Issue 3 - Volume 15 - Mendip Times

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Mendip Times

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Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas


IN THIS ISSUE: SUPPORT FOR MAX • BUSINESS • SPORT • EDUCATION • RIDING • WILDLIFE • SUMMER EVENTS Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news

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IT’S heart-warming to see how a community can get together to support a single family. That’s happening in East Harptree, where Max Sewart, aged eight, has been refused medical treatment on the grounds of cost. The whole village fete was geared to raise money to help him. Dr Phil Hammond reports on the issues surrounding Max’s case. We have pictures from East Harptree and many other local events, all raising money for local good causes, as well as coverage of bigger events like the Glastonbury Festival, Priddy Folk Festival and North Somerset Agricultural Society’s Countryside Day. With cricket in the news we meet two teams who say you are never too old to enjoy the game. The captain of one of them is a youthful 82! We also feature boules, croquet, hockey, rowing and other sports. It’s a big year for the Mendip Ploughing Society, which stages its 150th match in September. We look back to the 100th match back in 1969 and preview this year’s event, as well as the Mid-Somerset Show. Phil Hendy explains the joys of caving, Adrian Boots goes truffle hunting and Chris Sperring has advice on how we can support nature. With all of our regular contributors and features, let’s enjoy summer on Mendip. September 2019 deadline: Friday, 16th August 2019. Published: Tuesday, 27th August 2019. Editorial: Steve Egginton Mark Adler Advertising: Ann Quinn Rachael Abbott Publisher: Mendip Times Limited Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RG Contacts: For all enquiries, telephone:

01761 463888

or: email or: Design and origination by: Steve Henderson Printed by: Precision Colour Printing, Haldane, Halesfield 1, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4QQ Copyright of editorial content held by Mendip Times Ltd. and its contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express permission of the Publisher. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or its associates. Front cover: The Sewart family at East Harptree Village Fete. See Dr. Phil Hammond on page 82.


Fun in the sun – village shows have style


A Priddy fine festival – folk on the hill


La dolce vita – Italian celebration in Wells


By royal appointment – Princess Royal’s bridleway launch

Plus all our regular features Environment ...................................6 Farming Mary James MBE ..........10 Internet and Crossword ..............16 Food & Drink ...............................20 Business.........................................32 Arts & Antiques ...........................42 Charities........................................50 Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......57 Walking Sue Gearing ....................58 Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........60

Gardening Mary Payne MBE.......62 Caving Phil Hendy ........................74 Property ........................................76 Music & Theatre ..........................78 Health Dr Phil Hammond .............82 Community ...................................86 Homes and Interiors ....................96 Riding Rachel Thompson MBE...100 Sport ............................................103 What’s On...................................108 MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 3

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Telephone: 01761 452171 Fax: 01761 453342

Our Services Include: Commercial and Residential Property Wills and Probate Litigation and Personal Injury Criminal and Family Law Agricultural, Business and Commercial Employment Shepton Mallet: 57 High Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5AQ. Tel: 01749 330330

IN this month’s edition we would like to introduce Andrew Cutland who joined us in April having previously worked for another Somerset firm. Andrew advises clients on a wide range of commercial property matters including residential and commercial developments. He has acted for landowners, developers and business owners on site acquisitions and disposals. Andrew prides himself in providing straightforward advice and being approachable on any aspect of a transaction. Andrew has also advised a number of clients on short and long terms leases both for tenants and landlords. He is able to assist with the preparation, advice and negotiating the terms on a commercial lease ranging from high street shops to large multi-unit commercial estates. On land developments Andrew can provide comprehensive advice on option agreements and conditional contracts and has helped a number of clients reach successful completions. He moved to the village of Rooksbridge two years ago with his family and enjoys walks with his family and border collie Fly up Crooks Peak. Andrew works out of all our offices but is mainly based at Shepton Mallet where he can be contacted on 01749 330 330. His e-mail address is Along with other members of staff Andrew will be at the Mid-Somerset Show in Shepton Mallet on 18th August and looks forward to meeting visitors to our stand in the “Shepton in Business” tent.

Castle Cary: e Old Exchange, Church Street, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7EJ. Tel: 01963 350888

Cheddar: Bath Street Chambers, Bath Street, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3AA. Tel: 01934 745400


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Saying it with flowers

ST JOHN’S church in Midsomer Norton was filled with flower displays for a festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fr Christopher Chiplin becoming vicar. The festival – which also marked Fr Chiplin’s 40th anniversary of ordination – was titled Sacred and Sublime and was organised by Farmborough Floral Art Group. Donations from visitors went to St Stephen’s House Theological College in Oxford where Fr Christopher trained.

Catering table – group members made individual contributions to the display

Fr Christopher Chiplin next to Marriage, created by Doreen Cole, Hazel Newth and Caroline Newth. The display celebrates the memory of Fred and Edna Eaton, the vicar’s parents-in-law

Martin James with his display Celebrating 40 Years

Gorge champions

CHEDDAR First School won this year’s Gorge Championship organised by the Mendip Hills AONB unit. The second rock-based school sports day took place on June 14th in Cheddar Gorge. Children from Cheddar First, Fairlands, Banwell and Churchill had to complete a caving and climbing challenge, walk a slackline, conquer team building games in caves and a rock-based quiz in Cheddar Gorge. Each school was judged on their teamwork, leadership and communication; the three qualities needed for successful adventures. The event was organised in conjunction with the National Trust's Top of the Gorge adventure festival. Jim Hardcastle, manager of the AONB unit, said: “Our congratulations to Cheddar First School for winning and we look forward to them defending their title next year. The weather wasn't great and we were really impressed with all the children

Part of the Resurrection display by Doreen Cole

that took part. “One of the special qualities of the Mendip Hills is the visible geology, this has led to the area being a really important caving and climbing destination. We want to make sure local children try these sports as early as possible so they can carry on the rock sport tradition of the area.” The Gorge Championship 2020 will be on Friday, June 12th followed by the National Trust Top of the Gorge festival on June 13th and 14th.


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Bridge of size in Nunney

A SCHEME to build a new, more substantial footbridge on the site of an historic river crossing point in Nunney is now complete following planting and landscaping works. The work has been completed in time for this year’s Nunney Street Fair, on Saturday, August 3rd. The crossing was out of action for last year’s event. All previous bridges linking Church Street to Castle Street have been constructed of timber but the new design is a freespanning steel framed footbridge with engineered foundations which should last much longer. Due to its position within a conservation area, the footbridge has also been sympathetically designed and timber clad to blend in with the historic setting. Nunney parish councillor Ken Lloyd said: “We have had three footbridges across the river there from memory and they were always built exactly on the same line to allow wagons space to go down the slope into the ford. “They were all simple wooden bridges, with the earlier ones being just planks on bricks which never lasted long.

The bridge at Nunney circa 1900

The new bridge has been completed in time for Nunney Street Fair in August

This new one is properly engineered and has been built to last; it may well be still there for a couple of hundred years.” The project was overseen by Somerset County Council’s rights of way team. Ken added: “We’re grateful to the Rights of Way team at Somerset County Council for not only being sympathetic to the setting; they have produced a bridge that looks good and will still be there for future generations to use.”

NEW signs are appearing in Frome to show residents and visitors which areas are being kept wild as a haven for bees and butterflies. Frome Town Council has introduced Wild about Frome to help encourage biodiversity. The initiative means that certain spots are left to grow in order to create a variety of different

and complementary habitats to support wildlife and plant life. Now the council says it’s keen to hear from anyone who spots any unusual or rare wildlife by submitting details to them; it is also keen to hear from any residents who would like “wild” areas introduced.

Going wild for nature

One of the new signs going up around Frome

For details, visit: PAGE 6 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

A wild area at Packsaddle

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Cycle path appeal

The cycle path near Axbridge

AN appeal has been launched to improve part of the Strawberry Line in Cheddar to make it safe for pedestrians and cyclists A section alongside Bristol Water’s depot from Fiveways Bridge to Valley Line Industrial Park is in urgent need of repair. The Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway (ACCW) group are hoping to raise £12,000 to repair the section this year. Spokesman, David Parkin, said: “Most of the ACCW is in reasonable condition thanks to volunteer work parties, but a narrow section alongside Bristol Water’s depot from Fiveways Bridge to Valley Line Industrial Park gets very muddy and flooded. It becomes useless as a safe route to school or a reasonable walkway and it’s beyond DIY repair.” The section needing work

Details: or contact treasurer Malcolm Conyers or chairman David Parkin


Somerset joins climate change protest

SOMERSET Wildlife Trust organised a bus to take members, supporters, volunteers and staff to Westminster to meet their MPs at one of the largest mass lobbies of politicians in recent history. They joined thousands of people from around the country urging MPs to back immediate action for wildlife and climate change. It was organised by campaign groups The Climate Coalition and Greener UK, representing more than 130 organisations and over 15 million people – ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to community groups such as the Women’s Institute and conservation bodies such as the wildlife trusts. It follows a call last month from the government’s climate advisers for the UK to set a more ambitious target for eliminating CO2 emissions ahead of Parliament debating a new Environment Bill.

Details: MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 7

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Trees help park’s revival

THREE local organisations unveiled plaques on trees planted by them in Merriman Park, Street in the company of Street Parish Council chairman Councillor Peter Goater. On a very wet afternoon members of the Merriman Park Community Group, the Lions Club of Glastonbury and Street and the now dissolved Street Society joined together to plant three prunus cerasifera nigra (black cherry plum) trees in the park. The Merriman Park Community Group is working closely with Street Parish Council to promote use of the park and to raise funds and seek grants to continue its renovation. The Street Society wanted to sponsor a tree to leave a lasting legacy of its existence and the tree sponsored by the Lions Club of Glastonbury and Street gave the club an opportunity to mark the international association’s centennial. A spokesman for the Merriman Park Community Group said “We have a very clear vision of the future of Merriman Park that includes a detailed planting regime as many trees were planted at the same time and so will need to be replaced in the coming years. “There is a great opportunity for local residents, groups and

Pictured front (l to r) David Atkins, president of Glastonbury and Street Lions Club, Street Parish Council chairman Councillor Peter Goater, Hilary Napper of the Street Society and Val Appleby of the Merriman Park Community Group with members of all three groups behind

businesses to sponsor trees as well as benches and picnic tables in the park and we encourage them to contact us to discuss our plans. We are also putting together a programme where local residents will be able to sponsor a brick or stone in an area of the park.”

There be a water dragon in Glastonbury PLASTIC Free Glastonbury and Friends of the Earth staged a colourful procession through Glastonbury to promote the #Refill water scheme in the town. This scheme was set up to encourage visitors and locals to make use of the various High Street shops, cafes and venues where water bottles can be refilled for free. The aim is to discourage people from buying new plastic bottles. A water dragon made from recycled materials stopped at each location in the town where #Refill is available.

Heading for the Market Place


The procession prepares to leave St John’s Church car park

Heads-up! The dragon passes through the Gauntlet shopping arcade

For details, visit:

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Tel: 0800 097 8611 | e-mail:


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A busy time down on the farm THE gorgeous weather at the time of writing has seen some great hay/haylage being made. Fields have been full of high tech equipment, mowing, turning, baling and wrapping. In this area probably double the amount of crop that was made last year, so a second cut will probably With MARY not happen. JAMES MBE As to the harvest, some barley has already been harvested but the main harvest was due to start around July 20th. Whole crop silage making is currently in progress, by whole crop it literally means cutting the stalk and head of the wheat when it is green. It has also been a great time for all the fetes, horse shows, open farms and all the other events we enjoy in the countryside. At the North Somerset Show Countryside Day on July 10th, almost 2,500 schoolchildren attended looking and learning as they were escorted in groups, by volunteers and teachers, around the exhibits which included farm animals, working demonstrations of silage making, butter making and much more. Many volunteers turned out working for five hours in the sun to help guide the children around the exhibits. It was a pleasure to look after a Guernsey cow and calf and listen to the children’s comments and questions. One little boy declared: “I wish I lived in the countryside.”

Your main Kubota dealer for Somerset and South Gloucester Main Road A370, Hewish, Weston-super-Mare BS24 6SE


There has been a huge effort across the country to get more people on to farms to show the public what we do. Graylands Farm at Dundry is a small one but it does have an enterprise making ice-cream from the milk of their Guernsey cows. Their open day on July 6th was enjoyed by hundreds of people who could see the animals, go on a trailer ride around the farm to enjoy the fantastic view and other delights for children especially sampling the ice-cream. There were some trade stands which showed there is product to be made to link back into a farm or smallholding. Former police officer Nick King, from Felton, makes goat’s milk into soaps and creams – Goats of the Gorge. Having sold his own goats Nick now buys the milk from Teresa Ogborne (dairy herdsman’s wife) in Chew Stoke who breeds British Alpine goats and has shown them very successfully at agricultural shows across the country winning many championships. The British Alpine goat is black and white with straight horns, in this case their milk is solely for making the product and not for drinking. Nearby was Luke Ford owner of the Sutton Ridge Vineyard who, with the help of farming family and friends in 2011, hand-planted 1,750 vines on a warm and sheltered south facing slope overlooking Blagdon Lake. Very careful attention to vines and grapes is producing award-winning still and sparkling wines. Then, a gorgeous display of tubs, pots and hanging baskets, grown, potted and displayed by farmer’s daughter Jane Butler, who runs Jane’s Flower Pots. Jane and her partner Steve have four acres in Tickenham. As well as growing flowers they produce a variety of vegetables all sold at various farmers’ markets across North Somerset. If that wasn’t enough they also lamb up to 100 ewes per year and Jane helps her parents at Birches Farm, Flax Bourton three days per week. Next up is the Mid-Somerset Show at Shepton Mallet on Sunday, August 18th, then North Somerset Show Society’s ploughing match to be held on September 1st at Willow Farm, Wick Road, Bourton, Weston-Super-Mare BS22 7YD by kind permission of the Mead family. Entries are needed for the craft and produce show on the same day.

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Introducing children to the countryside

SOME 2,500 children from about 30 schools attended the Countryside Day, held by North Somerset Agricultural Society on its showground at Wraxall, involving some 220 volunteers on the day.

Pupils from Wrington learn about fly fishing

Grove School, Nailsea making corn dollies

James and Henry Hutchings from Wick St Lawrence helped show off some of the family's piglets

Learning the art of dry stone walling

John Cook's gundogs were popular


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A warm welcome

ESTABLISHED for over 300 years, Battens Solicitors are a highly respected full service Legal 500 listed law firm with offices throughout the South West and in London. In Castle Cary they cover all aspects of legal work focusing on property (buying or selling your house), private client work (wills, trusts and powers of attorney) planning issues, property disputes, divorce and family law, commercial property, agriculture and rural and dispute resolution. They celebrated the first anniversary of their Castle Cary office back in February this year. Sally Manning, associate at Battens, said: “A year has flown by, thanks to such a fantastic response to us opening a new office. We are extremely grateful to all of our clients for their support this year and in the years to come, and to our fellow businesses in the town for making us feel so welcome.” Details: and find them on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.

Aaron’s topper-the-class

Mendip Rural Services Ltd. Now fully open at: Springfield, Haydon Drove, Haydon nr Wells BA5 3EH Offering all our usual lawnmower and garden machinery services and suppliers • Camping & paddock maintenance & fencing • Chain harrowing & rolling • Logs & kindling • Digger & tractor hire with driver

Phone 07974 259766 Workshop 01749 674077 email:

PADDOCK maintenance has just become a whole lot easier for Mendip Rural Services owner Aaron Coleman – and owners are seeing the benefits also. Aaron has just invested in a replacement grass-cutting machine called a topper for his tractor. It is ingeniously designed as the cutter can extend outwards allowing Aaron to reach under hedgerows Aaron Coleman with the and low bushes. new topper Mendip Rural Services will once again be at the Mid-Somerset Show with a stand in the dog show area next to sister Emma’s Paws to Claws stand.

St Katherines Farmhouse Downside Road, Lulsgate Bristol BS48 3DZ

Contact: 01275 472471

Can-am ATV’s and SSV’s Westwood ride on lawnmowers Ariens zero turn and push mowers Echo Power tools Agricultural Machinery and servicing Call into our shop to find: u Tools u Fasteners u Fixings u Timber u Fencing u Electric fencing u Oils u Lubricants u Water fittings u Clothing u Spares u Parts


5% Discount for NFU members on Can-am ATV’s and SSV’s

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Say cheese! Property star Sarah’s show visit

TELEVISION property expert and entrepreneur Sarah Beeny will be the guest celebrity judge at this year’s South West Cheese Awards at the Mid-Somerset Show on Sunday, August 18th. Sarah, the presenter of shows such as Britain’s Best Homes and Property Ladder, hit the headlines in July when the rundown stately home in Yorkshire she bought in 2001 for £400,000 and turned into the star of Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare, sold for £1.4m. However, Sarah won’t be the only famous face at the show: John Challis, best known as Boycie from Only Fools and Horses, will also be there on his own stall, signing copies of his best-selling books. Quite by chance, visitors to the show may well spot television cameras from Channel 5 on show day. They have been following goat farmers Ian and Sarah Davies, of Wookey, as part of a new family farming series due to be screened in late 2019/early 2020: how will their goat’s cheese go down with the judges? The cheese competitions will be some of the most competitive ever – classes have increased from 60 to 100. Elsewhere, the organisers of the Vintage Field are planning to devote more space to their popular military area to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day – look out for some very special examples of militaria!

The show – the last due to be held on its current site before relocating next year – is planning to do its bit for the environment; it’s working with Viridor Waste – who will have a display at the show – to improve recycling and its asking food vendors and stallholders not to use or sell single-use plastics. Sarah Beeny is due to visit the show to take part in the cheese judging

Limited trade stand space is still available. Contact the show office for details:


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Police officer takes consultant’s advice – now tackles eczema not criminals! IN 2014, Nick King was on duty driving outside the Hippodrome in Bristol City Centre when his colleague thought he was having a mini stroke. He was quickly admitted to hospital where a consultant diagnosed him as being anaemic with coeliac and having osteoporosis. He advised Nick to drink plenty of goats’ milk to help build his calcium and strengthen his bones. Taking the consultant’s advice Nick started buying goats’ milk from the supermarket and within six months was told he no longer needed to take his prescribed calcium tablets. At the time he owned a smallholding and decided he wanted to keep his own goats so it wasn’t long before his breeding programme developed a herd of 24 goats with plenty of spare milk. Knowing goats’ milk contains high levels of vitamin, and with online medical studies showing it’s beneficial when used in skin care products, Nick wanted to put the spare milk to good use.

He attended a soap school in the Cotswolds and learnt the basics, then developed his own recipe, whilst continuing his police officer role, looking after the goats in his spare time and using their milk to make soap. He says it was soon apparent from his many reviews that it was helping all ages with their eczema, psoriasis and even chickenpox. In 2017 Nick took early retirement after 20 years in the police service to concentrate on his home-made soaps, skin cream and lotions, soon supplying pharmacies, with an appearance on the BBC. He now brands his products as Goats of the Gorge with a website and online shop. Nick recently had a stand at the Royal Bath & West four-day event and received orders from all over the country. What started as a business in the kitchen has outgrown his home and he is now looking for larger premises. Nick has a good understanding of the

Tammy Keogh with Nick

large scale of people of all ages who suffer with eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, and has been posted so many positive reviews from customers who have tried various steroid creams, special diet, but find the goats’ milk range works for them. Only using natural oils, no harsh chemicals, colouring or parabens, all his products carry a safety assessment report and can be applied at any age and any part of the skin. Nick is now writing a book “Tackling Eczema not Criminals” and also gives group talks with powerpoint presentations covering his story from being a police officer to running his goats’ milk skin care business.

Research shows that goat’s milk is beneficial when used in skin care products. Sometimes it is the key ingredient that helps manage and improves severe and long-term skin conditions. Goat’s milk is particularly high in vitamin A, which is very important for healthy skin, helping those with Eczema, Psoriasis and unexplained skin complaints, particularly very dry and sensitive skin.

Wholesale enquiries welcome and group talks given Visit our on-line shop: • Goat’s Milk Skin Cream • 100ml Goats Milk Lotion • 250ml Shampoo bars • Unperfumed Soaps • Soaps with essential oil Geranium or Lavender

Milk from Chew Stoke’s award-winning Kerborne Dairy Herd Contact us: 07958 261971 • PAGE 14 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

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East Harptree Fete

The bottle stall was busy

Charity tractor run

Polly (left) and Harriet, aged ten, on the name the Teddy stall. The fete raised £5,000 for their school friend Max Sewart. See Health, page 82.

Chew Valley Dance Project

Ride of her life

TONY Dibble enjoyed an afternoon with friends and family to help celebrate 80 years of his happy life in and around the Christon valley. They joined him for a vintage tractor run around the valley and to his sister Mary’s for afternoon tea, raising £1,200 for his chosen charity, Free Wheelers, which transports blood around the country. He said he would like to thank all generous donors.

(Photograph courtesy of Mike Millier)

East Harptree WI's stall

WHEN Elaine White (pictured right) was asked what she would like for her 70th birthday she said a ride on a Harley Davidson. A fellow member of Winscombe Community Singers happened to know Weston Harley Club and had a word with them. The club met on July 4th, American Independence Day, when Elaine and friends Rachel Mason, Shirley Lunn, Iris Baker and Rose Nicholls rode pillion through the town as guests of honour, before being asked to judge the best of hundreds of bikes. Elaine said: “Obviously I chose a Harley. It was the best birthday of my life.” The ride also raised more than £500 for Winscombe doctors’ surgery.


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Internet facts

I THOUGHT it might be interesting to get a bit of background info on the internet. First, the internet and the web are not the same thing. The internet is a network of computers, which are connected together. The worldwide web – or web – is a collection of web pages found on this network of computers. So you use the internet in order to access the web. The internet already existed before the web was formed. In March 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee went into his boss's office and handed him a document – Information Management: a Proposal. His boss Mike Sendall took a pen and wrote across the top of it "vague but exciting", and encouraged Sir Tim to continue. Sir Tim followed this up with another proposal the following year and persuaded his boss to buy two computers for him to work on. In September 1990, the computers arrived and, by Christmas, the worldwide web was live and kicking. The first-ever order placed on the internet was to Pizza Hut in 1994. Amazon originally went online as a bookstore in 1995. As of January 1, 2019, there were 4,100,667,287 internet users and over 1.94 billion websites spanning the globe. This is compared to the 3.42 billion users recorded at the end of 2016. North America makes up only 8.2% of all worldwide internet users. There are 326,474,013 people in the United States, and nearly double that using the internet in China, which has a population of 1,415,045,928 (and rising?) Google now processes over 7 billion search queries a day worldwide (though some say it could be as high as 10 billion per day). 15% of those queries have never been searched for on Google before. Submitted by IT for the Terrified: Cheddar Village Hall, Church St, Cheddar BS27 3RF •01934 741751 (usually goes to answer phone) I.T. for the Terrified – for all your computer training needs. A skill-sharing, community project. Run by a Committee – Staffed by Volunteers Registered Charity No. 1130308 : Company No. 06779600 This article is for guidance only, and the opinion of the writer. For more in depth information, please contact us. We offer individual training, at a pace to suit you. We can cover a range of subjects – including absolute basics; photo management; shopping online; emailing; Word processing, spreadsheets; basic web design; etc. on a range of devices, including Windows: Macs: Tablets: iPads: smartphones. Or if you would like to share basic or more advanced skills with others, please get in touch.



The Mendip Mindbender

ACROSS 1 19 across butler for village north of Edington (6) 4 Surprising (8) 10 Tom's digit (5) 11 Appalling (9) 12 Stood up to bad 23 across (7) 13 The sky (7) 14 Alternatively (5,6,3) 17 Application or government (14) 21 NAAFI for example (7) 23 Changes in climate (7) 24 76 in the big parade (9) 25 Spanish wine (5) 26 Female massager (8) 27 Come out (6)

DOWN 1 Bread is so treated before becoming a sandwich (8) 2 Old supporter of parliament (9) 3 Freedom (7) 5 337.5 degrees (5-5-4) 6 Somerset apples are grown here (7) 7 Solitary (5) 8 Neglect (6) 9 Terriers originating from the border country between England and Scotland (6,8) 15 What Devon or Dorset is to Somerset (9) 16 Proliferate (8) 18 Shabby and sordid (7) 19 Nag a ram is the answer (7) 20 Boxing weight chicken (6) 22 Men or birds (5) by greendandelion

The Mendip Times Scribble Pad

This month’s solution can be found on page 113

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TOPSOIL AND STONE SUPPLIES Dry high quality screened or unscreened Topsoil. Recycled aggregates and quarry stone supplies, road planings and building stone.

DEMOLITION AND STRIP OUT All types of demolition works. From small household to main contractor projects, including rail, schools and city centre redevelopments. Complete range of specialist equipment and services available.

ASBESTOS Asbestos removal and collection. Roof sheets, tiles and guttering. Call for information.

TRANSPORT 4,6 and 8 wheeled tipper Lorries for hire and muck away. Low loader, beaver tail and road brush hire.

PLANT HIRE Wide range of plant. 360 excavators, Dumpers, Bulldozers and Crushers.

EXCAVATIONS Large and small excavations. Specialist works include Equestrian all weather surfaces, drainage and bulk excavations.

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Yatton Schools Carnival

Butcombe Village Fete

Yatton Jungle Band lead the parade

The plant stall was busy

The carnival had a jungle theme

Start of the big parade

Crowds lined the High Street


Guessing the weight of the lambs

The bric-a-brac stall

Summoning the riders to the start

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Alhampton Village Fete

Compton Martin Fete


The cake stall was busy Pupils from nearby Ditcheat primary school, which serves Alhampton, entertained visitors with a country dancing display. The fete was run as a fundraiser for the school

MC Diane Massey announcing the raffle results

Milly and Ruby befriend an albino boa constrictor

Geoff Andrews with granddaughter Serafina, aged seven

Vocalist Sarah opened the live music

Face painting was popular


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Keeping it cool

August is for taking things slowly. No rush. Stay cool. Our precious local cherries have a short season and are delicious; pickle some for later. Pounce on any blackcurrants you find With JUNE – they seem to be getting rarer. MACFARLANE And please make some caponata, a sweet and sour vegetable dish from Sicily that can be eaten hot or cold or warm or even in a cheese sandwich.



