Marshwood+ July 2020

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Dreaming about Fred and Asterix Page 26

Bridport Prize a hit in Lockdown Page 50

Louisa finding rural voices Page 48



Marshwood +

© Freya Morgan Photograph by Julia Mear

The best from West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon

No. 256 July 2020

Marshwood+ WELCOME TO

Digital Times

Welcome to Marshwood+ our Digital Times magazine.

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

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Julia Mear met Freya Morgan in Lyme Regis, Dorset


© Freya Morgan Photograph by Julia Mear

usic has always played an important role in my family especially with my dad’s side having come from the Welsh valleys. My grandad was the son of a miner and brought up in South Wales where rugby and singing were at the centre of the community. My grandad followed both passions, eventually playing rugby for London Welsh and singing baritone in a Welsh male voice choir. He was a regular church goer and enjoyed nothing more than belting out his Sunday morning hymns. Working-life later brought him to Sidmouth where he married and had three sons. After working abroad, my dad returned to the UK, settling in the South East where he met my mum. I was born in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire in December 2001 but shortly after, when I was eight weeks old, we moved to Uplyme where my parents had bought Hook Farm Caravan and Camping Park. It was a complete change of lifestyle for my mum but my dad had ‘come home’, having grown up in Sidmouth. I had the best

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Freya Morgan

childhood growing up on the campsite. My parents worked long hours but my brother and I had a lot of freedom and we’d often make friends who would come back year after year for holidays. As a young child I was very shy. I was often in my own little world, singing or dancing around the garden, but in public I would always hide behind my mum to avoid talking to anyone. My grandparents suggested that I try theatre school to strengthen my confidence so, aged six, I joined Stagecoach Performing Arts. From that point, I knew that performing was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My grandparents were my biggest fans and they came to every performance with flowers in hand. Theatre school didn’t eradicate my shyness completely but I found a way to hide it by putting myself into another character’s shoes. Shortly after that, whilst still at primary school, I was cast in my first main role, that of Alice in our Year 6 production of “Alice in Wonderland”. I loved every minute of it. Aged 11, I was attending a local theatre school, ‘Back to Broadway’, where I was cast as Galinda in our production of ‘Wicked’. The singing coach, Anna Gregory, who trained with the English National Opera, suggested that I start private lessons to build my technique and I have received classical training from her ever since. During this time, I have accomplished grade 8 London College of Music (Musical Theatre) and am currently working towards grade 8 ABRSM (singing). Unfortunately, as my grandparents aged they both developed Alzheimer’s dementia, meaning that they were no longer able to come and watch me perform. However, much to my embarrassment, when we went to visit my parents always showed them videos of my performances as they still loved to hear me sing. My grandad’s personal favourite was ‘Ave Maria’ which I often used to sing to him in their living room. He always believed in me and wanted to see me achieve my dreams one day. Theatre school has helped my confidence grow over the years because when I’m on stage, playing a character, I don’t need to worry about myself. However, singing in front of people as myself, was still a big fear as I felt a

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huge amount of vulnerability. Knowing this, in 2017 some family friends invited me to sing at their summer wedding reception. It was a brilliant experience and I was very grateful for the opportunity. Then, in October of that year, Anna and I organised a recital of classical and musical theatre songs in aid of charity which I performed © Freya Morgan Photograph by Julia Mear with another student of her’s in Uplyme church. We donated all the money to ‘The Project’, an adolescent mental health charity; a cause close to my heart. As a result of this, I was invited to sing at a Remembrance Day centenary concert organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion. It was an honour to sing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to veterans and their families. In the spring term of year 11, I was asked to sing at The Woodroffe School’s annual Senior Award Ceremony and I was given a free song choice. Knowing that pupils from years 10, 11 and Sixth Form, as well as parents and teachers would be in the audience, my first thought was a popular ballad, maybe something by Adele. I was hesitant about singing anything classical since that genre of music doesn’t necessarily conform to the stereotypes of my generation and I just wasn’t sure how my peers would react to it. However, I wasn’t comfortable singing a pop song either as I haven’t been taught those certain techniques. So, I settled on a ‘light’, well known classical piece; ‘The Prayer’ by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. I had been in pressure situations before and I had performed in front of big audiences, having danced at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, but I can honestly say that I have never been so nervous in my life as that night in the school’s Sports Hall. Despite my ‘mild’ concerns, the feedback I received from the teachers, parents and especially my peers, was amazing and my confidence grew so much more. The following year Woodroffe staged a performance of ‘School of Rock’ in which I was cast as Rosalie Mullins, the headteacher; this was to be my last musical at the school. We performed it in July after six months of rehearsals. It was the most amazing experience working alongside over 100 members of cast and crew who were

just as dedicated as one another. It was the best possible way that I could have ended my time at Woodroffe and I will never forget it. Last February, I staged another two recitals with a classically trained friend of mine, one at St Peter’s church in Shaftesbury and the other at the St Peters & St Pauls in Uplyme. By this point we had raised over £3000 in total for charity. The following month I was due to stay in London for two weeks, having been offered a place on a course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Unfortunately, three days before I was due to leave, my grandad passed away. Of course, it was a very difficult time for my family and I found it especially hard leaving so soon after, when all I wanted to do was to be there for my dad. I was allowed to leave the course a day early to come home for grandad’s funeral. The service was beautiful and I sang ‘The Prayer’ in the church which I know would have made him very happy. It was also the first time my extended family had heard me sing formally. As I sat in that church and listened to my dad and my uncle talk about his life, I realised just how brave and inspirational grandad had been to so many people. Coming from such a humble life in South Wales, he had built his success from next to nothing. He had been the heart and soul of the family and had done as much as he could to provide the best opportunities for all of us. From that day, I decided I wanted to make him proud and continue his legacy by achieving as much as I could in the performing industry. Music is incredibly powerful and has the ability to bring people together, but there have been times when I have felt very low and insecure about my voice. However, as mum always reminds me, I’m very lucky to have been given this gift. Last September I was invited to join the music and enterprise charity ‘B Sharp’ as a trainee music leader. This has given me the opportunity to break down the stigma attached to classical music by showing young people that it can be enjoyed and performed by anyone. I also want to use it positively to give other young people more confidence in themselves and hopefully inspire them to pursue their own path. Having now finished Sixth Form, I am taking a break from education. I want to gain as much experience as I can using my skills in acting and classical singing and eventually I hope to go to drama school. But in the meantime, I plan to offer singing at weddings and other special events and to perform in as many theatre productions as possible. These are difficult times for all of us but my parents tell me to be patient, work hard, and allow my dream to unfold when the time is right.

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UP FRONT Sitting here, finishing off the last pages of our first print issue in three months, on the same day as the ‘final’ Downing Street coronavirus daily briefing, it’s hard to know what to think. We are obviously a long way from any feelings of elation yet, but with a little effort, I think we can conjure up a hint of hope. No doubt there are potentially more problems ahead, but for me, part of that hope is driven by the many calls for a new normal. The idea that we should slow down our rush to ‘progress’, or at least channel it less materialistically, resonates with a lot of people. Three months ago, like thousands of others, I went into self-isolation and we faced the prospect of shutting down this magazine after nearly twenty years of production. With little else to do other than keep working, we decided to continue. So now, looking over these pages, I’m glad we persevered. Since March we have produced three full issues online, each with a mix of voices from local people, along with stories of people’s lives in and around the Vale. We also launched a free Virtual Gallery to give a platform to artists and galleries whose events and exhibitions had to be cancelled. Then we created a monthly Mid-Month Special issue to give readers a sense of continuity. All these are available through our website and for those without access to the internet, we will try to republish some of those stories in future print issues. But all this is for nothing if we don’t highlight the importance of our contributors and advertisers. Over the years there have been hundreds of contributions and they have all been hugely valuable in their own way. However, this month especially, one person stands out. June marked a year since Ron Frampton died and his contribution to the history of the people and places in and around the Marshwood Vale has been enormous. I am delighted that we are able to remind readers of just part of that contribution with a look back at some of his photographs and an offer to win copies of his wonderful book Beyond the Vale. The second important element to the continuity of this magazine is the advertisers. For some local businesses, as they try to figure out how to rebuild after huge losses, the next few weeks and months will feel like pushing back flood water with a rake. So if there ever was a time to shop local, now is that time. Our advertisers are the only support this publication has and now is the moment to support them and our local community, more than ever before.

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 Unsteady Progress By David Knapman Notices from Local Groups Life after Lockdown By Margery Hookings Beyond the Vale By Fergus Byrne Beer Quarry Caves By Steve Rogers When Fred Flintstone met Asterix the Gaul By Cecil Amor News & Views Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn

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House & Garden Cuckoo Chorus by Philip Strange Vegetables in July By Ashley Wheeler July in the Garden By Russell Jordan Property Round Up By Helen Fisher

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Food & Dining In the Raw By Nick Fisher Sensible Revolution By Rex Fisher Sparkling Summer Jellies By Lesley Waters Crab and Asparagus Salad By Mark Hix

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Arts & Entertainment When a Picture Paints a Thousand Words By Fergus Byrne Rural Voices By Louisa Adjoa Parker The Lit Fix By Sophy Roberts Galleries

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Health & Beauty Steps2Wellbeing By Ellie Sturrock Services & Classified

“Just when you think you’ve finally hit bottom, someone tosses you an anchor.”

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Editorial Director Fergus Byrne

Deputy Editor Victoria Byrne


Fergus Byrne


Fergus Byrne

Contributors Cecil Amor Helen Fisher Nick Fisher Rex Fisher Richard Gahagan Margery Hookings Mark Hix Russell Jordan David Knapman Julia Mear

Robin Mills Louisa Adjoa Parker Sophy Roberts Steve Rogers Philip Strange Ellie Sturrock 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.

Community is Key to Recovery

Bridport’s LSi wants to hear your views WITH many cultural organisations in turmoil after the effects of COVID-19 the Literary and Scientific Institute in Bridport is taking care to find the best way forward, both for the venue itself and for the community it serves. Trevor Ware, chair of the organisation said: ‘Here at the LSi, along with everyone else in the world, we have been reeling from the shock of the Coronovirus and assessing its impact on our business. Although it is very hard to predict the future in this rapidly changing world we firmly believe that community is KEY to recovery.’ The Grade II* listed building was constructed in 1834 initially as a Mechanics Institute for the education and training of Bridport’s young working men. It closed its doors in 1997 and fell into neglect—but thanks to a successful campaign led by the Bridport Area Development Trust, the building has been saved and completely refurbished and rejuvenated. The organisation wants to hear from readers of the Marshwood Vale Magazine about what would really help their working life and business in the coming months. ‘We are looking at different options for reopening the LSi in a way that will have the greatest positive impact on our community’ explained Trevor. ‘Please take part in our short Survey. It will help us restart the LSi in a way that will have the greatest impact on our community.’ To help shape the future of the LSi visit fill out the simple survey. Plus you can enter our draw to win one of 4 bottles of Champagne as a little thank you for taking the time to complete it!

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Unsteady Progress A HISTORY OF AXMINSTER FROM 1701 TO 2000 Just as Covid-19 was laying waste to everyone’s plans for 2020, we received a copy of a hefty new local history, written by David Knapman, one of the volunteers at Axminster Heritage Centre. Now that life and business are starting to return to normal, Fergus Byrne caught up with David to find out more.

The George Hotel in the 1890s

What prompted you to write your book? As many Marshwood readers will know, last Easter Axminster Heritage Centre re-opened after a complete re-furbishment. I had been involved in providing our professional advisors with the raw materials they needed to tell the story of Axminster, from its earliest origins to the present day. Not surprisingly, many choices had to be made, and even key stories had to be boiled down to their very essence. Priority also had to be given to events and themes which could best be illustrated by artefacts, images and oral history. I was conscious of thin patches in the story, and gaps in our knowledge. The history of Newenham

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Abbey prior to its dissolution by Henry VIII had been written by James Davidson, as had the comprehensive destruction of Axminster in 1644, during the Civil War. But no-one had documented in any systematic way how Axminster had then re-built itself, or what else was happening in the town as its fame was spread by Thomas Whitty’s carpets, from the middle of the 18th century. When did you start your researches? I had previously researched and written up several topics, including local farming, the challenges and politics of the town’s water supply, local industries other than carpet making, and the step-by-step 20th century expansion of the town’s footprint. A few people told me that I ought to put everything I knew about the town into a book, and as the summer went on I started to think “what if …”. Once I had reached that point it was probably too late to turn back, though I wish that someone could have told me then just how much free time I would have in the first half of 2020. So, when I started planning seriously, I already had some of the necessary building blocks, and I was also aware of the links between apparently separate themes. For example, as well as bringing brush making to Axminster at a time when new employment was desperately needed, James Coate supported many local institutions, and also harried the parish and district councils to improve the water supply, and in doing so laid bare the inadequacies of the local political arrangements. Knowing all of those facts affects how you respond to each one individually.

Mr Stocker’s South Street shop in about 1900

Mr Stocker’s South Street shop, 115-odd years later

The Trout Inn at Millbrook, Chard Road in the early 20th century

How did you decide on the very precise period, from 1701 to 2000? From family history research which I have carried out in Devon over many years, I was aware of the growing range of county-wide digitised records from the 18th century. Whereas the rich and powerful can often be traced back to the 16th and occasionally the 15th century, it isn’t until the 18th century that most records concerning ‘people like us’ become more than The former Trout Inn, Millbrook in 2018 Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 15

Mr E Mayo and friends in Carnival mode, in front of his South Street bakery

The 1954 Christmas Fatstock Show, in the Market off South Street 16 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

simple lists of names and (occasionally) addresses. I was also very familiar with the British Newspaper Archive, which is a key source from the middle of the 18th century onwards, and one to which no earlier generation of researchers has had such ready access. I wanted to cover a defined period, and to get as close to the present time as is reasonably possible without treading on too many very clearly living toes. I also saw the real benefit (reflecting my interest in family history) of telling a generation-bygeneration story, rather than producing a series of topic-by-topic chapters. This is particularly important in a small town like Axminster, because at any one time, the same people pop up in all sorts of different contexts. So, having settled on 30 years as a good proxy for a generation, it seemed sensible to go for a coverage of 300 years and 10 chapters. In reality, Chapter 1 really sets the scene for Chapter 2, and draws on some earlier references to explain how things came to be the way that they were in 1701. What were the stories that most surprised you? I was intrigued by the sudden rise of one local family, who may well have owed their large fortune to a lucky find of treasure at Newenham. I was surprised to find how much the imposition of a national structure of local government disadvantaged Axminster, particularly in the Victorian era. The town and its needs were continually thwarted by a much larger rural hinterland whose voters declined to pay for things they saw as of little benefit to themselves. I knew that the 1824 sale of the Manor of Axminster got bogged down in the law courts for decades, but none of the earlier histories reveal that this was mainly because the buyer was a serial embezzler. I had no idea that the Workhouse was almost overwhelmed by the flood of refugees from the Irish potato famine. I had not appreciated just how often the town had burned, sometimes losing up to 30 dwellings at a time. Two of the most spectacular fires even required appliances to be sent by special trains from Exeter. The infrastructure that was not built (canals, railroads and railway lines) was as influential as what

was (roads and the railway), and when. I had not expected the depth of rancour between some of the clergymen and their parishioners, or the fact that two Victorian rectors of Axminster went bankrupt three times between them. Also, the church’s new organ remained locked for well over a year while a legal dispute was played out between the churchwardens and the organist (George Pulman, the founder of Pulman’s Weekly). Even though I was brought up just outside Axminster at the time, I had forgotten how close traffic came to throttling the town in the 1970s and 80s. What seemed ‘just the way it was’ at the time was actually an extreme case when viewed from a wider perspective. Finally, how does Axminster compare with its neighbours? Honiton, Chard and Bridport were all poorer, but bigger than Axminster by 1801, but they all grew more rapidly. I believe that a significant factor driving their relative performance comes from the topography and lay-out of the towns. Honiton, Chard and Bridport are all less constrained by hills and flooding than Axminster, and whereas Axminster always had narrow streets and tight bends throughout the town centre, the other three all have long, straight, wide main streets, not to mention systems of governance which focussed on the towns much more than their hinterland. As in most local history, context is all!

*The images on these pages are not in the book and are supplied courtesy of Axminster Heritage Centre

Copies of ‘Unsteady Progress’ will be on sale at Axminster Heritage at £16.50 once it re-opens. Before that deliveries can be arranged. Email for details.

