Marshwood+ April 2024

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© Dr Paul Davis Photograph by Robin Mills Linking Environment, Culture and the Arts — No. 301 Apil 2024 + Marsh wo o d Rebecca Lenkiewicz on film Page 44 THE FREE COMMUNITY Magazine Johnny not so Rotten Page 40 A tale of witchcraft Page 57



Welcome to Marshwood+ our digital magazine.

For 2024 we are embarking on a process of renovating and rebuilding the Marshwood Vale Magazine. And over the next few months we will also be canvassing readers and advertisers to see exactly how much and what you want from your community magazine. In the meantime, 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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Look out for the EZee Read links on feature articles and recipes

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MOST importantly: Support our advertisers. Without them we would not exist.

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We are Crowdfunding!

If you want more Marshwood Vale Magazine then please help us to continue our contribution to the local community

AFTER MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS, and now 301 issues of The Marshwood Vale Magazine, we need your help to carry on.

While the current production team work on a voluntary basis, it isn’t fair to expect a new employee to work without payment.

So, we have launched a Crowdfunding campaign to raise money to employ someone to make The Marshwood Vale Magazine sustainable for the future.

It doesn’t make sense to ask our community to help support us, unless we use that support to find a way to make this community resource strong in it’s own right.

Over the last twenty-two years of publishing this monthly community magazine, we have launched and run initiatives that included local food awards, writing awards, photographic awards, community awards and of course the hugely popular ‘Marshwood Arts Awards.’

In lockdown we managed to keep the publication going when it was impossible to distribute and most of our advertisers had been forced to temporarily close their doors.

During those harrowing months for everyone we produced two issues a month in an attempt to keep our readers and local residents aware of what was happening with all of their favourite clubs, venues and businesses.

Our focus has always been set on highlighting all that is special about our wider local community; publishing features about the people, places and events that make our lives more fulfilled.

But now, as we move into a world where communication

and relationships within our community are more important than ever, we want to find someone to help develop and sustain our new hybrid Marshwood.

We will now be publishing the magazine in print four times a year and we will be publishing our online magazine Marshwood+ every month.

‘We will continue linking environment, culture and the arts within our wider local community’

Each issue, online and in print, will still be full of all the usual selection of local profiles, events, gardening, property, local food, arts and entertainment, and most importantly, we will be highlighting initiatives that support sustainability in our local environment. We will continue linking environment, culture and the arts within our wider local community.

However, we need your help to ensure that that sustainability applies to us as well.

You could either be that person we are looking for, or you could help us by donating to our Crowdfunder so we can find the right person.

Simply visit the website address below or scan the adjacent QR code to take you directly there. Either way, please be sure to know that every donation makes a difference to your community. Visit: marshwood-vale-magazine.

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It’s hard to pick highlights from this particular issue when there is so much going on in our local community. On page 40 we meet with John Lydon—aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols—who will be speaking at The Guildhall in Axminster in May. My conversation with John highlighted for me how easy it is to forget the human being that resides inside celebrity personas. We often come away with a skewed opinion of someone when they have been heavily manipulated to help sell newspapers. We also feature an interview with Rebecca Lenkiewicz on page 44. An Oscar and BAFTA winning screenwriter who has curated the hugely popular From Page to Screen film festival, Rebecca’s choice of films is both fascinating and far reaching. And staying with film on page 10, how we look after our soil for future generations of farmers is the subject of Six Inches of Soil, currently showing in small venues around the country. It follows the first year of three different farming initiatives that look after soil in a way that helps to make it sustainable for future harvests. Maintaining soil is no different to maintaining anything that we need to pass on to future generations. If we didn’t look after our homes, where would our grandchildren live? However, the film points out the challenges of not using excessive chemicals to produce food. Adrienne Gordon, a Cambridgeshire small-scale vegetable farmer works for no salary for her first year, hoping that after that initial investment, she will be able to live off her vegetable business. I don’t think I’m publishing a spoiler by pointing out how hard that is. Market gardening on a small scale is very difficult to make profitable and therefore something that needs support whenever possible. In the same way, running a community resource like this magazine faces similar problems. So thank you to those that have contributed to our Crowdfunder. If you’d like to help or learn more, please click on THIS LINK.

5 Cover Story By Robin Mills 10 Six Inches of Soil By Fergus Byrne 14 Axminster profile 16 Event News 29 News & Views 30 Nature Studies By Michael McCarthy 32 House & Garden 32 Vegetables in April By Ashley Wheeler 34 April in the Garden By Russell Jordan 36 Property of the Month 38 Food & Dining 38 Asparagus and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad By Mark Hix 40 Arts & Entertainment 40 Johnny not so Rotten By Fergus Byrne 44 Classic, Moving, Punk, Vibrant! By Fergus Byrne 48 Galleries 50 Marc Yeats By Fergus Byrne 58 Sneak Peek 60 Preview By Gay Pirrie Weir 66 Screen Time By Nic Jeune 67 Young Lit Fix By Nicky Mathewson 69 Services & Classified Instagram marshwoodvalemagazine Like us on Facebook
Published Monthly and distributed by Marshwood Vale Ltd Lower Atrim, Bridport Dorset DT6 5PX For all Enquiries Tel: 01308 423031 info@marshwoodvale. com 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. Editorial Director Fergus Byrne Mark Hix Nic Jeune Russell Jordan Michael McCarthy Nicky Mathewson Advertising Fergus Byrne Design People Magazines Ltd Deputy Editor Victoria Byrne Contributors Robin Mills Gay Pirrie Weir Dr Sam Rose Ashley Wheeler WE ARE CROWDFUNDING! Join us on our journey toward sustainability. To learn more, scan the code above or visit: THIS MONTH in your Marshwood Vale Magazine 4 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

Robin Mills met Dr Paul Davis in Lyme Regis

My interest in fossils began on holiday in Mid Wales, when my family lived in a little village near Tamworth, Staffs. In WH Smiths in Aberystwyth, I bought a book on dinosaurs and was absolutely fascinated. I was about 5 years old, and until that point I had been determined to become a medical doctor. Ours had been a mining village and my dad was the first in our family not to go down the pit. I was brought up in nature, my mum encouraging me to notice and appreciate all forms of wildlife. She had some fossils that my granddad had found when he worked at a brick works after the pit had closed, which interested me. I would wander off, aged 5, as you did in those days, to a nearby building site thinking I might find some fossils in the clay soil, in which I promptly got stuck, losing my wellies. My parents then began to see that this obsession wasn’t going to go away, so they asked me what I’d like for my birthday. The choice was a party, or to go fossil hunting. That was easy—fossil hunting please. Where would you like to go? Lyme Regis. Even back then, I knew it was the Mecca of fossils. My

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© Dr Paul Davis Photograph by Robin Mills

Dr Paul Davis

parents were delighted not to have a horde of 6-yearolds rubbing jelly and ice-cream into the furnishings, and they’d get to go on holiday. I think that was 1975, and every holiday after that involved fossiling.

I was lucky to possess a brain which found academic learning fairly easy, so after A levels I went to university to study geology. I picked Exeter because it was near Lyme and Charmouth, then did a PhD at Bristol, for the same reason, in the fossilisation processes of pterosaurs, the flying reptiles and birds. I then got a post-doc opportunity in Japan with a former colleague from Bristol, who was Japanese. We worked at the National Science Museum in Tokyo, where I lived for a year. In my working life I’m lucky to have worked in every continent except Antarctica, digging up dinosaurs and other amazing creatures in remote places all around the world. I’ve been collecting fossils for over 50 years, and as well as the UK and Japan I’ve worked in universities and museums in the USA. I also edited a volume for the Paleontological Association called Fossils from the Lower Lias of the Dorset Coast as well as writing other books on fossils.

Perhaps my most memorable find was at the end of my first year at Exeter, aged 19. I was due to go home, and my dad had driven down to collect me. He suggested we do a bit of fossiling on the way home. We went out past Monmouth Beach towards Pinhay Bay, and at the bottom of the cliffs I saw a skull. That was the first time my dad had heard me properly swear. It was a particularly nice specimen of an Ichthyosaurus conybeari , a complete skeleton 5ft 2in long, only missing the very tips of the nose and tail, which we dug out. It was March 1988, and it must have been recently exposed by a storm. That was the most memorable find for me, but there have been many other exciting ones, including an Iguanadon which I helped my friend Geoff, an amateur collector, dig out, finding and excavating the oldest known stegosaur in a quarry near Oxford, and fossil plants in the jungles of Belize. Of all these amazing expeditions and excavations, the ichthyosaur was the most special because I found it with my dad, and I still have a replica hanging on my wall in my lounge.

After I came back from Japan, finding a job wasn’t easy. I had experience of the curation and conservation of fossil collections, which got me a job looking after the

geology collections in Surrey. From there I got a job at the Natural History Museum as a curator, and within 2 years I was running the collections across all disciplines, not just fossils, as Registrar. That was an amazing job, at a museum which possibly holds the world’s best collections of pretty much everything, from beetles to meteorites. I was there for 12 years and had always told myself that the day I felt it was no longer the best job in the world would be the day I had to leave. And one day that happened; I was no longer dealing with the objects hands on, which was maybe an inevitable part of progress up the career ladder, but it no longer inspired me.

After I left the Natural History Museum, I started my own fly-fishing company. I was particularly interested in fly tying; I was tying flies for people, demonstrating fly tying, and went all over the world judging fly tying competitions. It was a completely on-line business called the Fly Tying Shop, which I ran for 10 or 12 years, but eventually it didn’t involve enough of my time, so I was getting a bit bored, and annoying my wife because I was at home too much. She said I needed to do something worthwhile, and told me I could be a fantastic teacher, so why not do that? So, I retrained, in my 50s, and passed my qualifications. Even though I was an experienced lecturer it was without doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done—hats off to every single teacher. Teacher training was harder than doing a PhD and becoming a world expert in a subject. Managing 350 people in a major museum compared to managing 30 people in a classroom, full of hormones and not really interested in what you have to say, is a doddle. I then taught in a comprehensive, in a sixth form college, then at a college teaching adults, who wanted to go to university later in life, teaching access courses which basically get you university ready in one year. That was really rewarding. I had always had links to Lyme and Charmouth; I had been an honorary patron of the Charmouth Heritage Centre for 20+ years and was involved with setting up the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, now a major event in Lyme, which has been going for nearly 20 years. This year’s festival will be on the 8th and 9th of June, and will feature guided walks, exhibitions, talks, creative workshops, and much more for all ages and for free. Ironically, when I lived in Surrey if I walked up the

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street, I’d see a couple of people I knew. Here, it can take me a couple of hours to walk through Lyme if I stop and chat to everyone I know. Lyme was always my spiritual home. I was regularly coming here to collect in the winter—which worked well with the fishing, which is a summer activity. The previous curator at Lyme Museum, Paddy Howe, was moving to Ireland, and asked me if I might be interested in taking over what was his job, which was for one day a week. I was working part time in the college, and I thought I could make that work. I would condense the one day per week into 4 days every 3 weeks, to reduce the travelling, and staying with friends. After a few months, the museum said they needed me 3 days a week, so I thought I would make this my “pretirement” job, as Curator of Geology, and we moved down here 3 years ago just after Covid and the lockdowns. I don’t think I’ll ever completely retire from it. I’ll go with my boots on. I am incredibly fortunate

that my passions have been my employment. It’s often said if you’re doing what you love, you’re not really working.

I used to do a lot of fossil walks for the museum, but now we’re taking about 3-4,000 people a year, that means we’ve had to take on more people to lead them. There’s no such thing as a typical day for me. Today for instance, I’ve been emailing invitations to a book signing event at the Fossil Festival, being interviewed, labelling some specimens, reviewing a book about Mary Anning, reading a paper on preserving ammonites, acquiring specimens for an exhibition, etc, etc. I don’t sit around surrounded by piles of dusty rock, with a ledger and a quill pen. Although, there is a little of that, but it’s great that every day is full of a diversity of interesting activities, and when on the beach I have the best ‘office’ in the world; the ‘roof’ leaks and it is draughty, but the views are fantastic! ’

© Dr Paul Davis Photograph by Robin Mills
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10 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

A new feature length film highlights the value of farming practises that pay heed to the importance of regenerating our soil.

“We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot” Leonardo Da Vinci

Many of us who grew up in the countryside will remember the experience of finding worms in the garden or fields. If, like me, you went to the local river to fish for trout, you will have dug in the garden to find worms for bait. In my memory they were plentiful, and like a lot of little boys I found them fascinating. But I now know how little I understood about the soil they came from; what they did, or the real value of their environmental role. As a little boy catching trout I knew nothing of how these creatures helped to manage our soil and create an abundance of food, while at the same time keeping the ground healthy and allowing excess water to percolate through the soil, rather than sit above it contributing to a soggy mess.

Film producer Claire Mackenzie and director Colin Ramsay have released a film, Six Inches of Soil, which is doing a series of screenings at small venues around the country. It recently sold out for a screening at the Chapel in the Garden in Bridport. In an earlier film made by the same pair, featuring five Cambridgeshire farmers, farmer David White shows viewers the value that conservation agriculture has had on his life and his farmland. He shows the ‘staggering’ amount of worms in his now healthy soil and calls his worms his ‘workforce’ saying that they work for him ‘24 hours a day 7 days a week’. They work to restructure the soil, which he says means he doesn’t need a huge tractor and lots of cultivation equipment. The worms create an environment that allows root structures to thrive. He says his soil hasn’t been disturbed by more that an inch to an inch and a half in five to six years, allowing it to stay healthy. With the annual cost of soil degradation in England and Wales estimated to be in the region of £1.2bn, what David White calls his ‘conservation, no till farming style of farming’ is showing benefits that are starting to be appreciated nationally and internationally.

In Six Inches of Soil, activist and founder of the Schumacher College international center for ecological studies, Satish Kumar, says he sees soil ‘as a miracle.’ Six inches of soil he says ‘feeds eight billion people’.

The film tells the story of three people in the first year of their regenerative farming journey in 2022. Although there are many definitions of ‘Regenerative Farming’, in it’s simplest form it can be described as a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. The Wikipedia definition describes it as focusing on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, increasing resilience to climate change and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil.

The three farmers embarking on their journey into a regenerative style of farming include Anna Jackson at Pink Pig Farm in North Lincolnshire who grew up on a farm. However, at the suggestion of her father Andrew who told her there was no money in farming, she went away to become a freelance sports photographer. Now back on the farm, working with her father, she describes her sheep as her ‘fertilizer machines’, explaining that the sheep put natural fertilizer onto the fields instead of chemicals. She hopes it will build natural biology back into the soil.

Adrienne Gordon at Sweet Pea Marget Garden in Cambridgeshire had no background or experience of farming but wanted to start a market garden to grow fruit and vegetables to hep feed her local community. Her

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efforts bring a smaller scale business to the story where she sees her products as attracting a niche market. She describes her venture as the realization of all her dreams.

At Treveddoe Farm in Cornwall, Ben Thomas, the third person featured in Six Inches of Soil looks after two herds of belted Galloways. He had never doubted that he would do anything else. He says he was ‘obsessed’ with cattle as a child. His goal at Trevedoe is to produce the best beef as ethically as possible and to regenerate the soil on the farm that he rents.

Six Inches of Soil makes a point that has been made by many people in many formats over recent years but it is a point that we need to keep making until more people are able to change their farming strategies.

It’s not an easy solution. Farming, whether traditional, regenerative or organic is not an easy way to make a living. Farmers spend many solitary hours in fields and sheds across the country, battling as much with unpredictable weather conditions as with rules, regulations and the pressure to make a living— while at the same time being pressed by advice from many directions, including from those with their own financial agendas. What many people outside the industry see as damaging traditional practices aren’t always the farmer’s choice. Every real countryman or woman will look after their land if they possibly can.

However, following the efforts of these three different farming initiatives, Six Inches of Soil brings home the importance to all of us of what direction farmers and smallholders take when planning the future of how they will farm their land.

Setting the scene using an animated sequence to describe the history and development of farming, actor David Morrissey voices a fascinating introduction to where we are today. He points out that ‘It takes thousands of years to transform rocks, water and dying plants into biologically active soil— it’s fertility, however, can be lost in mere decades.’

The sequence goes on to explain how American agronomist Norman Borlaug created new breed’s of high yielding cereal crops that transformed farming. Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and government

subsidies increased yields, and although for a time farmers became heroes—helping to feed an ever growing global population—the processes came with huge hidden costs. Heavy machinery replaced people and a hunger for cheap meat and dairy intensified livestock production, pouring effluents and chemicals into our streams and rivers. Ploughing by enormous tractors degraded and compacted soil which eroded and washed away into our rivers and seas. These practices became widespread and as a result Britain is seen as one of the most ‘nature depleted’ countries on earth.

However, the joy of Six Inches of Soil is not it’s purveyance of doom and gloom, it is the fact that it’s focus is on a way forward. The three farmers featured in the film are looking at regenerative agricultural practices. ‘Regenerative agriculture is a suite of farming practices that rebuild soil, organic matter and restore biodiversity’ says the voiceover. ‘This is part of a growing movement of agro ecological farmers and food producers who are rejecting the industrial model. Choosing to work with nature, not against it.’ The sequence ends with the words. ‘Now is the time to reimagine our relationship with the soil, to recognize how it feeds us, protects us and sustains us. We need to hold the living soil in our hands and feel the earth beneath our feet once more.’

What is best for us or our planet doesn’t necessarily motivate everyone.

That might be where you would expect the film to end, but it’s just getting started. Our introduction to, and emotional interaction with the main characters personalizes what might have become a well worn trope. Andrew and Anna Jackson’s father and daughter banter, Adrienne Gordon’s determination and occasional bewilderment, and Ben Thomas and his partner Claudi’s efforts take us on a journey that shows both the difficulties and the benefits of regenerative farming.

The film is also liberally scattered with comment from a range of experts including British activist and speaker Satish Kumar; Co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain, Henry Dimbleby; Professor Emeritus of Food Policy at City University of London, Tim Lang and Hannah Jones, farm carbon and soils adviser with the Farm Carbon Toolkit. There are many more voices also that offer observation and advice.

Regenerative farming practices are crucial for preserving soil health, addressing climate change, and promoting biodiversity. Speakers highlighted the significance of quantifying organic matter levels in soil, using no-till drills, and understanding the history of a farm and its ecosystem.

