Treasure trove for plant hunters Page 46
The many faces of the Vale Page 26
An audio conversation with Angela Charles Page 14
+ Marshwood THE
© Libby Rogers Photograph by Robin Mills
The best from West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon No. 270 September 2021
COVER STORY Robin Mills met Libby Rogers in Bridport, Dorset
© Libby Rogers Photograph by Robin Mills
n 1983 when I was four my family moved to Bridport. My Dad worked as a Design Lecturer at Weymouth College and my Mum worked for the Bridport News. My parents were both artistic and most of their friends were artists so my sister and I had a cultured and open minded upbringing. As children we had a passion for wildlife and I spent every opportunity to be with animals. I did work experience as a general assistant at The Kingcombe Centre, where I learned how to identify butterflies and insects and each lambing season, my sister and I would help out on a friend’s farm in Stoke Abbott. From age 16 I attended Weymouth College and studied for my A- Levels. I was eager to see the wide world and so at 19 I got a job in London as a PA and childminder for a successful makeup artist named Lucy Halperin. Lucy had many celebrities on her books and a group of celebrity friends called the Primrose Hill set. The friend of Lucy’s that I liked the most was Mary McCartney, eldest daughter of Paul. She was so lovely, friendly and down to earth and I always enjoyed it when we saw her and her kids at her flat in St John’s Wood. My job was pretty much 24/7 and I lived with Lucy and her daughter Dylan in Belsize Park in North West London. Dylan’s father was Paul Weller and she was one of his 6 children. He and Lucy were no longer together but Paul would visit Dylan twice a month Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 3
Libby Rogers and take her out. He was always so polite and friendly and one day I cheekily asked if I could have some tickets to see him play. He gave me some backstage tickets to watch him at the Albert Hall. I found it to be a majestic venue and I was so excited to find that the seats were in a Royal Box alongside Jude Law and Sienna Miller, who were friends of Lucy’s and a hot couple at the time. One of the best experiences of living on Steeles’s Road as a 20-year-old was that seven doors down from our house was the infamous Supernova heights, home of Noel Gallagher. Oasis were at the height of their fame at the time and I was a bit of an Oasis fan so to see all the fans crowding outside hoping to get a glimpse of Noel was very exciting. After four years working for Lucy I felt like I needed a bit of a break from it all. In 2003 aged 23 I was offered a full time marketing communications job at an exciting new startup called REN Skincare. My job initially was to help establish and expand REN’s retail concessions and I spent half my week working at Selfridges. After a year we opened a concession in Liberty and then Harrods in 2004 and after this we secured a contract supplying REN to John Lewis and Space NK Apothecary. I was very lucky to travel to many countries during my time at REN, working with International distributors in New York, Moscow, Berlin and Amsterdam and the most exhilarating was a tour of Asia, covering Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Seoul. However, after 11 years I was feeling increasingly frustrated with living in London, it was becoming more and more expensive and more and more crowded! I craved something different. In 2009 my fiancé, who is a Marine Biologist, was offered a position working for a marine conservation organisation located in The Bay Islands of Honduras in the Western Caribbean. We moved to a small island called Utila, part of an archipelago on the Meso American barrier reef. Utila was underdeveloped and full of
character with a diverse and vibrant community. It was really hot in the tropics and electricity for the island was run off a generator, so no one could afford to run the air con. We’d have fans plugged in all over the house and on us at night, without them we’d melt! Aside from the ferocious mosquitos and sand flies, the wildlife was utterly wonderful and I was entranced. In our garden were hummingbirds, iguanas, wonderful orb weaver spiders that would weave webs a metre across and we found tarantula burrows in our garden which were fascinating. In 2010 I qualified as a Divemaster and took a job working at a dive centre called Captain Morgans. I got to know and explore the dive sites intricately and would see Hawksbill Turtles, Eagle Rays, Barracuda and Nurse Sharks. On a dive one day, a bull shark came to investigate us as I was leading a dive. It was so beautiful and powerful and perfectly adapted to its habitat which inspired huge respect. Another awesome shark that was a big part of life on Utila was the majestic and enormous Whaleshark. They came to the waters around Utila twice a year, in April and October. When we were lucky enough to spot them our boat captain would quietly guide the boat alongside them and me and my divers would slip into the water, snorkeling around them at a respectful distance until they slowly swam away into the deep. In July 2011 my husband and I moved from Utila to the bigger Island of Roatan 25 miles across the sea. I got a job at an American school as their middle school Language Arts teacher, teaching students age from 11-16 which was hard work but really good fun and being with the kids every day was incredibly rewarding. As beautiful as the Caribbean was, the culture of the developing world was very different and I saw a lot of poverty throughout Central America. There’s very little money to develop infrastructure and gang warfare and corruption was rife. I didn’t ever really experience anything negative on
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my travels and had some wonderful adventures. Of all the Central American countries, Honduras had the worst reputation of all and the city of San Pedro Sula is supposed to be the murder capital of the world. I felt this was a little unfair as it is a beautiful country with a lot of untouched jungle and river gorges and they rely on tourism. But you had to keep your wits about you in the cities and you’d never consider walking the streets or going out after dark, it was always best just to get a taxi from one point to another. As Westerners we were seen as wealthy by the locals, regardless that we were living on a meagre traveler’s budget. Over the four years in The Bay Islands we experienced regular robberies throughout the community and were often worried that our apartment would be broken into. Police were often corrupt and were not much help; sometimes they’d even arrest people just so that they could demand a ransom for release. The first incident we experienced was on Utila in 2011 when some friends of ours were very nearly shot by a psychotic local in a bar. Then later in 2011 we were shocked to hear that a popular local boat captain had his throat cut by a thief whilst on his boat. He was murdered for just $200 in cash. Then in 2013 on Roatan our close friend’s Dad was shot in the head as he left his apartment. To this day, we don’t know who did it, or why but it was suspected that it was over some property. Our group of friends were all utterly devastated and what made it worse was that the lawlessness of Honduras meant that there was no justice. It was a while after this last shooting that my husband and I felt that it was time to return to the UK. We wanted to start a family and considered staying in The Bay Islands as it was our home and we loved our friends and our way of life. But with some thought, we didn’t feel that The Bay Islands were secure so we returned to my childhood town of Bridport to be near my parents who had missed me
© Libby Rogers Photograph by Robin Mills
over the 17 years that I’d been away. In 2015 and 2018 we had two little boys and in February 2017, I was invited by some friends to be part of a project to create a mobile zero waste shop in town. We called it The Green Weigh. It was the beginning of a personal journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It was very
rewarding but after two years, the logistical and financial challenges of being a mobile business whilst having very small children at home became too much and we made the difficult decision to sell our zero waste shop. I was keen to continue my eco-journey and in November 2020 I created an ecommerce business called GoGoEco.
My goal is to help West Dorset reduce throwaway plastics through zero waste online shopping and I hope to help our community lead a more sustainable lifestyle. I believe in making a cleaner future and cleaner oceans for my kids and am delighted to have returned to Bridport with my family.
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UP FRONT The general reluctance to happily pronounce that things are getting back to normal is not in the least bit surprising. While we all have fingers crossed for a recovery of sorts, it seems more likely that a new normal is on the horizon for most of us—and that’s something we may just have to get used to. In the meantime, in this magazine we will carry on highlighting the people, the places, the events, initiatives and the businesses in and around West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon. In this issue there is certainly a lot to talk about. Margery Hookings has been looking at how ‘Talking Tent’, an initiative originally scheduled to take place last year to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has reinvented itself to survive. Described as opening conversations about relationships to landscape and celebrating seasonal customs in families, fields and in local communities, Talking Tent should offer intriguing insights into our attitude to the world around us. That is something that is also evident in Lawrence Moore’s film The Vale which is being shown at Bridport Arts Centre in September. A long way from Jeremy Clarkson’s farming life, The Vale features Lawrence’s own drone footage and interviews with many of those living in the area. His film offers a bird’s eye view of the community that has grown and developed around the Marshwood Vale. Stories of people and landscape continue as Jess Morency talks to Ambra Edwards about her extraordinary book The Plant Hunters Atlas. Ambra says ‘gardens are stories’ and describes them as theatre but with so many other dimensions. She says that garden history tells you what people believe in. And for an extra dimension in storytelling visit our website to hear Seth Dellow’s latest audio interview, this time with artist Angela Charles. Registered blind three years ago, Angela’s story is fascinating. And don’t forget to check out events this month, especially on Portland where unique festivals are sure to create their own new stories. And make a date to see Luke Jerram’s installation at Symondsbury. This month there are lots of opportunities to make wonderful new memories. Fergus Byrne
Published Monthly and distributed by Marshwood Vale Ltd Lower Atrim, Bridport Dorset DT6 5PX For all Enquiries Tel: 01308 423031 info@marshwoodvale. com
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Cover Story By Robin Mills Talking Tent By Margery Hookings Past Present and Future - Angela Charles Event News and Courses Around the Vale By Fergus Byrne News & Views Latterly Speaking By Humphrey Walwyn Per ardua By Cecil Amor
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House & Garden Vegetables in September By Ashley Wheeler September in the Garden By Russell Jordan Property Round Up By Helen Fisher
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Food & Dining Beer Bread By Lesley Waters Fillet of Sea Bass with Seashore Vegetables By Mark Hix You Are What You Fish By Nick Fisher
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Arts & Entertainment Hunting the Plant Hunters By Jess Morency Preview By Gay Pirrie Weir Galleries Young Lit Fix By Antonia Squire Health & Beauty Services & Classified
“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.”
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Cecil Amor Seth Dellow Helen Fisher Nick Fisher Richard Gahagan Mark Hix Margery Hookings Russell Jordan
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Robin Mills Jess Morency Gay Pirrie Weir Antonia Squire Humphrey Walwyn Lesley Waters Ashley Wheeler
The views expressed in The Marshwood Vale Magazine and People Magazines are not necessarily those of the editorial team. Unless otherwise stated, Copyright of the entire magazine contents is strictly reserved on behalf of the Marshwood Vale Magazine and the authors. Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of dates, event information and advertisements, events may be cancelled or event dates may be subject to alteration. Neither Marshwood Vale Ltd nor People Magazines Ltd can accept any responsibility for the accuracy of any information or claims made by advertisers included within this publication. NOTICE TO ADVERTISERS Trades descriptions act 1968. It is a criminal offence for anyone in the course of a trade or business to falsely describe goods they are offering. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. The legislation requires that items offered for sale by private vendors must be ‘as described’. Failure to observe this requirement may allow the purchaser to sue for damages. Road Traffic Act. It is a criminal offence for anyone to sell a motor vehicle for use on the highway which is unroadworthy.
Talking Tent STORIES AND MEMORIES FROM THE DORSET LANDSCAPE Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty planned to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020 with nine interactive projects but Covid-19 meant some of them had to be put on hold. Margery Hookings finds out about one project, Talking Tent, which focuses on landscape and landscape-based lives.
hen Dorset AONB began thinking about activities to mark its 60th birthday in 2020, no-one could have envisaged that a worldwide pandemic would send people scurrying into their homes, with all sense of community and public participation thrown out the window. Projects had been lined up to raise the awareness of the AONB through volunteering taster sessions and talking with people about their hopes and ambitions for the landscape over the next 60 years to shape future conservation. A small grant fund was launched to catalyse communityled landscape heritage conservation at grassroots level. But when the pandemic struck, the AONB, just like organisations, venues and individuals around the globe, had to think of different ways of doing things. Talking Tent was due to be launched in Easter 2020. Led by poet Sarah Acton and professional storyteller Martin Maudsley, it’s a creative heritage project celebrating the connections between people and place through the telling of and listening to stories. Described by the AONB as ‘a facilitated space to weave together threads of thinking and conversations around how the living landscape holds personal memories and stories, as well as frames future visions for the places where we live and work’ Talking Tent was meant to be a physical, popup tent which would appear at festivals and community celebrations in Dorset through the calendar year.
The AONB’s version of the BBC’s Listening Project was a place where stories and memories of the Dorset landscape over the past 60 years could be shared, along with ideas and conversations about the next 60 years. But the plans were decimated by Covid-19. Sue Dampney, Dorset AONB’s Culture, Community & Learning Office, says: ‘I was devastated when I realised that Talking Tent would be cancelled due to Covid. Of all our 60th anniversary projects. I think this was the one I was most excited about as it was an opportunity to reach people who don’t normally get involved in our work. Pitching up at a range of events across Dorset had seemed like a great way to open our eyes to different perspectives about the landscape.’ But all was not lost. Using what Sue describes as their creativity and tenacity, Sarah and Martin were able to revive the project with a launch in spring 2021 and a range of Covid-appropriate activities. Says Sue: ‘It’s been energising to see how they have reimagined the project and been brave enough to propose new activities. Talking Tent is constantly changing to meet the challenges of Covid. I really hope we can resurrect the project once things have settled down and people feel safe to attend events and talk face-to-face.’ So far, there have been two ‘Walk-shop’ events—guided walks and conversation held on Black Down the ridge of land around Hardy’s Monument; an online conversation about Spring bringing together Nick Groom, the author
Above: East Fleet Farm © Noel Wittin; Chesil Beach TheFleet, Dorset © Graham Herbert, AONB Photo Competition; Eggardon Dorset © Zara Huddleston, AONB Photo Competition. Below: Summer Morning in the Bride Valley, Dorset © Tony Gill, AONB Photo Competition.
of The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year, and Nick Grey, West Dorset Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust; a drop-in session at Durlston Country Park and social media activity to encourage people to record short clips about what they feel about the Dorset landscape, backed up by seasonal prompts on the AONB website. Sarah says: ‘Talking Tent opens conversation about personal relationship to landscape and celebrates seasonal customs in families, fields and in local communities. Our focus is past memory, being present and alive to our own connections today and very much future hopes and ways to look after the landscape for others to come. ‘We are talking to lots of communities, some of whom hold folk song and tradition very much as part of their living present, part of the communal identity and as a commonality bringing them closer to a sense of local place and belonging where they live or work.’ The project talks to people about changes they have seen in living memory and hopes for the future. Sarah says: ‘By opening up these conversations, participants often seem to rediscover or connect again to the remembering process; to remember what is important to them, what they value and want to protect in the landscape, their own relationship to nature, wildlife and specific places in the Dorset AONB.’ Sarah and Martin are making a series of one-toone recordings, which will be curated into podcasts by environmental charity Common Ground and Little Toller Books and archived at Dorset History Centre. Intergenerational conversations are also being recorded at two secondary schools. Says Sarah: ‘It’s an absolutely wonderful project.
Because of the pandemic, it’s changed shape a few times but it’s brought us back into smaller, one-to-one conversations with people.’ She adds that, if anything, the pandemic has made everyone even more appreciative of their local landscape, the importance of talking, telling stories and community activities. Says Martin: ‘The Dorset AONB is rightly celebrated for its geology, archaeology and wildlife but for me the landscape is also held together by stories - the everyday tales of people and place over time. ‘I’ve been really touched by the emotional resonance that contributors have revealed through telling their stories and how deeply they cherish and care about their own local landscapes and communities. ‘The pandemic period has limited how often and how many people we can interact with directly but it has also inspired us to seek out and record different voices that illustrate the nature of living, working and playing in the Dorset countryside.’
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The Talking Tent will be a physical presence at the Inside Out Festival at Symondsbury on the weekend of 24 an6 26 September. Visitors will be able to hear some of the recordings made and also take part in Walk-shop activities. Says Sue Dampney: ‘It’s been wonderful to be adopted by Inside Out Dorset who totally understood what we were trying to achieve and have offered to host Talking Tent as part of their festival activities at Symondbury in September.’ Sarah and Martin will be sharing their stories, poems and feelings about summer and want to hear the stories, memories and ideas of others about Dorset’s diverse nature, heritage and culture. In the meantime, you can listen to some of the contributions by visiting the Talking Map on the Talking Tent webpage dorsetaonb.org.uk/project/ talking-tent/ where you will find more information about the project. At the end of the project, some of the recordings will be made into thematic podcasts and archived at Dorset History Centre. A summary of what people have shared about the landscape will be an important insight for the Dorset AONB team when developing new projects and its next management plan.
