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Mendip Times VOLUME 8 ISSUE 5

FREE Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas OCTOBER 2012

IN THIS ISSUE: FLOWER POWER • AUTUMN BRIDES • EVENTS • PENSFORD CHURCH • FROME CHEESE SHOW • MUSIC Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news


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MENDIP TIMES

CONTENTS

Welcome IT may have been a fairly miserable summer, but this month we take our hats off to our gardeners who have achieved outstanding results in the South West in Bloom competition. There are Golds for Radstock, Timsbury and Hutton and Silver Gilts for Glastonbury and Chew Magna. There’s also been plenty to celebrate at Mendip in Bloom and our other local competitions – we have details. Our extended gardening section also has autumn tips from Mary Payne and pictures from the National Gardening Show. The sun did shine enough to cheer the crowds at the hugely successful Frome Cheese Show – we have pictures from there, as well as from Wells Raft Race and a host of other events around the area. We meet the couple who have won the praise of a village for saving the local church, investigate a project to rescue slow worms and report on a huge new cave found in Cheddar Gorge. There’s a new book on the history of Paulton’s schools – and why did Jessica Hennis lay such a giant egg? We may have the answer. Our local pubs and restaurants are already gearing up for the festive season and we offer a bumper choice of places to wine and dine. We also have a wedding guide this month, as well as all of our usual features and contributors. November 2012 deadline: Friday, 19th October 2012. Published: Tuesday, 30th October 2012. Editorial: Steve Egginton steve@mendiptimes.co.uk Mark Adler mark@mendiptimes.co.uk Advertising: Ann Quinn advertising@mendiptimes.co.uk Marjorie Page marjorie@mendiptimes.co.uk Publisher: Mendip Times Limited Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RG Contacts: For all enquiries, telephone:

01761 463888 or: email news@mendiptimes.co.uk or: letters@mendiptimes.co.uk www.mendiptimes.co.uk Design and origination by: Steve Henderson Printed by: Precision Colour Printing, Haldane, Halesfield 1, Telford, Shropshire TF7 4QQ Copyright of editorial content held by Mendip Times Ltd. and its contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express permission of the Publisher. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or its associates.

12 Plough the fields and natter – Mendip ploughing matches

62 Lupin looms large – but pumpkins take the biscuit

81 Flying the nest – farewell to the swans of Wells

82 Lest we forget – Paulton’s Arnhem service

Plus all our regular features Environment...................................6 Farming Mary James MBE..........12 Internet and Crossword..............14 Arts & Antiques ...........................20 Food & Drink...............................24 Charities .......................................36 Business ........................................39 Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......53 Walking Sue Gearing....................54 Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........56

Gardening Mary Payne MBE ......58 Community Simon Selby .............68 Property........................................71 Caving Phil Hendy........................74 Health Dr Phil Hammond.............76 Family Mendip Mum....................76 Music.............................................92 Golf................................................94 Riding Celia Gadd ........................96 What’s On ..................................103

Front cover: Radstock strikes gold, picture by Mark Adler. See page 64.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 3


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Tel: 0800 097 8611 www.johnhodge.co.uk | e-mail: mailbox@johnhodge.co.uk WESTON-SUPER-MARE | BRISTOL | CLEVEDON | YATTON | WEDMORE

Mon-Sat 10–6 • Sunday 11–5 Wells Road, Hallatrow, BS39 6EX (where the A37 meets the A39)

www.bookbarninternational.com • 01761 451333 Millions of books, thousands of topics, ONE Bookbarn


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MENDIP TIMES

Miners’ trust has busy year

NEWS

Shake your money maker

Kevin McInness (second left), Michael Eavis (centre) and Radstock Museum curator Nick Turner (far right) with officials of the Somerset Miners Welfare Trust

GUESTS at the 24th annual Miners Reunion in Radstock were not the only ones to benefit from the work of the Somerset Miners Welfare Trust in the past year. More than 80 people enjoyed the lunch at Radstock Museum which was attended by trust president Michael Eavis. Last November, the trust made a donation of £250 to the Swansea Valley Miners’ Appeal Fund, which was set up after the disaster at Gleision Collery in which four men died. And the trust has carried out its own project to remember a tragedy much closer to home. It has spent £500 to add an inscribed tablet to the tombstone at St John’s Church in Midsomer Norton marking the grave of 12 men and boys killed in the Wellsway Colliery Disaster in 1839 – a deliberate act of sabotage. Before the lunch, the museum was presented with a new item of mining memorabilia for its collection: Kevin McInnes donated his father Ian’s Certificate of Competency from 1953 which allowed him to become a mines manager. The family lived in Waterloo Road, a short distance from what is now the museum but Ian went onto work in mines all over the world. G The inscription on the new tablet at St John’s Church reads: Wellsway Colliery Disaster – 4am on the 8th November 1839. In this grave lie the remains of the 12 men and boys who perished. All were hooked to the thick hemp rope which was maliciously cut. The County Coroner’s Jury recorded a verdict of ‘wilful murder by a person or persons unknown’.

The tombstone at St John’s Church in Midsomer Norton

Ivor Disney with (l:r): Fiona Humphreys, Suzie Woodland, Deborah Towner, Judith Green and Alex Stevens

MEET some of the Bellybabes – and Bellybob too! They are a group of bellydancers who dance for fun and also to raise money for charity. Made up of eight women and one man – Ivor Disney – the group has been dancing together for the last five years and practice most Friday evenings at Binegar village hall. The Bellybabes perform at various local events including fetes, weddings and open gardens and also give talks and demonstrations. Their backgrounds could hardly be more varied: one works in a library, another in a pharmacy and another in a supermarket. There is also a pig farmer but it is not Ivor: he is a volunteer with the Secret World animal rescue charity. Ivor said: “As a group of dancers of varying sizes, ages and gender, we believe bellydancing is something that can Ivor performs a stick dance benefit and be enjoyed by everyone. “One of our number was seriously injured in a riding accident last year and had to be airlifted to hospital. We have since held events to raise money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance service.” Their dances range from the traditional to fusion and even stick dancing. The Bellybabes will be performing at a 100th birthday party in October and holding a charity event in aid of the air ambulance on Saturday, November 3rd. For more information, contact Fellina on: 07816 277793. MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 5


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MENDIP TIMES

Wet and dry – but festival runs smoothly!

Sunday side up: walkers enjoy the best weather of the weekend

Braving the weather – but their determination on Monday paid off

ORGANISERS of the annual Mendip Ramblers Walking Festival say they were still pleased by the turnout of walkers despite the threat of rain and occasional showers leading to a reduction in numbers. Around 230 people enjoyed the 12 walks over the three days of the event over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Trust’s new venue THE North Somerset and Bristol Group of the Hawk and Owl Trust have their first indoor meeting of the season on Monday October 15th, 7.45pm at their new venue, the Lord Nelson on the A370 at Cleeve, Wildlife enthusiast and Trust member Ron McCann will present a slide show of some of the birds and animals which inhabit south east Sri Lanka, including a visit to Yala National Park and the surrounding wetlands, investigating – is this the home of the leopard? The entry fee is £2.50, free for those aged 18 or under. Details: Keith Lapham 01934 824008. PAGE 6 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

This year’s festival was centred on Stratton-on-the-Fosse and featured a range of walks from three-four miles to around 12. Paula Ruddock, one of the organisers, said: “Lots of compliments were received which was thanks to the voluntary contribution by members who led and back-marked the walks, organised the parking, staffed the kitchen and contributed cakes to supply the tea and cake offered after each walk – much appreciated by the walkers. “The main feature of the festival, is of course, the walks on offer and it is thanks to the time and effort put in by Gus Halfhide which resulted in the excellent and varying walks.” G A booklet of this year’s festival walks is now available, featuring 12 walks: three short, three medium, three long and three very short (3-4 miles). They cost £2 each plus postage. Please contact Paula on 01458 860751. Walkers pass the stunning Downside Abbey


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ENVIRONMENT

Slow, slow . . . quick, quick . . . slow DOZENS of slow worms have been rehoused at the Carymoor Environmental Trust site near Castle Cary after their existing homes were earmarked for development. The creatures have been recovered from waste ground in Somerton and Yeovil and moved to a nature reserve on a reclaimed area of landfill at Carymoor. Slow worms are a type of limbless lizard and are often mistaken for snakes. Spending most of their time hiding beneath rocks and logs, they generally feed on slugs and snails. Chief executive Frances Stuart said: “Slow worms get their body heat from their environment rather than from their food as we do. They need to warm up each morning before they have the energy to go about their daily business, including feeding on slugs and snails. You can usually find them from about 9am to 11am when they haven’t warmed up yet and are still a bit slow so relatively easy to catch.” Despite their name, slow worms are actually fast-moving creatures as Frances found out: “Once they’ve warmed up they are very quick. One actually leapt out of the collection bucket!” Once the slow worms were brought to Carymoor, staff recorded what types they were and then released them to their new home. Staff and volunteers have built some special homes for the worms called “hibernacula” in which the worms can hibernate during the winter. These were constructed from reused materials in line with Carymoor’s ethos of encouraging sustainable living. Carymoor staff will carry out follow up surveys one, three and five years after the move to see if their relocation has been

Frances with slow worms

a success. Carymoor’s nature reserve is rich in species and biodiversity and the slow worms will further add to what has been developed on the reclaimed landfill site.

To find out more about Carymoor’s work, visit: www.carymoor.org.uk

Jubilee trees LOCAL wildlife charity Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group (YACWAG) is coordinating the planting of 60 trees within the two parishes to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Grants and pledges of support totalling over £1,000 have already been received from local organisations and businesses. As part of their fundraising efforts for the project, YACWAG will be publishing a local interest book, Treasured Trees of Yatton and Congresbury, written and compiled by Faith Moulin with a foreword by celebrity botanist David Bellamy OBE. It features a selection of 60 significant trees, including the cedar on Cadbury Hill (pictured) within the two parishes. The trees included have local importance and touch on legend, mystery and history as well as wildlife. Faith said: “Trees are vital to our well-being, physically, mentally and spiritually. Scientific research even shows that hospital patients recover more quickly if they can look out of a window and see a tree. We hope to increase the number of trees in our two villages for the sake of local people both now and in the future, and that will benefit our local birds, bats and insects too.” The books will be on sale at Yatton Books and Prints from October 1st at £5.95. Any profit made will go towards the cost of the tree planting. Details: 01934 834282 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 7


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MENDIP TIMES

Heritage at home

ENVIRONMENT M E N D I P W E AT H E R S C E N E

Photo courtesy of Neil Clarke (www.digipicsuk.net)

Our terrible summer?

with DAVID MAINE Stuart as Charles the Timekeep chairman of the Street Society with children in period dress.

ONE of the most architecturally-important roads in Street hosted the culmination of the Street Society’s celebration of Heritage Weekend. Wilfrid Road, where all the traditional worker’s cottages are Grade II Listed, was closed and three householders opened their homes to the public for the afternoon. More than 300 visitors visited the houses, where they were able to appreciate the design and layout of home built for C & J Clark employees more than 120 years ago. During the afternoon, pupils from Crispin School entertained everyone with traditional games such as hopscotch, blind man’s buff and pick up sticks. Tales of life at the turn of the century were told by actor and professional storyteller Stuart Packer aka “Charles the Timekeeper”, from the old factory; the Shoe Museum was also open. Chairman of the Street Society, Nina Swift, said: “It would not have happened without the support of so many people, the vision and energy of people like Liz Leyshon from Strode Theatre and Paddy Thompson who both did much work on investigating the history of Wilfrid Road; also the residents of Wilfrid Road and the Society’s committee members who provided practical help on the Sunday.”

AS we begin autumn – in meteorological terms – we can say farewell to a terrible summer. Supposedly the wettest for 100 years, although my records do not go back nearly that far, certainly my rainfall total for the three summer months June to August of just over 500mm (that’s about 1’8” in old money(!), is well over twice

the normal. The wettest-ever June, the second wettest July and a wet August as well: it’s been pretty awful really. Or has it? The statistics speak for themselves, but looking back through my records produced a bit of a surprise. We had that lovely 10-day warm dry spell at the end of May when the temperature reached 27ºC on three consecutive days. There was not much to write home about in June, but in July there was another nine-day warm spell from the 20th when the temperature reached 27 to 29C on three days, and even in August we had another mini-warm spell from the ninth to the 11th. So, despite all the rain, there was still plenty of fine warm weather around for anyone to do what they wanted outside and the Olympics and Paralympics, as we have seen, both got off fairly lightly as regards the weather. Even in what is officially a very poor summer we have had some good days including a nice fine warm spell at the beginning of September when no rain fell for the first nine days!

Recycling roadshows PEASEDOWN St John’s Beacon Hall was transformed into a local recycling and weighing plant as residents were given a chance to take electrical equipment for recycling. Other roadshows have been held at Chew Valley School and at the Conygre Hall in Timsbury.

Pictured are (l to r) Hannah Oakley, BANES Waste Awareness Officer, Steve Larcombe, Waste Collections Officer, Will Young, Technical Support Officer, Public Protection, and local councillor Sarah Bevan. PAGE 8 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Harvest time at last – the dry start to September was a boon to farmers


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Robin Weelen, Libby Warder, Bill Bartlett, Dervla Nash and Gareth Reynolds

Our Services Include: Commercial and Residential Property Wills and Probate Litigation and Personal Injury Criminal and Family Law Agricultural, Business and Commercial Employment Shepton Mallet: 57 High Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5AQ. Tel: 01749 343091

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

We are delighted to announce that our partner Libby Warder has finally returned from maternity leave – Zak's smiles kept her at home longer than Bill would have liked! She has been greatly missed by clients and staff. For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure, Libby is based at our Shepton Mallet branch and is the head of our residential conveyancing department. She also deals with probate, wills and criminal matters. For those considering committing a criminal offence, Libby asks that you keep in mind that our justice system is not even remotely accurately depicted by the soaps and dramas on television. Police Officers like DCI Taggart do not exist and the only person who gets away with “Murder” is Phil Mitchell. Castle Cary: Old Bank House, High Street, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7AW. Tel: 01963 350888

Cheddar: Roley House, Church Street, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RA. Tel: 01934 745400

Website: www.bgw.uk.com


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MENDIP TIMES

Baltonsborough Show

Speedy spaniel: Rio tackles the obstacle course

Farmer and shearer James Tucker, from Street, staged a shearing demonstration Blooming marvellous

Master beekeeper David Rose, from Somerton and District Beekeepers (left) with Dan Govier, from Street, who makes his own honey. Dan is an engineer and his design for a honeycomb container has been taken up by a national company

Lindsay Morris, one of the judges in the flower and produce tent PAGE 10 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Gordon Morris, a judge and marshall, inspects the entries

Alison Dykes, from Baltonsborough with her Lubbon Honey


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EVENTS

Fun Day helps children HORSES, ponies and dogs were joined by teddy bears and cuddly toys at a fun event in Rodney Stoke. The annual show raises funds for Save the Children. Cara Allan, from Cheddar, on Coco

Josie Milne shows off one of her rosettes as she shares the saddle on Chappie with George Lee

Kathy Longhurst, one of the helpers in the teddy bear show tent, with Hugo the bear and Megan and Bertie Clear round: Heather Hemingway-Arnold on Bryn

Luke Tucker, aged three, on Dottie, competed in the fancy dress class. Mum Anna Tucker is alongside

Mischief, a miniature Shetland pony, and Mowgli the donkey were reluctant competitors. They are pictured with Alan Marsh and Kylie James MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 11


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Harvest – a time for reflection local produce. There is a buffet supper in the Town Hall following the service which you are also invited to attend. Tickets are £10 and available from the YFC office Tel 01278 691711. Do come along and make it a really special service for 2012, you will be very welcome. I make no apology for raising the subject of milk prices again. Agreement has been reached between farmers, processors and supermarkets on the outline of a Grocery Code of practice. As usual the devil will be in the details and we wait for it to become law. Meanwhile dairy farmers would be so pleased if consumers would be kind enough to write to their local supermarket asking them to provide details on how they ensure all the British dairy products they stock return a fair price to dairy farmers. You could also ask about pork because the pig farmers are in dire straits as well, losing at least £18 on every pig they sell. The WI is running a campaign asking for a Fair Deal for Dairy Farmers. They are providing a poster and the NFU is providing several posters and information which can be found online. People power works. Thank you.

Beekeepers celebrate BLAGDON, Clevedon and District branch of the Beekeepers’ Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a special lecture at Shipham Village Hall on Friday September 28th, given by Keith Delaplane, Professor of Entomology at Georgia University in the USA, who is currently on a six-month sabbatical in the UK. The branch is also organising a new course on the introduction to beekeeping, starting in January at Churchill Memorial Hall. This is a technical course, costing £80, aimed at people planning to take up beekeeping as a serious hobby. Details: Wendy Welham 01934 852361 w.welham@talktalk.net or at www.northsomersetbeekeepers.org

UPHILL & SON LTD Chewton Mendip 01761 241270 PAGE 12 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Photo by Roy Reeves from Welton, Midsomer Norton.

THE harvest is drawing to a very ragged close this year. The North Somerset Ploughing Match was able to take place at Langford at the beginning of September on land from which the crop had only just been harvested, so it was a great deal of work for everyone involved to get the event ready. With MARY The sun shone on the day and, as I write, JAMES MBE the Vintage Ploughing Match organisers are holding their breath for their event to take place on the 16th which just leaves the Mendip Match on the 26th, so if you get your magazine early you could just get to that event at Yoxter Farm, near Priddy. Autumn is always a busy time for events in our area. The South West Dairy Show at the Bath and West Showground is on October 3rd and will be a great show as usual. Somerset Young Farmers Club are holding their usual Harvest Service on October 7th at Wells Cathedral at 7pm. The current President of the YFC is Alan Lyons, show manager of the Royal Bath and West Show. Alan has been a very active and supportive president which has been particularly welcomed by the members and the wider YFC community. Alan invites everyone to attend this lovely service whether you are young farmers, old farmers or anyone with any interest in farming and the countryside. John Alvis will be giving the sermon and a plough will be taken up the nave followed by young farmers carrying gifts of


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FARMING

The must-go-to show THE cattle classes at the Dairy Show at the Royal Bath and West Showground attract some of the finest animals in the country – just ask the experts. Each year, thousands of milk producers turn out from across the country to see more than 250 dairy cattle in the show ring, visit almost 300 trade stands and listen to expert speakers in an array of topical seminars. Colin Christophers has been exhibiting at the show since 1984 and plans to bring six of his pedigree Ayrshire cows up from the Rosehill herd at Trenerry Farm, Truro, this year. He said: “We go to nine shows a year, but the Dairy Show is one of my favourites. “We’ve won the Ayrshire championship twice, and it feels absolutely great to win, but just being there enhances the value of your stock. People come from all over the country, so most of the top animals in the country are there.” Colin added: “It’s lovely to get together with everyone, and the atmosphere is so friendly – it’s like a holiday for me and my wife Jenny, as we all go out for a drink and a meal together. It’s an annual pilgrimage for a lot of us, but we always do a bit of business as well, which I suppose is the main point of attending in the first place.” Dawn Coryn is another familiar face at the show, having judged and exhibited both Holstein and Ayrshire cows with great success. Dawn said: “Whatever breed you’re judging, it is always the same fundamentals – you want plenty of width in the front, with good legs, feet and udder.” A talented exhibitor will always play to the cows’ strengths, but some animals just have the X-factor, said Dawn: “When they’re in full bloom, the best show cows have that extra bit of spark and charisma – they’re like catwalk models when they come into the ring.” Whether judging, exhibiting her own cows from Treginegar Farm, Padstow, Cornwall, or simply enjoying the day, Dawn rarely misses the Dairy Show. She added: “It is unique, because it is still a completely agricultural show. Fellow exhibitors hold it in high esteem because they’ve got good quality competition, in a great venue, with a lovely atmosphere. There is a lot of camaraderie, and it’s a really good shop window for doing business.” The Dairy Show takes place on Wednesday, October 3rd. To purchase tickets and for more information visit: www.bathandwest.com

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MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 13


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INTERNET

iPad 2 hints 2 FOLLOWING on from last month’s article, more hints for getting the most out of your iPad 2. Copy and paste: You can quickly copy and paste text by tapping and holding down, and then dragging the highlighter to cover the text you’d like to copy. Tap Copy, go to a different app, then tap and hold down again, and tap Paste from the menu that appears. If you wish, tap the pasted text again, and tap on the arrow next to ‘Paste’, tap on Quote Level and Increase to inset the text so that it looks like a quotation. Spotlight searches: Swipe to the right on the Home screen to reveal the Spotlight search. By default it searches everything including songs in your iPod, podcasts, apps and events. To restrict the areas it searches, since you may not want all these categories included, look in Settings > General > Spotlight Search. Street View: The Maps app running Google’s Street View is a great feature of the iPad, yet accessing it is not obvious, and few people even know it’s there. To access Street View you need to have dropped a red pin on the map (which happens when you do a search). You then tap the red and white icon of a person to enter Street View. To return to the main map, click on the small circle, bottom right. Screenshot: To take a snapshot of a screen, hold down the Home button and the Power Button together, briefly. The camera will click and the screen will flash. The photo is stored in the Camera Roll album. Try opening one of your photos, zoom in (using two fingers) to blow up the best portion of the image, then take a screen snapshot to create a new image stored in Camera Roll. This is quick way to improve an existing image or create a really close-up shot. Use it also for saving a picture of a web page. Organising photos: You can delete photos in the Camera Roll album (open the photo then press the dustbin icon at the top right of the screen) but note that there is no delete facility for photos which have been synchronised from your PC. You must delete on your PC and then synchronise your iPad. Similarly you also need to connect your iPad to a PC to organise your photos, create new albums, and move photos between albums. Editing photos: Tap to open a photo and click on the Edit button. Here you can Rotate the picture, easily remove Redeye, and also Crop. Rotate and Redeye are intuitive. Tapping on Crop puts a 9-square grid on the screen. Drag from the corners or sides to the size you require, and drag the photo around so that the area you want to crop is within the grid. Click Crop, then Save. The original remains in your album, the cropped version is saved into the Camera Roll album. If you edit a photo from the Camera Roll album, the new version will save over the original. Submitted by IT for the Terrified: The Old Cowshed, Station Road, Cheddar BS27 3AG 01934 741751 www.itfortheterrified.co.uk Not just for the Terrified! We run a range of courses, a computer club, and individual training, either one-off sessions or a series, at a pace to suit you. See our website or contact us for further details. PAGE 14 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

CROSSWORD

The Mendip Mindbender

ACROSS 1 Strange part here, with both east and west (8) 5 Chilly spot in centre of vice capital (3,3) 10 Car at junction in middle of heathland (5) 11 Teaches aliens to make toys (9) 12 Basic sprite (9) 13 Remainder of rice scrambled and left inside (5) 14 In for a small party (2,4) 15 Demand to hear shout on golf course (4,3) 18 Messy teen lad makes perfect pasta (2,5) 20/26 Place of worship obscure in this area (6,5) 22 Deserve to use dodgy timer (5) 24 Speculator – the alternative is royalty (9) 25 Trouble with frail feet - do you believe in this? (9) 26 See 20 27 Fallen into this chap goes back to employment (6) 28 For chief to remain is vital thing (8)

3 North, south and west get go at this manoeuvre (55,5) 4 Give name to unusual tent Eli provided (7) 6 These people can trace ram line oddly (7,8) 7 A hundred fish right in basket (5) 8 Send character answers on this please (8) 9 In the sugar lick another foodstuff (6) 16 Drop right into picture but not quite make it (4,5) 17 Noisy soldiers on a street leading to rural workplace (8) 19 Involve medical department - get ill (6) 20 There’s a girl in here somewhere (7) 21 Drip dry badly? Not right in this place (6) 23 Vue rodents eating first bit of Edam (5)

DOWN 1 Princely village (6) 2 Went back and dealt with again (9) Answers on Page 106


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GUY SALMON

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, utilising our Guy Salmon Price Promise – Our commitment to you that we will match any genuine like-forlike quote on any of our sales or after sales products and services – There really is no reason to go anywhere else! 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.

Proud partners of the David Broome Event Centre WE are delighted to announce that Guy Salmon Land Rover Bristol is now an official partner of the David Broome Event Centre, one of the Premier Showgrounds in the UK, and almost certainly the busiest equestrian centre in the United Kingdom.

Over the past few years, the centre has redeveloped its facilities to include the finest all weather arena in Wales, together with permanent catering facilities for riders and supporters to enjoy. Pictured is David Broome collecting the keys to his new Land

Rover Defender from Guy Salmon Sales Specialist Katie Haynes. Katie, a keen show jumper herself introduced the idea of the partnership to her Dealer Principal, Amanda Binner-Vaughan who is very excited about working closely with the David Broome Event Centre.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 15


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Show of the summer?

