Marshwood + December 2019

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Dustin’s Won Ton of vegan fun Page 50

Living Spit on thin ice Page 58


Hilarious Christmas Stuff and Nonsense in Bridport Page 59


Marshwood Marshwood+ Magazine


© Jim Goddard Photograph by Robin Mills

The best from West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon No. 249 December 2019


Robin Mills met Jim Goddard at Forston, near Dorchester

Jim Goddard Photograph by Robin Mills


was born in April 1957 here on the farm, at Fairmile, beside the Old Sherborne Road. My father was drilling grass seed that day in a nearby field, in those days of course his presence only being required at the conception of his children. Dad, like me, was always a working farmer; he drove with the men, and there was a team of men working here then – Roy Dunford, Ralph Brown, Bert Yarde, Albert Fuller; and Arthur, who was so driven by economy that if he knew he was working with someone else the next day, he wouldn’t wind his pocket watch so it didn’t wear out so quick. Then as well as my mum and dad there was Uncle Jack, Uncle Farmer, and Auntie Girlie. There were cattle here then, about 70-80 beef animals, and before that there was a dairy which was sold in about 1955. During and after the war, like everybody else, they were encouraged to clear land to grow more crops, so a lot of that went on, which is why we now have big fields. My family’s been here since 1910, so my Dad was also born here at Forston. When he married, my mother was living in a cottage at Fairmile, the other side of the farm, almost the girl next door. None of the rest of Dad’s family, Uncles Jack and Farmer, or Auntie Girlie, married, so my brother and I were fortunate to have the farm passed to us when we were

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of age. So today we own 1111 acres, of which we crop 1066, both conveniently memorable numbers. I grew up on the farm, and went to Charminster School at age 5. I hated school pretty much all the way through. Typically it was off with the uniform, overalls on, and “where’s Dad working?”, when I got home after school. Miss Diment taught me to read and write, which I thought was strange because she had also taught my mum to read and write, and how on earth could anyone be that old. Then I went to Dorchester Modern School, and later transferred to Hardye’s to do A levels, because by then the penny had dropped that I needed A levels to get into farming college. Armed with one A level I was able to get a place at Harper Adams college in Shropshire, as were my brother Alan and sister Lizzie in due course. I did an HND Agriculture there, and looking back they were 3 of the best years of my life, making friendships there that continue today. 6 of us still meet once a year, and have done every year since 1978. College gives you a good understanding of all aspects of farming, which helps you ask the right questions as things change over the years. The farm had been kept going while we were at college, and when Alan, Lizzie and I took over, the introduction of new blood was quite a game-changer. Lizzie then married another farmer, Bernard Cox, and in later years Alan retired from farming, so for the last few years it’s been just Mum and I running it. Mum’s now in a care home, so I’m fortunate to have a very astute right-hand man, Rob Greatorex, but when I talk about the farm it’s always “we” because it’s very much a team effort, with my wife Sarah supporting me in every possible way, as well as the various technical and professional advisors we all rely on. Sarah’s had her own career as an educational psychologist. I wasn’t allowed to go steaming until I was an old git of 40. I’d had a Mamod steam engine as many boys did, so I was hooked from an early age. Then from the age of about 11 we had motorbikes on the farm; BSA Bantams, Greeves, a BSA C15, a Mako, all an absolute riot, but we were never allowed one on the road. That seemed such a shame, and if you enjoy a motorbike it never leaves you, but it never happened. So I bought Gladstone, a 1910

Jim Goddard

Clayton and Shuttleworth traction engine, when I was 39 and 11 months. The first year was a learning process, but I wanted to experience refurbishing a steam engine, so on advice from the boiler inspector we installed a new set of tubes, which gave us another 10 years of steaming. By then it was time for more refurbishing, which turned out to be a new firebox, boiler barrel, back head, smoke box, chimney base, and hind axle, all of which took 2 years pull apart, have components manufactured, and reassemble. That was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done, but like a lot of things, if you knew what it was going to be like in advance, you wouldn’t do it. And in the process, I’ve met some of the most interesting people on the planet, taken Gladstone to many shows and fairs, including the Great Dorset Steam Fair several times, and to Ireland twice. The Irish boys sometimes come over here; their names all end in “ie”, so there’s Jimmie, Billie, Willie, etc, and in the pub with them it’s impossible to buy them a beer because just as you go to buy a round, another one’s thrust in your hand. These days I try not to leave the county, so lately we’ve been to Shillingstone, and steamed to West Bay via the Hardy Monument. We’ve also got a 1901 Marshall portable, a sawbench, a stone crusher, and a thrashing machine, and it’s all great fun, even, or especially, when things go wrong. Sarah and I met in ’83; she was doing a shift at the Royal Oak, Cerne Abbas when I popped in for a beer, and it went from there. She was studying for her second degree at Swansea. I visited her many times there on the Gower, which I thought was

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absolutely lovely, even more so because she was there, and we married in ’86. One of the few regrets in my life is not having built a big enough shed in which to store all the cars and motorbikes I’ve had and finished with. In it there would be the BSA C15, a 250cc Mako, a 3-litre Capri, a 2-litre Opel Manta in drug-dealer gold, and many others. But now I’ve got other cars, and all the steam stuff, and Sarah has her horses; she doesn’t know how much a ton of coal costs, and I’ve no idea what it costs to put 4 shoes on a horse, and we keep it that way. We used to go windsurfing when we were fitter, which fitted quite well with farming. We could be on Overcome Corner rigging up on the beach 25 minutes after leaving the farm. It’s all much harder work now with traffic, parking, permits, etc. I tried kite surfing once, but thought I was going to die. It’s really hairy when it goes wrong, and I’ve been pulled under the water, then out again only just long enough cough up all the water I’d just swallowed before being pulled under again. I’ve seen people quite badly hurt, having been hoisted into the harbour wall or dumped in amongst the expensive properties on the seafront at Sandbanks. But the windsurfing was really fun. It had to be fast; you felt so alive, because of having successfully pitted your skills against wind, wave, and water, and it’s a good feeling to come home safe after a slightly risky pastime. The joy in farming for me is seeing new crops emerge, with the sun behind them, no slugs eating the new rows, and all the tramlines in the right place, while you’re sat at the top of the hill in the tractor halfway through a Cadbury’s Creme Egg and a cup of coffee. But there are less people on farm today, so I talk too much because a lot of the time there’s no one to talk to. We’ve just bought a couple more fields and a wood, and nobody knows the name of one of the fields. I think it’s a niceness that all fields have names, many from hundreds of years ago. But the key to staying upbeat and fresh is to try to keep the hobbies up, and in that respect I’ve been fortunate. And to live and farm here in South Dorset is a privilege too. Sarah and I were lucky enough to go to Antigua for a holiday; many people said to me it must have been a version of paradise, and I thought it was all right, but it wasn’t Dorset.

UP FRONT Waiting for a train at Waterloo station recently I felt sorry for one of the vendors standing alone at a stall waiting for customers. It was cold and he shifted from foot to foot to try to keep warm. He hadn’t even been supplied with a chair to sit on. The service he was promoting didn’t seem to be particularly attractive either. In fifteen minutes he had one customer who dropped something off and then rushed away with an air of great self-importance. A couple of promotional flags on either side of the man’s stall advertised the name of the business, but it was the letters FORO that stood out. They were explained by the words ‘Fear of Running Out’. The business offered the hire of portable changers for those that may need a constant telephone connection to the internet for business or other important stuff. One imagines it could also be of great assistance to those that suffer from ‘Nomophobia’, a condition brought on by ‘smartphone separation anxiety’. This is an affliction that could, of course, be exacerbated by the possibility of running out of phone battery. To me, FORO was a new abbreviation but I can imagine it has probably been around for a while. Like memes on social media, abbreviations for modern ailments keep cropping up, often followed by authoritative suggestions and research papers on how they could be dealt with. But ailments are just a tiny part of it. The upsurge in the popularity of text speak and abbreviations to express feelings is nothing new, it has been the subject of newspaper and magazine articles for years. In fact there are people who get paid to explain abbreviations so that businesses or institutional social media promoters can reach the right people. The abbreviations have to be current and cool, or at least not too dreadfully old fashioned. Now INE (I’m No Expert) but IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) it seems that this form of communication has already spawned a whole new language, which apart from the need for tuition, might give birth many other offshoots. This year I hope to add abbreviations to Christmas charades. ‘Book, film, play, song or… abbreviation!’ It will be fun to see whether this particular form of screen-based communication can be easily introduced into the RW (Real World). MCTA (Merry Christmas To All).

Fergus Byrne

Published Monthly and distributed by Marshwood Vale Ltd Lower Atrim, Bridport Dorset DT6 5PX For all Enquiries Tel: 01308 423031 info@marshwoodvale. com

Editorial Director

This magazine is printed using wood from sustainable forestry


Fergus Byrne

Deputy Editor Victoria Byrne


Fergus Byrne

Sue Norris

THIS MONTH Visit our website for more Marshwood Marshwood + is a new page-turning version of the Marshwood Vale Magazine on our website. More events, more news, more people and a lot more Marshwood. Plus! Each month we also look back on some of the things you may have missed over the last 18 years of publishing your community magazine.

Visit and click on Marshwood + today!

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Cover Story By Robin Mills Burning the Ashen Faggot By Philip Strange One Hundred Years of Folk Dancing in Bridport By Margery Hookings Local Events Courses and Workshops Films Happy Midwinter Solstice By Cecil Amor News & Views Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn

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House & Garden Vegetables in December By Ashley Wheeler December in the Garden By Russell Jordan Property Round Up By Helen Fisher The Lamprey By Nick Fisher

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Food & Dining Raised Duck and Pork Pie By Lesley Waters Christmas Pavlova By Mark Hix Wonton Bowls with Garlic-Fried Quinoa by Dustin Harder People in Food By Catherine Taylor

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Health & Beauty Services & Classified People at Work By Catherine Taylor

Arts & Entertainment Alive & Kicking - The Marshwood Arts Awards Winners Galleries, Performance and Preview

‘Introducing “lite”, the new way to spell “light”, with 20% fewer letters!’

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Contributors Cecil Amor Helen Fisher Nick Fisher Richard Gahagan Dustin Harder Margery Hookings Mark Hix Russell Jordan

Robin Mills Gay Pirrie-Weir Philip Strange Catherine Taylor Humphrey Walwyn Lesley Waters Ashley Wheeler

Twitter @marshwoodvale

The views expressed in The Marshwood Vale Magazine and People Magazines are not necessarily those of the editorial team. Unless otherwise stated, Copyright of the entire magazine contents is strictly reserved on behalf of the Marshwood Vale Magazine and the authors. Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of dates, event information and advertisements, events may be cancelled or event dates may be subject to alteration. Neither Marshwood Vale Ltd nor People Magazines Ltd can accept any responsibility for the accuracy of any information or claims made by advertisers included within this publication. NOTICE TO ADVERTISERS Trades descriptions act 1968. It is a criminal offence for anyone in the course of a trade or business to falsely describe goods they are offering. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. The legislation requires that items offered for sale by private vendors must be ‘as described’. Failure to observe this requirement may allow the purchaser to sue for damages. Road Traffic Act. It is a criminal offence for anyone to sell a motor vehicle for use on the highway which is unroadworthy.

There’s an awful lot of shouting going on at the moment LOUD proclamations STRIDENT debate THUNDERING judgement BELLOWED resentment and FORCEFULLY expressed opinions Here at the Marshwood Vale Magazine we just wanted to quietly whisper something in your ear...

Merry Christmas...

Burning the

Ashen Fagg By Philip Strange

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Stepping back in time

for Christmas


idwinter fire ceremonies were once very popular in the UK, especially in rural communities. People gathered around the hearth in a noisy, joyous celebration, with the fire bringing light into the darkness of winter. These ceremonies probably have a pagan origin and one which used to be widespread in the UK was Burning the Yule Log. Less well known but quite common in Devon and neighbouring parts of Dorset and Somerset was Burning the Ashen Faggot. Although it has now largely disappeared as a household custom, it is still celebrated in a handful of local pubs to the accompaniment of hearty singing and copious drinking. The ashen faggot was a large bundle of ash sticks or an ash log surrounded by smaller sticks, all bound together by thin bands of willow or hazel (withies). The ashen faggot was cut and constructed on Christmas Eve and placed on a fire kindled with remnants of last year’s faggot. Ash burns well, even when green and as the fire caught and each of the withies broke, tradition demanded that a new jug of cider be brought out to quench the thirst of the assembled company. The scene around the hearth as the Faggot burned is vividly brought to life in this extract from Festivities and Superstitions of Devonshire in Bentley’s Miscellany 1847: “On Christmas Eve it is the custom in all the farm houses of this neighbourhood to “burn the ashen faggot”. All the labourers and servants are invited, and a huge fire is heaped up on the wide hearth. We all sat round the hearth in a circle; the firelight deepening the shadows on the hard-featured mahogany countenances around, and setting off the peculiarities of each form. The ashen faggot which lay on the hearth consists of a long immense log of ash, surrounded with smaller branches bound to it with many withies, forming one large bundle; it filled the whole hearth and as it burned the roaring in the large chimney was tremendous. As the fire slowly catches and consumes the withies, the sticks fly off and kindle into a sudden blaze and as each one after the other gives way, all present stand up and shout with might and main; the “loving cup” of cider is handed round and each drinks his fill. They then resume their seats, sing songs, crack jokes until the bursting of another band and the kindling of a fresh blaze demands renewed shouts and another pull at the cider flagon. The merriment is allowed to go on till nearly midnight, before which hour the worthy giver of the feast likes to have her house clear, that the “Holy Day” may begin in peace. This custom is kept up religiously in all the farmhouses around, and is one of the principal festivals of the year.” Burning the Ashen Faggot was a very popular west country custom and Amery, writing in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association (1879), reported that in the Ashburton postal district alone 32 farms and cottages burnt the Ashen Faggot on Christmas Eve 1878. There were various superstitions and beliefs associated with the event and an old man present at one of the 1878 ceremonies told how the custom “commemorated the first dressing of our Saviour in swaddling clothes, because Joseph cut a faggot of ash, which is well known to burn green and lighted a fire by which the child was first dressed”. The custom was also widespread in 19th and early 20th century Somerset where it was often combined with apple tree wassailing and held on old Christmas Eve (January 5th ). There is one 19th century record of burning the Ashen Faggot in East Devon for Christmas Eve 1839 at Bindon Farm about 4 miles from the Devon/Dorset Border.

Carol Singing as the Ashen Faggot burns (2017) (kindly supplied by Kristy, Harbour Inn Axmouth) Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 9

In the 19th century, the Ashen Faggot was a household custom bringing working people together at Christmas. Servants and farm labourers and their families were all invited to the farmhouse with its huge hearth and the celebration was provided by the farmer and his wife in thanks for the year’s work. For one evening at least, people put aside divisions and squabbles. The custom began to die out as work patterns changed, as the railways enabled people to move about and as artificial light banished winter darkness. It seems likely that the custom would have disappeared altogether had it not been taken on by local pubs where it still survives despite recent closures and more stringent insurance requirements. One pub where it flourishes is the 800-year-old Harbour Inn at Axmouth in East Devon and I spoke to one of the villagers, Nigel Daniel, who helps organise the annual ceremony. He told me that on Christmas Eve morning a group of villagers cut the ash and make the faggot which measures about six feet in length and five feet in circumference, filling the expanse of the old inglenook fireplace. Seven bindings each made from hazel are used to secure the faggot which is traditionally taken to the Harbour Inn at lunchtime where a few early Christmas drinks are enjoyed. The ceremony itself starts late Christmas Eve with the reading of the following lines taken from Christmas by RJ Thorn 1795: Thy welcome eve, loved Christmas now arrived, The parish bells, their tuneful peals resound, And mirth and gladness every breast pervade, The ponderous Ashen Faggot, from the yard, The jolly farmer to his crowded hall conveys with speed; where, on the rising flames, it blazes soon. Seven bandages it bears, and as they each disjoin, a mighty jug of sparkling cider’s brought with brandy mixed to elevate the guests! The Ashen Faggot is placed upon the open hearth where it soon lights with its distinctive orange and purple flames. As each binding “disjoins” revellers are urged to recharge their glasses accompanied with seasonal toasts. Local singers Ian Hunt and Phil Gamble perform three Seasonal songs: The King, Christmas Song (from the Copper family) and Stormy Winds. Communal carol singing follows continuing well into the night. The ceremony at the Harbour Inn was revived more than 70 years ago by the landlord Ludovic Grant who used to present a roasted boar’s head as part of the celebrations. The BBC showed

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The Ashen Faggot at the Harbour Inn in 1950 showing Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Pridham, Fred Larcombe and Albert Soper (kindly supplied by Nigel Daniel)

interest in the ceremony in the 1950s, broadcasting it on radio and television, but when Ludovic Grant retired in the late 1950s it sadly lapsed. Fortunately, Axmouth thatcher, David Trezise and local gardener, Ned Spiller got together in the early 1970s to restart the ceremony and, led for many years by David Trezise, and with the enthusiastic support of subsequent landlords the event has flourished at the Harbour Inn offering a truly traditional start to a modern Christmas. The ceremony will be held again this Christmas Eve at the Harbour Inn, Axmouth, but you can also step back in time and participate in this ancient west country custom at the Luttrell Arms in Dunster on December 24th and at the Squirrel Inn at Laymore near Chard and the Digby Tap in Sherborne on January 6th, but please check the timing. I should like to thank Nigel Daniel for generous help in preparing this article and for providing a photograph, also Kristy of the Harbour Inn and Tiffany Hyde for generously providing photos. Philip Strange is Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Reading. He writes about science and about nature with a particular focus on how science fits in to society. His work may be read at

Making the Ashen Faggot on Christmas Eve morning in Axmouth (2017) (photo taken and kindly supplied by Tiffany Hyde)

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One Hundred This year, Bridport Folk Dance Club celebrated its one hundredth birthday. Monty Crook and Gwenda Selley take Margery Hookings through the minute books from the club’s formation to the thriving group it is today.


t was Sir Thomas Beecham who apparently said you should try everything once except incest and folk dancing. An objection to the first activity is completely understandable but what the British conductor and impresario had against the second, I really don’t know. Beecham is also credited with saying ‘everything in music has its place; even a brass band, but its place is in the open air and twenty miles away.’ As someone who breaks out in goose bumps when I hear a good brass band, I’m happy to dismiss Beecham’s putdowns as the product of a witty if curmudgeonly mind. My own experience of country dancing is—just like thousands of others in Somerset and Dorset—I learned it at primary school. More recently, I’ve enjoyed village ceilidhs and watching with great admiration the energy of morris dancers on the seafront at Sidmouth Folk Festival. This year, Bridport Folk Dance Club celebrated its one hundredth birthday. On Monday 19 September 1919, a group of women met in the Congregational Schoolroom at Bridport. Miss H D Kennedy, of the English Folk Dance Society, took the chair for what was to be the formal beginning of the Bridport Folk Dance Club. Previously, the Women’s Institute had taught country dancing in the town. There is still a relationship between the club and the WI, with folk dancing going on every Monday night in the WI Hall. Though the club started meeting in the WI Hall in 1925, it relocated in 1960 following a fall-out over double bookings and hall fees. It took

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37 years to move back there. Minutes from meetings over the century reflect changing times and world events. One of the founding members was Miss Margaret Cox, a music teacher from the then Bridge House boarding school. In October 1920, it was decided to form The English Folk Dance Society, West Dorset Branch. Cecil Sharp, the founding father of the English folk song revival, visited in January 1921 and established a local, officially approved teacher for classes in morris, sword and country dancing, with Miss Cox as one of the musicians. The subscriptions were 7s 6d per annum, amounting to £10.05 today. These days, annual fees have gone down to £2, although there is a £3 per session charge. One hundred years ago, the MC was responsible for the programme and also for arranging teaching of new dances. This club now has a rota of several club callers which does this. One activity which has disappeared is a short time to be set apart at each meeting for folk songs. The death of Cecil Sharp on 23 June 1924 was minuted the next day. In December 1924, a Dorset branch of the English Folk Dance Society was established, with strong representation from the Bridport club. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, club members performed at local and the All England festivals at The Royal Albert Hall. Three hundred children attended the July 1927 festival of the Bridport branch and two members represented the county at the opening of Cecil Sharp House in 1930. A week-long festival of dance was held in Bridport in 1937.


of folk dancing in Bridport

Above: Miss Mayne at 97, March 1975 and below the First Class certificate from 1929

Club records show a poignant break after the 22 September 1939 meeting, when a letter from a Colonel Deacon was read describing ‘steps… found necessary to take owing to the state of war which existed’ - and dance classes were ‘suspended until spring, when the situation should be reviewed …’ Club minutes did not resume until 20 October 1947. After the Second World War, square dancing became popular and the use of a caller became the norm, which made the dancing more accessible for everyone. The club was now using gramophone records. From the 1950s until the 1970s, Miss Marjorie Mayne, who had been taught to dance by Cecil Sharp, held an annual folk dance to celebrate her birthday. She had helped found the Chideock Morris Men in the 1920s, after having taught morris to the troops during the First World War. At her parties, young dancers were asked to perform. Locals, including club members, were invited. In March 1968, Bourne River Morris, sponsored by Miss Mayne, gave their first public performance on her 90th birthday and this became a tradition. She died, aged 98, in April 1976. Local group The Yetties, who went on to worldwide fame, attended the parties in 1970 and 1973. Later, the club adopted the event as its annual dance with the participation of Bourne River Morris—until no one on the side remembered Miss Mayne. Miss Mayne’s Party is now held during April and continues to feature a ‘dance spot‘. Back in 1919, the club had 44 members, but over the years the numbers have waxed and waned. In 2018-19, there are 33 members and regular attendances of more than 20. The club enjoys local bands and guest callers once a month and, in between, club callers entertain with CDs and a laptop. For its centenary, the club commissioned a dance from international caller/choreographer/music writer Colin Hume, intended to acknowledge the rope-making history of Bridport. The dance is called Money for Old Rope, subtitled The Bridport Dagger—the well-known local nickname for the hangman’s noose, which by tradition was made from Bridport rope. Having already had an outing at the last Eastbourne International Folk Dance Festival in May (as well as in America), it was performed in the packed Church House Hall on 5 October at the club’s party dance. Some 21 club members were among 70 dancing to the music of multi-instrumentalist Chris Jewell, with Ted Farmer calling. In the interval the club enjoyed an Appalachian dance display from a new troupe, Aurora, whilst enjoying supper, a glass of bubbly and birthday cake. So why do they still do it? Monty Crook and Gwenda Selley say: ‘Club members invariably say the club is fun, sociable and keeps you fit. And would that small group of enthusiastic founding members recognise the club today? We’d like to think they would be pleased, if not a little surprised, that we are still here, keeping the tradition alive 100 years on.’

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Shop Local Step out &

this christmas

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y a D h c n u a L FOR THE CLASS OF FEBRUARY 19

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Clinker, Dinghy, Coble and Canoe: Lyme Boat Builders ready to Launch


ednesday 4th December sees the end of the 40-week Boat Building course for the Class of February 2019 with the launching of their boats into Lyme Regis Harbour. Six boats will be launched in total, as well as two paddle boards—both built as student projects towards the end of the course. The boats range from a 16’ traditional clinker sailing boat, an 8’ sailing dinghy, a 16’ lugrigged sailing boat, a 16’ traditional coble fishing boat and two canoes (one traditional clinker, the other strip-planked). All the boats have been built by the students as part of their training over the last six months; the class spend around 12 weeks working on their foundation skills before moving down to the main workshop to start work on their boat projects. The Class of February 2019 are a diverse group; most have come from all corners of the UK, with some even hailing from as far as Switzerland and Greece. Regardless of their backgrounds, they have all come together for one reason – to learn how to build boats. The students work on the boats every step of the way: from sourcing plans and lofting (drawing the boats to full-size in cross-sectional views), laying the backbone and planking to fit-out and finishing. Though comprehensive and challenging in scope, the course is open to anyone over the age of eighteen. There is no skill requirement or entry exam; all that is asked for is enthusiasm and determination. Men and women from all different backgrounds and occupations come to the Academy for the training. For most, enrolling on the course is the first step into a new career direction—perhaps to work as a boat builder or to start up a business of their own. For others, the course might serve as a sabbatical from a comfortable desk job or perhaps to brush up on practical skills—even just for the sheer enjoyment! All are welcome to join us in celebrating the achievements of the students as they launch their boats. The first boat is due in the water at 1000 after congratulatory speeches.

Students from the 40-week boat building course are looking forward to making a splash in Lyme Regis on December 4th

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Pop-up Vintage 10.00am-4.00pm, closed 25th & 26th December. We spend the year sourcing, cleaning, mending and up-cycling so that you don’t have to. We have toys, books, textiles, homeware and much more for a beautiful and totally-sustainable Christmas. The Courtyard Gallery, Town Mill, Lyme Regis. Tel. 01297-443579


Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway.

East Devon Ramblers leisurely 7.5 mile circular walk from Bridport. 10.30 start and bring picnic. Assistance dogs only. 01297 443836


Axminster Carnival Bingo Eyes down 8pm Axminster Guildhall. Christmas Bingo at the Village Hall (TA18 8NA). Doors open 6.45p.m. for 7.30 start). Lots of great prizes/hampers/ vouchers; good raffle, name the cuddly toy, tombola,, light refreshments. Raising funds for Misterton W.I. Enq. 01460 74808/ Inspired by Archives with Stepping into Nature, 10:30 – 12:00, Explore the nature in the Dorset History Centres archives using photos, art, recordings and maps to unlock the stories past, present and future, Dorset History Centre, Dorchester, DT1 1RP, Maria 01305 221618 or maria.gayton@,

Scottish Dancing in Chardstock 7.30 – 10.00 p.m. Evening of social dancing at Chardstock Village Hall, Cost £1.50 tea or coffee included. No partner required. Contact David on 01460 65981; Ann on 01308 42297; or Andrew on 01297 33461 or just come along. www. Lipreading & Managing Hearing Loss Honiton Methodist Church 10am - 12noon. Learn how to manage your hearing loss using lipreading and coping strategies, while building confidence in a supportive environment. First session free. Small, friendly group. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Contact Ruth for further details 07855 340517 or just come along on the day. Christmas Bingo at the Village Hall (TA18 8NA). Doors open 6.45p.m. for 7.30 start). Lots of great prizes/hampers/ vouchers; good raffle, name the cuddly toy, tombola,, light refreshments. Raising funds for Misterton w.I. Enq. 01460 74808/ Scottish Country Dancing at Ashill. 7.30 to 9.30 pm . Learn steps, formations and dances with a fully qualified teacher in a fun and relaxed setting. Ashill village hall Nr Ilminster TA19 9LX . Contact Anita on 01460 929383 or email anitaandjim22@ for further information. Also 9th and 16th. Painted Pleats – a History of European Fan Painting 7.15pm by Jacob Moss Arts Society lecture at Frogmary Green Conference Centre, TA13 5DJ. Visitors £10. Call Maralyn on 01460 241143. Bridport Folk Dance Club, 7-30pm – 9 30pm WI Hall North Street, Bridport. DT6 3JQ Beginner and experienced dancers welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult).Contact: 01308 458 165


Deep adaptation to climate change – an open meeting hosted by Alan Heeks. 7pm Free of Charge / Donation. Bridport Literary & Scientific Institute www. Beaminster Museum Winter Talk, 2.30 pm. Chris Tripp will give a talk on the

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Romans in Dorset – Roads, towns, temples and villas – as soon as a soldier left a sandal mark in Dorset soil much of life changed for the people of this county. This talk will introduce you to many of the unique features of the 350 year Roman occupation in Dorset. Beaminster Museum, Whitcombe Road, DT8 3NB. Info@ West Dorset Ramblers Walk, West Dorset Circular 10:00 - 8 miles/12.9 km - No dogs. Please call 01308 423927


Uplyme an Lyme Regis Horticultural Society 7.30pm Uplyme Village Hall (TBC) ‘Social & Christmas Supper’ (bring and share) Pre Christmas social. Find out what the society is up to for the coming year renew your membership (if you haven’t already) and sign up to forthcoming outings. Enjoy a light hearted quiz and bring and share supper. Bring along any unwanted seeds to swap with other members. Free Benefits surgeries. 9.30am and 12pm at Age UK Dorchester shop in Bridport, 16 West Street, Bridport, DT6 3QP. Free benefits advice for people aged over 50 – come along and find out what you may be entitled to claim. To make an appointment please contact Age UK Dorchester on 01305 269444. East Devon Ramblers moderate 10 mile circular walk from Thorncombe. 10.00 start and bring picnic. Dogs on short leads. 01297 552313 Axminster Historical Society Talk: The History of Axe Harbour Nigel Daniel grew up on the harbour ‘messing around in boats’ which led to 20 years in the merchant navy and Captain of cable laying and repair ships. Following extensive research, Nigel has written a history of the harbour which portrays a more informed and chronological perspective and includes some information not previously published. 7:30pm All Welcome, Membership £10 Non Members £2 The Bradshaw Meeting Room, Axminster Heritage Centre, Thomas Whitty House, Silver Street, Axminster, EX13 5AH

West Dorset Ramblers Walk, Circular walk around the Giant. No dogs. Please call 07765 251571 or 07960 831204


Jingle Bell Rockout, 7.30 pm and Saturday matinee 2.30 pm, Christmas songs and carols, disco and show music, Hope Church, Trinity St,Weymouth DT4 8TW,


Spectacular Annual Christmas Tree Festival. Open daily. At Bridport United Church, East Street. Opening and lighting up service at 7pm on Tuesday 3rd. Over 50 trees all decorated by local and national charities. Lead Charity this year is Julia’s House Children’s Hospice. Late opening until 9 pm on the 4th for Bridport Christmas Cheer. We had over 7,000 visitors last year and raise £1,000’s every year. Contact 07803 164420 for info.


Axminster Country Market Thursdays 8.30am -12noon, Masonic Hall, South Street, Axminster. Come and meet the producers! Cakes, savouries, crafts, cut flowers, plants, free-range eggs, fruit & veg - all seasonal, produced in or near

Axminster. Reduce your carbon footprint, with food you can trust. Tea & coffee available too, come and say hello. Versus Arthritis Christmas Fair/Coffee Morning, 10.30 – 1 pm, Stalls, Produce, Raffle. Sweetbriar Farm,Uploders DT6 4NY. Dorchester Christmas Cracker Night. 4pm onwards. See Dorchester transformed into a late-night Christmas shopping hub this Christmas Cracker. After perusing the outdoor stalls, pop into Shire Hall for a warming glass of mulled wine, and a listen to some traditional tunes by our Victorian Carol Singers. Don’t forget to visit to Father Christmas in his grotto and the peruse the best selection of Christmas gifts in Dorchester, in our gift shop! For more information visit or call 01305 261849. Community Coffee Morning, 10.45 - 11.45am, in St.Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington Rd, Bridport, All welcome, Free Parking. Wellbeing Walk at Radipole Lakes with Stepping into Nature, 11-12, Enjoy a gentle 45 minute to 1 hour walk at Radipole Nature Reserve. A chance to relax, chat, see (And hear!) some fabulous wildlife. Contact RSPB Radipole Lakes, Weymouth on 01305 778313.

