Page 1

NOVEMBER 2018 | FREE

A MONTHLY CELEBR ATION OF PEOPLE, PLACE AND PURVEYOR

A GOOD YEAR

with Rebecca Hansford and Ian Edwards of Furleigh Estate

bridporttimes.co.uk


WELCOME

W

e imaginary members of The All Things Autumn Club stand smiling in the stillness, drawing long deep breaths of cold, sharp air, laced with earth and the first of the log fires. We plough and crunch through fertile mulch in heavy boots, faces warmed in the low-slung sun. Come the night we listen to the silence. Actual. Silence. Until, “hurrumph� sing the frogs, an unlikely choir in the glow of a floodlight moon, their attentive audience the likes of us and a trillion perfect stars. And so to November. The coffee shops of Bridders brim with the bookish as The Bridport Literature Festival returns for a 14th year. We indulge in a serving of off-kilter festival dessert in way of the inaugural Bridlit Fringe, with performance poets, crime and sci-fi writers, extreme sports bloggers and other such characters on the cultural margins. Archaeologist Chris Tripp digs for gold, Tamara Jones calms our nerves, Annabelle Hunt makes us feel at home and Charlie Groves feeds the foxes. Katharine and Jo meanwhile visit Furleigh Estate and witness, in the wake of a long hot summer, what has proven to be the most successful harvest in living memory. Cheers! Glen Cheyne, Editor glen@homegrown-media.co.uk @bridporttimes @bridport_times


CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne Design Andy Gerrard @round_studio Sub editors Jay Armstrong @jayarmstrong_ Elaine Taylor Photography Katharine Davies @Katharine_KDP Feature writer Jo Denbury @jo_denbury Editorial assistant Paul Newman @paulnewmanart Print Pureprint Distribution Available throughout Bridport and surrounding villages. Please see bridporttimes.co.uk for stockists.

81 Cheap Street Sherborne Dorset DT9 3BA 01935 315556 @bridporttimes glen@homegrown-media.co.uk paul@homegrown-media.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk 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 | November 2018

Martin Ballam Xtreme Falconry xtremefalconry.co.uk Simon Barber Evolver @SimonEvolver @simonpaulbarber evolver.org.uk Molly Bruce @mollybruceinteriordesign mollybruce.co.uk Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH herbalcaroline.co.uk Kelvin Clayton @kelvinclaytongp greenthoughts.me philosophyinpubs.co.uk Neville Copperthwaite n.copperthwaite@gmail.com Kathy Dare Bridport Christmas Cheer @BridportCheer bridportchristmascheer.co.uk Carolyn Emett Bridlit Fringe @BridlitFringe bridlitfringe.co.uk Melanie Fermor Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife @dorsetwildlife dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk Jane Fox Yoga Space @yogaspacebridport yogaspacebridport.com Rosie Gilchrist Tamarisk Farm @ tamarisk_farm tamariskfarm.co.uk Kit Glaisyer @kitglaisyer @kitglaisyer kitglaisyer.com Charlie Groves Groves Nurseries @GrovesNurseries @grovesnurseries grovesnurseries.co.uk

Emily Hicks Bridport Museum @BridportMuseum bridportmuseum.co.uk Annabelle Hunt Bridport Timber & Flooring @BridportTimber @annabellehuntcolourconsultant bridporttimber.co.uk Tamara Jones Loving Healthy @lovinghealthy_ @lovinghealthy_ lovinghealthy.co.uk Martin Maudsley @StoryMartin martinmaudsley.co.uk Gill Meller @GillMeller @Gill.Meller gillmeller.com Anna Powell Sladers Yard @SladersYard @sladersyard sladersyard.wordpress.com Charlie Soole The Club House West Bexington @theclubhouse2017 @TheClubHouse217 theclubhousewestbexington.co.uk Emma Tabor & Paul Newman @paulnewmanart @paulnewmanartist paulnewmanartist.com Cass Titcombe Brassica Restaurant @brassica_food @brassicarestaurant_mercantile brassicarestaurant.co.uk Chris Tripp Dorset Diggers Community Archaeology Group dorsetdiggers.btck.co.uk Esmeralda Voegele-Dowing The Bookshop @bookshopbridprt @thebookshopbridport dorsetbooks.com


46

NOVEMBER 2018

6 What’s On

44 Archaeology

78 Gardening

18 Arts & Culture

46 FURLEIGH ESTATE

82 Philosophy

28 History

54 Food & Drink

84 Children’s Book Review

32 Wild Dorset

64 Body and Mind

86 Crossword

38 Outdoors

72 Home

bridporttimes.co.uk | 5


WHAT'S ON Listings

Unitarian Church, East St. 01308 424980

Friday 2nd 7pm for 7.30pm

____________________________

Christmas Cheer Bingo

Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Wednesdays 7pm-10pm

Bridport Folk Dance Club

Bridport Scottish Dancers

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF.

WI Hall, North Street, DT6 3JQ.

Church House, South Street. Enquiries:

____________________________

____________________________

01308 423442

01308 424901

____________________________

01308 538141 bridportscottishdancers.org.uk

Friday 2nd 7.30pm-9pm

____________________________

DWT - Conservation

Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Every 4th Wednesday 7.30pm

in North Dorset

Bridport Choral Society

Philosophy in Pubs

bridportchoral.wordpress.com/Facebook

George Hotel, South Street. Read Kelvin

Bridport United Church Hall, East St.

Mondays 7.30pm-9pm

____________________________

Clayton’s monthly article on page 82

Saturday 3rd –

____________________________

Sunday 11th 10am-4pm

Bridport Campfire -

1st Thursday every month

Eype History Society Exhibition

Women’s Coaching Group

10.45am-11.45am

- “Men of Eype & The Great War”

67 South Street, £5, all welcome

Community Coffee Morning

St. Peter’s Church, Eype, DT6 6AP.

Tuesdays 10am-1pm

____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

St. Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington.

Free with collection.

____________________________

Art Class

Every 3rd Friday 10.30am-3.30pm

Saturday 3rd 10.30am-12pm &

Town Mill Arts, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU.

Bridport Embroiderers

12.30pm-2pm & Saturday 10th

07812 856823 trudiochiltree.co.uk

10am-3pm

____________________________

St Swithens Church hall. 01308 456168

____________________________

Lantern Making Workshop

Tuesdays 7.30pm-9pm

Until Sunday 11th

Bridport Sangha

Currents: Ways of Seeing Water

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF.

Meditation Evenings

Slader’s Yard, West Bay, Bridport,

Quaker Meeting House, South St. 07950 959572.

DT6 4EL. sladersyard.co.uk

£2.50 Bridport TIC 01308 424901 bridportandwestbay.co.uk

____________________________

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Saturday 3rd 5.30pm-9pm

____________________________

Thursday 1st 1pm-2pm

Fireworks at Forde

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.30am

Therapeutic Writing -

Walking the Way to

5 week course

Forde Abbey House & Gardens,

Health in Bridport

Bothenhamton Village Hall. 07747 142088

From CAB 45 South St. 01305 252222

Chard, TA20 4LU.

____________________________

george@georgegottscounselling.co.uk

Saturday 3rd 7.30pm-11pm

____________________________

Bridport Ceilidhs

____________________________

Thursday 1st 7pm

Tuesdays 7.15pm

Vampires Old & New

Church House Hall, South St. 01308

Uplyme Morris Rehearsals

LSI Building, 51 East St, DT6 3JX.

sarahdavies@dorset.gov.uk

The Bottle Inn, Marshwood. Contact

423442 bridportceilidhs.wordpress.com

____________________________

Illustrated talk, Q&A after. eventbrite.co.uk

Saturday 3rd 8pm

____________________________

Firework Display

Squire on 07917 748087

Thursday 1st 8pm

____________________________

Jack Britton presents

Bridport Leisure Centre, DT6 5LN.

2nd Tuesday every month 7.15pm

I Used to Hear Footsteps

Bridport Sugarcraft Club

The Lyric Theatre. £12. the-lyric.com

Sunday 4th 9am-12pm

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Charity Hoopathon!

Road, DT6 4AB. £4.50, first visit free

Friday 2nd 7pm

____________________________

All Souls Service

Bridport Leisure Centre, DT6 5LN. In

Wednesdays 10am-12pm

St Swithun’s Church, Allington, DT6 5DU.

Uplyme Morris on Facebook or The

Ivy House, Grove Nurseries, West Bay

Art Class 6 | Bridport Times | November 2018

____________________________

£4 entry & U12s free.

____________________________

aid of Alzheimer’s Society. 07585 356929 ____________________________ Sunday 4th viewing 5pm,


The Fourteenth

BRIDPORT

Literary Festival 2018

Sunday 4th – Sunday 11th November

Speakers include: Miriam Darlington Jonathan Drori Patricia Fara Irving Finkel Michael Hill James Holland Christopher Nicholson Tim Pears David Stuttard Fiona Sampson Edward Wilson-Lee Simon Worrall

Tickets available from Box Office: Bridport Tourist Centre, The Town Hall, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3LF Tel: 01308 424901 and online at www.bridlit.com Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for latest updates @BridLitFestival


WHAT'S ON LSI Building, 51 East St. £25 eventbrite.co.uk

auction 7pm

Saturday 10th 10am-4pm

Charity Auction

A Space for Living Spirituality -

The Ropemakers. In aid of The Living

Path of Heart, Path of Mind

Saturday 17th

Tree cancer support group. 01308 422650

(on St. Teresa)

Willow Sculpture Workshop - Deer

____________________________ Sunday 4th - Sunday 11th

Bridport Quaker Meeting House, South Street, DT6 3NZ. iona.lake@aol.co.uk

Broadwindsor Craft Centre. £75pp, booking

____________________________

07531 417209

Bridport Literary Festival

____________________________

essential jojo.sadler@hotmail.co.uk

Tickets 01308 424901 bridlit.com

Saturday 10th 2pm

____________________________

Somerset & Dorset Family History

Saturday 17th

Wednesday 7th 7.30pm

Society presents: ‘Ralph Treswell’s

Only Fools Comedy

Eype History Society

Survey of Purbeck: Tudor Map

Evening & 3 Courses

Talk on R. C. Sherriff

Making & Estate Management’

Eype Schoolroom, Eype, DT6 6AP.

Loders Village Hall, Loders, DT6 3SA.

Eypes Mouth Hotel. Book in advance,

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Monday 12th 7.30pm

Saturday 17th 10am-5pm

Friday 9th 7.30pm

Biodanza @ Othona -

Jurassic Art & Craft Fayre

Adverse Camber -

Express, Connect, Relax!

Dreaming the Night Field

Othona Community, Coast Road,

Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre,

Free with collection

Wootton Fitzpaine Village Hall. For

ages 12+. 01297 560948. artsreach.co.uk

____________________________

Burton Bradstock DT6 4RN.

____________________________

£45 01308 423300 eypesmouthhotel.co.uk

____________________________

DT6 6LL. Free admission.

____________________________

01308 897130 biodanza-bridport.co.uk

Saturday 17th 10am-2pm

____________________________

Nos Three presents Clowning

Friday 9th 7.30pm

Monday 12th - Friday 16th

Workshop for Women

Eype History Society WW1 Talk

Bridlit Fringe

“Lions led by Donkeys?”

Tickets Bridport TIC 01308 424901

The Lyric Theatre. 16+, all abilities welcome,

____________________________

Eype Schoolroom, Eype, DT6 6AP. Free with collection.

bridlitfringe.co.uk

£30. Booking essential. the-lyric.com

____________________________

____________________________

Saturday 17th November -

____________________________

Wednesday 14th -

Sunday 20th January

Friday 9th 7.30pm

Saturday 17th 7.30pm

After Eighties

Nuits D’Amour, Encore!

Encore Theatre Company’s

Forde Abbey. Arias & duets. £20

Rape of the Belt

Slader’s Yard, West Bay, DT6 4EL.

____________________________

bridport-arts.com

Saturday 17th 10am-3.30pm

sladersyard.co.uk

fordeabbey.co.uk 01460 221231

Bridport Art Centre, 9 South St.

Friday 9th 7.30pm-10pm

____________________________

Acrylic Painting

Dreaming The Night Field

Thursday 15th 7pm-9.30pm

Workshop for Beginners

by Adverse Camber

Lines - A Cocktail &

Wootton Fitzpaine Village Hall, DT6 6ND.

Photography Collaboration

The Chapel in The Garden, 49 East St.

dreaming-the-night-field

34 East St. 01308 422878

____________________________

Booking essential. 07931 896297

01297 560948 artsreach.co.uk/event/

The Venner Bar at The Bull Hotel,

____________________________

____________________________

Saturday 24th

Saturday 10th

Thursday 15th & Friday 16th 8pm

Willow Sculpture

Willow Sculpture

Nos Three presents Blooming Out

Workshop - Wreaths

Workshop - Chicken

The Lyric Theatre. £12. the-lyric.com

Broadwindsor Craft Centre. £35pp, booking

booking essential jojo.sadler@hotmail.

Thursdays between 15th November

07531 417209

____________________________

Gothic: a 5-week course

Broadwindsor Craft Centre. £55pp, co.uk 07531 417209

8 | Bridport Times | November 2018

____________________________ - 13th December 7pm-9pm

deborahdemornaypennyart.com

____________________________

essential jojo.sadler@hotmail.co.uk

____________________________ Saturday 24th


NOVEMBER 2018 Dinner & ‘Fawlty Towers’

Gardens of the First World War

Eypes Mouth Hotel. Book in advance.

