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Forum Focus

October 2019 Issue No. 91

The free monthly news magazine for the Blandford area

Est: 2012

The fight to save Nordon gathers pace AN online petition against the demolition of North Dorset District Council's former headquarters at Nordon in Salisbury Road, Blandford, gathered over 900 signatures within a week of being launched. The petition at is to Dorset Council from Blandford & District Civic Society and outlines the history of North Dorset District Council's decision, a month before going out of existence, to give outline approval for the demolition and redevelopment of the site in Blandford's Conservation Area with 40 affordable homes. The petition has been drawn up by a group of objectors to the outline approval, which had at the time of going to press not yet been signed off by the council but which is expected to be followed by a detailed application by Aster Homes, the council's 'preferred bidder'. The group includes retired architect and former town Mayor John Turnbull and other Civic society representatives, former Mayor of Blandford Roger Carter, and neighbours to the site Chris and Deborah Williamson and Mike and Maureen Field. They say: "A petition on its own cannot prevent the development going ahead, but we do want to let Dorset Council know how angry the local community is at the decision and the way it was made." The petition follows a lengthy


investigation into a complaint made by Mr Turnbull in November 2017 against North Dorset District Council to the Information Commissioner's Office. Dorset Council - as the successor authority - was on July 22 given 28 days to appeal against the Information Commissioner's decision that it had 35 days to disclose previously withheld information on the preferred bid for the disposal and development of the site. On August 18 the council released the unredacted document submitted to the Nordon Project Board in May 2017 as a confidential item which contained further information about the Aster and competing bids and the existence of a covenant imposed by the original landowner, the Viscount Portman, restricting development on the site. The petition states: "This petition is NOT against the provision of truly affordable homes, which could be and are being provided elsewhere, but IS against the loss of a notable property of considerable historic interest together with its grounds - a 'green lung' and haven for wildlife in the midst of other residential development which were specifically included in the town's extended Conservation Area nearly 30 years ago." It describes the council's secret plans for disposal of the site with no public consultation until the application was made in August 2018, and highlights that only

eight of the homes will be rentable and that development will mean the removal of over half the woodland on the site. A hard copy of the The former North Dorset District Council HQ, Nordon. petition is availWednesday from 10am to 4pm, able to sign at the Blandford Town for those without internet access. Museum, open daily except for

Looking back on a fun event: Blandford GP practice staff (from left) Sara Stringer, Rosemary Oliver-Bugler, Emily Hurst and Kayleigh Rosewarne at the carnival. Report & pictures: Pages 4,5,6 & 7.



October 2019

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: Forum Focus is an independent, not-forprofit, community publication produced entirely by volunteers. We are always pleased to receive offers of help.

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Where to find Forum Focus IF anyone would like to join our team to deliver in their own or any other area that has no delivery, please get in touch (see contacts above). Copies can be picked up from any of our drop points below: Blandford and Blandford St Mary: Morrisons, Greyhound Yard; M&S Langton Road; The Post Office, Library and Parish Centre in The Tabernacle, the Corn Exchange, the Spar shop in Market Place, Gorge Cafe in East Street, Blandford Museum in the Market Place, the Tourist Information Centre in West Street, Chaffers in Salisbury Street, James Newsagents in The Plocks, the Co-op in Salisbury Road, the 3Cs in Damory Street, the Damory Garage and One Stop in Salisbury Road, Cherry's hairdressers in Elizabeth Road, Blandford Leisure Centre in Milldown Road, the Blandford Connect Day Centre and the Central Shop in Heddington Drive, the Brewery Visitor Centre, Lidl in Higher Shaftesbury Lane, and Tesco and Homebase at Stour Park. In the villages: Charlton Marshall Church Rooms and Charlton pub, Marcia’s Market, Clapcotts Farm, Spetisbury, Abbott Garden Centre, Langton Long, True Lovers Knot and St Richard Close bus stop in Tarrant Keyneston, Langton Arms in Tarrant Monkton, Anvil and Farquharson pubs in Pimperne, the White Horse Inn at Stourpaine, Iwerne Minster Post Office, Child Okeford Post Office, Shillingstone Garage, Okeford Fitzpaine village shop, Londis Shop & Royal Oak at Milborne St Andrew, The Crown at Winterborne Stickland, Post Office and Surgery, Milton Abbas, and The Cricketers at Shroton.

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Worker found dead A WORKER from Blandford's Bristol Maid factory, who went missing on September 12 after leaving for his home in Bournemouth, was found dead in an area of woodland off Queens Park Avenue in Bournemouth. Andrew Budden, 39, had been last seen in Blandford town centre at around 3.30pm, an hourand-a-half after leaving work. When he failed to return home that night or attend work the following day, searches were carried out until his body was found late on Sunday evening. A Police spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time." The Coroner was informed of the death which was not treated as being suspicious.

Andrew Budden: death was not suspicious.

Floral Group move Why advertise with Forum Focus? It’s ONLY your advertisements that enable Forum Focus, your free monthly community magazine, to function. Our hardworking team of volunteers needs YOUR support. Advertising with us can be cheaper than you think - and, remember, every issue is read by around 20,000 LOCAL people. Advertising works - to find out more, contact or phone 01258 454427

AFTER 40 years meeting in Blandford's United Reformed Church Hall for their monthly meetings and floral art demonstrations, Blandford Floral Group has relocated to Tarrant Keyneston village hall for future events. The change has come about because of uncertainty over the availability of the URC hall and its stage, which is needed for the demonstrations. It is understood that the URC have been in discussion with the Blandford Foodbank over its possible relocation from the Methodist Church, but that no final decisions have yet been made. Member Jean Joyce said: "The United Reformed Church were not able to assure us that it would be available after September, so we had to look elsewhere. There was nowhere else in Blandford suitable with close parking for many elderly members. "We need to book our demonstrators well in advance, and we have contracts with them which we have to honour or pay up. We may have jumped prematurely, but we cannot wait to be told a day before our meeting that the church hall is not available. I think that Tarrant Keyneston will be just as good for us - a nicer hall and more parking." The Group's next meeting on Monday October 7 will be at their new venue starting at 2pm with a demonstration by Lynn Mackenzie on 'Tales of Wonder'.


October 2019

Barbara’s bears help soothe the pain YOUNG patients at Blandford Hospital's minor injuries unit (MIU) are given a unique reward for being brave - a hand-stitched teddy bear - thanks to local volunteer Barbara Harris, aged 83. She has created almost 2,000 teddies for children who have been treated for knocks, cuts and bruises over the past 19 years. Barbara knits every day. It takes her two days to make one bear and she drops off ten bears at a time to the Dorset HealthCarerun hospital, which is just a short walk from her home. MIU Sister Jill Sheard said: "We are very thankful to Barbara for knitting more than 1,900 bears what an achievement! The kids absolutely love them and some won't let the bear leave their side." The children get to choose the bear they would like, often going

for their favourite colours. One-year-old Matthew picked a blue and white bear when he attended the MIU recently. His mum, Bianca Charalambides, said: "He absolutely adores his bear and is always cuddling it." Barbara is delighted that the 'bravery bears' have proved so popular for so long. She said: "It is very nice to be thanked by the children, parents and hospital staff. I really enjoy knitting the teddies, especially as they make the children smile. Knitting also keeps me busy and my mind active." Barbara buys the wool herself to knit the bears. If you would like to contribute any wool to help her make the teddies, please get in touch with Jill Sheard at Blandford Hospital on 01258 456541 or email

Boots promises a better service LETTERS and emails sent to campaigner John Tanner about delays at local chemists have resulted in his meeting with Boots' regional manager, who he says accepts there are problems and is working to sort matters out to provide a better service. "I was informed that only two per cent of items prescribed are not in stock for the 12,000 persons having their prescriptions dispensed in the Blandford area," said Mr Tanner. "Clearly that still adds up to a considerable number of persons having to make more than one trip to the shop to obtain their medication. "If doctors were informed regarding what medication was either out of stock or of limited availability, then consideration could be given to prescribing an alternative." Mr Tanner said the manager of the main Boots in Blandford was due to meet with the manager of Whitecliff Surgery to discuss various problems, including addressing how to improve communication.

Advice is given to allow seven working days from placing an order at the surgery to collecting the medication from the chemist shop. But he said he was told the East Street branch had been training dispensers, which could take up to a year, and new dispensers worked more slowly resulting in delays building up. "The system for ordering new stock lags behind prescriptions being written, so stock is not available. The person normally in charge had also been absent for a period of time, but a new pharmacist was starting work shortly." He added that he was told that the change from prescribing for 56 days to 28 days has doubled the workload. (See letters on page 14) He was also assured that the Boots system for online ordering of repeat medication, which was not very successful when introduced two years ago, has now improved, and is the best way to ensure repeat medication is available when required.

BLANDFORD Town Hedgehog Group and Dorset Mammal Group are putting on a 'Hedgehog Extravaganza' on Saturday October 5 at Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion between 10am - 4pm. There will be refreshments in the Pavilion, activities for children, a Hedgehog Hotel short film, an information stand, bric-a-brac, cakes and a raffle.

Volunteer Barbara and her teddies with Sister Jill Sheard in Blandford Hospital's Minor Injuries Unit.


October 2019

New groups add extra sparkle to the carnival BLANDFORD'S Carnival parade was notable this year for the number of new entries from emerging groups in the town. They included the recently formed Blandford War On Waste, winners of the Arthur Adams Challenge Shield, the trophy for Best Endeavour, and Public Vote,

who went underwater with two jellyfish, Tritan, a mermaid queen and princesses, Spinal Tap, and a squid driving the support vehicle, with costumes hand-made by Liz Leech. The Blandford Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain & Fatigue Peer Support Group won the John

Jones Challenge Cup on their mobility scooters, many of which were supplied by the Disability Action Group. The new Blandford GP Practice staff, Sara Stringer, Rosemary Oliver-Bugler, Emily Hurst and Kayleigh Rosewarne, helped as collectors and won the class for playgroups, clubs and associations, and Teddy 20, runners-up in the youth and schools class, presented Teddy Rocks. No fewer than eight steam engines, including one brought from Yorkshire, headed the parade, resulting in a magnificent show of power, with horns tooting, which was well received by the waiting crowds. They more than made up for the absence of the local Magnum Carnival Club float which was unable to take part due to circumstances beyond the club's con-

The Blandford Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain & Fatigue Peer Support Group.

