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Winter 2018 Issue 29

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was recently invited to give a talk to the U3A addressing the question as to whether community could survive technology. After hundreds of hours of thought on the subject I concluded that community could survive so long as we all played our part in making it strong. The way I see it, as with everything, technology can be a force for good or evil. Whilst Facebook can connect lonely people it can equally become, thanks to humans, a channel for hatred and vitriol. If we invest time and energy in our community, then I believe it will be there for us all to share the good times and support each other in the bad times. For me community isn’t an abstract concept; it is one of Midsomer Norton’s greatest and most precious assets and nowhere is it displayed better than in the following pages of this edition of LIFE. To mark the poignant centenary on the 11th November of the end of the First World War there will be the annual parade, talks, concerts, a film screening and a bonfire beacon to acknowledge the bravery of all those involved in the terrible conflict and the sacrifice of those who gave their lives or were terribly injured. Then, lighting up the winter sky on Monday 12th November will be Midsomer Norton Carnival – thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Carnival Association. We round off the year with our Christmas event on Friday 7th December – switching on the town lights and with all ages sharing hot chocolate around the Christmas tree – and look forward to the many town projects coming forward in 2019. On behalf of Midsomer Norton Town Council, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Cllr Paul Myers Mayor of Midsomer Norton






























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The next edition of Midsomer Norton Life will be in February 2019 If you would like your group to be included in the next edition, please contact us on 01761 410141 before the deadline of 28th January 2019. 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.





istory was made on the 5th September 2018, when Councillor Charles Gerrish, B&NES Cabinet Member for Resources, signed off the formal decision for the Asset Transfers to the Town Council of a range of Community buildings. These include the Town Hall, Somer Centre, Orchard Hall and the Silver Street Nature Reserve. The open market value of these properties totals £760,000 plus an additional £170,000 of repairs to the Town Hall. B&NES has chosen to pursue the Asset Transfer route as it enables it to secure significant investment into local assets whilst helping to deliver clear and sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits to the local community. This means that the way is now clear to implement a complex chain of legal agreements and transactions which will see key assets transferred as follows:

TOWN HALL The freehold will return to the Town Council after an 85 year absence. Midsomer Norton Urban District Council originally bought the building from the Beauchamp family in 1903 but then lost direct ownership when it was merged with Radstock in March 1933. The Town Hall was later given by Norton Radstock Town Council to Wansdyke District Council who in turn transferred it to B&NES when they were abolished. Valued at £350,000 the imposition of various restrictions on its use by B&NES as part of the deal reduces this to £175,000. As part of the transfer a programme of works is currently being undertaken to bring the building up to standard which have a total value of £170,000. These repairs are key to ensuring the viability of the Town Hall as a community building

pending the raising of funds for the much bigger Town & Market Hall Transformation Project which already has planning permission.

SOMER CENTRE The freehold will again transfer to the Town Council along with the Community Association tenancy under the existing B&NES terms of a lease and Service Level Agreement. Valued at £275,000 the imposition of various restrictions on its use reduces this to £125,000.

SILVER STREET NATURE RESERVE The freehold of the site will transfer to the Town Council. This site was originally part of the Norton House estate and after being most recently part of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Lease from B&NES was separated when an asset transfer took place. It has an open market capital value of £35,000. The asset transfer to the Town Council will help ensure the future of this much loved green space. “After over 12 years of negotiations with B&NES to secure the future of the Town Hall, this Asset Transfer deal has been well worth waiting for. It will ensure that in future our town’s key community assets are managed and controlled as near as possible ‘for the people and by the people’ in line with the objective we set out when the Town Council was created in 2011”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton, who has been instrumental in working to get the town’s community assets secured for the future. Integral to Cabinet decision are Heads of terms for the Asset Transfer agreed between B&NES and the Town Council with authority for the completion of the disposal delegated to B&NES officers.


The next and final step in the process is to put in place a series of legal agreements whereby the Sarah Ann Trust and Orchard Recreational Community Association determine their leases which will then revert to B&NES. B&NES will then add the freeholds for the Somer Centre and Nature Reserve to the asset package and then press the button on the overall transfer to Midsomer Norton Town Council. The Town Council are then looking to gift these assets to the Midsomer Norton Town Trust who in turn are looking to pass on the day to day running of


the Town Hall and Orchard Hall to the Midsomer Norton Community Trust, the Silver Street Nature Reserve to the ‘Friends Group’ and the Somer Centre will remain with the Midsomer Norton Community Association.

ORCHARD HALL This will transfer in the form of a 99 year lease, due to the fact that it is a prefabricated building and only has a finite life. Open Market value of the leasehold premium for a 99 year lease is £100,000.





t was back in 2011 that the Town Council carried out a study of community buildings in Midsomer Norton and set in place a strategy to try and help make them more sustainable. After five years of negotiation with the Charity Commission linked to the discussions with B&NES on Asset Transfer, agreement has been reached in principle on Charitable Status for the Town Trust and the Community Trust. This represents a massive step forward for Midsomer Norton as it completed work to establish two fundamental issues to underpin the community buildings strategy as follows: Limited liability protection for community volunteers: Organisations such as the Sarah Ann Trust, which has run the Town Hall since 1983, were set up in a very different era. Back in the 1980’s volunteers in the community were happy to sign leases and sit on bodies which did not have limited liability. However, in today’s more litigious world, technically these volunteers face much greater risk of being liable and losing their personal assets if something were to go wrong. Ensuring Midsomer Norton can hold onto its community assets: When Midsomer Norton Town Council was formed it inherited very few of the assets back which had been originally owned by Midsomer Norton Urban District Council. The only significant asset to return was West Clewes Recreation Ground. As a Miners Welfare Trust transfer, it had been always been held in charitable trust. The new Councillors back in 2011 decided that if ever they were able to secure the return of the town’s assets they needed to be held in charitable trust in order to stop them either being given away by future councillors OR being lost to the town through a future local government re-organisation.

Therefore, in 2013 the Town Council created two new organisations: Midsomer Norton Town Trust – with the Town Council as its Corporate Trustee, the aim of this body is to hold the town’s community assets. When the Councillors meet on this body they do so as custodians backed with very clear objects – not least ensuring the fabric of the assets are maintained over a long time horizon. Midsomer Norton Community Trust – with seven Community Trustees and four Town Council Trustees (a minority) the aim of this body is to manage the town’s community buildings on a day to day basis as well as running community events and activities. It was established as a Limited Liability Company and so the Trustees have a level of protection of their personal assets provided they operate within the law. By establishing two organisations, the community can have majority control of day to day management of assets. However, should there be a serious problem, resulting it in going bankrupt, then the assets themselves remain protected as they are vested in the separate Town Trust. In September the Town Trust was convened to make the necessary changes to their 2013 Declaration of Trust in order to amend slightly wording to meet the requirements to be granted charitable status. In addition, the Community Trust Board Members had a meeting to pass a written Special Resolution which has been sent to Companies House. Once these changes have been fully registered the Charity Commission has indicated that it will then be in a position to grant full charitable status to both Trusts. This in turn will be a final key building block in place for not just the Asset Transfer programme but also the option to protect other assets for the community such as the Town Park and items in the Town Archive.