Chard Camera Club The club will be meeting at the Baptist Church hall at 7.30 pm for a talk given by Mr Andrew Davis. Further details about the club and it’s activities can be obtained from visiting their website or by ringing the club’s members secretary Mrs Joyce Partridge on 01460 66885. Tatworth Flower Club ,Tatworth Memorial Hall ,TA20 2QW doors open1.30 for 2pm , Sally Taylor Demonstrates ‘Count Down to Christmas’contact Julie Kettle 01297 33924 Lyme Voices Community Choir. 19.30 to 21.15. Sing for fun. Learn tunes by ear. Everyone welcome. Baptist Church (pine hall round the back), Silver St., Lyme Regis, DT7 3NY. Phone 01297 445078 or email


St. Agnes Fountain. At 8pm. Since 2005, the “Aggies” have brought their Christmas Show to The David Hall in South Petherton. It’s the band that gives Christmas songs a good, if respectful, kicking. Great musical talent, wit and invention in the form of founder member David Hughes with Chris Leslie (Fairport Convention) and Chris While and Julie

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Celebrate CHRISTMA

in Brid

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BRIDPORT CHRISTMAS CHEER An evening of Christmas Celebrations Wednesday 4th December: 4 – 8.30 pm Come celebrate the arrival of Christmas at Bridport Christmas Cheer, soak up the festive atmosphere and get yourself into the seasonal mood. It is going to be an evening of festival fun with a whole line-up of exciting activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Don’t miss carol singing by local schools, The lantern procession, the christmas tree light switch-on and arrival of Father Christmas All children who visit Father Christmas in Santa’s Grotto outside the Arts Centre will receive a free gift kindly donated by Toy Master and Groves Enjoy dance performances by Perfect Pirouttes, Bridport Street Dance and Kelci’s Dance Academy at the Electric Palace. And there will be non-stop music performed by local musicians in Bucky Doo Square, outside The Bull Hotel and the Ropemakers. Visit the Christmas markets in Town Hall, the Arts Centre and the Electric Palace There will be over 30 stalls lining West, East and South Streets and Bridport Museum will be demonstrating how to make rope from 4pm – 7pm and offering refreshments and mince pies. Enjoy the fun fair and entertainment in South Street Many shops will be staying open late and several local businesses will be opening their doors offering seasonal refreshments. And of course there is the Christmas Tree Festival at Bridport United Church in East Street starts at 5 pm. To keep up to date visit

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Matthews (Radio 2 Folk Award Winners). Tickets: £19 Full, £18 Concessions, from or 01460 240 340.


John Maddocks and his Jazzmen Terrific traditional jazz from a longstanding band. Great fun! 8pm. Tickets £16 (£31 with pre-show supper at 7pm, must be pre-booked). Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. www. The Voice of Roy Orbison with Brenda Lee, 7.30pm Darren Page back with this Christmas show featuring the music of Roy Orbison and Brenda Lee. A festive treat for everyone. £17 The Beehive, Honiton. Box office 01404 384050 Carol singing around the tree at Misterton W.I. Hall, Middle Street (opposite the School), including the children of Misterton School Choir. mulled wine, nibbles and mince pies. Free entry but any donations to go to Misterton First School. all welcome. Enq. 01460 74808. The Living Tree, cancer self-help group. 2pm Tripudio. 2.15 Members social chat. Therapy session – worry busting with Louise Wender. Drop in any time between

2pm and 4.30pm at the Friends’ Meeting House, 95 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NZ. Tel 07341 916 976. www.thelivingtree. Christmas Lunch, 7:30pm – 9pm, Dorset Wildlife Trust West Dorset Group plus talk from Terry Sweeney retired ranger for County Council, booking essential by 27th November, 01308 423442, W.I Hall, Bridport. Christmas Craft Fair, with West Country Crafters and Father Christmas. Open 10am till 8pm, to coincide with late night shopping. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, 01395 515551 East Devon Ramblers moderate 6 mile circular walk from Sidbury. 10.00 start. Dogs on short leads. 01395 579607

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A display of Christmas Customs around the World’ 10am-5pm each day in Dalwood Church. Holy Communion 11am on Sunday. Event finishes with Christingle at 5pm. Contact Sue Drew 01404 831365 Christmas Tree Festival, 11am until 6pm Friday and Saturday, 11am until 5pm Sunday, over 30 decorated and lit up Christmas Trees at Chard Museum, High Street Chard, contact Doreen Toms on 01460/64502 mardor.toms@mypostoffice.


Beer Wurlitzer Theatre Organ Show with Trevor Bolshaw at the Congregational Church, Fore Street, Beer, 2pm - 4.30pm, £7 at the door, children free, visit or phoine 01297 24892. Pre-Christmas gardening talk with Andy McIndoe. 1.30pm. A talk by Andy McIndoe, Chelsea Designer & former Head of Hilliers, admission £10 including refreshments, quality prize raffle, cake stall, garden sundries & new book stalls. Morden Village Hall, Dorset, BH20 7EL. Contact Mrs Alex Brenton (Plant Heritage Dorset) on 01929 459496 or by email at alexandrob.

Cerne Abbas Christmas Fayre Over 40 stalls – Crafts, Christmas gifts, jewellery and more. Santa’s grotto. Hot food and mulled wine. Free entry 4pm – 7pm Human Rights Day coffee morning and Cake Sale with A.I. Greetings card campaign 10.30am- 12.30am Driftwood cafe, Baptist church, Lyme Regis in aid of Uplyme Community Sponsorship scheme Please support generously contact Audrey Standhaft 01297 442427 Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 6 mile walk from Hooke Hooke Park, Mount Pleasant, Kingcombe Meadows 10.30am start. Bring picnic. No dogs. All welcome. Please call 01308 898484/01308 863340 Christmas Craft Fayre at Musbury Village Hall - 10.00 am to 12.30 pm. A good variety of local craft stalls including stained glass and wooden reindeers, jams and chutneys and in addition our Church cake stall, tombola and raffle. Refreshments including bacon buttys ! Proceeds to St Michaels Church Musbury. Enquiries 01297 552440/552711 Chard Camera Club Members will be meeting at the Eagle Tavern for their annual Christmas Dinner 7 pm for 7.30 pm. Further details about the club and it’s activities can be obtained from visiting their

website or by ringing the club’s members secretary Mrs Joyce Partridge on 01460 66885. Lyme Bay Chorale’s Singing Masterclass with choir patrons, Philippa Hyde and Paul Esswood, 2pm - 4pm. The choir’s bursary students and some choir members are being invited to participate. Free for the audience ( donations welcomed). St Michael’s Parish Church Lyme Regis. For information contact Sally 07884 446953 or email sallycrowther53@ Christmas coffee morning 10.15-12.15 cake christmas tombola book & bric-a-brac stalls coffee & biscuits on entry comrades hall broadwindsor philip 01308 867646 or philip 07980 864169 Bridport Ceilidhs. 7.30 - 11.00 pm. English ceilidh featuring Derby’s own Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews with Jeremy Child calling. All dances will be walked and talked through and called throughout. All welcome, no partner or previous experience required. Bring & Share supper, no bar but the Woodman is just opposite. Church House Hall, South Street, DT6 3NW. Entry £9 on the door, £8 in advance booked by phone or email. Contact Monty on 01308 423 442, monty3dayslate AT see

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Cantamus concert, 7 pm, “O Come, Emmanuel”-an inspiring and accomplished programme of seasonal choral music from Byrd and Tallis to Tavener and Warlock. Tickets £10 on the door. Refreshments available. St Mary Magdalene, Loders DT6 3RZ. Bridport Choral Society Christmas Concert, Bridport United Church, carols and songs across centuries of Christmas music, tickets £10, 01308 863502 Christmas Craft Fair, with West Country Crafters and Father Christmas. Open 10am till 5pm. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, 01395 515551 Human rights day coffee morning and cake sale 10.30 -12.30am.amnesty greetings card campaign Driftwood cafe baptist church Lyme Regis contact Audrey Standhaft 01297 442427. Three Cane Whale 2.00pm A welcome return of the popular group Three Cane Whale to St Basils Church, Toller Fratrum. Additionally a performance by Courtly Musick featuring Tudor music and work by Jen Muggleton. St Basils Church, Toller Fratrum, Dorset Contact Roger Simpson 01300 320154 or Di Mitchell 01300 320239 for tickets. £8.00 including refreshments.

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Ferne animal sanctuary Christmas craft fair, 10am until 3pm, join us at ferne christmas craft fair, where you will find a variety of stalls and have the chance to meet santa. ferne animal sanctuary, near chard, 014606758 Christmas Art and Craft Weekend opening. 10.00am to 4.00pm. Christmas lights and atmosphere throughout our collective studios and craft stalls. Free entry and Parking, Café Open. Mangerton Mill DT6 3SG. Contact: Studio by the Lake. Tel 07768476603


Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway. Qi Gong and Meditation 2pm - 4.30pm - Qi gong to strengthen your immunity and boost your vitality - meditation to calm the mind and body- all welcome, no experience necessary cost £15 session or £60 for 6 sessions - contact : Diana Barnard on 01458897254/07800717283 or - website: Also 5th Jan, 19th Jan, 2nd Feb, 16th Feb.

St. Swithun’s Band Christmas Concert 3.00pm in St. Swithun’s Church, Allington Rd, Bridport, All Welcome, Free Parking. Lyme Bay Chorale Christmas Concert: 4.30pm, Tickets £15 on the door £13 in advance from Lyme Regis TIC, Penny Blacks Cafe or choir members. Under 19s free. Price includes post-concert buffet. Programme: GF Handel, Laudate Pueri, Dominum, JS Bach, Jauchzet, Frohlocket! (from the Christmas Oratorio), J Haydn, Missa Sancti Bernardi von Offida (the ‘Heiligmesse’).Professional orchestra and soloists, soprano Pippa Hyde, alto Rachel Bennett, tenor Paul Tindall, bass Julian Sutton. St Michael’s Parish church, Lyme Regis. Contact Sally on 07484787968 or email East Devon Ramblers leisurely 7.8 mile circular walk from Blackbury Camp. 10.30 start and bring picnic. Dogs on short leads. 01395 577891


Yeovil Probus Club 1.30pm Food for Thought. The Yeovil Court Hotel, New Members always most welcome, please contact the Hon. Secretary on 01935 414765 for further details. Axminster Carnival Bingo Eyes down 8pm Axminster Guildhall.

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West Dorset Flower Club are having a demonstration by Lucy Ellis entitled “All I Want For Christmas “. The Club meets at the W. I. Hall at North Street, Bridport at 2.30 pm. New members and visitors are very welcome. For further details please contact the secretary on 01308 456339. Woodland Wellbeing Walk with Stepping into Nature, 10.30 -11:30, Explore the seasonal changes taking place in a woodland nature reserve on regular 50 minute strolls on all weather terrain. Hardys Birthplace, Thorncombe Woods, Dorchester. Contact Claire to book your place: 01305 251228 or www. Scottish Dancing in Chardstock 7.30 - 10.00 p.m. Evening of social dancing

at Chardstock Village Hall, Cost £1.50 tea or coffee included. No partner required. Contact David on 01460 65981; Ann on 01308 42297; or Andrew on 01297 33461 or just come along. www. Christmas Bingo at the Village Hall (TA18 8NA). Doors open 6.45p.m. for 7.30 start). Lots of great prizes/hampers/vouchers; good raffle, name the cuddly toy, tombola,, light refreshments. Raising funds for Misterton Tennis Club. Enq. 01460 74808/ Bridport Folk Dance Club, 7-30pm – 9 30pm WI Hall North Street, Bridport. DT6 3JQ Beginner and experienced dancers welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult}. Contact: 01308 458 165


Arts society Honiton ‘Christmas at Covent Garden’ - Sarah Lenton. The London Christmas season was invented at Covent Garden. Most of what we now consider to be quintessential Pantomime can be traced to Covent Garden during its first 200 years. Sarah has worked at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and English National Opera. She writes programme articles and gives lectures on the operas and ballets, and does live opera

broadcasts and podcasts for BBC Radios 3 and 4. The Beehive, Dowell Street, Honiton, EX14 1LZ at 2pm. Christmas Tea Dance at St Francis Hall, Sidmouth EX10 9XH Ballroom and Sequence; £4 (inc tea/coffee and a mince pie) 2.30pm 01395 579856 Café Scientifique. 2pm-4pm. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, mail@ 01395 515551. A talk by Professor Sir Ghillean Prance Interesting Trees from Lyme Regis to the Amazon and their importance for our climate. 2.30pm- 4pm at Woodmead Halls, Hill Road, Lyme Regis. DT7 3PG. All Welcome. Members Free. Visitors £3.00. Including Refreshments. www. Time for Tea and some Music Christmas music and carols from St Mary’s School Mrs Burroughs, Music director of St Mary’s School, Axminster, will lead Christmas music and carols. £3 Tea & cake served. Call 01404 831207 to book or visit 2:00pm at Axminster Heritage, The Bradshaw Meeting Room, Silver Street, Axminster EX13 5AH West Dorset Ramblers Walk, Circular from Eype. No dogs. Please call 01308 459282


Thorncombe Rail Activities Club will host a talk and slide presentation given by Carl Earl entitled “Railways in the North West” The meeting is at Thorncombe Village Hall, TA20 4NE and starts at 7.30pm. Non Members are welcome, there are refreshments, a raffle and the parking is free. Contact Richard Holt, Chairman Tel. 01460 30428 or Google TRAC “traclubsite” for information. Concert by West Dorset Community Orchestra and Local Vocals at 7-30p.m. in St.John’s Church,West Bay. Free entry. Retiring collection. Interval refreshments and raffle. Tel: 01308 456297 A Christmas Selectionn A lighthearted evening of readings and music for Christmas, featuring a quartet from Sidmouth Town Band. In aid of St. Petrock’s, Exeter’s charity for the homeless. A programme of readings featuring oxen, donkeys, a Christmas pudding, cutlery, henchmen and an exploding paper bag. Plus seasonal music, cake, mince pies and hopefully quite a bit of laughter. 7.30pm, St. Michael’s Church, Beer. Admission free. Donations to St. Petrock’s. Light refreshments available. Information from Richard on or 07870 891581

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Seaton garden club monthly meeting in the masonic hall, queen street, seaton at 2.30pm. Christmas floral arrangements demo by angie of cottage flowers, Ilminster. visitors welcome cost £2 to include refreshments. for further information contact tel no: 01297 24049. Lyme Voices Community Choir. 19.30 to 21.15. Sing for fun. Learn tunes by ear. Everyone welcome. Baptist Church (pine hall round the back), Silver St., Lyme Regis, DT7 3NY. Phone 01297 445078 or email West Dorset Ramblers Walk, White Hill Barn area. No dogs. Please call 01308 422514


Kick Ass Brass Soul music - and how! All-star line-up with sizzling hot horn section, and rip-roaring vocals from Jacqui Hicks. 8pm. Tickets £25 (£40 with preshow supper at 7pm, must be pre-booked). Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. LSI Xmas fundraising party – save the date! 7.30pm Tickets £10 www.lsibridport.

The Living Tree, cancer self-help group. 2pm Tripudio. 2.15pm Members social chat. 2.30 – 4.00pm Therapy Session - Karen Forrester-Jones is offering 4 LT members a short session to try out a touch therapy on their hands called ‘M’ Technique. 3.15 Rising Voices with Jane Silver Corren. Drop in any time between 2pm and 4.30pm at the Friends’ Meeting House, 95 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NZ. Tel 07341 916 976. Christmas Concert by internationally renowned cellist Pal Banda Corscombe Parish Church 7.30pm Tickets £10 to include wine and nibbles Contact : 01935 891083 Christmas Disco 8pm-11pm. Dance hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s Charity Fundraising Event, £3 entry, Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, mail@ 01395 515551 A Victorian Christmas at Kennaway House. 10am-4.30pm. Visit Kennaway House to experience life in the Victorian times, with rooms dressed in Victorian furniture and a traditional Christmas tree. Mulled wine, mince pies and an art exhibition. More details on website. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, 01395 515551. Also Saturday 14th, Monday 15th, Tuesday

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16th, Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th December. East Devon Ramblers moderate 5 mile circular walk from Sidford. 10.00 start. Dogs on short leads. 01395 514265 Food on Friday, at Clapton & Wayford Village Hall. 12 noon This will be a special Christmas lunch, priced at £5.50 to include main course roast with trimmings, roll & butter, choice of puddings, mince pies, unlimited tea/coffee. Special diets can be catered for if requested in advance. Open to all; very friendly, newcomers really welcomed, but please book places in advance by phoning June (01460 77057) or Jackie (01460 72324), who will also provide more information if required.


Living Spirituality 10.00-4.00 “Me, My Soul and the Biosphere.” J Burlington A Davies Quaker Meeting House South Street Bridport Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway.freeservers. com. Shire Hall Christmas Extravaganza! All day. Come along to Shire Hall and immerse yourself in a Christmas extravaganza,

with seasonal goodies in the café, festive music from the Crossways Handbell Ringers, Christmas craft workshops and glistening Christmas slime-making as well as a visit to Father Christmas in his grotto and the best selection of Christmas gifts in Dorchester! Glittery Slime-Making will be on all day and costs £2 to cover materials, Father Christmas will be in his grotto all day and visits are £4 per child. The hand bell ringers will be performing at 3pm for free. For more information visit or call 01305 261849. Egyptian Society Taunton “Meroe, Where it is Always Harvest”. Speaker: Dr Robert Morkot. The lecture will take place at 2.00pm at Friends Meeting House, Bath Place, Taunton, TA1 4ED http:// A Christmas Carol Celebrate the festive season with an evening in the company of a tight-fisted old miser and a grim journey through the dark, dismal streets of

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Victorian London. Bah humbug, with extra humbug! A mesmerising performance by Dave Mynne. 7.30 p.m. Shipton Gorge Village Hall Tickets from 01308 897407 or or www. The Stanchester Quire will be performing their Christmas Carol Concert, “We singers make bold”, at South Petherton Parish Church, at 3pm. This event is primarily aimed at those who not be able to attend evening concerts but everyone is most welcome. Retiring collection in aid of church funds. Winter - an exploration through art 2pm-3.30pm. Looking at Frost Fairs, Dutch 16th-17th c. painting, including Avercamp, and Breughal and Japanese winter paintings. Plus the Impressionists view of Winter, photographs of Paris in the snow by Lee Miller and the sculpture of Andy Goldsworthy and Helen Chadwick. Fee £10. Uplyme Village Hall, free parking. Contact Pam Simpson MA, Art and Design Historian by email on chris.pamsimpson@ or tel 01300 321715 Pam Simpson teaches at Bath Spa University and teaches Art and Design History courses in Bridport and Lyme Regis. Christmas Concert with Beaminster Gallery Quire. 3.00pm. An afternoon concert of traditional village carols from two centuries ago. Free Admission, light refreshments, Retiring Collection in aid of Parkinson’s UK. St Catherine’s RC Church, Victoria Grove, Bridport, DT6 3AD. Sue. Chard Royal Naval Association The association members will be meeting at the Hornsbury Mill for their annual Christmas dinner at 7 pm for 7.30 pm which concludes their end of year socials before their AGM in January 2020. Further details about the association can be obtained by calling the secretary Mr Gary Pennells on 01460 77978. Tall Tails Theatre Company presents: What a Superhero wants for Christmas. 1pm and 3pm at The David Hall, South Petherton. Suitable for 3 to 6-year-olds and their parents. This year, for Christmas, Zinnia, the superhero, is going on a quest to find Santa Claus; all she wants to ask for is a new friend. Tickets: £8 adults, £7 under 10s, from or 01460 240 340. Bring all the family. Christmas Concert by internationally renowned cellist Pal Banda The Salt House, West Bay 7pm Tickets £12 to include mulled wine and mince pies Contact : 07483 242974 Christmas West Gallery concert at the Minster, Axminster 7.00 pm. by the Axminster and District Choral Society. “A Georgian Christmas” concert of music, readings, carols and hymns - a pageant re-enacting Christmas 250 years ago.

Conducted by Peter Parshall. Tickets £10.00 (under 18s free) from Archway Books, Church St, Axminster or phone 01404 881 838. Axe Valley Community Choir Charity Concert, 7.30 pm, Colyford Memorial Hall. Tickets £8 from Archway Bookshop, Axminster, Colyford Stores and at the door. Cantamus concert, 7 pm, “O Come, Emmanuel”-an inspiring and accomplished programme of seasonal choral music from Byrd and Tallis to Tavener and Warlock. Tickets £10 on the door. Refreshments available. Holy Trinity Church, High W St, Dorchester DT1 1UJ. Fun Quiz – Jane’s Quiz is a fun general knowledge quiz for teams of up to six people. 7pm for 7.30pm Cash Bar; Raffle; Prizes £6 pp includes finger food. To book tickets ring Andrew Moulding on 01297 553865 Musbury Village Hall, Seaton Road (A358), Musbury EX13 8AJ. Coffee Break 10.30am cakes, savouries,Bring and Buy. Village Hall, Long Bredy, contact 01308 482882


Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway. The Stanchester Quire will be performing their Christmas Carol Concert, “We singers make bold”, at St Margaret’s Church, Hemyock, Devon, EX15 3RQ, at 3pm. As part of the church’s Christmas Tree festival. Retiring collection in aid of church funds. Carol Service 4.00pm in St. Swithun’s Church, Allington Rd, Bridport, All Welcome, Free Parking Singing Bowl Soundbath 2pm – 4pm pre-Xmas de-stress Stour Row Village Hall SP7 0QG 01935 389655 Acoustic Night. 7.30pm – 11pm at The David Hall, South Petherton. All styles and forms of performance welcome – not just music. If you wish to perform please send an email to to secure a slot. Christmas Tea Dance at Stowford Centre, Sidmouth EX10 9YL Ballroom and Sequence dancing to Christmas music £4 (inc tea/coffee and a mince pie)2.30p.m. venue is opposite Waitrose, on the bus route 9 & 9A 01395 579856 Christmas Concert by internationally renowned cellist Pal Banda St Michael’s Church, Shute 11am Tickets £12 to include coffee and mince pies Contact : 0772 044 5927 East Devon Ramblers moderate 7 mile circular walk from Sidford. 10.30 start and bring picnic. Dogs on short leads 01395 514265

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Axminster Carnival Bingo Eyes down 8pm Axminster Guildhall. Jazz Jam, 8pm, improvise around jazz standards and other tunes, untutored, bar available, £2 per session, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN, www. Inspired by Archives with Stepping into Nature, 10:30 – 12:00, Explore the nature in the Dorset History Centres archives using photos, art, recordings and maps to unlock the stories past, present and future, Dorset History Centre, Dorchester, DT1 1RP, Maria 01305 221618, maria.gayton@, www.stepin2nature. org Bridport Folk Dance Club, 7-30pm – 9 30pm WI Hall North Street, Bridport. DT6 3JQ Pre-Christmas Dance with band and visiting caller Beginner and experienced dancers welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). Contact: 01308 458 165 AV&DCS Bird Watch 10:00 to 15:00 Bird watching with Rob Johnson at Portland Harbour & RSPB Radipole. Meet RSPB Ferrybridge car park SY668756. Contact Fran Sinclair 07804835905 for car share Chard, Ilminster & District U3A will hold an Open meeting in The Guildhall, Chard at 2.00 pm with a talk entitled “Charles Dickens – Christmas and a Carol. Using one of Dickens most celebrated stories Dr Keith Hooper will provide insight into both Dickens life and the story itself. Admission free to members and retired visitors. Further information 01460 68629 or our website uk/chardilminster


Cantamus concert, 7 pm, “O Come, Emmanuel”-an inspiring and accomplished programme of seasonal choral music from Byrd and Tallis to Tavener and Warlock. Tickets £10 on the door to include refreshments. St John the Baptist Church, Hawkchurch EX13 5XD. West Dorset Ramblers Walk, Osmington area. Dogs optional. Please call 01308 898484


Bridport Probus Club A Year Through My Lens – Charlie Wheeler. Meet at the Eype’s Mouth Hotel at 12noon on the third Wednesday of each month for lunch, followed by a talk. For more information contact Graham Pitts on 01297 561569. Devonshire Association Meeting, 2.30pm, a talk by Nigel Sadler, Centre Manager on The Axminster Heritage Centre. At the Pavilion, Peace Memorial

Playing Fields, Coly Road, Colyton EX24 5PU. Entrance: Donation £1 (DA Members), £3 (Non Members). For more details visit category/branch-events/axevalley-branchevents/ Milton Abbas History Walk with stepping into Nature, 10.30 – 12:00, Explore the history of a place using historic photographs to look at the past and find out what has, and has not changed over the past century. Booking essential. Contact Steph on 01305 224788 or uk. Christmas Coffee Morning (10 ‘til 12) at Misterton W.I. Hall, Middle Street (opposite the School). Coffee, tea (free top ups); Sales table subject to availability of goods and raffle. Free entry - just a small donation towards cost of drinks. All welcome. Enq. 01460 74808. East Devon Ramblers moderate 8 mile circular walk from Castle Drogo. 10.00 start and bring picnic. Dogs ono short leads. 01297 23424


Classical Christmas Recital. 8:00pm. Dorset String Quartet will be playing in our old Chapel, performing a variety of Christmas themed music ranging from classic to concerto to more modern tunes, tickets £20. Alexandra Hotel, Pound Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3HZ. Please drop into reception or call 01297 442010 for more details. Seasonal Scenes of Winter: paintings, sculpture and photography” a talk by Pamela Simpson MA. 2.30pm. Presented by the National Trust South Dorset Association Members NTSDA £3 Non-members NTSDA £4 inc tea/biscuits. No need to book. Suffragettes at Christmas, Bridport Women’s History Group social with suffragette games, all women welcome, Bridport Youth & Community Centre, Gundry Lane, Bridport, More info: k.hunt@ Wellbeing Walk at Radipole Lakes with

Stepping into Nature, 11-12, Enjoy a gentle 45 minute to 1 hour walk at Radipole Nature Reserve. A chance to relax, chat, see (And hear!) some fabulous wildlife. Contact RSPB Radipole Lakes, Weymouth on 01305 778313. Chard Camera Club The club will be Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 31


Bridport Seed Potato Day, 10.30 a.m. 1.30 pm, sale of varieties of seed potato and other plants, refreshments available, Bridport United Church Hall, East Street, contact

meeting at 7.30 pm at the Baptist Church Hall for an evening of in house print competition in categories of Close up, Open mono image and open colour image judge for the evening will be Mr Malcolm Macnaughton. further details can be obtained from members secretary Mrs Joyce Partridge on 01460 66885.or from visiting their website www.chardcameraclub. Candlelit Carols for Choir and Congregation: Traditional service at Whitchurch Canonicorum Church. 7pm The Arts Society West Dorset. ’Stravinsky & The Rite of Spring. Bridport Town Hall 2.30. Details: 01308 485487.


Display of members work and shared lunch. If you’re interested in embroidery and sewing, we’d love to see you. New members and guests welcome, Bridport Embroiderers meet monthly, at St Swithuns Church, Bridport, from 10.00 – 3.30. For further details, or to join/book, phone 01308 456168 or email cherry. Reg Meuross and Friends in concert 7.30 the annual folk event and Christmas songs St Barts church Crewkerne contact Geraldine Clotworthy on 0146076058 or Phoenix Brass Band Christmas Concert. Celebrate Christmas with mulled wine, mince pies and Crewkerne’s friendly second section brass band! Performing a host of Christmas favourites while helping to raise vital funds for the Centre. This is one not to be missed. Tickets £12.00. Bar opens at 19:00, Concert starts at 19:45. The Henhayes Centre, Crewkerne, TA18 8AD. Contact 01460 74340 Belshazzar’s Feast. 8pm at The David Hall, South Petherton. This duo is on tour with a Christmas-themed show that mixes traditional Folk music, seasonal material, their usual touch of Classical and Jazz with a bit of Pop and Music Hall, all topped off with lashings of wry humour. Together, Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Hoover The Dog) wow audiences across the UK with their eclectic and eccentric mix of tunes and ‘between songs chat’ that always sends audiences home with smiles on their faces. Tickets: £16 Full, £15 Concessions, from or 01460 240 340.


“A West Country Christmas” music, carols, readings, poetry and Christmassy refreshments in the interval Bridport United Church at 6.00pm. Tickets £5 from 01297 489658.

Xmas bingo! Doors Open 7pm - Eyes Down 7.30pm. top prize £50! Lots of other great prizes Salway ash village hall DT6 5QS - 07897 684345 The Living Tree, cancer self-help group. 2pm Tripudio. 2.15 Members social chat. 2.30 – 4.00pm Therapy session - Swedish Hand or Foot Massage. Drop in any time between 2pm and 4.30pm at the Friends’ Meeting House, 95 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NZ. Tel 07341 916 976. www. East Devon Ramblers leisurely 5.5 mile circular walk from Woodbury Castle. 10.00 start. Dogs on short leads. West Dorset Ramblers Walk, Tibbs Hollow Circular. No dogs. Please call 01300 320346


The Sheldon Singers: Full three-part performance of Handel’s Messiah, with professional soloists and orchestra. Saturday 21 December, 6.30PM, St Paul’s Church, High Street, Honiton. Tickets £15 contact 01404 43805 or on the door The Stanchester Quire will be performing their Christmas Carol concert, “We singers make bold”, at Limington Parish Church, near Yeovil, BA22, at 7:30pm. Admission £8 payable on the door. To Drive The Cold Winter Away 6.30pm Harp concert by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry at St Giles Church Kilmington. Tickets £12.00 to include mulled wine and stollen cake. Contact Anna Crabbe anna.crabbe@icloud. com / 01297 32777


Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway. East Devon Ramblers moderate 10.5 mile circular walk from Axminster. 10.00 start and bring picnic. Dogs on short leads. 01297 22030


Santa Special at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway.

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Cooking Made Easy – Sidmouth 11am - 1pm Cooking demonstration and lunch. The Lymbourne Centre, Sidmouth or 01297 631794.


1st Mass of Christmas 6.00 pm, in St.Swithun’s Church, Allington Rd, Bridport. All welcome, Free parking


East Devon Ramblers leisurely 5 mile circular walk from Escot. 10.00 start. Dogs on short leads. 01392 873881


Furleigh Wine Estate, Join us for a special Christmas Grand Tour of Furleigh Wine Estate, £25pp, 11am, www.


