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FORUM FOCUS For Blandford and surrounding villages Issue No. 7

Carnival fun - Pages 6 & 7

October 2012

Board bother brings ban for pub darts team by Nicci Brown

Licensee Lance Armstrong said: "It's been that way for years and not been a problem in the past, A BLANDFORD pub has been when there have always been banned from its local darts Stour Inn teams in the league. league because the position of its Darts night is a fun evening but board, used by generations of we have been told that our teams players, has been ruled unfit for will no longer be able to play." purpose. He said discussions had taken Feminine involvement in a tradiplace with the league, in which tionally male orientated pub sport more than 20 teams play every is partly to blame for the Stour Wednesday during the season, Inn at Blandford St Mary being and the pub had tried to comproexcluded because the oche is mise by installing an alternative located right in front of the board in the bar area. entrance to the gents’ toilets, But that had also met with commeaning players have to stand in plaints about the lack of space the doorway. between the board and the bar. The low roof also results in darts "The league wants me to move sometimes hitting the ceiling and the board into the restaurant, but failing to reach the board. that would mean losing a number of table covers whenever a game is being played. They wouldn't accept us installing a board outside on the patio, which is under cover. This comes hard on top of the smoking ban and other issues affecting the licensed trade." League secretary Kevin Milne said: "The position of the board close to the toilets was less of an issue in the past, when there were fewer ladies in the league. “But the low ceiling also meant that some good players had to be dropped and replaced by reserves at the Stour because they were unable to clear the low ceiling, which led to Stour Inn manageress and darts team player an uncompetitive league. Shanice Buchan at the oche in the entrance to the gents toilets. To Page 2

John Paulley with his 'honorary' teapot at the Crown Hotel.

Teapot honour for a ‘wonderful’ man LOCAL resident, society member, school patron and 'legend' to most people in Blandford, John Paulley celebrated 60 years of custom at the Crown Hotel with a present from the hotel team. Mr Paulley, who was awarded an MBE for his services to education and is a former sports teacher, careers advisor and foundation governor at Blandford Secondary School, recently let slip that 1st September would be the 60th anniversary of his first dropping into the hotel for a cup of tea on a Saturday morning, a tradition which he has upheld ever since. Front of house manager Clare Del Gallo said: "The team felt it appropriate to give Mr Paulley an engraved teapot as well as a card promising him a free pot of tea forever. “The whole team look forward to Mr Paulley's arrival every Saturday morning as he is always full of wonderful stories and is a pleasure to talk to." Mr Paulley was surprised and touched by the gift and looks forward to many more years of a Saturday morning cup of tea at the Crown. Reports of the gift on the Crown's Facebook page brought forth a flood of tributes from former pupils describing him as a kind and caring man "who deserves a knighthood for what he has done for us", "beloved of generations of Blandford schoolchildren", and "a wonderful gentleman - he never ceases to make you feel good for having bumped into him in town."

FORUM FOCUS: Your FREE monthly community newspaper


October 2012

FORUM FOCUS CONTACTS Editorial: Nicci Brown T: 01258 459346 E: Advertising: John Stayt T: 01258 456999 E: Distribution: Jackie Stayt T: 01258 456999 E: Design: David Eidlestein T: 01258 450989 E:

DEADLINES Adverts: Wednesday 17th October Editorial: Friday 19th October

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HELPING We are always on the lookout for volunteers willing to deliver copies of the newspaper. If you would like to help, please contact Jackie Stayt (details left).

OUR ADVERTISERS Please support our advertisers who have given Forum Focus their support.

FORUM FOCUS FOR technical reasons, the next three issues of Forum Focus will be published slightly later than usual to arrive in the first week of the month, and deadlines will vary. Advertisement bookings for November should be received by Wednesday 17th October, and copy and editorial by Friday 19th October for distribu-

League bans pub darts team over board bother From Page 1 He said: "It truly saddens me that a compromise hasn't been reached between the Blandford Darts League and the Stour Inn but the opinion of the majority of the committee was that a Stour team could not be accepted if the board was not moved. "Over the years we have had an enormous number of complaints about the 'throw' at the Stour, but no-one put it in writing, so the committee could not act. Earlier this year someone did make an official complaint. "The outcome was that the committee agreed that the current board was unsuitable. It may have been acceptable many

publication dates tion by Saturday 3rd November. Deadlines for December will be Friday 16th November (bookings) and Tuesday 20th November (copy) for distribution Monday 3rd December; and for January Tuesday 11th December (bookings) and Friday 14th December (copy and editorial) for distribution Friday 4th January.

years ago, but venues have evolved over time and this board unfortunately has not." He said the committee had met with the landlord, and it was agreed to try the alternative bar location for the summer season. But following further complaints, the committee met again and took a majority vote that a team from the Stour could only be accepted if the board was in a playable position. The restaurant area was the natural choice, and the decision to exclude the Stour teams was put into effect when Mr Armstrong refused. "We would be more than happy for the Stour to enter teams into the Blandford League, but the oche and board have to be of a standard that allows fair play to all visiting teams. "Moving the board to what always appears on match days to be a vacant area doesn't seem entirely unreasonable, particularly when you consider the income from two darts teams consuming large amounts of beer within those three hours a week."

Blandford Forum Town Council HALF-TERM FUN FREE ADMISSION FOR BOTH SHOWS Join us at the Corn Exchange for some halfterm fun with two different shows by one of the south coast's leading entertainers. Mr Merlin is a previous winner of the Bournemouth Children's Entertainer of the Year competition. He will perform magic, enlist the help of volunteers, twist balloon shapes and generally have a fun time with young and old. Okey Dokey the Dragon, brings tricks to amaze, gags to amuse and even a few belly laughs. Blandford Forum Town Council hosts two 45 minute shows at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 1st November 2012 at 11:00 am and at 2:00 pm. Refreshments on sale and all proceeds to the Mayor's Charities, Dorset Rural Music School and The Cupola Project. Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the shows.

The Town Council's Strategic Plan 2012-2016 The Town Council has prepared a Strategic Plan to cover the period 2012 - 2016 which was considered at the Town Council meeting on Monday 17th September 2012. Members and Officers have produced the plan, Action

available for hire subject to availability. Discounts apply to charities and regular users at the discretion of the Town Council. Hire charges are available on the Town Council's website, by emailing, by calling us on 01258 454500 or visiting the Town Clerk's Office during opening times.

Town Council Meetings

Plan and Gantt chart for residents of Blandford Forum, partner organisations, members and staff to establish the Town Council's overall vision, its priorities and how these will be delivered, to give clear direction for resource planning and budget setting and guide our dealings with the community and partners. A copy will soon be available to view on our website and at our offices.

Town Council Venue Hire The Town Council manages a number of venues in and around the town which are

Members of the public are welcome to attend council and committee meetings and to comment during the public sessions held at 7.00pm at the beginning of meetings, held on most Monday evenings in the Community Room at the address above. The public can also contact councillors or officers through correspondence/email, by telephone, or in person at the Town Clerk's Office, which is open Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm. The Town Clerk is Linda Scott-Giles who can be contacted using the details above or by emailing Forthcoming meetings are: Monday 1st October 2012 Finance & Staffing Monday 8th October 2012 Planning Monday 15th October 2012 - Town Council Meeting


October 2012

6,000 oppose homes on meadows CAMPAIGNERS against the development of part of the Crown Meadows and Bryanston Deer Park in the centre of Blandford were told by North Dorset District Council's chief executive Liz Goodall that their views would be taken into consideration before the new draft core strategy is published early next year. They were presenting a petition signed by nearly 6,000 people more than 60 per cent of the population of the town - who are objecting to the proposal put forward in the initial draft on behalf of landowners, the Crown Estate.

Objectors include the town council, local parish, district and county councillors, the three main political parties, civic society and the CPRE. The key reason is the potential introduction of hundreds of vehicles whose only access to the proposed estate will be via the town's already congested one-way system. It is also viewed with alarm by those who see the site as an iconic feature in the town landscape. Campaigners, led by the Bryanston Park Preservation Group, say there are alternative

sites able to accommodate the 1,300 new homes considered necessary in the Blandford area to meet future housing requirements. BPPG chairman John Cook told Mrs Goodall: "This petition has been signed by 5,756 people, and represents an overwhelming

majority of the Blandford population. "Please bring this to the attention of the members so that they may give due weight to the views of local people when considering the allocation of the Crown Meadows in the revised core strategy for North Dorset."

