Page 1




with Helen & David Aupperlee of Broadoak Coffee



he seasons work to their own deadlines and it’s not for me to wish away winter but the birds and buds are raising my hopes. Mornings are greeted by tentative peeps and cheeps, the advance guard of snowdrops and daffodils show their heads and the bravest of blossoms poke a perfectly pink toe into the unknown. And so to February. This month we meet artists Anthony Garratt and Brian Rice, walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth, fill our bellies courtesy of resident culinary supergroup Meller, Titcombe and Soole and learn to leave our shovel in the shed with the help of kitchen gardener Will Livingstone. We also enjoy a glass of sherry with the eminent wine writer Steven Spurrier. Steven is of course an expert of such international repute that you probably wouldn’t believe me if I were to tell you that we are blessed to have him join us as a new monthly contributor. Well, we are, he has and our cup runneth over. On the subject of gratitude, Katharine and Jo call in on David and Helen Aupperlee, a nicer couple you would struggle to meet. The Aupperlees have recently launched Broadoak - a small batch, speciality coffee roasting company, who, in the words of our yoga teacher Jane Fox “go slow and listen.” Have a wonderful month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @bridporttimes


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 for stockists.

Xtreme Falconry

Simon Barber

Gill Meller

Evolver @SimonEvolver @simonpaulbarber

Bridport Times is printed on 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 | February 2019

@GillMeller @Gill.Meller Anne Morrison Aiice Blogg

The Bookshop





Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH

Anna Powell

Sladers Yard @SladersYard

Fraser Christian Coastal Survival School



Charlie Soole The Club House West Bexington

Kelvin Clayton @kelvinclaytongp

@TheClubHouse217 @theclubhouse2017 Steven Spurrier Jane Fox Yoga Space

01935 315556 @bridporttimes



2 Bretts Yard Abbey Corner Sherborne Dorset DT9 3NL

Will Livingstone

Bride Valley Vineyard @BrideValleyWine @bridevalleywine

Curtis Fulcher

Ann Sydney

Bridport Arts Centre

Bridport Museum

@bridportarts @bridportarts

@BridportMuseum Emma Tabor & Paul Newman Rosie Gilchrist


Tamarisk Farm


@ tamarisk_farm Cass Titcombe Kit Glaisyer

Brassica Restaurant





Charlie Groves

Chris Tripp

Groves Nurseries

Dorset Diggers Community


Archaeology Group

@grovesnurseries Sally Welbourn Little Toller Books @LittleToller @littletollerdorset

Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife @dorsetwildlife



6 What’s On

46 Archaeology

80 Philosophy

12 Arts and Culture


82 Literature

30 History

56 Food and Drink

86 Crossword

32 Wild Dorset

68 Body and Mind

38 Outdoors

76 Gardening | 5

WHAT'S ON Listings

Art Class

12.30pm (term-time only)


Town Mill Arts, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU.

Painting & Drawing Art Classes

07812 856823

lesson. Tara 07505 268797

Mondays 10am-12.15pm Watercolour Painting for Beginners

£15 per session, first session half price.

Mangerton Mill Artist Studio. £16 per



LSI, East Street. Info: 07881 805510

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.30am

Wednesdays 7pm-10pm

Walking the Way to

Bridport Scottish Dancers


Health in Bridport

Mondays (term-time) 6.30pm-8pm

Starts from CAB 45 South Street.

Church House, South Street. Instruction

Bridport ASD & Social Anxiety Support Group Bridport Children’s Centre.

30min walks, with trained health

walk leaders. Free. 01305 252222

& social dancing. Enquiries: 01308



Every 4th Wednesday 7.30pm


Philosophy in Pubs


Tuesdays 7.15pm

Mondays 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th

Uplyme Morris Rehearsals

George Hotel, South Street. Read Kelvin


The Bottle Inn, Marshwood. No

For teens 11-18, parents & carers

Clayton’s monthly article on page 78


experience required, give it a go!

Every 1st Thursday 10.45am-11.45am

or The Squire on 07917 748087

St. Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington.


Tuesdays 7.30pm-9pm


Mondays 7.30pm-9pm

Bridport Sangha

Every 3rd Friday 10.30am-3.30pm

Bridport Campfire -

Meditation Evenings

Bridport Embroiderers

Women’s Coaching Group

Quaker Meeting House, South St. You

St Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington.

07950 959572


Bridport Folk Dance Club WI Hall, North Street, DT6 3JQ. Folk dancing with recorded music

(live music on 25th). 01308 423442

67 South Street. £5, all welcome

____________________________ Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Contact Uplyme Morris on Facebook

Community Coffee Morning


Free coffee, cakes & parking

are most welcome. Contact David Will

01308 456168


Friday 1st 7.30pm-9pm

Bridport Choral Society

Every 2nd Tuesday 7.15pm

Dorset Wildlife Trust -

No auditions, just an enthusiasm

Bridport Sugarcraft Club

Plastics, Plankton & Poo

for singing required! bridportchoral.

Ivy House, Grove Nurseries, West Bay

Bridport United Church Hall, East


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


Ceri Lewis, Exeter University

Tuesdays 10am-1pm

6 | Bridport Times | February 2019

Wednesday or Thursday 9.30am-

Street, DT6 3LJ. Illustrated talk by Dr ____________________________

E AT | E V E N T S | S H O P | S T AY

Welcome to Symondsbury Estate set in the beautiful Dorset countryside just a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast, with fabulous walks, bike trails and award winning produce. Enjoy lunch at our kitchen, visit one of our seasonal events or browse our home, garden, gift shops and more at Manor Yard... ...isn’t it time you discovered Symondsbury Estate.


+44 (0)1308 424116 The Estate Office Manor Yard, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6HG

WHAT'S ON Broadwindsor Craft



Centre Workshops

Church House Hall, DT6 3NW. Caller

Friday 8th

Music Shop, South St or via Monty

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF. The


Minerva Choir. £7.50: TIC 01308 07486 062343 Saturday 2nd 10am-4pm Fabric Animal College

(free style machining) £40

Nick Walden, tickets £8 in advance from

Mayor’s Musical Evening

01308 423442

Bride Valley Band & members of the 424901

Thursday 7th 6 weeks

Sunday 3rd 3pm-5.30pm

Contemporary Patchwork

Modern Jive Tea Dance

Wednesday 13th 10am-4pm

£6 per person to inc. tea & cake

(Leaping Hare), 23rd (Stag Head)


Evening Course £70

Burton Bradstock Village Hall, DT6 4QS.

Saturdays 9th (Mini Pig), 16th

Make a Traditional Teddy Bear £50



Friday 22nd 10am-4pm

Wednesday 6th 9.30am-3.30pm

Willow Workshops

Machine Quilting Intermediate £40

Appliqué Class

The Studio, Broadwindsor Craft Centre.

Saturdays 10.30am-4.30pm

£85 inc. instructions, materials &

____________________________ Sculpture by the Lakes Courses 07720 637 808 info@sculpturebythelakes.

The Barn House, Loders, DT6 3SA. lunch. Bookings info@

£75, booking essential. jojo.sadler@ 07531 417209

____________________________ 07771 588999

Saturday 9th 10.30am-4pm


The Heart of Menopause

2nd Silver Jewellery Making

Wednesday 6th - Saturday 9th

Masonic Hall, Lyme Regis. Bookings:

9th (end time 3.30pm) Rose Pruning

present ‘Robin Hood’

23rd The Art of Ink - India Ink

St, DT6 3NY. Tickets £8-£10, from

Biodanza @ Othona -


Othona Community, Coast Road,

8th & 9th Wood Carving for Beginners

Bridport Pantomime Players

16th Stone Carving for Beginners

Bridport Electric Palace, 35 South

Monday 11th & Monday 25th 7.30pm


Bridport TIC 01308 424901

Express, Connect, Relax!

Light Touch Massage Workshop

Wednesdays 6th February - 20th

Chapel in the Garden,

March 10am-12pm

Burton Bradstock DT6 4RN. Teacher:

@bridportholistictherapies 07974 826891

Learn Reflexology!

Saturday 2nd 7pm

£60 (or £11 drop-in per class).

Friday 15th, 9am-11am

Saturday 2nd 10am-3pm

DT6 3JX. Suitable for all. £50,

6-Week Introductory Course -


Chapel in the Garden, DT6 3JX.

Fran Fleming 01297 445078


Julia Hope-Brightwell. No dance partner needed. £8-£10. Info: 01308 897130


@bridportholistictherapies 07974 826891

Making Tax Digital and Cloud


Accounting Business Breakfast

‘Messa di Gloria’

Thursday 7th 11am

St.Swithun’s, Bridport. Tickets £12 from

Snowdrop Service

LSi, 51 East Street, Bridport. Free


Hospicecare services of remembrance

New Elizabethan Singers perform Bruckner & Puccini

Goadsby & Bridport Music

Bridport United Church. Weldmar

Saturday 2nd 7.30pm

for those wishing to remember loved

Tom Langham’s Hot Fingers The Banned Played On

ones. £10 donation


event with Hunts Accountants,

Quickbooks and Reciept Bank. To

reserve your place please call Hunts

Accountants on 01935 815008 or visit


Broadoak Village Hall. 01308 424922.

Fridays 8th & 19th 10.15am-11.45am

Friday 15th

£9, £6 u18s, £25 fam.

Oops WOW Messy

6-Week Art and

Toddler Art Groups

Archaeology Course

____________________________ Saturday 2nd 7.30pm-11pm

Bridport Youth Centre, Gundry Lane. £8 per session. Pre-booking essential.

Unitarian Chapel, East St. £60. Info:


Read Chris Tripp'’s monthly article on page 44

Bridport Ceilidhs present 8 | Bridport Times | February 2019 07768 695162

FEBRUARY 2019 booking essential. Info:

Saturdays 2nd, 16th &


23rd March 10.30am-4pm

DT2 Productions -

Friday 21st 7.30pm

Be Calm Be Happy

Kinetics - The Movie

Bridport & District Gardening

Mediation Course

Wootton Fitzpaine Village Hall.

Club - “Spectacular South

Meeting House, 95 South St, DT6 3NZ.

WI Hall, North Street. By Rosemary

Saturday 16th 7.30pm

____________________________ Friday 15th 7pm

01297 560948. £5

African Flora”


Legrand. £2

By Plum Village UK. Info: 07950 959572 ____________________________


Fairs and markets

Streisand The Music.

Saturday 22nd 2.30pm-4pm


The Lady. The Legend.

Café Refresh Friday

Every Wednesday & Saturday

Marine Theatre, Church St, Lyme

Dorford Centre, Bridport Road

Weekly Market 01297 442138

Saturday 22nd



Sherry Tasting

Second Saturday of

Saturday 16th 7.30pm

Palmers Wine Store, West Bay Rd,

the month 9am–1pm

01308 427500

Bridport Arts Centre

of Sherry' on page 62

Every Saturday, 9am–12pm


Country Market


Monday 25th February - Monday

Saturday 16th

1st April 2pm-3.30pm

WI Hall, North Street

Discovery Day with

Mid-late 18th Century Art &

Every Sunday, 10am-5pm

Bridport Cohousing

Design History Course

Local Produce Market

Bridport Town Hall. Free but

‘The White Room’, Chapel in the Garden,

Customs House, West Bay

com or 01300 321715

Last Sunday of every month,



Sunday 17th 2pm-4pm

Monday 25th 2.30pm

Bridport Vintage Market

Divine Union Soundbath

Is There Such a Thing

Bridport Unitarians, 49 East St, DT6 3JX

as a Perfect Tree?

St Michael’s Trading Estate, DT6 3RR

Sunday 17th 6pm-8pm

Ray Hawes for Golden Cap Assoc. £3

Community Fair


out about the town organisations &

Regis DT7 3QA. Tickets from £20

Jess Upton and The Guilty Pleasures The Tithe Barn, Symondsbury.

Proceeds to St Catherine’s Pre-School. £12 01308 424441

ticketed via Eventbrite. Info:



South, West & East Street

DT6 4JA. £15 inc. cava & tapas.

Farmers’ Market

Read Steven Spurrier's article 'The Diversity


East St. £60. chris.pamsimpson@btinternet.




Bridport United Church Hall. Talk by

Saturday 2nd 9am-2pm

01308 863577

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF. Find

Authentic Voice & Inner Critic

Thursday 28th 7pm-8pm

Bothenhampton Village Hall.

