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FIRE IN THE BELLY with chef Gill Meller



elcome to a new year and the very first edition of the Bridport Times; a monthly celebration of people, place and purveyor. Having been tapping this kernel of an idea around my desk for nearly two years, it is rewarding to see it evolve from an idea over coffee to the 72 pages of ink on paper that you now hold. The Bridport Times is very much yours; a positive platform to celebrate your town, your businesses, and your stories. We are not journalists, nor are we looking to join the squabble of news and opinion. We are a tiny, wellintentioned team of writers, artists, designers and photographers merely seeking out and championing the good in others. Take these pages Bridport, and fill them with words and colour. Here’s to a wonderful 2018. Glen Cheyne, Editor @bridporttimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne Design Andy Gerrard Photography Katharine Davies Feature writer Jo Denbury Editorial assistant Paul Newman Print Pureprint Distribution Available throughout Bridport and the surrounding villages. Please see for stockists. Contact 01935 315556 @bridporttimes

Martin Ballam Xtreme Falconry Alice Blogg @alice_blogg Molly Bruce Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH Neville Copperthwaite Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve @LymeBayReserve Megan Dunford @BridportArts Jane Fox Yogaspace Bridport May Franklin-Davis Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife Kit Glaisyer @kitglaisyer Charlie Groves Groves Nurseries @GrovesNurseries

Homegrown Media Ltd 81 Cheap Street Sherborne Dorset DT9 3BA

Emily Hicks Bridport Museum @BridportMuseum Annabelle Hunt Bridport Timber and Floors @BridportTimber Tamara Jones Loving Healthy @lovinghealthy_ Angie Porter Electric Palace

Bridport Times is printed on Edixion Offset, an FSCÂŽ and EU Ecolabel certified paper. It goes without saying that once thoroughly well read, this magazine is easily recycled and we actively encourage you to do so. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither Bridport Times nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Bridport Times does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without prior permission from Bridport Times.

4 | Bridport Times | January 2018

Adam and Ellen Simon Tamarisk Farm Antonia Squire The Bookshop @bookshopbridprt Emma Tabor & Paul Newman @paulnewmanart Cass Titcombe Brassica Restaurant @brassica_food

36 8

What’s On

JANUARY 2018 26 Wild Dorset

60 Home

10 Arts & Culture

32 Outdoors

66 Garden

20 Film


68 Crossword

24 History

44 Food & Drink

69 Literature

50 Body & Mind | 5

SA Don’t miss the big Yeovil Audi

Over 300 New, Demonstrator and Approved Used models across the Audi range.

Don’t miss out. Visit

Yeovil Audi. Look No Further.

Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Audi range: Urban 16.1-65.7 (7.5-4.3), Extra Urban 30.4-83.1 (9.3-3.4), Combined 23.0-76.3 (12.3-3.7). CO2 emissions: 287-97g/km. Standard EU Test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Optional wheels may

ALE Yeovil Audi Houndstone Business Park, Mead Avenue, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8RT

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affect emissions and fuel consumption figures. Images are shown for illustration purposes only. Offers are not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. Accurate at time of publication [December 2017].

WHAT'S ON Listings

No experience required, give it a go!

The Somerset & Dorset Family

or The Squire on 07917 748087

Loders Village Hall. AGM followed

Furleigh Estate Vineyard

Saturday 6th 7pm for 7.30pm

Tours & Tasting

Twelfth Night with

meet other family and local historians

01308 488991

Tinker’s Cuss Band

Every Tuesday &

West & South Streets DT6 3HA.

____________________________ Every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 11am & 2.30pm

____________________________ Thursday 10.30am Walking the Way to

Contact Uplyme Morris on Facebook

History Society


by members session. Come along and

Bridport Town Hall, junction of East, £7, or £6 for members, to include seasonal nibbles. Raffle, drinks

researching ancestors from all over

the world, not just Dorset! Everyone

welcome. Members £1.50, visitors £3. For more information contact: 01308 425710 or email


available. 01308 425037

Monday 29th 2.30pm


Caring for the Coast

Walks last approximately 30mins,

Thursday 11th 7.30pm (class &

United Church Hall, East Street. Talk

welcome, free of charge. 01305 252222

(social dance - £4)


St Mary’s Church Hall, 84 South St

Health in Bridport Starts from CAB 45 South Street. with trained health walk leaders. All

social dance - £6) or 8.15pm-10pm

Shall We Dance? Jive

Every Tuesday 7.15pm

DT6 3NW. Tea and coffee provided.

(starting 2nd) Uplyme Morris Rehearsals The Bottle Inn, Marshwood

by Tony Flux. Presented by the Golden Cap Association (West Dorset). Non-

members welcome. £3 inc. tea, coffee and biscuits. Info: 01308 863577


07505 798258

____________________________ Saturday 13th 2pm-4.30pm

Electric Palace 01308 424901 6th Paddington 2 - Film

13th  Murder On The Orient Express - Film

16th  A Woman of No

Importance - Screening

20th The Death Of Stalin - Film 21st  Romeo & Juliet - Bolshoi 24th Ed Byrne (pictured) -

Spoiler Alert Tour 2018 - Comedy

26th Breathe - Film

27th Funk & Soul Night with DJ Dr Funk - Music

____________________________ 8 | Bridport Times | January 2018

JANUARY 2018 Farmers’ Market

Saturday 27th

Bridport Arts Centre

Dorchester v


Bridport (A)

Every Saturday, 9am–12 noon


Country Market WI Hall, North Street

____________________________ First Saturday of the month, 10am Bridport Arts Centre

Antique & Book Fair

01308 424204

St Mary’s Church, South Street

6th-  Beverly Rouwen & Douglas

27th Reeve- Dialogues Concerning The Land - Exhibition


Sport ____________________________

Bridport Football Club St.Mary’s Field, Skilling Hill Road

DT6 5LA. 3pm start

12th  The Zoots: The Sound of the

Saturday 6th

13th  Uproar! Noise Next Door - Comedy

Saturday 13th

20th ROH: Rigoletto Opera - Film

Saturday 20th

Sixties - Music

Bridport v Bridgwater Town (H)

19th Jazz Café - Music

Clevedon Town v Bridport (A)

25th Christine Tobin (pictured) - Music

Bridport v Wells City (H)

27th MET: Tosca - Film

Saturday 27th

30th EOS: Cezanne Portraits

Bridport Rugby Football Club

Bridport v Buckland Athletic (H) ____________________________


1st IV. Southern Counties South

Division. Bridport Leisure Centre, Skilling Hill Road DT6 5LN.

To include your event in our FREE listings please email details (in approx 20 words) by the 1st of each preceding month to gemma@

of a Life - Film

Fairs and markets ____________________________

Every Wednesday & Saturday

Saturday 13th

Weekly Market

Bridport v

South, West and East Street

Swanage & Wareham II (H)


Saturday 20th

Second Saturday

Weymouth & Portland v

of the month, 9am–1pm

Bridport (A) | 9

Arts & Culture

JANUARY AT BRIDPORT ARTS CENTRE Megan Dunford, Exhibitions & Participation Officer


ainter Beverley Rouwen and ceramicist Douglas Reeve, Britain’s only combination regularly creating canvas and clay installations, will be showing a new major body of work here in the Allsop Gallery. Dialogues Concerning the Land will consist of some thirty canvases and numerous ceramics and runs from Saturday 6th – Saturday 27th January. The Dorset-based duo have spent a year collaborating on a 3D celebration of Britain’s landscape, and the exhibition breaks down into four sets: Trees, Shapes of Kent, Skynets, and Shapes of Dorset. There is a clear Bridport connection as the town manufactured string and twine that was previously used for hop nets, which feature in some of the paintings. Also this link with the hop nets will be celebrated at a craft beer tasting evening at the exhibition on Friday 19th January, with a talk about hops by Alasdair McNab from The Pursuit of Hoppiness, the popular venue in West Street. The event will start at 6pm, with tickets just £5. Working from adjacent studios near Bridport, they see their combined inspiration as Art to the Power of Two, and Bev explains: “More than anything else, these installations are the result of spoken dialogue between us. We get an idea, discuss it, dissect it to the extreme and then we bring it back again.” “Doug has influenced me by freeing me up to experiment. My interest in our collaborative work is the synergy we create with canvas and clay.” Douglas comments: “I’m influenced by Bev’s palette, and her ability to reveal beauty in man-made scenery. I love her simple flowing lines, catching the essence of her landscapes. Do we have creative tensions? We give feedback that leads to adaptation. That’s part of the process, but we rely on each other’s contribution.” Beverley touches upon something I am very interested in - collaboration. In my role here I am always looking > 10 | Bridport Times | January 2018

Beverley Rouwen and Douglas Reeve. Image: Brendan Buesnel | 11

Arts & Culture

Megan Dunford

for ways to collaborate; with the community, with artists and with the young people that live here. As someone who has grown up in Dorset, I am all too aware that there are limited opportunities for younger people, especially those that are wanting the taste of a career in the creative sector in rural areas. We want to be able to support young creatives and we are launching a new project in January about this; Young Programmers. Led by myself with support and advice from other creative practitioners around the South West, it’s aimed at 15-22 year olds who want to learn more about what skills and experience you may need to become a programmer, a curator, a theatremaker, a technician and all that’s in between! It’s absolutely free and the young people involved will work towards their own event, held here at Bridport Arts Centre in October 2018. It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to start it! For more information about Young Programmers contact Megan at 12 | Bridport Times | January 2018

PREVIEW In association with

Tom Hammick ‘Close’ (etching with chine colle and hand colouring, 76 x 57 cm, 2007)

NIGHT AND LIGHT AND THE HALF LIGHT Until 21st January Sladers Yard, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport DT6 4EL 01308 459511