fter literally years of work, the Midsomer Norton Neighbourhood Plan team, made up of members of the community as well as Town Councillors, is on the home run. The draft Plan has been shown informally to B&NES and simply requires some illustrative maps to be added now. One reason it has taken longer has been due to the important work done on the recently adopted Midsomer Norton & Welton Conservation Area Appraisal. The Neighbourhood Plan team worked closely with B&NES on this. Not only was there a cross fertilisation of ideas between the two projects, but as a result for the first

time the Conservation Area Appraisal includes a Management Plan. “Once complete the draft Neighbourhood Plan will then be put forward for public consultation before it can then be formally reviewed by a Planning Inspector, and eventually submitted to a referendum in a year’s time if all goes well”, said Cllr Michael Evans, Chair of the Midsomer Norton Town Council Planning Committee. It is intended to keep LIFE readers up to date meanwhile, so it’s a case of ‘watch this space’ and residents will have their chance to vote on the proposals as part of the process.





the brave team set out from the Town W hen Hall on Sunday the 9th September at 2pm, they had no idea what to expect. What was involved in Beating the Bounds? What followed was a fascinating three hour walk around the entire boundary of Midsomer Norton, providing a perspective of the town from every angle.

Pictured: The Beating the Bounds Team Walking up Silver Street to the Cycle Path the first stage took the walkers, led by the Rev Chiplin, to the Five Arches on the bed of the old Somerset and Dorset line, initially along the batch opening to the new Midsomer Norton Town Park. The group then stopped to view the town looking north, where it was possible to see clearly the two river valleys of the Somer and Wellow Brook converge with the core of the town nestling on the land between them. At the Five Arches the walkers crossed Somervale Road into the B&NES depot entrance and followed the original path of the ancient Fosseway, where it is still possible to see the bed of the road laid by the Romans. From there the group went along Fosse Lane towards the town’s northern boundary. Rather than risk the narrow

lanes to the very boundary edge the footpath across the hill top was followed along the back of Welton and down into Monger Lane.

From Monger Lane the trail led to Thicket Mead, over the bridge and up into Underhill Lane. Taking a left turn, the route then led past Orchard Hall and up to Greenacres, then through into Clapton Road and up the footpath to the top of Folly Hill. At the top there was a sit down to have a rest and enjoy the wonderful views from Folly Hill showing the Church set between the two rivers in the valley bottom, cradled by the green wooded hills all around – what a picture.

The walkers then made their way along the top of Redfield Wood towards the town boundary


with Chilcompton, coming down the footpath at the end of the Oliver Brooks estate and over into Riverside Gardens. Then just before the bridge over the River Somer there is a cut-through footpath to the ancient footbridge, made of massive slabs of stone. At this point the group always knew they faced the conundrum of the barrier of the railway. One option would have been to strike out towards Tunnel Hill, up Tunnel Lane, veering right to skirt the White Post, down the Fosseway, along Charlton Road, down Silver Street and back to the Town Hall. Although this would have included Charlton Park, it would have taken the group outside the boundary of the town into Mendip and been much, much longer. The walkers, by now with sore feet, decided to compromise for this first year by going along Withies Lane bridle path, turning right at the rear of the Crossways and taking the path up to the


Nature Reserve and out onto Silver Street in order to return to the Town Hall for a well-deserved rest. “Although as a local Councillor and Mayor my work has taken me to every corner of Midsomer Norton over the years, it was really fascinating to see the town effectively in the round in the space of three hours. There were regular stops to consider amazing views, wildlife and historical buildings and features – with everyone sharing their knowledge of the town. The clear consensus of those attending was that the walk gave really interesting perspectives on where we live”, said Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. The Midsomer Norton Society will now be considering how a ‘Midsomer Norton Boundary Walk’ can be developed and promoted as an annual event as well as a general walking route which residents and visitors can explore in all or in part throughout the year.

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DISTRICT CARNIVAL Monday 12th November - 7.30pm


arnival is the largest community based charity event in the Somer Valley. It’s an opportunity for the whole community to come together for an evening of glittering spectacle and to raise money for local charities and good causes. The unique event is 100% voluntary organised, run by the community by donations, fund raising support from local businesses and sponsored by Midsomer Norton Town Council and the Midsomer Norton Community Trust. Most of all, we need the support of local people to line the streets of the town and to enjoy with us our wonderful Somerset illuminated Carnival. Of course, you can also show your support for all the hard work that’s gone in to making the event possible by donating either in a collecting bucket or by donating online at any time. Every little helps and EVERY penny goes direct to charity. The Carnival procession starts in Charlton Road at 7.30pm and proceeds down Silver Street and then up Midsomer Norton High Street, finishing by Wishford Mews on Radstock Road at 10pm. To ensure the safety of entrants and spectators, road closures, parking suspensions and footpath closures will be operating on a number of streets within the area. We need to close roads to ensure public safety for the event. We’ll lift the closures as soon as the procession has passed, the public have dispersed and we’ve been able to return the road affected to normal. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will be providing live traffic/closure updates on Facebook and Twitter.

ASSEMBLY AREA The A367 Wells Road, Fosseway (beyond the White Post roundabout) will be closed from 9pm on Saturday 10th November to allow larger carts to assemble before the Carnival.

PROCESSION ROUTE Closures on the procession route will be implemented in stages starting from the High Street in Midsomer Norton which will be closed from 5.30pm until 1am, Charlton Lane at 6.30pm then the A367 from the Industrial Estate to the White Post and Charlton Road and Silver Street from 7pm. The A362 Radstock Road will be closed at 8pm from Stones Cross all the way to Radstock. Roads will be re-opened as soon as possible after the procession has cleared each section of road, starting with Charlton Lane and the West section of the A367.

DISPERSAL AREA The East section of the A362 Radstock Road (between the Midsomer Norton Enterprise Park and Radstock) will remain closed until 2.30am on Tuesday 13th November as required to allow the larger vehicles to dis-assemble.



PARKING SUSPENSIONS Vehicles remaining parked on designated roads will be subject to a fixed penalty notice and towed away. Contact 01225 448025 to arrange recovery of removed vehicles and B&NES Parking Service for any queries or appeals on 01225 477133. Please note that road closures and parking suspensions apply to all vehicles, including disabled (’Blue Badge’) parking.

The times stated are the legal road closure times permitted by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Mendip District Council. However, we will endeavour to close the roads for as short a period of time as possible to minimise disruption, so in many cases the roads may be re-opened before the times stated.





n the 3rd of September 2018 the Town Council at its meeting approved the Town Park Master Plan and as a result B&NES have since transferred £300,000 of funding for the project. As a result work has now started. The first step has been to cut the long grass and clear the brambles before the ground wildlife hibernates for the winter. The massive banks of brambles in the Wild Meadow and on the area of land between Celebration Meadow and the River Walk were removed by contractors during September. In addition, the ground cover along the river bank has been cut back to reveal the flowing water and

the overhanging tree canopy has been reduced. Overall the result is to let much more light in to create the beginnings of a really lovely walk along the River Somer. The second step is to remove a number of hawthorn bushes between Celebration Meadow and the River Walk in order to create space for planting new trees this Autumn now that the bird nesting season is over. The first of these will be an oak tree donated by the Midsomer Norton Townswomen’s Guild to commemorate the centenary of the granting of Votes for Women in 1918.

