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Mendip Times

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VOLUME 14 ISSUE 4

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FREE

Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas

SEPTEMBER 2018

IN THIS ISSUE: HARVEST HOMES • EDUCATION • PROPERTY • HOMES & INTERIORS • ARTS & ANTIQUES • SPORT Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news


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Welcome

TO another record-breaking issue – thanks to the many people who help provide material for us and the many advertisers who support us. This is the season of harvest homes, fetes, flower shows and carnivals, including Mid-Somerset Show and the Glastonbury Extravaganza – we have scores of pictures – and the ploughing matches are next. We also preview Somerset Art Weeks. Axbridge Blackberry Carnival has been saved by an energetic new committee, while Compton Dundon cricket club is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The ladies of Somerset YFCs’ ladies tug of war team are also celebrating after winning the national title. The team had a strong Mendip contingent, including three members of the Clothier family. In sport, local soccer teams are doing their bit for charity and Yeo Valley are lending their support to Bristol City’s women’s football team. Our popular crossword, The Mendip Mindbender, has a new look, with the chance of a prize for someone who can solve it. Mary Payne has advice on autumn gardening jobs and Sue Gearing’s walk takes us down the Cam Valley. With all of our regular features and contributors, welcome to another rich slice of Mendip life. October 2018 deadline: Friday, 14th September 2018. Published: Tuesday, 25th September 2018. Editorial: Steve Egginton steve@mendiptimes.co.uk Mark Adler mark@mendiptimes.co.uk Advertising: Ann Quinn advertising@mendiptimes.co.uk Rachael Abbott rachael@mendiptimes.co.uk Publisher: Mendip Times Limited Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RG Contacts: For all enquiries, telephone:

01761 463888

or: email news@mendiptimes.co.uk or: letters@mendiptimes.co.uk www.mendiptimes.co.uk 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: Martha, Wedmore Harvest Home Queen. Photograph by Mark Adler. See page 22.

CONTENTS

13

Best feet backwards – Mendip girls are champions

16

Celebrating success – MidSomerset Show in pictures

107

Watch the birdie! – Children’s World fun weekend

128

Pulling a few strings – Rodney helps to save the day Plus all our regular features Environment ...................................6 Farming Mary James MBE ..........10 Internet and Crossword ..............18 Food & Drink ...............................24 Arts & Antiques ...........................40 Business.........................................50 Education ......................................58 Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......69 Walking Sue Gearing ....................70 Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........72

Gardening Mary Payne MBE.......74 Caving Phil Hendy ........................86 Health Dr Phil Hammond .............88 Charities........................................94 Community .................................102 Homes and Interiors ..................111 Riding Rachel Thompson MBE...118 Sport ............................................120 Music & Theatre ........................126 What’s On...................................130 MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 3


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NEWS

Garden party as branch reaches 90

ROBERT McDonald, chairman of the Royal British Legion in Somerset, was the guest of honour when the Shepton Mallet branch celebrated its 90th anniversary with a garden party. The branch was in danger of folding just a few years ago, but now boasts more than 100 members. It is one of the oldest in the county. Branch president Major General Ray Pett, aged 77, said: “Two to three years ago I was, sadly, one of the youngest members of the branch; now I’m pleased to say I am one of the oldest. “That is due to chairman Andy Ransom and the gang he has got together. He has totally rejuvenated the branch.”

Seated (l:r): Robert McDonald, Andy Ransom and Major General Ray Pett with legion members and families. Andy is holding a commemorative poppy plaque presented to the branch by local sculptor Jeff Body Julian wants to ring the changes at St Giles

Going like the clappers

BELLRINGER Julian Back is to attempt to cycle 980 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just nine days in aid of his local church. Julian, of Leigh-on-Mendip, is the tower captain at St Giles in the village and is making the attempt to raise funds for the bells to be restored. The bells were last rehung in 1910 and are in need of a major overhaul to keep them in a ringable condition for the next century. The keen cyclist is also chairman and ringing master of the Frome branch of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers. He is due to begin his ride on Saturday, September 8th and reach his destination on Sunday, September 16th.

For details and to sponsor Julian, visit: http://tadhill.com

Sharing the role – show’s joint presidents

THE Earl and Countess of Bathurst have become joint presidents of the Royal Bath and West of England Society. They succeed Mary Prior, who said: “It has been the most enormous privilege to serve as President during the past year and I have enjoyed it immensely. The Dairy Show was a delight and Grassland UK in May was spectacular, where I particularly enjoyed watching the amazing equipment being so skilfully deployed. “The opening of the Rural Enterprise Centre was an exciting event and I wish this development every success for the future. I also loved watching the schoolchildren so well engaged on the Field to Food day. “The highlight was, of course, the Royal Bath and West Show. My husband and I loved staying on the showground for the four days, which made us feel that we were really at the heart of this amazing world class event.”

Outgoing president Mary Prior hands over the badge of office to the Countess and Earl Bathurst

The decision by the earl and countess to share the duties follow in the footsteps of Lord Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma who carried out a similar role. The earl and countess said: “We are hugely looking forward to our joint presidency, as old friends of the Royal Bath and West Show we have a great affection for the society.”

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 5


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Keepers buzzing

NEARLY 60 beekeepers from associations in Avon attended a Bee Disease Day at Langford Veterinary School, run by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and sponsored by Bee Disease Insurance. Delegates attended different workshops run by bee Inspectors throughout the day, including varroa and the Asian Hornet. A practical session was held in a comb workshop where delegates saw examples of American and European Foul Brood as well as other diseases. Hives had also been set up in an apiary where colonies were inspected and many useful tips gained. The day was a great success with one beekeeper saying “it was the most useful training day I have had”.

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Farms face cost of the drought FARM incomes could face a sharp drop this autumn due to the summer drought, so it’s important for farmers to plan ahead to minimise the financial and physical impact, according to Mike Butler, chairman of the board at Old Mill. He said there is plenty that producers can do to prepare – from raising an overdraft to pay for forage to reducing tax payments on account. He said: “It is a very frustrating and demoralising time for both livestock and arable producers. The drought means arable yields will be down, vegetable producers are looking at significant crop

shortages, and livestock producers do not have enough forage to see them through the winter. This will have a dramatic impact on cash flow and profits.” Higher commodity prices will go some way to alleviating this pressure, but the impact will vary from farm to farm. He said: “Try to think about the implications of what’s going on, and have a serious conversation about what might be the right thing to do. Have talks with your bank and accountant to see what the best solution is.” Some farmers are already looking at culling up to half their herds to reduce forage requirements over the winter, while others may need to raise their overdraft to cover increased feed costs. He said: “If selling stock, that will of course reduce your output, and may crystallise some profits. But cull cow and store values are already suffering, so you need to take that into account. But when commodities are in short supply there is likely to be a dramatic rise in prices – if that does happen, make sure you’re in a position to take advantage of it.”

Details: Mike Butler at Old Mill on 01749 335029.

Sweet success for beekeepers

THE Somerset equivalent of the Olympic Games for beekeepers attracted a record number of entries at this year’s County and Taunton Division honey shows held at Taunton Flower Show. Axbridge beekeepers Christine and Mark Guillick were awarded the blue ribbon for the best exhibit in show for their exceptional cake of wax. Christine said: “Winning this trophy is wonderful – especially as it was awarded on my birthday! It’s great to get recognition from the judges and makes me feel better about all the work that goes into looking after the bees and preparing the entries for the show.” Taunton beekeepers Jenny and Sid Gammon were presented with three trophies including the Taunton Perpetual Challenge Trophy awarded to the local member to gain the most points. Taunton Division chair Peter Maben said the two-day show had attracted many thousands of visitors and 15 per cent more exhibits than usual from all over the county. He said: “It seems that everyone is talking about bees! There’s so much interest in the health and welfare of bees and pollinators generally that our marquee was literally buzzing with people talking to us about honey bees.” Amongst the beekeepers there was optimism about the coming harvest. Anne Pike, chairman of Somerset Beekeepers, said: “Our honeybees are making the most of this

year’s hot weather and are packing their hives with fragrant honey made from nearby flowers. “The heat and sunshine is giving us a delicious and substantial crop, which is just what we need after several very poor years.” Taunton Division is running a taster day next month for anyone interested in finding out more about keeping bees which includes a talk as well as chance to put on a bee suit and take a look inside a hive. The taster day costs £25 per person and takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 8th at Heatherton Park apiary near Bradford-on-Tone.

Details: Julie Husband at tauntonbeginners@somersetbeekeepers.org.uk or call/text on 07867 782435.

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Eco and wild in Farrington Gurney

Thumbs-up to the EcoWild project

PRIMARY school pupils in Farrington Gurney have been working with EcoWild – a community interest company – on a project called The Story Tree. The project was inspired by the discovery during a “hedgerow safari” of an oak tree believed to be 400 years old. EcoWild offers the chance to engage children with eco-history and their place in the landscape, which can help them relate to the wider environment and their connections with the natural world. The session with the youngsters began with a 150-yearold Native American chief’s reading before a discussion about climate change and the prediction of an increase in severe weather events. Headteacher Daniel Turrell said: “We then went on to the hurricane-emergency-rescue scenario that they have been developing and involves lots of cooperation, teamwork, creative thinking and action/ drama! “Some sat and whittled instead and others made a rope swing which was more like a balance challenge as it was pretty wobbly! But they were delighted with all of it. A great ending to our current series of sessions with Class 4 at Farrington Gurney Primary.”

Can Frome become fossil-free? FROME Town Council has launched a “ready reckoner” which enables any community to estimate how much energy their area is currently using and what they need to do to switch away from fossil fuels. The took has been developed in partnership with Climate Works and was launched at an event in the town to explore how to improve energy security and air quality through reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy. Anna Francis, the council’s resilience manager, said: “We need to shift away from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas as soon as possible to reduce these risks and increase energy security. The Zero Carbon Towns event was an opportunity to explore what we can do together to achieve this.” Paul Allen, author of Zero Carbon Britain, explained that technologies already exist to enable this switch to happen

ENVIRONMENT

Park wins top award

COLLETT Park, in Shepton Mallet, has been awarded a Green Flag, crowning it as one of the best green spaces in the UK. Shepton Mallet Town Council, its partners and the local community celebrated the award during Love Parks week. The park was gifted to the town by John Kyte Collett in 1906, and every year a festival is held in the park to celebrate the gift. Collett Park is the only park in the Mendip district to be awarded a Green Flag. Details: Shepton Mallet Town Council 01749 343984.

Village “opposes fracking”

A GROUP concerned at the threat of environmental pollution says it’s found that there is overwhelming opposition to fracking around the North Somerset village of Hutton. Frack Free Somerset says some 87% of the 181 people it contacted declared that they would not give their consent to fracking around their village, and only four percent supported the idea of fracking. Hutton was chosen because Infinity Energy, who hold the licences to frack the coast of Somerset from Weston-super-Mare to Watchet, have said that they intend to frack “somewhere to the south of Weston-super-Mare”, which could mean Hutton. Dr Richard Lawson, chair of Frack Free North Somerset, said: “The survey leaves no doubt that residents of North Somerset do not consent to fracking in their vicinity. Government argues that we need gas. “Fracking may produce gas for a few years at terrible cost, but will inevitably run out. Biogas, produced from organic wastes, will continue as long as humans are around. It is unreasonable that government favours fracking over biogas.” Details: Dr Richard Lawson 01934 853606

The fossil-free debate at Frome Town Hall

adding: “The south west has one of the best solar resources in the UK and the best wind resource in western Europe.”

For details, visit: www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/clean-future

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Art makes its mark in Shepton Mallet A COMMUNITY arts initiative in Shepton Mallet has announced details of a special outdoor exhibition for September called Sheptonia – complete with live music, performance and projections onto buildings. It is being organised by The Rubbish Art Project, which is based in the town’s former HSBC bank. Sculptures made out of waste materials donated by the community and local businesses will go on display in the centre of Shepton Mallet to coincide with Somerset Art Weeks beginning on September 14 and running until September 28th. Alongside installations created during the community workshops at The Art Bank there will be art work from surprise guest artists. The Rubbish Art Project provides creative activities facilitated

Youngsters at work in the Art Bank

ENVIRONMENT

The magnificent polar bear which will take centre stage during Sheptonia

by different artists for all ages of the community. Projects include a large polar bear made from recycled CD's and DVDs, a Shepton Sheep made from plastic waste donated from local businesses along with stunning ceramic mosaics that can be found popping up on the High Street. Co-founder Lucy Smith said: “We are inspired to create a project that raises awareness around waste and brings together people from our local community. “It is really exciting to meet so many people who are passionate about making a difference, including local resident Barbara, who at 102-years-old took part in one of our recycled jewellery making workshops. We can't wait to display all our art work in September for Somerset Art Weeks.

For details, visit: https://www.therubbishartproject.co.uk/ or find them on social media

Villagers act to prevent flooding TEN years ago in December 2008 very heavy rainfall of over 40mm fell onto frozen ground causing severe flooding in the villages of Pitcombe and Cole, near Bruton. The River Pitt, normally a placid stream, rose by 15 feet, sweeping through property in the villages and leaving a bill of over £500k. Every year since then volunteers have got together for an annual river clearance day in an effort to reduce the chances of a repetition. With the invaluable help of local farmer Martin Jennings and his wife Celia, Saturday, August 11th this year saw a goodly band of volunteers setting to work. One of the features of the day was the community lunch where volunteers could spend time with their neighbours. As volunteer Guy Mayers said: “Maybe this year’s very dry summer is but a sign of the increasing global temperatures which increase the chances of ever heavier bouts of rain in the future.” Somerset River Authority is encouraging local landowners in the Pitt catchment to construct twig and brushwood mini-dams to slow the rush of floodwater long enough to reduce the speed at which the river rises as it roars through the villages.

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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

Glastonbury: 11 Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8DL. Tel: 01458 832510

The Mid-Somerset Show was incredibly successful this year. In previous years the weather has tended to be a bit problematic making wellies and raincoats the order of the day. This year the bright sunshine and cool breeze brought visitors flocking to the site. Once again, we were in the Shepton BGW Director Gareth Reynolds with in Business tent and had a great day Cam Valley Morris dancer James Morris and his children Caroline and chatting to clients and other members of Richard the public who stopped to chat and during the few quieter moments getting to know other local business people. The show itself seemed better than ever with so many different things going on there really was something for everyone. Our sincere thanks to the organisers and everyone who came. It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the end of August now and the holiday season is almost over. Despite remaining busy throughout the summer many of us have managed to get away to re-charge with some quality family time. Next month we will bring you up to date on developments at Castle Cary following the relocation and the merger with the Glastonbury office. In the meantime, let’s hope that the weather stays good for September. Castle Cary: Old Bank House, High Street, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7AW. Tel: 01963 350888

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

Website: www.bgw-solicitors.co.uk


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Beryl’s a winner – by royal appointment

THE well-known Wear family from Butcombe have a long association with sheep and cattle. Dairy farmer Sidney Wear was a founder member of the Milk Marketing Board in 1934 which existed until 1984. It was Percy Wear and his wife Mary With MARY who formed the Ruslin flock of Ryeland JAMES MBE sheep which was taken on by their son Richard and his wife Margaret, who have won an amazing collection of championships and trophies over the years as well as being exceptional judges. Following them is their son Andrew, well known Mendip shepherd and their daughter Brenda with expertise in breeding and showing sheep and cattle. Currently living on her own farm of 35 acres at Butcombe, Brenda has had an interesting part-time career supplementing her farming enterprise. In her early years, after experiencing delivering milk with her grandfather in his old grey pick-up on dark, cold mornings she decided another type of job was needed. In 1978 Brenda became a Milk Marketing Board milk recorder (for 16 years) along with many other jobs such as calf-rearing, with secretarial jobs leading to a part-time position at the University of Bristol as farm secretary/finance clerk as well as starting her own small farming enterprises. Busy lady.

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Brenda followed the path of many a young farmer by joining Wrington Young Farmers, where she learned office holder skills, stock judging and public speaking as well as having fun. In fact she became chairman of Wrington YFC and the first lady chairman of Somerset County Rally. But it was at stock judging that Brenda excelled, representing the county at the Royal Smithfield Show in 1977, winning the coveted award of Junior Sheep Stockjudger. After winning a travel scholarship to the USA, judging has continued to this day when she will soon be off to Scotland to judge 23 herds in the Scottish beef shorthorn herd competition Brenda’s enterprises consist of breeding beef shorthorn cattle and poll Dorset sheep with the herd prefix of “Redhill” which became well known nationally and internationally. Her careful breeding programmes for the flock and the herd certainly paid dividends with numerous championships. Breeding of pedigree animals is quite an art. It means choosing the right bull (artificial insemination) for a particular cow then waiting to see how the resulting calves develop. Unfortunately, in 2016, Brenda was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis so with great regret she had a major reduction of flock and herd keeping just a few to “keep her eye in”. Undeterred Brenda went back to milk recording and continued judging and travelling. It was to her surprise and delight in March this year she was asked to prepare and show some sheep for the Prince Charles at the Royal Cornwall Show. Under a cloak of secrecy Brenda brought the sheep to Butcombe, feeding and preparing a show team of two Cotswold ewes and their lambs and two Shropshire yearling ewes over nine weeks. Entered in the Any Other Native Sheep classes, the Cotswold ewes gained second and third, the Shropshire yearling ewes third and fourth with the Cotswold ewe lamb, bred at Highgrove, winning first ewe lamb, reserve champion female and reserve longwool. All seven sheep were led in the parade by young stockpersons under the age of 14, which included Kyle Wear, Brenda’s nephew. All the team met the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Well done Brenda – with all your experience I know you enjoy training and encouraging the younger generation.


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New country store opens for business

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SIMON Free has launched Country Life Stores Ltd at Uphill and Sons’ former base at Nedge Hill, near Chewton Mendip. It offers everything from ride-on lawnmowers to nuts and bolts, bird seed to car batteries, and is aimed specifically at smallholders and farmers, though the range of goods will appeal to a far larger audience. Simon, who worked formerly for a John Deere dealership in Bristol, has also taken on the workshops on the site, offering repairs and spares for a wide range of equipment and machinery, helped by Julian, who will be familiar to former Uphill customers. Simon lives nearby with his wife Caroline and daughter Harriet, aged two. Their parents live in Temple Cloud and Clutton. Simon said: “It’s exciting running my own business, but has been a steep learning curve. The reaction from customers has been really good.”

FARMING

P R O V I D I N G R UR A L S E R V I C E S , R E P A I R S A N D SU P PL I E S

Nedge Hill, Chewton Mendip, BA3 4LW 01761 241270 or 07483 885330 info@countrylifestores.co.uk

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 11


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Jason branches out with new venture

ACCESS all areas has always been Jason Beasley’s motto for his goanywhere range of cherrypickers which regularly see him tackle any task from repairing chimney pots to installing banners for public events. And being mobile and flexible is certainly the key to his latest venture – a truly portable log-splitting service. From felling a tree to cutting ready-to-season logs, Jason has employed some ingenious engineering ideas to turn the idea into reality. In truth, Jason, who lives at Blackford, had run a chainsaw service in the past, but revived and developed the new business after some recent access work in remote locations. The log-splitter is mounted on a standard trailer and is powered by a modified lawnmower engine, offering a huge amount of power to slice through the knottiest of wood.

Now offering a fully mobile on-site log splitting service

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Rob at work on the trailer-mounted log-splitter at Mill Farm Equestrian with Jason behind

Alongside, Jason has invested in a mobile German-built circular saw with similar tough credentials. Jason said: “The new equipment is brilliant to use and we can be up-andrunning in moments. It takes up very little space and is easy to transport.” One of Jason’s latest projects has been to split felled timber at Rob and Julia Banwell’s Mill Farm Equestrian

Centre at Wedmore. Jason’s friend Rob Deville was on hand to help; the two became friends after Jason carried out some work at Rob’s home near Wedmore and the retired police officer is happy to lend a hand. Jason added: “We can get onto farmland or even into someone’s garden as the equipment is so mobile.”

• Feed biN repairs • rooFiNg • Treework • LighTiNg • pesT coNTroL • bird spikes • iNspecTioNs


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Young far mer s h ave p ulling powe r THE Somerset Young Farmers Clubs’ Ladies Tug of War team, consisting mainly of members from Farrington Gurney YFC, with Chew Valley, North Somerset and Bridgwater clubs assisting them, have pulled their way to becoming the National Young Farmers Tug of War champions! On one of the hottest and most arid days at the beginning of August, the team and their supporters made the journey to Tenbury Agricultural Show in Worcestershire. Following success at Somerset YFC County Rally in May and then the South West Area finals in June at Hartpury, the pressure was on the girls to maintain their undefeated record. The training intensified in the run up to the national finals, but the hard work paid off for them. They say they are very grateful to Felton Eccles TOW club for allowing them to train with them and Mark Pearce who helped coach. The team was made up of three siblings from the Clothier family and included captain Jess Clothier, Emma and Holly Clothier, Rachael Branch, Eliza Boyce, Katie House, Victoria Look, Hannah Yeatman and Grace Popham. After their success

A Mendip day out

THIS year the Mendip Ploughing Society is celebrating its 149th match. Established in 1858, the society is flourishing, carrying on with its main purpose of encouraging the agricultural skills of ploughing, hedge laying and dry-stone walling, with special classes and prizes for the young competitor. The match on Wednesday, September 26th is worth a visit to see the finer points of ploughing from horses to the modern multi-ploughs, nostalgic vintage tractors and ploughs, also the evocative steam traction ploughs, the skills of hedge laying and dry-stone walling and you needn’t walk as a tractor-pulled “people carrier” will take you around the site. You can then have a refreshing drink of cider in the bar and either have a splendid lunch put on by the marvellous ladies’ committee at a very reasonable price or a beef burger or bacon roll from the BBQ tent. Another incentive to go is that entry and car parking is free, but you may like to purchase a ticket or two for their famous multi-prize draw. The whole day is very sociable and the whole of Mendip plus some urban cousins mix freely and chat about things in general or agricultural matters. School children are welcome and several local primary schools send pupils along and they are given a talk by society chairman, Les Davies, a ride on the people carrier and the chance of an ice cream from the Yeo Valley ice cream van! Competitions start at 10am and finish at 3pm. The awarding of cups and prizes takes place later between 4pm and 5pm, as and when the judges have made their mind up!

FARMING

Jess said: “I can’t tell you how much it meant to all of us. Yes we didn’t lose an end but it was by no means easy. We had to work 100% on every pull and I can safely say that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the final was won by true grit and determination from every team member. “We have trained two or three times a week and couldn’t have done it without the help from Felton Eccles TOW club. We have made friends for life and come so far from the rally. Three months ago four of the girls had barely picked up a tug of war rope. “It was also amazing for us Clothier girls to be all able to pull together but also for Katie House having been to the finals six times and never coming higher than fifth until this ever, her last year in young farmers. It has been an amazing experience for every one of us and what young farmers is all about.”

MENDIP PLOUGHING MATCH

The 149th Annual Competitions will held on land at FRANKLYNS FARM, CHEWTON MENDIP. (Site location BA3 4SQ access from B3139, Townsend Lane, Emborough)

Wednesday 26th September 2018

• Ploughing, Hedging, Stone Walling, & Farm Produce Show. • Demonstration of Steam Traction Ploughing. • Free entry and car parking. Refreshments and Bar. Trade Stands. • Main Sponsors – Yeo Valley, Mallets Cider, R M Penny, Kelston Sparkes, Tincknells and many other local firms. Competitions commence at 10am, prize-giving between 4pm and 5pm approx.

Enquiries:- Jim King 07810413664 or Judith Ogborne 07783709619 MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 13


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Take the bus to Frome Cheese Show – or London THERE’S lots of free parking at the showground but if you don’t drive or plan to visit one or two beer and cider vendors then make use of the free shuttle service run by Berry’s Coaches of Taunton. The show is on Saturday, September 8th at West Woodlands. The Frome shuttle services are not timetabled but run all day between 8.30am and 6pm from the Old Showfield at Rodden Road, Market Place bus stop, Sainsbury’s bus stop, the train station and Badcox Bus stop opposite The Artisan Pub. The Warminster shuttle service will be making two trips from the Market Place bus stop and Garston Vets at 9am and 1pm, return 12.30pm and 6pm. These are approximate times and may change. Berry’s Coaches is a family-run business currently operating a fleet of over 45 coaches providing school services, private hire, day excursions and their famous London Superfast service linking London and the West Country every day.

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Berry’s offer various routes to London Hammersmith from the Somerset area. Their daily services arrive/depart Bay D at Hammersmith Bus Station where there is easy access to the Tube on the Piccadilly Line. Coach facilities include free wi-fi, toilet on board, air-con, host/hostess

FARMING

service and seat allocation. Adult prices are £20 single, £25 day return, £32 open return (see website for senior and children rates). The London SF3 service departs from Taunton, Street, Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet, Frome, Warminster and Codford travelling to London Hammersmith.


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Showground on the move in 2020 ORGANISERS of the Mid-Somerset Show have confirmed that they plan to move to a new site on the edge of town in 2020. Barring any last-minute complications, the last show on the current site will take place next year; housing developers and the show society confirmed details less than 48 hours before this year’s event, one of the best-ever. Thousands of visitors packed the showground for the one-day celebration of country life and Mendip Times would like to thank everyone who came to say hello at our stand. The plan is to relocate the showground to land slightly further south - towards Cannard’s Grave – in time for 2020. The move has been 12 years in the planning and show chairman Ian Harvey praised former president Roger Eddy for his tenacity in negotiating the deal which, he said, also promised a secure future for the show and the society.

The show attracted huge crowds

Bruton-based singer/songwriter David 9 Lunas on stage in the showcase acoustic tent

Young handlers in action

John Barriball, representing Dairy Crest Davidstow, who collected four awards – including supreme champion – for their cheese

Freddie and Daisy Cotterrell, of Warren Farm at Masbury, near Shepton Mallet, with their prize-winning Jerseys PAGE 16 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Show president Ted Allen (left) presents retired farmer Keith Bushrod, of Pylle, with a society long-service award

Jess and Jake from Midsomer Norton


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THE MID-SOMERSET SHOW 2018

Cheese judges and stewards gather for their afternoon ahead of tasting, smelling and conferring

A rare sight – a scurrying demonstration with four ponies A winning combination: Jenny Milward and XX in the heavy horse class

Cam Valley Morris in action

Show president Ted Allen (front, centre) with guests at the pre-show party

The Barnacle Buoys sea-shanty singers from North Somerset

Judges and stewards in the flower, vegetable and handicraft marquee – the show each year enjoys huge support from volunteers like these

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 17


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INTERNET

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How to search with Google

Or indeed how to search with Siri – the basics are the same. You cannot be serious! I hear you cry. You just basically ask for what you want and Mr Google (or Mrs Siri) will find it for you. Often, it’s as simple as that. But for a more specific result, you can fine tune, so here goes – starting with those basics. Just type what you want – Where is the nearest airport to Axbridge, perhaps. Or you can say “OK Google” or click/tap the microphone and ask what you want. Or indeed say “Hey Siri” However, there is more to it than that. You can ask for a definition of a word – just type/speak or define what you want – e.g. Define Digital Assistant. Or you can ask for calculations – what’s 50% of 125 for example. Or conversions – just type 100cm in inches. Or 100 GBP in Euros. But for help with finding stuff you want – stick with the most common words – words like headache instead of my head hurts. Try to get the spelling right, but Google usually works out what you meant! Doesn’t matter if you use upper or lower case for place names – axbridge is still Axbridge. Spaces don’t matter in postcodes – bs273rb will return the same result as BS27 3RB. For this country, add UK on the end of your search request if you want to avoid overseas answers. After typing/asking your request, you could (on Google) click/tap I’m feeling lucky, which will take you to a website of its choice. There are different results to be found as well, of course. If you want to find info about a rose, just type/ask rose. If you want to know how to prune a rose, type/ask how to prune a rose. But if you want a picture of a rose, or want to find a specific colour or type, try clicking/tapping images. If you are getting a lot of results you don’t want, you can add a minus sign directly in front of the word – e.g. roses – yellow – apparently, there are a 250 million yellow rose results out there! There are some seriously weird requests out there too – start typing something like how to or who does or maybe never put and see the suggestions that have been searched for before! Someone had searched for never put jam in a toaster. I would have thought that was a given! Submitted by IT for the Terrified : Cheddar Village Hall, Church St, Cheddar BS27 3RF PLEASE NOTE – WE ARE CLOSED FOR OUR SUMMER BREAK UNTIL OCTOBER. 01934 741751 (usually goes to answer phone) www.itfortheterrified.co.uk itfortheterrified@btconnect.com 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.

PAGE 18 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

CROSSWORD

The Mendip Mindbender

ACROSS 9 Mean (7) 10 Surpasses (7) 11 Coke rival (5) 12 Iron (6,3) 13 Ancient Norton St. Philip watering hole (3,6) 14 Rice/Lloyd Webber musical (5) 15 Tor-foot spring (7,4) 20 Arrested (3,2) 22 Mells equivalent of 13 Across, perhaps (6,3) 25 Rate of occurrence (9) 26 --- Hill, part of Frome (5) 27 Small house (7) 28 Zealous devotee (7)

DOWN 1 Dresses down (7) 2 Chew Valley village --Cloud (6) 3 Twinned with Glastonbury (8) 4 Gas-fired water heater (6) 5 Sold by Roald Dahl around Midsomer Norton (8) 6 Grim Reaper's tool (6) 7 Siegried Sassoon has one in Mells churchyard (8) 8 Stub it out here (7) 15 Exchanges (8) 16 Together (2,6) 17 Feelings (8) 18 Opening (7) 19 Approximate (7) 21 Pertaining to a nerve (6) 23 Discharge temporarily (3,3) 24 Congenital (6)

THE GEORGE INN Croscombe

A place to relax and think… 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 and a warm welcome. Correct entries are placed in a hat and the winner is the first name drawn. Please send your entries to: Prize Crossword Competition, Mendip Times, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon BS40 7RG. Entries to be received by Thursday, September 13th. T&Cs apply. Solution next month.


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Legion honours the dead

THE Royal British Legion organised a visit to the Somme to commemorate the first pilgrimage in 1928 when they took the widows and other relatives of those who lost their lives in the Great War to visit the battlefields and cemeteries where they fought and were laid to rest. Branches from all over the country took part and in total there were more than 2200 people, one standard bearer and one wreath carrier from those participating, paraded to the Menin Gate in Ypres for a service and wreath laying ceremony. Backwell, Banwell, Bishopsworth, Brent Knoll, Clevedon, Dundry, Hutton, Nailsea, Wells, Yatton and Wrington were among those who sent two representatives to the event. The wreath from Wrington will carried a message written by the local school children which read: Dear Soldiers of the past, we remember thee in our hearts, you fought in dangerous conditions. Thank you for your bravery and courage. You will always be with us. We treasure your bravery forever and always. Arthur and Class 5.