“This is a celebration of partial light, moonlight, night lights, bonfires and white

flowers in the dimness. In half light, nothing is certain, we enter a world of dream and possibility where love and longing dance close to the cliff edge. Collages by Marzia

Colonna, paintings and woodcut prints by Tom Hammick, paintings by David Inshaw and Alfred Stockham, ceramic sculpture by Fiamma Colonna Montagu, pottery by

Richard Batterham, and furniture by Petter Southall.” | 13

Arts & Culture

SETTING THE SCENE Kit Glaisyer, Artist and Landscape Painter


ou would be hard-pressed to find another town with as vibrant an arts scene as Bridport. We boast a dynamic and enterprising community and celebrate a wide selection of festivals of music, visual arts, film and literature that take place throughout the year - including the 20th anniversary of Bridport Open Studios that will take place in September. The seeds of the current visual art scene were likely sown in the 1960s and 70s with the arrival of Americanborn abstract expressionist painter John Hubbard, experimental photographer John Miles and figurative painter Robin Rae — formerly a teacher at Liverpool School of Art — who studied under Francis Bacon and John Nash at the Royal College of Art. Both Rae and Miles then taught at Symondsbury Art College started in the 80s by Peter Hitchin in the Old Manor in Symondsbury, just outside Bridport. This was followed by the Oakhayes Art Residency run by Ann Barnes in the Symondsbury Old Rectory during the 1990s. For several years Ann placed adverts for the residency in the Artists’ Newsletter magazine and this attracted dozens of artists from across the country - including me. I left London to join the Oakhayes Art Residency in 1998, joining artists Douglas McDougall, James Ursell, Dan Bendel, Alaistair Crawford, Rob Bucanon and Keith Dunhill. In 1999 Oakhayes closed, so I moved my studio into a former rope-making warehouse on the St Michael’s Trading Estate, and within a few years we had 20 artists working here, at St Michael’s Studios, where we also hold regular open events. The estate has become fondly known as Bridport’s Art & Vintage Quarter, with dozens of workshops, utilities and antiques shops, plus the ever-popular Red Brick Café. Artists working at St Michael’s Studios include 14 | Bridport Times | January 2018

myself, Caroline Ireland, David Brooke, Marion Taylor, Charlotte Miller, John Boyd, Marion Irons, Paul Blow, Suzanna Hubbard, Russ Snedker, David Smith, Sally Davies, Elizabeth Sporne, Jemma Thompson, Steve Rose and Squirrell Bindery & Press. In the surrounding buildings you’ll find Isla Chaney, Rob Morgan, Fi Neylan, Claire Whitfield and Jennie Hanrahan. Even more artists are based in the surrounding countryside and villages. Sculptor Greta Berlin constructs her large metal pieces at her studios near Marshwood, while Brown’s Farm in Netherbury has a collection of craft & sculpture workshops with Alice Blogg, Jack Draper and Brendon Murless. Nearby is painter Lesley Slight who shows at the

“We boast a dynamic and enterprising community and celebrate a wide selection of festivals of music, visual arts, film and literature”

Art Stable, Child Okeford. Her husband Nigel Slight is a conceptual sculptor who also collaborates with David Rogers on DIVA Contemporary: a multi-disciplinary group of artists. Nearby, artist Anna Best runs the Mothership - an artist residency in a rural retreat, and together with Hester Schofield, runs Force 8 - a creative collective. Also, out in the wilds you’ll find David Risk Kennard, Liz Somerville, Gerry Dudgeon, Colleen du Pon, Katherine Lloyd, George Paul Sainsbury, Veronica Hudson and Caroline Liddington. Meanwhile, the excellent Sladers Yard Gallery in West Bay shows contemporary art, furniture and crafts along with an award-winning café in the pillared galleries of a Georgian rope warehouse. Gallery artists > | 15

Arts & Culture

Gerry Dudgeon, Coast Path 60x80cms acrylic on canvas

include Philip Sutton RA, Petter Southall, Alex Lowery, Vanessa Gardiner, Clare Trenchard, Frances Hatch and Martyn Brewster. In January enjoy the exhibition ‘Night and Light and the Half Light’ including David Inshaw, Tom Hammick and Alfred Stockham RWA. Across the road you’ll find the Back Yard Studios with abstract artists Jon Adam, Amanda Wallwork, and potter Richard Wilson. Back in Bridport, the Portmanteau Gallery on North Street has occasional exhibitions with sculptors Bjork Haroldsdottir and Ian Williams, plus painters Helen Lloyd Elliot, Boo Mallinson and David Smith. The Bridport Arts Centre on South Street delivers a diverse performing and visual arts programme in the splendid Allsop Gallery, with cutting edge, contemporary and national exhibitions, as well as showcasing the work of local artists. Recent exhibitions include the ‘Marshwood Arts Awards’ in November, ‘Making Dorset’ featuring local designer-makers in December, and throughout January you can enjoy ‘Dialogues Concerning The Land’ with painter Beverley Rouwen & Douglas Reeve. The Art Centre also hosts a lively selection of 16 | Bridport Times | January 2018

entertainments throughout the year, with live music, theatre and cinema. Also on South Street, the Electric Palace hosts a packed programme of film, theatre, music and comedy including some major names in the elegant art deco interior. Recent performances include Turin Brakes, Dreadzone and Dr John Cooper Clarke. Irish comedian Ed Byrne will be performing in January. Other venues that run talks, workshops and exhibitions include the Chapel in the Garden on East Street and the Old Salt House in West Bay. The Bull Hotel hosts many events throughout the year and several pubs also host regular live music events. There is so much going on here in Bridport and over the coming months I’ll be exploring the town, its venues and artists in more detail.


Originals, limited edition prints & cards available from @paulnewmanart paulnewmanartist | 17

Arts & Culture

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE: A SHORT WALK FROM EAST TO WEST Alice Blogg, Furniture Designer and Maker


rom a young age I have had an appreciation for design. It keeps my brain ticking, it is ubiquitous, in everyday objects and in everything we use, see and do. I trained at University as a designer. 3D design taught me to question and further my understanding of the subject. Later, after working in London, I started my first job in wood at a joiners’ firm, just over the hill from Bridport. I’m not completely sure why I started working as a joiner, could it have been the excitement of the unknown, the smell? To this day I thank the openness of the father and son who took me under their wings. This was the start of a respect and love for wood as a material, shared by many other designers, manufacturers and traders in this neck of the woods. Since buying our house a few years ago, my partner and I have taken on the challenge of making it our own. Each stage brings us sheer enjoyment and new obsessions - the first was chimney pots! For weeks on end we would wander around Bridport of an evening, looking at existing pots on the roofs, on the train to London, gazing at the rooftops and seeing the many houses from above. What beautiful tubes and forms, standing so proud, soaring above the rest and puffing away with wood smoke. It’s really lovely to watch our town grow, meandering down the street from East to West, keeping our eyes and minds open. Walking down the same street, so many times, you would think I’d know it all by now, but every time, something new reveals itself. Entering from the east end of town we are greeted by beautiful monochrome black and white houses set back from the road, with the hedges and front gardens making them almost secret. What makes them special? Is it the symmetry, the original sash windows, or the beautiful railings in front and squashed shape of the metal arch above the door? From here we rise up over the bridge of the small River Asker, flowing from the chalky slopes of

18 | Bridport Times | January 2018

Eggardon and all the way west until it meets the River Brit. Bridport has many hidden alleyways behind its beautiful facades and rope-makers’ cottages. Approaching the centre, cottages give way to grand wooden-panelled doorways and decorative transom lights. One building I am always intrigued by is number 74 East Street. It is a Grade II listed period town house, built in the late eighteenth century in red brick with ornate local Portland stone dressing, brown front door and a stunning light above. What kind of merchant commissioned this? Who designed it? Was the door always brown? I often wonder about the inside; what was there in the past, what is there now and what will it be in the future? A few steps on is an arch tightly sealed with tarmac. Was this originally a window? What lies beneath these grand buildings, do they all have cellars? My family home had a cellar as did many other Victorian town houses, providing a cool place away from the busy outside. Is this something we should design into town houses today? Past the car park and across the road is number 55 East Street, I have fond memories of this place. Its inconspicuous door and unassuming entrance belies a place with many original features; the centre of the building taken up by a grand curved staircase and wooden hand rail, smoothed by generations of passing hands. During the time I lived there, I spent evenings pondering the construction of the staircase. I salute the crafts person or people who created this structure of true beauty. Nearing the town centre, we pass the LSI. Due to open any day now, the scaffolding is gradually coming down and revealing the astonishing windows; how delicately and precisely they have been repaired. I am pleased to be a part of the exciting next chapter in this building’s history by providing a bespoke-designed piece of furniture. In its early years, this building was a place for artists to take classes. I see it as a constant, a

place to learn and take inspiration from and something we are so lucky to be bringing back to use. During the renovation of the LSI, a mature holly tree came down in the neighbouring Chapel garden, which I was lucky enough to have been offered. It is now planked and drying, looking for a future commission. Holly is one of the only woods that retains its colour over time; a dense, hard wood used in the past mainly for inlaying. As a designer who also makes, I often wonder how things are achieved. A perfect example of this is the curved glass in the centre of town on Number 10. It adds such depth to the small, narrow facade of this building and a lovely entrance to the pub. Another few yards on, is the building with lonesome Crittal windows above the site entrance. A retained piece of history from the 50s, slim, delicate and fit for purpose. Each detail tells a story and it is important to keep hold of a little. I notice that there is many a column in Bridport. The ones on the disused left-hand side of the Lloyds Bank door stand out - how does one draw and design these? Did they carve them in place? Did they draw them? Were they made by the same person?

