Page 1

DECEMBER 2018 | FREE

A MONTHLY CELEBR ATION OF PEOPLE, PLACE AND PURVEYOR

LEADING THE WAY with Romy Fraser of Trill Farm

bridporttimes.co.uk


WELCOME

W

inter’s familiar sting takes hold. Sitting here with only a sleeping dog for warmth, my curled toes and typing fingers concur – ‘Oh, for a log burner.’ Ruddy cheeks and running noses, ruddy queues and running late, Christmas is upon us once more. The young inhabitants of our house fizz with excitement, rehearsing carols, writing lists and rejoicing in even the smallest patch of ice on the ground. Visions of Argos catalogues dance in my head, remembering my own folded corners of well-thumbed toy sections. Relatives plan the who, where and whens and time is made for mulled cider with friends. And so to December. As we approach the 1st anniversary of the Bridport Times I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for the incredibly positive welcome we have received. This humble endeavour is nothing without our contributors, advertisers and you, our readers. We have met some wonderful people, heard fascinating tales and discovered magical hidden corners of this very special town. It has also been made clear — with subscription requests from around the world — that affection for Bridport extends far beyond Dorset. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. 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 | December 2018

Graham Avis Bridport Museum @BridportMuseum bridportmuseum.co.uk

Little Toller Books @LittleToller @littletollerdorset littletoller.co.uk

Martin Ballam Xtreme Falconry xtremefalconry.co.uk

Susannah Lynn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife @dorsetwildlife dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Simon Barber Evolver @SimonEvolver @simonpaulbarber evolver.org.uk Aiice Blogg @alice_blogg @alice_blogg aliceblogg.co.uk Molly Bruce @mollybruceinteriordesign mollybruce.co.uk Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH herbalcaroline.co.uk Fraser Christian Coastal Survival School @CoastalSurvival coastalsurvival.com Kelvin Clayton @kelvinclaytongp greenthoughts.me philosophyinpubs.co.uk Neville Copperthwaite n.copperthwaite@gmail.com

Gill Meller @GillMeller @Gill.Meller gillmeller.com Anne Morrison The Bookshop @bookshopbridprt @thebookshopbridport dorsetbooks.com Anna Powell Sladers Yard @SladersYard @sladersyard sladersyard.wordpress.com Nathalie Roberts @natamagat Suzy Rushbrook dorsetvisualarts.org Ellen Simon Tamarisk Farm @ tamarisk_farm tamariskfarm.co.uk

Jane Fox Yoga Space @yogaspacebridport yogaspacebridport.com

Charlie Soole The Club House West Bexington @theclubhouse2017 @TheClubHouse217 theclubhousewestbexington.co.uk

Kit Glaisyer & Lu Orza @kitglaisyer @kitglaisyer kitglaisyer.com

Emma Tabor & Paul Newman @paulnewmanart @paulnewmanartist paulnewmanartist.com

Charlie Groves Groves Nurseries @GrovesNurseries @grovesnurseries grovesnurseries.co.uk

Cass Titcombe Brassica Restaurant @brassica_food @brassicarestaurant_mercantile brassicarestaurant.co.uk

Tamara Jones Loving Healthy @lovinghealthy_ @lovinghealthy_ lovinghealthy.co.uk

Chris Tripp Dorset Diggers Community Archaeology Group dorsetdiggers.btck.co.uk


50

DECEMBER 2018

6 What’s On

40 Outdoors

82 Home

14 Community

48 Archaeology

86 Gardening

18 Arts and Culture

50 TRILL FARM

90 Philosophy

32 History

60 Food and Drink

92 Literature

34 Wild Dorset

72 Body and Mind

96 Crossword

bridporttimes.co.uk | 5


WHAT'S ON Listings

Squire on 07917 748087

From 24th November -

____________________________

22nd December (Tuesdays-

Mondays 3rd, 10th and

Tuesdays 7.30pm-9pm

Saturdays) 10am-4pm

17th 7.30pm-9.30pm

Bridport Sangha

Dorset Visual Arts Exhibition

Bridport Folk Dance Club

Meditation Evenings

WI Hall, North Street, DT6 3JQ. Folk

Quaker Meeting House, South St.

Bridport Arts Centre. Read Suzy

on 17th). 01308 423442

David Will 07950 959572.

Saturday 1st 3.30pm

____________________________

Parnham Voices “The Sound

Mondays (term-time)

2nd Tuesday every month 7.15pm

of Angels” Christmas Concert

6.30pm-8pm

Bridport Sugarcraft Club

Bridport ASD and Social Anxiety

Ivy House, Grove Nurseries, West Bay

St Martin’s Church, North Perrott.

____________________________

dancing with recorded music (live music ____________________________

Support Group Bridport Children’s Centre.

You are most welcome. Contact

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

____________________________

For teens 11-18, parents and carers

Wednesday or Thursday 9.30am-

____________________________

12.30pm (term-time only)

Mondays 7.30pm-9pm

Painting and Drawing Art Classes

Bridport Campfire - Women’s

Mangerton Mill Artist Studio. £16 per

Coaching Group 67 South Street. £5, all welcome

____________________________

Tickets £10 to include refreshments -

01460 72883, georgina222@uwclub.net or from North Perrott Farm Shop

____________________________

lesson. Tara 07505 268797

____________________________

____________________________

Wednesdays 10am-12pm

Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Art Class

Bridport Choral Society

Unitarian Church, East St.

No auditions, just an enthusiasm

Rushbrook’s article on page 18

£10 per session. 01308 424980

Saturday 1st 7.30pm

____________________________

Narthen - Hark Hark -

bridportchoral.wordpress.com/Facebook

Wednesdays 7pm-10pm

A Winter’s Light

____________________________

Bridport Scottish Dancers

Tuesdays 10am-1pm

Church House, South Street. Instruction

St Mary’s Church, Burton Bradstock.

for singing required!

Art Class Town Mill Arts, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU. £15 per session, first session half price.

and social dancing. Enquiries: 01308 538141 bridportscottishdancers.org.uk

£10, £7 u18s, £28 fam. 01308 897421. artsreach.co.uk

____________________________

____________________________

Saturday 1st 7.30pm-11pm

07812 856823 trudiochiltree.co.uk

Every 4th Wednesday 7.30pm

Bridport Ceilidhs

____________________________

Philosophy in Pubs

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.30am

George Hotel, South Street. Read Kelvin

Church House Hall, South St, DT6

Walking the Way to Health in Bridport

Clayton’s monthly article on page 90

____________________________

Starts from CAB 45 South Street.

1st Thursday every month

3NW. Featuring “Doug and Sarah” with Mike Courthold calling. 01308 423442 bridportceilidhs.wordpress.com

____________________________

30min walks, with trained health

10.45am-11.45am

Sunday 2nd 1.30pm-5.30pm

walk leaders. Free. 01305 252222

Community Coffee Morning

Transformational Breath

sarahdavies@dorset.gov.uk

Introductory Workshop

____________________________

St. Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington.

Tuesdays 7.15pm

Free coffee, cakes and parking

____________________________

Chapel in the Garden, DT6 3JX. £45

Uplyme Morris Rehearsals

Every 3rd Friday 10.30am-3.30pm

07884 191459 breathwithinbreath.co.uk

____________________________

The Bottle Inn, Marshwood. No

Bridport Embroiderers

Sunday 2nd 3pm Parnham Voices “The Sound

Uplyme Morris on Facebook or The

St Swithens Church hall. 01308 456168

____________________________

experience required, give it a go! Contact

6 | Bridport Times | December 2018

of Angels” Christmas Concert


DECEMBER 2018 St Mary’s Church, Thorncombe.

St Swithun’s Church, Bridport DT6 5DU.

tickets are available on the door or at

____________________________

Tickets £7 to include refreshments and

Fresh coffee and cakes, free parking

the village shop

Thursday 6th 7.30pm

____________________________

Music for Christmastide St Mary Magdalene, Loders. Tickets ____________________________ Wednesday 5th 10am

Sunday 2nd 4pm Wessex Military Band

£10 (inc. glass of wine and other

refreshments) cantamus-dorset.org

____________________________

Christmas Wreath-Making

Fridays 7th and 14th

at Furleigh Estate

9.30am-12.30pm

Coffee and cake on arrival and a

Willow Wreath Workshop

Tickets £40. Info and booking

With guest florists Twigs and

glass of fizz to finish the session.

Broadwindsor Craft Centre.

furleighestate.co.uk/events 01308 488991

Twine. £35pp. Booking essential

____________________________

Winter Concert

jojo.sadler@hotmail.co.uk 07531 417209

____________________________

Bridport Arts Centre. Tickets £10, concs

Friday 7th 12.30pm-3pm

01308 424204 wessexmilitaryband.co.uk

Dorset Group Christmas Lunch

Monday 3rd 7pm

Crook 01308 423442

£8. Info: enquiry@wessexmilitaryband.co.uk

Dorset Wildlife Trust, West

____________________________

W.I Hall Bridport. Book with Monty

St Swithun’s Band

____________________________

Christmas Concert

Friday 7th 7.30pm

St Swithun’s Church, North Allington

Wednesday 5th 4pm/5pm

West Galley Carol Concert

DT6 5DU. Carols and mince pies.

Bridport Christmas Cheer

Free parking

St John’s Church, West Bay.

____________________________

Bucky Doo Square, United Church,

Tuesday 4th 7pm

BAC, Town Hall, Electric Palace and

others. Carols, lantern parade, traders.

“Blue the Film” - A Cinematic Song for Our Oceans The Electric Palace Cinema, Bridport. Tickets £5

£8/£6 u16’s 01305 262159

ridgewaysingersband.wordpress.com

____________________________

bridportchristmascheer.co.uk

Saturday 8th 10am-4pm

____________________________

A Space for Living Spirituality -

Thursday 6th 10.45am-11.45am

St. John of the Cross

Community Coffee Morning

Bridport Quaker Meeting House,

bridporttimes.co.uk | 7


WHAT'S ON South St, DT6 3NZ. Event 4 of 4 on

Dorset Community Orchestra and

Bucky Doo Square, Bridport, DT6 3LF

Bring-and-share lunch. Information and

and raffle. 01308 456297

Monday 24th 6pm

____________________________

Candlelit Mass of Christmas

____________________________

Friday 14th 2.30pm-4pm

Saturday 8th 10am-4.30pm

Café Refresh Friday

St Swithun’s Church, Bridport

Willow Deer

Dorford Centre, Bridport Road

“The Mystic Way”. Donations £10-£40. booking iona.lake@aol.co.uk

Broadwindsor Craft Centre. £75pp.

Local Vocals. Free entry, refreshments

____________________________

DT6 5DU. Free parking

____________________________

____________________________

Tuesday 25th 9.30am

Booking essential jojo.sadler@hotmail.co.uk

Friday 14th 7pm

Christmas Day Service

07531 417209

(eyes down 7.30pm)

____________________________

Christmas Bingo

St Swithun’s Church, Bridport

Saturday 8th 7.30pm

Salway Ash Village Hall. Top prize £50!

Bridport Choral Society

____________________________

DT6 5DU. Free parking

____________________________

presents A Christmas Choral

Saturday 15th 10am-3.30pm

Planning ahead

Bridport United Church. Tickets: £10

Acrylic Painting Workshop

____________________________

(including refreshments) available from

for Beginners

Tuesday 1st January 1pm

Bridport Music or on the door

Lyme Lunge - Fancy

____________________________

The Chapel in The Garden, 49 East

Dress Dip in the Sea

Sunday 9th 11am

Street, DT6 3JX. With Deborah de

Mornay Penny. £30 including materials. Booking essential. Info: 07931 896297

Lyme Regis. Sponsor forms -

deborahdemornaypennyart.com

whatsoninlymeregis.co.uk

____________________________

Christmas Kindness Club Chapel in the Garden, Bridport,

DT6 3JX. Festive crafts, games and

____________________________

Saturday 5th January

refreshments. Free to all, ages 5+

Saturday 15th 2.30pm-4.30pm

10.30am-4.30pm

(or younger with guardian) events@

Herbal Medicine-Making

Journal Writing Workshop

bridportunitarians.co.uk

Workshop for Herbalists

____________________________

Without Borders

Briport Quaker Meeting House, South

Sunday 9th 2pm-4pm

St Marys Church Hall. Booking

Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowl Sound Bath The Unitarian Chapel in the Garden,

essential - 07956 780849 or herbal.

St. Book in advance, £45 07824 617453 joatlyme@gmail.co.uk

____________________________

caroline@gmail.com. Read Caroline

Saturday 5th January

Butler’s article on page 76

10.30am-1.30pm

____________________________

Bridport Seed Potato Day

comfortable to lie on and wrap around

Sunday 16th 4pm

Bridport United Church, East St. Free

____________________________

St Swithun’s Church, Bridport

49 East St, DT6 3JX. Bring something you. £12 01935 389655 ahiahel@live.com

Candlelit Carol Service

Monday 10th 7.30pm

DT6 5DU. Joint with St Mary’s

Sunday 6th January 10am-4.30pm

Mince pies and tea, free parking

The Kingcombe Centre, Toller Porcorum.

Burton Bradstock DT6 4RN. Teacher:

Tuesday 18th 11am-5pm

Info and bookings @ Eventbrite or

needed. £8-£10. Info: 01308 897130

Brooklands Studio, 12 Bridport Road,

____________________________

Refreshments by Lynette’s Little Kitchen

Fairs and markets

____________________________

____________________________

Programme of Christmas Music

Saturday 22nd 11am

Every Wednesday and Saturday

St John’s Church, West Bay. West

Annual Bridport Nativity

Weekly Market

Biodanza @ Othona Express, Connect, Relax! Othona Community, Coast Road,

Clean and Clear Day Retreat

____________________________

Yoga, nutrition and vision board workshop.

Open Studio - Art and Ceramics

biodanza-bridport.co.uk

Beaminster, DT8 3LU. 01308 861379.

8 | Bridport Times | December 2018

____________________________

and St Catherine’s Catholic Church.