Lady Jane Woodvale was judged the best native beef animal. Owned by Paul and Lisa Frain, from Cornwall, she was shown by Robert Taylor, of Corston

BBC presenter Ali Vowles was amongst the celebrity cheese judges at the Trade Day. She is pictured with Nigel Pooley, chairman of the cheese section

Simply the best: Quaish Evie, a three-year-old Limousin cow owned by Archie Hill, from Nyland, near Cheddar, was named the best beef cattle entry in the show

From Corrie to master cheesemaker: actor Sean Wilson has switched from soap to cheese in a new career PAGE 16 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Frome mayor Pippa Goldfinger admires the “world’s most expensive cheese platter”. One of the cheeses was a mature cheddar covered in gold flake and white truffles


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FROME CHEESE SHOW

Record crowds enjoyed the September sun

Frome Town Band entertained both old and young

So cute: Heather Ellis, three, from Kilmington, shares her buggy with Lupin, a tenweek-old Huskie/Malamute cross

Adult Queen Laura Evans and her team

Trevor, a tri-merle collie, shows off his agility skills Scurry riding in the Main Arena

Food and drink presenter Nigel Barden, from BBC Radio 2, was a celebrity judge

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 17


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MENDIP TIMES Dear Mendip Times, I’m afraid you will have received a spate of letters about the remarkable achievement of your hen, Jessica (Jessica Hennis – September). Well, here’s one more. During the war, my father received a steady flow of dead poultry. In 1922 he had become convinced that smoking was a contributory cause of lung cancer. (Of course, he was hounded by the tobacco industry). Birds have a very high rate of metabolism so he attached himself to a magazine, Poultry World (as I remember it). And so throughout the war we had dead poultry sent through the post for post mortem. During the blitz many hens used to jump off their perch when a bomb fell nearby. Then the ripe yolk would miss the mouth of the oviduct and fall among the gut. Infection would set in, and death. As a family, if the bird were fresh we ate it. Otherwise the carcase would go to the dogs or the pigs or our own poultry – hens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, Muscovy ducks. Sometimes I wrote letters for my father if he was very busy. One woman wrote: “I have seven pullets and seven cockerels.” I wrote: “You do not need so many cockerels”. She wrote back: “I am a follower of Minerva. I have never married, and I know what loneliness is. I don’t want my pullets to suffer this.” Back to Jessica. I think the yolk (or double or treble yolk?) after a jerk will have joined the assembly line of the oviduct. White put on, move along; several layers of tissue; move along. Shell put on, move along. Colouration of shell applied. Ready for delivery. BUT – why so large? Solution 1: two or three yolks all detached at the same time. Solution 2: for some reason, the assembly line went into reverse. So . . . maybe inside that egg shell is another fully shelled egg. Only you know the answer to that (Correct – ed). A memory of the 20s; my sister Cynthia used to bicycle round the village with her tame RIR chicken half perched on the handlebars. Best wishes Mike Bayon, Barnes, London Dear Mendip Times, I would like to thank the Mendip Times for running the editorial on the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society’s Heritage Open Day event. Over the two days (8th/9th September) we had 170 visitors attend the exhibition and free site tours at the Combe Hay Lock flight. We were particularly lucky this year as the owner of Caisson House allowed access to land not normally open to the general public, including the site of the Caisson lock and the inclined plane which were both replaced by the flight of 22 locks that are visible today. This year’s success, which saw visitor numbers 200% higher than previous years, was put down to the excellent publicity received. The Mendip Times was mentioned by visitors on a number of occasions as a reason for choosing to visit Combe Hay in preference to other attractions. We shall be running the event next year (14th/15th September) and are also hoping to run a similar event at Timsbury, the canal terminus, earlier in the year. Once again thank you for your assistance in making our Heritage Open Day event such a success. Tony Yates Somersetshire Coal Canal Society (www.coalcanal.org) PAGE 18 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

LETTERS Dear Mendip Times, I read with interest your article last month on the need for affordable housing, so that local people can stay in the village or town in which they grow up. I was touched by the story of Wendy and Daniel who have been able to find a house in Winford and wish them every success. My journey to work often takes me through Blagdon, where I’ve watched the development of new affordable homes on the site of a former pub, The Live and Let Live. I was struck by the care taken by the builders in constructing a stone wall in front, in keeping with an existing wall underneath. The design of the houses wasn’t unpleasant and seemed in keeping with the cottage next door. This is in a very prominent part of the village. Then what do we find? For some inexplicable reason the builders have put garden sheds up in front of the houses making the whole development look like some third world shanty town. What were they thinking?

It means the poor people living there have lost any view they had over the church and Blagdon Lake, while anyone driving through the village must wonder at such an eyesore. I was so upset I stopped to look behind the houses to see why the sheds could not have been put there. What did I find? Just a sea of Tarmac where there should have been gardens. While I applaud the efforts of those involved in securing homes for local people, I do think they should consider the legacy of what they are building for generations to come. Sally Worth Worle


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Tony Hucker TV

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MENDIP TIMES SOMER CRAFT ADDIX Craft Shop

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01749 841114 All work fully guaranteed Unit 3, Rookery Farm, Binegar, Nr. Radstock, Somerset BA3 4UL www.somersetclocks.co.uk

PAGE 20 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Happy tenth anniversary for Chew Valley Arts Trail TEN years ago it was a novel idea to allow the public to wander around artists’ homes and studios to see behind the scenes. Since that time the number of Arts Trails has increased incredibly, but the Chew Valley event is still one of the very best, showing the area is not just a pretty place but a creative and commercially driven place too. Organiser Sandy Bell said: “There will be 31 venues to drop into this year, all highlighted by our bright green signs, and there will be some exciting new talent on show. Visitors can chat with over 100 exhibitors about their techniques, exchange ideas, make new contacts, hear about courses on offer in the area or buy genuine, local artwork.” Brochures are widely available, giving a taste of the wide variety of what is on show, from paintings to printmaking, sculpture to silverwork. Opening times: Saturday October 13th and Sunday October 14th 2012 from 10am until 6pm. Details: Sandy Bell 01275.333128 email: Tintinna@aol.com or download a brochure from www.chewvalleyartstrail.co.uk


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ARTS AND ANTIQUES

Sparkling sale in prospect

The diamond crossover ring (pictured) is estimated to fetch £12,000 - £18,000 at the sale.

CLEVEDON Salerooms will hold a free jewellery and watch valuation day at the salerooms on October 22nd, when their experienced valuers will provide free, no-obligation verbal auction estimates on jewellery and watches. Owners may then choose to consign items to the preChristmas Quarterly Specialist Sale on November 15th, traditionally the best time of the year for selling jewellery. Clevedon Salerooms have an excellent reputation for selling fine quality jewellery and watches and their high-resolution images, online catalogues and live Internet bidding all ensure that their vendors’ jewellery achieves its maximum potential.

Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

FREE ANTIQUE VALUATION DAYS 1 2 3 October 15 16 17 October 9am–1pm and 2pm–5.30pm (at the Salerooms)

Pair of Sevres porcelain ice cream pails from the Sir Thomas Lawrence service

Sold for £6,140

The Auction Centre, Kenn Road, Kenn, Clevedon, Bristol BS21 6TT

We are currently inviting entries for our forthcoming: Quarterly Specialist Sale of Antiques, Fine Art & Collectors’ Items Thursday 15th November

www.clevedon-salerooms.com

(closing date for entries 17th October)

Tel: 01934 830111 or 0117 325 6789

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 21


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MENDIP TIMES

ARTS AND ANTIQUES

Photographer: P. Davies

BBC’s Antiques Road Trip films at Tamlyns auction TAMLYNS Auction Rooms in Bridgwater had an exciting visit last month when the BBC cameras arrived to film their September antiques sale for the new series of Antiques Road Trip. Experts Paul Laidlaw and Mark Stacey arrived in the seriestypical classic car after having travelled around the local area, which included trips to Weston-super-Mare and Lyme Regis, searching for antique bargains in the hope of making a profit (and beating their ‘rival’!) at auction. All of the experts’ items sold well, but their most successful

ANTIQUES FAIR SUNDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2012 10.30am – 4pm at The Wellsway, Harptree Hill, West Harptree BS40 6EJ

Numerous stallholders with a variety of antiques and collectables held within the recently refurbished THE WELLSWAY

Tea and coffee, delicious homemade cakes, hog roast, ample parking Admission £2 per adult, children free

Enquiries 01278 671329

PAGE 22 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

item was an attractive Edwardian umbrella with a silver handle cast as a swan’s head, which sold for £280. There is always a buzz on a sale day, but the edition of the special guests undoubtedly caused a bit of a stir with autograph requests left, right and centre. Of course the office girls couldn’t resist having a photo with the special visitors either! The episode will air on BBC2 at the beginning of October and will also be available to view on the BBC iPlayer, so look out for it. You may spot some familiar places and faces!


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PENNY R M (PLANT HIRE & DEMOLITION) LTD Ston Easton

TOPSOIL High quality dry screened or plain

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ROAD PLANINGS LIAS STONE Hand dressed for house building

Large or small quantities supplied Delivered or collected

01761 241387 www.pennyplant.com


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MENDIP TIMES

Feathered feasts GAME comes into season now and there are plenty of local butchers who stock it. Pheasants, wild duck, pigeons and partridges are all available locally and well worth searching out. Mine came from Jon Thorner’s, who has both fresh and frozen birds (http://www.jonthorners.co.uk) With JUNE All game is very lean meat; that means MACFARLANE you have to make sure it doesn’t dry out during the cooking process. If the bird is young it can be roasted or pan fried quickly; if older it benefits best from braising. How to tell how old the bird is? If the breastbone on an oven-ready bird is supple and giving it is young and if it is firm and unyielding then the bird is older.

ROAST PARTRIDGE WITH PEARS IN A JUNIPER AND DAMSON SAUCE If you have never tried partridge please do! It is the most delicious thing, delicate breast meat with more gamey tasting legs, and this juniper and damson sauce is a great flavour combination. METHOD Preheat oven to 220ºC. Mash up the butter with the thyme leaves and the juniper berries. Add salt and black pepper. Spread nearly all of this over the birds, leaving a tbsp to cook the pears. Stretch out the bacon slices with the back of a knife and wrap around the birds securely. Cut pear into eighths, core and toss in lemon juice and cook gently in butter until INGREDIENTS light golden. For 2 Transfer pears and 2 young partridges birds to a roasting 6 sprigs thyme pan and roast for 20 10 juniper berries mins. Take off the 100g butter bacon and roast for 4 thin rashers rindless bacon 10 mins more. 1 pear (Comice is a good variety) Fry the bread in lemon juice butter or oil until 2 slices good white bread crisp. Drain on 2 tbsp damson jelly (or sloe, or quin ce) kitchen paper. 1 glass white wine When the birds are done set them on the bread to rest, with the bacon and pear. Deglaze the pan with the wine, add the jelly and allow to melt slowly. Bring to the boil merrily and spoon over the birds to serve.

Roast partridge

WILD DUCK WITH HOT ROAST ORANGES I used mallard for this dish, but if you come across INGREDIENTS widgeon or teal they are also For 2 delicious, although a little 1 mallard smaller. A mallard is just 1 tbsp oil enough for two; you will 1 tbsp butter need one widgeon or teal 1 small onion, peeled and chopped per person, and they should 1 medium carrot, chopped cook in less time. 1/2 stick celery, chopped METHOD 150 ml chicken stock Preheat oven to 190ºC. In a 75 ml white wine frying pan let the mallard 1 mandarin orange, halved colour gently all over in the watercress to serve oil and butter combined. Transfer to a casserole with a lid. Soften the vegetables in the frying pan, add the liquid and bubble to evaporate the alcohol. Add to the mallard in the casserole. Cover and braise in the oven for 30 mins. For the last 10 minutes of the cooking time roast the orange halves in the oven until flecked with brown. Take out the duck and allow to rest. Boil down the liquid until reduced by half, taste for seasoning and strain. Take the meat off the duck, arrange on a plate with the watercress and orange, pour over a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce and serve.

PHEASANT TERRINE This is a dish to make in an on/off sort of way over a couple of days. It will keep in the fridge for a few days more and will serve eight or ten. A good starter with crusty bread and cornichons. METHOD Chop pork belly and put into food processor with chicken livers. Add peppercorns, garlic, herbs, juniper berries and salt. Pulse until well combined. Scrape into a bowl. Chop up the pheasant breast into 1cm pieces and add to bowl. Add alcohol. Mix well to combine. Leave overnight, covered, in fridge. Next day preheat oven to 190ºC. Fill a terrine with the mixture, mounding the top slightly to a dome. Place the terrine in a roasting tin and fill with hot water. Place in centre of oven and cover loosely with foil. Cook for one and a half hours, taking the foil off for the last 15 mins. to allow top to brown. Remove terrine from roasting dish and allow to cool completely. Cover with foil and leave in fridge overnight, weighted down to compress. Serve with crusty bread, or toast, and cornichons.

INGREDIENTS

oved 400g pork belly, skin rem tive tissue nec con , ers liv n cke chi g 400 removed 300g pheasant breasts 100ml Cognac or medium sherry 75ml Marsala, Madeira drained ns, cor per pep en 1 tbsp gre ely fin ed 3 cloves garlic, chopp ely fin ed pp cho ey, 2 tbsp parsl 2 tbsp mixed herbs 1 tsp juniper berries 2 tsp salt

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: www.thekitchenscribbler.blogspot.com PAGE 24 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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FOOD & DRINK

New food festival A NEW not-for-profit food festival is being held in Burnham on Sea, organised by Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds. The Baptist Hall and The Princess Theatre will both be brimming with exhibitors showcasing the best foods and drinks from across Somerset on September 29th. The doors open at the Baptist Hall and The Princess Theatre at 10am. Fringe festival events will be happening throughout the town and across Somerset. Details: www.burnhamonseafoodfestival.org

CHRISTMAS AT MENDIP SPRING GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB

Join us for Christmas at North Somerset’s best-kept secret for Lunches & Dinners Christmas Party Menus 1st December – 12th January 2013

Dinner 3 courses – £26.00 pp (This includes Disco)

Lunch 2 courses – £14.95 pp 3 courses – £17.00 pp

Bookings now being taken for New Year’s Eve

Honeyhall Lane Congresbury North Somerset BS49 5JT Email info@mendipspringgolfclub.com www.mendipspringgolfclub.com

Tel: 01934 852322 • Restaurant: 01934 853080

Set in four acres of Rolling Somerset countryside, the Vobster is well placed to host a fantastic selection of events this Autumn and festive season. Our Christmas and Events Brochure is now available, pop in, call or visit our web site.  Risotto Night – 3rd October  Pudding Night – 18th October  A Night of Suckling Pig ! – 21st November  Christmas Eve Rustic Spanish Supper – 24th December  Christmas Day Lunch, £55.00pp – 25th December  Boxing Day Brunch – 26th December  New Years Eve Early Dinner – 31st December  New Years Day Brunch – 1st January 2013  Christmas Parties from 1st December to 18th January Mon – Thu 2 course £16.50 • 3 course £19.50 Fri & Sat 2 course £ 19.50 • 3 course £ 23.00 www.vobsterinn.co.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 25


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Get festive at The Swan WHETHER it’s a much-needed break, a party with friends, or a family get-together, the Swan Hotel in Wells provides the perfect venue for Christmas and New Year celebrations. A festive atmosphere, attentive staff and award-winning food ensure any meal is one to remember. Eat, drink and be merry! From December 1st – 23rd their fixed-price daily lunch and dinner menus feature traditional Christmas favourites. Their restaurant 15c A.D. is perfect for smaller groups. Parties of up to 90 can be accommodated in the Garden and Oak Room (a room hire charge will apply). On Christmas Day sit back, relax and let them do the work. Non-residents are welcome to join them in the Oak Room to celebrate Christmas in style. A glass of Champagne and canapés will be served on arrival. Booking is essential (4 courses with coffee, £80 per person). On Boxing Day enjoy traditional cold cuts and other favourites (booking essential, 2 courses with coffee – £17.50 per person). Or celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with a Champagne and canapé reception, four-course gala dinner and disco (tables of eight, booking essential, £80 per person).

Celebrate in style

Visit Santa in his grotto on 2 December

1-23 December Christmas Party Menus (10 or more) Lunch 2 courses – £15.95 3 courses – £18.95 Dinner (3 courses) Sunday to Thursday – £21.95 Friday and Saturday – £25.95 Christmas Day Lunch Champagne recepon, 4 courses with coffee – £80.00 Boxing Day Lunch 2 courses with coffee – £17.50

New Year’s Eve Dinner Champagne recepon, 4 course gala dinner with disco £80.00 per person

Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RX • Tel: 01749 836300 • www.swanhotelwells.co.uk PAGE 26 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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Chance to follow in film stars’ footsteps

FOOD & DRINK Country shopping at its best

North Widcombe, West Harptree, Bristol BS40 6HW Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Wells Market Place

THE Crown in Wells has teamed up with Wells Walking Tours to offer “Hot Fuzz” breaks for visitors to the city. The Crown – in the Market Place – featured as the exterior of the pub in the hugely successful, blockbuster film, with England’s smallest city becoming the village of Sandford, with grisly goings-on in a variety of locations. Matthew Hailingbiggs, operations director at The Crown, said: “Although released in 2007, interest in Hot Fuzz is still very strong and we frequently have visitors to Wells asking about our role in the film and wanting to see our memorabilia. “With this in mind, we’re offering fans the chance to enjoy a Hot Fuzz break with us and spend time in and around many of the locations featured in the film.” Edgar Wright, the director of Hot Fuzz, grew up in Wells and recently mentioned The Crown in a Tweet to his 286,260 followers: “As our future pub odyssey beckons I’d like to shout out one of the pubs from ‘Hot Fuzz’, The Crown in Wells (@crownwells). Sanford’s finest! “  The Hot Fuzz break consists of two nights’ stay at The Crown, with a guided tour from Wells Walking Tours, taking guests around the central locations featured in the film, along with a Hot Fuzz souvenir. The break may be taken anytime throughout the year, subject to availability. Further details and how to book are available by visiting The Crown’s website at www.crownatwells.co.uk

Christmas Lunch and Dinner Pares Christmas Day Lunch Please phone to book your table. Market Place, Wells  01749 673457 eat@crownatwells.co.uk www.crownatwells.co.uk

Christmas gifts and hampers

Enjoy a good Sunday roast

Orders now being taken for Christmas fayre

Local apple juice, cider and chutneys

Plants and gifts including Emma Bridgwater china

Geoff’s fresh fish every Friday and Saturday

Centred around a traditional farm courtyard near Chew Valley Lake – the very best in local produce and gift ideas

TEA ROOMS Hot & cold meals Delicious cream teas Sunday roast lunches Full English breakfasts Opening times: Farm shop: Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm Saturday 8.30am - 5.30pm • Sunday 10am - 5pm Tea Room: Monday to Sunday 9.30am - 5.30pm Wheelchair access, children welcome, free parking, coaches by appointment

Farm Shop: 01761 220067 Tea Rooms: 01761 220172 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 27


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Jazzing up the Rock Cake Cafe ZOE Emery is celebrating her second anniversary at the Rock Cake Café at Maesbury, near Wells, by redecorating and refurbishing the increasingly-popular venue. And true to its name, the café – part of the Rocky Mountain garden centre – is now becoming an important venue on Mendip for live music and entertainment. The Grey Dogs Jazz Band now has a permanent residency at the café, playing on the first Sunday of every month: catch them and enjoy a proper Sunday lunch on October 7th. Zoe and husband Paul are also proud of the fact that they appear to have made something of a singing discovery which would surely impress Britain’s Got Talent: they came across Kevin The Singing Windowcleaner busking in Wells and immediately asked him to perform at the café. Kevin raises money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The Rock Cake Café now opens late on Friday evenings and curry nights are being held on the last Friday of every month. Zoe said: “We’re responding to comments made by our customers, who really enjoy coming here for food and entertainment.” Christmas menus are now available and Zoe and her team will be offering Christmas lunches right up until December 23rd. Zoe added: “I try to make the Rock Cake Café an enjoyable venue and welcome clubs and organisations who want to use it.”

Tel: 01749 840900 Here in our small but intimate café we strive to produce quality home cooked meals using local produce where possible. Our Sunday lunches are now becoming so popular that it is advisable to book in advance. Our beef and pork all graze the Mendip hills. Live entertainment throughout the year *Now taking bookings for Christmas parties *Christmas lunches served from December 1st to 23rd *Open late on Friday evenings for food and drinks *Fully licensed for evening functions and private parties. Outside catering available

The Grey Dogs Jazz Band here on the first Sunday lunchtime of every month (12-3). Special appearance on Saturday, December 22nd for Christmas lunch Rosina our resident clairvoyant will be returning on Friday, October 5th

Rock Cake Café, Rocky Mountain Garden Nursery, Masbury, nr. Wells, BA5 3HA. Tel: 01749 840900. www.rockcafecafe.uk.com PAGE 28 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Not everything’s a mystery at No.6

No6 owner Jackie Willcox with Roshanna at an event earlier this year

FOR anyone wanting to combine some light thinking along with celebrating this New Year’s Eve, then No.6 Restaurant in Midsomer Norton is the place to visit. The restaurant has built up a reputation for its Midsomer Murder Mystery themed evenings; the New Year’s Eve event is going to be one to savour – and that’s just the seven-course gala dinner! Presented by the theatre group Murder to Measure, the theme of the next Midsomer Murder is Carrion Doctor. The plot line is that Midsomer Norton’s Positive Living Complimentary Care Centre is a practice celebrating its 10th anniversary. But the practice and its principal, Doctor Kilgore Payne, are being investigated by the Royal College, as mortality seem unusually high for the area. Will the celebrations turn up skeletons in the closet? Before then, No.6 will be hosting another of its popular belly dancing evenings, on Saturday, October 13th. Professional dancer Raheesha regularly performs in the restaurant in a variety of styles according to the evening. This event will have a Moroccan theme. For more information, visit: www.no6.restaurant.com

The Festive Season is approaching! OUR CHRISTMAS MENU:

We are also taking bookings for our Midsomer Murder Mystery New Year’s Eve Gala 7 course dinner and a Moroccan Belly Dancing Evening on Sat Oct 13th. www.no6restaurant.com no6.restaurant@btinternet.com

Starters Sweet potato and coconut soup with basil oil and crôutons Smooth chicken liver parfait with truffle butter and red onion marmalade Pan seared tiger prawn salad, sweet chilli dipping sauce Salad of watercress, cranberries, caramelized walnuts and Manchego shavings Main Courses Roasted breast of turkey, pigs in blankets, lemon and thyme stuffing, roasted potatoes and classic turkey gravy Chargrilled West Country 8oz rump steak,

hand cut chunky chips, roasted tomato and mushroom with our peppercorn sauce Pan seared seabass fillet, crab-crushed potatoes and white wine sauce Rustic roasted aubergine tart topped with Somerset rarebit and ratatouille All main courses served with seasonal buttered vegetables Desserts Christmas pudding with spiced anglaise Lemon tart and winter berry compote Vanilla crème brulée, mincemeat shortbread West Country cheese platter, farm-house chutney, crackers (supplement £1.75)

Available in December for lunch/dinner at £27.50 for three courses, (booking essential) Exclusive use for parties available during December (minimum booking of 25)


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FOOD & DRINK GARDEN FOOD

WILD FOOD

Green tomatoes

Lady in red

THIS year was a very poor one for my tomatoes. The plants grew very vigorously and produced bundles of green fruit early in the season, but then the plants just seemed to sit there, not growing, not ripening fruit, for what seemed like months. With JAKE What with all the wet weather, I was WHITSON terribly anxious about blight, and for most of the summer I diligently opened all the greenhouse’s windows and doors every day. Then, after watching an episode of Gardener’s World in which Monty Don advised that there wasn’t much risk of blight in greenhouses, I stopped opening mine up so much, in the hope that a little more heat would build up in there and ripen my tomatoes. Eventually, at the end of August, some ripe fruit began to trickle through, and then just two weeks later, just as I was writing this article, blight struck. Some plants have remained unaffected, but others have been completely written off. On the same day that blight struck me, Monty Don appeared on Gardener’s World again, stood in his greenhouse, next to his blight-stricken tomatoes, looking very sheepish. So, for me and Monty Don at least, there will be many, many green tomatoes to use up this year, and I thought it’d be apt to share here my favourite ways of doing so. First and foremost of these is chutney – green tomatoes are excellent in a mixed-vegetable chutney, which I usually make a huge batch of at this time of year to use up all those marrows and Bramleys and other such-like things that people keep giving me. Another great way of using up green tomatoes is by making that classic from the US South, fried green tomatoes. To make them simply slice green tomatoes about 1cm thick, season with salt and pepper and dredge with cornflour. Fry for a few minutes in hot vegetable oil or, better yet, in bacon fat. They are great on their own, with some mayonnaise, or even with a fry up.

SOME fungi have the most interesting names and even more fascinating habits. I must admit that some just do not look right at all and are really off-putting for the would-be forager, which can be a good thing sometimes. If I told you that a mushroom with a dark With ADRIAN brown velvety cap, bright red pores and stem, BOOTS that blushes the most amazing vivid blue colour when cut, but was really good to eat, would you believe me? If ever there was a mushroom to avoid, this must surely be it? Fear not, this lady in red is related to the flavourful cep and is called the Scarletina Bolete (told you it has a good name, wait until you see the Latin one too) and despite what appears to be a “do not eat” warning sign all over this fungus, it’s actually quite good. The Scarletina Bolete (Boletus luridiformis) has a dark brown cap with a velvet-like texture. The stem is 5 to 12 cm tall by 2 to 4cm thick, swollen at the base and the colour is made up of red/orange raised dots against a yellow background. Its pores are bright red with yellow tubes that turn blue on cutting. You can see in the picture where the stem has bruised blue due to handling. It’s found in beech and oak woodland, sometimes with pine also. Look out for them from late summer through the autumn. Actually the “do not eat sign” on this mushroom is quite relevant as they are poisonous raw, causing gastro-intestinal problems so they must be well cooked. They taste very similar to ceps, with a firm texture so are great cooked in olive oil and butter then served on thick cut toast, sprinkled with herbs and seasoned with course black pepper – a well earned dish fit for a forager’s breakfast! Beware of similar looking boletes with red/orange looking pores and stems. One is the aptly named Devil’s Bolete, with the suitably ominous Latin name of “Boletus satanus”. Whilst it has an offwhite cap which is a good distinguishing feature, it could be confused with its edible cousins. Always make sure you are certain of your identification. Why not join me for a fantastic fungi foray on Sunday October 28th, 2pm to 5.30pm. Please call 01761 462162 to book.

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.

Adrian Boots is a Landscape Ecologist, researcher and farm conservation advisor. You can visit his website www.walkthemendips.com to learn more about the Mendips and his Wild Food Walks. MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 29


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Living history at the Holcombe Inn MANY venues claim to have an historic past, but few can boast the history – grisly in parts – of the Holcombe Inn, the awardwinning inn with rooms, and the surrounding area. The Holcombe Inn is a 17th Century, Grade II listed building, taking its name from the village which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The original medieval village was buried at the time of the plague and the old parish church, which survives, is surrounded by the mounds that bear testimony to this burial. The nursery rhyme “Ring a Ring o’ Roses” is said to have been composed as a result. An alternative explanation relates to the drowning of five children from the village in an icy pond in 1899. Their bodies were taken to the inn from the pond and are buried at the church in a grave together. Members of Scott of the Antarctic’s family are buried in a family grave which includes a memorial accrediting Scott’s interment in the Antarctic in Holcombe Old Church. Holcombe Inn holds the huge key to the old church. The inn itself used to be called The Holcombe Old Church – the key is kept at Ring O’ Roses, but the Holcombe Inn

The Holcombe Inn is full of history

changed its name a few years ago. Jules Berry and her family, who took over the inn in 2010, said: “The building is packed with original features and interesting nooks and crannies. “Well worth a visit, whatever the weather, with a choice of guest ales, unusual keg beers, spirits, liqueurs, cocktails and alcohol-free drinks and 20 wines served by the glass as well as by the bottle, prepare to be spoilt for choice. “After a refurbishment programme, we have luxury, individually-styled rooms available which include free standing baths, circular mosaic wet rooms, sandstone basins and are all unique in design.” Jules added: “The Holcombe Inn has a fantastic reputation for its award-winning food, all fresh and locally sourced wherever possible, produced by an experienced team of very talented chefs.”