Miss Blandford Carnival Lauren Gulbins.

Blandford War on Waste.

trol. By the time the steam parade reached the town centre, the hundreds lining the streets had to wait a good ten minutes before the drumming of Samba Panache heralded the arrival of the civic party and carnival royals, the floats, bands and majorettes. Blandford Performing Arts and Theatre Academy were awash with chimney sweeps and nannies in their representation of Mary Poppins, which won the Lil Jones Memorial Cup, best local entry and best overall for the Town Crier Trophy. Morrisons, winners of the trade Carnival Challenge Cup in which the runners-up were Hall & Woodhouse with their 'Badger' vehicles, were 'Giving Back to the Community' with boxes of chocolates for children watching the parade.


October 2019

An Aquatic Adventure from Free Expression Arts Festival. Blandford Rugby Club presented Rugby Around the World to win the overall walker trolley award, and another underwater themed Aquatic Adventure from Free Expression Arts Festival was third in the youth or schools class, in which Blandford Youth Football was highly commended. Deanna and Geoff Spencer - the Dee Gees Carnival Club from Shaftesbury - presented Four Heads to win the walking Carnival Club class. The Dorset Youth March Band were judged the best of the youth bands, and Castle Cary Cygnets best of the majorettes. The 2019 Blandford Carnival baby show, once again sponsored by Ragtags, was well supported with a total 21 entries. The age group winners were 0-6 months Elijah Lysons; 6-12 months Lanson Crane; 12-18 months Harriet Kevern; and 1824 months Woody Ferry. Lanson was chosen as the overall winner to receive a trophy and Ragtags voucher presented by Carnival Granny Jackie Vacher. The winners of the popular 'spot the oddity' competition were first

Kaitlyn Pittwood, second Fergus Cook and third Isla Goddard. The carnival was this year able to make donations amounting to a record in recent years, including ÂŁ150 to Blandford Youth Football towards a defibrillator, ÂŁ100 each to the Stour Valley Band, the Performing Arts Theatre Academy towards their new studio, and Milldown CE Academy towards a visit by the Life Education Bus, a food donation to the Blandford Food Bank and a craft donation to the Fibromyalgia Group. Carnival secretary Sara Jones said: "We'd like to say thanks to all the sponsors, entries, volunteers and members of public for making this year's carnival such a success." The Carnival committee were delighted to receive many favourable comments on how much the event had improved over the last few years, and particularly thanked Blandford's firefighters for giving up their spare time to put up the flags and bunting, and the marshals without whom it would be impossible to stage the event.

Blandford Rugby Club with Rugby Around the World.

Baby show winner Lanson Crane with his mum Jess receiving his award from Glamorous Granny Jackie Vacher.

More carnival pictures on Pages 6 & 7


October 2019

Blandford Performing Arts and Theatre Academy with Mary Poppins.

Blandford Youth Football.

Teddy 20 with Teddy Rocks.

The Cheeky Monkeys, Ben and Rachel Collins, as Princess Poppy & Brunch, won Best Endeavour in the Carnival Club classes.

Deanna and Geoff Spencer - the Dee Gees Carnival Club - with Four Heads.

Alice Loftus as an ice-cream seller.

More carnival pictures on our website


October 2019

Morrisons, 'Giving Back to the Community' with chocolates to hand out among the crowds.

The Slimming World Wonders.

Junior Carnival Princess Charmia Fowler, centre, with attendants Lara Miller, left and Rhianna Martin on their Venetian gondola, and standing behind their gondolier Alfie Gulbins, brother of Miss Blandford Carnival.

One of the teams of Majorettes.

Mayor Lynn Lindsay with the baby show judges Sue Burdell, left, and Wendy Percey from Lesley Shand, right.

The steam engines line up at the start of the parade.


October 2019

Injured woman loses pavement fall court claim

Ian Henesey, left, as Fanny and Joss Wood as Annie, ugly sisters in the Pimperne pantomime, with village fete organiser Jackie Vacher.

Pimperne at play A TOTAL of ÂŁ464 was raised for the Pimperne community, together with hundreds by individual stall holders, at Pimperne fete. Metal detecting with the Dorset and West Pastfinders was one of the attractions, and one young visitor was thrilled to unearth a buried gold coin to win himself his own metal detector and be invited to a detecting session this month. It was also an opportunity to promote the village's forthcoming pantomime, Cinderella, with two larger-than-life ugly sisters, Fanny and Annie (aka Ian Henesey and Joss Wood) who will be performing in the village hall on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15. A fun dog show was judged by Lynne Scott, who awarded best in show to sheltie Lucy owned by Maggie McShane, with runner-up Rolo, a rescued Schnauzer/Dachshund owned by Jane King, and there was a good turnout of rescued greyhounds from the Forever Hounds Trust. There were also performing arts, craft and village stalls, a display of vintage cars won by a self-built Morris Minor and plentiful refreshments and activities. Organiser Jackie Vacher thanked all those who attended and helped to stage the event. More pictures on our website.

THE day after an elderly artist, who broke both arms and suffered head injuries when she tripped and fell in West Street, Blandford, over three years ago, gave evidence in a compensation claim against Dorset Council, another pedestrian fell at almost the same spot resulting in further repairs being carried out. Gerry Bryant, of ASL/Blandford Shoe Repairs, who also gave evidence in court, said the police had been called to the accident on September 6, and the following Monday a team from Dorset Highways had attended to replace the slabs at the entrance to Greyhound Yard with tarmac. Joyce Ringrose, of Blandford St Mary, now in her 90th year, fell in West Street in May 2016. Her claim was taken to Salisbury County Court on September 5, where Judge Berkeley heard evidence from her, her daughter Alison Mason and from Mr Bryant, the owner of what is now Blandford Shoe Repairs in West Street and his manager Ben Martin. Council barrister Emma Zeb said that subject to judgment an award of ÂŁ25,000 had been agreed between the two parties. But the judgment was in favour of the council. Mrs Mason said after the hearing that her mother was glad the case was over and she could now put it behind her. Mrs Ringrose, represented by barrister Mark Mason, told the court that her daughter, who photographed the raised slab she believed caused the accident, thought it was raised by 1.5 to 2 inches, and the paramedic who attended had said it was not the first time he had dealt with an accident at that spot. Mrs Mason said she had reported the accident to Dorset Council the following day, and repairs were carried out almost immediately. Mr Bryant and Mr Martin, neither of whom witnessed the fall, gave evidence that the paving outside

their shop was frequently loose, but neither had reported it to the council. Mr Martin said it was one of four bad stones in West Street and had been pointed out to workmen repairing another nearby some years earlier. They had poured in some concrete to stabilise it, but it had soon become loose again. Dorset Council's community highways officer Paul Starkey, who is responsible for regular monthly inspections of the pavements in the town, produced his record of his inspection on May 9 which showed two rocking slabs were reported in West Street, but not at that point. He explained that if an initial visual inspection showed the height to be above the 10mm tread of his shoe, it was measured with callipers to discover whether it reached the 'intervention' level of 20mm. Slabs which did not require inspection were not recorded, he said, but he was stringent, and if he had seen the slab on May 9 in the condition it was found on May 26 he would have checked it. "It's right in the centre of the footpath - I wouldn't have missed it," he said. David Watson from Dorset Council's insurance section said he had searched the site history report for the previous three years and found only one report from ASL of a kerbstone repair outside that address in January 2014, when concrete could have been poured in to secure the slab. The repair was carried out after it was reported to Dorset Direct on May 26 as an emergency, but it was not normal for a repair crew to measure or photograph reported defects even in the case of accidents since their job was to effect a repair as soon as possible. "We get thousands of complaints about pavements and highways every year and repair hundreds every week," he said.

THE Red Ensign flag was flown from the Corn Exchange by Blandford Town Council on September 3 for Merchant Navy Day, helping to raise public awareness of the UK's ongoing dependence on seafarers.

October 2019



October 2019

The magic of mosaic VANESSA Conyers and The Pottery Parlour in Blandford have been busy this summer creating a vibrant, large-scale mosaic which will adorn the wall adjacent to the Pottery Parlour signs as you pass through the historic Greyhound Archway near Morrisons. Utilising fabulous tiles made during free workshops with local families and other Blandfordbased creative folk, plus shards of broken ceramics from her studio collections, Vanessa has crafted a giant, shimmering artwork, assisted by local mosaic artist Judy Baker. At 8ft wide and 4ft tall this bastion of colour and inventiveness will add to the sparkling mosaic doorway installed by the Pottery Parlour in 2016 for their 'Tile Your Town' project, where the community was invited to take part in free clay workshops based around the theme of the river Stour. The grand unveiling coincided with the Free Arts Expression Festival on September 15. The Pottery Parlour teamed up

Vanessa working on the mosaic at The Pottery Parlour. with local children's charity 'Mosaic' to help raise funds towards the support the charity provides for bereaved children, and a collection tin was available for donations together with information on how people could support the charity, details of which can be found at

The Morrison family who turned up to litter pick with Yvonne Mieville of Blandford War on Waste.

Clean bill of health A JOINT litter pick by Clean Up Blandford and Blandford War on Waste on the morning of Blandford Carnival was a great success, resulting in several bin bags full of rubbish and other discarded items. David Rose of Clean Up Blandford said: "We had about 40 adults and children including some Guides. Matt Arnold from the Rangers assisted. It was really good to link with Yvonne Mieville of War on Waste." Yvonne said: "Because it was so windy we couldn't take it out of the bags and separate it into different piles as we planned, but there were a lot of things that could have been recycled properly - or not used at all. "But it was very successful. We found a large old tyre, a plank, and a lot of sweet wrappers, cigarette ends and other paraphernalia, laughing gas canisters near the M&S car park, a parking cone, cans and plastic bottles." One volunteer said he was pleased to see that the amount of litter collected appeared to have reduced, and the message was beginning to get through to the public.