Julia Hope-Brightwell. No dance partner

Wednesday 12th 7.30pm

admission - light refreshments available

thewelllifelab.com or 07704 093016

____________________________


December

at Bridport Arts Centre

SNOW ANGEL Sat 1 Dec, 8pm TRE ARTS CEN SENT BRIDPORT STEES PRE STAFF & TRU

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Thu 6 Dec, 7pm 7

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424204 om 01308 ort-arts.c www.bridp Thank

Fri 7 Dec, 7.30pm

RT BRIDPO NTRE ARTSCE

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

Screen ive in L g

THE NUTCRACKER Sat 8 Dec, 5pm

M u

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fantastic bid on our s and evening and , friend . Enjoy a great Bring your family Arts Centre auction lots. support your local to neighbours

NATIVITY

AUCTION OF PROMISE

Be

can pagne graph, Cham by at you See wh all, A Signed Martin Parr Photo and made ned, fitted e Cornw dress desig Ollerod, Minack Hous people, A couture wine at The A week at r for two with much more! for up to 6 course dinne much Croquet game Curtis, A three House of Lords and the our Director d aroun a guided tour

LIVING SPIT

RAISING FUNDS FOR BRIDPORT ARTS CENTRE

ER RST EV mises OUR FIof Prots re n idport Ar Cent ctttio Au ing Br fi ne

JAZZ CAFÉ

PETITES ANNONCES GYPSY JAZZ Fri 14 Dec, 8pm

WHITE CHRISTMAS Thu 20 Dec, 2pm

Thea tr

e

BUDDY HOLLY AND THE CRICKETERS

HOLLY AT CHRISTMAS 2018 Fri 21 Dec, 7.30pm

SOAP SOUP THEATRE

THE SNOW BABY Sat 22 Dec, 2pm

For full listings pick up your Programme at Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport

Booking is easy at www.bridport-arts.com Box office 01308 424204

ilm F


WHAT'S ON South, West and East Street

____________________________

____________________________

Saturday 8th

Second Saturday of

Christmas Market

the month 9am–1pm

The Ollerod Hotel, Beaminster.

Celebrating Dorset’s finest artisans

Farmers’ Market Bridport Arts Centre

and craftspeople

____________________________

____________________________

Every Saturday, 9am–12pm

Saturday 15th 10am-2.30pm

Country Market

Bridport Vegan Market

WI Hall, North Street

Bridport Youth and Community Centre,

Every Sunday, 10am-5pm

____________________________

DT6 3RL. Free. Facebook: bridportvegan

____________________________ Local Produce Market Customs House, West Bay

____________________________

____________________________

Last Sunday of every

Saturday 8th 9am-3pm

To include your event in our FREE

month, 10am-4pm

Bridport Town Hall Craft Fair

listings please email details (whole

Bridport Vintage Market

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF.

listing in approx 20 words) by the

424901 bridportandwestbay.co.uk

gemma@homegrown-media.co.uk

St Michael’s Trading Estate, DT6 3RR

Free entry, variety of stalls. 01308

Christmas Party Tribute Nights COME AND JOIN US FOR A FANTASTIC NIGHT OUT

Dinner, Disco and Entertainment £45 per person Why not stay the night and enjoy our spa facilities? Room & breakfast £85 per room

FREDDIE MERCURY Friday 14th December

DAVID BOWIE Saturday 15th December

BLUES BROTHERS Friday 21st December

DIANA ROSS

1st of each preceding month to

An evening with

IAN BOTHAM & GEOFF MILLER Friday 18th January TICKETS FROM £50

1/2 price for under 16’s

MEET & GREET £75

Grab your chance to meet the legend. Photo, signature and meet opportunity VIP / Corporate tables available - ask for details Memorabilia Auction Evenings MC - Mr. Paul Booth Two course meal included in the ticket price followed by Ian & Geoff’s after dinner speech

Saturday 22nd December

TICKET BOX OFFICE

01935 483430

George Albert Hotel Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW Tel: 01935 483430 • www.gahotel.co.uk 10 | Bridport Times | December 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

bridporttimes.co.uk | 11


PREVIEW In association with

The Little Match Girl Sunday 16th December Dorchester Arts, The Corn Exchange, High East Street, Dorchester DT1 1HF. 1.30pm and 4.30pm. 01305 266926 dorchesterarts.org.uk

London. Christmas Eve. The snow is falling and a little girl struggles fiercely through the cold. Follow her throughout the day as she encounters the funny and zany characters of the vibrant city streets. In an attempt to stay warm she strikes a match. The flames blaze to life, illuminating her fantastic

Christmas visions. Enter the tumultuous world of her imagination, meeting talking turkeys, dancing rats and Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their chattering Christmas tree!

In this touching, madcap and heart-warming Christmas show written by T. A. Woodsmith,

winner of the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, The Last Baguette use visual story-telling, live music and puppetry to shine a light on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic winter tale. Suitable for ages 4+ evolver.org.uk

12 | Bridport Times | December 2018


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

Merry Christmas from 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 MONDSBURY E S TAT E

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


Community

BEAMINSTER

A DELICIOUS DESTINATION Nathalie Roberts

T

his year’s great reviews in national newspapers for some of Beaminster’s businesses, as well as a Dorset award, confirm what local folks already know: from fresh produce to restaurants, boutiques to salons, independent retailers to cafés, Beaminster is worth a special visit. Brassica beat stiff restaurant competition to win top marks for Dorset in the current Good Food Guide while Brassica Mercantile is 6th in the Telegraph’s Top 50 Best Independent Retailers. In its first year of running what used to be The Bridge House, the Ollerod Hotel made The Sunday Times 100 Great British Hotels list, while The Ollerod restaurant won Best Restaurant in the Dorset Food, Drink and Farming Award 2018. Talented chefs Chris at The Ollerod and Cass at Brassica attract food lovers from further afield. From Prix Fixe lunches and Small Plates menus to 3-course dinners or Á La Carte, there is something for all pockets in both restaurants. Back in town, chefs in restaurants and cafés as well as cooks at home find brilliant produce on their doorstep. Many bigger towns have sadly lost independent fresh food retailers. When a recipe calls for 300g of meat or vegetables, a standard amount in a plastic container is all that’s on offer for busy cooks who then struggle with recycling. Beaminster residents and visitors are lucky: the town has kept its butcher, greengrocer and bakery, all within steps of each other. Anthony runs Fruit ’n’ 2 Veg with warmth and knowledge, his produce always local and fresh; butcher Nick Tett (who also gets a weekly fish delivery) continues to compete with supermarkets on quality, price and choice, whilst avoiding excess packaging at the same time. As in all towns, Beaminster’s residents go to the pub for a bitter and a natter in winter, and good grub all year round. Unlike many smaller towns, Beaminster still has three pubs plus a steak house, cafés, a Chinese take-away, a cake shop like no other whose owner creates stunning sculptures, an Indian restaurant and a famously funny fish and chip shop owner with fish and batter as good as her banter.

14 | Bridport Times | December 2018

Beaminster’s heart beats thanks to its independent businesses, old and new. There’s a long-established vegetarian café that offers vegan food and Art Deco collectables; a café in a great gift shop that also sells a wide range of home wares and women’s clothes; superb take-away chef ’s meals in a stylish interiors shop and food merchant; and a health and beauty shop that offers organic ranges and treatments. The pharmacy and the post office continue to provide their invaluable services. A nursery for fresh herbs and plants, a flower shop for beautiful bouquets, baking lessons and cakes on order from talented professional bakers can all be found in town, or very close by; even pets have their own shop. Beaminster’s heart is rural; its businesses understand diversification to win the battle of success in moving times, like the local dairy farmer who created a unique vodka from otherwise wasted milk whey. Even cocktail time can be smoothly local in Beaminster. There are designers, makers and retailers to help plan, craft and decorate local homes, from stunning kitchens and eyecatching lighting to hand-made curtains, cushions and, as winter settles in, wool blankets. There’s a wide choice with different styles, inspiration and solutions. When men need a haircut they have two barbers to choose from; when women fancy a new hairstyle, three hair salons look after their ladies beautifully, as they have for years. This month a new travel lounge is opening its doors in Lynden Way, just off the Square, to put glamour back into travelling. In this age of busy, when we’re trying to rediscover the value of smelling and touching what we choose to put in our bodies, what we give our loved ones, Beaminster’s businesses are offering fresh answers within easy walking distance of each other. When we wonder what to cook tonight, what to give our dear friend as a present or how to keep our homes beautiful, independent and knowledgeable retailers provide choice. There are surprises in and around the town, along with continuity. As 2019 approaches, Beaminster continues to be a Dorset destination to discover.


bridporttimes.co.uk | 15


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Visit our Travel Lounge at 2, The Square, Lynden Way, Beaminster, DT8 3AX Phone: 01308 – 805030 | Email: hello@beyondcapricorn.com www.beyondcapricorn.com 16 | Bridport Times | December 2018


DISCOVER

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FOOD • GIFTS • HOME

Beaminster’s independent shops, restaurants, pubs and cafés offer a wide range of locally produced fresh food, award winning chefs and an original selection of British and international gifts. From organic beauty products to flowers, pets’ toys to heavenly hair, vegan cakes to steaks, soft furnishings to home designers, it’s all here.

Discover Beaminster’s independent retailers


Arts and Culture

BRIDPORT ARTS Suzy Rushbrook, Dorset Visual Arts

Ceramics by Ali Herbert. Image: Matt Austin

T

his festive season the arts centre hosts a fitting and timely exhibition from Dorset Visual Arts (DVA). The exhibition will run from 24th November to 22nd December. We caught up with Suzy Rushbrook and the team from DVA in anticipation of the show.

exhibition is an ideal way to support others, as well as obtaining something unique and hand-made from a local artist or maker. What kind of content will the exhibition include?

Dorset Visual Arts is a membership organisation for artists, designers and makers living and working within the county. We enable the public to engage with our members work and develop a better understanding and appreciation of it.

There will be a wide range of work on display. The exhibition will showcase an eclectic mix of paintings, prints, ceramics, photography, textiles, wood carving, sculpture and more. Our artists and makers work in a variety of media, often drawing on our beautiful county for ideas and inspiration, so there will be something for everyone in this one-off show.

What work do you do in the community?

What do you like about Bridport Arts Centre’s

We focus on professional development and host project groups for our members. This gives the members, often working in rural isolation, the chance to come together to discuss ideas and techniques, as well as critique their work among their contemporaries.

space, the Allsop?

Who are Dorset Visual Arts?

Can you tell us what to expect at the exhibition?

It is a fun, attractive exhibition for the festive period. The items displayed are perfect for Christmas gifts. A percentage of the label price of every item will go to our artists’ nominated charities. This is a practical way of benefiting those in need, as charities and donations are often in people’s minds at this time of year. The 18 | Bridport Times | December 2018

We’re looking forwarded to setting up this exhibition in the beautiful space that is the Allsop Gallery. This light and inviting space lends itself to our members’ work and we are lucky to have one of the few remaining great visual arts spaces within the county at this time of year. The Dorset Visual Arts exhibition will be open from 24th November to 22nd December, Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 4pm. It will be open for Bridport’s Christmas Cheer on 6th December from 10am to 8pm. bridport-arts.com


Beautiful Gifts, Decorations & Home Accessories Closed for Christmas Sunday 23rd December, 5pm JANUARY SALE: Thursday 27th - Sunday 30th The shop will close for refurbishment on 31st December and reopen Friday 1st February 2019!

Staddle Stones closes at 5pm on Sunday 23rd December We are open Thursday 27th - Sunday 30th December, 10am - 5pm Closed for New Year from Monday 31st December Open for 2019 on Friday 4th January, 10am - 5pm

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N O R T O B O O K : 0 1 3 0 8 8 6 8 3 6 2


Arts & Culture

ROBIN RAE Anna Powell, Director, Sladers Yard Gallery and Café

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o celebrate Robin Rae’s 90th birthday, Sladers Yard Gallery is showing a selection of paintings from his lifetime. The exhibition includes Wiltshire White Horse which Robin painted in 1947 when he was a 19-year-old student at Ealing School of Art, enjoying the attention and success that goes with being recognised as a rising star. Remarkably, he still remembers that the painting was bought by the Inspector of Art Schools, a Mr Quormby. In 2010, sixtythree years later, it was handed in anonymously to a charity shop in Clifton, Bristol, where staff contacted us at Sladers Yard, allowing us to reunite the painting with the artist before selling it in aid of Mind. 20 | Bridport Times | December 2018

By 19, Robin Rae had already exhibited in the Young Contemporaries show at the Royal Academy. He was following in the footsteps of his lifelong hero Paul Nash, who was an old boy at his primary school, Colet Court. Robin had gone on to Peter Symonds’ School in Winchester which also had a very strong art department. In 1949 and 50, when he was 21 and 22, Robin would have two sell-out solo shows at the Little Gallery, Piccadilly, and an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum. The few early paintings that survive from this time hold their eerie magic within complex intriguing compositions. In 1950, The Sunday Times critic, Eric Newton, described the ‘nerveless way’ Robin Rae applied paint, calling >