Anna Jackson, Adrienne Gordon and Ben Thomas
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However, as we have all learned, what is best for us or our planet doesn’t necessarily motivate everyone. Satish Kumar says: ‘We have come to believe that money is more important than soil, and money is made by industry, by manufactured goods. So we are prepared to pay lots of money for cars, computers, houses, airplanes, everything else—but food must be cheap. That idea has to change.’

Standing in the family farm’s grain store Anna Jackson points to the 200 tonnes of ‘Regen’ wheat they have harvested. She is proud that they have used half the amount of chemicals to achieve the yield and that every year they are reducing their chemical inputs. ‘It just makes me feel wholesome’ she says. She finds it hard to describe the ‘full amount of happiness that farming in an environmentally friendly way’ brings her. ‘It just makes sense to me, like I just feel like everybody should be doing it. I don’t understand why everybody’s not.’

With perhaps one of the most powerful and poignant comments in the film she says: ‘Dad started Regen farming—not for him, he did it for me. Like he did it for the future generations to come. And that was the most selfless act he could have done on this farm. And I’m now carrying on that tradition

and we’re getting greener and greener every year, for generations to come.’

Regen farming is unlikely to be the only way that all farming will progress in the immediate future. But those that follow it’s practices now will be attempting to lay the groundwork for future generations of farmers and also for those that realize the true value of the earth we walk on.

To arrange a screening or to learn more about Six Inches of Soil visit:

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British activist Satish Kumar

‘We all simply love living here’

Axminster, the town that provides carpets to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle is hosting big names these days, and it has plenty to offer.

As the gateway to the stunning East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Axminster is surrounded by picturesque countryside, rolling hills, and beautiful coastline. However, it is a town that many people might not

know exists. Inevitably there are those that would like to keep things that way, but after a chat with local residents and a look at some of the events that have been put on and that are coming up in the Axminster Guildhall, it’s fair to say that Axminster is not a town that is shying away from keeping itself and its visitors entertained.

The town has a rich history and a close-knit community and is renowned for its traditional craft of Axminster Carpets, which have been produced since the 18th century and can still be seen in historic buildings and homes. It also has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, with a range of amenities, restaurants, and cafes.

A recent addition is the excellent ‘What’s In Axminster’ website ( a community project that ‘aims to capture Axminster’s spirit and charm for the benefit of its locals and those who want to visit.’

‘This year acts include John Lydon, Gail Porter, Shaun Ryder and Aled Jones.’

Talking to Leigh Conley, the new manager at Axminster Guildhall, it’s hard not to feel the sense of enthusiasm he has for his job. Involved with the Axminster Drama Group, Leigh always found it sad that the doors to the Guildhall were often closed. When the opportunity came to apply for the job as manager, his first request was that he wanted the doors to ‘always be open’. ‘Always’ might be a bit of a tough call but the current programme of events, along with community initiatives, classes and gatherings has brought a new lease of life to the hall, and to town and surrounding area. In this issue we feature an interview with the legendary punk rocker John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, who is coming to talk at the Guildhall in May. At 68 years old Johnny has a wealth of interesting stories and up close he seems to be much more than the character painted by the media in the late seventies.

Attracting big names to the Guildhall was always part of the plan for Leigh. He cites the first as

Axminster Profile
Axminster Railway Station St Mary’s Church, Axminster Gail Porter coming to Axminster Guildhall in September
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comedian Omid Djalili followed by Status Quo’s Francis Rossi. This year, acts include John Lydon, Gail Porter, Shaun Ryder and Aled Jones, as well as a wealth of tribute acts, wrestling, talks, drag shows and even a beer festival in October.

‘The town has a real sense of community and a willingness to support local businesses. Our customers treat us as friends. It’s just that sort of town.’

Leigh put together his five year plan for the Guildhall when he started at the end of 2021 and has managed to complete that plan in two years. ‘When I started’ he says ‘we had about two to three acts a year plus the Am Dram shows. This year we have about sixty to seventy.’ Plans are also afoot for a cinema and the adaptation of a room upstairs for smaller theatre projects.

Formerly in retail and more recently working locally as a teaching assistant, Leigh says that the success of the Guildhall to date must give credit to the volunteers who have worked alongside him. He also speaks highly of Axminster itself, describing it as a ‘really great town.’ He highlight how everyone that works in the town and volunteers around the town ‘just want it to be as great as it can be.’

Leighs comments echo those of Jenny Frances who recently wrote to highlight some of the many exciting things going on in the town. ‘Light Up Axminster’ for example, she says, was ‘initially created to fund the town’s Christmas lights.’ She describes it as ‘another incredible initiative’ that has gone on to offer numerous town events, including the 8-day festival “The Cherry Fayre” as well as countless health and wellbeing initiatives. ‘All of this is thanks to the community of Axminster and the strength formed when the town comes together.’

Jenny quotes Simon Holmes, owner of Archway Books who said: ‘We love running a business in Axminster. While the town faces the same economic challenges as most of its size, it’s been a good place for us over the last four years. During that time we have invested in moving to a prime location and it is certainly paying off in terms of growth.’

Another comment from a local businessperson which Jenny felt summed the town up perfectly was: ‘The town has a real sense of community and a willingness to support local businesses. Our customers treat us as friends. It’s just that sort of town.’

The overriding impression that Jenny received when talking to locals about the town was summed up in one simple sentence: ‘We all simply love living here.’

To keep in touch with all that Axminster has to offer visit:

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Friday, 29 March - 1 April

Forde Abbey Easter Trail. Bring the little ones and come along to Forde Abbey’s exciting Easter trail starting from the 29th of March to 1st April from 10:30am to 4:00pm. The usual entry fees apply to all Adults and Children and an additional fee for children who would like to take part in the trail. Gift Shop, Coffee Shop and Specialist Nursery is also open for the Easter Weekend,

Saturday, 30 March

‘Bob Marley – One Love’ (12A) Picnic Night screening

- Gateway Theatre, Seaton 7.30pm, doors 6.30pm, tickets

Adults £7.50, Under 16s £6.50. ‘Bob Marley – One Love’ celebrates the life and music of an icon who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

Cattistock Point-to-Point at Chilfrome (signed off A356). An afternoon of Pony races and Steeplechase races. Local food, Bar, Bookies, Stalls and Children’s entertainment. Further information: or njatknson10@

An evening of Music and Words, The Bartholomew Quartet and other well-known local musicians and writers performing a varied programme, 7pm for 7.30pm, The Mariners` Hall, Fore Street Beer, EX12 3JB. Tickets 10 pounds per adult (accompanied under-16s free). Contact Martin Cox

Sunday, 31 March

The Royal Opera – Madama Butterfly (12A) screening - Gateway Theatre, Seaton, - 2pm doors 1.30pm, tickets

Adults £15.Under 16s £8. When the young geisha, CioCio-San, marries American Naval Officer Pinkerton, she believes she is entering a real, binding marriage for life. Forsaking her religion and community, she learns all too late that for Pinkerton, their marriage is merely an illusion – with tragic consequences. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

Easter Sunday Lunch at the Alexandra – enjoy a traditional Sunday Roast and celebrate with us the joys of spring! Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis 01297 442010 Divine Union Soundbath 2pm-4pm Oborne Village Hall, Oborne, nr. Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4LA Quieten the mind calm the emotions relax and detoxify the body. £15 Please book in advance 01935 389655

Monday, April 1

As a special Easter treat, Hawkchurch Film Nights, in association with Moviola, proudly presents a family-friendly afternoon matinee screening of ‘Wonka’ (cert PG, 116 mins). From the people who brought you ‘Paddington’, this prequel to the Roald Dahl classic stars Timothee Chalamet as Willy Wonka, whose dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate rub up against a cartel of greedy chocolatiers. A delightful musical fantasy, some of it filmed locally, featuring a host of familiar faces such as Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant and Sally Hawkins. Doors open 2.30pm, film starts 3.00pm at Hawkchurch Village Hall, EX13 5XD. Adult ticket reservations £5.50 from csma95@ or leave a message on 01297 678176 (sorry, no socially-distanced seating is available for this performance); tickets also available for £5.50 from Hawkchurch Community Shop or £6.00 on the door (cash only). Under 16s tickets £4.00. Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult. Subtitles for the hard-of-hearing provided. Homemade cake and other chocolate-y delights available.

Tuesday, 2 April

Scottish Country Dancing at Horton village hall TA19 9QR every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm with tea / coffee break. £3.00 pay on the door. Every one is welcome whether you are new to dance , an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, you will be assured of a very warm welcome. For more information email Anita at phone 01460 929383 and check out our web site at

Churchingford Folk Dance Group meet at the Village Hall ( TA3 7QY) every Tuesday evening from 1930 to 2100 hrs. The dancing is to recorded music and the caller introduces dances from a variety of different genres. There is a tea break with refreshments halfway through. The cost is £2.00 per evening and if so minded, you can walk to the local pub for a drink afterwards! Contact is Neil Arnold (01460 234693). Also 9, 16, 23, 30 April.

Wednesday, 3 April

Bridport Scottish Dancers will meet on at Church House, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NN. Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start. Cost: £3.00 which includes tea/coffee and soft drinks + biscuits. Newcomers first evening is free. All welcome, no partner required but please wear soft shoes. Instruction on footwork and formations given when necessary in the first half of the evening + simpler dances. After the break at 8.30 we attempt some more challenging dances for our regular members. Contact: Malcolm on 07790 323343.

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Check out bridportscottishdancers for more information.

Thursday, 4 April

National Theatre Live – ‘The Motive and the Cue’ (15) screening - Gateway Theatre, Seaton – 7pm, doors, 6.30pm, tickets Adults £15, Under 16s £8. Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy) directs Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this fierce and funny new play. Tickets from 01297 625699, www.thegatewayseaton. or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

Thursday, 4 April

Colyton Town History Walks 2pm at Colyton Dolphin Car Park - Guided walk approximately one hour. Cost £5, children under 16 free. No booking required. All weathers. Group Bookings by arrangement - Contact 01297 552514, 01297 33406. Also Thursday 11 April Thursday 18 April

Thursday 25 April.

Les Gardiennes (The Guardians)(2017, France, 15, S/ titles, 130 mins, Director: Xavier Beauvois). Frenchwomen maintain a farm while their husbands and sons fight in World War I. The film is set on a farm in the Limousin region of central France during, and just after, the First World War. With her two sons Georges and Constant, and son-in-law, Clovis, serving in the army, Hortense Sandrail employs Francine Riant, a young woman brought up in an orphanage to help on the farm. Her daughter Solange also lives on the farm, but she mainly works in the house. Doors 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm start. Clapton & Wayford Village Hall (TA18 8PS).). Membership £25, guests £5 per film. For more details, contact or ring Mick Wilson on 01460 74849 or Di Crawley on 01460 30508.

Raclette Evening at the Alex We are collaborating with the lovely team from Dorset’s ‘Raclette Kitchen’ to bring you a fun evening of relaxed eating and enjoyment. If you love cheese this is for you! Think melted cheese, wonderful Somerset charcuterie and more! £29 per person Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis 01297 442010

Friday, 5 April

‘’Have You Had It Long Madam’’ My Life With The Antiques Roadshow, followed by a Q & A session with Paul Atterbury (Writer, Historian and star of the BBCs Antiques Roadshow). 7 - 9PM Tickets: £12 (Refreshments Included)

Booking Required - 07464 975195 (Zoe) or

Rosie Jones : Triple Threat - 20:00 (14+)

Join Rosie as she ponders whether she is a national treasure, a little prick, or somewhere in between! This show is guaranteed to be full of

unapologetic cheekiness, nonsensical fun and unadulterated JOY from the triple threat herself. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £16.50. Book online uk

Easter Bingo - South Perrott Village Hall. Doors open 6pm, Eyes down 6.30pm. Fabulous prizes and raffle. Contact Ann 01935 891224.

Friday, 5 - 7 April

Sherborne Travel Writing Festival Curated by Rory MacLean Venture from Bodmin to Beijing, the Amazon to the Arctic and across the ages from Caesar’s Gaul to today’s shipping forecast with the UK’s leading travel writers and photographers Join Benedict Allen, Hilary Bradt, Katie Carr, Nick Danziger, Tim Hannigan, Brian Jackman, Don McCullin, Caroline Mills, Bijam Omrani, Tom Parfitt, Davina Quinlivan, Monisha Rajesh, Kassia St Clair, Noo SaroWiwa and Rory MacLean to be transported across the world. Weekend Festival Tickets (5 th – 7th April) £80 Sherborne Literary Society members, £100 non-members includes tickets to 12 talks,Tea with the Authors, Free Parking all weekend Individual Tickets £12 - £20 non-members, £10£25 SLS member

Saturday, 6 April

The Friends of Weymouth Library (F.O.W.L.) talk will be by author Neil McLocklin. He has written a book entitled “A Nation in Ruins”, which is about Corfe Castle in the Civil

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War, and its owners Sir John and Lady Mary Bankes, staunch supporters of King Charles 1st. Lady Bankes defended her home against overwhelming odds with the loyal backing of the villagers. Learn more about this at the Library on Saturday April 6th. at 10-30a.m. Tickets are available from the Library, priced £2 for F.O.W.L. members and £3 for non-members. All are welcome; refreshments provided.

Martha Tilston & Nathan Ball : 20:00 (14+) With a pure silken voice and lyrics that inspire and captivate, Martha Tilston has developed a successful musical career with a large and loyal following. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets £18.50. Book online

A Gardening Special ARC 10.00- 1.00. At Theu buioldhall, Axminster. Bring your tools to be sharpened, handles for spades and forks repaired ( handles can be purchased from DIY store or Mole Avon). And a Seed and plant swap, why not split your herbaceous plants, wrap them up and bring them along. We will be carrying out our normal repairs as well.

Axminster Repair Cafe, Garden Special, sharpening tools, seed and plant swop, 10-1.00, Axminster Guildhall, Facebook

The Beehive’s Open Day and Café Launch. Free entry, All welcome. We’re opening our doors to the public to showcase what the Beehive has to offer. Discover our diverse range of events and activities. Learn about becoming a volunteer and find out about our venue and room hire. Our café will be open to enjoy cake samples & live music throughout the day. 10am - 2pm. The Beehive Honiton 01404 384050.

‘The Color Purple’ (12A) Picnic Night Screening- Gateway Theatre, Seaton – 7.30pm, doors 6.30pm, tickets adults £7.50, Under 16s £6.50. The extraordinary sisterhood of three women who share one unbreakable bond. This bold new take on the beloved classic is directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

Scottish Dancing Party in Chardstock An evening of Scottish Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall 7.30 – 10.30 p.m. No partner required. Please bring your own mug and a plate of food to share. Tea and coffee provided. Cost £5.00. Contact David on 01460 65981

Monday, 8 April

Townswomen’s Guild 2 p.m. After a short business meeting, Sarah Brooker, a trainee Flower Arranging Demonstrator will be giving a demonstration at Dorchester Community Church, Liscombe Street, Poundbury, DT1 3DF Visitors welcome (£2) Enquiries 01305 832857.

Hawkchurch Film Nights, in association with Moviola, proudly presents ‘One Life’ (cert.12 - moderate threat, 105mins). This poignant and emotional biographical drama follows the life of humanitarian Nicholas Winton,

who helped hundreds of children escape Germanoccupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II.

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn and Helena Bonham Carter. Doors open 6.30pm, film starts 7.00pm at Hawkchurch Village Hall, EX13 5XD. Ticket reservations £5.50 from or leave a message on 01297 678176 (socially-distanced seating available if reserved in advance); tickets also available for £5.50 from Hawkchurch Community Shop or £6.00 on the door (cash only). Subtitles for the hard-of-hearing provided. Homemade cake and other tasty refreshments available.

‘Scottish Artists’ From the Scottish Enlightenment to present day artists. Gavin Hamilton, to David Wilkie the great story teller, who also painted everyday life, who rose to becoming court painter to William iV and Queen Victoria. The landscape of Horatio McCulluch, who celebrated the landscape as described by Walter Scott the writer. Thomas Stuart Smith who became a painter and a patron of Scottish art. Mary Cameron who painted Spain. The Glasgow Boys & Girls and Colourists will get a mention. William McCance gives a modern view post WW1, likewise William Gear. Elizabeth Blackadder’s beautiful interiors and still life paintings and Alison Watt’s contemporary portraits and still life paintings, plus many more artists. There is one Monday bank holiday where the course will take a weeks break on that Monday. Fee £65 Venue is United Church Hall, East Street, Bridport, ‘Drop in’ lectures’, £13 per lecture. Tutor is Pam Simpson MA, Art Historian. This course runs on Fridays 2pm on line, fee £60 To Book or enquire email

Dance Connection, for fun, health & wellbeing, 10:30am, Othona, Burton Bradstock, 07787752201

An evening of Scottish Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall 7.30 – 10.00 p.m. Tea and coffee provided but please bring your own mug. No partner required. Cost £2.00. For more information contact David on 01460 65981.

Tuesday, 9 April

Scottish Country Dancing at Horton village hall TA19 9QR every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm with tea / coffee break. £3.00 pay on the door. Every one is welcome whether you are new to dance , an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, you will be assured of a very warm welcome. For more information email Anita at phone 01460 929383 and check out our web site at

Wednesday, 10 April

Bridport Scottish Dancers will meet at Church House, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NN. Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start. Cost: £3.00 which includes tea/coffee and soft drinks + biscuits. Newcomers first evening is free. All welcome, no partner required but please wear soft shoes. Instruction on footwork and formations given when necessary in the first half of the evening + simpler dances. After the break at 8.30 we attempt some more challenging

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dances for our regular members.Contact: Malcolm on 07790 323343. Check out bridportscottishdancers for more information.

Artist’s talk: Louise Balaam in conversation on at 7pm (Doors 6pm hot supper available from the bar). Sladers Yard Gallery, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. Tickets: £12. Please call 01308 459511.

Film One Life (12) tells the true story of Sir Nicholas Winton, dubbed the “British Schindler”, who rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Doors and bar open 6.45 film start 7.15 at Kilmington Village Hall EX13 7RF. Tickets @ £5, or £5.50 on the door, can be ordered by contacting: John at or Tel: 01297 639758.

Thursday, 11 April

The Dorchester Art Club starts their Summer programme today. It is a very friendly club, whose members meet to paint and draw in a relaxed way with like-minded people. We meet from 2 – 4 pm on most Thursdays in the year in St. George’s church hall, Fordington, Dorchester, where there is free parking, and have a break with tea/coffee and biscuits half way through. The sessions are not classes, there is no teacher, but there is a suggested programme each week, which members can follow, or they can bring their own work to do if they prefer. There are some experienced people who are always willing to help if necessary. We have occasional demonstrations, in-house workshops and competitions. We welcome absolute beginners to those who are more experienced. The first visit is free. As with any club, there is a membership subscription if you would like to join, and there is a small charge each week you attend towards the refreshments and the hall hire. The hall is large, light and warm. You don’t need to book in, just turn up a little before 2 pm with some materials that you can use, and see if you like how it runs We would be very pleased to see you!