Below: Colmer’s Hill Sunset © James Loveridge. Winner of Dorset AONB site seeing photo competition, AONB category
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Dorset AONB Sixty years ago, a line was drawn around nearly half of Dorset’s landscape from the vales in the west, along the South Dorset Ridgeway, right across to Poole Harbour in the east. This line marked the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a designation which alongside our National Parks make up our finest countryside and landscapes protected in the national interest for future generations. dorsetaonb.org.uk Sarah Acton Sarah Acton is a writer living on the Jurassic coast in East Devon. She has a passion for maritime and coastal culture and writes poetry, short stories and observations inspired by the sea, coast, and English coastal communities. She leads workshops, retreats and creative social engagement projects. She always drafts her writing outdoor. She has worked on projects with local museums, libraries, schools and memory cafes to encourage creative engagement with nature. She is currently writing a community play about Portland quarries called Heart of Stone. sarahacton.co.uk Martin Maudsley Martin Maudsley is a professional storyteller based in Dorset who works across South West England. He tells stories in theatres, festivals, schools, village halls, pubs and outdoors. His repertoire includes retelling traditional tales, from local legends and earthy folk-tales to magical myths and epic sagas, using poetry, music and song. He works regularly with local and national organisations providing storytelling performances, tailored projects and creative workshops. He is storyteller-in-residence for Dorset-based environmental arts charity Common Ground. martinmaudsley.co.uk
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Past, Present and FUTURE Angela Charles talks to Seth Dellow
hen artist Angela Charles was first registered blind she thought she may have to give up painting. ‘How am I going to do this?’ she wondered. Relating her story to Seth Dellow in an audio interview available on the Marshwood Vale website, she explained that she hadn’t been able to see what she was painting properly for so long that it was something she just had to do. ‘It’s like something I have to get out, and I just thought well, whatever happens, happens. And I was still selling at galleries, so I didn’t tell anyone about my sight loss for quite a time.’ As her sight deteriorated, she would simply leave her guide dog in the car and her husband would deliver the work. ‘And I would just stand holding onto a plinth or something while he brought the paintings in, trying not to show that I couldn’t see properly. And I think it was quite hard to, sort of, actually tell people because you feel they’re going to look at your work in a very different way.’ Looking back now she thinks her concerns were ridiculous but she had been worried people would not want her work anymore, or they would pity her. ‘I’d always had problems with my night vision but I just thought it was me’ she explains. ‘I thought some people were like that and some people weren’t.’ Her husband’s parents lived in the countryside with no street lights and she would often find it difficult to see. ‘I’d walk into parked cars, things like that.’ It became a ‘bit of a joke’ and despite sharing her concerns when having eyesight checks she was told not to
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Angela Charles, photograph by Seth Dellow Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 15
worry. It got to a point where she thought ‘hang on a minute, this is quite bad.’ Eventually, about twelve years ago her vision problems were diagnosed but it wasn’t until recent years that she was registered blind. ‘It was probably about three years ago that I was registered blind and it took a real nosedive’ Angela tells Seth. ‘That’s when I lost the central vision, so I can’t read anything anymore. I watch TV but only with audio description because I can’t see what’s on the screen, it’s just sometimes it’s a swirl of colour.’ She describes her world as ‘quite black and white and punctuated with bits of bright colour’ while reds are brilliant. ‘I can see reds like shining out or really bright blue or something like that will show, shine through, and I think my paintings have started to reflect that as well.’ However, at the same time as she was registered blind she also got a recurrence of breast cancer. ‘It was quite a tough time having to sort of juggle it all.’ Brought up just outside Brighton at Portslade, Angela describes her younger self as ‘tall and skinny and quite shy’. She loved cycling and visiting Brighton but most of all she loved art. ‘I was the first person in my family to go to university and that was purely because I wanted to do art. It wasn’t that I particularly wanted to go, had a craving to go to university, a longing to go to university, it was all about doing art’. She left school with just an art O-level because she ‘really didn’t care about anything else.’ Art college was a revelation. ‘I’d been drawing most of the time anyway in and out of school and I really loved it, but when I got to art college I couldn’t believe I could just be creative all day, every day. So I’d do that at art college all day and then I’d go home and make more things, and I was just obsessed, absolutely obsessed and everything was covered in paint. I’d repaint my bike and stick things on it and just would be covered in paint or collage.’ A trip to Amsterdam gave her the opportunity to see Rauschenberg’s massive collage, “Charlene”. ‘It blew me away’ she recalls. She successfully applied to Goldsmiths in London and completed her degree. Afterwards she worked at Our Price where she met her husband. They traveled in Europe, Thailand, and Malaysia together and after a spell in Brighton eventually moved to the west country in 2001. The move inspired a new style to Angela’s work. ‘When I was in Brighton I was more influenced by the urban landscape’ she recalls. She says that while at Goldsmith’s she would never have expected that one day she would be painting abstracted landscapes. But she says that here you ‘can’t fail to be influenced by the landscape.’ Greens, blues, skies, all came into her work as she became really influenced by landscape. ‘I was just sort of in awe of the landscape and especially of the coastline as well, and on Chesil Beach’ she says.
Angela explains that recently with her sight loss, the landscape has become more abstract in that it’s more influenced by mark and feelings than it probably was before. ‘It was always influenced by a memory of place rather than a direct representation of somewhere’. Describing her technique she says, ‘there’s an area of calm then an area of sort of frantic mark making and they’re quite messy when I do them. They look quite calm when you look at them afterwards but at the time I’m standing down there, there’s the paint, I’m scratching into them, I’m painting over or I’m getting a damp cloth and wiping away.’ She knows what colours she wants but needs help to choose them. ‘I like everything that goes on there to be exactly what I want to put on there,’ she says. ‘But sometimes now I use my phone to work out what colours I’m using, because I can’t read the colours on the tubes anymore. So I’ve got an app on the phone that will read the barcodes and tell me what colour, and because I’ve been painting for so long, mixing the colours together comes sort of naturally.’ Her sight loss in lockdown brought both challenges and
‘there’s an area of calm, then an area of
sort of frantic mark making’
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benefits. When she broke her arm and had to visit the hospital she was unable to bring her guide dog, Flynn, and her husband was not allowed to come in with her. ‘I got to A&E in Yeovil, stood outside and the doors just opened, so I went straight in and someone in a hazmat suit came out like, “Didn’t you read the signs? Go outside,” and it was just like, “No, I can’t read the sign.” So, and it’s become quite a world of signs now in all shops and things like that. Signage is everywhere and that’s been probably the most frustrating thing for me.’ There have been benefits. ‘The social distancing is great because it means that me and Flynn, people get out of our way anyway, so that works well for us having social distancing, and especially now in cafés and things like that because usually you’re quite close to people. And Flynn is guided by his nose and would like to eat everything. So in a café, if someone drops something on the next table, although he shouldn’t, he’s the first one to sniff that out.’ Talking about some of the challenges she has faced she recalls a footballer who on one occasion after scoring a
goal pulled up his shirt to show another underneath with the slogan “Why always me?” She laughs about wanting that shirt but is bravely philosophical. ‘I’ve been really lucky’ she says, ‘both lots of cancer I’ve had treatment for, and I’m absolutely fine and come through those. My eyesight isn’t going to kill me, it will probably make me stronger but it doesn’t hurt.’ She believes there are so many people worse off saying ‘I know that’s quite a cliché to say, but I do feel like that.’ Seth Dellow’s interview with Angela Charles covers many aspects of her life, from her initial love of art through to how she has coped with illness and disability, as well as lockdown experiences. Her resilience is extraordinary. Angela will be exhibiting at OSR Projects in West Coker in October, watch out for details in the October issue. Seth Dellow’s full interview with Angela Charles is available to listen to on the Marshwood Vale Magazine website. Visit www.marshwoodvale.com.
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EVENT NEWS AND COURSES Whilst most events are still on schedule there may be last minute changes. Please ensure to confirm the event is on before setting out 1 September
East Devon Ramblers 9.5 mile moderate walk. Tipton St John. Tel: 07706 078143. Quiz night at Chardstock Community Hall. Doors open 7.30 for 8pm start Advance bookings only, tables of 4 (max) £10. Bar available, bring your own snacks. To book, phone 01460 221684, or email firstname.lastname@example.org Quiz nights will be a regular feature at the hall. Scottish Country Dancing at Hatch Beauchamp village hall TA3 6SG from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. It’s good fun, good company and great music. Also on the 8th 15th, 22nd and 29th September. For more information please contact Anita on 01460 929383 or email@example.com
Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 7 mile walk from Little
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Bredy. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. Also on September 9,16,23 and 30. Tatworth Flower Club. Tatworth Memorial Hall TA20 2QW at 2pm Flower arranging demonstration by Jenny York entitled Barking Mad All welcome, refreshments being served. Doors open at 1.30pm Admittance £6. Colyton Town History Walks - Every Thursday at 2 pm from the Dolphin Car Park. Adults £3, children under 16 free. No need to book. For larger parties please phone 01297 552514. Also Sept. 9,16,23,30.
Nibbles and Natter. Chardstock Community Hall will be open from 10.30 - 3.30, please pop in to see what goes on in Chardstock, support Macmillan Cancer and view the hall improvements. All welcome. Contact Freda 07748 981345.
3 - 4 September
Classical impromptu. Melissa Phelps (cello) & Caroline Palmer (piano). Two crackers from London for : Debussy cello Sonata; Beethoven cello sonata in G minor, Opus 5, No 2; Bridge cello Sonata H125. Much rescheduled and our good fortune willing. Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Tincleton, nr Dorchester, DT2 8QR. Opening / performance times: doors open 19:30; concert starts 20:00 Admission fee: £15. Telephone 01305 848 909 or visit www.tincletongallery.com. Linos Piano Trio Bridport Arts Centre 11.30am. Tickets 01308 424901 or online from www.bridport-arts.com. Ilminster Arts Centre 9 pm. Tickets 01460 54973.
Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 8+ mile walk from Hawkerland Valley. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. Linos Piano Trio. The Dance House, Crewkerne – 7.30pm Charity Art Auction at Kennaway House. Sidmouth. The South West Academy is holding a Charity Art Auction to help raise funds to enable further educational workshops with young children. It will also be making a donation to Children’s Hospice South West. Over 60 artists are donating work including many well known painters such as Ken Howard, Peter Brown and Alan Cotton. A number of celebrities have also donated paintings including Dame Judi Dench. As well as the live auction on the day, bids can be placed on the Academy website. www.southwestacademy.org.uk Jazz from Scotland: Ian Millar (saxophone) and Dominic Spencer (piano). Toller Porcorum Village Hall, Church Mead, Toller Porcorum, Dorchester DT2 0DT. Bar open from 6.30pm Accompanied under 16s free. Tickets from Judy Miller 01300 320174, the village PO or from https://tollervillagehall.co.uk/. Bar & snacks “Jazz in the Village” concerts. (7.30pm £5) a fundraiser for Toller Porcorum Village Hall.
Free Hedgelaying Taster day being held 10am -3pm venue near Bridport TBC. Ring 01308 423337 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to book.
The Stanchester Quire. The community quire with a difference, will be starting afresh on a different evening, Mondays at 7:30, at the superbly spacious venue of The David Hall, Roundwell Street, South Petherton, TA13 5AA. New members are always very welcome and the ability to read music is not essential. Hawkchurch Film Nights. In association with Devon Moviola, presents ‘Nomadland’ (cert.12A, 107 mins) at Hawkchurch Village Hall, EX13 5XW. After losing her job and home in rural Nevada following the 2008 recession, Fern (Frances McDormand) loads up her van and sets out on the road. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s fellow travellers through the vast landscapes of the American West. Winner of 3 Academy Awards this year (Best Picture, Best Director for Zhao, and Best Actress for McDormand - her third after Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), this is a beautiful and moving evocation of life on the margins of conventional society. Doors
EVENTS IN OCTOBER Live or Online send your June event details to email@example.com by September 15th.
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EVENT NEWS AND COURSES open at 6.15pm for our new regular start time of 6.30pm. Tickets £5, either in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org or 01297 678176, or on the door. Refreshments available.
Psychic development group 7.30 untill 9pm £5 per person any level welcome for more info email email@example.com and starting Thursday the 16th 8pm till 9pm for more info email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Devon Ramblers 9 mile moderate walk. Exmoor. Tel: 01297-23424.
Dante’s Inferno. A talk with readings by Graham Fawcett Thursday 9 September 7.30pm. Tickets: £12.50. Reservations are welcome for light supper from 6pm. To mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, a chance to hear Graham Fawcett, truly an expert whose enthusiasm is catching, discuss Inferno the first book of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Sladers Yard, West Bay. 01308 459511. Crewkerne Gardening Club returns with a talk by Claire Hart on “The history of King’s Seeds”, and hopefully we will have their seed catalogues! This will take place in the Henhayes Centre at 7.30pm and we look forward to welcoming old friends and new ones! Visitors -£2.50. Contact - 01460 74290. Merry Opera, The Mikado. A Bridport Arts Centre event. Outside event at the Millenium Green, Bridport 6.30 pm. A production by The Merry Opera Company, directed by John Ramster with musical direction by Bradley Wood. Box office: 01308 427183. Wild Walk. 2pm Learn to identify a range of wildlife species, and learn about monitoring and its role in CRT’s vision for commercially viable farms that are wildlife friendly. Tickets £12 (£10 for CRT friends) Babers Farm, DT6 5PZ www. countrysiderestorationtrust.com/Pages/Events/ Arts Society West Dorset. Lucinda Lambton - Beastly Buildings, Architecture for Animals. 2.30 pm. Bridport Town Hall. Visitors welcome - £7.50. Garden Open. Higher Brimley Coombe Farm, Stoke Abbott. DT83JZ. Also Sunday 12th September. 2-5pm. Dalwood Spinners Local Craft Group. (Spinning, Weaving,Knitting, Crochet etc). We meet second and last Thursday each month in the Pavilion, Dalwood. 2..4 pm.New members welcome. Contact 01404 881533/ 07969 804184. Also Sept 30.
9 - 12 September
b-side Festival, showcasing the very best in contemporary art made in response to the beautiful and intriguing Isle of Portland. The full programme and tickets are available from https://b-side. org.uk/
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A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood 7.30pm, Milborne Movies at the Village Hall, The Causeway, Milborne St Andrew DT11 0JX. Doors and bar open 7.00 Tickets cost £5, which includes a drink or an icecream (Contactless payment preferred). Lyme Regis u3a: The job of a laughtime. 11am Brad Ashton Brad recalls the fun he’s had writing Radio and TV series for top comedians. To join the talk, via zoom, please visit the web site www.lymeregisu3a.org for details of membership of this learning co-operative and all the other activities available. Lyme Regis Farmers’ Market 9am-4pm. Monthly artisan market with a fantastic selection of producers, growers and makers from a 30-mile radius of Lyme Regis. The Shelters, Marine Parade, Lyme Regis. DT7 3JE www.lrdt.co.uk/lymeregisfarmersmarket
10 - 19 September
Artbeat Popular annual art show by this group of East Devon artists. Original paintings, prints and gifts for sale. The exhibition is open daily Friday 10th - Sunday 19th September, 10a.m.5p.m. Kennaway House, Coburg Road, EX10 8NG, Sidmouth. Admission is free.
St Swithuns 200 birthday project planning meeting (postponed from July). From 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. For further information please contact: The Rector of Bridport, the Revd Deb Smith email@example.com 07870 560354 Project Leader: Philip Sturrock firstname.lastname@example.org 07802 895785. Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 7 mile walk from Symondsbury. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340.
11 - 19 September
Edible England Beaminster Museum on normal opening days, open as part of the Heritage Open Days Scheme, organised by the National Trust, with free entry for visitors; the theme this year is Edible England. See website for full details, opening hours, location - www.beaminstermuseum.co.uk
Crystal + Tibetan Bowl Soundbath 2-3.30 PM The David Hall, Roundwell St., South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5AA £15. 01935 389655 or email email@example.com Born to Protest by Joseph Toonga. A Bridport Arts Centre event. Performed on the Millennium Green, Bridport - 4pm and 6.30pm. Box office: 01308 427183. East Devon Ramblers 11 miles moderate walk. Budleigh. Tel: 01395-266668. Shute Festival: Talking Walk with botanist Dr David Allen on Stockland’s Turbaries. 10-12:30 pm. £15. Details and booking via www.shutefest.org.uk
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EVENT NEWS AND COURSES 13 September
Scottish Dancing in Chardstock. Evening of Social Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall, Bring your own water bottle. 7.30-10.00 pm. No partner required. Contact David on 01460 65981 or just come along. Cost £1.50 www.chardscottishdancing.org Bridport Choral Society, 7.30 p.m., new season of rehearsals, new members welcome, no auditions - just an enthusiasm for singing required, ability to read music useful but not essential. United Church Hall, East Street, Bridport. Contact details on website: bridportchoral.wordpress.com/Facebook, or just turn up on the night. First two sessions free. Beaminster Moviola: Nomadland. 7.30pm Public Hall in Beaminster. This is about how a woman in her sixties, after losing everything in the great recession embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern day nomad. Tickets are £5 if booked or £5.50 on the door. Ring Pete 01308 863336
Garden Open. Farrs, Beaminster. DT8 3NB. 2.30 - 4.30pm - Talk on design by John Makepeace - Cream Teams. Booking required. Please visit www.ngs.org.uk for full event details. Colyton & District Garden Society – ‘The Art of the Devon Garden’ – talk by Dr Todd Gray, historian. 7.30pm start at Colyford Memorial Hall. Members free, guests £3 – or join for £5 for rest of 2021. All Covid precautions will be observed. Information: Sue Price 01297 552362.
20:00 Admission fee: £15. 01305 848 909 www.tincletongallery. com
17 - 26 September
Inside Out Festival. An international outdoor arts festival. One of this year’s highlights includes artist Luke Jerram’s Gaia. Marvel at an awe-inspiring sculpture of the Earth hidden in the woods at Moors Valley Country Park & Forest and Symondsbury Estate.
Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 8 mile walk from Cogden Beach. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. Ceilidh at Chardstock Community Hall 7.30 -11. Live music and caller. Light supper included, bar available. Tickets £10. Come and shake the cobwebs away! To book call Freda 07748981345 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Pam 07710270567 Shute Festival: ‘Talking Walk’ with journalist and writer Martin Hesp on the Quantocks and The Last Broomquire 2-4 pm. £15. Details and booking via www.shutefest.org.uk Opening Gathering for the Great Big Green Week at the Millennium Green, Bridport. The event starts at 10:30 with stalls, music, a picnic and a few short speeches, followed by a proclamation by the Mayor at noon: sending our support to the delegates at Glasgow. Details: www.westdorsetfriendsoftheearth. org.uk
18 - 19 September
Bridport & District Gardening Club. Pam Simpson will give a colourful talk on ‘The Dutch Flower Painters’ and the early beginnings of a new movement on that subject @ 7.30pm, W.I. Hall, Bridport.. Contact ; Peter Gough 01308 459469.
Angels of Sound Pure Sound Therapy Practitioner Course Module 1 10am-5pm. Whole 3 module course @ £180 with advance booking, or £70 per individual module. Oborne Village Hall, Oborne, nr. Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4LA 01935 389655 or email email@example.com
East Devon Ramblers 5 miles moderate walk. Sidmouth. Tel: 01395-567450 Shute Festival: Clive Stafford Smith OBE on Life, Death & Injustice in the American Court Room, 6:30-7:30 pm St Michael’s Church Shute. Booking via www.shutefest.org.uk Beaminster Festival: Greenwich Trio – Piano Trio The Greenwich Trio, based in London, has an international following having played all over the world and has been described by Bernard Greenhouse as the “New Beaux Arts Trio.” 7:30pm. www.beaminsterfestival.com
17 - 18 September
Jazz with Philip Clouts (piano) and Ron Phelan (double bass). Anthropologist pianist Philip Clouts from South Africa and London joins with bass player Ron Phelan from Dublin to return to Tincleton for a seriously lively jazz session. Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Tincleton, nr Dorchester, DT2 8QR Opening / performance times: doors open 19:30; concert starts 22 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Garden Open. Herons Mead, East Burton, Wool. BH20 6HF 2-5pm. East Devon Ramblers 6 miles leisurely walk. Exmouth. Tel: 01395 266668. Beaminster Festival: Cordelia Williams - Piano Cordelia Williams is recognised for the poetry, conviction and inner strength of her playing and the depth and maturity of her interpretations. St Mary’s Church, Beaminster. 7.30pm. www. beaminsterfestival.com Melplash Agricultural Society Hedgelaying and Ploughing Match 9.00 am on land at Hingsdon, near Netherbury, DT6 5NG.
Scottish Dancing in Chardstock. Evening of Social Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall, Bring your own water bottle. 7.30 - 10.00 p.m. No partner required. Contact David on 01460 65981 or just come along. Cost £1.50 www.chardscottishdancing.org Art History course about Surrealism, 2pm-3.30pm. Venue United
EVENT NEWS AND COURSES Church hall at rear of church, East St, Bridport. 6 x hour and a half lectures, fee £60. Contact tutor Pam Simpson MA to book: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel for information 01300 321715.
Practical Local Responses to climate change, a briefing and discussion on simple steps we can all take on food, home energy and more. 7-8.30 pm, Bridport, part of Great Big Green Week. For details and bookings see www.bridportfoodmatters.net. Beaminster Festival: Leo Popplewell Cello Antonina Suhanova Piano. Leo Popplewell and Antonina Suhanova present a recital of three cello sonatas full of power, virtuosity and lyricism. 7:30pm. www.beaminsterfestival.com
bridportandwestbay.co.uk/tickets/ ) and streaming will also be available (on line streaming tickets from www.magdalenaatkinson. co.uk/) Last Night of Proms, 7pm. Weymouth Concert Brass. Tickets £10. All Saints Church, Wyke Regis. www.parishofwykeregis.org. uk/weymouth-450
25 - 26 September
East Devon Ramblers 10 miles moderate walk. Dorchester. Tel: 01395 512973.
Weymouth 450 Arts & Flower Festival. 11am - 4pm. Art & Photographic exhibition, Floral Displays and workshops, refreshments. All Saints Church, Wyke Regis. www. parishofwykeregis.org.uk/weymouth-450. Dorset Greener Homes. Over 40 homes will be open over two weekends to showcase low energy living. New ecohomes, retrofits, sustainable lifestyles, heat pumps, solar panels and electric cars will be on show. Each home has a specific visiting time, and some require booking. Please check the website http://dorset. greenopenhomes.net/ Organised by Dorset CAN.
Art History course about Surrealism, 2pm-3.30pm. Venue Lyme Regis Football club, Charmouth Rd, free parking. 6 x hour and a half lectures, fee £60. Contact tutor Pam Simpson MA to book: email@example.com or tel for information 01300 321715. Art and Design history course taught on Zoom on line about Medieval Art, architecture, decorative arts and painting. 6.30pm with tea break in middle. 6 x hour and a half lectures, fee £55. Contact tutor Pam Simpson MA to book: chris.pamsimpson@ btinternet.com or tel for information 01300 321715.
Crystal + Tibetan Bowl Soundbath 2-3.30. Oborne Village Hall, Oborne, nr. Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4LA £1501935 389655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridport and District u3a presents a talk by Philip St. John Bowen on ‘The Decline & Fall of the British Aristocracy and Stately Home’ online via Zoom, 2pm. Please visit the website for specific details and contact information, www.bridportu3a.org.uk, or email email@example.com
Art and Design History course about Surrealism taught Zoom on line about Surrealism, 2pm with tea break in middle. 6 x hour and a half lectures, fee £55. Contact tutor Pam Simpson MA to book: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel for information 01300 321715. East Devon Ramblers 5.6 mile leisurely walk. Exmouth. Tel 07706 078143.
Bridport & West Dorset Rambling Club 7 mile walk from Little Bredy. For further information please ring 01308 898484 or 01308 863340. Magdalena and the Mystical Birds - New album launch at 8.00 (doors open form 7pm) The Lyric Teatre in Bridport. Polish born singer/songwriter Magdalena Atkinson had recorded two albums with Steve Jones (formerly of cult folk band Heron and 11 year member of Mungo Jerry) when they decided to create a band to record a third album. Enlisting the help of ‘punk’ bass player Drew Crow Star and samba percussionist Darren Coleman The Mysticals were born. Tickets are available online ( https://
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Scottish Dancing in Chardstock. Evening of Social Dancing at Chardstock Village Hall, Bring your own water bottle. 7.30 - 10.00 p.m. No partner required. Contact David on 01460 65981 or just come along. Cost £1.50 www.chardscottishdancing.org
28 - 29 September
Lyme Morris Dancers. Hawkfest Kilmington All Day.
Upholstery Class Dalwood Village Hall 9.30/ 3.30pm. Upholstery teacher..John Cooper. More dates in Oct. Nov. Dec. Contact 07969 804184. Limited spaces. East Devon Ramblers 10 mile strenuous walk Dorset. Tel: 01395 567450
Shute Festival: Online Talk on Trees and Agroforestry with writer and forester Robin Walter and David Wolfe of Wakelyns Farm, 6-7 pm. Registration free via www.shutefest.org.uk
Extraordinary events in Extraordinary places
IN Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth. Visitors can enjoy contemplating this spectacular artwork in the tranquil woodland of Symondsbury Estate in September. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Luke Jerram’s Gaia provides the opportunity to see our planet like never before, floating in three-dimensions. The installation creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Experienced by astronauts, they describe this as feeling in awe of the planet, gaining a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility Luke Jerram's Gaia will be in Symondsbury in September for taking care of the environment. A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture. Gaia has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. Luke Jerram's Gaia will be at Park Copse on the Symondsbury Estate from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm on 24th to 26th September 2021. The installation is free and last entry is at 9.30 pm each evening.
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Around The Vale Film maker Lawrence Moore has made a new film celebrating the history, landscape and the people of the Marshwood Vale. He talked to Fergus Byrne.
‘creative fusion’ is how film-maker Lawrence Moore describes life around the Marshwood Vale, the area that is the subject of his latest film. Talking about the fascinating mix of skills, artistry and craft practised by the people within its community, Lawrence says, ‘whether it was knowing how to plough a field; shape a piece of plum wood; extemporise lines of poetry; or just express feelings artistically in oil or watercolour’, the Marshwood Vale is alive with people ‘deeply involved with the landscape through their professions and love of the area.’ Three years in the making, the film The Vale, is a celebration of our place in nature and it is to have its premier at Bridport Arts Centre in September. The feature-length film introduces us to an eclectic range of those that live in the Marshwood Vale. Amongst them, George Streatfeild at Denhay Farm outlines the geological structure of the Vale and why the soil is ideal for dairy farming, yet points out the ‘iniquitous’ situation where supermarkets offer milk at a cheaper price than water to attract customers—something that causes ‘a huge amount of pain across the entire industry’; mole catcher Peter Brown strides the hill above Stoke Abbott setting his traps, and although he says he keeps threatening to give it up, he loves his job. He believes that getting paid to walk the fields and hills is far healthier than paying to go to the gym; artist Veronica Hudson makes her own charcoal before setting out to produce preliminary sketches. She compares
the preparation of her images with the preparation of land for growth. Veronica sees her connection with drawing as a connection with nature. Wood craftsmen John and Martin Hazell turn local wood into bowls, plates and baskets, producing hand-carved spoons and tableware as well as hurdles, gates and garden furniture. John points out that there is a lot of small non-commercially viable woodland in the Vale and that it has always been worked by man. ‘It’s essential that we carry on working that woodland’ he says. ‘The wildlife will be there, it’s been there for thousands of years with man working in the woods, and it’ll continue. It won’t continue in the same way if we don’t work those woods.’ Describing it as having an ‘ancient’ and ‘otherworldly feel’ he sees the Vale as a mixture of ‘traditional families and alternative types.’ And all the while buzzards glide above majestic trees, dragonflies gad about with bees, moths and garden birds, while beautifully filmed drone footage delicately reminds us of the rich heritage of food production that the Vale has represented for centuries. But life for traditional families is changing. Dairy farmer Paula Johnson discusses the changes she’s seen over the years, while Shaunna Knight of the Marshwood Young Farmers Club talks about the need for young people to know more about the importance of farming, and where their food actually comes from. John Creed remembers thirty to forty Opposite page: Stills from The Vale
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farmers making a living in the Vale when he was growing up. ‘Now, I suppose there’s no more than five’ he says. Thatcher Dave Symonds also bemoans the loss of community as many homes are left empty for much of the year. While Martin Huxter, from a family that has farmed in the Vale for many generations, sees his children turning away from farming to seek careers as architects or doctors. Written, directed and edited by Lawrence and co-produced by his wife Shirley Booth Moore, The Vale takes us on a journey through a landscape that, despite living through many changes, has retained a strong sense of its place in English heritage. The film is produced with a wonderfully old-fashioned documentary style that helps create a sense of the Marshwood Vale being somehow suspended in time. Interspersed with the music of multi-instrumental trio Three Cane Whale it rolls gently through the seasons with beautiful photography and overhead drone shots that open up the Vale with a bird’s eye view. And like the charabancs that John and Audrey Creed say were once common around the lanes, the film gathers its mixture of participants to relay their stories along the way. ‘We wanted to show the beauty and variety of the natural landscape together with some of those we met in our wanderings around the Vale’ said Lawrence. It is undoubtedly a labour of love. Brought up in Wales, and then moving to London, Lawrence had always wanted to return to the countryside—to live amongst nature and those who make a living from it. As a film-maker it was necessary for him to remain in the city to earn a living, but with the digital world beckoning, and pensioner status offering less stress, the opportunity to make his own films from start to finish
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Images from top: Coproducers Lawrence Moore and Shirley Booth Moore; Audrey and John Creed and Lawrence Moore with his drone.
at home had always appealed to him. The pace of The Vale has been helped by the amount of time available to make the film—something that Lawrence enjoyed after a lifetime of chasing deadlines. ‘It was a relief to come to West Dorset and to take our time to reflect on what we saw, who we met, and how and why we wanted to record all these ideas’ said Lawrence. ‘We have funded this film entirely on our own resources.’ He says they could have applied for rural grants but didn’t want to be beholden to anyone. ‘Also it allowed us time to develop ideas, film on odd days, waiting for the light, and events, and to be more relaxed with those who agreed to be filmed. The film became more of a celebration of the Vale rather than an informative exposition.’ And despite Lawrence’s background as an environmentalist—his first film Can Polar Bears Tread Water? is now thirty years old—The Vale is not a soapbox. Although he touches on, for instance, the damage to soil with crops like maize, he holds back from preaching, instead concentrating on gentility and history of people and place. However, that doesn’t mean he is not fearful for the future of the area, and of our land in general. He and Shirley believe that the Vale could face many problems, not only of an environmental nature. ‘The land degraded through over-use of artificial fertilisers; the demise of small farms and the growth of agri-industry, but also with the lack of any public transport’ he says. ‘John and Audrey Creed told us about the charabancs and buses that used to run regularly every day through the Vale. Now the only buses one sees have the sign ‘Not in Service’ as they career down the Broadoak road.’ But as we move into the future, as social patterns change and more people want to move into the
countryside, Lawrence says ‘the Vale is fragile, and although it is officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, who knows whether this will remain in perpetuity? The Vale is crisscrossed with many open paths and bridleways and we also need to be mindful of protecting these public rights of way.’ Many of those lucky enough to live in the Vale wake to a morning melody of birdsong for much of the year. And as they listen to the sounds of cattle and sheep in the fields and the hum of insects as they scurry around the hedgerows, they feel blessed. They enjoy an endless selection of autumn mists illuminating the ancient history of what was once deep woodland— while sunlight and sunsets bathe the countryside in a thousand colours and winter rain sweeps the landscape, transforming the spectacle by the minute. In the meantime, throughout the seasons, trees across the Vale offer an ever-changing selection of dance moves. One day enjoying a gentle lazy waltz, the next jostling together like teenagers in a festival mosh pit. The Marshwood Vale has seen many changes over the centuries and will see many more, and despite our fears for the future there is a present that is here to be enjoyed. Lawrence expresses it well saying: ‘The whole environment is a surprise, from the tiny winding lanes; misty low lying hills; massive numbers of tractors with teenage drivers; ploughing contests; a cider farm in the middle of nowhere. The Vale is a surprising and quite unique place, and although it has this slightly mournful quality, where echoes of the past somehow seem omnipresent, it is very much alive.’ Lawrence Moore’s film The Vale will be shown at Bridport Arts Centre on September 16th at 7.30 pm For more information and to book tickets telephone 01308 427183 or visit www.bridport-arts.com.
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WHY VISIT BEER CAVES?
n 1747 Thomas Gray wrote a poem ‘On a distant prospect of Eton College’ in which the often quoted lines ‘where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise’ occur.’ We’d like to suggest that it is the reverse of this that Thomas Gray, one of the most elegant and fastidious poets in the English language, and a fan of Eton College, intended; that the bliss of ignorance is folly and that wisdom is an urgent necessity. And where better to find a little wisdom than inside a cave system that spans the full length of our countries history, starting long before the Roman’s arrived, and ending with your visit to see what that history looks like and what wisdom can be learnt from it? There is an additional reason that we’d like to recommend to you, though we can’t yet show it to you as we’d like to. But we’d like you to think about it. We are just coming out of a severe pandemic, that appeared quite suddenly last year and that has killed a large number of people, and affected many others. It won’t be the last pandemic to strike the UK. In 1347 the worst plague ever to hit these islands, the Black Death, appeared. It started in England just along the coast from us at Weymouth in Dorset in June 1348. Within a year it had devastated much of the country, with some estimates of deaths as high as 60% of the population. The medical response was primitive, though the wearing of masks and the sanitisation of coins in vinegar to prevent transmission were used. The social and economic effects were more dramatic. Just as at present a shortage of certain kinds of labour, especially of agricultural labourers, occurred. This drove up wages though it halted wars for a bit as the King could no longer recruit an army. Rigidly enforced laws were enacted to keep wages down, as the Government is now thinking about. The government should also think of the Peasants Revolt in 1381, largely attributed to the Black Death and the government oppression which followed. This country is best governed by example and persuasion, not by force or bad laws. The longer term effects of the Black Death were the virtual ending of serfdom in England. There was a drift of the gentry into state jobs, which eventually led to the ‘Old corruption’ of the seventeenth century. This is showing some signs of returning during and in the wake of the present pandemic. We have much work to do this winter searching the Cathedral and other records to find out how our ancient quarry fared in that crisis, and to pass on any wisdom obtained. The Bath Stone Company. Digging Bath Stone. Lightmoor Press. 515 pages. £50 During the late nineteenth century the Bath Stone company took over the workings of Beer Quarry caves. The Lightmoor Press have just published a monumental work of love and dedication, extensively illustrated with photographs, some of Beer Quarry Caves. The history of Bath Stone reads just like that of our caves.
