Issue 7 - Volume 14 - Mendip Times

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Mendip Times

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Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas



SEASON’S GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS! Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news

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SEVERAL of the Mendip-based Thailand cave rescuers have received richly-deserved awards this month – we hear from Phil Hendy how these modest heroes got the young footballers out. The Somerset Activity and Sports Awards have also been held – we meet some of the young Mendip winners. We’ve pictures from the first of the big Somerset carnivals and pages devoted to Mendip’s Armistice centenary services, a poignant show of communities coming together. On a less serious note, there have been ghouls in Glastonbury and Draycott, Frome unveiled its first community orchard and Witham Friary had its conker championships. The TV series Poldark has returned to filming in our area and Rachel Thompson has been learning about the equine stars of the show, including a chance to take to the saddle on Demelza’s horse. With Christmas approaching, we offer Christmas fare, a Christmas walk and look ahead to the huge number of festive events planned across the area. We also offer you the chance to win a Christmas hamper with our ever-popular spot the rabbit competition. May we wish all of our contributors, readers and advertisers a healthy and happy Christmas! January 2019 deadline: Friday, 7th December 2018. Published: Tuesday, 18th December 2018. 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: Jen Hunter, from Fernhill Farm, at the Bishop’s Palace Artisan Fair. Photograph by Mark Adler. See page 101.


Mapping out the past – museum’s antique fundraiser


Garden of remembrance – artist inspires schoolchildren


Bonkers about conkers – Witham’s grand day out


Clearing another hurdle – Wincanton gets a facelift Plus all our regular features Environment ...................................6 Farming Mary James MBE ..........10 Internet and Crossword ..............12 Food & Drink ...............................14 Business.........................................26 Arts & Antiques ...........................34 Charities........................................60 Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......65 Walking Sue Gearing ....................66 Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........68

Gardening Mary Payne MBE.......70 Reader’s Opinion .........................86 Caving Phil Hendy ........................88 Health Dr Phil Hammond .............90 Community ...................................94 Homes and Interiors ..................111 Riding Rachel Thompson MBE...116 Sport ............................................118 Music & Theatre ........................122 What’s On...................................123 MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • 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

We are pleased to announce the results of the BGW family quiz held on Friday, November 9th in which “The Cheeky Squad” narrowly defeated “The Blue Team” after a tie break. It would not be fair to disclose which team was awarded the wooden spoon! We all had a great evening and are grateful to our director Libby Rae who organised and hosted the event. Once again Christmas is approaching fast. Traditionally, Christmas is the time of year to be thankful so… a big thank you to all our staff whose energy, enthusiasm and diligence enables us to provide the service of which we Members of the victorious Cheeky are justly proud. Squad including director Karen Lucas Thanks also go to our professional and (left) are pictured with quiz organiser other business contacts. We have very much and host Libby Rae (far right) enjoyed working with you this year and we hope to do more in 2019. Most of all we give sincere thanks to our clients. Whether regular or occasional, we value each and every one and we are touched by the loyalty shown by those that return to us, sometimes after several years, because they remember our good service. We are grateful to all of you and wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

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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Top award

History in their hands

Militaria expert Paul Atkins (left) with Jeff Hodder and an intriguing “map” from the Second World War; Paul’s theory is that the map – which was approved by the censors at the time – was some sort of decoy or propaganda item

ANTIQUES experts have put their skills to good use to support Somerset Coalfield Live at Radstock Museum. They welcomed members of the public to a valuation day at the Somer Centre in Midsomer Norton. The second Trash or Treasure event was organised by the friends of the museum and supported by Killens and the Mendip Auction Rooms. Killens will Museum volunteer Lynda Hughes with a 400year-old book found propping up a water pipe donate their in her mother’s house in Cornwall. The book commission on is called The Golden Scepter by John Preston any items which are subsequently sold in the Mendip Auction Rooms. Last year, the museum was able to put the money towards the installation of images on the shop windows; this year’s aim is to help to pay for the installation of photographs on the schoolroom windows.

Dark times remembered

ALL the first seven blue plaques installed around Wells relate to something cheerful in the city’s history – starting with the one for Hollywood movie director and former Blue School student Edgar Wright. But the eighth plaque to be unveiled does not. It commemorates the Wells gallows and reads: “Near here during the 17th and 18th centuries stood the place of public execution for hanging, drawing, quartering and burning at the stake.” The plaques are installed by Wells Civic Society with Wells Rotary Club sharing the cost. The Rev. Clare Cowlin, from St Cuthbert’s church in Wells, was present for the unveiling of the plaque off the Glastonbury Road at Keward and said: “We cannot name the hundreds who died here, but we can honour them as individuals, known to God whose own son died like a criminal on the cross.” Civic society vice-chairman Philip Welch read a report from the Bath Journal about a burning at the stake at Keward of a woman called Susannah Bruford who had poisoned her

MENDIP YMCA chief executive, Karen Deverell, has been awarded the special Red Triangle Award at YMCA’s National Youth Awards for her outstanding commitment to her are up for grabs each year. She was praised by judges for working tirelessly to build a sustainable organisation, but never losing focus on the importance of young people. She said “I was really touched to be chosen for this award. It has been an immense privilege to work for the YMCA. I was motivated to work with young people 24 years ago and they are still the reason I enjoy my work today. “Watching young people who have come to us often in chaos, feeling lost and with no sense of purpose; then start to engage, grow and achieve, has given me tremendous job satisfaction.” YMCA Mendip has over 100 accommodation units and provides homeless support services and youth and community work across Mendip and South Somerset. Details:

Celia Wride, the mayor of Wells (centre), unveils the plaque

husband. He then thanked Mark and James Vear of Vear Construction for providing the stone and building the plinth, Jon Jefferies who did much of the work including the planning application and Clare Blackmore and David Mather for helping with the research.


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Families rock the gorge

DOZENS of families enjoyed Natural England’s annual Explore Ebbor day, one of the biggest events of the 2018 Mendip Rocks! festival. Organisations ranging from NE to the Mendip Society, the Mendip Hills AONB and the National Trust organised handson activities for children, whilst experts including renowned palaeontologist Professor Danielle Schreve led guided walks around the area. Mendip Rocks! had been running since July; the finale saw a day of talks at the Wells and Mendip Museum called Geo Resources in Our Lives.

A finished print

Flower printing using petals, leaves and other found flora produced some startling images

Professor Danielle Schreve led a walk to Gully Cave, famous for its animal remains

Decorating pebbles for a “treasure hunt” which has proved a massive hit on social media. Pebbles are hidden at various sites for people to find and post a photograph before hiding them again


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Forty years of service to the environment

Enjoying the hands-on activities Professional story teller Michael Loader

Bob Corms at Ebbor Gorge – one of his favourite locations – during the Mendip Rocks! festival

Setting off in the morning mist for a guided walk

MENDIP conservation expert Bob Corms has retired after 40 years of service to the environment in Somerset and the surrounding area. But Bob, who stood down as conservation officer for Natural England in November, will still be seen out-and-about; he plans to become a volunteer warden. He began his careers in North Wales after studying ecology and joined the Nature Conservancy Council on a 12-month contract. Three years later he moved to Somerset, covering a patch from South Gloucestershire to Exmoor excluding – at that time – the Somerset Levels, until concentrating on Mendip and the Somerset coast. Bob, who lives at Milverton, said: “I’ve a certain expertise and will probably work as a volunteer whilst I’m still fit and able.” Bob’s role on Mendip will be filled by a team of three officers covering west, central and east Mendip and the surrounding areas.


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“Pocket Park” has a bright future

VOLUNTEERS are working to transform Castle Cary’s Moat Garden into an area for the whole community to enjoy. They have created the outline of a labyrinth and are bringing nine raised beds for fruit and vegetables back into use. The garden – dubbed Cary’s Pocket Park – sits behind the George Hotel along Paddock Drain. Until recently, the raised beds were tended by children from Castle Cary Primary

Roger Weldhen, Ida West, Anne Jeliffe and Graham House in the seven-ring classical labyrinth, which they are planning to plant


School but have become neglected. Ida West, one of the volunteers, said: “We would welcome anybody with a connection to the primary school to take on one of the beds, but we are open to any ideas.” Ida added: “The garden has great potential; all it needs is a little attention.” ● The project – a charity – would welcome people becoming friends of the garden for a minimum £5 donation.

The garden is a community asset in the heart of Castle Cary

For details, contact Anne Jeliffe at or Ida West at

Protecting Mendip’s trees

SOMERSET Wildlife Trust has been collecting seed from a variety of trees across its Mendip reserves as part of a national project to protect the UK’s trees by creating a huge tree seed bank. The trust is part of the UK National Tree Seed Project, which has been set up by Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, the UK’s first national collection of tree seeds. These can then play a vital role in conservation work to protect UK trees and woodlands. The collections, and associated data, will be available to researchers working on solutions to tackle the many threats facing our woodlands. The trust started with seed from wayfaring trees – a small tree of woodland edges, hedgerows, scrub and downland – from its Ubley Warren Reserve. Later the trust planned to collect spindle seed from Rose Wood and Mascall’s Wood and will also have professional tree climbers in its Cheddar Wood reserve to collect small leaved lime seeds. James Ozolins, East Mendip’s assistant reserves manager, said: “With our ever-changing climate and the associated spread of tree pests and diseases it is extremely important to gather genetic information on the full range of native tree species including the less common species associated with ravine woodland and limestone grassland. “Our Mendip woodlands are vital as they are home to an incredibly large and diverse variety of wildlife, from the smallest invertebrates to bats, birds and our some of our favourite small mammals such as dormice. “Projects such as this ensure that we can continue to support these habitats in the future as our landscapes and environment evolves.” PAGE 8 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Fossil fun in the autumn sun

Having a cracking time at Writhlington Batch

SOME 100 children took part in the annual fossil hunt organised by Radstock Museum at nearby Writhlington Batch. The hunt has been a feature of autumn half-term for around 20 years and saw the youngsters splitting open rocks to reveal fossils of plants, including ferns.

Revealing a fossil of a fern

For details about activities at the museum, visit:

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Tel: 0800 097 8611 | e-mail:


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A cracking food enterprise

THIS month we highlight a young farmer who is making his mark in the poultry industry. Tom Wood, aged 32, produces Greenacres Free Range Eggs situated in Compton Martin. It was Tom’s father, Peter Wood, who first started the egg producing business at With MARY Fair Ash Farm in 1959. A large proportion JAMES MBE of birds were in cages but in the 80s he started a free range unit and gradually changed to all the stock being free range in 2012 and then Tom took over the business. Free range is exactly what it says. The birds are housed in two large houses (one is mobile) with many small pop holes that are opened every morning for the birds to roam over the grass all day and the pop holes are closed up at night, this being especially important to stop the fox getting a quick meal. Electric fencing around their pecking area helps enormously. The hens’ welfare is top priority. Young hens (pullets) are bought in at 16 weeks old from rearers in Devon. The breeds are Hyline and Bovans, both breeds laying brown eggs. Did anyone see the Countryfile programme about white eggs? The customer actually likes brown eggs best. The young hens will start laying at 20 weeks, with 94 – 96% of them reaching full production at 23 – 25 weeks. They will

lay approximately one egg per day for 320 days per year. The hens are fed on a natural feed designed for free range hens supplied by Crediton Milling Co. in Devon. Hens eat roughly one tonne per thousand birds per week, so in total they consume around eight tonnes per week. This diet along with the outdoor life helps to produce eggs with beautiful golden yolks and flavour. There are currently 8,000 hens on-site and Tom and his partner Becky are keen to expand and permission has already been granted for a new poultry building and grading shed at the Greenacres’ site. Tom can get Greenacres’ eggs to the shops in one or two days from laying, the vans are out delivering almost every day. Tom underlines the fact that eggs are a natural healthy product and so versatile. I asked him how he thinks Brexit will affect their business and Tom replied: “It has already started, feed prices are up, packaging prices are up and it is all very uncertain, but at least people will still want eggs whatever happens.” On the subject of Brexit I am still concerned that those mandarins in Whitehall, who know nothing about actual farming, will foist impossible demands on the industry. It would not be unusual! All credit to a significant number of MPs who have been out on farm to see for themselves. Finally, congratulations to Lindsey Carnell, farming in North Somerset, who has been elected vice chairman of Somerset County NFU. In the last 30 years she is only the third lady elected to that position. There is a lady who is the National NFU President, Minette Batters, so look out Whitehall! As well as that the MP for Taunton East is farmer’s daughter Rebecca Pow who was renowned for her public speaking skills when she was a member of Bath Young Farmers Club. A marvellous youth organisation is the YFC; if any young person from 10 – 26 reading this is interested then have a look at the Somerset YFC website.

Young farmers give thanks

Christmas opening times: 27th December – 30th December 8.30am – 1pm Check out our new website:


SOMERSET Young Farmers held their annual Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Wells Cathedral, with more than 400 members, associates, students, town dignitaries and guests. The procession of harvest gifts to be blessed at the altar was carried out by 14 young farmers from across the county, dressed in white coats carrying their produce. Following the service, 150 guests of Somerset YFC enjoyed a sumptuous buffet supper in the palatial Bishops Palace.

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Top award for Mary Mead of Yeo Valley


MARY Mead from Blagdon has been given the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture Award at the British Farming Awards in Birmingham, attended by more than 700 farmers and industry professionals. She is co-founder of Yeo Valley, the biggest organic brand in the UK – nine million homes buy at least one Yeo Valley dairy product including milk, yogurts, crème fraiche and butter. With a career spanning more than 60 years, she moved to Holt Farm in Blagdon, with husband Roger in 1961. The farm then had just 35 cows. Their entrepreneurial spirit launched the award-winning brand from scratch and following the death of Roger in an accident, she continued to lead the family-run unit alongside her son, Tim. Today the business runs 450 pedigree cows across two units spanning 1,400 acres and employs more than 1,700 people. Recognised for their product quality, innovation and sustainable farming practises, the company have been awarded two Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the revolutionary way it works with its farming suppliers, encouraging them to turn organic and giving them long-term “fair trade” contracts. On receiving her award ahead of the night as she was unable to attend, Mary Mead said: “Thank you so much for this award, and I’d like to accept it on behalf of all women in farming."

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Windows 10 tips

INSTEAD of clicking the Start button, you can just press the Windows key on your keyboard. You can customise how to Start your Windows 10 PC – go to Settings in the Start Menu and go to Personalisation > Start and click on the 'Choose which folders appear on Start' link. – Now you can customise the folders list that shows on the Start menu. If you wish to pin more items to the Start menu you can make it stretch across the whole screen. Go to Start > Settings > Personalisation > Start and toggle the 'Use full-screen Start when in the desktop' option. The “tiles” that appear in your Start menu are usually set to animate, so they scroll through photos etc, but that can be a nuisance, so just rightclick on each one and select the 'Turn live tile off' option. But if you don’t want them on the Start menu at all, you can remove them by rightclicking on each and selecting the 'Unpin from Start' option. If there are files etc that you usually regularly, You can pin shortcuts, files and folders to Start Menu. Just right-click on the one you want, and select the 'Pin to Start' option. – It will then appear on the right side of the Start menu If you use one document frequently, but don’t like having to keep searching for it, you can access it with a right-click. With the document open, right-click on the Windows logo at the very bottom of the screen, the click Pin to this list. Now when you have Word open, you can right click it, and your favourite document will be waiting for you. You can also Pin Word or Excel to the taskbar to open it with one click. Then if you change your mind, just right-click it again and click Remove. 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 skills with others, please get in touch.



The Mendip Mindbender

ACROSS 1 Methods (7) 5 Is well worth it (4,3) 9 Compositions (6) 10 --- Musgrove, site of Wincanton racecourse (8) 11 Fictitious Bulldog (8) 12 New growth (6) 13 Form (10) 15 Incomers from the Smoke (1,1,2) 16 Bristol river name which means "river" (4) 19 Aggressive (2-4-4) 22 Storey connectors (6) 24 Dormant (8) 25 Chilcompton watering hole (4,4) 26 Grass (6) 27 Little ones (7) 28 Shrink (7)

DOWN 2 Type of question politicians rarely answer (3-2-2) 3 Shocks (7) 4 Il Duce (9) 6 Gather (5) 7 Ancient Somerset/Dorset/Wiltshire forest (7) 8 Altar covering (7) 10 Old fort near Yatton (7,4) 14 Pedagogy (9) 17 Old campaigner (7) 18 Well-known type of Somerset glass (7) 20 Momentous (7) 21 Cheddar Gorge has many (7) 23 The --- Track, an ancient timber road near Glastonbury (5)


A great place to relax Win a £10 voucher off a meal at The George Inn with our prize crossword. The George Inn, between Wells and Shepton Mallet, is renowned for real ale, great food, cosy rooms and a warm welcome. Correct entries are placed in a hat. The winner is the first name drawn. Please send entries with your name and address to: Crossword Competition, Mendip Times, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon BS40 7RG. Entries to be received by Thursday, December 6th. T&Cs apply. Solution next month.

Last month’s solution and winner on page 127

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Time for Yuletide treats

I’M having a bit of a Madeira moment. It’s a fortified wine from the island of Madeira that keeps for ages, even after opened. A bit old-fashioned, but wonderful and just right for Christmas! Try it with this great With JUNE mushroom dish. I like to have MACFARLANE some ham around at this time of year, either as a main course or for sandwiches. Roast some pears alongside for some fruity goodness. Lastly, for those with a sweet tooth, this luscious caramel fondant will get you lots of “caramel” points.


Gigli is a very pretty pasta like a folded flower that is brilliant for this kind of dish with its creamy sauce. If you can’t buy fresh wild mushrooms use dried, or just plain ones. METHOD Melt the butter in a large frying pan and when sizzling add the mushrooms. Season, toss and when golden add the Madeira and reduce to syrupy. Add mascarpone, parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Meanwhile cook pasta al dente. Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water to the mushrooms. Drain pasta well and return to pan. Add mushrooms and stir. Serve with a scattering of fresh parsley.

(For four) 50g butter 400g mixed mushrooms 100ml Madeira 3 tbsp mascarpone A handful of chopped fresh parsley Squeeze of lemon 400g gigli pasta


Wild in the country; fresh is best, but this recipe is still delicious with shop-bought ones


Hamming it up with cranberries, redcurrants and pears

BAKED HAM WITH CRANBERRY AND REDCURRANT GLAZE AND PEARS A ham is the most useful of things at Christmas and if there are any leftovers they even freeze well.

(For six) METHOD 1.5kg unsmoked In a roomy pan cover the gammon with gammon water and simmer for two hours until 3 small pears, halved tender. Simmer the cranberries and sugar 250g fresh cranberries gently with a splash of water until soft, 3 tbsp brown sugar add redcurrant jelly and allow to melt. 200g redcurrant jelly Reserve. Preheat oven to 180°C. Drain French mustard gammon, remove any rind and crosshatch the fat. Place in roasting tin with pears. Paint with mustard, pour over three tbsp glaze, reserving the rest. Cover with foil and roast for 45 mins. Remove foil for last 15 mins and baste. Allow to rest for 10 mins. Serve with remaining glaze as a sauce.



You need to know your oven temperature well for this, but it is a INGREDIENTS delicious dessert with its soft caramel (For four) centre. Serve with clotted cream or ice 2 egg yolks cream. 1 whole egg METHOD 1 tsp vanilla extract Butter four dariole moulds. Preheat 397g (1 tin) caramel oven to 180°C. In an electric mixer 2 ½ tbsp plain flour whisk the eggs and vanilla to a pale sifted ribbon. Add caramel and whisk slowly to combine. Fold in flour by hand. Fill molds three quarters full. Place on baking tray and cook for 15 mins until golden but soft in the middle. Allow to sit for 1 min before turning out. Molten caramel fondants

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Introducing our all-new Rosé Cider


Festivities at The Railway Inn IT’S not too late to book your Christmas meal at The Railway Inn. We have a special Christmas menu (2 courses for £24.50, 3 courses for £29.50), as well as our regular menu running throughout December. For more details visit l IF you need some Christmas gift inspiration, pop along to the Thatchers Cider Shop where Lynne and her team will be happy to help! There’s a choice of gift baskets, threebottle gift boxes and gift vouchers, as well as special offers over the Christmas period on multi-packs of our bottled and can ciders. And if you’re having a party, why not try a bag-in-box of our Stan’s traditional range!

New kit for Winscombe Ladies Hockey JUST in time for Christmas, we’ve introduced our all-new Thatchers Rosé Cider. This beautiful blush cider uses a blend of naturally sweet, rosy-red dessert apples, including Pink Lady, Fuji and Gala. It’s deliciously sparkling, and bursting with fruity apple flavour. This is a 4.0%, sweet cider, and will initially be available in a 4x440ml can pack, from our shop at Myrtle Farm, as well as selected branches of Sainsbury’s. The 500ml bottle will follow in December. As with all our cans, Rosé is sustainably packaged in a recyclable cardboard carry-pack, so there’s no need for any plastic rings.

CONGRATULATIONS to the First XI at Winscombe Ladies Hockey as they take on life in the Premier League. We’re delighted to be supporting the club this year, and to have supplied them with new kit. Good luck to all the club’s teams for the season ahead.

Cheers from us all at Myrtle Farm • Don’t forget you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Thatchers Cider, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset, BS25 5RA


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Christmas Menu

Starters (including): Beetroot carpaccio & goats cheese Cullen skink of Finnan Haddie Lamb pithivier Main course (including): Slow roast turkey Celeriac pecan nut roast Braised daube of beef Desserts (including): Steamed chocolate & clementine pudding Warmed pear & almond tart Figgy pudding 2 courses £23.95 • 3 courses £29.95

Consistently high standards at The Holcombe Inn

THANKS to its team of four chefs headed by Shane Vant and its front-of-house attention to detail, 2018 has seen The Holcombe Inn proudly maintain its two rosettes and receive a certificate of excellence award from Trip Advisor. Owner Jules Berry said: “The certificate of excellence award from Trip Advisor shows consistently high standards in the not only the level of food produced but for our level of service being attentive yet not too formal making it a more relaxing and enjoyable experience overall.” The Holcombe Inn gardens have been very popular over the summer months, packed with people enjoying a sundowner from its extensive bar menu including great fresh cocktails. Jules added: “Now that winter is here, the log fires will be burning in the cosy bar and snug areas and perhaps our in-house foraged rosehip gin, rhubarb vodka or an espresso martini may tickle your fancy?” The inn’s coffee bar is open seven days a week from 8am serving fresh speciality coffees and teas and cakes, pastries, brownies and cookies by pastry chef Jeseigh. Breakfast is also served from 8-9.30am Monday-Friday and from 8-10am Saturday and Sunday. Sundays are hugely popular at “The Holcy” serving fabulous Sunday roasts along with a full a la carte menu and pub classics from midday until 9pm. Booking is advisable. Food is also served all day Saturday with lunch and dinner served Monday-Friday.



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Christmas Quiz & Social Sun, Dec 23rd with chef’s basket supper – £15pp. Tickets now available.

New Year’s Eve Party Fabulous three-course meal

LIVE MUSIC from the ‘Voice of Somerset’ ~ TIM PITMAN ~ Dancing and disco – Champagne at midnight Starters (including): Winter minestrone soup Pan fried scallops Main course (including): Boeuf bourguignon Fillet of seabass Desserts (including): White chocolate & orange delice Cherry & amaretti trifle £79.95pp All menus on our website or call for information

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Winter cherries

THIS year I have grown a couple of different physalis species – a purple tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa) and Physalis peruviana, sometimes called the Cape gooseberry. My tomatillos were a bit of a disaster, with small crinkled leaves and With JAKE thousands of flowers but almost no WHITSON fruit. The Cape gooseberries, however, were a great success, and have carried on producing well into the winter, and are a welcome fresh addition to the table in these colder winter months. In fact, they are sometimes called “winter cherries”, owing to their ability to keep for long periods of time in their papery husks, stored in much the same way as apples. The plant itself is also remarkably hardy, and while usually grown as an annual, it is actually a perennial in its native Peru and certain varieties are hardy down to -10c. In milder parts of the country, or a favoured sunny position by a south facing wall, or in a greenhouse or conservatory, these could well be overwintered in the UK. I'm going to try in my greenhouse this year and let you know the results! The fruit are ripe when their papery husks turn golden brown – though rather annoyingly, they often fall off at the point – it's well worth looking around the bases of your plants for fallen fruit. When ripe they are sweet and sour, with perhaps a hint of tomato flavour, and a crunchy skin with delicious juicy flesh. You may recognise them as they are often used as decoration for desserts in this country. I enjoy them mostly raw as a snack, but at certain times of the year I have noticed a slightly soapy flavour to the fruit, and at this point I enjoy them more cooked – the cooked puree is absolutely delicious. with custard or ice cream! Jacob is a former chef turned food writer, smallholder and mycologist. He divides his time between the Mendips and his nine-acre forest garden project in Pembrokeshire. Details:



Magpies and aliens

I DO like a good science fiction film at Christmas. You know, sat in front of the telly, fire on, mince pies and a bit of Star Trek. So this has led me to the most tenuous of wild food links, I’m sure you will agree but do hope you enjoy nonetheless! I was looking out of the window across the With ADRIAN garden one morning and a magpie flew by. BOOTS Now I’m not in the least bit superstitious but the saying goes “one for sorrow, two for joy” etc. I happen to know that there are a pair of magpies nesting in the hedge so to see one or both out “foraging” is not unusual. I’m not sure how joyful it is to have magpies as they make a racket and terrorise most other wildlife. The following morning I noticed (looking out of the same window) a number of white specks in the grass of the garden. Over a period of about three days these white specks morphed into alien domes getting bigger and bigger. The magpies continued to fly by and I continued to watch the white, alien forms infesting the lawn from the window with my morning cup of tea. Of course I had a fair idea of what I was looking at, even from the safety of my kitchen – I was just delaying the inevitable alien “first contact”, letting them grow to a prodigious size ready to be harvested for a galactic mushroom breakfast. Macro Mushroom (Agaricus Urinascens) has a creamy white, spherical cap 12 to 30cm wide, later flattening out, sometimes scaly. The stem is eight to 12cm tall, 2.5cm wide, cylindrically shaped, mostly smooth, sometimes woolly. It has a large pendulous ring with a cogwheel pattern on the underside. It has pale cream gills when young, turning pink then brown with maturity and the flesh bruises slightly yellow (please do not confuse with the Yellow Stainer!). It’s commonly found in grassland (and now my garden) late summer through to late autumn. A key ID feature is the wonderful aniseed smell, but if kept too long before eating, it begins to smell of, erm, urine. So to the morning of the harvest, where I stood with steaming mug of tea ready to survey the lawn in anticipation of a “close encounter” of the most mushroomy kind. Instead of wonderful white domes, I was met by a scene of devastation, bits of dismembered fungus everywhere and the back of a rapidly disappearing black and white avian attack fleet! So moral of this Christmas science fiction story is: don’t put off what you can do today as you never know who will come along and teleport your breakfast away. Have a Merry Christmas and the best New Year ever! 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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SPILLERS are proud to have played a part in the Aga story since 1932. Our destination Aga Centre in Somerset is home to the latest products and colours, all displayed in real working kitchens ready to demonstrate. The traditional Aga, with its cast iron ovens and continuous background warmth has been a kitchen icon for the past 9 decades, but the Aga 60, Dual Control and Total Control models have taken the Aga to an even wider audience. Now, that audience is set to grow even bigger, with the new Aga eR3. The Aga eR3 combines typically beautiful Aga looks, cast iron radiant heat ovens (the secret to delicious results) and a

host of innovative features that will make this one of the most flexible Range Cookers available today. Of course you don’t need to take our word for it. Come and see the eR3 at the South West’s premier Aga Centre Spillers of Chard. The new Aga will be put through its paces by renowned Aga chef David Pengelly on Wednesday 12th December. You’ll experience eR3’s cooking performance up close and personal, plus no demonstration would be complete without plenty of delicious results to sample. The Spillers team will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Please call 01460 67878 to book your place.


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Can do better

WITH 43 tonnes, Aldwick’s harvest increased 42% on 2017. In retrospect, it’s no excuse for complacency. Four logistic factors must align with optimal ripeness in each of seven grape varieties: assessing weather forecasts, securing a delivery slot with With contract vintner Steve Brooksbank, ELIZABETH rallying sufficient pickers, and hauling LAVER grapes to the winery. Five weather websites rigorously monitored rarely concur. Despite unanimous predictions of sunshine for two of the 19 harvest days, rain fell. Neither grapes nor humans benefit from precipitation! Steve and son Harry, hard-pressed by 2018’s bounty from many clients, were happiest with early morning deliveries. Aldwick’s stalwart volunteer pickers remain a total blessing. Enthusiastic recruits reinforced veterans; all implement a vested interest in selecting top-quality grapes. The post-Brexit future of EU migrant labour holds no fear. As “Grey-Power” prevails, so we strive to fine-tune ergonomics to minimise physical challenges. NHS take note of benefits conferred by fruitful exercise, full-spectrum light, and comradery! Our trailer-pulling truck did break down three times. Freddie Ford, supplier of chicken muck for vineyard compost, generously loaned his vehicle. Farm manager Tim revels in leading convoys as we climb Burrington Coombe and cross the Mendips with 2.4 tonne loads. Such a hoot that the Ford’s “Our Pool” logo should become the focus of commuter ire? My apologies to all inconvenienced – especially dear Freddie, spotted in the tailback on his way to a ploughing match.


The gift of coffee

THEIR name says it all, Beans and Machines not only supply the highest quality commercial coffee machines and “Bean-toCup” coffee machines to buy or rent, but they also supply such things as spoon biscuits, syrups, tea infusions and hot-chocolate! Their latest commercial coffee machine is the Astoria Core 600. This machine has many great features, such as a six-dose push-button panel with sensitive touch buttons, a bonus in any catering establishment at this time of year! “Bean-to-Cup” coffee machines provide the professional barista experience at home. These all-in-one machines use whole beans to deliver delicious espresso-based coffee at the touch of a button. A Beans and Machines coffee hamper is an excellent gift and can include a mixture of products to suit, including an own-blend coffee, roasted to a specific “secret” recipe, delicious teas and hot chocolates plus Beans and Machines’ branded coffee cups and saucers. Call Beans and Machines on 01761 418 882 to arrange a visit to their showroom in Paulton, “test drive” one of their coffee machines and taste their superb, freshly roasted coffee first hand.