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In the meantime, work has started in earnest to prepare documentation to go out to tender for the delivery of Phase 1 of the Town Park infrastructure which will include: • West Park Entrance from Gullock Tyning. • The Sensory Garden. • Creation of Celebration Meadow, including paths and services. • Laying out of the River Somer Walk from the Park Entrance to the housing boundary with Wheelers Road.

If local residents and/or community groups would like to apply to donate a tree for the new Midsomer Norton Town Park then please contact the Town Clerk on 01761 418701.


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he Midsomer Norton & District Twinning Association hosted a party of guests from Ambares et Lagrave in France as part of the annual exchange between 18th and 25th August 2018. At the heart of twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, is the principle of fostering friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism.


The visit began with a Welcome Event at the home of Mr & Mrs Blatchford on Monday 20th August. Then, on Tuesday 21st was the Civic Reception in the Town Hall where Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton, presented a silver tray to the French Mayor, engraved to commemorate the centenary of Women getting the vote in the UK in 1918. This was followed by an afternoon in Bath visiting the Assembly Rooms, Fashion Museum, guided walk through the city seeing places including the Circus and Royal Crescent. The Mayor of Bath hosted a reception in the Guildhall to welcome the guests before they went on to round off the visit with a tour of the Roman Baths in the early evening. On Wednesday the group went on a day trip to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. On Thursday lunch time there was a Boules challenge and Picnic at Norwest followed by an evening at the Museum in Radstock. The week concluded with a wonderful Dinner Dance at Farrington Park Golf Club on Friday. Looking to 2019, the Midsomer Norton & District Twinning Association is keen to encourage new members to join this much loved exchange on a week-long visit to South West France. In 2019 the dates for visiting Ambares et Lagrave are the 5th – 12th June 2019. Anyone interested can contact the Town Clerk on 01761 418701.




lthough the Town Council revived the ancient Fair as the Midsomer Norton Fayre in 2011, the question still remains what actually happened to the formal ownership of the two Royal Charters granted to Hugh de Vivonne by Henry III in the 13th century as they didn’t transfer to the Town Council. The Charter to run a Thursday Market was the first to be granted to the town by Henry III in 1242. This was followed six years later by a second one to run a three day Fair to be held from 22nd – 24th June, the vigil of St John the Baptist, the patron saint of Midsomer Norton’s Parish Church.

Have you ever considered making a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney but not sure where to start? Throughout November and December FDC Law are running a weekly, no obligation, Legal Surgery for anyone that would like to know more about Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estate or Tax Planning. Please come and have an informal chat with one of our lawyers, it may be easier than you think. Appointments are available every Thursday between 10am and 3pm. We will be very pleased to see you.

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A chance discovery by Paul Myers when carrying out research in 2014 revealed an article in the Somerset Guardian dated 31st March 1961 stating that ‘The rights to hold the Fair were transferred from the Duchy of Cornwall to the then Midsomer Norton Urban District Council in 1898’. Certainly it was well established that Norton Radstock Town Council was ‘letting the rights to the Fair’ to Charles Heal right up until 1961. However, if the report in the 1961 Somerset Guardian article was correct, neither sets of Royal Charter rights were transferred to the new Midsomer Norton Town Council following the Community Governance Review and the abolition of Norton Radstock Town Council in 2011. Research by the Midsomer Norton Society had already identified the Charters in the Court Rolls for the period which are held in the Public Records Office in Kew. The Fair was being held on Good Friday by 1611 and this appeared to be the regular date until a survey of the Duchy of Cornwall made in 1789, stated that the Fair was then being held on St. Mark’s Day, 25th April. At that time the Fair, held in the Island and

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High Street was primarily for the sale of cattle but roundabouts were set up and also stalls for the sale of toys and the usual side shows. Eventually the second day of the Fair became simply a pleasure fair and no other business was transacted. The sale of cattle at the Fair eventually ceased altogether and the funfair took place on two days in April until 1961 when Norton Radstock Town Council attempted to extinguish the by then 700 year old event. There had been tensions between the town’s shop keepers and the Fair for decades on the basis that closing the High Street for two days interrupted trade. Charles Heal, who for decades had brought the Fair to the Town, met with the Town Council to try and break the deadlock and save the event. In a further Somerset Guardian report on the 29th of September 1961 the Norton Radstock Town Council relented and arrangements were made to hold the Fair somewhere else in the Town in order to keep the High Street open.


Recently, an intrepid team of Monica Evans and Patricia Flagg accompanied Town Mayor Paul Myers to the Somerset Archive in Taunton to investigate in full the old Midsomer Norton Urban District Council minutes for the 1890s and the Norton Radstock Council minutes for the 1960s. What they found was that the Town Council resolved on the 17th June 1895 to write to the Duchy of Cornwall concerning the Charters. Further discussion in response to the Duchy took place on the 18th October 1897 and then on the 21st March 1898 it appears that the Town Council resolved the sealing a grant relating to the Fair. The results of the research will be presented at the next Midsomer Norton Town Council meeting with a view to writing to the Duchy of Cornwall. In the meantime, whilst the Fair moved from the High Street in 1961 it is not clear in the records where it was held. Anyone with memories or details of Midsomer Norton Fair and its history post 1961 are requested to contact Paul Myers on 07530 042627 or email










his Remembrance Sunday marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, when the armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne. To mark such a momentous date, a full day has been lined up to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military service men and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION REMEMBRANCE DAY PARADE Midsomer Norton High Street, 10.30pm Timings 10:30 – Contingents arrive at Stones Cross 10:35 – Parade is formed up 10:40 – Parade marches to the war memorial

A documentary about World War I with neverbefore-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war. This unique film brings into high definition the human face of the First World War. Using state of the art technology to restore original archival footage which is more than a 100-years old, Director Peter Jackson, brings to life the people who can best tell this story: the men who were there. Reaching into the mists of time, Jackson aims to give these men voices, investigate the hopes and fears of the veterans, the humility and humanity that represented a generation changed forever by a global war. Tickets for this screening are limited. Booking in advance is recommended by going to www. or by phoning 01761 419133 (Mon-Fri)

10:50 – Parade halts at the war memorial


11:00 – Two minutes’ silence

Midsomer Norton Rugby Club, 7pm

11:02 – Remembrance service

In commemoration and remembrance of the end of the war and the many millions who were killed or came home dreadfully wounded, over 1000 Beacons of Light will be lit at 7pm on 11th November 2018 throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories - a century after the guns fell silent.

11:10 – Laying of wreaths 11:30 – Parade marches to St John’s Church 11:45 – Church Service 12:15 – Parade reforms on conclusion of the church service and departs from St John’s, turning left and down the High Street to the Island and then left to War Memorial 12:30 – Parade disperses from War Memorial

The whole community are invited to join us as we pay our respects at Midsomer Norton Rugby Club and light a bonfire as a mark of gratitude and remembrance.



LATEST SHOWINGS AT THE TOWN HALL CARRADINE’S COCKNEY - AND CHRISTMASSY! – SING-A-LONG BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Sunday 25th November, 3pm Join Mr. Tom Carradine at the ‘old joanna’ as he recaptures the flavour and atmosphere of the good old knees-up (in the Cockney tradition), with an evening of Cockney classics, wartime singalongs, music hall medleys and old favourites from across the ages, this time with an added ‘seasonal’ flavour!! Since its launch in 2014, Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long has rapidly become a fixture on the UK’s thriving vintage scene and is now playing sell-out dates in the main auditorium at Wilton’s, monthly dates at Cahoots in London, Emporium in Brighton and for vintage events and festivals across the country.