High spot for the U3A THERE are more than 40 groups within the area covered by Blandford U3A which aims to promote lifelong learning and recreation through self-help interest groups. They range from recreational subjects to more academic ones. Two of the very thriving groups are Garden Visits, whose excursions have included Hestercombe, East Lambrook Manor and Castle Drogo, and Historic Visits, which this year included King Ashurbanipal exhibition at the British Museum, Christchurch Priory, and Bignor Roman Villa and Goodwood House. Pictured are some of the more intrepid members of the Historic Visits group on the top of the west tower of Christchurch Priory. For more information on Blandford U3A, see, leaflets which can be found in the local public library and the Tourist Information Centre, or call 01258 455081.

October 2019

Railway history is made at Shillingstone station FOR the first time in 53 years since the closure of the Somerset & Dorset Railway by Dr Beeching, a locomotive has crossed the points at Shillingstone station.

The P-way team get down to laying points northwards. During the summer the permanent way team at North Dorset Railway (NDR) laid down new tracks and added points as tracklaying moves north. To help settle the new rails, the resident Shunter locomotive

DS1169 was used to level it out, moving across onto the new track at 'Barrow Crossing'. A film recording the milestone achievement was viewed by 3,700 on their Facebook page. Congratulations were given to all the trustees and volunteers who worked on the development. The NDR team, headed by retail manager Derek Lester-Jones, also had its busiest five days at the Great Dorset Steam Fair. There was a huge amount of preparation work unpacking, restocking and banking on top of the long opening hours for NDR's biggest fundraiser of the year. The NDR caravan was packed, delivered and collected from the Shillingstone site by cafĂŠ manager Andy Butler and essential support was provided on site by volunteers Yvonne Thorne and John Stamp, resulting in record sales requiring trips back to the station to collect more stock. To become a volunteer at NDR, call 01258 860696, drop in at

Geoff Baker, trustee and plant manager, drives the Ruston Shunter across the Barrow Crossing after 53 years. Shillingstone station, open Wednesdays, weekends and bank holidays, or find them on or on Facebook at S&DJR Shillingstone.

Derek Lester-Jones and John Stamp hold the fort for NDR at the steam fair.


Screenbites is back SCREENBITES food and film festival returned to the area in September with a showing of Babette's Feast and food tastings at Gold Hill Organic Farm in Child Okeford on September 13. It continues at 7pm on Friday October 4 at Langham Wine Estate, Crawthorne when the film is Our Blood is Wine (2018), and on Saturday October 12 at Ashmore Village Hall with 'The Great British Bump Off!' - a murder mystery dinner featuring 'Murder on the Side' for which tickets are ÂŁ20. On Friday October 19 the film at Durweston Village Hall is Toast (2010). Further details of these and other events and bookings can be made at *** A LONG service award was presented at this year's Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show to Michael Walbridge for 49 years' outstanding service, loyalty and dedication since 1970 working for the Cossins family at Tarrant Rawston.


John Short of the Norton Owners' club presents a cheque for ÂŁ350 to Mike Wells of Poole & District branch of Parkinson's UK.

Helping three charities A MINIFEST at the True Lovers Knot in Tarrant Keyneston was the occasion to celebrate fundraising for three charities. The event was in support of the Disability Action Group in Blandford and Prostate Cancer UK, represented respectively by Mike Wells and Adrian Tuite, both of whom live in the Tarrant Valley. Another local resident, John Short, of the Norton Owners' Club, whose members attended with their bikes, presented a cheque for ÂŁ350 raised at the 'Vdub at the Pub' Volkswagen show in Wimborne to the Parkinson's Society, again represented by Mike Wells. The minifest included live music, a barbecue and children's craft activities.

October 2019

Review sought after steam fair caravan blunder AN internal review by Dorset Council is being sought into how approval was initially given and then withdrawn for an unauthorised temporary site for 350 caravans close to the Great Dorset Steam Fair in August. An application for a field opposite the steam fair off the A354 was submitted after parish representatives met to learn about arrangements for the event, and permission was given for the site to go ahead on the basis of conditions submitted by the applicant. It was later withdrawn following the intervention of Tarrant Hinton Parish Council and the Great Dorset Steam Fair. At the parish council meeting following the fair on September 2, chairman Mike Nathan expressed the council's concern at the way the proposal had been handled with apparent disregard for 'the multitude of fanciful conditions attached to it'. The council was also surprised to learn that the landowner had not read the application. The particular concern was the use of delegated authority to authorise an activity without the legal requirements for planning and a licence, and the failure to consult any of the parties involved in the preparation and operation of the fair. Their county councillor Sherry Jesperson expressed her concern about the use of delegated authority in the operation of the new unitary authority and promised to investigate. Following an unsatisfactory response from Dorset Council to a request by Mr Nathan under the Freedom of Information Act

for details of the process by which the approval was given, he has asked for an internal review. Mr Nathan said: "It beggars belief that none of them saw fit to contact either us or GDSF, nor did they appear aware of the detailed proposals for the steam fair already approved. "It appears that the application was taken at face value, with no checks on the accuracy of information supplied or on the experience and ability of the team involved to provide a caravan site. "This highlights the worries that we, as a parish council, have raised that the unification/reorganisation of the Dorset councils would produce a remote authority whose right and left hand would not be co-ordinated. It should be the responsibility of our elected councillors to monitor decisions taken under delegated authority. "If this campsite was approved it would likely remove the need to have a dedicated camp site for travellers into which the police have the power to move members of the traveller community." Steam Fair managing director Martin Oliver said the possibility of a site on the opposite side of the A354 had been previously considered but ruled out because of the obvious danger to pedestrians and other road users. "We sought legal advice as we understood that the proposed site did not have the requisite planning consents or licences and are pleased to note that the council listened to our concerns and to those of the parish council and the police."

Bridge work ending WORK at Durweston Bridge was due to be completed by Friday September 27, allowing the temporary three-way lights to be removed and replaced by the upgraded permanent A350/A357 signalised junction. Construction work came to an end early in September and was followed by the installation of the various fencing systems and putting back topsoil on the new verges. Completion of the installation of specialist road safety fencing at the end of the new culverts allowed the removal of the waterfilled red and white safety barriers, and following the removal of temporary access tracks and the site compound, all estate fencing was due to be in place by September 20.


October 2019

Spooky element to the literary festival MORE events have now been added to the schedule for November's Blandford Literary Festival, for which the logo featuring the town's buildings and books has now been chosen following a public vote. Additionally the organisers have launched a free-to-enter Ghost Story competition, the winner of which will receive two tickets to see Gerald Dickens, great, great grandson of Charles Dickens, perform 'A Christmas Carol' at the Corn Exchange on November 22. The closing date and time for a short story of up to 500 words is the stroke of midnight on Tuesday October 15, so anyone with a tale to tell of things going bump in the night or the ghost in their living room is invited to enter by emailing their story to If the stories are spooky enough, they could be read at a special Ghost Story evening at Nelsons Cheese and Ale House on October 30, where there will be a raffle to raise funds for the festival.

The festival itself will be launched at the Esme Butler Festival of Words event on November 18, in memory of Esme who was part of the team behind a Blandford Festival of Words. There will be poetry with David Caddy, Paul Hyland and other 'amazing poets', workshops, slams and cafĂŠ events, and an evening exploring why authors choose murder as a theme, 'Murder by the Stour'. A Dorset Writers Network open house will include two workshops and book fair, and there will be afternoon teas and evenings with writers as well as talks on their books, language and writing by authors including Gail Aldwin, Hilary Townsend, Penrose Halson, Rosanna Ley, Darren Wells, Gerald Killingworth, Fanny Charles, Peter Andrews, Barbara Spencer and Mark DuBuisson. For more information see the website which has now been launched at

Rachel’s winning garden RACHEL Damon, who has on a number of occasions opened her garden in Salisbury Road as part of the Blandford Hidden Gardens event, won two out of four categories in a Compton Acres Dorset amateur garden competition. Pictured is the photograph which won both the best homegrown and best garden photograph sections. She won an annual family pass, a guided tour by a five-times winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, and garden centre gift tokens. Now caring for her mother and working full-time, she hasn't had time to do Hidden Gardens for the last couple of years, but will again in the future, she said.


Readers’ letters

Boots are letting us down RE the letter by John Tanner about the bad service of Boots Chemist in Blandford: guess what - the same applies here in Sturminster Newton. Each time anyone goes in, it is a different pharmacist, different assistant, prescriptions not ready, long queue to be served, nothing you want in stock, not even a friendly greeting. We are all fed up with this awful situation. When Boots took over, it was on the condition that no other chemist opened in this area. The chemist was so well organised and friendly before this lot took over. Is this what they call progress? Eve Eyres. ***** JOHN Tanner (September issue) is right to say that the service has deteriorated again, but I think his letter misses one of the issues in the decline. Yes, the management of Boots, as a company, seems poor. However, the staff at the shops, especially the small one on Salisbury Street, are unfailingly cheerful, helpful, friendly and working extremely hard. The issue which I have found is with Eagle House surgery. Last year, for various reasons, including problems with my repeat pre-

October 2019 Please 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 to: Forum Focus, c/o Colin's

scription, I changed to Whitecliff (who have been very efficient). A few weeks ago, my husband had his annual check at EH and was told an item had been added to his prescription. After two phone calls to the surgery and three visits to the chemist, he finally got the item. That's two completely unnecessary visits to the chemist, which involved the staff there checking their shelves and computer each time, while the queue built up behind us. While waiting there, I have often heard the staff referring customers back to their surgery, so surely we can't be the only people who have encountered this type of problem? Maybe another meeting between the new management team of the Blandford GP practice and Boots might be helpful? Lynn MacGrath Diamond Way, Blandford ***** I READ J Tanner's letter with interest. He does have a point that the service in Boots is slow and often the delivery times for prescriptions are not met. Hang on, though, not all of the blame can be laid at the door of Boots. I've noticed that the twomonthly timetable for repeat prescriptions has been reduced by most surgeries to a one-month supply of drugs, thus at least doubling the workload for the pharmacy. Not only does this cause them additional demand for their services but it means a doubling of work for the surgery administrative staff and the number of times

