Showcasing emerging talent Page 42
Horrible ridiculousness, and ridiculous horribleness Page 51
Theatrical events without cinema & TV Page 12
ÂŠ Roy Beal Photograph by Julia Mear
The best from West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon
No. 263 February 2021
COVER STORY Julia Mear met Roy Beal in Seaton, Devon
© Roy Beal Photograph by Julia Mear
‘I’m a sea kayaker, hiker and lover of the outdoors. I grew up on the River Dart in Totnes playing on boats and in kayaks with my younger brother. My parents always owned boats so it was inevitable that I would grow sea legs from a very early age. I even have a pirate ancestor, known as Captain Trapp, from the Shaldon area, so I suppose one could say the sea is in our blood, even though I neglected this until I moved near the sea. I’ve always loved the water but somehow, I managed to spend 30 years of my life without a kayak or a boat, instead spending my spare time either playing the DJ at various rock venues or racing Superkarts; winning a couple of championships at an amateur level. I’d been gradually making my way across Devon; living in Torbay, Newton Abbot and Exeter at various times, often due to my job as a car and van diagnostic technician, and eventually ending up in Seaton in 2011. Moving to a seaside town
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© Roy Beal Photograph by Julia Mear
made me realise I’d finally found home. I’ve never married or had children but was always aware of a need to be searching for something and it was around my 40th birthday when I realised there was more to life than just working to live - an epiphany as it were. Follow your heart and gut instincts, something I’d been saying for years but not yet followed my own advice. Always having an affinity with nature, I started looking at how I could be closer to it and help it. I began to reduce my reliance of single-use plastic and live in a more planet friendly way. I do my best to exist in a way which uses as little resources as possible, for example, my electricity now comes purely from the sun. I’ve never been one to worry about the latest fashion or trend, but I put a lot of effort into only buying things I need, rather than stuff I want. I 4 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
started practising the healing art of Reiki, living with more thought to the environment, which eventually made me realise how kayaking and the environment went hand in hand. This friendly town helped me rekindle a love for the outdoors, the sea in particular, and I started sea kayaking in early 2013. Since then with help from many friends and supporters, I’ve raised around £20,000 for good causes under my Kayaking for Charity banner with various adventures. The first one, paddling from Seaton to Land’s End in 2013, took eight days raising funds for Cancer Research UK, a charity chosen because I’d lost people very close to me. One being my mum; the feeling of helplessness as you watch somebody fade away from this awful disease is something nobody should have to experience and I felt compelled to do something about it.
The problem with completing what was then the biggest and bravest thing I had ever done is the feeling of wanting more, so I followed it up in 2016 by kayaking from Tower Bridge, London to Seaton; a 360 mile trip which took 21 days, this time raising money for Cancer Research UK, the RNLI and a local hospice. A book about my adventures is close to being published, chronicling not only the emotions of fear and joy one goes through with such a challenge, but also telling a story about the areas visited along the way and the sights experienced from a kayaker’s perspective. After spending over 30 years fixing cars full time, I made the decision to go part-time in 2019. I’ve since been involved with voluntary work for local conservation groups in my spare time. Not long after starting kayaking again, I noticed
an increasing amount of plastics washing on to our World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast. I’ve also been aware of some visitors leaving their litter behind. I learnt from an early age why we should not litter and I struggle to see why others do not understand. My mum Wendy, was a massive influence on my littering views when, as a young boy, we were sat in a traffic jam and witnessed the occupants of the car in front throw their litter out of the window. Mum was straight out of our car, picked up their litter and bravely (this was the 70’s) threw it back in their car. Pointing at the driver she said, in the stern voice only a mother can pull off, “You do NOT litter in my County!” A few years ago, I had an idea called Just Add Water, Not Plastic, named after my wooden kayak Just Add Water. I felt frustrated with collecting plastic from every beach I visited when I was out on the water, seeing the remains of seabirds entangled in fishing line and occasionally stumbling across dead seals and dolphins. I thought there must be a way to let others know just how bad things are. My timing was perfect—not long after this the country watched Blue Planet 2 with Sir David Attenborough. We watched in horror and sadness as Sir David showed us that this plastic problem was worldwide and far-reaching. It was upsetting in a way I’ve never experienced before, I’m sure I’m not alone, and I knew something had to be done, but how? Since becoming an Ambassador for the Jurassic Coast Trust in late 2019, I changed the name from Just Add Water, Not Plastic to Clean Jurassic Coast after noticing that I felt alone whilst beach cleaning, “Why isn’t anyone helping me!”. It dawned on me that many others may have felt the same way and the original idea was to turn this into a network of beach cleaning and litter picking
© Roy Beal Photograph by Julia Mear
volunteers looking after the Jurassic Coast. I have been fortunate these last 12 months or so and met some wonderful people who are now my friends, but more than that they are part of Team Clean Jurassic Coast. Plus, with many other volunteers who kindly gave up their time to help us, we spent most of last year collecting plastic and other litter from the natural world. All we want is a Clean Jurassic Coast. With some successful fundraising last summer, we recently purchased a boat to help access secluded coastal areas and we’ve turned the group into a Community Interest Company, ‘Clean Jurassic Coast CIC’. We’ll be working to continue our mission to keep the coast free from plastic, as well as offer education to local schools, businesses and the general public. Last year we removed well over 2000kg of plastic from the environment and we are the proud winners of the Litter Free Coast and Sea “Litter Heroes 2020” award. We also work with the Ocean Recovery Project, part of Keep Britain Tidy. Plastics we find in the marine environment get shipped to their depot in Exeter. The plastics are then cleaned and shredded and end up with a new life as a picnic bench or a
fence post. One of the great things about this project is the plastics being used wouldn’t normally be recycled. Maybe in the near future, this can be done for ALL plastics. This summer, I will be undertaking another kayak challenge called Top Down. I’ll be setting off from John O’Groats at the end of May and paddling to Lands’ End to promote awareness of the issues with plastic and litter in the marine environment. This 900 mile trip is expected to take up to two months. I’ll be kayaking on the sea, inland waterways and the 23 mile long Loch Ness as I head along the Caledonian Canal. I’m hoping Nessie likes beach cleaners. When the current lockdown restrictions ease, I can’t wait to start organising small beach cleans again. It’s great for the soul as well as meeting new, like-minded people. Coming to live in Seaton has certainly changed my life for the better, as well as helping the planet and all life living on it. The sea has become my playground, Mother Nature is my reason for being and, now I’ve at last found where I belong. If you would like to know more or get in touch, please visit the website www.cleanjurassiccoast.uk
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UP FRONT Trying to get away from a Covid dominated world it was good to recently follow up on the story of NASA’s robot on Mars. Back in July they had announced that the latest drill area would be named after local legend Mary Anning. Announcing the decision on their website, one NASA planetary geologist said it was ‘particularly special’. She described how Mary Anning spent her life ‘scouring the seaside cliffs near Lyme Regis’ for fossils. And how she uncovered ‘innumerable samples, most notably the first full Ichthyosaur and the first Plesiosaur.’ The writer went on to explain how Mary’s gender and societal status ‘led her ground-breaking work and discoveries to be dismissed by the scientific establishment or, worse, appropriated by men.’ She hoped their planetary exploration might remind us to be vigilant in ensuring that, in future, credit goes where credit is due. ‘Let Mary Anning’s name on Mars remind us to include everyone in the endeavour of exploration’ she said. The most recent news from the drill was in November when the NASA robot took a selfie at the Mary Anning site. It was made by stitching together 59 images—not quite as simple as those taken by Instagrammers on Lyme’s famous pier but pretty spectacular all the same. In March, the film Ammonite is due to be released in the UK. The story highlights Mary Anning’s achievements but the main story is the fictional relationship between Anning, played by Kate Winslet, and Charlotte Murchison, who is played by Saoirse Ronan. There has never been any evidence of the affair depicted in the film but it is still the main story line. Whether that distorts history and distracts from her scientific achievements remains to be seen. For the moment though, her impact on other planets, especially if they are over 30 million miles away, seems to be a good alternative to what’s going on here. 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
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Cover Story By Julia Mear Event News and Courses The Mother of all Pageants By Margery Hookings News & Views Laterally Speaking By Humphrey Walwyn Roy’s Boys By Christopher Jary A Christmas Sunrise Surprise By Philip Strange Was our neighbour really Royalty? By Cecil Amor
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House & Garden Vegetables in February By Ashley Wheeler February in the Garden By Russell Jordan Property Round Up By Helen Fisher
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Food & Dining Traditional Dressed Crab By Lesley Waters Red Mullet with Pickled Walnuts By Mark Hix Leek green, wild mushroom and goat cheese crostini By Linda Ly Recipies with Love from Axminster & Lyme Cancer Support The Tongariro River By Nick Fisher
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Arts & Entertainment Return of the Natives 2 By Ines Cavill Galleries The Lit Fix By Sophy Roberts Young Lit Fix By Antonia Squire Screen Time By Nic Jeune
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Health & Beauty The Huntington Enigma By Bruce Harris Services & Classified “It’s easy to get lost in thought if it’s not familiar territory to you.”
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Editorial Director Fergus Byrne
Cecil Amor Ines Cavill Helen Fisher Nick Fisher Richard Gahagan Bruce Harris Margery Hookings Mark Hix Nic Jeune
Fergus Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell Jordan Linda Ly Julia Mear Sophy Roberts Antonia Squire Philip Strange Humphrey Walwyn Lesley Waters Ashley Wheeler
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.
EVENT NEWS AND COURSES
February 3, 10, 17, 24
Scottish Country Dancing is cancelled for the moment due to the lockdown. We normally meet every Wednesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm at Hatch Beauchamp village hall. If you would like to join us in the future please contact Anita on 01460 929383 or email email@example.com for more information.
Hawkchurch Film Nights
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our screening for 8th February is cancelled, with planned screenings for 8th March and 12th April on hold, pending a review of the situation in mid-Feb. We hope to resume as soon as conditions permit. Best wishes to all our patrons.
Bridport History Society, Zoom meeting. Mayflower 400 - Who were the Pilgrim Fathers? Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard, My Mayflower Ancestors, Donna Heys. Meeting opens at 2.00 and the talks start at 2.30. If you would like more information please contact Jane on 01308 425710 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Darning and Visible Mending for Knitted Items for Beginners Online 2pm – 4:30pm. Cost £12. Why throw away your favourite clothes that need repairing? Join this workshop and learn a new skill. Contact the tutor to book a place and for a materials list ( a kit can be posted for a small fee) email@example.com The West Dorset Group of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society are hosting a Zoom meeting on behalf of the Society. Janet Few will be talking about ‘Sons of the Soil: Researching Agricultural Ancestors’. Meeting opens at 1.30 and the talk starts at 2.00. If you would like more information please contact Jane on 01308 425710 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridport and District u3a presents a talk by John West, The making of the West Bay Discovery Centre, online via Zoom. 2pm. Bridport and District u3a is an organisation for people who want to undertake learning for its own sake, with like minded people, in a social setting. There is no minimum age, but you should be no longer in, or seeking,
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full time employment or raising a family. Since March 2020 most of our face-to-face activities have been moved online, and over 20 new online groups have also started. We continue to run our full programme of scheduled monthly talks, currently using Zoom. Please visit our website for specific details and contact information www.bridportu3a. org.uk, email email@example.com or call 07775 692162.
Wildlife Gardening, a talk on Zoom by local garden designer, Muff Dudgeon. 6:45pm. Cost £3.50. Discover how to encourage wildlife into your garden. Please visit our website https://axminsterheritage.org/ or Facebook page for more information on how to book a place.
Museum staff have expressed regret that their initial hope of re-opening in April is no longer viable. Despite the builders completing on time, due to lockdown, volunteers are not yet able to move onto the next stages of cleaning up and preparing to re-instate exhibitions. Further information will be announced in time.
Despite the ever-changing lockdown restrictions, Honiton’s successful U3A has remained active, with its 220 members rising to the challenge of running activities in these difficult times. Like many organisations, much of U3A’s work has temporarily moved online. Monthly meetings that members have enjoyed at the Beehive have been replaced for now with Zoom meetings. In October, Stewart Raine gave an illustrated talk on how we used to travel. Stewart said of his talk: “The generation born just before and during the Second World War and those ‘baby boomers’ born after it in the 1940s, were the last to grow up in an age when travel by motor car was not the norm. Many cities had trams and trolleybuses in the 1950s and even into the 1960s, and if we went to London we went by train.” In November, the prominent historian Todd Gray gave a talk on mob violence in Exeter. Todd was recently featured in the edition of Britain’s Most Historic Towns on Channel 4 filmed in Plymouth. December’s monthly meeting was an online Christmas social, featuring songs, stories, poems and a quiz.