Christmas at The Holcombe Inn Christmas menu available from Nov. 28th – Dec. 24th

OCTOBER DATES Wells: every Wednesday 9am-2.30pm

Christmas Menu Starters Smoked mackerel pate, sour dough toast, lemon and rocket Pan fried parcel of tomato, mozzarella, red onion and pesto Chicken, pork, pistachio and raisin terrine wrapped in smoked bacon with toast and apricot chutney Garlic Roasted Root Vegetable Bruschetta, ragstone goat’s cheese, Parmesan, rocket and toasted pumpkin seed salad Mains Turkey Ballotine with an apricot and chestnut stuffing, sausages wrapped in bacon, chateau potatoes, buttered sprouts, bread sauce and turkey gravy Braised Daube of Featherblade Beef with bourguignon garnish, potato and root vegetable gilette and winter greens Pan Fried Salmon, creamed spinach, hot scallop pasta ‘rotollo’ and roast pumpkin Tortellini de Zuca ( pumpkin with amaretto, mustard fruits and parmesan) with sage and pine nut brown butter, topped with parmesan and rocket Desserts Christmas Pudding with a traditional brandy sauce Chocolate Delice with a white chocolate mousse and candied orange The Holcombe Christmas Trifle with black cherries, topped with pistachio and almonds Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with mulled fruits 2 courses £21.95/3 courses £26.95 Table decorations and Christmas crackers included

Friday 5th Wincanton 9am-12pm All other markets 9am-1pm except where marked*

Saturday 6th Midsomer Norton & Axbridge Saturday 13th Frome & Keynsham Saturday 20th Crewkerne Friday 19th Cheddar Saturday 27th Glastonbury & Yeovil* 9am-2pm

Friday 26th

Burnham-on-Sea We are now taking bookings for Christmas Day Lunch; please see our website or call us for menus. The Holcombe Inn has several log fires always burning brightly, Christmas trees and beautiful decorations making it a perfect location for your Christmas celebrations. Enjoy our luxury AA five-star accommodation. Tripadvisor 2012 Certificate of Excellence

The Holcombe Inn Stratton Road, Holcombe, Bath BA3 5EB. Tel: 01761 232478 Fax: 01761 233737. E-mail: bookings@holcombeinn.co.uk

PAGE 30 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Somerset Farmers’ Markets

Tel: 01373 814646

www.somersetfarmersmarkets.co.uk

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 www.yourpoweruk.com


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FOOD & DRINK

THE QUEEN ADELAIDE BLAGDON

Now open seven days a week Weekdays and Saturdays 12noon–3pm and 6pm –11pm Sunday 12noon–11pm

Phil and Pauline promise you a warm welcome Real ales, local cider, fine wines and locally-sourced, home-cooked food Dog friendly • Children welcome at limited times Senior Citizen’s lunches – Tuesday lunchtime – 2 courses £6.95 Wide range of snacks, lunches and meals, with vegetarian options

Food served Monday to Saturday 12noon2.30pm and 6pm-9pm Sunday 12noon-5pm

Christmas Day Menu

ayrer sF a tm Chreis th Decembe rd from 3 until 24 Availabl

STARTERS and Basil soup Cream of Tomato roll & butter Served with crusty Prawn Cocktail butter wholemeal bread & Served with brown S MAIN COURSE ey rk Tu t Traditional Roas Or e Roast Beef ur at M tra Ex onal vegetables ction of fresh seas le se a ith w ed rv Se timmings potatoes & all the Roast or creamed e on request Vegetarian availabl SWEETS Christmas Pudding hipped cream sauce or freshly w dy an br ith w ed rv Se Cheesecake cream Served with fresh e

Mince pie & Coffe

£22.95

STARTERS HOMEMADE CREAM OF TOMATO & BASIL SOUP served with a crusty roll & butter PRAWN & SALMON COCKTAIL served with brown granary bread & butter CHICKEN, COINTREAU & ORANGE PATE served with melba toast & salad garni sh MAIN COURSES TRADITIONAL TENDER NORFOL K TURKEY BREAST accompanied with sliced gammon, fresh seasonal vegetables, boiled, creamed or roast potatoes, pigs in blank ets, sage & onion stuffing balls & cranberry sauce PRIME ROASTED SIRLOIN OF BEE F served with fresh seasonal vegetable s boiled, creamed or roast potatoes yorkshire pudding & horseradish sauce POACHED SCOTTISH SALMON served with citrus and dill sauce, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and duchess potatoes SWEETS RICH & FRUITY TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING served with a choice of brandy sauce or freshly whipped cream BANOFFEE PIE served with vanilla ice cream or fresh dairy cream CHEESE AND BISCUIT SELECTIO N a good selection of English and Euro pean cheese served with crackers and biscuits TO FINISH YOUR MEAL (IF YOU HAVE ROOM) MINCE PIE & FRESHLY WHIPPED CREAM FOLLOWED BY FRESHLY FILTERED COFFEE WIT H AFTER DINNER MINTS

£38.50

Phil, Pauline and all the Team @ The Queen Adelaide would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

RESERVATIONS TAKEN ON 01761 463926 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 31


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MENDIP TIMES THE MANOR HOUSE INN EAT • DRINK • SLEEP

Christmas 2012 Menu TO START Home-made Soup of the day with Crusty Bread (v) Duck Liver & Orange Pate served with Spiced Home-made Chutney & Toast Warm Crab & Spring Onion Fishcake with Dressed Citrus Leaves Warm Goats Cheese & Red Onion Marmalade Filo Tart with Balsamic dressing (v) Warm Pigeon & crispy Pancetta Salad with Port dressing (£1.00 supplement) TO FOLLOW Roast Somerset Turkey with Chestnut & Sage Stuffing, Sausages wrapped in Bacon, Roast Potatoes & Seasonal Vegetables Venison, Rabbit & Pigeon Pie with Short-crust Pastry Aubergine Lasagne with a rich Provencal filling & light Parmesan Sauce (v) Hand-cut Sirloin Steak with Mushrooms, Bacon & Red Wine Sauce (£1.50 supplement) Oven Baked Salmon Fillet on a bed of Pea Risotto with Scallop, King Prawns & Vermouth Fish Velouté Pan-fried Pheasant with crushed Rosemary Potatoes, Leeks & Stilton and Port Cream Sauce (£1.50 supplement) PUDDINGS A selection of home-made desserts or Cheese 2 Courses £14.75 or 3 Courses £18.95 per Person Coffee & Mince Pies £2.50 per Person

Traditional Sunday lunches served 12–5pm from £9.25 per person

THE Waldegrave Arms at East Harptree has been honoured at the Great British Pub awards, the Oscars of the trade, held at the Hilton in Park Lane, London, winning top award in the South West for their garden smoking area. Landlords Lee and Sharon Turner (check) collected the award. Sharon said: “When the smoking ban came in, we decided to invest in this area. We are pleased our customers enjoy spending time there.”

Michelin Guide 2012 Eating Out in Pubs Sunday Times 50 best pubs for the weekend

Burger week 24th - 28th October at least 10 different varieties of Home-made burgers (including vegetarian) available

The Manor House Inn Ditcheat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6RB Telephone 01749 860276 email landlord@manorhouseinn.co.uk www.manorhouseinn.co.uk

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AT EAST HARPTREE

01761 221429 Christmas Menu 2012 STARTERS Tomato and Jerusalem artichoke soup served with Welsh rarebit Smoked haddock, sun-blushed tomato and leek topped with breadcrumbs and cheese Muffin topped with poached egg and Parma ham and grain mustard coated in a tarragon butter sauce Home smoked duck, shredded duck, crispy duck, and duck pate with a trio of homemade chutney Garlic ciabatta topped with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and mozzarella dribbled with truffle oil MAIN COURSE Roasted turkey stuffed with apricot, chestnut, sage and sausage meat wrapped in smoked bacon served with pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce all the trimmings Roast pheasant breast with baked honey apple, pear in a local cider sauce Pan fried cod placed on creamy leek and risotto with a lemongrass, ginger white wine butter sauce Butternut squash Wellington topped with field mushroom, spinach and goats cheese wrapped in puff pastry with a tomato sauce A rich beef, button mushroom, onion, smoked bacon and thyme ragout topped with puff pastry All main dishes come with potato and vegetables PUDDINGS Christmas pudding with cinnamon brandy cream Sticky toffee pudding served with vanilla ice cream Warm chocolate fudge pudding with mascarpone cream For two to share: baked Camembert with tomato chutney, grapes and warm bread

Two courses: £18.50 • Three courses: £22.50 Church Lane, East Harptree BS40 6BD www.thewaldegravearms.co.uk • email: waldegravearms@btconnect.com

PAGE 32 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Waldy is a winner at Great British Pub Awards

THE RED LION VILLAGE PUB & RESTAURANT Sutton Hill Road, Bishop Sutton BS39 5UT • 01275 333042 Christmas Menus now available – call in or ‘phone for details 2 & 3 Course Christmas Fayre served from 1st – 23rd December Special OAP and Children’s Rates Christmas Day – 5 Courses with coffee and mince pies – served from 12.30 – 2.30pm

Food served Mon–Sat 12noon–2pm and Mon–Sat 6.30pm–9pm Sunday 12noon–4pm Large beer garden and car park 5-star food hygiene rating

Opening Times: 12 noon–2.30pm Monday to Thursday • 6pm–11pm all week • Open all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday


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FOOD & DRINK

Welcome to the Kings Arms Litton The perfect venue for a family Christmas party or an intimate gathering of friends CHRISTMAS PARTY MENU

Nestled in the Chew Valley and firmly placed at the foot of the Mendip Hills is one of England’s finest country pubs. Full of local history and charm, this country retreat is wrapped in the warmth of 591 years of character. This beautiful place has built an enviable reputation, and today a polite welcome awaits you from Luis and Findlay. Historically since its opening circa 1420 the polished flagstone floors and cool cellars have created the perfect condition for an evening of atmospheric dining with friends and family. Dine in the Pub, Restaurant or the Gardens or even down by the river. We offer lunch and dinner as well as various afternoon tea selections. We also cater for special dietary requirements. Our food is sourced locally and wherever possible organic and is cooked by some of the country’s finest Chef’s with head Chef Joao Duarte leading the team with inspired ideas and simply superb creations – the tastes are just delicious! The Kings Arms Litton is simply an enchanting spectacle of what we all assume England’s finest pub locations should look like and filled with a curious delight to be found by all that visit.

£28 per person for 3 courses £22 per person for 2 courses **Ser ved in our bmf style – choose 3 different starters/ 3 different main courses / 2 different puddings for your party/ minimum 6 people per party/ booking for party menu is essential** Glass of mulled wine on arrival ~ THE STARTERS Cup Of Celeriac & Chestnut Soup (V) Cup Of Mushroom Soup (V) House Chicken Liver Pate, Grilled Bread & Gherkins Garden Apple & Pear Salad, Walnuts & Stilton (V) Smoked Scottish Salmon, Cucumber & Crème Fraiche Slow Roast Beetroots, Feta Cheese & Clementine Salad (V) Roast Wiltshire Quail, Pomegranate, Raddichio & Aged Balsamic ~ THE MAIN COURSES Roast Turkey Stuffed With Chestnuts & Mushrooms, Herb Potatoes Supreme Of Duck Breast, Orange & Port Sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes Herb Roast Chicken & Mashed Potat oes with a Sage & Lemon Sauce Slow Roast Shoulder Of Pork, Apple Sauce & Herb Roast Potatoes Fillet Of Sea Bass served on Crushed New Potaotes & Capers Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Parmesan (V) Kings Arms Nut Roast (V) ~ THE DESSERTS Traditional Christmas Pudding & Bran dy Custard Sauce Crepe D’banana With A Caramel Sauc e Litton Mess & Fresh Fruits Somerset Apple Crumble & Vanilla Custa rd Sauce The House Cheese Platter Selection & Biscuits (Extra £3 Per Person) Litton Surprise, A Bit Of Everything!!! (Extra £3 Per Person)

** BMF (bring me food), means that the food is brought to you in large serving platters enabling you to have all your choosen dishes in this banquet style service)

The Kings Arms Litton, Somerset BS3 4PW. Tel: 01761 241301 or 01761 348097 www.kingsarmslitton.co.uk • email: manager@kingsarmslitton.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 33


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MENDIP TIMES Christmas at

BEAH

English & Mediterranean Restaurant, Wells

Christmas Party Lunch & Dinner Menus now available Christmas Day Five-Course Lunch now available

Jazz Evening Friday October 19th with Jazz South West Special 3 course menu

Moroccan Evening Saturday November 10th with Raheesha Special 3 course menu

For more information and menus, please call

01749 678111 or email: info@beah.co.uk Find us at 2, Union Street, Wells • www.beah.co.uk

Strangers become friends THE owners of the Strangers with Coffee café in Wells say they have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received since opening at the end of June. Now Sue and Ivan Hewitt are to open for functions to cope with demand for everything from evening business meetings to Sunday lunches. Fully licensed, Strangers with Coffee will now be available to groups of eight or more who pre-book to enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch at the bistro-style café in St. Cuthbert Street, opposite the parish church. The couple are also planning to run regular themed food evenings, such as Indian and Thai ,and have set their sights on organising a celebration of Somerset food. Ivan said: “Our clientele of regular customers – now friends – is growing all the time and we have had lots of requests for us to open on Sunday lunchtimes. The support we have received from people has been fantastic. “We have also responded to requests to be more childfriendly by buying a high chair for younger customers!”

Ivan and Sue look forward to welcoming you to Strangers with Coffee Open for gourmet coffee, continental-style breakfasts, Mediterranean-style lunches, a sandwich or just a nibble. Fully licenced. There’s a coffee for everyone from espresso to caffe mocha. We use the finest Fair Trade coffees from Allpress

We’re open Monday to Saturday from 8am-5pm and Strangers with Coffee is available for private functions in the evenings

Our sheltered courtyard is open all the year round

Tea room and new Bistro

31 St. Cuthbert Street, Wells

Telephone 07728 047233 PAGE 34 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

The Connies, The Square, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0HY 01761 568 451 You can also follow us on Facebook and twitter


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FOOD & DRINK

Dine in style at The Connies in Timsbury THE owners of The Connies in Timsbury have opened a weekend evening bistro, following the successful launch of their tea rooms two years ago, thanks to demand from customers asking for evening dining. They had previously taken private dining bookings for large groups which had a very good response, but now they can offer the experience to everyone. They are now fully licensed and have a selection of wines, beers, ales and ciders available at lunch or dinner. Their menu is kept small, but will be imaginative and fresh with some Italian influences and always beautifully presented. Their new chef, Vito, is originally from Italy, but has lived in the UK for 14 years now and even ran his own successful restaurant in Bath for a few years. Their daytime menu favourites still remain with cooked breakfasts and brunches, lunch and afternoon teas, with the popular ‘Thoughtful Bread’ to accompany meals, or to order as a loaf to take home. Their ever-expanding repertoire of homemade cakes still offers a great choice, especially for those after gluten-free or dairy-free choices. As always the Connies is a cosy and relaxed venue, where regular customers have favourite chairs or tables and everyone is welcome. Their patio garden is a hit with cycle clubs and dog walkers. Alex and Sarah Fan have a fantastic team of staff now who are all to thank for the success of The Connies.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 35


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MENDIP TIMES

Aid for air ambulance

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Thomas

Family fun or a real challenge?

WESTON Harriers Pony Club has raised £555 for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Members young and old pulled together to organise and run a variety of events.

Circle helps charity

Ben Halford

SUPPORTERS of the Coleford-based charity Time is Precious are organising their second annual bike ride to boost funds. The event – backed by HSBC – takes place on Sunday, October 14th with three options: a family fun ride, a 14-mile intermediate ride or a 100km challenge. All rides start and finish at The Centurion Hotel at Westfield, near Midsomer Norton, with a barbecue afterwards. Time is Precious was set up by Neil and Nicky Halford, in memory of their son, Ben. It raises money for play and sensory equipment at local hospitals. The charity’s patron is athlete Jason Gardiner, who will be taking part on the day. For more information, email: cyclechallenge@hotmail.com or visit: www.timeisprecious.org

MEMBERS of Norton Radstock Ladies Circle have presented a cheque for £1,150 to the Peggy Dodd Centre, which provides support for older people from Bath and surrounding areas with Alzheimer’s and other dementia illnesses and their carers. Last year’s chairman, Julia Ball, presented the cheque to Jean Perkins from the centre at an event at The Moody Goose in Midsomer Norton. Outgoing honorary president Jayne Hutton handed over to Sadie Robinsonm the new president for 2012/13 and Katie Watson, a new member to the group, was inducted and warmly welcomed. This year’s chairman, Emma Conneely, said: ‘We’ve had a fantastic evening and are looking forward to this year’s fundraising activities and social events”. G Norton Radstock Ladies circle list all their events and contact details on their new website: www.ladiescircle.co.uk/norton

(l:r): Circle members Chloe Wilcox, Alex Chard, Emma Conneely, Julia Ball and Michelle Hobbs with Jean Perkins from The Peggy Dodd Centre.

Bond charity night THE film premiere of the new James Bond film Skyfall will be held at Wells Film Centre on October 26th, in aid of CHALISS, Child and Adolescent Listening Support Services, which is based in Glastonbury. Doors open at 6.30pm and film starts at 7.30pm. In this new film, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. Tickets are £10, which includes a glass of wine or soft drink on arrival. CHALISS provides much-needed counselling support to young people aged 11-19 in the Glastonbury area. In the last year they have supported 43 young people who were struggling with a wide range of issues including low self-esteem and

confidence, bullying, self-harm, bereavement, stress and anxiety, to name but a few. The charity says outcomes have been extremely positive and encouraging and have improved the lives of these young people in so many ways – they have developed strategies to cope with their problems, are happy and confident now and many barriers have been removed that were preventing them from moving on in their lives. There will be a fund-raising raffle during the film evening and an opportunity to become a ‘Friend of CHALISS’ – they will be launching our new Friends scheme which enables you to become a member for £10 per year.

Details and tickets: email thecrispys@talktalk.net or call 01749 346123. PAGE 36 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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CHARITIES

Walking with memories

MORE than 400 women and girls took to Uphill Beach and Weston-super-Mare seafront for the seventh annual Weston Hospicecare Not the Midnight Beach Walk. As everyone gathered together for a minute’s silence led by the Weston Hospicecare Chaplain Karen Murphy, people reflected on personal happy memories of their loved ones. Emma and Aaliyah Simmonds (pictured) from Uphill Road South in Uphill like the atmosphere of the event: Emma said: “The hospice is a massive part of the village and Not the Midnight Beach Walk has a lovely community spirit that I like to feel part of. We all went home with a massive smile on our faces!” Olly Joseph, Fundraising Manager at Weston Hospicecare said: “Once again, the event was fantastic and the atmosphere was truly electric. Thank you to everyone who walked or volunteered on the evening, the event atmosphere is all down to you!” Details: 01934 423960

Chew Stoke Bowls Club has presented a cheque for £800 to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Pictured (l to r) are Robin Leach, club chairman, Des Derrick, men's captain, Sarah Hampton, South West regional fundraiser for the association, Jane Keedwell, women's captain and Richard Tovey, club president.

Pink and Perky raise money for charity

ANN Millard (right) and Pauline Currell both developed breast cancer within 12 months of each other. Fortunately both were diagnosed early and are in recovery after treatment at the Breast Clinic at Bath’s Royal United Hospital. They were so impressed with their treatment they decided to get together to organise a series of fund-raising events for the centre and for the national charity Breast Cancer Awareness. In July their first Pink and Perky event, a skittles match, raised £1,000 at Harptree Club. In September more than 150 people packed the Waldegrave Arms in East Harptree for a charity auction and hog roast, with entertainment from the band The Treasury. The two women went to school together. Ann is a training manager for a charity and Pauline works at the pub. They said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of local people and businesses who want to support our charities. Everyone seems to know someone who has had breast cancer. At the time of diagnosis your world falls apart, you think this is it, but with early diagnosis and excellent care recovery is possible.” Ann and husband Martyn live in Clutton and have two children Alice and Annie. Pauline and husband Martin live in East Harptree and have two daughters Kelly and Tracy. MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 37


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MENDIP TIMES

CHARITIES

Water good cause

Vote for Goldies, says Sir Cliff

Tom and Ben at Land’s End

Photo courtesy of Nicky Johnson

TWO friends from university – Behraam (Ben) Wahid of High Littleton and Tom Sutton of North Walsham in Norfolk – cycled 1,007 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the international charity Water Aid. Ben and Tom graduated in July in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton. They chose Water Aid as their charity for its innovative solutions to the global water crisis. They hope to raise £1,000 in total. Donations can be made on their JustGiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/Behraam-and-Tom-JOGLE Sir Cliff Richard

A CHARITY based in Radstock – whose patron is Sir Cliff Richard – has been chosen as one of three finalists in the Education category of the National Lottery Awards 2012. Golden-Oldies runs fun music and singing sessions for the elderly throughout the south west of England and is expanding into South Wales. Its spin-off project Jubilee Time After Time encourages schools to work more closely with elderly residents in their area. It won a lottery grant this year and was chosen by the National Lottery itself as one of ten candidates to make the finals. A public vote then saw the project go through as one of the three actual finalists in the education category; there are seven categories in all. The overall winners are decided by public vote and Sir Cliff is urging people to back the Goldies, as they are popularly known, before the polls close at the end of October. Sir Cliff said: “We are over the moon that Jubilee Time after Time is in the Lottery Awards 2012 national final, but we need everyone to vote to help us to win. “We want to brighten hundreds more lonely lives. Please vote for us to win this award so we can reach out and put more smiles on more faces.” Goldies was started in Bath four years ago by charity founder Grenville Jones. There are now a total of 25 dedicated session leaders. G Voting closes on Sunday, October 28th. The finals will be broadcast on BBC television in December. To vote for Jubilee Time After Time, call: 0844 836 9685 or visit: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards PAGE 38 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

The Starfish Foundation X Factor charity event ARE you enjoying the Saturday night X Factor show? Well why not go along and be part of the voting audience at the sixth running of the very popular X Factor Dressage to Music Gala at The Hand Equestrian Centre on Saturday November 3rd. This is a really great day out with the qualifying rounds taking place during the day. Horse and rider combinations from novice to advanced level will be strutting their stuff, in costume, to a wide variety of music to try and get one of the much sought after places in the gala ‘ride off’. The 12 who impress the judging panel the most in the day will get through for a chance to win a £500 first prize. Listed judges Heather Ashley and Alicia Anderson will be joined on the panel during the day by musical expert Gary Woods from Cornwall. Gary himself came second in this competition a few years ago so he understands the hard work that goes into the preparation for such an event. In this fantastic Golden Olympic year for British Dressage, organisers Helen Griffiths and Celia Gadd are hoping to raise a substantial amount of money to help with a project in Cambodia for the Starfish Foundation, which provides muchneeded education and sporting opportunities for the families over there. For more information email celia@celiagadd.co.uk


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BUSINESS

Hearts of oak THE attention to detail extends beyond the menu at Big Rich’s new restaurant and takeaway at Compton Martin. The design of the building was a primary concern, so he called in Jan Cloes of Magna Oak to help build the impressive entrance. Jan was a master carpenter in Germany before moving to England eight years ago and has been running his own company in Chew Magna for the last two years. Last year one of his projects, a house extension in Chew Stoke, won an award, with builder Paul Bridger. Restaurant owner Richard Curtis said: “I’m impressed by the fact that he uses hand equipment and traditional methods, using green oak, to create this stunning entrance. I’d invite anyone to come and see it.” Jan, who lives in Chew Magna with his partner Vicki and daughter Evie, aged 20 weeks, specialises in timber frame buildings. At Big Rich’s he worked with local builder Terry Wilcox. He said: “I’m a traditional master carpenter, all of the timber is morticed and tenoned in the traditional way.” Big Rich’s itself has proved popular since it opened in August. Richard said: “It’s exceeded our expectations – the takeaway is particularly busy.”

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

Traditional Fish & Chips and Sunday Roasts

magna oak bespoke oak structures t: +44 (0) 1275 331 601 m: +44 (0) 7788 722 450 jan@magnaoak.co.uk www.magnaoak.co.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 39


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MENDIP TIMES

BUSINESS

Radstock Co-operative’s new store RADSTOCK Co-operative Society has opened its 12th store, on the Fosseway at Westfield, Radstock. The purposebuilt store was opened by the society’s president George Donkin (left) and chief executive Don Morris. The development also includes a second retail unit and a fish and chip takeaway. The store has been built with environmental features a key factor, including energy efficient chillers and freezers and is light, bright and spacious, with generous aisle widths to help customers with prams, buggies or wheelchairs. Don Morris said: “As this was a newbuild project, we had the opportunity to fit the store out to our latest specifications. We were keen to develop a new concept that was based on providing a good customer experience with the offering aligned to the needs of the local community. “We feel that we have achieved this and we look forward to serving local residents and businesses and meeting their shopping needs. The fish and chip

ECATCHER MOL

takeaway and other retail unit within the complex will complement each other and we look forward to working with

Mendip Times reduces travel costs

NO MOLE NO FEE Telephone 01275 332966

our new neighbours.” The society has also recently revamped its store at Timsbury.

• Accounts preparation for sole traders, partnerships and small companies • Business taxation and self-assessment returns • Payroll services • Small business start-up advice • Free initial consultation

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

CAMELEY LODGE LAUNDRY

We will wash and dry your DUVETS, BLANKETS & BEDSPREADS and FOOTBALL KIT Collection and delivery service in the Chew Valley.

Tel 01761 451787

www.cameleylodgelaundry.co.uk

PAGE 40 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

BUILDING DESIGN & DRAWINGS • PLANNING APPLICATIONS • BUILDING REGULATIONS • STRUCTURAL CALCULATIONS Contact: Neil or Stuart Email: Email: neil.dando@purpleplan-it.co.uk stuart.cload@purpleplan-it.co.uk Mobile: 07966 398076 M: 07792 632492

www.purpleplan-it.co.uk

Love’s never over – look in October! Professional and personal service

0800 056 3179 or 01934 744788 www.carolinecrowther.com


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You can use your dividend card in any of the stores listed here. See in-store for details.