Then we reach Beppinos, the gelataria. I am a lover of food and I think this place is beautifully designed, including the decorative ice cream cones above the service counter. I am so happy to see this building be thoughtfully restored, especially the subtle grey pointing. I’ve watched this building grow over the last year or so, and am pleased to be able to enjoy it with others as we eat the incredible gelato and cakes with coffee. The end of town mirrors the beginning, with railings from the monochrome houses near the roundabout matching the railings on the newly finished flats. These decorative railings make an attractive border, especially with the kempt pollarded leafless trees that sit behind. January can be a dreary month without the leaves, so at this time of year I always repeat the mantra: ‘Appreciate the past, live in the present and look to the future.’ There are plenty of design features I’ve missed when introducing this beautiful town from east to west; maybe we all see them differently. What do you see when you walk through Bridport on a January evening? | 19


Dorset on Screen



mericans have Hollywood and the British have Dorset! Outside of London, Bridport is surrounded by hundreds of film locations for large features like Far from the Madding Crowd to smaller independent projects which we hear little about. Dorset’s impressive coastline, beautiful lush countryside with many historic homes and gardens in which to film, make it an ideal location. The effect of a film or TV show being shot in a town can be dramatic. Jobs can be created and local business services are sought. Promoting a town via TV or cinema can reach international audiences in the millions. This can result in an upsurge of tourism as viewers can be keen to investigate further those locations inhabited by the stars of the show. But it’s not just Thomas Hardy features that are being shot in Dorset. Since 2013 West Bay has experienced a large increase in visitors from the UK and abroad. The cultural specificity of Broadchurch and the starring role of the unique Jurassic landscape and local accents attracts travellers keen to explore a different world. This will be set to continue as Chesil Beach is to be released in June 2018. Ian McEwan's popular novel was acclaimed worldwide. The story itself, like Broadchurch, seems inseparable from its remarkable locations, as landscape is crucial in the representation of the action. In the case of Chesil Beach, landscape seems symbolic as it builds to a rocky finish for the characters exploring the beach on their honeymoon. The film stars Saoirse Ronan who many saw recently on screen at the Electric Palace in the sold-out showing of Loving Vincent and before that Brooklyn. Another film released in 2017 filmed in Dorset stars Joan Collins. The Time of Their Lives is a Thelma and Louise buddy movie with a hint of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Dorset film locations included Boscombe Pier; the Boscombe clifftop and Hengistbury Head around Bournemouth and Poole. Dunkirk was shown at the Bridport Electric Palace over the Summer of 2017 and depicts scenes along the old Harbour of Weymouth as well as scenes at Swanage Railway Station using local trains from the Swanage Railway. The world famous stars in the film, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and One Direction’s Harry Styles, have millions of followers > 20 | Bridport Times | January 2018 | 21


Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle, On Chesil Beach (2017)

and the film generated a buzz on social media which seemed to bat an eyelid at a film crew taking up most of made the town of Weymouth hard to ignore. the pavement. Get used to it Bridport! Local tourism UK film stars don’t get much bigger than Colin in the area can expect a big boost from the added Firth and Rachel Weisz who were in Dorset to publicity that these shows are bound to generate once shoot The Mercy. The film shoot released. This is good news for local was based in Teignmouth, Devon "Bridport is businesses and employment. Dorset but had locations around Dorset continues to attract the big players surrounded by including Chesil Cove and Portland in the screen industry and our hundreds of film Harbour. The film will be released friendly and vibrant town no doubt locations for this year (2018) and will hopefully adds to the popularity. As Anita get a local screening. Overland, the producer from Far large features On our smaller screens there from the Madding Crowd, explains: and independent have been several crews around “This area of Dorset is incredibly projects" Dorset including The Durrells beautiful. The cottages we stayed and Howards End which began in were gorgeous...the restaurants screening on the BBC in November 2017. Locations fantastic...there was an amazing antiques market... include Swanage, the Purbeck Hills and others along beautiful coastline…lots of beautiful stately homes and the Jurassic Coast showcasing our dramatic coastline gardens to see...and the community was just so helpful.” and lush green hills. Other recent small screen crews to Looking forward to a year of seeing Dorset on our West Dorset include Escape to the Country, Clarkson, fantastic big screen at the Bridport Electric Palace and Hammond and May's The Grand Tour and Great British our small screens at home! Railway Journeys. Only last month I saw Antiques Road Trip filming next door at South Street Antiques. No one 22 | Bridport Times | January 2018

Contemporary Interiors in Wood 5 rooms full of wood work from over 200 craftsmen working in the UK. Ranging from kitchenware to one-off jewellery boxes and furniture. Coffee shop and small children’s play area.

Rodden Row, Abbotsbury, DT3 4JL

01305 871515 Open 10am – 5.30pm everyday | 23


PUT YOUR ‘GLADYS’ RAGS ON Emily Hicks, Curator, Bridport Museum


pologies for the terrible pun. ‘Gladys’, as she has come to be known, is an Edwardian dress from our collection. She comes with a spooky story to tell… According to verbal reports, she was pushed through the Museum gates into the porch one night, only to be found there in the morning by a member of staff. The Curator at the time was Jane Burrell. Jane recalled being in the Museum in the Summer of 1989 one day, when it was busy with tourists. A lady who was visiting with her children came and asked whether anything untoward had ever been mentioned about the first floor. Jane went upstairs with her and, standing alongside her, next to the dress, the hairs on the lady’s arms were standing on end. The lady said she felt there was a female presence about the dress, but one that meant no harm. The Museum cleaner was also unhappy about working alone on the first floor and someone else reported feeling a heavy weight on their shoulders in that gallery. It was decided that something should be done. One of the volunteers at the time was a former nun, married to a former Catholic Priest. He had retrained as an Anglican Priest after his marriage but remembered how to conduct exorcisms from his Catholic training. He offered to exorcise Gladys discretely, which he did with prayers, holy water and the placing of a silver crucifix in the display cabinet. Prayers were also said at a church service in West Bay. So, who did the gown belong to? We will probably never know. From a professional assessment we know the following: it is an afternoon gown which dates from around 1900 and is typical of its time. It is made of two 24 | Bridport Times | January 2018

pieces, a skirt and a boned bodice. Both have a cream silk crepeline upper layer, inserted, embroidered and decorated with lace, ribbon bows and satin ribbon. The dress was made for a slim woman of about five foot four inches. The waist is only about 22 inches! It was in a sorry condition when it was pushed through the Museum gates, so was given some professional conservation work in 1997. The silk was split all over and had suffered crude repairs at some point in her life. Conservation work of this kind, on any item is expensive so we were delighted when ‘Gladys’ was adopted by Dave Goulden, of Wessex FM as part of our ‘Adopt an Object Scheme’. Dave was interested in the dress as he is currently writing a book on the history of paranormal goings-on in Bridport and West Bay. She’s not the only part of the Museum which is supposedly haunted either. Captain Codd, who founded the Museum in 1932 is reputed to walk through the building at night… Gladys is not currently on display at the Museum but forms part of the reserve collection, which are rotated for temporary exhibitions and displays. There are around 50,000 items in Bridport Museum’s collections overall, within around 1000 in the textile collection. Bridport Museum Trust is a registered charity, which runs an Accredited Museum, and a Local History Centre providing resources for local and family history research. The Museum recently underwent a major refurbishment and reopened in May 2017. Entry to the Museum is free.

Our Wild Dorset Get outside and enjoy visiting DWT’s nature reserves in 2018. We’re looking after wild spaces for the benefit of wildlife and enjoyment of people. Have a wild year and join us:

DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST Photos © Tony Bates MBE, Katharine Davies, Neil Gibson, Mark Heighes & Paul Williams.

Wild Dorset



May Franklin-Davis, Dorset Wildlife Trust

s the cold weather deepens, it is hard to imagine how wildlife copes. However, among the bare trees, fallen leaves and frosty ponds there’s a wealth of changes occurring. January and February may bring short days and biting winds but when the sun does shine, it’s with real clarity and the air is crisp. One of the most eye-catching sights is the gathering of starlings, known as a murmuration. Hundreds, sometimes hundreds of thousands, flock together creating mass waves of movement in the air. The best time to catch this spectacle is just before dusk, when the birds are about to roost. Studland nature reserve offers a fantastic seat to watch the starlings in flight. Inland, fieldfares (pictured) and redwings are moving around in flocks on hedgerows and fields. Other birds, such as song thrush and tawny owl, are becoming more vocal. Song thrushes will be trying to claim territory, while the hooting of the tawny owl is simply males and females communicating with one another. Hedgehogs and bats are among those who choose to hibernate to survive. The cold temperatures and scarce food make the winter months challenging for non-hibernating animals. However, there are ways to help local wildlife. Feeders filled with nuts and seeds can provide a life-line for small birds. For example, black sunflower seeds are a great source of oil while nuts provide vital protein. Many species will already be preparing for the warmer months. Blue tits and great tits are starting to look for places to nest, so consider putting up nest boxes. Although very rare, the purple emperor caterpillar can be found on twigs and branches awaiting warmer temperatures to undergo the transformations to become a butterfly in the summer. Easier to find are the eggs of the brown hairstreak butterfly on blackthorn and purple hairstreak butterfly on oak, as they spend the winter hibernating. Newts are waking from hibernation and moving to their mating ponds. Most plants are dormant this month so a glimpse of flowering snowdrops reminds you that spring is around the corner.