Eclipse 2000 76 x 61cm, inches oil on canvas bridporttimes.co.uk | 21


Solitary Bather 2005 50.5cm x 63.5cm, oil on canvas 22 | Bridport Times | December 2018


bridporttimes.co.uk | 23


Arts & Culture

Walking the Dog 2013 50.5 x 61cm, oil on canvas

Someone's Coming 2009 61 x 50.5cm, oil on canvas 24 | Bridport Times | December 2018


him ‘an artist with a vision… distinguished not by its newness but by its completeness and intensity.’ He put him ‘in the category of Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and the Pre-Raphaelites.’ Against much advice, Rae decided to go on to the Royal College of Art where distinguished visitors included John Nash, Edward Bawden, Francis Bacon and John Minton. Times were changing and Robin was ready to learn. He feels now that the innocence of his painting style was lost at the Royal College but he continued painting and showed with the London Group. He went on to travel, read Sartre, and do numerous jobs working in factories, painting the grim realities of working-class life. In a beautifully drawn selfportrait from 1955 an intense young man glares out of the canvas, his large hands holding onto his chair with almost tangible repressed energy. In 1958, he took a job as Head of the Etching Department at Edinburgh College of Art where he stayed for five years, exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy and with the ‘Young Scottish Painters’ at the French Institute. From there he moved to teach 3D design on the Foundation Course at Liverpool College of Art. For seven years, from 1963, Rae was at the self-proclaimed cultural nerve-centre of the world. Surrounded by the music of the Beatles, he consorted with the Liverpool Poets, exhibited regularly at the Liverpool Academy and made colourful threedimensional abstract painted constructions. He exhibited at Bluecoat Chambers with the pop art portrait artist Sam Walsh and the Walker Art Gallery purchased his major piece, Caradoc. By 1970 however, it had all become too much. His first marriage came to an end and he moved to Bridport where he made painted wooden sculpture. He met the clothes designer Kate Beaver to whom he has been married ever since. Together they ran a successful screen-printing dress design business for seventeen years and brought up their daughter Alice. In 1987 Robin began painting again as intensely as ever, celebrated by an exhibition at Dorset County Museum in 1993. He is included in several books and publications including Vivienne Light’s influential Re-inventing the Landscape and the Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945 by David Buckman, originally published in 1998 when Rae was described as, ‘painting more at present than at any other time but avoids the art world and glad to be quite out of touch.’ Robin sold his work for many years through

hanging it in the Riverside Restaurant in West Bay, also exhibiting in Dorchester periodically and at John Makepeace’s Parnham House. Ten years ago, Sladers Yard’s Retrospective at 80 was reviewed by Jane Rye in The Week (26th April 2008). ‘His early work… suggests a Paul Nash-like combination of the surreal and the romantic… Whatever the style, his works share an extraordinarily satisfying compositional stability. And his recent works, which combine a poetic lucidity and calm with moments of dreamlike strangeness, are mysterious and delightful.’ Now confined to a wheelchair, Robin Rae’s mind is as clear as ever. Calm and peaceful, he waits patiently while Kate and I scramble about collecting up paintings, making lists and brewing tea. At last we sit down in their sitting room surrounded by books and paintings and his face lights up as we start to remember novels he has lent me, who the writers were married to and who they had affairs with. He loves words and stories, eccentric characters and talented people, seeing the humour in everything from his carers to the blind little dog who sleeps peacefully now in her basket but who used to bark frantically every time anyone approached the front door. Robin’s more recent paintings refer enigmatically to novels by Edgar Allen Poe, to dreams and ideas that amuse him. Walking the Dog shows two feet and an open newspaper in the black shed on the pier at West Bay with the dog sitting outside alone on the beach. In Someone’s Coming a seated woman cranes forward anxiously towards a distant figure while her husband lies flat on his back among scattered blue plastic chairs. Has he fallen down or is he playing the fool? Some of the paintings are crisp and realistic, with finely painted architecture and planes of light and shadow. Others are more vague, almost abstract in parts, and suggestive rather than descriptive. Always they point towards something emotive and unsettling. Quoting a critic from 1948, Vivienne Light wrote that Robin’s paintings allow us ‘to experience that “awareness of the wonder and mystery of being” which Rae’s work has truly always had the power to evoke.’ After Eighties: paintings by Fred Cuming RA, Robin Rae RCA and Alfred Stockham RWA RCA with pottery by Richard Batterham is at Sladers Yard until 20th January. Please contact the gallery for more information. sladersyard.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 25


Arts & Culture

Image: Pete Millson

DAVID BROOKE Kit Glaisyer, Artist, with Writer, Lu Orza

This month I’ve invited Lu Orza to write about David Brooke, who is a popular Bridport artist with a wide following across the UK. Lu has written previously about artists in our 2010 book, Portrait of the Artist – 25 Bridport Painters and Sculptors, photography for which was done by George Wright. I have a David Brooke painting in my living room. I bought it at a retrospective David held at the St 26 | Bridport Times | December 2018

Michael’s Studios gallery he used to share with his partner, Caroline Ireland, before the studio – and much of their work – was destroyed in the fire earlier this summer. The painting is quite an early work, from around 1994 I think. It’s a Green Man although, unlike most other green man imagery, the central figure has antlers coming out of his head rather than foliage. He also has a bit of a paunch, large feet, and an angry


Watching the Waves

looking snake in his hand. A satisfied-looking pig walks beside him and an aged owl regards them somewhat unsympathetically as they pass under the branch on which it is perched. Pigs show up a lot in my writing; maybe that’s what drew me to the painting. I love it. David Brooke’s paintings take you on a journey but they don’t tell you where you are going. Standing in front of one of his paintings you would be forgiven for thinking, ‘Oh yes, I know this story, it’s…’ but then you find that it isn’t quite… Nor is it… Or maybe it is… but do you really know that story anyway? Or just one version of it? Most of David’s images include distinctive, highly

stylised figures in action. Large hands and feet draw attention to whatever it is they’re doing and what they’re connecting to beyond themselves. This movement is motivated by a purposeful energy. They are going somewhere, to do something, but the where and what are rarely explained. Like my Green Man, many of David’s paintings seem to allude to British and Northern European mythology, fairy-tale and legend, with which we are all to some extent familiar although often less familiar than we think. In the background are enchanted waters, forests and skies – the elements of adventure and discovery. In his later work, in which these elements have become more intricately > bridporttimes.co.uk | 27


Arts & Culture

Man Moving House during Time of Flood

decorated, these seem to promise untold riches, pleasures and assistance whenever it should be called upon. In my painting, the background woods are still and shadowy, the deep of the forest a dark suggestion. ‘They’re narratives of a sort,’ says David. ‘I felt that my earlier, more direct interpretations of mythological storylines were losing something because people were looking at them and thinking, “Oh yes that’s suchand-such a story” and they didn’t need to think about it anymore. Eventually I got to a stage where I got rid of the idea of there being any specific story at all.’ What David is aiming for first and foremost is an emotional response from his audience. The story elements are a 28 | Bridport Times | December 2018

device to draw people into the work, because it seems familiar, and then keep them there, because it doesn’t, all the while eliciting their own stories, their own responses and their own sense of mystery and adventure. ‘You want something that’s going to make a connection.’ These are symbols, metaphors, promises – often of positive concepts such as rebirth, new life, resurrection. ‘I want my pictures to be very positive; the idea is that they should be very uplifting and inspiring.’ However, they need to retain an element of the unknown, which can include the darker side of spaces and states. ‘I don’t mind it being a little bit disturbing – they need to be mysterious.’ To paraphrase Jung from his


Three Branches

work on Man and his Symbols, ‘a symbol must always be mysterious; if it becomes too much an illustration of what it is, it ceases to be a symbol.’ Many folk tales, fairy tales and adventures involve transition from one place or state (usually, in some form or other, the civilised world) to another. ‘In a lot of the European ones you would go into the forest; with island civilisations you would go across the sea because that represented the end of what was safe and became what was then the unknown.’ The sea holds other attractions for David as well. ‘I like the idea of fluidity, of things in movement.’ But its alien-ness is also important. ‘What’s below the surface is a very mysterious, very different

world from the one we inhabit so there is this idea of something that is Other.’ His paintings may have a strong narrative texture but, says David, ‘they are not necessarily fixed narratives.’ Or perhaps it’s equally accurate to say, they are necessarily not fixed narratives. That would leave the viewer no gaps of her own to fill in. Contact Lu Orza at luisa.orza@gmail.com to commission your own Artist Narrative. Facebook/david.brooke.artist Kitglaisyer.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 29


Arts & Culture

BRIDPORT TO BRAZIL Alice Blogg

“More than one‑third of youth in the emerging and developing world live in extreme or moderate poverty despite having a job, underscoring the high incidence of poor-quality jobs among young employed people … Unless immediate and vigorous action is taken, the global community confronts the grim legacy of a lost generation.” – ILO, World Employment Social Outlook – Trends for Youth (2016)

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am sitting in hazy Sao Paulo, safe in a flat tapping away at my laptop. It is a city with a population of over 22 million. When flying over the top the vastness of its tower blocks and favelas astounds me. There is nothing you can read or see that prepares you for this, a place where traffic jams are frequent and fresh air is not evident. Spending time here with locals is helping me to understand the Brazilian view on the recent political change, the fear of what is to come. It shocks me to see the evidence of disparity between the rich and the poor living right next to each other. This visit is part of a bigger picture. Tim Crabtree, an economist, part-time teacher at Schumacher college, PHD 30 | Bridport Times | December 2018

researcher (titled ‘Social innovation in affordable housing‘) and part-time director of Wessex Community Assets, invited me to join him on his journey. He was fortunate to be awarded a British Council Scoping Grant. The Scoping Grant was awarded as part of the British Council’s DICE Fund, providing grants to intermediary organisations which support the development of creative and social enterprises. The fund focuses on supporting enterprises to empower women and girls, foster youth employment, and promote disabled people’s and other marginalised groups’ inclusion and economic empowerment. When landing in Sao Paulo we took a 2-hour flight straight to Bello Horizonte, 600km north, a city of 3 million known as the green city. Yes it has a lot of trees, but not exactly the green as we know in Bridport! We met up with an incredible group of young women running an NGO called Architecture on the Periphery, empowering women, including single mothers, to create their own homes within favela (“irregular” settlements on occupied land). Drawing up the plans for their houses, learning the skills to build brick by brick,


teaching women to make in workshops from masters in the trade. They are educating women to understand the design and architectural process, to calculate the materials required to build their own home and, most importantly, to be proud of the place they live in and have created. To continue our work in Brazil we are applying for a collaboration grant to initiate a maker’s space and empower woman over here to create for their own homes, leading to creative and social enterprises through learning techniques and having access to a maker’s space. We have been with the British Council for the last few days, talking through our proposed project of working alongside IBEAC (a Brazil organisation working with the community in a deprived neighbourhood in the south of Sao Paulo, Parelheiros). IBEAC have experience and success in empowering women and young people, helping them to start creative and social enterprises in this area. This includes a woman’s catering enterprise, cooking with local ingredients for the local community, and a library and learning space with books available to locals. The imminent approach of Christmas and the consumerism surrounding it will seem so far detached from the world I found myself in during my time in Brazil. To be able to spend time with my family with

food on the table and to be supported through thick and thin means the world to me. Not everyone has this. We can help by building networks, helping youth and women in communities to create social enterprises that support economic development. I know this Christmas I will be reflecting on my trip to Brazil and thinking about how we can help others, by working together, empowering women and our precious next generation. I write this from Brazil in the middle of our journey. We have many more experiences to follow and ‘Bringing creativity home.’ I am especially excited to be running a workshop this coming week with the women in Parelheiros, many of them single mums, enabling them to make and create with their own hands to craft furniture for their homes. “It is hardly surprising that rising inequalities have translated into growing political disaffection, anti-market sentiment and disenchantment with globalisation … If we want to save openness and interconnectedness of people and places, we need to re-write the rules of the economic system to make them work for everyone. We also need to bring back fairness.” – OECD, Time to Act: Making Inclusive Growth Happen (2017) aliceblogg.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 31


History

John Hutchins’ c.1774. Map of Bridport showing the shape of the town and the burgage plots

BRIDPORT A ‘NATIONAL ULCER’ Graham Avis, Research Volunteer, Bridport Museum

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he layout of Bridport’s wide main streets has been the same for hundreds of years and it’s easy to imagine that the town was always a good place to live. However, 160 years ago, for many people Bridport was very different. In 1854, in a lecture to the Bridport Young Men’s Institute, Joseph Maskell said, ‘Bridport lies high and is fanned by breezes both from the sea and the neighbouring hills. It has every advantage from a sanitary point of view for carrying off the surplus drainage and securing a healthy and cleanly town.’ Yet, in an appendix to the publication of the lecture, Bridport is called, ‘The Grave of Infancy.’ Maskell was not the only one drawing attention to Bridport’s problems. 32 | Bridport Times | December 2018

Between 1849 and 1870 there were lectures, a petition to the Town Council, and an article in the national press calling Bridport a ‘National Ulcer’. The Privy Council would intervene on three occasions because of claims that the death rate of the town’s inhabitants was higher than it should be. Following the last of these, in 1870, the Town Council finally addressed the provision of a clean water supply and effective sanitation. It’s hard to find descriptions of the poorer areas in those times; surviving records tend to be those of the richer merchants and landowners. Back copies of the Bridport News help to fill the gap, with editorials and correspondence describing conditions in the town. Traditionally it is thought that Bridport’s problems were


due to poor water and sanitation (in 1869 there were 289 wells in Bridport, 82 of which were listed as ‘not pure’) however the Bridport News painted a rather more complex story. An editorial in March 1859 stated, ‘Strangers passing through Bridport for the first time are struck with the width and airiness of the principal streets, […] but they are, at the same time, almost invariably surprised to hear that we have a population of seven or eight thousand. The truth is – one does not see half the town in simply walking through the five or six principal streets. A very large proportion of the inhabitants live behind - in lanes, courts, and gradually alleys. The stranger passes what he takes to be someone’s front door, little thinking it is the only means of access to six, eight, or a dozen tenements, containing thirty, forty or fifty people’. The courts referred to are, of course, the rope-walks that were based behind the main streets. Each ropewalk was housed within what had been the traditional mediaeval ‘Burgage Plot’, the basic allocation of land for a house or business. The evolution of plots into rope-walks is perhaps why Bridport’s layout remained unchanged for centuries. Each ropewalk provided not just the space to make ropes but also, in buildings squeezed along one edge of the ropewalk, accommodation for some of those working in what was at this time still largely an outwork enterprise. In March 1859 the Curate of Bridport wrote to the Bridport News on the same topic, clearly disturbed by the living conditions of many in the town. ‘… First as to drainage: During the summer season, the visitor to courts and yards inhabited by the poor continually meets with noisome smells of the most pestiferous character. He is led to wonder how people can possibly live under such circumstances… … In another house three children died of fever within a short period, and other members of the family suffered very severely from the same disease. Here was a terribly pestilential smell arising close beside a window of the house. The Inspector of Nuisances was appealed to, and he repeatedly applied to the owner of the property, who always promised to attend to the nuisance immediately, (thus deterring the Inspector from acting by himself ), but has constantly neglected to do so… … It remains to speak, secondly, of houses. A large number of dwellings of the poor are little better than wretched hovels. To make room for spinning-walks they are crowded upon the least possible space, in the narrowest of courts, and the closest of corners. They are frequently old, dilapidated, small, very low ceiled, and ill accommodated.