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.

that the patient (or their nominee) has to journey into Blandford. Perhaps the surgeries should be challenged on this new turn of events, which is inconvenient to all? RFC Skinner Blandford St Mary

Housing concerns I READ with interest the front page article in September's Forum Focus as I have written about this development expressing my concerns in the magazine before. The plans are for 63 homes to be built in two-and-a-half years. With the expected 1.5 vehicles per dwelling that's approximately 100 cars driving on to the Bournemouth Road and back several times a day, plus friends, family members and commercial vehicles working or delivering onto site. That's a lot of vehicles for one site access on to an already busy road. There will be accidents through impatience and frustration. There is no mention of the builder as yet. Through Savills and Drew Smith, the regional arm of Galliford Try, proposals are being offered and feedback is sought. There are various builders operating under the umbrella of Galliford Try, including Linden Homes. Residents in Charlton Marshall on a development by Linden Homes suffered the poor quality of build and planning from these developers. Let's hope that this development doesn't suffer in the same way. Who will maintain the grassed areas, roads and pavements and for how long before they sell that responsibility on to another company who will then increase charges to the residents? I haven't seen what authority will be dealing with the rental /shared ownership homes. That can make a big difference to the feel of the site both in the early days and several years away when individuals and families are firmly ensconced. Will the development retain a nice feel or become a place people don't want to live? There will also be restrictions for

people living there. Will strict parking rules be enforced so it doesn't become a parking lot for unlicensed vehicles or vehicles belonging to non-residents avoiding town parking charges? So many questions that the Blandford + Neighbourhood planning team need to ask, because if satisfactory answers aren't forthcoming they only have themselves to blame for future negativities. They have the upper hand but if they don't use that strength they cannot complain later. Comparison to the Dorchester brewery site is a little unrealistic because Blandford is not Dorchester. A more realistic comparison is the Wyatt Homes site in Winterborne Kingston where homes and small business units are alongside. There are a number of small developments in Dorset that work really well but there are far more where they are badly planned and will be terrible in the long term. Nick Smith

Transport in trouble IS public transport going to be lost for ever? Many villages have started their own community bus/transport schemes - good on them. But the merger/restructuring of various councils into one has made it harder to know what is going on. Is Blandford in danger of becoming isolated from the Dorset Transport Network? We have so few services in Blandford, apart from the DCT 'book your seat' scheme, Communibus Bus (Bere Regis), Neighbour Car, Bus 2 Go, Taxi Bus or traditional taxi. None of these are bus pass friendly and you pay your own fare, not council funded. We could land up with only the X8 (X8A) and X12. Many villages are starting schemes to bridge the gap where once there was a village bus, but is it not about time the council looked at the free bus pass, or we could lose these last few bus services in Blandford? R. Cowley Winterborne Whitechurch


October 2019

Historic club in plea for support BRYANSTON Club chairman Tony Beale is urging members to respond to an appeal for more support, as it faces dwindling finances with too few members to keep it afloat. Starting out as the village's Reading Room in 1900, at a different location near the church, the club was the place where more than 150 of Lord Portman's estate workers enjoyed a strict rule of one pint per night. Officially named the Bryanston Estate Club in 1903, news of a cheaper pint soon brought along villagers from Bryanston and Durweston, who were soon joined by others from Blandford. In 1923 Lord Portman finally moved out of the big house, mains electric arrived and within the next few years the old Power House was converted into the Bryanston Club where it is today. It has been much extended in its lifetime to accommodate pool, skittles, snooker, darts, shove ha'penny and cribb. In time there was a waiting list for membership and generations of families signed up. The disused Portman Room, as it is now known, was decorated and began to be used regularly for events of all kinds - birthdays, weddings, Christmas and New Year celebrations. Fancy dress parties

became popular in the 60s and 70s, fitness classes during the 80s, and children enjoyed looking into large fish tanks on display around the club during the early 90s. But times have changed. Youngsters have more in the way of entertainment and opportunities these days. Parties are not as busy, and supermarkets sell alcohol cheaper than any pub can match. Many, understanding the importance of a healthier lifestyle, simply do not drink alcohol at all. And the secluded spot where the club is situated is just too far off the beaten track for passing trade. Member Catherine Moxham said: "We now get everyone together for band, quiz and race nights. It's great to welcome back the winter season of skittlers, together with the new darts team, along with allyear-round pool teams and Salsa class, whom we thank for their continued support. But the familyfriendly club cannot survive without others." Members are entitled to a 50 per cent discount on the hire of the Portman Room which has its own bar, disco and convenience facilities with wheelchair access. For further details, email m or phone Steve on 01258 454423 between 19:30-23:00.

THE Age Concern offices at 4 Nightingale Court, Blandford, were very pleased to have Anita Roberts from Dementia Action Alliance come to train their volunteers to become Dementia Friends. The window can now display the Dementia Friendly sticker. Age Concern Blandford will be advised on improvements to their facilities and services to make them more dementia friendly which will be implemented as soon as possible, and Anita and the Alliance will be giving ongoing support and advice to help the service in the future.

The 1920s power house which provided electricity to the Portman House which became the Bryanston Estate Club.

The power generator at work.


October 2019

Crowds gather to herald new hall HUNDREDS of villagers from Charlton Marshall gathered outside their new village hall for the official opening and celebration. Hall trustee Christine Smith said: "We were overwhelmed by just how many came and have received loads of great responses from villagers and visitors from further afield. We were absolutely delighted with the turnout which was totally unexpected. "It was lovely that quite a few stayed for some magic and music later in the afternoon and a good number came back to listen to the Gravellers at the end of the day. "All in all, a fine start to a new era for the village hall. Many of our regular user groups from the old village hall have their first meetings in the new hall so we are now off and running." Features in addition to the hall include a spacious storage area at the rear, ramped access to the stage, a kitchen, an additional meeting room on the first floor, a weathervane made by local designer Graham Smith, and a village time capsule buried at the

entrance. The ribbon was cut by two of the oldest residents, Vera Cusson and Gerald Wellen, whose family has lived in the village for generations. They were watched by some of the youngest hall users Zoe Box from 1st Charlton Marshall Beavers, Evie Box from 1st Charlton Marshall Cubs, Fern Wilkins from 1st Spetisbury Rainbows and Annabelle Denning from 1st Spetisbury Brownies. Inside the hall, bedecked with Union flags, were refreshments including a celebration cake made by Daphne James. During the afternoon, there was a raffle, face painting, balloon sculpture and magic, a nature table and quiz for young and old, a visit from a tawny owl from Blackmore Vale Owls, as well as singing with Felicity Goodman and the Gravellers' concert. Hall management committee chairman Margaret Chambers thanked everyone who had contributed, particularly builders Matrod Frampton, hall funding coordinator and treasurer Pam and

The ribbon at the ramped entrance of the new Charlton Marshall village hall is cut by Vera Cusson and Gerald Wellen, watched by village youth representatives and by Pam Higgins and Margaret Chambers and fellow hall trustees. Roger Higgins, and all their funders, the largest of whom was the Big Lottery which awarded £500,000 from its Community Fund towards the £835,000 build cost. Pam Higgins paid tribute to the assistance of Pam Fish and her successor Kirsty Lane from the Lottery, and to Anita Hansen from Dorset Community Action, who had guided them through the Lottery bid and sourced other funders, including the Dorset Low Carbon Economy Programme. Other contributors were the Garfield Weston Foundation, Virador Credits, the Bernard Sunley Foundation, Leonard Laity

Stoate Charitable Trust, Tesco Stores, North Dorset District Council through S106 funding from the Charlton Mead development in the village, and Charlton Marshall Parish Council. Since the project was first suggested in the Parish Plan in 2006, and planning permission granted by North Dorset District Council for a replacement hall on the old hall's car park, the community has itself raised £50,000 through a succession of events, and donations were also received totalling £65,000 from two individuals. • More pictures on our website

Churchill team’s wartime drama SPETISBURY-based drama company Churchill Productions is presenting All My Sons by Arthur Miller at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne from October 31 to November 2. The non-profit making company, which has benefited several local charities, was formed in 1999 with the aim of bringing goodquality live theatre to small local venues. The first productions were with a small cast and local village halls were ideal for performances. But they now present larger productions and the Tivoli has become their 'home'. This production, directed by Pete Talman and featuring Jan Wyld and Graham Haigh, is supporting Avon Valley Dementia Pals and Avon Valley Dementia Support. All My Sons is a masterpiece

based on a true story, the first successful drama written by one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. In 1941-43 the Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use, and in 1944, three Army Air Force officers were relieved of duty and later convicted of neglect of duty. The play, written in 1947, tells the compelling and powerful postWorld War II story of the Kellers, a seemingly 'all-American' family. But the father, Joe Keller, has concealed a great sin: during the war, he allowed his factory to ship faulty airplane cylinders to the US Armed Forces, resulting in the deaths of over 20 American pilots.


October 2019

Borrowers classic tale brought to life BLANDFORD'S community theatre project featuring The Borrowers came to a magnificent conclusion in the Corn Exchange when Kissing My Elbow Productions staged four performances of Charles Way's dramatisation of Mary Norton's classic tale. The prop-makers had been hard at work creating a giant half-scissor, cotton reel, onion ring and other items put to use by the Borrowers, and puppets which represented the Borrowers when they met with 'Human Beans' on the stage. Specially constructed raked seating left space in the body of the hall for the 'little people' living underground where the majority of the action took place, highlighting the distress of a family displaced from its traditional home and seeking shelter in a dangerous environment. The Clock family's ordeal begins when they have to flee after being 'seen' by the Human Beans, housekeeper Mrs Driver (Joyce

Carter) and gardener Crampfurt (Richard Owen). Sam James shone as the head of the Clock household, Pod, trying to keep his family together, and the sheer terror of Wren Holdom as his wife Homily at the prospect of homelessness, together with being confronted by creatures including a giant wasp, was both moving and at times hilarious. Grace Seeley as their daughter Arrietty demonstrated her frustration in hankering after the world beyond their safe underground home and desire to embark on a 'borrowing' career. The story ended happily when they are reunited with their longlost relatives, Uncle Hendreary, Aunt Lupy and Eggletina (Richard Owen, Simone Walls-MacDonald and Georgia Barnes) with the assistance of The Boy (Boyd James) who has befriended Arrietty, another rather wild Borrower Spiller and a travelling gypsy (both played by Clare Noyes). The show was conceived and

The Borrowers cower as Mrs Driver investigates their home under the floorboards. directed by Deborah Seeley and the project included a theatrical summer school and activities in the town's library and museum,

where 'little people' were created in a workshop with artist Peter Rush to take up residence among the exhibits.