Food for Thought -

the 2019 Bridport & West Bay events/

Bridport LSi. Talk by Nutritional

Tuesday 19th 1pm-3pm

Alembic Canteen or Eventbrite

____________________________ Therapeutic Writing Workshop on finding

£15, info: 07747 142088 george@

Nature’s Pharmacy


Therapist Helen Ross. Tickets £5 from

Oops Wow Messy Art Holiday Session Bridport Youth Centre, Gundry Lane. For 4-8 year olds, £8 per session. Pre-


Planning ahead ____________________________

activities. 01308 456722


To include your event in our FREE listings please email details (whole listing in approx 20 words) by the 1st of each preceding month to | 9

PREVIEW In association with

Trio Sora Thursday 14th February, 7.30pm Wellhayes Vineyard, Clayhanger, Tiverton, EX16 7NY. £15. 01398 361612 Friday 15th February, 11am

Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR. £10. 01308 424204 Friday 15th February, 7.30pm

Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN. £15. 01460 54973 Saturday 16th February, 7.30pm

The Dance House, Gouldsbrook View, North Street, Crewkerne, TA18 7AL. £15.

Concerts in the West’s 2019 season of mini classical and baroque

have been reaped along the way, including the Parkhouse Award

Sora (14th - 16th February), a stunning French piano trio

awards. They were also appointed HSBC Lauréates of the

chamber music tours launches in spectacular fashion with Trio

comprising three passionate young musicians who are definitely ones to watch on the European classical music scene. Founded in 2015 at the Paris Conservatoire by three talented young

women - Pauline Chenais, Magdalena Geka and Angele Legasa - Trio Sora has literally soared to fame despite having only

played together for three years. This is due in no small measure

to their rigorous schedule of rehearsals and competitions, which has helped them reach their current level of excellence. Awards 10 | Bridport Times | February 2019

in April 2017, as well as a number of French and International Festival d’Aix Academy 2017 and Lauréate of the Special

Prize of the Verbier Festival Academy 2018. But what is really impressive is the strength and sensitivity they use to interpret

chamber music. Playing with both warmth and energy, Trio Sora is now considered an ensemble with a distinct artistic identity.


‘It is an absolutely extraordinary text: a book, not a journal, really.’ Robert Macfarlane


A SPACE for LIVING SPIRITUALITY at The Quaker Meeting House 95, South Street, Bridport, Dorset. DT6 3NZ.

SERIES 7 “SPIRITUALITY AND HEALING” Event 1: Saturday March 9th 2019, 10.00 - 4.00 “On Forgiveness” led by Janet Lake “I want to be willing to forgive and I am not ready yet” (Tutu) Exploring the healing power of true forgiveness and it’s many challenges Event 2: Saturday April 13th 2019, 10.00 - 4.00 “Plant Medicine: Healing and Connectivity to the ‘More Than’” led by Mary Tassell Exploring ways we can interact with plants, enhancing our sense of interconnectedness with this beautiful planet we are privileged to call home Event 3: Saturday May 11th 2019,10.00 - 4.00 “Grief as a Sacred Work of Healing” led by Janet Lake A day exploring how grief is necessary to keep us connected to our souls, to the souls of others and to the soul of this planet Event 4: Saturday June 8th 2019, 10.00 - 4.00 “Healing Dreams - A Pilgrimage” led by Laurie Slade Our dreams speak not just to the dreamer but to the communities to which they belong as a healing resource Space is limited so booking is required. Donations £10-£40 per day: bring-and-share lunch. Contact Janet Lake: for more information and bookings. | 11

Arts and Culture


A joint project between Bridport Arts Centre & Bridport Museum Curtis Fulcher, Director, Bridport Arts Centre in conversation with Project Manager, Matthew Lawrenson CF What appeals to you most about the role of Project Manager? ML I come from a community arts background and have a fascination for local history. When I realised the Bridport Arts Centre and Bridport Museum were looking to promote an outreach reminiscence project that engaged with the creativity and stories from our older citizens, I jumped at the opportunity. The museum has offered the project some amazing artefacts to act as starting points for reminiscence and the creation of artistic work. It is an exciting challenge to prepare effective creative material for those who have dementia and all project members will have awareness training. CF What early ideas are you exploring? ML The Cabinets of Curiosity is a collaborative venture between arts practitioners and older participants. We are devising innovative reminiscence workshops where these older participants will create art and poetry which will be used to populate an interactive map of Bridport and surrounding locales. The exhibition will be dementiafriendly and hosted by the historical character of Bridport’s most famous M.D., Dr Roberts. This character, along with other stewards, will add an interactive performance element to the exhibition and provide information. CF What challenges are you facing? ML The project comes with some interesting challenges. Not everyone is able or necessarily keen to share stories from the past and many will require practical support and informed preparation. Understanding the context of our care home participants is an essential challenge for the project. Dementia awareness is developing and changing, and we will be engaging with local professionals to offer all 12 | Bridport Times | February 2019

practitioners the training they need to engage effectively with those with the condition. My personal ambition is to devise a reminiscence multi-arts exhibition that is informative, celebratory, challenging and entertaining. In order to put the results of these workshops on the interactive map, Dr Roberts and other characters will be animating the Arts Centre forecourt, thus ensuring the project is properly communicated to the public. CF Who else will be involved? ML We are delighted to be bringing our reminiscence workshops to Bridport Community Hospital, Harbour House and The Sidney Gale care homes. The brilliant matrons and care activity organisers are extremely interested in the project. Our recent posting for reminiscence arts professionals has revealed some excellent practitioners in the area. They will undoubtedly add a cutting edge to our plans and concepts. Richard Pullman, Philip Symes, local actors and other characters will be performing with Dr Roberts to animate and inform the exhibition event. This collaboration between Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport Museum and local care homes will undoubtedly create a unique project. We are hoping to reach as many as possible with the workshops and exhibition events. As dementia is a rapidly growing condition in our society, we are determined to make this project as accessible and excellent as possible. Some of our most valued voices are never brought into the public arena. We intend to give them a voice and celebrate their lives and stories. The Cabinets with Curiosity exhibition will be taking place at Bridport Arts Centre from 20th to 23rd May.

NEVER MISS A COPY If you enjoy reading the Bridport Times but live outside our free distribution areas you can now receive your very own copy by post 12 editions delivered to your door for just ÂŁ30.00 To subscribe, please call 01935 315556 or email | 13

Arts & Culture

ANTHONY GARRATT Anna Powell, Director, Sladers Yard Gallery and Café

Fitzroy, 150 x 200 cm, with artist


nthony Garratt fills his paintings with the fresh energy of the wild and beautiful places he portrays. Through waterfalls, rocking seas, moorland streams, floods and tides, his landscapes relish the movement of water, the effects of weather. Often working outdoors, Anthony may include in his paintings rust or matter he has collected from the landscape as well as evidence of wind and rain, all of which become part of the story of that piece of work. Dramatic weather, dark skies and shafts of light add to the feeling of daring, of spontaneity in his techniques, of reaching to express something further. Experimental and ambitious in the scope of his work, energetic and restless in his attention, Anthony works in bursts of activity on his paintings, working only when he feels inspired and moving on to another picture or stopping to do something else entirely as the moment passes. Some of his paintings resolve quickly but others, he says, may take many months to complete. His method is perhaps why his paintings never seem overworked. 14 | Bridport Times | February 2019

Now in his thirties, Anthony lives with his young family on the edge of Dartmoor. He loves to get outdoors - walking on the moor, paddle-boating on the rivers, sailing out of Plymouth. He talks about the birds and plant-life he has seen but, from his paintings, it is clearly light, colour and mood that really catch his attention. ‘I love to be in places where nature commands your respect. We are all so obsessed with being in control. I think it is important to be humbled as a human being, to realise how powerful and magnificent nature is compared to us.’ A gentle, thoughtful person, he is fascinated by projects that reach back into the human history in landscape. 'Inside Botallack', which focuses on an old Cornish mine, is one of his first collages in recent years. ‘I see the way I work as tidal, in that I am continually fluctuating and shifting in the way I paint. Collage suits me as a process of tearing up and reconstructing.’ In 2016 he completed a high-profile installation in Snowdonia entitled 'High and Low', where he painted >

Light and flood 90x90cm | 15

Image: Richard Broomhall 16 | Bridport Times | February 2019 | 17

Arts & Culture

Glass Sea 90x90cm

two very large paintings onsite and left them in the landscape for people to find: one floating on a lake high up on Mount Snowdon, next to an ancient trail, and one deep below the mountains in the cavern of an old slate mine. This project won the Arts and Business Award in Wales. This is one of a succession of ambitious outdoor installations which have garnered press attention and critical acclaim, including giant paintings of Anglesey and of Tresco on the Scilly Isles, also painted on location and left for visitors to find. Later this spring Anthony is undertaking another dramatic piece about the Royal Charter steamship which 18 | Bridport Times | February 2019

sank in a ferocious storm off Anglesey in 1859 with the loss of 800 lives, despite heroic efforts by the locals to rescue crew and passengers. Captain Robert Fitzroy, of the Meteorological Office at the time, brought in the first gale-warning service in 1860 to prevent similar tragedies, marking the beginning of the modern shipping forecast. One of the most daring paintings in the Sladers Yard exhibition is 'Fitzroy', a night painting of a calm sea measuring 150 x 200cm, which Anthony painted in memory of the man who worked so hard to read the weather and the waves in order to save lives at sea. Anthony studied at Chelsea School of Art and

Water Poem Shipley Bridge 120x120cm

Falmouth, and worked as a designer in London for several years before he was able to devote himself to painting full-time. He has a regular London gallery and has shown work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Royal College of Arts Henry Moore Gallery. He has featured in a BBC2 art series and, in 2012, was invited by BBC1 to paint the Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Millennium Bridge. Since 2015, he has been a tutor at the Newlyn School of Art, Cornwall. Last year, Anthony was invited to establish an artistic residency in the South African wilderness and subsequently formed a collaboration with a

renowned photographer. ‘I need to ensure there is time pressure on my painting,’ he says, ‘this provides it with a spontaneity which has always been an important aspect of the work.’ Tidal: new paintings by Anthony Garratt with woodcarvings by David West and furniture by Petter Southall is at Sladers Yard until 10th March. For more information please contact the gallery. | 19


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Visit our Travel Lounge at 2, The Square, Lynden Way, Beaminster, DT8 3AX Phone: 01308 – 805030 | Email: 20 | Bridport Times | February 2019

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Arts & Culture

Image: Matt Austin 22 | Bridport Times | February 2019

BRIAN RICE Kit Glaisyer, Artist


his month I talk with artist Brian Rice, a renowned painter and print-maker. His striking abstract designs are now part of Western pop culture, familiar as prints, in magazines and even showing up in feature films. His print Red Assembly is an icon of the ‘Swinging Sixties’. Initially I chatted with Brian during Bridport Open Studios in September 2018 when he told me he had recently completed a triptych of paintings called Three Views of West Bay based on the signage from a major works project undertaken by Wessex Water in West Bay in the 1960s. Using a form of ‘appropriation’ Brian has reproduced the signs as paintings, in his signature style. Then, just before the New Year, I went to visit Brian and his partner, artist Jacy Wall, in their house and studios deep in the countryside at Hewood, near Forde Abbey. Brian has lovingly restored the house over the years, even uncovering some striking 16th century graffiti scratched across the old plaster walls. The house is now beautifully decked out with colourful and strangely familiar furnishings. As we talked, I recognised several of his designs as being popular prints from the ‘60s. Brian was deeply involved in the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and was friends with many of the best-known fashion designers, models, photographers, graphic designers and film-makers. With his prints and paintings clearly capturing the zeitgeist, Brian increasingly became a feature of the ‘60s art scene. His basement flat in Cromwell Road, South Kensington, where he lived from 1963–66, was filled with his red, white and black décor, and was featured in House & Garden and Woman magazines. Brian was also sought out for interviews by American TV crews making documentaries about Swinging London. Film director Michelangelo Antonioni visited Brian there to interview him and gather material for his new film, Blow-Up, which was originally intended to be > | 23