Mendip’s heavy metal tour

NEWS

Dementia-friendly town launch

SHEPTON Mallet Dementia Action Alliance is to formally launch its programme to make the town a Dementia Friendly Community on Thursday, September 27th. The launch will be a free evening event including practical sessions on understanding dementia, sharing experiences and good ideas, networking with others and launching Shepton’s own Dementia Friendly Organisation Recognition Scheme. It will also offer an opportunity to meet local organisations that provide help and support. Peter Hillman, from the SMDAA, said: “We hope people from all walks of life will join us on Shepton’s journey.” The alliance has already started developing as many dementia friends as possible to support people living with dementia and is working with businesses and organisations to make the community dementia friendly. The DFOR scheme aims to recognise those organisations who have trained their staff and taken steps to make them dementia friendly. ● The launch takes place at 6pm at the council chamber at the Mendip Shape Hub on Cannards Grave Road. For details, find them on Facebook @SheptonMalletDementiaActionAlliance

CHAINS of office were the order of the day when the chairman of Mendip District Council hosted civic dignitaries from Somerset on a fact-finding tour of several local businesses. Wells, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury, Frome and Street were

Chester Barnes, treatment centre director (fourth from right) greets the tour

Dick Skidmore (right) introduces Chester Barnes

PAGE 20 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

all represented, along with Bruton and Taunton Deane, on the visit organised by Councillor Dick Skidmore and his wife Jean. The group began their visit at the Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre before heading to Jon Thorner’s Farm Shop at Pylle, Westcombe Dairy and the Wild Beer Co.


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Procession royalty (l:r) Martha, the queen, Taylor, Eve and Noah, the king The procession makes its way through the village

Ian Wickham was amongst the team carving the meats

Sausages! Kay Adams with Betty, the “sausage dog” and Jacqui Redman with Bumblebee as Woody – the event held a pet class for the first time PAGE 22 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Guests of honour and speakers Rod Stewart, a local vet, and Gillian Dosson, representing the young farmers clubs of Somerset


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Poppy Scriven, on Dan, (left) and Olivia Banwell, on Adam, enjoy a trot before the start of the procession

WEDMORE HARVEST HOME 2018

Anyone for tennis … or another Pimms?

High fives for some of the young spectators

Some of the 400 people who sat down to lunch

Volunteers share a joke as lunch is served

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All good things around us

Quick and easy – squash and sage risotto

SEPTEMBER food. Where do we even start? There are local dessert apples and pears; all the plums including damsons, blackberries and late raspberries, beans and carrots and tomatoes and squash. It’s With JUNE overwhelming. MACFARLANE And it won’t last, so let’s enjoy it all while we can!

ROAST DUCK WITH PLUMS

A plum job

How I love English INGREDIENTS dessert (For two) plums with 1 shallot their reds 1 tbsp olive oil and purples 250g plums and 50g soft brown sugar yellows! 50ml red wine It’s a short 300ml beef stock season so 2 duck breasts when you Sprig of thyme have had 1 tbsp butter your fill of eating them raw, or making jam, try this lovely combination. METHOD Chop shallot finely and fry in olive oil until soft. Stone and chop plums and add to pan with sugar, red wine and stock. Simmer until slightly thickened. Take off heat and reserve. Preheat oven to 180°C. Score duck breasts, season well and place skin side down in hot pan until fat runs, 67 mins. Turn, add thyme and butter, baste. Transfer to small roasting pan and cook in oven for about 6 mins for pink or 10mins for well done. Baste again and rest for 5 mins. Slice thinly and serve with the sauce.

PAGE 24 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

SUMMER SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO

Beautiful colour, fresh taste and a scattering of herbs. A quick weekday meal that is bright and delicious. METHOD Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut squash into wedges, remove seeds and put in a roasting tray. In a bowl put garlic, a big splash of olive oil, half the sage leaves and season well. Rub all over the squash and roast until soft – about 30 mins. Allow to cool slightly then scrape away flesh into a bowl and mash until chunky. Heat 2tbsp oil and a knob of butter in a pan and fry onion until soft. Add rice and stir to coat grains. Add wine. Add remaining sage. Add stock a ladleful at a time, stirring in between, until rice is cooked but still has a bite. Gently stir in squash and 2 tbsp parmesan. Add extra stock if too thick. Rest for a couple of minutes then serve with extra cheese.

APPLE, PEAR AND GINGER CRUMBLE

INGREDIENTS

(for four) 1 medium or two small squash 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped Olive oil Handful sage leaves, chopped Seasoning Butter 1 onion, chopped 400g risotto rice 300ml white wine 500ml hot vegetable stock Parmesan cheese

INGREDIENTS

(for 4) 3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks 3 seasonal eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks 2 tbsp cornflour 50g sugar 1 lemon, zest and juice 4 Conference pears 100g ginger biscuits, crushed 75g butter 50g caster sugar

Apple crumble is the nation’s favourite pudding, and justly so. Adding pears and making the crumble topping with ginger biscuits elevates it to something even more special. METHOD Preheat oven to 160°C. Toss all the apples with the cornflour to coat. Place in a pan with sugar, lemon juice and 200ml water. Cook gently until fruit is just softened. Turn off heat; stir in pears and lemon zest and tip into medium baking dish. Rub butter into ginger biscuits, add sugar and scatter over fruit. Bake until crisp, about 40-50 mins. Serve with custard – of course! A twist on the nation’s favourite dessert


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What’s new from

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FOOD & DRINK

A round-up of events from Thatchers Cider in Sandford

Spreading the Somerset word

Birthday celebrations at the Railway Inn

The night glow at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

AT the wheel of our new tasting truck, Vat 12, we’ve had an amazing summer out and about introducing thousands of people to the delights of Somerset cider. We’ve been thrilled at the number of people who’ve come to see us wanting to try our ciders, to chat about their Somerset roots and tell us how much Somerset means to them. Whether it’s Helen Skelton at our Vat 12 truck, been at the during BBC Countryfile Live fabulous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Bristol’s Harbour Festival, or further afield at Birmingham’s Brindley Place, or Blenheim Palace with BBC Countryfile Live we have loved every minute!

Christmas is on its way

IT may only be September, but we’re already preparing for Christmas and New Year at The Railway Inn. Keep an eye on our website for details of our New Year’s Eve buffet and disco, tickets will be on sale very soon! Our Christmas menu will be available from 1 – 24 December, two courses for £24.50, three courses for £29.50. Please book early to avoid disappointment. See www.therailwayinn.com or call us on 01934 611518.

THANKS to everyone who joined us for our 3rd birthday celebrations at The Railway Inn. We had live music throughout the afternoon, a special character cake of a train and apple tree, cider cocktails, as well as face painting for the younger generation!

Develop skills at Myrtle Farm

Georgia, Harriet and Ella

A BIG welcome to the first of our 2018 apprentices to join us at Myrtle Farm. Georgia is following our L3 Accountancy programme, Harriet is our first L3 Business Administration apprentice, and Ella is on her sandwich year placement working as a lab technician. By September we’ll have 17 young people commencing the Thatchers Young Talent programme. We’re really excited to be welcoming them to Myrtle Farm and the Thatchers family at the start of their careers.

Cheers from us all at Myrtle Farm

www.thatcherscider.co.uk • Don’t forget you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Thatchers Cider, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset, BS25 5RA

M 2018 • PAGE 25 MENDIP ENDIP T TIMES IMES •• S NEPTEMBER OVEMBER 2017


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Get into the festival spirit with gin and fizz

PILTON’S Rolling Cocktail Company is set to repeat the success of last year’s sell-out gin festival which kicked off the Wells Food Festival in style. The 2018 event – Let the Festival BeGIN, Fizz & Swing – will be held in the marquee next to The Bishop’s Barn in the Recreation Ground in Wells on Friday, October 12th from 6.30pm. Tickets cost £15 and include a free Rolling Cocktail drink, bag and glass. The food Company founders Matt festival takes place on Sunday, and Kelly Knight October 14th. Matt Knight, co-founder of the Rolling Cocktail Company, said “We can’t wait to kick off this year’s Wells Food Festival – an amazing event in itself. “We’ve made some tweaks to make our event even better this year. We’ve added a swing band as well as a few other surprises to complement the fantastic array of local gin producers and displays from local artists.” ● Mendip Times readers can save 10% on festival tickets by entering MT10 at the checkout before Saturday, September 29th. Book now at: www.therollingcocktailco.com

PUB | RESTAURANT | SMOKEHOUSE MENU INCLUDES FOOD FROM OUR ON-SITE SMOKEHOUSE. FOR BOOKINGS OR INFORMATION, TEL: 01934 444333 Open for Lunch: 12noon – 2pm – Tuesday – Sunday Dinner: 6pm – 9pm – Tuesday – Saturday Closed Sunday evenings and Monday

We have recently opened the shop to sell our smoked foods as well as a selection of cheeses, charcuterie and local produce. Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks and Cakes are served in the shop or outside in the garden. Open: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 5.00pm

For information about The Smokehouse – Tel: 01934 712346 WHEATSHEAF INN | STONE ALLERTON AXBRIDGE BS26 2NH | 01934 444333 www.valleysmokehouse.com PAGE 26 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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GARDEN FOOD

Pattypan squashes

IT'S the first year I've tried growing these rather unusual looking summer squashes and they have done really well – noticeably healthier and more productive than my other kinds of courgette and tastier too, to my mind at least. With JAKE The English name and French WHITSON names seem to have similar derivations – with pattypan referring to a kind of pan you cook a patty in (which they supposedly resemble) and pâtisson deriving from a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mould. You are supposed to harvest them when they are around two-three inches in diameter and use them exactly like a courgette, though to be honest they grow so fast that I never manage to catch them at that stage! However, even at the stage pictured, when they can be a kilo or more, I find them firm and nutty, with tender skins, and not at all watery like an overgrown courgette. Because of this, they shrink much less in the pan than courgettes and are more filling. I like to make a simple ratatouille with them, varying the ingredients depending on what's in the garden. Usually this means an onion and some garlic, sliced and gently sweated in olive oil until much reduced, sweet and tangled. Then I add the cubed patty pan squashes and sweat until well cooked. A few chopped ripe tomatoes added for the last few minutes with a splash of water will create a lovely sauce and, of course, if I happen to have some aubergines or peppers those will definitely be added too. I like to serve my ratatouille with home-made pesto, or sometimes just a scattering of basil leaves, and rice. The surplus pattypans (of which there are many) get cubed, sweated down in olive oil, and frozen in small Tupperwares – these are very welcome in the winter stirred into pasta dishes and soups. 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: www.chaosfungorum.co.uk

FOOD & DRINK

WILD FOOD

Chicken supreme?

NO, not some over-plump poultry but a delicious edible green called fat hen! It’s not often that you find a plant that has an edible namesake. The similarities don’t end there though. Like chicken it is incredibly common, readily available, full of nutrients and tastes With ADRIAN good. It doesn’t produce eggs though, which BOOTS is a shame as I do love eggs which I prefer to chicken any day of the week. Fat hen pops up everywhere and I mean all over the place particularly on nutrient-rich cultivated ground which is most likely to be your garden or veg plot. You’ve probably cut it down, weeded it, chucked it on the compost heap and not given it a second thought. Like chicken, this plant was introduced and up until a couple of hundred years ago was the spinach of the day. In fact when spinach was eventually introduced, poor fat hen was sent packing from the cultivated plant world’s version of the coop, consigned to the compost heap of history. Fat hen (Chenopodium Album) is an annual plant growing up to one metre. Unhelpfully the leaves are very variable but are generally triangular, roughly rounded with the distinctive chicken footlike appearance. The whole plant narrows to the top where a key identification feature is the white meal that covers the stem on young plants. The flowers appear from the leaf joints on small spikes. It hybridises readily with other members of the Goosefoot family which might explain its variability. What you don’t want to do is confuse it with any of the nightshade family of plants. Very common, fat hen grows on pretty much any disturbed or cultivated ground and is available May to October. Given that we’ve been talking about how this plant was the forerunner to spinach, I think it’s only fair to treat it in the same way. After collecting your fat hen leaves and washing them, dry off and gently cook in butter and oil. They will wilt down like spinach so you’ll need a good handful or two especially if you are cooking for more than one person. Once cooked, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and serve on thick toast or a bagel with. . . ready . . . (no, not chicken this time) a couple of soft poached eggs on top. Adrian Boots is a Landscape Ecologist, Wild Food Forager and Adventure Activity provider. You can visit his website: www.gowildactivities.co.uk to learn more about wild food foraging and activities you can do with him on the Mendip Hills.

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A traditional butchers with an eye on the future APPRENTICE butcher Robin Davies is learning his craft from not one, but two generations of the same family in Westfield. Robin works at G. Mitchard and Sons which has maintained the same high standards and traditional values as when it was opened in 1913 by Gilbert Mitchard. Gilbert worked in the early days as a miner by night and as a butcher in the daytime. Today, Gilbert’s grandson Brian runs Mitchards along with his wife Barbara and their eldest son Chris, who joined the business when he was 18. The shop, on Elm Terrace, is famous for its beef, pork and lamb from local farms and for its award-winning sausages made from pigs reared on Mendip.

Brian and Chris Mitchard inside the shop with Robin Davies (third left) and fellow butcher Tim Harris

Robin Davies (second left) and butcher Tim Harris are flanked by Brian and Chris Mitchard

Their faggots, burgers and pies have also won many prizes, whilst their pork pies have come top of their class in regional butchery competitions for seven years running. One of the summer’s most popular lines has been their homemade Scotch eggs. Robin, of Farmborough, joined Mitchards at the end of last year and is a former chef. He said: “I enjoy all aspects of the job.” For those who want to entertain in style, Mitchards will cook a whole pig for people to serve at home or at a works function, but don’t want an on-site hog roast. They also offer a cutting service for customer’s own individual animals such as pigs or lambs to turn into items such as joints or sausages if required as well as curing hams and bacon. Chris said: “We are very proud to have been going as a family business since 1913. Our motto is that we have always offered quality meat at affordable prices.”

Quality Meat at Affordable Prices

• All beef, pork and lamb from local farms • Prize-winning sausages, pies, pork pies and faggots • Scotch Eggs

• Gold awards for our home-cured bacon • Home-produced cooked meats • Freezer orders taken

PAGE 28 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

www.gmitchardandsons.co.uk

Pigs cooked by us for you to serve yourself


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The Crown at Churchill

THE Crown Inn at Churchill is a proper, traditional pub, tucked away at the back of the village on what used to be the Bristol to Plymouth coach road. It may look as if time has passed it by, but landlord Brian Clements has been busy since he took over five years ago replacing the roof, the electrics and the plumbing. Before that he was a brewer with Butcombe for 29 years. He said: “It’s been rebuilt without changing its essence. Old values are important and we haven’t done anything that would change the character of The Crown.” That’s reflected in the huge range of real ales on offer straight from the barrel and a choice of ciders and wines. There’s hearty lunchtime food from 12noon until 2.30pm and pretty gardens and patios to enjoy it in or roaring log fires in the winter. Brian’s wife, Karen, is in charge of the kitchen. They don’t accept cards or do food in the evening. The pub is particularly popular with locals, walkers and mountain bikers. Some are already preparing for one of the pub’s most popular traditional events – the sloe gin competition on the last Sunday in December, which has been held for more than 30 years.

FOOD & DRINK

Intimate, quirky and fun

THE Pickled Inn, on Queens Road in Evercreech, might not be the largest pub and eaterie on Mendip but it more than makes up for that with its abundance of character and charm. Already popular for its Sunday lunches and its evening and Saturday lunch menus, the Pickled Inn is now offering food on Tuesday to Friday lunchtimes as well (it is open for drinks on Monday evenings). Colourful and quirky at the The Pickled Inn is now Pickled Inn gaining a widespread reputation as an ideal venue for weddings, civil ceremonies and other functions with seating room for up to 30 in the separate dining area. Sarah said: “We like to think of the Pickled Inn as intimate, bijou and quirky – whether it’s a wedding reception or people just popping in for a weekday meal, a drink and a chat.” The decision to start serving food on weekdays has not stopped Richard from pursuing his love of seeking out unusual and quirky items to decorate the inn; his latest acquisition being a large – working – model aircraft, which hangs from the ceiling. It even has landing lights!

Serving food

Tues-Fri: 12-3pm & 5-8pm; Sat: 12-8pm • Sun: 12-6pm (Sunday lunches our speciality) Bar open Tues-Sun from 12 (6pm on Mon)

Relax over a pint, have a snack or enjoy a full meal

Now licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies

Details: Crown Inn, The Batch, Skinners Lane, Churchill BS25 5PP • 01934 8529945

Regular live music (open mic night every second Thurs)

The Pickled Inn, Queens Road, Evercreech, Somerset BA4 6JR Tel: 07557 648219 • Find us on Facebook MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 29


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Wells means “local”

WITH more than 150 stalls, the Artisan Market at this year’s Wells Food Festival on Sunday, October 14th might be at the heart of the celebrations, but there is a lot more to explore for all the family. In the town hall at 11am, an important debate will address the topic “It’s Time We Talked About Local Food”. Highlyrespected speakers will address the question from four different points of view. There’s a journey of food discovery in the Charlie Bigham’s Discovery Zone, located next to and in the Bishop’s Barn. A “soapbox” will play host to a variety of speakers throughout the day and there will be three fun and interactive areas for all the family including: Field to Fork – focusing on where our local food actually comes from; Waste Not, Want Not – looking at how we can combat food waste, as individuals and groups and Sustainable Food and Farming – exploring some of the food sources currently available that use sustainable farming methods such as seaweed and aquaponics. Meanwhile, the Bath & West Farmyard, complete with farm animals, aims to show where our food comes from whilst also looking at the challenges that the farmer faces in getting food to our plates. In addition to the piglets, sheep and chickens, kids will love the activities organised by Noah’s Ark Pre-School. Over in the Sauerkrautathon marquee, visitors will be needed to help chop more than 300 kilos of cabbages to try to secure a Guinness World Record place with the largest recorded dish of sauerkraut to be made.

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A new network for the food and drink sector

FOOD & DRINK

purpose-built premises. FARMING is the prime form of food manufacturing across the The highly-spec’d three-phase powered kitchen has more than Mendips with some well-known brands leading the charge on a 8m² of worktop preparation area and offers an extensive range of national and global stage; but how do small emerging foodie catering equipment which includes a six-hob burner oven, griddle businesses dip their toe in the water without drowning under the and fryer with an additional combination oven and a fast-multiplethora of regulation and prohibitive cost of specialist premises? cycle dishwasher. There are two refrigeration units and a freezer To help create the next generation of Thatchers, Lye Cross, Yeo unit to provide flexible working for Valley or Wykes the Royal Bath & users of the kitchen. West Society thinks it has come up with Emma Corr, the Society’s Innovation a solution through its Rural Enterprise Manager, says the development kitchen Centre as it strives to support is a perfect facility for young foodie innovation in agriculture and food businesses to move off the kitchen manufacturing. table and into a semi-commercial The creation of the Bath & West environment: “We know that new food “Food & Drink Business Network” has and drink businesses struggle to find demonstrated the need to provide suitable premises from where to tangible business support for emerging small food and drink businesses so that operate without committing to leases the business-owner has the confidence and rents that the business cannot yet to invest to grow without overstretching Mary Prior, 2017/18 president of the show society, afford. opens the centre financially. “Our development kitchen is the In support of the new network, the society has opened a perfect flexible facility to help to act as a spring board from the development kitchen that is available to hire on a daily or weekly kitchen table to a full-blown commercial food manufacturing unit basis for a fully inclusive price, with no hidden extras. The facility with all the overheads that it entails.” ● For more information on this exciting opportunity for food is set to be a hub for food and drink businesses to use for product businesses in the Mendips and beyond, please contact Emma Corr development, small-scale manufacturing, training and catering. It aims to provide small food and drink businesses the opportunity to on 01749 822212 or emma.corr@bathandwest.co.uk or visit the website http://bathandwestinnovation.com/development-kitchen grow and increase productivity, without the need to invest in

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 31


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Wedding and Celebration cake specialist, offering a personal and friendly service. We make cakes for every occasion, each one is homemade, individually designed and created just for you. Contact us with your requirements or to book a Wedding cake consultation. Other services available: * Children’s cupcake parties * Candy/Treat cart hire * Wedding favours * Wedding cake stand hire * Vintage China hire *Afternoon tea / Cream teas catered for * Other event hire items available

01278 723290 / 07717414792

fordylin@yahoo.co.uk • www.lindas-cake-co.co.uk

PAGE 32 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Dreamy cakes

LINDA Bright runs Linda's Cake Co, specialising in bespoke wedding and celebration cakes. She has been involved in catering for many years and her love for baking progressed into cake decorating. She has attended many cake decorating courses and workshops and decided four years ago to start up her own cake business. She said: “I am a firm believer that cakes should be delicious as well as beautiful, which is why I choose my ingredients carefully and offer an extensive range of flavours. “I have been awarded a 5* hygiene rating for my catering kitchen. I also have a cake studio for collections and consultations, based in the heart of beautiful Somerset. “I look forward to making your dream cake.”


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Multiple award winners

FOOD & DRINK

SOMERSET Charcuterie, based in Wrington, have just celebrated four years of trading by winning a host of awards. Specialising in cured meats, salami and chorizo (with all meat sourced from Somerset farmers) they are utterly focused on producing the best possible quality and being recognised as the leading artisan producer of British charcuterie. Their efforts have been rewarded again this year as they have brought home three Great Taste awards and three more from the recent British Charcuterie awards. Highly recommended are the Fennel Salami and the Culatello. Both multi-award winning products compete with some of the best that the Italian and Spanish producers have to offer. Christmas is already happening in Wrington as the small team prepares for their busiest time of the year. Gift boxes, Christmas table treats and, in case you ever fancied learning how to make your own, there are charcuterie making courses at the farm. Email: Info@somersetcharcuterie.com

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Dear Mendip Times, On July 10th, 1968, I was living in Bath and working as a wholesale florist. I got up at 4am and my mother told me it had thundered and rained for hours. I left home at 5am and drove into Bath to pick up my lorry. All seemed fine until I came to the Windsor Castle pub. The road was full of large blocks of stone where some garden walls had been washed away. Just along the road the ponds at Victoria Park were overflowing and there was a rush of water across the road. There was no traffic about and I drove towards Bristol Market. At the bottom of Saltford Hill there was a bank of gravel washed down from The Glen. At Keynsham, the police had blocked the road because the bridge was gone; luckily, the Kenysham bypass had just opened. In Bristol, the lorry drivers from Somerset were diverted because of Pensford Bridge having gone. When I left the market at 8am, I was told that the Avon was high and Bedminster was starting to

Mendip farm flood memories

OVER the years, on their farm at the top of Burrington Combe, the Weaver family had coped with all sorts of dramas, including a fire that gutted the farmhouse, as well as heavy snow during two of the worst winters in living memory, but they never imagined that they’d have to contend with flash flooding too. However, on July 10th, 1968 after a day of torrential rain which fell on already saturated ground, a cascade of water rushed across the hills and fields behind the farm, built up in a road hollow, swept across the Home Field that had recently been cut and crashed through the yard fence, sending torrents of muddy water and stubble across the cow yard and into the outbuildings and farmhouse. It seemed as if the water followed the course of an old river from the hills down through the farm to Burrington Combe, as some of the buildings were inundated and some were totally unscathed by the flooding. My dad, Keith Weaver, could vividly recall the frightening force of the water, swirling around him up to his chest and how hard he had to grip onto the yard gate to save him from being swept away as he watched the engine of the farm van get totally submerged in water. The strength of the water did wash pigs off their feet and out of the barn window where they went “swimming” across the

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LETTERS

flood. When I drove back the Chew was still a torrent and the sports ground was flooded at Keynsham. I had to see a customer at Atworth in Wiltshire – Frank Mitchell at Cottles Nursery. When I got there I could not believe my eyes; during the night there was a deluge and then hailstones the size of musket balls had smashed every pane of glass in his greenhouses. Frank heard the sound of smashing glass and ran out of his house. He was hit by some of the hail and luckily his wife was able to drag him, unconscious, indoors. He asked me if I had seen a field of barley on the next farm. The farmer told him the barley had been threshed and the crop lost, like Frank’s tomato crop. Coming back into Bath, the Avon was in full flood and Lower Bristol Road was blocked. My local was The Dolphin, a canalside pub that was flooded very winter, but this was July; as a point of honour, they never closed. The locals supported them and, when I got home, I donned my wellies and waded into the pub! After supper I went to bed and thought I would never see a day like that again. Yours, Steve Billett, Wells

farm paddock to Burrington Combe. My mum Ruth remembers how the water gushed through the front porch into the farmhouse, until it was three or four feet high in the downstairs rooms. It all happened so quickly that my parents, granny and brother hardly had time to carry belongings upstairs so that they didn’t get spoiled. The violent thunderstorm continued into the evening and my brother John, ten years old at the time, recollects watching the sheet lightning reflected on the flood waters outside. By then, the electricity had gone off and the three of them huddled upstairs by candlelight with some of their rescued belongings, including the TV and several cats, one with her kittens. During the night, the water subsided leaving a thick layer of silty mud and stubble everywhere, up the walls, on the furniture and in the bottom of the cooker, freezers and fridges in the Old Dairy. Many irreplaceable photos in the bottom of the sideboard were particularly badly damaged, but afterwards kept as a reminder of the event for many years. The very next day, in spite of the mess left behind by the flood, the Weavers, along with Jim and Derek Lay who worked on the farm, still had to milk the cows, see to the other animals and get on with the dairy work, including washing bottles and bottling milk by hand. In the

Alison and her mum

midst of clearing up, Ruth and Keith still had to deliver milk to their customers around Blagdon and surrounding villages. Ruth distinctly remembers customers saying to them “You’re late!” when they finally got out on the milk round after the flood and also talks about how shocked and disbelieving customers looked when they heard that the Weavers had been flooded at Lower Ellick Farm. To help with the cleaning up after the flood, my sister Elaine and I were brought home from boarding school. During that week, we remember driving up to Velvet Bottom one afternoon and seeing where the force of the water had swept away the road across the “gruffy gound” near the old Roman lead mines. In the newly eroded banks were large pieces of what we believed to be Roman pottery, including a seemingly intact vase. As “good citizens” we left them where they were, but often wondered what happened to them later! Alison Johnson


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Nunney Street Fayre

EVENTS Helping the ducks along

Cherry Red on stage in front of Nunney Castle

Dress sense: Destiny Jordan was running a stall opposite but happily posed in her lemon-themed dress at Hannah’s Traditional Lemonade stand Head and shoulders above the crowd

Signposting the way to some of the day’s main attractions

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Angie Parker designs her colourful rugs on her loom in her Bristol studio before they are hand woven in India using recycled plastic bottles Hilary Allom (left) and Janey Bramley were part of the team selling teas and cakes in the church


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Holcombe Gala Afternoon

Holcombe Brownies cool off whilst tempting visitors to try their hook-a-duck game

Summer, aged five, and Kelley, aged seven, welcome visitors to the event A wave, a selfie and a pint – the tractor ride around the playing field

Jackson cools down after a go on the dog agility course

A cut above the rest? This 1933 MG K1 – owned since 1958 by Mike Brockway – really does have a stack of off-cut behind the front seats PAGE 38 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Westfield Ladies Choir were making their last appearance under that name. They relaunched as Westfield Voices at a concert at the end of July


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Carnival time in Barton St. David

Jane Sweetman, co-director and gardener with the village’s Plotgate farm project

Sheila Daniels, singer with the Shepton Mallet Big Band, regulars at the carnival

Enjoying a ride with the Weymouth and District Model Engineering Society

Lucy, Cerys and Molly with their winning entry in the Comic Penguin Painting competition

An eye for a bargain at the bric-a-brac stall

Sebastian (front) and Barnaby with their entries in the Penguin Painting competition

Magic, a six-year-old rescue dog who will be off to compete at Crufts, tackles the agility course

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CARRIE and Tony Osborne, who run Swan Artworks picture framers at Paulton, have a new dogsbody around – a gorgeous puppy call Ozzy. Named after rock musician Ozzie Osbourne – the couple are massive music fans and have a similarsounding surname Oz is quick to get the picture at Swan – the new arrival is Artworks delighting customers, friends and family with his playfulness. To celebrate the arrival of the newest member to the picture framing team, Swan Artworks will be offering 15% off bespoke framing of pet portraits through September. Carrie and Tony are well-known for tackling many unusual framing requests in an innovative way – they have framed dog collars and leads before as well as paintings of pets.

A celebration of Blake

Beki Nagle, the 2018 Bard of Glastonbury

GLASTONBURY has hosted its first festival celebrating the life and works of the pioneering poet William Blake. The three-day event was held at locations ranging from Glastonbury Abbey to the Market Cross and the King Arthur pub and featured music and readings either written by or inspired by the iconic Blake. It was organised by local writer Paul Weston, who has recently published a book about Blake and his influence on social movements and cultural changes called William Blake and the Glastonbury Gnosis.

Annabelle Marwick-Staff was amongst the readers at Glastonbury’s Market Cross

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Festival organiser Paul Weston

Roger and Mavis also gave readings


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ARTS AND ANTIQUES

Large numbers at Mendip Auction Room sale IN spite of being held at the height of summer, the recent sale of antiques and collectables held on August 11th saw excellent numbers of attendees viewing and attending the sale. With over 600 lots entered, it was a sale with something for everyone. There was an excellent entry of quality jewellery and the show was stolen by an Etruscan-style pendant with matching earrings that generated very strong interest from internet and telephone buyers. A battle between two on the phone eventually saw a hammer price of £9,000 achieved. Other jewellery selling to advantage included a white metal three stone diamond ring that realised £4,600, a white metal pair of single stone diamond stud earrings £2,800 and a cultured pearl four row choker £750. There was also strong interest for quality pictures particularly from within the room. A 19th century English School oil on canvas after J M W Turner of the Battle of St Vincent made £1,500 whilst a pair of 19th century Venetian Canal Scenes by W Meadows achieved £950.

Other pictures sold to advantage including a large contemporary oil on canvas of figures in Shakespearean costume by Stuart McAlpine Miller that realised £460. Viewers love to look at the variety of collectables, ceramics and smaller items on offer but there weren’t quite so many on offer at this sale. This helped prices with

militaria keenly wanted. A cast iron signalling cannon found in Mounts Bay, Cornwall made £380 whilst a Polynesian wooden paddle made £550. The next Antiques and Collectables sale will be held September 8th and entries are invited. There will also be a Sporting and Fine Wines Sale on the evening of September 27th.

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Bruton’s third fair promises so much

BRUTON Decorative Antiques Fair 2018 invites visitors to step back inside after a long hot summer with new and returning exhibitors ready to inspire for home decorating for the autumn and winter. Following the smash-hit launch in 2016, it’s now a firm fixture in the social calendar. The third fair will take place from October 19th-21st with some exciting new exhibitors and many eager returnees from 2017. The luxurious and spacious venue of Haynes Motor Museum will be an interior design hub spot with more than 50 exhibitors dealing in decorative antiques and mid-century design with an accent on home furnishing and embellishments. With a companion fair of the stature of Bath Decorative Antiques Fair to match, the fair has been quick to establish its very own style and atmosphere. Followers will be delighted to hear that antiques industry celebrity Mark Hill, BBC Antiques Roadshow expert, author and lecturer will return to Bruton for a Mark Hill Takeover on Saturday, October 20th. Mark Hill

Open arts judges announced GLASTONBURY Festival founder Michael Eavis has been announced as one of the judges of the prestigious Frome-based Black Swan Arts Open competition. He will join a panel of Steve Burden, 2016 winner of the Black Swan Arts Solo Show Prize; artist Sue Conrad; Debbie Hillyerd, director of education at Hauser & Wirth Somerset; and Johnny Messum, director and founder pioneer of Messums Wiltshire. Michael Eavis: thrilled to The Black Swan Arts Open is join the judging panel an annual competition for original artworks by established practitioners and emerging artists. Now in its 16th year, it has established a reputation for attracting and selecting diverse and innovative pieces. The 100 successful entries will be displayed in the Long Gallery at Black Swan Arts in Frome from October 19th to November 24th. Michael said: “It’s great to know there are so many brilliant artists who live and work in the area, and I’m thrilled to be asked to join this year’s judging panel.” For details visit www.blackswan.org.uk The deadline for submissions is September 14th.