A beery boost for bees HALL & Woodhouse have raised more than ÂŁ3,000 for Dorset Wildlife Trust's 'Get Dorset Buzzing' campaign. From May to July, the brewers donated 5p from every pint sold of its seasonal Badger cask beer, Brewer's Bee, to the local campaign raising awareness about the declining number of pollinators in the county. The popular seasonal ale, which contains real honey, has been available for guests to enjoy in Hall & Woodhouse's pubs throughout the south this summer.


October 2019 TWO farm fires within two days at Bryanston and Winterborne Kingston were dealt with by Dorset Fire and Rescue. On the evening of September 8 crews dealt with two barns well alight in Bryanston, when local residents were advised to keep windows and doors closed due to smoke plume. Two days earlier, police appealed for witnesses following a fire involving hundreds of bales near Winterborne Kingston. The fire service was called to a field next to West Street between Winterborne Kingston and Winterborne Whitechurch and crews from Blandford, Poole and Bere Regis tackled the blaze using two hose reel jets. A spokesman for the fire service said: "Crews found a large stack of approximately 150 bales alight. Firefighters and the farmer used machinery to remove unaffected hay bales and hose reels to keep the fire from spreading and the fire was allowed to burn out under supervision." PC Sam Burge, of Blandford police, said: "We were not able to confirm whether it was started accidentally or the result of a deliberate act.

The official opening of Blandford United FC's new stand and footpath (from left): club president Mickey Westwood, Mayor of Blandford Lynn Lindsay, North Dorset MP Simon Hoare and club chairman Steve Powell.

New stand helps United reach their latest goal A NEW spectator stand and footpath at Blandford United FC's Park Road ground was officially unveiled by North Dorset MP Simon Hoare. Investment of £12,729 from the Premier League has allowed the club to provide the accessible footpath to their clubhouse and a new 50-capacity covered spectator stand. The club's first-team plays in the Dorset County Premier League at Step 7 of the Football Association Pyramid, and the new stand and footpath ensure that the club now meets Grade H of the FA National Ground Grading Criteria applicable to its status. The footpath gives supporters an even access to the clubhouse, pitch and spectator stand at Park Road and safer access for disabled fans, wheelchair users and pushchairs. It will also help protect the adjoining cricket pitch because the path runs within the Cricket Club's boundary. The new stand will ensure supporters have a more comfortable matchday experience, sheltered from the elements. Mr Hoare said: "Football and football clubs are so often at the heart of communities, and it is great that Blandford's ground is now accessible to those in wheelchairs and in all weathers. "The importance of community-

based sports in building stronger communities, improving young people's health, combatting antisocial behaviour and teaching about competitive sports and working as part of a team cannot be under-estimated." It has been decades since Blandford United had a spectator stand, and the design of the new facility means there is also space for wheelchair users to watch the games, which kick off at 3pm each Sunday, undercover. The grant from the Premier League was delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund - the sister organisation of the Football Foundation. Additional funding of £6,000 was provided by Blandford Town Council with a contribution of £500 from BUFC. Mickey Westwood, club president, said: "Over the years, the club has worked hard to improve facilities for its players, visiting teams and spectators. Support from the Dorset County Football Association and the Town Council has helped us to achieve the essential grant funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Premier League." Peter McCormick, chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: "The work undertaken by Blandford United to overhaul the facilities at Blandford is superb and will bring a new lease of life into the club."


October 2019

Rotary’s new call for toys for Christmas FOLLOWING the outstanding success of their Christmas toy collection last year, when over 1,200 toys were donated, Blandford Rotary have launched a new appeal for more. The toys will be sent to local charities who will distribute them to children in the Blandford area who are unlikely to receive any other Christmas presents. Organiser of the collection, Steve Adamson, said: "We know there are many children in our locality whose parents cannot afford to spend their limited resources on Christmas presents for their children. "As we did last year, we are going to do our best to provide preloved toys in pristine condition to as many of those children as possible." Blandford Rotary's research indicates that some of the most welcome toys are plastic animals, tea

sets, dolls, musical instruments, cars, trucks, planes, anything to do with Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, colouring books and pencils, card games, puzzles, board games, puzzle books and craft kits. For reasons of hygiene, soft toys must be in mint condition. Thanks to the support of Blandford Parish Church, the collection point to receive the donated toys will again be at the church entrance. Rotary volunteers will be on duty for three days, October 31 to November 2, between10am to 4pm, and also on Sunday November 3 from 11am to 2pm. Blandford Rotary President Jim Atkins said: "Last year Blandford people, including children, were extremely generous. We hope they will do the same again and help us to bring a lot of pleasure to many disadvantaged children at Christmas time."

Russian singers return AS part of their 2019 whirlwind tour of the UK, Voskresenije, the remarkable choral octet from the Conservatoire of St Petersburg, will be performing again in Blandford. Following the success of last year's concert, the organisers were set to ask the group to return this year, but the Russian singers beat them to it. The group were so smitten by the town, the church acoustics, and the warmth of their reception that they asked if they could sing here again. During their concert tour of the UK they stay individually or in pairs, scattered over a wide area, with host families in the towns they visit, which can be quite isolating and tiring because of the language barrier. Last year in Blandford they were invited to stay in groups within a 100yard radius of the town centre, which they very much appreciated. But they said that one of the highlights of their tour was the communal English breakfast kindly hosted by Tony at the Gorge Cafe in the Market Place, where everyone enjoyed fry-ups at an impromptu party. This year's concert is on Thursday October 10 at 7.30pm in the Parish Church. Tickets are ÂŁ10, available from Liz on 01258 452506 or

The Performing Arts Theatre Academy performing team. Photo: Lewis and Schofield.

Academy on the up THE Performing Arts Theatre Academy opened five years ago with just a few singing and acting classes. It has now grown to offer ten different types of class covering an age range from 18 months to adult. With the support of the community, the Academy has truly become a family and they continue to support more and more children in the area in getting quality performing arts tuition. They are now able to open their own brand new studios on the site of the old Grainstore on Shaftesbury Lane, Blandford, where they will have two studios and be able to offer more classes. They have been lucky enough to be supported by not only the Georgian Fayre committee, but also the carnival committee and now a grant from the Arts Council enabling the new studios to be kitted out with a beautiful dance floor and everything needed to make it perfect for the students. The opening of the studios will take place on Monday October 28 at 4pm, with the ribbon being cut by the Blandford Mayor, followed by a party for the students and their friends. The principals, Rebecca Hollands and Zoe Mitchener, hope that it will inspire more children to dance, sing and act. THE Friends of Blandford Hospital autumn fair, a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping while supporting your local hospital and health-related projects across the community, will be held in the Corn Exchange, Blandford, on Saturday October 19. From 9.30am to 2pm, there will be a huge variety of stalls and quality items at good prices, with gifts, crafts, collectables and jewellery, toys and jigsaws, toiletries, Christmas cards and decorations, cakes and home produce, kitchen items, handbags, scarves, toys, children's items, tombolas, a grand raffle and refreshments. For details call 01258 451456.


October 2019

New role for disused town pub AN application for the change of use and conversion of the ground floor and rear outbuilding of the former Three Choughs pub in West Street, Blandford, into additional staff accommodation for the Crown Hotel was expected to be approved by Dorset Council's northern planning committee in September. Members were told that the ground floor of the property has lain vacant for over 10 years, and that thorough and reasonable attempts have been made to find suitable tenants, with incentives offered for the refurbishment required. It was considered that the benefits of enabling the development to bring the Listed Building at Risk back into use outweighed the disbenefits of departing from policy, which resists the loss of town centre retail premises. Blandford Town Council objected

on those grounds, but the report to committee stated: "It is not considered that the change of use would lead to a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre as a whole and in fact would contribute to the enhancement of the town centre by bringing a vacant ground-floor unit which has lain empty for some time back into active use, providing low-cost housing for local workers, and contribute to additional local town centre footfall." The Three Choughs Inn closed in 2009, and planning permission was granted in 2011 for use of the ground floor as a community building, but the proposal was not progressed. The committee was told that although another tenant was secured in 2016, they had pulled out before fitting-out works had been completed, and that some

Camera Club news BLANDFORD Forum Camera Club started its new season with the chairman's evening, where current chairman, Geoff Killer, showcased the sub-group dealing with seeking recognition from national photographic bodies. Graham Hutton gave an informative talk on gaining distinctions, showing his successful panels and discussing how the final images were chosen, presented and scored. Colin Cross spoke about his recent trip to China. At the next meeting Jean Bartlett first gave an insight to one of her photographic trips to the Masai Mara, with photographs showing the lives and relationships of the animals. Colin Cross then presented 'Workflow and other boring stuff' with tips on making the transformation of an image from camera to print with enhancement in a methodical and time saving manner and filing them so they can be found years later. The first competition of the season was for the President's Cup, and during September guest speaker Mike Read was welcomed. Regular events start in full in October with the Points Cup competition on October 2. For further information see

potential occupiers cited the age and configuration of the premises as unsuitable for their needs. The two upper floors are already in use as staff accommodation associated with the nearby Crown Hotel, also in Hall & Woodhouse's ownership, and the proposal would create three ensuite staff bedrooms with shared kitchen facilities on the ground floor level of the main building, with a single self-contained man-

ager's flat in the existing outbuilding at the side/rear of the building. Blandford & District Civic Society commented that there was no objection in principle to the proposed change of use and alterations to the building but noted the absence of reference to any repairs or actions to improve its external appearance which after ten years lying vacant was in need of attention.