Arts & Culture

24 | Bridport Times | February 2019

Three Views of West Bay, acrylic on board, 2018 | 25

Arts & Culture

Red Assembly, screenprint, 1964 26 | Bridport Times | February 2019

about a painter before being altered to feature a photographer, portrayed by David Hemmings. Brian’s work was also used in several film sets such as Karel Reisz’s Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966), Robert Freeman’s The Touchables (1968) and Michael Ritchie’s The Candidate (1972), which starred Robert Redford. Brian knew most of the artists from that era including Richard Smith, Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, David Hockney, Joe Tilson, Peter Phillips, Allen Jones and Derek Boshier. Like him, many were from workingclass families and were the first to benefit from the educational reforms that had made the ‘60s social and artistic revolution possible. Swinging London was, in many ways, set in motion by the post-war Education Acts that gave working class people access to free higher education for the first time in history. Brian admits, ‘I could never have attended art school for four years unless it had been free.’ Born in Yeovil in 1936, his mother died following his birth, so he was raised in Tintinhull by his grandparents until the age of 11 when he went to live with his father, who had remarried, in Montacute, Somerset. Thinking he might become an architect, Brian attended Yeovil School of Art for four years from 1952, where he met fellow artist Derek Boshier and discovered a love of illustration and print-making. In 1956, he was conscripted into the army for two years’ National Service, which he mainly spent touring the country as a racing cyclist for the army team. Following this, in 1958, he began a 10-month teachertraining course at Goldsmith’s College in London and then spent a year as a secondary school teacher in High Wycombe before returning to London and sharing a flat in Earl’s Court with Derek Boshier and John Selway, both of whom were studying at the Royal College of Art. In 1960 Rice met with Boshier and Peter Jones near Malaga and the three hitch-hiked to the Sahara Desert. The experience of travelling with other artists confirmed Brian’s desire to be a painter. He then cycled back from Gibraltar to the UK and spent the winter evenings painting in the chicken shed in his parents’ garden while working as a part-time as a gardener. He returned to London in early 1962, to Fulham, where he made a series of paintings in black, red and white, using a pared-down vocabulary of U-shapes, circles and chevrons, symmetrical in composition and inspired by ‘the heraldry of the road sign’ as well as the underlying principles of the Bauhaus philosophy and Russian Constructivism. Rice showed his new works

with The London Group and the Free Painters Group in 1962, then at the pioneering New Vision Centre Gallery at Marble Arch where, in 1964, he showed the first in his series of modular paintings composed of square canvases of equal dimensions, in various formations. He started making screen-prints in 1964, and was spotted by American entrepreneur Eugene Schuster, who showed Rice’s work at his Graphic Arts Gallery, first in Grosvenor Street and then in Bond Street. That led to Brian getting paid to produce a dozen prints a year, which then went on travelling shows across the UK and the US. Throughout this period, Brian also taught evening classes at the South Kensington Evening Institute and, in 1966, started teaching one day a week at Brighton Polytechnic (now University), something which would continue until 2001. He was also chairman of the Printmakers Council of Great Britain from 1974 to 1977. He had successful exhibitions in 1970 at galleries in Italy and Japan but was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the art world so, in 1971, he bought a cottage in Lyme Regis where he spent more and more time. In 1972 he jointly published The English Sunrise book with photographer Tony Evans, which was immediately hailed as a landmark in British book design, winning several major national prizes. However, in 1975 he suffered a crisis of confidence and abandoned painting as a career and left London for good. In 1978 he and his partner bought a 50-acre sheep farm on the flank of Eggardon Hill, the ancient hill fort just outside Bridport. He spent the next five years raising sheep and restoring the 17th century farmhouse, but continued teaching at Brighton. It was many years before Brian returned to painting full time and it wasn’t until 1995 that he had his next exhibition at the Meeting House in Ilminster, after which his career began to take off again. He had a very successful show at the Redfern Gallery, London in 2014 and now shows at the Belgrave Gallery in St Ives and the Art Stable in Dorset. There will be a retrospective exhibition of Brian’s work at RAMM Exeter (Royal Albert Memorial Museum) in 2020. His full portfolio can be viewed on his websites. | 27

Arts & Culture



he short days of February give us time to sit back and think, be proud of what has been and be excited about what is to come. I find it a happy time — reflecting how far one has come is always so positive and setting goals for the future with real intent keeps us looking forward. Bridport has an incredible creative scene with so many people working in the arts. There is a definite stronghold of people who love wood here, from people planting forests or using the wood ash to make pottery 28 | Bridport Times | February 2019

glazes through to people making objects with the timber from our trees. Whether with artist, potter or furnituremaker, the creative commissioning process involves many of the same steps and commissioners should never overlook the initial stages. These are the spark and the life of the piece to come. The concepts, the influence and the thinking behind a piece are what makes it unique. The creative process excites artists, the thought of freedom to create and produce that unique item. As a commissioner, a good

Image: Katharine Davies

"Whether with artist, potter or furnituremaker, the creative commissioning process involves many of the same steps."

relationship with the artist or maker will ensure you have a better understanding of their process and give them a better idea of you as a person and therefore what to create for you or for a specific place. This is written from a furniture-maker’s point of view and, although some artists may work in other ways, there will always be the different stages of concept, design and making. Commissioning a unique piece of art/design should be a wonderful process, one that allows you to own something entirely individual, helping to maintain the rich tradition of art and design. Make sure you, as a commissioner, enjoy the initial stages. Engage with the artist’s mind and what it is they are creating directly for you. There are many ways a piece of work can be shown before it is made: hand-drawn sketches, models (2D and 3D) and computer-generated ideas. Each one has benefits in conveying the imagery to the customer; there is no ‘right’ way for a creative to present. The artist needs to go through this process to cement their ideas in their own mind as well as showing them to the customer - this is how they explore and show their ideas. To have material samples, to know what a piece will be made out of, to see the initial sketches of ideas and the train of thought is such an important process. Always give the artist time to let their brain work some magic in coming up with concepts. A creative needs time to make a considered approach, to analyse what they are going to present. Concepts aren’t wild ideas; they are a formulated approach considering place, function, beauty, poetic-ness and, more than likely, the core principles of the artist and how they work. I love to dream up concepts unique to each project and commissioner. I relish having the time to prepare presentations full of samples, sketches, 3D models and computer renders. This way, every project is exciting. It’s a process I thoroughly enjoy. The making of the item is the cherry on the cake, the grand finale, but it cannot be started until the design is finalised. The making process itself is magical, showing what it takes to create a beautiful piece. An artist will want you to see the piece come to life. I love having the commissioner visit my studio during the making process, showing them the final piece emerging. Every artist lives on the dream of earning a living from creating. I crave this initial stage, starting the journey through from concept to finished piece. I look forward to this new year of exciting commissions and completed work, continuing to make sparks with every concept I produce. | 29


30 | Bridport Times | February 2019



Ann Sydney, Volunteer, Bridport Museum

help catalogue the museum’s archive collections. We have a lot of ephemera, ranging from the wonderful to the ‘why-did-anyone-donate-that?’ Ornate indenture contracts, school exercise books, and letters home from polar explorers, all giving a flavour of ordinary lives from Bridport’s past. Few of them would be worth much on Antiques Roadshow but, as historical evidence, they’re priceless. The document pictured dates from 1887, agreed by the owners of the town’s net-making companies. It fixes the maximum wages to be paid to braiding machine workers. There is no minimum. This document shows clearly what working people in the Bridport net industry were up against in the 19th century. They were paid piece-rate: the more they produced, the more they were paid. Employment law was in its infancy in 1887. From 1871 it was legal to join a trade union, rather than be transported to Australia as the Tolpuddle Martyrs were in 1834, but unions were not widespread. Until 1875 employment law was civil law for employers: they could be fined if they broke the law. For employees it was criminal law and they could be fined or imprisoned. Even after the new Employers and Workmen Act of 1875, an absent worker could be prosecuted and made to pay damages to his/her employer. As you can see in the document, wages are to be paid for the actual width braided without regard to the size of the machine. Those on the newer, larger, French machines in 1887 were immediately at an advantage. Employers found a solution to the inequality - cut the wages of the better-paid rather than invest in new machines. Later in Bridport the women’s Wildcat Strike in 1912 was followed by the start of trade unionism for women in the rope and netting trade. The workers could be children. We tend to think that the Elementary Education Act of 1870 made schooling for 5- to 13-year-olds compulsory, but it didn’t: it allowed local boards to set up schools but families had to find the fees and attendance was not compulsory. Bridport’s Victorian schools date from 1855 to 1876. It wasn’t until 1891 that education for 5- to 13-year-olds became free. At the same time, attendance became compulsory ‘unless there was a reasonable excuse’. The government was trying to crack down on illegally-employed 10- to 13-year-olds. Ropes and nets were often made in the privacy of homes and gardens, so it would be easy for children to be unofficially employed and contribute to the family’s income. And they needed to. The document shows that a worker could be paid no more than five shillings (5s would be worth £12 now) for making 18 score (a score is 20, so 360) nets of 36 rows; that’s like being paid less than 4p per net today. There was no minimum wage, no welfare state and no enlightened Bridport employers providing healthcare, as happened in some other towns. If there were no orders, there was no work. A loaf of bread in 1887 was 6d, about £1.25 now. The price had come down that year because of a bumper harvest in the U.S. which had enabled wheat to be exported to England. The average rent would have been about £2 per week; that’s a lot of nets. Families in central Bridport would sometimes be living in one room with a shared toilet and water pump in the yard. Finding money for the doctor and pharmacist would have been hard, if they had needed them. 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 @bridportmuseum | 31

Wild Dorset

SPECIES OF THE MONTH Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust Communications Officer

Image: Andy Morffew


an you remember the last time you saw a hedgehog? Or a robin? Have you seen them in the past but perhaps not recently? These are the kinds of questions that we at Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) need the answers to. And we’d like your help. In 2015, DWT started a citizen science project, ‘Species of the Month’, asking the public to let us know when they had seen a certain species for each month of the year. Since then, not only have thousands of records flown in but also your anecdotes about wildlife experiences, with many of you sharing your delight from a regular or occasional wildlife visitor in your local patch or garden. Recording and looking for both rare and common wildlife allows conservationists to monitor peaks and declines in wildlife populations. Something that’s abundant now might not be in 5 years’ time and these records could help identify trends to understand why this has happened. Wildlife doesn’t recognise boundaries – it goes anywhere there is habitat and food, so recording what’s in your garden or local green spaces is just as important as conservation teams recording which species are on nature reserves. So, this year, can you ‘look out’ for wildlife? Past species we’ve been interested in finding out more about included the easily identifiable robin, brimstone, house sparrow 32 | Bridport Times | February 2019

and hedgehog. If it’s something a little rarer, we’ll give you all the information you need to be able to identify it. For February, we’re looking for records of Europe’s smallest bird, the Goldcrest. In March we’ll be looking for the bee-fly pollinator, to kick start our Get Dorset Buzzing campaign which we’ll tell you more about next month! Visit our website to record your sightings and don’t forget to sign up to the e-newsletter so you can take part every month.

FACTS ABOUT GOLDCRESTS: • The male has a bright orange stripe on its head, edged with black, while the female has a yellow one. • The goldcrest’s diet commonly consists of spiders, moth eggs and small insects. • Many goldcrests migrate to Britain from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia to avoid the extremely cold winters. • Weighing only 6g on average, the goldcrest is Europe’s smallest bird. • They are widespread in the UK and can be found in woodland, towns and gardens.

Our Wild Dorset Get outside and enjoy visiting DWT’s nature reserves in 2019. We’re looking after wild spaces for the benefit of wildlife and enjoyment of people. Have a wild year and join us:

DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST Photos © Tony Bates MBE, Nigel Brooks, Katharine Davies, John Davis, Ken Dolbear MBE, Neil Gibson & Mark Heighes.

Wild Dorset

REAL BREAD WEEK Rosie Gilchrist, Tamarisk Farm


f you were to wander into elevenses at Tamarisk Farm there is a fairly high chance you’d encounter some home-made bread being eaten, with some accompanying ‘bread chat’. The chat arises because once you start baking ‘real bread’ it can get pretty geeky; every loaf can be analysed and deliberated over. It also turns out that, in growing several good grains and processing 34 | Bridport Times | February 2019

them here on the farm, we are doing something quite uncommon. It attracts a small but keen community of bakers and bread and grain enthusiasts. We grow wellchosen, mostly old, varieties that have not been overbred for the modern baking industry, mill them on an old stone mill here at the farm, and sell directly to loyal customers at the farm shop and a few other locations.

