Marshwood + May 2020

Page 1

Shute Festival goes online Page 10

With crisis comes opportunity Page 12

Making food go further page 52



Marshwood +

Š Sasha Constable Photograph by Robin Mills

The best from West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon

No. 254 May 2020

Marshwood+ WELCOME TO

Digital Times

Welcome to Marshwood+ our Digital Times magazine.

OUR lives have changed dramatically in a few short weeks but we are still with you. And despite a lack of social events, the Marshwood community is as vital as ever—if not more so. We know digital reading is new to some of our readers, so here are a few simple pointers to make it easier for everyone to navigate our online magazine.

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Robin Mills met Sasha Constable in Cerne Abbas

© Sasha Constable Photograph by Robin Mills


eflecting on one’s life as we all endure this period of isolation feels quite poignant. It’s a challenging time for everyone but artists tend to work alone and I am thankful to have a creative outlet to occupy my mind and time. Life seems to have come full circle lately. I was born in a cottage hospital near Glastonbury and moved to Norton-sub-Hamdon when I was six where we shared a large house with my paternal grandmother. It was an idyllic childhood, my brother and I were left to play outside in our beautiful garden, build dens in my father’s overgrown asparagus bed or roam around the woods on Ham Hill. My father was a professional artist and we knew not to disturb him when he was in his studio. He was also

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Sasha Constable

a very productive gardener and grew an abundance of fruit and veg the success of which he maintained was due to the extra nutrients that came from the neighbouring churchyard. Dad’s variety of produce and my mother’s cooking skills gave us a healthy start in life. Her resourcefulness also filled some of the gaps left by his low income. Whilst his imagination got lost in the layers of a hedgerow my mother introduced us to foraging the delights they have to offer. It was a very 70’s model of self-sufficiency. My father passed on his love of nature and collecting random quirky, captivating objects. Skulls featured heavily and picking up road kill and driving home with a dead fox or badger on the bonnet of the car was quite normal. Digging up a buried animal to reveal a newly picked clean skeleton was always a thrill. The natural world and his own experiences fuelled his vivid imagination and I in turn absorbed both of these as foundations for my own inspiration. At school my time was largely split between the art department and the sports field. In the run up to my A levels I had a week’s work experience with a picture restorer in London which was fascinating. It gave me an invaluable insight into the complexities of different artists’ techniques. I spent a great deal of time spitting on to cotton buds using saliva to clean the surface dirt on various oil paintings by some of the modern masters. Having been accepted on Kingston Polytechnic’s (now University) art foundation course I moved to London, aged just 17. One of the last projects during my foundation year was sculpture. Finally I felt as

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though I had found my calling. At the same time I became absorbed in relief print-making, satisfying a craving to create more complex two dimensional images in a medium that still involved something of sculpture’s physicality. It was one of my large woodcuts of 3 pig carcasses hanging at Smithfield market that was to change my life. In New York early in the summer of 1989 there was an exhibition of 6 generations of Constables, an intimate © Sasha Constable Photograph by Robin Mills family exhibition. John Constable is my great-great-great grandfather; each generation since JC has produced at least one artist. My woodcut was included in the exhibition and although it wasn’t for sale, an art collector made me an offer of $2000. That unexpected sale enabled me to travel in Thailand for 3 months, a period that was incredibly important as I developed a deep love for Asia and exploration that has both informed and enriched my life. Back in the UK I began a 3-year sculpture degree at Wimbledon School of Art, a small institution with an emphasis on skills. In the first year we covered many sculptural techniques; modeling, welding, construction, carving and casting, however it was still stone that resonated most with me. After completing my degree an old school friend and I painted our first mural together in Germany. When we finished I spent a few months traveling around the country studying various print collections, particularly the German Expressionists. On my return my friend and I painted another large-scale mural at Brympton D’Evercy, a stately home near Yeovil.

Making a living as a young artist was a struggle so in my mid twenties I embarked on a PGCE course to teach art and design at secondary school level. Teaching is another invaluable skill that has helped shape my life. However, I decided that full-time teaching was not for me and in 1997 I decided to focus on stone again and travelled to India to study its magnificent temples, feats of sculpture and engineering. Then in 2000 I met the director of the World Monuments Fund (WMF) in Cambodia and was invited to visit for 3 weeks as an artist in residence. Those 3 weeks turned in to 17 and a half years meaning in all I’ve lived more than half of my adult life in Asia. My first experience of the temples in the Angkor Park was 2 weeks after arriving in Cambodia. The World Monuments Fund together with the Grand Hotel D’Angkor had organized a VIP function at the East Gapora of Preah Khan temple. Travelling out to Preah Khan in the back of the WMF pickup truck and then walking through the temple after dark, the corridors lit by candlelight, was utterly magical. I was smitten. I fell deeply in love with Cambodia and its extremities, its culture, landscape and people. It was wild and tranquil, beautiful but harsh, exciting, sometimes disturbing. So many emotions, so much history to grapple with in how a country that has been constantly torn apart can be rebuilt through time. When I arrived in the town of Siem Reap in 2000 the expat community was small, a mix of nationalities working in different sectors; NGO’s, UN, hospitality, business or general wanderer. My time was divided between working in the Angkor Park, days out on the Tonle Sap lake, dirt bike trips, adventures to remote temples and nights spent in the 3 bars the town had to offer. My work with WMF led me to the Fine Art department at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh where they were keen for me to teach. In 2001 I set up a relief print-making workshop. It was a huge success and of great significance as I realized I could use both my artistic and teaching skills and make an idea for a project happen through fundraising, coordinating and curating. The following

years have been filled with a mix of them all. One of the ideas that became a reality was The Peace Art Project Cambodia (PAPC) which I cofounded in 2003. PAPC was a project turning weapons of war into symbols of peace and was to be another important moment in my life. A key experience as it was the first large-scale art project that raised awareness about a serious global issue; with PAPC it was the proliferation of small arms in conflict and post-conflict countries. Other largescale projects followed every few years addressing different issues. Curating and promoting artistic talent became a focus; it was an exciting time where there was a developing contemporary art scene with some beautifully passionate, talented, clever artists, in a country where ninety percent of Cambodian creatives had died under the Khmer Rouge. In this post-conflict environment education was key to the country’s development. Being a teacher in Cambodia was a pure joy, feeding young minds hungry to learn and with no discipline problems whatsoever… Quite unexpectedly I also became the British Embassy to Cambodia’s Honorary Consul in Siem Reap. When I started in 2008 there was a huge rise in British nationals visiting Cambodia so the FCO deemed an Hon Con a necessary role. I was a frequent visitor to the hospitals, the police station and jail assisting British nationals and citizens from the numerous other countries that the UK covered with assistance abroad. My son was born in Bangkok in 2013. Around the same time my father was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Over the following two years my son and I split our lives between Cambodia and the UK helping my mother care for my father as he rapidly succumbed to dementia’s debilitating effects. Dad died in September 2015. His passing was probably the catalyst for deciding it was time to relocate back to the UK. Now we are settled once more in the West Country having swapped the temples of Angkor for the Cerne Giant, the Jurassic coast and Dorset’s other wonders. It feels like the wheel of life has turned and I’m back where I began and although Cambodia changed my direction, ultimately it has led me back to my homeland.

UP FRONT In the film Cast Away, Chuck Noland, a systems engineer for the delivery firm FedEx is stranded alone on a desert island. Played by Tom Hanks, Noland develops a relationship with a volleyball which he calls Wilson. Since Noland is stranded alone for years, Wilson becomes quite important to him and there is an emotional scene where the two become separated. Since the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions, there have been endless stories of families bonding, families fighting, friends reuniting and couples discovering true love - or not. But living alone in isolation is a strange thing. Having ‘unplugged’ my old friend the listening speaker ‘Alexa’ last year, I decided to reinstate her during lockdown. We have now rekindled our relationship and she happily brings me music as well as radio stations and news from around the world. However, she really came into her own recently when I had problems with a neighbour—a scratchy neighbour. This particular creature had a habit of getting busy at unsociable times, often when most of us like to sleep. My little friend had decided to build a home somewhere in the walls of the caravan. This would be fine if he or she was prepared to work the same hours as me, but no, it had to be during the night. So I recruited Alexa and asked her to play some tunes that might distract my friend from their nocturnal excavation. Thus began a journey into songs I haven’t heard for years. In a Gadda Da Vida by Iron Butterfly; Hocus Pocus by the Dutch band Focus; Moving to Montana by Frank Zappa. I was on a mission to find songs that might be too much for my little friend to compete with. I even tried a bit of Taiko drumming. But it was all to no avail. I think ‘scratchy’ quite liked it. So I changed tack and decided to instruct Alexa to play some animal noises. I was sure that the sound of a cat would do the trick, and when that didn’t work I moved up the scale, experimenting with a tiger, a lion and then a panther—now that is scary. Before long I found that listening to recordings of different animal noises distracted me completely from my initial goal. Now, trying out new animal sounds has become a daily diversion. I don’t often hear my little friend anymore though—he or she may well have moved to a quieter part of the jungle. However, Wilson is now being difficult. He doesn’t like it one bit and says I might be going nuts. 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 Fergus Byrne

Deputy Editor Victoria Byrne


Fergus Byrne


Fergus Byrne

THIS MONTH Building a New Future

The world we knew is changing and many of us will be trying to build new lives in the months and years after coronavirus. We’d love to hear from you about what is happening in your community along with who and what we could be featuring. We’d also like to know what you’d like to see in your community magazine and hear your ideas. Email us at: 5 12 16 20 30 32 34

Cover Story By Robin Mills Crisis and Opportunity By Bruce Harris Time to Write By Jane Corry Notices from Local Groups The Mayflower By Cecil Amor News & Views Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn

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House & Garden Vegetables in May By Ashley Wheeler May in the Garden By Russell Jordan Property Round Up By Helen Fisher

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Food & Dining Stupid Man, Stupid Trout By Nick Fisher Bean Barley Risi with Asparagus By Lesley Waters Orecchiette with Wild Garlic Pesto By Mark Hix Spicy and Sweet Potatoes By Jessica Fisher Rhubarb Marinated Tofu Steaks By Heather Thomas

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Arts & Entertainment One Two Three Four By Fergus Byrne Movies in Lockdown By Nic Jeune Galleries A Sneak Peek at the Virtual Gallery

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Health & Beauty Services & Classified


From the Archives

“Things are more like they are today than they ever have been before.” Like us on Facebook

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Contributors Helen Fisher Nick Fisher Richard Gahagan Irina Georgescu Margery Hookings Mark Hix Russell Jordan

Robin Mills Sarah Raven Philip Strange Catherine Taylor Humphrey Walwyn Lesley Waters

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.

Shute Festival to hold 2020 events Online


Sophy Roberts

hute Festival, the boutique Devon literary festival which is now in its fifth year, will be holding its 2020 events online during the Coronavirus Lockdown. Rather than cancelling its line-up of bestselling authors, the Festival organisers have arranged for the events to be held as live events via a zoom webinar. As a bonus, the events can be accessed for free. Half-a-dozen events are lined up for the next few months. Forthcoming highlights for May include the Financial Times’ travel editor Sophy Roberts on her new book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia (22 May, 6-7pm) and Devon poet, writer and cider-maker James Crowden on his recently-published The Frozen River: Seeking Silence in the Himalaya (23 May, 6-7pm) Festival co-director Samantha Knights said ‘Both of these books have taken on a new meaning personally at this time as we all face difficult times and much uncertainty. Both are set in areas of deep isolation and adversity, and describe travel and endurance in times of profound austerity. Both talks could have a lot to say to those who are dealing with the stresses of the lockdown.’ Later events in June and July include a strong travel theme, with Peter Fiennes on Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers (26 June 7:30pm), and Robert Twigger on Walking the Great North Line: From Stonehenge to Lindisfarne to Discover the Mysteries of Our Ancient Past (26 June 7:30pm). In July, the Sunday Times’ chief foreign correspondent Christina Lamb OBE will speak on her new book Our Bodies Their Battlefield, on women’s experi-

Christina Lamb

Peter Fiennes 10 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

James Crowden

ence of war (18 July 10:30 am), based on her own reporting from warzones over 25 years. The Festival will also host an international panel discussion on human rights in the time of Coronavirus, with law professor Tawia Baidoe Ansah; film director Lisa Clifford; slavery and trafficking lawyer Ahmed Aydeed; and Afghan charity director Rahela Siddiqi (30 April 6-7 pm). The Festival is normally held in St Michael’s Church in the picturesque and historic village of Shute. Those wishing to attend should visit the Festival website at for further details on how to join these events and to join the mailing list.

Rahela Siddiqi

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Crisis and



Devon-based author, Bruce Harris, whose fist novel Howell Grange was published last year has some helpful advice for those starting on the road to publication.

ome people can live easily with their own company; some find it more difficult. Some, naturally gregarious or communicative, find it virtually impossible. But when there isn’t a great deal of choice in the matter, as is the case with the extraordinary circumstances in which we now find ourselves, perhaps the very restrictions can be fashioned into new opportunities. People who have always had an idea that, given the chance, they could write something which those who decide these things would be willing to publish, have just had a perfect opportunity dropped in their lap.

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Aspiring writers will often turn to creative writing courses, though many of these will struggle to continue in the present situation, except by correspondence. Magazines aimed at would-be writers are full of advertisements offering self-publishing and writing critiques. As the options are weighed up and the sums calculated, what are the chances of getting into print without straining the bank balance with courses or self-publishing projects? In 2003, I had never published any ‘creative writing’ at all. During a career in teaching and educational research, my research reports and

research-based articles had been published in the educational press, but no fiction or poetry with my name on it had ever appeared in literary magazines. When retirement circumstances allowed me to leave education in my mid-fifties, I felt the break needed to be a clean one. I’d always told myself that the creative writing impulse which had produced a few juvenilia novels and some scripts and poems for the kids would finally come into its own as soon as a real opportunity arose. Now the time had come for me to call my own bluff. Firstly, I had to decide on the need or otherwise

for a creative writing course. The resources were available if necessary, but I felt I needed to take a long and careful look at what was on offer before risking any serious amounts of money—and hope. Secondly, I knew something of what many editors and publishers will tell you are the everpresent plagues of their lives. They include people who haven’t actually read any short fiction or poetry for decades submitting work imitating long dead authors; people who have never published anything sending in manuscripts and expecting immediate success, and people sending in stories and poems to magazines and e-zines which make

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‘Even writers with lists of published works don’t automatically get into print.’ it obvious that they have yet to read an edition of the magazine. I did enough reading and research to become aware of the realities of approaching agents and publishers. Even writers with lists of published works don’t automatically get into print. Sending work to publishers or agents when you have never published anything is, to be frank, a waste of everyone’s time. Even in the case of the smaller print magazines and e-zines, submissions from unpublished authors are up against it. After three years, I hadn’t drawn a complete blank; four poems and two short stories had made it into small magazines. But I’d also accumulated a collection of rejection letters and e-mails, most of which were no help at all. I felt that the passing years forbade me too much time; something needed to happen to accelerate the process. I chose competitions rather than courses. Competitive writing is, in the last analysis, the acid test; if a writer does have a spark of genuine ability, and the material is good, results will come. If they just don’t, then knowing where you stand, cruel as it may be, is better than lavishing energy, expectation and money on what is probably a deadend alley. Of course, the courses route is always available to people who have time and money enough and who genuinely believe that courses will enable them to reach the required standard.

