: Nine Sweet Peas 4: Vase of mixed Garden Flowers 5: Arrangement in a wine glass (10” max. height) 6: Flowering Pot Plant 7: Table Flower Arrangement: ‘A Little Bit of Sparkle’ (max. 14’’x 14’’)

8: Foliage Pot Plant 9: An Orchid Plant

Section C: Cookery 1: Victoria Sponge (from recipe) 2: Fruit Cake (from recipe) 3: Five Scones (from recipe) 4:Savoury Flan 5: Five Biscuits 6: Lemon Drizzle Cake 7: Apple Cake 8: Jar of Marmalade 9: Jar of Jam 10: Jar of Jelly 11: Jar of Chutney 12: Loaf of Homemade Bread (bread makers allowed)

Section D: Men only Cookery 1: Victoria Sponge (from recipe) 2: Fruit Cake (from recipe) 3: Jar of Marmalade 4: Jar of Chutney


Section E: Handicrafts 1: Any item of cross-stitch/tapestry 2: Embroidery 3: Cushion in any medium 4: Item of crochet 5: Handmade Card 6: Toy – Any medium (max. 15”) 7: Hand Knitted Garment (4ply or double knitting) 8: Handicraft not in other classes e.g. pottery, wood, basketry (no kits please)

Section F: Art & Photography 1: Photograph – ‘Wild Sky’ colour print not larger than 7” x 5” unmounted 2: Photograph - subject ‘Midsomer Norton Scene’ – colour print not larger than 7” x 5” unmounted 3: Photograph - subject ‘Humorous’– colour print not larger than 7” x 5” unmounted 4: Painting in any medium - subject ‘Landscape’ not larger than 16” x 12” 5: Pastel Drawing – any subject, not larger than 16” x 12” 6: Watercolour painting of a flower - not larger than 16” x 12” NB: Sizes given for 4-6 are for the picture dimensions including any frame.

Section G: Children’s Age entry: Classes 1-4: Early Years & Key Stage 1, Classes 5-9: Key Stage 2 & Key Stage 3. Please state name and age on back of all entries (not on the front please). 1: Sock puppet 2: Animal made from fruit and vegetables 3: Painted hard boiled egg 4: Painted paper plate (max. 8”) 5: Design a mobile phone case 6: Handwriting: Write a thank you letter from Jane to John (max. 26 words) 7: Victoria Sponge on a plate 8: Handmade Lego model – own design 9: Colour photo: ‘Pets’ no larger than 7” x 5” unmounted.




2018 MAJOR TOWN EVENTS LIFE has a regular What’s On page W hilst looking 3 months ahead, with so many events already planned we thought it would be great to provide a 2018 overview:

MONDAY 23RD APRIL – ANNUAL TOWN MEETING The meeting will take place in the Town Hall Assembly Room from 7pm and it is hoped that many members of the community will come along and take this important opportunity to hear an update on the Council’s activities, have their say on the plans for the Park which is aimed at providing a facility not only for the town but for the surrounding areas.


The 4th annual Arts Festival showcases the very best visual and performing arts in our local community. Always offering a varied programme including music workshops, extensive displays of art works produced by local schools and members of the community, music performances and film screenings.


SUNDAY 24TH JUNE – CIVIC SERVICE & MIDSOMER AWARDS The Annual Town Civic Service provides a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge all those who volunteer in our community. Originally started in 2007 by the Midsomer Norton Society, the Midsomer Awards have developed into an important part of the town’s civic calendar.

The first ever Midsomer Norton Pride Event took place in 2016 and since then has been raising awareness of LGBT issues by bringing together the community to promote equalities in the town.

SATURDAY 14TH JULY MIDSOMER NORTON FAYRE Based on the Royal Charter of 1248, this event continues to grow and grow. There is literally something for the whole family from the opening Duck Race, Town Show, Maypole Festival,


Community Stalls, dance displays, brass band, musical performances, workshops, photographic & art exhibitions, tea rooms, bouncy castles and so much more…


SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER – REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY The day on which we commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

SATURDAY 14TH JULY – M-FEST The third Annual M-Fest bringing live music to the centre of town - featuring a fantastic range of local talent covering the best of rock, pop, reggae, ska, country, folk and more on two outdoor stages.

MONDAY 12TH NOVEMBER – MIDSOMER NORTON CARNIVAL The largest event in the Somer Valley, Carnival is a wonderful spectacle for the whole family as well as raising thousands of pounds for local good causes.

SATURDAY 21ST JULY – BIG DIG IN MIDSOMER NORTON An opportunity to join in a community archaeological dig in a bid to discover medieval Midsomer Norton. The second in a series of events with its hub at the Town Hall, the initiative, open to all ages, is being led by a partnership of B&NES Heritage and Planning Services and the Midsomer Norton Society.

FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER – XMAS EVENT & LIGHTS SWITCH-ON The town’s annual Christmas celebration with a children’s event in the High Street Methodist Church, followed by carols around the Christmas tree in the Hollies Garden and our very own Christmas Market full of warm local cheer.




WHAT’S ON MARCH 1st - First Thursday Social at Welton Rovers Football Club, 2pm-5pm, £3 entry. 2nd - Paradis Palm Court Trio - The Romantic Piano Trio at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 12.30pm, Free entry (Donations welcome). 3rd - Spring Fest at Midsomer Norton Cricket Club, 12.30pm - 1.00am, £15 (Over 18s). 3rd - Farmers Market at Hollies Gardens (next to Sainsburys) 9am-1pm. 5th - Full Town Council Meeting at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm-9pm. 8th - Midsomer Norton Society - Homage to pubs in Midsomer Norton. Town Hall, 7.30pm. 9th - Cinema: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 10th & 11th - Gala Weekend at Midsomer Norton Railway, Silver St.


10th - Cinema: Paddington 2, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 10th - Cinema:The Greatest Showman, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 12th - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm - 9pm. 16th - Wine and Cheese Tasting at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm. £25 includes crackers, an experienced wine host and wine and cheese notes. 17th - Afternoon and Evening Real Ale Trains at Midsomer Norton Railway, Silver St. 22nd - National Theatre - Julius Caesar at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12 Under 18s £10. 22nd - Driver Experience Day at Midsomer Norton Railway, Silver St. 23rd - Cinema: The Post, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 24th - Cinema: Coco, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 24th - Cinema: Darkest Hour, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 24th - Limelight - Bristol at Riverside Bar, 9.00pm, Midsomer Norton.



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28th - Baby Bounce and Rhyme at Midsomer Norton Library, 11.00am, Free.

19th - Midsomer Norton Society – Life and Times of Frederick Stukeley Savage. Town Hall, 7.30pm.


27th - Cinema:Mary Magdalene, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

1st & 2nd - Easter Bunny Hunt. Trains running hauled by 7109, “Joyce” at Midsomer Norton Railway, Silver St. 3rd - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7pm-9pm.

28th - Cinema: Peter Rabbit, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

5th - First Thursday Social at Welton Rovers Football Club, 2pm-5pm, £3 entry.

28th - Cinema: Finding your Feet, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

6th - Paradis Palm Court Trio - Easter Gardens at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 12.30pm, Free Entry (Donations welcome).


7th - Town Fayre host a quiz at Midsomer Norton Town Hall. 7.30pm. 7th - Royal British Legion Coffee morning, Town Hall, 10am - 12.30pm. 13th - Carradine’s Cockney Singalong. BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! An evening of Cockney classics, wartime singalongs, music hall medleys and old favourites from across the ages. Midsomer Norton Town Hall. 14th - Cinema: Early Man, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 14th - Cinema: The Mercy, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. £5 for adults, £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children).

3rd - First Thursday Social at Welton Rovers Football Club, 2pm-5pm, £3 entry. 4th - Paradis Palm Trio - Birds and Bees at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 12.30pm, Free Entry (Donations welcome). 5th - Farmers Market at Hollies Gardens (next to Sainsburys), 9am-1pm. 5th - Choral Spring Concert at St John the Baptist Church, The society welcomes spring with Bach’s Magnificat and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. 7.30pm 9.30pm, £12.50 (under 16s go free). 10th - National Theatre - Macbeth , Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm Adults £12 Under 18s £10 20th - Midsomer Norton Society – Woodchester Mansion. Town Hall, 7.30pm.




We run a gentle seated or standing fitness class called Extend; Tai Chi sessions which help with strength and balance, as well as walking groups and Walking Football. They are all great ways to improve fitness while making friends. The Lunch Bunch meets once a month and tucks into tasty meals in pubs in the Norton Radstock area. Our Cook and Eat courses are an excellent way to learn how to prepare nutritious and delicious food, with the bonus of eating together at the end of the session. Meanwhile, the Singing For Fun group meets once a week for a good singsong.

HOW TO LIVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND FULFILLING LATER LIFE Would you like to meet new people and/or get fit? Maybe you have money worries or are concerned about how you would cope should you need to go into hospital. If so, Age UK Bath and North East Somerset is here to help. We’re a local independent charity dedicated to ensuring older people live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Whether you’re fit and healthy but looking for a new hobby or recovering from a long-term illness and want to regain your strength, we’ve got lots of activities on offer in Midsomer Norton.