Letter to the Editor Sir I read in Forum Focus that the Crown Estates were saying that, despite all the rain we've had, the meadows are not flooded. It's summer. If the ground is saturated now, which it must be, then come winter rains we're in for lots of flooding. Their argument doesn't hold water (if you'll forgive the pun!) Our local rain-watcher tells me that we've had 21% more rain in the Tarrant Valley this year than the average for the same period over the past 10 years. I can only assume that a similar amount has fallen on Blandford. Paula Andrews

Charity cash raised in memory of Ben THOUSANDS of pounds has been raised for charity in memory of Ben Andrews, who died after a road crash on the Salisbury Road at Pimperne on May Bank Holiday Monday. A car rally on Sunday 9th September was led by his father Paul in the Volkswagen Golf which Ben had been restoring and has now been completed by Mr Andrews and Ben's brother Harry. They were joined by more than 60 vehicles, including Ben's mum Sam driving the family's VW Beetle and accompanied by his

Open verdict AN OPEN verdict has been recorded into the death of a 51year-old man found dead at Pines Court in East Street in July. West Dorset Coroner Michael Johnston heard at an inquest that Robert Walter Gregory had not been seen for more than 10 days before his body was discovered after a neighbour raised the alarm. Mr Johnston recorded the open verdict after tests were unable to reveal the cause of death.

sister Molly, who travelled with a police escort from Blandford to Wareham, where Ben was born. The rally, and an associated raffle with prizes donated by Blandford businesses, raised £1,200 for the Firefighters Charity in recognition of their efforts to save Ben at the scene of the accident. Colleagues of his father, who works for Wessex Water, have donated a day's pay to Julia's House, a charity supported by the family. The £525 collected was boosted by a £250 donation from the company to the children's hospice, to which £2,338 was donated at Ben's funeral. Benjamin James Southall, aged 20, living on Blandford Camp, has appeared in court charged with causing Ben's death by driving without due care when his blood alcohol level of 89 milligrammes exceeded the legal limit of 80mg. He was also charged, when he appeared at Dorchester Crown Court in September, with assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Aaron Wicks, and causing grievous bodily harm to Laura Haskell. The preliminary hearing was adjourned to 12th November for a plea and case management hearing.

Bryanston Park Preservation Group chairman John Cook presents the petition against Crown Estate development proposals to district council chief executive Liz Goodall.


October 2012

High hopes in broadband funding bid

June Hales, winner in the Wildlife Garden category of the Spectrum Signpost gardening competition.

June’s green fingers strike gold SPECTRUM Signpost residents from across south Wessex have been given prizes in recognition of their exemplary gardening abilities. The Blandford area showed particular horticultural talent in the annual competition. June Hales took gold in the Wildlife Garden category, and Lavington House in Jubilee Way won silver in the Communal Garden category. The award ceremony took place at Friars Moor

Court, Sturminster Newton, and recognised the best gardeners from south Wessex in eight categories. "The quality of entries this year has been absolutely exceptional, making it very difficult to choose winners," said Liz Baker, resident involvement officer for Spectrum Signpost. Judging took place at the end of June, with an official visiting each of the gardens to enable residents, acting as judges, to reach their final decision. Other local winners were: Small Garden: Gold - Mr & Mrs Davis, Shillingstone; Silver - Adrian Littlewood, Higher Ansty. Vegetable/ Fruit Patch: Gold Nigel & Gail Ward, Tarrant Rushton; joint Bronze -Terry & Gill Godlonton, Milborne St Andrew. Communal Garden: Bronze - Dellsmead, Tarrant Rushton. Large Garden: Silver Terry & Gill Godlonton, Milborne St Andrew. Floral Content: Silver - Mr & Mrs Davis, Shillingstone. Young Gardener (under-16): Gold - Mia Caines, Child Okeford.

A BID to secure £500,000 towards a project to bring superfast broadband to a number of villages around Blandford was due to be submitted at the end of September by the DT11 Partnership Trailway Broadband team. Team members have thanked all those who supported them by completing a paper and online survey to establish demand for a future-proof fibre-optic cable up the North Dorset Trailway linking to villages and individual properties either side which currently receive ultra-low or non-existent broadband speeds. Project leader Steve Adamson is confident of the bid's success as the only pure community-led project being considered for funding from a £20 million DEFRA Rural Communities Broadband Fund to improve broadband provision across the country. The team has also been looking at the potential to extend the scheme to points such as Blandford Camp, the North Dorset Business Park in Sturminster Newton and other villages, but the basic scheme involves Durweston, Stourpaine, Child Okeford, Okeford Fitzpaine and Fiddleford. The project, to provide broadband service which will not be available commercially or through other government schemes, is expected to attract significant private sector investment of around £2 million as well as the DEFRA funding. But the partnership will retain a holding and potentially an ongoing source of income in return for the huge amount of work it has put in to developing the scheme.

Pub hub scheme fails PLANS to obtain community use for a former pub in Blandford have been dropped after the DT11 community partnership failed to secure funding for its refurbishment. The DT11 team have been working for nearly two years on the project to use the former Three Choughs in West Street as a base not just for themselves but also for other organisations in the town. A number of those organisations have now secured alternative accommodation, and DT11 chairman Scott Norman reported to the last partnership meeting that the pre-lease agreement with owners Hall & Woodhouse had now expired. He said: "They said that if they failed to find another tenant and we manage to secure funding, the option may still be available, and it was empty for 18 months before we expressed our interest." But recently the partnership announced that the building had now been taken by another tenant, and that while Hall and Woodhouse have been very supportive towards the partnership, they also had commercial targets to meet.


October 2012

Reasons to be cheerful BLANDFORD and North Dorset appears to have had more than its fair share of praise in the columns of our illustrious national cousins over the past few weeks. First on 27th July in The Guardian, North Dorset was chosen by Jill Papworth as one of the top 10 places to retire to, citing low crime and council tax, Blandford's community hospital, life expectancy of 79.9, and as one of the beauty spots the town's Stour Meadows. Next on 8th August the North Dorset Trailway and OffCamber in Blandford gets a plug from Maddie Grigg for its bike hire as one of the top 10 family days out. On 17th August Blandford was chosen as one of TV historian Dan Cruickshank's most beautiful historic towns, who found it one of the best examples of 'urban brick at its best' with 'at moments, the presence of a great city'. He cites the rebuilding of the town following the Great Fire of 1731 'in a splendid English Baroque manner by equally splendidly named local builders the Bastard brothers. The bricks are of superb quality and colour, and the way they are laid and detailed displays superlative craftsmanship and deep sensibility. This heady combination of grand church and swaggering houses gives this little town architectural sophistication'. And finally on 4th and 5th September two establishments are listed by Lesley Gillilan and Jonathan Knight among the best in Dorset for a holiday: the Grade II listed Heathcote House bed-and-breakfast in Milborne St Andrew, and North West Farm at Winterborne Kingston, where you can hire a shepherd's hut or tent on an old barley farm a mile from the village for a bit of countryside retreat.

The MVS team of Anna Vincent, Dan Hurst, Tony Vincent, Jazmin Vincent, Harriet Goddard and Brian Vincent at the official opening by Mayor of Blandford Sara Loch.

New business is booming A NEW business born when Seward pulled out of trading from the Blandford Heights industrial estate in February was officially opened by Mayor of Blandford Sara Loch last month. MVS (Motor Vehicle Services) started trading in June after Tony Vincent and Dan Hurst, with decades of experience in the motor trade between them, lost their jobs with the Vauxhall dealers and set up independently. After buying up the Seward equipment in which they were already skilled, they took a small business training course and within four months were back in business, bringing with them many of the former Seward customers. They have been joined by family

Courts site plans opposed PROPOSALS to demolish the single-storey former magistrates’ court in Salisbury Road, Blandford, and replace it with18 houses and flats up to three storeys high have encountered strong opposition locally. The application by Charles Elliott Properties has been submitted to North Dorset District Council and was considered by Blandford Town Council's planning committee when a number of local residents raised issues of overdevelopment, overshadowing and parking problems. Their concerns were echoed by town councillors, who agreed to oppose the scheme on similar grounds, as have Blandford and District Civic Society.

members, Tony's wife Ann, niece Harriet Goddard, father Brian Vincent, and during the summer his daughter Jazmin. Mr Vincent said: "Since we opened at the beginning of June, it's been absolutely manic. We brought the old Seward cus-

tomers with us, including Blandford Town Council and ambulance service. We can offer them a really personal service, and I think to a large extent it wasn't the company but the people within it who made the business."