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Bath stone was first quarried some two thousand years ago but not significantly until the arrival in Britain of the Romans, then by the Saxons and the Normans through the Dark and Middle ages. A number of books have been written about the industry or facets of it but no one had attempted a comprehensive history that covered all aspects – the companies, the quarries, the personalities, the quarrymen, the methods, the product and its transportation. David Pollard spent the better part of a lifetime compiling and writing this book, and it shows. Sadly, David Pollard died before he could see his life’s work in print but this book serves as his testament to an industry he loved and a testament to the man himself. Developments at Beer Quarry caves and some future plans. We now have our proper toilet block back in operation, thanks almost entirely to Steve Rodgers. Steve is also working on developing a regular tour and barbecue event at the caves. Our pre pandemic players, the Four of Swords company will be back with us in October. We will have their programme for the caves on the website next month. Everyone who sees the caves thinks ‘theatre’ and Four of Swords have put on some of the finest plays ever seen locally. Their Macbeth, my least favourite Shakespeare play at school, staged in separate cameos moving through cave caverns, quite convinced me that I was wrong about Macbeth, and could see why it was one of the Bard’s greatest works. We have had concerts in the past. We will have more of them. And we have the caves themselves to explore. For Project Arlo Steve Rodgers will get an assistant (Arlo) who will help to send a camera down the entrance to the ‘caves beneath our caves’ to do a recce for a human descent, if it proves safe enough. The legend is that there are caves beneath our caves that potholers once explored for two days, but who left no written record. We are often asked how are we structured ? We are a small private company, founded in 1983 by the late John Scott, FRSA, FRGS. Our purpose is to manage and develop the caves we lease from the Clinton Devon Estates, so that visitors can come here and view the caves safely. We received both a government grant from East Devon District Council, and a Government start back loan from Lloyds bank because of Covid, which shut us down for most of 2020 and 2021. We are not a charity but we have a dormant Charity arm that we will revive this Winter. We employ nine guides and Steve Rogers is a director and manager of the company. Steve Rodgers. Member of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, Director and Flint Master at the Caves. Kevin Cahill, Fellow emeritus of the Royal Historical Society, historian in residence and author of Who Owns Ireland, 448 pages, The History Press, Published on 1st August 2021
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ILMINSTER Community Wood
Ilminster environmental group, The Ilminster Tree Project is on the hunt for a public-spirited local landowner willing to offer a patch of land where they can plant a community wood to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. Initial plans for the Jubilee Wood include facilities such as a community hub building, Forest School, wild playground, dipping pond and memorial wood where local people could plant a tree to remember a loved one or special event. The Ilminster Tree Project has already planted over 2400 trees on over 50 sites in and around Ilminster. If you might be able to help, please email the Ilminster Tree Project via elspeth@ purplefieldproductions.org.
SEATOWN Cliff Fall Warning
Another cliff fall at Seatown has prompted coastguard and council officials to warn visitors again to take care on Dorset’s beaches. Eyewitnesses reported the latest cliff fall west of the Anchor at Seatown went on for nearly fifteen minutes as tonnes of rock crashed onto the beach. There is currently no access along the beach between Eype and Seatown due to the recent cliff fall. West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team advised visitors to please take note of all the safety signage and do not attempt to climb over the debris which remains unstable.
LYME REGIS Cinema Building to be Sold
WTW Scott Cinemas, owners of the Lyme Regis cinema gutted by fire in 2016 have announced plans to sell the building to a local company in a statement reported by Lymeonline. The statement explained that, despite approaches from other cinema groups and discussions with the Town Council, they have decided to accept an offer from a local company who plan to include a cinema in the development. The group said: “It was always the intention of the company to look to rebuild the cinema but the events of the last 18 months have meant that that prospect has become ever more remote.” They described the fire as “the worst moment of our company’s history.”
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DORCHESTER Donation to County Hospital
A recent donation from local charity Going for Bust has enabled Radiology staff at Dorset County Hospital to buy an important new piece of diagnostic equipment for the Hospital’s Breast Care Unit. Going for Bust, a Wimborne-based Breast Cancer Charity is dedicated to raising funds for local hospitals and breast cancer support groups. Their generous donation has now funded a stateof-the-art Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy machine at Dorset County Hospital. The new equipment will transform the experience of an estimated 50 patients a year and enable staff to improve the quality of diagnostic and treatment services for breast care patients at Dorset County Hospital.
DORSET Operation Relentless
Dorset Police are carrying out proactive patrols across the county as part of Operation Relentless—the Force’s commitment to driving down anti-social behaviour. Operation Relentless aims to remind residents and visitors that Dorset Police takes a tough approach to antisocial behaviour (ASB) and send a very clear message to those involved that it simply will not be tolerated in the county. Chief Inspector Adrian Thompson, the Force’s ASB lead, said: ‘ASB is a very visible form of disruption and is closely linked to how safe people feel. When it is persistent it can have a significant impact on people’s lives.’
Post Pandemic Education Laterally Speaking by Humphrey Walwyn
t was a long time ago, but I don’t think I did that well in my school exams. Back in the old days when ‘O’ Levels were a real thing rather than a dinosaur benchmark, I loved painting and playing the piano and I loved my history classes particularly when I was being taught by the beautifully youthful Miss Andrews. She was not just a breath of fresh air, but a positive blast of Charlie by Revlon. Yes, I fantasise about her still… However, I did NOT love Physics or Chemistry or French grammar or anything requiring me to calculate the length of a pendulum when X was greater than the square root of Y. Or something… Aided by the excellent coaching of Mr Mattinson whose brown stained fingers were nicotine glued to his revolting old Dunhill pipe, I somehow managed to learn the secrets of quadratic equations without succumbing to his poisonous tobacco environment. Nowadays, he’d have been arrested as a mobile health hazard. I don’t know quite how I managed it but I got my regulation three A levels before escaping to work on a radio station in Canada. The whole exam thing was a drudge, a bore. I would much rather have taken my exams in exciting subjects like ‘Medieval History’ with all those poisonings and battles, or even ‘Practical Biology’ (particularly if Miss Andrews was involved) but in those days none of us had much say in which exam subjects we studied. I seem to remember I took and remarkably passed Applied Maths because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I certainly did not consider it a subject that steered me onto a career path. In fact, I never had any use for pendulum measurement back then or at any time afterwards. Of course, it is all so different now. Not only do teachers have a crucial input on exam results (shock, horror) but exam subjects themselves will have to be so much more practical for a post-pandemic world. I mean, what’s the point in conjugating French (let alone Latin) verbs if we’re all headed for rising temperatures and global doom? I suppose we should teach our children basic survival techniques for a burnt out or smouldering planet. Perhaps A levels in Waste Management or Recycling would be more appropriate. How about exams in Water Divining, Food Deliveries or recharging batteries? The latter would be particularly useful if there’s no mains electric power left and we all have to survive without triple A batteries or rechargeable mobile phones… It hardly bears thinking about… but perhaps the time is coming sooner than we think when we’ll all need to be re-educated in order to cope with basic human survival. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and apocalyptic disaster. Think of the opportunities in practical sciences. We can all pass exams in Home Economics and Practical Cooking where marks are taken away if you don’t recycle your kitchen
Online Applied Maths Exam for 2040 could be too much for some
waste effectively while pupils can work out the nutritional values and benefits of insects as foods. Anyone for dried mealworm fricassee or baked grasshoppers in moth ragout? Naturally Kitchen Management will also require a degree in the humane treatment of all animals, including the proper euthanizing of slugs, wasps and garden pests, but this won’t worry most domestic chefs as the majority of all recipes will be strictly Vegan. This will also produce a radical change in farming and food production as nobody by the year 2040 will be eating meat. All farm livestock will be sold off as household pets so a key growth skill might well be animal husbandry and veterinary science. For those of you with a flair for sport and outside activities, think again. Since the Arctic ice will have mostly melted, leaving the North Pole as a patch of stormy water full of cruise ships, the surface of the Earth will be way too hot to conduct any physical activity outdoors. And the Arts will have new criteria to contend with, particularly if you’re into design and fashion. For example, Paris and London Fashion Houses will be able to design new shirts and dresses made of fully biodegradable materials like ‘bag for life’ plastic bags and Amazon recyclable cardboard packaging. Exceptions might be made for ‘special occasion clothing’ like Wedding Dresses and Sports-wear because weddings are ‘one use only’ and sports clothing will be required to keep you warm as the air conditioning in the indoor sports arenas will make everything freezing and icy cold. Welcome to a Brave New World of Education in 2040…
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Per ardua .... By Cecil Amor
oughly translated this means through adversity, and it is part of the motto of the Royal Air Force. My first experience on entering the gates of RAF Padgate, near Warrington, was to be kitted out. As I had volunteered for aircrew I did not receive the full issue, in particular no boots. This was rectified shortly after and had to start basic training, commonly known as “square bashing”. We entered a large building arrayed with clothing, where we were handed our kit. I received two berets, one smart, slightly small and the other not very smart and overlarge, so that when properly worn it almost reached my shoulder. Then I encountered the “that is your issue” statement. We were ordered to place it in a kitbag and then march with this on one shoulder as directed by a corporal. One of our number seemed to have difficulty with his kitbag and the corporal, who made up for his lack of stature by his shouting, asked him his name. He received the reply “Ball”, which incensed the corporal who shouted “always answer me as Corporal and what is your name”, receiving the same reply. We later discovered that Ball was a boxer. Twenty of us were taken to a large wooden hut, which was to be our billet, to be known as “5 Flight”. The flooring was linoleum, badly scratched by the previous occupiers boots. The NCO said “I want to see this floor shining in the morning, but there is no polish. I am not telling you to buy polish from the NAAFI, but I expect to see it shining tomorrow, or you will be in trouble”. So of course we all trooped to the NAAFI and bought polish and made it shine that evening. Next day, the NCO applauded us, but then said today the polish has arrived! We had discovered what basic training was about. We were instructed to always refer to the Royal Air Force, never as raf or riff-raff Next we were ordered to parade in three rows, so that an NCO could walk between us. He stopped behind one of our number, saying “Am I hurting you laddy ?. Well I should be as I am standing on your hair”. Followed by “No laughing in the ranks, stand to attention”. No pleading that his hair was cut on the previous day prevented his name being taken. We were instructed how to stand at attention, at ease and the correct way to salute. We were issued with rifles, and taught rifle drill, ground arms, shoulder arms, present arms, etc. Then we marched with rifles, “Left, right, pick them up, dig those heels in”. One NCO pronounced it “Elft, Oit”, which was confusing. We were marched to the rifle range and had to fire several rounds at targets. I was not very good, but personally not the worst. Several of our NCOs were Scottish and one ordered us to sit down on the grass and asked how many of us were Scottish. A few raised their hands and were asked their town/village. One recruit gave the answer hoped for and was asked “You’ll be a piper, then” and agreed. He was told he would be given a 48 hour pass and rail ticket to go home to collect his pipes. Every morning we marched to the Cook House, carrying our knife, fork, spoon and mug in our left hand behind our backs, to the sound of his pipes for breakfast. Two of the NCOs were also pipers. I do admire the way the services handled rail tickets, from home, through changes of train, to the final destination, with apparently no mistakes.
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We were marched everywhere, to PT, to rout marches around the perimeter of the camp. On several occasions we paraded outside our hut, to be told to go back inside and come out with pyjama jackets replacing our battle dress tops, within so many seconds. Then ordered back inside to come back out wearing “tin helmets”. We wondered what possible alternative would be next. Of course from the beginning we had what was commonly called “Bull” impressed on us. Colleagues who had older brothers were able to give us tips, for example, the uniform was very substantial, hence difficult to hold a good crease. We were told to rub the inside of the crease with soap, before ironing and it really worked. Then most evenings we would work on polishing our boots. Some boots had small bubbles in the leather on the toecap, but industrious “spit and polish” managed to remove them. Polish from the NAAFI of course. One day we paraded to be told that a Flight Sergeant wished to talk to us about a camp concert. He asked for volunteers to join him and others to present a concert. I had some amateur experience at my place of work, so volunteered, as this seemed to have been approved by our NCOs. When we were next paraded for inspection by a young officer, our NCO stopped in front of me and said “Amor here has volunteered for the camp concert, Sir”. The officer said “Amor, I will remember that name. If your drill is not satisfactory because of this, you will be reflighted”. Reflighting was our biggest worry, as it meant that one would have to repeat the “square bashing”, staying at Padgate for another 6 weeks or so. Ball, the boxer, told us that frequently the NCOs would call him off parade to their own part of the billet, to tell them of his stories of boxing. He was beginning to worry that he was missing so much drill that he could be reflighted. We paraded near a war time Lancaster bomber on the square, with the number PB480 on its wings. Frequently we were told that soon we would be tested with 20 questions, one of which was the number of the Lancaster. Another would be how many bullets are in the Lee Enfield rifle and told this was a trick, as you had to add one extra already “up the spout”. This was repeated so often that an individual would need a very poor memory to fail. During arms drill we were told to slap the rifle very hard, so that it echoed around the parade ground. If we could hit it hard enough to break the rifle, we could have a weekend pass. One day Ball told us that he had loosened the screws on his rifle and having large powerful hands thought he could manage it, and he did and received his pass. One afternoon we were marched to a Hangar for a “3 in One” injection. I doubt if the needle was changed at all. With aching arms we were marched to our billets to collect our rifles for arms drill. This continued until the third man fainted. We were told to collect our comrades and settle them on their beds, with a mug of water. One evening there was a boxing match on camp. In our billet I and my next bed mate were left alone. I was about to
commence a letter home, when a Warrant Officer came in and asked why we were not attending the match. He then said to me, your boots are always well polished, so you can clean mine and have them like yours by the morning. My colleague assisted me and the boots passed muster. My colleague, who was from Scotland, told me that he recognised the accents of some of the NCOs as coming from the worst part of the Gorbals. After a Trade Selection interview I was told to go to RAF Melksham, in Wiltshire, for a check on my knowledge as an electrical engineer. I joined 6 or 8 others, from other parts of Padgate for 2 or 3 days, which coincided with the Camp Concert, so I dropped out of its practice meetings and kept up with normal drill. Not surprisingly we all passed the checks at Melksham and returned to Padgate for our final passing out and eventual return to Melksham, after our return home for a period of leave. Before we left an NCO told us to scratch the floor with our hob nails, ready for the next intake. This was my first return home for several months, as I had explained to my parents that the journey from Padgate to Wiltshire was so long that it would take up most of a 24 hour pass and much of a 48 hour one. Instead I would visit some of the nearby places in the north of England and I visited the well known resorts of Blackpool and Southport. It was not much fun alone, nearing the end of the season, but a change from the restricted life of “Per ardua..” As yet Bridport History Society has no date to return to normal meetings. A visit has been arranged to Mapperton House and Gardens on September 15th in the afternoon. Numbers limited. Contact sylviabluntshay@btopenworld. com for information. Cecil Amor, Hon President, Bridport History Society.
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Vegetables in September By Ashley Wheeler
t has been a tricky growing year, what with the cold, dry Spring... followed by a fairly good early summer, and then a cool, damp August. This year May’s rains waterlogged our soils and made totally unsuitable conditions for much of the veg that we were getting in the ground. A lot of the plants sat there and yellowed as they couldn’t access the nutrients because the ground was too wet and cold, resulting in unfavourable conditions for the life in the soil to make nutrients available for the plants. So, everything looked pretty dreary in June, but as it started to dry up and the sun came out through June and July the plants soon picked up and we began to see good growth. We had a bad batch of seed compost this year which resulted in many plants rotting off at seedling stage, so we had to sow cucumbers, beans, courgettes and squash multiple times and these were all planted much later than normal. Thankfully, some of these plants actually benefited from being sown later, especially the squash which settled in far quicker than normal and look to be the healthiest squash crop we have ever grown! Now we just need a bit more sun to ripen all of the squash and other fruiting crops through September. Our favourite parts of the garden this year have been the beds of flowers that we have sown that divide up the plots of the rotation. They were simple to grow and have required no attention whatsoever, but provided so much for insect life, which in turn brings more birds to the market garden as well as increasing pollination of some of the veg plants and many of the flowers also attract predatory insects, which keep numbers of pests in balance. We have had no problems whatsoever with aphids this year, and this is a sign of strong, healthy plants, but also a balanced ecosystem. The flower strips have buckwheat, sunflowers, dill, mallow, borage, cornflowers, persian clover, phacelia, summer vetch, calendula and more, and they are literally buzzing with life. It is this balance between creating a productive market garden along with a beautiful space for ourselves to work, and providing nectar rich flowers for insects to thrive that feels really important to us, and each year we strive to strike this balance by managing the space in ways that encourage more and more life both in the air and in the soil. We have also been trying out intersowing green manures into crops that we have planted through August. The idea is that any August plantings get hoed about a week after planting, and then another week after that. On this second hoeing we either drill or broadcast a mixture of buckwheat, phacelia, black oats and linseed and then the hoeing beds the seed into the soil. If necessary it is then watered in, or we wait for the rain to do that. The crops get harvested through the autumn and once they are harvested the green manures take over and cover the bed and stabilise the soil with their roots, meaning that the winter rains do not wash away valuable topsoil. The living roots in the soil provide that important connection with soil life, and maintain a good environment for
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This mixture of nectar rich flowers has been the simplest yet most rewarding part of the garden this year
the soil biology to thrive through the autumn and winter. This means that when it comes round to Spring we can kill off the green manures by mowing and covering with black plastic and the soil life will be there and ready to make links with the new spring plantings, making nutrients available to them straight away. This is an essential part of organic growing, and is the below ground version of providing the nectar rich habitats above soil with the flower strips in the garden. It is all about trying to create a more balanced system where we encourage favourable conditions for insects and other living things. This in turn provides better conditions for the vegetables to grow. WHAT TO SOW THIS MONTH: Direct sown outside: turnip greens, leaf radish, red russian kale as salad leaf. Sow in trays: Now is the time to make sure you start sowing all of your overwintering salad leaves if you have a glasshouse or polytunnel, or even a sheltered spot on a patio. Leaves such as winter purslane, landcress, rocket, mustards, corn salad, endive, chervil, lettuce should be sown from the beginning of the month through to early October.. Also spring onions for overwintering in a cloche or tunnel/glasshouse WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH: OUTSIDE: salad leaves: leaf radish, winter purslane, landcress, rocket, mustards, overwintering spring onions, spinach and spring cabbage. INSIDE: overwintering salad leaves (at the end of the month and into October), chard, coriander, chervil and parsley. OTHER IMPORTANT TASKS THIS MONTH: Get your squash in by the end of the month and cure them either in a glasshouse, polytunnel or ideally in your house - this will make sure that the skins are hard and will last through the winter.