FACT FILE: • Ducks, geese and wading birds can be found in coastal wetlands: visit the nature reserve at Arne (Wareham), The Fleet (Weymouth) or Christchurch Harbour. • Great spotted woodpecker may be doing its signature drumming in woods. • In sheltered areas, early spring flowers can surprise and delight. • In ponds on quiet nights frogs can be heard starting their soft croaking mating calls. 26 | Bridport Times | January 2018 | 27

Wild Dorset

FOURTEEN FISHERMEN Neville Copperthwaite, Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve


t was Percy Shelley who asked ‘If winter comes, can spring be far behind?’ That was way back in 1820 but I reckon the fishermen of West Bay will be still pondering on that today, particularly with the January gales to look forward to. But hey-ho, they are a hardy breed and while the public demand fish on their plate, fishermen will go to sea to fetch it in. One of these fishermen is Aubrey Banfield. Aubrey’s boat, Delta Barbara, can be seen moored alongside the quay in rough weather but any lull in the winter storms and Aubrey will be off to sea to make the most of the opportunity. This is called a ‘weather window’ and there are precious few of them during the winter months. There is an art to using these windows; the weather forecast must be scrutinised days beforehand. The tides must come into the equation – will it coincide with strong spring tides which will result in bigger waves? – and local knowledge of the sea acquired from years of experience is invaluable and will be added to the mix before Aubrey makes the decision to leave port. The consequences of getting this wrong can be serious; there are few worse places to be caught at sea in a howling storm than within Lyme Bay. The shoreline of the Bay forms a natural semi-circular net from Beer Head to Portland Bill, West Bay being located betwixt the two. With nowhere for a boat to run in a westerly gale except toward the shore, a fisherman’s predicament can quickly become precarious in worsening conditions. It was calm on the day I spoke to Aubrey. I caught him just as he was about to shove off, much to his annoyance, and I quizzed him about his plans for the day. He had nets aboard and was going to lay them overnight to fish for skate. Skate is a generic term for rays. Aubrey might catch blonde rays or the more common thornback rays or perhaps the rarer undulate ray. But by the time they reach the fishmongers slab, you will buy them as skate. 28 | Bridport Times | January 2018

Aubrey also uses a rod and line for cod and pollack which are abundant at this time of year. Normally, crab and lobster pots would also be deployed but 2017 was an unusually bad year for crab so Aubrey has brought his pots ashore. He thinks the abundance of predatory cuttlefish earlier in the year has been the cause of the downturn in crab landings although some scientists believe global warming could be at fault; the warmer local waters driving the crab populations further north into the Irish and North Seas. The jury is still out on that conundrum so Aubrey might try laying his crab pots again in the spring – watch this space! In order for everyone to get along and make a living, there is an unspoken camaraderie between the fourteen fishermen of West Bay. It is recognised that if

everyone fished for the same species, this would become unsustainable. For instance, whilst Aubrey is fishing for skate, others will be targeting sole, plaice or turbot. Others fish for shellfish such as John Worswick, who is a scallop diver. You can’t miss his boat; it’s the bright yellow one called Clear Horizon. Unfortunately, January is not a kind month to John. Scallop-diving requires clear water to enable good vision deep down on the seabed and a two day gale can result in a week of poor vision underwater. Needless to say, John’s summer holidays tend to be taken in January, usually somewhere near the Equator! In the main though, fishermen are a resilient lot who have learnt to bend with the wind. Bad weather brings with it the opportunity to repair boats ashore. This month the harbour quay is full of boats propped-

up on chocks, variously being sanded and painted, engines overhauled. The hustle and bustle of summer holidaymakers has been replaced with the sound of drills, hammers and grinders as fishermen prepare their craft for the coming season. The fishing-gear storage racks are full to overflowing with crab pots, lobster pots, whelk pots, cuttlefish traps and nets. All will be renovated and refurbished in readiness for the coming years’ service. Indeed, the clamour of a working harbour such as West Bay is one to be cherished; many harbours are being gentrified, turned into soulless yachting marinas devoid of fishermen. So I say well done West Bay for keeping your identity and for keeping a safe haven for our fishermen. | 29

Wild Dorset

LIFE ON THE EDGE Adam & Ellen Simon, Tamarisk Farm


he start of the year is also the end of the year. Our animals are still outside enjoying the last of the grass. 2017 was very good for grass on Tamarisk Farm and we like the stock to stay outside with all the choice of where to go and what to eat. Most of our stock are tough native breeds and as long as they’ve enough to eat and a bit of shelter they are happy outside whatever the weather throws at them. You often see this as selling points for Devon Bulls, advertised proudly as “…overwinters at 1000ft on Exmoor”. All our sheep are breeds originating on islands or high ground. Our part of the Dorset coast has a lot in common with the islands off Scotland; it is rarely cold but often wet and windswept. But at some stage in the Winter, most of our stock are inside for a while. Sometimes a shortage of grass sends them in: it is hard to feed hay outside when the ground is too wet to carry it by tractor and they need more than we can carry ourselves. Often the primary concern is that they will damage the sward and it will be slow to grow next year. Sometimes the wet or wind does become a problem from the animals’ point of view; if they are sheltering too much they don’t have much time to eat, and in the cosy places under the hedges 30 | Bridport Times | January 2018

their feet churn up the grass until, if they were left, they would stand in wet clay to their fetlocks. Sometimes the animals might make the footpaths too muddy for walkers. So the time comes that we bring them in, often for our need more than theirs. The cattle come home from Cogden along the beach. It’s a walk of about two miles and we all enjoy it, ponies, dogs and people working together. If the cattle walk on the back of the beach, they snatch mouthfuls of the sea kale, wild carrot or parsnip and sea pink as they go. If we take them over the ridge towards the sea a young one may go down to the waves and think about paddling – then run back as the foam rushes up. Where there is only shifting shingle, dumped over the path in the St Valentines Day storm of 2014, they walk doggedly. It is hard work but they know they are going into the warm and dry. It may be warm and dry but they are not enclosed; they are under a roof but there are virtually no walls to the barn. Similarly sheep in the poly tunnels are not isolated from the outside world. One might expect that the tunnels would be sealed against the weather in Winter and opened in Summer but it is the other way round. The lower part of the sides are removed to make sure the sheep don’t find it stuffy and put back on for the

“One of the pleasures of working with the animals is watching them enjoying their lives” Summer to keep the tomatoes, peppers and beans warm. One of the pleasures of working with the animals is watching them enjoying their lives. The cycle of grazing and housing gives a lot to watch. The cattle and sheep settle in, clearly relishing their comfortable straw beds and good hay, full of sunshine and flowers, available without having to walk for it – but I know that come March or thereabouts they will be very cheerful about going out again. Sheep, as they go out, reach keenly for the plainest rough green stuff before they reach the field. This is the time that they will eat dock leaves which later in the year they scorn. Older cows will get down on their knees, rubbing their heads in the soil as if to greet the outside world and calves will run great races past their

mothers and back, discovering their new space. Dorset Down sheep are a breed which traditionally lived on the high chalk downlands of Dorset and were folded over the different arable crops through the winter, not coming indoors at all. This now rare breed makes up most of our flock, and though our clay drains less well than the chalklands, we sometimes do as the old flockmasters did. We watch our wheat through the winter as it grows or, if the weather is wet and we have salt winds, we watch as it scarcely keeps its head above ground. In the years when it grows fast and is ‘winterproud’, if we also have dry conditions in the late winter, we give the sheep the chance to graze it. They get an early bite of green and the wheat has the older, senescing leaves nibbled away giving space for the new fresh leaves to grow and work. With luck, the sheep also eat or crush some of the arable weeds. We can hope for a cleaner and stronger wheat crop as well as having fed the sheep well at a hard time of year. Tamarisk Farm is an organic mixed farm on the coast near Bridport offering farm walks, open days, workshops and produce. | 31


TO FLY AN EAGLE A Falconer’s Insight Martin Ballam


he story of our relationship with birds of prey is long and well documented. Varying degrees of reverence and revulsion going back centuries has left many raptors such as the golden eagle with only a thin grip on their numbers. By 1850, with the increase in ‘sport’ and concerns over farm stock, the golden eagle had been hunted to extinction, at least in England and Wales. Mia – a captive-bred Scottish golden eagle – came to us in 2004 aged 7. Golden eagles can live for 50 years in captivity and a good 25 as a wild bird. Mia’s arrival was not chance. We already had a male by the name of Arnold and were playing the role of golden eagle dating agency. This was to be a match made in eagle heaven. But after being together for five days, Mia turned and boy did she turn. Mia’s hatred towards what, in our eyes, 32 | Bridport Times | January 2018

was the ‘perfect’ male reached murderous levels. Female birds of prey are considerably larger than the males, averaging a third more, so this would not end well for poor Arnold. We tried many different methods of introduction over a long period of time but this marriage was NOT going to happen. So putting thoughts of raptor romance behind us we have a new goal in mind: to fly and train Mia ready for a trip to the Scottish highlands where she will fly in her element. Mia had spent the summer moulting: dropping her year-old feathers to make way for new ones. With raptors this is done in sequence: the same feather on each side of the wing and tail to keep balance. Once we were sure her moult was complete, it was time to take

her from the aviary and fit her equipment - oh joy! Mia has claws the size of my hands, talons 2-3 inches long, crushing power stronger than a shark bite, this was going to take all the skill and timing I could muster. First I needed to have the equipment pre-made and ready; and no doubt a large scotch for afterwards if all goes well! Mia was fitted with leather anklets and leather straps called ‘jesses’ that we made to measure. Then we placed her in the mews (the name we give to the housing for trained raptors) and left her to settle for a couple of days. Mia began by being tethered to a perch, we found she prefers a block perch (similar to a log of wood) rather than a bow perch (like a bow shaped branch). This process of tethering a bird is an age-old way