(for ten) Pastry A 25cm tart tin with removable base 200g plain flour 175g ground almonds 174g golden caster sugar 200g cold butter, diced 1 egg yolk Filling 200g ground almonds 200g icing sugar 2 tbsp plain flour 300g blackcurrants, de-stalked 3 egg whites

This is made with lovely buttery crumbly almond pastry with more ground almonds in the fudgy filling. Wonderful textures. Serve thin slices with cream.

METHOD Put all the pastry ingredients except the yolk into a food processor and pulse to breadcrumbs. Add yolk and pulse again until it comes together. Press the very soft pastry into the tin, pressing evenly above the edges of the tin. Freeze for at least 20 mins. Preheat oven to 200°C. Put an empty baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Bake the chilled tart case for 12-15 mins until part baked. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 170°C. Mix together the almonds, icing sugar and flour. Beat the egg whites until almost stiff. Fold whites into almond mix with a metal spoon; fold in blackcurrants gently. Pile filling into case and smooth. Place in centre of oven and bake for one hour, covering with foil if browning too fast. When filling is cooked and just firm remove tart from oven and allow to cool. This tart boasts wonderful textures


A star is aubergine


One of the great tastes of summer, I always have a bowl of this on hand. The aubergine is the star ingredient.


(for four) 1 large aubergine (about 500g) 1 large courgette Salt, olive oil 1 large red onion, sliced 2 celery sticks, diced 150g ripe tomatoes, diced 40g capers 40g olives, stoned 40g sultanas 1 tbsp sugar 150ml passata 100ml red wine vinegar 40g toasted almonds 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves

METHOD Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergine and courgette into 2cm dice. Place in a colander, salt generously and leave for 30 mins. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Spread on a baking tray, coat with oil, roast for about 30 mins until soft. Drain on kitchen towel. Meanwhile fry onion and celery until tender, add tomatoes and cook for a minute or so, add capers, olives, sultanas, sugar, passata and vinegar and simmer. Add roasted vegetables to pan. Simmer together for 30 mins. Allow to cool to room temperature. Taste for seasoning. Add almonds and chopped mint just before serving.

DUCK SALAD WITH PICKLED CHERRIES Pickle some cherries and you will have them to eat with cheese or pâté or cold meats. Here they are a wonderful counterpoint to the richness of the duck.


(for two) 120 ml red wine vinegar 120 ml water 50 g sugar 4 cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 stick cinnamon (2 inches long), crushed 500g cherries, stalks on 2 duck breasts 1 tbsp butter Salad leaves

METHOD First pickle your cherries. In a non-reactive pan simmer first six ingredients for five mins. Strain out the spices, return liquid to pan. Add cherries and simmer until tender, three-five mins. Transfer to sterilised jars, cool, store. Allow flavours to develop for at least 48 hrs. Season duck breasts liberally. Chill uncovered for at least two hours. Remove from fridge. Score skin diagonally. Allow to come to room temperature. Put into a COLD frying pan and heat pan gradually until most of the fat has melted and skin is crisp and brown. Remove excess fat. Add butter to pan and dissolve. Turn breasts and cook until browned and done to your liking. Remove. Rest for ten mins. Slice and serve with cherries, some juice and the salad leaves.

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What’s new from

Myrtle Farm

A round-up of events from Thatchers Cider in Sandford

Learner of the year

HUGE congratulations to Molly O’Flaherty who has received the top prize at the Weston College Business Awards. She was named the College’s Overall Learner of the Year. Molly joined Thatchers last September straight from Year 11 as part of our Young Talent Programme. Since then, as a Brand Apprentice, she has been spending time in different departments at Myrtle Farm including sales, marketing and customer service, taking on new challenges every day. If you know someone who may be interested in an apprenticeship at Myrtle Farm, please take a look at our website. We’ve a new Sales Academy launching soon too!

Flying high

THE Thatchers Foundation has helped fund three potentially life-saving missions through a donation of £5,250 to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC). The charity needs to raise at least £3million each year to keep functioning. This is a lifesaving service that none of us know if or when we’ll ever need to use it. But if we do, with the required funding, we all have peace of mind that it’s there for everybody, right across our region.

Our Valley Fest winner

WELL done to the winner of our Valley Fest/Mendip Times competition, Martin Knight, who will be enjoying a weekend at this amazing festival from 2nd to 4th August. We’ll be there as the Valley Fest official cider, soaking up

Mouth-watering delights at The Railway Inn

DID you know that our chefs enjoy making a delicious array of homemade breads, including sourdough, focaccia, soda bread and brioche? All our ice creams and sorbets are homemade, keeping Pastry Chef Lucy and Junior Sous Chef Alex incredibly busy experimenting with different flavours and recipes. They look forward to sharing their creations with you over the summer!

the atmosphere, the great music and great food. If you’re one of the lucky ones going along, enjoy and we’ll see you there!


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A 17th Century country retreat with 21st Century standards

“Plat du jour” style lunch menu alongside our full lunch menu (2 courses £18.50/ 3 courses £24.95).

EXAMPLE DISHES INCLUDE: Starter: Rare Sliced Beef, raw veg & chilli salad, sauce vierge, goats cheese Main: Duck Egg, sautéed celeriac & garlic, cream mustard & parsley sauce (vegetarian) Dessert: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, caramelised banana, peanut brittle 11 boutique en-suite guest rooms, three of which are lodges in the grounds and dog-friendly. Fab bar and cocktail menu with a huge selection of wines, bubbles, ciders, ales, lager, specialist whisky shelf and even surprises like homemade gins and vodkas. We serve food all day on Saturday and Sunday including beef, lamb and pork roasts on Sundays. Enjoy a luxury afternoon tea in our beautiful Tranquillity Gardens. Afternoon teas served Friday, Saturday and Sunday (other times by pre-order). Please book to ensure availability. We are open every day, all day from 8am serving breakfast, morning coffee, drinks, lunch and dinner. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see what’s happening at The Holcy!

Stratton Road | Holcombe | Somerset BA3 5EB T: 01761 232478 W: E:


August at The Holcombe Inn AFTERNOON teas, cocktails watching the sun go down and a delicious new value lunch menu are just some of the new offerings this August at the award-winning Holcombe Inn. The beautiful 17th century inn on the edge of the village, surrounded by Mendip countryside, offers a perfect venue for a relaxed lunchtime or lazy afternoon. Known by regulars as “The Holcy”, the inn has launched a special two- or three- course lunch menu offering dishes you might see on their a la carte dinner menu, using seasonal ingredients including many from their own kitchen gardens. Two courses cost £18.50; three cost £24.95. For visitors to the area or for a special occasion, The Holcombe Inn boasts 11 boutique, en-suite guest rooms, three of which are lodges in the grounds and dog friendly. The Roost even has its own dovecote housing the inn’s family of white doves. With a large family garden and tranquillity gardens for grown-ups, there is also plenty of space outside for fourlegged friends. The inn serves food all day Saturday and Sunday with roasts on Sunday available until gone! Add in to that a fabulous bar and cocktail menu with a huge selection of wines, bubbles, ciders, ales, lager, specialist whisky shelf and even surprises like home-made gins and vodkas using ingredients from their kitchen gardens. Afternoon teas are served Friday, Saturday and Sunday (call to check availability at other times and to book).

Converted in 2019, our five metre exhibition trailer is available for birthdays, weddings, corporate events, festivals, barn dances and much more. Converted to a high standard our trailer has all new installations with upto-date coolers and equipment. Slightly different from the usual . . . a mobile bar you can enter and take shade from the sun or rain, perfect for outdoor festival style events.

The bar will be fully managed so no need to worry, all drinks can be thought through before the event to make sure all tastes are accounted for. Our bar can serve anything from 100 to 500 people comfortably and will take cash and card payments. Our fully licensed bar will have a personal licence holder on site at all times to ensure everything runs smoothly and we will ensure a temporary event notice has been applied for. Hog Roasts also available, please ask for details

Contact 07500 061154

cattleshed mobile bar

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Abundant artichokes

ARTICHOKES are one of those things everyone should have in the garden – unless, of course, you happen to not like them. I planted mine years ago, started from seed, and they are tough as nails, thriving like weeds in the garden despite long periods of neglect and With JAKE becoming overgrown with brambles WHITSON and a willow hedge! If you do start them from seed or buy young plants make sure you keep them in nice deep pots and get them in their final spot in the ground as soon as you can – they have a deep taproot and respond badly to being kept in pots for too long. In our climate they seem to have no problem overwintering and can live for decades, producing crop after crop with little or no attention. And if you leave the heads past the eating stage they produce a lovely purple flower like a giant thistle, which provides excellent nectar for bees, bumblebees and butterflies. The first time I prepared an artichoke I followed a recipe that required you to prepare the hearts raw – it was such a faff and resulted in so little edible material that it put me off them for years! Much later I learned in America that you can steam them whole and then pick off the leaves, dip the tender bases in something tasty like garlic butter, and when you've removed them all you're rewarded with the cooked heart. This turns dinner into an enjoyably drawn-out affair and means you get much more from each head. Don't be tempted to harvest them with a lot of stalk attached, like I did, as the stalk is quite startlingly bitter. We always prepare our artichokes the same way, steamed whole for 30-60 minutes depending on the size, but like to ring the changes with the dipping sauces – often we just have plain melted butter, but garlic butter with lots of black pepper is also delicious, as is olive oil. Our favourite at the moment is to make a yoghurt dip by adding grated garlic, dried oregano, a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a few spoonfuls of full-fat yoghurt. Along with some crusty bread this makes a delicious summer meal. Jacob Whitson is a chef, food writer and smallholder. He is currently working on setting up a small sustainable goose farm in Somerset with his partner Johanna.



The monster under the tree

I HAVE written about finding truffles before but I felt it was worth talking about them again as it is truffle season after all. To be fair most truffles that people eat in dishes come from Europe in the form of the uber expensive black and white truffles but we do have our own tasty truffles here in the UK. With ADRIAN So I want to relate my recent experiences BOOTS regarding our native summer truffle. Once again I found myself in the horse yard. I like to regularly check my secret summer truffle spot that only the horses and I know of. But today I’m going to share that secret location with you, my friends as it’s pertinent to this story. So I can tell you they are right next to the horse yard on a tightly grazed grassy bank underneath a lime tree. There. I began to brush away some loose soil on the bank and underneath was what looked like a lump of charcoal. I tried to loosen the truffle but it would not move; determined I continued and was finally rewarded with quite simply the biggest truffle I have ever seen measuring nearly 7cm by 9cm in diameter and almost 6cm deep – what a monster! See the picture with a £1 coin next to it for reference. Summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) is 3cm to 7cm across, irregularly rounded sometimes convoluted with hollow areas. The surface is covered in blackish pyramidal warts. The flesh is marbled off white/yellow becoming grey/brown and should smell strongly of truffle. Look for them in summer to early winter. We recently visited friends Paul and Linda Hartley of Hartley’s Kitchen fame and showed them a picture of what I’ve called “The Monster”. Paul was quick to show me one of his latest recipes and has kindly agreed for me to share it with you. Briefly it is a seafood pasta dish with linguine, garlic butter, king prawns, fresh mussels and cockles. Lots of Italian dry white wine, plenty of cream and parmesan, chopped parsley and well seasoned but for me the key finishing touch is serving the dish with shavings of truffle and for extra indulgence Paul suggested a drizzle of truffle oil. So what did I do with “The Monster” truffle? Did I make Paul’s fabulous pasta dish – not exactly. You may be surprised to learn that I broke it up and put it back. Yes, yes I know, some would be horrified but in truth I already have truffles stored from last year and there are plenty this season too. In essence I populated the entire grassy bank next to the horse’s yard so now I have hope that summer truffles will continue and thrive in the not-so-secret location for many more years to come! Adrian Boots is a Landscape Ecologist, Wild Food Forager and Adventure Activity provider. You can visit his website: to learn more about wild food foraging and activities you can do with him on the Mendip Hills.


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New team, new menu, new look at the Waldegrave Arms THE new team in charge at the Waldegrave Arms in East Harptree have lost no time in putting their stamp on it. The refurbished dining room looks stunning, as does the bar. And the large south-facing beer garden and play area are equally welcoming. They are an experienced team. Nick Warrener has been in the business for more than 20 years, having run a previous pub in North Somerset before moving to East Harptree. His partner, Emma, who is a garden designer by profession, supported him there, as she does now at East Harptree. Emma’s sister Lowri is in charge of the kitchen. She trained at the City of Bristol College, worked with Nick previously and at the Ethicurean in Wrington. Both sisters attended Churchill School and have strong family roots in the area. Nick is originally from Exeter. One customer, who lives next to the pub, said: “The transformation has been amazing. They have stunning food and a superb wine list. We really do have a pub we can be proud of.”

Their aim is to provide a friendly pub atmosphere, with restaurant quality food. As well as a separate bar where locals can feel comfortable having a drink, there’s also a small private dining room for special occasions. The food is completely seasonal, homemade and comes from local suppliers

where possible, with their own ferments, piccalilli and pickled eggs. They have a bespoke wine list and an excellent range of cask ales, local ciders and gins from Cheddar. Emma said: “We’ve been made so welcome. The pub and garden are lovely, we really do feel at home here.”

Church Lane, East Harptree, Bristol BS40 6BD 01761 206859


Waldegravearms-eastharptree PAGE 24 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019




EVENING MENU Home-cooked Locally sourced Bespoke wine list

LUNCH Traditional roast 2 choices Served 12-6pm

Tuesday-Saturday 12-11pm Sunday 12-9pm Lunch served 12-2.30pm Dinner 6-9.30pm


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They help me share my load


THINGS can be grim. But to paraphrase Van Morrison: from the dark end of the vineyard to the bright side of the row, they help me sing my song. First of all there’s our farm manager Tim Mewton, who has been integral to the flourishing of the vines since late July 2011. When I’m too knackered to articulate a problem, he finishes my sentences – and utters the magic words

“leave it with me”. Alas his wife Julie has ruled out my proposal to have him cloned. “One Tim is more than enough!” Second up is Sam Hill. He came in the winter of 2018 to help part-time in the gardens and was quickly co-opted to work in the vines. Sam, due to receive his diploma in Arboriculture & Forestry from Cannington, has proficiently demonstrated his acquired skills in pruning the Italian Alder windbreak in Woodlands. His work ethic is a source of joy. Would that he aspired to be vineyard manager, not a tree surgeon! Finally, there’s JiFang Jia. She joined the team mid-May, bringing her abiding love of plants and meticulous attention to detail. Flower borders are lavished with attention, vines tended with devotion. She’s become a treasured second pair of eyes, quick to spot anything untoward. And we all sing together.


Packing them in at the Pie and Tart VISITORS and regular customers are flocking to Pie and Tart in Glastonbury where the emphasis is on high-quality fresh food suitable for people with dietary requirements. Owner Mandy Evans – boss of the award-winning Gluten Free Gourmet Group –believed she was onto something when she opened her takeaway shop in the boutique Gauntlet Shopping arcade in January but even she admits she has been taken aback by the enthusiastic response. Families and groups of friends with just one member of the party with a food intolerance are making tracks for the shop – now boasting a comfortable eating area with seating outside – for a hot meal such as a burger in brioche bun, salad, snack or cake. The

The Churchill Inn Bristol Road Langford BS25 5NL 01934 852757 the

area is available for private functions. The Gauntlet offers attractive link between St John’s car park and the High Street. Mandy said: “People have got to know that the food is not only delicious but safe for them all.”


Now serving hot food and takeaway salads New seating area for 14-16 available for private functions Open Thurs-Suns 8.30am-4.30pm Unit 22 The Gauntlet, St John’s Square, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9QL. Tel: 07964 035959

A new look A new menu Same warm welcome

Russ and Bernie’s relaunched pub Elizabeth Laver is Vineyard Manager

For wine & vineyard tours visit MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 25

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Country house close to the city and airport

NESTLED within a backdrop of leafy meadow and rolling hills, once inside the grounds of Backwell House you could be almost anywhere in the world. Yet this exciting venue, that offers a truly tranquil experience, is close to Bristol Airport and just six miles from Bristol City Centre. The chic nine-bedroom property with unique interiors and beautiful countryside surroundings is ideal when planning a weekend getaway, a glass of fizz with someone special, family lunches, business meetings, conferences or afternoon teas.

The relaxing environment, delicious food and beautiful natural surroundings, will, without doubt, entice you to return again and again.

Dining Dine in the elegant dining room, enjoy a private party in the intimate morning room, or in the light-filled conservatory. The restaurant offers a varied and regularly changing menu of deliciously vibrant flavoursome dishes created with the very finest produce, sourced locally wherever possible. The bar, with floor to ceiling bottles of spirits and wine and a spectacular mosaic bar top, painstakingly up-cycled from the old kitchen floorboards, is the ideal place to start and finish your visit to Backwell House, where you will always find a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere and first class service. Weddings Backwell House specialises in providing wedding packages tailored to suit each individual. Whether you are arriving from your church service to begin your celebrations, hand fasting in the beautiful grounds of the venue, or are using our Backwell House to host your complete ceremony and wedding breakfast or banquet, a package will be designed for you to surpass all expectations. So, whatever the occasion, Backwell House is well worth a visit. Find out more at or call them on 01275 794502 to arrange a visit.


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Country inn and tea rooms

AFTER being closed for a number of years this quaint coaching Inn is now open for business following tasteful renovation. The main building dates back in part to the 14th century. A barn conversion, decked area and sunny courtyard provide a separate space for the George Tearoom. There are also a number of en-suite lettings rooms available, which are ideal for short stays for holiday-makers using the airport. The George Tearoom is open for breakfast on a Saturday from 9.30am, and Tuesday-Friday from 11am serving brunch, light lunches, a selection of home-made savoury snacks and meals, plus an array of home-made cakes and desserts. The inn is open daily from 5pm for drinks and MondaySaturday from 6pm for dinner. The dinner menu is a choice menu, which allows the customer to create a bespoke dinner experience to cater for every taste. On Friday evening there is fish and chips and on Sunday a carvery is on offer but this must be pre-booked in advance. The bar has an extensive range of bottled ciders, lagers and ales plus a full range of soft drinks and draught options. There is a second smaller bar for private hire and dining. The tearoom looks out onto an open field which the owners hope to use for pre-planned events. So for a delicious cream tea or special dinner the George and Dragon inn and tearoom is the place to go. Details:

Country shopping at its best

North Widcombe, West Harptree, Bristol BS40 6HW Opening times: Farm shop: Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm Saturday 8.30am - 5.30pm • Sunday 10am - 5pm Tea Room: Monday to Sunday 9am - 5.30pm

Wheelchair access, children welcome, free parking, coaches by appointment


Hot & cold meals Delicious cream teas Full English breakfasts Function room available for hire


Tasty Cheddar strawberries and our own cream!

Emma Bridgewater China & other gifts

Enjoy a good Sunday roast

Meat from our own farm

Farm Shop: 01761 220067 • Tea Rooms: 01761 220172


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Council opposes airport expansion

BATH & North East Somerset councillors are to meet with their counterparts from North Somerset Council to outline their opposition to the expansion of Bristol Airport. The council’s initial objection cites highways issues, which have been assessed as grounds to object based on current planning policies. In addition Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for housing, planning and economic development and Councillor Sarah Warren, cabinet member for climate emergency, wrote to North Somerset Council leaders urging them to take account of the climate emergency. Councillor Sarah Warren said: “The proposed expansion of Bristol Airport won’t just affect North Somerset. Carbon pollution from aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions which drive global climate change. “Increasing the capacity of Bristol Airport and therefore the number of aircraft flying in and out will exacerbate the problem and that goes against the commitment that we, and indeed North Somerset Council, have made to tackle climate change in declaring a Climate Emergency.” Bath & North East Somerset Council will soon be laying out its approach to the Climate Emergency declaration in more detail, including the commitment to oppose Bristol Airport’s proposed expansion. Reader’s Opinion page 73.

Concrete evidence of railway heritage

A MODEL of a railway engine made entirely out of concrete pipes and blocks has appeared on the side of a road between Maintenance manager Karl Orchard (left) and Kilmersdon unit manager Andy Carruthers outside the and Mells. entrance to the CPM Marshalls site near Mells The engine celebrates the railway heritage of the area and was built by workers at the CPM Marshalls concrete pipe works. The site sits alongside the former Radstock to Frome line and a loop used to run straight through the production site, originally to transport coal gas. The railway line ceased to operate for freight in 1988 but bosses at Marshalls CPM decided the engine would reconnect the site with its heritage – and it has already proved to be a talking point with motorists stopping to admire the model, made out of recycled concrete components. Mells unit manager Andy Carruthers said: “The team made it as a bit of fun and in their own time, but it does give the site some local identity and harks back to the time when aggregates and materials were brought into the site by train.” PAGE 28 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

Jack and Jill have a bird’s eye view


Up on the roof: Christopher with the finials in place

TWO straw figures representing the nursery rhyme characters Jack and Jill have been given pride of place on the roof of the only thatched cottage in Kilmersdon. The village is synonymous with the rhyme and the owners of The Thatched Cottage decided the characters should be immortalised once work to rethatch their home was complete. Straw finials are traditional ways to decorate a thatched roof and master thatcher Christopher Keelty, from Frome, was happy to oblige. Christopher spent around three months working on the roof, using four tonnes of thatch. The finials were modelled on the Jack and Jill figures on the roadsigns around Kilmersdon and were made by a specialist company in Cambridgeshire.

Jack and Jill celebrate the village’s nursery rhyme heritage

Work on the cottage is complete

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Axbridge Church Fete

Congresbury Village Fete

Axbridge Singers Congresbury Evening WI members

The civic party

Steel the Show in action

Cesca Cavendar winner of the best hat competition

Margie and Rosemary minding the ice cream


The Flower Show

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Stratton in a twirl

Enigma Twirl Team recently moved their main training sessions from Melksham to Statton-on-the-Fosse Village Hall

ENIGMA Twirl Team staged a summer fete at Stratton-on-theFosse – where they train – to boost club funds and raise money for Kidney Research UK.

Chewton Mendip


Dancers from the village school

Chewton Mendip WI

Joseph, aged eight, on the Kidney Research UK stall

Becky and Sharleen – two of the parent helpers

Edward Wilson on the frog on a log game


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Award-winning natural skincare LOCAL company Lyonsleaf have scooped an unprecedented ten nominations for Free From Skincare Awards. These national awards, which reward products that are allergy friendly and free from irritant ingredients, attract big companies like Neals Yard, Weleda and Green People. Last year Lyonsleaf stormed the awards with seven medals including three Golds and it looks like they are set to repeat the performance – see Lyonsleaf was founded by Ben and Vicky Lyons in 2010. They grow their herbs and hand-make their herbal skincare products at their farm on the Mendips near Priddy. It’s clear from their amazing customer reviews that their products suit sensitive and problem skin as well as people who just want good natural skincare products (that really are all natural). Vicky says: “We have complete control of the quality of herbs because we grow them at the farm and I think that really gives us an edge. But just as importantly,


we don’t use water in our products, which means no need for harsh anti-microbial preservatives (like parabens) and no need for emulsifiers. “This seems to be a winning combination particularly for those with problem skin. We didn’t realise ourselves how good it was until the amazing customer reviews started flying in. Being water-free means our products are really rich and nourishing, which is great for all skin types – no watery, overpriced

concoctions here.” You can buy Lyonsleaf products from their website Local stockists include The Good Earth in Wells, Body and Soul in Blagdon, Conscious Foods in Keynsham, East Harptree Village Stores and most health food shops in Bristol including Betterfoods. You can meet Lyonsleaf in person at Valley Fest in the Betterfoods Artisan Food Teepee August 2nd-4th.

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Top award for Arthur David

ARTHUR David Food with Service, based at Sutton Wick, near Bishop Sutton, have won Family Business of the Year and Bristol Business of the Year. The company was founded by Arthur and Diana David in 1962. Sadly Diana passed away a few months ago. The business is now run by their eldest son Phil who is now joint managing director with Jon Evans. Phil said: “It was a very emotional, as the award night just happened to fall on Diana’s birthday, something Art mentioned in the video. She would be very proud of the business today.” The business now has over 540 employee across Bristol and Somerset. They were recently awarded the prestigious Investors in People Award that is nationally recognised. After the glittering Bristol event, Jon said: “Being nominated for the Bristol Post & Bristol Live Business awards was truly special. To have everyone’s hard work recognised is an amazing

achievement. “We were delighted when we were announced as the category winner for Family Business of the Year. To think, our family business the best in Bristol. “We waited to hear all of the other category winners and there were some truly impressive companies taking part. “At the end of the evening there was one last award, the overall winner of the whole awards – Business of the Year. “You can imagine how we screamed when the name they called out for overall winner was little ’ol Arthur David Food with Service! It was amazing and very

well received by everyone in the room. “After we collected the award, they played a video that Arthur recorded earlier in the week where he explained just what Arthur David the business meant to him and the family. “As the video ended, the entire room gave Arthur a standing ovation as they recognised just what an inspirational Bristol businessman he is; a rare event at an awards ceremony. “Well done to everyone who is a part of this wonderful organisation – without everyone’s commitment and dedication awards like this wouldn’t be possible.”


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Congratulations to Julie!

An Aladdin’s cave of Craft Materials & Fair Trade Gifts 8 Priory Road, Wells BA5 1SY • 01749 674728


NO MOLE NO FEE Telephone 01761 417100

J&D WASTE REMOVAL House, Garden, Garage and Shed clearance Registered Waste Licence 01749 675 636 07961 892 014

JULIE Romeo is celebrating running Earthcraft, in Wells for 40 years! She started it on her own on July 5th 1979. She said: “My daughter was just starting school and I was a single parent living with my mother. My sister Joan suggested I could open a small craft shop, because I’ve always been interested in unusual handicrafts. “To start me off, she took me to a trade warehouse. My brother Alan encouraged me to widen my original range, from just gifts, to include ‘things-to-make-things-with’. “Now my quirky little shop, selling gifts, scarves and craft materials has become a fixture in Wells. Pat-on-the-backtime I think.”