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Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally expected to turn heads CLEVEDON Salerooms’ Quarterly Specialist Sale on September 6th will include this pair of life-size figures of the well-known TV Characters Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally from the popular Sunday teatime television series aired between 1979 until 1981.

Discovered in the cellar of a Bristol town house, the figures would appear to have been for promotional purposes. Worzel Gummidge is back in the news following the announcement that Mackenzie Crook will play the strawfilled character in what has been billed as a contemporary adaption of author Barbara Euphan Todd’s books. The inseparable pairing are being sold together with an estimate of £300 – £500. Following the recent success at Clevedon Salerooms of items direct from the family of celebrated architect C.F.A. Voysey, including the £13,600 paid for a blue-print of a letter from Voysey to his grandchildren, the September sale includes two sections of a historically documented William Morris embroidered panel, originally from the drawing room of Smeaton Manor in North Yorkshire. The larger of the two panels measures 210cm x 104cm and both were worked by Ada Phoebe Godman of Smeaton Manor between 1877 and 1900.

Estimated at £8,000 – £12,000 Clevedon Salerooms expect bids from private collectors as well as major institutions.

The fully illustrated online catalogue can be viewed now at www.clevedon-saleooms.com Every lot in every auction, illustrated and sold with live internet bidding

Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

FREE ANTIQUE VALUATION DAYS

Pair of 19th Century Meissen Pugs £1,000 - £1,500

10th 11th & 24th 25th September 9.30am–1pm and 2pm–5pm Held at the salerooms – no appointment necessary

Antiques, Interiors, Collectables & Jewellery Thursday 20th September

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 www.clevedon-salerooms.com

William Morris – Artichoke embroidered panel £8,000 - £12,000

18th Century satinwood framed rolled paper and ground glass hexagonal tea caddy £2,000 - £3,000

Quarterly Specialist Sale Thursday 6th September at 10.30am

Viewing Days: 4th September – 2pm – 5.30pm and 5th September – 10am – 6.30pm – Sale Day from 9am On line catalogue available now MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 43


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ARTIST-in-residence at The Bishop’s Palace, Edgar Phillips, is well known in Wells for his stunning stained-glass art which can be found in many locations in the city; the beautiful wings in the Palace Gardens, the iconic Rainbow Wings at the Glastonbury Festival, a moving window at St Joseph & St Teresa’s School. He has been working from the restored Apple Store in the Palace Gardens for the last two years and has been planning a large-scale project to bring to life one of the palace’s most famous stories. The tale of Bishop Jocelyn and his slaying of the Dragon of Worminster is much-loved amongst local residents and has been told in many ways over the years. Edgar had been in talks with the

palace to reproduce a stained glass version of the dragon to enhance the corner of the gardens nearest to his studio, but the artist was experiencing a strange type of “artist’s block”. Edgar explains: “Over the past three years, I have in all sorts of lights, weathers, moods, and even characters stared at the space where any selfrespecting dragon would show itself and nuffin, not a sausage! “I’ve looked at thousands of images of dragons, worms, wyrmes, wyverns, lizards, crocodiles, dinosaurs and snakes – all to no avail, nothing was speaking to me!” One day, Edgar realised that he had never visited the cathedral’s historic Chained Library and decided to pay it a visit to see if he would find any dragonbased inspiration amongst the ancient

Young artists’ success

THE Rotary Club of Mendip has awarded prizes to winning students who entered the Rotary Young Artist competition. Rotarian and head judge Richard Acreman warmly welcomed the entrants and guests and thanked Rebecca Weaving, head of the art department at the Kings of Wessex Academy, in Cheddar for her help in organising the event. He also thanked the judging panel which included Janet Travis. The winners and runners-up in each category were: photography winner Lily PAGE 44 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Bishop Jocelyn’s Crozier

tomes. The search proved to be fruitless, but as he was about to leave, he spotted a postcard with a wonderful swirling dragon-like figure within an old Bishop’s crozier. Thrilled with his postcard find, he thanked the staff and prepared to leave, only to be told that the actual crozier, belonging to Bishop Jocelyn himself and dating from the 13th century, was in a display case on the wall behind him. Edgar said: “My search was over. My mind was blown. I knew right then what to create, and how it would seamlessly integrate itself upon the palace wall in my mind like nothing had even remotely come close to in three years.” Edgar will now begin working on his creation, which he expects to be ready for the 800th anniversary of the building of the palace in 2020.

he young artists with Rotary president Adam Travis

Rigby, runner-up Sassi Carrington; painting winner Tabitha Fuller, runnerup Johannah Mathew; mixed media winner Drew Keyhoe, runner-up Holly

Slaymaker; sew vintage winner Erin Hemms, runner-up Bill Nash. From all the entries, Tabitha Fuller was selected as the overall winner.

(Photograph courtesy of Wells Cathedral)

Artist slays his demons


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Vintage galore at September sale COOPER and Tanner’s Specialist Antiques, Collectables and Vintage Fashion sale on Wednesday, September 5th will see several hundred pieces of vintage clothing, shoes, costume jewellery and various other related items sold. It is sure to attract lovers of both classic fashion and the more unusual too. The large proportion of the pieces in the sale come from a local deceased estate. Items range in age from 1940s to 1980s, with heavy influence from the ’60s and ’70s. Most of the items are ladies, however there are also some children’s and men’s pieces. It is not only clothing but also accessories that will be sold including shoes, handbags, costume jewellery, hats, stockings and much more. From 1970s yellow platform sandals to Welsh wool jackets, the range of lots is vast, and viewing is highly

recommended. A range of beautiful classic design house items have also been consigned for the sale, including a Liberty’s of

A pair of leather boots worn by Jimi Hendrix – estimate £2,500-3,500

London peacock feather print scarf and Hermes silk scarves. Previously sold at Bonhams, a pair of boots that belonged to Jimi Hendrix are included in the sale as well. The story goes that Hendrix played a concert in Worthing, which unfortunately was not a successful one; he left Worthing never to return, but he did leave his boots behind! These are entered for sale with an estimate of £2,500 to £3,500. All of this will be sold alongside the regular entries of furniture, jewellery, pictures, silver and other items. The sale takes place on Wednesday, September 5th at 10.30am and viewing is on Tuesday, September 4th from 9am to 6pm. A catalogue will be available via the-saleroom.com the week prior to the sale. Please contact the office for any further information on 01373 852419.

SALE ROOMS UPCOMING LOTS IN OUR SPECIALIST ANTIQUES, COLLECTABLES AND VINTAGE FASHION SALE 5TH SEPTEMBER AT 10:30AM VIEWING 4TH SEPTEMBER 9AM TO 6PM

A pair of vintage yellow 1970s ladies Sacha platform sandals – estimate £20-30 A 1970s Charles Creed dress in colourful "rainbow" type printed material, to be sold together with four other dresses – estimate £25-35

A Liberty Peacock Feather print scarf to be sold together with a quantity of ladies headscarves, shawls, handkerchiefs and other scarves includes Hermes, Jacqmar, Jaeger and others – estimate £50-70

A Welsh Woollens woven wool ladies jacket – estimate £20-40 An early 1960s ladies two piece outfit, to be sold with two other two piece outfits – estimate £20-30

A decorative cloth handbag with wooden handle, to be sold as part of a lot with other handbags – estimate £15-25

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 Gareth.wasp@cooperandtanner.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 45


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Advance warning – artists at work!

SOMERSET Open Studios 2018 draws Somerset Art Weeks back to its roots, focusing on artists in their working environment. Featuring more than 300 artists and makers in some 200 venues, Somerset Open Studios runs from Saturday, September 15th to Sunday, September 30th and presents a rare opportunity to view established, new and emerging artists for free in their working environment. Come along and browse, buy an artwork or place a personal commission for a special piece. This year, the Mendip area alone will be hosting more than 50 open studios in a variety of settings, including established venues, small individual studios and special pop-ups. The event aims to support artists who want to work professionally and are looking to promote their creative businesses across a range of disciplines: books, ceramics, drawing, film, furniture, glass, jewellery, metalwork, mixed media, painting, prints, photography, pottery, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and wood. ● Somerset Art Weeks is a registered charity and membership organisation and Somerset's only countywide agency dedicated to developing the visual arts. It is supported by the Arts Council of England. For details, visit: www.somersetartworks.org.uk

New for Open Studios

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SCULPTOR Ian Marlow will be opening his studio and sculpture garden at Buckland Dinham for Somerset Art Weeks this year. Ian says he likes to do something new for the Open Studios event and this year he will be exhibiting the first of a new range of bronze sculptures. The first will be a stylised ammonite. He said: “I like the challenges and opportunities that different materials offer me as a sculptor. I haven't worked in bronze for about ten years and it felt the right time to explore this medium again.” Joining Ian for the exhibition will be fellow artist Hilary Farthing. Hilary is a painter and textile artist living and working in central Somerset. Her work evolves from an emotional response to a subject, combined with a lifelong love of the landscape and the changing seasons. Using oil and mixed media she paints to capture moments, real and imaginary. Hilary`s current work reflects her love of walking in Somerset, Cornwall One of Hilary’s works on show at and Provence. Buckland Dinham


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Inspired by the West Country

SOMERSET ART WEEKS

JULIA Davey works from a small studio situated in the countryside a few miles south of Bath in beautiful Shoscombe. As part of Somerset Art Weeks she is opening its doors to the public who can come and see how she illustrates her delicate fine bone china tableware. All of Julia’s designs start as watercolours and are then applied by hand using transfer decoration. Inspired by the West Country the collections feature woodland animals, Somerset meadows and chickens – to name but a few – and prices start Julia at work at £6 for an egg cup. Alongside these ceramics Julia will be selling textiles and homewares which are also created using her designs. Neighbour and friend Sarah Rogers is going to be exhibiting fine sculptural ceramics in the same venue and they are offering small group workshops at weekends. For details on location, opening hours and workshops visit Julia's website www.juliadavey.com or telephone 01225 738551.

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RAF centenary service

CONTINUING the events to mark the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force, a service commemorating the Battle of Britain and the Royal Air Force’s contributions to subsequent conflicts will be held at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells at 10.15am on Sunday, September 16th. The service is supported by the Mid-Somerset Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association in conjunction with local RAF air cadet squadrons. The vicar of St Cuthbert, the Rev Samuel Denyer, and the MidSomerset Branch chaplain, the Rev Lyn Morris, will officiate. The service will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the church war memorial. The Lord Lieutenant of Somerset will be represented and local civic and military dignitaries will attend. All friends of the Royal Air Force are invited to participate.

Threat to village shop

WINFORD Parish Council have called a public meeting to discuss the possible closure of the village shop and post office, saying “it is no longer commercially viable in its present form”. It urges parishioners: “If a solution is to be found it will need everyone to pull together. If you value the services a village shop and/or post office can offer the community and want something to replace it, then you must get involved.” “The council has organised a meeting where you can come along and offer your support, ideas and help.” It will be held at Winford Village Hall on Monday, September 10th, at 7pm.

Sunshine radio

GLASTONBURY Festival founder, Michael Eavis, has opened the newly refurbished studio for Sunshine Hospital at Weston General Hospital. The £25,000 renovation took two years of fundraising and the completion of the work has perfectly coincided with the station’s 40th anniversary, as well as the NHS 70 celebrations. Michael Eavis said: "You've raised an amazing amount and what a tremendous job! You should all be very proud." Jo Newey, chair of Sunshine Hospital Radio, said: "It's taken a lot of hard work and determination from our volunteers to get to this point, but the goal of entertaining the patients and bringing smiles to the wards has always been a powerful incentive."

Details: www.sunshinehospitalradio.co.uk

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Paulton prepares to remember

NEWS

The service pays tribute to the 23 men killed in the crash on September 17th, 1944

SPECIAL tributes will be included as part of the 40th Double Hills Memorial Service near Paulton on Sunday, September 2nd. The annual event commemorates the crash of a glider on its way to the Battle of Arnhem, killing the two pilots and 21 Royal Engineers on board. Everyone is welcome to attend the service, which begins at 1.45pm. This year’s event will also pay tribute to the crew of the Stirling bomber which was towing the Horsa glider in recognition of the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force. And the work of memorial founder and director Peter Yeates – who as a seven-year-old witnessed the mass armada of aircraft flying over the area on the day of the crash – will also be recognised. Peter is due to be joined at the service by guests of honour including Colonel Alex Willman, Colonel and Commandant of the Army Air Corps Aviation Centre and local MP Jacob ReesMogg. Current and former service personnel – including members of the newly-formed Glider Pilot Regiment Society – are also expected to attend.

Peter Yeates at last year’s service, held in church due to bad weather


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Hot off the press – new digital printing at Maxwell House MAXWELL House Printers, the printing specialist based just outside Weston-super-Mare, has invested in a state-of-the-art printer, which will provide enhanced efficiency for bespoke printing. The new Konica Minolta 1060 digital printing press combines high-speed colour printing production with an extensive range of finishing options. This allows Maxwell House to print bespoke designs quicker than ever before, without compromising on quality. The printing press also offers superb quality colour production, bringing colour designs to life and helping the client’s marketing material and printed stationary to stand out from the crowd. Managing director, Andrew Sweet, said: “Thanks to the impressive experience of the team at Maxwell House, the possibilities are almost endless in terms of the products that

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can be printed. With the added Konica Minolta printing press, quality will be enhanced for the most popular choices including booklets, brochures and leaflets.” Maxwell House Printers was established in 1960 as a family business and continues to offer high quality printing solutions to this day. Ideally located to serve customers across Somerset and beyond, the team can design and print bespoke products that are completely unique – including business cards, letterheads, leaflets, booklets, marketing material and stationery for special occasions.


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Local travel agent is best in Britain MILES Morgan Travel were crowned the best in the whole of the UK at a glitzy awards ceremony in London. The agent with a shop in Wells had its most successful night ever, with a total of three awards at the premier travel award night of the year. Managing director, Miles Morgan, received an "Outstanding Contribution to the Travel Industry" award in recognition of not only the success of Miles Morgan Travel, but also his work for the industry as a whole – including being a board member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents). The company then won the Best Travel Agent for the South West and Wales for an unprecedented third year before their major accolade, Best Travel Agent in the UK. Miles Morgan said: "I was totally overwhelmed, we beat TUI, Thomas Cook, Trailfinders, Flight Centre, the list goes on. These companies are much more established than us and certainly have a lot more shops." He puts the success down to his staff: "I am so proud of the staff at Miles Morgan

BUSINESS

Pictured (l to r) Lucy Huxley, Travel Weekly, Mandy Shillito, general manager MMT, Miles Morgan, Louise Jackson, gold medal and Rob Beckett comedian/presenter

Travel, their knowledge is exceptional but their genuine interest in looking after our customers and their holidays is what sets us apart from others." Local manager, Margaret Moulton, said: "When I first heard, I was so shocked. We work very hard for our customers but for that to be recognised as being the best in the UK is nothing short of incredible, we

are so proud. "I would like to thank all our customers in Wells for their support. We love looking after you and thanks to your loyalty and bookings we have come out the Best of the Best. It's wonderful." Miles Morgan Travel was established in 2006 and has 15 shops around the West Country and South Wales.

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 51


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MENDIP TIMES

CAMELEY LODGE LAUNDRY

Page 52

LECATCHER MO

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

Tel 01761 451787

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NO MOLE NO FEE Telephone 01761 417100 www.mendipmolecatcher.co.uk

• Funeral Services and Arrangements • A Range of Funeral Packages from just £1,767 • Funeral Plans from just £1,844

Our Funeral Services include:

“Very understanding and helpful and I would recommend this company to others and already have. It's a tricky subject to deal with and Rod took me through all of it like a human being not just another customer for which I am very grateful.” David M. “As a family with a great sense of humour it was really encouraging to find a funeral director who wasn't fazed with our take on life and death, after all everyone dies at some time or other. We were lucky with dad who lived until he was 97. The service we had from Wells Funeral Services was first class we would highly recommend them. Thanks, Rod!” Harry P.

What our customers say about us:

www.wellsfuneralservices.co.uk

07149 670100 PAGE 52 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Mendip’s new molecatcher

PAUL Middle is the new Mendip Molecatcher. He took over the business from Bob Woodbury just a few weeks ago in the middle of June. He said: “I have known Bob for many years and had watched the business grow with great interest and I was really delighted when I was given the chance to take over from Bob when he decided to retire and hang up his traps.” Paul has been connected to the Chew Valley area all his life, being a farmer’s son from Litton. He attended Chew Valley School and Cannington College, did fencing for many years and also worked on a fish farm in Wales. He also spent many summers working as a gillie on a salmon river in Norway and has spent the last 16 years building play parks in schools across the country. His main interests are fishing and shooting. This is his 50th year of fishing Chew and Blagdon lakes for trout and he also does game-keeping part-time for a pheasant shoot around the grounds of his family’s carp fishery. He said: “I am really excited to have taken over as The Mendip Molecatcher and I will endeavour to keep the business going to the same high standard that Bob and Lyn did and welcome both previous and new customers.”

Funeral firm’s own free will

AWARD-winning funeral director Wells Funeral Services is offering a free will writing service in September. WFS owner Rod Major said: “Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and the statistics about people who have not had a will prepared are quite staggeringly low. We thought we should offer to do something about it.” Civil celebrant Nicky Sutton, who works alongside Rod, is also a specialist will writer and will draw up one free will per household. Rod has been a regular sight on his stall at the Wednesday market in Wells for many months now, but shoppers will get to know a new face in the coming weeks with Theresa Trask joining Wells Funeral Services; Theresa is training to be a funeral director also. Testimonials about Wells Funeral Services’ high standards of customer care and their friendly, open approach recently included: “Very understanding and helpful and I would recommend this company to others and already have. It's a tricky subject to deal with and Rod took me through all of it like a human being not just another customer of which I am very grateful.”


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Local professional printing service

BUSINESS

GENI Printing, based in Chew Stoke, prides itself in providing a high quality design, print and publishing service. Ever conscious of competition, Geni makes every effort in keeping prices affordable. They are accredited members of The British Association for Printing & Communication (UK) and Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce. Geni Printing has been established for 48 years and has many personal and business customers, the majority of whom come from the West Country, including, Bristol, Bath and the Mendips. Geni also specialises in printing and publishing books for schools throughout the UK.

“State of the art” Konica Minolta digital colour presses ensure a 1300 dpi, high resolution print quality. Geni offers a wide range of various stocks, including silk, textured, linen, satin, pinstripe, hammer, pearlescent and parchment papers and boards. All these can be supplied at reasonable cost and are certainly cheaper than those found on the average High Street. If not in stock, anything unusual can be ordered, normally arriving the next day, supplied by one of four major national companies. Geni has a comprehensive array of finishing machinery which includes laminators, binders, creasers, guillotines, folders etc. Some of their unusual jobs in the past include printing personalised invitations for the Banksy Exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, London Taximeter instruction booklets and fishing permits for Loch Ness! Ironically, many “would-be” customers pass their premises on their way to town and city hubs for printing services every day, not realising that they have a very high quality printing provider on their doorstep. Geni is always happy to freely advise on printing matters, without customers feeling obliged to purchase. Details: For a friendly, professional and excellent service, contact Geni Printing on 01275 333895 or visit their website: www.geniprinting.co.uk. You won’t be disappointed!

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 53


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Single and looking for a social life? Then come and join us at S.P.A. Single Social Group Wells & Mendip branch We are an energetic and enthusiastic group of single people who enjoy organised events including a weekly social night in Wells, meals out, skittles, walks, parties, NT visits, dancing, weekend breaks and holidays. We are a friendly group and extend a warm welcome to new members.

Stonemason

Mark is an expert stonemason building and restoring walls of natural stone across Somerset and the South West. He also offers a range of landscaping services.

His many projects and customer feedback can be found at https://markhamlin.co.uk

e-Mail: mark@markhamlin.co.uk Tel: 01934 835919 • Mob: 07976 018653

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Licensed Waste Carrier Single items to whole houses, garages and gardens cleared For a free no obligation quote, please call

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Balloon flights over the Chew Valley, Mendips and Somerset Levels

toolhireltd.co.uk 01275 332693

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Winford Business Park, Chew Road, Winford BS40 8HJ PAGE 54 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

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).


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Hudson s Supplies and Service Heating, Plumbing

BUSINESS

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.

HUDSON PLUMBING AND HEATING SERVICES LIMITED

BRISTOL DRAINS LIMITED

Tel: 0117 902 5820 • Fax: 0117 964 4666 Email: info@hudsonplumbing.co.uk 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: info@bristoldrains.com 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

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 55


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Inheritance tax – how much do you wish to pay? THE government rakes in massive amounts of Inheritance Tax every year not all of which it deserves to receive if people had the time and inclination to organise their financial affairs. If you wish to gift your hard won assets to HMRC this article is not you. Otherwise read on. Here are some potential tax saving tactics: Give away gifts of up to £3,000 tax-free Everyone in Britain can give away small gifts, such as Christmas or birthday presents, worth up to £3,000 tax-free. This price cap is known as an annual exemption and can be carried forward to the following tax year, but only for one year. Gifts can include wedding or civil ceremony presents of up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild or greatgrandchild, and £5,000 for a child), payments to help with another person’s living costs, such as an elderly relative or a child under 18, and Christmas or birthday presents. Downsize and give your children the cash One of the main planks of inheritance tax is that it applies to assets you own at death – but it also applies to assets given away in the seven years before your death. This is to prevent "deathbed" giving as a way to avoid the tax. Tax on assets above the tax-free

threshold, which is £325,000 per person or twice that for married or civil partnership couples, £650,000, is applied at 40pc. Since April 2017, individuals can claim an additional allowance of £100,000 to offset the sale of a family home on death, on top of their existing £325,000 inheritance tax exemption. This allowance will rise to £175,000 by 2020, allowing a couple to pass on £1m estates tax-free. As a result, if you are planning to give away large assets such as property, or very large sums of cash resulting from the sale of property, you need to live on after the gift for seven years in order for it to be free of tax. Within that seven-year period tax is applied at a sliding rate. This tactic might not work if you have given away an asset such as property and then continue to live in it without potentially running into "gift with reservation" rules. To avoid this problem you would need either to pay market rent to the new owners (probably your children) or find somewhere else to live. Selling property and downsizing is, as well as a tax decision, also an investment decision: property might continue to grow in value more than cash so in the event of your downsizing (perhaps several years ago) it might have been better to continue owning the bigger property and pay

BUSINESS

inheritance tax than to cash in and move to a smaller property. Use a deed of variation to pass inheritances on to your children This is a useful tactic that is little understood. It involves the recipient of money or other assets in a Will passing these assets straight on to another beneficiary.This usually works where the first recipient already owns assets worth more than the £325,000 (£650,000 for a married couple) tax-free threshold. A deed of variation along these lines requires the consent of every beneficiary mentioned in the first Will, and needs to be completed within two years of the person's death. Write a Will – failure to do so could leave you with an avoidable IHT bill Irrespective of whether or not it is intended to make savings on Inheritance Tax it is always prudent to make a Will. The problem is that where Wills don't exist, assets are handed out according to a set of rules laid down in legislation (the rules of intestacy). This could land you with a tax bill. Edward Lyons

Email: enquiries@lyonslaw.co.uk Website: www.lyonslaw.co.uk Telephone: 01275 332168 An established and progressive law firm providing a personal and cost-effective legal service for commercial and individual clients. ● Family & Divorce Law ● Co-habitation disputes ● Inheritance disputes ● Wills and Living Wills ● Powers of Attorney ● Administration of Trusts ● Property – sales and purchases Chew Magna 01275 332168 PAGE 56 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

OFFICES AT: Westbury-on-Trym 0117 950 6506

Kingswood 0117 967 5252


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EVENTS

Golden age of steam – and any other railway

HUNDREDS of enthusiasts packed Wells Town Hall for the annual Railwells model railway exhibition. The 41st annual show marked the 50th anniversary of the organisers, Wells Railway Fraternity, and raises money for the Railway Children charity. Amongst the 16 featured layouts was Clutton, built by Tim Venton. It depicts part of the village on the Bristol and North Somerset line in the early 1950s. The show was its last public display after 21 years. Tim, of Bristol, said: “I promised the organisers that when it came to Clutton’s retirement, Railwells would be the final-ever show. Over the

A scene from Clutton, built by Tim Venton

years it has taken a bit of a battering and it was time to do something else.” Railwells organiser Chris Challis said: “Wells Town Hall is Warleggan

So tiny, it has no motor – yet it moves! Roger Orpwood’s T-scale (3/4mm to one foot) model

Railwells organiser Chris Challis (left) with Sarah Wride, the mayoress of Wells, Wells mayor Celia Wride and fraternity member Colin Price

Bank in Poldarak and it was very fitting that the first displays to greet visitors were of Bodmin and Wadebridge and an imaginary line near Truro!”

Celia Wride, the mayor of Wells, with Stefan Owen, of Glastonbury, who is building a working model of the famous City of Wells loco. It has taken Stefan, a member of the 82D Model Engineers Club, around 11 years so far to build with another three or four years to go

Tim Venton at the controls of his Clutton layout

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 57


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Frome College events

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FROME College says it’s delighted to welcome prospective families to its open evening on Thursday, September 20th and its open morning on

Tuesday, September 25th. You will be greeted at their campus Merlin Theatre by their leadership team, followed by guided tours of the school, and opportunities to talk to staff in all subject areas. Refreshments will be available during the evening. Learning is firmly placed at the heart of Frome College. Their committed team of staff work closely with students to develop their aspirations and achieve their potential. Their vision is great teaching and a focus on students’ aspirations, achievement and personal development. Essential to their success is the culture of hard work, commitment and discipline. Their students achieve great exam results and leave them successful, ambitious and confident, equipped with the skills and attributes needed to lead successful lives. They all look forward to seeing you.

PAGE 58 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Youngsters support food bank

YEAR 6 leavers from Dundry Primary School worked hard on their legacy gift to the local community as they move on to secondary school. Having worked with the Carpenter’s food bank earlier in the year, the children decided to help the organisation combat summer food poverty in their area. They made woollen “foodbank friends” to give away to family, friends and businesses in return for a small box of donated food. Over 30 boxes were sent out by the children help provide hot meals during the summer holiday, when donations drop off. Most of the youngsters will start the new term at Chew Valley School.

From London to Leigh to retirement

THE end of the summer term saw the retirement of Mary Sturgess from her role as the headteacher of Leigh-onMendip First School. Mary had been head at the popular village school for eight years. Mary said: “The last eight years have been fabulous and I have thoroughly enjoyed this, my last job after 40 years in education.” Mary has taught in London, Bath, Bristol and Frome during her very varied career, which began at Rush Green Junior School in the London Borough Mary with one of her leaving of Barking and Dagenham in gifts – a painting of the village 1978. by local artist, Julia Blaker She added: “Leigh School is a fabulous place to work; staff, children, governors and parents have made this the best job ever! Thank you to everyone for their gifts, cards and kind words for my retirement.” The school will continue to thrive as an academy and part of the Midsomer Norton Schools’ Partnership from November 1st under the executive head, Dan Turull and head of school, Louisa Phillips.


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Somer Valley Campus: your local choice BASED in Radstock, Bath College’s Somer Valley campus offers a rural setting for a wide range of courses. The beautiful campus grounds house the Animal Care, Animal Management and Veterinary courses, where the resident awardwinning pygmy goats frolic outside. There is also an aviary with chickens, guinea fowl and birds of prey. Inside a whole range of animals can be found, from reptiles to aquatic species to rodents. This location is also perfect for horticulture apprentices to specialise in landscaping, production, plant and soil science, parks, gardens or green spaces. Back inside and students and apprentices can be found in the motor vehicle workshop learning all things vehicle maintenance and repair, gaining the technical skills to progress in the industry.

EDUCATION

Next door, engineering courses of varying levels are taking place, where students are learning how to build everything from aeroplanes to buildings. A purpose-built Painting & Decorating centre allows students to practice specialist decorative finishes and wallpapering in a realistic setting. The Somer Valley Campus is home to a state of the art Construction Skills Centre, a venue for many regional and national competitions. It has large electric, carpentry, brickwork, stonemasonry, woodwork, plumbing and refrigeration workshops inside filled with skilled students and apprentices. Bath College also has a large number of Foundation Learning Programmes for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Coming soon to Somer Valley Campus is a brand new SEND centre which will provide a safe and inviting environment for students to further develop their skills.

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 59


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Outstanding outcomes for pupils at All Hallows

ALL Hallows Prep School believes they are doing something very distinctive and as a result their pupils are achieving superb outcomes in so many areas. Ensuring their children’s happiness and well-being is at the heart of everything they do and they are thriving. All Year 8 pupils in recent years have gained entrance to their senior school of choice and the hugely positive feedback from those schools is heart-warming. Furthermore, last summer, 65% of those going on to senior schools in the UK gained a scholarship or award in a range of disciplines including academic, sport, creative design, art, music and all-rounder – a remarkable achievement for a school that is, in the main, non-selective. All Hallows says the true essence of a prep school lies in the breadth of opportunity for children outside the classroom where strengths and passions can be discovered and nurtured. This starts at All Hallows with the youngest children enjoying a wide range of activities including swimming, tennis, dance and the ever-popular Forest School which takes place in the extensive onsite woodland. Their hands-on approach to the curriculum sees the children getting fully immersed in topics whether dressing up in Victorian costume to visit SS Great Britain or kayaking on the River Wye to learn about rivers. They strive to ensure their older children are ready to take

on the challenges of senior school aged 13 as confident, resilient young people equipped with the essential skills to help them thrive as individuals in whatever comes next. Independence and development of character are encouraged through opportunities for leadership and responsibility and they support them through the crucial development stage in Years 7 and 8, allowing them to grow up at their own pace and to learn and make mistakes in a safe, secure and caring environment. Go and discover what makes them different on their open morning or at any other time by appointment – they look forward to meeting you.

Details: Jackie 01749 881609 or visit www.allhallowschool.co.uk/open-days for more information.

PAGE 60 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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The importance of drama THROUGH participation in drama, children at the Downs School gain important life skills that are not just essential for the stage but for their future lives. Drama is used as a tool in all areas of the curriculum; to bring the subject to life and give balance to a well-rounded education. As well as having fun, children build confidence, learn to control their nerves and co-operate as a team.

EDUCATION

Margaret Hobbs, head of drama, said: “They develop the skills to stay focussed and improve their speed of thought and imagination. “Our children develop a joy of performing together, from the nativity pay in reception, to the annual plays for each year group, and finally writing and performing their own Year 8 Review. This awakening of each individual’s talents makes my job a real joy.”

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 61


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Promoting a lifelong love of learning

FAIRFIELD specialises in the field of primary education for children aged two-11. They are a small school with a family atmosphere in which everyone feels secure, happy, valued and appreciated. At Fairfield, children are taught by an outstanding team of teachers who nurture and encourage them and develop their self-belief. They plan their creative curriculum to

ensure their children develop a lifelong love of learning. Their nursery classes are an integral part of their school and provide a significant number of their intake for their reception class. The children benefit from access to all of the facilities on the school site and they also receive specialist music and sport teaching. They have limited vacancies in their junior department.

