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Mendip Times

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Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas

MAY 2013

IN THIS ISSUE: SHOW PREVIEWS • RUGBY SPECIAL • ARTS & ANTIQUES • POINT-TO-POINT • GARDENING Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news

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MILD hypothermia wasn’t enough to spoil the fun at Mendip Farmers’ Point to Point or Mells Daffodil Festival, where Easter fell early enough this year for the daffodils to be hardly out. We’ve pictures of the crowds braving the elements – and daffodils happen to be Chris Sperring’s subject this month. Let’s hope we won’t need thermals for the North Somerset and Royal Bath and West shows, which we preview – we also have a competition for tickets to Ladies’ Day at the Royal Bath and West. Sadly one of the Bath and West’s frequent art competition winners, David Fisher, has died after a long illness. We pay tribute to him. Local food and drink feature as usual – we have news of a new orchard being planted at West Pennard, June MacFarlane has some tips for the new season’s lamb, while local ingredients are to the fore in Yeo Valley’s new Great British Farmhouse Cookbook. We have pictures of the flying rector of Blagdon and visit another church, St. Andrew’s, in Holcombe to see what’s been found under the floor of the nave. In sport, as the rugby season draws to a close, we celebrate with title-winning Chew Valley, and look at plans for Castle Cary to celebrate their 125th annivesary. With all of our usual contributors and features, welcome to show time on Mendip! June 2013 deadline: Friday, 17th May 2013. Published: Tuesday, 28th May 2013. Editorial: Steve Egginton Mark Adler Advertising: Ann Quinn Marjorie Page Publisher: Mendip Times Limited Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RG Contacts: For all enquiries, telephone:

01761 463888 or: email or: Design and origination by: Steve Henderson Printed by: Precision Colour Printing, Haldane, Halesfield 1, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4QQ Copyright of editorial content held by Mendip Times Ltd. and its contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express permission of the Publisher. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or its associates. Front cover: Chew Valley RFC victorious. Photo by Mark Adler. See page 81 for story.

Heaven’s above – Jane’s towering achievement



Bull’s eye – local shows on target for success


Helping hand – hospice’s new centre in Peasedown


Pony express – prepare to go racing

Plus all our regular features Environment...................................6 Farming Mary James MBE..........12 Arts & Antiques ...........................20 Business ........................................26 Charities .......................................30 Food & Drink...............................34 Internet and Crossword..............42 Community Simon Selby .............44 Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......45 Walking Sue Gearing....................46

Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........48 Gardening Mary Payne MBE ......50 Caving Phil Hendy........................57 Health Dr Phil Hammond.............58 Family Mendip Mum....................58 Property........................................66 Homes and Interiors....................70 Riding Celia Gadd ........................76 Golf................................................84 What’s On ....................................85 MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 3

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Village party

Flying rector lands safely


WEDMORE Pre-school, which is a registered charity, will be holding a party in the village hall on Saturday, May 11th, to coincide with the release of the remake of “The Great Gatsby”. It’s one of a number of fundraising events it holds throughout the year. The photograph was taken on its Comic Relief day.

Outward bound

THE Rector of Blagdon, the Rev. Jane Chamberlain, raised more than £1,200 by abseiling down the church tower on Easter Monday, raising money for a new kitchen, community room and other improvements to the church. Although she landed safely, thanks to a team lead by Mendip first responder, Duncan Massey, some entrants in the Teddy Bear Parachute jump weren’t so lucky. They landed in the top of the yew tree in the churchyard and had to be rescued! The organisers laid on teas and face painting inside the church, since it was so bitterly cold, raising a further £477.

JENNY Wilson, who won the leadership award offered by Mendip Rotary, returned to the club to show how it had improved her confidence and particularly her leadership skills, during a week’s outward bound course on Exmoor. She’s pictured with John Mander of Mendip Rotary interview panel (left) and Steve Green, her sixth form teacher at Kings of Wessex Academy.

Lodge helps air ambulance

A CHEQUE for £500 has been presented to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance charity by the Royal Clarence Lodge of Freemasons in Bruton. The money was raised by the lodge’s Worshipful Master, Roger Cock, at a social event at Castle Cary Rugby Club. Roger presented the cheque to air ambulance pilot Paul Merritt who gave a talk about the service. MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 5

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Big beach clean

Cider orchard planting The team prepares to plant almost 200 trees

THIS lorry load of rubbish was collected from the coast at Berrow, during the Big Spring Beach Clean, which was organised by Surfers Againt Sewage at 50 sites all around the country to tackle what it calls a “litter crisis hitting UK shores”. Details:

Avalon celebration

AN open day showcasing the work of different conservation groups involved on the Avalon Marshes reserves near Glastonbury will be held on Sunday, May 26th. The annual event is being organised by Natural England, Hawk and Owl Trust, Avalon Marshes Landscape Project, Somerset Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. G The day runs from 10am-4pm and there will be activities for children and trailer rides onto the reserves throughout the day. No booking necessary.

Concerns aired about “fracking” on Mendip

PUBLIC meetings are being organised across the area to discuss plans for “fracking”, the controversial gas drilling method. The first is at Ston Easton village hall on Tuesday, April 30th; the second at Compton Martin village hall on Wednesday, May 1st, both start at 7pm. The meetings have been organised after company UK Methane announced at a public debate in Bath that these were two of the areas where they were looking to test drill. There will be speakers from the scientific advisor to the national campaign group ‘Frack Off’ as well as local campaign group, Frack Free Somerset. The evening will be an opportunity for local people to ask any questions they have about hydraulic fracturing, coal bed methane and unconventional gas drilling. Anne Watts from Frack Free Somerset said: “We want every single person living in an area at risk of unconventional gas developments to be fully informed about fracking and coal bed methane extraction. We have had a number of emails and calls from concerned local people; this is their opportunity to find out more information so they can make up their own minds.” Details:


RARE varieties of cider apple trees have been planted in a field near West Pennard to create a piece of living history. Members of Glastonbury Conservation Society – who have worked on a series of orchard-planting projects in the Glastonbury area – offered their help to plant almost 200 trees on land owned by farmer and well-known cider maker Frank Nash. The five-acre field will be known as Piltown Orchard. Paul Chant, who works with Frank, said people would be welcome to visit the field. He added: “We have more than 30 varieties of cider apple here. Some are very rare indeed, but they are the heart and soul and body of cider.” Paul Chant



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Charity’s waste boost

Carymoor ran a range of family activities over the Easter period, giving children the chance to complete a wildlife trail and take part in nature-themed craft activities. With the theme of ‘Kits, Cubs and Pups’ the days offered children a first-hand experience of nature

CARYMOOR Environmental Trust is celebrating after securing a new two-year sponsorship deal with Viridor, the waste and recycling company. Carymoor is an environmental education charity that encourages people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. The charity is based next to an active and capped landfill site at Dimmer, outside Castle Cary, which is owned by Viridor. Over the past 15 years Carymoor has worked to regenerate the 100 acres of capped landfill into a nature reserve. More than 100 schools visit the site each year to see the landfill site and learn about ways to reduce waste as well as exploring some of the habitats that have been created on site. Rupert Farthing, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have signed a new sponsorship agreement with Viridor who have always been so supportive of our work, educating future generations about the importance of looking after the environment. Around 4,000 children visit us at Carymoor each year and we also reach another 3,000 going into schools across Somerset and the wider region. “Being able to show our visitors the active tipping face of the landfill contrasted against the many new habitats that have been created on site, together with our sustainable buildings, gives so much potential for education.” Tanya Reed, from Viridor, said: “Promoting understanding and best practice in waste prevention, recycling and resource management is important to Viridor, so we are delighted to have renewed our sponsorship of Carymoor Environmental Trust. Over the years the centre has run excellent educational programmes and we are pleased that schools, colleges and community groups will continue to enjoy such Carymoor Environmental Centre an amazing place.” To find out more about Carymoor’s work visit


Discovering wildlife in Frome

FROME Recreation and Open Ground Supporters (F.R.O.G.S.) are organising a big event at Welshmill Park, beside the river in Frome, on Sunday, May 19th from 12noon to 4pm, to encourage people to enjoy the park. They have lined up a whole host of local experts and enthusiasts keen to share their knowledge about bats, bees, birds, otters, plants, skulls and bones, and fossils. There will be activities for adults and children, including willow-

weaving, a mini-beast hunt, and edible planting; and a question and answer session on the lines of Springwatch Unsprung. The experts include Toby Nowlan, who was brought up in Frome, but now travels the world as a researcher for the BBC Natural History Unit, Dave Hamilton, a freelance writer, food forager, gardening tutor, and garden design consultant, Eve Tigwell, chair of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, Mick Ridgard, chairman of the East Mendip Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, and Steve Mynard, a well-known local teacher, will be bringing his expertise on invertebrates from both the river and the woodland floor. Details: 01373 473909


Photography courtesy of Tony House

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Flood-hit farmers win aid




FARMERS affected by flooding on the Somerset Levels and Moors are to share in £300,000 worth of European Union funding to help them bring their fields – and the ecology they support – back to life. Somerset County Council is joined by Devon and three French regions in a crosschannel effort. With match-funding, the Value of Working Wetlands project (WOW) will see £600,000 spent in the county. The project has financial and practical support from a number of partners who will deliver the work in Somerset. The council says this will be done by employing liaison officers to advise farmers and help provide practical solutions to land management problems. A mixture of agronomic studies, market development and shared learning will be used, with benefits for the wider rural Somerset economy and its wildlife. Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s Lead Commissioner for Economic and Community Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure funding to help farmers on the flood-hit Somerset Levels and Moors. “With the unprecedented weather conditions last year, this support will help

Spring – at last?

farmers get back on track, and will help build the resilience and profitability of farming on the Levels.” James Diamond, from Natural England, said: “We are really pleased to be able to help match-fund this opportunity to get more help out on the ground for farmers. The Farm Liaison Officers can help farmers and nature recover after last year’s flooding. “This could be through helping to deal with waterlogged fields, help to arrange specialist contractors and to plan early field operations around nesting birds or help farmers work together to solve complex issues. “This is all about helping farmers and nature get back on their feet for the longterm, and we would encourage farmers to get in touch.” Adam Lockyear from the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West, said: “After a difficult year and with increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather conditions likely in the future, this funding will help the project work in partnership with local farmers to find long term ways to improve the resilience of farming businesses for the benefit of their business, wildlife and the local landscape.”

ANYONE who braved the elements at last year’s North Somerset Show will know that the weather in May with DAVID can remain quite MAINE unpredictable, so I’m reluctant to say that spring has definitely sprung – even though it’s technically the last month of the season. March is one of the three spring months in the meteorological calendar, but this year proved to be a fourth winter month, being the coldest March for more than 50 years (since 1962 in fact) with a mean temperature of no more than 3.7 degrees C. This is colder than an average January or February (mean temperatures 4.7 and 4.5 C respectively). It was all down to our old friend the jet stream about which so much has


been talked and written about in recent years (by me as well as others) and which has been blamed, quite correctly on many occasions, for any longer-term deviations to our already quite variable climate. This March, the jet stream was positioned much farther south than usual, well to the south of the UK in fact, allowing high pressure to be firmly established over Scandinavia and to the north of the UK and drawing in a persistent dry cold east to northeast flow over the country (that wind chill factor!). What shifts can shift again however, and as I write, the jet stream has repositioned itself to the north and west of the UK, allowing warmer but moister air from the Atlantic to cover the country. Our minimum on the night of Saturday, April 13th, for example was 10.7C, a value only reached during the day on a couple of occasions in March, and not again

ENVIRONMENT It could take many months for flooded farmland to recover

Richard Archer, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: “It was a hard year in 2012 for farmers on the Levels and it’s good to be able to offer a bit of help to get the sward and ditches back in working order for both the farmer and the special wildlife they help to maintain.” David Leach, from the Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “European funding won by Somerset County Council has enabled Somerset Wildlife Trust to do lots of work on the Levels and Moors. For example, our landowner advisors employed with European funding have helped landowners secure over £3.5 million in environmental grants. As well as conserving our special environment this work will support Somerset’s rural economy.”

Deer grazing among the daffodils at Coombe Lodge in Blagdon

until the 7th of April. Spring indeed, but there’s still a month to go with plenty of time for another shift in the jet stream! Let’s hope the May bank holidays prove to be everything we hope for!

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34 and counting

THE annual Mells Daffodil Festival attracted the usual big crowds as it celebrated everything the village and surrounding area has to offer. Live music, dancing, displays and more than 100 stalls filled Selwood Road, New Street, the Manor Field and the Field arena. Festival chairman Jake Shaw said estimates put the number of visitors during the day at around 8,000. He said: “The traders generally seemed to have had a good day. I thought the live music was very good – but then I booked the acts! “The Nunney Acoustic Café was amazing and the thing about Mells is that the people who watch the bands are always very generous with their support.” Planning for next year’s festival will begin earlier than usual and there could be changes to the car parking arrangements. Jake added: “What never ceases to amaze me is the festival committee who give their time and effort for nothing to put on a fantastic show.”

Wells town crier Len Sweales (left) was joined in a stroll through the stalls by Owen Collier, town crier for Royal Wootton Bassett

The Frome Street Bandits

Bathampton Morris entertained the crowds

Balloon seller Maria Ford tries to stay on her feet PAGE 10 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Television wildlife cameraman and presenter Simon King, who lives near Mells, opened the festival. He was joined at the ceremony outside St Andrew’s Church by show chairman Jake Shaw, town criers and members of the Medieval Combat Society

Frances Ingram, aged three, won a prize for her Easter bonnet. Frances, who lives in the village, is pictured with mum Kirsten

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Mells Nursery School served refreshments in the tithe barn

High flyer

The Frome Town Band

Flo, a Bengalese eagle owl, wowed the crowds in the Manor Field

Little and large – some of the wide range of classic cars on show

Alan Davies, from Writhlington, with his Burrell 4” traction engine MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 11

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Some cheer – despite the weather

DARE I mention the weather? Yes, because it is still giving farmers so many headaches. A shortage of grass when animals are due to be turned out is not a happy situation particularly if winter stocks of silage and hay have run out. So it is a case of buying in. We have to feel fortunate that we did not get the With MARY heavy snow they had on the Isle of Man, JAMES MBE where there were so many sheep lost. We had never kept sheep on this farm until a few weeks ago; unfortunately they kept getting out despite extensive fencing. There was one old ewe with her lamb who must have spent the days going around every inch of fence looking for a weak spot. Electric fencing is the answer evidently. Now for something that is cheerful – and doing well – an update on Farmlink, which I have written about before. Farmlink is a charity set up by a group of North Somerset farmers which brings the classroom to the countryside. As well as Yeo Valley based in Blagdon and Alvis Bros based at Redhill, Coombe Farm delivers the programme in Somerset along with Will Woodlands, Bridgwater College and Greenslade Taylor Hunt at the Sedgmoor Auction Centre. The idea of the lessons delivered to over 20,000 schoolchildren each year is to give them an understanding of farming, food and the environment. A whole host of lessons can be delivered ranging from natural history on the Mendip Plateau, delivered by ‘Mr Mendip’ Les Davies, to milk production and cheese making

by ‘Farmer Nick’ Baker, to growing, harvesting and cooking fruit and vegetables at the purpose built Farmlink kitchen garden and classroom at Lower Stock Farm. The charity is funded by donation so no charges need to be made to schools for getting involved. It is a fantastic organisation that I am proud to be a trustee of and really believe it is making a difference to the pupils and teachers who use it. For further information and contact details you can visit the website Still on the subject of education there was a report in a local paper which said that schools teaching the next generation of farmers, such as Brymore School in Somerset, will have to ditch land studies as it will no longer count towards national league tables. The government plans to drop BTECS in land studies and some other qualifications from performance tables in 2015. Brymore is one of the largest and longest-established school farms in the country. The school has launched an online petition and is appealing to all who care about the future of farming to contact their MPs. To join the campaign visit Don’t forget the first agricultural show this year, North Somerset on Monday, May 6th.

YFC county rally

ONE of the most important dates in the Somerset Young Farmers Club calendar, the annual county rally will be held on Saturday May 11th, at Nunnington Park Farm, Wiveliscombe, by kind permission of Andrew and

Alison Habberfield. Numerous activities throughout the day will include, hundreds of handicraft entries, calf and sheep shows, stock judging and various competitions including shearing, ATV efficiency, fence erecting, cooking and many more. The afternoon will see members competing in the main events challenges, a real spectacle to watch! Details: or call 01278 691711.

EVERYTHING FOR THE SMALLHOLDER AND YOUR PETS Pig, goat, sheep, turkey, poultry and horse feeds Complete dog food, 15 kilo bag – £9.50 PAGE 12 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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YFC wedding

Photograph by John Holbrook Photography

MICHELLE Bowden, last year’s chairman of Chew Valley YFC, was married at St. Mary’s Church, West Harptree, to farm contractor Jason Appleyard, from Timsbury. The couple met through friends and the young farmers’ club. Michelle manages Bowden’s Stores in West Harptree, for her parents Judy and Peter; Peter’s parents ran the shop before them. Jason’s father, Ian, is also a farmer; his mother Bernice is an administrator at Beechen Cliff School, in Bath, and also helps manage the family farm. After a wedding breakfast and celebration for more than 400 people in a marquee on the edge of the village, the couple had a three-night honeymoon in Tenerife, before returning home.

Showtime in Wedmore

Photography by Claire Willcox

WEDMORE Young Farmers Club held its 79th annual show at The George in the village. The main prizewinners were: The E.R. Nicholls Cup, Katie Nicholls; The Don’t Quit Tray, Tom Vining; The Doris Burrough’s Senior Cup, Jack Nicholls; the Doris Burrough’s Junior Cup, Hannah Lukins; Best All-Round Junior Member, Jeanette Churches; Best AllRound Senior Member, Katie Nicholls; Best All-Round Member, Jeanette Churches; Handicraft Cup, senior, Fay Nicholls; Handicraft Cup, junior, Hannah Lukins; Willow Hurdle Making Cup, Edward Bennett; Best Handicraft in Show, Katie Nicholls; Photographic Shield, Katie Nicholls; Scrapbook Cup, Hannah Lukins; Cake Slice, Hannah Lukins.


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North Somerset prepares for its 154th show IF you’re looking for a fun day out on Monday Bank Holiday May 6th, then look no further than the North Somerset Show! The annual show is an opportunity for everyone to experience a traditional taste of rural life. As always, this year’s show promises to be an action-packed day; showing off the best of the region’s livestock, rural activities and pursuits, food, drink, arts and crafts. Of course the traditional livestock and horse showing takes centre stage, but the organisers are excited to offer a wide range of sights, experiences and activities to entertain and inform – there is most definitely something for everyone. The society is proud that the traditional agricultural showing element remains at the heart of the event. This year has so far proved challenging for many farmers (the lack of sun means the

Meet the mole man THE Mendip Molecatcher is Robert Woodbury based in the Chew Valley. He covers an area including and surrounding the Mendips, from Weston and Clevedon in the west, to south Bristol and Bath to Trowbridge and Frome in the east and along to Shepton, Wells and Glastonbury. He provides a service to anyone that has a


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mole problem, large or small. His customers include councils, sporting venues of all kinds, farms, large and small, equestrian sites and, of course most importantly, gardens. Traditional humane traps are deployed that will normally complete the job in two to three days. NO Mole NO Fee means that there is no charge if the mole is not caught. Visit his new website at and listen to his Radio Bristol interviews on You Tube or you can meet him at this year’s North Somerset Show and at the Royal Bath and West Show where he is running stands representing The British Traditional Molecatchers Register. Details: .uk where he is listed.

grass isn’t growing and cows in particular are not in as good condition as they usually are at this time of year) but, with over 670 entries and an encouragingly high number of Young Farmer (8-26 years old) entrants, the competition remains healthy. A new horse showing class for veteran horses (15 years old and over) has proved very popular and horse showing entries are up on last year, with over 220 entries from competitors leading Shetland ponies to riding heavy horses and everything else in between. Trade stands form an integral part of the day; you can source everything from a combine harvester to a tea cosy. This year sees around 250 individual stands and the biggest Food Hall the site has ever had, this marquee is filled to the rafters with produce from around the region for you to take home and enjoy. The countryside area is located just off the main field and celebrates traditional crafts such as spinning, dry stone walling and gun dog handling. The South West Axe racing team are pitted against each other to carve sculptures out of wood using a

A window of opportunity!

BRITANNIA Windows are a local family business established over 30 years ago in Clevedon. They are proud to be the largest and longest-established manufacturer and installer in the area, offering the best quality windows, doors and conservatories. They also install solar panels. Solar energy provides a great opportunity to cut your electricity bill and receive a long-term, tax free return that will also benefit the environment. Did you know they also offer triple-glazed windows? A popular choice for their customers, they significantly reduce heat loss, have effective noise reduction and create a safe secure environment. If you’re visiting the North Somerset Show please go and see them for a friendly chat and a biscuit! They’ll have a prize draw, colouring competition and face painting. You’ll find them at stand FH199 (on the corner by the food hall) or visit their state-of-the-art showroom at Kimberley Road (off Strode Road), Clevedon or take a look at their website They look forward to meeting you soon! See page 91.



TEL: 01934 812999 or 01275 759011 PAGE 14 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

See us at the North Somerset Show, stand F85

Visit our showroom at: 149-151 Oldmixon Road, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare BS24 9QA

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chainsaw, there are vintage cars, the famous sheep show and of course terrier racing; a mad cap, hilarious event where the public can enter their dogs into a short racing event – if you’ve never experienced it, this is an event not to be missed! Events will be running in the main ring throughout the day, with a whole host of other events culminating in the livestock parade towards the end of the day. Tickets are still available at the advance price until April 30th, they can be purchased through the website or you can call on 01749 813899. Children under five go free, parking is free, Bus service 354 stops right outside the gate and dogs are welcome on non-retractable leads. Come and visit Mendip Times at stand FH209.

Come and see us at the show

Sales and lettings covering North Somerset, including the Wrington Vale, Yeo Valley, Chew Valley, and the Mendips Proud supporters of the North Somerset Show, raising money for North Somerset Countryside Day. Come and see us at Stand MR41 next to the Members’ Marquee and enter our competition to win an Amazon Kindle. Your local, regional and national Estate Agents . . . G G G

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ONCE again Debbie Fortune Estate Agents are proud sponsors of the North Somerset Show. Not only are they providing the advertising signs promoting the event throughout the region but are also raising money for North Somerset Countryside Day at their stand on the day. Debbie said: “Last year was a tremendous success in spite of the weather. The hard work from my team on the day through the mud and the downpours resulted in us raising £200 for the charity.” So once again show goers can ‘guess the number of balloons’ in Wallace - Debbie’s 1920s Austin 7 Chummy for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle donated by Debbie and her team. So if you are feeling lucky Debbie Fortune Estate Agents can be found close to the members’ tent by the main ring. Debbie said: “There may be a few surprises on our stand so please come and see us. Let’s all hope and pray for fine weather!” See them on stand MR41. MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 15

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Kitchen of your dreams

Agricultural Sales & Service • Replacement tractor & machinery parts. • Huge stock of gates, cattle handling & feeding equipment. • New and used machinery in stock • Repairs carried out on tractors and machinery • Repairs, service and pre MOT’s Come on Land Rovers and see us • New stores full of everything at the North Somerset agricultural!! Sh

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TIMES may be tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to put off having that beautiful new kitchen you have been promising yourself – a kitchen facelift could be the answer. Refurbishing your kitchen, instead of replacing it, can give you the kitchen of your dreams, at a fraction of the cost, without having to compromise on quality. Dream Doors, based in North Somerset, has a dedicated team of staff who will assure you of the best possible standards in product and service. Colin and Camilla Abbiss, the business owners, say: “Whatever our customers want, we’re almost always able to say yes to them. If they want some new doors for an existing kitchen, we can supply madeto-measure replacements and have them fitted in just one day.” They can also supply appliances, at very competitive prices, as part of a total kitchen refurbishment. Why not go along and see them at the North Somerset show, at stand FH208.