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Even for writing competitions, a little scam-awareness is necessary. Most legitimate competitions will charge a modest entry fee of a few pounds, and it is clear from their prize structure where most of the money goes. If the entry fee seems hefty and the prize structure modest or non-existent, the competition is best avoided, and likewise if there is no explanation of who is judging, how the judging is taking place and when and how the results will be made available. In my experience, the longer a competition has been going and the more precisely defined its structure, the greater the chance that it is legitimate. Following on from four published collections of short stories, I published my first novel, Howell Grange, in October 2019. I didn’t, from the start, set out to make any significant amount of money from writing, and anyone who does aim to do so is likely to find the route difficult. But my first two collections consisted entirely of stories which had won placings, commendations or listings in short fiction competitions, and my first poetry collection had a large proportion of poems gaining similar results. There is a lot of stimulation, satisfaction and challenge to be had in creative writing, and good luck and best wishes to anyone who decides to have a crack at it.

Bruce Harris’s awards list includes prizes, commendations or listings in competitions organised by Momaya Press, GRIST Magazine, Retreat West, Writer’s Bureau (twice); Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle (five times); Cinnamon Press, Artificium (twice), Biscuit Publishing, Yeovil Prize, Milton Keynes Speakeasy (three times), Exeter Writers, Fylde Writers, First Writer, Brighton Writers (three times), Exeter Story Prize, Ifanca Helene James Competition, HISSAC Competition, Ink Tears, Wells Literary Festival, Wirral Festival of Firsts, New Writer, Segora (twice), Sentinel Quarterly, Swale Life, Rubery Short Story Competition, Mearns Writers, Erewash Writers, Nantwich Festival, Bedford Writing Competition (twice), Havant Literary Festival, Earlyworks Press, Southport Writers’ Circle (twice), West Sussex Writers, Lichfield Writers’ Circle, Cheer Reader (three times), TLC Creative, 3into1 Short Story Competition, Waterloo Commemoration Short Story Competition, Meridian, Homestart Bridgwater Competition, Five Stop Story (three times), JB Writers’ Bureau, Red Line (three times), Bridport Prize shortlist (twice) and Bristol Prize longlist. He has also been extensively published in magazines and e-zines. See links section for details of writing competitions.

Howell Grange by Bruce Harris, a story of a Northern mine-owning family set in the mid-nineteenth century, was published by the Book Guild on October 28th 2019. It is available for ordering at: The Book Guild Foyles Waterstones Booktopia W H Smith

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Time to Write

More and more people are turning to books for comfort during this difficult time. But how about writing your own story?

Sunday Times best-selling Penguin author, Jane Corry, has some writing exercises to suit all age groups.


ave you always wanted to write a story? Or are you looking for more ways to entertain the children? Then let’s get started! Below are some ideas that can work for all ages. You can do them on your own or as part of a group. Happy writing!

it around to some music. When it stops, the person holding the bag takes an object out. Everyone then writes down a sentence about that object. You read each out in turn and see if it helps you think of a story idea. You could either brainstorm this idea together or use it to write down your own individual stories.

• Bag of tricks Nominate one of you to put some small objects in a bag. For example, a brightly coloured scarf; a pretty box; a shell etc. Pass

• Nice to meet you! Cut out a picture of a person. If he/she is famous, ignore the real name and pretend it’s a stranger.

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Ask yourself the following questions: Where does this person live? Do they have a secret? What’s their biggest fear? What do they want to do in life? Here’s an example. Julia is a mermaid. She has always wanted to live in a town. One day, she meets a little girl called Susie playing on the beach. They swap places. At the end of the day, they go back to their old lives. Julia has missed being a mermaid. And Susie is glad to be home with her parents. But they stay friends and always wave at each other when they pass on the sea front. • Power words Write a list of words and cut each one out. Place them upside down and take it in turns to pick one up. When it’s your go, make up a sentence with that word in it. After everyone has done that, take it in turns to pick another word for your next sentence and so on. Here are some examples of words to use: Bright Happy Shell Shop Sportscar Dog • Pick up a book Suitable for one or more people. Take it in turns to read a sentence from a book. Then think of your own sentence to go after it. And another. And so on. • Every object tells a story Put a group of objects on a tray. Here are some examples: A doll A mug A spoon A pencil.

Take it in turns to pick up an object and tell a story about it. If you’re stuck, ask the following questions: Who owned this? Has it ever been lost? How was it found again? What else might you use it for? • Postcards Find an old postcard or photograph. Imagine who might have sent it or taken the picture. What was their name? Where did they live? Do they have a secret? Where are they now? Happy writing!

Jane Corry’s new book I Made a Mistake is published by Penguin at the end of May. It’s about Poppy who never meant to have an affair until Mathew returns after 23 years. But Betty, her mother in law, also has her secrets which go back to the 1960s…. Available in shops and supermarkets and online.

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Under the Duvet with radio newsreader


he lockdown has presented challenges for everyone at Yeovilbased Radio Ninesprings. Keeping the station on air has occasionally been demanding, not least, having to present shows from temporary studios at home. Steve Carpenter is presenting his ‘Breakfast Show’ and ‘Classic Years’ from home although listening to Steve you would never guess he was not in the Radio Ninesprings studio (the sign of a true professional). Ross Owen Williams and his partner Vicky are home working, getting it together, and doing a terrific entertaining

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Steve Haigh dampens down an echo

job with their lunchtime and mid-afternoon shows. And young Jake Hunter is obeying the rules on social distancing up high from a studio set-up in his bedroom And, spare a thought for newsreader, Steve Haigh— to kill off an echo in his makeshift home studio, Steve’s having to read the news from underneath a duvet. He says it may look like he’s ready for bed but promises his stories will not send listeners to sleep! To hear Radio Ninesprings tune in to 104.5 FM or listen online: www.

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FOLLOWING Government advice, gatherings have now all been cancelled. The following notices from just a few of the local groups whose events have been promoted within these pages over many years, confirm positions taken by these organisations. We will keep you up to date on any other information in future issues.

Pam Simpson Arts History Pam has started to teach online using the Zoom meetings app. She is teaching her Art and Design History courses online. If you would like to join the course which is to restart in early May, get in touch on or Telephone 01300 321715. She meets students online twice a week for 35-40 minutes for 6 wks. The on line fee is £39. Pam Simpson is an Associate Lecturer at Bath Spa University and has worked in London art schools for the majority of her career teaching Art and Design History and Visual Culture. Dorset 3 Peaks The Dorset Three Peaks event has been postponed until 19 June 2021. Interest can be registered now at (potentially a nice goal to aim for following everyone’s daily exercise at the moment!). Dorset Three Peaks takes place across the Wessex Ridgeway, join Diverse Abilities and trek Dorset’s three highest peaks, in what is a completely unique event. During this stunning hike, you will cover more than 26 miles, climb more than 1,300 metres and finish by sunset whilst discovering Dorset’s finest unspoilt countryside. Starting at sunrise, you’ll hike Lowesdown Hill, Pilsdon Pen and finish at the top of Bulbarrow Hill, where you’ll celebrate your

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achievement with your fellow hikers with a glass of bubbly and a spectacular view! Honiton Walking Group The Honiton walking club walks have been suspended until May 31st when they will be reviewed! There are still lots of opportunities and lovely weather to get out for your daily exercise with a local walk! Good for your physical & mental wellbeing especially during the lockdown! Stay safe! Beaminster Museum Although we are not able to open to the public, there is still much activity behind the scenes, with volunteers beavering away in their homes, making plans for the Extension Project in the autumn. Deciding how to pack and protect some distinctly oddly-shaped artefacts for example, to writing the sentence “What about the mannequins in the shed?” Strange times. We still hope to be able to open to the public prior to needing to close to pack up the contents. Watch this space! Mary Caddick Mary Caddick’s Creative Process and Self Expression 10 week course due to start on Tuesday 21st April has been postponed until September. Levels 1 + 2 will be offered in September if government guidelines permit

Lyme Morris reminding us of the colour and fun that we can look forward to in the future

this. Please contact Mary Caddick at m.caddick@gmx. net or call 07557 275 275. Marine House at Beer and Steam Gallery With the lockdown the galleries are physically closed. However there is considerable activity online. If some thing appeals to you on our up to date web, www. contact us by phone 01297 626267 or email We can easily arrange door to door delivery. Chideock WI We have been busy during the lockdown making bags from pillow cases to be used by NHS staff for their dirty scrubs and uniforms. A total of 256 finished wash bags were collected by West Dorset Scrubbers for distribution to medical facilities in West Dorset. These were mainly made in Chideock, but significant numbers have been included from our friends and neighbours in Fishpond, Morecombelake, Whitchurch Canonicorum, and Colmer WI. West Dorset Scrubbers have now taken delivery of material which is being cut up to make scrubs. These are being distributed to seamstresses in the area to make up and Chideock WI members will be helping on this project. So you may not hear traffic on the A35 but there are plenty of sewing machines buzzing away.

Lyme Morris Local Morris dancers Lyme Morris have recently shown their support for the NHS during lockdown by making a short video film. The film shows dancers and musicians in their isolation locations dancing to the British Grenadier. The children’s favourite, mascot “Lymeasaurus” also features. The video entitled “Lyme Morris practicing Socially Distanced Dancing during the Coronavirus Lockdown”, can be found at the link below. The popular West Country Morris side look forward to dancing out in the local area once the world returns to normal. Pigpen Friday Feast deliveries Next Pigpen Friday Feast delivery date May 1st. Scrummy home cooked food delivered hot to your door. Within a 4 mile radius of Over Stratton TA135LB. To order meal Contact: Check website for further details of future Friday Feasts. Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard Saturday 9 May, West Dorset Group of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society meeting ‘Loders back along’ with Bernard Paull is cancelled. For more info contact Jane on 01308 425710 or email:

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 21 . Tuesday 12 May, Bridport History Society meeting ‘Mayflower 400 - Who were the Pilgrim Fathers?’ Carrie Southwell and Donna Heys ‘Our Mayflower Ancestors’, is cancelled, it is hoped to have the talk in December. If you would like to get a copy of the newsletters we are sending our members contact Jane on 01308 425710 or email: jferentzi@ Courses: Tuesday 12 May, Dillington House, Ilminster, ‘West Country Migration in the 1800s’ tutor, local historian Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard, has been rearranged for Tuesday 15 September. For up dates see the Dillington House website: Long Bredy Coffee Breaks As soon as we are able to hold them, the Long Bredy Saturday Village coffee breaks will re commence with all their usual attractions. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our lovely friendly village once again. Meanwhile, stay safe at home. Colyton & District Garden Society Due to the current situation and government restrictions, we have taken the sad decision to cancel all talks and events until further notice. For more information call Sue Price on 01297 552362. The Living Tree, Cancer Support Group, Bridport Although not holding any regular meetings or events, the Living Tree is very much alive and well, but active only at a distance for the moment, until we are advised otherwise. We will be publishing our Newsletter every 2 weeks from now on so we can keep people affected by cancer informed about new initiatives as things change and develop. (To subscribe to the Newsletter please send a request to . You can unsubscribe at any time.) We wish to say a huge thank you to all NHS staff, essential workers and volunteers who are working tirelessly to keep us safe at this time. As we know the most important thing we can all do is to stay at home. This does not mean, however, that we need to lose contact with each other. Over the last few weeks The Living Tree has been very active, with many of our regular therapists and supporters offering on-line opportunities via Zoom to participate in the usual programme of activities. For those new to this, Zoom ( is a web-based communications platform for meetings or events and is free of charge for basic use. For individuals who are self-isolating for whatever reason, there are resources available within the

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community. Bridport town council has provided information about resources and organisations within Bridport There is also now a Bridport Coronavirus Community Support Group groups/413504675760119/ and Nextdoor, https://, there to offer many kinds of help. If you have concerns about medical issues concerning your cancer or treatment, Macmillan has a number of useful resources and virtual support https:// Please note that any urgent issues should still be referred to your Clinical Nurse Specialist. The Macmillan Support Line is open and free to call: 0808 8080000 seven days a week, 9am – 5pm. There is a Macmillan online community https://community.macmillan. and Age UK has a useful website: The Penny Brohn UK Centre www.pennybrohn. provides online resources, including a series of free online classes from international leaders in health, wellbeing, psychology and lifestyle. They are also running a Helpline 0303 300 0118 and some 1:1 services. Just contact if you have any concerns or just need to talk. Tel 07341 916976. Email: Facebook page: @ weempoweryou247 East Devon Ramblers East Devon Ramblers have been halted in their tracks. No more group walking during this time of lockdown and social distancing. Until restrictions are lifted, take the opportunity to get out into your locality and explore on foot. It’s amazing how much there is to see when you walk; the spring trees and looking spectacular covered in blossom, gardens and looking colourful and cheerful, birds are flying about looking for food. At some point, Ramblers will be on the move again and you will be very welcome to join us. We look forward to walking with you in the future. Musbury Garden Club The talk planned for 18th May - Ben Candlin on ‘UK Subtropical plants’ is of course cancelled, bringing to an end Season 10 of talks from October 2019 to May 2020. We look forward to seeing everyone in happier times.

Lyme Bay Arts Although its exhibition venues on the Symondsbury Estate are now closed, Lyme Bay Arts has launched a Creative Wellbeing Project, open to the whole community to take part in, aimed at helping us through the current situation. In brief, individuals or families are being encouraged to have fun making daily entries in sketchbooks, notebooks or on paper—writings, drawings, pastings, etc—and these works will be exhibited, once the crisis is over, at an exhibition that will record our creativity over a difficult time. Join the many who have already signed up by contacting phil@ or via text to 07809 831760. Concerts in the West Concerts in the West has taken the decision to cancel the following 2020 concerts tours, as it is likely that restrictive measures due to the Covid-19 crisis will still be in place. May (Trio Klein, featuring Kamila Bydlowska, Shiry Rashkovsky and Riccardo Pes) June (Ferio Saxophone Quartet) July (Creating Carmen) However, Concerts in the West plans to invite these musicians back to play in 2021 or 2022. Yeovil Chamber Choir Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Yeovil Chamber Choir has been forced to cancel all forthcoming events, notably the Workshop on the Monteverdi Vespers planned for this coming Saturday 25 April, and our Summer Concert scheduled for Wednesday 1 July… The bad news continues – our Musical Director, William McElwee, finding himself without work, and not eligible for UK government financial assistance, has with his wife Heather Easting, who was Organ Scholar at Exeter Cathedral, now returned to New Zealand. They managed to get places on virtually the last NZ bound flight out of UK and are now in quarantine in Auckland. The Choir has, however, already started the recruitment process to engage a new Musical Director, and will keep everybody advised of developments. We certainly don’t intend to let a virus put an end to more than 25 years of successful singing! Axe Vale & District Conservation Society We are sorry to say that all AV&DCS events remain cancelled until the 1st of June at the earliest. We hope, though, that however constrained life has become, the unfolding of this poignantly beautiful Spring is providing some consolation to all Marshwood Vale readers.