Bridport United Church Hall, East St.

____________________________

£45, 01308 423300 eypesmouthhotel.co.uk

Bridport Arts Centre

____________________________

Non-members £3, 01308 863577

Every Saturday, 9am–12pm

____________________________

Country Market

Saturday 24th 10am-4pm

Thursday 29th 7.30pm

Away From Home

Bridport Story Cafe - Snake Tales

WI Hall, North Street

Chapel in the Garden. Exploring

DT6 5HW (next to Washingpool

Every Sunday, 10am-5pm

07887 675161 johnnigelharley@yahoo.co.uk

christine41bell@gmail.com

Customs House, West Bay

Saturday 24th 12pm–2.30pm

Thursday 29th 7.30pm

Last Sunday of every month,

St Swithun’s Christmas Fayre

WB Yeats Talk

10am-4pm

St Swithun’s Church, Allington, DT6

Slader’s Yard, West Bay, DT6 4EL.

Bridport Vintage Market

____________________________

____________________________

____________________________

boarding school experiences.

____________________________

5DU. Free parking.

Saturday 24th 6.30pm

Farm Shop). 01308 420193

Local Produce Market

____________________________

____________________________

Tickets 01308 459511 sladersyard.co.uk

Concert - Partita, Fantasia,

Planning ahead

Caprice IV: Philippa Mo

____________________________

Slader’s Yard, West Bay, DT6 4EL. Tickets

Wednesday 5th December

from 01308 459511 sladersyard.co.uk

4.30pm/5pm

____________________________

Bridport Christmas Cheer

Saturday 24th 7.30pm

Various venues. Carols, lantern parade, traders

Amateur Boxing Tournament Freshwater Holiday Park, DT6 4PT.

____________________________

£15 from Bridport TIC 01308 424901

Fairs and markets

____________________________

____________________________

Sunday 25th 3pm

Every Wednesday & Saturday

Bridport Chamber Orchestra

Weekly Market

Autumn Concert

South, West & East Street

Bridport United Church. Tickets £10.

____________________________

____________________________

Bridport Music Centre or on the door

Second Saturday

____________________________

of the month 9am–1pm

Monday 26th 2.30pm

Farmers’ Market

St Michael’s Trading Estate, DT6 3RR Saturday 17th 9am-3pm Bridport Town Hall Craft Fair Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF

Free entry, variety of stalls. 01308 424901 bridportandwestbay.co.uk

____________________________ Saturday 17th 10am-2.30pm Bridport Vegan Market Bridport Youth & Community Centre,

DT6 3RL. Free. Facebook: bridportvegan ____________________________

To include your event in our FREE

listings please email details (in approx

20 words) by the 1st of each preceding

month to gemma@homegrown-media.co.uk

bridporttimes.co.uk | 9


PREVIEW In association with

Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer Thursday 15th November, 7.30pm Charmouth Primary School, Lower Sea Lane, Charmouth DT6 6LR £10/£6, 07967 759135 artsreach.co.uk

In this honest and humorous solo show, award-winning artist

language, identity and cultures have defined him and his

comedy to lead audiences on a revealing journey of his life

migrated from other countries and struggled to create the

Shane Shambhu combines Indian dance and laugh-out-loud growing up in London; from unlikely dance student to ‘rude boy’ to international performer. Combining his inimitable

career. His story is familiar to all those who have moved cities, cultural world of their dreams and lived experience.

After the show, meet Shane and sample food inspired by

charm and wit with dynamic Bharatanatyam dance sequences,

Kerala in his Cockney Curry House.

lived experiences and comical stories, reflecting on how race,

www.evolver.org.uk

Shane reveals his past through a vivid display of characters,

10 | Bridport Times | November 2018


DUKE GARWOOD

SATURDAY 15TH DECEMBER Doors 7pm, Start 8pm

“Duke Garwood’s music has an otherworldly, heady quality suggesting sun-baked desert days, croc-skin boots and a Chevrolet gently rolling along empty highways” The Guardian Tickets £10 in advance from www.other-side.eventbrite.co.uk CHURCH STUDIO HAYDON DORSET DT9 5JB

A series of talks, live performances and screenings + food and drink of an interesting ilk In association with


AFTER BRIDLIT  ENJOY BRID ORT'S FIRST

What's On

BRIDLIT

FRINGE

SCI FI, SPORT RADICAL HISTORY SELDOM HEARD VOICES PERFORMANCE POETRY CRIME YOUNG ADULT FICTION GRAPHIC NOVELS

12TH  1TH NOV 2018

DETAILS AND PROGRAMME

BRIDLITFRINGE.CO.UK FB.COM/BRIDLITFRINGE SPONSORED B CLOCKTOER MUSIC  BRIDPORT

WORDS FROM THE FRINGE

BRIDLIT FRINGE FESTIVAL, 12th – 16th November

W

Carolyn Emett

ords have broken out of their books for the very first Bridport Literary Fringe Festival. Soaring round the lesser known venues of Bridport, they will be heard in the voices of, amongst others, performance poets, marginalised people, crime and sci-fi writers, extreme sports bloggers and the Visual Stories of Comics. Following straight on from the Bridlit Festival, and supported by the BridLit organisers, the Fringe aims to expand the concept of what literature can be. Many people who don’t see themselves as ‘into’ books will find something to interest them. The Fringe organisers also wanted to keep the costs low, in line with the Festival’s ethos of accessibility, so many of the venues have given their space for free and none of the tickets cost above £5. The original focus of the festival was going to be around the St Michael’s Trading Estate and the Art and Vintage Quarter. Roy Gregory from Clocktower Music had an idea for a fringe event after talking to Kirsty 12 | Bridport Times | November 2018

Allison, one of this year’s performers, whose punk and hip-hop inspired mix of spoken word and music would have worked well in the shop. Sadly, the devastating fire earlier in the year meant that, although Roy’s shop is fine, the festival had to expand its horizons and look at other locations around Bridport. The organisers investigated many of the lesser-known venues which are themselves on the ‘entertainment fringe’ of the town, for example Rockburn Bouldering Centre. Roy says, ‘It will be quirky and unusual, and people will get to see a more interesting side of Bridport than they normally do.’ Roy worked together with Ged Duncan, cofounder of Bridport’s well-loved Spoken Word event Apothecary. Ged had also raised the idea of a fringe festival with the organiser of the Literary Festival (Tanya Bruce-Lockhart, who featured in last month’s Bridport Times). He has a passion for performing and is a prize-winning writer. Apothecary was voted one of the most popular spoken word events in the country


in the 2017 Saboteur Awards, and Apothecary Plus will this time be in the colourful and exotic Lyric Theatre. Ged says, ‘Apothecary draws in an astonishing array of voices. Listen to flash fiction, stand up poetry, sit down poetry, monologue, memoir, comedy and song, in a smorgasbord of wordy delight.’ One of the festival events grew out of research from Bournemouth University by a team that includes Fringe co-organiser Wen Fern. The uplifting Seldom Heard Voices project is being showcased at the festival and is about giving marginalised people a voice. Working with homeless and disabled people, their work has influenced national policy-makers and given many of the performers the confidence and sense of community they were lacking. The Fringe organisers are excited to have attracted big names such as Dave Kendall, the well-known graphic artist who has worked on 2000AD, Neuroscope, and World of Warcraft. He will be talking about the art of the visual story. His appearance is largely down to the vast quantity of experience and contacts provided by another Bridport stalwart, Keith Hatch, who spent many years organising the music for the Tolpuddle Festival. The Fringe Festival is also hosting an intriguing

Tuesday 4th December

Joseph Weld Hospice Dorchester 6.30pm LIGHTING UP MEMORIES FOR THOSE WE MISS

An opportunity to remember a loved one by sponsoring a light on our special trees. Names will then be entered into our Christmas 2018 Book of Remembrance. Application forms are available by telephoning us on 01305 261800 or visiting our website

Sunday 9th December

Hope Square Brewers Quay Weymouth 4.30pm

Tuesday 11th December Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens 4.30pm

bridlitfringe.co.uk

‘Within its elegant cover pages are treasures – words and images to make you wonder and smile, to incite curiosity and conversation, to make you dream. A collection of delights to be savoured.’ Kate Humble

Author and presenter of BBC’s Countryfile and Back to the Land

A D O R S E T- B A S E D P U B L I S H E R AVAILABLE ONLINE OR LOCALLY AT ‘THE BOOK SHOP’, BRIDPORT

Registered Charity No. 1000414

www.weld-hospice.org.uk/lightupalife

exploration of science fiction. Jo L. Walton and Naomi Foyle will be talking about their ground-breaking sci-fi and how they approach issues such as economics, gender, Islam and disability. Just in case the novel readers among you are getting worried, books haven’t been completely ignored. Antonia Squires at The Bookshop is involved with the Fringe and is a sci-fi fan. Jon Lever at Wild and Homeless Books is involved as well, firing out his quirky Twitter comments in a Fringe performance all of his own. The organisers are also pleased that the hugely popular Young Adult writer, Steve Tasane, is coming to the Sir John Colfox School to talk to pupils. His new novel, Child 1, was listed by the Times Educational Supplement as “one of the hottest children’s books of summer 2018”. It is a tale about undocumented children in refugee camps who have stories to tell but no papers to prove them. Even so Roy, back in his shop, can’t help a little smile as he holds up the bright yellow and pink cover of a Sex Pistols album and says, ‘Never mind the books, here’s the Fringe.’

E L E ME N T U MJ OU R NAL . CO M bridporttimes.co.uk | 13


What's On

BRIDPORT CHRISTMAS CHEER AN EVENING OF FESTIVE CELEBRATIONS Wednesday 5th December, 4pm - 8.30pm

C

Kathy Dare

hristmas is coming and Bridport is getting ready! The whole town, surrounding villages and visitors to the area are invited to attend the popular Christmas Cheer evening which will take place on Wednesday 5th December from 4pm to 8.30pm. This free community event has something for all the family to enjoy. With lots of festive entertainment planned, it’s time to get in the Christmas mood, find that special Christmas gift and join in the merriment! Throughout November the committee of volunteers are running fund-raising and promotional activities including bingo in the Town Hall on Friday 2nd November (eyes down at 7.30pm). Local schools 14 | Bridport Times | November 2018

will be making lanterns for the Christmas Cheer Lantern Procession. There will also be lantern-making workshops in the Town Hall on Saturday 3rd and 10th November; open to everyone, the cost is £2.50 per person. To book, visit or call the Bridport Tourist Information Centre on 01308 424901. Bridport Town Council will put up Christmas trees and street decorations during the week of the 25th November and have also arranged for parking in all car parks to be free on the 5th December. The theme for the shop window competition this year is ‘Sparkly Christmas’. Windows need to be dressed by 1st December. The lively evening kicks off with children from local


primary schools singing Christmas carols in Bucky Doo Square and the United Church. This is followed by the grand procession of hand-made lanterns from Barrack Street to Bucky Doo Square where the Christmas tree will be switched on by the Mayor ready for Santa to arrive. There will be a free gift, donated by Toy Master and Groves, for every child that visits Santa’s Grotto outside the Arts Centre. There will be non-stop live music from local performers throughout the evening at Bucky Doo Square and outside The Bull Hotel and Ropemakers, and there will also be dancing outside Bridport Antiques in West Street. In addition, there will be singing and lots more Christmas surprises taking place at the LSI and Alembic canteen. The Town Hall, Arts Centre and Electric Palace will be packed with stalls selling a lovely selection of handmade and traditional arts and crafts – perfect for picking up some unique and personal Christmas presents. Many of the shops are staying open and they will be joined by the regular town market traders, members of the Farmers Market, street food vendors, and various community and charity stalls who will be lining West, East and South streets. Any businesses or charities interested in booking a stall at the festive market are asked to contact Terri Foxwell on tfoxwell@bridport-tc.gov.uk or 01308 424901. The town’s hospitality outlets will be offering delicious food and Christmas cheer! Pubs, bars and cafes will be joining in the ‘Festive Mocktail, Cocktail and Winter Warmer Trail’ which will be running throughout December. Pick up a trail leaflet from Bridport Tourist Information Centre or visit our website for details. The United Church will be filled with beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The trees are supplied and decorated by community groups from around the town and each tree is dedicated to a local or national charity. Entry is free but visitors are encouraged to donate to the charity of their choice. ‘Christmas Cheer has become one of the Town’s largest community events, every year getting better and better’ said Daryl Chambers, Chairman of the Cheer Committee. ‘With so much on offer for the whole family to enjoy, we hope you’ll come along to launch Christmas 2018 in Bridport and join in the festivities.’ @bridportchristmascheer @BridportCheer bridportchristmascheer bridportchristmascheer.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 15


16 | Bridport Times | November 2018


A WA R D - W I N N I N G F A S H I O N B O U T I Q U E S E T I N T H E T R A N Q U I L , C O U N T R Y S I D E S U R R O U N D I N G S O F M A N O R YA R D O N S Y M O N D S B U R Y E S TA T E