Everything agricultural

FOR 30 years JW & TJ Pearce have been supplying agricultural products, tractors and machinery in Somerset. As years have passed they have diversified from solely repairing tractors and implements to supplying a huge range of replacement parts, livestock equipment, fencing materials and machinery from the smallholder to the largest contractors in the south west. You can’t buy experience and over the years this is what has helped them build up a network of good reliable equipment to sell to their ever-increasing customer base. Being one of the largest IAE gate stockists in the south west region, you can rely on them to have the right style and size gates to suit you in stock at very competitive prices. Their newly-built stores could barely fit more stock in if you tried, from a wide selection of draper tools to Hotline electric fencing and everything else in between. So for anything agricultural, give them a call or see them on stand MR45.

Drive in style

IAN Studley Cars prides itself on the range of vehicles it has available, with up to 50 used cars in stock including prestige, luxury, sport and 4x4 vehicles, from £2,000 to £50,000. It also has new Isuzu D-Max trucks, having been an Isuzu dealer for two years. All used vehicles are fully serviced, with a 12 months MOT and three months RAC warranty on parts and labour, with extended warranties and finance available, and they welcome part exchanges. Call them to book an extended test drive. They also offer a wide range of services including MOT testing, air conditioning service and repair, bodywork repairs, wheel alignment and disc skimming, with full service and workshop facilities, including dealer level diagnostics for BMW, Mercedes, Landrover, VAG and Jaguar. See them on stand B61. PAGE 16 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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Season on track

The season gets underway at Midsomer Norton South

MIDSOMER Norton South railway station began its 2013 operating season with a weekend of train rides over the Easter holidays. A weekend for visitors and volunteers will be held at the station, just south of Midsomer Norton town centre, on Saturday, April 27th and Sunday, April 28th and there are plans for a “Take Teddy on the Train” event on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th. The station and trains are run by the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust which hopes to raise enough funds and win permission to extend the line to Chilcompton. For more information, visit:

Defence secretary visits cadets

THE defence secretary, Phillip Hammond, was able to see at first hand some of the training undertaken by both air and army cadets during a visit to the Joint Cadet Centre in Glastonbury. On arrival, Mr Hammond was greeted with a bugle fanfare courtesy of the ‘Silver Bugles’ of the Somerset Army Cadet Force. Glastonbury Air Cadet’s Commanding Officer, Flt Lieutenant Bill Hamlen, gave Mr Hammond a tour of the Squadron Headquarters. Demonstrations of the cadets’ first aid skills and the squadron’s state of the art flight simulator were also given. PAGE 18 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013


Megan and William on board Apollo and Lucy

The school trot!

MEGAN Bevan and her brother William are a familiar sight on their ponies along the lanes around Upton Noble, near Frome – especially on schooldays! The pair, aged nine and 10, saddle up Apollo and Lucy each morning to ride them to school. Mum Kirsten walks with them then leads the ponies back to their yard at Grazemoor Farm before returning in the afternoon for the homeward ride. Megan and William are keen members of the Wylye Valley Pony Club and both began riding when they were about three years old. The pair will be competing in the club’s Race Day at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, May 18th. Megan, who says she wants to be a jockey, said: “Apollo is not that fast but he really goes for it all the time; he’s my best friend.” William, who rode at the club’s race day last year, said: “I don’t get nervous, just a little when we were at the start.” G See Mendip Point to Point page 75.

One fence at a time

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Update from Guy Salmon Land Rover Bristol GUY Salmon Land Rover Bristol is your local Land Rover centre, a one-stop shop for all your Land Rover and Range Rover requirements. At Guy Salmon we’re passionate about customer service, and we strive continuously to exceed your


expectations. We’re clearly aware that you could purchase your new Land Rover from other dealers around the country, but we’re convinced that there’s a difference when you buy from Guy Salmon.

Only from Guy Salmon – the Freelander 2 Premium Edition LOOKING for a world-class 4x4 with real exclusivity and added value options at no added cost? Then head straight for Guy Salmon Bristol and put their exclusive Land Rover Freelander 2 Premium Edition through its paces with a no-obligation test-drive. The Guy Salmon Premium Edition incorporates the very latest in 13 model year Freelander 2 design, including a significantly improved interior incorporating: electronic park brake, improved stowage and more premium centre console, instrument pack, switch gear and steering wheel. The beautifully redesigned interior features full leather seats, heated seats, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, rear parking sensors and start/stop technology. To the above Guy Salmon have added a comprehensive range of premium options at no added cost. You can choose from a range of metallic colours, and the car includes an exterior design pack comprising of body-coloured door handles, exterior mirrors, rear bumper, and sill covers. The halogen headlamps have LED signature lighting. There’s also an eye-catching 18” ten-spoke alloy wheels upgrade. An armrest pack is included, together with a heated front windscreen and heated windscreen washer jets. Front foglamps

have been included plus headlamp pressure wash. In total, enhancements worth £2,310 at no extra cost with the compliments of Guy Salmon. Make the Premium Edition your next vehicle and you can also look forward to a premium service from Guy Salmon Bristol in the years to come. They have an unrivalled reputation for firstclass servicing and courteous aftersales care with all the continuing support you could wish for. The Freelander 2 range, with its choice of 2.2 diesel power units and six-speed auto box, has been a real success story. It’s plush and very comfortable, versatile and a great performer – the perfect, affordable all-terrain vehicle for all your business and leisure motoring. The Freelander 2 Premium Edition is the one to go for. See for yourself at Guy Salmon at Pioneer Park, Whitby Road, Brislington. The showroom team are friendly and informed. They’ll give you expert advice on a range of competitive finance plans and will be pleased to offer you a generous part-exchange price for your current vehicle. G Ready for your test-drive? Call Guy Salmon Bristol NOW on 0117 239 8534 with a time and date that best suits you. Or just drop into the showroom anytime and take to the road!


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An artist and friend – David remembered

ARTISTS in the Midsomer Norton and Radstock area are planning a special tribute to one of their closest friends and colleagues, David Fisher, who died in March. Members of the Old Bakery Artists group hope to hang at least one of David’s paintings in each venue during their 2013 Art Trail in May. More than 250 friends and family filled St John’s Church in Midsomer Norton for a thanksgiving service for David, who had been fighting cancer since 2009. David, aged 66, was born in Midsomer Norton and began his artistic career as a signwriter and decorator for F. Speed and Sons in the town. The biggest demand for his work came from breweries who commissioned hundreds of pub signs across the south west. His work expanded into painting murals for corporate clients including 60-feet long locally-themed examples for motorway service stations. David’s paintings were frequent winners in the art classes at the Royal Bath and West Show but one of the highlights of his career was winning the Holburne Museum of Art’s prestigious biennial portrait competition. His painting of a fellow oba member – Philip Ledbury, who has been fighting leukaemia – earned him a £5,000 commission to paint a portrait to be added to the museum’s collection. He approached the actress Stephanie Cole OBE, who agreed to sit for him. The result was called Once Upon a Time. During the thanksgiving service, a tribute to David was given by his long-standing friend Graham Sage and Martin Horler read the poem Night Mail in recognition of David’s passion for steam trains and railways; he was a member of both the Wells Rail Fraternity and the Midsomer Norton South Railway.

David at home with the completed portrait of Stephanie Cole

G David Fisher, who died on March 21st, leaves his mother Betty, wife Brenda, children Amy and Mark and six grandchildren. A private funeral was held at the Mendip Crematorium.

Glenda’s art for everyone in Wookey

ART classes at Wookey Hole Community Hall are proving a big hit with complete beginners thanks to a pioneering approach by course leader Glenda

Glenda (front) with two of her sculpture students: Sheila Stott (left) and Jean Kinloch PAGE 20 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Maynard. Glenda, a member of the Old Bakery Artists, believes that people should be allowed to develop their new skills at their own pace. Her watercolour classes are held on Monday mornings and Glenda’s aim is that everyone should be able to go home with a painting to be proud of after one session. Glenda has now expanded her vision to sculpture and is offering classes on Tuesday mornings in which students learn how to use textiles, which are coated in a hardening mixture and sculpted onto wire frames to make ornamental pieces for indoors or the garden. Glenda is well-known for her bestselling painting of Wells High Street and has just completed a new one, “A Montage of Wells”, painted in acrylic on canvas (size 40” x 30”) both of which are on sale as prints on canvas or paper . Glenda developed her love of art after

Glenda with some of textile sculptures

joining the oba in 2004 when she met David Fisher at an exhibition held in his home. Glenda said: “David’s paintings have been the inspiration that has fed my passion in my work; I have had many useful tips and encouragement from David.”

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Expensive tastes

THIS 18th Century Sevres blue ground cup and saucer has finely painted panels depicting Cupid uniting Minerva and Venus and will be included in Clevedon Salerooms’ Specialist Sale on May 23rd. Clevedon Salerooms have an impressive record with Sevres porcelain having recently sold a pair of ice-cream pails in very poor condition for £6,100. The cup stands just 7cm high but together with its saucer carries an estimate of £800 – £1,200 and the salerooms expect bidders from across the globe to contest the piece. The sale will include furniture, paintings, ceramics and glass, collectors’ items, an Oriental section, jewellery and silver, clocks and watches. For more information or a free valuation on items you may be thinking of selling please contact the Salerooms on 01934 830111

Art Trail fundraiser

THIS year’s oba trail takes place between Friday, May 10th and Sunday, May 12th at 11 venues across Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Paulton. Refreshments will be available at some venues to raise money for the Royal United Hospital in Bath: the Forever Friends appeal and the RUH Space for Cancer Care campaign will both benefit. For more details, visit:

Glenda Maynard Artist Offering Sculpture and Watercolour classes. Wookey Hole Community Hall. Complete Beginners. Pay As You Go.

Friday 10th – Sunday 12th May 10.30am – 5.30pm daily

Look out for the art trail leaflet/map or download a printable copy from the oba website or call 01761 433027

Contact Glenda on: 01749 673637

Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Quarterly Specialist Sale of Antiques, Fine Art & Collectors Items Thursday 23rd May at 10.30am Viewing Tues 21st May 2pm - 5.30pm Wed 22nd May 10am - 7.30pm Sale day from 9am On-line catalogue available from 11th May

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

George Paice (1854-1925) Four oil on canvas Racehorse portraits ‘Cree Rue’, ‘Galoot’, ‘Highlander’ & ‘Crystalite’ 21cm x 29cm each

Estimate £800 - £1,200 Visit our Marquee at the North Somerset Show MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 21

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Big innovation for small Mendip publisher

MENDIP micro-publishing company Wild Country Lane Studios is at the cutting edge of new eBook technology. Publisher Peter Froome has used his considerable computer expertise in his latest media venture. He has made a product that combines the best of a conventional book with the interactivity that young people have come to expect from an app. Peter has taken the third episode of his popular children’s series The Adventures of Ben Labra d’Ollie and has made it available on the iBookstore. Peter said: “More and more people are becoming familiar with downloading books onto an e-reader, but regular eBooks aren’t very interesting for small children. Our stories about Ben the dog (for children 37) are in full colour and have moving pictures and sound effects. “Best of all, children can interact with the images: they can move objects around and make things happen. Parents can, though, turn off the read-to-me function and share the book with their children in the conventional way. We like to think this is a more valuable reading experience than simply playing a game – although our eBook does contain a spelling game at the end.” Find out more at

Restoration expert

CHAPEL Antiques provides a comprehensive inhouse antique furniture restoration service. With over 25 years experience, Raj Rastogi`s clients have included The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, exhibitors at Grosvenor House Fine Art Fair, Olympia Fine Art fair, and interior designers. The service covers cabinet work, gilding, polishing, veneering and can oversee upholstery, metal work, mirroring and most restoration related crafts. The emphasis is always on conservation and retaining the original look of the piece. Another aspect of his business is design; he has created many bespoke pieces for clients many of whom live in period properties who want something innovative but with a nod to classism from the “coffee table” to a grand console table. With his background in the arts Raj Rastogi has a strong empathy with what past craftsmen and designers were aiming to achieve.

Traditional, Eclectic, Retro, Furnishings and Interior Designs In-House Traditional Furniture Restoration Service including French Polishing, Cabinet Work and Gilding Please ring for Opening Hours Tel: 01749 675956 – Mob: 07814 686424 • e-mail: e Old Chapel, Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1BP PAGE 22 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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Sun shines on barometer


AT their sale of Antiques and Fine Art on April 6th, Killens saw an excellent attendance of people with some keen bidding in the room, over the telephone and on the internet. Over 450 lots were entered with many items selling for above estimate. Of particular note was a ‘Cary London’ stick barometer which generated interest from across Europe with five telephone bidders and sold for £1,700. A delightful Royal Worcester coffee service sold for £1,440 whilst silver continues to sell well and a fine George Jensen double candle stick was no exception selling for £1,700. Auctioneer Tom Killen comments: “Mendip Auction Rooms is going from strength to strength and we pride ourselves on being able to provide a professional and friendly local service to those new as well as used to the auction process. Selling live over the internet at our antique sales certainly helps us to reach a global audience and to achieve the best possible prices for our vendors.” The next sale of quality Antiques and Fine Art will be on May 4th with a further General Sale taking place on May 14th. Entries are invited for both sales and the team are also content to undertake free house visits. Alternatively, the auction rooms are open from 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday. Contact the auction rooms on 01749 840770 or log onto for more information.


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Sterling work

CHAIN maille artist Paula Broderick will be holding a series of one-day workshops in North Somerset teaching skills and techniques that can be traced back over centuries to make beautiful jewellery not found on the High Street. Sterling silver chain maille jewellery has evolved over hundreds of years from the days when steel wire was woven into a mat to produce battle armour for noblemen and knights. Paula’s passion for the art combined with an ever increasing demand for her jewellery resulted in the launch of the Silver Dodo brand which now extends to making and supplying the silver rings that the art is based on.

Tel: 0781 801 8027


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German efficiency – still working like clockwork THIS small tinplate clockwork toy is to be sold at Tamlyns’ next Collectors Auction on May 21st. Made by the German firm of Greppert & Kelch in the early 20th century, it is typical of inexpensive novelty toys of that time. Amazingly though, it is in very good condition and the clockwork movement still works – known as the “Frisky Horse” toy it moves randomly forwards, backwards and sideways as if the horse is prancing around. Another tinplate clockwork toy in this section of the sale is a Lehmann Zeppelin. Although not in as bright clean condition as the horse and carriage, it does still work – albeit with a little encouragement. The celluloid fins are still attached and when wound the aircraft is supposed to move about when suspended by its string. The horse and carriage is estimated at £100 – £150 and the Zeppelin £40 – £60. The sale has really taken shape and Claire Rawle has been busy cataloguing

the various sections –there are a good assortment of boxed Dinky and Corgi toys, a lovely gauge 1 GWR Tank Locomotive, coaches and wagons; a scratch built live steam traction engine; many cigarette cards and another large section of postcards to be sorted. There will also be a section of medals – this already contains assorted WWI and WWII groups, some with their


corresponding literature and history. The Militaria section includes assorted weapons, buttons, badges and uniform. Coins include some interesting early examples as well as a varied selection of 19th and 20th century silver and copper and there is also a good range of postage stamps – so there really is a very good nucleus of lots already and the sale is not until May 21st.

For any further information on the sale, contact the auctioneers on 01278 445251.


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New team member

ESSENCE in Wedmore have welcomed Danni Muirhead to their team. Danni has been hairdressing in Somerset for seven years, specialising in wedding, prom and occasion hair. Essence is situated in the beautiful King Alfred Mews in Wedmore, the perfect setting to start your special day. Pop in for your free consultation to tailor-make your wedding package or perfect prom hair. Essence are offering 25% off your first appointment with Danni until the end of June when mentioning their advert.

Radstock’s top award

RADSTOCK Co-operative Society has been awarded the Investors in People Silver Award for the way it has transformed business performance through the support and motivation of its team. Chief executive, Don Morris, is pictured receiving the award from Ian Bell, director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and Initiative. The Silver Award has been awarded to fewer than 600 organisations in the country.

Telephone: 01934 712313 5 King Alfred Mews, Church Street, Wedmore, Somerset BS28 4AB PAGE 26 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Weston College

WESTON College’s South West Skills Campus (SWSC) is taking shape. The Locking Road site is currently undergoing an £11million redevelopment. It houses the college’s Business Enterprise Centre (BEC), the Construction and Engineering Centre of Excellence (CECE) and The Hub learning resource. The refurbishment and extension of the former ‘Hub’ building is almost complete. The top floor will become BEC’s new home, complete with classrooms, office space, training facilities and space for the college’s business partners. The ground floor will have a new reception area, a bistrostyle canteen, a ‘LibraryPlus’ facility, student support and IT facilities. The refurbishment is being carried out by construction firm Bray & Slaughter at a total project cost of £3.3 million, a third of which has been provided by the Skills Funding Agency. The BEC move from their current home in the former Renault showroom on the site leaves a large space that will be filled by the creation of a motor vehicle workshop that will train the next generation of motor mechanics and technicians. The front of the SWSC is to be developed by South Westbased contractor Midas Construction to create classrooms, open teaching spaces, a café and reception area, with more classrooms on the first floor, with the first phase being ready for occupation in March 2014. Weston College Assistant Principal – Systems and Resources, Linda Burlison, said: “This work comes at an extremely busy time for the South West Skills Campus, particularly when the number of people undertaking apprenticeships is increasing and there is a growing demand for vocational training. “Weston College believes in investing for the learners and these new buildings will contribute to the training of a workforce ready to meet the demands of the future.”


Help is at hand


Page 27

On April 1st, £350m was cut from the national legal aid budget. One of the areas of law most affected is family law, where, with very few exceptions, legal aid is no longer available for divorce, issues over children and also disputes regarding finance and property. Alison Macaulay, head of family law and a partner at solicitors Harris and Harris in Wells and Frome, said: “There have obviously been concerns raised about the cuts in legal aid. However, the sad reality is that after April 1st, couples are still going to split up and they are still going to need help. This is where we are still able to help at Harris and Harris. “There are alternatives to expensive litigation. Our practice is one of the very few in the south west that is able to offer alternative means of resolving relationship issues by way of mediation and collaborative practice as well as by the ‘traditional service’.” Mrs Macaulay is a fully-trained and qualified mediator and collaborative lawyer. Anyone wanting more information can contact Alison on 01749 674747. The first meeting is always free.


The co-operative

Chew Magna Enlarged and refurbished

More spacious – more choice A wide selection of fresh produce I Award winning wines, beers and spirits including locally produced, Thatchers cider, Bath Ales, Sheppy's Ciders, Glastonbury Ales and more I A selection of Fairtrade and Organic products I Newspapers and magazines I Hot & Cold "Food to go" I Costa Coffee Express I Neals Yards' products I A range of chilled and frozen products I Locally baked bread & pastries I Greeting cards & postage stamps I General grocery and much more . . . Opening times Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

7.30am–9pm 7.30am–9pm 7.30am–9pm 7.30am–9pm 7.30am–9pm 7.30am–9pm 7.30am–6pm

15, Harford Square, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8RA.

Tel 01275 332492 Part of

Local owned, locally managed MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 27

Photo by Ignyte Limited Radstock

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Get walking

Jackets G Fleeces G Walking Boots G Bags G Hats, Gloves G Travel Clothing

GET Walking Week, Britain’s biggest short walks festival, when ramblers groups are organising thousands of free short walks around the country, takes place on May 4th–11th. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover the freedom, fresh air and fitness that comes with exploring the great outdoors.


No. 1 Broad Street Congresbury BS49 5DG 01934 877333


TONY HYNAM Tel: 01275 463525


Everything you need

Fashion show

Tel 01761 451787

We make Dovecotes and Poultry Arks Installation Service available Supply and fix all types of Fencing, also repairs Established since 1965

For walks in our area visit: or pop into Country Innovation in Broad Street, Congresbury, where you can also get kitted out with boots, jackets fleeces, poles etc.

AT Needful Things this spring, they have the most delightful range of ladies clothing, unusual gifts and exquisite home furnishings. Clothing brands such as Pomodoro, In-Town and Miss Baron are complemented by Ochre cashmeres, Ella Moda linens and a very popular and reasonably priced selection of scarves, bags and fashion jewellery. In their interiors department you will find everything made to measure for your home: curtains, blinds, cushions, as well as wallpaper, paint from Little Greene and even fitted carpets! Meanwhile, in their gifts section, you will discover an eclectic mix of gift ideas and decorative statement pieces for your home.

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

Dovecotes & Poultry Arks


Ladies Fashion and Accessories Independent shop in Cheddar selling clothes, jewellery, bags, watches, scarves, purses and odd socks!!! New spring/summer stock in store Open Mon-Sat 9-5.30

Union Street Cheddar 01934 741899

KATIE-Boo’s third fashion show is on Friday, May 17th at Cheddar First School in aid of school funds. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. There will be craft stalls and beauty treatments after the show. Treatments are pre-bookable at Katie-Boo, costing £5 each to include nails, massage and mini make-overs. Fashion show tickets are £4 each and include a glass of wine. Details: 01934 741899 or purchase your tickets directly at Katie-Boo.

Barton welcomes Bradshaws A COUPLE who hit the headlines after making a New Year resolution to buy only British goods for 12 months have visited a family-run

sheepskin business near Street. James and Emily Bradshaw, from Kent, met producers as part of their campaign to highlight the need to support British industry. They met Laura Gibson who, with her father David, runs Sheepland in Barton St. David. The company began in 1986 by handcrafting slippers and now produces everything from teddy bears to hats. James and Emily were presented with a range of locally-made items including cider, cakes and chocolate. You can read the Bradshaw’s blog about their year at:

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Paddle power

BATHTUB heroes, Ric Canham and Rob Knott, raised £2,000 with their intrepid journey 17 miles down the River Avon from Bath to Bristol, where they are pictured outside the Cottage Inn. The charities to benefit received cheques for £1,000 each at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Wrington Vale. Ric, from Axbridge, is pictured presenting a cheque to Dave Herbert of the Portishead and Bristol Lifeboat Trust; President Peter Roswell presented a cheque to Laura Smith of the Alzheimers Society.