Reduce your energy costs

SOLARSENSE’S clean energy proposal enables you to reduce your business energy costs and carbon emissions to achieve long-term financial savings by generating your own clean electricity under their fully-funded, subsidy-free, solar photovoltaic (PV) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). You can use their capital today to start your clean energy journey and sometime down the line, when the timing is right, buy the system back from them if you choose. Solarsense will fund, design, install and maintain a solar PV system designed specifically for your business and charge a reduced, index-linked rate for your electricity; all you have to do is agree to lease the airspace above your roof for 25 years. A PPA not only helps to reduce your carbon emissions but allows you to secure your power at a rate guaranteed to only increase with inflation for the next 25 years; saving you thousands of pounds on average and protecting your business from rising energy costs. For farms in particular, installing solar will give your business a better position when supplying to retailers that are campaigning for greener supply chains. Solar PV, battery storage, electric vehicle charging, and heat pumps are just a few ways that Solarsense, the UK’s leading sustainable solutions company, can help you to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint. Details: 01275 461800 or visit


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Helping your grandchildren financially

IF you are at a stage of your life where you’re financially comfortable and want to give a helping hand to your family, here is an introduction to the key allowances available to you. Sharing your wealth during your lifetime reduces the size of your estate and therefore your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. The following allowances enable you to make gifts which immediately reduce the size of your estate and have no IHT implications. Annual exemption – This allowance enables you to gift £3,000 each year. As a couple you could gift £6,000 and if you don’t utilise it, it can be carried forward one year. Small gifts allowance – You can make as many gifts, of up to £250 per person, as you want, although not to someone you have used another exemption on. Gifts out of excess income – This type of gift can be made as long as you can maintain your standard of living

without having to draw on additional capital. Ideal if you have high income levels and low expenditure as it can slow the growth of your estate. However, your executors will need to prove to HMRC that these gifts fulfil their criteria, so it’s worth keeping a record of your available income/cash flow each year. Gifts in respect of marriage – You can make wedding or civil ceremony gifts of between £1,000 and £5,000. A gift would need to be made before the wedding and the wedding does need to go ahead! Finally… If you want to make a gift in excess of the allowances, you would need to survive for a period of seven years from the date of the gift for it not to be liable to IHT. A trust can be a tax-efficient way to make a substantial gift, while still giving you some control on how it is used. Before making any gift, make sure you protect your own financial future. • 01749 335008

Old Mill is here to help, contact us to find out more. Suzanne Williams Chartered Financial Planner


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The pitfalls and joys of being self-employed

LAST week, we had the pleasure of the company of one of our sons and his truly delightful girlfriend. So what? You might ask. Well, they are both self-employed opera singers and, as such, their job security is less than brilliant, though fortunately they are both energetic enough and talented enough to be working almost non-stop including at some prestigious addresses such as Glyndebourne and with ENO at The London Coliseum. I must now apologise on their behalf because that would have embarrassed them both, as they don’t like showing off! It struck me as I worried a bit about them and their future that I am far from the only parent in this situation. Many young people, and some not so young, are prey to the gig economy now. Is there a certain path through this world? Most definitely not, as I know myself. There are challenges at all stages of a business’s life, from its inception to its demise and sometimes they can seem insurmountable. Taking each issue just one day at a time and having the best support network you can afford has always, I have found, been the best way forward. It is these values which will keep you going however extreme the challenges. If I could offer one certain piece of advice to any start-up business, it is this – if getting rich quick is your sole motivation for starting a business, don’t bother! Starting a business requires a good idea and considerable research to find out how viable the idea will be. However great


your product is, remember that if you give poor service, customers will soon show you a clean pair of heels! Useful people to contact early are your prospective bank and the professionals you will need to keep you compliant with the laws and HMRC. I quite often chat to people who are seeking an accountant just when they need to file their first set of accounts. It is so much more helpful to make the time to talk to several advisers at a very early stage, to ensure that you are comfortable with them and that you have set off down the right path. Never stop yourself asking them questions, however obvious they may seem, and never feel daft for not understanding all the answers. Furthermore, if the professional opposite you is somehow making you feel that way, pick up your questions and walk! They don’t deserve your business. Self-employment can be hard, but it can also be really rewarding and motivating. One thing is for sure, you’ll never meet a bored self-employed person! Have a good summer! I would like to add a short message of thanks here to Hazy Maes Auctioneers in Glastonbury who helped me to raise funds for The Grace Centre in Musgrove Park which treated me earlier this year. Hazy Maes collected my items for sale for free and added a truly generous donation to my total sale amount. To Conway and his team, thank you, with all my heart. Jane Bowe Probusiness

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Conveyancing and sewage treatment plants – the new law

IN the course of selling your house the conveyancing process involves your having to answer a number of pre-contract enquiries one of which concerns the sewage system serving your property. People are sometimes unsure what system they have so it is important to know as a failure to provide an accurate answer you could expose you to a compensation claim. It may help to explain the position a little more. If your house or business is not connected to the mains sewer, your sewage will be likely to go to one of the following: • A septic tank – an underground tank where the solids sink to the bottom and the liquid flows out and soaks through the ground.

• A small sewage treatment plant (also known as a package treatment plant) – a part- mechanical system that treats the liquid so it’s clean enough to go into a river or stream. • A cesspool (also called a cesspit) – a sealed tank that collects the sewage a non-standard system, such as a reed bed or trench arch system. You can be an “operator” of a sewage system if any of the following is true: (a) you own the property that uses the system (b) you own a property that shares the system with other properties – each property owner is an operator, and you are jointly responsible for complying with the general binding rules, (c) you have a written agreement with the property owner that says you are responsible for the system’s maintenance, for example you are renting and it’s in your tenancy agreement. If you are the “operator” of a septic tank or small sewage treatment plant you must check that you meet the general binding rules (which you can google) which in summary means that the sewage must: (a) be domestic in nature, for example from a toilet, bathroom, shower or kitchen of a house, flat or business (such as a pub, hotel or office (b) not cause pollution. For those who use septic tanks you should be aware of regulations which came into force in 2015 which imposes a requirement to use a small sewage treatment plant to treat the sewage if you are discharging to a surface water such as a river or stream. Discharges from septic tanks directly to a

surface water are not allowed. If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water you will need to replace or upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks that discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020 responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale. If you sell your property you must tell the new owner or person responsible for the sewage treatment plant in writing that a sewage discharge is in place and provide a description of the treatment plant, its location, details of any changes made to the plant, how the plant should be maintained and a record of maintenance. If you have a cesspool you do not have to comply with the general binding rules or apply for a permit. You must maintain your cesspool and make sure it: (a) is emptied regularly by a registered waste carrier (b) does not leak or overflow. The Environment Agency or your local council can make you repair or replace your cesspool if it’s in poor condition. If you install a new cesspool you must: get planning permission and building regulations approval make sure it has a minimum capacity of 18,000 litres per 2 users (plus another 6,800 litres per each extra user. This may not be an appetising subject but a little knowledge about it could avoid expensive mistakes being made. Edward Lyons

Email: Website: Telephone: 01275 332168 An established and progressive law firm providing a personal and cost-effective legal service for commercial and individual clients.

l Family & Divorce Law l Co-habitation disputes l Inheritance disputes l Wills and Living Wills l Powers of Attorney l Administration of Trusts l Property – sales and purchases Chew Magna 01275 332168

OFFICES AT: Westbury-on-Trym 0117 950 6506

Kingswood 0117 967 5252 MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 37

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Woodland expert


ADAM Boulton is a self-employed woodsman and environmental conservation worker. He offers coppice products and woodland management services focusing on woodland management methods that favour both productivity and ecology, benefiting both human and wildlife alike. He said: “Woodlands are my one true love in life and over the centuries have filled our lives with purpose, pleasure and although much of British woodland is now under managed and in poor condition it should be remembered that they have made human civilisation what it is today.” Based in Taunton, he has his own woodland, Long Copse, in Mid-Devon. He is working towards improving its ecological health to support the native wildlife and flora found there. It’s where he makes charcoal and hosts educational courses about woodsmanship and its history. The woodland also acts as a living portfolio for his work and its results. His long-term goal is not only to regenerate the coppice cycle there but to reintroduce the locally extinct dormouse back into the area. He is fully insured and a proud member of the Devon Coppice Group and the National Coppice Federation. If you’re interested in his work, courses or products, he is more than happy to spread the word about the declining trade of woodsmanship so please feel free to get in contact.

Balloon flights over the Chew Valley, Mendips and Somerset Levels

P & C Logs Summer prices from 1st June to 1st September

Call Phil on 07734 098323, or Colleen on 07785 250033 or on Evenings 01934 741941 Friendly prompt service from Phil & Colleen at their farm in Charterhouse Quality seasoned beech and ash hardwood, chopped and split into a variety of load options (with free delivery). PAGE 38 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

HANDYMAN For all your External requirements

To include but not limited to Repairing • clearing • tidying High power pressure washing available Honest, Trustworthy and Reliable

Call Drew 07764 470763 (Pilton)

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

100,000 potential customers within a short distance of your business

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Wedmore Street Fair

Burnham and Highbridge Band

Wedmore scouts made crepes

Pictured (l to r) Hazel Hudson, Angeline Duckett and Liz Tucker

The Tuesday Club won best stall

Pictured (l to r) Hazel Hudson, Angeline Duckett and Liz Tucker

PAGE 40 UGUST 2019 44 • MENDIP TIMES • A JULY 2019

Wedmore First School PTA were in charge of Pimms

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Holcombe Gala Day

Philip “Hoggy” Horler (left) was celebrating his 50th birthday with friends Nicola Phillips, Philip Ham and Henry Banks unaware that a surprise party was being arranged for him that evening in neighbouring Coleford Lady, a 15-weekold German Shepherd puppy, was on her best behaviour during several classes in the dog show

Chelwood Big Breakfast

Pictured (l to r) Rotary president Mike Hedges, Rob and Mary Taylor, Di Farmer and Doris Gillette


The Desert Divas belly dance troupe ahead of their performance of a new piece of work about a pirate and a mermaid Colour run: touring the gala site in style

Some of the young members of the Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band Academy

Rotary member Richard Curtis taking orders from (l to r) Shirley and Tony Hill, Martyn and Claire Jones, with little Astor in the pram completely unaware


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Tanks for the memory!

Haydn (right) says farewell as a low-loader prepares to take the tank away

WELLS Reclamation owner Haydn Davies has said farewell to one of the most iconic – and unusual – items he has ever owned: a 1943 Russian T34 tank. The fearsome weapon which fought in the Russian Front battles has been sold to a new owner in Northamptonshire after standing on the reclamation site at Coxley for 25 years. Haydn, a former captain in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, acquired the tanks after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1994. He admitted: “Before the day of the tank sale, I was in two minds whether or not to keep it, in fact on the day of departure I had woken up at 2am worried about something. “Little disturbs me, so I wondered what was worrying me. Then I realised what it was, I was suffering ‘grief’! I really didn’t want her to go!” Haydn added: “All right, I know it’s a ‘big boy’s toy.’ But like boats or old cars you do get attached to them, they do become part of the family. But a tank that had fought the ‘Russian Front battles’, she did in fact earn a lot of my deep respect.”

We’ve been framed!


PICTURE framing specialists Carrie and Tony Osborne are celebrating ten years of running their Swan Artworks business – and have never been known to turn down a challenge. Ossie and Honey are always happy to But getting their meet visitors to Swan Artworks pet dogs Ossie – aged one – and puppy Honey – aged just three months – to sit still for this photograph for long enough was one of the hardest. Swan Artworks used to be located in Midsomer Norton town centre, but the couple relocated to the Old Mills Industrial Estate near Paulton in 2010. Carrie and Tony have framed everything from paintings and posters to medals and music memorabilia and say they have been delighted to work with the owners to showcase pieces of history. The couple will be opening their studio for a party on Saturday, August 31st between 2-4pm with live music, 20% discount vouchers and a raffle for a limited edition signed print by the celebrated late artist David Fisher of one of his iconic railway paintings: Let Battle Commence. The raffle will raise money for a cancer charity.

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Toys wanted at the Mendip Auction Rooms AT the Mendip Auction Rooms, certain categories of items sold have always attracted strong demand. Examples include silver, jewellery, militaria and certain types of collectables. Good entries of toys are often received and are always wanted, attracting interest from across the world. At the antiques and collectables sale held at the auction rooms on July 6th, an excellent collection of Graham Farrish railway locomotives, carriages and track generated plenty of interest with a number of telephone and online bidders as well as a good attendance in the room. Bidding quickly accelerated and a value of £1,500 was achieved, well above estimate. Other toys entered also sold to advantage. At the same sale, other items selling well included an 18th century ebonised long case clock that sold for £2,200, a white metal


line bracelet set with 26 sapphires and a Japanese tea canister £820. Unlike many auction rooms, the team at the Mendip Auction Rooms have not rested during the summer and entries are invited for their August sales. A sale of antiques and collectables will be staged on August 10th with online bidding through and a sale of Victorian and later effects, including household items, on Tuesday, August 20th. The team at the Mendip Auction Rooms aim to make selling and buying at auction straight-forward and great fun. The auction rooms are open from 10am until 5pm Monday to Friday and the valuers are happy to visit you at home free of charge to provide valuation and selling advice. The auction rooms can be contacted on 01749 840770.


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Young artists are winners

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

Our new venture . . . come to see our new cabinets hosting hand-picked antique and vintage dealers in The Treasure Chest Tea shop, just next door to us. If you have any questions, find us on Facebook – Prowse Antiques and Interiors or call us on 01934 712453 or 07860 837 680

100,000 potential customers within a short distance of your business

THE Rotary Club of Mendip has awarded prizes to winning students in the Rotary Young Artist competition. Rotarian and head judge Richard Acreman welcomed the entrants and guests and thanked Rebecca Weaving, head of the art department at the Kings of Wessex Academy, for her help in organising the event. He also thanked the judging panel which included Janet Travis. In presenting the prizes and certificates, club president Ian Maynard said: “These young people are to be commended on their creativity and high standard of work.” From all the entries, year 9 student Maisy Loader was selected as the overall winner.

A contemporary take on Christianity

RE-FORMATION, which has opened at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells, is a fascinating exhibition which contemplates the nature of modern Christianity in a truly contemporary way. The exhibition, showcasing many of Somerset and the West Country’s finest artists, breaks away from the deeply ingrained traditions of religious art in order to reflect on the diverse aspects of religion as whole in today’s world. Heather Wallace and Rebecca Barnard, co-directors of Heritage Courtyard Gallery and Studios in Wells, have brought together a vibrant and thought-provoking display. They said: “We are honoured to have many renowned, national and international artists taking part in ReFormation.” They include moving image artist Terry Flaxton alongside fine artists such as Anthony Frost, Jason Wason, David Kemp, Carole Waller, Philippa Threlfall and Rod Walker. The first talk by Philippa Threlfall, History on The Street, starts at 7pm in the main gallery at the Bishop’s Palace on Thursday, August 15th. Re-Formation runs until October 6th. For details visit:


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One small step for man . . .

WHEN NASA chose the Omega Speedmaster Professional as the watch to be worn by Apollo astronauts aiming for the moon, the Omega marketing department could have been forgiven for celebrating their momentous coup over great rival Rolex. What better advert can there be for a watch brand than to be universally known as “the Moon watch”. Sir Edmund Hilary may have sported a Rolex when he made the final step on to the summit of the world’s highest mountain, but just over 15 years later, Neil Armstrong took one small step for man, and at that moment, Rolex could only look up at the night sky and wonder how at that moment, Omega had left them so far behind. Now 50 years after this event, Clevedon Salerooms watch specialist Marc Burridge is delighted to be offering a circa 1968 “PreMoon” Omega stainless steel cased chronograph at the September 12th Quarterly Specialist Sale. Estimated

Make me a Dealer comes to Clevedon: Marc Burridge with presenter Paul Martin during two days of recent filming at Clevedon Salerooms

at £5,000 - £7,000 this watch is expected to draw bidders from around the globe. The salerooms are holding one of their popular free jewellery, watch, silver and gold valuation days at the salerooms on Monday, August 5th, 10am–4pm where Marc will be assessing watches and gemmologist John Kelly with appraise jewellery, both with the September specialist sale in mind. The following week it will be business as usual on August 12th and 13th at the regular free valuation days, the second day marking the closing date for entries for the specialist sale. So if you don’t want to be left looking up at the moon, come and attend a free valuation day or email images to

Every lot in every auction, illustrated and sold with live internet bidding


Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

FREE AnTiquE VALuATiOn DAYS 12th & 13th August

9.30am–1pm and 2pm–5pm Held at the Salerooms No appointment necessary

Antiques, Interiors, Collectables & Jewellery Auctions 8th & 22nd August Sales start at 10.30am On view day before 10am – 6.30pm

Tel: 01934 830111 or 0117 325 6789 The Auction Centre, Kenn Road, Kenn, Clevedon, Bristol BS21 6TT

Spanish pottery dish, circa 1500

Sold for £1,500

19th Century shell cameo necklace

Sold for £1,900

Free Jewellery, Watch, Silver & Gold Valuation Day at the Salerooms Monday 5th August 10am – 4pm Cartier

Sold for £23,500 On the above date our experienced Valuers will be offering free no-obligation verbal estimates on all items of jewellery, watches, silver and gold at the Salerooms with the 12th September Specialist Sale in mind. No appointment necessary. For further information contact Toby Pinn MRICS on 01934 830111. MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 45

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You will love this new art class GREAT news if you’re looking for something exciting, creative and fun to do over the next few months! The Seasons Art Class Wells, Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury are now taking enquiries for a new 14-week, part-time art Class, which starts soon at Easton Village Hall, Easton, Wells. Learn to paint and draw people and places Over the comprehensive, interesting course, we explore four different media; pencils, oil pastels and painting with watercolours and acrylics. Discover how to paint faces, figures, friends, family and stunning landscapes. Receive tuition in the basic techniques and learn artists’ secrets needed to create beautiful pieces of original art. Step by step, easy lessons • Absolute beginners to improvers – just like you • Three hours once a week, mornings or afternoons • Meet new friends – a social event • Learn new skills • We supply materials for you • Open to adults of all ages We make it easy for you Even if you have never picked up a paintbrush before, we will guide you through to make it easy and fun! We adapt to each student’s needs to develop your artistic skills. On completing the course, you will have 12 pieces of original art. This is an extremely enjoyable way to develop your creative side and really look forward to the season ahead.


Strictly limited places To maintain our high standards of tuition, classes are restricted to small numbers. Please call now on 01749 572109 for more details and a friendly chat.

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Spectacular results for jewellery at latest sale JEWELLERY and enamel signs had bidders in a frenzy at Cooper and Tanner’s latest Antique and Collectables sale on July 10th. A double-sided “Motor BP Spirit” enamel sign with an estimate of £70 to £100 raced past that to make £600 on the hammer, selling to a local bidder in the room. Other enamel signs were also making much more than their estimates, with bidding online and in the room showing that these are extremely popular in any condition. Three, 50 gram, platinum ingots also did very well selling for £800 each, reflecting the good investment that precious metals are. Lot 200 was a collection of Great Britain and foreign coins including a 1948 Canadian Dollar; 1948 was a low mintage year for this particular coin making this one of the rarest Canadian silver dollars in circulation which helped boost this lot to £700 at the hammer. Selling jewellery at auction helps to ensure you get the best possible price for items and once again we had spectacular results, a stunning Edwardian sapphire and diamond cluster hinged bangle sold for £1,300 to an online bidder; this was a beautiful example of a sapphire. Popular with the Victorians, an exquisite chrysoberyl cat’s eye and diamond cluster ring sold for £700 and from the same


collection a dainty coral and seed pearl brooch again exceeded all estimates selling for £800 with fierce online and in room bidding. Our next Specialist Antiques and Collectables Sale takes place on August 7th and highlights include a collection of vintage toys and teddy bears, a folding clover leaf shape card table, a pair of 1930s/1940s tambour fronted filing cabinets and another fantastic selection of jewellery. Gareth Wasp, our auctioneer, will be holding our next specialist jewellery, silver and antiques valuation morning at Bath Cricket Club on Tuesday, September 24th from 9am until 1pm where he will also be joined by our consultant who is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. They will be available all morning and no appointment is necessary, just pop along on the day.

Selling jewellery at auction can produce spectacular results: this Edwardian bangle sold for £1,300

Gareth is always available for home visits too. Please call the office to book on 01373 852419.


A double-sided Motor BP Spirit sign Sold £600

A rare 1948 Canadian dollar coin Sold £700

One of three platinum ingots Sold £800 each

A dainty coral and seed pearl brooch Sold £800

SALE ROOMS Gareth Wasp Telephone 01373 852419 The Agricultural Centre, Standerwick, Frome BA11 2QB MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 47

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Paulton Party in the Park

Paulton Hospital League of Friends

Fair for school funds

Michael Eavis had barely recovered from the previous weekend’s festival before opening the fair

GLASTONBURY Festival creator Michael Eavis was the guest of honour at the Stoke St Michael Primary School summer fair, organised by members of the Parent Teacher Association.

Paulton Ladies Circle

Paulton Infants dancers

Lola, with her prize-winning hedgehog entry in a competition to make an animal out of recycled materials

Entrants in the fancy dress

Frome Archers organised have-a-go sessions


Megan took first prize with her miniature garden entry

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Ducks away!

HUNDREDS of people supported the Plume of Feathers duck race at Rickford, raising funds for local good causes. The race raised £1,050 which has gone to: £700 Burrington primary school, £200 towards a defibrillator for Rickford village and £150 to Blagdon pre-school. Organisers would like to say a big thank you to sponsors and everyone who supported it. Approaching the finish

The barbecue crew

Decorating the ducks


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How to help a tree of friendship flourish

John Cullum cutting the ribbon with two SWALLOW members, Anne and Dan.

SWALLOW, the charity supporting teenagers and adults with learning disabilities, has unveiled its new Tree of Friendship at its offices in Westfield to thank its supporters. Current supporters are named on the tree on leaves, swallows and apples. John Cullum, patron of SWALLOW, said: “There is plenty of space for more names to be added, and with the support of more friends SWALLOW can help even more local teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.” SWALLOW provides supported housing, education and training and outreach in the community as well as a range of support towards employment and activities to reduce social isolation. The charity is a user-led organisation and was started in 1993. For details, contact Nicky Tew on or call 01761 414034 or visit:

Bloomers support hospice

HUTTON’S Bloomers are a group who look after Hutton’s flowers and raise money for Children’s Hospice South West at Charlton Farm. They recently visited the hospice on one of their open days and say they were all in awe of the building and care offered. One member said: “Of course we felt emotional at times but also saw how dignified and family orientated the end of life can be made. It also helps with respite care and giving some families a much-needed holiday or siblings spending quality time with parents.” They say they left feeling that donations must be kept up and thinking of new ideas to raise money. PAGE 50 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

St Margaret’s launches Three Peaks Challenge

ST MARGARET’S Hospice Care is looking for hikers with the grit and determination to take on the highest peaks in the UK while raising vital funds for people in its care. The charity is launching its Three Peaks Challenge, which will see a group of supporters embark on a challenge next June to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours. Sonia Bateman, events fundraiser at St Margaret’s Hospice Care, said: “This will be a fast-paced and physically demanding adventure, and everyone who completes it will have the immense satisfaction of ticking off one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges. “We’re encouraging people to sign up now to give themselves plenty of time to raise sponsorship and train for the challenge over the next 12 months. As well as having an unforgettable experience, everyone who joins us will be making a real difference to patients and families in our community.” Last year, nearly 2,400 people took part in events organised by St Margaret’s Hospice Care, helping the charity to care for patients and families in Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness. The non-stop Three Peaks Challenge starts on Friday, June 12th, 2020, when the group will meet and travel to Fort William in Scotland. The hardy fundraisers will walk around 28 miles and ascend to a total height of almost 3,000 metres, as they aim to climb all three peaks in a total trekking time of 18 hours or less over the two days. Details: or call Sonia on 01823 365604

Hospice has new head

LOCAL charity, Dorothy House Hospice Care, has appointed Wayne de Leeuw as its new chief executive as John Davies, CEO, moves on after leading the hospice for over four and a half years. Previously promoted to deputy chief executive in July 2018, Wayne de Leeuw had a successful clinical career both at the hospice for 16 years and prior to this in a variety of roles in the NHS. Kate Tompkins, chair of the board of trustees, said: “John Davies’ strategic vision and business skills have enriched the work of Dorothy House and he has shown great kindness to patients, families and carers.” Wayne de Leeuw said: “The last four and half years have enabled the hospice to develop and launch a bold, seven-year strategy to deliver quality palliative and end of life care to double the patients in our community by 2025.” Details:

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LANGPORT & District Red Cross Group celebrated their building’s 40th birthday with a party for their 32 volunteers, who have 514 years of active service between them. During the party, Chris Davies, Somerset president, awarded long-service awards to Sally Tomsett, the oldest active volunteer at 85, for ten years’ service, Sandra Stannard also for ten years and Jill Lock, the group’s secretary, for 25 years. The centre was originally a builder’s store and the builder offered it to the local Red Cross for £6,000 when he retired. Plans were drawn up to convert it into a centre for medical loan and training at a cost of a further £2,000. The local health authority contributed £2,600 and Somerset Red Cross HQ arranged a loan which was paid back by the fundraising efforts of the volunteers over the next five years. On June 21st, 1979 Lady Luttrell opened the centre which has been in active use ever since, based on the side of

Langport’s main car park in the centre of the small town. Now designated a fundraising centre it is open to the public six mornings a week providing a lifeline to many lonely elderly people from Langport and its surrounding villages. They provide companionship, refreshments for a donation, and sell donated goods, raising £10,179 in 2018. The 15 volunteers who work at the centre are supplemented by another 20 who help

Pictured (l to r) Chris Cox, centre organiser, Chris Davies, Somerset president, and Philip Rowe Somerset patron

A fond farewell

Volunteers outside their much-loved centre

with collections at shops and Red Cross Week. With the profits from theatre trips to Bristol organised by group leader, Chris Cox, their total turnover to support the British Red Cross in 2018 was £21,029. Since they started opening daily in 2001, they have recorded a turnover of £313,000. They also have a team of six fully qualified first aiders who support events over a wide area.