SANDWICH . ROBELL . OUT OF XILE . MYTI BY MYRINE C OT TO N B R OT H E R S . B A R I LO C H E . E L S E W H E R E . YAV I S OA K E D I N LU X U RY . R A L STO N . R A N T & R AV E . LU E L L A ENVY . POWDER ACCESSORIES Opening Times Mon-Sat 10.30 - 5.00pm Sun 11.00 - 3.00pm F R E E PA R K I N G

M a n o r Ya r d . S y m o n d s b u r y . Bridport. DT6 6HG Te l : 0 1 3 0 8 4 2 6 5 1 7 w w w.c o l m e r s h i l l .c o m


Arts & Culture

THE STORY OF ARCADIA Martin Maudsley

F

or the last few years I’ve been working with the environmental arts charity Common Ground as their storyteller-in-residence. Based in west Dorset, for the last 35 years they’ve championed local distinctiveness and helped diverse communities to celebrate season and place across the UK. Their projects – ranging from sculpture commissions, to parish maps, to establishing Apple Day as a national institution – have both upheld tradition and pioneered innovative ways to mark the intersections between nature and culture. The 2017 film Arcadia is co-produced by Common Ground with the support of the British Film Institute (BFI) and 18 | Bridport Times | November 2018

BBC. This month, alongside Common Ground’s Adrian Cooper, I’m hosting Arcadia for a special screening and discussion at Bridport Arts Centre. As a professional storyteller I’m aware that I’m part of a traditional art-form - a link in the chain that stretches back as far as fire and cave paintings. Some of the tales I tell, passed on by word of mouth, are hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. But that’s only half the story. Old tales retold by a new storyteller to a contemporary audience are fresh and dynamic - they come alive in the moment of their telling. The word traditional (rather than implying old-fashioned or conventional) refers to a


method of transmission. ‘Tradition’ literally means to giveacross, to hand-over, to pass-on. It’s inherently generous in spirit so that, in taking from the past and acknowledging its source, the material is then free to take on a new life in the hands of the next generation. Arcadia is entirely made up of film archive, mainly from the BFI National Archive, that spans over a hundred years of life and landscape in Britain. The breadth of material and range of seasons and settings is mind-boggling, a feast of moving images that is both visceral and sophisticated. Directed by Paul Wright, the painstaking care and attention of the film reveals how tradition and the past can become a way of expressing something about today. The selection of scenes and archive images are vividly brought to life on the screen with an energy and effervescence that, like a good story well told, brings you to the edge of your seat. In Greek mythology ‘Arcadia’ was the dwelling place of Pan, the god of nature. Conventionally, the word refers to a notional place of unspoilt wilderness and rural harmony. The title is seemingly a provocative interpretation on Arcadia, where inter-war footage of ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ and scenes of traditional farming are jarringly juxtaposed with those of forced migration from the land, industrialisation of agriculture and urban deprivation. Intentionally, the film provides no clear-cut conclusions and demands no predetermined responses, yet, with its use of traditional images, it is a voice that speaks clearly to the here and now. There’s an aching echo in the film which left me with thoughts of what happens when we break with tradition, disconnect from the seasons, alienate ourselves from the land and insulate ourselves against others. Strangely, as someone who tells stories, I found the glaring absence of a single, overriding narrative thread part of the allure and appeal of the film. It allows space for creating our own connections, picking out your own particular threads within the vast visual tapestry. That’s not to say there are no stories within the film. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. In Arcadia the moving pictures conjure up a thousand untold tales: whispered stories from the past and half-glimpsed visions of the future that continue to play out their plots long after the film has finished. The film is richly interwoven throughout with an original musical score by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp). The music is expressive and exhilarating, allowing the emotions of the visual images to resonate fully and freely. At times, as the film slips

swiftly between bucolic and brutal, the rhythm of the soundtrack feels like our own heartbeats are somehow made audible and amplified from the screen. Arcadia is increasingly and gloriously dark, in the way that many traditional tales also unflinchingly delve into the shadowy side of humanity and the cruel, capricious forces of nature (often symbolised as supernatural beings). Those who, like me, revel in the twisted plots, macabre imagery and lack of happy endings within the genre of folk horror (for which the BFI is itself a treasure trove) will find much to feed their imaginations. This special screening in Bridport is perfectly timed for late autumn, with All Hallows and the scent of Bonfire Night in the air. It is a time of year when, traditionally, we still relish cultural expressions of gory stories, horrible happenings and gratifyingly gruesome come-uppances. It’s a time too when ancestral memories resurface and unquiet ghosts, like those in this film, are allowed to speak. There is extensive footage within the film of folk traditions that once held together the fabric of the countryside: those that have thrived or survived and those that have withered but might, in time, take root again. At one point in the film a voice from an archive clip whispers, ‘It’s all about connecting to the land… and each other.’ Neither whimsical nor beyond reproach, the peculiar, and the peculiarly British, representation of our folklore, festivals and customs are revealed rather as necessary and needed; a practical, participative expression of magic mystery born from the desperation and potential deprivation of making a living from the land. Since moving to west Dorset five years ago my work as a storyteller has naturally and necessarily gravitated to stories connected with landscape and nature. Putting down my own roots in Bridport has facilitated a growing awareness of the other cultural and agricultural roots that already thread through the soil. Arcadia begins and ends with a few seconds of time-lapse footage showing plant roots growing. Pale and jerky they take on an eerie, ghostly quality. Once more, the traditional footage is transformed into something fresh and alive: the roots are revealed as living connections between life and land, people and place. Arcadia Monday 5th November, 7.30pm Bridport Arts Centre. After the screening, Martin will be hosting a lively Q&A and discussion asking whether tradition - in film and music, in farming and storytelling - is good for us. bridport-arts.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 19


Arts & Culture

Image: Anna Powell

FRED CUMING RA

Anna Powell, Director, Sladers Yard Gallery and Café

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spent most of the war playing hooky and drawing,’ laughs Fred Cuming, who was born in London in 1930 and spent the war in Cornwall then Scarborough. ‘Christmas, I worked at the post office. One year I was on deliveries. Christmas Eve I was given a glass of Scotch at every house I went to. In the end I fell asleep in someone’s garden. They sent out a van to get me and they put me to bed. After that I was consigned to the sorting room.’ I am sitting in the studio of Fred Cuming RA, surrounded by his work and getting ready to show a serious number of his beautiful paintings for the first time. The exhibition, entitled After Eighties, will celebrate four masters of their art, all over eighty years old and all still working. Fred and his wife Audrey have lived for many years in East Sussex, near Rye and the great wide beaches he 20 | Bridport Times | November 2018

loves to paint. However, from 1998 to 2006 they had a cottage in Symondsbury, just outside Bridport, and Fred still has many friends in the area and a love of painting the Dorset Coast. ‘My life has been a series of cycles,’ Fred has said in the past. ‘Always it brings me back to rivers, beaches and ports.’ Although he is interested in all new developments in painting, Fred says he still paints the way he always has. Sixty years on, his paintings are as fresh as ever. ‘I’m moved and excited by my surroundings. The more I discover, the more there is to discover.’ He started at Sidcup at 14. ‘It was a lovely little art school. They didn’t mind so much my being lefthanded. They let me get on with it.’ We both look with relief at his eighty-eight-year-old left hand, still holding a paintbrush and painting while we talk. ‘I used to love the river at Woolwich. The ferry there


Evening Sea 36"x36"

was free and schoolboys could go back and forth as often as they wanted. Looking at the old boats and watching the engineers working, those were my first real attempts at drawing.’ After National Service, Fred spent four years at the Royal College of Art from 1951. He was awarded the Abbey Travel Scholarship to visit Rome. A member of the New English Art Club since 1960, he became an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1969 and was elected the youngest ever full member in 1974. ‘I thought someone was pulling my leg when I heard - there were plenty who might have done that

- so I phoned up Carel Weight,’ he laughs. ’The RA has been wonderful for me.’ In 2001 he was the RA Featured Artist with a solo show to coincide with the Summer Exhibition. Inspired by Turner, as well as Bonnard, Matisse and Paul Nash, Fred Cuming paints light and space. ‘I try to paint something about nothing more than emptiness’, he has said previously. Capturing light effects on seas, skies, harbours, marshland, ships, beaches and distant figures, he paints the evanescent, the remarkable, just as it disappears. ‘In the work of Giorgio di Chirico, the figure is > bridporttimes.co.uk | 21


The Window, Fowey Harbour 24"x20"


Bonfire, Angel of the South 24"x24"

implied, a shadow of a figure. It gives you an incredible feeling that something is about to happen.’ It takes visual intelligence and a light touch to capture that exciting sense of expectancy. Fred is surrounded by paintings at different stages of development. Ideas from one painting can pollinate another. Sometimes he starts three paintings of the same subject and takes them all in different directions. Some he will shelve and come back to, possibly years later. Some he will wipe off and start again. Eventually he finds something he really likes. ‘Learning to look is what it is all about,’ he says. ‘Then an awful lot of trial and error makes you a little bit

cleverer about what you can say. Mastery of technique is essential - but only as a vocabulary.’ Although he still loves to paint and draw outside, now he says he works ‘hugely from memory’, looking at old sketches and earlier work. ‘The same things turn me on,’ he says, ‘but I’m more adventurous now. I struggle to keep an open mind.’ After Eighties: recent paintings by Fred Cuming RA, Robin Rae and Alfred Stockham RWA with pottery by Richard Batterham is at Sladers Yard from 17th November to 20th January 2019. Please contact the gallery for more information. sladersyard.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 23


Arts & Culture

BLANK CANVAS

Kit Glaisyer in conversation with Caroline Ireland

This month I spoke with inspirational artist Caroline Ireland, founder of Bridport Open Studios in 1999 and my neighbour for sixteen years at St Michael’s Studios – before we both lost our studios in the fire in July. Caroline is a modest yet pivotal figure behind Bridport’s growing artistic reputation.

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grew up in a small village in rural North Wiltshire, in a large house with a big garden. My father was a chartered engineer and my mother an infant teacher. My mother was also a very good artist, from a London family of artists and picture restorers. We spent many evenings painting and drawing still lifes, and I learned much about technique and composition from working with her. I always assumed that I would eventually go to art college. My artistic journey was complicated by the fact that I allowed myself to be persuaded by my parents to go to university instead of art college, in the belief that ‘you can paint in your spare time as a hobby.’ I have no regrets about choosing to go to Liverpool University to study History and Archaeology; Liverpool was so exciting, and I made life-long friends at university. Equally I have no regrets about working as an archaeologist for about 10 years. It was a privilege to work with some wonderful and very clever people, and I have never lost my fascination or love of the ancient past. I do, however, regret believing that I could be satisfied with painting ‘as a hobby.’ It took me quite a long time and many different jobs and career changes to find an opportunity to become the artist I knew I needed to be. The moral of the story is, as a wise man once said to me, ‘Always follow your star and don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life.’ Well, try to anyway. I got a place on the foundation course at Cambridge Art College when I was 35, after having spent a couple of terms attending an evening class to learn lithography. The painting tutor on the course, Olive Mayo, introduced me to really learning about colour, though it would be some years before her lessons would begin to make sense. I knew from that time onwards that colour was to be the main focus of what I wanted to do, but I hadn’t worked out yet how to use it, or the way I wanted to express my ideas. > 24 | Bridport Times | November 2018


Image: Pete Millson bridporttimes.co.uk | 25


Ancient Land, 42x60cm

That came after I moved to Dorset. My marriage broke up and I moved away from Cambridge without completing my course. However, it was the start of a new life in so many ways for me. New beginnings and new ideas saw me experimenting obsessively in my free time with different mediums, techniques and colour, colour, colour. I read extensively and looked intensely at the work of other artists I admired: Matisse, Kandinsky, Picasso, and the Bloomsbury artists. My move to Bridport, already recognised as an artistic hub, in 1995, was fundamental in pursuing my life as an artist. I started Bridport Open Studios in 1999 to bring a wider audience to Bridport artists, and moved into the Edwards Building on St Michael’s Trading Estate in 2002 where, together with Kit Glaisyer and Andrew Leppard, the idea for St Michael’s Studios grew and flourished. My partner, David Brooke, joined me in 2004, with many other artists following suit over the years. We worked together as an artistic community until the recent fire. Now we are all displaced and working independently, taking small optimistic steps towards the future. I’ve always been a great believer in treating setbacks as opportunities for new beginnings, for seeing silver linings 26 | Bridport Times | November 2018

in a whole sky full of black clouds, for trying to let the past go and get on with life. Just before the fire, at the beginning of July, I had been saying how much I wanted to make some changes to what I was doing in my work. How careful you should be about what you wish for! So, despite a natural inclination towards optimism, the last few months have seriously challenged my ability to see clearly forward. It’s been more a question of somehow quietly waiting for things to come to me, allowing myself time to process what has happened, to heal and grieve for what has been lost. I haven’t even attempted to make any art work since the fire. I have been using a sketchbook as a form of art therapy, something which I have never done before, exploring ideas about my work and my reasons for doing it, and trying to work through feelings and process recent events. My work has always been about what inspires me, translated into colour, shapes, lines and patterns primarily in pastel and watercolour. It’s been a long journey to get to this point and, to be honest, I don’t know where it will take me from here. facebook/caroline.ireland.artist kitglaisyer.com