Head Office: 3 Wells Hill, Radstock BA3 3RQ • Tel 01761 431555 • www.radstockcoop.co.uk

Elm Tree Avenue, Westfield, Radstock BA3 3BX

Wells Road, Radstock BA3 3RQ

32 Fosseway, Westfield, Midsomer Norton, BA3 3SX

Charlton Cross Road, Shepton Mallet BA4 5PT

Naishes Cross, Chilcompton BA3 4JN

32-34 High Street, Glastonbury BA6 9DX

Harford Square, Chew Magna BS40 8RA

Highbury Street, Coleford BA3 5NJ

7 – 9 Westway Centre, Frome BA11 1BS

84-86 West End, Street BA16 0LP

North Road, Timsbury BA2 0JH

Bath Road, Peasedown St John BA2 8DT

G A wide selection of fresh produce G Award winning, wines, beers and spirits. G Neal’s Yard Wholefoods G General Grocery G A selection of Fairtrade and Organic products G Newspapers and magazines

G A range of chilled and frozen produce G “Food to go” G Fresh meat (butchery counter at Radstock, Street and Frome) G Lottery & paypoint G Post Offices at Radstock, Chilcompton & Frome

G Radstock Store has extensive nonfood ranges including electrical, ladies and menswear, Fashions, Lingerie, Children’s wear, Footwear, Textiles, soft furnishings, coffee shop, dry cleaning service and travel agency


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Parents plan their own school

All Hallows celebrates most successful year

PARENT groups across Mendip have joined forces to set up a school for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Language and Social Communication Needs (LSCN). They hope to open the Mendip Free School in September 2014. The organisers are six parents, made up of the Frome, Shepton Mallet and Wells parent groups, who have children on the Autistic Spectrum, with David Gregory, head teacher at Fosse Way School in Radstock, the sponsor school. The group says it is seeking to provide a high quality alternative to mainstream provision in which children with autism across the 5-19 age range will thrive. Amanda Lear, group parent said: “As parents of children with specials needs, we are delighted this project is now becoming a reality and that children in Mendip and surrounding areas will have a greater educational choice. “With the recent change in government policy, it has given parents the choice of a genuine alternative to state education, and we are taking this opportunity to give our children the best possible education.” Tessa Munt MP for Wells said: “I am fully supportive of The Mendip Free School; an exciting project backed by a dedicated and qualified team of people.” Details: office@themendipschool.com or Amanda Lear on 01749 840059 for more information.

ALL Hallows’ headmaster, Ian Murphy, is certainly not one to rest on his laurels. Dynamic and forward thinking, he is widely accredited with taking the school from strength to strength over the past seven years, establishing it as one of the most highly regarded, and best, independent prep schools in the country. All Hallows is certainly flying high currently with record pupil numbers and the highest percentage of pupils ever achieving awards to senior schools at the end of the recent summer term. Ian Murphy attributes this success to the holistic view the school takes in relation to children’s personal development. He said: “At the heart of All Hallows’ success is a vision aimed at nurturing each individual and developing the ‘whole child’ through cutting edge education and rich and varied experiences, underpinned by the unswerving certainty that Christian values are paramount being reflected in the lives of the whole school community. “Our superb team of highly trained, passionate and dedicated staff strive to awaken the children – spiritually and emotionally – making sure that individual minds are broadened and perspectives widened. We provide a secure and happy environment where children will develop the inner confidence necessary to flourish in a rapidly changing world. Whilst we protect and nurture our children, we also challenge and stretch them in order to build their ability to thrive as adults in the future.” Critical to this success are the myriad opportunities that children at All Hallows experience. In addition to the innovative and successful academic strategies, children enjoy a host of sporting activities (including a Tennis Academy with the LTA Clubmark for excellence), musical opportunities, Speech and Drama, Forest School which offers a fresh approach to learning, a full and varied Saturday enrichment programme and an innovative programme of off-site visits. For more information contact info@allhallowsschool.co.uk, visit www.allhallowsschool.co.uk or telephone 01749 881600. All Hallows operates bus services from the Chew Valley and surrounding areas.

Need a change?

OPEN MORNING TH SATURDAY 6 OCTOBER 9.30am until midday

PAGE 42 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

NORTON Radstock College has a wide range of community education courses and workshops in locations around the area, from language evening classes in Keynsham to furniture restoration in Radstock, photography in Midsomer Norton and painting and drawing or the Get Connected Computer Club in Camerton, there is a huge range of exciting courses waiting for you to try something new. Longer part-time courses, over one or two days a week, include areas like Medical Administration and Fast-track Office Skills, which are ideal for new graduates or returners to work. Or how about a class in floral design? There are a range of country crafts available, such as blacksmithing, dry stone walling, coppicing and a one day willow workshop. The college also offers free tuition in English and Details: Contact Norton Radstock College on 01761 Maths – it’s completely different to how you may remember it at 433161 or visit www.nortcoll.ac.uk school!


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Striving for excellence KING Edward’s School is one of the top academic independent day schools in the UK for girls and boys aged three to 18 years. This success has been achieved through the very highest standards in teaching and the individual guidance given to their pupils to realise their full potential. The school provides a stimulating learning environment where children are encouraged to strive for excellence and to acquire a lifelong passion for knowledge, discovery and adventure. There is a broad and dynamic curriculum underpinned by “outstanding” pastoral care and an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities to interest and enrich the lives of all pupils. Pupils achieve success in many areas. The strength of music in the school is reflected in the excellent levels of public performances, the considerable success in examinations and the regularity with which pupils gather honours at regional music festivals. The school has an outstanding dramatic tradition, with two or more major productions a year, an Art and Photography Department which is a centre of excellence and a tradition of sporting success, with many pupils representing their sport at both regional and national levels. They look forward to welcoming prospective parents and pupils to their Open Events; Sixth Form Open Evening on Friday October 12th and the Senior, Junior and Pre-Prep & Nursery School on Saturday October 13th. All their open events

provide an opportunity to meet their welcoming teachers, see their excellent facilities and find out how King Edward’s can help each pupil reach their full potential.

Please see their website, www.kesbath.com for further details

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 43


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Record exam results STUDENTS and staff at King’s Bruton started the term in particularly upbeat mood following the school’s best ever ALevel results with 76.7% of Upper Sixth Formers gaining A* – B grades, beating the previous best of 74% set in 2010. This extremely high percentage puts King’s A-L evel record well above a large number of other major independent schools in the area. Nine pupils achieved straight A grades with Jonathan Bentham (A*, A*, A) securing his place at Oxford University, and Gloria Chan (A*, A, A, A, A) achieving a Merit for her A* in Mathematics. Pupils achieved a 100% pass rate and the highest mean UCAS points on record. The headmaster, Ian Wilmshurst, commented: “These are a wonderful set of A-Level results. I anticipate that King’s will again achieve very high Value Added this year.” The other pupils with straight A grades were: Jasmine Allen, Maddy Bruford, Clement Li, Vivian Liu, Alex Penfold, Sam Wilson-Brown and Selena Yan.

PAGE 44 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Mr Wilmshurst was also pleased with the GCSE results, with one in five pupils gaining at least seven A* to A GCSE grades, with five pupils scoring straight A* and As. With an 84.9% success rate at A* to C, the results generally confirmed King’s continued academic upward trend of recent years. Will Tuson, who was celebrating seven A*s and four As, said: “I’m thrilled with these results. I’m now really looking forward to the next two years of sixth

form study.” With six A*s and four As, Charlie Auckland, said: “I’m really excited about my results. It has made the summer for me.” As part of a major upgrading of all boarding houses, the estates department have totally refurbished Lyon House, a boarding house looking out over the main playing fields. “It’s now like a five star hotel,” said one impressed pupil on returning to school.


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Freedom to be yourself LAUGHTER and a lifelong love of learning, collaboration and camaraderie, drive and determination, inspiration and involvement, aspiration and achievement – those are the qualities that they hope will emerge from the snapshots of life at the Royal High School Bath. They are a leading independent Day and Boarding school of choice for girls aged 3-18. From a group of giggling, three-yearold girls holding hands in the playground of their ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rated Nursery; to a revitalised Junior School where lifelong friendships are

forged and sporting and academic triumphs shared. To a passion for continued discovery and exploring new horizons at their exceptionally high-achieving Senior School and on to their dynamic Sixth Form College (offering the International Baccalaureate alongside A levels) buzzing with mature, confident, gregarious young women, the RHS journey is a seamless one, with four life-enhancing experiences along the way. This all-through, all-girls education is unique in Bath. They embrace all-round excellence and help every single girl to be happy and to be who she wants to be. They do this with a rich and exciting curriculum, with every opportunity for girls to focus on their strengths but also to develop their skills and talents across the broadest academic, social and personal spectrum. The school develops the confidence, capabilities and character needed to underpin success at university, throughout careers and in achieving ambitions in every aspect of life.

2012 Results A level – well over 50% A*/A and 84% A*/B. IB – Exceptionally high average 40 point score and 55% gain 40 points or more, way over the IB global average point score of 30. One student scores a world beating maximum 45/45 points. 100% Oxbridge application success. GCSE – 92% of the girls in total achieve A*/B grades across all disciplines. 30 girls achieve 10 or more A*/A grades.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 45


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Perfect wedding in Wells

Licensed for civil ceremonies

WHETHER it’s an intimate wedding, a reception for 90 guests, or the wedding ceremony itself, the Best Western Plus Swan Hotel provides the perfect setting in the shadow of Wells Cathedral. The Garden Room is licensed for civil ceremonies and allows guests to spill out into the secluded Walled Garden. After a drinks reception, guests can make their way to the Oak Room for the wedding breakfast which has its own separate bar area and a built-in dance floor. For evening receptions, the Oak Room and Garden room can be hired jointly for wedding parties of up to 150 guests. The luxurious Cathedral Suite consists of a sumptuous bedroom, sitting room and bathroom where you can enjoy unrivalled panoramic views of Wells Cathedral. Each room is furnished with gilded French furniture, fabulous silk curtains and an eclectic mix of antiques. Pamper yourself in the luxurious bathroom boasting a grand free-standing brass bath and walk-in double shower. Why not treat yourself to a pure night of indulgence? It costs £500 for one night Saturday, £300 for any other night or £300 per night for a two night stay including Saturday. Prices include chocolates, champagne, flowers and your very own car park space.

Weddings at the manor AWARD-winning Winford Manor is a stunning hotel with 22 rooms, set at the head of the beautiful Chew Valley. After restoration, it is now a blend of old and new, sitting comfortably together in a relaxed and peaceful environment and makes a perfect venue for any wedding with an emphasis on environmental awareness and accessible services. Sitting in 7.5 acres of stunning parkland, it has ample space for a marquee if desired, breathtaking scenery for your precious photographs, and extensive car parking for all your guests. As every wedding is unique, their dedicated wedding coordinator will meet you to discuss your requirements in detail. From the moment you arrive, their friendly, professional staff will be on hand to ensure that the day runs smoothly and that your special event is truly memorable. Winford Manor has a ceremony licence and welcomes even the smallest of ceremonies. Visit their website for details of their special all-inclusive offers – a few dates available for 2013. www.winfordmanor.co.uk or email: reservations@winfordmanor.co.uk or call 01275 472292 PAGE 46 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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Classic wedding designs WOULD you like natural looking arrangements and bouquets for your wedding, but haven’t found a florist who shares your vision? Then why not try Classic Flower Designs! They blend seasonal flowers, herbs and foliage, with a little country chic to stunning wedding designs. Their bespoke service includes as many consultations as you need in the shop or wedding venue, delivery of all your flowers and they’ll even move your arrangements to a second venue on the day! They are recommended florists for Ston Easton Park Hotel and Folly Farm and work regularly in the top Chew Valley venues, so you can be sure you’re in safe hands. They have some spaces for this autumn/winter and are now booking for 2013. They usually take bookings at least a year in advance – it’s never too early to book! Their Flower Shop, based at Fairseat Workshops in Chew Stoke, is the ideal place to meet them and see their work.

The Wedding Florists based in the heart of the Chew Valley. Natural, country lowers for your wedding day A traditional lower shop selling cut lowers, planted containers and ready to go arrangements. You can also buy gifts, handmade treats and cards. You can ind them at Unit 5, Fairseat Workshops, Stoke Hill, Chew Stoke, Bristol BS40 8XF Tel: 01275 333095/0780 1953638 • www.classiclowerdesigns.co.uk ‘Seasonal lowers, herbs and foliage mixed with a little country chic . . . the English cottage garden in a bouquet’

National wedding winner WEDDING shoe specialist Susan Thomas Shoes has won a top national award from Weddings and Occasions magazine, which has named her wedding shoe specialist of the year. The citation says the award has been given “for outstanding achievement and commitment to offer a quality service or product within the above given industry”. Susan launched her business in Wedmore last year offering hand-crafted shoes inspired by 1950s style icons Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. She said: “I’m very pleased to have this recognition after such a short time in business and to know they are as passionate about the shoes as I am.”

Fiercely feminine . . . An exclusive collecon of handmade bridal shoes . . . No wedding ouit is complete without a pair of beauful bridal shoes. Every pair of our wedding shoes are hand made using only the best materials, from the soest Italian leathers to Swarovski crystals, which add a touch of pure elegance and sophiscaon. Irresistable shoes for the perfect day!

Please call 07961 890279

A shoe for every bride, a shoe for every wedding

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 47


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Make it spectacular FOR special events, don’t risk having anything less than flawless hair. The team at the Cutting Room in Westburysub-Mendip will provide you with stunning hair that will ensure all eyes are on you. On your wedding day, having less than perfect hair is not an option. They also have a manicure, pedicure and make-up service and they only charge £10 + £1 per mile to visit you at the venue of your choice. Call them now to discuss their customised wedding packages and how they can make your day spectacular. Browse through their gallery online for added inspiration! www.westburyhairsalon.co.uk

Hire the experts CHEW Valley Hire has been running since 1996. They construct their own toilet and shower units and have a varied client base for both their luxury and standard, toilet and shower units. Chew Valley Hire also has road matting and generators for hire. They are willing to advise you to the best of their abilities regarding any event you are holding, having worked at many events and venues, including weddings, funerals, parties, air shows, trees festivals, backstage in the VIP area at Glastonbury and many more. Give them a call to tell them your requirements.

Please call: 01761 462250 07732 925847 or 07889 976498 www.blagdonhorsedrawncarriages.com

PAGE 48 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Be yourself at Chew Valley Brides ALTHOUGH she loves making a traditional ivory wedding gown, Pam Sayer at Chew Valley Brides has become a specialist in making bridal gowns that are a little different from the norm. She said: “Probably about three quarters of my brides come to me to have their dress made because they want something they know they will never find in a shop, perhaps a very unusual or particular colour either for their whole dress or for parts of it, or perhaps some decorative work reflecting something very personal to them, or even simply wanting a shape or style that they know really suits them but that might not be the currently favoured trend. “They may not even want a dress at all – I’ve done some wonderful Eastern inspired trouser suits and Salwar Kamise over the years too.” Every dress Pam makes is completely unique and made to measure and all her brides enjoy the opportunity to see their dress grow stage by stage from fabric to sumptuous gown, often adding in design tweaks along the way as the dress takes shape and begins to introduce its own ideas. Pam forms a close relationship with her brides and their gowns and firmly believes that her handmade dresses each have characters of their own just as much as her brides.

Hitting the right note WHATEVER you are looking for in the way of live music, Salutemus can find the right people for your wedding or special event. From a single musician to a whole orchestra, with anything and everything in between, they will advise you and guide you so that your day is musically perfect. Perhaps you want a singer, a pianist, a harpist or a piper; a small vocal quartet or a large Gospel choir; a string quartet or a brass quintet; some handbell ringers or a ceilidh band; a smooth jazz trio or a big band. With their years of experience and wide contact list they will be able to help. Having booked your musicians they are then happy to arrange the music you want to fit the instruments and singers you have selected. Wedding, party, corporate event – with Salutemus in control you can sit back and enjoy your special day.


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Working in harmony creates perfect wedding venue THE combination of a stunning location and equally stunning in-house catering makes Pennard House, near Shepton Mallet, the ideal location for a wedding with style. The newly-converted Coach House at Pennard House was opened earlier this year and has already held a number of hugely successful weddings and events. One of the reasons for this success has been the high quality catering that is provided in the venue, all of which has been provided by Caroline Gent Catering. When launching the new venue, Pennard House teamed up with Caroline Gent as their preferred caterer. Caroline’s 20 years of experience of catering for weddings, balls, drinks parties and other large-scale events across the West Country, means they are able

to offer couples a tailor-made menu to fit their own tastes, styles and budgets. And whilst couples are able to choose their own caterer if they wish, so far all have found Caroline’s flexibility and value for money the best option for their special day. Georgina Dearden, Wedding Director at Pennard House, said: “We feel that a key element of any successful wedding is the catering as it enables couples to be able to relax on their wedding day confident that someone else is overseeing the important details. “We therefore wanted to make sure we were able to recommend the highest quality catering for what we felt was the best value. Caroline Gent did the catering for our own wedding three years ago and we couldn’t have wished for

any better. Not only was the food delicious and the service impeccable, we really felt able to trust Caroline to run our day so we could focus on enjoying ourselves! “It was therefore a clear choice for her to be our recommended caterer at Pennard House. As we have worked together, it has become even clearer how

much our philosophies overlap as Caroline’s ethos of locally sourced, seasonal food is in keeping with our values and she is able to be extremely flexible about what she offers which is exactly what we try to offer the couples who get married at Pennard House.“ A family home for four generations, Pennard House sits in glorious countryside at East Pennard. The village may not be familiar to many people outside the immediate area, but it has enormous appeal for those in-the-know, according to Harry Dearden, Georgina’s husband. Harry said: “We’ve found that the idea of getting married here is very attractive to people either from Somerset itself, or who have links with the county, possibly now living away in London but who want to come back here for their wedding.”

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 49


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A wedding venue to excite

Successful first year

THE Longhouse at the Mill on the Brue is a perfect venue for a wedding at any time of the year but also offers all the thrills and spills of an outdoor activity centre alongside. It was licensed for weddings five years ago and dozens of couples and their guests have enjoyed its unique atmosphere. It is part of the education centre established 30 years ago by the Rawlingson Plant family to offer children a chance to explore and experience the outside world. Now guests – and even the happy couples – stay onsite to enjoy some of the adventures on offer. Mill on the Brue offers “bunk and breakfast”: en-suite double and twin rooms and others with three bunks in them. The eco-friendly Longhouse itself has log fires and underfloor heating in winter. There’s no corkage charge for wedding parties who want to bring their own wine and a cash bar operates in the evening. Matt Rawlingson Plant, who runs the site with his mother Tricia, said: “People like to take advantage of the facilities here, by staying overnight and enjoying the activities on offer the next day.”

WITH their first wedding season coming to a close Mendip Marquees say they would like to say a big thank you to all who have used their services not just for their wedding marquees but also for all the little parties and events that have been happening over the summer. They really do appreciate all the support! Looking forward to next year they have already taken wedding bookings from as early as February 2013 and their diary seems to be filling up rapidly, so don’t delay in taking up one of their packages for your special day. Having now got a couple of years under their belt they are able to invest more into the company which in turn means more products available so keep checking their website for updates. There’s much more to come.

PAGE 50 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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Tipis for all occasions WITH another season nearing completion Tipi Events are proud to present another winter special offer. They offer a wide range of services quite apart from their stunning tents that provide an inspirational event whatever the theme. The Giant Hat Tipi structures can come fully equipped with flooring, heating, designed interiors and atmospheric lighting. Following their successful Eat Drink Bristol Fashion event in Queen Square, Bristol they are looking forward to erecting an even bigger structure in 2013. As part of their offering they also have their very own wedding venue with the most stunning views overlooking Chew Valley Lake. You can download their brand new APP from itunes and design you own event, floor plan and quote so search for INVENT A TENT- TAP OUT A TIPI APP.

Download our ‘Invent a Tent’ app from iTunes and design your own celebration!

Recession busting packages available which include all you need to create a perfect wedding at the venue of your choice be it at home in the garden, the local pub or even at a speciic land mark. We can base your additonal preferences around any package or just simply pick a package, provide the date and we'll take care of the rest. There are many other wedding essentials that will need your undivided attention. You can rely on Mendip Marquees to make the marquee hire experience as easy and enjoyable as it can be. We've got it covered!! What our packages include: Marquee Ivory Satin Linings Coconut Coir Matting Round Banquet Tables Trestle Tables Chairs Chandeliers Globe lights Dance Floor Catering Tent

Marquee Marquee Marquee Marquee Marquee Marquee

for for for for for for

60 80 100 125 150 200

£996.00 £1163.00 £1490.00 £1760.00 £1996.00 £2256.00

Late availability always available: 07881 402489 Email: info@mendipmarquees.co.uk Website: www.mendipmarquees.co.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 51


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First anniversary IT’S coming up to a year since TRUG opened its doors at its new location in The Triangle, Wrington. During this time their floral team have enjoyed unprecedented success, pushing the boundaries of style, colour and imagination, ensuring they surpass the expectations of all their customers. Due to popular demand Tara will be running her special Christmas Wreath workshops and in addition she will be adding a programme of Spring Floral workshops to her timetable – these will be varied in content and aim to inspire and give students the confidence to unlock their full creative potential. Their team have also been busy hand-picking a variety of gorgeous gifts for their shop and the stock is continually changing so pop in soon, they can’t wait to share it with you! They still have some availability for weddings and events in 2013 – so call them soon to avoid disappointment.

OPRIL CTOBER PAGE 52 • MENDIP TIMES • A 20122012

Something very special from Geni Printing GENI Printing knows that your wedding day is important to you and their bespoke wedding stationery will help capture the mood of this very special occasion. Nigel and Lindsay Game and their staff pride themselves on outstanding quality and service. There is a wide range of stocks available, including, smooth, silk, textured, linen, satin, pinstripe, hammer, pearlescent and parchment. Special motifs, bows, rounded corners, gold or silver edged cards etc. can also be supplied. The colour of ink, inserts or cards can be matched by using a hi-tech spectrometer. Geni Printing’s ‘state of the art’ Konica Minolta Colour Digital Presses, produce an unsurpassed quality, second to none. Products include invitations, reply postcards, location maps, favour tags, order of services, table plans, menus and place cards. Give your professional, very experienced, local printers a call on 01275 333895, visit their stand at The Wellsway Wedding Fair, BS40 6EJ on Sunday October 14th, 11am – 4pm, or visit their website – www.geniprinting.co.uk You won’t be disappointed!


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WILDLIFE

How the web was woven

Photography by Chris Sperring

AUTUMN is the perfect time to get acquainted with spiders. Many are nearing the end of their life and are at their By CHRIS largest and most SPERRING MBE conspicuous at this time of year. Garden spiders, also known as orb web spiders or cross spiders (because of the white cross marking on the back), are one of our most common species, and are also among the most noticeable. Their beautiful markings and spectacular webs cannot fail to impress, making them a photographer’s dream. Garden spiders feed on flying insects such as butterflies, wasps and flies, which they catch in their fantastic webs. Once prey has been caught, the spider wraps it in silk and injects it with venom which paralyses and begins to digest the victim, so that she can return later and drink the pre-digested soup. The webs themselves are an amazing feat of engineering, beginning with radial spokes made with a special non-sticky thread, which the spider then joins together with the sticky thread in everdecreasing circles, being careful to only stand on the non-sticky parts of the web as she works her way round to create the perfect spiral: and the perfect trap. She will then sit upside-down in the centre of the web to wait for passing insects to become ensnared. These spiders are such master web builders that they can create a new web every day if they need to. If a web gets broken, or she decides that it’s not in a good enough position to catch enough prey, she will simply eat her master creation and find a new spot to start all over again. Each new web can be created in a matter of hours and the best time to look for them is early in the morning when they are often covered in sparkling droplets of dew, making them all the more spectacular. Although males will build webs they are much smaller and less impressive, and it seems that they tend to spend much more effort searching

As w Brig wild

for females or scavenging from female’s webs than actually building their own webs. Female garden spiders lay their eggs in the autumn in a silk sack, which they then commit the rest of their lives to protecting. They will not leave the eggs to feed and eventually die in late autumn. The eggs hatch the following spring. The spiderlings are tiny and inconspicuous to begin with, but become more obvious as they grow throughout the year, eventually reaching their full adult size around September or October of their second year. Though garden spiders vary in colour, from brown to orange and even yellow, they can be recognised by several characteristics. Firstly, their shape is quite distinctive as they have a huge, bulbous thorax which is almost triangular in shape. Another is the beautiful pattern including a sprinkling of white dots usually forming a white cross marking on the back. And lastly, of course, is the amazing orb web which is usually located about 1 metre from ground level

and can be half a metre in diameter. Females are much larger than males, with a body length of up to 15mm, whereas the males only measure up to 9mm. They are common throughout Britain and most of Europe. Spiders are ancient animals, and have been around in their modern design for at least 200 million years. They differ from insects in that they have only two body segments (insects have three) and four pairs of legs. They do not have jaws or the ability to digest solid food, so all are venomous in order to both immobilise and digest their prey before they eat (well actually drink) it. All British species, however, have too small fangs and too little venom to cause much, if any, pain to humans should they get bitten. Nevertheless arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) is the most common of all phobias. I urge everyone to spend some time this autumn admiring the spectacular achievements of the evolutionary miracle that is the garden spider!

Chris Sperring is Conservation Officer for the Hawk and Owl Trust Contact him on 01275 849287 or via chris.sperring@btinternet.com MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 53


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MENDIP TIMES

Walk among the planets

ENJOY the Sun and various planets as you follow this interesting circle along part of the Canal Space Walk sculpture trail by the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal not far from Bridgwater. The best is kept until last but all of it is tranquil, flat, easy and relaxing. Set off on the canal with good views over the quiet rural landscape and then circle back using quiet lanes, passing cottages and crossing a walnut orchard before returning to the canal for the space walk. There is an excellent canalside café at the start open until the end of October. It’s a good circle for dogs. I have chosen for some of the time to use quiet lanes rather than footpaths as many of the paths in this

area are not well maintained and add very little to the quality of the walk. It’s pleasant, anyway, walking past country cottages. PARK: At the Canalside car park at Maunsel Lock near North Newton. From the M5 J24 head down the A38 through North Petherton. Turn left to North Newton. Go through and then follow Canalside car park signs along narrow lanes to the spacious car park by the canal at the lock. START: Cross the canal and turn left with the canal on your left. Pass an elegant line of poplars. You may encounter narrow boats along here or one of the canal pleasure trips. Look out for herons and other water birds. 1. COXHILL BRIDGE After about half a mile (10 mins) leave the tow path at Coxhill Bridge, bridge No.16. Cross the canal and follow this No Through lane which only serves farms on the other side of the canal.

With Sue Gearing PAGE 54 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

2. JUNCTION At a junction turn left. Pass the entrance to Maunsel House, a magnificent 13th century manor set in 100 acres of parkland. The estate was once home to the Count Eustace of Boulogne, kinsman of William the Conqueror. The name Maunsel comes from the French meaning ‘sleeve of land’.