Mince PieSpecials at Yeovil Railway 10.30am – 4pm (check times and details on website) Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction 01935 410420 www.yeovilrailway. Singing Bowl Soundbath 2pm-4pm post Xmas detox Oborne Village Hall DT9 4LA 01935389655 www. Dorset Countryside Volunteers, 10:00 17:00. Post-Christmas scrub clearance with a bonfire to brew up at break times! New people welcome. Powerstock Common (West Dorset). See, email, or text/ voicemail 07923-498760. East Devon Ramblers moderate 9 mile circular walk from Sidford. 10.00 bring picnic. Dogs on short leads. 01395 512973


Woodland Wellbeing Walk with Stepping into Nature, 13.30 -14:30, Explore the seasonal changes in a woodland nature reserve on regular 50 minute strolls on all weather terrain. Hardys Birthplace, Thorncombe Woods, Dorchester. Contact Claire to book your place: 01305 251228 or www. New Year’s Eve Celebration Ceilidh with Jigs for Gigs. 8.15pm. Bring in 2020 in style with music and dance at The David Hall in South Petherton. Tickets £17, includes a light supper, available from or 01460 240 340. Booking essential by Friday 20 December. No tickets available on the night.

Laura Lexx in Lyme

MULTI-award winning comedian Laura Lexx headlines the December Lyme Regis Comedy Club on Saturday 14th December from 8pm. Laura, star of a Live at the Apollo Christmas special is supported by Jon Wagstaffe and Morgan Rees. She has also appeared on At The Edinburgh Festival (BBC Two), The Comedy Club (BBC Radio 4 Extra), and The Jason Manford Show (Absolute Radio) . Following a critically-acclaimed run of her show Trying last year, Laura won Best Performer in the Comedian’s Choice Awards and was in the top 10 of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. West country favourite Jon Wagstaffe is Tewkesbury’s finest stand-up comic. His take on modern life will have any audience in fits of laughter. Morgan Rees is a softly spoken Welsh comedian with an arsenal of impressive one-liners and hilarious short stories. He appeared on BBC Radio 4 in the finals of the BBC New Comedy Award and was runner-up in So You Think You’re Funny in 2017. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 33



Felt Christmas Wreaths, 10.00 to 16.00 £35 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL www. 01297 691362


Clay Sculpture, 10am-3pm, informal sculpting group, untutored, materials not provided, £7, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN, Writers group, 2pm-4pm. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, mail@ 01395 515551.


Creative Watercolours, 10am-3pm, explore new techniques in watercolour, £30, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN,


Surface Decoration Montage Use images and coloured paper from magazines to decorate a tin, box or object. With Claire Jeanes. 10am-1pm. £16 (plus £2 for materials). Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. www.


Willow Workshop Deer £80 Studi0ne, Broadwindsor Craft Centre, Dorset 07531417209.


Christmas Needle Felting, 13.30 to 16.30 £30 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL www. 01297 691362 Bookbinding Workshop, 10.30 - 3.30. Make your own classic hardcover A5 notebook in cloth or with decorative paper boards. All materials included and tools provided. Beginners welcome, £55. Leafwork studio, Whitchurch Canonicorum DT6 6RH. Details and booking info@ 01297 489976


Punchneedling Workshop, 11am – 3.30pm, Create a unique punch needled artwork £60/£55 THG Friends, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX, 01404 45006 Driftwood Christmas Trees & Decorations, 09.30 to 12.00 £23 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL www. 01297 691362

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Wreath making work shop, 10am to 12noon No experience necessary, all materials provided, £15 pr person. Tatworth memorial hall TA20 2QW, Book with Julie Kettle Tel 01297 33924


Natural Christmas Wreaths, 10.00 to 12.30 £22 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL 01297 691362 hello@coastalcraftcollective. Also 12 December Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Forest Bathing -Taster Session 1.30pm-3.30pm Call Jay on 07903 862809, or visit mindfulness for more details.


Clay Sculpture, 10am-3pm, informal sculpting group, untutored, materials not provided, £7, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN, Art Journaling, 10.00 to 13.00 £30 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL 01297 691362 hello@coastalcraftcollective.


Illuminated Driftwood Trees on Canvas, 10.00 to 13.00 £30 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL 01297 691362 hello@


Introduction to Paper Making, 14.00 to 16.00 £25 Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon EX12 2QL 01297 691362 hello@coastalcraftcollective.


Wreath Making Workshop ‘Sea theme’ wreaths using sea heather, eucalyptus, driftwood and more. Ticket includes tea/coffee and biscuits, all materials to take your wreath home, and a 2 course lunch with a glass of Prosecco. 10:30am – 14:00pm in the Poulett Chapel at the Alexandra Hotel, tickets are £77. To book

phone the hotel on 01279 442010. Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant, Pound Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3HZ Wreath making workshop 1-3pm / 4-6pm, Create a living handmade Christmas Wreath £30/£25 THG Friends, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX, 01404 45006 www.

Creative Friends Reunited


Beginners’ Sewing Machine Workshop Get to know your sewing machine; learn about threading, stitches and basic maintenance. With Paula Simpson. Fridays 10am - 1pm. £15 per session. Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East St, Ilminster TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. By The Loom - Axminster Heritage Spinning and Weaving Group. Come along and learn new skills or use old ones with a friendly and supportive group. £3 Everyone welcome; beginners and the more experienced. 10.30 – 3.00 pm More info or to book: 01404 831207 or visit 10.30 – 3.00 pm at Dalwood Pavilion EX13 7EU


Children’s Art Chest, 10.30-12.30pm, art workshop for the over 8s, £5,Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN, www.themeetinghouse.


Clay Sculpture, 10am-3pm, informal sculpting group, untutored, materials not provided, £7, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN,


Willow Workshop Deer £80 Studi0ne, Broadwindsor Craft Centre, Dorset jojo. josadlerforgednwillow. 07531417209.


Felting Discover the art of felting by making scarves, bags, slippers, hats – or whatever takes your fancy! Beginners to advanced welcome. 10am - 3pm. £25 (excludes materials). Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East St, Ilminster TA19 0AN. 01460 54973.


By The Loom - Axminster Heritage Spinning and Weaving Group. Come along and learn new skills or use old ones with a friendly and supportive group. £3 Everyone welcome; beginners and the more experienced. 10.30 – 3.00 pm More info or to book: 01404 831207 or visit The Bradshaw Meeting Room, Axminster Heritage, Silver Street, Axminster, Devon, EX13 5AH

‘Mole’ and ‘Harry’


riends for over forty years, designers Emily Browne (Mole) and Harriet Wallace-Jones (Harry) started their creative lives together as schoolgirls and foundation art students in Dorset before further study and work took them to London and beyond. Now they are living and designing back in and near Bridport and planning a pair of local pop-up sales. Work that sells in Barney’s New York is coming to Broadoak.... Harry is one half of Wallace Sewell, the UK-based textiles studio she founded with Emma Sewell when they both graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1990. Their work channels wide-ranging artistic influences, is regularly comissioned by the Tate museums to accompany exhibitions and has been chosen for the seating on the new Cross Rail Elizabeth Line. Their throws, scarves and cushions are now stocked in over 20 countries but are still originated and made in the UK. Harry’s designs start life on her handloom at her studio in Broadoak and go on for production at the Lancashire mill Mitchell Interflex Ltd, a family-run business for four generations. Mole specialises in working with a rare decorative technique called ‘Verre Églomisé’, making designs and gilding on glass to produce a mirror finish. She draws on natural subjects from native birds to exotic plants to produce framed reflective pictures as well as larger bespoke work for homes, shops, bars, restaurants and hotels all over the world. Her current focus is a new collection of unique splash-backs for bathrooms and kitchens. They were both first drawn to imaginative work in the art room at their school in Hanford as primary school pupils. Mole says their art teacher, the late Mrs Babington, was ‘A conjurer to my young mind who showed us all how we could make some visual magic’. Mole knew she would eventually be pulled back to Dorset itself, ‘I get a much better walk home from work! And you can see the coast whenever you want to—there are so many chances to re-connect with nature here and that very much feeds into my work and Harry’s’. Wallace Sewell’s Christmas Sample Sale opens on Friday December 6th 5.008pm and continues Saturday 7th 10am-4pm in Harry’s studio at Lower Monkwood Farm, Monkwood, Bridport DT6 5PF. Mole is selling her work and more of Harry’s at the ‘Creative Christmas’ open weekend 10am-4pm December 6th, 7th and 8th at nearby New House Farm, Broadoak DT6 5NR—along with other local makers and the resident workshops Made In The Vale, New House Pottery and Lupin Designs. There will also be a pop-up café in the barn and free children’s Christmas card-making for the next generation of Dorset artists. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 35

December FILMS


Kind Hearts and Coronets Moviola at 7:30. Public Hall in Beaminster. To book ring Elaine on 01308 861746 Yesterday (cert. 12), romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle. Doors 7pm, film 7.30pm, presented by Hawkchurch Film Nights, Hawkchurch Village Hall, EX13 5XW. Tickets £5 in advance from Hawkchurch Community Shop or £6 on the night. Sometimes Always Never (12A) Doors open 7:30pm for 8:00pm start - Alan is a stylish tailor with moves as sharp as his suits. He has spent years searching tirelessly for his missing son Michael who stormed out over a game of scrabble. With a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son Peter and solve the mystery of an online player who he thinks could be Michael, so he can finally move on and reunite his family. Screening at Odcombe Village Hall. Tickets £5 in advance on 07934 737104, or £6 on the door.


Women at War Doors open 7pm for 7:45 film. Bridport Film Society, Bridport Arts Centre (Members and guests only; Text only to 07770 261348 guests@


Arthur Christmas. 4pm. Come and join us for the first of our Family Christmas film nights! We’ll provide popcorn and hot chocolate, so all you need to do is bring yourselves and all the onesies, blankets and pillows you need to get comfy. Doors open 4pm the film will start at 4.15pm. We should be finished in time for the younger ones to be put to bed – which we know is important to you parents! Tickets £4.00 per child and Mums and Dads watch for free! For more information visit shirehalldorset. org or call 01305 261849. Yesterday (12) A hopeless songwriter wakes up to find he’s the only person who can remember the Fab Four’s hits in a wacky, winning comedy directed by Danny Boyle Moviola screening at Kilmington Village Hall, doors and bar open 6.45pm with the show starting at 7:15 pm. Tickets

£5 in advance: 01297 639758 leave contact info to receive acknowledgement. £5.50 at the door. See village web for email contact & film review https://www. html.


10.15 to Minehead 7.15 for 7.30pm, Alan Keene and Anoraks probed the fascinating history of this Line. They filmed on the footplate, on the trains, and on every station. At The Phoenix Hotel, Fore Street, Chard in the Ball Room upstairs. Refreshments available. New members and Guests are welcome. Member £2 Guests £3 For information 01460-66165. Blackkklansman (15). Presented by Clapton & Wayford Film Society. 7:00 pm doors for 7:30 pm start. Based on the real life story of Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer who went undercover to infiltrate the Klu Klux Klan. Clapton & Wayford Village Hall. Guest tickets £4. Contact: mickpwilson53@, or ring Mick on 01460 74849 or Di on 01460 30508.


The Grinch. 4pm. Watch out for The Grinch trying to steal Christmas at our family film night! We’ll provide popcorn and hot chocolate, so all you need to do is bring yourselves and all the onesies, blankets and pillows you need to get comfy. Doors open 4pm the film will start at 4.15pm. We should be finished in time for the younger ones to be put to bed – which we know is important to you parents! Tickets £4.00 per child and Mums and Dads watch for free! For more information visit or call 01305 261849.


Toy Story 4, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Great family film to celebrate the festive season and at a special price of £2 a ticket. Chard Guildhall. Tickets from Barron’s, the PO, Eleos and online at ticketsource/cinechard. Yesterday (12A). 8pm at The David Hall, South Petherton. A struggling musician realises he’s the only person on earth who can remember The Beatles. Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire),

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written by Richard Curtis (Love Actually) and starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. Tickets cost £5 from uk or 01460 240 340. Eaten by Lions in Tatworth Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. When their parents are eaten by Lions, two half brothers, Omar and Pete embark on a heart warming journey of self-discovery, in Blackpool! The admission charge is £4.50 and the doors open at 7.00pm


Muppet Christmas Carol. 4pm. Come and sing along to one of the best family Christmas films of all time – the Muppet Christmas Carol! We’ll provide popcorn and hot chocolate, so all you need to do is bring yourselves and all the onesies, blankets and pillows you need to get comfy. Doors open 4pm the film will start at 4.15pm. We should be finished in time for the younger ones to be put to bed – which we know is important to you parents! Tickets £4.00 per child and Mums and Dads watch for free! For more information visit shirehalldorset. org or call 01305 261849.


Scotch – The Golden Dram tells the story of Uisge beatha - Gaelic for “water of life”. For more than a century, Scotch whisky has been the premier international spirit of choice, enjoyed in more than 200 countries. Whilst capturing stunning Scottish landscape, the real heart of the film are the characters - the fascinating people who make Scotch whisky, including Jim McEwan, the distiller and master blender. Tickets £5 More info or to book: 01404 831207 or visit Doors open 1:30 for 2pm start Axminster Heritage, The Bradshaw Meeting Room, Axminster, Devon, EX13 5AH

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 37

Happy Midwinter Solstice By Cecil Amor


his heading may not roll off the tongue as readily as “Happy Christmas”, but celebrations of the solstice at the sunset on 20-22 December predated Christmas by some 4,500 years. Solstice celebrations have been found by archaeologists to have included considerable eating of fattened pigs and drinking of ale or mead. Not so different from our present day Christmas festivities! Readers of this column may have noted I have a keen interest with the times before the Romans arrived: the Iron, Bronze and Neolithic ages. As a small boy I passed through Avebury en route to Swindon to visit one of my aunts and I saw the stone circle there for the first time. I asked my father what it was and his reply was “Thats Avebury, thats all”. Neither Avebury or Stonehenge were mentioned to us at school, although we were within about 25 miles of these great monuments. So a friend and I cycled to Stonehenge, when we were about 13 or so and found it open and free to roam around and touch the stones. We were in awe of the size of the stones, how and who moved them and why? How times have changed. In the last few years archaeologists have made great strides in investigating the great henge monuments and explaining them to us. Time Team has shown us the largest henge in the country, Durrington Walls, the largest stone age settlement in Europe, near Stonehenge. Durrington is not as well known as Stonehenge as it has no obvious stones and has now been crossed by a road. It had two huge circles of oak pillars, each weighing about 5 tons and over ten feet tall. These have decayed leaving only traces of their footings in the soil, radio carbon dated to about 2,500 BC. It was built on sloping land so its southern circle faces only the midwinter sunrise,

unlike Stonehenge which is of similar date. Archaeologist Professor Mike ParkerPearson has said that Durrington must have been the largest Neolithic settlement in Europe and was probably the construction camp for Stonehenge, maybe only for some months of each year. It probably closed around 2,500 BC, after some 40 to 50 years, according to the dating of animal bones. Nine houses have been excavated, the best having been decorated with chalk slurry. Many more houses must have been on site to accommodate the required builders. Large amounts of pottery have been found there. Also 80,000 animal bones, especially pig, originating from all over the country as far as Scotland. The pigs were 9 months old and surprisingly had caries, tooth decay, possibly they had been fed on a diet of honey for the midwinter festivities. No doubt ale was drunk in quantity to wash down the pork! Cattle were also butchered on the site. This would have been the greatest event in peoples’ calendar, when they came together to celebrate the Solstice with a huge midwinter feast. Parker-Pearson excavated a road 10 m wide from Durrington Henge to the River Avon. This is the first Neolithic road to have been found. It had a platform near the river with possibly 4 standing stones and stones forming the base. His theory is that people brought ashes of their deceased to Durrington and went along this road at the midwinter sunrise to the River Avon, where the river would take them to Stonehenge. There they could process along the Avenue to Stonehenge itself, for burial at midwinter sunset, said to be the largest cremation cemetery in Britain. A circle of holes, named after their finder, John Aubrey, has been found to contain evidence of numerous cremation remains.

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(Aubrey wrote a review of Stonehenge in 1663 for Charles II). The Stonehenge Avenue is now said to have been created by the action of glaciers creating grooves, long before the henges or the Neolithic people were conceived. The grooves coincidentally line up with the midsummer sunrise and in recognition of this Stonehenge may have been created. Parker-Pearson also suggests that the timber circles of “living” wood where so many people lived during the construction of Stonehenge compares with the permanent “dead” stone circle. Finds at Durrington have included polished pig bone clothes pins, a clay oil lamp, a 4,500 year old cooking pot and hundreds of flint arrow heads for hunting pigs. It was not just a local community effort, but people came from all across southern Britain and may have formed the largest congregation in Europe. Jane Evans of Nottingham University believes that strontium isotopes in cattle teeth provide land signatures which show that only one was local, with a large number from 50 miles distant, a few from Wales, Cornwall and possibly Scotland. Moving onto Stonehenge it has been suggested that this monument must have been the talk of Europe once it was complete. Few other countries have stone circles. Europe generally had rows of standing stones one of the best known being at Carnac in France. Bones excavated at Stonehenge ave been found to have been from people across the Channel, some showing signs of illness or injury which had occurred some time before death. It has been suggested that Stonehenge was a healing centre. However before the stone circle was erected it was a burial centre for cremation remains, covering a wide area of the locality. This obviously continued after Stonehenge was complete.

Professor Mike Pitts believes the Aubrey Holes originally contained the Blue Stones from the Presili Mountains of Wales which were moved to their present positions later in the development. Recent analysis of human bones has shown high readings of strontium in some which suggests they originated in Wales, so perhaps they brought the Blue Stones and erected them. Most of the larger Sarsen stones were worked, or dressed. After a few more changes we are left with the Stonehenge we now see and love. Luckily it was built on Salisbury Plain which was largely undisturbed. Avebury is larger than Stonehenge but its Sarsens were not worked. It has the long Kennet Avenue of alternately tall and wide stones which leads down to the so called “Sanctuary” across the road and is denoted by concrete “stones”, as the originals have been robbed. There are two other ancient monuments near by, Silbury Hill about half a mile away and the West Kennet burial mound a little further away and which predated Avebury by several hundred years. Avebury suffered by having a village built close to it, with some of its houses using stones robbed from the monument. In the middle ages some priests preached that stone monuments were the work of the Devil. Recently Professor Alice Roberts reported on TV that an excavation at the centre of one of its circles found the remains of a square wooden dwelling surrounded by a square of stones, now represented by post holes. It has been suggested that this square predates the stone circles by around 2,000 years. We look forward to further work at Avebury to match that at Durrington. I wish you a “Happy Mid winter Solstice”. Just imagine walking along the Avenue towards Stonehenge into the midwinter sunset viewed through the Great Trilithon and then feasting on a Solstice supper of fattened sweet cured hog roast, swilled down with copious flagons of grog! Bridport History Society meets well before the Solstice on 10th December at 2.30 pm in the Main Hall of Bridport United Church, when “Tinkers Cus and friends” will present Light to the darkness: from war to a new start, local history and stories from the First World War and the Peace in 1919. All welcome, visitors fee £3. To be followed by tea and mince pies. Cecil Amor, Hon President, Bridport History Society.

Big Hits around Bridport

David Mynne brings one of two Christmas Carol’s to the local area in December

ACTOR and writer Nick Wilkes comes to the Electric Palace at Bridport on 6th December with his solo version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, one of the best loved books in the English language and a classic Christmas tale for all ages. There is a second one-man Christmas Carol coming to Dorset, when Dave Mynne, a well known performer with Kneehigh Theatre, brings his version on a short Artsreach tour, including Shipton Gorge village hall on Saturday 14th December. For more than 20 years Nick Wilkes has appeared in productions in the UK and overseas in classical and contemporary drama, musical, pantomime and weekly rep, working alongside names as diverse as Charlton Heston, Simon Callow and Keith Harris and Orville the Duck! Nick was the first writer in residence at Malvern Theatres since George Bernard Shaw and has written and produced 24 of his own plays to date. Anyone who saw the multi-talented Dave Mynne’s previous solo tours of The Odyssey, Dracula and Great Expectations will know what to expect with his Christmas Carol—a powerful performance, drawing on the original words, bringing out the drama and tragedy, but with a few laughs.

Top marks for High School Musical

BRIDPORT’s talented Young Performers group will be performing Disney’s High School Musical at the Electric Palace on Monday and Tuesday 16th and 17th December. Troy, Gabriella, and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends, and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities. It’s the first day after winter break at East High. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations, and look forward to the new year. Basketball team captain and resident jock Troy discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. They cause an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical, led by Ms Darbus. Although many students resent the threat posed to the status quo, Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well. Bridport Young Performers (BYP) brings together young people from age 10 to 25 to develop their performing arts skills, away from mainstream schooling. BYP raise funds which support Bridport Young Performers Scholarship. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 39


CHARD Campaign on pool name

A Commonwealth gold medallist has backed a campaign to name the town’s new pool after his swimming teacher, the late John Farrant, reports The Chard & Ilminster News. Matthew Clay, who grew up in Chard, won the 50m backstroke at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and picked up bronze medals at the European championships in 2005 and 2006. John Farrant was head coach at Chard’s swimming pool for more than 20 years. The new pool is due to be built as apart of South Somerset District Council’s Chard Regeneration Scheme. Matt told the newspaper: “I think naming the pool is a great tribute to a man who gave so much, set an amazing example for everyone and for whom so many people in Chard can be grateful.”

CREWKERNE Christmas tree festival goes global

Around the World is the theme for this year’s Christmas Tree Festival at St Bartholemew’s Church, reports the website Entrants are being invited to be as creative as possible although they are not allowed to use flashing lights. Visitors will vote for their favourite tree during the event, which runs from Thursday 19 to 21 December. Part of the church will be set aside for children to paint a Christmas bauble to take home. Refreshments will be available. A modest level of advertising is allowed on the trees for businesses, in return for a small donation to church funds. The winner of the senior and junior sections of the tree festival competition receive a small prize.

OTTERY ST MARY Fiery tar barrels enthral crowds

Visitors were delighted by the town’s fiery Tar Barrel tradition on Bonfire Night. There were smaller crowds because two car parks were closed but those who attended enjoyed a night of thrilling entertainment, which included a funfair and bonfire, reports The Midweek Herald. Eleven-year-old Brandon Holland ran in memory of his great-grandfather and grandfather. The boy is the fourth generation of his family to take part in the tradition and has been participating for four years. He told the Herald: “You’re told not to play with fire then they put a flaming barrel on my back and run.” Jackson Johnson, seven, was among the many who lifted a tar barrel for the first time, joining his brother Joshua, eight, in the junior barrels.

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WEST DORSET Criminals target churches

The Bridport and Lyme Regis News reports that churches in west Dorset are increasingly being targeted by criminals. In the county as a whole, there were 31 attacks on people and more than 200 crimes in places of worship over the past three years. Dorset Police figures reveal 10 cases of lead theft and more than 97 other thefts. Churches in Dorset say there have been 91 counts of criminal damage since 2017. In March this year, thieves stealing lead damaged part of the crypt ceiling in the Church of St Andrew and St Peter in Toller Porcorum. Villagers had to raise the £60,000 cost of repairs. Mo Metcalf-Fisher of the Countryside Alliance, which compiled the data, said people needed to be more vigilant and report suspicious activity.

PORTESHAM Ancient mirror inspires top author

Former children’s laureate Michael Rosen has written a poem about an Iron Age mirror found in a woman’s grave in Dorset. The author wrote three poems about ancient grave goods as part of a project involving the British Museum, the BBC reports. The project reminded him of items placed in the casket of his son, Eddie, who died aged 18 of meningitis. The bronze Portesham Mirror is owned by Dorset County Museum in Dorchester. It was found by a metal detectorist in 1994 in the grave of a powerful, elderly woman. It dates from the 1st Century AD. Rosen said he found himself thinking of his feelings and what Eddie’s brothers and sisters put in the casket—a football scarf and a bottle of Turkish beer.

Christmas Cards Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn


ny day now, they’re going to start arriving. It’s a widely recognised signal and a warning icon. It is just like the first cuckoo in Spring (although I haven’t heard any cuckoo in Dorset over the last ten years) or perhaps the appearance of the first Easter egg on a supermarket shelf (nowadays that’s early January). The arrival of the first Christmas card is a reliable indicator of the onrush of festivities and an outbreak of Reindeer fever. In our house, it’s become a contest—a race to see who will send us the first card. I wonder, this year will it be my faithful sister Penny, my old doddery uncle Len or it might even be Chris—my nice new neighbour at number 36? It’ll probably be my sister who is so organised about Christmas that by now she will have already done all her Christmas shopping and wrapped everything up. I HATE the way she does this—it is just too structured, too super sensible. Is there no room for last minute improvisation, no room for a bit of dash, panic or (dare I say it) even ‘fun’? She almost certainly ordered her turkey back in March to make sure she wasn’t left out. It’s unlikely to be my old uncle Len as I haven’t seen him since 1987. His last known address was an old rectory somewhere in Northumberland and I would have thought him deceased long ago were it not for the reliable arrival of his annual card that both reminds me of his continued existence and stokes my guilt at not having made more of an effort to see him! As he doesn’t possess a computer, at least he won’t be sending me a digital E Card by email. That’s the worst form of card as it shows you whoever sent it really doesn’t give a fig about you. Rather than spending hours scribbling them by hand (and spending a Prince Andrew’s ransom in stamps) they just clicked on ‘send’ and you got included in a bulk despatch of 500 so-called electronic greetings. If you are going to send out cards, please send out the real thing— in an envelope. Otherwise, better not to bother at all and you’ll please Miss Greta Thunberg who probably wouldn’t approve cutting down all those trees to

A reindeer on a Devon beach earns one point

manufacture Christmas cards. However, I’m a traditionalist and I like cards but I don’t have her address. I’m sure she’d get my card if I addressed it to Greta, Planet Earth (care of Sweden) or something… This year she might get even more cards than Father Christmas. And now for the most popular image on the card… yes, you can play this game too! Every December, my wife and I hold a sort of seasonal art contest. Each Christmas we make a list of the leading contenders and then categorise them as they plop through our letter box. Last year I can reveal that all traditional Nativity scenes came fifth. This included any shepherds and wise men plus Mary and a baby Jesus—whether in a manger or crib-less. Extra points are gained by adding up other animals gathered around the main event such as oxen, sheep (one point each) or a camel (2 points). Points are deducted for reindeer (historical inaccuracy—no reindeer in the Bible). Anyone including a dinosaur round the manger because of our proximity to the Jurassic Coast is barred from entry as it would have eaten up all the shepherds and probably Joseph too. Not very Christmassy really… Fourth prize went to Victorian village scenes, often with added snow, coach and horses. In an attempt to stay local, some pictures had images of Exeter cathedral or Olde Crewkerne in the background. Please note the ‘e’ at the end of ‘Olde’. It’s important. A view of the Waitrose car park in Crewkerne would not have qualified as a traditional Christmas card—even if it had a sprig of holly in the top right-hand corner!

Third prize goes to any number of reindeer on a card. Sometimes these have an added sleigh or a Santa Claus but they’re not essential. No matter how many reindeer, just one puts the card into this third category. Sometimes the reindeer can be standing quietly on a roof while Santa’s legs can be seen disappearing down a chimney to do his business. I never knew he went down head first. Second prize goes to Angels—our runner up is nearly always an Angel. Please note this includes any sort of Angel or Cherub or Cupid or even the Angel Gabriel (the boss Angel). You lose five points if there’s a fairy or a unicorn. It has to a real ethereal presence, not some plastic pink gossamer apparition. It has to be a true Angel. With wings. And please make it a suitably adoring one to satisfy traditionalists. All of which leads me to reveal last year’s winner which was… a robin. Yes really. Every year our most popular Christmas card is always a red robin. Robins are universally popular and safe either sitting on a garden spade or cocking its head sideways at you in a jaunty “Hi there, it’s Christmas!” sort of way. They are chirpy comforting little birds and can never offend different religious or political views. Although perhaps this year, with a looming Brexit and a General Election to help confuse the Christmas message, perhaps a picture of a pterodactyl swallowing a Santa Claus might be more appropriate. You could always try putting a robin perched on a reindeer with an adoring camel in the bottom corner—just to try and earn a few extra points.

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B Sharp launches fundraiser to bring music to more young people


usic charity B Sharp is hoping to raise £6,000 in just one month to take music-making to even more local young people. Based in Lyme Regis, B Sharp has launched a Crowdfunder campaign to run more active and fun music sessions across Dorset—especially for children and young people who are facing particular challenges such as mental health issues. The cash will also support increasing numbers of young people to take on leadership roles within B Sharp—and so developing skills to help in their future lives. There is also a plan to provide young people in need with bursaries to take part, to ensure financial hardship is not a barrier. B Sharp is asking the community in Dorset to back the campaign by pledging money—and as an incentive great rewards are on offer including one-to-one music lessons, tickets to B-Sharp events, access to a term of Jams or Boombox sessions, and many other goodies. B Sharp Chief Executive and Artistic Director Ruth Cohen says: “We all know that it can be tough for young people growing up in rural areas. Many report feeling isolated and think a lack of confidence will stop them achieving career goals.’ She also pointed out that B Sharp is a small and highly respected charity, but it runs on a shoe-string! ‘We need the support of Dorset communities to bring these transformative experiences to more young people across Dorset’ she said. ‘Any pledge, however small will really help us reach our target.’ For full details of the B Sharp Music Crowdfunder and to make a pledge visit To find out more about B Sharp contact uk or telephone the B Sharp office on 07947 334138.

Photographs by Maisie Hill

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Local writer publishes third collection of poetry Louisa Adjoa Parker. Photograph by Robert Golden


est country writer and former Dorset resident has just had her third collection of poetry published. How to wear a skin by Louisa Adjoa Parker, was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing last week. The collection is described as ‘an exploration of identity’, with many of the poems set in the south west. The poems explores themes including race, place and landscape, gender and motherhood, home, love, and grief. Louisa is a British writer of English and Ghanaian heritage, who has lived in the south west for most of her life, including West Dorset (Lyme Regis and Dorchester) where she lived for 25 years, as well as Devon and Somerset. She writes poetry, fiction, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) history. She is self-taught, and began writing poetry to talk about her experiences of racism as a mixed race child and young woman. Louisa says, ‘I moved to South Devon in 1985 and experienced a lot of racism from local kids. It was a totally white area at the time, I didn’t see another brown face, apart from my siblings’, for years. The south west seemed a bit behind other parts of the UK. I realised I hadn’t felt able to express what life was like when I was younger, as most of my friends have been white. I think it’s important for marginalised people from the south west to tell our stories. The beautiful rural idyll hides a lot of discrimination and deprivation.’ Louisa has had some success as a poet.

Her first collection, Salt-sweat and Tears was published by Cinnamon Press in 2007 and was critically acclaimed by the likes of Selima Hill. Cinnamon also published her pamphlet, Blinking in the Light, about a traumatic year in Lyme Regis. Louisa’s poetry and prose has been published in numerous publications including Envoi; Wasafiri; Out of Bounds: British Black and Asian poets; Closure: Contemporary Black British Short Stories; Magma; and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Louisa has completed her first collection of short stories – set mostly set in the south west – and is finishing her first novel. She has twice had her poetry shortlisted by the Bridport Prize (most recently this year), and has been Highly Commended by the prestigious Forward Prize. As well as creative writing, Louisa has written exhibitions and books exploring local multicultural history, including Dorset’s Hidden Histories and 1944 We Were Here: African American GIs in Dorset. She has performed her work widely, and supported the legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson on a couple of occasions. Louisa has delivered writing workshops in schools, colleges, universities and prisons and held several writing residencies. During 2018-2019 she was a New Talent Immersion Fellow for South West Creative Technology Network, and set up a podcast and blog, Where are you really from?, which tells the stories of black and brown people from rural Britain.