From Rob, Jane and the team at Beans and Machines Ltd. A big thank you to you all for your continued support in 2017 Elizabeth Laver is Vineyard Manager

For wine & vineyard tours visit

t: 01761 418882 e: w: Beans and Machines Ltd, Unit 32, Old Mills Industrial Estate, Paulton, Bristol, BS39 7SU MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 19

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THE New landlord Dave QUEEN Green wishes you ADELAIDE a warm welcome BLAGDON

Christmas Menu

Thursday, November 22nd Caribbean night food and live band Thursday, December 13th Ribs and Chicken Night

Now open Seven days a week 5pm to close Food served Thurs Fri Sat 12noon-2pm 6pm-8.30pm Sunday 12noon-3.30pm

STARTERS Crab Bisque with Crusty Bread and Butter Ham Hock and Smoked Chicken Terrine with Crusty Bread, Roquette and Pea and Mint Ketchup Roast Figs stuffed with Feta Cheese served with Roquette and Parma Ham Chips Red Chicory, Apple, Deep Fried Blue Cheese, Candied Walnut Salad with Balsamic Glaze MAINS Roast Beef • Roast Turkey Wild Mushroom, Tarragon and Garlic Parcels All served with Parsnip Puree, Braised Red Cabbage, Roast Potatoes, Sprouts and Bacon, Roast Carrots and Pigs in Blankets Pan Fried Salmon with New Potatoes, Samphire, Braised Baby Gem and Veg Broth Parsnip Gnocchi with Crispy Sage, Roquette Pesto, Crushed Walnuts and Sage Butter DESSERTS Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Honeycomb Rum and Raisin Cheesecake with Tuille and Rum Jelly Christmas Pudding with Brandy Snap and Crème Anglaise Local Cheese Selection with Apple, Celery, Biscuits and Red Onion Marmalade Lemon Posset with Thyme Shortbread and Fig Pearls

NEW Sunday Carvery 12noon-3.30pm

A traditional English country pub Real ales, local cider, fine wines and locally-sourced home-cooked food

Gastro food at pub prices!


The Druids Arms

Wine of the week: £12.50 2 courses £22.50 • 3 courses £27.50

Stanton Drew

Bristol BS39 4EJ 01275 332230

New Menu New Chef


Restaurant • Bar • Accommodation 2 course special Mon–Fri 12 midday to 5pm – £9.95 £5 off a meal for 2 and £10 off a meal for 4 on production of this advert The Langford Inn, Lower Langford, Bristol BS40 5BL 01934 863059 •


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I spice up Christmas! IF you are looking for something different this Christmas, why not give loved one a Sweet Cumin Cookery Course as a gift voucher. Alternatively try Bini’s award winning ready meals as a Christmas, Boxing day, New Year’s Eve meal or festive treat. Since picking up many regional and national awards for her cookery classes and her unique Bini ready-meal range, local cook Bini Ludlow of Sweet Cumin shares her love of Indian food with a firm belief that richer, deeper flavours can be created when time, effort and care is taken. Bini has won the ‘Best Producer 2018’ at the Western Daily Press awards, her 12th Great Taste Award, for Jammu Chicken Curry which will be out in time for Christmas. And another 3 Taste of the West Gold Awards for her Vegan Range, including being a finalist in the South West Best Ready meals, Soups and Lite Eats category for her mixed

vegetable rice dish. Bini has made television and radio appearances as well as featuring in local and national press, and recently she was the only female chef taking part in the the 7 Chefs Dinner with Michael Caines. When asked to what she owes her success Bini replied ‘Indian cooking is all about loving each and every ingredient using only the best, locallysourced produce and not rushing the process’ Whether you’re a novice who loves a good Indian takeaway, or already comfortable using spices in your cooking, personalised Sweet Cumin Indian Cookery Courses offer something for everyone. Bini welcomes all cooks who want to learn from her, and they have come from as far afield as the USA, Australia, South America as well as from Europe and the UK.

Testimonials ‘Many thanks Bini! I so enjoyed the course and so enjoyed meeting you! What you offer and how you deliver your courses is truly fantastic. You are doing something very special with a bucket load of passion and enthusiasm’ Ross (Bath) ‘Positively changed my experience of Indian Cuisine’ – Anne (Swansea)

For further details on cookery courses, or local ready meal outlets, contact Bini at Sweet Cumin on or 07961 320193.

Gift Vouchers

available to the value of your choice ❖ Courses to suit all ages and abilities ❖ Enjoy learning in a small class size ❖ Take home the food you cook, a goody pack with recipe and spices

❖ Half day courses £85.00 and Full day courses £165.00 per person.

❖ Discover the secrets of blending and using spices with confidence

❖ Bini conducts public talks, demonstrations and private catering


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Country shopping at its best

New Manor Farm Shop

North Widcombe, West Harptree, Bristol BS40 6HW


Centred around a traditional farm courtyard near Chew Valley Lake – the very best in local produce and gift ideas MEAT SUPPLIED FROM OUR OWN FARM


BOOK YOUR CHRISTMAS LUNCH – AVAILABLE FROM DECEMBER 1ST Hot & cold meals • Delicious cream teas • Full English breakfasts • Come and enjoy our lovely Sunday roast lunches


FABULOUS CHOICE OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS Cakes, Mince Pies, Christmas Puddings and more

Opening times: Farm shop: Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm • Saturday 8.30am - 5.30pm • Sunday 10am - 5pm Tea Room: Monday to Sunday 9.30am - 4.30pm Wheelchair access, children welcome, free parking, coaches by appointment

Farm Shop: 01761 220067 • Tea Rooms: 01761 220172



Every Thursday is Steak Night with all local ingredients and every Sunday from 5pm we have live music (which means we don’t do food so you can enjoy the sounds)!

At The Cider Barn we aim to reflect the local charm and character of Draycott with a friendly, unpretentious service, providing a range of local ciders with food sourced locally and home-made to satisfy the soul.

party catering Including our famous Somerset Tapas





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Mural of village life

Beer enthusiasts catch the rat!

PEASEDOWN St John’s new community mural has been unveiled celebrating 70 years of village life. Over 50 residents have taken part in the project which was launched in the summer to celebrate 70 years of the Frederick and Albert Avenue housing estates. Led by local councillors Karen Walker and Sarah Bevan, the mural has been put together with support from Wansdyke Play Association, the Peasedown Wellbeing Group and Peasedown Residents’ Association. The project was facilitated by Cam Valley Arts and included a workshop at St John’s Community Hall in July.

Raising a glass to Midsomer Norton station

Mendip men do the legion proud

MENDIP Male Voice Choir musical director Jamie Knights achieved something he had wished for over the past few years: to give a concert in aid of the Royal British Legion. The concert was staged on the eve of Remembrance Day at St John’s Church in Midsomer Norton and featured a sing-a-long during some of the WWI songs including “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, “Pack Up Your Troubles” and “Keep The Home Fire Burning”. Guests at the concert included local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and Midsomer Norton mayor Paul Myers and the evening raised £752. l The choir will be singing on Saturday, November 24th at St Nicholas Church in Radstock in aid of local charity SWALLOW before the choir’s Christmas concert on Monday, December 17th at St John’s Church in Midsomer Norton. Tickets are available on 01761 414070 or visit their website:

LOVERS of real ale and steam trains were able to indulge their passions on a series of special rail journeys at Midsomer Norton Station. With a bar featuring six real ales set up in the luggage compartment at the rear of a carriages pulled by resident loco Joyce, the October Real Ale Train attracted enthusiasts from as far afield as Pembroke and Basingstoke. The Bath and Borders branch of CAMRA was also on board. The RAT has been running for the past five years and always features two local breweries. It is an important fundraiser for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway which runs the line and is hoping to carry out further improvements such as a new sidings area.

Denis Rahilly and Roy Priestley enjoy the RAT

Preparing Joyce for her next trip down the line Mendip Male Voice Choir have a busy few weeks ahead of them PAGE 24 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018


For details about events at Midsomer Norton Station, visit:

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Cycling expert

PDQ Cycle Coaching is a small family-run business based in the Chew Valley, providing cycling coaching for all abilities and all disciplines. Head coach and owner, Jason Streather, is an exinternational road and track cyclist, and a fully qualified top level BC coach. They provide one-to-one bespoke training packages for all levels of cyclist in all cycling disciples. Jason is also one of the most experienced track cycling coaches in the country. They run popular track sessions all year round at Newport Velodrome, South Wales. Throughout the winter months, they run intensive turbo sessions on Tuesday evenings at Norton Malreward village hall.


Duvets & Bedspreads washed & dried Sheets and Duvet covers washed and pressed Professional efficient service Collection & delivery service in the Chew Valley

Tel 01761 451787

The perfect Christmas gift

Champagne balloon flights over the Chew Valley and Mendips

Winner of 'Best Luxury Chauffeur Service Bristol' SME South West Enterprise Awards

Top quality transportation services in Somerset and Bristol Bristol Executive Travel provides corporate travel, airport and train transfers, meet and greet for students, wedding hire and private vehicles for sporting events Luxury travel now available in Somerset and Bristol

01934 261 598 PAGE 26 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

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Beware of Scrooge the Scammer

“WHAT'S Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money?” … quoth Ebeneezer Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Thanks to some mean-minded, grasping, greedy and downright cruel individuals who designed a scam which is targeted at the most vulnerable and which is intended to take as much money from them as possible, this could prove to be true. Sadly, these unreconstructed Scrooges are frequently successful, which is why they come back time and time again. This year, we have heard of a particularly unpleasant and frightening scam which has been affecting our clients. It comes in the form of a telephone call, purportedly from HMRC, which demands money for an outstanding tax bill which, if not paid instantly, will result in an arrest warrant being triggered and the police arriving at your door to take you away in handcuffs. There is an added insidious threat that if you hang up before the end of the call, the arrest warrant will instantly be triggered anyway. Please don’t fall for this! The first thing to point out is that despite not being anyone’s favourite organisation, HMRC never demand money with menaces. They don’t (and couldn’t legally) send the police to your home and if they want you to pay an outstanding bill (which you would already know about because you would have had innumerable letters and reminders first) they would send an officer to your door to ask you for payment or, eventually, to


take goods to the value of your debt. You shouldn’t mess about with HMRC, but they are not such a monstrous organisation as these fraudsters would lead you to believe. Just a couple of weeks ago, a client in his 80s telephoned the office in a complete panic. He had received just such a call, but he thought to telephone us because he knew we had records of all his tax affairs and would be able to act on his behalf and to give him sound advice. Another client was not so fortunate. She lives alone and was scammed of £4,000 on the first call. She thankfully rang us when they called her back to demand a further £5,000. This group is obviously doing the rounds quite rapidly at the moment, so it is very important that fear or uncertainty don’t leave you vulnerable to falling for their outrageous tricks. Certainly don’t react to any threats of arrest! Always check with your accountant first to make sure that you owe what you are asked for. If your tax return has been filed correctly each year, with all information truthfully and accurately given (either directly to HMRC or to your accountant), you are simply not going to be in any sort of legal danger. So, if these beings do phone you, put the phone down swiftly, relax, make a cup of tea, take a deep breath and call your accountant! As for us, we “will honour Christmas in our hearts, and try to keep it all the year”! May you all have a peaceful and joyful Christmastide and may 2019 bring you all you hope for. Jane Bowe, Probusiness


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Solar subsidy closing April 2019

IF you haven’t installed solar panels yet, now is the time to act! Solar panels have been used by homeowners, landowners and businesses for years. But with the impending closure of the government feed-in tariff next April, a significant drop in panel prices of 90% in seven years and available grants, there has never been a better time to invest in this smart technology, which gives a return on investment of up to 16%. A typical system will pay back in year seven, generate savings for more than 25 years, and protect you or your business from the volatile energy market. There are also a number of finance routes available, including a free solar proposition (PPA agreement) for schools and businesses to aid initial funding. Solarsense has completed more than 10,500 residential, commercial and industrial renewable energy installations and is responsible for powering some of the UK's leading organisations. They place great emphasis on the quality of their installations, and are proud to have won 18 awards in recognition of their expertise, customer service and pioneering projects. Details: For a free, no obligation desktop survey call; 01275 461 800 or visit

Was £59.99 Now only £27.99 While stocks last! • 01275 332693 Winford Business Park, Chew Road, Winford BS40 8HJ PAGE 28 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

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(Photo by Shannon D’arcy Photography)

Dignitaries on tour

The party at Framptons Ltd

MAYORS, council chairs and councillors from the Mendip area and neighbouring authorities have taken a tour of a number of major businesses in Shepton Mallet. At the invitation of Mendip District Council’s chairman, Councillor Dick Skidmore and his wife Jean, the group visited the Showering Cider Mill, Framptons Ltd. and Kilver Court, meeting with representatives from the organisations. Councillor Skidmore said: “It was great to be able to continue the tour of businesses in Mendip along with fellow councillors. It’s a great opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic businesses we have based in Mendip. “Since becoming chair of Mendip District Council I have been keen to use my time in the role, promoting what a great place Mendip is to live and work and what great businesses we have in our rural district.”

Hudson s Supplies and Service Heating, Plumbing

P & C Logs 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).

Seasons Greetings to all our customers

Bristol Drains Ltd Camera Surveys, Blo cked Drains, Jetting & Septic Tanks

For a genuine plumbing, heating or drain enquiry, a 24 hour call-out service is available 365 days a year. Please feel free to call us for a highly competitive quotation at fixed hourly rates.



Tel: 0117 902 5820 • Fax: 0117 964 4666 Email: Hudson Plumbing & Heating Services is a well-established local business located in the Bristol area. With over 20 years experience, we have built up an enviable reputation for quality workmanship, high levels of customer care, reliability and value for money.

Tel: 0117 940 0074 • Fax: 0117 964 4666 Email: At Bristol Drains, you can be assured of first-class work carried out by our own experienced and professional engineers. Whether you have a blocked drain at your home or office or if you require a buried drain traced/detected – CALL US NOW – no job too small.

• Boiler Repairs • Boiler Servicing • Boiler Upgrades • System Upgrades • Power Flushing/System Cleansing • New Radiators • System Overhaul • Leaks • Bathroom Installations • Wetroom Specialists • Bespoke Adaptions for Disabilities.

• Waste Pipes • Toilets/Sinks/Baths • Water Jetting • Septic Tanks • Drain Repairs and Replacements • Gully Emptying • Camera Surveying and Reports • Domestic Drain and Pipe Cleaning • Sewer Cleaning

Units 5a & 5b, 75 Whitchurch Lane, Bishopsworth, Bristol BS13 7TE (Entrance in Cater Road) A C C R E D I T A T I O N S


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A shining success story at Sparkling Solutions WHEN Sarah and Nick Jones founded their commercial and domestic cleaning company seven years ago, the couple decided on the name Sparkling Solutions – with the motto “An oldfashioned service in a modern-day world”. Sarah initially concentrated her efforts on domestic clients. Word-of-mouth quickly spread, Sarah’s warmth, hard-work and local integrity soon attracting both many new clients and employees. In early 2012 Sparkling Solutions launched their website which coincided with the couple moving back to Sarah’s home village of Chilcompton. The business grew through the new website, recommendations and advertising, with five members of staff employed. It was during 2012 that the business took on its first commercial client, who still remain their largest customer to date. Sparkling Solutions developed their professional service to accommodate further commercial opportunities and holiday let businesses. This meant that they not only cleaned the properties but also serviced the linen and laundry after each booking. The following year highlighted the need to improve the website to further promote this side of the business devoted to holiday lets and Sparkling Solutions saw the overall client base rise to 50. In October that year, Sparkling Solutions appointed Heidi Handover as operations manager; Heidi has since fronted everything that the business has achieved and continues to contribute hugely to its success.

We have dedicated teams looking after holiday lets, commercial and domestic clients

New laundry department, with state-ofthe-art equipment providing a quality service for bed linen, towels, clothes and accessories. Old fashioned service in a modern day world Tel: 01761 233463 PAGE 30 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Each year Sparkling Solutions runs fundraising events for one charity nominated by members of the team. This year they held skittle evenings, barbeques, raffles and coffee mornings to raise money for R.I.C.E (Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly), based in Bath. The team raised £1,400

With the business becoming increasingly harder to run from home, the search for a business unit started. Fortunately, premises were found on the New Rock Industrial Estate in Chilcompton, where Sparkling Solutions took up office on October 14th 2014. In 2015 the number of holiday let properties passed 20 with locations in Bath, Wells, Frome, Shepton Mallet, Bradford-onAvon, Limpley Stoke and Claverton. In 2016 Sparkling Solutions appointed Peter Jordan as sales and development manager, who together with Heidi, Nick and Sarah, is responsible for employing 55 local people and servicing some 250 clients. Sparkling Solutions is a company constantly moving forward, the team work tirelessly to develop and expand their business with the help of their invaluable management team and staff. It is hoped that 2019 will continue to show impressive growth.

Putting you in the picture CHRISTMAS is coming, with the chance to put your feet up, gather the family


together and watch all those TV specials. So the last thing you need is for the picture to suddenly disappear from sight! Time to call Mendip Aerials, with their 20 years’ experience they can install, replace or repair your TV aerials and satellites or put in extra points ready for those dramatic soap storylines and festive comedy specials. Details: Dave Cox Mendip Aerials 01749 675 636 or 07961 892 014 for all your aerial needs.

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RUBBISH CLEARANCE SERVICE Licensed Waste Carrier Single items to whole houses, garages and gardens cleared For a free no obligation quote, please call John: 01761 410424 or mobile 07919 584737

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

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


NO MOLE NO FEE Telephone 01761 417100


At Curtis Ilott we offer a caring, professional service that provides all aspects of funeral care and arrangements beginning from the moment you contact us.

Whether it is a simple service or a traditional funeral, we will provide you with a totally individual personal service. All our staff are highly professional, compassionate, sensitive and respectful. You are welcome to call or visit our offices at any time or, if you prefer, we can visit you in the comfort of your own home. We are also very proud to offer our own Memorial Showroom with a selection of Headstones and Tablets on display. Combined with our fully-equipped modern workshop and large stock of memorials, we can provide our clients with the complete service.

l 24 Hour Personal Caring Service l Private Chapel of Rest l Funeral Plans Available l Quality Memorials in Granite and Stone l Showroom with large stocks l Renovations undertaken

A family-run business, serving our local community For further information please contact us on:

01373 452116 Beechcroft, Anchor Road, Coleford, Radstock BA3 5PB 01373 812248 Baywell House, Ellworthy Park, Frome BA11 5LS

Memorial Workshop, 1 Handlemaker Road, Frome BA11 4RW Convenient parking at our Frome and Coleford offices •


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Highway to hell

VILLAGERS took advantage of a three-month road closure in Draycott to stage a Halloween celebration on the main road through the village, with all manner of ghouls and ghosties taking part.



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Church House Designs

Wednesday – Friday 10am – 5pm • Saturday 10am-1pm (or by appointment) Broad Street, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5DG Telephone 01934 833660

Something special

ESTABLISHED in Congresbury for over 30 years, Lorraine Coles brings her undoubted experience to Church House Designs and her gallery stocks an eclectic mix of prints, ceramics, jewellery, accessories, lighting and much, much more. An ideal place to pick up that special gift, and all are collectable and affordable, Church House Designs offers one-toone service in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All the items at Church House Designs are contemporary works created by some of Britain’s leading artist-makers, many new to the gallery. So, if you are looking for that unique or different gift, drop by the gallery and feel free to browse.

A familiar face joins the guild

NOW in its third year in Wells, the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen has been incredibly lucky to have Tanith Tothill joining them as their new part-time manager. Many people will know Tanith from the Wells Trading Post, but she is now looking after contemporary crafts rather than antiques and collectables. The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen shop displays the work of some 50 local artists and designers, all of them producing craft of exceptional quality and design. Wood, stone, prints, glass, pottery, jewellery… if you love Somerset, love her Somerset craftspeople.


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Medals cause interest

MENDIP Salerooms’ sale of Antiques and Collectables held on November 3rd attracted an excellent entry of some 750 lots with some exceptional lots on offer generating very strong interest. A fantastic selection of quality jewellery once again led to many viewing the sale and a large number of bidders in the room as well as on the internet and telephone. A lady’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust wristwatch with a vivid blue diamond dial achieved £3,400 whilst a further example with mother of pearl detail sold for £2,800. Other jewellery selling to advantage included a yellow and white metal two stone ring set with an old mine cut diamond that realised £2,600, a white metal line bracelet set with sapphires £1,800, a Belle Epoque diamond ring £1,500 and a late 19th century yellow metal pearl and diamond cluster ring £1,400. As we recently remembered those who gave their lives for us, it is always poignant to offer war medals for sale. Each medal has a story of courage and sacrifice behind it. A medal is not simply an object of metal and ribbon but it is a story, often horrific and humbling. This is true of a group of World War I medals awarded to Cpl J H Smith including medals awarded for Bravery in the Field. These were met with strong interest and sold for £650. Also entered were two Russian Orders of St Stanislaus which were awarded prior to the Russian revolution and equivalent to the


British knighthood. One was sold for £1,900 and the other for £1,300. Some very impressive items of furniture were on offer and two, in particular, generated a huge amount of interest prior to the auction. A Howard and Sons sofa led to six telephone bids and many internet bids and after frantic bidding sold to an overseas bidder for £7,400. A very impressive George III bow fronted commode with impressive painting met equally fierce bidding eventually selling to a local buyer for £5800. Once again, there was a good entry of pictures and paintings on offer and many new faces were attracted to the sale. A 17th century oil on canvas of Lady Leigh sold for £2,400 whilst a similar portrait of Sir John Leigh achieved £850. Other similar examples sold to advantage. Their next sale of Antiques and Collectables is a select sale to be staged on Saturday, Novemver 24th starting at 10am. This is an additional sale and includes two significant disposals of private client effects including possessions from the family of the esteemed Victorian actor, Sir Henry Irving, who was the first actor to be knighted.

In December, there will be a two-day sale on December 7th and 8th.


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One shopping day left!

CLEVEDON Salerooms’ final Antiques and Interiors sale of the year on Thursday, December 6th is always full

Clevedon Salerooms friendly team of silver & jewellery viewing staff look forward to assisting you.

Margaret Tarrant Watercolour sold at Clevedon Salerooms for £2,200.

of Christmas cheer. For those looking to find a truly unusual gift why not pay the salerooms a visit? Viewing is on Wednesday, December 5th from 10am–6.30pm and the saleroom opens its doors at 9am on sale day ready for the 10.30am start. With vintage furnishings, works of art, retro items, jewellery and silver, WWI collector’s items, wine and spirits, vintage toys, there will be Details:

something to please every taste, however unusual. With over 800 lots on offer, if you have never attended an auction before, make this your first. You will be assured a warm welcome and will not go away empty-handed! For a sneak preview every lot in the sale will be illustrated on their website from December 1st at

Clevedon Salerooms would like to wish all customers, past, present and future a

Merry Christmas

Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

FREE AnTiquE VALuATiOn DAYS 10th & 11th December

9.30am–1pm and 2pm–5pm Held at the salerooms – no appointment necessary

Antiques, Interiors, Collectables & Jewellery Thursday 6th December Sale starts 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 PAGE 36 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Looking for that unique gift? Come to our final auction before Christmas (over 800 lots)

Thursday 6th December 10.30am

Viewing: Wed 5th December 10am–6.30pm, sale day from 9am

Catalogue on-line: 1st December

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Chinese Qing vase was highlight of the sale

Cooper & Tanner Salerooms have had a fantastic year so far and are looking forward to the last sale of 2018 on December 5th December and to the New Year ahead. The Specialist Antiques, Collectables & Vintage Fashion Sale in September was a huge success and reflects the evergrowing current market trend for vintage items. Meanwhile, the October Antiques and Collectables Sale hosted an extensive single owner collection of Royal Crown Derby paperweights, that sold extremely well to both online and room buyers. The highlight of the sale was a simple Chinese Qing vase, that sold on the hammer for £3,000. Whilst the end of the year is approaching, the nature of auction means that they are always looking ahead to the next sale. So if you think you might have something suitable to sell, valuer and auctioneer Gareth Wasp is always happy to help. The calendar for 2019 is almost finalised and copies will be available from Cooper and Tanner offices. Their first sale of the year will be on February 6th and they are currently accepting entries until January 23rd. They are always pleased to look at any items that you would like to sell so, please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01373 852419 for further information or to book an appointment. A simple Chinese Qing vase, sold for £3,000


Dinky No 236 Connaught Racing Car, green in box, sold £60 A circa 1920's table lamp, sold £320 Gordon & Macphail – two bottles of Connoisseurs Choice Highland Malt Whisky 1970 & 1972 in original boxes, sold £1,600

A Royal Crown Derby paperweight, "Friesian Cow Buttercup" with gold stopper, sold £75

An early 20th Century lithographic poster for "The Pirates of Penzance" printed by Stafford & Co, sold £75

A brass ships bell "Flying Fox" 25cm high (lacks striker), sold £340

A pair of leather upholstered mahogany framed open arm chairs, sold £650

Free specialist antiques valuations available by appointment, please contact the office on 01373 852419 to book Gareth Wasp Telephone 01373 852419 The Agricultural Centre, Standerwick, Frome BA11 2QB MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 37

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Passionate about poppies

Ann in front of the town’s war memorial

POPPY seller Ann Brittain is a familiar sight in Castle Cary in the days before Remembrance Sunday, thanks to her decorated hat which changes each year. Ann has been selling poppies in the town for around 20 years and is a member of a dedicated team which organises Cary’s Poppy Appeal.

Fellow poppy sellers Ruth Coleby, Maureen Higgins and Bridget Laver at the Market House

Almshouse recital

THE City of Wells Almshouses Chapel was the beautiful setting for an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. The trustees arranged a recital of WW1 songs and poems to a packed audience preceded by sherry and shortbread in the Guild Room. The musicians were Ana Maria Rincon who travelled down from London, and Somerset residents David Costley-White and Julian Walker. The readers were almshouse resident Jean Brand and trustees Andrew Fawcett and Chris Vigar, with chairman of the trustees Nick Wilson providing an introduction and thanks. A healthy retiring collection will go to the Royal British Legion and to the fund for renovating the chapel, which is a hidden gem in Wells but which it is hoped will become much better known in the near future. Almshouse resident Margaret Milnes, said: "I thought it was wonderful. The singing and readings were wonderful. Visitors I spoke to were amazed at the decorations made by the almshouse residents. It was such a privilege to listen to such excellent performances in a small, intimate environment."

Army cadets help villagers remember

Cadet Lance Corporal Brandon Stobie, aged 14, from Frome platoon, Somerset Army Cadets, sounds the Last Post at dusk

POPPIES on the church gates in Castle Cary and Ansford were made using plastic bottles which residents are recycling, helping their remembrance and reflection. PAGE 38 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

NEWLY-dug graves and hand-made crosses have appeared in front of the war memorial on the village green in Rode as part of a unique WWI tribute. They represented members of local families who did not make it home and featured in a short service each evening in the days before Remembrance Sunday attended by army cadets from across the north west of Somerset. The nightly events were inspired by local resident Colonel Peter Bates, commandant of Somerset Army Cadets.

(Photo courtesy of Peter Russell, Somerset Army Cadets)


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(Photograph courtesy of Mike Rossiter)

Croscombe’s tribute

The decorated cross in Croscombe

MORE than 4,000 crocheted and knitted poppies were draped over the market cross in the centre of Croscombe – all made by women living in the village. The spectacular display – which also features a mannequin – came about after Terri Chichester, who runs the nearby Cross at Croscombe bed and breakfast business, went to a chamber of commerce meeting in Wells where she heard a talk by one of the organisers of the poppy display in the Bishop’s Palace. Terri said: “I brought up the subject at a prosecco and platter evening and we all decided we should do something in Croscombe. “We’ve received some lovely comments from passers-by who have stopped to have a look.”

Some of the members of the village who helped to knit the many poppies to adorn the village's Priory Cross Remembrance Day memorial.


Trench replica display comes to a close

STARTED in 2014 and worked on periodically until 2018, a wonderful replica of a World War One forward fighting trench has been constructed at Wells and Mendip Museum. I went to see it a month ago, it felt so very realistic that I could almost hear the “shell fire”. It is a fine work of art, with some very well-placed military artefacts, machine guns, sandbags, soldiers in uniform of the day, it really is a “must see!” Who is responsible for all this dedicated and accurate work? I was Interested, and as an ex-infantry soldier, I went to find out. I discovered two Wells men who are together responsible for the whole display. One is a war artist with a wide range of work behind him, both in watercolour and pencil, I saw some of his superb work. In conversation with him I was to discover that his military history knowledge is impeccable, mostly on the Zulu War campaign and WWI. His knowledge of my own regiment, The 24th Regt, was greater than my own, though I was 30 years in its ranks. That person is Geoff Dickson. The second person runs an antique/militaria shop in Mill Street, Wells. His expertise is WW1 and, in particular, the 13th of Foot, The Somerset Light Infantry. Warning: don’t talk military history to this man unless you’re sure of your facts! Because he is most certainly and completely sure of his! He is Jeff Allen. Until the trench is dismantled at the end of November, 600 school children will have passed through the trench conducted by Geoff and aided at times by Jeff. People from many parts of this country and Europe, including some Germans, have also been through the trench. I recommend that before the display is dismantled at the end of November anyone who has not seen it should pay a visit. In the meantime, Geoff and Jeff, please take a bow! The people of Wells and Mendip owe you much for your four years of dedication, and hard unselfish work, which has done much to help us all to remember that great generation, both male and female of 1914-1918. Haydn Davies Coxley A section of the WWI trench


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Legion plaque there for all to see

A NEW plaque commemorating the names of servicemen killed in the two world wars has been dedicated outside Coleford’s Royal British Legion hall in time for Remembrance Day. It replaces another tribute inside the building which many members of the public did not realise was there and was paid for by legion members. Vicar the Rev Clarissa Cridland led a Garden of Remembrance Service outside the hall attended by legion members and villagers. A total of 18 servicemen who fell in WWI and a further eight who died in WWII are listed on the plaque. Above it has been installed a poppy motif created by Shepton Mallet sculptor Jeff Body, who has strong family links with the village.

Branch chairman John Mallinson, treasurer Shirley Newton, secretary Dot Blacker and the Rev Clarissa Cridland

l Dawn Townsend and her cousin Kate Pritchard, both from Coleford, have visited a cemetery in France to pay their respects to their great-uncle Fred Treasure, one of the men named on the plaque. Fred, who served with the Somerset Light Infantry, fell on November 4th 1918, the same day as war poet Wilfred Owen who is buried in another cemetery a few miles away. Sadly, the announcement of the Armistice reached Coleford several days before Fred’s widowed mother received the telegram about her son’s death. He lies in a cemetery in the small village of Romeries near Valenciennes with 700 others from all over Britain and from New Zealand.