Jill Lock receives her long service award from Chris Davies

YMCA Mendip and South Somerset is £1,000 better off thanks to a retirement party held by Julie and Arnold Wills from Pilgrim Financial Planning. They have played a very supportive role within the Wells community for many years and the charity’s marketing and fundraising manager, Michelle Payne, was guest speaker at their farewell supper. A collection raised £755 for the YMCA’s work at Spencer House, to which Pilgrim Financial Planning added £250. Michelle said: “The night was not only successful as a fitting farewell, but as a great opportunity for a local charity to raise its profile and gain some much appreciated support.”

(Photography courtesy of John Samuel)

Centre celebrates 40 years


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Lunch ladies b-eating cancer!

THIS year’s “Ladies who Lunch” party at the Midsomer Norton home of Rosemary Blatchford has raised more than £3,250 for Bath Royal United Hospital’s Breast Unit. In the six years it has been running, Rosemary has raised more than £14,000 for the unit which sees around 6,000 women each year – around 400 of whom will be diagnosed with cancer. The lunch was held in a marquee supplied by PSJ Marquees which housed 112 guests and featured a raffle with prizes including a Mulberry wallet. Rosemary said: “Every penny raised goes directly to the unit towards the next machine or piece of equipment they need.”

May this bunch enjoy their lunch!

Rosemary and a team of helpers prepared the fundraising feast

Hospice seeks support

WESTON Hospicecare has launched an appeal to fund a new community nurse who will help support the charity’s rising demand to offer care for people in their home. The hospice is celebrating its 30th year providing support to people with life-limiting conditions in Weston-superMare and north Somerset. While it offers services at its JacksonBarstow House in Uphill, it’s the care and support given to patients in their homes which places the greatest demand on nurses. Community nurse specialist Gwen Harding says their biggest challenge is now ensuring the delivery of kind and compassionate care away from the hospice’s base can continue and grow. She said: “What people don’t always realise is that we have eight community nurses who care for hundreds of patients and their families in their own home,

Gwen Harding

from Clevedon all the way down to Highbridge. “As a proud member of that team, I know when someone is told they have a life-limiting illness, it can feel as though their world has fallen apart. But it’s where we can step in and help carry some of that burden. “Our goal is to help each person we meet live their life to the absolute

fullest. This means – helping alleviate someone’s pain and bringing quality to the days that remain.” It costs £152.84 for a Weston Hospicecare community nurse specialist to give care every day. To provide compassionate care in the final week of a person’s life, when they will need the charity’s care and expertise the most, costs £1,069.88.

Details: or visit Jackson-Barstow House


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Flying high for cancer charity

Retired health worker John Collins, from Shipham, has succeeded in doing a wing-walk to raise money for the charity Myeloma UK in the skies above Gloucestershire. This is his report.

DESPITE fighting off a bug, on June 21st I went along to RFC Rendcomb Airfield, just outside Cirencester. It was a beautiful day, and a historic location, as Rendcomb was a WW1 air force base. My wing walk was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone, and I've been truly humbled by everyone's support and generosity. Myeloma UK is the only charity dedicated to supporting all those affected by this rare bone marrow cancer, with professional care and advice, plus treatment trials all over the UK. In addition to the donations so far received (£1,673.98) from friends in the

local community including Active Living, I've had indications of further donations in coming weeks, plus an amazing £400 from Lenny's Cafe in Shipham, who donated June's profits directly to Myeloma UK. Lenny's Cafe will soon be donating a month's profits to Weston Hospicecare, who celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. I am therefore keeping my JustGiving page “live” for some time to come, so it would be much appreciated if you could continue to spread the word, in the hope

that we can continue to raise more funds for this worthy cause. There is currently no cure for Myeloma, but the charity is funding many new trials and pioneering treatments, in the hope of prolonging quality of life, and finding a cure. I have no doubt that your article in April's Mendip Times resulted in increased awareness and support of both Myeloma UK and Lenny's Cafe, so a big “thank you” from the bottom of my heart to you and your readers for all your help and kindness.


Hospice plans to expand

OVER the last 12 years the Bath Moonlight Walk has raised over £1m in funds to support patient care at local hospice, Dorothy House Hospice Care. This year the event has been revamped to become the Hospice Care Hero Walk with the aim of expanding it for the future. The new event will help fund more vital patient care as the hospice plans to double its patient numbers by 2025. The walk will take place between 6-10pm on Saturday, September 7th in the stunning grounds of the Bath Spa University Campus at Newton Park. The route will feature rural views, woodland, lakes, and a castle and participants can choose a 1km, 5km or 10km route that passes through several hero-themed zones. Walkers can dress up as their favourite superhero and take part either to remember a special hero in their life or to celebrate the heroes providing nursing care, fundraising or volunteering at Dorothy House. Tickets cost £20, the walk is open to men, women and children aged 12plus years.

Nurses collecting funds last year



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Successful June

CANCER counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) are celebrating the success of their Jump into June fundraising campaign, which raised more than £19,500 for their free professional counselling service for people affected by a life threatening condition. Among the fundraising activities were a silent auction, a raffle to win a backpack worth £995, a bucket collection at Frome ASDA and a “toddle waddle”, where pre-schoolers braved the rain for a sponsored walk around Victoria Park. Details: 01373 455255 or email

Charity sets up gardening service

THE Orchard Vale Trust charity, at Wookey, which has been supporting adults with learning disabilities for over 30 years, has set up a new gardening service. It started last year with the support of Wedmore Community Power Co-operative, offering free help to individuals and community gardening projects. Gardening is one of the most successful activities at Orchard Vale, where they grow a significant amount of their own food at East Court and maintain the grounds. Their highly skilled and experienced gardeners were soon in demand and spent the summer transforming local gardens. Now the charity is setting up a commercial service, offering employment and training for adults with learning disabilities who want a career in gardening and landscaping. Currently adults with learning disabilities are under-represented in the adult work force. The most recent statistics show that one in two adults with a physical disability are in some form of paid employment, whereas the number drops to one in five for adults with a learning disability. Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund the charity have now established Stile Gardening, a commercial gardening service which will employ and train adults with learning disabilities, offering a range of services. The National Lottery Community Fund will provide £92,000 over the next three years to help establish this project into a sustainable business. Stile Gardening will work alongside Orchard Vale Trust’s community gardening service. Details: Mike Williamson 0734 2121370 or email


Support for Weston RNLI

WESTON-super-Mare RNLI’s open day attracted big crowds and raised £4,100 towards equipment and their proposed new lifeboat station. The crowds were treated to a variety of rescue displays by the station’s two lifeboats, who were joined by the Barry Dock Trent class all-weather lifeboat and the Atlantic 85 lifeboat from Burnham-on-Sea. As the Weston lifeboats launched from their temporary station at Knightstone, they received an emergency call reporting a swimmer struggling against a strong current at Anchor Head. He was picked up and taken ashore. The photograph shows Lewis Croucher, a four-year-old RNLI supporter and fundraiser being presented with a photograph of the Weston lifeboats by operations manager, Mike Buckland, to recognise his fundraising efforts and support of the Weston crew.

Sisters support charity

TWO sisters have held separate fundraisers to thank The Royal Star & Garter Homes for caring for their mother. Erica Watkins and Alison Ukleja wanted to show their support and appreciation to the charity, which has looked after their mother Julie for more than three years at its home in Surbiton. Alison held a Prosecco lunch and plant sale, raising an estimated £640 at her home in Lullington, near Frome. Erica and her husband Tim walked 86km in Italy, raising over £2,500 for the charity. The Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia and also has homes in High Wycombe and Solihull. Senior community fundraiser Lauren Baker thanked the pair, saying: “It’s great that Erica and Alison were able to use talents and things they enjoy doing to raise money for us, prompted by the care their mum receives. It will help us continue providing our award-winning care.” Details:

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Animal therapy charity branches out

Epic cycle ride to Barcelona

Harvey the horse watching president Sue Hopkins presenting the cheque to Nicole Gillard, flanked by IW members Sally Blanning and Heather Langridge (right)

Barcelona or bust – the four friends from the Chew Valley

A TREE house for an outdoor play area will soon be built at Move the Mind, a charity near Kilmersdon, to help young people with autism and additional needs through riding and animal therapy. Midsomer Norton and Radstock Inner Wheel Club president Sue Hopkins presented a £750 cheque for the tree house to charity founder Nicole Gillard, who set up the farm two years ago. Move the Mind has horses, miniature Shetland ponies, goats, sheep, pigs, alpacas and ducks. Club members raised the money from a fashion show and further money from the event is to be donated to Radikals, a club in Radstock for 11-18-year-olds. l Sue is continuing for a second year as IW president. The club welcomes new members. For details find the club on Facebook at Inner Wheel Club of Midsomer Norton and Radstock or call Sue on 07944 298036.

Flowers for charity

THE Wells Floral Art Club held a cream tea and charity floral art demonstration by Rosemary Kerr, a NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) demonstrator, to raise funds for Hope for Tomorrow a Mendip association bringing cancer diagnosis and care to our area along with the national charity Muscular Dystrophy UK. Due to the success of this event a second event featuring Tina Parkes is being held on Saturday, August 31st from 2pm at St Thomas Church Hall, Wells BA5 2UZ. Tina is a renowned RHS Chelsea gold medalist as well as a founding member and principal of the British Academy of Floral Art. The club holds demonstrations on the second Tuesday and practice classes on the fourth Tuesday of the month, 2.15pm St Thomas Church Hall. Details: Gill Cook 01749 870389

A GROUP of friends from the Chew Valley are taking on an epic charity cycling challenge, travelling around 1,400 kilometres, in around 16 days, from Bristol to Barcelona. They set off on Saturday, September 14th and have set a fundraising target of £40,000 for three organisations: Mind UK; Brain Tumor Research nd Breast Cancer Now. The team of four – Clive Patch, Steve Sage, Karen Bye and Emma Harvey – will follow cycle trails, canals, rivers, and minor roads via Poole, Cherbourg, Brittany, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Carcassonne and an uphill section through the Southern Pyrenees into Spain and the final destination of Barcelona. Clive said: “We all feel very strongly about the need to raise awareness for mental health and two of the team members have recently lost close family and friends from breast cancer and a brain tumor, so all three charities are extremely important to us.” The four are running a charity fundraising event at Chew Valley Rugby Club on Saturday, August 31st from 7pm. Tickets are £10 each and there will be a BBQ, disco, the Gee Baby I Love You band and an auction. To support the team, visit: ona

Garden party

THE annual coffee morning in Liz Balmforth's house and garden in Bishop Sutton raised £485.25 for newlynamed charity Versus Arthritis. There was a bring and buy, books and CDs for sale, and local woman Pat Smith had some of her knitted dolls for sale. She has raised over £2,000 for charities selling them. Community relationships manager from Versus Arthritis, Adrian Williams, said: “Chew Valley Versus Arthritis is an amazing group of fundraisers supported by so many in the area. This branch is one of our most enthusiastic and passionate fundraising groups.”


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New walk at Clevedon

THE Land Yeo Friends’ Two Rivers Walk which takes in The Land Yeo and the Blind Yeo rivers at Clevedon is now up and running, after many years of work accessing funding and getting various permissions. A map and guide has been produced by the friends to delineate the route and it is possible to do the walk in stages rather than complete the entire six miles in one go. It is fine to take your dog along too, providing you keep it on the lead and keep to the path when passing through fields, as some will contain livestock. Details:

For sale – church organ

BISHOP Sutton Methodist Church, home to the new Community Library in the Chew Valley has a pipe organ that is no longer used. It is offered free to anyone who will collect it! Details: John Miles 07427 191898

Busy year for heritage group

IT is now almost a year since Darshill and Bowlish Conservation Society, a registered charity, won a lottery grant to uncover the heritage of the Shepton Mallet hamlets of Darshill, Ham and Bowlish. During that time we have been busy perusing documents; surveying properties, flora and fauna; investigating the archaeology of buildings long vanished and begun our outreach into schools and the local community. As a result of the hard work of more than 20 volunteers and more than a dozen experts, the fog of previously lost heritage is beginning to clear and we are publishing our findings piece-bypiece – more than 50 so far – on our website and on the Shepton Community Facebook Page with more than 10,000 subscribers between them. At the recent Collet Park Day, we had a stand with a display of the former mill sites and enclaves on the River Sheppey which formed the basis of the town's prosperity for so many centuries. Also, we recently held a geography-linked day at St. Paul's Primary School in Shepton where more than 80 seven-year-olds were able to try their hands at some of the processes involved in making woollen cloth - carding, fulling, dyeing and weaving – as well as learning practically how a river provides power to make mills work. Further schools days are planned for later this summer and in the autumn.


Miners’ trust has new team

A NEW committee has been established to oversee the running of the Somerset District Miners’ Welfare Trust. The new chairman is Bryn Hawkins; secretary is Tony Salvidge and the treasurer is Mo Duery. Committee members are Dennis Chedgy, Robert Bailey and Selwyn Reed. This year’s reunion lunch takes place on Monday, September 2nd at Radstock Museum, sponsored once again by the Radstock Co-Operative Society. All ex-mine workers are welcome to this free lunch whether underground, surface or office workers. Doors open at 11.45am. For further details contact Tony Salvidge on 01761 410792.

Sheltering from the rain

WHAT should have been a lovely lazy day in Westbury Quarry for The Mendip Society turned out to be the stormiest day of an exceptionally wet month. But it did not deter them – this family making lovely flower badges took shelter in their gazebo along with a dry stone waller, John Dickson, in charge of pond dipping and three more society volunteers. With smiles all round.

Pupils at St Paul’s primary school step back in time

Some of the most tantalising things we've uncovered so far are an unrecorded double fulling mill and the site of two “lost” clothier mansions and we are presently hunting for a third. Many of the most salutary facts we've uncovered concern the large-scale employment of child labour, especially in the manufacturing of silk cloth in the first three-quarters of the 19th century, and the impact of the demise of the woollen cloth industry in the closing years of the 18th century following abortive attempts to introduce the then new technology of steam power. By Ian Keys

A guided tour of the hamlets will be held on August 14th, starting at Bowlish House Hotel at 7pm. For details, visit:


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Think global, act local – a new approach in my home town

I HAVE been asked repeatedly: how did it go? What people want to know is how the public meeting in my home town went, and By CHRIS of course other towns SPERRING MBE where we’re trying to get people to help their local environment. This ground-up approach to nature conservation is not Extinction Rebellion, but is something I’ve been working on for a few years that has worked well in some areas and is now becoming ever more popular thanks to all the distressing news about global declines of wildlife and of course climate change. The heartening thing is that people feel empowered, when it’s clear that politicians (locally and nationally) are not going to take the demise of the natural environment seriously enough, then the lead players must become the people. There’s been so much talk about the effects of vehicle pollution affecting children, such as babies being born with underdeveloped lungs leading to asthma issues and further problems in later life (source: British Lung Foundation that we have to look at solutions NOW. Obviously, reducing vehicles and improving emissions is the ultimate goal, but there are ways in which nature can help too. Tree planting and roadside hedge

Rewilding in urban areas is not a token gesture

The inaugural meeting in Portishead

development has been shown to make a real difference, and is something we can all take part in. The rewilding of our towns and countryside is not just a nice idea but is, in fact, vital if we are to save our planet and our species. Sadly, the value of nature for people is lost on a lot of people nowadays, I call it Nature Deficit Disorder. It’s quite serious, there are people out there who really don’t see the importance of trees or insects or birds and merely see them as a nuisance; things that make a mess or a noise. One member of the public objected to me not cutting my grass and growing a wild hedge border; when I said it was to help wildlife I was told very aggressively that wildlife lives in the countryside and not here! Another person recently called me to their garden to remove a family of hedgehogs which had “inconveniently” nested in his shed. The mother and fiveday-old babies were “making a mess in his garden” and he wanted them removed or else! I explained that hedgehogs were good for the garden and ate slugs and other animals he might consider pests, to which he replied: “I’ve got chemicals for that!” What I, and others, are advocating is that we plant more and manage less; more native trees, more hedges, less chemicals and less grass cutting. Cutting roadside verges, for example, is costly and in many cases unnecessary. These could provide valuable wildlife corridors, linking wild areas and enabling insects, wildflowers and small mammals to disperse and repopulate new areas.

Anyway, our inaugural meeting for Wild Portishead went very well and, judging by the feedback, people were inspired. There will always be those who think nature belongs somewhere else, but I think most people are open-minded and will accept change once they understand what we stand to gain by letting nature in. After the talk, questions and discussions everyone got the chance to put their own ideas on to maps of the town. These are now being analysed and action will be planned based on what people want to see. The key is to educate and show by example that we have so much to lose by carrying on as we are and so much to gain by making relatively small changes. We can save the planet, but we all need to stop being selfish and look at the bigger picture. We can, and must, all start thinking globally and acting locally!

Think global, act local!

Chris Sperring is Conservation Officer for the Hawk and Owl Trust Contact him via


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A hopeful summer circle along the coast

NO summer would be complete without a coastal walk and this one from Sand Bay takes in the beach as well as the rhyne-crossed levels behind, visits Woodspring Priory and then heads along the low cliffs above the Middle Hope beaches on National Trust land. You can visit the sandstone promontory of Sand Point if you wish. Our circle finishes

with a stretch along the back of the beach in Sand Bay. It’s an easy circle, virtually flat and good underfoot. There’s a pleasant cafe in Sand Bay and a kiosk cafe in the car park. It is a great walk for a picnic and sitting along the grass on Middle Hope with clear views across the estuary to Wales. Dogs will have a good time, too. If you want to visit the priory and the small museum you need to go on Mondays or Fridays only.

PARK: The car park in the middle of the bay along the front (Sand Road), where the buses stop. It’s a reasonable all day fee of £2. Alternatively, if you are a NT member, drive to the far end of the beach and park in the NT car park and start the walk from ‘9. NT CAR PARK’. Sand Bay lies to the north of Westonsuper-Mare. START: Cross the road to the beach. Turn right for two or three minutes, walking along the back, where there were a lot of wild flowers when I came. There are good views to Steep Holm and across to the Welsh coast.

With Sue Gearing PAGE 58 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

1. SAND FARM Look for a public footpath sign on the right directing you back across to the other side of the road and up the first lane, Sand Farm Lane, leading to the farm and holiday site.

At the end go through the gate and follow the arrows straight on. You will find that all along here it has been very well marked and upgraded to a good footpath, quite different to the route I took several years ago. It is a flat area drained by rhynes and full of a variety of wildflowers. You should be able to find your way easily through following the footpath signs.

2. FIELDS AND RHYNES Continue on the fenced path, through two more gates and then the path bears left through a rough area of vegetation. After another gate, cross a bridge over a rhyne and turn right in the field, carrying on to a visible footbridge ahead. This leads to a field which you cross to another gate and footbridge. Maintain direction. Soon you can see the tower of ancient Woodspring Priory over left. On reaching the other side of the field, follow the hedge on your right for a short distance. Turn right over a bridge and then left in the field following the left hedge. Note the ridged nature of some of these fields, showing old patterns of drainage. Cross a footbridge and carry on ahead. Near the end of the field go through a gate on the left and turn right through another gate and straight on, getting a good view of the priory. A pedestrian gate brings you to a crossing track with farm buildings over left.

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3. TRACK Cross and go straight ahead on Elmsley Lane track to follow it all the way to a junction with a Tarmac lane.

4. LANE Go left and follow it to cottages and signs for Woodspring Priory at the end. Our walk continues by going right, but for the very atmospheric priory turn left through a visitors’ car park towards cottages. It’s worth going there even if it is not one of the open days. Go left and at the end of the cottage garden, turn sharp right along the fence following Priory signs. Diagonally cross fields, passing the detached stone old infirmary building and come to the main priory building ahead. The entrance is to the right along the wall, then left and down to the main door which gives access to the small museum.

5. PRIORY Woodspring Priory is a former 13th century Augustinian priory, dedicated to Thomas Becket, and now scheduled as an ancient monument. It was a working monastery and church until the mid-16th century and then owned by local noblemen and leased to local farmers and had a number of different uses. During the post medieval period until the early 18th century it served as a hospital for the local population. In 1968 the priory and adjoining land of Middle Hope was purchased by the National Trust as part of Project Neptune. The following year the priory was taken over by the Landmark Trust who spent 20 years on restoration work and now rent out the attached farmhouse as holiday accommodation. The church is now a small museum with photographs and information about the history of the priory and its renovation by the Landmark Trust. Retrace your steps back through fields, past cottages to the Tarmac lane and turn left continuing our main route. Pass the NT Middle Hope sign and carry on following a deep ditch/rhyne on your left, and reaching a small car parking area. 6. SLUICE AND PILL Here there has been extensive work on the rhynes and the pill, where the River Banwell flows into the Severn Estuary. This is part of the plan to create a footpath which will be part of the round Britain Coastal Path. At the beginning of the car park, go left up a concrete ramp


OS Explorer map, Weston-super-Mare & Bleadon Hill, grid ref: 331645; car park postcode BS22 9UD 4.5 miles, about 2-3 hours walking.

and continue along the bottom, under trees and through a gate. In the field follow the right fence straight on with the priory over left. Continue on across the next field, through a kissing gate. Turn left following the hedge. Pass the priory over on your left and now just carry on through this NT land of Middle Hope, crossing a farm track on the way.

7. MIDDLE HOPE Middle Hope has unusual geological features in the exposed limestone including a Pleistocene-aged fossil cliff and as a result has been designated as a regionally important geological site. It supports scarce plants such as the smallflower buttercup, honewort, Cheddar pink and Somerset hair grass. Stay up and carry on along this grassy headland with wonderful views and soon come close to the edge and reach the first rocky beach. Stay up above it and carry on, picking up a track, going through a gate and coming to another, more accessible beach. Carry on to a gate ahead, with a ladder stile to the right. Cross and continue on. When the track visibly forks, stay to the right. Eventually reach another gate ahead, where you can see Sand Bay down left. Carry on. Soon you can see a concrete trig point ahead. If you want to you can extend the walk by taking a detour ahead out to the end of rocky Sand Point. A line drawn between Sand Point and Lavernock Point in South Wales marks the lower limit of

the Severn Estuary and the start of the Bristol Channel.

8. STONY TRACK To continue our main route don’t go as far as the trig but fork left and reach a stony track. Turn left downhill, then through a gate and descend down steps.

9. NT CAR PARK Here ahead is the tree-shaded National Trust car park, an alternative start. Immediately at the foot of the steps, go to the right end of the low wall towards the estuary and then turn left. This takes you along the back of the bay, paralleling the lane. Pass one or two pillboxes set back and then pass one which has subsided. Later, notice a sign “Danger, sand and mud”. Carry on along the back of the sand beach, with a line of bungalows left. Pass a 30 mph sign and a seat with a footpath sign behind it pointing left. This takes you across the road and to Sand Farm Lane. If you started at the NT car park you need to go down here and follow from 1. SAND FARM. Otherwise just carry on along the back of the beach to the kiosk and car park, passing Sand Bay tea room. At low tide wave-cut platforms on the beaches are visible which have been created by changes in sea level of the Bristol Channel since the Quaternary period. l Woodspring Priory, contact the Landmark Trust for opening times of the museum, 01628 825925.


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West Countryman’s diary

IT’S holiday time for many, especially the schools – doesn’t everyone remember summer holidays? With the value of hindsight that will inevitably be influenced by nostalgia, we can all go back to those long summer days without homework, lessons and the routine that a school day With LES brought. DAVIES MBE The origin of the school summer holiday seems to be rooted in the agricultural and possibly industrial past of the Victorian period. Help was needed by the family to bring in the harvest and carry out other tasks. The school day of 9am until 3.30pm also reflects this Victorian domestic need. No this is not going to be a discussion on the merits, or otherwise of the school holiday system. Instead this is part reflection and part suggestion in a working family world that has changed quite dramatically even within my lifetime. Summer days that were so hot, the tar on the roads would melt. We would spend all day outside, apart from returning home for a midday meal which in those days was the main meal of the day. Then it was back out again until tea time. After tea out again before being called in around 9.30pm and packed off to bed whilst it was still light! Mobile phones had not even been thought of and tablets were something you took when you were ill. In my case however, they were also taken for travel sickness. Crushed between two dessert spoons and covered in jam, they were administered before embarking on a major expedition by bus and train to Weston-super-Mare for the day. I was lucky in that I had the run of 250 acres of fields and woodland, where together with Bob Mc Ewen-Smith, his two sisters Elizabeth and Elaine and Sweep the collie dog (possibly the original Famous Five) we filled our younger days with fun and imagination. There were Sunday afternoon walks with my mother and not a single worry about the dreaded Monday morning feeling of going back to school. Afternoons of sitting on the slopes of the Steep Ground, Lower Breech or the Home Ground to look at clouds and see what faces or shapes could be found within them. If I was really lucky there would be a picnic! Nothing too elaborate, but even bread and butter seemed to taste so much better in the fields. My mother told me that as a child, my grandmother would have to feed her and her brother before taking my grandfather’s breakfast (cooked mind you and between two plates) to him in the field because they would help eat most of it – something he would never refuse them of course. There was also the work element required from us youngsters. As soon as we were big enough we were “rolling in” hay bales to the men pitching them onto the trailer with two pronged “picks”. Helping to “tile up” bales that would not be loaded until the following day. These were made of six bales. The first was laid edge ways on the ground and four others leant up against it, two on each side. Knots of the strings had to be at the bottom because the way the hay was packed by the baler allowed the water to run off. Finally the sixth bale was laid lengthways in the

notch at the top. I doubt this system will be seen today, because even small bales would be blocked in piles of six or even seven for loading by a “clamp” attachment that use to be known by the trade name of the Perry Loader. A ride home on top of the load was always a treat. Everything roped on tightly and at least six or seven layings high on the trailer. We could look down from upon high and if coming back from the moor grounds there were a few plum trees stretched out over Moor Lane in Tickenham. These would “donate” several of their big juicy Victoria Plums to us for consumption on the way home. We would ride past gardens where people sat or worked; we looked behind hedgerows where cattle lay or grazed. Past the Star Inn where others sat and drank in the garden, then up the hill to Stone Edge Batch. On further past Well House Farm and up the Failand road, it was indeed a great adventure! There was also a very important role to be played by those on top of the load and that was to indicate a left turn to any (if any) following traffic, as the tractor moved to the right hand side of the road in order to get into the farm gateway – we were back home! Farms today are so much different to this. Machinery is bigger, riding on loads is now banned and the world has moved on. There is however still a place for relaxation in the countryside, a place for quiet reflection and place for children to play albeit close to hand and supervised. The picnic can still be part of a bigger adventure where the worries and pressures of everyday life can be left behind for a time at least! The landscape can still provide relaxation and even inspiration. Each day can bring something new, something different to see, if you have the eyes to look and the time to care. A recent evening trip with Blagdon Brownies on Burrington Ham did just that. From mini-shelter building to estimating the age and height of a tree, they all threw themselves into it and we had a wonderful time! This month’s photo is that of the Brownies getting to grips with measuring the height of a tree. By bending down and looking between your legs, you shuffle forward until the top of the tree is just seen. You are then looking at about 45 degrees and have created a right-angle triangle. The height of the tree is now the same as the distance between you and the tree! Trigonometry and great fun if you can bend that far. A little more practice required here though – thank you Brownies!