V I S I T | S TAY | E AT | S H O P | E N J O Y

Welcome to Symondsbury Estate set in the beautiful Dorset countryside just a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast, with fabulous walks, bike trails and award winning produce. Enjoy lunch at our kitchen, visit one of our seasonal events or browse our home, garden and gift shops and more at Manor Yard... Symondsbury Estate Christmas Market Saturday 1 December

SY MO N DSBURY E S TAT E

+44 (0)1308 424116 www.symondsburyestate.co.uk The Estate Office Manor Yard, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6HG


History

OBJECT OF THE MONTH

BRAIDING NEEDLES Emily Hicks, Director, Bridport Museum

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onald Stoodley made this braiding needle for his next-door neighbour, Mrs. Minnie Parfitt, née Pomeroy. Despite being completely blind, Mrs. Parfitt was able to braid by ‘touch’. This old exhibition label was presented with object number BRPMG 2304, a net braiding needle with the initials ‘MP’ inscribed in it. Although a simple object, whittled from wood, it has so many stories to tell. These needles are incredibly tactile things - many of the wooden ones have smooth shiny edges that speak of their constant and repetitive use. The shuttle-shaped wooden or plastic needles were, and still are, used to make net. They come in a range of sizes for different gauges of mesh. The largest in our collection is about 40cm tall and the smallest are around 8cm tall. Generally, these needles were used by women, often by outworkers in the town’s netting industry. If you have been a regular reader of these articles you will remember the fascinating outworkers’ ledger and the Fra Newbery painting of women braiding in a cottage that we featured earlier in the year. Of all the items in our collection, these are probably the most duplicated: there are around 300 of them, of which about 50 are on display in the museum. Why 28 | Bridport Times | November 2018

keep so many? For a variety of reasons. Some were donated in bunches, probably from one household or source, and perhaps previous curators might have felt it wrong to split up the ‘family’. The demands on museum storage nowadays mean that we have to maintain a rather more rigorous policy which forbids us taking in too many duplicates. So how do we as curators, or rather the guardians of a town’s collection, make those decisions about what to keep and what not to keep? Our decisions are based around the significance of an item in telling the story of Bridport and its people. In some ways items such as these needles could be said to derive significance through their proliferation. In other words, the fact that we have so many of them is a reminder of how ubiquitous they were in the town and surrounding villages. They remind us of two important things: firstly, that Bridport is most definitely a town built on the rope and netting industry, and secondly, that women played a crucial role in that industry. When showing the needles to people, I often compare the range of sizes with those of knitting needles. However, these are not for domestic use; they are professional industrial tools. The women who used them were incredibly skilled and experienced: Minnie


Ronald Stoodley made this braiding needle for his next-door neighbour, Mrs. Minnie Parfitt, née Pomeroy. Despite being completely blind, Mrs. Parfitt was able to braid by ‘touch’.

Parfitt could still work although she was blind. Even more than that, the women using them were a crucial part of the industry’s success. In our current First World War exhibition, Home Front, Home, we have explored the role that these outworkers played in the war effort: making hay nets for horses, mess nets for soldiers, and producing sporting nets that kept the home business economy going. Some needles are rather more ‘official’ than others and have the factory’s name on. Some are plain. My favourites are the ones where the owner has carved her initials into it like Minnie did. It’s almost as if the user is laying claim to their individuality - a self-affirmation of the importance of their role which was probably not accorded them by the low-wage-paying bosses. The initials act almost like an official seal and a reminder to others to ‘keep off ’ - these are my tools to be used only by my hands. We will be exploring the stories of Bridport women during the First World War this autumn and winter with a special series of events accompanying Home Front, Home, organised by Professor Karen Hunt who led the research for the exhibition. Starting on Monday 5th November Karen will give a series of afternoon talks exploring the challenges of surviving on the Home Front, women’s suffrage and trade unionism. She has also put

together a special study day on Sunday 18th November which will explore local women’s activism. The day will provide an opportunity to explore how Bridport women of different social classes and ages demanded their rights in the period before, during and immediately after the First World War. The programme includes speakers who will share their research on both working-class and middle-class women’s activism, with plenty of opportunities for questions and further discussion. For more details of all these events, please visit the museum’s website or Facebook page. Bridport Museum Trust is a registered charity, which runs an Accredited Museum and a Local History Centre in the centre of Bridport. Entry to the museum is free. The Local History Centre provides resources for local and family history research. To find out more about Bridport Museum’s collections or to become a volunteer, visit their website. Much of their photographic and fine art archive is available online at flickr.com/photos/61486724@N00/ bridportmuseum.co.uk @bridportmuseum facebook.com/BridportMuseum bridporttimes.co.uk | 29


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Wild Dorset

STUCK IN A RUT Melanie Fermor, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Image: Stewart Canham

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ature’s familiar wind-down heralds autumn’s crisp, golden arrival, however the shortening days also bring about a change for some of our largest land mammals. Melatonin, induced by the lessening light, triggers hormonal changes in five out of the six resident UK deer species, leaving them, for a brief window of opportunity, able to stand each other’s presence and, most importantly, able to reproduce. Listen out on an autumn day in the countryside and you may just catch the crash of weapons and the cries of battle from rutting deer. The stakes are certainly high for male deer who lock antlers at this time of year, for the victors will continue their genetic lineage while the vanquished are effectively expelled from the gene pool. Only the strongest, fittest males will successfully mate with the females, passing on their genes to subsequent generations. The rut carries immediate, significant risk to the individual male deer too. Not only do the battles cause serious injury and death but also the hormonal changes that take place in the rutting season induce a lack of appetite in the males, leading to weight loss and loss of condition. After such a marathon, the surviving male deer can be expected to look a little worse-for-wear by the end of the season! Huge male deer with spreading antlers, snorting 32 | Bridport Times | November 2018

vapour into the chilly autumn air, is a classic image of the rut, but it’s not just the males who have tricks up their sleeve when it comes to ensuring the successful continuation of the species. Female native roe deer’s bodies can selectively implant previously fertilised embryos so that they only commit to pregnancy when they are of an optimum weight. The embryos will be kept safe until a certain point in the year when, if she has not achieved a weight sufficient to carry the young to full term and survive to feed them, she will not remain pregnant.

FACTS: • The UK’s largest deer species is the red deer. • Deer have different names for females and offspring according to species including stags, bucks, hinds and does. • Muntjack deer are exceptions to the rutting season as they are able to reproduce all year round. • Do not approach rutting deer as they can be very dangerous.

Visit our website to plan your autumn outside adventures! dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk


Wild Brownsea A short trip away, but a million miles from the everyday. Find out more & donate at www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/WildBrownsea

DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST Photos © Avocets, Red squirrel: Paul Williams, Spoonbills: Cyril Faulkner, all other photos Damian Garcia.


Wild Dorset

PUTTING THE MARKET GARDEN TO BED FOR THE WINTER Rosie Gilchrist, Tamarisk Farm

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often get asked by people what on earth I grow over the winter. There is a strong misconception that not many things can manage over the winter months and, although it’s true that there is less variety of things that grow, and those plants which are in the ground really slow down, there is still a lot that’s harvestable and a lot to do in the garden regardless! How one goes about preparing for winter is quite different depending on how the land is used. Two of us market garden at Tamarisk Farm: on my garden I follow no-dig principles whereas Rebecca, growing on a bigger scale, uses no-dig on some of the land but, as she is also working on a field scale, she uses larger areas of green manure to build up humus. On the farm’s arable ground, cereal seed has been sown so that the new plants protect the soil. Here, however, I write about my particular market garden and the no-dig principle. No-dig has had a lot of press in recent years for several reasons. It’s the easiest system for small scale gardeners to work with and research has shown that it may be beneficial for the soil structure and organisms in the soil. Put simply, no-dig means not ploughing, rotavating, digging or turning over the soil in any way. Instead, one ‘builds’ the soil, adding compost and mulch to permanent beds year on year in an ongoing process. It is, however, the autumn and winter months when I do most of the wheel-barrowing around the garden. No-dig is particularly suited to my little patch of market garden - it’s a small space and nearly impossible to get a tractor onto it. I focus on growing quickmaturing crops such as salad greens and herbs, which I plant densely into these permanent beds. There is much great composting material and mulch to be found or scavenged around the farm due to the diverse nature of what Tamarisk does. Throughout the year I am constantly making compost, using everything I can 34 | Bridport Times | November 2018

get my hands on - predominantly spent crops, weeds (avoiding seed heads and perennial weeds), straw and sheep dung that is left over from the sheep living in the polytunnels, daggings (the dirty wool scraps from shearing) and manure from the cow barns. If everything has gone to plan, I have plenty of ready home-made compost to start adding to beds when I have cleared the summer crops. We always joke that West Bexington, sloping south towards the sea, has its own special micro climate: the closeness of the sea has a buffering effect on temperatures so we get fewer frosts; the cold air tends to roll away down the slope into the sea; and the light reflecting off the sea means we get an early start in the spring. In general, that benefits us immensely, though it meant that the intense summer seemed even more so down here. These upcoming winter months are when I really feel the special joys of growing at Tamarisk Farm. The colder, darker, slower days give me a chance to take stock and really appreciate what’s around me, whether it’s working into the fading light of a cold, still evening watching another stunning sunset, getting


useful jobs done in the polytunnel while hiding from dramatic winter storms, harvesting surprisingly sturdy winter salad in the quiet of the early morning with just the sounds of geese flying over, or feeding a treat of freshly weeded greenery to a cow with her new calf in the barn adjacent to the market garden. By now the smaller polytunnels have been cleared of their summer glory and are composted and planted up with winter salad leaves that will thrive until spring. The larger polytunnels are nearly ready for the sheep to come in. The main market garden is filled with plenty of winter lettuce and mustard greens, kale, chard, leeks and herbs. Some of these have gone in the ground in spring, some in summer and some in autumn, taking their place as the previous crops have come to fruition. As things get harvested or naturally finish I’m covering the beds with the home-made compost or purchased local municipal waste that also makes a good mulch and returns to us a share of what we provide to the community. This system means that there is always something happening in the ground, which is one of my main aims. When plants are in the ground they can serve many

functions. Their intricate root systems can give nutrients back to the soil, break up dense or compacted soil, exude sugars for soil organisms to feed on and improve the soil structure, enabling the ground to hold more water in the wet months with less water-logging or run-off and hence a reduced loss of nutrients. Even if there are no plants in the ground, the compost or mulch that has been added to the top of the beds is brought into the soil by all kinds of amazing organisms, including bacteria, fungi and worms. I aim to have given each bed in the garden a good layer of compost or other mulch by the end of winter, when I always try to take a little break. Knowing that the garden, although it might be beginning to look empty and dull, is busy in its own ways while still producing vegetables at a tick-over level, I can walk away for a few weeks before the madness of the growing season begins again. I can turn my back content in the knowledge that nature never really stops; it’s always doing something miraculous however slow and quiet it may seem. tamariskfarm.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 35


Wild Dorset

CULTURE CHANGE

Neville Copperthwaite, Marine Consultant and Project Coordinator

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man recently told me that he believed aquaculture – the farming of our seas – would eventually prove to be the salvation of marine conservation. That man was Professor João Ferreira of Lisbon University who has devoted much of his academic life to the improvement of shellfish farming for the benefit of local communities in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. And what has that to do with Lyme Bay I hear you say? Well, let me explain. The professor is an inspirational person, one of that rare breed who possess vision and the ability to cut through the noise of politics and commerce that often drown-out a clear path to the future. What the professor meant by his statement is that the farming of our seas will most likely follow the same evolutionary route as farming on land. Generally, we no longer eat badger, hedgehog or swan; we eat a few species that are easily farmed - pig, cow, chicken etc. Farming has replaced hunting and has taken the pressure off wild species. Imagine if cows had been hunted, that species would have become extinct long ago. The likelihood is that aquaculture will take the same evolutionary route. Indeed, this journey has already started with the successful production of the more easily farmed species such as bass, bream and salmon. These are the latest species additions to traditionally farmed shellfish such as oysters, mussels and prawns and even seaweeds. All these farmed products are available in shops right now. Mussel farming is usually associated with inshore waters, estuaries or harbours but experienced aquaculturists John and Nicki Holmyard have established the first deep-water mussel farm right here in Lyme Bay. I remember speaking with John a few years ago when he and Nicki took a chance and leased an area of seabed from the Crown Estate within the Bay, an area the size of Heathrow Airport. It was a gamble because it was the first of its kind: in deep water, the mussels grown on long