For people unable to travel we offer a befriending service, where a volunteer provides weekly companionship for as long as it is needed. We also run a day centre in Midsomer Norton, providing a two-course hot meal and the chance to meet new people. We will even collect you if you are unable to get there on your own. If you are admitted to hospital and worried about how you will cope once you are discharged, our Home from Hospital provides free help for up to six weeks, including transport home. Our Information and Advice team can offer free advice on a wide range of issues, including benefits, care planning, housing, heating grants and help to fill in Attendance Allowance forms. To find out more about any of our services, just pick up the phone and call 01225 466135.

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AGE UK LOCAL ACTIVITIES Book Group: Friendly Age UK BANES book group discuss their latest read. Third Tuesday of the month, 10am-11.30am, Midsomer Norton Library, £3 suggested donation. For more information or to book your place, call or 01225 484510.

COOK AND EAT: Whether you’re a skilled cook whose nutritional knowledge could do with a brush-up, or you don’t know how to turn the cooker on, Age UK BANES Cook and Eat courses can help. We’ll show you how to prepare nutritious and delicious food, with the bonus of eating together at the end of the session. £5 per session, ingredients included. Orchard Hall, Orchard Vale, BA3 2RB. First and third Tuesday of the month, 11.30am-2pm. Call 01225 484510 or email LUNCH BUNCH: Age UK BANES group meets first Monday of the month for a sociable lunch in various pubs around the Midsomer Norton/ Radstock area. The schedule varies, so if you are interested in joining the group, please get in touch and we will let you know about upcoming dates. Email or call 01225 484510.

SINGING FOR FUN: Get-together for a good sing-song. Orchard Hall, Orchard Vale, BA3 2RB. Fourth Tuesday of the month 2.30pm, £3 including refreshments. For more information or to book your place, call Age UK BANES on active@ or 01225 484510.

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EXTEND EXERCISE: If you enjoy music and want to improve your fitness, Age UK BANES has the class for you. Orchard Hall, Orchard Vale, £3 including refreshments, Tuesdays 10am. TAI CHI: Classes for older people who have not tried Tai Chi before but are looking for an introduction to this gentle exercise. Mondays 11am-12, Old Town Hall, £4 per session. Wednesdays 2-3pm, Orchard Hall, Orchard Vale, BA3 2RB. Contact Age UK BANES on 01225 484510 or 01225 484510. WALKING FOOTBALL: Gentler version of the beautiful game. Aims both to draw once-active older people back to their sporting roots and to engage those who want to gradually improve their fitness. Thursdays 10am-11am, including refreshments, Midsomer Norton Leisure Centre (Gullock Tyning, BA3 2SY) £4 Pay-as-you-play (no membership). Tea and coffee afterwards. Contact Age UK BANES on or 01225 484510. WALKING GROUPS: Age UK BANES runs a programme of friendly walks aimed particularly at older people. We do not rush our walkers and we always have trained volunteers who lead the walk and give support where needed. Midsomer Norton: 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month, meeting at Midsomer Norton Town Hall at 10am. Paulton: Every other Tuesday for 1.5-2 hours, meeting at The Hub in the Precinct at 10am. Call 01225 484510 or email Radstock

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SPORTS ROUND-UP NEW YEAR’S OPTIMISM FOR NOR AND WELTON Welton Rovers continue to enjoy a good season in the Western League First Division, yet they are without a win since December 23rd. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Green Army as a weather ravaged fixture list has seen Welton play only twice in the month of January, leaving the team 6th in the League table. More importantly, the talk of the Town is Welton’s trip to National League South side, Bath City in the Somerset Premier Cup. Whilst the County Cup isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the prospect of taking on such an illustrious local rival, even if they field an understrength side, brings with it local bragging rights, along with a continued interest in Welton Rovers season. Up at Norton Down, Midsomer Norton’s 1st XV made a mixed start to their Western Counties North league campaign. A very successful December saw Nor go unbeaten, pushing themselves towards the top of the table. January has not been so kind however, with a heavy defeat away to league leaders Coney Hill and a couple of wash outs due to the very poor weather. This leaves Nor in 6th place, at the time of writing, with two games in hand on Old Richians who sit four points above them. The second and third teams are both sitting in the top halves of their respective leagues and continue to offer a good standard of rugby for the aged veteran or the up and coming prospect. Boxing Day saw a very well supported President’s vs Chairman’s match, followed by the usual festivities in the bar afterwards. The club also hosted the annual Hibbard’s Heroes memorial match, in memory of Mike Hibbard, a very well respected former youth coach. The occasion gives

the opportunity for a large number of former players to pull out their kit and relive their past glories. The junior section continues to thrive and this year’s under fifteens are all but done with fundraising for their tour which will see them travel to a festival of rugby in Holland. The club wishes them well. The Colts are also enjoying their season under the guidance of coaches Chris Rawlings and Chris White. Hopefully their successes will continue to produce senior players of the future. Anyone interested in playing, at any level or age, is more than welcome. Please see club website for contact details. If this report has wetted your sporting appetite, tune in to Somer Valley FM every Tuesday at 6pm on 97.5FM for all the latest news from our local teams. Saturday Live, broadcast from 4pm every Saturday, provides live match updates for Welton Rovers and Midsomer Norton Cricket Club, along with a host of our other local and professional teams.