You can always contact me through my website:


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Valley Fest 2019

We’ve been thrilled with the response to Valley Fest 2019 which is very nearly upon us! Tickets have been snapped-up at an incredible rate, so a huge “thank you” to those who’ve bagged theirs. If you haven’t and want to come – hurry – you might just be able to nab one of the final few that are remaining. Please don’t hang around though! It’s going to be an absolute corker this year. We’ve got some big-name headliners, who you’ll all recognise. There’s Basement Jaxx starting the party on Friday night, the mighty Razorlight taking to the main stage on Saturday and the sublime Tom Odell rounding things off in style on Sunday. With the Ultimate Elton & the Rocket Band (awesome tribute act) on the line-up on the Sunday, the fancy dress theme is, naturally, Elton John! Join in the fun and come dressed as the great man. As you’d expect from best-tasting music festival in the South West, there will be more delicious organic, local food on offer than you can shake a stick at. Josh Eggleton from the Pony & Trap will be joining us, along with our

very own Paul Collins from the Yeo Valley Canteen. Take my advice and come hungry. And we’re raising money and awareness for two fab charities – the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Nicholas Branston Foundation. It’s all happening on August 2nd-4th.

Can’t wait to see you there!


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Roses, roses, roses . . . what a year

ROSES have put on a magnificent show this year in all their shapes and sizes. The very double blooms of some of the old fashioned and new English roses suffered in the monsoon rains in June turning the blossoms into balls of mould, but they have recovered well. With MARY Dead heading is important to encourage PAYNE MBE a second flush. Remove the faded blooms, cutting down to a leaf that has five leaflets is recommended. The same method is used for climbing roses. I am often asked what the difference between a climbing and a rambling rose is. Climbing roses are simply more vigorous forms of traditional bush roses and these all flower on current season’s growth. A rambling rose makes long growths one year and flowers on laterals produced from these long growths the next year. Look carefully at the thorns on a rambling rose, compared to others, and you will notice that those on the rambler point distinctly downwards, resembling a cat’s claws, such that the stems can cling onto twigs or bark for their support. The thorns on other roses tend to be straighter as they have no need to climb to great heights. Indeed, a climbing rose has no means of self-support and needs to be trained and tied onto its support structure. Rambling roses have also performed well this year and those growing into trees can be left to their own devices. There is no need to prune, indeed it is virtually impossible to pull out anything that is pruned off due to the “claw-like thorns” digging in. Those growing on walls can be pruned as soon as the flowers fade, as the vast majority of rambling roses only flower once. If your plant has produced adequate new growth, then the entire shoot that bore flowers this year can be removed and the new growth tied in. Do not tie the shoot so that they are growing vertically. Instead, train them at an angle as this will encourage more side shoots that will bear the flowers next year. If there are insufficient new long growths, then simply dead head the flower clusters but cut harder back to the main shoot leaving only a couple of inches. A repeat flowered rambler that I can strongly recommend is the soft yellow flowered Malvern Hills. Roses do best on a heavy soil, thriving on clay soils which are naturally rich in nutrients, so it is well worth feeding roses in the spring and again now to encourage a second flush of flowers. Proprietary rose fertilisers are rich in potash, which encourages flowers, but also contain nitrogen for growth and phosphorus for good root growth. A mulch of garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure will also help if applied in the spring and again in the autumn. The beauty of climbing roses can be enhanced by planting another climber for a different season, but it is important to ensure that the additional climber is not too vigorous for the rose. Clematis and roses are an ideal combination, but I always advise using a late flowering variety that can be hard pruned in late winter, prior to pruning the roses in late PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

Rose 'Bonica' Clematis 'Arabella'

February. Look out for varieties that belong to Group 3 (Hard Prune) and note the expected height. The pink flowered Alionushka would look good through a white or pale pink climbing rose, while the blue blooms of Arabella would grace any colour. Even shrub roses can have a partner clematis of appropriate vigour. Try the white Julianne or pale blue Cezanne through your favourite red rose, both are three-four feet high. Roses do not have very elegant ankles so what can be grown as ground cover between them? Viola cornuta comes in white and shades of blue works well. Cut them back after the first flush, and they will soon bloom again. Low growing hardy geraniums, such as magenta Dilys or the pale pink G. sanguineum Striatum are also ideal. I would avoid the fabulous Rozanne, now so deservedly popular, as she is rather over enthusiastic and may try to outshine the roses. Dianthus (pinks) make a perfect edging to rosebeds. Their silvery grey foliage making an evergreen border for winter interest. When planted en-masse their heady clove perfume will be much appreciated. The much-loved white Mrs Sinkins has now been superseded by an equally strongly perfumed Memories with flowers a little less shaggy. Roses could never be claimed to be a labour-saving plant but require considerable tender loving care and pruning to give of their best and those who know me are well aware of my reluctance to use them in client’s gardens, unless I know they will be well cared for. But I must admit that this year there have been some stunning displays. There are far too many varieties to choose from and we all have our favourites, mine being the soft pink Bonica. For all you rose enthusiasts: “Have you ever looked at the calyx (green bits surrounding the bud)?” A Dominican friar, Albertus Magnus (circa 1200–1280) wrote in Latin about “The Five Brethren” which when translated by E.A Bowles reads as follows: On a summer’s day, in sultry weather, five brethren were born together. Two had beards and two had none, and the other had but half a one. Now look at the calyx of a rose and you will find there are five parts – two have deeply serrated edges, two have smooth edges and the last is smooth on one side and serrated on the other!

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• Take cuttings of fuchsias, pelargoniums and other tender plants now • Dead flowers, and a little bit of the stem below, should be trimmed off lavenders now • Roses tend to succumb to attack from blackspot, mildew and rust at this end of the summer and you must not let down your guard against these diseases! • Prune wisteria and any climbing and rambling roses now • Plant hydrangeas, snowdrop bulbs and, autumn flowering crocuses now • Take cuttings of border pinks (Dianthus) this month. • Look out for pests on cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts and other brassicas • Fill spaces in the veg patch by sowing quick maturing items such as turnips • Sow seed of autumn onion (sometimes called Japanese onion) now for the earliest crop of next year • Keep picking runner beans and courgettes regularly. Both can be used to make excellent chutney or can be given to neighbours and friends • Dig up your potatoes, dry and store undamaged tubers in a dark frost-free place for winter • Plant strawberry runners. Those planted now will produce the earliest crops next year • Let the grass on your lawn grow longer. This is not an excuse to mothball the mower until next spring but it is a good ploy to help it get through dry periods

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Club celebrates

Young gardeners plant for the future

MID-Somerset Flower Club celebrated the club's emerald anniversary (55 years) with a trip to Kilver Court Garden, Shepton Mallet followed by afternoon tea. They meet on the second Wednesday of each month at Evercreech Village Hall, 2pm, apart from July and August when they organise events. The club welcomes new members. Details: Margaret Elliot, secretary, 01749 830209

STANTON Drew primary school's gardening club is continuing to flourish as children pop over to Stanton Court after school to spend an hour or so hoeing, digging, sowing seeds and generally tidying up their allotment. Penny Cross, who helps out, will look after what is left on the plot during the school holidays, with any produce being taken to the community café to be sold to help with expenses for next year's club.


Perfect Pave, based on the Valley Line industrial estate, in Cheddar, has built an enviable reputation over the last 16 years for the quality of its work installing block paving and other landscaping products. Now founders Alex Howley and Simon Bethell have set up a new service run by James Starmer supplying these products to both the trade and public, as well as continuing to expand their installation team. e company now has contracts all over the South West and offers a wide choice of projects. Now supplying – as well as installing – landscaping products to the commercial and domestic trade Wider range and cheaper prices than builders’ merchants or garden centres

Showroom open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri 8am-12noon Sat PAGE 64 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

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Babbs Farm, Highbridge



MASBURY, NR. WELLS, SOMERSET BA5 3HA TEL: 01749 841014 FAX: 01749 841055

COME & SEE OUR FINE RANGE OF FRUIT TREES, SHRUBS, GERANIUMS & FUCHSIAS SINCE moving in 1990 to their three windswept acres of thick limey clay on the Somerset Levels, Sue and Richard O’Brien have gradually created a garden in the three-quarter acre nearest the house, a haven for themselves and a variety of wildlife. Through extensive soil conditioning with manure and grit they now have several interconnected formal and informal areas, for plants with diverse requirements. A conservatory of shade-loving tender plants looks onto the south facing patio and round lawn, a sanctuary sheltered on three sides and featuring large structural shrubs (golden dogwood, Cercis, tree paeony, golden philadelphus, Choisya) closely under-planted with herbaceous perennials. The more formal round pond has sun-lovers on the house side, and Rodgersias and Rheums in the damp shade under the willow. Through an arch in the privet hedge is the formal box garden. There’s also a woodland bed and their latest project (still in development), a wildlife pond and bog garden. NGS opening details: Sunday August 25th and Monday, 26th, 2–5pm. Admission: £5, children free. Contact Information: Sue and Richard O'Brien, Address and Postcode: Westhill Lane, Bason Bridge, Highbridge TA9 4RF. OTHER GARDENS OPEN FOR THE NGS. To see more gardens open for the NGS, see The Yellow Book, or Local County Leaflet, available from local Garden Centres, or go to:


Serving breakfast, lunch & afternoon tea Delicious homemade meals. Sunday Roasts, Outside catering, buffet lunches delivered, themed cuisine events. Telephone 01749 841155 for further details.



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Festival celebrates the folk world

Some of the festival team at the end of another successful weekend A session at the Queen Vic

PRIDDY Folk Festival lived up to its reputation for showcasing established performers on the festival circuit as well as introducing new names to a wider audience. The festival is also an important fundraiser to promote music and the arts in the area and help organisations such as the village school and Mendip Cave Rescue.

Aileen Gobbi from the dynamic all-female Kinnaris Quintet

Priddy Rising on stage

Steve Henderson, from Glastonbury and Polly Carroll from Wookey

Miranda Sykes before her set in front of a packed village church crowd PAGE 66 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

Some of the Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra on stage in Swildon’s

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The Avalonian Free State Choir, from Glastonbury, after their hugely-popular performance in the Fringe Tent


Step dancing returns

THE tradition of Mendip step dancing competitions was revived at the festival

The Priddy Handkerchief Competition


Priddy School choir

Priddy 100 on the green

with a series of demonstrations of different styles and have-a-go sessions. Led by Crewkerne-based SomerStep, the sessions revived memories of step dancing for Sue Bown, whose parents Ivor and Mary Williams used to run the Red Lion at Green Ore – now The Ploughboy – in the early 1960s. Sue, of Chewton Mendip, recalled: “One of our customers Harry – known as Har – Webb from Wells was, after a pint or several, keen to display his prowess at step dancing using tin trays from behind the bar! The tray suppliers at the brewery were intrigued by the fact that new trays had to be ordered on a frequent basis, as one session of Har’s enthusiastic dance display in his hobnailed boots soon rendered them useless.” l Readers may be interested to know that although Ivor passed away in 2000, Mary still lives in the area and will reach the grand age of 100 later this year.

Dancing to Dallahan – the Sunday afternoon headliners in Swildon’s

Matt Norman demonstrates the Dartmoor stepping style


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Learning through play

NEXT Steps Childcare at the Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet believes that early childhood is a foundation on which children build the rest of their lives and to that end have adopted the Reggio Emilia Approach to children’s learning and education. This is based on the belief that children are competent, intelligent and curious social human beings and that their ideas and thoughts are sometimes lost in a teacher-led classroom environment. Beside developing communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world, expressive arts and design, they also have a Forest School (with a beautiful duck pond on site) and use Boogie Bears Music & Drama to encourage creativity and a desire for learning. Next Steps employ Early Years educators who are passionate, creative thinkers, who can implement this child-led curriculum. Using natural materials, they encourage the child to explore the world around them and make discoveries though play, rather than telling them how it should be done.

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Project wins award for encouraging girls into science

OVER 200 students from 12 schools converged on Churchill Academy & Sixth Form for the 11th Skirting Science event – a day of hands-on workshops to inspire girls to think positively about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The initiative organised by Soroptimist International of Weston-super-Mare, aims to combat the inequality within the STEM industries by engaging girls early and opening their eyes to the huge opportunities these careers can provide. The UK still has the lowest proportion of women engineers in Europe. Ruth Thomas, former

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president of Weston Soroptimists and instigator of Skirting Science, said: “We are proud to have started this event ten years ago, and hope to inspire girls to take up science by showing them how varied and interesting their lives could be in STEM careers.” During the event, Johnnie Halliday, High Sheriff of Somerset, presented the group with an award for “great and valuable service to the community” in recognition of their Skirting Science project. He said: “It was a great pleasure and an honour for me to present you all with a thoroughly deserved award for your innovative Skirting Science project and for all you do to show the potential of STEM opportunities for young women in North Somerset.” Melanie David, president of Soroptimist International of Weston-super-Mare, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award for Skirting Science. We are passionately committed to getting over the message to girls that science is exciting and an integral part of the way we live and that they should be getting involved too.”

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Wells offers cricket and culture IN the first three weeks of the Trinity term, Wells Cathedral School was delighted to welcome and host talented young cricketer, 16-year-old Sahil Jadhav, who plays for the junior Mumbai team, is a member of the prestigious Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket Academy in Mumbai, and was named as one of the most promising U-14 cricketers in India. Sahil was selected by Cricket Beyond Boundaries, a global sports initiative, that uses cricket as a vehicle to transform lives and provide opportunities to young Indian cricketers to travel to the UK to spend time in leading schools and develop their cricket. Sahil is one of only 20 young cricketers to have been selected for this initiative since its inception in 2011. Sahil, an incredibly talented batsman was welcomed into De Salis, one of the school’s boys’ boarding houses, by the Wells pupils during his stay, where he was immersed in a bespoke programme of cricket coaching, strength and conditioning training, sports psychology and matches for the First XI cricket team,

as well as time spent working on his English and an introduction to British culture. The Wells boys embraced the opportunity to introduce Sahil to life in Somerset, including several meals out at the local Indian, Rajah! Sahil played for the First XI cricket team extensively during the school’s annual cricket week – a seven-day-long festival celebrating the sport – opening the batting, scoring an excellent 100 against the MCC in the inaugural fixture of the celebratory week, and clinching the man-of-the-match award. MCC treasurer Tony Elgood, was impressed by Sahil's batting: “Sahil's century for Wells Cathedral School against MCC is the most impressive innings I have witnessed from someone so young.” Director of sport, Tom Webley, a former Somerset county cricketer and ECB Level 4 coach, said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege for us to welcome Sahil to Wells during the summer term.


“He is an outstanding batsman and real team player, and it has been heartwarming to witness the way in which the Wells boys have embraced his arrival and integrated him with such ease into the team. “It has been great for us to be able to introduce Sahil to the glorious countryside of Somerset and the beauty of our lovely and historic market town of Wells. I know the boys have particularly enjoyed taking him along to the local Indian restaurant in the town centre, as well as spending time chilling out with social media in the boarding house!”


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One of the region’s top performing schools THE Kings of Wessex Academy, one of the top-performing 13-18 years schools in the South West, strives to provide a firstclass education for all. We have a dedicated team of staff who work hard to inspire our students to be the best that they can be and to stand out from the crowd. We have high expectations and work hard to provide all our students with the opportunities and support needed to enable them to achieve their full potential. Kings is an exciting place to learn with great teachers, superb


facilities, a wide range of subject choices and a programme of exciting enrichment activities. Exam results are consistently high yearon-year, with students making outstanding progress at both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Sixth Form successfully gain places at top universities and higherlevel apprenticeships. Accolades and league tables are important, but there's more to Kings than percentages and statistics. We believe in every child and have high expectations regardless of their background. Our dedicated welfare team support the “whole” child to achieve, and our employability team ensure every student aspires for the future and develops skills to succeed in their chosen career. Kings is very much a community school within the heart of the beautiful Cheddar Valley, as the Upper School of the family of 12 First and Middle Schools. We are part of the Wessex Learning Trust that strives to offer a world class, 21st century education for all young people between the ages of two

and 18. By providing outstanding welfare support and learning opportunities and creating centres of educational excellence that meet the needs of every child. If you would like to come and visit our Academy, then please do contact us. We are always delighted to welcome visitors and tell you more about our work. Believe and succeed!

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Stonemason takes on the world BATH College apprentice, Ethan Conlon, has been travelling around the world preparing to demonstrate his stonemasonry skills against the world's best. He will compete with finalists from 60 countries at WorldSkills 2019 in Kazan in Russia next month. The 18-year-old will compete in the architectural stonemasonry category after triumphing over stonemasons from across the country earlier this year. Ethan, who studies at Bath College and is also an apprentice with APS Stonemasonry in Oxford, was selected for the college's shortlist for WorldSkills back in early 2018 after impressing lecturers with his natural ability and commitment. He was invited to compete for a place in Team UK for WorldSkills Kazan 2019 after excelling in the WorldSkills UK national competitions. After taking part in a four-day competition, he was chosen to join Team UK. He received ten weeks of

specialist training and is now off to Kazan as Team UK's only stonemason in the squad of 30. Joe Leber, stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College said: “We are delighted that Ethan is off to compete in Kazan 2019, we are very proud of him and wish him the very best of luck! He is a fantastic young mason.” Ahead of the competition, which takes place from August 22nd – 27th, the teenager has built up his experience by travelling to competitions in Russia and Brazil for final preparation. WorldSkills UK is responsible for selecting, developing and training the team for the WorldSkills competition. A partnership between business, education and governments, WorldSkills UK runs skills competitions for thousands of young people every year in key economic skill areas, boosting the technical skills, mindset and employability skills of young people. Details:


Ethan Conlon


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Stanton Drew Flower Show


Compton Dando Village Fete

Stanton Drew WI members Tombola stall, Kelly Swann with (l to r) Ellie, Ruby and Lily

Paul Wigzel took his pygmy goat for a walk

Clarice and Florence point out their brother Harry's prizewinning entry for children's artwork


Mary Payne with some of the flowers on display

Liv having her face painted by Helen Curley

Sweets tombola (l to r) Maisie, Simone Wall and Mabel Prescott

Reader's Opinion DPS.qxp_Layout 1 18/07/2019 13:57 Page 1

Dear Mendip Times, We are writing to say that as much as we enjoy the Mendip Times and read it from front to back, we have to say that we are disappointed and annoyed that Dr Phil Hammond appears to be using his column in the magazine as a political platform. We are all aware that the NHS is in crisis and we would have thought that it would be more beneficial for him to give information and educational advice on how we can care for ourselves and others to try and reduce the NHS resources by not clogging up GP and hospital waiting rooms with minor ailments and not take up his column talking about launching his campaign to become Health Secretary and constantly push his personal views on Brexit! Your other contributors don’t use their columns for anything other than what is listed, Chris Sperring’s column is about wildlife, Les Davies talks about the countryside and so on. Yours sincerely, H. Pring Dear Mendip Times, The full page letter by Melanie Greenwood of Wrington regarding Bristol Airport is the most ridiculous nonsense I have read in a long while. Since the runway was extended around 50 years ago (1969-1971) the airport has slowly but steadily gone from strength to strength. There were a few recessions around the Court Line and Dan Air years, but things went on regardless. The new/current terminal was built at around the year 2000. A steady increase in the availability of flight destinations from our local airport has saved multi-millions of passengers from taking rather lengthy and very polluting surface transport journeys by car/coach/train to the other distant airports in order to reach their destinations. In turn, this has had a very much increased employment level being based at Bristol Airport. Hopefully, the airport will continue with their progressive expansion programme. It’s up to those who cannot, or simply will not, find the

The airport's new admin block


ability to cope with progress to “stop whinging and move to other areas”. The airport is not going to be moved! Have these “people” ever considered, or borne in mind, the thousands of large shipping vessels in and around British waters at any one given time? Meanwhile, the world is NOT going to stop for these “people”, however much they protest! Steven Eyles Somerset

Dear Mendip Times, I was impressed to read Phil Hammond's article in the recent edition of Mendip Times. Impressed by your editorial decision to publish it and by his uncompromising stance against the former Foreign Secretary. With a readership who, I am assuming, is predominantly Conservative it was a brave move on your part and his, and one that needed to be taken, particularly because of the nature of your readership. If I have a criticism, I would only want to add to Dr. Hammond's article, the point that Mr Johnson was a disaster as Foreign Secretary, not just for his lazy failure to read his brief in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, but in his repeated disregard for the sensitivities of his host countries. Sarah Bartlett, Long Ashton (See Health page 82). Dear Mendip Times, A YouGov poll paid for by Bristol Airport claims a “silent majority” of North Somerset residents backs controversial Bristol Airport expansion plans. The online poll states 73 per cent of regional residents back proposals to expand the airport to handle up to 12 million passengers in the mid-2020s and increase to an eventual 20 million. This is a laughable poll, paid for by the airport, so of course it is going to find people backing their proposals. Only 271 adults were asked. How is this the “silent majority” in our district? Thousands of ordinary locals across the region have objected to these expansion plans. Airport bosses must be rattled and they are desperate to push their plans through. The expansion would mean 97, 373 aircraft movements in a 12-month calendar period; a flight almost every three minutes and an average of 9,500 extra vehicle movements every day. If this happens and permanent airspace change proposals are agreed, a greater number of communities right across Somerset and Bristol will be flown over by thousands more planes and millions more cars will pour through the region, affecting wide areas of the South West. A recent landmark UK study showed that exposure to air pollution is linked to the stunting of babies’ brain growth during pregnancy. Bristol Airport, is owned and run by the Canadian-based Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The Advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently stated the UK's planned increase in aviation needs to be curbed to restrict harmful CO2 levels which contribute to global warming. Jill Rawlins Wrington Parish Council chairman


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The many attractions of caving

A COMMON reaction from people who learn that I am a caver is ”Oh, I couldn’t do that, you must be mad, crawling down tight With PHILIP wet muddy holes, not HENDY knowing what you might find”. Yet that is precisely why so many of us take up the sport. The main reason is, of course, adventure, and in this life beset with rules and regulations, with the Elf ’n’ Safety jobsworths hovering over us, being underground allows us to shake off the shackles and become free to explore the unknown. It must be admitted that caving can be hazardous, though less so than many other popular pastimes such as rugby and horse riding. We joke that we always do a risk assessment and, if there isn’t one, we don’t go, but in reality, awareness of hazards allows us to take precautions against them. For many, the humiliation of being rescued after an accident underground would be worse than the injury. Because caves are inaccessible to most, they maintain a mystery, although few if any still believe that they are the gateways to Hell, populated with unimaginable demons and horrors. Their very remoteness is an incentive for many to explore them. Shatter Cave. Tor Chamber


Shatter Cave, End of Ring Road

True, many caves (most on Mendip) are tight, wet and muddy, but this in itself can be an attraction, using one’s skills and experience to negotiate these obstacles with the minimum of discomfort. Skills such as climbing wire ladders or diving through flooded tunnels can only be perfected underground, and the rules of rock-climbing are much less strict down a cave than on a mountainside. Climbing up or down vertical shafts using a single rope and various descendeurs and jammers is a technique sometimes used in mountaineering, but in a cave, it is a pastime in its own right and often the only means of reaching the lower depths. Many experienced cavers, having had their fill of exploring known caves, will

begin to dig and search for new caves or extensions to known ones. Occasionally, there is the thrill of discovery and the chance to be the first to explore where “the hand of Man has never set foot”. How many mountains have yet to be climbed? Only the depths of the ocean and caves offer the opportunity for making real discoveries on Earth. Yet the first time we visit any cave, particularly if it is new to every member of the group, is an adventure of discovery and exploration. Any significant cave will have been surveyed and examined in detail, but even with a survey in hand, a party visiting it for the first time will sometimes struggle to find their may through the labyrinth, while taking in their first view of whatever features and formations the cave has to offer. One of the great attractions for cavers is the opportunity to see and admire the calcite formations which only grow underground. In some caves multicoloured curtains vie with long pointed stalactites and squat stalagmites, while the walls may be covered with glittering flowstone. Here and there the grotesquely twisted and branching formations known as helictites may be seen, while crystal pools, sometimes with water-lily formations can cover the floor, putting a stop to further progress. Some pools contain loose spherical pieces of calcite, known as cave pearls. Even the mud can be interesting, where it is dry and cracked, or when small stones limit erosion, leaving small stonecapped pillars of mud.