Allelujah! (15) Thursday 1st November 2018, 7pm Filmed live in front of an audience. ‘Leaves you bobbing on a wave of happiness’ Independent Alan Bennett’s sharp and hilarious new play is ‘just what the doctor ordered’ (Daily Telegraph). Filmed live at London’s Bridge Theatre during its limited run, don’t miss this ‘rousing chorus line for the NHS’ (Observer) in your local cinema. The Beth, an old fashioned cradle-to-grave hospital serving a town on the edge of the Pennines, is threatened with closure as part of an efficiency drive. A documentary crew, eager to capture its fight for survival, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward, and the triumphs of the old people’s choir. Alan Bennett’s celebrated plays include The History Boys, The Lady in the Van and The Madness of George III, all of which were also seen on film. Allelujah! is his tenth collaboration with award-winning director Nicholas Hytner. Letterpress graphic by Alan Kitching, art directed by Michael Mayhew.

The Madness of King George III (12A) Tuesday 20th November 2018, 7pm 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.



Antony now rules alongside his fellow defenders of Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war. Director Simon Godwin returns to National Theatre Live screens with this hotly anticipated production, following broadcasts of Twelfth Night, Man and Superman and The Beaux’ Stratagem.

Antony & Cleopatra (12A) Thursday 6th December 2018, 7pm Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark

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This visceral new production about the limits of power will be directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, whose previous plays include Little Revolution at the Almeida and Absolute Hell at the National Theatre. Richard II, King of England, is irresponsible, foolish and vain. His weak leadership sends his kingdom into disarray and his court into uproar. Seeing no other option but to seize power, the ambitious Bolingbroke challenges the throne and the king’s divine right to rule. Simon Russell Beale returns to National Theatre Live screens following broadcasts of Timon of Athens and King Lear, and his recent role in the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Lehman Trilogy.

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I’m Not Running (12A) Thursday 31st January 2019, 7pm I’m Not Running is an explosive new play by David Hare, premiering at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she’s faced with an agonising decision. What’s involved in sacrificing your private life and your piece of mind for something more than a single issue? Does she dare? Hare was recently described by The Washington Post as ‘the premiere political dramatist writing in English’. His other work includes Pravda and Skylight, broadcast by National Theatre Live in 2014.



PALLADIUM AT THE TOWN HALL – THE COMMUNITY CINEMA Christopher Robin (PG) Wednesday 31st October, 2pm

Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human.

Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh; Chris O’Dowd as Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery.

The Greatest Showman Sing-along (PG) Friday 9th November, 7.30pm The Greatest Showman is an original musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman. Barnum was a visionary who rose from nothing to create the “Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and celebration of his larger-than-life imagination that captivated audiences around the globe. This film was a sell-out success in the Spring, so why not come and experience the magic one last time with this sing-along version on the big screen?

Smallfoot (PG) Saturday 10th November, 2.30pm An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the

Cliff Richard Live – 60th Anniversary Tour (15) Saturday 10th November, 7.30pm 103 album releases, 123 single hits and the equivalent of 20 years spent in the UK charts. Britain’s Ultimate Pop Star, Sir Cliff Richard is celebrating 60 years in the music industry and he wants to invite you to the most fabulous big screen party of the year!

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again – Sing-along (PG) Friday 23rd November, 7.30pm Get ready to sing and dance, laugh and love all over again. Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million around the world, you are invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA. With the film’s original cast returning and some fantastic new additions. After three sell-out screenings at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, the much anticipated singalong version is here.


Johnny English Strikes Again (PG) Saturday 24th November, 2.30pm Rowan Atkinson returns as the much-loved accidental secret agent in “Johnny English Strikes Again”. When a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, the country’s only hope is called out of retirement. English’s new mission is his most critical to date: Dive head first into action to find the mastermind hacker. A man with few skills and analogue methods, English must overcome the challenges of modern technology or his newest mission will become the Secret Service’s last.

A Star Is Born (15) Saturday 24th November, 7.30pm


Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the drama, marking his directorial debut. In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons. The cast of “A Star is Born” also includes Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott.

“A Star is Born” stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American







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en & Hollies Gard orton Midsomer N urch Methodist Ch

Christmas Lights Switch-On

Friday 7th December 6pm-8pm

Christmas Lights Switch-on Carols by Laserlight Santa’s Grotto

Mince Pies & Hot Chocolate

Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band

Community Stalls


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M a to

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Welcome to this year’s Midsomer Norton Lights Switch-on. We are delighted to kick off this year’s festivities with an intimate family friendly event in the Hollies Garden and Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. After the success of last year, this year’s Christmas family extravaganza ‘Carols by Laserlight’ will take place inside Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. In the Hollies Garden we will have the main switch on as well as some musical entertainment for you to enjoy.

stmas i r h C ton

This year’s event is a joint effort by the Midsomer Norton Community Trust, Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce and Churches Together. A big hand must go to the volunteers in those organisations who put this gathering together. We also thank Midsomer Norton Town Council and B&NES for their funding of the event. For many in the town it is only when the tree goes up and the lights turn on that it really begins to feel like Christmas, so we hope this is the beginning of a wonderful period for all the town’s residents. We hope you have a fantastic evening, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hollies Garden 6pm-8pm Lights Switch on 7.10pm Wrap up warm and join us in the centre of the High Street as we turn on the festive lights. We’ll be joined by our friends from the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band who will be playing two sets of Christmas Carols and seasonal favourites to get you well and truly in the festive spirit. We are also delighted that Father Christmas and his Elves have answered our invitation and agreed to take a couple of hours out of their busy preparation to bring their grotto to the town. As well as handing out some treats there will be the chance for the children to have a go at some Christmas crafts! Make sure you also treat yourself to a free hot chocolate and mince pie being served by the stalls in the Hollies Garden.

Carols By Laserlight 6pm-7pm Don’t miss the Nativity story being brought to life by Midsomer Norton Churches Together at the Methodist Church from 6:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. The building will look spectacular in laser light, there is a fantastic live band to lead favourite Carols, schools will be performing their favourite songs, and well loved nativity characters will be making a dramatic entrance to set the Christmas story scene. Afterwards treat yourself to a free hot chocolate and mince pie being served in the Hollies Garden.

LOST CHILDREN & VULNERABLE ADULTS If you lose somebody at this event – or perhaps find yourself separated from your company – please speak to one of our event marshals who will be on hand to assist you!

When the Christmas Lights are switched on at 7.15pm, the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band will begin to play. We invite you to join in with these two festive favourites: Hark! the herald angels sing We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Good tidings we bring to you and your kin; Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year. Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;

Glory to the new-born King Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled Joyful, all ye nations, rise Join the triumph of the skies With angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer

Christ, by highest heaven adored

We won't go until we get some;

Christ, the everlasting Lord

We won't go until we get some;

Late in time behold him come

We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here

Offspring of the Virgin's womb

We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas; We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hail the Flesh, the God Head see Hail the incarnate Deity Pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus, our Emmanuel! Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King



Midsomer Norton Town Council FREE Christmas Social

FRIDAY 14TH DEC EMBER 2018 The 2018 Midsomer Norton Free Senior Citizens Christmas Party will be held on Friday 14th December 2018. Now in its 8th year, the event which attracts local residents all looking to enjoy an evening of music and food, will take place at Welton Rovers Football Club from 7pm – 10.30pm.