October 2012


The Poole Buccaneers, collectors extraordinaire.

Cup-winner Lydia Ball in her pretty garden.

Winners in the Carnival Baby Show.

Jessica Bick and Georgia Curtis as Jessica Ennis and the Olympic torch.


October 2012


Town celebrates a diamond year topped with gold A LANDMARK year was remembered by carnival-goers in Blandford on 8th September when a pack of Olympic torch bearers were joined by a gold medal winner and human torch, the Paralympic Team Disability Action Group and the town's Diamond Jubilee Queen. Others congratulating Team GB on its success in London 2012 were families from Winterborne Stickland and Spetisbury representing a bevy of Olympian competitors. Jessica Bick and her friend Georgia Curtis, both aged 12, represented Olympian Jessica Ennis and the Olympic torch to win the junior best endeavour and pairs trophies. The real-life heroes who had carried Olympic torches in the relay across the country in July were led by Blandford torch bearer Jack Delaney and his team of supporters of the charity USupport, for which he is ambassador. And although Mark Farwell, who has traditionally brought up the rear with his JCB, was unable to attend due to a prior engagement at his daughter's wedding, Malcolm Fowler, pulling the Young Farmers' float with

Overall winner Natasha Shaw of Marnhull as 'Ice Kingdom'.

'Olympic Rings' and deputising as final collecting vehicle, won the trade section. Carnival chairman Lil Jones said she was disappointed to have been let down by two of the larger floats, Sturminster Newton's Just George and Shaftesbury's Revellers. "But in neither case was it their fault," said Mrs Jones. "Both entries were withdrawn due to technical issues with their floats, and we were also missing a group of majorettes who had transport difficulties." Overall winner was Natasha Shaw of Marnhull with her Wessex Circuit entry, 'Ice Kingdom', and best local entry went to the St John Ambulance Badgers with 'Bertie Goes Fishing'. Other popular entries were from Magnum Carnival with their 'Robbery at Ye Old Casino', twoyear-old Lydia Ball with 'How Does Your Garden Grow?', Milldown Primary School with 'Milldown Airways', and the Poole Buccaneers, whose musket shots helped win Blandford Rugby Club the trophy for humorous entry when their young players fell flat on the ground at every round of fire. The parade was also well supported by massed entries from the youth sections of Blandford FC, three bands and two groups of majorettes, and collectors including Rosie Wiles, Mary Federl and Janet Hinton. The annual baby show held in the Corn Exchange was won by Riley Peach, son of Sophie Peach of Rookery Corner, Blandford, first in the 6-12 month class. Other class winners were: in the under six-month class, Charlie, son of Laura Sweetland of Westbury Way, who was a runner-up in the same competition 28 years ago; and, in the 12-18 month class Lexie, daughter of Donna Clease of Edward Street. The show was followed by the presentation of donations from the proceeds of the 2011 Carnival to the Magnum Carnival Club, Blandford St John Badgers, Milldown Primary School and the Stour Valley Band in gratitude for their support to the carnival over the years.

Blandford Carnival Court: Miss Teenager Shannon Graves, 13, of Stourpaine, and Carnival Princess Kizzy Miller, 10, of Archbishop Wake Primary, with, in front, her attendants, Kaylee Lake, 9, of Blandford St Mary Primary, and Amelia Ball, 8, of Durweston Primary.


October 2012

Up the garden path An occasional series of articles with a gardening theme. This month by guest writer Mark Hinsley, arboriculturalist . . . to cool you in some leafy glade. Charles Trenet

TRAFFIC was delayed on the Blandford bypass for five hours after a DAF artic tractor overturned its load of animal feed at the Sunrise Business Park roundabout junction with Shaftesbury Lane mid-afternoon on Friday 14th September. The carriageway was cleared after the vehicle was righted by a team from Ashley Wood Recovery Services. Diversions were set up at the Shaftesbury end of the C13 and at Holland Way in Blandford, and the road was finally cleared at 8.30pm.

MANY people discuss the causes of climate change and whether or not anything can be done to prevent it. Trees figure quite highly in this kind of debate, often wrongly. However, there is another important question to be addressed: if our urban temperatures are going to rise, then how are we going to keep cool? In town centres, with a preponderance of hard reflective surfaces, it doesn't take much of a rise in air temperatures for it to get uncomfortably hot for most and dangerously hot for some.

Forget planting trees to save the planet - the planet will be fine whatever happens. It is us that need saving and if we need to be saved from the heat, then we need the means to keep cool. Imagine Blandford Market Place somewhere in the south of France; it would be like walking around in an oven! Yet, if we were in a hotter climate it would have some things that it doesn't have now - trees. Trees are one of the most readily available and efficient means at our disposal for cooling the air

A COFFEE MORNING is being held in Bryanston Club at 10.30am on Wednesday 17th October to gauge support for setting up a Gardening Club and Sewing Circle in the village. THE Bus2Go community transport, a multi-generational community bus that offers subsidised seats where possible, is planning the following outings, for which early booking is recommended. Saturday 27th October: HalfTerm Halloween visit to Seaton Tramways in Devon (adults £20, children free - funded by BBC Radio Solent via The Community Chest). Saturday 10th November: West Quay £8.50. Sunday 11th November (Remembrance Sunday): Bovington Tank Museum £5. Saturday 17th November: Glastonbury Illuminated Carnival. Saturday 15th December: Bath Christmas Market £9.

in our towns. We all know the difference between the heat of a scorching hot day and the cool of the shade beneath a tree. Trees take time to grow. If we want to be ready for the higher temperatures we need to be planting trees now, and if the higher temperatures don't come we still end up with the trees in our town centres - so what do we have to lose?

Service for problem pests and stray pets

NEWS IN BRIEF A CONCERT of traditional-style do-wop music ranging from the sentimental to funny and contemplative to rousing will be given by two groups, The Gravellers and Jubilate, in support of Blandford Parish Church's Cupola Project. The performance in the church on Saturday 13th October will start at 7.30pm. Tickets at £6 (£5 for OAPs and Friends of Blandford Parish Church) from the church office or Set Fair 4 Trade in Salisbury Street.

Trees in a typical square in France.

Mark Singleton (left) from Spectrum Property Care and Simon Worth from M&J Bowers with the old Signpost Services uniforms that have been sent for use in developing countries.

Work uniforms find a new lease of life across the world CAST-off workwear from Blandford-based Spectrum Property Care, which looks after housing association property across the south of England, is now helping people in developing countries thanks to a recycling scheme supported by the company. A total of 27 bin liners and 27 boxes full of uniforms - replaced following the rebranding of Signpost Services with new workwear and logos have been sold to waste company M&J Bowers for £72 and the money given to Homeless International. The clothes themselves were sorted into different grades and bagged up for shipping, linking in with the Environment Agency's Green Business initiative which ran throughout September. Paul Bryan, managing director of Spectrum Property Care, said: "Rather than send the old clothing to landfill, we wanted to make the best possible use of it. Our confidential waste supplier, M&J Bowers, sends clothes to developing countries so we thought that it would be a great way for our old clothes to get a new lease of life. Andrew Bowers, of M&J Bowers, said: "Recycling clothing is much better than dumping it in landfill sites because someone else can get real benefit out of it. As long as the clothes are clean and in good condition, we can make use of them."

NORTH Dorset District Council has renewed its contract with SDK Environmental under their Dial-A-Pest brand to provide a pest control and dog warden service in the district. Anyone with an insect invasion, a problem with rats, or needing advice on a pest issue at their home or business can call DialA-Pest on 08444 828 321, seven days a week, 9am-5pm or request a booking and find information at Last year (April 2011-April 2012) Dial-A-Pest carried out 460 pest treatments in North Dorset, mostly for rats and wasps, demonstrating the need for the service. The dog warden has been in post locally for 15 years, helping to rescue strays and promote responsible dog ownership.

Firms act to combat crime NEARLY 20 businesses on Blandford's industrial estates were represented at a meeting of the town's Industrial Watch in response to an increase in the number of commercial burglaries locally. Hosted by the Blandford Safer Neighbourhood Team and a local business owner, it introduced Ringmaster, a free service from Dorset Police that alerts users to local issues. Meetings on the same lines will continue to be held and will include crime prevention advice from the police to the industrial community.

