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Forum Focus

June 2021 Issue No.111

The free monthly news magazine for the Blandford area

Est: 2012

Doctors seek go-ahead for new dispensary THE Blandford Group Practice has applied to NHS Services to dispense prescriptions from Shottsford House in Heddington Drive. A consultation is underway with interested parties and the public, giving them until June 19 to respond. Those consulted, in addition to Blandford Town Council which was due to consider the application at its planning meeting on May 24, include the town's two remaining Boots pharmacies and the Blandford Group Practice Patient Participation Group. A doctors' surgery needs the permission of NHS England to give patients medicines prescribed by doctors or nurses at the practice, which can be given as long as their patients live in an area considered 'rural in character' and more than 1.6km from a pharmacy. The Group Practice, operating

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out of Eagle House Surgery and Whitecliff Surgery in Whitecliff Mill Street, with a branch site in Child Okeford, currently dispenses from its pharmacy at the Whitecliff Surgery. Shottsford House was built as Phoenix House to replace the Beeches care home by Dorset Council at a cost of £3 million but closed in 2014, less than two years after its opening, and was then disposed of when its services were found to be no longer needed. It was sold to Partnerships in Care and run as a nursing home, and in 2018 became home to the Priory Hospital. But after operating for just over a year as a service registered to provide personal care with accommodation for up to 10 adults managed by Partnerships in Care, it closed in 2019 after concerns were raised by neighbours into how it was being managed. A CQC inspection in May of that year found it required improvement and a period in special measures failed to overcome the difficulty in recruiting suitably qualified staff for patients requiring high levels of round-the-clock care. A formal submission of the plans for the premises is expected in the near future.

Baby Beauden made an unexpected May Day entrance.

Kelly’s lunchtime special AN unexpectedly early May Day delivery almost brought this little chap into the world in the restaurant of the Crown Hotel, after Kelly Tilsed met up with her sister there for lunch. They had booked the meal so they could catch up before the baby's expected arrival on May 6. Kelly, from Blandford, said: "During lunch I had some very mild cramps but no different from what I'd been having over the previous couple of days, but then halfway through eating I felt a pop in • To Page 2

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Review strengthens town’s long links with the military

CURRENTLY confirmed and expected pickup points following the reopening of village pubs and venues are: Blandford and Blandford St Mary: Tesco and Homebase, Blandford St Mary; Lidl and Bartletts, Shaftesbury Lane; Morrisons, Greyhound Yard; M&S, Langton Road; Spoons of Dorset, Nightingale Court; The Gorge Café, East Street; The Spar Shop and Corn Exchange, Market Place; Information Centre, West Street; Chaffers and Iceland, Salisbury Street; James Newsagents, The Plocks; The Post Office, The Tabernacle; The 3Cs, Damory Street; The Co-op, Damory Garage and One Stop, Salisbury Road; Central Shop, Heddington Drive. Sturminster Newton: The Exchange, Emporium, Candy's and Root & Vine In the villages: Bryanston Club and phone box; Charlton Marshall pub; Child Okeford Cross Stores; Durweston hall and Enford Farm, Fiddleford Inn, Iwerne Minster Post Office; Langton Long Abbots Nursery; Pimperne phone box, church, and Anvil; Shillingstone Garage and Coop; Spetisbury Village Hall and Clapcotts Farm; Shroton Cricketers and bus shelter; Stourpaine shop; Tarrants - Langton Arms, Butchery Farm, True Lovers Knot St Richard's Close bus stop, Launceston and Gunville Farm Shops; Winterborne Whitechurch, Milton Arms.

THE commanders of the two military regiments with strong connections with Blandford have confirmed that the recent Defence Integrated Review impacts positively on their future. The new Garrison Commander at Blandford Camp, Col Jon Davies, said: "I am delighted that it is Defence's plan to have a significant presence in Blandford Garrison for at least the next 10 years and this includes 11 (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment and the home of the Royal Corps of Signals. "The Government's Integrated Review emphasises the importance of innovation, technology and digital communications in a modern, exciting and relevant Army and I foresee Blandford Garrison absolutely helping to deliver this vision. "This means that we are very much looking forward to rekindling our longstanding relationship with the town folk of Blandford after this long period of isolation imposed by the Covid pandemic. I am looking forward to seeing the garrison and the town helping each other to grow over the coming years." Col Davies was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in December 2001, and has served in a wide range of roles, including most recently as Chief of Staff (Rear) for HQ 7 Armoured Brigade, Chief of Staff 1 (UK) Signal Brigade, and Commandant of 1 Signal Regiment.

Col Jon Davies, the new garrison commander at Blandford Camp. He and his wife Julia have two sons, William and Benjamin, and he enjoys distance running, off-

road cycling, and both uphill and downhill skiing. Colonel Commandant, General Sir Patrick Sanders, of The Rifles, who like the Royal Signals enjoy the Freedom of the Town, has written to the Town Council saying the review will impact upon all regiments, but the success of the large regiment model, such as the Rifles, has been recognised. He said the Infantry's structure would be adjusted to create four administrative divisions similar to that which the Rifles has in place today and the regiment will not be losing any battalions. The 4th Battalion the Rifles will be one of four infantry battalions to form the new Ranger Regiment operating in high-threat environments to train, advise and accompany partner nations.

Kelly’s May Day surprise • From Page 1 my tummy and my waters went! "The staff were so lovely - they brought my sister through and followed with a towel in case I needed it and then offered drinks and kept coming to check on us until my partner Kevin arrived to pick me up. "He came in with our little girl Emerson and the staff gave her an activity pack to keep her entertained. "As we left, all the staff wished us luck and asked us to let them know how it all went, which I did. They couldn't have been kinder or more accommodating." After leaving The Crown, they went straight to the Poole Maternity Unit where less than half-an-hour later Beauden James Potts arrived. "He arrived safely and naturally and it was a very rapid labour. Had we not left when we did, he could have been born at the Crown," said Kelly.


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June 2021

Church repairs get a new grant boost THE continuing restoration of Blandford's Grade I listed parish church of St Peter and St Paul has received another funding boost. It has come in the form of a National Churches Trust (NCT) Cornerstone Grant of £20,000 and a £7,500 Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on NCT recommendation to help fund urgent repairs to the building, which remains on the Historic England 'at risk' register. Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, NCT vice-president, and Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive at the Wolfson Foundation, said they were delighted to be supporting the project to repair the roofs, highlevel masonry and restoration of the original Georgian internal plasterwork. The roof of the church has

reached a stage where patch repair is no longer a viable option and significant water ingress will occur in the very near future unless the roof is re-laid. The nave and transept roofs will be lifted and re-laid retaining as many of the original handmade clay tiles as possible, and the parapet gutters will be lifted and remodelled. Anne Shire and Sara Loch, who are overseeing the restoration project on behalf of the PCC, said: "We are very grateful for the generosity of both the National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation in providing grants towards the latest phase of our church restoration, and thrilled to receive one of only 14 Cornerstone grants given, for which 63 churches applied. Fundraising continues and we hope to launch soon our 'Tag-aTile' appeal."

Go-ahead given for £30k skate park work EQUIPMENT at Blandford's popular skate park on the Stour Meadows is to be repaired and replaced at a cost of £30,370 after the ageing ramp surfaces were found to have deteriorated to the point at which they would be declared dangerous and one item needed significant work. Blandford Town Council, when the skate park was built, agreed to contribute annually to a fund for its replacement, which has a balance of over £158,000. The idea was to replace all the old equipment with new and invite interested contractors to put forward designs for consultation with users. An inspection in March highlighting the continuing deterioration also revealed that the jump box would either need significant

work or replacement as it is becoming high-risk. Councillors were told that the ramp surfaces that required replacement could be used in any future changes to the equipment, and the replacement jump box could also be used within any future design. In view of the urgency of getting the work done to avoid having to close sections of the park, they agreed to accept the quotation from the specialist contractor with whom the council has a maintenance contract. They noted that while ideally further quotes might be sought, there were no companies locally working with the materials used at Blandford, and those contacted in the past had declined to quote due to the distance.

Litterpickers with their haul by the blue bridge.

Families join clean-up THE first post-pandemic town litter pick was conducted by more than 30 people, including several families, who among the takeaway food containers and cigarette butts also found a child's scooter, a shopping trolley, a traffic sign and a broken walking pole. Hugo Mieville, of Blandford War on Waste/Cleanup Blandford Campaign, thanked all their helpers, big and small, and Matt of the Dorset Rangers. It was followed by a river clean-up by Clean River Stour, whose spokesperson Debbie Broadhurst said: "We were appalled at the sheer volume of what we collected in just a few hours." There will be monthly litter picks through the summer, the next being on June 19, and weekly events in August. Find the summer programme on the Blandford War on Waste / Clean Up Blandford Campaign Facebook page, or by email to blandfordwaronwaste@gmail.com.

Court issues restraining order for threats man JUSTIN David Hodges, aged 47, of Wilson Park, Blandford, has been made subject to a restraining order lasting until April 28 next year after admitting using threatening words or disorderly behaviour to cause a woman harassment, alarm or distress on July 25 last year. He was also made subject to a community order requiring him to complete up to 10 days of rehabilitation activity and carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay a £95 surcharge and £200 costs. • A man who admitted assaulting another in Blandford on March 7

last year has been banned from entering Tiffany's night club and the Crown and Anchor pub for a year. Ashley Parry, 22, of Tottenham, pleaded guilty to the assault at the West Street premises and was sentenced by district judge Stephen Nicholls at Poole Magistrates' Court to an 18month community order. He was made subject to a fourweek overnight curfew and told he must complete up to 10 rehabilitation activity days, 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £300 compensation and £85 costs.