Dig in to Deepest Somerset WHAT does Somerset mean to you? Is it the traditional farmhouse Cheddar cheese, artisan ciders, Glastonbury Festival, the wildlife of Exmoor and the Somerset Levels or the industrial history from the Romans mining lead to Europe’s largest infrastructure project, the power station now being built on the edge of the Bristol Channel? Deepest Somerset, by journalists Gay Pirrie-Weir and Fanny Charles, is a portrait of the county, its people and places, food and farming and vibrant traditional and contemporary arts scene. There is an introduction by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, reflecting on the importance of the connection between people, farming, food and the landscape. Fanny Charles edited the Blackmore Vale and Fosse Way Magazines. Gay Pirrie-Weir worked for the Western Gazette and the Blackmore Vale and founded the original weekly Marshwood Vale Magazine. Deepest Somerset is the third in the Deepest Books series, following Deepest Dorset and Deepest Wiltshire, all raising funds for local charities (Deepest Dorset, the first, has so far raised more than £45,000). Deepest Somerset is supporting Somerset Community Foundation, the Children’s Hospice South West (Somerset) and the Farming Community Network. There are outstanding photographs by David Blake, Len Copland, Ian Sumner and Matilda Temperley and contributors include Michael Eavis, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, cider-maker and historian James Crowden, Costa Book Award-winner Jasbinder Bilan and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who was born in Yeovil. From hunky punks to Hinkley Point, the book is a celebration of Somerset. For more information or to buy Deepest Somerset, price £25, visit www. deepestbooks.co.uk or telephone 01963 32525.
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September in the Garden By Russell Jordan
oticeably shorter days, cooler conditions and the increased likelihood of rainy periods means that September is ideal for getting on with reshaping and replanting your garden before the full onset of autumn and winter. On a practical level there’s a lot to be said for planting new areas, or adding plants to existing schemes, in early autumn because perennials in smaller pots establish well at this time of year. The advantages of this are manifold; buying smaller pots means that it’s possible to acquire them by mail order, from a myriad of remote nurseries, therefore having a wider choice of the best varieties; it’s better to buy multiple smaller plants, rather than one big one, because drifts and groups of plants are preferable to ‘dots’ of single specimens; small plants in small pots (especially if the pots are biodegradable) are more environmentally friendly, having used less resources to produce, than large specimens—even the weight saving has a bearing on energy use while being transported. Digging up and dividing your own plants is, of course, even more cost effective and environmentally friendly. Whilst you are tidying up your borders you will naturally come across perennials, such as herbaceous geraniums, which have largely finished flowering and need to be cut back in order to prevent their exuberant foliage from squashing neighbouring plants. If they have produced a large clump it is also a good time to dig them up, chop up the large parent plant and produce numerous new plants. One can be planted back, with a handful of fertiliser, to carry on where the parent left off and the new plants can be directly planted elsewhere or potted up, using fresh compost, to either give away to friends or use to fill gaps at a later date. On the subject of gaps in borders—now is the perfect time to plug them with spring flowering bulbs. Garden centres will be full of them, for a gratifying instant purchase, and there’s a certain pleasure to be gained by stuffing plump daffodil bulbs into brown paper bags. If you can forego that pleasure, and want the widest choice, then buying from mail order bulb firms—an internet search will reveal a huge choice—is recommended. Take care to compare prices based on the size and quality of bulb supplied. Prices can vary greatly, with reduced rates
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available for buying in quantity, but sometimes what seems to be a bargain price is due to the supplier offering a smaller sized bulb. Obviously, comparing sizes is only relevant for the same species and variety of bulb, crocus bulbs will always be smaller than hyacinth bulbs, but for the exact same specimen it’s generally better to go for the largest size offered for a better guarantee of quality blooms. Except for tulips, which should be planted into November to avoid ‘tulip fire’, the vast majority of bulb types are better off in the ground sooner rather than later. This is because the less time they spend out of the soil, having been dug up from their nursery fields, the better. They want to be sending roots out into garden soil while it is still warm. That way they can get properly established before the winter cold slows everything down. If you need to prioritise your planting then it’s a good idea to plant them in flowering order. The exception here is that the very earliest flowering, the snowdrop, is best not bought as a dry bulb at all. This is due to the fact that snowdrops are so small that any bulb that was lifted many months ago, then stored until now, stands a high chance of having become completely dessicated and therefore ‘non-viable’ (a.k.a. dead). For this reason snowdrops are generally planted ‘in the green’ i.e. they are acquired in the spring as clumps of bulbs that have been dug up after flowering but which are still in leaf. This ensures that they are fresh and very much alive which offers the best chance of them establishing in your own garden When planting spring flowering bulbs the general rule is that each bulb should be covered by soil to a depth of two to three times the size of the bulb itself. Common sense tells you that a tiny bulb will struggle if you plant it ‘six feet under’ but a great bruiser of a bulb, some daffodil varieties have huge bulbs, needs to be at least a trowel’s depth down. Take time over planting and remember to chuck a generous fistful of ‘fish, blood and bone’ over the bulb planting area. Firm the soil down well so that mice and voles are deterred from digging down and stealing your buried treasure! Last month I made a passing reference to cutting back the long growths on wisteria—a plant which is almost invariably grown as a specimen trained onto a wall or over a pergola. Now is a good time to reduce excessive growth on any
plants which are growing, trained or self-supporting, on walls or structures. Autumn winds and gales can dislodge whole established plants, sometimes taking their supporting structures with them, if they are not kept reasonably tight to the walls. On a more positive note, when it comes to wall trained plants, there is a certain house I walk past, on occasion, which has a most surprising shrub trained against the front of it. The specimen in question is Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ (the Beautyberry) which is generally grown as a free-standing shrub. It’s claim to fame is its almost unnaturally purple berries, borne in the autumn, because otherwise it is a fairly dull looking shrub. It’s an act of genius to tie it, it’s not self clinging, against a wall because it makes a startling display of purple, jewel-like, berries in a situation where it’s otherwise shapeless form is modified by being trained against a structure. Once seen, never forgotten. Other timely tasks include: planting out winter bedding plants to give them a head start before temperatures start to drop. Similarly, autumn lawn care operations should be done now while it’s still warm enough to allow the use of ‘weed and feed’ treatments and for the successful establishment of new turf if making a completely new lawn or repairing an existing one. Hedge cutting should be well underway now that the birds have stopped nesting and to give hedges the chance to reclothe themselves before the properly cold weather is upon them. Preparing greenhouses, or other sheltering spaces, for the imminent overwintering of tender perennials is another task that’s worth completing ahead of any overnight frosts although, fingers crossed, we will have one of those, almost mythical, ‘Indian Summers’!
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With Room to Swing a Cat By Helen Fisher
LYME REGIS £1,500,000
One of the most impressive homes overlooking the famous harbour and sea front. Grade II listed, dating back to 1840 with 10 bedrooms. Having been converted into 4 apartments and an independent annex in 1960’s. High ceilings, elegant character features and glorious sea views. Parking for 36 vehicles and a double garage. Stags Tel: 01308 428000
A former Regency vicarage with 7 bedrooms built in 1827 with a Victorian extension. Built of local hamstone with many period features inc: flagstone flooring, oak staircase, sash windows and ornate fireplaces. Attractive orangery leading to private gardens with fruit trees and mature shrubs. Croquet lawn plus numerous period outbuildings. Ample parking. Knight Frank Tel: 01935 810062
BRIDPORT GUIDE PRICE £500,000
A spacious 2 bedroom top floor apartment with views to Axe Cliff. Situated right on the sea front, the building was a former Victorian hotel converted into apartments in the late 90’s but retains many original features. Benefiting from GCH, double glazing and no onward chain plus private parking space. Gordon & Rumsby Tel: 01297 553768
A substantial 3 bedroom home with far-reaching countryside views yet within walking distance to local secondary and primary schools. Benefiting from an eco-friendly setup with solar panels, rainwater harvester and multi-purpose stove. Generous garden, carefully designed to encourage wildlife plus summer house, outbuilding and workshop. Goadsby Tel: 01308 420000
SHIPTON GORGE £625,000
An imposing 4/6 bedroom village house with outstanding living spaces and a short walk to the beach. Huge kitchen with separate utility room plus 33ft family room with open fireplace and oak flooring. Set over 3 floors with attractive roof terrace with countryside views. Well presented with GCH and double glazing. Courtyard garden and storage shed. Symonds and Sampson Tel: 01308 422092
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A well presented Regency village home with 3/4 bedrooms. With high ceilings, sash-style windows, fireplace and beautiful bay window. Improved and updated over the years with planning permission for an annexe. Well stocked landscaped, private gardens with two detached greenhouses. Fabulous far-reaching countryside views with sea glimpses. Garage and further parking. Kennedys Tel: 01308 427329
Hedgelaying and Ploughing Match to go Ahead THE Melplash Agricultural Society annual Hedgelaying and Ploughing match will be taking place this year on Sunday 19 September at 9.00 am on land at Hingsdon, near Netherbury, DT6 5NG by kind permission of Mr James Bowditch, Mrs Elizabeth Findlay and Messrs Symes. The ploughing match has been a significant event in the Society’s calendar since the Melplash Agricultural Society and Melplash Show was established in 1847. On that day, a ploughing match took place in the parish of Melplash with horse drawn ploughs. It was a great occasion as it celebrated the successful gathering in of the harvest and was the time when local farmers and their workers could show off their skills, impress their neighbours and have some fun. The only time, as far as organisers are aware, it has not taken place was at times during the First and Second World Wars and then again last year due to Coronavirus. It is an event that is still enjoyed by everyone both competitors and spectators. Alongside will run the Society’s Farm Produce Show which would normally be held at the annual Melplash Agricultural Show which has again been cancelled this year. Farmers are invited to enter their best hay, silage, straw, maize, grain and eggs for judging on the day. The event is free to attend and spectators are welcome. The full schedules and details of how to enter are available on www.melplashshow.co.uk or from the show office 01308 423337 email@example.com. Closing date for entries Wednesday 15th September.
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• 55g (2oz) butter • 1 dessertspoon soft brown sugar • 300mls (1/2 pint) brown ale • 25g (1oz) fresh yeast • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 egg • 225g (8oz) wholemeal flour • 225g (8oz) strong white bread flour
1. Place the butter, sugar and beer in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. 2. Place the yeast in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the lukewarm liquid and cream together. Add the egg to the remaining warm beer mix. 3. Stir the salt into the flour, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mix and lukewarm liquid. Bring together to form a soft, wet dough. 4. On a lightly floured surface, kneed the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. 5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for approx. 1 hour until doubled in size. 6. When the dough has risen, kneed it again to ‘knock it back’. Shape the loaf as required and place on a lightly floured baking tray or in a lightly greased 2lb loaf. 7. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/ 220C/ 400F. 8. Cover the loaf and return to a warm place until risen to approx. half its size again. 9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5/ 180C/375F, and bake for a further 2025 minutes. The loaf is cooked when it is risen and golden and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. 10. Cool on a wire rack.
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Tasting East Devon A LINE-up of East Devon’s finest chefs and food producers have launched Taste East Devon, a new nine-day festival, which will run from Saturday 11th to Sunday 19th September at venues across the district. Founder members include THE PIG-at Combe, Darts Farm, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, River Cottage, East Devon AONB, the Donkey Sanctuary, Mazzard Farm, Jack in the Green and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines. The new festival aims to celebrate the region’s food and drinks with a series of food and drink events, some ticketed, some as open days. It is planned as a field-to-fork experience with events including an evening with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage, Darts Farm’s River Exe extravaganza cycling trail, a seafood tasting experience at The Salutation Inn and a ‘Totally East Devon’ menu at The Jack and The Green. The Donkey Sanctuary will be hosting a vegetarian afternoon and beer lovers can book a tour and BBQ at Otter Brewery. The big finale will be at THE PIG-at Combe. The festival chairman and owner of Mazzard Farm holiday cottages, Ruud Jansen Venneboer says: ‘East Devon has such a strong food community and is home to some of the most incredible names in the country; Michael Caines and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. We are a world class food destination and it’s time we started shouting about it!’ For further information and regular updates about the festival follow Taste East Devon on Facebook/TasteEastDevon on Instagram or visit eastdevonexcellence.co.uk/taste
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FILLET OF SEA BASS WITH SEASHORE VEGETABLES The bass have turned up at last and I was lucky enough to have a fish the other week with my mate Darren Brown off Portland, and we hit some serious numbers of bass which was great sport and upped my sport fishing count this year considerably, especially after my recent trip to Iceland salmon fishing. Of course Darren has a commercial licence so the numbers of fish we put in the cool box was kind of work. My secret sea vegetable spot has been yielding good amounts off all sorts of varieties from samphire, sea blight and sea aster, so the perfect natural accompaniment to some freshly caught bass.
• 4 portions of sea bass fillet weighing 150–200g each • Salt and freshly ground white pepper • 3–4 tbsps extra virgin rapeseed oil • A couple handfuls of sea vegetables, washed and trimmed
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 5. Season the sea bass fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and place them on a baking dish or tray. 2. Spoon over the rapeseed oil, cover with foil and bake for about 10–15 minutes until just cooked. 3. Meanwhile, cook the sea vegetables in boiling, lightly salted water for a minute or two, so that they have a bit of crunch, and then drain. 4. Transfer the fish to warmed serving plates, scatter over the sea vegetables, spoon over the cooking liquid and serve.