It turns out that getting one’s hands on heritage, wholemeal, unbleached, organic, stone-ground flour is remarkably tricky. As we’ve met more and more people keen to be baking with some of our flour, it’s become apparent that there is something special here to talk more widely about. And that’s how we’ve ended up as Real Bread Week supporters and why you’ll see us with a stall at Bridport's Saturday market during Real Bread Week. We first got whiff of this celebration in 2016, after Adam came back inspired from a conference, ‘Farm to Loaf ’. Always keen to add more activity that helps people understand the farm, Adam and I leapt at the opportunity to find a way for Tamarisk to engage with a cause we support fervently. So, braving the February cold, we turned up to Bridport’s Saturday market with flour and bread for sale, bread recipes and jars of sourdough starter to give away, and plenty of reading material for passers-by to peruse. And, of course, ready to natter with fellow bread enthusiasts. In order to understand what makes Tamarisk flour different and why it’s well suited to this odd-sounding entity ‘real bread’, it might be helpful to briefly explain what wrapped sliced bread is. Now, this ‘ordinary’ bread isn’t as basic as it might sound; it actually undergoes pretty technical manufacturing called the Chorleywood process. Devised in the 1960s to radically increase the speed of bread production in the UK, this industrial process gives us our common loaf: white, light, squidgy, long-lasting and bland. Hidden in that fluffy cuboid, however, is a whole host of things never before encountered in bread. In brief, non-technical terms, without the E-numbers and chemical jargon, here are some of the unknowns in this relatively new kind of bread that wouldn’t have been found pre-1960’s and won’t be found in the current wave of real bread. Fat is added to improve loaf volume, crumb softness and help bread last longer. Minerals and vitamins are added to replace those removed in processing. Several flour treatment agents are added including: bleach, which makes white flour whiter, oxidising agents which retain gas in the loaf, reducing agents which make dough stretchier, emulsifiers to control the size of gas bubbles and enable the dough to hold more gas and therefore grow bigger, and preservatives to extend shelf life. There is definitely something going for bread made in this way: lots of it can be produced at a low price and it has a longer ‘sell-by’ period in the supermarket. These make it accessible and affordable. The team behind the

Real Bread Campaign have been getting the message out about bread made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives, bread which they call ‘real’ bread. They say it is better for us, for our communities and for our planet. Oh, and it tastes better too! And this is where the flour grown and milled at Tamarisk Farm comes into the picture. The campaign advocates bread made using wholemeal or less refined flours. Such flours, with the bran still present, have retained much more nutritional goodness. This includes fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals. The campaign proposes that it should be stone-ground because stones mill the grain more slowly, hence the process does not overly heat the resulting flour. Modern industrial-scale metal roller-mills generate heat so the fat in the germ of the grain oxidises, leading to the flour becoming rancid and much of the vitamin content being destroyed. The campaign also suggests using certified organic flour because they recognise the benefits of grain grown without a plethora of chemicals, whether that’s herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or petrochemical-based fertilisers. This description matches our flour neatly. Finally, they encourage bread to be made with a long fermentation process, preferably with sourdough culture, making it more digestible and probably less allergenic. Having understood all this, it is easy to see why we’re keen to chat about what we do, to share the knowledge, skills and ingredients with as many as we can. And, just to be clear, whilst it’s fun once a year to give it a go for the Real Bread Week we don’t generally bake bread commercially; we sell it to you in kit form and encourage you to make your own. The rest of the year, wedged in around the multitude of other tasks that keep farmers busy, you’ll find us pottering around in our kitchens, feeding sourdough starters, soaking grains, experimenting with different flour proportions and sampling each other’s loaves. We do it because we love it, because it is totally delicious, and because it is really important to be baking the staff of life, a mainstay of our diet, in a way that is unquestionably better for us and for our planet. Tamarisk Farm looks forward to meeting both seasoned bread enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of real bread. They will be at the Bridport market on Saturday 2nd March, alongside Hayepenny Plot's stall outside Smith & Smith on West Street, with wares and giveaways. | 35




ouse hunters working in frontline public services could now unlock the door to their

dream home thanks to Bovis Homes’ brand-new Key Workers Scheme. The scheme, which is open to public sector workers – from teachers and firefighters to police officers and NHS workers – is being offered at the housebuilder’s new homes locations across Devon and could save buyers thousands of pounds. Bovis Homes regional marketing manager, Stacey Banfield, said: “We know what an important role people working in frontline services play in their local community, and how the stresses of the job can make house hunting that bit trickier. Our Key Workers Scheme not only aims to make getting onto, or moving up, the property ladder more affordable, but takes away some of the hassle too.” Bovis Homes offers a range of homes in a variety of styles and layouts at its Cloakham Lawns location in Axminster and Pebble Beach location in Seaton. The neighbourhoods have been carefully designed with open spaces for leisure activities, footpaths and play areas.

The package being offered by Bovis Homes includes a discount of £500 for every £25,000 spent on a Bovis Home, as well as flooring up to the value of £3,000. Purchasers of new build homes also have access to the Help to Buy - Equity Loan scheme, where the Government could loan you up to 20 per cent of the property value to help get you moving. As well as the emergency services, the scheme is open to employees of the Department of Education, Ministry of Defence, Environmental Health Service, Highways England, prison and probation services and local authorities. For full details of Bovis Homes’ Key Workers Scheme and locations in your area, go to

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP PAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT The Help to Buy Equity Scheme has specific terms and conditions and is subject to separate qualification and eligibility criteria. It is also subject to affordability criteria as prescribed by Homes England. Terms and conditions apply – contact sales team for more information.

We absolutely love Seaton and our Pebble Beach development is just a short walk to the beach and town centre where you can find an array of amenities. From butchers, bakers and artisan shops to beauty salons, great cafes and a number of high street retailers, not to mention the amazing restaurants! We would be happy to welcome you to our sales centre where our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you have about purchasing your new home at Pebble Beach in Seaton.

2, 3 and 4 bedroom high specification homes available




Fraser Christian, Coastal Survival School

lthough we may still be in the clutches of an Arctic vortex and the ‘seasons’ seem unsure, wild plants, like all of us, wait patiently for spring, tightly holding on to their energy, to be awoken by the light and warming southern currents of spring air. One of the first plants to emerge in early spring that we want to look at, understand and reconnect with, is the plant lovingly referred to as ‘sticky buds’ or cleavers (galium aparine). The first tiny shoots, under a few inches in height, are what you are after, whilst they are still tender and soft, and devoid of the mature ‘hooks’ that are the sticky bit. One of the amazing things about this plant is how its clinging properties work in the same way internally, literally cleaning and cleansing, picking up the ‘sludge’ from the winter slumber and gently helping the body clear or ‘detox’. Much like its appearance, its flavour is similar to pea38 | Bridport Times | February 2019

shoots and, however you take or eat it, it is a beneficial early wild food or complementary supplement. To make a refreshing tea, carefully pick each tip, ensuring you don’t pull the whole plant up. Loosely fill a mug or cup with fresh tips, pour on boiling hot water, cover with a saucer or lid, let it steep and drink when cooled sufficiently. Add a little honey if you’re not a fan of ‘bitters’. As well as the cleavers, young stinging nettle tops are also on this seasonal wild menu, and one plant I’m sure you could all confidently identify with your eyes closed! If you’re interested in discovering more about the multitude of benefits the wild plants can bring, please do check out our local foraging courses, both along the seashore and into the wild meadows. | 39




he biggest worry for someone who owns, loves and cares for any animal is that something may be terribly wrong with their health and urgent veterinary attention is required. Over the years, with the number of birds that have been under my charge, the inevitable has happened on numerous occasions, with both positive and sadly negative outcomes. Here are just a few of the cases involving the expertise of our wonderful veterinary surgeons - and ourselves of course! Alaska (Bald Eagle)

As many of you know from previous articles, I was the manager of a bird of prey centre in South East England. One of the star birds was the resident female bald eagle, Alaska, a magnificent flyer who regularly rose to ridiculous heights during the daily displays. One day however something was very wrong. When a raptor continuously regurgitates undigested food, it can be a 40 | Bridport Times | February 2019

sign something is awry. Alaska was rapidly becoming unwell. As a flying bird, I knew her daily weight and it had started to crash. I had never seen a bird go downhill and lose so much weight in such a short period of time, so the vet was called. My good friend Alan Jones MRCVS came and immediately administered antibiotics; our job was to continue with fluid therapy as well. However, nothing was working so a blood sample was sent to the lab; the wait was dreadful. Alaska was deteriorating fast with an 18% weight loss in three days. Finally, with Alaska looking as though her time was up, the results came through and she was diagnosed with avian malaria. This was a different ball-game now. The only chance of survival was a blood transfusion. Alan Jones was away so Andreas Brieger, who worked under Alan, was called. ‘We need the blood from another bald eagle,’ he said, in his inimitable German accent. Fortunately, we had one, a tough bruiser of a bird called

Kayla. Kayla was placed under anaesthetic and 22ml of blood was taken in vials of 1ml at a time and then transfused into Alaska. We put the blood into every warm part available and it was the longest 90 minutes imaginable. The next morning Alaska was bright, eating well and fully recovered. Sabre (Harris Hawk)

I have always enjoyed teaching people the art of falconry and I have met many people and made many friends whilst doing so over the years. Taking those I had taught away for a real falconry week was the usual culmination of their journey into falconry. Sometimes though, things are learnt the hard way. Exmoor was the destination, with five others and me flying hawks in this stunning location. A lovely log cabin, two decent pubs (crucial!) within a mile and a great weather forecast. What could possibly go wrong? The first morning I gave the debrief, with the strict request, ‘No one lets a hawk fly unless I say so.’ My instructions were to hike out to the high ridge above the farm and work the valleys back. After barely ten minutes disaster struck. The person at the head of our hiking line suddenly shouted ‘pheasant!’ I shouted, ‘No, don’t release,’ but it was too late. He released his hawk at a pheasant at the bottom of the hill, however it was by a stock fence. The pheasant walked behind the fence and the hawk continued. I could see what was coming. The bird collided with the fence and suffered a broken leg. The break felt clean (not shattered) but immediate veterinary care was required. I always carry a first aid kit for birds and a foam-backed aluminium splint was set on the leg before the long walk back to the farmhouse. The nearest vet was called and I explained the situation. The vet was so excited. ‘It’s not a sheep!’ he said, with a hint of glee in his voice. The leg was pinned brilliantly and 5 weeks later the hawk was fully functioning. Winnie (Bald Eagle)

Winnie is my female bald eagle but in 2016 I thought I was losing her. We carry out many experience days and some people are lucky enough to fly her. One Tuesday in June she was flown to guests and all was well. The next day I left very early to travel to Kent to work with ‘Countryside Learning’ and on arrival I checked the birds as standard. Winnie however was not in good shape. Rasping, heavy breathing is never good, especially if it sets in rapidly. My immediate thought was the fungal infection aspergillosis - a

deadly secondary infection of the lungs, air sacs and even the upper airways/trachea. After an emergency phone call to Terry Girling at Girling and Bowditch, Sporanox was collected and given straight away. The symptoms seemed definitive and we were hopeful. However, Winnie deteriorated and she was now losing weight and became anorexic. I started to nebulise her with further anti-fungal treatments four times a day. I had shows to do and Winnie came with me so I could continue her treatment. When we were back at home she stayed indoors (in my living room) so I could carry on trying to keep her alive but we were losing her. Next in the process of elimination was an x-ray to look at the airways and the result showed something completely different: a swollen spleen. This swelling impeded the air sacs which affected the breathing. After a very worrying 3 weeks, some simple antibiotics were given and Winnie made a full recovery. Nanook (Great Grey Owl)

Nanook is the elder breeding female of one of our great grey owl pairs. She is a successful breeder and a brilliant mum with a sweet, laid-back nature. Three years ago, something was wrong. Nanook was on a log at the base of the aviary with her head tilted at 90 degrees. All owls have highly sensitive hearing so any slight infection in the ear can be a major problem but great greys have the best hearing of any owl so I knew she was suffering. Her balance was awful and an immediate visit to Terry Girling was the course of action. A middle ear infection seemed the obvious diagnosis but fortunately Terry insisted on taking a sample from the ear and the result was astonishing. The assumption of aspergillosis with Case 3 had proved wrong but Case 4 was indeed aspergillosis in the middle ear. This was highly unusual. I have spoken to all my vet friends, aviculture friends and falconry friends and aspergillosis in the ear is a new one on us! A course of antifungal tablets (easy with a friendly owl thank goodness) and all was well. The above is only a very brief outline of some of the veterinary cases over 34 years of working in this industry. Sadly, most of the more common health problems are seen in rescued and ill-treated birds. Many of the more common ailments are avoidable and I will write about these in a future article. On a positive note, raptors are tough and long-lived; my oldest has just turned 50! Hopefully many of you will see her soon! | 41


“We have hills which, seen from a distance almost take the character of mountains, some cultivated nearly to their summits, others in their wild state covered with furze and broom. These delight me the most as they remind me of our native wilds.� (Dorothy Wordsworth, 1795)