October 2012



FOCUS on events

Showroom of Georgian decor is opened to heritage visitors FOLLOWERS of the Dorset Architectural Heritage Week took advantage of the opportunity to visit the room in which John Bastard advised potential customers on decoration when their homes were rebuilt after the Great Fire of Blandford in 1731. The Bastard Study is on the first floor above the Age UK shop opposite the church in East Street, and the charity agreed to make the room available for viewing during the celebration of the county's architecture. It was used as a showroom of interior styles for, and still features, Georgian plasterwork, fireplaces, ceilings, doorways and windows. Age UK has now brought it back into use as a display room for special fashions, including wedding dresses. Also welcoming visitors as part of Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, which ran from 5th to 13th September, was the Blandford Fashion Museum with its special exhibition of Our Sporting Life tying in with the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

October 2012

Tasty offerings in annual Screen Bites festival SCREEN Bites, the Dorset-based food and film festival, returns in October for the eighth year with a programme that combines some of the finest food and drink from Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset with outstanding films from around the world.

Caroline Horton in 'Chrissy', part of the autumn Artsreach programme of productions touring Dorset village halls. See Chrissy at Child Okeford on Friday 19th October and Tarrant Gunville on 20th October, the New Scorpion Band at Milborne St Andrew on 21st October and the New Rope String Band at Durweston on Friday 26th October. Find out more about the season's programme of entertainment at or pick up brochures from libraries, arts centres and TICs.

This year's festival, from 4th October to 3rd November, features several new films - including an Oscar-winning short film receiving its UK premiere. Many new producers will be joining regular farm shops, farmers and other food businesses at the mini farmers' markets which open the evenings in village halls across the area. Local festival venues include the Ann Biddlecombe Hall in Tarrant Keyneston, where Claire and Andy Burnet's Chococo business celebrates its 10th anniversary at the screening on 5th October of French comedy Romantics Anonymous, a tale set in a chocolate factory.

On Thursday 1st November, Durweston village hall hosts The Help, directed in 2011 by Tate Taylor, focusing on life in Mississippi in the 1960s where a young journalist takes on a controversial assignment. The grand finale on Saturday 3rd November features The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at The Exchange in Sturminster Newton, where speakers will be cookery writer Christine McFadden, of Little Bredy, and Toby Heasman, head brewer at Hall & Woodhouse. For more, go to or pick up details from a tourist office, farm shop or arts or community centre.

Musicians support church fund LOCAL musicians are joining forces to give a concert at Shroton Church on Friday 26th October in aid of the church refurbishment. Charlotte Hewett (soprano), of Iwerne Minster, will be joined by Thomas Kelly (tenor), whose grandparents Ric and Jenny Matthews live in Shroton, and special guests include George Hewett (baritone and saxophone), of Iwerne Minster, and Nick Briggs (trumpet), of Shroton, accompanied by James Smith. The concert starts at 7.30pm and the music will range from classics to songs from the shows. Tickets ÂŁ5 to include refreshments (under 12s free), on the door or from 01747 811879.

Calendar Girls bare all for the sake of charity THE release of a version of the smash-hit Calendar Girls to amateur dramatic societies as part of a record-making bid which will also raise money for charity has led to a flurry of productions. A company in Bournemouth was first to perform on the first possible day in September, but this

month will see Sturminster Newton Amateur Dramatic Society (SNADS) on stage in The Exchange from Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th, and next month the Spetisbury-based Churchill Productions will be doing likewise at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th November. Calendar Girls is based on the true story of a group of members of a Yorkshire Women's Institute who posed naked for a calendar to raise funds for the local hospital after one of the women lost her husband to leukaemia. The story, already a massively successful film, has been adapted for the stage by the screenwriter, Tim Firth, in a version available for a limited period to give part of the proceeds to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity. The challenge to am-drams worldwide is to establish the record for the most productions of one play in a year, and 500 from the thousands who applied have been chosen to stage a run. The SNADS production is directed by Craig White and produced by Robert Cowley, and further details can be found at or by calling 01258 475137. In Wimborne, alongside the production directed by Pete Talman, a real calendar has been produced to raise funds for local cancer charities by Winston Leese, who said: "The girls taking part, Tracie Billington, Sammy Upton,

Jan Farrington, Jan Wyld, Anna Brown and Barbara Arnold, are very brave but all say that if it is going to help to raise money towards funding local cancer organisations they are willing to take part and take their clothes off." For the Wimborne production call the box office on 01202 885566.


October 2012

FOCUS on events

Steam Fair memories of mud and Mike THE abiding memory of the first two days of this year's Great Dorset Steam Fair is inevitably of mud, mud, glorious mud. Some displays had to be cancelled for safety reasons on the Wednesday and Thursday, car parks remained closed, and movement was hard-going for those who braved the adverse conditions. But the site management team succeeded in keeping the situation under control, and where necessary went to the assistance of showgoers. The Tarrant Hinton showground

lived up to its reputation for drying out quickly after the torrential downpour on Wednesday, and the crowd figures were up again by the weekend. The travellers' site, for the second year running at some distance from the showground along the A354, ran relatively smoothly, and there were no reports of traveller incursions elsewhere in the area. This year the Fair paid tribute to its founder, the late Michael Oliver, by renaming the folk marquee after him as a tribute to his dedication to the famous celebration of national steam heritage.

Music at three festival venues IT'S been a busy musical few weeks in villages around Blandford, where in addition to the five-night festival of the Great Dorset Steam Fair, Spetisbury has hosted one music festival and Tarrant Keyneston another. The third Music and Merriment Festival took place on the ancient hill fort of Spetisbury Rings on 18th August, following a Friday evening session in support of local charities and the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. The Figure 8 Festival (Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd) at the True Lovers Knot, featured more live music, DJs, games, and children's entertainment compered by Wimborne town crier Chris Brown and organised by Bristol-based music journalist Laura Williams. It was staged in support of Macmillan Cancer Support, which helped Laura's 22-year-old cousin Alice, who lives in Weymouth, when she was diagnosed with cancer last year.

RNLI boat proves a scene-stealer

RNLI fair organiser Kathie Underwood beside the Atlantic 85 RIB brought to Spetisbury Manor by Julian Packard, also pictured.

A FULL size rigid inflatable lifeboat took pride of place at Spetisbury Manor for the annual RNLI classic car rally, fair and dog show. The Atlantic 85 from the depot in Poole remained on standby, in the care of Julian Packard, a full-time RNLI officer for the past 33 years, in case of emergency. The fair, organised by Kathie Underwood for more than 20 years and held for the third time at Spetisbury Manor, is one of the major fundraisers for the RNLI in North Dorset. As usual it featured a magnificent array of classic cars, a dog show, stalls, and entertainment from, among others, the Milton Muckspreaders.

Autumn market

Fun for a day

FRIENDS of Pimperne School will be hosting an Autumn Market on Sunday 7th October at Pimperne Village Hall. Local businesses, home sellers and community organisations will offer a wide range of local food, arts and crafts, and there will be a BBQ and mulled cider or tea and homemade cakes. Entry is free between 10am and 2pm.

CHARLTON Marshall held a Fun Day at the QEII Playing Field on 8th September, featuring the annual village egg-throwing competition. Other attractions, most of which were free of charge, included a fun dog show and a Kennel Club Bronze Award, cricket, football, races, face painting, a bungee run, skittles and tug of war.


October 2012

FOCUS on events

Pirate adds to fun in the sun THE last of the summer sun almost shone on Blandford St Mary Jubilee fun day held at Bryanston Court on 9th September. The event was organised by the parish council and was enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. While adults were indulging in tea and homemade cakes, the children had a fascinating experience with the 'pirate' entertainer and enjoyed

the bouncy castle and ice creams. The fun day raffle was a huge success. Blandford St Mary Parish Council chairman Malcolm Albery said: "We were delighted to be able to put on this first community event for many years and my thanks go to all those involved with the organisation. I am hoping that this will be the first of many."

Dave Summers (left) and Andy Bowley, whose Red Motori business sponsored the Alfa Romeo gathering.

A shining example of Italian style AROUND 30 Alfa Romeos, most of them polished and gleaming, wound their way through the country lanes of north Dorset for a get-together. The occasion was called 'Show and Shine', run by the Wessex branch of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, and was held at the Langton Arms, Tarrant Monkton. The event, postponed from July due to heavy rain, was sponsored this year by Red Motori, the Italian car specialist garage based at Spetisbury. The business is run by Italian car enthusiasts Andy Bowley and Dave Summers, who judged the class winners and presented trophies.