Aid to Sudan

FROME market auctioneer and Rotarian Dennis Barnard had a pleasant surprise when a client told him someone wanted to make a contribution through Rotary to an international project. Having just presented £500 to Richard Dean, of Corsley, who is supporting a school building project in Juba, South Sudan, Dennis knew just the cause to benefit! Rotary President Humphrey Barnes is pictured handing a cheque for £3,000 to Richard Dean with Dennis Barnard looking on.

Drivers wanted

WESTON Hospicecare is appealing for more volunteer drivers, like Roy Ackland (pictured) from Oldmixon, to keep its shops stocked. In the few days a week he volunteers Roy moves stock between the charity’s shops as far afield as Burnham, Cheddar and Clevedon and goes out into the community collecting people’s larger donations. Roy said: “I have been a volunteer driver for about five years. Hopefully it helps to keep me fit and gets me out and about!” Maria Beaton, the charity’s volunteer and training advisor, said: “Our shops really depend on our van drivers. Without them it would be almost impossible to replenish our shops.” Over 680 people volunteer for Weston Hospicecare, saving the hospice £1.1 million a year in salaries. For more information about volunteering opportunities visit


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Running to the rescue


Great Somerset Walk

ST. Margaret’s Hospice Great Somerset Walk will be held on Sunday May 12th, following a route between its two hospices in Taunton and Yeovil. Walkers can challenge themselves to complete the full 34 miles cross-country or pick a single section of four. Since The Great Somerset Walk began in 2005, those supporting the event have raised in excess of £220,000 for the local hospice. Registration is just £5 and children under 16 walk free. Details: or call 0845 345 9671.

FOUR members of staff from Bristol-based charity, HorseWorld, are running in the Bristol 10k on Sunday, May 5th, to raise funds to help cope with the huge demand there is for the charity’s services. Caroline Beek, Charlotte England, Vicky Greenslade and Jessica Savage (pictured l to r with rescued pony Cadmus) have put in three months of preparation and training. HorseWorld and other welfare charities are warning of an Equine Crisis, with more ponies and horses being kept in increasingly poor conditions. Details:

All shipshape

THE Weston-super-Mare lifeboat shop and heritage centre, at Anchor Head, will be open until the end of October. As well as goods for sale there is a display of the history of Westonsuper-Mare RNLI lifeboats since 1882. The people behind the counter are all fund-raising volunteers who give up their time to help the RNLI and the volunteer crews. This year there has been a major makeover of the inside of the shop, mainly done by crew members of the lifeboats. The shop is open from 10am until 4pm, weather permitting.

Nailsea charity trek

THIS year’s Nailsea charity walks will take place on Sunday, June 23rd, organised by Nailsea and Backwell Rotary Club. Over 200 people are expected to walk and they invite everyone, young and old, singles and families, to take part in one of three country walks for charities of your own choice. There are three walks: the Nailsea Stroll at 5km, pushchair and wheelchair friendly; the Nailsea Walk of 10km for those who relish going ‘off road’; and the Nailsea Challenge 20km for experienced and fit walkers. Rotary Club President Roy Ackrill said: “This is going to be a great event and deserves wide communiity support for our local good causes.” Details: or call Graham on 07970 771845, e-mail

Mountain trek for charity

GORDON Isgrove, from Winscombe, a director at commercial property adviser GVA in Bristol, has made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, raising £2,000 for Weston Hospicecare. Five days of trekking with a group of nine friends saw them successfully scale the mountain at 5,985m (19,341ft). Gordon said: “We wanted a memorable challenge and this was certainly it.” Gordon chose to raise money for Weston Hospicecare who provided much needed support and care for his late grandfather and a close family friend.


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Outreach centre opens

DOROTHY House Hospice has opened its first outreach centre to offer services closer to home to people from the Mendip area. The centre, at Peasedown St. John, provides a permanent base in the Bath and North East Somerset catchment area for the Bath and Mendip specialist nurse teams, as well as a meeting place for other health care professionals and a venue for courses and workshops. It is next to the CircleBath Hospital. To mark the opening, members of the Rotary Club of Midsomer Norton and Radstock visited the centre to present a cheque to the hospice for £3,640. The money was raised at the club’s annual Race Night, which this year was dedicated to Rotarian Michael Charlton, who died prematurely. Michael, sales director of A.J. Charlton and Sons Ltd., had been one of the main organisers of the event. The cheque was presented to the charity by Tony Charlton, the company’s chief executive. Community and outreach manager Wayne de Leeuw said: “Having a centre at Peasedown will make our services much more accessible for patients on the south side of Bath, and in the Radstock and Midsomer Norton area. It will also allow people to make several appointments on one day – for example, with their specialist nurse, a physio, family support and lymphoedema.” The centre offers a bright welcoming venue for some of the

Michael Charlton – the money was raised in his memory

Message in a bottle

Rotarians present the cheque to Dorothy House Hospice outside the new outreach centre

courses and workshops currently offered at Winsley and Trowbridge including palliative rehabilitation, wellbeing workshops and patient and carer support groups. Wayne, who lives in Coleford, added: “We want the outreach centre to become a real part of the community and be a great source of information and advice for the residents of Peasedown St. John.”

Kate Jasper, multi disciplinary team assistant

RADSTOCK and Midsomer Norton Lions Club have introduced a new service which could be a life-saver. In association with Avon and Somerset Police and the St. John Ambulance service, the area now has a Message in a Bottle service. If you are elderly, sick or disabled and become extremely sick or unconscious, how can the emergency services know your personal medical details? The Lions’ free scheme means people can list their medical

Community and outreach manager Wayne de Leeuw

details on a sheet of paper kept in a bottle in the fridge, with stickers on the back of the front door and the fridge itself. The information could save lives by giving the emergency services prior knowledge of a patient’s medical history, plus the name of next-of-kin, if requested. The bottles are available from doctors' surgeries in Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Chilcompton and Paulton, The Hollies council offices in Midsomer Norton, and libraries in Radstock and Midsomer Norton.

To pick up a free bottle or for further information contact any Lion member or call 01761 415137 or 07831 577711.


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Your Chance to Swim with a Pig! Mar"n and Debbie Ford, who own Yeowood Farm in Wrington, are opening an eco-friendly swimming pool, to be operated on a 'swimshare' basis. ‘Our Pool’ was born when they decided to give up pig farming and were le with a number of empty buildings. As well as free-range hens and ca#le, they grow 50 acres of miscanthus (aka elephant grass) which is used to create energy to heat the pool. The farm has its own borehole, which is used to fill the pool. They have also fi#ed solar panels which are used to

power the pool building, the pool "les are made from recycled glass and the exterior of the building is being clad in English Cedar. The pool is 12 metres long by 6 metres wide and 1.2 metres deep (or 40 feet by 20 feet by 4 feet if you’re a tradi"onalist!) and has a resistance stream to allow distance training without having to turn. All areas of the building are accessible for wheelchair users. From the pool swimmers will be able to enjoy views over the Somerset countryside to Crook Peak

or, if they prefer a more private environment, will be able to close the privacy blinds built into the fulllength glass windows. One word of warning though – don’t be alarmed when you see a pig in one corner of the pool – it’s a mosaic reminder of the previous occupants of the building! Our Pool is due to be open to the public towards the end of May. Further details will be available from their website (

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Sheep Aid – slam in the lamb!

SHEEP farmers have been hit with the worst winter weather for more than 50 years and the National Farmers Union (NFU) is asking consumers to buy British lamb to help them. In early April Welsh farmers were still digging dead animals out of snow drifts; some have lost almost all their flock and the price of lamb will With JUNE definitely rise with the scarcity of supply. Lamb is MACFARLANE not inexpensive so asking hard-pressed consumers to pay even more for the home grown product will be difficult, but do please buy lamb from local producers. Big joints of leg and shoulder can make sense if you use up the leftovers and here are some recipes for more good value dishes.


This is a quick and impressive dish which tastes delicious and takes just minutes to make. Roasting the asparagus spears brings out the sweetness in them.


First make the dressing. Pound the first four ingredients in a mortar, but do not completely pulverise the anchovies. Add the capers if using. Reserve. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Trim the asparagus to fit an ovenproof dish. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle over some olive


Braised lamb with spring vegetables

oil and roll to coat. Roast in oven until tender (12-15 mins), giving the tin a shake half way through. Remove cutlets from marinade and pat dry. Heat a grill pan until smoking hot. Sear cutlets for two minutes on one side, turn and sear the other side. Prop them up to allow the fat on the sides to brown and run. Test to see that it’s done and rest for at least five minutes. Serve the cutlets and the asparagus with the dressing spooned over them.

500g neck of lamb fillet, cut into 3-4 cm chunks 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil A few sprigs of fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp butter – 2 tbsp flour 1tsp tomato purée 100ml white wine 1/2 litre hot beef stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper About 200-250g of spring vegetables such as baby turnips, carrots, young leeks, peas and broad beans, boiled or steamed separately, refreshed in cold water and mixed together A good knob of butter 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley


2 lamb cutlets per person, marinaded for a few hours in olive oil, juice of a lemon, two sprigs of rosemary, one crushed clove of garlic, a pinch salt, black pepper (best way to do this is in a zip-lock plastic bag) 1 bunch new season’s asparagus (New Cross Farm 01460 241561, will be picking by the end of April) A couple of splashes of olive oil For the dressing 3 tbsp olive oil 4 anchovy fillets, drained juice of half a lemon 2 tsp rosemary leaves, chopped 1 tbsp capers, drained (optional)


Lamb neck fillet needs long slow braising and is perfect for this dish. Welcome in spring at last with the first of the new vegetables.


Preheat oven to 150ºC. Flour the meat using half the flour. Brown in half the oil. Sweat the onions, carrots, leek and garlic in the rest of the oil with a lid on until softened. Add the thyme, bay leaf and butter. When butter has melted stir in the rest of the flour and the tomato purée and cook gently, stirring, for two minutes. Add wine and stock slowly, stirring to avoid lumps. Add meat, bring to the boil and season. Cover and simmer gently in oven for a couple of hours until tender. Remove from oven, skim off fat and keep warm. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan and toss the spring vegetables in it to reheat. Serve the meat with some of the sauce and the vegetables, sprinkled with parsley.

June is a former television producer. She is currently a public relations consultant in the food and drink industry and has just started a new blog: PAGE 34 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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Pensford market


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THE new season’s marmalade went down a treat when the market was held at Publow Church and raised £183 for church funds. The next market will be held on Saturday May 4th, from 10am until 11.30am at Pensford Church Rooms. Bargains to be had will include the ever-popular home baking, along with jewellery from Ann (l to r) Judith Hillman, Gillian Patch, who lives in Wookey and Janet Smith. Stanton Drew. There will also be plants for sale if the weather improves, according to the organisers. Church treasurer, Mrs Gillian Wookey, said: “We normally hold nine or ten markets each year depending on when Easter falls and if we have a summer fundraising event. The home baking on sale is made by the parishioners and we normally have another stall as well which is not run by us but adds interest to the event. “The markets are well attended and a good meeting place for residents in the village.“



Wells: every Wednesday 9am-2.30pm All other markets 9am-1pm unless marked*

Friday 3rd Wincanton Saturday 4th Midsomer Norton & Axbridge Saturday 11th Frome & Keynsham Friday 17th Cheddar* (10am-2pm) Saturday 18th Crewkerne Saturday 25th Glastonbury* & Yeovil* (9am-2pm) Friday 31st Burnham-on-Sea Follow us on Twitter: @SFM Markets

Somerset Farmers’ Markets

Tel: 01373 814646

Your Power Proudly Supports Sustainability in Somerset Your Power is a Leading Expert in the Field of Renewable Energy. Whether it’s Domestic or Commercial, We Have the Right System for You. Call Today for Your Free Survey: 0800 924 7364 or


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A country pub with cosy seating areas and function room, offering total flexibility with caterers and entertainment.

“A venue with a difference”

Tavern is a hit

LOCAL drinkers and diners have been welcomed back to the Carpenters Tavern since it opened last month. Their signature mixed meat Sunday roast has proved a big hit and booking for Sunday lunch is now advisable. Monday nights are quiz night with free nibbles for all teams and a cash prize for the winner – call on 01179 646423 to reserve a table for your team. Open all day Friday and Saturday, they offer a range of traditional games – scrabble, cribbage, cards, backgammon, etc., for those of you with a competitive streak or those just wishing to while away the afternoons in pleasant and hospitable surroundings. The upper restaurant is an ideal space for family gatherings and private parties so call 01179 646423 to chat about your party ideas.

Give us a call to arrange a visit.

We l l s w a y


Harptree Hill, West Harptree, BS40 6EJ

01761 221382

Sue, Pete and the team welcome you to their exciting new venture. We pride ourselves on excellent ales, quality wines, delicious, locally-sourced food and outstanding service. Whether you are joining us for a cosy drink in our snug bar, a quiet lunch with friends or a special family party, the Carpenters Tavern is the perfect spot to relax and unwind. Come and see the changes.

Bring this ad for 10% discount on meals Tuesday-Friday in May

Call 0117 964 6423 PAGE 36 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

NEW WEEKDAY TEA DEAL £1 for a cup of tea and cup cake, 2.30pm-4.30pm Monday to Friday RESTAURANT AND FISH AND CHIPS TAKEAWAY 12noon to 2pm and 5pm-7pm CAFE OPEN 9am-5pm midweek Saturday 8.30am-7pm Sunday 8.30am-4pm for breakfasts and Sunday roasts

Function and conference rooms now available for parties, meetings and training

Traditional Fish and Chips, Sunday Roasts, Cream Teas and Ice Cream

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English & Mediterranean Restaurant, Wells

Seen our beautiful upstairs function room?

New à la carte menu

ALSO Two course £12 dinner menu (served Monday – Thursday from 6pm)

Open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Saturday for morning coffee, breakfasts and lunch

Ideal for all occasions Bespoke menus to suit most budgets Call Nicola for more details

‘Relaxed & friendly dining in the heart of Wells’

For more information, call


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01749 678111


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01761 221429



Steak + Pint Night – £9.00

You can look at our new à la carte menu online


Fish & Chips + Pint Night – £6.00 We also have a specials board and selection of sandwiches

Sunday lunch is a must try! Church Lane, East Harptree BS40 6BD • email:

Food festival plan

WESTON super Food Festival will take place in the town this September, promising a tasty celebration of all that’s good about real food, produced by small local and regional producers . It’s being organised by a recently established not-forprofit social enterprise, who are inviting businesses to take part. The festival will be on September 21st and 22nd. Details: Tel: 01934 813407

More success

PYLLE based butcher, Jon Thorner’s, achieved two gold medals at a high profile international food contest in Belgium, for its pork pie and steak and ale pie. They also received silver medals for their pork loin roast and on the bone fillet steak and bronze for their gourmet steak burger at Meat Expo 2013, staged in Kortrijk, Belgium.

ME OF FEATHERS U L P Traditional country pub and B & B with flagstone floors, log fires, beer garden and a beautiful stream side location. Family run with a welcoming atmosphere, dog and children friendly. Opening times 12pm till 11pm. Food served 12pm till 2.30pm and 6pm till 9.30pm. To book, ring 01761 462682.

DIARY DATES MONDAY 13TH MAY – LAST OF THE SEASON FUN QUIZ Teams 4/6 Members 8.15pm Start FRIDAY 24TH MAY AT 9PM Tim Bassett –‘Bassett’s Allsorts’ An Elvis Tribute and music from the Legendary 50’s SURF, TURF & SPECIALS Ever-changing Specials Board. Locally sourced meat from Paul Loder, Butcher and fresh fish from the South Coast, daily deliveries from Samways at Bridport Five en-suite bedrooms are available for booking on any night. View these rooms on-line on our website’ Winners of the Design & Build Excellence Award (Highly Commended) from Mendip District Council This accommodation is ideally located close to the Bath & West Showground. Royal Bath & West Show 2013 runs from 29th May – 1st June




5pm start, pig roast, bbq, ice cream stall, face painting, local band playing and 3 bars open. raising money for Blagdon and Burrington pre schools and Blagdon guide and scouts Best dressed Plastic Duck competition – see website for entry details

With Burrington fete on the same day – make a day of it with an afternoon at Burrington and an evening at The Plume! Visit

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Celebrating spring

LAST autumn I planted a rare old French variety of winter lettuce – Reine des Glaces or ‘Queen of the Ices’. I grew it in the polytunnel and it has done rather well there, especially given the prolonged cold we’ve had, and now I’ve got quite a few decent sized heads to start eating. With JAKE The leaves are crisp with a good WHITSON flavour and beautiful frilly, spiked leaves, somewhere between an iceberg and a butterhead. It is worth noting that the stems and roots of most lettuces are also edible and usually delicious. Romaine lettuces particularly have thick roots that have a nutty flavour when cooked – I like them peeled, sliced and stir fried. Also, I’ve noticed that some varieties of lettuce (but not all) will produce a second crop after cutting if you leave an inch or so of leaf attached to the root and give them a good nitrogenous liquid feed. I’m particularly partial to a thick lettuce sandwich on white bread, with plenty of salt, black pepper and butter. For a slightly more substantial supper, I like to serve wedges of crisp lettuces with crispy bacon, crumbled blue cheese and blue cheese dressing. I am also a convert to cooked lettuces, especially crispy ones like romaine – at this time of year I particularly like to make a spring pigeon and vegetable broth using lettuces. To start I’ll remove the breasts from a wood pigeon (one pigeon per portion) then simmer the legs and carcass until tender with some carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves and whatever other aromatics are to hand. When the legs are tender I’ll flake and pick the meat from the legs and carcass, then add them back to the strained and seasoned broth. Then I’ll sear the breasts until they are medium rare, and let them rest for a few minutes while I bring the broth back to the boil and add the best spring vegetables and herbs I can find – peas, sorrel leaves, small lettuce leaves, a few ground elder shoots, turnip broccoli, tiny baby carrots and radishes, julienned swede, parsley and coriander tips. Topped with the sliced pigeon breast, and perhaps a little yoghurt, this is one of the best celebrations of spring I can cook. Jacob Whitson is a chef and food writer who has worked in many of the West Country’s most prestigious restaurants. He is currently working on his first book, a travelogue detailing the regional foods of Japan.



Have you had your Salmagundies recently?

NO, it’s not what you think, although the scent of this flower was associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and spring reproduction. I’m talking about Elizabethan salads known as ‘Grand Salletts’ or ‘Salmagundies’. Fragrant flowers such as Sweet Violet formed one of the ingredients With ADRIAN of a Grand Sallet. What a fabulous word BOOTS even if it does sounds a bit like underwear of some description. Sweet violet (Viola odorata) is a dainty plant, forming low rosettes. The leaves are on long stalks, heart-shaped with a serrated edge and downy hairs. The flowers are 12 to 15mm long, with a pleasant scent. They are often white but also purple, mauve, lilac and pinks, and are on curved leafless stems. The flowers droop and often face downwards and appear March to May. In summer, the leaves enlarge significantly in response to reduction of light availability in shady woods and hedges. Violets reproduce by sending out rooting runners but the seeds are dispersed by ants, a very interesting biotic relationship. Found in woods and hedgerows, cultivated in gardens subsequently escaping and becoming naturalised in the wider countryside. A classic use of violets was to be made into candied sweets. This is a simple process of coating the flowers in beaten egg white and then dipped into fine sugar, then left to dry for a few days before storage. I think we’ll go for a more modern take on the Salmagundie: a pickled salad. Place alternate layers of edible spring flowers and demerara sugar in a container and press down firmly but gently with a flat object. Add boiled then cooled cider vinegar and cover with cling film. Leave for four or five days then they are ready to enliven and brighten up any salad. And finally, just a little word of advice from one forager to another: you will need perseverance. You are much more likely to find the Dog Violet rather than the Sweet Violet, I know this as I have sniffed a lot of violets recently! Adrian Boots is a Landscape Ecologist, researcher and farm conservation advisor. You can visit his website to learn more about the Mendips and his Wild Food Walks.


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Sutton Hill Road, Bishop Sutton BS39 5UT 01275 333042

Kerry and Richard invite you to join them at their Traditional Country Pub serving 4 Real Ales, Home Cooked Pub Classics and Desserts

Wednesday Night is Grill Night Grill £9 and a bottle of house wine £10

PROPER Sunday Lunch

Choice of three meats, all with homemade trimmings 3 Courses for £15.50 1 & 2 Courses available

EVERY Monday in MAY Courage Best £2.70 a Pint

Large Car Park at back of pub, huge pub gardens ideal for kids to ‘let off steam’!!


Opening times: 6pm-11pm Monday and all week 12noon-2.30pm Tuesday to Thursday Open all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday


Sunday June 2nd Cycle the Mendips

Help raise £60k for MS – Log on to register

Early Spring Bank Holiday 3rd-6th May Cycle Saturday–Live Jazz–Cribbage Challenge Every Wednesday - Steak Night Spring Bank Holiday 24th-27th May • Taste of the Mendips Beer Fes!val (Fri-Mon) • Crosscut Saw Compe!!on (Sat) • Live Music: Wassail Blues Band (Sat night) • 50-50 Darts Compe!!on (Sun night) • Dog Show (Mon a.) Thurs 30th May Curry Buffet Night

The George Inn, Croscombe Fundraising for MS tel 01749 342306

Great Food, Beer and Atmosphere PAGE 40 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013


Pedal power to fight MS

THE chairman of the Mendip branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society is calling on cyclists of any ability to help raise £60,000 for the charity with a special event at the beginning of June. Peter Graham, who runs the George Inn at Croscombe, has organised the 60 for 60 Challenge on Sunday, June 2nd. He wants as many people as possible to take part in a series of cyclingPeter (left) and son XX themed challenges, ranging from a 60at the start of their mile ride across the Mendip Hills to charity trek spending 60 minutes on static cycling machines at Croscombe Village Hall. The Multiple Sclerosis Society is marking its 60th anniversary this year. Peter is a keen cyclist himself and last year organised a ride from Land’s End to John O’Groat’s which raised £5,000 for the charity. He said: “If people feel that tackling 60 miles across the Mendips and on the Levels is too much, then they can try something else – as long as it’s 60 for 60. Shepton Leisure Centre is loaning us some cycling machines for the village hall and there’ll be music and food on offer there as well.” Peter hopes the fundraiser will become an annual event and has organised the cycle ride under the auspices of British Cycling. To register for the ride,

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Cadets get new HQ

AFTER an accidental fire destroyed the Somerset ACF cadet hut at Nailsea in 2009, the unit has been faced with a struggle to survive. Now a brand new cadet centre has opened, housing army cadets from Nailsea Platoon, Gibraltar Company, and Somerset Cadet Battalion (The Rifles) Army Cadet Force. Surrounded by a high security fence and boasting all modern conveniences, including digital projectors in all the lecture rooms, spacious offices, well-equipped stores and a superb 25m indoor training theatre, the building is now the envy of other, less well equipped platoons. Serjeant Major Instructor Heidi Dyer, the Platoon Commander, is delighted with the modern facilities and hopes to attract many new cadets to the unit, based at the playing fields off Greenfield Crescent. The platoon parades on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7:30 to 9:30pm, and prospective cadets are welcome to drop in and see what happens. Details: or 01823 284486

Irish eyes are smiling

AN Irish Night, held at Bishop Sutton Village Hall, was a huge success, raising around £1,500. It was held by the Inner Wheel Club of Chelwood Bridge in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge. The Inner Wheel club’s half will be going to the Combe Down Holiday Trust, which is the president’s chosen charity for this year. Making the night go with a swing were four young dancers, three of whom live in Pensford. They are all members of the award-winning Sean Eireann McMahon Academy of Irish Dance from Bristol. Pictured (left to right) are Bebhinn Baber, 12, Niamh Baber, 12, Ruby Maynard, 13, and Orla Baber 14.


