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FORUM FOCUS For Blandford and surrounding villages Issue No. 18

Downlands Primary School camo day - Page 21

September 2013

Bus cuts and parking meters on the cards?

Fury greets double blow for transport A TWO-PRONGED attack on transport provision for Blandford, involving cuts in bus services and the introduction of on-street parking charges, has been greeted with widespread anger. Residents, councillors and group representatives have expressed outrage at proposals being considered by Dorset County Council. The county is trying to reduce its bus subsidies and its plans will mean the loss of the service 84 link with Wimborne, a number of village services, the first bus from Blandford to Salisbury and the through route to Weymouth on the 184. Pay-and-display on-street parking has been suggested for around 40 waiting bays, which currently allow 30 minute free parking, in West Street, East Street and The Plocks.

by Nicci Brown These latest proposals come on top of North Dorset District Council's decision to introduce charging for the town's limited number of free parking spaces at Stour Meadows and Station Court, which have resulted in dramatically reduced usage in both areas. The bus service cuts suggested at the county's Cabinet meeting in July - and only postponed when members insisted they should be forwarded to town and parish councils for consultation prior to a further meeting on 2nd October - include the withdrawal of Saturday and evening services, and subsidised routes costing more than ÂŁ5 per passenger journey. o To Page 4 CONGRATULATIONS! Nan Dennett, wreathed in smiles and still full of vigour as she celebrates her 100th birthday. Story: Page 6.


Mid-morning on a market day Thursday and the Stour Meadows pay-and-display car park has just 17 vehicles in it and scores of empty spaces.

It’s A for Amazing as Blandford School students discover their GCE results Page 7

FORUM FOCUS: Your FREE monthly community newspaper

East Street, where history and commerce meet. Special feature Pages 8-9


September 2013

FORUM FOCUS CONTACTS Editorial: Nicci Brown T: 01258 459346 E: Advertising: John Stayt T: 01258 454427 E: Distribution: Jackie Stayt T: 01258 456999 E: Design: David Eidlestein T: 01258 450989 E:

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ON THE WEBSITE Diary events are updated regularly on our website so it is always worth logging on to stay up to date with what’s happening in the area. The website also carries additional pictures of local events and background information to stories.

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DROP POINTS Main drop points for Forum Focus in Blandford and Blandford St Mary are at Blandford Post Office, Blandford Library, Jeans and the Corn Exchange in the Market Place, James Newsagents in The Plocks, Homebase, the Co-ops in Salisbury Road and Langton Road, Tesco at Stour Park, One Stop in Salisbury Road, Blandford Leisure Centre, the Heddington Drive Nisa shop and Blandford Tourist Information Centre, West Street. In the villages they are at the Charlton Marshall Church Rooms and Charlton pub, Woodpecker pub at Spetisbury, True Lovers Knot and Langton Arms in the Tarrant Valley, Pimperne shop, White Horse Inn at Stourpaine, Iwerne Minster post office, Shillingstone garage and church centre, Royal Oak at Milborne St Andrew, Sticky Stores at Winterborne Stickland and the Cricketers at Shroton.

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September 2013

Absent arch replaced at popular park A MISSING arch over the entrance to the Woodhouse Gardens in Blandford has been replaced by the Town Council as part of a continuing enhancement to the popular little town centre park. The park was given to the people of Blandford by the Woodhouse family, owners of the Badger brewery in Blandford St Mary, and was originally part of the garden of their family home at Fields Oak, which has since been redeveloped as housing. For years the entrance pillars supported an ornate arch which is believed to have been removed during the 1990s, and the Town Council this year agreed to its reinstatement. Town clerk Linda Scott-Giles said: "We tried to source information or a picture of what the arch looked like but were unable to do so, so commissioned this one from a local blacksmith, Anthony Bailey at Highcroft Forge, to bear the name and the Blandford seal. "People love the gardens because they are so peaceful and quiet, and our grounds staff are often complimented on how beautifully they are maintained." The arch cost around ÂŁ1,200, and is a further enhancement to the gardens

Blandford's Mayor Bob Brannigan with town clerk Linda Scott-Giles, town and district councillors and Hall & Woodhouse chairman Mark Woodhouse at the official opening of the Woodhouse Gardens arch. where a heritage lamppost, salvaged following the installation of new street lights by Southern Electric Contracting for Dorset County Council, has also been installed

Town centre plans are taking shape IDEAS for regenerating Blandford's town centre were developed at a second town meeting on 30th July in the Corn Exchange. Tables were set up at which people could discuss how to take forward particular issues under headings including the town's identity and its marketing and communication resources, tourism, traffic management, facilities, signage and movement, and the market. A common theme was how a town team might be able to progress many of the proposals coming forward and which have also been suggested by the town's new Chamber of Commerce headed by Traci Handford. The discussion followed a presentation at a Blandford Town Council meeting on how a town centre manager, proposed as part of the Asda supermarket development, might help revitalise the economy. Phil Gordon, Dorchester's town

centre manager, described some of the steps which had been taken in the county town to raise its profile and build its vitality. He said one of the first things done was to get businesses together to identify the town's strengths and weaknesses, and come up with problem-solving ideas. A key project was the setting up of a website to which 4,000 people a month now turn for information, the introduction of a shoppers' parking scheme, and publication of guides and maps focusing on shops and services. "The appointment of a town centre manager with the right skills set was paramount to co-ordinate and promote them," he said.

o A report at the first town centre meeting that M&Co, which opened in the former Somerfield supermarket permises in East Street in 2007, could be giving up its lease, has been denied by the company. A company spokesman said: "The M&Co Blandford Forum store will not be closing."

and linked to the pavilion power supply in the gardens to provide lighting in the evening. Plans are also underway to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a sculptured tree.

The official opening of the arch was attended by Mark Woodhouse, chairman of Hall & Woodhouse. He said: "My grandfather gave the garden to the town, and the town has done us proud."


September 2013

Fury greets double blow for transport o From Page 1 But Blandford Town Council and some of the parishes do not meet in August, leaving time short for a response to be given. What responses there are will be pooled at the next meeting of the Blandford Transport Action Group to be held in the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion at 2pm on Tuesday 24th September. Nic Nicol, chairman of the DT11 Community Partnership Transport Action Group, consisting of representatives from the parishes in the DT11 area, community transport providers, John Cumming DCC transport advisor, and town and district officials and councillors, said there were serious concerns about the impact

on the parishes in the DT11 area of the bus service cuts. "Some will go from having a very poor service to no service at all," he said. In a letter to Blandford's county councillor Barrie Cooper, urging him to express the group's concerns about both the planned bus cuts and the proposal for parking meters, he also criticised the lack of public consultation. He said: "It is nothing short of disgraceful that the public has not had the opportunity to respond to the proposed cuts to services." Of the parking meter proposal, he said the town's response was one of disbelief that, at a time when the community was working together to regenerate the town, the county council's

plans would reduce footfall in Blandford shops. Traffic manager Matthew Piles said the onstreet parking charges would reflect those applied for off-street parking to deter vehicles from parking on the street. He said the introduction of pay-and-display made enforcement easier. In Dorchester and Swanage it had resulted in "a greater turnover of vehicles and people using the shops, enhanced traffic flow, a reduction in air pollution and greater safety for both pedestrians and road users with fewer vehicles making dangerous manoeuvres to find on-street parking."

Asda close to final go-ahead A NEW supermarket to the north of Blandford has come a step closer with the granting of outline planning permission for an Asda store and filling station to be built

off Shaftesbury Lane. Asda must now finalise the package it is offering to mitigate the impact on the town centre and seek detailed planning permission for its development. The application was finally granted at the end of July after first being considered by members of North Dorset District Council's development management committee last December when they approved an extended Tesco store to the south of the town. Considering the two applications together was ruled impractical since the Tesco scheme had been submitted more than 18 months earlier, but the cumulative impact of both stores on Blandford town centre became an issue which prompted a recommended refusal from planning officers. Councillors, however, disagreed

and sought adequate conditions and mitigation against that impact. Following consultation with interested parties, including the town council, Chamber of Commerce and DT11 community partnership, the scheme was given unanimous approval. Mitigation measures worth more than half a million pounds include the subsidy of a store-to-town bus service, and funding for a town centre manager whose role will be to progress a range of projects

and town centre enhancements. Stuart Drummond, for developers DPD, said he was confident the package would meet requirements and regulations and provide positive benefits to the town. Committee member Councillor David Milsted said: "We were all very much in favour of the application when it came back before us, subject to a package agreeable to the town council and local partnership. I'm sorry it has taken so long."

Judy Baker of Blandford Museum and students at the mosaic workshops held in the Woodhouse Gardens pavilion on Friday and Saturday 26th and 27th July.


September 2013

Brewery staff bring cheer to hospice funds

Team members from Hall & Woodhouse with Mark Smith, deputy CEO of Naomi House, Chris Robinson, CEO of Naomi House, and Anthony Woodhouse, MD of Hall & Woodhouse (front).