ANYONE FOR CRICKET? Midsomer Norton Methodist Cricket Club has recently published its latest history ‘Towards 70 Years of Methodist Cricket in the Midsomer Norton Area – Memories, Statistics, Reports and Miscellaneous 1949 – 2017. The Club was formed by members of the former Redfield Road Methodist Church Christian Endeavour after the 2nd World War. The first available scorebook dates from 1949 although games were played earlier than this, starting off in Farmer Stevens’ field in Underhill Lane before being offered a home at Midsomer Norton


Grammar School, now Norton Hill School, down at Charlton Cross Roads (where St. Benedict’s School is now). Whilst the former Standard Works cricketers used the proper square up by the former Somerset school canteens, the Methodists’ first job on a Friday evening practice night was to roll out a strip on the rugby pitch for the following day, hence some unpredictable deliveries! When the opportunity came to move to the field behind the school, scores, bowling and fielding began to improve. The Club are very grateful to the School authorities for their continued support in providing a square, changing and tea facilities. The Methodists, although Founder Members of the Bass Charrington North Somerset Midweek League from 1963 until it ceased in 1999 after Michael Gilson died, used to play Saturday friendlies. The Club this year is competing in Division 10 of the Bristol & District Saturday League and is looking forward to a warm and rain free summer!


like to play cricket in the right spirit. In the first instance, please contact Stuart Green (Team Captain) on 01761 419396 or Jim Eyles (Club Captain) on 01761 418938 for further details. Supporters are welcome at matches especially Midsomer Norton Life readers! ‘Towards 70 Years of Methodist Cricket in the Midsomer Norton Area – Memories, Statistics, Reports and Miscellaneous 1949 – 2017 is a limited edition and may be purchased from Jim Eyles, John Baker or David Shearn, price £8 or £10 if posted. Names and contact details may be left at the Methodist Centre in the High Street (01761 410450 - mornings only).

Regular Reports of the team’s progress appear in the local press and can be accessed through the League website. Keen players, male and female, young and mature, from any church or none are welcomed who


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A TRIBUTE TO THE SUFFRAGETTES Two young women, Matilda and Becca, jointly lit the third candle and individually gave their thoughts on Women of the Future, Aspirations & Dreams. Matilda raised a laugh when she said she hates cooking and has no intention of doing any in her future!


idsomer Norton and Bath Townswomen presented a floral tribute in the organisation’s Suffragist colours of red for courage, green for hope and white for faith and were proud to join members of Bath & District Soroptomists and other local women’s organisations in A Celebration of Women at St Michael’s Without Church, Bath on the evening of February 6th to commemorate the enactment of the Representation of the People Act 2018 which finally gave the right to vote to propertyowning women aged 30+ following decades of Suffrage campaigning. Three candles in the Suffragette’s colours of purple, green and white were lit by individual speakers as they moved to the lectern. Walcot State Choir, Bath performed choral interludes and led the congregation in singing ‘Jerusalem’ to close an absorbing evening.

Pictured are the clergy and speakers for the evening; Bath Soroptomist’s President Helen Young and their Regional President Daphne Dowsing; Annie Maws, the High Sheriff of Somerset; Councillor Ian Gilchrist, Mayor of Bath/Honorary President of Bath Federation of Townswomen’s Guild and Councillor Cherry Beath, Leader of B&NES Council/former Mayor and Hon. President of Bath Federation of Townswomen’s Guild. Floral tributes arranged by Sweet Pea Floral Design, High St, Midsomer Norton. Photograph courtesy of Bath & District Soroptomists.

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NORTON RADSTOCK SWIMMING CLUB On 17 January the Midsomer Norton & District Primary Schools Games Association held their annual gala at the Midsomer Norton Leisure Centre. Sixteen local primary schools competed in the small and large school categories for cups and trophies, with medals awarded to the top three swimmers/teams in events. Norton Radstock Swimming Club volunteers assisted at the event. N.R.S.C. member’s skills and techniques stood out, achieving medals and gained well deserved points for their individual schools. The winner of the large school cup was Paulton Junior School and St John’s Primary School were worthy runners up. Head Coach Kay Willcox commented, “The gala was an excellent show case for our members, even though slightly different because they were


competing against fellow squad members. There is a wealth of talent in the area, enquiries from potential new members are always welcome. To arrange a three week free trial please email On Friday 13 January the club held their Annual Presentation and Disco at Paulton Rovers Social Club. Certificates, medals, cups and trophies were awarded for performances in the Annual Club Championships held back in November and December. A warm welcome was extended to Olympian Stacey Bromley, (nee Tadd), Midsomer Norton Mayor Paul Myers and Deputy Mayor/ Councillor for Sport & Leisure Steve Plumley whom presented the awards.