Piratical entertainment at the Blandford St Mary Fun Day.


October 2012

FOCUS on events

Station looks to the future with an eye on the past SHILLINGSTONE Station held a gala day on 8th September to lament the passing of the final Pines Express through the station exactly 50 years earlier. Visitors were able to view the progress on the restoration of the station, a key attraction on what is now the North Dorset Trailway, in developing an attractive garden, installing a signal box, shop and catering service, and bringing rolling stock back to the newly laid track. There was plenty to interest all tastes, with face painting by Josephine Freestone and her daughter, a model of Thomas the Tank Engine, and hard work by cafe manager Alison Porter and shop manager Derek LesterJones, who has succeeded Bob Smith following his retirement due to poor health. Events manager Terry Jenkins brought along his '0' gauge working layout of the station, and Tim Yeo's garden railway was a great attraction in the wonderful garden created over the last three years, where people enjoyed picnics overlooking the Stour Valley. In the old parcel shed another model of the station and village

RIGHT: Retail manager Derek LesterJones at Shillingstone Station dons his porter's uniform to welcome visitors. BELOW: Bill Munden in the signal box. BELOW RIGHT: Work in progress on a scale model of the station by the project's events manager Terry Jenkins.

is under construction. Contributions and help are welcome, particularly information and photos of the area. On display were a classic 8wheeler Atkinson truck, plus an excellently restored Ford Thames Trader coal merchant's wagon.

Stourpaine matters A PARISH Plan Review open day, 'Stourpaine Matters!', will be held in Stourpaine village hall on Saturday 6th October between 10am and 4pm to consult on an update to the parish plan. In the past five years the village has changed for the better and plans are underway to ensure it continues to improve. A parish plan committee has been tasked with reviewing the 2007 plan at what is seen as an ideal time to stop and reflect on what projects and improvements have been accomplished and what work needs to be progressed since the plan was adopted. Residents are invited to engage in planning for and recording the future needs of the village, as a benchmark or evidence of the residents' views of what can be done to improve village life in the second decade of the 21st century. Plan committee chairman Derek Gardiner said: "Developments such as the trailway, the retention of the Post Office and village store, the new children's playground and other milestones will be celebrated, and residents invited to participate in a community-wide review of current plans and projects. "New demands on rural living from climate change and escalating energy costs are forcing many people to change their lifestyles, travel less and appreciate what they can do to make communities more resilient to changes." For more information contact Wendy Gredley (tel: 01258 488792) or e-mail


October 2012

FOCUS on events

Worzel lends a hand as Valley gardens open up for charity VISITORS to the South Tarrant Valley Jubilee celebrations open gardens last month contributed to nearly ÂŁ2,000 raised for the village churches and Naomi House children's hospice. They were also treated to some archive film footage of the villages over the years, screened by the villages' computer club in the Mary Cossins Rooms at Tarrant Keyneston village hall. Also in the village hall, and just outside, were refreshments and special Jubilee teas and stalls offering plants, linen, collectables and flower arrangements for sale. A motley crew of scarecrows, both at gardens which were open and those which were not, welcomed all-comers in a variety of styles, with a lady picking apples from a tree, a couple of apparently intoxicated revellers, and of course a Worzel Gummidge.

There were 15 gardens in Keyneston and Rushton for people to enjoy, ranging from tiny courtyard and cottage gardens to landscaped fields the size of a football pitch. Among them was the tiny but packed cottage garden of Chris and Reg Porter at 2 Galpin Cottages, which has been opened for various charities to raise a total of ÂŁ15,500 over the last 20 years, and offers a number of 'rooms' each packed with fragrant flowers and plants, and separated by a maze-like warren of intersecting paths. More than 60 youngsters and their parents enjoyed a puppet show, 'Stones and Bones' presented by Craig Johnson of Squashbox Theatre, and there were bellringing demonstrations in All Saints Church, Tarrant Keyneston, where the weekend ended with an evening Songs of Praise.

Angie Collings (right), organiser of the South Tarrant Valley Jubilee Celebrations, and helper Fran Weil join one of the scarecrows in an apple orchard.


October 2012

Singing mums form a choir and an important lifeline A LOCAL choir for mums celebrated its first year of singing with a group meeting around a campfire. Gill Bough and Nickie Fidgin, who run Playsongs Plus music classes for children, started the choir in response to demand from mums bringing their children to classes. The group meets in Blandford, but mums come from Sturminster, Shaftesbury, Gillingham and the surrounding area, with most sorting out car shares. Each week there's a variety of songs, from pop to musicals and folk to Celtic chants, and for those without singing experience, it's a friendly place to try singing for the first time. Tara Jacobs, of Blandford, said: "As someone who doesn't read music and perhaps doesn't have the most brilliant voice, I can take part and still feel I'm part of making a lovely sound. "Gill and Nickie have an enthusiasm for music that is infectious, and the welcoming atmosphere makes mums' choir a highlight of my week." For more experienced singers, there's the chance to improve. Lot van Os from Shaftesbury said: "I've always loved singing and have sung at weddings and parties, so for me the choir is a great way to try new songs and harmonies. I've learnt so much in the last year." The choir proved to be a lifeline

for another mum, who said: "After the birth of my baby, I knew I was on the brink of falling into post-natal depression, but I made it my mission to get to singing group every week and I really think it kept me going." The friendly group has grown by word of mouth, and Liz, another mum, who joined the group recently, said: "A friend mentioned it, and I thought, I need a bit of mums' singing in my life. I've sung in a band before, so it's good to find a group I can sing lots of harmonies with and cover a wide variety of music." Grandmas are also welcome, together with babies from Playsongs Plus who have been found to settle better in the evenings after 'a little night music'. The group welcomes new members, who don't need any previous experience and don't need to read music. Mums' guitar classes have also been started by the group. There will be a Big Sing on Saturday 20th October, with Sarah Pennington and Gilo, who are well known in Dorset for their inspirational singing workshops. Book in advance, cost ÂŁ18, by calling 01258 459414 or emailing For more information on mums' choir, guitar classes, children's classes or The Big Sing, see the Playsongs Plus website at or

The singing mums celebrate their first year with a singsong around a campfire.

BLANDFORD Art Society held its annual open art exhibition in Blandford Corn Exchange over the August Bank Holiday week. Susan Murison won the President's Award, chosen by president Sue Coke, for her abstract acrylic landscape, pictured here with society treasurer David Windsor and committee member Audrey Nightingale-Young. Other awards went to Nicola Pomroy for best picture by a nonmember (Stairhole, Lulworth) and to Rachel Baynes for Still Life (Harding Disk Award). Nearly 200 paintings were on display, and the invited artist was Marilyn Allis of Winterborne Whitechurch. The society holds its members-only exhibition in the Corn Exchange on the last weekend of October.


October 2012

FOCUS on schools

Great GCSE results continue an upward trend

Sam Eager and Luke Tobin were among the school’s top GCSE performers. THE Blandford School students and staff celebrated 69 per cent of the year group having achieved 5A*-C at GCSE, a three per cent increase on last year, which continues the trend of improvement. Half gained 5A*-C including English and Mathematics, and this year a significant number of students achieved the highest grades. They include Elias Mead [6 A* 5A] who has now started in the sixth-form and will be applying for Oxbridge in due course, Abigale Pace [6 A* 4A 1B], Nadja Zachary [6A* 3A 2B], who has taken up a place at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Sophie Cox [5A* 6A], James Unitt Jones [5A* 6A ], Samuel Eager [4A* 6A 1B], Blake Perkins [4A* 5A 2B], Molly Chalkley [4A* 2A 5B], Oliver Melbourne [3A* 8A], Luke Tobin [3A* 7A 2B ],

A good haul of GCSEs and a full playing scholarship with Bournemouth AFC for Jake McCarthy.

Sophie Cox and Molly Chalkley - 22 GCSEs and 9 A*s between them.