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Trinity Square in the 1940s

Trinity Square in the early 20th century

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Making toothbrushes from ox bones

James Coate’s brush factory, and the foot of Castle Hill

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6 - 8 July: Uplyme & Lyme Regis Horticultural Society

Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 July. Submit entries for Uplyme & Lyme Regis Horticultural Society Virtual Summer Flower and Produce Fair. 12 classes to enter. Show goes live 1pm Saturday 11 July. Full details available at

15 July: Furleigh Estate

Nordic Walking in the vineyard is back at Furleigh Estate. Wednesday 15th July at 5.30pm. Cost is £10 including loan of poles and a glass of fizz. Book online at or call 01308 488991.

Chard Camera Club

At the present time and for the near future the club is still not meeting twice monthly. Members and people interested or who follow the club and it’s activities can keep fully up to date by visiting the club’s website www. or indeed by calling the clubs members secretary Joyce Partridge on 01460 66885. The club also has a Group link off of Facebook should anyone also wish to keep informed. Details of the club’s resumption to activities will be notified in these columns. Stay safe all.

Chard Royal Naval Association

Learn to play bowls for free. Severalls Jubilee Bowls Club in Crewkerne will be open for safe friendly coaching every Monday 10am - 12noon. If Mondays are not suitable for you then please suggest another day. To book a free coaching lesson phone Geoff on 01308 867221 or email

At the present time and for the near future the club is still not meeting monthly. Details of when the association will resume their activities/meetings will be announced in this diary section in the oncoming month’s.Further details and advice can be obtained by calling the Chard branch secretary Mr Gary Pennells on 0146077978. The association also has a Group link off of Facebook under Chard Royal Naval Association.

Bridport Millenium Green

Honiton U3A

Mondays in July

This area has gardens surrounding Mountfield (Council Offices), and 10 acres of pastureland and woodland on Coneygar Hill. The AGMs for the Friends who fundraise, and the Trust who make the decisions in consultation with the public, on how to spend it has been suspended for this year. However, plans will be available for the public to offer feedback in the future—these include restoring the icehouse; planting trees; updating the flower beds; new fencing and resurfacing the entrance footpath to the hill and pasture land. As the Friends are unable to have any fundraising events for the time being they are offering Life Membership for 2020 only for £50, rather than their normal £100. This includes discounts at events, and at local shops and cafes. More details from Sandra Brown on 01308 423078, or visit their website for more information

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In light of the sudden outbreak of Covid -19 in March, the deadline for the 2020/21 membership renewal was extended to 30th June and Honiton U3A would like to thank all those members (well over 50%) who have supported their U3A by renewing for this current year despite the uncertainties that lie ahead. In March the decision was taken to cancel all meetings until September. This situation will be kept under constant review and as that time approaches updates will be announced. In the meantime they will be striving to find new ways to keep their interest groups functioning and in contact via the many services available on the internet. In April the group produced a Special Edition Easter Newsletter and in early May there was a second Newsletter, and now in early July there will be a third. (All their Newsletters are available to view on their website). Honiton U3A now has a ‘Think Tank’ made up of five members whose aim will be to help raise their profile and attract new members. Difficulties do

still lay ahead, but they look forward to when the good times return! Website:

Chard History Group

Circumstances are against July and August meetings for Chard History Group. There is a CHG meeting booked for on September 10. Watch this space for news on whether it will proceed.

wants to hear fun facts, tall tales, folklore, points of historical interest, and true stories of your village and community. If you’d like to be involved with this project, please send relevant photos of your village/ village hall with any accompanying stories or text to along with your name, the name of your village and any other details you’d like mentioned in the article by 8 July 2020.

Good Books

Centre for Pure Sound

Good Books in Bridport is very pleased to have reopened, and looks forward to welcoming their regular and new customers. Opening times have changed to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10am-1pm and from July they will also be open on a Wednesday. The shop stocks a range of Bibles, prayer books, gift and colouring books to uplift and encourage during these difficult times. They also benefit from a large selection of second-hand Christian books written over many decades, including some classics by authors such as C.S. Lewis.

centreforpuresound crystal and Tibetan bowl soundbaths and ‘Angels of Sound’ toning/overtoning events all now on Zoom for the time being: Sunday 2PM group soundbath on Zoom: Email to say you’d like to join in on a particular week. Thursday 6.30 PM Group toning on Zoom: their basic Angels of Sound toning practice, email to say you’d like the link to join. If you haven’t done this practice before you’ll need the 121 tutorial below. Donation. Also available:121 sessions via Zoom. 01935 389655

Forde Abbey Gardens

Café Sladers

Forde Abbey Gardens, Plant Nursery and Gift Shop. Over the past few months it’s been all hands to the trowel, and the family along with Jo and Clem have been working away in the garden to ensure it is looking its absolute best. They invite you to come and enjoy the fruits of their labour in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the garden. Along with the shop and plant nursery full of seasonal inspiration, open daily from 11am. The loos are open, and they will have measures in place to ensure that all safety guidelines are followed. Open daily, from 11am. Tel: 01460 220231.

Calligraphy Courses.

Jenny Trotman plans to start a new Beginners’ Calligraphy course soon at her upstairs studio in Dorchester. 5 fortnightly lessons on Saturday mornings, 10 am – 12. Small groups, no more than 5 people £60.00. Tea and coffee as well! Phone: 01305 – 264568 for more details and to enrol.


Artsreach is producing a series of articles about rural Dorset villages: their past, their present, and their future. The project, called ‘Tales from the Village’ will be a way to share stories and experiences of the rural communities we love so dearly. Nobody knows the history better than the people and communities that live there—so Artsreach is asking for your help. They are looking for photos (old and new) of your village, its people, its buildings and history. The organisation

Café Sladers Takeaway is open Wednesday to Saturdays 10am - 4pm. You can pick up a picnic lunch to take to the beach with dinners to heat and eat at home. Delivery is available to addresses in DT6, DT8 and Bride Valley DT2. Picnic ideas include Super-generous fresh Lyme Bay crab sandwich with Eton Mess and chilled Prosecco for £20 or a Feel Good vegan Superfood Salad with avocado, tomato, quinoa, toasted seeds and pine nuts with a lime and soy dressing along with Squidgy Chocolate and Beetroot Cake and organic Ginger Beer for £15, Seafood dinners and rich beef stews and pies with desserts can all be ordered and heated at home or frozen for later in the week. View the menus online - and sign up for a weekly update of menu ideas and offers - at https://sladersyard. (or follow the links from

Beaminster Museum

In view of the current advice about COVID-19, Beaminster Museum have announced that their forthcoming “Expanding Beaminster Museum into the Community Project” project starting in the autumn, their planned events and the reopening of the museum for their summer season 2020 have all been cancelled. They plan to reopen for the 2021 season on Friday 2nd April 2021 at the earliest. Please check website for the latest information – It is hoped that the museum may carry on with some activities in alternative premises while the Museum

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itself is closed. Volunteers will continue to carry out curatorial and research work while closed. In the meantime, questions about the museum’s artefacts can be sent as usual using the details on the Contacts page of their website.

Town Mill, Lyme Regis

The Town Mill community had to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by closing its doors to the public. A few businesses were able to carry on as normal, some were able to adapt to on-line sales and others evolved to offer takeaways and deliveries. Caroline of Sew La Di Da, worked with others in the town to sew scrubs for the NHS; Laura baked bread, cakes and savories which were delivered and sold locally; The Brewery also offered home deliveries of beer and later take-away. All volunteering stopped at the mill but milling continued with Ian Prudence keeping the wheel turning. Petrina organised local deliveries of flour and then established an outlet in the high street via Lyme Regis Butchers. A mini-market popped up on a Wednesday at The Malthouse and on a Friday at Hunters Lodge Pub, selling flour and Laura’s baked goods as well as fish and seafood straight from the boat. With The Government’s announcement that nonessential retail shops can open and the expectation that galleries, museums, cafes and bars will be opening in July, The Town Mill Community is slowly preparing to welcome visitors once more. Safe Sewing. The New Norm There are four self contained Sewing Stations for you to create safely, in a beautiful clean safe distanced space. Each student will have an overlocker, sewing machine, iron and ironing board. They have thought about creating a safe space, ensuring you can still engage with each other and enjoy a workshop. www. 07707811114 to book a drop in Pottery: Don and Harry are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Pottery. With the necessary precautions in place watch them at work on the wheel or browse thier table and giftware in the display area. One family ‘bubble’ at a time please. Open 7 days a week. Molesworth & Bird have opened their doors with unique seaweed designs and gifts. Lucy Campbell jewellery is preparing to return to the mill. Galleries and Mill: A slow, phased opening of the Galleries and Mill is planned and The Courtyard Gallery opens as a retail area in July. Art, cards, flour, kits and mill books will be available for sale and the gallery will look a little different with hand gel stations and staff/volunteers wearing face covering behind perspex screen. They will only be accepting card 22 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

payments, and there will be a one way route through the gallery and a limit to the number of people in the gallery at one time. The Malthouse Gallery to open in July/August. If The Courtyard Gallery proves manageable and the Government allows Museums and Galleries to open as expected, they will be opening up The Malthouse Gallery. There is a superb program planned for the rest of 2020 and a very strong programme for next year as all artists who have been unable to hold their exhibitions due to Covid-19, have re-booked for the 2021 season. Watch the miller at work July/August Having the water wheel turning, helps breathe life into The Town Mill Community. They will still need to produce flour for sale in The Courtyard Gallery and for Commercial Customers so they will be looking for volunteers to mill. With the doors to the meal floor open from the courtyard, there will be an opportunity for visitors to watch the Miller at work. No public will be allowed to enter the mill for the time being but they are looking at how this could change.

West Bay Discovery Centre

The team at West Bay Discovery Centre are working hard behind the scenes to be ready to reopen the Centre when Government guidelines permit us to do so. ‘We’re really keen to share the Discovery Centre and our new exhibition “Down the Track”, which tells the story of the Bridport to West Bay railway line, with visitors’ said Trustee John West. ‘We recognise though that our first duty is to protect our excellent volunteers and staff and the wellbeing of our visitors. With this in mind we’re looking at how we can adapt the Centre so that the interest provided by our usual interactive displays isn’t lost entirely. Check the Discovery Centre website for news about reopening dates and in the meantime the Centre will continue to share news and fascinating stories about local history and wildlife on its Facebook page.’ The current situation is demanding for local businesses and as a charitable attraction the Discovery Centre wants to do its bit to help support the local economy and inspire both visitors and local people to seek out and enjoy all that West Bay and this part of the Jurassic Coast has to offer.

Axe Vale & District Conservation Society

Axe Vale & District Conservation Society is sorry to say that all their July events have been cancelled. They hope to run their August events, including a re-scheduled Wildlife Day at Seaton Wetlands on 30th August and hope to be able to give further details in the August edition of The Marshwood Vale Magazine.

The Arts Society Neroche South Somerset

The Committee has met (via Zoom) and agreed provisionally, but optimistically, that the first meeting of the 2020 – 2021 season will take place on Monday, 7th December, with a welcome drink and the AGM, followed by refreshments and socialising. The Society looks forward to welcoming visitors again when lectures hopefully start in January. Please contact Sue on 01460 57179 or visit the website: www.

The Living Tree

The Living Tree cancer support group, based in Bridport, locked down about one week before the official Government lockdown; the Trustees quickly recognised that with a membership mainly made up of people who were living with cancer, it was wise to shut down all face-to-face operations as soon as the gravity of the coronavirus situation became apparent. Not only do some cancers make people more vulnerable to infection, some of the treatments do too. This meant not only the Friday afternoon drop in sessions had to be suspended, but all activities, swimming, table tennis, walking, workshops, indeed anything that Living Tree organises stopped overnight. However, cancer does not stop, members need support, friendships have been made over the years, those newly diagnosed need help, ways of helping our members through these difficult times had to be found. Rosemary Thorpe from The Livinmg tree explained: ‘Firstly, our usual monthly newsletter became fortnightly, a telephone tree was set up, those who we knew were especially vulnerable were contacted, our Facebook page became especially busy with updating members and providing them with inspirational messages and links to helpful advice for those with

and without cancer. The newsletter contained not only information and links to help us, but also inspirational poems from our own Book of Words, published last year, and thoughts from our Mindfulness Leader, guiding us to meditations and calming ways of being in and coping with this challenging situation. ‘Our Therapists Partnership could not operate to provide complementary therapies to members, but soon our usual Worry Busting sessions resumed via online video conferencing and this paved the way for the eventual resumption of the Friday afternoon drop-in sessions, but now they are called Tea and Chat sessions; you just have to bring your own tea and Living Tree members always know how to chat, but now they do it online. ‘Whilst there are signs for some that lockdown is lifting, it is very difficult to determine when the Living Tree will be open for face to face meetings, in spite of new government advice, as our membership contains many who have been shielding and are likely to be more cautious than the general public. So, for now, we have to do the sensible thing, do what we can online, over the phone, use social media and email , keep connected, provide support and friendship where we can and provide a medium to continue our work. We know we are needed, cancer does not stop and neither will we, to make sure our members get the support they need, until we can resume our usual activities in person. And in the meantime, we keep smiling and listening and planning and coming up with new ideas to help our existing members, and welcome anybody to contact us who thinks we can be of help to them.’ If anybody would like to get in touch with the Living Tree, here are the details,, or phone 07341916976 and leave a text message. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 23



Continuing her series of observations from those looking at what we may have learned from lockdown, Margery Hookings hears from more local people.

Jo Neary, Team Vicar/PIoneer Priest Beaminster Area Team, wife and mother of three


y first reflection is personal. I have lived the whole of my life being busy. I am and always have been involved in projects, hobbies and volunteering right from the age of five. I am often overstretched and stressed, giving more of my time to others than I do to my family. I find no a very difficult word. It gets to the point when sometimes I am overwhelmed. So being forced to stop living that pace of life has been a surprising blessing. I thought I would find it difficult to slow down.

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No, turns out I’m very good at it. Perhaps it is because I haven’t completely stopped: work has continued but in a very different form. But I have found it delightful to not have to go out in the evening to meetings, to not have to dash everywhere picking up and dropping off children. I have lunch, every day, sitting at table, eating from a plate and having conversations with my family. I never did that before. I have been able to sleep better, waking up naturally instead of using an alarm. I have had the energy to talk to my husband in the evenings and not fall asleep exhausted at 9.30 at night as soon as I sit down. I have time to hang up my washing instead of using the tumble dryer because it is quicker. I cook a roast dinner for my family every weekend. I talk to my family on the phone and video chats. I have taken walks with my children, played frisbee and have time, every single day, to exercise and take care of my body and mental health. I have had time to pray and read and reflect and laugh and chat and just be. I do not want to go back to being

overstretched and stressed and under pressure. This is a better way to live. Shame it took a global pandemic for me to notice. What have I learned about being at home? The surprise for me is how much I enjoy my family’s company. Today, for example, my husband and I and our eldest son, 13, sat after lunch and talked about racism and colonisation, slavery, history, science, black holes, philosophy and religion. We don’t do that every lunchtime. Often our conversation is much more prosaic. But we had time to take the conversation which had started at black lives matter and the death of George Floyd into a much wider sphere—just because we had time and we didn’t have to rush anywhere else. Doing school at home has in many ways been a matter of doing tasks set by the school and ticking them off the list, but it has also inspired some moments of joy: watching my children video a science experiment involving a bag full of water held over a head and a pencil, enjoying the fruits of food technology and independent baking, having time to read the book that my youngest is studying so I can support him, building river models and damming rivers in the sand tray, learning the cup song from Pitch Perfect with my daughter. Just moments of everyday fun that usually get gobbled up by having to rush off to evening meetings or do homework or catch up on chores. Time has been the biggest blessing. I have been a working parent for the whole time I have had children, apart from nine months off to have my youngest son. The eldest two arrived ready made in my marriage, so I have always had children for the whole time I have been married to Harry. I would like to carry on taking the time to enjoy my children and be more available and present for them as they grow. Church: God in the everyday. As a priest I have been surprised by how much I haven’t missed the churches being open. Much of what I do day by day is point to God in the everyday. I see my calling and vocation to tell the story of God and offer that story to others to become their story too. Worshipping in a church is part of that story of God, but only part. To me, God is as present in my study as in the church, as present at the top of Lewesdon Hill as behind the altar, as present in my daily walk, my morning cup of tea, my meals with my family as in bread and wine. God is present, by

the power of his Holy Spirit, in everything we do and everything we do is in praise and worship of him. I have been excited about how social media has enabled me to continue telling the story of God’s activity in the world and let other people encounter that story and see themselves as part of it. Our daily updates on our Beaminster Team page are viewed by about 300 people every day and sometimes many more. I post about exercise, cups of tea, mental health, schools, being kind, the walks I’ve been on, the things I struggle with. And every day I pray that God will show us his presence in the everyday things. That has been a huge blessing. And people who wouldn’t come to church but consider themselves spiritual and open to the presence of God in their lives like and comment on things. One of the comments was ‘God is louder in lockdown, or perhaps there are fewer distractions to tune him out’. That has been my experience. I love the way that social media can be a huge encouragement, a huge blessing and a way for people to see and hear something of God in a way that connects with them and is anonymous. There is no pressure to have to turn up or conform or be asked to join a rota! Social media allows people to engage at their own pace, in their own way and explore faith, belief and spirituality in their own way. I will continue being a social media vicar after lockdown. It is a good place to be. Our social media, our website and our YouTube videos ‘RevChat’ all existed long before lockdown. We were slightly ahead of the curve in that respect. But their importance and value has increased exponentially in lockdown and I now view them as an essential part of our ministry rather than an add-on. Pastorally—it has been hard to connect well with our older congregation members. Not all of them have access to the internet or feel confident to join in via social media or on Zoom. That said, we have a couple of 90 years olds who are regular Zoom attendees. I think we need to work on better networks of support so that people don’t fall through the net and don’t feel left out. It has been harder to keep effective contact with our larger congregation in Beaminster. However, the villages have been excellent at keeping in touch with each other, with supporting each other,

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with looking after one another. The villages are good at looking after one another and noticing when things are amiss. I give thanks for that generosity of spirit that means people look out for each other. We need to make sure we keep that. As a vicar with multiple parishes I rely on congregations caring for each other and not being reliant on the vicar always knowing or noticing. I often don’t know because no one told me and I didn’t notice because I wasn’t there. It is our collective responsibility as human beings to take care of each other. Lockdown has reminded us how important that is and how easily we can take care of our friends and neighbours. All we need is a little time and a lot of love. Being kind is perhaps the most important thing we can do each and every day. That and breathing. Finally, lockdown has made me realise what is important: time, nature, breathing, sleep, exercise, laughter, family, books, music, the internet, technology, the environment, love, kindness, generosity, community spirit, the common good, God’s love, truth, trust, accepting people as they are. What isn’t important: rushing, saying yes to everything, more stuff, more experiences, dashing around, being successful, being powerful, being liked, conformity, what other people think.