Dawn (left) and Kate at their great-uncle’s graveside

Fred Treasure’s grave


The Rev Clarissa Cridland at the start of the service


RESIDENTS at the St Monica Trust Russets dementia care home in Sandford have created their own tribute to those who served and gave their lives in WWI. The residents have made 100 poppies to represent each year that has passed since the end of the war. Therapy assistant, Sally O’Doherty, said: “Residents who can’t knit have been able to contribute by sticking the black buttons to the poppies. “The most important thing for our residents who are living with dementia is that they all feel included and valued, as well as looking at the wonderful thing they’ve created.”

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Long Ashton

Chew Magna

(Photograph courtesy of Paul Riley, Backwell Camera Club)



(Photograph courtesy of by village piper Ian Scott)



Peasedown St John


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Somerset poppies paint a poignant picture

HUNDREDS of visitors watched as school pupils Badon Brown and Rhiannon Holmes planted the last of 7,986 poppies on the lawn of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells – each poppy representing a Somerset serviceman lost during World War One. More than 4,000 children across Mendip created the poppies. The pupils worked with local artist Dan Vidler to create the display. Badon, aged ten, was representing Hemington School – the smallest school to take part – whilst Rhiannon, aged 12, represented Wells Blue School, the largest. They placed the last poppy at precisely 11am on Remembrance Sunday. Earlier, services had been held in churches throughout Wells with a procession from St Cuthbert’s to the Harry Patch memorial stone outside Wells and Mendip Museum where Benjamin Jones, aged 13, the great-great-great nephew of Harry – the “last fighting Tommy” – laid a wreath. l The poppies can be bought for £5 each via All proceeds will go to the Wells branch of the Royal British Legion and the armed forces charity SSAFA.

Benjamin lays a wreath at the Harry Patch memorial

Artist Dan Vidler in the Bishop’s Palace Rhiannon and Badon plant the last poppy

Alicia Williams, the granddaughter of Alan Williams who campaigned for the Harry Patch memorial, with Benjamin. Alicia also laid a wreath

Bugler Luke Lane, from Wells Cathedral School, plays The Last Post


The parade arrives at Cathedral Green

The service underway at the Harry Patch memorial

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Street A field hospital (l to r) Tony Quinn, Adrian Hamilton, Tracey Ashford and Darren Stevens



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Lasting legacy in Shepton Mallet A COMMEMORATIVE oak tree and a bench have been dedicated to the memory of WWI servicemen in Shepton Mallet’s Collett Park. Mrs Annie Maw, the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, was amongst the guests at an afternoon of events in the town to mark the Armistice, organised by the Shepton Mallet branch of the Royal British Legion. The day also saw a visit by the Poppy of Honour, a giant display featuring the handwritten names of around one million service personnel who fell in the conflict, which had been on a tour of the south west. l George Baker, a pupil at the town’s Whitstone School, was the winner of the branch’s Armistice 100 Poetry Competition for Alone: Boredom, Circulation, Always worrying, Hoping a bullet will hit you.

Chapel Dance School perform their WWI tribute

Straight in the chest, So you can’t worry anymore, So you can’t suffer, Alone. No one, Not a single person understands, Except from Mum, But she’s not here.

You’re just a soldier, Like everyone else. You won’t die from a bullet, But from your mind pushing you over the edge.

Helen Stevens was representing the Salvation Army at the event


Members of the town’s Knit and Chat group who raised several thousand pounds for the legion by selling handmade poppies

Annie Maw, the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset with (l:r) legion branch chairman Andy Ransom, branch president Major General Ray Pett, Shepton Mallet rector the Rev Jonathan Hunter Dunn and Wells MP James Heappey

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Animals in conflict The purple poppy commemorating animals in conflict

Clutton SOME of the horses at the Mendip Farmers’ Hunt meeting at Emborough wore special poppies to remember animals that served in WWI and other conflicts.


The hunt met at the Old Down Inn


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Some thoughts on my weekend of Remembrance 2018

ON Friday, November 9th Kathy and I left home at 0800hrs destined for Lydiard Park, near Royal Wootton Bassett. This was because for the ninth year, I had been asked by the Royal British Legion in London, if I would represent the Merchant Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, in the opening ceremony of the Afghan Field of Remembrance. I always find this a very moving ceremony, as the crosses are planted in an area in front of the saluting dais where, laid out in years, are the crosses of those who have lost their lives during the Afghan conflict, each with their photograph facing us The Military Wives sing a song and the young school children of Royal Wootton Bassett sing a hymn, and this year, they led the congregation in a second hymn “Make me a Channel of your peace”. The planting of the crosses is accompanied by Elgar’s “Nimrod”, ably performed by the British Imperial Military Band. Following this we drove to Chippenham to change out of my captain’s uniform and leave the car and catch the train to London, where we were to stay on board HQS Wellington, which is moored at Temple Stairs. I had been asked by John Sail, chairman of the Merchant Navy Association, to return the Lamplight of Peace to Westminster Abbey, where it would be used to light the first beacon, which would trigger off the lighting of 1,000 beacons around the UK

Remembrance in Radstock

and the Commonwealth countries. Saturday was a relatively quiet day, when I took the opportunity to make a reccy to the Abbey, to see the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where the lamp would be placed. The lamp had been dedicated in the Abbey 99 days before, on August 4th, and passed into the care of the Royal Naval Association for 25 days. It then passed to the Army Benevolent Society for the next 25 days, and then to the Royal Air Force Association for 25 days, and finally to All Hallows Church, where it remained in the care of the Merchant Navy Association. The lamp is an original Bonneted Clanny (MEUSER) miner’s safety lamp, from the period of the First World War, still in its “barn” condition, and it was delivered on board in the late afternoon, ready for an early start in the morning. There was a second lamp which I also took to the Abbey. It was a wet and windy night on the Thames, but we awoke at 0400 hrs to a better day than expected and at 0500hrs Kathy and I were boarding the PLA work boat Petina under the control of Captain John Freestone, who was a PLA Pilot and commanded the Royal barge during the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant. The run up the Thames to the Westminster Pier was magical, and as we were heading into a strong ebb tide, it took half an hour to run the mile. Then it began to rain as we approached the pier. We were met at the pier by the National Standard Bearer for the MNA and an escort of Captain Charles Woodward and his wife Caroline. The party progressed towards Westminster Abbey in the pouring rain. I wished I had still been dressed in my MN Uniform, as that is doeskin and waterproof, but I was in MNA

Tina Hewlett and Patrick and Sam Dingley, members of the Home

Some of the cast from Frome-based Black Hound Productions who staged At The Going Down of the Sun at Radstock Museum


The Last Post sounds at Radstock’s war memorial

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uniform, which needs to be covered over with waterproofs. On arrival at the Abbey we were met by Bruno Peek LVO.OBE. OPR, the Pageantmaster who organised the “Battle’s Over” tributes as part of the National Remembrance for the 100th anniversary. At 0600hrs a lone piper led the Standard Bearer and myself ahead of the Dean of Westminster Abbey, to the Tomb, where I handed the lamp to the Dean. A short service took place. Later in the evening, following a service attended by the Royal Family, the flame was used to light the first beacon at 1905 hrs. I returned to Trinity Gardens where the Merchant Navy Memorial lies and spent some quiet time placing a cross next to my great uncle’s name, Charles Barrow, who perished in the Atlantic Convoys. I am more fortunate than most, in that his ship was involved in a famous incident where they were attacked by the German pocket battle ship, the Admiral Scheer. My uncle’s ship was blown up, with the loss of all hands, at 2245 hrs on November 5th, 1940. This is the reason why my parents tried everything in their power to stop me going to sea, and failed dismally thank goodness! I also read some names of those who had perished at sea in the Great War. In all we read out all the names during the day, and this ceremony was also started at 0600 hrs with a lone piper. I did notice that during the day Bruno Peek himself also joined in the name reading. So ended a day I shall never forget. Next year will be my year off from laying the wreath at the Bristol Cenotaph, so I hope I will be able to return to Blagdon Church, after Lydiard Park of course. Captain Roger Francis Blagdon




Poppies decorate the wheel for the third year in succession. The town’s mayor Rupert Bevan visited to show support Roger Noble unveils the cenotaph in Pilton after new names were added to it: Cecil Clarke, Cornelius Higdon, from WWI and Cecil Bailey, Frederick Higgins, Norman Lomas, from WWII. The work Local MP Jacob ReesMogg was amongst many to lay wreaths


John Pike, chairman of Chilcompton parish council, laid the first wreath


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Christmas in Timsbury

EACH year at the beginning of December, in Timsbury, just seven miles south of Bath, a little Christmas Shop opens, full of beautiful hand-made things. Talented and skilled artists and makers from nearby have taken natural materials and turned them into the most gorgeous items. Over the last few months these artists and makers have been painting, printing, sewing, throwing, glazing, firing, carving, moulding, knitting, hammering, drawing, casting, dying, weaving, cutting, folding, melting, setting, baking, mixing, sculpting, designing, turning, sanding and decorating to create these gorgeous things.


Mendip Gliding Club is located near Cheddar and offers a variety of Glider Flying packages including Introductory Flight Vouchers (from £50), or regular membership and “Fixed Price To Solo” options. Club is open all year on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Suitable for aged 12 upwards – no upper limit! Fly with BGA-rated instructors in dual control gliders. For further information, please visit our website at: or phone 07770 346492 if you have any questions



0790 691 6431


Flying high this Christmas

MENDIP Gliding Club’s airfield can be found near the top of the glorious Mendip hills, above Draycott village. The views alone are spectacular. Flying in the capable hands of one of their instructors you will discover that soaring in a glider is a wonderful sensation, something almost too difficult to describe. On a day with a brisk wind blowing onto the hillside, you may be able fly in the strong updraft that rises up from the Levels – true “hill soaring”. This can be in both winter and summer. In summer you may also experience flying on rising warm air, in the “thermals”, joining the buzzards playing in the sky. They are a small, friendly membership club. Everyone helps out and gives their time voluntarily to keep prices inexpensive. If you only fly with them once – you’ll never forget the experience! They look forward to seeing you.

Create a unique gift

GATHER up to four friends or family for a Blacksmith Experience Day at Strawberry Steel to forge a unique gift for each other for Christmas! Not only will you get into the art of basic blacksmithing, but Strawberry Steel can help you create a design of your own – within reason. All steel materials used are included in the price and anything that you make can be taken home with you. Strawberry Steel was established 15 years ago, originally with the help of a Prince’s Trust grant, and works from the heart of the Somerset countryside producing innovative steelwork done by traditional means. Colin is a qualified teacher who also provides inset sessions for teachers and pupils as metalwork is still in the curriculum. He is fully insured and DBS checked and can take any age as long as they’re not in a push chair. With their individual and distinctive style, they can provide a bespoke service working either to their own designs or with clients’ ideas to design and produce a truly unique and individual piece. Details: Polly and Colin 0790 691 6431

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20% off late night shopping

BOTH Tincknells’ stores in Wells and Congresbury will be keeping their doors open on Wednesday, December 5th and invite you to their second Festive Late Night Shopping event where absolutely everything (with very few exceptions) will be reduced by 20%, with a complementary mince pie and mulled wine. Last Christmas they held their first late night shopping event in Wells and were bowled over by the support they had from their customers and the amazing atmosphere and buzz in the store. They say it was lovely to share an early Christmas celebration with so many regular customers as well as many new faces who were more than welcome too. That’s why they have decided to hold the same event in their Congresbury store on the same evening as Wells to thank their Congresbury customers too for their custom and reward both old and new customers for shopping locally with them, with this fantastic saving on the night. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the hard work that has gone on in both stores with the recent make-overs and show off their brand new look, with many new brands and ranges. So if you’ve not been in for a while you might not recognise it and for those that haven’t shopped with them before – they have more for you than you might think, so go along and see.

Christmas trail puts the three wise men in jail!

THE Pensford Nativity Trail will be returning on December 1st and will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening until Christmas. The scenes will be open from dusk until 9pm, and trail maps and guides will be available from Pensford lock-up, home to the Three Wise Men. The life-size figures are the work of local man, Paul Baxter, who has created them over the past four years.


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THE popular Wells Christmas Market is back for its fifth year and will this year be joined by a Christmas Market in Shepton Mallet. Wells Christmas Market is fast becoming a must-visit market in the build-up to Christmas. Over the four days, Wells Market Place will be filled with festive stalls, giving shoppers the chance to pick up some last minute gifts and indulgent treats for Christmas. The market will run from Wednesday, December 19th, to Saturday, December 22nd. Following on from the success of the monthly Sunday markets in Shepton Mallet, the town is hosting a Christmas Market from Friday, December 14th to Sunday, December 16th. The three-day market will have late night shopping on the Friday to coincide with the late night high street opening planned in the town. The market will run from Friday to Sunday, open until 8pm on the Friday evening.

CHRISTMAS AT OAKLANDS NURSERY THE ROUNDABOUT, STREET • 01458 841585 100’s OF FRESH, SOMERSET CHRISTMAS TREES Wreaths • Holly • Mistletoe • Really useful Christmas gifts for the gardener Keep warm with Logs, Calor Gas, Coal and Hot Max


Look out for Santa on the roundabout and give him a wave llllllllllllllllllllllllll

A GLASTONBURY HOLY THORN TREE Crataegus Monogyna Biflora – It’s The Real Thing!!! Available from Malcolm Slocombe Four Seasons 16 High Street, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9DU Telephone No: 01458 832061 Now available in Patio size





Mendip Times reduces travel costs 100,000 potential customers within a short distance of your business

(Photograph by Shannon D’Arcy Photography).

Mendip markets get a festive twist

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Coats for Christmas

THE PEOPLE charity is running a special Christmas giving campaign for the second year handing out warm clothes to the homeless and those in need. The charity’s CEO Dr Jenny Clifford and housing manager Tymon Emery met one of the charity’s patrons, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock Bishop of Bath and Wells to discuss the campaign and to present the items that will be offered to those in need. Details: PEOPLE 01761 402687

Chelwood craft day

Christmas Party Menu now available online

Accommodation available – close to Bath & West Showground and other attractions

Folk Open Mic Night Monday once a month – any musicians interested, please phone 01749 860253 The Natterjack Inn, Nr Evercreech Junction, Evercreech, Somerset BA4 6NA PAGE 52 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

ADULTS, as well as children, enjoyed a crafty Christmas day at Chelwood when they had the chance to try their hand at all sorts of crafts, making items for Christmas. Neive and Pria are pictured about to start on their Roses Christmas trees.

The Burrington Inn Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills

Book now for Christmas Restaurant • Bar • Function Rooms • Live music

The Burrington Inn • Burrington Combe • Nr Blagdon North Somerset BS40 7AT 01761 462227 • Email:

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A unique experience

WITH literally thousands of trees from which to choose your own, Mendip Christmas Tree Farm – between Shepton Mallet and Frome – offers a unique festive experience for all the family. From Friday, November 23rd, visitors can stroll through the 20 acres or take the land train around the site to select their own tree Barnaby and Richard which will then be cut and netted while you wait. If time is pressing, the team have plenty of prepared trees to take away. They also serve the wholesale market. All the trees at Mendip Christmas Tree Farm, at Dean, are Nordmann Firs, known for their resistance to needle drop. Behind the farm is Richard Whittle, who lives nearby, who has more than 45 years’ experience in the Christmas tree industry. Working alongside him are father-and-son Hal and Barnaby MacFie. Caring for Christmas trees is a year-round operation; trees are hand-pruned to promote a good shape and grow at around one foot per year. Richard said: “Visiting here is a unique experience. The views are wonderful and families love to take time to stroll through the trees. We like to think of ourselves as very friendly and informal.”

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Sterling by name, sterling by nature

Christmas Shopping Night

IF you are of the opinion that all double glazed windows, doors and conservatories are the same, then you may need to think again… Sterling Windows in Winscombe and Weston-super-Mare believe bricks and mortar form the foundations of a house, but it’s the doors and windows that really create the home’s personality. Sterling Windows specialise in Aluminium and uPVC windows, doors, conservatories and composite doors to enhance a home and lifestyle. Awareness of the excellence and value of their products and services is the first step towards considering Sterling Windows as a chosen supplier. To support this they are a FENSA registered company, all units are manufactured to British Standards and come with a full ten-year year guarantee with insurance backed option. Sterling Windows have a long-standing reputation for providing high quality products, all manufactured in the UK to a high specification. Their team of expert fitters are all trained craftsmen and provide a friendly and professional service – tidily and without fuss. Don’t just take their word for it, read some of their testimonials on the website. Details:




JOIN in the festive celebrations in Winscombe on Tuesday, December 4th, when the main road will be closed from 6pm-9pm to make it safe for you wonder around soaking up the Christmas atmosphere while doing a spot of Christmas shopping. Father Christmas will be making his way through the village at 6pm. Throughout the village there will be the chance to hear local choirs, bell ringers along with children's rides and much more!


Halloween fun

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New holiday show for North Somerset WILL seeing more of the world or taking time out to holiday be a New Year resolution of yours? If so, you will be pleased to hear that a new Holiday Roadshow is being planned for North Somerset on Sunday, February 3rd. Global Independent Travel Centre, a local family run independent travel agent with branches in both Clevedon and Winscombe, will host the Holiday Roadshow at Doubletree by Hilton Cadbury House Hotel, Congresbury from 11am-3pm. The event presents an exciting opportunity for local people to research the latest travel trends and seek holiday inspiration. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s leading specialist tour operators, pick-up new brochures and listen to travel presentations throughout the day from the likes of Wendy Wu tours. Special travel deals, low deposits and competitions will also be on offer. Over 25 travel suppliers are expected to exhibit representing interests such as cruising, coach, beach, tours, weddings, honeymoons and more. Bristol Airport is also expected to attend. Lisa Weakley, managing director, said: “This will be Global Independent Travel Centre’s largest event yet. Our customers always value the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers – this personal touch is what makes us different to other high street agents.


“We are hoping to see lots of new faces and help local people get 2019 off to a flying start by maybe ticking a destination or two off their bucket list!” Before then the Winscombe branch will open its doors after hours to support the village’s Christmas Shopping Night on Wednesday, December 4th, turning the branch into a magical Disney-themed party for families, with face-painting, games and prizes to be won. If you’ve left your Christmas shopping that little bit late, Global Independent Travel Centre can offer some quirky and memorable experiences for your loved ones. Choose from Animal Encounters and Ferrari Thrill Rides to Gin Club membership and Pamper days.

Details: Book your place at or call Clevedon on 01275 774886 or Winscombe 01934 842581.


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Welcome to Winscombe

THE new proprietor of Ajenta Interiors in Winscombe, Lynsey Lawrence, is hoping this festive season will be an extra special one as the showroom gets ready to join in the village’s annual Christmas late night shopping event on Tuesday, December 4th. She said: “We are really enjoying meeting all our customers. It will be really rewarding to spend some time with people on this evening enjoying the little treats we have planned to make the evening extra special.” Ajenta Interiors hosted their first workshop in November and is planning another event in the spring for parents with their children. Lynsey said: “The aim of this workshop is to combine ideas together and create a design for a child’s room in the house.” A new chapter has arrived for this much-loved Winscombe business as it continues to provide first class,

Fair Trade winners Stocking over 140 HERBS & SPICES Nuts, Seeds, Rice, Pulses, Grains, Herbal Teas, Natural Sweeteners Eco Cleaning Products including refills Gluten Free • Dairy Free Fair Trade Gifts and more! Less packaging – Less waste! Sandford Road, Winscombe BS25 1HD Telephone: 01934 843822 101 High Street, Yatton BS49 4DR Telephone: 01934 835427

Litsters Traditional Butcher

Curry Catering at a venue of your choice!

PETER EVERETT Registered Osteopath 12 Woodborough Road Winscombe BS25 1AA

Orders now being taken for Christmas 27 Woodborough Road Winscombe North Somerset BS25 1AG

01934 842248 Mob: 07772 007128

T: 01934 844764

Also at Mendip Suite, Wrington Vale Medical Practice, Pudding Pie Lane, Langford BS50 5EL


SCOOP and Spice is a small family-run business selling a wide range of natural wholefoods, stocking dairy free, gluten free and Fair Trade foods. Eco refills are also available along with cooking oils. There are many lines that are loose that can be scooped, meaning you can buy the exact amount you need. Scoop and Spice are very proud to have received Silver Fair Trade awards. Pop in for a browse and you may be surprised how much is squeezed into their two small shops in Winscombe and Yatton. They would like to wish all their customers a peaceful holiday and say huge thanks for their support over the years.

Join us at the

SIDCOT ARMS With a great menu, which offers all your favourite pub food all day, every day until 10pm, from as little as £5.99, we’re the perfect venue. Combine this with the fact we’re set in two acres of land with a beautiful, panoramic view, it makes us the ideal venue for any occasion.

2 main course meals for £8.99 from selected menu Offer available Mon to Fri 12pm–6pm

SIDCOT ARMS, Bridgwater Road, Winscombe BS25 1NN Telephone: (01934) 844145


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10 Woodborough Road, Winscombe BS25 1AA Tel: 01934 842811 Email:

Pop into idesign

LOUISE Mitchell and Adam Wood will be welcoming people to their newly-opened showroom in Winscombe on the village’s Christmas Shopping Night, Tuesday, December 4th. They say they have had a great welcome in Winscombe and are looking forward to seeing people on the night to show what they have to offer. They will also be showcasing fused glasswork by a local artisan – as well as providing a little Christmas cheer.


Winscombe Fish Bar

Traditional high quality food from friendly and reliable staff

Friendly local office with car park at rear Home visits by arrangement Quotations given without obligation

• Residential & Commercial conveyancing • Divorce and Family Breakdown • Wills and Probate • Lasting Powers of Attorney • Special Needs of the Elderly

Mon Tues Weds 11.30–2pm and 5–10pm Thurs 11.30–2pm and 5–10.30pm Fri Sat 11.30–2.30pm and 5–10.30pm

Gluten and wheat-free night the last Sunday of every month

1, Sandford Road, Winscombe

01934 843666

Wishing all of our clients a very Merry Christmas




36, Woodborough Road, Winscombe, Somerset BS25 1AG • 01934 844144 MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 57

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Creating your ideal kitchen

Remembrance Sunday




Mendip Times reduces travel costs

Family butcher Local meat and poultry Booking now for Christmas The Precinct, Brinsea Road, Congresbury, BS49 5JG 01934 838844


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

IF you’re looking for a high-quality kitchen makeover for up to 50% less than a new fully-fitted kitchen, why not pay a visit to Dream Doors North Somerset in Congresbury? Highly-experienced owners Colin and Camilla promise you a warm welcome. More importantly they will help you design and create your ideal kitchen using their impressive range of high-quality products and can typically reface your kitchen in as little as two to three days. Dream Doors is the UK’s #1 kitchen makeover specialist and they take the hassle out of your kitchen revamp from the very beginning. Once they’ve arranged a free, no obligation visit to your home – at a time that’s convenient for you – they will measure up your kitchen. Their experienced kitchen designers can then talk you through their extensive range of products and help you narrow down your selection. No matter if your style is traditional, contemporary, exclusive, modern or classic they have a range of doors and worktops that will suit you and your style. Add in high quality appliances, sinks and other touches from brands such as Bosch, Neff, Franke and Blanco and you’ve got the recipe for your ideal kitchen. A team of local, professional fitters carry out the work with the minimum of disruption. So why not call or pop into Dream Doors at 5, The Precinct, Brinsea Road, Congresbury, BS49 5JG today and get started on creating your ideal kitchen?

Greenspace ad.qxp_Layout 1 15/11/2018 15:05 Page 1

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Riders prepare for 2019

THE Great Weston Ride reaches a significant milestone as it celebrates its tenth birthday next year and, with nine successive years of steady growth behind it and a major award in 2018 for its contribution to promoting health and wellbeing, the organisers are expecting to see yet another record number of people taking part in 2019. It’s been described as the best event of its kind in the country and it has a well-deserved reputation as an ultra-friendly challenge ride that encourages and attracts all manner of people from cycling beginners right through to seasoned riders. The spectacular city-to-coast route starts in Bristol and then takes riders through some stunning countryside and picturesque Somerset villages as it weaves its way through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels before finishing on the seafront in Weston-super-Mare. The tenth ride will be on Sunday, July 14th 2019. The event has raised over £310,000 for good causes, including over £200,000 for its official charity partner Prostate Cancer UK. Details:

Support for air ambulance

WELLS Classic Motorcycle Club has donated £4,500 to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance from its eighth Tortoise and Hare Run. The presentation was made at its 18th annual general meeting, held at the Britannia Inn, Wells and attended by the city’s mayor, town crier, marshals and helpers from the event. It said the large donation was made possible by the

Rotary supports rescue team

THE Rotary Club of Mendip recently presented a cheque for £500 to Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue. President, Adam Travis, said: “We are in awe of the work done by these dedicated volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are pleased to be able to support them.” He’s pictured presenting the cheque to Duncan Massey.

massive support that they again received from sponsors, brochure advertisers and entrants, along with much work by many club members. The event regularly attracts entrants from various parts of the country to ride in some of our outstanding countryside. The event caters for motorcycles and scooters of all ages. Next year’s is on Sunday, June 2nd. New members are always welcome.



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Riding for mum

RETIRED primary school teacher, Denise Hoogesteger, marked her 65th birthday in style by completing a 900-mile cycling challenge from the south of Portugal to northern Spain in honour of her mother who is living with dementia. She set off from Lagos on Portugal’s south coast on September 5th to begin her epic journey which took her the length of Portugal and beyond to the Spanish coast, through some challenging terrain. She was riding to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Denise, who lives in Westbury-sub-Mendip, said: “I wanted to do something exciting for my big birthday, and I thought: why should I just enjoy myself, having a nice holiday? I should give something back. “The physical part of the journey was as expected, but the part which was difficult to me was the mental part and finding my way. I’m not very good with technology, so when the paper maps and Google maps didn’t read right it was sometimes a bit stressful!” A high point, though, was the generosity of people that she met along the way, who spontaneously made donations when they learned what she was cycling for. She said: “I think that people are wonderful, aren’t they?” A touching moment came when the owner of one Portuguese hostel where Denise was staying overnight Denise and mum Joan

Denise in Lagos


confided, with a choke in her throat, that her own husband had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s just three weeks earlier. Denise’s mum, Joan Jensen, 85, is living in a care home in South Shields. Denise makes the 700-mile round trip from her Somerset home to visit her every six weeks. She said: “Sometimes she doesn’t recognise me, but I just want to know that she’s comfortable and being looked after. She’s just existing, basically. I feel very sad – she had such a good life and now she hasn’t got any at all. There’s no quality of life, and I don’t think anybody should have to go through that. “It’s shocking, which is why I think it is so important to support Alzheimer’s Research UK in their search for treatments and a cure for this terrible condition.” Denise has set a fundraising target of £3,000.

Details: call 0300 111 5555 or visit

Club’s tenth anniversary

KEYNSHAM Mencap’s Super Saturday Club, a weekend social club for children, turned ten this year and they held a party to celebrate. Members and volunteers past and present were invited along and joined in with the celebrations with family and friends. Everyone who attended enjoyed tea and delicious cake and candy floss. Among the guests was Grenville Jones from the well-known local charity Goldies, who helped fundraise for the club back in 2013 to take the children to Disneyland Paris. Super Saturday Club began with the help of a BBC Children In Need grant and has had subsequent funding from the BBC charity ever since. Therefore the children were so excited to have a guest appearance from Pudsey himself. What a great way to celebrate! Laura Jefferies operations manager, said: “Not only do we have thanks for the funders and supporters of our club but more importantly the people who actually make it happen, especially club leader Kim Cole and her team of dedicated staff and volunteers who we are so thankful to for the hard work and time

they put into making the time spent at club so much fun. Thank you, we look forward to the next ten years!” The club provides a variety of fun social activities for children aged between four and 18 and is held every Saturday morning from 10am-12noon during term-time at Threeways School, Odd Down. It caters for children with a range of learning disabilities and autism in a fully supported environment with fully qualified staff and trained volunteers.


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Carer’s award

GWENDA Gage, aged 76, from East Harptree, has been shortlisted for a national award after devoting the last 24 years to caring for her son after he sustained a life-changing brain injury. She will be recognised at an annual awards ceremony organised by Headway – the brain injury association, as one of just three people from across the UK in the running for the title of Carer of the Year. Gwenda said: “I was really surprised when I got told I was a finalist for such a prestigious award. It was such a lovely moment.” In 1994, Gwenda’s son Steven sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was forced to jump from a fourth floor of a burning building after waking up in the night to find he had no other means of escape. Steven's brain injury has affected his emotions and he lacks insight on how his often difficult behaviour impacts on Gwenda. Despite this she is a huge support to him both practically and emotionally, despite the fact he lives alone in a property 15 miles away in Bristol and she has to carry around an oxygen tank

Seafront fun run

CLEVEDON-based youth charity, The Jack Hazeldine Foundation, held a family fun run day to promote healthy activity and raise awareness of the charity, which is committed to helping children have a bright future. Lots of families braved the unpredictable weather to take part in two runs along Clevedon’s seafront. After the running, the participants and supporters enjoyed refreshments on the bandstand, including lots of home-made cakes. The JHF’s managing director Pearl Cross said: “The JHF is proud of its achievements in helping young people in North Somerset. Our mentors spend thousands of hours each year engaging with young people to provide positive role models for them. “Many of the young adults and children have struggled to cope with ‘adverse childhood experiences’ so with our support they can build their selfesteem, confidence and resilience to help PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Pictured (l to r) from Headway Bristol Ruth Redding, Tracey Lathrope, Gwenda, Michelle Gadsby and Elliot Harris

to help her manage her own inflammation of the lung. She said: “I just do my best to keep going and stay positive. I have been a carer now for so long that it’s just normal, it’s just life.” Gwenda said that having the support from her local group Headway Bristol has been a massive help. She said: “Knowing there are a set of people I can turn to, to talk to and get advice from has been so important. “When you think ‘I can’t go on any longer’ they are there to help you calm down and really do build up your

strength. We support each other and Headway Bristol has been a lifeline to me.” Gwenda was nominated for the award by one of Headway Bristol’s carers support workers, Tracey Lathrope. Tracey said: “Gwenda is a remarkable woman who continually inspires everyone at our group.” Gwenda will discover if she is to be named Carer of the Year at a glittering ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel, in London, on Friday, December 7th.

them deal with the issues that impact their everyday lives. “It is important that we raise awareness of how The JHF can help young people in North Somerset and engaging with the

community, by holding events such as our Family Fun Run Day, is a great way to achieve this. It was brilliant to see so many families turn up to join in or support the runners!”