This year, we are teaming up with BANES Age UK in order to link in with an all year programme. Tickets for the event will be available from 19th November 2018 on a first come first served basis. So if you are over 60, live in Midsomer Norton and would like to dance and sing-a-long to the sounds of The Niteshift, a popular band playing 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music, please contact the office at the details given below:

Midsomer Norton Town Council, Town Hall, The Island, Midsomer Norton BA3 2HQ Tel: 01761 418701 Email: assistantclerk@midsomernortontowncouncil





9th - Cinema The Greatest Showman Sing-a-long (7.30pm), Midsomer Norton Town Hall, £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults,1 or 2 children). 10th - Cinema - Smallfoot (2.30pm)/Cliff Richard Live (7.30pm), Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 2.30pm, £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults,1 or 2 children). 10th - Live Music at the Riverside - Tracks Band.

NOVEMBER 1st - First Thursday Social at Welton Rovers Football Club, Live Music 2pm-5pm, £3 entry. 1st - NT Live Cinema - Allelujah at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12 Under 18s £10. 2nd - Paradis Palm Trio - Following the Gypies at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 12.30pm, Free Entry (Donations welcome). 2nd - Midsomer Norton Society. Illustrated talk “Tales of the Fallen: 1918”. Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.30pm. All welcome. 3rd - Live Music at the Riverside - Retro-Chic. 3rd - Norton Radstock Round Table Fireworks, Midsomer Norton Cricket Ground, 7pm. 6th - Full Town Council Meeting at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm.

10th - Mendip Male Voice Choir, Centenary end of WW1 Concert at St John’s Church, Midsomer Norton, 7.30pm. Donations for Veterans Community Trust. 11th - Remembrance Day – (see programme for the day page 19). 12th - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm – 9pm. 13th - Finance Committee at Sarah Ann Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 5:30pm – 7pm. 13th - Operations Committee at Sarah Ann Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall. 7pm – 9pm. 15th - Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long at the Town Hall (see page 20). 17th - Live Music at the Riverside - Worried Men. 20th - NT Live Cinema - The Madness of King George III at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12 Under 18s £10. 21st - Does your website work for you? Let’s



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discuss SEO and Google Adwords. Workshop in association with The Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce, 6pm to 7pm. Midsomer Norton Town Hall. All sessions are £10 to non members and free to members. 23rd - Cinema - Mama Mia: Here We Go Again! Sing-a-long (7.30pm) Midsomer Norton Town Hall, £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults, 1 or 2 children). 24th - Cinema - Johnny English Strikes Again, 2.30pm/A Star is Born, 7.30pm, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, £5 for adults and £3 children, £12 families (2 adults,1 or 2 children). 25th - Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long. Midsomer Norton Town Hall. See pg 20 for full details.

DECEMBER 1st - Live Music at the Riverside - No Mean Feat. 2nd, 9th & 16th - Meet Santa on the train at Midsomer Norton Station. Adult ticket £6 includes mince pie and Christmas punch. Child’s ticket £9, age 1-16 includes meeting Santa, gift and Christmas snack. Children under 1 Free (including gift). Please book online at


7th - Paradis Palm Trio - Sleigh Ride at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 12.30pm, Free Entry (Donations welcome). 7th - Midsomer Norton Christmas Lights Switchon. Carols by Laserlight, Santa’s Grotto, Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band, Community Stalls, Mince Pies & Hot Chocolate. 6pm-8pm. Hollies Garden, High Street & Midsomer Norton Methodist Church, High Street. 8th - Live Music at the Riverside - Call the Shots. 10th - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm. 11th - Finance Committee at Sarah Ann Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 5:30pm - 7pm. 14th - Christmas networking breakfast in association with The Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce, Farrington Farm Shop Cafe - 8am to 9am *cost of breakfast not included. All sessions are £10 to non members and free to members. 15th - Live Music at the Riverside - Highway 38. 16th - Nativity Worship for all, 10.30am, The Nativity story told by members of our congregation. Midsomer Methodist Church, High St.

6th - First Thursday Social at Welton Rovers Football Club, Live Music 2pm-5pm, £3 entry.

20th - Community Carol Concert led by Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band, 7.30pm, Midsomer Methodist Church, High St.

6th - NT Live Cinema - Anthony and Cleopatra at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12 Under 18s £10.

23rd - Candlelit Carol Service. Carols and Bible Readings for this season, followed by coffee and mince pies. 6pm, Midsomer Methodist Church, High St.


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24th - Christingle Worship - for all the family. A service for all ages where, with the help of an orange, some ribbon and other fruity bits, (all provided by the church) we focus on Christ the light of the world. 6.00pm. Christmas Eve Communion, Bringing us into Christmas Day, Holy Communion. 11.30pm. Midsomer Methodist Church, High St. 25th - Christmas Day Worship for all ages. Bring your favourite present or an unwrapped one. Not forgetting the Minister’s Christmas joke! 10.30am, Midsomer Methodist Church, High St. 26th - Live Music at the Riverside - Indiecision. 29th - Live Music at the Riverside - Stoned-F.

JANUARY 7th - Full Town Council Meeting at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm. 8th - Finance Committee at Sarah Ann Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 5:30pm - 7pm. 8th - Operations Committee at Sarah Ann Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm. 14th - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm. 15th - NT Live Cinema -The Tragedy of King Richard II, Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12, Under 18s £10.

18th - Help with your Hearing Aid. This clinic is for re-tubing of NHS hearing aids. Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. 10.30am till noon. 23rd - The challenges of staff recruitment. Workshop in association with The Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce, 6pm to 7pm. Midsomer Norton Town Hall. All sessions are £10 to non members and free to members. 31st - NT Live Cinema - I’m Not Running at Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 7.00pm, Adults £12 Under 18s £10.

FEBRUARY 11th - Planning Committee at Beauchamp Room, Midsomer Norton Town Hall 7pm - 9pm. 15th - Help with your Hearing Aid. This clinic is for re-tubing of NHS hearing aids. Midsomer Norton Methodist Church. 10.30am till noon. 27th - Business Taxation and law changes Workshop in association with The Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce, 6pm to 7pm. Midsomer Norton Town Hall. All sessions are £10 to non members and free to members.

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Chief Executive of Dorothy House John Davies and his Springer Spaniel Myrtle, visited Midsomer Norton on Thursday 18th October as part of a 180mile walking tour. The journey involves visiting all 28 Dorothy House shops in 20 towns and spanning the Hospice’s 700 square mile region. The Assembly Room of the Town Hall was the venue for the Midsomer Norton visit, arranged by the Community Trust and sponsored by the Town Council. As well as an opportunity to hear more about the work of Dorothy House, attendees enjoyed afternoon tea and cake as they listened to a piano and violin duo. John Davies received a warm welcome on behalf of the town from Paul Myers, Mayor of Midsomer Norton. John talked about his tour and said: “I’m

looking forward to meeting and walking with the public, local businesses, charities and community groups on my travels to share our vision for the future. Please join me on our walking tour as we seek to inspire the community to support this much-treasured Hospice and work alongside us to ensure that outstanding end of life care becomes part of the everyday and accessible to everyone.” Local residents were able to hear about the work of Dorothy House and some were keen to get involved in supporting the charity by possibly setting up a Dorothy House Friends Group. If you are interested in organising events and other fundraising activity please contact their Community Fundraising team who would be happy to hear from you on T: 01225 721 480 or via email Yvonne.