Nadja Zachary, Elias Mead and Abigale Pace played a big part in boosting their school’s overall GCSE totals and improved percentage of top grades. Connor Bruty [3A* 5A 4B], Emma Sherwin [3A* 5A 3B ], Matthew Macpherson [2A* 6A 3B]. Students of all abilities performed extremely well this year, but one deserving special mention is Jake

McCarthy who achieved 3As, 3Bs and 3Cs while also training and playing with Bournemouth AFC's Academy for the past four years. Jake was recently awarded a full playing scholarship with the League One club and will become a member of the youth team, continuing his education by studying a BTEC Diploma in Sport Excellence and a variety of

coaching badges. Headteacher Sally Wilson said: "I am really delighted with our 2012 results. Students and parents have been absolutely thrilled. "Particularly pleasing are the Mathematics results which have soared as a result of some extremely focused work. This year group had two Heads of Year, Emma Davidson and Nicola Pitman, whose joint view is that improved student attendance and consistent application and effort has really paid off. Students identified as requiring more support and who attended extra revision sessions have performed particularly well. "The progress students are making here from Key Stage Two to Key Stage Four is of particular note. Our results are in line with the top 25% of schools nationally, and we are without doubt 'adding value', which is why students are also doing so well post-16."


October 2012

FOCUS on schools

Bus delay information available on internet A WEBPAGE to give parents peace of mind in the new school year has been launched by Dorset County Council in the wake of last year's bus fiasco. The service allows families to check if their child's bus is delayed by more than 15 minutes, and follows a chaotic start to the autumn 2011 term, when children were left stranded by school bus blunders. Routes were affected when a series of mistakes were made by council-contracted company Damory Coaches. Recommendations were made by the council's Audit and Scrutiny Committee to ensure the same mistakes were not made again, after hundreds of complaints from angry parents. More than 7,000 children across the county travel to school by bus, with a majority on council-provided vehicles. Of a total of 169 routes, 145 are run by Damory. Parents can log on to transportupdates to check and monitor bus services.

Blandford students celebrate top-grade A Level results John McGuiness is to study Medicine at Southampton.

Hannah Jack and Emma Burroughs.

Rob Oliver and Sebastian Ash.

A HIGHER percentage of Year 13 students at The Blandford School achieved A*- A grades than ever before. Pride of place went to Sebastian Ash who achieved 4 A*s at A Level and an additional 2 A grades at AS. He has accepted a place at the London School of Economics to read History. John Paul Flavell (1 A*, 2As) is heading to Oxford University to read Biological Science. John McGuinness (1 A*, 2 As) will study Medicine at Southampton, Felix Morris Duffin (1 A*, 2As, 1B), Economics and Politics at Goldsmiths, London. Felix achieved these grades alongside being student representative on the Town Council. Law degrees will be followed by Emma Burroughs (1A*, 2As) at Durham University and Rob 0liver (2A*s, 1A) at Exeter. Jake Dunstan (1A, 2Bs) is to exploit his considerable talent on the golf course by studying Golf at Birmingham. This year subjects include Journalism, Physics and Accountancy, Languages, Music Production, Circus Skills and Nursing. Students who have chosen alternative routes to higher education

have been successful in securing their chosen paths, including Lauren Williams (administration apprenticeship at Dorset County Council), Kelly Rogers (air stewardess training), Sophie Jones (professional catering course) and several students following the Art Foundation route. During their time in the sixth-form the students proved proficient fundraisers and clocked up an impressive number of hours of volunteering in the community. Their gap years will be equally varied - from working abroad in preparation for a language degree (Jemimah Daly) to an internship with a religious charity in Wembley (Hannah Jack). Naomi Tickner-Hinkes worked as a volunteer at the Weymouth sailing venue for the Paralympics. Sally Wilson, headteacher, said: "Courses at this level are not easy and we must take this opportunity to celebrate students' dedication and hard work in achieving these results. "I am extremely proud of our students and wish them all success in their chosen career paths, which this year are exceptionally varied."

Natasha’s distinction hands her the reins for a law career BLANDFORD girl Natasha Evans, who gained a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours from Bournemouth University in 2011, has recently graduated with Distinction in her solicitor law and practice exams. Natasha, the granddaughter of Grant and Nathalie Evans of Casterbridge Close, has joined a leading south coast law firm as a trainee solicitor. After moving here from Wales 13 years ago, Natasha went to the Blandford School, where she took GCSEs and AS/A Levels. She studied Law at Bournemouth University

where, as part of her degree, she spent a year as a volunteer general advisor with Poole Citizens Advice Bureau. Natasha's hobby is riding and she has two horses, Dancer and Twister. While still at school she represented Poole & District Pony Club at the Horse of the Year Show, and was the Pony Club Under-12 National Champion just after her ninth birthday. She represented her county and country and achieved many successes, including a silver medal at the Senior World Championships in Sweden while still a junior.

Natasha Evans is now a trainee solicitor.


October 2012


October 2012

A world premiere for local author’s song for heroes A SONG penned by children's author Ron Dawson in tribute to servicemen and women killed or injured in conflict had its world premiere in New Zealand last month, and was due to have its UK premiere in Dorset on 29th September. Mr Dawson, the creator of chil-

RETIRING chairman Dave Aitchison (right) welcomes Dennis Wardleworth, who was elected as new chairman of Age Concern Blandford Forum at the annual general meeting held at Woodhouse Gardens in August. A further Wills and Power of Attorney surgery has been arranged for Thursday 18th October from 10am to 1pm at the Age Concern office, 4 Nightingale Court, Blandford DT11 7ED. For details call 01258 458250.

dren's book character Scary Bones, wrote the words and basic melody of 'Lest We Forget' after reading a copy of the Royal British Legion magazine. He took them to his friend Kevin Morgan, principal trombonist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a fellow resident of Winterborne Stickland, who has composed music for two of his children's books. Together they composed the song which they then sent to a number of choirs and bands across the UK and around the world. Several accepted the invitation to sing it, and the Wellington Male Voice Choir was first to do so at New Zealand's inauguration of an official Malayan Veterans' Day at the city's war memorial and later in the Parliament building. Performances are also planned in Canada and Cyprus, where it will be performed by the Band of the Parachute Regiment in November. The Dorset Police Male Voice

Author Ron Dawson and trombonist Kevin Morgan, who have penned the words and music to 'Lest We Forget', a song for Remembrance and Repatriation, at the War Memorial in Winterborne Stickland where they both live.

choir undertook to give the first public performance in the UK in Bournemouth in aid of the Pilgrim Bandits, a charity supporting men and women who have lost limbs while on duty, many in Afghanistan. Mr Dawson said: "The words of 'Lest we Forget' apply to all members of a family bereaved by war - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, indeed any who experience

and live with such a loss - and to all branches of the armed services anywhere in the world. Grief knows no boundaries." For details of the Dorset Police Male Voice Choir concert contact Mike Rogers 07717 201082 or e: To hear the music go to tweforget/lestweforget.html

Much to learn at village centre A WINTER programme of lectures provides adult learning at the Child Okeford Centre for Care and Learning (COCCL), which is also used by St Nicholas School and The Ark pre-school.

On Monday 22nd October Luke Winter, manager of the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne, will talk on 'Living in a Hill Fort', of particular relevance to Child Okeford nestling under Hambledon and Hod Hills.

The new season starts on Monday 1st October with a lecture by Blandford photographer David Boag on 'The World of a Wildlife Photographer', which will include a selection of his best pictures over 30 years and five continents.

The programme continues with monthly Monday meetings at which friends old and new are welcome, and which start at 7.30pm. Admission is ÂŁ5, and guests are asked to book by calling 01258 860767.


October 2012

FOCUS on sport

Teenagers shine in golf contest THE ASHLEY Wood Golf Club Ladies' Championship was proof that junior golf is thriving in this part of Dorset. After 36 holes of golf in two gruelling rounds the winner was 17-year-old Sarah Webb with a score of 162. Runner-up was Sue Edwards with 166 and the net competition was won by Sarah's younger sister Laura with 150. The runner-up on count back was Val Carder.

The competition contestants at Blandford Bowling Club.