"During the summer season, the visitor to courts and yards inhabited by the poor continually meets with noisome smells of the most pestiferous character. " Bedrooms are so few, besides being excessively low, that many members of a family are frequently compelled to sleep together in one low crowded room, of which the atmosphere must presently become foul beyond description… … The parts of the town alluded to seem to have been built purposely to defy ventilation and free currents of air. Drainage, it is true, will not remedy this evil, but still may do much. A comprehensive system of drainage is urgently needed. This, doubtless, will be expensive, but not so costly to the community as the present disproportionate amount of sickness and mortality.” The poorer housing was eventually replaced and, thanks to the introduction of building regulations, to a far better standard. The introduction of a water supply, however, was not so easy and led to quite a few heated public and Town Council meetings! 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 | 33


Wild Dorset

FASCINATING FUNGI Susannah Lynn, Volunteer, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Image: Nick Tomlinson

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ungi don’t fit into the plant or animal kingdoms but are in a category of their own. The fungi kingdom is a large group of organisms that includes yeasts, moulds and, of course, mushrooms. Found everywhere - in the soil, in water, on and within plants, and even in the human body - fungi are essential to life on earth and they have a fascinating biology. Fungi play an important role within our ecosystems, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter and releasing carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus into the soil and the atmosphere. Without fungi, these recycling activities would be seriously reduced and we would have a lot more decaying material around our feet. They are important directly as food for us, with many edible mushroom species grown and harvested for sale and some mushrooms and truffles considered as delicacies. While mushrooms aren’t a large proportion of what we eat day to day, fungi are also widely used in the production of many other foods and drinks such as cheese, beer, wine and bread. Fungi are also vitally important for the good growth of most plants and crops. In 1885, German biologist Albert Bernard Frank coined the word ‘mycorrhiza’ to describe this symbiotic relationship in which fungus grows around plant roots. This gives the plants greater access to water and minerals such as phosphorus and nitrogen and even increases their immunity. In 34 | Bridport Times | December 2018

exchange, the plant provides carbohydrates and other nutrients to the fungi. Dorset Wildlife Trust manages many nature reserves to support and benefit all kinds of wildlife, including fungi. In West Dorset, Kingcombe Meadows and Powerstock are some of the best places in England to find fungi species, many of them rare and all of them beautiful. The huge variation in geology and plant life at Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve ensures a variety of habitats which allows for a larger variety of fungus species than one would expect in a few hundred acres. The Kingcombe Centre’s 2019 programme of events is now live; it includes courses on fungi so you can learn more about this fascinating subject. Visit their website for more information and to book.

FUNGI FACT • Pilobolus crystallinus (also known as hat-thrower or dung canon fungus) is the fastest accelerating organism in the world. Its spores accelerate from 0-20mph in 2 millionths of a second, pulling up to an astonishing 20,000G. That’s over 6,000 times stronger than the g-force astronauts endure during take-off!

kingcombe.org.uk dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk


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Wild Dorset

A STAKE IN THE FUTURE Ellen Simon, Tamarisk Farm

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very year we renovate and mend fences and, from time to time, we need new ones. December can be a good time for doing this as we are no longer busy with other things. The cattle and sheep are fairly stable: in most years the cows 36 | Bridport Times | December 2018

are still outdoors, feeding their calves and pregnant again, and the ewes are happily weaned of their lambs and enjoying the attentions of the rams, about two thirds of them pregnant by the start of the month. The wheat and rye is well-established in the arable fields.


The winter vegetables have started cropping and the overwintering ones are established, ready to stand the winter. All is well, and we have time to think about the maintenance of the farm before we bring the stock indoors and find ourselves into proper winter routine. This year we have quite a bit of fence-mending to do, and the new fruit trees we are hoping to plant will also need fences as protection from grazing animals. We fear the main difficulty this year will be the continuing dry weather - the first forays into fencing have met a very hard dry layer only about a foot down. We hope for rain so this layer will disappear, allowing us to work easily and well. While farming we see many magical transformations. Most of them are in the world of living things: heavily pregnant ewes yield dancing lambs; the tired summer hedges come alive in autumn with fruit and late-season leaf colours and are full of feeding birds. Another transformation I love is that of shorn fleece to knitting wool then, by knitting or crochet, from yarn to garment. At each stage we plan, we use tools, we use skills. Similarly, putting up a fence creates a new entity from disparate materials. A heap of stakes and straining posts, a couple of rolls of wire, a big handful of staples and a small handful of nails are transformed into a fence, handsomely striding out across the land. Even better than simply a new fence, sometimes we have created a new field, with all the possibilities of new and better management. Often a fence is expressly to safeguard a new hedge, bringing shelter for stock, home for birds and small mammals, microclimates for invertebrates and growing vegetables, and leaf litter for soil fertility. Previously we used tanalised softwood for our fences but now we use only chestnut. When we began replacing old fences, many of which were put in by my parents in the 1960s, the split oak stakes and strainers they had used were, despite some attrition, still strong and sound at the core. We were able to rescue many of them for future use and the rest made excellent firewood. By contrast, the left-over tanalised wood from more recent fences was not useable, firstly because it was no longer solid and secondly because it was still poisonous and we could not even safely burn it. Sadly, it had to go to landfill. So we compromised, using chestnut for the stakes and softwood for the straining posts. Then, twelve years ago, the arsenic was removed from the formulation and the tanalised wood was not poisonous enough to keep at bay the micro-organisms,

resulting in many fences in which the strainers rotted at ground level within a few years and snapped. We now use round and riven sweet chestnut throughout and we would use oak if we could. Both are hardwoods, with heart-wood which is naturally resistant to rotting and will last a good quarter-century. The stakes are skilfully produced in traditionally managed coppiced woods which provide employment in the countryside and support a varied flora and fauna. The ones we have at present were grown in Hampshire and supplied to us by the man who cut them. Sadly, these were his last crop: as he explained, ‘...well I’m 70 now and the man who works wi’ me is goin’ on 85 and, well we’re gettin’ tired.’ At that time he hadn’t found anyone to take it on, although the good news is that there now are young people who do want the lifestyle, making a living in a woodland by managing it in the traditional way, producing charcoal, firewood and fencing stakes, and reviving crafts such as green woodworking and chair-making, with all the hard work and pleasures involved. We would love to grow our own wood but, even in the best conditions, it takes many years to establish and start cropping a chestnut or oak coppice and sadly our coastal environment, so good in other ways, does not lend itself to this particular product! The sweet chestnut trees my father, Arthur, planted around 1970 have lived but not thrived. I find it hard to be limited by the past, so, ever hopeful, I put in some more two years ago. They settled well for the first year but the hot, dry summer this year has knocked them back and several died. I do not envisage having any stakes from them for a long while if ever, but we can hope for lighter staves which could be used for Sussex-style hurdles which my brother Chris learned to make last winter. We have triumphed, though, with growing hazel. We were assured that hazel could not manage the salt winds but we already had a few long-established hazels growing in sheltered gullies. Knowing this, some years ago we dared to plant a length of hazel hedge and we have been cropping pea sticks and bean poles for the market garden from it. Seeing this success, we have planted three more hedges which are primarily hazel and oak with a mix of other shrubs and begun to coppice a small patch of old hazel. Maybe, sometime, we will need someone to learn another new skill so that we will have a hazel hurdle-maker on the farm. tamariskfarm.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 37


Wild Dorset

EAST MEETS WEST

Neville Copperthwaite, Marine Consultant and Project Co-ordinator

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or as long as most can remember, the fishermen of West Bay have been meeting on the last Wednesday of each month in the Quarterdeck bar. Once dominated by angling boat skippers, the decline in this trade gave way to more commercial fishermen coming to the meetings, hence the rather convoluted name of The Bridport Commercial Boat Owner’s and Fishermen’s Association. Currently the association boasts 19 members, headed by Dave Sales who is the Chairman and Aubrey Banfield who is the Secretary. The meetings are a useful forum for discussing and sharing serious fisheries-related topics and also for enjoying the camaraderie and social interaction that is often lacking in a lone fisherman’s day at sea, particularly 38 | Bridport Times | December 2018

in dark December. If you were a fly on the wall you might hear the reflection that December brings. Why were crab landings so poor this year and lobster so good? Will the plaice, sole, cod and skate be as plentiful this month as they were last December and, even if they are, will the weather allow us to get out and catch ‘em? It’s not all roses being a fisherman you know! As part of the ground floor of the Durbeyfield Guest House, the Quarterdeck is not the most prominent bar in West Bay and is easily overlooked by the uninitiated. You are more likely to see the Durbeyfield sign high up on the building but below is the traditional bar and restaurant. It is thought that the guest house was named after Thomas Hardy’s fictional character John Durbeyfield, Tess of the


Image: Pete Millson

D’Urbervilles’ father, and it was this that first attracted new owners Simon and his partner. Simon was born in Brighton and he still has his own company designing and supplying commercial kitchens for all types of venues including pubs. I asked him why he chose West Bay and he said that, like many people, he and his partner dreamt of having a B&B or cosy pub by the coast and purchasing the Durbeyfield meant they could have both. Simon has exciting plans for the future. The aim is to make the guest house and Quarterdeck bar a homely and welcoming venue and, as there are so many talented artists close at hand, he also plans to establish an art studio in the conservatory for art

classes and projects. The studio will be available to artists of all levels, particularly to support beginners. Another innovative idea has been to enter into collaboration with street-food vendor Klin Klan’s. Klin Klan’s cook and serve traditional Thai food from a converted vintage horse-box in the courtyard of the Durbeyfield; this can either be eaten-in at the bar or restaurant, or taken away. Incidentally, the make of the vintage horse-box is called Rice. Quite fitting in the circumstances I thought! And talking of rice, the horsebox has been fitted-out as a Thai kitchen, complete with an enormous rice cooker specially flown in from Bangkok! Kanjana Klin Klan is the chef and she has worked hard to develop a fusion of authentic Thai street food which can be tailored to satisfy European tastes. Truly a meeting of East and West! As a child Kanjana helped in her mother’s street-food noodle bar in downtown Bangkok before moving to the UK and settling locally to be trained as a chef at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage. She went on to work for celebrated chef Mark Hix MBE and also the prestigious hotel chain Red Carnation. Having gained her credentials and learnt her trade, Kanjana realised that Thai street food could be improved through technique and refinement. She took the plunge and, with the help of her partner, set up her own business, the aim being to provide restaurant-quality Thai cuisine in a street-food setting. Seafood features heavily in Thai food and Kanjana has been quick to capitalise on the abundance of quality fish that is landed in Lyme Bay. All her fish is sourced locally either from merchants or direct from fishermen and seasonality is the order of the day. A touch of Thai magic is added to transform the fish into exotic dishes such as yellow fish curry or Thai chowder and she has plans to develop a dish using locally smoked mackerel. The principle of using locally sourced ingredients such as fish from the bay, fused with authentic Thai herbs is what makes this food so special. Klin Klan’s is the first and only Thai food outlet in West Bay and the business complements the steady economic and physical uplift of the area. And what a coup for West Bay, indeed for Bridport! In these days of rising nationalism, of talk of building walls, of isolation, right here on our doorstep we have the collaboration of an English business and a Thai business working hand-in-hand to provide us with delicious food. What a multicultural treat! n.copperthwaite@gmail.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 39


Outdoors

HEDGEROW DECORATIONS Fraser Christian, Coastal Survival School

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s we approach the festive season and our minds turn towards ‘decking the halls’ and Christmas decorations, we can keep aligned to a zero waste and plasticfree option! While Christmas is a time of over-indulgence and celebration, undoubtedly it is also a time of waste, with masses of black bags and recycling bins brimming with packaging and wrappings. Getting outdoors for a walk along the local footpaths, of which there are many, will present you with a wealth of wild, unwrapped, plastic-free and 100% biodegradable decorations, unique in design. Each wild decoration you make or use offers a real sense of wild style and ‘organic class’ and the best thing is that, after Christmas, you can simply throw it on your compost bin at home or place it back in the hedge from where it came. Evergreens have traditionally been used for generations and a few sprigs of pine or rosemary add a delicate, distinctive and reminiscent aroma. From simply hanging the odd branch or twirling a run of ivy around a picture frame, it really is easy. For the slightly more adventurous and ‘craft-minded’, making a hedgerow wreath using whatever you can find is a fairly simple task. Here is an easy way to make your own wreath using nothing but what you find in the hedge; no wire, string or nails are required as nature can provide all that is needed. To start, take a few willow, alder or young hazel whips - a pair of sharp secateurs is recommended as snapping causes too much damage to the tree. A sharp pruning knife or similar will be fine as the rods, or whips, don’t need to be any thicker than your little finger. You will most likely need three rods to start to make a hoop. Bend the first rod, now with side branches removed, into a hoop and wrap the ends around and back on themselves. Hold the thick end and weave the thin end as you go, adding more rods. Start with the ends equally spaced to give an even structure and strength. If your whips or rods are thin and bendy, add more as needed to make a sturdy circle. Then it’s simply a case of taking the other foliage collected and weaving it in accordingly, usually starting with the broader leaved stems as a backing and working through to the smaller leaves and stems with berries, holly being a firm traditional favourite (watch the prickles). Just find a little gap in your hoop, tuck in the thick ends of your weaving foliage, and off you go! I started with trailing ivy, until the hoop was sufficiently covered, then a mix of ferns, with a final sprig or three of holly, and a few berries the birds kindly left me (in return I topped up the bird feeder with nuts). I hope you all have a chance to get out, take in and take home a bit of the great outdoors to help make your Christmas a little wild! coastalsurvival.com

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Outdoors

THE SNOWY OWL Martin Ballam, Xtreme Falconry

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ome people pray for a white Christmas whilst others certainly do not. Will we get a white Christmas here in Dorset? Somehow I doubt it, although my children most definitely hope so. The bird that immediately springs to mind over the festive period, while people are ever-hopeful of the infamous white stuff, is, of course, Mr Robin ‘Red Breast’. However, the robin is not quite a bird full of ‘festive spirit’. It’s a very tough little character whose life is full of theft, adultery and fighting, sometimes to the death - and everyone thinks it is such a sweet little bird! 42 | Bridport Times | December 2018

So, let’s talk about another bird of the winter, the mighty snowy owl. You may wonder why I have chosen the snowy owl for an article as it is clearly not a bird to be seen in Dorset or have we just not spotted one yet? Why would a snowy owl frequent our wonderful county and is the reality of seeing one here beyond the realms of possibility? I believe quite strongly that they have frequented our local area in some winters and I am sure an official sighting is on the cards at some stage. Here’s why. The snowy owl is a bird of the far northern tundra.