Check out the tribute video to Margery’s Music in the Square

CLICK on the image above to view the video created by Simon Emmerson about Margery Hooking’s Lockdown initiative The Sound of Music from the Square Window. For seventy-two days Margery took requests from local residents and played the songs through the upstairs window of her house in the village square. She was featured in local and national news and even earned a spot on the BBC’s Lockdown Desert Island Discs. The video featured music from The Afro Celt Sound System and Emma Gale. You can view it here: https://youtu. be/01ipXdEFYro

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Emma Gale, singer songwriter, Weymouth


used the lockdown to write and release my debut single Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say. Written, composed, produced and recorded remotely in just one week, the track explores my take on life in lockdown and our rapidly changing reality. It’s my vocals on the single, alongside ukulele by my husband, Peter Kirkbride and percussion, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals by Chris Pepper. The track is produced by Chris Pepper at Saltwell Studio. Using the crisis to concentrate on creativity, I wanted the song to be reflective, soothing and hopeful. It examines how quickly life can change and how nature thrives when humanity retreats indoors. It seems that many of us are struggling to adapt to life at home and it makes you realise that despite feeling like we are in complete control of our lives, we’re actually part of something much bigger. This is the sentiment behind Let’s See What the Earth Has to Say—it’s about all of us surrendering control and realising we don’t actually need all of the things we once thought we did. I never planned to write a song in response to coronavirus, but the time in lockdown has given me the chance to focus on making music, and before I knew it, I had a debut single ready to go. I hope it strikes a chord with people listening from their own homes. The single is accompanied by an animated video by Nik Newark which shows the contrast between life now, and life before lockdown. Schools have shown an interest in learning the song so I have made the sheet music available free of charge at

Andrew Hookings, Chairman, Broadwindsor Community Stores


y first thoughts when the lockdown, self isolating and shielding came into being and many of our volunteers were unable to volunteer, was what could be done to keep the shop open as usual. Well, with the Leader family trained by their volunteer daughter, Rosie, and a couple of other volunteers who were now unable to work, we have managed to keep the ship afloat. In addition, three members of the shop committee, Sandra Burrows, Nathalie Roberts and Teri Small, established a delivery service, with the help and support of volunteers from Broadwindsor and Drimpton. They have been taking orders and organising deliveries twice a week to the vulnerable and selfisolating throughout our community. The response from our community has been overwhelming and the business has seen an upturn in trade, as people now appear to prefer shopping locally as opposed to going to town. Our hope is that as we get back to normal, whatever the new normal will be, our customers will continue to support us. Initially, we experienced some difficulty with our suppliers being able to maintain our deliveries of stock, especially staple products such as flour, tinned fruit and sugar. However, working together with our major supplier, Booker Yeovil, we have managed to keep our shelves stocked with most products. Of course, having to reduce the shop to one customer at a time, due to social distancing regulations, we have often seen queues forming outside the

shop. Fortunately, we benefited initially with the provision of a gazebo, until the wind one evening caused it to collapse and break. But we have been blessed with such wonderful weather that queuing has not been a problem. In fact, quite the opposite as it has been an opportunity for many to make new ‘friends’ as they pass the time of day and have a natter. Strangely, I guess this has in some way brought our community closer together, if that’s possible. We have been very conscious about the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers, and in addition to limiting the number of customers in the shop, at any one time, we installed a Perspex screen in front of the counter, and provided staff with plastic gloves, face masks, visors and sanitising hand wash, which we recommend they use. Counter tops are regularly sanitised. As we move forward and the lockdown is relaxed we hope to see more of our regular volunteers return to the fold and our customers old and new continue to support their community shop.

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Stay Alert for the Mid-Month Special SINCE the beginning of lockdown we have been producing a Mid-Month Special issue of Marshwood Vale Magazine to keep readers up to date on the latest news from people in and around the Vale, as well as from further afield. It has also given us an opportunity to look back on some of the stories we have covered over the last nearly twenty years producing this community magazine. July is that time of the year when our events section would burst at the seams filled with such a wide arracy of events that it was often hard to choose where to go. In 2005 we described how ‘A small army of villagers emerged from their houses carrying bodies - fishermen, maypole dancers, golfers, a witch, a policeman and Three Little Pigs (complete with wolf) were ferried from homes. The Whitford Scarecrow Festival had begun.’ We also looked featured the ‘Netherbury Medieval Fayre’ which was held at Slape Manor. Wonderful memories that are well worth revisiting. To make sure you are alerted when the July Mid-Month Special issue comes out online, drop us an email asking to remind you. Just email us at info@ The Mid-Month Special is a mix of yesterday, today and tomorrow and a great way to keep in touch with one of the more special places in the world.

The Marshwood Mid-Month Special - a look at yesterday, today and tomorrow 28 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

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Beyond the Vale Remembering the work of Ron Frampton, by Fergus Byrne


n an introduction to Ron Frampton’ book Beyond the Vale, former president of the Royal Photographic Society, John Page, highlighted the ‘wonderful visual history’ contained in the book. He described it as a ‘moment in time, captured by the camera and pen, and preserved for posterity.’ It is an apt tribute to a man who had spent a lifetime compiling photographs that capture the essence of the West Country. This June marked a year since Ron died and in keeping with his wishes, his partner scattered his ashes on the land that was close to Ron’s heart. Being in the middle of a worldwide viral pandemic seems to make it even more fitting to look back on some of the work that Ron compiled to remember the countryside and people that he loved so much. As he said in his own introduc-

tion to the book, ‘Everything past and present is somehow interrelated’. He believed that the tales of our ancestors and their social structures are ‘interwoven, in time and space, with the land from which they came.’ Looking now at the images from the book it is hard not to feel the power of times past and see the influence of our ancestors on the way we live today. In some ways, the use of the land is a little different but the essence of the love for countryside, people and place is still there within the descendants of those that went before. Ron taught photography at Dillington House for over twenty years and over those many years—and through those many classes—he inspired his students to admire the area in and around the Marshwood Vale with much of the

Photographs from Beyond the Vale: Above, The Marshwood Vale by Liz Perry. Opposite page: Shepherds Hut, Jack Banfield, Sheila Hughes, Cobb Barn, Oliver Herbert by Ron Frampton 30 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

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same affection that he had. More than that he instilled in his students an instinct to see the beauty and history etched on the faces and landscape of people and place wherever they travelled. Beyond the Vale is Ron’s own tribute to the photographers he worked with over the three years it took to compile the project. Many of the stories and photographs had already been published in the Marshwood Vale Magazine and we are fortunate to have an archive of fascinating accounts and images to share with our readers. While this work of recording and publishing the stories of those that walk the land that our ancestors marvelled at continues, we will also take the time to look back and pay tribute to those that went before. This month, to celebrate being in print again, we are giving away ten copies of Ron’s book Be-

yond the Vale. Just send us a postcard or email with your name and address and the first ten names chosen out of a hat will receive a copy of this wonderful book. Email: or postcard to Beyond the Vale Book, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX.

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Beer Quarry Caves The ‘Ford, Dagenham’ production line of the Stone Age


f you thought that Beer was just about smugglers long ago, and fishermen like me nowadays, think again. Once upon a time, and even if it was a very long time ago, the folks of Beer did more than fish, quarry limestone, and run contraband. Beer did flint, big, like it was once the Ford Dagenham production line of the stone age. Well everyone knows there’s flint in Beer; it front faces many of our houses. It’s a beautiful material to look at and even more beautiful material to work with. Flint is dark and gleams. It is also the oldest tool known to mankind. The first traces of flint tools were found at Gona in Ethiopia and are dated to 2.6 million years ago. Prior to that the earliest flint tools known, dating back 1.7 million years, were found at Olduwa gorge in Kenya’s rift valley by the British palaeontologist Richard Leaky and his wife. Its important to mention at this point that the toolmakers of Ethiopia and Kenya were not

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Homo sapiens, but ancestors of Homo sapiens. The distinction is important here in Beer because as far as we can make out the stone age flint makers of Beer, who were here from around 11000 BC until the Romans arrived in 43 AD, were homo sapiens or modern human beings. However, we should not forget the wonderful flint axe heads in the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter, which come from Broom in Axminster. They are dated to 350,000 years ago and were made by the last Neanderthals in Britain. That species of humanity vanished from our island sometime between 350000 BC and 124000 BC. It was climate change that drove the Neanderthals out, and it was the end of the last great Ice age that brought modern humans back to Britain, and to Beer around 12000 BC to 11000 BC. Now, the best way to think of Beer and its flint workshops is to take a slightly wider view of East Devon in the Stone Age. There are three well

established settlements; Farway Castle, Blackbury Camp, And Sidbury Fort. The inhabitants of those three settlements left behind one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Britain, the Barrow graves and Tumuli graves at Putts Corner, opposite the Hare and Hounds pub. There are about 160 graves identified, but most of the graves have never been fully investigated or researched because of cost. Ancient history, especially if you are digging it up, is very expensive. But the direct link to Beer is the barrow grave at Bovey Fir Cross, on Quarry lane. The people burying their dead at Farway were also using the same burial schemes, almost in Beer village itself. And this is how we get to flint in Beer and the mystery that surrounds it. Phil Clarke of Arrowhead Archaeology in Bridport did a survey off Quarry Lane for a new barn structure in early 2010. He discovered flint tool making all over the fields there. Here is what he wrote. “Of greater significance for the present study, Beer Head is the most westerly outcrop of upper and middle chalk in Britain, with the densest source of high quality (black) flint in the entire southwest peninsula (Tingle, 1998). The chalk at Beer contains distinctive seams of high quality flint which has been exploited through much of the prehistoric period as a source of flint for tool manufacture. The occurrence of high quality flint as a raw material would undoubtedly have been of high importance to prehistoric populations; the low quality flint and greensand chert, a form of flint, otherwise available in west Dorset and east Devon west of the chalk on the Ridgeway is an inferior material for flint tool manufacture. Although both occur as components in local assemblages (collections) (e.g. at Mare Lane, Beer. Tingle 1998), the preference for high quality flint over chert is indicated in Tingle’s assemblage (collection) at Bovey Lane where only 18 pieces of chert in an assemblage of 4144 pieces of worked stone, the remainder being flint (Tingle,

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1992). An intensive exploitation of this raw material is to be expected, and this is reflected in the concentration of flint tools in the area (of Beer) from at least the Neolithic onwards; (especially at Bovey Lane)” What Clarke does is link the various parts of Beer in which flint tools were being produced. He cites flint workings (assemblages) at Quarry Lane, Bovey Lane, Mare Lane and at Beer Head. The entire prehistoric population of Beer would seem to have been engaged in the production and distribution of flint tools! Flint from Beer has been discovered at Carn Brae in Cornwall and may have been found at Stonehenge. Clark also says why the study was necessary, further indicating the extraordinary extent of flint tool making in the area of Beer. “The archaeological work was recommended on the basis of Historic England Records (HER) records of artefact scatters and tool working sites near the development area, (the field by Quarry Lane) reflecting activity in the prehistoric period “, Here is what Clarke found in just this one field at Quarry lane. “An assemblage (collection) of sixty-nine pieces of worked flint was recovered from topsoil and an underlying deposit of colluvium (stones found at the bottom of a slope) occurring on the upper edge of the scarp forming the northern side of the valley floor”. But what Clarke didn’t find was the Beer settlement, the place in Beer where the flint tool makers lived. There are two things we are looking for around Beer Quarry caves now. The first is the local source for the beautiful black flint on Quarry Lane, that was not coming from Beer Head. The second is the Beer stone age settlement itself, in Beer.

Steve Rodgers. Curator and Manager. Beer Quarry Caves

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When Fred Flintstone met Asterix the Gaul By Cecil Amor


his was one of my pleasant day dreams sitting in my comfortable arm chair. I seem to have more day dreams these days, as probably many have, since the lockdown. Another recent day dream was of memories of driving down Cheddar Gorge on the B3135 road through the southern Mendip Hills in Somerset on the way to Cheddar Caves. The gorge is an interesting sight itself, one side being near vertical limestone up to 137 m (449 ft) at its highest point, the other steep grass slopes. At one side a series of 274 steps known as Jacob’s Ladder climbs the steep face. After an Ice Age one million years ago the gorge was formed when water from the melting ice formed a river, it is believed. On to the caves: Gough’s Cave is well known for “Cheddar Man”, a reasonably complete skeleton found in 1903, of a human male fossil thought to be about 9,000 years old. Gough’s cave is said to be one of the largest in Britain and it contains stalactites, said to take 2,000 years to grow 2.5 cm (one inch) and the opposite stalagmites. These are very beautiful especially in coloured lighting and some of the caverns have been given fanciful names, e.g., “Solomon’s Temple” and “The Chimney”, the latter having been formed by wa-

ter flowing down for many years. Minerals in the rock faces have leeched out over the years to produce attractive colours. The cave was probably an underground river bed for many years. Since it was found steps and a tunnel have been made for better access. Some Cheddar Cheese is now matured in the cave! The cave has flooded on occasions. Returning to Cheddar Man, it is not known if he was buried in the cave or died there. The original skeleton is now housed in the Natural History Museum which has carried out DNA tests (by drilling a small hole inside the skull and checking the powder produced). From these they concluded that he was from the Mesolithic (middle stone age) at around 7,100 BC and probably had died violently and may also have been suffering from an infection from a skull bone infection. It is suggested that he may have had dark skin and dark curly hair with blue eyes, aged in his twenties with poor teeth. At this time people were nomadic hunter gatherers and had not converted to farming or drinking milk. No artefacts were found with the skeleton. His origins were likely to have been in Northern Europe, e.g. Luxembourg or Spain. A replica of “Cheddar Man” now resides in the cave where he was found. I can remember some years ago a television programme which featured “Cheddar Man” and his DNA which brought together many local village people to hear about the discovery. A replica of his head was produced with colouring and hair as suggested by the DNA and local people had given their own DNA for comparison. The speaker said that two good matches had been found in children and one young man. The audience was requested to look around their neighbours and see if they could see a good likeness and one man was agreed by most present that he was a good match! This caused much merriment. Other sources describe the Mesolithic people like Cheddar Man as being small, lean and slender, with a long skull, hence a long lean almost dainty face. The

men were short at about 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) height, women 1.4 metres (4.6 ft). Most died by 40 years, although some may have survived to 70. They wore supple leather clothes, fastened toggles or possibly bone pins. Gough’s Cave is said to have yielded prehistoric and Roman artefacts, including stone and wooden tools. Some material is 5,000 years old and then there is a gap until spears, bows and arrows and stone axes were found in the caves. It is likely that the first people in Britain came across a “land bridge” from the continent. After the Ice Age, the Channel filled, so successive people must have used some sort of boat. Of course, as the advertisements often tell us, “others are available” and this goes for caves also. Wookey Hole near to Wells is a limestone show cave on the edge of the Mendip Hills, now a tourist attraction. In addition to the stalactites, etc., of Gough’s Cave it has more recent additions for family entertainment such as the Witch of Wookey Hole and a lake in her parlour, with a boat and a Fairy Garden. I believe it may be open for Weddings! I was a consistent follower of Time Team on television in their heyday. One episode was a three day visit to Cooper’s Hole, not far from Gough’s Cave but separate and owned by the late Lord Bath, who appeared during filming. The usual team of The late Professor Mick Aston, Phil Harding and Tony Robinson examined items previously discovered in the back of the cave such as horse and cow bones and flint tools. This is now inaccessible after a flood which brought down a huge amount of rock. They were largely restricted to excavating in the cave entrance, where they found teeth from red deer. Dr Carenza Lewis presented a small bone with marks of a stone tool, showing evidence of early habitation.