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WAR MEMORIAL CLEANING & REPAIRS consists of a three stepped Blue Keynton stone base with St Aldhelm stone cenotaph. The memorial has a bronze wreath and plaques on its faces. The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of 750,000 British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. Midsomer Norton raised its memorial as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

The Midsomer Norton War Memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 11 November 1920 by Rev RJ Davey. It commemorates 73 local servicemen who died during the First World War. Following the Second World War, a dedication was added to commemorate the 36 fallen of that conflict. The memorial, now owned by Midsomer Norton Town Council, is a scaled-down replica of the Cenotaph in London. At the time consent was given by the Whitehall monument’s designer Edwin Lutyens (1896-1944) to use the copyright of the design, albeit in different materials. Originally the monument was on the pavement in front of the Smith’s Brewery, but later it was placed on a bridge across the River Somer. It

The Town Council, aware that the War Memorial needed cleaning and some repairs following feedback from local residents, had the monument surveyed and secured quotations earlier in the year and selected a supplier to carry out the work in time for the 11th November centenary this Autumn. A new Union flag was also ordered. However, disappointingly, it was only in early October that it was found that, in order to carry out the level professional stone cleaning and repairs identified in the original specification, full Listed Building Consent would now be required from B&NES. This is due to the fact that the Memorial received Grade II listing on 5th February 2018. Having consulted B&NES Listed Building planning officers, a team of volunteers and councillors will be working on the monument to clean and tidy it in time for Remembrance Sunday, pending the commencement of the professional contractor once Listed Building Consent has been received.



LOCAL BUSINESSES INVITED TO CHAMBER WORKSHOPS The Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce is made up of a dynamic group of local businesses and retailers who are working together to promote the local commerce. Together they offer support and advice, as well as networking opportunities. One of the ways the Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce works with local businesses is through their regular calendar of events and workshops which can help address any problems they might be facing. Over the next few months, there is a full calendar of events available for both members and non-members. EVENTS INCLUDE: Does your website work for you? Let’s discuss SEO and Google Ad words – 21st November, 6pm to 7pm. Christmas networking breakfast. Friday 14th December – Farrington Farm Shop Cafe

– 8am to 9am *cost of breakfast not included. The challenges of staff recruitment. 23rd January 2019 – 6pm to 7pm. Business Taxation and law changes. 27th February 2019 – 6pm to 7pm. Personal finance and pension management 27th March 2019 – 6pm to 7pm. All sessions are free for members to attend and £10 for non-members. If you would like to attend, please visit to register your interest. Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce, you can fill in an application form on the website. If you would like more information about the application process or being a member, you can contact them on 07594 577087.

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GIRLGUIDING ROCK HALL Exciting news from GirlGuiding - Norton Radstock West District Headquarters. Over the last few years we have all been doing lots of fundraising, to refurbish our hall in Rock Road, Midsomer Norton. These events have been sponsored swims, bingo nights, cake sales, quizzes and beetle drives to name a few. We have also been applying for grants and we are very thankful to everyone who has and continues to support us. Over the summer holidays we had our kitchen area refurbished, with some units which are now accessible to our smallest members, the Rainbows. The Girls are very excited about being able to do more cooking based activities with the Brownies itching to start the new programme to complete the Baking badge.


Our latest fundraiser was a jumble sale on 29th September which we raised nearly ÂŁ200. The money from this fundraiser will be put towards having the toilet area refurbished which we are hoping to get done in the Spring. For anyone wishing to volunteer with Girlguiding or for their daughters to join us you can register your interest on the Girlguiding website.

Picture: Members of each unit who meets at the hall, together with District Commissioner, Lucy Book.





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MIDSOMER NORTON AND RADSTOCK SILVER BAND THRILL LISTENERS AT THEIR AUTUMN CONCERT IN WELLS The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band held their Autumn concert at St Thomas’s Church in Wells on Saturday 6th October. After a very busy summer season St Thomas’ is an exciting new venue for the band in 2018. Musical Director, Joanne Sykes conducted a varied programme centred around the theme of ‘Reflect and Celebrate’ to commemorate not only the centenary year of the end of the Great War but also of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Blockbusters included 633 Squadron, Dambusters March and a thrilling performance of Peter Graham’s epic work ‘Cry of the Celts’ each movement featuring the bands talented soloists . Compere for this special evening concert was none other than BBC Radio Somerset’s Claire Carter, no stranger to the Brass concert circuit in Wells. Perhaps more surprising on the night was the appearance a of BBC television cameraman recording for this Monday’s Points West bulletin. No pressure for the band then! Guest soloists featured highly in the cleverly crafted programme. Stephen Sykes masterfully performed his feature solo of the night ‘Stardust’ in front of a spellbound audience. Less than two years ago Stephen was critically ill with late stage Hodgkins Lymphoma and barely able to lift his trombone let alone play it. A rallying cry was put out to the world wide brass band community and vital funds were raised to pay for the special treatment needed to save his life. Saturday’s concert was a milestone occasion, his first public performance since his illness struck and it did not disappoint . The musical variety did not stop there. Siona Stockel, Soprano, together with Nicola Bracey, Piano, both professional musicians resident in Wells brought a touch of nostalgia to the evening with a selection of songs made famous by Forces Sweetheart, the legendary Vera Lynn. The concert

was rounded off in fine style with an encore that raised the roof. Finlay Bradley, the band’s talented percussionist literally blew a stunned audience to the evening’s close with his virtuosic drum solo in Louis Prima’s ‘Sing Sing Sing’. What a finish by this fine ensemble, The Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band. Special mention should be made of the evening’s venue and the support given by our hosts at St Thomas Church. This is a magical place to hold a concert and with first class facilities to match the band hope to perform there on a regular basis in future. A ‘must’ date for your diary in the run up to Christmas is Saturday 8th December. The band will again perform in St Thomas Church, with their own take on popular seasonal favourites. One not to miss! For more information about the band’s forthcoming events check their website



SOMERSET AND DORSET RAILWAY AT MIDSOMER NORTON STATION CELEBRATES THE FAMILY LINE This year Trustees at the Heritage Railway met in Midsomer Norton’s Town Hall to plan for the next decade. Progress has been so good that they believe it is time to make some expansions that will help to make Midsomer Norton a major visitor destination with a National Heritage Railway. Plans discussed included clearing the infill and laying track up to Chilcompton Tunnel, new shedding so that more steam Locos can be brought in and improved catering and retail facilities. The Trustees are proud of the true to life renovations that have already been made and are determined that any expansion will be in line with the station as it was before closure. A recent dvd which is on sale at the station shows excerpts from the old Somerset and Dorset in action but also the reconstruction work done by today’s volunteers. ‘The Family Line’ is again catering for all ages at Midsomer Norton Station with Hallowen’en events. On the afternoon and evening of the 27th October there will be a Real Ale Train with train rides, the first pint of beer, an acrylic glass and tasting notes included in the ticket price of £12.00. Tickets can be obtained from the Redan Inn as well as the station and on the website. For children on Sunday 28th October there is a Spooky Pumpkin Trail, face painting, apple bobbing and other games with the Wansdyke Play Association, as well as train rides. Early warning for Santa Specials: Santa will be on the train this year on December 2nd, 9th and 16th of December. Tickets for children and adults available on the website. For more details about Events and volunteering call 01761 411221, call in Sunday or Monday or visit the website ,



WESTFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL WELCOMED INTO THE MNSP MAT CEO and Executive Headteacher Alun Williams said: “I am extremely pleased that Westfield Primary has decided to join the Midsomer Norton Schools’ Partnership. We have always worked closely with the school and can now extend this collaboration to support opportunities for all in the Westfield Primary School community. I really look forward to working with the staff and children at the school, as do all those colleagues and children who are already part of the Midsomer Norton Schools’ Partnership”.