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TOWN TRUST UPDATE As the Asset Transfer process with Bath & North East Somerset Council moves towards a conclusion the Midsomer Norton Town Trust’s role is coming into its own. The Trust was created in order to hold the ownership of key assets in the town in perpetuity for the benefit of local residents. This type of structure provides a number of key benefits. Firstly, the aim is to protect key community assets against the vagaries of future local government reorganisations. Secondly, holding assets in a ring fenced way, with the Council acting as corporate trustee makes it possible to apply for grants because funders can be sure that any money they give can only be spent on the assets as the money is held and accounted for separately and any future benefit remains strictly linked to the Trust’s objects. Thirdly, by separating the roles of

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the Town Trust holding assets and the Community Trust running them day to day we can ensure that ‘all our eggs are not in one basket’. All efforts are now focused on bringing together all the interested parties in the Asset Transfer to go through the fine detail. The eventual deal now looks to see the freeholds of the Town Hall, Somer Centre and Nature Reserve transfer from B&NES to the Town Trust along with a 99 year lease for the Orchard Hall. The Town Trust Managing Committee is looking for volunteers with buildings and land management skills to help manage key community assets in the town. If you could offer help and advice to the team, please contact the Town Clerk on 01761 418701.

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application form and more information. WPA staff have filled every minute of their time planning, prepping and delivering play projects in and around the Midsomer Norton area and when they are not ‘playing’ they are attending training and skill workshops to bring themselves right up-to-date with all things current. THRIVE, Public Health and Child Protection being some.

Mission: to inspire, challenge and empower children, families and young people through play. Vision: to create positive change and improved communities. A welcome winter break at WPA’s ‘Cinema and Soup’ Christmas event rounded off the year’s activities and saw families gather to watch the film ‘Polar Express’ and enjoy hot soup and drinks on a cold winter’s day. Special thanks to Midsomer Norton Town Council for funding this great event and to the Community Trust for their volunteered support in running it. Also to the naming of our soup ‘Reindeer’ because it contained fresh healthy fruit and vegetables of pumpkin, carrot and apple that, of course, all reindeer like! Since November our Saturday Club have enjoyed a round of fun sessions and look forward to a swimming trip, visit to a farm, gift making and cream tea, interests and hobbies, flower design, sports and games and an Easter Egg Hunt in the run up to Easter. Each session provides an opportunity to learn new skills and enjoy some social downtime. Anyone wishing to find out more about joining our targeted, B&NES funded, Saturday Club can contact WPA office for an

Norton Youth Club, (NYC) funded by Midsomer Norton Town Council, look forward to a schedule of social activities each Thursday evening at 6pm, term-time only for 11-17 years. Come along and find out more, quiz night entrants needed, pool competition and most importantly, meet with friends. To check out programmes and play sessions within WPA’s busy calendar, please see www.wpa-play. com or email for further information.




ONE STOP SHOP AND LIBRARY UNDER WAY to modernise and improve Midsomer W ork Norton One Stop Shop and Library is about to get under way, marking an ambitious new chapter in its history. After listening to residents, the new-look library, when it opens at The Hollies, will have a fantastic and wider selection of books and even more shelving for easier access in a friendly and welcoming space. New technology will give better access to the vast catalogue of more than three million items and a super redesigned children’s area will have comfy soft seating and fun educational features.

Free WiFi, improved internet technology, improved access to printing including wireless technology as well as more comfortable seating and a quiet area to study are also part of the new-look library, which will also have more useable public space for events and creative workshops for the whole community to use. From Monday 19 February work will start at The Hollies and is expected to be completed in early June to create a really modern, colourful, convenient and refreshed library and information service. Ward Councillor Karen Warrington (Conservative