Another of my day dream memories is of a visit to “The English Riviera”, Torquay, on the south coast of Devon, where we found “Kents Cavern”. This was rather like the Cheddar caves, with parts 350,000 years old, later evidence of early human habitation and a tooth from a woolly mammoth. To revert to my heading I think it unlikely that Fred Flintstone and Asterix the Gaul would have met! This was a figment of my imagination and sense of humour. Fred appeared on our screens from 1960 onwards having been produced by Hanna Barbera and his era would have coincided with Cheddar Man. However he progressed over many centuries including his invention of a wheeled vehicle in the agile minds of his creators. Asterix came later, around 50 BC when he fought the Romans invading Gaul. He appeared in comic book form wearing a cross between a Viking and a Roman helmet. They entertained me and our children over the years as did the cave visits. Cecil Amor, Hon President of Bridport History Society.


BEAMINSTER Mapperton shortlisted Mapperton Gardens, near Beaminster in Dorset, have been shortlisted for the 2020 Christies and Historic Houses Garden of the Year award, the most important annual award for gardens and parks. Mapperton Gardens is the only garden in the south west to be on the shortlist of eight. The Earl and Countess of Sandwich, who live at Mapperton, hope everyone from Bournemouth to the Lizard will vote for this local garden. Lady Sandwich said: ‘We are so delighted that the Gardens have been shortlisted. This is a prestigious award and would be a wonderful achievement in this very difficult year. We are running the garden with half our gardening staff and we have all been working incredibly hard to keep it looking good.

BRIDPORT Award for Local Food Links Acclaimed Dorset school meals caterer, Local Food Links, has been awarded a Gold Taste of the West Award for its Smokey Sausage and Bean Cassoulet and Sunshine Rice. Bridport Kitchen Manager, and BBC Chef of the Year 2019 finalist, Ashley Painter devised the recipe which will be featured on school menus next term. As a Dad, as well as a school meals chef, Ashley understands the importance of making food appealing to children. He is also keen that children know where their food has come from and that they experiment with new tastes. His menu combines a farm to fork story with locally sourced ingredients to create a delicious one-pot meal incorporating a 5-aday rainbow of vegetables. 40 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

BRIDPORT Stable to change Pizza chain, The Stable, has been bought from Fullers Brewery by the sourdough pizza and craft beer restaurant chain Three Joes. However, the Bridport site, which was where the chain first began is not part of the sale. It is still part of the Bull Hotel and will continue to serve customers, albeit without the Stable brand. Founded in 2017 Three Joes operates three restaurants in Winchester, Fareham, and Sheffield. Co-founder, Tim Hall, said: ‘The Stable is five times our size and whilst we are all operating in uncertain times we are confident the business has a strong future ahead. We face a genuine challenge restarting our 14 restaurants, but we are confident customers will return and we believe the market will be buoyant by spring 2021.’

YEOVIL Refresh project to continue The detailed designs for the public realm enhancements (how the area will look overall) of Yeovil town centre as part of the Yeovil Refresh project are in their final stages as work on the project continues. Despite fears that the financial impact of Covid-19 would put a hold on regeneration projects across South Somerset, it was announced last week that the new leisure centre in Chard was continuing to take shape and work will still continue with the Yeovil Refresh project. Despite work continuing, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that some work has slipped slightly. Construction work was expected to start in early summer however this is now likely to be late 2020 once contractors have been appointed.

WEYMOUTH Improved police presence Weymouth police will be providing an improved visible presence in the town centre this summer in a bid to reduce anti-social and criminal behaviour following the success of the ‘100 Days of Summer’ initiative last year. The initiative will see officers on dedicated foot patrols in the town centre at key locations and times from the end of May for 100 days. Police constables and police community support officers (PCSOs) will be visible around the town on a daily basis and will be supported by special constables. Weymouth and Portland Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant Sam Goom said: ‘We are committed to ensuring that residents and visitors to Weymouth feel safe and are able to enjoy their time here.’

Are we there yet? Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn


he answer is not quite. I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit like I’m aged eight and sitting in the back of the car and I’m on a long, long journey and Daddy Boris is currently driving up front. Nobody in the back (that’s you and me) knows when we’re going to get there (wherever ‘there’ is) and we’re all hoping that somebody up front knows the way. Are we there yet? Not yet, so be quiet at the back and go to sleep. And stop pulling your sister’s hair… Occasionally we get a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of the sun through the clouds overhead that means we must be getting quite near now. We get an occasional let-up of social distance and a quarantine easing, but it’s only a stop on the motorway—like a choc ice or a pee break at a service station. We’re still not actually there. I am starting to realise (perhaps you have too) that perhaps nobody actually knows where ‘there’ is. And since the virus thing is likely to be around for some time (unless we miraculously get a vaccine) I am going to have to get used to wearing a face mask and not hugging friends and family! Certainly, the idea

of hugging old Uncle Hugo whose chronic pipe smoking rendered him socially obnoxious at 20 feet (let alone 2 metres) never really appealed to me, so I expect it’s for the best. I also rather like my face mask—not only does it make me feel like Zorro or Batman, but my one is a fashion statement (sort of mottled leopard skin—very designer friendly). I may then hopefully have more time to finish some of the projects that I promised I would undertake when the lock-down process started earlier in the year. Of course, I haven’t even begun most of them. All of them were a bit like New Year’s resolutions— positive thoughts to encourage activity, but not too depressing to bring on a sense of low self-esteem if they were not realised. So, here’s my lateral list of non-achieved tasks so far in 2020… Sorting out stuff in the garage or the loft: Since this was something I had been longing to do for ages, the arrival of home-induced isolation was a great opportunity. All those boxes filled with useless presents I bought twenty years ago and then never gave away because they were too awful. For example, do

Anyone want my old music cassettes from my garage?

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you want a lurid pink ashtray from Truro? No, I thought not… What about those tangled clumps of old wiring and broken bits of ancient hoover and discarded table lights? And the plastic crates full of discarded camping equipment and ancient picnic plates and cups. Of course, I thought they were going to be useful one day, but that ‘one day’ never happened and perhaps after thirty years it’s now time to re-examine my storage priorities. And those cartons of books and old audio cassettes from my college days? It is surely the time to finally let them go particularly as nobody has a cassette player any more. Well, it’s true I did make a start. I tidied up my office and felt really good about it, but the garage? That was a schlepp too far. I mean, how can one throw away the contents of one’s entire previous life in a mere afternoon? The emotional stress in losing my collection of brass corkscrews (painstakingly gathered over decades of wandering around white elephant stalls and junk shops) would have been too much to bear. I would have suffered even deeper anxiety at the thought of opening up my old train set and I’d have needed another year in isolation to get over the mental trauma of throwing away my old typewriter and the 14 boxes of spare ribbons (Olivetti Letera Type 32, if you’re interested). Writing a book: No, nor did I, but it seemed like a wonderful opportunity at the time. I got as far as page 12 and then put it away in a box in the garage. Another good idea to resolve in an isolated state… My old photos: Like you maybe, I have drawers full of yellowing plastic bags all containing packs of 6 x 4 photos lovingly collated with different coloured rubber bands. Looking through them, I wonder just who are these people? Some of

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them look vaguely familiar but everybody looks so young… so youthful, so innocent. This is Life way before Coronavirus, before computers, before digital photography when people carried real cameras and counted the shots with stuff called film. And on my computer’s hard drive there’s even more of these pictures - digital heaps of JPEGs which (unlike my bundled packs of real photos), I have no idea what’s on them. Some of them are named in sensible folders (like ‘May 1990 Greece Holiday’ or ‘Family Easter 2004’) so at least I know what to expect, but others—and probably the more interesting ones—are in cryptically labelled albums such as ‘Sailing with Alice’ (who on earth was Alice?) or ‘Various 2001 Cyprus’ which is worrying to me as I swear I’ve never ever set foot in Cyprus. Perhaps these photos are of other people, other lives… Or maybe I’ve got senile dementia… Repairing the clock: It stopped working two years ago and I knew I’d mend it when I had a moment. Well, the moment came back in April but have I done anything about it? No, I haven’t. Sorry. I could also add repairing the lawn mower and painting the outside of the door. And learning Spanish, taking up the flute and painting a masterpiece. But I will… I really will. The longer the pandemic isolation lasts, the more time I’ve got not only to start such things but to maybe actually finish them! Perhaps the real answer to “Are we there yet?” is not quite, but if I just sorted out a couple of boxes in the garage, I might start to see the outskirts of the promised land. In the meantime, there are so many really useful things to do such as watch another Netflix movie and order yet more stuff online which I can then store in the garage. Cynical, moi? Surely not…

Minette Walters and Julia’s House launch story writing competition


est-selling author Minette Walters wants children and young people to share their lockdown experiences for a summer short story competition in aid of Julia’s House Children’s Hospice. The Julia’s House Summer Shorties competition will have two categories, age five to nine and ten to 16, and will be judged by a panel, chaired by the author. She has been a patron of the children’s charity, which cares for life-limited children in Wiltshire and Dorset, for more than 20 years. The winners and runners up in both categories will have their stories published on the Julia’s House website, with the winners receiving £100 each and the runners up £25 each. The prizes have been kindly donated by the Addo Food Group. The thriller writer is best known for The Ice House and The Sculptress, which were both adapted as popular TV dramas. She said she has been struck by the difficulties, as well as the positives, of young people being at home with their families and away from their friends. “For some, it will have been a prolonged and wonderful summer holiday, during which they’ve grown closer to their parents. For others, whose parents don’t’ get on, who don’t have a garden or who are missing their friends and grandparents, lockdown will be something they’d rather forget. “I want children and young people to think about this different summer and let their imaginations run free. They can write about it as it was, or how they would have liked it to be. It doesn’t have to be their summer, it can be someone else’s—an imaginary friend, an animal, a parent or a grandparent. I’m so looking forward to reading their stories. If children bring their imaginations to play on what the words mean, their stories will be magical.” Stories must be titled ‘A Different Summer’ and be limited to a maximum of 300 words for five to nine-year-olds and 500 words for ten to 16 -yearolds. Entries must be submitted on an official entry form available from the Julia’s House website: or by post from

Minette Walters has been a patron of Julia’s House for over twenty years

Julia’s House Summer Shorties, Barclays House, 1 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 2BB. There is no entry fee but anyone taking part in the competition can make a donation to help Julia’s House continue to be there for local children and families during the coronavirus crisis and beyond. The competition is open now and the closing date is Friday, July 31. Full entry details and terms and conditions are available on the Julia’s House website or by written request. Minette will joined on the judging panel by Mark Tattersall, Artistic Director, Dorchester Arts and Ebony Robinson, Julia’s House Young Ambassador. Ms Walters added: “Children don’t often get the chance to do something positive for other children, so the idea that they can do something like this to help Julia’s House is really wonderful, I think.” The money raised will contribute towards providing care for life-limited and life-threatened children and their families. The author continued: “Julia’s House is close to my heart because of the way they care for the children, their siblings and their families. They do wonderful work.” Find out more about Julia’s House and its work at The charity has been continuing to care for local children and families throughout the coronavirus crisis, helping to keep the children safe and well at home and reducing the strain on the NHS.

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Cuckoo Chorus By Philip Strange


hen the Lockdown travel restrictions were eased just over a month ago, we took the opportunity to venture further afield for our exercise walks. So, towards the end of May, we drove up to Two Bridges, high on Dartmoor, for a circular walk around the valley of the west Dart river via Wistman’s Wood, a rare example of ancient high-altitude oak wood. Our walk was graced by the sound of many cuckoos. We began by heading northwards away from the Two Bridges car park on an uneven track running roughly parallel to the west Dart river. With clear skies, strong sun and barely any breeze, it was much hotter than we expected for Dartmoor, with sultry probably the best word to describe the weather. Soon after we set off, however, as we walked up the dry stony path to Crockern Tor Farm, we heard the unmistakable call “cuckoo cuckoo”. A few sheep and one or two walkers were our only company and the song of the cuckoo instantly grabbed our attention as it echoed round the valley. Further on, a jumble of rocks, Crockern Tor, loomed on our right and then

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another cuckoo called. Eventually, we reached the top of a ridge and Wistman’s Wood came into view ahead, a green-leaved mass standing out above the summer-dry landscape on the eastern flank of the valley while the west Dart river lay in the valley bottom below. The dry grass around us was punctuated by neat yellow tormentil flowers and unruly clumps of heath bedstraw covered with tiny white flowers and, as we walked, small orange butterflies (Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus) flickered upwards, dancing around briefly before heading off. Another cuckoo called and I began to understand how the simple but beautiful music of their song had inspired so many composers. We made our way along the edge of Wistman’s Wood looking in on the seductive jumble of moss and lichen-covered twisted branches and smooth rocks. By now we had been walking for about an hour and were finding the temperature difficult so we decided to take a lunch break seated on smooth lumps of granite beneath one of the old oaks. A little cloud had helpfully bubbled up keeping the

‘The cuckoos had put on a real show for us that day’ sun at bay. The river valley lay below us and the dense oaks of Wistman’s Wood and a few smaller clumps of trees stood out on the hillside nearby. Sheep bleated fitfully and small birds flitted about. Then the cuckoos started to sing as if to provide us with lunchtime entertainment. Several birds called from different directions, some nearer, some further away and at least two cuckoos moved between the trees in the valley. We recognised them in flight from their pointed wings and long tail. Most of the song was “cuckoo cuckoo”, the call of the male bird and sometimes this was extended to “cuckcuckoo”, not far off the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth. We also heard the burbling, gurgling sound which the female cuckoo makes when she is excited. The cuckoos had put on a real show for us that day but whenever I hear their call, whether it be one cuckoo or several, the sound has a profound effect on me. In my teens, living in small town Hampshire, near woodland, cuckoo calls were a standard fixture of spring, something I came to expect each year. With the decline of the bird, and having lived in large towns for many years I lost that expectation. Now when we come to Dartmoor and I hear cuckoos again, their song touches some deeply held memory for me. After lunch, we headed down across open moorland to cross the west Dart river. Cotton grass with its fluffy, white cotton wool heads grew here, showing that the land is normally very boggy. I also saw a few delicate blue and white heath milkwort flowers, far fewer today than in previous years, perhaps a reflection of the dry weather. We crossed the river and scrambled up to the Devonport Leat, a narrow watercourse constructed in the 18th century to supply water from the Dart river to the growing community of Plymouth Dock 27

miles away. Nowadays it empties into the Burrator Reservoir which provides water for Plymouth itself. We followed the leatside path along the western side of the valley across the river from Wistman’s Wood to return to Two Bridges. This should, by definition, be mostly easy walking but degradation of the path stones makes it less so. Marsh violet with its pale mauve flowers, pink lousewort and good amounts of bilberry flourish in the damp environment by the leat and a few small fish dart back and forth. About half way along the leatside path, two male cuckoos began to sing from the trees across the river in Wistman’s Wood. At first, their calls came at different times from different locations. One bird sang “cuckoo” and a short time later the other bird did likewise as if providing an answer. This call and answer pattern was then repeated. But the two birds were actually “cuckooing” at different frequencies so that gradually their calls moved together, then began to overlap and for a short time they sang at the same time before one bird stopped. For a brief moment, as we listened, time stood still. The song of the two cuckoos initially made me think of a musical round where different groups of people sing the same melody but start at different times. “Sumer is icumen in”, also known as the Cuckoo Song, is a good example of a round. A better analogy for the calls of the two cuckoos, however, comes from the phase music of Steve Reich. In his composition, Piano Phase, two pianos play the same tune but at slightly different tempi, giving rise to novel musical effects, rather like the two singing cuckoos. The cuckoo has suffered a severe decline across the UK in recent years with about three quarters of the population disappearing since the 1980s,

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probably a result of agricultural intensification. The pattern of the decline is, however, not uniform. In Devon, for example, cuckoos were found all over the county in the 1980s, whereas now they are largely confined to Dartmoor and Exmoor where they seem to be doing well. So, we weren’t surprised to hear cuckoos when we visited Dartmoor that day, but what did surprise us was the beauty and the musicality of the cuckoo chorus. For more information about cuckoos, visit uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/cuckoo/ To hear the call of a cuckoo recorded near Wistman’s Wood, visit my Youtube channel: watch?v=cVbm6yYdYJk

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. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 47

Vegetables in July By Ashley Wheeler

Some new plantings, with kale being planted through the debris of the mown down earlier crops off salad mustards and rocket.