Revamped pavilion back in action AFTER an extended closure for the building of an extension to the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, the gardens are now reopened and were the venue for the Picnic in the Park on September 14. The pavilion now offers two accessible toilets, a storage cupboard for hirers and a larger kitchen, and there is a new bird box on the side of the pavilion with two prefabricated nests on the front in the hope that these will be of use to the birds. Work started in the middle of May for an expected 14 weeks, but problems at first had a cumulative knock-on effect. The approved design was not the extension flush to the existing building which the Town Council originally applied for. The planning authority required some form of distinction between the old and the new, so the extension was set back with corrugated metal roofing instead of tiles. The internal design was based on consultation with regular hirers, who were thanked for their patience during the works when they were relocated to other venues at no extra charge or received a refund on their bookings. A National Lottery Awards for All grant of ÂŁ10,000 helped to make the project possible with the majority of funding from the town council, who thanked Greendale

Construction Ltd and Simon Morgan, of Blandford-based Morgan Design Studio Ltd, for their work using other local contractors including Jason Ive Building and Carpentry, DC Electrical, Sam Christopher Building and Gary Manson Heating & Plumbing Engineers. Redundant windows from the pavilion have been recycled for reuse in a learning resource centre/library being built in Zambia as part of the charity 'Future Pillars Zambia'. They were collected by Becky and Barry Gransden and Alan Dymond for the small, registered charity whose purpose is to empower vulnerable children through a feeding and education programme based at the Family Futures Community School in Kabwe, Central Province, Zambia, for which all the funding comes from the charity. The school, with around 1,000 pupils, is surrounded by three compounds (shanty towns) and the majority of the children, many orphaned, have their one meal of the day at school. The charity has in the past few years filled three 40ft containers with a range of resources, mostly classroom furniture, and the empty containers placed side by side will create a learning resource centre/library.

Left to right, Becky and Barry Gransden and Alan Dymond collecting the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion windows for the charity 'Future Pillars Zambia'.


October 2019

The Dorset & West Pastfinders at Muston Farm.

Pastfinders out in force to dig for a good cause A METAL detecting event was held by the Dorset & West Pastfinders Club at Muston Farm, Winterborne Kingston, over the late August bank holiday weekend to raise money for the Dorchester Hospital League of Friends in memory of Tim Burgess, who died in January. Tim's family were keen for the event to be held on their land for their charity, as Tim had received excellent care during his illness, and the Pastfinders, established in 2015 by Malcolm Andrews, David Witcombe and Glenda Froud and based in Blandford, were pleased to help. Sixty people travelled from far and wide to attend, persevering through the steam fair traffic to get to the Burgess family farm. The conditions were not the best for the people searching as the harvest had been delayed a little and the stubble was still very firm. Added to that was the intense heat over the weekend.

Some of the finds from the Muston Farm metal detecting event. However, members did manage to find a number of nice coins and artefacts from the land. In total the group raised an amazing ÂŁ2,510.06 for the charity, adding to over ÂŁ75,000 raised for various local and landowners' charities since the group's formation.

Art and architecture meet at the museum ART meets archaeology in a major exhibition by a leading Dorset artist opens at Blandford Museum on October 1 and will be on display until the end of the month. Poole-born painter Brian Graham (pictured right), who was selected for the 2017 'British Art. Ancient Landscapes' exhibition at Salisbury Museum alongside Constable, Turner, Moore, Nash and Hepworth, is unveiling his recently completed 'Dorset Tarrant Triptych'. Motivated by medieval architecture and the ancient downland of this area, his reputation is founded upon works that celebrate and explore evidence of human evolution. Graham's paintings are in many major public collections, including the Natural History Museum, London, the National Museum Wales, Cardiff, and the art galleries of Southampton, Swindon, Leicester, York and Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Complementing the art works will be recent finds from the Tarrant Valley. This discovery of several

Lower Palaeolithic hand axes, among other flint implements, could be a significant revelation. Current thinking suggests they were fashioned by human ancestors, hundreds of thousands of years ago. The implications of their recent discovery will need further research but have already added to the growing importance of Dorset as an area rich in Lower Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) material. Blandford Museum is open daily excluding Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm (Sundays 11am to 3pm).


The View from the Hill by George Hosford More from George on


FTER a week's weather break in the middle, which gave us an opportunity to sow next year's oilseed rape crop, we resumed harvest in the week of August 19, and stormed through to finish on Bank Holiday Monday in fine sunny weather. The combine, despite its age, performed really well, aside from a few irritating electrical problems, and we covered the last 140 hectares in seven days. For a few days we were sowing rape in the damp mornings and returning to the combine in the warm afternoons, by which time the wheat was dry enough to put straight on the heap without putting it through the drier. During the same week the poppy team arrived and knocked off the 43 ha of poppies in a day and a bit. Both wheat and poppies have yielded well fortunately, bearing in mind how prices have fallen over the last couple of months, due to good harvests in many areas of the world, and to continuing uncertainty as to future trading conditions for the UK. We are trying something a bit different for next year and have sown 16 hectares (40 acres) of arable land to a herbal grazing ley. The seed mixture contains grasses including timothy, cocksfoot and a couple of fescues,

October 2019 also red and white clovers, as well as other plants such as sainfoin, plantain, lucerne, birdsfoot trefoil and chicory. Our usual all-arable rotation is quite demanding on the soil and does not rebuild organic matter as quickly as with grazing animals on a good ley. We would also like to fatten our own cattle, until now having sold our beef youngstock at the end of their second summer because we have not had the space or feed for them for a second winter. The beef market now is quite depressed, so the hope is that by the time these animals are fit prices may have picked up a bit. We also need to learn new techniques, since the environmental lobby has exerted much pressure in the public domain, and we are told that the general future thrust of agricultural policy is going to move towards more sustainable systems. (Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we don't start to import all our food from places where this doesn't matter). Sadly the Agriculture Bill has fallen at the recent ending of the parliamentary session. A huge amount of work has been done by farmers and the NFU, as well as legions of others in government and NGOs, to knock the bill into shape containing very many good ideas. For all that work to be binned is shamefully wasteful. There has not been an Agriculture Bill since 1947 and a new set of policies which addresses modern circumstances is well overdue. The fear now is that hurried piecemeal legislation will be required as soon as we leave the EU and will not have the carefully thought through approach of the Bill. We could suffer the age-old problem of unintended consequences for years to come. Great excitement during harvest when the council road team came round filling potholes and re-laying rough patches of the

National Farmers Union President Minette Batters tries out John Martin's smoothie maker on the Fabulous Food and Farming stand at the Dorset County Show. lane, topping it off with a surface dressing of hot tar and stone chippings. The road should be good for another 40 or 50 years now - it seems a very long time since it was last done - I am sure I was still at school. The battle against the dreaded cabbage stem flea beetle continues. We have tried sowing the rape a full two weeks earlier than we used to, to try to get the seedlings out of the ground before the beetles arrive in large numbers. Other farmers are trying the opposite - there is little evidence or consensus over the best approach. In our case much of the rape has emerged and is now growing well with three or four true leaves expanding, by which time we hope the plants are immune to further grazing. The secondary threat, from hungry larvae hatching in spring from eggs laid by adults now, is still very real. We intend to try grazing with sheep during winter, so that the eggs

are eaten by the sheep. A weekend spent helping at the Fabulous Food and Farming stand at the Dorset County Show was very enjoyable. The weather was kind and thousands of people flocked to see the usual attractions of animals, craft exhibits, trade stands, Bill Galpin's terrier racing - always highly entertaining - the sheep show, flying motorbikes, and a whole host of other exhibits. At the FFF area we had Tractor Ted for the small children, Friars Moor vets giving hands-on calving demonstrations, a specially commissioned film on arable farming in Dorset shown in the Mobile Rural Dorset Cinema, bicycle smoothie making, and walking with alpacas, which is now officially A Thing. In the tent we gave a demonstration of squeezing oil from rapeseed, grinding up of wheat, and then mixing the two with salt and water to make playdough.


October 2019

News from the Surgeries Flu jab time! As with previous years, to help stay healthy this autumn/winter and prevent the spread of flu to others, it's time for the annual flu jab. Flu is contagious and can be passed on through coughing, sneezing or by touching contaminated surfaces. Anyone over 65 before March 31, 2020, patients with particular health conditions such as asthma, and carers, will be invited by text, letter or prescription reminder to make an appointment for one of the special Saturday sessions below. Please note, this is for patients from both surgeries. For both Eagle House Surgery and Whitecliff Surgery patients:

Comments invited on estate’s artwork THIS is a first draft of the public art installation being planned for the Badbury Heights Persimmon estate, which was a condition of planning approval for the estate. A sum of £52,000, which needs to be spent by 2020 or returned to the developers, was allocated for the artwork. Blandford Town Council adopted a public art plan in September last year to define the town's relationship with public art, which already includes the mosaic in the Woodhouse Gardens marking the 400th anniversary of the town's Charter. There are also steel sculptures in the Woodhouse Gardens and the cemetery extension, three military-style benches, a railwaythemed bench and matching cycle parking, heritage lighting columns and traditional finger posts, together with a collection of town silver only occasionally on public display.

The public art plan envisages additions to the collection in consultation with local groups and organisations. The first has been on the Badbury Heights installation, carried out by newsletters to residents, first on the estate, with art students at The Blandford School and then throughout the town, together with a consultation in the Corn Exchange and promotion through the council's Facebook page. Resistance to the initial site proposed in the middle of the estate resulted in the decision to relocate the installation to the grassed area next to Shaftesbury Lane, where it will additionally be seen by a wider public. Councillors approved the new location and the provision of an access path to meet DDA requirements and removal of some shrubs to avoid the artwork being hidden from view.

Date (Saturday)

Venue (Surgery)


5th October 12th October 26th October 2nd November 9th November

Whitecliff Whitecliff Whitecliff Child Okeford Whitecliff

Over 65s Over 65s Anyone eligible Anyone eligible Anyone eligible

The parents of all children born between 1.9.2015 and 31.8.2017 should also book flu nasal sprays at their surgery. School age children will have them at school. Alternatively, if you have an appointment with your doctor or nurse on another matter, you can ask for your flu jab at the same time. Doctors will have supplies of the flu vaccine available in the surgery. If you have been invited but don't want your flu vaccine, please inform the surgery. You will still be invited again next year. It is also a good idea to stock up on cold relief products. If you need any help with what to buy, your local pharmacy can advise you.