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Gifts of hope and confidence in Uganda Jackie on her first visit to Uganda

AN ambassador from Mendip for Bath-based charity Send a Cow has just returned from a study trip to Uganda, the country which inspired the launch of the organisation. Jackie Laws, of Westbury-sub-Mendip, self-funded the trip; in previous years she has visited Rwanda, Ethiopia and Lesotho. Founded by West Country dairy farmers in 1988, Send a Cow provides on-going support and practical training in areas including farming skills, gender equality, sanitation and money management. Mentoring, together with livestock and tools, ensures families have the confidence, knowledge and skills to help themselves. Jackie said: “We visited the Rakai district, which has been particularly hard hit by HIV/AIDS, leaving many orphans without support. We also visited Kamuli in the east. Despite being a major sugar cane growing area, it remains one of the poorest areas in Uganda. Lured by easy cash and unscrupulous middlemen, farmers have given up large tracts of land in favour of sugar cane. However, this takes 18 months to mature so, until then, families have no other income or access to food. The groups include the disabled, who so often remain abused and invisible.” Jackie added: “Projects are tailored to the specific needs of individual communities. It is a hand up not a hand out. I saw that within months, families are feeding themselves, and have broken free from the cycle of poverty. Those starting out with Send a Cow, living in desperate circumstances, are given the hope and confidence to improve their lives. “I sat, talked and celebrated with some of Uganda’s most marginalised people, but their dignity and respect is restored. It was a truly humbling experience.” For details about the charity visit: or call 01225 874222. Jackie is available to talk to schools and local groups and can be contacted on or call 01749 870403.

Helping Mendip’s young homeless


LOCAL charity Youth With A Future (YWAF) is organising its annual Christmas appeal to help support young people aged 16-25 living in the Mendip area who are

homeless or threatened with homelessness. Since the charity’s first Christmas appeal in 2014, the people of the Mendip area have generously donated over £2,000. YWAF primarily works alongside Mendip YMCA in several ways, such as providing a moving-in grant of around £80-£100 for each young person moving into rooms in the YMCA supported housing schemes or their own privately-rented/social housing flats and to buy essentials such as cooking equipment, bedding and crockery. These items are their own to take with them when they move into more permanent accommodation later on. In 2018 so far the charity has donated just under £7,000 to young people and youth projects, which includes move-in grants to 14 young people. Since YWAF’s formation in 2002, the charity has donated over £100,000 in support of young people. In addition to the moving-in grants, at Christmas-time YWAF also ensures that each of the young people in the supported housing projects in Frome, Shepton Mallet and Street receives a Christmas gift card. YWAF also gives grants to young people and youth groups across the Mendip area who need extra support with education, training and employment, developing talent and positive activities. In addition, YWAF will be holding a quiz night on Sunday, January 27th from 7pm onwards at the Horseshoe pub in Bowlish, Shepton Mallet. There will be room for seven teams of six people at £2.50 per head. l Frome’s Good Afternoon Choir raised just under £650 for the charity performing in concert alongside the internationally acclaimed Bath Male Choir. Details: email call 07504758263 or message via YWAF Somerset Facebook page. Send a cheque made payable to YWAF to c/o Parish Office, Peter Street Rooms, Shepton Mallet. BA4 5BL.

Film award

SWEDA, the Shepton Mallet based charity which provides services to those affected by eating disorders across Somerset, has been nominated for a charity film award. It's for its film Here to Help. The Charity Film Awards have been created to celebrate the success of film in fundraising, to increase exposure of charity films and to encourage donations for good causes. Voting ends on November 30th.

Details: 01749 343344 email or go to MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 63

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London to Paris on a bike

THERE are certainly quicker ways to get from London to Paris, and definitely less physically demanding ones, but Binegar resident Justin Errington decided to shun planes and trains and cycle the 500 kilometres instead – all to raise money for Bloodwise UK. Justin has previously completed three triathlons in support of Bloodwise, a charity which is very close to his heart. He said: “My best friend was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014, and although thankfully, despite a relapse, he is now in remission, this great charity helps support those suffering with blood cancer and more importantly helps to stop more men, women and children dying of blood cancer each year. “Blood cancer can affect anyone of any age and in fact is the most prevalent cancer affecting children.” The cycle ride was part of an organised event, with around 200 people taking part. Over four days the peloton cycled from London down to Dover and then through France until they reached Paris. And with echoes of the Tour de France, the group celebrated by finishing in the centre of Paris, joined by a huge group of family, friends and Parisians at the foot of the Eiffel tower. Justin said: “The whole event was brilliantly organised by Bloodwise and the group that took part built up a real bond over the time we were together. We were united not only by a love of cycling, although that was sorely tested at times, but also by a commitment to raising money for the charity. “Bloodwise carries out incredibly important work by funding research into all types of blood cancer, supporting anyone affected by the disease. It has a clear mission to 'not stop until every single person with blood cancer survives’, and so I’m really keen to keep supporting its incredible work.” Justin set an initial target of raising £1,000 for the charity, but with the support of family, friends and colleagues, he has now almost doubled that. He is already planning for the 2019 event and hopes his friend who was the inspiration for the ride will join him – something they could not have imagined four years ago.

Support for elderly


CONTACT the Elderly, the national charity dedicated to helping socially isolated older people, is urgently appealing to Glastonbury and Somerton locals to help keep the charity’s local group running. The charity puts on free monthly tea parties for isolated older people across the country. The tea party groups in Glastonbury and Somerton have given isolated older members a vital social lifeline, helping them live happy and fulfilled lives. Anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch with Fiona Franklin. Anyone feeling lonely, or who knows any older people feeling lonely, should also get in touch. Details: 01934 316717 or the charity’s national office 0207 240 0630

Lodge donation helps children

MEMBERS of Birnbeck Lodge in Weston-superMare have donated £500 to the Wedmore-based charity Help the Child. The money will help the charity purchase specialist equipment for children in need in Somerset.

Help the Child chairman Louise Allen with Tim Highmore, Past Master of Birnbeck Lodge

For details of the charity, visit:

Coffee morning: a correction Details: PAGE 64 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

IN last month’s issue of Mendip Times we ran a story about a Macmillan coffee morning at Wells Football Club. In it, we stated that Esther Spacey is recovering from cancer; it should have stated that it is Esther’s mother who is recovering from cancer. The event was organised by Esther, Sonia Higgins and Sophia Ashman and raised £732.08. We are happy to make that clear.

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And so this is Christmas, and what have we done?

THE United Nations has just announced that we are sleepwalking towards a planetary-wide major loss of biodiversity which will have By CHRIS serious consequences SPERRING for us all. MBE The warnings are dire, yet still on the news there seems to be more concern about celebrities than saving the natural world. A natural world that we are very much reliant on, and very much a part of. The doom and gloom message may leave you feeling that you can’t do anything about it, but actually you can, and it all begins within your own community. Where I live, for example, we have formed a small group looking at how our green spaces are managed. We are liaising with our council about improving the green areas it looks after and coming up with ideas like planting trees to absorb traffic pollution and breaking up some of the more well-maintained green areas with some scrub or rough grassland. We are not just talking about parks and cemeteries, but every bit of green can make a difference. Even roadside verges can provide vital habitat and wildlife highways if not over-managed. The council is really listening and implementing many of our ideas, especially as most of our plans cost nothing and even save them money by reducing the amount of management they need to pay for.

Even our district council said to me just today: “We are open to ideas.” Within any built-up area there are spaces that can be utilised for increasing the overall biodiversity. Aside from the public green spaces, the largest green resource we have is our own gardens. If we all introduce simple measures to help wildlife in our gardens, we will create a huge amount of new resources for wildlife, but this will take people working together. This is possible to achieve and it’s started by simply doing something that many of us will be doing over the festive period and that is socialising and talking. One of our greatest gifts is being able to talk about issues and work together to solve problems. It would be unfair of me to make it sound like my area is the only area doing this, we are just starting, and some areas are way ahead of us. In neighbouring Yatton and Congresbury, for example, there is a fantastic pro-active conservation group called YACWAG and many other towns and villages have their own community wildlife groups as well. In more rural areas, such as Westburysub-Mendip, there are amazing groups of people working hard for the benefit of the local people and wildlife, and groups like this often have close links with larger landowners like farmers. These links can be incredibly beneficial and simple communication can get things done, like planting a few extra trees, or allowing the hedges to grow bit taller so they become useful for nesting and feeding birds, and some of our very scarce bat species.

A heron close to a built-up area

Roadsides can play a vital part in offering wildlife habitats

I’m sure that many of you will get out during the festive period and enjoy a walk in the Mendip area and, as you are enjoying your walk, please give some thought to how the wildlife is doing and, if you’re inspired enough, you might just be that one person who says: “OK, we need to do something about this.” The percentage loss of wildlife here in the UK is bordering on a national embarrassment, and the planetary wide reduction in the natural world will have serious consequences for every one of us in the end. The ownership of our natural world is not an exclusive club, and its care is down to every one of us. A change for the better is achievable, and whilst the statistics look awful, nationally and internationally, the solution may well come from everyone working locally. Happy Christmas to all.

Autumn woodland

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


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A seasonal walk to Glastonbury Tor

CHRISTMAS is a superb time to soak up the mystical nature of this short, iconic Glastonbury circle, packed with interest – from Tibetan prayer wheels, and thousandyear-old oaks to the wonderful Tor and panoramic views. If you start in town you can enjoy the vibrant, historic High Street with the Tribunal, and, pass the famous old Abbey. There are three fairly strenuous uphill sections, including the ascent of the Tor and it is fairly dry underfoot. We ascend the Tor from the back – on the

With Sue Gearing PAGE 66 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

North East. There are some stiles. Wrap up warmly as it can be exposed on top. Take a water bottle to sample the healing waters. 3.4 miles (from the Rural Life Museum), two hours walking, or 4.2 miles (from the town car park) about 2.30 hours walking – but allow much longer to take in all the sights. PARK: Every day except Sunday and Monday (museum closed and not accessible) at the splendid renovated Somerset Rural Life Museum, Chilkwell St, Glastonbury BA6 8DB. There’s free parking behind and free access to the very welcoming café. Allow time to visit the museum (details at the end). Otherwise, and if you want a chance to enjoy the quirky High Street and pass the Abbey entrance, park in St John’s Pay and Display car park, just off the High Street or another main car park. To be safe, pay for four hours (£4.60). Then start the walk from the Market Cross. Join those who park at the Museum, at “Dod Lane”.

START: (1) The town start from the Market Cross. From the Cross, walk left up the High Street enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. Pass Glastonbury Tribunal, a 15th century building, probably once a merchant’s house. Opposite, under an arch is a brass plaque commemorating the hanging of six rebels of the Pitchfork Rebellion. Also go by St John’s Church left where a Holy Thorn thrives in the churchyard. It is said to come from a graft from the

original thorn on Wearyall Hill nearby. The custom of sending a budded branch of the Holy tree to the Queen at Christmas began during James I’s reign and still carries on. Each year pupils of St John’s Infants School sing carols around the tree and the oldest cuts a branch for the Queen. At the top, turn right in Chilkwell Street. Soon, reach Dod Lane on the left. Now follow the main directions from “1 DOD LANE”. START: (2) The Rural Life Museum Go back to the road and turn up right, passing the orchard and shepherd’s hut on your right. At the junction, turn left and cross the road.

1. DOD LANE Take the first road right, Dod Lane, opposite the Abbey House stone arch (here the alternative route from the town joins). Bear right on the Tarmac public footpath and pass the Tibetan prayer wheels on the right, to be turned by passing pilgrims wishing to send out their prayers into the world. Go ahead on the footpath signed to the Tor, climbing quite steeply above Bushy Combe. Continue on, through a kissing gate, and along to a lane.

2. LANE Turn left and then bend left on the lane (ignoring a footpath to the Tor). At the end of Bulwarks Lane, turn left. Shortly, at a seat on the right, and a choice of paths, take the one which turns up right and leads into a field. Go through a kissing gate and follow the left edge all the way to a stile in

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the corner. Cross and follow the very quiet No Through lane left.

3. FARM This leads to Higher Wick Farm, run by the Paddington Trust to give holidays and educational breaks for people mainly from deprived city areas. Go on passing the eco-friendly classroom on the left made from recycled materials. Bend right and shortly at the next bend, leave the track and cross a stile into a field. Keep straight on down. Cross a stream and go up into another field. Go across this and then on to a path which leads to a larger track. As you turn left on this, pass two very special trees. 4. GOG AND MAGOG These two ancient Druid oaks, named Gog and Magog by New Age people, may date back 1,000 years. They could be the remains of a grove by an ancient spring. They are often decorated with ribbons at pagan festivals. Follow the track to a lane. Turn right beginning quite a long climb. Level out and join a lane. Turn right and this leads to a Tor information board left. Go through into the field. By the gate is a bell and Millennium Stone. 5. TOR This North East route up the tor is a good hard path and steps. At the top, at 158m is St Michael’s Tower – the remains of the medieval chapel, destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. It is a solemn occasion arriving here when one remembers the agonising death of the last Abbot of Glastonbury, Richard Whiting, and two other monks in the time of the Dissolution. Imprisoned on trumped up charges, they were hanged, drawn and quartered on the Tor in November 1539.


OS Explorer map, 141 Cheddar Gorge & Mendip Hills West, grid ref, Market Cross – 498 389; Rural Life Museum – 503 385.

Enjoy breath-taking all-round views. There’s a toposcope to help find the direction and distance to notable landscape features. Then take the main path and steps down on the other side.

6. SPRINGS At the foot, take a short detour right in Wellhouse Lane to visit the two healing springs where you can sample the water. The White Spring on the right contains calcium and the Red Spring left is full of iron and comes down from the Chalice Well. Legend has it that it is the blood of Christ. Then go back left and along the main road, Chilkwell Street to Chalice Well. This is a very special tranquil and spiritual place with a beautiful garden and shop and the holy well. It is popular with all faiths and is a World Peace Garden. Also here is one of the Holy Thorns of Glastonbury which have come from a graft from the original Holy Thorn on nearby Wearyall Hill. It was thought to be

“miraculous” as it unusually flowered twice a year. According to legend, when Joseph of Arimathea arrived in Glastonbury with his 12 companions he climbed Wearyall Hill, whose name derives from his proclaiming “we are weary all”. He planted his staff in the ground whilst he rested. The following morning the staff had taken root and it grew into the miraculous thorn tree. Continue along the raised pavement. Cross with care by the Rifleman’s Arms and reach a footpath on the left which leads directly back to the Rural Life Museum. Or if you are parked in town, continue along to the junction and turn left on the main road passing the entrance to the museum, well worth a visit, or just go in to the café or shop. Cross the road at the crossing and carry on along the pavement. Bend right on Fisher’s Hill, passing a park, and keep straight ahead on Magdalene Road to the centre.

7. ABBEY See the ruins of the old abbey right, and pass the entrance. Continue to the Market Cross.

Somerset Rural Life Museum situated in the upper part of the town. It is a museum of the social and agricultural history of Somerset, housed in an old farm with a 14th century barn once owned by Glastonbury Abbey. Open winter season until Easter, Tuesday-Saturday, plus Bank Holiday Mondays. Adults, £6; concessions £4.95; children, £2.75; infants, free. MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 67

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West Countryman’s diary

SO where has the last year gone! As you can see by the punctuation, this is a statement and not a question. Christmas is upon us again, although the wind and rain doesn’t make it feel very “Christmasy”. Having said that what is Christmas weather? Our view of it has been influenced With LES to a large extent by the marketing and DAVIES MBE nostalgia that started during the Victorian era. It was probably the Victorians who really kicked the whole thing off and you will notice again that I choose my words carefully to avoid making any definitive statements. Now before I go completely grammatically correct and sink into utterly boring mode, let me get on with the theme of this month’s column… Christmas. This autumn has without doubt provided some splendid colour in the countryside and it’s memories of this and not summer, that now fill my thoughts whilst I sit in front of the fire. I have been busy making my own Christmas preparations, but not in the “getting out and buying all the gifts early” kind of way. No, I will probably be my usual male traditionalist and leave it to the last minute. After all, it’s surprising what the 24-hour petrol stations can provide when you are in a Christmas Eve panic. The wood supply is looking good and providing we don’t get another ice age, I will have enough to keep the wood burner going through Christmas and into spring. Even a surplus batch of hazel bean sticks from some hedge coppicing last year have been put across the saw bench and turned into kindling wood. Now that’s the great thing about my bean sticks; when they become too brittle to use in the garden, they still have a use for heating. I found an article written in December 1918 concerning domestic fuel and it shows an amazing awareness of environmental issues even during those hard days: “The extensive use of ‘kindling wood’ and other timber to make our fuel ration spin out may, as a side issue, influence the number of invertebrates next season. Old and fallen branches and trunks with loose bark, especially when slightly rotten, are the winter refuge of an immense number of small animals.” My Christmas fires will be of apple wood pruned from the trees last year and seasoned outside. Next year my woodland, Foxwood, will be providing me with a good supply of hazel from the coppicing I intend to start this season. I also make sure there is a plentiful supply of dead timber on the woodland floor to provide the winter refuge just mentioned. The woodland also bears a few other things to help at Christmas. Hidden away further down in the wood is a holly tree that has plenty of berries on it this year. It’s debatable as to how many will be left by the time I get there, as no doubt the birds will have had their fill. I certainly don’t begrudge them their Christmas meal. There’s plenty of ivy around as well, some of it completely wrapped around the trees with huge stems like varicose veins, reaching into the tree tops. I think the wood can stand a little harvesting for decorating purposes at home! The sloes that were growing on the blackthorn have now morphed into some pretty warming sloe gin that waits to be tried up against some blackberry gin. Hazel nuts are in short supply – I think the squirrels have taken most of them.

My hope for next year is that the cob nut bushes planted as part of the orchard will carry a good crop. It’s a more open area that the squirrels will leave alone (I hope). When all is said and done I don’t deny the wildlife anything from the woodland – that’s their home. Shorter days and colder, often wetter weather means planning the walks a little more carefully. The weather is more likely to be wet and windy as opposed to sunny and snowy. Which brings me back nicely to the opening paragraph. I can only remember a handful of days where we have had snow at Christmas, although in 1962 it started on Boxing Day and outstayed its welcome, staying on well into the spring. The snowy Christmas card scene, with the yellow lamp light coming out of the small windows in a thatched cottage, conjure up thoughts of comfort and wellbeing, whilst the weather does its worst outside. Having been brought up in an old house that was over 300 years old, the tale would no doubt have been a different one! The roof had no felt under the tiles and the snow would blow in, the ice on the inside of the bedroom window would stick the curtains to the glass and the only source of heating was the Rayburn stove in the kitchen and a small open fire in the sitting room. I think I’m getting a little off the cheery Christmas line here, but nostalgia certainly isn’t what it used to be! Christmas dinner, or lunch, seems to be a lot more complicated and seemingly full of pitfalls. I can remember driving up to see my mother one Christmas Day, only to see a whole Christmas meal on the parcel shelf of the car in front, as someone was thinking they were ahead of the game. No doubt there will be many cases of under-estimating preparation times, finding the oven won’t take the size of bird that has been bought, bullet hard sprouts, gravy with the consistency of varnish, etc. etc. Well, now it’s me who is going off on a tangent and living in a world of perceived Christmas disasters! Christmas is a time for families to be together, a time to look back and remember and when we remember, things never really seemed that bad after all. Things were different then, but the best time to be living is right now! Many families will have close ones who cannot be with them this time, or someone who is away. One of my neighbours has a son in the army who will be in the South Atlantic. It will be the first time he will not have been with his family at Christmas. My daughter Lizzie will be teaching English in China next year and she will leave in the spring. The world moves on and we cannot stop it, but we can take time to remember and enjoy what we have! This month’s picture is a snowy scene, after all I don’t want to break with tradition too much. Happy Christmas all.

You can always contact me through my website:


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Potted plants make perfect presents

I ALWAYS think a potted plant is a better gift than a bunch of fresh flowers as they do not need any immediate attention and give longer lasting pleasure. The Christmas season sees a number of seasonal indoor pot plants appear in garden centres and supermarkets, but you could also choose an With MARY appropriately named hardy plant as a gift. PAYNE MBE For example, Christmas box, so called because this hardy, evergreen shrub flowers around the festive season and on into early spring. It is closely related to traditional box used for small hedges. This plant deserves to be in every garden and it thrives in shady positions so often difficult to fill, where its small shiny leaves reflect the light. The perfume produced from the petalless flowers in winter is amazingly powerful and the flowers are followed by small black berries in Sarcococca confusa, or red berries in S. ruscifolia Dragon Gate. Far from being a desert cactus, the Christmas cactus, with the cumbersome name of Schlumbergera bridgesii, are natives of tropical rain forests where they live as epiphytes in the canopy of trees. This gives us a clue as to their care in the home. Unlike traditional cactus they should never be allowed to dry out completely. During their natural flowering period they should be kept moist but never standing in water and stood in bright, but not direct sunlight. After flowering they can be rested by reducing the temperature and watering. In the summer months they can be put outside where they will enjoy the higher humidity than our indoor environment. Their flowering is controlled by day length requiring dark nights of 11 to 12 hours. Beware, the flowers drip nectar which can mark some wood surfaces creating sticky spots. Poinsettias have become a standard part of Christmas floral décor. They are indigenous to Mexico and in our homes prefer a well-lit, but out of direct sun position, well away from draughts. It is vital when purchasing these tender plants to ensure that they have not been chilled as this can cause their rapid decline. They belong to the euphorbia family and in common with the rest of their relatives contain a poisonous milky sap so keep out of reach of children and pets. The traditional red leafshaped bracts have now been joined by pink, white, yellow or plum colours – why I cannot imagine but each to his/her own. In common with the Christmas cactus, poinsettias flower in response to day length. To induce repeat flowering the plants need to be subjected to 12 hours daylight followed by 12 hours of complete darkness daily from about November. Give it a try. Hippeastrum bulbs, commonly called Amaryllis, are also a common sight at this time of year in garden centres and make good presents for that someone who has everything, except a hippeastrum! The large bulbs should be potted with the neck and shoulders of the bulb above the compost in a pot only slightly larger than the bulb itself. Do not over water at this stage. The bigger the bulb the more flowers you can expect, and two flower stems each bearing four or five flowers is quite usual. After flowering the leaves will appear and now is the time to PAGE 70 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Sarcococca confusa

feed with a tomato food and water a little more. From June the pot can be put outside in a lightly shaded position but keep feeding and watering. The foliage may not die down until the late summer. In September allow the plant to dry out a bit and move to a cool temperature, such as a cold greenhouse or shed for six to eight weeks. Then repeat the process and enjoy a second or even third crop of dramatic flowers. Large flowered cyclamen appear on the market at around Christmas and also make excellent gifts provided a few basic rules are followed. They hate heat and dislike our centrally heated homes intensely. They should be positioned in a cool, well-lit location away from direct sun. Unlike the smaller flowered Miracle Cyclamen that are popular for autumnal containers in the garden, their large flowered cousins are not tough and must be kept indoors. The next rule is always to water from below. Stand the pot in a saucer of water and allow the plant to suck up what it wants before throwing away any excess. The final rule is do not cut off spent flower heads. Grip each stem low down and twist and pull to remove the entire flower stem without leaving a stump that can rot off. Azaleas, like cyclamen, appear at this season and can last from year to year given a little TLC. When buying a plant make sure it is not dry at the roots. If azaleas dry out it is the kiss of death, the leaves will go yellow and drop. A similar location and watering regime as that for the cyclamen is ideal but use rain water or cooled boiled water in preference as these plants like acidic conditions. After flowering, keep watering and feeding, and once the frosts have passed stand the plant outside in a lightly shaded position. Keep feeding and watering, repotting if necessary, using an ericaceous compost. Bring the plant back indoors in October by which time new flower buds should be visible. Moth orchids have become the most popular indoor flowering plant and this accolade is well deserved as they are easy to keep and flower for many weeks. A position out of direct sun in normal room temperatures suits them well. After flowering move to a cooler temperature for a couple of months feeding occasionally with an orchid feed, and more flower spikes will appear. Other orchids are starting to appear as indoor plants but may need differing conditions to encourage re-blooming. Season’s greetings to all our readers and gardeners. Fear not, the snowdrops will soon be out, and another year has flown by.

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Prune raspberries, blackberries, logan berries and other hybrid fruits (if you haven’t already done so). Cut out all old stems that bore fruit this year. Blackcurrants, if they were not done in the summer, can be pruned. Cut old wood to ground level. Also keep a look out for any swollen buds which are infected with big bud mite and remove them as they can spread the disease ‘Reversion Virus’. Prune apples and pears to improve their shape, encourage younger growth, remove diseased branches and to control the amount of fruit bud they have. Grape vines should be pruned before Christmas. If pruned late, the sap will often be running and they will ‘bleed’. Magnolia, Japanese maples, walnuts, hornbeams, mulberries and laburnums may bleed too if pruned late in winter. Forcing of established rhubarb crowns can be started towards the end of the month, pack with straw or straw/manure and cover with a forcing pot or upturned dustbin. You can still plant fruit trees and bushes right through until spring if the weather and ground conditions are okay, i.e. not frozen or water logged. Get on with digging whenever the weather allows you to, but pace yourself if not used to it! Dig in Vitax Clay Breaker to improve the structure of heavy soils. Courtesy Cleeve Nursery

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

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Chairman Lionel Horler (right) with Dennis White, Guy Clothier and Les Kimberley

MEMBERS of the south east division of the Somerset Beekeepers Association attracted dozens of visitors to their annual honey show in Castle Cary. As well as various classes for honey, members of the 80strong club also competed for prizes in beeswax and bee-related craft categories. Chairman, Lionel Horler, said: “We wanted to make the honey show an event for all the family where we could show the public what we do and people of all ages could learn about bees and beekeeping.”

Weaver Guy Clothier at work outside the Market House


Lionel Clothier prepares to examine a dead bee for any sign of disease

A clear winner for Alison Dykes in the medium honey class

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Gardening awards

ED Jones is pictured receiving the It’s Your Neighbourhood – Outstanding certificate for the Writhlington Community School Orchid Project from RHS Judge Barry Cruse. The presentation was made at Radstock in Bloom’s annual award ceremony. The Writhlington Community School Orchid Project is one of the highlights of the RHS judges’ route. Other neighbourhood awards went to The Potting Shed, Ammerdown; Haydon community garden and neighbourhood; Writhlington village hall; Writhlington allotments; St Nicholas C of E Primary School; Trinity Methodist Church garden; Haydon community allotments; Meadow View residents and St Nicholas’ Church graveyard.

Middlecombe’s fundraising day

ON Saturday, December 8th Middlecombe Nursery in Congresbury will be hosting a Festive Food and Fundraising Day, serving bratwurst, roasted nuts, mince pies and seasonal hot drinks with all profits raised being donated to

The Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust is a network of over 420 foodbanks that provide emergency food to people in crisis, by providing threeday food supply parcels. They have given out 1,332,952 in the last year alone. Middlecombe’s fundraising day will also be host to a one-day food donation drop-off, in which they’ll be collecting festive food donations for the Weston-super-Mare Foodbank, specifically with Christmas in mind. A spokesman said: “We hope our local community will join us on December 8th to raise support and awareness for this incredibly important cause.” At this time of year, the foodbank has requested donations such as gravy granules, stuffing mix, chutneys, Christmas pudding, cakes and savoury crackers. A list of other nonperishable food items to donate can be found on the Weston Foodbank website:


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 MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 73

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To the manor drawn

MANOR Farm, on the edge of Chilcompton, is probably best known for the hugely-popular Holy Cow Café and world-renowned Midsomer Quilting. But the complex – set in an idyllic location on a 350acre working farm and run by Karen and Paul Mattick – is also home to a number of other businesses enjoying a growing reputation far and wide for the quality and variety of services they offer. And space is now available for others to join them.

Holy Cow Café

A VISIT to the Holy Cow Café reveals much of the history of the Mattick family who have run Manor Farm since 1906. Photos showing life on a typical Mendip dairy farm adorn the walls, reflecting Inside the Holy Cow Cafe the Matticks’s love of the area and emphasising the fact that the café is very much a family concern. The Matticks began to diversify in 1994 when the dairy industry was in decline; today Jacob runs a beef calf rearing herd with dad Paul who began converting some of the outbuildings into a range of business units. Flexible space is currently available for new tenants, possibly in the arts and crafts or service sector. The café – which opened in 2014 – is at the heart of the complex, serving delicious homemade food and great coffee using local produce wherever possible. The menu changes regularly depending on what is inspiring the team and what is seasonal – but always using locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. No wonder many of the business tenants are regular visitors! The location is like no other. Set in the grounds of the early 17th century Manor Farm the café garden overlooks St John’s church. The café is also available to hire for small private parties and functions and offers a business delivery service. Jacob Mattick


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“Oh, this is a happy, happy place”

Some of the MQ team with founder Dee Pickford (third from right)

TO quote Trish, a visitor to Midsomer Quilting, who adds: “I have never in all my life been to another shop where you are greeted and made to feel like one of the family. Coming here is like being on holiday.” It is certainly hard to tell staff and customers apart with UK visitors coming from more than 50 miles away to spend time chatting and working on quilts; others come from even further afield – Germany, Italy and Canada, for example – for its classes. MQ doesn’t sell or create quilts but stocks the fabric (well over 3,000) bolts and all the necessary equipment – including books – for shoppers to create their own. It also offers an online service. Each year, MQ sets customers and friends a charity challenge to create 12” x 12” mini-quilts on a particular theme – this year it is Think of a Number. The results – around 250 Detail from 12 Days of quilts – go on show in the shop Christmas, a quilt by every day from Friday, November Claire Passmore, from 30th until Saturday, December 22nd. Plymouth Admission to the exhibition is free and most quilts will be offered for sale by secret ballot in aid of Dorothy House Hospice.