From Russia through to Canada, Alaska, Greenland and northern Scandinavia, it thrives in the barren, cold, treeless environment for which it is perfectly adapted. Temperatures of -30C are no problem for an owl with the thickest of downy layers of feather covering its whole body, excluding talons, beak and eyes. I have been fortunate enough to look at a live snowy owl through a thermal imaging camera and nothing showed at all! Natural insulation at its finest. As many of you know, we attend numerous shows throughout the summer months and always take the wonderful barn owl, a small bird that is white on the chest. If I had one pound for each person who has looked at the barn owl and said ‘snowy owl’ I wouldn’t need to try my luck each week on the lottery! The snowy owl is a big bird, easily in the group of the larger owls. The wingspan of a female snowy is approaching 1.8 metres. Weighing in at 2-3 kilograms it dwarfs the barn owl at just 1/3 of a kilo. Also, the plumage is different. A female snowy is white with very dark bars throughout each feather and the male, while slightly smaller than the female, turns pure white after 2-3 years - and I mean pure white. With large piercing yellow eyes, it is simply unmistakable. Young snowy owls once fledged have the same plumage as the adult female. This is an effective form of camouflage. When snowy owls breed in the tundra there is very little snow. As a ground-nesting bird (no trees), camouflage is an important defence from predators. The chicks in their first few weeks are not very pretty. A charcoal, dirty-looking, downy plumage resembling boulders is perfect for hiding from predators. Underneath, however, are huge claws which are pure white in feathering. The biggest risk are Arctic foxes and wolves but the parent owls are tough, one of the toughest owls in the world in defence of the nest. The abundance of food will determine the clutch sizes in snowy owls. Throughout the breeding season the dominant food source is lemmings. In years of high lemming numbers clutch sizes can go up to 12 eggs, although a normal clutch size is 3-5 eggs. With a 35-day incubation period, the eggs don’t all hatch at once. The first egg is incubated on laying, so the size difference from egg 1 to egg 5 is ten days’ growth. If food availability drops, the youngest do not survive. The parents, however, are some of the best in the world and defence is their ultimate weapon. Nesting on the ground is dangerous but they have no choice. If a fox or wolf enters the territory the male will call loudly around 100 metres from the nest. A deep hoot with a sore throat

is the best description and, with its glowing white plumage, the male draws the predator’s attention away from the chicks. If this fails, the female will feign injury away from the nest and the male will attack. The speed and agility of a snowy owl is seriously underestimated. I have seen them attack an intruder (a wolf !) and continually strike for a period of up to 20 minutes. The feathers of a snowy are not silent. They are designed for speed and the ability to withstand the harsh arctic winds and temperature. Is the snowy British? This is a tough one to answer. Snowy owls bred on the island of Fetlar, in the Shetland Islands, between 1967 and 1975 and 21 young were reared over this period but sadly the male disappeared after this and only females returned. They have not bred in Britain since and are no longer recognised as a British owl. However, they do regularly come to Britain, even southern England, in the winter. Snowies are highly migratory in the winter. Satellite tracking of tagged owls has given incredible information and distances of 2500km in one winter migration, with birds travelling over vast open water (resting on ships, oil platforms and usually ice flows) as well as city areas. One bird even spent three days on a skyscraper in Manhattan! So, what do they feed on? There are no wild lemmings in big numbers in New York I’m sure. Winter food seems to be waterfowl. Estuaries, water inlets, breaks in ice packs all attract waterfowl. I believe this is why some of our rare winter visiting snowy owls turn up in the strangest of areas. The ’Beast from The East’ earlier this year brought the arrival of a snowy owl to Norfolk. I personally saw a snowy owl about 7 miles north of Aviemore in Scotland in the winter of 2010, on a set of hills the locals described as ‘wee’ but which to me looked like Everest! Cornwall 2017 saw sightings on the northern coast of the western peninsula. I did not see the bird in the ‘feather’ as such, but I have seen photographic evidence of what I believe to be a male and a female. Don’t get excited though, they will never pair up in the south of Europe; they are just visiting! So, could we ever see a snowy owl in Dorset? Who knows? They have been verified on the Isles of Scilly, Jersey and Guernsey. Their winter visiting activity seems to favour the coast and winter is here, the snow may be coming. Keep your eyes peeled. Dorset may have an official snowy owl at least for a day or two! xtremefalconry.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 43


Outdoors

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On Foot

LITTLEBREDY, LONG BREDY AND POOR LOT BARROW CEMETERY Emma Tabor and Paul Newman

Distance: 4½ miles (plus extra mile for detours) Time: Approx. 2½ hours Park: By the village green in Littlebredy Walk Features: A circuit which takes in the head of the Bride valley with a bracing return along the ridge overlooking Black Down, plus detours to view Martin’s Down Bank Barrow and Poor Lot Barrow Cemetery. There is one moderate climb from Long Bredy up Long Barrow Hill. The walk is boggy in a couple of places but otherwise straightforward. Refreshments: The White Horse, Litton Cheney >

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Outdoors

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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 December, we discover the head of the Bride Valley, with the distinct church towers of St Michael and All Angels in Littlebredy and St Peter’s in Long Bredy, nestling beneath Black Down. There are fine views south towards the coast and across the surrounding downland, marked by strip lynchets, as well as many signs of prehistoric activity including bank barrows, long barrows and cross dykes. The return route provides the opportunity to walk up to Martin’s Down Bank Barrow and also detour to Poor Lot Barrow Cemetery 46 | Bridport Times | December 2018

which has all four types of round barrows and rarer pond and disc barrows. Directions

Start: SY 587 891 There is plenty of space to park along the road running by the village green, just after the bus shelter. 1 Before setting out, take time to admire some of the fine buildings in Littlebredy with a mix of architectural styles including Jacobean and Gothic. 2 Turn down a marked footpath by the bus shelter. After 75 yards, turn right across a small section of grassy common to a stile. Climb this then head diagonally across the centre of a field, slightly uphill, towards a wooden stile on the right. Head over the stile and straight across the next field, following the


contours around a large oak tree in a marshy area, towards another wooden stile set in the next fence. Cross this, into a marshy field and reed bed, which is very boggy in places. The footpath soon meets a short wooden walkway; cross another stile into a not-so-marshy field! Go straight ahead and uphill towards a group of beech trees where a hedge on your right reaches the trees. Turn right in front of the beeches; there is a stile on the right which you go over to then meet the road. 3 Turn left onto the road and walk for just over 1/3 mile. Where the road is crossed by the Macmillan Way, it then turns sharply left. On this bend, at the entrance to Belmont House and Farm, go slight right off the road, through the gate that faces you as you leave the road. There is no visible footpath sign but go through the gate (with a golden duck on it) into the field ahead. Do not go up the drive to Belmont House. Head uphill towards a small metal gate in the hedge - ignore the stile towards the left. Go through the gate, up the field and keep the fence and trees on your right. You soon come to a seven-bar metal gate on your right. Go through this and follow the footpath to emerge into a triangular corner of a field. Head uphill and then round to your left, following the contour of the hill. The village of Long Bredy is now visible down to your left hugging the base of the hill, with the coast beyond. As you walk round the hill, the view opens up to reveal bare-shouldered hills, lined with sheep tracks, with the square-turreted church of St Peter’s nestling in the fold of the combe. Look out for buzzards, ravens and green woodpeckers along here as well as flocks of finches. You soon meet a fence with a small wooden gate - pass through this into a small paddock, turn slight left and walk down towards a small metal gate taking you out of the paddock and then into a drive between buildings. Emerge onto a road at a junction and then bear round to the right following the sign for the church. 4 Just before the church, turn right through a large gate, heading uphill along a sunken field track, between grassy banks. Go through another gate and keep heading uphill, with a lovely view over the church and school houses. After a few more yards, you reach the top of the hill and three gates. You can detour here and go left for ⅓ mile and climb Martin’s Down to take a closer look at the Bank Barrow and Long Barrow. Otherwise, go through

the small metal gate on the right and turn right. 5 Walk along this track for a short while; where the track then turns left, keep going straight on through a seven-bar metal gate. At the top, go through a five-bar metal gate keeping the wire fence on your right. There are some good views all around from here. You then come to a seven-bar metal gate with a bridleway sign. Go through this, keeping straight on; on your right is a lovely, old, crumbling flint wall studded with windblown hawthorns. You will start to see more barrows along the ridge. A view then opens up across Poor Lot Barrow Cemetery which has over 40 barrows of differing types, size and construction. If you are carrying an OS Explorer map, you will see cross dykes marked along the path here as well. 6 You will soon meet another five-bar metal gate. Go through this and then cross the middle of a large field - look out for the large barrow on your left which the field boundary bisects. Once you reach the hedge, go through the gate then turn immediately left. Keep the hedge on your left, heading downhill until you meet another track. You can take the second detour of the walk here and turn left to investigate Poor Lot Cemetery further. Otherwise, turn right onto the track, which is the route of the Jubilee Trail. The track heads slightly downhill and then uphill, around the edge of a wood on your left and soon passing farm buildings on your right. After a short while, you will meet a road junction. 7 Turn right here onto the road and follow the sign for ‘Littlebredy ½ mile’ downhill until you reach the village and back to where you have parked. The light was fading as we completed the walk. Descending the road into Littlebredy, we watched the leaves falling from the trees which formed a sheltered boundary along the road. The failing light through the trees was sublime, bouncing off the sea and revealing the outline of nearby Crow Hill and Tenant Hill. As with many of the walks, we wanted to linger. It was a moment of crepuscular wonder and, in the confusion of twilight and hibernal gloom, we realised that among the falling leaves a bat was patrolling the canopy. As the year closes, we’d like to say thank you to readers who have enjoyed the walks, even if just through reading them! We hope that we’ve been able to convey some of the wonder and interest of what we’ve seen. We’ve tried to give a sense of the variety of things to see at different points throughout the year and look forward to sharing some new walks in 2019. bridporttimes.co.uk | 47


Archaeology

A DESIRABLE PROPERTY

THE ROMAN-BRITISH TOWN HOUSE OF DORCHESTER Chris Tripp BA(Hons) MA, Field and Community Archaeologist

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t about the same time as the Roman Empire was becoming officially Christian in the early 4th century AD, a Romano-British family was developing the site of an old chalk quarry and lime kiln in the north-west corner of a civitas called Durnovaria. This is where they built their domus. The town had prospered in the preceding centuries after being founded around 70AD, with wide bank-and-ditch defences being dug and a substantial communal bath house constructed. The house went through various changes over time but essentially it was made up of two ranges connected by a loggia, a roof supported by eight short columns which created an open corridor. Portland stone was brought to the site for the building then rendered with plaster and painted in ‘Pompeian’ red. All was protected by Purbeck limestone and red clay tiles were used for the roof. Floors were laid with mosaics and beneath two rooms channels were constructed using stone columns (not tile columns as was usual), to make a hypocaust for under-floor heating, with clay tile flues taking the warmth into the walls. A small niche held a shrine to the household gods. The only mosaic to survive intact was in a small room probably used by the owner as his study. Perhaps his name was Paternus, for on a small piece of plaster was written “Paturnus scripsit” (Paternus wrote this), or perhaps it was his son practising his name by writing on the wall. Did he then get into trouble? Other rooms had mosaics with patterns that can be found across the Empire but two are unique to this house. One is composed of stripes of two colours, while the other is the only mosaic with circle motifs and in which a contrasting black and white zig-zag design alternates with the guilloche, or interwoven bands of alternate 48 | Bridport Times | December 2018

colours, around the edge. The summer dining room, the triclinium, had a mosaic consisting of the four seasons. Coins of the 3rd and 4th centuries were found at the site, along with some fine tableware made in the New Forest and Oxford, with Black Burnished Ware brought in from Portland and Poole. A small clay stamp was used for marking pots of ointment and translates as ‘yellow ointment for all running affections of the eyes’. One such was found in London with the ointment still intact and someone’s finger impressed in it. People died easily, especially babies, and there are several burials marked around the site. The newly


Image: Colin Tracy

born who died suddenly were seen as pure of spirit and could be interred under the house for luck, whereas adult bodies had to be buried outside the town limits. A hundred years later, as the Roman army left Britain to defend itself against Germanic incursions, the household must have feared for their lives and the years that followed saw the house used in different ways. The rooms that had once been luxurious were converted into kitchens, with holes cut through the mosaics used for storage of grain. One room was used almost like a mediaeval hall with a fire in the middle for warmth. The columns of the loggia ended up down the well.