42 | Bridport Times | February 2019

On Foot


Distance: 3 ¾miles Time: Approx. 2 hours Park: Blackdown Village Hall car park Walk Features: A walk in the footsteps of Dorothy and William Wordsworth, who lived at Racedown Lodge from 1795 to 1797. The walk is a steady circuit around Pilsdon Pen, taking in secluded farmland to the north east with some wooded and boggy sections, before a short ascent to the Dorset Ridgeway and the summit, with fine views across the Marshwood Vale and down to the coast. After exploring the hillfort, there’s a straightforward walk back to Coles Corner. Refreshments: The White Lion, Broadwindsor


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 February, we’ve been inspired by the Wordsworths’ time in Dorset to walk in their footsteps and explore this corner of the Marshwood Vale. With its unique concentration of hillforts, dips and summits, it takes only a small leap of imagination to see how Dorothy Wordsworth found an echo of their beloved Lake District here. The two would walk daily, with William composing his poems out loud whilst on foot. > | 43



Start: SY 397 024, the car park at Blackdown Village Hall. 1 Turn right out of the car park, head along the road and, after a few yards, look for a stile on the right opposite Coles Cross house. Follow the sign for Whetham Mill Cross; this path is now part of the Jubilee Trail. Head straight across the field and down into where the corner of the field funnels to a point, to meet a stile. Cross this into the next field with an electricity pylon on the left and Coombe Farm on the right. Dip down to cross a small brook and then up towards a metal gate in a hedge with a footpath sign on the post. Go through this into the next field, with views of Pilsdon Pen now on your right. Head slightly up into the field and then down, looking for a small gate and footbridge in a tree-lined hedge which lines a sunken brook. Cross the footbridge and go through another little gate into a field. Just after entering this, look for a gate on your right which takes you into a copse. Follow a track through the wood and, after a few yards, you will reach the other side to leave Boyden Wood at the back of Coombe Farm, via a five-bar wooden gate (with a Dorset District Council footpath sign on the post). Go to 44 | Bridport Times | February 2019

the left of a barn then follow the track round to the right, in front of the farmhouse. Keep the farmhouse on your right and follow the hedge along the field edge towards a metal gate and clear footpath signs. 2 Go through the gate and head slight right across the field towards cottages hidden in a dip. You will see larger farm buildings on the left as you drop down towards the cottages. Go through a metal gate onto a wooden footbridge over a brook. Head up a small path past the farmhouse and cottages. Look out for random electric fencing here which may be across the path before you reach a junction. Continue up the farm track towards Pilsdon Pen, passing a bungalow on your left and abandoned farm vehicles. You soon reach a large metal gate with the Jubilee Trail sign to your left (ignore the track which goes slight right). Now walking parallel to Pilsdon Pen, stay on the track. This is a good place to listen out for Ravens tracking along the Ridgeway above you. After 200 yards, before the track reaches the next gate, break off to your right, over a temporary fence. Head uphill and diagonally across a field, looking for a small metal gate in front of a telegraph pole, in the top corner. Go through the gate onto a bracken-covered

hill track. This is a tricky section, very boggy and difficult, and the way is obscured in places by a mix of bracken and bramble. Keep heading on the diagonal line up from the previous field and you will soon reach a small wooden gate and signpost with a hedge on the left, leading onto Specket Lane with Specket Cottage to your left. 3 Cross the road and walk up some steep wooden steps, through another small wooden gate. Keep left along the fence, through thicket, and climb up the slope, heading to your left. The hedge on the left eventually meets a fence running along the top of the hill - go through the small gate in the corner of the field into another field and, after a few yards, you will see a gate on your left with the fort of Pilsdon Pen ahead. You are now on the Wessex Ridgeway. Follow this across the field, with great views either side, until you reach a five-bar gate which takes you into the hillfort. 4 You can now make a clockwise circuit of the fort, so turn left to follow one of the banks. Soon, there are good views of Lewesdon Hill ahead of you as you look from Dorset’s second highest point towards its highest. When you reach the far side of the fort, turn right and walk up the path which comes from Lob Gate car park into the eastern entrance of the fort. The triangulation point is a good place to stop and admire the views over the Marshwood Vale and towards the coast. Continue around the fort, now on the inside, back towards the western entrance where you first entered the fort. As you do so, look out for low banks and ditches inside the fort, which are the remains of previous settlements and possible pillow mounds. Just before you reach the gate to leave the

fort, turn back on yourself, this time starting to go anti-clockwise on the southern half of the fort. You will see a track which takes you out of the fort and straight down the hill, heading towards the end of an impressive, beautiful row of beech trees. 5 At the trees, go through a gate with a stile which is inscribed with some of Wordsworth’s poetry, and round a magnificent beech at the end of the row. Continue downhill towards Pilsdon Hill Farm. As the track reaches the road, look for a bridleway sign on the right and pass through the large metal gate, to follow a hedge on your left through a succession of fields, with Pilsdon Pen and the Ridgeway now above you on your right. The open fields along here are a good place to see winter thrushes, including redwings. Pass through two shorter fields, then a longer one and, about 300 yards after passing some buildings on your right, the path forks to the right (straight on will take you to Home Farm). Follow the path round to the right; ignore the next path off to the right which takes you back up Pilsdon Pen. Continue following the contour of the hill and look for a small metal gate ahead between hedges. Go through this, follow the track for a short stretch where it then meets the road and then follow the road for a few yards back to Blackdown Village Hall. The title for this walk is taken from The Sparrow’s Nest (1815) by William Wordsworth and the lines from the poem can be seen engraved on the stile by the beech row on the return leg of the walk. | 45


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


he Durotriges people were a loose confederation of small groups with similar cultural traits living in an area that is now Dorset, Devon, west Hampshire and south Somerset. They had no central ‘capital’. It was only after the Roman invasion that the Dorset county town of Dorchester, Durnovaria, was established. Durnovaria was laid out between the years AD 60-65 on the eastern end of a chalk promontory 75m above sea level and was fully established by AD 70. The roads servicing Durnovaria were the east-west Decumanus Maximus, or main street, with others running south, south-east and north-west. Being a civitas rather than a municipia, with conferred citizenships, or coloniae, and with full Roman citizens, the governor of the province would have appointed a praefectus civitatis for the town so as to govern it as an administrative centre for the southwest. The main buildings, as in many Roman towns, would have been the Basilica and the Forum, assumed to be near the Cornhill area, and a communal baths at Wollaston Field. For the richer inhabitants large town houses would be constructed, with green and red painted walls, mosaics and an annexe or atrium in the garden. Some mosaics are unique to the town, made by local craftspeople. One such house, which started off as a timber structure and then stone, had a fountain in its garden. Most of the buildings in the town would have been of wood; these were for the common people. They were constructed using beam slots and posts with beaten earth or suspended wooden floors, some with semicellars, probably with thatched or shingle roofs. A yard would have been used for small-scale horticulture or livestock with some examples having a well or waterhole. Pits and cess-pits are always features that diggers want to find, for those are where the rubbish (or as we call it, treasure) was thrown. Very small fish bones would indicate that the fermented allec fish paste was made to 46 | Bridport Times | February 2019

liven up bland food - this sample is the most westerly found in the Roman empire! For such a large town, vast quantities of water would be needed. The remains of the aqueduct that was constructed can still be seen running along the edge of the slope to the north-west of the town. That, however, is only the remains of the third phase. The first attempt was too shallow and the water would not run, but the second was successful and supplied 60 litres per second from over 15 kilometres away at the small artificial lake at Steppes Bottom. A third and larger aqueduct was started but never finished. Surprisingly this water supply was out of use when the baths were built, so where did the water for those come from?

South Walk, Dorchester. One of the six tree-lined avenues constructed on the levelled summits of the original Roman defences. Image: Colin Tracy

It is probable that the town would initially have had a military presence, although no trace of a camp or fort has been found. Maumbury rings was built on top of a Neolithic henge and probably used as a ludus, or military training ground, but it had fallen into disuse by the 3rd century. However, the construction of the town defences in the 2nd century indicates that soldiers must have been living in the town to guard it. An earth bank and three ditches, 15-20m wide and 4m deep, covered the south, east and west of the town, with the steep banks of the Frome guarding the north approach. A timber palisade would have topped the bank. By the late 3rd century a stone wall supplanted the wooden one, probably due to the civil wars of that century.

We know of very few actual people from the deeper past. The vast majority left no trace of who they were. However, if you go to St George’s church in Fordington you can read about Carinus, a full Roman citizen who died aged 50 in the 2nd century, because his wife Romana and his children Rufinius, Carina and Avita set up a memorial which you can find in the porch. At the Greyhound Yard excavation site, pottery was found with inscriptions of Albus, Julia, Tacitus and Primus as well as Nutrix, meaning wet nurse. So many people and so much noise and traffic congestion no doubt. Not much changes! | 47

BROADOAK COFFEE Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


ucked away down a bumpy lane, on the periphery of Broadoak village, is a tiny shed where Helen and David Aupperlee are hard at work. Their new coffee roasting company, Broadoak, launched last November and already their brand is stocked at Soulshine Café and Washingpool Farm in Bridport. They hope to launch their online subscription service soon but as Helen says, ‘We do things slowly.’ They are a measured couple, content to do things their way and take their time over it. David is American and Helen, born in England, moved to Ireland at 19, then to Canada and on to the US. The couple moved here four years ago with their two children, now aged eight and six and attending the local school. It’s clear that the family intends to stay and make Dorset their home. >

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50 | Bridport Times | February 2019

Helen and David met when they were both studying for an MA in Theology in Vancouver. They stayed on after their studies and lived there for seven years. Their first child, William, was born and they worked for a while as part of a community that provided a retreat for those recovering from addiction. Later they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where they found like-minded people committed to urban homesteading and being hospitable to neighbours. Eliza, their daughter was born and David found work with a coffee roasting company. David says his interest in roasting coffee began in the back garden where he would experiment by roasting coffee beans in various contraptions that, Helen adds, produced ‘revolting coffee.’ But happily, after tinkering with these home-experiments, he joined Madcap Coffee in Michigan and it gave him the opportunity to learn the skills needed to become a fully-fledged roaster. It also helped him develop the ‘nose’ for the better bean. ‘Broadoak is a speciality coffee roasting company,’ says David. When I ask if that makes it sound rather grandiose, he explains to me the real meaning of ‘speciality coffee’ and how coffee is graded from 1-100 with the really basic ‘commodity’ coffee graded down nearer the bottom end of the scale and anything over

80 considered ‘speciality’ coffee. ‘I guess it’s a little like wine,’ he adds, ‘when people talk about the terroir, micro-climate, agri-practices and so on, that go into the taste. It’s a similar idea for individual coffee farms’ beans.’ Helen and David see coffee as something to be savoured, maybe just one or two cups that you can spend time over and purposefully enjoy. 'Because there is a high interest in quality,' says David, 'each person in the supply chain is considered and valued from the farmers and their practices, to the pickers and the 'green buyers' (who buy the green beans), through to the roasters and baristas. The prices of specialty coffee reflect both the quality of the beans as well as the intention to compensate everyone in the supply chain fairly for their work.' The ethical aspect of their business is very important to Helen. ‘Coffee is a luxury,’ she adds. ‘I believe no one should get rich on it which is why we want to share some of our profits.’ Helen and David live as part of the Pilsdon Community which was founded just after the Second World War and gives shelter to ‘wayfarers’ and people who are working through a major life crisis such as addiction. The couple are part of the staff of the community whose common life provides rhythm and support for the guests who > | 51

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join them. 'Starting a coffee company allows us to continue to invest our lives as part of this precious community,' explains Helen. 'We're glad to be able to give some of our profits to the Pilsdon Community.' ‘I never imagined myself selling something,’ she continues, ‘but the bottom line can’t be just about the money; it has to be about putting something back.’ Helen has experienced how addiction can affect a family and has worked with people who are in recovery. ‘At Pilsdon we’re part of a community that offers hospitality and provides people with a structured, simple life.’ Together with the guests, the staff work in the vegetable garden and orchards growing food, milking cows and following as sustainable a life as possible. As Helen says, ‘When we decided to move back to England, we wanted to live as part of a community. It was very important to us and we were lucky to be able to join Pilsdon. Starting Broadoak will help us settle here for the long term.’ Theirs is a considered way of living – the couple had the idea for a coffee roasting company eight years ago but it has taken time to develop the business, wanting to do it in an informed manner. They quote the author and environmentalist Wendell Berry as inspiration and generally – judging by the scythe hanging on the wall that David uses in summer and the chickens roaming the

garden – they prefer the ‘slow’ approach to husbandry. David and Helen even have their own letterpress which they bought in America and looks as if it might be an antique from the 1930s. They use the press to print their logo onto biodegradable labels and coffee bags. While we chat, David is busy ‘cupping’ the beans that he has recently roasted. It’s a scientific process whereby he uses five sets of three glasses, each set representing a different batch of beans. He sniffs and tests the coffee, looking for insufficiencies. ‘As the coffee cools you can pick up its attributes,’ he explains. 'It's quite magical how many different flavours can come from a humble coffee bean.' The ritual is slow and methodical, and I have the sense that rhythm and ritual in life is something very close to their hearts. They are thankful for the loan of the shed in which they began their business. Gratitude and awareness is in fact present in all that they do. The Aupperlees are a family far more interested in giving back than taking. Their motivation lies in compassion and a commitment to living simply which, in our current world, like a good cup of coffee, is something to be savoured. | 55