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Shatter Cave. Diesel Chamber

Shatter Cave

W/L Cave. Pool Passage

Phil has been caving for more than 50 years and is a member of the Wessex Cave Club. He has been involved in producing several caving publications and until his retirement was a caving instructor at Cheddar. His main interest is digging for new caves MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 75

(Photography by Phil Hendy)

After a period exploring various caves, some speleologists maintain their interest by practising other skills, or by learning more about how a particular cave was formed. Geologists, biologists, hydrologists and others study caves in detail, while for some, the challenge is to take better and better photographs of the cave passages, formations, and cavers in action – sometimes all together. Even when we are unable to endure the rigours of underground exploration any more, we can keep in touch by researching the history of caves and cavers, or by getting into cave administration, with a club or regional or national body. So, how do you start caving? Most of us start young, either with a youth group such as the Scouts, or with a school club, though due to regulations, these are few and far between. One exception is the local Sidcot School Speleological Society, which ceased to exist after a long and proud tradition of discovery and exploration. It has recently been re-formed and we look forward to them maintaining their traditions. For organisations unable for whatever reason to run their own caving trips, there are several commercial bodies licensed to introduce youngsters to caving, and such groups can often be seen setting off for Goatchurch Cavern and Sidcot Swallet from the Rock of Ages car park in Burrington Coombe. If the caving bug has bitten, the next step would be to join a local caving club, though this is not straightforward due to the duties of care and protection which anyone taking a minor underground must adhere to. Fortunately, there are Mendip clubs which can help in this respect. It used to happen that youngsters would be allowed to join a caving club on their own initiative. One of the older members would take responsibility and make sure that they learnt the sport safely and responsibly. Age or social status mean little to cavers, the hierarchy of respect is based on caving ability. Many who started caving this way in the 1950s and 60s became experts and well-known to the wider caving community. Although the sport has become more and more regulated, it remains popular, and there seems to be a constant supply of madmen keen to take it up.


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Trust, professionalism and expertise A PROJECT to upgrade the grounds around a house and busy stable yard near Bath is being hailed as a testament to the ethos behind Northavon Residential Surfacing. Over the course of a three-day period, a six-strong team from Northavon – led by project manager Ben sperring – laid 580 tonnes of material over a 2,500 square metre area, with the help of some sophisticated automated machinery. Northavon’s mantra is Trust, Professionalism and Expertise, not just in terms of the installation but in winning a clientdriven competitive contract following an enquiry by the client. The process began with site meetings (also during and postcompletion) as well as: • Appointment of project manager and expert team

The driveway to the main accommodation has been transformed


• Project scoping, planning, materials order and scheduling • Team induction and briefing • H&S checks and risk assessments • Continuous programme monitoring • Sign off A spokesman for Northavon Residential Surfacing, based at The Bath Business Park at Peasedown St John, said: “The project drivers were: timely delivery, minimum disruption, quality and value.” Those same values are matched whatever the project by the specialists in surfacing, groundworks and landscaping, whether it is a beautifully installed driveway or Multi Use Games Area.

A fresh new look for the yard

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Are we seeing a Brexit “relief rally” in the housing market? Tom Killen looks at what is going on in the housing market

IN the spring, Rightmove predicted that the Brexit delay was likely to boost confidence in the housing market as there would be “a window of relative certainty in uncertain times” whilst others, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, gave a downbeat assessment predicting house prices would fall nationally throughout 2019. Whilst at Killens, we are proud to be members of the RICS, it does seem that Rightmove may have got it right. Whilst we are not seeing a surge in activity leading to rapidly increasing house prices, we seem to have seen a wave of relief that has led to the release of some pent-up demand with buyers taking advantage of static property values and competitive mortgage offers. Whilst summer tends to be a quieter time of the year for selling property, the number of viewings taking place has remained robust, particularly from quality viewers in a position to buy and sales are being agreed, quite readily in many cases. A shortage of supply has helped to maintain values and whilst vendors

may be tempted to increase asking prices, the “rally” probably isn’t strong enough to lead to values increasing and the market remains price sensitive. By the time that you read this, we will have a new Prime Minister and we will have to wait and see what policy announcements flow and what impacts these will have on the market. It is certainly the case that Brexit – and, in particular, the resulting uncertainty – has had an impact on the property market since 2016 and hopefully these uncertainties will be removed over the next few months allowing those seeking to sell and buy to plan for their futures. Much depends upon how the new PM will handle matters and whether a cliff edge can be avoided. If not, then anything could happen to the housing market! In the meantime, it is good to see many simply realising that they cannot wait for Brexit and getting on with their lives. If you are considering selling and are anxious on how to proceed then do contact any office of Killens to arrange a free appraisal of your property. As part of the local community, we pride ourselves on offering honest advice that you can trust. Contact our Wells office on 01749 671172 or our Chew Magna office on 01275 333993.



What can we do to help them?

A POWERFUL new play is to be staged in Baltonsborough in August to highlight how young people can be failed by the care system. “Whatever” is described as a piece of original physical theatre which will be performed by the Baltonsborough Players, a group of people of all ages from the village more used to acting in lighter-hearted productions. The play will also feature original live music. Initial rehearsals have begun for Whatever, written by Sue Peto, who lives in Baltonsborough, and directed by Pep Gudiño. The play tells the story of a young girl called Anuka, her dysfunctional home life and journey through the care system. It was inspired partly by Sue’s insights into the care system through her husband Robert’s work with PROMISEworks, a mentoring charity working largely in Somerset for vulnerable young people. Sue said: “The children are looking for a responsible adult in their lives; we’re asking ‘what can we do to help them?’.”


A young Anuka (played by Lilah Hibbert) is shut out by her foster family

Teenage Anuka (played by Kim Llewellyn) is bullied by fellow students

Well-meaning but patronising care workers encircle Anuka with advice

Members of the PROMISEworks team will be attending the performances and will be available to discuss the issues raised by Whatever. PROMISEworks is urgently seeking new mentors to cope with demand for their services. They currently have almost 50 young people on their waiting list. The Baltonsborough Players will be rehearsing in full in August. The performance dates are Friday, August 30th and Saturday, August 31st at 7.30pm at The Stalls at Tilham Farm.

Tickets cost £10 for adults/£5 children and are available from or by calling 01458 850281. For details about PROMISEworks, visit

Choir recruiting

CHEDDAR Male Choir are looking for new members and are holding two taster evenings in Wells on Tuesday, August 27th and Tuesday, September 3rd at St. Thomas church hall, 7.30-9.30pm. They say go along and listen or join in just so you can see how much fun it is to sing in the choir. If you are unsure then don’t be there’s no pressure to join. Why not take a friend or group of friends as well? PAGE 78 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

Wrington’s young talent

IS this the area’s youngest band? The Electronotes, six boys all aged 11, played at Wrington Primary School PTA’s annual summer fete. They had written their own original music and produced it themselves. Watch out Glastonbury! They are Ben Roscoe, Ethan Leggett, Harry Burrows, Barnaby Reid, Jude Toogood and Finley Riches.

(Photo courtesy of Louis Smith)

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Brimar Rally raises thousands for hospice


Emma Parker received the cheque on behalf of CHSW from lions president-elect Glynn Hill and fellow lions, Mark Kenyon, Paul Pollock, Peter Groves and David Gwynne

A CHEQUE for £5,000 raised at this year’s Clevedon Lions Brimar Rally has been presented to Childrens Hospice South West. More than 200 classic cars along with motorbikes, lorries and even a charabanc, took part in the event. Plans have already begun for next year’s rally. A spokesperson for the lions club said: “Thank you to all those who exhibited and attended and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

Roads to be recycled

BUSY Portishead roads are set to close for resurfacing work that will include using a specialist recycling technique. The B3124 (Clevedon Road, Bristol Road and High Street) will see a damaged carriageway restored by recycling and reusing the existing construction materials to build a new surface, during a four-week closure from Monday, July 29th. The state-of-the-art recycling process being used means the road is effectively dug up, recycled, and re-laid, giving a new surface with the same strength and life expectancy as one traditionally designed and constructed. Full details of the diversion route can be found at

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The bureaucracy that stops young Max getting treatment

IMAGINE your child has a very rare, disabling and fatal genetic disorder. Imagine a drug has been invented that trials show could dramatically improve his or her quality of life. Imagine 11 other children in the UK being given the drug. Imagine your child being excluded whilst the government, NHS and By Dr PHIL company fight it out over the price. drug HAMMOND Welcome to the world of the brave and determined Sewart family from East Harptree and their wonderful son Max. Max has Batten disease, a form of childhood dementia, and the drug he needs is Brineura, made by a company called BioMarin, whose chief executive earned $15.6 million last year. It’s easy, and partially correct, to challenge drug companies about the exorbitant costs of their products (Brineura costs £500,000 per year’s treatment). But not many drug companies want to invest in trying to cure or curtail rare diseases when the market is small, the failure rate high and any successes are likely to be deemed too expensive for the NHS (NICE, the organisation that advises NHS England what it can afford, ruled against funding the drug in February, and a judicial review is underway). So 11 children with Batten disease are getting the drug and seeing their lives turned around, either because they were involved in the trials that proved it works, or because the company is providing it on compassionate grounds as it argues its way the through the courts with the NHS. Max was diagnosed just too late to be included, but given the disease is so rare, it seems grossly unfair BioMarin won’t extend their compassionate prescribing – and gather further very useful data on how their drug works – to a few more children. BioMarin has offered six months free Brineura to Max and another child provided NHS England assumes responsibility for prescribing costs after the free drug period. NHS England declined this offer. The company then offered to extend the free drug period treatment for the 11 patients and allow for a slow transition (over years) provided NHS England initiate treatment for the excluded two. NHS England again declined. The company also reassured NHS England that the current offer

One of the many posters made by Max’s school friends displayed at the village fete. See page 15.

East Harptree devoted its village fete to raising funds for Max. The Sewart family live there and Max, aged eight, attends the village school. He’s pictured with brother, Felix, aged five, mum Ivana, and dad, Simon.

price is lower than anywhere else in the world and if there is a final agreement at an even lower price, they would rebate any money owed to them. But NHS England won’t negotiate unless NICE deems the drug to be value for money, so the courts will decide after lengthy arguments. Local MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, is doing his best to stand up for his constituent Max but so far without success. Collectively, there are over 6,000 known rare diseases affecting approximately 3.5 million people in the UK, and they are often progressively disabling and life-threatening. But because they are individually rare, they are often diagnosed late and after repeated frustrating NHS encounters. After diagnosis, treatment options are limited and, as the Sewarts have discovered, drugs that do work are often excluded from the NHS as too expensive. Brineura treatment is currently available in 13 EU countries. Max’s father Simon is now planning to move his business and his family to Holland and take out Dutch health insurance that will in theory cover his son for treatment. We spend £17.6 billion on drugs in the UK, much of which is wasted as people don’t bother taking them or don’t really need them because they are of marginal benefit or do more harm than good. Surely we can afford to fund drugs for small numbers of children with rare diseases who are most in need, who we know will take them and who we know will likely benefit from them?

Max has a Crowdfunder page


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Court House – care with a family feel

COURT House has been a family business for 33 years. Its aim is to meet individual care needs within the safety of a care home but with the added personal, homely, family feel. Residents are able to take all of their own furniture, staff don’t wear uniforms and Court House itself is beautifully furnished in the style that fits in with the house’s surroundings. There are three different areas to Court House, all with a different feel. The main Georgian House has a grand entrance hall, dining room and drawing room. They can currently offer a rare opportunity of a room downstairs in the main house, with a large shower room, storage area and patio doors out on to the garden, overlooking the lovely St Andrew’s Church. They also have a premium room available in their Mediterranean style courtyard, which can be a single or a double room, full en-suite with walk in shower and a kitchenette (for optional use) with sink, fridge, microwave, kettle etc. You get all the available benefits of living in a care home but with more of a feeling of independence and privacy. They also have a peaceful cottage available which has bags of character. All their rooms are en-suite, with a toilet, hand basin, shower or bath. Every room also has telephone and television points as well as a nurse call system. Well trained staff are on hand to help with all aspects of their resident’s daily life. As little or as much help, including full personal care is offered.


There are activities arranged such as a pianist that plays regularly, flexercise and afternoon teas. The superb location of Court House means that residents have wonderful views over the Mendip Hills and are also able to enjoy its village location meaning that they can continue to be part of the local community which they actively encourage.

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The Manager – Chris Dando • 01934 742131 • Court House Retirement Home, Church Street, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3RA MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 83

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Helping smokers to quit

A DESIRE to give up a 30-aday cigarette habit led Jamie Morgan to launch his own business helping other smokers to quit. Jamie, of Glastonbury, visited a vaping shop where the friendly person behind the counter guided him on the first steps from lighting up to vaping. That was in 2008 and Jamie

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enjoys vaping still but uses no nicotine. Last year he decided to launch his online vaping business – – but has now opened his own shop in the Gauntlet Centre in Glastonbury, offering hundreds of flavours in 10ml-100ml sizes and vaping equipment. All the flavours are made in the UK and all are TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) compliant. Perhaps more importantly, Jamie knows exactly what people visiting the shop may be experiencing: “I have been there and can talk to people who want to quit smoking through vaping or simply enjoy vaping. “We’re proud to be Glastonbury’s first specialist vaping shop and my ambition is that this is just the start. We’ll always be online, but the response here has been amazing.”

Clare Hall has a beautiful setting

CLARE Hall is set in rolling countryside and manicured lawns with many of the rooms enjoying panoramic views. They are able to provide residents with care ranging from respite, high dependency, and palliative care, nursing and residential. Any dietary requirements will be catered for by their chefs, who mainly produce food from locally sourced suppliers. The other facilities, services and support programme they offer include 24-hour nursing care, GP retained services, chiropodist visits, hairdressing salon, large garden areas, healthy and nutritious meals, mobile optical and dental service, many rooms with en-suite and views over the gardens. Activities at Clare Hall consist of planned and scheduled events – for example their meaningful one-to-one sessions, group quizzes, games and community events. At Clare Hall they try to use their outside space to benefit the resident’s wellbeing. Whether this be reading or playing cards, picking flowers or simply relaxing with tea and cake. All residents are encouraged to join in new activities as well as follow current interests.


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For viewings please call 01761 241626 or email: PAGE 84 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019

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Open day inspires art


RESIDENTS at Southlawns care home in Street completed two new pieces of Somersetthemed artwork for their home in time for Care Home Open Day. The artwork featured popular landmarks such as Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury Festival, Wells Cathedral and Clark’s Village.

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Seat of learning

FOLLOWING the success of their Buddy Benches, which have been installed in local schools to promote social responsibility and to combat bullying, Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed have developed a Book Bench. It’s designed to provide a quiet, undisturbed place for children

to discover the joy of reading, or for an adult to sit with a child who finds reading a challenge to help them explore the wonder of books. One of the first book benches to hit the playgrounds is now installed at Hemington Primary School where headteacher, Naomi de Chastelain, invited the renowned children’s author C S Clifford to officially “launch” this new initiative. Pictured are Men’s Shed members together with Mr Clifford, head teacher Ms de Chastelain and some of the children.

Details: Steve Swift 07775735789 of email

An invitation to tea

CHEDDAR Vale Lions Club recently presented a Life Changes book to Cheddar First School. It adopts both a proactive and a reactive approach to loss and change, including bereavement, and will enable staff to make an immediate considered response to the situation. The picture shows Lion Janet Clark presenting the book to school head Maggie Wookey, with some pupils from Swan class. The club has now re-registered with the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. They are inviting people to afternoon tea at Hannah More Cottage, Lower North Street, Cheddar on Saturday, September 7th, 2-4pm to explain their new status and to share what has been achieved over the past year in supporting the local community.

Details: PAge 86 • MendIP TIMeS • AuguST 2019

Inner Wheel helps at charity fundraiser

MEMBERS of the Inner Wheel Club of Chelwood Bridge helped out at the annual Farm Fest, now in its 14th year, at Home Farm, Chilthorne Domer, which is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Piers Simon Appeal, which raises money for the School in a Bag charity. Some 20 members of Inner Wheel District 20 supplied all the home made cakes and biscuits for the three-day annual event. Pictured (l to r) are Marjorie Robinson and Sandra Blair pictured with Darth Vader and two Storm troopers at the event.

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Mendip flies the rainbow flag

FOR the first time, Mendip District Council has been flying the rainbow flag at its head office to coincide with LGBT+ Pride month. Cllr Barry O’Leary portfolio holder for enterprise and finance joined with staff and councillors at the council offices in Shepton Mallet to raise the flag. He said: “For the first time ever, the Pride flag has been raised at the council building. In Mendip, we celebrate and support our LGBTQ+ community's right to live their lives out loud.”

Anniversary ball

CHEDDAR Dance Club has held a 50th anniversary ball. The photograph shows Mike and Vera Bancroft cutting the cake. They are founder members and the MCs of the club.

Village leads the way

BUSINESSES, organisations and community groups in Peasedown St John are being asked to support the village’s Dementia Friendly Peasedown initiative, which is attracting support from across the community. St John’s Parish Church has agreed to wave booking fees for any dementia-related event within the church building; the Prince of Wales Inn has launched a new “dementiafriendly” Tuesday afternoon social group; and The Meeting Place Coffee shop has sent some of its staff on Dementia Friends training sessions. Project manager, Nathan Hartley, said: “The response from the community has been phenomenal. With dementia on the rise, local organisations are recognising that more needs to be done to ensure their premises are dementia-friendly and their staff know how to support someone living with dementia. “Almost 30 people have now attended Dementia Friends training sessions in Peasedown and that number is set to drastically rise over the next 12 months.” The Peasedown project is looking for volunteers to help with a number of tasks, which include visiting businesses to


Food bank needs donations

THE Somer Valley Foodbank is asking people for donations as they prepare for a busy summer with increased need during the school holidays. In previous years, the rise in the number of families struggling to stretch their money to cover the summer break has left Somer Valley Foodbank’s stocks running low. In the last financial year, the food bank, which is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, fulfilled 813 vouchers which provided three-day emergency food supplies to people in need. They fed 2,472 people; of these, 1,151 went to children. The charity is now backing calls by the Trussell Trust for the government to tackle delays and gaps in benefits, which affect families’ ability to afford essentials, as a first priority. More locally, the food bank is urging local families to seek help if they are struggling to afford food this summer and asks local people able to donate to support their work in the community. Paul Woodward, the food bank manager, said: “No-one in Midsomer Norton and surrounding area should need a food bank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. “But more and more people are finding that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for extra childcare during the holidays. “We know it doesn’t have to be like this. We’re determined to work alongside other food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the holidays, but at any time of year.” Details: or search Facebook or Twitter for ‘Somer Valley Foodbank’

ensure their properties are dementia-friendly and organising events, such as singing activities and Memory Cafes. Peasedown councillor, Sarah Bevan, who is herself a Dementia Friend, said: “There are currently no ‘dementiafriendly’ communities across Bath & North East Somerset. “With all the work being done here in Peasedown, our village could be the first in the district to achieve the accolade. This would be huge for Peasedown, and so any businesses that join the initiative would really be making a difference.”

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Celebrating 70 years

RODNEY Stoke and Draycott WI met at Nyland Manor to celebrate their 70th anniversary. It was an evening of memories, music and merriment. Memories came from scrap books and a notice board full of photos and information from the past 70 years. Music was supplied by The Word, a live band who had them up on their feet and dancing, after they had enjoyed a superb buffet provided by Nyland Manor and a birthday cake, baked, of course, by one of their members. They are now looking forward to more interesting, educational and lively WI meetings at Draycott Village Hall.

Wrington Vale Rotary cheque presentation

FOLLOWING a very successful year, retiring Wrington Vale Rotary president, Merlyn Saunders, was able to present yet more cheques to worthy causes at his last presidential meeting. This was the result of the most successful Outdoor Family Festival held at Mendip Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Sandford in June, which raised £18,800. Merlyn presented cheques to the YMCA, the Alzheimer’s Society, Wrington and Burrington Scout and Guide group, Churchill School and the Wrington Vale Inner Wheel for the various cancer charities they are supporting this year. The main beneficiary was the YMCA who received a cheque for £10,000 to assist in their programme to provide accommodation for the homeless. Over the last year the club raised close on £25,000 for the numerous charitable causes it supports. PAge 88 • MendIP TIMeS • AuguST 2019

Church celebrations continue

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt. Rev. Peter Hancock at the rededication service in May

THE newly-restored St Giles Church in Leigh-on-Mendip will host its biennial flower festival in August. The event could not take place last summer because of the major restoration work being carried out to restore the church roof and install new community facilities. Organisers are calling the festival Our Wonderful World and it will feature 15 displays alongside a photography exhibition in the Memorial Hall next door called Our Wonderful Church. Proceeds from the weekend will go to the Friends of Leigh Church supporting the repair, conservation and community use of the building. l The festival takes place from Friday, August 23rd with a preview evening and runs until Monday, August 26th with a special Hymns and Pimms service on The church will be filled with 15 stunning displays Sunday, August 25th. The restored splendour of St giles Church

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Long Ashton plans new memorial THERE are plans to build a new war memorial in Long Ashton to remember the 97 who have fallen on account of enemy action since 1914, as there is no complete record in the parish. The proposed memorial (pictured) was designed by a local architect. Fundraising has started, and Paul Birbeck, son of one member of the committee members, has just cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to help raise funds. Any sponsors would be welcome. The latest casualty in the parish was Chris Addis, a pilot with the Army Air Corps, who was killed in Bosnia whilst serving with the United Nations Peace Keeping Force. Chris had been a pupil at Northleaze Junior School and at St. Katherine’s School in Pill. He had also represented Bristol


schoolboys at rugby. Unusually there is no collective open air war memorial in the village. The existing memorials tend to be out of view and incomplete. Following the large attendance at the Battles Over and Beacon Lighting event at Peel Park, Long Ashton last November, a committee was set up to consider the possibility of erecting a new memorial. Many of the local residents involved in the various conflicts went to Northleaze School which was centrally located on the main road through the village. The school buildings remain and have been repurposed for housing with a new school built nearby. Fortuitously an open area of ground exists opposite the old school which has extensive views of the surrounding countryside and provides an ideal location for the proposed new memorial. The structure as shown in the illustration will be of modern design with the main elements of granite stone. The stones will be engraved with the names of the fallen. Local councillors are supportive and retired architect residents Alan Atkins and Patrick Collins have drawn up the outline plans. The memorial is to be set in a small circular courtyard with seating and a Garden of Remembrance alongside. It is intended that the landmark project would be of interest to everyone whether for remembrance, rest or contemplation. Now that planning and other necessary consents are nearing completion the committee is considering access to the necessary funding.

Details: Donations payable to Long Ashton Churchyard & War Memorial Trust (registered charity number 1034588) can be sent to the Hon. Treasurer at Tara Cottage, 88 Providence Lane, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9DN or go to

drums are a dream come true

CLEVEDON Air Cadets are the owners of three new ceremononial drums, thanks to a £1,000 donation from Clevedon Lions’s Dream Scheme. The 1446 Squadron has been active in the town since 1941 when the ATC was first set up. As well as offering activities for young people, the squadron supports the community, including car park supervision for events and helping at Clevedon Lion events.

Lion donald Hill, Cdt Jones, Cl Aimee Jones, Cdt Ruddick, Cdt Pollock, Cpl Jones and Lion president glynn Hill

MendIP TIMeS • AuguST 2019 • PAge 89

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Space race

Rotary honour

Pictured (l to r) Charlotte Spinney, Amelia Haynes, Jemima Spinney and elsa Howell

CHILDREN at Bishop Sutton Community Library with their space rockets ready for this summer’s reading challenge, “Space Chase”. Children taking part collect stickers towards the challenge of reading six books during the school holidays. Those that complete the challenge will be awarded with their certificates and medals in September.

Handover ceremony in Frome

THE incoming president of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge, Mike Hedges, was presented with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award at the president's night dinner by outgoing president Douglas Nash. He said: “The commitment to Rotary from Mike on a district and local level is unrivalled.”

Charity finale

Renee Cole (left) with Sue Ruddick

FROME Inner Wheel’s new president is Susan Ruddick, who succeeded Renee Cole at the club’s handover ceremony in the Assemby Rooms at Frome Memorial Theatre. The club meets on the second Tuesday of each at the Assembly Rooms and welcomes new members. For details, contact secretary Kate Lewis on 01373 300197

PAge 90 • MendIP TIMeS • AuguST 2019

Pictured (l to r) President Pauline Carr, specialist nurse Jayne Alexandra and club member nic Lucas

INNER Wheel Club of Wrington Vale president Pauline Carr’s year finished with donations to the Teenage Cancer Trust, St Michael’s gynaecology oncology team, BUST breast care charity in Southmead plus the Eve Appeal for gynae cancer research. This was in addition to supporting overseas charities, Rotary fun day and the Young Carers weekend.

Italian party at Palace Farm THE annual Romulus and Remus Italian Music Festival at Palace Farm in Wells attracted one of the biggest crowds in recent years. Amongst the visitors to the charity event – held to celebrate the area’s close ties with the Italian community which began after former prisoners-of-war stayed behind at the end of the Second World War – were guests from two towns twinned with Wells: Paray-Le-Monial in France and Bad Durkheim in Germany. Wells first twinned with Paray-LeMonial in 1979 and it became a twinning “triangle” when Paray suggested that Wells should link up with its own twinning partner Bad Durkheim. Wells later twinned with Fontanellato in Italy in 2012. Early Romulus and Remus festivals were held at Penn Hill above Wells, the site of a former POW camp where a statue of Romulus and Remus can be seen today.

Lucilla singing to the visitors

Sandy guidi, one of the organisers, selling raffle tickets with Archie


guests from Paray-Le-Monial and Bad durkheim with hosts including the mayor of Wells John osman

Wells Twinning Association chairman Richard Hibberd (centre) with daniel gordat (left), assistant mayor of Paray-Le-Monial and Űlrich Baer, chair of the Bad durkeim twinning association

Lunch is served. Palace Farm offered plenty of space for the big crowd

MendIP TIMeS • AuguST 2019 • PAge 91

(Photo courtesy of Nick Spratling)

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The countdown begins

Photography by Mark Adler

It’s our land – the Theatre and Circus area

RUMOURS are rife already about who might be the headline act at the 2020 Glastonbury Festival as the dust settles on one of the hottest festivals for many years. Festival creator Michael Eavis told a packed crowd in the acoustic tent that Fleetwood Mac were a possibility. He said: “We’d love to have them here, but they’re too expensive!”