(4000 years) of keeping a bird from damaging itself and allowing the process of bonding and training to occur. Remember, this bird will fly free every day once fully trained. Thankfully Mia quickly accepted the block as her roosting perch and so we came to ‘Manning time’. Every day over a period of a few weeks I spent time holding her, walking with her and ultimately feeding her from the gloved hand that she stands on. The problem was that Mia would not feed from the gloved hand straight away. Be sure a bird is NEVER starved - starvation would bring out aggression. It is simply a matter of a correct food intake and gentle exercise that would gradually bring her down to her personal flying or hunting weight. When Mia reached 9lb 7oz she was feeding nicely from the glove or ‘gauntlet’, as we call it. But still we didn’t know if she would make her first jump for food. To find out I took her into the training ground. I carried Mia there dressed in her hood to keep her calm and to help prevent her from trying to fly to perches before we are ready. Keeping Mia ‘Hoodwinked’ as we call it keeps Mia stress-free. It will also help in the future if we are out with friends with other hawks or eagles who are flying and it’s not her turn! I remove or ‘slip’ the hood for the first time and place Mia on a perch. She is still not free. I use a safety line – or creance just to be safe. Then I stand a couple of metres away and raise my gauntlet with food gripped and call her, and I call, and I call and she totally ignores me! The next day we follow the same routine. Mia’s weight has dropped to 9lb 6oz and I wonder if this will make a difference. I raise my gauntlet again. Her wild eyes are calm and alert. She stretches out her 8 foot wing-span and flies the two metres to my gauntlet. I try again, this time she makes 3 metres. We are on the road to success. It’s been nine weeks of training now. Mia is at 9lb 5oz and flying good training distances. But with our trip planned for late January/early February, the pressure is on. Will she be fit, ready to soar over the Scottish highlands? I will let you know. Martin is building a Bird of Prey and Owl Sanctuary for the incubation and hand-rearing of endangered species as well as rescue and rehabilitation of injured raptors. We'll be following Martin's progress ahead of the sanctuary's public opening later this year. | 33

Outdoors On Foot



Emma Tabor & Paul Newman

ach month we’ll be taking a walk and sharing the route for you and your family (including four-legged members) to enjoy. We’ll also point out a few interesting things along the way; be it flora, fauna, architecture, history, the unusual and sometimes unfamiliar. We start by plunging straight into the tangled lanes and holloways that creep unnoticed across this part of West Dorset. Holloways are sunken lanes, the name derived from the Old English “hola weg”, caused by years of water and traffic erosion.

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Distance: 3 1/2 miles Time: Approx 2 hours Parking: In the car-park for the Catholic Church donation required for church Features: Church of Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs and St Ignatius Church and Museum display, Holloways, Views of Colmer’s Hill and Portland Refreshments: The Anchor Inn, Seatown Directions

1 Start North Chideock Catholic Church (grid ref: SY420934). It is well worth popping into this gem of a church before starting the walk, crammed full of delights including a fascinating museum. 2 Turn left out of the car park and head back down in the direction of the A35. Take the first left by a large stone slab saying Chideock Manor - note the archway made of whale jawbone - and head down a cul-de-sac. Go across a bridge (over a brook) and head up. Follow the lane until it starts to turn more towards the left where you will then meet a footpath sign. Take this footpath along the left-hand side of a large field and keep the hedge to your left. On the right are views across to Quarry Hill, with the sea behind you. 3 At the end of the field, in the left-hand corner, go through a small gate into a smaller field. Head across the middle of the field and start to go down a small steep hill towards some buildings. At the bottom of this slope, there is a small wooden stile next to the entrance to the field. Turn right onto Hell Lane; it starts out as an innocuous-looking

farm track. Ignore the branch right to farm buildings and keep slightly left. The lane becomes very wet, more like a stream, depending on the time of year and also more enclosed, providing shelter as you start to climb. Listen out for ravens here. You will notice a wonderful variety of ferns and mosses as well as hazel, holly, ash and oak as the lane becomes increasingly sunken, with their root systems exposed. 4 Keep heading up for 15 minutes or so and eventually you will find yourself in a wonderful sandstone gorge, punctured with holes from burying animals, criss-crossed by roots and fallen trees above you, yet many feet below the surface of the surrounding fields. Emerge to the junction at Quarry Cross and the route now turns left heading for Jan’s Hill. It is worth making a quick slight detour right to look out over Colmer’s Hill. Retrace your steps as you now head inland along the ridge towards Henwood Hill. 5 As you leave Hell Lane behind, there are wonderful views with Quarry Hill behind you, the sea and then over towards Langdon Hill and Ryall. Carry on along this ridge and ignore two left turns, one of which is for the Monarch’s Way. After a very slight climb up Henwood Hill, the lane descends into another much smaller holloway. The hedges here provide food and shelter for Linnets in winter. You then arrive at a junction with a distinctive small clump of trees on Jan’s Hill, just ahead and slightly to the right. Turn left through a metal gate and head down hill, along a small gully on the right-hand side of a field. Go through a gate into a smaller field, cross this and through another gate in the far lefthand corner. Emerge onto a track on the corner of North End Farm; go left and head downhill past a thatched sandstone building. 6 Cross a cattle grid at the end of the farm and then another after a few more yards. Keep on this track, which becomes more of a road, to emerge at Venn Farm. Here the road hairpins left; keep following, heading back towards North Chideock. After 5 minutes, the road bends sharp left and after a few more yards, then turn right at a junction. Follow this for 10 minutes through North Chideock and back towards the church. | 35

GILL MELLER Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


here is a danger after meeting Bridport boy, Gill Meller, of wanting to go home and not only change the way you cook but also how you live. Here is a man who is the master of simplicity, who has a home that is as pared-down as his food. Without doubt he is a mindful cook. As the food writer Diana Henry says ‘No one else’s food is more true to the place where they live.’ In fact the first seven years of Gill’s life were spent in an old rectory near Lulworth which his parents had moved to after leaving London. But then his father, a boat builder, and his mother, a drama teacher, moved Gill and his two siblings to Chancery Lane, in Bridport. It was in the cobbled backyard that Gill discovered his passion for making fires, ‘I’d just experiment and tinker, having brilliant fun simmering mostly inedible concoctions.’ A few years later they moved to Nettlecombe and it was there that Gill began to take a greater interest in the vagaries of the countryside. By the age of ten he ‘became obsessed with birds of prey’ and KES-like, he wanted to be a falconer. >

36 | Bridport Times | January 2018 | 37

38 | Bridport Times | January 2018

‘It was Vaughan Sargent who took me under his wing and taught me how to fly hawks. He gave me a common buzzard and I spent many years hunting with her. As a result I was often outside. Everyday I would spend 2-3 hours roaming the countryside after school and it gave me an understanding of nature and the changes in seasons. I was always out in the landscape, learning about the wind, the weather and how it would affect the bird. It was only later when I was a chef that the outdoors became important as a place from which to source ingredients. I am just thankful for the connection that the buzzard gave me with the landscape.’ As anyone who has been lucky enough to grow up in the outdoors knows, that connection with the landscape is a gift that stays with you for a lifetime. But for Gill, growing up in Dorset and in particularly around Bridport, was a gift that offered him a vocation. At the age of 19 he, in his own words, went from ‘a teenager smoking roll-ups to a father who needed to find a way to earn a living.’ While studying at

Weymouth College he met his future wife, Alice (who now co-runs Ryder and Hope in Lyme Regis) and the couple had their first child, Isla. Out of necessity, and after a short spell working in a photocopying shop, Gill found work in a café in Dorchester, making soups and similar, and discovered that he enjoyed working with food. ‘My mother is an amazing cook and I had an inherent understanding of that growing up.’ When Isla was two, the couple bought a campervan and spent 6 months travelling around France, Spain and Italy. ‘We had very little money so I discovered the importance of ingredients working hard in every dish. Each morning I would go to the market and buy some vegetables and cheese and then cook a simple meal on the camper’s cooker. It was that trip that really gave me an insight into the importance of good, simple ingredients.’ When they returned, Gill set up his own catering business with the aid of a Prince’s Trust grant. The company, KITCHEN, was born. ‘I ran the business for two years and it was the perfect introduction to the > | 39

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42 | Bridport Times | January 2018

farmers and growers of Bridport and east Devon.’ he explains. ‘It was through the sourcing and provenance of ingredients that I was able to define my own approach to cooking.’ His go-to favourites included the Washingpool Farmshop, Leakers, Manor Farm and Godmanstone Organics for meat. But it was while he was busy with KITCHEN that he met Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. ‘Hugh’s first cookery book was very exciting. It offered a different way of thinking about food and I found it very inspiring. And then I met him at a party in a yurt!’ Gill introduced himself and they got talking. Hugh then rang Gill out of the blue and asked if they could meet and talk about his ideas. It’s said that Hugh arrived to find Gill making terrine in a blur of feathers and liver, dead pheasants everywhere. He got the job as Hugh’s kitchen assistant and, as they say, the rest is history. Gill has been working with River Cottage for fourteen years but two years ago took a step back to concentrate on his own written work. ‘It was a huge opportunity,’ says Gill ‘to work with those farmers, foragers and fishermen was like being handed gold,’ says Gill, characteristically humble about the experience. ‘I am very grateful for having a life in food that extends beyond the kitchen.’ Now Gill, Alice, their second daughter Coco, (12) and Isla (now 19 and studying at college) live in a converted summerhouse perched on the brow of a valley over-looking the sea. The house, which was just a single room with a dirt floor, has been extended into the hillside itself with large windows framing the everchanging vista of woodland, sea and sky. It is a home that speaks of simplicity and warmth. These days Gill pursues his own interests to a greater extent and has returned to the campfires of his youth. ‘Gathering around a fire is such a simple and rewarding thing to do,’ he says. ‘It is a primeval instinct and it’s only really here in the western world that we have lost that connection and the skills that come with it.’ For Gill, cooking is a respectful return to the fundamentals. Of sourcing the simplest, best quality ingredients, to be then prepared and eaten in mindful appreciation. This elemental ritual of gathering over food is documented, in all places, on the underside of Gill’s dining table. Handmade by his carpenter father it serves as both guest book and testimony, the tangle of signatures confirming Gill’s place among this coastline's greatest chefs. Gather by Gill Meller, £25 Quadrille Books. | 43