Westfield Primary School is the latest school to announce that on the 1st October 2018 the School converted to Academy status and simultaneously joined the Midsomer Norton Schools’ Partnership Multi Academy Trust (MAT). Approved by the Secretary of State for Education, this conversion will allow the School to have more control over its day to day operations within the support network offered by the MNSP MAT which now operates ten primary schools in the Midsomer Norton area as well as the two secondary schools in the town and St Dunstan’s secondary in Glastonbury. Simon Mills, Headteacher commented “Being part of the trust will enable our staff to work closely with the other schools to share and further develop good practice, which will benefit our pupils and the whole school community. The MNSP will also challenge us further as we strive to provide the very highest quality experiences and outcomes for our children without losing the unique ethos of Westfield School.”

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



NORTON RADSTOCK LADIES CIRCLE Are you looking for Fun, Friendship and Fundraising? Are you new to the area? Looking to expand your social life, try something new, or give something back? Circlers first join us because they want to make new friends, have fun, do things they’ve never done before – and put something back into the community at the same time. They stay because they find a ready-made group of friends from all walks of life, with whom they can just be themselves. We meet twice a month on the first and third Thursday evenings for a wide variety of activities and charity events. Visitors and potential new members are always welcome to come along and find out more.

If you fancy giving us a go, email us to find out about our next event at Membership of Norton Radstock Ladies Circle is open to women aged 18 to 45 who would like the chance to meet new friends, try new activities and give something back to their local communities. We are also part of an area and national association of Ladies Circles. Ladies Circle is part of the Round Table Four Club family so if you are over 18 there is a club for you! Contact Round Table (men aged 18-45), Tangent (women 45+) and 41-Club (men 45+) for more details. For further information about Ladies Circle visit Follow us on Facebook nortonradstockladiescircle.

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NORTON YOUTH CLUB NYC (Norton Youth Club) continues to run in the Town Hall on Thursdays from 5.30-7.30pm. This is a free club that any young person aged between 11-18 years can access during term-time. We also run a Saturday Club in Midsomer Norton Town hall during term-time for 11-19 year olds with disabilities and additional needs. If you would like any further information please phone the office on (01761) 568242 Monday-Thursdays.

WHAT’S COMING UP FOR NYC Midsomer Norton Youth Club has had a good return after the summer break, lots of returning members and new members from the year 7 intake that started senior school in September. We have plans to celebrate, educate and support on nation events such as World Mental Health Day, ‘Movember’ (all of November), Anti-bullying week (12th - 16th Nov) and National Anger Awareness week (1st - 7th Dec) amongst other requested activities! ‘

Thurs 22 Nov 2018 4pm-9pm



FAYRE ATBOOKBARN The fayre will boast a collection of wonderful local arts & crafts stalls, where you can find unique, handmade items to make the perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends. Entry to the fayre is free and warming winter refreshments will be provided by the Full Stop Café until late. If you are interested in renting a stall please contact us on the details below.

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SPORTS ROUND UP Welton recently saw Reserve manager Malcolm Beck and stalwart clubman, Nick Beaverstock, leave the Club due to other commitments. All at Welton wish to put on record their grateful thanks to both Malcolm and Nick for their tremendous efforts over a period of years for the club. Welton’s Under 18’s side, under Aaron Seviour’s guidance, have had a very good start to their season and currently stand top of the Under 18’s Floodlight league.

WELTON ROVERS FLYING HIGH After a season of rebuilding for Welton Rovers the close season at West Clewes was spent by manager Clive Scott consolidating on last season’s good performance. With four new signings, Clive has added strength in depth to the squad and also a number of younger players have been given their chance with the first team. All this has helped Welton to achieve a brilliant start to the season and at the time of writing, Welton have won six successive League games, standing proudly at the top of the table.

The football scene at Welton is really buzzing and all are made welcome at West Clewes. As always special thanks must go to all the volunteers and supporters of the club for their hard work and support because without them the club wouldn’t exist. Up at Norton Down, Midsomer Norton RFC is continuing to field three senior teams playing in the structured leagues plus the Bath Combination Merit table to augment some weekends when no league action is available. Tom Fear continues as Club Captain for the second season, and the coaching has been brought back “in house” with Martin Blackmore leading the sessions with help from several senior players. This combination seems to be working well producing a playing record to date, of six


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wins out of six, gaining five bonus points on the way. The Club’s junior section continues to grow and puts all of the available space at Norton Down to good use on a Sunday morning. The Colts team continues to provide a good pathway for the juniors to move on up into the senior teams, the majority of the senior payers have progressed through this route. It has to be recognised that the club’s strong junior section is the foundation for the senior successes. Midsomer Norton Cricket Club’s first end of season presentation evening provided an opportunity for the club’s players and supporters to thank those members whose hard work ensures that the club continues to make progress on and off the field and to celebrate notable on field achievements. First XI skipper Nick Pang reported on a season which had ended with seven wins and seven defeats and thanked the team for their support on and off the pitch which had helped the side respond to the demands of playing at a higher level in 2018. Club president Ian Macdonald presented First XI batting and bowling awards to Dan Nolan and Andrew Cox respectively. For the Second XI, Ian Macdonald presented the batting award to Nick Cox and the bowling award to Chris Phylips. The Third XI awards went to Josh Rodd (batting) and Phil Mortimer (bowling).

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The Chris Tabb award, which is made to the person who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the club in the last twelve months, was made to Jen Webb. Jen has worked both to develop the club’s social and bar activities and is captain of the Midsomer Mavericks, the club’s Women’s team, who achieved a notable success in 2018 when they were crowned the county’s first ever women’s softball champions at Weston Super Mare in July. The Thatcher + Hallam Trophy for club member of the year went to Nathan Groombridge for his work in and around the club, on and off the pitch. The most popular event of the night though was the award of lifetime membership to Phil Mortimer. Phil is currently head groundsman and also serves as the club’s welfare officer and represents the club at countless league meetings throughout the year and he still plays! 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 goes thanks to Charlie Matthews, Bob Allard and Neil Denning for their contributions towards this article.

Photo credit: Mark Pile LDPS




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THE NORTON RADSTOCK U3A but there really is something for everyone.