Clutton), cabinet member for Transformation and Customer Services, said: “We are bringing services together and really revamping Midsomer Norton’s One Stop Shop and Library to create a bright, wellresourced community space which everyone can benefit from. “The increased floor space available in the library, as a result of moving to the Hollies, together with the refurbishment and introduction of new technology, will guarantee a long term sustainable future for the library in the town as well opening up new opportunities to regenerate the Hgh Street. “We hope residents will bear with us while the work is being carried out. In order to minimise any disruption, Housing Options and Citizens Advice appointments will still take place at the Hollies while other services will temporarily switch to the library.” When the refurbishment was announced last year


it received public support alongside a commitment from the council to regenerate the town centre. The plans for integrating Midsomer Norton Library and One Stop Shop are part of the Modern Libraries Programme, putting people first. Residents are being advised about the temporary closure of the Hollies while improvement work is carried out over the next five months. Bath and North East Somerset Council says the Hollies One Stop Shop, in High Street, will close at 1pm on Wednesday February 14. An interim service will be provided at Midsomer Norton Library, however Housing Options and Citizens Advice appointments will still be held at the Hollies. The toilets in the existing One Stop Shop will be unavailable for the duration of the improvements, although the toilet located in the library will be available to all.

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BUSY SEASON FOR MIDSOMER NORTON SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB Midsomer Norton Short Mat Bowls Club have recently enjoyed a fantastic bowling break in Torquay. The club held a presentation dinner at the Old Down Inn in February where trophies from our in-house competitions were presented by our Chairman Peter Barter. We are half way through the league season and are performing well. The club meet every Tuesday and Friday afternoon from 2pm until 4.30pm at the Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton. The club has had a few new members join recently, so if you want to have a go pop in. You will always be welcome.

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ave you ever wondered what it might have been like deep underground in the coalmines of Somerset? A new Virtual Reality (VR) attraction at Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum will take you on a ride down into the mines of Radstock and on a journey back in time through the mine tunnels in a brand new, unique and exciting experience. Take your seat for the fully 3 dimensional trip, pop on the lightweight headset, which fits comfortably over glasses, you will find yourself in the cage (the lift) which took the miners down underground and then your descent begins. You are now in the role of a miner clunking and bumping down the mineshaft in the cage dropping at a rate of 60 feet per second, taking you deep underground. Once down at the pit bottom, you find yourself travelling in a coal truck along rails on the underground roadway. Turn your head to look all around you and see the pit pony stables and miners eating their meagre lunches. Pass by miners cutting away at the coalface with picks and make way for a pit pony as it comes towards you pulling its load of coal to the bottom of the shaft. A sudden rock fall in one of the coal seams off the roadway sends miners shouting and trying to escape with their lives and in another seam a group of miners has accidentally blasted through into an old, disused flooded mine tunnel and water rushes in leaving miners once again racing to escape. The VR ride is the ambitious work of two students: Georgina Hill and Barry Lewis from Bath College, Somer Valley Campus in collaboration with Radstock Museum. Georgina and Barry have developed and implemented the ride for the final project of their course, gaining them both a Foundation Degree in Applied Computing. The final project required the students to draw on all the computing skills they had acquired during the

course as well as to demonstrate skills in areas such as project management and collaborating with a third party and client. Barry and Georgina discovered that they work so well as a team that they are already planning a new and improved 2nd generation of the ride where you, the rider, will be able to interact further by picking up implements and using them plus more! They are both continuing to the full Bachelor Degree currently. This new ride is now available and free to all visitors (weekends only).



CLASSICS FOR YOUR PLEASURE were founded 100 years ago, and our club was founded just over 40 years ago in 1977. Lions were formed with the express aim of helping those less fortunate than ourselves – ‘We Serve’ is our motto. Radstock and Midsomer Norton Lions are active in the local community, supporting both individuals and local groups, especially those concerned with youth and the elderly. We funded the roundabout and swing which accommodate wheelchairs, in the Tom Huyton memorial park, Radstock and will be promoting a sensory garden in the new Midsomer Norton Town Park, to be created at Gullock Tyning.

Photo: Samuel Warner, Lion President Alan Denham and Rainer Dolz. Radstock and Midsomer Norton Lions presented the Bath and North East Somerset Schools Philharmonic Orchestra with Classics for your pleasure. The excellent acoustics of the Methodist Church in Midsomer Norton enabled the orchestra to shine with a varied programme of pieces. The Orchestra is led by conductor, Rainer Dolz and supported by assistant conductor, Samuel Warner who conducted the string section in his arrangement of ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story. The programme was much enjoyed by the audience; if you weren’t there, you missed an excellent evening. Hopefully we will be presenting another concert from the Schools Music Service next year. The Schools Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Service is supported by Bath and North East Somerset Council and the Arts Council of England, Department for Education.