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June 2021

Town shamed by heartless vandals INCIDENTS of vandalism continue to cause distress and anger to individuals and organisations whose volunteers work hard to improve the Blandford environment. But some mindless destruction of football equipment has had a happy outcome, after the grandfather of a Blandford United U10 team member launched an online

The damaged pool in the Friends Millennium Garden at Blandford Community Hospital.

appeal to raise the money to replace it. Bill Hussey set up the GoFundMe appeal after the team's goals and nets were burned and destroyed in the middle of April, saying: "These boys will be heartbroken and will not begin to understand how this can have happened." He said he hoped that something good would emerge from the act of vandalism, and it did. "The response was incredible. The posts and nets cost £750. When I saw the appeal had reached £1,191, I turned it off. The residue of the money is in their kitty for ongoing kit. "It's nice to know that so much good has come from an evil act. My grandson Arley plays in that team and I so admire the three adults who give their time so freely to run the team in all winds and weather." Rob Andre, now assistant manager with the senior team but for many years a youth coach with the club, said: "Grassroots football is struggling financially with the pandemic and acts of mindless vandalism can be potentially

Wrecked goal posts and nets at the BUFC youth ground at Milldown Road. very harmful to the stability of clubs like Blandford. "My under-15s pitch also had a problem when a goal net on our 11 v 11 pitch at Milldown Road (Leisure Centre side) was cut. It truly baffles me why anyone would find this at all amusing." Blandford Lions also recently discovered damage to the pool they sponsored in the Friends Millennium Garden created 20 years ago behind the former Portman Unit. The top course of bricks had

been pulled off and thrown into the water, and a £100 reward has been offered by Lion James Mayo for information leading to a conviction. Further damage has also been reported in Angus Wood, where the twin trunk of a cherry tree was sawn through, toppling the tree onto the path running round the wood. The incident was reported to the police, and neighbours and visitors to the wood have been asked to report anything suspicious.

Rotarians keep busy despite the lockdown THE Blandford Stour Rotary Club has not let lockdown cut down on their continued efforts to help locally, nationally and internationally throughout difficult times, donating over £7,500 to many deserving causes. Members have helped at the Blandford Medical Practice in organising within the surgery and parking during the busy vaccination periods, and despite travel restrictions managed to deliver 520 shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to deserving children around the world as part of the Rotary national Shoebox Appeal. They have supported the Blandford Foodbank, the Panda preschool and the Weldmar Hospice, as well as Durweston School, Blandford Trailway, Blandford School and Longmead Farm Project, often in liaison with other local service clubs, Bland-

ford Rotary and Blandford Lions. Nationally they have supported Rotary's Kids Out, providing a day out for local children with disabilities and other problems and the Rotary Young Leaders Awards Scheme, sponsoring several students from The Blandford School. Internationally, they have continued the support given for 15 years to their project in Kenya with the help of a local school, while also continuing to support major Rotary Worldwide actions such as the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus. The Club's President Graham Colls summed up: "Covid has shown the importance of communities pulling together and looking after each other. That's what Rotary does all the time." To find out more about the club, contact their secretary at bsrotarysec@gmail.com.

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June 2021

Clear way forward for railway project IT'S full steam ahead at Shillingstone Railway following approval by Dorset Council of planning permission to extend the line and reinstate the track bed and railway track between the station and the Bere Marsh cattle creep underpass. David Caddy, chair of the North Dorset Railway (NDR), thanked all those who had supported them and looked forward to continuing a close working relationship with them and their neighbours. "We are now in a position to proceed with the necessary lease negotiation with the landowner to enable the work to begin," he said. The further relaxation of Covid-19 rules has allowed the station to

reopen to provide refreshment for Trailway users and station visitors. The station frontage has been given a spring clean and a giant gazebo has been erected for visitors and future covered displays. Thanks to the S&DRT at Washford, a plank wagon, flat wagon and the historic crane from Binegar station have been added to the stock on a loan agreement. The wagons will be used in building the planned extension and the crane will be installed on the loading dock when it is rebuilt. For further information or to find out how to help, see the website at northdorserrailway.co.uk or follow them on Facebook: S&DJR Shillingstone.

Council’s new mayor and committee line-ups IN addition to electing the new town Mayor Lee Hitchings and his deputy Colin Stevens at their annual meeting in May, town councillors appointed their committees. The recreation and amenities committee will be chaired by Lynn Lindsay with vice-chair Haydn White; town and general purposes committee will be chaired by Hugo Mieville with vice-chair Rosemary Holmes; and the finance and staffing committee by Steve Hitchings with vice-chair Pat Osborne. All members of the council serve on the planning committee, which is chaired by Roger Carter with vice-chair John Stayt.

They agreed that some meetings may continue to be held virtually and some in person, but all would remain accessible to the public online to avoid too many people attending. They also appointed representatives to various town organisations and other bodies, but made no appointment to Blandford Chamber of Commerce which was reported to have not met for several years, although it has not been formally dissolved. A date for mayor-making - normally held in public in May but as last year prevented by Covid restrictions - was delegated for arrangement between the Mayor and Town Clerk.

Signalling all systems go at Shillingstone station.


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June 2021

Neighbourhood Plan wins voters’ seal of approval NEARLY 84 per cent of more than a quarter of the electorate voting on the Blandford+ Neighbourhood Plan voted in favour on May 6. A similar percentage of nearly half the electorate voted for the Milton Abbas Neighbourhood Plan. The plans will now be taken to Dorset Council Cabinet for formal adoption to become part of the development plan for the area and be considered in deciding whether planning applications should be granted. Councillor Roger Carter said: "As Chair of the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan (B+NP) steering group, I'm delighted with the result and would like to sincerely thank the people in the local community who showed confidence in the plan and voted 'yes'. "Many individuals across the three councils of Blandford Forum, Bryanston and Blandford St Mary have worked for years to bring this about and at long last the people living in the northern part of Blandford will, subject to planning permission, have the vital infrastructure they need, including a new primary school. "However, this is not all that the B+NP is about. We are committed to securing contributions from new development for the improvement of local health facilities and to protecting vital green spaces such as the Deer Park 'Crown Meadows' area and 'The Cliff' in Bryanston. "We have used the plan to challenge the 80 houses off Black

Lane and will use it to properly plan for the Blandford+ area, meaning speculative applications like these will have less chance of being successful." Mr Carter added: "Our town centre policies reflect the new 'E' use class order, but we will need to be mindful of the permitted development rights the Government are bringing in later this year and the effect this may have on our beautiful town centre and conservation area. "Finally, I should like to thank the people who challenged us on social media to explain the policies. Whilst we may not have changed many minds, it did give us an opportunity to really explain in some depth some of the reasons why we chose the policies we did." He said a number of people had misunderstood the distinction between the Neighbourhood Plan and Wyatt's application for land north and east of the bypass, which the Town Council voted against last November, and questioned the democratic process. (see letter page 14). "The minutes clearly state that the vote taken by council was not against the Neighbourhood Plan but against aspects of the Wyatt's planning application. "All the members of the B+ steering group are elected councillors, and the Neighbourhood Plan has been supported by democratic votes by the full three councils throughout its various stages."

Tory wins Police role DORSET'S new Police and Crime Commissioner chosen by election on May 6 is the Conservative David John Sidwick (right), who in the second and final count polled 70,353 votes compared to Independent Dan Hardy's 43,427. In the first vote with 64,071 votes to Mr Hardy's 31,112, he had no clear majority over the total votes cast for the other four candidates, resulting in the elimination of the bottom three and transfer of electors' second votes from the unsuccessful candidates to the remaining two. Green Party candidate Claire Seymour had come third with 21,283 votes, Liberal Democrat Mark Andrew Robson polled 17,837, and Labour and Co-operative Party candidate Patrick Canavan polled 16,379.


June 2021

Night-time plea for road work

Community fridge tackles food waste

CONTRACTORS carrying out the traffic works around the Badger (Tesco) roundabout in Blandford St Mary have been urged to revert to night-time working when four-way traffic lights for the third phase of activity are expected to cause significant delays. Cllr Steve Hitchings at the town council meeting said the current phase one was running late and impacting on traffic flow due to lights that were not in use. He said most of the work had been intended to be completed at night, but due to complaints received had been switched to daytime. Members agreed to write to Dorset Council and the local Dorset councillors in support of night-time working. They were told at their planning meeting a month later that phase three work between May 25 and August 5 would be overnight but Bellway had been asked to carry out the noisiest tasks at the start of their shift at 7pm.

BLANDFORD'S 'Community Fridge' opened on May 19 with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK in a growing effort to tackle food waste. The fridge is located at Blandford Youth & Community Centre, next to the Leisure Centre, and willl be open, in the first instance, on Wednesday mornings between 9am and 11am for anyone to help themselves to quality food from Tesco that would otherwise be wasted. Everyone is welcome. The aim is to empower communities to reduce food waste - a big issue in the UK where the average household throws away £700 worth of food a year at a time when four million people are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK is avoidable, since the food could have been eaten had it been better managed. The fridge, for which funding has come from Dorset Council and Blandford Town Council, with commitments from the Georgian

Fayre, the Carnival Committee and accountancy firm Sandisons Ltd, is one of a growing number operating across the UK where there are now over 50 projects running. Work on the Blandford project started in September 2020 and online meetings have been held since then with volunteers and representatives from the Town Council, the Blandford Group Practice, Blandford Youth & Community Centre and Public Health Dorset. To find out more about Blandford Community Fridge, donate or volunteer, see the Facebook page or email blandfordcommunityfridge@outlook.com. Hubbub set up the world's community Friday Network in 2017 and provides free advice and support to community fridge organisers, enabling communities to share their experiences and learn from each other. For more information see hubbub.org.uk/communityfridgenetwork.