Hawkchurch Film Nights In line with governmental Coronavirus guidelines, we have reluctantly cancelled our scheduled screenings for May and June. We look forward very much to returning after the summer once it is safe for us to get together again - hopefully in September. Best wishes and good health. A Space for Living Spiritually The events for “A Space for Living Spirituality” held one Saturday per month each Spring and Autumn term at the Bridport Meeting House will continue once the lockdown is lifted. If you wish to be on our mailing list to be kept informed, please contact Janet on iona.lake@ We wish you all well. Cerne Abbas May Day Dancing The famous bells of Dorset’s longest-established morris dancing side will be silent on May Day – for the first time ever – as a result of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Led by their fearsome-looking Dorset Ooser, Wessex Morris Men traditionally climb the hill on May 1, to dance at sunrise in the enclosure above the famous Cerne Abbas Giant and then process dancing into the village waving sprigs of May blossom. Despite not being able to perform at present, Wessex Morris Men are determined to return and the side will be happy to welcome new dancers when they are permitted to practice again. Whether you are an experienced dancer or a complete novice, email squire@wessexmorrismen. with your contact details for information. Petherton Arts Trust (PAT) Because of the corona virus, in March Petherton Arts Trust (PAT), who own and run The David Hall in South Petherton, took the decision to close its doors. At present, PAT hopes to re-open The David Hall in late June and will use their website – – as well as social media, to keep everyone informed. Emma Westerman, The David Hall’s Administrator, has been working hard to rebook most of the performers who were scheduled for April, May and June; so, anyone who was looking forward to seeing – for example - Cara Dillon, Oysterband, Gigspanner Big Band, Daphne’s Flight or The Demon Barbers XL, will be able to book seats for these, and others, in 2021. Meanwhile, every day PAT is sharing live and recorded performances from a wide variety of artists and musicians on their Facebook page - @TheDavidHallSP and on Twitter - @ thedavidhallsp. Hopefully, the end of June will find the world in a better place and events scheduled for The David Hall in July will go ahead.

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Cultural Connection with Artsreach


rtsreach are still working to try and bring us comedy, music, drama—even if it’s online! Dorset’s touring arts charity Artsreach celebrates its 30th birthday in 2020 but, rather than bringing audiences, artists and volunteers together, the Artsreach staff team and Board of Trustees have had to make some difficult decisions in the current

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situation, cancelling live performances set to take place in community venues such as village halls. The team continue to monitor the situation relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, listening to Government and Public Health advice and planning accordingly. The impact of this pandemic on our Country is still unfolding but in the meantime, the Artsreach team continue to work remotely and are exploring how best to support our artists and communities at this time and in the future. Artsreach’s Sarah Ryan explained how the organisation is planning for the future. ‘Artsreach is very grateful for the excellent support being given by our principal funders, Arts Council England and Dorset Council’, she said. ‘We are working hard to explore what our next programme might look like, and as always, we will do this in communication and partnership with our fantastic team of volunteers across the county.’

To keep people entertained and culturely in touch lots of material has been released online. ‘Until we can come together to enjoy professional performances once more, we hope that we can brighten your day just a little by keeping you Culturally Connected’ said Sarah. ‘Many of our touring friends are working hard to keep in touch with us all by releasing lots of lovely creative content online. In response, we have built a ‘Digital Diary’ on the Artsreach website, which will be regularly updated. The page will be constantly changing so keep checking back and keep sharing it—we’ve seen some wonderful performances so far.’ For more information and to keep in touch visit

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Broadwindsor enjoys the Sound of Music through the window


arshwood Vale Magazine contributor Margery Hookings has been lightening the mood in her home village of Broadwindsor. Every day at 1pm she has been playing a selected song through an upstairs window to all who might listen—and in many cases come out and dance. Her efforts to cheer up the village were given a boost recently when fellow resident and musician Simon Emerson lent her two huge speakers and a mixing desk. Thankfully Margery has used the equipment before when she and Simon ran the New Year’s disco in the village pub. Now the sound of music has reached as far as the BBC who have recently featured her on the local news. ‘I’ve been doing it for nearly four weeks now,’ said Margery. ‘I play the songs through a loudspeaker in my spare bedroom. I call the slot The Sound of Music Through The Square Window. The idea came to me when I was listening to Lauren Laverne on Radio 6 Music doing requests for listeners. Our music radio stations are doing

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Margery Hookings at her window in Broadwindsor. Photo by James Dawson

us proud at the moment and I thought having something similar but much more local could help lift people’s spirits. So I messaged my neighbour and asked her to listen out at one o’clock and it’s evolved from there.’ She had feedback from nearby residents who were disappointed they couldn’t hear the music. So on Sunday, The Sound of Music Through The Square Window was boosted with the help of Simon’s PA system. Simon is a professional musician and record producer who founded Afro Celt Sound System. ‘It was brilliant,’ Margery said. ‘The choice for the day was You’ll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers for local resident Terry Clarke. I also dedicated it to the indomitable Captain Tom Moore who has raised so much money for our hard-pressed NHS and shown how one person can make such a difference. ‘Having Simon’s amplification equipment was really very special and it proved to be quite an emotional moment.’

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Birth of an Archive 28 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

AN initiative that began as a an attempt to create a visual reminder of the challenges we face and a slice of Bridport community life during the COVID-19 crisis, hopes to extend further afield as interest in it grows. Bridport Lockdown was launched by Netherbury resident Eddy Pearce to capture and archive stories from daily life in and around Bridport during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. He hopes it will become an archive for historians of the future, in the same way that the handwritten diaries of the past, left to us by the likes of Samuel Pepys, recorded the histories that we know now of events like the Great Plague. Eddy realised the importance of acknowledging and recording stories of daily life surrounding the Coronavirus quarantine period after recently establishing the Covid-19 support group for the villages north of Bridport, including Netherbury, Salwayash and Melplash. With a background in film and photography, and understanding that the current period of time is one of the most unique periods that most of us will ever experience in our lifetimes, Eddy started to look at ways that he could enable the local community to capture what current lives look like, and the relevance it will hold for generations to come. He and those involved are particularly keen to engage with all local groups, clubs, businesses, charities, and organisations who may be able to contribute with perspectives of their own stories during lockdown. This project is not aimed at only photographers, but rather anybody with a story to share. For more information or to upload images and stories, please visit www. .

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The Mayflower By Cecil Amor


ou may know this as the name of the ship which took many of the Pilgrim Fathers to the New World in 1620. If we did not have the present national emergency, no doubt we should have many references to the Mayflower in the next few months and Plymouth would be celebrating. The Mayflower sailed from Southampton in August 1620 and then put into Plymouth for repairs before setting off on the journey. It ended up in New England on the coast of what became Massachusetts, but had expected to land in Virginia. So why did they undertake this hazardous journey 400 years ago? The reason goes back over several hundred years, perhaps beginning with John Wyclif who lived in Oxford in the 1300’s and questioned papal authority. Then Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutchman who visited Oxford and Cambridge before his death in 1536. He was a Protestant and wished to reduce the power of the clergy. Shortly after, Martin Luther, who influenced people to doubt medieval ideas of salvation and of priests being paid for praying for the souls of the dead and for selling indulgences. He possibly inspired the Reformation in Western Europe in the 16th century after years of catholicism. Then came the reign of Henry VIII who so pleased the Pope that he made him Defender of the Faith until Henry wished to divorce his Queen to marry Ann Boleyn. When the Pope refused Henry made himself Head of the Church of England and started to reduce the power of the monasteries and take their wealth. Henry was still effectively a Catholic, but his son Edward was a Protestant and went further than his father in overturning the monasteries. On his death in 1553 his sister Mary tried to return the country to catholicism and commenced burning Protestants. Queen Elizabeth 1 was protestant but her successor James 1 married a French Catholic. All these changes and fears of religious persecution convinced some Protestants, some known as Separatists, that they should leave

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England initially for Holland and later for the New World where they could make a new start and worship God in their own way. England had increased in population, but the poor were getting poorer and the promise of their own land in the New World to settle on and grow crops was very attractive. The Mayflower migrants have become known as the Pilgrim Fathers and said to be the first settlers of the New World. We now know that there were others before them. According to Cecil Cullingford in A History of Dorset, Sir Walter Erle of Charborough Park, later MP for Weymouth, helped to set up the Dorchester Company in 1623/4 with a view to establishing a base in New England to raise corn and meat for merchants in the cod fishing and fur trade. The Rev John White, rector of Holy Trinity and St Peter’s in Dorchester had helped the poor and homeless locally, then took a leading part in organising migration of Dorset Puritans to Massachusetts who wished to have freedom of worship without interference from bishops or government. Most of the leading Dorset Puritans were shareholders in the Dorchester Company. A ship, the Fellowship, took 13 Dorset men to near Cape Ann north of Boston and later cattle were shipped out. In 1628 John Endecott was chosen by Rev John White to supervise the colony. With his wife and about twenty emigrants he sailed in the Abingale from Weymouth. In the following year three more ships sailed from Weymouth with emigrants to cross the Atlantic. In 1630 the town of Dorchester was established on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts. The largest group of emigrants under John Winthrop was in 1630. Another ship, the Mary and John sailed four times from 1607 to 1633 with different Masters, George Popham, Robert Davies, Christopher Jones and Robert Sayers, although I have not been able to verify this list. The Mary and John was at one stage owned by Roger Ludlow who assisted with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Probably about 200 people migrated from Dorset to North America between 1620 and

1650, according to estimates by Richard Hindson in his short history of Bridport. He writes that migrants from the Bridport area included some from Symondsbury and two from Askerswell. One “Henry Way the Puritan”of Bridport sailed from Plymouth on 20th March 1630 with his wife Elizabeth and five children, ranging from 22 to 6 years old. They landed at Nantucket on the 30th of May 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1995 Mr E W Street from Lyme Regis gave a talk to Bridport History Society entitled The Mary and John, ship to the New World and introduced a “New World Tapestry” created of 24 frames. This was to be housed in Coldharbour Hall at Cullompten with a commentary in several languages. The tapestry is larger than the Bayeux tapestry. Panels were produced in Plymouth (2), Exeter, Tiverton and Lyme Regis among many towns. The Lyme Regis panel, 11 ft by 4 ft, contained 1.5 million stitches and included 11 flowers taken to, or brought back from America, Rocket, Snowdrop, Pasque Flower, Garlic Mustard, Hyssop, Wolfsban, Cranesbill, Dead Nettle, Elm, Leopardsbane and Fritillary. The panel also included 11 coats of arms relating to families which had migrated to the colony. The last stitch was added in Connecticut, USA. A total of 45 pictures was incorporated telling the story of the travellers to the new world of Massachusetts.

This January at the local Family History meeting in Loders our friend and colleague, the historian Jane Ferentzi Sheppard discussed the Pilgrim Fathers and introduced two ladies who are both descended from the original Pilgrim Fathers, Carrie Southwell and Donna Heys. This talk was to be repeated at Bridport History Society this May and we hope will be given as soon as this present emergency is over. Both ladies added to Jane’s talk. Carrie said her forefather, William Banister from Nottinghamshire sailed from Southampton and Plymouth to land in September 1620 and they were welcomed by local people. Some descendants of the local original Indians who met the Mayflower are still living in the area. The Pilgrims hunted and foraged for food and then built houses for themselves. A thanksgiving service was held after a year. Donna grew up in the USA and said that of the 102 pilgrims who arrived only 52 survived the first winter and now there are 35 million descendants in the USA. A William Mullins left Dorking, Surrey, for the Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower and his old house still survives in Dorking it has been said. Bridport History Society will not be meeting again until the present emergency is over when we shall advise dates and content of meetings. Good luck and good health to all. Cecil Amor, Hon President of Bridport History Society.


LYME REGIS Diver found after RNLI search

An Exmouth RNLI lifeboat teamed up with Lyme Regis RNLI, a Royal Navy ship, a coastguard helicopter and other vessels to search for a missing diver recently. The diver was located safe and well, taken to safety and fined by police for not adhering to government COVID-19 guidelines. Exmouth RNLI Deputy Coxswain, Roger Jackson, said: ‘I would urge everyone to please heed the latest government Coronavirus instructions.’

EXETER Homebase set for hospital

Because of lower than expected COVID-19 transmission rates in the South West a former Homebase store in Exeter has been chosen as the site for a new Nightingale Hospital that was originally planned for the Westpoint Centre. A statement from the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group said conversion of the former store would begin soon and it is hoped that it will be open in late May. The Army is helping alongside contractors BAM Construct Ltd

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WINCANTON Food firm donates to NHS Somerset food firm the Flavourworks has donated its surplus high risk coats to the NHS as part of an effort to help with the PPE shortage during the coronavirus crisis. The firm also donated cheese sauce to Moy Park in Northern Ireland whose culinary team has turned the NPD kitchen into a production line, creating 1,000 meals a week to be distributed by The Resource Centre Derry. The Flavourworks also hopes to donate to food banks.

PUDDLETOWN BBQ may have caused fire

A ‘completely avoidable wild fire’ which broke out in Puddletown forest recently may have been caused by a portable BBQ according to Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Services. ‘This afternoon a member of the public thought it would be a good idea to have a BBQ’ stated the service through its Facebook page. It added: ‘We cannot stress enough how irresponsible this is, especially in these current times’. Ten appliances attended the scene.

DORSET Over 100 fines issued by police

Officers are continuing their patrols on Dorset’s roads, key locations and beauty spots to ensure the public adhere to the Government’s stay home rules to tackle the coronavirus. Between Sunday 29 March and Thursday 23 April 2020 Dorset Police issued 118 fixed penalty notices to people who have been found to be making non-essential journeys or blatantly flouting the regulations. Just over half of the total fines issued, 60, were handed to non-Dorset residents.

Former patient plans to do 4,000 press-ups to raise funds for Dorset County Hospital Charity


orset County Hospital Charity has recently launched an urgent appeal to raise funds to support staff and patients during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Now a young man who received a lot of help from the hospital wants to do something to raise funds for the Appeal. Thomas Doggett-Hill, a young athlete based in Weymouth, had a difficult childhood. He spent a lot of time in Dorset County Hospital (DCH) where his treatment helped get him through to adult life. Thomas had a chronic lung dysfunction similar to Cystic Fibrosis and was close to death on a number of occasions. With the help of DCH staff, Thomas overcame many of his barriers and to combat his symptoms he committed himself to getting fit. Now he wants to give back to his local hospital and raise money for the people and the place that helped his so much. Chris Brown, Town Crier of Wimborne Minster and a good friend of Thomas’ said, ‘I have known this young fellow for many years and he is happy for me to say that I knew him when he was in care. He always struck me as a fantastic person and despite the challenges he had in front of him, he would give life a good go. Dorset County Hospital did wonders for him, as they do for many people. Now Thomas wants to do something for them. 10 years on he has done amazingly and I want to encourage you all to support him, a man I greatly admire.’ On the 1st and 22nd May and 12th June, Thomas will be completing press-ups via the Zoom app and other live streams with the aim of raising £2,000 for 4,000 press-ups. For £50 Thomas will do 100 press-ups, if he can raise £1,000 he will do 2,000!

Thomas said, ‘I’ve never done 1000 press ups or more in one session before. It’s a daunting task. Dorchester hospital has been a big part of my life since I was born there in 1991. I’ve always wanted to give back to them in some way. Now more than ever I feel it is the time to help and try to make a difference. So that’s what I’m going to do. ‘I may take breaks. I may sweat and pant but for every £1 I raise I am committed to do two press ups and I will get them done.’ Thomas is happy to consider any reasonable fitness challenges put forward with the aim of boosting his fundraising total. Please contact Thomas via email: thomas.doggetthill@

Please visit Thomas’ JustGiving page Thomas-Doggett-Hill1-DCH-APPEAL to support Dorset County Hospital at this challenging time. To find out more about Dorset County Hospital’s COVID-19 Appeal visit: campaign/DCHCOVID-19Appeal. To see more ideas for physical challenges during the lockdown period follow #DCHLockdownChallenge.