Double boost for Paulton

PAULTON has a new community hub with a library, coffee bar, internet facilities and a meeting room, based in former empty shops in the village’s shopping precinct. The library was formerly in the Methodist church across the road. Thanks to 50 volunteers, the hub is now open six and a half days a week, whereas the library was only open for two and a half. The council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, Cllr. David Dixon, praised it as a “wonderful facility” which would spur interest in the area. He’s pictured (centre) with (l to r) June Brassington, library services manager, Judy Terry, library manager, and local councillors Liz Hardman and John Bull.

THE Paulton in Bloom team, which was so successful last year, has renamed itself Pride in Paulton Partnership (PiPP), with the common aim of improving Paulton’s environment. Nearly 50 people attended a launch event at the Red Lion in the village including businesses, organisations and residents to hear about their plans. Pictured are Jonathan Janson of Halton House Dental Centre (who will be sponsoring PiPP), Patricia McSherry (secretary PiPP) and Gail Garlick (vice chair). Details:


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Emailing – the basics

AS mentioned in last month’s article – always be careful before opening any emails. If it is not from someone you know, it is best to delete it without opening it, and always have an active and up-to-date antivirus programme. Once you have established that you want to open an email there are a number of things you can do next. Simply read it and delete it – most programmes have an icon with a rubbish bin on it, or some have a big red cross, so just click that from within the opened email and it will go into your Trash/Bin/Deleted items folder. The second option would be to reply to it. Most emails deserve a reply – maybe simply as an acknowledgement that you have seen the email – usually the only way the sender will know. So click on the reply button – usually an arrow bent to the left – hover your mouse over it and it should display the word Reply. Or you may simply see the word Reply (most programmes do try to be helpful!) This should open a new email (either within the current page, or as a separate window) with the sender’s email address already in the To: box and the sender’s Subject with Re: before it. And your cursor should be flashing in the body of the message, so all you have to do it type. The contents of the original email will be underneath the bit where you type, so the receiver will know what they said in the original email, but you can delete that bit if you want to, but it is usually fairly helpful to leave it in place. The third option would be to forward it onto someone else – there are a great many nice emails doing the rounds with lovely pictures, or fun content etc which we like to share with others. So once you have opened the email, click on Forward (either the word, or perhaps an arrow bent to the right – sometimes hidden behind the Reply button. Now you need to type in the appropriate email addresses. However, it is not polite to share round other people’s email addresses, so it would be best to put them all in the BCC (stands for Blind Carbon Copy) box, not the To: box. Most email programmes hide this facility, so you will have to find the link to click. Now you can put lots of different email address in the BCC box and all the addresses will be kept confidential – they will all receive the identical email, but won’t know who or how many others receive it. It is also polite to delete all of the email address in the content of the email – some come round with literally hundreds of addresses included, but just highlight them (click and hold and drag across) and press Del on your keyboard. Add what you want to say (if anything) and click Send. The other options would be to mark it as Spam, move it to another folder, or close it and mark it in some way so that you can deal with it another time – we’ll look at that in next month’s issue. This article is for guidance only, and the opinion of the writer. For more in-depth information, please contact us. We offer individual training, either one-off sessions or a series, at a pace to suit you; a session lasts two hours and costs £10. We can cover a range of subjects including absolute basics on Windows XP/Vista/W7/W8; photo management; iPad; Tablet computers; basic web design; Word processing etc. See our website or contact us for further details.



The Mendip Mindbender

ACROSS 5 Southern religion takes knock in tricky situation (6) 7 Applaud catch, but it's rubbish (8) 9 Sound of phone cut short here (8) 10 Tenor confused about start of 'Tristan' – it's awful (6) 11 Musical at eg Lords? That's spot on musically (7,5) 13 Hesitates to put Queen in rollers (6) 15 Put down a right back coming from centre (6) 18 Document on dwelling in this village (12) 21 Chaps put their toes in here (6) 22 About 50 contend and finish (8) 23 Pi seldom explodes – quite the opposite (8) 24 Place to set fire to heavyweight (6)

DOWN 1 Clean badly under rail, find this under boat (8) 2 Improved gambler (6) 3 He tells how soldier on hill rushed back first (8) 4 Painful condition – caused

by sewing? (6) 6 Napoleon's bodily state (8) 7 Tin monkey gets a little nibble (6) 8 State in a very clear way (4) 12 Using high voice is incorrect – confuses tot (8) 14 Mad Pete's wild, in a wild rush (8) 16 Fall allows a little precipitation (8) 17 Stays by sound of underground river (6) 18 Dave's first to slice fish the French cook gently (6) 19 Guess what the noise is (6) 20 Bacteria found in larger molecules (4)

Answers on Page 89

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Third time lucky

MARATHON runner Steve Clark – who featured in an article in the April issue of Mendip Times – has completed a 50-mile trek across Mendip at the third attempt. Steve is attempting to tackle the both the West Mendip Way and East Mendip Way 12 times in a year to raise money for the PROMISEworks campaign, which supports the Wells-based mentoring project for vulnerable young people called PROMISE. His aim is to raise £10,000. Steve said: “There was actually no way it was not going to happen this time round as quite frankly it would have been embarrassing to fail a third time. My ego was just not going to allow it. At about 43 miles in I noticed that my legs were moving of their own accord and I had no control over them. My body was committed to reaching Frome even if my mind had given up!” Steve, a former ultra-marathon runner, admitted: “I would like to say that I enjoyed it, but quite frankly it was hell. The first 30 miles of the Mendip Way are so punishing that it is difficult to enjoy the milder final 20 miles. My body was battered and my legs, particularly my knees were in constant pain. “The temperature was freezing and it snowed for about four hours. I am actually dreading the next one, but this is why I have such a high sponsorship target, because this is a monumental physical and mental challenge for me. “I am not the same ultra fit runner of my past. I will probably get there by the end of the 12 months, but right now each and every mile after 10 hurts.” You can read Steve’s blog and find out how to sponsor him by visiting:

Churches walk for Foodbank

PARISHIONERS are set to trek 15 miles in aid of the area’s newest community welfare project, the Somer Valley Foodbank, with 16 churches across ten villages taking part. Known collectively as the ‘Ten Lamps Group’, the villages are all part of the former Somerset coalfields and share a mining and industrial heritage. The network covers Farrington Gurney, Paulton, High Littleton, Priston, Camerton, Timsbury, Peasedown St John, Wellow, Foxcote and Shoscombe. It was founded several years ago following an agreement between Anglican and Methodist Churches in these communities to work together to strengthen and celebrate the Christian faith. The Rev. Guy Edwards, rector of the Anglican communities in Paulton, High Littleton and Farrington Gurney, and one of the walk co-ordinators said: “Many people suffered hardship in the times when the mines were active – and for different reasons this is true today also. In response to people’s need in these difficult times, the Ten Lamps churches want to show their support for the Somer Valley Foodbank by raising funds through this sponsored walk.” The Foodbank offers people in urgent need three days worth of basic food, on up to three occasions, as well as referrals to other agencies that can help them out of difficulty. Only in existence for four months, the food bank has already helped over 150 people. Details: email or call the Rev Guy Edwards on 07837 672481.

A feast for your eyes


THE theme for this year’s Mendip in Bloom competition is Incredible Edible and judges will be looking for lettuces rather than lawns, carrots instead of carnations and radishes not roses. Launched at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill’s Cider House, the competition will reflect the Royal Horticulture Society’s Edible Britain campaign. Christine Potter, Mendip in Bloom president, said: “We are going to be looking for carrots in window boxes and paths edged with radishes, beds of lettuce and runners with the sweet peas.” Alan Gloak, the committee chairman, added: “Thanks to a grant from Somerset County Council, we are going to conduct an in-depth survey of allotments in Mendip. By the end of July we should be able to tell anyone who is interested where their local allotments are and all about them. We are very committed to the ‘Grow it, Cook it, Eat it’ principle; any one can grow something to eat.” Christine added: “We also are going to encourage where possible edible public displays of herbs and other edibles so this year it’s a case of have your flowers and eat them.” This year’s completion judging will take place in the last two weeks of July and presentation night will be held on Friday, September 27th at Glastonbury Town Hall.

Pub history – can you help?

THE landlord of a traditional pub in Wells is appealing for help in tracing its history after a surprise meeting with a visitor researching his family tree. Norman Wheatley, who has just marked his sixth anniversary at the Cheddar Valley Inn, was taken aback when a man walked into the pub with a copy of the 1881 Census. The man was trying to discover his ancestors’ past and found a William Tripp who was running the pub at the time – then known as the Railway Inn. The census entry listed him as “innkeeper and farmer” and he ran the inn with help from his family. The pub remained under ownership of the Tripps until 1919. The railway disappeared from Wells in the early 1960s and Norman’s guess is that the pub was renamed to reflect the fact that it stood near the line from Cheddar. A photo of the railway in 1960 shows the pub’s roof in the background. Norman is a big supporter of Wells Rugby Club and his son Dave plays for the 1st XV. Norman said: “We don’t even know for sure when the name changed. I’ve been to the Town Hall to look through their records and there’s nothing there. The pub seems to have been forgotten. “All we do know is that at one time, it was one of 72 licensed premises in Wells.” Norman Wheatley in the Cheddar Valley Inn


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Stalking is a crime

IN December last year, Avon and Somerset police secured one of the first convictions under the new offences of stalking and stalking where there is a fear of violence. Dutch-born Jeffery Van Riemsdijk, aged 17, befriended a girl from Street on an online gaming site and then flew to England after By SIMON sending her a series of sinister messages. SELBY His behaviour amounted to stalking and he was sentenced to a two-year restraining order, was deported and restricted from entering the country for two years. The case was highlighted during National Stalking Awareness Day which took place on Thursday, April 18th and the police used the campaign to urge people to “know the law and use the law” when it comes to the offence. Police forces and charities across the country are working all the time to highlight the issue, as well as the signs and the help that is available to all. The national legislation to tackle stalking changed last November, giving victims more protection. It meant that the two new specific offences in relation to stalking sit alongside existing

What is stalking?

It may be a combination of: • Following a person. • Contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means. • Publishing any statement or other material, relating or pretending to relate to a person, or pretending to originate from a person. • Monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication. • Loitering in any place (whether public or private). • Interfering with any property in the possession of a person. • Watching or spying on a person. If you have been a victim of stalking or harassment then you can contact the police on 999 or 101.

Village eyes up empty school

RESIDENTS of a village near Somerton are using the Government’s Localism Act to try to bring their redundant school building and playing field back into use as a community facility. Kingsdon primary school and the field are the first to be placed on South Somerset District Council’s new Register of Assets of Community Value. They were nominated by Kingsdon parish council who are looking to protect the assets which they believe are of value to the community and should be retained for community use. New legislation under the Localism Act 2011 will now require the owner (Somerset County Council) to notify the community if they are intending to sell the properties, giving time for the community to buy the assets if they can raise the necessary funds. Kingsdon parish council has a range of ideas for future use of the properties including a community café and multi-function


COMMUNITY offences of harassment. Detective Inspector Katie Boxer from the force Public Protection Unit said: “Raising awareness of the crime is imperative in encouraging people to come forward and seek help. “We know the impact this can have on families and communities can be devastating and can have many effects, so I would encourage you to come forward and seek the help you deserve to protect you from anyone who may want to cause you harm. “As hard as it may be we would encourage you to keep a diary of the abuse you have suffered. It could be someone has taken your phone, followed you, checked your email or social networking sites, this is wrong and it is a crime.” National statistics have highlighted that 39% of offenders are partners or ex-partners and in 36% of the cases the victim knows their stalker. G Follow this link to carry out a risk assessment and keep a diary of any crime that may have been committed against you: ction.aspx?s=39#DID_7531

Value for money?

IF you visit the Avon and Somerset Constabulary website you will see that there are a number of new vacancies directly linked to the new Police and Crime Commissioner’s role. The one that really sparked my interest is for a Youth Champion and Health and Wellbeing Officer for Office of Police and Crime Commissioner – quite a mouthful. This role is advertised with a salary of between £33,033 – £40,755 per annum which I think you will agree is quite a substantial investment when reflected against the average wage and the current police financial situation. I do hope, however, that whoever takes on this challenge will genuinely have a chance to ensure that youth is considered and represented within local policing in a meaningful, valued and nontokenistic way. In the face of the increasing cuts and what, in my opinion, are the all too-often signs of retrenching into enforcement and reactionary-based policing, they will have their work cut out.

community facility. They will be carrying out further consultation with people in the village to gather more ideas. District councillor John Calvert, member for Northstone Ward said: “The community of Kingsdon are thinking ahead and looking to protect local assets which they believe are vital to sustain village life. I am very pleased that the council has placed these assets on its register which will ensure the community is given some time to consider how they can be secured for the benefit of the village.” Elaine Owen from Kingsdon parish council added: “We appreciated the guidance and backing of SSDC, as placing these assets on the register gives us peace of mind while we work on the business plan for bringing the school and playing field into community use.” The county council closed Kingsdon school when it no longer had any pupils on the roll; most of the children had moved to Charlton Mackrell primary school.

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OUR wildlife has really suffered with the constant freezing conditions over the last couple of months; the coldest end of winter and beginning of spring since 1963. Lots of readers have spotted barn owls hunting during the day and even found dead barn owls, buzzards and other birds By CHRIS dead or dying in the countryside. I even SPERRING saw the effects for myself whilst on MBE Mendip recently where three birds of very different species (magpie, meadow pipit and blackbird) were all found dead in a two-acre field after a particularly cold night. All three were extremely thin and it was obvious that they just didn’t have enough reserves left after winter to keep surviving these freezing April nights. If we expand the same scenario across the whole country then it really does become depressing. So, when the BBC asked if I would like to present a programme about daffodils for the Radio 4 Series, Living World, I thought it would be just the antidote to the gloom I was feeling. This signal of spring, which seems to mimic the sun itself, is a familiar sight to us all, yet how many of us actually take a close look at this grand flower? We travelled to Wales – where else – and began our story by Wild daffodils

Photography by Chris Sperring

Trumpeting spring with the Tenby Daffodil

A Tenby Daffodil

looking for the Tenby Daffodil. As we looked closely at the flowers I realised for the first time just how superbly designed these plants really are. The leaves springing up around the flower stalk are very grass-like, yet the stalk itself holds the cheerful flower aloft with such strength that no sleepy insect awakening from hibernation can possibly pass it by. The trumpet-shaped centre of the flower head is designed, in size and shape, to allow access to one of its most import pollinators, queen bees. In wild bee populations it is only the queen who hibernates, while the workers all die. This early food source is very important for the queens to rebuild their strength ready for the busy season ahead. The trumpet also serves as a rain shield, keeping the pollen dry during those normally damp March days. There are around 30 species of daffodils, consisting of around 26,000 different varieties. Clearly humans have a very close relationship with this flower and have been cultivating it for many hundreds of years. The Tenby Daffodil is one of only two species thought to be native and found nowhere but Wales. Both species are small, unlike the giant King Alfred (Spanish) Daffodil which we are used to seeing along roadside verges and are more able to cope with being battered by wind and rain than the larger varieties. The two can be distinguished by the flower, which is uniformly bright yellow in the Tenby, but which has much paler outer petals in the Welsh Daffodil. Both are now scarce due to cross-pollination with other varieties and also habitat destruction. After winters which seem to be becoming ever-more cold and prolonged, daffodils are a welcome sight, bringing a splash of colour to an otherwise dreary landscape. To bumble bees and other early insects they are a vital early meal when very little else is in flower. And, even though the flowers are not around for long, the bulbs will live and flower for many, many years. If you have been inspired to plant some daffodil bulbs in your garden, try to stick to the two beautiful native Welsh varieties which are much more valuable to bees – most of the man-made varieties have much lower food value. G The Living World Programme about the Tenby Daffodil will be on BBC Radio 4 at 6.30am on Sunday, May 5th (if you miss it you can “listen again” by going to the Living World website:

Chris Sperring is Conservation Officer for the Hawk and Owl Trust Contact him on 01275 849287 or via


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Bay watch on the Somerset coast

ENJOY an open landscape in the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve along the River Parrett near its mouth and confluence with the River Brue at Highbridge. Along the estuary edge there are great views with big skies. Expect to see and hear many different birds which treasure the mud flats here and on the river you may spot an otter. Start at Huntspill and go through a nature reserve before walking across a field to the fine church in Huntspill and then along a quiet lane, and paths – not the prettiest part of the walk – to reach the Brue at Highbridge. Then comes the highlight of the walk – following the raised bank of the Brue out to the Parrett estuary where you enjoy a three-quarter of a mile stretch along the hard estuary path. At the end, finish by following the Huntspill river through another part of the nature reserve. There are easy gates and a few stiles. One or two of these are well fenced so your dog will need to jump

With Sue Gearing PAGE 46 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

over or be lifted. There are no refreshments en-route, but there’s a good pub in Huntspill, the Crossways Inn, for refreshment before or after.

PARK: In a parking area on the A38 on the edge of Huntspill. From Huntspill go south, past the Crossways Inn (on your left) for a third of a mile to Bleak Bridge over the Huntspill River. Just before the bridge, on the right, is a gravelled parking area at the entrance to Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve. It is frequently used by fishermen and walkers START: Take the hard drive into the nature reserve with the Huntspill over on the left. The River Huntspill is an artificial waterway, built in 1940 to supply water to the large Royal Ordnance Factory between the villages of Puriton and Woolavington near Bridgwater and has helped to reduce flooding of the lower Brue Valley. Continue all the way to Sloway Lane.

1. SLOWAY LANE Turn right. Bend round past Laburnum House lodge hotel and look for the first footpath on the left over a stile. Cross the field and find a plank footbridge leading into the churchyard.

2. CHURCH Head straight on through the churchyard to the fine stone cross. Sadly, the church was locked when I came here. Turn left on the lane, soon leaving houses. It is all very quiet along here. You can’t fail to notice signs saying ‘No to Windfarms’. This is an active campaign against a proposal by EDF Energy and EcoTricity to build massive 400ft high wind turbines on land near East and West Huntspill. Ignore side turns and reach a farm where the lane bends right. Then go left on the lane along the side of the farmhouse 3. LANGLANDS LANE Turn left up Langlands Lane. At the end of

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a white cottage on the right, go right on the bridleway which is reasonably good underfoot, unlike the footpath. Follow the bridleway along under trees. Continue to a crossing footpath. Go left over a stile and cross the field and cross a stile in the left corner and continue through the next field towards Maundril’s Farm ahead. 4. FARM Continue ahead, crossing two stiles at the farm, and take a path between barns. Go through a Bristol Gate and continue along a grassy path. Cross another stile and bear right diagonally across the field. Cross a rhyne on a plank footbridge and follow a path. Cross another stile and continue on to a road. Go to the other side onto the fenced path which is a bit dark and gloomy. Pass a phone box and continue straight on to another road. Cross and maintain direction along another path which bends right along the edge of a field. Go through a gate into the field edge and follow it on your right all the way to the tidal River Brue. 5. RIVER BRUE Turn left along the raised field edge with river left and come to a sluice and New Clyce Bridge. Don’t cross. Go ahead over a stile onto the raised bank continuing alongside the Brue and starting to enjoy some open views across the river as it flows out into the Parrett. Highbridge Sailing Club is on the other side of the Brue so you may well see some activity particularly when the boats have been brought out for the spring and summer season. 6. RIVER PARRETT Go through gates, pass a pillbox, and continue all the way to a Tarmac stretch

5.8 miles, 3 hours walking. OS Explorer Map 140, Quantock Hills & Bridgwater, grid ref: 308 448

and follow this – now alongside the Parrett on your right. Go through a gate and along the concrete and blockwork estuary path for about three quarters of a mile. Or you can go up on to the raised grassy bank which runs parallel. There are views down to the Quantocks and Hinkley Point, and across to the other side of the Parrett to Stert Point, an important part of the Bridgwater Bay Nature Reserve. Also get good views to Burnham-on-Sea and its white wooden lighthouse and over to Brent Knoll. As the concrete disappears go up left and on to the raised grassy bank and continue on.

7. SLUICE Eventually, at the end, drop down, go through a gate and over Huntspill Sluice. Now simply follow the path, or walk on the grass, in the nature reserve with the river on the left. Come out at Sloway Lane near Sloway Bridge. Go across the lane and through a gate onto a permissive path following the river on the left. This takes you to the A38. Turn left over Bleak Bridge back to the parking area. The Crossways Inn, Huntspill, Tel 01278 783756


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West Countryman’s Diary THE bitingly cold wind has subsided for a while – for quite a while I hope! In a winter when extreme has become the norm and weather alerts With LES have become an DAVIES MBE everyday occurrence, I have gone back to making my own decision when it comes to weather forecasting. Looking out of the window is a very good start (and supposing I can see out) looking towards the south west will give me an idea of what could happen within the next few hours. Blend this information in with the Met Office forecast for the south west and I’m starting to get enough information on which to base my decisions when it comes to planning my day’s work. That decision is invariably the same – just get on and do it! I have to say however that the annual Arthritis Research UK sponsored walk on Good Friday was blessed with good weather compared to that which had been forecast. Close on 80 walkers braved the best that Mendip could provide in both weather and views on the 7.75 mile route along the Mendip Butcombe Brewery Pub Trail, from the Lamb at Axbridge to the Queen Victoria in Priddy. To get everyone into the right frame of mind to tackle the ascent on Mendip, a glass of hot mulled wine was prepared. All the walkers had been ‘bussed’ in from Priddy, where their own transport was left waiting for them at the end of a weary day. As in other years, local walks writer Sue Gearing (this year supported by her daughter Helen) led the first group out from the square. The remaining groups were equally professionally led by members of that select band of “Walkers wot Lunch”, otherwise dubbed by me, the “Mendip Area Perambulation Society” (MAPS). All ex-Rangers, and this year including an exYoung Ranger, Alex Hannam who is now studying at Cardiff University, and has now become part of the MAPs team. The climb up the south slope via Bradley Cross passes the remains of a Saxon farmstead just below Carscliffe Farm. This part of the route along the West Mendip Way and the Butcombe Trail is very old and I often think of those who would have

passed along it down the centuries. They would have seen a different landscape, without the buildings seen now, but would they have the ‘eyes’ to see it. Life for them was after all about daily survival and taking in the view is a luxury only afforded to those who have the time to stand and stare. The end of Middle Down Drove above Carscliffe is a wild and windswept environment, but promises the finest of views to those who dare to challenge its hostile reception. Here the southern slopes of Mendip are open to the prevailing winds, straight off the Atlantic Ocean, and here the moistureladen clouds are pushed up higher by the wind, to cool and condense as the rain we have seen so much of this past year. Even today in the 21st century, Carscliffe is still a tough place to live and earn a living from. The route across the plateau is crisscrossed by the characteristic Mendip drystone walls, with massive Draycott stone slabs to act as stiles. These slabs of rock had their beginning in the Triassic period of earth’s evolution, some 250 million years ago when Mendip was a hot, dry desert. Winter rains and ‘flash’ floods would have washed huge amounts of stone, gravel and mud from the surface. These became compacted into the layers of Conglomerate rock that are now used as stile slabs and stone gate posts across the southern edge of Mendip today. The problem with many of these stiles is their height, as a 32” inside leg I am forever crossing stiles that exceed 36”. Perhaps our forefathers had longer legs! I do feel that the corner has now been turned with the altering of the clocks. I feel so much better with longer daylight hours. The temperature needs to rise before anything really starts to move, but these lengthening days will start the ‘biochemistry’ of plant growth from what has


been a long winter for them as well. I’m still digging the garden, after all there’s no rush at the moment, I live in Somerset. For me it’s a thinking job time, dig a bit, lean on the spade and contemplate a bit. There are a lot of benefits from this type of West Country meditation; I don’t have to sit crossedlegged or close my eyes in deep thought. It all comes naturally from staring into infinity and listening to the song of the blackbird, who once again casts his spell of birdsong magic against the backdrop of a setting sun and a freshly dug patch of vegetable garden, at the close of another day. It’s then that I hope tomorrow will be as good as, or better than, the one that is just closing. May is upon us and the old sayings may still hold true as I found with Candlemas Day: “Who doffs his coat on a winter’s day will gladly put it on in May”. Late frost and cold weather may yet still come. The legend of a “Dunstan Frost” still holds good through the Vale of Avalon, and here it is: The story goes that St Dunstan, the first Abbot of Glastonbury and notorious “Kingmaker”, grew a crop of barley for malting into beer. He is said to have made a deal with the Devil to wipe out the cider apple crop so that his brew would not suffer from its competition. According to the legend the Devil did just that and still around the 19th of May, a cold air frost will often roll through the vale and damage any apple trees in blossom! It’s still known as a “Dunstan Frost”. This month’s picture is in need of a closer look. Where do I get one of these? It’s a real must-have for the front of my house so that I can watch the passers-by peer, through squinting eyes, trying to read its historic significance! It’s on the West Mendip Way and the Butcombe Trail, but where?