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The Blandford Community Fridge is now open on Wednesday mornings at the Blandford Youth & Community Centre in Milldown Road. Blandford's Information Centre in West Street reopened with the latest easing of Covid restrictions on May 17. It will be open from Monday to Saturday each week but initially operating under shorter hours, from 10am to 3pm. For more information contact blandfordtic@btconnect.com.


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From left to right: Dorset Council's deputy leader, Cllr Peter Wharf; chair of Dorset LEP, Cecilia Bufton; Wessex Internet MD Hector Gibson Fleming; and headteacher of Durweston School, Nicola Brooke.

Mayoral fund payout A CHEQUE for £3,324 was presented by outgoing Mayor Cllr Lynn Lindsay on May 14 to Sara Loch from the Community Kitchen. The money was raised during Cllr Lindsay's Mayoral years 2019-2020 and 2020-21 for her nominated charity, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she was unable to hold as many charity fundraisers as planned. It was, however, an amazing amount which was greatly appreciated by the Community Kitchen. Cllr Lindsay also presented Mayor's commendation certificates to staff from the Blandford Group Practice in recognition of the successful roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccinations, and to four women - Anne Bennett, Valerie Foster, Becky Rodwell and Tara Eren - in recognition of the great support they provided to her in her Mayoral Years.

June 2021

Now villages set to access full-fibre WESSEX Internet have announced that not only will they be extending their full fibre-to-thepremises based broadband network to cover homes in Blandford and Sturminster Newton, benefiting up to 8,000 homes, but they will also be taking it free of charge to key sites in the town and district. Thanks to funding from the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and Dorset Council, they will be extending into local primary schools, health and community services among around 60 premises in north Dorset. The Shroton-based company was awarded the contract to deliver to community buildings following a competitive tender process. Dorset Council's deputy leader, Cllr Peter Wharf, said: "This is fantastic news for the communities in this area. It will mean some of our most rural areas that would

never be covered commercially will be able to access the next generation of gigabit-capable broadband. "This is good news for the community organisations, all of which provide vital services, and for surrounding residents and businesses who will now have greater access to full-fibre infrastructure." Hector Gibson Fleming, managing director of Wessex Internet, said: "We're delighted not only to connect these important community sites, but to be able to rapidly expand our network to the rural communities between Blandford and Sherborne, and connect more homes and businesses. "We have already connected dozens of Dorset villages and hamlets to full fibre broadband. This will accelerate our work in this area and continue to expand our rapidly growing workforce in north Dorset."

Some of the sculptured books made in Blandford as part of a Dorset Libraries Novels project.

Novel view of books BLANDFORD library was involved when Dorset Libraries successfully took part in the BBC Arts, Novels that Shaped Our World project. Residents at Whitecliffe House Care Home reminisced about books from childhood and then, with Deborah from Creative Clay for All, created clay tiles, to reflect their memories. Inspired by nursery rhymes and fairy stories, the kiln-fired books will enable them to reminisce about books and reading and be a talking point when their families visit. Louise Butcher at Blandford Library said: "We were so pleased to be part of this." A second Blandford event was for children of military families who created their clay book tiles featuring animals, mermaids, cars and trees in an absorbing hands-on activity. The next phase of the project will be an event at Blandford library for adults with dementia and their carers on June 9.

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June 2021

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June 2021

Tiny cup a miraculous survivor of Dresden

Ernest Houlton, who found the tiny cup in the rubble of the bombed Dresden.

Writers headline literary festival

A TINY china cup found by the grandfather of a Blandford man in the rubble after the bombing of Dresden in February 1945 was featured in a special Antiques Roadshow 'World War II - The Aftermath' broadcast by the BBC on May 2. Ernest Houlton, from Poole, was serving with the Dorsetshire Regiment when he discovered the cup which looked like something from a child's doll set, and carried it around with him for the rest of the war. Afterwards he gave it to his daughter, Maggie Pitcher, who still lives in Blandford after marrying a Winterborne Whitechurch man. She said: "Dad was always keen-eyed."

In turn she passed it onto her son James Pitcher, who told the programme: "It's quite amazing really and symbolises how fragile things can survive." Antiques Roadshow expert Will Farmer shed more light on the redware cup, which bore a mark on the base saying Wedgewood, and said that 80 per cent of the pottery made by Wedgewood in the late 1800s was exported to Europe. He said: "It was extraordinary to find it so perfect in amongst the rubble. A little survivor, so small, so beautiful, which shows how much we had in common, at the same time as people were trying to kill each other."

TWO bestselling authors with Dorset connections will give online talks about their latest books at the 2021 Sturminster Newton Literary Festival. Libby Page and Lucy Clarke will be heading up the programme, which has had to adapt due to pandemic regulations. Libby, a former head girl at Gillingham School, is a Sunday Times bestselling author and will be in conversation with Dorset Libraries about her writing and reading habits and her latest book on June 17 at 7pm.

The cup, pictured alongside a pen to illustrate its size.

Lucy is the bestselling author of six psychological thrillers and will be talking about her writing and reading from her latest novel The Castaways on June 14 at 7pm. The festival, which focuses on the three writers associated with the town (Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, and Robert Young), current Dorset authors and poets and aspiring writers, runs from June 14 to 20 and features online talks, literary walks and a video celebrating local literature connections. For further information, contact sturlitfest1@gmail.com or see sturlitfest.com.


June 2021

Council grant cash helped keep the community going CLUBS and charities which have received grant funding from Blandford Town Council during the past year were invited to report on their activities to the town assembly, held virtually in April. A number are reported on elsewhere in this issue of Forum Focus, and all thanked the council for its support with either grants or service-level agreements. Mark Williams, of Treads youth advice centre, described projects they had worked on in a challenging year online and said a partnership with Bryanston

School would be announced shortly. Alan Cross, from the Blandford Railway Club, said members had been working at home on pieces for a 22-foot scenic model of the Sturminster Marshall Bailey Gate cheese factory and station which they hope to exhibit before the end of the year. The club was hoping to reopen in the summer and reinstate its weekly workshop meetings and events for members and guests. A screening was shown of the virtual recording of Deep Harmony by the Stour Valley Band, for whom Bruce Harding

Plan in for new waste depot PLANS have now been submitted by Dorset Council for the new waste management centre, which will replace that in Shaftesbury Lane, on land south-east of Sunrise Business Park with a new access off the Blandford bypass. Application number P/DCC/2021/01597 is now open for comment on the Dorset Council website. If approved, work could start this summer, and the new centre completed by the winter of 2022.

said the council's support was invaluable in meeting outgoings of £1,000 despite not meeting in the last year. They hope to be playing together again later this year, with nine engagements already booked. Daniel Cadisch, director of the Citizens Advice Bureau, said staff and volunteers had worked hard from day one of home working, and the face-to-face service had now been reopened. With invaluable support from the Food Bank they had dealt with over 1,000 issues, including unemployment, assistance with claiming benefits for the first time, rent arrears and domestic abuse. "The Blandford response to Covid-19 has been so very kind," he said. The Mayor, Councillor Lynn Lindsay, who summarised the council's work during the year, thanked everyone for their "immeasurable" contributions, particularly in reaching sections of the community which were difficult to reach and those who were "very, very vulnerable".

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Coppice project for the Jubilee AN unused and unkempt plot of land at the northern end of the Elizabeth Road allotment site is to be planted as a hazel coppice to replace the one which will be lost at Lamperd's Field if the allotments are relocated. The Allotment Society asked Blandford Town Council, from whom they rent the plots, whether the land which became subject to fly tipping in 2019 could be used to grow the coppice from which they can cut pea sticks and bean poles every year, suggesting it would make a good site for wildlife as they could also plant woodland flowers. "With the Queen's Platinum Jubilee next year, it would be good to make it a Jubilee project," they said. Councillors agreed unanimously that it was an opportunity to reclaim the land and control both the fly tipping and potential for rodent problems.


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June 2021

Spring on the Stour

Parking worries

THE arrival of spring brought with it the appearance of scores of cygnets and ducklings on the river Stour, which brought out photographers as well as well-wishers concerned for the youngsters' safety and appealing for their privacy. Forum Focus is grateful to Sharon Towning and Pat Patrick for sharing these longdistance shots on social media, where it was reported that the brood of eight cygnets were believed to be from the breeding pair which last year produced nine. Another eight had been seen in Charlton Marshall. Mr Patrick reported on May 8 the aggression shown by a male towards a female on six eggs, whose mate was 'skulking' further downstream. "My supposition is that the aggressor didn't want competition for food for his brood of eight, who I believe are from our super parents who have now had 31 over the last four years."