Details: If you would like further information, or to book an individual tour of the school, contact secretary@fairfieldschool.org.uk call them on 01275 462743 or take a look at their website www.fairfield.school

PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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No sign of running out of steam ORGANISERS of the annual Somerset Steam and Country Show say they hope the event will inspire young people to get involved in the preservation movement at the heart of their efforts. With around 30 full-size steam exhibits, along with miniatures and a working area, the show at Low Ham, near Langport, celebrated the vital role the machines played in transforming rural and urban life, with a special emphasis this year on the impact they had in the Edwardian era. The show is organised by the Somerset Traction Engine Club. Chairman Andy Melrose, who lives near Shepton Mallet, told visitors in his programme notes: “We hope to encourage young people to take part in the preservation movement, so the involvement of families is very important to us.” Andy added: “Once again, we are grateful for the support of exhibitors who bring such a varied and impressive display in all sections. The support of these dedicated enthusiasts, who work so hard in all areas of preservation, is greatly appreciated and gives tremendous pleasure to so many people.” A tractor pulling competition provided an alternative form of high-powered entertainment

Full steam ahead: the Wimborne St Giles horsedrawn fire engine team in the main arena Chris Oldham at the wheel of a cultivator powered by two steam engines

Dave Stone prepares a Wallis and Stevens 10-ton road roller, owned by Rob Sharps, of Westport PAGE 64 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Kristy and Paul Turner, who live near Langport, in typical WWI dress

Lisa Heard (left) and Karen Cook were knitting poppies to remember the WWI fallen from High Ham and the surrounding area. Karen and husband Owen hosted the show


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A century apart

Steve Gunn, of Westhay, at the controls of a Fowler ploughing engine

Alan Connock, of Shepton Mallet, is part of the legendary Road Up Gang

EVENTS

Threshing 100 years apart

THIS year’s show had a special Edwardian theme after the club was presented with a collection of early 20th Century photographs of rural life, all taken within a few miles of the rally site. With the help of local photographers and the High Ham Community Project, organisers recreated some of the scenes. There was also a traditional blessing of the plough ceremony, performed by local vicar the Rev. Jess Pitman.

The golden age of steam revived

Time for lunch on this kit-built engine owned by Paul Hawkins, of Templecombe

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 65

(2018 photos by Paul Fisher; vintage images courtesy of High Ham Community Project)

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Council hits back at “new town” claim

NEVER have I read such an irresponsible and clearly scaremongering letter as written by “The Mendip Bystander” in your last issue. “Bystander” would have you believe that there are plans afoot to build a new town in North Somerset, that this town will create traffic chaos, that there will be no local jobs and that the council is making decisions without talking to local communities. This is utter hogwash. The government has made it clear that councils need to be delivering more housing for future generations and North Somerset Council has been working hard to accommodate this requirement while preserving the special nature and character of our countryside and villages. We have worked

extremely hard to challenge the government’s imposed housing numbers through our core strategy and continue to fight speculative development around the villages as evidenced with our significant success rate in recent major planning appeals at Backwell, Banwell, Bleadon, Congresbury, Yatton and Locking for example. The fact remains that we are still expected to provide land to meet the identified housing requirement and we have just completed our site allocations plan to show where housing should take place. That plan was finalised following extensive consultation and public examination. While this work has been ongoing, we have also been required to look further into the future to plan

New town “threat to the Mendips”

READER’S OPINION

just have half a hinterland Coastal towns by their very nature p Vale be aware – for and Weston-super-Mare i Lovers of the Mendip Hills and Mendi which severely limits their potential town new branda of n creatio the hardly risen you are about to be witness to ion – employment in the town has the of the delights of that city) no except of a strong railway and road link to ce the size of Wells (but wholly devoid presen the e despit and Churchill, Langford immediately next to the villages of and south of it. north p Hills. lies in the vast Congresbury and beside the Mendi The reality is that Weston-super-Mare Bristol its very size will create Bristol and will continue to do so. For sure it will be an eyesore and by the villages economic shadow of in noise and on a shortage of polluti stion, normous traffic conge unfilled job vacancies but presently many has p Hills. building on brown field of North Somerset close to the Mendi housing. That could be remedied by this part of Somerset or four-storey You may have lived in a village in and by developing far more three and sites been have may You life. Bath and North East Somerset all your of accommodation. illity tranqu the to here move to to have “affordable” born here or recently chosen The plan is for the dormitory town of area, the demand is such that the price the countryside. this in but, g housin way change your chosen So those who can Now your council is attempting to g is most unlikely to be affordable. housin . towns tory dormi sted conge to flock to of life by turning our villages into in this new town are far more likely the council is proposing afford houses value and better paid employment high is In addition to a new dormitory town there where l Bristo from the M5 motorway the well-worn A38 and to create a major highway running and so they will drive up and down across the Mendip Vale just become (J21A Weston-Super-Mare) swinging which are already too busy and will roads A370 A38 the into then linking commuters. immediately behind Churchill and ever more gridlocked with yet more determined not to allow road on the way to the airport. It is puzzling why the council is so vehicles from the M5 l where jobs are deliverable. It is Bristo This will only serve to divert goods near g buildin house p Hills and so the belt is strangling Bri onto the A38 near the foot of the Mendi green belt but at the moment the green lights through to Upper Bristol we are Mendip villages from Churchill traffic rather than allowing urban sprawl beside and ton Comp , Ubley on, the countryside. Langford, Burrington, Rickford, Blagd going to have urban sprawl across endure to have will Sutton Bishop er permitting housing Martin, West Harptree and The council might be wise to consid hnicons as they slowly Bristol Link the rumble and fumes of endless pantec Ashton Vale within the new South in pment develo and Bath to ps on their way two percent of existing trundle southward below the Mendi Road which would only involve using avoid unnecessary the surrounding area. (poor quality) green belt land. It would es having to snake their harm to the environment. Just imagine the thousands of vehicl commuting to work and reduce any 2,800 Some on. Blagd of and local railway streets bus way through the narrow Use could be made of the new Metro box-like design will ment of houses, one imagines, of depressingly ructure and save the massive invest infrast bus and the sh dimini and landscape a new unwanted major road dramatically disfigure the Mendip hundreds of millions of pounds in of Area this love and way of life of those who live nearby from Weston-super-Mare. North Somerset’s most local residents about their Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of Anticipating the likely antipathy of e in any valuable assets. il have been very reluctant to engag counc the plans ip “Mend ively as excluded from the This development is described seduct ngful consultation. Local councillors, meani which ption descri a not is ls planning policy, have Spring Garden Village” although that all-powerful executive which contro housing development the going on but appear too intimidate is what would come to mind for a massive about ns concer real highway to service it size of a town requiring a major public to say what they think. enjoyed by a village. tors into the scheme and without the amenities normally A substantial enquiry by planning inspec n to the 260 new houses months. The inspectors The new town numbers are in additio is due to take place in the forthcoming hill Churc for d planne y alread g) preliminary questions (including affordable housin have already raised some awkward parish of 880 houses. So the to be having some difficulty in appear il and Langford which currently is a counc the which in 8,000 between 6,000 and time to consider its prospect is of a population increase answering for it has asked for more but with hardly any and around Churchill and Langford position. . of a new town but the significant employment for people Local MPs are aware of the threat lest cars and commute to do well to keep them on their toes They are bound to have to get in their would rate electo local ort adequate public transp having to put work not least because there is no problem will go away without their the think they come will it suggest that and nothing in the council’s plans to their heads above the parapet. g need in the area or and the Mendip Vale about. There is no significant housin Anyone who cares for the Mendips is in need real the – r-Mare n-supe monumentally flawed and indeed further afield in Westo should be hugely concerned at this ue to be well rgued and Bristol. ill-conceived plan. There will contin ng permissions for lopme and nobod In Weston there are plenty of planni itted opposition to this unsound dev comm up taken not but d grante posals as sent the housing development which have been least of all the council should regard with er togeth sell) to able be not (presumably beca se they will deal. done h hardly suggests a local L cial sites oup calle acant co There is a l l campaig we mploym s Acti need t ngford R a hill Churc u h would m oun rth can is velppm (www.ch s nform

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our housing needs up to 2036. We are doing this jointly with the other West of England councils through what is recognised as a ground-breaking joint spatial plan. This requires the four councils to provide for at least 105,000 new homes and we have adopted a sequential approach to identifying locations for that level of development. Our starting point has, of course, been to maximise opportunities for development on brownfield sites in the existing cities and towns. 16,000 homes will be delivered in that way. It should also be remembered that 61,000 homes are already provided for in the four councils’ individual local plan documents. National planning policy makes it very clear that the green belt should only be developed as a last resort and the AONB must be protected at all costs. There are also significant areas of land identified as flood zones which further limit locations for new development. For North Somerset, therefore, the main areas that we have been looking at to accommodate our future needs are at Weston-super-Mare, Nailsea, Backwell, and new villages near Banwell and at Mendip Spring – between Churchill and Congresbury. But not as extensions to either settlement. The joint spatial plan has been submitted for public examination by independent inspectors and they will consider all the objections and issues. We are adamant that all these new developments will be designed to the highest possible standards with all the necessary infrastructure to support them. We have already engaged with relevant town and parish councils and CALRAG, and will continue to do so as the plan progresses through our own local planning process. This will include looking at the detail of master-planning to ensure all the new communities have the facilities, jobs and schools needed to support them. We are also working hard to address the transport issues and to promote the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare where we have encouraged and seen significant employment growth in recent years. There are major employers in the southern part of our area. It’s not all about commuting to Bristol. The airport is a major employer which


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is only eight miles from Mendip Spring and has its own expansion plans, offering new employment opportunities to the children of today who will be the new residents on the 2030s when the scheme comes to fruition. There is significant employment development at the Junction 21 Enterprise Area too, not to mention the opportunities created by the Hinkley C development. The suggestion that endless heavy goods vehicles will be seen in the villages in the lee of the Mendips is more scaremongering. We already have a ban on HGVs using the A368 between Churchill crossroads and Burrington and with the South Bristol link connection to the A37 and future road infrastructure plans it will be easier for HGVs to bypass this area altogether. We have already made significant progress in bringing forward the Banwell bypass after many years and the joint spatial plan has been invaluable in persuading government to listen to our bids for infrastructure funding. We see new road infrastructure as a way of alleviating some of the difficulties currently experienced by villages and improving the quality of life for them. But we are also working on improving public transport links. This is all being brought forward through a joint local transport plan, in parallel with the joint spatial plan. It is a fallacy to assume that Ashton Vale is the solution to all our problems. Even if we were to develop valuable greenbelt

READER’S OPINION land (against government policy) it would not be enough to meet all our requirements and would open the door to other unscrupulous developers who are waiting in the wings for their opportunity. The south Bristol link road was not designed to accommodate the levels of traffic that Ashton Vale would require and would need a major overhaul if that development were to come forward. Greenbelts are intended to prevent cities encroaching on the countryside and sprawling forever onwards which is why the government has made it very clear that greenbelts should be protected wherever possible. Finally it's not true to say that local people have not had the opportunity to provide their views on proposals. We have already had three rounds of public consultation including two sets of drop-in events since November 2015. There is information on the West of England website for anyone wanting more detail at www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk The public examinations of the joint spatial plan proposals are expected to take place during late spring 2019. In the meantime, we are developing our local plans and will be holding consultation events over the autumn and into next year which we hope that local communities will get involved in. Cllr Elfan Ap Rees Deputy Leader, North Somerset Council

Why extreme weather is the new norm BRITISH people love talking about the weather. On average three times a day. But did you know the 20 warmest years on record have all come since 1995? This summer has felt exceptionally hot and dry. When we visited our new home this week, the resident frog was unfortunately found dead in the back garden. This small loss is just one example of how many birds and animals we have lost during this heat wave. But it is just not wildlife at risk. Protecting the young, pregnant and the elderly is vital in a warmer world. The significant increase in temperatures has also impacted water availability, crop yields, productivity and wellbeing. As well as more heat waves, extreme weather events such as droughts, hurricanes, floods and wild fires are also increasing due to global warming. Farmers, insurance companies and the NHS are seeing the immediate impacts but ultimately, we all bare the cost. However, long-term, the biggest impact to the UK is not the intense heat but rising sea levels that increasingly threaten our low-lying, coastal communities. Our reliance on burning fossil fuels has created a huge in balance in the atmosphere that we urgently need to

Angela Terry

address. Carbon dioxide accumulates in the air and sea so our behaviour today leaves an irreversible legacy for future generations. The good news is the solutions to climate change already exist, are reliable and affordable. The south west region may have the highest carbon footprint in Europe, but we also have some of the best renewable resources in the world. Supporting clean energy creates jobs and improves the economy whilst reducing our reliance on imported oil and gas. Solar panels, electric cars and insulation are just some of the ways to reduce energy bills and protect our environment at the same time. Whilst I watch with increasing alarm

as events unfold, I also hope this weather will help highlight the undeniable. That we need to act fast to protect the things we love. That is why I set up One Home, to promote a more sustainable lifestyle and to help ensure a bright future for everyone; young and old. Angela Terry Angela Terry is an environmental scientist who lives with her young family in Wells. She launched One Home three months ago, which is the first website to provide independent information on climate adaptation and mitigation. It is part of the Climate Alliance Community Interest Company. Visit: www.onehome.org.uk

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Sunshine brings out the crowds THIS is a busy time for The Mendip Society as our programme of summer events is now in full swing. Being blessed with weeks of unbroken sunshine certainly goes a long way in encouraging people to get outdoors, shown by the increased attendance, especially to the wide range of different events that make up this year’s “Mendip Rocks! Festival”. This is now well-established as a successful annual event of quarry tours, cave visits, geo walks, fossil hunts and all things geological, striking a chord with many adults and children alike. Just show me a child that does not like dinosaurs and fossils! A lot of hard work has been put in by The Somerset Earth Science Centre, the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and The Mendip Society and we are proud to play a part in its programme. Events launched in July in Burrington Combe with four local primary schools taking part in art, geological and caving activities; their enthusiasm and polite behaviour was a credit to themselves and their schools. The tours and talks are well under way and last month a lucky young lad had the winning ticket to blow up a car at Westbury-sub-Mendip quarry – every young lad’s dream – and he made a badge to prove it (see page 126)! Our thanks to Nigel Taylor for being our technical wizard in organising this spectacular event and you can see it on the society’s Facebook page. The festival runs until the end of October so keep your eye on the list of further interesting things to see and do on the website of the AONB or in this magazine’s What’s On section. All this recent hot weather and sunshine might be alright for some, but it does have a sting in the tail for others, and that included us! We had planned a taster session introducing the traditional country skill of charcoal burning in our new reserve at Tania's Wood, Ubley; however no rain for two The foundation layer goes down months meant

THE MENDIP SOCIETY

Just another couple of layers to finish

that the wood was tinder dry so the only sensible course of action was to postpone it as it could possibly have been a fire risk. We will of course put this into our programme again, although maybe not this year. Details will be on our Facebook page and website – address at the bottom of the page. In the Mendip Times July issue we wrote about the iconic feature of Mendip – our lovely dry stone walls and the need for as many trained volunteers as possible to help re-instate and repair the miles of walling just there waiting. Our training course in August had full take-up, which shows the interest is there, it just needs to be facilitated, which neatly introduces the Mendip Hills Fund. The fund was set up by the Mendip Hills AONB with the Somerset Community Foundation, and income is generated through visitor-giving schemes from local tourism businesses in the area and donations for Mendip Hills’ wildlife badges. Funding is available for projects that will benefit the environment or community in the Mendip Hills area and it will be open for applications between September 1st and October 31st. Grants of up to £2,000 are available for projects in the Mendip Hills AONB and through East Mendip to Frome. One of the three main criteria for the grant process is that your project “conserves and enhances the landscape” – what could be more relevant to conserving Mendip than the teaching of the skill and volunteering to do dry stone walling? So, if you are wanting to run a particular project of your own in the Mendip area and you are not sure if it fits the criteria for application to the Mendip Hills Fund, please visit the Somerset Community Foundation website, call 01749 344949 or call Jim Hardcastle, Mendip Hills AONB Unit 01761 462338. It’s a bit early to say just yet, but, if any of the trainees on our course in August, shown here on the first day at Chancellor’s Farm, are so minded and feel confident enough, they will be able to enter the “beginners class” in the dry stone walling competition which is part of the forthcoming Mendip Ploughing Society’s match – always held on the last Wednesday of September – this year it’s on September 26th. It will be held by kind permission of Lionel and Stuart Clothier on land at Franklyns Farm, Chewton Mendip, BA3 4SQ. Mendip Ploughing Society is in its 160th year and this is its 149th match – now that’s a history to be proud of. Good luck to all. Judith Tranter and Richard Frost

Details: www.themendipsociety.org.uk or ring 01275 874284/472797

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WILDLIFE

Now for some good news!

I AM always keen to share good news stories, rather than just the typical doom and gloom that is often spewed from us conservationists, so this month I am going to celebrate a species that had been declining for some time, but which now seems to be fighting back. By CHRIS Nationally its decline was said to be SPERRING around 70% and so fast was its demise that it MBE was afforded red-listed status on the national Birds of Conservation Concern list. My garden perfectly mirrored the national trend, so much so that this once very common and sometimes regarded as a pest species became totally absent from my garden for about five years. The bird I am talking about is, of course, the humble house sparrow. The main factor I noticed during its decline in our area was a reduction of the number of juvenile or recently fledged house sparrows. This species can begin its breeding season as early as February and continue, with the right weather conditions, right though to October. They can be prolific breeders, which for shortlived species is essential to maintain your population, but something was going wrong. We know that house sparrows like to nest in roof spaces of houses, and of course modern houses don’t normally allow entry under the eaves like older houses do, so this is likely to be one factor. But they can nest in other places, including nesting boxes, and even hedgerows, so the reason for their decline is probably more complicated than that one issue. My feeling is that the decline coincided with the trend to reduce garden vegetation. People started to want lowIt's easy to attract house sparrows to your garden

Making a strong comeback – the house sparrow

maintenance gardens, so hedges were removed and grass replaced with gravel. Where people do have grass they keep it cut short and use weedkiller to remove other plants and insecticides to kill other wildlife that might want to share their garden. The results left no room for wild birds, or indeed other wildlife like hedgehogs, slowworms or newts, to name but a few. Adult house sparrows feed primarily on seed and insects and must be one of the easiest birds to cater for in the garden. Adult females lay two to five eggs with both parents taking turns to incubate the clutch which hatches after around 11 days. Initially the young need an insect-based diet, so this is the time the house sparrow becomes the gardener’s best friend, as the adults comb the vegetation for aphids, caterpillars and other invertebrates which form an important source of protein for their youngsters. Once the young have reached feathered stage then the parents are able to increase the variety of food given to include seed material. We have been increasing the amount and variety of vegetation in our own garden for many years and our native trees and hedgerows are now mature and providing year-round food and shelter for a huge variety of wildlife. We also provide year-round food and water and have created two ponds. The results have been an amazing array of wildlife returning to our patch, including hedgehogs, newts, frogs, slowworms, Bullfinches, and butterflies and bees by the hundred. We celebrated seven years ago when a lone male house sparrow returned to our garden to feed on our bird table, and since that time numbers have waxed and waned between six and 11, and this year we are up to at least 33 so far, with lots of recently fledged young and new broods appearing all the time, so the final figure is likely to be a record-breaker! The important message here is that it can be done. The total area of the UK covered by gardens is around 432,964 ha. (which is the area of the Norfolk Broads, and the Exmoor, Dartmoor and Lake District National Parks added together), so the potential national significance of gardens as a resource for wildlife is clear*. Our need for tidiness and control over our environment is squeezing out wildlife, and that makes us all poorer and less healthy (mentally and physically). But we can all do something to help. Nature reserves and protected areas are just not enough. *Source: Gardens as a resource for wildlife, Ken Thompson and Steve Head I will be leading more walks for the Hawk and Owl Trust over the coming months, if you wish to receive news of where and what subjects we will be covering please let me know.

Chris Sperring is Conservation Officer for the Hawk and Owl Trust Contact him via chris.sperring@btinternet.com

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Wonderful views on this Cam Valley circle

THE beauty of the countryside in the Cam Valley between Peasedown St John and Combe Hay is explored on this interesting and varied circle. It follows the Limestone Link for much of the way and after dropping down from Peasedown St John, we follow the Cam Brook, followed by a longish climb up the Fosse Way. After the pub,

explore Combe Hay and climb out of the valley and along the side with great views as we return to the start. With very few stiles, it is a canine outing too. It’s a good idea to take a torch as we go through an old railway tunnel en-route. There are a number of hills, both up and down but this adds to the variety and changing scenery.

PARK: At the northern end of Peasedown St John at the beginning of Keel’s Hill. From the A367 Radstock to Bath Road turn onto the road that goes through the village. Up the north end is Keel’s Hill, which leads off on the left if coming up from the south. Park suitably near the top. START: Walk along Keels Hill, dropping down some distance and bending round. Opposite the second lane left take the marked footpath into a field right. Drop down into the valley. At the foot, you may find the path diverted to the right round an area where drainage work was taking place. Reach the lane by Splott Farm.

With Sue Gearing PAGE 70 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

1. CAM BROOK Turn right and just before the bridge and Cam Brook, take the Limestone Link to the right. Go on into a field and follow the brook. Cross a footbridge ahead and keep on. At the end of this next field stay close to the stream and

find a kissing gate hidden under trees. Maintain direction. Look for a footpath marker which directs you up and then continue along in the same direction as before and then dropping back down. Continue to follow the stream. See the church ahead and aim for it. Eventually come out onto a lane in Dunkerton with the church nearby. 2. DUNKERTON Cross the lane and continue along the brook going up at one point to walk above the stream. Then go through a gate and alongside a beautiful house and garden and up steps to the main road. Turn left over the brook. Cross the road and continue on the pavement. Ignore a turning left. 3. FOSSE WAY Shortly, opposite a parking 150 yard sign, turn up right on a private looking Tarmac path – the old Roman Fosse Way. It’s about a 15 minute climb. Continue on the level to the road. Cross, leave the Fosse Way and go ahead through a metal gate into a field, then turn right through another gate. Follow the right field edge ahead and then left, with a valley down below right, and on through the next. In the final corner go through to join a sandy dry drive/track for only a yard or two. Search for a path going down right, somewhat obscured by vegetation to


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WALKING

near a telegraph pole below. Continue on down towards the pole and then follow the fence line to the road.

L

4. DRIVE Ignore the overgrown permissive path opposite. Turn right on the lane a few yards to a dry track/ drive left. Soon join the mown side on the left between planted trees. Stay with this, all the way to where it bends right. On the bend, discover a small overgrown path going down left.

5. TUNNEL Reach a disused, dark and rather wet railway tunnel and go through. Take the path on and cross the stream, continuing through woodland. Ignore side turns, and then bear up left. Go over two stiles and up steps. Turn right on the track which leads to a Tarmac drive and then down to the Wheatsheaf Inn on the left with a wonderful terraced garden. 6. COMBE HAY Drop down to the lane and here join the Limestone Link going right through Combe Hay. Bend up left on the lane and go up to the beautiful church by Combe Hay Manor. Continue on and opposite a small lane, turn left on the footpath through a gate into woodland. Soon the path forks. Leave the Limestone Link and fork left. 7. FIELDS Reach a gate into a conservation area. Head down the field and then straight

6.75 miles, about 4 hours walking. OS Outdoor Leisure map 45, grid ref: 094 246

on, over a small bridge and through into a field. Continue to a kissing gate and as you proceed, see over left a stone obelisk in memory of the Robertson family, former Lords of the Manor of Combe Hay. There’s a good view of the manor from there. Follow the wellsigned path up across the field. At the top go through a band of woodland and climb up. The marker posts direct you to bear up right across to the far top field corner and through a marked gate into woods. Continue on all the way to a lane.

8. BARNS Cross to the footpath opposite, going past barns and on along the top of the field close to woodland. There are fine valley views along here. Further on turn up left under trees for a yard or two and then continue as before in fields along the top by woodland. Go through a crossing band of woodland and then maintain direction out in the open again. Soon start to see the tiled roof of a farm ahead below. Start to bear down towards it aiming for the far side. Near the farm, pass a water trough and at a fence corner, go diagonally down to a gate below. Cross onto a lane. 9. LANE Turn right. Ignore a lane left and before long take a left fork joining White Ox Mead Lane. Gently climb up all the way to the busy bypass.

10. PEASEDOWN ST JOHN Cross with great care and go straight on into a residential area in Peasedown St John. Continue to a crossing lane. Join it and go more or less straight on. Reach the main village road – part of the old Fosse Way – and turn left for a few minutes. Just past a bus shelter on the other side is Keel’s Hill. The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, tel: 01225 833504. Closed for lunch Mondays.

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OUTDOORS

West Countryman’s diary

I AM now writing for September! Autumn will soon be upon us and Mendip will move into it a few weeks ahead of everyone else. Not long now until I see the mist lying in the field hollows, or the steam rising from the cattle’s backs, as the temperature drops towards the end of the day. With LES For now however, it has been raining and DAVIES MBE that will do far more good than I shall outside! It’s been so dry – the grass has burnt up, the apples are dropping from the trees, whilst the grain has suffered through lack of moisture. The recent spell of rain will go some way to helping the livestock farmer. There may be the chance of a late silage cut to boost stocks and some grass growth for grazing. We can only hope, because a bad season for agriculture will mean higher food prices for us at the retail end. If you have been on holiday, well then this must be the best season for years. No need to travel abroad, have a “Britoliday” – there's another new word for the English language dictionary! Think of it, no travel terror, no lost luggage, no currency crisis. The only thing to blight your plans will be the traffic! Whilst on the subject of stress, another word was invented in 1984, “Technostress”. This aptly describes the situation many people find themselves in with today’s hectic pace of life. We spend something like 90% of our lives indoors and around eight hours and 41 minutes a day (on average) looking at phones and computer screens. That is more time than most people spend sleeping. By 2050 it’s estimated that 75% of the world population will be urban based. In 1984 an American scientist, E.O. Wilson, came up with the “Biophilia” hypothesis, a love of the natural world. He reasoned that humans evolved in the natural environment, so we have a biological need to connect with it. We are genetically determined to be within the natural world because it’s in our DNA. Just as our health and wellbeing improves when we are in it, so it suffers when we are divorced from it. It’s no surprise that the Japanese now lead the way forward in showing the improvements we can all make to the quality and length of our lives through the natural environment. I have always said that Mendip is a healing landscape; people get better quicker and feel better in green surroundings. How this happens has been unknown to me, I have always accepted that it happens and that’s all that matters. Trees it would seem hold many answers to our wellbeing, through the chemicals they give off. These can reduce the stressrelated hormones our bodies produce and aid the rest and recovery element of our chemical make-up. It can improve sleep, help lift depression, lower blood pressure and so much more! I often feel more relaxed after a visit to my wood. It’s quiet and with the weather we have been experiencing recently, cool. This big picture thinking is pulling together the thoughts and feelings that I have always held, but now it’s not just “Old Hippy”, it being scientifically proven – that makes me feel so good! If you would like to know a little more, get a copy of ShinrinYoku written by Dr Qing Li of the Nippon Medical School. It’s published by Penguin with an ISBN number of 978-0-241 346952. My mother bought me a copy, so if Emily Elizabeth Davies

thinks it’s worth a look, who was I to argue? By the way, Shinrin -Yoku means “forest bathing” and no, that doesn’t mean you take your clothes off and run through the wood! Read it with an open mind. For another group of people, being in the UK and being in the countryside, has had a positive effect upon their lives. As you may well remember from last month’s column, I had been up to the Lakes and Peak District to check out my walks for this year’s group of students from Georgia University USA. I met up with them on a very hot Monday morning at Swallet Farm where I found one of the students, hugging the cold flagstone floor. The others were collapsed in chairs around the room trying to stay cool and collected. Everyone was tired and hot, everyone was a long way from home and from those they loved and who loved them. The coming ten days were to be a life-learning experience for them and me as we travelled from Mendip through the Peaks, Pennines and Lakes up into Scotland. My walks were aimed at putting some flesh on the bones of sustainability and landscape within the UK and where better to start that than with Jim Hardcastle, manager at the Mendip Hills AONB. We talked about visitor pressure, development pressure and the importance of the landscape in our health and wellbeing. The following days were about building the bonds within the group as much as learning. They were all from different backgrounds and didn’t know each other before the trip. Some had done a lot of walking, some had done none. I introduced them to the concept of the “Bimble” not a hike. I described the “wolf pack” approach, where the slower members were in the front and the strong behind – the leader is not always in front, but more often behind making sure everyone is OK. I employed my Position of Greatest Use approach (POGU) when with the group, as I have said that’s not always at the front. I became in their words, the “pack leader and their Grandpa”. Having the slower member in front didn’t always work, but the pack would wait and bring everyone back together. The stress levels dropped and the feeling of wellbeing improved. People were beginning to find direction and experiencing real achievement from hurdles they were overcoming. The natural environment was beginning to work its magic on them! As always they go home far too soon for my liking, but they have definitely gone back with a changed outlook on their own future. That is down to our natural environment, helped with a little bit of History, Mystery, Myth and Magic from Mendip! This month’s picture is Evie Jones wild swimming during a “Bimble” break in the Lake District. She has taken so much back with her including the fact that rubber ducks in the bath will never be the same again!