LUSH provide a helping hand to NHS staff Local fresh handmade cosmetics company LUSH has kindly donated soap and hand cream to Dorset NHS staff working on the frontline to tackle COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The 1,500 bars of Outback Mate soap bars and 1,500 pots of Helping Hands cream are being distributed to Dorset HealthCare staff across the county working day and night to support patients. This will support the hygiene measures which are so vital to minimise the spread of the virus. Dawn Dawson, the Trust’s Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality, said: ‘Thank you LUSH for this fantastic gesture, which will help protect our staff and keep patients safe. It’s these small acts of kindness that will create hope for our staff, while helping them to cope at this extremely challenging time.’ More information about Dorset HealthCare is available at Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 33

Look on the Bright Side Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn


ike most of you, I feel like I’m living in a sort of suspended animation. I certainly have no idea what day of the week it is, since today is much the same as yesterday and the day before. Weekends used to provide a finite focus for the rest of the week—things to look forward to like going to the movies on Friday evening, a party with friends on the Saturday and maybe a roast Sunday lunch with the family, but all days are now the same. Looking back, I find that whatever used to be normal, now seems completely unreal. How quickly we adapt as humans! When things get back to the way they used to be (as one day they surely will), I am probably going to have to re-learn how to shake hands without flinching. If anybody moves closer than six feet to me, it feels like common assault. Some days it’s a bit like living in a late-night science fiction movie where some awful disaster has overtaken the globe and I’m the only human left alive. However, despite all the undoubted gloom and inconvenience of being locked-down and the endless daily drip-feed of virus statistics, there are some positive things about being in locked-down isolation. Just make sure you don’t keep watching the news each day because that’s enough to turn you into a gibbering heap of nerves. I find myself following the daily death statistics as if they were football results. Noise: Or rather, the lack of it. There’s virtually no engine noise, no brake screeching and certainly no thunderous roar of motorbikes racing each other to death (sometimes literally) via Weymouth and back along the B3157 coast road. Up high in the sky, it’s an unbroken swathe of blue—no white contrails marking the transit of yet

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more holiday makers jetting exhaustedly to far off Marmaris, Marrakesh or Magaluf. I can hear the occasional combine in the fields, but mostly it’s bird song and the buzzing of bees. My ears (long accustomed to the pleasurable thunder of Jimi Hendrix or Aerosmith at full blast) can finally be awoken by the soft shrill of sparrows arguing noisily in the bush next to my bedroom or the glorious blackbird song from the garden. This is good. Money: As I’m already retired, there’s no great drop in income and no guilt at not earning my hourly pay. And, since we don’t have small children living with us which might threaten peace and sanity, my outgoings are less than normal. Actually, very greatly less! With no restaurants or cafés open and no coffee bars or pubs to tempt me out for a drink or a meal with mates, I have saved several hundreds of pounds this last month. Nor can I pop down the shops and pick up a spare pair of socks or a new tie—neither of which do I really need—and I can’t poke about looking for bargains in our local Saturday market. Do I miss going out and doing non-essential stuff ? No, I can’t say that I do. I miss the people, but I don’t really miss picking up a second hand light blue pie dish which would probably sit at the back of the cupboard until I gave it to a charity shop in two years’ time. Keeping in touch: I’m most grateful for new technology and the rise of WhatsApp and Zoom. I make a point of calling, talking to and—now—even seeing my children and grandchildren, my sisters and my favourite cousins on a regular basis. OK, so I see them only on a little screen, but it’s great! I swear I never did it this much before. Back in whatever we consider to be normal times, I would often put it off and say I’d call my

cousin Harry tomorrow. But now, the sense of isolation has made even tenuous family links seem so much more important. I could say for sure that the act of being ‘locked down’ has made me closer to my family, which is a bit weird but true. Distance makes the heart grow fonder etc. Learning new stuff: With all this extra time on hand, I could be learning Spanish, studying art and how to paint properly, re-learning how to play jazz piano or even starting to write my memoirs. But you know I probably won’t. The thought is there and so is the attraction of learning a new skill, but I know I won’t be doing anything that constructive. I’ll continue thinking about doing it which will give me a positive feeling all day, but I probably won’t actually do anything except (hopefully) finish reading the whole of War and Peace. This is something

I’ve always wanted to do, but again possibly never will…. I’ll get to the bit where Rostov is involved in the Battle of Austerlitz, and wonder if Prince Andrei’s wound will be terminal. I got here about five years ago at

I’ll continue thinking about doing it, which will give me a positive feeling all day page one hundred and something. If my forced isolation lasts another couple of months, I might get to page 300 out of 1,500. Don’t worry. That won’t happen because they’ll have to start football again by midsummer, so the clubs can afford to keep paying their multi thousand-a-week primadonnas. The nation’s virus statistics help put that into its proper perspective.

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VE Day disappointment for Big Band - but ‘we’ll meet again’

A.J.’s Big Band

A.J.’s Big Band, the South West’s premier swing band, had an important date in Exeter next month, where they were booked to play a special anniversary concert of Forties music, in the City’s centre, as part of the U.K’s celebration events. The concert was supported by the Rotary Club of Exeter, in aid of their charities, but, due to lockdown, cannot go ahead at present. The highly popular seventeen piece, now into its thirty-fourth year, has a long and remarkable record of playing at hundreds of concerts, dances and festival events across the West Country and beyond. Despite the considerable changes within the music industry, the Band has never lost its appeal. It continues to play the evergreen classics from the golden age of the big bands, featuring music from Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and other big names from that era, together with beautiful vocals made famous by the Andrew Sisters, Vera Lynn and the wonderful harmony groups who sang with their bands. A feast of nostalgia, bringing bittersweet memories of the war years. During the current period of social isolation, the Band is taking the opportunity of up-dating some of its earlier archive material, much of which is on reel to reel cassettes. Such recordings were made at the old Hall for Cornwall, Exeter Plaza Centre, Exeter Cathedral, Northcott Theatre and the old Octagon Theatre. In the Eighties, the Band played alongside Glenn Miller’s brother, Herb Miller,

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at the Great Hall, Exeter University. Following a run of Sunday night concerts at the Northcott Theatre, the Band was chosen to play the role of The Glenn Miller Orchestra in Little Brown Jug. So popular was this production, that the run was extended. London Fashion Week, Exeter Festival concerts at Killerton Gardens and sharing a bill with Humphrey Lyttleton and Helen Shapiro. Just some of the special memories from years gone by. One member of A.J.’s line-up, long serving saxophone player, Chris Gradwell, has a family war time story of his father, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, for his brave actions during anti-submarine warfare in the Artic.

Memories - The Mayor of Exeter, Diana Bess, with the Band on Exeter Cathedral Green during a Festival Arts fortnight

The Rotary Club of Exeter has always had a close association with A.J.s Big Band and will be planning a special charity concert, when circumstances permit, to say thank you to the dedicated NHS staff, at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. In the words of both Vera Lynn and our Queen —We’ll Meet Again! Despite the Exeter VE Day anniversary concert cancellation, support can be given to the HelpUsHelpYouRDE appeal, by donating online, Virgin Money Giving or by telephone 01392 402383. Cheques can be sent direct to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

House&Garden Home Schooling Young Gardeners A cheering book to peruse during a difficult time. From expert ecologist and educator Michael Holland, this illustrated compendium celebrates the plants in your life, from minty toothpaste to the floral names in your classroom. This comprehensive guide covers everything from the parts of a plant through to conservation, and also features DIY projects for young gardeners—perfect for home-schooling activities that are both fun and educational during lockdown at home. I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast is by Michael Holland, Illustrated by Philip Giordano. Published by Flying Eye Books. Hardback £14.99 – 7 years +.

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Take your own private tour with Petter. Click on the image to visit the eco-pod

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Petter Southall’s eco-pod is definitely a place to call your own


here is something irresistible about a little house at the bottom of the garden, especially one that looks like a hobbit house and is dry and cosy inside. Just at the moment none of us can have friends to stay but we might like to escape to a garden room ourselves. The eco-pod is designed as a place to sleep, to dream and relax, perhaps to write or paint, away from the house and surrounded by birdsong. Like a shepherd’s hut only much more unique, the ecopod is low impact and transportable. It fits on the back of a trailer and does not need foundations or planning permission. The pod is made entirely out of wood, apart from 4 inches of insulation in the walls and its eco-friendly recycled plastic rooftiles. The shape was inspired by two phenomenal wooden arches steam-bent from planks of Douglas Fir 12 inches wide, 1 ½ inches thick and 30 feet long. The outside of the pod is made from Western Red Cedar, a fantastically durable locally grown timber which weathers to a beautiful grey colour if left untreated. Inside it is lined with the legendary Norwegian pine, loved by all wooden boatbuilders. Contributing to the delicious smell, the ceiling has been treated with a matt lime wax to give a light colour. All other decisions about colours and finishes are being left for the person who buys the pod. It has been handmade by master-craftsman, Petter Southall, whose curvaceous furniture with beautiful detailing shows at Sladers Yard Gallery. After working as a wooden boatbuilder in Norway and America, and training as a cabinetmaker at the College of the Redwoods in California, Petter studied sustainable design in wood at John Makepeace’s Hooke Park College on the site now occupied by the Architectural Association. Back in 1989, Hooke Park College was a trail blazer in sustainable design attracting lecturers from all fields of architecture, design and woodwork to explore ways to encourage good forestry and use wood in innovative, environmentally friendly ways. Petter has always worked in renewable timbers native to Northern Europe. His finishes are natural and tactile and all his work smells and feels great. He works in solid timber using steam-bending and cabinet-making joinery in preference to glue and laminations in order to avoid harmful emissions or materials that will degrade with time. His eco-pod will be a joy for years to come. Petter Southall’s eco-pod is at Sladers Yard, West Bay. T: 01308 459511

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Vegetables in May By Ashley Wheeler


ay is one of the busiest months in the garden, April is a pretty busy one too (partly why I didn’t have time to write anything for last month’s issue, along with having to completely rethink our business of selling salad and vegetables to restaurants…!). We have now setup a vegetable box scheme delivering door to door to people in and around Lyme, Axminster and Seaton. Anyway, it is the time of the year when everything is happening—sowing, planting, weeding and hoeing and the first of the harvests from overwintered crops and early spring crops too. It is a question of prioritising jobs generally, rather than trying to get it all done—you will only get stressed out if you think you can get it all done! We have a sowing calendar and we always try and stick pretty closely to these dates. With some crops it doesn’t matter too much, but we end up doing a lot of successions of a lot of crops to try and keep continuity of harvest of things like beetroot, chard, kale, spring onions, salad leaves, annual herbs, radish, carrots and many more. Other crops sowing time is critical, and if they are sown at the wrong time of the year they will just go to seed really quickly (for example brassica salads like rocket), they may not bulk up in time before the winter (for example chicory - we don’t sow any later than the first week of July, but if you sow them too early they may bolt!), or they may coincide with certain pests—like flea beetle for brassicas from Spring—late Summer, or carrot root fly which can sometimes be missed if the carrots are sown early June and harvested before autumn. We aim to have all of our tender summer polytunnel crops planted by the

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beginning of May, this includes climbing french beans, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. This year we were lucky to get a week of wet weather at the end of April which meant that we could focus on the tunnel changeover, from overwintered salads and herbs to the summer fruiting crops. Meanwhile outside throughout April there were plantings of beets, chard, lettuce and other salad leaves, spring onions, shallots, early brassicas— kale, spring cabbage, kohl rabi, mangetout, broad beans, peashoots, turnips and radish and carrot sowings. The courgettes will be going in at the very beginning of May, as could squash and corn, but fleece will be needed to keep the wind off and keep any late frosts off (should be safe by mid-end of May). It is a great time of year to be a vegetable grower—and with the rains at the end of a very dry April (after a very wet winter!) everything is looking very lush and growing well. The main pest that we have had to deal with this year is the leatherjacket—the larvae of the daddy long leg or crane fly. The adults lay their eggs from August to October, and wet conditions at that time of year leads to a high success rate of the eggs hatching (which is what happened last autumn). The larvae eat the roots of many plants, and even snip off plants at their base. They are difficult to control organically, though nematodes can be used (but are more effective when applied in the autumn. Otherwise it is a case of checking under new plantings and picking them out, which is pretty laborious but has to be done if you want to save your veg! So, the big priorities for May are making sure you have all of your seed sowing in order and getting done—including successions of things

like salads, then making sure everything is getting planted, and finally making sure all of your new plantings are being hoed and weeded...not too much! WHAT TO SOW THIS MONTH: kale, forced chicory, carrots, beetroot, chard, successions of lettuce and other salad leaves (not mustards and rocket—these will bolt too quickly now and get flea beetle), autumn cabbage, successions of basil, dill and coriander, early chicory— palla rossa and treviso types, cucumbers (for second succession), french and runner beans, courgettes, squash and sweetcorn if not already sown. WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH: OUTSIDE: salads, spring onions, beetroot, chard, shallots and onions from seed, courgettes, squash, corn, kale, last direct sown radish early in the month, french and runner beans INSIDE: If not already done—tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, chillies, indoor french beans, basil OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: Keep on top of the seed sowing, but don’t sow too much of anything—think about sowing successionally. Keep on top of hoeing and weeding—ideally hoe when the weeds are just starting to come up on a dry, sunny, breezy day. For more information about our veg bag delivery scheme go to html We have a few veg plants available for sale at the moment - so if anyone needs any chard, beetroot, salads, beans, courgettes, squash and much more contact us by emailing”

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May in the Garden

By Russell Jordan


ast month we had just entered the ‘lockdown period’ and it was all a bit of a strange new world. As I write, we are still locked down, for good reason, and my heart really goes out to anyone who doesn’t have a garden to potter around in. In these unsettling times it’s interesting to note just how many of us are finding solace in good, old-fashioned, practises like gardening and cooking. In an ironic twist of events, it is the thoroughly modern availability of internet access, home deliveries and online trading which is supporting these traditional activities. Last month I passed on my fears that only buying from remote, online, traders was killing the local, often specialist, small nursery and therefore it’s worth checking with local nurseryman to see if they are still able to supply plants, while maintaining social distancing.