36 | Bridport Times | November 2018

ropes anchored to the seabed and open to the full force of westerly gales. But the gamble has paid-off and mussel production is now booming. A family business called Offshore Shellfish, son George is the manager while daughter Sarah takes care of sales and marketing. Here is an interesting fishy fact that you may not know. Globally, the amount of wild-caught fish landed is around 100 million tonnes per year. This amount is about to be overtaken by farmed fish and this will continue to grow, whereas the amount of wild-caught fish will reduce. So, we now eat more farmed seafood than wildcaught seafood! And that trend is set to continue. The reason you may not know about this is that here in Northern Europe aquaculture is, in the main, frowned upon; it has not been embraced as much as elsewhere in the world, partly because conservation groups spend too much time and energy criticising aquaculture and that persistent criticism carries negative influence to the corridors of power. This is tragic when the solution to the world’s diminishing marine species could be right under our noses. Yes, there are teething troubles with aquaculture - wild fish have to be caught to feed farmed fish, chemicals are sometimes used to eradicate pests and disease in the fish-farming process – but gradually these problems will be overcome in the same way that early problems in the animal farming industry were overcome. In the meantime, the reluctance by conservationists to embrace aquaculture will delay the inevitable, which is the continued ascendance of it. Aquaculture has the potential to reduce pressure on wild-caught fish, to be the salvation of marine conservation but currently there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the conservation fraternity with the long-term vision needed to cut through the noise and recognise it. Unlike Professor Ferreira. n.copperthwaite@gmail.com


bridporttimes.co.uk | 37


Outdoors

THE HOBBY

A MIGRATING MARVEL Martin Ballam, Xtreme Falconry

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ow the summer has passed and the autumn leaves are falling, it is time again to wish good speed and safe passage to one of our most stunning migratory birds of prey, the hobby. Those reading this article will be split into two camps: the many bird watchers and enthusiasts who love this amazing little falcon and the many who have never heard of it, let alone seen one. So what does a hobby look like, and can they be seen in Dorset? I’ll explain all in this month’s article but, if you haven’t seen one, then I am afraid it’s now a waiting game until next spring, when you may get a fleeting chance of glimpsing this lightning-fast and super-agile little falcon of our summer skies. The hobby is one of four established British breeding falcons, the others being the kestrel, the peregrine and the merlin. It is a small bird, about the size of a kestrel, and weighs around 8 ounces but, unlike the kestrel, it does not hover. The flight of the hobby can best be described as like that of the giant swift. Larger rivers, ponds and lakes are a hotbed for its favoured food, dragonflies. However, these little falcons are also very adept at hunting other birds that frequent these habitats hunting insects: swallows, swifts, house martins and sand martins. The hobby is the only falcon that can readily predate on these fast and manoeuvrable summer visitors. Certain areas of Dorset are favoured by hobbies, mainly East Dorset, although these hobby falcons, as they are affectionately known, can be seen in West Dorset; I have watched pairs hunt through the Marshwood Vale, the outskirts of Bridport and in the Beaminster/Melplash area. Hobbies are doing pretty well. Thankfully not an endangered species, the breeding range is across the whole of Northern Europe and extends throughout the majority of Russia. It is extremely difficult to state the approximate number of pairs over such a vast area of the northern hemisphere, however it is possibly a six-figure number. The dangers lie in migration. Heading south through various countries that shoot anything that 38 | Bridport Times | November 2018

passes overhead for sport is the biggest concern for so many migratory species of birds in general. The hobby has a long and arduous journey to South Africa! The journey to southern England is normally completed around April/May and the pairs generally return to the same area. Their nests are unusual as falcons do not build their own: a crow’s nest is favourite, as are large stick nests high up in trees next to or close to water. When they have chicks – 3 are usually hatched – they are rather noisy! This is when the adults concentrate on birds over insects as the predominant food source. These small falcons grow very fast: within 5 weeks the young are fledged and fully independent within a further 5 weeks, which is amazing! The hobby is simply stunning; my favourite way of


describing the bird is, ‘a miniature peregrine with red trousers!’ Slate grey topside and pale with dark speckles underneath, it has the perfect camouflage for hunting over open sky, but the red trousers? Very distinctive if you are lucky enough to see one up close or through binoculars! The long slender wings are the giveaway when airborne. I fully understand the difficulties of recognising any creature that is, quite simply, very difficult to recognise, and the hobby is one of those. Over the years I have been fortunate in learning how to spot wild raptors, most commonly for hobbies by watching and noticing the movements and actions of birds lower in the food web - species such as swallows, house martins etc. On a warm summer’s day, the insect hunters are active in their

dozens and then the skies suddenly clear: the hobby is high above. Usually around 50-80 metres high, even the pied wagtails hide (watching a pied wagtail ‘abuse’ a peregrine falcon in flight is brilliant) and this is the classic sign of the hobby being present. On a negative point, I do receive injured wild hobbies for treatment and rehab. However, on a positive, our last injured hobby was released in the summer with a British Trust for Ornithology ring attached. Let’s hope the African summer is kind to the little hobby and all of Britain’s hobbies return for summer next year. The hobby is a regular visitor to the wildlife ponds at the new Dorset Falconry Park; maybe you will see one! xtremefalconry.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 39


Outdoors

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On Foot

HOOKE PARK AND NORTH POORTON Emma Tabor and Paul Newman

Distance: 2½ miles Time: Approx. 1Ÿ hours Parking: Limited parking available on lane at the start of the walk. Walk features: An easy, gentle ramble in this extensively wooded corner of West Dorset, exploring part of the grounds of Hooke Park. The walk is fairly straightforward with no steep sections but it is very muddy in a couple of places. The route also takes in the hamlet of North Poorton and its fine church. Refreshments: The Three Horseshoes, Powerstock >

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E

ach month we devise a walk for you to try with your family and friends (including four-legged members) pointing out a few interesting things along the way, be it flora, fauna, architecture, history, the unusual and sometimes the unfamiliar. For November, we explore the quiet, secretive lanes of West Dorset, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, delving into the woods surrounding the Architectural Association’s Dorset woodland site. It is an ideal autumn walk, gentle, with some wilder sections and there are some good prospects over other parts of West Dorset. It’s also wonderfully remote, with a sense of removal from everyday life. This walk will link up with another nearby walk from Mapperton House which we’ll be covering next year, to make a more challenging figure-of-eight loop through this secluded corner of the county. Directions

Start: SY 529 987. Find a space to park on the lane which leads from North Poorton around the eastern edge of Hooke Park. Spaces are limited so you will have to use your discretion as to where you park. Please park responsibly and observe any safety notices as you walk around the park. 42 | Bridport Times | November 2018

1 Head uphill away from where you’ve parked and look for a footpath sign on the right-hand side of the road (marked Jubilee Trail). Turn right onto the path and head slightly downhill. The path is muddy in places. Keep heading along a grassy forest track for about ¼ mile, which is waymarked. Look out for jays and woodpeckers here. You will soon reach a broken stile; go over this and continue through mixed woodland towards open fields. Cross another stile with a Jubilee Trail marker into the field and then head straight across, aiming to the left of a line of trees and towards a stile in the hedge approximately 250 yards ahead. There are great views towards Lewesdon Hill on the right and the field is peppered with some lovely examples of solitary oaks. 2 Cross over the stile and then head across this next field towards another stile in the hedge about 100 yards ahead, keeping parallel with the hedge on the right. Cross this stile to enter another field and then start to head downhill, cutting diagonally across towards the left corner and to the left of a bungalow. Look for a double stile in the corner. Climb this to enter a small paddock next to the bungalow. At the bottom of the paddock, go through a large metal gate and turn left onto a small road.


3 Pass by a beautiful thatched farmhouse on your right and, after a few yards, turn right just before the T-junction - this takes you towards the church in North Poorton, with its distinctive minaret tower and spire. The church, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, was designed by Dorchester Architect John Hicks in 1861, using stone from the nearby ruined church of St Nicholas. After visiting the church, the road bends round to the right, passing the farm on the right. Where the road then bends to the left, take the track off to the right and in a few yards bear right again and follow the track back down towards the road to meet the bungalow you passed earlier. Here, turn left to follow the road downhill. After 100 yards, where the road bends left, turn right onto a bridleway, ignoring the path into the field ahead. Go through a tricky section of undergrowth, with a small brook - you’ll then see a small metal gate leading into a tree-lined holloway. 4 Enter the holloway, which is quite muddy in places but wonderfully enclosed and unexpected. The path starts to climb, with a small ravine to your right. The way is lined with a variety of tree species and ferns and has a magical, subterranean feel to it. At the top of this path, you emerge into a field through another

small metal gate. Bear slight left to the far corner - this is the far side of the same field you passed through near the beginning of the walk. Go through the large metal gate in the top corner into another field and then keep right, along the fence which borders the wood. This heads down until you meet a bridleway sign after 150 yards which takes you back into Hooke Park Forest. Go to the right of the sign, dropping down into the woods, keeping a barbed wire fence on your right and ignoring any paths off to the left. You will soon reach a small wooden footbridge at the bottom. Climb up the path on the other side, continuing to walk through woodland. Keep on this for about 150 yards until you reach the main track running through the park. Turn right onto this and follow the track back out towards the road. On your right, look out for some of the incredible structures which have been built by students from the school but please respect the privacy notices as this track is not a public right of way. Keep straight on, ignoring where the track bends round to the left, to meet the road. Turn right onto the road and head downhill back to where you have parked. aaschool.ac.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 43


Archaeology

TREASURE HUNT

Chris Tripp BA(Hons), MA, Field and Community Archaeologist

Image: Kevin Standage 44 | Bridport Times | November 2018


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ne of the main drawbacks of working on an urban site is when people passing by ask, ‘Have you found any treasure yet?’ In 30 years in archaeology I have only found one gold artefact: an Anglo-Saxon circular brooch. Every year thousands of artefacts are found by non-archaeologists in England and Wales and it is the job of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, run by the British Museum and National Museum Wales, to record them for future generations. Much of this material is made of precious metal and is classified as ‘treasure’ under the law so has to be reported. Their websites have more information. Many such items have been found in Dorset. We look at these artefacts in terms of money and thus they have value, but how did our ancestors see such objects? The importance of the human need for self-expression through artistic endeavour cannot be understated. Early human beings decorated their habitations, clothes, tools, pottery and themselves using materials that had value to them for that purpose. People had the desire for expression and then found ways in which they could express themselves. Throughout human development jewellery has had both functional purpose and symbolic meaning. Although the word ‘jewellery’ comes from the Latin jocale or ‘plaything’, making and decorating ourselves with jewellery has many meanings beyond helping to fix our clothes together. Past people wore such things for the same reason we do today, as a signifier of status and class. Rarity was valued and great efforts were made to find or import gold, silver, gems and pearls, but go back in time before metals, and items such as bone, shells, feathers, teeth and tusks were also valued and desired. Hunters may have believed that wearing such trophies would bring them good luck for the next hunt. They saw them as having the power to shape the future and thus had value beyond measure. Items could also signify one’s status and value in the community. The Iron Age Portesham bronze mirror, with its swirling, writhing decoration on the back, was undoubtedly used by the owner to see how gorgeous they looked and how gorgeous they might look to a potential partner. The need to feel accepted, to belong, can be as important as the needs we fulfil in caring for ourselves. A sense of identity and self-esteem is not a frill, as belonging reflects a basic human need. Gold, a rare and highly valued material beyond our perceptions of price, was not just for the living; it was buried with the dead person to accompany its owner into the afterlife. Sometimes precious objects have been found folded in half or cut into pieces; a ‘killing’ of the artefact. It may have followed a ritual for the disposal of the jewellery. Gold was seen as being eternal, as it could not be destroyed and never tarnished. When the Clandon Barrow, near Maiden Castle, was dug in the 1880s a Mr Edward Cunnington found a beautiful gold, lozenge-shaped object, a Kimmeridge shale ‘macehead’ with five gold bosses, and a cup made from amber imported from the Baltic. These items are currently held at the Dorset County Museum. These objects were placed in the burial mound as offerings. In other graves, from all periods, we find jewellery that the person had worn or which had been specially made for the burial. They obviously had value for the person and the community in terms of spirituality and remembrance. Our ancestors saw the value of the artefacts they made in terms of usefulness to them and the community, a value that was never determined by price - either in goods used or time spent making the artefact. The output is seen as worth the expense, making something of value for a particular or important purpose. However, if you found what the PAS would term ‘treasure’, the value would be in pounds sterling for you and the landowner - is that progress? dorsetdiggers.blogspot.com

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FURLEIGH ESTATE Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies

T

he early morning sun peeks over the eastern hills as we bump down a dusty track in West Dorset, grazing sheep lifting their heads momentarily to watch us pass. The verdant fields, high hedges and wild beauty of the area is entrancing. We are woken from our reverie by the loud rattle of the cattle grid and we find ourselves among the ordered vines of Furleigh Estate, one of this county’s first vineyards. Rebecca Hansford comes out to meet us. She is softly spoken and modest. The harvest is imminent and there is the feeling of a lull before the storm. Four specialist assistants have arrived from across the globe and soon the pickers — expected to gather ten tonnes of grapes a day — will arrive. A few heavily laden vines have keeled over in the recent strong winds, bringing an edge of concern to the anticipation of a good harvest. Being at the mercy of the weather, there’s a great deal that could still go wrong. >

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48 | Bridport Times | November 2018


Rebecca grew up on this farm. Her father was a dairy farmer and there’s a photograph in the barn of her as a child standing in a white dress beside him. While talking to her you can sense her love for the place but as she says, ‘You have to leave to appreciate this kind of isolation’ – which is exactly what she did. After qualifying as an actuary, she and her husband, Ian, set up an actuarial firm close to London. After starting a family (they have three children) Rebecca felt she wanted to return to her childhood home to give her own children the same taste of freedom she had enjoyed years earlier. Her father had given up the dairy and the farm had been sold. When it came back on the market in 2004, Rebecca and Ian made the break from the actuarial business and bought it back. ‘I wanted to return,’ explains Rebecca, ‘but I didn’t want to have animals. In fact, I don’t

really like cows!’ Ian had always been interested in wine and a friend with a vineyard in Sussex persuaded them it was possible. ‘The local farmers thought we were mad,’ Rebecca laughs, ‘traditionally this area grows fruit, mostly apples.’ Ian, however, went on to complete a degree in Wine Studies at Brighton University and, after a lot of research, they both agreed they should give it a go. In 2005 they planted their first vines. They now have 55,000 vines in 50 acres, each one hand-pruned in winter, which gives an idea of the care these vines receive. ‘What a lot of people don’t know is that the soil here is part of the Paris Basin,’ Ian tells me. ‘At some point in history, a huge meteor landed on this part of the earth and made such a crater that the soil we have here is the same as on the slopes of Champagne.’ In other words, this area’s geology is similar to that of the > bridporttimes.co.uk | 49