Sunday Lunch Carvery

Let someone else do the shopping, preparing, cooking and ALL the washing up. The George Albert Hotel is delighted to offer a Sunday Lunch Carvery. Always featuring two freshly cooked joints of meat with all of the trimmings and homemade Yorkshire puddings. A choice of freshly prepared starters both hot and cold and of course a selection of sumptuous desserts to tempt and delight you. There is always a vegetarian option available and we are happy to cater for any additional dietary requirements. For those wanting a more luxurious Sunday experience, the Kings Restaurant a la carte menu is ideal. Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment George Albert Hotel Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW

Served fr om 12 .00pm to 8.00pm

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Food & Drink

Image: Simon Wheeler 46 | Bridport Times | January 2018



f I’m up early and I walk quietly through the woods below our house I will quite often see deer. Recently I came face-to-face with a young roe buck, frozen between the laurel and the cord wood. There was a fleeting meeting of eyes, and for a fraction in time, a motionless embrace. All before its nimble frame broke instantly away, barrelling off through the trees and scrub. I’ve a lot of respect for these magnificent animals, both in life in the wood and in death in the kitchen. Truly wild venison is a wonderful meat. I know that wild shot deer, whether fallow, sika or roe, will have led a completely natural and healthy life. A life in which man has had little or no intervention whatsoever. At River Cottage we cook venison throughout the winter months. One of my favourite ways to eat venison is as a tasty carpaccio. The loin is seared in a hot pan for a few moments before being sliced and served more or less raw, with flaky salt, lemon juice, olive oil and capers. It’s exquisite, refined and delicate. At the other end of the culinary spectrum, but no less delicious, would be my venison stew scented with orange and bay. It’s a foil to the darker days of winter, a fuel. This salad falls somewhere between those two favourites, and is perfect in January. It’s beautifully coloured and textured, and is very simple to put together: everything is cooked in the same pan. Serves 2 Ingredients

1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil 150g peeled celeriac, cut into roughly 2cm chunks A sprig of rosemary 2 small eating apples, such as Russets 150g venison loin, trimmed A handful of hazelnuts (about 25g), lightly bashed 50g bitter leaves, such as radicchio or chicory 1 tsp thyme leaves Sea salt and black pepper

For the dressing 1 tsp English mustard 1 tsp caster sugar 2 tsp cider vinegar 2 tbsp extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil Method

1 Place a large non-stick frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. Add the oil and, when hot, add the celeriac and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3–5 minutes, turning the celeriac regularly. 2 Meanwhile, quarter the apples, core them, then cut each quarter in half again. Season the venison loin all over. 3 Push the celeriac to one side of the pan. Add the venison and put the apple pieces next to it. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip both the venison and apple pieces over and cook for another 5 minutes (give the celeriac a little stir every now and then so it doesn’t catch). This will give you medium-rare meat. Remove the venison to a board to rest. 4 Add the bashed hazelnuts to the pan and give it a good shake to mix everything. Cook for a few more minutes (the celeriac should still be a little al dente) then remove and allow to cool a little. 5 For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. 6 To serve, shred the bitter leaves and arrange them over a large platter. Scatter over the warm celeriac, nuts and apples. Slice the venison thinly and arrange this on top. Sprinkle over the thyme then trickle over the mustardy dressing and serve. Recipe taken from River Cottage A to Z, published by Bloomsbury, available from Bridport Times reader offer: Get £20 off Friday and Saturday night dining in January and February when you quote BTDINE20. For more details and to book see or call Tamsyn in the Events Team on 01297 630302. | 47

Food & Drink

BRAISED OX CHEEKS WITH ‘NDUJA AND POLENTA Serves 6 people, Cooking time 6-7 hours Cass Titcombe, Brassica Restaurant

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ow that we are in the coldest months of winter, slow-cooked meat dishes are perfect for the short days and long nights. And after the financial excesses of Christmas and all its feasting, this is perfect as it’s made using a cheap cut of meat. This would work very well with a beef shin if you can’t get hold of ox cheeks. Cheaper slow-cooked cuts of meat need to be cooked at low temperatures for a long time to make them tender and yielding. This dish also has the added benefit of some heat from the chilli hit of the ‘nduja. 'Nduja is a soft-spreading salami from Calabria in southern Italy, made from pork, mainly from the head and other bits and bobs that need using up like tripe and lung, with lots of chilli and salt. This is then smoked. It is a distant relative of the Spanish Sobresada. We are huge ‘nduja fans at Brassica Restaurant & Mercantile and it features on our menu in many ways and also on sale in our shop. It has an affinity with pasta dishes and will enliven a simple slow-cooked tomato sauce tossed through pasta or our favourite, which is with squid or cuttlefish. Due to its heat, you don’t need much. Try spreading it on some grilled sourdough and top with burrata or buffalo mozzarella for simple but very fine bruschetta. As with any casserole and spicy dish, it improves if made the day before and then heated up the next day. It is ideally served with something green and fresh like a watercress and chicory salad with mustard vinaigrette or some simple wintergreens. In the restaurant we might serve it with some simple quick-pickled vegetables. You could make both parts the day before and with the polenta, pour it into an oiled dish so that it’s 3-4cm thick and leave to set. To re-heat, cut into thick slices and brush with melted butter and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Ingredients

1kg ox cheeks (trimmed and cut into 2-3cm thick slices) 50g ‘nduja 2 large onions 4 sticks celery 5 cloves garlic 1 bulb fennel 1 x 400g tin san marzano tomatoes, crushed lightly 50g beef dripping or sunflower oil 10 sage leaves

3 bay leaves salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ bottle red wine ½ litre beef stock 30ml sherry vinegar 1 Seville orange big pinch allspice 250g polenta (traditional not instant) 50g butter grated Parmesan Method

1 Peel and dice the vegetables and cut into large chunks 2 Heat up a large heavy-based casserole pan, add dripping if using or sunflower oil until smoking hot, season meat well with salt and pepper and brown off on both sides for a few minutes then remove and put aside 3 Add vegetables to the pan and stir to brown and cook for 5 minutes, turning down heat if necessary to prevent burning 4 Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes then pour in sherry vinegar and wine and scrape bottom of the pan to incorporate this into the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes then add tomatoes, the browned meat, bay leaves, chopped sage & grated zest of the Seville orange 5 Cover with lid and put into oven at 150C, cook for 6 hours minimum until meat is very tender and almost falling apart 6 When meat is cooked remove from oven. Strain all the liquid and leave to settle for 5 mins. Then skim off excess fat if required with a ladle and pour cooking liquid back into a pan, taste and if necessary bring back to the boil and reduce if desired. Add meat and vegetables back to the liquid 7 To make the polenta bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil and add a tsp salt, pour the polenta into the boiling liquid in a steady stream whilst whisking continually 8 Reduce heat to low and cook for approx. 50 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and beat in butter and grated parmesan, keep hot and serve with the braised cheeks. Perfect wine accompaniment: Palazzo del Mare, Nero d’Avola sold at Brassica Mercantile. | 49

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Body & Mind

52 | Bridport Times | January 2018

TRANSITIONS Jane Fox, Yogaspace Bridport


his seasonal transition of heading into winter has never been an easy one for me, although there is a loveliness to getting the woolies out and wrapping up; the open fires and the turning inwards. I also feel my heart grieves a little for the warmth and the light. How do we manage these transitions; these changing of positions both on and off the yoga mat? They come in all shapes and sizes, from seasonal ones to big unexpected life changes to tiny daily pauses. It was a major transition that threw me into my yoga journey for real. I started yoga about 25 years ago in my mid-20s, taking a weekly class with friends. Soon after I was taken to a yoga talk and from there found my way to my spiritual teacher Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Then the chaos began! Things started to move. I was offered a job in the USA, which I accepted, wrapped up my life in London and moved to California. New country, new job, new life, new love. And then my sister in London became very seriously ill. I lost my foothold and I was well and truly floating. I dived head first into my physical asana yoga practice. Living South of Market in San Francisco, I found a yoga studio on the road that I lived called ‘It’s Yoga’! It was perfect and I went there almost every day. It was my anchor and constant, while everything around me fell apart. I would leave feeling my feet on the ground, in my body and a little less mad. During this transition, when everything was being rewritten for me, yoga brought me back again and again. It returned me to the simple acts of breathing and moving. Transition in Yoga Practice

Everything we do in our yoga practice translates into our every day life. Firstly we take all of ourselves to the mat. The good bits and the less comfy parts. I often set a specific intention at the beginning of my practice and a favourite of mine is to be as whole as possible, welcoming all of myself and losing the judgment. “ You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you in order to remain whole.” I love this. I think of all those

parts of myself I constantly leave behind in my daily life and as I go through my practice, I affirm my intention to gather them up and try and stay as ‘whole’ as possible. Secondly, we slow down and bring awareness to those spaces between poses; the moving from one form to the next as well as the space at the top and bottom of the breath as we repeatedly transition from inhale to exhale. Then we begin to develop our skill of transitions. They are a preparation time to move with intention so we can approach our next position with awareness and equipoise. • We can pause in Samastithi (equal standing) or deepen the breath to focus ourselves if we are using a vinyasa to transition to the next pose. • We can pay attention to where we are going next, transferring weight with control using our core. • We take time to establish our landing and stabilise. • We move with care and precision. All of these can relate as much to moving through a flow yoga class as to moving house. Focusing on these transitions in our yoga practice and then applying these newly-honed skills into the ‘in between spaces’ in our lives i.e. waiting in a queue or making our way from a to b, creates a bit of a flow and smoothness into our days. And a fullness too. I seem to have more time in my day as I am more in the moment and not so concerned with the destination. It’s a discipline and a lifelong practice and learning. Each time we come to the yoga mat, we are creating great new habits. It is an internal training and so often today the focus is on the external stuff; yoga clothing, accessories, image and gadgets. None of these are necessary. All we need is to practice with our breath to open our bodies and train our minds to be steady and present through the ancient miraculous science of yoga. Janie is an artist and yoga teacher living and working in Bridport. Her schedule and info can be found on | 53

Body & Mind

DO WE REALLY NEED TO DETOX? Tamara Jones, Nutritional Therapist and Founder, Loving Healthy


ur bodies are constantly ‘detoxing’, i.e. filtering out waste products from bodily functions, toxins such as alcohol and chemicals from pollution. Several organs are involved in detoxing our bodies and they include our skin, liver, intestine and kidneys. The liver detoxifies harmful substances by a complex series of chemical reactions. If nutrition is compromised through poor dietary and lifestyle habits, the liver won’t have everything it needs to do its job efficiently. This can result in symptoms such as dry, blotchy and pimply skin, headaches, fatigue, allergies, generally feeling under the weather and digestive issues such as constipation, bloating and gas. This is why keeping our bodies in tip-top shape is essential for staying fit and well. What about special detox diets?