Sheryl Crow heads for the crowd in front of the Pyramid Stage

The legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples wows the crowd on Sunday at the Pyramid Stage

Kilmersdon School PTA on their Jacket and Jill baked potato stall; one of their biggest fundraisers

ry – The church tent – called the Sanctua 11 aged gie, hosted its first baptisms; Mag is Chr Rev the with months, is pictured North, vicar of Chilcompton


Hot off the press; these two were from Glastonbury with copies of the onsite newspaper

Rodney Allen, who grew up in Pilto n, on the Avalon Stage with the legenda ry Blue Aeroplanes

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One of the performers from the Rajastan Heritage Brass Band

Dire Straits bassist John Illsley talked about the life and times of the iconic band – and performed many of their classic hits in the Acoustic Stage

Keeping campers happy: stewards James, Tansy and Chris were helping to raise money for several local schools

Sunset over the pyramid – the Greenpeace stand at the Meeting Point


Michael Eavis with fans on the Sunday afternoon outside the Avalon Stage

Mark Bowen, from Bristol-based rockers Idles – the band were in tears before making their Glastonbury debut

Breakfast is served – the Wells RFC stand on Sunday morning

Some of the 100-strong volunteer litter pickers helping to raise funds for the Shepton Mallet-based charity SOS Africa


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Marking 40 years of the West Somerset Railway A NEW book has been launched by West Somerset Steam Railway Trust recounting personal recollections from some of those stalwarts who helped rebuild the railway over the last 40 years. When the former British Rail closed the once-bustling former Great Western Railway 25-mile branch line to Minehead from Taunton in 1971, a local businessman and railway enthusiasts simply refused to let it die. They all thought the railway was well worth saving, as did many in the local community, and so they battled with both the National Union of Railwaymen and British Rail to be allowed to run their own trains again as a private line to be called the West Somerset Railway (WSR). Crucially, the WSR lobbyists gained the support of Somerset County Council, which bought the track bed from British Rail with a view to perhaps turning much of it into new roads if the embryonic line failed. The WSR company and support organisations were set up and steam locos, coaches and diesel multiple units were gradually acquired to use on the nascent line’s planned services. Staff were trained and recruited, skilled volunteers and railwaymen and women came to help from all over the country, funds were raised by whatever means possible and the track work and signalling was slowly reinstated, often using recovered, redundant items from around the rail network. A lot of work was done in a fairly short time to get the line ready for business again. After five years, their persistence finally succeeded and, in April 1976, the new West Somerset Railway was born and it reopened initially on just the three miles from Minehead to Blue

On their trolley

VOLUNTEERS from Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway at Midsomer Norton Station have completed the restoration of a Type 27A Wickham trolley B40W. These motorised trolleys were used by permanent way gangs from 1948 onwards to travel over the sections of railway line that they were responsible for maintaining and inspecting. The society is holding a family fun day on August 11th. Details:


The three authors (l to r) Ian Coleby, Allan Stanistreet and Ian Tabrett alongside the GWR 1897 sleeping car in the trust's museum at Bishops Lydeard

Anchor. But it was an auspicious start! Over the next three years, the line was steadily reopened in stages, first to Washford, Watchet and Williton and then to Stogumber and finally to Crowcombe and Bishops Lydeard as the line’s new southern terminus which was reached in 1979 making it the country’s longest heritage line at some 20 miles. Now, the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (WSSRT) has published a new 40th anniversary book chronicling some personal memories and momentous events of the last four decades years compiled by three long-serving supporters who produced it. West Somerset Steam Railway Trust chairman Chris Austin, said: “Sadly, WSR trains could not run on to Taunton as was originally hoped for by the line’s founding pioneers. However, the two-mile line close to the former mainline junction at Norton Fitzwarren was retained as a tantalising glimpse of what might yet come to pass in years to come. “And I’m pleased to say there is now a mainline rail connection there again and trial GWR shuttle services from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard are starting this summer! “The last 40 years have seen the West Somerset line largely go from strength to strength and through some rocky times too, but it is now one of the top heritage steam and diesel railways in Britain, and a powerhouse in the Somerset tourism economy. “It’s fitting that, four decades on, three of our WSR volunteers and stalwarts for most of that whole period have joined forces to edit a lavishly illustrated historical book of ‘Personal Reminiscences’ of the railway entitled ‘Tales of the West Somerset Railway’. “The new book is jointly authored and edited by Ian Coleby, Allan Stanistreet and Ian Tabrett who all have strong, longstanding connections to the WSR and over 111 years of experiences on the line!” The book was launched to coincide with the 40th anniversary of trains returning to Bishops Lydeard on the weekend of June 8th and 9th. All funds raised will go towards supporting the railway. Published by the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, the 130-page book is illustrated in colour throughout and priced at £8.99

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Mendip Ploughing Society’s special match

THE 150th Mendip Ploughing Match on Wednesday, September 25th looks like being a special affair after last year’s event attracted over 100 ploughmen. It will be held on Yeo Valley Farms 100 Acres Farm at Yoxter and will also host this year’s National Vintage Area Finals for Somerset and Devon for the National Ploughing Society. Yeo Valley themselves will be celebrating their 25th anniversary and are sponsoring the event with Mallet’s Cider. As well as ploughing, hedging and dry stone walling, there will be a threshing machine demonstration, static displays of vintage tractors, classic cars and farming bygones and steam tractor ploughing. The whole day promises to be a celebration of agriculture on the Mendips. Jim King, who has been show secretary since 1967, said: “In the early days we were lucky to get 20 ploughmen and many of those

Looking back 50 years

MENDIP TIMES wasn’t around in 1969 but The Field country newspaper devoted two pages to the 100th Mendip Ploughing match. It said: One hundred years of ploughing were celebrated when the Mendip Ploughing Society met on 15 October under the presidency of Sir John Wills. This hundredth meeting was held at Home Farm, Compton Martin, thanks to Mr R. Sainsbury; additional land being provided by Mrs EM Tratt and Mr W Weeks. The match attracted entries from Surrey to the Devon/Cornwall borders and up into Breconshire. At an altitude of around 800ft the climate is notoriously fickle. This time the weather was ideal. Champion on the day was Mr EJ Walker from Failand. It also noted: Among the ploughing competitors was Allan Sparkes, who was 16 on the day of the match and was ploughing with an old Fordson and two-furrow Ransome plough. It was his first time out and he had not touched the outfit

Britain’s champion ploughman for the third time: Mr E J Walker, of Failand, Somerset, in action at the 100th Mendip ploughing match


At the Mendip ploughing match are (left) Mr Frank Wear, the chairman, Captain D M Wills (centre) and Sir John Wills, the president

had to borrow tractors. Our 100th match in 1969 was excellent but this one looks like being very special.”

Judges and breeders: l to r – Mr C Burrough, of Halse, nr Taunton, Mr W Baker, of Wellington, former chairman of the British Ploughing Association, and Mr D Farley, of Milverton.

until the previous day. Despite this he was still doing some good work and succeeded in gaining a second prize in class 2 of the open high-cut section.

Horse and brass: Mr A S Radmore, of Gabled Farm, Plympton, nr Plymouth, was a competitor in the horse-ploughing section. His team of heavy horses are turned out in brasses, plumes and standards.


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Solar streets project in Frome


OVER the summer, a team of Frome Town Council placement students will be visiting local households to encourage people to take part in a low interest solar scheme and to look at ways of reducing their carbon footprint and cutting energy costs. The council’s Solar Streets campaign has teamed up with Wessex Resolutions Community Interest Company to offer low interest loans for solar. Wessex Resolutions works in partnership with Mendip District Council to offer loans for a range of home improvements and this now includes solar too. So far, 15 Frome homes have had solar installed under the solar streets programme and more are in progress.


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Happy 50th birthday to Riding for the Disabled Association THE Riding for the Disabled Association easy-to-navigate website ( is a testament to the power of horses and volunteers enriching lives through equine assisted therapy. Committed to providing life changing experiences for disabled people of all ages With RACHEL and encouraging volunteering it is also so THOMPSON beneficial for health and well-being. Pause MBE to read the stories behind the 50 people photographs, uploaded in celebration and it’s easy to see why this pioneering organisation thrives and survives. There are currently 25,000 children and adults being helped by 18,000 volunteers in 500 centres. Our local RDA group is based at Burcott Riding Centre, near Wells. I popped in on one hot day to check out end-ofterm and 50-year celebrations. By the arena a seemingly chaotic scene featuring assorted children, parents, ponies, coaches and volunteers in blue t-shirts quickly morphed into a well organised team effort. Volunteers organised the arena with poles and props. A young lad is helped from wheelchair to a coloured pony. He gathers up the reins, sits up straight, gently squeezing his legs to ask the pony to walk on whilst three volunteers lead and assist on either side. Helena, who has headed up the group since 1988, in between living in Australia and Hong Kong, and Sue, who is judging, say that today 11 children are competing in the Dorset and Somerset League end-of-term Countryside Challenge and the RDA dressage grade 6 championship test. All the individual scores will be collected with the final winners receiving trophies. This is therapy with a competitive edge demanding concentration. Emma, one of the volunteers, makes many of the course obstacles and props, often themed for the time of year. At

Emma, one of the volunteers


Burcott RDA in action

Christmas, presents, trees and tinsel all make an appearance; at Easter, eggs, daffodils and bunnies – all adding to the fun. Today Emma has opted for a summer theme – bees to pop into sunflowers, ice cream cones to pick up and carry, flower laden bendy poles. The aim is to promote co-ordination and movement in children who may suffer from conditions such as proprioception. Every Tuesday, around 16 trained and checked volunteers support and inspire usually the same children each week. Accompanied by parents and carers most are home taught, two have come directly from a far-sighted school where teachers realise what a difference this makes. Riding here provides an incredibly beneficial mix of socialising, exercise, interaction with different situations and emotional therapy. A parent says that her child finds riding energising yet calming, promoting her confidence and releasing frustrations. For the parents too this half hour is a precious respite with people who understand – as important as it is for their children now happily trotting down the arena. They are full of praise for the RDA volunteers, the ponies and the value for money offered – there are few activities available, some go swimming or skating but there is nothing else at this price. The ponies are hired from Burcott Riding Centre along with the arena – Smokey (welsh section A), Lettie and Jessie (coloured traditional cobs), Scout (quality piebald cob) and Whisper (grey gelding) are gentle and obliging. The ponies are matched to individual needs helping with communication, emotional intelligence and recognition of sensory feelings to limbs. The RDA makes a minimal charge, costs are subsidised by voluntary fund raising, donations and bequests from amazingly supportive local people and businesses. Working at events – Mendip Point to Point, and Wells Reindeer Parade – and featuring as a Tesco charity all boosts funds. l On July 25th The Forde Abbey Fair and Dog show is a great day out with the RDA providing tea and cake so please support it if you can. Contact Helena on for more information on how you can help.

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Royal approval for bridleway project Photos by Mark Adler

THE Princess Royal has visited a restored bridleway near Faulkland to see an outstanding example of how landowners, farmers, local authorities and the riding community can work together to improve access to the countryside. The Koll to Faulkand Farm route has been a long-term restoration project undertaken by the Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association, with funding from the British Horse Society and support from Somerset County Council. Local farmers also created a permissive route along part of the way to keep livestock, riders and walker apart. Princess Anne spent almost an hour chatting to BHS and MBBA members, councillors, contractors and members of the farming community as she walked along a section of the path which has been relaid with Oolite stone to provide a firm bed. HRH was even met by two local riders and chatted to them about their horses. The path is a short distance from the Tuckers Grave Inn; MBBA officials are hoping to explore the idea of basing one of their popular ride outs in the pub paddock after receiving support from owners Brian and Jo Gait. A spokesperson for the MBBA said: “It was a brilliant day and HRH showed genuine interest in meeting the hard working committee and our contractors. She chatted about her own issues at Gatcombe and we exchanged ideas about surfaces and clearance methods – as you do! “Our thanks to the farmers, Chris and Matt, for allowing riders to use a permissive stretch of track to avoid their cows. This permissive section has been insured by MBBA and riders are enjoying a very scenic and sunny route. A big thank you to our contractors Adam Clark, Norman Baker, Martin Sparey and Mike Jennings who have all worked so hard to produce a first class bridleway for all to enjoy for years to come.”

HRH meeting Judy Hallam, on Tara (left) and April Walsh, on Mercury

Ginnie Jones, from the MBBA, explaining the project

Chatting to the contractors

Princess Anne strolls along the path, accompanied by Mark Weston, BHS access and rights of way director

Meeting MBBA members, including chairwoman Jo Rossiter

The MBBA Festival Ride around the Glastonbury Festival site at Pilton returns this year. It will take place on Sunday, September 29th from 9.30am. For details, visit:


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Angela Yeoman – passionate about young riders I WAS standing at a pony club training session recently, chatting to my mum and watching my daughter, when we looked around and realised we were not the only trio of generations of the Wylye Valley Pony Club who were there. Three generations in one club isn't unusual – as we know the Pony Club is celebrating its 90th year this year. But what makes our story remarkable is that the Wylye Valley members have benefited from a whopping 45 years of generosity, kindness and support from one simply amazing person, Angela Yeoman OBE at Southfield House, Nunney, near Frome. Mrs Yeoman is a wonderful and inspirational woman. For 45 years we have galloped around the fields and cross country fences at Southfield House (where Nunney International is held). Mrs Yeoman has hosted Pony Club camp in her lovely back garden where we eat all our meals, sing karaoke and watch films in the famous “Chicken


Shed”. When we are training or competing at Southfield House Mrs Yeoman always comes out of her house, terriers at heel, or buzzes around Southfield in her gator to say hello to us all and find out how we are getting on. She has a lovely soft smile and gentle way with the mini members; older members of the Wylye quickly develop a healthy respect for Mrs Yeoman if there are wisps of hay lying around, or a dropping not picked up. Mrs Yeoman has always taken great personal pride when our club has done well at area or national level and is particularly passionate about mounted games, a great strength in our club thanks to her! In the 1980s Mrs Yeoman built a beautiful indoor swimming pool at Southfield House. During camp week her luxurious pool doubles up as a giant teenage washing facility – when washing is not high on anyone's agenda! Our tetrathlon teams train in it weekly and we are the envy of other clubs at our annual tetrathlon competition who tell us readily how lucky we are. The club was due to hold a champagne tea party celebrating 45 years on Sunday, July 21st. Alice Tollworthy, Norton St Philip, Bath

Rescue has a happy ending

IN 2016 HorseWorld, along with Avon and Somerset Fire Department and B & W vets, were called to rescue a horse from an industrial area of Avonmouth, just outside Bristol. On arrival staff were shocked to find the horse trapped beneath a lorry that was being used as a shelter for the horse in what seemed to be a dump strewn with upturned cars and gas canisters. In a monumental team effort, the horse was pulled from under the lorry and rushed back to HorseWorld. Once at HorseWorld the horse, named Minty in tribute to the police officer who found her, took a long time to recover physically and psychologically. Vets also gave HorseWorld the shocking news that Minty was pregnant and against all odds she gave birth to a healthy foal in March 2017. Last month, Minty found the perfect loaner. She understands that Minty, although she has physically recovered, will always bear the mental scars of her trauma. Minty has settled in very well to her new home and is positively thriving. There are lots of ways to find out about rehoming a horse from HorseWorld. You can visit the HorseWorld Stand at Gatcombe or the Mid-Somerset Show to talk to staff about the available horses. Or you can visit HorseWorld at their open days on August 24th or October 19th to meet the horses and talk to their rehoming team. Details:


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Tournament organisers seek new support

WELLS Rotary Club is appealing for a new group to take over the organisation of its annual boules tournament as the event approaches its 20th anniversary. For the past 19 years the club, along with the Rotary Club of Avalon, has hosted the event in Wells Market Square – this year yet again attracting teams from across Mendip for a day of friendly competition. The tournament raises funds for The Nepal Trust but Mike Love, one of the organisers, said the time had come for some fresh faces to take on the event, which has so far raised around £90,000 for the charity. Mike said: “Next year will be our 20th and it might be the last. We’re not getting any younger and it would be great to see some new faces come forward and take up the reins. “Although it would be great to continue to support The Nepal Trust, we are open to ideas.”

Boules Out For Summer: Paul, Martyn, Gabi and Marina

Le Bar were hoping to retain the winner’s trophy

Making a splash

Ian Paris, from Le Bar, last year’s winning team

Westfield Petanque Club sent three teams to the competition

Belles of the Boules in action

A member of the Mad Hatters team


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A tour in the Dolomite Mountains

IT’S four o’ clock in the morning and I’m standing outside waiting for Andy to arrive. In the clear dark sky and the quiet of the night I notice a bright object passing low on the southerly horizon. Of all the times I’ve seen the international space station this was a particularly good CYCLING sighting – remaining visible for several with EDMUND minutes. LODITE As it disappeared in the east I could not help but marvel at this feat of scientific achievement. In a humble comparison it made me think about the personal challenge that Andy and I were about to embark on. As the car pulled up I said: “Just remind me, what we’re doing again,” and Andy replied with a smile on his face “going for a bike ride in Italy!” Almost a year beforehand we had discussed riding the Maratona dles Dolomites described by National Geographic as "one of the biggest, most passionate and most chaotic bike races on Earth." Open to amateur cyclists, the Maratona attracts 9,000 riders from over 40 nations and is one of the biggest “Gran Fondo” bicycle races in Italy. Gran Fondo translates into English as “big ride” and is a chiptimed race with prizes for the fastest riders in each category. The starts are done en-masse grouped by ability and the format allows riders of every level to participate. Most participants are simply competing against the clock. For me the main attraction of this event was going to be riding in the Dolomite Mountains on roads closed to traffic. The bikes had been secured onto the roof the night before and now all we had to do was to make sure we got across Europe avoiding any low barriers! Two days and quite a few podcasts later we reached the beautiful Dolomite mountain range, in north east Italy. The first impression you get of the mountains is their striking shape and the pale coloured rock. Table mountains with high areas of grassy meadows are sharply contrasted by rugged, fractured pinnacles soaring into the sky. On the eve of the race a thunderstorm cleared the air and in the early morning a crisp dawn gradually unveiled a stunning backdrop of mountain peaks at the starting point. The course profile was clear – this was going to be one big roller coaster, going uphill and downhill over six mountain passes. The first climb up Campolongo (what a great name!) was not the hardest of the day and a good chance to get warmed up. Reaching the summit I’m ready for my favourite part of cycling in

Cheddar squad gain promotion

THE newly-promoted Cheddar table tennis squad, photographed with their trophies, after practising for their entry to Division 1 of the Bridgwater and District Table Tennis League. Three of the now depleted squad of five are members of Cheddar U3A table tennis group which meets throughout the year on Tuesday afternoons at Cheddar leisure centre starting at 2.15pm. The group welcomes new members.


the mountains – the descent. When the roads are traffic free you can completely commit into bends and pick out the optimum line weaving from side to side across the road. As the next climb approaches I try and switch quickly to a lower gear, but then the rear cable snaps. At that moment I think my day is over before it’s hardly started. But fortunately this is a perfectly organised event and there are mechanics on hand at key points around the course. Luckily just around the corner in the village square there is a mechanical assistance station that proves to be my saviour. I join the short queue and the rider ahead of me is saying to the mechanic that he could feel some resistance from the bike on the climb up Campolongo. After the bike is attached to the repair stand the mechanic checks both wheels, they are “true and fine”, he says. He then checks the chainset – everything seems to be working. “No resistance, no resistance,” he says and maybe like me he thinks the issue could be in the rider’s legs! After the cable is fixed I’m back on the road and heading for Passo Pordoi one of the finest gems in the Dolomite crown of mountain passes. At 2,200 metres it is the highest road pass in the Dolomites and often the highest peak in the annual running of the Giro d'Italia – one of cycling's Grand Tour races. The climb is long and steady and it is only at each of the 27 hairpin bends that you get to really see how steep it is. The views towards the pass at the top and back down into the valley are spectacular with the road meandering in all directions across lush meadows. After several more climbs and exhilarating descents its apparent this is more than a bike race – it’s a showcase of spectacular Italian mountains and a festival of cycling. That was the intention when this event was first organised 33 years ago and it has served the organisers well. At the finish there’s plenty of pasta and a chance for everyone to exchanges stories with other riders over a meal – this is of course Italy! Then after a good night’s sleep it was just a case of getting back home. Something as fast as the space station would have been useful!

Inspiring young hockey players

Vicki (centre, back) with young players and coaches at Frome

UNDER-21 England international hockey player Vicki McCabe met youngsters from Frome Hockey Club after being invited to visit by her first coach. Vicki, who was due to compete in the junior Euro Hockey Championships in Valencia as Mendip Times went to press, first started playing the sport when she was eight years old and met coach Teresa Taylor-Wolff, who is now at Frome. The forward, who plays for Clifton Robinsons Hockey Club in Bristol but lives near Frome, spent time chatting to the young players about her experiences playing for England and her recent invite to train with the senior GB squad. Vikki showed the young players some of the skills she has acquired and still practices to keep herself at the top of her game. Frome HC, which plays at Frome Leisure Centre, has recently relaunched its logo as it returns to becoming a club that welcomes both genders. Currently the club has three ladies’ teams, a developing junior group which welcomes boys and girls and an ambition to play a mixed match this year. Club day takes place on Saturday, September 7th at 2pm when it welcomes members and their families, together with any new players looking to play hockey in the town. Summer hockey continues until the middle of August. For details, visit: or email

National success

CAMERTON and Peasedown Croquet Club has had a successful season so far. A team of four travelled to Nottingham to take part in the Murphy Cup. This match of singles and doubles brought out their very best play and they won by four. Now they are looking forward to meeting their opponents in the semi-final. Details: Mo Boys 01225 708540

Chew Valley’s new forwards coach


CHEW Valley Rugby Club have announced that Dean Brooker will be joining as forwards coach ahead of their debut in South West 1, following their promotion last season. Director of rugby Bruce Wellman said: “Dean has an impressive playing career having represented Gloucester Academy, London Wasps Academy, Cornish Pirates (Championship), Scottish Premiership and, more recently, Cleve. “This is a massive appointment for Chew and a real statement to the rest of the league.’’ Dean will join Steve Worrall in preparing the three men’s teams that will compete in the South West league structure. With the league Fixtures announced, Chew Valley will welcome St Ives on September 7th in the opening fixture. Promotion will mean longer distance trips to St Ives, Devonport Services, Sidmouth and Newton Abbott to be planned, while Lydney and Bridgwater and Albion to be welcomed to the Chew Valley for the first time. The Chew Valley Cats will continue their upward progress with a second season in South West 1 and the numbers expected at pre-season training are expected to reflect that rugby is the fastest growing sport for women in the South West. Training will be led by coaches Fiona Penfold, Helen Siewek and Andy Lyon.

Henley winner

ROWER Jens Hullah from Shipham has won a top prize at the Henley Royal Regatta. Jens started out rowing whilst at Churchill Academy and then moved to Beechen Cliff School in Bath whilst studying for his Alevels. He rowed for the Bath Club, Minerva and represented Great Britain twice in the U-18s. He took a gap year and headed to London to row for Moseley Rowing Club, which won the Britannia Cup at Henley in coxed 4 beating international teams from Germany and Australia to win the title.


(Photography courtesy of Mike Lang)

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Aussie veterans enjoy the spoils MIDSOMER Norton Cricket Club hosted a match between Somerset Over 60s and their Australian counterparts, with the tourists winning a 50-over contest by 34 runs. A decent-sized crowd watched a well-contested game of cricket at Withies Lane with the Australian veterans – mostly experienced ex-top-tier club players – racking up 234-9. Somerset reached 200-7. Midsomer Norton has hosted representative fixtures for the Somerset Women’s and Somerset Over-60s sides in recent seasons and hosting a game involving an Australian touring side is further recognition that the club can provide a venue for quality cricket matches and teams. Club chairman Graeme King thanked all those whose efforts

Somerset’s over-60s side

Australia near the end of their innings with a last wicket stand of 34

Bowls club centenary

made the day such a great success especially Phil and Sue Mortimer, Sarah King and Nathan Groombridge. Meanwhile, Midsomer Mavericks, Norton’s women’s cricket team, retained the Somerset Cricket Board’s Softball trophy at Weston-super-Mare after beating the top teams from across the county once again. The Mavericks were the first winners of the title in 2018. This time around the Mavericks overcame Clevedon and Taunton Deane in the group stages before a semi-final clash with local rivals Frome. Beating Frome set up a final with the hosts and the Mavericks’ 259 total was enough to secure victory over Weston’s 239.

The victorious Australian veterans – or the “saggy greens” as one spectator called them

The scorers at work

SHEPTON Mallet Bowls Club marked its 100th year with a friendly competition involving four other local teams. Shepton hosted Castle Cary, Wells, Purnell and Wyrall Park club at their Frithfield Walk green for an afternoon and evening of celebrations. l For anyone interested in trying bowls, Shepton have free beginners' sessions at the green on Friday evenings at 5.30pm. New members are also welcome at club nights, held every Monday at 5pm.

For details, contact Brian Brown on 01749 345398, Maureen Brown on 01749 330197, or email


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Play up, play up and never mind your age

MEET the Somerset Evergreens – a cricket team that believes that age is no barrier to enjoying the glorious game. Captain, Maurice Perl, is 82; vice captain, Steve Brodie, is 69; and one of their wicket keepers, Ivor Chivers, is 78. Their second wicket keeper, Dave Marsh, is the groundsman at Congresbury – they swap over halfway through an innings. Other players are from North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and beyond. In the twilight of their cricket careers, they have come together to enjoy the traditional game – win, lose or draw – providing more player involvement, excitement and balance between teams – plus, they claim, some of the best cricket teas in the world! Formed last year, they played eight games, with home games at Abbots Leigh Cricket club, against teams like Axbridge and away fixtures including Captain, Maurice Perl, aged 82 Hinton Charterhouse and Easton in Gordano. This year they have added to their pool of 15/18 players and have 12 matches, bucking the trend of decline generally in local league cricket. They even have sponsorship from National Friendly, which has served the Bristol community since Victorian times. Maurice, from Clevedon, said: “We’ve all played cricket for a

The team in action

The team that faced Bristol Venturers – and drew

long time and progressively we’ve come down the ladder. The league game is declining and is so aggressive about winning that there’s no place for veteran players. “We all still enjoy playing, as well as the social side, so we decided to buck the trend and start our own team.” The philosophy is enjoyment for every player, rather than winning, summed up by a recent match against Bath Venturers. Maurice said: “They were 95 for eight, so there was not much of a game there, so I came on to bowl to give them a few runs, which got them up to 123. “Unfortunately their bowling was rather better than their batting and our ninth batsman was out on 110. They had eight men around the bat, but we managed to defend to get the draw. That way everyone felt they had had a good game.” That’s evergreen cricket!