Norton Radstock U3A meets at The Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton 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 Arundels of Wardour, Arnos Vale Biographies and Isambard Kingdom Brunel and coming up in November Christopher Massey-Beresford will be speaking on Neutrals at War (the role of neutral countries in WW2). There are some forty individual groups run by members of U3A ranging from Creative Writing, Art Appreciation, Bridge, Current Affairs, Rocks and Ruins to name but a few. You can learn Spanish, Wine Appreciation, Computing and how to play the ukulele as well as singing for pleasure.

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. The only criteria for joining U3A is that you must be retired or semi retired – no age limit. If you are interested in joining or just finding out more come along on the 2nd Monday afternoon or the 4th Monday morning and our friendly greeters will welcome you, show you round and give you all the information you need; or you can telephone 01761 479606.

The groups are too numerous to list them all here

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ON THE LOOK-OUT FOR BATH HALF MARATHON RUNNERS We are on the lookout for people willing to take on a healthy challenge in 2019 by joining our amazing team of runners in the infamous Bath Half Marathon. The Bath Half Marathon, taking place on the 17th March 2019, is arguably one of the UK’s best running events, world renowned for its great atmosphere, flat terrain and route passing through one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Whether you are an experienced runner looking to achieve your personal best or a first timer attempting your first running challenge, it is sure to be a fun day for everyone taking part! RUNNERS JOINING TEAM OFF THE RECORD WILL RECEIVE:

the Bath Half plays a very important part in us raising vital funds to continue this life-changing work - we can’t do it without you! So join our team and be a part of something special. Make new friends, get fit, and make a true difference to the lives of young people in our community. INTERESTED? For more details on how you can take part and help us raise vital funds, contact us at Follow our journey on social media: Twitter @otrbanes, Instagram @otrbanes , Facebook @otrbathnes

Free entry to the race, free running vest and support with training and fundraising. ALL THAT WE ASK IN RETURN IS: Each runner raises a minimum of £200.00 in sponsorship. Support the events that we organise by selling tickets, getting raffle prizes, get involved and attend. All donations will go towards our work and helping to change the lives of vulnerable young people in the Bath and North East Somerset community. Over half a million young people in England are suffering with a mental illness right now and in the South West the problem is serious. In Bath and North East Somerset alone, it is estimated that over 4,000 young people have a mental health condition. Last year, we helped 1000 young people feel better about themselves and their lives but the waiting list for our counselling and support services continues to grow. We want to live in a community and a world where no young person is suffering in silence and where our doors can always be open to support those in need. Fundraising and running for us in events such as

DID YOU KNOW? £10 buys a young person the chance to be heard in a listening support session. £30 buys a counselling session for a young person in crisis. £100 keeps our doors open longer to help more young people in need.



NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR SOMER VALLEY FM’S EDUCATIONAL WORK Local radio station Somer Valley FM has been awarded Community Development Project of the Year at the national Community Radio Awards. The award recognises the positive impact of the Media Education, Training & Skills (METS) programme. This uses media training to help young people into a life of their choosing by developing useful skills and confidence. Somer Valley FM has established a well-regarded skills-based learning ethos that works with local schools and colleges. The METS programme was devised by long standing radio manager Dom Chambers who attended the awards ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of Somer Valley FM. The programme was funded as a pilot project by St, John’s Foundation, Bath, through the radio station’s partnering charity the Somer valley Education Trust. It particularly benefited school students from the radio station’s long term educational partners at Somervale and Norton Hill Schools as well as Fosse Way School and Bath College. The METS programme also works with leading charities in the region such as DHI and SWALLOW to help adults with learning disabilities and those in recovery from addiction.


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Pictured: Daniel Bruce from Internews presenting the award to Dom Chambers from Somer Valley FM.

St John’s Foundation were among the first to congratulate Somer Valley FM on the award which comes a few days after their decision to fund a three year version of the METS programme.

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A new Active Co-ordinator, Elise Meghini, has joined Age UK B&NES and plans to offer even more clubs, classes and groups for older people in Midsomer Norton and the surrounding villages to enjoy. Elise says: “Whatever your interest, we have something for you. “Whether it’s book groups, walking football, walking groups, Tai Chi, exercise classes or singing, we’re friendly, welcoming and looking forward to meeting you. Our activities are a great mood booster and a fantastic way to make new friends and stay active.” Having built a successful career as a props buyer in film and TV, including popular drama series Doc Martin, Elise began working with community groups of all ages in Bath, but particularly relishes the opportunity of working with older people. “I’ve enjoyed hearing some fantastic stories about their lives and what they have experienced,” she says.

To find out more about Age UK B&NES’ clubs, classes and activities in Midsomer Norton, email, call 01225 484510 or * For older people who may find it difficult to leave their home unaided our Day Centre in Midsomer Norton provides fun, friendship and activities, as well as a two-course hot lunch and tea and coffee throughout the day – we even provide transport to and from the venue. If you are interested or know someone who might be, call 01225 466135 or email reception@ageukbanes.

“As I get older, it’s important for me to be more a part of the community and give back to it. I see myself as a problem solver and want to provide great opportunities for older people to get and about and enjoy being a part of their community too.”

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SILVER STREET RESERVE IS OUTSTANDING The Friends of Silver Street were delighted to receive another ‘Outstanding’ award from In Bloom It’s Your Neighbourhood recently. James and Lucy Edwards, from the Friends of Silver Street, said: “This award is recognition of the hard work our volunteers carry out in the woods and meadow. We would like to thank all our members who helped in this achievement for the 6th ‘Outstanding’ year, whether you’re just supporting the group financially or in other ways, we thank you all.”




Over the last couple of months, I have spent a lot of time working on the master plan for the Town Park and this has now gone through the final consultation process. The masterplan is available on the website, www. and from the Town Council office for anyone who would like to see it. The funding is now ready for Phase One and the final specifications are due to be completed to allow the tender process for the contract to begin shortly. It is anticipated that work will begin in early 2019 for the first stage of the masterplan with some clearing and thinning of the site already having been carried out. This has made a big impact and further work is now being looked at in order to implement the masterplan and make the site more viable. I’d like to welcome Dave Paisey, our Town Warden, who has joined the team and has made good progress. He is proving himself to be a very valuable member of the team! He has been set up with an email address, townwarden@, so please do communicate with him via this. Contact details for all the council staff can be found on our website. Recently, we received some gardening equipment from the Welton Village Group and now have the

beginnings of a nice collection. Our Wayfinding project is also nearing its final stages and we will soon be looking at the final designs which will be available for a 14-day period on the Town Council’s website. The contractors will soon be testing the areas for the finger posts and we hope to have these installed and completed by this Christmas, so please keep an eye on the website for further details. We are aware that during the summer the fencing at West Clews was vandalised. We have now replaced the fencing and hope that this was a one-off incident. If you have any concerns with vandalism or notice anything you think we should be aware of, please get in touch, all our contact details can be found at www. or call into the town hall. Finally, we have a full calendar to welcome in the Winter season, I do hope you enjoy these fabulously festive events. I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Donna Ford Town Clerk

Front page image by Alex Evans Photography





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

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Keep Dis cover i ng

Midsomer Norton Life Winter edition  

Community magazine for Midsomer Norton

Midsomer Norton Life Winter edition  

Community magazine for Midsomer Norton