I’m always happy to hear from you, so drop me a line at


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Yeo Valley cooks up a storm

IT has been a difficult winter for farmers across the UK. The recent freezing conditions have only exacerbated the hardships felt by many By TOM DE British family farms. PASS The National Farming Union estimates the dismal weather and effects of two livestock diseases; bovine tuberculosis and Schmallenberg virus, have cost the industry £500m. Whilst here on the Mendips we have been fortunate enough to escape the majority of the late falling snow, the persistent freezing temperatures have meant that our pedigree British Friesian herd have remained inside much later than usual. The soil temperature needs to reach six degrees centigrade before grass will grow and it has been far too cold lately. Whilst some of us may have welcomed the recent lack of rainfall, our farm team are hoping for warmer weather with some rain to get things growing. On the bright side the dry weather has meant that we have been able to spread slurry and compost on the fields and get on with cultivation work prior to planting spring barley. Last month we were very excited to see our Great British Farmhouse Cookbook hit the shelves. The cookbook is the work of Sarah Mayor, Yeo Valley Director and sister to Tim Mead. Its completion brings together a year of foraging, cook ups and


taste testing to capture the best of West Country food. The cookbook is a way to share not only our food philosophy but also a little bit more about who we are as a family and a business. The book is split into seven chapters reflecting our home in the Yeo Valley; The Dairy, The Farmhouse Kitchen, The Veg Garden, The Farmyard, The Pastures, The Woods, Hedgerows, Fields & Streams and The Fruit Garden. This was important as we wanted the book to be grounded in our values of being a real place in the West Country and packed full of genuine recipes; we wanted to be

FOLLOWING the success of last year’s Theatre in the Garden, this month we will once again be partnering up with the Bristol Old Vic to bring you ‘Wild Girl’. The 55 minute production is a powerful and compelling story about ‘Memmie’ Le Blanc, a feral girl of ten years old who was discovered on the country estate of a Count and Countess in mid-18th Century France. The play is based on a real child and real historical events and is about what a child might do if she had the choice. The production will be held at our Yeo Valley Organic Garden on Friday 31st

true to our produce and the resources that we have around us. Author Sarah Mayor trained at Cordon Bleu, then spent six years working in London restaurants before returning to Somerset. Sarah, who is from a family of foodies, said: “Throughout the year we’re surrounded by amazing produce, both cultivated and wild, and turning this superb, seasonal fare into delicious meals for family and friends has always been a large part of my life. “Some of the recipes are my firm favourites, some are ones we’ve always had as a family. Others we have created from our local ingredients.” The cookbook has been printed at a local and British printer where titles from the likes of Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay, Kirstie Allsopp and Jamie Oliver have also been printed. It’s available to buy now in WH Smiths, Waterstones, independent book shops, supermarkets and online at Amazon.

May. For more details and to book tickets visit Also coming up this month: • Art Classes in the Garden – Thursday 2nd May • Plant Fair – Sunday 5th May • Slugs, Bugs, Trugs and a Pug with Yeo Valley Head Gardener James Cox – Friday 10th May • Food and Garden Tour – Tuesday 14th May • Farm Adventure Tour – Friday 24th May • Photography Workshop – Tuesday 28th May

For more information or to book tickets visit

Tom de Pass is head of communications and events at Yeo Valley, a family-owned farming and dairy processing business based in Blagdon, and will be bringing us a monthly report on their activities. The Holt Farms organic farming operation has 1250 acres on the Mendip Hills and in the Yeo Valley beside Blagdon Lake. MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 49

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May the weather improve! MAY is a very busy month for gardeners. Plants are growing strongly but the weather can still be unpredictable, so take care. With MARY The cold start to PAYNE MBE April delayed the growth of many plants and the dry, cold east wind sucked the moisture out of anything that dared to sprout a leaf. Hence everything is behind, but will catch up fast. May is the season of cold frames and glasshouses bursting with plants waiting to be planted out after the frosts are over. Young plants that have been grown in a greenhouse or frame are very vulnerable and should be gently hardened off. This should be done about one to two weeks before the expected planting date. Stand the pots outside, but protect with fleece by day and night for the first few days then leave the fleece off by day, and then off for a few nights for the plants to acclimatise to outside conditions. The same should be done with young plants from garden centres that have been displayed under cover. Before planting out, ensure that the plants are given a good watering. The cold spring also kept many of us out of our gardens, not wishing to be exposed to the biting cold wind. As well as the plants racing to catch up many of us are also pedalling fast to make up for lost time. If, like me, you have missed the boat with some jobs there is still time for sowing and planting. Early May is a good time to sow the beautiful climbing Morning Glory seeds. If sown too early and the young plants get a chill, they go yellow and fail to develop well. Soak the seeds overnight in hand hot water and sow the seeds direct into pots. The young plants do not like disturbance, so putting two seeds per pot ensures success. Germination is quick, so keep a close eye on them. Keep the pots warm and moist, and harden off before planting out in early June in a sunny, sheltered spot. Provide support for them to climb, and your efforts will be rewarded in late summer with an array of blue saucer flowers, or other colours that are now available. Another quick and easy climber to cover fences or obelisks is the climbing nasturtium, but be sure to watch PAGE 50 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Nymphaea 'Froebelii'

out for the caterpillars that like to devour them. There is still time to sow quick growing vegetables such as beetroot, dwarf French beans, lettuce, spinach and radish. Weeds are starting to grow fast, so a spot treatment with a glyphosate based herbicide will stop them in their tracks, but wait until the weed has sufficient leaf area for the herbicide to be really effective. You may have noticed a lack of busy lizzies for sale this year. This is because of problems associated with impatiens downy mildew. Instead you may find the so-called New Guinea Impatiens, sometimes referred to as Sunpatiens, increasingly offered. These have been selected from a different species of impatiens that shows considerable resistance to the disease. Unfortunately the New Guinea version is not tolerant of the cooler, shady conditions where the traditional busy lizzie did so well. It requires more warmth to grow well. For those awkward shady spots I now use begonias. There are so many to choose from. For beds and pots the Non Stop series come in many shades, need no dead heading and flower well into the autumn. For hanging baskets there are several strains selected from Begonia boliviensis that are relatively new and well worth a try. The flowers of this series may not be big, blousy and double but for sheer volume of flower they are outstanding. May is a good time to plant water lilies. If purchased ready planted in an aquatic basket the plant can be lowered into the pond but only deep enough so that the foliage is covered by about six inches of water. Stand the basket on an upturned

flower pot, or on the marginal shelf. This allows the plant to get established in the warmer water and better light conditions in shallow water. Only once the plant is growing vigorously should it be sunk to the bottom of the pond, probably after its first season of growth. Water lilies that have become overgrown can be divided now. This is a mucky job but will pay dividends. Put a large sheet of plastic by the pond and haul out the plant. Cut off some chunks of the younger log-like rhizomes about 8” (20cm) long and re-pot in a new basket lined with a piece of fleece or old tights, to stop the soil seeping out of the holes, and filled with ordinary garden soil – avoid any that has had manure recently. Leave the growing points of the rhizomes above the soil level and leave space for a generous inch or two of coarse gravel. Then return the lily to the pond treating it as a newly purchased one described above. As the temperatures rise so will the pest levels, so keep a sharp look out for greenfly, lily beetle and the inevitable slugs and snails. If you have not already done so, treat your lawn with a weed, feed and moss product. After the extreme wet of last season the soil can be much depleted in all plant nutrients. Even the flower borders would appreciate a dressing of a general fertiliser, such as Growmore, but take care not to let the fertiliser granules lodge in the growing points of plants as this can cause scorch. Let us hope this summer will be a better one for all gardeners whether you prefer growing flowers, fruits or vegetables and don’t forget to look out for your local flower show schedule and enter as many classes as you can.

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G Time to plant up your hanging baskets and containers. G Give some of your border perennials the “Chelsea Chop”. If you cut some of them back by about half now it will delay flowering but extend the display longer in your garden. G Harden-off annual bedding plants ready to plant out soon. Put them in a shady spot, keep well watered but bring them back inside if frost is likely. Keep a close eye on them and they will be toughened up ready to plant after about a week. G Be ready to cover tender plants with horticultural fleece if frosts are forecast. Check the forecast every day this month. G Order Slug nematodes and rid your plants of this pest the natural and safe way. G Stake border perennial varieties that are tall growing and that tend to flop over. Either use pea sticks (tree and shrub prunings are good) or use purpose-made support systems. G Plant out Cannas and Cosmos (chocolate plant), Dahlias and Begonias. G Trim foliage off early flowering perennials to encourage fresh new leaves. Lungwort (Pulmonaria) responds particularly well. G Hostas divide well this month. Lift clumps and split them up making certain that each shoot has plenty of root attached. G Wait until spring flowering bulb leaves die back naturally before removing them. G Watch out for scarlet lily beetles. This pest can eat your lily leaves in a few days! Control with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer. Courtesy of Cleeve Nursery

Successful show

PERFECT PAVE LTD NAILSEA and District Horticultural Horticultural Society are celebrating another very successful spring show that attracted many entries and even more visitors. With the recent bad weather it was amazing to see so many flower entries which probably shows how prestigious this show is in the area. There were many fine examples of local handicrafts and cooking. The standards were high in all the classes including the floral art, photography and wine. Organisers said it was very encouraging to receive entries from children as young as three years of age which augers well for the future. The summer show will be on August 3rd and 4th.

Patios Block Paving Driveways

t: 01934 740163


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Norton Green Farm Nursery and Garden Centre WELCOMES YOU THIS SPRING • Spring bedding plants, trays and pots • Unwins, Fothergills, Johnsons and Country Value seed collections • New delivery of Terracotta and Glazed Pots • Composts, Mulches & Barks (multibuy & special offers) • Wild Bird Food and Feeders • National Garden Gift Vouchers sold & redeemed • Flowers & Houseplants – indoor and outdoor planted arrangements Also available: • Gravel & grits, paving & walling • Fencing, posts & trellis etc. LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICE Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10.30am-4.30pm

Wells Road, Chilcompton, Nr. Bath Tel: 01761 232137 E.

Weston Garden Machinery Garden Machinery & Woodburning Specialists


Hutton Garden Centre, Banwell Road, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare BS24 9UB

Tel: 01934 813261 PAGE 52 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

As one of Somerset’s leading suppliers of garden machinery, we stock a wide range of garden tractors, mowers, strimmers, chainsaws, rotavators etc from most leading manufacturers, including the Husqvarna ‘Auto Mower’ Situated between Street & Bridgwater, please come and visit our showroom. As well as garden machinery sales, we have a service centre and spares department and our Country Store sells almost anything from DIY items to kitchenware, sweets, ice creams, cakes and biscuits. If you need it – we've probably got it!!'

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Garden sheds reinvented – and raised beds too! THE garden shed is an icon of British gardens. Traditionally constructed of native hardwood to store a few garden tools it promotes visions of long summer days, manicured gardens and stored vegetables. But times change and needs change. Today’s garden sheds store high value bicycles, lawnmowers and power tools, all attractive booty for petty thieves. Security and sustainability have become high priorities, but instead of improving to accommodate our needs, garden sheds have taken a backward step. Hardwoods have been replaced by imported chemically treated softwoods that appear to have an in-built ability to swell and warp with the ever changing British climate, while materials such as plastic and concrete deliver a negative impact on our environment. But now there’s an alternative. Mendip based Brodco are introducing the first garden shed made from award winning TPR (Thermo Polymerised Rock). Developed with the help of Cardiff and Glamorgan Universities and tested by the National Physical Laboratory, TPR was judged the best sustainable product by the Chartered Institute of Waste Management in 2010 and is supported by the Carbon Trust. Further development of the product led to its launch in 2012, since when it has gained rapid approval and is already specified for many structural buildings by local authorities, Housing Associations, corporates and the MoD. Brodco’s garden shed, named the HedgePod, will be launched on May 1st and will be displayed at the Royal Bath and West Show, where the public will be able to see why it is


described as ‘the garden shed re-invented’. With a double steel door, composite roof and a guarantee of up to 50 years the HedgePod is likely to be on most gardener’s shopping lists! Their GroundPod raised bed system will also be displayed. Manufactured from TPR, it is rot-proof, frost-proof, does not leech, resists insect infestation and carries the same guarantee.


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Stone Allerton gardens



STONE Allerton is a charming village nestled on the edge of the Somerset Levels near the small market town of Wedmore. During your visit you can also visit the nearby historic Ashton Windmill which is open every Sunday afternoon. Three distinctly different gardens will be open for visitors to walk round, enjoy and relax while picking up ideas. The three gardens are within walking distance of each other for the fitter ones amongst us or just a short ride by car. The most formal of the gardens Badgers Acre, covers one acre. The garden has lost over 30 elms to Dutch elm disease since 1997, leaving only three statuesque walnut trees. However, 23 new specimen trees have been planted in the last 16 years. All around the garden are mixed shrub and herbaceous borders; most are colour themed and full of all-year-round interest. Over 2,000 bulbs have been planted in the last two years producing colour from February to July.

Memories of Badgworth

Dear Mendip Times, The report in your March edition relating to the restoration of the Walled Garden at Badgworth Court was of great interest. Many years ago I used to visit an old friend, Harry Rogers, who lived there happily in the care of Bristol Old People’s Welfare. He had a modest room above the front porch, where he had three windows giving views over the grounds. This was important to him, even at his great age he needed to be connected to the natural world. At the age of eight years, he would run to the top of Pitt Lane in Backwell, in order to hold the horses while the carts were loaded. For this he was paid a few coppers, which he gave to his mother to help with family expenses. He said that it was this reference that secured him a highly prized job at the age of 14, on the gardening staff at Backwell Hill House. He worked there all his life and had amazing stories to tell. He knew there was a walled Garden at Badgworth, although it was out of sight from his little room. Pamela Short Somerton












Two grass beds with masses of alliums lead you down the garden path to the rockery bursting with foliage where the pond nestles at its base. Stand and admire the semi-circular tulip and allium bed which is surrounded by clipped box and a pergola covered with climbing roses, clematis and pyracantha. Relax in the ‘Secret Walk’ full of shade loving plants concentrating on ferns. Carry on to the vegetable potager with four raised brick beds cultivated on a rotation basis, all enclosed by a pergola draped in rambling roses and clematis. Close by is Fern Cottage, a delightful small cottage garden beautifully laid out and full of interesting plants and ideas for the more compact garden. The garden is informal with a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Due to its size a lot of a lot of cutting back needs to be done so that each year the garden seems to be different. It is beautiful spring garden with hellebores and a Magnolia soulangeana. Border geraniums are very happy here with the garden owner’s favourite plant Paeony “Molly the Witch” (Paeonia mlokosewitchii). The beautiful yellow flowers, loved by the bees, sadly do not last very long. The pale green leaves darken in the autumn to purple and the seed pods open to show a wonderful red lining with shiny black seeds. You can then choose to walk or drive the 3/4 mile to the third garden Greenfield House where you will be surprised at what is hidden behind the house. There are four main gardens grass, shrub, colour and cottage. You will be fascinated by the vast range of perennials and many unusual plants. The owners are very proud that their inspirational garden has been created from garden centre bargains. Delicious home-made cakes are available here with a refreshing cup of tea. NGS opening details: Sunday May 26th and Monday May 27th, 2pm-5.30pm, refreshments available. Badgers Acre also welcomes visitors by appointment until June 30th; please request refreshments when booking. Admission: £5, children under-16 free. Contact Information: Lucy Hetherington and Jim Mathers, 01934 713159 Address and Postcode: Stone Allerton, BS26 2NW Other Gardens Open for the NGS To see more gardens open for the NGS, see The Yellow Book, or Local County Leaflet available from local Garden Centres. Or go to:

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Chelsea bound

Redwood Stone from Wells will be featuring prominently at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show (Stand No. PW36). Their exhibit will be an eclectic mix of the latest ideas from the Gothic Folly and a beautiful collection of aged and

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mossy garden ornaments in a rustic setting decorated with items from Redwood’s reclamation yard sale. Redwood’s Gothic Folly and reclaimed treasures are also being used extensively in the Great Pavilion at Chelsea. “The Garden of Past & Present” (GPB9) by local company Horticolous Landscape and Garden Design from Wrington will use a Roman arch as a gateway between the ages, and a Garden Ruin takes centre stage on the Peter Beales Roses exhibit (GPD15). All of the Redwood features used at Chelsea this year will return to Somerset and can be viewed much closer to home at The Stoneworks, Wells. Why not pop in to have a look, and take advantage of Redwood’s Yard Sale this summer. Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 21st-25th. Redwood Stone is a second generation family business, which has been based in Wells for more than 35 years, and is a regular exhibitor at Chelsea.



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The caves of Burrington Combe

ALTHOUGH not as spectacular as Cheddar Gorge, or as quiet as Ebbor Gorge, Burrington Combe is an interesting dry valley leading from Wrington Vale to the top of Mendip. A popular parking spot is at the bottom of the combe, near Rock of Ages. Very often With PHILIP the disused quarry will have several HENDY vehicles belonging to the various outdoor activity companies parked there, as the nearby caves of Goatchurch Cavern and Sidcot Swallet are popular with youngsters seeking an introduction to the delights and rigours of caving. There are many other caves in the vicinity, and some of them are easy to view from the road or footpaths. Just opposite Rock of Ages is a sloping alcove in the quarry face above some spoil heaps. This is the site of Plumley’s Hole, discovered in 1874. A quarryman, Joe Plumley, was lowered down the shaft on a rope, but when he was hauled up, he jammed, and his neck was broken. The cave has never been properly explored, which is a pity, as it is rumoured that there was a stream at the bottom, which could help us to understand the underground drainage of this part of Burrington. The shaft was partly filled with rubble, and capped with concrete in 1924. A little way up, on the bend, is the imposing entrance to Aveline’s Hole, which was dug open by rabbit hunters in 1797. They found several human skeletons, dating to the Mesolithic period. Sadly, many of the bones were dispersed, and most of the rest were destroyed by bombing during World War Two. This is an abandoned resurgence cave, and the inner part has been gated to preserve mysterious engravings on the walls. Several hundred metres further on a small insignificant opening near road level is Goon’s Hole. It is thought to end near the Traverse in Lionel’s Hole, some 50 metres further up. This cave is easily identified by the notice placed by Mendip Cave Rescue, which gives details for obtaining help in the event of a caving emergency. Lionel’s Hole has more than 500 metres of passage, but is a labyrinth of tight crawls and squeezes best enjoyed by thin connoisseurs – or masochists! Higher up the combe, a path above a lay-by leads to Trat’s Crack, named after Professor E.K. Tratman. It is a tight descending rift, usually with a pool of water at the bottom. Just around the bend in the road, and at a higher level, is Fox’s Hole, also known as Plumley’s Den. This Plumley was John, Lord of Locking Manor, and legend says he hid in the cave after the Monmouth rebellion of 1685. The cave is gated, as it is an important bat roost. On the side of the combe opposite Lionel’s Hole an inlet valley can be seen. This Drainpipe in is East Twin Brook Valley, Goatchurch Cavern and a short walk here leads


Entrance Chamber, Fox’s Hole

to East Twin Swallet. The stream flows into the swallet where an earth dam has been built to prevent water from flowing on down and into the road. A short drop leads to a low wet crawl, from the end of which a vertical drop of three metres leads to three chambers. These descend steeply, and at the end is a tight connection to Spar Pot, which was dug out near the end of the valley, but has since been filled in. Digging continues, with an impressive amount of shoring and scaffolding. The West Twin Brook Valley can be seen on the return to the car park. It is on the west side of the road, and a well-used path leads up to the caves. On the spur is Pierre’s Pot, a sporting maze of passages. Recently a sump beyond an extremely tight squeeze was dived. A short section of passage led to another sump, which was passed in turn to enter a well-decorated passage. Being typical of Burrington, this is tight and awkward. The small stream sinks in Flange Swallet on the left. This has been dug in an attempt to follow the water, but it appears to seep into impenetrable cracks in the rock. The depression is gradually filling with water-borne debris. A little way beyond this is the entrance to Sidcot Swallet on the right. It is a popular novice cave, but on my last visit I was unable to pass the aptlynamed Tie Press. Goatchurch Cavern, the most popular and well-trodden of Mendip caves, is reached by a path leading up the side of the valley on the right. Passing the small Tradesman’s Entrance, the main entrance is a little higher, and traces can be seen of the wall built when it was intended to open the cave to the public more than 100 years ago. Further up the valley, beyond a small concrete pool, which provides clear spring water for the thirsty, is the jammed steel gate to West Twin Brook Adit. This was driven during the war in an attempt to tap the water supposed to lie under Blackdown. Due to the impervious nature of the sandstone, the venture was not as successful as was hoped, and the source was abandoned. Retracing the route back to the road, the return can be made to Rock of Ages. Conveniently, the Burrington Inn is only a few metres beyond the car park, so refreshment is close at hand. Do not imagine that because many of these caves are used by novices they are safe. Explorers should be clothed appropriately, wear suitable footwear and ideally a helmet, and have a good light, together with a reliable spare. Better still, contact one of the many local caving clubs, several of which offer ‘taster’ caving trips for novices.