3. CHURCH Continue on and at brick barns on the right notice a gate and public footpath on the right. If you go up here you can see the small picturesque church of St Michael, part of the Maunsel estate and often used for weddings. Sadly, it may well be closed. Drop down a few more yards on the lane to a footpath on the left by a converted millhouse. 4. WALNUT GROVE Pass alongside the house, cross a footbridge and go straight on through a glorious walnut grove – again part of the Maunsel Estate. Head for a large modern


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WALKING

barn which you see ahead before long and this leads to the far side of the grove to a stile by a gate onto the lane. Turn right. Carry on, ignoring a right turn and all the way to a junction with a lane. Turn left towards Hedging. Pass a farm, go through the hamlet of Hedging and follow the lane for about three quarters of a mile, ignoring a left turn. Ignore a right turn at Passmore Corner. 5. FIELD Continue on and take the signed footpath on the left into a field. Aim for the far corner – and, depending on what is growing in the field, it is probably best to go down the left side, and round the corner until you get to the far corner. Then go on between hedges. In the next field, which has been planted with maize this year, follow the left hedge. Before you reach the end, go left through an opening and about 30 metres into the field. Then turn right parallel with the right hedge aiming for the houses on the other side of the canal. Go through onto the canal towpath at Outwood. 6. CANAL Cross the footbridge and turn left along the tow path with the canal on your left. You now have about a mile (20 mins) on the towpath back to the start. Pass a bridge and come to a bench installed by evacuees who came here in the last war and further on another two benches in grateful memory of evacuees’ war foster parents. 7. PLANETS Reach Mars, the first of several inner planets on the Space Walk. The Somerset Space Walk is a sculpture trail model of the solar system, using the canal to display a model of the Sun and its

About 4 miles 1.75 hours walking OS Explorer 140 Quantock Hills & Bridgwater, grid ref: 307 298 planets in their proportionally correct sizes and distances apart. Unusually for a solar system model, there are two sets of planets. It was designed by inventor Pip Youngman as a way of challenging our perceptions of space and experiencing the vastness of our own Solar System, and was opened in August 1997 by British astronomer Heather Couper. The model is built to a scale of 1:530,000,000, so that one millimetre on the model equals 530 kilometres. The Sun is sited at Higher Maunsel Lock and one set of planets is installed in each direction along the canal towards Taunton and Bridgwater. The inner planets where you are now are grouped around the Sun at Higher Maunsel Lock. Each of the plinths doubles up as a milepost – the distance to Bridgwater and to Taunton is cast in the concrete at ground level below a British Waterways logo. In 2007, a project team from Somerset County Council refurbished some of the models. 8. THE SUN Continue on passing planets until you join a tarmac lane and come to Higher Maunsel Lock and the Sun. After this, carry on along the tow path with the canal on your left, past more planets, back to the start. Maunsell Lock cafe, open Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun until end of October. They may well be willing to open at other times for groups. Phone to book and if the weather is not too great phone in the morning to check that it will be open. Tel: 01278 663160 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 55


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OUTDOORS

THE chill of autumn has arrived and the moor is covered in a low-lying mist early in the morning. The nights are drawing in. Even though our With LES summer was nonDAVIES MBE existent, it’s still a shame to see the lighter evenings start to slip away. I don’t think that we have had any more than a couple of weeks of good weather throughout the “summer” months and I feel a little cheated as winter gets ever closer and what should have been, never was. Looking forward is the only way and that is what I will do - look forward to an autumn that I hope will make up in some way for the disappointing weather through the year. Never have I known a worse growing season! My vegetable patch that should have provided me with beans in abundance, potatoes by the pot-load, carrots by the cart-load and tomatoes by the tub-full, has given me next to nothing thanks to the snails, slugs and cold ground. Blight knocked down all my fieldgrown main crop potatoes, where the tubers rotted in the ground. A couple of hundred years ago this would have spelled disaster for a rural family, whose food supply very much relied upon selfsufficiency and the production from their own patch of land. That self-sufficiency was something I grew up with, as would many others of my age. Part of the reason I still grow my own food is that link to my past. Most of the produce that comes from my garden is distributed to others in an ageold custom of sharing the bounty. I do however get a little possessive when it comes to my early potatoes, onions and shallots. I have within my memory bank the recollection of hours spent with my grandfather as he worked his patch of vegetable garden. The endless wheelbarrow loads of dung he pushed up across the sloping stony yard at Hales Farm and through the narrow door that led into the walled garden. I can still recall the clatter of his hob-nailed boots on the stone and how he leant forward and pushed the barrow with all his

Photograph courtesy of www.weekendinthecountry.co.uk

West Countryman’s Diary

strength to get it up the narrow grass path. He grew rows of runner beans, all supported by hazel rods cut from the hedgerows, and loads of onions that would end up in winter stews, boiled with shin of beef, carrots and great big Dough Boys, (referred to as dumplings these days). As well as the early potatoes grown in the garden he would grow at least two rows of a main crop variety in the field. These rows were always “tagged” on to the end of the farm potato crop, to be lifted and picked up by the family after the day’s work was completed. They were stored in hessian sacks in a cool, dry, frost-free building for use throughout the winter. Wow – chips fried in lard with an egg, creamy mashed potato, and roast potato with beef, runner beans and thick, thick gravy for Sunday dinner. It was all loaded with calories, but the lifestyle demanded a high calorie diet with a lot of physical work being done. It’s different today, there are very few who will work physically hard for a living and that is why our eating habits have had to change. With autumn will come the ploughing matches and I will be making comment on the Mendip Match that takes place at Yoxter near Priddy on September 26th in next month’s edition. I am hoping for a good day, not only in the turn-out of competitors and visitors, but also the weather. Last year’s match was blessed with a wonderfully sunny day and although ground conditions early in the day were wet, things improved no end at the close of ploughing. The apple crop is also disappointing this year. A miserable blossom period

with cold, wet conditions did little for what blossom was on the trees. I wait to see what the sugar levels are like in the cider crop this year, but I doubt it will be ranked amongst the “vintage” years. I will be at the Somerset Rural Life Museum on Saturday October 27th doing a demonstration of cider pressing using straw, so if any one would like to come and see how it used to be done, I would be delighted to explain the process further. Meanwhile I did a little bit of cider tasting with a group of ladies who came to stay with fellow Mendip Times contributor Adrian Boots. Adrian and his wife Renee run event weekends for stag and hen parties and are constantly looking for new ideas to introduce into their programme. With this in mind they approached me. So fired with enthusiasm and a little knowledge from tasting under the guidance of the masters of cider makers John and Martin Thatcher, I decided to give it a go. The event was a great success and I must say an eye-opener for those who took part. They had no idea there was so much variety available and were quite ruthless in their rejection of some ciders. The winner (and it will not surprise you) was Thatcher’s Rose Katie! Quite simply the very best of the West is located right here in the Mendip Hills, be that cheese, yoghurt or cider. We have the companies that are nationally renowned with premium brands and a reputation to go with them. Somerset is truly the land of plenty even in a difficult year! And finally – this month’s photo is of a group of new Somerset cider tasting devotees (spot the odd one out).

I’m always happy to hear from you, so drop me a line at Les.Davies@westcountryman.org.uk PAGE 56 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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New season brings new beginnings I DON’T know about you but I was a little surprised to be reaching for my coat quite so soon into September. A chill in the air and the shorter days signal that a new season is fast approaching. Whilst I try and contain my excitement for the events that this time of year brings; Halloween, By KATIE Bonfire Night, and ultimately Christmas, I BUNTING will tell you a little bit about what is going on here at Yeo Valley! Things down on the farm are as busy as ever! With a few days of unexpected sunshine we took the last cut of silage which will be stored in clamps at Holt Farm and used as winter feed for our British Friesian herd. Our flock of Lleyn sheep will graze the pastures like living lawnmowers throughout the winter. Harvesting is also complete. Like many British farmers we suffered this year because of the wet weather and decided to harvest early. However, this does mean we can sow our grass seed sooner before the ground gets too cold. To make sure the land remains fertile we rotate our crops; growing three years of grass after three years of cereal. As our farms prepare for the new season former Yeo Valley columnist Graham Keating’s preparations have finally paid off and he has set sail on his big round the world adventure. Graham and wife Dianne left Dartmouth at the end of August stopping first in Plymouth before moving on to Falmouth. Here they had to wait for the weather before heading to the sunnier climes of north-west Spain. The sail through the Bay of Biscay was delayed slightly by the lack of wind which meant a stopover in Brittany. It’s not all bad news as they were able to stock up on vital supplies including French wine before setting sail once more! Their two and a half day passage took them to La Coruna. As they sailed into the bay they were able to raise their light wind sail for the first time which proudly boasts the Yeo Valley Family Farm logo. The next stop for Graham and Diane will be Cape Finisterre

to the west of Spain before they begin to head south down the coast. We’ll bring you more photos of their big adventure later in the year. For those of us not embarking on a worldwide adventure, this time of year means back to the daily routine of school, college and work. Here at Yeo Valley we are hoping to brighten the darker mornings with our new breakfast pot. Our Strawberry Yeogurt with Orange Infused Granola contains just 2.5% fat so that’s something to smile about! We’d love to know what you think: www.yeovalley.co.uk.

Yeo Valley HQ reopens! Following the recent refurbishments YV HQ is now open for business as usual.

Katie Bunting is communications co-ordinator 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. www.yeovalley.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 57


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MENDIP TIMES

Timely tips for autumn AS the days shorten it is time to prepare the garden for the winter months ahead, even though the late asters, dahlias and chrysanthemums may be still putting on a good show. So take advantage of some drier weather (hopefully) and get ahead with some of these jobs. With MARY As the leaves start to fall, and they seem PAYNE MBE to have started rather early this year, it is important to clear them off the lawn to help prevent lawn diseases. The easiest method is simply to mow the lawn thus chopping up the leaves. The cutting height of the mower should have been raised for cutting during the autumn. It is vital that leaves do not lie on the crowns of small plants, in borders or on rock gardens, for any length of time, as this will lead to rotting. On borders between more robust plants the leaves can stay and act as mulch and the worms will pull them into the soil during the winter months. Any bare patches on the lawns can be re-seeded providing the night temperatures are above 5ºC. The autumnal dews will help to keep the seed moist. October is a good time to replenish your pots and containers with bulbs and winter flowering pansies. Do not delay removing the summer colour for too long as the pansies will flower better through the winter if they get established before the cold weather arrives. Try Bellis daisies as a change from pansies. These have been improved over the past few years and will put on a brave show next spring along with primroses and polyanthus. You may not have had too many apples and pears this year, due mainly to poor weather conditions during flowering, which discouraged the bees and other pollinating insects from venturing out. Any fruit you do have should be picked carefully to avoid bruising. Cup the fruit in your hand and give a slight twist; if the fruit is ready it will come away without the need to pull. Undamaged fruits can be stored in a cool, dry place, but check them regularly to remove rotting fruits that may affect the remainder. Grease bands should be applied to fruit trees to minimise the damage done by the caterpillars of the winter moth in the spring. The adult female winter moth has no wings so after mating she has to walk up the trunk of the tree to lay her eggs, thus getting trapped on the band of grease. The stems of blackberries and loganberries that fruited this year can be cut out and the new growth tied in. This will prevent damage during windy periods. On the vegetable plot autumn onion sets can be planted now to give an earlier crop next summer. The variety ‘Troy’ has performed particularly well in trials. Plant the sets 5-10cm (24”) apart with 20-30cm (8-12”) between the rows. Delay planting broad beans until early November otherwise they may get too large and be prone to damage during the winter. Any spare land can be sown with green manure such as Grazing Rye, which can be dug into the ground in the spring. If you have not already done so, net your overwintering brassicas to protect them from the pigeons. Make sure the net is secured well above the plants, otherwise the pigeons land on the net and still can do considerable damage. Once the tomatoes have finished cropping in the greenhouse, it is a good time to have a good blitz and clean out ready for storing plants over winter. Take everything, clear all fallen PAGE 58 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Cornus alba Cv

leaves etc, and wash the interior thoroughly using a disinfectant such as Jeyes Fluid. Remove any shading that was applied to the outside of the glass and clean the glass thoroughly. Bubble wrap can then be secured to the inside for insulation, if required. It is also worth checking that the greenhouse heater, if used, is still in working order. An electric fan heater with a thermostat is the most cost effective way of heating a greenhouse and even when not producing heat the fan will circulate the air which can get very humid during the winter. Cold frames also need a good clear-out and the glass cleaned before being filled with young plants to overwinter. Towards the end of the month, as perennial flowers start to die down and the old stems are cut back, spare a thought for the birds and leave some seed heads for them. Those not worth leaving can be lifted and divided, replanting the outer sections of the old clump. Spare pieces can be heeled in somewhere ready to be potted up for plant sales next spring. Most shrub pruning is best left until the spring but rampant growing shrubs that flower on current season’s growth such as Buddleja davidii, lavatera and Queen Elizabeth roses can be reduced in height by about one third to prevent wind rock during the winter. Their final pruning can be done in the spring. Do not be tempted to cut them back hard in the autumn – it may be fatal. Be prepared to protect vulnerable plants from the winter weather. A 15cm (6”) pile of mulch will help protect dahlias, cannas and fuchsias if left in the ground. Pots can be moved to a sheltered position, or wrapped in bubble plastic to stop frost penetrating the compost and cracking the pot. I move agapanthus under my porch where they avoid excess rain, putting them in a shed would also suffice as long as they do not dry out completely. It is a pleasure to work in the garden on a sunny autumnal day. So make hay if the sun shines and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to send us this winter.


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GARDENING OCTOBER GARDEN TIPS

Theale Flower Show

G Transplant evergreen shrubs. Dig them with a generous ball of soil to protect the roots and minimise disturbance. G Reduce the height of bush roses by trimming them back by a third to a half their height. This will reduce the likelihood of the roots being damaged if the tops rock around in the winter gales. Clear up and burn any diseased leaves. G Plant any sort of tree, shrub, climber, perennial, conifer, rockery plant and heather this month, as long as they are hardy. This is the very best month for planting! G Sow sweet peas for the best and earliest blooms next year! Use extra deep pots or better still ‘Root Trainers’. G Plant winter flowering pansies but look for those that are already in flower or have buds showing. Those without buds now may not flower well until spring. Don’t forget to take precautions against slug and snail attack. Watch for greenfly in winter. G Plant wallflowers out to provide a great display and fantastic scent in spring. These traditional bedding plants still provide a superb show and look fantastic when underplanted with tall tulips. G Pull up runner bean plants and put them on the compost heap. Store the poles in a dry place for next year. G Cover tender veg with polytunnels or cloches. Courtesy of Cleeve Nursery

WELCOMES YOU THIS AUTUMN • Autumn bedding now ready incl. Pansies, Wallflowers etc. • Spring flowering bulbs – plant now for brilliant spring colour • Unwins, Fothergills and Johnsons Seeds • Extensive range of Terracotta and Glazed Pots • Composts, Mulches and Barks (Multi-buy and Special Offers) • National Garden Gift Vouchers sold and redeemed • Shrubs, Climbers, Perennials etc.

Also available: • Gravel & grits, paving & walling • Fencing, posts & trellis etc. LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICE Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10.30am-4.30pm

Norton Green Farm Nursery Wells Road, Chilcompton, Nr. Bath Tel: 01761 232137 E. nortongreenfarm@tiscali.co.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 59


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MENDIP TIMES

Wet, wet, wet THE bad summer didn’t appear to deter entrants in this year’s Mendip In Bloom awards, say organisers. Speaking at the annual prizegiving ceremony in Glastonbury Town Hall, chairman Alan Gloak praised everyone who took part. But he also urged Street and Shepton Mallet to reconvene their own In Bloom committees and rejoin the competition. This year saw the first presentation of the President’s trophy for best entry. Christine Potter awarded the Diamond Jubilee Trophy to Mike Baker, from the Cross Keys pub in Rode; Mike also won the award for Best Rural Pub, for the second year running.

Award winners in Glastonbury Town Hall Best small garden

Marchant’s Buildings, Glastonbury Best large garden

R E S U LT S Best In Town Pub: The Olive Tree, Frome Best Commercial Premises: Queen Street Traders Association, Wells Best Public Building: Glastonbury Town Hall Best Community Award: Marchant’s Buildings, Glastonbury Best Large Garden: Rex Steer, Wells Best Small Garden: Val Norwall, Frome Best Allotment: Mr A. Wood Best Rural Pub: Cross Keys, Rode Best Village: Nunney Best Town: Glastonbury Best Photo: Esther Waltham, 11, Street President’s Trophy: Cross Keys, Rode

PAGE 60 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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GARDENING

Part of Mike Baker’s hanging basket display Glastonbury Town Hall

Mike Baker, from the Cross Keys with In Bloom president Christine Potter

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MENDIP TIMES

How does your garden grow? Photographs by Mark Adler THE National Gardening Show was living proof that the idea of gardening means different things to different people. Organised by the Royal Bath and West of England Society, the three-day show attracted thousands of people.

Never Mind the Hollyhocks: Naomi Slade’s punk-themed show garden

The Edible Bus Stop modular garden was a big hit at the show. Designed by landscape architect Will Sandy, from Bath, the project is based around a bus route in South London. Bath will become the first city outside London to receive an edible bus stop. It’s due to be sited in Bear Flat. Show chairman Annie Maw is pictured with the team from EBS along with Alan Down, from Cleeve Nursery, who donated the plants

Gnomes have rights too! Members of the Bath-based Natural Theatre Company protest at a silver medal-winning garden by Angela Morley, of Shepton Mallet PAGE 62 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

English country garden: show paramedic Linsey Davies tries her hand at croquet. She is pictured with Marion Button, Peter Collard and Dea Pritchard from the Camerton and Peasedown Croquet Club

Impressive: the quality of the vegetable entries was still high despite the poor growing season

Young gardeners wanted: Matthew, aged 10, tries to guess the weight of the marrow on a stand run by the South West England District Association of the National Vegetable Society. The district is keen to encourage new members. Anyone interested should contact secretary Derek Aldred on: 01373 836414


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GARDENING

Gardeners honoured TWO of the longestserving members of the Frome Selwood Horticutural Society have been presented with Royal Horticultural Society long service awards and medals. Mary Kelley, part president of the FSHS, served in various capacities for 44 years from competing to You’ve all done very well! helping with the teas. Mary was also a teacher and co-ordinator of the society’s impressive displays at the Frome Cheese Show. Ray Carver received a bar to his medal for 52 years’ service to horticulture, as founder member of the society and for his work with Frome in Bloom and also as a former Frome Gardens and Amenities Manager. They were presented with their awards by society president Pam Secker who paid tribute to their dedication. The show itself, the society’s 44th, defied all expectations with entries up on past years, despite the bad weather, at 477 from 47 exhibitors. Alistair Wood won the top prize, The Ralph Showering Memorial Trophy for Best Exhibit in Show for his dahlias. Prizes were presented by Pippa Goldfinger, the mayor of Frome.

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Winter servicing discounts available – ring for more information Situated between Street and Bridgwater please come and visit our showroom. As well as sales we have a large service centre and a comprehensive spares department.

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ALL YOUR GARDENING NEEDS – SET IN 12 WONDERFUL ACRES MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 63


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MENDIP TIMES

Beating the weather

GARDENING

South West in Bloom winners!

Photography by Sam Ross

Judging in Hutton

FARMBOROUGH Flower Show was a winning event, despite the poor summer weather. Both familiar and new faces went away with the many trophies, cups, shields, bowls and certificates. Visitors and entrants thoroughly enjoyed the show and all were inspired by the displays.

TOWNS and villages in the Mendip area are celebrating after winning top awards in the South West in Bloom awards, which were announced as Mendip Times went to press. There were Golds for Radstock, Timsbury and Hutton, with silver gilts for Glastonbury and Chew Magna. All of them were praised for the involvement of the community in improving their local environment. One of the judges said: “Radstock must be particularly pleased. The former mining community has completely transformed itself in recent years.” Hutton was named the best small village in the whole of the region, while the team at Timsbury reformed only three years ago and was taking part in the regional competition for the first time since then. One of the members said: “A lot of hard work has gone into it since then and more and more people have got involved. It really has helped bring the village together.”

Judging in Radstock

The Timsbury in Bloom team

PAGE 64 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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NEWS

Rainbows celebrate

Carnival on against the odds

Part of the children’s procession

GIRLS from Churchill Rainbows joined 200 others from around the county to celebrate Rainbow Guiding’s 25th anniversary. Donning a large leather glove each, Emily Kendrick and Alexa Ford stepped into the ring as they volunteered to help with a falconry display. Some excited Rainbows had the chance to witness a saddleback pig giving birth, leading one group to start the adoption procedure for one piglet they are naming Rainbow. County Rainbow Advisor and Guider Lucy Cowgill said: “All the girls have been very enthusiastic to take part in everything possible and always enjoy new adventures.“

Our town, our future A CAMPAIGN group opposed to another large supermarket in Frome is to host an event focusing on big retail outlets and the future of communities. Independence Day will be held in mid-November and has attracted nationally-acclaimed speakers to offer their views on how Frome residents can play a stronger part in shaping the future of the town. Keep Frome Local was formed in 2010 in response to a developer’s plans for 80,000 square feet of retail space on the Saxonvale site in Frome town centre – with half of this allocated to a Tesco store. Campaigners say this represents more than the total existing retail space in the town’s centre. Another developer is also said to have an interest in the site. Keep Frome Local says it continues to favour a high quality development of the Saxonvale site, which complements rather than compromises the town centre. John Harris, campaign spokesman, said: “So many important questions have been thrown up since we started campaigning. We thought it was time to try and tackle these, in the company of people who have experienced the urgency of these issues and understand planning and how to lobby local government. “We hope also that this event helps local business owners, as well as those behind other anti-supermarket campaigns.” G Independence Day will take place on Saturday, November 17th, from 10.30am to 4pm at the Wesley Chapel in Frome town centre. Registration for the event costs £11 and tickets are available from the Cheese and Grain. More information is available at independenceday2012.co.uk

GRATEFUL organisers have praised sponsors who have come forward to ensure this year’s Castle Cary children’s carnival and evening procession can take place. It costs around £5,000 each year to stage the two events and the team behind the events have admitted they originally experienced difficulties in finding the necessary funding. The volunteers of the Castle Cary and Ansford Carnival Committee receive no public or charitable funding yet they aim to raise around £3,000 for local causes through collections during the processions. On the afternoon of Saturday, October 6th, the children’s carnival will circuit the town centre led by the Carnival Prince and Princess and a range of individual, family and playgroup and school entries. There is a new category for 2012: for a small, decorated lightweight trolley that a child can easily push around the circuit. The evening of Saturday, October 13th will see the town’s Illuminated carnival come through the town with walking entries, majorettes and large floats. Local carnival clubs Cary Comedians and the Britannia Carnival Club will feature, as will many regulars. Cary’s carnival is part of the Wessex Grand Prix circuit. Committee member Paul Hansford said: “Like many Carnival Committees, we had a hard time in 2011 to find the cash we need to put on our carnivals. Luckily, we found some generous sponsors at the last minute so our 2012 carnivals are safe. I hope folk will come to Cary in good time to visit our shops, the fun fair and get in the carnival mood!”

Collecting buckets help raise around £3,000 for local causes MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 65


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MENDIP TIMES

Making a splash

Making waves – prizes were on offer for the best fancy dress Victory in the City of Wells Lions Cup race for the Dead Ringers team from the Ring O’Bells at Wookey

A LARGE crowd turned out to watch the 11th Moat Boat Races event on the moat of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells. Seven races were held along with a charity fair on the recreation ground alongside the moat. The event was organised by the City of Wells Lions Club and the City of Wells Air Training Corps and raised money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance – the charity chosen by the Rt. Revd. Peter Price, the Bishop of Bath and Wells – and local charities.

Blazing paddles!

Going overboard: a member of the Health and Safety Overboard team Cadets take to the water

The start of the Business Challenge Cup PAGE 66 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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EVENTS

Winford Produce Fair

Chew Stoke Harvest Home

Pensford Green Festival

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 67


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MENDIP TIMES

COMMUNITY

Cyberbullying – why does it happen? FACEBOOK, Twitter, chatrooms and “social media” in general: magnificent opportunities for sharing knowledge, connecting society, giving people a voice and generally generating discussion and change – but there can be a down side. I’m a bit of an “I.T. immigrant”, which By SIMON means that I didn’t grow up with the SELBY technology already in existence. The opposite phrase is an “I.T. native” and basically refers to those who grew up with these services and are usually therefore more conversant with them. A classic example of this is when something technical refuses to work, such as the video, and a young person manages to fix it in about 30 seconds before giving you a look like you’re an idiot… we’ve all been there. However clever they are, sadly some of these young I.T. natives are still vulnerable to online problems we older – and hopefully wiser – types are not. An example of this is that they are often more trusting and naive and therefore far more inclined to give out too much detail (data) about themselves. This could easily put them in harm’s way when it comes to being conned, bullied or targeted by some of society’s worst people. Generally, we older types have gained an advantage through acquired life skills and experience. We also have the confidence and experience to defend ourselves appropriately. Sadly some may have experienced this type of behaviour earlier in their lives and know that the only way to stop it (and

to stop it from happening to others) is to take appropriate action rather than suffering in silence. Sadly, many young people will suffer alone, confused and eventually desperate. But just how frequent is this cyberbullying and how exactly does it manifest itself through the modern plethora of I.T.? The short answer is that we are not sure, but it appears to be fairly significant. In addition, the impact of those being victimised can be very extreme as they can be bullied at anytime, rather than the more fixed “venue” of traditional bullying. They also may not know the identity of their bully, or indeed bullies, as this can often develops it a group. And lastly they can revisit the hurtful comments over and over again, effectively revictimising themselves. I’m looking at the whole issue as part of my PhD. It’s a big topic and I would like to thank the young people and staff who are helping me with this endeavour and especially the two schools forming the study pilot, Writhlington School in Radstock and St Mark’s in Bath. The project is being progressed through Bath Spa University and we are very grateful to be funded primarily by Somerset Crimebeat Trust and secondly by Bath and North East Somerset Council. I hope to bring you updates as our project and findings develop, but I will end with a message to young people who may be reading this and who might be suffering from cyberbullying: we adults take an interest in what is going on and are here to help. Don’t suffer in silence.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre runs an excellent website with lots of advice for young people, parents, carers, teachers and trainers. Visit: www.thinkuknow.co.uk

Pupils give peace a chance PUPILS at Norton Hill School in Midsomer Norton have a long tradition of supporting the United Nations International Day of Peace which takes place on September 21st each year. Once again, pupils joined forces to mark the day by creating hundreds of small ‘Windmills for Peace” which provided a powerful show of support for the day to the wider community when displayed at the front of the school. International Day of Peace, often referred to as Peace One Day in the UK, has been celebrated worldwide since 1982. The idea behind the windmills, which has been taken up by schools in every corner of the globe, is that pupils write messages or draw pictures in support of peace and that these messages blow away in the wind and join together to form a worldwide show of support.