There’s no good evidence to show that starving ourselves actually rids us of the toxins we think are blocking up our bodies. We possess the ultimate detox machines already; our liver and kidneys. Most people will find that they lose weight on a detox diet simply because they have reduced their calorie intake. If you restrict calories too much then you may not have the energy that you need to perform daily activities including exercise. Be wary of detox gimmicks – such as pills, patches 54 | Bridport Times | January 2018

potions and lotions, which all promise to detoxify the body. These are just clever marketing schemes. What should you eat on a detox?

• Eat organic or wild foods, where possible, to minimise exposure to pesticides, antibiotics and growth promoters. • Ensure adequate macronutrient intake, with particular attention to protein and essential fatty acids. Our bodies need a balance of these nutrients for optimal energy, recovery, and repair. Choose oily fish (mackerel, salmon, anchovies, herring), nuts, seeds, lentils, chickpeas and beans. • Consume a wide range of brightly coloured fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, for their important phytochemicals. Each colour provides various health benefits. • Gut health is increasingly being shown to be key to overall wellbeing. Consume kombucha and kefir to keep those healthy gut bacteria happy. • Drink more water – if you feel hungry, check in to see if you might in fact be thirsty before having something to eat. Foods to avoid

• Avoid the quick-fix detox and instead opt for a more balanced approach. It may be beneficial to cut down

Image: Lara Thorpe

on foods and drinks low in nutrients and high in sugar such as, biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolate. • Reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol. • Minimise your intake of well-done (burnt) meat, which contains potentially carcinogenic compounds. • Don’t eat processed foods, as these can contain chemical additives, such as colourings, preservations, sweeteners and other flavour enhancers, in addition to high levels of salt. What should I eat in a day?

Here is an example of a healthy diet, perfect for after a period of overindulging. The meals are nutrient-dense to satisfy your body, and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Breakfast: Smashed avocado with poached eggs on rye bread Mid-morning snack: An apple with 1-2 tbsp of nut or seed butter Lunch: A large bowl of vegetable & lentil or bean soup Mid-afternoon snack: A handful of blueberries and a small pot of full fat yogurt Evening meal: Baked salmon with sweet potato wedges, tender-stem broccoli Drinks: 1–1.5 litres of water throughout the day including 1-2 cups of green tea or warm water with lemon.


Reduce your exposure to environmental pollutants in the home, at work and when outside. If you need to lose weight, do it gradually (about 2lbs or 1kg a week – although higher amounts may be lost in the initial weeks). Make sure you are physically active on a daily basis. Try yoga, swimming, walking or running. Sweating, from exercise, saunas and steam baths, can promote toxin elimination through the skin. Possible symptoms during detoxification

Some people may experience unwanted symptoms when eliminating specific foods. For example, cutting out caffeine can be associated with headaches. A sudden significant increase in fibre intake can promote symptoms of constipation or bloating. Summary

Fill your home with foods and drinks that are going to nourish your body from the inside out and that are going to make you feel great. Focusing on small changes will go a long way. | 55

Body & Mind

WINTER WELLNESS WITH HERBS Caroline Butler, Medical Herbalist BSc (Hons) MNIMH


s winter brings dark days and cold, damp weather, it’s easy to succumb to the many coughs and colds that circulate at this time of year. Simple herbal remedies can help ward these off, boosting immunity and easing unpleasant symptoms to prevent something more serious developing. Herbalists think of herbs in terms of their actions, matching these to the required effect on a person. For example, elderflower is anti-catarrhal, yarrow stimulates the circulation, peppermint is decongesting. Together these herbs make a classic herbal tea for a nasty cold. It can relieve a blocked-up or dripping nose, shift a fever, help your body fight infection and encourage circulation to chilled hands and feet. Herbal teas for coughs, colds, flu or sinus congestion are best drunk as hot as you can bear and are very easy to make. Just add one to two teaspoons of herbs to a teapot for each cup of water to be added, pour on boiling water and leave to infuse for ten minutes before straining. Another useful herb for keeping healthy in winter is thyme. This easily-available herb is a fantastic cough remedy, and can also be useful to relieve sinus problems. It is powerfully anti-bacterial, aids the removal of mucus from the lungs, and at the same time is anti-spasmodic, easing irritable coughs. It combines well with liquorice which has soothing, demulcent and anti-inflammatory properties, but can be very effective on its own. Another kitchen cupboard herb, sage, is wonderful for sore throats. If you have a bush in your garden you can just chew the fresh leaves, or else make a tea from them, fresh or dried. I usually make an extra strong infusion to be used as a gargle once it has cooled down, rather than drinking it as tea. Herbs can also be taken as part of meals, keeping us healthy before we even get ill. Lemon, garlic and ginger are all useful ‘food herbs’. Garlic is most effective as an antibacterial when it’s raw and I find the most palatable way to take it is as part of a salad dressing, combined

56 | Bridport Times | January 2018

with olive oil, lemon juice and some honey and tahini. Herbs can also be included in soups and stews. When anyone in my family is a bit run down I like to make chicken and vegetable soup with ginger, thyme, garlic, and lemon juice as well as an old traditional addition – Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis, NOT the Tagetes species). These bright orange petals help our immune systems and can be cooked or sprinkled raw on salads. Elderberry syrup is an old remedy for the prevention and management of colds and flu. Modern research has confirmed this, showing that elderberry is antiviral and lessens the severity and duration of flu. These days you can buy commercial elderberry products in health food shops, but making your own is even better. I prefer to make it with fresh elderberries, but if you have missed that time of year you can use dried. Simmer 50g dried elderberries in 300mls of water for about 30 minutes, either alone or with any warming spices you fancy – cinnamon, ginger, cloves and star anise are all beneficial. Once it’s cooled a bit, strain through a muslin or jelly bag. Measure the amount of liquid you have left, stir in an equal amount of honey, and bottle. This will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze it for later. You can take elderberry syrup by the spoonful, or add it to hot water as a warming cordial. If you get stiff and aching joints in the cold weather, herbal ointments made of infused oils thickened with beeswax can really help, sealing in warmth and delivering the beneficial actions of the herbs directly where they are needed. Juniper berries are antirheumatic and can be used in this way, or in hand and foot baths, together with warming, circulatory herbs like rosemary and ginger. Herbalists use a vast range of medicinal plants, but the few I mention here can make a real difference to your well-being in the cold months. | 57











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NO PLACE LIKE HOME Molly Bruce, Interior Designer


hen I was a child I spent a lot of time sat in the dark, waiting. My parents’ careers in theatre and the arts meant that I was fortunate enough to be able to travel with them to countries around the world wherever my father’s ballets were being performed. In theatres everywhere, I would sit in anticipation for the stage lights to dim and the curtain to rise, revealing a spectacle for the senses. I sat in wonder, absorbing every aspect of the creation in front of me. But what intrigued me most of all was the design of 60 | Bridport Times | January 2018

the set and all that came with it: the construction, furnishings, props and lighting, the myriad of colours, the overall feeling communicated through sight and sound with the music floating up from the orchestra pit, and of course the costumes and performers. A collaboration of talents backstage and front of house, working together to produce a world of magic for the audience to lose themselves in. These amazing environments I was exposed to and inspired by during my formative years, influences and informs my work today as an interior designer.

So what, indeed, is home? Home doesn’t always mean the space we return to, at the end of a busy day enjoying life’s pleasures and challenges. Home can represent many places that naturally come into our minds when we need to retreat somewhere we feel welcome and safe. This could be a café round the corner from work, an old bookshop, a local pub or cinema, the home of a friend or parent, or maybe a holiday destination you like to return to because it is filled with happy memories of past visits. What if we could bottle up some of the memories and feelings

obtained in the outside world and take them home with us? What if we incorporate them into our everyday lives and the interiors of our homes? The appearances of personal spaces are no different to theatre productions, it’s just a different type of production. The collection of ideas come from the personalities that occupy them, for example, a family expressing the beautiful chaos that comes with all household members experiencing their individual life journeys. The interiors of all these places matter, because we are all affected by our surroundings, often subconsciously, and in order to live a happy and healthy existence we must invest time taking care of ourselves and the environment we live in. Interiors are important. In order to get the best out of the space we spend the most time in, it needs to feel special, and to do that, it needs to be loved. As well as working with clients on their projects, I am renovating my own home and when it comes to design, I do not play it safe. My home has personality and everyone who walks through my door to visit lets me know it! I decorate with flair and all my ideas and experiments culminate in one place. Where else can you truly experiment other than in your own home? If I like an idea, however primeval, I go for it, and I will persevere until it works. Great results do not appear without taking risks, so fearlessness is definitely important, but it should also be fun. I encourage you to be brave with your interiors, discover what you need to make your place right for you. Trust your instincts and enjoy the creative process of designing your own space, because everyone, whether they believe it or not, is creative. It’s not about what anyone else thinks, or showing off how much money you have, some of the most inspirational interiors can be found in areas where people have nothing. Whatever your space may be, whether you own or rent, I challenge you to make the most of what you have. Take a moment for yourself - go and buy that bold colour of paint you have always gravitated towards but have been too scared to use. Save up for your favourite wallpaper or curtain fabric. Explore your local interior outlets, flea markets and charity shops. This is the challenge that fires me up every day and if you feel the same way, if you have been dying to break the rules, and revolutionise your interior, then now is the time. Instagram @mollyellenbruce | 61