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May would normally see the grand gardenfest of all things horticulturally excessive; the ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’. For the first time in its long history, originally the ‘Great Spring Show’, there is no physical show but the RHS has created a virtual, online, version instead – a pleasant distraction to beat the lockdown blues. Of more practical help, echoing my plea to carry on supporting nurserymen, they have a section listing those nurseries that would have been exhibiting: A useful resource but it doesn’t seem to separate out those nurseries that are able to supply plants under the existing social distancing rules from those that can’t. It may be better to use their usual ‘Nursery Finder’, to locate local nurseries, and contact those first. If you know your budget, and just need a few

plants to add to your garden, then a telephone chat with the nursery owner, explaining what sort of garden you have, may yield a box of selected plants, maybe a bit random, which could be left for you to collect without having to enter the nursery at all. Card payments over the phone, or cash in a envelope (remember them?), left in a safe place are still allowed; flexibility is the key in these testing times. Back to real-world gardening Many of matters; it should now be safe to plant out those tender bedding plants which have been kept protected under glass. Keep some horticultural fleece, or old net curtains, handy just in case overnight temperatures take a tumble. This unnaturally dry, sunny, April may have lulled us into a false sense of security but cloudless daytime skies lead to plummeting temperatures, maybe even a frost, overnight. If you have tender perennials, such as the woody types of salvia and the indispensable pelargonium, they should have put on a fair amount of growth in the last few months and it’s a good idea to shorten these before planting the parent plants back outside. Try propagating new plants from those cuttings. The hormone levels might make this more tricky now, compared to taking them during high summer, but, with virus-time on your hands, it’s always worth a try. Shrubs which flowered early in the spring, Forsythia being the most obvious candidate, can be pruned now that their flowers have faded; use the standard ‘one in three’ method. Prune out the oldest wood and flowered stems so that established shrubs never get the chance to become senile but are comprised only of one, two and three year old wood which maintains the best balance between vigour, flowering capability and youth. You can roll out this pruning regime, as each shrub finishes flowering, because every ornamental shrub benefits from being continuously reinvigorated once it’s filled its allotted space. Continuing feeding plants that are now in active growth. A gentle, balanced, fertiliser, such as my favourite ‘fish, blood and bone’, is good for beds and borders. A slow release, pelleted, fertiliser should be added to any plants potted in containers. High maintenance plants, with a greater hunger for nutrients, typically showy plants in bedding schemes, hanging baskets etc., should be watered

with a propriety liquid feed according to the instructions on the packet. I’ve always used ‘Miracle Gro’, the powder form that needs dissolving in a watering can is the most cost effective, but other brands are available. Most large supermarkets have a gardening aisle so it’s still possible to obtain most gardening sundries while doing your essential shopping.

us are finding solace in good, old-fashioned, practises like gardening and cooking As things warm up, ponds and water gardens can be spruced up by removing overgrown aquatic plants and re-establishing the balance between the amount of plant cover and the area of open water. Vigorous water plants, irises, reeds, rushes and the like, may need reducing to practically nothing, every now and again, in order to keep them in check. Do not dump these in the wild, where they may become a pest of natural water courses, but chop them up and compost them—or burn them once they’ve dried. Pests and diseases will be increasing exponentially now that temperatures are rising. Prevention is better than cure, so keep your eyes peeled and squash any pests, of the insect variety, before their numbers can reach damaging levels. Lily beetles are well and truly up and about, busy copulating and laying eggs, so pay special attention to any lilies you may have. Lily beetles (they are bright red with black underbellies) can totally wipe out established lilies, Fritillarias are susceptible too, so keeping them in check is essential. A final mention must go to the lawn. If you are finding that you’ve more time at home than usual then perhaps the lawn could really benefit? Often it’s pretty neglected, not cut regularly enough, never scarified, full of weeds. Lawncare is time consuming so, if ever there was a time when you could perfect your lawn, now may be that time. Mow it at every opportunity; use a ‘feed and weed’ if you can get hold of some; order ‘lawn repair seed’ to get rid of any bald patches. That’s all assuming you don’t have kids at home—in which case your lawn may be suffering even more than usual! Wherever you are, whatever kind of gardener you are, stay safe and stay sane. Your garden may prove to be even more of a comfort than usual. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 43


Homes with Far Reaching Views By Helen Fisher

SALWAY ASH £340,000

A detached bungalow, recently renovated and modernised inc: new boiler, oil tank, flooring, kitchen & bathroom. Modern woodburner and redecoration. Double glazed throughout. Enclosed south-west facing rear garden, detached single garage and large parking area. Wide-span panoramic views. Kennedy’s Tel: 01308 427329

COLYTON £585,000

A detached house, set along a quiet lane on the outskirts of the village. With 3 large bedrooms and 3 reception rooms, double glazed throughout. Superb garden with produce area, formal lawn, flower beds and pretty stream and pond. Summer house with fabulous views of the sea and estuary. Garage and ample parking. Gordon and Rumsby Tel: 01297 553768

CHARMOUTH £600,000

A detached 3 bedroom bungalow set in an elevated position at the top of a quiet cul-de-sac with stunning 180 degree views of the Jurassic coastline. Built in the 1960’s and double-glazed throughout. With a neutral, contemporary decor and striking glass enclosed terrace. Mature garden, garage with workshop and ample parking. Symonds and Sampson Tel: 01308 422092 44 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031


A semi-detached modern character cottage-style home built about 18 years ago. Set in a small development in the heart of the village. With 4 double bedrooms, spacious living room with open fireplace and French doors. Enclosed & easily maintained garden with small terrace and garage. Panoramic countryside views from ground and first floor. Gordon and Rumsby Tel: 01297 553768

DRIMPTON £530,000

A detached bungalow with a sun room, utility room, double garage and home office. In a convenient village location yet with a rural countryside outlook. Sitting room with fireplace and wood burner, solid oak kitchen and 3 bedrooms. A generous plot of 1.5 acres with large veg bed and poly tunnel. Stags Tel: 01308 428000

BRIDPORT £799,000

A glorious, unique home in an unspoilt, rural setting, transformed by it’s current, garden designer owner. With original parquet flooring, Aga and 3 large bedrooms plus annex. Secluded grounds with produce garden, wild flower meadow, trees and wood shed. Endless countryside views. Ample parking. Stags Tel: 01308 428000

Author John le Carré becomes Patron of Julia’s House

John le Carré ACCLAIMED espionage author, John le Carré, best known for his novels Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, will become a Patron of Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity. The author was invited to join the charity’s board of Patrons after he attended the Julia’s House Carols by Candlelight service in Shaftesbury at Christmas. Julia’s House, provides vital care to the families of children with life-limiting conditions. The support it provides is completely flexible and

tailored to families’ individual needs, with nurses and carers delivering respite care in the family home or enabling the children they support to enjoy everyday activities out in the community. Regular sessions are also held at the charity’s hospices in Corfe Mullen and Devizes. Born in Poole and educated at Sherborne School in Dorset, John le Carré taught French and German at Eton after attending the University of Bern and Lincoln College, Oxford. He served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War, and it was during this time that he wrote his first novel, Call For The Dead, which introduced his most famous recurring character—the fictional intelligence officer, George Smiley. Le Carré’s twenty-six books have been published in over 50 countries and 40 languages and continue to be loved by audiences around the world. His latest book Agent Running in the Field, published in October 2019, is a classic spy thriller and a chilling portrait of our time. For more information about Julia’s House visit

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Stupid man, stupid trout By Nick Fisher


am a pretty sort of stupid bloke. Ask my wife. Ask anyone, in fact. Still, in the depths of my stupidity, there is one thing I do know. I am cleverer than a trout. This in itself might seem like a pretty stupid thing to say. But, it’s something anglers all too easily forget. Fish are dumb, hungry beasts, whose greatest preoccupations in life, are getting laid, getting fed and not getting dead. The two most over complicated and over intellectualized schools of angling, are trout fishing and carp fishing. Trout fishing, of the

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upstream dry-fly variety, has been massively over complicated by history and literature. Thinkers and writers have set down a thick bed of words, to cover over the basic premise, that trout fish are dumb hungry creatures. Carp fishing on the other and has been over complicated by technology and invention. Carp enthusiasts and gurus have immersed their sport in an impressive quagmire of chemistry and physics. A succession of great minds and bored exmilitary officers over the last 150 years have poured out libraries full of trout fishing literature

‘The two most over complicated and over intellectualized schools of angling, are trout fishing and carp fishing’ about trout. They’ve theorised and fantasised about the habits and behaviour of the fish. And then to make the whole mystery equation juicier they’ve added the extra factor of entomology. The science of bugs. A subject rich in research, mystery and big fat complicated Latin words. The combination of trout natural history mixed with contemporary breeding issues, blended with the specky scientific world of tiny flies, is pretty complex, for starters. But, just to make the pudding even richer, the business of artificial fly making, offers more mind bogglingly complicated do’s and don’ts. So, to be a successful trout fisherman you have to be able to identify microscopically tiny black bugs, no bigger than a sparrow’s car keys. And then, to top it all you need to be able to secure a steady supply of very rare feathers and furry bits, and then be able to execute a fiddly-diddly operation, which would tax the patience and dexterity of a brain surgeon. All this to catch a trout? Carp fishing is no better. Big carp have a historical reputation for being reticent to bite a big bait. They spook easy. They notice thick line and unnatural coloured weights. Maybe. And they have seemingly erratic and faddy eating habits. Truth is they probably do quite a lot of munching at night when anglers are thin on the bank. So, carp fishing has developed two main churches of attack. Chemistry... the wild and wacky world of artificial carp bait technology. A game that made men-in-sheds act like Dr Jekyll, mixing lotions and potions. Talking feverishly about enzymes and proteins and soluble amino acids.

The other area of manic invention for carp anglers is tackle technology. Suddenly rods had to have specific test curves and exact actions. The carbon fibre used had to be of NASA standard. And the terminal rigs were so ingenious it would take three pages of dense instructions to construct even the most modest. The truth is shocking. The truth is, if you stick a big worm on a small hook and leave it in the mud of a carp lake, you’ll catch carp. Eventually. Even very big ones. They are remember only big dumb hungry beasts. I know I sound like a spoil sport. Poohpoohing all the hard work and invention that’s gone into angling over the years. Forgive me. I’m not knocking it. Only trying to stop people being scared off the sport because they think there’s going to be too much stuff to learn or buy. It doesn’t have to be like that. A while ago I caught a very tricky trout on what is reckoned to be a very unforgiving river. The week before I took a very decent sized mirror carp from a pond not known for its ease of angling. I did nothing clever. I covered the trout again and again with a big fat mayfly. Same fly. Over and over. Until he cracked. He ate. He showed up his most basic instinct. The carp was just as basic. The worm was fresh. The hook was small. The line was laying flat on the lake bed. My bait looked like lunch. The carp was hungry. End of story. A lot of people assume fishing is too tricky. Too clever. Don’t be fooled. I catch fish. And, I am after all, a pretty stupid bloke. Ask my wife.

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BEAN BARLEY RISI WITH ASPARAGUS Traditionally asparagus is cooked in a special tall pan where its feet i.e. the stalks sit in the water and the tips gently cook in the steam. However a shallow pan with simmering water will do the trick, or use one of my favourite methods—a griddle pan or oven roast. Spears vary in their cooking time depending on thickness. The thinnest, known as sprue will take just 2 minutes whilst the fattest, the jumbo, may take up to 6 or 7. Spears are cooked when they feel just tender (use a sharp knife to pierce the thickest part of the stem).




• 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 onion, washed and finely sliced • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • 125g (4oz) pearl barley, washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes • 2 bay leaves • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable or chicken stock • 200g small broad beans, peeled • 200g sprue or asparagus tips • Woolsery English goats cheese or crumbled parmesan to serve • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Drain the pearl barely and add to the onion with the bay leaves, and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Add the asparagus and broad beans to the pan, cover and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the asparagus is just tender. Season to taste. 2. Ladle the broth/risi into hot soup bowls and top with some crumbled Woolsery goats cheese.

Serves 4

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Local groups to host online seminar


he Bridport Local food Group believes we have a big opportunity to make Bridport’s food economy less vulnerable to shocks from pandemics and climate change: the key is for consumers to support local producers and outlets to grow more of our food in our area. With climate change expected to have major impacts on UK food production and imports within the next ten years many people are discussing ways to mitigate the problems this might cause. In May a seminar will take place online to present and discuss findings from a new research study looking at the issues and opportunities for Dorset and surrounding counties. The research assesses which foods are most at threat from climate change, explores how these foods or substitutes could be grown locally, and what adaptive cultivation practices would be required. The research is intended to help consumers, home growers, professional growers and farmers. It was commissioned by Alan Heeks, who leads the Seeding our Future project, as part of their work helping the Bridport community to explore climate change adaptation. The full report will be available free of charge online from early May on the Seeding our Future website: www. The seminar will be hosted by Alan Heeks,

and will include a presentation of main findings by Elise Wach, of Coventry University, who did the research. There will be plenty of time for questions from participants, and it is hoped that participants can explore some of these key questions: • How can local consumers help local producers meet the extra costs of adaptive cultivation methods and growing local alternatives to vulnerable imports? • What changes can home gardeners and allotment holders make? • How can we gather momentum in our local community to take this forward? Growing through Climate Change: local responses to food security: How we can strengthen the food economy around Bridport? an online seminar and discussion is on Thursday May 21st from 7.00-8.30 pm Hosted by Transition Town Bridport, Seeding our Future and Bridport Local Food Group BOOKING: The cost for this online seminar is £4: to reserve your place please book here. If you want to pay via the Bridport LETS, or to request a free place in case of financial hardship, please contact The seminar will be run as a Zoom call which you can access with a computer with camera, or a smartphone.

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ORECCHIETTE WITH WILD GARLIC PESTO This is a nice spring or summer pasta dish from Puglia that is pretty quick to make. I’ve you harvested a good amount of wild garlic, you can make a big batch and keep it in sterilised preserving jars in the fridge. I often just make a plain wild garlic oil with rapeseed or olive oil so you can convert it to either a green sauce or pesto.




• 4 servings of orecchiette, or another pasta • A couple good knobs of butter • Extra Parmesan if you wish

1. To make the pesto put the pine nuts, basil, wild garlic and salt in a liquidiser and coarsely blend. 2. Add the cheese and blend again briefly, then transfer to bowl. 3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, according to manufacturers cooking instructions then drain and toss in butter then mix with the pesto, spooning more on top if you wish and extra Parmesan.

For the wild garlic pesto • 20g pine nuts, lightly toasted • 50g fresh basil leaves and any soft stalks • A small handful of wild garlic leaves • A good pinch of sea salt • 4tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or another hard cheese • 100-120ml extra virgin olive oil (preferably a sweeter olive oil) Serves 4

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Guest Recipe

JESSICA FISHER Jessica Fisher’s blogs, Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats, have established her as the go-to authority on cooking for a family cheaply, creatively, and nutritiously. Jessica walks the talk: She is the mom to, and primary cook for, four sons and two daughters. She is the author of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, Good Cheap Eats, and Best 100 Juices for Kids.

Good Cheap Eats: Dinner in 30 minutes or less by Jessica Fisher, published by Harvard Common Press. ISBN 9781558328167.

SPICY AND SWEET POTATOES Use a food processor fitted with a slicing blade to make quick work of slicing the potatoes. For larger sweet potatoes, cut them in halves or thirds so they will fit into the machine.



• 2 long, skinny sweet potatoes, thinly sliced crosswise • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt • ½ teaspoon ground cumin • ½ teaspoon paprika • ½ teaspoon ground chile powder • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. 3. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 4

Guest Recipe

RHUBARB-MARINATED TOFU STEAKS Here is a meatless barbecue recipe that highlights one of the most robust vegetables to be harvested in spring, rhubarb. It marries well with spices and soy sauce to make a suitably tangy marinade.

INGREDIENTS • 550 g/1 lb 4 oz firm tofu For the marinade • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 small onion, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 3 large rhubarb stalks, • chopped • 4 tablespoons tomato ketchup • 2 tablespoons water • 1 tablespoon apple molasses or maple syrup • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard • 1 tablespoon soy sauce • 1 teaspoon cumin Serves 4

DIRECTIONS 1. Cut your tofu into 8 chunky slices, about 1.5 cm/5/8 inch thick. Set aside. 2. Warm the olive oil in a frying pan, add the

onion and cook for 3 minutes over a medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rhubarb along with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Bring the mixture to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. After the rhubarb has softened, allow the mixture to cool slightly then blend to the consistency of a sauce and cool. 3. Coat the tofu steaks with the sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes. The more marinating, the more flavour soaks into the steaks. Gently warm the steaks in the marinade until heated through. 4. Alternatively, heat a heavy frying pan or an un-ridged cast-iron griddle pan and grill the steaks for a minute or two on each side, gently warm the remaining sauce and pour it over the steaks.

HEATHER THOMAS The Mindful Kitchen was founded in 2016 by New York State native Heather Thomas, who now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Mindful Kitchen offers people a path to greater well-being for both people and the planet by building a nature-related practice.