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Grand Cru. The downside is that the UK generally gets more rain, however this year the summer has matched the French climate. Certainly, there is much anticipated excitement about this year’s harvest. ‘This season has been exceptional,’ says Ian, ‘the summer has produced perfect conditions for the grapes.’ ‘We find that production goes in four-yearly cycles,’ he explains. ‘We average fifty thousand bottles but it can go up to 120,000 bottles.’ We’re in the giant barn that houses the presses and fermentation tanks. The specialist team is dressed in white coats, meticulously hosing down and cleaning the glistening equipment. When the harvest begins, the team will stay up until 2.30am every night. It’s stressful and exhausting but undoubtedly exciting. ‘It does get very tense,’ says Rebecca, who will be the one busy cooking meals to nourish the team, ‘but our children love it and always beg to be home for harvest. The farm comes alive.’ Furleigh’s grapes are mostly the Champagne varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier but there are also some bacchus and rondo planted for the estate’s still wines. They excel at sparkling wines made traditionally from Champagne grapes, and the Classic Cuvée 2009 (their maiden vintage) won the International Wine Challenge English Trophy. Furleigh

has collected ten medals at major London competitions and their award-winning sparkling Rosé 2010 was mistaken for Champagne by French judges in a blind tasting held in Paris – quite the accolade and one that pays credit to their meticulous husbandry. ‘My father would be so pleased,’ says Rebecca. ‘When we bought the farm, he couldn’t understand the investment in the vines, however, there is a good return on a small area of land. As Ian says, ‘There is potential for growth in the UK industry, which understandably lags behind the French. In Épernay the juice from the first grapes can be analysed in six hours because there are so many vineyards in that region but here it has to go to Surrey so it takes at least a day.’ ‘The Brits like their fizz,’ Rebecca adds. ‘The UK has always consumed a lot of Champagne and sparkling wine from around the world so they’re just as likely to appreciate an English-grown version.’ Recently Furleigh has launched a new bacchus, a white pinot and their Tyrannosaurus Red. For now, however, their attention returns to this bumper 2018 harvest that promises to be a great vintage. Visit furleighestate.co.uk for stockists or if you wish to buy wine by the case, contact Furleigh directly on 01308 488991 for cellar door sales. bridporttimes.co.uk | 53


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54 | Bridport Times | November 2018


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Food & Drink

WHOLE BEEF SHIN WITH RED WINE, CARROTS AND LITTLE ONIONS Gill Meller, River Cottage

56 | Bridport Times | November 2018


O

ur lifestyles can be so frenetic that it can be hard to find a moment to step out of the grind and slow down the rhythms. Taking time to make something good to eat is actually a great way to do this; I’d go so far as to say, it’s a form of recovery. This recipe is gentle and warming and perfect for those slower, darker nights at home. I like to use whole shin, an inexpensive piece of meat that I frequently turn to for stews, braises and ragus. Beef shin is usually sold in thick cut cross-sections, sometimes with the bone still running through the middle. It’s relatively low in fat but high in tough, connective tissue, which you should leave on the meat, rather than trim off. Long, slow cooking allows this tissue to break down, giving the cooking liqueur a sticky richness. If your shin still has the bone in, which contains marrow (this is the way I like it), it will also add to the overall flavour and body of the stew. I like to keep the slices of shin whole, if possible, as they lose much of their juice as they braise. As with many slow-cook cuts you need to think ahead, shin needs lots of cooking – more than some other tougher cuts, because it’s such a dense muscle. I’d suggest putting this stew on to cook a few days before you intend to eat it. That’s not because it will take that long to cook, nothing like it, 4 or 5 hours should do it, but making it ahead like this allows it to mature over time. Just as a good wine improves with age, so does a stew. This stew is wonderful on its own with good bread and butter but I can’t resist serving it with a creamy mash and some buttery cabbage too. Ingredients Serves 4

Dash of oil or beef dripping for frying 150g chunky bacon lardons 2 thick slices of shin beef on the bone (about 800g) 2 tablespoons plain flour 1 large knob of butter 8 small carrots, peeled but left whole 12 little onions or small shallots, peeled but left whole 200g small chestnut mushrooms, halved 1 onion, halved and finely sliced 2 small celery sticks, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 3 or 4 thyme sprigs 2 bay leaves 400ml red wine 400ml beef, chicken or vegetable stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium–high heat and add the oil or dripping. Scatter in the bacon lardons and fry them for 3–5 minutes on all sides, until they are beginning to crisp a little around the edges. Remove to a plate while you turn your attention to the beef. Dust the pieces of shin in the flour, and then place them in the same hot pan. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper and fry for 3–4 minutes on each side, and for a few minutes on the thick edges if you can, to brown all over. Remove the beef and set it aside. 2 Leave the pan on the heat. Add the butter, then the carrots and baby onions, and fry them gently on all sides for about 8–10 minutes, until they have taken on a little colour. Set these aside on a clean plate. Add the mushrooms to the pan, season them lightly and fry for 6–8 minutes. Set these aside with the carrots and baby onions. 3 Keep the pan on the heat and add the sliced onion, celery and garlic, and the thyme and bay. Season, then sweat the vegetables gently for about 4–6 minutes, until they begin to soften. 4 Return the bacon lardons and shin to the pan and turn up the heat. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Add the stock (it should just cover the meat) and bring back to a gentle simmer, stirring once or twice. Put a lid on the pan, move it from the hob to the oven and cook the shin for about 3–4 hours, or until the meat is tender. Then, add the carrots, mushrooms and onions and stir. Replace the lid and return to the oven for a further 35–40 minutes, until both the carrots and onions are tender. Remove the stew from the oven, adjust the seasoning, then let stand for 20 minutes before eating (it will be even better after 24 hours). This recipe features in recently published Time: A year and a day in the kitchen by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25) Photography © Andrew Montgomery Why not join River Cottage for a Christmas dining event and make a party night of it? Their Festive Feasts in the barn provide the perfect backdrop for the yuletide season. For the ultimate party, join them for their New Year’s Eve celebration and see in 2019 River Cottage-style! Bridport Times reader offer: Get £10 off Festive Feasts in December when you quote BTDINE10. For more details and to book see website or call Amy in the Events Team on 01297 630302. rivercottage.net bridporttimes.co.uk | 57


Food & Drink

PARTRIDGE WITH CAVOLO NERO AND PICKLED FRUITS Cass Titcombe, Brassica Restaurant

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long with all the fabulous autumn bounty comes the start of the game season, with partridge starting on 1st September and running until the end of February. We always try to have some game on the menu when it is available. Partridge and grouse are the most popular with our customers and we tend to prepare them in a variety of ways, although very simple is often the best. Keep the bones from the birds after eating and they can be frozen to make into a stock at a later date, especially if you eat game regularly. It’s important we all eat more game birds as they are incredibly good value, taste great and are so much healthier than eating farmed poultry. Game will 58 | Bridport Times | November 2018

have lived its whole life outdoors and generally will not be pumped full of antibiotics. Not only are they incredibly flavoursome due to eating a wild and varied diet but also they use their muscles constantly when walking, running and flying. Once hung, game is a very tasty meat which is both organic and free range in the truest sense. Living in such a rural area as Dorset we are surrounded by game birds and, once the shooting season is underway, it is an invaluable part of the economy. Partridges and pheasants can be bought for a very reasonable price from your local butcher. I find that the stronger flavour of game birds allows for cooking with more spices and an array of bolder


Ingredients

2 partridges dressed Olive oil Butter Thyme Sage Garlic Black pepper 1 bunch cavolo nero Pickled fruits 500g damsons or plums 250ml cider vinegar 250ml water 150g muscovado sugar 5 cloves, 1 star anise, 5 allspice berries, 1 cinnamon stick 1 orange (remove zest with a potato peeler) Method

Image: Louise Chidgey

flavours. Pheasants are delicious if you marinate the breasts in a marinade of cumin, coriander, chilli, garlic, ginger and yoghurt and simply pan fry, serving with a lentil dal and a slaw made with finely shredded white cabbage and lots of mint and lemon. A few years ago, I had a street-food company based in London called Roost which sold all types of free-range chicken. However, during the winter, as a special we would serve a whole buttermilk-fried partridge with sprout and celeriac pickle. Over the coming months at Brassica Restaurant we will be serving lots of game; currently it’s amazing grouse from Scotland but look out for venison, mallard, pheasant and partridge on the menu soon.

1 Bring the water, spices, sugar and vinegar to the boil, add the fruits and poach gently for 5 minutes. Pour into sterilised Kilner jars and store until needed. This can be eaten after a week but improves with time. You can also try this with prunes if damsons or plums are unavailable: substitute the plums for 250g prunes. 2 Heat up oven to 220C, season partridges inside and out with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff into each cavity 1 clove of garlic bashed and a few sprigs of thyme and sage. 3 Heat up a metal frying pan (important as you will need to put it in the oven), add a good splash of olive oil and a knob of butter and brown the birds on all sides. 4 Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes for a nice pink flesh. Remove from oven and pour off the oil, keep warm and loosely cover with foil. 5 While birds are roasting, strip the leaves from the cavolo nero stalks, wash well and drain. When ready to serve, heat up a heavy-bottomed pan with a splash of olive oil and add 1 clove of crushed garlic and then the cavolo nero. Cook for 1-2 minutes and season well with salt and pepper. 6 Put cavolo nero into a serving dish and place the partridges on top. 7 Heat up the pan used for the partridge along with any resting juices and add a few pickled fruits with a knob of butter and gently warm, then pour over the birds. @brassicarestaurant_mercantile brassicarestaurant.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 59


EXMOOR VENISON LOIN

WITH ELDERBERRY SAUCE, TAMARISK FARM KALE AND PLUM CHUTNEY Charlie Soole, The Club House, West Bexington

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utumn is a fantastic time of year when the sun has hopefully done its job of producing some amazing berries and fruits for us all to delight in. This year, the long, exceptionally hot summer with a bit of rain at the end, seems to have brought about a bounty of elderberries and blackberries. I can’t remember them being so bountiful and full of sweet juice. There is nothing better than taking a stroll down country paths and picking these tiny parcels of sweetness on a warm autumn evening.

60 | Bridport Times | November 2018

Image: Kirstin Reynolds

Food & Drink

Venison is a fantastic meat with lots of flavour. It is tender and low in fat compared to beef and lamb. This depth of flavour will carry the sweetness of the sauce and the tanginess of the chutney. If possible, try to make the chutney a few weeks in advance as the flavours will need time to infuse. Speaking to Rosie at Tamarisk Farm, she has had an arduous summer with such little rain. However, she has worked wonders and kept all the fantastic produce flowing down to us by the sea. The kale she has grown is wonderful and adds a slight bitterness to the dish.


For the chutney

Method

1kg plums halved, de-stoned and finely chopped 400g shallots, chopped 1 small piece of ginger, finely chopped 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 4 cloves 6 cardamom pods 400ml cider vinegar 500g light brown sugar

4 To make the sauce, roast the venison bones in the oven until they are well browned. While they are browning pour a little oil into a large, heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until they are just starting to brown. Add the tomato puree and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the red wine and bring to the boil. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to half. 5 Place the venison bones into the pot and pour over the stock making sure all the bones are covered. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat until it is simmering. Skim any scum that comes to the surface off the top of the liquid, otherwise it will cloud your sauce. Simmer the stock for 3-4 hours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into another saucepan and place over a medium heat. Reduce until you have about 250ml and then add the port. Continue reducing until you have about 200ml. Add the elderberries and set aside. 6 Season your venison steaks and sear in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Turn over after 2 minutes or until they start to brown. Repeat for the other side and then transfer to a pre-heated oven set at 180c. Roast for 4-5 minutes and then remove them from the oven and place them to the side to rest. 7 Meanwhile heat a pan over a high heat. Pour in a little olive oil and add the kale. Stir in the knob of butter and season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring so the kale doesn’t catch. 8 Place some kale in the middle of the plate and lay a piece of venison on the top. Pour some elderberry sauce around the plate and add a spoon of plum chutney on the side.