Council faces urgent £30k bill for repairs TOWN councillors, who must now await the outcome of a public inquiry into their £5 million scheme to refurbish and extend Blandford's Corn Exchange and town council offices, have agreed to spend nearly £30,000 on overdue and unexpected repairs to that and other council property. Accepting that improvements are needed immediately to the town's premier building to address problems developing over the years, they have agreed to spend up to £15,000 on upgrading the building's toilets. The antiquated plumbing has long been a cause of concern, being unable to cope with high levels of demand and the toilets have become difficult and dangerous for staff to maintain. In response to the recent high temperatures and discomfort for those using the main hall, they have also agreed to spend around £8,000 on the installation of a UV protective film inside the glass roof to replace a UV filter paint applied to the roof surface more than five years ago which has now become ineffective. Committee chairman Lynn Lindsay said: "If we want to bring in revenue, we have to provide a venue that is safe, comfortable and with good sanitary arrangements." Councillor Roger Carter agreed,

saying: "We will lose revenue if we do nothing." The council has put aside more than half a million pounds towards its plan to refurbish and extend, into which a public inquiry is scheduled for December because of objections from English Heritage. Councillor Esme Butler, chairman of the Corn Exchange Project Board, which is overseeing the scheme, warned against using that money, which will be used to attract matching grant funding, for what was essentially ongoing maintenance. But members agreed that some should be used to carry out the work, on the understanding that other sources could be identified to replenish the refurbishment fund. The council also faces a bill for more than £5,000 to repair the pipe and water pump raising water from a borehole to service the bowling green and pitches on the Park Road recreation ground following the failure of the system, which avoids the need to use a mains supply. Members agreed unanimously to carry out the work after Councillor Lindsay said: "We cannot run the recreation ground without water, and it would mean a huge water bill if the repairs are not carried out."

Broken water pipe shuts pool THE discovery of broken water pipes on the site of Blandford Leisure Centre led to the temporary closure of the swimming pool on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th August. The centre was also unable to offer the use of water for showers or drinking. The pool reopened on the Friday morning and drinking water became available during the afternoon.

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MORE than £8,000 has been raised over the past year by staff at the Crown Hotel in Blandford for Naomi House, the Wessex children's hospice. It is part of more than £125,000 raised by the 52 public houses in the Hall & Woodhouse Estate and brewery for the charity chosen as the company's main beneficiary since July 2011 and which over the two years has totalled £228,997. Events have included cycle rides, sky dives, walks and bucket collections. Mark Smith, deputy CEO at Naomi House and Jack's Place, said: "Each and every team member of the Hall & Woodhouse public houses should be extremely proud of what has been achieved." He said an ambitious fundraising target had been set at the beginning of the partnership, and had been totally smashed, making a huge impact on the charity's ability to provide support and care for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. Anthony Woodhouse, managing director at Hall & Woodhouse, said: "We are delighted with this result. Our teams work incredibly hard to come up with new ideas and methods of raising money. Thanks must go to them and also to the guests of each of our houses, as without them, raising this amount would not have been possible."


September 2013

Nan, upstanding and popular as she hits the 100 mark A CENTENARIAN who still lives independently remained standing to greet her guests when she celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at the Brewery Visitor Centre on 27th July. It was not until the speeches began that Nan Dennett took a seat to listen to an eloquent tribute from Birgitt, a German woman who had been her daughter's penfriend and became so close to the family that she thought of Nan as her substitute mum. Born in Lancaster, one of 10 children, and christened Annie, Nan left school at 14 and went to work in a cotton mill, but soon became housemaid to a nurse and retired doctor. Her next job was in a laundry, and then she worked for seven years in the Lancaster County Mental Hospital. When war broke out she served at weekends with the WRVS and in 1942 met her husband Ivor, a volunteer with the Royal Engineers, at a bridging camp in Halton. "I worked in the canteen - he came in and I gave him beans on toast. Our first date was to see 'Gone with the Wind' at the local cinema," she said. Married on 9th February 1944, they lived first in Charlton Marshall, where Ivor came from, but he was moved abroad to Java where he remained for the remainder of the war after contracting jaundice. Nan moved back to Lancaster to

have her first daughter, whom Ivor did not see until she was six years old, but in 1946 moved back to Charlton Marshall where they lived for 38 years. She took her second daughter to work with her in the pram when she started working in the nursery at Clayesmore School, then in Charlton Marshall. She also worked at Markwells Grocery Store in Blandford Market Place, a local butchers shop, Bennett's general shop in Charlton Marshall and at Clayesmore again for 13 years in its new location at Iwerne Minster. She retired at 74 to take care of her husband, who died a few years later. At 80 she became a volunteer with Help the Aged at Blandford, where she worked for two afternoons a week for 14 years. She has enjoyed summer holidays in France with daughter Sandra and family and she and her other daughter Jenny have given her four granddaughters and five great-grandchildren, one of whom was born less than six months ago and so is a century younger than her great grandmother. Nan still enjoys her bingo and is a member of the Bryanston Club as well as the Royal British Legion's Silver Threads Club where she was treated to cards, flowers and a delicious cream tea by friends and fellow members on the Tuesday before her birthday.

Korea remembered THE 60th anniversary of the cessation of the Korean War was commemorated by the Blandford Garrison Amateur Radio Club when they set up a Special Event Station (SES) to contact as many stations and clubs around the world as possible. Using the callsign GB60KW, licensed members of Blandford Garrison RSARS HQ, including one who served in Korea with the Royal Signals during his National Service and used Morse code to pass commands to British troops, operated the station on high frequency bands with both vintage and modern radio equipment. There was an added opportunity for worldwide internet access through the GB3DT 433.000 MHz (70 cm) Blandford Garrison UHF amateur radio repeater via the Echolink system. GB60KW operated from 00:01 26th July to 23:59 4th August, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of signing the armistice which brought the three-year war to an end. Visitors to the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp were able to see the station being run by various operators using SSB (voice), CW (Morse code) and FM (on the 70 cm band) modes.


September 2013

Bumper year as pass rate rises Exam delight at The Blandford School POST-16 students have continued the upward trend at The Blandford School with the pass rate rising again this year, many exceeding their target grades. Headteacher Sally Wilson was thrilled at the results. "Those who say A-levels are getting easier are not the ones taking them. It is down to sheer effort and hard work," she said. "Students and staff should be rightly proud and the increase in our pass rate is especially pleasing." Among this year's success stories is Ben Gritton, who achieved four As at A-level and has accepted a place at Bristol to read economics. Alex Powell (two As and two Bs ) and Adam Turnbull (two As and a B) are going to Reading and Exeter respectively, Alex to read law and Adam English. Other students who have done particularly well include Rea Lillywhite (one A*, one B and one C). Rea has chosen to study festival performance at Winchester which will lead to travel throughout Europe and a performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Emily Sym, who represented Dorset as a Sports Young Ambassador during the 2012 Olympics, achieved an A, a B and a C and has chosen to study for a

masters degree in oceanography at Southampton University. Philippa Stringer (one A, one B and one C) has secured a place at Brunel to study physiotherapy, and Rupen Tamang will start an actuarial science degree at Kingston in September. Scott Armstrong, also with an A, a B and a C, is about to embark on an arts course at St Martins College of Arts and Design in London with a view to becoming a jewellery designer. A school spokesman said: "As a comprehensive sixth-form we are equally pleased that students who have chosen alternative routes than higher education have been successful in securing their chosen paths. These include Brandon Harding (officer training with the Army having been an extremely high achiever in Dorset cadets) and Ashli Knight, who is already employed in a childcare position locally. “AS students also performed very well this year with the high achievers including Samuel Eager (three As and a B), Abigale Pace (three As and a B), and Elias Mead (three As). A significant number of students achieved high grades which sets them up well for their final examinations in 2014.”

Lucy’s bright blue spot A SIX-year-old Blandford girl, Lucy Lill, of Ashmore Close, won first place in her age group and the young person’s Woodroffe Challenge Cup for her entry in a competition run by the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association for their 99th annual exhibition at Bovington Middle School. The theme for the artwork was 'One Blue Spot', and Lucy brought her picture to life by showing petals falling from a flower with a central blue point.

Other local winners were Pauleen Trim of Winterborne Whitechurch, with trophies for knitting a toddler's poncho and hat, and for a smocked dress and accessories, and Penelope Williams of Shillingstone, joint winner of the Pitt-Rivers Challenge Cup for needlework with her blue ribbon box. Harry Beaves of Sturminster Marshall won the Balqama Trophy for a ladybird goblet made of recycled materials.

Shroton church concert LOCAL musician Tobias Rihm is putting together a programme of music on Saturday 7th September in St Mary's Church, Shroton. The programme will include Haydn's ‘Missa St Johannis de Deo’, Haydn's ‘Salve Regina’, Haydn's Organ concerto in C Major and Donizetti's Oboe concerto in F major with musicians from wellknown Bournemouth and local orchestras and local vocalists, including Bryony Purdue. Tickets are £8 and on sale through the Post Office/village shop in Iwerne, and directly from Tobias (01747 811080). Proceeds will go towards repayment of a loan taken out to complete the re-ordering project for the church. It is hoped the concert will be recorded, and that this may be available on CD for sale afterwards.

High achievers: Above left: Elias Mead, three As at AS-level; Above: Rea Lillywhite, heading for Winchester; Left: Ben Gritton, who gained four As at A-level and will now study economics at Bristol.


September 2013

Where history and EAST STREET commerce meet Forum Focus looks at one of the main streets of the town

The entrance to East Street from Wimborne Road with a glimpse of the parish church tower and cupola over the rooftops.

MUCH of Blandford town centre was rebuilt after being destroyed in the Great Fire of 1731, but the lower end of East Street, beyond Stour House and what is now Tabernacle Walk, predates that fire. It was rebuilt earlier in the century with slate roofs following a fire in 1713. Then, as now, it was made up of houses, businesses, yards and passageways with a variety of frontages which, over the years, have been home to an everchanging number of shops and trades. A 'house of industry' - for the reception, maintenance and employment of the poor - was at the eastern end of the street, dating back to at least 1761. The Blandford Union Workhouse, which at one time accommodated 250 inmates, was replaced in 1856-7 by the new Union Workhouse on Salisbury Road, whose master in 1859 was John George. The East Street Hall was formerly the Brethrens' meeting room, erected in 1882, while next door, at number 28, Artisan House is noted for its mathematical tiling on the street frontage. Over the years the street has been home to at least 10 inns and hostelries, but today only the Dolphin (until the end of the 20th century the White Hart) still exists at number 42. Those now gone included the White Bear at 53 (later the Star and now Blandford Rugby Club), Saplings at 51, now a quality gift shop, the variously named Antelope, Rising Sun and Shoulder of Mutton at 43, the


September 2013


Pharmacist store manager James Cookson with staff Simone Dunnett and Mary Mariner at Boots’ East Street branch.

This view eastwards down East Street from the Market Place illustrates a variety of architectural styles.

Many of the old trades still exist in some form - but there’s no candlestick maker Fleur de Lys at 13, and the Joiners (location not certain). At number 30, the New Inn, which was built in 1720 by John Bush on the site of a house belonging to John Skinner that had been destroyed in the 1713 fire, became Douglas King Insurance Services and then, until its recent relocation, a second-hand furniture shop. The Blue Boar was at number 10 (now a private residence) to where it relocated from behind the Town Hall in the mid-19th century when the Corn Exchange was built. Around that time, the Fleur de Lys was home to Benjamin James Lovell, the Star Inn was lived in by George Sims, the White Hart Inn by Mary Anne Soper, and the New Inn by Fanny Maria Witteridge. Today, as in the rest of the town, a number of the pubs have been superseded by restaurants and cafes, such as the Georgian Tearoom in the Georgian Passage. While many of the old trades still exist in some form or another, there was no precedent for Disco-box, which deals in recorded music of all kinds, instruments, games and music memorabilia, or for TBC Print, which offers a full range of print services, including posters, building plans and stationery, as well as photocopying and binding. Florabunda takes the place of artificial flower maker Lucy James and the nursery of seed

seller and florist Martha Gill. A number of barbers and hairdressing salons replace hairdresser Charles Rolls, listed in the Post Office directory of 1858. The Linen Cupboard has replaced the haberdasher Thomas Jameson, and M&Co's building, in the last century the Ritz cinema, takes the place of wool dealer and glover Henry Edmunds, woolstapler Philip Abraham Barnes, shoesmith William James and boot and shoemaker Lazarus Carter, tailor Ann March, and milliner and dressmaker Mrs Mary Jane Mayo. East Street also had the ladies' boarding school of the Misses Mary and Elizabeth Barrett and Miss Ann Young's infant school, surgeons Joseph Staines Danniell and John Dansey, Miss Jane Lance's lodging house and shopkeepers and retailers William Gould, Joseph Stewart, Joseph Black, George Freke, Charles Rooke, Joseph Upward and James Vincent. The 1858 directory also lists East Street residents as including butcher Thomas Paddock, two bakers, James Munday and William Selby, carpenter William Ridout, leatherworkers Isaac George and Charles Roe, blacksmith Robert Blandford, builder George Vanner, bricklayer John James, decorator William Thomas Elgar and basketmakers Henry Barrett and Charles Stayner - but not a single candlestick maker.

Boots pharmacist James can help you feel good BLANDFORD has three branches of Boots (see map, below), two in Salisbury Street and one in East Street, where pharmacist store manager James Cookson is thrilled to have returned to surroundings reminding him of his home country after living so long in cities. He left New Zealand to study Pharmacy at Manchester University and says he became a pharmacist because he wanted to strike a balance between improving people's health whilst having the time to talk to patients. "I'm surprised how seamless it was to settle quickly in Blandford Forum. I found myself trying out new sports such as clay shooting and even tried a flying lesson over Salisbury!" he says. "I chose to live and work in Blandford so I could truly get involved in the local community, including attending steering committee meetings for the new Blandford Chamber of Trade and assisting at the spectacular May Day Hamdinger, which have all allowed me to make many new friends in such a small town. "I'm fortunate that Boots offers the Free Medicines Check Up service, a chance for you to sit down and talk to a Boots pharmacist about your medicines. "Whenever you're in town, pop into Boots East Street and I'd be happy to discuss any questions or queries you may have about your medication. "My new role as Pharmacist Store Manager is my first step into the world of management, and, whilst initially challenging, I am fortunate in having a fabulous team of Ann, Margaret, Stef, Mary, Simone and Rachael who each work hard to champion Boots' motto of ‘Let's feel good’.


September 2013

Solar farm planned

Landmark day for a pair of diamonds A BLANDFORD St Mary couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with friends and family at Bryanston Court. Bill and Helen Lawson were childhood pals in Kelty, Fife, where they were both born and brought up and attended the same school. Both started their working lives in the local Co-op, and Bill, now 80, played in the local dance band where Helen, now 79, did the catering, and over the years they kept in touch. Bill had gone on to work in the colliery, and Helen said: "I wasn't going to marry a miner." But a fellow musician invited him to join the Royal Signals Band, telling him his experience would mean he would hardly even need an audition. He had at the age of 13 won the Scottish championship on the flugelhorn, and the band won their grade at the Scottish National. He joined up and served for 22 years, first at Catterick and for the last eight years at Blandford, playing the cornet and trumpet, and retiring in 1979 with the rank of Band Sergeant Major. Helen said: "In 1953 I gave him a chance and sent him a Valentine card, and we met the same night at the dance on 14th February, after which he saw me home and we both told our parents we were going to marry. "We got engaged on 9th April and were married on 18th July 1953 at

PLANS are being considered by North Dorset District Council for a solar farm near Winterborne Stickland which could produce enough electricity to power half the homes in Blandford. The 34,600 panels applied for by British Solar Renewables Ltd on well-screened arable land which slopes down to the south of Fair Mile Road have the capacity to produce 87 megawatts of green energy, and will be largely invisible to public view on the 15hectare field at Canada Farm. The original scheme for two fields has been reduced to one, omitting that closer to two sites of archaeological sensitivity. The applicants say that a public consultation event in June was largely supportive of the scheme, which has also been presented to nearby properties, the Inside Park holiday site, and Stickland, Blandford St Mary, Bryanston and Winterborne parish councils. Cowdenbeath Register Office." The couple had two daughters who are now married with, between them, five grand-daughters and two grandsons. Helen was a volunteer in the Guiding movement, serving as a brown owl and guide captain. She had also worked as barmaid in the Damory Oak since they first came to Blandford, and following Bill's retirement from the Signals, the couple took on their own pub at the Old Bear in Bradford-on-Avon. But subsequently they returned to Blandford, where Helen became area warden at Wessex Court, and when she retired they took retirement accommodation in Bryanston Court at Blandford St Mary.

Homes bid thrown out OUTLINE proposals to redevelop the SCATS Country Stores site in North Street, Winterborne Kingston, have been refused unanimously by North Dorset District Council planners. The scheme by the Openfield Group to build 14 or 16 homes and convert the existing building to provide three commercial units was rejected because there was no affordable housing, and because of its impact on the character and appearance of the area and the lack of on-site green space and proximity to heathland with rare or vulnerable species. Local member and development management committee member Jane Somper said: "It's a shame because something needs to get moving on the site which has been vacant for some time and is falling into disrepair, but the open market value of the site should be high." PLANS for an arts centre in Blandford were due to go on display on the DT11 Forum website last month, in anticipation of submission of a planning application in October. The proposal for a centre on land adjacent to the Blandford Museum in Bere's Yard has been developed by a group headed by local film director Jon Ivay.


September 2013

Parish poll on the cards for Houghton AN election could be held in Winterborne Houghton on 12th September to replace the Parish Council which resigned in July. The resignations followed a period of very difficult working relations between the Parish Council and some local residents relating to long-standing local land issues. Nominations for new councillors were invited from residents between 7th and 15th August, and the election will take place if there are more than enough candidates. If no candidates or insufficient candidates stand for election the seats will be filled by co-option. North Dorset District Council has power to appoint temporary parish councillors to enable business to be transacted until such time as new councillors are elected and take up office. At a special meeting on 30th July it appointed district councillors Esme Butler, Joe Hickish, Emma Parker, Simon Pritchard and Deirdre Skipwith.

USA op cash for Skye A FAMILY fun day on 17th August at Blandford Corn Exchange raised funds for an operation for six-year-old Skye Cowan, whose family are trying to raise the money to send her to America for an operation not available on the NHS. The operation, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), will be performed at the St Louis Children's Hospital, and has a 100 per cent success rate for children such as Skye with cerebral palsy. For more information or to help with fundraising call Sian Teasdale on 07775 994454, Jo Cowan on 07446 103635 or see the website:

Spetisbury Festival committee members and chairman Rob Brown, centre back, with beneficiaries of this year's event from the Blandford Foodbank, Blandford Opportunity Group, Homestart North Dorset, Spetisbury School, village hall and church.

Spetisbury helps good causes PROCEEDS of £6,000 from this year's Spetisbury Festival were shared between three charities and three local organisations. Cheques for £1,250 each were presented to representatives of the Blandford Foodbank, Blandford Opportunity Group, North Dorset Homestart, and Spetisbury Village Hall, and £500 each to Spetisbury School and church. Festival director Rob Brown said it was a remarkable achievement for an event,

held every other year, which started 10 years ago and from a fairly small start had grown into "a success beyond our wildest dreams, generating a significant amount of cash". "The decision was taken two years ago to support groups in our village and also local charities, since our festival is about the community." Following the presentation, the gathering viewed a most entertaining film of the festival recorded on DVD.


September 2013

Steam Fair ‘king’ is subject of book written by friend John Paulley and Della Jones of the Great Dorset Steam Fair Young Hero Awards team with award winners at The Blandford School.

Young Heroes reap rewards YOUNG heroes nominated by The Blandford School for going above and beyond what might be expected of them have been honoured by the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Della Jones and John Paulley, both governors of the school and members of the GDSF awards panel, attended the Year 9 endof-year assembly to present awards to the recipients. They included community winner and dedication to home life runner-up Felix Morris-Duffin, community runner-up Joe Royal, arts winner

Becky Tun Pe, bravery in illness runner-up Verity Ellis, sport runner-up Emily Sym, education runners-up Louis Marchall and Bethan Amey, and community, bravery in illness and President's Cup runner-up Jack Delaney, who carried the Olympic torch through Blandford last summer. The awards, in the 45th anniversary year of the Steam Fair, were introduced five years ago to celebrate the achievements of young people in Dorset. Winners receive certificates and family passes to the fair.

THE opening of the Great Dorset Steam Fair this year has coincided with the publication of a book about its founder written by one of his closest friends. ‘Michael Oliver MBE King of Steam’, by Brian Moore, describes how the man who grew up during the final years of the age of steam and the decline of horse power set about preserving the memory of that age when his local railway station closed, and lines were cut under the Beeching axe of the 1960s. With the help of a number of friends including John Garrett, Arthur Field, Ted and Gordon Hine, Doc Romanes, Betty Marsh, the Coles and Antell families and others, and the support of his wife Jean he built the Great Dorset Steam Fair from its inception on two acres of a private garden in 1968 to the 600-acre greatest steam show on earth that it is today. He died in 2009. There are now hundreds of extra attractions but it remains the show where you can step back

The late Mike Oliver - King of Steam. into the 19th and early 20th century and be at peace with the world. This book is a tribute to the man who made it happen and whose spirit lives on, and with over 100 photographs and illustrations it is a must-read for all steam and preservations enthusiasts. It is published by Lydden Vale, at £5.95 per copy, available at this year's Great Dorset Steam Fair. Also at WH Smith, Waterstones and all good bookshops from 28th August.

Ready on the roads ARRANGEMENTS including a temporary speed limit are in place to cope with heavy traffic on the A354 Salisbury-Blandford road for the duration of the Great Dorset Steam Fair from Wednesday August 28th to Sunday 1st September, and particularly when it coincides with the End of the Road Festival at the Larmer Tree between Friday and Sunday. In an update to local representatives attending the 'wash-up' meeting held last December to consider issues arising during the 2012 event, North Dorset District Council general manager Joyce Guest said: "The emergency services are satisfied with all the safety plans prepared by the organisers of both events and believe those plans are resilient enough to cope with any emergency situations that might occur.” The temporary travellers' site is in the same position as in the last two years north of Tarrant Hinton off the A354 and was due to open a week ahead of the fair. It was also hoped the mobile phone network coverage and capacity during the steam fair would be enhanced through Vodafone deploying a temporary trailer with the necessary technology.

Flat out to beat rollers’ record AN attempt to flatten the world record for the greatest number of steam rollers in a parade formation over a set course was to be staged on the afternoon of Saturday 31st August at the Great Dorset Steam Fair showground. Around 110 steam rollers were due to line up in the world

record attempt as part of the GDSF 2013 Roller Special, on a new road created in the roadmaking section at the event. The current record is also held by the Great Dorset Steam Fair - a total of 32 vintage steam rollers passed over a length of new road on 31st August 2003, exactly 10 years ago.


September 2013

Rotary lures explorer to Blandford A MAN who has climbed the highest peaks, including Everest, on seven continents, skied to the South Pole and is planning to ski to the North Pole will be coming to Blandford on Friday 13th September. Blandford Rotary Club is offering an opportunity for people to meet Bill Hanlon at a dinner at the Crown Hotel during a brief visit to the town before he travels back to Canada. Dr Hanlon, who is the founder and medical director of registered charity Basic Health International, will be giving a talk about his adventures and his special interest, as a pharmacist and family physician, in high-altitude medicine. Jim Atkins, a member and Past President of Blandford Rotary Club, said: "I first met Bill when my wife and I were on holiday in Canada. I was amazed by his charisma and enthusiasm for what he does. I tentatively asked him if he would come and speak to Rotary on his next trip to Europe, and to my great surprise he agreed!" Tickets for the evening, which starts at 7pm for 7.30pm and includes a full dinner, cost £25 and can be obtained from Jim Atkins on 01258 452834. All proceeds from the event will go to Bill Hanlon's charity.

All change for festival THE Milton Abbey Music Festival moved with a new name to a new venue this year and took place as The Wessex Music Festival, based at Bryanston School, from Friday 16th to Monday 19th August. It followed the first-ever Milton Abbey International Music Festival and Summer School, directed by Milton Abbey School's music director David McKee, held at the school from 28th July to 4th August. Wessex festival chairman David Everett said: "After 30 years at Milton Abbey School it was time for a change and being at Bryanston, near to Blandford and a larger population centre, made a huge difference to us.” A varied programme of music ranged from sacred songs to jazz/folk and a celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten.

SHILLINGSTONE exhibitor Jenny Whitelock (above left) was a three-times winner at a companion dog show at Sixpenny Handley which raised more than £200 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The annual event is staged for a variety of charities by Malcolm and Heather Dennett in the field next to the Church Farm camping site of Steve Judd and Lee Moneypenny, and over the past 20

Alan’s ride for charity A SHILLINGSTONE grandfather left Dorset on 14th August to cycle 2,300 miles for two charities close to his heart. Alan Drake is pedalling across Western Europe for The Lullaby Trust, which provides specialist support for bereaved families and those affected by sudden infant death, and Cancer Research UK. Mr Drake recently lost both parents to cancer and his 14week-old grandson Haydn to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2011. Retirement last year from his job as a surveyor has made possible his dream of cycling through Europe, and he has been joined by friend Tim Kenyon en route to Cherbourg, camping along the way. To make a donation to the Lullaby Trust, visit or visit for Cancer Research UK. Cheques can be sent to Alan Drake, 8 Wessex Ave, Shillingstone, Blandford, Dorset DT11 0TG.

years has raised thousands for a succession of charities. Jenny showed lurcher Charlie, judged best veteran, lurcher Ziba, judged best crossbred, and whippet Twizzle, judged best rescue dog. Pip Swarbrick (above right), of Iwerne Minster, with Dalmatian Paddy Pepper, was reserve best in show.


September 2013

Incursion by travellers

Dorset Countryside Rangers celebrate their Green Flag award with community volunteers beside the River Stour.

A green badge of pride for riverside meadows BLANDFORD's riverside meadows of the Marsh and Ham, Stour Meadows and Langton Meadows have joined the Milldown in becoming recipients of a Green Flag award, making them official-

ly some of the best open spaces in the country. The meadows that border the River Stour as it passes through the town have been recognised by the Keep Britain Tidy charity

awards scheme for the first time, and the Milldown in its seventh successive year. Owned by North Dorset District Council and maintained by the Dorset Countryside Rangers, they are among 1,447 parks and green spaces nationwide receiving a prestigious Green Flag award in 2013. It recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country, and is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. Graham Stanley, Ranger for Dorset Countryside, said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag award for the seventh year in a row on the Milldown and for the first time for the Riverside Meadows. "People in Blandford and the whole of North Dorset are benefiting from green spaces of the very highest quality. Special recognition was made about the wildlife conservation elements of these open spaces and how we balance the needs of flora and fauna with public access and amenity. The hard work put in by everyone really can make a difference to our butterflies, wildflowers and visitors." To help keep these areas in tiptop condition or receive information on volunteering and training opportunities, contact Dorset Countryside Ranger Service on 01258 456970.

A TRAVELLER incursion onto the proposed Asda site off Shaftesbury Lane on 14th August by around 15 caravans was expected to move up to the temporary steam fair site at Tarrant Hinton when it opened the following week. The caravans pitched up at the far end of the field off Shaftesbury Lane closest to the bypass, where they had gained access through the field gate. The police have powers to move them on once the alternative is available.

Death of an ISM holder A FUNERAL service was held in Blandford Corn Exchange on 23rd August for Les Coombes of Langton Road, who died on 11th August at the age of 88, less than five months after he and his wife Ethel celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. Mr Coombes, father of former town Mayor Esme Butler, worked as a postman in the town before becoming a messenger at Blandford Camp where he worked until retirement 27 years ago, and was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for exemplary service.

Shillingstone plans progress SHILLINGSTONE Parish Council has applied to North Dorset District Council for designation of a neighbourhood area under the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. The decision to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan has been backed by the vast majority of local people.

Fun day gloom BLANDFORD Lions were forced to abandon their summer fun day on the Crown Meadows on 17th August when the heavens opened late morning and many exhibitors and traders left. Attendance was hit by the weather forecast, and there was only one performance by the Adams Axemen.


September 2013

Trophy winners at the Blandford & District Horticultural Society Summer Show (from left): Barry Gould, Sue Billington, Dave Eastment, Dave Miles and Pete Eveleigh, with (front) Mandy Eveleigh and Alexia Billington.

Flower show entries hit by spring drought THE 26th annual show of the Blandford and District Horticultural Society was held on Saturday 10th August at the Anne Biddlecombe Hall at Tarrant Keynston. Top of the trophy list were show regulars Dave Miles, with Blue Ribbon for best exhibit, best wine exhibit, most points in all classes, and most points in vegetable classes, and Barry Gould with best gladioli, most points in flower classes, and most points in vegetable and flower classes combined. Sue Billington had most points in floral art and in homecraft and cookery where Mandy Eveleigh had best exhibit, Dave Eastment had best handicraft exhibit and Pete Eveleigh most points in photography. Alesia Billington was judged to have best exhibit in the novice floral art class. Entry numbers were swelled by a concerted effort on the part of the Billington family, although floral entries had fallen victim to the

drought earlier in the year, said secretary Cyril Hovard. "But we have those from our regulars and from a number of new exhibitors." Winner of the potato challenge was Jim Howland with a massive 13lbs of spuds grown from one tuber, four pounds more than his nearest rival, Rachel Eveleigh. Mr Hovard said membership had suffered following the club's ceasing to be involved in the Blandford Allotments trading post, and that it was disappointing that only five allotment holders showed with the society, which in its heyday had more than 200 members but now has only around 80. In a bid to revive interest, the club's meeting on Thursday 24th October at the United Reformed Church Hall will feature as guest speaker Antiques Roadshow star Paul Atterbury and will be open to the public. Tickets are due to go on sale this month, and details are available from Mr Hovard on 01258 459395.


September 2013

Careers fair shows a way forward A CAREERS fair for under-25s in Blandford Corn Exchange on 6th August was hosted by Treads youth advice centre and Fresh Start to provide information about apprenticeships, volunteering, education and employment opportunities. Fresh Start is a Big Lottery funded, three-year programme working under the umbrella of the Dorset Youth Association with 15-25 yearolds who are not currently in education, employment or training, or are at risk of becoming so. The programme offers a wide variety of free activities to enable young people to develop the skills to progress towards employment, education or training, allowing young people as much support as they need to progress, from taking part in just one activity to taking part in activities every few weeks. Other exhibitors included local colleges, Connexions North Dorset from Barnack Walk in Blandford, recruitment agencies, the Aspire training team and Routes, which offers a wide range of courses, workshops and work-related activities including the Magdalen Project education centre.

Blandford Rotary Club president John Bentley, third from left, and Youth Aid leader Sue Diffey with fellow Rotarians and Youth Aid members.

Rotary renew support for young people YOUTH Aid and Blandford Rotary Club are delighted to confirm their continued working partnership and look forward to future projects that support young people with the new president John Bentley. Outgoing president Nic Nicol presented project manager Sue Diffey with two cheques, £269.67 from the President’s Fund and £100 from the Spring Fair. Sue said: "This is a wonderful gesture and will go

towards supporting the young people of Blandford, who need advice and information. Youth Aid enjoys a great relationship with both Rotary clubs who have greatly supported the project since it opened in March 2012." She said the Rotary motto 'Service above Self ' was so true. "Rotary does great work, much of it unpublicised. Youth Aid is privileged to be a part of such a worthwhile and selfless organisation."

September 2013



September 2013

Wherefore art the Brooke poem may Bard? In the pub! feature in Great War remembrance DIRECTOR and company founder Helen Crosse, of the Shooting Stars Theatre Company, aims to make Shakespearean text accessible to people of all ages, and in the car park of the White Horse pub at Stourpaine she did just that. In her innovative production of the Bard's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', fairy queen Titania, played by Ruthe E Mortimer, was the worse for drink, and argued with her Oberon (Jason Devoy) over her changeling boy brandishing a large bottle of vodka. She then became besotted with the 'translated' ass-eared Bottom (Michael Totton). Billy Coughlin brought a new dimension to the role of Puck, and reality to the concept of the whole episode of folly and discord between both mortals and immortals being nothing but a dream. Members of the audience were brought into the action as Titania's fairy attendants Cobweb, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed. The play of 'Pyramus and Thisbe' was hilarious and the fights, both verbal and physical, directed by Matt Gardner, between their alter-egos Hermia (Roisin Keogh) and Helena (Natalie Boakye) and their lovers Lysander (Sion Emyr) and Demetrius (Ben Riddle) were exhausting. Congratulations not only to the

Oberon and his sleeping fairy queen Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the White Horse in Stourpaine. Picture by David Lloyd.

company, which last year brought 'Much Ado About Nothing' to Stourpaine, but also to licensee Chris Sargent for demonstrating that theatre does not need to be confined to a stage and proscenium arch.

THE centenary of the start of the First World War in August 2014 is less than a year away, and preparations are being made in Blandford, as in the rest of the country, to mark the milestone. Blandford Town Council set up a 14-18 Working Party to bring together ideas on how to commemorate key dates during the war, and as a result is hosting a meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 17th September in the Corn Exchange to which members of the public wishing to play their part are invited. One suggestion has been for events to include a reading of Rupert Brooke's poem, written while he was serving at Blandford Camp, followed by further poetry readings marking events over the next four years. It has been requested by the House of Commons that the UK's contribution to the commemoration should focus on remembrance, youth and education, and it is expected that the schools, Royal British Legion, and Blandford Museum will be involved.

The town council has asked people to help give an indication of numbers planning to attend the meeting but they are welcome to just turn up on the night. North Dorset MP Bob Walter has urged constituents to consider applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grants for projects aiming to help people learn more about the First World War, and think about how they would like to mark the centenary. The lottery's 'First World War: then and now' programme is making £1m a year available until 2019 to fund projects researching local heritage, creating a community archive or developing heritage interpretation. Mr Walter said: "The impact of the First World War was farreaching and the impact on the people of North Dorset was extensive. I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available. "The funding will help young people to understand how it has shaped our modern world.”

New book paints a picture of a village THE street fair provided an ideal venue to launch a new book ‘Portrait of a Village - Milton Abbas’, which has been written and produced by local resident Michael McAvoy. He said: "We have Chris Fookes' admirable guide but this does not give a pictorial record of our unique setting and heritage. I carried out a lot of research to find historical illustrations, with which organisations such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery were very helpful, and had photo sessions with local photographer, Daniel Rushall. “I worked with professional book designer John Hawkins and editor Peta Nightingale to finally go to print in July, and copies arrived the day before the street fair. "A lot of interest was shown by visitors - until the heavens opened! In conversation with many of them, they asked so many questions about the village and Abbey, most of which are answered happily in the book." It is now available for sale in the Post Office in Milton Abbas and in The Dorset Book Shop in Blandford.

o Early closing day at Milton Abbas - Page 19.


September 2013

Early closing day at Milton Abbas Annual street fair was a wonder in the wet HIS year will be remembered in Milton Abbas as the year the street fair closed early while the crowds, who had not left when they saw the storm clouds gathering, left dripping wet. The day started cloudy but dry, and there was plenty of time and opportunity for the thousands of visitors to enjoy Morris dancing, singers, Punch and Judy, story telling, charity and produce stalls, impromptu entertainment, maypole and regency dancing, country music, bale tossing and traditional crafts. But at 3pm a torrential downpour made fairgoers scurry for shelter, a river ran down The Street, and organisers hurriedly made arrangements to bring forward the closure time by reopening the road to traffic and allowing drenched stallholders to pack up early. The biennial celebration of the rebuilding of the town of


Susie Edwards of Milborne St Andrew with some of her floral arrangements.

Twitter @forumfocus

Middleton for Joseph Damer, Earl of Dorchester, in the 18th century, to move it away from his country seat at Milton Abbey, is held close to the town's historic annual feast day. Most of the performers had been able to provide their entertainment earlier in the day and many stoically continued to offer dancing and music after the downpour. Chairman of the organising group Nigel Hodder said: "We were lucky that the rain came late in the day, but people had been put off by the weather forecast and attendance was down. "All the stalls looked wonderful and a lot of effort was put into stallholders' pitches, as well as 18th century dress, and it was great to see so many participate. We'd like to thank everyone for their hard work and patience." A grand draw as usual helped swell the proceeds which are shared between local clubs and charities.

Some of the Bourne River Morris Men wait patiently under an umbrella for the rain to stop.

Above: The bale throwing team and friends shelter from the storm under canvas. Below: The Quayside Cloggies dance among the umbrellas in The Street in Milton Abbas.


Ridiculous proposal for parking meters I AM writing to formally express my disapproval of the ridiculous proposal that more car parking meters should be imposed in Blandford on visitors, and residents of the surrounding villages who, through no fault of their own, already pay heavily for the privilege of living and supporting life in rural North Dorset. I have personally written to the County Council to formally oppose the implementation of additional parking meters and any further parking restrictions on the historic Georgian market town of Blandford Forum. Should readers feel as concerned as I do, then please register your opposition by contacting Matthew Piles, Traffic Engineering Department, Dorset County Council. Alternatively, you can email Sarah Price at Della Jones MBE Winterborne Zelston

September 2013

State of library building gave me quite a shock I WALKED down Sheep Market Hill and was in shock for some time after! Is the library now closed? The doorway was filthy, as were the windows. The woodwork under the windows was in a disgusting state and covered with cobwebs, and the 'staff only' door was in a similar state, together with the steps that approach it. The timber on the window beyond that door is rotting.

If the library is still open why don't the staff attack the frontage, if there is no funding for a cleaner? And if DCC still own the building why are they not maintaining it? It looks in such a sorry state. I can only assume someone is trying to put the public off from entering. Does DCC think it may be a profitable building site in the (not too distant) future? Paula Andrews Tarrant Gunville

Ed note: Blandford Library manager Emma Bevins has responded to this, saying: Our windows are cleaned by the same firm that cleans for all Dorset libraries, inside and out. If they appear dirty or dark that is probably because the windows of the main library are tinted. Unfortunately, the cleaning contract that DCC has with a cleaning firm does only cover the insides of buildings. I can often be found outside the library scrubbing up vomit, dog poo, broken glass, abandoned takeaways and rubbish that are left by the main and staff doors,

especially over weekends. As to regularly cleaning the outside of the building in our own time, the library service has until very recently been under a recruitment freeze and Blandford has been on exceptionally low levels of staff who work unbelievably hard because we really believe in the services that we offer and have neither the time or resources to come back on our days off to clean. When we are here, all our efforts are focused on keeping the services going. I'm really sorry that this person, who clearly feels so strongly, did not feel able to come in and talk to me about this.

Youth Work organisation offers free training AS you know, Equilibrium Youth Work has been running skills training for unemployed young people aged 16-24. With the raising of the participation age to 17, I thought your readers might be interested to know that Eq Skills training now offers national vocational training in professional cookery in addition to Construction, Mechanics, Horticulture and Forestry. We are particularly interested in engaging young people 19 to 24 who may be longer-term unemployed or who have had work but become unemployed. All courses are free and we even run a free minibus service from Blandford, leaving outside the Corn Exchange each morning. If you could bring this information to the notice of your readers, I would be very grateful. Paul Williams Equilibrium Youth Work Tel. 01258 472603

Letters to Forum Focus Seen something you'd like to comment on or share with other readers? Anxious to give a local topic an airing? Email your letter, which must be as brief as possible, to: or call 01258 459346. You can also deliver by post or by hand to Forum Focus, c/o Colin's Community Club, 49 Damory Street, Blandford DT11 7HD.

CHARLTON Marshall Scouts and Beavers raised ÂŁ200 for their Scout group and ÂŁ40 for the village hall with a car wash and coffee at the village hall on Sunday 14th July. They were supported by ladies from the village with coffee, home-made cakes and cream teas, allowing people to have their car washed, have a coffee, watch all the activity and read a Sunday paper. With temperatures topping 30 degrees it was amazing how the boys and girls worked for four-and-a-half hours washing about 36 cars and vans and getting very wet!


September 2013

FOCUS on schools

Some pretty scary looking weapons in the hands of these wannabe soldiers.

Brothers in arms: entering into the spirit at Downlands School’s camo day.

Audience thrills to Joseph AN end-of-year musical production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Durweston Primary School lit up the village hall and entertained friends and family alike. The costumes were indeed amazing, the soloists shone and the chorus united with strength and harmony in a performance which kept even the youngest members of the audience entranced.

Hey, look at us! Children enjoy trying out the camo face paint.

Downlands pupils change faces for a day of fun A CAMO day at Downlands Primary School raised £200 for Armed Forces charity SSAFA and gave pupils the opportunity to try out some of the clothing more usually worn by their parents serving at Blandford Camp. On went the tin helmets and face paint when pupils were invited to dress in camouflage in return for a one pound donation, and parents were invited to join in the fun, which included an assault course, grenade launch and target practice. Pupils also took part in the Sing Concert at the Blandford School involving all the primary schools in the Blandford area, which raised just over £1,000 to be split between SSAFA and local children's cancer charity Teddy Rocks.

So this is what the grown-ups get up to! It seems it could be fun - sometimes.


September 2013

FOCUS on schools

Students and staff from The Blandford School enjoying a day out at Disneyland, Paris, during their performing and creative arts tour to the French capital.

Students use their talents to create a right old song and dance in Paris AUDIENCES in and around Paris were wowed by 44 students and staff from The Blandford School on a performing and creative arts tour at the end of July. Musical director Nicola Fulker composed an eclectic concert programme with orchestral and vocal arrangements of 'Funky Town', 'Billie Jean' and a medley of vocal solos from next year's production 'Les Miserables' at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. Choreographer Caroline Kelly accompanied the music with energetic dance. Gavin Marish moved members of the audiences to tears with his emotional operatic rendition of 'Bring

Him Home', while Ryan Brown and Amy Lillywhite raised big smiles with their joyous version of the cheeky 'Master of the House'. It wasn't all work and no play for the students, since the tour included a day enjoying the sights of Disneyland Park, Paris. Tour organiser Becky Mutimer (Head of PCA faculty) said the tour was a phenomenal success. She added: "This was invaluable professional experience for the vocalists, band members and dancers, whilst providing the art students with great opportunities to sketch and photograph the sights of Paris."

CLAYESMORE Prep pupils spent time in another era when they became World War II evacuees for the day at the Nothe Fort in Weymouth, where they donned wartime clothing and entered the Blitz spirit. The highlight of the visit was running to the safety of an Andersen shelter during a dummy air raid attack, forewarned with safety instructions on how to deal with an air raid and extinguish 'fires' with a stirrup pump.

September 2013


FOCUS on schools

Jekka checks back in RENOWNED organic gardener and herb grower Jekka McVicar (pictured) was guest of honour at Knighton House School when she presented the prizes at the school's annual Presentation Day exactly 50 years after leaving as a pupil. Jekka was known as Jessica Stanley-Clarke when she attended Knighton House in the 1960s. Parents, pupils and staff heard how her love of gardening was encouraged at school by having her own allotment in the school grounds and how her Latin lessons have proved invaluable for her career in horticulture. She has become the country's leading herb expert, a successful author and broadcaster and was chair of judges at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show.

A night of stars A HELICOPTER brought some of the students of the Blandford School to Kingston Maurward College for their Year 11 Prom. It was a first as methods of transport go, and was but just one of the spectacular and inventive ways in which they travelled, surpassing all previous years. Other methods included an ice-cream van and a Ferrari. The event was a huge success with more than 140 students attending in their finery. They looked fantastic and behaved impeccably on what was a very enjoyable evening for students and staff alike. Elliott Duckworth and Abby Henley were crowned Prom King and Queen.


September 2013

FOCUS on schools

Countries united by teachers’ exchange

Some of the 500 runners in the Della Jones Mile, which took them on circuits of the playing field at The Blandford School.

500 runners step up to the mile challenge FIVE hundred pupils and staff at The Blandford School took part in the annual Della Jones Mile, running circuits of the school playing fields as part of their school sports day. The event was established as a tradition more than 20 years ago and given its name by Della Jones of Winterborne Zelston, a governor of the school, when she first sponsored and encouraged it as a competition. Before starting the race, which this year had one of the bestever entries, she urged the girls to do their best to beat the boys. She was joined to present the trophies by head teacher Sally Wilson and by fellow governor

The Della Jones Mile sponsors, John Paulley and Della Jones, with race winners Alex Balsom (left), Richard Hobbs (centre) and Chloe Luckham (right). and former PE teacher John Paulley, who has also sponsored the event over the years. The winner was Alex Balsom in a

time of 5min 14sec, the first girl was Chloe Luckham, and the first teacher home was Richard Hobbs.

A BANGLADESHI teacher, Aliq Rhaman from the Maitri International School, experienced a taste of UK school life when he visited Clayesmore Prep as part of the Connecting Classrooms partnership. As well as visiting Wardour Castle, Swanage, Corfe Castle and Salisbury Cathedral, he joined Year 8 on a trip to London, stopping off at the House of Commons and viewing the city from the London Eye. In the classroom, he helped bring a Year 4 lesson to life as part of their project 'Two Countries, One World', assisting pupils with the Dhaka sections of the booklet and showing them how to write answers in Bangla. He visited the school's summer fayre, speech and sports day and saw musical talent in action when the prep scholars performed at Child Okeford School. He also met with Clayesmore teachers to discuss the future of their joint project in which links have been formed with the Maitri School in Bangladesh to increase pupils' awareness of other countries and develop their commitment to a fairer, more sustainable world. Clayesmore teachers Fee Carless and Sarah Panton will be visiting Bangladesh in October for an equally enlightening visit to the Maitri School.

Twende keeps up the habit of winning YOUNG Enterprise company, Twende, from Clayesmore School who won the Dorset finals in May, went on to prove their business mettle at the South West Regional finals held at Bristol University. Sassie Cairnes, James Addison and Kathryn Rough produced a faultless presentation and the judges were equally impressed, awarding Twende best presentation of the evening and best managing director in Sassie Cairnes. Other members of the team are Jemima Mills, Lucy Merriman, Will Wood and Will Bailey.


September 2013

FOCUS on service

Make the town easier for those with dementia A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Blandford by Prama, the Dorset home-care charity, to make the town more dementiafriendly as part of a nationwide campaign. It is estimated that there are currently around 700 dementia sufferers in Blandford, and this number is expected to double over the next 20 years. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms and still be living in their own homes. If they feel supported in their local community, they can live independently for as long as possible and can use facilities the rest of the public take for granted. Sarah Armstrong, the project coordinator, says some people with memory loss are at risk of being isolated and feeling unwelcome or misunderstood. Her aim is to encourage Blandford businesses to focus on the needs of customers with dementia, and to

involve the wider community. "There are a lot of damaging myths about dementia so a little awareness can make a huge difference to the way people with dementia and memory loss are treated and how they feel about participating in their local community," she said. She has given out information on ways to support customers with dementia, focusing on good customer service and small physical changes, such as clear signage and avoiding black doormats which can appear to some with dementia as a hole in the ground. The business can then display a sticker saying that they are dementia-friendly. "It makes sound business sense to become involved," she said. To find out more about the project or to ask about free awareness training at your business, contact Sarah Armstrong at Prama on 07817 568335.

Dorset County junior girls' golf captain Alice Davis and vice-captain Jessica Stott accept a cheque for £250 from Penny Meaden and Nic Nicol of Blandford Rotary Club.

Rotary support for golf BLANDFORD Rotary Club has given £250 to Dorset County Junior Girls Golf to support the training provided to them under the care and leadership of the Ashley Wood Golf Club's Ladies' Captain, Sheila Davidge. Dorset County Ladies run a programme of training for girls in the age range 9-18 years which takes place at Sturminster Marshall Golf Club with professional Mike Dodd. Training is on a monthly basis for four hours and enables Mike to improve the girls' golfing prowess. Mrs Davidge said that in the past the English Women's Golf Association helped fund training, but since the merger with the English Golf Union, funding for junior ladies' training has diminished. With a limited number of ladies paying a subscription towards Dorset County Ladies Golf, it has been necessary to look for sponsorship from other sources.

Launch of Blandford Car Club AS advertised in Forum Focus last month, a Blandford Car Club has been launched to offer a real alternative to car ownership, hire and taxi journeys. The club has bought a Kia Rio to which members, after paying a nominal joining fee, can have access for as short a time as one hour for a minimum charge of £3.40. All maintenance, insurance and fuel costs are included in the hourly rate. Community car clubs provide a modern alternative to car ownership, allowing cars to be shared between club members who can enjoy a significant saving in their annual motoring costs. They suit those with only occasional need of a car, or for whom a second car is only an irregular requirement. The club was launched by Chairman of North Dorset District Council, Cllr Su Hunt, and Michael Mounde, executive chairman of Sowing Seeds, which has helped to fund the project.

Cllr Su Hunt, Chairman of North Dorset District Council, and Michael Mounde, of Sowing Seeds, launch the Blandford Car Club.

A fashionable invitation THE BLANDFORD Fashion Museum is inviting anyone interested in sparing a morning or afternoon once a fortnight to join its happy band of volunteers to go along to a 'Discovery Afternoon' on Tuesday 10th September between 2 and 4pm. They will be able to meet some of the team, look behind the scenes and enjoy a cup of tea in the popular museum tearoom at this no-obligation opportunity to find out more about becoming a volunteer at this very special museum in The Plocks, Blandford.

Library book delivery service READERS who find it difficult to get to the library are being invited to contact the Home Library Service delivered by the RVS (Royal Voluntary Service). Blandford Library have a team of RVS volunteers able to visit on a regular basis, delivering books from the library to people's homes, free of charge. Large print books and talking books can also be delivered. This service, funded by Dorset Library Service, is available across Dorset to anyone who cannot easily get to their local library, and can be provided on a temporary basis or long-term. All RVS volunteers are DBS checked and receive ongoing training and support. As well as the Home Library Service, RVS can provide befriending, help with transport, shopping, and other assistance. To find out how they might be able to help, contact Maria Jacobson, Royal Voluntary Service Manager Dorset Home Library Service, on 07786 635154 or 01305 236666, or email


September 2013

FOCUS on sport

Another big turnout for annual Valley run ORE than 150 runners registered for the 26th annual Tarrant Valley 10, a multi-terrain 10k race which started and finished on a very hot day in front of


Above: The start of the Tarrant Valley 10 from outside the Langton Arms in Tarrant Monkton.

One-mile race winners Nathaniel Willmore, Fin Druce, Bea Wright, Esme Clifford and Elizabeth Horsler. Winners of the Tarrant Valley 10 (from left): winner Kieran Young, first Tarrant Valley runner Ryan Walbridge, second John Bassinder, first lady Sarah Chaloner and second lady Rebecca Carver.

the Langton Arms pub and followed a shaded route of tarmac roads, bridleways and farm tracks. Winner for the second year running in only five seconds more than his time of 35.35 in 2012 was 18-year-old Kieran Young of Bristol & West AC; second was John Bassinder of Poole AC (38.16); and third local Tarrant Valley runner Ryan Walbridge (38.22) who, as a 13-year-old, had been the winner of the 2010 children's race. First lady was Sarah Chaloner of Poole AC, second was 17-year-old Rebecca Carver of Wells City Harriers and third Judith Vlaarklamp of Lytchett Manor Striders. Next under-20 was Sharon Hutchings, aged 16 (49.02) and next Tarrant Valley runner was

Steve Claxton of Tarrant Hinton (39.21). In the one-mile children's race, Nathaniel Willmore, aged 11, of Corfe Mullen was the winner in 5 minutes 56 seconds, with second Fin Druce, aged 11, and third Bea Wright, aged 12, of Donhead St Mary. First under 10 was Jake Milisic, aged eight, and first girl was Esme Clifford, aged nine. Second girl was nine-year-old Elizabeth Horsler. Sponsors of the event included Launceston and Tarhinton Farms, the Langton Arms, Hall & Woodhouse, Off Camber, Minns Music, Street Surfing, Intermusic, the Sunrise Service & MoT Centre, and Jonathan White & Associates Ltd. Proceeds this year went to Myeloma UK and All Saints' Church Tarrant Monkton.

o The Dorset Doddlers Stur Half marathon a fortnight later was won by Phil Burdon of Taunton-based Running Forever club in one hour, 13 minutes, 55 seconds. Second was Dorset Doddler Pete Roper in 1:15:24. Alastair Pickburn (New Forest Runners) was third. First lady was Juliet Champion of Poole Athletics, whose husband Alan and daughter Gabrielle took part in the 5.5k, won by Daniel Mulroyd of Poole Runners, with second Callum Kennedy (Wimborne AC) and third Tom East (Poole Runners). Steve Guy, of Blandford, also a member of Wimborne AC, ran barefoot after injuring his foot running on the beach.


September 2013

FOCUS on sport

Chiefs lead rugby training for youngsters BLANDFORD RFC Academy hosted a fun training day led by the Exeter Chiefs Premiership Rugby Club. The mini and youth sections from Gillingham-based North Dorset RFC were invited to join them and 55 children, aged from four to 16, from the two clubs, as well as some from other clubs, enjoyed expert coaching for the day with Exeter Chiefs coaches and players. All children involved got to take home an Exeter Chiefs T-shirt as well as a goody bag and lots of new rugby skills.

Blandford RFC Academy return to training from 10am on Sunday 8th September at The Blandford School pitches and will be recruiting new players from age four upwards. Call Kerrie on 01258 451779 or email for more information.

Above: Youngsters from Blandford RFC Academy and North Dorset RFC with the Exeter Chiefs at their fun training day. Below: Young players in action at the training day.

Ashley Wood seeks the new generation of golfers A GROUP of 48 boys and girls, aged from six to 16, took up the opportunity to have a taste of golf when they were invited to the Ashley Wood Golf Club at Blandford. Club professional Jon Shimmons gave them a brief introduction to the game and a number have signed up for the Saturday Academy for regular lessons to gain a grounding in the game. Jon is keen to encourage youngsters to participate, believing that golf is a game that is not only healthy but also helps young people to socialise in a safe environment. Further details can be obtained from the Pro Shop at the Club (phone 01258 480379).

o A past captain of Ashley Wood and a talented golfer who has been club champion on numerous occasions recently had a hole in one on the 18th hole. It was Steve Sanger's ninth ace, having had seven others at Ashley Wood and one at St Enedoc in Cornwall.

Youngsters who enjoyed a golf taster at Ashley Wood Golf Club.


September 2013

Politicians shown the ropes DIRECTORS John Brooks and Laurie Fairhurst, of Clump Farm industrial estate business Leisure Controls International, took the opportunity to spell out the needs and challenges of small business to North Dorset MP Bob Walter when he visited the factory with prospective MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole Michael Tomlinson. The politicians were shown how the company, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of timing controllers operated by coins, bank notes and cards, is affected by local and national policy decisions and red tape. o Picture shows Laurie Fairhurst (right) with Mr Walter (left) and Mr Tomlinson (centre).

Forum Focus - forthcoming meetings & events Monday 2nd September: Blandford Floral Group meet in the United Reformed Church Hall, 2.15pm, demonstration by Allison Finch ‘Well Read!’. Raffle of arrangements. Visitors (£5) and new members welcome. Wednesday 4th September: Coffee Morning, Bryanston Club, from 10.30am Blandford Art Society, Parish Centre, demonstration followed by practical with Persephone Angela Warden on 'Wash and Line', 7pm Blandford Carnival Grand Carnival Bingo, Corn Exchange, Blandford, doors open 6.30pm for eyes down 7pm Blandford St Mary Parish Council meeting, Bryanston Court, 7pm Child Okeford Gardeners Club at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Child Okeford. Speaker Edward Parker ‘Travels with my Camera in Africa and South America’. Visitors welcome at £3pp Start of Durweston Choral Society season, Durweston village hall, 7.30pm, details 01258 830216 Thursday 5th September: Blandford Museum talk by David Jardine on 'Blandford's Regalia and Ceremonial Costume', Town Hall and Shambles, 7.30pm Friday 6th and 20th September: Acol bridge in the Parish Centre Blandford 2 to 5pm, cost £1, details 01258 450544 Friday 6th September: 'Simone & Garfunkel' (aka Debbie Cassell and Martin Antell), The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, 7.30pm Friday 6th to Sunday 8th September: Child Okeford Beer & Cider Festival, The Saxon Inn, live music, BBQ and hog roast Saturday 7th September: Blandford Carnival, tombola, cake stall and refreshments from 10am in the Corn Exchange, baby show 12 noon, procession leaves Holland Way 7.15pm, details 07811 234032 Concert, St Mary's, Shroton, with Tobias Rihm, 6.30pm

Entries in this diary are free of charge. If you have an event you would like included, please send details to Nicci Brown, 01258 459346 or email This page is available and regularly updated on our website at Saturday and Sunday 7th and 8th September: 2013 Iwerne Photograph Exhibition, Barton Barn Gallery, Home Farm by the kind permission of Mr Fox Talbot. All welcome.

Blood donor sessions. Sealy Suite, The Crown Hotel, Blandford: 1.30 to 3.25pm and 4.30 to 6.30pm. Appointments available on 0300 123 23 23 but not necessary

Sunday 8th September: Wedding Fair, Crown Hotel

Police Crime Commissioner Engagement Forum meeting, 1 to 3pm, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, Blandford

Monday 9th September: Blandford Ladies' Probus Club 12 noon for 12:30pm, lunch speakers Sarah Moore and Ian Walsh - The Fire and Rescue Service, new members and visitors very welcome. Contact: 01258 453238 or Tuesday 10th September: 'Discovery afternoon' for potential volunteers, Blandford Fashion Museum, The Plocks, 2-4pm Cameo Meeting, Durweston village hall, 7.30pm Thursday 12th September: Blandford Forum & District Stamp Club meets Woodhouse Memorial Gardens, 7.30pm, guest speaker, 'J, K & L is for ....' Friday 13th September: Blandford Farmers' Market Rushmore Golf Club charity day for Parksinson's Disease Society and Shroton village hall. For full details please contact Joe at The Cricketers. Tel 01258 860421 Blandford Rotary Club dinner, Crown Hotel, 7 for 7.30pm, guest speaker adventurer Bill Hanlon, tickets 01258 452834 Saturday 14th September: annual Ride and Stride for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust Coffee morning, table top and plant sale for Naomi House Hospice, 10.30 to noon, Tarrant Keyneston village hall Monday 16th September: Start of Art for Everyone classes, Durweston village hall, details 01258 820349 Tuesday 17th September:

Meeting to discuss events marking the centenary of World War I, 2014-2018. Corn Exchange, Blandford, 7pm Wednesday 18th September: Pimperne Camera Club AGM, Pimperne village hall, 7.30pm Thursday 19th September: Blandford Heart Forum AGM, Williams Opportunity Hall, Whitecliffe Gardens 7 to 9pm. Speaker a Senior Cardiologist from Dorchester Hospital. Enquiries to Lisa Hoghton on 01258 860 880 or Ray Suter on 01258 860 787. Friday 20th September: Blandford and Preetz Friendship Society Skittles evening, Blandford Constitutional Club, 7.00 for 7.30 start. Cost £5.00. Non members welcome. Call Carole 01258 459452 or Jenny 01258 452202 for more details Friday and Saturday 20th and 21st September: Milborne Players present Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Milborne St Andrew Village Hall, 7.30pm: tickets from the Royal Oak or call 01258 837030 Saturday 21st September: Blandford Art Society workshop, United Reformed Church Hall, 'Painting Together' with Sue Fawthrop. Blandford St Mary village fun day Cats Protection coffee morning, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, from 10am Spetisbury Harvest Supper

Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September: Blandford Forum Museum Railway Club celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway from Blandford to Templecombe. Sunday 22nd September: Durweston Country Fayre Spetisbury Harvest Festival Dorset Austin Seven Club visits Blandford Costume Museum and park in the Market Place, 2 to 4pm Tuesday 24th September: Free Wills and Powers of Attorney surgery with Jerome Dodge of Blanchards Bailey, Age Concern Blandford, 4 Nightingale Court (off East St). Contact 01258 450258 to book an appointment Blandford Transport Action Group meeting, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, 2pm Talk on Funding for Care and the Law for the Older Age Group by Elizabeth Webbe of Trethowans of Salisbury, Blandford Grange Care Centre, Milldown Road, 5pm: advance questions welcome Wednesday 25th September: Open day, The Springhead Trust, Fontmell Magna, 10am to 4pm Thursday 26th September: Blandford Rural Home Watch Meeting, Okeford Fitzpaine Sports Pavilion 10am Friday 27th September: Blandford U3A open meeting, Durweston. 2pm for 2.15pm start. Presentation on Bees by Jane Adams of the Dorset Wildlife Trust Saturday 28th September: Home Made Cakes and free refreshments at Blandford Parish Centre, The Tabernacle, 10 am to noon Macmillan Coffee Morning, Abingdon Hall, Iwerne Minster, 10.30am Sunday 29th September: Car treasure hunt starts from Langton Road car park, Blandford, 2pm. £4 per car, proceeds to Disability Action Group (North Dorset)

September 2013 Forum Focus  
September 2013 Forum Focus  

The free monthly community newspaper for Blandford Forum and villages