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You Are What You Fish By Nick Fisher
ea anglers have beards. Carp fisherman come from Essex. All trout anglers own a Barbour. Match anglers are Northerners who drink beer and like mushy peas with their pies. Salmon anglers have double-barrelled names. Roach anglers are the last men on earth to still consider luncheon meat as a feasible sandwich filling. Massive generalisations are what I’m pedalling today. Sweeping statements about what genetic material or social conditioning makes us the sort of anglers we are. Some time ago I was in Spain, two hours south of Barcelona, fishing on the mighty river Ebro. On the Ebro there are a lot of English anglers, some visitors some part-time or even full time Spanish residents, and because it’s in the heart of Europe there’s a whole splatter of assorted European nationalities, jostling for a piece of the rod bending action. We are different to our European fishing brethren in many ways. We want different fish, do different things with them when we catch them, use different tackle and view our right to our place by the water in a strangely colonial sort of way. Remember, I’m trading in generalisations and there’s always a vast array of exceptions to the rule, especially the ones I’m attempting to describe. So don’t go taking offence. Most British anglers in Spain want to catch carp or catfish. In fact most catfish anglers want to catch both. They want to catch small carp first because they make great live baits for catching big cats. But more of all that big cat stuff another time. The typical British carp angler is a carp equivalent of Florence Nightingale. He wants to nurture and care for carp with a saint like devotion and love. In England big carp in syndicate still waters all have given names, like Melissa, Mary, Humpy, Ghosty etc etc. Chris Yates’ British record carp was called The Bishop, Dick Walker’s previous record was christened Clarissa. There is a whole fish-man relationship going on with carp anglers which is based on a profound reverence for the fish, at times verging on obsession. Carp anglers show their photos of captures like lonely sales reps pull out pictures of their kids. On the Ebro, the carp obsession gets slightly distorted because the fish are totally wild and free ranging, so they have no history and no nomenclature. They also rarely grow to the size big enough to make them that exceptional. You could fish a swim feeder and sweet corn kernels practically anywhere on the Ebro, where the flow is slow enough, and you’ll catch an endless supply of carp in the region of five to ten pounds. They fight hard, are in great condition, but after a day or two, the novelty can wear thin. Some carp anglers find themselves drifting towards cat fish fishing. Which has an element of heinous cannibalism because in order to put yourself on the pitch and stand a chance of catching a big cat you need to first be cruel to small carp. A float fished live carp of one pound is probably the most effective bait for a cat fish, which might tip the scales at anything up to 185 pounds in the Ebro. That means the chance of catching a fish that weighs more than me, out of freshwater. Quite a powerful proposition. But as I said, more of all that another time. Carp anglers like cat fish because the basic tackle is the same
(stepped-up carp rods and Kevlar braid work well) and waiting is the name of the game. Carp anglers love to wait. Their whole culture revolves around ‘the bivvy’ a camo-green shelter which would be called a ‘tent’ in any other sport. The bivvy is the shelter in which a carp angler can ensconce himself for days and nights on end, just waiting for a bite. The same can be done with static, bank-based cat fishing. Stick the baits out anchored in one spot and watch the days tick by. One fish every two or three days is considered a pretty healthy catch rate. British carp anglers abroad like to claim their piece of the bank, set out their stall and stay put. They are very territorial, like bull dogs scowling at anyone who dares to come near their carefully prepared swim, especially if they happen to be foreign. Foreign anglers down on the Ebro tend to be German, French or Italian and the carp bull dog bristles at each and every one of these interlopers in different ways and for different reasons. The British carp angler hates the Germans because they don’t fish for carp. (Although they’d hate them more if they did.) The British cat fish angler hates the German cat fish angler because: A. They have bought up huge chunks of the banks where they run fiercely efficient boat rental and guide services to catch cat fish. And B. Because when they do catch cat fish they use ‘unacceptable’ landing techniques like gaffs, and they are reported to regularly chop of the cat fishes’ head to make wall mounted trophies. A practise all British cat anglers see as fundamentally barbaric. And C. Horror of all horrors, the German cat fish anglers have even been known to eat cat fish. The whole business of eating fish seems to plug straight into an already tender nerve of the British angler. Whether a Brit visiting the Ebro sees himself as a cat or carp man doesn’t matter. He is of a coarse fishing tradition in which an angler doesn’t ever eat his quarry. Foreigners on the other hand are determined to catch fish to eat. (A notion which is very dear to my heart). The Ebro is a river into which fish have been stocked willy-nilly. The cat fish, the carp, the largemouth bass are all fish that have been stuck in the river in bizarre aquatic experiments. Among the alien species is the zander, a fish we hate in England, but are loved by the rest of Europe. We hate them because zander eat other prized fish like roach. And foreigners love them because zander are good to eat. We don’t eat zander, but when we see foreigners eating zander out of the Ebro, we come over all pious and outraged. Fishing in Britain is often under threat, from cormorants, from the antis, from the bird sanctuarists, from abstraction, pollution, eutrophication, from insane European fisheries policies and dwindling numbers of migratory fish. It’s under threat from clubs dissolving and losing a mechanism for introducing youngsters into the sport. And it’s under threat from its own diversity. Fishing is so many things to so many people that it causes endless friction. Which sadly means there is no unified ‘voice of the angler’. A voice which arguably we need but will probably never have. Part of the joy of angling for me is its immense variety. I could never choose one species or method to pursue for the rest of my life. What keeps fishing alive for me is its diversity. Trouble is, it might just be too diverse for its own good.
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Hunting the Plant Hunters Ambra Edwards has compiled a fascinating overview of those responsible for many of the plants in our gardens today. She talked to Jess Morency.
earching for Ambra Edward’s cottage provides a tiny insight into the thrills felt by the plant hunters she writes about. For when I eventually find it, set high on the Dorset and Devon border with a view stretching down to the sea, it’s certainly worth it. Descending in steps, the garden is an explosion of textures and colours—and immaculate. ‘Nature wasn’t very important when I was growing up,’ she tells me over tea and biscuits in her conservatory. ‘My parents were absolutely townies. But when you come to a place like this, it’s just so beguiling. Very calm, very quiet. During lockdown I felt I was in a parallel universe because my life had hardly changed. The lane’s a bit busier now, but twenty years ago the appearance of a car was a major event.’ Ambra was originally a copywriter, working for boutique London ad agencies. Next came freelancing for design companies, interspersed with travelling around the world to places as remote as Tierra del Fuego and the Himalayas. ‘I’ll never forget the astonishment of being in Nepal and seeing seventy-foot rhododendrons.’ A few years later it was a job at a garden magazine that turned her into a garden writer. Or, more accurately, writing about the people who garden. ‘Gardens are stories. It’s like theatre, but using so many more dimensions. You have time, space, and the people behind them, their thoughts and feelings. Garden history tells you what people believe in. Which is what brought me to plant hunters.’ The Plant Hunter’s Atlas is a wonderful combination of
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human courage, adventure, politics and humour, creating— in 44 short chapters—a fascinating overview of some of the people responsible for many of the plants in our gardens today. ‘Weren’t they incredible?’ Ambra says, her enthusiasm for her subjects catching. ‘That was the absolute joy of doing the book. Deeply bonkers, a lot of them, but wouldn’t you liked to have met some of them? If you think what it must have been like, setting off on a little ship into this great unknown, and there may or may not be these mythical continents.’ If you’d told me that a book about plants would make me laugh out loud, I might have raised an eyebrow. But one of the great things about it is that every chapter contains so many humorous, tragic, or fascinating facts. There’s a rollicking chapter on Philipp Franz von Siebold, who was responsible for introducing the pernicious Japanese knotweed in a single female plant. There are the colossal pitcher plants: one designed as a toilet bowl for the tiny rodents that balance on the rim, another which has adapted to offer perfect bat-sized sleeping bags. Then there’s poor Robert Fortune who, at a time of tense political tension with China, was sent in to collect plants armed with nothing more than a big stick (optimistically described as a ‘life preserver’). It took Ambra a year to do the research, often reading whole autobiographies and relevant articles in order to find her pithiest lines. Instead of accessing the libraries at Kew, Below: Ambra Edwards By Jess Morency and Drawing by Maria Sibylla Merian.
lockdown forced her to do much of it on-line. ‘There are wonderful institutions like the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Project Guttenberg which have lots of these classic texts digitised. Some of these 19th century writers were not exactly snappy, and luckily it meant I could do searches and not have to read every word of three volumes. However, some hunters, like Robert Fortune and Kingdom Ward, are really good writers, very funny.’ I ask if she hopes to encourage her readers to seek out these primary sources. ‘Absolutely. Fortune’s account of his three years wandering in China is wonderful. He gets into major sulks because he’s robbed and he says some very rude things about the Chinese. But what’s really interesting is seeing the world through the plant hunter’s eyes. On the whole they’re quite perceptive. ‘There’s this idea of plant hunters being moustachioed white men in pith helmets hacking their way through the jungle, and I wanted to debunk that myth. Plants have always moved around the globe, offering an incredibly precise vector of economic, political, intellectual and religious tides in world history. And what we can’t do is look at people collecting at a time of imperial expansion through 21st century eyes: for by the intellectual, political and moral standards of the time many of them believed that they were doing good. But we certainly do need to be less Eurocentric. Acknowledge, for example, the huge resource of plant knowledge that existed in the Islamic world during its Golden Age—7th to 13th centuries. Which was disseminated in medical schools and teaching gardens long before the first university botanic gardens in 16th century Europe. ‘Another thing I wanted to do was recognise the work of the people on the ground. And, even then, hunters took very different approaches. Some were anxious to learn from the indigenous communities, aware of the immense knowledge that had never been written down. Interestingly, women were particularly sensitive to this, people like Maria Graham and Maria Sibylla Merian.’ I suspect that she holds a particular fondness for the latter. ‘Definitely. She was just so intrepid and independentminded. Here’s a woman—old at 52—who’s already overturned conventions by leaving her husband. She sets off at a time when people didn’t go further than the next town, across the planet to this place she knows nothing about—apart from a few things she’s spotted in a cabinet of curiosities. When she finally makes it to the Dutch colony of Surinam she has to find her way through a society that’s only interested in growing sugar, whereas she is fascinated by possibilities of science and research. ‘And indeed, once the local indigenous Amerindians have hacked her a way through to the remotest of plantations, she finds moths with foot-wide wingspans and spiders so large they can feed on birds. Later, back in Amsterdam, she creates dazzling illustrations of the plants and animals she encountered. Yet she still ends up buried in a pauper’s grave. And how was she treated subsequently? As someone whose work was both gross and fallacious. And yet, wow, what courage and independence of mind.’ The book brings us right up to present-day hunters—and there are still plenty of new plants found every year, listed
in the Kew annual report. One example is Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones, whose names are linked to a spectacular rice paper plant they discovered in Taiwan. ‘They were previously dairy farmers, forced to stop because of Mad Cow Disease. Since starting Crûg Farm Plants they’ve visited more than 40 countries looking for garden plants, and are about the only private organisation to have all the same permits as the scientific institutions. I went there a few weeks ago and it’s truly amazing—all these polytunnels full of things you’ve never seen.’ But it’s not just the unusual she finds fascinating. ‘Something like the brazil nut—which I’ve always enjoyed enrobed in chocolate at Christmas—is just so intriguing. Here’s this thing that you take completely for granted and yet it has this extraordinary eco-system. Its flowers can only be pollinated by particularly large female bees, who will only breed with the males if they’re wooed by a particular perfume found in a particular rainforest orchid. So you need: the orchid, the bees, the rainforest, the perfume… And then the nut is fertilised and when it’s formed in fifty-metre high trees the outer shell is so hard that even though it crashes to the ground it still doesn’t break. So then you have this rodent that comes along and makes a hole in the casing to get the nuts out; at which point, because it can’t eat all the seeds, it buries the extra ones; hence you get more brazil nut trees. There have been many attempts at cultivating them commercially but it just doesn’t work. Throughout the book, mention is made of the destruction of various habitats; although, like everything else, it’s done with a light touch. ‘You can’t ignore things like the impact of deforestation in Indonesia (which puts at risk the vine on which the giant parasitic Rafflesia flower depends). And even though the excitement of scientific discovery still exists, how tragic is it that you find this incredible plant, known as the Orchid of the Falls, that’s adapted to grow in the middle of a crashing torrent. But you only find it when you’re doing a survey for a dam that’s going to wipe it out. ‘On the plus side, plant hunting today is about conservation. It’s about our children and grand-children— and there is nothing more important than protecting the planet. And some of the most highly regarded scientists are women. Which as we know, hasn’t always been the case. That’s where I’d like to go next: the female botanists who haven’t had the attention they deserve. There were so many stories I wanted to tell, but didn’t have the space.’ Ambra Edwards will be appearing at the Dorchester Literary Festival on Monday, 11th October at 5.30pm. This year’s festival takes place as a live event from 9th – 16th October. Authors include: Candice Braithwaite, Nicci French, Graeme Hall, Max Hastings, Alexandra Heminsley, Kate Humble, Dr Amir Khan, Adam Nicolson, Brian Patten, Jonathan Porritt, Jeremy Vine, Raynor Winn and A N Wilson. Tickets go on sale at the end of August. For tickets sand more information visit www. dorchesterliteraryfestival.com/
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Howerd’s End LYME REGIS
2020 because of the pandemic. There has been a series of concerts this summer, and the literary festival will be back, from 15th to 19th September. Speakers will include the FT and Radio 4’s favourite statistician Tim Harford, scientist Richard Dawkins, actress Celia Imrie, best-selling children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson, chef Michael Caines, novelist Kate Mosse and dancer Dame Darcey Bussell.
New venue for chamber series
FRANKIE Howerd was one of Britain’s best-loved comedians, with his hilarious facial expressions, high camp vocal tricks and risque asides. But he had a secret away from the stage, as revealed in Howerd’s End, a new play by Mark Farrelly, coming to the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis on Thursday 9th September, at 8pm. The secret’s name was Dennis. Farrelly, who also wrote Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope, takes the audience to the heart of Frankie and Dennis’ clandestine relationship, which lasted from the 1950s until Frankie’s death in 1992. It also affords a glorious opportunity to encounter Frankie in full-flight stand-up mode. Packed with laughter, but unafraid of truth, Howerd’s End portrays the journey of two men through closeness, love, grief, and all the other things that make life worth living. It stars Simon Cartwright as Frankie Howerd and Mark Farrelly as Dennis Heymer.
BUDLEIGH SALTERTON DEVON seaside resort Budleigh Salterton has a special event celebrating both its music and literary festivals, on Saturday 18th September at St Peter’s Church. Words and Poetry of WWII marks 80 years since the Second World War, and features actress Joanna David and the London Ensemble led by Sacha Rattle, the clarinettist son of conductor Sir Simon Rattle and Elise Ross. Joanna David will read from poems and writings of wartime accompanied by the London Ensemble, which also includes Zeynep Ozsuca, piano and violinist Sini Simonen. The music includes Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale Suite, a sardonic look at the life of a soldier; Khachaturian’s Trio full of rhapsodic passion, nostalgia and bittersweet happiness; Brahms’ 2 Gesnge, Op.91, arranged for violin, with a humanity that longs for peace, forgiveness and rest, and the last movement of Messiaen’s Quartet for The End of Time written during incarceration in a German POW camp in 1943. Both Budleigh Salterton’s festivals were cancelled in 48 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
UPWEY AND TOURING THE late medieval Upwey parish church of St Laurence, near the village’s famous Wishing Well, is a new venue for Concerts in the West, hosting an autumn tour by flautist Emma Halnan and the Eblana String Trio. The group will be playing an imaginative mixture of quartets by Mozart, Beethoven, Viotti and the English composer Gerald Finzi, as well as intriguing pieces, including The Jet Whistle by Villa-Lobos and A Blackbird Sang by David Matthews. The concerts are on Thursday 30th September at the Hub at Bishops Hull near Taunton, at 7.30pm, Bridport Arts Centre on Friday 1st October at 11.30am, Ilminster Arts Centre on Friday at 8pm, Crewkerne Dance House on Saturday 2nd at 7.30pm and St Laurence Church, Upwey on Sunday 3rd at 3pm. Emma Halnan, a winner of several prestigious prizes including BBC Young Musician (wind category) and Royal Overseas League (Sussex Prize), was a student at the Purcell School and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. As a soloist she has performed with several leading orchestras including the London Mozart Players and BBC Concert Orchestra. The Eblana String Trio, violinist Jonathan Martindale, Lucy Nolan (viola) and Peggy Nolan (cello), was formed in 2006 while its players were student at the Royal Northern College of Music where they won major prizes. Apart from their success as a trio, they all have individual careers as soloists and orchestral players with leading European orchestras.
Fringe favourite at Marine
LYME REGIS LYME Regis Comedy Club at the Marine Theatre on Sunday 19th September stars Edinburgh Fringe favourite Stuart Goldsmith, supported by Jamie Hutchinson and Sally-Anne Hayward. Described in the Sunday Times as “an expert standup,” Stuart Goldsmith is an internationally award-winning comedian and writer, whose enthusiasm and natural charm conceal a quick wit honed by his early career as a street performer. He has a reputation as a skilled interviewer and engaging host. His podcast, The Comedian’s Comedian, shines a light
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Cider: a way of Life Talking and Tasting with James Crowden ‘WHEN I first moved to Dorset in 1980 there were very few commercial cider makers left’ says James Crowden, one of the country’s most noted cider experts. Frank Hillier at Okeford Fitzpaine had given up a few years earlier, he explained, and there was Captain Thimbleby at Wolfeton House at Charminster outside Dorchester. ‘A wonderful set up. And of course Hubert Warren at Netherbury… and the cider gang at North Chideock. But to be honest cider was in the doldrums, pushed out by lager and that new continental stuff called wine... Remember Blue Nun and Mateus Rosé? At the time I was sheep shearing and shepherding in North Dorset and at one farm my brother and I bought an old mobile Victorian horse drawn cider press and scratter. All in for £50. Everyman must have a scratter…’ So in 1982 he started making cider in Durweston near Blandford. The local thatcher Andy Banwell then carried on the tradition. A few years later Andy encouraged Rose Grant of Winterbourne Houghton to start cidermaking and so it went on. One very important innovator, says James, is Nick Poole of West Milton, who not only made excellent cider but also kick-started the famous Powerstock Cider festival and West Milton Cider Club. Not only that but with Liz Copas, they have been identifying old Dorset cider apple varieties which have now been propagated by Adam’s Apples of Payhembury. ‘West Dorset is now well and truly back on the cider map and heaving with cider makers’ says James. ‘All sorts of orchards, large and small have been planted. Even a perry pear orchard near Salwayash. When John Claridge wrote about Dorset in 1793 he noted that there were 10,000 acres of orchard, so there is some way to go. Dorset Cider was exported to London by boat and out to Newfoundland to the Cod fisheries. Salt cod always needs cider to wash it down.’ Then again in the 19th century cider apples were imported from Normandy, Brittany and Jersey. Even in the 1960s there were French cider apple trains going from Poole harbour right up to Bulmers in Hereford. Always at night under steam. ‘And with a full moon the sights and smells of 600 tons of ripe cider apples on the move trundling through Dorset was indeed beguiling’ says James. ‘Then during the second war one cider maker I knew from Stoke Abbot, Jim Webber, famously disapproved of D Day or at least the timing of it. As he said “We had all these Americans turn up and they liked the cider. So in the autumn of 1943 we bought in extra cider apples and cider barrels. And spent many happy evenings making cider. And when it was just getting good in June the next year they b*****d off to Normandy…” Maybe Jim should have had a word with Eisenhower when he was visiting Parnham House in Beaminster.’ These and many more stories about the history of cider can be found in James Crowden’s latest book Cider Country - How an ancient craft became a way of life published by William Collins @ £18.99
James will be speaking at the Shute Festival (www. shutefest.org.uk) on 14 October at 6.00 pm and giving an illustrated talk with a cider tasting during the Bridport Literary Festival on 10 November at 11.30 am in the Electric Palace, Bridport. For tickets see www.bridlit.com
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on the darkest creative secrets of his fellow comics. Previous guests include Jimmy Carr, Tim Minchin, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Jen Kirkman and James Acaster. Stuart’s critically-acclaimed 2016 show Compared To What subsequently toured internationally. His 2017 tour, Like I Mean It, won the Leicester Comedy Festival Award for Best New Show and his latest, End Of, made its Fringe debut in 2018 to rave reviews. The Lyme Regis gig, with regular compere, West Country stand-up Tom Glover, starts at 8pm.