Bridport History Society hosts a talk titled ‘The Eighteenth-Century Speculative House Builder — a Familiar Figure’. The speaker, Austen Hamilton MA says: ‘The housing problem has a long history, as has the role of the speculative builder in its solution. The development process has changed little over the centuries and a look at some of the players and controversies of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century housing development can provide an interesting sidelight on our own times.’ Bridport History Society meets on the second Thursday of each month (except July and August) at the United Church Hall, 2.15 for 2.30pm. Visitors welcome £5pp. Membership is £10 individual / £15 couple. For more information visit: www.bridporthistorysociety.

Seaton Garden Club. Plant Sale and Cream Tea. at 2.30 p.m. Seaton Masonic Hall Members free none members £2.00.

Film One Life (12) matinee, doors open 1.45pm film starts 2pm, advance booking required for this matinee, cream-teas served during the interval but must be pre-booked with your seats @ £3.50. see for more information.

Folk dancing at Combe St Nicholas village hall (TA20 3LT) at 1930 hrs. Chris Toyne will be providing the music and the caller is yet to be confirmed. It’s £4.00 per person which includes a cuppa and cake, all welcome and it is a lot of fun! Further details from Elaine on 01460 65909.

Chard History Group

The Rape (administrative District) of Hastings a Potted History, 1066, huge hoaxes and world changing inventions by Tessa Leeds 7.20 for 7.45

New Venue Upstairs Chard Guildhall Members £2.50 visitors £3.50 All Welcome For further information Tessa 07984481634

The Royal Ballet: Macmillan Celebrated. Adults £17, Students £11. The Royal Ballet celebrates the breadth of Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s one-act ballets, Danses Concertantes, Different Drummer and Requiem. 7pm. The Beehive Honiton www.beehivehoniton. 01404 384050.

Friday, 12 April

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Open Mic, 7:30pm, Every 2nd Friday of the month is our popular Open Mic night at Waffle… anyone and everyone welcome! Performers: turn up before 19:30 to guarantee yourself a slot and email if you have any performance related questions. Punters: email bookings@ to book a table. The Community Waffle House, Trinity Square, EX13 5AP.

Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion - Vibrant, contemporary, original, melodic, funky rocking blues featuring Hammondorgan, drums, guitar and vocals. Refreshing the blues genre with eclectic arrangements, virtuosic playing and vocal prowess. With an exciting live set based around rootsy original songs, strong catchy riffs and exciting grooves; they mix old school tradition with contemporary flare and sophistication. 7.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, TA19 0AN. Tickets: £20 Students: £5 Children 12 and under: Free. To book: 01460 54973 or

Wicked Little Letters (15) 19:30 1920s English seaside town bears witness to a dark and absurd scandal in this riotous mystery comedy. Based on a stranger than fiction true story. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £8. Book online

Hedgehogs in need of your help a talk by Stephen Powles in Winsham’s Jubilee Hall. Born in Nairobi, in the early 60’s, Stephen became fascinated with the natural world from a young age. Now living in Tiverton, and formerly a vet, Stephen changed his career to pursue his lifelong passion for wildlife, wildlife photography/filming & conservation, and his material has made a number of TV appearances. Hedgehogs are struggling, with their numbers having declined dramatically over the last 30 years. In his talk Stephen explains how to make your garden “hedgehog friendly”- he’ll then go on to show how one village came together to create a hedgehog “superhighway” of interconnected gardens. It should be a talk for animal lovers and gardeners alike Tickets are £4 for members & £5.50 for non & doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. For further details please call Liz on 01460 30371. Singing Bowl Soundbath 8 pm Digby Memorial Hall, Sherborne DT9 3LN Still the mind calm the emotions relax and detoxify the body Please book in advance 01935 389655 £16

Saturday, 13 April

Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Fundraiser Clapton & Wayford Village Hall TA18 8PS 2.30-5pm Please join us for Coffee & Cake and fundraising activities to acknowledge and highlight the lifesaving work of our local Air Ambulance. Contact Gale Taylor 07971172246.

Afternoon Tea with Jon Cuthill. The BBC’s South Today TV Newscaster and Reporter will be speaking about his work followed by a cream tea. 4.00 pm in St Mary’s Church Charminster DT2 9RD Tickets at £10.00 each MUST be pre-booked. To book tel. 07795 347408, 07818 508011 or 01305 213403. Sorry, no “on the door” admissions”

The Minster Church Axminster at 7.00 - ‘The trumpet shall sound’. Axminster Choral Society presents a fascinating and lively recital tracing the history of the trumpet through performances of well known music. The concert will be given by Alistair Mackie, former Principal Trumpeter of the Philharmonia Orchestra, accompanied by the choir’s President Andrew Millington. You can expect a very entertaining evening. Tickets £10 from www., from Archway Bookshop, Trinity Square, Axminster, from members of the choir or on the door.

Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 8.5 mile walk from Lamberts Castle. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. New members/visitors welcome.

‘The Jungle Bunch World Tour’ (U) - Gateway Theatre, Seaton, Family Matinee Screening - 3pm doors 2.30pm, tickets Adults £7.50, Under 16s £6.50. When a mysterious super-villain blankets the jungle with a peculiar pink foam that explodes on contact with water, it stirs The Jungle Bunch into action. Family animation. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person TueThur 10am - 1pm.

Saturday, 13 April - 6 May

The Cenre Giant Festival was born out of the vibrant May Day tradition, when the Morris Dancers and villagers gather at dawn on the Trendle, the original site of the village Maypole at the top of the Cerne Giant. Here we salute the sunrise and celebrate the start of summer with a barrel of Beltane Beer. There are a variety of events so everyone can explore their own connection with the landscape of Dorset and what it means to them. Any profits from the Festival will go towards maintaining the fabric and work of the churches in the participating villages. For full information visit www.

Sunday, 14 April

The Royal Ballet ‘MacMillan Celebrated ’ (12A) - Screening - Gateway Theatre, Seaton, 2pm doors 1.30pm, tickets Adults £15, Under 16s £8. Danses Concertantes, followed by Different Drummer, MacMillan’s complex and haunting balletic interpretation of Woyzeck, and concludes with Requiem, his 1976 work for Stuttgart Ballet. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person

Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

Royal Ballet Screening - Macmillan Celebrated : 14:00 Danses concertantes , Different drummer and Requiem. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £16 adv £17 door. Book online

Dance Connection, Day workshop, 11-4, Bridport St Mary’s CHH, 07787752201, danceconnectionwessex@gmail. com

Monday, 15 April

An evening of Scottish Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall 7.30 – 10.00 p.m. Tea and coffee provided but please

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bring your own mug. No partner required. Cost £2.00. For more information contact David on 01460 65981.

Flash Fiction Story Slam 7:00pm Flash Fiction is the art of the very, very short story where exciting things happen in a mere 250 words. It’s one of the categories in the Bridport Prize international creative writing competition, based here at BAC. Come for a fun evening and be thrilled by talented writers telling tiny tales or register to take part by emailing Moira Lees at at MC’d by Declan Duffy with an esteemed panel of local judges. Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NR.

Tuesday, 16 April

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (U) (2002) Home Instead Nostalgic Cinema Matinee screening - Gateway Theatre, Seaton, 1.30pm doors 1pm, tickets £3.50, Whilst promoted as a dementia friendly screening, anyone who loves nostalgic films is very welcome to join us for an afternoon of fond memories and friendship. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person

Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

The Lyme Regis Society presents their AGM and a talk: Electric Lyme by Martin Roundell-Greene 2pm at Woodmead Halls, Hill Road, Lyme Regis. DT7 3PG. All Welcome. Members Free. Visitors £3.00. Refreshments

Included. Social distanced seating available if desired. Please check website for further information: http//

Scottish Country Dancing at Horton village hall TA19 9QR every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm with tea / coffee break. £3.00 pay on the door. Every one is welcome whether you are new to dance , an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, you will be assured of a very warm welcome. For more information email Anita at phone 01460 929383 and check out our web site at

Wednesday, 17 April

Introduction to Nordic Walking Course 10:00- 11:30, Bridport, £30.00 (includes hire of poles and first walk with the group). Please contact for more details.

What if the Swallows Didn’t Come Back?

7 for 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Abbey Street, Cerne Abbas DT2 7JQ

Reflecting on the Future for Britain’s Migratory birds. Michael McCarthy is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world, having been Environment Correspondent of The Times and later the longstanding Environment Editor of The Independent. His books include Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (2009), The Moth Snowstorm

– Nature and Joy (2015) and The Consolation of Nature – Spring in the Time of Coronavirus (2020).£7 incl refreshments.

Colyton & District Garden Society ‘45 years a Seedsman’ Tom Sharples Horticulturalist and writer. Venue : Colyford Memorial Hall, EX24 6QJ , start 7.30 pm. Members free, guests £3.00. Information : Sue Price 01297 552362.

Bridport Scottish Dancers will meet at Church House, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NN. Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start. Cost: £3.00 which includes tea/coffee and soft drinks + biscuits. Newcomers first evening is free. All welcome, no partner required but please wear soft shoes. Instruction on footwork and formations given when necessary in the first half of the evening + simpler dances. After the break at 8.30 we attempt some more challenging dances for our regular members. Contact: Malcolm on 07790 323343. Check out bridportscottishdancers for more information.

Coffee Morning, including cakes, scones & savouries, and bacon/egg rolls (made to order), 10.30am – noon; all welcome. Clapton & Wayford Village Hall. More details from Julia (01460 72769)

Thursday, 18 April

Sarah Beth Briggs (piano) will play works by Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Britten, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann 7.30pm at The Gateway, Fore St, Seaton. EX12

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2LD Tickets £18 (under-19s and full-time students free) at the door (cash or card) or

Lyme Voices Community Choir. 19.30 to 21.15. Sing for fun. Learn songs in harmony by ear. Everyone welcome. Baptist Church (Pine Hall round the back), Silver St., Lyme Regis, DT7 3NY. Phone 07534 116502 or email

South Somerset RSPB Local Group The Private Lives of Garden Birds An illustrated talk presented by Dr. Colin Ryall, a retired principal lecturer in environmental management. The talk will delve into facets of birds’ behaviour, physiology and anatomy, thus exposing some of their little known secrets. 7.30pm The Millennium Hall, Seavington St. Mary, Ilminster, TA19 0QH. Entry: Group members £4, non-group members £5, under 25’s Free. Tea/coffee & biscuits included – Wheelchair access. Further details from Denise Chamings on 01460240740 or www. Everyone welcome. Bassie Gracie 7:30pm Bassie Gracie is a punk performance poet known for her musings as a musician, feel-good feminism and general silliness. Frequently found shoeless on the Monday of a music festival telling a 70-year-old geezer ‘punk was better in my day’. Her show combines, jokes anecdotes and rhyming couplets, intended to inspire, amuse and excite. Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NR.

Tales of the History of Godmanstone 6.30pm Godmanstone Church and Village Hall DT2 7AQ Renowned local storyteller and organic farmer Will Best grew up roaming the fields of Manor Farm. He soaked up anecdotes of life in this small rural village in the 19th and 20th C from farming neighbours. Will and Pam Best were pioneers in the commercial production of organic milk. Parking is available at the Smith Arms carpark DT2 7AQ £8 each including wine or soft drink.

Happy-Go-Lucky (2008, UK, 15, 113 mins, Director Mike Leigh). Teacher Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins) is an eternal optimist who lives with her more cynical friend Zoe (Alexis Zegerman). Deciding she wants to learn to drive, she starts taking lessons from Scott (Eddie Marsan), a tense and downbeat instructor who believes Poppy’s levity reflects a lack of seriousness. Although they clash, Poppy is not deterred from her goal. Meanwhile, she starts dating Tim, a social worker who came to her school to help a child. Doors 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm start. Clapton & Wayford Village Hall (TA18 8PS). For more details, contact mickpwilson53@ or ring Mick Wilson on 01460 74849 or Di Crawley on 01460 30508.

Deane Big Band. The Beehive’s residency big band. Tickets: £14 Early Bird £11. Duke Ellington, his legacy, and Charlie Mingus. No vocals this time, giving plenty of space for our fabulous soloists. Whether it’s Take the A Train or Don’t Get Around Much Anymore the band will swing you through the glorious Duke Ellington songbook. 8pm. The Beehive Honiton 01404 384050.

Friday, 19 April

Jazz Jurassica Jazz Supper An Evening with Tom SealsGateway Theatre, Seaton, Doors 6.15pm, Food 7pm, Show 8pm, Tickets £39 (Includes 2 course supper) Tom Seals, one of the UK’s finest boogie-woogie pianists, launches the first supper club of 2024. Tickets from 01297 625699, www. or in person Tue - Thur 10am1pm.

Gildas Quartet - Welcoming the critically acclaimed Gildas Quartet, praised for their ‘energy, verve and refreshing approach’ to performance. Promoted by Concerts in the West. 7.30pm at Ilminster Arts Centre, TA19 0AN. Tickets: £18 Students: £5 Children 12 and under: Free. To book: 01460 54973 or

Tom Brown’s Gang with Sam Brown, a fabulous ukulele band raising funds for Stickland’s Primary School in Evershot, 8pm (doors open at 7.30), Evershot Village Hall, The Common Evershot, DT2 0JY. Tickets - £10 available via Eventbrite and on the door.

Clive Anderson - My Seven Wonders : 19:30 (16+) The host of Whose Line Is It Anyway, Talks Back, and Loose Ends takes to the road as the live version of his hit podcast takes to the road for the first time! Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £22. Book online The Colour Purple (2023) at 7.30pm. Village Hall, The Causeway, Milborne St Andrew DT11 0JX. For those that saw the original, the rough edges of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation of The Colour Purple have been softened by the evocative energy of this movie-musical’s three female leads. In 1909 Celie a black American girl is given away in marriage by her abusive father to a local farmer Albert who treats her cruelly. Celie is God fearing and deliverance comes in the form of jazz singer who takes her away to another city far away from her misery. She now gets her long due happiness. Building on the legacy of the previous film adaptation while incorporating elements of the stage musical, The Color Purple is a crowd-pleasing testament to resilience in the face of trauma. Much more than a remake, the musical film version of The Color Purple stands on its own as a vibrant, uplifting experience -- and the singing and dancing are superb. Doors and bar open 7.00pm. Tickets cost £6, which includes a drink or an ice-cream.

Friday, 19 - 21 April

Crafts @ The Chapel Spring Fair Professional Handmade Crafts including: Traditionally Upholstered Reloved Furniture, Ceramics, Skin Care, Jewellery and more. 10-5 Friday and Saturday, 10-4 on Sunday. The Peek Chapel, next door to The Alexandra Hotel, Pound Street, Lyme Regis, DT7 3HZ More information at

Saturday, 20 April

Fleetwood Mac & Tom Petty Legacy – Live MusicGateway Theatre, Seaton -. 8.30pm, doors 7.30pm, tickets £20, £22.50 on door Europe’s only tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Two great live bands that are so closely tied together by

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the great Stevie Nicks. Hear and see all both bands classic songs along with The Traveling Wilburys and Stevie Nicks collaborations plus many more. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

The Giant in a Sacred Landscape? 7 for 7.30pm St

Mary’s Church, Abbey Street, Cerne Abbas DT2 7JQ Dr Helen Gittos grew up in the area and has childhood memories of the Giant. She is now based at the University of Oxford. Her first book, Liturgy, Architecture and Sacred Places in Anglo-Saxon England (2013), revealed, for example, how important outdoor processions were in peoples’ religious lives and how visible the liturgy was in the landscape. So when the National Trust’s soil tests revealed that the Cerne Giant was about the same age as our AngloSaxon monastery it caught her attention! The University of Sheffield’s archaeological excavations are part of a multidisciplinary collaboration to try to understand the relationship between the Giant and Cerne Abbey. Her initial research has been published as a large article in the American journal Speculum. £8.50 with wine or soft drink and canapes.

Sing, Spring, Sprung! 7:30pm Spring is the season of new life and old friends. From the spring-tide of bright flowers to the growing crescendo of birdsong, the wild world is awash with sights and sounds to be sensed and savoured. To celebrate this most sweetly anticipated season, Martin Maudsley and Lucy Roberts weave together an enchanting evening of spellbinding storytelling and magical music that’s full of the joys of spring. The performance draws on the March/ April/May chapters of Martin’s recently published book Telling the Seasons, bringing to life the folklore, folksongs and traditions of spring. Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NR.

A fundraising concert organised by The Friends of St Mary’s Church, Beaminster Sunset Cafe Stompers A Jazz Concert entitled ’Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ At 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church, Beaminster Tickets £12.50 available from Yarn Barton or Church door Cash or card

Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 7 mile walk from Evershot. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. New members/visitors welcome. Dalwood Jazz Club 3pm presents The Nick White Quintet with Nick White (Chris Barber JB) - clarinet & sax, Trevor Whiting - clarinet & sax, Jim Newton - drums, Gus Dolding - banjo & guitar and Jo Trudgeon - bass. Dalwood Village Hall, EX13 7EG (near Axminster) Bar for beer/wine/soft drinks and teas/coffees/ cake etc. Parking at the Village Hall £12.50p

If possible, please book in advance and pay (cash or card) at the door.

Sunday, 21 April

‘An American in Paris’(PG) – Matinee screening - Gateway Theatre, Seaton – 2pm, doors 1.30pm, tickets Adults £15, Under 16s £8. This breathtakingly beautiful Tony Awardwinning Broadway musical inspired by the Oscar winning MGM film, tells the impassioned story of discovering love in the ‘City of Light’. Tickets from 01297 625699, www. or in person Tue - Thur 10am1pm.

Garden Open for the NGS, at Broomhill, Rampisham, DT2 0PT. 2-5pm. Come and enjoy an afternoon in a spring garden, where blossom and bulbs should be at their best. Entry £5.00. Children free. Homemade teas, plants for sale. Ample parking. Tel 07775 806 875 Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction Station, Stoford BA22 9UU: Steam Train Day plus Character - but who? 01935 410420 for recorded information, visit the website, or find us on Facebook. French + Breton Folk Dance, Bal Crewkerne with live house band, in the Speedwell Hall, Abbey Street, Crewkerne, TA18 7HY. Dance workshop for beginners 6-7pm followed by main dance 7-9.30pm. Admission £4 at the door. Tea and coffee available or bring your own drinks. Free parking in the town centre car parks. More information on our website:

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Monday, 22 April

An evening of Scottish Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall 7.30 – 10.00 p.m. Tea and coffee provided but please bring your own mug. No partner required. Cost £2.00. For more information contact David on 01460 65981.