The Mindful Kitchen: Vegetarian Cooking to Relate to Nature By Heather Thomas £20.00. Hardback, 192 Pages ISBN: 9781782408758 Publisher: Leaping Hare Press Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 53


One Two Three Four! On the 50th anniversary of the break-up of The Beatles, Craig Brown, author of a new book on the band talks to Fergus Byrne


n his 1994 interview for Desert Island Discs, Douglas Adams, who wrote much of the early script for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while living in Dorset, related his story of just how obsessed he was with The Beatles while growing up. Standing in a queue to get into his local gym, he and his friends overheard someone say they had just listened to The Beatles most recent song, Hey Jude. ‘We basically held him against the wall and made him hum it to us’ he recalled. It’s one of many stories that author Craig Brown relates in his new book, One Two Three Four; The Beatles in Time, a fascinating and extensive romp through Beatles stories that, compiled in a loosely biographical format, makes not only easy, but intriguing and entertaining reading. For example Craig unearths the story of Eric Clague, who drove the car that killed John Lennon’s mother. Though found not to be at fault, Eric was suspended from his job as a policeman and ironically ended up as the postman that delivered fan mail to Paul McCartney’s house. His identity remained a secret until 1998. He hadn’t even known that the lady, tragically killed when she walked out in front of his car, was John Lennon’s mother, until years afterwards. Eric spent the rest of his life haunted by the memory. Up until 1998, he hadn’t even told his wife and children. Craig Brown also manages to highlight stories

like that of the Belgian singing nun, whose song, Dominique, was a huge hit around the time she and The Beatles made their debuts on the same Ed Sullivan show in America. With the arrival of The Beatles, however, the chart career of Sister Luc-Gabrielle ground to a halt. Later she left the convent to pursue a singing career with songs such as Glory be to God for the Golden Pill and Sister Smile is Dead. Along with her later album, I am not a Star in Heaven, they flopped and she became a teacher of handicapped children. Later, pursued by the Belgian authorities for back taxes that she believed the convent, which took most of her royalties, were liable for, she committed suicide with her partner Annie Berchet. Their joint suicide note explained: ‘We are going together to meet God our Father. He alone can save us from this financial disaster.’ With over 600 pages and endless sources, Craig touches on a fascinating selection of tales from The Beatles’ lives. Inevitably there are stories of some of the excesses that helped fuel the band’s notoriety. Recording engineer, Geoff Emerick, who worked with the ‘straight-laced’ producer George Martin on Beatles recordings, recalls when the band were in what he euphemistically describes as a distinctly ‘party mood’. One evening, recording Yellow Submarine, John was determined to try to sound like he was singing underwater. The

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band had been joined in the studio by Pattie Boyd, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Marianne Faithfull when John tried gargling and singing to get the sound he wanted. Only succeeding in choking he insisted on having a tank of water brought in to try to sing underwater. When that didn’t work he finally settled on covering a microphone with a condom and dipping it into a milk bottle full of water. For those, like me, unaware of that story, Yellow Submarine will never sound the same again. Craig’s eye for a Beatles story came at a young age. He recalls being exactly eleven and a half when he asked his parents to give him The Beatles’ White Album for Christmas. He was totally enthralled, ‘luxuriating in its pure white cover’ and spending hours gazing at the ‘neatly folded’ poster that came with it. He had first heard Lady Madonna earlier that year, on a radio played by some building workers who were fixing the pool, at the catholic prep school he attended near Basingstoke. Immersed in a religiously influenced education at the time, Craig’s memory is that he decided the Virgin Mary must have been an aristocrat. His impressionable young mind had also been influenced by his older brother who had told him that Sgt. Pepper was the “best song ever written”. ‘I remember thinking that was an objective judgement rather than subjective’ he said, ‘like you’d say the Eifel Tower is so many metres high or something.’ However, although not unusual in his interest in music, Craig was in the minority for his age. ‘There were fewer people interested in pop music then in those days’ he said ‘whereas now everyone might have some records, or at least hear it on the radio. In those days it was divided into two, which was those who liked sport and then the tiny minority who liked pop. I suppose I would have known every record in the charts from about the age of nine. If I was on mastermind my specialist subject might be toptwenty hits from about 1967 to 1970.’ Despite suggesting his fascination with pop music might have put him into the minority at the time, interest in The Beatles was not a minority pursuit. Craig was aware of the excitement that surrounded the band during an era that later seemed a very short period of time. ‘They did sort of dominate

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your thought and there was that amazing excitement about what they’d be doing next’ he said. ‘Now you realise it was only five months maximum between each single coming out. But then it seemed like years, and there was an amazing expectancy. I remember my aunt saying “have you heard the new song”. And that’s from my aunt who wasn’t remotely interested in pop. Everyone would know what the new Beatles record would sound like. It was felt that, with The Beatles there was going to be some kind of extraordinary leap, and usually there was.’ It’s hard for later generations to understand the level of hysteria that surrounded The Beatles. They were four young boys who had to learn about the perils of fame the hard way. And it was during a time of dramatic change in the way young people reacted to the opportunities presented by adult life. The boys’ introduction to psychedelic drugs, when their drinks were spiked by their dentist, depicts a level of naivety that reminds us of their youth. The book also details the story of how Bob Dylan introduced them and their manager Brian Epstein to cannabis. Craig said that through the process of

researching the book, he found himself forgiving some of the excesses the band was often denounced for. ‘They were kids from nowhere’ he explained. ‘They didn’t have training in being the most famous people in the world. So I think I forgive them a lot more now than I would have at the time—not that I condemned them—but people did at the time. They were just people having to find their own way in this extraordinary position they were in.’ Although not intentional, the book depicts a period in Beatles history that was strongly influenced by their manager Brian Epstein, the man who one day walked down the stairs to the Cavern club in Liverpool to see them play. He eventually took his own life and has been the subject of much debate since. ‘I think you could easily argue that if Brian Epstein hadn’t gone down the steps of the Cavern club and then persisted with them that they wouldn’t have been known’ says Craig. ‘He really pushed to get them a record deal when no one wanted them and they didn’t have anyone else who was prepared to do that for them. And they didn’t have any kind of clout or contacts. But I wouldn’t want people to think

that I thought Epstein was a kind of Simon Cowell figure.’ Epstein may have been a long way from a Simon Cowell type character but The Beatles were devastated by his early death. It could be argued that without Epstein’s fatherly influence the band might have stayed together longer. ‘They did slightly go off the rails then, but that might have happened anyway’ said Craig. ‘One of the things that intrigued me about Epstein was I had always seen him as this much older person and very straight and establishment. Of course he was only thirty-three when he died, so he was older than them, but not much older. And though he seemed establishment, he was taking far more drugs than any of them. He was way out of control and miserable. So he was a terribly complex, sad figure and very reliant on them for his feeling of happiness.’ Craig Brown has been careful not to follow the normal biographical system of sticking to a specific timeline in One Two Three Four; The Beatles in Time and the book benefits from that. ‘I wanted to do a book which didn’t go with normal biographical procedure’ he said. ‘So I didn’t want it to begin with something like the birth of George Harrison’s grandfather and then go on til the last day. I didn’t want it to end on April the 10th when they finished.’ As the fiftieth anniversary of the day The Beatles broke up that is indeed a date that his publisher was aware of. Craig should have been out doing radio and television interviews about the book as debate about everything Beatle-related surfaced on the anniversary of their break-up. But like many authors whose books were set for publication this Spring, Craig’s wasn’t available to ship on the day it was published—COVID-19 had made it impossible for the warehouse to get the orders out. Thankfully it is now available to buy, at least online for the moment and it makes a thoroughly enjoyable read.

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown (4th Estate, £20). Buy it where you can. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 57


Bridport-based film producer Nic Jeune suggests a few nuggets to entertain and intrigue during the COVID-19 crisis.

LARRY David of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame berated all those not self-isolating via social media. What’s not to like he shouted from his armchair, you have been given a cast iron excuse to sit in front of the TV for hours and hours, even days! So, with that in mind here are a few recommendations of films to watch when you have finished binge watching all the box sets (My family are working through the box set of Twin Peaks. It is amazing!)

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Click on the image to view the trailer Film of the Month is on BBC iPlayer until mid-May: The Conversation.

Other Recommendations:

True Romance (1993) Tarantino screenplay. Some say his best work. On Netflix BETWEEN 1970 and 1979 Francis Ford Coppola made Patton, The Great Gatsby, produced two George Lucas Films, directed Godfather (1972), Godfather Part Two (1974) Apocalypse Now (1979) and released same year as Godfather Part Two, as Watergate was unfolding, The Conversation. All his other work this decade were adaptations, but The Conversation was written and directed by Coppola. A taut thriller, a study in paranoia with a fine performance by the masterly Gene Hackman. Walter Murch a long- time collaborator of Coppola’s received an Oscar nomination for the sound design, which is indeed remarkable in this film, all about a professional eavesdropper. A fascination thriller which was part of the wave of New Hollywood cinema in 1970’s. Also worth a look: Deerhunter (1978) Five Oscars and a young actor called Meryl Streep. BBC iPlayer Films Damned United (2009) A great football film for those missing the game. BBC iPlayer Films The Elephant Man (1980) David Lynch directs John Hurt. BBC iPlayer Films Swallows and Amazons (1974) Still worth watching then read the book. BBC iPlayer Films I Tonya ( 2017) Margot Robbie excellent as skater Tonya harding. Netflix

Misery (1990) A Stephen King thriller. You would not want to self- isolate with Kathy Bates! On Netflix

One for all the family Spirited Away (2001) Oscar winning animation from Studio Ghibli. On Netflix.

Snowpiercer (2013) For those who want to see more Bong Joon Ho films. On Amazon Prime

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Concerts in your Home CONCERTS in the West has taken the decision to cancel many concerts tours due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the charity, which organises and promotes an annual series of high quality classical and baroque concerts at regional venues in Somerset, Dorset and Devon, plans to invite musicians back to play in 2021 or 2022. Catherine Maddocks, the founder and director of Concerts in the West, has this message for the charity’s audiences: ‘As you know, like so many other arts organisations we have had to halt our concert tours due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have cancelled the April, May, June and July tours, which is very sad for all concerned—it’s the first time in 14 years that we’ve had to cancel any tours.’ The charity is not yet in a position to make decisions about September, October and November but in the meantime will work on planning the 2021/22 series. COVID-19 restrictions have had a profound effect on musicians who rely on concerts for their income and Catherine made a plea for help on their behalf. ‘This is a frightening time for all musicians’ she said. ‘Many of whom have faced cancelled work and a crippling loss of income over the coming weeks and months. We have offered them some compensation and if you feel you can help, please donate via our website: www.’

A Selection of Music to Enjoy until you can see it live again

Click on the image to view the performance

George Harliono (piano) - Chopin: Etude No. 4 In C-Sharp Minor op 10.

Jamal Aliyev (cello) Schubert: Ave Maria

Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula (piano) - Mozart: Sonata K330

Samuele Telari (accordion) - Bach: Goldberg variations

Castalian String Quartet - Brahms: String Quartet in B flat op 67

How you can help support Concerts in the West If you feel you can help Concerts in the West financially please get in touch. For more information on becoming a supporter of Concerts in the West visit or contact Catherine Maddocks, Director, Concerts in the West. 60 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

Inside Out and b-side Rescheduled


wo of Dorset’s most popular arts festivals—Inside Out Dorset and b-side— are to be postponed until next year as a consequence of the on-going coronavirus pandemic. Both biennial events had been set to return this September, Inside Out Dorset hosted by Dorchester-based outdoor arts producers Activate in extraordinary locations across the county and b-side on the Isle of Portland. Instead, as the global community contemplates the fiftieth annual international Earth Day, organisers have announced new dates for each—Inside Out Dorset will now take place from 17 to 26 September 2021 and b-side from 11 to 19 September 2021. In a joint statement, Inside Out Dorset Coartistic Directors Kate Wood and Bill Gee said: ‘Inside out Dorset is unique in that we present events across the county in rural and urban locations. We celebrate our unique environment and the communities of Dorset, and even though the festival may be postponed, this will not change. Inside Out Dorset will continue to bring world class art to Dorset.’ Alan Rogers, Executive Director of b-side, said: ‘It’s a difficult time for many people on the planet—Earth Day 2020 will be remembered as extraordinary. We can only hope it will also be remembered as a turning point in our thinking. Climate change requires an urgent global response, but this begins at a local level, and later this year b-side will launch Common Lands, a new three-year art programme, using Portland as a microcosm to explore our relationship to and with the land: both here and elsewhere. As an organisation b-side has

Heaume-Animals by poetic interventionists Les Souffleurs in Boscombe for Inside Out Dorset 2018. Photo by Elliott Franks

Portland Promettes at Portland Bill, b-side festival 2018. Photo by Paul Box

always sought to listen to the needs and interests of artists, communities, partners and colleagues locally and much further afield. And, despite the current situation we find ourselves in, we will continue to do so and perhaps this is needed now more than ever.’ The decisions to postpone this year’s events were not taken lightly and although planning has been paused for the time being organisers hope to be able to confirm details of locations and participating artists once the current restrictions have been lifted. Both festivals have attracted thousands of visitors to Dorset over the last 11 years, working with artists and Dorset residents to celebrate the unique and beautiful Dorset landscape. As well as supporting and showcasing local talent the festivals attract artists from around the globe, making Dorset one of the places to see and experience high quality contemporary art and outdoor arts. ‘As we continue to observe social distancing the opportunity to be together may seem far away’ the joint statement continued. ‘However, it will come again—on hills, beaches, in forests and woodlands, we will be together once more, and we will celebrate.’

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Global Award for westcountry artist SOMERSET artist, Fiona Campbell, has won a global arts Award from Red Line Art Works, a UK-based global arts project. The annual Award is for art works dealing with big global concerns (such as the climate and ecological emergency, inequality, poverty, patriarchy, bad leaders, etc). Red Line Art Works has a global audience. The award is for Fiona’s series of works ‘Snakes & Ladders’, ‘Glut’ and ‘Accretion’. Fiona says: ‘I am absolutely delighted and hugely grateful to Red Line Art Works for the award—the news has been such a wonderful lift at this testing time. It was very novel to receive my bronze trophy in the post!’ Snakes and Ladders was created as site-responsive work for B-Wing, an ACE-funded project Fiona co-curated in Shepton Mallet Prison (decommissioned), involving 8 artists/writers and community events. For more visit

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A Sneak Peek

Virtual Gallery at the Marshwood

With lockdown restrictions in place it has been difficult for artists and gallery owners to make work available to buyers. Here is a sneak peek at a Virtual Gallery being launched by the Marshwood Vale Magazine to give gallery owners and artists a platform on which to show work. For more information or to include your gallery or studio email

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TB Tim

BOOTH TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR Click on the image to view the video

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TIM BOOTH Beaminster, Dorset

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VJ Victoria


TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR Click on the image to view the video

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VICTORIA JARDINE Longburton, Dorset

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PAIS OLIVEIRA TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR Click on the image to view the video

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O ANA PAIS OLIVEIRA Espinho, Portugal

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GD Gerry

DUDGEON TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR Click on the image to view the video

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GERRY DUDGEON Melplash, Dorset

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Stuart Pollard is climbing Everest - on his bike


n June Sturat Pollard will ride up Haldon Hill, near Exeter 78 times—the equivalent of cycling up Mt Everest—29,029 feet. This is to raise money for Mind in Somerset, the mental health charity and the mountain marathon is called Everesting. Riding 22-24 hours through the night of Friday June 19th, Stuart will be marking a year since his mother took her own life. ‘It was totally unexpected and devasting and instantly altered my view of life,’ he says. ‘I aim to raise at least £2,500 for Mind in Somerset as they’re

fantastic and our family has really benefitted from their Suicide Bereavement Support Service. It’s amazing and deserves all the money I can get.’ Stuart, 35 and a sales manager with bathroom furniture makers Vanity Hall, is training four times a week cycling 70-80 miles, followed by 100 miles on weekends. The routes take in hills on Dartmoor and Exmoor. The ride starts at 4pm on Friday 19th June, finishing around 4pm the next day, and Stuart’s father, Terry will be there for support all the way. The bike will be lit and carry a food bag on the handlebar with sandwiches, energy bars and flapjacks. Terry will have the remaining nutrition required to help keep Stuart going as he burns through some 16,000 calories. There were 125 suicides per week in the UK in 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, and Mind in Somerset’s Community Fundraiser, Anne-Marie Russ, says: “Stuart’s ride is quite extraordinary and we’re very grateful to him. People in the West Country, who’ve been bereaved by a suicide will benefit hugely from his efforts.” Mind in Somerset’s Suicide Bereavement Support Service is on T. 0300 330 5463 and is open for calls 24 hours a day. To donate to Stuart’s campaign, please visit www. Mindline Somerset, Emotional Support Line Coronavirus, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tel. 01823 276 892.