Friday February 22nd

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56 | Bridport Times | February 2019 01308 898302

Staddle Stones R E S TA U R A N T

February Fizz

A N I TA L I A N N I G H T Saturday 16th February A night to celebrate all things Italian, including anti pasta to start followed by a further three Italian courses with four cocktails and tasters of classic Italian liquors and bitters, all whipped up by The Grey Bear Bar Company. ÂŁ40 per person (booking required)

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 C A LL : 0 1 3 0 8 8 6 8 3 6 2

O P E N D A I LY F R O M 1 0 A M - 5 P M • B R O A D W I N D S O R , D O R S E T D T 8 3 P X

Food & Drink



Gill Meller, River Cottage

his is probably one of my all-time favourite tart recipes. I’ve been making it for years. It works with wild or cultivated mushrooms and I find using a combination of fresh and dried gives a much better flavour. Serves 8–10 For the filling

250g fresh mushrooms this should be a mixture of fresh and dried 25g dried ceps 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced 150g of pancetta or bacon, cut into lardons 375ml organic double cream 2 whole free-range eggs 3 free-range egg yolks A knob of butter Salt and pepper 2 tspn thyme leaves 1 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley 1 x 28cm loose-based tart case For the shortcrust pastry

150g cold butter, cubed 300g plain flour Pinch of salt About 150ml cold water To make the shortcrust pastry

1 Place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a breadcrumb consistency. Then add iced water, which should be added in a gradual stream. Watch carefully and stop adding it as soon as the dough comes together. Knead a couple of times before wrapping in cling-film and chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes. 2 Roll out thinly to line the tart case. If you leave the edges over-hanging (you can cut these off later) and prick the base with a fork, you won’t need baking beans. Bake at 180C for about 20-25 minutes or until the base is dry and lightly coloured. Trim any over-hanging pastry from the tart and set aside while you make the filling. 58 | Bridport Times | February 2019

To make the filling

3 Preheat the oven to 180C. 4 Soak the dried ceps in a small bowl of warm water for 20–25 minutes. This will re-hydrate them. During the soaking period, swish them about in the bowl to help loosen any grit or soil. This will then fall to the bottom of the bowl while the mushrooms will float. French or Italian dried ceps can be gritty in this way. Remove the ceps with a fork and allow them to drain on a piece of kitchen paper. 5 Pour the liquor in which the mushrooms have soaked through a fine sieve into a pan set over a high heat; don’t use the last few drops as this will be gritty. Reduce the mushroom liquid to a scant 100ml. Remove from the heat and reserve. 6 Fry the bacon over a high heat until just starting to colour. Add both the dried and fresh mushrooms along with the parsley and thyme. Toss them round the pan. Cook for a further 2-4 minutes. Tip the mixture into a bowl. 7 Fry the onions until just coloured and soft then combine them with the bacon and ceps. Use a fork or spoon to mix it all up. 8 Beat the eggs and egg yolks with the cream and the cep liquor. Season with salt and pepper. 9 Fill the tart case with the mixture (but don’t press it down) and pour over the custard. Make sure there aren’t too many mushrooms poking out of the custard as they will dry out as the tart cooks. 10 Place the tart in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until it has a mottled golden top and is slightly raised. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before eating. Time: A Year and a Day in the Kitchen by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25) is available now.

Image: Andrew Montgomery | 59

Food & Drink


60 | Bridport Times | February 2019


ating pasta must be one of life’s greatest pleasures, hence we ensure it nearly always features on our menu at Brassica Restaurant. Although a staple in most households, there is a huge difference in quality of pasta on the market; make sure it is always made in Italy and definitely from 100% durum wheat. This recipe was cooked and photographed in Terracina, 60 miles south of Rome, where we stayed, after a hectic Christmas, at the lovely Casa Mary – owned by West Dorset resident, Mary Tucker. Terracina is an area dedicated to agriculture, with over 500 hectares of some of the finest vegetables being grown for the Italian and European markets and averaging 35,000 tonnes of produce a year. It’s a fantastic area for exploring, including the whitewashed, seaside town of Sperlonga further down the coast. Try to buy fresh Italian sausages if you can, although in this recipe a good quality English sausage would suffice. However, it must be 100% meat and very coarsely ground. Add some ground fennel and oregano when you cook the meat. Alternatively, if you are a very keen home cook, you could make some sausages or sausage meat. Coarsely mince some organic pork of approximately 15%-20% fat content with ground fennel, black pepper, garlic, oregano and salt. This could then be used for this dish or rolled into balls and cooked as meatballs. Cime di rapa, or rapini (also known as broccoli rabe in the US) is a bitter, green, leafy vegetable with small heads that resemble sprouting broccoli - it is a descendant of the turnip family. It grows very easily in this country and is becoming popular with organic growers, appearing in vegetable boxes or at farmers’ markets. The orecchiette and the cime di rapa found in this dish are both typical of Puglian cooking. If you cannot find any cime di rapa then substitute it with cavolo nero. An aged pecorino such as a pecorino fossa would be the ultimate cheese with this dish, although a decent Parmesan Reggiano would also work well.

Ingredients Serves 4

350g dried orecchiette 4 x very good quality fresh Italian sausages 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 6 sage leaves olive oil black pepper 400g cime di rapa aged pecorino Method

1 Remove the skins from the sausages and break up into pieces. Heat up a large sauté pan or thick-bottomed pan (ideally with sloping sides and a handle) and add a few good glugs of olive oil. Add the sausages and fry for 5 minutes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the garlic cloves, sage and a glass of white wine then turn up the heat and reduce the liquid. 2 Wash the cime di rapa and remove the ends, shred the leaves and most of the stalks. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds then drain well and cool down under cold water, squeezing out any excess water. Add to the sausages and cook on low heat for 5 minutes stirring regularly. The sauce is now ready. 3 Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt well. Cook the orecchiette according the packet instructions - 9-10 minutes should be about right. 4 Drain the pasta, remembering to keep some of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the cooked sausage along with a few ladles of the cooking liquid. Add another few glugs of your best olive oil, lots of ground black pepper and check seasoning. The tossing part is very important as this will emulsify the fats, oil and cooking water to coat the pasta. 5 Grate some pecorino into the pasta and toss a few more times. Serve with more grated pecorino on the side. Brassica Mercantile sells delicious fennel ‘salsicce’. Although regular supply direct from Italy can be a problem, they are in stock as often as possible. @brassicarestaurant_mercantile | 61

Food & Drink

THAI-STYLE RIVER FOWEY MUSSELS Charlie Soole, The Club House, West Bexington


owey mussels are, in my experience, the best that the South West has to offer. I don’t think I have ever been let down by these beautiful shellfish. They generally stay plump even if you have slightly over-cooked them. They are also versatile and take on a variety of different flavours very well. This is a Thai version but you could steam open the mussels with a good cider, some shallots, wild garlic and a touch of cream. You’ll then have an amazing lunch to serve with a good sourdough bread to soak up all the lovely cider and mussel stock. Ingredients Serves 4 as a starter

1kg River Fowey mussels (or another good, large mussel) 400g tin of coconut milk 50g galangal or ginger, peeled and sliced 2 stems of lemon grass, crushed 2 banana shallots, finely sliced 1 clove of garlic, crushed 3 kaffir lime leaves 50g coriander 10ml fish sauce 30ml soy sauce 1 green and 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced 2 spring onions, finely sliced A few drops of sesame oil Vegetable oil

62 | Bridport Times | February 2019


1 Warm the vegetable oil and a few drops of the sesame oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots, galangal, lemon grass and garlic. Sweat down the shallots until they become translucent. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, kaffir lime leaves and any chopped stalks from the coriander. Bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. 2 Once the sauce has slightly reduced, set aside for 20 minutes to infuse. Once it has infused, strain the sauce through a sieve and discard the shallots etc. 3 Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan until it is hot. Add the mussels and then the sauce. Give them a stir and cover with a tightly fitting lid. After a minute or so, check to make sure the mussels are opening and give them a stir. Place the lid back on until the mussels are all open. Stir in some chopped coriander just before serving. Discard any mussels that are not open. 4 Garnish with finely sliced chillis, spring onions and picked coriander leaves.

Image: Kirstin Reynolds | 63

Food & Drink

Image: DiegoCityExplorer/Shutterstock



Steven Spurrier, Consultant Editor, Decanter Magazine and Co-Owner, Bride Valley Vineyard

he future for sherry is in the past.’ This was the opinion of Fermin Hidalgo, expressed as a group I was hosting on a visit to Jerez de la Frontera surveyed the extensive vineyards that provide the finest Soleras produced by several generations of his family in the seaside town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Vines were first brought to this region of Andalucia by the Phoenicians in 1100BC. The navigator Magellan spent more on sherry than on weapons for his voyage to discover the Americas and, in 1587, Sir Francis Drake attacked Cadiz and carried off 3,000 butts of sherry which popularised the wine in both the Court of Elizabeth I and the writings of Shakespeare. One of sherry’s golden ages in the mid-19th century was dashed by phylloxera but the early decades of the 20th century found the wines conquering world markets, only to go 64 | Bridport Times | February 2019

for over-expansion and lowering of quality from the 1960s. This was rectified by reducing the vineyard area by half and re-discovering the intrinsic value of long ageing in the historic above-ground cellars known as Bodegas. The fact that some of the Solera-aged wines I tasted originated a century ago bore out Fermin Hidalgo’s opinion. The vineyard soil, known as ‘albariza’, is white, and rich in flint and calcium. The major grape is Palomino, with a little Moscatel and Pedro Ximinez for sweet wines. The key to sherry is its incredible diversity of styles, from the palest Fino to the dark amber of Oloroso, from bone-dry to dense richness, making sherry the only wine in the world that can accompany an entire meal from soup to nuts. You select the menu; here are the wines to match it, in order of serving.

The purity of the Palomino grape ages imperceptibly under the non-oxidative ‘flor’ in 500-litre American oak butts that are filled only to five-sixths. Pale yellow, the sharp yeasty aroma leads to a vibrantly refreshing palate. Usually 15.5 abv. Top brands are La Ina, Tio Pepe and Valdespino’s Innocente. Williams & Humbert have a superb 2010, bottled in March 2018.

body of Oloroso. Marries well both with consommé and mature cheeses. This is often the most prized of sherries, for it sorts or ‘selects’ itself rather than being selected in the Bodega - while it is ageing from Fino to Amontillado, it shows a distinctive quality that follows a single path. Always rare, Gonzalez Byass’s 12-year-old Leonor is very fine, while the 60-year-old Valdespino Cardenal and Hidalgo’s 70-year-old Wellington are in a class of their own.

Fino ‘en Rama’

‘Generoso’ Sherries

Bottled off its lees without filtration, this is altogether more vigorous and textured but still bone dry, Tio Pepe ‘en Rama’ being one of the most sought-after wines from Gonzalez Byass.

These are blended sweet styles, typified by Harvey’s Bristol Cream, as well as the naturally rich wines from Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel grapes that have been left on straw mats to concentrate their sugar. Very rich, best drunk at the end of the meal. The classic here is Matusalem from Gonzalez Byass - 75% Palomino/25% Pedro Ximinez and aged for a minimum of 30 years.