Method

1 Place all the ingredients except the sugar into a thickbottomed saucepan. Place onto a medium-to-hot flame and bring to the boil while stirring. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. 2 Stir in the sugar and a couple of teaspoons of salt. Keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the chutney, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch to the bottom. The chutney is ready when it thickens. You can test the consistency by taking a teaspoon of the mix out and placing on a cool plate. It should only just start to run slightly. It will thicken when it cools. 3 You can now transfer it to sterilised jars and seal tightly. For best results leave it for a couple of weeks for the flavours to infuse. It should keep in the jars unopened for six months. For the venison Serves 4

4x 200g venison loin steaks 500g kale, chopped Small knob of butter 1kg venison bones 1 large onion, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 2 sticks celery, chopped 1 tbsp tomato puree 10 peppercorns 2 bay leaves A few sprigs of thyme 250ml red wine 100ml port 1.5 ltr good quality veal or beef stock (if using beef stock don’t make it too strong) 50g elderberries

Enjoy this bounty of autumn! theclubhousewestbexington.co.uk

bridporttimes.co.uk | 61


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Body & Mind

FOODS THAT REDUCE STRESS Tamara Jones, Nutritional Therapist and Founder, Loving Healthy

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t is not surprising that, nowadays, stress is very common, given that most people are busy coping with work, family and everyday life. While many people feel stressed every now and then, some are living with chronic (long-term) stress where they are repeatedly exposed to different stressors for an extended period of time. As the body’s stress response system is not designed to be constantly activated, the impact of this on health and well-being can be significant. Long-term stress has debilitating effects throughout the body and can cause a wide range of symptoms you might not realise are associated with it: depression, food 64 | Bridport Times | November 2018

cravings, mood swings, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of appetite, insomnia, skin irritations (rashes, eczema), weight gain, difficulty concentrating, chest pains, dizziness and muscle tension. When we feel stressed, our bodies release the stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These speed up the heart rate and divert blood to the muscles of the arms and legs, ready for sudden movement. They make us breathe faster to take in more oxygen. At the same time kidney function slows, digestion slows and the liver releases fat and sugar into the bloodstream to provide energy. These reactions would all be very useful


nuts, seeds, avocados, Brussels sprouts and asparagus. Vitamin C – the largest store of vitamin C lies in the adrenal glands, which are responsible for the production of stress hormones. Keep these healthy by eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods such as peppers, tomatoes, oranges, leafy greens and broccoli. Magnesium – this mineral can help to relax muscles and reduce anxiety, while also playing an essential role in hormone and energy production. Nuts – particularly almonds - are high in magnesium, as are beans and lentils, wholegrains and leafy greens. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – EFAs are the most important building blocks for a healthy brain and cells. EFAs help to reduce inflammation and help stabilise moods. The best sources are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts. Foods to avoid

Alcohol and caffeine – too much of these can trigger the release of cortisol (stress hormone) and can worsen anxiety, make you dehydrated, interfere with sleep so leaving you tired, and prevent you coping well with stress. Processed or sugary foods – foods with added sugar, such as sweets, biscuits and sugary drinks, can make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly. They can be tempting when you’re feeling stressed but this kind of food isn’t good for your energy or your physical health in the long run.

Image: Lara Thorpe

if we had to run away from an escaped tiger in a zoo; in that situation the stress hormones would dissipate within a couple of hours after we reached a place of safety or the tiger was recaptured. However, if the stressful situation continues long term, there’s a build up of stress hormones in the bloodstream which leads to many adverse effects on health. Foods for natural stress relief

B vitamins – a lack of B vitamins can contribute to feelings of exhaustion and negative mood. Make sure you eat plenty of wholegrains, leafy greens, meat, fish,

On stressful days it is important to eat little and often to minimise peaks and drops in energy levels. Eating healthy snacks throughout the day, such as yogurt, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds will keep your blood sugar levels stable. For some people, stress can make them skip or forget to eat their meals and this increases the likelihood that they will reach for processed or sugary foods when they are hungry. One of the best stress relievers available to us is exercise, a natural remedy for anxiety because it releases the ‘happy hormones’ known as endorphins. An increase of endorphins in the body leads to greater happiness and enhanced immune response. Furthermore, exercise is beneficial as it relaxes the tense muscles and tissues that can contribute to stress. Lovinghealthy.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 65


Body & Mind

HOME-TIME Jane Fox, Yogaspace

"Practice, practice and all is coming" (Shri K Pattabhi Jois)

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n September I talked about balance and, as we packed up our life and drove to a new one in Italy, balance was certainly a challenge. After a tumultuous start, staying grounded was difficult, let alone staying balanced. My home practice was not happening in this initial month; that was a blur of intense heat, setting up home, tears, excitement, feeling overwhelmed and driving in Italy. I knew I needed to drop into my practice to clear the slate and find my feet again. Then I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Sicily for a week of yoga with one of my favourite teachers, Hamsa Hubert de Tourris (Sattvayogachamonix. com). He teaches with humour, humility, great knowledge and the deepest commitment to the path. The retreat schedule started early with Sicily feeling strangely like India. There was no breakfast which was hard the first day but, surprisingly, after a day my stomach adjusted. • 7am meditation • Moving and opening the joints followed by Naulis • Pranayama: Khaplabhati and Bhastrika • Asana practise • Well-earned lunch at 12.30pm and afternoons were free. I returned from the retreat renewed on all levels, but the greatest gift I brought home was a fiery new commitment for my daily self-practice. Home practice

During the retreat I had been saying how hard it was for me to do Chatarunga and Urdhva Danurasana due to my shoulder injury and Hamsa kept saying, ‘Do it!’, then he shared a quote from his guru: ‘When there is no desire, there are only excuses.’ This struck me very deeply. I had always felt totally committed to my yoga path but here I was making so many excuses: ‘I’m too tired’, ‘My days are too full’, ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I have an injury.’ It made me question 66 | Bridport Times | November 2018

myself. What was my desire? Wasn’t it to keep learning and growing towards a greater serenity and eventual self-realisation? How did I think I was going to do this unless I had some kind of regular self-practice? Making a home practice is not easy but it is so worth it. Believe me, I have had years of resistance. My self-practice sequence goes back to my roots in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, so I love to practise the primary series or modified primary. It feels like I am meeting up with an old friend. • Place: Find a place in your home that has a quiet, concentrated energy, a place in which you feel peaceful, and perhaps light some incense or an oil burner to make the space yours. • Consistency: Find a time that works for you and do what it takes to keep that time each day. It is a gift to yourself and the greatest investment. Life does get in the way sometimes too, so some flexibility is always necessary. • Kit: Mat/strap/block and print out a sequence sheet


from a teacher or type of yoga that you like so you don’t have to think about the next pose. • Meditation: Give yourself time either at the beginning or end of your practice to sit quietly in meditation. Follow your breath up and down the spine and keep coming back to it again and again. Sit for as long as you can. It could be 5 minutes or 50. • But mostly just practise! Make it yours. Give yourself what you need each day. Home practice gives us time: • To recover from injury - I realised on retreat that I was avoiding poses due to a shoulder injury and had lost strength in my upper body. My being over-protective and fearful meant new problems were presenting elsewhere. What I needed to do was to modify the poses, build my strength and burn through the fear. • For challenging poses - Self-practice is the perfect place to build confidence gradually and practice those challenging poses that we love to avoid. What a sense of achievement when we get there, again

having manoeuvred ourselves around that mightiest of obstacles - fear. • For investing - Having a daily practice to remember who we are. I feel that gift all day long if I practise in the morning, listening to my breath, connecting with and feeling my body, and gently quietening my crazy, jumping about ‘monkey mind’ by bringing it back to the breath. Maitri Upanishads says, ‘One’s own thought is one’s world. What a person thinks is what he becomes.’ Self-practice builds our relationship with ourselves. It creates confidence, trust and understanding as we give ourselves that time and space. I don’t know another more effective way to listen and hear what’s going on. A consistent daily practice, whatever shape it takes, is a great gift of self-love and everyone will benefit. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. (Brene Brown) yogaspacebridport.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 67


Body & Mind

ROSEMARY – FOR REMEMBRANCE, AND MUCH MUCH MORE Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH, Medical Herbalist

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osemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a popular garden herb, with vibrant green, spiky leaves, pretty blue flowers and an aromatic scent. It’s well known as a culinary herb and has been used as a medicine since ancient times. Traditionally associated with loyalty and fidelity, it has many uses besides its well-known beneficial effect on memory. It is a circulatory stimulant, improving blood flow where there is poor circulation to the hands and feet, and gives a sense of improved alertness and concentration. It is a useful remedy for headaches and this combination of effects makes it the perfect herb for times of great mental effort when sitting at a desk. Whether it’s a day at work or exam revision, drinking hot rosemary tea can keep you warm and focused. A decent sized fresh sprig or a small teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of hot water helps clear the head and can also lift your mood. For students, putting rosemary essential oil in an oil burner can have the same effect of giving mental clarity while revising, and then the strong association between sense of smell and memories can be used to your advantage by taking a tissue with a few drops of rosemary oil on it into your exams. Rosemary can be used as a preventative for migraine headaches and, even in the early stages of a migraine, can help avert the worst. It’s also good for tension headaches, especially if combined with wood betony which relaxes tense muscles in the shoulders and neck. Although stimulating, rosemary steadies the nerves, giving a feeling of open calm rather than unpleasant edginess. ‘Thymoleptic’ is an old herbal term meaning ‘a herb that is tonic or restorative to the nervous system and at the same time is stimulating, engendering a sense of well-being.’ This definition from herbalist Carole Fisher’s Materia Medica is a very good description of rosemary’s effect. As a digestive remedy rosemary stimulates and protects the liver, aiding the breakdown of food and toxins. Like many of the aromatic culinary herbs, it also 68 | Bridport Times | November 2018

eases tension and cramping in the gut so is helpful for many types of indigestion. Its stimulating effect on the circulation may also help here, improving blood flow to the internal organs. However, for this reason, medicinal amounts shouldn’t be used by pregnant women. Rosemary stimulates menstruation so, although the amounts used in cooking should be fine, large doses of rosemary are inadvisable during pregnancy. Rosemary has several uses externally as well. Strong rosemary tea can be used as a hair rinse for dandruff, combined with chamomile flowers for light hair and sage leaves for dark hair. Infused in olive oil, rosemary makes a great rub for sore muscles, relieving stiffness and pain. You can infuse it with other herbs such as


comfrey to heal the underlying tissue and for its antiinflammatory properties, or ginger to increase circulation to the area. Adding essential oils such as lavender, clove, cajaput and black pepper will make the oil more warming to cold, stiff muscles and joints. Rosemary oil can also be used as a rub for sciatica or intercostal neuralgia, though for nerve pain I usually prefer to use oil infused with St John’s Wort. Rosemary also has antimicrobial properties. You can make rosemary vinegar by soaking some sprigs in apple cider vinegar for a week or two, then straining it off. This can be used for cooking and salad dressings or diluted in water as a gargle for sore throats. The action against bacteria also makes rosemary vinegar a good natural

cleaning spray for use around the house, especially when combined with thyme. Adding more herbs can increase the antimicrobial aspect - rosemary is one of the many ingredients in ‘Four Thieves Vinegar’, an old recipe with many variants supposedly used by a group of thieves in France during the European plague. It allowed them to rob the dead and sick without catching the disease themselves; when they were eventually caught, they handed over the recipe in exchange for leniency. So, from memory aid and hair wash to repeller of the bubonic plague, rosemary has a surprising number of uses! herbalcaroline.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 69


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Home

WHAT’S NEW Molly Bruce, Interior Designer

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ver the autumn months I have been exploring design shows, many associated with London Design Festival, the place to go for anyone seeking inspiration and keeping tabs on the latest creations and trends, both from established and emerging designers. I am always excited to visit these shows, catch up with new collections from my favourite companies and discover new craftspeople. The shows are a useful way to get a feel for which direction the current wave of design is heading, and you can decide whether to be carried along with it or swim against it if it’s not for you. This is the important bit to remember when wandering around gazing at everything on display because it’s easy to be seduced and swept away by all the eye candy. You have to be able to digest all that you have seen and pick out what is truly for you - to plough your own creative furrow and find ideas and creators that complement, challenge, add friction and inevitably enhance your own style. I approach design shows with my feet firmly on the ground because they can be both inspiring and intimidating. I like to observe the people that attend because they are often as interesting as the displays themselves, providing a clue as to what kind of show it is. I was happy to see a wide variety of personalities, smart, casual, groomed and decorated. My partner and I, although originally from London, often feel a tad rebellious in our country bumpkin attire, mixing alongside the stiletto brigade, our practical Converse jostling for position alongside other practical shoes while we admire the commitment and stamina displayed by the wearers of those seven-inch heels. We absorbed a wide range of styles in furniture, lighting, textiles, hardware and decorative homewares. The stands varied from professional sales staff to the artists themselves. The personal approach when a maker shows you their work is such a unique experience witnessing the pride and dedication required during the making process, the attention to detail within a range of materials such as wood, glass, metal and fabric, as well as fixtures, fittings and finishes, and the years of research and experimentation that go into producing an item before it hits the shops. At design show Decorex, 72 | Bridport Times | November 2018

this was all backed up by live, interactive demonstration spaces, revealing the processes involved in, for example, upholstering, creating wallpaper and intricate metalworking. So, what is the overall feeling of design this year? On first impression I am happy to say, lots of colour. As you will be aware I am a strong advocate for the use of colour inside and out. Chosen well, it can be a fantastic mood enhancer; we just have to be brave enough to use it! So often we draw inspiration from nature and this is reflected in the new paint colours this year by the emergence of autumnal tones of deep reds, yellows and purple ochres. Dulux recently announced the ‘Colour of 2019’ to be Spiced Honey, and Little Greene have a new colour card devoted to various shades of green, in collaboration with the National Trust. Adding Farrow and Ball’s new contributions including everpopular pinks means there is fun to be had in the home preparing for a cosy winter ahead. Other exhibits on show were textured, exotic varieties of wood, used for furniture, with varied techniques of coloured and metal inlay finishes, as well as bright lacquered pieces - the Art Deco influence still dominating a lot of high-end design; clean lines combined with curves were breathtaking. It was also great to see alternative takes on the standard crystal chandelier with Hellooow exhibiting Fairtrade clay bead versions, and Cold Harbour Lights showcasing theatrical feathered beauties. Rothschild and Bickers had a beautifully tactile collection of bespoke, hand-blown glass lighting and Original BTC caught my eye with their exquisite bone china pendants in a range of delicate styles. House of Hackney were showcasing their latest and ever-vibrant collection of fabric, wallpaper and home accessories following a recent collaboration with French brand Zuber. I joined them for a moodboard workshop to learn more about their approach to combining colour, pattern and texture with no holds barred! So the overall theme? Colour domination. I have decided to dive right in, fun times ahead. mollybruce.co.uk @mollybruceinteriordesign