How to wear a skin can be ordered from any bookshop using the ISBN number: 978-1-910834-98-5

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Award for Bridport Town Councillor

Cllr Sarah Williams (front centre) at the NALC Star Council Awards ceremony

BRIDPORT Town Councillor Sarah Williams has scooped the coveted National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Councillor of the Year award for 2019. Cllr Williams received the award, which recognises dedication and achievement within the community among the nation’s 100,000 town and parish councillors, at NALC’s national conference in Milton Keynes on 30 October. Cllr Williams said “I was flabbergasted just to have been shortlisted, and was absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as Councillor of the Year. It isn’t really about me though; the things we’ve achieved here in Bridport and West Bay are down to the efforts of councillors, officers, local organisations and the wider community – all working in partnership for the good of the town. I see the award as one for the whole town, which we already know is the one of the best in the country!” Now also a councillor at Dorset Council, Cllr Williams served as Town Council Leader for six years between 2013 and 2019 and the award recognises her achievements during that time. She ensured the return of Bridport’s Market Charter when the Town Council took over the running of the Tourist Information Centre. Under her leadership the Council brought local control to a range of services, including Bridport Youth & Community Centre, the round-town community bus, and highway verge maintenance. It was also one of the leading lights in the creation of a Neighbour44 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

hood Plan for the area, and established Bridport as ‘Dorset’s Eventful Town’ and the UK’s first Rights Respecting Town. Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “The National Association of Local Councils is delighted to crown Cllr Sarah Williams this year’s Star Council Awards, Councillor of the Year. The judging panel was particularly impressed with her engagement with the community to effect the changes they want to see, as well as her constant desire to share good practice with her peers.” Current Town Council Leader, Cllr Dave Rickard, said “I’m delighted for Sarah. The award is so well deserved and reflects her tireless work for the town, and her dedication to the role. It’s great for Bridport that her commitment and capability as a councillor is now being shared with Dorset Council, and that her leadership of the Town Council provides a legacy that we can continue to build on.” The award was presented by Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, at a ceremony on the first evening of the two-day NALC conference attended by some 250 people from across the local council sector. Town Clerk Will Austin said “Sarah didn’t let the award stop her from working, and she returned from the conference armed with lots of new ideas and contacts. She’s relentless in her drive to make Bridport even better, and we’re lucky to have her.”

Anglers support Dorset County Hospital

Lyme’s Food Rocks raises record amount for charity


orset County Hospital has received a major boost from a fundraising event run by local anglers. Over 30 anglers from different clubs around Dorset came together on 9 October for the Hooked Up event at Todber Manor fishing lakes. They were raising funds for the Day Surgery unit at Dorset County Hospital. Anglers came from the Sturminster and Hinton Angling Association, and the Wareham and District and Wimborne and District Angling Clubs. The total raised on the day was an impressive £1,200 and organisers Michail Cullen and Stephen Batts later met with Charity and hospital staff to hand over their cheque in the Day Surgery unit. The main sponsors of the event were Dean Watts of Purbeck Angling in Wareham and Wayne of Bournemouth Fishing Lodge. Special thanks also go to John Candy and the staff of Todber Manor. Kitz Clifford, Fundraising Officer at Dorset County Hospital Charity said, “We’d like to thank all the anglers who showed up and supported this event despite the weather. We are especially grateful to John Candy for allowing free use of the lakes, and to Michail and Stephen for all their hard work on the Hospital’s behalf. It is very much appreciated.” For more information about the work of Dorset County Hospital Charity please email or phone 01305 253215.

Michail Cullen and Stephen Batts present a cheque for £1200 to staff from Dorset County Hospital’s Day Surgery from their Hooked Up angling fundraising event.

Mark Hix presents a cheque to the Fishermen’s Mission

LYME Regis food festival Food Rocks has raised a record-breaking sum of £11,191 for charity this year. The annual food and drink extravaganza which took place on 7th and 8th September this year takes place in the Dorset coastal town, attracting food lovers from all over the UK to celebrate the fantastic food and drink producers in and around Dorset. This free food festival is organised by the HIX team who donate their time to the cause in order to raise money for their nominated charities. The weekend long event welcomes South West chefs including Mitch Tonks, Richard Bertinet and Gill Meller to host cooking demonstrations in the main tent throughout the day. 50 traders pitch their gazebos along the seafront selling food, drink and handmade homewares to the thousands of guests that attend. The annual Glenarm Estate Meat Feast and Crab & Mackerel supper clubs were sellout events yet again, taking place in the main tent on the Friday and Saturday night. Mark Hix MBE says “It was another great year at Food Rocks, raising the most money to date for The Fishermen’s Mission and Lyme Regis RNLI. We had fantastic support from all the locals, tourists, producers and of course, our sponsors.” This year’s festival raised almost three times the amount of 2018’s event and the charities couldn’t be happier. Dean Lawrence of The Fishermen’s Mission said “We are absolutely thrilled to be supported once again by Mark Hix’s Food Rocks festival, not only because of the incredible amount raised this year which will help us carry out our welfare and emergency services. The incredible support we receive from industry ambassadors like Mark is vital in creating awareness about our charity and the dangers of the fishing industry.”

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Sustainable Tourism on the Jurassic Coast highlighted in UNESCO eco-travel film

Uplyme designer James Verner


cycle ride from Uplyme down to the sea at Lyme Regis with local designer James Verner is one of the many eco-friendly activities recommended in a new TV serries about Eco Tourism available on YouTube this month. Beyond Your World is a travel series that informs and entertains by bringing the magic of UNESCO World Heritage to people’s screens. The Green Weekend offers unique access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in an environmental travelogue for the climate change generation.

The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s award-winning ecoboutique hotel, is also featured in the premier episode of sustainable travel series, Green Weekend. David Urban, one of Beyond Your World’s founders explains: “Finding local businesses who personify sustainability and sustainable travel brought this documentary to life. The Green House Hotel have put sustainable travel at the centre of their ethos, and their passion for environmental conservation and education is something other hotels

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should be learning from.” The pilot episode, ‘A Green Weekend on the Jurassic Coast’, is the first in The Green Weekend series focusing on the UK’s World Heritage Sites. The episode takes place along the 95km stretch of the Jurassic coastline, visiting some of Dorset’s sites of significant environmental interest such as Old Harry Rocks, Lulworth Cove and Winspit Quarry. The presenters also meet with local businesses such as The Green House Hotel, Black Cow Vodka and Othniel Oysters to discuss their commitment to sustainability and local produce. Olivia O’Sullivan, general manager of The Green House Hotel commented: “We were so honoured to be asked to be a part of this film. We champion sustainable travel at The Green House Hotel, and it’s such a great step forward that more people are promoting sustainable staycations and appreciating the world heritage landscapes that the UK has to offer.” You can watch A Green Weekend on the Jurassic Coast on the Beyond Your World YouTube channel. Visit watch?v=0ot6eWCJ6Ok

Beautiful gifts in Honiton Gallery PRESENT Makers 2019: the latest selling exhibition at Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) is packed full of beautiful gifts for Christmas. The exhibition demonstrates the skill and diversity of contemporary crafts people and designer-makers living in the South West. From 100 open submissions, 50 entries were selected demonstrating creative innovation across a range of materials including: glass, jewellery, paper, textiles, prints, ceramics and lighting. All of the work is for sale. THG prides itself on working with and supporting the local artist community. They also support South West designer makers through a programme of selling showcases in their gallery shop.. THG’s shop officer, Gemma Girvan explained, ‘The exhibition will be a celebration of high quality, local craftsmanship.’ There is also programme of inspiring workshops and art activities to accompany the exhibition as well as late night shopping event on 16 December. Present Makers 2019 is at Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX until 21 December 2019. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Telephone 01404 45006.


Design + Print workshop-Tote Bag: 16 November, 10.30am–3pm, £45 (£40 THG Friends) Design + Create workshop-Nuno Felt: 23 November, 11-12.30 / 1.30-3.00 £20 (£18 THG Friends) Design + Create workshop-Punch Needling: 5 December, 11am2.30pm £60 (£55 THG Friends) (cost without needle: £48/£43 THG Friends) Wreath Making Workshop: 12 December, 1-3pm / 4-6pm, £30 (£25 THG Friends) Limited places available to book via Visit for more details

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New Housemistress hopes to build on ‘culture of care’

Alex Pearson A new Housemistress has been appointed at Sherborne School and she’s looking forward to forming its culture. Alex Pearson shares her vision for the years ahead. Alex Pearson is used to making an impact. Recently appointed as Housemistress of The Green, she has a track record of shaping educational cultures, with a particular interest in pastoral care. A Historian by specialism, with a first-class honours degree from Manchester University, Alex was promoted early in her teaching career to become a Senior Year Head at a leading boys’ school in Barnet, North London. After this, she moved to be Pastoral Leader of a Free School, gaining a distinction in an

MA in Leadership in Education along the way. Her research for this qualification focused on the effectiveness of tutoring in pastoral care. She has already brought that expertise to bear in her role as a Tutor in The Green since September 2018. Now, she is ready to step up to the role of Housemistress, with a start date of September 2020. She says she will draw on all her knowledge to enshrine the House’s ethos and contribute to the formation of its boys. “It helps that I’m already a part of the community within The Green,” Alex says. “I like to think I have a good rapport with the boys and my colleagues in the staff team, as well as an understanding of the atmosphere in the House and the good work that’s already being done there.” Alex appreciates the close-knit team of colleagues with whom she works: a team she will be leading next year. “We share a commitment to the wellbeing of pupils,” she says, “We’re keen to work together to ensure The Green remains a place of intellectual vibrancy, strong relationships, kindness and exemplary pastoral support. As a House, we have always prized all-round success, and I hope this continues.” One thing that Alex thinks will be important is the dynamic of being a female teacher overseeing the House. “I think this is good preparation for the boys, who will have to form meaningful relationships with women in the workplace, including those in authority,” she says. “I hope we can model good relationships to help prepare them for such a future.” Naturally, Alex wants to build on The Green’s culture of care and mutuality. It is one of the things that attracted her to the role.

“I regard the ‘uncle’ system of sixth formers looking out for third formers very highly,” she remarks. “I’d like to build on this by establishing closer links between the third and fourth forms, so that newcomers to the School have peers in the year above them to ask for advice as they settle in.” Alex is keen to see residents of The Green modelling positive behaviour in every aspect of their lives. “It’s important that our boys have a sense of the needs of the world around them. I’ll be encouraging charitable activities and engagement with the local community. I want them to develop a global conscience and a desire to make a positive impact on the world beyond School.” Such a mindset has undoubtedly been formed by Alex’s previous experience in education. “I think I bring a bit of edge as a result of my varied background,” she says. “That’s been manifested in my teaching since joining the School in 2017, and in my approach to tutoring.” Now, Alex’s robust intellectual acuity allied to a deep pastoral concern for the wellbeing of pupils and her deep and broad experience in education will enliven the culture of The Green. As she concludes: “I am keen to further The Green’s wonderful ethos as a place of warmth, compassion, kindness and commitment. It’s an exciting moment in my career, with a big role that I’m delighted to be taking on.” The Green is one of Sherborne’s eight boarding Houses with a ninth, Westcott House, opening in 2021. If you wish to visit Sherborne School please contact

School offers two new 100% bursaries

KNIGHTON House School in Durweston is launching two new 100% bursary awards to local children in Reception and Year 1. The Orchard Awards— named after the School’s pre-prep—will give local boys and girls the full benefit of an Orchard education in Years 1 and 2. The Orchard at Knighton House is

looking to offer awards to boys and girls showing enthusiasm and potential in their learning. The awards are fully funded and will be awarded to boys and girls in Reception and/or in Year 1 and will cover the entirety of their Orchard fees. The awards will be made after an assessment made through play and structured activities as well as areas such as engagement and communication/language skills. With schools under ever-increasing pressure to fit a growing number of elements into already full schedules and to put children second to curriculum demands, the reverse is true in The Orchard; the children guide their learn-

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ing, engage with reality and the outdoors, drive their own achievement and thrive as a consequence. Knighton House is based in 30 acres of glorious Dorset countryside which provides us with a fabulous canvas for learning. The family atmosphere of The Orchard enables the children to feel comfortable and secure. Robin Gainher, Headmaster at Knighton House, commented: “Knighton House is about the very best education we can provide in a nurturing supportive environment. These fully funded awards are true to Knighton’s charitable mission and are a fantastic way to broaden our contribution to the local community”.

Otter Deaths increasing in Dorset


orset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been made aware of a rising number of otter deaths in Dorset this autumn. Most deaths have occurred on roads and are thought to be due to otters resorting to using roads as recent rainfall has left them unable to swim under bridges in rivers. Small ditches and streams are also holding more water, enabling otters to move through the landscape more easily, bringing them into increased contact with roads in Dorset. Otters are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. They mainly feed on fish and are well suited to life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. In Dorset, otters are regularly seen on the river Stour, however they are mostly shy nocturnal animals and their presence is normally detected by their distinctive sweet musky smelling faeces (known as spraints) which are deposited in prominent places, DWT Living Landscape Manager, Amanda Broom said, “After almost disappearing from England in the 1970s otters have made a gradual recovery. In Dorset we are fortunate to have a wonderful network of rivers which support this beautiful enigmatic creature. Dorset Wild Rivers, a Wessex Water funded partnership project, enables us to work with farmers, landowners and fishing clubs to look after and further improve the health of rivers so that they can continue to support otters and other wildlife.� DWT is also working with Dorset Police to help ensure safety for road users when an otter is found. Dorset Police advise people not to stop on dangerous bends in the dark and to consider their own safety and that of others if they find an otter in the road. If an injured otter is found in the road, contact Dorset Police if causing a hazard to drivers. If there is no hazard, then you should call the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 who will advise on what to do with the carcass. If fresh, some carcasses may be sent to Cardiff University for post-mortem examination as this can provide a valuable insight into health and biology. If medical assistance is needed for an injured otter, please phone the RSPCA National Emergency number 0300 1234 9999. For any suspicious circumstances of otter deaths, this must be also be reported to the police via as a wildlife crime. Evidence of snares or home-made snares such as cable ties, an appearance of being shot, trapped or poisoned should be reported.

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his winter Somerset Rural Life Museum will be stepping back in time for ‘A Very Victorian Christmas’ on Saturday 7 December from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. This seasonal celebration includes Christmas carols, mince pies, arts and crafts and, of course, a visit from Father Christmas. There are more events taking place at the museum over the festive season. On Friday 29 November the museum’s Curator of Social History, Bethan Murray, will be giving a ‘Christmas Traditions’ talk exploring 50 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

the traditions that are so much a part of this special time of year. On Saturday 30 November the museum is hosting a ‘Wooden Reindeer Making’ workshop with ‘Explore the Great Outdoors.’ These workshops are specially designed for adults and children to work together to create a unique Christmas decoration or a gift for family or friends. Drop-in, usual admission applies/free with the Museum Unlimited annual pass. Booking is essential for Santa’s Grotto (£5 to include a present) on 01458 831197.

A Look Back at DECEMBER in the Marshwood Vale Magazine

2004 & 2009 As ever, trawling through back issues brings up memories of people, places and businesses that have featured in our lives over the years. It’s hard to keep them all at the forefront of our memory banks, so thankfully we have a store of features available through past Marshwood magazines. These back issues feature stories and photographs from Ron Frampton, Robin Mills, Sean Day-Lewis, Derek Stevens, Julia Mear and many others. Reading our cover story from December 2009 reminded me of an addendum to that particular story. Less than a year after we featured the extraordinary life of Charlie Holbrow, who started working as a farm labourer at age 13 and followed that by working as a miner at 15, the Daily Mail ran a story about how Charlie had died after waiting five hours to be seen at Taunton Hospital. Inevitably, the comments section featured many irate readers who believed an EU Directive limiting doctors working hours to 48 hours a week was to blame. There were also those that argued that bad management of hospitals, overpaid consultants, unqualified administrators and generally anyone involved was probably to blame. Whilst many people have no choice but to work more than 48 hours a week, there are few that would want to. So complaining about a directive that limits high-stress work to 48 hours seemed disingenuous. Charlie Holbrow’s death briefly became a bit of a political football and his life was reduced to a description that read; ‘former miner and lumberjack’. The photograph, taken by Julia Mear was credited to SWNS. Charlie had died less than a year after Julia Mear interviewed and photographed him and the final words of that interview were perhaps insightful. ‘The poor old body that has served me so well over many years, in all sorts of situations, has finally decided to pack up’ said Charlie. ‘I got a hip gone, bad legs and white finger from the vibrations of all the machines. I’m on my last legs now, after all, I’m 86, and this is where I will stay now’. The story of his life, compiled from Julia’s interviews and letters he wrote to his son was an extraordinary tale of survival against all odds, how sad that he was left alone at the end. As we continue to look back we invite readers to update us on any of the items featured in this section of Marshwood+. Please email us at Fergus Byrne

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MARSHWOOD VALE For West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon



MAGAZINE December 2004-Issue 69

Peter Park, photograph by Kevin Taylor

Arts & Entertainment Food & Dining

Gardening Interiors Health & Environment

These pages are from December 2004 - advertiser offers are not current

Cover story

Peter Park, photograph by Kevin Taylor

PETER Park was born and grew up in Devon. Here he developed a particular fondness for the English countryside and heritage. However, after graduating in Landscape Architecture from Leeds Metropolitan University, he travelled to Asia where he lived and worked for nearly 3 years. Based in Kathmandu he spent much of his time teaching 6-10 year olds

in a small local school and found this to be one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. He took the opportunity to travel throughout India and spent some time in Pershawar, Pakistan. On returning to England he found that he missed the countryside of his younger years and settled back in his native Devon. Preferring the quieter side of life, he now lives in the beauti-

ful Blackdown Hills, from here he runs his own gardening business, having been gardening and surrounded by gardeners for as long as he can remember. He is interested in garden history and design and tries to work using principles that are sympathetic to the environment. In his leisure time he continues to enjoy the outdoors, especially long walks with his dog. Peter has been interested in photography for several years, but most seriously for the last two. He practises traditional monochrome photography, from initial exposure through to the darkroom print. He is studying for a Royal Photographic Society Distinction Award under the guidance of Ron Frampton and has had work exhibited in the 2004 Old Blundellian Exhibition and in the Beyond the Vale exhibition and its accompanying book.

Out and about with the camera by Ron Frampton

Photographs from the land to the sea

Light, Colmer’s Hill, near Bridport by Joy White

Evocative black and white photographs of Dorset’s landscape and coastline are shown in a selling exhibition of photography by Joy White at the Bridport Arts Centre Cafe and Foyer from November 24th to December 24th. Joy is particularly well known for her hand-printed landscapes and seascapes. Tel: 01308 424204 for details.

Double first for Chard Art Gallery

Cattle, West Sedgemoor, Somerset Levels, by Richard Bland

About 5000 years ago this landscape was covered by sea and is now characterised by reeds, willow trees and slow flowing rivers: the Huntspill, the Parrett and the King’s Sedgemoore Drain. Pollarding, a form of tree management, has been practised on the Somerset Levels since the Bronze Age and this unique area, noted for its basket and hurdle making, is where arrowhead, cotton grass and marsh marigolds still flourish. Early evening lighting portrays the isolated Levels in a particularly eerie and atmospheric way, and it is possible to visualise the Battle of Sedgemoor which was fought here during the Civil War in 1685 - the last battle to take place on English soil Ron Frampton is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and author of Beyond the Vale - Images from the West Country, which is available from local bookshops ISBN 0-9543170-7-1. He tutors photography at Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset. The Dillington Prospectus is now available, covering a wide range of courses. Tel: Booking and Enquiries - 01460 258613; Website:

Abandoned cottage and thorne tree by Pat Garth

The December exhibition at the Gallery behind Hooked on Books in Chard is a first for both artist and gallery. Local photographer Pat Garth’s first solo show is also the first time the gallery has put on a photographic exhibition. Pat’s name should be familiar to many Marshwood Vale readers after her many contributions to our Historic Impressions feature. The exhibition runs from November 29th through the beginning of January. Tel: 01460 67925 for details. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 53

Images of everyday life Compiled by Ron Frampton

Barbara Goeting, photograph by Robin Mills

FOR this issue of Images of everyday life, Robin Mills met Barbara Goeting at her home in Dorchester. This is Barbara’s story: “I was born in Bridport. We left there the first time - when I was about three. My cricket-loving and normally fit father had contracted tuberculosis. As a Somerset man, he asked to be treated in a sanatorium in the Quantock Hills. We went to visit him every Sunday. As a small child, I was placed, for a short time, high up on a window ledge, so that my father could see me, and I could see him lying in bed. I was not permitted on to the ward in case of infection, so I explored the gardens alone and discovered my own small secret garden in the grounds: a secluded, quiet and peaceful place where I was very happy. My father spent many months, possibly a year, at the sanatorium, followed by a further year of convalescence. Fresh air, particularly, was emphasised for his recuperation, and a purpose-built chalet was erected in my grandfather’s garden, where my father slept. Some 45 years later, several years before his death, I drove my father and mother to the Quantock Hills on a sentimental journey. There was no difficulty in finding the house, now a school, and the sturdy window where I had sat so long ago. Then, joy of joys, I also found my own secret garden again, after all that time. To return to the 1930s, we were back in

Bridport after more than two years absence during which my father, despite having been terribly ill, had fully recovered his health. He was working at an ironmonger’s shop, and little did we expect life to change radically again. However, 1939 saw the start of the war. Hundreds of evacuees arrived, and at school we were actually taught to knit socks with four needles, much needed, apparently, by the fighting men. The autumn of 1942 saw my first term at Bridport Grammar School, aged 11. I used to cycle home to lunch and, one December day, I was returning to school when an air raid siren started. It was such a regular occurrence that people took little notice. This time, though, was different. I was cycling in one of the quiet side streets when the bombs started falling, just 150 yards away. I then realised that unbelievably I was being machinegunned by a low-flying German aircraft immediately overhead. Terrified, I jumped off and lay under a wall with my bike on top of me, and did not expect to survive. Well, I did, of course, although several people were killed and property was severely damaged in the raid. Not surprisingly, this has had a profound and lasting effect on me, and even now I find it very difficult to talk about such a traumatic event. In 1952, when I was 21, a Swedish friend and I hitch-hiked to the south of France. We were both independent young women,

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although it seems very adventurous today. We found nothing but hospitality and help from the French, and I later found work at Fontainebleau for the Allied Forces as a secretary. I still have ties with France. The next year I met my husband Bill, a Dutchman, on the London Underground. He was a graduate engineer, and multilingual like many Dutch people. We married in 1955, and lived for a couple of years in Holland, where I worked as an au pair and later for ICI in Rotterdam as a laboratory assistant. Bill’s work involved travelling abroad, and often we would go together. For many years we lived in Shropshire where our children, Nicola and Stephanie, grew up. Bill loved Dorset holidays, and so eventually we moved back: he was able to spend his last 11 years in Dorset’s lovely countryside, near Cattistock. Nowadays, I live in a flat in Dorchester. I care deeply for the environment, and support organisations such as the RSPB, and the Dorset Wildlife Trust. I sometimes visit the Franciscan Friary at Hilfield, and have watched the gradual creation, over the last decade or so, of a wonderful garden by one of the brothers, which he has called “the secret garden”, a lovely place for quiet contemplation. It is not quite as personal as my first find, but it is a place of tranquillity, and I am grateful for it.” NEXT MONTH Ron will be in Devon.

Outposts in the community Where to get your Marshwood Vale Magazine

Dorset stone barn is setting for children’s cookery courses

OUTPOSTS is a regular feature where we highlight some of the many outlets that carry your community magazine. Copies are available along the coast from Sidmouth in East Devon to Portland in West Dorset and in towns and villages from Ottery St. Mary to Yeovil. To stock the Magazine telephone 01308 423031.

Budding chefs and Christmas treats at River Cottage HQ

Mole Valley Farmers, Yeovil, photograph by Belinda Silcox

Mole Valley Farmers in Yeovil are getting into the spirit of Christmas with a late opening evening on Wednesday 8th December. The shop will be staying open until 8.30 and there will be festive celebrations and lots of samples to taste too! Mole Valley stocks almost every item one could think of; masonry and building materials, animal feed, clothes, household items as well as local South West foods (cheeses and meats) and wines, beers and spirits. There are lots of Christmas ideas including confectionery, ride on tractors for children and Christmas trees too! Mole Valley Farmers is open to the general public from 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Saturday. For enquiries ring 01935 420971.

SET in a beautiful old barn, the new River Cottage HQ is home to the new Channel 4 TV series and venue for Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s new food enterprise. The aim and philosophy of the River Cottage HQ is not to be a restaurant or a formal cookery school but an environment where people can share, eat and learn about good local food. The next big step for the HQ is the start of their children’s courses. Katie Rogers, HQ Events Manager, explains ‘It has been our intention to run courses for children ever since we opened and the Christmas workshop is the first of many’. ‘The day will be very hands on and full of fun.

We’ll be working with the kids in groups of four and five and will be making some brilliant Christmas goodies including home-made sausages, gingerbread and mince pies. At the end of the session everyone will go home with lots of Christmas treats ‘ Next spring River Cottage HQ also plans to run ‘grab and cook’ courses where youngsters get a chance to pick vegetables from the River Cottage HQ garden and cook them up in the kitchen. For more information on courses available at the River Cottage HQ log onto or telephone Katie Rogers on 01308 420020.

ROBBIEROSKELL Architectural & Building Consultant

Tourist Information Centre, Sherborne, photograph by Belinda Silcox

The Sherborne Tourist Information Office is packed with thousands of Christmas cards. ‘Cards for Good Causes’ is a scheme run by the information outlet every year, selling Christmas cards in aid of charities. 31 charities are represented this year from Cancer research and the Samaritans to local charities such as Trimar Hospice and the Wessex Children's Trust. Sally Woodroffe, (pictured with Manager Karen), is a volunteer who arranges and displays the cards for this worthy event. The Tourist Information Office is opposite the Abbey and is open from 10-3pm Monday to Saturday when the friendly team of staff are happy to help (01935 815341).

Offering Architectural Services for the Alterations or Extensions of your home. New Build, Domestic, Commercial and Retail Commissions also undertaken. Free initial visit and advice. Unit 3 White Hart Lane Hogshill Street Beaminster Dorset DT8 3AE T: 01308 861095 F: 01308 861094 M: 07970 421769 Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 55

Happy Snaps


SINCE this issue of the Mag features a photo competition, I am tempted to have a go myself. I reckon my masterpiece from last year entitled “Beaminster By Moonlight” would come close to winning if only it wasn’t so dark. So dark indeed, that you can’t see it is Beaminster. Actually you can’t see anything much at all except for a couple of pin-points of streetlights and a passing truck, but - hey it’s a dramatic, moody photo of... well... ‘the colour black’. That’s art for you. In any event there are many excellent local photographers around, so I wouldn’t stand a chance. I’m not a proper photographer anyway. I only take photos if the opportunity arises. Opportunities such as my last birthday party (lots of dimly lit shadows and inebriated grins - what is that woman doing with a door knob sticking out of her ear?) or Christmas at Aunt Sarah (sedately sitting relatives with fixed smiles and the tops of their heads missing). Real photographers don’t wait for such opportunities to arrive - they actively go in search of them before they happen. Like most people I take snaps, whereas only real photographers can be said to take real pictures. I just carry a small digital camera (wonderful invention!), but a real photographer takes an entire car-load: lenses, film, cases, light meters, flash guns, tripods and a different camera for different occasions. I am in awe of photography as a sci-

ence and an art form. It’s like video recorders or cars - I watch my video and I drive a car, but don’t ask me to look too deeply under the bonnet. It’s the same with photography: words like ‘Depth of Field’ or ‘Diaphragm’ are dangerous and should not be used in public unless you really know what you’re talking about. If you’re not careful, you could die from exposure (another camera term). I do have one question. Since photography is such a fiercely individual activity involving only one photographer and one set of eyes, why do so many of them join clubs? Do they get together to discuss focal plane shutters and fisheye lenses in private? Perhaps they feel isolated so this is the only social intercourse that’s relevant. I shall never know as I would be too afraid to turn up and disclose my complete ignorance. Apart from serving in the army, photographers are the only individuals who can legitimately shoot people for a living. Thankfully, this magazine is a great supporter of real photography - you only have to look at the front cover each month to know how good such a shot can be. And I’m sure Ron Frampton and other experts would say that you don’t need all the kit or all the knowledge to be a good photographer. You just need a good eye - preferably with a rectangular eyeball so you can get your sister’s small son into the centre of the frame without cutting off his legs.

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I look at photography with mixed emulsions. Many of my friends are good photographers and take it all very seriously. Some take it so seriously that they spend days in their darkrooms (mostly converted outside loos) and emerge triumphantly smelling of Developer Solution in time for dinner. Even my girl friend is a photographer so I am used to the terminology and the talk, but that doesn’t make it any easier to understand. We might be driving to Lyme Regis and there’s suddenly an "Ooh" and an "Aah" and we have to stop because the light from the hill over Charmouth is just too good to miss. I hurriedly stop in a lay-by (nearly causing a multiple pile-up behind me) while she jumps out to ‘capture the moment’. I asked her once what made a good photograph and she answered in just one word: “Light”. OK, I said, but what sort of light? Shadows, sunlight, shade, sunset, time of day, pink light, grey light? She replied simply: “It’s how you look at it.” This was not helpful and no further information was forthcoming because many photographers can be obsessive - they don’t want to give away their trade secrets. So now, when I see a picture of Honiton, I see houses, antique shops, a main street and a few people looking cold and bored. She sees pinks and chalk-yellows, morning sunlight with dappled clouds and a shutter speed of 1/250th with an aperture of f11. Hopefully, you get the picture. Hers - not mine.

Watch the birdie

Historic impressions Bridport Museum

Bridport Museum, Dorset

FOR generations Bridport Museum has been known to locals as ‘The Castle’ or ‘Old Castle’. The name probably derives from the proximity of the museum to the local area known as Castlehay and also due to the unusual architecture of the building itself. The museum dates back to the early 16th Century and is one of the older Bridport buildings. This not only makes it interesting as a piece of architecture but it also has an unusual and varied history of use. Early historical records are limited but there is some evidence of a religious connection as early as 1774 when it was referred to as ‘St Leonard’s Chantry’. There is still a religious corbel upstairs (a beautiful carved angel holding a book) and when the building opened as a museum in the early 20th Century, gravestones were found at the rear. The museum was run as an inn for over 100 years, firstly called the Five Bells and later changing to The Castle Inn. The building then went through a wide range of identities

including a Penny Saving Bank; a Working Mans Institute; a Lodge of the Oddfellowship; a Conservative club and a library. It became The Bridport Museum and Art Gallery in 1932 and the administration was run locally until the 1970’s when it became the responsibility of West Dorset District Council. In April 2002 the Bridport Museum Trust took over the management and Trustees made up of local citizens and council members now run it. Though Bridport Museum has had a number of changes of use and even a fire, it has luckily been kept in safe hands and much of the stunning architecture survives today. On the façade of the building one is first struck by the gothic nature of the décor, the lavish window dressings and the unusual 5 sided double story porch. The famous Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh was so impressed with the building he made a number of sketches of it during a visit to Bridport in 1895. His sketches are housed

at the museum today and his very individual style of drawing is evident with stylised lines and great attention to detail. The fire of 1876 damaged much of the building’s interior and all of the oak partitions were lost, though some of the stonework survived. The impressive stone staircase was removed when the building was transformed into a Museum in the 1930’s. This was in part thanks to the foresight of the owner Captain Codd. He saw the potential of the building as a museum and decided to house it where it stands today, rather than erecting a new building for the purpose, as had been the original idea. Bridport Museum tells the story from ‘Romans to Ropemaking’ of the history of Bridport. The history of the town is told through the collections of social history, archaeology, photography, fine art, costume, agriculture, archive and rope and net. Temporary exhibitions are also housed in this Tudor town house.