PLANS have been submitted to Dorset Council by McCarthy & Stone for a 45-unit retirement home for the over-60s on plot 3 of the Brewery redevelopment site at Blandford St Mary. The application, which follows outline approval given for the whole site in 2017, makes a few changes to the detail of proposals presented in a community consultation last year. The single Lshaped, three-storey building allows views through the site over Stour Meadows and is designed to blend with neighbouring buildings and create attractive building frontages along Stour Street, currently being developed by Drew Homes, and Stour Meadows. The applicants say that prevailing themes of their consultation included the level of parking provision proposed. Local Dorset councillor Noc Lacey Clarke said: "There are only 33 parking spaces for 45 units. There is a chronic parking issue in and around Blandford and this would only exacerbate it." Comments are open until June 14 on the Dorset Council website.

Above: The eight cygnets with their mum. Above right: A bird's eye view of a family of mum and ten ducklings. Pictures: Sharon Towning.

The clutch of eight cygnets. Picture: Pat Patrick.


June 2021

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Pandemic fails to halt the caring

Bright future for youth support team

BLANDFORD Cares tried to remain open during the lockdown for selected donation deliveries as the only active collection point within 30 miles of North Dorset, but their activities continued to be curtailed. Project leader Mike Hearn reported that avenues for transport have closed and Brexit customs arrangements take no account of humanitarian aid consignments. Covid precautions have also meant a contact-free 'delivery by appointment' system and isolation of bags before transfer to the United Reformed Church for sorting. But around 100 bags of donations allowed the selection of high-quality items, books and DVDs for sale on the internet, resulting in first quarter income of just over £1,700, almost all of which was donated directly to NGOs in northern France and the Sudan. The total exceeded the amount given in the same period last year. The group was also able to work with the Blandford Food Bank and Community Kitchen, identifying opportunities to support local homeless, rough sleepers and people needing help, including meeting requests for school uniform and warm coats from schools in the area. Signs that avenues for aid distribution to overseas refugees would begin to open in May meant that over 60 boxes could be delivered as soon as they could be accepted. The sorting room reopened for normal activity after May 17, and suitable outlets are being sought for children's toys.

BLANDFORD Youth and Community Centre was hoping to reopen to small groups from the middle of May to comply with social distancing rules. Its new chairman Julie Newell said: "We have all sorts of plans including running some DJ sessions and starting up a parent and toddler group." Mrs Newell succeeds founder chairman Andrew Kerby, who said: "After five long years battling to ensure our young people have the provision that they deserve, my journey has come to a successful end and I have now stepped down as chair of trustees of Blandford Youth Centre. "I believe I leave behind a sus-

Slab work set to start WORK is expected to start at the end of June or early in July on replacing the paving slabs in Blandford town centre. Councillor Byron Quayle, who said replacement had been one of his pledges before his election to the County Council in 2017, said Dorset Council had agreed to the public's preferred option of stand-alone dedicated slabs rather than the surface trialled in Sheep Market Hill some months ago. Highways officers have also agreed that the slabs inscribed with poetry will be kept, the few that are broken will be replaced, and a number of slabs containing fossils will be retained for display for educational purposes in the town.

Young people pictured with then-chairman Andrew Kerby at a weekend of activities arranged last summer. tainable and thriving charity that I know does a lot of good - supported by the incredible Joanne Hutson and Kayleigh Milly James - that provides advice and guidance to our most vulnerable." Ms Hutson told the town assembly in April that throughout the closure periods the centre had tried to be a one-stop shop of support, with a targeted group between the lockdowns, social media for those needing support, and one-to-one support for those needing additional support for their mental health.

"We have been present in the town talking to young people during our outreach work and have recently been awarded £500 by Dorset Council to complete some project work with a group we have been engaging with during outreach." She said they had also been able to update their policies and training, attract new people, and had a website almost ready to launch, in addition to working on projects with the town council, William Williams Charity and The Blandford School.


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Readers’ letters

Litter bugs are spoiling our town . . LIKE many people during the lockdowns I have taken the opportunity to walk as much as possible every day and have been dismayed and shocked by the increasing amount of litter and dog mess everywhere I walk. I see many of the individual plastic sweet wrappers, some even just left by the side of bins. We have many little paths around town and they, together with the Milldown, the Hangings, the meadows and the river, all suffer the thoughtless dropping of litter. If we don't act now who knows what the future will be like? It's really great that we have people in Blandford who organise 'litter picks' and I have even gone along and helped. Much litter is scattered by opentopped loads on our roads but surely it should be illegal to move loads with no covering over (trucks, lorries, skips, etc). I'm convinced this is a huge source of littering along our main roads and bypasses. Surely we could ask all businesses, workers on industrial estates and residents to try and keep their premises and adjoining areas clear of litter. Fast food outlets, at their premises, could highlight that their used containers should go in bins.

June 2021 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: editor@forumfocus.co.uk. Alternatively, you can call 01258 459346 or deliver your letter to: Forum Focus, c/o Colin's

So I ask, please: • Everyone - be aware of what we have in our pockets (masks, doggy bags) and ensure we don't drop anything by accident and that anything we put in a bin goes in and doesn't hang over the edge. • Parents - ensure your children understand that littering is not acceptable and be aware of what your teenagers are doing when they meet in large groups drinking and eating snacks. • Schools - put more effort into educating our young people in the care and consideration of our environment and surroundings and that littering is a fineable offence. • Dorset Waste Partnership operatives - be more considerate to prevent further littering when on their rounds. • Smokers - put your cigarette packets, wrappings and those horrible roll-your-own filter tubes into the bins. • Everyone could keep a small bottle of hand gel in your pocket and endeavour to pick up at least one piece of litter every day. If we all do a 'little' it can go a 'long way' and hopefully we can preserve and enjoy our town and surrounding areas. Perhaps there will come a day when we can hold up our 'litter-free' town as a shining example to the rest of the country. Name & address supplied.

. . and our countryside I RECENTLY visited friends for several days in Tarrant Rushton. I enjoyed the lovely countryside

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.

walks in the area each day. I was deeply saddened, however, that on each walk I came across a different burn pile. Now I certainly don't mind anyone burning brush or wood, but these piles clearly all had been used to burn plastics and other garbage. One even had the remains of a car battery. In one field I walked through, the acrid smell of burning plastic gave me a headache before I reached the far gate. Coincidentally, the cover story of April's National Geographic was about air pollution and the many ways that it harms our health, including contributing to Parkinson's disease. One of my friends in Tarrant suffers from such and has spent lockdown raising money to help fight the disease. This, while his neighbours are burning rubbish, sending a bouquet of toxins to settle wherever they may. Our farmers work hard to produce the food that nourishes all of us. They are stewards of the beautiful countryside for our children, and their children. For this, they deserve our respect. However, anyone that chooses to foul the lovely countryside air and spread toxins to their neighbours is nothing short of rude. We ALL live downstream. Dave Manning Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset

Abuse drives me to tears I AM disabled and cannot walk far so I use an 8mph road-legal

mobility scooter which I drive on the roads. I obey all the road signs and give way whenever there is place to do so. I have insurance, public liability insurance, breakdown and tyre insurance, and also get my scooter serviced every year to make sure it is OK. But every time I go out on my scooter, people in their cars drive slowly by and shout abuse at me out of their car windows. The law says I can drive on the road and that I don't need a number plate, but the abuse from passing cars is really getting me down and I am constantly getting home from the shops crying. Sue Boxford-Faulkner

A planning puzzle YOUR May issue included a twopage spread published by Blandford+ which seems to be Blandford Forum Town Council, Blandford St Mary Parish Council and Bryanston Parish Council in partnership. Therein the Partnership stated: "After an extensive review of all available land in and around Blandford, steered by clear public opinion . . . proposes to extend . . . development beyond the bypass to the north and north-east of Blandford Forum." How does at least the Town Council reconcile that with the decision, last November, by the town's elected councillors, to reject the planning proposal that is Blandford+? Simon Sherbrooke, Blandford


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June 2021

Letters extra Could you help out at town’s museum? THE Blandford Town Museum opened again to the public on May 18, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, in the first instance. The museum is run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers but we can always do with more help. Our most urgent need is for a new treasurer. Our previous treasurer has had to resign for personal reasons but, in the last 18 months, has done a magnificent job of reorganising our finances and her successor will take over clear and simple systems. She is very willing to explain the systems to her successor. We are looking for someone who has good organisational skills, knows their way round a spreadsheet and preferably has experience in paying bills and handling accounts. We are also looking for stewards who can help explain the museum to our visitors. Some of our stewards commit to a session

every week, but even if you can only help once a month, we would welcome your contribution. All that is required is a friendly face and an interest in local history. You will receive training and help is always on hand, if needed. There are lots of other opportunities to volunteer, from helping with our website, conservation and exhibition work to researching historical topics. We actively encourage people of all ages and all abilities to join us. Young people interested in a career in museum management or visitor attractions will be offered mentorship. If you or someone you know is interested in any of these roles, please phone 01258 458911 or email contact@blandfordtownmuseum.org.uk Joy Reynolds Chair of Trustees Blandford Town Museum

Meet the family with Jimi Collis at Launceston Farm.

Cow ‘safari’ on offer A 'COW share' scheme for beef lovers at Launceston Farm in Tarrant Launceston, which for the past year has been donating some of its proceeds to the Blandford Food Bank, has been extended to offer a 'cow safari' to its subscribers. The 'cow share' scheme allows local people buy a share of their organic beef and a portion of proceeds is donated to foodbanks in Blandford and Wimborne, and other local charities and projects. Guests can now enjoy a close-up introduction to the farm's organic stabiliser herd and the regenera-

tive farming practices that make Launceston Farm a haven for biodiversity while producing highquality food. They will enjoy seasonal produce from the farm and a hedgerow tipple from the Shepherd's Hut gin bar. The farm is also hoping to hear from schools and community groups interested in seeing organic farming methods in practice. An old farm workshop has been converted into an education space, complete with integrated audio-visual system and kitchen. For details email farm@launcestonfarm.co.uk.