This was the fifth year that pupils at the school have shown their support by making the windmills. Tom Hockaday, International Coordinator at the school, said: “We are so proud of our pupils for wanting to support International Day of Peace. The scale of support has grown enormously to the stage where the vast majority of the student body now choose to make a windmill and join the

global movement. Long may it continue.” Pupils also enjoyed assemblies with words and music provided by students of Midsomer Norton Sixth Form. This year the students chose to give the assemblies a London 2012 theme to tie in with the Olympic ideals of a peaceful coming together of communities from all over the world.

Simon Selby is Director of the Crimebeat Awards Scheme. PAGE 68 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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MOTORING UBLEY MOTOR SERVICES MG ROVER & LAND ROVER SPECIALIST

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CLEEVE HILL, UBLEY BS40 6PG Telephone: 01761 462275 (24hrs) www.ubleymotors.co.uk

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Marchants Hill, Gurney Slade BA3 4TY Call: 01749 841051 Mob: 07778 465520 Email: sales@caravanrepairs-sw.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 69


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MENDIP TIMES

Olympic quilt

NEWS

Mendip volunteers OCTOBER sees the start of the Mendip Hills AONB autumn/winter volunteer programme. A range of tasks including fence construction, scrub clearance to benefit wildlife, and learning the traditional skill of hedge-laying will run once a fortnight on Tuesdays throughout most of the year. The summer programme of practical tasks including path construction, meadow management and dry stone walling contributed 275 volunteer hours to the work of the AONB Partnership. Details: Owen Jones 01761 462338 email mendipvolunteers@gmail.com or http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/volunteering

Traditional signs restored THE Olympic quilt, made by members of Chewton Mendip WI, has safely reached its destination, the Vanuatu islands in the South Pacific. Every team at the games received a similar gift, made by organisations and quilters from all over the country. Philip Curtis, the son of Chewton WI president Carol Curtis, was a volunteer at the games and was able to track down the team from Vanuatu. They told him: “It has been an honour to come to the London Games. People have been extremely friendly and generous. Such gifts encompass the Olympic Spirit.” They will donate the quilt to the islands’ children’s hospital.

Barrels of draughts

Some of the volunteers who ran the bars at the Wessex Beer Festival

ALMOST 30 real ales and as many ciders were on offer at the sixth Wessex Beer Festival, organised by the Rotary Club of Somer Valley. It was held in the grounds of the Court Hotel at Chilcompton over two days and featured live music each evening. PAGE 70 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

TRADITIONAL road signs are being restored across the Mendips. The black and white fingerposts dating from the 1900s can be seen on many high profile junctions and crossroads. With funding from the Mendip Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund the first 10 posts to be repaired are on the route from Two Trees at the top of Burrington Combe, to West Horrington via Charterhouse and Priddy. This is one of the main AONB visitor routes to Cheddar, Priddy and Wells. The next phase is currently being planned with the Highways Authorities. Restoration involves cleaning, pattern making, casting of new signs to replace broken and missing fingers and painting. A new ‘collar’ with the name of the junction, the grid reference and ‘Mendip Hills’ is being be added to each post to aid visitors and to raise awareness of being in the AONB area.


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PROPERTY

Housing outlook brighter ACTIVITY in the South West housing market held relatively firm despite the distraction of the Olympic fortnight, says the latest RICS UK housing market survey. In the three months to August, chartered surveyors in the region sold on average 8.7 percent of the homes on their books per month. Although historically low, the proportion of sales to stock has remained relatively consistent throughout 2012. Despite the Olympics having taken centre stage, the amount of potential buyers looking to view property in the South West saw a slight increase. A net balance of 14 per cent more surveyors reported increases in demand, up from 12 per cent in July. The number of new instructions coming onto the region’s market also saw a slight upturn with a net balance of 19 per cent more surveyors reporting an increase – from six per cent in July. Looking ahead, chartered surveyors in the South West predict transaction levels will pick up as autumn approaches. In another survey RICS says homeowners are increasingly opting to improve their existing property rather than move home. Over 50 percent of chartered surveyors across the UK revealed that the slow sales market is prompting this trend. In the South West, the figure stands at just below 50 percent. For those undertaking work to their homes, improvements such as investing in a new kitchen is a preferred choice. UK wide, 49 percent of surveyors questioned believed a new kitchen is the most popular renovation tactic, with 26 percent noting they felt an extra bedroom was most popular.

FOR SALE BY PRIVATE CHURCHILL GREEN CHURCHILL

TREATY

A charming detached country house located on the edge of the village, offering sizeable family accommodation, extensive outbuildings and garaging, beautiful gardens, tennis court and paddock. In all approx 3 acres. Porch, reception hall, 3 reception rooms, large family kitchen/breakfast room, utility, cloakroom. 5 double bedrooms (en suite to master), family bathroom, study. GUIDE PRICE £1,250,000 Private secluded position.

KINGSTON SEYMOUR NORTH SOMERSET Quality barn conversion in secluded position – good size garden, double garage and parking. 4 bedrooms, sitting room with cathedral ceiling and mezzanine, kitchen, utility and cloakroom. Master bedroom with en suite and dressing area. Studio/annexe/office with bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Located down a long drive in quiet lane. GUIDE PRICE £559,950

ROOKSBRIDGE SOMERSET Bungalow and Building Plot. Detached bungalow in tucked away position away from the main road offering 3 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, modern kitchen and conservatory, en suite and bathroom. Substantial outbuildings – office, workshop, garaging and barn, garden and paddock. In all approx. 0.8 acres. PP for second detached bungalow. Huge potential! GUIDE PRICE £430,000

FOR SALE BY AUCTION TUESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER (UNLESS SOLD PRIOR) WICK ST LAWRENCE NORTH SOMERSET Detached period farmhouse in centre of village, with 2300 sq ft accommodation, requiring renovation. Plenty of period features – 3 reception rooms, 5 bedrooms, extensive outbuildings (2400 sq ft) and huge scope for further development (subject to PP). Garden, yard, orchard and pasture. In all 10.55 acres. GUIDE PRICE £460,000 FURTHER ENTRIES INVITED

CHEDDAR MACHINERY SALE SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER (10.30AM) AT WINCHESTER FARM, CHEDDAR BS27 3RP ENTRIES TO BE DELIVERED BY 12 NOON FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER 2012

Wrington North Somerset BS40 5SA Tel: 01934 864300 www.davidjames.org.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 71


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MENDIP TIMES

The couple who saved a village church By Steve Egginton PAUL and Laura Baxter have fulfilled their dream of converting the derelict St. Thomas a Becket Church in Pensford into their dream home. They’ve also made themselves and the village TV stars, appearing on the BBC2 programme Restoration Home, after the programme’s researchers read about their plans in Mendip Times in 2008. The couple celebrated with an open day at which 170 people admired the stunning conversion, virtually all carried out by Paul, who learned new skills as the work progressed. Village shopkeeper, Peter Sessford, said: “Locally we’ve named him St. Paul – he had to be a saint to take it on. The place was derelict and falling down. Thanks to Paul and Laura part of the village’s heritage has been preserved.” The Victorian church was badly damaged in the floods of 1968 and after being used as a craft and social centre for a while had stood empty since 1996. Paul and Laura, originally from Skegness, started work five years ago and moved in last Christmas, four days before the birth of their son Joshua. Paul said: “Some of the more intricate work was interesting and fun. But scraping the stone clean, for example, was so damn boring it did my head in. I’m now looking for another project.” By doing the work himself he says they have come in on budget at around £140,000. The building itself cost them £120,000. Laura, an accountant, said: “When we first saw it I thought ‘How can we afford it’ but the idea just got into our brain. I’m so pleased we did it. Pensford is amazing, such a good community and such friendly people.” Villagers were all impressed. Janet Dando said: “It’s brilliant. The last time I saw it, it was an absolute mess.” Her daughter Jacky said: “It’s wow, isn’t it?” Neighbour Christine Harrison said: “It’s beautiful, just fantastic.” In November Paul will reveal another talent – he’s written a ghost story which will be performed in the village’s memorial hall. PAGE 72 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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PENSFORD CHURCH Peter Sessford

The first floor lounge

The guest bathroom

Kitchen and dining room

left to right Christine Harrison, Jacky Dando, Janet Dando MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 73


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MENDIP TIMES

THE summer has drawn to a close and many of us in the caving community will be looking forward to our annual club dinners. It gives With PHILIP us a chance to clean HENDY up a bit and wear tidy clothes, while the womenfolk will be hardly recognisable in their posh frocks. It comes as a surprise to many male cavers to find that these ladies actually have shapely legs, hidden as they have been all year under jeans or caving kit. Dinners generally follow the same format, whatever the club. After a good meal there will be light-hearted awards for prowess in digging, and for various misdemeanours. For example Driver of the Year will have got his car stuck in mud while crossing a field or the engine will have blown up on a journey to a caving trip. Tiger of the Year will have euphemistically “caved beyond his abilities” or, in other words, got stuck and had to be rescued by his friends. A guest speaker will regale us with anecdotes, usually hilariously scurrilous tales involving respected cavers known to us all, before we get down to the serious matter of helping the brewers with their balance of payments. It is also a time for reflection, to remember “Absent Friends”, either sadly departed or now living far away, and to look back on the year’s caving exploits. It has, obviously, been a very wet year and this has affected both the showcaves of Wookey Hole and Cheddar, which have occasionally flooded during the summer, and the cavers’ caves. High water conditions have led to certain caves being impassable at times, although in moderately high conditions, some caves such as Swildon’s Hole become extremely “sporting”, and experienced cavers enjoy a raging streamway, to dive through a foamcovered sump. The high rainfall has curtailed some digging and exploration trips; for example the far reaches of Charterhouse Cave have been impossible to reach all summer – and will remain so throughout the winter. The summer months also cause high levels of carbon dioxide to accumulate in some caves, which places PAGE 74 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Gough’s Cave in flood

them out of bounds. In Cuckoo Cleeves, for example, a level of seven per cent was recorded, which is highly dangerous. Although there is enough oxygen in the air to survive, this level of Co2 causes disorientation, hyperventilation and a feeling of panic. The consequences can be serious. I have been in bad air like this on several occasions and do not wish to repeat the experience. Carbon dioxide has caused the Bristol Exploration Club diggers at White Pit near Priddy to abandon their efforts for the time being. Fortunately, a farmer near Chewton Mendip has recently exposed a wavecut platform in limestone, formed when the Mendip sea level was much higher. In this platform there are several sinkholes and the farmer contacted me through Mendip Times to investigate. I suggested that the BEC might like to start a dig there and with the farmer’s blessing they are making good progress. Many Mendip cavers will have been away during the summer, of course. Some with families will have exchanged their picks and shovels for buckets and spades on a sandy beach somewhere with their children, but others take the opportunity to go on a foreign caving trip. Several dozen of the Wessex Cave Club and their friends took off to eastern France, near Grenoble, to explore the 1133-metre deep Gouffre Berger. At one time this cave was the world’s deepest. A trip to the bottom is no casual undertaking, for it involves twenty-six pitches totalling over 500 metres. The cave is prone to flooding, and can be

dangerous to anyone caught on one of the pitches or in parts of the streamway. It is a magnificent cave, necessitating underground camps, and boasting the enormous Hall of Thirteen, with its group of gigantic stalagmites. The cavers spent the preceding months training with trips to caves with deep pitches in the UK, and with long walks to get fit. By all accounts, the effort was worth it; the expedition was most successful and enjoyed by all. During the summer, cavers have been following events at Upper Eastwater Farm with keen interest. Following trouble caused many years ago by visiting cavers, two small but interesting caves, Sludge Pit Hole and Ninebarrows Swallet, have had access denied. Following the death of the owner’s widow, the farm has been sold, to an expat caver now living in Australia. He is keen to see the caves re-opened, and the Council of Southern Caving Clubs has negotiated an access agreement, whereby the caves will be open to cavers. The entrance to Sludge Pit has collapsed, so needs to be dug out and stabilised. The entrances will then be locked, but with a key available to bona fide cavers. The winter months will see an influx of visiting cavers from the university groups; some of them have been coming for many years, and are old friends. Caving is, of course, a year-round activity, although the rigours of a surface dig on a cold, wet and windy winter evening can best be described as “character-building”. At least there will be a warm and welcoming pub for the characters to thaw out in afterwards.

Photography by Phil Hendy

Reflections on the summer


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CAVING

ONE of the biggest caves found in the South West in 60 years has been discovered in Cheddar Gorge. The massive chamber, which has been named The Frozen Deep by the team of six cavers who found it, is estimated to measure around 60 metres in diameter and up to 30 metres in height. It contains some of the most stunning calcite formations ever found under the Mendips, including two five-metre-tall pure white columns of calcite surrounded by pure white flowstone covering the walls and floor. The epic discovery was made by the ‘Tuesday Diggers’, Martin Grass, Alison Moody, Dr.Pete Glanvill, Dr. Tony Boycott, Nigel Cox and Nick Chipchase, who recently celebrated his 65th birthday. I was checking my emails on returning from a trip to Derbyshire, looking at the show caves of the Peak District, when I read an urgent message from our Editor – could I write something on the massive new discovery at Cheddar? I knew at once which cave was involved, as a couple of weeks ago, one of the diggers at Reservoir Hole told me that they were about to break through – the dig was draughting, and they could see black space at the end of the choke. All cave diggers are optimists – they have to be – and I said I had heard it all before. But I was wrong and the diggers’ forum on the internet was buzzing with congratulations and speculation, but with few hard facts. Full details of the discoveries to date will no doubt be presented at Hidden Earth, the annual cavers’ conference which takes place later this month, but I can give a brief description here of this magnificent find. Reservoir Hole, near the foot of the cliffs halfway up Cheddar Gorge, was first investigated by Luke Devenish and Willie Stanton in 1951. They enlarged a tight draughting passage to reach a small decorated chamber, with no obvious way on. In 1965 Willie and fellow members of the Wessex Cave Club resumed operations, blasting to a tufa-covered grotto, Moonmilk Chamber. They then, over the course of four years, dug down through boulders, which were stabilised with cement, to reach the large Grand Gallery, with a small stream. Two muddy passages led off at the bottom, but were neglected in favour of digging back Martin Grass, in silent contemplation in The Frozen Deep

One of the Tuesday Diggers admiring one of the giant pillars discovered in the chamber

Photography by Dr Pete Glanvill

Huge new cave found in Cheddar Gorge

up through boulders at the end of the passage, to enter the high level Topless Aven and an area where the stalagmite formations resemble skulls. This was called Golgotha. As Willie became older and more frail, he passed responsibility for the management of Reservoir Hole to Martin Grass, of the Bristol Exploration Club. In 2008 Martin and fellow members of the club started a dig at the bottom of the cave, with permission from the owners the Longleat Estate. Early in September, their efforts were rewarded by the discovery of Mendip’s largest cave chamber. The profusion of pure white calcite formations prompted the team to name the chamber The Frozen Deep. Prospects for further discoveries look good, although the first task will be to make an accurate survey. A route will be marked through the chamber with tape to protect the formations, which will be photographed in detail. From the entrance, Reservoir Hole trends south, and lies very close to the known upper end of Gough’s Cave, at the boulder choke which lies deep under the water of the Underground River. Connection with this would provide another significant link in the subterranean drainage route from the swallets of Charterhouse to the rising of the River Yeo below Gough’s Cave. The cave will continue to be highly protected, to preserve the formations, and The Frozen Deep is so remote that opening it as a show cave will be out of the question. I hope to give a more detailed account of this major new discovery when the diggers have published their report. 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 recentlypublished Swildon’s Hole – 100 Years of Exploration. MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 75


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MENDIP TIMES

Hip replacements – who can you trust? IF you’re having a new hip put in, would you go for an established one with a tried and tested track record? Or a brand new one with a kite mark and glitzy marketing but no safety record in humans? Or something in-between? It’s a dilemma for over 70,000 patients in the UK each year. Which of the 107 cups to put with which of the 139 stems? Metal on metal, metal on ceramic, metal on By Dr PHIL polyethylene or ceramic on ceramic? A total hip replacement HAMMOND or just a resurfacing? Then there are the silly names. The Spartakus, the Proxy Plus, the Pinnacle, the Ultramet, the CLS Spotorno and the Marathon. Unsurprisingly, most patients let their surgeon decide for them. Get it right and a hip replacement removes crippling pain and restores mobility for 15 years or more. When it fails – as 7,852 did in 2010 - it can be a disaster, requiring extensive, expensive and unpleasant revision surgery that isn’t always successful. But if you ask ten different surgeons, you might get ten different answers. So who can you trust? The long-term success of a new hip depends on the type of implant, the skill of the surgeon and the selection of the patient. An old lady who wants a new hip to get her to the corner shop and back has different requirements to a young mountaineer. Some surgeons prefer tried and tested prostheses, others like to innovate. A few develop and test their own hips in the garden shed, others are courted by manufacturers who fly them out to international conferences, pay them consultancies and appearance fees and sell them the dream of a better hip. I’ve always been cautious about what I’d let an orthopaedic surgeon put inside me. In 1997, following the failure of the 3M Capital hip, I recommended that all patients choose a prosthesis with a proven long-term safety record in the hands of the surgeon putting it in. They could still choose a shiny, new one in a clinical trial, but they needed to know and accept the risks. I would currently choose a Birmingham Metal on Metal (MoM) hip for myself, which has a fifteen year track record of excellent results for large, active, young and middle aged men. And I’d choose a surgeon who did lots of them and could show he or she got good results. Manufacturers who tried to copy the success of the Birmingham hip have had mixed results. And because prostheses currently don’t have human trials prior to launch it takes a while to see what their failure rate is. The ASR hip prosthesis was launched on the European market in 2003. By the time it was removed from sale in August 2010, largely because of soft tissue and bone destruction, more than 93,000 ASRs had been used worldwide with failure rates currently up to 50%. The history of hip implants tells us that small modifications can have big effects, both good and bad. Large head metal-on-metal total hips are the latest to have high failure concerns. Much publicised links with cancer have not been proven but have caused huge anxiety in orthopaedic clinics. Yet many patients haven’t got a clue what sort of joint replacement is inside them. Like the PIP breast implant scare, we let doctors put things in our body that may be there for years, without having the faintest idea what’s in them. Regulators need to get tougher, but patients too need to sit up, take notice and start asking awkward questions. Like “Can you show me the proof that this works?” For Dr Phil’s DVDs, books and tour dates go to www.drphilhammond.com PAGE 76 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble . . . NO sooner is harvest over than we’re looking forward to Halloween. I have been doing a good impression of a witch just to get myself warmed up and ready. I’m sure Mendip Dad would agree. It’s not just my hormones that are to blame this time it’s also the plum trees. The fruit lay idle on the sagging branches until the tree was almost dead under the weight. Armed with several large plastic bowls, Mendip Dad decided that picking fruit would be a fun weekend activity. At that point no-one could be persuaded out of their bedrooms. To be fair eldest child wasn’t at home. She was at a friend’s and having had three hours sleep the night before, we had unanimously agreed that she was best left there. Youngest child was busy making jigsaws in between telling us that it was the worst weekend he’d ever had. I was helping middle child pack for a school activity. So Mendip Dad was left to gather in the harvest alone. A few hours later the cauldrons were bubbling away nicely on the stove. “Are you going to make jam this time?” asked eldest child (who had returned just in time to impart some culinary wisdom). I looked at her questioningly. “I mean rather than syrup, with fruit in?” she clarified. To explain what happened last year (and the year before) – I followed the recipe according to Delia, boiling and re-boiling as suggested. As soon as I thought the jam was set I decanted it into jars. I couldn’t stand there any longer. After all I would never get back those hours again and no-one really liked plum jam anyway. This year we had a bumper harvest so luckily for the family, close friends and neighbours, jam was not the only delight on the plum-related menu. Several more cauldrons later and I had enough stewed plums to promise plum crumble nearly every week until Christmas. “Ooh, I don’t really like that kind of thing,” said Middle Child the following morning as she peered into the saucepans. “You will get used to it,” I promised, menacingly. Suddenly, I was struck by an idea. I could dole out a few bags to the trick or treaters this Halloween. This seems like a win-win situation and might just ensure they never knock at my door again … MENDIP MUM


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HEALTH & FAMILY

Walking for health

A NEW Mendip Health Walks programme started with this group of 13 in Shepton Mallet. The programme aims to get more people walking for health and wellbeing. The walks are supported by Tone, the charitable leisure trust, the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support. Details: www.walkwellwithtone.bt ck.co.uk or at www.walkingforhealth.org .uk or call 01823 273084.

2012 VOLUNTEER INFORMATION EVENING Tuesday October 23rd starting at 7pm at 25 The Park, Yeovil BA20 1DG Find out about joining our vibrant team of volunteers who are committed to giving emotional support to the community 24/7. No need to book; just turn up on the night. Or call 01935 414015. Or apply via the Yeovil page of our website: www.samaritans.org

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 77


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MENDIP TIMES

Where family and friends are welcome! STANTON Court Nursing Home enjoys its local reputation as a fine place to keep in touch with families and friends. As at any age maintaining friendships and keeping up with the family news is very important to elderly people. At Stanton Court there is every opportunity to do so. Cooks Clare and Lorraine are already thinking about their menus for the next family party – a special Halloween lunch. There are always lots of family and friends visiting the Court and all enjoy the home-baked cakes and hospitality that the house is so famous for. They also accompany residents on trips out to the theatre and most recently to Longleat Safari Park. The next outing coming up is to the Lion King, at Bristol Hippodrome. Stanton Court residents also like to have the neighbours round regularly and

Daphne Saunders and family

raise funds for charities too. At the recent NGS open gardens in aid of Macmillan and other caring charities, a total of £532 was raised when over 100 people visited, enjoying a light lunch or cream tea in the garden.

The two acres of gardens are used yearround by residents. They have plantings for colour in all seasons, along with vegetable plots, soft fruit, and a medley of Somerset apples and pears. Watch out for the garden opening dates next year.

If you would like further information about Stanton Court take a look at the website: www.stantoncourtnh.net or telephone 01275 332410 to arrange a visit.

Stanton Court Nursing & Residential Care for Ladies & Gentlemen

O O O O

Peaceful and homely environment Good old-fashioned home cooking Chew Valley caring staff Rooms with patios, country views & extensive gardens

Long-term care, respite stays & day care near Chew Magna in the Chew Valley

01275 332 410 • www.stantoncourtnh.net

New-born Baby Gifts

In a box

You choose what goes in

Then leave the delivery to us

www.baby-favours.co.uk PAGE 78 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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HEALTH & FAMILY

COURT HOUSE RETIREMENT HOME CHEDDAR

Accommodation available now with full en-suite Court House is a very special place to live, the very fact that it is made up of different areas of accommodation adds to its attraction. The Main House with gracious large rooms with full en-suite looking out onto different aspects and personalized with Resident’s own furniture and pictures etc. A spacious Drawing Room with doors to a covered veranda and patio area leading onto lawns and flower beds. The Courtyard which has lovely vaulted accommodation with full en-suite and cleverly concealed kitchenettes where Residents can make a cup of tea or a snack for themselves or their guests and small raised gardens so that the people living there may, if they so wish plant and tend their own flowers. The lovely cottage accommodation full of character with a large Victorian style conservatory looking towards St. Andrews Church and doors opening out from a lovely sitting room to a tranquil garden. Putting all of this together with the very special care given by dedicated staff that respect and give privacy and dignity to all who live here, you can see why people who come to live at Court House are so happy to have found this very special place.

New clinic near Axbridge is now offering Colon Hydrotherapy with highly experience practitioner, Alison Finn

Respite Care also available

“One of the most beautiful and well kept retirement homes I’ve ever seen”. – The Photographer

OCTOBER SPECIAL OFFER Treatment & health plan 11/2 hours – ONLY £62

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MENDIP TIMES

Evercreech Village Show

Youngsters make good use of the skate park during the show

Angry bird: George Loxton, aged seven, took part in the fancy dress competition. His sister, Jessica, five, also took part

Wellie-dressing is big in Evercreech

Francesca Titley (left) and Liz Harrisson admire the displays in the produce marquee PAGE 80 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Winscombe Michaelmas Fair


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EVENTS Members of Wells Twinning Association and their guests from Fontanellato gather at the Bishop’s Palace

Ciao swans!

A GROUP of visitors from one of Wells’ twin cities enjoyed a sneak preview of the last exhibition of the Swans of Wells before they are auctioned for charity. The Swansong was held in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace where all 60 sculptures were gathered together for their last appearance in public.

Ian Marlow's sculpture Guinevere – She Built a Nest of Silver Leaves attracts the attention of some residents of the palace moat

Members of Wells Twinning Association took visitors from Fontanellato, in the Parma region of Italy, on a tour of the palace grounds as part of their visit to Somerset. G The swans will be auctioned at a gala event at the palace on Saturday, September 29th. The auction will be broadcast live on the internet.

The twinning association hopes to attract more young people, like these from Fontanellato

The Swans will be auctioned for local charities on September 29th

For more information, visit: www.swansofwells.com MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 81


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Arnhem victims remembered VILLAGERS in Paulton joined current and ex-servicemen for the annual Double Hills ceremony to honour the victims of a wartime glider crash. They gathered in front of a permanent memorial to the 19 paratroopers and two air crew who were killed on their way to Arnhem in September 1944. This year’s ceremony also paid tribute to Brigadier Mike Dauncey, 93, president of the Double Hills Association. The service was led by the Rev. Guy Simpson, vicar of Paulton. Yeovil Town Band, Mendip Male Voice Choir and Westfield Ladies Choir peformed the music which also featured a song by Bristol-based singer Lauren Reading, in honour of Brig. Dauncey. The ceremony was organised by Peter Yeates, from the association. His grand daughter, Sophie Wilson, led youngsters who attended the service in a recital of the Double Hills poem.