Members were encouraged to have seasonal refreshments to hand. The backbone of any U3A is its interest groups, run by the members themselves. U3A exists to provide people who are retired or semi-retired with opportunities to share learning experiences not for qualifications, but for fun. Despite the present restrictions, many of the 28 interest groups have kept going, and even flourished in these difficult times, as a welcome piece of normality in members’ lives. The history group has continued to meet regularly through Zoom. September’s topic was the Pilgrim Fathers and Puritanism, and then in October the group looked at the East India Company, both fairly topical given the US election and the ongoing discussion of slavery and Empire. In November they looked at The Jazz Age or ‘The Roaring Twenties’, particularly in USA, but also in the UK and in Germany. The Armchair Adventurers recently began a study of the Forest of Dean. During a brief respite in the regulations, when groups of up to six could meet, they managed two socially distanced indoor meetings to share findings on the new project. Members shared their discoveries on everything from a stone that bleeds when scratched, to Roman votive offerings including dogs, which apparently were thought to aid healing by licking affected parts. The group also reported on the strange Cappers Act of 1488 which forbade the wearing of foreign made caps. Other groups that have continued to meet online include the Poem Sharers and a group dedicated to Wine Tasting for Fun. The Photography for Pleasure group have also continued to meet through Zoom, and the knitting group have continued to keep in touch by email. There are 1050 U3As across the UK, with 444,000 members. There are over 100 U3As in the South West alone, including 37 in Devon. U3A members everywhere have embraced the national body’s mission to “Learn, laugh, live,” which is a particularly appropriate message for these strange times. New members are always welcome. Details of the Honiton U3A and its activities can be found on the website: u3asites.org.uk/honiton/home
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The Mother of all Pageants Pageants were a phenomenon that brought people together long before cinema and TV. Margery Hookings has been looking at a new collections of films and memorabilia that hopes to bring the whole pageant phenomenon to a wider audience.
magine a massive theatrical event in the romantic ruins of Sherborne Castle, with 900 cast and organisers, an audience of thousands, lavish costumes, orchestra, band, choruses and 50 horses. This was the colourful scene in 1905 when the Sherborne Pageant was staged in front of an awestruck crowd, way before the advent of cinema, television and computers. Today, it’s hard, when entertainment is beamed into your home at the flick of a switch, to understand what this incredible event would have been like. But if you close your eyes you can picture the spectacle. You can almost hear the roar of crowd as the Sherborne Pageant enacts centuries of local history in a colourful and compelling way, the like of which has never been seen before. A large part of the local community was actively involved. No-one was paid. The national newspapers were fascinated, special trains were run from London and 70 extra police were drafted into Sherborne to control the crowds. Back in 1904, the Daily Express described Sherborne as ‘a dull enough place to live in’, bypassed by tourists
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heading for the coast of Cornwall and Devon. But that all changed with the Sherborne Pageant, which has become the Mother of All Pageants. The event made a profit—used to create today’s Pageant Gardens—and set an example which was taken up by communities across Britain and abroad and continued over generations. Back in 2001, Windrose Rural Media Trust (under its former name of Trilith), made a documentary about the story called Mother of All Pageants, which is now available on DVD. It was presented by local historian Gerald Pitman, who was well known around Sherborne. The documentary featured the 1905 film of the Sherborne Pageant. True to the original ideal, many local people took part, a few of whom were actually there in 1905. Fast forward to the present and Windrose is revisiting not just the Sherborne event but pageants across the land. It’s a fascinating story which gives an insight into a craze that brought communities together in the most creative way, recreating events from a town’s past for the benefit of modern audiences.
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Paul Readman has been Professor of Modern British History at King’s College, London, since 2002. He began studying historical pageants about 15 years ago. His interest led to working with colleagues on a large project, The Redress of the Past, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. By chance, in 2015 he met Windrose’s director, Trevor Bailey after giving a talk in Sherborne about the extraordinary Sherborne Pageant. ‘Trevor was in the audience,’ Professor Readman says. ‘He came up to me afterwards and told me about how Windrose worked with archive film.’ Windrose, a registered charity, was set up in 1984 and uses the media to carry out educational, archival and creative work in rural communities. Over the years, it has built up a fascinating archive of life in Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset, as well as making new film about the counties’ present inhabitants. Impressed, the Pageant research team signed up Windrose as an official partner for the public engagement side of what had started out as an academic project. Windrose is now working with Professor Readman and his team to create a new film to bring the whole pageant phenomenon to a wider audience. ‘Working with Windrose has drawn our attention to the kind of rich filmic heritage around pageants and we have become more aware of it now,’ Professor Readman says. The new pageant film will take the viewer to locations from Carlisle to Guildford and to pageants dating from the 1900s to the present day. Says Trevor Bailey: ‘Archives around the country have discovered films in their collections that show exactly what these extraordinary community performances were like and how they developed. ‘A lot of this old film will be incorporated. From the 1905 Sherborne Mother of All Pageants onwards,
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cine film and pageants were natural artistic partners. ‘Such tremendous team efforts demanded to be recorded in moving image. After all, they became part of their communities’ history in their own right. The people who took part remembered the experience as an important episode in their lives—a time when they achieved something out of the ordinary.’ Music was a vital element in all pageants and it will be in the new film. Folk musician Amanda Boyd, who has worked with Windrose extensively over the years, is recreating original pageant music, which was often specially written, so that the film can bring to life something that was otherwise lost in old paper scores. ‘Unless delays caused by the coronavirus restrictions prevent it, Trestle Theatre will also be appearing in the film in an adaptation of part of one of the old St Albans pageants, another way of bringing the past into the present.’ Filming has slowed down because of the coronavirus pandemic but the team already has some very interesting footage in the bag, including an interview with Juliet Renny, the widow of the late David Clarke, who was one of the leading pageantmasters of the post-war period. He staged a large number of pageants around the country, including Corfe Castle, with which his wife was closely involved. But it was at Sherborne where pageant fever began. The key to it all was the extraordinary personality of its originator, Louis Napoleon Parker, who was music master at Sherborne School and something of a theatre impresario. He stepped in after Canon Mayo, from nearby Longburton, informed the church council in 1904 that the 1,200th anniversary of the founding of the town by Bishop St Aldhelm in 705 was approaching and it would be fitting to have a local ecclesiastical celebration. Says Professor Readman: ‘Parker wanted to tell
the story of Sherborne. He called it a folk play originally and thought it was a good way of telling the story of the history of the community. But it was not a revival of medieval pageantry—Parker established the form that pageants took from 1905 onwards.’ Parker clearly struck a chord with the local community. The Sherborne Pageant became a huge participatory event and drew attention to the town. ‘Special trains were put on and lots of people came to it. It promoted tourism to a degree.’ Twelve months later most of Britain knew the name of Sherborne, and many towns and cities were scrambling to stage their own historical play as ‘pageant fever’ swept the land, with Warwick putting on a large pageant in 1906, and many other places following suit before the First World War—from London to Liverpool to Hawick in the Scottish Borders. ‘A sort of consumer industry sprang up around it, which included postcards, paper napkins, medals and ceramics.’ Professor Readman says, adding that his team’s research had discovered the top of a ‘very large iceberg’. ‘It wasn’t just a village thing or confined to towns in the south. In the 1920s and 1930s, there were also huge pageants in industrial towns like Manchester. And one of the things we discovered is that pageants are still very much in existence.’ Axbridge in Somerset is a case in point. In 1967, a pageant was staged to celebrate the A371 bypass road, the construction of which gave the town back its community heart, reclaiming it from the heavy traffic that clogged the streets of the narrow, medieval town. ‘They put on another one three years later and then every ten years,’ Professor Readman said. ‘There was due to be one in 2020 but Covid put paid to that and it has been delayed until 2022.’ To discover more about The Redress of the Past, a major Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project examining historical pageants in 20th century Britain, visit www.historicalpageants.ac.uk For information about the Windrose Rural Media Trust go to www.windroseruralmedia.org. The site includes archive film and audio from Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
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EXETER Devon County Show is on The Devon County Agricultural Association has announced that the 125th Devon County Show will take place on Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July 2021. Cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the show will move from its usual mid-May dates for next year only. Mary Quicke, DCAA Chairman said ‘we are absolutely committed to holding our Devon County Show in 2021. We believe that, by moving the Show to early July, it will give more time for the restrictions to have eased, the roll out of a vaccine to take place and life to be getting back to normal.’
BRIDPORT Museum promotes romance Bridport Museum is celebrating Valentine’s Day this year by creating and sharing an online exhibition of wedding dresses, memories and romantic anecdotes. Each day in the run-up to 14 February the museum will share some of the stories and photographs behind dresses from their collection, as well as inviting people to share their own photographs and memories. They want to hear from anyone who would like to share their favourite love-themed photographs, objects or memories. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LYME REGIS Mary Anning on Mars The name Mary Anning is very much part of the fabric of Lyme Regis so it is exciting that the area can now lay claim to a piece of the planet Mars. NASA’s Mars rover ‘Curiosity’ has been drilling a new site since last July which they named ‘Mary Anning’ after the famous fossil collector. Alluding to the belief that her gender may have led to her work and discoveries being dismissed by the scientific establishment, a statement on the NASA website says: ‘Let Mary Anning’s name on Mars remind us to include everyone in the endeavor of exploration.’
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CATTISTOCK No knob throwing this year The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival will, not take place in 2021 but will return to Cattistock in May 2022. This decision was reluctantly made due to current Covid 19 restrictions and their anticipated continuation. The Committee took the view that to continue in these circumstances could put people’s lives at risk and felt that they had a duty of care towards all visitors, volunteers and stallholders. Organisers said: ‘Without the freedom to mix openly the spontaneity and appeal of this event will be lost.’
WEYMOUTH Safety fears at Sandsfoot Castle Sandsfoot Castle, an artillery fort in Weymouth constructed by Henry VIII has been closed to the public due to large cracks found in the walls. Although closed since 1930 the castle had been opened to the public in 2012 after extensive renovation. Also known as Weymouth Castle, it sits in Sandsfoot Gardens alongside the Rodwell Trail which is a disused railway line. The line was turned into a popular cycle and footpath. The castle has been fenced off while its structure is assessed by Weymouth authority and Historic England.
Organising Nothing Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn
’m sure you may feel the same, but it’s to work while looking after small children as if we’ve been locked down and out at home, you will have had precious little for ever. It’s almost a whole year since “spare time”. But for retired folk like this wretched virus took away our lives me, the lack of deadlines and absence of and our sanity. When it all started in appointments and other people makes March 2020, I remember saying it’d be time stretch into empty pages of—well— over by June. Or certainly by July. I think absolutely nothing! we all did… And then it dribbled on and I think I’ve become quite good at doing on through cancelled summer holidays nothing. In fact, you could say I’ve been and the end of August and a miserable binging on nothing, as well as bingeIs your diary for February looking a bit empty? nibbling Twiglets and especially binging October and of course everything was going to be normal again by Christmas… on ‘Call My Agent’ through Netflix—very And then it wasn’t. watchable and improves your French, particularly the rude When the first lockdown began, I had some grandiose words! Humans love order and structure, so you need ideas. If we were all going to have to stay at home, then at to organise your nothingness into different categories least I might achieve something useful like learn Spanish of absolute zero. My suggestion for sorting out nothing or write a book or take online jazz piano lessons… I could involves the three ‘D’s: Diary, Dining and Deaf Radio. even do an Open University course in History of Art or Diary: Right now, you’re feeling empty ‘cos there’s not something practical like woodworking. I might take up a much going on. There is nothing more depressing than new hobby such as Polynesian origami or basket weaving. I looking at lots of blank pages, so fill up your diary. Put could even become a Japanese food expert and give online in everyone’s birthdays and all the anniversaries that are Asian cookery classes from my own kitchen. But, no. I’ve worth remembering. Then put in all your online shopping done none of these things. It’s the whole lockdown mood delivery details, boring things to remember (car insurance, itself which seems to deaden most initiatives and leaves internet subscriptions etc) and then add weekly reminders me feeling inadequate and unsatisfied. to call friends and family members. Now, that looks better There were some boring jobs that needed doing around doesn’t it! You’ve suddenly got stuff that needs doing the house like clearing out the garage (long overdue) or, again. if that was too much like hard work, sorting out my sock Dining: Make every meal special. You can use your drawer and throwing away everything with holes. Since newly filled-out diary to inspire you. Oh look—today is this would have left me with no socks at all to wear, I the 14th anniversary of that wonderful holiday we had in chickened out and instead re-arranged all my shirts into Naples! Cook up a little tuna with artichoke caponata (not mood order (Cheerful, Funerial, Business Boring, ‘60s too many anchovies though…) And tomorrow it’s old Retro, Party Animal and Never Wear This). In the course Uncle John’s birthday! Cook a special meal in his honour. of which, I rediscovered 3 forgotten ties, an out-of-date You may not like stewed prunes and rhubarb, but he used American driving license, a bag of still edible toffees to love them even when the stringy bits got stuck in his from 1997 and a pair of long-lost underpants. This was false teeth… Bring out the candles. Have fun, be inventive encouraging because I had at least achieved something… and experiment a bit. My most ambitious lockdown task was to sort out my Deaf Radio: If you’re like me, you’re addicted to the DVD collection and catalogue them in A-to-Z alphabetical News. It is hugely disheartening to keep hearing the same order. It would be great fun if I watched each one for headlines hour by hour, day after day… the numbers of about 10 minutes (just to make sure they still worked OK). deceased, numbers of new cases both nationally and in my I would start with the African Queen and progress through local area… has it got to Honiton yet? Ooh—someone Alien, Amelie and Annie Hall. After a couple of months, I in Dorchester’s got it! This is SO DEPRESSING. Please, should end up with an assegai through my head at Zulu. turn off your radio. And the news on telly. Watch some Underpants apart, I don’t seem to have achieved any of David Attenborough programmes about penguins or my major lockdown projects. Of course, if you’re lucky something. Turn off the news. Click. See? Everything’s to still be working during the pandemic, or if you’re trying better already!