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Ten Years of Dancing SOMEWHERE in the corner the distinctive sound of the Uillean Pipes cuts through the happy hubbub of jostling voices. As heads start to turn, a banjo joins a fiddle to lift a melody across the room. Soon a guitar helps to beat out the rhythm and hands and feet begin to take on lives of their own. Before you know it the whole room is filled with smiling faces and Dorset based Ceilidh band Up and Running have the audience up and dancing. As one observer puts it “When the dancing starts they can get up a head of steam that would keep Airforce One in the air”. One of the South West’s premier Ceilidh band’s, Up and Running formed after the Symondsbury band Triskele disbanded. This year they celebrate 10 years of playing Irish and Scottish music for barn dances and Ceilidhs. The popular band is committed to offering everyone who attends one of their events a rewarding experience. Band member and Uillean Pipes player, Paul Moores, poetically describes the band as, “a living Celtic knot, created from a perfect blend of music and dance, a magical and energising experience for all involved”. Nowadays, their musical range is broader though still firmly rooted in Celtic traditions. American, European and Jewish music has been introduced and is a growing part of their repertoire. The band’s line up has altered over the years but each new band member is committed to maintaining and furthering Up and Running’s reputation and traditions. Caller, Trefor Morgan, has been with the band since it’s conception 10 years ago. A man whose skill at getting the shyest of dancers onto the floor is legendary and as such he is recognised as one of the best MC’s in the country. Trefor has roots in West Dorset which can be traced back to Tudor times and his years performing traditional English dance, song, music and folklore hold him in great stead with even the most difficult of audiences! He makes sure everyone is having a good time, skilfully explaining the dances and regaling the audience with anecdotes and boundless enthusiasm. There are four other band members, All photographs by Janet Carmichael

all highly regarded musicians with a passion for traditional music. Sudhi Salooja plays the fiddle and has a deep interest in traditional and ethnic music. She graduated from The Royal College of Music and has also studied the Indian Violin at the Bhavan Centre in London. Finn Gunn is a multi instrumentalist and highly regarded singer/songwriter. With two solo albums under his belt and a long history of membership of successful bands such as Dr Burkes and Tripping Upstairs, Finn is an asset to the band and plays the banjo, bouzouki and fiddle. Band member Will Ferris too plays a number of instruments including the melodeon and guitar and is also a much respected singer/songwriter. Paul Moores, an exceptional player and teacher of the fiendishly difficult Uillean Pipes, thrives on live performances, saying, “When the audience really gets into the swing of a dance it’s not only rewarding for them but also rewarding for the band”. It is the nature of the music Up and Running plays which is most exciting for them, “The Beauty of traditional music and dance is that it bridges the generation gap” says Paul. “People from all walks of life and all ages can relate to and enjoy it.” The greatest pleasure for the band is seeing people dancing and laughing and generally having a good time. Hence Up and Running play at every kind of event including County fairs, village fetes, weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and even the odd funeral! With a CD due for release sometime in the New Year, the band are kept very busy and enthusiastic. Paul says; “I think that the band is very emotionally involved with the audience and it is essential to us that they have a good time, we all work very hard in constructing the right formula for the event”. For bookings call Trefor on 01305 779936.

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Marshwood The

Vale Magazine

December 2009 Issue 129

Charlie Holbrow, photograph by Julia Mear

For West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon thebestfrominandaroundthevalethebestfrominandaroundthevale

Julia Mear met Charlie Holbrow at his home in Chard, Somerset. A hard working man with an independent spirit, he truly has a marvellous memory for detail. This is part of Charlie’s story. “I was born in 1923 and brought up in the foothills of Clee Hill in South Shropshire. Before I was six I’d been choked, strangled and almost drowned. As a baby I nearly choked on a crust of bread. Mother was panicking and I was black in the face, but a great Uncle swung me by the legs up and down until out comes the crust and I’m saved. When I was two I got amongst our two milk goats, got their chain wrapped around my neck and, but for Uncle Bert seeing me, I’d have been strangled. Later on I fell out of a tree into a dam and was saved from drowning by a twelve year-old neighbour that I’d been visiting. I had to leave school at 13 because of the lack of money. Over a weekend I switched from school to agricultural labourer and worked at the 3,000 acre Kinlet Estate nearby, owned by Squire Childs. I worked as a poultry boy for 15 bob a week for a seven-day week. They employed 40 poultry boys and had over 250,000 hens on free range at three farms. I stayed for 18 months but had enough and in 1938 I went to work in the coal mine – Chorley Pit. The pay and hours were better, 17 shillings and 4 pence a week, that’s the equivalent of 85 pence for 5½ days. Chorley shut so I went onto Highley Pit until 1941 then to Blidworth Pit near Mansfield. Blidworth was 864 yards deep and about 2 miles out to the coalface. The air which was full of dust, would nigh on burn your face – it was very hot and dusty. I stayed there about 18 months then moved onto Blaenaven Pit in South Wales (now turned into a museum). If I didn’t like their set up I always quit, I never was one to stay and moan, I’d rather pack up and move on. I worked in 21 pits in 11 years. I left South Wales after six months and went to Keresley Pit outside Coventry. This didn’t suit me at all – it was 22ft of coal and it wasn’t the job I’d been promised. I ended up in a tribunal. They decided I should leave Coventry within two days and go to Dunsthorpe Pit, South Derbyshire. I said ‘I don’t need two days – give me two hours and I’ll never step in this city again’. I got on a bus right away. When I arrived at Dunsthorpe Pit, the manager sent for me as he’d heard what had happened and asked if I’d come to work or wreck the place – I told him I was a worker. He sent for me again a month later and told me he wished he had 200 more men like me. In 2½ years I missed only two shifts due to dysentery. The wages were double what they were anywhere else – £3 a shift. I worked 6 nights a week. Saturday night I went to bed – I wasn’t a drinker. When I decided to pack up, the manager, Bill Hunsworth, sent for me and asked why I was quitting. I told him I was going to Canada as soon as I could get transport, I wanted a change. He told me if I was ever looking for a job come back to him. He was the best man I ever met in England – fair, friendly and someone who appreciated an honest workman. After the war he was made general manager for Leicestershire and South Derbyshire coalfield. He lies in Ashby-de-la-Zouch graveyard now.

Cover Story Julia Mear met Charlie Holbrow in Chard

Charlie Holbrow retiring from Colas

Three times I’ve had my life saved – by a Welshman, an Irishman and a Japanese man. Once when I was working in Yarn Drift, Blaenavon, I was climbing across a loaded conveyor when somebody started the belt and my head got jammed between a big lump of coal and the roof. I thought my time was up until somebody spotted my lamp and stopped it just in time. They had to break the coal lump to get my head free. Another time I was working nights at Blidworth Pit and my foot got caught and I was being pulled into the conveyor transmission. The belt was travelling at about 4mph and there were steel joints every so often on it. An Irishman heard me shout and had the sense to grab a steel prop and jam it into the roof and the conveyor to stall it. Luckily I wasn’t badly hurt and carried on with the job. In July 1947 I went out to Canada. I got a job as a logger up the coast – it was dangerous work. I worked with German, Swedish and Ukrainian nationals. One time I was timber felling alone in Eastern Ontario. The snow was 4ft deep and it was cold, in the dead of winter. Somehow I got a tree across both thighs and was pinned down and freezing. I was helpless. I had been there an hour or two when a Japanese fellow came down the trail and managed to save me. I’ve missed death by inches time and time again. I even had two attempts on my life – once in England and once in Canada. In 1955 I left Canada and came back to England; I’d had enough of frost and snow. I bought a cottage in Worcestershire. I had plenty of money saved as I never drank or smoked. I went timbering. They’d just opened the Sudbrook pulp mill outside Chepstow and I got a contract with them to supply hardwood. I helped to cut the first 500 cord of birch ever put through to see if it would pulp to make a super map paper. It was the first mill to manufacture hardwood. Turned out such a good paper before

long there were six across the world in production. I had the rigging, plenty of experience and had bought my own 7-ton Bedford lorry. I had the first Dolmar chainsaw ever to come into this country. I had to wait three months for it to come off the production line. I got the hardwood from local estates, paid them £1 a ton standing and cleared it. The best pulp would fetch £5 a ton at the mill so I had £4 to produce it and deliver it to the mill – it was hard work. In 1961 I sold the cottage and went down to New Zealand but came back to England in the hard winter of 1963. It was like walking into a refrigerator, nine weeks of frost that started at Christmas right through to March. I went to Cheltenham – mother had a place there. The only job I could get was with Elliot Brothers who supplied fuel in the areas – they had 36 lorries. They were only too pleased to see me wanting a job shovelling coal off the back of lorries. As the weather got better I went cutting down orchards for Alfred Robertson Company – I had plenty of timber work for a couple of years. In 1971 I moved to Puriton, near Bridgwater in Somerset and worked on site clearing the run for the M5 motorway. After that I moved nearer to Chard and got a job at a sawmill in Tatworth. It had belonged to Bill Day who’d kept the Dolphin pub. He’d won £30,000 on the pools and bought this site at Tatworth and put in a saw mill – he sold it to Halls Timber Company. There were only three of us at the mill. I was there about 18 months or so. I went on holiday in Kent with my Mrs every September when the fruit was ripe. When I came back the mill was burnt down. I made a good move then. The old Chard station was a Roads Company owned by Colas, handling bitumen. It was a subsidiary of Shell Oil. I took a job there driving a loader. I’d been with them for nine years. The boss said he’d retire me at 60 but I said I was good for another 10 years. But it was their policy to retire us at 60 and they told me I’d be well looked after. I was not a friendly person – I used to fall out with everybody. But they gave me a retirement party at the pub and a sledgehammer with an inscription on it, which cost £35 to do. In 1983 I continued with my timbering. I had a lorry and went timbering for orchards and had a yard at West Farm in Cudworth until recently, when I had to pack it up. I was working the timber for a big farm with nine acres of woodland. I worked for the old man for 15 years – it was him that encouraged me to go onto the yard to work their timber. The apple orchard was redundant so I ripped it up for them, had plenty of work there. He died and I gave it all up about 18 months ago. Throughout my eventful working life, I’ve been married three times. I had a son, Adrian, with my first wife Rosemarie and I now live happily with my third wife Diane. The poor old body that has served me so well over many years, in all sorts of situations, has finally decided to pack up. I got a hip gone, bad legs and white finger from the vibrations of all the machines. I’m on my last legs now, after all I’m 86, and this is where I will stay now.”

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Dorset pioneer

Although Edward Jenner is generally credited with inventing vaccination, Philip Strange, highlights a Dorset farmer who also deserves much credit. TRAVEL was arduous in the early 19th century so when the Dorset farmer, Benjamin Jesty made the long journey from his Purbeck farm to London in 1805, it had to be for an important reason. In fact he was going to London to have his portrait painted to mark his achievements in vaccination against smallpox. This painting has now been restored and is currently on display in the County Museum in Dorchester. Jesty was a pioneer in the introduction of vaccination and it is important that his story is known more widely. Vaccination will be very much in the news in the next few months as large numbers of people around the world are vaccinated against swine flu in the hope of reducing the effects of a global pandemic. Vaccination is one of the miracles of modern medical science and is responsible for the eradication of smallpox, thirty years ago. Nowadays, we take vaccination for granted and use it to reduce childhood diseases such as measles and polio and to protect the elderly against seasonal flu. Our normal bodily response to a virus or bacterium is to make antibodies which are molecules in the bloodstream that can neutralize the attacking species. Vaccination consists of administering a small amount of a virus or a bacterium to a person in order to prime that antibody response so that it may be mounted more easily when there is a real infection. The person who is generally credited with inventing and promoting vaccination, particularly against smallpox, is the Gloucestershire doctor, Edward Jenner. In the 18th century, smallpox was a disease to be feared. As many as a third of those who caught the disease died and others recovered but were badly disfigured. It was, however, known in rural circles that people infected with cowpox, the disease of cows that causes a mild human infection, were not prey to smallpox. It seemed a logical idea to try to protect against smallpox by deliberately infecting people with cowpox. It is said that Jenner had this idea and this lead to his first vaccination experiment in1796 when he transferred cowpox material from the young milkmaid, Sarah Nelmes, who was infected with the disease, in to the arm of James Phipps, the son of a local farmer. The boy had some reaction to the cowpox but recovered well and six weeks later Jenner deliberately infected him with smallpox but he did not contract the disease. Jenner was initially ridiculed but he was well connected, being a Fellow of the Royal Society, and subsequently received generous financial support to further his work. What is not widely known, however, is that Jenner’s vaccination experiment had been per-

Benjamin Jesty as displayed in Dorset County Museum

formed by several others some years previously. Indeed, Benjamin Jesty performed a more daring experiment 22 years before Jenner in 1774. Benjamin Jesty was born in Yetminster in 1736. He married Elizabeth Notley in 1770 and they lived at Upbury Farm next to Yetminster churchyard and had seven children. In 1774, smallpox was present in the Yetminster area and Jesty decided to act. Jesty was well aware of the protective effect of cowpox infection against smallpox. Indeed, he had contracted cowpox while working with cattle as a young man but had never suffered from smallpox when it hit his local community. Jesty decided to test this idea and try to protect his family against the deadly disease. He walked more than two miles with his wife, Elizabeth and two sons, Robert and Benjamin to a field near Chetnole where he took material from cows infected with cowpox and transferred it to scratches made in their arms with a stocking needle. They developed symptoms of cowpox but eventually recovered well and never suffered from smallpox despite being exposed to the disease. Jesty was also ridiculed for his experiment. He was “hooted at, reviled and pelted whenever he attended markets in the neighbourhood”. People were still very superstitious at that time and the idea of deliberately infecting humans with a cow disease was more than some people could cope with. Nevertheless, news of his experiment spread in the local medical community. Jesty did not seek publicity for his achievement but Dr George Pearson, founder of the Original Vaccine Pock Institution, petitioned unsuccessfully to the House of Commons for recognition of Jesty.

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In 1796, Jesty took up the tenancy of Downshay Farm in Worth Matravers. He vaccinated others and the Rev Andrew Bell of Swanage wrote a paper describing Jesty’s endeavours and communicated this to the Original Vaccine Pock Institution. In 1805 Jesty was invited to visit this Institution in London and to have his picture painted in commemoration of his achievements. What a clash of cultures this must have been with the farmer, insisting on dressing as he would in Dorset, providing much amusement to the urbane London medical establishment. This picture, now on display in Dorchester, provides a fascinating insight in to Dorset life in the early 19th century. We see Jesty holding hat and umbrella with his ample frame contained in knee breeches, double breasted striped waistcoat, jacket and boots. He appears a man of considerable presence and strength of purpose. This picture was lost for about a century and rediscovered in South Africa by Patrick Pead of Southampton University who has done much to promote knowledge of Jesty. Jesty died in 1816, aged 79, and his role as the first known vaccinator is commemorated on his gravestone in Worth Matravers churchyard. Inside the church there is also an inscription on another grave declaring that “Abigail Brown was personally inoculated by Benjamin Jesty… the first person known to have introduced the practice”, providing documentary evidence that he continued vaccination. Vaccination is now an accepted part of our existence and one of its major achievements was to enable the eradication of smallpox, saving countless lives across the world. In the UK there has been recent controversy about the MMR vaccine and some people are concerned that the swine flu vaccine has been developed with insufficient testing. We should not forget that any medical intervention carries with it a risk but that vaccination is for the most part very safe. In thinking about vaccination, we should not deny Jenner the credit for promoting it and establishing it as a credible medical technique leading eventually to the global eradication of smallpox. But when we roll up our sleeves to receive our swine flu vaccination we should also remember the Dorset farmer, Benjamin Jesty, who was probably the first vaccinator. Philip Strange is Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Reading. He was awarded second prize in the National Brain-Science Writing Competition in 2008 and is a regular contributor to

Hidden gems in Nettlecombe

Kate’s 12 Days of Christmas

Cowtoons from Kate Chidley Browns Farm studios at Nettlecombe near Powerstock. Photograph by George Wright

ONE of the many things that attracts tourists and new residents to the West Country is the wealth of talented artists and crafts people squirrelled away in little studios around the area. Brown’s Farm at Nettlecombe near Powerstock is one such location that is well worth a visit. This month eleven of the producers based in this beautiful part of the Dorset countryside will open their doors for a special Christmas Winter Show in early December. Furniture restorer Christopher Booth, whose expertise is in restoring the finest English and French furniture, will open his studio to visitors. He honed his skills working for Christies in London. As will John de Pauley a stone mason and carver who has worked on many important historic buildings. From his workshop he carries out architectural masonry as well as making abstract sculptures. These sculptures are often large, the stone being left unpolished and raw. In his workshop there are also a few reclaimed items of architectural interest which are for sale. Another sculptor to visit is Keith Thomas who specialises in stainless steel. A keen observer of birds he has made eagles, herons and pelicans as well as more abstract work. There are also two ceramicists based at Browns Farm. Kata Rejine Horvath, chosen by Kate Malone as a winner in last year’s Marshwood Vale Magazine Arts Awards refers to ancient Mediterranean traditions. Her work is initially thrown at the wheel but later altered, sometimes with additions. Dark red and pure white stoneware clays are used and they are suitable for outside spaces as well as interiors. Caroline Page applies natural shapes and colours of the environment

in her ceramic work with volcanic glazes to achieve surface texture. Furniture maker Rex Johnson completed his studies at the acclaimed John Makepeace school, Parnham College. At this year’s Winter Show Rex is very proud to be launching Callisto, his brand new range of upholstery, produced by British manufacturer Lyndon Design. There will also be some hand crafted pieces from his studio collection and material relating to some significant projects undertaken since the last Winter Show in 2007. Alan Pinch makes wooden bowls and platters turned from native local hardwoods, mainly from the nearby Mappercombe estate. Andrew Whittle designs lettering for inscriptions in stone, wood and metal, making memorials as well as architectural and public art pieces. He has work at the Tate Britain, MOMA Edinburgh, the Serpentine Gallery and in private collections worldwide. Much of this done in collaboration with Ian Hamilton Finlay. Recently he was commissioned to design and cut the lettering to the ‘Animals In War’ memorial in Park Lane. Malcolm Seal has been working with willow since 1988 and his work ranges from the domestic to the sculptural. His work is inspired by the British agricultural tradition and he produces baskets that are both functional and beautiful. Malcolm’s work has been seen in a variety of contexts from kitchens to cathedrals to contemporary art galleries. There will also be paintings by artist Teresa Thomas and an opportunity to meet the people from Eggardon Kitchen who offer local food for every occasion. The show is open from 10am to 4pm on Sunday December 6th.

POPULAR ‘cowtoonist’ Kate Chidley is inviting people to visit her studio in Somerset for a special ‘12 Days of Christmas’ exhibition in December. Her farming background has influenced her multi-talented cows, swanky dogs and stylish cats, while her fashion conscious fairies and monsters inhabit the darker curves of her imagination. Her illustrations include dashing dogs, dapper dragons, manic mermaids, foxy fairies, pretty pigs, painted ponies and dancing nuns. Although known for her wacky and endearing illustrations of cows and other farmyard animals getting up to all sorts of mischief, Kate is also a talented illustrator. Having studied in Bristol and Bilbao, she graduated with a BA Hons Illustration in 2002. She was shortlisted for the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize in 2000 and for the 8 Premio Internazionale Scarpetta D’oro in 2003. Kate also offers unique commissions from personalised cowtoons to one off old masters or anything you can dream up. The 12 Days of Christmas exhibition is at Kate’s Studio at Scott’s Nurseries in Merriot, Somerset from December 2nd to 13th with late night shopping on Thursday 3rd December. For more information telephone 01460 76623 or visit

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The view from the country Life during World War Two by Derek Stevens

The ill fated Leopoldville

AFTER the invasion of Normandy the bulk of the US army, which had been with us in the West Country for the previous year or so, moved to France. There was still a considerable number remaining, personnel serving at air bases, hospitals, signals stations, to make their presence felt. The military camps at Lyme Regis, Beaminster and Piddlehinton near Dorchester that US infantrymen had left just before D-Day lay empty. But in late October 1944 three regiments, wearing the Black Panther shoulder patch of the 66th Division, arrived from New York and the heating stoves of the Quonset huts were stoked up again. I was ten years old at the time and together with friends restarted our business of trading fresh eggs at the camp gates which we had already established with the troops of the “Big Red One” until they had been marched off to embarkation ports for D-Day. As Charlie Freeman, our headmaster, had issued an edict “Thou shalt not ask got any gum chum?” when GIs first arrived in 1943 we had decided to earn our chewing gum, although the

abundant generosity of those soldiers did not really make it necessary. I was befriended by Private First Class John Ellis, a GI from Michigan who was billeted at the Langmoor Hotel in Lyme Regis. He gave me my very first fountain pen which I treasured, and a day before Christmas he drove me back from Lyme to Rousdon in a jeep loaded with baseball bats, cartons of baseballs, a complete badminton court set and a turkey. The 66th were on the move. The advancing Americans reaching the forested region of the Ardennes in Belgium in bitter Arctic conditions found themselves being bounced back by a vicious German counter offensive, now historically known as the Battle of the Bulge. It seems likely that the 66th were on their way as reinforcements but their actual destination is unclear, lost in the mist of the cover-up surrounding the tragic course of events of Christmas Eve 1944. The GIs based in Lyme were marched up to the railway station where they boarded the “Lyme Billy” for the short trip to

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Axminster where they were entrained for Southampton Docks. It was said at the time that cattle trucks had to be added to the small branch line train to accommodate all the soldiers. Whilst researching the events of that day in Dorchester Records Office I came across the name and address of one of those soldiers. I sent a letter not thinking that I might get an answer. One evening the phone rang and answering it I found I was talking to John Koch of Evansville, Indiana. He was a 19-year-old GI with the 66th and this is his story. The day, December 23 1944, started off as most days had since we had arrived in Dorchester, England. The weather was typical, fog and penetrating dampness. For weeks rumours had been circulating that we were about to ship out. At 3 o’clock I was relieved from guard duty and told to return to barracks to pack. All the company were packing their duffle bags. The last item I packed was a Christmas gift food pack sent me by my church in Evansville. I felt sure it would be several days before we would eat a

meal as we had not been issued with K rations for our journey. As it turned out the duffle bags got mixed in transit and I ended up with a bag full of sporting equipment. Some other guy must have got a pleasant surprise when he found my box of cake and candies. All frozen foods, including turkeys scheduled for our Christmas dinner, had been laid out on tables in the kitchens. The local Red Cross was to distribute the food to the needy people of Dorchester. At 11 o’clock we had assembled at the railroad station and while we awaited instructions we sang carols. It was cold, we were all wearing our heavy overcoat, knit hat and helmet, gloves and web belt plus our weapons. At 01.30am Christmas Eve we boarded the train and were soon on our way. Arriving at Southampton Docks about two hours later we were directed to a pier about 2,000 feet long with two ships tied up alongside. Still awaiting precise instructions as to which ship we were to board we again started singing carols. A command car drove up and out stepped Colonel Symes who said “It is good to hear my men singing carols prior to going into combat”. With that he departed leaving us with no further instructions. It seemed pointless carrying 100 pounds of kit 700 feet to the other ship as we had found that they were both going to the same place so we boarded the ship nearest us. It turned out to be HMS Cheshire, the other was a Belgian freighter the SS Leopoldville. There was no room below deck, it was about 04.30 am so we laid on the floor of the mess hall and slept

for about four hours. We awoke to the sound of engines so we knew we were on our way across the Channel. With German U-Boats still in action the ship sailed a zig zag course and would occasionally hear the sound of depth charges being deployed. There were 36 of us in the mess hall and at about 6 o’clock that afternoon were in the middle of an enactment of the Christmas story we heard distant explosions and the ship’s alarm sounded. We all donned the British style life jackets and stood out on the deck. About a mile to the port side we could see the lights of the Leopoldville. Beyond that we could see the lights of Cherbourg, being the first Christmas after liberation, but unknown to us, it was serious party time in the town. We felt the ship had increased speed and was making for that port. We were not aware of the fate of the Leopoldville for several days, and of the casualty numbers for months. We arrived at Cherbourg at 7 o’clock in the evening. We were kept aboard overnight and at 7 o’clock Christmas morning we left the ship to board a train of box cars on the dockside. As we walked down the gang plank I looked to my left and about 300 feet away in the darkness, there appeared to be rolls of bags on the dock. These, we were later to learn, were the bodies of our comrades who had been travelling on the Leopoldville. In later years one of our squad recalled that standing at the rail several decks below the main deck of the Cheshire he had seen a torpedo come out from under our ship going on to hit the Leopoldville. This would suggest that the

U-Boat captain has actually aimed at the warship’s profile rather than the freighter. Fortunately for John the destroyer had a shallow draught so the torpedo passed harmlessly underneath. Not so fortunate for those aboard the freighter where 802 GIs lost their lives that Christmas Day. Their surviving colleagues in the lowered lifeboats retrieved their dead and wounded from the freezing waters of the Channel during the two hours as the ship sank. An attendant RN warship was also on hand leading the rescue operation. As was observed later there were no medals awarded for the many acts of bravery made that night. As with the calamitous Exercise Tiger of the previous Spring where 800 men were lost to an E-Boat attack, a veil of secrecy was drawn over the whole affair by the US military authorities. Families in the US received ‘Missing in Action’ telegrams but had to wait some time for follow up cables reporting fatalities. The 66th did not go to the Ardennes but were directed to southern Brittany to battle with 53,000 German troops who were sweating out the war and, ironically, guarding the U-Boat pens of Lorient and St Nazaire. The Black Panthers were to battle on through Southern France ending their war in Czechoslovakia. John Koch returned to Evansville to become an engineer where he still lives aged 84. I was pleased to see my GI friend, John Ellis, was reported as a survivor. In 2004 a living memorial of 802 trees was planted at Piddlehinton camp commemorating the young Americans who died that terrible Christmas night 65 years ago.

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Lasting Impressions Axe Rail

FROM the moment our landscape was formed, and humans arrived here, this place became one of the best of local watching posts. It was from here, on the summit of the Axe Valley hill that we call Musbury Castle, that ancient Britons could have glimpsed Roman transport on the Fosse Way leading to their port at Axmouth. It was among these long worn mud walls that the men of the Musbury Home Guard waited in 1940 to defend the village against the expected German invasion. Walls from which we can still see how little has changed over the last two centuries. The valley population and buildings have multiplied many times. Yet a 2010 climber will find the isolated experience of looking round from the Castle summit much as it was for a visitor in 1810. Thousands now live within view, not all of them sitting hidden over daytime television in their retirement houses. Otherwise all is quiet apart from birdsong and it seems nothing is happening. How different from half a century ago when the steam railway age was in its last dominating phase. For me as an enthusiastic train spotter and student of railway time-tables, lucky enough to have spent my youth in a cottage half way up Musbury Castle, the ideal was to be at the top of the hill during moments of all around rail activity. Facing west I could look over the beautifully built and engineered switchback opened in 1860 to become the London and South Western Railway main line from London Waterloo to Exeter. With luck there might be a ‘top link’ train, like the Atlantic Coast Express (ACE) or the all pullman Devon Belle, well exceeding the nominal 90 mph speed limit to take a run at the hills climbing through Seaton Junction to scale the formidable Honiton Bank. This seven mile incline to Honiton tunnel, usually 1 in 80 but 1 in 70 over its steepest half mile, is the most demanding on the entire route from London. From our circa 1954 watching post above Musbury such non-stop expresses might be seen, in a blissful mix of steam and smoke, passing, say, a slow goods train on the ‘up line’. At the same time I could look left to the sea and Beer Head as a wisp of smoke marked a branch line train moving beside the Axe Estuary on its short and almost flat run from Seaton Junction to Seaton. Today its former track bed from Colyton to the sea is used with no such visual display by the narrow gauge Seaton Tramway.