24 A LONDON plane in the grounds of Bryanston School has been nominated in the Woodland Trust's shortlist for Tree of the Year. Voting closed on September 27 in a public vote to find the favourite. The tree is the central one of three lofty London planes growing in a row at the school, and at nearly 50 metres tall, is not just the tallest London Plane in the country, but also the tallest broadleaf in the UK and one of the tallest in Europe. Its height, just shorter than Nelson's Column, was confirmed in 2015, when pupils scaled the tree (with the help of professional climbing equipment) to measure it.

October 2019

Good report for Forum Centre AN Ofsted inspection of the Forum Centre in Park Road, Blandford, has found the school for pupils excluded from mainstream education continues to be good. The short inspection by Mark Burgess and Gill Hickling in July was the second since the school was first judged good in January 2012. The inspectors found the leadership team had maintained the good quality of education following a significant change since the local authority asked it to extend its provision to integrate pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, which had been successfully achieved. There are now 16 places for SEMH children in the school for up to 57 five- to 16-year-olds. Describing the school as 'warm' and 'caring', they said senior leaders and governors knew their school

very well, had an accurate view of its strengths and priorities for development, and shared a vision for the school. In his letter to principal Kim Rickford, Mr Burgess said: "Most of your pupils settle in quickly and reengage with learning. Parents and carers value the support they receive from staff at your school. They recognise the difference being at the Forum Centre makes to their children. "Parents spoken to during the inspection explained that their children had had negative educational experiences at other schools. The parents all felt that their children had been nurtured and supported by your staff. This support has improved their children's learning and, in many cases, improved relationships at home."

Safe driving lessons Bryanston gets a A SAFE driving course for under-17s will be held at Blandford Camp on October 26 giving teenagers the chance to discover the joys of driving before their 17th birthday away from busy roads in a safe and fun environment. They will be given a full safety briefing and the chance to negotiate a circuit and experience steering, braking, changing gear, manoeuvring, accelerating and cornering with qualified instructors from the AA Driving School. To take part they need to be 1.5 metres tall and able to read a number plate at 20 metres. To book an hour-long session costing ÂŁ50 go to and search for 'driving experience' in 'Blandford Camp' or call 07817 362438.

sporty new head BRYANSTON School has a new headmaster in Mark Mortimer, formerly head of Warminster School. He succeeds Sarah Thomas following her retirement after 14 years at the independent school. Julian Greenhill, chair of governors at Bryanston, said: "Mark has the vision, energy and experience to embrace and nurture Bryanston's distinctive educational values. "Such qualities will enable him to build upon the exceptional work of Sarah and her predecessors and lead the school forward to even greater success through the next stage of its life." Mr Mortimer is the seventh head of Bryanston, which since its formation in 1928 has grown to become one of the country's most respected independent schools, and is renowned as a fertile environment for creativity, innovation and developing the individual talents of pupils. Prior to joining Warminster School, he was deputy head at St John's School in Leatherhead following earlier appointments as head of sixth form at Hampton School and head of history at Giggleswick School. As well as having considerable interest in the arts, he is a keen sportsman, has rowed across the Atlantic twice and successfully completed the Marathon des Sables foot race across the Sahara. Having graduated in history at the University of London, he secured a PGCE in education at the University of Oxford and an

Mark Mortimer MBA at Henley Business School. He and his wife, Anna, have three children. "It is an honour to be appointed headmaster of Bryanston," said Mr Mortimer. "I have been deeply impressed by the warmth of the school community and by the level of commitment to the school's timeless guiding principles." The independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 13 to 18 offers a broad, flexible academic and extra-curricular programme.


October 2019

School finds the winning formula A WINNING formula was celebrated at The Blandford School when GCSE results were announced. School records in maths were broken for the second year running, with an outstanding 75 per cent achieving a standard pass, 55 per cent a strong pass, and 19 per cent of students achieved a Grade 7 or above. English results were also very good, with 76 per cent of students achieving a standard pass, 56 per cent a strong pass and 17 per cent of students a Grade 7 or above. The combined figure - students who achieved at least a standard pass in both English and maths was 66 per cent with 45 per cent achieving a strong pass, beating last year's impressive results, which were well above the national average. Science also performed exceptionally well following outstanding A-level results announced the previous week. At GCSE, three in every four students achieved one grade above the national average. The class of 2019 achieved in total an astonishing 65 Grade 9s - the highest grade, awarded to only the top 4.5 per cent of students in the country - compared to 56 last year, together with 76 Grade 8s, 134 Grade 7s and 184 Grade 6s. High-fliers this year included Sidney Jenkinson with nine Grade 9s and one Grade 8. Rose Amey achieved seven Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and one Grade 7. George Hutchings also did brilliantly, with six Grade 9s and four Grade 8s. Lottie Sims gained five Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and three Grade 7s. Matthew Hancock achieved five Grade 9s, one Grade 8 and three Grade 7s. Jacob Kingman achieved five Grade 9s and one Grade 7.

George Hutchings, six Grade 9s and four Grade 8s.

Matthew Hancock with sister Jasmine (left) and mum Wendy.

Top achiever Sidney Jenkinson achieved nine Grade 9s and one Grade 8. Other students who performed very well were Aislinn LewisSmith with four Grade 9s, five Grade 8s and one Grade 7, and Nathan Scott, who received four Grade 9s and two Grade 7s. Lucy Denton-Smith was delighted with her three Grade 9s, two Grade 8s and four Grade 7s. Maisy Allen, who the previous week represented England Under-18s rugby sevens in the Home Nations tournament (beating Scotland in the final), also achieved excellent results with three Grade 9s, five Grade 8s and two Grade 7s. The school is exceptionally proud of Maisy, who is now heading to Hartpury College to further her rugby career and was representing England again at the European Championships. She is one of several talented students who, with support from staff, manage to balance their studies with demanding training programmes in sports and the arts. Sally Wilson, headteacher of The Blandford School, said: "I have been impressed by the work ethic of Year 11 with the majority taking up every single opportunity staff offered them, including holidays, after-school revision sessions and breakfast briefings. I really do believe we have found a winning formula. "I would like to thank parents and carers for their ongoing support. Many of them were with us on the day students collected their results, and it was great to share this special morning with them. Staff and our governing board are thrilled with results which reflect the high aspirations of us all."

Lucy Denton Smith, Erin Milburn, Aislinn Lewis-Smith, Willow Briggs and Lily McCarthy.


October 2019

BLANDFORD & Sturminster Hockey Club are excited about the coming season with two thriving ladies' senior teams and mixed junior squads raring to go. They are now looking for an additional hockey coach to join the coaching team. Training has moved to Clayesmore School on Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 7.15pm for juniors, followed by ladies' senior training from 7.30 to

9pm. New players are welcome to join the very friendly club, which has a ladies' development team with informal matches on a Sunday, which are a great place to start for anyone looking to get back into hockey or simply wanting a fun run around at the weekend. It is also an opportunity for junior players wanting to play more hockey at a more senior level.

The two ladies' teams have plenty of experience between them but play at a very accessible level. Matches are on Saturdays and are fun, and the family-friendly club understand that levels of commitment will vary. To find out more email or message them through their Facebook page

Close encounters of the golfing kind SCORES were very close at Ashley Wood Golf Club when the ladies and seniors played for the Summer Cup, with 24 participants in a fourball better ball stableford format. But one pair, Andy Armitage and

Ann Morris, sprinted away from the pack, coming in with a score of 42 points, six clear of the second pairing of Paul Wilkinson and Kay Everett. At the ladies' open almost 100 ladies from 20 clubs came to com-

Hermione Christey-Clover receives the Ladies Championship Trophy from Lady Captain Val Carder.

Gill Parsons-Fox receives the Nett Trophy from Lady Captain Val Carder.

pete, and the winning team were Angela Calvert, Caroline Nicholson, Sue Knott from Parkstone Golf Club with 87 points. The Ashley Wood Ladies' Championship was a scorcher, but

a fabulous Championship day. At the presentation supper congratulations were due to Hermione Christey-Clover on retaining the Championship with a gross 161 and to the Handicap Champion, Gill Parsons-Fox, with a nett 146.

Seniors' Captain Robin Morris with Summer Cup winners Andy Armitage and Ann Morris.


October 2019

Nicki’s diet team chip in for charity FOLLOWING the successful launch of the 1:1 Diet Ferndown within Huttons Hair & Beauty Salon in Ferndown, both Alex and Nicki Edwards (‘The Cambridge Lady’) were proud to support the Peter Alliss Invitational Pro/Celebrity golf match. Nicki's father David Rogers, former Captain at Ferndown Golf Club, generously sponsored the 1:1 Diet team to play in the 30th year of the golf match. Alex said: "The 1:1 team were certainly fired up (despite having to wear pink!) and were ready to take on the other 27 teams who participated. “Nicki had high hopes. Sadly they were not to win on the day but together with the generous support of all the sponsors and the charity auction - we all managed to raise over £30,000 on the evening." A final anticipated total for donation to the Peter Alliss Wheelchair Crusade, the club's own

Captain's charities (High Mead Farm, a supported work environment for people with disabilities and mental health issues in Ferndown) and Macmillan Caring Locally is expected to total a whopping £40-£45,000. The weather was kind and congratulations went to the Invatrust team led by member David Harris, Jem Fearon, Lawrence Berko and featuring James Tarbuck, son of Jimmy, who emerged as winners. Also in the field of 112 were entertainer Roger de Courcey, BBC South today sports presenter Tony Husband, Basil Brush himself (Mike Winsor), after-dinner speaker Ian Irving, former Captain of the Variety Club Golfing Society and Flt Lieut Jim Peterson, who the previous day had been delighting crowds at Bournemouth Air Festival at the controls of his RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft. Peter and Jackie Alliss once again were there for the evening.