You can always contact me through my website: Westcountryman.co.uk

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Top ten p la nts fo r th e tail -e n d of su mmer

With MARY PAYNE MBE

AFTER such a prolonged hot and dry summer, it is surprising that any plants have survived and are still going to bloom in September, but an amazing number wait until now to put on a show and are much appreciated. So, it is worth ensuring that your garden has a generous smattering of late bloomers to tide you over until the autumnal tints

develop. Sadly, the much-loved aster family has been ravaged by the taxonomists and our familiar names have changed. The traditional Michaelmas daisy, once Aster novi-belgii, has become the completely un-pronounceable Symphyotrichum, but is still a classic for this time of year but after this summer’s drought they may have succumbed to mildew. The New England Asters (Symphyotrichum noviae-angliae) have a stronger constitution. They have hairy foliage which seems to resist the invasion of the mildew fungal spores. The same range of colours are available, but they have an unbecoming habit of their lower leaves going brown, so need to be planted with something else in front. The so-called Italian asters, I am delighted to say, are still Aster amellus and this group also resist mildew well and have an exceptionally long flowering season from July well into the autumn. Aster x frikartii Monch, a hybrid between the Italian asters and a Himalayan species, is one of the best and should be residing in every garden. My outright favourite aster is Little Carlow with an abundance of bright blue flowers and mildew-free foliage. Hardy cyclamen (C. hederifolium) have been flowering since early August in spite of growing in the dense shade and drought under deciduous trees. Always buy these in flower in pots rather than as the dry tubers often seen for sale in garden centres. Once established they will self-seed and spread. Ants enjoy the sugary coating on the seeds and spread them far and wide. The tubers can live for many years growing to the size of a dinner plate and producing masses of flowers. Their patterned ivy-shaped leaves appear after flowering giving a carpet of attractive foliage all winter. The number of sedum varieties has proliferated in recent years but the traditional Autumn Joy (more correctly Herbstfreude) is still my favourite. Even this group of plants have been “got at” by the taxonomists and now go under the, also unpronounceable name, of Hylotelephium. Sedums need to be lifted and divided regularly to stop the clumps flopping, but are worth the effort as their flower heads are attractive for winter effect. Japanese anemones have thankfully dodged the taxonomists and are a stalwart of the September garden. Best of all is the tall white Honerine Jobert with a boss of yellow stamens in the centre. For a deep pink colour I like the two-tone petals of the shorter Hadspen Abundance. These plants are slow to establish often taking two to three years. I know they are prone to wander around once established but I would not be without them. Avoid buying plants whose foliage has small dark angular patches on the foliage as they are infected with a stem and leaf eelworm. No September garden should be without some rudbeckias or PAGE 74 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Aster 'Little Carlow'

cone flowers, notably Rudbeckia Goldsturm. The strong yellow flowers bloom from August to October and are followed by attractive brown cone-shaped seed heads that will last all winter and are a favourite with seed eating birds. Two new variations are Early Bird Gold which starts flowering in July and Little Goldstar growing to only 15 to 18 inches so more suitable for use in containers or the front of a border. Less well known are the bugbanes or actaeas (formerly known as Cimicifuga). These stately herbaceous perennials add height and fragrance to the late summer garden. Actaea simplex has green leaves but its cousins have deep purple foliage and tolerate the sun better. All prefer a moisture-retentive soil. Clusters of tiny pale pink or white flowers surround tall flower spikes like elongated narrow bottle brushes and are ideal for the back of a border. They are well behaved clump-forming plants that rarely need staking and will not rush around your garden in a frenzy. My choice for a September blooming shrub would be Abelia x grandiflora. This bears scented pink flowers in abundance. When each flower falls it reveals the pale pink calyx that persists on the plant for weeks, giving the impression that the shrub is still in flower. The leaves are small and glossy adding to the interest and in most winters, It remains evergreen. It can grow to three metres, but can be managed to keep it to 1.5 metres (five feet). Plant in full sun to light shade for best flower performance. Nerines are sun-loving bulbs from S. Africa and revel in the hottest spot you can find with perfect drainage. Against a southfacing wall would be ideal but they also do well in pots of welldrained gritty compost. The pink spidery flowers appear to pop up when you least expect them. We are familiar with the deciduous May flowering climbing hydrangea that grows anywhere and even on north facing wall. Well, for September try an evergreen relative, Pileostegia viburnoides. Rather slow to get started, as is its cousin, this will also tolerate a shady position and is also self-clinging, but in late summer will reward you with clusters of creamy white scented flowers. My last choice is a medium-sized tree, Sorbus Pink Pagoda. Blue/green pinnate leaves develop striking autumnal tints but in late summer clusters of pink mountain ash style berries. The berries are usually left by the birds in preference to our native species but eventually they will be devoured. September can be a lovely month in the garden so make sure you add some of these dependable plants.


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SEPTEMBER GARDEN TIPS

GARDENING

September is the beginning of the traditional autumn planting season and is in fact the best time to plant hardy plants. The soil is moist and warm and plants soon get established now, so get out your spades and get planting! Scarify your lawn to remove old dead grass. Use a spring tine rake and put the old dead grass and moss that you rake out onto the compost heap. Sow new seed or turf, both after careful soil preparation. Don’t skimp on this as it is the one chance to get it right! Erect a net over your pond to prevent falling leaves from trees and shrubs getting into the water and increasing the nutrient levels when they breakdown. They may also deprive the fish of oxygen as they decompose. Pick ripe apples and pears now. If they come off the tree easily without having to tug hard, then they are ready to harvest. If you cut one or two in half, look for brown pips to show that they are ready. Varieties harvested now will not store well and should be eaten or cooked straight away. Help the wildlife in your garden by providing log piles in odd corners to act as refuges, put up lacewing, bee and ladybird shelters to provide homes for these very useful predators, install a hedgehog, frog and toad shelter. Get compost containers ready for the autumn clean up. Construct extra or perhaps purchase new ones before the leaves start to fall. Shredders are very useful and can turn most trimmings and modest prunings into useful mulching material. Courtesy Cleeve Nursery

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MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 75


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Still growing after 70 years

MEMBERS of the Castle Cary Gardening Association have produced a commemorative booklet to mark their 70th annual show. The show, now held at Caryford Community Hall, attracts up to 700 entries each year; just under half of those are for the fruit and vegetable classes and there has been a resurgence in handicrafts.

Association chair Erica Holt (fourth left) with some of the committee members: Lesley Ridgley, Neal Hatch and Anna Hales

Three generations of the same family supporting the show: Rosie Meek, Perla Walker and Melissa Meek

Lionel Horley took first prize with this entry of two dahlias PAGE 76 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Sweet smell of success for entrants in this class

Part of Mary Beth Millican’s Garden Party floral display


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GARDENING

Middlecombe celebrates 30 years

The North family (l to r) Leigh, Winnie, Mave, Ellory, Esme, Nigel, Isy and Becci

THIS year, Middlecombe Nursery is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The family-run business was started by Nigel and Isy North, who had a landscaping business in Keynsham and a background working in nurseries and garden centres before they took on the nursery in Congresbury. Today it’s a thriving business with four generations of the family getting involved, including their daughters Becci and Leigh, Nigel’s mum Mave, aged 87, who is “head labeller”, and their grandchildren Ellory, Esme and Winnie who love to help water the flowers. They specialise in growing and supplying hardy nursery stock, including shrubs, perennials, trees, and exotics, to the general public. They also supply garden designers and landscapers and regularly provide plants for Gold medal winning exhibits at the Chelsea, Hampton Court and Malvern Flower Shows. With plans to expand the already-extensive-range of plants, redesign the gardens and open a small pizza café, the future of Middlecombe is set to flourish.

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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 • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 77


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Ch e l wo o d F l o we r S h o w

Time to look forward to next year

Vegetable judge Gill Hazell

Garden Design • Planting Schemes • Horticultural Consultancy Courses in Gardening and Garden Design www.christinepritchard.co.uk • info@christinepritchard.co.uk tel: 01761 221166 • mobile: 07966 172282

IF this summer was just too hot and dry to think about gardening now is the time to prepare for changes in the coming year. Garden designer and tutor Christine Pritchard is running a number of short courses to suit enthusiastic new gardeners with the first starting this November. You can choose to redesign your whole garden or learn more about putting plants together in your borders. There are two venues to choose from: Stoke Lodge in Bristol and the Somer Valley Campus (formerly Norton Radstock College). The Stoke Lodge courses are available on Wednesdays or Saturdays and the Somer Valley Campus courses take place in the evenings. New for 2019 is a series of one-off day courses on specific styles of garden. Starting in March, you can take a more indepth look at “cottage gardens”, “prairie planting” and many more specific garden types. You don’t need to be a knowledgeable gardener or fluent in Latin to enjoy these informal courses. Details: Christine Pritchard 01761 221166 or visit www.christinepritchard.co.uk

Regil Village Flower and Produce Show

Committee members (l to r) Jean Filer, Morris Stuckey, Pauline Stuckey, Jane Keedwell and Barbara Banks PAGE 78 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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A l l o t me n t g a r d e n e r s d i g f o r v i c to r y MEMBERS of the Westfield Allotment Gardeners Association will be stepping back in time to World War Two for a special fundraising open event on Sunday, September 2nd. Organisers are planning to be dressed in WWII outfits and will be offering food typical of the 1940s. Jackie Bryant, part of the team, has been researching recipes to offer a true taste of life under rationing – and how vital allotments were to people’s diet. There will also be traditional games for children and a more up-to-date barbecue as well as a chance to explore the allotments themselves. There will also be a visit by a Green Goddess fire engine.

Organisers Martin Bates and Jackie Bryant

GARDENING

Jackie Bryant has been researching wartime recipes for the event

The allotments cater mostly for residents of Westfield and there is a special area of raised beds for children or people with disabilities. Members of the locally-based SWALLOW organisation are amongst the allotment holders on what was once a rather neglected children’s play area. WAGS chairman Martin Bates said: “Thanks to the support of organisations such as Westfield Parish Council and the Big Local dragon’s den fund, we have made huge progress in the six years we have been here with a tool store and separate shed for children’s tools, summerhouse and everyone gets along with each other extremely well.” ● The event, from midday-4pm, will help to raise funds for new, wheelchair-accessible paths to the summerhouse and other works.

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ALL YOUR GARDENING NEEDS – SET IN 12 WONDERFUL ACRES MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 79


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Tractors great and small

NORTH Somerset Tractor Club’s Steam Up and Vintage Rally was held on the North Somerset show site at Wraxall.

Tractor pulling was popular

There were steam engines great and small

Still in working order

Some tractors were in better condition than others This lot went for £500

Cranmore Village Fair

The Desert Divas braved the wet weather to perform outside…

PAGE 80 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

… but gusty winds caught some unawares


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Blackford Harvest Home

Jake Connock with part of his collection of militaria

EVENTS

The fair was opened by Gwenda Brock, who has lived in the parish for 80 years MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 81


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Cutting edge property company expands LODESTONE Property, an award-winning independent estate agency that is rapidly taking the property market in Somerset by storm, is preparing to open its second office, in Wells, just two years after setting up in Bruton. One of a new breed of estate agents set to revolutionise the industry, Lodestone prides itself on responding to the more immediate needs of today’s world without compromising the quality of service provided by a traditional local estate agent. Lodestone was launched in September 2016 by “olderpreneurs” Cathy Morris-Adams and Sue Macey, who had successful careers in the nuclear, television, medical and property industries, before combining their estate agency and business experience. The pair have both lived with their families in Somerset for many years and have extensive knowledge of the area. The office in Wells has seen the appointment of two new members of the team, including branch manager Charlie Armytage (formerly working for a local estate agency and before that a trader, relationship manager and compliance officer in the City). Because of the way they work, Lodestone will now cover buying, selling and letting residential property across Somerset. Sue said: “We wanted to do something different and be ground-breaking in the industry. We don’t have a high street presence as shop fronts are a thing of the past in our opinion, despite most of our competitors having them, and would prefer to invest in a high ratio of staff to ensure our sales complete. We

PAGE 82 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

still love to welcome clients to our offices. but very few visitors turn into buyers so why would we waste money when it doesn’t guarantee us any revenue. “We also don’t use the traditional marketing channels; we work with a wide demographic reaching network of bloggers, who have helped Charlie Armytage, who will us target audiences which fit head up the Wells office with our current listings, as well as increasing our profile on social media platforms.” Lodestone is also developing the rentals side of its business in a bid to offer a one-stop service. It has recently joined forces with another Somerset small business that offers an Airbnb management service which allows them to offer a letting, holiday rental and Airbnb service giving greater choice to clients. Charlie Armytage, Wells branch manager, added: “I am excited to join such an inspiring business as Lodestone to help further their growth and manage their Wells office. There is so much potential for an agent that specialises in high quality service to work with vendors who appreciate the importance of having an experienced agent to sell what is usually their largest asset.”


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PROPERTY

Successful sales of Georgian glory and Chew Valley farm THE third David James and Partners land and property auction took place on Tuesday, July 24th attracting a packed room of bidders. There were several interesting properties for sale along with various lots of land. Max House at Winscombe attracted huge attention, being such a rarity in the property market, with some 7,000 sq ft of accommodation for renovation and requiring restoration to its former Georgian glory. A substantial house, it has a coach house, walled garden, tree-lined carriage drive and three acres, all nestling in the lea of the Mendip Hills in a secluded valley with lovely views. After fierce bidding the hammer went down at £770,000. The start of the auction was delayed by a few minutes as prior to the sale commencing, contracts were exchanged on Arlon at East Harptree. It was offered in four lots and purchased as a whole with some 53 acres of pasture, substantial agricultural buildings and a detached bungalow! The family were delighted that the property was not going to be broken up and would still be run as a family farm. There were many disappointed buyers in the room. However, auctioneer Richard Nancekivell continued with the land sale, with lots in Canada Coombe guided at £35,000 making £49,000 for three acres, 2.45 acres at West End Nailsea making £35,000, building and 2.5 acres land near Ashton Windmill in Chapel Allerton making £54,000 and

Two Oaks stables in Clevedon Lane, Clapton Wick with 3.85 acres achieving £116,000. They were excellent results on a very warm evening! Even the few lots that did not meet their reserves all had interest and will no doubt be sold by private treaty in due course. Be sure of a sale this autumn – lots are now being taken for September and November auctions and David James & Partners will also be holding their annual Collective Machinery Sale in the autumn.

Details: David James and Partners at Wrington on 01934 864300.

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Canada Coombe • Guide Price £720,000

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Hinton Blewi • Guide Price £385,000

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Contact the Wrington Office: 01934 864307 MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 83


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PROPERTY

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The danger of bad air in Mendip’s caves

THE Somerset coalfield was notoriously difficult to work, owing to the thinness of the seams. What it did not suffer from was gas. Most coal mines in other areas were dangerous due to the firedamp or methane which seeped from the coal. Many lives were lost when a stray spark With PHILIP ignited the gas to produce a devastating HENDY explosion. When I toured the Wyndham Colliery in South Wales in 1982, we were searched for matches, cigarettes and cameras, as even the spark from a flashgun could ignite the gas. Many of the colliers chewed tobacco, partly to satisfy their nicotine habit, but also salivating and spitting helped to eliminate the coal dust from their lungs. Surprisingly, steel toe-capped boots were permitted in the Wyndham pit. Whereas most collieries used safety lamps and, later, special electric cap lamps, the Somerset miners could use carbide lamps, which fitted on the helmet. The lamps produced a hot bright naked flame, enhanced with a reflector. A lower chamber was filled with lumps of calcium carbide, which reacted with water dripped onto it from an upper chamber. The resulting acetylene was emitted through a jet, and burned. For many years, cavers used the same lamps, as they were lighter and gave better illumination than candles or hurricane lamps. The drawback was that the flame could be extinguished when descending waterfalls or when hit by a stray drip. Eventually, the National Coal Board sold off their old electric lamps and cavers willingly took to these instead, even though they had heavy batteries which were worn on a waist belt. When fully charged, these lamps gave several hours light and would work under water. Although dangerous gases can occur in caves in volcanic regions, methane is unknown in British caves. Over the years, however, cavers have become more aware of another gas which can cause problems – carbon dioxide. This can be produced by rotting vegetable matter washed into caves and is also a by-product of the solution of limestone by organic acids, the usual way in which caves are formed. The gas causes laboured breathing and at high levels will cause death.

Pete Moody in Sidcot Dig

CAVING

Carbide lamp

The ambient CO2 level in the atmosphere is around 0.04%, having risen since the Industrial Revolution from around 0.03%. It is often a seasonal problem, occurring mainly in the summer and early autumn. Levels of up to 5% have been recorded; at 10% it can be fatal. It is most noticeable in deep caves where there is little natural circulation of the air. Baker’s Extension in Banwell Bone Cave was known to be affected at times and the lower part of Rocket Drop at Whitestown Farm is approached with caution, as the route involved a tight vertical squeeze. The exertion needed to climb back out could easily exacerbate the problem. Cuckoo Cleeves at Priddy is well-known for having high levels of the gas. It is a steep cave and explorers often start breathing heavily on the descent, let alone the return. Sometimes CO2 is trapped in sediments and released when cavers start digging in the hope of finding new passages. This occurred in a dig in the floor of the Main Chamber in Lamb Leer Cavern and more recently in the Sidcot Dig in Swildon’s Hole. This was a deep shaft excavated at the end of a passage in South East Inlets. The air was notoriously bad here and many diggers, myself included, could only tolerate it for a short period. The two main diggers, Pete and Ali Moody, seemed immune and could work there for quite some time. Eventually, a breakthrough was made into a series called Renascence – and the draught caused a great improvement in the air quality. Although carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so can be expected to be more prevalent at the bottom of caves, this is not always so. Problems exist in the main 50-metre shaft of the dig at Templeton, but a temperature inversion causes the highest levels of the gas between depths of 25 and 37 metres. Other gases can be met with by cavers and toxic vapours are not unknown when exploring old mineshafts. Both carbon dioxide and monoxide (an even more lethal compound) have been detected, as well as methane. Visitors often take the precaution of using a gas monitor and are prepared to exit immediately if danger levels are experienced. When using explosives underground, the dangers of the resulting fumes are well known and the charges are detonated at a safe distance – and diggers evacuate the cave immediately. In any case, the fumes render vision impossible, so it is necessary to allow time for the dust to settle and the air to clear. Although modern explosives are “cleaner” than in the past, the fumes can still cause a nasty headache. Fortunately, very few caves are affected by bad air and they are explored carefully and responsibly and the effects are limited to laboured breathing – which soon returns to normal after a short rest in clean air.

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

PAGE 86 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

(Photograph by Phil Hendy)

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MOTORING

Congestion work begins

A NEW lane is being put in at Bences Garage Junction at Marksbury, where the A39 connects with the A368. Thousands of vehicles travel through the three-armed junction every day, but the layout needs improving to reduce journey times. Bath and North East Somerset Council secured £700,000 towards the cost of the £890,000 scheme from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. The project will build on improvements made last year to the Two Headed Man junction on the A39, which was also partially funded through the LGF.

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Dear constituents

THIS year, I’m touring the UK celebrating 70 years of the NHS and canvassing ideas for a “People’s Plan” to keep the service afloat in the future. So far, the majority of my audience members (admittedly not a random sample) want to restore the government’s legally By Dr PHIL binding duty to provide universal healthcare HAMMOND rather than just “promote” it, which has allowed a whole range of services to be cut or cut back. They are prepared to pay more for public services, but only if the money was spent on supporting frontline services that are proven to work. They prefer the services to be publicly provided, with outsourcing to the private sector only used if, say, the NHS needed help, and only if the providers were “not for profit” so that any savings go back into the service rather than to shareholders. They want longer consultations with staff they know and who know them (something that’s been proven to improve your care). Above all, they want NHS staff to be safe, unstressed and wellrested, and present in sufficient numbers. Most regular users of the NHS observed staff shortages and exhausted doctors and nurses. My audiences want legallymandated safe staffing levels for doctors and nurses, starting with emergency care and on-call. There have been some funny suggestions too: “All cabinet members and their families must be treated in the worst performing hospital in the country.” That could drive up standards faster than anything. I also liked: “When people who shelter money in tax havens call an ambulance, it has to come from the Cayman Islands.” There was a strong feeling that tax should be seen as a badge of honour for living in a civilised society rather than money the government grabs off you. If we’d matched the percentage of our GDP that Germany has put into health just since 2000, we’d have put an extra £260 billion into the NHS. Think how fabulous the service could be with that level of investment. A few suggestions were brilliant in their simplicity: “For one day a year, doctors and patients should tell each other the truth.” And: “Replace hospital beds with bunk beds. Bed crisis sorted.” One of the most popular suggestions was the most unlikely: “Dr Phil for Health Secretary.” I have promised to give this my best shot, although I’ll somehow have to leapfrog my sitting MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, first. My philosophy is that “health for all” should be the political consideration and ambition that overrides all others. Without health – our freedom to live a life that we have reason to value – then life itself seems pretty pointless. And politicians should relentlessly focus on adding value to all our lives rather than settling their petty personal rivalries. I’ll be standing for the National Health Action Party in North East Somerset. You can read our 2017 Manifesto here*. I hope I can count on your vote, whenever it is. Dr Phil will be celebrating the NHS in Bradford on Avon on September 14th, Clevedon on September 15th and Bristol on November 18th. Come and shape my manifesto. www.drphilhammond.com * https://nhaparty.org/our-policies/our-2017-manifesto/

PAGE 88 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Plop the Raindrop

IT never ceases to amaze me how often we water droplets rain down on people standing outside without even an umbrella to protect them. It didn’t rain much earlier this summer, but since the school holidays started I’ve bounced off more bald heads than I can remember. Please don’t ask me why it always seems to rain more in August! Something to do with “low pressure” whatever that is. When people wear waterproof clothes we know how to wriggle down to soak their legs and socks. I’ve even ended up inside boots and shoes, which can be very smelly. I landed on the queen’s shoulder once, but got a speedy brush-off from someone called Flunky. Recently I landed at a strange human ritual called cricket, where people can spend as long as five days hoping it won’t rain. Can you imagine a game that lasts that long and ends in a draw? That’s what cricket can do and people go and pay a lot of money to watch it. Bonkers. At one of the “Test” matches (I’ve no idea what they were testing) I landed in a glass of something called Champagne, which tasted a bit like cat’s pee with bubbles. I’ve been stuck in quite a few cats over the years, so I’m a bit of a connoisseur on this subject. I remember one Siamese peeing once over a very posh fur coat. I swear he had a very superior smile on his face. The chap holding the Champagne was telling a friend he couldn’t possibly consider changing his job for less than two million pounds a year, whatever that means. I remember the friend laughing like a donkey – no offence to donkeys. I expected to get drunk at any moment, but there was a very heavy shower and more of my friends started to land in the glass. The players had all run off the pitch, but most people just sat there watching the rain. It was probably more exciting for them than watching cricket. The two men abandoned their glasses and I was joined by a lot of old friends, as the rain continued to fall and the cat’s pee was diluted by water droplets. Some of them had flown in from as far away as Australia, others from just down the road after evaporating from the River Thames. None of them understood cricket either – do you? The great thing about our world is that there are no boundaries about where we go, though we have no control over that either. In the river one minute, stuck in a Champagne glass the next. We literally have to go with the flow, apparently without a care in the world. But it’s not that simple. We have feelings too. Watching cricket for five days might be tedious, but being stuck in the sea for five million years can be a lot worse. It can be seriously boring. Once the rain stopped those two chaps came back to their seats and glugged down their diluted Champagne. I’m currently stuck inside this braying imbecile watching cricket. Hopefully there’ll be more rain soon and we can get out here. Whatever next? MENDIP GRANDAD


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Clients recommend Balance

HEALTH & FAMILY HEALTH & FAMILY

ONCE you become a Balance member you will not only be taking an important step towards a healthier you but you will also become part of a wonderful community, making new friends along the way. You will also be invited to great events throughout the year such as their Wellness Day on Saturday, September 29th and their Balance Retreat in Tuscany from June 7th-14th, 2019. Balance, The Countryside Gym, lies on the outskirts of the beautiful village of Timsbury, just outside Bath. They promote healthy living and wellbeing, offering nutritional advice and tailored exercise plans to suit your lifestyle and fitness needs. All of their classes are small and designed for all ages and fitness levels from circuits, bootcamp, body conditioning, HIIT, boxercise, Pilates and yoga to their new Barre Concept Class for mothers and babies and their Healthy 4 Life 60+ which focuses on gentle exercise, stretching and core stability. Personal training sessions are also available as well as massage, postural analysis and nutritional advice. Clients recommend Balance. Raquel Johnson said: “It feels like going to a retreat every time I drive to this beautiful fitness suite with the most amazing views. I have found my perfect place to keep fit! Sue and her team are so professional, kind and make everyone feel at ease as soon as you attend a class.”

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HEALTH & FAMILY

MAKE THIS A SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER!

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 chriscourthouse@gmail.com Court House Retirement Home, Church Street, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3RA PAGE 90 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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Miners’ reunion 30th anniversary

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Quasimodo in Wells Miners gather for a recent reunion

THE Somerset and District Miners Welfare Trust will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its reunion lunch this September. Taking place at Somerset Coalfield Live at Radstock Museum on Monday, September 3rd, the lunch is open to all former employees of the Somerset coal mines. Local historian and museum stalwart Dennis Chedgy will present a slide show after the lunch, supported by the Radstock Co-operative Society and the trust.

The reunion is limited to former employees. Doors open at 11.45am. For details, visit: www.radstockmuseum.co.uk

A local cart for local people

CASTLE Cary and Ansford Carnival Society has introduced a new class for local people and groups who would like to take their first venture into carnival. All people need is a good idea, a trailer or flatbed truck and some creativity. They could make their costumes and design the float in the last few weeks or days before the carnival – it's all about having a go! This year’s carnival takes place on Saturday, October 13th. After a successful 40th anniversary last year, the society is keen to go back to its roots with a theme that is simple for anyone to take up. The new class of float is designed to be built on a small trailer or flatbed truck. It could be towed by a tractor or even a large SUV. Organisers say 50% of carnival clubs have folded in recent years and two of the ten towns in the Wessex Grand Prix circuit are not holding carnivals in 2018. Last year the town’s Ansford Academy entered a float – Ansford in Wonderland – with the cart and costume all designed and made in four weeks. It went so well they formed a carnival club and are entering four carnivals this year! For details, visit: www.ccacs.org.uk or contact Paul Burch at: paully.b@hotmail.co.uk or 07973 932207.

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NEWS

THE great 1923 Gothic silent movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is to be shown on the big screen in the atmospheric space of Wells Cathedral, England’s first Gothic cathedral. The musical accompaniment to the film will be improvised on the cathedral’s great organ by David Bednall, one of Europe’s finest improvisers. He has established a reputation as an exciting and virtuosic organist and is particularly noted for his skills as an improviser, especially in providing the soundtrack to silent films. Universal’s 1923 version of Victor Hugo’s novel was one of the great super-productions of its day. The film-makers built a life-size façade of the great French cathedral which, along with numerous other sets representing medieval Paris, took a year to build and remained in the Universal lot as an attraction for years to come. The film starred the great silent movie icon, Lon Chaney as Quasimodo, the cathedral’s spectacularly deformed bell-ringer, not to mention a huge cast of up to 3,500 extras! The showing of this film is a fundraising event for Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust, which helps young singers from all backgrounds to train in a world-class musical environment. The trust wants to be able to give any child with musical talents the opportunity to enjoy a unique all-round education at a specialist music school. It is seeking donations to build up their endowment and create a fund large enough to provide scholarships and bursaries in perpetuity. The showing of the film is part of Wells Cathedral’s new Music Wells festival. Details: www.wcct.co.uk

Tour of Britain

THOUSANDS of people are expected to watch some of Britain’s top riders as they head through our area on September 4th on the third stage of the tour. From Bristol they will head for Failand and Yatton before going to Congresbury and on to the A38. From there they will head for Shipham and Cheddar, before climbing through Cheddar Gorge and heading out to Chilcompton and Midsomer Norton. They will then head back through Peasedown St John and Dunkerton to Bishop Sutton heading for Long Ashton and back to the finish in Bristol. Details: www.tourofbritain.co.uk


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Barrow Gurney Flower Show

Cheddar Flower Show

EVENTS

Young exhibitors Millie, Ruby, Harry and Louisa

Katie Smith with her art entries

Show secretary Sal Pearson with grandchildren Jack, aged three, and Olivia, aged six

Jane Piper and Amy Linklater with their prize-winning confectionery

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Walking by moonlight Launch of 2018 Bath Moonlight Walk

Dorothy House Hospice’s Bath Moonlight Walk will take place around Bath city centre on Saturday, September 15th starting at 10pm from the SouthGate Shopping Centre. The walk is open to both men and women for the first time this year so anyone aged 14-plus is welcome to join in the fun. Dorothy House cares for over 3,000 patients, family members and carers every year across Wiltshire, Somerset and Bath and North-East Somerset. Last year’s walk raised £60,000 towards funding vital patient care and this year the charity hopes to raise more funds. For every £1 received from the NHS, they have to raise a further £4 to provide their services. This year’s 1980s theme for the walk is “walk back to the 80s” and the warm-up before the walk will include a mass participation lesson in the “moon walk”. Details: www.bathmoonlightwalk.org.uk

Co-op supports the RNLI

THE Radstock Co-operative Store in Timsbury, has been a reliable supporter of the RNLI for over eight years and the counter-top collecting box at the store has now provided a total of £2009 to the charity. It is the first box in the Chew Valley branch area to top £2,000 over its lifetime and in recognition of this milestone, branch chairperson, Gillie Slater, presented a certificate to store manager, Owen Holland. Owen Holland said: “Our colleagues and customers are only too pleased to support the RNLI which they do by frequently popping their loose change into the collection box. I’m amazed that we have topped the £2,000 mark which is a great achievement.” Details: Secretary, Tim Gracey tandbgracey@gmail.com

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Art and stories from Charlton Farm

Messy Play, by children at CHSW

THE Tithe Barn in Nailsea will host a special evening in October celebrating the artistic talents of people connected to Charlton Farm at Wraxall, the local Children’s Hospice South West centre. On Friday, October 5th, visitors are invited to discover what the hospice means to children, families, volunteers, supporters and staff through their art, craft, poems and stories. There will also be an interactive musical session with music therapist Adam Kishtainy, and the opportunity to meet and talk to volunteers and members of the care team from the charity’s Charlton Farm hospice in Wraxall. Through its three hospices, CHSW delivers a range of services including short breaks, specialist play, music therapy, activities for siblings, palliative and emergency care, end of life care, bereavement support and specialist medical care. The evening runs from 6-8pm. For details call 01275 866600 or email: emma.parker@chsw.org.uk

Tour aids charity

THE Mendip Vintage and Classic Tour’s chosen charity this year was Macmillan Cancer Support and raised £1,751.50. Pictured: Club chairman, Paul Dickinson (left) and vice chairman Roger Dollins (right) present their cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support representative Mark Tobin (centre) with representatives of the Wells Classic Car Club and Macmillan.


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Hannah’s charity supports cancer research

HANNAH’S Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, established by young event rider, Hannah Francis, has announced its first research programme into osteosarcoma. A ground-breaking research project into this rare type of bone cancer, which principally affects children and young adults, will be undertaken by the University of Sheffield’s world-leading Department of Oncology and Metabolism, thanks to a grant of £230,000 from Hannah’s charity. Hannah, a talented horse rider, was diagnosed with the aggressive form of bone cancer in 2015. A big part of Hannah’s dream for her charity was to support vital research into osteosarcoma, which usually develops in growing bones. Hannah established her charity in March 2016 before tragically losing her life later that year at the age of just 18 years old. The charity has raised £1million in the last two years. The disease affects about 160 people in the UK each year, of which 30 are children, and attracts very little funding because of its rarity. This means that there has been equally limited research conducted in this area and treatment for the disease has not improved in the last 30 years. Allie Gartland, Professor of Bone and Cancer Biology at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism, will be leading the new research project. She said: “Osteosarcoma is a particularly nasty disease which has very poor survival rates. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to chemotherapy – their tumour becomes chemo-resistant and their overall five-year survival rate is then drastically reduced. “It is shocking to think that treatment for this particularly aggressive form of bone cancer hasn’t changed in the past 30 years. There is clearly a need to understand the mechanisms by which chemo-resistance develops so we can find more effective treatments.” The grant from Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity will allow Professor Gartland and her dedicated team to identify new drugs that can be used either alone or in combination with the existing chemotherapy strategy. Miles Toulson-Clarke, from Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, said: “Hannah was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in May 2015 at the age of just 17. The prognosis was very poor indeed and Hannah subsequently endured many months of painful and debilitating treatment, fighting the disease with extraordinary courage and dignity. “During this period, tens of thousands of people followed Hannah’s story, told through the voice of her mascot, Willberry the Wonder Pony. Hannah’s sheer determination was plain to see and she defied all medical opinion, continuing to ride right up until she died at only 18 years of age in August 2016.” Details: https://www.willberrywonderpony.org https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/oncology-metabolism

Young leader award

CHARITIES

YMCA Mendip has nominated Owen Kenny as Young Leader of the Year in the YMCA England & Wales Youth Matters Awards 2018. Owen is up against four other young people from across the country in this category. YMCA Mendip says he has been entered for the award because of his journey from being a shy 11-year-old struggling with friendships six years ago, to the “wonderful caring young volunteer we have today”. Andrea White, youth and community team, said: “As Owen’s youth worker, I would like to recommend him for this award, as his long-term and ongoing commitment to making a positive impact for young people is inspiring.” Owen said: “I was surprised to have been nominated for such a significant award and was ecstatic to hear I have reached the semi-final stage. My life, physically, mentally and socially, has benefited so much since getting involved with YMCA Mendip.” Details: www.mendipymca.org.uk/

Charity challenge

THE Sangha House in Taunton raised £700 for Frome-based counselling charity We Hear You (WHY), when three of its members tackled the Somerset Three Peaks. The Sangha House offers a 12-week “Restart” diet and fitness programme to help people make meaningful and sustainable changes to their lifestyle and improve their overall health. The team walked up Cheddar Gorge, Dunkery Beacon and West Quantoxhead on one of the hottest days of the year, raising £700, which will go towards WHY’s counselling service for people affected by cancer or a life threatening condition. WHY has also received a £5,000 donation from Somerset Freemasons. Details: www.thesanghahouse.co.uk www.wehearyou.org.uk

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Golfers support charities

WESTON Rotary Club held their 22nd annual charity golf day at Weston Golf Club, raising over £7,000 for local charities. It means the total raised since 1997 is over £200,000. The prize giving was conducted by Weston Golf Club chairman Roy Schubert and Weston Rotary president Julian Matthews. He presented cheques of £1,000 each to Charlton Farm Children's Hospice South West, the Ian Ritchie Foundation (Cystic Fibrosis), Cancer Research UK (Weston branch), and the SpringBoard Opportunity Group. The balance will be donated to other mainly local charities as needs arise. Details: www.westonrotaryclub.org.uk www.facebook.com/westonrotaryclub or contact secretary George Horsfield 01934 416778.