Chamber series returns
TINCLETON THE Old Schoolhouse, at Tincleton, which is also home to the Tincleton Gallery, returns to regular weekends of classical and jazz music from the first weekend in September. The concerts, cancelled during the Covid lockdowns, start on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th September with the duo of Melissa Phelps, cello, and Caroline Palmer, piano. Both performances start at 8pm. To book, telephone 01305 848909 or visit the website: www. tincletongallery.com The programme will include cello sonatas by Debussy, Beethoven and Bridge. On Friday 17th and Saturday 18th September, the mood switches for an evening of jazz with pianist Philip Clouts and Ron Phelan (double bass). Again, both concerts start at 8pm. In October, on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th, there will be a classical recital by pianist and composer Ronan Magill.
Shylock takes centre stage LYME REGIS
ONE of Shakespeare’s best known plays, The Merchant of Venice, has at its heart the character of the wealthy Jew, Shylock. Gareth Armstrong brings his solo show about this complex tragic figure to the Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis on Thursday 23rd September. Probably the most famous Jewish character in theatre, and (apart from Dickens’ Fagin) in all fiction, Shylock is also the most controversial character in the whole Shakespearean canon. How, in the 21st century, are we supposed to react to this portrait of a persecuted and despised man who is, at the same time, powerful because of his wealth and
proud of his religion and heritage. Armstrong, who wrote the play, explores Shylock’s world, examining religious and racial intolerance, the history of the play in performance and celebrating the richness of Shakespeare’s language. Shylock was first performed at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe, receiving positive reviews in the national press and five stars from festival critics. It has toured to 50 countries and received awards all over the world.
Shanty singers, storytelling & sharks
LYME REGIS A DAY long celebration, the Festival of the Sea, will take over Lyme Regis on Saturday 25th September, with an eclectic programme that includes a concert by The Longest Johns, science and sustainability talks, family activities and a miniature maritime museum. Throughout the day local artist Jessame Coulson is running a drop in children’s art workshops related to themes and characters in the festival of the sea—science, conservation, sea creatures and fishing. The Longest Johns, who have become TikTok stars in the wake of the recent sea shanty revival, will be performing maritime songs alongside more unusual and less traditional folk tunes. Local trio Spindrift, singers Gail McGarva, Penny Dunscombe and Diana Takezoe, will sing original a cappella songs of the sea, written by Gail, who is a traditional wooden boatbuilder. The Story Boat, created by Gail McGarva, gives a new lease of life to the retired 1923 fishing boat Vera by upturning her and transforming her into a miniature world of the sea. Gail is passionate about preserving traditional boats and their heritage. Her talk, Disappearing Lines, shines a light on endangered craft along our shoreline. Newspapers around the world recently reported vital research that found plastic in marine habitats at the island of San Cristobal. This is where Charles Darwin first landed in the Galapagos. Dr Ceri Lewis, of the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute will show a short film and talk about marine plastics and sealife in this special area of the world. Far from being a silent world, our oceans are a rich tapestry of sound. But this soundtrack is changing, with devastating consequences for marine ecosystems. In his talk, Ocean Soundtrack, Professor Steve Simpson explains how his research and work on Blue Planet II is helping us to understand life in the oceans. Recent discoveries show that the strange social structure of tiny fish called emerald coral gobies may be explained by family loyalty. In her talk, The Mysterious Social Life of Fish, Dr Theresa Rueger describes how she followed 73 fish in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, to discover the importance of family life to the tiniest of fish. GPW Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 51
1 – 22 September
Pictures for The Beehive contemporary art exhibition and auction supported by leading British artists raising funds for Diverse Abilities’ Splash Appeal. The exhibition includes works donated by Catherine Goodman, Antony Gormley, and Maggi Hambling. 11am until 3pm in the Great Dining Room of St Giles House, Dorset, home of the Earl of Shaftesbury. Auction to be held in the Library of St. Giles House on Thursday, September 23. Ticketed event in aid of Diverse Abilities’ £1 million Splash Appeal to build a hydrotherapy pool at The Beehive Centre, Poole, Dorset supporting more than 1,600 children and adults across the county with profound physical and learning disabilities. Visit thesplashappeal.org. uk for more details about the appeal, or picturesforthebeehive.org.uk for more details about the art exhibition.
1 – 25 September
James Brown Photography an exhibition of wildlife in their natural habitat. James has great knowledge of wildlife and the countryside after decades of hands on experience. We will be hi lighting the plight of the barn owl and will be raising awareness and funds to have barn owl boxes hand built and they will be sighted locally by James who will check that the boxes are being used by barn owls. Open daily including weekends from 8.30 - 4pm . Unique Framecraft, 4-5 Millwey Rise Workshops , Second Avenue, Axminster. EX13 5HH. Tel : 01297 631614.
3 September – 9 October
Urban Rural Art Group Exhibition Linked by a fascination with urban and rural landscapes and connections with society and contemporary issues, they seek to reveal and explore underlying themes and new ways of seeing. Exhibiting artists: Eric Gaskell; Ferha Farooqui; Frank Creber; Jane Smith; Jennie Ing; Karen Potter: Liz Somerville; Rory Brooke; Steve Edwards; Stewart Taylor. Tues – Saturdays, 10am to 4pm. Free entry The opening even is Saturday 4th September 5-7pm. This will include a presentation on the work and artists. All welcome. Bridport Arts Centre, South Street,
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Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NR https://www.bridport-arts.com or The Urban Rural Group: https://www.roryart.co.uk/post/new-urbanrural-.
4 September – 2 October
Tobit Roche: Sea and Sky fifth solo exhibition of work and Samantha Cary: Unsettled Times open Thursday - Friday, 10am - 3pm, or by appointment. The Art Stable. The Art Stable Child Okeford Blandford Dorset DT11 8HB. firstname.lastname@example.org
Until September 5
Unkempt Shifting Aesthetics in Landscape Painting an exhibition recognising the advent of a changing aesthetic in landscape – one that is by its nature wild, messy and more empathetic to the environment. Messums. Wiltshire, Place Farm, Court St, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6LW email@example.com 01747 445042. Lockdown Reflections Work by gallery and guest artists including a range of sculptures, oils, and prints. This show now incorporates a stunning selection of sculptures by Johannes von Stumm, past president of the Royal Society of Sculptors and current president of the Oxford Art Society. Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Tincleton, nr Dorchester, DT2 8QR. Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon from 10:00 - 17:00, no admission fee. 01305 848 909. http://www. tincletongallery.com. Impressions: 6th Annual Printmakers Open, Emerging and wellestablished printmakers join forces to create ‘Impressions’. open daily 10:30-4:30. Sou’-Sou’-West, Manor Yard Symondsbury Estate, Bridport DT6 6HG.
7 September – 1 October
The Adam and Eve Paintings by Edward Kelly Adam and Eve stands as one of the most colourful narratives of all time: there is sensuality, nudity, animals in harmony, good & evil, food for young and old. Open Tues - Sat 10-5pm. Artwave West, Morcombelake, Dorset DT6 6DY www.artwavewest.com.
9 – 12 September
B-Side multi-media Festival A thousand ideas, one amazing island. Portland Dorset. Artists in this year’s festival have drawn inspiration from the Island’s landscape, community, and history, as well as our relationship to places elsewhere. These are all components of b-side’s theme Common Lands, where we research and creatively respond to our relationship to Portland as a microcosm of global themes such as land access, environmental change, biodiversity, and the history and future of migration. https://b-side.org.uk/
10 – 19 September
Artbeat Popular annual art show by this group of East Devon artists. Original paintings, prints and gifts for sale. 10am- 5pm. Kennaway House, Coburg Road, EX10 8NG, Sidmouth. Admission is free.
10 September – 31 December
Together Again Gallery and guest artists at Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Toncleton DT2 8QR Tel. 01305 848909 www.tincletongallery.com.
11 – 26 September
Devon Open Studios from Exmouth to Axminster East Devon Open Studios are organised by Devon Artist Network. A cornucopia of art is on offer across Devon when over 200 resident artists and crafts people open their studios to show and sell their individual artworks to the public. www.devonopenstudios.co.uk.
11 – 27 September
Climate Change: Open Exhibition To complement the ‘Inside Out Dorset’ project being held on the Symondsbury Estate, Sou’-Sou’-West Arts Gallery will be showing work in an open exhibition, which focuses on climate change in its broadest sense. Sou’-Sou’-West Arts Gallery, Symondsbury Manor Yard. sousouwest.co.uk 01308 301326 lymebayarts.co.uk, open daily 10:30-4:30.
11 – 6 October
John Maddison A selection of John Maddison’s stunning still life, interior and landscape works in a solo show. The Jerram Gallery, Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3LN. Tuesday - Saturday 9.30am - 5pm. 01935 815261 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until September 12
Gustav Metzger radically challenged our understanding of art, its relation to reality and our existence within society. Inaugural exhibition of Metzger’s work will explore the intersection between human intervention, nature and man-made environments. Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL
GALLERIES IN OCTOBER Live or Online send your September gallery details to email@example.com by September 15th. Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 53
Summer Prints and Drawings by Julian Bailey Martyn Brewster, Michael Fairclough, Vanessa Gardiner, Janette Kerr, Alex Lowery, Sally McLaren plus Petter Southall woodwork. Sladers Yard, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. 01308 459511. firstname.lastname@example.org. Family Geology: Stratification of Sarah A fictional recreation in visual form of Jan Edwards’ farming relatives and their migration at an early age from the UK fenlands to the Australian outback. Rotunda Gallery, Lyme Regis Museum, Bridge Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3QA, open daily 10am-5pm (4pm on Sundays), www. lymeregismuseum.co.uk
18 September – 21 November
12 – 26 September
Until 19 September
Julie Robertson MA is exhibiting her work. Ceramics, Painting, Textiles, Sculpture, Printmaking, Photography, Digital, Mixed media, Drawing are all on display from this experienced artist from her archive and her latest colourful work from her new studio in Seaton, East Devon. Directions - use google maps and look for Kamikaze Tortoise Studio, 7 Rogers Way, Seaton EX12 2FY Just off the A3052 email@example.com for more info. Open dates, 12/13/16/17/18/19/23/24/25 & 26 September.
14 September – 24 October
Fossils, Fish and Feathers An exhibition of watercolours by Lyme Bay Artist Trisha Hayman that focus on some of nature’s often ignored specimens, from bird’s feathers and spent flower heads to sea shells and animal skulls. Rotunda Gallery, Lyme Regis Museum, Bridge Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3QA, check website for opening hours/days, www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk
18 September – 3 October
Somerset Open Studios one of the largest Open Studios events to date there will be work from more than 300 Somerset Art Works Members in over 200 studios and spaces across the county this autumn. Visitors have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet the artist, find out what inspires them and experience the working process- engaging with creativity at the source. Studios occur in a variety of unique situations and the event is the perfect opportunity to discover hidden locations and workspaces- in person and also online. Also new for this year is an Open Studios App somersetartworks.org.uk/what-we-do/art-weeks/or Paul Newman at Somerset Art Works 07715 528441 paul.newman@ somersetartworks.org.uk
18 September – 9 October
Vanessa Cooper: It’s A Wonderful Life. White Space Art, 72 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5RU.
18 September – 14 November
Gaia: recent collages and sculpture. Marzia Colonna MRBS. Sladers Yard, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL. 01308 459511. firstname.lastname@example.org.
54 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Breathe by Michelle Sank will be shown in Gallery 20 at RAMM alongside RAMM’s Covid-19 commission Biophilia: The Exeter Florilegium by Exeter artist Amy Shelton. Sank’s photographic series documents the first Covid-19 lockdown in the Wonford area of Exeter taken on her daily walks, and Shelton’s commission, The Exeter Florilegium (2021), includes a herbarium of pressed plant and wildflower specimens compiled on her daily lockdown walks around Exeter in spring and summer 2020. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) https://www. rammuseum.org.uk
Tricia Scott & Lois Wakeman: Contemporary Photography two east Devon photographers. Open daily 10:30-4:30 Sou’-Sou’-West Arts Gallery, Symondsbury Manor Yard. sousouwest.co.uk 01308 301326 lymebayarts.co.uk
20 September – 3 October
‘Kimmeridge - Between The Ledges’, Rita Brown’s latest show has a focus on fossils and the Jurassic coast: geology and palaeontology have been a recurring theme throughout her career. Rita’s collection of specimens and visits to Kimmeridge and Charmouth have been a huge motivation and inspiration for this recent work. Sou’-Sou’-West Arts Gallery, Symondsbury Manor Yard. sousouwest.co.uk 01308 301326 lymebayarts.co.uk, open daily 10:30-4:30.
26 September – 16 January 2022
Dame Elisabeth Frink RA (1930 – 1993) Man is an Animal the most extensive collection of large-scale sculptures by Dame Elisabeth Frink to be shown in this country since the artist’s death in April 1993. Messums Wiltshire. Place Farm, Court St, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6LW. E: email@example.com T: 01747 445042.
Until Mid October
New Arts in Hospital Exhibition at Dorset County Hospital Zennor Box, Bristol-based artist’s fabulous concept art is now on display. For Arts in Hospital programme please visit: https:// dchartsinhospital.org.uk
Until 31 October
Turning the Tide Discover the history of plastic and the problem with single-use plastics. Learn how you can help in the fight to reduce microplastics in our oceans. Admission free, donations welcomed. West Bay Discovery Centre. Tuesday- Sunday 11am 4pm. www.westbaydiscoverycentre.org.uk.
Until 3 January 2022
Eduardo Chillida was one of the foremost Spanish sculptors of the twentieth century. Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0NL.
A Feast of Ideas
........... ON ONE SPECIAL ISLAND
ementing its status as one of the most unusual and innovative contemporary art festivals in the UK, b-side is back with an exciting, playful, and challenging programme led by Portland-based and world-renowned artists including Creatives Garage, Olivia Furber, and Ramzi Maqdisi. Energising the cultural scene in Dorset, b-side Festival presents work from South West based creatives alongside new and established artists from across the UK and beyond. With the artwork commissioned via an international open call over two years ago, allowing the artists the time and creative space to produce siteresponsive works, the festival encourages artists to take risks and make resonant connections with the Isle of Portland. This year, b-side Festival has commissioned 14 new, unique artworks exploring the concept: ‘Common Lands’. The artworks on display will address pertinent issues concerning peoples’ right to public land, the power of community, and shared ownership of space through sensitive and often unexpected artistic methods. Aiming to ignite thought-provoking discussions, this four-day festival will feature showstopping light projections, audio installations, guided tours, sculpture, film, and immersive workshops. The full programme and tickets are available from https://b-side.org.uk/
YOUNG LIT FIX IN SEPTEMBER PICTURE BOOK Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman. Illustrated by Heather Fox. Penguin Books, RRP £6.99 REVIEW BY Antonia Squire ANY child who happened to go to a primary school in Bridport during the week of World Book Day 2019 will be very familiar with this particular Llama as I read Llama Destroys the World to each and every one of them. Now it’s available in paperback I think you will all enjoy it as much as I do (and hundreds of kids aged 4 – 11 seemed to enjoy as well!) Llama is a simple llama, who enjoys the simple things in life—like cake and dancing, and painting and Black Holes??? But Llama especially likes cake, ‘more cake than any llama should ever eat’. In a series of simple yet catastrophic mistakes over the period of a single week, Llama Destroys The World! Over the top scenarios, fabulous illustrations and hilarious text with great opportunities for ‘voices’—you will love to have this book in your collection. Or just stop by the shop and I’ll read it to you…I do that a lot!