If aged in Sanlucar, the Palomino grape acquires more tangy, salty characteristics and is known as Manzanilla, the top brands being La Gitana and La Guita. Also made ‘en Rama’. Hidalgo’s Pastrama comes from a single vineyard closest to the sea and the Solera averages 12 years old to show a deeper colour and richer flavours, nutty and dry but retaining the Manzanilla tanginess. Amontillado

Having gained colour and nuttiness after 8-10 years under ‘flor’ and then being transferred to oxidative ageing to gain more colour and flavour while remaining dry, this is both a fine aperitif or partner for white meats and cheese. My favourite here is Tio Diego from Valdespino. Gonzalez Byass has a good Vina AB while, for aged sherry, Hidalgo’s 40-year-old Napoleon is outstanding. Oloroso

Ranging from rich amber to dark mahogany in colour depending on time in barrel, this is richly-textured but not sweet, perfect for game and red meats. This style moves quickly from the ‘biological’ ageing under the protective ‘flor’ to ‘oxidative’ ageing where both colour and alcohol increase. Gonzalez Byass’s attractively rich Alfonso from an 8-year-old Solera is a good way to start, while Valdespino’s 25-year-old Don Gonzalo shows magnificent concentration and their 70-year-old from the Machardudo Vineyard is a truly great wine. Palo Cortado

A sought-after style that is a naturally complex evolution with ageing to offer the bouquet of Amontillado and the

Despite being swathed in history, the sherry region is witnessing a surge of outside investment, epitomised by Peter Sisseck of Ribero del Duero’s Pingus, who are refreshing old Soleras and creating more to give this under-rated wine a most exciting future. For serving sherry, forget the old-fashioned ‘schooner’ glass still found in pubs, even the classic small ‘copita’, and serve in a small wine glass, filled just half way to allow air to accentuate the bouquet. Sherry used to be served at ‘room temperature’ which is a great mistake. Fino and Manzanilla should be chilled like a white wine, Amontillado, Oloroso and Palo Cortado should be cool, around 12C, and the sweeter styles should be served at not more than 16C. In quality/quantity terms, sherry is the best value in the wine world — a 75cl bottle of all styles can be found either side of £10. Here is what Waitrose had on offer on December 29th: Manzanilla La Gitana Hidalgo - £9.29. Fino Tio Pepe Gonzalez Byass - £8.99 from £10.49. Waitrose Amontillado by Lustau - £11.49. Waitrose Palo Cortado by Lustau - £11.49. Waitrose Oloroso by Lustau - £11.49. Harvey’s Bristol Cream - £8.69. Palmers of Bridport have a more esoteric selection from the fine houses of Barbadillo, Hidalgo and especially Fernando De Castillo, whose Classic and Antique range is expensive but worth it. | 65


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Body & Mind

RETURNING HOME Jane Fox, Yogaspace

“We may act sophisticated and worldly, but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.” Letters to My Daughter by Maya Angelou


hether away for a long or short time I often have a sense of grounding and coming home to myself when I return from a trip. Feeling the experiences, gathering the parts of myself I thought I had left behind and calibrating a new wholeness as I incorporate those travel experiences. I am not a natural traveller; my family will vouch for this, although I am better than I was. I love exploring the world, meeting new people, but most of all I love coming home. My recent return to Bridport was especially brilliant after our family adventure in Northern Italy, near Florence. ‘Adventure’: an exciting experience that is typically a bold, sometimes risky, undertaking. Excitement was certainly with us from the moment we decided, last February, to make the move. Some risk was involved, albeit mostly emotional, and it was perhaps naivety rather than boldness but if we’d thought it through I doubt we would have gone. I remember people saying to me, ‘You are brave!’ and I thought, ‘Brave? No. Lucky? Yes!’ During our stay I did think, ‘Wow! We are brave! I know what they were talking about now.’ We have all come home with hearts full of gratitude and appreciation for everything in our lives in the UK, 68 | Bridport Times | February 2019

as well as many wonderful memories of our adventure most of them quite different from the ones we expected to return with. From a yoga perspective it was of course perfect. The perfect unexpected fit. In yoga, the teachings tell us that our home is within us. Each time we turn to our yoga practice we make a silent commitment to come home to ourselves again and again. “In all the changes in one’s life there is something that never never changes – whether you are a child or an elderly person, whether you’re awake or in deep sleep. A beam of light supports everything, that which is straight and that which is crooked. It is called the inexhaustible flow of consciousness. It is ever-present, giving each one the awareness, ‘I exist.’” Swami Chidvilasananda Slowing down to listen

As I begin to digest the experiences of my travels, one of my wishes for 2019 is to slow down and listen more - to my body and to my heart - and to sit back a bit. A great gift of this trip was realising (again) that if I move out of the way, life runs much smoother. However, it takes a lot to move me out of the way, especially if I am moving fast, holding fear and not listening. Study in the dark

The joy of coming back into my practice, into my life with my friends and kindred spirits, is something else I am so grateful for. In the Yogic tradition this is called

Exquisite comfort guaranteed.

Image: BridportSam/Shutterstock

Sangha, meaning collective or community/collective body of seekers. We need our Sangha to encourage us to continue the journey and there is a magic in coming together and practising yoga. I have missed the Bridport Sangha very much. This time of year is great for studying. Its long dark nights and quieter energy are perfect for turning inwards to our home inside. I find the winter months very creative for this reason. The writings of great teachers can guide, inspire and expand our understanding, and there are so many resources open to us, with many teachers offering online courses to deepen all aspects of our yoga practice. My study this winter is with Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg and their meditation course. Other favourites of mine are: Yogaglo, Elena Brower and Jason Crandell. Website details for all below. As I step into 2019 and feel my new ‘slightly more European and very grateful to be home’ self, my wish for all is to go slow and listen. Then hold on and enjoy the ride! Namaste. Jane will be teaching yoga classes in Bridport from the spring. All details are on her website.

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Body & Mind



Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH, Medical Herbalist

he menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods have stopped. Although in many ways it’s a time of great change, physical and emotional, it’s a natural part of life, not a medical condition. Some women sail through it into a different phase with no problems at all, enjoying freedom from the monthly cycle and the childbearing years, associated as they are with certain expectations. For others, however, it can be associated with symptoms ranging from annoying to seriously unpleasant, and here herbal medicine can be really helpful. Changes start in the time leading up to the menopause (the perimenopause) and are brought about by fluctuations in hormone levels, influenced by complex feedback systems between the hypothalamus region of the brain, the pituitary gland, and other glands throughout the body. Hormones and their regulatory systems control body temperature, metabolism, bone structure, and mood as well as the menstrual cycle and many other bodily functions. As the production of hormones changes these functions can be disrupted until a new balance is found. During the perimenopause many women have a disrupted menstrual cycle for a while, with irregular periods and sometimes heavy bleeds. Uterine tonic herbs, such as raspberry leaf and lady’s mantle, help prevent this, and the anti-haemorrhagic herb shepherd’s purse can also be used. As oestrogen levels drop, herbs that contain phytoestrogens can be included in the diet or drunk as teas. These naturally-occurring plant compounds have a similar chemical structure to oestrogen and can mimic its effects in the body, though they are not so strong as the oestrogen we produce. Many foods contain them, soya and flaxseeds for example, and they can also be found in the herb red clover. Two very common physical symptoms are hot flushes and night sweats. Hot flushes can be unpredictable and night sweats, apart from being unpleasant, disrupt sleep which can cause further problems. My favourite herbs to use for this are sage and liquorice. Sage is cooling and drying, and a tea drunk during the day and an hour before bed can 70 | Bridport Times | February 2019

sometimes be enough on its own to curb excessive sweating. I also use sage in tincture form for this, combined with other herbs. Liquorice supports the adrenal glands, which take over the production of oestrogen as the ovaries produce less. Supporting the adrenals helps the body adapt to stress and reduces hot flushes which can be triggered by spikes in adrenaline. However, liquorice should not be used by people with high blood pressure; it can be replaced by other adrenal tonics. Decreased oestrogen levels also affect cardiovascular health and bone density. There are herbs and lifestyle measures that can be taken to prevent this becoming a problem. Black cohosh has been shown to protect against osteoporosis, as has weight-bearing exercise, while cardiovascular health can be improved by diet, exercise and herbs. Black cohosh is also effective against menopausal bone pain but, if this is not enough, the anti-inflammatory action of turmeric can really help. Anxiety, often accompanied by palpitations, can be eased with herbs such as motherwort, leonurus cardiaca. Its common name refers to its use in childbirth as well as its regulatory effect on the menstrual cycle, and the cardiaca of the scientific name refers to its use in heart problems. As motherwort is also a calming and relaxing herb, it’s perfect for anxiety and palpitations associated with the menopause. During the menopausal transition, many women also experience problems with memory and insomnia. Herbs that can help with memory and mental clarity include rosemary, ginkgo and gotu kola, while there are a huge number of herbs that improve sleep quality. As well as the motherwort already mentioned, vervain and green oats are supportive, calming herbs. Hawthorn and lime flower are both calming herbs with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, while valerian, passionflower and hops are all commonly used to induce sleep. Often a formula containing a combination of herbs to support all aspects of a woman’s health is enough to improve sleep by helping to restore overall balance.

 Image: Olesya Baron/Shutterstock | 71

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BLACK GOLD Will Livingstone, WillGrow

76 | Bridport Times | February 2019


o dig or not to dig? There are several schools of thought when it comes to choosing how to manage your soil. Traditional vegetable growing requires digging or turning your soil to create that desirable, workable ground that gardeners crave. Then, by incorporating organic matter during the winter months, lost nutrients are replaced, and drainage and the condition of the growing medium is improved. Most home and market growers favour this conventional approach; it is what most of us have always done and can be mechanised on a larger scale. But can you achieve the same without digging? Instead of cultivating the ground and adding compost, you work from the surface up, layering a generous mulch of organic matter onto your beds each year. This builds fertility, maintains structure, retains water and helps prevent weed growth, with the added bonus of not having to dig it over. If you are building beds from scratch, laying cardboard down before the compost can help prevent perennial weeds from growing through. Having grown vegetables for years by digging obligingly, I was blown away by the results when I first adopted this method - and my back thanked me too. Some of us are fortunate to have deep, rich soil that is easily worked and improved (I don’t count myself amongst these lucky ones). If you know your soil to be difficult to work or you have a smaller, urban garden with more rubble than earth, a no-dig approach might be right for you. The limiting factor with this method is that it requires much larger quantities of composted material - I recommend a minimum of 2 inches applied each year. However, because it enables a quick start and produces increased yields, in my opinion it pips digging at the post! Making your own compost is recycling at its best. All the leftover material from the previous season can be converted into the life source for the next year’s crops. Site your compost bin away from the house and in an area that is no good for growing. I recommend a three-stage composting system, turning one box into the next. This turning is vital doing this once every few months aerates the material and speeds up decomposition. It is important to add a variety of plant material to your compost – mix greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon), and spread it all out in even layers, rather than piles. All raw vegetable waste from the garden and kitchen can be added, leaving out cooked food, meat and dairy to avoid attracting rats. Chop up very woody material with a shredder or secateurs to further increase the speed of the composting process. Build your heap onto bare earth to allow worms to get in and excess water to drain away. The material you use to build your compost bin from is up to you. Most people choose wood as it is cheap and durable, however it will rot over time; I recommend lining your bins with stockboard made from recycled silage wrap. This will protect any wood from rotting out and will stand the test of time. Some people use chicken wire supported with stakes or recycled pallets to pen it all in - it all works, but the important thing to remember is to contain the heap; don’t just leave a pile in the corner of the garden. Containing it will make better compost and faster. I would advise supplementing your homemade compost with some additional organic matter. You can purchase organic compost from the garden centre but, if you have space, adding some bags of manure to your heap will bulk it out. For a smaller garden, a barrel-sized rotary composter is your best bet, as you can turn the material regularly, giving the same effect as aerating. By following the same rules as the three-stage system, this produces good quality compost fast. After 8-10 months you should have some lovely, dark, sweet-smelling compost perfect for adding as a mulch or incorporating into your soil. Good compost shouldn’t be wet, and I often find it benefits from a sift through as there are bound to be twigs that haven’t fully composted. Using homemade compost for propagating can cause problems however - there will inevitably be weed seedlings lurking therein. Although a good, hot heap should kill off most weed pathogens, I would always recommend using sterile organic seed compost for starting off your seeds. @willgrow | 77


VIOLETS ARE BLUE… Charlie Groves, Groves Nurseries

Image: Maya Kruchankova/Shutterstock


n the first half of this month, there’s usually a rise in sales of our red roses and sweet violets. Why? Well, the romantic amongst you will have guessed but let’s give those who haven’t a clue with this old English nursery rhyme from 1784: The rose is red, the violet’s blue, the honey’s sweet, and so are you. Thou are my love and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine. The lot was cast and then I drew, And Fortune said it should be you. Got it? Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up! We all know that Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February with the giving of affectionate gifts, flowers and cards, showing our loved ones how much they are adored. So, who was St. Valentine? Why 14th February? Where does the red rose tradition come from and where do violets fit in? I’ve done some digging and found all the facts you need to know about the big day. The earliest legend and a bit of a gem is one you might want to let the children skip over as, apparently, in ancient Rome the dates of 13th, 14th and 15th 78 | Bridport Times | February 2019