Sophie Wilson recites the Double Hills poem

Singer Lauren Reading, with Bob Blackwell, from the Clevedon branch of the Royal British Legion (left) and Murray Whitcher, from the Bath and Bristol branch of the Royal Observer Corps Association

The start of the service at Double Hills PAGE 82 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Veterans gather each year for the service

Brigadier Mike Dauncey

A Midsomer Norton army cadet was amongst the standard bearers at the ceremony


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HISTORY

Betty’s new book Betty K. Long has published her fourth book on the history of Paulton. Called The Best Years of Your Life, it’s the history of Paulton’s schools. Her husband Cliff was himself a teacher and then deputy head of Paulton Junior School from 1948–80. One of Betty’s previous books charted the history of the village from Roman times. The others followed the fortunes of the village’s shops, including her family’s former cycle and pram shop, Field’s. But her own life story is also fascinating. Her new book is available from Paulton News. I WAS born two months premature in the bedroom of the house I still inhabit. In those days there was no electricity and hot water came from the kettles on the fire. When the doctor left he told my father where to bury me in the cemetery when I died. However, my father had other ideas. He had started installing electricity locally, so he brought wire from his car-hire garage near the cenotaph, across the road, over the doctor’s lawn at Paulton House, across our garden up to the bedroom window where I lay. The wire was worked by a generator that he used to charge accumulators for radios. He put radio valves around the cot in order to give heat without being bright. I was fed every two hours with sugar and water, my mother and midwife, Mrs Ashman, feeding me from a fountain-pen filler (pipette). The doctor could not believe his eyes when he came next morning to see that I was still alive. I couldn’t be bathed; instead, I was washed in olive oil in the cot. When I was born I weighed about 1lb. The scales were like the scales butchers use with a hook and cloth to hold me. The scales started at 2lb but the needle didn’t get that far. At six months I weighed six pounds; at 12 months 12lbs. I attended Paulton Infants and Junior School. At 11 years I took the 11plus exam and passed and went to Norton Hill Grammar School, then on to the College of Commerce in Bristol Later I married and had four children, Catherine, Graham, Virginia and Richard (I now have ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with another wedding in the offing). In my late 20s I was leader of the Youth Club at Paulton Methodist Church and performed various activities with them – sunday school anniversaries, three pantomimes and concerts. I also trained children for three Paulton Circuit Eisteddfods in which the young people excelled. They were an excellent group. Later in life I joined the Lauralay Singers and became their

conductor for ten years. I also wrote a pageant for Paulton Council for the Year 2000 celebrations. When I inherited my house, after my mother died, I found that it went back to 1797 in my deeds. I then asked Taunton Archives if they could go further back. They managed to get back to 1686. I found that two people lived here called Stephen and Mary Plummer and that when John Wesley came to visit Paulton on various occasions he left his horse with the blacksmith, John Hill, who was next door to the Plummers. On his way to the site where he preached he passed the Plummers and actually called in to visit them. I read about this in Don Warfield’s book, “The Lively People”; he visited OUR HOUSE!! All this history of my house started me writing about the history of Paulton. I started with “The End of an Era”, the history of the six shops (one of them being where I lived) owned by Mr Matthew Penny, then I wrote the Pageant in book form, with pictures etc, called “Changing Scenes”. Later, as so many of the shops were closing in Paulton I decided to write about the shops I knew as a child, hence, “Shops Galore”. Now I have written my last book, “The Best Years of Your Life”, letting people know how people were taught there originally and the sites on which the schools were built. The Paulton Infants and Junior Schools on The Batch, now called Park Road, and the senior school at Church Street. I also go round entertaining with the “Recycled Teenagers” and Chilcompton Ladies’ Choir. Yes! I have had a full life. I would not have been here had it not been for my mother and father, Winifred and Charlie Field and the midwife, Mrs Ashman – and the doctor, of course, Dr Crook. The old Parochial School now undergoing renovation

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 83


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Do you remember Vale Mill? WESTON-super-Mare has expanded so rapidly that it’s difficult to recall what it was like ten years ago, let alone the 43 years since Noel and Janet Nation bought a derelict windmill on the outskirts of town. Their plan was to retain as much of the original building as possible and create a unique family home. Vale Mill was built in the 1700s and records show it was still operational in the 1920s and maybe beyond (the Nations would love to hear from anyone who can remember when it was a working mill). Noel said: “I know that Vale Mill and windmills at Worlebury and Allerton belonged to the Quick family. In fact we were visited recently by a gentleman from Sussex whose great, great, great grandparents had run all three mills. I never thought to ask his name, but it is probably Quick.” It commanded spectacular and uninterrupted views across the moors even when the Nations first spotted the site in 1966. Those views are now long since gone, but Vale Mill still retains a real sense of calm and tranquillity and represents a happy marriage between traditional and modern architecture. The focal point of the property is the circular wall of the original mill and the rest of the house blends in effortlessly. Janet recalls the early days when building started in 1968: “Noel and I are very choosy and careful when it comes to finding builders. Back then we found a local firm, Moores Brothers and they were excellent.”

The original foundations were actually dug out by spade by someone who lived in Banwell – and yes this was 1968 not 1868 – but having started in the autumn, by the following June the property was built and ready to move into. Noel “project managed” the interior work of the two floors that comprised four bedrooms, two receptions and a dining room based in the actual old mill. It was with equal care that the Nations selected a firm to build a conservatory at the back of the property five years ago. “Again we wanted a reliable local firm,” says Noel, “and we were lucky to come across Kingfisher. They were immensely helpful, extremely knowledgeable, polite and non pushy. The workmanship was faultless and as a result we recommended them to our daughter who used them to install windows at her home in Sidcot.”

If you have memories of Vale Mill contact Michelle at Kingfisher on 01278 760616.

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Tel/fax: 01749 675386 • Mobile: 07860 821496 Email: boyce.millington@btconnect.com Website: www.boycemillington.co.uk PAGE 84 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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HOMES & INTERIORS

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MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 85


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MENDIP TIMES Tiling & General Maintenance Ceramic Porcelain & Natural Stone Tiling Mosaic Specialist Building & Garden Maintenance

Confused by recent Planning changes? Looking to Add Value to your Property? New Build • Self-Build • Extensions • Barn Conversions • Land Uplift/Plot Creation • Commercial • Full Architectural Design Service from planning to start on site contact: tony@blackwelldesigns.co.uk Offices in Bristol & The Mendips

Telephone: 0117 230 5401 or 07976 686605

Christmas comes early NEEDFUL Things of Castle Cary start to display their magical Christmas items from the first week of October. “It takes us two to three weeks to fully lay out our Christmas stock, so we have to start as soon as Halloween is over,” explain owners John and Ally Lawrence. This is Needful Things’ 14th Christmas and as usual, they plan to exceed expectations once again! You will be dazzled and delighted by their exquisite range of gifts and autumn clothing too. And don’t forget: they are taking curtain making, furniture and fitted carpet orders in their interiors department now, to ensure delivery for Christmas!

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MENDIP TIMES •JANUARY 2012 • PAGE 86


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HOMES & INTERIORS

Help is at hand AN advice project in Somerset is continuing to transform the lives of residents, with more people receiving energy efficiency advice and help reducing their bills. The charity, Warmer Improved Somerset Homes, or WISH, has carried out hundreds of energy efficiency measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation. It’s also overseen around a quarter of a million pounds worth of home improvements (like handrails, smoke alarms and locks) and provided fuel debt advice and helped with cutting energy bills to several hundred of people. The project has also helped secure benefits payments totalling tens of thousands of pounds for dozens of people who were either unaware they qualified or had not been successful previously. One man who has seen his life transformed this year thanks to the help WISH has offered, is Ronald Day from Pilton. Despite a number of health

conditions (including diabetes and severe arthritis), continual struggles with his bills and difficulty leaving his own home, Mr Day had been turned down for benefits on several occasions. But after several years of applying, advisors from the WISH project finally helped Mr Day take his case to a tribunal to ensure he received the financial help

he needed in the form of Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance. Mr Day, aged 77, said: “You can’t believe how much it’s changed my life. I don’t need to worry about my heating bills, anymore. I used to be so scared, and dreaded them coming in. I’d go into the bedroom and just heat that one small room to cut down the costs.”

Details: call free on: 0800 082 2234 or email: wish@cse.org.uk

Tel: 0117 940 0074 Fax: 0117 964 4666 info@bristoldrains.com

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 87


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MENDIP TIMES

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PAGE 88 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

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HOMES & INTERIORS

New look for Charltons

ANYONE driving along the A362 between Radstock and Frome will soon be noticing a change in the familiar landscape as they pass the Charltons site at Buckland Down. For over a century the name Charltons has been synonymous with the supply, manufacture and delivery of gates, fencing and other timber products, ever since the business started supplying pit props to the local coalfields. The Charltons name may remain the same but customers and locals will notice a significant change as the company rebrands itself. The wood, gates and fencing site known as the Timber Store will be strongly branded with the new signage and designs and will continue the supply of quality sheds, summer houses and garden furniture. New products and initiatives are planned for the future at the Timber Store. “Our rebrand is far more than a fresh new logo and design,” says company director with responsibility for the Timber Store, David Charlton. “As everyone will soon be able to see, the new logo has five very distinctive C’s, representing tree rings and the firm’s solid core business, as well as the five generations that have worked in the business. It is all about continuity, not only of personnel but also of our family values of loyalty and trust.” The company holds the Royal Warrant for the supply of gates and timber to the Royal Household. Charltons also supplies other major organisations such as the National Trust and Westonbirt Arboretum. Charltons have been major suppliers of timber products to the local building and landscaping trade for many years. However, the sales manager of the Timber Store, David Hunt, is keen to point out that the whole site is open to the general public as well. He said: “We especially welcome members of the public to come in and have a look around the Timber Store. “It will quickly be realised that the Timber Store is very different from any DIY store or builder’s merchants. We have various types of sustainable sourced wood, from gates and fencing to softwoods and quality oak flooring on display, our extensive range is easily accessible in our customer friendly premises. It is a genuine world of wood. We only work with wood so we know what we are talking about. As well as being able to offer competitive prices we are also trusted to give free and impartial advice to all our customers.” The Timber Store is open Mondays to Friday 7.30am to 5pm and Saturdays from 8am to 5pm.

40% off

selected ex-display sheds and summer houses

OPENING HOURS Mon – Friday from 7.30am–5pm Sat 8.00am unl 5.00pm

Tel: 01373 814 826 Fax: 01373 813 455 Email: mberstore@charltons.net MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 89


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MENDIP TIMES Weston Garden Machinery Garden Machinery & Woodburning Specialists

Proud to stock Charnwood products in their 40th year Come and see our display models Hutton Garden Centre, Banwell Road, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare BS24 9UB

Tel: 01934 813261 www.westongarden.co.uk

R. O. DANDO & SONS Registered Builders & Decorators

FAMILY BUSINESS ESTABLISHED 100 YEARS

MOORLEDGE ROAD CHEW MAGNA BRISTOL BS40 8TA

Telephone: 01275 333603 PAGE 90 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012


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HOMES & INTERIORS

Cover your worktops Refresh your kitchen

• Fitted directly over existing worktops • Easier and far less money than the other way • From worktops to splashbacks

www.quartz-tops.co.uk Bristol 0117 900 0638 W-s-M 01934 643322

Bespoke kitchens and interiors, designed with consideraon installed with care.

“Many thanks for a fantasc service from start to finish . . . nothing was too much trouble.” Mr & Mrs Miles, W-s-M

127 High Street, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 1HN

01934 643133 www.idesigninteriors.co.uk MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 91


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MENDIP TIMES Emerging talent: Lucy Ward will appear at the festival

Music at Priston

Festival is back FROME Folk Festival will return in 2013 following the success of the first event this year. The winter weekend event became the West Country’s newest folk festival in February and proved an instant hit bringing thousands of festival-goers, Morris dancers and the cream of the British folk music world to Frome, including a raft of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners past and present. Organisers promise that next February’s event will be no exception. Saturday and Sunday headliners are still to be revealed but among the first artists to be announced is Lucy Ward, who won the Horizon (Best Emerging Act) award at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Also signed for the festival are singer-songwriting duo Johnny Coppin and Mike Silver, Belinda O’Hooley and

Heidi Tidow, Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, Somerset-based singer songwriter Reg Meuross, Hartlepool’s The Young ‘Uns and The Monster Ceilidh Band. A morris side which provided some of the dancers for Monty Python star Eric Idle at the London 2012 Olympics is to spearhead a mass Morris meet at the festival. University of Bristol’s Rag Morris were selected to appear with Idle before 80,000 people and a 26 million TV audience at the spectacular Olympic stadium ceremony – dancing to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Festival organiser Jan Ayers said: “We’re delighted that the Morris side chosen for the Olympics will be heading to Frome next February – they will lead a programme of more than 100 Morris dancers from several counties, building on what proved to be a very colourful and popular part of this year’s festival!” Frome Folk Festival will run from 10am-11pm both days. Early Bird weekend tickets, price £58 (£48 concessions) now available from the Cheese and Grain box office on (01373) 455420, or online at www.cheeseandgrain.co.uk or via www.seetickets.com and www.Gigantic.com. A family weekend ticket for two adults and two children (aged under 15) is £190.

PAGE 92 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Backwell Festival

Pearl Love plays the accoustic stage at Backwell Festival

NOW in its fourth year, crowds at Backwell Festival enjoyed the late summer warmth relaxing with friends and enjoying a rich blend of live musical entertainment. The festival celebrates the best local music talent, both amateur and professional, with a variety of other entertainment. This year it raised money for Backwell Junior School’s 150th Anniversary Fund.


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MUSIC

New theatre company seeks Mendip talent WHITE Shirt Theatre Company is a brand new company in the Draycott/Cheddar area. They offer cheerleading and drama skills classes and hope to expand into other mediums as they grow. They have created pieces which use post modern contemporary dance combined with physical theatre in order to promote a theme or idea. They feel very strongly about using the power of film and visual design to create inspiring and inventive pieces which are new, energetic and refreshing. White Shirt are currently recruiting for their new cheerleading squad, which will be led by Ann-Marie Keep who trained at Bath Spa and Middlesex Universities and is a dance and cheerleading specialist, secondary school teacher and contemporary dancer. Other specialists include Matthew Kirby, a professional actor, who trained at Guildford School of Acting. He is a member of The National Theatre and has performed at venues such as Shakespeare’s Globe and The Middle Temple Hall. Matthew is also a member of The Society of Speech and Drama Teachers and regularly coaches students for LAMDA and Vanguard examinations.

Choir’s new director CHEDDAR Male Choir has said farewell to Emma Goddard as musical director and welcomed its new musical director, Dr. Fabian Huss (front right). The chairman of the choir, Bill Haley, thanked Emma for all her efforts in the two years she had been with the choir before welcoming Fabian and wishing him every success as he takes the choir into the future. Pursuing her musical career, and following the completion of her contract with Cheddar Male Choir, Emma was successful in applying for a new role as a musical director at Leicester Cathedral. Fabian has considerable experience in both choral and orchestral conducting, having worked with several choirs in Ireland and the UK. He moved to Bristol just over five years ago to study for his PhD on the English composer, Frank Bridge. The first concert under his direction will be on Saturday October 20th at St. Andrew’s Church in Cheddar commencing at 7.30pm. The choir’s president, Fracesca Bowkett, will be the soloist and refreshments will be included in the ticket price of £8.

The new Drama Workshop ‘Assemble It’ will explore various elements of Drama, Theatre and Performance. This will be run by a professional actor and will culminate in a performance at the end of term. Ticket Only. The new Cheerleading Squad will undergo intensive high energy training sessions with a BCA Level 4 Coach and will give their first performance to the public at Christmas. Ticket Only.

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MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 93


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Frome are champions

Teeing off for charity

FROME Golf Club’s A Team has won the Avalon League Division One title for the first time in the club’s history. A club spokesman said it was a superb result from the team who produced some great golf throughout the year to achieve a prestigious title by a margin of eight points. The team, led by captain Andy Martin, of Harry and Jamie Phillips, Richard Allen, Peter Clark, Tom Chapman, Liam Copp, Myles Carpenter, Wes Caines, James Rutt, Ivan love, Trevor Atkinson and Tom Black, came top out of seven divisions, featuring 42 teams from 22 clubs from Somerset in a competition involving more than 500 golfers. Frome will face winners from the other divisions in the Avalon League in the finals on Saturday, September 29th at Weston-super-Mare GC. They will compete for the Western Daily Press Trophy. Frome GC, a parkland course, first opened in 1992.

Boost for junior golfers

Malcolm Rownless, Lloyd Williams and Pete Astley

MORE than 80 players competed in the 19th annual charity golf day organised by L&F Jones Holdings at Fosseway Golf Club, near Midsomer Norton. This year’s competition raised £2,200 towards the local Time is Precious charity, in memory of Ben Halford of Coleford. L & F Jones Foodservice entered two customer-based teams that fared well against teams from both suppliers and club members. Mark Hale entered his team from Class One Fruit and Veg, from Bristol, and took first place. They were followed in second place by Lloyd Williams and Malcolm Rownless from the Globe Inn (Frampton Cottrell), who were joined by Pete Astley of L & F Jones. A team from Fosseway GC was third. Liz Jones who co-ordinated the event, said: “It was a great day and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves”.

Paul Barrington, Somerset County Development Officer, coaching junior golfers at Mendip Spring.

MENDIP Spring Golf Club hosted a Talent Assessment Day for junior golfers, organised in conjunction with the Somerset County Golf Partnership. Over 30 boys and girls attended from all over the county. Supported by Sport England and England Golf the programme is aimed at developing talented young players in the Somerset club network, by recruiting club coaches who have shown a long-term commitment to developing young players. Junior tuition is a regular Saturday morning feature at Mendip Spring. The Mendip Spring assessment day was managed by Somerset County Development Officer and PGA Professional Paul Barrington, together with Academy Director and PGA Professional Sarah Burnell. Mendip Spring PGA Professional Patrick Baker was a member of the coaching and assessment team. A quarter of the Sport England funding is being allocated to junior girls and dispensation is being made for young players from socially disadvantaged groups and those with disabilities. For details of junior golf tuition at Mendip Spring contact Patrick Baker on 01934 852322. PAGE 94 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

(l:r): Alex Long (Accolade Wines), Bill Peffers (Kerry Foods) and Steve Midcalf (Accolade Wines)

Club Championship ‘hole-in-one’ MENDIP Spring Golf Club’s annual club championship medal, played over 36 holes, produced a first round ‘hole in one’ from Simon Pakeman on the par 3 sixth. The eventual winner however was Nick Gould who carded a gross total of 151.


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GOLF

Mendip Spring Seniors return to Bowood Park

A place in the sun

thro was

Mendip Golf Club secretary Jim Scott with Dermot Synot from CIGF Mendip Spring Seniors’ captain Nick Patel (left) presents the Stableford Trophy to winner Dave Ardron. Trip organiser Peter Clayson is in the background.

FOR the second successive year Mendip Spring Seniors chose Cornwall’s Bowood Park Hotel and golf club for their autumn night away. After poor weather last year the sun shone, with two days of golf played in excellent conditions. The event was attended by 32 senior players, playing a Bowmaker competition on the Wednesday, followed by an individual Stableford competition on the Thursday. Results were: Bowmaker: 1st Rob Slocombe/Bob Garrett/Bryan Mellor/Ken Wescott; 2nd Geoff Wilcock/Mike Webb-Morris/Dennis Oakes/Chris Charlesworth; 3rd Andy Wilson/Alan Carpenter/Peter Clayson/Dave Oxenham. Individual Stableford: Trophy winner Dave Ardron 32 pts (after count back); Paul Millward 32 pts; Peter Keenan 31 pts (after count back); Paul Bailey 31 pts.

If y fam

MENDIP Golf Club has been invited again to be the host venue for the Catalonian International Golf Festival qualifier for the South West region next year after a successful tournament recently. Qualifying competitions, open to all standards of amateur golfer, both male and female, are held at prestigious golf clubs in more than five European countries. The winners are treated to a trip to Barcelona to play on the best championship courses in Catalonia. One of the Spanish sponsors, Torres, the producer of the Spanish market leading wine Vina Sol, certainly brought a beautiful day to the Mendips when this year’s fantastic prize was won by Tom Howe. Dermot Synot, organiser of the CIGF, who flew over to oversee the day, told club officials: “You should be proud of your magnificent course, friendliness and generous hospitality. I had no hesitation in recommending Mendip Golf Club to the Catalonian Tourist Board and our other sponsors for a repeat performance next year.”

Mendip Spring results Chairman’s Challenge/Men’s stableford, September 1st: 1) J. Grafton 38 points 2) J. Conybeare 38 points 3) A. Pollard 38 points (all after countback). Seniors’ stableford, September 4th: 1) D. Sparrow 40 points 2) R. Slocombe 36 points (after countback) 3) P. Keenan 36 points. Men’s stableford, September 5th: 1) G. Polledri 41 points 2) N. Holbrook 40 points 3) J. Conybeare 39 points. Avalon League: Mendip Spring halved their match with Stockwood Vale to retain their place in the third division.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 95


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Jumping for the club THIS summer has been quite a difficult one for many of the outdoor shows as the wet weather has caused numerous cancellations but the dedicated team at Wick House, Wick St. Lawrence on the outskirts of Westonsuper-Mare have done their best to run the shows whenever possible and were rewarded With CELIA finally with a fine weekend in September. GADD The British Show Jumping Club finals for the South West, kindly sponsored by Equestrian Life were held at Wick House on September 1st and 2nd. Riders came in their masses from all round the south west, travelling up from Cornwall and down from Bath to compete for the chance to be South West Club Champions. Club shows are open to horses and ponies and fences range from 70cm to 1m which gives lots of fairly novice combinations a chance to win some lovely rosettes, sashes and rugs. The pony finals were held on Saturday and the three riders

Pony winners – from lef:t Dotty Delilah & Lauren Perham, Milly Watkins & Captain Courageous and Molly Rucklidge and Riverside Troy (Molly was the winner of two classes).

Camilla Garbien with Chocky Wocky Doo Dah, Kathy Berryman & Kerrygold and Chantelle Symonds with Stadsmorlows Coffee’n’Cream.

lucky enough to win rugs were Milly Watkins with Captain Courageous, Lauren Perham with Dotty Delilah and Molly Rucklidge with Riverside Troy. On Sunday it was the turn of the horses and the weather was glorious and the classes were fiercely contested. Two riders in particular had a super day, Linda Eadie with Bluewood Balthazar won both the 70cm final and also the 1m final and Camilla Garbien with Chocky Wocky Doo Dah won both the 80cm and 90cm finals. Congratulations to both of them and the gallant runners up – Sarah Palmer and Carnozet, Kathy Berryman with Kerrygold, Chantelle Symonds with Stadsmorlows Coffee’n’Cream and Adrian Palmer with Mr Darcy. The next British Show Jumping Club show is at Wick on September 30th and there will be regular shows next summer including the South West Finals. Organiser, Sam Pepperall would like to say a big thank you to Anne Newbery who has promoted club show jumping throughout the South West.

For more details about Club Show Jumping and how to become a Member please contact Anne Newbery on anne.newbery@bsja.co.uk

In memory of Jeanne Hooper ANYONE who has competed in dressage at any time over the last two decades at our local venues would probably have come across the wonderful Jeanne Hooper who sadly passed away earlier this year. Badgworth Arena are holding a special weekend of competition in honour and memory of Jeanne. The British Dressage competition on October 6th and 7th will donate all the entry money towards purchasing a fitting and lasting tribute to Jeanne.

PAGE 96 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Jeanne devoted much of her life to British Dressage and organised the competitions efficiently and smoothly at Badgworth, The Hand and Leyland Court at some time over the last ten or 20 years. She was well known to be calm, patient and extremely friendly making even the most nervous first-time competitor at ease. There will be some fantastic special class prizes (1st prize of each section of each class is a training session/test riding

with a British Dressage trainer/judge) and cups for the overall scores. Other prizes include free British Dressage horse memberships/X-Factor tickets and signed equestrian books. The preliminary classes are open to non-members on unregistered horses so anyone can go along and get involved. The weekend is open to everyone who knew Jeanne so even if you won’t be entering please pop in for a friendly chat and a little memory swapping.


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RIDING

RDA needs support

AS the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) celebrates the success of its riders in the Paralympics, the association is calling for more volunteers and funds to help increase capacity in its riding centres across the UK. Somerset rider Deb Criddle (third left) claimed a team gold and two silvers in the freestyle dressage and individual event at London 2012 and has been recognised by having a postbox painted gold in her honour! Four out of five of the Paralympics GB team for paraequestrian dressage started their equestrian careers with the support of RDA, which relies on voluntary help and donations to support the work of its 500 riding and carriage driving groups throughout the UK, including centres at Wellow, Burcott, Claverham and the Somerset Levels Carriage Riding Group in our area. Currently, for every one person who rides with RDA, there are approximately four on a waiting list. Lizzie Blair, from Stowey, Bishop Sutton, chair of the MidWest Region RDA, said: “The Paralympics have shown that we don’t just take people for pony rides on the beach, we provide therapy as well as fun, and that we are quite a professional organisation. “But we are always looking for help. We don’t necessarily need ‘horsey’ volunteers – we need fundraisers, tea makers, anyone who can help us provide this lifeline.”

October show dates Tuesday 2nd Virginia Peters Dressage Clinic at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre Wednesday 3rd Unaffiliated lower show jumping at Badgworth Arena Saturday 6th British Dressage at Badgworth Arena Sunday 7th Mendip Fun Ride at Frankeys Farm, Chewton Mendip Wednesday 10th British Dressage at Stockland Lovell Manor Unaffiliated higher show jumping at Badgworth Arena Friday 12th Evening unaffiliated dressage at Urchinwood Manor, Wrington Saturday 13th BSJA Seniors at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Unaffiliated show jumping at Stockland Lovell Manor Celia Gadd Training at Compton Bishop Farm, Compton Bishop Sunday 14th Senior BSJA at Badgworth Arena Wednesday 17th Unaffiliated lower show jumping at Badgworth Arena Saturday 20th Celia Gadd Dressage Clinic series at King Sedgemoor

Equestrian Centre Sunday 21st Taunton Vale Pony Club at Pontispool Farm NPS Show at Badgworth Arena Wednesday 24th Senior BSJA at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Unaffiliated higher show jumping at Badgworth Arena Saturday 27th British Dressage at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre Unaffiliated dressage at Pontispool, Norton Fitzwarren Polden and Bridgwater Riding Club unaffiliated dressage at Bridgwater College, Cannington Blackdown Mendip Riding Club unaffiliated dressage at Stretcholt Equestrian Centre Celia Gadd Dressage Clinic at King Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre Sunday 28th West Somerset Vale Hunt Fun rider at Stockland Lovell Manor, Fiddington Senior BSJA at Badgworth Arena Wednesday 31st Senior BSJA at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon Saturday November 3rd X Factor Dressage to Music at The Hand Equestrian Centre

“WARM & WONDERFUL” NEW SEASON’S CLOTHING FOR YOU & YOUR HORSE – IN NOW

Details: www.rda-midwest.org.uk

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 97


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Taking on the world by Mark Adler SHEPTON Mallet is to host the World Shove Ha’Penny Championships in October and hopes are high that a player from Mendip could claim one of the titles. The event is to be staged at The Club in the town, with dozens of players competing on up to ten slates for singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. It costs £5 to enter and is open to any age group; organisers are expecting a 14-year-old, from Newport, to be competing. The historic pub game used to be widely played, particularly across Mendip, but numbers of teams have declined in recent years. The Radstock League recently appealed in Mendip Times for more players to come forward and The Bell Hotel in Shepton Mallet has recently installed a slate. G The Club is usually open to members-only, but spectators will be welcome for the weekend of the championships, on Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st.