Bowling trophies are decided BLANDFORD Bowling Club competed for two major club trophies when there was a window of fine weather. Ten ladies contested the Beryl Lawes Diamond Cup, a singles handicap competition with two round robin leagues each of five bowlers, the winners of each league playing for the trophy. Sylvia Pink beat Jen Greening 5-4 in the final. The men contested the Lignum Trophy, constructed from original lignum woods which were used until the modern synthetic bowls were manufactured. The format was the same as for the ladies' competition and the final was won by Cliff Walters 6-5 against Bert Pluthero. Competition finals weekend saw the battles for 10 of the club's knockout competitions, in which the highlight was the determination of both the ladies' and men's champions. The ladies' Rose Bowl was contested by last year's champion, Freda Yates and this year's Ladies'

Captain, Joan Collier, who was first to register 21 woods after excellent bowling in a very closely contested match. The men's Holroyd Challenge Bowl was between Ken Hann, who retained his trophy by a convincing 21-9, and Richard Brown, a previous club champion. Other results were: Warren Cup for Ladies Pairs: Pat Judd and Jenny Andrews beat Sally Burton and Rosie Ives, 22-12. Railston and Rankin Cup for Men's Pairs: Frank Hall and Peter Preen beat Peter Cornick and John Coady, 30-15. Bob Charlton Handicap: Sid Steele (-3) beat Ken Hann (-5) by 21-17. Marsh Cup for men's 2 woods: Peter Hawkins beat Barry Males 14-11. McCrossan Cup for ladies' 2 woods: Freda Yates beat Jenny Andrews 16-7. Davis Cup men's singles: Cliff Walters beat David Burge 21-13. The Roy Wellen mixed pairs shield: Joan Collier and Frank Wood beat Liz and Barry Males 22-18. Chester Cup for mixed triples: Rosie Ives, Cliff Walters and Gerry Gale beat Ann Dennis, David Joyce and Tony Ives.

Ashley Wood Ladies Champion Sarah Webb Also played on the same day was an 18-hole competition won by Ann Topliss with a score of net 76. The over-70s competition was won by Ann Courtney, also with a net 76.

Laura Webb receives the net champion’s award from club Lady Captain Jane Webster Six days later the club's Seniors halved a hard-fought match against Canford Magna. Ashley Wood's winners were Des Maguire and Brian O'Dwyer 5&3, Arthur Rawson and Joe McMahon 5&3 and Gordon Ramsay and Micky Briggs 4&3.


October 2012

Members of the Queen's Gurkha Signals at the entrance to Gurkha Road on Badbury Heights.

Mayor of Blandford and residents with the Queen's Gurkha Signals and local residents at the official naming of Gurkha Road.

New road name is a tribute to Gurkhas HOT on the heels of the official naming of Rifles Way on the Badbury Heights estate in August has come the official naming of neighbouring Gurkha Road. Representatives of the Queen's Gurkha Signals based at Blandford Camp, including their piper, gathered at the entrance to the road off Shaftesbury Lane with Blandford Mayor Sara Loch, Deputy Mayor Bob

Brannigan and Gurkha Road residents. Miss Loch explained that the Gurkhas had been granted the Freedom of the town in 2005, and the road was so named, as had been Rifles Way, as part of the council's policy of naming streets after those granted the honour. Gurkha Captain Rajeev Shrestha graciously accepted the honour bestowed on them, say-

White Helmets turn the throttle for reunion AROUND 250 former members and guests of the army's top motorcycle display team, the Royal Signals White Helmets, gathered in Blandford and at Blandford Camp over the weekend of September 15th for the 85th anniversary reunion of the top Army display team. An official reception was held at the Blandford Royal British Legion on the Friday evening, and on the Saturday the party met in the White Helmets garage for a ride on the team coach to the airfield, where existing members were put through their paces with Team Captain Alex McPhun and Team Sergeant Nick Pallis in a typical display. Old stagers included 84-year-old Jim Dudby, of Rushden, Northants, who joined the team for three years in 1947 when it was based at Catterick in Yorkshire. With many of the other riders he particularly looked forward to the opportunity to take a ride on the current White Helmets bikes, including the Triumph TR7V Tigers and quadbikes used in the display. The reunion continued with refreshments and evening entertainment at the Camp before the former team members returned the following day to their homes around the world, including Canada.

ing: "We hope we live up to your expectations. My association with Blandford goes back to 1990 when the first Gurkha Signals Regiment was formed here, and I arrived here in 1991, when I was amazed by the hospitality and generosity shown by all the community, both here in Blandford and throughout the UK. “I thank you on behalf of all the Gurkhas in this country."

Local past and current members of the White Helmets who welcomed former riders to the 85th anniversary reunion at Blandford Camp: civilian mechanic Lance Johnson, Bones Balkham-Smith who served with them from 1994 to 1997, Leslie Russell (1999 and civilian mechanic to 2010) and Bob Brannigan, officer commanding 2002 to 2007.

The White Helmets in their display for former members on the airfield at Blandford Camp.


October 2012

FOCUS on charities

A busy month for hospital’s friends THE management board of the Friends of Blandford Hospital has authorised the funding of six new bedside tables, which will be much better suited to the patients’ needs, for Tarrant ward. Outside of the hospital, the Friends continued their support for local health-related projects, including funding for the Drumming Group for Mental Health in Blandford in the sum of £1,092 towards their running costs for the year ahead, and a grant of £6,000 to the much-valued Life Education Wessex fund towards their annual running costs. The Friends are able to approve such funding due to the ongoing support from members, the income generated at their two charity shops and fundraising activities throughout the year. October is a very busy month with events including a race night starting at 7.30pm on 5th October at Bryanston Estate Club, a new event for the Friends which promises to be a great night out. Tickets, on sale from the hospital charity shops, main reception and the Friends' office at the hospital, are £6, which includes entry into the lucky ticket draw and a ploughman's supper. The prize bingo on 11th October in the Hospital dining room is a regular favourite with fantastic prizes and a raffle, and the autumn fair on 20th October in the Corn Exchange, opening 9.30am, offers a wide range of stalls and quality goods. Further information on the activities of the Friends of Blandford Hospital, becoming a member or joining the team of volunteers can be found at or by phone on 01258 450095.

Olympic torch bearer Jack Delaney opens the new Disability Action Group premises in Nightingale Court, Blandford, with chairman of trustees Colin Young, second left, and shop managers Jo Coad and Tony Dando, watched by other DAG members and volunteers.

New disabled centre is the next step for Colin’s dream THE Disability Action Group (North Dorset) opened their new premises in Nightingale Court, Blandford, with the help of disabled Olympic torch bearer Jack Delaney. The unit, with shop, office and workshop, is leased from North Dorset District Council, to whom chairman of trustees Colin Young expressed his thanks. "This is the first step towards achieving my dream of establishing a base where people can source information on all kinds of disability issues and services," he said, paying tribute also to the teamwork of the small band of volunteers who have got the unit ready to open. "It has been achieved with the help of the council, of Dorset Partners for Older People's Project and the Esme Fairbairn Trust, as well as past sponsors of the group and the scooter loan service which it operates for people across North Dorset and beyond. "We want the unit to be somewhere that people can source and access services for the disabled, and are inviting other groups to supply us with any information or leaflets they would like us to make available. "There are so many small volunteer groups doing such good work for the disabled, but without the place or resources to let people know what they can offer." Volunteers will staff the unit which has a range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for low-cost and short-term hire. For more information, call 01258 453694 or 07791 232461, see the website at or call in between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.


October 2012

FOCUS on charities

A poignant floral tribute from dahlia grower Bob A NEW variety of dahlia has been named in memory of Tracy Ann Clark, the 21-year-old whose death 24 years ago inspired her mother to found Bournemouthbased cancer charity the Youth Cancer Trust. The pretty yellow flowering variety developed by Bob Hendley in Child Okeford was chosen by Brenda Clark at Mr Hendley's open day in support of the charity. "It's Tracy's favourite colour, which was very special to her, and we are naming it in her anniversary week. She passed away on 7th September and her funeral was on the 15th." Mr Hendley said he had offered to host the fundraising day for the charity after visiting the Youth Cancer Trust and meeting a group of young people, all with cancer. "They were all laughing and jok-

ing and so happy," he said. "You think to yourself 'Do I really have a bad back?'." A beautiful morning brought visitors flooding to walk round his dahlia field and see more than 1,200 plants of more than 200 varieties in full bloom, support raffles for plants and cut flowers, and enjoy refreshments provided by local supporters. They were also offered the opportunity to name one of his new seedlings in exchange for a £100 donation to the Youth Cancer Trust, whose staff were on hand to provide information on the charity's work while Bob shared his expertise with the would-be dahlia growers. "We raised a total of £1,265, and had seven dahlias named on the day. I have no idea how many bunches of flowers I cut," said Bob.

Dahlia grower Bob Hendley of Child Okeford and Brenda Clark with the dahlia named after her daughter Tracy Ann, whose death from cancer inspired the founding of the Youth Cancer Trust.

Cyclist Ray’s marathon effort for gorilla charity INTREPID cyclist Ray Haswell returned to Dorset on 19th August after a 4,294-mile sponsored cycle ride around the coast of Britain in aid of North Dorset-based charity Gearing Up 4 Gorillas (G4G). Ending his ride at the Drovers Inn, Gussage All Saints, he was welcomed by supporters and friends and presented with an Olympic-style gold medal and cake. G4G are currently raising funds for the first environmental education centre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at the HQ of Virunga National Park. G4G chair Linda Nunn said: "We are extremely grateful to Ray for embarking on this epic challenge on behalf of G4G. Ray has raised over £1,000 through both online and offline donations, smashing his target. Every single pound goes a long way in DR Congo and the children there will benefit from his efforts for many years to come. We cannot thank him enough!" For more information call 01725 553149, email or see the website

A warm welcome for Ray arriving back at the Drovers Inn, 4,294 miles completed.


Tyre depot plan fails OBJECTORS have succeeded in preventing new plans to build four homes on the site of a former tyre depot in Damory Court Street, Blandford. The application by B & D Builders followed an earlier scheme submitted to North Dorset District Council last year but withdrawn, and was recommended for approval when it came before the council development management committee last month. But members supported the objections raised by the town council, Blandford Civic Society, and a number of neighbours, as well as local member John Tanner, on grounds of overdevelopment of the site, lack of garages and parking spaces and lack of outdoor amenity space for the number of dwellings proposed.

October 2012

Leisure centre secures backing TOWN councillors have pledged to maintain their support to Blandford Leisure Centre for the next seven years. They were told that although membership and usage of the centre was up, particularly for the new gym, the swimming pool remained a drain on the centre's profitability. Councillor Lynn Lindsay said: "Blandford needs a swimming pool. It is a town on a river and we have seen too many children drown. Our children must learn to swim. "Our contribution amounts to no more than half a Mars bar a week for every household in the town."

The town council has given £50,000-a-year towards keeping the centre open since North Dorset District Council withdrew the majority of its funding three years ago. A minority of members felt that the council should be reducing its contribution following the takeover by SLM 'Everyone Active'. But Councillor Steve Hitchings, chairman of the leisure centre consultative group, said the district council could withdraw from its 10-year contract to support the operators with £130,000 a year if any of the partners contributing, including the town and county councils, pulled their funding now.

Christmas trees to replace flags THE 100 Union Jacks hung in the streets of Blandford to celebrate the Jubilee and London 2012 were taken down a week after the Paralympics ended by the team from the Diamond Jubilee Group which put them up. But the brackets fixed to the walls above properties in East Street, the Market Place, West Street and Salisbury Street will be back in use at the end of next month when the Christmas trees funded by the Chamber of Trade and individual traders take the place of the flags. And it is hoped that 'gaps' in the display will be able to be filled, thanks to £1,000 funding from the town council agreed at last month's town and general purposes

committee to replace some of the brackets found to be unusable because they were rusted and worn, together with trees, lights and electrical sockets. The committee also agreed to pay for a day's free parking in the town on the Saturday after the Yuletide Festival, which will be held on Wednesday 12th December, and is contacting the Chamber of Trade to suggest traders carry the cost of another free day of parking. The council will also again be running a shop window competition with prizes for the best Christmas dressed window and providing the main Christmas tree which will stand in the Market Place.

Forum Focus - forthcoming meetings & events OCTOBER Monday 1st October: Blandford & District Floral Group meets United Reformed Church Hall, 2.15pm. Demonstration by Marion Catt, Autumn Lights. Visitors £4. Membership £15. Flower raffle, tea and biscuits, details from Jean on 01258 452889 Monday 1st October: Child Okeford Centre for Care and Learning hosts a lecture on 'The World of a Wildlife Photographer' by David Boag, 7.30pm. To book and for more details 01258 860767 Wednesday 3rd October: Blandford Art Society demonstration of painting townscapes using Atelier Techniques by Barry Herniman, Blandford Parish Centre 6.50 to 9.15pm Wednesday 3rd October: read through of Spetisbury Occasional Dramatic Society (SODS) pantomime Cinderella, Spetisbury Village Hall, 7.30pm. Actors and all backstage people needed. For information Friday 5th October: Screenbites presents Romantics Anonymous, with chocolate from Claire Burnett from Chococo and her company's tenth anniversary. Tarrant Keyneston village hall, from 7pm Saturday 6th October: Open afternoon and 2.30pm introductory talk, Stairway Marketing and Liberty Books, 2-5pm, Unit 2b, Clump Farm Industrial Estate, Blandford Saturday 6th October: Stourpaine Open Day, Village Hall, 10am to 4pm to launch a consultation on the review

of the Parish Plan Entries in this diary are Saturday 13th October: Knighton Sunday 7th October: free of charge. If you House School Friends of Pimperne have an event you Open Day, School Autumn Market, would like included, Durweston from Pimperne Village Hall. please send details to 10.45am, details BBQ and mulled cider, Nicci Brown, 01258 01258 452065 or tea and homemade 459346 or email www.knightoncakes, free entry, 10am to 2pm Sunday 14th Sunday 7th October: Blandford October: Blandford Art Society Badminton Club Open Day, 1pm to Sunday workshop with Sue Fawthrop: 4pm, Blandford Leisure Centre Working from photographs using Wednesday 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st mixed media, Pimperne village hall October: Knit & Crochet Blandford 10am to 4pm meet at the Woodhouse Gardens Wednesday 17th October: Valley Pavilion from 2 to 4 pm. All abilities Gardening Club AGM, Winterborne welcome, £4. Further information Stickland Antigone Neaum 01258 268339 Thursday 18th October: Wills and Thursday 11th October: Friends of Power of Attorney workshop, 10am to Blandford Hospital bingo, hospital din1pm, Age Concern Office, 4 ing room, 7 for 7.30pm Nightingale Court, Blandford Thursday 11th October: Iwerne Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th Minster Quiz Night at the Village Club October: SNADS (Sturminster Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th Newton Amateur Dramatic Society) October: Tarrant Valley Players prespresent 'Calendar Girls', The ent 'There Goes the Bride', Tarrant Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Keyneston village hall, 7.30pm 7.30pm nightly and 2.30pm Saturday Saturday 13th October: Concert in matinee, box office 01258 475137 aid of the Blandford Church Cupola Friday 19th October: Artsreach presProject, with the Gravellers and ent Caroline Horton in Chrissy, Child Jubilate, Blandford Parish Church, Okeford village hall 7.30pm 7.30pm Saturday 20th October: Big Sing Saturday 13th October: Three with Sarah Pennington, Gilo and Okefords Preservation Society annual Playsongsplus and the Blandford steam up, Shillingstone Station Singing Mums, details 01258 459414 Saturday 13th October: Durweston or Harvest Supper, entertainment from Saturday 20th October: Artsreach the Durweston Old Codgers and present Caroline Horton in Chrissy, Shottesford Peelers, village hall, Tarrant Gunville village hall 7.30pm 7.30pm, bookings 01258 452641 Saturday 20th October: Friends of

Blandford Hospital autumn fair, Corn Exchange Saturday 20th October: Caroline Horton (winner of 2010 The Stage award for Best Solo Performance) in 'You're Not Like the Other Girls', an Artsreach promotion, Tarrant Gunville village hall, 7.30pm Saturday 21st October: Artreach present the New Scorpion Band, Milborne St Andrew village hall, 7.30pm Sunday 21st October: Tarrant Hinton History Afternoon, sharing photographs, records and social memorabilia, St Mary's church, Tarrant Hinton, 2 to 6pm Monday 22nd October: Child Okeford Centre for Care and Learning, talk by Luke Winter, manager Cranborne Ancient Technology Centre, 'Living in a Hill Fort', 7.30pm, to book and for more details 01258 860767 Friday 26th October: Artsreach present the New Rope String Band, Durweston village hall, 7.30pm Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October: Blandford Art Society Members' Exhibition, Blandford Corn Exchange NOVEMBER Thursday 1st November: Iwerne Minster Village Club AGM & Dutch Supper. Saturday 3rd November: Blandford Town Museum Quiz night, 7pm at Parish Centre, teams of six, £7 per head to include refreshments. Tickets from the museum

October 2012 Forum Focus  

The free monthly community newspaper for Blandford Forum and villages

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