Photograph by Christel Westlake

At the same 1950s time I could look back over my right shoulder and catch glimpses of a nearer branch train, climbing through the bluebell woods of our parish, chugging up from Axminster to Lyme Regis. The reliable beat of its Victorian built tank locomotive broke the prevailing silence until it could run gently down to the midway station called Combpyne – called Combpyne but too long a walk from both that village and the slightly nearer Rousdon. The main climb was over, the spectacular clouds of steam and smoke disappeared and passengers on board, if any, worried no longer about curves so tight that it looked as if the train might bite its own tail. The line was a marvel, a gift for the many volunteer enthusiasts who, given the slightest encouragement, could and would have kept it running until today as a jewel of the 21st century holiday trade. So it was and never will be again. It would be wrong to say that the mad axeman called and hated what he saw. There is no evidence that the dreaded Dr Richard Beeching ever visited Axminster, much less took a train to Lyme. It seems he sat behind his London desk and, with the aid of colourless maps, did what 1959 Minister of Transport Ernest Marples wanted, axing rail to the advantage of road. With hindsight a third or so of the 1963 Beeching report on The Reshaping of Britain’s Railways still appears almost rational. As we contemplate our now overcrowded roads a lot more of his demands for rail closures read as misguided at best, mindless vandalism at worst. Dr Beeching was not the only cause

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of Axe Valley destruction. Our lines and stations, so well developed by the Southern Railway between the wars and until 1948 nationalisation, were handed over to the Western Region. This meant any resources going were diverted to Paddington main lines run by the Southern’s great rivals the Great Western. Through the 1940s the Southern’s programme of new main line locomotive power had given it a competitive advantage. It was an advantage lost when inferior diesel power began to take over from the magnificent if expensive Merchant Navy’, ‘West Country’ and ‘Battle of Britain’ Pacifics designed for the Southern by the ever inventive OVS Bulleid. The Seaton branch ran from 16 March,1868 to final closure on 7 March, 1966. The Lyme Regis line had an even shorter span from 24 August, 1903 to 29 November, 1965. Since that bleak day more than 40 years ago there has been much talk of reopening the Lyme branch. The towering early concrete constructed Cannington Viaduct remains outside Uplyme and, though it has no current use, is still listed for preservation. But the enthusiasts and business people who sometimes come together to consider prospects for restoration soon find that most of the old route is either removed, built over or enveloped by nature. They also realise that the cost of restoration might be a little more than the original £11,800 a mile. The new three-mile loop at Axminster, restoring the former double track, is estimated to cost all of £20 million. The 1960s orgy of destruction meant that, apart from a few passing places, the entire main line between Salisbury to Exeter was reduced to a single track. Spacious Seaton Junction, elegantly developed between the wars, was abandoned to fall into its present half overgrown ruin. At Axminster all sidings were removed, the bridge connecting the platforms was torn down along with the watering facilities needed for steam. The up platform, with its bay for trains to and from Lyme Regis, gradually gave way to persistent vegetation. For 40 years it has become increasingly plain that restoration was needed. In this century wry travellers have been amused by public announcements, made more in hope than expectation, about “the train now approaching platform one”. This while the dull but reliable ‘diesel multiple units’, the

only trains in regular use either way, are obliged to share the same No 1 platform. Then to general surprise and approval this autumn the long promised improvement work slowly began. Space for the restored second track was cleared and it was obvious that a big effort was underway to keep the promise of hourly services west and east with the 2009-2010 South West Trains winter time-table due on December 13-14. This will not be achieved without train operations which seem eccentric to oldies used to the idea that British rail travels, like road transport, on the left. At the new Axminster, trains for Waterloo can be expected to leave from No 1 as Exeter-bound services depart from No 2. Our 21st century railway improvers have convinced themselves that this mix will enable train drivers to maintain normal speed for longer before reaching the immediate station approaches. Bi-directional signalling for the entire loop is oddly controlled from distant Chard Junction. Until it became another 1960s Beeching casualty this ex-station used to be a meeting of the Southern main line and a Great Western branch to Taunton. It

retained its milk depot, a mini passing loop that enables one train to keep moving while another waits for its line to clear, and, above all, its now modernised signal box working 13 new signals. At Axminster itself the handsome 1859 built station house, after the Minster the most distinguished building in town, has been well maintained. The substantial new bridge over the tracks is not so conveniently close to the entrance as the one destroyed in 1967 but has the advantage of lifts. A new shelter on No 2 platform should keep the rain off most waiting passengers, but there will only be minimal help from the staff. Porters and their wheelbarrows are long gone and gradually other staff numbers have been cut towards bare bones. The only guarantee is the locking of public toilets each evening long before any last desperate travellers have found relief where they can. Standing again on Musbury Castle I will be able to note with approval an increase in main line use but the actual trains will remain short and uniformly diesel dull, needing no need of extra speed for Honiton Bank. Improved

Devon Belle from a painting by P Lund

services, taking 15 minutes off the journey to Waterloo, are welcome but do not mean the company can afford any new three coach units. Instead it is abandoning services extending to Paignton or Plymouth, on former Great Western metals, and stopping all its trains at Exeter St Davids. It also hopes to beg or borrow extra coaches from other companies. As our roads become increasingly clogged and petrol prices rise there is no doubt that the rail revival has begun but it will take a while to overcome the baleful Marples and Beeching legacy. Story by Sean Day-Lewis

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Getting Wild in the Vale

Although he has taken photographs all over the world, wildlife photographer, Guy Edwardes, feels that some of his best work comes from the Marshwood Vale ONE of the tasks that often comes with an editing job is the need to get rid of adjectives such as spectacular, breathtaking, stupendous or magnificent. However looking through a new book by Dorset based wildlife and nature photographer, Guy Edwardes, it is hard to avoid such words racing to the typewriter. 100 Ways to Take Better Nature & Wildlife Photographs, published by David and Charles, apart from being a practical and obviously useful guide as the name suggests, is also a fine source of beautiful photographs of animals, birds and flora and fungi in their natural habitat. Guy began his career studying nature conservation at Kingston Maurward but then turned to wildlife photography, making use of what he had learned at college. He went on to take a Degree in photography at Salisbury College. During the course he was taken on by one of the UK’s leading picture libraries, supplying landscape and nature images worldwide. He has now been a professional photographer for thirteen years and continues to work with several picture libraries, as well as supplying calendar and magazine publishers around the world but there is one location that keeps drawing him back. He says “Although I travel widely I still produce some of my best work in locations around the West Country – west Dorset and the Marshwood Vale in particular. My uncle has a farm near Whitchurch Canonicorum which provides the location for many of my images.” Guy regularly runs photographic workshops in Ireland and Slovenia and also offers one to one photography workshops in west Dorset from time to time. For more information visit his website 100 Ways to Take Better Nature & Wildlife Photographs, ISBN 978-0-7153-3148-4 is now available from bookshops or online at www.

Wood Anemone, photograph by Guy Edwardes

Hogweed, photograph by Guy Edwardes

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From Woodroffe School to Eastenders ...and Back! LYME Regis-born screenwriter Andrew Rattenbury pays tribute to the town’s Marine Theatre, celebrating its 125 anniversary this year in a new community play, Are You Going To The Marine?, on from 5th to 7th December. With the help of the thriving local theatre, music, and drama groups, who have all performed at the theatre over the past century or so, the play looks back at the Marine’s rich history as seen through the eyes of six young lovers. Born in Lyme, Andrew Rattenbury is the acclaimed screenwriter and former head boy of Woodroffe School. He trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has worked extensively in theatre, television and film throughout the country, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, the Bristol Old Vic, Harrogate, Chester, York, Liverpool, Manchester, Worcester, has toured Sweden, Turkey and the USA and also appeared in the West End and at the National Theatre. He wrote Lyme’s successful 2017 community play, Monmouth, about the illfated Monmouth Rebellion. His long list of successes includes writing for Eastenders, Monarch of the Glen, Hollyoaks, Peak Practice, Holby City, Teachers and Casualty and his own ITV series The Golden Hour.

Christmas three ways in Dorchester

YOU can have Christmas entertainment served up three ways at Dorchester Corn Exchange in December—gothic, on Sunday 1st, Christmassy on Sunday 15th and in prison on Thursday 19th. Dyad Productions start the month with Christmas Gothic, three seasonal tales of terror told by a spectral woman, who lights a candle to the frailties of human nature. The performance starts at 8pm on Sunday 1st. Squashbox Theatre comes to Dorchester with The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasnes, festive fun for young children, with songs, puppets, quizzes, slapstick and crazy characters. There are performances at 2pm and 4pm on Sunday 15th. Near-Ta Theatre have won many fans with their original take on the season— Christmas Time is set in prison where Charlie and Toby are serving time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Why shouldn’t they have a Merry Christmas too? Inventive and hugely entertaining, Near-Ta are at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 19th, at 8pm. 70 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

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Vegetables in December By Ashley Wheeler


ecember is a great month to treat yourself by sitting in your comfiest chair with a cup of tea and sifting through the pages of seed catalogues to give you some inspiration for next year. It is the time that we like to finish up all of our crop planning for next season, tweaking this years plans with the notes that we have made throughout the year. By having a solid plan and following a good rotation we can make sure that we can produce as much as possible from a small space. As with all It’s time to have a look through some seed good plans we often have to change things catalogues and try out some different varieties around a bit throughout the year, but at least we have a rough idea of what should be going where and how much of each crop we intend to grow. This then feeds into our sowing plan for the year and gives us a list of what seeds we need to order. Some seeds last a fairly long time if stored well (cool, dry conditions ideally in an airtight container) such as beans, peas, tomatoes and brassicas, whilst the longevity of others such as parsnips, parsley (in fact most of the umbellifer family) along with many of the alliums like spring onions and shallots, is far shorter. With this in mind you can order more than you need of certain vegetable seeds, and make sure that you only order enough for one season of others. We have a few favourites that we grow each year, but we always like to try out different varieties to add diversity to what we grow and to keep it interesting. It is well worth looking at seed catalogues that you have never tried before rather than just relying on the ones that you have been using for years. This will not only highlight varieties that you may not have otherwise tried, but also if you select small independent seed companies that produce seed in the UK you will be choosing varieties that grow especially well in our climate. Some seed catalogues that I strongly recommend are Real Seeds, The Seed Cooperative, Vital Seeds and Beans & Herbs. All of these seed companies sell only open pollinated seed varieties so that you can save the seed yourself once you have tried it out (they even give you details of how to save the seed!). They also sell lots of varieties that you won’t find in the normal seed catalogues and in buying from them - you are supporting the really important work that they are doing to preserve some of the older varieties that would otherwise be lost. This means that more diversity is maintained (by growing more varieties we are keeping a wider gene pool), which then gives us more resilience to everything that climate change presents to us. Just 10 companies own around two thirds of the seed that is available across the world. We are in a pretty dire state when it comes to the decline in biodiversity, and anything to support businesses that are doing what they can to maintain some of the more unusual and older varieties is really helpful. WHAT TO SOW THIS MONTH: Best to wait until next year now! WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH: OUTSIDE: Garlic (if not planted already) INSIDE: peashoots, sugarsnap and early pea varieties, spring onions, broad beans, garlic (for extra early garlic). Try and plant all of this early in the month. OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: If the weather dries, continue preparing beds for the winter by mulching with compost, but otherwise take the opportunity to take it a bit easier.

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Insect Declines and why it matters


Ladybird © DWT

new report commissioned by Wildlife Trusts concludes that drastic declines in insect numbers will have far-reaching consequences for wildlife and people. The report, ‘Insect declines and why they matter’ has been written by invertebrate expert Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. The report states that insect decline will cause knock-on losses for insect eating birds, bats and fish, whilst costing society many millions in lost revenue and broken ecosystems. It sets out the two main reasons why our pollinators and other insects are dying: habitat loss and pesticides, and what we might need to do to reverse the decline. Professor Goulson, author of the report, says, “Insects make up the bulk of known species on earth and are integral to the functioning of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, performing vital roles such as pollination, seed dispersal and nutrient cycling. They are also food for numerous larger animals, including birds, bats, fish, amphibians and lizards. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on earth. And it’s not just our wild bees and pollinators that are declining—these trends are mirrored across a great many of other invertebrate species. Of serious concern is the little we know about the fate of many of the more obscure invertebrates that are also crucial to healthy ecosystems.” The good news though is it is not too late if we take action now. With the right help, many insect populations can recover. To reverse the unfolding disaster, concerted action is needed at a government level, from local authorities and food growers and all of us. There are things everyone can do to help, starting with our gardens. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT’s) biggest campaign to date, Get Dorset Buzzing, has already highlighted the need to reverse the decline of pollinators, and this year, 4,000 people took the pledge to do something in their gardens to help pollinators. To read the Insect Declines and why they matter report and pledge to take action for insects, visit action-insects.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 73

December in the Garden

By Russell Jordan


t certainly seems as if it’s done nothing but rain, for most of the autumn, which may have delayed some of the gardening activities which you’d like to have completed by now. While the ground is waterlogged, it does more harm than good to trample all over flower beds but, as soon as there is a break in the weather, without it being frozen solid, then completing digging and tidying tasks can go ahead. Once we start getting frosts then lifting and dividing herbaceous perennials becomes a little more dicey and moving evergreen specimens really should be halted. In mild spells it’s worth getting on with planting bare-rooted trees, shrubs and hedging plants but, frustrating though it is, even this cannot be attempted during the wettest weather. I am not generally in a rush to apply organic mulches in the garden because I like the, old-fashioned, idea that it’s a good idea to let the cold and the frost get to the soil. The expanding action of freezing water, inside clods of earth, has the ability to break up the lumps, thus saving you some effort. Also, so the theory goes, a decent spell of freezing temperatures will kill off a proportion of the pests which overwinter at the soil surface. Logic tells me that it will similarly kill off a fair proportion of the beneficial insects as well, so whether a cold winter actually reduces the degree of pest damage, in the subsequent growing year, is a moot point. Gardening is all about maintaining a balance between untamed nature and the degree of human intervention required to achieve the (unnatural) effects that a cultivated garden demands; the balance between pests and diseases is something which it is often best left to natural control. With the leaves now off the trees, the deciduous ones at least, the risk of high winds bringing them down is reduced.

74 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

Having said that, if you’ve not done it already, it’s a good idea to check tree stakes and ties. They should be tight enough to hold the tree firmly, without chafing, but not so tight as to constrict the growth of the trunk. There should be a rubber block, located between the stake (always placed on the side of the tree from which the prevailing wind comes) and the trunk, through which the tie passes. The stake should be cut off an inch or so above the tie so that if the tree does sway towards the stake it cannot rub against the length stake protruding above the attachment point. To stop the tie from moving down the stake, during the inevitable flexing, I find a flat-headed roofing nail, hammered though the tie and into the stake, holds it nicely at the correct height on the stake. The subject of tree staking brings me neatly to my annual reminder that the dormant season is the horticultural window of opportunity for buying and planting bare-rooted material. As mentioned in previous articles, the advantages of obtaining garden plants in their bare-root form is their comparative cheapness, compared to pot grown examples, and the fact that they are able to be sent from far-flung nurseries, a real boon now that so much is acquired via the ‘www’. The major caveat, when ordering plants bare-root, is that you have to be prepared to deal with them as soon as they are delivered. Make sure you make a note of the advised delivery date and check with the supplier if you are in any doubt. They should be sent in protective packaging designed to keep them alive for the time that they are ‘in transit’ but they cannot be left in an outbuilding, or with a neighbour, once delivered, for more than a day or so. Even if weather conditions do not allow them to be planted immediately they will still need to

be removed from their packaging and either heeled in, in a vacant bed, or temporarily potted up, crammed into a large pot of compost, until you can plant them in their permanent positions. This being the ‘festive season’, you might have other things on your mind rather than going outdoors and getting muddy. If you are considering gifts for gardeners then bare-rooted plants might be a bit of a risk but other horticultural goodies will fit into a Christmas stocking. Gardening consumables always come in handy and, unlike a glut of scented pressies, will always get used eventually. Decent, threeply, twine is an essential that it’s impossible to have too much of. If your budget cannot stretch to the tool itself, Japanese secateurs and pruning tools being all the rage, then a sharpening stone or steel is a useful bit of kit. They are essential for getting the most out of your existing bladed tools so having a spare one, or three, is not excessive considering how easy they are to mislay. Apart from impulse type buys from garden centres, an array of hellebores, snowdrops in pots and the like, a more longterm option could be a topiary evergreen which, like dahlias, seem to be having something of a renaissance due to their Instagram appeal. Large specimens will be expensive, due to the time it takes to grow them, but smaller examples, especially if untrained, might suit a smaller budget. Of course, it’s no coincidence that niche pruning tools are gaining in popularity at the same time that photogenic topiary is having a resurgence... Merry Christmas!

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 75


Cosy Cottages By Helen Fisher

BURRIDGE £750,000

A delightful, renovated Grade II listed 4/5bedroom former farmhouse, dating back to 15th Century. Many original features inc: exposed beams, window seats and inglenook fireplace with bread oven. Plus 2 barns with planning permission, gardens and paddock. All set in idyllic countryside, approx 2 acres. Jackson-Stops Tel: 01308 423133

COLYTON £280,000

A large, attractive period cottage in the heart of the town with 3 good sized bedrooms. Formerly The White Hart Inn, converted fifty years ago into a private house. Large sitting room with inglenook fireplace and wood burning stove and exposed ceiling timbers. Private, walled courtyard garden. Gordon and Rumsby Tel: 01297 553769


An enchanting chocolate box cottage in one of Dorset’s most desirable villages. Grade II listed with 2 double bedrooms and many original features inc: inglenook fireplace, wooden floorboards/beams and cottage doors. Re-thatched in July 2019. Large rear garden with sun deck, terrace and summer house. Stags Tel: 01308 428000 76 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031


A Grade II listed 2 bedroom cottage with many original features inc: window seats, timber staircase and inglenook fireplace. A light and airy interior with double aspect kitchen/dining room. Garden with veg plot and greenhouse and ample parking. Stunning views over a wooded valley. Knight Frank Tel: 01935 808631

UPLODERS £315,000

A lovingly maintained period double-fronted 2 bedroom cottage, with uPVC double-glazed windows, wood burning stove, main bathroom plus an ensuite. Good natural light and high ceilings. Well stocked, enclosed patio garden with garden room plus adjoining workshop/utility area. Parking in the village lane Kennedys Tel: 01308 427329


Pretty period cottage with 2 bedrooms, conservatory and many character features inc: exposed beams, fireplace and window seats and unusually good ceiling heights. Useful timber garage with light and power and fully enclosed rear garden with terrace. Far reaching countryside views. Symonds and Sampson Tel: 01308 422092

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 77

The Lamprey By Nick Fisher


rubbing around in a Viking’s toilet seems a strange way to spend your time. But an archeologist can tell a lot from ancient latrines. Although, one thing that kept cropping up amongst archeologists’ bog treasures continued to confuse them, until they paid a visit to a fish expert. ‘Lampreys’ teeth is what they’d found’ explains Paul Frear, Britain’s selfappointed lamprey expert. ‘Loads and loads of lamprey teeth turned up in just about every Viking loo they dug’. The Viking hairy men arrived on our shores, raped our women, pillaged our towns and ate our lampreys. They just loved to eat our lampreys. For hundreds of years the lamprey was a much prized table delicacy in Europe. In fact, the only thing most people know about them is that King Henry I was reputed to have died from ‘a surfeit of lampreys’. Like so many things in our gastronomic heritage, the love of lampreys has been lost and now, the only time you’re likely to see a lamprey is deep frozen in a tackle shop, labelled as pike bait. The pike fishing world saw something of a lamprey fever develop about two years ago, when the fish suddenly got rediscovered as a miracle pike bait. A few pike impresarios wrote about the wonders of lamprey, and every bearded dead baiter from the Wash to the Severn, wouldn’t leave home without it. Frozen lamprey is a tasty sort of bait because it’s particularly bloody, and the squidgy texture of the flesh, wrapped in an eel like tough skin makes it a nice bait to present on a snap tackle. The insides are all oozing out with bloody goo while the tough outside keeps it nicely attached to the hook. I have seen people catch pike on lamprey, but thankfully for the future of the species in this country, it’s a good bait, but not amazing. You’ll catch just as

many pike on mackerel, herring or eel as you will on lamprey. ‘I was a bit worried when lamprey became the fashionable pike bait’ admits Paul Frear Fisheries Officer for the Environment Agency, but the buzz soon passed and it’s settled down again now. Paul’s research into the lamprey and its status in British waters today, all started when he saw two sea lampreys spawning while he was barbel fishing on the River Swale in Yorkshire. There are three types of lamprey, the brook, the river and the sea lamprey. The king amongst them, is the sea lamprey which can easily grow up to a yard long. And although it lives most of its life out at sea, like many fish, it prefers the safety and privacy of British freshwater rivers to conduct its sex life. Fossil remains suggest the lamprey has been about for 450 million years or more. And in all that time, the beast hasn’t exactly embraced the notion of evolution in a big way. In fact, it’s evolved not a jot. It is a stupendously basic lifeform. It’s eel-like in shape with a great big circular sucker-like mouth on one end and a tail on the other. When it reaches its adult stage which in the case of sea lampreys can take anything up to eight years, it sets off to sea to find something to suck. The lamprey may be basic, but its brutal. The adult fish will find a `’host’ fish, anything, like a cod, haddock, salmon or herring and suck its gruesome great sucker-mouth lined with circular-saw like teeth on to its prey’s flesh. Once attached, the parasitic lamprey just sucks the life juices out of the fish until it croaks or turns inside out. Then it detaches its deadly laughing-gear and moves on to the next unfortunate sucksnack. In this country the lamprey has pretty much disappeared out of sight. This is partly due to the pollution and

obstruction in many of their traditional spawning rivers like the Thames and Trent. Although, Paul Frear’s recent findings suggest the old sucker is seeing something of a revival. Abroad, they have suffered a surfeit of lampreys in certain places. In the Great Lakes of American, the digging of canals between lakes suddenly presented the indigenous lamprey with new routes to travel and new species to suck. The populations of charr in some of the lakes have been devastated by the migration of the piscatorial parasite. Another reason we don’t see or hear much about lampreys at home is because they’re very rarely caught by anglers. In the last few years there have only been two officially recorded captures, the biggest being landed by a barbel angler hooking a three footer on a lump of luncheon meat. In the old days, lampreys were caught in eel fyke nets or basket traps. They were a valuable commodity too. One Victorian Thames fisherman was recorded as having caught 120,000 lampreys worth £400 in one winter. And the lamprey fishermen around Teddington in west London made a good living selling lampreys to Dutch commercial sea fisherman as baits for long lines used to catch cod in the North Sea. In Europe, especially in Scandanavian countries, there are still commercial lamprey fisheries which net lampreys to sell to the table market. In Britain there is only one netsman in the north east, who has a licence to catch lampreys. These are caught to supply to the frozen pike bait market. One thing that recent research into lampreys has unearthed is that the male sea lamprey seem to exude an incredibly powerful sex pheromone around spawning time, which is so sexy, it can attract a female from several miles away. Dab of that behind the ears wouldn’t go amiss, eh? Paul Frear’s findings and collated sightings suggest the lamprey is returning to some degree and its presence in British waters may well be on the increase. I have to admit, I’ve never seen one myself but if I did get one tugging on me string, I’d probably be tempted to eat it. What’s good enough for King Henry 1st, is got to be worth a fry by me.


Community shop in national awards final OurSHOP in Hinton St. George has been named as one of the finalists in a national award to recognise some of the most inspiring community businesses in the UK. The shop has been an important part of village life for more than 150 years and was acquired by the community in 2011. Since then it has grown steadily and is now widely recognised for its range of products and the warm welcome it gives to its customers. The community’s work is now being recognised by national charity the Plunkett Foundation—an organisation which supports rural communities across the UK to tackle the issues they face through community business. They are one of three finalists in the Horace Plunkett “Better Business” category

which recognises communities that find solutions to their needs through cooperation and enterprise. The award is sponsored by the Co-op. Chairman David Clements said: “We are delighted once again to be nominated for this prestigious award and it is a tribute to the hard work of our wonderful staff, led my manager Jillian Fawcett, our volunteers and our management committee. We are all immensely proud of OurSHOP”. The 2019 awards celebrate and raise awareness of the unique contributions community businesses make to creating resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities. The awards ceremony will be held at on Wednesday 27 November in London and the winners will take away a cheque for £250.

RAISED DUCK AND PORK PIE The duck gives a good gamey flavour to the pie and the pork a moistness. Both will be encased in my version of hot watercrust pastry made with a mix of butter and olive oil. I plan that the lightly spiced tamarind chutney will have a warming effect!




• 4 large duck breasts • 450g/1lb minced pork • 200g/7oz smoked bacon or pancetta, chopped into small lardons • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed • 200ml/7fl oz dry white wine • 2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves • 2 tbsp curly parsley, chopped


• • • • •

For the pastry 550g/1lb 3 ¾ oz plain flour 1 tsp icing sugar 115g/4oz butter, diced 2 medium egg yolks 100ml/3 ½ fl oz olive oil

Egg glaze • 1 egg beaten • good pinch salt Serves 10 - 12

Remove skin from duck breasts and cut into 3.8cm/1 ½ in chunks. Place in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix really well together, cover and set aside. 2. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sieve the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and season well. 3. Place 200ml/7fl oz of cold water into a pan and add the butter. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks and olive oil. 4. Pour the hot liquid over the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, mix everything together until you have a firm dough. Place the pastry in a plastic bag and set aside to chill for 30 - 45 minutes. 5. Pre-heat the oven to 170C, 325F, gas 3, fan assisted oven 150C. 6. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out large enough to cut out a circle approximately 41cm/17in and line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed cake tin. Allow the pastry to hang over the edges slightly. Make sure the pastry is an even thickness and there are no cracks. (The pastry is very pliable and easy to correct any errors) 7. Pack the meat and juices into the pastry- lined tin. 8. Roll out the remaining pastry third into a round about 24cm/9 ½ in in diameter. Brush the top edge of the pie with beaten egg and carefully lift the round in place on top. Seal the edges well together and trim off any excess pastry. Crimp the edges of the pastry with fingers. Brush all over with egg glaze. 9. Make a steam hole in the centre of the pie. Roll out left over pastry and cut out small circles to decorate pie. 10. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 3 hours. When cool, carefully remove from the tin and serve with tamarind, pear & date chutney


25g (1oz) butter 1 onion, cut into chunky, wedge like strips 25g (1oz) lightly muscovado sugar 150mls (1/4 pint) Jurassic ale or beer 2 teaspoons tamarind 2 ripe dessert pears, cored and thickly sliced 170g (6oz) fresh dates, roughly chopped

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(serves 4)

In a large frying pan, heat the butter. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes over a very low heat until softened. Increase the heat, stir in the sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Stir in the ale, tamarind, pears and dates. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until the pears and dates have softened. Then remove the lid and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes until slightly reduced and chutney like.

December 2019 Food Markets Please check dates and times with venues or organisers

Sat 7th Thu 12th Fri 13th Sat 14th

Thur 19th Fri 20th Sat 21st Thur 26th Sat 28th

Poundbury, Queen Mother Square - 9am - 1pm Shaftesbury, Town Hall - 9am - 1pm Wareham, Town Hall, East Street - 9am - 1pm Blandford, Blandford Forum - 9am - 1pm Bridport, Arts Centre, South St - 9am - 1pm Martock, Moorlands Shopping - 10am - 1pm Yarcombe, Village Hall - 10am - 12noon Purbeck, Commercial Road, Swanage - 9am - 1pm Honiton, St Paul’s Church, High St - 8.30am - 1pm Sherborne, Cheap St - 9am - 1pm Wimborne, Market Square - 9am - 1pm Crewkerne, The Henhayes Centre - 9am - 1pm Wareham, Town Hall, East Street - 9am - 1pm Dorchester South, High Street - 9am - 4pm Barrington, Village Hall, 10am - 12noon Yeovil, Middle Street - 9am - 2pm Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 81

CHRISTMAS PAVLOVA Bored of Christmas pudding ? Why not make a big sharing pavlova with ingredients everyone likes. The great thing with a pavlova is you can change the ingredients according to the season or whatever you are celebrating. You can even use a sweeter cranberry sauce for this if you aren’t serving turkey.




For the Meringue • 4 egg whites • 140g caster sugar • Half tsp corn flour • Half tsp white wine vinegar


To serve • 1 x 400-450g tin of black or morello cherries • 2-3 tbls cherry liquor • 1tbls cornflour • 6-8 tbls crème fraîche • 6-8 scoops good quality dark chocolate ice cream • A handful or so of dark chocolate shavings (optional)



Serves 4 - 6 4.


First make the meringue, pre-heat the oven to 120°C/ gas mark 1. Clean the mixing machine and whisk in boiling water and dry with kitchen paper to remove any traces of grease, as this will affect the stiffness of the egg whites once whisked. In a mixing machine with a whisk attachment or by hand (though this will take a while), whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the caster sugar and continue whisking until they are really stiff and shiny. Add the corn flour and vinegar and whisk again for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is nice and stiff. Spoon the mixture on to a clean baking tray, lined with silicone or greaseproof paper with a large metal spoon into a slipper shape. Cook in the oven for 1 ½ -2 hours or until the meringue is crisp on the outside and soft in the very middle, but don’t let the outside colour - you want it white. You may need to cook it a little longer depending on your oven; remove and leave to cool. Open the can of cherries and. Drain the juice into a saucepan. Add 100ml water and the cherry liquor. Bring to the boil, dilute the cornflour in a little cold water and stir in enough to thicken the sauce and continue simmering for a couple minutes then add the cherries and remove from the heat and leave to cool. To serve alternate the creme fraiche and ice cream on top of the meringue making indentations to avoid the ice cream sliding off then spoon the cherries and sauce over and scatter the shavings over.

HIX Oyster and Fish House is Mark’s local restaurant that overlooks the harbour in Lyme Regis and boasts the most stunning panoramic views across the Jurassic coast - this is easily one of the most picturesque spots to enjoy British fish seafood. To book please call 01297 446 910 82 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

Food Links chief receives ‘Food Hero’ award

Caroline Morgan receives her award


his year’s National School Meals Week (NSMW), a celebration of the fantastic food school caterers produce all over the country, took place recently and one of the local highlights is the fact that Caroline Morgan, Chief Executive of Local Food Links has been chosen as one of 30 School Meal Heroes. NSMW is celebrating 30 years since the formation of LACA— The School Food People and has chosen 30 School Meal Heroes as unsung heroes dedicated to delivering healthy, nutritious and tasty school lunches from farm to fork every single day of the school year. Caroline now heads an organisation that services nearly 60 schools in an area where few school kitchens have survived. A great believer in teamwork and setting standards that do the industry proud, including making the most of the wonderful local produce available to them, Caroline has played an integral part in making Local Food Links a great success story in education catering. Explaining how her organisation has always strived to do things differently, Caroline commented: ‘We cook almost everything from fresh, work in partnership with our schools and deliver a service that works for Dorset. Parents can contact us directly and we welcome feedback.’ Local Food Links has its own bespoke online ordering service and good relationships with the schools they supply. ‘Many of our staff have worked with us since we started and are committed to providing the very best food for children’ says Caroline. ‘We may be a small organisation but we like to think big and to be part of the bigger conversation about the future of school meals in the UK.’ Caroline also explained that it is not an easy job to provide a delicious two-course meal delivered to a school for less than £2.40 but she is proud of the food that is supplied to children. ‘Enjoying a nutritious two-course meal at lunchtime supports academic attainment, helps children to concentrate better and has a positive impact on behavior in the classroom’ she said. ‘We want every pupil to have that opportunity and in many cases it will be the only hot meal that some children have all day. It is a privilege to work within the school meals industry and to work as part of the Local Food Links team. I should also mention that for “research” purposes, I am required to eat a lot of good food, which is an excellent perk of the job.’ Local Food Links is an independent caterer and a not-for-profit social enterprise and is the 2019 South West Regional Winner of the Federation of Small Businesses Scale Up Award. The organisation has been serving up nutritious, freshly prepared school meals since 2007. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 83

Guest Recipe

DUSTIN HARDER Dustin Harder (www.veganroadie. com) is known as “The Vegan Roadie” and has traveled over 110,000 miles around the United States and abroad filming his popular, original YouTube series of the same name. A road warrior by trade, Dustin has traveled the country since 2003 as an actor in song and dance and now logs his miles educating curious minds about keeping it plant strong. Dustin graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute in 2014 and published his first book, The Simply Vegan Cookbook, in 2018. He is also a private chef and recipe developer.

WONTON BOWLS WITH GARLIC-FRIED QUINOA Nothing is more fun than serving something up in dinnerware that is edible! These wonton bowls are super easy to make and fun to fill with fried quinoa or anything else you want!

INGREDIENTS For Wonton Bowls: • Cooking spray • 24 wonton wrappers or 6 vegan egg roll wrappers For Garlic Sauce: • 2 teaspoons olive oil • ½ cup (80 g) chopped onion • 4 cloves garlic, chopped • 1 teaspoon roughly chopped ginger • 1 cup (235 ml) vegetable broth • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce • 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar • ½ teaspoon sea salt • ¼ teaspoon black pepper For Garlic-Fried Quinoa: • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) toasted sesame or olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 2 cups (142 g) broccoli florets (just the florets), cut into bite-size pieces • 1½ cups (225 g) frozen peas • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 1½ cups (about 165 g) julienned or grated carrots • 1½ cups (105 g) shredded red cabbage • 2 cups (370 g) cooked quinoa • Sriracha hot sauce (optional) • 3 scallions, chopped on a bias Serves 6


4. 5.