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Every little helps. How one young Dorset resident is trying to make things better
espite living through a pandemic, one of the things often highlighted is the fact that, locally, nationally and internationally, other issues still need to be dealt with. International charities need to carry on raising money to help deal with hunger and disease; food banks still need volunteers and donations, and arts initiatives, designed to help enhance our surroundings in the years ahead, need support and encouragement. Even at the most local levels, all efforts that look to make communities better should be applauded. One Dorset teenager has recently taken to the streets and pathways to try to play her part in dealing with one of the simplest yet most visually effective tasks that anyone can help with. Connie Doxat, a keen walker, has decided to make her exercise routine something more than just taking in the air. For the last few weeks she has been collecting litter and doing her bit to clean up the countryside. Connie has found that, like many others whose post-exam plans are in tatters, her focus has shifted closer to home. ‘I’ve been pondering the issues that lay right on my doorstep’ she said. ‘As a keen walker, the issue of litter has always bugged me, and I have now gathered sufficient frustration (and time) to try and tackle this issue myself and try to help say “later” to the litter.’ After Connie took it upon herself to do a ‘deep litter-clean’ of our countryside, she was a little surprised at what she found. ‘I’ve honestly been shocked at my findings so far’ she explained.
‘Alongside countless cans, bottles and plastic my roadside adventures have led me to collect some pretty strange objects, including an office chair, a 1st generation iPhone, and a really ancient TV from the 80s.’ Despite the amount of rubbish she has already collected Connie has been inspired to take things a step further. She is asking for suggestions of areas where she can continue her efforts and would like to know of others that could offer a helping hand. ‘If you’ve also got lots of time on your hands I encourage you to get out and start clearing up litter too’ she says. ‘Without much else to do at the moment it gets you outside, moving, and generates an immense sense of accomplishment!’ To inspire herself even further Connie has decided to raise money for the sustainable development charity Raleigh International. Based in the UK the charity runs various environmental and social initiatives around the world. If you want to donate, then please search ‘Connie Doxat’ on Just Giving. 100% of all donations will go directly towards funding worthwhile projects, such as the regeneration of native rainforests, habitat conservation, and the construction of schools and drinking wells for Costa Rica’s most impoverished indigenous communities. To follow Connie’s efforts you can read her blog at: https://cleanupforcostrica.wordpress.com/ or contact her directly on email@example.com.
A little effort can make an enormous difference
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Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 19
Skate Park for Beaminster
Maverick Industries design for a skatepark in Beaminster
Beaminster Town Council has recently announced that it has been awarded over £98,000 by the National Lottery Communities Fund, (NLCF), to enable the delivery of the Beaminster Skate Park Project in 2021. In 2012, members of the local community formed a group called ‘Beaminster Futures’ which conducted outreach and identified a lack of amenities for younger people in the town and surrounding villages. In response members of the Town Council and local towns’ people established the Beaminster Area Activity Development Group (BAAD), which worked alongside West Dorset District Council to conduct further research and consultation. The main element of this research was a questionnaire which was made available online and sent to all households in the parish and also to local schools. The questionnaire was returned by over 750 members of the community and the consultation identified improvements to the Memorial Playing Field among which was better Play Area and a Skate Park for the town. Since then BAAD, with the support of many
others, have been pursuing the aim of creating an inspirational and inclusive area for play including a Skate Park in the heart of Beaminster. After considerable work and with the aid of a grant from the European Union the Town Council carried out a major renovation and upgrade of the Play Area which opened to the public almost 2 years ago. Early last year we applied to the NLCF for financial assistance to help us complete the Skate Park project. Unfortunately our bid fell foul of the COVID crisis and was ‘locked down’ while the NLCF turned their attention to more immediate matters. In November we submitted a revised bid to NLCF after they reopened for such applications and in December, just before Christmas, we were told our bid had been successful. The Skate Park will add to and enhance the new and improved play area and provide more challenging activities. We know that the well-used play area provides for intergenerational interaction offering opportunities for communities to get together and engage with one another aiding community cohesion and helping to mitigate social isolation. The skate park will reach out to a wider age group and will improve the overall mental and physical health of it users through activity and social interaction. The Town Council has received two amounts of funding from West Dorset District Council and now the generous NLCF award takes us to our funding target. This means that we can now commence the project and, COVID restrictions permitting, we hope to complete it by the summer of this year. We will be working closely with Maverick Industries on the build, and the Prout Bridge Project to develop the launch event. For more information, and to follow progress, please visit www. discoverbeaminster.co.uk
YCCA launches 2021 Literary Prize THE Yeovil Community Arts Association (YCAA) has launched its 2021 International Literary Prize, an annual writing competition with cash prizes in four categories. All money raised supports talented, local youngsters training for careers in the performing and creative arts. Now in its 18th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize has matured into a highly regarded writing competition, attracting submissions from across the globe. 2020 saw record numbers of entries as creatives made full use of the first Coronavirus lockdowns. The competition’s continued popularity means that this year’s cash prizes are bigger than ever, and the YCAA can keep supporting promising local youngsters with bursaries. The Yeovil Literary Prize has four categories; ‘Novel’, ‘Short Stories’, ‘Poetry’ and ‘Writing Without Restriction’, a recent addition which has proved popular with writers who like the challenge of thinking outside the box. Although the 2021 panel has yet to be announced, previous judges have included literary agents and publishers, as well as accomplished authors and poets. For details of entry requirements, past winners and rules, see www.yeovilprize.co.uk. The competition runs until 30th April 2021 and winners are announced in the autumn. 20 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Reaching out with optimism is learning more every day about the marketing skills needed that will help these young entrepreneurs grow their young business. For more information visit their website www. petrichorclothingcompany.co.uk.
Based in Lyme Regis the Petrichor Cothing Company has launched a range of unique designs
INNOVATION and initiative are two specks of light that have risen above the turmoil created by the Coronavirus pandemic and every day we hear of new efforts by local people to reach out from behind the dark clouds. One Dorset family has pooled its creative resources and begun a small business based around the artwork of eldest daughter Flossie (18). Her endearing, playful drawings have been taken by brother Ollie (16) and having sourced specialist printers, they have produced unique designs onto 100%, high quality cotton t-shirts and hoodies. Ollie said, ‘It was really important to us to find a supplier who was ethical, we’re also trying to find a supplier so we can have bamboo t-shirts too’. Flossie added, ‘I’ll be adding new collections soon, I think the next one will “The Sea”’. Ollie has also developed their website and online shop and
ANOTHER new West Dorset start up is baking business ‘Arty Bakes & Nutty Ideas’. They offer a sumptuous selection of Gluten-free, Dairy-free and Vegan cakes, puddings and treats, to indulge in, guilt free! Everything is home-made from scratch using fresh, low-fat and healthy ingridients, packed full of flavour. The Arty Bakes boxes of bite-size goodies make the perfect cheering-up lockdown gifts, containing a personal note from you to your friend and posted in a fun and stylish Arty bakes Box! For more information visit their website www.artybakes. com.
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Roy’s Boys COMPLETING A TRIOLOGY
Christopher Jary remembers three British battalions: the Devons, Hampshires and Dorsets in the invasion of Sicily in 1943. His latest book Roy’s Boys, nicknamed after Brigadier Roy Urquhart DSO, draws on the testimony of scores of veterans.
n 2nd March, in Auckland, New Zealand, the Dorset Regiment’s most distinguished veteran of the Second World War will celebrate his 100th birthday. Having enlisted as a boy soldier in 1936 and served in India before the war, Denis Bounsall fought throughout the Siege of Malta. His Brigade then led the Allied landings in Sicily, Italy and on D-Day. Miraculously, Denis survived the threemonth campaign in Normandy, the advance through Belgium and the battle around Arnhem before the Brigade was finally rested and returned to England. Denis led a charmed life which, in the course of his duties as a stretcher-bearer, he risked countless times in battle after bloody battle. And now, on the day he makes his century, he will receive a birthday present from Dorset that commemorates and celebrates his exceptional career as a soldier. He does not know it yet but he will receive the first copy of a book concerning the invasion of Sicily in 1943 by the three West country battalions that made up 231 Brigade – otherwise known as the Malta Brigade and included the 1st Dorsets, the 1st Hampshires and the 2nd Devons. Their story began on Malta, when the three battalions first came together. Churchill had seen the potential of Malta, which he called “the unsinkable aircraft carrier”, to sink enemy shipping crossing the Mediterranean to supply Italian and German troops in North Africa. Hitler ordered that Malta should be “neutralised”. For the tiny garrison and defenceless population, this meant blockade, starvation and the heaviest bombing in history. Denis and his friends spent 34 months dodging the bombs, enduring starvation, defending the airfields, ports and coastline,
repairing the runways and preparing for imminent invasion. It never came. Impressed by the Malta Brigade, Monty recruited them to his 8th Army and sent them to Egypt, under the command of Brigadier Roy Urquhart (who later won fame at Arnhem), to train to lead the invasion of Sicily. The first day of that invasion saw the greatest amphibious landing the world has ever seen—it surpassed that of D-Day! First ashore of the brigade were C Company of the 1st Dorsets, led by Captain Charles Martin from Rampisham. At first they met unenthusiastic Italian home defence troops but soon they encountered Germans in the shape of the Herman Goering Division and their war changed dramatically. The Germans fought a fierce rear-guard action across the island, defending every possible hill. They fought with skill and tenacity in terrain which strongly favoured the defender. For the men of the Brigade, Sicily was a succession of tiring advances through choking white dust kicked up by the vehicles and marching men under the blazing Sicilian August sun. The capture of hill towns on their way—Vizzini, Agira and Regalbuto in the shadow of Mount Etna— cost casualties heavier than those suffered by the infantry at Kohima and not far short of those suffered later in Normandy. In one of his first battles 22-year-old Denis Bounsall worked out in the open on an exposed road under heavy shell, mortar and machine gun fire, rescuing and tending wounded soldiers. A couple of days later he single-handedly carried another wounded man back from a patrol, evading German soldiers to bring him back to safety. In recognition of these feats he
Amber Beach at Marzamemi - nice and sandy....no pleasure boats in 1943
Commonwealth War Graves near Agira
was later to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal—next down from a Victoria Cross. After a gruelling five and a half-week campaign, German forces were forced out of Sicily by 17th August 1943. The Malta Brigade now rested by the sea, caught malaria and prepared to invade Italy. On 8th September they landed on the toe of Italy – ahead of the 8th Army’s advance – and helped to speed their way north. Unlike the invasion of Sicily which had been planned with great care and thoroughness, the landing in Italy was planned at the last moment and went very wrong. It was to the great credit of the Brigade that, once ashore, they rose to the challenge, imposed order on chaos and won through. Their story in Sicily and Italy is told in the newly published Roy’s Boys. Monty told them he would take them wherever he went and, when they all groaned, he replied that this might mean England. It did. In November the Brigade returned to the UK to train to lead the Normandy landings. At 0730 on 6th June 1944 the 1st Hampshires and 1st Dorsets landed side by side on Gold Beach near Le Hamel. It became an infantry battle to dislodge the very determined German defenders, and Charles Martin, by now Second-in Command of the 1st Hampshires, was killed. By the end of the day the Dorsets had taken all their objectives, the Hampshires had taken most of theirs
Scramble Amber at Marzamemi - rocky and horrible and only used for the first wave so that they could get into the village quickly
Denis Bounsall DCM during WW2
and the Devons had taken their primary one and they had grabbed a viable beach-head near Arromanches. March 1st sees the publication of Roy’s Boys, telling the story of the invasion of Sicily. It completes a trilogy about the Malta Brigade’s story. The other two books, Yells, Bells & Smells – covering Malta - and D-Day Spearhead Brigade – covering D-Day, have been reissued in matching editions also on March 1st. Written by Christopher Jary of Frampton, they are the work of a team of researchers from the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester and the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum in Winchester. All have personal or family links with one or more of the three regiments and all are volunteers at one or other of the two museums which together represent the Devonshire, Hampshire and Dorset Regiments. The stories are told through the eyes of the soldiers who were there – often in their own words – and are full of maps and photographs, many them published for the first time. Publication of the completed Trilogy has been brought forward to enable Denis Bounsall to get the first set of books. Let’s hope he likes them! These books are available from the Keep Military Museum bookshop (Keepmilitary museum.org/shop). They cost £15 each, including postage, but the whole trilogy can be bought for £36 including postage.