Phil is a member of Wessex Cave Club and has been caving for the last 44 years. Still active, his main interest is in digging to try to find new caves. He has published a caving cartoon book and collaborated on the recently-published Swildon’s Hole – 100 Years of Exploration.


Photography by Phil Hendy

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Know your numbers

WHAT’S your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years? It’s just the sort of cheery question you’d expect in the Mendip Times. If you want to know the answer, and I would argue you should, then simply log into and fill in the 2012 risk calculator. You start with your age, sex, ethnic group and By Dr PHIL postcode. There is a ten-year difference in life HAMMOND expectancy in the UK, depending on where you live and where your genes come from. If you leave London on the Jubilee line from Westminster going eastbound, you lose a year of life expectancy for every station you get to. The Mendip area is a relatively affluent place to live, but there are still pockets of deprivation where people die young. Your smoking status is clearly important, as lifelong smokers have a 50-50 chance of shuffling off early. And if a first-degree relative had angina or a heart attack before 60, that increases your risk too. Then we move onto your own diseases. If you have a kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis or atrial fibrillation (a very irregular pulse), that will put your risk up. Your risk is also higher if you are already on blood pressure treatment (as I am). Finally, you fill in your numbers, if you know them. Many American and European patients will know what their cholesterol levels and BP readings are, and also what their height, weight and waist circumference are. Most British patients haven’t got a clue, even if they have them measured repeatedly. Start by measuring your pulse over one minute. If it is very irregular, see your doctor because you may be at risk of a stroke. Once you’ve filled in the form as best you can, leaving blanks for the things you don’t know, press the magic button and it calculates your risk over 10 years (or less if you prefer) and compares you to others like you. Your results are displayed as a percentage. So my chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years is currently 5.7%. It’s a bit less than it would be if my blood pressure wasn’t controlled with drugs. I don’t like taking them, but I don’t get any side-effects and it’s bought my blood pressure down to normal. Your risk is also displayed as a pretty graph of 100 faces, smiley and yellow for the people who escape a heart attack or stroke, glum and blue for those who don’t. I’ve been using the risk calculator on a new show for BBC1 called Britain’s Secret Killers. We’ve taken 14 celebrities and calculated their risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. Most are overweight, one smokes and a few drink a bottle of wine every night. The main thing that separates us from them is that they spend far more time on the television than we do. When people are being filmed for a programme, they take their health seriously. What matters is how they behave in the dark days and nights when the cameras are turned off. Staying healthy is hard, because it requires changes for life. The good news is that you don’t have to run the Bishop Sutton 10km race every day. Brisk walking is as good, if not better, than jogging. You should try not to put cigarettes in your mouth, cut down on sugar and animal fat, and treat alcohol as a treat, choosing drinks that you really like the flavour of and savouring them slowly, rather than sculling them down. And you can never have enough fish and vegetables. Good luck, and let me know what your risk score is. I know a celebrity with 35%. I hope you can’t beat that. For Dr Phil’s DVDs, books and tour dates go to


It’s all going swimmingly

AS the weather warms up you may want to start thinking about some active days out for you and the children. On a particularly cold day in April my neighbour and I were thinking along these lines. We began with a walk in the woods which was sheltered at least from the biting wind. We soon warmed up but not enough for anyone to contemplate discarding hats and gloves. “Can we do something fun this afternoon?” asked middle child. I thought we were having fun but obviously I was wrong. “What do you suggest?” I asked, half-dreading the answer. “Can we go to the beach?” This was not a sensible suggestion. After all the temperature was struggling to reach zero degrees and it had begun to snow. Sticking with the beach theme, someone then suggested we went swimming.

Swimming with children is a rite of passage, which begins for most children with pre-school swimming lessons. At these lessons mothers can experience the joy of exposing post-birth figures to their peers. You can also help supervise buoyant children while your own child thrashes about doing what Mendip Dad describes as “synchronised drowning”. Once they have mastered the art of keeping their heads above water they are normally ready to move on to after-school swimming lessons. Or you can choose a weekend swimming lesson if you’re too busy during the week and like to punish yourself with a packed schedule at the weekend. Due to the age-range of our children, with seven years separating the eldest from the youngest, this went on for 12 months until Mendip Dad pointed out they could all swim. So our swimming trip was a chance to put the fun back into swimming. To be fair it was warm and we all enjoyed playing water-volleyball. Fortunately I didn’t meet the same fate as a friend. He thought his children would have some fun with weighted rubber toys. These swimming aids sink to the bottom of the pool and help with underwater diving skills. The only problem was, in the excitement of retrieving one of the toys, his daughter threw it at him. It landed on his head, knocking him out. There followed a busy few moments … for the lifeguard. Luckily no long-term damage was done. MENDIP MUM

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Hypnotherapy – how can it help?

HYPNOSIS is a natural state of consciousness we all experience daily. Similar to day-dreaming or the relaxed feeling you experience as you awaken from a restful night’s sleep. In this relaxed state, whilst your conscious mind is fully aware of what is going on, your subconscious mind has the ability to accept positive, beneficial suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is a natural and effective way of accessing the inner (unconscious) self, a source of many of our problems, as well as a tremendous resource of unrecognised potential strength and knowledge. Contrary to popular belief nobody can ever be hypnotised against their will. Hypnotherapy is actually a state of purposeful co-operation between the therapist and subject to obtain a specific result, agreed upon beforehand. Clinical hypnotherapy can treat a variety of problems that are due to emotional and psychological sources as well as unwanted habits. If you would like to know more, contact Alison Becker D.Hyp (MBSCH) CP.AMT at the Wrington Vale Medical Practice, Langford and Winscombe. She is a full member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis and is registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.


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National launch for Blagdon charity A SMALL Blagdon-based charity had a big impact when it held a launch event at the House of Commons, attended by MPs, parents and medical staff from across the country. The Max Appeal helps victims of a complicated chromosomal condition, 22q11 Deletion Syndrome, which is known to have 180 physical, functional and psychological effects. The launch saw the publication of a National Consensus Document to help with the diagnosis and management of people with the syndrome. Currently the complexity of 22q11 frequently leads to clinical confusion and a delay in diagnosis often by years partly due to specialists failing to appreciate a genetic link between different disabilities. Julie Wootton, chair of trustees, said: “There is now a benchmark for families, clinicians and other service providers to work to. It is now Max Appeal’s job to roll the consensus out across the country so that lack of

awareness will not be a reasonable excuse for failure to provide adequate and appropriate care.” Pictured (left to right) are Claire Hennessey and her daughter Alicia (holding the document) who has 22q11 Deletion and lives in the Chew Valley, Anne Roberts, Speech and Language Details:



As we lean forwards towards our computer screen our delicate neck and shoulder muscles and joints have to strain to hold up the heavy weight of our brains (we have the largest head-to-body ratio of any mammal!). This can not only tire out the muscles but also compress the nerves and joints at the top of neck, leading to pain and headaches along the nerve pathways (back, side and front of skull, particularly around the eyes).

So, try to sit up straight, keep your neck and chin tucked back and try to avoid prolonged periods of time in one position (laptops are particularly bad as we often look down at them on our laps!). Keep your screen at eye level and make sure your chair is comfortable and close enough to the screen. Every 20 minutes or so, gently stretch your neck by looking from side-to-side between five-10 times. If you have any questions or your symptoms persist, please give us a call 01749 674716. PAGE 60 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013


Therapist and Dr Julian Cadogan Clinical Psychologist from the South West Cleft Clinic at Frenchay Hospital and Rowena Hamilton who is a Max Appeal volunteer at the clinic. Claire also works for Max Appeal and their national office is based at Coombe Lodge in Blagdon.

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Church reveals some of its secrets HOLCOMBE’S mysterious Old Church has given up some of its secrets after an archaeological dig beneath its main aisle. The Churches Conservation Trust joined forces with Wessex Archaeology and members of Time Team to undertake the excavations in St. Andrew’s Church. The team also conducted a survey of the graveyard to record the epitaphs and memorial stones. Two adult skeletons and one child skeleton, all dating to the 18th Century, were found buried beneath the church’s central aisle. Other artefacts, including pottery and an entrance to a hitherto unknown crypt were also found in the church. Budding archaeologists and people from the local area took part in the project through a range of free events and opportunities, including daily tours of the trench, artefact processing, and learning how to survey a graveyard. This was the latest phase of “Hidden Holcombe”, a project which began in 2012 to find out more about the church and its surroundings. In contrast to most churches, which are located in the heart of their communities, St. Andrew’s is situated in an isolated rural position a mile from Holcombe village. Archaeologists hope to shed light on whether the church, which dates back to 1100, could originally have been part of a medieval village that has since disappeared. One theory is that

The dig in the main aisle A memorial stone was found upside down

The two skeletons are revealed

the village was abandoned when its residents were struck down by the plague. The final phase of the three-part project takes place in July with the launch of a new Young Archaeologists’ Club for Somerset in conjunction with Somerset County Council, Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society and the Council for British Archaeology. G The dig at St. Andrew’s is part of a 10-year project to excavate and survey 18 of the oldest churches in Somerset. The Churches Conservation Trust is a national charity which aims to protect churches at risk. It currently has more than 340 unused churches on its books.

St. Andrew’s Church in Holcombe PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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Children of the pits

VOLUNTEERS at Radstock Museum are launching a moving exhibition dedicated entirely to telling the story of hundreds of young children, some of them just seven or eight years old, who toiled in the coalmines of North East Somerset in the 18th and 19th centuries. For the most part they were illiterate, until schooling became compulsory, and their history has been one of silent sacrifice. Children of the Pits, an exhibition partfunded by Radstock Town Council, takes in the home lives, the working conditions, the health, education and law issues which governed the lives of these children and the tragedies which so often cut their young lives short. Between 1774 and 1908, more than a hundred children perished in horrific accidents in our local pits. The exhibition features artefacts including the notorious guss and crook harness, made of rope and chain, which young carting boys wore around their waists and between their legs in order to haul trucks laden with coal. It tells of the struggle to improve working conditions in the pits, of the Dunkerton carting boys who took part in violent disputes in 1908 and 1909 to get better pay and of the work done by the Somerset Miners Association to improve the lot of colliery workers. The exhibition features original

An 1898 photograph of Camerton colliery lads wearing the guss and crook harness, with a group of adult miners. They are also wearing caps with candles in them: a precursor to safety helmets.

paintings and drawings by Kilmersdon Art Group, much of it inspired by photographs from the museum’s archives. All the research was done by a team of volunteers co-ordinated by Wendy Walker. She said: “A year ago I was reading a book on child labour by Sue Wilkes, The Children History Forgot, and thought that the museum should investigate the lives of our own pit children. “The results have been astounding, a real eye-opener. We have found

interviews with 19th century children from Radstock, little boys of seven, eight and nine, who laboured in darkness and dreadful conditions, to help get the coal which made the industrial revolution possible. “We have found some moving and evocative photographs of these children – and, with the help of the International Labour Organisation, we have discovered how mining is still done by young children in other parts of the world, to this day.”

The exhibition will run throughout May, June and July. For more information visit:

Arthurian expert heads new abbey scheme RENOWNED historian Geoffrey Ashe has become the patron of the new Friends of Glastonbury Abbey Membership Scheme. Mr Ashe, who is in his 90s, is an acknowledged expert on the King Arthurian legend and has played a central role in promoting the Abbey, said John Brendon, chairman of the Abbey Trustees. Mr Ashe was also awarded life membership at a special presentation held at the Abbey. John said: “Geoffrey Ashe has really put Avalon on the map and has contributed so much to the myth of Arthur.” He told Geoffrey: “The legend is an important part of what we do at the Abbey. We hope as patron and life member you will continue to have many happy visits to the Abbey.” Geoffrey said: “This is a great honour for me. I’ve had a long association with Glastonbury and the Abbey in particular.” The membership scheme was launched at the Abbey for 2013 and is aimed at involving the community even more with the iconic Somerset landmark. The abbey has a major

(L-R): Geoffrey Ashe, John Brendon, chairman of the Abbey trustees, and Janet Bell, Abbey Director.

programme of conservation ahead of it and part of the membership fee will help with this.


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Show glamour – Victorian style

LADIES Day is back for the 150th Royal Bath and West Show and organisers are hoping participants in this year’s extravaganza will be inspired by Victorian fashion. Ladies fashion of the mid-19th century included flounces, hoops, crinoline gowns and decorated bonnets, although few female visitors were seen at the Bath and West Show when it first began in 1852. This year’s Ladies Day – on Friday, May 31st – draws on the epitome of Victorian England with women visitors being invited to promenade and show off their finery as well as sampling a traditional afternoon tea. Julie Kitching, Ladies Day organiser, said: “We are always amazed at the effort put in to creating outfits for Ladies Day. It is always a colourful and fun event. Ladies Day in the 21st Century

Ladies admire the exhibits in the flower show at the 1863 event

“Researching the history of the show for this year’s special anniversary, it was incredible looking at the photographs to see just how few women attended in the early days purely for fun; there are many who were there to work such as

Environmental Youth Awards

THE winner of an annual environmental award aimed at young people will be announced during the Royal Bath and West Show. The challenge is now in its 17th year and, for the past 13 years, has been supported by HSBC; the organisation, along with the Royal Bath and West of England Society and the Farming and Countryside Education programme, are the major sponsors. Its success in encouraging youngsters to become interested in environmental and conservation matters is well recognised. The aim of the scheme is to promote a greater awareness and understanding of conservation and environmental matters by encouraging and recognising the contribution made by young people. This recognition is promulgated on the basis of an “award made to a group of young people who have made a significant contribution to conservation and/or environmental management” and applies equally to either an urban or rural environment. This year, the standard of entries this year is exceptionally

dairymaids. “Now, of course, we attract men and women from all generations to enjoy a fun day out. This will be our fourth Ladies Day and we are hoping women attending will be drawing on the show’s history and show off a range of different styles and perhaps incorporate some Victoriana to link to the first show in 1852.” G The Show takes place from Wednesday, May 29th to Saturday, June 1st at the Showground in Shepton Mallet and will feature the finest livestock, agricultural machinery, trade-stands, locally produced food and drink as well as activities for all the family. The Best Dressed Lady will be awarded a special prize on the day for which VIP tickets cost £30 and are available at:

high, emphasising the quality and commitment of the youth groups to their projects. The award scheme is open to formal as well as ad hoc youth groups from the four “counties” of Bristol, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. The main objective is fostering and encouraging interest in environmental matters, the selections are made on the basis of rewarding originality and effort, irrespective of age, provided this is within an overall quality project. The four county nominations have been assessed by a panel of judges who decide upon a regional winner. Each of the four county nominations receives a souvenir award and certificate. A special trophy is given to the overall winner. G This year’s finalists are: SOMERSET: Longvernal Primary School, Midsomer Norton BRISTOL: Henleaze Junior School, Westbury-on-Trym WILTSHIRE: All Cannings Croft Primary School, Devizes DORSET: St. Osmund’s CofE Middle School, Dorchester JOHN HEMSLEY

The entries will be on display at the Environmental Youth Award Stand just off the main ring for the whole of the show. For more information, visit:


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MENDIP Times and the Royal Bath and West Show have teamed up to offer one reader the chance to enjoy VIP hospitality at Ladies Day on Friday, May 31st. We have two tickets to give away. To enter, please answer the following question: What is the name of the organiser of Ladies Day? Please send your answers on a postcard to: Royal Bath and West Show competition, Mendip Times, Coombe Lodge, Blagdon BS40 7RG. Entries must be received by Wednesday, May 15th. The editor’s decision is final.

Horses at their best

FOUR days of events featuring some of the finest examples of the horse world will be among the highlights of this year’s Royal Bath and West Show. Competitions begin at 7.30am on the first day of the show – Wednesday, May 29th - with some of the oldest classes in the show from the ridden hunter to cob sections and then continue the next day with the elegant riding horses, arabs, and former racehorses. On Friday, competitions continue in the show ring with the classes for all the native mountain and moorland, and for the first time there are classes for veteran horses (over 15 years old), many of whom have been champions in the past. The show concludes on Saturday with the children’s riding ponies, including the lead rein classes for the younger competitors. Show Jumping takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Chief Horse Steward Anthea Derby said: “Our ambition is to surround the rings with spectators. It’s a real chance for the public to get close and ‘see’ the horses. “The retrained racehorse class has already proved very popular with show visitors. Frequently we get horses with a recognisable racing track record and they attract much interest and again this year they will be divided into Flat and National Hunt sections.” Elsewhere on the showground there are plenty of other chances to catch some equestrian action, Pony Club mounted games, scurry driving and the ever-popular heavy horse parades. Anthea added: “Show Jumping is always a popular choice for visitors who can enjoy the opportunity to walk the course and see for themselves just how high and wide these fences really are.”

We are having our first open day on the 12th May and would very much like to invite you along. We will be at the shoot from 10am till 4pm. On the day you will have the chance to try shotguns from Browning, Beretta, Blaser, Caesar Guerini and others. Our suppliers will be bringing a full range of guns along and we will have stands available to test them. • There will also be a 50 bird sporting layout with a £100 high gun Fibre Wad Only £17 entry Hot food and refreshments will be available throughout Location: the day. Maes Knoll Farm, Norton Malreward, Pensford, Bristol, BS39 4EZ

Tel: 0117 300 9956 MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 65

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THE number of houses sold in the south west continued to rise for the third consecutive month, as increased confidence in the market continued to translate into sales, says the latest RICS housing market survey. During March, chartered surveyors in the region reported selling an average of 17 homes over the previous three months, increasing slightly on February’s figure of 16. According to respondents, transaction levels in the region have remained relatively steady for the last four years, with the amount of homes sold over a three-month period having not dipped below double figures since February 2009. In tandem with this, prices remained broadly stable during March. A net balance of nine per cent more respondents stated that prices fell rather than rose last month. While still negative this it is an improvement on February’s reading which saw a net balance of 30 per cent more surveyors in the south west reporting decreases rather than increases. Moving on to demand, an increasing number of prospective buyers got out and viewed property during March. A net balance of nine per cent more surveyors reported rises in new buyer enquiries, the highest reading since December. It seems that the government’s recent efforts to encourage banks to offer more affordable mortgages may now be starting the bear fruit and assist purchasers. Across the rest of the UK, the survey suggests that, on average, surveyors in the West Midlands have seen the biggest increase in homes sold since the start of the year, followed by

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those respondents working in the London area. By way of contrast, the sales trend appears flattest in East Anglia and the East Midlands. Looking ahead, respondents are optimistic that the recent increase in transactions is set to continue. A net balance of 22 per cent more surveyors expect sales to rise further over the coming three months. Also, South West chartered surveyors are optimistic that the price stability seen in recent months will persist over the coming three months.

Mendip celebrates excellence

THE 2013 Mendip Building Excellence Awards, sponsored by Bradfords Building Supplies, took place at Glastonbury Town Hall. This year’s ceremony incorporated a total of 16 categories celebrating the excellence of building quality in a variety of projects from large commercial, education and housing projects, to domestic refurbishments. Nigel Hunt, Mendip District Council’s building control manager, said: “The standard of entries was once again extremely high, showing the excellent work that is being carried out in Mendip. “All the finalists deserve recognition for their great work in helping to improve building standards, boosting sustainability and efficiency and showing that despite a difficult economic backdrop, standards do not have to slip. Our congratulations go to the finalists – and especially the winners and those who were highly commended.” Around 200 construction professionals and customers attended the ceremony. Anya Thompson, Director of LABC Training is pictured presenting the award for Best Individual Dwelling to Justin Paterson, of Boon Brown Architects, who collected on behalf of Highbridge House is the home Dunford Builders for their of champion horse trainer Paul joint development at Nicholls – a bronze statue by Highbridge House, Will Newton of Kauto Star has Ditcheat. pride of place

Photo courtesy of G. P. Munns

House sales rise

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Mendip Times reduces travel costs


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Choir’s new conductor

OAKFIELD Choir, in Frome, is getting ready for its first concert under the baton of its new conductor Martin Emslie FLCM, a well known musician and composer from Castle Cary, who has been working with the choir since the beginning of the year. The choir will be joined by members of the Frome Symphony Orchestra as well as four soloists from the London Guildhall School of Music for the concert at Christchurch, Frome on Saturday, May 4th, starting at 7.30pm. The concert will feature a mix of well-known choral favourites by Schubert, JS Bach, Rossini and Mozart alongside a selection of pieces from Martin’s new Oratorio, “Omega and Alpha”, which was premiered at Wells Cathedral on April 13th. Somerset mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, winner of the Maureen Lehane prize for young opera singers in 2011, is among the soloists. The choir rehearses every Wednesday evening in term time at Oakfield Middle School, in Frome, from 7.30pm-9pm. They are a friendly mixed-voice choir with about 50 members and aim to put on two concerts each year. There are no formal auditions but an ability to read music is an advantage – the main requirement is a love of choral music and singing.

Ticket details: from members of the choir, Frome Orchestra, the Hunting Raven bookshop in Cheap Street and Frank Bainbridge 01373 464839. PAGE 68 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Anyone can sing

THE Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society is planning a concert with a difference – anyone can go along to take part. The event – Come and Sing! – will be held on Saturday, May 4th in St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells from 9.30am – 6pm. The society invites anyone to a day of singing Stainer’s Crucifixion under the baton of one of the leading choral directors in the country, Matthew Owens. The Come and Sing! day is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy this much-loved musical meditation, which is both dramatic and deeply moving. Why not join them to discover your confidence and love of singing? Open to all, the cost of the day is £15 and scores can be hired for £5 (with £4 refundable deposit). Refreshments will be available for a modest charge, or take lunch or enjoy one of the many delightful eating places within easy reach. Book in advance on or pay on the door. Details: Robin Duys, 01749 871105.