Fanfare for VE Day REMEMBERING that celebrations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, a fanfare was sounded at Blandford Camp on May 7 by Geordie Thomson in celebration of the 76th anniversary of VE Day. The flags could not be flown from the Town Hall due to the scaffolding in place for the installation of architectural lighting to the façade. Light is now pouring into the lobby area between the Town Hall and the Corn Exchange following replacement of the glazed lantern, work that was urgently required and carried out during the national lockdown by Greendale Constructions Ltd with financial support from Historic England.


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Council u-turn over graveyard rules BLANDFORD Town Council has responded to a family's concerns about a 'no kerbing' rule in the newest part of the town's cemetery by revising their policy and agreeing to allow kerbstones. The family was told they could not install the stones despite the fact that a kerb set already existed, due to an administrative error on the part of the town council. Councillors, many of whom had been contacted personally, considered the issue at their meeting in April. Councillor Noc Lacey Clarke said: "We have all seen Facebook and been lobbied over this - we either have to insist that the kerbstones put down accidentally are removed, or allow them for everyone, and I am on the side of allowing for all." Councillor Hugo Mieville said: "I don't have the heart to make anyone remove them." Others agreed unanimously, Councillor Cathy Jacques saying: "The family are distraught. We should not

deny people the right to decide how they treat a loved one." In his report to the meeting, the council's operations manager Jon Goodenough said that staff maintaining the cemetery felt allowing kerb sets would not make maintenance more difficult - one of the reasons for not allowing them and in some cases could be easier and more attractive. Some people had put other items on and around graves which were not as neat as formal kerb sets. He said: "Our cemetery is popular because we are flexible in what people can do and the issue of kerb sets being damaged by maintenance work is not something which has happened in my time." "Whilst the original idea of having the new section looking similar to the Commonwealth War Graves area with just headstones and nothing else was a fair one at the time, it does not appear that this is the wish of those who have interred loved ones in the area."

June 2021

Blue heaven - but where? LAST month's picture was correctly identified by a number of people from the Spetisbury and Charlton Marshall area as an oil beetle - distinctive in being quite large and having no wing cases, but a wonderful metallic blue shine. They lay their eggs near flowers, and when the eggs hatch the larvae crawl onto a flower and wait for a bee to arrive so they can hitch a ride to the bee's nest and live there till they become adult. They are apparently named for the offensive oil secreted if disturbed, but totally harmless, with beautiful leg colouring. The best time of year to look for oil beetles is March to July, and because they are not very common and under threat from changing environment, Buglife have appealed for people to send their oil beetle records and photographs to their national survey via their website buglife.org.uk or by post to Oil Beetle Survey, Buglife, Bug House, Ham Lane, Orton Waterville, Peterborough PE2 5UU. We're grateful to Janet Isaac for sending us the picture of the one she found in her garden, which was identified as a male oil beetle, the female having a much larger abdomen. This month's picture is easily identified as a wonderful display of bluebells, but does anyone recognise where?

Bin collection changes DORSET Council has announced that it has started to use new waste collection vehicles in the north of the county, and the way they empty bins in and around North Dorset could change, with new collection days for some people early in June. They will be writing to all affected households directly, so it should not change for anyone not getting a letter. But information online may differ before the online details are updated on June 6. Bins may be emptied by more than one crew at different times on the collection day, so should be left out until 4pm before reporting what may be thought to be a missed collection.


June 2021

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Studios thrown open as artists showcase their work AT LEAST three dozen artists in the Blandford area are opening their studios as part of Dorset Arts Weeks, which began last month and runs to June 6. Open to view and purchase most days are textiles at Moonstone in Whitecliff Mill Street, Blandford, watercolours, prints, collages and ceramics at Artisan House in East Street, Blandford, and artwork and glassware in venues featuring six artists in Child Okeford. Three artists - David Norton, Judy Baker and Shelagh Scoble - are exhibiting in a stable at the Traveller's Rest Farm in Durweston, and the Dorset Coppice Group are exhibiting woodcraft at the Living Classroom in Bonsley Wood. For further details see programmes available in many outlets or the website dorsetartweeks.co.uk. Other exhibitors include members of the art department at Bryanston School, who will be

running a series of special public workshops for the first time as part of the event, and hosting an open studio featuring some of the latest works of staff who are accomplished artists in their own right. The open studio coincides with the school's half-term holiday and will be open until Sunday June 6 (10am to 4pm). Early booking is advisable for the workshops (£11 for adults and £6 for under-16s) at tickets.bryanston.co.uk. The first workshop on experimental drawing was planned for Monday May 31, with ceramics on Friday June 4, experimental print-making on Wednesday June 2 and live drawing on Saturday June 5, all starting at 10am. Doug Knight, head of art at Bryanston, said: "We had hoped to be involved last year but the pandemic knocked that on the head. Running dedicated workshops for all ages as part of the

county's most popular art event is the perfect opportunity to support art development in the local community. "Dorset Art Weeks also provides our talented team with a rare collective opportunity to showcase their skills and latest works to a wider audience. As a new venue on the event's circuit, we are really looking forward to welcoming visitors." Bryanston is renowned as a fertile environment for the creative arts, with former pupils including Sir Terence Conran, Sir Howard Hodgkin, Richard Batterham, Quinlan Terry, Lucian Freud, Sophie Harley, Michael Armitage, Tessa Eastman and Coco Fennell. A dozen members of staff will be running the workshops and displaying their recent paintings, drawings, paper clay sculptures, screen printing, photography and work in mixed media.

June 2021

'Caroline', a portrait by Jack Dickson.

One of the abstracts by Doug Knight.

Drama all at sea BEC Applebee is set to tour Dorset through Artsreach with a series of open-air performances of 'Oh Mary!' - a solo physical theatre show based on the incredible life story of Mary Bryant: Cornish highwaywoman, convict, mother and maritime adventurer. Mary was born in Fowey, Cornwall, in 1765 and was arrested and found guilty of violent highway robbery after stealing a bonnet and money. She was sentenced to hang but reprieved and sentenced to seven years' transportation to Botany Bay, where she was married to fellow convict William Bryant. Three years later the pair escaped to sea with their young family and a band of fellow prisoners, one of maritime's greatest escapes in an open cutter. Her story features specially commissioned tunes by Neil Davey, a soundtrack recorded by Dalla and Radjel, evocative narrative by Anna Murphy, choreography by Helen Tiplady and direction by Simon Harvey. It will be told on Sunday June 26 at 7.30pm on Milborne St Andrew Hall field. Tickets must be booked in advance from 01258 839060 or through artsreach.co.uk, where further details can be found about other venues.


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June 2021

NEWS in BRIEF

Lessons in growing old gracefully ONE of the first special workshops hosted by the Artori Academy on reopening in Blandford Town Hall after lockdown eased in April was a special effects makeup class in which students learned how to turn themselves into elderly people. West End performer and drag artist Alex Anstey led the youngsters, first in the Bambinis 7 to 10 age group and then young teens, showing them how to use hand mirrors to apply wrinkles and skin blemishes to their faces to age them through several decades. They then spent some time learning how to act, move and speak as though they had suddenly aged overnight, no doubt returning home with a greater appreciation of the behaviour of their parents and grandparents!

Old tricks: Alex Anstey applies makeup to his model. Pictures by Debbie Hurst.

Rude’s awakening celebrates Chaplin THE Rude Mechanicals have emerged from lockdown and this month start touring the play 'Little Lily Harley' which was postponed last year due to the pandemic. Last month the Commedia del Arte-inspired company was busy in rehearsal in preparation for performances, which will take place locally at East Farm, Tarrant Monkton, on Saturday July 10, on Stourpaine village hall field on Thursday August 12, and on the Child Okeford playing field on Saturday August 14. They will tell, with mime, comedy and colour, featuring Charlie Chaplin's powerful classic music 'Smile', the story of Chaplin's childhood in Lambeth with a drunken but charismatic actor father and a beautiful young

actress mother with three children by different fathers. Charlie had to learn alongside his brother Sidney how to survive a precarious existence, sometimes fostered, sometimes in a school for destitute children and sometimes separated from his brother and living on the street. Director Pete Talbot said: "When I wrote the play in 2019, I could not have known how apt it would be for today. It will be something to give us a good laugh and raise our spirits - and we all need that." Tickets are available online from The Rudes website - therudemechanicaltheatre.co.uk - and can also be booked by calling 01323 5012560, or emailing therudes1948@gmail.com.

THE new Blandford Art Hub in Nightingale Court is taking the opportunity to open up along with the rest of the UK. Project leader Kate Seeger said: "We are doing it in stages as there is still finishing off to do on the sheds, but maybe we can start calling it an art studio? We will be starting to run workshops from Monday June 21. On Saturday June 19 and Sunday June 20, from 10am to 3pm, we will be open for people to come down for a chat, see what is in the pipeline, and let us know what workshops they would like to see, as well as, with luck, getting a bit creative."