Keith Parsons and Matt Horan of C3IA Solutions, with the Royals Signals' Road Cycling Team (from left) Tom Weatherhead, Rob Dickinson, Guy CarterRichardson, Jim Barber and Dave Jarvis.

Secure support for Signals cycling team LEADING cyber security business C3IA Solutions is hitting the road after sponsoring the Royal Corps of Signals Road Cycling Team. Based at Blandford Camp, the super-fit soldiers compete in military and civilian competitions at home and abroad. Without sponsorship the entrance fees can be prohibitive. The team also now have branded Lycra kit, and team member Jim Barber said: "The sponsorship is extremely helpful as it allows us to enter competitions and also look like a team. "We have also been able to purchase bike bags, enabling us to travel much more easily with the bikes to train and compete

abroad. All these little things make a huge difference, and we are extremely grateful to C3IA Solutions for the sponsorship which they have committed to for four years." Keith Parsons, one of the founders of Poole-based C3IA Solutions, said: "Matt Horan and myself who set up the business ten years ago are former Signallers. We really want to put something back into the military and this is the latest sports team we have got behind. "It is a two-way thing; the team gets funds to help them compete and we have our logo on the shirts which will be seen by many people over the next few years, helping to raise our profile."

BLANDFORD Boxing Club's Mark Benham boxed for England in August in a select international against Wales in Cardiff, winning twice against a strong compact boxer and showing great grit and discipline. Boxing took place at schools, junior and youth levels. Mark, the Southern Counties Junior Champion, boxed in the 66-67kg category as one of 16 young boxers in the England squad with a coaching team led by Amanda Coulson. Above: The 1:1 Diet team: Brad Hansford (Rushmore Golf Club), Jake Brooks (Ferndown Golf Club), Jack Twyford (Rushmore Golf Club) and Trevor Taylor (current captain at Dudsbury Golf Club). Below: Nicki Edwards with Peter Alliss.

28 Wednesday October 2: Blandford Bereavement Group, Blandford Parish Centre, 11am to 12.30pm, details 01258 453425 Blandford St Mary Parish Council, Brewery Hall, Hall & Woodhouse, 7pm Blandford Film Society presents 'Les Gardiennes' (France 2017 drama) The Blandford School, 7 for 7.45pm, guest tickets 01258 268139 Thursday October 3: Charity lunch for Julia's House, Springhead Trust with open gardens, talk and tour from 12 noon tickets £25 from Square Dancing, Spetisbury Village Hall, 4 to 6pm (and every Thursday) Friday October 4: Screenbites present Our Blood is Wine (2018), Langham Wine Estate, Crawthorne, DT2 7NG 7pm, tickets £8, bookings/details, Saturday October 5: Hedgehog Extravaganza, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, Blandford, 10am to 4pm Apple Pressing Day, 11.30am to 4pm, Clapcott's Farm, Spetisbury, last pressing 3.30pm Blandford Repair Café, Royal British Legion, Church Lane, 12.30 to 3pm, details Facebook Blandford Repair Café Blandford United Football Club, kick-off 3pm at the Park Road Recreation Ground (and every Saturday) Quiz night and evening meal, Corn Exchange, Blandford, 7 to 11pm, in aid of the Blandford Opportunity Group, tickets from Blandford Evening WI members, town clerk's office or The Orange Circus Band (country and blue grass), Winterborne Stickland village hall, 7.30pm, tickets and details 01258 880920 or Sunday October 6: The Art Room - informal art session for beginners, 11am-1pm, The Kings Arms, Blandford, details Monday October 7: Blandford Floral Group meets Anne Biddlecombe Hall, Tarrant Keyneston (note new venue), 2pm with Lynn Mackenzie - Tales of Wonder Tuesday October 8: Tarrant Gunville WI. Blandford Foot Clinic - caring for your feet. Tarrant Gunville Village Hall. 7.15 pm, tickets (£4 for non-members) include supper, details 01258 456202. Wednesday October 9: NHS Retirement Fellowship meeting, Committee Room, Blandford Community Hospital,

What’s on this month Entries in this diary are free of charge. If you have an event you would like included, send details to Nicci Brown, 01258 459346 or email This page is available and regularly updated on our website at Readers are advised to check with event organisers before attending. 10.15am, Shirley Critchley ‘Mayhem, Mutiny and Murder', details 01929 472441 Sturminster Newton Floral Group workshop, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, 7.30pm, ‘Hearts and Flowers’, Allison Finch Dorset Moviola showing ‘Red Joan’, Fontmell Magna Village Hall, 7 for 7.30pm Thursday October 10: Pop-up café for World Mental Health Day, Blandford Rugby Club, 10am Forum Cancer Support Group, Woodhouse Garden Pavilion 2 to 4pm (every 2nd Thursday of the month), details 07561 114644 Voskresenije (Resurrection) in concert, Blandford Parish Church, 7.30pm. tickets 01258 452506 Friday October 11: Shambles craft fair in front of the Blandford Corn Exchange 9-2pm (also Friday October 25) Blandford Evening Women's Institute meets 7pm, The Parish Centre, The Tabernacle, Blandford, Apple Pressing Race Night, Durweston Village Hall from 7pm, first race 7.30pm. Tickets £5 includes light supper, email Wessex Acoustic Folk, Blandford Royal British Legion Club, Church Lane, 8pm, Georgia Lewis Trio Saturday October 12: Coffee morning at Tarrant Gunville Village Hall in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, 10am to 12 noon, details 01258 456202. Screenbites at Ashmore Village Hall SP5 5AQ, 6.30 for 7pm,The Great British Bump Off! - Murder Mystery Dinner, featuring Murder on the Side, tickets £20, bookings and menu Sunday October 13: The 3c's Pool Team Challenge, 49 Damory Street, from 12 noon Time & Tide Theatre in To Win the Day: folk-drama about the women left behind when the Tolpuddle men were convicted, Springhead, Fontmell Magna, 6pm Bingo Night, Bryanston Club, 7.30pm Monday October 14: BBC Radio Solent Gardeners' Question Time programme 'The Kitchen Garden' visits Child Okeford Gardeners Club at 7pm, details Keith

Leighton 01258 861462 Tuesday October 15: Child Okeford Flower Arranging Club, 'Willow Weaving' workshop with Nicky Heal, Child Okeford Village Hall, 2.15pm, details: 01258 863775 Wednesday October 16: Valley Gardening Club AGM, Pamela Hambro Hall, Winterborne Stickland, 7.30pm, raffle & refreshments, non-members £3, details Dorset Wildlife Trust North Dorset meeting Fontmell Magna Village Hall (SP7 0PF), 7.30pm, David Smith on Wildlife of Kingston Lacy through the Ages Blandford Forum Film Society presents 'Stan & Ollie (UK 2019 drama), The Blandford School, 7 for 7.45pm, guest tickets 01258 268139 or email Thursday October 17: Blandford Art Society Workshop by Alison Board - mixed media, 1.30pm at Pimperne Village Hall, non-members £4, details Blandford Museum Archaeology Group Talk at the Museum by Lilian Ladle 'Prehistoric Malta', 7.30pm Friday October 18: Little Bulb Theatre - Mountain Music, Sturminster Marshall Memorial Hall, 7.30pm, tickets 01258 857019, details Saturday October 19: Friends of Blandford Hospital Autumn Fair, Corn Exchange, Blandford. 9.30am to 2pm Cats Protection Coffee Morning & Stalls, Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion, Blandford, 10am to 12.30pm Screenbites, Durweston Village Hall, Durweston, DT11 0QA, Toast (2010), details, bookings and other events Oddbodies present King Lear, Child Okeford Village Hall, 7.30pm, tickets 01258 861621, details Monday October 21: Strictly Come Tea-Dancing, Corn Exchange, Blandford, 2.30pm to 4.30pm, admission £7.50 per person (£5 for non-dancers) Thursday October 24: Blandford Horticultural Society AGM, United Reformed Church Hall, speaker Martin Stewart - Eight

October 2019 Generations, One Passion, 7.30pm, details 01258 452380 Friday October 25: Film 'Red Joan'(12A), Child Okeford Village Hall, 7.30pm, booking 01258 860113 Saturday October 26: Halloween Saturday, Angus Wood, St Leonards Avenue, Blandford, 6 to 9pm Halloween in the Carriage at Shillingstone Station, details Charity Quiz, Farquharson Arms, Pimperne, 8pm Sunday October 27: The Stickler, Dorset Doddlers hill race, registration from 8.30am Shillingstone Church Centre, start 10.30am Lanchards Lane, finish at Shillingstone Station Anna Mudeka - Kure Kure / Faraway, Portman Hall, Shillingstone, 7.30pm, tickets 01258 860319, details Monday October 28: Superfast Broadband Digital Champion at Blandford Library, 4 to 6pm Blandford Museum lecture by Dr Mark Forrest of Dorset History Centre, The Black Death in Blandford, Blandford Parish Centre, 7pm, admission £5 Tuesday October 29: Theatre Fideri Fidera - Ogg n Ugg n Dogg, family show, Sturminster Newton Exchange, 10am, tickets 01258 475137, details Wednesday October 30: Theatre Fideri Fidera, as above, Milborne St Andrew Village Hall, 10am, tickets 01258 839230 Thursday October 31 to Sunday November 3: Rotary Toy Collection, Blandford Parish Church, 10am to 4pm (Sunday 11am to 2pm) Thursday October 31 to Saturday November 2: Churchill Productions present Arthur Miller''s All My Sons, Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, 7.30pm (Sat mat 2.30pm), bookings 01202 885566 or BAKE-OFF is back on the telly and Pumpkin Play's bakingthemed messy play event for babies and toddlers is coming to Charlton Marshall Village Hall on Saturday October 5. There will be a taste-safe mud kitchen, rainbow mash cakes, play scales, a giant 'sponge' layer cake to build, hidden stars to find, a tray of flour for mark making, biscuits to ice and more. The event is suitable for children aged six months (or sitting unaided) to five years old, but capacity is limited and tickets must be booked in advance at

Profile for Sevensioux

September 2019 Forum Focus  

The free monthly newspaper for Blandford Forum and surrounding villages

September 2019 Forum Focus  

The free monthly newspaper for Blandford Forum and surrounding villages