Mendip’s new director

MENDIP Male Voice Choir has announced the appointment of its new musical director. Jamie Knights will be taking over from Kate Courage in June just before she gives birth to her new daughter. Jamie lives at Kingswood School, Bath where he is the musician in residence, a role that brings his practical musicianship and experience together. He was a scholar at Wells Cathedral School and after this he gained a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Bath Spa University. Jamie is a widely respected musician in and around Bath, being associated with the City of Bath Bach Junior Choir, becoming their accompanist in 2010, and from September 2011 until December 2012 he was their musical director. He was the musical director for the Glastonbury Male Voice Choir for four years. There was enthusiastic applause from the choir members when Jamie arrived at his first rehearsal. The Mendip men then discovered they had a vacancy for a pianist, when it was announced that Carl Speck is leaving after eight years to take up a new post in London. Anyone interested in the role of pianist to the choir should ring secretary Les Debenham on 01761 233948 or e-mail

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Wedmore hymns

PEOPLE in Wedmore, helped by listeners to BBC Radio Somerset, have voted for their favourite eight hymns, which will be performed with great gusto on June 1st at St. Mary’s Church, in Wedmore, together with readings, poems and music from organist Peter Curtin and the Salvation Army Band. The event, Now That’s What I Call Hymns (NANTWICH), has been organised by the Friends of St. Mary’s. Tickets, £4, are available from the Cottage Gallery or the Paper Shop in Wedmore, or on the door. Details: 01934 710149 or

Two to watch

PLAYING small and intimate venues is one way that bands – whether starting out or veterans – can hone their material: school friends Ted Griggs and Jack Stott chose a barn on the outskirts of Shepton Mallet for their gig to launch their new single. The pair – known as Ted Zed – have also been playing schools and sixth form colleges to raise awareness of their Ted (left) and Jack music. Ted is the main singer/songwriter with Jack supporting on keyboards and mixing. Ted, from Sutton, near Ditcheat, and Jack, from Bodden, near Shepton Mallet, have enjoyed airplay on BBC Radio. Their single is launched on Monday, May 6th. To find out more, visit:

Choir’s Wrington concert

THE Cheddar Male Choir will be singing at All Saints Church, Wrington on Saturday, May 4th, at 7.30pm, helping to raise funds for the Vine Counselling Charity. It’s some years sing the choir has sung at the church. The concert will be under the direction of musical director, Dr Fabian Huss, and the soloist for the evening will be the choir’s President, mezzo soprano Francesca Bowkett. Fabian has chosen a very varied programme, this will include a selection from Les Miserables, a Sinatra medley and other popular items, especially written for male choirs. Tickets are available from Amors in Wrington, Day Lewis Pharmacy in Congresbury, the church offices of both All Saints in Wrington and St. Andrew’s in Congresbury, or pay on the door. Tickets are £8 each and refreshments will be available.

Reasons to be cheerful

ALAN Wilson, who is the owner of Western Star Recording Studios in Paulton, and part owner of Star Rehearsal Studio, which he runs with his business partner and lifelong friend Ben Turner, has reason to celebrate. A year ago we reported how Alan and his colleagues Steve Whitehouse and Paul Leigh, who make up the band The Sharks, originally from Frome, were celebrating their 30th anniversary by bringing out an album, and also appearing at a festival in Germany as a headline act. Alan, said: “Because the 30th anniversary went so well, all the promoters then came to us with offers to play, so we picked only the ones we really wanted to do.” As a result they will be playing in Moscow, Los Angeles, Penada de Mar in Spain and Hameenlinna in Finland, ending with a home gig in Northampton, headlining an annual Psychobilly festival there. Alan, who has built and run several studios over the past 25 years, has also been working with Chas Hodges, of Chas and Dave fame, who has recorded a new album at the studio and is now back touring with Dave Peacock. They will be playing at the Fleece and Firkin in Bristol on May 8th, and at the Cheese and Grain in Frome on July 14th.

Pictured (left to tight) Chas Hodges with Ben Turner, who played drums on the album, and Alan Wilson MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 69

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Home and office heating – the natural way SO you would like a new woodburner – the team at Natures Flame have the solution. Being a local company and part of the Geoff Thomas & Son group of companies they are able to offer the full service including installation and all building works to create your dream of being self-sufficient on heat. They are able to combine many heat sources including woodburners, solar thermal, and pellet boilers using thermal stores to provide whole-house solutions. The showroom now has 12 manufacturers’ stoves on display, from modern to contemporary and with the best prices and expert advice from industry served professionals they are confident they can match your burner to your need, from start to finish. They have their own range of custom made hearths available too. With gas and oil prices set to continue to rise and the ever increasing pressure on gas supplies as highlighted in the Independent on March 26th, households are expected to see a £200 a year rise in their fuel bills. Natures Flame can offer a viable alternative to traditional heat sources, all under one roof, so why continue to be at the mercy of the power companies when you can be fully or semi self-sufficient. At their showroom they have fully controlled central heating with 14 double radiators, which has run through the coldest winter in years, keeping all the office staff warm, yet there is no OIL or GAS connected to the system, just wood and the sun as fuel,

providing endless amounts of hot water and heating, usable when they want to use it not when the stove demands it should be used – and no meter spinning. It doesn’t stop there though at Natures Flame, they have expanded the business to online sales of woodburners and soon will be launching a new online store, following the success of existing online sales, where they are confident that their commitment to being the cheapest stove supplier in the UK will continue. So if it’s a standalone stove to purchase – supplied and fitted – or a whole house heating solution you are after, why not pay a visit to Natures Flame at Braysdown, Peasedown St John, Radstock and choose a beautiful stove, save money on your fuel bills, see how you could be free from gas or oil and lower your carbon footprint saving the planet’s precious resources.

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WOODBURNER SHOWROOM IN BRAYSDOWN, NR RADSTOCK (Follow the signs) • Give us a call on 01761 437440 or visit website: • We’re on facebook and twitter – search naturesflame. PAGE 70 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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Jacksons Fencing – news, topical treats and more . . .

After one of the worst winters for years I feel it may be best to not even mention the weather for fear of ‘tempting fate’. May is here, traditionally the month we have at least two bank holidays in, well that’s probably enough to scupper summer altogether! SO enough of that, here’s something to take your mind off the weather and to keep you busy on those bank holiday weekends. We are running a photo competition for the next few months. Throughout May, June and July, I would like you to email pictures of Jacksons products to me. Here are the sorts of

Another previous Jacksons photo competition entry: Jaktop fence and cheeky girl

photos we’d like to see: if you have installed a Jacksons product recently, it can be anything from a simple fence or gate, to a more ambitious project like a garden makeover with decking and pergola. Or, any Jacksons product, new, middle aged or old. We are well known for our products lasting in excess of 25 years, so we aren’t age-ist. We’d also like to see photos of your family and pets enjoying your garden with Jacksons products in view. Or your horses, cows, sheep or even your pigs! So long as there’s something Jacksons in the shot. I think you have probably got the idea. Remember, most of our products sport our very special brass badge, so if you spot a badge like the one on this page, stop and have a look, is it one of ours? If yes, and it’s worth taking a snap of the product, whip out your camera or phone. We will be awarding a prize of £300 of Jacksons vouchers to the best photo, and ten runners up will receive prizes too. For full details on the photo competition and how to enter, go to your local page – bathlocal You can get updates on other things as

A previous Jacksons photo competition entry: Ed and the post and rail fence

well on your local page like what’s happening with the Jacksons show gardens competition and which shows you can see us at throughout the season, to name just a couple of things.


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Beating the odds

The 2013 Mendip Farmers’ Point to Point at Ston Easton went ahead whilst many other meetings over the same weekend fell victim to the wintry weather. Organisers praised the hard work of the committee who made sure the racing took place and the event attracted a high quality field.

Boarders from All Hallow’s School at Cranmore enjoy a visit to the meeting as part of an activity day

Some of the crowd

Thinkaboutthat, owned by Raymond and Evelyn Targett and ridden by Ed Barrett, won the Tincknell Country Stores restricted steeplechase. They are pictured with Philip Tinknell (left) and daughter Diana

A “Gould” day at the office

A WINNING ride in the first race and a sister double act in one of the feature races represented a good day at the office for the Gould family from Cranmore. Sarah, a trainer and rider who featured in the February issue of Mendip Times, rode Little George to victory in the Frederick A. Smith Memorial Confined Hunts Race. The Irish bay gelding is

Sarah after victory in the first race PAGE 74 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

owned and trained by John Hankinson, a former master of the Mendip Hunt. Later in the day, Special Occasion, trained by Sarah and owned and ridden by sister Lucy, enjoyed success in the Uphill and Son Ladies Open, an AGA qualifier for the AGA Ladies’ Point to Point championship final at Cheltenham on Wednesday, May 1st. The only mild disappointment of the day came in the Morris and Perry Men’s Open. Billy Page, 18, of Chantry, a former pony rider who now works for champion trainer Paul Nicholls, made his point to point debut as a jockey on board Old Wigmore, owned by the Country Oak racing partnership. Despite leading for a good part of the race, Old Wigmore ran out of steam and was pulled up. Sarah said: “It was a pretty good day all round; we’re quite pleased.” Billy, who was one of the Nicholls’ stable staff who looked after Neptune Collonges, winner of last year’s Grand National, said: “My first point to point

was a great experience. The plan was simply to let Old Wigmore have a good run and see what he was capable of.”

Lucy with the Uphill Perpetual Challenge Cup

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Pony power

The Ladies’ Open was fiercely contended


A young rider cheers on the field

SUPPORT for pony racing is at an all-time high with many now-successful jockeys having learned their craft at a young age. Two pony races were staged at the end of the point to point meeting and both attracted strong fields. One of the highlights of the pony racing calendar is the Wylye Valley Pony Club Race Day at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, May 18th, with seven races on the card. The meeting is supported by Paul Nicholls Racing. Organiser Geoff Andrews, of Wanstrow, secretary of the pony club, said: “This will be our sixth year. We have grown from 25 entries to more than 50 last year. “In the past we’ve had entries from as far away as Kent and Essex; this year the races will offer qualification points towards the Pony Club Championships.” Pony racing is fast and furious

Girls just want to have fun The quality of racing was high despite the weather

Charlotte Limond, 10, of Radstock, rode Tom Thumb in the Out to Grass Stakes Keeping warm

Freddie Wooler, a pupil at All Hallow’s School, was cheered on my schoolfriends

Entries close on Monday, May 13th. For more information, contact Geoff on 01749 850229 or email:


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Riding clubs offer opportunities

A RIDING club is a membership organisation where a group of horse owners come together for lessons, competitions and social occasions. We are very lucky in the Mendip Times area to have a variety of different types of riding clubs and all of them cater for riders With CELIA at all levels. GADD The Mid Somerset Riding Club is one of the largest and has been going since 1968 when it was originally called the Bath and West Riding Club and most of their events were at that time held on the famous show ground. As their catchment area grew and different venues were used the name was changed to the Mid Somerset Riding Club in 1997 and they now hold a wide variety of competitions for all levels in many different locations including Camel Hill Farm at Sparkford, the newly built King Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre at Greinton and Millfield School at Street. As well as catering for the novice and pleasure rider with fun rides and basic training, they are also keen attendees at the National Championships in all disciplines including Rural Riders (six riders performing a dressage team together), dressage, show jumping and horse trials. Recently their dressage team came second at the National Championships which is a fantastic achievement. The team consisted of Alys Matravers on Tiger Tim, Mandie Bown on Porthgwaun Welsh Flame, Nikki Forbes on No Illusion and Kathy Emery on Arctic Storm, bringing the club’s winter programme to a very successful end.

Members receive the Club of the Year award from Martin Clunes

The competitions are broken up with many training opportunities and this year some popular instructors have been Nikki Stephens, Gaye Farquharson, Liz Down and Amanda Edwards. Combined training is another popular event and this is when horse and rider compete in a dressage test, and also tackle a course of show jumps and the two scores are combined to give the overall winners. The annual Mini Combined Training was held at Camel Hill Farm, near Sparkford on Easter Saturday and almost for the first weekend this year the sun shone. The class winners were Faith Jackson on Toby, Keeley Goddard on Trukka, Molly Swain on Stourton April Showers and Gemma Boxall on Triggs. A dressage to music competition takes place on May 27th and there is also Terrier racing for the dismounted to attend on July 25th.

For full details of how to join or further events go to or telephone Marian Draper (secretary) on 01458 241506.

May 2013 show dates

Thursday 2nd Racing at Orchard Portman Racecourse, Taunton Thursday 2nd – Monday 6th Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials Sunday 5th BSHA Show at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Monday 6th Unaffiliated show jumping at Pontispool Farm, Norton Fitzwarren North Somerset Show at Bathing Ponds Field, Wraxall Wednesday 8th British Dressage at Stockland Lovell Manor Thursday 9th Evening racing at Wincanton Racecourse Unaffiliated evening show jumping at


Stockland Lovell Manor Saturday 11th Polden and Bridgwater Unaffiliated dressage at Cannington Equestrian Centre Sunday 12th Brent Knoll Riding Club Open dressage at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre, Bridgwater Unaffiliated show jumping at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Sunday 12th – Tuesday 14th The Golden Horseshoe Ride at Exford, Exmoor Tuesday 14th Unaffiliated evening dressage at Pontispool Farm, Norton Fitzwarren Wednesday 15th Weston and Banwell Harriers Point to Point at Cothelstone

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th BS Seniors at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Sunday 19th Taunton and District Riding Club dressage at Orchard Portman Racecourse Friday 24th Unaffiliated dressage at Urchinwood Manor, Wrington Open Day at A.R. Gane, Lydford-on-Fosse, near Somerton.12noon-9pm. In conjunction with Spillers Horse Feeds. Free admission. Hog roast and refreshments available. Saturday 25th – Monday 27th British Eventing at Pontispool Farm, Norton Fitzwarren Wednesday 29th – Saturday 1st June The Royal Bath and West Show

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Harnessing horse-power

THE Three Counties Harness Club recently enjoyed a visit to Broadwater Farm, Mere in Wiltshire where their hosts Richard Branscombe and Trish Hills provided ‘ad lib’ coffee and biscuits. Richard is one of those rare souls whose aim is to replace the tractor with the horse. The horses do many of the routine jobs on the farm such as rolling, harrowing and hauling. They are also trained to do forestry work, in places too sensitive or inaccessible for heavy machinery. A recent job was for the Woodland Trust at Beacon Hill near Shepton Mallet. Details:

Nunney international

SET in the stunning grounds of Southfield House, at Whatley, near Frome, three days of competition will take place at Nunney International Horse Trials, which takes place on June 14th-16th. Showjumping in the main arena over all three days will provide a spectacle for spectators, and an array of trade stands, a food corner as well as exciting action cross country will all add together to ensure it is a fantastic day out. Classes range from BE100 to CIC2* with many top international riders expected to compete. Details:


Ride is an Oscar winner!

Oscar, mum Susan and Louise Madel enjoy the ride

A 12-MILE horse ride around the Cranmore area in muddy and freezing conditions was a big hit with its youngest entrant. Oscar Schultz, eight, was amongst 80 riders who took part in the event, the first fun ride of the year organised by Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association. Oscar said of his first fun ride: “At the beginning, I nearly got frostbite on my hands but once we were underway I wasn’t so cold. “My mum kept trying to give me biscuits but I indignantly answered ‘No, I want to carry on!’. I did my first ever proper gallop. It was a 12-mile ride which means it was about three hours long. It was so awesome! I really want to do it again next year! We went through the woods, by streams and through a quarry. My pony was by far the fastest and my face was covered in mud! I kept catching up with the people in front. THE BEST RIDE EVER!” MBBA Chairman Cherry Lawson said: “We owe a huge vote of thanks to Aggregate Industries for all the improvements they made to the bridleway; East Somerset Railway, who kindly allowed us to use their car park as the venue and the very loyal stewards who stood for four hours in the arctic weather to facilitate the ride going ahead. “Not forgetting of course, the brave riders who supported the day so generously. Funds raised at this event will go towards improvements to bridleways in Mendip.” More information on forthcoming events and MBBA’s work can be found at:


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Five west champions

“TEAM South West” captured five national championships at the latest Indoor Horse-Driving Trials national finals, held at the Keysoe Equestrian Centre in Bedfordshire. Fifteen South West carriage-drivers qualified for these national championships, with five of them securing winners’ trophies. The event featured 138 competitors from 14 regions, including a strong contingent from Jersey. A key element of the South West’s team, and winners, was their age-span – ranging from under 10 to over 70! In the under-10s, twin sisters Catherine and Isobel Wesbroom, from Nailsea, competed against one another. Isobel came away as National Champion, and her twin sister took third place in her first appearance at the National Finals. At the other end of the age-scale, Colin Cornwell, 74, won the national title for small single pony. His partner, Hazel Fisher – the former small pony champion – had to share Colin’s pony at the championships, as hers had gone lame. In between these ages, Jack Thorne, 17, from East Anstey in Devon won the national championship for Intermediate Horse, giving him automatic qualification for the Open Horse class at next year’s event. Jess Talbot, 18, from Kingsbury Episcopi, became the National Senior Junior Champion and the overall Supreme Junior Champion. Jack Thorne and Jess Talbot then teamed up to represent the South West in the inter-regional challenge to drive and ride against the clock. Jack drove at a fierce pace, with Jess as his back-stepper to secure the fastest time of any region. The South West team’s other competitors also scored major successes, with Tia Ord finishing fourth in the 10-14 year olds’ class, Andrea Potter securing sixth place in the novice pony class, Georgia Bartlett from Cullompton coming fifth in the novice horse class, and David Whitfield – also from Cullompton – narrowly failing to defend his Open Horse Championship, and coming second. The South West’s team leader, Barbara Nadin (a former Indoor Horse-Driving Trials national champion) said: “This was a wonderful event for the South West. “Last year, we came away with three national champions; this year, we increased that to four and won the inter-regional

Now open at the Mendip Saddlery – for all your pet needs. Rabbits are our speciality! Mendip Saddlery A wide range of used saddles now available to view on our website – all with a try before you buy option! Stocking a good range of poultry and horse feeds at surprisingly competitive prices! Tack and leather work, repair and made-to-measure service; rug repairs and cleaning. All your and your horses’ needs catered for and it won't break the bank either!

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Barbara Nadin in action

challenge. “This is a wonderful testimony to the efforts of all those carriage-driving teams who compete every winter month at Stretcholt in Somerset, and to the many volunteers who make those monthly events possible. “The National Championships is the anvil on which 14 regions’ carriage-drivers test their metal. Team South West made a huge impact this year.“

Jamie’s pet idea

Jamie with Keira, his 18-month-old Pomeranian, outside the business unit he shares with Mendip Saddlery

BREEDING and showing rabbits led Jamie Kirby to open a new business – Mendip Pet Supplies. Mendip Pet Supplies shares a unit at Rookery Farm at Binegar with the Mendip Saddlery and it is something of a perfect fit, says Jamie and Mendip Saddlery owner Julie Gill. Jamie, a mini lop-eared rabbit enthusiast, had been selling rabbit food and supplies from a van in his spare time when he called in to say hello to Julie and the unit share was soon agreed. Jamie, from Wells, is still working as a dental technician and is also a fireman based in the city. He said: “It made so much sense to work with Julie as our businesses complement each other.” Julie has just launched a new service on her website offering a range of used saddles all with a “try before you buy” option. She said: “Having Mendip Pet Supplies here at Unit 1 means there are even more reasons for visiting Rookery Farm.”

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CLEEVE HILL, UBLEY BS40 6PG Telephone: 01761 462275 (24hrs) MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 79

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Hornets swarm to the title

Hornets Rugby Club, from Weston-super-Mare, clinched their league title with an impressive win over Wells – and broke the home side’s unbeaten home record stretching back to October 2011. But all is not over for second-placed Wells who still harbour hopes of ensuring a play-off place at the end of May. Hornets beat the home side 10-22 to win the South West Divisison – Tribute Western Counties North title. Former international referee Tony Spreadbury took charge of the match and praised both sides for their positive approach to the match. Tony, who is an advisor and coach with the Somerset Rugby Referees’ Society as well as a life member, said: “They were two attacking sides who got on with the game and played a very attractive game of rugby.” In May last year, Wells went to Twickenham where they won the RFU Senior Vase Trophy and later won promotion. Peter Kennedy, director of rugby at Wells, said: “I would never have imagined we could have come this far in a year. To be competing for a play-off place is astonishing.” G As Mendip Times went to press, Wells were two points ahead of third-placed Barton Hill, each with two games to play, in their battle for a single play-off place. Wells were due to play relegation-threatened Keynsham on Saturday, April 20th and complete their regular season against Cirencester at home on Saturday, April 27th.

Hornets captain Sean Kent shows his delight at the end of the match

“Spreaders” in charge

THE decision to appoint Tony Spreadbury – his nickname is Spreaders – as the referee for the match was a sign of the game’s importance to both sides. Tony, born in Bath, became a referee in 1977 and turned professional in 2001. He refereered at the 2003 World Cup. Tony, who is well-known for talking to players during a game, said: “I try to set the parameters in which sides can play good rugby. The credit for today goes to the players and their attitude and also to the supporters.”

Tony signals a try for Wells PAGE 80 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

Alex Knight crosses the touchline on his way to scoring a consolation try for Wells

The Hornets were simply too powerful for Wells

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Rugby club’s anniversary plans

Former players and officials at the first reunion lunch at the clubhouse

CASTLE Cary Rugby Club will celebrate its 125th anniversary next season with plans underway for a series of events to mark the occasion. The first in a series of reunion lunches took place recently, attended by around 50 ex-players, and an appeal has gone out for anyone with club memorabilia to come forward as part of plans to create an online “Rugby Revisited Museum” on the club’s website. Committee member Richard Wraith, who is co-ordinating the search for memorabilia, said: “The highlight will be a gala dinner in the autumn when we hope to have a very special speaker. “In the meantime, I would very much like to hear people’s stories about their time at the club and we’ve had a good response so far in our search for memorabilia.” G This year’s Kay’s Cary Sevens tournament will be held at the club from Friday, May 31st until Sunday, June 2nd. Teams lined up so far include the ladies’ Barbarians-style Moody Cows, Harlequins Ladies, the Slingbacks, from Rossyln Park, and Phoenix – a team made up of female fire service personnel from across the UK. In the men’s competition, expect appearances from Bristol University, Slingbacks (Husbands and boyfriends), a team from the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton and Evercreech Barbarians. This year’s theme is “jungle” and will again raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. Pool matches will take place on the Saturday with the finals on Sunday. There’ll be live music on the Saturday night, including an appearance by the Frome Ukelele Consortium! The event is free to Richard Wraith with some of the memorabilia he has been loaned so far attend. For more information, visit:

Chew are champions!


Celebrations for Chew at the final whistle

IN taking Midsomer Norton RFC’s unbeaten home record and passing 1,000 points scored in the league, Chew Valley secured the Tribute Somerset Premier League title with one game to play with a 9-15 victory at Norton Down. With a gale blowing and driving rain at Norton Down, home skipper Matt Denning elected to play with the elements at his back down the slope which, it transpired, was the choice his opposite number, flanker Tom Waddington, would have made had he won the toss. In appalling conditions this was going to be a battle up front where it was warmer. With coaches Paul Hull and his assistant, former Chew Valley skipper Bruce Wellman opting for three forwards on the bench their pack duly turned the screw and played Norton at their own game keeping the ball close to the breakdown and, for variety, releasing the backs to give them just enough exercise to ward off hypothermia. When Denning was yellow carded late in the game for coming in at the side of a maul as the Chew Valley pack powered toward the line from a lineout, the game was up for Norton. Cameron kicked the penalty and the game was played out in the Norton half with scenes of great joy from the Chew Valley faithful travelling support at the final whistle. G Midsomer Norton secured second place in the league and will play Frampton Cottrell, from south Gloucestershire, in a play-off match for the final promotion place. By Andrew Tanner

Chew were in control towards the end of the game MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 81

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Felton waves the flag for football

THE boys and girls of Felton Junior FC realised many young children’s dreams when they appeared as half-time flag bearers for Bristol City Football Club’s Easter Bank Holiday match against Sheffield Wednesday. Occupying three rows in their own section within the Atyeo Stand, 20 lucky Felton Junior FC players, their siblings and accompanying parents took to their seats and watched the first half with growing anticipation. The stadium was at bursting point with just over 19,000 fans present to watch the bank holiday match and it was understandable that the children started to look slightly nervous as the first half drew to a close. During half time, the children were quickly escorted onto the pitch and assembled in front of the fans for their team photograph. They were then whisked across to the area of the pitch immediately in front of the tunnel entrance handed a flag and asked to form two lines either side of the entrance way. As the music began to play, thunderous applause erupted from the fans whilst the children proudly waved their flags introducing the arrival of the players back onto the pitch. Felton FC’s coach, Jeff Lewis, said: “The smiles on the children’s faces made it all worthwhile and they did us proud.”