We know all this because of the 1939 excavation by Lt. Col. C.D. Drew and K.C. Collingwood Selby of Dorset County Museum. It was the first major rescue excavation in the country, undertaken in advance of the building of the Dorset County Council offices. World War Two intervened but the offices were built and modified to save the Roman buildings. As a result, residents and visitors to Dorchester can walk around a house built and used nearly two millennia ago and wonder what price such a house would be worth today. dorsetdiggers.blogspot.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 49


TRILL FARM Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies

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ucked down a narrow lane, where the hedgerows are high and rosehips hang heavy on low branches, is Trill Farm. It’s a little tricky to find but worth the effort. A cluster of hunched, silveredwood and stone buildings surround what was once the farmyard and behind them stands an ancient barn which is said to have once harboured Charles II for a night as he made his way to Lyme Regis. Today, Trill is the haven of serenity that many of us search for in this digital age. Several independent but common enterprises co-exist on this 300-acre mixed organic farm, working the land whilst protecting and conserving the environment. The face and mind behind this calmly productive community is Romy Fraser. Quietly spoken yet resolute, as we walk Romy keeps one eye firmly on the details. Romy is best known as founder of Neal’s Yard Remedies. Many of us will know the distinctive blue bottles that harbour delicious unguents to heal body and soul. >

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Romy grew up in a family with two much older siblings and spent much of her time alone and outdoors. As an adult, she joined a group of friends in Scotland and then spent time travelling before becoming a teacher at a progressive school. By the age of 31 Romy had decided to draw up plans to open her own school. ‘I wanted to set up a school that would demonstrate how a good education could also be a healthy education,’ she says. Lacking the funds to realise her idea, Romy had to make other plans. Then serendipity stepped in. She received a call from a friend who ran Neal’s Yard Wholefoods asking if she would like to start an alternative pharmacy in part of the yard. Romy realised that this might be the opportunity she needed to raise the necessary money for her school. ‘I thought I could go into business and make what I needed in five years so it took me one minute to say yes,’ she says. With two children in tow, she opened what was to become Neal’s Yard Remedies. ‘I had brilliant people working with me at NYR who really wanted to see progression in their careers,’ Romy says, ‘so I asked myself, why don’t they open their own shop? And that is how the franchise developed.’ Throughout her career Romy knew that she wanted to support people who, in her own words, were ‘connecting with nature, themselves and to one another.’ So in 2005, after 25 years, Romy sold the Neal’s Yard business and set

up an educational trust. She then bought Trill Farm in 2009 after two years of hunting for the right property. ‘I had no particular connection with this part of the country,’ she says, ‘I knew Trill was the right place when I saw it and it has been amazing to return to the countryside.’ I bought the farm as a place to run an education project that aims to inspire healthy and sustainable living and to give people a chance to run their businesses together on site. We have livestock, vegetable-growing, falconry, soap-making, a teaching kitchen – all independent enterprises under one roof.’ One such venture is the Trill Farm Garden, a vegetable-growing business that was started in 2010 by Ashley Wheeler and Kate Norman. Their ‘plot’ covers two and a half acres and includes several poly-tunnels. Today the last of the tomatoes are being pulled to make way for the next crop. As well as supplying organic salad and vegetables to local restaurants, they also supply Chris Onion’s teaching kitchen, also based at Trill; it goes by the name of The Old Dairy Kitchen. When we visit, the ground is hard with frost and there’s little produce to be picked so Chris’s focus is on using the preserved vegetables and fruits, such as the bottled pears, that were harvested earlier in the year. His midweek lunch for the team and visiting public is delicious. We munch on squash and raisin brioche in anticipation of the festive season. > bridporttimes.co.uk | 53


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As we drag ourselves reluctantly from the delicious food and cross the farmyard, Romy muses further on the ethos of Trill. ‘The soap-making room is a perfect example of how to run a small, independent and sustainable business; it’s a lesson that many of us need,’ she says as we follow our noses towards the heady scent of lavender wafting from a nearby hut. Today Alexandra Dudal is carefully sieving the flower’s essence to make the soap and the room is off-limits. We can only peek through a crack in the door but next year there will be a chance to join her and make soap using herbs from Trill’s garden. There will also be a series of floristry workshops by Kate Reeves of Rambling Rose and Zanna Hoskins of Champernhayes Flowers and Foliage, the flora for which of course sourced from Trill and from Zanna’s local flower farm. Today, however, wrapped up in scarves and fingerless gloves, Zanna and Kate are here collecting foliage for the winter wreath in preparation for Trill Farm’s December celebration. ‘I try to make Trill a model of working together for the common good,’ explains Romy. From the outset she has encouraged young people through forging links with local schools as well as those further afield. Last year the farm hosted 14 children from Kensington’s Aldridge Academy, the secondary school close to Grenfell Tower, four of whose pupils died in the fire. More recently, the farm has hosted young refugees who survived brutal journeys without their families. As Romy puts it, ‘Having these kids here has seen Trill fulfilling its purpose.’ Her next personal project is learning pottery. ‘I like new challenges,’ she explains. ‘Working at the wheel brings a sense of fulfilment, using your hands and clay from the farm to make something that is both beautiful and useful.’ She picks up a bowl and holds it in her hand. ‘Something as simple yet vital as a bowl.’ Romy pauses again. ‘And then I have my grandchildren,’ she says. ‘'They're my other project.’ She smiles. Tomorrow her daughter and granddaughter are popping by for the falconry club which Dr Karen SteadDexter hosts for local children. Later in the day Romy and her family will set off together into the woods, to the ancient woodcutter’s cabin (which Romy plans to renovate) to forage for ceps which they will dry and use in warming stews. It sounds idyllic but meeting Romy one senses that she is completing a circle and creating a legacy. One that will, in its own way, bring a small, essential change to the world. trillfarm.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 57


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Food & Drink

MAN OF THE MOMENT We are delighted to share with you three winter recipes, guaranteed to warm belly, heart and soul, from Gill Meller's beautiful new book Time. Photography Andrew Montgomery

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Lentil Dhal with Crispy Kale 62 | Bridport Times | December 2018


LENTIL DHAL WITH CRISPY KALE A well-made dhal is a complete treasure; it is a bowl of soft gold. A dhal can warm us like a fire, with its spice; and it can soothe and comfort us, like a favourite blanket might have done in the past. This dhal is nothing more than a few handfuls of red lentils that have been gently simmered with some lovely spices. However, it always amazes me how much depth and flavour it has. I like to serve piping-hot bowlfuls with crispy kale (its light, brittle texture works so well here), warm boiled eggs, and some fermented cabbage. Together they make a quite wonderful winter supper. Ingredients serves 4–6

1 bunch of curly kale, stalks removed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 onion, sliced 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced ½ thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated 1 hot red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced ½ tablespoon cumin seeds, coarsely crushed ½ tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely crushed 2 cardamom pods, bashed 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 2 teaspoons black onion seeds 1 tablespoon curry powder 250g (9oz) red lentils 1 litre (35fl oz) well-flavoured vegetable stock soft-boiled eggs, natural yoghurt, toasted seeds and fresh chilli, to serve salt and freshly ground black pepper Method

1 Heat the oven to 110°C/225°F/gas mark 1/2. First, make the crispy kale. Wash the kale leaves, then spin them in a salad spinner until they’re really dry. Place the leaves in a bowl with the olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Using your hands, mix the leaves well to coat in the oil. Line a baking tray with baking parchment, then arrange the kale in an even layer on the tray and place it in the oven. Bake for 25–30 minutes, turning the individual leaves once or twice during cooking, until they are nice and crisp. Remove the leaves from the oven and allow to cool. 2 Heat a large, heavy-based pan over a low–medium heat. Add the coconut oil and, when hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander,

cardamom, black mustard and onion seeds, and curry powder. Cook, stirring regularly, for 8–10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not coloured. 3 Place the lentils in a sieve and give them a quick rinse, then add them to the pan with the onion mixture and fry them for a few moments. Add the stock, bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring regularly, for 35–40 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the dhal has thickened. If things look a little dry at any time, add a splash more stock or water. Season the dhal well with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and bring to the table. To serve, spoon the dhal into warm bowls and top with the kale. I love this with a soft boiled egg, a spoonful of natural yoghurt, and some toasted seeds sprinkled over.

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TREACLE TART WITH THYME AND ORANGE My grandfather, Digby, spent part of the war stationed down in Weymouth. He helped to man a fort, which looked out over Portland Harbour, then home to an important Royal Navy base. The fort was heavily armoured and had big guns. Should any threat approach, Digby would be ready. Now... stories can change with time, but I was told that when a fleet of German bombers flew over the fort, Digby and his men were in a local tea room, eating treacle tart. Ingredients serves 8–10

725g (1lb 91/2oz) golden syrup 1 egg 50ml (2fl oz) double cream 50g (2oz) unsalted butter zest of 1 orange 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, chopped, plus an extra thyme sprig, to decorate 200g (7oz) white breadcrumbs for the pastry 45g (11/2oz) icing sugar 170g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 85g (3oz) butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for greasing 1 tablespoon iced water 1 egg, plus an extra beaten egg for egg washing Method

1 First, make the pastry. Combine the icing sugar > bridporttimes.co.uk | 63


and plain flour in a medium bowl. Rub in the chilled butter cubes until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (you can also do this in a food processor). Add in the iced water and the egg, and stir through to combine. Tip out the dough and bring it together with your hands, kneading lightly to achieve a smooth finish. Wrap the pastry tightly in cling film and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. 2 Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is about 2mm (¹⁄¹6in) thick. Grease and flour a 3cm-deep (11/4in) x 22cm (81/2in) loose-bottomed tart tin, then lay over the pastry, tucking it into the corners and leaving an overhang. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans. Blind bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, trim the overhang and brush the pastry with beaten egg. 3 Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the base is just colouring. Remove and set aside, but leave the oven on. 4 To make the filling, pour the golden syrup into a medium pan set over a low heat. Whisk the egg and cream together in a bowl. When the syrup is hot, but not boiling, stir in the butter and allow it to melt. Then, stir in the orange zest, chopped thyme, breadcrumbs, and the cream and egg mixture. Take the pan off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, to allow the breadcrumbs to take up the syrup. 5 Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 35– 40 minutes, until just set and golden brown around the edges. Leave to cool in the tin for 15–20 minutes before transferring to a serving plate, decorating with a thyme sprig and bringing to the table. ____________________________________________

CHOCOLATE, FUDGE AND SMOKED SALT COOKIES I like to serve these cookies warm from the oven after supper, with a coffee or a brandy, or both. You can make the dough in advance; simply roll it into a cylinder, wrap it in baking parchment and pop it in the fridge. You can then slice off individual rounds for baking whenever you feel like it. The pinch of smoked salt adds wisps of warmth to the bitter chocolate and sweet fudge, and gives the cookies an almost campfire quality. 64 | Bridport Times | December 2018

Ingredients Makes 8–10 large cookies

100g (31/2oz) unsalted butter 100g (31/2oz) light soft brown sugar 50g (2oz) caster sugar 1 egg dash of vanilla extract or the seeds from ½ a vanilla pod 150g (51/2oz) self-raising flour 75g (21/2oz) good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up 75g (21/2oz) your favourite fudge 1 or 2 good pinches of smoked salt flakes Method

1 Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 6½ and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Put both types of sugar into a mixing bowl, pour on the butter and beat well. Add the egg and the vanilla extract or seeds and beat again until well combined. Sift in the flour and fold it in. Allow the mixture to cool for 15–20 minutes before stirring in half the chocolate and half the fudge pieces. 2 Dot heaped spoonfuls of the mixture over the prepared trays, then distribute the remaining chocolate and fudge equally over the surfaces of the cookies. Sprinkle the cookies with the smoked salt and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the cookies are lovely and golden. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before lifting onto a cooling rack to firm up. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Readers of Bridport Times can purchase a copy of Time for the special price of £22 net (RRP £25) with free p&p (UK mainland only). To order, please call 01256 302699 and quote code RA4 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 rivercottage.net or call Amy in the Events Team on 01297 630302. gillmeller.com


Treacle Tart with Thyme and Orange

Chocolate, Fudge and Smoked Salt Cookies

bridporttimes.co.uk | 65


Food & Drink

66 | Bridport Times | December 2018


CHRISTMAS PUDDING Cass Titcombe, Brassica Restaurant

T

his is a rich, spicy pudding, dense with fruit and containing very little flour. This recipe originated from my maternal grandmother. It has been faithfully made most Christmases I can remember, although I must confess, I may have tweaked it slightly over the years. However, in essence, it’s the same recipe. This will make enough for 2 x 1kg puddings - one to eat this year and the other to save until next Christmas. The second could also make a delicious present or offering to the host on Christmas Day. If you keep it, you might want to spike it over the year with a little brandy. ‘Stir up Sunday’ falls on 25th November this year and is traditionally when you should make your pudding, as this gives it plenty of time to mature. Everyone should have a stir and make a wish! The list of ingredients may seem quite daunting but making your own is infinitely better than buying one from a shop. It is, in fact, rather simple to make with the main part of the work being chopping. If you cannot get hold of any of the fruits, nuts or alcohol, or perhaps you don’t like a particular ingredient, you can substitute the same weight of something else that you do like. We are now busy filling up the shelves of our shop in Beaminster with some wonderful decorations, gifts, food and books, and all of us in the kitchen are working at full steam filling a sea of jars with piccalilli, mincemeat, salted caramel and other regular Brassica specialities. Ingredients Day 1

60g glacé cherries, halved 60g dried apricots, chopped 120g stoned prunes, chopped 80g currants 170g sultanas 225g raisins 80g diced candied peel 60g blanched almonds, roughly chopped 160g soft light brown sugar 140g golden syrup 90g grated carrots

150g grated bramley apple grated zest and juice of 1 lemon grated zest and juice of 1 orange 125ml barley wine 125ml stout ½ tsp each of ground mace, freshly grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon and ground allspice Ingredients Day 2

60g plain white flour 60g soft white breadcrumbs 60g ground almonds 2 eggs 80g shredded suet Method

1 Mix together all the Day 1 ingredients. Cover and leave for 24 hours. 2 Add the Day 2 ingredients. Mix everything together until well combined, then make a wish! 3 Divide the mixture between two 1kg pudding basins. If using plastic basins, simply put on the lids. If you are using traditional basins, cover with a double layer of baking parchment tied on under the rim with string. 4 Place the basins in a large steamer or in one or two pans. Add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the basins. Cover tightly and bring the water to a simmer. Steam for 4 hours, checking the water level regularly and topping up if necessary. 5 Allow to cool, then store until Christmas in a cool, dry place. On Christmas Day, steam the pudding again for 2½ hours. Turn out and serve flaming with brandy, if you like, and with custard or brandy butter. Note: If you keep the second for the following Christmas, store it in a cool, dry place or the fridge. @brassica_food @brassicarestaurant_mercantile bridporttimes.co.uk | 67


Food & Drink

BACON-WRAPPED MONKFISH TAIL WITH BRAISED PUY LENTILS AND KALE

T

Charlie Soole, The Club House, West Bexington

his dish is a real hearty affair for the winter. Monkfish has a delicate flavour but has a lovely firm texture that takes on the flavour of the bacon. I would use smoked bacon but if you prefer unsmoked it will work just as well. Puy lentils are the only lentil to be defined by the area in which they are cultivated - Le Puy in France. If you can’t find them you can use green lentils instead. In last month’s Bridport Times you will have read about Rosie at Tamarisk Farm working very hard changing over from summer to winter salads and vegetables. We are using her mixed kales which are fantastic and really add to the earthiness of the dish. Ingredients Serves 4

4 deboned 300g monkfish tails 18 rashers streaky bacon (2 rashers to be finely chopped) 68 | Bridport Times | December 2018