Christmas craft workshops at Keepers Preloved

LESLEY Barber’s passion is all about bringing furniture back to life with colour and decorative features. But her Keepers Preloved business at Manor Farm offers much more than that – her fun Christmas workshops Lesley Barber in her Keepers are an opportunity for Preloved showroom and studio everyone to stamp their personal mark on this festive season. Lesley moved to Manor Farm from Farrington Gurney in April and says she soon settled into the on-site business “community” there. Keepers Preloved specialises in hand painted furniture and kitchens – quite a lot of Lesley’s work is off-site – and home accessories and is also an authorised stockist of highly-regarded Autentico chalk paint. Visiting Keepers Preloved promises to be an inspiring experience. For details about Lesley’s festive workshops, visit the Keepers Preloved Facebook page:

• Painted Furniture • Home Accessories • Gifts • Cards • Custom Furniture and Kitchen painting service • Workshops Stockists of Autentico Paints Find us at Manor Farm Chilcompton BA3 4HP 07739 731975


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Enjoy the Mowhay experience

WHETHER you are looking to tend the body or soul – or both – Mowhay offers a comprehensive list of luxurious grooming and therapeutic treatments. Nestled in the sleepy Somerset countryside at Manor Farm, Mowhay’s attention to detail and high-quality experience of therapies is also reflected in their luxurious and relaxing treatment salon. For those wanting to escape from the stresses of everyday and work life on their own or shared with a friend, the space provides double and single treatment rooms and a nail bar. All the treatments on offer are created wholly by owner Emilia and are the result of her knowledge gained from years in the luxury industry. Performing tailored experiences to fit every guest's individual needs, clients can choose from a selection of facials, massages and other specialist services including hair removal, nail care services and spray tanning. The Mowhay experience comes complete with their natural sourced products and talented staff to make sure you leave feeling refreshed, revitalised and wanting to return. Mowhay owner Emilia

Accountants who care

GAYLE Shakespeare and Nicky Genge are certainly not stereotypical accountants, yet Bourne and Bargery provide the same – if not better – quality service you might expect. The pair are partners in the firm, priding themselves on an informal, yet informative approach to clients whether large or small. Small and medium enterprises are their speciality; advice is only ever a friendly phone call away. Running payrolls and arranging staff pensions for SMEs is an increasingly important part of their business. Gayle said: Gayle (left) and Nicky in their relaxed and “We think of friendly Bourne and Bargery office at Manor ourselves as Farm efficient, but friendly and warm. We offer all the range of services that a client might require, with more than 20 years of bookkeeping and accounting experience in this area, but with a personal touch.” The pair are bracing themselves for an influx of tax returns but say people should not panic; there is still plenty of time for people to approach them and take advantage of their £125 (ex-VAT) offer.

DON’T GET A PENALTY THIS YEAR! Tax Returns prepared and submitted from £125 plus VAT PAGE 76 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

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Made with love and care

A LONGSTANDING passion for cooking finally led Rachel Middleton to give up her career in sales to open the Pudding Kitchen – producing cakes and desserts with the homemade look, but professional polish. Now based at Manor Farm, Rachel is a familiar sight at Midsomer Norton Farmers’ Market on the first Saturday of each month – it’s the only market Rachel attends and offers an ideal chance for new and old customers to admire the quality of her efforts. The desserts might look homemade, but her five star-approved kitchen – it’s not open to the public for sales – is a model of professional efficiency and inspiration and allows Rachel to meet a growing demand from individual and trade clients, mostly via her new look website, developed by design student Harriet Coomes, whose work can be enjoyed on Instagram. Rachel, who launched the Pudding Kitchen seven years ago, said: “I have always loved to cook – especially desserts – and had it in my mind since I was in my 20s that it was something I would love to do on a full-time basis. “I love making things that other people might not attempt and at the time, not many people were making desserts and cakes that look homemade but were of a very high quality.”


Three chairs for upholstery school

THE thriving South West Upholstery School must rank as one of the more unusual businesses based at Manor Farm. Tony and Jo Carn opened the school in 2015, moving to Chilcompton in April this year. Classes are usually limited to five people with courses lasting six-eight weeks with some two-day weekend courses also. Tony used to have a high-end interiors business in London; he now runs RDI Interiors, but upholstery had always been a passion and he hopes to be able to pass on his knowledge to students who travel from a wide area – typically a one-hour travel time – to attend. Jo, who manages the school, said: “Most people come to us with chairs and smaller items – the sort of things which will fit into the back of a car, but we also supply materials and tools for people wanting to carry out a project at home.” Gary, one of the students, at work


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Bringing history to life

CHILDREN at St Julian’s School, Wellow, have been devoting much of their study time recently to learning about life during World War II. Pupils in years 5 and 6, Sycamore Class, were visited by local history enthusiast Jeff Coles and his WWII Matador Truck. The experience was the first for many children who were able to see and handle artefacts from the war. School head, Ruth Noall, said: “The children experienced trying on a variety of 1940s army attire and looked at original WWII deactivated guns, a hand-grenade, an air siren and many more artefacts.” As well as the school visit, children also travelled to the STEAM Museum in Swindon where they took part in an airraid and evacuation experience. Ruth said: “This really made the topic come alive for the children and enabled them to experience first-hand what it was like to live during the war. “They dressed as evacuees and were able to ask staff at the museum lots of questions about life in Britain during the 1940s.”

Details: 01225 833143 or



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people and those visiting the area and reduce travel by car, as the route helps those wanting to commute by bike. The path, to be made from stone recycled from old road surfaces, will be an important further step in linking up the regions coastal towns and follows the success of the Brean Down Way which opened last year. Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel, said this was a big step forward for the scheme: “There are still some hurdles to overcome, notably finding an affordable solution to separating farm animals from cyclists and pedestrians on a section of the route but this is a welcome development for this exciting scheme that will provide a key link in the Brean to Bristol route. “The path will benefit both locals and visitors by providing an excellent addition to the regions flourishing cycle network and bringing further economic development to the area.” An expression of interest of up to £650,000 towards the project has been given approval by the Government’s Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs. A full business case to secure the funding is due to be submitted if planning consent is granted.

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PLANS to join up a coastal walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon have moved a step closer. Planning permission is being sought to build a 1.4km shared use path at Tutshill Sluice, linking Kingston Seymour and Wick St Lawrence. The path, which follows a section of old railway line, will enable cyclists and walkers to cross the Congresbury Yeo river, providing a quiet route between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare. The route will reduce the distance between Weston and Clevedon town centres by about four miles for nonmotorised traffic and improve safety by avoiding the busy A370. It will also encourage more active travel for local


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Wedmore’s start to Christmas


WEDMORE by Lamplight is an evening of festive fun for all the family. It starts with a crib service at 6pm in St. Mary’s Church where children are invited to bring up the characters of the Christmas story and build the crib scene. This is followed by traditional carol singing around the Christmas tree outside the church led by the Kings of Wessex Brass Band. Mince pies and mulled wine are provided by the parish council and the church. The Borough is closed to traffic to allow families to wander around the shops and charity stalls safe from traffic. Most of the shops are open for late night shopping with many offering festive refreshments. Burtle Brass Band will be playing Christmas carols and music in The Borough and there will be street entertainers mixing with the crowds. Go along from 5.30pm-9pm – enjoy the evening – get into the festive spirit! December

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Adding to Wedmore’s Saxon history

SOMERSET jeweller, Erica Sharpe, is launching a new series of pieces inspired by the well-known Wedmore Saxon Ring that she has been recreating for over ten years. The original ring was found in a Wedmore garden and dates back to Saxon times. Its intricate knot has fascinated Erica and many others who have collected the gold and silver replicas that she makes. Following many requests for matching items, she has recently perfected Saxon knot earrings, cufflinks and pendants following the same wire-work pattern. She said: “It has been a challenge to make the knot work in a context other than a ring. The wire of the ring is wound around itself, and holds together without any soldering – it really is a very clever design. “For the new items, I have used traditional fine jewellery techniques to complete the pieces and maintain the form of the knot. It feels very special to add to this local, historical story and I hope that the new jewellery will follow the rings that I’ve already made for customers all over the world!”


New to Wedmore

HOME styling expert Melissa Hill is one of the latest additions to Wedmore’s busy shopping scene with her new boutique in the Borough Mall. Whether you wish to revamp a room to create a beautiful space to live in or you wish to make your home look its best to launch on to the market then a home stylist may be the answer. Melissa Hill – Home Styling can work within your budget and draw up a step-by-step plan to make the most of your space. This service includes a concept board, fabric swatches, paint colours and ideas for furniture, accessories, flooring, wall coverings, curtains and lighting – they can source all of your needs. Melissa is an associate of the national company HouseWow who hold a directory of home styling experts. She is planning a series of courses on The Principles of Interior Styling and is offering a discount of 20 percent to the first five Mendip Times readers to book.

9, The Borough Mall, Wedmore BS28 4EB • 07973 822160 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 81

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Christmas parties at The Swan

THE Swan, Wedmore is offering two fantastic Christmas party menus this year: a Christmas set menu and a buffet menu. Both will be available throughout December. The Christmas menu can be enjoyed in The Swan’s spacious restaurant or bar. The buffet menu is available in The Club Room for groups of 30 people or more. Festive delights on the Christmas Menu include starters of beetroot cured salmon, pickled cucumber, dill and yoghurt dressing or venison, partridge and pheasant terrine with pear chutney, mustard and cornichons. Alongside free-range turkey with all the trimmings on the main course, there’s lots of great alternatives to be had including vegetarian and vegan options: spiced belly of Gloucester Old Spot with mashed potato, braised red cabbage, fennel and sea salt crackling; Cornish Hake fillet; and vegan and gluten free squash, pistachio and quinoa nut roast. Exec chef Tom Blake always creates

delicious food with a twist, so be sure to try a sprout bhaji. It’s hard to choose a favourite dessert but if you’ve room, they highly recommend the Christmas bread and butter pudding with clotted cream ice

cream, brandy butter sauce and candied orange. Christmas set menu, two courses £27, three courses £33. Buffet menu, £22 per head.

Details: Call Sofie and the team on 01934 710337 for more information or book at


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St Mary’s joins the toilet twinning revo-loo-tion!



Pale Blue

Women’s clothing and other lovely things Pictured the Rev Richard Neill, vicar of St Mary’s and Barbara Moody, church warden

AS part of Wedmore’s efforts to become a Toilet Twinned Village, St Mary’s Church now boasts certificates to show that they are supporting others across the globe. The charity Toilet Twinning helps to provide clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education in some of the world’s poorest countries. Poor sanitation is one of the world’s biggest killers and every minute a child under the age of five dies because of dirty water or lack of sanitation. The charity tackles this crisis through a twinning scheme which funds materials and education to empower people to build their own toilets and learn about the importance of hygiene and clean water. The Rev Richard Neill, vicar of St Mary’s said: “It is outrageous that so many people in the world still lack the sanitation which we just take for granted. Toilet Twinning is such a simple but imaginative way of tackling this problem and St Mary’s are delighted to have twinned our church toilets with a church toilet block in Zambia. “It is particularly good that a church in Zambia will be the beneficiary as the diocese of Bath and Wells has been ‘twinned’ with the Anglican Church in Zambia for the last 40 years.” Local church-goers and villagers have helped raise the funds at St Mary’s monthly Fair Trade coffee mornings, along with a generous donation from the church themselves. Liz Burton who has been leading the local fundraising said: “As well as individuals having the option to twin their home toilets for just £60, larger organisations such as businesses, churches and schools can raise money to sponsor a whole block of toilets. I’m delighted that St Mary’s has got on board with this initiative and have become the latest toilet twinners in Wedmore.”

1 The Borough, Wedmore, Somerset BS28 4EB Email:

Tel: 01934 713773

Details: or join the Wedmore Toilet Twinning Facebook page


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New antiques business

MARTIN and Rachel opened Prowse Interiors in Borough Yard, Wedmore in August. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm, they stock a wide range of beautiful vintage and antique items for the home and garden. From traditional antiques, large and small, to more modern retro items. They can even source particular items if

All types of poultry, meats and game. For those lazy Summer days, BBQ packs and our award winning sausages Produced on our own farm or supplied locally

Just pop in or we can take your orders over the telephone, call us at the Shop on 01934 712384

See our selection of beautiful Christmas goodies Call in for mulled cider during Wedmore by Lamplight Open: Monday-Saturday 8.30am-5.00pm

01934 713289 1 The Borough Mall, Wedmore, Somerset BS28 4EB

you need something in particular. They also buy, so if you have lovely items you want to sell, give them a call. They host a monthly Vintage Fair one Saturday a month in Borough Yard. Open from 9.30am-4pm, it is a lovely small fair featuring the best local antique and vintage stallholders. The last fair of the year is on December 1st. Dates for 2019 will be out soon! Prowse Interiors will be open on Lamplight evening too. In today’s throwaway world, step back in time to evoke nostalgic memories and buy the gift of timeless and treasured presents this Christmas. Join the closed Facebook group Prowse Antiques and Interiors to see, reserve and buy all their lovely items. You can reach the team on 01934 712453.

Country Collectables & Traditional Feather Hat Mounts

07814 065009

Selling an exclusive range of fabrics on the roll. Made-to-measure hand-sewn curtains and blinds, cushions and re-upholstery and measuring service. 10, Borough Mall, Wedmore BS28 4EB T: 01934 708953 M: 07708 340 750 E:


The Foraging Pheasant

JANICE Taylor’s love of the countryside, as well as antiques and collectable items, has led to her opening a shop in Wedmore. For many years she and her husband kept and showed Welsh Cobs and have had stalls at various street fairs, shows and race meetings. She said: “I thoroughly enjoy chatting to so many different characters all with a story to tell.” She will still be attending some of her favourite agriculture shows throughout the year but her main base now is in the Borough Yard in Wedmore, at a shop devoted to all things country. She said: “I always have a good selection of country collectables which I travel far and wide to source from old binder twine through to silver brooches. I will also be stocking beautiful local rare breed sheepskin rugs, local Musgrove willow baskets and other items as well. “I am looking forward to having a base in Wedmore and hoping to meet lots of people with their country stories to tell.”

Wedmore’s living calendar

BETWEEN December 1st and December 24th, householders across the village of Wedmore will be unveiling the lights and decorations of a window in their home in what organisers think is Somerset’s first living advent calendar. Based on an idea originating from Stockholm in 2005, these calendars are beginning to appear in British towns and villages. Just as a different window is opened on advent calendars, so in a living advent calendar a different home will be unveiling a real window each day of December until Christmas Eve promptly at 6.30pm. The windows will all remain “open” from then on until twelfth night. Organisers hope a good crowd will turn up to each night’s opening, community spirit will be strengthened and the message of Christmas will be communicated. A Posada travelling crib will also make its way from home to home as part of the event. The vicar of Wedmore, the Rev Richard Neill, said: “We held a cheese and wine evening in St Mary’s Church in September and a great cross section from the village came to find out more and sign up to take part, with all dates having now been taken. “Nearer the date we will put together a map of venues so folk can find their way round, turn up each evening and maybe visit some of the windows they missed. Anyone is welcome to come to Wedmore and be present as windows are opened through December.”

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Solar power

HUGH Sexey’s School in Blackford is the latest public building in the Wedmore area to be fitted with solar panels. The avenue of photovoltaic panels along the Wedmore – Blackford road now includes the recreation ground’s new club house, currently being built, Wedmore First School and Wedmore Village Hall. This latest school project is being led by Avalon Community Energy, a community-owned company bringing community-supported renewable energy to the areas.

Added attraction

KING Alfred Mews, in Wedmore will have some special attractions for Wedmore by Lamplight on Wednesday, December 12th. Sharon Lewis and her sister Becky Fowler, who run Essence Hair and Beauty, are planning to have a marquee, with stalls, face painting, a hog roast and pop-up bar. Do pop round to see them.


Prepare for Christmas

DEAN Downer at Pisces, working with his long-serving suppliers, offers a full and varied range of fresh fish and greengrocery together with an eclectic mix of culinary supplies. As in previous years their order service will be in operation for Christmas. With a weekend immediately before the holiday, they expect their last volume deliveries to arrive on Friday, December 21st. Dean recommends that you order by Monday, December 17th to avoid disappointment, remembering that there are no fish markets until early January! So if you need something for New Year then buy and freeze before Christmas.



Direct supply of Cornish Sea Food. Loch Fyne Smokehouse stockist. Northern Water and Continental seafood specialists. Fruit and vegetables personally selected at market, exotics and the unusual, fresh herbs and the best local produce. Selection of culinary ingredients. Open all day Tuesday to Friday plus Monday and Saturday mornings.

5 The Borough Mall, The Borough Wedmore, Somerset BS28 4EB Tel: 01934 710318


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Does new development in Radstock deserve an award?

RECENTLY I read in the Mendip Times, of the nomination of BANES for a prestigious planning award for the work in Radstock; i.e. the house and road building schemes. I just wondered what sort of award this could be? It cannot be in recognition of community involvement; or for making the whole town more integrated; i.e. recognising its industrial and architectural legacy in a re-imagining of a place of collaboration and productivity. It certainly cannot be for its preservation and improvement of natural green spaces or for its outworking of environmentally sound policies. Basically the new traffic scheme mitigates against people walking, cycling or using wheelchairs. In fact, no attempt was even made to join up the cycle path at either end of the town! The accessibility of the town shops is restricted by not giving access via the new block of flats to the shops and pedestrian crossings that favour

the motorist, while people wait for long intervals in the polluted atmosphere to be able to cross. Furthermore the council gave way on the developer’s claim that they could not fulfil their obligation to pay section 106 which is money given to the community to offset the impact of the development. Radstock appears to be left with a congregation of concrete edifices around the new roundabout, (which reminds me more of an expanse of concrete on an army tank range) no facility for new residents in terms of a local play area without having to cross major roads to get to the existing one. The listed building, the old Brunel engine shed, which was supposed to be restored for community use by the developers is, at the time of writing, still left empty and untouched. Where in this development could a flag be raised to mark anything other than BANES’ success in rehousing areas of

Bath that can now be upgraded and developed for substantial profit? I wish I could see any sign of environmental, social, actual investment in jobs and infrastructure in what has been done to Radstock. But sadly to me it represents a sorry repeat of all the mistakes of the past in urban development. The further misappropriation of a totally unsuitable site for the doctors’ surgery as opposed to being included in the town’s redevelopment plans, also significantly undermines any claim to decent awardwinning potential; more to the wholesale Rape of Radstock. For anyone interested, there are some altogether more wholesome and deserving projects on the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPi) website. Sarah Crosse Midsomer Norton

Churchill and Langford – the debate continues WITH regard to recent correspondence concerning North Somerset Council’s proposed Mendip Spring new town (which is surely a more appropriate term than village), I would highlight the conclusions of the recently published, and well publicised report by the Transport for New Homes Association. “Most new developments we have seen, particularly those built on large greenfield sites on the edges of towns, are designed for travel by cars. They have plentiful car parking, but limited or no access to public transport, limited facilities and services, and a lack of safe pedestrian or cycling routes to town centres or the surrounding area. The new ‘urban extensions’ and ‘garden villages’ by their very location away from large conurbations promote car-based living. This is a major issue of public policy.” The consequences of this approach, again as highlighted in this report, are: • Thousands of new journeys on the roads. • Undermining aspirations of active life styles, vibrant and less isolated communities. • People face longer commutes. • Lack of opportunities for those who


don’t drive, notably teenagers and older people, and those with disabilities. • A barren public realm dominated by parked cars and road access with little greenery. • Stimulating wider car-based sprawl. Finally, their recommendations for what can be done: • Develop a national framework setting out where to build new homes, based on provision of sustainable transport, and aiming to meet economic, social and environmental needs. • Build new housing in existing large urban areas, or in places that are close to, and well connected by public transport, walking and cycling. • Plan land use and transport together. Local authorities must be able to work cross-boundary to analyse, design and fund public transport in tandem with the expansion of a whole area. • Invest urgently in urban and suburban public transport to serve expanding satellite towns and new suburbs. Where appropriate, fund trams and light rail as means to pull expanding areas together. Put serious money into capital and revenue support for bus infrastructure and services to enable the new residents to

beat the traffic using the bus. • Use urban brownfield and regeneration sites. New urban quarters benefit from existing public transport networks and can be reached on foot and by cycle. Relate targets for new homes to the potential of redevelopment and brownfield sites. • Plan for higher densities but less area wasted on parking. Build modern apartments and town houses with wide appeal, including near stations, with shops underneath and leisure facilities on site. Take advantage of the enhanced viability of local businesses and public transport to improve the public realm. Curtail car parking to allow our planners to design more attractive places with more space for greenery and better public realm. • Look more closely at the lessons from Poundbury (the Dorset new town that is built at a human scale around walking not cars, with employment and retail integrated into the walking environment). Truly, does anything more need to be said? Are you listening Cllr Ap Rees? Dr John Simmons Churchill

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From our correspondent Mendip Frog NORTH Somerset Council has prepared some far-reaching plans for this area, which includes my own patch, so I have been asked to contribute a few words from the viewpoint of we frogs – and, of course, on behalf of all our fellow amphibians too. We amphibians are, as you know, very dependent on water – but we also move about quite a bit on land. North Somerset Council has made these very worrying plans to create large new areas of houses and major new roads right in the midst of our own homes here beside the Mendip Hills. We already have a rather difficult relationship with you human animals in your ever-increasing numbers and with your ever-expanding demands on our environment which we (and all other life on earth) have to share with you. Every day we already lose far too many of our brothers and sisters, squashed beneath the wheels of motor vehicles. What is more, where once farmers valued ponds and indeed constructed new ones on their land primarily as drinking places for their domestic animals, now it seems that drainage is the thing and our all-important ponds are fast disappearing. On the other hand, we have been heartened recently to see that engineers concerned with these newest developments seem to be coming to our aid. We amphibians need water and the designers of these new developments seem prepared (rather surprisingly) to return some water to us. We have long observed that humans appear to dislike water and you evidently have a love-hate relationship with rainfall – which we understand to some extent because there’s always either too much or too little of it. Humans, it seems, aim to take control of this capriciousness and seek both to store rainwater in the large lakes you construct (to our considerable advantage) but also to deflect it, to drain it away as fast as possible and to hurry it on its way to the sea. Now we frogs, and the toads and newts too, all like marshy places where the water lingers awhile and you humans, it seems, generally don’t. But suddenly, and somewhat to our surprise, inspired local designers seem to have decided to help us by making the

rainwater – which cascades off their newly built roofs and roads – stick around more to encircle their recently-constructed buildings. It surprises us, but these designers are just not installing drains sufficient to carry this water away and yet neither are they introducing adequate storage for stormwater close at hand. This all seems most strange and out-of-character for humans – since it will create lots of problems for your own way of life (with lots of people living in a small space) if water keeps getting under your feet. So we are a bit perplexed – but then, it’s an ill wind, as they say… And the problem of living alongside you humans, and of losing our living-space in consequence, is not confined to us. My friend Mendip Bat has major worries and great difficulties of his own, and he keeps telling me about these idiotic (“batty,” he calls them) little corridors between the houses which the bats are supposed to fly along. And “tell the insects that”, he says. He’s also told me about this idea of “ecosystem services” which some human economists are now pushing. “Don’t we already provide just such a service by controlling insect populations?” he asks. We amphibians are looking on, mostly helplessly, but now and again wondering whether we should (perhaps) suggest other solutions which might help both frogs and humans at the same time. Why not take those ponds more seriously and also return some of you humans to the towns and cities which seem to suit you so well – and leave much of the countryside to do the things it does best – like absorbing the water which floods out of your cities, like absorbing and making widely available the all-important energy which pours from the sun and absorbing too the plentiful carbon dioxide you seem determined to produce in such enormous quantities, whilst so far as possible allowing the network of rivers and streams to resume its role of absorbing occasional floods and delivering them more slowly back to the sea? Yours ever-hopefully, Mendip Frog

A brief window to leave a legacy not a liability LAST month two major reports were published that impact all of us – forever. Firstly, the IPCC published its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC. The report, which is a consensus of scientists and governments from around the world, stated that carbon emissions will have to fall by 45 percent by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050 to reduce the impacts of climate change. This is huge target but the warmer the world becomes the worse the impacts will be. However, we are on track for 3.5 degrees of warming if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate. The more oil and gas we burn, the hotter the planet becomes and the more damage is done, therefore we urgently need to stop polluting our planet.

There is a small minority of people and organisations who still want to deny this problem and they have been very vocal in disputing the science. However, the science on global warming is unequivocal and is supported by an overwhelming majority of scientists, businesses and world leaders. The second report was from the UK Climate Change Committee who stated that sea levels around the country could rise by one metre or more by as early as 2100. Burnham-on-Sea and many other areas in Somerset are at sea level. Sea level rise will transform our county, our infrastructure and our way of life. Today, 520,000 properties in England are at risk from coastal flooding but this figure jumps up to 1.5 million properties by the

2080s when our children (and possibly ourselves) will still be alive. Ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change could reduce this risk for half a million people in England. Surely that alone is enough reason to switch to clean energy. We are at a cross roads and it is our choice to stop polluting the atmosphere. To quote the head of WWF Tanya Steele: “We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world. And we’re the last that can do anything about it.” Find out actions that you can take against climate change at Angela Terry MSc MEI


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THE rescue of 12 young footballers and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand earlier this year was an incredible feat of heroism mixed With PHILIP with an amazing HENDY amount of luck. It was a truly unique event, thanks to the teamwork and co-operation of the Thai and American military, and of course the extraordinary efforts of a 13-strong group of international cave divers, led by four British experts. It must be remembered that for cave divers their sport is an amateur undertaking, made without any financial gain, although their approach is nothing less than professional, given the risks of the activity. Cavers were given the opportunity to hear at first hand the story of the rescue from one of the lead British divers, Rick Stanton, at the recent Hidden Earth conference on Mendip. On Saturday, June 23rd, after training, 12 members of the Wild Boars football team and their coach, Ekkapol Chantawong, entered the show cave of Tham Luang in north Thailand. It was a birthday treat for one of the boys, who intended to explore as far as a chamber named Tham Lab Lae (Hidden City), 4km from the entrance. The oldest boy was 16 and they wore shorts and T-shirts, carrying the lights from their bicycles. Tham Luang is around ten kilometres long and the first part is a show cave, with a concrete floor and railings. It is a resurgence cave, although the water actually emerges some way from the show cave entrance. While mainly dry, the cave floods in the monsoon season, which unfortunately arrived a fortnight early this year. Fortunately a good survey of the cave exists, thanks to work by members of the Shepton Mallet Caving Club and French cavers. When the boys did not return home, a search began, and their bikes were found chained near the cave entrance. It was raining and the cave began to flood. On Sunday, Thai Navy SEALs, highly trained divers, arrived to begin a search. They wore back-mounted cylinders, which make progress along a flooded cave

passage difficult. Cave divers in narrow passages tend to wear side-mounted kit, which is easier to manipulate. Despite their expertise, the SEALs had no caving experience and struggled to negotiate the cave in zero visibility, swimming against a strong outward current. A large crowd of rescuers and helpers gathered at the cave, among them expat British caver Vern Unsworth. He thought that outside help might be needed, and contacted people he knew in the UK. A couple of days later Rick Stanton and John Volanthen flew out to Thailand, with 250kg of kit. They were joined by Mendip caver and diver Rob Harper, just back from a holiday in the area. In real life Rick is an ex-fire fighter, while John is an IT consultant. They were soon joined by two other Brits, Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson, who brought 350kg of equipment. The SEALs continued to try to force themselves deeper into the cave until they reached their limit. Rick and John took over, and with their more suitable gear pushed further into the cave. The dive base was in the third chamber, reached after wading 800 metres along a boulder passage. Beyond, there were four areas where it was possible to swim or wade, but the sumped passages were each up to 350 metres long. On July 2nd, they were almost at the end of their dive line when they found the boys in the 9th chamber, muddy and sloping steeply, about the size of a basketball court.

British rescuers at Hidden Earth

It was named Nern Nom Såo (Maiden’s Breast Slope). Although they had eaten very little and had lost 2-3 kg in weight, they were in good condition and spirits, although rather cold. The cave temperature was 23ºC, but of course the boys had been in the cave for nine days, with minimal clothing. After talking to the boys and reassuring them that help was on its way, the divers returned, to report the good news. There was a Wi-Fi link in the third chamber, so the news went global before the divers actually left the cave. Over the next few days food and medical supplies were ferried into the cave by the SEALs and other divers, and discussions were held regarding how to rescue the boys. Diving them out (through over 1000m of sumps) was thought to be too risky, as few of the boys could swim and none had ever dived. The alternative would be to wait several months until the monsoon ended, but logistically not enough food and other supplies could be taken into the cave to last this long, particularly as the monsoon would deepen, and make the cave totally impassable. Pumps were in operation, but could not possibly cope with the flow. Attempts were made to find an alternative entrance higher on the mountain, but although some deep shafts were explored, none entered Tham Luang. Bearing in mind the rescue of Chilean miners some years ago, Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur, flew in a rescue pod based on a rocket fuel tank, but this was deemed unsuitable. Running an

(Photograph by Phil Hendy)

The Thailand cave rescue

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 c


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inflatable tube through the cave, so the boys could crawl out in the dry was also dismissed. It was thought at one time that the air in the boys’ chamber was getting bad (it was certainly smelly!), but it appeared that the air quality sensors were faulty; but inevitably the air quality would deteriorate over a long period of time. Passing a hose through the cave to feed oxygen into the chamber was also not an option. The British divers, in conjunction with the American advisers, began to plan a way of diving the boys out of the cave. In view of their size, wetsuits had to be adapted, to be used with full face masks, covering the mouth, nose and eyes. Consideration was given to the chance that the boys could panic, and so endanger themselves. Was sedation an option? An Australian cave diver, Richard Harris, who was also an anaesthetist, said “no”, but then came across a research paper describing how scientists in the Antarctic had sedated seals, to find that not only did they continue to float, but their breathing reflex was not compromised. A dive rescue became a possibility, although everyone’s considered opinion was that it was extremely risky. In the meantime, one of the Thai divers supplying the boys had drowned. Saman Kunan was a retired petty officer in the SEALs, and had volunteered to help by taking spare air cylinders into the cave. On the way out, it is thought that he simply ran out of air himself. This catastrophe focussed minds, and discussions were held with the Thai Minister of the Interior.