Pat Bridgeman (left), owner of The Club, looks on with Beckey Hooper, Lynsey Hooper and Ross Kirk, as Gary Haygarth, a keen shove ha’penny player, tries his hand

Soaring the Mendips

Gary sports the official World Shove Ha’penny World Championships t-shirt for 2012

THE IDEAL GIFT

FLY A GLIDER!

Mendip Gliding Club is located near Cheddar and offers a variety of Glider Flying packages including Trial Lesson Vouchers (from £35), or regular membership and “Fixed Price to Solo” options. The Club is open all year on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Suitable for ages 12 upwards – no upper limit! Fly with BGA rated instructors in dual control gliders. For further information please visit our website at www.mendipglidingclub.co.uk or contact the Club Secretary on 01761 232080

PAGE 98 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

GLIDING is enjoyed by pilots for a variety of reasons and the exhilaration of soaring flight has to be experienced to appreciate the sense of freedom, satisfaction and achievement that it gives. Add to this the team-work and friendliness of a club and you have the essence of the sport. As the most experienced pilots will tell you, there is always something new to learn, fresh goals to achieve and no two flights are ever the same! It is also a sport for all ages - from those who go solo on their 16th birthday and there is no upper age limit! In general, if you can drive a car, you should be able to pilot a glider. You may be pleasantly surprised how affordable gliding is. Mendip Gliding Club is run on a voluntary basis (teamwork!). If you would like a “taster” trial lesson, they are available from £35 upwards and full (adult) annual membership is £250. Generous junior membership (age 16—25) schemes and scholarships are available. Details: www.mendipglidingclub.co.uk or contact the club secretary on 01761 232080


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Photo courtesy of Sophie Elbourn

SPORT

Winscombe RFC strikes gold! WINSCOMBE Rugby Football Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. The club owes its inception to a small number of enthusiasts, mostly formed of rugby players, who used to meet in the then Woodborough Hotel, now Winscombe’s Woodborough Inn. Chief among these enthusiasts were Welshmen Taffy Watham and Dai Davies who got the ball rolling with a letter to all interested parties dated August 27th 1962. The first players’ meeting took place at the Woodborough on September 5th 1962 (at 3 or 8pm depending on which version of the letter you read). The first competitive match took place on the November 10th 1962 against 15 from Clifton RFC. Winscombe won 26 –

12 with the first try being scored by Steve Bridges. In the late 1970s Winscombe launched a second team and now with three senior teams, newly-formed colts and over 250 juniors – as the saying goes – ‘the rest is history’. Winscombe is once again going through a new stage of development and the new head coach Mike Darsy has high hopes for the team this season. He commented: “The key to a good rugby team is passion, team spirit and fitness. As new coach it is great for me to see all I have to build up at Winscombe is fitness, as it is definitely the easiest of the three to instil when you take a coaching position. “Although we are only a few weeks

into our pre-season campaign I have seen great developments from the team and Andy Gunningham is doing a great job with the forwards.” Over the past 50 years Winscombe has seen hundreds of players develop both on and off the pitch and with a strong friendly social side to the club this doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. Club Captain Louis Hooper said: “Even with a wife and a business I still always make time to get down the club because it is such a laugh!” With first team Captain Owen Howell “hoping for some selection headaches next season” there never has been a better time to join the club.

Details: www.winscomberfc.co.uk

First game for Felton (The Flyers) FC THE youngsters from Felton have hosted their first match in the Saturday Bristol Youth League, going down 6-1 to the champions, The Foxes. Felton FC only formed late last September following an extremely popular response to a week’s free football training at the local park in the summer holidays. Felton FC, the brainchild of Dom Ford, a local parent, was instantly welcomed by the young Feltonians and during the course of a year, Felton FC has gathered pace growing steadily. The club now boasts four coaches, a couple of assistant coaches, two training days per week and a training ground, club house and match ground fit for any respectable football club. Details: Dominic on 07909 527 426 or Catherine on 07713 234064 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 99


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A new season to be cheerful EVERYONE at Bath Rugby is bubbling with enthusiasm from players to the community coaches who are working with schools in the area. And they’re doing what they do best: working together as a team, both on and off the pitch. A brutal pre-season for the first By PAM team squad seems to have paid off: unbeaten BURKE in their pre-season matches against Welsh opposition and, as I write this, two out of two victories in the Aviva Premiership. The Community team have been coaching at various summer camps during the break, but are now back in schools with Tackling Numbers, a maths based programme, and the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme. Kim Oliver is our new community coach and has a huge amount of rugby experience, having been capped 42 times by England Ladies. Kim, who lives on the edge of Mendip, has also worked as an RFU coach with Bristol University Ladies, UWE Ladies, Frome College and Cleve RFC U18 girls. Kim will be helping to deliver community rugby development programmes for boys and girls of all ages and said: “It’s great to be part of the team and it is an exciting new challenge for me.” The Foundation has also been very busy with Up and Unders during the summer. This is a programme for years two–seven which builds confidence and co-ordination. One mother who was at the family event at Bath Racecourse told me: “It is lovely, my eldest has no confidence at all, he is a really shy child and to see him come and do something like this is just wonderful. He never puts himself forward for anything, but just now they put a tiny red bib (vest) on him and it was great to see him laugh at himself. It really is good for him.” We have also visited the Children’s Hospice South West in Bristol to play rugby with some of the in-patients and their siblings, as well as spending two days at the Army’s Land Warfare School at Warminster Army Camp delivering to children of the garrison aged between five and 16. After watching both the Olympics and the Paralympics during the summer, we hope to carry the Bath Rugby flag in true Olympic style and make our supporters and also those whom we support, proud.

Kim Oliver, Bath’s new community coach

Pam Burke is press officer for Bath Rugby’s Community Foundation PAGE 100 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Kit fit for champions

Luis (far left) with Ant Greaves, team manager and Findlay Hobbs (far right) and the under-12s side

CHEW Valley under-12s football team is defending its position as champions of their league in style – thanks to The Kings Arms Inn at Litton. The inn is sponsoring the team’s new strip with its coat-ofarms logo on the front of the shirts. Chew Valley under-12s were 2011/12 champions of the Midsomer Norton and District League. Inn owners Luis Duarte and Findlay Hobbs presented the kit to the side. Findlay said: “The Kings Arms recognised we had true champions in our midst when the Chew Valley under-12s came to our attention pre-season. “In keeping with the spirit of Team GB and London 2012 and its message to inspire a new generation of youngsters to play sport, we were moved to mark this by rewarding the team for providing their own inspiration to others.” Team manager Ant Greaves said: “The kits have gone down very well with the boys.”

Date set for first boxing show MEMBERS of Shepton Mallet Amateur Boxing Club will compete in their first show in October. Up-and-coming fighters will take to the ring at Shepton Mallet Leisure Centre on Saturday, October 27th; organisers say it will be an event for all the family. The club opened its doors in August and has attracted a steady stream of amateur fighters and people – male and female – simply wanting to experience the sport or to improve their fitness. It has also just been awarded a Sport England grant. Meanwhile, Millie Warren, the daughter of club founder Paul and his wife Diana, is waiting to hear if she has been called up to represent England in a tournament in Poland in November. G Doors open at Shepton Mallet Leisure Centre for the show event at 7pm. Tickets are £10 adults and £5 for under-16s. Under-5s are free.


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SPORT

Help for gymnast AN Olympic hopeful from Street is to benefit from a decision by food manufacturer Framptons Ltd. to make its own contribution to the legacy of London 2012. Phoebe Turner, aged 12, is a member of the Team GBR gymnastics squad and one of the top five gymnasts in her age group in the UK. Also the current International Magical Classic gymnast champion, Phoebe has been involved in the sport since the age of six. The Crispin School pupil hopes to be selected for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But training for 30 hours a week Phoebe in full flow

Phoebe with Mark Dunn (left) and her father Steve

comes at a price: Phoebe trains at The Academy of Gymnastics in Portishead, alongside Imogen Cairns, who competed in the Team GB Women’s Squad at this year’s games. Wishing to help the London 2012 motto of Inspire a Generation to continue after the games, Framptons, of Shepton Mallet, has offered its support to Phoebe, by sponsoring her for £600 towards the cost of her training this year. Phoebe’s father, Steve Turner, who has worked at Framptons for eight years as an engineer and has recently been promoted to Engineering Supervisor, said: “Phoebe is amazing at what she does, but taking her to training means we travel more than 600 miles each week, and the cost of working towards being an Olympic gymnast isn’t cheap. My wife and I are very grateful for Framptons’ support in helping us to provide the training Phoebe needs for continued success in gymnastics.” Mark Dunn, Operations Manager at Framptons, said: “Framptons is a forward-thinking business that recognises passion and determination, such as that shown by Phoebe and her parents. We are thrilled to be able to support Phoebe in her future ventures, and wish her the best of luck in training towards the next Olympics.”

First class result for postmaster Mike MELLS Village Shop manager and sub-postmaster Mike Phypers is celebrating after winning a prestigious clay shooting event. Mike won the side-by-side event at the British Open Skeet clay shooting competition held in Nottingham. The national competition is open to all Clay Pigeon Shooting Association members. It was the third time that Mike, who has been shooting competitively for ten years, has won the event. He was also Somerset Open Skeet champion in 2008. Mike has managed the community-run shop since its opening in 2009 and also acts as a shooting instructor at Millfield School. Mike said: “Part of the rationale for taking on the shop was that I could combine my hobby with my job and this works well for all concerned!” Earlier this summer, Mike again combined his two roles by organising a successful charity “Have a Go” clay shoot at Mells Park in aid of the shop. Mike and his colleagues, all trained instructors, gave free instruction to the many novice shooters who attended the day.

Mike Phypers with his trophy outside Mells Village Shop MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 101


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Record entries

NEWS

Local food celebrated

Oli Williams (7) with his rescue dog Missie

Top of the crop: a gold award for this harvest hamper

THE sixth annual Glastonbury Harvest Show brought out the best of local growers, producers and bakers in a celebration of local food. Members of Glastonbury Country Market provided refreshments, stalls sold local produce and displayed information about local food projects. The show was opened by Councillor Ian Tucker, the Mayor of Glastonbury, who lit the now-traditional Glastonbury Candle. Caroline Sherwood, one of the organisers, said: “The show attracts many growers and producers who might not normally enter more traditional events. This has more of a light-hearted side.” A RECORD 72 dogs were entered into the Compton Dando Fun Dog Show. The village community association was delighted to add over £1,500 to its coffers – a record for the show and the organisers expressed their thanks to all the dogs and people who attended, the show sponsors and the dozens of volunteers who made the day such a success.

Lights out? AXBRIDGE, Leigh-on-Mendip and Keinton Mandeville could have their street lights switched off in the dead of night as part of a three-year pilot project. They are among 14 parishes which have expressed an interest in taking part and talks will now be held with local residents. Streetlamps in these places will be turned off between midnight and 5.30am during the trial. The first three years of the plan are expected to save Somerset County Council £123,000 in energy costs and £8,300 in carbon tax payments, with continued annual savings for the lighting budget. Avon and Somerset Police have not raised concerns about crime or safety in the areas volunteering. County council cabinet member Harvey Siggs said: “There will be consultation everywhere it is proposed to turn off streetlamps, and I’m sure people in Somerset will welcome the choice of how their streets are lit, and the opportunity to contribute to cash savings and darker skies.”  Clocks go back on Sunday, October 28th when British Summer Time ends. PAGE 102 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Caroline Sherwood, compere Stuart Packer and fruit and vegetable judge Ben Beaton


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WHAT’S ON Gearing up: Caitlin Palmer (seated) with Abi Casling and Mark Walton

Get on your soapbox THE second Priddy Soap Box Derby takes place on Saturday, September 29th with all proceeds going to the village preschool and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Around 14 teams of three people are expected to take part in the races, which begin at 1pm. Organised by Mark Walton, from the Queen Victoria Inn, the event opens at midday with a bar and barbecue. It runs until 10.30pm with The Stereo Joes playing in the evening. For more information, contact Mark on: 01749 676385

Let’s dance! BACKWELL Sequence Dance Club starts its new season on Tuesday October 2nd. They meet at the W.I. Hall, Backwell every Tuesday from 8.15pm to 10.30pm through until April 30th, 2013. Did you meet your husband/wife/partner at the local Town Hall/Assembly Rooms/Mecca Ballroom? Why not re-kindle the interest. Have fun, enjoy some gentle exercise, dance to music you will recognise and enjoy good company. They are also starting a new 10-week Absolute Beginners Sequence Dance Course, on Tuesday October 9th from 7.15pm to 8.15pm. This is the only sequence dancing beginners’ course running in the local area. The cost is £3pp per week with the first week free.

MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 103

Photograph courtesy of Neil Crick ARPS

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Stars line up for Wells Festival of Literature THE line-up of speakers for this year’s Wells Festival of Literature demonstrates a greater variety than ever before. Many award-winners – four Costa winners and finalists, including Somerset resident Andrew Miller, the overall victor for ‘Pure’ – will keep audiences spellbound. Matthew Paris, Sarah Raven, Adam Nicolson, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayn, and Jonathan Dimbleby are among the very well known authors who will be sharing their knowledge. Kate Mosse, the founder of the Orange Prize, will open the festival with Heather Brooke who exposed the MPs’ expenses scandal. Other speakers include Somerset dwellers Pamela Egan whose talk on

Matthew Paris

Claire Tomalin

Elizabeth Goudge was the first event to be sold out, Charles Hazlewood, the astonishingly energetic conductor, and Kate Lynch, the artist who shadowed 20 Somerset beekeepers and their bees for her latest book. Jonathan Dimbleby Foodies can learn how to catch, trap and forage for dinner from the Three Hungry Boys, protegés of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and there will be poetry readings, open mic sessions and the prize-giving for the poetry, short story and crime story competitions. There will also be a lively Kate Mosse programme of events for schools including the enthusiastic and energetic Ros Johnson who will surprise children into playing Shakespearean roles before they know it. The full programme and tickets are available on the website www.wellslitfest.org.uk or from Wells Museum

Travel experts WELLS LITERARY FESTIVAL 12th to 20th October 2012 Scintillating speakers covering a wide variety of subjects Matthew Parris, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayn, Charles Hazlewood, Sarah Raven and the Three Hungry Boys

THE Unpackaged Travel Company, now in its ninth year, offers tailor-made and special interest travel to destinations worldwide, with particular emphasis on India and Canada. Contact them to arrange a time to meet and discuss ideas over a cup of coffee – there are books, maps and lots of photos to help you decide on an itinerary that is perfect for you. Go where you want and do what you want without packaged limitations, but at the same time be absolutely confident in your individual arrangements. They really love planning trips for honeymoons and special occasions. If you prefer travelling in a group, why not let them plan your trip! They are fully insured and ATOL protected.

At five of Wells’ most interesting venues Wells Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace, Vicars’ Hall St Thomas’ Church and Café Piano

Tailor Made Holidays and Individual Travel Arrangements Honeymoons Special Birthdays Anniversaries

Wells Festival of Literature

Full programme and tickets available from www.wellslitfest.org.uk or Wells Museum PAGE 104 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

01749 676825 info@unpackagedtravel.co.uk www.unpackagedtravel.co.uk

ATOL protected


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WHAT’S ON

End of an era – but a new beginning THE owners of the Wells Film Centre have confirmed that they are to retire in November. June and Derek Cooper have sold the business to daughter Sally, who has worked in the business for the past ten years. Another daughter, Libby, will work alongside her. The couple also run the Spinning Wheel Café in Wells, which will be taken over by their third daughter, Wendy, and her fiancé Jarek Cyrek. June and Derek have been cinema exhibitors together for 37 years but Derek’s career goes back 47 years. They be retiring on November 27th, the 20th anniversary of Wells Film Centre. There will be a gala evening on the night with invited guests from the cinema industry, local dignitaries, friends and customers. Derek showed his first film from a projection room at the Regal in Wells: the Trap starred Rita Tushingham and Oliver

Curtain call: Derek (left) outside the Wells Film Centre with film director Tom Lawes

Reed. He also ran a school film society and showed films in his local village. Amongst the people who have worked for the couple was a young Edgar Wright, who Derek sacked from his job as projectionist: Edgar has gone on to enjoy a hugely successful career as a film director. One of the features of the Wells Film Centre is its policy of showing one-off films. In September it screened The Last

COMING UP:

Cinema’s festival coup THE Wells Festival of Literature has secured a great coup and invited David Thomson to speak about his latest publication The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What They Did to US. This will be the ultimate book on the cinema and film buffs will hear about it on the day it is launched – October 4th – at Wells Film Centre, as a taster for the main festival which starts on October 12th. Wells Film Centre’s Derek Cooper will be sponsoring and hosting Thomson’s talk as well as showing two David Lean versions of Dickens’ films, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, to enable visitors to enjoy more thoroughly Claire Tomalin’s talk on the great author’s life.

Projectionist, a documentary about independent cinemas and the people who used to run and work in them. Director Tom Lawes, whose daughter lives in Frome, visited the Wells Film Cinema to talk about his work. In October, the centre will be showing three films of Shakespearean plays – All’s Well That Ends Well, Dr Faustus and Much Ado About Nothing – all performed by the cast from the Globe Theatre.

Celebrating 20 years in November

From Thursday, 4th October: Taken 2 (12A) From Friday, 12th October: Hotel Transylvania (cert tbc) From Wednesday, 17th October: Frankenweenie (pg) From Friday, 19th October: Madagascar 3 (cert tbc) From Friday, 26th October: Skyfall 007 (cert tbc) Box office open for special plays (two days only) from The Globe Theatre: All’s Well That Ends Well (u) Fri, 28th Sept (7.15pm) and Wed, 3rd Oct (3pm) Much Ado About Nothing (12A) Fri, 12th Oct (7.15pm) and Wed, 17th Oct (3pm) Dr Faustus (12A) Fri, 26th Oct (7.15pm) and Wed, 31st Oct (3pm) G Book in person G Online 24/7 @www.wellsfilmcentre.co.uk G Over the ’phone: 01749 673195

Wells Film Centre, Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD

FANTASTIC FUNGAL FORAYS with Adrian Boots

Join me this autumn on a fantastic fungal foray. Enjoy the autumn colours whilst tasting some of the best wild edible mushrooms the season has to offer

28th October 2012 – 2pm to 5.30pm. £35 per person Please call 01761 463356 to book your place or visit www.walkthemendips.com for more details

It’s All Happening at The Bell in Shepton! 70’s discos – Thursdays Live bands – Fridays Super Saturdays – Beer and Boogie Superior Sundays – Join us for our cracking carveries The Bell Hotel, 3 High Street, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5AA.

Tel: 01749 345393 MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012 • PAGE 105


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MENDIP TIMES

WHAT’S ON

The Mendip Times What’s On Guide for October Friday September 28th The Great Macmillan Coffee Morning from 10am to 12noon in the Salvation Army Hall, Commercial Road, Shepton Mallet. Bring and Buy, cake and home produce stalls. Admission £1.50 includes coffee, biscuits and a free draw ticket. Hosted by Shepton Mallet Tangent Club. Saturday September 29th Chapter 2 Book Fair, Wells Town Hall, 10am – 4pm in aid of St Cuthbert’s Church. Over 3,000 books, including first editions and collectables. Details: 01749 673356 or 674409. “Howling in the Harvest” – traditional autumn songs from the Hotwell’s Howlers at Kilmersdon Village Hall, Nr Radstock. 7.30pm. Details and tickets: 01761 419224 or 437372. Masquerade Fall Ball, organised by Farrington Gurney Young Farmers, Royal Bath and West Showground, 8pm -2am, £15 YFC members, £18 non members. Details: 07934 322086 or email farringtonfallball@hotmail.co.uk The Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge present an evening of song from Avon and Somerset constabulary Male Voice Choir, St Andrew’s Church, Chew Magna, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £8.50 include a glass of wine, available from Chew Magna post office or from Rob on 01275 331093. Monday October 1st – Saturday October 6th The Woodlanders Music Hall, 7.45pm. Two hours of family entertainment as it used to be, including Woodlanders Olympics, songs from the shows, jubilee sketches and dancing. Tickets £8.50 from 01373 463643. Details: www.thewoodlander.org.uk Wednesday October 3rd “Herbal Medicine is the Original Medicine” talk by medical herbalist and trained nurse Zoe Hawes at the Centurion Hotel Midsomer Norton. Organised by the Cam Valley Wildlife Group. Refreshments at 7.30pm, talk starts 8pm. Members £2, non members £3, children free. Details: 01761 232321. Yeo Valley Probus AGM at Backwell Bowls Club, 10.30am. New members welcome. Thursday October 4th Wells Evening Society, A Dealer’s Story – dealing in the British art market with Nicholas Bagshawe, Wells Town Hall, from 6.45pm. Details www.wellseveningsociety.co.uk 01761 232788. Friday October 5th Open Mic Night at Redhill Village Club from 8pm, hosted by Jerry Blythe. Free admission. All welcome – artists and spectators alike. Walk at Marston near Frome. Details: www.dontwalkalone.co.uk Saturday October 6th Frome Society for Local Study and Frome Civic Society lecture Queen of Waters – The Kennet and Avon Canal, with Kirsten Elliott, Assembly Rooms, Frome. Tuesday October 9th Psychology of a City – the Architecture of St Petersburg. Talk for Mendip Decorative and Fine Arts Society given by Dr Rosamund Bartlett, founder/director of the Anton Chekhov House museum in Yalta. Held in the Westex Suite at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet. Please contact 01985 844877, in advance, if you wish to attend. Wednesday October 10th Wells Civic Society, the present, past and future of specialist music at Wells Cathedral School, 7.30pm in the Cedars Drawing Room at the school. ANSWERS TO THE MENDIP MINDBENDER ACROSS: 1 Harptree, 5 Ice cap, 10 Motor, 11 Trainsets, 12 Elemental, 13 Relic, 14 At home, 15 Call for, 18 Al dente, 20/26 Temple Cloud, 22 Merit, 24 Theoriser, 25 Afterlife, 27 Disuse, 28 Mainstay. DOWN: 1 Hamlet, 2 Retreated, 3 Three-point turns, 4 Entitle, 6 Central American, 7 Creel, 8 Postcard, 9 Garlic, 16 Fall short, 17 Farmyard, 19 Entail, 20 Theresa, 21 Priddy, 23 Rates. PAGE 106 • MENDIP TIMES • OCTOBER 2012

Saturday October 13th Big Book Sale in aid of Winscombe Community Centre and a separate Freecycle Event – recycle by bringing any goods you wish to donate for other people’s use – but if not taken please be prepared to take them away again afterwards! Winscombe Community Centre, Sandford Road from 9am - 12noon. Race Night at Frome Football Club, 7pm. Tickets £5 include ploughman’s, from Terry: 01373 464333. Organised by Frome Friends of Dorothy House Hospice. Sunday October 14th Claudia Aurora singing at Hornblotton Village Hall. 7.30pm, Tickets £12. Details: bowencolin@hotmail.com or www.hvh.btck.co.uk Classic Car Breakfast, Redhill Village Hall, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, from 10am. A chance for car owners to enjoy a full English breakfast and for spectators to see their cars. Details: Redhilll Club, 01934 8862619. “The Somerset Community Barn Owl Project” – talk by Chris Sperring for the Cam Valley Wildlife Group at The Centurion Hotel, Midsomer Norton, 7.30pm for 8pm start. Members £2, non-members £3, children free. Details: 01761 232321. Tuesday October 16th “Walter Sickert and the Camden Town Group” – talk by Julian Halsby for Mid-Somerset Decorative and Fine Arts Society. Caryford Hall, Castle Cary, 11am. Pay at the door then decide whether to become a member. Details: 01963 350527. Wednesday October 17th “Glorious Venice” – talk by Bernard Merrick to Yeo Valley Probus at Backwell Bowls Club, 10.30am. New members welcome. Friday October 19th The New Delta Jazz Band and Derek Winters – an evening of authentic New Orleans Jazz at Timsbury Conygre Hall, BA2 0JG. Dance in café style setting with bar and food. Tickets £8 on the door in aid of “CLIMB” – Children Living with Metabolic diseases. Details: Kate 01761 471245 or www.mendipmusic.com Saturday October 20th – Sunday October 21st Mendip Christmas Fair at a new venue, Aldwick Court Farm. All proceeds to childrens’s charities. Entrance from 10am, cost £4. The Breakaway Art Group’s latest Arts and Crafts Exhibition, to include paintings, drawings, ceramics, enamelling, textiles, jewellery, picture framing, knitting, prints, photography and cards, Shipham Village Hall, 10am to 4pm. Home-made light refreshments will be available. Saturday October 20th Singing for Beginners workshops. New ladies two-part singing group starting on Thursday mornings, 10.30am – 12.30 and some Saturdays. Sing some old and new songs: folk, pop, spiritual, traditional. Kilmersdon Apple Day at the Village Hall, 11am – 3pm. Stalls, Village Band, Beatle Crushers Clog Dancing. Bring your apples for juicing. Details: 01761 437372. Cabaret/Supper night at Redhill Village Club from 8pm. Free admission, all welcome. Frome Society for Local Study and Frome Civic Society lecture Bath in the Blitz – then and now with Cathryn Spence, Assembly Rooms, Frome. Sunday October 21st Walk: Wells to Priddy. Details www.dontwalkalone.co.uk Tuesday November 6th Treasure Hunt around the centre of Wedmore –to discover all that’s historic, quirky and unusual! Organised by the Friends of St Mary’s - start 2pm from the church door. Just turn up - adults £2, children £1. Trophy for the winner, tea and scones for everyone. Details: Laura 01749 870203 or David 01934 710149. The Punch and Judy Show (a subversive symbol from Commedia dell’Arte to the present day). Talk for Mendip Decorative and Fine Arts Society by Mr Bertie Pearce, a member of the Magic Circle. Held in the Westex Suite, Shepton Mallet Showground. Please contact 01985 844877 in advance if you wish to attend.


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Mendip Times  

Celebrating life on the Mendips and surrounding areas

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