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A Christmas Sunrise Surprise Spectacular sunrises and sunsets often leave us elated: even more so in times as emotional as today. Philip Strange explains some of the science behind our memorable experiences.
t was still early and I was in the kitchen, making cups of tea and getting some of the food ready for our festive breakfast. Carols sang out from the radio and I did my best to ignore the news on this very different Christmas morning. Our kitchen window looks northwards across a narrow valley on the edge of town and there is always much to see even if it is only a storm approaching from the west. That morning, though, I noticed something different, something special. The part of the eastern sky that I could see was suffused with orange light suggesting that we might be in for an interesting sunrise. This doesn’t happen very often here and I knew it wouldn’t last so I told Hazel, grabbed my camera and went into the street to get a better view. There was an unusual stillness, a rare quiet but, by contrast, the entire eastern sky appeared to be alight with a bright, fiery display that captured the view, transforming telegraph poles and nearby trees into skeletal silhouettes. It was as though someone had taken a large brush and splashed paint in rough horizontal layers across the thin cloud that hung in the eastern sky that morning – starting with yellow, then switching to orange, then red and finally mauve. By now Hazel had joined me and we stood there, neither of us dressed for the occasion but both in awe at the astonishing natural spectacle we were witnessing. I knew the colours were changing all the time as the sun crept upwards and the cloud cover shifted so I took a few photos as a record. Suddenly remembering where I was, I looked about and saw thick frost on the parked cars and realised I was getting cold. It was time to go in but I went with renewed optimism. Even in a pandemic year, perhaps especially in a pandemic year, the non-human world can surprise and thrill. The rational part of me knows that there is a good scientific explanation for the extraordinary light show
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we witnessed but this does not detract from the spectacular nature of that morning’s sunrise. So, what is it about these displays that we find so captivating? The colours are surely part of this. The reds and oranges filling the sky express a certain danger, a wildness that is unpredictable, uncontrollable and ephemeral. Perhaps we also gain an insight into the power of the sun and a better appreciation of our place in the world as just one small part of the overall ecosystem? As you might expect, the beauty and mystery of the light at sunrise (and sunset) have inspired artists who have tried to capture some of the effects in their paintings. Norham Castle, Sunrise, painted by the British artist JMW Turner in 1845 is a depiction of the morning light over this Northumberland landmark. The painting barely illustrates the castle itself, concentrating more on the light from the rising sun and its reflections across the nearby river. The French artist, Claude Monet was also fascinated by the effects of light at different times of day and created many artworks trying to capture these effects. One of his best-known depictions of the morning light is Impression, soleil levant 1872, showing the sunrise over the port at Le Havre with the sun casting red light across the water and orange light across the hazy clouds. Science, on the other hand, provides us with a different understanding of the colours we see at sunrise. Two basic ideas are important here. Firstly, although the light leaving the sun appears white, it actually consists of light of different wavelengths that we see as a range of colours from red and orange through yellow and green to blue, indigo and violet. A helpful way to imagine this is to think of a rainbow where these different colours are spread out in the sky. Secondly, the sun’s light is scattered as it passes through the layer of gases, principally nitrogen and oxygen, that constitutes the atmosphere surrounding
our planet. This scattering is wavelength-dependent so that blue wavelengths are scattered more than the red and orange. With those two ideas in mind, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consider the sun in relation to the earth at different times of day. When the sun is high in the sky during the day, the sunlight will have a short path through the atmosphere. Preferential scattering of some of the blue light will occur making the sky appear blue and sunlight seem yellow. At sunrise, the position of the sun is very different. Sunrise occurs when the world turns until light from the sun just reaches the part of the planet where we are observing. With the sun low in the sky and close to the horizon, the sunlight will have to travel a much greater distance across the atmosphere. As a result, scattering away of blue light is almost complete, allowing the orange and red light
to dominate. An analogous argument can be applied at sunset. Although this explains how the light becomes orange and red at sunrise (and sunset), it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t account for the variability of the event. This depends strongly on the particular weather conditions of the day. The key to a sunrise where orange and red light fills the sky, though, is high level cloud but not too much of it. This cloud catches the red and orange light, rather like a celestial projector screen, and the result is a memorable sunrise like the one I saw on Christmas morning. Philip Strange is Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Reading. He writes about science and about nature with a particular focus on how science fits in to society. His work may be read at http://philipstrange.wordpress.com/
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Was our neighbour really Royal? By Cecil Amor
e had both moved into adjacent new houses, but our neighbour was about 20 years older than us and quite haughty. After a while we became friendly and she asked me to photograph an antique chair she intended to sell. When I admired it she said ‘Of course, I am descended from Royalty—the wrong side of the blanket!’ I held my peace. After some time we both moved away, but corresponded at Christmas. She later moved into a care home and invited us to visit. During the visit she produced some papers, bills for wine supplied to the royal wine cellars by two brothers named Payne. She said that proved her royal birth and suggested I looked at a wine merchant in St James Street, London. When I later did so, I found the address then belonged to “Grant’s of St James”. I decided to forget her ramblings. Some years later our daughter lent me a book, saying ‘You are interested in family history, so this may interest you’. As I opened the slim volume, it opened at a family tree and near the bottom, with no details, was the name of our neighbour, ‘Phyllis Wyndham Payne’. The book was Mrs Fitzherbert & Sons by Jim and Philippa Foord-Kelsey, which tells the story of George, Prince of Wales who married under an assumed name of Randolph Payne, and Mrs Maria Fitzherbert married as Anne Jane. It is recorded that the marriage took place in Maria’s London house, with only the assumed names stated, the ceremony being taken by Revd Robert Burt on 15th December 1785. There have been several stories about Revd Burt, one that he had been released from a Debtors Prison and promised a Bishopric for the service, but this is now discounted. It has been said that he became the Prince’s Chaplain in 1784. The marriage was illegal, as the 1701 Settlement Act forbade Royal marriage to a Roman Catholic (which Mrs Fitzherbert was) and the 1772 Royal Marriage Act prohibited it if the heir to the throne was under 25 years of age (which the Prince was). Mrs Fitzherbert was born Maria Anne Smythe, from an old catholic family and at age 18 married Edward Weld, a widower of 34 in 1775. However Weld died 3 years later. Weld was from another long catholic family of Lulworth Castle, Dorset. Maria
Weld then married Thomas Fitzherbert, aged 31, but he died in 1781, leaving her a London house. Mrs Fitzherbert was apparently a great beauty and caught the eye of the Prince of Wales, despite being five years older than the Prince. It is said that she refused to live with him outside of wedlock, hence the Prince arranged the marriage, with assumed names. Allegedly they lived together in Brighton from 1790 to 1809 and she had a house on the Brighton Steine from 1804. It was also said that the Prince had the Pavilion at Brighton built to honour her. A number of children are claimed from the “marriage” of the Prince and Maria, initially Randolph II, born in 1790 and then Frederick in 1792. The story is that any children of the couple were sworn to secrecy at the age of 21, told the story and presented with £20,000 from a trust fund. Randolph II and Frederick became Gentlemen of HM Wine Cellars. After this apprenticeship they set up their own wine importing business at 61 St James Street, Piccadilly. Using information from the book by Jim and Philippa Foord-Kelsey, I was able to investigate our neighbour’s family tree and found that she was descended from Randolph II, as was Jim FoordKelsey. So much of the stories Phyllis had told me agreed with the book. Several other children are alleged from the union of the Prince of Wales and Maria, a daughter Julia, born 1786 and a son, William, born 1793 (died 1838) and another daughter, Mary Anne, born 1795. Foord-Kelsey says a daughter was born in 1789, baptised Mary, but known as “Minney”. The position of the Prince was considered delicate at that time, so it was said that she was Mary Seymour, daughter of Lady Horatio Seymour and “adopted” by Maria. An alternative story is that she was born to Lady Seymour as a result of a liaison with the Prince of Wales and then entrusted to Maria. “Minney” Seymour married Lt Col George Lionel DawsonDamer of Came House, Winterbourne Came, south of Dorchester, in August 1825. A plaque in St Peter’s Church, Winterbourne Came states “Rt Hon Col G L Dawson Damer, CB,PC,JP, son of John Earl of Portarlington, Quarter Master General to the Prince of Orange and
with him at Waterloo. He married Mary Georgina Emma, daughter of Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour”. Subsequent family members included “Seymour” in their name. Dawson Damer was also MP for Dorchester and is said, with Randolph II, to have written Maria’s obituary. His and Minney’s grandson, Sir Shane Leslie, wrote a biography Mrs Fitzherbert in 1939 and Letters of Mrs Fitzherbert in 1940. His daughter Anita Leslie also wrote Mrs Fitzherbert in 1960. The Journal of Mary Frampton from 1779 to 1846 (sister of the Tolpuddle Martyrs Squire and accuser) says that the Hon Mrs George Dawson Damer was adopted and educated by Mrs Fitzherbert, on the death of her parents (Lord and Lady Hugh Seymour). Also that she received a miniature of George IV in a half diamond, in his will. George IV was buried with a miniature of Mrs Fitzherbert, mounted in the other half jewel. Two other stories have been told in Weymouth and Portland relating to offspring of the Prince of Wales and Maria. One was of a boy adopted by Harry Pearce, first schoolmaster for Portland. The boy took the name John Pearce and became a Master Mariner
and later Weymouth Harbourmaster. His son was said to have been visited by officials from the Palace and sworn to secrecy. The other is recorded in a book Old Portland by Elizabeth Pearce, later White, which tells of a memory of an old man that his wife was a Miss Smelt, a niece of the Earl of Chesterfield. It was an “open secret” in the Palace that she was a daughter of George IV and her brother was Chief Judge of Cape Colony. George IV seems to have created many stories. Most authorities now consider that there is truth in the story of the liaison between him and Mrs Fitzherbert, and the illegal marriage, with possible children. However it is not possible to prove the truth beyond the marriage record of Randolf Payne! Bridport History Society is holding a computer Zoom meeting on Tuesday 9th of February at 2 for 2.30 pm about “The Mayflower” one of the early ships to take people to found America. For details please contact Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard on 01308-425710, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cecil Amor, Hon President, Bridport History Society.
Maria Fitzherbert from a portrait by Joshua Reynolds
Vegetables in February By Ashley Wheeler
etting through January is not always easy for a grower or gardener. Having said that, I have quite enjoyed January this year. Perhaps it has been the fair share of cold, crisp, blue skied day and maybe just appreciating having the luxury of being able to work outside (which of course does have its drawbacks, but personally speaking these are far outweighed by the benefits of being surrounded by nature). February brings us longer days—and the beginning of sowing the first seeds for early outdoor crops and some of the tunnel crops too. Don’t let that panic you if you haven’t yet thought about sowing anything - there is plenty of time before anything really needs to be sown. Growing commercially means that we need to maximise the space that we have and we make the most out of the polytunnels that we have as well as using fleece to protect early crops. We also have a dedicated propagating tunnel with heated benches to start off our seedlings, so we can start them a little earlier than normal. For home gardening it is usually best to wait until March for most sowings. We experienced the first shock of Brexit this January when trying to order seeds from a couple of European seed companies who have a great range of organic seed available - including many varieties that are not available from UK seed companies. After scrolling through the online catalogues adding to our basket we went to fill in payment and delivery details and found that we were not able to import seed from the EU to the UK. The phytosanitary checks required would be too costly for the seed companies to incur for retail orders. This really brought home the vulnerability of the seed system and how reliant we are on a small number of companies who control the majority of the seed that is grown commercially. We have, for a few years now, saved seed both for ourselves, to swap and commercially for a couple of small seed companies in the UK, but having now seen the result of having relatively limited availability of seed varieties we are really thinking more about producing more seed and the importance of seed sovereignty. We were lucky to get our orders in to the UK companies before many of them closed their online shops as they were overwhelmed with orders from growers and a huge rise in sales to home gardeners growing their own since the first lockdown last March. Seed is at the heart of our food systems. Without control over the seeds that we use to grow food we
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Starting to thresh the seed from agretti, a wonderful vegetable that we grow to put in our salad mix.
have very little control over our food systems. Saving seed and being involved in projects such as the South West Seed Savers allows us more autonomy. We can keep interesting varieties alive and bring more diversity to our fields. If each seed that is sown brings hope, then each seed that is saved brings back more control of our own food systems. WHAT TO SOW THIS MONTH: If you have a heated propagator in a naturally well lit place: peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, beetroot, shallots, spring onions, spring cabbage, salad leaves (see above). If you do not have a heated propagator, best leave sowing until March. WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH: OUTSIDE: Wait until next month! INSIDE: Most of the indoor space should have been planted up with overwintering leaves, herbs, and early crops like spring onions, early garlic and peas. OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: If the weather dries, continue preparing beds for the spring by mulching with compost. Wash any polytunnel or glasshouse to make sure maximum levels of light are getting through to the crops. Try to finish off that winter job list, so that you are fully prepared for the onslaught of spring!