Permission was given to try to extricate the boys by diving. The Americans ran a dry drill on the surface, marking out the cave and using water bottles to represent air cylinders, so that everyone knew precisely what to do. Additionally training dives at a local swimming pool, to refine the proposed equipment and techniques for the recovery, were carried out on the Saturday. On Sunday, July 8th, the international team entered the cave for the first day of the rescue. When they got to the boys, they had decided themselves who should be first to be rescued. He was given sedation, then brought out by Jason. The boys could not wear helmets, so to protect their heads they were carried underneath the diver, with a cylinder of oxygen strapped underneath, to act as a ballast and be manoeuvrable. The boy was examined at each chamber with an airspace, and when he was seen to be alright they continued, a new oxygen cylinder supplied when necessary, and he was taken on out. When the first boy reached Chamber 3 alive and well, there was of course great joy. He was whisked off to hospital in an ambulance, for assessment. Another three boys were rescued that day. Another four boys were brought out on the next day, and the last four, with their coach, on the third. They were followed by four SEALs who had stayed with the boys. By this time the rain had returned, but diverting one of the stream sinks on the mountainside, and continued pumping, made things a little easier, although soon

Rotary honours cavers

THE Rotary Club of Mendip recently presented two of the Thai cave rescue divers living in the Cheddar Valley with Paul Harris Fellowship awards. Chris Jewell, an IT expert, and army engineer, Connor Roe, are both unpaid volunteer members of the British Cave Rescue Council, prepared to be called out 24/7 to help anyone trapped below ground. The situation they faced in Thailand was unprecedented, with the boys and their team coach half a mile underground in caves flooded by an early monsoon. Chris Jewell was one of the four British divers who shuttled the boys one at a time to a cavern 800 metres from the cave entrance, where they were transferred to stretchers and carried to safety by the military. Connor Roe was at one of the staging posts deep inside the cave system assisting with the transfer of oxygen cylinders. At the presentation award ceremony attended by over 60 Rotarians and guests, Chris Jewell gave an illustrated talk


after, the monsoon increased, closing the cave for the rest of the season – it was a very close thing! The boys were kept under observation in hospital for a week, but suffered no illeffects either from their ordeal or the rescue. They had spent 15–17 days in the cave. Apart from the Thai SEALs, 13 cave divers from around the world took part in the rescue, including Australian, Canadian, Chinese, Danish and Belgian. Hundreds gave surface support, charging cylinders, ferrying kit, and providing food. The media were there in force, of course, and Bill Whitehouse and Emma Porter of the British Cave Rescue Council were constantly being interviewed, together with Mendip Cave Rescue chairman Martin Grass and others. News reports were kept to a minimum, in view of the seriousness of the situation, and the divers at the “sharp end” were very matter-of-fact, seeking no publicity or to be regarded as heroes. It was not to be, of course. When four of the British divers gathered on stage at the end of Rick Stanton’s Hidden Earth talk, they were given a long standing ovation, from cavers who generally do not seek the limelight themselves. There has been a reception at Downing Street and it is to be hoped that some kind of national honour will be forthcoming. Despite their humility, these volunteer cave divers, from around the world, have written a unique page in the annals of rescue.

about his experiences. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International, and awards made in his memory have been given to many Rotarians as well as many famous people including Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter and Boris Yeltsin.

everal caving publications and until his retirement was a caving instructor at Cheddar. His main interest is digging for new caves


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Disraeli gears

“In every country it is unfortunate not to be rich; in England it is a horrible misfortune to be poor”

So said Alexis de Tocqueville, a visiting French historian, in 1835. And so it is today. If you move By Dr PHIL from Harrods to Grenfell, in the same small HAMMOND district of Kensington, you lose 22 years of life expectancy and gain 20 years of chronic disease. Our health is largely socially determined, and although we join the queue for death the moment sperm meets egg, our position in that queue is strongly influenced by our first eight years of life. A healthy womb, and a childhood free from abuse and full of love, nutritious food, a comfy bed and oodles of curiosity sets the course for a future full of opportunity. Without such a sure start, many people struggle with poor health for life. The better off we are, the less likely we are to ever understand what it means to be poor. In 1845 Benjamin Disraeli, the “one nation” Conservative leader, described the rich and poor as: “Two nations: between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.” He also correctly observed: “Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends” and “The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and their powers as a state depend.” (1877). How the Conservatives could do with a Disraeli now. Never mind the truly embarrassing shambles of Brexit, where we are down to a choice between a disastrous deal (Chequers) and a truly disastrous deal (no deal), but our welfare state is in a dreadful state, our schools are struggling to survive and we’ve returned to the bad old days of patients dying on waiting lists and in hospital corridor queues, a truly shocking state of affairs for such a rich nation. Nearly half of children from single-parent families live in poverty across the UK. Seventy per cent of the households that have had their housing benefit capped are single-parent families, and out-of-work lone parents (90% of whom are women), have lost over £3,000 every year since 2015. Fourteen million people live in poverty in the UK, or just over a fifth of the population, and it’s concentrated among working-age families with children. Like Brexit, Universal Credit will create winners and losers; the poor are far more likely to be losers and poor children will lose most. With such an incompetent government, you’d expect Labour to be soaring ahead in the polls but they’re not, which is just as shocking. We no longer trust our warring, two-party politicians to be competent. We need a better way of doing politics that puts children first. Our future depends on it. Dr Phil Hammond is a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North East Somerset.


Plop the Raindrop

I GOT stuck in a Christmas pudding once, after being poured from a bottle of brandy. It’s one of the perks of being a water droplet that from time to time we turn up in some delicious drinks. Over the years I’ve been in whisky in Scotland, Champagne in France, cider in Somerset and CocaCola in Pizza Express. This often involves sitting around in old barrels for years before getting drunk, which isn’t always the most pleasant of experiences. Fizzy drinks are the worst. Constant burping can shake us around like bubbles in a bottle. Sometimes we deliberately make people feel sick. Anyway I was telling you about getting stuck in a Christmas pudding. They are often so rich and filling that people don’t have room left to eat them, after stuffing their faces with turkey and everything else. Kids can’t stand them anyway. So why do people bother having them? Well it’s because of something called tradition, which simply means doing something because it’s always been done. I’m not talking about brushing your teeth every morning or evening or doing your homework after school. It means going on holiday to the same boring place every year or buying boring Christmas presents every year that noone really wants. So the pudding went out on to the compost as usual and was eaten by the family’s dog, Jake, who returned to the house later cross-eyed and hardly able to stand. Brandy can do that. You wouldn’t want to know how I escaped. I was left feeling a bit dizzy and then thought I found myself floating on a cloud which began to shake and a creature called Roodolf went rushing past. A few seconds later I was zooming away towards the North Pole and landed with a big thud on some presents. Now it could be they were ones that Father Christmas had yet to deliver. Or it could be that I was just dreaming. I can’t say if Father Christmas is real. But one Christmas a fat man with a white beard did get stuck in a chimney where the fire was still burning below him. Firemen squirted me and my friends down the chimney from their hose to put the fire out and managed to pull the man out together with a reindeer. All I remember is that the reindeer had a very bright red nose and the man kept saying Ow Ow Ow though people tell me he’s supposed to say Ho Ho Ho! Have a happy Christmas. Mendip Grandad

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Coping with dementia

FORMER GP, Dr Jennifer Bute, who was forced to retire because of Alzheimer’s disease, has now written a book about the condition. She will be signing copies at Sandford Station retirement village’s Christmas fair on December 1st, with proceeds going to the Great Western Air Ambulance. She lives in the dementia village there. She has gained an international reputation by making videos and giving lectures about the disease – and previously launched a dragon cartoon aimed at a younger audience, which now has subtitles in several languages and is very popular in China. Her own website shows a poignant video about her own struggle to cope with dementia. She said: “I had to take early retirement but passionately believe a lot can be done to improve things and was asked for a book explaining how I came to be who I am and use my inside medical knowledge to find strategies to slow down the deterioration and to help others.” Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimers Society, said: “All too easily many assume that living with dementia is one long term steady decline. Jennifer’s insightful book debunks that myth. “Whether through her own experiences or those of others she opens our eyes to everyday life with dementia. How in so many ways we can make life better, or sadly how, sometimes inadvertently, we can compound the difficulties that inevitably come when living each day with dementia. “Her own gruelling journey to get a diagnosis, even as a GP, is a wake-up call to the NHS. The anchor of faith will resonate with many, as does the need for faith groups to embrace not exile those in their community with dementia. We should all read and learn from Jennifer and turn that learning into action.” Her book Dementia from the Inside a doctor’s personal journey of hope is published by SPCK and available from Amazon.

HEALTH & FAMILY HEALTH & FAMILY Dental Design Limited 81, Bow Street Langport Somerset TA10 9PR

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Please call and talk to Trudie or Nia on 01458 253 888


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Registered Member of the British Association of Foot Health Professionals Theas’ Footcare, Mobile Foot Clinic

Tincknells’ health challenge

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

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TINCKNELL Fuels chose the British Heart Foundation as a charity to support, pledging to make a donation for every delivery and every service carried out. Other fundraising activities included walking tours at lunch breaks and a virtual mountain challenge to see how many steps staff can take each day to see how many mountains they can climb over the month. Other activities included managers spoiling staff with their now annual tea making duty (at a cost), bingo, a savoury day, a breakfast day and a cake day. With all the extra walking they are doing they aim to promote healthier living through the workplace. At their head office in Wells lots of healthy pledges have been made from losing

weight to drinking more water every day. A spokesman said: “We are all touched by the heartbreak of heart and circulatory diseases and raising funds for the British Heart Foundation helps research that gets us closer to cures and treatments. “Being active helps reduce your risk of developing a heart or circulatory condition, as well as having a stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.”

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COURT HOUSE A beautiful Georgian Retirement Home set in the lovely village of Cheddar, Somerset. You can live your life to the full and choice is our favourite word

The Manager – Chris Dando 01934 742131 Court House Retirement Home, Church Street, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3RA


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They came, they saw, they conkered! By Mark Adler

ONE hundred players took part in the annual Witham Friary Conker Championships, raising hundreds of pounds for charity. Families, friends and the curious looked on as the contest was played out in the garden of the village’s Seymour Arms pub. Reigning champion John Hill was knocked out in the second round; this year’s all-conkering champion was Harvey Norris. Players were welcome to bring their own conkers but strict rules applied – they all went into trays and were chosen at random to be drilled and threaded with the same lengths of string. The afternoon was organised by a group of fundraisers called the Witham Friary Conker Committee and it raised more than £1,000 for Dorothy House Hospice.

Hundreds of people packed the pub garden for the competition

Seeking autumn glory: Pierre Cawley (left) and Chris Chapman do battle

The championships were open to all

An uneven contest? Names were chosen out of a bucket

Stringing the conkers ahead of the contest

The 2017 champion John Hill made it through the first round, but later lost PAGE 94 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

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Fruit trees and more at Frome Showfield FAMILY fun was on offer at Frome’s Old Showfield during celebrations to mark Apple Day. Frome Town Council has planted an orchard on part of the land. As well as apple and pear trees, the area includes olive trees and an oak – the area was once part of the ancient Selwood Forest. Soft fruit trees will also be planted on the site. The new space was designed by volunteer Lou Miles from the Peculiar Botanist and followed a public consultation exercise in the town. The orchard is next to the outdoor gym and mayor of Frome Richard Ackroyd said: “The orchard will be a place for people to spend time and enjoy being outdoors which a good way to encourage positive health and wellbeing.”


Richard Ackroyd, the mayor of Frome, plants a redwood sapling

The new orchard is a community space for all to enjoy

Apple juice pressing underway, led by Helen Johnstone from Sustainable Frome

Allison Still (left) and Anne Oakes, on the Frome Country Market stall

Writer and forager Dave Hamilton led walks around the showfield


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Rotarians fight polio

Members of the Rotary Club of Mendip marked World Polio Day by planting purple crocus bulbs opposite Cheddar War Memorial. The Purple for Polio Campaign aims to raise public awareness of the life threatening infectious disease which, although eradicated in the UK in 1984, still affects children in developing countries. Mendip Rotarians also organised a pubic display in Cheddar library, where Rotarian Bob Acland gave an informative talk to members of the public about Rotary’s progress towards eliminating the disease. Rotary clubs worldwide have been actively fundraising since 1985 and working with the World Health Organisation to provide vaccination against the disease. Cases due to wild poliovirus have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases then, to just 22 reported cases in 2017. As a result of the global effort to eradicate the disease, more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis. The latest statistics show that reported cases so far this year have dropped to fewer than 15, but as long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.

Community art space in Mells

THE communityled Mells Village Shop and Café is now dedicating space on its walls for the monthly display of local artists’ work. Village resident Heather O’Brien was the first of the artists to exhibit with a series of oil paintings called Corners of Mells. The venue has Artist Heather O’Brien in Mells cafe been raising funds to provide facilities for Mells and surrounding villages since its opening in 2009 as well as serving as a social hub for tourists, visitors and residents.


Supporting good causes

Around £17,000 has been distributed to small, local good causes in B&NES including SWALLOW, Bath City Farm and Wansdyke Play Association in Radstock. The money came from the Bath and North East Somerset Community Wellness Fund which Quartet Community Foundation administers on behalf of Virgin Care. Children, young people, families and carers praised the work done by Wansdyke Play Association which used the funding to support children and their development through “play” at The Plantation in Writhlington. Local mum Diane, who took her two children along to the sessions, said the activities were great for children, helped build their social interaction skills and offered something for everyone. She said: “Not only that but they’ve also learnt important life skills, how to eat healthily and how to make healthy food. This has helped us at home too.” WPA, which has a strong reputation built over the last 25 years, secured almost £2,000 from the fund – which is part of Virgin Care’s contract with the council and the local NHS to bring health and care services together. Sue Turner from Quartet Community Foundation said: “Everyone deserves a fair chance of a good life and we see every day the difference small, local good causes like Wansdyke Play Association make for local people.”

Advent windows in Wells

THERE’S a community event taking place from December 1st in St Thomas St, Wells. Each evening at 4pm a new advent window will open until all the windows are on show on Christmas Eve. Each window will illustrate a Christmas scene and posters and fliers, with maps, will be available at different tourist outlets around Wells as well as being displayed in St Thomas St, showing which window is being lit for the first time that night. Organisers hope as many people as possible will view the windows and if they would like to add a fundraising element to this, they can drop money through one of the participating doors. Money raised will go to the Connect Centre in Wells as well as St Thomas’s Church.

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Tackling loneliness

CALLING all book lovers! A popular home library service run by Royal Voluntary Service, the national volunteering organisation, is looking for more reader clients across the Mendip region. The service is run by volunteers who deliver books, audio books and other reading materials to people who can no longer get to a library. The service operates from libraries in Frome and the surrounding Mendip areas. Royal Voluntary Service volunteers choose and deliver books and share their love of reading with clients. They are a friendly face, are regular visitors to older people whose mobility and social

Yatton prepares for Christmas interaction are limited and provide a check on clients’ safety and well-being too. Jacquetta Fielder, volunteer coordinator for Frome Home Library Service said: “For older people who enjoy reading or listening to an audio recording but find getting out of the house challenging, this service offers a vital link to the local library.” The service is the focus this month of the End Loneliness in Mendip campaign launched last year by Health Connections Mendip.

Details: Glastonbury and Shepton Mallet Frome Jacquetta Fielder 07387 548 724 or Mendip area Kirsty Jenssen 07920 250 834 or or go to 01373 468 368.

The boules and the bees

VILLAGERS in Shoscombe challenged their neighbours in Wellow to a friendly boules match as part of their Apple Day activities. Players and spectators brought along masses of apples to be juiced during the fun afternoon, organised by Shoscombe Local History Group at the Recreation Ground. Meanwhile, people who took along their apple crop to be juiced outside the Market House in Castle Cary were invited to make donations in aid of the Bumblebee Trust. The trust is currently supporting a project in Somerset to increase numbers of shrill carder bees.

Apple pressing in full swing at Shoscombe

YEO Valley Lions Club’s carol float with Father Christmas on board will start its tours of villages around Yatton from Sunday, December 2nd in the run-up to Christmas. The details of when and where they will be visiting are in a special programme which is being delivered to all homes in the area. They will be collecting for club funds to help continue their service in the local community, including supporting the minibus and the playground for those with special needs. In addition the annual carol service will take place in Yatton Precinct on Saturday, December 15th at 5pm. The service will be introduced by local ministers and will be supported by Spotlight Sparklers from Yatton Junior School. All are very welcome to attend.

Friendly rivalry – Shoscombe v Wellow

Greg Carnell (left) and John Were at work in Castle Cary


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Men’s shed expands

THE Midsomer Norton Men’s Shed, based at Farrington Farm Shop, opened in June and is growing. In that short time they have expanded their original premises using mainly recycled materials. It’s a place where you can enjoy tea/coffee, companionship, a space to natter and relax! And if you feel so inclined they have a workshop to make/repair things. Their numbers have been increasing rapidly and they are now open Tuesdays and Fridays 9.30am to 1pm, with plans to start another session on Thursday mornings. If there’s enough interest they will try to arrange additional sessions and hopefully a ladies only session. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 and is for people of any skill or ability. For each person the first two sessions are free (just to see if you like it). If you decide to become a Shedder, the fees are then £5 per year and £3 per each visit.

STAR shines at Wells SOUP

Compere Paddy O’Hagan (left) with representatives of the four good causes and their cheques

A CHARITY which supports disadvantaged young people in Somerset won the largest audience vote at the October community funding event Wells SOUP. Somerset Trust for Arts and Recreation provides opportunities through music, art, sport and recreation to some of the county’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged five-25. Guests at the lunch at the Connect Centre listen to brief presentations by four community groups before casting their votes for the one they consider most worthy of support. STAR received £350 with Horrington Cricket Club, the Wells in Mosaic project, Somerset Levels Carriage Riding for the Disabled and the Mendip Multiple Sclerosis Society receiving £188 each. It brings the number of organisations Wells SOUP has helped to 43. The soup lunch was prepared by pupils from Wells Blue School and was sponsored by local businesses. The next event is on Saturday, January 12th and the sponsor is Chubb Bulleid solicitors.

Details: Email: Facebook: • Phone 07818 420685

Path plan a step closer

THE Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign has reached an important milestone, with Compton Bishop parish council supporting plans for a pedestrian refuge on the A38 at Cross. Campaigners are now working with Axbridge Town Council and landowners to upgrade public rights of way across the fields so people can avoid walking along the busy road from Axbridge to Cross. They have also dropped the name Coffin Lane Campaign. The work on the A38 is unlikely to start until late 2019 or early 2020 because of the need to carry out a bat survey. PAGE 98 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Butcombe banquet

FOR one night only, Butcombe village hall was transformed into a medieval banqueting hall, with revellers feasting on game pie and honeyed mead, and entertainment by Jonathan Weeks and his collection of medieval musical instruments. All profits went to The Woodland Trust.

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Belly laughs at charter night

Inner Wheel club president Sue Hopkins joins the belly dancers

MEMBERS and guests at Midsomer Norton and Radstock Inner Wheel Club’s 61st charter night celebration dinner joined in a performance by a group of local belly dancers. Raheesha and her students encouraged the party to join in the fun at Farrington Golf Club, including club president Sue Hopkins. Other guests included district chairman Pru Witter and her husband Bill, Midsomer Norton and Radstock Rotary Club president Reid Spiers and his wife Trish and Allan Ashby, president of Bradley Stoke Rotary Club.

Dog tired

LITTER pickers at Pensford had extra help this year as they once again cleared the lanes of Pensford and surrounding areas of litter – from Dave the dog. Dave, who belongs to Dom Lowe, thoroughly enjoyed himself as he tugged his master around the Dave the dog with (l to r) Mike Daniels, interesting smells and Dom Lowe, Tracey Jones and Janette sounds of Pensford Stephenson lanes. The litter picking was organised by Pensford and Publow Parish Council, helped by B&NES council, who provided the pickers and rubbish bags. Around 11 people turned up, including councillors, making short work of rubbish gathering in the hedges and some of them setting off on their own to do areas nearer to where they lived. Janette Stephenson, who is chair of the Pensford with Publow Parish Council, said: “The litter pick was very successful and a great number of bags of rubbish collected. It was a lovely day with lots of sunshine. Many thanks to you all who turned up.” And Dave the dog? Back home again in Pensford he slept the sleep of the righteous after a very busy morning taking his master litter picking.


Flower society celebrates

FROME Floral Art Society celebrated its blue Sapphire Anniversary at Mells Barn with a demonstration by Coral Gardiner entitled "Sapphire Celebration". The vote of thanks was given by Jo Jacobs NAFAS Associate of Honour and the celebration cake was cut by Sheila House, president and Daphne Mortlock, their previous president. Following this both members and guests enjoyed an excellent afternoon tea. Frome Floral Art Society is one of the oldest flower clubs and was originally founded in 1953. On display were albums showing events in which the club has taken part over the years and display boards showing events and successes from the last year including RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

Spreading the word

CHELWOOD Bridge Rotary Club has begun the presentation of Rotary Illustrated Dictionaries to children in local primary schools. Club president, Doug Nash, said: “The dictionary is a result of the Rotary International's priority to help improve standards of literacy throughout the world. The dictionary enables children to develop and widen their vocabulary in a lively and interesting way.” Dictionaries have already been presented to pupils in Cameley, Chew Magna, Pensford and Chew Stoke and more schools will have their presentations next term. Rotary club member Ken Biggs is pictured with children from Cameley School. Details:


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Club celebrates 50

THE Bleadon Friendship Club recently celebrated its 50th birthday, with an open meeting to which all were invited. They had stalls, a large raffle and music from the Berrow Music Group, who are always popular. They made lots of cakes and hand-made decorations and had photos on display of recent outings, plus scrapbooks from the past 50 years of the club. They gained some new members, made some money, and a good time was had by all. The club meets on Friday afternoons at the Coronation Hall, Bleadon.


Would you pay an additional £1 a month for policing?

RESIDENTS are being asked whether they are prepared to pay an additional £1 a month towards policing from April, 2019. Last year the Government unexpectedly gave all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across the country the flexibility to raise the policing part of the council tax by £1 a month for the average band D household. Avon and Somerset PCC Sue Mountstevens is hoping that they will be given that flexibility again this year. She said: “With last year’s £1 rise we were able to start an ambitious programme of recruitment and commit to employing up to 300 police officers. “We were also able to protect neighbourhood policing, the police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in your local area, all thanks to your support for the rise. “The Chief Constable and I have agreed that next year’s focus will concentrate on serious violence. The threat from serious and organised crime has changed rapidly, increasing in both volume and complexity and preying on the most vulnerable in society.” Sue Mountstevens is asking for people’s views in an online survey on her website which closes at midnight on January 14th, 2019.

Bishop Sutton hub

Details: 01934 750695

Volunteers welcome

CHILCOMPTON Speedwatch group were invited by the police to join in their national day of action against rural crime. If you are concerned about speeding in Chilcompton, are over 18 and a driver, with a minimum of an hour a month free, contact the village coordinator


THE historic Methodist chapel in Bishop Sutton has itself made history, becoming the first community library in B&NES, as well as the village’s first community hub. Built in 1782, the chapel was visited by Charles Wesley in 1820 and housed the village’s first Sunday school. It’s been taken on by the parish council, with a group of enthusiastic volunteers, offering library services, book sales, café and internet access. The parish councils in Timsbury and Paulton are taking on a similar role. The Bishop Sutton hub was opened by local author Steve Ward (pictured second right) with (l to r) John Miles, Methodist church, Liz Kingston, volunteers’ organiser, and parish council chairman, Keith Betton.

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Search team’s busy year

ON the first day that Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue took delivery of a new Land Rover Discovery D5 it attended a callout. The police were concerned for the welfare of an elderly lady with dementia in the Long Ashton area. Fortunately the lady was located safe and well in nearby Hotwells, Bristol. The new Discovery D5 is on loan from Jaguar Land Rover to Mountain Rescue England & Wales. It’s touring the country spending two weeks with each team to test its capabilities. The team had another call-out the next day to help search for a vulnerable missing man near Dundry; he was also found on the edge of Bristol and is now receiving the care he needs. Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue is a volunteer-led service called upon by the police to help people far from help. They have had one of their busiest years attending 35 call-outs so far and their members have given over 1800 hours of time to these incidents, let alone all the training and fundraising required. The call-outs mainly involve searching for vulnerable missing people who may be suicidal or suffering from mental illness, but also involve cliff rescues. One of its members, Jim Hardcastle, said: “We had only just

received the new Discovery D5 when the request for help from the police came. And then another callout the next day. Luckily in both incidents the missing person was located alive, but this is often not the case. “As a team we’ve been involved in some very tragic and difficult incidents. As members we have to respond from wherever we are at that time and then may need to access some very difficult locations, so it’s a real test for the Discovery D5, both on and off-road, when it spends time with a search and rescue team.”

ASSAR is an emergency service staffed by volunteers on call 24/7 365. As a charity they raise all their money and receive no central government funding. Details:

Mendip wool is inspiration for cloth project WOOL from Fernhill Farm above Compton Martin is at the heart of a heritage project aimed at reviving the cloth industry in Bristol. The farm is the chosen supplier of wool to the Bristol Cloth Project which is prioritising local, responsibly-sourced biological materials and manufacturing processes from the south west. It is woven at the Bristol Weaving Mill, the first industrial loom to open in the city for more than 100 years. Jen Hunter, who runs Fernhill Farm with husband Andy Wear, is also producing her own garments from the wool, with the help of expert spinners, weavers and finishers from Yorkshire, Wales and Somerset. Jen showcased some of her garments at the Artisan Christmas Market in the Bishop’s Palace Jen Hunter at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Fellow stallholders Rosemary (left) and Victoria Hillman

The beautiful architecture of the palace complemented the artisan products


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Christmas in Wrington


WRINGTON'S Dickensian Christmas Fayre returns this year on Friday, December 14th in the grounds of The Plough Inn. It starts at 6.30pm with the lighting of the Christmas tree. There will be 20 floodlit stalls under canopies selling local Christmas related goods and produce and a pig roast too. There will be entertainment from the local school and several choirs. The Grand Raffle will be drawn at 9pm. Then, as the outdoor fayre comes to an end, The Plough Inn will host an hour of carol singing. There’s something for everyone – so save the date and time and join the merriment. December


High Street, Wrington, North Somerset, BS40 5QA Tel : 01934 862871

We are very pleased to announce our new Winter 2018 Menu Whether its for a special occasion, a delicious relaxed lunch or supper or just for a drink with friends we will be pleased to welcome you to our fantastic pub this Winter


(v) Soup of The Day (See Specials Boards) £5.25 Creamy Smoked Haddock with Spinach, Local Cheddar & Poached Egg £7.95/£14.95 King Prawn & Chorizo Potatas Bravas & Sourdough £7.95 Warm Black Pudding & Confit Pork Scotch Egg with Autumn Spiced Ketchup £8.50 Stilton Mousse, Onion Marmalade & Salad of Chicory & Walnuts £7.50 Smoked Game Meat Terrine, Chilli Jam £8.50 Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese 'Canneloni', Salmon Caviar £8.95 Mille Fuille Of Beetroot, Ginger & Whipped Goats Cheese, Amaranth Salad £7.95


(v) A Board Of Mixed Warm Breads, Rapeseed Oil & Balsamic Vinegar £5.95 (v) Veggie Tapas – £2.50 Each – Roasted Red Peppers • Hummus • Pesto • Mixed Oils • Grilled Halloumi Meat & Fish Tapas – £3.50 Each – Pork Belly Bites • Whitebait • Coppa Ham • Smoked Salmon • Black Pudding Bon Bon • Smoked Brisket Flat Bread – BBQ Sauce, Monterey Jack Cheese, Jalapenos £13.95


Pork & Leek Sausages, Mash, Onion Gravy, Root Vegetable Crisps Char-Grilled 8oz Gammon Steak, Hand Cut Chips, Two Fried Free Range Eggs Polenta Crusted Halloumi, Roasted Province Squash, Braised Lentils & Micro Cress


£12.95 £14.95

Smoked Pork Belly, Sauteed Potatoes, Celeriac Remoulade, Wine Jus, Kale 8oz Lamb Rump, Smoked Paprika Ragu, Pesto Mash, Roasted Courgette Homemade Beef Burger, Two 4oz Patties, Relish, Pickles, Brioche Bun, Coleslaw & Hand Cut Chips – Add Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Bacon Or Onion Marmalade – £1 each – Pulled Pork £1.50 Oven Baked Whole Mackerel, Served With Crushed Potatoes & Chorizo & Pea Shoot Salad Linguini in a Sun Blushed Tomato Dressing, Mixed Olives, Peppers, Fresh Basil, Tomatoes Pan Fried Fillet of Ling, Pickled Fennel & Onion Lyonnais Potato, Salsa Verdel Confit Duck Leg, Artichoke Puree, Tender Stem Broccoli, Sardalaise Potatoes, Jus Char-grilled Peri Peri Chicken Breast With Pearl Barley & Butternut Squash Risotto Char-grilled 10oz Rump Steak served with Hand Cut Chips, Portobello Mushroom, Beef Tomato & Wilted Greens Char-grilled 8oz Sirloin Steak served with Hand Cut Chips & Portobello Mushroom, Beef Tomato & Wilted Greens

EXTRAS Hand Cut Chips £4.50 • Skinny Fries £4.50 Spicy House Chips £5 • Café De Paris Bread £5.50 Bread £1 • Side Salad or Side Vegetables £2.75 Sauces: Pepper Sauce, Cafe De Paris Butter or Blue Cheese £2.50

Please Inform a Member of Staff of Any Allergies

We look forward to seeing you soon! PAGEP?? AGE •M 102 ENDIP • MENDIP TIMEST•IMES DECEMBER • DECEMBER 2011 2018

£17.50 £20.50 £13.00 £17.95 £12.50 £18.50 £17.50 £16.95 £22.50 £24.50

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The Beauty Room opens in Wrington

REBECCA Palmer has been a qualified beauty therapist for 18 years and is passionate about skincare and massage, skills she learned from her grandmother. After working at various salons and spas, including the prestigious Cowshed Spa at Babington House and the spa at Cadbury House, where she was manager for five years, she has set up her own business in an outbuilding at her home in Wrington. She said: “Clients can have top brands from a top therapist in a really nice environment at a price that’s more affordable than elsewhere.” She is an exclusive stockist of Heaven by Deborah Mitchell, skincare products made famous by Kate Middleton – the antiaging bee-sting facial is particularly popular. Before Christmas she will be launching a new treatment, Microdermabrasion, a non-surgical approach to skin rejuvenation, which won the best advanced treatment award at the National Beauty Awards in 2018. She said: “I follow a non-surgical approach to rejuvenation, without the need for injections, Botox or surgical treatment and am very passionate about what I do. I have a keen attention to detail and spend time building up a rapport with my clients.” She launched the next stage of her business plan earlier this year and already has clients travelling from Bristol and Taunton, as well as a loyal following from the local area. The Beauty Room, built by her husband, a property developer, is comfortable and well-equipped and has the added luxury of a


state-of-the-art motorised treatment couch. Rebecca offers a range of classic beauty treatments, including waxing, eye treatments and massage, as well as facials. She’s expecting a rush of Shellac nail treatments in the run-up to Christmas, with a demand for bespoke patterned nail stamping and lots of glitter! She and her husband moved to Wrington from Lower Langford in 2010 and she gave up full-time work when their children Eva, now aged eight, and Ruben, aged six, came along. She said: “I still had a lot of friends and family asking me for treatments, as well as mums from the village school, so thought I should think about starting my own business. “I’d spent a long time at the top of my game. Now I can juggle mum life alongside the passion of my career.”