JULY is definitely the month that we start fully seeing the fruits of our labour. The fruiting crops are either well under way in terms of production or are on their way. The courgettes and cucumbers have been fruiting through June, and we are starting to get the first few tomatoes, whilst aubergines and peppers are on their way. June was a month of making sure new crops were planted into space made by the end of some of the early crops like radish, salad turnips (which, I must say are an underrated vegetable in this country—they are worlds apart from the winter grown turnips and are much more like a radish really—best harvested when they are still relatively small) and early lettuce and salads.

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We planted more salads, autumn kale and cabbage, chard, perpetual spinach and more in these spaces. This will continue through July as the peas, broad beans, spring onions, shallots and garlic are all harvested and new space comes up. Some of the sowings made in June will be able to fill these spaces, with things like chicory and other salads, dwarf french beans, autumn and winter brassicas, beetroot, chard and fennel. This is one of the best skills to have as a vegetable grower—to be organised and constantly thinking ahead, rather than thinking it’s all done after the first lot of sowing in Spring. This will ensure a consistent, steady supply of produce from the garden rather than

gluts followed by periods of not much being harvested. We continue to sow lots throughout June and July. It is mainly chicory, successions of salads and herbs like coriander and dill as well as fennel, kohl rabi, kale and chard that we tend to sow through July. These, again, are to be planted in spaces where earlier crops have finished producing. Having a knowledge for roughly when crops will stop producing helps to give you an idea of when to sow other crops to take their place. If vegetables are being sown into trays first, then most need to be sown about 3-4 weeks before they are planted out. For example, we know that our shallots will all be harvested by early August so we can make sure that we sow lots of chicory at the beginning of July which can be planted in the space left behind by the shallots. Sowing into module trays like this means that you can give the vegetables a head start before planting out, rather than waiting for a bed to be cleared and sowing a whole month later directly into the soil. Although this technique of sowing into modules works well for most crops, you have to make sure that some do not hang around too long in their modules. For example fennel, coriander, dill and other things that are liable to bolt (flower) in the summer months should be planted when they are still very small in the modules. This makes planting a bit more fiddly but definitely makes a big difference in terms of the crops not bolting so quickly. Other quick growing crops like rocket and salad mustards are just as easy to sow direct into the soil and are ready to harvest after about four weeks. They also germinate very easily, so as long as they get a good watering once they are sown you shouldn’t have any troubles. Make sure you harvest your cucumbers and courgettes every two to three days so that they don’t get too big on the plants, and keep up

the hoeing (especially a week or so after new plantings). In terms of watering whilst it is hot and dry, just prioritise leafy green veg and new plantings, and it is better to give a good long soak every now and again rather than little and often. This will encourage the roots to go deeper for water rather than just staying up near the surface. We are running a Market Gardening Course as well as Salad Growing and Seed Saving courses at Trill Farm later this year where you can learn more about the techniques that we use to run the market garden at Trill Farm. Check out http:// to book a place on the courses and for more details. WHAT TO SOW THIS MONTH: chicory (first week of July), endive, summer purslane, winter purslane, mustards, rocket, land cress, chard, beetroot, lettuce, kohl rabi, fennel, broad beans (for tips in salads) & peashoots (at the end of the month), carrots, dill, coriander WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH: OUTSIDE: fennel, beetroot, lettuce, chard, kale, salad leaves—amaranth, orache, anise hyssop, buckshorn plantain, salad burnet, chervil, endive, chicory INSIDE: summer purslane, late french beans, late cucumbers, basil OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: Try to clear beds where crop harvests are coming to the end such as broad beans, peas, spring onions, lettuce and shallots, so that you can put in newly sown crops straight away. We either flail mow old crops and cover with thick silage plastic for 2-3 weeks or remove the crops by cutting them off at ground level and then hoeing the bed before planting.

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July in the Garden By Russell Jordan


he record breaking hours of sunshine, with the associated high average temperature, during the spring seems to have brought on some of the later summer flowering plants so that they are already flowering. The daisy tribe, chiefly the border stalwarts such as Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Helianthemum and the like, are generally considered to be ‘late flowering perennials’. They bloom after the ‘high summer’ flowers that are associated with the traditional herbaceous border; delphiniums are the epitome of these ‘original’ border constituents. Even though, in these unprecedented times, there was no physical ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ this year, there is a horticultural trick, commonly known as the ‘Chelsea Chop’, which would have delayed the flowering, slightly shortening the flowering height, of the later flowering border perennials. Obviously, this is performed in May, so too late to do it now, but all is not lost. It has long been known that June flowering herbaceous border plants, like the aforementioned delphiniums, will flower again, albeit a little halfheartedly, if dead-headed as soon as the first flush of flowers has faded. The same is, unsurprisingly, true of their later flowering cousins. If your rudbeckias, and their ilk, are already flowering then they will have a second flush, even later into the autumn, if dead-headed in a timely fashion. Another quirk of this year’s very high levels of sunshine, during May, seems to be that many

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plants generally propagated as stem cuttings, in July / August, were already showing a propensity to root much earlier than that. With that in mind, it’s worth having another go at attempting to describe how I go about taking cuttings (I employ the same basic technique to practically every plant that produces a fitting type of cuttings material). I have a bed of penstemons which have been in situ for almost a decade—and they are beginning to show it. They flower non-stop, from mid-summer right up to the frosts, as long as they are dead-headed regularly. The problem with this is that it’s hard to find cuttings material which is, if you read propagating manuals, ‘preferably non-flowering shoots’. The theory is that high summer, with good light levels and a ripening sun, induces the highest plant hormone levels, in turn conferring the best chance of cuttings making roots. Choose non-flowering shoots that are thick enough to yield cuttings that are able to be pushed into loose compost. The sharper your knife the better when it comes to dealing with cuttings material and for trimming them—if you can’t sharpen your garden knife, to the required degree, then it’s worth investing in those craft knives which have disposable blades. The science behind using sharp knives is that you want to cleanly cut the plant tissue and not crush or bruise it. A clean cut damages fewer cells which

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in turn reduces the damage to the cutting and gives it a better chance of not succumbing to bacterial or fungal infections. The cutting needs to be about finger length and pencil thickness. The softer the shoot the fatter and shorter the cutting will need to be if it is to survive being inserted into your cuttings compost. What comes next is all about preparing the cutting so that it is in the best position to be able to survive long enough, bearing in mind it has been severed from the parent plant, for the time it takes to initiate and grow new roots. To this end, the shoot you harvested from the parent plant needs to be trimmed off, at the bottom, to a point where the sharp cut is made just under a leaf joint (because that’s the place where the new roots will grow from). At the same time cut off all the leaves, except for a couple at the tip, severing them at the point where their stalks meet the stem. Leave as little stalk material as possible as this will die back and could promote rotting in the main stem if left too long. The leaves are removed in order to prevent needless moisture loss from the cutting because, until new roots are formed, it has no way to replace the water which it will inevitably lose by evaporation. If the tip has large leaves, a tricky judgement call, then these should be cut down to size, with the sharp blade, as a further aid to reducing water loss. The tip itself needs to be left intact as it is important in the rooting / growing process because it is the source of vital plant growth hormones. By now you should have cuttings which are trimmed off at the base and have been completely denuded apart from the small leaves at the tip. They are now ready to be inserted into pots full of cuttings compost. I get the best results from using a multi-purpose compost mixed with at least 50% grit / perlite to keep the mixture ‘open’ (full of air and free draining). It is important to use only fresh, sterile, compost because, once again, the aim is to reduce the chances of the cuttings succumbing to rot and diseases, caused by the pathogens more prevalent in old compost. Air is vital to the rooting process because, just like human cells, plant cells require oxygen to sustain life and rootless shoots need to be able to absorb this from the air pockets in an ‘open’ compost. For this reason, it is vital that the cut-

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tings compost is only gently firmed into the plant pot and not rammed in to the point where it has no air pockets left. It should be firm enough to support the inserted cutting, but loose enough that the cutting can be pushed in without excessive force. For particularly soft, or thin, shoots it may be necessary to make a preparatory hole with a pencil or cut section of bamboo cane. Your cuttings should be inserted around the edge of the pot, this is said to increase oxygen availability to aid rooting. Bury to a depth where at least the bottom most leaf joint is an inch, or so, beneath the surface. The pot should be of a size that it can have a short cane inserted into the middle, taller than the exposed sections of plant material, and small enough to allow you to cover it with your preferred lid / bag. Short cuttings can be inserted into seed trays of compost and placed in a lidded propagator, as you would for germinating seeds, but taller ones will need deeper plant pots. Stand the filled pots in trays of water, to saturate them, and spray the new cuttings with clean water to aid water retention at this delicate stage in their journey. I have always used the method which I was first shown which uses a polythene bag (not so easy to obtain these days) over the pot, held away from the cuttings by the bamboo cane, and secured around the pot with string or a large elastic band. The idea is that the polythene bag, preferably seethrough so you can keep an eye on your cuttings, performs the same job as a propagator lid in maintaining a humid atmosphere—to keep your cuttings alive until they have had time to produce roots and uptake water for themselves. This will takes at least a few weeks, maybe longer, and, in the meantime, they should be placed in a warm and light place, not so sunny that they ‘boil in the bag’, where you can largely forget about them. Once there are signs of growth, from the tip, you can gradually allow them to acclimatise to normal atmospheric conditions by cutting holes in their bag, or opening up the vents on a propagator lid, until they are sufficiently rooted to have their covering removed altogether. It is unlikely that every cutting will root so it is necessary to remove unsuccessful ones, which show signs of rotting off, before they infect their healthy pot mates.

I didn’t mention ‘hormone rooting powder’ above because it shouldn’t be necessary if the chosen plant material is at the right stage to root by itself. Having said that; rooting powder also contains ingredients which are designed to reduce the chances of rotting off so may be worth using for this aspect alone. For the same reason, in the past, it used to be common practice to water and spray the new cuttings with a chemical control against rot and disease. In today’s, less chemically dependant, climate this ‘belt and braces’ approach seems a little over the top when good hygiene should suffice. Judging by the continued, lockdown induced, compost shortage I am hoping that there are now a lot more people that have actually found time to make use of their gardens. I am sorry to have largely banged on about cuttings this month, which maybe considered a more ‘expert’ aspect of gardening, but making your own plants, via whatever sort of propagation you can manage, is one of those horticultural tasks that might spark

the kind of joy to foster a more long-term love of gardening. Raising plants from seed is another variety of ‘propagation’ and requires no special skills at all—just follow the instructions on the seed packet! Fortunately, for the novice gardener, there is a whole tribe of flower seeds which are perfectly suited to sowing now; the ‘biennials’. These include many of the classic ‘cottage garden’ type blooms and some, like ‘Sweet Williams’, which make ideal cut flowers. Their chief quirk is that they need to be sown in the year before they are due to flower, hence the term biennial because they need two growing seasons, with a winter in between, in order to produce their blooms. Foxgloves are also in this group and, although less suited to cutting, it’s hard to imagine a cottage garden, in fact any garden without a few majestic spires of foxglove popping up all over the show. For now, in these weird times, I just hope that you are continuing to make the most of your garden :-)

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A Gardener’s Paradise By Helen Fisher

BRIDPORT £395,000

An attractive, tidy and presentable bungalow with 2 double bedrooms and modern bathroom. Contemporary conservatory with far-reaching countryside views. An exceptionally generous sized, fully enclosed garden with established shrubs and large lawn area. Single garage, ample parking and no onward chain. Goadsby Tel: 01308 420000


A handsome house built in 1975 yet with a period feel. Recently completely updated and redecorated. Bespoke hand-made kitchen, stylish contemporary bathrooms and oak parquet flooring. Situated in the centre of a generous plot with formal gardens, lawn area, woodland and veg garden with greenhouse. Garaging and ample parking. Symonds and Sampson Tel: 01308 422092

COLYTON £570,000

A detached, 3 bedroom home set along a quiet lane on the outskirts of the village and centrally placed within it’s own half acre plot. With formal lawns, flower beds and veg garden. Pretty stream and ornamental pond and stunning established Wisteria. Summer house with views to the sea and estuary. Garage and ample parking. Gordon and Rumsby Tel: 01297 553768 54 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

BRIDPORT £435,000

A semi-detached Regency (not listed) house in the centre of town with 4 bedrooms. Updated and well presented featuring wooden flooring and an iron fireplace. Large, well tended rear garden with greenhouse and sunshine all day. Car port for 2 cars, set down a no-through lane. View to Colmers Hill. Kennedys Tel: 01308 427329


A pretty period Grade II listed house, dating back to 1780 with many original features inc: inglenook fireplace, wood burning stove & window seat. Kitchen with Aga plus conservatory. Stunning, large mature gardens with summer house, specimen trees and ornamental pond. Outbuildings and off street parking. Jackson-Stops Tel: 01308 423133

WEST BAY £320,000

A unique home, created from the wing of a former period house close to beach and town. Well presented throughout with 2 double bedrooms and light filled living spaces. Sole ownership of the unusually large rear garden. Greenhouse, raised beds, apple and pear trees, outbuildings and terrace. Ample private parking. Stags Tel: 01308 428000

Green Energy boost for Bridport A scheme to increase the supply of renewable energy to local people in Bridport, Dorset, has taken a big step forward with the award of a ÂŁ20,000 feasibility grant to Dorset Community Energy. The funding was awarded by the South West Energy Hub in partnership with Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and will be used to investigate the development of solar photo-voltaic (PV) arrays. This solar panel project builds on the success of an initiative launched in January by Dorset Community Energy which aims to supply up to 60 Bridport homes with locally generated renewable energy from a wind turbine. Offering green energy at just 9.5p/kWh, the Energy Local Bridport scheme has been heavily oversubscribed and still has 40 householders on the waiting list.