DIRECTIONS 1. Epic Vegan: Wild and Overthe-Top Plant-Based Recipes is published by The Quarto Group


To make the wonton bowls: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat a jumbo muffin tin with 6 cavities with cooking spray. If using wonton wrappers, overlap 4 wrappers to create 1 large wrapper that is 6 x 6 inches (15 x 15 cm).


Overlap the small wontons in the middle, wet the edges where they overlap, and press down to seal the pieces together to create the large wrapper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers until there are 6 larger ones. Transfer the large wontons or egg roll wrappers to the prepared muffin tin and gently press each one into a cavity to create a bowl shape. Coat the wontons lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened and the mixture is fragrant. Transfer the onion mixture to a highspeed blender. Add the broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Transfer back to the skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook about 3 minutes, or until it begins to bubble and thickens slightly. Transfer to a bowl. To make the garlic-fried quinoa: Wipe out the skillet used for the sauce, add the oil, and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, broccoli, and peas. Sauté 2 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork-tender. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrots and cabbage, mixing until well combined. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Add the quinoa and cook for an additional 2 minutes to heat through. Add the garlic sauce and mix well. Divide the quinoa mixture among the wonton bowls. Drizzle with Sriracha, if using. Sprinkle with the scallions, and serve with a set of chopsticks sticking up out of the bowl.


Jonathan Hoskyns - photograph and words by Catherine Taylor

JONATHAN HOSKYNS From the end of June to the middle of November if you need to find Jonathan Hoskyns he will most likely be out in the orchards harvesting apples, or pears, and maybe some plums too. Owner of North Perrott Fruit Farm, Jonathan starts the season by hand picking the eating apples, pears and plums, finishing with the cider apples using his machines. They shake the cider apple trees, raining fruit to the ground, for it to be gathered by the harvester. Since 1740 Jonathan’s family have owned the land he farms and it was his grandfather who planted the first orchards after WWI. When Jonathan left home after studying horticulture at Writtle Agricultural College, he continued honing his knowledge for a few years working on fruit farms in Kent. Or, according to Jonathan’s father “sent away to make his mistakes elsewhere,” as he often used to joke. Jonathan and his wife Anwen work hard to keep the family business going. Jonathan manages the farm and Anwen looks after the farm shop. They work six or seven days a week, often passing during lunch, which Jonathan pops into the farm shop café for, (grateful for the warmth at this time of year), as well as the homemade quiches, sandwiches and soups on offer. There are 45 varieties of apples grown on the farm, producing 30 different types of apple juice. Jonathan also presses apples for others, whether it be to make cider with or for personal consumption. Some of the eating apples can be found in Tescos and Aldi, in the English Apple section. Jonathan’s favourite variety is Kidds Orange Red, although all the apple varieties can be discovered and tasted at the farm shop during harvest season, celebrated on their annual Apple Day. A self-confessed Bridge addict, Jonathan plays two to three times a week. He finds it a relaxing hobby, “cheaper than golf ” he grins, and is a member of both Crewkerne and Bridport Bridge Club. When he’s not on the farm or at the bridge table, Jonathan attends local meetings and societies as a member of the Parish Council, NFU, Bath and West Show and various local fundraising committees. However, Jonathan uses his trump card to ensure a rare Sunday afternoon off at the same time as Anwen, spending time at the pub, or the cinema, or simply, just together. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 85


On Partridge

A not-for-profit company, ‘Wild and Game’ launched in 2017 with a mission to boost game consumption in the UK. The company uses game as a key ingredient in their range of high-quality pies, pasties, sausage rolls, pates, sausages and ready meals, and also sells whole game birds and handy packs of meat for easy home cooking. Partridge season runs from September 1 to

February 1, so now is the perfect time to stock up your freezer with these wonderful little birds. They’re easy to cook and make a perfect autumnal meal served with simple, traditional vegetables and a glass or two of light wine. There are two types of partridge in the UK. Grey partridges are pretty rare these days. The most readily available partridge is the red-legged variety. It’s larger than the grey partridge, with a distinctive black-rimmed white patch on its chin and throat. An introduced species that originated in Europe, it was probably brought over from France in the 17th Century to boost stocks. There’s a difference between the flavour of the two types of partridge: grey partridges have pale, tender, flavoursome meat while red partridge meat is milder, making it ideal for people who are new to eating game. Whichever type of partridge you have, it needs to be hung to develop its flavour—a few days for an adult, but shorter for younger birds. Buy from Wild and Game and it will be ready to cook. Young partridge benefits from light, quick cooking and is best served pink and juicy. Try breast fillets wrapped in bacon and make an apple and cider sauce to go with it (see recipe below) or roast it and make a gravy from the cooking juices. If you’re cooking a whole bird, be aware it doesn’t need to be cooked for as long as chicken. For older birds, braising or stewing work better, to ensure they are tender and juicy. 86 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031


1 pack Wild and Game Partridge breast fillets 6-8 Streaky bacon rashers 1 dessert apple, sliced 1 small wine glass of cider 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube or 1tsp Marigold bouillon • 1 tbsp honey • 1 tsp Cornflour • 1 tbsp olive oil Serves 2 as a main

DIRECTIONS 1. Wrap each breast fillet in a streaky bacon rasher. 2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the partridge breasts for about 1.5 minutes each side. 3. While they are cooking, add the apple to the pan. 4. Remove the meat and place to one side. Continue cooking the apples until nicely browned. 5. Pour in a glass of cider, then put the stock powder or cube in the wine glass, add a glassfull of hot water and mix to make stock. Add this to the pan too. 6. Get the pan bubbling nicely and add the honey. 7. Put the cornflour in a cup and add water. Mix until it’s liquid then pour into the sauce. 8. Stir and bubble the sauce for a few minutes then pour over the partridge breasts to serve. This goes nicely with mash or sautéed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

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On Partridge

Wild and Game’s products include familiar recipes such as ale pie, tikka masala and chilli, which are made with game sourced from British suppliers. In particular, it is championing less widely used meats such as pheasant, partridge and grouse. “People can be timid about trying to cook with these ingredients, but we aim to make it easy for them, and to demonstrate how delicious game can be,” says Steven Frampton. “A lot of our customers start by enjoying our ready meals, pies and sausage rolls then move on to cooking their own recipes with our ready-to-cook meat. Whole birds are especially popular around Christmas time, and can make a great alternative to the usual roasts.” Wild and Game’s excellent links with game suppliers ensure they have a ready supply of game birds, and their website is well-stocked with recipe ideas to give home cooks inspiration. “As game season approaches we’re gearing up for our busiest year yet,” says Steven. “We hope to see more people than ever using game as a key part of their festive food offering.” The Wild and Game website is at

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2 Wild and Game oven-ready partridges 1 medium onion 2 cloves garlic Half a tsp cumin Half a tsp ground ginger 4 small preserved lemons 400 ml chicken stock 50g green olives Black pepper Olive oil for frying

Serves 2 as a main

DIRECTIONS 1. Brown the birds in an oven and hob-proof cooking pot then set aside on a plate 2. Fry the onions until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes 3. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds 4. Put the birds back in the pot and add the stock and lemons 5. Put on the lid and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes. 6. Serve with rice or couscous.

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Alive & Kicking



espite a general lack of noise about the arts in the run up to the next general election, internationally renowned ceramicist Kate Malone, one of the selectors for this year’s Marshwood Arts Awards, made a powerful statement when describing the exhibition currently showing at Bridport Arts Centre. ‘For me community is everything’ she said. ‘And this illustrates that the creative community is alive and kicking.’ The exhibition, chosen by Kate, along with John Makepeace, Dave White, Tania Kovats and Brian Griffin certainly illustrates the breath of talent that exists within the local and wider art world, but it also highlights why arts and culture strengthens communities. Exhibitions such as this bring a diverse range of people together. Artists, makers, art lovers and those simply seeking an extra dimension to their lives, come together to see, feel, experience and enhance their world. They also gather to celebrate and support a shared need to explore and innovate. Without that compelling, dynamic force the world may be a bland and robotic place. When choosing the artists that she wanted to include in this years show, Kate Malone explained that she had chosen ‘traditional craft, emotional expression, art into interior design, beautiful restrained

intelligence, fun and energetic assemblages and expression of wondrous technical skills.’ Such a powerful comment on what the human race can achieve. Dave White, who chose exhibitors for the painting and drawing category, highlighted the ‘unique distinctive style’ of the work he viewed. He, like all of the selectors, strives to push forward with his own work and the diversity of his selections highlights yet again how potent simple brush strokes can be in mirroring our innermost thoughts and feelings. His choice of Gary Goodman’s ‘At the Zoo’ painting was also chosen by Jasper Conran as his favourite piece in the show. John Makepeace chose Nesta Davies’ beautiful book-binding work and stressed the value of traditional crafts. Nesta’s work features textures using silks, suedes, woven fabrics and fine Japanese paper. The tactile nature of her work begs to be touched and handled, something Nesta encourages. Brian Griffin, whose iconic photographs are often an unconscious backdrop to many generations chose Charmouth based photographer Cate Field as the winner in his category. Cate uses multiple layers to create collages that, as she explained ‘become metaphors for the paradox of urban living.’ Ordinary people, doing ordinary things become a kaleidoscope of colour.

Tania Kovats, who chose work for the Sculpture category expressed how sculpture challenges how we occupy space, and asks what are we made of. She described work by her winner, Barbara Ash as: ‘Stunning work, perplexing, awkward, confrontational sculptures to dream about as well as stand beside. This work wrestles with all the right questions a sculpture should.’ Kate Hubbard, who presented this year’s John Hubbard Prize to ceramic artist Björk Haraldsdóttir echoed the thoughts of the other selectors about the diversity and quality of work on display. She said her late father would have been tremendously enthused by the exhibition and the range of art available to enjoy. Sibyl King, founder of the Fine Family Foundation, which has been hugely supportive of creative and environmental projects all along the Jurassic Coast, chose the work of Alexandra Pullen as her Collector’s Choice. Alexandra cites ‘the great and irresistible capacity of the natural world and the tangled threads that connect humankind’ as her inspiration for what are intriguing, beautiful and delicate works. With over 200 people attending the launch of this year’s exhibition there are signs that indeed, the creative world is definitely alive and kicking.

Clockwise from top Left: ‘At the Zoo’ by Gary Goodman, ‘Ebb & Flow’ by Björk Haraldsdóttir, ‘Houses’ by Alexandra Pullen, ‘Debbie Harry—Bad’ by Claire Mort, ‘Digital Escalator’ by Cate Field Opposite page:‘ All that glitters’ by Barbara Ash, ‘ Lovers song book’ by Nesta Davies

The Marshwood Arts Awards and John Hubbard Prize exhibition is open at the Allsop Gallery, Bridport Arts Centre until December 7. Visit for opening times. For more information about the Marshwood Arts Awards and John Hubbard Prize visit



Winter Art Fair, 10.30-4.30, The Gallery Symondsbury will be taking part for the first time in the Symondsbury Estate’s Christmas Market on 1 December with the opening day of its Winter Art Fair. This festive exhibition will include affordable works of art for everyone: from sculpture and textiles to paintings and photography, not forgetting jewellery, furniture and ceramics. Perfect for gifts for friends, family and even one’s self ! The Gallery, Symondsbury Estate, Bridport DT6 6HG.


Ruth Skolini Art Exhibition, Free Entry. Open 10am till 4.30pm. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, 01395 515551

White, Barbara Ash, Helena Barrowcliff, Abigail Brown, Alison Brown, Lucy Campbell, Paul Carruthers, Sayan Chanda, Claire Chandler, Mike Chapman, Jione Choi, Nesta Davies, Silva de Majo, John de Pauley, Rachel Doble & Simon Critchley, Laura Dron, Chris Dunseath, Angela Eames, Cate Field, Graham Fink, Rebecca Goddard, Gary Goodman, Bjork Haraldsdóttir, Mark Morel, Claire Mort, Ana Pais Oliveira, Alexandra Pullen, Teddy Salad, Lotte Scott, Malcolm Seal, David Taylor and Lotta Teale. The Allsop Gallery, Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport DT6 3NR. www.



Robert Crisp Christmas Art Exhibition, Free Entry. Open 10am till 4.30pm. Kennaway House Sidmouth EX10 8NG, 01395 515551

Christmas Exhibition. Showing work from current artists along with pictures and sculpture by artists who are showing for the first time in the gallery. Introducing both new artists and styles to the current collection. Prices start from £150. Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3LN 01935 815261



The Marshwood Arts Awards and John Hubbard Prize. Biannual mixed exhibition selected by Kate Malone, Dave White, Tania Kovats, John Makepeace and Brian Griffin. Exhibitors: Brian Griffin, John Makepeace, Kate Malone, Dave

Christmas Collection, Mon-Fri 9.30am4.30pm, Sat9.30am-2.30pm, Beautiful hand-crafted gifts for the Festive Season, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN, 01460 54973,

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Catching the Light Jenny Pocley exhibits with Amy Albright, Suchi Chldambaram, Paul Denham, Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf VPSWA, Martin Goold PS, Jeanette Hayes PPS, Robert Hewer and Leanne Stephens. Artwave West, Morcombelake, DT6 6DY 01297 489746 Present Makers 2019, Annual Christmas craft and design selling exhibition, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX, 01404 45006

UNTIL 5 JAN 2020

David Smith. Field Work Debut solo show conceived as four chapters of work spanning over three decades (from 1933 to 1964) that aim to demonstrate Smith’s diverse visual language and multifaceted creative process. Curated by the artist’s daughters Rebecca and Candida Smith. Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL Bharti Kher A Wonderful Anarchy. New work following her 2017 three-month residency. Her first solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Somerset and marks a return to the most elemental themes within her practice. Kher, who works across a multitude of forms, will present a body of sculpture, installation, and paintings. In the process of transforming found objects, and continually experimenting with materials, she layers references: to the

mythological and scientific, secular and ritualistic, physical and psychological. At the centre of all works is the abstraction of shape and confluence of time in a provocative meeting of materials. Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL

Life Museum, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8DB. srlm.


Radiance, Fred Cumming RA, Michael Fairclough, Rachel Fenner, Jeremy Gardiner, David Inshaw, Alfred Stcokham, Petter Southall furniture, Franny Owen Ceramics, Lynn Strover Jewellery. Sladers Yard, West Bay, DT6 4EL.

Sea Garden takes as its starting point RAMM’s own collection of historic seaweeds, many of them collected by women during the nineteenth century from beaches in Devon. Often overlooked, these women contributed to our understanding of marine science by sharing their seaweed specimens with male scientists who then used them for their own research. Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM)




Reedbeds and Waterways, brings together artworks by the printmaker Jackie Curtis. It will showcase the different printmaking techniques used by the artist. To celebrate the exhibition opening Jackie will be in the gallery on 16 November to answer questions about her practice. On 7 December Jackie will be running family-friendly drop-in printmaking sessions. In the new year (18 January) there will also be a monoprinting workshop for adults. Somerset Rural

Roots of Religion in West Bay November opening - Saturday and Sunday 11am - 4pm. This year marks the anniversary of the opening of the Methodist Chapel (170 years ago) and St John’s Church (80 years ago). Explore the history of these two churches and the stories of those associated with them at West Bay Discovery Centre. Admission free, donations welcomed. Further details


Galleries & Studios

Vanessa Bowman is one of 19 artists in the Christmas Exhibition at The Jerram Gallery, Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3LN

Bharti Kher’s fist solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth presents a body of sculpture, installation, and paintings. Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL

Ceramics by Franny Owen are part of the Radiance exhibition at Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset DT6 4EL. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 93

PREVIEW On Stage - In and Around the Vale For MORE ‘Preview’ and a look at some of this year’s Christmas Shows, have a look at Marshwood+ on

Greem Mathews come to the Beehive in December

Concerts in the West TOURING

THE 15th season of Concerts in the West, the organisation that brings rising stars of the chamber music scene to venues including Bridport and Ilminster arts centres, runs from 17th January to 7th November 2020.

In addition to the arts centres, regular venue at Crewkerne Dance Centre and occasional concerts at Uplyme Church and St Roch Church at Pendomer near Yeovil, the series of ten tours of classical and baroque chamber music includes new locations at St Laurence Church in Upwey, and the Regal

Theatre and Methodist Church in The Avenue in Minehead. The new venues will expand the range of audiences to appreciate these superb live performances. The programme includes both new ensembles and soloists as well as musicians who will be familiar faces to Concerts in the West audiences. As 2020 is a celebratory year, the charity’s founder and director Catherine Maddocks has invited a number of previous performers - although quite a few of these had also asked to come back, as they enjoy the Concerts in the West experience so much! Concerts in the West aims to bring talented young musicians to small venues in areas of the West Country that may not have easy access to concert music of an exceptionally high standard. The enthusiasm and skill of these artists has come about through many years of study (at least to postgraduate level), as well as dedication and hard work. The tours are arranged for the musicians over a few days, allowing them the opportunity to work on new repertoire, or to embed works more fully for upcoming recordings and major concerts elsewhere. Concert details can be found on the individual tour pages and booking details for the concerts can be found on the booking/venue information page of the website: The season opens on 17th and 18th January with Andrew Marriner (clarinet), Alasdair Beatson (piano) and Michael Petrov (cello) playing fund-raising concerts in Bridport, Ilminster and Crewkerne in aid of Concerts in the West.

Funniest Swan Lake? YOU probably think of Swan Lake—indisputably the world’s favourite ballet—as a tragic, romantic drama. But that’s not quite what Living Spit are promising as they bring their unique comic talents to stage their first ballet, coming to Wootton Fitzpaine village hall on Friday 13th December. The multiple talents of Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin are wellknown from their inventive Living Spit performances, but this Christmas the fearless pair are tackling classical dance. Working with Somerset-based Theatre Orchard—and with two professional ballet dancers—Howard and Stu promise “a proper ballet—in miniature ... the funniest, danciest, waterfowlest microballet the world has ever seen.” Choreographer Holly Noble has previously worked for English National Ballet and Sadlers Wells. 94 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

PREVIEW Christmas past and present HONITON AND DORCHESTER

FOLK duo GreenMatthews bring two delightful Christmas shows, A Christmas Carol, to the Beehive at Honiton on 14th December and A Brief History of Christmas, to Dorchester Corn Exchange on 18th December. First published in 1843, A Christmas Carol is credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the British Christmas and has been loved and retold by every generation since. Using new lyrics and traditional English folk tunes, GreenMatthews use a bewitching blend of voices and instruments to create a musical retelling of this seasonal favourite. The first half of the show is a mixture of Victorian carols and midwinter folk songs which paint a vivid and colourful picture of the festive season in Dickens’ time. The second half is an hour-long retelling of the tale of how flinty-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes several ghostly visitations over the course of a cold and bitter Christmas Eve and awakes the following morning transformed into the epitome of the Christmas spirit—warm-hearted, generous and loving. In their Brief History, GreenMatthews and Jude Rees present a festive romp through 600 years of Christmas music, songs and carols played on archaic instruments such as cittern, shawm and rauschpfeife, as well as more familiar instruments such as guitar, flute, oboe and accordion— all helped along by GreenMatthews‘ trademark wit and humour. Beginning in the Middle Ages and ending in the 20th century, they take the audience on a whistle-stop tour of the origins of our midwinter festivities. The show includes long-forgotten songs and tales as well as some familiar and well-loved carols.

Moscow Drug Club on tour CHETNOLE

A QUINTET who met in Bristol, brought together by a shared love of the music of 1930s Berlin, Parisian Hot Club and gypsy swing are on tour in December with Artsreach, including Chetnole village hall on Saturday 7th December. Moscow Drug Club is a curious place, where elements of 1930’s Berlin Cabaret, Hot Club de France, Nuevo tango and Gypsy Campfire meet, have a few drinks and stagger arm in arm into the darkness of some cobbled street in eastern Europe, on a mission to find the bar where Django Reinhardt and Tom Waits are having an after hours jam with the local Tziganes. The band’s origins were in the darkness of late winter, in a shady watering

It’s Panto fun with Stuff and Nonsence at the Electric Palace in December hole south of the river, in Bristol, where North American chanteuse Katya Gorrie and guitarist Will Edmunds met to have a quiet drink. Through the door walked an old friend, jazz trumpeter Jonny Bruce, and soon the three of them were chatting about the swing music of the 1930s and 40s, German cabaret songs, and the Parisian songwriters of the 50s. Not long after this fateful evening, the three friends met Mirek Salmon, a classically trained accordionist from Poland, whose passion for French musette and Argentinian tango was both infectious and inspiring and together the four musicians started to create a small set of music derived from these ideas. Finally, long time friend and exceptional double bassist Andy Crowdy was called in to complete the quintet, and so Moscow Drug Club was formed. The band has wowed crowds across the

UK with their intoxicating and infectious sound. With previous performances at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and festivals including Womad, Larmer Tree and Marlborough Jazz, Moscow Drug Club want to lure you into their darkly comic world.

Puppet panto fun BRIDPORT

STUFF and Nonsense Theatre Company brings Puppet Panto, an original homegrown show, loosely based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, to Bridport’s Electric Palace from 28th to 31st December. When a group of puppets put on a show, how will they cope when everything starts to go wrong? What will they do to make sure the show can go on? Can you help them solve their problems and put on a brilliant show?

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This bold and hilarious adventure full of mishaps, comedy and song, is based an original creation, based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There are performances at 11am and 2pm on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th December, at 2pm on Monday 30th and 11am on Tuesday 31st. Stuff and Nonsense also have a grown up version of Puppet Panto on Monday 30th at 7pm. After all, why should the children have all the fun? This new show is inspired by comedy legends Morecombe and Wise, Monty Python, and the Goodies. It’s an alternative panto, without the bad puns and endless innuendo, performed by a bunch of muppet-style puppets and a multi-talented team of comedians, actors and musicians. Expect a treat of an evening, an action-packed celebration of slapstick, and most importantly a welldeserved hour of silliness and laughter.

Christmas three ways Dorchester

YOU can have Christmas entertainment served up three ways at Dorchester Corn Exchange in December—gothic, on Sunday 1st, Christmassy on Sunday 15th and in prison on Thursday 19th. Dyad Productions start the month with Christmas Gothic, three seasonal tales of terror told by a spectral woman, who lights a candle to the frailties of human nature. The performance starts at 8pm on Sunday 1st. Squashbox Theatre comes to Dorchester with The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasnes, festive fun for young chil-

dren, with songs, puppets, quizzes, slapstick and crazy characters. There are performances at 2pm and 4pm on Sunday 15th. Near-Ta Theatre have won many fans with their original take on the season0— Christmas.Time. is set in prison where Charlie and Toby are serving time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Why shouldn’t they have a Merry Christmas too? Inventive and hugely entertaining, Near-Ta are at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 19th, at 8pm.

Carolling and Crumpets LITTON CHENEY

THE legendary squeeze-box player and singer songwriter John Kirkpatrick comes to Litton Cheney community hall on Thursday 5th December as part of an Artsreach tour with his new Christmas show, Carolling and Crumpets. Taking its title from John’s song telling the Nativity story from the point of view of the animals in the stable, Carolling and Crumpets is a heart-warming look at the timeless rituals found in the folklore and folk music of England at midwinter. With these magical songs, John Kirkpatrick peels away the commercial gloss of modern Christmas to reveal the powerful pagan urges that race through us all at this time of year, and the life and death struggle that is symbolised in so many traditional songs and customs. And if that all sounds just a little too intense, then rest assured that the mysterious and murky goings-on in these songs of wassailing, wren-hunting, stirring the fire and incessant feasting, all come dressed up in

Carolling and Crumpets comes to Litten Cheney in December courtesy of John Kirkpatrick

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a glittering finery of toe-tapping tunes and cracking choruses. Add to the mixture a light-hearted smattering of hilarious original songs, a sprinkling of carols both familiar and unfamiliar, all stirred up with John’s usual panache and energy, and supported by his scintillating skill on a variety of squeeze-boxes, and you have an unbeatable recipe for a rattling good sing A master of the melodeon, button accordion and anglo concertina, John also has an enviable reputation as a fine singer and interpreter of English folk music. For more information and tickets visit

Show of Hands BRIDPORT

THE West Country’s favourite folk band, Show of Hands comes to the Electric Palace at Bridport on Saturday 21st December for a special Christmas show. Singer and songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumental virtuoso Phil Beer, two undisputed kings of the folk, roots and acoustic scene, reunite for this concert with long-term collaborator, double bass player Miranda Sykes and master percussionist Cormac Byrne. With new songs, new sounds and harmonies, this will be a very special Christmas show.

West Gallery carols TOURING

THE West Gallery carol concerts of the Ridgeway Singers and Band have become an essential part of Christmas in Dorset. This

Show of Hands bring their seasonal show, with Miranda Sykes and percussionist Cormac Byrne to the Electric Palace at Bridport. year’s series begins on Sunday 1st December at All Saints Church, Piddletrenthide. With their roots in the South Dorset Ridgeway and inspired by the rich sources of locally collected folk songs and West Gallery carols, the Ridgeway Singers and Band, led by musician, historian and storyteller Tim Laycock and musician and director Phil Humphries, have tuned their fiddles and voices to perform a joyous celebration of Christmas past and present, with two dates with Artsreach and concerts at Weymouth and Dorchester. Traditionally sung by village choirs in Eng-

lish country churches from the 18th century onwards, West Gallery music’s demise was brought about by the innovations of the organ and harmonium. The musicians who played the fiddle, the cello and the serpent might have been no more than a footnote in history, if it hadn’t been for this style of popular music being recorded by writers, notably Thomas Hardy. This was the traditional music that Hardy knew as a boy, which he evoked so beautifully in poetry and novels, including Under The Greenwood Tree. This seasonal programme will include

works from Puddletown and Bridport manuscripts, together with newly composed carols in the West Gallery tradition. Interspersed with sparkling instrumental pieces and midwinter stories, plus a few Ridgeway favourites. The Ridgeway Singers and Band will be at All Saints Church, Piddletrenthide, at 4pm on Sunday 1st December, and on Sunday 15th at 4pm at St Christopher’s Church, Winfrith (both with Artsreach), at Weymouth Library at 7pm on Wednesday 11th and at the Dorford Centre, Dorchester on Friday 20th at 7.30pm. GP-W

The Moscow Drug Club come to Chetnole in December

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And it’s Goodbye.. Stewart Francis bids farewell...


irst the sad news. Into The Punset is the farewell tour of UK-based Canadian gag master Stewart Francis. The great news is that he’s promising to go out with a show that proves he’s at the peak of his punchline-making powers. “For me, it’s a happy conclusion as I’ve left the best til last. I’m thrilled to bits with what I have and it’s nice to go out on a high, like when the athlete that throws the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl then retires.” Stewart can be confident that he has a farewell show that will be remembered fondly as he’s been trying it out on the folks back home. “I’ve been doing it in Canada, my home and native land, where I got to workshop it and get it into my brain. I write solely for British audiences, so I was doing jokes there that I knew full well the Canadian audiences wouldn’t really appreciate. But I had fun with it by stepping back from the joke to tell them what I’m going for in it and when I repeated it, that would generally be a nice moment. There’d be some sarcastic laughs . . . but what are drunks like?” The big question, then, is what comes next for Stewart Francis? “I’m going to step away from comedy and focus on acting which is another passion. When you’re a comedian, casting directors can be a bit lazy and think, ‘well he’s just a comedian’ but I’m not. I think I have some significant acting chops and I want to prove that to myself and to the world. But when you’re wearing both hats as a comedian and an actor, you can be taken less seriously; so I want there to be a real separation.” So, anyone thinking that this ‘farewell tour’ could be one of those fake finales which some bands have announced down the years only to return and tread some more boards shortly after, you’ll have to take Stewart on his word. “I saw Simply Red’s last show at the O2 three years ago and they came back out a year later! I have way too much respect for the audience to do something like that. People don’t know me well enough to know how much I value the crowd and how much I appreciate their time. Even if I did want to come back, I wouldn’t do it, I’d get a job doing what I needed to do, because I try to be a man of my word. Sadly we live in a world where there’s all this cynicism and some people might believe that it’s just a publicity thing. It’s not. Andy Kaufman is dead, he’s not coming back, and this is my last tour.” While Stewart is currently focussing on making Into The Punset the best show he can possibly do, he will soon have half an eye on new horizons. Those who have lapped up his pinsharp brand of quickfire puns, gags and punchlines over the last ten years might feel a pang of regret that they won’t be able to see him on stage in the future, but he has some words of comfort for them. “This tour is a love letter to the UK and Ireland, thanking them for a wonderful chapter in my comedy career. It’s not a sad moment for me, it’s just all about new challenges and new horizons.” Stewart Francis is bringing his final ever stand-up tour to the Electric Palace, Bridport on Sunday, 1st December. For tickets visit

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PERFORMANCE MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER YEOVIL, Westlands, John Robins, Hot Shame, comedy, 7.30. TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER BATH, Theatre Royal, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, to Sun, Wed/Thurs/ Sat/Sun mats. Forum, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi. EXETER, Corn Exchange, Supreme Queen, 7.30. FROME, Merlin, Henry Blofeld, Over and Out, 7.30. PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, Nativity - the Musical, to Sat. YEOVIL, Westland, Gordon Buchanan, wildlife photographer, Animal Families and Me, 7.30.

in Present Laughter, recorded at Old Vic, 7pm. WEYMOUTH, College, Bay Theatre, Gracefool Collective in This is Not a Wedding.

WEDNESDAY 27 NOVEMBER EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Exmouth Musical Theatre Co in Lights, Camera, Action, music from the movies, to Sat 7.30, Sat mat 2.30: Ocean Room, An Interesting Evening with Steve Davis. POOLE, Lighthouse, BSO, cond Reinhard Goebel, Tobias Feldmann violin, Winds of Change, Eberl and Beethoven’s violin concerto and 2nd Symphony, 7.30. SALISBURY, Playhouse, Salberg Studio, Graeae in Winsome Pinnock’s One Under, to Sat, 7.45, Sat mat 2.45.

FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Complete Madness, tribute, 8. BRISTOL, Old Vic, Weston Studio, Boing!, with Travelling Light, to 5 Jan. Redgrave Theatre, BOVTS in The Snow Queen, to 12 Dec, various day and evening time. DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Grace Fool Collective in This is Not a Wedding, female contemporary dance, 8pm. HONITON, Beehive, Holy Moly and the Crackers, 8pm. ILMINSTER, Arts Centre, Ant Law and Al Swainger’s Biosphosmus Quartet, Latin, fusion and ambient, 8. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, 42nd Street recorded from Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 7pm. SHERBORNE, Cheap Street Church, Sherborne School Choirs, 1.45pm. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, acoustic night, 7.30. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, One Night of Elvis with Lee Memphis King.