AN application has been made by Adrian Peskin to Dorset Council for a new premises licence in respect of Woodshedding Ltd, Launceston Farm, for the provision of alcohol generally between the hours of noon and 11pm daily. A farmhouse barn has been converted into a micro-brewery/taproom and containing a small fermenting kit and wine barrels in which to age beer. Alcohol will be served to the local community and visitors to holiday lettings in the adjacent farmhouse accommodation and other activities at the farm, including film nights, talks and artist promotions. ••• THE Minor Injuries Unit at Blandford Community Hospital should be reopening from June 21 along with others which temporarily closed in March last year. But appointments will continue to need to be pre-booked after telephone assessments to help avoid crowded waiting rooms and allow patients to be triaged and treated remotely without making an unnecessary journey or be seen at a nominated time.


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June 2021

Legion’s centenary ceremony

Camera Club news APRIL began with the EGM and AGM for Blandford Forum Camera Club, whose committee is working hard to keep the programme filled, albeit remotely. Judge Normal Wiles had 38 images to critique and score in round seven of the Points Cup competition. Top scores went to Pat Catley - 'Getting Right In'; Sally Chaloner - 'Fading Rose'; and Roly Barth - 'Time and Motion'; closely followed with 9.5 points by Sally Chaloner - 'Centre Stage' and 'Two'; and Colin Sansom 'The Bare Tree'. With only one more round to go at the beginning of May, there was all to play for at the top of the leader board. Tracey Lund was wel-

A winning shot by Pat Catley with 'Getting Right In'. comed back for part two of her wildlife talks, featuring some majestic, fearsome and delightful beasts and birds from the UK and abroad. The month ended with 58 entries for two set subject competitions, 'Trees' and 'Transport'. It was a busy night for judge Sue Sibley,

who in 'Trees' selected 'The Old Oak' by David Chaloner as winner, second 'Mystery Tree' by Sally Chaloner and third 'Trees in Winter Light' by Roly Barth. First place in 'Transport' went to Jean Bartlett with 'Mahouts', second Malcolm Bowditch with 'Engineer with Spanner' and third Glynis Larter-Whitcher with 'Chinese Tricycle'. The main season has now come to a close after meetings with two guest speakers in May. More information can be found on the club website bfcclub.co.uk.

BLANDFORD Royal British Legion branch held a small wreath-laying ceremony on the morning of May 15 at the Cross of Sacrifice in Blandford Cemetery to mark the day that the Legion was founded 100 years ago. Then on Sunday, May 23, members took part in the Dorset RBL 100 challenge by walking 100 laps of the Milldown Nature Reserve to celebrate Legion 100 and raise funds for the Poppy Appeal. They hope also to hold a small memorial service for Prince Philip at the Cross of Sacrifice at 10.30am on Sunday June 13, the date being close to what would have been his 100th birthday. There will also be a free-toenter Armed Forces Day event at Legion House, Church Lane, from 11am on Saturday, June 26, when all veterans and members of the public are welcome to attend.


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June 2021

Chase goes online for annual forum THE Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be holding its annual forum online on Tuesday June 15, and has issued an open invitation to anyone living, working or even just walking in the area to hear their achievements and plans for the coming year. There will be reports from their teams, an update from their Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Scheme and a

Walks take a new turn TWO more guided walks have been added to the series offered by Blandford & District Civic Society over the summer. Rather than examining the heritage of the town, they will be studying the geology of its architecture, whose stones in some cases date back millions of years. They are led by John Scott on Sundays July 4 and August 15, both starting 11am from outside Scrivens (Durdens Corner) in the Market Place. The cost, as for the other heritage walks, is £5 per head. There will now be no free guided walks in September since Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, of which they are usually a part, is cancelled for the second year running. THE Friends of Blandford Community Hospital 64th annual general meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Wednesday, July 7, at the hospital in Milldown Road.

thought-provoking talk by Ffinlo Costain, whose work focuses on practical farming solutions, with an environmental and farm animal welfare focus. He is the founder of Farmwel, a 'think tank working for climate, nature, and food security', and editor of the Farm Gate podcast. Places at the forum can be booked at cranbornechase.org.uk/events. People are also invited to respond to a government consultation running until June 14 about telephone communication masts being given increased permitted development rights, which could lead to an increase in mediumsized masts without local communities having any say or mechanism for getting them removed. A response can be made direct on the gov.uk consultations website, or by contacting the AONB planning team in the office by email to info@cranbornechase.org.uk.

The garden at Belchalwell, open on June 13 in aid of Julia’s House.

Gardens open for charity A MAJOR loss for charity fundraising opportunities last year was the ability to open gardens, but the lifting of restrictions means the garden at Littlebrook Farmhouse in Belchalwell (DT11 0EG) will be opening on Sunday, June 13, in support of Julia's House, the Dorset Children's Hospice. Owned by Jackie Abbott, the garden features a large pond area as well as fruit trees, formal terracing and vegetables, and with spectacular views of the Blackmore Vale. Between 2.30pm and 5pm visitors will be able to wander at will and also enjoy tea and refreshments on the terrace in support of a really deserving cause. For more details call Jackie on 01258 863683 or email springheadjackie@hotmail.com. Also open as part of the National Gardens Scheme in June, when timed tickets are available from ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/ or on the gate, are: The Hollow, Tower Hill, Iwerne Minster (June 19, 20 and 23); Manor House Farm, DT11 0EN 2 to 5pm; 5 Fosters Meadows, DT11 0DW 2 to 6pm (June 20); and Philipston House Clenston 2 to 6pm (June 26).


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The View from the Hill by George Hosford More from George on viewfromthehill.org.uk

T

HE very welcome rain has meant we could get on and finish the last of the spring sowing. We are trying out a number of crop combinations sown together to see if there is a benefit to co-cropping, as it is called. Two or more species growing at the same time is supposed to encourage a wider range of beneficial mycorrhizal activity in the soil, leading to healthier soil. The moisture should encourage swift germination. We have even planted a few sunflowers, though previous experience showed them to be very difficult to harvest successfully. Some of the plots are intended to provide a supply of home-grown seeds for sowing as cover crops after harvest, except that they won't be ready for this year, and we will have to work out how to

June 2021 store lots of small seed lots without the mice getting into them, for sowing next year. The alert readers will be asking themselves how we are going to separate the mixed seeds that will result from the plots and the answer is that we are hoping our seed cleaners at Evans and Pearce will be able to solve this one. Even though we were interrupted by a storm, we managed to get the field rolled - just as well, because some of the plots contain peas, which if they fall over can be a challenge to pick up with the combine; stones are not good for combine health. Since my last broadcast all the cattle have been let outside. They are much happier eating fresh grass than hay or silage and at last the winter feeding and bedding routine has come to an end for another season. The cows have been joined, in the herbal ley fields, by our Aberdeen Angus bulls Rocky and Postman Pat, to do what bulls do and try to make sure we will have another crop of calves next year. Last week's school visits gave the cattle something to do. It is always fun trying to decide who is more entertained by such an encounter, the cows or the schoolchildren - especially when a cow decides to use the tour trailer as a rubbing post and the

Some of the tractors on the vintage tractor run for Future Roots lined up next to the Stour at Bryanston.

The rape fields are into full flower. This one, which was quite variable after the sheep grazing in the winter, has evened up well, though you can still see the lines where the electric fences were. The green strips are intended to provide new insect habitat, hoping that they will encourage beneficial insects to colonise them, and then consume the damaging bugs that like to attack the crops. The seed mix is mostly wild flowers, with a little bit of cocksfoot grass, which grows in tussocks and provides good over-wintering locations. whole thing rolls from side to side with everyone on board. Our neighbour Mike Tizzard organised a vintage tractor run in aid of Future Roots at Rylands Farm, run by Julie Plumley and her committed team. At least 30 took part. Future Roots offers the opportunity for young people to utilise a rural environment to enhance their wellbeing and reach their potential. After lining up next to the river Stour at Bryanston we headed off to Shillingstone and eventually Bulbarrow, for a late picnic lunch. We started in light rain and finished in sunshine with a cracking view across the vale. The government has published its animal welfare bill, accompanied by the astonishing declaration that animals are sentient beings as if we didn't know that. More and more I wonder what planet is

inhabited by those supposedly clever people who try to run the country. My support for such a bill is tempered by my difficulty in trusting our rulers to honour their commitment not to compromise on our high standards whilst in the process of negotiating trade deals post Brexit. Will we really prevent the import of animal products that have not been produced to the same standards as those in the UK, which are higher than most other countries in the world, and about to get even higher? There are still many practices allowed in countries we are currently negotiating with that are banned here, on welfare grounds. For example, it is not uncommon to see journey times for live animals in Australia exceed 24 hours without access to feed or water. In comparison, the government has recently consulted on reducing domestic journey times in the UK to eight hours.


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June 2021

News from the Surgery Covid vaccinations

Gardening with 'Step Outside' in jolly good company.