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Something Special on Broad Street



ith changing times come changes of direction and that is often an exciting time. At The Monmouth Table Annie Coplestone & Carlotta Paolieri have been serving up every delicious ingredient our beautiful coastline has to offer in their unique tapas style for the last two years. Popping up in both The Pop Up Kitchen in Lyme Regis and Soulshine in Bridport, they’ve warmed up your winter evenings and rounded off your sundrenched summer days with their smiling welcome and mouth watering menu. Now they’re introducing their next venture. As the pandemic hit and doors closed up and down the high street, local business owners and consumers alike were forced to re-think the way they traded and shopped. It was back to basics for many, pop up stalls selling locally farmed goods, home made meals bought from doorsteps, local ciders sold through windows. Although originally it was an adaptive way for restaraunts and suppliers to survive, it has to be said there is a beautiful charm in the simplicity

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of it all. It took us back to the days before the super market... and this charm is exactly what you’ll find in the Monmouth Pantry. Annie and Carlotta are now proud inhabitants of 32 Broad Street Lyme Regis (formally Sicilia) just one door down from The Pop Up Kitchen. The girls have been collecting their knowledge of local organic vegetables and dairy to artisan bread, fresh herbs, spices, cheese and homemade preserves and putting it on a shelf for us all to share. Good old-fashioned grocery shopping is back. Championing local farmers and producers, keeping it green with minimal plastic and reintroducing self serve and weigh. The Monmouth Pantry will provide us with an explorative and conscious approach to our weekly shop. We’re in for a treat! Opening in July, The Monmouth Pantry are keen to hear your thoughts and requests when it comes to goods you’d like to see on their shelves to put in your own pantry. Head over to their Instagram or Facebook page to have your say @ themonmouthpantry

In the Raw By Nick Fisher


y dad used to tell me this story about an old fishing charter captain in Cornwall, who had a party trick to impress his paying punters when the fishing was slack. He’d snatch a wriggling mackeral off one of the strings of feathers and eat it whole—alive. He’d never even mention it, treat it like a normal little snack. Just swallow hard, then look out to sea with with mackeral guts dripping off his grey beard. I loved this story. Still do. It probably wasn’t true. But it conjured up all sorts of images of a gnarly old sea dog, fuelled by the essential omega oils of fresh fish, who’d probably live to 150, if he didn’t drink like a fish and smoke forty Capstans a day. My own introduction to raw fish eating came about 15 years ago when I was working in a magazine office in Carnaby Street. One of my

colleagues, a Hampstead-bred, posh-girl-of-theworld suggested we got take away sushi for lunch. I’d heard of sushi, but never indulged. There wasn’t that many places in England or even London where you could avail yourself of the Japanese culinary art that revolved around raw fish. When I paid the bill, I nearly died. A take away box for one, 15 years ago was £15! Which amounted to about half my daily wage. No matter how succulent those beautiful little morsels of raw fish were, they choked me rotten. The Japanese are a clever bunch. To create a cuisine which involves no cooking, but costs the earth is a masterful stroke. To dump a sliver of raw fish on a Pixie’s portion of boiled rice and charge a fiver a mouthful to epicurial punters shows a cracking sense of business acumen. But sushi’s come a long way in Britain in the last five years. Now you can wander into a sand-

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wich chain like Pret A Manger or even Tesco or a supermarket and cop a lunch boxed-selection for £4.95. Even though my introduction to shovelling sushi was a painful experience on my pocket, I’ve remained a keen consumer ever since. Part of the prohibitively expensive cost of sushi and sashimi (raw bits of fish without the rice!), was the incredibly long, arduous and specialised apprenticeship that Japanese sushi chefs had to go through, in order to be deemed fit to practise the art. And it is an art. Sushi preparation at its best is about creating a dish which is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the hungry taste buds. So, some time ago, it was with surprise, but delight that I took up the offer of a morning’s sushi-making lesson with my wife at Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel, under the watchful eye of executive chef Steve Munkley and Malaysianborn sushi chef Ricky Idris. It sounds bonkers that you can learn anything about sushi making in a couple of hours, when chef like Ricky had to spend four years just learning how to wash the rice. Four years! Ricky wasn’t even allowed to touch the fish during the first four years of his apprenticeship. But thankfully my wife Helen and me were up to our elbows in raw salmon, sea bass and tuna within half an hour. The great thing about the course is it encouraged you not to be scared of the sacred art. Slice your fillets, roll your sea weed and fill your boots. Fresh fish is obviously the key to good sushi. But Ricky maintained that cooking the rice properly is just as important. It must be special sushi rice, steamed in a rice cooker, not cooked on the hob, and it needs to be washed a minimum of five times before even seeing the inside of a pan. The selection of fish we were carving up like Glasgow thugs on a pub crawl, were mostly the produce of fish farms. Interestingly, the sea bass,

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the salmon and the prawns are all farmed. Both Ricky and Steve with their beady eyes and highlytrained palates were adamant that the farmed stuff is in excellent condition. Which it has to be said, is a major shot in the arm for aqua-culture. Slivers of prime fish fillet are cut with a slight curve across their section so they fit snuggly on top of a portion of rice gently moulded to about the size and shape of a sugar mouse. It’s fiddly, but not impossible, even for a man like me who’s got fingers as nimble as half a pound of fat pork sausages. Traditionally there are no women sushi chefs, because their motors run too hot. Apparently the difference in body temperature between men and women, makes women too warm for handling fish. The heat of a red hot woman can totally ruin a prime cut of blooming fish. Indeed, there are American presidents who have suffered the same terrible fate. At the end of two hours with Ricky and Steve, I had produced a plate of sushi negri, maki rolls and sashimi that I’d have been delighted and impressed to have been served in a sushi restaurant. It was a great confidence booster. I always believed that sushi making was too difficult or too specialised for a mere mortal like myself to attempt. But it’s not. So, yesterday I went and bought the kit: sushi rolling mat, rice vinegar, sushi rice, Japanese soy sauce and wasabi horseradish, all for less than a tenner at a Japanese supermarket in Soho. And now, I am pumped. I am primed. I am locked and loaded and hungry to catch my first sushi-able fish. I’m off pike fishing tomorrow, somehow I don’t think esox luscius lends his muddy-boned self to sushi. Still, my blade is sharp and ready. I might not exactly have a grey beard dripping with mackeral guts, but I do have a pair of chopsticks and a penkife, so look out fresh fish, here I come.

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Sensible Revolution

IN A MILKY SORT OF WAY Rex Fisher has seen milk from machines and knows just where to send the aliens

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ell, we’re over the hump. It’s July and 2020 has not failed us so far when it comes to the bonkers and ridiculous. We left Europe, the world shut down, and now the crew of SpaceX are reporting that they almost clipped wing mirrors with a UFO. And you know what? I believe them too. You’d be silly not to the way this year’s going. And I bet if there actually are aliens up there, they’ll be laughing at us. But I wonder if, when the earth spins on its axis and the aliens focus all their 17 zillion eyes upon west Dorset, whether they’ll still be laughing. There’s a milk revolution happening here in Dorset and it’s neither bonkers nor ridiculous, but weirdly very sensible. You might’ve noticed them, ‘milk vending machines’ have sprung up around the county like bluebells in April. If you told me in 2019 that I’d be getting my milk from a machine that looks like it’s been designed by Elon Musk himself, then I’d have called you mad. But it’s happening, and it’s really quite a good thing indeed. Just because we’ve got all these new crises on the burner doesn’t mean the old ones have gone away. Climate change, for example, is still as prevalent as ever before. A report last month by the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) discovered that the emissions from just 13 dairy companies matched that of the entire

United Kingdom. Big Dairy, the report suggested, receives far less public scrutiny than that given to Big Oil, despite being responsible for a considerable amount of greenhouse emissions and the forcing of milk prices below the cost of production, causing a crisis in rural livelihoods and requiring taxpayer subsidies to keep farmers afloat. ‘It’s a race to the bottom’ Oliver Hemsley, owner of Hollis Mead organic dairy, tells me. Based just outside Beaminster, Hollis Mead is one of the hot new dairies spearheading this milk revolution, with currently five vending machines across west Dorset. Hemsley has just trademarked the phrase “cheap food costs the earth” and as the recent IATP report demonstrates, he’s exactly right. It’s this that motivates Hemsley’s business model, as he tries to develop a profitable way of dairy farming in the 21st century that gives the environment a fighting chance. Step one is, of course, being organic. But it seems at Hollis Mead they’ve taken the regular guidelines for what qualifies a farm to be ‘organic’ and then gone to the extreme. No pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers are used anywhere on the farm—it’s all truly natural. On top of this Hemsley’s hand-planted over 17 km of indigenous hedges in an effort to

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improve biodiversity—providing a habitat for all kinds of bugs, birds, insects, deer, rabbit dormice and hares. Even this has been done to no half measure, as usually when you plant a hawthorn hedge, you’re supposed to put down a plastic weed control liner to prevent grass growth and retain moisture. Hemsley spared no expense on a plastic-free membrane to ensure minimum ecological impact. Cows are only milked once a day at Hollis Mead, compared to other big commercial dairies who might milk two, or in the case of the IATP report, three times each day—by the end producing what is basically white tinted water. Hollis Mead, by contrast, is thicker, creamier and well bodied. Meanwhile, larger dairies will keep cows indoors transporting food to them, unlike at Hollis Mead where they are allowed to graze freely in the field. The result, calmer cows that are not so overworked, as Hemsley puts it ‘a happy cow makes quality milk’. The point of it all, aside from restoring some form of ecological stability within the dairy

industry, is to reconnect people with farming. There’s no denying that so many of us are far removed from the products we consume, Hemsley hopes to change that. He plans to build a visitor centre at Westcombe Farm, the Hollis Mead site, to allow people to see the cows, even milk the cows and taste the milk, whilst also learning about the conservation, the wildflowers, birdlife and buy the products, cream, milk, cheeses and even honey and other organically produced products made on the land. With constant public scrutiny there’ll be no alternative for Hemsley but to uphold his fiercely scrupulous standards, maintain his vows to conservation and immaculate dairy parlour. The sixth and newest Hollis Mead vending machine is set to open on July 4th at the wonderful Symondsbury Estate outside Bridport, an excellent addition to what is already an excellent facility for both locals and tourists. So, if the aliens do ever decide to visit, I know where I’ll be sending them. To a Hollis Mead vending machine, of course.


Champagne Jellies, perfect for a special occasion or if you just want to indulge!




• • • • • •

1. Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile put the sugar and a 100mls of the wine in a pan and stir over a very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a large jug. 2. Squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove excess water then stir them into the warm liquid. Stir in the remaining wine. 3. Divide the fruits between 4 glasses. 4. Pour in the wine mixture to just cover. Place the glasses in the fridge and leave for approx. 2 hours or until just set. 5. Serve straight away – the longer the jelly is out of the fridge, the more it will soften.

115g (4oz) blueberries 115g (4oz) small strawberries 55g (2oz) raspberries 3 sheets leaf gelatine 2 tablespoons caster sugar 450mls (3/4 pint) dry sparkling white wine Serves 4

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CRAB AND ASPARAGUS SALAD This is a great way to get the most out of a bunch of asparagus. The combination of the shaved stems and cooked tips is a great contrast, especially with the fresh, sweet crabmeat. I’ve been doing my HIX oyster and fish truck outside of Felicity’s Farm shop in Morcombelake from Thursdays to Saturday selling local fish and seafood from the Lyme Bay reserve fishermen




• 200g Asparagus with the Woody ends removed • 200g freshly picked white crab meat • 2tbs brown crab meat • 2 tbls mayonnaise • The juice of half a lemon • 2tbsp rapeseed oil • A handful of a small salad leaves, washed and dried • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Cut the tips off the Asparagus to about 4-5cm. With a swivel peeler shave the stems lengthways into iced water. 2. Cook the tips in boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender then drain and refresh in cold water. Then drain and pat dry on some kitchen paper. 3. Mix the brown crab with the mayonnaise and spoon onto the centre of four serving plates. Arrange the cooked and shaved asparagus on the mayonnaise with the leaves and scatter the crab on top. 4. Mix the lemon juice with the rapeseed oil and season, then spoon over the salad.

Serves 4

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Win a BBQ Box from Coombe Farm Organic

Feel like some delicious and local organic flavour on your BBQ?

Enter our competition to win a prize from Coombe Farm Organic. This quote from our June online magazine is hidden in an image amongst the pages of this issue. Find the quote and email us or send a postcard (Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX), with the name of the person who said it, to be in with a chance to win! Terms & Conditions: Answers must be with us by July 20th. The winner will be drawn from those entering and contacted by email. There is no cash equivalent and no correspondence will be entered into.

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When a Picture Paints A THOUSAND WORDS

Local young film maker, Jesse Adlam, has been making short films that capture a slice of local life. Before heading off to Film School he talked to Fergus Byrne.


film shows a lone fisherman sitting in a tent on an empty beach after sunset, while a rusting yellow digger waits on the quay for its next job. The only movement is the tide and washing left to dance slowly in a gentle breeze. The camera finds empty shops, an empty takeaway, a single car crossing the bridge and a mother taking her toddler for a breath of fresh air. As the sound of a gentle wave washes the pebbles, two young people sit on the edge of an empty shoreline—a pink neon sign offers welcome and pizza. Against the background of a simple piano soundtrack the film could easily depict the eerie silence that descended on towns and villages as COVID-19 lockdown enveloped the South West. However, much of the film, off peak, was made before the coronavirus pandemic hit. It was shot by Kilmington based student Jesse Adlam and is one of seven short films that Jesse has made in

the last year before he goes to study Filmmaking at the Northern Film School in Leeds in September. Jesse began to develop an interest in photography when he was about 13 by making simple short montage films set to music. ‘In 2016 I entered the Force 8 /Bridport Film Festival youth competition and won Best Director/Best Producer for a short film I made in the Scottish Highlands to a song track made by young musicians at bSharp in Lyme’ he explained. ‘One of the judges of this competition, Hester Schofield, offered to mentor me for a while and gave me some useful advice about developing my subsequent films, and also about where I might go to learn more about making films.’ Jesse’s A levels were cancelled this year but he is really looking forward to the next step in his education in Leeds. Fascinated by film and photography he says: ‘I can’t wait to meet people who

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are also passionate about film, and to gain further experience in working as part of a film crew.’ In another of his films, Are we living too fast, the wide open spaces of what might be Exmoor, where ponies ramble unconcerned by life beyond the next blade of grass, is juxtaposed against trains, tubes and the mad rush to work in cities—as well as the criss-cross of contrails left by jets in the sky. The film uses a soundtrack that builds to a crescendo leaving little doubt that these places are worlds apart. Jesse explained how his interest in film developed. ‘Through studying Photography A-level at Woodroffe School I learned about a broader spectrum of techniques and experimentation as well as film history and criticism’ he said. ‘I came across photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Don McCullin, alongside my own discovery of film makers such as Paweł Pawlikowski. What I love about Pawlikowski is the way he takes great care over the cinematography of his films, how it is often striking and simple and dramatic all at once and how, in concentrating on the visual, he hones in on the characters and how they develop throughout the film to tell the story.’ Last year Jesse made a short film for Shute Literary Festival. It celebrated Devon’s natural beauty, its rolling hills and the deep history of Shute and its literary heritage. The film shows Jesse’s interest in imagery without clutter. ‘I am increasingly interested in films that are made independently and that do not adhere to big-budget mainstream film production, by doing away with stereotypes and cliched ways of storytelling’ he says. ‘I prefer films that express a story or an idea in ways that are visually experimental and innovative. For example, in the film Moonlight by Barry Jenkins I really liked the simple storyline which feels like it could have happened hundreds of times over in different peoples’ lives, and how the story never fully resolves itself which is truer to real life and challenges the conventional start/middle/ end format we see in the majority of films.’ We may be living in bleak times and the future for young people could be a lot tougher than it has been for many generations, but films like Jesse’s show that creativity is alive and that’s something we need to support in the new world ahead. Before setting off to Film School in the autumn, Jesse is keen to work on more films and is always interested to hear about potential commissions. If you would like to discuss a film idea he can be contacted by email at:

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Rural Voices

Through ‘The Inclusion Agency’, writer Louisa Adjoa Parker has been trying to increase understanding between different ethnic groups and seeking out their experiences in the West Country.

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‘The project aims to celebrate storytelling, diversity, resilience and legacy’


arlier this year The Inclusion Agency (TIA) launched a project which aimed to gather stories from Black, Asian, mixed and other ‘non-white’ people from the south west and other rural areas. The aim of the project was to give a voice to people living in rural areas who are often discriminated against, and to increase understanding between different ethnic groups. The project was funded by Arts Council England and the Literature Works Annual Fund. TIA have been working to adapt the project in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and now will deliver the work online—by gathering stories remotely, running online writing workshops, holding online ‘sharing’ sessions for participants to chat with each other, and creating a fictional audio piece, inspired by stories from West Dorset. The project aims to celebrate storytelling, diversity, resilience and legacy. TIA now hopes it will offer some support to BAME people in isolation. TIA was founded by writer and consultant Louisa Adjoa Parker, and Louise BostonMammah, who also works for Development Education in Dorset (DEED). The pair have worked together on many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage projects over the years, and through TIA they hope to deliver further diverse arts and heritage projects in the region, as well as supporting organisations to become more inclusive. Where are you really from? is a pilot project that builds on research Louisa carried out in 20182019 during her South West Creative Technology Network fellowship. She produced a blog and podcast which showcased her findings. Louisa says, ‘When the coronavirus pandemic caused the UK to go into lockdown, I felt as though issues such as inequality and racism didn’t seem to matter so much when people were dying in large numbers. However, it has emerged that the virus has impacted disproportionately on those from BAME backgrounds. Although there’s been

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Louisa ASdjoa Parker

a strong sense of our country pulling together, racism and inequality sadly haven’t gone away.’ The new project will gather stories of black and brown rural life and share them widely, adding in literary elements including poetry and fictional audio. The project is supported by partner, Little Toller Books, a Dorset-based publisher of books about nature and rural life. Other artists who will be working on the project are audio technicians and sound engineers Gary Pickard, Matthew Walker, Femi Oriogun-Williams, and poet Saili Katebe. TIA are keen to hear from people with African, Asian, mixed, and other ‘non-white’ heritage from any rural part of the UK. They are especially keen to hear from people in the West Dorset area over the next few weeks. Check out the project films: https://www. rxeJzHQ?view_as=subscriber For further information about the project, and to find out ways you can get involved, get in touch via the website www.whereareyoureallyfrom. or email Louisa from TIA: louisaparker3@

Leon ‘Hi, I am Leon. I live a few miles north of Bridport. Ethnically I am mixed race—my father is from Trinidad and my mother is from Kent. I was born in Shoreham in West Sussex and brought up just outside Chichester in the same county. I have also lived in LA, California and Dallas, Texas during my childhood. I’ve experienced racism from both people darker than me, and white aggressive racism in the States, as well as moderate, off-hand ‘everyday’ racism from so-called friends and school mates in Sussex. But only colloquial ignorance in Dorset. Nothing overt, I’m just treated as if I am something unusual. I think because I work in the local hospital, and have done for 20 years, I’ve been quite visible to the locals in a professional setting and have met a lot of locals. Maybe things would be harder if I had a less public job. It is hard to call Dorset home; it’s not that I’m not accepted, but more that I’m seen as an oddity and kept at arm’s length. This is done in a friendly manner, but it’s arm’s length all the same. All my friends are not from Dorset, although they live here. Emotionally it has been quite hard because I’m an outgoing, friendly, confident person and I’ve struggled to find like-minded souls to have as friends. But I don’t put this down to racism, more a lack of worldly experience as a general rule here. It is rare to find someone from West Dorset that has travelled much and experienced different mindsets and cultures. It’s hard to say what the main differences are for POC in rural and urban locations as that is totally up to the different people who inhabit these areas, and each area is different.’