Grand charity raffle

SHEPTON Mallet Tangent are embarking on a major project to raise money for Dorothy House Hospice Care as one of their members lost her husband last year and Dorothy House provided amazing support for him and the family. A large raffle is currently underway with major prizes from local businesses. This raffle will take place on November 2nd at the Dorothy House shop in Shepton Mallet when they will be hosting a Dorothy's Tea Party from 10am until 2.30pm. The say tickets are going well and they hope local people will get behind them and support this worthwhile charity, Details: sheptonmallettangent@gmail.com or call 0777 6157315.

Volunteers wanted

ST MARGARET’S Hospice is looking for volunteers for its community support service, which usually involves a visit once a week for a couple of hours during normal working hours Monday to Friday. Volunteers are assigned a patient who they support over eight visits, by the end of this time, many patients feel much more confident about living with their illness.

Details: Community.Support@st-margarets-hospice.org.uk or call 08450 708910 (option 2).

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Football club supports the needy

FROME Town Football Club has announced a new partnership with Fair Frome, a charity which works to help the most disadvantaged people in Frome and campaigns against inequality. The initial agreement, effective from this season, will see the Fair Frome brand feature on Frome Town’s shorts in all league and cup competition matches. Fair Frome helps people in the local community by offering practical support such as the food bank, the furniture bank, community lunches, "holiday hunger" lunches, and other projects designed to bring people together from different backgrounds and across generations to find common solutions. Frome Town F.C. will be working with Fair Frome throughout the season to support all initiatives with representation from the club at a variety of events. The club will continue to offer space within the club’s facilities to support Fair Frome. In addition, both parties will be issuing a number of adult tickets for each home game to those who would not otherwise be able to attend a game – all children can attend all matches for free. Jeremy Alderman, chairman of Frome Town, said: "We are delighted to have Fair Frome as a new partner. The work that Fair Frome conducts within our town is unbelievable and should never go unrecognised. “Our club has a strong history of supporting local charity organisations and support groups. This partnership will become one of our main partnerships in line with our wider community plan. With the recent launch of ‘We are #BA11’, the club will be more vocal about the successful projects we undertake in the local community during 18/19 season.” Bob Ashford, chair of Fair Frome, said: “We are really pleased to be entering this partnership with Frome Town. Fair Frome tries to meet the very high local need for our services by harnessing local resources. “This ensures there is an awareness of local problems and that local people ‘own’ both the problems and the solutions. The club has already been extremely supportive with our existing schemes and this takes the partnership to a new level."


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Living well day for people with MS

Charity dancer

CHARITIES

Some of the Mendip group at their annual meeting at the Quarry Inn at Keinton Mandeville

A FREE information event for people with multiple sclerosis, their families and carers is to be held in Glastonbury in September. Living Well with MS has been organised by the 80strong Mendip group of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and will feature a number of workshops, discussions and advice sessions ranging from exercise and pain management to welfare benefits and support. It will take place at Tor Sports and Leisure Centre on Monday, September 24th. Before then, volunteers will be out collecting in Wells on Saturday, September 15th as well as raising awareness of MS and the work of the Mendip group, which is currently supporting a national campaign to persuade the government to review the Personal Independence Payment 20-metre rule. The rule is an assessment criteria for the higher rate mobility component of the scheme. A person who can walk just one step over 20 metres is ineligible for the higher payment. The MS society says it is the main reason people with MS don’t receive the right support. Peter Graham, chair of the Mendip group, said: “The day is for anyone affected by MS to meet, share experiences and receive advice; people can attend for all or just part of it.” Online bookings for the day – via www.eventbrite.co.uk – close on Monday, September 3rd but people can book after that date by telephoning Leila Middlehurst-Evans on: 07715 427891.

Charity cyclists

MENDIP District Council chief executive, Stuart Brown, has raised over £1,000 for charity following a 100-mile cycle ride. He took on the Ride London to Surrey event at the end of July with his son, Ben. The money will be shared between the Alzheimer’s Society and the council’s charity of the year, Mendip YMCA. Details: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuartbrown2018

Tina Blackwill with TV presenter Seb Choudhury

TINA Blackwill is spreading a little glamour around Wells by taking pom pom dance classes into residential care homes, active and assisted living centres, elderly clubs and those for adults with special needs and even the WI! She’s also planning another charity Night of Nostalgia next year – the first one last year at Wells Town Hall, raised £1,600 for Marie Curie. Married, with three children, she describes herself as “bright, sparkly, energetic, committed and slightly bonkers!” She helped lead the 100th birthday parade for the WI down Wells High Street and donated a “fabulous” three-tiered James Bond Casino Royal themed cake to one of the mayor’s events back in March. She also modelled for St Mary's Hospice in May, performed a baton-twirling routine in Wells Market Place for the Wells Lions Club May fair and also entered Coxley Has Talent. Her exploits will be featured on BBC’s Inside Out West programme on September 10th – her latest television appearance. She has also appeared on Come Dine With Me – and won – Channel 4’s Sun, Sea and Selling Houses, Britain’s Got Talent, This Morning, Opportunity Knocks and Record Breakers.

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New appointments

Weston bids farewell

Senior promotions for Ruth Gretton and Wayne de Leeuw at Dorothy House Hospice Care

THE Coventry and Warwickshire, an Atlantic 75 class RNLI lifeboat, bought with money raised in the Midlands and based at Weston-super-Mare, has retired after a hugely successful career saving lives at sea. Its first year of service in 2001 was one of its busiest, with 30 calls and at least four lives saved. Throughout its life, it has launched 302 times, saved 17 lives and rescued 239 people. The sea and general wear and tear have taken a toll and to make matters worse the Weston volunteer crew have had to operate out of a temporary station for the last five years resulting in the lifeboat being kept outside subject to wind and waves on the seafront. A relief lifeboat, the Paul Alexander, has been sent to Weston until the new boathouse is built. Mike Buckland, lifeboat operations manager at Weston, said: “Many times my team and I have trusted our lives to B769. She has been a magnificent boat and served us well. We will miss her but the new boat will be a worthy successor and we will keep doing what we do – saving lives at sea.”

DOROTHY House Hospice Care, based in Winsley, has announced two new senior promotions. Wayne de Leeuw is promoted to the joint role of director of patient, family services and deputy chief executive and Ruth Gretton is promoted to director of nursing. Wayne was previously executive clinical lead for community services at the hospice and Ruth’s prior role was executive clinical lead in-patient services. The hospice provides free palliative and end-of-life care from early diagnosis onwards to patients, their families and carers across Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Somerset. Wayne lives in Coleford and works mainly at Dorothy House in Winsley, but also sometimes from their outreach centre in Peasedown St John. He said: “This is both an exciting and challenging time to be working in hospice care. The model that has sustained us over the past several years needs to be reviewed and new partnerships, alliances and financial contracts forged to ensure that people continue to receive outstanding end of life care and support. “Our new strategy, due to be launched in the autumn, provides the perfect platform for this work.” Details: www.dorothyhouse.org.uk or 01225 721480.

A hack for good causes

TWO horseriding friends will be setting out on a 15-mile hack in the countryside around Wellow in September in aid of two charities. Aimee Coccia and Alexandra Farnham-Finch, who both live in the Wellow area, have been riding out on Fenna and Beau five days a week recently in preparation for the ride on Sunday, September 23rd. They will be raising money for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony and Wiltshire Air ambulance. Alexandra, aged 56, has been riding for 50 years and has worked as a horse wrangler in the film industry. Aimee is 25 and has been riding for 14 years. Aimee said: “We are just two friends who love our horses dearly and would like to raise money for two great charities.” For details, find them on Facebook

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Saying farewell – Pete Watts (left) and Andy Stone – two of the original crew – both are still serving

Digging for charity

THE Dig for Victory Show, a 1940s festival held at the North Somerset showground, is donating £6,000 from this year’s event to be split equally between the Great Western Air Ambulance and Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity. A spokesman said: “The Dig For Victory Show has community at heart and central to our ethos are the charities we work with every year.” The show has raised £22,500 in total for charities. It will be taking a break next year.


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Rotary collecting for RNLI

WESTON Rotary Club members John Haycock and Greg Thacker were out on the Grand Pier helping collect money for the RNLI and found a lot of people who cheerfully put money into their buckets. For nearly 100 years the club has met nearly every Friday lunchtime apart from a few evening meetings each year, bank holidays and wartime. As a recognition of more current working practices president Julian Matthews organised a trial breakfast meeting which was surprisingly well attended. This successful format will be repeated occasionally at first but may well become a regular feature of the club and help younger working people get involved. ● An open day at the station raised £2,000.

CHARITIES

Grand Appeal’s grand total

THE Temple Cloud fun days over the last three years have raised £12,555.37 for the Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal at Bristol Children's Hospital. One of the organisers, Tasha Dix, said: “Our aim was to reach £10,000 in three years. We managed to beat this and would like to thank everyone for their support. This means so much to us.” The presentation was made by (l to r) Kayleigh Boulton, Deena Boulton, Morgan Boulton, Ashton Dix and Natasha Dix.

Youngsters put on a dance display

Puppy volunteers

Details: www.westonrotaryclub.org.uk and www.facebook.com/westonrotaryclub or telephone secretary George Horsfield 01934 416778.

CHARITY, Canine Partners, is looking for volunteers to help train puppies become assistance dogs. Mary Roper, a retired 72-year-old, became a puppy parent in January 2012 when she found herself suddenly widowed. She is currently a puppy parent to her sixth puppy, yellow Labrador Rhoda. She said: “Being a puppy parent is exciting as you know you are responsible for starting this adorable pup on its journey to become a very special dog for a person living with disabilities. Each day you notice some small change in your puppy’s character or behaviour as they learn.” Canine Partners trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence. Details: caninepartners.org.uk/getinvolved/volunteering/puppy-parents/ call 08456 580 480 or email info@caninepartners.org.uk

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Camerton Community Fair

Some of the classic and historic cars on display. In the background is a model Dalek built by Jeff Evans Camerton Parish Council chairman Chris Taylor gets a soaking Janine Veal’s Avon Dance Company performed in the community hall

A colourful display of knitted items

Kingswood and Hanham Brass Band

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Tempting homemade produce


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Nempnett Thrubwell Fete

Rachel was a winner on the tombola

Mike Weaver competing at the coconut show with stallholder James Everett

Clutton Flower Show

EVENTS

Serving refreshments (l to r) Elaine Hazell, Dawn Hillman, Catherine Szabo and Gail Nunn

Lily on donkey Jozef

Mendip Brass Band

Izzy admires some of the prize-winning flower arrangements

Julie Evans of Berryfield House, the venue for the fete, receiving a plant from the chairman Nick Houlton

Mendip Brass Band entertained visitors to the show

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P a l a c e l e t t e r f o r f l o w e r f e s t i v a l o r g a ni s e r s ORGANISERS of a church flower festival celebrating women of the last century have received a letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace after decorating the altar and pulpit in honour of The Queen. More than 20 displays filled St Aldhelm’s Church at Doulting for the weekend-long festival. The Suffragette Movement, Dame Vera Lynn and the Land Army were amongst those celebrated – along with church organist Joy Lees, who began playing at church services 50 years ago. Joy said: “The church was looking for a new organist. They knew I played the piano, but I had never played the organ until then; I suppose they are still looking for a replacement!” Preparations for the festival began after

Betty Reakes (left) and Edwina Gould in front of the altar display celebrating The Queen

Easter and one of the organisers, Edwina Gould, decided to write to Buckingham Palace to inform The Queen about their plans for the altar – the reply from her

office was that she was “greatly touched” by the honour. Donations from the festival will go towards church restoration works.

Joy Lees with the display in her honour as church organist

Nasturtiums and marigolds decorate the war memorial in the churchyard

We’ll meet again – the floral tribute to Dame Vera Lynn The Suffragette Movement is honoured

PAGE 102 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

A tethered hot air balloon owned by Simon Harntell rises above the display of vehicles


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COMMUNITY

Students remember

SOME 45 students from Frome College visited the battlefields of France and Belgium to commemorate the centenary of the end of the WWI. Their first stop was Tyne Cott Cemetery, the largest commonwealth war cemetery in the world. They then visited, Langemark, a German cemetery, before going into Ypres, for the daily ceremony of remembrance at the Menin Gate. On the second day, they travelled to France to visit the battlefields of the Somme, stopping at Vimy Ridge, a memorial to the Canadians who died fighting in the trenches there. A college spokesman said: “The Battlefields Trip represents, for many, a once in a lifetime opportunity to pay respects to those who died in the WWI, many of whom were only slightly older than the students on the trip.”

Poetry walk remembers a village’s WWI fallen THE men of Mells killed in the First World War have been remembered in a three-mile poetry walk called In the Footsteps of Siegfried Sassoon.

The group at the WWI memorial

(l:r) John Payne, Martin Bax and Crysse Morrison

The war poet is buried in the village and his verse, along with works by others, was featured in the speciallydevised event as part of the Frome Festival. The poems, with accompanying commentary, were delivered by Frome author John Payne, who devised the

programme, poet Crysse Morrison and festival president Martin Bax. The programme drew on the Home of Our Delight project, led by Rook Lane Arts Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has examined the effect of the war on Mells and its people and surroundings.

For details about the Mells walk and to download it, visit: www.homeofourdelight.org.uk Further poetry walks are planned. Visit: http://fromewriterscollective.co.uk

Meet the Lions

CHEDDAR Vale Lions are holding an event in Hannah More Cottage, Lower North Street, Cheddar on Saturday, September 8th from 2pm to 4pm. The event is being held, not only to say “Thank you” to all their supporters, but also for the community to go along and

find out more about their organisation, what they do and why they do it. The club will also be presenting cheques to other organisations they have supported, as well as awards and certificates to various local people.

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Carnival time in Axbridge AXBRIDGE Blackberry Carnival has been a highlight of the town’s calendar for generations – and with an energetic new committee in charge they hope to build on its previous success. This year’s event is on Saturday, September 22nd and will parade through the traditional Heal’s Funfair, which occupies the town’s medieval square for three days. The Barradas family and friends won last year with their float, Day of the Dead, one of 19 entries. Go back 50 years and there were more than 30 entries, but support had declined. By 2016 there was an appeal for more members to join the organising committee to stop the carnival folding and nine people answered the call. Chairman, Bev Davies, whose family have been involved for generations, said: “I’m really chuffed we now have such

Last year's winning float

support. Hopefully we are on the up again. “The carnival wouldn’t be able to continue without the support of the local community and businesses who support

Bev's family in 1957

The carnival used to be preceded by a pram race Axbridge Chamber of Commerce

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us so generously.” She’s the leader in charge of Cheddar Guides, who will be entering a float, and previously ran Axbridge Guides for 18 years.

The swinging sixties


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Prey time for Jacky

Suffragette awards

COMMUNITY

Gizmo, an 18-year-old eagle owl, looks on approvingly as Jacky presents Roy with the cheque

LAST year’s president of Midsomer Norton and Radstock Inner Wheel has presented a cheque for £210 to Spering Court Animal Rescue Centre at Buckland Dinham, near Frome. The donation was part of Jacky Emm’s fundraising efforts during her year in office and the centre was one of several local charities she chose to support. Spering Court is run by Roy and Linda Steggles who care for 18 rescued birds of prey, along with dogs, cats and ponies.

H e n t o n f e t e s uc c e s s

Ian Tinsley from the Henton Village Fete Committee hands over a cheque to Kirsty Campbell from Somerset Community Foundation

THE village of Henton’s annual summer fete raised over £3,000 for the village church and £320 for its chosen charity of the year, Somerset Community Foundation. Committee member, Ian Tinsley, said: “Our fete is a tradition for the villages of Henton, Yardley and Bleadney – also known collectively as the Mill Stream Villages – and has been running for many years. “Although it’s hard work, the reward is seeing families and other members of our community mixing together and enjoying themselves, while also raising money for good causes. It brings our community together and also helps to support other communities by donating some of the funds to SCF.” The village hall opened in 2000 and is now a focal point for Henton. It hosts many other activities including weekly sessions from the Somerset brain injury charity Headway, a book lending library, Pilates, Henton and District Gardening Club, Henton Short Mat Bowls Club and The Women’s Institute.

AMNESTY International, the worldwide humanitarian relief and human rights organisation, has named Peasedown St John councillors Karen Walker (left) and Sarah Bevan as recipients of a Suffragette Spirit Award. The global charity led a national search for women across the UK who go “above and beyond” the call of duty to champion and speak out for the rights of women who are marginalised and discriminated against – simply because of their gender. The awards mark the centenary of the first women in the UK being able to vote. They are among over 100 women to be honoured in Britain. They said: “We’re hugely honoured to have received these awards, and to join a list of such highly esteemed women from across the United Kingdom. “Our campaigning work across Peasedown St John and the wider B&NES area is driven by a strong passion to make sure that women don’t face any form of discrimination, prejudice or injustice. “Women can often feel vulnerable because they don’t have the same access to services or career opportunities. This is what we are determined to stop!”

New members welcome

CHEW Valley Probus Club has recently heard from Rob Bayly, a producer of the popular BBC programme “Antiques Roadshow”, and Sue Mountstevens, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset. She spoke about her job, the constant pressures the police are under and the financial constraints the service has to bear. The club is for retired business and professional men, and those approaching retirement, of 50 years and over and attracts members from a wide area including Somerton, Bristol and Weston, as well as from local villages. Members meet for lunch, followed by a talk, on the second Friday of each month at Mendip Spring Golf Club, Congresbury. It says new members are most welcome. Details: Derek Swift 01934 734699. http://www.probuschewvalley.co.uk/index.html

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Wells welcomes a Sikh celebration

All-female Bhangra group Eternal Taal drum up support for the event outside the Bishop’s Palace, leading drumming and dance workshops

ROTARIANS in Wells hosted their second Meet the Sikhs event celebrating their music, dance, food and culture. The day was organised in conjunction with Khalsa Aid International, a humanitarian aid organisation, along with other Sikh-based charities.

Ravi Singh, the founder of Khalsa Aid International with event organisers Sharon and Bob Haigh

Multi-coloured and multi-cultural

PAGE 106 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Local schools support Wells poppy project

Mayor Celia Wride with Poppy appeal organiser Derek Cooper, teacher Dan Vidler, David Wilson Homes sales assistant Jo Williams and assistant site manager Nick McGough

THE Somerset Poppies project, marking the 100th anniversary of the Ist WW is being organised by Coxley School teacher Dan Vidler, and involves all schoolchildren between the ages of four and 16 in Wells and surrounding villages. Each of them will make a poppy and place it with 7,999 others on the croquet lawn at the Bishop’s Palace, the last poppy being laid at 11am on November 11th. They represent the 8,000 servicemen from Somerset killed in the Great War. The Mayor of Wells, Cllr Celia Wride, said: “As Mayor of Wells but also as a resident of Somerset I am immensely proud that so many people – young and old – are actively working to make this Centenary Year, which will culminate on Remembrance Day, endure. No moment in our history is more deserving of community togetherness and deference.” The project is sponsored by David Wilson Homes, who are also honouring local WW1 hero Harry Patch, naming its new Patch Meadows development in Somerton after him.

Village hall grant

BUCKLAND Dinham village hall has been awarded a grant of £2,500 to fund its “village hall facelift”. Linda Preece, secretary to the management committee said: “Having the whole premises redecorated with new curtains and chairs will make the hall a much nicer place for all to visit and use. “And a new gas cooker will make cooking the monthly lunch for up to 40 villagers much easier. The upstairs rooms have not been redecorated for some years, the largest one at least 25 years ago!” The grant has been made by rural energy provider Calor’s annual funding scheme. Details: www.calor.co.uk/communityfund


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COMMUNITY

Family festival fun in the sun

THE Glastonbury-based Children’s World charity joined forces with Paddington Farm – an organic farm run by a charitable trust – on the edge of town for a three-day family festival.

Town crier David Greenway opened the festival and soon met some flowery characters The Professor tells a tale – whilst one eager listener sports a tail!

Meg Curl, aged 12, lead a flash mob who got the event underway with a dynamic dance routine

Oscar with his greatgrandmother Patricia in the craft marquee

High fives for one of the flowerpot characters from the Bath Naturals

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 107


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School books bound for Kenya

ROTARIANS have joined forces to send a consignment of 4,500 books donated by local schools to a library project in Kenya. Jackie Partridge, a member of the Rotary Club of Somer Valley, came up with the idea after visiting Watamu Community School on the Kenyan coastline whilst on safari in the country. Jackie met up with Dan Mwarai, of the Rotaract Club of Watamu, who told her about the school’s desperate need of reading material. Back home, she soon enlisted the help of her club as well as others in the area including Chelwood Bridge, who offered her the use of part of the Waterworks charity warehouse space at Parker Transport in Westfield. Jackie and a team of volunteers have sifted painstakingly through each donation, cataloguing every single book. Most of the donated books were no longer needed by schools as curriculums changed. The schools who took part included Downside School, Westfield primary school, Norton St Philip First School and Peasedown St John Junior School, as well as several in Bath. Jackie said: “The books would probably have been scrapped, so we are helping to recycle them.

A source of inspiration – volunteers sorting books bound for Kenya

Jackie Partridge came up with the idea whilst on holiday

“My hope is that reading even the most basic book might inspire some Kenyan children to go onto greater things and become doctors, nurses, teachers or scientists. “The children who attend Watamu have only the most basic facilities and the school is known locally as the ‘Rubbish Dump’ because although it was built by the local church it receives no funding from them.” ● Although her project is now complete, Jackie hopes it might inspire other clubs and organisations to do something similar. You can contact Jackie via the Rotary Club of Somer Valley: www.somer-rotary.org.uk

Watamu pupils

The library at Watamu

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COMMUNITY

Stokefest success

A NATIONAL Lottery-funded community festival in Stoke St Michael has been hailed as a big success. The first-ever StokeFest featured fun and games for all the family, a dog show and live music.

Picnic time – friends gather for the party

Hockey coach Theresa Wolff shows the way on a sporting skills attraction

Stokefest organisers outside the main marquee

Magician/comedian Chris P. Tee joins members of the village’s youth club in their chill out area

London-based band Kid Luna are being tipped for stardom – music fan Eve Clements (pictured with the band), from Stoke St Michael, told organisers they would the bill and the band was happy to oblige

Sky, an 11-month-old Great Dane, was named best in show in the competition sponsored by Truespeed Kid Luna frontman Lewis Murphy

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 109


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Society’s exhibition

Some of the longest serving members (l to r) Rosemary Campbell, Pat Gallop, Evelyn Burman (past chairman), Beattie Jones, Denys Chamberlain and Mary Pitcher

CHEW Valley Local History Society held a 45th anniversary tea party in the Old Schoolroom in Chew Magna, with an exhibition of members' memoirs, which had been collected by the society over the past few months. This included photographs, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia and was visited by over 100 people. The society is hoping to create a small book from these memories and photos and dedicating it to the late Sheila Walker, a Isabell Hill, whose family farmed in founder member of the Bishop Sutton, looking at some of the society. display

Concert bonus

MUSIC in Quiet Places is a novel plan to hold three concerts in one day, all in a different location around the Chew Valley, each with refreshments available. This wonderful day of music will take place on Saturday, September 29th. The first will take place at East Harptree in St Laurence Church with coffee available from 10.30am and the concert will be from 11am to 11.40am. The next will be at Hinton Blewett, in St Margaret’s Church with the concert taking place from 12.30 to 1.15pm. The last concert will be at West Harptee in St Mary’s church from 3pm to 3.40pm, with coffee and cakes following This will be a wonderful day of music and feasting which will include a whistle stop tour around the world featuring music from Britain, America, France, Spain, Macedonia, Hungary, Germany, Finland and Brazil. The musicians will include David Heyes on double bass, Sarah Poole a wonderful soprano, James Rippingale on guitar, Alexander Heather, double bass and George Mealer, guitar. The concerts will also feature Somerset folk songs collected in the area with new accompaniments by David Heyes and include ten, one-minute world premieres and six UK premieres. The composers may be unknown, but the music will be engaging and innovative, accessible and inventive with a breadth of musical styles and idioms and something for everyone.

PAGE 110 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Post Office returns to Coleford

COMMUNITY

Open for business – postmaster Michael Phypens with villagers at the hub

PART-time Post Office counter services have returned to Coleford after a campaign by villagers. Based in the Coleford Hub, the service is being run by Michael Phypens, who runs the post office in Mells as well as four other “satellite” facilities. The Hub has also welcomed a community café, running on Wednesdays and Fridays when the post office is open in a side room. The café – run by local chef Dagmar Hewell – is due to remain open until the end of September. It will also be open on Saturdays to coincide with Somerset Art Weeks – the village is home to several venues. In the long-term, villagers are hopeful that A queue soon formed once the they will one day see the post office was up-and-running return of a permanent post office. The last one was based in the Jones Convenience Store which closed several months ago. The Hub is home to the village youth club as well as other organisations. Dagmar said: “The hope is that we can complement each other and encourage people to use the post office and stay for a coffee or lunch.”

Dagmar Hewell with husband Tim Benger and niece Gracie House – they have been helping “Dags” to run the cafe


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Transform your home

HOMES & INTERIORS

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. They can source all of your needs. As an associate with the national company HouseWow, Melissa can look at your home objectively and recommend the changes you need to make to sell your home fast.

New shop and interior styling service opening at: 9 The Broughton Mall, Wedmore, BS28 4EB

Carefully selected products include Lene Bjerre and Max Benjamin candles. Opening on Saturday 25th August. www.melissahill-homestyling.co.uk

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The green, green grass of – Farmborough

IT’S really quite difficult to walk up to Lorraine and Mike Vickery’s front door without noticing the beautiful lawns that lead up to it. And we’re talking about Farmborough here, not Wimbledon or Wembley. The perfect grass rather sets the tone for what you might expect to find when the Vickerys open that front door and welcome you into their home. A sense of quiet order pervades and you immediately feel at ease. Lorraine worked as manager in a ladies fashion retail chain of 13 outlets in the South West for 27 years and still works for a friend in a similar line of business now. She’ll be retiring fully soon but simply loves working with and meeting people and that enthusiasm for life is evident when she tells you of their lifestyle. She said: “Mike and I love to travel and that includes walking holidays, river cruises and our particular favourite, holidays in Switzerland.”

The Vickerys spend five or six weeks abroad every year and intend to up that number as soon as Lorraine retires. Mike initially worked in the Fine Arts trade and in later years for the Co-op. With that kind of background and an eye for detail, jobs that need doing get done rather than put off until another day. But even Mike has to admit defeat on occasion; a case in point being the softwood windows that were fitted when the property was originally built 13 years ago. He said: “Last time I painted them I totted up that I had applied 92 coats of paint. Enough was enough!” The Vickerys decided they needed some expert advice and visited Kingfisher’s shop in Wells. Lorraine said: “We immediately felt comfortable with the way Kingfisher responded to our questions. James is very knowledgeable and gave us good advice without ever being pushy. We were left to make up our own minds in

our own time.” The decision was made to go with Kingfisher and the Vickerys are delighted with their new windows which not only look beautiful but have reduced noise levels. They also went ahead with a new front door that perfectly matches the style of the property. Mike said: “We happily recommend Kingfisher to our friends, everyone there is polite, informed and helpful . . . nothing ever seems to be too much trouble for them.” Tony Thurling

Details: walrowkitchens.co.uk • somersetworktops.co.uk

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HOMES & INTERIORS

Tony Hucker TV Service – Sales – Rental

• • • • • •

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

01275 332888 www.tonyhuckertv.co.uk Email: tony@tonyhuckertv.co.uk Unit 4, Fairseat Workshops, Chew Stoke BS40 8XF Open: Mon – Thurs 9.00am – 6.00pm Fri – 9.00am – 5.30pm

FAMILY BUSINESS BASED IN THE CHEW VALLEY FOR OVER 100 YEARS

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 113


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G e o ff C o l l a r d F u r n i t ur e • Bespoke furniture & design • Joinery • Antique Restoration • Libraries • Secret Bookcase Doors • Window Restoration • Helical Staircases • Scale Model Making • Carving & Veneering

T: 01761 433857 M: 07720 887318 E: geoff@bathfurnituremakers.co.uk Unit 5, Wansdyke Workshops, Wellow Lane, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8HD

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A man of many talents

WOULD you like a piece of bespoke furniture designed and built? Ask Geoff Collard, based near Peasedown St John. The same goes for antique restoration, window restoration, Geoff at work on a scale model of a even a library. You farmhouse near Bath might even want a helical staircase for your home or office; or how about a scale model of an entire building? Geoff is a man of many talents. Geoff said: “Ever since I was a small child I always I enjoyed making and drawing things, I remember looking out of the classroom window during a maths or history lesson daydreaming about what I would make when I got home until the teacher shouted and told me to get on with my work… “I now consider myself very lucky to be able to make a living making all sorts of things, the fact that when I finish my working day and have a creation to show for it whether it be a model, a piece of furniture or even a carved skeleton skull! “Wood is my main source of income and covers quite a wide spectrum from conservatories to fine furniture and finishing.” His modelling skills have been employed by television documentary teams and companies such as those building conservatories who want a model to display to clients.