Garden setting for new dementia group A NEW friendship and activity group for older people, 'Step Outside', will be holding its first meeting at the Woodhouse Gardens in Blandford on June 28 from 2pm to 4pm. It is hosted by In Jolly Good Company, a dementia-friendly organisation with a skilled staff and local volunteer team, and will particularly benefit people living with dementia, their carers and other people in and around Blandford. Last September it was awarded a grant of £1,470 as match funding towards the setting up of the gardening group. It is modelled on the popular 'Step Outside' group based at Kingston Lacy allotments, which has been running for five years with the support of Wimborne Dementia Friendly Community and Dorset Council. Sarah Rampton, at the town

assembly in April, thanked the council for its funding, which has been match-funded thanks to the Dementia Action Alliance, and will be used for meetings in the gardens for a six-month pilot. She said: "The Woodhouse Gardens, maintained by the Town Council's grounds staff, is an ideal area for the activities the group will enjoy together. It will be a much-needed opportunity to make new friends, enjoy the outdoors and take part in fun indoor and outdoor activities together. "The group is not specifically aimed at older people but supports everyone with dementia and hopes to replace the Alzheimer's Society singing group." Booking is essential by calling Sarah on 07884 333117, emailing injollygoodcompany@gmail.com, or finding out more on the website injollygoodcompany.com.

Blandford Methodist Church was able to resume Sunday services in April, with Covid-19 practices in place and seats which needed to be pre-booked by calling 01258 577030. There was initially no singing allowed, and parishioners were asked to wear a face-mask and stay two metres apart from those not in your bubble. Help remained on offer to those in need who could leave a message for their call to be returned with 24 hours.

The Blandford Group Practice is not undertaking any further first-dose Covid vaccinations to patients aged 49 years and under. Providing vaccinations impacts on the practice's capacity to do 'the day job'. We have decided that now the time is right to refocus on our core services. Any patients who have received their first dose at the practice will receive their second dose from the practice and will be contacted with their appointment date. But if you have not yet had your first dose vaccine, please do not contact the surgery. When you are eligible, NHS England will send you a letter asking you to book via the national booking service at an available vaccination site.

Covid vaccination status GPs cannot provide letters showing your Covid-19 vaccination status so do not contact your GP surgery about them. You can now access your Covid-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet, and we recommend you register with it before booking international travel. Proof of your vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires Covid-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119, at least five days after completing your course of vaccine and ask for a letter to be posted to you. It could take a further five days for the letter to arrive.


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June 2021

Landlords warned over Changes as art group electricial safety laws steers clear of crowds LANDLORDS are being warned they face fines of up to £30,000 if they don't comply with new electrical safety regulations for private rented properties. Wingwai Tam (pictured right), litigation and disputes solicitor at law firm Blanchards Bailey, says all existing tenanted residential properties must have a satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) from April 1. In practice, this means all fixed electrical cables, sockets, fuse boxes and equipment (including those fixed directly to the electrical supply) within the property must be inspected and tested by a qualified, reputable professional. Non-fixed appliances such as televisions and fridges are not included. Local authorities will be able to act and impose fines if such properties remain uninspected. Landlords need to commission an inspection every five years to ensure electrical safety standards are maintained, although

there is no need for a new test at every change of tenancy. Blandford-based Wingwai said: "It is a positive move that steps are now in place to ensure properties are safe for tenants across all residential tenancies. Every tenant should be able to sleep soundly at night knowing their home is safe and secure. "However, the new regulations do very much put the onus on landlords to make sure their properties fully comply. It is vital that action is taken to ensure that homes are compliant to avoid the risk of punitive action."

BLANDFORD Art Society has decided not to have a preview and prizegiving this year to accommodate Covid regulations and the feeling that many people may still be uncomfortable in crowds. They have withdrawn all the competitions this year and are offering three challenges in their place which are hoped to spark interest and creativity in a year when many have done very little painting. Vision of Blandford remains an integral part of the exhibition and the town, and alongside it will sit a new 3-Colour Challenge and an Abstract Challenge. Another change for this year is that all exhibitors have the option to enter their work on to their Facebook page Exhibition which will run for four weeks, into September, as well as in the Corn Exchange. It worked well for the online exhibition trialled in 2020. Guest artist for 2021 is Nina Squire, a popular pastel artist who lives locally, and to bring as

many interesting and innovative paintings to the Corn Exchange as possible, several different artists from around the country have been invited. The changes are only for this year and hopefully all will return to something a little more normal next year.

Russian choir returns THE Russian a-capella group Voskrezenije from the St Petersburg Conservatoire will be performing a welcome return concert in Blandford on Thursday October 7. Tickets will be on sale in early September. The singers have expressed a special fondness for the charm of Blandford and the warmth of their welcome each year, particularly as their UK tours mostly involve visits to much larger towns and cities.


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June 2021

Death notices

PHILLIPS, Anthony Mervyn (Tony). Passed away peacefully in Blandford Community Hospital on April 23, aged 83. Donations to chosen charities and tributes can be left via Colin J Close Funeral Service at close-funeral.co.uk CUFF, Les. Passed away peacefully at home on April 22, aged 87 years, surrounded by his loving family. Husband of the late Lillian and much-loved partner of Wendy, loving dad to Gillian, Gary, Edward, Gary, Julia, Jimmy, and grandad, great grandad to 14. A private funeral service has taken place. Donations for Royal British Legion Blandford or Weldmar Hospicecare may be sent by cheque payable to Woods Dorchester Ltd, 11a Icen Way, Dorchester, DT1 1EW (01305 250425). COLLINS, Edna Jean. Peacefully on April 19 at Castleman House, Blandford, aged 92 years. Much-loved wife of the late Joseph, mother to Garry and Lindsay, grandmother to Rory, Lucy, Hannah and James, and loving great-grandmother to all her great-grandchildren. Private funeral service. Donations in her memory to Cancer Research UK may be made online at grassby-funeral.co.uk or sent c/o Grassby Funeral Service, 8 Princes Street, Dorchester, DT1 1TW (01305 262338). WELLEN, Gladys Dorothy Joan. Passed away peacefully at Dorchester Hospital on April 26, now with her beloved Sid, who passed away last July. Much loved and sorely missed by her daughters, grandsons, and great-grandsons. Donations in her memory are invited for Royal National Institute of Blind People, c/o Colin Close Funeral Directors. COOPER, Ron. Passed away peacefully at home on April 24, aged 97 years, of Winterborne Whitechurch, previously of East Devon, Caernarfon and Shooters Hill, London. Loving husband and father, dear brother and a treasured grandad and great grandad. A private funeral service at Poole Crematorium has taken place. Donations if desired to Macular Society c/o Lesley Shand Funeral Service, 28 East Street, Blandford Forum DT11 7DR (01258 453425) or online funeraldirector.co.uk/ronald-cooper FRY, Stuart. Formerly of Bryanston and Stourton Caundle. Sadly passed away at his home on April 8. Will be sadly missed. Funeral has taken place.

Betty’s dress on show THE dress worn by Betty Penny at all her Cavalcade of Costumes catwalk performances is on show, together with a reproduction of the 1996 tearoom, as part of Blandford Fashion Museum's 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of the collection.The display has been mounted by the curator and her costume team. Administrator Kathryn Read, at the Town assembly in April, thanked Blandford Town Council for the £2,000 per year received in their service level agreement since 2015. She said that in 2020 it had contributed to spending on restoration and conservation of various historical costumes and professional services of a costume historian and a conservator. It has also helped finance refurbishment of the disabled toilet, and the reopening of the museum post lockdown.

Trees felled in storm HIGH winds brought down a bough from a large chestnut tree on the Bryanston estate, closing one of the roads through the school grounds, just as parents were about to bring their children back to school on the Sunday evening. Another tree was brought down in the Tarrant Valley, cutting off phone lines in Tarrant Monkton. Outdoor hospitality had to close at a number of venues, including the Crown and Greyhound in Blandford, which both closed early and Colin's Community Club, where a marquee erected over what was the parking area was damaged. SINGLE-lane traffic with portable signals returned to the Blandford Bridge on May 24 for a highways construction team to complete the work carried out in 2017 and 2019 to strengthen the bridge and make masonry and concrete repairs. The remaining work involves stonework repairs to the upstream cutwaters, and the reduction to single lane allows it to be carried out safely. Signals were in operation Monday to Friday between 9.30 and 3.30pm, outside peak hours, and was due to be completed by June 18.


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June 2021

School’s work is paying off AN Ofsted inspection of Durweston Primary School soon after its reopening on March 8 confirmed that the school was taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances, that teachers were delivering effective remote learning and that pupils were receiving the same learning whether in school or at home. The monitoring inspection, conducted remotely on March 16, followed three successive judgements of requiring improvement in full inspections, the last in January 2019, and an earlier monitoring inspection in December last year. The inspector Kathy Maddocks recognised that expectations have been raised since the last full inspection and praised the broad curriculum, the effective phonics teaching and the effective support offered to those who need to catch up quickly. She was also pleased to hear that all pupils, including those in KS2, are heard to read regularly and that teachers regularly read to pupils to develop vocabulary and to help them understand more complex texts. The special educational needs & disabilities co-ordinator was praised for her painstaking approach and for ensuring that teaching supports progress towards pupils' individual targets. ''We know all schools are working hard to provide a good education in the current circumstances, but it was lovely to have our efforts recognized by Ofsted," said headteacher Nicola

Pupils and parents welcomed a positive Ofsted report for Durweston Primary School. Brooke, who was appointed shortly before the last full inspection. "Over this last year, the staff have worked tremendously hard to

make sure that our children have continued to receive the best education we can offer, so we are very pleased with the positive feedback.

"However, we were perhaps even more pleased with the parent feedback - 100% of our parents said they would recommend our school to another parent."