Secrets of the Parish Church 7 for 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Abbey Street DT2 7TQ. Church Recorders are volunteers who promote the recognition and preservation of our rich artistic heritage by recording the contents of our national churches. Items are described in detail and their history researched. This is then compiled into a book illustrated with photographs and drawings which is presented to the church and copies are sent to national institutions. The Sherborne Recorders are currently working in Minterne Church. They will speak about their work, and tell us about some of the interesting items they have found in some local churches. £7 incl refreshments.

Tuesday, 23 April

Scottish Country Dancing at Horton village hall TA19 9QR every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm with tea / coffee break. £3.00 pay on the door. Every one is welcome whether you are new to dance , an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, you will be assured of a very warm welcome. For more information email Anita at phone 01460 929383 and check out our web site at

The Minster Church Axminster at 7.30. Axminster Choral Society starts rehearsals for its summer concert of favourite anthems and choruses, chosen by members of the choir. All are welcome to join us as we rehearse and perform these splendid pieces. The fee for the term is just £20 (including music). Further details from the Membership Secretary at

National Theatre Live - NYE (12a) : 19:00 Broadcast live from London. Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in a surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state and created the NHS. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £16 adv £17 door. Book online

Wednesday, 24 April

Bridport Scottish Dancers will meet at Church House, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NN. Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start. Cost: £3.00 which includes tea/coffee and soft drinks + biscuits. Newcomers first evening is free. All welcome, no partner required but please wear soft shoes. Instruction on footwork and formations given when necessary in the first half of the evening + simpler dances. After the break at 8.30 we attempt some more challenging

dances for our regular members. Contact: Malcolm on 07790 323343. Check out bridportscottishdancers for more information.

Nature on your doorstep – how to create wildlife friendly spaces. 7 for 7.30pm St Mary’s Church, Abbey Street, Cerne Abbas DT2 7JQ. Mitch Perkins, an Assistant Wilder Communities Officer from the DWT, will describe and explain which of our wildlife neighbours we can help and how. Mitch will introduce you to some you may not have met! Find out about the creatures that can keep your garden healthy – from pollinators to predators, and how small actions can make a big difference. If we can create more spaces for wildlife, we can connect areas and so facilitate their movement through the landscape. The DWT also wish to use this event to get feedback from the public to answer these questions: ‘Are there wildlife friendly spaces in your community? Would you like more? What ideas do you have?’ £7 each including refreshments.

Stalker, (PG), 10:30am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, The Stalker (Alexander Kaidanovsky) leads two disillusioned intellectuals - the Writer (Anatoly Solonitsyn) and the Professor (Nikolai Grinko) - into the forbidden Zone, a sooty, oily postapocalyptic landscape that eerily presages Chernobyl, on a quest to have their deepest wishes realised within a mystical destination known as “the Room”. 10:30am, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Disobedience, (15), 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, A compelling adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel, winner of the 2006 Orange prize for New Writing. Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a capricious New York-based photographer, returns to London following the death of her estranged father, the revered rabbi of an Orthodox Jewish community. She is startled to find that Esti (Rachel McAdams), sweetheart of the teen romance that led to her exile, is now married to devout new rabbi Dovid (Alessandro Nivola). 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry, South West Preview, (15 TBC) 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www. Etero (Eka Chavleishvili), a woman living in a small village in Georgia, never wanted a husband. She cherishes her freedom as much as her cakes. But her choice to live alone is the cause of much gossip among her fellow villagers. Unexpectedly, she finds herself passionately falling for a local delivery man and is suddenly faced with

EVENTS IN MAY Live or Online send your event details to BY APRIL 15th 24 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

the decision to pursue a relationship or continue a life of independence. 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

The Beast, Gala Preview Event, CERT TBC, 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204,

Léa Seydoux (No Time to Die) excels as the three Gabrielles at the heart of this dark and ambitious time-switching love story, innovatively adapted from a Henry James novella. It’s 2044 and AI has taken over - Gabrielle must submit to DNA purification to purge herself of past trauma. Whether in Belle Epoque Paris where she’s a successful pianist, or 2014 as an aspiring model/actress house-sitting in LA, she and Louis (George MacKay) keep meeting and parting like cuckoo clock figures fated to repeat the same doomed romance. 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £12/£10. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Emerging into Spring. A day of Finding our Creativity through Nature and Mindfulness. 10a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Studio, Othona (Burton Bradstock) £50. Reservations: 01308 897130. Uplyme and Lyme Regis Horticultural Society talk by Peter Savage of Bowdens Nursery, ‘Hostas’. Plants for sale. Spring flowering bulbs competition. Uplyme Village Hall 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm for refreshments. Members free; non-members £3. More information www.ulrhs.

Thursday, 25 April

Folk dancing at Combe St Nicholas village hall (TA20 3LT) at 1930 hrs. Robert Blackborow and his band will be providing the music and Mary Blackborow will calling the dances It’s £4.00 per person which includes a cuppa and cake, all welcome and it is a lot of fun! Further details from Elaine on 01460 65909.

Lyme Voices Community Choir. 19.30 to 21.15. Sing for fun. Learn songs in harmony by ear. Everyone welcome. Baptist Church (Pine Hall round the back), Silver St., Lyme Regis, DT7 3NY. Phone 07534 116502 or email

Emerald Jazz All Saints Church, MARTOCK; TA12 6JN Performance time: 7:30 pm Admission fee: Tickets: £10.00 at /07547 213992/Martock Gallery/ Martock Newsagent (CASH ONLY); £12.00 at door. https:// Emerald Jazz perform American Songbook standards made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, to more modern classics by Crystal Gayle and Nina Simone.

John Singer Sargent: Exhibition On Screen. Tickets £13. John Singer Sargent is known as the greatest portrait artist of his era. What made his ‘swagger’ portraits so remarkable? The exhibition will examine how Sargent’s unique practice has influenced modern art, culture and fashion. 7pm. The

Beehive Honiton 01404 384050. Barbarella, (15), 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Jane Fonda created a genuine icon when she leapt out of her spaceship as intergalactic government agent Barbarella, a wide-eyed innocent on the trail of rogue scientist Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea). It’s 40,000AD on kitsch planet Sorgo, and a host of characters featuring David Hemmings, Anita Pallenberg and mime legend Marcel Marceau help and hinder our heroine in her ‘investigation’. 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Kes with guest speaker Christopher Eccleston, (PG), 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www.bridport-arts. com. Ken Loach’s much-loved story of a boy (David Bradley) who manages to transcend his difficult life and discover his own private means of fulfilment when he adopts a fledgling kestrel and proceeds to train it in the art of falconry. We will be join by actor Christopher Eccleston who recently read Barry Hine’s novel Kes for BBC4. 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Mustang, (15), 5am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, A teenage sisters’ story, set in northern Turkey, celebrating the last day of term, larking about in the sea with some boys on the way home. With blissfully freewheeling camerawork and naturalistic, charismatic performances, Mustang draws us into a world where irrepressible teenage spirits confront patriarchal rigidity in an uplifting debut film brimming with warmth and humour. 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

The Tragedy of Macbeth with guest speaker

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Francesca Annis, (15), 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, A controversial retelling of the Shakespeare classic; when it was first released, partly because of the casting of two young actors, Jon Finch and Francesca Annis as Lord and Lady Macbeth and partly because of the level of violence and nudity. Post screening Q&A with Actress Francesca Annis in conversation with Rebecca Lenkiewicz. 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £12/£10. Booking fpts or Bridport TIC.

Friday, 26 April

A conversation with Author, Jenny Godfrey, “Profoundly original and dazzlingly written” – join us for a conversation with Jennie Godfrey’s about her acclaimed debut novel; ‘The List of Suspicious Things’ , 7pm. The Community Waffle House, Trinity Square, EX13 5AP. Tickets £5 or £14.99 including a signed book. Purchase in Archway Bookshop or call 01297 33744.

Ceilidh in the Church 7-10pm Cerne St Mary’s Church, Abbey Street, Cerne Abbas DT2 7JQ

The thrilling band Tatterdemalion will provide the music and the renowned Angela Laycock will call at this popular event. Soft drinks, wine, Cerne Abbas ale, and nibbles will be on sale. Tickets £8 adults and £4 children. The Innocents, (12A), 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Deborah Kerr is magnificent as the novice governess in this classic adaptation of Henry James’s chilling ghost story. Stylishly captured by legendary cinematographer Freddie Francis, it provides the backdrop to unnerving disturbances - shuffling curtains, disembodied whispers, snuffed candles - that convince her that she is in the presence of supernatural evil, from which she must protect her young charges. 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Carrington with guest speakers Sir Christopher Hampton, (18), 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www. Focusing on the relationship between the mercurial, bisexual artist Dora Carrington (Emma Thompson) and the gay writer and acerbic wit Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce). Join Carrington writer and director Christopher Hampton after the screening for a live Q&A. 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Typist Artist Pirate King, (12A), 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Monica Dolan delivers another standout performance as the chaotic, talented but forgotten artist Audrey Amiss. A Royal Academy graduate who spent her life in and out of mental institutions when not working as a civil service secretary, Amiss documented her life in sketchbooks and used cereal boxes whose vivid pages flash onto the screen, interwoven with an imagined cross-country journey. 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking www.bridport- or Bridport TIC.

The Zone of Interest, (12A), 8pm, Bridport Electric Palace, Adapted from Martin Amis’s Novel, and based on the real-life commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolph Hoss. Set outside the camp in a seemingly idyllic house and garden the horrors taking place just over the walls are never seen but heard. After major success at this year’s award season we bring it to the big screen for this year’s festival. 8pm, Bridport Electric Palace, DT6 3NY. Tickets: £12/£10. Booking https://www. or Bridport TIC

Saturday, 27 April

Shipshape Festival – Blackbeard’s Blowout – Live Music - Gateway Theatre, Seaton – 7.30pm, doors 7pm tickets

Adults £15, 18+. Live music from Mischa And His Merry Men and The Reverent. Tickets from 01297 625699, www. or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm. Hooke Park Open Day 10.30am – 3.30pm Hooke Park is the woodland campus of the Architectural Association School of Architecture and home to the AA’s postgraduate Design and Make programme, where full-scale building experiments and hands-on architectural education meet. The open day is a chance to explore our ever-changing woodland campus, learn more about its pioneering history, and visit the latest building additions resulting from our ongoing teaching and research in timber construction. Free entry with site tours at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Book here: https:// Refreshments available - cash only. Location: Hooke Park, Hooke, Beaminster, DT8 3PH

Plant and Gardening Sale at Bridport Millennium Green, from 9.30am. Pots, tools, etc, all at reasonable prices, in support of the Green, gardens and Coneygar Hill. If you have items to donate please bring on the morning, or phone Sandra Brown on 01308 423078 to arrange collection. Film Oppenheimer (12) the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, “the father of the atomic bomb”. Doors and Bar open at 6pm with the performance starting at 6.30 showing at Kilmington Community Cinema (EX13 7RF). Tickets @ £5 or £5.50 on the door, can be ordered : or Tel: 01297 639758 see www. for more information.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, (U) 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Unless we Earthlings change course, we are headed for self-destruction! When benign alien Klaatu (Michael Rennie) and his robot sidekick emerge from a flying saucer with their message of peace, they trigger mass hysteria and military attack. Special price tickets for u25’s. 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£3. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Creature (Dance) & Short Film Devon Gothic, (12A) 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www.bridport-arts. com. Acclaimed choreographer Abram Khan collaborated

26 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

with award-winning director Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy) for this thrilling screen adaptation of the English National Ballet’s dystopian sci-fi Creature. A feral Frankensteininspired Creature, captive in an Arctic research facility, is subjected to the cruel experiments and whims of the Doctor. 2pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Tish with guest speaker Paul Sng, (15), 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Tish Murtha was a visionary photographer committed to documenting the struggle and inequality of the working-class communities that framed her upbringing. Despite early acclaim, she was unable to make a living from photography and was unable to escape the poverty she documented. She died aged 56, her work relatively unknown. Join Director Paul Sng for a Q&A after the screening. 5pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Poly Styrene: I am a Cliche with guest speaker Paul Sng, (12), 8pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www. Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band and introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. Misogyny, racism and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, scarring daughter Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship. Join Director Paul Sng for a Q&A after the screening. 8pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £12/£10. Booking or Bridport TIC.

West Dorset Singers present Mozart’s Requiem, his choral masterpiece, in St Mary’s Church, Bridport. Commissioned to commemorate the tragically early death of an aristocrat’s wife, Mozart was still composing on his death-bed in 1791 aged only 35. The music reflects the desperation of a young man about to meet his own Maker, but with the hope of eternity in Heaven. Such music ensures that, at least, Mozart’s reputation remains everlastingly secure. They will also sing Miserere by Czech composer Jan Zelenka who preceded Mozart by half a century. The words, Miserere mei Deus (Lord, have mercy on me), from Psalm 51, ask for God’s forgiveness of sins but with confidence that forgiveness will be granted. It’s therefore splendidly joyful. The third work is much more recent. Dona nobis pacem (Give us peace), written in 1996 by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, explores the music of these three simple words in a gloriously Baltic manner. The choir is accompanied by professional orchestra and a quartet of soloists, all recent choral scholars from The Choir of Royal Holloway, London. The concert starts at 7pm. Tickets (£15, u18s free) are available from Goadsby Estate Agents in Bridport and online at

Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 7 mile walk

from Cerne Abbas. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. New members/visitors welcome.

Sunday, 28 April

Dorchester Artisan Market A new monthly artisan market. Following on from their hugely popular markets in Sherborne and Shaftesbury, Dorset Artisan Markets are bringing a fabulous collection of over 200 artisan traders to the streets of Dorchester on the fourth Sunday of each month from April through to November. The market will be held from 10am until 3pm. Starting in Borough Gardens where there will be food, drink and musical entertainment throughout the day, or bring a picnic and just enjoy the vibe. From Borough Gardens the market runs along West Walks, Bowling Alley Walk, South Street, South Walks and then into Brewery Square with stalls from the Atrium Health Centre into Eldridge Street, Drayhorse Yard and along Pope Street. Riverflies Safari Vicarage Field, 4 Back Lane, Cerne Abbas, Dorchester DT2 7JW 2-4pm. The River Cerne contains many interesting invertebrates. Volunteers from the “Riverfly” project, will teach us how to observe and monitor the health of our river by catching, identifying and counting the variety of invertebrates which live in the river bed. They will provide equipment as well as expertise. Wellies are needed and warm/dry clothing if the weather is cold/ wet. Children must be accompanied, and the accompanying adults are responsible for the safety of their children. £5 per child / unaccompanied adult £8 if combined with flycasting 2-4pm Learn how to Cast a Fly (open to all ages, junior and adult) Vicarage Field, 4 Back Lane, Cerne Abbas, Dorchester DT2 7JW. Learn how to fish for the elusive trout in chalk stream or lake. This workshop will include fly casting lessons (no fish involved!) and an introduction into tackle, knots, and selecting the right artificial fly to imitate the real thing. Taken by Sir Jeremy Mackenzie, whose sixty years of fishing experience worldwide he is happy to share. All equipment provided – just turn up. Cost £5, £8 if combined with Riverflies Safari. 3pm Dorchester String Quartet – A Celebration of Spring St Mary’s Church, Abbey Street, Cerne Abbas DT2 7JQ. David Price is part of this quartet, which will be performing works by Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Puccini. The concert will last about an hour and the ticket price includes tea and cake. Tickets (£!0) are available at the door, and St Mary’s Church will be given a percentage of the proceeds.

Lyme Bay Chorale’s spring concert celebrates the centenary of composer Charles Villiers Stanford. The programme will include a selection of his songs plus other music and organ solos. Lyme Regis Parish Church, 4pm. For details and ticket prices, see the choir’s website: www.

The Royal Ballet – Swan Lake (12A) Matinee Screening – Gateway Theatre, Seaton - 2pm, doors 1.30pm, tickets Adults £15, Under 16s £8. Tchaikovsky’s sensational score combines with the evocative imagination of choreographer

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Liam Scarlett and designer John Macfarlane. Tickets from 01297 625699, or in person Tue - Thur 10am - 1pm.

The Enigma of Kasper Hauser, (PG) 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Based on the mysterious story of a youth who appeared out of nowhere in 1828, holding a letter but scarcely able to speak or walk. Bruno S, a busker with no acting experience, delivers an astonishing performance as the released captive who naively seeks acceptance within a hostile society. 11am, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£5. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Short, Sharp & Sweet: Short Film Event, 1:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Curator Rebecca Lenkiewicz and her guests - cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt and documentary maker Simon Chambers - screen a selection of handpicked short films. This will be a unique and fascinating screening event and carry on the conversation with Rebecca, Christopher and Simon after the screening and Q&A. Special price tickets for u25’s. 1:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £6/£3. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Much Ado About Dying with guest speaker Simon Chambers, (15), 4pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, Simon Chambers is in India shooting a film when his uncle David, an anarchic retired actor who is missing the limelight, summons him home to England: ‘I think I may be dying.’ Everything that could go wrong does go wrong as David fights with Simon, refusing to go into a care home, and insisting on dying in the squalor of his unheated tumble-down house. Simon and his uncle endure fire, cancer, delirium and the dreaded ‘care home’, to gift this award-winning final performance to the world. Join director Simon Chambers after the film for a Q&A. 4pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £8/£6. Booking or Bridport TIC.

The Passion of Joan of Arc with live accompaniment, (PG), 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, 01308 424204, www. Dreyer’s colossus of silent film is an unmissable cinematic experience, dominated by Renée Falconetti’s raw and luminous performance as Saint Joan, heroine of French resistance. We are screening a digitally restored version with live musical accompaniment by Andrew Goldberg (piano) and Ricky Romain (sitar). 7:30pm, Bridport Arts Centre, DT6 3RN. Tickets: £12/£10. Booking or Bridport TIC.

Singing Bowl Soundbath 2pm Oborne Village Hall, DT9 4LA Still the mind calm the emotions relax and detoxify the body Please book in advance 01935 389655 ahiahel@live. com £16.