Anyone for Rounders?

SOMERSET Activity and Sports Partnership is launching a series of social rounders matches for women and girls aged over 14 in the Cheddar area. SASP is working with Rounders England to get more people playing the game across the county. The informal sessions begin on Saturday, May 11th at Kings Fitness and Leisure Centre under the logo of: Chuck It, Whack It, Leg It, Smile! Laura Dyke, the partnership’s sports development manager, said: “Rounders is a great social sport that appeals to a wide audience which we are very excited about offering to the females of Cheddar and the surrounding areas.”

A sport for all

A COMMUNITY sports initiative which aims to bridge the gap between disabled people and the able-bodied has been launched in Glastonbury. Wheelchair basketball is being offered at the town’s leisure centre for mixed teams of wheelchair users and able-bodied players who can play together in this most challenging of sports. Ten wheelchairs have been supplied by the Somerset sports charity TS5C for the basketball sessions on Friday afternoons for pupils from St Dunstan’s School and the Avalon School near Glastonbury. There is also a plan to hold separate wheelchair basketball classes for adults from the local community to take part in. Alan Gloak, chairman of TS5C, said: “Harnessing the sporting excitement of last year, this is exactly the right time to inspire a new generation of young people to try out something different. We are especially pleased as wheelchair basketball has been put into St. Dunstan’s school timetable, as an option for the Year 10 and 11 PE curriculum. “TS5C aims to establish five wheelchair basketball clubs through Somerset over a five year period and are delighted to be supporting the first here in Glastonbury.” The launch was boosted by the presentation of a cheque for £500 to Alan by Andy Strain, Worshipful Master of Pilgrim Lodge, based in Glastonbury. Ryan Hocking, assistant leisure service manager of Glastonbury Leisure Centre, said: “Wheelchair basketball is a very challenging workout as well as being a fun sport to enjoy. It tests the upper body muscle groups, flexibility, endurance, hand/eye coordination and it is also brilliant for strengthening arms and the torso. “It also brings together groups of people who may not get the opportunity to play together in sport and we hope this new initiative for Glastonbury will be embraced by the local community.” G The wheelchair classes take place at Glastonbury Leisure Centre on Friday afternoons from 3.30-4.30pm for pupils, £1 per child. Anyone interested in joining a club for adults should contact Ryan Hocking at Glastonbury Leisure Centre on: 01458 830090.

No experience is necessary to join the rounders sessions in Cheddar

The sessions cost £2.50 per person. For more information contact Laura on: 01823 653995 or e-mail:


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Rally moves to showground

WESTON-super-Mare Motor Club has announced that this year’s Regency Stages rally will be held on Saturday, October 12th at the Royal Bath and West Showground. It will be a one-day event, but the mileage will be similar to previous events and, as with previous years, there will be one or two stages in the dark. Details:

Jason and the record books

The Rebels squad at the start of the season with club mascot Henry Atkins, 12, front


Winscombe win first silver

CELEBRATING their 50th season, Winscombe have finally won their first silverware by winning the Bristol Combination Bowl Final in a hardfought and very

close match against Gordano, 17-15. Losing 15 – 3 at the break, Winscombe had a mountain to climb but never gave up hope and as the heavier Gordano pack began to tire Winscombe scored their first try 20 minutes into the half, when skipper Owen Howell worked a switch move with James Flower who took the ball at speed and carved open the Gordano defence. That try was converted, then with only two minutes to go Winscombe were awarded a five-metre scrum in mid-field. Louis Hooper fed Howell, now back from the sin bin, who threw a quick pass to Matt Hoy Green who managed to squeeze through and touch down under the posts. Howell then converted to give Winscombe a 17 – 15 win and the crowd as they say ‘went wild’. The club say they would like to say a big thank you to Mike D’Arcy in his first year as coach and to Andy Gunningham and Dave Howell for their coaching efforts during the season and also to all the supporters who turned out on the night.

Photo courtesy of Colin Burnett

THE name of Jason Doyle has entered the Somerset Rebels speedway team’s record books after he became only the fifth rider to score more than 1,000 race points from official fixtures for the club. Starting the season needing just 19 points in order to break through the barrier, the Rebels captain quickly knocked 12 of those points off with his four-ride maximum against Ipswich and duly completed the feat in scoring 10 points the following Jason said: “I’m really pleased to have achieved such a personal landmark.” The four other members of the Somerset Rebels “1,000 points club” are Cory Gathercole (1,004), the late Emil Kramer (1,423) and Magnus Zetterström (1,512) with Glenn Cunningham top of the pile with 1,793 points to his name. G The Rebels are raising funds for improved safety fencing for riders in order to be considered as an international track. They need to raise in the region of £30,000 by 2015.

Jason (right) in action against Ipswich MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013 • PAGE 83

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The Mendip Academy launches with free golf! MENDIP Golf Club has announced that The Mendip Academy is now open to introduce anyone, and everyone, to the fantastic game of golf. What’s even more exciting is that it won’t cost a penny until the beginning of June! Club chairman, Rob Needham said: “The Mendip Academy consists of a beautiful, specially designed, six hole (par 3) Academy course, a driving range and resident PGA qualified professionals to give lessons and advice to anyone wanting to take up golf or to existing golfers who want to develop their game. “We are very excited by the fact that we will be able to introduce golf to every member of the family for free during May.” To launch The Mendip Academy a range of activities, classes and competitions have been planned for the summer season. These include: • Saturday morning sessions and school holiday courses for children to learn golf • Group clinics for adults to learn the game • Weekly target competitions for existing golfers • Ladies only group lessons followed by coffee in the clubhouse - ideal for the local WI group or mums wanting to try something different • Adult and child lessons – for a bit of family bonding • Free equipment hire

Later in the summer the Mendip Pros will also be hosting a range of masterclasses for existing golfers in which they offer tips and advice on how to improve their game, all of which will use The Mendip Academy Course. All of this is offered at a friendly, sociable club with a club house that provides superb catering and a well stocked bar!

Details: 01749 840570 or email:



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A BIG thank you

A PAMPER night held at The Wellsway, West Harptree was a great success! With a wide and varied selection of stalls and stands, those attending had a real treat, with taster sessions from therapists and lots to look at. The evening raised £623.70 for NRAS (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society), which helps sufferers of this disabling, longterm disease, which affects nearly 700,000 people in the UK. The Wellsway is planning another event in aid of the charity.

Vintage Clothes • Vintage Fabrics • Vintage Jewellery • Kitchenalia • Habertdashery • Art Deco • China and Glass • 1950’s Wares • Vintage Men’s Clothing • Retro and lots more

Delicious homemade Cakes and Refreshments Come along and enjoy a lovely vintage day out For all enquiries, Tel: 07506 726652 (after 6pm)


Sunday, 9th June, 2013 at Westonzoyland Community Centre, Cheer Lane, Westonzoyland TA7 0EX • 10am–4pm

Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD


From Thursday 9th May From Thursday 16th May From Friday 17th May From Friday 24th May From Wednesday 29th May

Star Trek: Into Darkness 2D & 3D (cert tbc) The Great Gatsby 2D & 3D (12A) Fast and the Furious 6 (cert tbc) Chimpanzee (U) • Epic 2D & 3D (cert tbc) The Hangover Part III (cert tbc) The Big Wedding (15)

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


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Season ends in style with Ladies Day

THE racing season at Wincanton Racecourse will come to a sparkling close in May when it hosts its annual Ladies Day. The meeting, on Tuesday, May 14th, is one of the biggest social events of its kind. Access on the day starts from £12 and racegoers will enjoy six races and the chance to enter the fashion awards run in association with Clarks Village and top milliner Cozmo Jenks. Great prizes are up for grabs that include an array of merchandise for the Best Dressed Lady, a bespoke trilby and a feast of goodies for all participants. Racegoers can enhance their special day with lunch in the Kingwell Restaurant. Cozmo Jenks, together with Channel 4 Racing presenter Alice Plunkett with the support of a local hair salon, will provide visual demonstrations of stunning hats and appropriate hair styles to diners. A Clarks Village personal shopper will also be on hand to provide fashion advice. Kingwell Restaurant guests will also be treated to complimentary gelish manicures throughout the day courtesy of Holbrook House therapists, a glass of champagne on arrival, two-course set meal with afternoon cream tea, racecard and premier entry for £55 per person or £500 for a table of ten. General Manager, Steve Parlett, said: “Ladies Day is such a special occasion and we are thrilled to be working with Clarks Village, Cozmo Jenks and other local organisations. Our raceday offers outstanding value for money and we look forward to ending our season in full style and glamour.” To book call 0844 579 3014 or visit Racing returns to Wincanton in October.

Museum’s new season

CASTLE Cary Museum has new exhibits, including toys from 1963 and memorabilia from the Queen’s Coronation, for its new season, alongside other fascinating exhibitions. The museum is run by the Castle Cary and District Preservation Society. They are open at the historic Market House Monday-Friday, 10.30-12.30 and 2pm-4pm; Saturday 10.30am-12.30pm.


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T h e


M e n d i p

Friday April 26th Wine Tasting Evening at Binegar Memorial Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm, tickets £12.50 from, 07747 763066 or the village shop in Gurney Slade, organised by Binegar Playing Field Group. Book early! Saturday April 27th Chew Valley Choral Society sings Handel’s Messiah at St John’s Church, Keynsham, at 7.30pm. Ten-piece orchestra, the Pfretzner ensemble and soloists. Tickets £10 (£5) from the parish office 0117 986 3354, choir members, 01275 333014, or on the door.

Churchill Music! Internationally celebrated musicians Peter Donohoe and Tim Hugh performing works by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms at St. John the Baptist Church, Churchill BS25 5QW. Details: Tickets: 01934 852919. Jumble Sale in aid of the Winscombe & Sandford Millenium Green, 2pm at Winscombe Community Centre. Details: 01934 843868. Bag a Bargain at the table-top sale at Barrow Gurney Village Hall, 10.30am-1pm, clothes, toys, plants etc., refreshments. Sunday April 28th Syrinx Ensemble presents An English Spring. Enjoy a candlelit supper in a cafe-style atmosphere whilst listening to a varied programme of music for wind instruments and piano, 7.30pm, Henton Village Hall (on B3139 Wells-Wedmore road). Tickets £15 (incl. cheese & wine supper) 07595 671116 “Vintage at the village”, a nostalgic village fair at Puriton Village Hall, 10am-4pm. Adults £1, children free. Details: 07506 726652. Tuesday April 30th Storytelling with Martin Horler and Colin Emmett at Midsomer Norton Library, BA3 2DA. Free. “Forks over Knives”, part of Vegucate Bristol Film Series, at the Polish Club, 50 St Pauls Road, Bristol, BS8 1LP. 6.30pm – 10pm. Free entry, free snacks etc. Details: Wednesday May 1st “Putting us in the Picture” – a talk by John Penny for Yeo Valley Probus Club at West Backwell Bowling Club, 10am for 10.30am. Friday May 3rd Walk – Cley Hill, Frome. Details: Open Mic Night at Redhill Village Club, Church Road, Redhill, BS40 5SG. 8pm, hosted by Jerry Blythe. Free admission, all welcome. Saturday May 4th Come and Sing! –sing Stainer’s Crucifixation PAGE 88 • MENDIP TIMES • MAY 2013

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T i m e s

with the Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Wells from 9.30am – 6pm. Open to all, cost £15 + score hire. Details: and see page 68. Writhlington Flower Show Open Day, 10am – 2pm, in the Village Hall, entry free. Plant Sale and Open Garden in aid of Somerset Wildlife Trust, Rookery House, The Causeway, Mark (on the B3139), 10.30am-1pm. Entrance £2 including coffee. Cakes on sale, exhibitions, a raffle and activities for the children. Easy parking in field opposite by kind permission of M/s G.Isgar Oakfield Choir in concert with Frome Symphony Orchestra and soloists at Christchurch, Frome at 7.30pm. See page 68. Tickets from choir and orchestra members and 01373 464839. Cheddar Male Choir concert at All Saints Church, Wrington, 7.30pm, in aid of the Vine Counselling Charity. Tickets £8, from Amors, Wrington, Day Lewis Pharmacy, Congresbury, the church offices of both All Saints, Wrington and St. Andrew’s, Congresbury, or pay on the door. May Fair, village green Wrington, in front of the Plough, maypole dancing, music, barbecue and much more, from 1pm. Sunday May 5th Plant Fair at Yeo Valley’s Organic Garden, Holt Farm, Blagdon, BS40 7SQ. 10am -5pm, entry free. Details: Chew Stoke Bowling Club Open Day, 10.30am until late, all welcome. Details: Robin Leach, chairman, 01275 332465 or Monday May 6th North Somerset Show. See page 14. May Day Fayre, Market Place, Wells, organised by City of Wells Lions, 11am-4pm, traditional maypole dancing by local children, entertainment, stalls, refreshments, classic cars, lots of fun, supporting local good causes. Tuesday May 7th “Peaceable Kingdom: the Journey Home”, part of Vegucate Bristol Film Series, at the Polish Club, 50 St Pauls Road, Bristol, BS8 1LP. 6.30pm – 10pm. Free entry, free snacks etc. Details: British Architecture Now! – a talk by Mrs Anthea Streeter, MEd, for Mendip Decorative & Fine Arts Society, the Westex Suite, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, 10.30 for 11.00am. If you wish to attend, please contact Tony Lane: 01749 670652. Wednesday May 8th “Baskets and containers” –a talk and plant sale with Valerie and Martyn Davis for Nailsea & District Horticultural Society, United Reformed Church Hall, Stockway North, Nailsea, 7.30pm. Wells Civic Society, David Clark, conservation officer, Mendip District Council, Wells and Mendip Museum, 7.30pm. Friday May 10th – Saturday May 11th ‘Jailbreak!’ at Wells Methodist Church,

W h a t ’ s

Southover, Wells at 7.30pm – a Christian musical about Paul in Philippi, performed by members of the Somerset Mendip Methodist Circuit. Free admission and refreshments. Collection in aid of Christian Music Ministries and the New Room (John Wesley’s Chapel) project in Bristol. All welcome. Friday May 10th – Saturday May 11th The West Mendip Orchestra playing on Friday evening in the Friends Meeting House, Sidcot and at St Mary’s Church, Yatton on Saturday. Both concerts start at 7.45pm. Programme includes Rossini, Giuliani’s Guitar Concerto and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Tickets on the door. Details: Saturday May 11th “May Fair on the Green” Old Station Millennium Green, Winscombe. From 2pm. Maypole, choir, barbeque as well as stalls and games. Enquiries: 01934 843868. May Fair at St John’s Church, Glastonbury, 10.30am – 3.30pm. Climb the church tower for wonderful views, lots of stalls, refreshments and entertainments, including a hurdy gurdy man. Somerset Singers perform at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore. 7.30pm. Concert features John Rutter’s Requiem, Janacek’s Otcenas and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, so requires the choir to sing in Czech and Hebrew as well as English – no mean feat! Tickets £12 in advance, £14 at the door and can be bought from Wedmore Post Office or any choir member. For further details please contact the Choir chairman on 01934 732855 or secretary on 01934 743965. Cantilena Choir Spring Concert 2013. St Mary’s Church, Glastonbury. 7.30pm. Bach Cantata 11 – Lobet Gott. Hadyn Harmonie Mass. Tickets £10 (children under 16 £1). For more information, contact: Julia Barrett (Secretary, Cantilena Choir) 01749 841617. Monday, May 13th Launch of Work in Wells Week. Trade and careers fair, Wells Town Hall, 10.30am-5pm. Includes seminar starting midday with Tamsin Fox-Davies: Grow Your Business with Email and Social Media, a Simple Marketing Strategy for Small Business & Not for Profits. Admission free. To register, visit: Tuesday, May 14th Work in Wells Week seminars at Probusiness, Chamberlain Street: 12noon-12.45pm. How to build a good relationship with your bank with Craig Driscoll, Business Manager, Lloyds TSB. 1pm-.150pm: Creating a business plan with Martin Bowe, director ProBusiness. Admission free. To register, visit: Friday May 17th Walk – Buckand Dinham to Beckington. Details: Cajun and blues night with Bourbon Street Preachers, donation for Look, Timsbury Conygre Hall 8pm-11pm, £8, bar & food. Details Kate (01761)471245

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G u i d e Saturday May 18th Bleadon Village Market, 9am-12.30 in the Coronation Halls. Details: Live music /supper night with “Dan the Man”, 8pm at Redhill Village Club, Church Road, Redhill, BS40 5SG. Free admission, all welcome. Cheese and Wine Party at Cloford Manor 18.30 – 21.30 in aid of Postlebury churches, food, cheese and olive oil tastings, tickets £7.50 Details 01749 850571. Dawn chorus walk, Somerset Wildlife Trust, East Mendip group, with Eve Tigwell, from East Woodlands Church ST 790 440, 5.30am. Saturday May 18th and Sunday May 19th Norton St. Philip Scarecrow Trail and village fete (Saturday), a great family day out, music, stalls, barbecue etc. Trail starts 10am from the village school, maps £3 each. Details: Stefanie Mitchell, 01373 831421 or Louise Lloyd 01373 834099. Sunday May 19th FROGS (Frome Recreation & Open Ground Supporters) Wildlife Roadshow at Welshmill Park, beside the river in Frome, 12noon - 4pm. Details: and see page 7.

Whit-Fun-Day – a free family event to celebrate Pentecost at an afternoon of fun, games, activities, tea and worship at Somervale School, Midsomer Norton. Entertainments, displays and stalls. Details:] Reunion day and fun dog show. Heaven’s Gate Farm, nr High Ham, Langport, TA10 9BE. 11am-4pm. Organised by the Somerset branch of the National Animal Welfare Trust. Fun dog show and dog games, have-a-go agility, stalls competitions and more. Beer tent and refreshments. Admission: £2 adult, £1 child, £5 family. For more information, call: 01458

f o r

M a y

252656. Ford Farm, Wellow ride in aid of Wellow riding for the Disabled, from 9.30am. Details: Lyn 01373 834284 or Sharon: 01373 834608. Tuesday May 21st “Life and Times of the Sundial” – as seen by philosophers, poets, craftsmen. Lecture for NADFAS at Caryford Hall, Castle Cary, BA7 7JJ. 10.30am, £6. Contact: 01963 350527. Nailsea Choral Society – Summer Concert to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s Coronation – a programme to include Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s four Coronation anthems and Parry’s ‘I was Glad’. Christ Church, Nailsea, 7.30 p.m. Admission £8, includes a light supper. Saturday May 25th Fantasias 1580 – 1680 – a free lunch time concert by the Mendip Consort of Recorders at 1 pm in Wells Cathedral. Priddy Summer Fair, 1pm – 4pm at Priddy Village Hall. Unique items handmade by “Made in the Mendips” who meet regularly to share their skills and ideas. Cream teas, entry free. Help Palestine Bloom; a Garden Party with music and circus, speakers and exhibitions at Clavey’s Farm, Mells, BA11 3QP, 2pm 7.30pm. £15 (£10)£7.50 kids, u/5s free, including food. Tickets in advance only from Frome Wholefoods, Cheap St, or by post from Clavey’s Farm. Devotional singing including Taize with meditation and prayer will take place on the last Saturday of each month between 4pm and 5.15pm in Stoke St Michael (Springfield, Withybrook, BA3 5JQ). Donations to church funds. Tel: Janet 01749 840409 to book or visit: Monday May 27th Lions Club of Bradford on Avon Annual Fun Day and Giant Boot Sale at Culver Close and Victory Field in the area of The Tithe Barn and Barton Grange Farm. Details: Mike Evans, 013730 461813. May 29th – June 1st Royal Bath and West's 150th show. See page 64. Saturday June 1st “Fantasias 1580 -1680” – lunchtime concert by the Mendip Consort of Recorders at All Saints Church, Weston-super-Mare. Small entry charge in aid of the church. Third Craft fair in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. Camerton Hall, Camerton, BA2 0NL. 10 am- 1 pm. There will be a good variety of craft stalls and plants, cakes and refreshments on offer.


2 0 1 3

“Now That’s What I call Hymns”, St. Mary’s Church, Wedmore, 6.30pm for 7.15pm. Villagers favourite hymns with bar, readings, poems and music. Tickets £4, from Cottage Gallery or the Paper Shop, Wedmore, or on the door. Details: 01934 710149 or Sunday June 2nd Boules on The Green, Old Station, Winscombe, 10.30am-4.30pm, for family and friends. Details: – or ring 01934 842869. Saturday June 8th Winscombe Community Association: quiz night in aid of Winscombe Community Centre, 7pm for 7.30pm. Teams on tables of six, £6/person includes supper; please bring your own drinks/glasses. Soft drinks available. Contact John on 01934 842105. Sunday June 9th Sunday roast lunch at The Three Horseshoes Inn, Batcombe, in aid of the Royal British Legion and Care 4 Casualties. Adults £15, under-10’s £10. Sponsorship by the pub means that £10 from each adult ticket will be donated to the charity of your choice. Two sittings: 12noon and 1.30pm. Book in advance: 01749 850359. Wednesday June 12th “David Austin Roses” – a talk by David Bryant for Nailsea & District Horticultural Society, United Reformed Church Hall, Stockway North at 7.30pm.

ANSWERS TO THE MENDIP MINDBENDER ACROSS: 5 Scrape, 7 Claptrap, 9 Wrington, 10 Rotten, 11 Concert pitch, 13 Wavers, 15 Radial, 18 Charterhouse, 21 Mendip, 22 Complete, 23 Implodes, 24 Litton. DOWN: 1 Barnacle, 2 Better, 3 Narrator, 4 Stitch, 6 Corporal, 7 Canape, 8 Aver, 12 Falsetto, 14 Stampede, 16 Droplets, 17 Sticks, 18 Coddle, 19 Rumble, 20 Germ.




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The Plough Inn, High Street, Wrington, Bristol, North Somerset BS40 5QA.


Ballet in the park


STON Easton Park has announced it will be hosting its “Ballet in the Park” on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July in association with The Covent Garden Dance Company. This stunning ballet will be performed during a superb threecourse dinner under the summer stars with a stretch marquee especially arranged for this outdoor occasion. Pre-performance champagne awaits you and your guests along with VIP lounges by arrangement. You will be treated to an intimate evening of high culture, a sophisticated atmosphere and world class performances. General manager Denis Verrier, said “Do join us with your friends and colleagues for what promises to be a magical occasion, with great company, in the heart of Somerset and celebrate the joy this spectacle will bring.”

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Mendip Times Volume 8 Issue 12  

Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas

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