200g Puy lentils (rinse thoroughly) 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced 1 large banana shallot, finely diced 1 stick celery, finely diced 1 small leek, finely diced 100ml white wine 750ml fish stock 100g chopped parsley 400g curly kale or cavolo nero 150g butter Salt and pepper Method

1 Place a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the 2 rashers of finely chopped bacon to the pan and cook gently. After a few minutes add


Image: Kirstin Reynolds

50g of the butter. When this has melted add the carrot, shallot, celery and leek. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the lentils and the white wine. Let this reduce for a minute and then stir in the fish stock. Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat so the lentils are simmering. The lentils should be ready in about 30 minutes. They should still have a bite to them. 2 Season the monkfish tails with salt and pepper and then wrap each with 4 rashers of bacon, ensuring the ends of the bacon are on the underside of the monkfish. This will make the dish look better when you serve it. 3 Set your oven to 180°C. Place a heavy bottomed frying pan on a medium/hot heat and add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place the monkfish tails carefully into the pan. Fry the service side first then, after a few minutes, carefully turn the tails over, making sure the bacon is browned. If not, leave for a minute or so more. When it is browned, place the pan straight into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

4 When the lentils are ready, drain off any remaining stock. Return the lentils to the pan, stir in 50g of butter, the chopped parsley and keep warm. 5 Blanche the kale in boiling salted water or pan-fry in a little butter. 6 When the monkfish tails are ready carefully take them out of the frying pan, set aside and keep warm. Add a splash of white wine and let it bubble away for a few seconds and then add the last of the butter. This will be your sauce. 7 To serve, place the kale on a plate, spoon the lentils onto the kale and then place the monkfish on top. Drizzle over some of the sauce and enjoy this winter warmer of a dish. I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you have enjoyed reading the recipes throughout the year - and maybe cooking them! - as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I hope to see you at The Clubhouse in December or in the New Year. theclubhousewestbexington.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 69


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70 | Bridport Times | December 2018


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Body & Mind

TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY CHRISTMAS Tamara Jones, Nutritional Therapist and Founder, Loving Healthy

C

hristmas is my favourite time of year; moving past autumn and into the depths of winter, with its short days and long nights, bringing the glimmer of family time. Catching up on sleep and keeping warm with roaring fires. Scents of spices - cinnamon, orange and ginger - triggering childhood memories of stirring the Christmas pudding. It’s a time to spend with those you love and being grateful for the little things. As a Nutritional Therapist, people often worry that I will disapprove of the festivities. This couldn’t be further from the truth! I often talk about the importance of balance and how, on occasion, it is perfectly okay to eat 72 | Bridport Times | December 2018

and drink what you fancy. I apply the 80:20 principle - eating healthily 80% of the time - which allows me the space for delicious treats at weekends and on special occasions. What I don’t intend to do is overindulge in food and drink for the sake of it. Christmas Day is just one day, not four weeks. That means that you don’t need to stop your usual healthy eating. One of the main reasons people put on weight over Christmas is not the Christmas dinner, it’s the higher calorie intake from constant grazing day after day. Keeping your routine of healthy eating will enable you to forget January diets altogether.


Portion control

Use smaller plates and serving utensils. Research has shown that we eat more when we use bigger plates. By using smaller plates, you will put less food on the plate. Also remember it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full so wait before reaching for seconds. Keep moving

If you have an exercise regime, try and stick to it as much as you can, especially on those days you’re at home. Even just a daily walk will help to prevent you from feeling sluggish. Not only will walking help you work off the extra calories but also it’s great for your mood and boosting the immune system. Go easy on the booze

Try not to drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream very quickly which can be a burden on your digestive system, heart, liver and kidneys. The fuller your stomach, the slower the absorption. Eat before you drink and your body will thank you for it. A simple way to avoid over-drinking is to have a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink. Not only does that help keep you hydrated (reducing the risk of hangovers!), it’ll also stop you from drinking too much as you have less time for drinking alcohol. Keep breakfast healthy

Breakfast gives the body the fuel it needs to get through until lunchtime; it can also stop you reaching for unhealthy snacks. Use breakfast as an opportunity to eat a healthy, protein-packed meal on Christmas morning. This way you won’t over-eat for lunch. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as sugary cereals, toast or croissants and opt instead for slow-release carbohydrates such as porridge or a good source of protein such as scrambled eggs and salmon. Eat before the party

Don’t let it get you down!

It can be a mistake to arrive hungry to a party offering a buffet. The temptation is hard to resist! The ideal option is to eat a healthy meal beforehand. Aim for plenty of vegetables, some protein (chicken, lentils, beans or fish) and a small side of wholegrain carbohydrates (for example, half a cup of cooked brown rice). The carbohydrates will give you energy and the protein will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you do arrive hungry, simply scan the buffet for colourful plates and avoid anything beige (pastries, sandwiches, crisps etc.).

This is super important; I see many clients in January who feel disappointed in themselves because they overindulged in the Christmas period. It is not the end of the world if you ate 6 mince pies – you are only human. Have it, enjoy it and move on. Make different food choices for the rest of the day. Food is there to be enjoyed, in moderation, not to feel guilty about. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy Christmas. Lovinghealthy.co.uk bridporttimes.co.uk | 73


Body & Mind

ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL Jane Fox, Yogaspace

W

ith the approach of Christmas my thoughts go to how to stay connected, grounded and whole during the holiday season. I often feel myself speeding up to meet a fuller schedule and, with this increase in pace and the inevitable Christmas expectations and family commitments, I can end up feeling a bit overwhelmed and worn out. On closer reflection, my exhausting multi-tasking and organising energy, which seems useful, is probably not that helpful - and apparently often quite annoying! I am probably running too much male energy and my strong/soft balance is off, which often happens to me when I’m under pressure or stress. We are all made from and embody both male and female, whatever our gender identity. In the yogic tradition, masculine energy is represented as Shiva, ‘the destroyer and transformer’, while feminine is represented as Shakti, ‘the divine mother’. Shiva is the stillness to 74 | Bridport Times | December 2018

Shakti’s flow. Shiva’s energy is formless; its nature is steadfast, stable, peaceful, strong and totally unmoved with complete presence. Shakti’s energy can be seen in everything that lives; its nature is exquisitely beautiful with a flowing and shape-shifting quality and powerfully flexible. Shakti energy can be sensual, raw and expressive. These two divinely sacred energies are equal and opposite forces; we can’t have one without the other. It is a beautiful image and a deeply complex philosophy so, keeping it simple and coming back to our bodies, let’s look at how this male and female energy runs through us and manifests itself in our life. The left is associated with the feminine and the right, masculine. According to yoga, in our subtle, energetic bodies we have channels, or Nadis (literal translation, ‘a stream’), through which Prana (life force) flows. The Ida Nadi runs up the left side of the spine and carries the feminine lunar energy while the Pingala Nadi runs


The Feminine (Shakti) - the fluid, shape-shifting flow

Intuition, receptivity, dreams and emotions. Creative, mother, heart. Out of balance: It needs to be contained, otherwise dispersal can mean feeling out of control, ungrounded, irritable and lonely. Shiva and Shakti union: The strong and the soft is the constant balancing act of yoga and the subtle union of our masculine and feminine selves; the coming together of these polarities into one fully integrated self is no easy task. Slowing down

Take time to slow down and re-write the list, putting yourself at the top. If we look after ourselves everyone will benefit. It’s very hard sometimes - if I can get myself even near the top of the list that’s an improvement! Dharana

up the right side carrying masculine solar energy. The main central channel is the Shushumna Nadi which runs through the spinal column and connects the chakras from the Muladhara chakra at the base of the spine to the Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head. Being aware of these subtle streams of energy and how the prana needs to flow can be helpful in keeping the balance. Let’s look at what each side contains: The Masculine (Shiva) - the container

Direction, purpose, freedom and awareness. Centred, grounded, compassionate. Out of Balance: When there’s too much containing and we run too much masculine energy, we can feel tired, stressed, overworked and often resentful and unloved as a result of being on autopilot and too much in our heads, not in our bodies. Our bodies begin to hold a stiffness from the lack of flow and muscles become tight.

The 6th limb of yoga, concentration, to still the mind down ready for 7th limb, Dhyana, (meditation). • Start with 5 minutes of concentrating on an object, mantra, musical tone or colour and begin with your eyes open and then gently close them. • Check in with yourself once your mind is a little quieter and see ‘who’s driving your bus’. Is it Shiva or Shakti? Are you driving yourself hard and fast or perhaps feeling a bit ungrounded and floaty? • Imagine bringing your left and right side into perfect balance and affirm that your energy is creative and flowing yet contained and grounded. • Allow yourself to use visualisations and your own imagery to reinforce this feeling of harmonious balance. Just five minutes daily can make a difference. One of my favourite proverbs of the moment is, ‘That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.’ Wishing you a wonderful holiday season. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you know peace. And may you not have nests in your hair. Namaste. yogaspacebridport.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 75


Body & Mind

Image: Katharine Davies 76 | Bridport Times | December 2018


HERBALISTS WITHOUT BORDERS Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH, Medical Herbalist

A

t this time of year we are all vulnerable to coughs, colds and chest infections. Herbal remedies are effective at combating these, with an array of anti-microbial, mucous-busting and soothing effects. Both internal remedies, such as herbal vinegars, and external applications of chest balms can fight off infection and soothe inflammation. Because of the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that antibiotics are not used as the first line of treatment for coughs, where they are often overprescribed and unnecessary. Instead they recommend using honey and over-the-counter cough remedies. However, there are also occasions where antibiotics may be appropriate but are unavailable, and here herbal medicine can step in to fill the gap. Coughs and chest infections are common problems among populations sleeping rough in winter. Over the last few years, the world has seen an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with millions of people displaced by conflict. Many voluntary organisations have formed to try and help wherever possible, and one of these is Herbalists Without Borders (HWB). It is an international organisation, connecting many local groups who support diverse projects, mainly refugee crisisbased. HWB UK aims to provide free herbal healthcare to people fleeing conflict, persecution and intolerable living conditions. Currently, free herbal clinics are held for refugees in Bristol, Dunkirk and Calais. HWB UK has launched a herbal medicine-making campaign to provide these clinics with the medicine they need. This is done by running workshops that teach people how to make kitchen remedies for themselves, while the workshop fee covers the costs of making medicine to send out to the free herbal clinics. These medicines need to be strong, effective and safe. They also need to be clear, recognisable and of reproducible quality so that they can be distributed by people with little knowledge of herbal medicine. HWB have created three key recipes for the herbal medicines most needed during winter – a chest balm, an antimicrobial vinegar and a cough syrup. An absorbable balm is an effective way of taking

herbal medicine, especially when the aim is to reach the respiratory system. Although our skin acts as a barrier between us and the outside world, some substances can pass through its layers, reaching the bloodstream and circulating through the body before being broken down or excreted through the kidneys and bowels, or exhaled from the lungs. The chest balm contains a mixture of herbal-infused oils and essential oils, thickened with beeswax to give the consistency of an ointment. The recipe combines stimulating, expectorant herbs such as chilli, horseradish or black pepper, with anti-microbials such as thyme and elecampane. These are mixed with saponin-containing herbs which aid absorption through the skin as well as having anti-inflammatory properties of their own. For example, mullein and liquorice combine soothing, demulcent qualities with anti-catarrhal and anti-viral actions. Essential oils are added to these to give more immune boosting benefits and enhance absorption. Studies have shown that these oils can penetrate the skin and enhance permeability for other components to cross to the blood stream. When rubbed into the chest, the volatile constituents are also inhaled, going straight to the lungs where they can work directly where needed. Good essential oils for this include eucalyptus, thyme, frankincense, and oregano. This balm can be applied to the chest, back, soles of feet and the ‘perfume points’ of wrists and neck, for maximum absorption and benefit. The HWB recipe for anti-microbial vinegar is a take on ‘fire cider’, a traditional remedy made by infusing apple cider vinegar with fiery, pungent herbs such as horseradish, onion and garlic and a range of other herbs with anti-microbial, immune-enhancing and congestionclearing effects. This can be taken to ward off colds and flu, either neat by the tablespoon or diluted in water. The cough syrup is aimed at soothing persistent coughs in young children, whilst also being effective against childhood diarrhoea and gastritis. Caroline will be running a herbal medicine-making workshop for Herbalists Without Borders at St Marys Church Hall on 15th December, from 2.30pm-4.30pm. Booking is essential. To reserve your place, visit herbalcaroline.co.uk or call 07956 780849. bridporttimes.co.uk | 77


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Home

Image: Helen Ross

HEALTH AND HOME

I

Molly Bruce, Interior Designer

hope you have enjoyed reading my articles for the Bridport Times this year as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Over the months I have described what I think are some of the fundamental aspects to making interiors work for you, to improve your living space using personality and colour, and to make changes, large or small, that are manageable and fun. In December, I am not about to ask you to 82 | Bridport Times | December 2018

open a tin of paint and start decorating in time for the festive season, quite the opposite in fact. This month I will tell you how I have taken some of my ideas and combined them with recipes and lifestyle guidance from nutritional therapist Helen Ross from the Well Life Lab, to create The Health and Home Handbook; a seasonal guide to help us take on this wonderful thing called life.