Team founders (l to r) Maurice Perl, Steve Brodie, Ivor Chivers and John Meredith


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Night at the abbey will feature top talent

GLASTONBURY Abbey’s award-winning events team is bringing the light and music spectacular – Night at the Abbey – to the grounds on Friday, August 30th. Five stages will host bands from all over the UK along with some of the finest local talent and poetry on the Bardic stage whilst the ruins are beautifully illuminated. This year’s main stage consists of Bath trio Meeking, Glasgow rock ’n roll roots band The Strange Blue Dreams and headlining will be Southampton’s four-piece rock ’n roll band The Dead Freights. Brad Lister, events manager, said: “It is an atmospheric evening with some truly talented musicians, some fantastic local produce and a bar alongside. Doors open at 5pm and performances start at 6pm. Tickets are already selling fast. “Night at the Abbey has grown over the years to become a significant summer season finale, celebrating the diverse array of events on offer throughout the summer season with something to offer to everyone and attracting several thousand people to the abbey and the town. “We won a National Outdoor Events Association award for our summer opening last year and were shortlisted for Night at the Abbey in 2017.” l Discounted advance tickets are available to purchase until Friday 30th August and standard tickets will be available to purchase on the door. For more information or to book tickets visit:


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The way we were


THE Way We Were weekend at The East Somerset Railway returns with a bang this August Bank Holiday weekend with a host of entertainments and displays to give you, your family and friends a fabulous day out in Cranmore. Visit this beautiful, time-warp country station and step back in time to the 1930s-1950s. Costumed promenaders will be adding to the atmosphere and visitors are encouraged to join in and dress in-period outfits. There will be plenty of re-enactors, both military and civilian. The Land Army girls will try to recruit you for a life on the land and a 1940s Victory Stores will give you a glimpse of what shopping was like during wartime Britain. Make sure your papers are up to date if you happen to meet some German soldiers! Military and civilian vintage vehicles will be on display and you can step aboard a vintage bus for a trip round Cranmore. On Sunday afternoon the fabulous Harlem Rhythm Cats will entertain with their Boogie Woogie and Blues music. For children there will be Punch & Judy on Monday and you can try our giant Snakes and Ladders game or have a go at “hoola hoop” or quoits. Refreshments are available at the Whistlestop café where you can join in with the street party and savour some traditional fare. l The event is free to enter with standard charges for train rides. To book train tickets in advance visit Follow on Facebook: The Way We Were at East Somerset Railway.

Cinema screenings are child’s play

WELLS Film Centre is to host special Tuesday morning screenings this summer aimed at parents and carers with children aged up to four years old. Tiny Tuesdays start at 10.30am with tea or coffee and biscuits for the grown-ups. The film begins at 11am. Baby changing facilities are available and babes in arms go free. For Tiny Tuesdays screenings the soundtrack is turned down a little and the house lights remain on low in the auditorium. If anyone makes a noise or moves around, then that is absolutely fine! No customers without a child under four years old can be admitted. For film details, visit:

Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD

Starts Friday 26th July Starts Friday 2nd August Starts Friday 9th August

Starts Friday 16th August


The Current War (12A) Horrible Histories Rotten Romans (PG) Hobbs & Shaw • Angry Birds 2 3D/2D Blinded By The Light (12A) Playmobil The Movie 3D/2D (U) Uglydolls (U) • Dora & The Lost City Romeo et Juliette 5th 7pm Met Opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia 13th 7pm Met Opera La Boheme 19th 7pm Met Opera

l Book in person l Online 24/7 l Over the ’phone: 01749 673195 Email: Tel: 01761 462162 MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 109

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Frome Cheese Show – something for everyone LIVESTOCK – especially cattle – will be back in greater numbers at this year’s Frome Cheese Show, once again making the event one of the most important on the farming calendar. Organisers are also bringing some of the sections such as fodder and grain and egg classes into one marquee with the poultry exhibition alongside to enhance the experience for visitors and exhibitors alike. The show – on Saturday, September 14th at the West Woodlands Showground – is probably most famous for its cheese. Judging for the Global Cheese Awards takes place on the Thursday before show day with more CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom (actor Ben Faulks)

than 1,500 exhibits; many will stay on display for the main event. The pavilion will also house a cookery theatre with a demonstration and Q&A with top chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and a cookery competition contested by students from Frome College. Elsewhere, the Village Green boasts the usual high standard of family entertainment with the spectacularly daring Moto International Stunt Show, Wylye Valley Pony Club mounted games and the madcap Shetland pony Grand National. The grand parade of livestock will take place around 3.30pm in the Main Arena where there will also be a demonstration by the highly-talented falconer Jonathon Marshall and his Free Spirit Show, combining horsemanship and aerial feats accompanied to music. Young visitors can also be guaranteed to have some fun, with appearances by CBeebies’ Mr Bloom and Tractor Ted.

Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, a 5 AA Rosette and Michelin award-winning chef, who is also dubbed “the nation's favourite French Chef”, will be demonstrating in the Cheese Pavilion

Recently-appointed show manager Hannah George said: “It is so very important to offer a great variety of entertainment and competition across the show site for visitors and exhibitors and the return of cattle classes in greater numbers is especially welcome.”

Advance tickets are now on sale. For details, visit:


HOLCOMBE Gala promises fun for all the family and it’s free! Is there a better way to spend a lazy summer’s afternoon with family and friends eating, drinking and being entertained? So why not join them on the playing field and in the village hall on Saturday, July 6th, 12-4pm for some fun and laughter, with live music, demonstrations, refreshments, stalls, bouncy castle, classic cars, animals and the ever popular dog show! And don't forget to enter the baking competition by calling Graham on 07710 281847 to register your entry.

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It’s going to be a blast – learning about the geology of Mendip ONE lucky visitor will have the chance to blow up a car to get this year’s Mendip Rocks! Festival off with a bang. This year’s festival celebrating Mendip’s amazing geology – running from August 10th to October 20th – begins with “It’s A Blast” at Westbury Quarry open day on Saturday, August 10th, with the chance to win the raffle to push the button to blow up a small car at 11.30am, by kind permission of Alford Technologies. There will be lots of stalls run by festival organisers, Somerset Earth Science Centre, Mendip AONB, The Mendip Society, Butterfly Conservation, Mendip Cave Rescue and Bristol Dinosaur Project whilst Professor Danielle Schreve (Royal Holloway College) will talk about her important work on the cave digs in Westbury and her early mammal bone finds. Throughout the festival the team have planned a wide range of fun and inspiring events suitable for everyone

from general interest level to specialist geology. Adel Avery, festival coordinator, said: “The Mendips have a unique and very special landscape and this will be a great chance to get out and see some of Mendip’s best kept geological secrets, with many events being held at sites that are not usually open to the public. “There is something for everyone from family fun days, fossil hunts, geo discovery walks, tours in working and disused quarries, water pumping stations, armchair caving, specialist geo lectures, and art workshops amongst other things!” Events include a Fossil Fun Open Day at Somerset Earth Science Centre at Stoke St Michael on August 21st or in the lower area of Burrington Combe with family fun sessions of painting pebbles and plaster fossils, a geo time trail, making cave art using natural soil paints and have a go at making limestone rock.

Back this year will be escorted tours from Somerset Earth Science Centre into working basalt and limestone quarries in the Mendips, including the purer limestone quarried at Batts Combe, Cheddar, Halecombe and Torr Works in Frome. The festival will end with The Geological Society’s Earth Science Week (12th-20th October) with an exciting afternoon of specialist geo lectures on October 12th at the SESC, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The festival finale is a family funday at Ebbor Gorge national nature reserve, near Wells, Somerset on Sunday, October 20th. l Mendip Rocks! 2019 Festival is organised by the Somerset Earth Science Centre in partnership with the Mendip Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and The Mendip Society. With kind support from The Geological Society, Natural England, and Mendip Quarry Producers.

For details, visit: or


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Please send entries for these listings as a single paragraph of less than 25 words. We’re happy to list entries for charities and voluntary groups free of charge – but please submit them in the format below. We may not be able to use entries which are too lengthy or submitted as posters or leaflets. Commercial entries cost £25.

Until end of August Brewery House open by arrangement for five to 20 visitors, for the NGS. An organic garden, Southstoke, Bath. £3.50, children free. Contact John Brooke 01225 833153. Wednesday July 24th Considering Adoption? Families for Children Trust information session 10am-12 Axminster Football Club. EX13 5HN. Details: 01271 612004 Bishop’s Palace, Wells – school holidays start with family trails. See for details & dates of all events. U-5s free! Thursday July 25th Mendip Ramblers mod 6m walk to Knowle Hill, Bowers Hill & Yarley Hill. Start 10am Henton village hall BA5 1PD, ST496454. Leader: Brian 01749 672457 / 07476 797446. Saturday July 27th Garden open for the NGS 11am-5pm, Park Cottage, Wrington Hill BS40 5PL. £5, children free. Charity Boot Sale 10am-3pm St Paul's Church, WSM BS23 1EF. Refreshments, free entry. Details: 01934 820426 Lunchtime organ recital noon All Saints’ church WSM, BS23 2NL. £10 on door includes lunch & wine. Companion Dog Show 10am -5pm Writhlington village hall. Pedigree & novelty classes. Refreshments. Details: 01761 437197. 'Meet the Expert' 2-4pm Radstock Museum. Simon Carter on the pitfalls & positives of family history research. Usual museum charges. Guide £2. Mendip Society walk from Winscombe, a hard 4.5m. Meet 2pm Recreation Ground, BS25 1AZ. Leader: Pauline 01934 820745. Strawberry Tea at Nailsea Court, 2-5pm, supporting St Bridget’s Church, Chelvey. Jazz, stalls, games. Direction signs from the church. Glastonbury Male Voice Choir 2pm Wells bandstand (Bishop’s Barn if wet) Free. Refreshments. Wells Lions. Details: 01458 210926. West Mendip Hospital Fete 2-4pm with Hannah’s Hoofers, alpacas, live music, stalls. League of Friends. Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall. Good quality books & jigsaw puzzles, dvds, cds. Sunday July 28th Banwell Bowling Club Annual Charity Tournament 10am-5pm. Several local visiting teams raising funds for the club and Prostate Cancer. Raffle donations sought, please ring John 01934 742995. Wednesday July 31st Harptrees History Society guided walk of the Old City of Bristol led by Bob Jones. £3, please book: 01761 221941 or 221758. Backwell & Nailsea Macular Support talk "Lesser known functions of Wessex Water” 1.30pm Backwell WI Hall, Station Rd. Details: Sheila 01275 462107. Thursday August 1st to Sunday August 4th Dairy Festival, Beach Lawns, Weston-super-Mare, PAGE 112 • MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019




livestock, agriculture, food, crafts and family fun, £2, supporting local farming charities. Details: Thursday August 1st Mendip Ramblers moderate 7m tour of Holcombe & Coleford. Full details: Friday August 2nd Memories Over Elevenses at Radstock Museum, a joyful meander through the Radstock area's past. Free, between 10.30am and noon. Shared Reading groups, every Friday. Join in, or just drop in to relax with a coffee & enjoy listening. Glastonbury library 10.30am-12; Wells library 11am -12.30. Details: 0151 7292200. Friday August 2nd to Sunday August 4th Valleyfest on the Community Farm above Chew Valley Lake. Details Children’s World Charity Family Festival, Paddington Farm, Wick nr Glastonbury BA6 8JW. Performance, music, workshops. Friday: 1-6pm; Sat & Sun: 11am–6pm. Tickets £5pp, U5’s free, on the gate, or online: Saturday August 3rd Nailsea Horticultural Society Summer Show, 12-5pm. Nailsea School. Wrington Garden open for the NGS 11am-5pm, Park Cottage, Wrington Hill BS40 5PL £5, children free. Kingston Seymour Market 10am-12, village hall. Fairtrade goods, cakes, crafts. Tables £2. Details: 01934 830553. Weston Walking Group: moderate 7m around Bleadon, all welcome. Full details: Mendip Society walk from Flax Bourton. Mod 4m. Meet 2pm Old Weston Road BS48 1UL. Details: Ann 01179 736497. Nunney Street Fayre, stalls, entertainment throughout the village, 10am-5pm. Saturday August 3rd and Sunday August 4th Lammas – an autumn celebration to give thanks for the corn harvest. Songs, stories, corn dollies & more on Sat at 3pm. “Bread on the edge” Sunday 11am. Refreshments, donations welcome, St Barnabas Church, Jasmine Lane, Claverham. Sunday August 4th Nempnett Thrubwell village fete, 2pm. Saturday August 3rd to Saturday August 10th A1 Camera Club Exhibition Free entry 10am – 5pm daily, Weston Museum, Burlington St, WSM. Sunday August 4th Stanton Prior Cream Teas every Sunday in August & Bank Holiday Monday, in village hall or on the green. BA2 9HT. Free parking. Mendip Ramblers moderate 10m Quantock ramble. Full details: Monday August 5th Congresbury Memorial Hall Club Friendship evening with bingo. Non-members welcome. 8pm War Memorial Hall. Mendip Ramblers easy 3m cup of tea walk in Mells. Details: Wednesday August 7th Mendip Society walk from Holford. Mod 7m. Meet 10.30am car park past Combe House Hotel, TA5 1RZ. Details: Clive 01275 848052. Making floral decorations groupwork, Backwell & Nailsea Support Group for Carers & ex-Carers. WI Hall, Backwell 2pm–3.30. Thursday August 8th Mendip Ramblers moderate 6.5m walk




Postlebury Wood and Wanstrow. Details: Thursday August 8th to Saturday August 10th Spellbound presents BLITZ! Frome Memorial Theatre. Various times & prices: or 01373 462795. Friday August 9th Barn Dancing with music by Jeroka, 7.30pm Ditcheat Jubilee Hall, admission £4. All welcome. Caller Peter Bolton 01749 672911. Saturday August 10th Coffee morning 10.30-12.15pm for people with Parkinson’s, families/carers, St Francis Church hall, Nailsea. Talk on Tyntesfield by Terry Stevens. Details: 01934 834060. Westfest at West Harptree 2-5pm. Children’s activities & entertainment on the field, refreshments in the hall and music. Clutton Show, from 1pm, £2.50 U-14s free. Flower marquee, stunt bikes & agility dog displays, horse jumping, dog show, classic cars & tractors, and a tug o’war challenge from Farrington Young Farmer’s all-female team! Details: Burnham & Highbridge Band, Puriton Flower Show 2-4.30pm Puriton village hall. Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall. Good quality books, jigsaws, dvds, cds. Weston Walking Group: moderate 8.4 miles from Winford, all welcome. Details: Meet the Experts at Radstock Museum: rope, twine & sail making; tools & trade items from the past- bring examples! 2pm-4, usual museum charges. Sunday August 11th Cranmore Street Fayre 12-5pm, Punch & Judy, children's races, car boot, live music, bar, BBQ, dog show & much more. £5 to book a stall or car boot: email or 01749 880512. The Mystics, with music from ‘60s and ‘70s in the flower marquee, Rudges Field, Clutton from 2pm. Tickets £10 include cream tea, from 01761 452624. Mendip Ramblers moderate 11m walk Blagdon Hill & Compton Martin. Details: Mendip Society walk from Charterhouse. Mod 4m. Meet 2pm nature reserve CP, BS40 7XR. Details: Peter 01761 221995. Monday August 12th to Friday August 16th Off the Streets Festival: activities for young people & families in the Glastonbury area. Cookery, Parkour & Paddington farm days. Workshops for over 12s include graffiti art and light painting photography. Details: or 01458 833693. Wednesday August 14th Weston Walking Group: moderate 7.8m with hills from Butcombe, all welcome. Details: Thursday August 15th Mendip Ramblers moderate 7m walk Castle Cary, Cole & Pitcombe. Details: Redhill Classic Car & Motorcycle BBQ gathering 7-10pm, all enthusiasts are welcome to park up for a chat, Church Road, Redhill, BS40 5SG. Tel: 01934 862619. Friday August 16th Wedmore Harvest Home procession, lunch,


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children’s games, evening entertainment. Details: Memory Café at Radstock museum, for people living with memory loss & their carers, 10.30-12. Free, but please book place: Saturday August 17th An Evening of Poetry, Music and Wine, Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard, Chew Magna, with poet Steve Day. 7pm. Eventbrite tickets £11 via calendar page Writhlington Flower Show, family fun day celebrating the show’s 130th year. Village hall 2.30pm. Details: 01761 420417. Stokefest, 1-11pm, Stoke St Michael. Dog show, circus skills, food. bar, live music. Details: 01749 840275. Burnham & Highbridge Band, 2-4pm, West Huntspill Flower Show. Wells Repair Café 10am-12, St. Thomas' Church Hall. Bring items for repair by our volunteers. Stalls from Sustainable Wells and others. Refreshments. All welcome. Mendip Society walk from Chewton Mendip. Mod 6m. Meet 2pm in Church CP, BA3 4LL. Details: Beryl 01761 412045. Regil Flower & Produce Show, 2.30pm, village hall. Saturday August 17th to Monday August 26th Clevedon Art Club Open Art Exhibition, Science Atrium Clevedon School, Valley Rd BS21 6AH. Daily 10.30-6pm. Sundays 2pm-6. Admission £1. Sunday August 18th Mid-Somerset Show see p12. East Harptree garden open for Weston Hospicecare 12-5pm, Rose Cottage, Smithams Hill BS40 6BY. Refreshments. Details: Jenny 01761 221627. Strawberry Line walk & talk: meet 11am at the Old School Rooms, Congresbury to walk for about an hour along the Strawberry Line to celebrate 150 years since the opening of the broad gauge line from Congresbury station. Free, no need to book. Mendip Ramblers moderate, undulating 11.5 walk from Heytesbury. Details: Indoor bowls taster sessions, Isle of Wedmore Bowls Club 10am-4pm.Bowls, shoes and other dates available. Details: St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells, cream tea and guided drawing class “Simply Drawing.” 2-4pm. Booking for class advisable via church office: 01749 676906 or Monday August 19th Congresbury Memorial Hall Club Friendship evening with bingo. Non-members welcome. 8pm War Memorial Hall. “What a Lovely Thing a Rose Is” by Elizabeth Sawday of Apuldram Roses, 8pm Methodist Church Hall, Nailsea. Visitors £4. Tuesday August 20th Cheddar Country Market 10.30am village hall. Free coffee & cake to mark 100 years of markets. Home bakes, garden produce & crafts. The weekly market is itself celebrating 30 years in Cheddar in 2019. Wednesday August 21st Weston Walking Group: moderate to hard 7.5m from Ross-on-Wye, all welcome. Details:


U G U S T Saturday August 24th High Littleton and Hallatrow Village Day, parade 12noon, stalls, dog show, theme Fairytale. Details: Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall. Good quality books, jigsaws, dvds, cds. Meet the Expert at Radstock Museum: all things milestones with the Milestone Society & Fimo designer Sue Mills. Usual museum charges apply. Meet the Sikhs 12-4pm free event, Cathedral Green, Wells. Organised by Wells Rotary & KhalsaAid. Sikh Storytelling, Chapatti workshop, Rotary projects, Eternal Taal, food, turbans and more. Details: Saturday August 24th to Bank Holiday Monday August 26th Flower Festival St Giles Church, Leigh on Mendip, 11am-5pm."Our Wonderful World" local history exhibition. Refreshments. For the repair & community use of the church. Mendip Ramblers Walking Festival: Four walks of varying lengths each day from Shepton Mallet Leisure Centre. Free. Details: or Kevin: 01749 672996. Sunday August 25th Outfield Festival: Toploader & East 17, from 1.30pm Midsomer Norton Cricket Club. Details: Burnham & Highbridge Band on the bandstand at Blake Gardens, Bridgwater from 2-4pm. Bank Holiday Monday August 26th Baltonsborough’s 113th Village Show from 12 noon. Adults £1, children 50p. Marquee opens 2pm. Beer tent, displays, numerous stalls. Road run 11am, kids races 4pm. Whitchurch Village Fete, 1pm, dance Saturday night, car boot Sunday morning. Details: Ashton Broad 01275 832148. Open Day, St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells. Refreshments and more! Ffi: 01749 676906 or Wells Moat Boat Races. 1-4pm, Bishop’s Palace Moat. Organised by Wells Lions and Wells Air Cadets. Races, stalls, entertainment. Free. Donations to local charities. Wednesday August 28th Backwell & Nailsea Macular Support Tea Party with Bring & Buy, from 2pm Backwell WI Hall. Money raised for Macular Society Research Appeal. Details: 01275 462107. Weston Walking Group: moderate 7.3m with hills Huntstile, Goathurst, all welcome. Details: Kammerphilharmonie return to All Saints, WSM, 7.30pm, for a concert of virtuoso music. Tickets £10 on the door. Thursday August 29th “Victorians Go Travelling” – children's activities at Radstock Museum 10am-12, £3/ child over one year. Adults £1. Museum closed to public until


2 0 1 9

2pm. Saturday August 31st Weston Walking Group: level 9.3m miles from Cheddar, all welcome. Details: “The Ultimate Little Mix Experience” 4pm, Frome Memorial Theatre. Tickets £15.50 from 01373 462795 Sunday September 1st North Somerset Ploughing Match and craft show Manor Farm, Bourton, Wick St Lawrence. Details: Mendip Ramblers moderate 10m walk Stourhead, Pen Selwood, Alfred’s Tower. Details: Monday September 2nd The Miners Reunion at Radstock Museum, ploughman's lunch, followed by a slide show trip down memory lane, doors open 11.45am, lunch served at 12noon, open to all former employees of the Somerset coal industry. Details: Wednesday September 4th Backwell & Nailsea Support Group for Carers & ex-carers. Afternoon Tea trip to Cadbury Garden Centre. Book a place and transport: 01275 463215. Thursday September 5th Congresbury Gardening Club talk by Neil Lovesey “Wildlife & the Garden” 7.30pm Methodist Hall. Friday September 6th Charity Fashion Show, 38 High St, Midsomer Norton, £5 from 01761 470863 for Children’s Hospice Southwest, Midsomer Norton Friends Group. Redhill Club Open Mic Night hosted by Jerry Blythe, 07900 587646, BS40 5SG, 01934 862619. Saturday September 7th “The Rock of Ages Experience” 7.30pm Frome Memorial Theatre. Tickets £21, £20 from 01373 462795 Bleadon Horticultural Society 45th Annual Summer Show, from 2.30pm Coronation Hall, BS24 0PG. All welcome. Lunchtime concert 12 noon, All Saints’ church, WSM, BS23 2NL. The James family with songs from musicals. Tickets £10 on door, includes lunch and wine. Considering Adoption? Families for Children information session 10am-12noon at Monks Yard, Horton Manor, Nr Illminster, TA19 9PY. To book: 01271 612004 or Evercreech Annual Show from 1.30pm, sports field Weston town fantastic family day. adults £2 children free. Details: 01749 831304. Sunday September 8th Redhill Harvest Fair and Produce Show, 14.30pm, free entry, stalls, teas, cakes, raffle, ploughman's lunches, kids’ face painting. BS44 5SG 01934 862619.


ACROSS: 1. Burtle 2. Untoward 10. Thumb 11. Atrocious 12. Endured 13. Heavens 14. Every second one 17. Administration 21. Acronym 23. Weather 24. Trombones 25. Rioja 26. Masseuse 27. Emerge. DOWN: 1. Buttered 2. Roundhead 3. Liberty 5. North-north-west 6. Orchard 7. Alone 8. Disuse 9. Dandie Dinmonts 15. Neighbour 16. Increase 18. Ignoble 19. Anagram 20. Bantam 22. Rooks MENDIP TIMES • AUGUST 2019 • PAGE 113

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Theatre beneath the skies

LIVE theatre will be coming to the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury on Sunday, August 4th when Chapterhouse Theatre Company stages Pride and Prejudice in the open air as part of their 20th anniversary tour. Susie Elizabeth and Mr Darcy in Chapterhouse’s Simmons, from staging of Pride and Prejudice the museum, said: “Visitors can bring their own picnic and bask in the glow of this timeless classic in the beautiful surroundings of the museum courtyard. The event promises to be one of the most enchanting and unmissable of the summer.” A favourite of Chapterhouse audiences, Pride and Prejudice follows the story of Jane Austen’s famous heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. Take a step back in time to Georgian England to see Elizabeth meet the abrupt Mr Darcy. Although she loathes him at first, could there be more to him than meets the eye? Brought to life by the award-winning writer, Laura Turner, this adaption showcases the bold and exciting story created by one of the greatest female novelists. Somerset Rural Life Museum is part of The South West Heritage Trust, an independent charity that protects and celebrates Somerset and Devon’s rich heritage. l Tickets can be purchased via or by calling 01458 831197 and are priced £16 (Adult) £11 (Child) £46 (Family two adults and two children). There is a 10% discount for parties of 10 or more. Gates open at 5pm with the show commencing at 6pm.

Dairy Festival in Weston


DATING back to the 1950s, The Dairy Festival celebrates the best of farming and produce in the South West. It was revived in 2015 with the support of the late Derek Mead. As a sixth generation dairy farmer, as well as a local councillor, he was passionate about supporting the local farming community. Now in memory of his hard work and dedication to the event, Puxton Park, which he founded, are hosting the 2019 Dairy Festival. With visitors coming in from all over the UK, it promises to bring thousands of people to Weston seafront from August 1st-4th. The festival promises activities and attractions that the whole family will enjoy. From falconry and milking displays and exhibits for the grown-ups to petting zoos, bouncy castles, face painting and rides for children.

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