Rebecca offers a wide range of professional beauty treatments, including eye treatments, waxing, body massage, facials, microdermabrasion, manicure & pedicure, plus nail stamping art and gel nail extensions. Open by appointment only Monday-Wednesday 9am-9pm Thursday-Friday 9am-3pm • Saturday 10am-1pm To make an appointment please call Rebecca on 07827 159633


26 Orchard Close, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5ND

Email: the • Website: MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 103

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Buglers of Wrington Sam, Joan And staff Wish you a Merry Christmas And a Prosperous New Year

OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK FROM 5:30am until 9pm Mon-Sat, 6pm on Sun


Creating a fabulous space just for you

THE winter months, for the team at Horticolous Landscape & Garden Design, are a time to reflect on the highs of the year past and the wonderful private clients we have had the privilege to work with. We consider ourselves very lucky to be doing a job we love and are so passionate about and want to take this opportunity to thank clients, suppliers and colleagues alike that have all played a very important role in achieving the spectacular and very beautiful gardens and landscapes with us throughout the year. We would like to share just a few of the wonderful comments we have received over the year, we are humbled by all your lovely words, thank you to you all: “The team are a credit to the landscaping industry with a real passion for their work.” “The attention to detail and craftsmanship is beautiful, clearly a company with excellent technical and creative skills, it was a pleasure to work with you.” “Thank you for creating such a fabulous garden, we will enjoy it for decades to come.” “You achieved exactly what you said you would, time, budget and quality, nothing was too much trouble.” “Excellent, conscientious and professional, it was a privilege to work with you, thank you.” The projects at Horticolous Landscape & Garden Design range from small courtyard gardens to several acres of land and garden, from patios and planting designs to bespoke water features and natural swimming pools. Our website will guide you through how we work and help you discover the process of commissioning a new, bespoke garden design, the winter months are the perfect time to start thinking about what you would like to achieve from your garden next year. We would like to wish all our clients, friends, colleagues and suppliers a very Happy Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Lynn Riches Horticolous Landscape & Garden Design


Orders for Christmas, bread, fresh vegetables, meats and small gifts Broad Street, Wrington

01934 862211

• Sight Tests • Glasses • Contact Lenses Home visits available by appointment

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Composite specialists

LIFESTYLE Home Improvements have been manufacturing windows, doors and conservatories from the same premises since 2001 and are members of FENSA. Their success has been largely due to recommendations along with a number of regular customers with repeat work on a regular basis. There are no pressure salesmen, a quotation is given on the initial visit and followed up in writing. Being a smaller business they are able to offer a very personal service from start to finish as the owner himself is involved from quotation through to installation. Recent years have shown a huge increase in composite doors and bi-folding doors, both of which they are very rarely beaten by any genuine quotation. A composite door can now be designed to the exact customer specification and forwarded to the customer for approval, this enables any changes to be made prior to installation if the impression is not to their liking. When designing conservatories in-house drawings can be produced giving full elevation details. Owner, Jerry Duck, said: “I have spent many years building up a flexible business that can cater for all window, door and conservatory requirements. I am happy to provide one window or an entire house full. “Composite doors are proving to be very popular due to the vast array of designs and colour options available. The majority of my business is based on recommendations from existing customers and continuing to be personally available at any time. “I would also like to take this opportunity in thanking the many satisfied customers who have used my company this year.”

Panto time in Wrington

WRINGTON Drama Club and Wrington Youth Drama are planning a joint production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! with all your favourite songs and characters! Julie Kingcott is directing with musical directors Ian and Zoe Maitland-Round. The show starts on Tuesday, January 22 and runs for five nights with a matinee performance on Saturday afternoon. Don’t miss out on this very special production.

* Pharmacist not present 1-1.30 daily (No dispensing or collecting permitted at that time)


Lifestyle Home Improvements

Lifestyle Home Improvements is a local manufacturing company which began business in 2001 and is still operating from the same premises today. You deal with the owner from the very first step through to satisfactory completion. We can supply and install windows, doors, composite doors, bifolding doors, conservatories, fascias & cladding

Unit 15 Burnett Industrial Estate, Cox’s Green, Wrington BS40 5QR • Tel 01934 861010 Email •

Bennetts is a niche and boutique commercial law firm operating out of modern offices at Barley Wood Stables, Long Lane, Wrington. Our lawyers combine specialist legal knowledge with broad practical experience. We can be relied on to give clear and positive advice on a wide range of complex or routine matters whether preventative or remedial. Bennetts Solicitors Attorneys & Notaries Barley Wood Stables, Long Lane, Wrington Bristol BS40 5SA Phone: (44) 1934 862786 • Fax: (44) 1934 862404 Webpage: e-mail: MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 105

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Remembrance Sunday

Trusted service

Somerset Flower Farm and Garden Café Beautiful fresh flowers every day in the shop Local artisan hand-made crafts and gifts Ecological sound fresh food from the farm or local producers Licensed café offering breakfasts, lunches and fabulous cakes Regular workshops and new consultation room Dates for Christmas Workshops now on our Facebook page Flowers – we can deliver locally Winter opening 9am-4pm Monday to Saturday Somerset Flower Farm Somerset Flower Farm Wedding Flowers Garden Cafe @ Somerset Flower Farm

Nates Lane, Wrington BS40 5RS 07749 289517 PAGE 106 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

WRINGTON Motors are members of the Trust My Garage scheme which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. They repair and MOT most makes of car and light commercials, including hybrid and electric vehicles. There is an attended petrol, diesel, Adblue and LPG forecourt, with a free air line; however if you prefer the attendant will check your tyre pressures for a small charge. The well-equipped workshop is staffed by experienced technicians who can diagnose faults using various diagnostic tools to enable them to communicate with most makes of car, some to near dealer level. Servicing is normally done to manufacturer’s schedules so that the correct service is done for the age and mileage of your car. This ensures that important items such as cam belt renewal are done at the correct intervals. Fixed price or bespoke servicing is also available. Vehicles that are still under warranty can be serviced using manufacturer’s genuine parts. Have you thought of having your engine control unit remapped? Wrington Motors are agents for Flashmap UK, which can give you more power, improved fuel economy or sometimes both. Air conditioning servicing and repairs are carried out on R134A and the new HFO-1234YF systems. In addition you can have the air conditioning system treated with a nebulizing anti-bacterial deodourising machine. The reception is staffed by experienced technicians who are able to discuss your motoring needs and advise on appropriate solutions as well as carrying out small jobs such as the fitting of bulbs, while you wait. Customers can be given a lift back home or to work locally, alternatively loan cars and a loan van are available or your car can be collected. Wrington Motors is proud of its 26 years of service to the village and surrounding communities and you will find a warm welcome and expert problem solving for your vehicle.

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Thailand cave rescuers win bravery awards

Council chairman Nigel Taylor with cave rescuers Chris Jewell (left) and Connor Roe

FOUR local cave divers who took part in the dramatic rescue of a young football team and their coaches from a flooded cave in Thailand have been presented with the first bravery awards to be made by Somerset County Council. Chris Jewel, Connor Roe, Josh Bratchley, and John Volanthen were among 41 residents to receive Chairman’s Awards in recognition of their contribution to the county and its communities. Nigel Taylor, county council chairman and an experienced caver, gave commemorative shields for valour to the local heroes involved in the dramatic rescue. Chris, from Cheddar, and Connor, from Axbridge, attended the awards evening at Taunton Rugby Club. Councillor Taylor said: “This was a remarkable feat of bravery and skill. They are a credit to the county and in my role as chairman I am proud to have been able to honour their achievements.” He added: “Everyone who has received an award has done something remarkable. They are making a real difference to communities across the county. Somerset wouldn’t be Somerset if it was not for people like this and it’s a privilege to be able to say thank you on behalf of the council.” Amongst the other local recipients of awards was Percy Lambert, of Oakhill, Anthea Brooks, of Leigh-on-Mendip, Anne Edney, of Rode, Beverley Davis, of Axbridge, Derek Cooper, of Wells, Susan Barnet, of Glastonbury, Peter Bright, of Westburysub-Mendip, Derek and Janice Wilcox, of Street, Greg Jones, of Compton Dundon and Roger and Kate Fielder, of Stone Allerton. See Caving on page 88.

Attendees at the awards ceremony

Writing is on the wall to welcome walkers


Huw Robson (right) with fellow steering group members Martin Kay and Lesley Miller

NEW signs promoting Cheddar as an ideal location for walking have gone up around the village. Cheddar Walking, set up after Cheddar joined the national Walkers Are Welcome scheme, has installed three signs which include a map and list of suggested walks; they can be found in the Cliff Street car park, by Cheddar Medical Centre in Roynon Way and outside Café Gorge in The Cliffs. Since its inception, Cheddar Walking has produced an astonishing 50,000 of its guided walk sheets and seen 44,000 more of them downloaded from the website. It has also had 6,000 of the walk sheets commercially printed for stocking in the village’s National Trust Shop. Chair of the group, Huw Robson, said: “We are delighted at last to have our three beautifully designed signs up to show everyone what wonderful walks are possible for all ages and abilities around and about the village. “We are particularly grateful for the support we have had from Sedgemoor District Council, the Mendip Hills AONB and Cheddar Parish Council. We would also like to thank Cheddar Medical Centre and Cafe Gorge for allowing us to site signs on their railings.” For details, visit:

Tackling climate change

NEW buildings and developments in Bath and North East Somerset will have to be more energy efficient and better adapted to climate change following the launch of a new green buildings policy. It covers a range of issues, including a benchmark that all new build development should achieve a 19% reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing climate change and that medium development or larger on existing buildings should achieve a 10% reduction in emissions.


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Lights, music, action! THE annual carnival circuit rolled across Mendip, attracting thousands of spectators and raising thousands of pounds for charities. Here are some of the images captured by Mark Adler.

Barnum’s Parade, by Ramblers CC, in Shepton Mallet

Mhusika, by Eclipse CC

One of the cast of Outlaws Creek, by Lime Kiln CC

Photo: Mike Jacobs

The Queen by Samvantra Juniors

Single masquerader Dave Arny with Once Upon a Storytime


Ilminster-based Streme CC with Twisted Circus

Globe CC’s Captain Morgan’s Revenge

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Fiesta de Los Toros – the Vagabonds CC entry

The crew from Shepton Mallet fire station prepare to go collecting Battle of Portaloo by the Nunsford Nutters


Marina Sydenham Junior CC’s Graffiti #Villains

A scene from King William CC’s tableau No Mans Land

Lotty Wheeler’s Fruit Bat


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They will rise again

Photos by Mark Adler

ZOMBIES came back to life to take over Glastonbury – all in the name of charity. Dozens took to the High Street for a flash mob performance by the Market Cross before the annual horror walk in aid of Glastonbury-based Children’s World. Coming to get you

Coming to Striking a pose ahead of the zombie walk The flashmob in action

The procession raised almost £400 for the charity

A bad hair day in Glastonbury – Leela, who organised the flash mob

Monsters of rock

Milca takes to the streets

Harrison joins in the fun

For details about the charity’s work with children of all abilities, visit:


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Consultation on local plan


OPTIONS to deliver future developments including new homes, jobs and transport across Bath and North East Somerset are going out to public consultation. Residents are being encouraged to take part in the latest stage in the creation of a new local plan for the district, which once adopted will form the basis for determining planning applications until 2036. A range of options for the new planning framework are being laid out covering local planning matters from the provision of affordable homes and the identification of new housing and employment sites to the development of wind energy, provision of electric vehicle infrastructure and the siting of fast food takeaways. People can take part in a public consultation, which runs until January 7th, 2019, on the options to revise the existing planning policy framework for Bath and North East Somerset. Comments received will then be used to inform the preparation of a draft plan due to be published later in 2019. They are also encouraged to go to a series of exhibitions and talk to officers about these and other elements of the plan. l A meeting will be held in Paulton Village Hall on Friday, November 23rd (3.30–7.30pm) and at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on Friday, 30th November (3.307.30pm).



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Satellite Installations Aerial Systems TV wall mounting Custom Installations Networking Signal Solutions

01275 332888 Email: Unit 4, Fairseat Workshops, Chew Stoke BS40 8XF Open: Mon – Thurs 9.00am – 6.00pm Fri – 9.00am – 5.30pm


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Homes section.qxp_Layout 1 15/11/2018 18:35 Page 114


R.O. Dando and Sons Ltd Registered Builders & Decorators

Don’t want to move but need a change? You have moved but the property needs updating? In addition to design, supply and installation we also REFURBISH part or entire Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Commercial and Home offices


Seasons Greetings to all of our customers old and new


Call us or visit our website for more info:

01275 333603 •

Call us on: 07963 700901 Email: Web: 10% Discount throughout December and January 2019

THE WAY THEY’RE MEANT TO BE #R9journey • High Security • Thermal Efficient • Alternative to Timber • Traditional Hardware Ideal for Conservation Areas 40+ colour options available

Seasons Greetings to all of our customers

01275 342656 Unit 1, Tweed Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 6RR PAGE 114 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8.30pm – 5pm & Sat 10am – 3pm

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Stay warm this winter

IN Gregor Heating’s experience it’s not just older boilers that suffer in extreme winter conditions – snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures are not a boiler or central heating system’s best friend. At Gregor Heating, one of the region’s largest heating installation and servicing companies, their team will do everything they can to help customers when their heating packs up. Here are some helpful hints to consider if your boiler breaks down: Blocked condensate pipes: This is the most common problem for boilers breaking down in freezing conditions. Usually the small white pipes on the outside of the building get frozen. They can be unfrozen by simply pouring hot water or putting a hot cloth/water bottle onto them. Low or no pressure in the boiler: With boilers under extreme pressure to work even harder in cold conditions, they might need a helping hand to do so. Check your boiler pressure. The ideal pressure should be between 1-1.5 bar when the boiler is off or sleeping and should rise to 2 bar when on.


If a red warning light shows, or your pressure is lower than 1 bar, then the water in the boiler may require topping up to help re-pressurise the system. Check your manufacturer’s handbook for more advice. Keep warm in one room: Their best advice while you have no heating or hot water is to stay in the warmest room of the house. Closing the curtains can keep a lot of heat in, wrap yourself up in extra layers and, if you can, use an electric heater. If all else fails then call out the experts. Head over to watch the “How To” videos on their website at


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From dairy farmer to film maker

FARMERS are always being encouraged to diversify, aren’t they? Some convert barns into holiday lets, others open campsites or farm shops. With RACHEL On the other hand, THOMPSON some spend their days MBE rushing around the countryside delivering superbly trained horses to remote locations. Some of these horses are so special that requests for interviews, horse hair and shoes flood in from around the world. As they pass windows are flung open and the streets barricaded. I am talking, of course, about the worldwide adoration for the Poldark horses – particularly Captain Poldark’s horse Seamus, a star in his own right. Charterhouse on Mendip, a stunningly beautiful day. Passing through the field where I am more used to catching lambs now choc-a-bloc with gleaming film star and crew pantechnicons. Steeply down to Black Rock and suddenly right near the quarry I’m on the Poldark set. In a quiet corner I catch ex-dairy farmer turned stunt rider and horse provider to TV and film, Mark Atkinson, preparing horses for the next scene helped by someone

Rachel on Demelza’s horse Amy


Mark Atkinson on set at Charterhouse

wearing a sack. Exmoor pony Rosie, a typical mining pony, wears a harness, bay cob Chelsea carries rocks in panniers and Aramis the black cob is being saddled up. Mark is eating his lunch, searching for his phone, tacking up and talking to me. Mark confesses to being a pony-mad lad. He and his wife Jill diversified into horses more than 20 years ago starting traditionally – livery yard, riding for the disabled, riding school, hirelings. A lastminute request to supply horses for battle re-enactments led to training cavalry horses “all the Riding for the Disabled people helped building bonfires and clattering dustbin lids” to try to re-create a battlefield. More work came in from Sealed Knot, English Heritage, and the Royal Armouries. Nowadays, Atkinson Action Horses

specialise in action horses, live shows, TV and film. Atkinson horses are loved for their authenticity. Their Yorkshire farm, home to the equine stars of Poldark, Victoria and Peaky Blinders is where Captain Poldark really learnt to ride. The whole family is involved, with son Ben doing the live displays. The Atkinsons have more than 50 horses, all shapes and sizes from tiny Shetlands to 17–18 hand heavy horse types. The horses come from a variety of sources, some from niche dealers, others have had problems and are retrained, often through liberty training. Some need a companion on set so a pony is sent along: “They’re okay if they can see the pony’s ears, can’t have a horse whinnying on set!” I’m keen to hear about the scene where evil Ossie the vicar is dragged to his death by a bolting horse: “Three horses were used,” Mark says, “Ossie started off riding Aramis, stunt horse Ocle did the rearing ridden by a stunt rider and Mojo galloped on command dragging a stunt rider with a foot in a long stirrup.” Back at the farm Amy, Demelza’s Clydesdale x Welsh Cob, is grazing peacefully with Doctor Dwight Ennis’s horse Bruce. As Mark tacks Amy up to ride down the steep rocky path (“she’s not used to this, my farm is flat!” – “you’ll be fine”, I say) to the set he enthuses about this lovely mare. Bought as a five-year-old she was expensive but worth every penny. In no time she was performing at the Suffolk County and Great Yorkshire shows followed by Cossack trick riding at the Horse of the Year Show having to contend with the music, lighting and special effects. Mark briefly permits me to sit in Demelza’s saddle, now that’s really special!

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Racecourse revamp

SOME of the facilities at Wincanton Racecourse have been refurbished and modernised as part of a strategy to encourage more owners and trainers to enter horses for races there. The special area for owners and trainers has moved to a bigger room with improved facilities with some of the other hospitality and restaurant space relocating as well. Members of the Huw Williams explains why the racecourse toured the new changes have been necessary facilities ahead of the opening fixture of the season. General manager Huw Williams said attracting more entries on race days was crucial to the future financial success of the Jockey Club-owned track, especially with changes to the amount of money courses received from the betting industry. The course also hopes the refurbishment will attract more corporate support. The next meeting at Wincanton is on Thursday, November 22nd.

Master saddler

The new racing season is underway at Wincanton

Alexander Thorne on board Volpone Jelois, trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Mrs Angela Yeoman

Members hear from general manager Huw Williams at the briefing

CJ PUDDY Saddlery, established in 1980, continues to go from strength to strength. The owner, Chris Puddy, is a registered qualified master saddler and fitter, who has been riding and competing since he was seven years old. He and his staff are all horse owners, so they have a depth of knowledge and experience to assist and advise you. Their well-stocked shop offers a large range of quality products at affordable prices and their online shop ‘’ is a chance for horse riders from across the UK to experience great prices and service. Chris and the team also offer full saddlery fitting and a repair service from their HQ at Marksbury.

C J PUDDY SADDLERY Telephone: 01761 479600


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our customers


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Bicycles in war

AS I reflect on the 100th commemoration of Armistice Day it is worth looking at one of the lesser known parts of military CYCLING history – cyclists and with EDMUND bicycles. In late June LODITE 1914 the 12th staging of the Tour de France began in Paris. On that same day over 1,000 miles away the Archduke of Austria was assassinated precipitating events that would soon lead to war. Throughout the Tour the riders would probably have been unaware of the unfolding events across Europe. Yet within one week of the race concluding in Paris on July 26th, Germany had declared war on France starting World War I. Several of those competing in the race and three previous Tour winners would lose their lives in the war. It is believed that the first British soldier to die as a result of enemy action in the war was Private John Parr aged just 17. He had joined the army at 15 (claiming to be 18) and then trained to be a


reconnaissance cyclist. Specialist cycle battalions had been formed in Britain and when war broke out there were thousands of cyclists. Many were used for territorial coastal defence work, but on the front line the principal role of the Army Cycle Corps was reconnaissance. The role of the cyclist was to ride ahead of the advancing troops to uncover information and then return as quickly as possible to update the commanding officer. The bicycle provided speed but there were some practical issues about using bicycles in action. For example, the rifle needed to be held securely without hindering the pedalling motion of the rider yet still be capable of being released quickly. On that that fateful day, Private Parr and a fellow cyclist were part of an advance party that encountered a German patrol near Mons in Belgium – and Parr was shot. He was buried by the Germans in the nearby cemetery at St Symphorien. By a staggering

coincidence that same tranquil cemetery is the place where George Ellison the last British soldier to be killed in battle during WWI is also buried. Poignantly, they rest just a few yards apart but are separated by four years of terrible war and millions of lives lost. With the advent of trench warfare it became clear that cycle-mounted soldiers were less effective on battlefields. Many members of the Army Cyclist Corps were converted back into infantry units. Despite this, bicycles still had some roles to play in wartime with military police, scouts and messengers all making use of pedal power. The cycling casualties of the war are commemorated by a memorial in Meriden, considered to be the geographical centre of England. Placed there in 1921, the granite obelisk stands as an honour to all the cyclists who died in WWI. A bronze plaque was added later to commemorate those cyclists who died during WWII. When the Prime Minister visited the cemetery at St Symphorien she laid wreaths at the graves of both Parr and Ellison in memory of all those who lost their lives. Using words from a 1914 poem, she thanked those who died for being "staunch to the end".

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Sports awards winners announced


Chew step on the gas whilst Wells rely on pedal power

Pedal power in the clubhouse

Joe Nelson, Jessica Cooksey, Brodie Williams and TS5C’s Alan Gloak

FOUR young athletes from the Mendip area have won honours in the TS5C charity category at this year’s Somerset Activity and Sports Awards. Street-based swimmer Brodie Williams was named Young Sports Achiever of the Year. Brodie, aged 19, is part of the Millfield School training programme, the same programme that Olympic medallist and World Champion James Guy undertook, and is coached by former international swimmer Euan Dale. He has enjoyed his most successful year to date, joining the senior ranks of British Swimming, representing Great Britain at the 2018 European Champions in Glasgow. He reached the semifinals of both the 100m and 200m backstroke events and swam as part of the gold medal-winning relay team for the men's 4x100m medley. Alan Gloak, chairman of TS5C, said: “We have supported Brodie for a few years now and have watched his progression with admiration and pride. He is committed and passionate about his sport, and we have every confidence that he will be a medal winner in his own right for Team GB in the not-too-distant future.” Joe Nelson, aged 16, from Walton, received a highly commended award for a new TS5C athlete. In August he joined the England Handball Futures programme, gaining his first cap at an international tournament in Denmark. He has now moved up to play U19 handball for a team in Stroud that competes regionally. Two athletes were given outstanding achievement awards: rugby player, Jessica Cooksey from Axbridge, and trampolinist, Corey Walkes, from Radstock. Jessica, aged 17, plays for Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC in the Tyrrells Premiership. Corey enjoyed a fantastic year after returning from injury, becoming 2018 British Champion in the 17–21 Elite Men’s category in Birmingham in September, beating over 500 competitors from 80 clubs. TS5C offers financial support to young athletes in Somerset. It is a charity funded entirely by voluntary contributions. For details, visit:

OFF the field, Wells RFC junior players got on their static bikes in their home clubhouse to pedal all the way to Chew Magna and back to raise funds for their next tour; on the field, visitors Chew Valley RFC barely put a foot wrong as the 1st XVs ran out 0-85 winners. Ironically, the under-15s between them travelled 80kms – no-one could have predicted that distance would almost replicate the final score exactly.

Out-of-sight: Chew (in green) were unstoppable in this onesided derby

Wells tennis team wins league

Men's team captain, Dave Mills, joins A team players Kevin Durney (with trophy), Matt Goatcher and Jon Parsons, along with ladies captain Julia Nest and fellow club players

THE men’s “A” team from Wells Tennis Club has claimed the North Somerset League title having only just won promotion to Division One. A spokesperson for the club said: “The A team had an amazing season thanks to the commitment and determination of a dedicated band of regular players.”


(Photography courtesy of Mike Lang)


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Katy is the apple of the eye for boxing coach

New signing

Katy with Sean

FROME Town Football Club have signed Northern Ireland international Johnny Gorman from Northwich Victoria. The winger made his international debut for the Green and White Army as a 17-year-old, making his debut against Turkey. The 25-year-old started his career in the academies of Manchester City, Manchester United and finally

Speedway rider’s “cow”-asaki gift

KATY Simmons has created history at Norton Radstock Amateur Boxing Club by becoming the first female to fight in club colours. Katy was the unanimous winner on points in a threeround contest against Brownwyne Brown of host club, Wessex ABC – but revealed afterwards that she had kept the fight a secret from her family. She said: “I’m delighted to be going down in the club’s history as the first female to have represented not only the club, but the whole local area. “Once I got past the nerves I was ok and I’m over the moon to say I won by unanimous decision. I kept it quiet from family and friends, sorry dad, because I didn’t know how well I’d perform, but fortunately it went well. I'd like to say a massive thank you to my coach and my gym mates for their kind messages and support; it meant a lot.” Her coach Sean Jenkins added: “This historic win will create a massive buzz in the gym so I’m a very proud of what Katy achieved. Katy had a recent birthday put on hold while she trained so now she can defrost her cake and enjoy it with her family."


LEADING Somerset Rebels speedway rider Jason Doyle received an unusual honour at the team’s presentation night – a Dexter cow. Originally named Nora but now known as Deborah, the animal was a gift to Jason from farmer Bill Hancock, the mayor of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge, whose daughter Debbie runs (l to r): Francis Hancock (mayoress), the speedway club Jason Doyle, Bill Hancock (mayor), based at the Oak Tree stock handler Kev and Deborah the Arena. Dexter complete with JD#69 jacket! Jason was the 2018 Premiership Riders' Champion and winner of the 70th staging of the prestigious Czech Golden Helmet. He led the Rebels to knockout cup glory with the side narrowly missing out on the finals for the premiership title in their first season in the top flight. As well as the rider of the year trophy, Jason picked up the award for the fastest time of the season (56 seconds recorded on August 15th against Belle Vue), whilst Jack Holder took three honours by swooping the categories of most improved rider, most entertaining rider and the track staff rider of the year. Nico Covatti was honoured with the SREF rider of the year trophy.

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Norton see the light Lights are installed on the communications mast by George West

HIGH-flying Midsomer Norton Rugby Club have installed new floodlights on their training pitch thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Rugby Football Foundation. Norton applied for the maximum grant available to RFUaccredited clubs playing at Level 5 and below and were able to match the grant with club funds. The new lights replace a set of broken ones and are for training purposes only.

Alice crowned champion gymnast


A MEMBER of Shepton Mallet Gymnastics Club has won the title of overall champion at the Gymnasts in Action competition in Bath at the end of October. Alice Dillon had a magnificent day on all pieces of apparatus, finishing second on floor with a powerful routine and winning gold on both vault and trampet to take the title. Close behind her was team mate Natalie Lythaby. The competition Alice (left) and Natalie attracted top opposition from clubs across the area as far afield as Poole and Gloucestershire and saw other members of the Shepton club taking home medals as well. l Shepton Mallet Gymnastics Club is still looking for its own premises. Anyone who might be able to help or sponsor the club should contact

A bird’s eye view of the 1st XV in action against Old Richians

Norton (in red) maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 38-15 victory over the visitors, but have since tasted defeat

The under-nine and under-11 gymnasts: (back) Florrie Walker, Calla Scott, Millie Rood, Abigail DeBank. (Front) Amber CareSlade, Isobel Bizley, Lila McCulloch and Laya Care-Slade


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Christmas concert in Draycott


Regular visitors

FATHER and daughter, Barry and Nicola Rose, combine once more for their annual Christmastide concert in St. Peter’s Church, Draycott, on Barry and Nicola at the console of the Friday, December Wanamaker organ, Philadelphia, USA 28th at 7pm. Resident in the village for the past 20 years, Barry continues to live a busy international musical life, having recently been guest directing the choir of Harvard University, USA, with whom he will also be working in this country, during January 2019. Awarded the OBE in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he still plays the organ regularly in Draycott and Rodney Stoke, as well as giving recitals in other venues. A founder-member of Salisbury Cathedral girls’ choir in 1991, Nicola is now a professional accompanist and repetiteur, based at the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff. Tickets for the concert are £10 available from Draycott Village Stores, or Barry Rose at 01934 744838. All proceeds from the evening will go towards the cost of the recent refurbishment of the church’s organ.

CHRIST Church, Nailsea will welcome the group Miscellany to give a concert on Saturday, December 1st at 7pm. No strangers to Christ Church, Miscellany will be returning for the 12th time since 1991 with an attractive programme of varied and seasonal music on the eve of the first Sunday in Advent. Pianist Phillip Lawrence will accompany them on this occasion. Proceeds will go towards the reordering of the church to make it more inclusive for the disabled, safer for the young and elderly and more versatile for services to the community, particularly with families. Details: Tickets are £8 in advance from Christ Church Office 01275 859210, free to those in full time education, refreshments available during the interval.

GLASTONBURY Male Voice Choir’s Christmas concert and carols will be held in the festive setting of St John’s Church, Glastonbury on Wednesday, December 12th at 8pm. The church will be a visual delight thanks to the Shining Branches Christmas Tree Festival, featuring a multitude of Christmas trees, each decorated by local organisations. To top it all off, there will also be mince pies, wine and refreshments. This has become a very popular sell-out occasion so be sure not to miss out.

Tickets are available from choir members, the Glastonbury Tourist Information Centre and fróm the choir’s website. The choir is currently recruiting and January marks the start of rehearsals for their main concert season through the spring and summer. Anyone interested in joining the choir is welcome to go along to Glastonbury Town Hall on Tuesday evenings at 7.45pm. The choir regularly performs around the area providing entertainment and helping raise funds for local charities.

Christmas concert



Christmas at Wells Cathedral

WHAT’S ON (Photograph courtesy of Kevin Wills)

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WELLS Cathedral’s carol services are one of the great occasions of the cathedral’s year as hundreds of people pack the nave and aisles to hear and sing carols, both familiar and new. This year the cathedral will be hosting two carol services on Saturday, December 22nd and on Sunday, December 23rd December, 6pm-7.30pm, which will be a real celebration of Christmas with traditional readings and congregational carols. These services are not ticketed but are very popular so do arrive in good time to take your seat by 5.40pm! For younger family members, the two crib services on December 24th at 2.15pm and again at 3pm are also a wonderful opportunity for children, who are invited to dress as a shepherd, or an angel or a king. All are welcome.


Winter Wonderland at Puxton Park

SANTA'S Grotto will be opening at Puxton Park on Saturday, December 1st, housed in a new cosy cottage, where children can listen to Christmas stories from Mrs Claus, create beautiful Christmas crafts with the elves and watch Christmas films. For £5 plus admission children will receive a magical golden ticket to visit Father Christmas with their families and receive a special Christmas present from Santa himself! There’s also a chance to have supper with Santa from December 19th-22nd December, 6-8pm. The park will be holding its first Festival of Trees from December 1st-15th, featuring trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses. Proceeds from raffle ticket sales will be donated to the Children's Hospice South West. The grand Christmas Light Switch On will be on December 1st, 3-6pm with one of the largest trees in the South West. The event will celebrate the holiday season with performances by Cinderella and Prince Charming, local choirs singing traditional carols, hot cocoa, and Christmas stories read by Father Christmas and Mrs. Claus.