RADSTOCK & MIDSOMER NORTON LIONS: This is an example of the fundraising that we do to support our charity work in the community. Lions

Lions clubs can be found in over 200 countries across the world – you are certain to find a Lions club close to any disaster, there are Lions on the ground almost anywhere! We can say with confidence, ‘WHERE THERE’S A NEED, THERE’S A LION’. If you would like to find out more about us, just talk to any Lion or look us up on our website – just Google ‘Radstock Lions’ and you will find us. Membership of Lions is an ideal way to find out about the local community. We welcome men and women who want to ‘make a difference’ and enjoy it. Come and join us and contribute, as little or as much as you want.



MIDSOMER NORTON & RADSTOCK COMMUNITY SERVICE VEHICLE TRUST Founded in April 1967, the bus was commissioned to enable the elderly, disabled, and small groups of the public, who found difficulty in getting to and from their houses, to go to their Lunch Clubs, Church Services, outings etc. without worry! This, in turn, helped them to feel part of society, and not to miss out on events around the area. And, we are pleased to say that the Bus is still thriving today! We have many stories of how the bus has been a great help to so many people. Perhaps you can remember an occasion when a member of your family was able to get out with the aid of the Community Mini Bus? If you would like to know more, or would like

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to use the Mini Bus, please contact our Coordinator Mrs Debbie Gunfield on 01761 416910 for information, or our Transport Manager Mr Nick Rogers on 01761 413872.

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orton Radstock Photographic Society has been busy over the last three months as the current season got under way. In November, shades of an extended Hallowe’en greeted members as they shared a range of photos depicting Tombstones. The second topic of the evening, “Keys” did not inspire as many, and although a range of traditional and modern keys, as well as alternative interpretations of musical keys and keyboards prompted comment, there is plenty of room for improvement! Accomplished landscape photographer, Huw Alban, was a popular guest speaker. Huw has a refreshing disregard for the technical correctness that so often dominates the focus of camera club competitions, and he set out to give us artistic licence to “let go of the camera” and use it as a powerful tool, with the purpose of serving the senses to drive the creation of mood and atmosphere. Also in November, we held our annual exhibition in Midsomer Norton. The photographic work on display did not disappoint and the wide range of subject matter inspired lively discussion. Votes abounded for many competing for the Millenium Cup for the most popular picture on display. The people’s choice was hotly contested, but winner for the second consecutive year was Margot Witcombe with “Owls in a Cemetery”. Runner-up was Graham Nicholls with

his beautiful portrait of a Caracal, closely followed by Jenny Short’s study of moto-cross competitors on a dusty circuit entitled “Flying High”. The month ended with a lively practical evening led by Jenny Short where members honed their lighting and composition skills in a Still Life arena. Over the Christmas break, members were busy preparing entries for the annual awards and upcoming open competitions, as well as inter-Club competitions all coming up this year. Ian Thomson was a popular speaker in the dark and wet evenings of January giving us an insight into his take on architectural and landscape photography. Equally inspirational was Jill Toman’s presentation in which she took us on a journey through the Mid-West USA and lesser known Greek islands As you can see, we are a lively, active group of enthusiasts who meet regularly at 7.30pm at Midsomer Norton United Services Club on most Thursdays throughout the year, except in July and August, when we meet informally at a number of interesting venues around the county. More details can be found on the NRPS website, and those interested in joining the club might also like to telephone 01761 414261 and speak to our Chair, Margot Witcombe, for more information. You will be made very welcome!



SOMERSET AND DORSET RAILWAY AT MIDSOMER NORTON STATION BEGINS ANOTHER YEAR • March 17th Real Ale train behind the Jinty – tickets available on the website or at the station • March 22nd Footplate course with the Jinty locomotive. See website for details • April 1st and 2nd Easter Bunny weekend • May 6th and 7th Celebrating Somerset weekend Volunteers are busy making sure that visitors have an all round experience when they visit the station. The station is open on Sundays and Mondays for volunteers to work but with the shop, buffet car, and Museum also open to the public. The Railway welcomes men and women of all ages from teens to eighties to join their volunteers, especially if they are local. More track laid by volunteers at Midsomer Norton Station has increased the length of running line by 50%. This means that visitors will soon be able to travel almost up to the Chilcompton tunnel by train. The next event in March will be an opportunity to ride behind a Jinty tank engine. • March 10th 11th Spring Gala with the Jinty 47406 giving train rides alongside our resident Sentinel steam loco Joyce 7109

Posing for our photo from the left are John and Tony and Kirsteen who work in the garden. Linda in the front is found in the gift and railwayana shop, Doug with the wheelbarrow is a gardener then at the back is Keith, a painter and carpenter, then Barry and Rich on the back right are helping to renovate the Midland coach in which they are standing. For more details about Midsomer Norton Station volunteers call 01761 411221, drop in on a Sunday or Monday or visit the website