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Home

A WARM WELCOME

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Annabelle Hunt, Colour Consultant, Bridport Timber & Flooring

ow can it be November already? With Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night behind us, Christmas is undeniably on its way. Before we know it, we will be feverishly wrapping presents and waiting for family and friends to arrive. Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who once said, ‘Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days’? If your house is anything like ours, the spare room is the ‘everything’ room, filled with boxes and books. An excess storage space where things that aren’t used every day get dumped and quickly forgotten. Definitely a case of out of sight, out of mind. More and more often, any extra space we have has to perform multiple roles. Spare bedrooms may not have the impact of the living room or the comforting pull of the kitchen but there is no reason not to treat them 74 | Bridport Times | November 2018

like any other part of the house. Whether you have the luxury of a spare bedroom or are simply utilising a corner of another room, turning an overlooked space into a cosy escape for your guests needn’t be difficult. How do you know what your guests would like? Well, it’s most likely exactly what you would like. The first thing to do is get rid of any unnecessary clutter that may be in there (especially if the room doubles as a laundry room, attic or office). This is the perfect opportunity to clear out anything that hasn’t seen the light of day for years, then carefully consider what you want to keep. We are aiming for a calm and uncluttered haven where your house guests will be able to relax and take a bit of time out. We all know well-rested, relaxed guests make much better company! Who doesn’t love climbing into a comfortable


bed, newly made with freshly laundered sheets and fluffy pillows? Layer up the bed with plenty of pillows, cushions and an extra throw or blanket so that your guests can make themselves comfortable. Even sofa beds can look luxurious if you pick your best bed linen to go on them but, if the thought of all that ironing is enough to make you need a lie-down, natural linen with its effortless crumpled appearance is the perfect answer. White always looks beautiful but gorgeous jewel colours look fabulous too. In fact, the bed linen is the perfect starting point for your guest bedroom as it can offer you a readymade colour scheme. Choose paint colours that make you feel good when you’re in the room. If you choose to stay neutral, add colour, texture and pattern to the space by changing the bed linen, throws and cushions. Choose colours that complement your existing wall colours and use them on furniture to create a whole new look and feel in the room. Delicate colours such as Farrow & Ball’s Pale

Powder, Teresa’s Green and Green Blue are perfect for creating a calm, relaxed environment. However, if you prefer to make a dramatic statement by going dark, think about using strong colours such as Inchyra Blue or Railings to create intimacy and drama. Dark colours work particularly well if your room is very dark anyway. Sometimes it really is best not to fight nature. Either way, whether you prefer dark or light, using harmonious shades that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel will result in a relaxing colour scheme. Finally, small styling details and thoughtful finishing touches will really show your guests that you’ve made the effort and are looking forward to their arrival. Fresh cut flowers, a pile of books or magazines, a good table lamp and fluffy towels. It may, though, mean they keep coming back and/or they don’t want to leave, which, depending on how you look at it, might be a good or bad thing! bridporttimber.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 75


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Gardening

THE WILD ONES Charlie Groves, Groves Nurseries

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ow! What a challenging year it’s been with the weather. After two heavy snowfalls in Bridport we then seemed to skip spring and go straight to one of the hottest, driest summers I can remember. If it was challenging for us gardeners, it was even more so for wildlife – first fighting for survival by foraging in ground covered in inches of snow and then, in summer, trying to penetrate the hard, baked earth for worms. When the weather’s harsh like that I love to do my bit for the wildlife in and around my garden, particularly the wild birds, by topping up their food supplies and water without making them reliant. 78 | Bridport Times | November 2018

Many of you seem to be the same judging by the amount of bird seed, suet pellets, sunflower hearts, peanuts and fat balls we sell. Like me, you’re feeding the birds with high energy (high fat) foods that help them survive the cold but, as we move into winter, it isn’t just the birds that need help. Mammals such as hedgehogs, foxes, dormice and other creatures are building their reserves to survive winter days and nights, and there are many things one can do in the garden to soften the blow of harsh months for much of the wildlife that visits. When it comes to feeding I aim to supplement natural diets rather than become the primary food source, hence


I gauge how much food to put out depending on the severity of the weather. If you’re not sure what wildlife other than the birds will eat, here are some tips: • Hedgehogs will appreciate regular fresh water, dog or cat food (not fish-based), cat biscuits, sunflower seeds and nuts but no milk or bread as these can cause diarrhoea and dehydration. • Foxes will eat cheese, boiled potatoes, chicken carcasses, dog food, bread and fat scraps; put them out at dusk. • Squirrels will have been busy gathering food during autumn, burying it to eat when food is scarce, but will still appreciate nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds, plus some chopped apple, beans, carrots or spinach. • Badgers have a tough time finding their favourite food of earthworms if the ground is frozen so give them scraps of meats, cheese, peanuts and fruit.

"There’s a tendency to tidy the year away in autumn but, if you can bear it, please try leaving it till early spring"

It’s not just about feeding; there are other steps you can take to help our precious wildlife through winter. Let your garden go wild. There’s a tendency to tidy the year away in autumn but, if you can bear it, please try leaving it till early spring as those piles of leaves or brushwood can make the perfect nest for animals to hide, rest or hibernate in. Rotting logs and stems will house insects and grubs for birds to eat. Compost heaps are a welcome habitat for toads, grass snakes and slow-worms. Butterflies and moths overwinter as pupae or caterpillars just below the soil, and other insects overwinter in hollow stems of herbaceous perennials, so hold off on the chopping until spring. If time isn’t an issue, get the children to help you build a bug hotel with old pallets and twigs, somewhere out of the way and protected from the worst of the weather. I did this with my girls and they had great fun and learnt at the same time, creating a winter sanctuary for a myriad of mini-beasts and an ideal foraging spot for birds. You’ll discover small mammals such as voles and wood mice will use the cover and, if you’re really lucky, you may get a visit from a hungry tawny owl looking for that sort of small prey. Another great idea is to create a small garden pond ready for the emergence of amphibians in the spring but you’ll have to remember to break the ice if it freezes over. Finally, a word of caution. I always take care turning over my compost heap and never light my bonfire before checking for guests; please make sure you do too! grovesnurseries.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 79


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Philosophy

POWERS THAT BE

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Kelvin Clayton

here is a long tradition within philosophy, dating back as far as Plato and Aristotle in ancient Athens, of debating the best form of government. Classically this was a choice between monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, oligarchy or tyranny. Over the centuries we have arrived at a consensus in favour of democracy, though in the case of the UK a democracy formally embedded with a constitutional monarchy. This relationship was the subject for discussion at the September meeting of the Bridport Philosophy in Pubs group at which the area representative for the anti-monarchy pressure group Republic presented the argument that, ‘The monarchy creates an unfair society because it is in place by birthright only and, as a consequence, should be abolished.’ For me, a committed anti-monarchist, there are three main aspects to this debate. First, there is the issue of political power. Strangely enough, this I consider to be the least pressing of the abolitionist arguments. Yes, in purely formal terms, the monarch has to approve all laws passed by parliament so, in theory at least, could refuse to sign and disrupt the democratic process. However, as I cannot even begin to imagine such an act of defiance occurring, let alone surviving the uproar of public opinion, I’m inclined to think that on these grounds alone it is not worth the effort of abolishing the system. Far more damning, however, are the psychological aspects of having a monarchy – aspects that were perfectly captured by a simple photograph presented with the Republic argument. This was an image of a member of the public curtsying before the newly married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This formal gesture of bending the knee and bowing the head is one of the complete deference of one human being to another purely on the grounds of inheritance; it symbolises the fact that formally we are the subjects of the crown, not free citizens. And while this may only be a formal act, I think that at a deeper psychological level it allows us to accept the remnants of a strong, hierarchical class system. It permits the survival of wealth, power and influence derived by accidents of birth rather than merit. But there is a third aspect to this argument. Democracy is far from perfect. As Churchill famously said, ‘It is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.’ It could, however, be improved and should be allowed to evolve with the changes to human society and the challenges faced. This requires us to challenge the status quo and open up the ancient argument about the best and most effective form of government. The maintenance of our monarchy prevents such a debate. Philosophy in Pubs is a grass-roots community organisation promoting and practising community philosophy in the UK. Discussions take place regularly in venues around the country. Anyone can attend and anyone can propose a topic for discussion. The Bridport group meets on the third Wednesday of the month in The George Hotel, South Street at 7.30pm. Attending the discussion is free and there is no need for any background knowledge of philosophy. All that’s required is an open mind and a desire to examine issues more closely than usual. For further details, email Kelvin Clayton at kelvin.clayton@icloud.com

82 | Bridport Times | November 2018


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Literature

Children’s Book Review Esmeralda Voegele-Downing, The Book Shop

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts (Abrams Books for Young Readers) £8.99 Bridport Times Reader price of £7.99 at The Book Shop

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osie Revere is an engineer whose inventiveness has earned her a reputation as one of the sharpest minds around. However, when her great-great-aunt Rose enlists her help for an engineering emergency, Rosie reminds us in the hilarious and kindhearted first book of The Questioneers series that a sharp mind alone is nothing without support and perseverance. Great-great-aunt Rose introduces the Blue River Riveters (builders of Boeing B-29 airplanes in World War Two) to Rosie just as she is struggling with inventor’s block. The Riveters are legendary women of yore, now elderly but still absolutely rocking the polka dot headscarves. Quickly, Rosie is enlisted to help one of their own – June – an 84 | Bridport Times | November 2018

art-loving Riveter who has suffered a motorscooter accident and damaged her wrists, jeopardising her chance to paint in the annual art competition. With her endlessly thoughtful friends, Ada Twist the scientist and Iggy Peck the architect, Rosie is ready to invent a painting aid. The beauty of this story lies in the funny, colourful, and beloved characters but it also can be credited to the disarmingly gentle handling of some day-to-day issues that have long been borderline taboo to acknowledge in front of children. The Blue River Riveters offer empowering representation for older women; they sing, dance and crack awful jokes, and live exuberantly in their close-knit family. Boss, named so for her leadership, says,


‘I speak plain and I get things done... if that makes me bossy, then good!’ She is also a wheelchair user, while her dear friend June has, at least temporarily, lost the use of her hands through her accident. The women are all equally vivacious and positive – always turning a setback into an opportunity for joy. When asked, they explain to the children that some of their group have passed away and immediately smile and make a toast of coffee cups to their memory. When Rosie confides in Rose that her latest invention is ‘a disaster’, her great-great aunt’s reply is, ‘Brilliant!... Tell me about it.’ In an uplifting and relatable series of frustrating trials and errors, Rosie teaches readers that there is no shame in failing, and happily undoes the myth of genius meaning someone who reaches perfection immediately with zero effort. Rosie, Ada and Iggy collaborate by putting their minds together in a celebration of curiosity and ambition, lending each other their expertise to realise Rosie’s vision. Still, Rosie meets setback after setback, which may or may not come in the form of soggy blue socks and clothes soaked in red paint, and at times finds herself close to quitting. Her trajectory towards success looks far more like a hedgehog’s back than an upwards ski-slope.

When her friends and family aren’t available to support her, tucked into bed with only her ‘What-Ifs’ for company, Rosie teaches young readers a valuable lesson with her mantra, ‘STOP AND THINK!’, which is a slightly more practical version of the classic bogeyman banishment. She repeats this throughout her most stressful times and makes it clear that the ability to disarm anxiety cannot be undervalued. Doing what only the best of the best children’s authors can, Andrea Beaty manages to make Rosie’s funny and uplifting story double as a memorable and touching lesson. Rosie Revere’s objective is to make a self-loading paint machine, however, along the way, she learns a lot more than facts about valves and whether ketchup is safe to put on snakes. If Rosie can make this dream paint machine, then June can paint with both hands in casts. The raucous Riveters cheer her on and her friends support her at every turn, and we discover alongside Rosie that the real nature of genius is indeed perseverance, not just talent. Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters has a message and it’s just as the Riveters say: ‘We Can Do It!’ dorsetbooks.com

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86 | Bridport Times | November 2018

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Bridport Times November 2018  

Featuring Furleigh Estate, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home, Garden,...

Bridport Times November 2018  

Featuring Furleigh Estate, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home, Garden,...