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Lots that’s new at Valentino Kitchens THE team behind Valentino Kitchens at West Harptree are never ones to stand still – the showroom is testament to that. New ranges are now on show in the studio – from classic taupe painted wood to contemporary flat teal doors – amongst the 15 kitchens on display. Kitchens are manufactured by Valentino and Burbidge in the UK – they are both family-run businesses. Valentino’s designers work alongside clients using the latest CAD 360 degree software to offer an actual visual of the completed kitchen, allowing for customisation. Valentino Kitchens can carry out the removal of the kitchen, manufacture and installation of the new Valentino Kitchen only or carry out building work removing walls, changing windows and doors, plastering, electrical installation and plumbing. The whole project will be project managed from design through to completion. The kitchens on display in the large showroom also showcase appliances by Neff, Bosch, Siemens and AGA. There’s

HOMES & INTERIORS

One of the latest designs – flat teal doors – at Valentino Kitchens

flooring by Karndean, ceramics, laminate, engineered oak, slate and stone displays in kitchen settings and samples to select from with taps and sinks from Franke, Grohe, Villeroy and Boch, along with a range of worktop

surfaces. Amongst the company’s most recent projects was to work with Whitecroft Developments on their Dilly Meadows collection of new-build individual country homes in West Harptree.

MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 115


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Customers become friends at Wells Reclamation

IT is 32 years since Wells Reclamation at Coxley was founded during the summer of 1986, at the time with just two partners, Haydn Davies and his wife Margaret. It is now heralded as the oldest reclamation yard in the country! Haydn explains: “During our beginnings we were just a village yard, supplying mostly Wells and Glastonbury and the surrounding areas. Now we have become an international company, this entailed a fast learning curve, which still goes on, but our roots are in Somerset where they will remain. We like to stock our yard so as to have something for everybody. “Our greatest joy was not only in finding exquisite items such as the odd 16th century oak door, but the delightful people and very many friends that we met along the way. Many are still customers and friends today and when I meet them they often remind

Something for everybody – that’s the motto at Wells Reclamation

me of what they bought from the yard years ago, or that they completely renovated or refurbished their old dwelling using original items from our yard.” Haydn added: “People often ask ‘what was your best find?’. Well there have been many, but one that stands out was to find the fuselage of a Spitfire in a barn in West Wales. It had taken off from Westonzoyland one night in 1942 and crash-landed on the farm. The RAF arrived and stripped it of essential items, but they left the fuselage. The farmer told me that the RAF had told him that they would come back for it. ‘That was in 1942, I don’t think they will come back for it now,’ said the farmer. I bought it and sold it quite promptly, too promptly! “We would like to thank our many customers, and our staff for all their loyal support, our job would be quite impossible without them all.”

RH

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Telephone: 01761 452171 Fax: 01761 453342

PAGE 116 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018


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HOMES & INTERIORS 01761 439300 • www.staircase-manufacturing.co.uk

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

Call us on: 07963 700901 Email: info@pure-interiors.co.uk Web: www.pure-interiors.co.uk

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The Staircase Manufacturing Company Limited, Wellsway Works, Wells Road, Radstock, Bath BA3 3RZ email: stairman@talktalk.net MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 117


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Horse riding makes you human

British Horse Society South West regional manager Julie Garbutt lives near Frome. I spent a morning chatting to her about her dressage success on 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood Zodiac IV (Zac).

“SURELY I’m not interesting enough for your column?”, Julie protests as we persuade Zac to wear his new (suspiciously) With RACHEL padded head collar. THOMPSON Over coffee I learn MBE that this engagingly blunt and principled Yorkshire lass has overcome challenges, injuries and a heart attack (whilst riding Zac in her arena) to win the Regional Pet Plan competition (during Storm Boris) at medium level. “I only went for a nice day out!” she said. At the national competition earlier this year they came 16th: “He’s my absolute soul mate,” she says. She and Zac have taken it slowly. Julie thinks that riders worry unnecessarily about dressage: “All horses, whatever sport or activity need suppling in walk, trot and canter.” Julie started out as a keen show jumper. As a pony-mad child growing up on a mixed arable/beef farm, Julie regularly dodged school to ride out with the York and Anstey Hunt. She learnt the value of flatwork early on having “proper” lessons with the pony club district commissioner, who lent her own horse when Julie won a scholarship. At 14, Julie became the youngest person to pass the Pony Club B test. Never academic, eyes set firmly on a career with horses, her parents insisted on a business and law course first. Later in life, injuries (five broken ribs, cracked neck) compelled switching from show jumping to dressage. Ever

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Julie with Zac

competitive, she and her much-loved Hanoverian horse Konker, trained with friend Helen Barton-Smith at Pippin Equestrian: “Konker was so naughty, he decked all the staff in the first week.” Konker’s antics provided useful demonstration material for trainers and authors Roger and Joanna Day’s excellent book “The Fearless Horse”. At 14, Konker developed navicular disease. With the support of friends, family and vet, Julie decided to put him down. She firmly believes that “all horse owners must do their very best” which includes “not losing control of the horse’s welfare.” Husband Nick saw the BHS job advertisement in 2002, applying secretly on her behalf. He thought that her varied career – which had included head girl at a top level dealer’s yard bringing on show jumpers and event horses, followed by professional administrative jobs in various businesses and owning her own tack business – represented a skillset that would interest the BHS. The BHS was going through a period of re-development due to the divergence of dressage, horse trial and pony club into national organisations. Unconvinced, Julie was called into be

interviewed “on the way to Grandma’s funeral”. Offered the job, she initially declined, daunted by the lack of clarity regarding the job role, concerns that it would become a “life style job” and fears that her “people skills were not good enough”. After chatting to development officers in Wales and London who were clearly passionate and enthusiastic about the task in hand, she relented and happily is still here to this day. Julie promotes the BHS values of safety, welfare, access and education; working with riding schools, bridleway associations, trainers, instructors, members and anyone with equine interests. She believes that the BHS should be the first port of call when humans and horses need help: “People cause problems for horses – car drivers, landowners, owners – everyone needs education. Horses have thousands of years of history but with every century a different set of problems emerges. Now it’s not enough work (lack of access), traffic (driver education), drones and silent electric cars.” What does she love about horse riding? “Horse riding makes you human,” she says.


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Riders show their skills

Charity open day attracts crowds

RIDING

Meeting the horses

Lily on Ted

MARSH Farm at East Woodlands near Frome hosted an event in aid of Wellow Riding for the Disabled. During the course of the afternoon several of Wellow’s riders were able to show off their skills in front of family, friends and the local community. The event included musical rides, dressage and show jumping. The afternoon was finished off with a lovely cream tea and R.D.A said it would like to say a big thank you to the Williams family for hosting the afternoon, which raised over £600. Marley on Blossom with Carol, Laura and Lily

ANIMAL rescue charity, HorseWorld, welcomed over 1,000 people to an open day at its 180-acre estate at Whitchurch. HorseWorld is home to over 100 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys all in various stages of rehabilitation. Supporters were able to meet many of the animals that are now nursed back to health and those that adopt a HorseWorld horse were able to come and visit them. The farm is not normally open to the public so the four open days a year are an opportunity for people to see the core rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming work done by the charity. HorseWorld’s event co-ordinator, Sofia Carosi, said: “Over £4,300 was raised on the day. We would like to thank everyone who came and visited us and donated towards the care and rehabilitation of the horses. “The atmosphere was great and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The cake stall was full of delicious home-baked goodies and people crowded round to watch the demonstrations with great interest. “Quite a few people showed interest in rehoming a rescued horse and lots of people made a new friend by sponsoring a horse on our adoption Meeting the horses scheme.” Details: www.horseworld.org.uk/events

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The race of truth

CYCLING time trials are the simplest form of competitive racing; against the clock with riders starting one minute apart. Referred to as the “race of CYCLING truth” there is nowhere with EDMUND to hide, no-one to draft LODITE behind – it’s just you and your beating heart against the ticking clock. The 8.3 mile anti-clockwise circuit around Chew Valley Lake is one of the most popular time trial routes in the Mendips. It is a fast one with a brief challenge on the short hill out of Chew Stoke, often followed by a headwind going towards West Harptree. Historically, time trials were shrouded in secrecy as cycle racing was banned on British roads. To keep the whereabouts of the race secret a code system was created to identify the location of the course. Riders would also leave separately, at intervals, so that it would seem as though they were out cycling as normal rather than racing. The rider with the fastest time over the course would then be declared the winner. The early coding system to identify courses is still in use today although there is no longer any secrecy about racing on roads. Likewise, intervals of one minute are still used to keep riders apart but now to avoid “drafting” behind other riders. Bristol South Cycling Club, one of the oldest in the country, organise a series of weekly time trial events around Chew Valley Lake during the summer. Club members carry a time handicap based on previous performance and are then awarded points on their adjusted finish time.

Bristol South time trial

At the end of the series the best six scores for each rider determine the overall winner. This keeps the event competitive and evens out some of the differentials in age and ability. From further afield, Salt and Sham (Saltford and Keynsham) Cycling Club also use the same course for their time trial events. Formed in 2013 by a few friends, the club has grown rapidly and now has several hundred members. The start of the time trial can be fairly inconspicuous to the casual passer-by and might appear to be nothing more than a group of cyclists gathered on the side of the road. But every now and then as the timekeeper counts down the seconds you’ll

Free tennis in Frome

FROME Town Council and Frome Selwood Tennis Club joined together to bring free tennis to Frome in August with more sessions planned for September. Club coaches offered free advice or people of any age could simply enjoy a knock-up on Saturday afternoons at the community courts on the Mary Baily playing field. Councillor Gary Collinson said: “Tennis is a good activity for lots of people to get involved with, so we’re really pleased to support these free sessions for local residents. We hope that it will mean even more people can come and give tennis a go.” For details, visit: www.fromtowncouncil.gov.uk

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see someone set-off with maximum effort. The rider’s position makes the greatest difference in reducing aerodynamic drag. Up until the late 1980s “bullhorn” handlebars were used but with a lower profile than a standard road bike. Then triathletes developed tri-bars which kept the arms in line with the body and allowed for a much better airflow around the body. They were first brought into the time trialling public eye in the 1989 Tour de France. In the final day’s time trial Greg LeMond used tri-bars and overcame a 50second deficit to win the Tour by just eight seconds from Frenchman Laurent Fignon – who was using conventional handlebars. Wind-tunnel data later estimated that LeMond may have gained one minute through the use of the new handlebars. Since that pivotal moment the concept hasn’t changed much and tri-bars are now the norm in time trials. On that final day, Fignon rode one of his fastest ever time trials and always struggled with the disappointment of “losing” the Tour de France by such a narrow margin. For him, that final time trial may not have seemed like the race of truth.

Wells are tops

Wells A Team secured top slot of North Somerset Tennis League. Pictured (l:r): Seth Cunningham, James Edwards, Matt Goatcher and Jon Parsons


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Team supports mental health charity SPARTANS FC, based in Backwell, have recently become ambassadors for the Mental Health Foundation and are also celebrating their tenth anniversary. The team say they wanted to give back to the community and felt that mental health (men's in particular) is something really worth helping and fighting for. The Mental Health Foundation’s work involves helping, prolonging, recovering and protecting all people’s mental health, emphasising new ways to prevent mental ill health and the development of new strategies in coping with mental health disorders. Board member, Jimmy Davis, said: “We have had an amazing response from the rest of the lads and it makes me very proud to be a Spartan. Each and every one of them have got behind the idea.” They are planning to run sessions that comprise 45 minutes of fitness training, then a practice match, then if anybody has anything they'd like to talk about (mental health wise) they will be there to lend a listening ear and to point them in the direction of the foundation. They say their aims are: to get men

talking about their mental health; tackle the stigma that men who do talk about it are weak and feminine; to tackle the stigma that people with mental health disorders are abnormal, strange, weird and to be avoided or locked up; and to help raise awareness of the charity and its great work. The club is based at Backwell School where it trains and plays on Sunday mornings. It was established in the summer of the 2008/2009 season by a 16year-old Josh Evans who put together a mixture of school friends and experienced

heads to compete originally in the Bristol Regional League. Spartans experienced their most successful period during the 2014/15 season when they secured a league and cup double in the Bristol Sunday Premier League. The club are optimistic for the upcoming season.

Details: Jimmy Davis jimmyjohndavis171@gmail.com

Yeo Valley supports Bristol City Women’s FC

YEO Valley has announced a new partnership with Women’s Super League team Bristol City FC. It says it plans to use the partnership to promote the participation of girls and women in sport and the nutritional value of organic dairy. The famous heart-shaped Yeo Valley logo will appear on the Bristol City Women’s home and away shirts in the 2018/19 season. Adrian Carne, executive chairman of Yeo Valley, said: “We’re extremely proud to be getting behind our local team, Bristol City Women this season and we are equally very excited about our new partnership with Bristol Sport. “We are looking forward to reaching a new audience with our brand and to promoting the importance of dairy health to girls and women. We think that living an active lifestyle and taking part in sport is important and we hope that

Adrian Carne of Yeo Valley with some of the players

through this new association we can use our brand effectively to make a difference.” Caroline Herbert, group head of commercial at Bristol Sport, said: “I am delighted to welcome one of the UK’s biggest brands into the Bristol Sport family, particularly with both organisations having so much in

common. We are both family owned, local businesses committed to improving the lives of the local community. “Yeo Valley will have a positive and lasting impact on both, Bristol City Women and women’s football in England, helping us to reach new demographics and drive increased awareness of the women’s game.”

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(Photography courtesy of Mike Lang)

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170 not out – and that’s just the ages of the captains! CAPTAINS Chas King and Jim Eyles led their teams onto the field at Midsomer Norton Cricket Club for a friendly match to celebrate the 65th birthday of the club chairman – aged 90 and 80 respectively. But whisper it quietly; Chas’s favourite sport is bowls, rather than cricket. However, as a non-playing captain, he was there to celebrate son Graeme’s big day in the sun. Chas joined family and friends for the celebrations at the Withies Lane ground, whilst Jim is best-known as the driving force being Midsomer Norton’s Methodists CC and recently marked his 80th birthday with a similar friendly game. Jim took to the field for a brief spell as umpire during the limited overs game. He said: “I promised myself that I would still play cricket when I was 80 years old and have managed a couple of games this season.”

Chas (left) and Jim at the toss

The two teams before the start of the 24 overs a side game

Graeme (right) and son Dave take to the field to open the batting for Team Robin

Boules club for Chilcompton?

CHILCOMPTON Sports Club held an open boules day to gauge support for forming its own team. The event was the idea of club official Martin Bown, who said the Bath Boules League had agreed already to allow Chilcompton to join if there was enough interest. It was held on a makeshift piste in the car park, but Martin said there was space available to create a permanent playing surface if required. Martin has also proposed the idea of forming a croquet club.

Martin with (l:r) Mel Atkinson, Helen Bown and Francoise Snelgrove

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Martin throws down a challenge to form a boules team in Chilcompton


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Karate display

KIA karate Giardina were at a local fete, dog show and family fun day in Shipham, performing a routine showing exercises and techniques, with chief instructor sensei Diego Giardina and sensei Gerald Filer 3rd Dan. Details: Anne Smith 0784 3946949

Lewis competes on national stage

LEWIS Evans from Wells has been selected to be part of the wheelchair tennis squad at the 2018 School Games – a national multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes taking place at Loughborough University from August 30th to September 2nd. Lewis, aged 16, who is a student at Wells Blue School, competes for Taunton and will represent England Red at the games. He already has an impressive track record including being selected for the School Games in 2017 as well as competing at the British Open. Over 1,400 athletes will compete across 11 sports at the games, five of which include disability disciplines. Lewis will be following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the event before going on to senior international success. Previous competitors include paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and sprinter Adam Gemili. At the event Lewis will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. He will live in a dedicated athletes’ village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in a School Games ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds of spectators. Details: https://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/buy-tickets/

Free bowls in Wedmore

THE Isle of Wedmore Bowls Club is offering visitors free taster sessions of the indoor format of the game. The sessions will take place on Saturday, September 22nd and Sunday, September 23rd at the club on Blackford Road in the village. All equipment will be supplied. The sessions take place on both days between 9.30am and 4pm. For details, call Keith Pettit on 01934 733237.

Local triathlete finishes second

LOCAL triathlete Erin Jeffery from Farrington Gurney finished as second woman in the LPSevents Cotswold series standard distance triathlon at Cotswold water park near Cirencester. Erin was first place woman in her age group and tenth person overall out of 152 entries. In only her second ever triathlon and her first ever standard distance (same distance as in the Olympics) this was a fantastic result. Erin who does her swim training at Vobster Quay was the first swimmer out of the lake from all competitors in her wave with an excellent time of 21:18 over 1500 metres. Choosing not to wear a wetsuit to save time, her transition from swim to bike was smooth and stress-free on a wet and windy day. She completed the 40km course in second place with a time of 1:16:26. Transition 2 from bike to run again went well leaving Erin to complete the six laps of the 9km run in 40:30. Looking fit, strong and fast all the way around the course this was a remarkable achievement from the 28-year-old. Just starting out in this tough sport Erin now looks forward to lots more training as well as some open water swims, 10km runs and her next triathlon in the South West coming soon. You can follow Erin on instagram. She would welcome any supporters or sponsors as she seeks financial assistance for a new bike, time trial helmet and entrance fees in return for a very positive social media presence as well as training and competition advertising.

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Family challenge

Wells Swimming Club swam from Wells to London! Katie Chambers receiving Volunteering Award

THREE generations of the Croker family managed to climb Ben Nevis, led by Arthur Croker, aged 79, who still runs his accountancy practice in Cheddar. He was joined by his sons, Damian and John, and grandson Haydon. Arthur ran the London Marathon in 2104 and the great North Run in 2015. They set off in fine weather at 10.30am and did not hit the mist and freezing rain until about 1000 metres and say the climb seemed to go on forever, taking them five hours to reach the top. Arthur said: “Coming down was quicker, but much harder on the legs. The total distance we walked from bottom to top and back down was 23.8km and 40,797 steps. I understand the oldest recorded person to make it to the top was 80 years of age. So I guess I will have to do it again in a couple of years.”

Half marathon success

The Nunney Community Association was on hand to marshal and pass out water as runners passed through the village

ALMOST 1,300 runners took on the annual Frome Half Marathon and its shorter 10k, 5k and 1k fun run challenges. The seventh annual event raised thousands of pounds for local charities. PAGE 124 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

THIS sporting feat was the brainchild of club member and Blue School pupil Katie Chambers, pictured receiving a Young Volunteer of the Year award from Fiona Bowen, secretary of the Somerset ASA. Katie is not only a club captain who has a near 100% attendance record but she also assists with coaching younger swimmers and in team managing at meets for the club. Katie single-handedly organised this fundraising event for the club, called The City2City Swim, attempting to swim the distance between the city of Wells and the city of London, in the pool. After 10 hours in the pool, a total number of 70 swimmers swam the distance – and even further. The original goal was to swim 7,200 lengths (180Km). On the day the combined final total of lengths was 10,678, which is 267Km, a distance just short of swimming from Wells to Dover! The top swimmers in each squad were: Masters – Eli Myers 400 lengths, County Plus – Cameron Taylor 544 lengths, County 2 – Ailsa Richardson 210 lengths, County 1 – Elizabeth Chambers 552 lengths, County Development – Thomas Maitland-Smith 406 lengths, Swans – Layla Matthews 116 lengths, Cygnets – Libby Sawyer & Kitty Stone 100 lengths each and Development – Lily Clark 70 lengths. Not only did Katie help the club to achieve this impressive swimming feat, but she helped to raise over £2,300 for the club. Club chairman Duncan Verel said: “Congratulations to Katie for winning her well-deserved award and my thanks to her for all her support.” Eloise Yeadon Caiger was also nominated by Wells Swimming Club for a Young Volunteer award and received a certificate from the ASA for her coaching of younger club members.


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Diamond celebrations for village cricket team

THEY play because they enjoy the game – although winning is always a bonus; that has always been the philosophy of Compton Dundon Cricket Club which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Content with their place in the MidWessex Sunday League West – the opposition is mostly local – the club welcomes all players from teenagers to those in their sixties. Compton Dundon CC began playing on land owned by farmer Henry Napper just off the main road through the village before moving in 1962 to church-owned glebeland on Hayes Road, their current home which they purchased in 1981. A new pavilion was built in 1994.

Compton Dundon CC before the start of their game against local rivals Butleigh

Patrick Holland was one of the founders of the club and is the club president and current and former players will gather at the village’s Meadway Hall on Saturday, October 13th for an anniversary dinner.

Club secretary Greg Jones said: “The Mid-Wessex League is ideal for us as we play on Sundays in the summer against neighbouring sides such as Street and Butleigh.”

Butleigh’s ground boasts the magnificent backdrop of Butleigh Court Ben Chislett opens for Compton against Butleigh CC. The hot summer meant the club were unable to play many of their matches at home so Butleigh hosted the game instead

The team in 1959: Back row – David Firth, Jim Coles, Les Taylor, Stan Saunders, Patrick Holland (club president), Vernin Shackle, The Rev. Penny. Middle row – Frank Vining, Joe Evason, Gordon Holland, Bob Moxham, Cecil Shattock. Front: Julian Holland

Compton’s pavilion on Hayes Road, home to the club since 1962

Anyone connected with the club who would like more details about the dinner should contact Greg on 01458 272531 or email: greg@mor_cott.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 125


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Band’s busy year

Ensemble in Yatton

MIDSOMER Norton and Radstock Silver Band have had a busy year, attending a variety of events. In April the band were invited to play at the Man Engine event in Radstock. Then later they marched through Wells with the Somerset County Federation of WIs to celebrate their centenary. May opened with Priston May Day and the highlight of the month was being invited to play at the Radstock Co-op’s 150th anniversary celebration evening at the Bath Pavilion. At the beginning of June The Natural Theatre Company asked them to perform at an arts event in Radstock and they finished the month with a Sunday afternoon concert at Keynsham Bandstand. They played in Parade Gardens in Bath at the beginning of July and performed at M Fest in Midsomer Norton later in the month. They have been spending August working on their concert programme for their autumn concert at St Thomas’ Church in Wells on October 6th. Before then they will play at the Double Hills memorial event in Paulton. They welcome anyone who is interested in learning to play a brass instrument.

YATTON Music Society opens its autumn season of concerts with a performance by the Bristol Ensemble, the city’s only professional orchestra. It has worked with outstanding artists and soloists, including Dame Evelyn Glennie and the international pianists Freddy Kempf and Peter Donohoe, with film and TV engagements including music for the BBC Bristol Natural History Unit. For this concert the Ensemble will perform their “Romantic” selection played by their string musicians, including Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, young Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor, Holst’s St Paul’s Suite and Greig’s Holberg Suite. The concert starts at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Yatton on Saturday, September 29th. Tickets £8 members, £10 nonmembers, including refreshments.

Details: www.msnrsb.org.uk or email hello@msnrsb.org.uk

Brue Boys excel

Details: www.yms.org.uk or David Ford 01934 830255 email david.ford@yms.org.uk

Favourite hymns

ALL Saints Church, Farmborough is to hold Farmborough Big Sing, on Sunday, September 9th at 11am with the chance to sing a whole host of favourite hymns, many from school days. Suggestions so far are Jerusalem, Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer (Bread of Heaven), Thine Be the Glory, Lord of the Dance and Praise My Soul. There’s a box at the back of the church for people to write their choice by Wednesday, September 4th. Fresh coffee and continental breakfast will be available from 9.30am and refreshments will be served after the service. So go along and sing!

A lot of brass in Wells

ST PAUL’S Church, Easton was filled to capacity to listen to a concert given by The Brue Boys – “a choir for men who love to sing” – and they certainly did! Under their conductor, Jennifer Westcott with accompanist Hilde Senior, the audience were treated to an evening of thoroughly enjoyable music. PAGE 126 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

WELLS City Band is hosting an ambitious day of free brass band music in the Recreation Ground on Sunday, September 16th. The concert will take place from 10am-5pm at the bandstand or in the Bishop’s Barn, if wet. Many friends of Wells City Band who play for other bands want to again play on the bandstand as it has been a popular venue over many years. Bands performing will include Beckington Bandits, Glastonbury Brass, Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver Band, Paulton Concert Band, Stoke-sub-Hamdon Band, Street Drum and Trumpet Corps and Wells City Band. Jane Hill, of Wells City Band, said: “We are grateful to Wells City Council for supporting this event. Please bring your own chairs and a picnic. There will be refreshments available and parking at Palace Fields for £3 all day.”


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MUSIC & THEATRE

Ten glorious years of singing!

MEMBERS of Cheddar Valley Voices are preparing to celebrate their tenth birthday in September. The family of singers consists of four groups, aged from eight-75 years, who meet during term-time to enjoy the positivity of singing together. They most recently performed as a

massed group of singers at All Together Now for Cheddar Arts. The original group was set up in 2008 by director, Kate Lynch, who is delighted that growing interest over the decade has led to the expansion into four different age groups of singers. She said: “Everyone is welcome to

come along and sing. We sing a wide range of repertoire over the year and the emphasis is always on enjoyment, whilst trying to get the best out of our voices.” The groups regularly perform throughout the year and are always ready to welcome new members, from the age of eight.

Details: see their Facebook page or contact Kate 07595 745884 email voices@cheddarvalleymusic.co.uk

C ha r i t y g a l a f o r R i c h a r d C l a r ke A CHARITY musical gala, held by Chelwood Rotary Club and Blagdon villagers in memory of their much- admired and respected friend, Rotarian Richard Clarke, has raised £2,304 for Cancer Research UK. On a balmy summer’s evening, a sell-out audience in St Andrew's Church was treated to a veritable celebration of Richard’s eclectic taste in music, which ranged from opera and classical to jazz and rock 'n' roll. His daughter, Jenny, flew in from Spain to sing with Stelle Cadente whilst Blagdon villagers Rowan Vince (pianist), Clare Macourt (soprano), Barry Day (baritone), Heather Walters (vocalist) and the Blagdon Village Voices mesmerised the enthralled audience with a series of truly memorable and outstanding performances.

Come join the band

MUSICIANS are being invited to join Frome Town Band which can trace back its history more than 150 years. Anyone from eight years old upwards can become a member and the band offers an instrument loan scheme. The beginners band meets every Wednesday from 6-7pm, with the main band practice from7-9pm at Randolph Road, Frome. As a brass band, it started in Frome as early as 1853, it then became Frome Town Military Band in 1911, back to brass band in 1956. In 1997 Frome Town Youth Band was started to provide an opportunity for young people to learn and perform music in and around the local community, with increasing number of adults wishing to join the band the name changed to Frome Town Band this year. Performances so far this year have included Mells Daffodil Festival, Frome Lions Fair, Frome Carnival Fun Day and Leigh

Pictured (l to r) Susie Barton, Vic Clarke, Kay (Richard’s wife), Barry Day and Clare Macourt with the cheque

The evening was completed by Junk Male, whose earthy and energetic performance was worthy of anything you could see at Glastonbury. Richard was keyboard player with the rock and roll band as well as being church organist for many years.

Frome Town Band has a proud history

on Mendip fete. They will be playing at Frome Cheese Show on Saturday, September 8th with a Christmas concert on December 15th at Wesley Methodist Church.

For details, email contact@frometownband.uk visit: https://frometownband.wixsite.com/home or find them on social media. MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 127


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Extravaganza rises from the ruins Words and pictures by Mark Adler

FANS of singer Paloma Faith were left hugely disappointed when the star pulled out of her headline slot at this year’s Glastonbury Extravaganza after falling ill. But Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis must have hit the speed dial on the contact list on his phone to find not one, but two last-minute replacements – including singer/songwriter Tom Odell. Not everyone was happy when Michael took to the stage to announce that Paloma had laryngitis and had been advised by a doctor backstage to cancel – some fans had travelled many miles to see her perform in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. A name to watch – Yazzy was asked by Michael Eavis to sing at the extravaganza after seeing her live at Pilton Working Men’s Club – the comparisons with Adele are inevitable Michael Eavis takes to the stage to announce that Paloma Faith had cancelled due to illness

Guitar virtuoso Rodney Branigan had played the previous night at Pilton Working Men’s Club and the Texan made a long-distance dash to Glastonbury to play before the arrival of Tom Odell

Glastonbury resident Georgina SirrettArmstrong-Smith PAGE 128 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Glastonbury Brass soloist Ann Armstrong

A glorious summer evening at the abbey


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Tom Odell on stage – he flew in by helicopter to reach Glastonbury

GLASTONBURY EXTRAVAGANZA 2018

Young fans at the front of the stage were left disappointed by the announcement

The evening was a 10,000 sell-out

The team from Tranquility Hair in Street arrive with pizza for the party The extravaganza is a night for everyone to enjoy

Claire and Matt had travelled from Liverpool for the weekend

The traditional fireworks display rounded off an unexpected evening

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Sculpture this autumn at Bishop’s Palace THE Bishop’s Palace in Wells will host a stunning new sculpture trail this autumn in the atmospheric gardens surrounding the medieval buildings. Curated by Gallery Pangolin – one of the few galleries specialising in sculpture in the country – the sculpture trail will be made up of ten striking pieces of art which will be located throughout the acclaimed inner gardens of the palace. “Human Nature” will celebrate the qualities that characterise and define humankind. The exhibition will highlight the natural virtues and ways of thinking, feeling and being which are universal to all humankind. The trail will comprise diverse sculptures from a disparate group of sculptors, including pieces by Lynn Chadwick, one of the giants of 20th century sculpture; Jon Buck, RWA and a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors; William Tucker, who was awarded the International Sculpture Centre’s lifetime achievement award in 2010; Ralph Brown, RA; Anthony Abrahams and Terence Coventry.

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Head gardener James Cross with some of the mysterious patterns revealed in the palace gardens during the recent hot weather

Amongst the sculptures on show will be some large and striking pieces of over two metres in height, and materials used include bronze and resin. Freddie Langdon-Daly, public events co-ordinator at the palace. said: “The exceptional gardens of The Bishop’s Palace are the perfect backdrop for this thought-provoking new sculpture trail. “Gallery Pangolin have curated a wonderful exhibition, designed to

enhance and reflect the beauty of this unique setting.” The sculpture trail is designed to appeal to all ages and separate printed trails for adults and children will be available to enhance the experience. Included in standard admission, it will be open daily; visitors are advised to check the website for special events prior to making a special journey to visit the exhibition.


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Craft4Crafters Quilt and Textile Show at Bath and West Showground

THE Craft4Crafters Show have been running large craft and textile shows in the South West for over 18 years. These include the well-established Westpoint, Exeter show which runs early in the year and two large events at the Bath & West Showground. The exhibition at the Bath & West Showground this October is set over two halls as well as a balcony area which attracts visitors from far and wide. With over 100 of the finest craft suppliers there will be over 70 workshops, demonstrations and make-and-takes each day, with many guilds in attendance including West Country Embroiderers, The Machine Knitters Guild, Avon Spinners Weavers Guild, Wincanton Guild of Lace makers, Felting Guild, Guild of Blacksmiths, Bicton College, Taunton and Bridgwater College and more. The Mendip Hall will have the beautiful Quilt and Textile Exhibition with over 100 quilt and textile displays. There will be lots of local quilt groups exhibiting, including Bath Quilters, South West Quilters, the UK Quilters, the Contemporary Quilters to name a few, plus some stunning textiles displays from renowned textile artists. In addition, this year the amazing BrisWool Woollen City will be exhibited at the show This incredible threedimensional crocheted and woollen model of Bristol, took more than three years to create with over 250 volunteers. It is a breath taking scene that assaults the eyes with colour and texture and you will be able to see reproductions of the famous city landmarks. There will also be some new exhibits including an incredible three-metre long woolly crocodile beastie and some gorgeous seagulls and Maisie cats. With restaurants, cafes and free parking, this really is going to be an amazing show and a fantastic day out with crafters, friends and family.