THURSDAY 28 NOVEMBER BATH, Forum, Lenny Henry, Who Am I, Again? BRISTOL, Old Vic, A Christmas Carol, to 12 Jan. Tobacco Factory, TFTC in Snow White, to 19 Jan. St George’s, AKA Trio, Antonio Forcione, Seckou Keita and Adriano Adewale, music from Europe, Africa and South America, 8. 02 Academy, Electric Six. DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Film Society, The Guilty, 7.30. HONITON, Beehive, Present Laughter recorded from the Old Vic with Andrew Scott, 7pm. SEATON, Gateway, Andrew Scott

SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER BRIDPORT, Arts Centre, Mitch Benn, music and comedy, 8pm. CHARMOUTH, St Andrew’s Hall, Rob Gee in Forget Me Not – the Alzheimer’s Whodunnit, 3pm. AR COLYFORD, Memorial, Hall, Harbottle and Jonas, folk duo from Totnes, 7.30. ViA EXETER, Northcott Theatre, Beauty and the Beast, with Steve Bennett as M Marzipan, to 5 Jan, various times. Southernhay UR Church, Exeter Symphony Orchestra, cond Brian Northcott, Kristiana Ignatjeva, cello, Shostakovich, Bax and Elgar cello concerto, 7.30. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Moonbeam on a Cat’s Ear, puppets

and music, 2pm: One Man Two Guvnors, recorded, 7pm. SHERBORNE, Abbey, Sherborne Chamber Choir, 40th anniversary concert, Celebrating Advent, 7.30. Digby Hall, Henry Blofeld, My A to Z of Cricket, 7pm. SIDMOUTH, Parish Church, Ugnius Pauliukonis, piano, Haydn, Debussy, Chopin, 3pm. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, Merry Hell, band from north west, folk punk, 8pm. TORQUAY, Princess Theatre, Ben Elton WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, 5six78, 2.30 and 7pm. SUNDAY 1 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Arts Centre, Wessex Military Band, 3pm. Electric Palace, Stewart Francis, Into the Punset, farewell tour, 8pm. CHARMOUTH, St Andrew’s Community Hall, Village Hall, Rob Gee in Forget Me Not – the Alzheimer’s Whodunnit, 3pm. AR DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Dyad Productions in Christmas Gothic, Three Seasonal Tales of Terror, 8pm. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Back from Broadway with Alistair Brammer. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Andrew Scott in Present Laughter, recorded at the Old Vic, 7pm. PIDDLETRENTHIDE, Church, Ridgeway Singers and Band, West Gallery carols, 4pm. AR YEOVIL, Westlands, Step into Christmas with the Yeovilton Military Wives Choir, 7.30. MONDAY 2 DECEMBER BEAMINSTER, Public Hall, Village Hall, Kind Hearts and Coronets, 70th anniversary, Moviola film. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Pam Ayres. SOLD OUT TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Andrew Scott in Present Laughter, recorded at the Old Vic, 7pm.

Rural touring organisations AR = Artsreach, TA = Take Art, Via = Villages in Action 100 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031


Andrew Scott in Present Laughter is streamed to the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis in December

IBBERTON, Village Hall, John Kirkpatrick, Carolling and Crumpets, 7.30. AR PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, Drum Studio, Stuff and Nonsense in The Elves and the Shoemaker, to 18 Jan. SIDMOUTH, Manor Pavilion, Neil Sands’ Christmas memories, 2pm. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, Russian State Ballet in The Nutcracker, 7.30. WEDNESDAY 4 DECEMBER EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Chapterhouse Theatre in A Christmas Carol, 7.30. PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, Drum Studio, Spitz and Co in Les Gloriables, to 30 Dec. SHERBORNE, Abbey, Paul Ellis, organ, 1pm. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, Russian State Ballet in Don Quixote, 7.30. THURSDAY 5 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Jethro, SOLD OUT EXETER, University Great Hall, BSO, cond Karabits, Gabriela Montero piano, Shchedrin, Mozart piano concerto No 24 and Tchaikovsky

Nutcracker Suite, 7.30. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Soul Traders, Christmas party. HESTERCOMBE, Bampfylde Hall, Military Wives Choir, Taunton Concert Band, Christmas carols, and Thurs 12 Nov, 7. LITTON CHENEY, Village Hall, John Kirkpatrick, Carolling and Crumpets, 7.30. AR LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Are You Going to the Marine?, community play by Andrew Rattennbury celebrating 125th anniversary, to Sat, 7.30. PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, The Lab, Emily Jane Rooney in Big Girl, and Fri. SEATON, Gateway, Through the Decades with Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, tribute, 7.30. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, Christmas with Teddy Sheringham, football anecdotes. YEOVIL, Swan Theatre, Hansard, live screening from National Theatre. FRIDAY 6 DECEMBER BOURNEMOUTH, BIC, Status Quo.

BRIDGWATER, Arts Centre, Eddie Martin, guitar. BRIDPORT, Arts Centre, La Vie en Rose, gypsy jazz, 8. Electric Palace, A Christmas Carol, solo show with Nick Wilkes, 7.30. DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Wille and the Bandits, 8pm. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes and Cormac Byrne, and Sat. HONITON, Beehive, The Voice of Roy Orbison, with Brenda Lee, Darren Page and Susan Lowry, 7.30. ILMINSTER, Arts Centre, John Maddocks and his Jazzmen, 8. SHERBORNE, School, Tindall Recital Hall, mince pies recital, 1.45pm. SIDMOUTH, Manor Pavilion, Sidmouth Town Band Christmas concert, and Sat, 7.30. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, St Agnes Fountain, Christmas show, and Sat, 8. TAUNTON, Tacchi-Morris, Reamba in Aladdin, to 22 Dec, various times. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, Michael, starring Ben.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 101

PERFORMANCE YEOVIL, Octagon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Thom Ford, Jack Glanville, Lizzie Frances and Gordon Cooper, to 5 Jan. SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER BOURNEMOUTH, Aladdin, to 5 Jan. BRISTOL, Hippodrome, Shane Richie in Dick Whittington, to 5 Jan. BUCKLAND IN THE MOOR, Community Hall, 3 Daft Monkeys in Year of the Clown, Celtic, fusion, world music, 7.30. ViA DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Harriet Kemsley, Slutty Joan, comedy, 8pm. DULVERTON, All Saints Church, Opera Anywhere, Amahl and the Night Visitors, 6. EXETER, Cygnet Theatre, Anthos Arts in Aladdin, play with puppets, 2.30pm. UR Church, Exeter Choral Society and Orchestra, cond Laurence Blyth, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, Vivaldi Gloria, 7.30. EXMOUTH, Blackmore Theatre, Exmouth Players in Aladdin, to 15 Dec, various times. HONITON, Beehive, Seth Lakeman, 8. SEATON, Gateway, AC/DC UK, tribute, 7.30. TORQUAY, Princess Theatre, Adam Ant playing Friend or Foe. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, You Win Again, the music of the BeeGees. YEOVIL, Westlands, Ardal O’Hanlon, The Showing Off Must Go On, comedy, 7.30. SUNDAY 8 DECEMBER LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Christmas with Charlie Bicknell, cabaret diva, 8.30. MONDAY 9 DECEMBER BEER, Village Hall, Kind Hearts and Coronets,70th anniversary, Moviola film. EXETER, Corn Exchange, Steeleye Span.

EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Ocean Room, Jonathan Goodwin in Strictly Sherlock. TAUNTON, Brewhouse, The Railway Children, new musical, to 30 Dec. YEOVIL, Westlands, Blake, Christmas classics, with the Octagon Choir, 7.30. TUESDAY 10 DECEMBER EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Exmouth Town Concert Band, 7.30. ILMINSTER, Warehouse, IES in Beauty and the Beast, to Sat, 7.30, Sat mat 2.30. PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, The Lab, Emma Baskeyfield in Go Figure, and Wed. WIVILISCOMBE, Cotleigh Brewery, Green-Matthews, A Christmas Carol. WEDNESDAY 11 DECEMBER PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, The Lab, Daisy Higman in Grapho, to Sat. SHERBORNE, Abbey, Harold Jackson, organ, 1pm. TAUNTON, Brewhouse, Coppelia, recorded at the Royal Ballet, 7.15. WEYMOUTH, Library, Ridgeway Singers and band, Christmas concert, 7pm. THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER BATH, Theatre Royal, Beauty and the Beast, to 12 Jan. BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, The Winter’s Tale with Judi Dench, recorded at the Garrick Theatre, 7pm. DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Film Society, The Divine Order, and social evening 7.30. EXETER, Northcott Theatre, Pip Utton, A Christmas Carol, 8. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, The Bon Jovi Experience. HONITON, Beehive, Coppelia from the Royal Ballet, 7.15. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, The Winter’s Tale, with Judi Dench, recorded at the Garrick Theatre, 7pm.

102 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

SHERBORNE, School, Chapel, Music and Readings for Christmas, Sherborne School Chamber Choir, dir James Henderson, Peter Bray, Daniel Baker, organ, Holst, Poston, Howells and Stanford, in aid of Crisis, 6 to 7pm. WEYMOUTH, College, Bay Theatre, Student Showcase Spectacular, 1pm and 7.30pm. FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Arts Centre, Andrew Lawrence, comedy, 8. EXETER, Powderham Castle, West Barok Singers and Players, Handel and Corelli, 7.30. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Girl Power. ILMINSTER, Arts Centre, Kick Ass Brass, with singer Jacqui Hicks, 8. WELLS, Cathedral, Christmas Jethro Tull concert, with Ian Anderson, John O’Hara, Dave Goddier, Florian Opahle, Scott Hammond, Choristers of Wells Cathedral and surprise guests, 7.30. WOOTTON FITZPAINE, Village Hall, Living Spit and Theatre Orchard in Swan Lake, 7.30. AR SATURDAY 14 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Disco Heaven, Christmas party, 8.30pm. EXETER, Cygnet Theatre, Christmas Concert with local music students, 6pm. HONITON, Beehive, Green-Matthews, A Brief History of Christmas, 7.30. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, Polar Express, film, pyjama party, 2pm: Comedy Club with Laura Lexx, Jon Wagstaffe and Morgan Rees, 8pm. SHIPTON GORGE, Village Hall, Dave Mynne in A Christmas Carol, 7.30. AR SOUTHAMPTON, Mayflower, Peter Pan, with Marti Pellow, Darren Day, Jaymi Hensley and The Grumbleweeds, to 5 Jan. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, Tall Tails Theatre in What a Superhero Wants for Christmas, 1

PERFORMANCE and 3pm. WEYMOUTH, Pavilion, Cinderella, to 4 Jan, various times. SUNDAY 15 DECEMBER DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Squashbox Theatre in The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasness, 2 and 4pm. EXETER, Cygnet Theatre, Cygnet Company in Carols and Readings, 4pm. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Centre Stage in Step Into Christmas, 3pm. ILMINSTER, Warehouse Theatre, Cinema at the Warehouse, Tom Jones (1963), 7.45. SALISBURY, City Hall, Steeleye Span. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, acoustic night, 7.30. WINFRITH NEWBURGH, Church, Ridgeway Singers and Band, West Gallery carols, 4pm. AR MONDAY 16 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Bridport Young Performers in High School Musical, and Tues, 7.30. TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Jethro. WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Green-Matthews, A Christmas Carol, 8pm. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Band of the Royal Marines. WEYMOUTH, St Mary’s Church, Weymouth Lunchtime Chamber Concerts, Christmas celebration with the Barn Choir, cond Richard Hall, Duncan Honeybourne, piano, Vaughan Williams and festive favourites, 1pm. THURSDAY 19 DECEMBER DORCHESTER, Corn Exchange, Dorchester Arts, Near-ta-theatre in Christmas.Time., 8pm. EXETER, University Great Hall,

Have All the Luck, the Rod Stewart story. HONITON, Beehive, Holiday Inn, 1942 film, 2pm. PLYMOUTH, Theatre Royal, Brian Conley in Cinderella, to 18 Jan: The Lab, Fireworks, with Alex Robins, and Sat. SATURDAY 21 DECEMBER BOTHENHAMPTON, Village Hall, Kind Hearts and Coronets,70th anniversary, Moviola film. BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Show of Hands Christmas special, 8pm. EXETER, Barnfield Theatre, Paddleboat and Northcott in Hansel and Gretel, to 5 Jan, 11am and 2pm. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Joey the Lips. SIDMOUTH, Parish Church, The Isca Ensemble, with Joel Munday, violin, Christmas concert, 7.30. TUESDAY 24 DECEMBER Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Trio Enterwith Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall, Gilson Lavis and tainment in Jack and the Beanstalk, special guests come to Exeter University Great Hall to 1 Jan various dates and times. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, with Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall, Gilson Lavis and special guests, 7.30. Lemon Grove, The Wonder Stuff. Barnfield Theatre, Exeter Little Theatre Co in Aladdin, to 4 Jan, various dates and times. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Father Christmas and the Grinch, 1.30 and 6pm. HONITON, Beehive, Mad Dog Mcrea, with Gaz Brookfield, 8pm. LYME REGIS, Marine Theatre, The Jerseys, O What a Nite, tribute, 7.30. FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER DORCHESTER, The Dorford Centre, Ridgeway Singers and band, Christmas concert, 7.30. EXETER, University Great Hall, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, cond Pete Harrison, Last Night of the Christmas Proms, 7.30. EXMOUTH, Pavilion, Some Guys

SATURDAY 28 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Stuff and Nonsense Puppet Panto for ages 3 to 6 years, and Sun 11am and 2pm, Monday 2pm, Tues 11am. SIDMOUTH, Manor Pavilion, Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society in Robin Hood and the Merry Men, to 4 Jan, various times. MONDAY 30 DECEMBER BRIDPORT, Electric Palace, Stuff and Nonsense Puppet Panto, for adults, 7pm. TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER SEATON, Gateway, The Fab Beatles, New Year party, 8pm to 1am. SOUTH PETHERTON, David Hall, Jigs for Gigs New Year’s Eve ceilidh, inc supper, booking essential, 8.15pm.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 103

Health&Beauty Hospital teams win 100km challenge

Members of staff from the winning teams with friends and family and Sandy Jordan (centre) of Jordan’s Jewellers


embers of Dorset County Hospital staff and their friends and families were recently recognised in a special presentation after taking part in a Charity fundraising event earlier this year. Sandy Jordan of Jordan’s Jewellers in Dorchester presented a cup to the teams which raised the most money during the DCH Charity 100km Challenge in July. The team members were also presented with certificates and Challenge medals by Kitz Clifford from Dorset County Hospital Charity. Sandy, who also generously sponsored the cups said, “I would like to say how incredible the staff at the hospital are especially in light of the fact that most


Please telephone or check website for directions and opening hours Bridge Street, Lyme Regis. 01297 443370.



High Street, Honiton. 01404 44966.

Church of Our Lady, North Road, Chideock. 01308 488348.



Barrack Road, Weymouth. 01305 766626.

Silver Street, Axminster. 01297 639884.

Market Place, Colyton




The Heritage Centre, Market Square, Crewkerne. 01460 77079.

217 Wakeham Portland. 01305 821804.

Whitcombe Road, Beaminster. 01308 863623.



High West Street, Dorchester. 01305 262735. (Closed)

Bere’s Yard, Blandford Forum. 01258 450388.


South Street, Bridport. 01308 422116.


Oborne Road, Sherborne.


Godworthy House, High Street, Chard. 01460 65091.

are working full time and have busy lives themselves. What they do is amazing and it’s just wonderful as a business to be able to show them how much their efforts are appreciated. I look forward to supporting the hospital charity for many years to come.” In the end two teams were recognised for their fantastic efforts – Team Conny, led by Conny Sargent which raised nearly £750 for Barnes Ward and the Chemotherapy Appeal, and Team ED which raised over £700 for the Emergency Department. Both teams braved the weather and received their medals outside the ED at Dorset County Hospital. Nearly £4,500 was raised for the Hospital from the event and wards directly benefitting included Kingfisher Children’s Ward, the Emergency Department, Barnes Ward and Research and Innovation. Last year over £5,700 was raised by staff and the local community taking part in a similar event to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. Anyone interested in fundraising for Dorset County Hospital can contact the Charity on or phone 01305 253215


Sheppards Row, Exmouth. 07768 184127. FAIRLYNCH MUSEUM

27 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton. 01395 442666. GROVE PRISON MUSEUM

Governors Gardens, The Grove, Portland. 01305 715726. ILCHESTER COMMUNITY

High Street, Ilchester. 01935 841247. LYME REGIS MUSEUM

104 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031



Hope Cottage, Church Street, Sidmouth. 01395 516139. THELMA HULBERT GALLERY, ELMFIELD HOUSE

Dowell Street, Honiton. 01404 45006. THE MILITARY MUSEUM OF DEVON AND DORSET

ROYAL ALBERT MEMORIAL MUSEUM Bridport Road, Dorchester. 01305 264066. & ART GALLERY

Queen St, Exeter, EX4 3RX. 01392 665858. SEATON JURASSIC

The Underfleet, Seaton 01297 300390


Town Hall, Fore Street, Seaton. 01297 21660. SHERBORNE MUSEUM

Church Lane, Sherborne. 01935 812252.


High West Street, Dorchester. 01305 261849


Tolpuddle, nr Dorchester. 01305 848237. TUDOR HOUSE

3 Trinity Street, Weymouth. 01305 779711 or 812341.


Sutton Poyntz Pumping Station, Sutton Poyntz, Weymouth. 01305 832634


Brewers Quay Hope Square, Weymouth. 01305 457982

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 105

Services&Classified FOR SALE Upright piano, possibly Reidsohn, approximately 25-30 years old. £350 o.n.o. For further information and photos text or call 07943100985.

Highsleeper Bed. THUKA HIT 8. Bargain. £200. (01297) 489321

777002 BBQ for Sale Outback gas BBQ with side burner. Automatic ignition. Including Lamona LAM3301 build almost full 7Kg Propane gas in, fan assisted oven. A bottle. Reasonable condirated, shelves, oven tray tion, wheels for easy movegrill pan, instruction book. ment. £30 01305 777002 Good condition H 595, W Wax coat “Dry as a Bone” 595/560, D 547/550 mm. as new 100% water proof £10 for quick sale Bosch knee length unisex size BGS5 vacuum cleaner, si12/14 or small (men’s) £50 lent and powerful. Multiple call 07719363164 after 6pm heads, including Turbo. Dubarry boots brown Bag-less, adjustable power, leather knee length size telescopic tube. Instruction 37 as new (still in the box) book. Moving, not required. 100% waterproof £160 Excellent condition. Barovno Tel 07719362164 after gain at £60 Sebo Airbelt K3 6pm Volcano, vacuum cleaner. Clay terracotta pots, Variable power, Telescopic used, size range 8 to 24 cm. tube with stop/start on Prices from 20p. Space hophandle. 8 new dust-bags per, 1960’s blue. £20. Phone Various heads including 01308 868452 mob. 078 turbo. Instruction book. 16438906. Good condition £35 01305 Large house plants, Peace

Monthly Quiz –

lily (12 flowers), Christmas cacti (75cm across), Hoya 2 entwined spanning 7 feet. £5 each. Phone 01308 868452, mob 078 16438906. Two Ekornes tan leather stressless armchairs plus one footstool from a pet and smoke-free home. One chair has a small scratch on the back. Delivery may be possible by arrangement. £370 ono Tel 07897 203931 Darley treatment couch, portable, non adjustable height. Good condition. £25. Tel: 01308 868430 Shower enclosure side screen- Made by Crosswater, model Simpsons DSPSC0800, 800mm. Ht 1950mm, clear tempered glass, quality product. Installed for two days, but was wrong size for our shower. Reboxed, with fittings. £60 ono. 07761 469676. Chicken House Wheels 4 x 5 spoke @ 300mm diameter x 50mm wide each

with 300mm axle length. Vintage cast iron unpainted £120. Broadwindsor 01308 868319 Aluminium fruit cage, 8 m. x 4 m. Dismantled and ready to erect . Price new £460 . Available for £50 . Needs some new mesh . Buyer collects . Whitchurch Canonicorum 01297 489185 3 drawer bedside cabinet 24”h x 15”w x16”d. Pine in colour and good condition. £10 Phone 01297 444475. All you need for a new puppy as new. Bed £8. fabric carrier £15. carrier sling £15. matching collar and lead £5. Other items of collars and harnesses if required . Phone for details and a price for all items as a package. 01404 881312 2 leather Stressless chairs. Over 15 years old with some signs of wear but still wonderfully comfortable. £100 the pair. 01297 489066.

Modern 3 seater red faux leather Sofa. Good condition. £85. Tel: 01395 487554 Efco 137 Chain Saw, 14” bar. Brand new chain fitted. Good working order. £95. Tel: 01395 487554 Wall Mirrors with pine and oak frames. Various sizes. All in very good condition. From £8 - £20. Tel: 01395 487554 “Next” Cushions, various sizes and colours with coordinated Throws. All in very good condition. From £5. Tel: 01395 487554 Dimplex electric bathroom fan wall heater, excellent condition £8. Tel: 01395 487554 Rival Pop Corn Maker, unused, £10. Tel: 01395 487554 Elderly Care Items Recent bereavement, several new personal care items left over- Blue nitrite gloves (XL); shaped incontinence pads; Conti soft dry

Win a book from Little Toller Books

Send in your answer on a postcard, along with your name and address to: Hargreaves Quiz, Marshwood Vale Magazine, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX. Study the clues contained in the rhyme and look carefully at the signposts to work out which town or village in South Somerset, West Dorset or East Devon is indicated. The first correct answer drawn out of a hat will win a book from local publisher Little Toller Books. There is no cash equivalent and no correspondence will be entered into.

Last month’s answer was Rawridge. The winner was Mr Terry from Staines on Thames.

106 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

FOR SALE wipes; rinse free shampoo caps; disposable bed pads; supreme fit all-in-one incontinence pads; Vernacare skin cleansing foam. Several of each item available from £2 to £7 per item. Contact Rob 01460 220115 A.T. Bicycle. Aluminium frame, sprung front fork. 26inch wheels, 7 speed Shimano gears, triple chain ring. New tyres. £50. 01460 30847 Large wire fireguard extendable. £10.00 Bridport 01308427681 30 No s/h treble roman clay tiles of varying sizes. £30.00 ono. 01460 66585 Ladies bike 5 speed vgc £30.00 Casio CTK 601 keyboard £30.00 Yamaha YPT 220 keyboard £30.00 01297 624222 Panasonic Bread Maker. Model SD-324. Excellent condition as hardly used. Complete with manual. £38 contact 01297 560402 8mm glass shower screens, 2000 x 640 and 2000 x 720 with fittings only £10 for quick sale. 01297 444104 24 Classic Plant and Machinery magazines .2017and 2018 complete in good condition £20 Also Tractor and Farming Heritage 2012 onwards £15 per year, ie. 12 issues. 01460 55105 Victorian fire surrounds Brass, will fit 1m 40 cm. £40 Small fender Brass 60cm. £25 New Oil filled radiator. Variable power/ thermostat 24hr timer Can deliver £40 Transformer 110 V for power tools 1.5 KVA 2 X 16A sockets. £10 East lambrook 01460 242071 Mob 07548 300269 Vintage iron corner hay rack. This is a large vintage cast iron corner hay rack in very good condition. Ideal as a planter or garden feature. 88cm around the top and 88cm long £38 photo available 01460 55105 Correction: Philiy Page. In our November issue we misspelled Philiy Page’s name. The correct spelling is Philiy.



Piano, violin, theory tuition at your home. Highly qualified teacher. 20 years experience. Adults and children welcome. Beginners to advanced. Dr Thomas Gold 07917 835781 Feb 20

Seasoned hardwood logs £115 per truck load 07465 423133 Feb0 20



RGT/LCM Examiner offers Electric and Acoustic Guitar Tuition. Beginners to Advanced. All Grades. charliemason3@ Tel:07759603912 01297678691

Alberny Restoration In-house blast cleaning for home and garden furniture, doors and gates. Agricultural/ construction machinery and tooling. Vehicles, parts and trailers etc. 01460 73038, email, FB Alberny Sandblasting



Little Curtains. Handmade Curtains, Blinds and Cushions. Contact 07443 516141 or 01308 485325

Furniture restoration. Antiques large and small carefully restored. City and Guilds qualified, ten years experience in local family firm. Phil Meadley 01297 560335

Feb 20

Mar 20

jan 20

WANTED Motorcycle projects wanted, any age, make, condition,non runners, incomplete, anything considered, local enthusiast, 07752 075002

Secondhand tools wanted. All trades. Users & Antiques. G & E C Dawson. 01297 23826. www.secondhandtools.

Postage stamps. Private collector requires 19th and early 20th century British. Payment to you or donation to your nominated charity. 01460 240630.

Vintage & antique textiles, linens, costume buttons etc. always sought by Caroline Bushell. Tel. 01404 45901.

Dave buys all types of tools 01935 428975

Wanted: Antique and vintage pens and writing materials etc. 07836 388831

Dec 19

Jan 20

Feb 20

Dec 19

FOR SALE 2 Filing cabinets, in need of some restoration. 1 x 8 drawer and 1 x 20 drawer. £20 each. Also Panasonic LCD TV 33 inch wide (screen size 27 inch) (not flat screen) but ideal for Holiday let or rental let. Handbook and remote as well. £45. 01297 34459.

3’6” x 6’6” Sealey Maxi Posturepedic sprung mattress with single drawer divan base. No headboard, quality, barely used guest bed, so therefore immaculate condition. Buyer collects Dorchester area. £325. 07581 749564.

Simon Land, photograph and words by Catherine Taylor

SIMON LAND Simon Land is up at the same time as the birds in the gardens he works in. 5.45am is the norm for him, as he likes to have time in the mornings to get on with emails, quotes and invoicing for his business, before leaving his house in Lopen by 7.45am. A one man band, Simon set up Simon Land Gardens a few years ago after leaving the post of head gardener at Cricket St. Thomas. He now redesigns gardens as well as maintaining a number of them, many of which are open to the public each year. Very much at home in the outdoors, Simon enjoys the peace and quiet of his work and is content to work by himself. After a day outside, Simon will often return home to carry on with some more paperwork. Then, not one to sit still for long, he might make it out to the local pub with friends, play some squash or a game of five a side football. But there is also a large part of Simon’s life that takes up a significant amount of his spare time, which he finds most rewarding of all. A volunteer with the local branch of Yeovil & Sherborne Samaritans, Simon is Head of Training. As well as helping initiate the new volunteers he also does a weekly shift ‘on the phones’. So, someone in need calling the Samaritans from anywhere in the UK, could have Simon answer the phone, ready to speak to them. He is there to listen, to support and hear whatever the caller wants to talk about. Finding it a positive thing to be able to do, Simon enjoys being able to make a difference. And he’s made numerous friends in the other volunteers at the branch, providing a welcome balance to his solitary work day. Christmas Day is the one day each year that Simon does a double shift, one of many volunteering their time to be there for others. However, come the New Year, each year, Simon takes a break from it all and ventures up to Scotland, a place he loves for being so natural, rugged and rural. There, he will relax, do some walking, light a fire and listen to podcasts. He may even treat himself to a lie in, 6.30am should do it. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 107

FOR SALE Two Salus Single mattresses Active 950 Virtually new. Cost £495 each in sale. £150 each Tel. 01395 514645 Hostess trolley, Philips classic mahogany, ideal when entertaining £95ono. Gents 10 gear, Apollo red elevater frame design ex-con, £75ono. Mobility Walker days model 21539. Lightweight aluminium rollator, handle adjustment 810-930m, folds down fits

in car, lovely condition. £70ono. 01308 459940. Beatles monthly books, nine issues, Sept 1963 to Oct 1964. £75. 01395 512782. NME Poll Winners All Star Concert programme. April 1964. Fragile condition. £100. 01395 512782. Rise and recline electric mobility chair, vgc £60. Small double sofabed, vgc £40. Can deliver locally 01308 456159.




108 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 Tel. 01308 423031

Beat monthly magazines, First eleven issues, May 1963 to Mar 1964. £75. 01395 512782. Toyota 221 electric sewing machine, instructions booklet included £45. 01297 445724. Lyme Regis. Luxury lined blue/cream 1 x 90” x 90” (pair) 1 x 66 x 54 (pair) 4 matching chair/cushion covers. VGC £75ono. 01308 422400. Hammered Dulcimer 18 course by Roger Frood, super condition £400ono. Also substantial carry bag for above £245ono. Honiton area call anytime 07594 687485. Christmas lights indoor outdoor, new in boxes £5 to £8. Bissel carpet cleaner, as new £50. 01460 57078. Folding electric bike, black, 20” wheels 3 power settings, 6 Shimano gears 24v battery, lights, uused gift, £485. 01460 63384. Chair bed multi purpose 3’ wide 6’ long beige with cushion, excellent condition £147 or near offer. 01308 425459. Standard lamp complete with neutral shade £20. Headboard, King size, sold pine £25. 01308 425774. Piano Accordion 48-bass includes hard case, excellent condition £10 used, Galotta red. 01308 427109. Anthracite fuel, best grade large nuts, sealed 25kg bags

FOR SALE £8 (50 available). Collect from Marshwood 01297 678217. Twin beds with wooden slatted headboards vgc almost new mattresses, each bed £30 or together £50ono. 07717 887442. Free upright piano, good condition, need tuning, col-

lection only. 07717 887442. Lilac double headboard good condition £20. 2 mirrors 80 x 53cm with motive £15. Red piano stool £10. 01935 476762. Electric light shaver point bathroom, great condition, little used, bargain £10ono. 01460 30047.

Artists display stand, dismantles flat pack, custom built wooden, 3ft by 2ft, bargain £35ono. 01460 30047. 2 Hardwood bookcases, handmade 44”x 32” x 10”. 1, 2shelf, 1, 3shelf. £100ono. 01308 868379. 100 knives, forks, spoons

£50. 100 knives, forks £40. All clean and packed. 01308 868379. Wooden extension ladder comprising two 12ft sections, free to collect, Crewkerne 01460 77135. Bathroom cabinet, metal ‘Portofino’ double door, 56cm x 43cm, as new £25.

01308 427394/ 427399. Electric recliner chair, good working order, comfortable, £25. 01460 279687. Crewkerne area. Motor cycle clothing Buffalo Jacket (L), Belstaff trousers (XL) Gloves good condition. £25 the lot. 01305 485555 Uploders.


FREE ADS for items under £1,000 Classified advertising in The Marshwood Vale Magazine is normally 85 pence+VAT per word in a box. This FREE ADS FORM is for articles for sale, where the sale price is under £1000 (Private advertisers only — no trade, motor, animals, firearms etc). Just fill in the form and send it to the Marshwood Vale Magazine, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX. or email to (Please do not send in all capital letters). Unfortunately due to space constraints there is no guarantee of insertion of free advertising. We reserve the right to withhold advertisements. FOR GUARANTEED CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE USE ‘CLASSIFIED ADS’ FORM

Name.....................................................Telephone number ................................. Address................................................................................................................. Town.................................. County.................... Postcode .................................. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine December 2019 109

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