Annabelle Hunt, Colour Consultant, Bridport Timber & Flooring


hen we think about redecorating, we are influenced by fashion and taste which can be transient and fleeting. Inspiration for our homes can come from anywhere. But whether you prefer a timeless feel or a super-contemporary style, the principals are the same when it comes to choosing colour. We see so many beautiful images on social media, blogs and websites, and in print. A new piece of furniture or a new picture can inspire an entirely new scheme which can have a transformative effect on your home, although it isn’t always necessary to change everything at once. However perfect a scheme may be though, if it doesn’t have a sense of personality, it can seem empty and lifeless. An all-new, shiny interior can lack depth. Rooms which have been allowed to evolve over time are often the most interesting. Well-loved furniture and vintage objects add interest and depth. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing colour as it all comes down to personal preference, but there are a few basic points worth considering before you begin. Light will have an enormous effect on the colours you choose. Cool, blue northern light can make rooms feel cold and stark so dark, rich tones can work best. South-facing rooms benefit from warm, bright light but that can make whites look cream and greys beige. Choosing the correct complementary white to use with the other colours in your scheme is really important. Varying undertones in off-whites make them more suited to different colours preventing them from jarring or looking harsh. Think about when you use the room most. Kitchens and family spaces, which are mainly used throughout the day, are usually best kept light and airy. Whereas sitting rooms which are mostly used during the evening, can be fabulous painted in deep, dark tones. Although it might feel counterintuitive, painting a small, dark room in a strong colour or using a bold wallpaper will result in a much more interesting space than if you’d painted it bright white. Hallways and cloakrooms are a great place to experiment with colour and pattern. Dark interiors have real dramatic impact and can feel calm and cocooning, working in both modern and 62 | Bridport Times | January 2018

traditional homes. If the thought of painting a whole room dark seems a bit daunting though, start by painting one wall and live with it for a while. See how furniture and objects are thrown into strong contrast and become the focal points of the room. Conversely, and rather magically, televisions disappear against dark walls. If you’re really not a fan of the dark and intense trend, placing dark furniture against a light backdrop will also create drama. By adding natural wood elements, you can introduce warmth and texture, preventing a monochrome scheme from looking too stark. White interiors are fresh and pure, but can also be seen as boring and safe. The way to achieve a successful white scheme is to layer textures and varying shades of white. Soft warmth can be added by using natural materials and placing distressed painted items against pristine white walls. To create gentle, dreamy colour schemes, choose soft dusty shades. If colours are too pure, they can look too clean, bright and childlike. The addition of a little black pigment makes colours so much more interesting, moodier and easier to live with. Soft tones always feel calm, relaxed and inviting. Use harmonious shades for a pale and interesting look or add dark contrasts for sophisticated and up-to-date style. Almost everything looks good against smoky grey walls. Whether you prefer soft pastels or stronger pops of colour, grey is an incredibly elegant and versatile wall colour. It gives a perfect background particularly if you like to change and update furniture and accessories often. Big, bold colour schemes can make a real statement but they take courage. Bright, happy colours are energising and optimistic but they can be most effective when used in moderation rather than in large expanses. Use nature, where the brightest colours tend to be found in small bursts, as your inspiration. The most effective way to reflect your personality is to choose colours you love. Be brave and trust your first instincts. Being timid and compromising on colour choices often results in a room that just doesn’t feel quite right.

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A FRAGRANT WINTER PARADISE Charlie Groves, Groves Nurseries


believe every garden needs fragrance, and not just in summer when roses, jasmine and lilies fill the air with their glorious perfumes, but all year round and particularly in sleepier months like January. It’s a month when in many gardens, colour is limited, and a beautiful scent is an unexpected treat taking you by surprise and intoxicating your senses. I find fragrant plants switch a light on from the past evoking long-lost memories,

66 | Bridport Times | January 2018

transporting me to other places and times, and I am sure they do for you too. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, winter plants are among the most highly scented of all garden plants with flowers that often seem insignificant but pack a punch in the fragrance stakes to attract the few pollinating insects around at that time of year. Whatever size garden you have, I would suggest you

try to put one or two of these winter gems into your borders or pots. Ideally plant them by entrances and doorways or paths to derive the most pleasure from their heady scents. I’d like to share a few favourites of mine with you and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed; they’ll give you great pleasure and bring your January garden alive for years to come. Viola odorata

I might be a little biased with this one (my father curates the national collection) however the sweet violet really comes into its own this time of year. Small but proud and packing a wonderfully nostalgic scent, the violet likes to grow in a deciduous environment (think hedgerows and English woodlands). The key to fantastic flowers is to make sure they get plenty of winter sun (leaves off the trees) and a nice bit of summer shade to keep the leaf growth to a minimum.

Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’

The common name, Wintersweet, says it all really. When trained against a south or west-facing wall, where the sun-ripened shoots will bloom most prolifically, the spicy, sophisticated and sweet scent of the clusters of unmarked yellow flowers wafts around the garden in late winter. Cut a few stems for indoors, and the fragrance will fill the whole room. Some people liken the smell to lemon lipstick! The foliage is aromatic, too. It appreciates well-drained soil. Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’

If my dad’s favourite flower is the sweet violet, then this one is for my mum. Clusters of small, sweetly-scented, deep pink buds open in January and February and are followed by rounded, purple-black berries. This choice deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub thrives in a sunny, sheltered position. This plant is very hard to propagate and slow-growing, but well worth the patience and investment.

Sarcococca confusa


Often called Sweet Box, Sarcococca confusa is one of those must-haves if you want to create some winter fragrance. Like so many fragrant winter flowering plants the small unassuming white flowers are filled to the brim with a lovely vanilla fragrance. Particularly useful as a plant that tolerates dry shade but tends to produce more fragrance if it can be put in moister conditions. Sweet Box is also great for planting in a container so you can put them right next to your door to get maximum impact.

Fantastic architectural plants, Mahonia make a wonderful statement in any border all year round but it’s in the winter that these stately plants provide us with somewhat inconspicuous yellow flowers but boy do they pack a punch. Some say they smell like lily of the valley - I actually think they are much nicer, sweeter than that. They have glossy, spiky leaves that often take on purple tints when the weather turns cold. As a little bonus the flowers have small purple fruit that the birds adore. Try Mahonia japonica or Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’

Lonicera × purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’

From early December, even into April, this prolific winter bush honeysuckle opens its creamy flowers on bare stems, and the scent from this deciduous or semievergreen shrub will certainly stop you in your tracks. An invaluable addition to the garden in winter, it can look rather insignificant when the green leaves appear, so it is best planted with a summer–flowering Viticella clematis to give summer interest. Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Deben’

A Viburnum, with pink buds that open to white, flowers over a remarkably long period, sometimes starting as early as October and continuing to April. It has a heavenly sweet scent with hints of cloves and is happy in most fertile soils in sun, protection from icy winds is helpful.

“Cut a few stems for indoors, and the fragrance will fill the whole room.” Finally, my last tip would be to make sure you position one of these winter-scented plants in the front garden so on cold January days when you don’t venture into the back garden, you and your visitors can still enjoy the wonderful scent as you go to and from the front door. | 67

Books for Children & Adults

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Answe rs in our Febru ary edition ACROSS 1. Censure severely (11) 9. Fill with high spirits (5) 10. Insect that can sting (3) 11. Machine for making butter (5) 12. Tests (5) 13. Government by a king or queen (8) 16. Country in NE Africa (8) 18. ___ DeGeneres: US comedienne (5) 21. Awaken; make excited (5) 22. Flightless bird (3) 23. Language of the Romans (5) 24. Unintelligible (11) 68 | Bridport Times | January 2018

DOWN 2. Following immediately (7) 3. Lead batsmen (cricket) (7) 4. Sample of cloth (6) 5. Pass a rope through (5) 6. Leg bone (5) 7. Not yet finished (11) 8. Eg Huw Edwards and Trevor McDonald (11) 14. Active during the day (7) 15. Husbands or wives (7) 17. Fabric associated with Scotland (6) 19. Ousel (anag) (5) 20. Synthetic fibre (5)

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Children’s Book Review Antonia Squire, The Bookshop

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans (David Fickling Books) £6.99


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veryone knows that Wimbly Woos are only in books for small children. Everyone knows that there is nothing really to be afraid of in the basement. And everyone (especially eleven year old Iphigenia, known as Fidge) knows that very little sisters and spoiled cousins are especially annoying. But sometimes the basement will take you to a strange place. A strange place inhabited by Wimbly Woos. A strange place inhabited by Wimbly Woos where you have to solve riddles and overthrow tyrannical rulers that look suspiciously like annoying little sisters’ favourite toy, Wed Wabbit, assisted only by annoying cousins.

for everyone.

So Fidge and Graham are whisked away to the frighteningly hilarious (or is that hilariously frightening) world of the Wimbly Woos where the two cousins have to work together to overcome their own shortcomings, embrace their own idiosyncrasies and learn to appreciate each other. All the while working to escape the weird and wonderful world of the Wimbly Woos, and hopefully leave it better than they found it. This is a delightful read for ages 9 and above. Engaging, silly, hilarious and a little bit dark, there is something here | 69

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Bridport Times January 2018  

A new premium lifestyle and community publication for Bridport and its villages, with Gill Meller, What's On, Arts & Culture, Film, History,...

Bridport Times January 2018  

A new premium lifestyle and community publication for Bridport and its villages, with Gill Meller, What's On, Arts & Culture, Film, History,...