Royal Ballet Screening - Swan Lake : 14:00 Tchaikovsky’s sensational score combines with the evocative imagination

of choreographer Liam Scarlett and designer John Macfarlane to heighten the dramatic pathos of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s quintessential ballet classic. Bridport Electric Palace , DT6 3NY. Tickets : £16 adv £17 door.

Book online

Jazz by the Sea at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis presents Terry Quinney plays Dexter Gordon. American saxophonist Dexter Gordon was among the most influential musicians of the bebop era and beyond, with John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins following in his footsteps. Impressive Canadian saxophonist Terry Quinney has become quickly established in the UK jazz scene performing with the likes of Alan Barnes at venues such as the National Theatre. Measuring in at 6 feet 6 inches, Dexter Gordon’s height earned him the nicknames ‘Long Tall Dexter’ and ‘Sophisticated Giant.’ His acting role as a saxophonist in the 1986 film ‘Round Midnight’ won him an Oscar nomination. He was equally at home playing his own compositions like ‘The Panther’ and tunes from the jazz repertoire such as ‘Love for Sale.’ Saxophonist and composer Terry Quinney is co-leader of the ‘The Sound Of Blue Note’ band. He has performed with UK jazz icons such as Nigel Price, Ian Shaw, Alan Barnes and Gilad Atzmon. Terry will be accompanied by Philip Clouts at the piano and Adrian Smith on double bass. 8pm Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. £14 advance £16 on the door. Tickets available at https://

Monday, 29 April

An evening of Scottish Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall 7.30 – 10.00 p.m. Tea and coffee provided but please bring your own mug. No partner required. Cost £2.00. For more information contact David on 01460 65981. Dance Connection, for fun, health & wellbeing, 10:30 am, Othona, Burton Bradstock, 07787752201,

Tuesday, 30 April

Scottish Country Dancing at Horton village hall TA19 9QR every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm with tea / coffee break. £3.00 pay on the door. Every one is welcome whether you are new to dance , an experienced dancer or somewhere in between, you will be assured of a very warm welcome. For more information email Anita at phone 01460 929383 and check out our web site at

Thursday, 2 May

Champagne Taittinger Dinner So excited and a real treat to have the Taittinger UK Director host a very special four course dinner with us in our beautiful Orangery. He will talk us through the specially selected choices for each course and give an insight into this, still family owned, wonderful Champagne house. £110 per person including Champagne reception and specialist pairing for each course Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis 01297 442010.

28 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031


Community Pub celebration

A community pub in a West Dorset village is still roaring two years after it reopened. At a time when other pubs in the area and nationally are closing, The White Lion, Broadwindsor, is going strong under managers Kerry and Clive Dammert. The pub is owned by Palmers Brewery but was secured for the community following a major fundraising campaign, when around £50,000 was raised to refurbish the interior and provide working capital. Broadwindsor Community Pub Ltd, which is run by a committee, acts as Palmers’ tenant.


Defibrillator installed

Churchwardens Dave Dickinson and David House have announced the installation of a defibrillator at St. Gregory’s Church Centre in Seaton. The installation was made possible thanks to a generous legacy and a match funding grant. The unit is situated on the outside wall facing Colyford Road and is accessible to the public 24/7. In the event of a suspected cardiac arrest, people are asked to call 999 and may be directed to the nearest defibrillator and given the access code.


AI helps diagnose cancer

A groundbreaking way of supporting doctors to diagnose prostate cancer using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology has launched in Somerset. Joining forces with Cambridge-based technology company, Lucida Medical, with support from charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Prostate Cancer Research, the AI tool, called Pi is being introduced at both Yeovil District and Musgrove Park hospitals. It will assist radiologists in detecting clinically significant prostate cancer, using an AI technique that looks at a prostate MRI scan.


Former pupil moves up

A former pupil of Beaminster School has become the new First Minister of Wales. According to The Bridport News, Vaughan Gething is now Europe’s first black leader having succeeded Mark Drakeford. Mr Gething attended Beaminster School from 1985 to 1992, and played for both Beaminster and Broadwindsor cricket clubs. Born in Zambia, Mr Gething moved to Dorset where his father was a partner in the veternary firm Gething and Bowditch which became Girling and Bowditch after his father’s retirement.


New Town Crier announced

Anthony Harrison has been announced as the new Town Crier for Dorchester after a rigorous interview process. Mr. Harrison emerged triumphant after facing stiff competition from five other applicants during the interview phase. The selection panel, which included Councillor Alistair Chisholm, the current Mayor of Dorchester and a former Town Crier himself, assessed each candidate’s suitability for the prestigious role. Cllr Chisholm applauded the ‘healthy competition’ for the position.

Building Peace and Justice in Times of Crisis HELP OUR PLANET TALKS IN WEST BAY

THE devastating suffering and violence we are witnessing in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel is impacting many of us. Zohar Lavie is a peace and human rights activist. In a talk at Sladers Yard in West Bay on April 4th she will share her experiences on the ground working for justice and peace for all.

Drawing on her long-term as well as her recent work in Palestine & Israel, including in October and December 2023, Zohar will explore how we can maintain a beneficial response when the pressure of the situation pushes us to shut down, turn away or feel overwhelmed. The talk will include reflections on how spiritual practice supports our ability to embody and enact our deep wish of safety and

justice for all. By combining the inner activity of meditation with the outward movement of interaction Zohar works to promote harmony and well-being for all, including ourselves.

The HOP talks project aims to inspire and inform individuals, families and local communities with tangible actions to help combat the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. The talks provide a forum for discussion and information.

Call 01308 459511 to reserve tickets. Numbers will be restricted and tickets essential. Sladers Yard Contemporary Art, Furniture and Craft Gallery. Licensed Café. West Bay, Bridport Dorset DT6 4EL. Open: Weds to Sat 10am–4.30pm, Café also open Sundays 10am-3.30pm.

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Zohar Lavie

INature Studies

sometimes think that the old adage that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, wise though it may be, isn’t actually true. Certainly, my own first glimpse in mid-April of that small and streamlined bundle of navy-blue feathers, on its return from wintering in South Africa, makes my heart leap, for I know it means the warm times are nearly here. It’s a feeling of elation, never better encapsulated than by Gilbert White, the 18th century parson-naturalist and author of The Natural History of Selborne, who so adored swallows and their annual arrival in his Hampshire village that he made his diary entry for April 13 1768 just two words, plus three exclamation marks: Hirundo domestica!!! (Using the thencurrent scientific name for the bird.)

So I personally feel that one swallow, or certainly the first one, does in some way make a summer; and I imagine many people share my view that the birds’ annual return, just about now, is one of the wildlife highlights of the year. Certainly, it has been celebrated for millennia—it was a favourite event in Ancient Greece—and it is only equalled by the similarly exhilarating sight, a month later, of the

An incomer’s discovery of the natural world in the West Country

dark shape of the first swift, arcing through the sky. (Swifts are not related to swallows but they have the same sort of streamlined outline because they occupy the same ecological niche, as high-speed aerial insect-chasers.)

We particularly enjoy the arrivals of these two because their returns are the most visible of all our summer migrant birds, which come to us to breed after an African winter. When swallows and swifts are swooping around, you can’t miss them. But there are nearly fifty more species of summer visitors, including some of our most celebrated birds, such as the cuckoo, the nightingale and the turtle dove, and some which are less famous but dearly loved, such as the chiffchaff, the willow warbler and my own favourite, the spotted flycatcher. They’re all part of a great aerial river of millions of these small creatures. which every spring make gigantic journeys from the African continent to breed in Britain and the rest of Europe, before returning south for the winter. It’s an incredible feat, an incredible natural event. But it’s running into serious trouble.

Nearly twenty years ago ornithologists started to realise

30 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

that our summer migrants were falling in numbers; and not only that, but they were declining at a faster rate than related species which were all-year-round residents. Since then, the declines have in some cases become critical. The worst is the turtle dove, which has declined by 98 per cent and is extinct in much of Britain, followed by the nightingale, whose numbers have dropped by 93 per cent, and the spotted flycatcher with a fall of 90 per cent. The cuckoo has dropped in numbers by 78 per cent—when did you last hear one?—while the swift has dropped by 58 per cent. Even the swallow, which for a long time seemed to be holding its own, has dropped by 16 per cent.

In recent years a huge amount of research has been devoted to migrants, and enormous advances have been made in electronic tracking—that is, following the birds by fitting them with miniaturised tracking devices. We now know exactly whereabouts in Africa many of our summer visitors spend the winter, and how they get there (for example, our cuckoos nearly all go to the Republic of the Congo). But a summary of the research published last year by the British Trust for Ornithology and others admitted

that the new knowledge has not yet thrown any light on why so many of the species are declining. Is it problems in Britain? Problems on their African wintering grounds? Or problems on the enormous journeys in between? We still do not know. Two possible causes have been highlighted: insect decline, the scale of which is only just being recognised, and overhunting of the birds on their odysseys through Europe. But there is as yet no proof that these are indeed the causes.

What we do know is that the declines are continuing. And now the turtle dove no longer returns to much of our land, and nor does the nightingale, and nor does the cuckoo. And in an increasing number of places, the swift no longer returns. Might one day the English springtime come, hitherto unimaginable, but perhaps not all that far off, when the swallow is no longer part of it?

Michael McCarthy will be speaking on What if the swallows didn’t come back?—the future for our summer migrant birds at St Mary’s church, Cerne Abbas, at 7.30 on April 17, as part of the Cerne Giant festival.

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TVegetables in April

he market garden has started to slowly fill up with the early plantings, but these are always a bit of a risk, and depending on how the early Spring weather goes, the risk either pays off and we get extra early produce, such as baby salad turnips, red russian kale, rocket, mustards, sugarsnap peas, broad beans, kohl rabi amongst other things, or the weather doesn’t play ball and the early plantings languish in cold, wet soil, with plenty of slugs around to feast on them. Frustratingly this has been a bit of a pattern of late, and these early plantings can succumb to such conditions. However, it is not too late to sow all of these things again, and they will just be ready to harvest a little later.

We are fortunate enough to have plenty of polytunnels, and we also use these for the extra early plantings which helps us a lot, but we also plant directly outside through March and cover with horticultural fleece to protect the new plantings from the cold and the winds. This creates a kind of microclimate around the plants, keeping them protected from the worst of the elements, and the results are often very impressive. The only trouble is that it is easy to forget that there are plants under the fleece, and if you don’t check them every couple of days, then you can be ignorant to the fact that the slugs are attacking the plants or the weeds are outcompeting the crops. So, bear in mind that you will need to pull the fleece off every few days to have a proper look at the crops.

Over the next couple of months we will be planting up the majority of the market garden. Most of the beds that we are planting into have had black plastic over them for a few weeks to kill off weeds and old crops. We then roll up the plastic, rake the beds and plant, but before planting we soak the plants in water, seaweed solution, molasses and wormcast extract. The wormcasts (from our wormery) are put in a solution of water to extract the water soluble nutrients, fulvic and humic acids and beneficial microorganisms. The seaweed is full of macro and micro nutrients and the molasses act as a food for the microbes in the soil.

These drenches act as a boost and an inoculant which is transferred to the beds as the crops are planted out into the soil. The aim of this is to support the life in the soil that is already there, but also to give it a bit of help, especially early in the season when soil life may be a little slower to get going. This, combined with careful

management of the soil with the use of composts, minimum cultivations and green manures leads to much livelier soils that are more resilient and ultimately grow healthier crops.

To increase biodiversity, create habitat for slug eating amphibians and to capture some of the rainwater from our barn and polytunnels we are currently trying to raise funds for a pond in the market garden. To find out more and to help us enhance the land that your local food is grown on please go to https://www.

Good luck with your first Spring plantings!


turnips, chard, spinach, salad leaves—chervil, buckshorn plantain, lettuce, burnet, peashoots, anise hyssop, kales, mustards, agretti, sorrel, summer purslane & goosefoot (end of month). Radish, fennel, courgettes (end of month), spring onions, cucumbers, dill, basil, coriander, chard, perpetual spinach, kalettes, french beans, peas

32 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031
The chervil germinating in this picture is from saved seed. It’s one of our favourite salad leaves for over winter and early spring.

and mangetout. We sow all of these into trays in the propagating tunnel to be planted out in April mostly.


OUTSIDE: salads—mustards, rockets etc., lettuce, peas, broad beans, potatoes, early kale, beetroot, chard, perpetual spinach, spring onions, onions and shallots

INSIDE: Successions of peas and spring onions will continue to be planted. By the end of the month you can get away with planting french beans, cucumbers and tomatoes in polytunnels or glasshouses, but it’s still pretty early so don’t worry if you don’t get round to it!

OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: If the weather dries, continue preparing beds for the spring for planting. Keep on top of the seed sowing, but don’t sow too much of anything - think about sowing successionally rather than doing one big sowing in early Spring. Things that are perfectly suited to successions include all salad leaves, spring onions, peas, beans, beetroot, chard, kale, carrots, fennel, radish and annual herbs.

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April in the Garden

Yet again I am writing this while still suffering from waterlogged land and a quagmire of mud where there used to be lawn. I’ve seen reports suggesting that we’ve had the wettest winter for 130 years and that seems entirely believable. Hopefully there will be some rebalancing, during the rest of the year, with lower rainfall and perhaps even some summer heat. It’s not only the excessive amount of water which is worrying, it’s also the correspondingly prevalence of dull, cloud covered, skies which will have resulted in lower than average light levels. Variations in available light will have more subtle effects on plants than waterlogged soils but, because plants rely on light for practically everything they do, reduced light, over a long period, can only be detrimental.

One plant that enjoys a damp soil, originating from meadows in the flood plain of rivers, is Fritillaria meleagris the ‘Snake’s-Head Fritillary’. I planted some last autumn, as dormant bulbs, in an area of meadow grass. The earliest ones were flowering on 23rd February, much too early in my opinion, which may be due to the mild winter but could also be an anomaly due to them being newly introduced. I hope in subsequent years they will settle down and flower at a more ‘normal’ time which would be, according to the ‘Floodplains Meadows Partnership’ website, mid to late April. Interestingly, they conclude that this fritillary responds to stress, specifically prolonged waterlogging, by becoming dormant. When submerged by flooding for up to ten months of the year they responded by hardly flowering the year after; not ideal as flooding appears to be more and more common.

If there is a period of settled, drier, weather this month then it’s a good time to try and repair some of the damage done to your lawn if the excessive wetness has led to areas becoming muddy or traffic worn. Higher, but not extreme, temperatures allow

grass seed to readily germinate if muddy areas are over sown with fresh lawn seed. The prevalence of ‘April showers’ means that artificial irrigation is unnecessary while the new grass seedlings are establishing. There is a danger that heavy rainfall will wash away seed before it can germinate so, if this looks likely, a temporary covering of horticultural fleece should stop this. Protecting the seed with fleece will also prevent birds or rodents from consuming the seed before it can root and will also save the seed from mechanical disturbance (usually human!).

Horticultural fleece also comes in handy when dealing with that elusive beast; ‘The Last Frost’. By definition it is impossible to plan in advance for this specific point in the gardening year. In a particularly mild year, especially in the generally warmer climate of the south west, it is possible that the last frost has already occurred. Having said that, it is not unheard of to have a frost as late as May, although that would be particularly traumatic. If you have been tempted to plant out seed raised plants during a mild spell, or have sown hardy annuals in situ , then having some horticultural fleece on hand, to fling over them whenever temperatures plummet, is a good back-up plan.

Seed sown under cover during February or March may well need pricking out and potting on at this point even if it’s definitely too soon to plant them out. It’s getting late to sow annuals, to be used a gap fillers in the summer, as late sown plants will lag behind the earlier ones and day length may cause them to flower while the plants are still quite small. The reason why summer flowering annuals are sown as early as February, if you can provide supplementary heating, is so that they can grow to a decent size before changing day length switches them into flowering mode, at which point they put their energy into flower production rather than vegetative growth.

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With everything having been so wet you may not have been able to get onto beds and borders to do the usual ‘weed, feed and mulch’. If you did add a feed, such as fish, blood and bone, early in the season then it may have been washed away by now so it’s worth ensuring that any establishing plants, spring flowering bulbs and emerging herbaceous perennials get another dose now, weather permitting. Everything will be ‘on the move’ now so keeping on top of weed removal and looking out for pests and diseases is essential if you are going to nip them in the bud. Although they may be well emerged by now, it’s not too late to dig up and divide herbaceous plants that have made decent sized clumps. Longer days, warming soil temperatures and abundant moisture will ensure that any divided perennials (remember to incorporate some feed when replanting) will grow away quickly and make good sized plants before the end of the growing season.

Adding your chosen support method, before herbaceous perennials have grown too tall, is also a timely task. Pea sticks, usually cut hazel wands, are the traditional solution to providing plant support because they have the ability to become almost invisible in the border. Push their cut ends into the soil, around the plant that needs support, and then weave the flexible hazel twigs over that plant and

around the other hazel wands. This makes a kind of inverted ‘nest’ which supports the extending shoots as they grow up and through it. Pea sticks need to be cut in the winter while the hazel is dormant, they are a by-product of traditional coppicing, so some planning ahead is required although they can be obtained from local suppliers if you have nothing suitable in your own garden.

There will be plenty of plants coming into bloom this month as spring flowerers take over where the bulbs and winter flowerers have left off. On the herbaceous front, plants such as pulmonarias, epimediums and brunneras take over as the ‘Oriental Hellebores’ finish flowering. Also, primulas of every kind are blooming in profusion before many shrubs are even into leaf. Of the early flowering shrubs many highly scented viburnums, Viburnum x juddii being one of my favourites, or the similar Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Park Farm Hybrid’, are indispensable specimens. It’s a good time to visit plant nurseries and garden centres to look for what is flowering now and choosing them ‘in the flesh’. April is a good time to plant container grown shrubs, especially evergreens, as they are in active growth and should establish well in your garden before there’s any danger of soils drying out—something that seems a remote possibility at this juncture.

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TO LET: Near Bridport, Dorset PROPERTY OF THE MONTH 6 Bedrooms • Kitchen/Diner • 2 Reception Rooms • 4 bathrooms • Large Garden. (Paddocks available by separate negotiation). Furnished, Part Furnished, or Unfurnished. Available Now. Email: for details Beautiful six-bedroom farmhouse AVAILABLE FOR LONG-TERM RENT 36 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

Westcountry Your home in England’s

An article in a recent copy of The Times online newspaper received many quizzical comments when it suggested that Chard in Somerset may be an upcoming property investment opportunity. Stating that the town had been named as the ‘top housing hotspot’ after the number of homes sold there more than doubled last year, the article went on to say that Chard had been ‘boosted by an uplift in demand for detached homes as the postcode boasts a large number of four-bedroom houses.’ Although many of those commenting on the article had been surprised, there were those that pointed to the town’s wide high street with its many attractive old buildings, and the fact that it boasts three supermarkets, a new leisure centre, and claims itself as the birthplace of powered flight.