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February in the Garden By Russell Jordan
his whole Covid business feels a bit like an interminable winter and the uncertainty, as to when we shall ascend to the sunlit uplands again, is a whole new kind of stress. Fortunately, the ‘actual’ winter does have a bit of certainty about it and we know that it will come to an end as spring sweeps it away. We’re not quite there yet but, as the snowdrops are already heralding, the end is in sight—hurrah! Hellebores are another harbinger of spring. As a horticultural student I was fortunate enough to be a frequent visitor to ‘Washfield Nursery’, home to the then hellebore queen; Elizabeth Strangman. She was responsible for some of the legal collection and then propagating of wild species hellebores, both from her own expeditions and from expeditions undertaken by other horticultural luminaries of the time. Anyway, the point is that Ms. Strangman used certain species hellebores, Helleborus torquatus springs to mind, to hybridise with Helleborus orientalis to create hybrid oriental hellebores with new flower forms, especially doubleness, and colour strains - the slaty blues and rich plum shades were my favourites. Her nursery has been closed for many years but last year, just before ‘The Virus’ struck, I managed to visit ‘Ashwood Nurseries’, in the West Midlands, whose Helleborus x hybridus ‘Ashwood Garden Hybrids’ are probably the best range of garden hellebores currently available. They operate an online, mail order, website so their plants are still available regardless of travel restrictions. Although often described as ‘winter flowering’ hellebores often don’t fully get into their stride until February / March. Mine currently have emerged flower stems but I’ve not got around to trimming off their old leaves yet—so I’ll be doing it, carefully, right now. Removing the old leaves not only allows the flowers to shine out but also helps to reduce the prevalence of fungal diseases. These can cause black patches on the foliage and can lead to the death of the whole plant in extreme cases. Fork in a dose of fertiliser, trusty old ‘fish, blood and bone’, around each plant once you’ve trimmed off the leaves. Some other early spring flowering plants which benefit from a clean up of old foliage, to expose their shiny new flowers, include epimedium, pulmonarias and even the leathery old bergenias. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I rather like bergenias. They’ve been horribly unfashionable for as long as I’ve been
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gardening but, if chosen carefully, do a ‘Google’ image search for inspiration, and tidied up before flowering then they are an welcome addition to the garden. As a member of the saxifrage tribe, they can be susceptible to vine weevil infestation but, unlike the more feeble members of their clan, especially heucheras, they are generally tough enough to survive the dreaded grubs. Although, officially, it’s possible to plant bare-root plants right up until the end of March it’s definitely preferable, both in terms of availability of stock and good establishment of the plants, to get on with bareroot planting before buds begin to break. Although I’m certainly no ‘rosarian’, I have been investing in some new roses this winter. I think this may be a reaction to the current Covid situation and finding comfort in nostalgia. I don’t have a cottage garden as such, hence a certain paucity of roses, but those ‘Gardens of a Golden Afternoon’ were all the rage in my formative gardening years so now I’m reliving my horticultural childhood. I think I’ll extend my herbaceous planting too, maybe design a whole new border (rabbit proofing permitting), because I’ve still got loads of plants in plastic pots, gathered over the last few years, and they really do need to get their feet into the ground. To this end I’ve recently invested in a propane greenhouse heater so that my seed raising, something else you can get on with this month, is less susceptible to the vagaries of hard overnight frosts. When it comes to greenhouse heating I reckon that a ‘belt and braces’ approach is to be recommended. I have an electric, ‘frost-guard’, heater but it only takes one inopportune power cut, or an RCD trip, to scupper its protection duties. The back-up of a mechanical, but thermostatically controlled, propane heater provides a certain piece of mind that disaster can be averted. Seed raising is important when making new herbaceous borders because the initial planting. with perennial plants, needs to be fairly sparse in order to allow the new plants room to grow and increase in size over the first few years. The gaps between drifts of perennials need to be filled with something, in the intervening years, and seed raised annuals / biennials are the obvious choice. I’ve come to rely on some of the easiest ones, cosmos and cleome are recent favourites, to fill gaps in borders and provide a long blooming period. I think I’ll grow more zinnias this
year too, although I find these a little more hit and miss. I’ve not used nigella in the garden for a while, that’s always a joy, and can be direct sown a little later in the year when the soil is beginning to warm up. Getting back to now; it’s time to prune wisteria. Keen gardeners will have sheared off the shaggy extension growths in mid-summer, after flowering. Now, with denuded stems, the more drastic pruning can take place. Start by identifying the stems which you need for the framework. These main stems should be tied to a permanent system of wires, fixed to your wall via vine eyes. The main stems bear flowering side shoots and it is these which are now shortened to little ‘spurs’. Leave them a few inches long, cutting just above a bud. Reducing the number of flowering buds concentrates the flowering potential into fewer flower sprays so that the remaining blooms are bigger and better—this is generally why you prune flowering plants. Removing unnecessary growth prevents the climber from turning into a great, congested, mass which rips off your guttering and invades the roof space. If the plant is producing a lot of suckering growth, those long stems which originate from below ground but are not destined to be part of the framework, then these should be manfully torn off, rather than cut, in order deter further suckering. I hope that gives you something to be getting on with in these trying times—spring is just around the corner :-)
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A Station on your Doorstep By Helen Fisher
An extremely spacious semi-detached Victorian townhouse with 6 double bedrooms. Light and spacious interior with many original features inc: picture rails, leaded stain-glass windows and fireplaces. Open plan living/ dining/kitchen with access to the south-facing sun terrace and gardens. Garage/workshop and parking. Stags Yeovil Tel: 01935 589021
A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on the outskirts of the town. Set in a small development, built in 2002. Reception room with stone fireplace fitted with a multi-fuel stove and French doors to the garden. Flagstone type flooring throughout the ground floor. Windows double glazed in wooden frames. Rear garden bordered by a hedge. Ample parking. Gordon & Rumsby Tel: 01297 553768
A very attractive detached 1920s house with pp to create a self-contained ground floor annexe. With 4 bedrooms and all very well presented throughout. Far reaching village and countryside views. Sunny garden with decking area, paved terrace, BBQ and timber shed. Aprox 4 miles to Axminster station. Stags Bridport Tel: 01308 428000 32 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
MAIDEN NEWTON £595,000
A beautifully presented, 5 bedroom end of terrace village house. With 3 large reception rooms and a fabulous family kitchen with doors out to the rear garden. Master bedroom with dressing room and en suite. Garden with countryside views, large shed and greenhouse. Driveway and garage. Symonds & Sampson Dorchester Tel: 01305 261008
A 4 bedroom semi-detached Georgian house tucked away in one of the town’s most prestigious roads. Stunning characterful features throughout. Beautiful well-stocked wall gardens with timber shed and brick outbuilding. With gated access to Salisbury Fields. Parking for two vehicles and no onward chain. Meyers Tel: 01305 259436
A Grade II listed Georgian townhouse with 5 bedrooms with panoramic views over Weymouth Bay. Many characterful period features inc: wood flooring, fireplaces, bay windows, high ceilings and ornate coving. Set over 4 floors with stunning sea views. Rear paved, terraced garden. Symonds and Sampson Poundbury Tel: 01305 251154
Transforming Streets into Galleries
unique and fun community initiative that started in Bristol in 2015 is coming to Dorchester in February. Organised by local volunteers, Kathy O’Borne and Charlotte Dingle, with support from Dorchester Town Council and Crickmay Stark Architects, Dorchester Window Wanderland is encouraging local residents to create window displays on the theme of “A Brighter Future” to amuse, entertain and inspire each other for one weekend. Together these windows will form a wonderful winter walking trail, which everyone can enjoy safely. The event takes place between Friday, 19th February and Sunday 21st February, from 6pm-9pm. ‘The great thing about Window Wanderland is that everyone can take part’ says Kathy O’Borne. ‘You can interpret our theme, “A Brighter Future”, however you want (so long as it’s family friendly!) You could use tissue paper, fairy lights, household objects or anything else that’s handy—this is for everyone, not just arty types. You can even use the event to brighten up your shop windows. The more people taking part, the better, so spread the word and get your whole street involved. We are really excited to see what Dorchester comes up with.’ It is easy to get involved and register your home or business as part of the trail. If you want to make a display, just visit the event website for more information: www.windowwanderland.com/event/dorchester-2021/ And to view the trail, just go to the above website to find all the places near you who are participating. Window Wanderland was created in 2015 in Bristol by Lucy Reeves who said: ‘Everyone has a playful side to them, they just need an opportunity to show it. This brightens up the long winter nights and gives everyone a great excuse to get outdoors.’
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TRADITIONAL DRESSED CRAB Delicate dressed crab, served with generously buttered brown bread and if you fancy a little heat, mix up a pot of spiced chilli mayo, using a little hot chilli jam.
• 900g (2lb) cooked crab
1. Lay the crab on its back and twist off the legs and claws. Identify the natural line near to the edge of the crab and lightly crack along the line enabling you to remove and discard the belly shell. 2. Remove and discard the grey, spongy lungs lining the edge of the crab and the small sac at the top of the body. 3. Lift out the body of the crab and carefully remove all the meat using a lobster ‘pick’. Place the brown and white meats in two separate bowls. 4. Crack the large claws and remove the white meat. Poke out the remaining meat from the legs. 5. Wash and dry the body shell. 6. Add some breadcrumbs to the brown meat mixture to thicken slightly and bind together. Season with lemon juice, mustard, salt & pepper to taste. Place this mixture down the centre of the body shell and arrange the white meat on either side of the brown. Serve with mayonnaise & brown bread and butter.
• • • •
To season Lemon juice Breadcrumbs Dijon or Grainy mustard Salt & pepper
To serve • mayonnaise • Granary or brown bread and butter Serves a generous 2 as a starter
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Hearty cheeses from Sharpham SHARPHAM Cheese has pulled on our heart-strings and launched two heart-shaped cheeses in time for Valentine’s Day. Sharpham Brie is a buttercup yellow with milk from Sharpham’s own Jersey herd, it is a mould ripened cheese. Firm, rich and Sharpham Brie creamy when young the cheese softens and develops mushroomy notes when aged. It has been handmade for 40 years. Sharpham Rustic is a semi-hard cheese and has a refreshing light tang that delicately balances the richness of the milk. Crumbly Sharpham Rustic texture, golden colour and a delicate citrus flavour, Sharpham Rustic is irresistible when served with oatcakes and a sweet chutney. Nestled in the beautiful valley overlooking the River Dart in South Devon, Sharpham is the realisation of Maurice and Ruth Ash’s vision, which began with the slump in milk prices during the 1970s, prompting Maurice to find a way to make his favourite cheese, Brie, using milk from his herd of Jersey cows. Sharpham Cheese is available from a range of stockists nationally and online from www.sharphamcheese.co.uk.
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RED MULLET WITH PICKLED WALNUTS Lockdown number 3 and I’m back on the truck trying to earn a few quid and supporting the local fishermen who haven’t really got anywhere to sell their fish, the market prices are rock bottom but we need to feed the people fish with no restaurants open as it’s an important part of our diet. Pickled walnuts have always been a must have larder ingredient and of late I’ve been using them on occasions instead of capers. The sweetness of the walnut and sharpness of the vinegar match perfectly with rich oiliness of the red mullet.
• 4 red mullet weighing about 150180g, scaled and cleaned • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper • A little rapeseed oil for brushing
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C Gas mark 6. 2. Place the mullet in an oven proof dish, season and brush with a little oil. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until just cooked. 3. Meanwhile mix all of the ingredients together for the dressing and season. 4. Transfer the red mullet to warmed serving plates and spoon over the dressing.
For the dressing • 2-3 pickled walnuts, cut into rough 1/2cm dice • 2 spring onions, halved lengthways then finely chopped • 1 tbls pickled walnuts vinegar • 1 tbls rapeseed oil Serves 4
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LEEK GREEN, WILD MUSHROOM AND GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI INGREDIENTS • 1 baguette (12 inches, or 30 cm), sliced ¼ inch (6 mm)thick on the diagonal • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, divided • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 2 cups (178 g) finely chopped leeks (dark green leaves only, see Preparation Tip below) • ½ pound (225 g) mixed wild mushrooms, finely chopped • ½ teaspoon salt • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper • ⅓ cup (80 ml) dry white wine • ¼ cup (15 g) chopped fresh parsley • 4 ounces (115 g) creamy goat cheese (chèvre) 8 - 10 Servings
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Spread the baguette slices across a large, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle 2
tablespoons (28 ml) of oil over them. Bake until crispy and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil and add the garlic and leeks. Stir and cook until the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and any juices have evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. 3. Pour in the wine and bring the mixture to a rapid boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and scatter parsley across the top. 4. To assemble the crostini, smear some goat cheese on a slice of toasted baguette and top with the leeks and mushrooms. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Preparation Tip: The key to using leek tops is to cut the green leaves off the white stem and wash them separately. As the part of the plant that grows above ground, leek tops gather even more grit than the bottoms and it takes a good scrubbing to make sure you get all the dirt between the layers and inside the creases. If the leaves look especially beaten up, remove and discard the outermost layer; often you’ll find fresher and more tender leaves tucked inside.
After more than a decade of growing and preserving her own food, raising chickens in urban backyards, and trying to craft a more sustainable and simple life for her husband and their two daughters, Linda Ly has a wealth of experience to offer. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook takes a unique top-to-tail approach by teaching you how to use up every edible part of the plants you grow or buy.
The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook; Recipes and Techniques for Whole Plant Cooking Linda Ly Harvard Common Press
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EMMAS BROWNIES RECIPE BY EMMA FRANKLIN
These brownies are the ones I have made for many years. The original recipe came from a favourite book years ago and has been slightly adapted over time. Having got the seal of approval from many family members including my Gramps, (the connoisseur of all things chocolate) this recipe is one that will be used for a long time. Simple, quick and delicious.
1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Place over a pan of barely simmering water and leave until melted. Remove from the heat. 2. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and the salt. Set aside. 3. In a clean roomy bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together, until light and fluffy. Then carefully fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mixture followed by the dry ingredients. Add nuts now if using.
• • • • • • • • •
90g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces 150g unsalted butter 150g plain flour 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder 15g cocoa powder Pinch of salt 2 eggs 300g soft brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped (optional) Makes 12—16 brownies
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4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife can be inserted and comes out clean. 5. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
RECIPES WITH LOVE Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support
A selection of recipes shared with love, that represent our community. These recipes have been submitted by local people who share the joy of food, the joy of cooking and the joy of sharing delicious food with friends and family.