Leon’s story is one of the many stories that Louisa has been gathering for TIA. To read more visit

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t’s been announced that this year the Bridport Prize has had over 12,500 entries for its international creative writing competition, 2,500 more than in 2019. The category of First Novel had over 1,600 submissions, the most that’s ever been entered and 400 more than the previous highest submission in 2014 when the award was launched. Many submissions were sent in during the height of lockdown just before the closing date of May 31, Bridport Prize Programme Manager Kate Wilson says ‘as we had no idea how COVID-19 would impact on submissions, we were delighted with the response—especially in the novel category. Perhaps writers were using the lockdown to work on pieces that had been languishing in the backs of drawers and polishing them up to enter the competition? We hope many writers were inspired by joining our free online Writing Community, set up as a response to the COVID lockdown as a forum to share work and meet other writers. Since its launch in the spring, this now has over 1,400 members. You can find us on Facebook at bridportprizewritingcommunity/ and send us a request to join.’ This year’s judges are Nell Leyshon for Short Story and Flash Fiction, Mimi Khalvati for poetry and in the novel category Emma Healey. The award-winning writer of Elizabeth is Missing and Whistle in the Dark, Emma has been reflecting on the impact of lockdown on the creative process for the Bridport Prize’s writing community, ‘I know I’m finding it hard to concentrate on much

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right now’ she said. ‘And this crisis has made me question everything about writing, what it’s for and why we do it, how it works and how it should work, what my own relationship to writing is and what I want it to be. And that’s before we come to the question of what people will want to read in six months, a year or two years. It’s frustrating, especially when other people seem to be using their time so effectively and when we’re all being encouraged (almost blackmailed it seems to me) into making sourdough, learning Japanese, getting fit or decluttering, as well as finishing that novel we’ve been talking about for a while. But now actually might be a good time to think about things rather than just do them, to study the nitty-gritty of writing, how to shape a story, develop characters, improve language. To think about writing in the abstract, and see if those thoughts will lead us back to the projects we were enthusiastic about before the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak became clear.’ The Bridport Prize has four competition categories, poetry, short stories, flash fiction (stories of 250 words or fewer) and the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a First Novel. The first three categories are open internationally, the novel award is for writers in Britain and Ireland. In addition a new Young Writer Award is being made for the first time to the 16-25 year old who achieves the highest place in any of the categories; a prize of £500 plus the literary dooropening opportunity to be published in the 2020 Anthology. The Prize was established in 1973 by Peggy Chapman-Andrews after she founded the Bridport

Arts Centre, as a way to provide resources year after year for the BAC beyond her infamous lock-in of backers till they committed to its initial funding. Like venues all over the UK the Bridport Arts Centre is currently closed but calling out to its supporters to become members or renew membership to help ensure that the Marlow Theatre curtain will be raised and the Allsop Gallery opened again to once more set the scene for Dorset’s creative highlights including the Bridport Prize. The results will be announced in October to coincide with the publication of the winners anthologies. The Dorset Award, sponsored by The Bookshop, Bridport is presented annually to the writer from Dorset who places highest in the competition. To keep up to date with what’s going on at the Bridport Prize, including the announcement of the novel long-list in July, sign up to receive its newsletter on the landing page of the website at

‘I have enormously fond memories of the Bridport Prize. It gave me one of the first affirmations that I could write. The story I wrote for the competition was the first time I felt I found that elusive thing—my “voice”. Without the Bridport Prize I would probably not have found my agent and quite possibly wouldn’t have written “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” so I have a lot to be thankful to it for’. Kate Atkinson MBE

Mimi Khalvati

Emma Healey - Emily Gray Photography

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The Lit Fix

In a new book column, the Marshwood Vale-based author, Sophy Roberts, gives us her slim pickings for July.


picked up a new reading habit during lockdown. Profoundly distracted, I was unable to click away from the ‘always on’ news cycle. I couldn’t seem to finish anything I started. Discipline, I thought; I would use the opportunity to fill some of those glaring holes in my literary knowledge. I’d take on something big and significant to pull me out of the here and now. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Or Moby Dick, suggested an American friend shocked I should have reached my late 40s without having read a word of Melville. Wanting adventure (and some Napoleonic grandeur), I settled upon The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. But when his 1844 epic arrived in the mail, my heart sank at the size of it. It wasn’t the proverbial brick of a book, but a breeze block. I flipped to the last line, on page 1243. “‘My dearest,’ said Valentine, ‘has the count not just told us that all human wisdom are contained in these two words — “wait” and “hope”?’ Not b**dy likely, I thought. I can’t wait. I have low hope right now. So I put Dumas to one side in favour of a quicker fix. I would stick to books no thicker than a mobile phone. Novellas, short stories, essays. Each one would allow me to escape for an hour or two each day—something I could start and finish in the bath, or before I fell asleep at night—giving me a daily sense of achievement (and muchneeded escape) in these otherwise bewildering times. Here’s my shortlist of three. The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd Robert Macfarlane describes this between-

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the-wars ode to Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains as a “slender masterpiece”. What’s remarkable is that it sat in Shepherd’s drawer unpublished for 40 years. I love its poetic economy, the ways Shepherd weaves deep story out of a landscape so familiar to her, and her admission that in spite of a lifetime of walking the Cairngorms’ hummocked snows and gaunt corries, it’s still so rich with discovery. “Knowing another is endless,” she writes: “The thing to be known grows with the knowing.” Above all, I like this book because it reminds me that sometimes what lies right under our feet is all we need to have for an adventure worth telling. Turbulence by David Szalay This is a piece of genius from a master of the novella form. He steps inside the skin of twelve passengers on the move around the globe, flying “ahead of the night” over the Atlantic, and elsewhere, to India, Dakar and beyond. With each journey, we meet a secondary character who shifts into the leading role in the next instalment. It’s a clever structure which allows the parts to hang together as Szalay delves into bigger issues, from the loss of a child, to dementia. A book rich in empathy, it has a kind of tragic undercurrent to it as he explores the inner, lonely life of ‘passengers’ on the Wheel of Fate. “It was hard to understand quite what an insignificant speck this aeroplane was, in terms of the size of the ocean it was flying over, in terms of quantity of emptiness which surrounded it on all sides.”

Journeys by Stefan Zweig Perpetually curious, the Austrian author Stefan Zweig found it hard to be in any one place for too long. Writing between the wars—a period of rising nationalism and economic depression—he also realised that the freedom to travel might not last forever. “Is it the premonition that a time is approaching when countries will erect barriers between them, so you yearn to breathe quickly, while you still can, a little of the world’s air?” he wrote in 1935. This collection of anecdotes about his European escapades is a call for purpose. “Travel must be an extravagance, a sacrifice to the rules of chance, from daily life to the extraordinary, it must represent the most intimate and original form of our taste. That’s why we must defend it against this new fashion for the bureaucratic, automated, displacement en masse, the industry of travel.” Post Covid, I suspect package holidays will never be the same again. Post Zweig, I will certainly treasure serendipity like never before. Buy any of the books above at Archway Bookshop in Axminster in July and receive a 10% discount when you mention Marshwood Vale Magazine.

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—was published in February by Doubleday. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 77


GALLERIES Until July 3. The Jerram Gallery Sonia Barton and Vanessa Bowman, showing still lives and landscapes. The gallery is now open, with plenty of space to enjoy the pictures and sculpture, whilst maintaining a safe distance. The Jerram Gallery, Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3LN. +44 (0)1935 815261. Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm. July 4 - 17. Marine Gallery, Beer Adrian Sykes - Solo Show: Imagination Unrestrained. Accessible online from mid-June, and will be available to view in the gallery daily from 10am – 5.30pm. As guidance is constantly changing please contact the gallery on 01297 625257, for advice on general viewing arrangements and private viewing opportunities. A Bristol-based artist, Adrian Sykes is a rising star on the UK art scene. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Young Masters Art Prize and numerous art prizes throughout the South West. Marine House at Beer, Fore Street, Beer Nr Seaton, Devon, EX 12 3EF. 01297 625257,, www. Until July 11. Sladers Yard, West Bay Fron Dorset with Love. Recent paintings by Julian Bailey, Martyn Brewster, Vanessa Gardiner, Anthony Garratt, Frances Hatch and Alex Lowery. Sculpture by Clare Trenchard. Woodcarvings by David West. Petter Southall furniture, Pod and Wave. Sladers Yard Gallery

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and Café Sladers, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. Gallery: Monday - Saturday 10am 4.30pm, Sundays 12 - 4.30pm. Café Sladers: Every day 10am - 4.30pm. Telephone 01308 459511. July 11. Thelma Hulbert Gallery Artist Rooms. Richard Long Being in the Moment. Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), Honiton plans to reopen its doors on the 11th July with the relaunch of its acclaimed exhibition: ARTIST ROOMS Richard Long Being in the Moment. This ambitious exhibition, which examines our relationship to the natural world is kick-starting East Devon District Council’s programme of cultural recovery. It will be accompanied by an inspiring new creative programme of art activities, projects and workshops coming soon to a neighbourhood near you. The gallery has reconfigured the visitor experience to ensure the safety of visitors and staff following government guidelines. The gallery’s new opening hours will be: Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Individuals and households of up to 4 people will be able to book a guided tour of the current exhibition (up to 45 minutes). 6 tours will take place each day. The tour will include the THG shop which is selling a new range of greetings cards, ceramics, jewellery, prints and more. The gallery continues to encourage everyone to enjoy their Wild Art garden for picnics, sketching or their general wellbeing. For those audiences who are staying at home, THG will shortly announce how it is


the Galleries & Studios

taking nature and culture on tour in a ‘Recovery Roadshow’. From their new ‘Creative Cabin’ they hope to engage both rural and urban audiences with art activities, projects, talks, performances and workshops to support their health, wellbeing and the environment. Until July 18. The Arts Stable Gary Cook High Ground. Based in Dorset, Gary Cook explores our complicated relationship with and often detrimental impact on nature. The combination of naturalistic painting and narrative script that characterise his watercolours are a direct result of his background in the newspaper industry where he was the senior artist and associate editor for The Sunday Times for 26 years. He has exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour (RI), the RWA, the RBA, The Arborealists and is a member of the Society of Graphic Fine Arts. He is also The Ecologist’s Arts Editor. The Art Stable, Kelly Ross Fine Art, Child Okeford, Blandford, Dorset DT11 8HB. www. August 13 - 31. The Gallery, Symondsbury Natural Forms. Lyme Bay Arts CIC will be welcoming back visitors from 13-31 August to the Gallery in Symondsbury with its first postlockdown exhibition entitled Natural Forms. This showcase will feature 2D and 3D artwork created by local and regional artists already associated with Lyme Bay Arts, as well as those who may not have exhibited at The Gallery before. Artists interested in taking part should contact Phil Clayton on 07809 831760 or at phil@lymebayarts. The Gallery has re-scheduled its postponed Contemporary Crafts exhibition to run from 3-21 September. The Gallery will be open Thurs-Mon from 10.30-4.30 (closed Tues/Wed) and will be complying with relevant social distancing. The Gallery, Symondsbury Estate, Symondsbury, Bridport DT6 6HG.

Homecoming by Adrian Sykes Marine House at Beer, Fore Street, Beer Nr Seaton, Devon, EX 12 3EF. July 4 - 17.

Spring Hare By Vanessa Bowman. The Jerram Gallery, Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3LN. Until July 3.

Hambledon Hill by Gary Cook. The Art Stable, Kelly Ross Fine Art, Child Okeford, Blandford, Dorset DT11 8HB. Until July 18.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 79

Finding Equilibrium


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eter Hayes makes his timeless pieces with an attitude of playful curiosity. A recent trip to Oman has inspired a new way of marking his pieces with abstract patterns. Peter Hayes has travelled and led projects in Africa, India, Japan and Korea and has embraced into his own practice many of the ideas and techniques he has observed in local craftspeople. The history of ceramics has always fascinated him since digging Neolithic Iron Age and Roman samien shards in an archaeological dig whilst still an art student in Birmingham. The interest was extended after he spent several years travelling through Africa working with various tribes and village potters and being intrigued how, with limited technology and basic tools, they were able to produce such exquisite surfaces. He found the same inherent skills in India, Nepal, Japan and New Mexico. In Japan he first discovered raku and the whole Shinto idea of working with opposites—fire and water, rough and smooth, humble and powerful, yin and yang. These ideas have shaped his work ever since. On his final return to England he settled in Bath, where he has had his studio since 1985. Peter is now one of the leading exponents of his art. His ceramic sculptures are heavily influenced by all he has learnt on his travels. From monolithic stones in the Cornish landscape to the deep red slip, first observed in Lesotho, all feed into his pieces. Weathering is an integral part of his process. Work may be left outside, or submerged in the sea or the river outside his workshop, sometimes for years before he rediscovers it. He ‘finds it joyful’ to work with many different clays from bone china to crank. He uses clay that is not meant to be suitable for raku firing so that it cracks in the kiln and produces the surface which is a signature of any Peter Hayes work. ‘It is the clay that is in charge and it will only let you make what it wants. It is my job to push it to its limits. Somehow an equilibrium is found between maker and material.’ Recently Peter Hayes has set up a studio in India where he is able to make much of his work, especially in the winter. His team in India grind glass and marble into simple luminous forms he can incorporate into his work. This spring during lockdown Peter has been working from home in Bath, producing work that is more playful and experimental than ever. Peter is happy to make commissions. His larger pieces are mostly suitable for outdoors and depending on where you are, he or a member of his family can come and install outdoor work for you. Work can be viewed on For more information and enquiries please call Anna Powell at Sladers Yard on 01308 459511.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 81


Giving parents and children Time to Talk AS families across Dorset come to terms with all the uncertainties of a ‘new normal’ during lockdown, Action for Children, the country’s leading children’s charity, is working hard to give parents and children somewhere to turn for help and advice. Supported by NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, the new service——is a one stop shop for parents and caregivers with advice, support and educational and play materials. The site offers any parent of a 0–19-year-old one-to-one support from an experienced parenting coach through a new online chat service, Talk. Parents are offered free, expert advice on a range of issues including what to do if your child isn’t sleeping or eating, problems with behaviour at home, and mental health. Since launching, concerned parents have flocked to the service with a range of queries. One mum reached out to the service for support with life in lockdown: “I need some help and advice. My little boy is nearly three and we are not coping well in this situation. He has far too much energy and my husband and I cannot cope. I don’t know what to do”. For some parents, the service has given them someone to talk to about their own anxieties surrounding the pandemic: “Every time I feel like I’m

doing OK my mental health seems to take another dip. I’m looking after my two-year-old but I’m running out of ideas and getting cabin fever. I’m really anxious about the coronavirus—it’s petrifying how this virus is taking people and it seems like no one is safe. I’m worried it will take my friends and family.” John Egan, National Director of England at Action for Children, said: “Coronavirus has thrown all our lives, our communities and the UK into unprecedented crisis—families need to know they’re not on their own. “As we face so much fear and uncertainty, parents are dealing with huge new challenges—from home-schooling or helping children with their worries about the pandemic, through to managing finances during the crisis. Our incredible key workers have worked relentlessly to find new ways to support parents and children through these worrying times, and our new Talk service means we can offer much needed help to any parent in Dorset who is struggling. “We want to make sure that at a time when our services are needed more than ever, Action for Children can continue to be there for parents, children and young people—both now and long after the crisis ends.” For information and advice from the new Talk services please go to uk.