Whether a town like Chard is the ideal place to come and live, or even to invest in, it’s part of a Westcountry that still holds an incredible draw for people looking for somewhere to settle, whether escaping city life or just wanting a better life and more space for their children.

Stretching from Cornwall’s rugged coastline to Somerset’s rolling hills, the Westcountry is a mystic region that’s as diverse as it is intriguing. It is still an idyllic part of the UK, full of picturesque villages, historical landmarks, and unspoiled natural landscapes.

The Westcountry is steeped in history with a past that whispers tales of ancient Celtic tribes, Roman conquests, and heroic battles. It is also home to

unique customs and traditions, such as the practice of Wassailing in apple orchards and festive Morris Dancing, which can both be traced back to the region’s Celtic roots.

The area paints a landscape that is as captivating as it is diverse. A particular highlight is the South West Coast Path, England’s longest waymarked longdistance footpath, providing stunning views of the coastline.

Dorset is a particular gem and the area around Bridport is much sought admired, particularly due to it’s distance from main arteries and motorways. The county landscape that leads to the sea features a diversity that appeals to all tastes as it takes visitors and residents alike to the majestic Jurassic Coast, England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage site that stretches over 95 miles.

True to its rural roots, Dorset’s food offering is a product of its lush landscape. Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, Dorset Apple Cake, Moore’s Dorset Knobs and ales and ciders from local businesses such as Cerne Abbas Brewery or Issac Cider and Dorset Nectar are some of the many favourites.

Whether it’s Chard, Bridport, Glastonbury or Lyme Regis—whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie—the Westcountry offers something for everyone. But keep it to yourself. When The Times newspaper recently published a list of the top 25 places to live in the UK most of us breathed a sigh of relief when there was no mention of west Dorset.

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What better than to match Jon Corpe’s water buffalo mozzarella with some new season asparagus. It’s made just outside of Yeovil and most certainly is up there with some of the finest artisan Italian mozzarella. You may well have been distracted and seen Jon’s two huge herds by the roadside on the A37. It’s creamy and fresh and makes a perfect spring starter or even a light main course.



• 250g asparagus with the woody ends removed

• 4 buffalo mozzarella

• 1/2 tbs cider vinegar

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

• A few sprigs of chervil Serves 4

1. With a swivel peeler, shave the length of the asparagus as far as you can and put the shavings into cold water.

2. Cut the rest of the asparagus into a fine dice and mix with the oil and vinegar and season to taste.

3. Break the mozzarella in half, drain the asparagus and arrange on the mozzarella and spoon the dressing around.

Food&Dining 38 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

New Market for Dorchester

Anew monthly artisan market is heading for Dorchester in April. Following on from their hugely popular markets in Sherborne and Shaftesbury, Dorset Artisan Markets are bringing a collection of over 200 artisan traders to the streets of Dorchester on the fourth Sunday of each month from April through to November.

The organisers will be working with Dorchester Town Council, Dorset Council and Brewery Square to bring this exciting new market to the town.

Tara Bailey, Centre Manager at Brewery Square, added ‘We are delighted to be part of The Dorchester Artisan Market. Brewery Square is the perfect backdrop for this unique market which promises to be a celebration of craftsmanship, creativity and community, offering a curated selection of handmade goods, delectable treats and one of a kind treasures’.

The inaugural market will be officially opened by The Mayor of Dorchester Town Council, Alistair Chisholm.

The market will be held from 10am until 3pm. Starting in Borough Gardens where there will be food, drink and musical entertainment throughout the day, or visitors can bring a picnic and just enjoy the vibe. From Borough Gardens the market will run along West Walks, Bowling Alley Walk, South Street, South Walks and then into Brewery Square with stalls from the Atrium Health Centre into Eldridge Street, Drayhorse Yard and along Pope Street.

All the traders are local and produce their own products or have unique collections for sale. There are food and drink producers, crafts people, vintage clothing and vintage items for sale, plants, gardenalia and everything in between. The first market is scheduled for April 28th. For more information visit

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40 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031


so Rotten

Embarking on a talking tour of the UK, John Lydon is still reeling from the loss of his wife Nora and his best friend and manager John ‘Rambo’ Stevens. He talked to Fergus Byrne.

It’s mid morning in Los Angeles and the sun is warming the pavements as John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten from The Sex Pistols, sips a chilled Red Stripe. His trademark spiky hair is still untamed and unruly, but these days it’s more sun-bleached than ginger. He stares through red and beige tortoise-shell glasses, wide eyed because he’s been up since the ‘crack of dawn’. He says he loves the sun and has no curtains or blinds in his bedroom. ‘As soon as the sun rises, I join it!’

But his mornings have changed. He lives alone since the death of his wife of over 40 years, Nora Forster. She died with Alzheimer’s just under a year ago and he is devastated without her. He hears her voice all the time. “Gets up you lazy bastards” he bellows, mimicking what he calls ‘that little German accent of hers’. He tells me he forces himself to ‘welcome reality’ every morning. He has Nora’s ashes next to the bed and describes how the sun rises and shines on her urn, making it glisten. ‘It’s got cheap little glisteny bits in it, and it’s like her twinkling at me.’ I suggest she is saying good morning to him and he replies thoughtfully and slowly, ‘Yes, I think so...’ Because that’s how he remembers their mornings together and the things she might sometimes say, such as: “John’s, you looks ugly this mornings”. He relishes the memory of her ‘dryest humour.’

Nora is not the only loss in his life at the moment. His best friend and manager John “Rambo” Stevens died suddenly after complications from an aortic heart dissection in December. However, despite explaining how ‘very hard and seriously puzzling’ it is for him to deal with the grief—‘in the same year to lose your best friend and the love of your life, your wife’—John points out there are worse things going on around the world and tries to use that thought to fend off the pain. But like anyone else who has tried that tack, he likely knows it’s a very thin defence against the pain of loss.

‘Internally, I’m in a constant state of self correction and self doubt, and phobias, and problems, and learning to deal with them’

In May he is coming to England to start a spoken word tour. Entitled, I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right 2024, it is being billed as Untamed, Unscripted and Uncensored. The shows may well be a revelation for those that only know of Johnny Rotten, the “hellraising” lead singer of the Sex Pistols. He was never really what you could call a “hell-raiser”. However, he did swear on national television once, and let’s face it, that’s often enough for headline hungry tabloids to build a profile on.

Although the Sex Pistols were only together for a little over two years and despite it now being more than 45 year since the band broke up, for many people his legacy is still stuck in the late seventies world of punk. But in fact he was quickly disillusioned by the media hype that had been cleverly manipulated by the band’s manager, Malcolm McLaren. He knows he was a mouthy, angry young man then, but the exploitation and the image management has stuck, even though he has since founded and been the lead singer with Public Image Limited (PiL), a band that has produced eleven studio albums and been widely regarded as one of the most innovative and influential bands of their era.

He is well aware that none of that will change the general perception of who he is. ‘There’s so many people out there that deliberately want to get me wrong ’he says. ‘And I’m frightened, sort of, that they’ll misuse whatever information I’ve provided.’ He admits he ‘might not have got all of it right, but I think I’m on a good and healthy road. They got it wrong about me right at the start. And they’re continuing that line of torture. It’s harmful, and

it’s hurtful to misjudge a person. And the trouble with being in the public eye is you’re constantly misjudged.’

And that begs the question of whether he thinks what he has to say, musically or in spoken word is relevant today. ‘I’ve no idea’ he says. ‘I just deal with the situations at hand that I have to cope with. And thereby try to explain them, not only to myself, but to others. If they’re of some use to outside folk, then that’s all well and good. But internally, I’m in a constant state of self correction and self doubt, and phobias, and problems, and learning to deal with them—honestly and deeply considering all the aspects and points of view therein. That’s an ongoing process. I’m very far from becoming a perfect human being.’

The reality of this tour, whether in part to change misjudgement and perception or to determine whether he has a future in music, is it’s a way for one man to get back up off the floor after being knocked sideways by grief. He’s doing the gigs as much for Nora and Rambo as he is for himself, and for a fan base that he says ‘really wouldn’t want me to fall back into and wallow in self pity.’ He says Nora is in his head, ‘telling me get out and confront the situation, deal with it.’ There is no script he says, ‘no flashing Tiller Girls to come on and disco lights, no fully fledged comedian with predetermined jokes. No! it’s Johnny. I sink or swim by the moment.’

And he’s not one that might be short of a story or two. Born left handed he remembers how the nuns would hit him with the side of a ruler to try to get him to use his right hand. He laughs at the memory, “Oh he’s a devil that one!” he says, this time mimicking an Irish accent.

As a young boy he got meningitis and spent a year away from school, some of the time in a coma. ‘I came back with glasses’ he remembers. ‘Nobody knew me. I didn’t know anyone. My memory wasn’t quite back together again because of the coma.’ He says they spent the next year or two trying to convince him that he was really right-handed. ‘That was wicked beyond belief. Because that was the only thing that my brain remembered—that I was instinctively left!’

He developed a natural tendency to disagree with authority, especially when it appeared to be unjust. And although catching up after time spent out of education, he was no fool and often quick to answer back when treated disrespectfully. Now he is 68 years old and I ask him what has changed? ‘I would hope an enormous amount’ he says ‘like a fine wine you must mature with age.’ But he doesn’t think he has calmed down that much. ‘I still instinctively will

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stand up for the disenfranchised and always be an angry young man.’ He smiles, ‘Growing old distastefully.’

The last few years of his life with Nora were pretty grown up. He was her full-time carer as she gradually lost her memory. At one point he remembers how she suddenly stopped in the ‘fast lane’ of a six lane highway in Los Angeles. A former racing driver from her youth in Germany she had forgotten where she was. ‘And that’s when I knew this was bad’ he recalls. He doesn’t drive but managed to somehow manoeuvre the car back to their home.

They got an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and she began to slowly develop different phases ‘in and out of conscious behaviour.’ There was a period when he would have to keep all the doors locked. ‘Because if she got out she would run for miles and get lost, and do that at high speed too. She could run like a gazelle. And so I’d have to get police hunts out for her.’ She would manage to go for miles trying to find somewhere familiar. Coming back in the back of a police car he remembers how she found it very amusing and would jump out with a cheery ‘“Hello Johnny!”—like she’d a great time.’

He tells me that, strangely, his upbringing prepared him for the role of carer. His mother was ‘ill a lot’ and had miscarriages when he was young. And his Dad worked away, leaving John to look after his younger siblings and deal with his mother’s illness. ‘So I was fully prepared to deal with Nora when it became very, very compromising for her.’ Especially as he had strong memories of the period after he had meningitis and his own memory became an issue for nearly four years. ‘I learned a huge lesson in life from that very experience. I could understand and empathise with her greatly.’

They never had children. ‘We nearly did’ he tells me. ‘But she panicked and had an abortion.’ He was on tour at the time and says she was worried that it would be a pressure on him. ‘It broke both of our hearts at the time, but in a very odd way, it brought us closer together.’

Whatever comes of the, I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right 2024, tour, John Lydon hasn’t mellowed with age and says ‘I’ll deal with what I’m asked. Because I don’t want to disappoint people by being dishonest.’

He says he has no fear of honesty but rather a fear of not being honest. ‘I don’t want to start waxing lyrical and being fabulous. Because the temptation when you’re on a stage is to do exactly everything that is wrong in life.’ And that’s a temptation that he has eschewed for a very long time.

John Lydon ‘I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right 2024’, starts in Brighton on May 1st. He will be at the Guildhall in Axminster on May 15th. Tickets are available from:

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44 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

classic MOVINGpunk

From Page to Screen, Bridport’s Film Festival promises eclectic viewing once again. Curator Rebecca Lenkiewicz talks to Fergus Byrne

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Talking with Rebecca Lenkiewicz about the films she has chosen for this year’s From Page To Screen Film Festival, there is little doubt that her vast experience as an actor, playwright, screenwriter and now director, has contributed to a wide-ranging and eclectic choice of films.

She highlight’s the Werner Herzog film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser which was first released in 1974. The film is based on the true story of a youth who appeared out of nowhere in West Germany in 1828. He had lived the first seventeen years of his life in chains in a tiny cellar with only a toy horse to play with. The only human contact he had up until his release was a mysterious man wearing a black overcoat and top hat who fed him.

Rebecca recalls seeing the film when she was about 13. She would watch Herzog films on video with her father and mentions Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre but says ‘Kaspar hit me the most’. She loved the philosophy of the film describing it as ‘about human kindness and cruelty and the randomness of life.’ The actor who plays Kaspar, Bruno Schleinstein, a busker with no previous acting experience received wide praise for his performance. Rebecca remembers being struck by both the film and the actor ‘It’s very beautiful visually and a remarkable portrait of an extraordinary man, Kaspar, who was real. And the actor who plays him had a fascinating history of isolation and ostracism from society too.’

This year’s festival mix introduces viewers to an glorious selection of individuals that might be seen as mavericks, eccentrics, bohemians and in some cases perhaps, misfits. Rebecca admits she is attracted to ‘stories about outsiders.’ Which is why Joan of Arc appealed too. She describes it as ‘the seismic bravery

and otherness of a teenage girl. It’s just incredible, and the film itself is so startling.’ She is looking forward to the live music accompaniment which will be provided by local musicians Andrew Goldberg and Ricky Romain.

‘When there is scant contact with the director after delivery it can feel very strange.’

Rebecca will also introduce Disobedience directed by Sebastian Lelie for which she co-wrote the screenplay. From an original story by author Naomi Alderman, Rebecca got involved when Rachel Weisz decided to produce the film. In a BBC interview Rebecca described how the process of bringing characters to the screen can sometimes be collaborative. Speaking of the characters in Disobedience she said that in adapting you almost have to feel that you are “birthing” these people too. She explained “Naomi’s birthed them and then we take them on a journey and see where they go”.

However, although the relationship between producers, directors and screenwriters can be collaborative, it can also be detached. ‘Writing screenplays is fascinating but complex’ she says. ‘If it’s an adaptation you already have a relationship with the book and perhaps with the author. Then there’s a relationship with the producer and the director. But primarily your interaction is with the script and these characters. And that interaction becomes incredibly emotional and you have a deep connection to it.’ But there is also a feeling of being bereft. ‘Then it can be quite painful when you’ve finished the script and you

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deliver it. People imagine that’s a relief and it is but it’s also usually a farewell and that can feel quite hard. Sometimes I co write with the directors so there is more of a notion of how the film will be, but when there is scant contact with the director after delivery it can feel very strange.’

This, she says is one of the reasons she is drawn to directing. She has recently completed her directorial debut, a film of her adaptation of Deborah Levy’s novel Hot Milk

Another film that features two apparently misfit individuals on a fictionalised road trip is Typist, Artist, Pirate, King about artist Audrey Amiss and her psychiatric nurse. Amiss is played by Monica Dolan (Mr Bates Vs The Post Office), and her psychiatric nurse is played by Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, No Country for Old Men, Operation Mincemeat). A talented artist in her youth, Amiss was beset with mental health problems and instead of pursuing her artistic journey became a short-hand typist working for the civil service. Up to her death in 2013, she had dozens of admissions to psychiatric wards. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. In a wonderful and touching narrative Amiss and her psychiatric nurse travel north reconnecting with key individuals and moments from Amiss’s past, while Macdonald’s life also slowly unravels.

This year is the 15th anniversary of From Page To Screen. It is the only festival to focus on adaptations and was established as a big screen companion to Bridport Arts Centre’s international literary ‘Bridport Prize’, which is drawing its own fiftieth year to a close.

Rebecca’s introduction to From Page to Screen was last year when she came as a guest of Festival curator Sir Christopher Hampton. She talked about the film

She Said. It is the true story of how two New York Times journalists uncovered the Harvey Weinstein ‘Me Too’ scandal. Rebecca wrote the screenplay as the book was unfolding. She explained how that particular experience changed her attitude to journalism. ‘Writing, She Said, my respect for true journalism went sky high’ recalls Rebecca. ‘My admiration of Jodi Kantor and Megan Towey and all the reporters at the New York Times was immense.’

Writing the screenplay while the book was being drafted gave her a perspective not often afforded to a screenplay writer. ‘They were all so thorough and there was absolute due diligence with every person and story. It was really an art form.’ She loved meeting them and described the research on that film as ‘profound’, meeting survivors of Weinstein who she said were ‘so deeply impressive.’ Rebecca believes ‘the effects of sexual assault are for life on the victim and it’s imperative that governments and police recognise that and support victims of sexual violence.’ Her work on She Said was nominated as the BAFTAs best adapted screenplay and Golden Globe Critics’ Choice Award.

Speakers at this year’s event will include acclaimed actors Francesca Annis and Christopher Ecclestone as well as writers and directors Christopher Hampton and Simon Chambers.

There will also be the latest award-winning films at Bridport Arts Centre and the Electric Cinema, as well as installations and exhibitions at BAC’s Allsop Gallery and at Clocktower Records.

As Rebecca so succinctly put it, this year’s From Page to Screen Festival is going to be “Fantastic. Classic. Moving. Punk. Vibrant!’

For a complete line up and ticket details visit

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Until 4 April

Local Landscape – Jonathan Mulvaney Jonathan Mulvaney has been painting plein-air for the last 20 years, previous to this he made sculpture, ranging from portrait commissions to monumental urban landmarks. Jonathan says ‘When I look at plein-air paintings I do my best to appreciate the painting as an expression of the time and place, and as an event of making that is keenly tuned through local conditions and the artists understanding and skill. To own a local painting is a complete statement that holds out against the ever-homogenising visual world and makes a stand for the unique nature of local.’ Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend Jonathan will be demonstrating his painting technique in the courtyard outside the Malthouse Gallery. Malthouse Gallery, Mill Lane, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3PU.

4 - 8 April

Let’s Keep Art! For two days and an evening, Jo from Oops Wow Messy Art will take over the Allsop Gallery at Bridport Arts Centre. Everyone is welcome to come in and have a play. There will be a couple of lead activities each day, but you can come in at any time, play with what is there, and add your bit! Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NR.

Until 5 April

The Spring Exhibition Paintings by Suchi Chidambaram, Oaul Denham, Martin Goold, Robert Hewer. Ceramics by Victoria Meadows. Dog portraits by Amy Balck. Artwave West, Morcombelake, Bridport DT6 6DY. www.