WHAT’S ON

Including a Quilt and Textile Display and the BrisWool City Exhibition

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Heavy horses at work

Heavy Horses Working Horse and Tractor Ploughing Wagon Rides Displays and Demonstrations Stalls Food and Drinks Beer Tent Ferret Racing (Horse Ploughing match will be held on Sunday)

THE Western Counties Heavy Horse Society was formed in 1975 with the aim of promoting heavy horses and encouraging their use in agriculture, industry and leisure. Due to mechanisation on the modern farm, there has been a marked decline in the use of working horses. By arranging horse ploughing and general working events the society aims to generate public interest and support, particularly that of the younger generation. It says it’s vitally important that the skills of the horsemen of yesteryear are handed on by way of educational programmes. All members of the council are volunteers who work tirelessly to promote these ideals. The society is holding a working and ploughing weekend on September 8th and 9th at Grove Farm, Claverham BS49 4PT. The North Somerset Ploughing Match, Crafts and Produce Show takes place at the same venue on the Sunday, when the horse ploughing match will be held, alongside the vintage tractor classes. There will be demonstrations of heavy horses working, wagon rides, stalls, food, drink – and ferret racing! There will be free entry on the Sunday for the ploughing match and an entry fee of £7.50 for adults on the Saturday, U14s free.

Address: Grove Farm, Claverham, BS49 4PT For more information or stall bookings please email us at heavyhorsesociety@outlook.co.uk or call us on 07542 765714 PAGE 132 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

Details: www.heavyhorses.uwclub.net


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WHAT’S ON

Music with a serious message

TICKETS are selling fast for a charity concert in Wells featuring some of the brightest musical talent around. Music for the Mind, on Saturday, September 15th at Cedars Hall, promises to be a great night of musical entertainment in support of local mental health charities. Television and radio personality Richard Wyatt will compere the evening which will feature the 50-strong Vocal Works Gospel Choir along with Exeter-based singer Georgia Box, who is a social media sensation. The evening will also include two songs from a new musical called This is John which tackles the stresses and strains of modern-day living. It is written and composed by Robert Lucas who will be performing the numbers Man Up/Man Down and Lemons alongside Sherwood Alexander. Concert organiser Richard Lowe said: “Every ticket counts to raise funds for local Mind charities. All profit will help to improve mental health services for our local communities.” The morning of the concert will see a special employers’ symposium to discuss the growing challenge of tackling mental health in the workplace. It will bring together businesses, mental health experts and representatives of the Mind and will share best practice on reducing risks, supporting employees and mitigating metal health issues.

Films mark WWI

WELLS Film Centre is to host a series of special screenings to mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War. Six “Season of Remembrance” films will be shown, starting on Sunday, September 16th with the 1976 release Shout At The Devil and continuing until Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11th with Journey’s End, released this year. Before September 16th, the centre is offering a six-for-five ticket deal and is also promoting the series of commemorations planned for the city. For details, visit: www.wellsfilmcentre.co.uk

City’s first beer festival

A FUNDRAISING beer festival weekend is to be held for the first time in Wells. The City of Wells Beer Festival in October promises to be one of the highlights of a series of communityevents based in and around the historic Bishop’s Barn in the Recreation Ground. Members of the Lions Club of Wells are behind the festival, on Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th. It will feature 45 beers and ciders from across the country, along with food and live entertainment. There will be three sessions (over-18s only) over the weekend, starting on Friday evening, costing £10 per session. Each ticket includes six half-pints of beer or cider. The club is currently looking for people and businesses to sponsors the barrels, starting from £95 per barrel. For details, visit: www.wellsbeerfestival.co.uk

BER SATURDAY 15th SEPTEM

CHARITY CONCERT

Featuring: Vocal Works

Starts Friday 7th September

Gospel Choir

• 7.30pm

Tickets from £30

rs: Special guest performe Georgia Box Robert Lucas and Sherwood Alexander Compere: Richard Wyatt

Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD NOW SHOWING: Hurricane (15) • Alpha (12A) The Spy Who Dumped Me (15)

Starts Friday Seagull (12A) • King Of Thieves, Searching (12A) 14th September From Friday 21st September

SEPTEMBER EVENT CINEMA

A Simple Favour (15) • Little Stranger (15) The House With A Clock In Its Walls Merry Wives Of Windsor RSC 12th 7pm La Boheme 13th 7pm King Lear NT 27th 7pm

● Book in person ● Online 24/7 @www.wellsfilmcentre.co.uk ● Over the ’phone: 01749 673195

CITY OF WELLS BEER FESTIVAL

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26th AND SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27th The city’s first beer festival! With 45 beers and ciders, food and entertainment! Tickets £10 per session (includes 6 x half pints) Fri: 7-11pm; Sat: 12-4pm and 7-11pm (over-18s only) Brought to you by the City of Wells Lions Club in aid of charity

THE BISHOP’S BARN, SILVER STREET, WELLS BA5 1US.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW AT: WWW.WELLSBEERFESTIVAL.CO.UK (BOOKING FEE APPLIES), CALL 01749 670100 OR EMAIL: ROD@NCHQ.CO.UK MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 133


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Festival goes with a bang!

Please book via: www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/events/

@MendipRocks

PAGE 134 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

ONE event in the popular Mendip Rocks! Festival went with a bang – crowds flocked to see a car blown up in Westbury Quarry. They also had a unique chance to see the quarry’s limestone geology and learn about the local fossils with geologist Peter Hardy. Peter will be leading another geo walk in Burrington Combe. The festival runs until the end of October. Events planned for September include Banwell Bone Cave tours, guided walks in Charterhouse to explore the Mendip lead mining industry and on September 18th at 7pm a lecture from geologist David Rowley about Mendip’s geological resources. Nigel Taylor sets the control During The Geological Society’s Earth Science Week, October 13th-21st there will be geo walks, quarry tours, a schools’ geology day and a family fun day at Ebbor Gorge on October 21st. Adel Avery, festival coordinator, said: “Whilst enjoying the breathtaking views above ground on the Mendip Hills, the events will bring alive the fascinating stories of the rocks beneath our feet that have created busy industries in the past as well as shaping the dramatic and much-loved landscapes we see today.” Jhamal, who pressed the button Details: http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/events/ https://www.facebook.com/MendipRocks/


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Play your part in rebuilding a railway

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to play a key role in the future success of the heritage railway line at Midsomer Norton. Trustees of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust, which operates the line, are appealing for more people to join the band of volunteers. Midsomer Norton South Station recently held a family fun day in co-ordination with the Wansdyke Play Association and the Midsomer Norton Fayre. Visitors were offered a free, oldfashioned bus ride up to the station from the town for a look round and another ride: behind the little steam locomotive Joyce. The train ride took passengers up to the Chilcompton cutting which was filled in with a variety of hardcore materials when the line closed. The volunteers’ next challenge is to build a new engine shed and start thinking about what to do about clearing the infill. Chair of trustees Stephen Lacey said: “When I realise how derelict this station and line was when we started more than 20 years ago I can scarcely believe how far we have come. The station environment is back to looking as it did in the old days and we have even restored nearly a mile of Somerset and Dorset track. “It is all down to a dedicated and changing group of volunteers over many years.” Forthcoming events at the station in September include a Volunteers Weekend on September 8th, 9th and 10th when anyone interested can find out more and the station will be open on September 15th and 16th as part of the nationwide Heritage Weekend. *Visitors are also welcome on a Sunday or Monday when the volunteer teams Young volunteers Will and Jack at are working. Midsomer Norton South Station

WHAT’S ON

Be part of the rebuilding of the iconic Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton Station Volunteer Introduction Sessions: September 8th, 9th, (10:00 & 14:00) & September 10th (10:00)

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

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

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

For details, visit: www.sdjr.co.uk

NOW AT FROME SHOWGROUND

22nd & 23rd September Adults: £6.00 • OAP’s £5.00 • Under 16’s Free Steam Engines • Commercials • Tractors • Cars • Motorbikes • Stationary Engines Dog Show • 1940’s Tea Room • Catering • Trade Stands • Crafts • Craft Tents • Bar • Camping available

For more information call: 07900 695620 www.somersetsfestivaloftransport.webs.com MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 135


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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 September 2nd Philippa Beale exhibits in The Arborealists exhibition alongside work by Paul Nash at Black Swan Arts, Frome. Pensford Local History Group self-guided Heritage Walks, two to five miles, exploring local history. No fixed times: www.publow-with-pensfordpc.gov.uk/pc/parish-walks/ Wednesday August 29th Rainbow Ramble sponsored walk & treasure hunt for Children’s Hospice SW, dogs on leads & children welcome!, 10.30am Holcombe Village Hall. Details: Lazydays44@googlemail.com Backwell & Nailsea Macular Support tea party, 2pm, Backwell WI Hall, to support Macular Society Research Appeal. Details: Sheila 01275 462107. Wednesday August 29th to Sunday September 2nd Hutton Events Week. Show Marquee, St Mary’s Field, BS24 9QR. Wed: Taste of Somerset. Sat: Horticultural Show. Evenings: charity quiz, 60s night, proms. Bookings: parish council office 01934 813871 or www.huttonsomerset.org.uk Thursday August 30th to Saturday September 1st The West Country Quilt & Textile Show, UWE Exhibition Centre, Filton Road, Bristol, BS34 8QZ, 10am-4.30pm, advance: £10, £12 on door. Details: 0117 9071000 www.westcountryquiltshow.co.uk Thursday August 30th West Mendip Walkers moderate circular walk 10.5m from Clutton. Ex142 ST623589. Start 10am church car park. Details: Claris Brown: 07811 242061 or claris51@yahoo.co.uk Friday August 31st Valley Arts presents the Tale of the Cockatrice from Mumblecrust Theatre, plus free puppet workshop, Chew Magna Baptist Church, 2pm. Details: www.valleyartscentre.co.uk Friday August 31st to Saturday September 1st Wessex Beer Festival, Chilcompton Sports Ground. Fri: 6pm-midnight; Sat midday-midnight. Details: Somer Valley Rotary: www.wessexbeerfestival.co.uk Saturday September 1st Frome Memorial Theatre presents “The Roy Orbison Story 30 Year Special” 7.30pm, tickets £21.50 from 01373 462795 www.fmt.website Farmborough Flower Show Memorial Hall, 2.30pm, £1, children free. Details: flowershow@farmborough.org.uk 01761 471759. Evercreech Annual Show from 1.30pm, sports field Weston town, fantastic family day, many attractions, competitions, refreshments, marquee open 2.30pm, adults £2 children free. Details: 01749 831304. Merriman Park Fun Day Street, stalls, music, children’s rides & displays from 1pm, live music 8pm-10pm, bar and hog-roast, organised by the Merriman Park Community Group raising funds to renovate the park, admission free. Fairfield opening: 3pm-8pm free community event supported by Castle Cary Town Council & Ansford Parish Council, live music, food & drink, demonstrations, bouncy castle, dog show and more. Opened by Michael Eavis. Kingston Seymour Country Market 10am-12noon, village hall, stalls include plants and vegetables, meats, cards, cakes, books, dvds & jigsaws; handmade jewellery etc. Wellow Flower Show & Country Fair, 1pm Wellow Playing Field, BA2 8QA, dog show, dog and duck herding, ferret racing and much more, £3, U-16’s free. Sunday September 2nd Frome Memorial Theatre presents "The Little Mix Experience" 4pm, tickets £15 from 01373 462795. www.fmt.website PAGE 136 • MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018

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Mendip Ramblers moderate 10m Mendip Ring Circular: Harptrees and Litton. Start 10am East Harptree woods car park BS40 6DA, ST558741. Details: Bob & Rosemary 01749 346023. Redhill Harvest Fair, Flower & Produce Show, 1pm–4pm, stalls, cakes, raffle, free entry, all welcome. Bristol Aquarists Society annual open show Hengrove Community Centre, Bristol BS14 9NX. Auction of stock 12.30, show opens 2.30pm, admission free. Details: www.bristol-aquarists.org.uk Tuesday September 4th Taize’ prayers 7.45pm, Ammerdown Centre, Radstock BA3 5SW, join us for prayers, chants and quiet reflection, free, no need to book. Details: 01761 433709 or Janet 07376 573093. Congresbury Over-60’s Club social meeting to discuss programme, Congresbury War Memorial Hall, 2.30-4pm. Details: 01934 832004. Spoken Word Café Yatton Library, 10.30am-12noon, come to hear poems, share your favourite book, suggested donation £4; all welcome, disabled access. Call for New Singers: Congresbury Singers, a small friendly choir with a wide spectrum of musical styles seek new members, 8pm, Old School Rooms. Details: Liz 01934 876104. Somerset Wildlife Trust talk about British Birds of Prey by Pitcombe Rock Falconry, Caryford Hall, Ansford BA7 7JJ, talk starts 8pm, entrance £3 adults. Wednesday September 5th Somerset Choral Society Autumn Programme: First Rehearsal 7.30pm, concert hall, Sidcot School and subsequent Wednesday evenings. New members welcome (SATB). Details www.somersetsingers.wordpress.com or 01934743965. Mendip Society Walk from Wellow, a hilly 7 miles via Shoscombe, bring packed lunch, meet 11am Station Road car park, Wellow BA2 8QB. Details: Martin 01249 720809. Lunchtime Concert, 12.30-1.30pm St John's Church Midsomer Norton, refreshments available, donations welcome. Details: www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk Thursday September 6th Mendip Ramblers moderate 6.5m walk Sutton Mallet, Stawell, start 10am in no through road near Ring O’ Bells, Moorlinch TA7 9BT, ST398366. Details: Dave: 01963 351077/ 07816 844345. Congresbury Gardening Club “Hydrangeas and Friends” by Sally Gregson, 7.30pm Methodist Hall, High St. Congresbury, visitors welcome. West Mendip Walkers moderate circular walk 12m from Bruton, Ex142 ST686345, start 10am, park at Hauser & Wirth. Details: Tony: 01934 733783/ 07415517355 or anthonyestrange@gmail.com Thursday September 6th to Sunday September 9th Heritage Open Days throughout the country: www.heritageopendays.org.uk Friday September 7th to Sunday September 9th "Rev Up" Vintage Display. 10am-4pm. Railway Inn, Meare BA6 9SX in support of Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, jazz band Friday, auction 1pm Sat, evening disco, car boot Sunday. Details: Ivan Sparks 07891 939055. Friday September 7th Bring Your Own Craft & Chat Session, 2.30pm Cheddar Library, BS27 3NB, 0300 123 2224. New members welcome! Midnight Beach Walk – women walking together to raise funds for Weston Hospicecare. Register: www.midnightbeachwalk.org.uk Redhill Club Open Mic Night 8pm–11pm, hosted by Jerry Blythe, local professionals and open mic slots. Details: Jerry 07900 587646. Saturday September 8th to Saturday October 6th Volkhardt Müller – The Plantation an exhibition of how the iconographies of landscape shape cultural identity. Details: www.blackswanarts.org.uk Saturday September 8th

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Mendip Society Walk from Weare, a moderate 5.75 miles, good views, meet 2pm at the Church, Sparrow Hill Way, Weare, BS26 2LE. Details: Roger & Lyn 07971 245956. Cheddar Food & Drink Festival, various locations, 10am-4pm. Cheddar Vale Lions afternoon tea, a chance to hear about their work, Hannah More Cottage, North Street, Cheddar, 2pm–4pm. Details: wwwcheddarvalelionseorg 0845 8337402. Frome Cheese Show: 9am-5.30pm. West Woodlands Showground, BA11 5ES. Details: www.fromecheeseshow.co.uk Croscombe Harvest Market 10am -2pm, village hall, local produce, artisan bakes, honey, vintage lighting, refreshments, free entry, all welcome. Details: s: marylucia.cadogan@gmail.com or 01749 572875, stalls available. Coffee Morning Wells Methodist Church, Southover BA5 1UG, 10am-12, in aid of church funds. Chew Stoke Harvest Home, from 12.30. Details: www.chewstokeharvesthome.org.uk Bill Smarme & the Bizness, 7pm Caryford Hall, Castle Cary £12 (£10 in advance), bar, parking. Details: John 07746 605523. Congresbury Gardening Club talk by Sally Gregson "Hydrangeas and Friends" Congresbury Methodist Hall, 7.30pm. Visitors welcome. Details: www.congresburygardening.org.uk Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall, good quality books, jigsaw puzzles, dvds, cds & talking books. Art, Craft & Cookery Book Sale at the Fairtrade Cafe, Backwell Parish Hall, 10.15 -12noon, proceeds for Macular Society Research Appeal. Winscombe Michaelmas Fair from 1.45pm, Community Centre, Sandford Road, home produce & baking, crafts, winemaking, stalls, refreshments, evening barn dance, tickets £10 include supper. Details: Dee Davies, 07879 852519. Somerset Plant Heritage Autumn Fair, Midney Gardens, Midney, Somerton, TA11 7HR. 1pm –5pm, admission to sale £2.50/garden £2.50, specialist nurseries, tea room. Details: 01934 750895. Sunday September 9th North Somerset Ploughing Match, Grove Farm, Claverham. Details: Jo Havers 08456 342464. Monday September 10th Mendip Folk Dance Club, "Step This Way" with Dick & Jean Shilton, 8pm-10pm, St James Church Hall Winscombe BS25 1AQ, £3pp. Details Pat 01934 742853. Congresbury Memorial Hall Club Friendship evening with bingo, non-members welcome, 8pm, War Memorial Hall. Tuesday September 11th Fostering & Adoption? Your chance to talk to Somerset Council staff, fellow carers and adopters 7pm-9pm, Costa Coffee, 16 High St, Wells BA5 2SG. Details: 0800 5879900. ‘The art of the pre-historic potter’ by Julian Richards, 11am Bath & West Bar & Restaurant, B&W Show Ground, Shepton Mallet BA4 6QN. Details www.theartssocietymendip.org.uk Guests welcome. Details: 01934 862435. Wednesday September 12th Organ Recital, 12.30 -1.30pm St John's Church Midsomer Norton, refreshments available, donations welcome. Details: www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk Nailsea Horticultural Society 7.30pm, Nailsea United Reformed Church Hall, members £2, nonmembers £3, includes refreshments, all welcome. Kilmersdon Gardeners talk by Greg Morter “From Seed to fork” 7.30pm Kilmersdon Village Hall BA3 5TD. Details: 01761 233325, visitors welcome £2. Weston-s-Mare Music Appreciation Society meeting St. Jude's Hall, St. Peter's Church, Baytree Road BS22 8HG, 7.30pm. Details: simonrawlings9@gmail.com or Dianne 01934

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814752. Thursday September 13th West Mendip Walkers leisurely circular walk 6.5m from Wells Ex141 ST546453, start 1.30pm, park near Sherston Inn, Priory Road. Details: Ken 01749 670349/07784 941439 or kenmasters265@gmail.com Thursday September 13th to Sunday September 16th Heritage Open Days throughout the country: www.heritageopendays.org.uk Friday September 14th Free concert to celebrate refurbishment of Shepton Mallet Almshouses, SS Peter & Paul, Shepton Mallet, 7pm, with Hiraeth folk group supported by Janet Saxon, church choir and Community Chimes. Chew Valley Probus Club lunch followed by: 'Tutankhamun the latest research'12.30 for 1pm, Mendip Spring Golf Club. Details: David 01934 877006. Friday September 14th – Sunday September 16th Wedmore Real Ale Festival. Details: www.wedmorerealale.co.uk Priston Music Festival: 40 acts spread over six stages, lovely local food and drinks; children's world, Morris dancing, singing workshops. Details: www.pristonmusicfestival.co.uk Saturday September 15th East Harptree Flower & Craft Show – 28th annual show will be held 2.30-5pm, East Harptree Theatre, adults £1 children/seniors 50p, all proceeds for maintenance of children's play area. Winscombe's Antiques Roadshow, 6.30 for 7pm St James's Church Hall BS25 1BA, entertaining valuation and commentary, valuation tickets £10 per item, audience tickets £5, from Post Office & Church Office. Details: William Du Croz, 07960 697874. East Mendip Churches Heritage Trail – 12 churches open 11am-4.30pm, refreshments, stewards available to discuss heritage, St John’s Frome to Stoke St Michael & Batcombe. Details: 01373 812889. Sunday September 16th Massed Brass Bands Concert, organised by Wells City Band, Wells bandstand or Bishop’s Barn if wet, 10am-5pm, admission free, bring own chairs and picnic. Vintage Tractor & Ploughing Match, Chew Stoke Monday September 17th “Badgers” talk by Jamie Kingscott-Edmunds for Timsbury Natural History Group, 7.30pm, Conygre Hall, non-members £3. Tuesday September 18th Midsomer Norton Townswomen’s Guild, talk by Colin Stone, Freewheelers EVS Charity (Blood Bikes) 2pm St John’s Church Hall BA3 2HX. Details: Glen Hepworth 01761 413528. Wednesday September 19th Mendip Gardening Club: “Birds of Prey” Chris Sperring MBE, 7.30pm Ston Easton Village Hall. Details: 01761 750139 www.mendipgardeningclub.com Organ Recital, 12.30-1.30pm St John's Church Midsomer Norton, refreshments available, donations welcome. Details: www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk Mendip Society Walk: moderate 4.5 miles to Priddy Green & back for pub lunch, meet 10am, Hunters Lodge Inn, Priddy BA5 3AR. Details: Brian 01749 672457. Thursday September 20th Chew Stoke Great Flood Remembered, 3.307.30pm, Church Hall, exhibits, archive film, recorded memories of how the flood of 1968 devastated many villages throughout the Valley. Displays by children of Chew Stoke Primary School, home-made cakes & tea, bar 6-7.30pm. Free entry. West Mendip Walkers strenuous circular walk 12m from Cadbury Castle, Ex129 ST632253, start 10am free carpark. Details: Carol Jackson: 01934 733568/07979 354530 or Caj7599@gmail.com Mendip Ramblers moderate 7m walk Chickwell

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Lane, Norton, Lyde Green, Hassage. Start 10am Faulkland village, BA3 5XB, ST739545, park with care on main road. Details: Margaret: 01761 232042/07910 873853. Friday, September 21st Introduction to Sashiko Embroidery – Craft & Sewing Group, 2.30 pm Cheddar Library, BS27 3NB, 0300 123 2224, new members welcome! Saturday September 22nd Taste of Timsbury – festival of local food & drink: stalls, cookery demonstrations, street food, live music, children’s activities, Conygre Hall, BA2 0JQ, 10am– 4pm. Details: www.tasteoftimsbury.co.uk Axbridge Blackberry Carnival – see page 104. Frome Carnival: procession from Victoria Park starts 2.30pm, evening procession from Manor Road, 7pm. Details: www.fromecarnival.org.uk Congresbury Book Sale 9am-1pm War Memorial Hall, good quality books, jigsaw puzzles, dvds, cds & talking books. Charity Theatre trip to "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", Bristol Hippodrome. Details: www.theatretrips.webeden.co.uk or 01458 273085. Mendip Society Walk near Abbots Leigh, a moderate five miles, meet 2pm Ashton Court golf course café car park (£1.20) BS41 9JN, use Clifton Lodge entrance at junction of A369 and B3129. Details: Ann 01179 736497. Monday September 24th Mendip Folk Dance Club, 8pm-10pm, St James Church Hall Winscombe BS25 1AQ, £3pp. Details: Pat 01934 742853. Congresbury Memorial Hall Club Friendship evening with bingo, non-members welcome, 8pm War Memorial Hall. Tuesday September 25th Chilcompton Garden Club, village hall, 7.30: Sally Gregson, gardener & designer from Henley Mill, Wookey, talking about “The Winter Garden”. Wednesday September 26th Backwell & Nailsea Macular Support meeting, 1.30pm Backwell WI Hall, a demonstration of vision aids. Details: Sheila 01275 462107. St John's Church Midsomer Norton lunchtime concert with Wells Cathedral School, 12.30 -1.30pm, refreshments available, donations welcome. Details: www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk Harptrees History Society talk by Terry & Jennie Stevens: 'Tyntesfield, Progress & Discovery' West Harptree Hall BS40 6EB, AGM 6.30pm, talk 7.30pm, visitors welcome. Details: 01761 221758 or 221941. Thursday September 27th West Mendip Walkers leisurely circular walk 6m from Wookey Ex141 ST518457, start 1.30pm, park near church. Details: Carole: cajlewis@btinternet.com Mendip Ramblers moderate 6.5m walk Gasper, Monarch’s Way, start 10am Stourhead car park BA12 2SH, ST778341, free parking with NT card. Details: Mo 07387 088151. Friday September 28th Concert with professional soprano Sarah Minns and new talent, Flo Lunnon,7.30pm St Paul’s Church, Easton, tickets £10, include glass wine, from Jane 01749 870543 or Pam 01749 679538. Saturday September 29th The Bristol Ensemble’s string section perform their ‘Romantic’ selection, music by Elgar, Mendelssohn, Holst & Greig. St Mary’s Church, Yatton, 7.30pm. Tickets £10; £8 YMS members. Details www.yms.org.uk Jazz Piano: Craig Milverton, 8pm, Cossington Village Hall, TA7 8JN, reserved seats £10 from 01278 451187 or rogercollett.sounds@talktalk.net supporting Bridgwater Hospital League of Friends. Congresbury Gardening Club Autumn Show from 2.30pm, Old School Rooms. Details: www.congresburygardeningclub.org.uk Mendip Society Walk from Hutton, a moderate 4.5 miles, small hills, meet 2pm, The Old Inn, Hutton

WHAT’S ON

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BS24 9QQ. Details: Rose 07796 910123. Music in Quiet Places, concerts at churches in East Harptree, Hinton Blewett and West Harptree, featuring a whistle-stop tour of world music. Frome Memorial Theatre presents "Blake -The Anniversary Tour" 7.30pm. Tickets £23/£22, VIPs £47 from 01373 462795 www.fmt.website Implements sale, rural crafts and Funday on Priddy Village Green, 10am-5pm with craft & produce show, kids’ activities, hobby horse gymkhana, bar & refreshments. Details: 07910 711866 info@timeconcerts.co.uk 01749 676339. Sunday September 30th “Back to Church Sunday” at All Saints, Lullington, BA11 2PG. Please join us at 4pm for Evensong; have a chat and cup of tea afterwards. Monday October 1st Mendip Ramblers easy cup of tea 3.5m walk Norton Radstock Greenway, start 1.30pm Midsomer Norton, South Road car park BA3 2EZ, ST665541. Details: Jane 01761 232715. Tuesday October 2nd Backwell Sequence Dance Club start a ten-week beginners’ ballroom dancing, Tuesdays 7pm to 7.45pm, Backwell WI Hall, £4/couple, the main evening from 8-10pm. Details: Brian Gage, 01275 463692 or www.backwellsequencedanceclub.org Wednesday October 3rd Organ Recital, 12.30 -1.30pm St John's Church Midsomer Norton, refreshments available, donations welcome. Details: www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk Thursday October 4th Congresbury Gardening Club, Flora on the Isles of Scilly by Alan Clark, 7.30pm, Methodist Hall, High St, Congresbury, visitors welcome. West Mendip Walkers moderate circular walk 13m from Holford Green Ex140 ST155411, start 9.30am. Details: Euan: 07801 621212 or euan.stanwix@btinternet.com Mendip Ramblers moderate 6m walk Burrington Combe, Rickford, Blagdon, start 10am Burrington Combe top car park BS40 7TZ, ST489581. Details: Martyn: 01761 471891/07986 621017. Saturday October 6th West Mendip Orchestra open rehearsal of Scheherezade by Rimsky-Korsakov. They will be delighted to welcome any visiting players who may wish to join them, 10am-4pm, Churchill Academy. Churchill Music, London Bridge piano quartet: Mozart, Mendelssohn & Dvorak; tickets www.ticketsource.co.uk or 01934 852589, champions, £12, non-champions £16, U-18s £4, 7.30pm, St. John the Baptist Church, Church Lane, Churchill BS25 5QW. Bath Community Gospel Choir, St. Mary’s Church, Timsbury BA2 0LG, doors open 7pm, tickets £10, U12s £7, wine and soft drinks on sale. Details: 01761 472448. Chew Magna Annual Resilience Day, Baptist Hall. 10am-12: Great Flood display & chance to raise issues. Conference 12.30 to 6pm: guide to B&NES & parish councils, police & fire services, emergency coordinators, £5, incl lunch. Details/book conference: Cllr Lynne Easton 07810 810847 lynne@eastonpreecepreece.net “A Bridge Across the Flood” song cycle about communities coming together in adversity, and commemorative film of the Great Flood, 7.30pm– 9.30pm St Andrew’s Church Hall, Chew Magna, tickets £8: Keynshamtickets.cloudvenue.co.uk Draycott Michaelmas Fayre, 10.30am-2pm, St Peter’s Church, local crafts, tombola, teas & ploughman’s – to eat in or take away, a warm welcome to all. Midsomer Norton & Radstock Silver Band Concert: Reflect and Celebrate 100 years. St Thomas’ Church, Wells BA5 2UZ, tickets £10, include refreshments, from the parish office 01749 672335 or on the door. MENDIP TIMES • SEPTEMBER 2018 • PAGE 137


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Autumn season

CHEDDAR Arts @ Kings Theatre begins an exciting autumn season on Thursday, September 6th with the feelgood film Finding Your Feet. With an outstanding cast featuring Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall, Finding Your Feet is an irresistible story of second chances late in life. On Monday, October 15th Lily James leads another ensemble cast in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, set just after the end of the Second World War. Juliet (Lily James) is a writer who receives a letter from a member of a mysterious literary club started on the island during the Nazi occupation. On Friday, November 16th and Saturday, November 17th comes a very special event – Back From The Front, a play to mark the end of the First World War and the sequel to Letters from the Front, performed at the Kings Theatre under the umbrella of Cheddar Arts in 2014. The autumn season concludes on Thursday, December 13th with the screening of The Greatest Showman, a big, bold musical inspired by the story of showman P. T. Barnum's creation of the Barnum and Bailey Circus and the lives of its star attractions. Details: www.thelittleboxoffice.com/cheddararts

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WHAT’S ON

Education and fun at Rural Life Museum

SEPTEMBER will see an exciting mix of events at the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury. They range from a special exhibition exploring the contemporary history of facial hair and tattoos – The Art of Self-Expression – to a free day to mark Heritage Open Days and a seaside-themed day of play and learning for toddlers. The Art of Self-Expression exhibition runs until December and explores how facial hair and tattoos have been influenced by wider changes in British society and culture. It tells the individual stories and lifestyle choices connected to facial hair and tattoos in Somerset. Two tattoo artists from Weston-superMare were commissioned to recreate versions of some 19th century designs sported by prisoners. Curator Bethan Murray said: “The exhibition looks at how for centuries people have used facial hair and body art to make statements about themselves. The exhibition uses collections and imagery to trace the history of facial hair and tattoos and their changing meanings and associations.” The free entry day at the museum is on Saturday, September 15th to coincide with the nationwide Heritage Open Days event. The fun day for toddlers will take place on Friday, September 21st. For details, visit: www.swheritage.org.uk/somerset-rurallife-musuem


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Profile for Media Fabrica

Issue 4 - Volume 14 - Mendip Times  

Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas

Issue 4 - Volume 14 - Mendip Times  

Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas