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FORUM FOCUS There was fun for all the family when Blandford St Mary held its village fun day. See Page 8

For Blandford and surrounding villages Issue No. 20

November 2013

Litter louts are shaming our town by Nicci Brown HOPES of improving Blandford's image by developing a team of volunteers to promote the town are being undermined by the failure of either the local authority or local people to keep it litter-free. So say campaigners who turn out regularly to highlight the issue. The last CleanUp Blandford litter collection resulted in 15 bags being filled by the volunteers who turned out on a Saturday morning with litter pickers and yellow jackets. While it was reported that the Ham car park and meadows were quite clear of rubbish, the town itself was described as "appalling". Town councillor Andrew

Pemberton, a founder member of CleanUp Blandford, told a meeting of the council's town and general purposes committee: "Until we can get the town looking clean we haven't got a hope of making the town centre more attractive." Takeaway food cartons, cigarette butts and other rubbish littered the streets. CleanUp chairman David Rose said: "I think we need to start holding the town councillors a bit more to account for the litter in their wards and act as a focal point to identify hot spots. "It is clear the new waste manage-

Bin collectors leave a trail of litter in their wake. Below: litter left by the public in the town's main streets on a Monday afternoon.

ment system is not working effectively and we need to pile on the pressure on NDDC to get their contractor to do this correctly." He highlighted the pages on the

Phoebe Newton, aged 16, had the surprise of her life when she went on what she thought was a shopping trip to Nottingham. She found herself appearing on the TV show Surprise Surprise with her favourite pop group Rizzle Kicks. Find out why on Page 7.

FORUM FOCUS: Your FREE monthly community newspaper

Dorset for You website on street cleaning, which indicated that 'Zone one - town centres' were attended daily, and in 'Zone two other residential areas in main towns' they were swept every four weeks. A local resident recently contacted Dorset County Council's environment spokesman Hilary Cox to complain that, for the fourth time running, a trail of debris was left behind as the green boxes in Dorset Street were collected. "Each time I phoned to report the problem I was told that the depot would ensure it did not happen, but it still is. “Our streets are seldom cleaned these days and I cannot see why the people who are collecting our rubbish should add to poor state of cleanliness in the streets of Blandford. If I was to drop litter I would be fined." Mrs Cox's response was that she would ask for the situation to be investigated. Councillor Rosemary Holmes, vice-chairman of the town council's town and general purposes committee, said: "As a town councillor and resident, I am ashamed of the market place first thing Saturday mornings. The main o To Page 2


November 2013



We deliver over 4,000 copies of Forum Focus house-to-house thanks to our team of more than 35 volunteer distributors. If you would like to help us and your neighbours by delivering copies on foot once a month, particularly in the areas of the Market Place, the Badbury Heights Estate, West Street and off Black Lane where we have recently lost volunteers, or by delivering by car to some of our drop points (fuel expenses payable), please get in touch with Jackie Stayt (details left).

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:



Forum Focus welcomes the submission of articles and reports from clubs and societies but asks that they are kept to a maximum of 200 words. If you have pictures you would like to share with us, our readers and our website visitors, please send them, with brief descriptions, by email to Please note that low resolution pictures cannot be printed in the paper.

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, and 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 Central 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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o To advertise in our special Christmas shopping feature in December call John Stayt.

One rogue thief behind soaring crime statistics AN increase in shoplifting locally is not a reflection of a national increase but the work of a prolific shoplifter who the police are trying to stop. Those attending the North Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner forum in the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion last month were told by Blandford Sgt Matt Chutter that the police were trying to halt the pattern of re-offending. He reported 36 incidents of antisocial behaviour, and nine of criminal damage, but only 13 recorded as being drug-related.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said drugs were always a top priority and that prorata Blandford had a problem as it had done since the 1970s. Those involved had to be seen as victims rather than offenders, but the focus on trying to prevent addiction did not mean there was no enforcement. Asked about speed cameras not working on the A350, it was reported that one had been covered up because it had been hidden by an overhanging hedge that the owner refused to cut back. But he said the

Litter louts shame town o From Page 1 town centre is bad and NDDC have cut resources meaning street cleaning is not top of their agenda. "Cigarette butts are a big problem, unsightly and out of control, and shopkeepers and residents should look after their areas. Takeaway businesses should make customers aware that they should empty packaging in a responsible manner." Town and district councillor Esme Butler said the district council were responsible for cleaning, but only at a minimal level, and they couldn't expect any more help from them. "We have discussed taking on the service, and approaching the Chamber of Commerce for their support. We are the only town in the district without a town orderly."

camera partnership had lost 80 per cent of its funding for road safety in the county. Cameras were turned off to reduce the number of 'live' ones because the number of staff had dropped from 34 to eight. Of road casualties, he said: "We are trying to bring GPs on board, because we have examined the fatalities and a lot of people are dying because they are unwell and using drugs which affect their cognitive behaviour." He confirmed that the 'No Excuse' campaign targeting motoring offences in specific areas would continue because it had been a success and 89 per cent of the population recognised it. Asked about the provision of police support at local events he said that with police numbers reduced by a third, there was a drive for the authority to charge for cover. He also reported that only 23 crimes had been reported over the period of the Great Dorset Steam Fair, a statistic confirmed by local Inspector Shawn Whitley, who told the steam fair wash-up meeting in October that crime was lower in August than it had been in June and July.

Remembrance Day details UNIFORMED groups will be assembling in the Market Place on Sunday 10th November at 3pm for the Remembrance Day ceremony, which will begin with a parade of standards followed by the laying of wreaths on the town's war memorial and the singing of a hymn and the National Anthem. There will then be a marchpast and parade up Church Lane to the Plocks, Tabernacle and Sheep Market Hill, into East Street and the Market Place and up Salisbury Street back into the Plocks. The Remembrance Day service in the parish church will follow the conclusion of the parade.

Parking plea A REQUEST from the head teacher of Milldown Primary School for an extension to the zig zag lines in Milldown Road to prevent parents parking to take their children into the school has been supported by Blandford town councillors, with an additional request to Dorset County Council that the whole issue of parking in Milldown Road is reviewed.


November 2013

Public backlash forces parking plans rethink PEOPLE power has partly prevailed over proposals for on- and off-street parking and cuts to bus services put forward by Dorset County Council. The pay-and-display proposals for Blandford and other towns in Dorset have been sent back for reconsideration after they were challenged at a meeting of the environment overview committee of Dorset County Council. Suggestions to improve off-street parking in the town have also been made to North Dorset District Council. And a bus service review, due to be confirmed at a meeting of the county council's Cabinet, has been delayed until this month following public consultation. Blandford Mayor Councillor Bob Brannigan, who presented the environment committee with a petition signed by hundreds of shopkeepers, motorists and residents against pay-and-display parking, said he had demonstrated a catalogue of factual errors in the report presented to the committee. They included the wrong figure for short-stay parking in the town's car parks, ignoring the fact that onstreet parking is already time-limited, mis-naming two streets, omitting reference to the regular Friday farmers' market, and failing to mention the presence of two dental surgeries in one of the streets. The report recommended the installation of five on-street parking meters in East Street, West Street and The Plocks and introduction of

Have you lost a teddy? A TEDDY found abandoned on the verge of the Pimperne to Cashmore road on Friday 4th October has been washed and dried, and is hoping to be reunited with his owner. A walking cane for the visually impaired was found in the passageway through Nightingale Court at the end of September. To claim ownership of either, contact Forum Focus ( or 01258 459346).

charges in the current financial year. Mr Brannigan said the proposals had been referred back for further consideration and would be brought back to the Cabinet in January. Members of the committee called for a review of on-street parking across the county. Matthew Piles, the county's traffic manager, said: "We have listened to the views of local residents. To introduce a parking scheme that is accepted and works for the town we need a twoway conversation. The review will ensure parity across Dorset." Councillor Hilary Cox, the council's cabinet member for environment, said: "We recognise the uniqueness of each town and that one size doesn't fit all." Meetings have also been taking place in North Dorset as part of a review by the district council of offstreet parking in the district, due to take effect next April. Key points supported in Blandford were the introduction of a 'free after three' scheme in Church Lane and the Marsh and Ham, increasing the free half-hour on gravel in Stour Park to an hour, and a reduced price permit for residents using Station Court. It was also agreed to investigate the possibility of town and parish councils paying the ÂŁ8,392 business rates for the Stour Meadows car park so that it could again be made free. o A meeting of the Blandford Transport Action Group (TAG) in September drew together a range of responses from Blandford and surrounding villages to the planned withdrawal of subsidised bus services which, together with those from across the county, are being fed into a report to be presented to Cabinet on 6th November. The main points highlighted by TAG were the need for all villages to be served by at least one bus a week to their nearest market town, and for Saturday services to be retained. Jan Stevenson, Dorset County Council's passenger transport manager, said: "The passenger transport team are currently compiling a report for the Cabinet that summarises the content of the responses they have received. They will support this with the petitions, letters from councillors and organisations that have also been received."

A Vintage Fair proved a major attraction in the Corn Exchange on Monday 14th October. Fair organiser Elaine Kirsch (left) is pictured with Pearl Lowe, author of the book 'Vintage Craft'. The event proved so popular that it may make a return visit in April.


November 2013

A new partner logs in at computer shop ONE father-and-son partnership has succeeded another at The Computer Shop in Salisbury Street, Blandford. Dave Bousfield has employed his son Josh to succeed retiring partner Ted Aston, who initially set up the business on the Blandford Heights industrial estate with his own son Robert. When Robert moved to Malta following the establishment of the shop in Salisbury Street, Mr Aston was joined by Dave Bousfield

about three years ago. In September Mr Bousfield took part in the British Heart Foundation London-to-Brighton off-road bike ride and raised over £500 in memory of his father-in-law, who died just before last Christmas. "He was a prolific marathon runner and England veteran, so I wanted to take on a sporting event," said Mr Bousfield. "It was a 73.5-mile ride, but in fact we covered 77 because we had to ride from Clapham Junction to the start.�

Fresh hope for meadows scheme opponents Dave Bousfield, his son Josh, and Ted Aston at The Computer Shop in Salisbury Street on the day of Ted's retirement.

OPPONENTS of the possible development on the Crown Meadows and Bryanston Deer Park have been heartened by progress on an alternative being put forward in the draft North Dorset Local Plan, which was approved for further consultation at the end of September. A screening opinion has been sought on behalf of the owners of a site south of the bypass at Blandford St Mary as to whether an Environmental Assessment will be needed for its development. Their agent, Malcolm Brown, said: "Architects are preparing proposals for pre-application consultation with the planning authority. We are testing alternative means of crossing the bypass, linking the modern development at Blandford St Mary with the village outside, and are also proposing to incorporate the missing link in the Trailway between Spetisbury and Blandford town centre." He added: "I feel that we were misrepresented in the officers' report to the council which stated there was no alternative to the Crown Meadows proposal. There has always been an alternative; my client's land is identified in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment as a suitable site for development. "There are factors which need to be considered, including how one links development to the town but equally, there are constraints on the development at Crown Meadows, including the impact of additional traffic in the town centre." A concerted effort by objectors to the Crown Meadows scheme failed to prevent district councillors approving the draft, which is now being further consulted upon before being sent to the Secretary of State for public inquiry.

Four Blandford members, Councillors Butler, Cooper, Hickish and Tanner, voted against, and two abstained, and have since defended their actions, saying the plan covered the whole district and needed to be progressed to prevent the local authority becoming vulnerable to unforeseen and unwanted development. Councillors John Stayt and Tony Harrocks said they had registered their concern at the Crown Meadows proposal and withheld their vote, but did not feel able to oppose the rest of the document. Mr Stayt said: "As one of the instigators of the petition against the proposed Crown Meadows development, I am acutely aware of the sentiments of the vast majority of the inhabitants. "The planning department at NDDC is aware of a possible alternative development site in Blandford St Mary, but has yet to receive a formal planning application from the developers, Blandford St Mary Homes Ltd. "I have been reassured by planning officers and Cllr David Walsh, Cabinet member and portfolio holder for planning, that if more detail on the site in Blandford St Mary is forthcoming, then the council can reconsider its position prior to the local plan being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. "I have also been assured by representatives of Blandford St Mary Homes Ltd that they should be in a position to submit a detailed planning application to NDDC in approximately two months' time." Mr Harrocks said he had abstained because the petition signed by 6,000 Blandford residents opposed to development of the Crown Meadows site was a democratically expressed wish of a majority.


November 2013

ÂŁ200m water pipeline work to start soon CONSTRUCTION will be starting soon on a ÂŁ200m project by Wessex Water to lay a new pipeline to ensure a resilient supply across the county for the next 25 years. Wessex Water, which organised a series of consultation meetings prior to submission of their planning application for the project, is also organising public exhibitions prior to excavation starting. A LOCAL man has denied causing a fire which caused serious damage to Blandford's historic cemetery chapel on the night of 14th September. John Sennett (26) appeared at Dorchester Crown Court on 15th October accused of arson after being arrested and charged by the police, and brought before Weymouth magistrates court a week earlier. He pleaded not guilty to arson, but guilty to the attempted theft of petrol from motor vehicles on the same date, and the case was adjourned for trial on a date to be fixed.

The pipeline from Corfe Mullen in the south to Salisbury in the north will follow a route across mainly agricultural land from the southeast of Tarrant Keyneston, across the B3082 Wimborne Road and north-west to Ashley Wood golf course, crossing two public rights of way and the road in the northeast corner of the course. It will then head west to the Snowsdown Reservoir adjacent to Blandford Camp, where there will be a new storage tank. From there it will continue northwest and across the Salisbury Road to a new pumping station to the west of Pimperne before heading north to Shaftesbury, largely parallel to the C13 Higher Shaftesbury Road and on into Wiltshire. The project will involve the closure for up to three weeks of Spread Eagle Hill on the C13, with diversion of traffic onto the A350 between Blandford and Shaftesbury. For more information about the water supply grid visit

Adult and junior winners in the apple cake competition at the Burton's Community Orchard Apple Day, Lauren Juett, aged nine, and Janet Burton, with event organiser and orchard chairman Jenny Whitelock, centre.

Apple day takes cover! INCLEMENT weather on Sunday 13th October forced a change of location for the Burton's Orchard Apple Day celebrations in Shillingstone, which were staged not in the orchard but in the Portman Hall. It proved a wise move and there were plenty of visitors able to enjoy apple-related refreshments, the judging of the apple cake baking competition - which was won by Janet Burton after whose

husband the orchard is named an apple quiz, and stalls which included the Dorset Lavender Project, the Dorset Wildlife Trust, craftworkers and a raffle. A great hit with the younger visitors was Caitlin, the Pets as Therapy Irish Wolfhound, who came along with her owner Chris Broughton, and there was an impressive performance by the young Studio B dancers from Blandford.


November 2013

Homes swaps open doors for local families The youngest members at the Home-Start preparation course, twins Eleanor and Megan, will be two this month.

How Home-Start gives a helping hand TWINS Eleanor and Megan, who will be two this month, and brother Charlie were the youngest members at the Home-Start preparation course on educational play, run by trustee Claire McDonald for 12 new volunteers. Claire suggested inviting mums and children being helped by Home-Start, which supports young families across North Dorset, including 44 children and 22 adults from the Blandford area, to join the volunteers for the morning at The Exchange, Sturminster Newton. Claire introduced the group to a range of ideas for engaging young children in play, developing and encouraging their creativity and preparing them for when they start school. AN appplication has been submitted to North Dorset District Council on behalf of Subway for the installation of equipment and internal alterations, at 16 Salisbury Street, Blandford, formerly the Julian Graves health food shop.

The twins' Mum, Kelly, has received Home-Start support since they were born. She said: "At first I thought I'd like to do my own thing when my volunteer visited but this changed. It's lovely to have someone to sit down with once a week, have a cup of tea and a natter and a bit of a moan about any difficulties that have cropped up and know I'm not being judged. It's helped me so much." The course, which runs once a week for 10 weeks, ends on 19th November with a celebration bring-and-share lunch. Blandford Town Council's finance and staffing committee has recommended a grant of ÂŁ250 to support the charity's Blandfordbased volunteer training and recruitment. On Friday 22nd November the Home-Start AGM is at The Exchange from 4pm to 6pm. Anyone who would like to come along will be welcome, but please contact Ruth on 01258 473038 or e-mail office@

AN event in the Sealy Suite of the Crown Hotel gave those being driven to downsize by new housing benefit rules an opportunity to consider 'house swapping'. Dozens of people seeking a move attended and were able to 'advertise' their needs to others, with the result that at least two couples succeeded in finding a potentially satisfactory move. A couple living in a three-bedroom house in Blandford whose adult children had moved away met a couple with two youngsters seeking to move up from a twobedroomed flat. Another woman living alone in a three-bedroomed house in Blandford St Mary was seeking to downsize, and a mother-of-four was desperate for more bedrooms. Eddy Irvine, senior partnership services manager at Housing Partners Ltd, said: "I attend many of these events and this was one of the best. I was very impressed with the effort and organisation that was put into the event, and the turn-out proved that." The so-called 'bedroom tax' introduced by the government to reduce housing benefit to those with one or more spare bedrooms

has attracted a lot of criticism, and figures suggest that up to 96 per cent of people affected have nowhere to move to. North Dorset District Council, Spectrum Signpost and First Dorset Credit Union hosted the 'house swapping party' in an attempt to find a solution to the problem. District councillor David Milsted hopes that by bringing together tenants of under-occupied housing association homes with those who may be considering downsizing, the balance could be redressed with a simple swap. "There are lots of young families living in homes that are too small for them. There could be swaps to be done and that should be the least painful way of dealing with the problem," he said. The free Mutual Exchange event was open to all registered social housing tenants, and featured benefits advice and information stands from the credit union, CAB, Resident Involvement, North Dorset District Council's housing team and more. For more information on house swapping, contact Sue Watson on 07825 521390 or email

Twinners to meet THE annual general meeting of the Blandford Mortain Twinning Association in the Parish Centre in The Plocks, Blandford, on Thursday 14th November will be followed by a social session and presentation by Keith Bradley. The group's aims are to foster links, both historical and social, between Blandford and the Normandy town, encouraging friendships between individuals and families, strengthening bonds between their councils and encouraging visits between civic and business groups and links between schools and sporting clubs. Anyone with a special interest in France is welcome to come along to the meeting, starting at 7.30pm, or contact secretary Martin Brickell on 01258 453693 or e-mail


November 2013

TV surprise for brave Phoebe PHOEBE Newton, aged 16, had the surprise of her life when she went on what she thought was a shopping trip to Nottingham in June. The result was screened on nationwide television in October when she appeared on ITV's Surprise Surprise show, along with the Red Devils and pop group Rizzle Kicks. Phoebe has for the past four years played a key role in supporting her family and cancer charities following the diagnosis and death of her brother Ted. Her mum Kim said: "A friend of ours nominated Phoebe for the show in November 2012, and I never thought we would hear anything more, but in February we were contacted and ours was picked out of 20,000 applications." After a hectic few months, secretly making arrangements and explaining about Teddy20 fundraising, it was agreed that a skydive was a great theme on which to base Phoebe's surprise since a Teddy skydive was planned for September. They travelled to Nottingham, telling Phoebe that her dad had some work to do and they would be staying overnight and maybe go shopping. "She had absolutely no idea what was about to happen. When we arrived at Langar airfield we were met by a Red Devil called Mark. Phoebe wondered why but as soon as we got out of the car she was greeted by TV celebrity

Dave Berry. The surprise was out and she was invited to do a skydive with the Red Devils." It was while she was undertaking some basic safety training with them that her second surprise happened - the arrival of her favourite pop group Rizzle Kicks. "She had the most wonderful time and was incredibly brave doing not one but two jumps at 15,000 feet," said Kim. The whole family went up to the ITV studios in London to film the next part of the programme and there was huge excitement while Phoebe was enjoying "hair and make-up" and she saw Marvin from JLS. "We all sat in the audience with two of the Red Devils and watched Phoebe come on and sit with Holly Willoughby, then Rizzle Kicks, who performed their new song for Phoebe. "It was an experience Phoebe will never forget. The surprise was in recognition of the work Phoebe has done in Ted's memory and how out of great tragedy she became a positive, beautiful, well-adjusted young lady." In September, 14 people, including Phoebe's dad Owen, skydived at Old Sarum, near Salisbury, for Team Teddy, raising around ÂŁ2,000 for presents for children undergoing cancer treatment in hospital over Christmas. From 9th to 16th November, Owen and

Power cut brings chaos to traders A POWER cut on Wednesday 2nd October badly affected a number of premises in Blandford and Blandford St Mary, including the Tesco supermarket, Homebase and the Hall & Woodhouse brewery. Properties and businesses in East Street were left without electricity for over an hour and the majority of the town suffered intermittent outages as Southern Electric sought to restore the supply. A spokesman for Southern Electric said the power cut occurred at 11.20am, and around 500 proper-

Time please TOWN councillors have raised no objection to an extension of licensing hours at the Heddington Drive convenience store so that alcohol can be sold later in the evening, and at Christmas. They agreed it would be unfair to seek to restrict the hours when other shops in the area already had extended hours.

ties were left without power. "The vast majority were restored by 1.50pm in stages, but were without power until we connected a mobile generator at about 6.10pm. "Our main priority is always to restore the power, and then our engineers start looking for the fault location so they can isolate the section to carry out repairs." For some of those suffering severe disruption, it was the result of trip switches being thrown, and although Homebase was able to remain open and serve cash customers only, Tesco remained closed until late in the afternoon and a large quantity of frozen and chilled food had to be thrown away, leaving many of the shelves under-stocked for the remainder of the week. A spokesman for Tesco said: "Like other shops in the local area our store was affected by a prolonged power cut. "Our priority is to ensure that all the food on sale is safe to eat, and unfortunately some chilled and frozen products had to be discarded."

Phoebe with her pop heroes, Rizzle Kicks. Phoebe's brother Tom will be cycling Death Valley in California over five days to raise funds for CLIC Sargent. Anyone wanting to sponsor them can text TEDY66 followed by amount to 70070 or by visiting


November 2013

Awards for council TWO out of a possible three major awards have been won by North Dorset District Council against stiff opposition from bigger authorities in the 2013 Federation of Small Business Awards for support and encouragement to the local economy. The Best All Round Small Business Friendliness and Best 'Small Business Friendly' Engagement were presented for the Supporting Business Initiative whereby North Dorset has placed economy as a top

priority and taken a whole-council approach to business support and the Town Team Events, initiated because of local business and community concerns about the future of market towns. Graham Carr-Jones, deputy leader of North Dorset District Council, said: "It's fantastic news. I was really proud to receive the awards. It is great that such a little council like ours can have such an impact for our local businesses."

Nine-year-old Abi Jones, parish clerk Nicky Philips, and 14year-olds Nathalie Ballard and Kelly Jones, with a lovely bunch of coconuts on the shy at Blandford St Mary's village fun day. Visitors enjoyed a lovely day on the playing field at Chettell Way when entertainment included Alfredo the Magician, face painting, a bouncy castle and a coconut shy. There were animal charity, jumble and bottle stalls and a display by the local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Focus on growth A HIGHLY successful first year was reported at the annual general meeting of Forum Focus Limited, held at the Brewery Visitor Centre in Blandford St Mary, when chairman Nicci Brown reviewed the progress of the publication launched in April last year as a community magazine for the Blandford area. Since then it has grown from 16 to often 24 pages and more, and the number of copies distributed increased from 3,000 to 7,500.

The company limited by guarantee made a small surplus, and thanks were extended to all advertisers, contributors, deliverers and other volunteers assisting in the production. Ms Brown said: "We are confident that Forum Focus serves an important function in keeping our community informed and aware of local issues, developments and activities, and look forward to its continuing to go from strength to strength."


November 2013

First beer festival goes down a treat HALL & Woodhouse proved that they could indeed organise a 'booze-up in a brewery' when they staged their first-ever beer festival at their Blandford St Mary headquarters on 5th October. The event coincided with Cask Ale Week and was staged as a fundraiser for the charity being supported by the company this year, Macmillan Cancer Support. In addition to its new autumn season cask ale Hopeful Hop, there were barrels of a wide variety of Badger brews, together with those of other local breweries, including beers, ciders and perries. Among the first to sell out were the Otter from the Otter Brewery and the locally produced Badger Brewer's Bee, but there were

some rarely seen varieties, including the limited edition Babies, Birthdays & Celebrations, again from Hall & Woodhouse, in celebration of a number of key events among the brewing team in 2013, and the Charles Hall Napoleonic Pale Ale. Hot food was served from the visitor centre, with brewery tours, demonstrations from Nick Strangeway of beer cocktails, some of whose recipes featured in the commemorative programme, and recorded and live music from contemporary folk band Brementown, the group Sylva, fronted by brewery supplier Graham Harris, and the selfexplanatory Punk on You Hits to keep the festival-goers entertained.

Town tourist office is a story of success NORTH Dorset District Council's decision five years ago to stop funding the Blandford Tourist Information Centre filled those who worked in the office with gloom. But along came Caroline and Steve Adamson, local B&B owners, who were determined the centre should not close, and with their enthusiasm and help, the office manned entirely by volunteers was created. It moved to its current larger premises on the corner of the Marsh & Ham car park in May 2009 with the support of the town council, trustees, Saplings, the Dorset Bookshop and other Blandford retailers and suppliers. The office now thrives, handing out information and selling events tickets, New Forest Ice Cream and local crafts and gifts to its many visitors, and highlighting local events and attractions, as well as displaying leaflets and brochures from the wider Dorset community and other counties. In the continuing financial uncertainty many more councils are reconsidering the provision of local information centres and the Blandford TIC provides the model for what can be achieved through the voluntary sector and the determination of the local people. To see what is on offer, call in between 10am and 4pm up to 2nd November or between 10am and 3pm from 4th November.


November 2013

MP’s efforts rewarded with justice award AN award has been presented to North Dorset MP Bob Walter by Mothers Against Murders and Aggression (MAMAA) for his work to introduce Ryan's Law to the Coroners and Justice Act. Spokesman for the group, Cathy Franklin of Blandford, whose two-year-old son Ryan Franklin was killed by his father in May 2002, nominated the MP for his ongoing support in her campaign after her son's body was not released for burial until the trial in November 2003. The coroner was powerless to release it because defence lawyers claimed, despite there having been a post mortem and inquest, that they needed it for evidence. The Ryan family suffered for 18 months, unable to bury their child, and started a campaign to change the law, collecting over 1,000 signatures and emails in support of a petition presented to the House of Commons by Mr Walter in September 2004. As a result, the Government responded by

MP Bob Walter receives his MAMAA award from Cathy Franklin, of Blandford. introducing a change in the law to prevent other families suffering in the same way, and a clause was included in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 reducing the waiting time for victims' families to a maximum of 30 days in all

but the most exceptional circumstances. MAMAA trustees agreed that Mr Walter's work with Cathy to reform sentencing policy deserved public recognition in the presentation of the award at a ceremony in September which he was unable to attend due to parliamentary commitments. Cathy accepted it on his behalf and delivered it in person last month to his constituency office in Blandford. Mr Walter said: "I was moved to have been nominated for this award from MAMAA. Anyone that knows Cathy will know that the success of Ryan's Law was down to her hard work and sheer determination to ensure that no other parent or family member would ever have to go through what she did. I was pleased to be able to help her in her long fight to see that justice was done, ultimately achieving a permanent reform to sentencing policy."

Community crackdown on speeding drivers A NEW form of neighbourhood watch is underway in Dorset for residents concerned about speeding vehicles. Community Speed Watch gives local communities the opportunity to get actively involved in road safety. A group is now being set up in Blandford to discourage drivers and motorcyclists from speeding. Dorset Police Safer Neighbourhood Team liaison officers can assist groups in setting up by providing practical advice and support.

Community Speed Watch groups use hand-held devices to record and monitor details of motorists seen speeding and can also note drivers using a mobile phone or not wearing seat belts. The police then send warning letters to these motorists. Blandford Town Council has committed to purchase a speed watch pack at a cost of ÂŁ300. Like other watch schemes, Community Speed Watch groups are set up and run by volunteers. To get involved, contact the Blandford Town Safer Neighbourhood Team at

OBJECTIONS have been raised by Blandford town councillors and by Blandford and District Civic Society to the changes made to the path from Beaumont Park into Black Lane by Charles Church developers. A revised planning application has been subnmitted for the path as constructed with steps instead of a ramp down into the road leading to Blandford Camp and Archbishop Wake Primary School.


November 2013

Above left: Su Hunt (left), chairman of North Dorset District Council, and Adam Peat (right), chair of Magna Housing, present Child Okeford’s award to Wendy Addley and Sylvia Holdeman. Centre: Tim Hill, with Charlton Marshall’s certificate; Right: Susie Bamforth of Shillingstone. Pictures: Finnbarr Webster (Dorset Echo).

Post Office gives bussing scheme its stamp of approval THE POST Office has defended its decision not to offer a closer alternative service while the Blandford office was closed for refurbishment. The more modern open-plan office was due to open on Thursday 24th October with increased Saturday opening hours, and during the closure, from Monday 14th October, a free bus service operated five times a day to take customers to the office in Coppice Street, Shaftesbury. In response to pressure from members of North Dorset District Council, chief executive Liz Goodall suggested a more local alternative could be provided by offering space in the council car park for a mobile van. But a Post Office spokesman said: "While we thank North

An excellent achievement THE Stour Valley Partnership (SVP), which provides the Revenues & Benefits service for Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council, has won an Excellence Award at the annual Institute of Revenues Rating & Valuation Performance Awards. The SVP won the Gold Award for Excellence in Partnership Working (Shared Services).

Dorset District Council for their offer of space to park a mobile Post Office van we feel the provision of a mobile service is not the best option in these circumstances. "A mobile van is designed to deliver Post Office services to smaller rural communities and can only accommodate two to three customers at a time. Others would be required to queue outside, potentially on the road which could result in a risk to customer safety and would be unsuitable in inclement weather. "The best option during the short closure period was to make the free bus service available to our Shaftesbury branch for customers who might not be able to access other alternative Post Offices in the area. "We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience they may have been caused by the short closure of Blandford Forum Post Office but they will benefit from a more modern environment as well as increased opening hours."

Child Okeford leads the villages’ roll of honour DT11 villages scored highly in the 2013 Dorset Best Village Competition with Child Okeford picking up first prize for Best Large Village, Charlton Marshall the runner-up, Winterborne Kingston the best large village previous winner, and Shillingstone awarded a North Dorset Special Award. A total of 55 villages across the county entered the competitions organised by Dorset Community Action and again sponsored by Magna Housing Association, with additional support from the county and district councils, local

media, food producers and other businesses. Top prize for best small village went to Tincleton, and special awards for 'The People's Project' went to Broadwindsor's community shop and Puddletown's community library. Environmental Champions Awards went to Powerstock's ‘Village Hut Project’ and Thornford's ‘Trees From Seeds’ Project. The North Dorset awards were presented by Councillor Su Hunt, chairman of North Dorset District Council, and Adam Peat, chair of Magna Housing.


FOCUS on arts

Max Robertson is presented with the Nicki Shone Cornet by Stour Valley Band musical director Tim Stankus.

November 2013

Band keeping up a fast tempo FOLLOWING a highly successful four-day twinning trip to Mortain earlier in the year, the Blandford Stour Valley Band has had an exceptionally busy summer with engagements including local fetes, the steam fair and the Sturminster Newton Cheese festival. As autumn approaches the band is preparing for its regular bookings for Armistice Day with a morning parade and service at Bere Regis and an afternoon service in St Peter and St Paul in Blandford. Following that they will be getting stuck into the Christmas season with up to a dozen carol events booked most years, including Blandford's Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Friday 6th December and Yuletide festival on Wednesday 11th December. The band's trombone section John Turner, Tony Hart and Bruce Harding recently joined 57 other trombonists from around the

country to perform in Bristol Cathedral with international trombone virtuoso Brett Baker. The band also has a thriving junior section and offers free instrument loan and tuition at its weekly rehearsal on Tuesday evenings held in the Blandford Constitutional Club. Earlier this year juniors Max Robertson and Akira Lane were jointly presented with the Ron Tolman award, presented annually since 2011 for the most musical progress during the year. Max was also later presented with the Nicki Shone Cornet to replace his worn-out model. New members of any instrument and any age are always welcome to join the band. More information is available from Tim Stankus, musical director, on 01258 459267, Neil Hancock, deputy musical director, on 01258 459171, or Bruce Harding, secretary, on 01202 880814, as well as on the band's Facebook page.

Full marks for snappers THE first Points Cup competitions of the season for Blandford Forum Camera Club were judged by Colin Gogerty from Boscombe, who awarded maximum scores to seven of the 36 DPI submissions, from Jean Bartlett, Pat Catley, Colin Cross, Graham Rains, Brian Watson (2) and Tym Whitney. Only two scores of ten were given among the 39 prints, to Brian Winkle with a monochrome entry and John Ellis with a colour print, but Paula Harmon was only a whisker away with a 9½ for another colour entry.

The annual President's Cup competitions were judged by Peter Gafney, who reviewed some of the more acclaimed images from the previous season, and presented trophies to Colin Cross, who won the PDI competition with an afterdark image of the new 'Twin Sails' bridge at Poole, and Malcolm Bowditch, who won the prints competition with a monochrome study entitled 'In reflective mood'. For more information on the club, contact Alf Tompkins on 01258 454450 or visit the website at

Pimperne through a lens PIMPERNE Camera Club meets in Pimperne village hall on the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm. The club was formed many years ago when the village was trying to set up a number of activities, and keen photographer Rick Ellis was asked to form a camera club to encourage people to take photographs and to improve their skills. The club has seen many changes over the years from black and white prints and coloured slides to coloured prints, which caused a lot of comment and in some cases were not considered true photography. Then along came digital to change everything. The club's main aim remains to encourage members to use their cameras and improve their skills, and to achieve this hosts inter-club competitions, invites guest speakers and holds internal monthly competitions on a given subject. For details call Jean Bartlett on 01258 480992 or John Draper on 01258 455356.


November 2013

More singers needed for fundraising choir MORE singers are needed for a popular local choir which is planning to again perform at Blandford's Yuletide Festival and is one of seven led by Lesley Whatley. Anyone who loves to sing - even if only in the bath - is welcome at the Local Vocals groups which meet in both Blandford and Winterborne Whitechurch, and are open to all voices and levels of experience, from beginners onwards. Lesley uses a wide variety of music, including songs from around the world, jazz, folk, popular songs and show tunes, and all are taught by ear, although music

is available. LVs regularly perform at local and charity events, such as Milton Abbas Street Fair, Stourhead Festival of the Voice, and have raised thousands of pounds over the years for various charities through 'busking'. The Blandford group meets on Wednesdays from 7 to 8.30pm at Milldown Primary School, and the Winterborne Whitechurch group on Thursday from 7.45 to 9.15pm at the Dunbury School sports hall in term time. The first session is free, so for more details, ring Lesley on 01258 837775, or email

Double delight for music prodigy Max BLANDFORD youngster Max Blass-Laker's remarkable musical career has taken two steps forward. After only three years' study of the piano he passed the Associated Boards Grade 8 exam, scoring a high distinction mark of 140 out of 150, and only a few days later heard that he had been accepted for the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music. Max has been a student at the Dorset Rural Music School, whose director Richard Hall said: "It is a really outstanding achievement to be playing with such skill and understanding after only three years' study. "In 35 years' teaching I have never come across anything similar. I am so pleased for Max who

at the tender age of 14 joins the distinguished company of DRMS alumni - we are very proud of him." Dorset Rural Music School has a full programme of activities this term, including lessons in all musical disciplines and regular group activities including the Community Choir on Monday evenings, the student string quartets, the Flute Group and Cello Club. Music appreciation courses with Tchaikovsky as this term's topic started in October on Thursday afternoons, and a special oneday course for choral singers was held on 12th October. For further details or to book places on any courses, contact DRMS on 01258 452511 or

FOCUS on arts

Lesley Whatley and the Local Vocals.

Scottish play at Stourpaine FOLLOWING the success of this summer's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the award-winning Shooting Stars Theatre Company returned to the White Horse in Stourpaine with a new take on Shakespeare's 'Scottish Play' to get audiences in the mood for Halloween. Well-known for setting Shakespeare's best-loved comedies and classic texts in a modern context, they offered a fresh adaptation of the murderous tale of the power-seeking Macbeths. Local boy Joe Sargent, son of The White Horse landlord Chris Sargent, returned with many of the summer cast after playing Claudio in Shooting Stars Theatre Company's Much Ado About Nothing two years ago. It was through Joe that Shooting Stars first performed at the pub, and director Helen Crosse brought him back to portray the role of Malcolm, son of murdered king Duncan.


November 2013

FOCUS on charities

Fashion tips Change of base for RDA group from experts WOMEN are invited to join Weldmar for a fun evening on Tuesday 12th November to help them feel the best they possibly can in what they are wearing while supporting their local hospice. Anyone unsure about what colours and styles suit them or who find shopping for clothes is sometimes difficult can get advice from Vicki Gray and Tamsin Loudon of House of Colour, who will be hosting an evening of fashion and fun, guiding them through the initial steps of how to choose the right colours and styles to look and feel their best. There will be demonstrations and discussions about the principles of getting back to basics with colour, body shape and your colour personality, and a glass of bubbly and refreshments on arrival and available throughout the evening, together with a raffle. Tickets cost £7.50 to cover refreshments. More information is available from Verity Bayley, Community Fundraiser for North Dorset on 01258 474942 or email

AFTER more than 25 years, Bryanston Riding for the Disabled Group have had to move from the Deer Park Riding Stables in Blandford and have relocated to The Forum School, an autistic residential school for young adults, at Shillingstone. Thanks must go to Val Cowley at Deer Park for starting the group and for her many years devotion to RDA. Thanks are also due to the new 'hosts' at the Forum School. The group, now under the chairmanship of Jackie Abbott, who has succeeded Major Richard Hoghton,

chairman for the last 10 years, look forward to a long and happy relationship. They are currently looking for more volunteers to help on Fridays from 11.45am to 1pm. No experience is needed as training will be given, but a liking for horses and a willingness to help the adult disabled would be great assets. For more details contact Heather Sims on 01258 880047 or Jackie Abbott on 01258 863683 and via

Toddler Lewis joins the fundraisers A TWO-year-old Blandford toddler and his family helped promote Jeans for Genes Day to raise awareness of children's genetic disorders. Lewis Preuss, son of Leanne and Darren, an Army technician, encouraged people to wear their jeans to work or school on Friday 20th September in return for a donation to the charity which carries out research into rare genetic conditions.

Lewis is missing one of the body's chromosomes, resulting in him suffering from a range of medical and developmental problems, including being intolerant to touch and having trouble breathing. He was filmed for 'South Today' at the Blandford Opportunity Group, which he attends, to highlight the work of the charity Genetic Disorders UK, which provides care and support for children like him.

Bus proves just the ticket for shoppers OUTINGS to Wilton Shopping Village and Stewarts Garden Centre provided an excellent opportunity for some early Christmas shopping as well as items for the home and garden for Bus2Go passengers in October. Christmas shopping continues on Saturday 9th November with a visit to Castlepoint Shopping Centre, Bournemouth, followed on Saturday 30th November by a Christmas lunch party at the

Marquis of Granby in Wyke Regis, with bus and two-course lunch for £19. A pantomime visit to Weymouth Pavilion, Cinderella matinée performance and an opportunity to do some last-minute Christmas shopping is on Saturday 21st December, costing £22.50 for bus and panto ticket. Call 01258 837749 or 01258 839234 for details.


November 2013

FOCUS on charities

Cub cheers for Rotary

The 1st Woodcutts Beavers and Cubs cheer Blandford Rotary Club's John Bentley and Nic Nicol at the presentation of funds raised at the Rotary Spring Festival.

Friends’ activities will help in hospital upgrade WITH exciting plans now in place for developments at the hospital needing much financial support from the Friends of Blandford Hospital, the charity is stepping up fundraising in the upcoming months. There will be a market stall in the Corn Exchange on Thursday 7th November, an independently organised charity dinner and dance at Athelhampton House on Saturday 9th November and on 22nd November the Friends' second race night, again at Bryanston Estate club. Race night tickets at £8, to include mulled wine and a chilli supper, are on sale from the hospital and the Friends' charity shops in Barnack Walk, Blandford, and Innes Court, Sturminster Newton. The very popular Christmas bingo will take place in the hospital dining room on Thursday 5th December with fantastic festive prizes and a glass of mulled wine

or fruit punch for guests on arrival. The Friends are delighted to be working with the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals for their last ever Christmas concert in Blandford prior to their posting to the Midlands in 2014. The concert at the Coade Hall, courtesy of Bryanston School, on Friday 20th December is a joint fundraiser for the band's charity, The Corps of Army Music Trust, and The Friends of Blandford Hospital. Tickets priced £8 in advance are again available from the hospital and the hospital charity shops in Blandford and Sturminster Newton. For further information of any of the charity's activities or events, call the Friends office at the hospital on 01258 450095 or visit their website,

ROTARY Club of Blandford President John Bentley and fellow Rotarian Nic Nicol were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic reception when they attended a meeting of the 1st Woodcutts Beaver & Cub group. They presented Group Scout leader John Curtis with a cheque for £271.40, being a final distribution from the club's spring festival held earlier this year in the grounds of the Crown Hotel, thanks to the generosity of the event's main sponsor, Hall & Woodhouse. The event raised approximately £1,800 which has been distributed locally among eight groups, with the 1st Woodcutts and the Blandford Cubs receiving just over £800 between them. Next year's event, the Rotary Festival of Fun, will again be held in the grounds of the Crown Hotel on 10th May.


November 2013

FOCUS letters

The writing’s on the wall for our town IT is with a heavy heart and a tearful eye that I write this letter to you. I am new, having just moved here to get away from the now betting shops, cash converters, slot machines, boarded-up empty shops, parking restrictions and street beggars that was once my beloved Bournemouth and Poole high street. It seemed that the more we gave the council, the more devastation they caused for us all. I loved the fact that by crossing a river I could be transported to a 'ye olde' Georgian town that still had quirky little pubs and a side street called the Plocks! (may your name never change). I walked into town this morning and a gentleman lifted his hat and wished me good morning; on my way home I filled my basket from a box of free wind-blown apples that some kind soul had left by the gate. Over tea and cake in the Georgian Tearooms I read about the 'modernisation ' of the traditional post office with the delightful painting

and how folk are going to be treated when it closes. I must add that I felt sad that the pews with doors, complete with Mayor's throne, in the town centre church could be due for the chop! Folks, the writing is on the wall and I ask this question: with so many of us and so few of them, why can't we put a stop to all this abuse of power and stealth misery? Blandford Forum is like a little 'Brigadoon' tucked away and ripe for tourism (money!). S. Vine, Salisbury Road, Blandford.

A marvellous service from a great surgery IN this age of services being cut in an effort to get this country back in the black, Eagle House Surgery has found a way to improve services to our community. My mind goes back to the Old Bank House with Dr Joan and Dr David, God bless them, working all hours to give a fantastic service to us all. When the practice moved to Eagle House, somehow that dedication went with it and has reached new heights. Unfortunately as I get older I need this service more and more. When I ring or visit this practice, it doesn't matter who I speak to,

Do write to Forum Focus if there is something you'd like to comment on or share with other readers. Email your letter, which should be as brief as possible, to: Alternatively, you can call 01258 459346 or deliver your letter by post or by hand to: Forum Focus, c/o Colin's Community Club, 49 Damory Street, Blandford DT11 7HD. Please mark your letter 'for publication' and remember to include your address, which will not be used in full. Forum Focus reserves the right to shorten or edit letters in the interests of clarity, brevity and style.

there is a smile and a service second to none. I was prompted to write this letter after visiting the surgery for a flu jab. I arrived, and with taxis and people everywhere, the foot fall in and out was phenomenal. I was greeted at reception as always with a smile, gave my name and waited in the full waiting room. The doctors were in and out calling patients' names in rapid succession. With all these people, I thought, understandably I was in for a long wait. My appointment time was 11.08am. My name was called and I looked at my watch and it was exactly 11.08am. I had my injection, waited for five minutes in the other waiting room and came home. The harmony of the surgery and the dedicated team work was fantastic. Thank you all for a marvellous, caring, dedicated, practice. Colin Young, Blandford. Editor's note: The experience at Whitecliff surgery was just as good the following week.


November 2013

Knighton House riders shine at inter-school events KNIGHTON House's riding department celebrated two successful weekends, coming third in the Bryanston Inter-School Show event and sixth out of more than 20 schools in the Inter-Schools One-Day Event at Stonar. At Bryanston more than 100 riders were tested over a very tricky course, and at Stonar, Louisa

Harman (Year 8) was awarded an individual second place. Catherine Goddard, head of riding at Knighton House, said: "I'm delighted to see that the girls' work and effort is paying off with some fantastic achievements. "We are a small school in comparison to many of the other entrants who came from all over the south of England, so it really

Pimperne looks set for a bright future THE village hall and car park at Pimperne was full to the brim with stalls and attractions for the autumn fair of Pimperne Primary School. Fundraising efforts by individual classes and local groups were supplemented by a range of craft and produce stalls, and around ÂŁ1,000 was raised towards educational visits for the children and other activities. The school was looking forward to the start of work on 21st October on its long-awaited new building, which is planned next to

the hall, and will mean that Church Road from Manor Farm Close to Bushes Lane will be closed to traffic while preliminary improvement works are carried out. Head teacher Jerome de Silva said that by September 2014, when new pupils enter the reception class at the old school in School Road, the new school will have been built. It will be the last in the Blandford area to have been extended or rebuilt to cater for the growth in numbers as a result of the switch from junior to primary status when education provision moved from three-tier to two-tier. In 2011 it was described by Ofsted as having an outstanding level of care, guidance and support for pupils, despite its then restricted campus. An open morning will be held at the current school on Saturday 23rd November between 10am and noon for prospective parents. For information call 01258 452025.

Eve Westwood, aged 10, and Lily McCarthy, aged 11, try decorating their apples at the Pimperne Primary School autumn fair.

FOCUS on schools

Girls from Knighton sleeping out to raise awareness for the charity Shelter. is an excellent reflection on our girls - we're very proud of them." Meanwhile, pupils at the prep school have also been experiencing what it is like for thousands of homeless people by doing a 'sleep-out' in aid of the charity, Shelter. Armed with nothing more than sleeping bags and cardboard to keep out the cold, girls aged seven to 13 who form the School Council camped in the grounds to get a taste of what it's like to

sleep rough. Melissa Whittaker, head of IT and the School Council, explained: "We are all guilty of taking our homes for granted and very few know what it's like to feel alone, frightened and wondering where the next meal or bed is coming from. "We wanted to raise awareness among our girls about the struggles that many young people face every day and this was a very practical way of finding out."


November 2013


FOCUS on sport

Plastic pitch plan approved

Quinn helps United net record sum

PLANS for a synthetic turf pitch at The Blandford School have been approved by Dorset County Council, subject to the submission of a car park management plan. Blandford Town and North Dorset District councils objected on the grounds that the shared car park for the school and leisure centre was insufficient to cope with extra demand, but the school argued that satisfactory arrangements could be made.

Free parking for festive shoppers TOWN councillors have agreed in principle to subsidising free Christmas parking in Blandford in December and are seeking costings from North Dorset District Council. Members have also approved publicity and prize money totalling ÂŁ350 for a Christmas shop window competition. Judging will take place over the weekend of 6th to 8th December and prizes presented during the Yuletide Festival on Wednesday 11th December.

A RECORD ÂŁ4,570 was raised at the annual Blandford United Sporting Dinner held at the Crown Hotel. Guest speaker was ex-Newcastle and Portsmouth footballer Micky Quinn, currently a radio presenter on TalkSport. The event was a sell-out, as in previous years, and a fundraiser for both the football club and local charity Wessex Cancer Trust. Karen Rhys, area manager of the Trust, said: "The amount raised was a record and I would like to thank everyone who supported the event, and specifically Blandford United for once again choosing us as their charity to support." The evening's sponsors were Barclays Bank and J&G Environmental. o Picture (right) shows Blandford United Sporting Dinner organiser Nigel Underwood (left) with guest speaker Micky Quinn.

SMART MOVERS: Blandford United under-7s won 12-2 in their first game of the season, when they sported their new kit, generously sponsored by local garage MVS Blandford Ltd. Pictured with the team are Dan Hurst (MVS), Chris Webster (coach), Em Bray (manager) and Tony Vincent (MVS).


November 2013

FOCUS on sport

County triumph for Ashley Wood ladies ASHLEY WOOD Golf Club secured a victory at the Broadstone Eclectic 2013 at Broadstone Golf Club, with 34 clubs from across Dorset and Hampshire competing. Judith White and Ann Topliss started on a damp, cloudy morning and had a good round before handing over to Sue Edwards and Stella Briggs for the afternoon, the format being a team competition. They had a wonderful afternoon and beat the morning score by 16 shots, but it was tense as Sue and Stella went out third and had to wait for everyone to come in. Alresford Golf Club came in with a good score, but the Ashley Wood team won by .25 of a shot, a particularly memorable result as it is some time since the club won a county competition. An enjoyable game played in

lovely weather against Highcliffe Seniors resulted in a 4-2 win for Ashley Wood Seniors. The Highcliffe captain for the day was Nigel Curtis who, until recently, had also been a member at Ashley Wood. Inclement weather marred the Ladies' Invitation Day event but members and their guests had an enjoyable day. Each invited a golfing friend to experience the course and hospitality offered. In all, 24 pairs took part, and the 18-hole course was in excellent condition. Conditions became difficult as the rain started and the wind strengthened but some good scores were returned, and the eventual winners were Sue Edwards, currently Ashley Wood champion and Dorset Ladies' vice-captain, and her guest Jane Southcombe, the current Dorset Ladies' captain.

TENNIS CLUB BOOST: Stourpaine Tennis Club reopened with two newly resurfaced courts last month and members were impressed with the facilities. The occasion was marked by the finals of the club mixed doubles competition, won after a hard-fought match by Elspeth Gracie and Harry Smyth, with runners-up Amanda Harriskine and Dean Mato. The club looks forward to another year full of activities, including adult and junior coaching, details of which are available from Ian Griffin on 07727 061077. Three teams were entered in the Shaftesbury League this season, with the A team winning the first division and the C team winning the third division. Stourpaine also has a team entered in the current Dorset Winter League. New members are always welcome and there are regular club sessions at which they can come and give it a try. For membership details please ring Felicity on 01258 454840.

Above left: Ashley Wood's successful Broadstone Eclectic quartet (from left): Judith White, Sue Edwards, Ann Topliss and Stella Briggs. Above: Ashley Wood Ladies' Invitation Day winners Jane Southcombe (left) and Sue Edwards (right), with ladies' captain Sheila Davidge.

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November 2013

Celebrations at Shroton

Town’s shopping list

VILLAGERS in Shroton are celebrating the designation of their pub, The Cricketers, as the Best Local in Dorset. They have also been celebrating the continuing refurbishment of their village hall and held a barbecue and 'apple pressing'. Volunteers have been fundraising for improvements including replacing part of the floor, dealing with damp and creating a new patio. The next priority is decoration and fitting out the patio with furniture, and completing roof work to make the hall secure for the winter.

COSTS are being sought by Blandford Town Council for a number of proposals which will be considered as part of the 2014-15 budget. They include increasing dog warden hours to include Langton, an additional noticeboard in the Tabernacle, proposals for the new paved area at the entrance to Black Lane, and a review of fingerposts. They are also considering what support could be given towards the Blandford Fly preventative treatment should North Dorset District Council decide to withdraw its funding.

Forum Focus - forthcoming meetings & events Saturday 2nd November: Bandeoke (karaoke with a live band), Crown Hotel, 7.30pm Finale Screenbites Food and Film Festival, Exchange Sturminster Newton from 7pm, tastings, rail memorabilia and Brief Encounter Sam Newgarth's Evening of Popular Classics, Durweston village hall, 7.30pm Sunday 3rd November: Remembrance ceremony, Blandford Cemetery, 10.30am Open Garden for NGS, Lawsbrook, Shillingstone, DT11 0TE, trees, formal borders, wildflower and wildlife areas, vegetable garden, family walks Nearly new sale for baby, maternity and children's goods. Durweston Village Hall 2.30 to 4pm, details Monday 4th November: Child Okeford Centre for Care and Learning, Child Okeford, 7.30pm. Dorset Weather, with Mark Ching Wednesday 6th November: Bryanston Coffee Morning, Bryanston Club, from 10.30am Blandford Art Society demonstration of painting in oils by Laurence Belbin, The Parish Centre, The Plocks, Blandford, 7pm Blandford St Mary Parish Council meeting, Bryanston Court, 7.30pm Child Okeford Gardeners Club at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, speaker Bryan Pinchen "Spineless Friends and Foes" Blandford Forum Film Society, Blandford School, 7.30pm, Argo, guest tickets from 01258 453851 Thursday 7th November: Talk by Sylvia Hixson Andrews, 'Community Education at the Blandford Museum', Blandford Town Museum, 7.30pm

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 9th November: Milldown Primary School Autumn Fayre, Corn Exchange, Blandford. 10am-12noon. Stalls, cakes, tombolas, Father Christmas, refreshments and raffle 'Meetloaf, the Blue Brothers and Surprise Guest', supporting Macmillan Cancer Care, Crown Hotel, 8pm, tickets £10 from 07887 728318 Charity Ball for Friends of Blandford Community Hospital, Athelhampton House, 7 for 7.30pm. Dinner, raffle and music by Moonlight Swing Band, tickets from Jane Robbins 01258 880048 or Claire Harrison 01258 459721 Sunday 10th November: Remembrance Day. See church noticeboards for 11am services in villages. Blandford parade from Church Lane at 2.30pm, wreath laying service Market Place 3pm followed by Marchpast and Service of Remembrance, Blandford parish church Children's Clothing and Toys Table Top Sale Crown Hotel, Blandford.Free entry, £10 for table Tuesday 12th November:

Friday 15th November: Tweed & Hutchinson present 'Beauty or the Beast', Tarrant Gunville village hall 7.30pm Saturday 16th November: Cat's Protection coffee morning, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, 10am to 12.30pm An evening of 'Magic, Mayhem and Mystery' with Steve Price, Blandford Evangelical Church, 7pm, tickets from the church office or call 01258 450689 Elvis tribute night with Gary J Foley, Blandford Royal British Legion, from 7pm. Tickets 01258 455730 Blandford Museum Quiz Night 7 for 7.30pm start at Williams Opportunity Hall, Whitecliff Gardens, Tickets in advance only, £7 per head Sunday 17th November: Blandford Orchard Group working morning. Details 01258 857336 or Blandford Art Society workshop, Pimperne village hall, 'Using Gum Arabic' with Frances Shearing Living Spit present 'Six Wives of Henry VIII', Child Okeford village hall, 7.30pm

Book reading by Jennie Ann Rake from 'Deception, Lies and Chocolate Muffins', Blandford Library, 7 for 7.30pm

Wednesday 20th November:

House of Colour Evening for Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, Blandford Corn Exchange, 7.30pm. Tickets £7.50 from 01258 474942

Blandford Carnival bingo, Royal British Legion, doors open 7pm for eyes down 7.30pm

Friday 8th November:

Wednesday 13th November: Blandford Forum Film Society, Blandford School, 7.30pm, Barbara, guest tickets from 01258 453851

Blandford Farmers' Market

Thursday 14th November:

Blandford Forum Women's Institute meet 7p.m. The Woodhouse Gardens, The Plocks, Blandford, contact Simone 01258 453739

Blandford Mortain Twinning Association AGM and presentation by Keith Bradley, 7.30pm, Parish Centre, Blandford

Bonfire Night Display, Clayesmore School, 6-7.30pm

'Village Evening' at 7.30pm in the Bryanston Club, followed by AGM

Bryanston Residents Association

Blandford Carers Group trip to Castle Gardens, details 01258 459215

Dorset Wildlife Trust North Dorset Group, Fontmell Magna village hall, 7.30pm, Frogs & Amphibians by John Buckley from the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust

Dr Alan Chitty on "Magic ancient and Modern". Details 01258 860880 or 860787 Blandford Museum Archaeology Club, Lyn Woolten, 'Conservation of Archaeological Material', 7.30pm Friday 22nd November: Blandford Community Hospital Friends Race Night, Bryanston Club 7.30pm Blandford Preetz Friendship Society. Autumn Supper, Brewery Visitors' Centre. 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Details and tickets 01258 459452 or 452202 Petites Annonces, Durweston village hall, 7.30pm Science Cafe, The Old School, Sturminster Marshall, 8pm, Facial Development and Cleft Palate, Mr Peter Davenport Saturday 23rd November: The Free Lunch - home-made soup and bread, Blandford Parish Centre, The Tabernacle, 11am to 1pm Sudan Christmas Fair, Anne Biddlecombe Hall, Tarrant Keyneston, 11am to 2pm Barn Dance, 6.30 to 9.30 pm Corn Exchange Blandford. Tickets Set Fair 4 Trade or the Blandford Forum Parish Office, tel. 01258 453838 Wednesday 27th November: Coffee morning, Langton Long Church, 10.30am to 12.30pm Blandford Forum Film Society, Blandford School, 7.30pm, The Guard, guest tickets 01258 453851 Friday 29th November: Blandford and District U3A open meeting, 2.15pm in Durweston Village Hall: "Dales to Dolomites" - with a botanical twist", a Powerpoint presentation by Graham and Jackie Poynter

Thursday 21st November:

Vera van Heeringen Trio 'Standing Tall', Winterborne Stickland village hall, 7.30pm

Blandford Rural Home Watch Meetings Okeford Fitzpaine Sports Pavilion 10am

RSVP present Bhangra Music, Sturminster Marshall village hall, 7.30pm

Blandford Heart Forum, Williams Opportunity Hall, Whitecliffe Gardens 7pm to 9pm. Speaker

Saturday 30th November: Tarrant Hinton Christmas Fayre, village hall, 2 to 4.30pm

November 2013 Forum Focus  

The free monthly community newspaper for Blandford Forum and villages