Until 13 April

Liz Somerville - A Pastoral Poem Linocuts & watercolours. For most of her career Liz has focussed on linocut, and sometimes woodcut. There is always a story

to the image, the intention is for the viewer to enter and find it. ‘This appeals to my deep seated enjoyment of all those illustrated stories I read at as a child. As an artist I look for this same quality but my attention is also drawn to the lie and flow of the land, unexpected colour, traces of past use (modern or ancient), texture and form.’ Liz graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1988 with a degree in textile design and spent sixteen years working as a designer in London, before moving to Dorset and becoming a full-time artist. Her work has been exhibited widely in galleries and exhibitions within the UK, including The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth. The Art Stable Child Okeford Blandford Dorset DT11 8HB.

24 April - 4 May

The Future We Make An exploration of cinematic visions of The future using footage, installation and archive material. This stunning installation in the Bridport Arts Centre’s Allsop Gallery by production designers

Caroline Greville-Morris and Marcus Wookey, evokes cinematic visions of the future using footage, set-building and archive material. Greville-Morris was the designer on the steampunk dystopia Mutant Chronicles, while Wookey envisioned a utopian world where scientists harness the collective subconscious in Mind Gamers. Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR.

27 April - 8 May

Dorset – Earth, Sea & Sky in Silver, Glass, Card & Textiles. Four Local Artists, Stephanie Mogg, Caroline Lewis, Jenny Penney and Wendy Hermelin are delighted to exhibit their multi disciplinary collection of art works. This extraordinary mix of talents makes a stunning display of artistic skills not to be missed. Stephanie Mogg is a jewellery designer creating beautiful pieces from a

48 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

variety of precious metals and colourful gemstones. She incorporates different textures with a variety of finishes. Instagram: @stephanie.mogg.designs Caroline Lewis is a painter & fused glass artist based in south Somerset. She creates vessels and framed glass art inspired by the sea, coastal margins and wild nature.

Artist Jenny Penney creates iconic Sculpted Landscapes in Relief by cutting and layering card. She also draws highly detailed landscapes in ink. Everything she produces is inspired by Dorset’s beautiful coast, countryside and its wildlife. Wendy Hermelin is a textile artist who dyes, paints and stitches new and recycled fabrics, to create land and seascapes inspired by Dorset and beyond. There will be daily demonstrations of techniques. To ensure you see the individual artist of your choice, dates can be found on Jenny’s website. Eype Centre for the Arts, Mount Lane, Eype DT6 6AR 10am – 4.30pm. Access for All.

Until 12 May

David Inshaw ‘Remember’ recent paintings and previously unseen etchings. David Inshaw is acclaimed for his resonant paintings of the English countryside, alive with light effects, trees, birds in flight, bonfires and figures not posing but caught up in their own inner lives. He has charted his life through poetic pictures that speak urgently to all of us who experience the same emotions and dramas. Now that he is in his eighties he is focused on touch points in the West Country landscape such as Silbury Hill, Stonehenge and the Devil’s Den as well as churchyards and fireworks that haunt his memory and his dreams. As the loss of his memory beckons, he is painting as strongly and poignantly as ever in works that are both intensely personal and universal in their potency. Sladers Yard Gallery, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. All enquiries please telephone 01308 459511 or email:

Under Ancient Skies Louise Balaam NEAC RWA. Louise Balaam is a painter of expressive, gestural landscapes, communicating an intense emotional response to the experience of being in the landscape. For this exhibition she explores ancient sites – standing stones, hill forts – ‘I like the idea of tapping into the sense of reverence and meaning that the whole space around these ancient sites, including the sky, would have held to people in the past, which we have (for the most part) so sadly

lost. I’m not generally painting the megaliths or stone circles themselves, but trying to evoke a sense of the atmosphere of the place.’ Sladers Yard Gallery, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. All enquiries please telephone 01308 459511 or email:

Until 7 July

Spring 2024 mixed exhibition ; by gallery artists & guest artists. This mixed exhibition features over a dozen of gallery artists, plus four guest artists, including a range of sculptures, oils, and prints. Devon-based Mary Gillett will be exhibiting a series of her collagraphs along with the corresponding plate for each work. Alongside these will be other prints from Dorset-based Colin Moore and Bristol based Ruth Ander. Many other artists will also be exhibiting their various sculptures, ceramics, and oils including Johannes von Stumm, Alison Wear, and Phillippa Headley. A new guest artist will be pieces by renowned sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff. Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Tincleton, nr Dorchester, DT2 8QR. Opening / performance times: 10am – 4pm Fri/ Sat/Sun/Mon or by appointment. 01305 848 909. www.

APRIL Live or Online send your gallery details to BY MARCH 15th Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 49

Landscapes in Sound & Vision

Painter, composer, research-based writer and poet, Marc Yeats, talks to Fergus Byrne

When asked to describe his art, Marc Yeats, a multi-talented and multi-discipline artist, uses the analogy of asking a baker to suggest what slice of a particular cake to choose. ‘They are all part of a whole’ he explains. ‘I paint, I exhibit as a painter, but you don’t have to know I’m a composer.’ In the same way he says, ‘I write music, but you don’t have to know that I paint. They are all interlinked.’ He also writes, and has a book, Music, Painting, Landscape and Me, being published in April. He describes it as ‘an intellectual and philosophical exploration’ of his practice.

Expanding on his multi-disciplinary art, Marc says he receives ‘masses of stimulus’ and inspiration from the world around him, but doesn’t know where that stimulus will take him—and most importantly what medium it will end up in. ‘I may spend quite an intense period painting, and then do no painting for a couple of months.’ The result is an expression of himself that manifests in two different mediums, painting and music. Which sometimes makes it hard to interpret the outcome. Hence the book, which is partly an exercise in interpreting his work but also a way to try to put the result into another medium or ‘language’. ‘My paintings and my music speak for themselves in the “language” that they give off’ he says. ‘I wanted to take the challenge of putting into words how and why I do what I do, without knowing the answers. So the book is really a huge process of examining all of the ingredients that go into making me into a complete artist.’

It’s an interesting exercise. We all view and interpret art in different ways and sometimes disagree with another person’s take on work we like or dislike. An intellectual self analysis, interpreted through the artist’s own output takes this to another level.

Writing about his art, Marc says he is creating ‘another form of artistic expression’ while guiding his viewers and listeners—and himself—on a journey through his work. However, although he says ‘because it’s me talking about me, it’s impossible to claim absolute objectivity’, it is not without research. He says: ‘It’s not one of those coffee table painting books, which are predominantly illustrations and very little text.’ The book is text based with just a few illustrations. But although he doesn’t see it as an academic book he says ‘it kind of is.’ He says it’s full of references to ‘philosophers, quantum mechanics, fuzzy logic, geography, geology, science, mythology, psychology—it’s a researched book.’ He describes it as ‘drawing analogies and similarities between the two processes’ and says ‘although they are both very different, they are both very similar.’

Marc’s multi-discipline development came in stages. Painting and music he says ‘arose at the same time in my mind’. However he started painting long before he began composing. This was mainly due to the practicalities of having to learn an instrument or learn how to write music, when starting to paint was instantly accessible by simply picking up a paintbrush or drawing on paper. He was selling his art from the age of 15 but says ‘musically, I was increasingly frustrated’, because he had to teach himself how to read and write music from scratch. He explains that his ‘musical imagination’ was far in advance of the techniques he had to express what he was hearing or imagining. He describes his efforts to create what was in his head as like ‘giving birth to a porcupine.’ His music notation, he says, was very primitive ‘like something an 8 year-old has done’.

However, despite those limitations and while continuing painting, he decided, in his early thirties to send his compositions off to composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. The result was he was accepted to a summer school with Maxwell Davies on the Orkney Islands off the North coast of Scotland. He remembers it nearly brought on a nervous breakdown, as not having gone through music study in university he appeared less advanced and less experienced than the other students. ‘They had all the lingo’ he says. ‘And I had bugger all.’

But he persevered and at the end of the course Maxwell Davies helped promote his work and he suddenly found himself on BBC Radio 3 in front of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘Just like that!’ he says. He was described as a ‘rising star’. He remembers it as both ‘exciting’ as well as ‘overwhelming’ and for many years his composition work took an upward trajectory.

He had broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 as well as US, German, Slovak and New Zealand radio. His works were performed by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists as far afield as New York and Tokyo, with many of his compositions performed to considerable acclaim by the BBC, including with the BBC Philharmonic. Key commissions across the years included a piano concerto with the BBC Philharmonic in 1999, the acapella choral piece, ‘sturzstrom’ for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad held in the UK, vocal installations for hospitals exploring dementia and composition for the Hallé Orchestra to celebrate World Aids Day 2008, along with a great many chamber and ensemble pieces.

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However, he recalls how like many artists, his moment in the spotlight waned. He cites how the last piece he had done with the BBC Philharmonic got rave reviews in the Times, the Observer and the Scotsman but then everything quietened down. He believes some of that sudden change in interest can be down to age. ‘I think in this country, there is a tendency to idolize the young, regardless of how good or bad they are. It’s like some kind of fetish we have.’ On the other side of the coin he says ‘we completely neglect talented people when they get to middle age, and take all career prospects away from them because the investment is in the young.’ He worries that ‘young people are then brought up in this glittery kind of world’ without realizing that when they get to a certain age they will be unceremoniously dropped out of the spotlight. He says it happens ‘over and over again’ unless you have the right background or connections, ‘in which case you kind of can go through the system.’

So, perhaps pushing against that trend, Marc has since completed a PhD at the School of Music at the University of Leeds and has developed a new method of composing. It is called ‘timecode supported poly temporal music.’ He explains that, in simple terms, ‘every musician in the orchestra plays in at an independent speed to every other. And because they’re doing that, you don’t have a conductor.’ A more detailed explanation can be found on YouTube at the following link: com/watch?v=HUA1oQBI50E&ab_channel=MarcYeats.

A piece commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2021 is to be premiered at the Tectonics Festival of New and Experimental Music in Glasgow in May this year. ‘I’ve got players in different parts of the auditorium, all playing different speeds to one another’ says Marc. This system of composing, which was the basis for his PhD, has he says, had precedents in

the 1950s, 60s and 70s ‘but I have taken it a couple of notches up’.

Marc is quick to accept that most of his musical work is ‘challenging to perform’ and that ‘a lot of people would find it challenging to listen to.’ He knows that it’s not populist. ‘It’s not based on the tropes of classical music that people are familiar with.’ However, he believes that ‘given the right encouragement and support, anybody can engage with the kind of music that I make.’

One way of bringing his music to a wider audience is through community projects. He has run many in the past but his most recent one does indeed seem like quite a deviation from his composition work. In March he ran a course in Lyme Regis called 5 Shanties for the 21st Century He described it as ‘a reimagining of shanties from the traditional idiom, using a whole range of completely different vocal techniques to reimagine how those words could be set to create particular atmospheres’. He wanted to create something outside of the traditional shanty style ‘quite melancholic, quite out there’ he says. He sees it as a way of communicating some of the aspects of how he thinks and how he works with music and putting that into what is called the ‘leisure time music domain.’

He sees his music workshops as an effort ‘to find that point of commonality’ between his techniques, the way he lives and breathes musically and the world of somebody else’s musical experience, so they can bring that together and create something new.

Marc also has a new exhibition of his paintings at the John Davies Gallery in Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloustershire which is running until May 11th. For more information visit: https://www.

To contact Marc Yeats visit: contact/ or email

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Sneak Peek

A peek at what’s coming up on stage and screen near you

All trees are clocks - Live Corn Exchange, Dorchester, Sunday, 21 April, 2.30pm.

Book at:.

Mustang - Film

Bridport Arts Centre, Thursday, 25 April, 5pm.

Book at:

NYE - National Theatre Live

Bridport Electric Palace, Tuesday, 23 April, 7.00pm.

Book at:

Steve Tilston - Live

The David Hall, South Petherton, Saturday 27 April, 8.00pm.

Just click on an image to view a trailer
52 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

Wicked Little Letters - Film

Bridport Electric Palace, Friday, 12 April, 7:30pm

Book at:

London Astrobeat Orchestra - Live

Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Saturday, 20 April, 8.00pm.

Book at:

EOS John Singer Sargent - Film

Bridport Arts Centre, Tuesday, 16 April 7.30pm. Book at:

India Electric Company - Live

The Beehive, Honiton, Friday, 12 April, 7.30pm. Book at:

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April PREVIEW 54 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

Fusion folk HONITON

THE India Electric Co, a duo who blend traditional music and electronica, make a welcome return visit to the Beehive Centre at Honiton on Friday 12th April at 7.30pm. East Devon musicians Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe, who are described as “a veritable musical magpie’s nest” by BBC Radio 3 and a “full musical odyssey”, by BBC Radio 1, blend traditional instruments, folk melodies and subtle electronic influences. The folk radio station FRUK described them as “one of the truly pioneering acts in folk music.”

They have performed widely throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and in this country at many venues and festivals and at the Royal Albert Hall.

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The Passion of Living Spit LYME REGIS

THE iconoclastic Living Spit, led by Stu McLoughlin, now sadly without the late Howard Coggins, tackles one of the greatest stories of all—The Passion, in the company’s latest show, touring this spring, with local performances at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, on Wednesday 17th April, the Exchange at Sturminster Newton on Friday 19th, and May dates in Devon at Plough Arts at Great Torrington and Exeter’s Barnfield Theatre.

The Passion of Living Spit, is the company’s hilarious and fearless attempt to recreate “the most divine comedy of all time.” They promise “a hilarious theatrical journey through the life and unfortunate death of the bearded, ethnically ambiguous offspring of God, Jesus H Christ.”

The show features what they call “a smattering of JC’s greatest hits—water into wine! Loaves and fishes! Parables! Miracles! Animals! Vegetables! Minerals! And with a holy host of reimagined Easter hymns,

this is a Sunday school lesson unlike any other.”

With a dash of irreverent wit, a sprinkle of divine inspiration and a hearty helping of tasteless biblical buffoonery, The Passion of Living Spit promises to give a whole new meaning to the term ‘“cross-dressing.”

Perhaps not for the easily religiously offended, but if you’ve seen Living Spit before and have enjoyed their previous shows, including The Nativity, you will be ready to enjoy an evening of unparalleled silliness—and right now, perhaps that’s what we all need!


VILLAGES in Action, Devon’s rural touring arts organisation, is inviting applications from performers and writers to take part in this year’s From Devon With Love, the annual scratch festival in September.

The festival is open to Devon-based artists working in live performance with a new piece they are ready to test out in front of a friendly audience.

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Living Spit’s new show is their uniquely iconoclastic and hilarious take on The Passion

The VIA team wants to hear from performers making original work, including theatre, dance, circus, storytelling, spoken word, puppetry and poetry. Ten artists will receive support including time with the VIA producing team, up to £400 performance fee and a 30-60 minute slot at the festival.

For the first time, the festival organisers are also making additional support available for previously excluded, neurodivergent and global majority artists in the application process.

If this sounds like you, find out more about the From Devon With Love festival on the website Applications close on 9th April.

The last witch trial BRIDPORT

THE energetic and inventive all-female theatre company Scratchworks come to Bridport Arts Centre open Tuesday 9th April with their latest show, Hags: A Magical Extravaganza.

The action begins in Bideford in 1682, where the last witch trial in England took place. Three women were accused of witchcraft, tried and hanged. Witches … magic? Fast forward to the present day and name one female magician—whatever happened?

Join Scratchworks for an evening with three fearless females climbing out of their boxes, shaking off the sequins and investigating what really happened in a

small town in North Devon 340 years ago.

Packed full of magic tricks, physical comedy and live music, the trio explore the witch-hunt mania that swept the country and sent hundreds of innocent women to the gallows. With mind-blowing illusions, stupendous stunts and the occasional disappearing rabbit, Hags sets the record straight for thousands of falsely accused women with all the joy, silliness and spectacle they can muster.

Later in the tour, Scratchworks are bringing Hags to the Barnfield Theatre at Exeter on Friday and Saturday 17th and 18th May, and Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Thursday 23rd May.

Poll dancing


TIMES Radio presenter and political columnist Matt Chorley is looking forward to the general election and he wants to share his thoughts and expertise with audiences across the country, including the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis, where he will perform his show, Poll Dancer, on Friday 26th April.

Drawing on his own two decades of reporting from Westminster and two centuries of history, he will deliver his hilarious guide to winning and losing at the polls. The Have I Got News For You regular is back with his third stand-up tour, ready to focus-group the audience and compile his own manifesto, which he is sure is guaranteed to get him the keys to No10.

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Scratchworks arena tour with Hags, a tale of witchcraft

Matt has been a Westminster-based political journalist since 2005, when politics was boring, and it has gradually got madder as he worked his way through the Press Association, Western Morning News, Independent on Sunday, MailOnline and The Times. Since June 2020, he has presented the weekday mid-morning show on Times Radio, including features like PMQs Unpacked, If I Ruled The World and the popular quiz, Can You Get To No10? Poll Dancer will also be at Taunton’s Brewhouse arts centre on Friday 19th April.

Award-winning quartet CONCERTS IN THE WEST

FOUR musicians who have won prizes for their commitment to encouraging audiences for chamber music as well as their accomplished playing, the Gildas Quartet will give a Concerts in the West series at Bridport, Ilminster, Crewkerne and, for the first time, Shaftesbury, over the weekend 19th to 21st April.

Tom Aldren and Gemma Sharples, violins, Christine Anderson, viola, and Anna Menzies, cello, who are praised for their “energy, verve and refreshing approach,” have performed to critical acclaim at major venues including the Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and live on BBC Radio 3. Their

bold approach to performance was recognised at the International Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition at Graz, Austria, where they won first prize in the Audience Engagement Award 2018.

Determined to bring the visceral experience of string quartet performance to audiences at close quarters, the Gildas launched their immersive “Surround Sound Sessions” project in winter 2019. The series ranged from one-work pop-up concerts in unusual settings to full-length recitals, with the audience literally in the midst of the players, in surround sound.

Their programme for the April tour includes works by Montgomery, Haydn, Puccini and Debussy. The concerts are at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 19th at 11.30am, Ilminster Arts Centre, Friday 19th at 7.30pm, Crewkerne Dance House on Saturday 20th at 7.30, and Shaftesbury’s St Peter’s Church on Sunday 21st at 3pm.

Crossing folk genres


THE Urban Folk Quartet—four musicians who have played with many of the biggest names on the contemporary folk scene—comes to Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday 13th April.