Helen and I wanted to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of ourselves and our home environment. It is essential to look after these aspects when trying to create a healthy balance towards living a happy, fulfilled life in today’s modern world. Concentrating on making small, manageable changes to our routines, our homes, and our diets, combined with the recognition that we need to take it easy from time to time, are all important parts of the journey towards living healthier lives, for ourselves and for those we live with. This special time of year is a busy one, and for many clouded by rising stress levels, so I recommend focusing on making small changes in the home that will have a big impact, not just visually but mentally. I would like to share a few thoughts included in the book, so here is my advice as we head toward the depths of winter, and ultimately, Christmas: ‘The season of snuggling, and indulgence. Of period dramas on TV, roastscoffing, pudding and alcohol consumption - a rhythm so easy to fall into when the nights close in and human instinct tells us to stay inside and hibernate. Who doesn’t want to curl up by the fire and roast a chestnut or two, especially during the frantic preparations we put ourselves through with Christmas? It is easy to lose sight of the importance of slowing down and spending time with loved ones. When the holiday is over, those are the memories that remain, not the amount of presents, how clean the house was, or how fancy the table placemats were. Remember that Jamie and Nigella have a huge creative team working behind the scenes to make everything perfect, so give yourself a break. As long as you don’t run out of loo roll or toothpaste and the cupboards are stocked, nothing can go badly wrong. Devote a moment every day to improve the state of your bedroom because you’ll be needing it. Turn your private space

in to the sanctuary you deserve, instead of the last-on-thelist, neglected, cluttered, dusty, hell-hole you fall into after a long and busy day. Tidy away the present wrapping so you can retreat to somewhere calm and seductively inviting... think sexy lighting and clean crisp sheets after a candlelit soak in the tub. ‘Elsewhere in the home, focus on elements in areas where you spend the most time, such as the living room fireplace or the dining room table. Get out in nature and forage for your own holly and Ivy but don’t stop there, grab whatever you like, old man’s beard from the hedgerows is a favourite of mine with its fluffy, snow-like appeal. Bunch your collections together and hang with fairy lights and glass droplets; these affordable statement pieces will add drama and steal the show in any room. Use this activity as an excuse to escape for a brisk walk and therapeutic de-stress cleanse. The creative journey of styling the home is as important as the finished result and provides the opportunity to spend time with family, sharing in this positive challenge to transform the home into a thing of beauty to gaze upon after the flurry of preparations have calmed down.’ I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas. If you would like to find out more about their book, Molly and Helen will be at Bridport Arts Centre on the 5th December during Christmas Cheer. There will be copies of the book for sale and a chance to ask questions regarding nutrition, interior design and styling. Alternatively, stockist information is available on Molly and Helen's website. mollybruce.co.uk @mollybruceinteriordesign thewelllifelab.com @thewelllifelab.com delphinejones.com @delphinejonesillustrator bridporttimes.co.uk | 83


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Gardening

PINING FOR CHRISTMAS

E

Charlie Groves, Groves Nurseries

very year we sell hundreds of real Christmas trees at Groves Nurseries but I never get bored with their arrival in late November: the yard is packed with trees of all sizes with that wonderful pine aroma giving such a festive smell. That’s when I know it’s the countdown to Christmas. At home, I’d find it impossible to celebrate without 86 | Bridport Times | December 2018

a beautiful tree, and the choice is fantastic whether you like the traditional pine, pot-grown ones, non-drop Nordmann firs or the fantastically realistic artificial ones. I know for so many families Christmas really starts when their tree goes up; it’s a magical tradition that my family follows with festive decorations, twinkling lights and colourful glass baubles.


So how did this tradition start? Like most Christmas traditions, the origin of the Christmas tree can be traced to pagan times. Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in winter. As we know the shortest day and longest night of the year fall on 21st December or 22nd December, the winter solstice. Many pagan people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that, at last, the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong, and that summer would return. Using fir trees seems to have originated in Northern Europe about 1000 years ago and many early trees were hung upside down from the ceiling rather than standing upright. The first documented use of Christmas trees in celebrations is argued between the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia, with both claiming they had the first trees - Tallinn in 1441 and Riga in 1510. The trees were put in the town square, danced around by local merchants then set on fire! However, it’s Germany that is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we know it today when, in the 16th century, devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. It is believed that Martin Luther, the 16th century Protestant reformer, was responsible for adding lighted candles to a tree. Apparently, walking toward his home one winter evening, he was in awe of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the house and wired its branches with lighted candles. Many credit Queen Victoria’s husband, Germanborn Prince Albert, for the arrival of the Christmas tree in Britain however it was probably her mother, a

German princess, who first started the tradition here in the 1830’s. They really took off in 1848 when a drawing was published in the Illustrated London News of Queen Victoria and her family celebrating Christmas at Windsor Castle around a large Christmas tree. Soon, many homes in Britain had a tree dressed with candles, sweets, fruit, homemade decorations and little gifts much like today. Here are some fun facts about Christmas trees!

• The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in London is a gift every year from the people of Oslo as a thank you to the British for their support in the Second World War. • The world’s tallest cut Christmas tree was a whopping 67.36m (221ft) Douglas fir that went up in 1950 at a shopping centre in Seattle USA. • Nearly 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe. • About 8 million natural Christmas trees are bought in the UK each year. • In the UK, natural Christmas trees outsell artificial Christmas trees by a ratio of 3:1. • Many parts of the Christmas tree can be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C (don’t let the children know this fact!). • Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they’re sold. • On average, three Christmas trees are planted to replace each one harvested. Whatever tree you choose I hope it creates special memories for you this festive season. The teams at both Groves Nurseries in Bridport and Little Groves in Beaminster and I wish you a very happy Christmas. grovesnurseries.co.uk

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88 | Bridport Times | December 2018

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Philosophy

THE GREATEST GOOD Kelvin Clayton

Image: Pete Millson

F

or me, one of the joys of organising the Bridport Philosophy in Pubs group is the discovery of new ideas and different ways of approaching problems. Even with a background in philosophy I’m constantly being introduced to a new way of thinking, something which I believe is vital to human development. The October meeting of the group discussed ‘Effective Altruism’ – an approach of which I only heard for the first time when one of the members of the group suggested it as a topic. This is how we run the group: ideas are suggested by group members and a consensus agreed at the end of each meeting for discussion at the next. ‘Effective Altruism’ is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. It encourages individuals to consider causes and actions so that they act in a way that brings about the greatest positive impact based upon the values they already hold. A person committed to supporting disaster relief, for example, would not necessarily respond to an emotionally charged television appeal, preferring to rationally research how their money could be used to help prevent disasters in the first place. This movement, which has almost developed a cult status among some of its advocates, has close affinities with utilitarianism, the approach to ethics that aims to achieve ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ and for which the end is more important than the means. It shares with utilitarianism some problems concerning the calculus of ‘the greatest good’. How to quantify any good such that it can be compared to other goods is very difficult and requires a lot of assumptions regarding 90 | Bridport Times | December 2018

values held. This calculus becomes almost impossible when you start taking future generations, non-human animals, non-animals, and any number of unintended consequences into account. Perhaps more importantly, Effective Altruism’s emphasis on the application of reason rather than emotion has led Giles Fraser to argue that its coldhearted efficiency leads it to deny love as the base of morality, and for the philosopher John Gray to suggest that its appeal to treat strangers more favourably than your own family creates feelings of guilt amongst those who succumb to their emotions and with it ‘a rationalist version of original sin’. For my part, whilst I think a degree of rationality needs to be applied to any ethical decision (I certainly would not advocate simply responding emotionally to all situations), I do not think that we either should or could eradicate emotion from such decisions. This would be to deny emotion, and particularly empathy, as the foundation from which ethics grows and develops. 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


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www.elementumjour nal.com bridporttimes.co.uk | 91


Literature

LITERARY REVIEW Anne Morrison, The Book Shop

Milkman, by Anna Burns (Faber and Faber, 2018) £8.99 Bridport Times Readers’ Price of £7.99 at The Book Shop

T

his book gradually envelops the reader in the pervasive atmosphere of threat existing in a specific neighbourhood, during a particular period of time, in an unnamed location. It takes a while to become immersed in what Burns describes as, ‘...a district that thrives on suspicion, supposition and imprecision’. However, once caught in the rhythm of the storytelling, I found Milkman hard to put down. Yes, this could be 1970s Northern Ireland and, though we recognise the vicious absurdity of those particular Troubles, it could also be anywhere, anytime. In an uncomfortable way there are certainly echoes of the world we live in today, where truth is distorted and corrupted, new narratives are invented and given out 92 | Bridport Times | December 2018

as fact, and societal mores are denigrated and turned on their head. Our narrator is never named though the story is told exclusively in her voice. Indeed, the only character to be named is Milkman and even this remains ambiguous and uncertain until the end. A use of generalising language serves to destroy any sense of individuality and emphasises a key element in the lives of the population: the need to remain unremarkable, thereby protecting oneself from intimidation and accusation. At all costs, and for personal safety, it has become essential to stay within the consensus in order to avoid adverse repercussions. Burns uses the lack of named protagonists as a further way of showing the de-humanising and


dulling impact of this place. The narrator herself is known as ‘third sister’ and her gentle boyfriend as her ‘maybe-boyfriend’, later ‘my almost one year so far maybe-boyfriend’. Members of her family are described anonymously as ‘first sister’, ‘third brother-in-law’ or ‘wee sisters’. There is an imprecision about third sister, a ‘maybeness’. She avoids commitment on all levels, but we learn that she is sad, humorous, kind and wonderfully individual despite the conforming pressures life imposes on her. She reads constantly, predominantly from the nineteenth century, while walking - a protective shield against what is going on around her. She numbs herself in order to feel safe, an attitude of mind which ultimately results in attracting adverse attention. Burns describes her decision to set herself apart quite clearly: ‘This was living otherwise. This was, underneath the trauma and the darkness, a normality trying to happen.’ A way to balance out the hatred, the blaming, the violence. Throughout the book, third sister is pursued by the threatening person of Milkman. A figure standing as a signifier for the lawless violence of the place is

attempting to draw her into his world, aided by the extraordinary rumouring and truth-distorting nature of the district. She, however, maintains an inspirational inner strength, almost succumbing but ultimately seeing her way forward. Burns’ use of language has been described as ‘difficult’. She frequently uses long, almost Proustianlength sentences which can push one to read rapidly in order to hold onto the meaning. Sentences, sometimes half a page long, are beautifully constructed, convoluted, often wryly funny. You might need to go back and take a second look, but the accumulative effect of gathered internal monologues, perceptions, thoughts, personal obstinacies and hang-ups is rich, inviting and energising. I grew to love third sister and her low-key determination to be herself. The book closes with a hopeful and characteristically undemonstrative moment. ‘I inhaled the early evening light and realised this was softening, what others might term a little softening... I exhaled this light and, for a moment, just a moment, I almost nearly laughed.’ dorsetbooks.com

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Literature

DECEMBER

Winter Ploughing, James Lynch 94 | Bridport Times | December 2018


M

y children headed homeward from art school in the far north, from university two hundred miles east, from first job in the west. They converged upon this southerly base with a clatter of rusted wings and the throb of ruptured silencers. How nice it is, in the turmoil of eleventh-hour shopping and furtive present-wrapping, to have them gathered together for Christmas. They will be able to deal with cutting the holly. I felt that my lily-white hands weren’t up to such rough stuff. I know where the scratchy sprigs can be got. I have had my eye on the tree. It stands in the wild hedge beside the stile at the foot of Round Knoll. It is a fine mature forty-foot stalwart with a girth like a bull’s – hollies grow big down here in the humid mildness. But until October I had not been sure if we could crop it for household decoration. You can’t tell with a holly. It may turn out to be the wrong sex. Some people are unreasonably resentful because, although their holly has creamy blooms in May, it doesn’t generate a single spark of fruit. They ask too much of it. They own a male whose business is dusting honey bees with yellow pollen, with which the flowers of a female tree – hopefully within whistling distance – can be fertilised. We are lucky. Our holly is a plenteous she-tree. Its shellacked leaves glint in the pale, malt-whisky wash of the winter sun. And its berries are brilliant as fairy lights. It is a ready-made Christmas tree. Apprehensively, I had watched the chattering autumn flocks of fieldfares – strapping, gaudy thrushes from Scandinavia – looting along the hedgerows and gulping the berries like peanuts at a drinks party. The clusters are so profuse that you can’t see where their beaks dug in. There is enough for all. So off through the frost-crackling mud my children and their friends went to bring back the bounty, and I made for the coppice to see about that trunk section I had earmarked as being Wintera Ploughing likely looking by James yule Lynch log when I had been picking up lighter stuff. Sloshing through pulpy leaves I came to it. Just what was needed. That would have roasting flames roaring up the chimney. But I was lacking one minor essential: a horse team and chains. Perhaps I should have dished out the tasks differently, seen to the holly myself and left the hauling of the log to all those restless young muscles. I slunk back to the house and applied myself to the urgent labour of reading a review book at the fireside. It was considerate of me, I decided, to let the children get the holly. As they sorted it out in the crowded kitchen, plaiting a garland for the brass knocker and hanging it over the fire’s cross-beam, they would be enacting fun and mystery as perennial as ‘the rising of the sun and the running of the deer’. Those words of The Holly and the Ivy were first recorded by folklorist Cecil Sharp in Gloucestershire; other versions were found in Somerset. It was sung in English villages long before it became a carol – perhaps long before Christ’s birth, although holly leaves came to represent his crown of thorns. The word holly merged its meaning into holy, but anciently the tree was called ‘holegn’ and then the ‘holm’, which occurs in so many place names. The original pagan symbolism was the entwining of the masculine holly with the feminine ivy, and the wreaths were hung where young men and girls danced at this pause when the sun is at its farthest point from the equator. When the ice-armoured earth seemed dead, this was the sacrament to life continuing and rebirth in spring. I heard the youthful voices returning across the field and looked out of the window. Across the lattice of bare branches in the afternoon’s deepening iron light I saw our commonest evergreen shining scarlet, a lamp held up bright through the darkness of the winter solstice. An extract from ‘In the Country’ by Kenneth Allsop, published by Little Toller Books. Available from littletoller.co.uk and all good bookshops.

bridporttimes.co.uk | 95


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NOVEMBER SOLUTIONS

ACROSS 1. Increases; sums up (4) 3. Relating to courts of law (8) 9. Very odd (7) 10. Speed music is played at (5) 11. Gets less difficult (5) 12. Multiplies a number by itself (7) 13. Make worse (6) 15. One's environment (6) 17. Part of a gun (7) 18. Barely sufficient (5) 20. Exceed (5) 21. Long stiff cat hair (7) 22. Calmly (8) 23. Effigy (4) 96 | Bridport Times | December 2018

DOWN 1. Shortened forms of words (13) 2. Slumbers (5) 4. Ukrainian port (6) 5. Eager (12) 6. Japanese warriors (7) 7. Dealing with different societies (5-8) 8. Scolding (8-4) 14. Computer peripheral (7) 16. Gardening tool (6) 19. Raised a question (5)


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Bridport Times December 2018  

Featuring Romy Fraser of Trill Farm, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home...

Bridport Times December 2018  

Featuring Romy Fraser of Trill Farm, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home...