Children honour Tom’s memory ST Nicholas Primary School at Child Okeford took part in Captain Tom 100 on Friday April 30, set up by the Captain Tom Foundation, to spread a message of hope and resilience on what would have been Captain Tom Moore's 101st birthday. It helped celebrate Captain Tom's life, his generosity of spirit, the hope and joy he bought to millions and his sense of fun. Deputy head teacher Belinda Bolar said: "In school, each class took part in a variety of activities, all involving the number 100. "Some children constructed models using 100 pieces of

Star jumps for Captain Tom. Lego, some wrote messages of hope and made 100cm chains of hope or designed 100 postcards with inspirational messages. Others explored maths challenges using the number 100 and some exercised very hard to do 100 star jumps, skips, ball passes,100m races and the hardest challenge of all, a 100-

second silence!" Each child was also given a packet of sunflower seeds, Seeds of Hope, donated by Morrisons, for the children to enjoy at home and help continue Captain Tom's message of hope and inspiration. 'Tomorrow will be a better day'.


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June 2021

Patrick’s walks raise school cash ARCHBISHOP Wake CE Primary School has been given the goahead for the installation of a new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) over the summer break, ready for the return to school in September. The MUGA will be an alternative, all-year-round space for the children to be able to use for sport, as well as play throughout the year, and will benefit hundreds of pupils for years to come. When the school was built nearly 13 years ago there were fewer pupils and the playground space was more than enough. Over time, the school has grown and there are far more pupils. In addition to this, the playground space has had the additions of a reflection area, a music studio and an outside classroom. The fact that the playing area has shrunk while pupil numbers have grown is not an issue in the spring and summer months as the children can easily play on the field and timber trail. However, during the autumn and winter, the field is too wet. The artificial surface will be an all-year-round playing surface and will be located up on the main playing field, where there is ample space for it not to interfere with the daily mile, the timber trail and the usual football pitches and other markings used throughout the year. The school has now turned its attention to fundraising for the estimated cost of £80k to £90k. One pupil was inspired to spend his Easter break completing a challenging sponsored walk to raise money for this project. Patrick in Year 3, and his family,

Treble chance for club in cup combat

Patrick, a Year 3 pupil who walked five times around the Milldown to raise funds for his school. raised £345 when he walked a mile round the Milldown every day for five days. The Friends of Archbishop Wake have organised a 'Just-Giving' crowdfunding page, and the school is planning a sponsored walk. The school would also welcome any support from local businesses.

BY the middle of May, Blandford had three football teams in the latter stages of cup competitions in Dorset. The first-team were in the Dorset Senior Trophy Final, played on May 18 at Poole against Merley Cobham Sports after beating Gillingham in extra-time in the semi-final. The veterans were in the semifinals of the Vets Cup, away to Portland. And the third team were in the final of the Dorset Minor Cup, to be played against Drimpton on May 27 after beating current holders Portland in the semifinal. Assistant manager Rob Andre said: "Coming back from lockdown to continue the journey in the Dorset Senior Cup by beating Sturminster Marshall and then going away to Gillingham, who are a very good team, and to beat them in extra time is a really big achievement. "I think for any player, any club, coach and manager, to get to a cup final is one of the major

things you can hope to achieve. With all the Covid-19 interruptions it has been a difficult season, but the players at Blandford have adapted to the restart well. "From my personal point of view, as a coach coming in from the youth section, the players' reaction has been phenomenal. I have been really pleased with the way they have responded to the training." He added: "Josh Feirn, the Reserve team manager, has been excellent stabilising the team during the transition since Jamie Haylock left. It is never easy steadying the ship with the rather long transition between managers, and even more difficult when a pandemic has completely changed the landscape. Josh has been vital and has certainly been a massive help to me with my transition between youth football and adult football. "I really feel excited about where the club is heading and I am delighted and very proud to be a very small part of it."

U3A set for return to action FOR many of its members Blandford & District U3A was a valuable lifeline during the Covid-19 lockdowns, with members keeping in touch mainly by Zoom and email. But with the easing of restrictions, members are gearing up to return to face-to-face group meetings. Lynne Rogers, secretary, believes it won't be long before members are back enjoying the full range of activities available. She said: "We are all more than ready for a spot of informal learning, be it French, history or brushing up on table tennis skills with some laughter thrown in for good measure.” First on the social agenda is the summer open

meeting at Durweston village hall on Friday, July 2, when the doors open at 2pm. Bridget Spiers, speaker co-ordinator, says: "We have had some brilliant Zoom talks in recent months. This time we have Adrian Green from Salisbury Museum talking to us in person about Heywood Sumner, painter, illustrator, designer, archaeologist and folklorist. Sumner designed his home, Cuckoo Hill in Hampshire, in 1902 along Arts & Crafts lines and took to his bike around Dorset illustrating its ancient monuments and carrying out a survey of Cranborne Chase - a multi-talented man." For more information see blandfordu3a.co.uk.


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June 2021

Celebrating the Bard CELEBRATIONS fit for a bard were held in Colten Care homes to mark Shakespeare's birthday with performances of plays, sonnets and poems. They staged their own mini versions, complete with costumes and props, of the most famous works of the playwright, who is believed to have been born on April 23, 1564. At Whitecliffe House, Blandford, residents and staff acted out scenes from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Resident Sybil Fish, who played Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, said: "Doing these performances has been most enjoyable and made us use our grey matter to remember the lines.

JUNE To Sunday June 6: Dorset Art Weeks open studios locally and across the county, see dorsetartweeks.co.uk Wednesday June 2: Blandford St Mary Parish Council meeting, email clerk@blandfordstmarypc.gov.uk to ask for a Zoom invitation Monday June 7: Blandford Town Council finance & staffing committee, 7pm, for agenda and link see blandfordforum-tc.gov.uk Sunday June 13: Royal British Legion wreath laying for the Duke of Edinburgh, 10.30am, Blandford Cemetery Cross of Sacrifice Town Centre Guided Heritage Walk led by a guide from Blandford & District Civic Society, meet 11am at the flood wall in the Marsh & Ham (Morrisons) car park, details 01258 459346 Open Gardens, Littlebrook Farmhouse, Belchalwell, DT11 0EG, for Julia's House, 2.30 to 5pm, details 01258 863683 or springheadjackie@hotmail.com Monday June 14: Blandford Town Council recreation & amenities committee meeting,

Practice makes perfect. It took me back to my school days when I always had to play the man." For Ruth Horrocks, it was an opportunity to make her 'stage debut' at the age of 88 playing the part of Juliet. Fellow resident Coralie Jackson, playing one of the witches in Macbeth, said: "I remembered many of the lines from having studied the play at school." Residents also enjoyed a staff rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream with both home manager Chris Lee and operations manager Peter Doyle taking part. All performances were co-ordinated and scripted by companionship team member Caroline Pugh.

The witches from Macbeth brought to life at Whitecliffe House (from left): residents Coralie Jackson and Shirley Thomson and companionship team member Debbie Easter.

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 events@forumfocus.co.uk. This page is available and regularly updated on our website at www.forumfocus.co.uk. Readers are advised to check with event organisers before attending. 7pm, for agenda and link see blandfordforum-tc.gov.uk Monday June 14 to Sunday June 20: Sturminster Newton Literary Festival, see sturlitfest.com Tuesday June 15: Cranborne Chase AONB open forum, online, 10.30am to 12.30pm. book at cranbornechase.org.uk/events/ Saturday June 19: Midsummer Litter Pick with War on Waste/Cleanup Blandford, meet at the blue bridge, Marsh & Ham, 10am to 12 noon, details blandfordwaronwaste@gmail.com Saturday and Sunday June 19 and 20: Blandford Art Hub, Nightingale Court, Blandford, 10am to 3pm, open for information and art activity Saturday and Sunday June 19 and 20, and Wednesday June

23: Open Gardens for the NGS at The Hollow, Tower Hill, Iwerne Minster, timed tickets possibly on the gate or from ngs.org.uk/finda-garden/ Sunday June 20: Open Gardens for the NGS at Manor House Farm, DT11 0EN, 2 to 5pm and 5 Fosters Meadows, DT11 0DW 2 to 6pm, timed tickets possibly on the gate or from ngs.org.uk/finda-garden/ Monday June 21: Blandford Town Council full council meeting, 7pm, for agenda and link see blandfordforum-tc.gov.uk Friday and Saturday June 25 and 26: DorsetFest, Warren Farm, Bulbarrow DT11 0HQ, subject to Covid restrictions permitting, see dorsetfest.org Saturday June 26: Free Blandford town centre park-

ing (time limits apply) Armed Forces Day gathering, Legion House, Church Lane, 11am Open Gardens for the NGS at Philipston House, Clenston, 2 to 6pm, timed tickets possibly on the gate from ngs.org.uk/find-agarden/ Bec Applebee in 'Oh Mary', Milborne St Andrew Hall Field, 7.30pm, details/bookings 01258 839060 or artsreach.co.uk Sunday June 27: Town Perimeter Guided Heritage Walk led by a guide from Blandford & District Civic Society, meet 11am outside Scrivens, Durdens Corner, Market Place, details 01258 459346 Monday June 28: First meeting of 'Step Outside', Woodhouse Gardens, 2 to 4pm, bookings 07884 333117 Blandford Town Council planning committee meeting, for agenda and link see blandfordforumtc.gov.uk Panda Pre-school Summer Bingo at The Royal British Legion, Blandford Forum. Eyes down 7.30pm (Subject to Government guidelines)

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June 2021 Forum Focus  

The free monthly newspaper for Blandford Forum and surrounding villages.

June 2021 Forum Focus  

The free monthly newspaper for Blandford Forum and surrounding villages.

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