Patient inspires musical project to raise awareness and funds for mental health

PATIENT David Fearnley has joined with staff at Yeovil Hospital to create a CD of music under the title Minds Matter. The CD includes singing by staff members and David himself and is the culmination of months of work that began in October, with the guiding help of Yeovil Hospital’s Dementia and Elderly Care Support Worker Sue Smith. The CD contains seven song covers of well-known hits including You Raise Me Up and I Can See Clearly Now. Each song has been chosen to enlighten and create a positive mantra that no matter what you are going through, there is always someone to listen when you need it most. The songs are sung by ordinary doctors, nurses and other members of the Emergency Department team—all with varying vocal abilities, but all having the same aim! Money raised from the sale of this CD will be used to make a difference for patients with mental health issues and those with Dementia, during their time within our Emergency Department at Yeovil Hospital. You can purchase or download the CD and accompanying Tee shirt at or contribute to the Just Giving page here: bclid=IwAR147oKu7rtwa9J7Rvl5engj7Dj 72 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

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Services&Classified SITUATIONS VACANT Friendly people person needed April onwards. Abbotsbury. Saturday and Sunday mornings. Breakfast and tidying up. Contact Angela 07967886762

POSITION WANTED Experienced Mature lady with small dog seeks work with accommodation caring/ housework. Qualified HCA excellent refs Sara 07592396941

Experienced, passionate cook available Axminster area. Part-time week days, one off batch cooking or drop off. Excellent references. Please give me (Juliet) a call 07553055787

Full and part time staff required at local plant nursery. Halstock 01935 891668 dorsetwaterlily@ No agents thank you. Pastoral assistant. Bridport United Church to visit members and others in need and help run groups including for young people. 12 hours weekly, salary £10.95 per hour. Enhanced DBS required. Information alisoncocks82@gmail. com or 01305 458178. Closing date 14 April 2020.

TO LET Room to let. Own bathroom, non smoker quiet location, nr. Seaton. Tel; 0790 959 5245

Monthly Quiz –

FOR SALE driveway for collection. Tel: 01460 242644 Vintage tin bath. A large tin bath/planter/dog bath/ drinks cooler. 53” long 20 across 14 high. Enquire Solid teak wood nest of about local delivery. £90 tables 22.5wx18dx18.5h photo available 01460 inches 20wx18dx16h 55105 inches very good Galvanised water trough condition £10 01404 which would make an 850157 excellent planter 6ft Cane oval coffee table long 19” wide 15” high. 29wx17dx19h inches very Enquire about local good condition £5 01404 delivery £130 photo 850157 available 01460 55105 Portapuzzle board Sickle Bar Mower 32wx22d inches very Ideal for long or meadow good condition £5 grass 01404 850157 Briggs Stratton petrol Panda picture jigsaw engine Wheel Drive and puzzle steer. 40 inch cut little complete 1000 pieces £2 used £350 01404 850157 East Lambrook 01460. Free Water Butt. Large 242071 07834 550899 grey plastic with tap & Photo available lid. Vintage Cast Iron Saw Not pretty but serves its bench Belt drive purpose. Will leave on On wheels Denning Sofabed. Single. Grey leather. DFS, as new, 145 x 100 folded. £350 Photos available 07837452637

Co Chard £250 East Lambrook 01460 242071 07834 550899 Photo available. Honda GD410 Diesel engine. Single cylinder Double pulley Drive Pull start Good Running Order £250 Photo available 01460 242071 07834 550899 Water Pump for Landrover Series 1. Complete with new gasket. Never used. Buyer collects £15. Nr. Bridport. Mob: 07971649020 Half Steps for elderly or disabled One for indoor or outdoor use One for shower entrance. Good condition Shower step £15 Indoor outdoor step £10 East Lambrook 01460 242071 07834 550899

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 Tatworth. The winner was Mr Walcott from Brigewater

74 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

PROOFREADING Proofreading, editing, transcription, secretarial for writers and businesses. Excellent references. Penny Dunscombe Apr 20 07825339289.

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


Old sewing machines, typewriters, gramophones, phonographs, records, music boxes, radios. 0777 410 3139. www.

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

May 20

To advertise on these pages telephone 01308 423031



May 20

Wanted to buy - field, or part field and part woodland, any size, to about 5 acres. Not top grade grass. Private, local resident wants to ‘do their bit’ for the environment. Anything considered. Please help. 07508 106910 May 20 Vintage & antique textiles, linens, costume buttons etc. always sought by Caroline Bushell. Tel. 01404 45901.

Jun 20

Beehive national brood supers wanted. Tel. 07715 557556 Vinyl Records Wanted All types and styles considered. Excellent prices paid. Please Phone Roy 07429 102645 Bridport

May 20


Dave buys all types of tools 01935 428975 Jul 20 Secondhand tools wanted. All trades. Users & Antiques. G & E C Dawson. 01297 23826. www.secondhandtools. Oct 20

Solution to Humphrey’s April Crossword View original on

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FREE ADS for items under £1,000 Classified advertising in The Marshwood Vale Magazine is normally 95 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 ..................................


76 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

From the Archives of

the Marshwood Vale magazine





MAGAZINE May 2005-Issue 74

For West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon

Nathan Glover, East Devon, photograph by Peter Park

Arts & Entertainment Food & Dining

Gardening Interiors Health & Environment

A Look Back at MAY

2005 & 2010

in the Marshwood Vale Magazine To advertise in this magazine call 01308 423031 or Email: Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 77

Outposts in the community Where to get your Marshwood Vale Magazine

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.

Cover story

Nathan Glover, Axminster, photograph by Peter Park

Ye Olde Tobacco Shoppe, photograph by Belinda Silcox

Even though Ye Olde Tobacco Shoppe in Lyme Regis’ Broad Street is open 364 days of the year from 7am - 4pm, co-owners Mark Pollins and Liz Venters assure a warm welcome when you enter. Apart from smoking paraphernalia the shop offers newspapers, magazines, cards and gift wrap and in the summer there are lots of gift ideas too. One whole side of the shop is dedicated to stocking Lyme Bay wine, which comes in many tempting varieties such as Apricot or Damson flavours. Collector’s walking sticks and Jack Daniels merchandise are two other lines that can only be found here. Ye Olde Tobacco Shoppe can be contacted on 01297 445655.

The Post Office and Stores, Uplyme, photograph by Belinda Silcox

David and Denise Ruby have run the bustling Uplyme Post Office and Stores for the last 5 years and it is a focal point for the community. They owned a dolls house shop next door but when the previous owners decided to sell up, the idea of losing such a great resource spurred them into buying it themselves! As far as possible, David and Ruby stock local produce and supply as many ranges as possible to keep the local customer base happy. There is fresh bread and cooked meats as well as cheeses and lots of locally sourced vegetables. Gift ideas, toys and cards are also on sale and the post office offers all the usual services. Opening times are 7am-5.30pm everyday except Sunday 7am-2pm. Telephone 01297 443288. 78 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

NATHAN was born in Exeter and grew up in East Devon where he developed a love of the vast diversity of landscape and wildlife in this area. After leaving school he attended Bicton College of Agriculture where he studied and qualified in countryside management and conservation. “I have always been interested in nature photography and after leaving college I bought a second hand SLR camera to pursue my interest. I soon realised, however, that I wanted photography to be more than just a hobby so I enrolled on a course run by a local photographer to improve my photographic skills. I found it most inspirational and was keen to go on advancing. I then went on to study photography at Dillington House where I achieved a distinction with the Royal Photographic Society in applied and professional photography. I have contributed to the Marshwood Vale magazine and the most memorable photograph I have had published and the one with which I was most pleased was the cover shot of Michael Walton. I am very glad that I come from a mutually supportive family which has always supported my ambition to become a photographer.” Nathan’s photographs have been shown in a number of exhibitions and some of his work will be on display at the Town Mill Gallery, Lyme Regis in 2006. His photographic style is original and personal; he is quietly self-confident and this is manifest in his photographs. He has a strong artistic flair and has always been highly creative. These are qualities which he expresses not only through his photography but also through music. He is the lead singer in a local rock band called In4red which plays in the Honiton area and beyond. Much of their material is original work written by Nathan and the other band members. As part of his musical image he grew his Mohican hair style as above which has now gone.

Images of everyday life Compiled by Ron Frampton

Ann Evans, photograph by Ron Frampton

For this issue of Images of everyday life, Ron met Ann Evans at Chardstock, Devon. This is Ann’s story: “The war coloured my earliest memories, travelling on blacked-out trains with my father, Lt Col Gerard Ford of the 6th Airborne Division. He was awarded the Military Cross at the taking of Pegasus Bridge in 1944. Sadly, my father was killed at the Rhine Crossing the following year, aged 33. I was eight when I went to Buckingham Palace with my mother to receive his medal from King George VI. The King was much shorter than I’d expected. My mother studied art at Reading University and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools. Our ancestors include W S Gilbert and Alfred Gilbert, who sculpted Eros in Piccadilly. After the war, we moved to my grandparent’s delightful nine bed-roomed house near Ascot. There was a gardener/chauffeur and a cook. We had regular visits from our large extended family – four of my mother’s sisters were nuns. From the age of six I was away at boarding school, which I hated; but holidays were wonderful. At sixteen, I was sent to finishing school in the Swiss mountains, run on a shoestring by a hen-pecked brigadier and his wife. We were taught to write to a bishop and to sit down gracefully. I went to a Catholic teachers’ college run by nuns, to train in art. Each morning I went to the back of the chapel while the nuns were chanting and wrote down what I thought I heard

from God. One morning he said ‘I want you to be a nun’ – how awful – but I would have to do his will. At 21, I entered an enclosed convent in Bury St Edmund’s as a postulant (apprentice nun), attempting to live in communion with God, in inner silence. My new name was Sister Gerard Maria of Christ the King. I loved the plain chant and the liturgy, the white robes, candles and hours of quiet contemplation. A photograph of me was used for the Easter ’64 TV Times cover, a documentary about nuns: A Life of Perfection. It took four years to train and seven before taking final vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. We slept in cells, on boards and straw mattresses. After a year I was dressed beautifully in white as a bride. I promised to reject the world and donned the purple habit and white veil – the ceremony was dramatic. In my second year we lived in isolation with no visitors. On Wednesdays and Fridays we whipped our naked bodies with a small whip while we prayed; the idea was to be in communion with Jesus’ scourging and to take part in his sufferings; it was called the Discipline. You could hear your neighbour whipping herself in the next cell. It all sounds strange, and there’s nothing like that now – a practice that dated from mediaeval times. I was sent to Tanzania to teach at a teachers’ college for African women. We received post once a week, unless the road was washed out – as it often was – in which case we took shovels and rebuilt the surface!

In Africa we were delivering babies, running a dispensary, planting crops as well as teaching. But I was recalled to London to work in an office; I found it meaningless. In ’71 I left the Order, no longer believing in Obedience. This was an alarming time for me: I’d missed the 60s completely, I didn’t even know about the Vietnam war, although we had been allowed to watch the moon landings, and had prayed for President J F Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Dr Martin Luther King when they were assassinated. I looked for work, I had nowhere to live – if I told people I’d been a nun, I didn’t get the job. At one stage I served petrol in a filling station. Eventually I worked with War on Want and set up the charity Intercare to help African nuns. My life changed completely at 36 when I met the artist Ken Evans. We moved to Dorset and Jessie was born. We married and I was 46 when we had Christine. We became Quakers, with a deep concern about peace and the environment. Ken painted every day and I sculpted and we worked together as healers. Later I trained as a chiropractor and developed a gentle technique: Alignment Therapy. After ten lovely years Ken died: we were devastated – the children so young. But we were fortunate to hear him talking to us. He spoke of his visionary paintings and encouraged me to publish books and cards of his work, and give talks about his new life after death. I’m now 65 with a teenage daughter; my mother is nearly 94 and still drives and rides her bicycle – we’re obviously late starters!” Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 79

Historic impressions The Chapel of St Bartholomew

The Chapel of St Bartholomew, Corton, Dorset, photograph by Sue Macpherson

IT is easy to miss Corton Chapel as it is not visible from the road and is only indistinctly marked on the Ordnance Survey map of Dorset. However it is well worth turning off the Upwey to Portesham road, at the sign for Corton Farm, to visit a small part of Dorset history. Heading down a steep cutting in the chalk bank of Corton Hill, you come across a small settlement which has been in existence since before the Norman Conquest. Rounding the corner you will see the 16th and 17th century farmhouse, with its square headed lights and stone mullions. The chapel nestles into the steep hillside next to the beautiful old manor farmhouse and it can be approached on foot as it lies on the Jubilee Trail from the Hardy Monument to Upwey. The bench outside makes an appropriate resting place for walkers and provides an excellent view of the surrounding valley and across West Dorset. The name Corton (sometimes written as Corston or Corfeton) comes from the Anglo Saxon Corfe, meaning a natural gateway or entrance. The nearby hamlet of Coryates, and Corfe at the entrance to the Isle of Purbeck, are two similar natural gaps in the limestone hills which run across Dorset a few miles from the coast. The entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 tells us that “Roger de Curcelle holds Corfetone (Corton) of the King. Two thanes held it in parage (shared ownership) in King Edward’s time (before 1066) and it was taxed 80 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

for five hides”. A man called Vitalis (possibly a Saxon) was farming the land for Roger. In 1332 we get the first document to mention the chapel; “Hugh Courtney Earl of Devon held the manor and chapel of Corfton”. The chapel is still entire and beautifully proportioned. The tiny chancel, 11ft by 10ft, is the earliest part of the building to remain, and this dates back to the early 13th century. The narrow lancet window on the south side is original. The East window is from the late 14th century. The south doorway is probably the best architectural feature of the building and is at least 700 years old. The nave was probably rebuilt in the early 16th century. Corton was a free chapel. This means it had a settled revenue by charitable donation of land or rent for the maintenance of a priest or rector so as not to be any charge to the local parish (St Peter’s Portesham). All free chapels were suppressed and their revenues taken away by the Chantry Act in the first year of Edward VI’s reign in 1547. The only other free chapel in Dorset is at Wimborne. This was suppressed like all the others in the county, but afterwards restored. From 1552 Corton Chapel was used variously as a barn, a wheelwright’s shop and a carpenter’s work shop. In the 19th century a report of the building passed to the Diocese. As a result of this it was decided to restore it to its former usage. Two hundred and fifty pounds was raised by public subscription for its restora-

tion, ten pounds was donated by the Bishop of Salisbury and fifty pounds by G. Chafyn Grove of Waddon House. The chapel was reconsecrated by the Bishop on August 30th 1897. There is one special feature of the chapel that is particularly worth mentioning and that is the impressive stone altar in Purbeck marble. The altar survived the order of 1550 for the removal of all stone altars as the chapel had by then already been closed to public worship for three years. What the date of the altar is it is impossible to say definitely but it could not from its construction be later than 1400 or so. Its form speaks of still higher antiquity. The ‘arca’ or altar of three slabs, one horizontal with two uprights as supports, dates from early centuries. There is one at Ravenna, in Italy, of the 6th century. Without further evidence, however, an earlier date cannot be ascribed to the Corton altar than the date of the present building, namely late Norman. The upper slab, upon which three at least out of the five crosses can still be traced, is of Purbeck marble – a material which was highly regarded in early English, Norman and also Saxon times. Corton Farm is now in the ownership of the Lasseter family who act as guardians of the chapel.