SPICED BAKED CAULIFLOWER RECIPE BY MARY KAHN
Cauliflowers are nutritionally high in fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese—a good veg! This dish works well as a main course or side dish, served piping hot or cold. It is a stunning centre piece and can sit next to a traditional roast for special occasions. Served cold with yogurt and rice sprinkled with pomegranate seeds or piping hot served on a bed of roast vegetables it is versatile, and quick and easy to prepare and a great ‘go to’ for any day of the year!
• 1 large cauliflower (keep the green stalks) • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • 1 teaspoon ground coriander • Optional chilli powder or harissa paste can be used for an extra kick • Sea salt
1. Mix the olive oil with the spices. Then rub the spice mix into the cauliflower - using your hands is easiest but a basting brush would work as well. 2. Place on a roasting tray and bake (Oven 200°C or Gas Mark 4) for 1 hour or until it is tender when a skewer is used in the middle. 3. This can be sliced into ‘steaks’ to serve or cut like a cake or indeed broken into ‘cauli-nuggets’!
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
Sharing a meal is such a simple, yet nourishing and nurturing event. For many, these occasions are a real tradition. In this book you will find old recipes which have been tried and tested over many generations, and more recent ones set to start traditions of their own. All funds raised will go to continue the work of Axminster and Lyme Cancer support. The book is available now and can be purchased at the charity online shop: https:// axminsterandlymecancersupport. co.uk/product-category/shop. It is also available to buy in store at: Archway Bookshop, Serendip Bookshop, Felicity’s Farm Shop, Millers Farm Shop and Dalwood Post Office. For more information: Email: admin@ axminsterandlymecancersupport. co.uk Website: https:// axminsterandlymecancersupport. co.uk/
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The Tongariro River By Nick Fisher
an has mucked about with Nature all over the world. And most of the time we’ve made a right dog’s dinner of it. We fiddle around with the finely tuned instrument of elements and turn a beautiful harmony into a nightmarish wail. But in the lakes and rivers of New Zealand, for once we got it right. Before we came along, the vast deep volcanic lake of Taupo and the thundering rush of the Tongariro river were virtually fishless. From them we created a true Temple of Sport. Onto a bare canvas, we accidentally painted a masterpiece. Before the late 19th century, the freshwaters of New Zealand were a sad place, with nothing but eels, whitebait and a couple of species of ugly rock fish. In their hunger for colonisation, the British saw fit, not only to send human envoys off to lay claim to far-flung territories, we also sent our fine, feisty, spotted trout too. The first consignment of brown trout to arrive in New Zealand came from England, via Tasmania. By
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1916, it was estimated that over 50 million finger-sized trout had been released, haphazardly, into various streams around the North and South islands. Trout loved New Zealand. They went mad for it. They bred rampantly and grew like mutant monsters, reaching sizes undreamt of, even in the wild nocturnal duvet-stirrings of English fly-fishing fanatics. Some trout even took it on themselves to swim out to sea, and round the coast to seed new rivers. New Zealand rapidly developed some of the most heart-stopping fly-fishing water in the world. And consequently established a vital high-protein food source for settlers and native Maoris alike. If you want to eat trout in New Zealand though, you’ve got to catch it yourself. As a way of preserving any poaching or misuse of this silver gleaming asset, the government declared it illegal to buy or sell salmon trutta. And if you’re going to catch trout in New Zealand, the Tongariro river isn’t the easiest place to start but it’s
by far the most exciting. The source of the Tongariro gushes out of the eastern flank of the grumbling volcanic Mount Ruapehu. From there it hurtles like a joy-rider with a death-wish north, to the southern end of Lake Taupo where it skids to a halt in a vast, swampy fivemouthed delta. England is the birthplace of modern fly-fishing. And the perfectly manicured river Test, which glides it’s crystal clear sedate path through leafy Hampshire, is the Father of all fly-fishing rivers. Needless to say, since the first trout were introduced into the Tongariro in 1898, many Englishmen have made a pilgrimage to see the progeny of their babbling chalk streams. And brother have they got a shock! Back home trout fishing is a gentle art of fine lines and tiny imitative flies. On the Tongariro, it’s a snarling, blood-letting battle of heavy-leaded nymphs, fierce dangerous currents and rocket-powered monsters possessed by the devil. As O.S. Hintz wrote in 1955 in Trout On Taupo; “The Tongariro is a river of heroic proportions. It swaggers and roars and proclaims its vigour with no mock modesty. It will sweep along boulders the size of a medicine ball. It is not a trout stream; it is a salmon river.” Even the names of the individual pools are heavy duty; like The Gun, The Stump and The Dreadnought. Yet still, in its comparatively short angling history it has become a legend. By 1929, dour Scots angling journalist A. Mathewson declared it “The World’s finest trout river” in his report in the Weekly News. He even went on to do the unimaginable and declare its fish finer than his own country’s finest. “The Tongariro trout are by far the finest in the world. They cannot be compared with the trout of Scotland. Besides being extraordinarily good fighters, they are actually more lively than salmon of equal size.” Angling books are stuffed with glowing prose in praise of the Tongariro trout. But there’s a downside to doing battle in this piscatorial paradise, as Malcolm Ross wrote in a 1927 edition of The New Zealand Shooting And Fishing Gazette. “Our camp was near a swamp that was a prolific breeding ground of mosquitoes. And they swarmed
into the tents in the thousands. Being without mosquito nets we resorted to anointing the hands and face with kerosene. This gave temporary relief, but with sleep came the evaporation of the oil and the fight was on again. These Tongariro mosquitoes were simply revelling in a change of diet. They had discovered it was easy to pierce the tender skin of a whiteman and that there was a flavour in his blood, a corpuscular delicacy perhaps, that was absent from the blood of his darkskinned Maori brother. For every one we killed a hundred came to the funeral, and, the funeral hymn having been chanted, the living, in thousands, sought revenge. The battle ravaged throughout the night. Dawn saw us victorious, but bleeding from out wounds.” In the century of trout feeding, fighting and fornicating in the Tongariro, they’ve been visited by royalty, aristocracy and even American presidents. But one of the first, and most famous visitors was millionaire cowboy western novelist Zane Grey. Invited by the New Zealand government to come and sample the delights of big game marlin fishing around the Bay of Islands, Grey soon heard talk of the Tongariro trout. So, he abandoned his enormous schooner and set forth into the heartland of North Island. Zane Grey got his rod bent mercilessly by the trout of the Tongariro and wrote at length of the specimen rainbows he caught, up to 17 pounds. In one of his fishing journals he pays ultimate tribute to New Zealand, by renaming it ‘The Anglers’ Eldorado’. According to one story, Zane Grey was so taken by the magnificent fish of the Tongariro, that he tried to buy the river. At the time much of it belonged to the Maoris and the deal was very nearly struck, until the New Zealand government stepped in and banned the sale. Personally, I can’t blame the man for wanting to own what is probably the best trout river in the world. But for me, the greatest joy of the Tongariro, like every other New Zealand river, is it’s accessibility. So long as you’ve bought a fishing licence, you can fish the length of the Tongariro, from it’s flat sandy delta full of angry white-bait feeding rainbows, to it’s ferocious foaming headwaters stuffed with ugly kypejawed browns, for absolutely free.
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Return of the Natives 2 Twenty three years on from the 1998 Returning Natives exhibition which included drawings and writings from PJ Harvey, Bridport Arts Centre is staging a bold new multi-disciplinary show to highlight and celebrate today’s emerging talent.
rom February 10 till March 3 the Bridport Arts Centre will be energised by young talent as it hosts Return of the Natives 2; a bold multi-disciplinary showcase to champion and celebrate emerging artists from the Bridport area, giving some their first opportunity to be part of a professional exhibition. It’s the opening project for Bryony Moores O’Sullivan as the newly appointed Youth Engagement Officer at the BAC, a role made possible by the generous Catherine Beck legacy. Bryony is an actor, puppet maker and illustrator who made her own return to Bridport in 2019 after graduating from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She says the idea for Return of the Natives 2 came from Ella Squirrel who had also recently come home from studying Fine Art at Falmouth, ‘Ella was struck by the unusual number of young people choosing to begin their creative career here at the moment and thought it would be great to get us all together in one space’.
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Bryony is curating the show with Ella and Grace Crabtree who both work as painters but have also experimented with music, film and photography. Their ambitious, diverse programme includes over 20 young artists working in every kind of creative practice. The Allsop Gallery will be filled with visual work including images from painter Daisy Rickman, typographer Anja Jackson, illustrator and painter Benji Jackson, as well as Theadora Brazier who has returned from travels in South East Asia and Europe—where she exchanged mural painting for her keep—to continue producing joyful art that ‘expresses the idea of empowerment through nature and beauty away from social constraints.’ There will also be opportunities to see plenty of performance, from dancers like Imi Neylan and actor/director with Bridport Young Performers Harry Lockett, plus Off Piste Theatre’s physicallydriven contemporary work. And throughout the three weeks Bridport’s next generation of musicians will share their original songs, like Theodore Sudbury (who collaborated in 2020 with Andrew Dixson on the music for Bridport Youth Dance) and singersongwriter-poet Jonah Corren who recently released
his debut EP Dreaming and Petty Crime. Bryony, Ella and Grace have included several key contributions to the programme that demonstrate how the experience of Covid effected every kind of creative practice. This time last year Reuben Squirrel gave a stunning performance as Hades in Bridport Youth Dance’s Orpheus and Eurydice, the show that felt like the final big local artistic expression before Covid pressed pause on public creative play. Since then he has channelled the experience of lockdown into an exploration of interior life to create a new dance film that will be screened as part of Return of the Natives 2 ‘working with the confined spaces of the home and its relationship to self ’. Another film that responds to the pandemic is Isaac Macpherson’s short Stay Home. Shot on location in and around Poole and rural Dorset, it is a reflection on the impacts on mental health that challenges the assumption that Covid is ‘the great leveller’. Jessie Wybrew has taken time from the disrupted final year of her fine art degree to develop lockdown landscapes of stormy spring skies over vibrant rapeseed fields to reflect ‘both the positives and negatives of this year, to make the viewer question
Stills from Isaac Macpherson’s ‘Stay Home’
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BAC’s New Youth Engagement Officer Bryony Moores O’Sullivan
their perspective’, while singer-songwriter Ruby Dew played on Squeeze’s Cliff Difford’s 2020 album inspired by the experiences of Covid nurses, as well as releasing two of her own singles. Byrony hopes the project itself will be a creative response to the pressures of this past year, ‘a rural community can be very isolating especially for young people and that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic....one of the key aspects of the exhibition will be zoom talks with multiple artists about the challenges we’re facing and how we are coping creatively at this time. I think this showcase could really help build a sense of community among the younger creatives in this area, giving them the peer support and connection that’s so invaluable when establishing a creative career and practice’. The three week show opens online on Feb 10 using the BAC’s new streaming equipment to give a virtual tour of the exhibition space hung with visual artists’ pieces, plus an introduction to performers and tasters of their work to launch a programme of daily releases of films made by each of the featured contributors and including discussions of their work, performances, time-lapses, readings and interviews. Thursdays will focus on theatre, including a giant walk-about puppetry demonstration by Bryony. Fridays will be mini music concerts from artists like Eve Appleton who’s been performing live since 15 and is currently studying at British Irish Modern Music Institute in Bristol, while Sundays are film nights with work by Boris Hallvig, George Earwicker and Chasing Cow Productions. (By Ines Cavill) For more details visit www.bridport-arts.com Above: Reuben Squirrell, Eve Appleton and Off Piste Theatre RND
Exhibition includes work by: Ella Squirrell, Benji Jackson, Daisy Rickman, Jessie Wybrew, Daisy Rickman, Jessie Wybrew, Benji Jackson, Imi Neylan 44 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
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Until February 26
The Spectacular Sky: Donna Goold Solo Exhibition. Donna Goold’s paintings are an exploration of colour and light observed simply by looking up. Although different motifs may appear the viewer is still pulled back to the overriding power and drama of the sky. Artwave West, Morcombelake, Dorset DT6 6DY. Tel: 01297 489746. View online www.artwavewest.com
Until February 28
A Picture of Health. Arnolfini are proud to be collaborating with Rising Arts Agency, a community of young creatives aged 16 – 30 at all stages of their careers. https://arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/exhibition-walkthrougha-picture-of-health/ The Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA. Anna Grayson: The Photographic Art Thief comes to the Café at Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) with selected works also available to purchase. Anna Grayson is a geologist by training and was a BBC presenter and science writer by profession; she re-trained as an artist at the age of 60, and her work was featured by Grayson Perry in Channel 4’s Grayson’s Art Club earlier this year. Much of Anna’s work is humorous, but there is a serious side too with clear themes of gender, feminism and social commentary. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen St, Exeter EX4 3RX. https://rammuseum.org.uk/
Until March 14
In the mind’s eye: David Atkins, Rachel Fenner and Paul Jones. In the mind’s eye, memory and imagination hold sway. We perceive the world through the cipher of our
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Paul Jones Downland Edge 60 x 120 cm. Sladers Yard, West Bay
human senses, via the changing direction and nature of our attention, in minds that are influenced by moods, memories and sensations. Everything, you might deduce, is unreliable and individual. However, good artists are able to reach our minds’ eyes directly, startling us with a common perception, a common humanity. The three artists in this exhibition all paint landscape in very different ways, each reaching for different areas of our human perception. Sladers Yard Gallery and Café Sladers, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. https://sladersyard.wordpress.com/in-theminds-eye/
Until March 20
Creative Cabin Shorts As our Creative Cabin is grounded, THG brings you Creative Cabin Shorts, an inspiring digital programme of art and nature activities, films and workshops. We hope that these films will offer you some... Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX, 01404 45006 www.thelmahulbert.com.