Unique Swing Seat to be auctioned in aid of NHS TO raise money for Dorset County Hospital, Sitting Spiritually have crafted this one-of-a-kind “Rainbow Bench” to commemorate the NHS. The natural rainbow on the back of the seat is formed through the choice of woods with a natural variation in their hue, made from Oak, Chestnut, Western Red cedar, Iroko, Utile and Walnut. All these durable woods will, over time, naturally fade to a more uniform silver. A spokesperson for the Lyme Regis based firm Sitting Spiritually said: ‘With beautiful timing we’re expecting the rainbow to The Rainbow Bench fade at roughly the time that the Covid-19 vaccine is predicted to be available. If desired the colours could be refreshed using a cleaning system. To everyone at Dorset County Hospital, we’d like to say one more great-big “Thank You!”’ To be in with a chance of winning enter now by donating at sittingspiritually. 100% of all funds raised through the sale of these raffle tickets will be donated to Dorset County Hospital directly by JustGiving The winner will be drawn by a front-line nurse working at Dorset County Hospital on August 5th, and Sitting Spiritually will share a video of the draw online. The Swing Seat will be delivered and assembled for the winner (mainland United Kingdom only). For more visit 82 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

Help at hand in a time of need A psychological therapies service that is part of the NHS, Steps2wellbeing offers a range of therapies to help with mental health problems. In a series of short articles, Ellie Sturrock offers details of a vital community resource. STEPS2WELLBEING (S2W) is a psychological therapies service designed to help people in our community suffering mental or emotional distress. We offer therapies to people who are finding that distress is stopping them living the life they’d like to. We treat conditions like anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (not complex PTSD), low mood and stress. We have an employment advisory team who offer support for poor mental health affecting work. Many people come to us for many reasons. Take Liz, finding it difficult having her partner and the kids at home during lockdown because this is when she would compulsively clean the place because of unhelpful and horrifying thoughts that something bad will happen to them if she doesn’t. Add to this that money is tight and her husband may lose his job having been furloughed. Cecil, who has lost his wife and misses her dreadfully. His family live abroad. He is struggling to manage normal day to day activities because of breathlessness, caused by a long term heart condition and back pain from old rugby injuries. He can’t find the energy or any good reason as to why to bother. S2W assess and work out with you what sort of therapy will best help. Clinicians are trained and supervised, offering treatments including therapeutic and psycho educational courses, counselling, cognitive behavioral based therapies, mindfulness programmes, EMDR (a treatment in this service for single

incident traumas). Treatment lasts for an average of 10 sessions and many are offered as courses. These are proving to be extremely useful because everyone present, whether therapist or participant, has something to offer and we realise we are not alone. Being a short term treatment service S2W is not suitable for everyone but we are able to refer to sister NHS teams or advise about other ways to find treatment. As we are part of the NHS, we are free. At the moment most work is by phone or digital delivery maintaining safety in these strange times. At times of severe distress we recommend you see your GP, use 111, Samaritans 116123 or, SHOUT text service 85258 or crisis support 0300 123 5440 for high risk situations especially those people with strong suicidal thinking. (All names changed and cases created from similar symptoms but are not real people.)

Visit for more information

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 83

Man conquers Everest to raise funds for Mind in Somerset’s Suicide Bereavement Support Service


Stuart Pollard with is father Terry

tuart Pollard cycled up the equivalent of Mt Everest and then did another 4,000 feet to enter the ‘High Rouleur’s Society’ over the weekend. That made a total 33,200 feet. Riding through the night for 22 hours he started at 4pm on Friday (19th) and finished at 2pm on Saturday. It is a year since his mother took her life, and Stuart wanted to ride in her memory and raise money for the Mind in Somerset Suicide Bereavement Service which had helped his family. He beat his target of £2,500, raising a stupendous £5,300, and says: “Before I set off I was excited and had butterflies in my stomach. I was anxiously anticipating what I’d be preparing for these last six months. “I questioned myself whether I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but when I finished I felt exhilarated and awesome!” The training for what is called Everesting covered 4,000 miles and 275 hours in the saddle. He rode up the hills of Exmoor and Dartmoor in all weathers, but it was calm and sunny when he set off on Friday afternoon to ride up Haldon Hill near Exeter Racecourse 82 times. In the end he completed 93 ascents battling a broken computer, wild roaming deer, a puncture, the dark and rain. His father, Terry could not hide his pride at the starting line on Friday afternoon, saying: “I’m so excited and buzzing with as much adrenalin as he is! I’m so proud! He’s seriously, seriously pushed himself.” At the end nearly 24 hours later, the

two men fell into each other’s arms in an emotional hug. Terry had accompanied his son through the night in a car providing him with 14 litres of water, crisps, home-made apple pie he’d baked himself, Bounty bars, strawberries, chocolate and Jaffa cakes. No sleep is allowed under the Everesting rules and fewer than 700 people in the world have achieved the additional feat of the High Rouleurs Society, requiring the extra 4000ft above Everest. “Mum’s death was totally unexpected and devasting and instantly altered my view of life,” explained Stuart. “I wanted to raise money for Mind in Somerset as they’re fantastic and our family has really benefitted from their Suicide Bereavement Support Service. It’s amazing and deserves all the money I can get.” Exeter-based Stuart, 35 and a sales manager with bathroom furniture makers Vanity Hall, trained four times a week cycling 70-80 miles, followed by 100 miles on weekends in preparation for the final push on the weekend. There were 125 suicides per week in the UK in 2018, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, and Mind in Somerset’s Community Fundraiser, Anne-Marie Russ, says: “Stuart’s ride was fantastic and we’re very grateful to him. People in the West Country, who’ve been bereaved by a suicide will benefit hugely from his efforts.” Mind in Somerset’s Suicide Bereavement Support Service is on T. 0300 330 5463 and is open for calls 24 hours a day.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 85

Services&Classified FOR SALE


WANTED TO RENT granny flat or small cottage. Telephone 01297 33428 FOR SALE Cane Oval coffee table 29wx17dx19h inches very good condition £5 01404 850157

Sofabed. Single. Grey leather. DFS, as new, 145 x 100 folded. £350 Photos available 07837452637 Hardwood plant display stand, possibly mahogany, custom made and unique. A heavy and sturdy piece of furniture for inside or out. It is solid hardwood which will last many years unlike other cheap softwood versions. Overall height 66.5”, depth of bottom shelf 17” and widest point 19.5”. Enquire about local delivery. £90 Photos available 01460 55105 Vintage French dog cart. A really pretty french made wooden dog cart in good condition, just a small piece

of wood broken from one of the uprights which can be seen in the photo. Pulls along and steers easily. Great garden feature, prop or shop display. 41” long 20 wide.Photos available £270 01460 55105 A very large industrial storage bin, very well made and strong with wooden top rails and riveted corners. Many uses as clean inside and has grab handles for easy moving. A piece of industrial chic. 20” wide 41 long and 34 high. Enquire about local delivery Photo available £50 0146055105 Sheet metal Guillotine Bench mounted, Hand lever 4half inch blade East lambrook. £25 01460 242071

Mob. 07834 550899 Massey Ferguson Hydraulic Lift (3 point Linkage) Original Trailer Hitch used with Tee Bar East lambrook. £160 01460 242071 Mob. 07834 550899 Finger cutter Bar Blades & Rivots 22 New (McConnel 7 BT/BS) 8 Used good cond. East lambrook. £15 01560 242071 Mob. 07834 550899 Jersey stamp booklets and prestige stamp books (1969-2010). All in mints condition, in album. Real price approximately £380 £285 Ono. Jersey definitive stamps (1969-2007) all in mint condition. Also jersey postage dues all in mint condition in album


86 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

(1969-1982) to include all bulletins with inserts. Real price approximately £360 £265 Ono 01305 820878 Coleman Ram X Gold Medalist16 Open Canadian Canoe 3 Paddles £320 ovno 0775 2857434 Collins & Hayes “Fergus” Dark Tan Hide Leather Sofa. Large 2-seater 81” long. Guardsman Treated. £225.00. Laura Ashley “Patricia” Overmantel Mirror in Soft Silver. Large Size. £125.00. Modern, Dark Wood Five Drawer Tall Chest of Drawers. Drawer needs attention. Two Drawer Matching Bedside Chests. One needs attention. £30.00. All due to house move, buyer collects. Telephone: 01305 264659


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

May 20

Wanted: AERO seed fiddle please contact richard.toft@btinternet. com, 01308 424103 or 07740 985906

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

POSITION WANTED Experienced Mature lady with small dog seeks work with accommodation caring/ housework. Qualified HCA excellent refs Sara 07592396941 Experienced, passionate cook available Axminster area. Part-time week days, one off batch cooking or drop off. Excellent references. Please give me (Juliet) a call 07553055787

Postage stamps. Private collector requires 19th and early 20th century British. Payment to you or donation to your nominated charity. 01460 240630. Old sewing machines, typewriters, gramophones, phonographs, records, music boxes, radios. 0777 410 3139. www.

May 20

Dave buys all types of tools 01935 428975 Jul 20

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

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

May 20

CD Player. Marantz CD63 Mark II (KI signature). Good condition. Can Denby casserole with lid: demonstrate. £75. 01395 “Serenade” good condition. 576644 £10 Cerne Valley Forge Briggs and Stratton 46SD firebasket £80 71 cm x 48 4 stroke engine for self cms x 40 cm high. Cerne drive mower in working Valley Forge fireguard £30. order. £25. Tel 01460 64607 Old Colonial china: Large Qualcast lawnmower cake plates x 2, tea plates, Classic 30 electric £35, cups and saucers, eggcups Qualcast scarifier quickx 2 sets. £25 total. Poole change cassette for same Pottery vases. 1950’s floral mower £20. Both in full design. 23 cm height £25. working order and good 12 cm height £15. Box condition. 01404 871691 Brownie camera: Six 20 Kenwood Chef Major Model D £10. Sailing mixer KM250 - 600W smock: 25th anniversary motor, silver, vgc Large S/S of S.T.S. Sir Winston bowl, glass 1.2L liquidiser Churchill. Navy blue with jug, whisk, K beater, dough red embroidery. Large. £15. hook. £150. 01297 631307 01300 321396 or 07984 Golf clubs for sale. Cobra 547980 driver. Benross fairway

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

Jun 20

Secondhand tools wanted. All trades. Users & Antiques. G & E C Dawson. 01297 23826. www.secondhandtools. Oct 20

CURTAINS Little Curtains. Handmade Curtains, Blinds and Cushions. Contact 07443 516141 or 01308 485325 Jun 21

woods 3, 5, & 7. Taylormade fairway woods 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 Callaway Big Bertha irons SW, PW, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5. Odyssey Crimson Putter Fazer Texas Wedge/Chipper Trolley bag. Illness causes sale. £90.00 the lot. Not to be sold individually. Tel. 01460 30909 Stripped pine antique Victorian fire surround. £250 Antique bookcase three shelves.£75 Clarks shoes worn once. Size 5 maroon colour £10 Four long curtains cream and blue design. Good for French doors £30 per pair. Green curtains £15. Details and photos from 07969372076 Qubo Elite bicycle trainer with road wheel. Roller pressure on tyre and resistance adjust automatic. Bluetooth compatible. Cost over £200 Call 01305 570508. £55. Ladies Cotton Trader Maxi dress. Jersey shirt dress

size 16 misty rose colour. Impulse buy - brand new was £30 will accept £10. 01404 850157 Debenhams De’but black round neck lined lace dress with front beading with cap lace sleeves. Size 18 impulse buy - brand new. Will accept £20. 01404 850157 Early 20th century dressing table. Some marks on top surface. Excellent mirror. Needs new handles. £10.00. Buyer collects. Details 01308 482882 Bricks - Edenhall Howlite Grey facing bricks, 160 available. Size 215x100x65mm. From Crewkerne. Call 07497 477817. £80 Two seater, leather type, cream coloured settee. Good condition. £60.00. Tel. 07495888794 (Nr. Bridport) Sofabed. Single. Grey leather. DFS, as new,145x100 folded.£350

Photos available 07837452637 HSL Penrith Dual Riser/ Recliner chair in wine boucle. New September 2019, hardly used. Cost £1700 new. Will accept £990. Buyer to collect please. 01308 868717. Cast iron bath in good condition for age(1954!) with ball and claw feet, painted outside. With shower mixer tap. £10. Edwardian style wash basin and pedestal. Period taps. £25. Thorncombe. Photos. 07973 327 077 Vintage wooden ladders. Ideal for intended use or display, various sizes. From £20. Photos and measurements available. 01460 55105 Lovely book of Hampshire 1st edition 1909 coloured illustratios b Wilfred Ball RE. Described by Revered Telford Varley. £180. 01297 560707.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 87

Shower-screen. New. Pivot 700 Merlin. 1900mmx670-720. £190. White wash-basin/ pedestal, 450mm. New. £60. Can supply photo. Dorchester, 07398760637 Jersey stamp booklets and prestige stamp books (1969-2010). All in mints condition, in album. Real price approximately £380 £285 Ono, 01305 820878 Jersey definitive stamps (1969-2007) all in mint condition. Also jersey postage dues all in mint condition in album (1969-1982) to include all bulletins with inserts. Real price approximately £360 £265 Ono 01305 820878 Solid Teak wood nest of tables. 1. 22.5wx18dx18.5 inches. 2. 20wx18dx16h inches very good condition £10. 01404 850157 Cane Oval coffee table 29wx17dx19h inches very good condition £5 01404 850157 Portapuzzle board 32wx22d inches very good condition £5. 01404 850157 Panda picture jigsaw puzzle complete 1000

Monthly Quiz –

pieces £2. 01404 850157 Ideal wildlife pond, circular, fibreglass, 5 foot diameter, 2 foot deep with plant ledges. VGC. £125 (As new £300 plus). 01460 242254 Beko washing machine, very little used, no longer needed. Will accept £60. + 2 kitchen stalls, modern £12.50 the 2. 01308 861474. Mira Advance electric shower, little use as new, £50. 01460 54104. Portable typewriter & carry case. VGC £10. 3 tapestry kits with wool; 1 wool embroidery kit; 2 embroidery hoops some silks; 1 embroidery kit silks hoop. Reason for sale, eyesight not good enough. £20. 01305 266726. KITT1637 Planer, thicknesser 12” x 8”, dust collect system, very little used. £575. 01305 785587. Extending dark wood dining table and five chairs. £30ono. 01935 425181. Nest 3 tables black gloss, largest h18” w 13” l.20”. £85. Husky Slimline 12 bottle wine cooler £70.

01297 552420. Campingaz Camp ‘Bistro 2’ compact hob in plastic carry cae. Bought Nov 19. Unused. Also 8 Gaz cartridges. £15 the lot. 01305 250281. Shooting stick seat alloy leather handles. £45. Beach caster fishing rod & bag & reel £40. Cellotape dispenser c/w 3 inch reel £10. Canon typewriter word processer £50. 01297 680560. David Shepherd signed print ‘Savuti Sands’ £60, Ladies ‘Hawkhead’ walking boots, size 4 £15. Men’s casual jacket, size 40/42, rusty/red £25. Men’s sports jack size 40/42, Lovat green handwoven £25. 01460 68483. Villeroy & Boch ‘Melina’ 13 cups and saucers, dishwasher safe, excellent condition. £40. 07970 889217. Stressless recliner chair/ footstool, electrically operated, Grey leather, 3 years old. £650.00. Ono. 01460.221612 6 wrought iron plant pot stands, all different from £10 - £28 Photos

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 Chickerell. The winner was Mrs Smith from Yeovil.

88 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 Tel. 01308 423031

FREE ADS for items under £1,000 Classified advertising in The Marshwood Vale Magazine is normally 95 pence per word in a box. This FREE ADS FORM is for articles for sale, where the sale price is under £1000 (Private advertisers only — no trade, motor, animals, firearms etc). Just fill in the form and send it to the Marshwood Vale Magazine, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX. or email to 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

FOR SALE available. 01460 55105 Brass jardiniere plant pot holder. 10” across 11 high. £35 Photo. 01460 55105 Vintage cast iron rain hoppers A rare corner one £35, 2 rectangular

and an unusual shaped one various prices. Photos 01460 55105 Brand new Stihl 30” hedge trimmer £350 ono Tel 07721 530520. Dorset


Name ............................................................. Telephone number ................................. Address ................................................................................................................................ Town .......................................... County....................... Postcode ..................................

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine July 2020 89

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