Sometimes known as UFQ, this exciting group

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Matt Chorley is poll dancing for his latest tour

UFQ share open attitude to the many musical influences they encounter.

has a repertoire which has much less to do with the traditional idea of genre than an open attitude to the many musical influences they encounter.

With two outstanding fiddlers in the line-up, their music is fiddle-led and draws heavily on Celtic dance forms and traditional song, but from there on in it is unlike any folk band you have ever heard. The UFQ’s approach to the folk ethos is to embrace any and every influence that genuinely makes sense of their time and place and makes sense in their music, from funk grooves to middle-eastern melodies, Afrobeat to north Indian rhythms.

The quartet is Galician fiddler Paloma Trigás, who has played with The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon and Altan, fiddler Joe Broughton (Albion Band, Bellowhead), Dan Walsh, one of the country’s finest banjo players and a gifted singer and guitarist, who has played with the Seth Lakeman Band, and The Levellers, and percussionist Tom Chapman, (Jacqui McShee’s Circle, While & Matthews, Russell & Algar) who is widely considered to be the most accomplished and innovative player of the South American percussion instrument, the cajon.

The enduring magic of Alice DORCHESTER AND TAUNTON

BOX Tale Soup are bringing their charming

adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Dorchester Arts at the Corn Exchange on Tuesday 2nd April and Taunton’s Brewhouse arts centre on Wednesday 3rd, both at 2pm.

Follow Alice on her remarkable journey, from her fleeting encounters with the White Rabbit to her eventual showdown with the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts. A confrontational caterpillar, ukelele-twanging Tweedle twins and an array of other crazy characters pop up along the way, before Alice comes face to face with her own imagination and perhaps the author of her dreams.

The show, which runs for just under an hour (a sensible length for young audiences), features a dozen colourful handmade puppets, a beautiful set that unfolds from a vintage trunk and magical original music. Lewis Carroll’s enduring masterpiece is brought to the stage in an inventive new production sure to delight anyone of any age with a vivid imagination and an appetite for adventure!

Coracle paddles a new wave SOUTH PETHERTON

THREE musicians with very different backgrounds who perform together as Coracle come to the David Hall at South Petherton, on Saturday 13th April at 8pm, for a concert that brings together both

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traditional and contemporary music.

The trio are Paul Hutchinson, accordion, well-known for his work with Belshazzar’s Feast, among others, Anna Tam, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who draws particularly on traditional and historic song, and Karen Wimhurst, clarinettist, composer and choral director.

Their musical approach is flexible, built on trusted traditional foundations, yet uniquely tuned to respond to and embrace the ebbs and flows, squalls and flurries of each musical current which carries them.

At its heart, Coracle represents the British folk tradition, interwoven with contemporary classical and splashes of early music. The three artists draw on very different musical experiences and have come together through their love of experimentation, boldness, humour and risk.

BBC Young Musician returns DORCHESTER

MARTIN James Bartlett, the 2014 winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, makes a return visit to Dorchester Corn Exchange on Friday 5th April, with a wide-ranging programme that includes jewels of the baroque period through to 20th century favourites.

He first came to Dorchester in 2016, just two years after his BBC triumph. Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength, and this April programme will be a powerful showcase of his prodigious talent.

His performances are critically acclaimed—“astonishing delicacy and punch,” said the Daily Telegraph and the Times called him “thrilling.” Martin possesses a fearless technique and plays with a maturity and elegance far beyond his years.

His Corn Exchange programme includes music by Rameau, Couperin, Debussy, Ravel, Granados, Ginastera and Gershwin (including Rhapsody in Blue).

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Martin James Bartlett

Rosie is a triple threat


THE extraordinary comedian Rosie Jones is excited to be on the road for a UK tour and is bringing her new show, Triple Threat, to Bridport’s Electric Palace on Friday 5th April.

Join Rosie as she ponders whether she is a national treasure, a little prick—or somewhere in between! This show is guaranteed to be full of unapologetic cheekiness, nonsensical fun and unadulterated JOY from the triple threat herself.

Rosie is best known for her hit travel series, Trip Hazard and Mission: Accessible, and for appearances on shows including The Last Leg, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Mock the Week and The Ranganation. Earlier this year, she also demonstrated her dramatic acting skills in a nail-biting and poignant episode of the BBC 1 hit series, Call the Midwife. Is there no end to her talent?

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62 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031

Exploring climate change


DORSET-based cellist Emily Burridge and composer and clarinettist Karen Wimhurst come to Dorchester Corn Exchange on Sunday 21st April for an afternoon live music and multi-media event, All Trees are Clocks, exploring the environmental impacts of climate change through music.

The concert is the second performance this season at Dorchester responding to environmental issues. The two musicians will accompany a presentation of field recordings and video created by ecologist and sound artist Adrian Newton, documenting how ancient woodlands change through the seasons and over longer timescales.

This is a unique opportunity to attend a performance of this collaborative piece, which was recently featured on the Cerys Matthews show on BBC Radio 6.

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 63

Screen Time

with Nic Jeune

Top Six at the Flix

From Page to Screen Film Festival 2024

Hard to choose from this year’s excellent line up. However top of my list goes to one of the greatest films of all time.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1929)

One of the greatest of all movies...Falconetti’s Joan may be the finest performance ever recorded on film. Pauline Kael. New York Times

Metropolis (1927)

Does what many great films do, creating a time, place and characters so striking that they become part of our arsenal of images for imagining the world. Chicago-Sun Times. Roger Ebert.

Kes (1969)

Kes is Loach at his best. He shot it on a very low budget, on location, using most local non-professionals as his leads…The film has a heart-breaking humanity. Chicago-Sun Times. Roger Ebert.

Stalker (1979)

Stalker is a movie to be watched as many times as physically possible, to be picked apart, discussed, argued over, written about, to inspire music, books, poetry, other movies, teachers, philosophers, historians, governments, even the way an individual might choose to live their life. It really is that astounding. Little White Lies. David Jenkins.

Tish (2023)

There’s passion in this heartrending documentary from film-maker Paul Sng, comparable to his excellent earlier film about Poly Strene, of X-Ray Spex. It is about the Tyneside photographer Tish Murtha who chronicled working-class lives in the northeast in the 70s and 80s (and also those of Soho sex workers in London), earning for herself the nickname “Demon Snapper” in the papers. The Guardian. Peter Bradshaw.

The Beast (2024)

Across each twist in time and place that can rush together without warning, the grounding force to it all is Seydoux. Collider. Chase Hutchinson.

Spring is sprung


STORYTELLER Martin Maudsley and musician Lucy Roberts welcome spring with Sing Spring Sprung, a delightful programme of music and folklore, at Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday 20th April.

Spring is the season of new life and old friends. From the spring-tide of bright flowers to the growing crescendo of birdsong, the wild world is awash with sights and sounds to be sensed and savoured.

To celebrate this keenly anticipated season, Martin and Lucy weave together an evening of spellbinding stories and magical music full of the joys of spring. The performance draws on the March, April and May chapters of Martin’s latest book Telling the Seasons, bringing to life the folklore, folksongs and traditions of spring.

64 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031
Martin Maudsley Photograph by Robin Mills

The high cost of high fashion PLYMOUTH

ONE of the most popular and critically successful films ever made about the world of high fashion, The Devil Wears Prada has been adapted into a musical, with a score by Sir Elton John. It makes its debut with a sixweek, pre-West End season, from 6th July to 17th August, at Plymouth Theatre Royal.

The iconic leading role of Miranda Priestly, the formidable and feared editor-in-chief of the prestigious Runway magazine (played by Meryl Streep in the film), will be sung by multi-award-winner Vanessa Williams. Her musical theatre credits include Into the Woods (Tony nominee), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sondheim on Sondheim, Show Boat and Anyone Can Whistle. Directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, the musical has lyrics by Shaina Taub and book by Kate Wetherhead.

Fresh out of college, aspiring journalist Andy scores a job at Runway working for fashion’s most powerful and terrifying icon. Sacrificing her personal life to meet Miranda’s impossible demands, Andy finds herself seduced by the glamorous world she once despised. How far will she go to succeed… and will it be worth selling her soul to get what she’s always wanted?

The Young Lit Fix

Murray and Bun (1), Murray the Viking

By Ben Stower

Published by Harper Collins. £6.99 paperback

Reviewed by Nicky Mathewson

MURRAY is a cat, an ordinary cat. He likes ordinary cat things like sleeping and eating.

Fumblethumb is a wizard, not an ordinary wizard because he is not very wizardy at all, in fact his magic is awful and goes wrong more than it goes right.

Bun is a bun, sticky and delicious with a cherry on top, but thanks to Fumblethumb’s magic, Bun is now a rabbit, still sticky and very bouncy with a cherry for a tail.

All Murray wants is a simple life free of magic and full of peace and quiet, but unfortunately, Fumblethumb has enchanted the cat flap, so now each time Murray slips through it he has no idea where he will end up! On this particular morning, the kitchen is full of pink smoke and Fumblethumb is running around with his hat on fire, so Murray and Bun make a quick exit through the enchanted cat flap. Unfortunately they have not landed in the back garden but find themselves in a huge wooden hall surrounded by Vikings of various sizes and hairiness. The largest and hairiest Viking appears to have mistaken Murray and Bun for Troll hunters and demands for them to help on an enormous troll hunt and to find their missing friend Eggrik. The tiny fluffy and sticky duo have no choice but to armour up and embark on a crazy adventure. Will they find any trolls? Will they find Eggrik? Most importantly, will they find their way back home?

This is the start of a brand new series and it is terrific! Instantly engaging and full to the brim with illustrations. Funny and exciting, it is the perfect way to help new readers gain confidence to read independently. Perfect for ages 6 and up.

10% off for Marshwood Vale readers at The Bookshop on South Street, Bridport. 01308 422964
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 65
Vanessa Williams in the musical of The Devil Waers Prada

Memories of Greenham Common

Directing a play inspired by the protests at Greenham Common in the 80s, Margie Barbour highlights some of the comments from Briport residents who were there.

Aletter in the Bridport News has brought a host of interesting stories and photos about how Bridport women were affected and took part in the protests at Greenham Common. These stories will be included in the programme for the upcoming production of A Common Woman Reimagined, which focuses on what would have made an ordinary women go to Greenham.

The letters tell of how some mothers were active supporters of CND and led protests here in Bridport as well as going to Greenham itself.

‘I remember feeling like I was part of something really big and what we were doing made a difference’

Annette Atkinson sent a photo of her mother Jill Gallop leading a protest in Bucky Doo and explained: ‘My mother was a mother of 4 and a teacher at Colfox at the time, she definitely went to Greenham Common several times, between 1981 - 83. On one occasion she apparently wore a skeleton costume and was told what to do if arrested (fortunately for us she wasn’t!). She also regularly ran a CND stall on Bucky Doo.’

Rebecca Hilton, who is taking part in the production as one of the Greenham singers told how ‘When Greenham did the “Embrace the Base” day of action my CND friends and I got a coach from Weymouth up to Greenham, I remember feeling like I was part of something really big and what we were doing made a difference. I felt like I had found my

tribe and this was what I was meant to be doing in my life, rebelling and fighting for change. I remember the feeling that together women could be strong and face any oppression or adversity.’

Many other women who have made Bridport their home wrote, including Deborah Legge, and she told how ‘I remember going to Greenham Common with my friend and her mum to take supplies to the amazing women there and forming a human chain around the fence. I came from a very boring provincial place and seeing their strength and courage helped to shape my already growing interest in the peace and environmental movements! I have met many wonderful and inspirational people taking part in walks, marches and other actions to ensure a peaceful, fair and green world.’

Anna Sullock got in touch and remembered ‘A few of us students borrowed a windowless transit and arrived at a muddy venue. There was a powerful sense of purpose. All I felt I could offer, apart from being another marching presence, was a plait of my hair that I cut and tied to the fence. I admired those who were living there, the hard core group..It was a momentous time.’

Directed by Margie Barbour the play will be performed at the Lyric Theatre, Bridport on Saturday 6th April at 7.30 and on Sunday 7th April at 2.30 and 7.30, tickets are £12 and £6 concessions for Job seekers and Universal credit. Tickets are on sale at Bridport’s Tourist Information Centre, 01308 424901

Members of the cast for ‘A Common Woman Reimagined’ and a photo from Annette Atkinson showing Marian Simmonds holding the tray and Jill Gallop on the far right
66 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031


Wooden display

cabinet- can be split in 2, top part is glass, width 91cm, height 108cm, depth 39cm, Bottom unit, width 92.56, depth 39cm, height 87cm, whole unit height is 195.5cm. £28.00. Slatted collapsable tableheight 61cm, width 61 cm, depth 46cm, needs some attention, £10.00. Wooden small table- height 72cm, width 71ch, dept 52cm, £8.00. 4. Pierre Balmain Grey striped suit, turn up trousers at bottom are worn out, Size is 34waist,

33.5 inside leg, needs dry cleaning, £60.00 ono. Pay on collection please. Collection only in DT6 3HL area Tel; 01308 538345. Solo knapsack sprayer £40. Stihl hs45 petrol hedge trimmer £95 (little used). Husqvana 232R petrol strimmer £95 (little used). Bosch 2000 HP AXT electric chipper £15 (in working order, some rust on base). Stihl helmet and visor (offers)

Chainsaw boots and trousers (offers) Ring. 07955 556282 (Sidford, Sidmouth, Devon).

Free Green aluminum


Antique restoration and bespoke furniture. Furniture large and small carefully restored and new commissions undertaken. French polishing, chair repairs and modern hand finishes. Phil Meadley 01297 560335 Dec 23


Piano, violin, theory tuition at your home. Highly qualified teacher. Adults and children welcome. Beginners to advanced. Dr Thomas Gold 07917 835781. Dec 23

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 67

Good condition

German Riese

& Muller electric bike with Bosch powerpack 500 battery and 2 black waterproof pannier bags. £500 ono. Tel: 01297680297.

greenhouse frame, with polycarbonate glazed side panels, 6 x 6 feet. No longer required.

Collector to dismantle. Tel: 01297 34958.

Mobile phone: Doro 2404 easy to use basic model for texts calls and photos. New and unused. £30 includes

postage. 01308 861150. Set of West African Base Drums for sale (Dundun, Sangbam and Kenkeni) made in Guinea, with stand, bell and beaters. Fotos available . Sold as a complete set at £ 500. Enquiries 01395 579436.

1920`s leather Club armchair and footstool. £60 ono. Can send photo. Buyer collects. 01460 220339.

Collection of 22 small Royal Doulton Character Jugs. Perfect condition. Can send list. Offers. 01460 220339.

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 approx. £360. £265 ono. Tel. 01305 820878.

Aluminium buoy. pat 97.316 made in Spainla coruna. £20.00. Tell 01297 678602.

Banjo Case. “Kinsman” black, soft, padded. Zip compartment for spare strings. 93cms x 40cms. Collect from Maiden Newton, please. £10. 07984 547980.

Lawn seed & fertiliser spreader. Westland. 2 wheel push along type with handle bar control to vary application. 18 litre hopper,50cm spread width designed to cover 1sq m/second. Still with box. Used once. £30. 07800726827.

Evinrude outboard engine. Vintage Big twin 40hp from the mid 60’s (has the blister style engine cover). One for the enthusiast/collector this one. This heavy powerful engine turns over but I have not tried to start it, so sold as spares or repair. £150 Ono. Please call 07479474392. I will not pick up directly (scam aware) but leave a message and I’ll call you back. Thank you.

Light Fittings. Three number 3 arm white chandelier distressed light fittings. £30 each. £80 for three. Colyford. EX24. Tel 01297 553890.

“The Cricketer” Magazines in binders, complete set of 648 magazines, from 1970

to 2023. In perfect condition. £200 ono. Telephone 01297 553865.

Pine Solid desk, quality dovetail joints, 4 draws and 1 draw and cupboard £95.00 07500 592119.

2 Boys’ bikes, good condition, 20” and 14” wheels, suit up to 10 and 8 years. 07984481634. Trainers white MS size 6 new £20ono. Good quality shoes size 6 £5. Dresses size 1416 £5. Ideal car boots. 07889 019587.

Diecast models for sale x 25 in wall presentation case, phone for photo and model details. £170 all in. 077895 37011.

Settee, 3 seater, burgundy red leather with inlaid wood fratures, faultless condition, photo on request, sale £100. 07789 537011.

Hotpoint larder fridge 54cm x 56cm used for 3 weeks only £175ono, £275 when new.

077576 43661.

Men’s MS suit worn once, grey blue fine strip, trousers W42“ Leg 31”. Men’s trousers 38” waist leg 29” assor colours, 7 prs, £25.

Men’s suit MS grey blue strip 29” leg 38” waist, as new £20. 07905 292862.

Ladies shoes Russell and Bromley and Barbour, two pairs, never worn, size 5. £50 pair. 07778 190639.

Garden dining set table 6 carver chairs needs TLC! £40 pick up from Sydling St Nicholas. 07778 190639.

50 DVDs good condition, 50 CDs good condition. No longer using/playing due to down sizing. 50p & £1 each. 01460 67455.

Stihl hs45 petrol hedge trimmer, little used, £95. Husqvarna 232R petrol strimmer with helmet and visor, little used £95. Solo knapsack sprayer £35. 07955 556282.

FREE ADS for items under £1,000

For articles for sale, where the sale price is under £1000 (Private advertisers only — no trade, motor, animals, firearms etc) simply email the details to

Unfortunately due to space constraints there is no guarantee of inclusion of free ads. We reserve the right to withhold advertisements.

For guaranteed classified advertising please use ‘Classified Ads’ form.

68 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 Email Tel. 01308 423031


Stamps & Coins wanted by collector / investor. We are keen to purchase small or large collections at this time. Tel Rod 01308 863790 or 07802261339. Dec 24 p4

Coins wanted. Part or full collections purchased for cash. Please phone John on 01460 62109 or 07980 165047. Jan 24

Dave buys all types of tools 01935 428975 Mar24x3

Do you have a shed / garage full of old tools, car bits, unfinished projects etc? I buy job-lots of vintage items. Also enamel signs & slot machines & complete collections, 07875677897 Jan 24

Vintage & antique textiles, linens, costume buttons etc. always sought by Caroline Bushell. Tel. 01404 45901. Feb 24

Collectables, bygones, vintage, autojumble, Job-lots & collections a specialty. Good prices paid 07875677897 mar 24p x 4



Old Tractors and Machinery, Pick-up Vans and Tippers. Best prices paid. Tel. 07971 866364. Dec 24

Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine April 2024 69
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