Local writer publishes debut collection of short stories inspired by the South West
west country writer has Forward Prize. Her grief poem, Kindness, just had her debut short was Commended by the National Poetry story collection published. Competition 2019. Forthcoming books Stay with me, by Louisa Adjoa Parker for 2021 include a coastal memoir, to be was published by Colenso Books published by Dorset nature publisher at the end of December 2020. The Little Toller Books, and a small collection collection, which is set mostly in the of grief poems, She can still sing, to be south west, including places such as published by Flipped Eye. Dorset and Devon, is described as Louisa has also written books, ‘a collection of love stories with a exhibitions and articles on race and difference...which burrow into the diversity in the countryside. Her books dark underbelly of rural England.’ Louisa Adjoa Parker Photograph by Robin Mills include Dorset’s Hidden Histories and 1944 Louisa, who is of English and We Were Here: African American GIs in Ghanaian heritage, has lived in various Dorset. During 2018-2019 she was a New parts of the south west for most of her life, including Talent Immersion Fellow for South West Creative 25 years in Dorset, where she brought up her three Technology Network, and set up the, Where are you children. She now lives in south Somerset, and writes really from? project which tells the stories of ethnically poetry, fiction, and ethnically diverse history. She is diverse people from rural Britain in the form of stories, also co-director of The Inclusion Agency, which she poems, podcasts, and films. She is a sought-after runs with Louise Boston-Mammah, supporting various speaker on topics including black history, rural racism, organisations with equality, diversity and inclusion. and mental health. She is a sought-after speaker on topics including rural The official launch for Stay with me will take place racism and black history. online as part of an international literature event on Louisa first began writing poetry and articles to talk 8th March, 6.30-8.00 pm. To book your place at the about her experiences of racism as a mixed-race child, Quay Words Exeter and Poetry Africa Durban launch then went on to write fiction. One of the stories in visit: https://exetercustomhouse.org.uk/events/ the new collection, Breaking Glass, set in Lyme Regis, launch-day-one-development-days-for-women-writerswas first published in the acclaimed anthology Closure: featuring-efemia-chela-and-louisa-adjoa-parker/ Contemporary Black British Short Stories, published by Peepal Tree Press. Louisa says, ‘I’ve written a lot about my own and others’ experiences of racism in the south west, and this collection includes themes of race, but also explores addiction, motherhood, and physical and psychological violence. I wanted to tell these littleheard stories of marginalisation from our green (and not always) pleasant land, because the rural idyll hides a lot of deprivation. I hope in spite of the difficult themes explored, the stories are seen as positive, a celebration of resilience and overcoming challenges.’ Acclaimed writer Jacob Ross says of the book: ‘This ‘Stay with me’ is priced at £9.75 and can be ordered from any collection is all the more important because it offers bookshop using the ISBN number: 9781912788170, or direct such rare insights into the inner world of characters from the publisher (with a 15% discount for a limited period) by who exist outside of much-explored urban/inner-city emailing: email@example.com. Cost is £10.80 including settings.’ UK postage. Louisa’s poems and stories have been widely The book is also available on Amazon: published. She has twice been shortlisted by the To find out more about Louisa’s work please visit the website: Bridport Prize and was Highly Commended by the www.louisaadjoaparker.com
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 47
The Lit Fix
Marshwood Vale based author, Sophy Roberts, highlights her slim pickings for February. In this case, ‘one of the most inspiring books’ she has ever read.
ike every author publishing a new book in the last 12 months, Covid-19 has been a rattling experience. It has often felt pointless to even talk about culture when there have been much more immediate issues at hand. I then remind myself about the topic I’ve just given four years of my life to—in search of a remarkable piano in Siberia on behalf of a friend, a Mongolian concert pianist—and I take a leaf out of my own book: the inspirational life of Maria Volkonsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess who in extreme isolation, found her simple pleasure in music. The daughter of one of Russia’s most decorated generals, Maria was a society beauty. Her husband, Prince Sergei Volkonsky, was a childhood friend of the Tsar’s. Then in 1825, their glittering existence— from holidays in Crimea, to balls in St. Petersburg— was drowned by the sound of canon-fire and fetters in the snow. It happened on the day of the winter solstice: Volkonsky and a group of well-born political liberals rose up in a failed coup against the despotic Romanovs. Five were hanged. A hundred-or-so ‘Decembrist’ nobles, including Volkonsky, were sent to Siberia. They were stripped of their children, wealth and privileges. If their wives went with them, warned the Tsar, they too would be banned from returning to European Russia. When Maria chose to do just that, abandoning their two-year-old son to follow her husband, she became the cover girl for what is sometimes called the First Russian Revolution.
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And on the back of her sledge? A little piano. It was a remarkably brave endeavour, with both princess and instrument surviving a four-thousandmile journey from Moscow along the infamous Great Siberia Trakt, their passage over a frozen Lake Baikal a feat of endurance in one of the last places on Earth you would expect heroics, or to hear a note of Bach. From 1801 to 1917, more than a million subjects were banished under the Tsarist penal exile system. From 1929 to 1953, around 2.7 million forced labourers died in the Soviet Gulag. Varlam Shalamov, a poet who spent seventeen years in a Siberian camp, described the terror of indifference, how the cold that froze a man’s spit could also freeze the soul. But not Maria, who moved her instrument into the windowless cell she shared with her husband. When the couple later lived in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, Maria held musical salons using a Lichtenthal grand piano sent by her brother, which survives to this day. She fought for musical education in schools, and raised money to build the town’s first purpose-built concert hall—civic philanthropy that earned her the spontaneous applause of the public. At the inaugural concert, locals rose to their feet to thank her, in spite of her exile status. In Siberia, music took on a renewed purpose. It’s what Maria cherished, an impulse the Decembrists shared when they set up a music school in prison. The same happened with literature. The Decembrists building an extraordinary library, with their powerful libertarian principles disseminated through the
Siberian hinterland as a direct result. I find their narrative inspiring in these lockdown times, when some of us are looking for comfort in listening to music, others in painting, still others (like me) in reading and writing. And if none of these apply to you? Perhaps it’s a good time to explore some new horizons. Which is what brings me to my book of the month: A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling Lincoln in the Bardo. Saunders has spent twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. This new book is like joining his masterclass, from the comfort of home. The book features a series of essays on how to become both a better writer and reader, on what makes great stories work—using the Russian short story form as his example—and what they can tell us about how to live. Focusing on Chekhov, Gogol, Turgenev and Tolstoy, Saunders is a compassionate, funny teacher, with an eloquent moral sense of purpose. But most of all, he demythologises the act of writing, so you can start to see it is the attempt that matters first. “You don’t need an idea to start a story,” he writes. “You just need a sentence. Where does that sentence come from? Wherever. It doesn’t have to be anything special. It will become something special, over time,
as you keep reacting to it. Reacting to that sentence, then changing it, hoping to divest it of some of its ordinariness or sloth, is… writing. That’s all writing is or needs to be. We’ll find our voice and ethos and distinguish ourselves from all the other writers in the world without having to make any big over-arching decisions, just by the thousands of small ones we make as we revise.” I just love these words. They are kind and encouraging. They make me realise there might be a path not only out of ‘writer’s block’, but out of the winter dark. It is—and I don’t say this lightly—one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. Buy it. Read it. Savour its insights, even if your art— photography, painting, dance—is something else.
A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders is published by Bloomsbury. The Lost Pianos of Siberia by Sophy Roberts is now out in paperback.
Buy either of these books at Archway Bookshop in Axminster in February and receive a 10% discount when you mention Marshwood Vale Magazine. archwaybookshop.co.uk.
Sophy Roberts is a freelance journalist who writes about travel and culture. She writes regularly for FT Weekend, among others. Her first book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia—one of The Sunday Times top five non-fiction books for summer 2020—is now available in paperback.
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FEBRUARY YOUNG LIT FIX PICTURE BOOK REVIEW The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Book By Lucy Rowland, Illustrated by Ben Mantle Ages 3+ RRP £7.99 A young boy and his mother settle down for a bedtime story, as they do every night. But this time, disaster strikes! Mum’s mobile phone rings when they’re only on page 7 of The Three Little Pigs leaving Ben to try to figure out what happens all by himself. He’s only little though, so he can’t make head nor tail of the strange squiggles on the page, all he knows is that one little pig has made a house out of straw, a second little pig has made a house out of sticks and a third little pig is just about to begin construction on his house out of bricks. As Mum stays on the phone each of the little pigs arrives at Ben’s house to figure out how their adventure will continue, but they can’t read either! They CAN, however, look at the pictures and they realise that very soon The Big Bad Wolf may arrive at Ben’s house too! Will Ben and the Three Little Pigs be able to fend off the Big Bad Wolf or will this story end another way? With fun, rhyming text and bright, engaging illustrations this makes for wonderful bedtime story to be enjoyed at any time of day or night. MIDDLE GRADE REVIEW The Forest of Moon and Sword By Amy Raphael Ages 9+ RRP £7.99 In 1647, at the height of the English Civil War, some men found fortune in witch hunting. Of course, we know that there is no such thing as witches, but clever, self-sufficient women have long been threatening to certain types of men. One such man, by the name of Matthew Hopkins, styled himself the Witchfinder General and travelled the land following rumour and hearsay to arrest women and drag them before magistrates for large sums of money. Over the border in Scotland, a young girl named Art hides in the attic with her mother as Hopkins’ men arrive in their village. Art’s mother forces her to run, leaving the others behind and save herself when their home is invaded. Hiding on the roof Art hears the women loaded into wagons and dragged away, when all is quiet, she creeps back into the house, finds her brother’s old clothes and her mother’s herbal handbook, she gathers her horse and sets off to rescue her mother.
As Art journeys from Scotland to East Anglia she meets many people along the way, some that would help her and others who would gladly betray her. It is up to her to judge who she can trust to help her rescue her mother from an appalling fate. A brilliant piece of historical fiction, with palpable fear and unflinching bravery all wrapped around a great adventure. TEEN REVIEW Concrete Rose By Angie Thomas Ages 14+ RRP £7.99 Set in the late 90s, in an unnamed American inner-city neighbourhood, 17-year-old Maverick Carter is doing his best to figure out what direction his life will take. As a black boy on the verge of manhood, he sees two paths ahead—college and a career or drug dealing and prison. Maverick has the grades, he can go to college, he could even get a scholarship, his ticket off the streets. All his ambitions come screeching to a halt when the paternity test, after a one-time hook-up, comes back, and that little baby boy is his. He’s seventeen years old, living with his momma, and he has to take full responsibility for a baby abandoned by his mother. No more drug dealing for him, he has to work at the local grocery store. Homework—ha—like he has the energy for that, the baby won’t let him get a good night’s sleep! His grades are trash, his social life is non-existent. The only thing he has is an overwhelming love for his son. But man, is it tough. First day back at school there’s a nappy explosion—so much for looking his best. And babies are so expensive, they need so many things, and he can’t just buy them once—lil’ man keeps growing out of them: clothes, car seats. Just when he thinks he has a handle on how things are going, his cousin is murdered, the girl he truly loves is pregnant, but doesn’t want to be reliant on him and he feels his life is falling apart. Overwhelmed, he falls back into old patterns, taking the easy route to earning money. But there is no future in the gang life, no future in drugs. With one baby, and another on the way, Maverick Carter needs to make choices that will affect not only him, but all those he loves. Can he step up? This brilliant prequel to the international bestseller The Hate You Give, tells the story of Starr Carter’s dad, the man she has always known to be strong, resilient and honourable. This is the story of how Maverick Carter came to be. Angie Thomas gives us another unflinching look at life for black Americans in deprived, inner city communities, honouring the struggle while acknowledging the flaws. Families, communities, love, anger, humour, hubris—but above all—humanity. I loved it.
All reviews by Antonia Squire The Bookshop, Bridport. 10% discount on these titles for Marshwood readers throughout February 2021 50 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Screen Time with Nic Jeune
Look for Promising Young Woman on Amazon
AMAZON Promising Young Woman Carey Mulligan (Dig, Far from the Madding Crowd) is superb in this fascinating film written and directed by Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve). Lots of great reviews for this but I especially enjoyed this one: “Apart from the excellence of the film, Fennell may have tapped into something tonally that truly expresses the moment we’re in. Point being, we’re in a time of horrible ridiculousness, and ridiculous horribleness. The revelation of Promising Young Woman is that it is heightened reality feels more real—closer to actual reality than comedy or drama.” San Francisco Chronicle. Mick La Salle.
somewhat forgettable fictional films (The Last King of Scotland and State of Play being prime examples). The Mauritanian pulls from his work on political documentaries, including his Oscarwinning “One Day in September,” making it the best feature he’s directed, so far.” The Playlist. Christian Gallichio.