MIDDLE GRADE The House on the Edge by Alex Cotter Nosy Crow RRP £7.99 REVIEW BY Nicky Mathewson FAITH’S life has changed dramatically in the last four months. Her dad “upped and left” leaving behind a trail of family destruction. They are all falling apart, and to top it off, their house is very close to falling off the edge of the cliff it stands on! Her friends now give her a wide berth, her teachers are paying her too much attention, and while her mum is withdrawing further into herself, it’s up to Faith to look after her brother Noah. Noah is convinced that there are sea ghosts in the cellar, and they have told him the whereabouts of their hidden treasure. There is only so long that Faith can keep covering at school for her brother’s absence and her mother’s lack of contact with the world beyond her bedroom. Can she fix everything? Is there really hidden treasure to be found and will it help to save their family home? Most importantly, will it bring dad back?
The House on the Edge is an outstanding debut, which will have young mystery lovers engaged from the start. Very pacey and contemporary, it has all the elements I look for in a children’s book: believable characters; great twists in the plot; tension and changing dynamics. It also has an easy to read typeface, which will help reluctant readers or those with dyslexia. Perfect for readers aged 9+. TEEN The Supreme Lie By Geraldine McCaughrean, Illustrations by Keith Robinson Cover by Leo Nickolls Usborne Books, RRP £8.99 REVIEW BY Nicky Mathewson “MADAME held sway over the great walled city of Praesto, with its forest of factory chimneys and its swarming, soot stained streets. But her realm was far larger than that. Beyond the city’s ancient, encircling walls lay the whole of the Furca river basin, the cliffs and forests and wetlands and farms of all Afalia. These, too, were the Suprema’s domain.” Madame Suprema, a cold and unflinching ruler, tells the city what it wants to hear. The rains will soon abate and life can go back to normal. But she is also a liar. It has been raining for two months and the River Furca has already broken its banks. It’s only a matter of time until her realm is submerged and the city walls surrounded by water. The Supreme Leader secretly flees the city, leaving her downtrodden husband, Timor, to pick up the pieces. What he proposes to do is reckless beyond belief. If discovered he would be executed for treason. Timor asks Gloria, Madame Suprema’s maid, to impersonate his wife temporarily, to help keep the peace until her return. What neither of them know is that Madame Suprema will not be returning. In this timely dystopian story, we follow Gloria’s path in her pretence within the city walls, trying to do some good though completely out of her depth. Whilst also following the journey of Heinz, a dog separated from his family in the floods in the forest. In a world just like our own, populated by believable characters and real dangers, Geraldine weaves a wonderful suspenseful story which at once had me gripped. I love her writing and I love this book. Ideal for ages 12+
10% off RRP of these books for Marshwood Vale Readers at The Bookshop, 14 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NQ. 56 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
Health&Environment Celebrating Yeovil’s past and future through art YEOVIL’S past and future is to be celebrated and integrated into the town centre public areas through art concepts delivered in collaboration with Yeovil community groups. The Council carried out an open procurement exercise earlier in the year and following interviews with a range of artists appointed You&Me Architecture in tandem with poet Beth Calverley. Work has been underway through 2021 to develop concepts and engage the community to inform the design process. Engaged groups and stakeholders have explored various opportunities to celebrate the town’s past and future through art and have come up with a series of key themes to base artwork around: • Shapes of Yeovil submitted by the local community, inspired from the past heritage, present dynamic and future of Yeovil • Colourful and bright colour palette inspired by Yeovil in Bloom displays to create a welcoming face in Yeovil • Poetry co-creations and collage workshops with the local community groups, the outputs of which will be incorporated in the artworks • Civic pride. Councillor Peter Gubbins, portfolio holder for Yeovil Refresh at South Somerset District Council, said: ‘Public art really gets people talking and it attracts visitors to the town centre and offers a really exciting experience that is more interesting for people. We are pleased to be working with so many different groups and local stakeholders to really try and put Yeovil on the map and make it a place where people want to live, work, learn and visit.’ Caroline Barnes, Art & Design Coordinator at Yeovil District Hospital, added: ‘The inclusion of innovative design and high quality Public Art in our town centre is a welcome development for our community. Here at the Hospital we have a collection of nearly 300 Art works for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. We know that art can be an effective distraction in our hectic and diverse lives, the opportunity to be inspired and uplifted by your surroundings has health benefits for all.’ Visit the Yeovil Art Space website at www. yeovilartspace.uk to find out more about the projects they are involved in and also visit the Yeovil Refresh website at www. yeovilrefresh.co.uk for more information about the Yeovil Refresh programme and associated work.
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 57
Services&Classified FOR SALE Fantastic, individual, very large quality wall Mirror, 47” x 54”, 9mm thick mirror plate with pine boarded and jointed back and a plain pine moulding surround. Vgc. £225. Tel: 01395 487554 Next Cushions x 2, duck egg blue, excellent condition, £8 the pair. Aubergine Cushions x 2, with Chenille Throw, 212cm x 150cm, excellent condition, £18 and Light Green Cushions x 3, excellent condition, £10. Tel: 01395 487554
SITUATIONS VACANT PART TIME ASSISTANT WANTED Business Development/ad Sales Flexible hours. Email CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
As new £70. 07484689302 Antique Victorian writing slope which dates back to 1850-1899 set in a beautiful mahogany veneered box. The soft leather inlay has been updated but still retains the original format Vintage terracotta pots but there is no key to lock. also glazed, from £10 This is a genuine antique photos 01460 55105 at a very realistic price. New basin/ £280. 07484689302 pedestal,white 450mm Carlo Popper vintage width, £35, onto. As new, leather staionary writing steamer-style chair+ seat case £20 07484689302 cushion, £38. pictures Scottish cobbles 6 available. 07398760637. bags x 20kg £5 each. DT1 1SG. Sand coloured stepping Set of 4 Victorian stones,12 x 42 cm mahogany balloon back approx.diameter.£3 chairs, VGC. Bargain at each. Ecomax Compost £60. 01935 426197 Dual motor rise recliner bins, 330 litre £13, 220 chair, very good condition, litre £9. Singer electric sewing machine,old model hardly used, upholstered 4522C.£10.Roman blind in wine red boucle fabric; 171 cm long x 114 cm can e-mail photos. Cost drop - needs new curtain £1,800 new. Will accept £450. Buyer must arrange as faded. £5. Tel. 01308 423849 collection. Tel: 01308 Outback gas barbeque 868717. @ £40.00. Silver Crest Miele Cat and Dog vacuum cleaner S5261 plus electric fruit preserve and jam maker @ £20.00. 5 x accessories. In very good condition, little used. £50. 1 ltr glass demijohns for wine making £2.00 each. Tel: 01308 868717 3 x 5 gallon fermenting Telescopic Hedge bins suitable for wine or Trimmer extending pole beer making £10.00 each. plus Right angled cutting adjustment or normal use. 01460 241155 Rotatrim T950 technical Electric with E.U.adaptor and harness. In box, never Slitter 1320mm 354mm 120mm cutting length used due to house move. 950mm 11.6 kgs. GWO £55 01460 394903 Henry Vacuum cleaner. with spares chart £95.00 ono. Dahle guillotine 403 In good condition. cuts A4, light use GWO Includes all tools & spare with manual £12.00 ono. bags. £35. 01460 242644 Laminator LMA 300 hot Superb mens cashmere and cold, laminates up to and wool navy single A3 plus 20 A4 pouches breasted overcoat XL VGC £10.00. Craft knife 58 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
set in box 41 blades 7 knife handles oil and stone plus 9” x 12” cutting mat, as new £6.00. 01460 63866/07968053268 Very Elegant Hand Carved 3 Piece Suite made from one Solid Beech Tree, Covered in a patterned Pale Green dralon. The filling is Traditional Horse Hair and been individually Hand sprung. This Suite will add Flair and substance to any home and is considered a Real Handmade Statement piece. Pics available. £550.00. ‑Unique Hand Crafted Mahogany TV cabinet with full draw effect Front Elegant piece of furniture has Inner screen dimensions. W 71cm. H 49cm D 42cm. £180.00. Tel: 07484 689302 As New. Lyte 2-section Aluminium Extension Ladder 7.81m with a heavy duty stabiliser bar and D-shaped rungs and a ladder stand-off. £150 01308 862719 Ruyika Reciprocating Saw. As new. Used Once. Blades for wood and steel. Heavy weight. Power input 750w £25. 01308 455627 Alfred Angelo Ivory wedding dress,strapless gown with embroidered detail, size 12. Cost over £1000 new. Looking for £150.00 Please call Bridport 01308 425816. Tractor Wheels Pair heavy Row Crop Wheels. 8 Stud fit MF35/135 Ford Dexter or International 7.2
Detached bungalow/ house wanted, price up to around 400K. Must have big kitchen/two bathrooms/garden. Please call 01883-346566 or email catchworth@gmail. com
Cleaning person needed for home in Bridport. 4 hrs wk. Please phone 07929 123465
CLAIRVOYANT Emma Howe Clairvoyant. Established 25 years, BBC recommended. Spiritual solutions to worldly problems. Spiritual Medium. Life Guidance. Astrology/Tarot. 01458 830276 / 07881 088664Sept 21
7-36 6PR. Good Condition £200 Mobile 07834550899. East Lambrook 01460 242071 Feeder for stock Wooden 8’ long 18” high. Perfect for sheep/ chickens. £30. RESTORATION Mobile 07834550899. East Lambrook 01460 242071 Hollywood HR150 2 bike FURNITURE. tow ball fixing cycle rack. Antique Restoration Folds for easy storage. and Bespoke Furniture. Clamps to standard 50 Furniture large and mm tow ball. Complete small carefully restored with original instructions and new commissions and optional additional undertaken. City and securing straps. £15. Guilds qualified. Based in Axminster. 07970 Experienced local 416021 or 01297 33344 family firm. Phil New unused ceramic Meadley 01297 560335 wash/hand basin. White. 2 two separate tap mounting holes and three overflow holes. With drain SURFACE PREPARATION connection. £7.50 Based in Axminster. 07970 416021 Alberny Restoration or 01297 33344 In-house blast cleaning Glass fronted display for home and garden cabinet £10 Text your furniture, doors and email address if you would gates. Agricultural/ like to see a photo of it to construction machinery 07791 883135. Buyer to and tooling. Vehicles, collect parts and trailers Corner TV unit with etc. 01460 73038, shelves £20 Text your email address if you would email allan@alberny. co.uk, FB Alberny like to see a photo of it to Sandblasting 07791883135. Buyer to collect Sets of Bowls, various sizes - £15. (Try before you buy) Tel. 01308 425278 1 mahogany tilt top dining table, good To advertise on these pages condition. £400. 01297 email email@example.com 560051. Large brand new still boxed children’s swing and netting ring, cost £179 accept £100. Open fronted sep 21
Vintage & antique textiles, linens, costume buttons etc. always sought by Caroline Bushell. Tel. 01404 45901. Oct 21
Secondhand tools wanted. All trades. Users & Antiques. G & E C Dawson. 01297 23826. www. secondhandtools.co.uk. sept 21
Dave buys all types of tools 01935 428975
good condition. Photo can be emailed. £100 buyer collects (Bridport) 01308 Wanted: Old tractors 301074. and vehicles. Running, Metal extending ladder 2 non running. Good x 11ft. £25. 01308 897121. price paid. 01308 Pretty Edwardian 2-seater 482320 07971 866364 sofa, immaculate condition, Dec 21 w 136cm x d 76cm approx., ideal small sitting room, upholstered blue-green Coins wanted. Part Sanderson fabric. Photo. or full collections £250ono. 07902 316800, purchased for cash. 01963 23738. Please phone John on Yonex Cyber Star ladies 01460 62109 Oct 21 light flex graphite shafts golf clubs, 5-SW VGC. £40. Pro Action folding golf FOR SALE trolley vgc, £20. Sherborne pine dresser, good order, 01935 817769. offers around £50. Black Ogre Cary Golf bag with leather recliner armchair stand, four compartments and footstool. £80. 01395 almost new, ex cond blue 568575. £30. Nike Golf shoes size TV LG 37” £50. TV 7. New boxed light brown motion wall mounted £10. suede metal studs, /320. Soundbar for TV and other 01935 817769. £10. All three items £60. Entomological collection, 01297 647185. Lyme Regis. store boxes, etc plus White metal double geological collection bedhead size £30. Osprey of rocks minerals and handbag tan leather, good gemstones, pus books £150. condition, £30. 01935 Will split. Telephone Steve 410830. on 01980 621111. Qualcast electric lawn Avon Redcrest Dingy mower £50. 01300 341845. original 1990 oars, pump, Four Ikea folding garden s/s engine bracket, chairs £10. Rainbow parasol inflatable seat, bag, excellent and iron base £10. Elegant condition for year. £350. habitat wine rack £10. 07749 845862. 01305 266273. Sharp Microwave unused Electric recliner chair: surplus to requirement, Sherborne Milburn Petite cost £145, bargain £40ono. wine red 4 years old. Very Green pvc garden table and Oct 21
four chairs £10 ono. 01460 66250 or 07840 803872. Model of Concorde in British Airways colours and commemorate poster also Brian Trubshaw book ‘Concorde the Complete Inside Story’ (new) in display case £12 the lot, 01935 422620 Sherborne. Ladder aluminium extending ladder 23.5 ft, good condition, £40. 01460 220081. Three floral covered foam seat cushions 22” x 26” and four small plain cream cushions from Conservatory furniture £5. 01308 422997. Walking and Thumb sticks, red deer handles, well made. £15 each. Red deer handles for sticks £3 each. 01297 33066. Spin dryer. Round & white. Good condition. Fast spin speed. £15 01460 242644 Pop riveter Powerfix GS 4 heads complete with rivets boxed brand new £6.00 Trident thermostatic mono bath tap, chrome on brass ex condition as new bought in error £8.00 07968 053268/01460 63866 Cobblestones 1 cubic yard approx. free for collection 01305 848358 Bosch chest freezer economic. Perfect working order £50.00 collection only 01305 848358
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 59
FREE ADS for items under £1,000 This FREE ADS FORM is for articles for sale, where the sale price is under £1000 (Private advertisers only — no trade, motor, animals, alcohol, firearms etc). Just fill in the form and send it to the Marshwood Vale Magazine, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX or email the text to firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately due to space constraints there is no guarantee of insertion of free advertising. We reserve the right to withhold advertisements. For guaranteed classified advertising please use ‘Classified Ads’ form
Name ............................................................. Telephone number ................................. Address ................................................................................................................................ Town .......................................... County....................... Postcode ..................................
Monthly Quiz –
Win a book from Little Toller Books
Send in your answer on a postcard, along with your name and address to: Hargreaves Quiz, Marshwood Vale Magazine, Lower Atrim, Bridport, Dorset DT6 5PX. Study the clues contained in the rhyme and look carefully at the signposts to work out which town or village in South Somerset, West Dorset or East Devon is indicated. The first correct answer drawn out of a hat will win a book from local publisher Little Toller Books. There is no cash equivalent and no correspondence will be entered into.
Last month’s answer was Thorncombe. The winner was John Collingwood from Bridport.
60 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 Tel. 01308 423031
BUSINESS NEWS Digital skills bootcamp to return to Dorset THE Department for Education’s National Skills Fund is extending its current programme of Skills Bootcamps across the region. Comprising flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks’ duration, the eight additional Skills Bootcamps offer adults aged 19 or over the opportunity to build up or retrain in specific digital skills required by employers. Part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, the Skills Bootcamps are offered free of charge to residents across the South West region including in Dorset. They are open to people who are unemployed, self-employed, returning to work, or to independent learners who are looking to advance their digital skills into higher paid employment in sectors that urgently require those skills. The #Train4Tomorrow programme is designed to help people enter highly paid growth industries in the region, such as cyber security, data science, software development, digital marketing and IT. The Bootcamps are being run in the South West region by the Heart of the South West LEP and the Digital Skills Partnership and supported in Dorset by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). All Skills Bootcamps will be completed by March 2022. They will be delivered with the support of four partners including Bluescreen IT, Bournemouth and Poole College, Petroc, and Truro & Penwith College. The bootcamps offer a mix of online and face to face delivery. Rebecca Davies, Head of Enterprise, Skills & Industry at Dorset LEP said: ‘The Skills Bootcamps represent up to £4,000 of free training for anyone considering a career change in areas where digital skills are in high demand.’ Residents who are employed can also take advantage of the Skills Bootcamps, but their employer will need to cover 30% of the cost. More information about eligibility and details of how to register can be found at www.Train4Tomorrow.org.uk. Employers who are interested in supporting the Skills Bootcamps, by shaping the content of the programme or by interviewing successful course completers, can also register their interest via this link.
Tel. 01308 423031 The Marshwood Vale Magazine September 2021 61