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The Norton and Radstock U3A meets twice a month at The Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton. The speaker meetings are extremely well attended and very much enjoyed. They take place at 2pm on the second Monday. The talks are informative, educational and fun. They range in interest from pure entertainment with local choirs and bands to historical talks on notable people and characters. Coming up in 2018 we shall be hearing The Mendip Story Telling Circle, a local group of people telling traditional and sometimes mythical stories from the region and further afield and later in the year we will be welcoming the Bamburys who will talk about Arno’s Vale Biographies. Coffee mornings are held on the fourth Monday at 10.30am. These are well attended and a great chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. If you are new to U3A our greeters will steer

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you through the process and help you to settle in. Our speaker secretary has organised a full programme for 2018 which will be interspersed with social occasions to mark our twentieth anniversary. U3A is a wonderful organisation for semi-retired and retired people providing interesting talks, some 40 different interest groups and social activities Many trips have been enjoyed over the past year and in 2018 members will be visiting the theatre to enjoy Sunset Boulevard and a visit to Wells with guided tours of the Cathedral and the Museum. There is something for everyone at U3A and it is impossible to include everything on offer in this short article. If you are interested in taking a closer look please ring 01761 479606 for further information.



A MESSAGE FROM THE CLERK For the last five years I’ve tried to provide you all with something interesting and useful in my quarterly message in LIFE Magazine. This time around I’m sad to report this is my final message as I will be leaving the Town Council at the end of March for pastures new. In March 2013 I began life as your Town Clerk with the hope that I would be able to make a difference. Little did I know then what a broad range of work I would be involved in and what achievements would be possible. We have purchased the land for the new Town Park and made some exciting progress towards delivering a facility that has been promised for 40 years or so. I hope that I will be able to come back in the future and walk or cycle through the Park and see how things have developed. The Council now owns or manages a range of other open or green spaces such as St Chad’s Well, the Catholic Church Garden and the Wellow Brook Walk. These spaces have been protected for the future and, I think, have added to the amenities available to people in the town. And we have an amazing outdoor gym at West Clewes that is regularly used, contributing in a small way to improving the health and well-being of the community. The town has also seen a range of annual events which the Council has found the funds to support, many of which have been organised by the Midsomer Norton Community Trust. Alex Davis, the Trust’s Development Manager, and all of the volunteers in the Trust, deserve a huge vote of thanks for their work in offering people in the town an amazing variety of things to join in. The financial health of the Town Council has continued to improve despite maintaining very modest increases in the Precept that residents pay as part of their Council Tax. Reserves are now in place to provide the necessary financial support for future plans such as taking ownership of community buildings. During all of my time here,

Councillor Brian Lawrence has chaired our Finance Working Party and has done a great job in balancing the need to fund ambitious plans and keep the Council on a sound footing. The Officers have done their best to keep up with the Council’s ambitions and I want to make a special mention of Carole Sims, the Council’s Assistant Clerk, who not only helped me settle in quickly in 2013 but throughout my time here has given me fantastic support as your Town Clerk. I’ll miss her enormously. Midsomer Norton has been very lucky to have had Councillor Paul Myers as its Town Mayor for all of the time I have been its Town Clerk. As an unpaid volunteer on the Town Council, he has provided the leadership, vision and sheer determination to steer us all in the right direction as well as working tirelessly across a massive range of projects for the town. I know how well regarded he is in the town and the announcement of his British Empire Medal in December 2015 recognised this publicly. Paul has relentlessly driven change and progress in the town and I’ve done my best to keep up for the last five years! I thank him for the opportunity to help him make a difference. I should also mention all of the volunteer Councillors who have made a big contribution to our progress and to the other volunteers in the town who work behind the scenes to make the community what it is. And I must not forget Patricia Flagg whose energy and enthusiasm for everything Midsomer Norton is a constant source of inspiration for me – long may she continue! Finally, I’d like to introduce the new Town Clerk who will take over in late March 2018. Donna Ford was selected by an interview panel and she has previous experience of being a Parish Clerk for two Councils. Donna will start work in mid-March and undertake a handover with me. I wish her, all of the Councillors and volunteers and the community of Midsomer Norton the very best for the future. Clive Stilwell (MILCM) Town Clerk




Paul Myers Mayor 07530 042627

Steve Plumley (Deputy Mayor) 07913 952901

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

Glyn Davis 07713 353430

Michael Evans 01761 235996

Michael Rich 07812 170943

Brian Lawrence 07701 007277

Gordon Mackay 07806 604302

Amy Purchase 01761 411860

Lynda Robertson 01761 415629

Richard Robertson 01761 415629

Alastair Slade 07714 898902


Midsomer Norton Life Magazine Winter 2018  

Community magazine for Midsomer Norton residents

Midsomer Norton Life Magazine Winter 2018  

Community magazine for Midsomer Norton residents