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Deck the halls – Christmas at the Bishop’s Palace

A WINTER Flower Festival, showcasing the NAFAS South West area competitions, will take place at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells from December 7th-9th as part of the Christmas at the Palace festival. Visitors will be treated to fantastical and elaborate floral displays, the largest of which will be up to two metres high, in a variety of themes. The medieval undercroft will be filled with designs on a pantomime theme, whilst other rooms will be based on the concepts of Winter Fantasy and A Christmas Carol During the long weekend, there will also be an opportunity to watch skilled florists giving hands-on demonstrations with top tips for amateur florists. The festival will also include a photography competition with classes open to both adults and children. The rest of the palace will also be decorated in a variety of styles, with a roaring fire in a medieval setting and


hand-made Victorian style decorations. Many of the decorations will be sourced from the palace gardens, using seasonal greenery and foliage to enhance the natural aspect of the embellishments. The interior of the palace will be illuminated and a family trail will take visitors on a path through the palace and gardens, leading to a traditional nativity scene at the end. On the Saturday and Sunday, Father Christmas will take up residence in the Long Gallery, along with his wife Mother Christmas! In addition, there will be Christmas carols in the chapel from a range of different local musicians, and Wells Theatre Company will return with A Christmas Carol. Mulled wine, mince pies and children’s drinks will be on sale and there will be special Family Christmas Craft sessions at intervals throughout the weekend, including the chance to make some beautiful Christmas decorations. Details:

All activities except for the Father Christmas visits are included in standard admission. Father Christmas tickets are £5 per child and they must be accompanied by an adult with admission ticket.

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Bill Bailey at Bath and West Showground


EXCITEMENT is brewing at The Bath & West Showground as two dates are confirmed for the multi-talented comedian musician Bill Bailey, bringing his Larks in Transit UK Tour to the region on May 16th and 17th next year. Known the world over for his musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, the visit of Bath-born Bailey will kick-start a new chapter in the life of the showground as it looks to return to its position of Premier Events Venue in the West of England. The largest pavilion on the showground will be transformed into a spectacular theatre-style venue to accommodate an audience of close to 3,000 for each performance. Larks in Transit is a compendium of the general shenanigans of 20 years as a travelling comedian, tackling politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald and re-imagines the Stars and Stripes. Tickets for the shows are now selling fast through for the two-night run – and could be the ideal Christmas present for someone you know. Don’t miss out – grab your tickets for the show now.

Giant octopus roams Shepton Mallet

A GIANT octopus made from recycled materials will be one of the highlights of this year’s Shepton Mallet lantern parade. Organisers of the family event, on Saturday, December 22nd, are working with the Rubbish Art Project to create the focal point of the parade. The octopus, lit by LEDs, will raise awareness of plastics in the ocean. Workshops for the ocean theme will take place from Saturday, November 24th at the Rubbish Art Project in the town centre. Workshops to create traditional paper and willow lanterns will take place on the first three weekends of December at St Paul’s Community Centre. The parade is now in its ninth year. Lanterns will assemble in Collett Park at 6pm with live music and a procession to the Market Place. For details, visit:


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Cribs on show in Wells

MORE than 200 sets of nativity cribs from around the world will take centre stage at a fundraising event in St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells in December. The annual Nativity, Angel and Stars Festival raises money for two chosen charities as well as the church. It takes place from Friday, December 7th until Sunday, December 9th with activities for children, music, mulled wine and seasonal refreshments.

A Christmas celebration fills St Cuthbert’s Church each year

Christmas fun at Midsomer Norton station MORE fun is coming up at Midsomer Norton Station in December with the Santa Specials which are “On the Train”. Little engine Joyce will be chugging up the line to fetch Santa on Sunday, December 2nd so that children will be able to meet him on the train as they ride up the line. Santa will again be travelling on the train giving out presents and good cheer on December 9th and16th. Of course, it’s not just about children. Adults will be able to ride on the train and Santa at the Station 2018 2,9,16 December 10.30am to 4pm Adult ticket £6 inc. mince pie & Christmas punch Child's ticket £9 Age 1-16, Child under 1 Free (inc. a Gift) Meet Santa on the train, get your Gift and Christmas snack Trains 1100, 11.45, 12.30, 14.00 & 14.45 ONLINE BOOKING @:

Info/bookings visit: Midsomer Norton Station, Silver Street, Midsomer Norton BA3 2EY. Reg charity no: 1045547


Preparing to welcome Santa: track gang volunteers who have extended the line to the southern infill

collect a mince pie and Christmas punch as part of the Christmas celebrations. Visitors will be able to see the latest extension to the line. The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Trust, which runs the line, is appealing for donations to their “£20 for a Ton’ fundraising campaign, where the public can make donations towards the purchase of the ballast required.

Donations can be made in person at the station, or via the trust’s website:

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Community carols


THE public are invited to the wonderful Sing for Somerset carol service in the magnificent Wells Cathedral on Saturday, December 15th at 7pm. Admission is free, no tickets are required and doors will open at 6.15pm. Sing for Somerset features a festive mix of traditional and contemporary music conducted by Laurence Blyth, featuring the Mid-Somerset Orchestra, Somerset Voices choir and organist Matthew Redman. Carol sheets will be provided for all to join in the festivities. Get there early to avoid disappointment! The retiring collection will benefit the work of Somerset Community Foundation. Details: email: or call 01749 344949.


ACROSS: 1 Systems, 5 Pays off, 9 Essays, 10 Charlton, 11 Drummond, 12 Shoots, 13 Constitute, 15 D F Ls, 16 Avon, 19 Inyour-face, 22 Stairs, 24 Inactive, 25 Fry's Well, 26 Inform, 27 Infants, 28 Analyst. DOWN: 2 Yes-or-no, 3 Traumas, 4 Mussolini, 6 Amass, 7 Selwood, 8 Frontal, 10 Cadbury Hill, 14 Education, 17 Veteran, 18 Nailsea, 20 Fateful, 21 Caverns, 23 Sweet.

The first name to be drawn out of the hat was: Mark Warner, of Midsomer Norton.

Starts Friday 7th December Starts Friday 14th December Starts Friday 21st December Starts Friday 28th December Starts Friday 4th January Starts Friday 11th January

Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD NOW SHOWING:

The Girl In The Spiders Web (15) • Tulip Fever (15) Aquaman 3D/2D • Mortal Engines 3D/2D Mary Poppins Returns Holmes & Watson The Favourite (15) Stan & Ollie (PG)

We would like to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

● Book in person ● Online 24/7 ● Over the ’phone: 01749 673195


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Please send entries for these listings as a single paragraph of approximately 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 Saturday November 24th Black Swan Arts Open Exhibition: Thursday November 22nd Mendip Society Talk ‘Amphibians & other inhabitants of Mendip Dew Ponds’ by John Dickson 7.30pm St. James’s Church Hall, Winscombe, Members £2, visitors welcome, £3.50. Mendip Ramblers mod 6.5m walk West Harptree & Compton Martin. Start 10am, Herriotts Bridge BS40 6HW, ST571581. Details: Gus 01749 840349/07840 926769. Fulmar – the flying dustbin, talk by film maker Richard Brock for Chew Valley Wildlife group on the effects of plastic, 7.45pm Chew Magna Old School Room, admission £2.50. West Mendip Walkers moderate 7m circular from Mells Ex142 ST728485, start 12.30pm, park roadside. Details: Margaret: 01373 462203/ 07543 696675 or Friday November 23rd An evening with Tiggi Trethowen – Antiques Road Show, 7pm St Peter’s Church Draycott. No charge; collection for Guide Dogs for the Blind & St Peter’s Church. Saturday November 24th to Saturday December 1st Gordano Textile Artists Exhibition 10 – 4pm daily, Gallery 65, High Street, Nailsea BS48 1AB Saturday November 24th Mendip Society Walk from Backwell. A mod 5.5 miles with good views. Meet 1.30pm Backwell Church, BS48 3JJ. Details: Richard 01275 852786. Christmas “Words & Music” 7.30pm Victoria Methodist Church, Weston BS23 1XY, £5 including mince pie & coffee. Donations to Children’s Hospice SW. Details: Tony 01934 813530. Frome Memorial Theatre presents "That'll Be the Day Christmas Show" 7.30pm. Tickets £25.50 from 01373 462795. Valley Arts: Wassail Theatre – Commotion in the Ocean – family show ages 7+ exploring plastic pollution & how to make a difference, 11am Winford Primary School, BS40 8AD. Tickets: £8/£6 Seize the Day 7.30pm Priddy Village Hall, BA5 3BE. Licensed Bar & food. Tickets £10: 07585 308350, or on the door. Organised by Wells Refugee Action Group in aid of Creating safe legal routes to sanctuary for young & vulnerable refugees. Christmas Gifts & More 10am- 3pm St. Mary’s Church, Timsbury, BA2 0LG. Wreath making, jewellery, bric-a-brac. Refreshments. Violin Recital, Millie Ashton & Jenny Clarke, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Yatton, Tickets £10 or £8 YMS members. Details: Nunney Makes Christmas Craft Market, 11am5pm, Nunney Village Hall. Quality gifts, festive food, drink & music. Congresbury Book Sale, 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall. Quality books, jigsaw puzzles, dvds & cds. Shipham Christmas Market, 3pm-7pm, village hall, local artisans & crafts. Adults £1 children free. All money raised for Shipham First School & Pre-School. Evercreech Show Society Christmas Fayre 9.30am – 12.30pm village hall. Christmas handicrafts etc, holly wreaths, face painting, refreshments. Father PAGE 128 • MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018



Christmas arrives 10am. Paulton Christmas Market from 4pm, Christmas lights switch-on 5pm. Eady’s Journey Christmas Market. Cranmore Memorial Hall, Cranmore, nr Shepton Mallet.10am3pm. Over 20 local craft stall, face painting, cakes, refreshments. FFi: @EadysJourney on Facebook. Coppicing volunteer work day. 09:30 -15:30 Asham Wood SSSI, Downhead. Free. Booking essential: or 01823 652400. Brent Knoll Christmas craft fair, parish hall, 10am1pm. Details: Alison 07825 233665. Sunday November 25th Redhill Christmas Fair, 1pm-4pm, Redhill Club, BS40 5SG. Many stalls – to book one, contact 01934 862619 or Hazel: 01275 474973. Raising funds to refurbish children’s play area. Mendip Ramblers mod 11m walk Croscombe to Pen Hill. Start 10am Wells, Ash Lane, where West Mendip Way crosses BA5 2LT. ST544463. Details: 01749 840349 07840 926769. Monday 26th November The Green Gardeners demonstration of willow weaving with Elaine Marks 7.30pm, Parish Rooms, Somerton. Refreshments. Visitors welcome, £3. Mendip Folk Dance Club 8pm-10pm St James Church Hall, Winscombe BS25 1AQ, £3pp. Details: Pat 01934 742853. Tuesday November 27th Birding in the Land of the Summer People James Packer, Somerset Ornithological Society 7.30-9pm, Wells and Mendip Museum BA5 2UE. Fully accessible. Members £3, non-members £3.50. Wednesday November 28th An Evening with Margaret Drabble. Dame Margaret in conversation with Somerset Wildlife Trust’s President Stephen Moss, 7.30-10pm, Strode Theatre, Street BA16 0AB. Fully accessible. £18.50. Booking essential: 01458 442846 or Backwell & Nailsea Macular Support, "Audio Technology" 1.30pm Backwell WI Hall. Details: Sheila 01275 462107. There will be no meeting in December. Harptrees History Society talk by Jim Ross 'France 1918; the British Victory' 7.30pm West Harptree Hall, BS40 6EB. Details 01761 221758 or 221941. Thursday November 29th Charity Theatre trip to Swan Lake. English National Ballet, Bristol Hippodrome. Details: or 01458 273085. West Mendip Walkers moderate circular walk 10.5m from Butleigh. Ex141 ST522337. Start 10am, park on road nr post office. Details: Andrew: 07581 568805 or Westfield Christmas Lights switch on 6.30pm, the living Christmas Tree, Elm Tree Avenue. Meet Santa, carols with local singers. See Facebook page: westfieldparishcouncil Light Up A Life Service for St Margaret’s Hospice, United Reformed Church, High St, Street, 6pm. Friday November 30th Faustus, Meadway Hall, Compton Dundon, 7.30 for 8pm, £10. Details: Kay 01458 448694 or Clevedon Christmas Tree of Light switched on 11am, Baptist Church, Queens Square. Clevedon Lions invite everyone to place a star with the name of someone to remember. Every Friday, Sat & Sun in December, 10am-12. Minimum donation £5. Saturday December 1st and Sunday December 2nd Mini Christmas Fayre St Peter’s Church, Draycott. SOSP offer a warm welcome & refreshments, Sat 10.30-1.30, Sun 11-2.30.




Saturday December 1st Miscellany Singers Advent Concert 7pm Christ Church Nailsea. Tickets £8 in advance: 01275 859210. Also on the door. Students free. Proceeds to improve church accessibility & inclusivity. Interval refreshments. Mendip Folk Dance Club Christmas Dance 7.3011pm, Shipham Village Hall BS25 1SG. Experienced dancers only. Tickets essential £10pp from Pat 01934 742853. St Andrews Blagdon Christmas Fair, 10.30 to 12.30 Blagdon village club. Entry £1.50 incl a drink and mince pie. All the usual attractions, including visit from Santa. Churchill Music: The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan. Canapés. 7.30-10pm St. John the Baptist Church, BS25 5QW. Tickets: £12 Champions; £16 NonChampions, U18s £4: 01934 852589 or Chew Magna Christmas Fair – The Triangle from 3pm Frome FSLS & Frome Civic Society, Roger Leech – From the Trinity Area to Bristol: Town houses. Assembly Rooms, 2.30pm. Details: Railway Book Sale & Christmas Fayre 10am-1pm Frome Cricket Club, Rodden Road, BA11 2AH. Some rare books. Ffestiniog Railway Bristol Group with Frome Gateway Club. Christmas Market, All Saints’ Church Publow 10am-2 pm. Children’s activities, jazz band, luxury hamper raffle, home-made soup, bacon rolls. Sandford Christmas Fayre 2pm Sandford Station retirement village, Nr Winscombe BS25 5AA. Mendip Society Walk from Wellow. A moderate hilly 6 miles. Meet 1pm Station Road car park Wellow, BA2 8QB. Details: Martin 01249 720809. Rookery Farm Christmas Fair. Rookery Farm, Binegar. Stalls, food entertainment and more. Raising money for local charities. 10am-3pm. FFi: Facebook: At Rookery Farm. Sunday December 2nd Chew Valley Santa Scramble: 1K, for 0 to 11yrs, starts 10am Chew Valley School. 5K (ish!) for everyone else, starts 11am. To enter: Rotary/Salvation Army Christmas Concert, Nailsea Methodist Church, 2.30pm, supporting local charity Wellspring, free entry. Mendip Ramblers moderate 11-mile Mendip Ring Circular: Gare Hill, East Woodlands. Start 09.30 Deerwood Common, lane nr old car park BA11 5HR. ST771389. Details: Bob & Rosemary 01749 346023. Monday December 3rd Mendip Male Voice Choir seasonal favourites 7.30pm St. Mary’s Church, Timsbury BA2 0LG. Mulled wine & mince pies. Free entry; donations towards church running costs. Mendip Ramblers easy 3.5m cup of tea walk. Start 1.30pm Oakhill Village hall CP, BA3 5AN, ST633475. Details: Trevor & Val 01761 232311 07976 629342. Green Wedmore Meeting 8pm, The George function room. Nikki Jones will be talking about climate change; Amy Lawson from the Eco Friendly Store, Street. All welcome to bring nibbles to share. Tuesday 4th December Winscombe Christmas Shopping night, from 6pm, see page 54. Spoken Word Café, Yatton Library, 10.30am -12. Come to hear poems, share your favourite book. Suggested donation £4; all welcome, disabled access. Taizé 7.45pm Ammerdown Centre Radstock BS3 5SW. Make time for an evening of chants & prayers. No need to book, just turn up. Details: 01761 433709. ‘Is Photography Fine Art?’ by Brian Statter, 11am



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followed by Christmas lunch. Bath & West Bar & Restaurant, B&W Show Ground, Shepton Mallet BA4 6QN. Guests welcome. Details: 01934 862435. Somerset Wildlife Trust talk about whales, dolphins & seabirds, 8pm Caryford Hall, Ansford BA7 7JJ. Raffle, refreshments from 7.30pm. Entrance £3. Wednesday December 5th Congresbury Christmas Fair, 6-9pm War Memorial Hall. Gifts galore. Tables £5 contact Irving Prowse 01934 832004. Christmas Concert at the Abbey House, Glastonbury, featuring the Abbey Singers directed by Stuart Clark. 7pm for 7.30 p.m. Tickets £10. Organised by the Pilton and District Save the Children Group. Tel: 01458 835136 for tickets. Woodland Creation & Management Workshop 10am-1pm. The Lighthouse B&B, Tytherington, Frome. Free. Booking essential: or 01823 652400. Thursday December 6th Mendip Storytelling Circle: short tales, old & new. Treat yourself to the luxury of listening, contributions welcome. Free entry. 7.30pm Gurney Slade Memorial Hall, BA3 4RT. Tea & coffee. Mendip Ramblers moderate 6 miles Colliers Way, to Clandown. Start 10am Waterloo Road CP, Radstock BA3 3EP, ST689549. Details: Margaret P 01761 232042 07910 873853. West Mendip Walkers moderate 10m circular from Street, Ex141 ST480345. Start 10am YHA car park. Details: Carol 07979 354530 or Friday December 7th, 8th and 9th Nativity, Angels and Stas Festival. St Cuthbert’s Church Wells. 10am-4.30pm (11.30am on Sunday). Friday December 7th Cheddar Festive Night – from 5.30pm. United Reformed Church, High Street, Street, Christmas Concert with Glastonbury Male Voice Choir, mince pies and mulled wine, raffle, £7.50, pay on the door, proceeds to the building fund. Saturday December 8th and Sunday 9th Model Train Show. King Alfred School, Highbridge. Organised by the Burnham Model Railway Club. Layouts in all the popular gauges and scales with trade stands, displays and demonstrations.10am-4pm. Adults £5, children free. Ffi: Christmas Tree Festival. St Giles’ Church, Leigh on Mendip BA3 5QJ, 11am - 4pm. Beautiful 14th Century Church. Light lunches and refreshments served all day. Funds raised for Friends of Leigh Church. Saturday December 8th Radstock Museum Christmas Fair, stalls, café and shop, entertainment all day, 10am-4pm, a warm welcome. Frome Memorial Theatre presents "That'll Be the Day" 7.30pm. Tickets £25.50 from 01373 462795. Mendip Society Walk Burrington Combe. A moderate 4.3 miles, some climbing. Meet 1pm car park at the bottom Burrington Combe, BS40 7AT. Details: Clive 01275 848052. Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall. Good quality books, jigsaw puzzles, dvds. Christmas Tree Festival 11am-4pm St Julian’s Wellow BA2 8QS. Refreshments & stalls until Jan 5th in aid of Children’s Hospice SW & St Julian’s. Details: Repair & Share Cafe 10am-1pm Wedmore Village Hall. Bring your broken items and learn how to repair them. Lots of ideas for crafts & opportunities to share & swap things for Christmas



"Gardening in Gold & Silk” talk & display of textiles by Deborah Hastings for Somerset Plant Heritage. AGM 12pm, bring & share lunch 1.15, talk 2.30. Edington Hall TA7 9HA. Christmas karaoke and disco, organised by the Binegar and Gurney Slade community group. Binegar Village Hall BA3 4TR. 7-11pm. £5 pp. Cash bar (bring your own party food). Raising money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Binegar Village Hall, Ffi: Steve 07528 169533 or Debbie 07890 422217. Croscombe Christmas Market, festive food and drink, crafts, artisan gifts, refreshments and lunches, Father Christmas and live music, 10am-2pm, win a hamper, Croscome Village Hall BA5 3RA. Details: Mary Cadogan 01749 572875. Oakfield Choir December concert, Holy Trinity Church, 7.30pm, tickets £12.50, U16s free, from choir members, Hunting Raven Books, Frome, reserve on 01373 464839 or on the door subject to demand. Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society perform Handel’s Messiah, Wells Cathedral, 7pm, tickets £12-£28 online at by phone 01749 834483 or at the Wells Cathedral Shop (01749 672773). Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band Christmas Concert, St Thomas’ Church, Wells, BA5 2UZ, 7pm, tickets £7 from Queen St. Deli, DH James and on the door, includes refreshments. Sunday December 9th Christmas Fayre, 12-4pm, Bishop Sutton Village Hall, BS39 5XQ. Organised by the Pre-School & Forest Club: Santa’s grotto, handmade gifts, craft activities, face painting, Christmas trees & decorations, crepes & hot chocolate! Corsley Festival Choir Christmas Concert. Hummel Mass in B and “chart toppers” from the nation’s favourite carols. St. Margaret’s Church Corsley 6pm. Tickets £12.50 adults, £5 children – on the door or telephone 01985 841624. Monday December 10th Mendip Folk Dance Club Evening 8pm-10pm, St James Church Hall Winscombe BS25 1AQ. All welcome, £3pp. Why not give it a try? Details: Pat 01934 742853. “Glorious Mud – The Life & Times of Flanders & Swann” Tim Lewis & Sheila Furneaux for Nailsea & District Local History Society 7.45pm, Baptist Centre, Silver Street, Nailsea. £2. Details: Tuesday December 11th Winscombe Community Singers Christmas Concert, 7.30pm St James Church BS25 1DE. Adults £5 on the door. Accompanying children free. Refreshments. Proceeds to Reach Opportunity Centre, Weare. Mendip Society Talk “A Feast of Feathers” by Terry Gifford & Stephen Moss at 7.30pm with books launch: “A feast of fools” & “The Wren”. Wells & Mendip Museum BA5 2UE. Members £2, Visitors welcome, £3.50. Details: 01275 472797. Congresbury Over-60s Club, The Reflections Singers, Congresbury War Memorial Hall, 2.30-4pm. Details: 01934 832004. The Inventors of Christmas, Alan Read. The Arts Society illustrated lecture, Caryford Hall, Castle Cary BA7 7JJ, 1100, free parking £6. Details: 01963 350132. Wednesday December 12th Wedmore by Lamplight, from 5.30 – see page 80. RAF 100 Celebration Concert: military, film & classical with The Central Band of the RAF, Millfield School. Tickets £16 raising funds for RAFA & local Air Cadets: 01458 444320. Somerset Russets recreate 18th &19th C village band with music & readings for Harptrees History Society supper. 7.30 East Harptree Theatre BS40


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6BD. Tickets: 01761 221758. Glastonbury Male Voice Choir’s Christmas Concert, 8pm St John’s Church, Glastonbury Nailsea Horticultural Society Christmas Quiz. 7.30pm. Nailsea United Reformed Church Hall. Members £2, non-members £3 includes refreshments. All welcome. Thursday December 13th Mendip Ramblers moderate 6m walk Oakhill area. Start 10am Village Hall CP, BA3 5AN. Details: Trevor & Val L 01761 232311 07976 629342. West Mendip Walkers moderate 5.5m circular from Rodney Stoke Ex141 ST482499. Start 12.30pm near church. Details: Roger: 01934 743088 07724 800882 or Friday December 14th Wrington Dickensian Fayre, from 6pm – see page 102. Redhill Club Open Mic Night 8pm-11, BS40 5SG. Hosted by Jerry Blythe. A mix of local professionals and open mic slots. Details Jerry 07900 587646. Cantilena Choir JOYEUX NOEL a celebration of 19th and 20th century French Christmas music. 7.30 pm, St Mary's Church, Glastonbury BA6 9EJ. Tickets £12 (children £1.00), 01458 831650, or from Dickett's Stationers, Glastonbury, or on the door. Price includes mulled wine and mince pies. In aid of St Margaret's Hospice. Saturday December 15th Festive Coffee Morning 10–12 St Mary’s Church, Timsbury BA2 0LG. Everybody welcome! Prohibition Years: take the jazz train from New Orleans to Paris. Cossington village hall. Seats £12.50: Roger 01278 451187. For Bridgwater Hospital League of Friends. Mendip Society Walk from Winscombe. A moderate hilly 4.5 miles. Meet 1.30pm CP behind Woodborough Inn, BS25 1HD. Details: Mary 01934 843789. Maesbury Singers present a Christmas Concert of Rutter & friends. All Saints Church, Castle Cary, 7.30pm. Tickets £10 on the door or 01761 232042. Festive Songs & Supper, 7.30pm Cheddar Methodist Church, Cliff Street. Tickets £10, to include ploughman’s supper, from Margaret 01934 742057. Frome Town Band Christmas Concert 7pm Wesley Methodist Church. The band would welcome new players. Information & Tickets £6: Rosie’s Cabaret Show, Tithe Barn, Mells in aid of the charity We Hear You, tickets £25 from Mells Village Shop, L’Aperitivo Café, 16 Catherine Hill or from the Facebook event page at Coppicing volunteer work day 09:30 -15:30 Asham Wood SSSI, Downhead. Free. Booking essential: or 01823 652400. Frome Town Band Christmas Concert. Wesley Methodist Church. Ffi: Sunday December 16th Carols & Cake, St Cuthbert’s, Wells, 2.30 –4pm. Christmas music with Swan Singers, Cathedral Song Squad. Tickets £6/£1, incl tea & cake! From or on the door. Frome Children’s Festival Children’s Christmas Party at the Cheese and Grain. £1 per child. 10am2pm. Open to all children and families of Frome. Sparkles, music, magic, Santa’s grotto and party food to decorate. Ffi: or Coninued overleaf MENDIP TIMES • DECEMBER 2018 • PAGE 129

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Monday December 17th Timsbury Natural History Group Christmas party: picture presentation, quiz & American Supper, 7.30pm Conygre Hall, Timsbury. Non-members welcome. Details: Rob Bruce: 01761 433013. Mendip Folk Dance Club Evening 8pm-10pm, St James Church Hall Winscombe BS25 1AQ. All welcome, £3pp. Why not give it a try? Details Pat 01934 742853. Tuesday December 18th Congresbury Singers' Christmas Concert 7.30pm St Andrew's Church. Tickets £8 include refreshments from Congresbury PO, or on the door. Thursday December 20th Mendip Ramblers moderate 5m Christmas Lunch walk: North Wootton. Start 10am Crossways Hotel, Nth Wootton, BA4 4EU. ST5654166. Details: Tony P 01749 342285 07752 689629. West Mendip Walkers moderate 9.25m circular from Clewer Ex141 ST439511. Start 9am, paddock Cribb House Lane. Details: Tony: 01934 733783/ 07415 517355 or

Friday December 21st Redhill Hall Children's Disco 5pm – 7pm £2.50 per child. Details: 07512602225. Redhill Club BS40 5SG. Redhill Skittles Competition Charity Evening – Prompt start at 8pm. Bottle of Champagne for highest score. Refreshments. Proceeds to play area fund. Sunday December 23rd Mendip Society Walk from Wells. An easy 4 miles. Meet 1.30 pm Wells Cathedral Green, BA5 2UE. Details: Peter 01761 221995. Thursday December 27th Mendip Society Walk from Cheddar. A hard & hilly 4 miles. Meet 10.30am nr Gardeners Arms, Silver Street, BS27 3LE. Details: Gill 01934 742508. West Mendip Walkers easy 6m circular from Priddy Ex141 ST528508. Start 12.30pm Queen Victoria Inn. Detail.s: Carol 07979 354530 or Friday December 28th Christmas Concert, Draycott. Barry Rose OBE international organist, and local resident, accompanied by daughter Nicola. 7pm St Peter’s Church. Tickets £10 from village store. All proceeds towards church

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organ fund. Friday December 28th to Tuesday January 1st Frome Memorial Theatre presents "Aladdin" various times, see website. Tickets £14, £12 from 01373 462795. Saturday December 29th Mendip Society Walk Easton. A hard 4 miles. Meet 1.30pm Easton Village Hall, Ebbor Lane BA5 1EH. Details: Gill or Terry 01749 679128. Redhill Club Classic Car Gathering 10am – 12am BS40 5SG. All welcome to park up for a chat and meet like-minded people. Bacon rolls, tea, coffee. Proceeds to play area fund. Sunday December 30th Mendip Ramblers moderate 9m Festival of Winter Walk around Glastonbury. Start 10am Bretenoux Road BA6 8DY, ST503381. Details: Janet 01458 835238 07706 181609. Monday December 31st Redhill Club New Year's Eve Disco from 8.30pm Free Entry. All welcome. Refreshments available.

Win a unique Christmas table centrepiece FORD Farm’s celebration tiered cheese “cakes” are suitable for all occasions, but also would make a great feature for the Christmas cheeseboard. Enter our competition and one lucky winner will receive a Long Bredy cake – worth £60 – and also receive a family ticket to enjoy Wookey Hole Caves. All in time for the festive season! Once again, we are running our everpopular Spot the Golden Rabbit competition in conjunction with Ford Farm – makers of Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar and Cave Aged Goat (winner of the best British cheese in the Global Cheese Awards). To enter, simply find four golden rabbits hidden within the December issue of Mendip Times plus one other on the Ford Farm tastebud-tantalising website – – where you can learn all about their delicious range and also shop online. The Long Bredy – delivered in their own Ford Farm wooden presentation box – features: *Deliciously creamy smooth and tangy West Country Farmhouse Cheddar *Alayer of Long Clawson Stilton – an award-winning creamy blue stilton made to a traditional recipe and sourced from one of Ford Farm’s partners *A mellow Double Gloucester made to a traditional Cotswold recipe

How will you decorate yours? A perfect Christmas cheeseboard – your chance to win a Long Bredy cheese cake from Ford Farm

*Ford Farm’s own Oakwood smoked traditional farmhouse cheddar cold smoked over oak chips for a deliciously smoky flavour *Topped with Cave Aged Goat – Crowned Best British Cheese at the World Cheese Awards. (NB the cheese cake is delivered undecorated) Cave Aged Goat’s Cheese is made in Dorset to traditional methods using milk sourced from West Country dairy goats. It is a deliciously savoury cheese, virgin-white in colour, with a mild clean goat flavour and a firm texture, similar

to that of a cheddar. Once made and pressed into moulds, the cheese is transferred to Wookey Hole where it undergoes a slow maturing process. It is in this unique environment where the year-round temperature of 12°C causes the cheese to take on its distinctive rich, earthy and nutty flavours that make it stand out from the crowd. The cheese cave at Wookey Hole has been in existence for more than ten years and is a major attraction on the cave tour.

Please send your answers on a postcard to: Cheese cake competition, Mendip Times, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon BS40 7RG. Entries must reach us by Tuesday, December 11th. The first correct entry chosen will be the winner. The editor’s decision is final.


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