February were celebrated as Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival. This was a celebration of love marked, according to legend, in a rather saucy way when young men would strip naked and use goat- or dog-skin whips to spank the bottoms of young women to improve their fertility! Not to be recommended in Bridport on a cold winter’s day! Another legend, slightly later, about the history of Valentine’s Day originated during the third century in Rome. During this time, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men. A young priest named Valentine was furious with this injustice and defied Claudius by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death. Although not quite the fate of those who fail to buy their loved one flowers on Valentine’s Day, it’s apparently a lesson to be learned from history! During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the girl and signed it, ‘From Your Valentine’ — an expression we still use today. According to the legend, Valentine crushed

the violet flowers growing outside his cell to make precious ink with which to write the letter on the violet leaves. Valentine was executed on 14th February 270 AD. Later, around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared the date of 14th February a day to honour Valentine, who by that time had become a saint. In this country in 1537, King Henry VIII officially declared 14th February as the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day – and it has stuck ever since. Today, we continue to honour St. Valentine and recall the history of Valentine’s Day each year on 14th February by celebrating our love for our partners, with an amazing £1 billion or so being spent on gifts and flowers in the UK alone and well over a billion cards being sent worldwide. For thousands of years, the middle of February has been a time for fertility festival celebrations, so it is no wonder flowers are often the Valentine’s Day gift of choice. For centuries, flowers have symbolised fertility, love, marriage and romance and none more so than the red rose, believed to have been the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. However, violets also have a part to play with some considering them to be the traditional Valentine’s

Day flower long before the rose - partly because of the love notes that were written by St Valentine in ink made from the flower but also because they have, for centuries, symbolised the renewal of spring. They have also, historically, been used in the making of aphrodisiacs and love potions and the highly fragrant viola odorata’s sweet oil has been used over time to make perfumes and fragrances. The official flower of February celebrating modesty, virtue, faithfulness, humility and possible happiness, the giving of violets is meant to convey the belief that the recipient will always be true. In more recent years, however, these exquisite beauties have been upstaged by the more romantic rose but naturally, as holders of the National Collection, we’d love to see a few more gift-wrapped violets being appreciated on the 14th! Well, that’s the history behind the day but I’d just say whatever you choose to give your loved one on Valentine’s Day, it’s the thought that counts not the amount of money you spend! Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.



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Kelvin Clayton, Philosophy in Pubs

t’s always dangerous to comment on political events. It used to be said that a week is a long time in politics but currently things seem to change by the day – sometimes by the hour. So, in the time between my writing this and your reading it, events may have outrun my comments. But regarding Brexit, one thing is unlikely to have changed: the amount of social division and anger that has been stirred up by the referendum and subsequent events. If anything, it is only likely to have increased - and this is deeply worrying. The remedy, I think, is that we all need to develop our ability to critically discuss important issues; we need to learn the arts of public debate and critical thinking. These are abilities that community philosophy helps to develop. At the Bridport Philosophy in Pubs group we have one golden rule: we are critical of ideas, not of the person expressing them. This means that, when listening to an opinion you don’t agree with, you really do need to listen to what the other person is saying, not just hear it; you need to think clearly about why you disagree with their opinion; and you need to be able to explain your reasons for disagreement in a way that is respectful of the other person. This is vitally important. If group members think they will be verbally attacked the moment they say something, they will either keep quiet or not turn up in the first place. Either way, their views are not heard. The other side of this is that, in expressing an opinion, group members need to accept that their thoughts and ideas will be challenged. We must all be prepared to be critical of our own position and we must be able to defend this position with reasoned argument and evidence, not just make a series of unsupported assertions. We must learn not to take offence when somebody disagrees with us and, most importantly, we must be prepared to change our mind. This may seem like a typical reactionary opinion of someone my age, but I really do think that we have lost the skills of public debate and critical thinking – if we had them in the first place. Most of us read or listen to the same news sources as we always have done, take on board the opinions of the politicians or political parties we have always supported, and automatically defend our opinion if and when challenged. This does not make for a healthy society. I fear that the Brexit scars will take a long time to heal. 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 fourth 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

80 | Bridport Times | February 2019

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LITERARY REVIEW Anne Morrison, The Bookshop

The Familiars by Stacey Bartlett (Zaffre Publishing, February 2019) £12.99 Bridport Times Reader Offer Price of £11.50 from The Bookshop, Bridport. Signed copies available while supplies last


t’s the early seventeenth century and the king ( James I) is making his presence felt throughout his realm. He is not much liked it seems. Very concerned with his own power, he appears to conflate the perceived threat of Catholicism with that of contemporary notions of witchcraft. Set in the north of England, this novel revolves around the historical persecution, condemnation and execution of a group of so-called witches. Many of the characters are based on real people even though this is a work of fiction. The main protagonist, Fleetwood, exemplifies women’s age-old struggle to withstand male power and domination; to make 82 | Bridport Times | February 2019

meaning for their lives and carve out a place in society which is not solely based around embroidery and child-bearing. Much younger than her adored husband, Fleetwood’s simmering frustration at her powerless position in society emerges in her independent thinking, reading and solitary riding out in the estate lands surrounding their mansion, Gawthorpe. However, her eminently suitable marriage to landed gentleman Richard Shuttleworth leaves her preoccupied with the provision of an heir, as expected and required by society. Rather surprisingly, she herself declares, ‘Every woman wants that; it’s our purpose in life.’ Having suffered more than one failed pregnancy, she is

Image: Ollie Grove

also acutely aware of the dangers of childbirth in those times and enlists the support of a young midwife named Alice. Asserting her need for Alice to attend her is a major element in her struggle for independence and causes great friction within her marriage. Later, Fleetwood begs a furious Richard to come to Alice’s aid during the assizes where she is to be tried as a witch. She thinks to herself, ‘Again, I was thwarted, bound by my invisible leash. It was strange: I was sitting in my house with my husband and dog but had never felt more wretched… now I felt like a visitor in my own life.’ Alice herself comes from a line of ‘wise women’ who, over generations, have accumulated learning and experience in the use of medicinal plants and herbs - a much-needed resource for treatment and remedies amongst the poorer population. Her knowledge, and therefore power, is the focus of fear, suspicion and persecution on the part of the ruling classes who understand it only as ‘witchery’. ‘Most women are wise,’ Alice says. And, according to the king, not to be trusted. She continues, ‘He has driven them into the shadows. But people are still sick and dying and having children, and not everyone has a royal physic. The king has muddled wise women with witchcraft.’ The novel is enriched through marvellous evocations of period clothing, details of interiors, the food eaten and the appearance of the characters themselves. The reader is given colour, texture and light in relationship to both human activity and the landscape, descriptions which are sometimes quite lovely but which are accompanied by graphic images of appalling poverty and destitution. Beneath this tale, based on historical fact, there runs an undercurrent of the unexplainable. Alice is bound up with a family which has a reputation for ‘witch behaviour’. ‘Poppets’, small, hand-made cloth dolls, are described, and the notion of each individual having a ‘familiar spirit’ is taken as fact. Amber-eyed Alice is kind and compassionate, ‘not beautiful but… [with] some vital quality that made her interesting to look at.’ Although a benign figure, there is an element of her character that is never quite explained or understood. Fleetwood’s closing thoughts leave the reader to ponder on this. Feeling herself watched she turned and, ‘A stunning red fox fixed me with its wide, amber eyes and placed a hesitant paw on the grass. We stared at one another and time stood still… my breath caught in my throat. Then I blinked, and it was gone.’ | 83


Illustration: Sally Seymour with Alice Pattullo 84 | Bridport Times | February 2019


The Fat of the Land, by John Seymour (Little Toller Books, 2017) RRP: £12.00


First published in 1961, John Seymour’s classic tale of a self-sufficient life has a new introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This is an extract from Chapter 3: We Get a Cow.

ell, there we were, we at the Broom, and we found that if we were in for a penny we were in for a pound. For, to live there as we did at first, subsisting like everybody else on stuff bought from the shops, was extremely difficult. We had to slog up to the village for a loaf of bread. Luckily Sally could bake her own bread, and we bought a hundredweight of wholemeal flour and she started to do so. This is much easier than many people think: certainly easier than baking the everlasting cakes that most country people seem to live upon nowadays, and once you have got used to home-baked wholemeal bread it is very nasty to have to eat that shop-bought pap again. Two or three slices of our bread are a good meal in themselves, and the stuff is delicious. We are not concerned, and never have been, with the alleged fact that wholemeal bread is healthier than white. We just like it better, that is all. We realised that we would have to get either a cow or a goat, or get out. That morning slog up for the milk every day would finish us. And we realised that whichever we had we would have to grow some fodder for it. I spent much of my time digging, but it became evident to me that long before I had dug my way to the last bit of our piece of land the first bit that I had dug would be grown up with wilderness again. We had never thought of letting pigs do our digging for us, in those days. Pigs, we now know, will dig far better than we can, and manure the ground at the same time, and clear it of weeds, and go on growing themselves while they are doing so. I asked our landlord Michael if he would send a tractor. I spent a couple of days clearing Goose Bit – hacking down the weeds and brambles and making a great fire – and then along came the Ferguson and ploughed it all twelve inches deep. But this was not the end of it. I then had to break it down, and this I found I had to do with a mattock. Bed by bed, as we needed the ground, I smacked it and smashed it with a mattock. This was extremely hard work, and very good for me. Also I had to fork over every inch of it for spear grass roots – spear grass is what we call couch grass in these parts. This is our worst enemy, and it will still be years before we completely overcome it. It so happened that the book we had bought on growing vegetables was a book on cloche gardening, and so we naturally thought in terms of cloches. And when we saw a lot of barn cloches advertised in the local paper we went and bought sixty of them, for five shillings each. They have their uses. But we should never have lashed out on a quantity like that. In the first place it took us just six months to break half of them. I only have to look at a cloche for it to dissolve with a merry tinkle, and our first pair of pigs used to escape from their sty in the bottom of Goose Bit and tear round the garden with me after them breaking cloches. In the second place – they are not really all that effective. Not unless you devote your life to serving them like a vestal virgin. But before the end of January we had sown the seeds of onions, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, radishes and parsnips. We were slavishly following our book – and more books which we began to buy. By now we have learnt that about the only things worth planting as early as February even are parsnips and shallots (although many things are better sown in the autumn). But in those days we tried everything, and we gave ourselves an enormous amount of work and very often for nothing. The Englishman’s home is supposed to be his castle; but considering that very few Englishmen even own their homes this saying is ridiculous. In most cases the Englishman’s home is somebody else’s castle. This is not the place to go in to a long one-sided argument about the merits or demerits of the landlord-tenant system (I’ll just say that I loathe and detest it!) but that is so. And for this reason very few English cottagers ever plant fruit trees in their gardens. Why should they improve somebody else’s property? And so the Broom, like most other cottages around these parts, was, when we came to it, devoid of fruit trees excepting for one old eating-apple tree, terribly neglected and overgrown with lichen, and the stumpy remains of a cooker, at the bottom of what had been Ken and Janet’s front garden. | 85

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ACROSS 1. Make less hard (6) 4. One who judges a literary work (6) 9. Living in water (7) 10. Domain (7) 11. Teacher (5) 12. Mary-Kate and Ashley _____ : actresses (5) 14. Certain to fail (2-3) 15. Capital of Vietnam (5) 17. English singer-songwriter (5) 18. Cut very short (7) 20. Welcomed (7) 21. Silly tricks (6) 22. Forgive (6) 86 | Bridport Times | February 2019

DOWN 1. Song sung by sailors (6) 2. Number of days in a fortnight (8) 3. Consumer of food (5) 5. Gathering of old friends (7) 6. Dull heavy sound (4) 7. Widespread (6) 8. Admit to be true (11) 13. Chosen (8) 14. Quibble (7) 15. Involuntary spasm (6) 16. Involving direct confrontation (4-2) 17. Sporting stadium (5) 19. Killer whale (4)

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Bridport Times February 2019  

Featuring Helen and David Aupperlee of Broadoak Coffee, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drin...

Bridport Times February 2019  

Featuring Helen and David Aupperlee of Broadoak Coffee, What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drin...