NETFLIX Pieces of Woman Not only does this have the brilliant Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) but as her mother Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live here Anymore) is already a favourite for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. “Pieces of a Woman is grounded and intensely personal. Much of that is due to the towering and heartbreaking performance by Kirby.” The Wrap. Steve Pond. Truffle Hunters Bitcoins maybe more valuable than gold but so are truffles and this film follows a bunch of the best hunters who will take the secrets of their woods to their graves. “Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (The Last Race) directed, produced and shot this captivating vérité documentary, which finds humor, charm and poignancy in the crusty eccentrics and their adored canine companions who sniff out the aromatic tubers, usually under the secretive cloak of night.” Hollywood Reporter David Rooney. The Mauritanian A new political thriller by director Kevin Macdonald with standout performances from Jodie Foster (Silence of The Lambs) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet). “Macdonald, who has oscillated between documentary and feature throughout his career, has often directed polished, if
Samantha Morton in Morvern Callar
BBC All the President’s Men (1976) Won four Oscars in 1977. The Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Seemed shocking behaviour by a President of America at the time! “It provides the most observant study of working journalists we’re ever likely to see in a feature film. And it succeeds brilliantly in suggesting the mixture of exhilaration, paranoia, self-doubt, and courage that permeated the Washington Post as its two young reporters went after a presidency.” Chicago Sun Times Roger Ebert. Morvern Callar (2002) Lynne Ramsay’s second film after her debut Ratcatcher stars Samantha Morton, one of the most exciting actors of her generation. “Ramsay is experimental, unconventional, and forever reaching at the gorgeousness in grief and despair. Her film moves slow as molasses, slow as paint drying – and all the better to see the colors and the complexities.” Austin Chronicle. Kimberley Jones.
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The Huntington Enigma The battle against the spread of Covid-19 has not eclipsed the need to also focus on other diseases. Author Bruce Harris is working to raise awareness and funds for Huntington’s Disease
ovid-dominated 2020 has tended to push all other ailments into the shade, and many of the charities who are trying to contribute in other areas have struggled over the last year. Huntington’s Disease, which burst forcefully into the lives of my partner and I when he was diagnosed with it in 2016, remains a phenomenon about which little is known or fully appreciated by many people. I am not a doctor and therefore not qualified to go into the more intricate medical details of the illness, but I am one of the many thousands of people of all ages and walks of life in this country and almost every other country in the world whose lives have been impacted by the illness. Like most people in trouble, it behoves us to keep some kind of flag flying in the hope that enough help will eventually be forthcoming. There are several characteristics of Huntington’s Disease which make it a particularly cruel and pernicious invader of lives. Firstly, there is no cure, and as yet, no treatment, meaning patients have to endure an erosion of their mental and physical powers over the years without the assistance taken for granted in most other conditions. Secondly, it is a plague of the innocents; it does not come about because people haven’t been taking care of themselves or because they are indulging in some self-destructive practice like smoking or drug-taking. HD is entirely hereditary, thereby highlighting the third brutal aspect of it, parents inadvertently handing it to their offspring. Patients inherit the faulty gene from their parents, meaning mothers and fathers have to face the fact of handing their son or daughter a serious and ultimately fatal illness. But perhaps the unkindest cut of all is that HD is indiscriminate in terms of age; it is not an ‘old people’s illness’ and it can be contracted at any age. It is also generally the case that the younger the patient
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is, the more vicious and life-changing the illness is likely to be. The future is not devoid of hope; valuable research is being done into methods of ‘gene silencing’, aimed at changing the behaviour of the faulty gene so as to stop it doing the damage it does. University College London is the leading centre in this country: https:// www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/research/centres/hd-centre Having come to writing relatively late in life, I have at least one way of striving to help this cause, and after three books in aid of the Huntington’s Disease Association, www.hda.org.uk, I’m now attempting one in aid of the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation, en.hdyo.org—see above concerning the consequences of contracting HD at an early age. The book, Fallen Eagles, consists of coming of age stories where young people face the dilemmas arising in their lives, and it has a Foreword by Catherine Martin, Chief Executive of the HDYO. 2021 is hopefully going to be memorable for the suppression of at least one world-wide and persistent illness. It could also be a great and glorious year in the lives of countless thousands of HD patients and carers if it brings about the last and decisive research push which will consign HD to the footnotes of history.
Fallen Eagles, raising funds to help those suffering from Huntinton’s Disease is available at retail outlets as well as via www.bruceleonardharris.com
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Services&Classified Sign up for the Summer 3 Peaks Challenge CURTAINS
Little Curtains. Handmade Curtains, Blinds and Cushions. Contact 07443 516141 or 01308 485325
Logs split seasoned hardwood £115 truckload 07465 423133 Dec 20
The challenge is completely unique with spectacular views
DIVERSE Abilities, in partnership with Charity Challenge, has launched its Dorset 3 Peaks challenge for 2021. Taking place on Saturday June 19, participants trek across the Wessex Ridgeway to raise funds for Dorset’s disability charity. Participants will ascend to the top of Lewesdon Hill, Pilsdon Pen, and Bulbarrow Hill on Saturday June 19. Summiting an accumulative height of 1,530 metres, which is taller than Ben Nevis, and covering a marathon distance of 26.2 miles across the Ridgeway. Simon Albert, director of Charity Challenge, commented: “At the moment, people really want something to look forward to, to get fit for, to focus on during restrictions, and this helps tick all those boxes. It’s good for people’s health and wellbeing to get fresh air, stay in shape, and do something positive for others.” Starting from Dorchester Football Ground, the challenge is completely unique and provides spectacular views across the Dorset countryside. Everyone should arrive with a sense of adventure as the route uses country lanes and some less well-known footpaths in order to reach the goal. Registration costs £35, with a minimum fundraising target of £265, and Charity Challenge is currently offering 10 per cent discount until Sunday January 31. The registration fee includes all the practical advice and tips before you go and on the day itself, discounts with select outdoor retailers, and drinking water and snacks throughout the trek itself. Karen Hay, events manager at Diverse Abilities, added: “This really is a fantastic challenge, and is also a good opportunity for corporate groups to spend some time together in the great outdoors. Hitting your fundraising target will make such a difference for us, £270 can provide overnight 1:1 support for a teenager at our Transitions day centre, Lawford Lodge. This not only gives parents a night of respite, but also helps the teens practice independence as they transition to adult services.” Diverse Abilities is the only charity in Dorset supporting both children and adults with disabilities and their families with a variety of services including Langside School, Lily’s Place, Lawford Lodge, The Beehive, and an Advice Team. Visit diverseabilities.org.uk/d3p for more information about how to get involved, use code NY2021 for 10 per cent off the registration fee.
54 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
4 Dark wood dining chairs Traditional, elegant straight back design, no arms. With upholstered seats, but in need of renovation. £25 Beaminster 07795 430318 Photos available on request. Velbon Camera Tripod stand, extends to waist height. £15 ono Early Learning wooden dolls house & furniture suitable for under 5’s. £15 ono Dingy Anchor £5 Various Ladies shoes - size 6 1/2, excellent condition For email information and photos Tel:- 01935 863954 Various vintage wooden step ladders. Ideal for displaying plants either inside or out. From £12. Photos 01460 55105 Vintage steamer trunks which are ideal for storing logs, blankets or toys. Can also be used as garden planters. From £45. Photos 01460 55105 Exercise Bike Viavito Satori. Black. Whisper quiet. Backlit LCD display. Belt Drive. 32 resistance levels. Maximum user weight 22 stone. Length 100cm Width 54 Height 130. Barely used. £200. No offers. 01297 33889. Axminster.
3 seater reclining sofa Dark red leather 2 seater reclining sofa Very good condition £800 Ono. 01297 20392 Two single beds. Solid Carved Pine. Painted in Country Cream. Bedding inclusive. Size 102cm wide x 202cm long. £80 each in excellent condition. Selling as moving to smaller property. Contact: Tel. Mob. 07484 860338 Large Three Piece Suite handmade with a Solid Beech wood framework throughout. The Settee will sit up to 6 people and the full Suite is covered in a Patterned Pale Green High Quality Dralon, This is a Unique set of furniture that will grace any home. £495. 07484 689302. New. Unused Washbasin/pedestal. White. 450mm wide. £40. Photos can be sent. Dorchester. Tel 01305 267465 or 07398 760637. Ikea Poang Cantilever Armchair. Cushion Seat, colour Beige. Oak Wood. Height: 39.75” Width: 26.75” As new.£55. 07790 932007 Beaminster. Vintage terracotta land drains or a hiding place
for small creatures. Plant up or drop a plant pot in the top to keep safe from slugs. Terracotta and cream clay. £3 each Photos available and ideas for use. 01460 Postage stamps. Private 55105 collector requires 19th Vintage industrial and early 20th century storage bin which is very British. Payment to well made and strong you or donation to your nominated charity. 01460 with wooden top rails 240630. and riveted corners. Many uses as clean inside and has grab Secondhand tools wanted. All trades. Users handles for easy moving. & Antiques. G & E C A piece of industrial Dawson. 01297 23826. chic. 20” wide 41 long www.secondhandtools. and 34 high. Does not co.uk. have a lid £45 Photos available 01460 55105 Dave buys all types of Panasonic DC-FZ82 tools 01935 428975 Digital Bridge camera plus two batteries and charger. As new. £225 RESTORATION Ono. 01308 422971 Wooden table FURNITURE. Antique 75cmx75cmx75cm Restoration and Bespoke Furniture. Furniture large detachable legs. £25. Tel No 01308 420247 and small carefully Safety Stair Gate restored and new commissions undertaken. bought Mothercare, City and Guilds qualified. BabyDan Avant Garde, Experienced local family easy to assemble, firm. Phil Meadley adjustable, little used. 01297 560335 Fits 71-75cm gap. Silver/Beech £30 SURFACE PREPARATION Telephone 01308 420247 Ceramic Internal Door Alberny Restoration In-house blast cleaning Handles. 12 sets with for home and garden appropriate fitments furniture, doors and (3 lockable) lovely rose gates. Agricultural/ design. £20 Tel 01308 construction machinery 420247 and tooling. Vehicles, Antique Victorian Cast parts and trailers etc. 01460 73038, email Iron Garden Chairs in firstname.lastname@example.org, FB a set of 4. Good patina. Alberny Sandblasting Pics available. £395 Tel: 07484 689302 Beautiful Three Piece To advertise on these pages Suite Handmade in telephone 01308 423031 1980 with a Solid Beech wood frame. Vintage & antique textiles, linens, costume buttons etc. always sought by Caroline Bushell. Tel. 01404 45901.
It is covered in classy patterned velvet dralon with has a horse hair filling. The suite is also very well sprung. Excellent condition £485. Tel: 074846 89302 Odhams Pictorial History of World War 2 1939/1945, 5 volumes, good condition. £20 ono. 01297 489725. DT6 6EU. The Second World War, 6 volumes. Winston S Churchill £20 ono. 01297 489725. New Tongue & Groove tantalised timber hen house suitable up to ten hens, £200. 01297 552683. Babyliss Professional hair clipper set, brand new, mains operated with 5 position taper control and ten comb guides, grades 1-10, £20. Chard area 01460 30778. Vintage 1950s embossed real leather cartridge bag, exceptional quality and condition. £50. 01297 489725 Ryall Cooker Indesit Black vgc, 2 years old, £60. Metal gate, tall white £10. Metal 1” Square Fencing 8ft x 2ft. £2 each. Honiton 07940 279684. Neff Self Cleaning double oven only two years used. Price £200. 01297 561479. Apex Metal Detector, mint condition with instructions, boxed, £400. Phone 07594 687485 anytime.
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 55
FREE ADS for items under £1,000 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 the text to email@example.com. 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 ..................................
Monthly Quiz –
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 Slough Green. The winner was Paul Burgess from Yeovil.
56 The Marshwood Vale Magazine February 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Battens expands offering in Bath LEADING South West law firm Battens Solicitors has announced the appointment of Patrick Mears as Head of Commercial Property, Bath. Renowned for his considerable expertise in commercial law, servicing the Bath market for many years, Patrick will help focus and build the Patrick Mears firm’s commercial offering in Bath. Building on Battens’ reputation for excellence in commercial law, from its Yeovil headquarters and network of offices beyond, Patrick’s appointment comes in response to the growing number of Bath businesses needing post-Covid support with legal matters. Patrick joins Property Litigation specialist and Vice President of the Bristol Law Society, Edd Thompson and Brian Levine, Head of Media, Entertainment & Intellectual Property (IP) at Battens’ Bath office, which opened in 2016. Battens Chairman David Stephens, said; ‘We are delighted that Patrick has joined the Battens team to head up our commercial proposition in Bath. The pandemic created an extremely challenging year for business owners and those involved in commercial property during 2020, so being able to call upon an experienced, hands-on legal team at competitive prices is crucial for the Bath market.’ Patrick commented; ‘I am really excited to be joining the Battens team in Bath and look forward to working with Edd and Brian to build our commercial offering and help businesses in the area navigate the post-Covid landscape.’ Battens’ Bath office is located at 7-9 North Parade Buildings and is operating in line with current Government advice.
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WHO WILL WE MEET IN 2021?
To make sure you don’t miss an issue, email ‘keep me updated’ to firstname.lastname@example.org