Story by Sue Macpherson

From the Archives of

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Heron take another bow

Pulled back from the brink of fame by a vinyl shortage, ‘unashamedly English’ folk band Heron come to Bridport in May. Paul Lashmar charts the history of a seventies favourite.

MORE than three decades after cult folkrock band Heron brought their unmistakably English sound to John Peel’s radio show, they are staging one of their rare reunion concerts at Bridport Arts Centre. As ever tongue in cheek, the band have called the event: “The First Finale” and it will be a chance for friends, families and the curious to get together for a Heron style night of music and memories. Fans from Germany and America have already booked tickets and inquiries have even come in from Japan. The Arts Centre has been chosen as the venue because Heron’s keyboardist Steve Jones is a long time Bridport resident, (and apparently the Royal Festival Hall was already booked that night.) The concert coincides with the release of their new CD Black Dog which, like many of their earlier albums, was recorded outdoors, on a small farm in the village of Black Dog, Devon. It is a return to the band’s roots. Thirty years before, the band had recorded its second album, Twice as Nice and Half the Price, in front of an audience of local villagers in the field outside the same farm. Twice as Nice is now an internationally sought-after album changing hands on the internet at prices of up to £180 a time. “Our tracks were all recorded outside, in one take,” says Steve Jones, the band’s keyboards and accordion player. As a result the sound has a uniquely gentle feel, as if the fresh air and waving grass can be felt behind the music - and the sound of birdsong is sometimes audible between tracks. Steve Jones describes the band’s sound as, “Simple, pastoral, folk-rock, with a gentle, ‘English summers day’ feel.” Formed in 1968 by Ray Apps and Tony Pook they worked regularly in clubs, playing self-penned acoustic songs, plus covers of the Byrds, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and the Incredible String Band. By 1971 it looked like everything was coming together for Heron - especially when their first single, the Bob Dylan-penned Only a Hobo became Radio One’s Chartbound Sound, played at least once on every show the station aired for a month. But fate took a strange turn. “There was a vinyl shortage and a strike by the record delivery drivers,” says Steve Jones. “The records were simply not available in the shops, so the big sales never materialised.”

Recent Heron (above) and how it used to be (inset)

They split up in 1975, disillusioned by lack of public interest in their music. Occasional reunions followed but it was only after the Heron website was launched in 1999 that they discovered the band had a cult following around the world. “We discovered from the internet that we had international following. Fans were emailing us from Argentina, Australia, Slovenia, Denmark, Italy and Spain and, in particular, Japan,” says Steve Jones. “There are many fans over there who are keen to get hold of our albums, and any information or new material they can.” Writer Tim Forster in Mojo Magazine described Heron, as “unashamedly romantic… the music still sounds immediate.” See for yourself. Heron plays Friday May 6th at Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport, Dorset. Tickets £10 from Bridport Arts Centre Box Office (01308 424 204) or email More info: Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 81

Marshwood The

Vale Magazine

May 2010 Issue 134


Rosie Giles, photograph by Julia Mear

For West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon thebestfrominandaroundthevalethebestfrominandaroundthevale 82 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

From the Archives of Julia Mear met Rosie Giles at her home by the sea in Seaton, Devon. This is Rosie’s story: “I was Farmer Giles’ daughter, born in Kingsbridge, Devon in 1949. When I was seven we moved to a farm in Clyst St Mary – father was told he had three months to live – he had asthma and we lived near a granite quarry in Kingsbridge. We sold up and moved – my father lived for another 30 years. We lived on a mixed farm, mum used to take in B&Bs to make ends meet – it was just after the war and times were hard – there were four children to feed then. I attended St Margaret’s School in Exeter, I was not bright – I suffered from dyslexia. My Headteacher, Miss Morford encouraged me to work hard at my O’levels and go to college. I had to take my English O’level twice and had extra English lessons to help me. I went off to Worcester College without taking an A’level. I studied Primary Education specialising in Rural Science and Maths. In 1970 I became a teacher; my first job was in the largest infant school in England. Chantry Infant School, Luton, had 750 children – 90 new reception children every term. I taught a reception class of 34 children, very few could speak English. The first word I tried to teach my class was ‘toilet’. I lived in a block of high rise flats in Luton and whilst there I had a tough experience – my neighbour shot himself and then threatened to kill me, so I was put under police protection. I wasn’t sleeping, couldn’t do my job properly and was given tablets by my doctor. Because of this experience I changed my life – I was in a terrible state and on one occasion I made a promise to God: ‘I promise Lord if you can help me through this I will serve you for the rest of my life’. From here on I became a committed Christian and never took another tablet again. After three years at Chantry, I went to another school in rural Bedfordshire – Westoning Primary School near Flitwick. Only 180 children, it was a complete contrast, there were lots of farming children – I remember playground duty one day thinking ‘it’s like playing at being school’. I was there until 1977, then I came down to teach at Charmouth, Dorset from 1978-1984. I was head of Infants – it was the old Charmouth School then – there was one class in the school and four temporary classrooms with about 90 children. I lived in Axminster and got involved in church work at the Baptist Church in Kilmington. In November 1983 I applied for the Headship at Marshwood School, they’d wanted a man, but I got the job and started in April 1984. There were 48 children in a very old run down building – the windows leaked, and when the wind blew we had to move the children two metres away from the wall, it was so cold. After two years of being there a boy pulled a radiator off the wall and we found asbestos – the school was condemned. Half the school was sealed off and we had to use temporary classrooms. Mobile phones hadn’t been invented then, I had no telephone for three weeks, so we were cut off from the outside world – this wouldn’t be allowed today. The school is sited in a very exposed area and the temporary classrooms rocked in the

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Cover Story Julia Mear met Rosie Giles in Seaton

Rosie Giles, photograph by Julia Mear

wind. One day was so stormy and the children were quite scared, so I filled up all the cracks in the windows with washing up liquid and we had a day of bubbles – the children loved it. The building work took nine months but at the end of it we had three lovely classrooms with new central heating and windows. One day a child said “Miss Giles, there’s a pig in the playground!” so myself and Mrs Passmore were seen chasing it up the road with a broom in hand. We’ve had straying pigs and ducks – once back in 1990 somebody dropped three little puppies in a box at our school – we found a local farmer to take them on. There was a time when life was getting tough, the children were getting bored and fed up – I changed my methods, giving out lots of well dones and stickers. The following year the children took off incredibly – that’s when I learnt to praise rather than criticise. Just to praise children, even those struggling are good at something and it’s noticing those little somethings that builds up their self-esteem. We learnt to laugh with each other rather than at each other. I am known for my inability to sing – the children would put their hands over their ears and ask me to stop. There was a very strong Christian ethos, our school motto was ‘Love Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbour as you would yourself’. In 1994 I went along to a Christian Head’s conference where they asked if anyone was willing to run conferences in Africa. I went to Uganda that summer during the school holidays. I thought in naivety that heads all around the world had a similar lifestyle to mine – how wrong I was. Often schools had no desks, chairs, equipment and leaking roofs with often 90 children using five books between them. One school had a roof made out of banana leaves. When I returned to Marshwood I talked to the children about it and we raised £1500 for them to have a new roof.

Our numbers began to increase and we ran out of teaching space in 2000. We needed a new classroom but there was nowhere to build one. I approached the PCC (Parochial Church Council) and asked if we could use the church and it was agreed. We removed the pews, replaced them with chairs, a new floor with carpet, put in heating and it was done. The children have lessons in there every day and then on Sundays it is converted back into a church with padded chairs rather than hard old pews. We were the first school in the country to move into a church. Sometimes we have to give up the classroom for a funeral but the church try and organise them from 2.30pm onwards to avoid too much disruption. We’ve had Christmas parties there with music blasting out – it has been a fantastic improvement on the school and village life – it is used for lots of functions now. I loved being the head teacher there – the staff, children and parents were always fantastic and so supportive. In 2002 I was put forward for a teaching award and received the Teaching Leadership Trust Award for School Leadership in Primary Schools for South England. For the last two years I have been a judge on these teaching awards – it has been fantastic to see encouraged and enthused teachers. I also moved from Axminster to Seaton in 2002 – this is my forever home now. Numbers at Marshwood continued to increase again and again, so in 2007 I suggested we use the roof space of the school building to create another classroom. Again, it was approved and we now have a lovely fourth classroom which was opened last year just before I left. We also looked into conservation of energy ideas and now have a wind turbine – the first in Dorset. It cost £17,000, of which we paid £1,000, thanks to all the grants we were able to receive, together with the help and support of the governors and PFA. I continued my travels to other parts of Africa, but Uganda had warmed my heart. I decided to finish at Marshwood School last year when I was 60 and have been in Uganda since October 2009, I returned in March this year. Primary education is now free there but many families can’t afford to let their children go because they are needed to work at home. I started writing a child protection policy which included child sacrifice, child abuse and girl defilement. In one district 500 girls were rape defiled by their teacher in one year. The children are desperate to go to school as they know an education can help them. My time at Marshwood School was very special to me. There were 68 children there when I left and all were precious to me. There are children in the school now whose great grandparents were taught there and about 20% of the children there now, were children whose parents I taught either at Charmouth or Marshwood. I always remember the story of the boy and the starfish on the seafront: ‘A boy was picking up starfish on the beach and throwing them back into the sea, someone came along and said why are you bothering to do that it won’t make a difference. The boy said I can’t change the world but I can make a difference to one or two’.” Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 83




Inside Kind of Blue A Homage to Miles Davis by Paul Lashmar

Trumpeter Byron Wallen

“Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence” —Stephen T. Erlewine, senior editor of Allmusic THE album Kind of Blue by the incomparable jazz musician Miles Davis has just celebrated its 50th birthday. Released late in 1959 it features some of the greatest musicians in the history of jazz including saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, pianist Bill Evans, a legendary rhythm section and of course, trumpet player Miles Davis. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album

84 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

of all time. In December 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409–0 to pass a resolution honouring the album as a national treasure. The British music writer, Richard Williams, has come as close as anyone to explaining why Kind of Blue is so important: “For many people it is the only jazz album they own. They may have bought it after hearing it at a friend’s house, or in a record shop, or in the background in a restaurant, something that imprinted itself during a casual encounter, the most exquisitely refined of ambient music. Yet there are lifelong students of jazz, with vast collections covering the entire history of the idiom, who would unhesitatingly nominate it as an item which, if they had to choose just one, they would save from a burning house.”

Talk to those who own a copy and you often find it has a special place in their hearts. It might be the album that was playing when a couple first realised they had something special. It is part of the soundtrack of so many people’s lives. Tunes from Kind of Blue, especially All Blues and So What are regulars on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme. (Yet it is sad that you will rarely hear it played elsewhere on the radio.) I was first introduced to the works of Miles Davis in 1969 at the age of 14 by some older and wiser musician friends. I can still recall slipping the LP out of its dark and moody cover which features just a close up of Miles and his trumpet. The expression cool is overused but who was ever cooler than Miles with his Italian suits, inscrutable expression and Ferrari? The rise of

From the Archives of

this slim, handsome Afro American, a world class musician who gave the Afro-Americans a sense of destiny at a time when they were entering the civil rights era. The influence of the album is enormous. Listen to the brass break in James Brown’s 1967 hit Cold Sweat and you can hear the riff from So What. Rock guitarist Duane Allman said his solo on the Allman Brothers Band 1970 In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, “comes from Miles and Coltrane”. Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright has said that the chord progressions on the album influenced the structure of the introductory chords to the song Breathe on their The Dark Side of the Moon (1973). I have listened to Kind of Blue more than any other album I have owned. No matter how often I hear the opening it still has the ability to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Without words it says something essential about the human condition. Kind of Blue has shared many special moments with me. It was being played as my eldest son was born some 15 years ago. From Kind of Blue, I get a sense of the spiritual that others seem to get from religious music, a deep sense of humanity in all its diversity whether sadness, melancholy but also hope and joy. I’ve been contemplating a tribute to this greatest of all jazz albums for some time. Never one to look back, Miles Davis rarely played tunes from Kind of Blue after 1961. Miles died in 1991. So it will never be possible to hear the album played live by the original band again. Yet I know, like me, many people would love those captivating tunes live. My opportunity to realize the tribute began last year. My office at Brunel University is near the music department and I became friendly with music lecturer, Frank Griffith, a tall, intense and amiable American. Frank is outstanding saxophonist and clarinet player and was, until the recent death of Sir John Dankworth, a mainstay in the Dankworth/Cleo Laine band. He played the band’s last major appearance a few weeks earlier at the Royal Festival Hall. Besides teaching at Brunel, Frank is busy on the live music scene. I outlined to Frank the idea to do a tribute to Kind of Blue and

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he was game. I then approached the team at Bridport Arts Centre, where in 2008 I had promoted the sell out concert by the American jazz musician Babatunde Lea’s group. The Bridport gig is the pilot project of the new Brunel University Jazz Outreach scheme aimed at making jazz more accessible to a wider audience. Frank has put together an exceptional sextet including the great Byron Wallen on trumpet, Matt Wates on alto sax, Alex Hutton on piano, Luke Steele on bass and Matt Fishwick on drums The tribute will be in two halves. The first half will be me talking and the band providing musical illustrations. I will endeavour to explain why this unique album came together when it did, in the way it did. The talk will be designed to be of interest even to those who know little about jazz. Along the way the band will play tunes that were the stepping stones on the way to Kind of Blue. I’ll talk a little about Miles Davis relationship with the great John Coltrane from 1955. Frank will explain with musical examples what Davis and Coltrane were doing that was unique in 1959. I hope to give the audiences a better understanding of the musicians and the earlier albums that enabled Kind of Blue. I’ll also talk a little about the actual tunes on Kind of Blue. The second half will be a full performance of Kind of Blue’ with all five legendary tunes So What, Freddie Freeloader, Blue in Green, All Blues and Flamenco Sketches. I hope the audience will be able to go away after and use Kind of Blue as a door to the world of jazz. Researching the tribute has been a great adventure for me. In our consumerist world the tendency is always to move onto something new, buy another CD and another CD. But to spend months intensely examining one work of art and its circumstances is very rewarding. There have been some real revelations. Even after forty years of listening there were new things to hear in the album every time. I’ll leave the last word to jazz pianist Chick Corea: “It’s one thing to just play a tune, or play a program of music, but it’s another thing to practically create a new language of music, which is what Kind of Blue did.”

Frank Griffith

Paul Lashmar

Paul Lashmar is a journalist who has written about music for The Observer, Esquire, Straight no Chaser, Rough Guides and FROOTS. Inside Kind of Blue – A homage to Miles Davis, Bridport Arts Centre, Thursday 27 May 2010 at 8.00pm. (Seated) Tickets £12, supporters £11, concessions £8 Box office: 01308 424204

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine May 2020 85

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