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APR IL 2019 | FREE


THE BANK MANAGER with Swanherd, Steve Groves



aving taken their chances with hungry monks and gentry, the swans of modern day Abbotsbury rest easy in their nests. But for the opportunist gulls and occasional fox, The Fleet is a safe haven. Countless species of bird pass through, from the rare to the resident, which, for a birder like Steve Groves makes his job as swanherd something of a dream. It seems fitting that a boy, keen on bird-watching and growing up only a stone’s throw from the lagoon should grow up to become their guardian. We meet Steve as he prepares for a new season and the imminent arrival of hundreds of cygnets. Meanwhile, Paul Newman and Emma Tabor bring their series of wellloved walks to the doorsteps of Bridport, Ines Cavill reveals highlights of this year’s Page to Screen Festival, Bella Ivins takes the dogs out, Steven Spurrier busies himself with 441 bottles of Bordeaux and a revisited Gilbert White ponders the solemn deportment of a tortoise. Have a great month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @bridporttimes

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

Graham Avis Bridport Museum @BridportMuseum Martin Ballam Xtreme Falconry Simon Barber Evolver @SimonEvolver @simonpaulbarber Alice Blogg @alice_blogg @alice_blogg Molly Bruce @mollybruceinteriors Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH Ines Cavill Bridport Arts Centre @bridportarts @bridportarts Kelvin Clayton @kelvinclaytongp Jane Fox Yoga Space @yogaspacebridport

2 Bretts Yard Abbey Corner Sherborne Dorset DT9 3NL 01935 315556 @bridporttimes 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 | April 2019

Steph Garner @BridportMusic @bridportmusic Kit Glaisyer @kitglaisyer @kitglaisyer Charlie Groves Groves Nurseries @GrovesNurseries @grovesnurseries Sandy Hashimi West Bay Discovery Centre Bella Ivins Walnuts Farm walnuts_farm Little Toller Books @LittleToller @littletollerdorset

Will Livingstone @willgrow Hilary Maxwell Go Girls Gill Meller @GillMeller @Gill.Meller Suzy Newton Partners in Design @InteriorsDorset Anna Powell Sladers Yard @SladersYard @sladersyard Ellen Simon Tamarisk Farm @ tamarisk_farm Charlie Soole The Club House West Bexington @TheClubHouse217 @theclubhouse2017 Steven Spurrier Bride Valley Vineyard @BrideValleyWine @bridevalleywine Antonia Squire The Bookshop @bookshopbridprt @thebookshopbridport Emma Tabor & Paul Newman @paulnewmanart @paulnewmanartist Cass Titcombe Brassica Restaurant @brassica_food @brassicarestaurant_mercantile Chris Tripp Dorset Diggers Community Archaeology Group Sally Welbourn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife @dorsetwildlife


APRIL 2019

6 What’s On

44 Archaeology

74 Interiors

18 Arts and Culture


80 Gardening

28 History

56 Food and Drink

86 Philosophy

32 Wild Dorset

66 Body and Mind

87 Literature

36 Outdoors

70 Community

90 Crossword | 5

WHAT'S ON Listings ____________________________ Mondays 10am-12.15pm Watercolour Painting

Town Mill Arts, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU.

How can we use community wealth-

07812 856823

our economy? Free. 07974 888895

£15 per session, first session half price.


building approaches to transform

for Beginners

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.30am

LSI, East Street. Info: 07881 805510

Walking the Way

Wednesday or Thursday

to Health in Bridport

9.30am-12.30pm (term-time)


Painting & Drawing Art Classes

Mondays (term-time) 6.30pm-8pm

Starts from CAB 45 South Street. 30min walks, with trained health

walk leaders. Free. 01305 252222

Mangerton Mill Artist Studio.

£16 per lesson. Tara 07505 268797


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



Wednesdays 7pm-10pm

For teens 11-18, parents & carers

Tuesdays 7.15pm

Bridport Scottish Dancers


Uplyme Morris Rehearsals

Mondays 1st, 8th, 15th

The Bottle Inn, Marshwood. No

Church House, South St. Instruction

7.30pm-9.30pm Bridport Folk Dance Club WI Hall, North Street, DT6 3JQ. Folk

experience required, give it a go!

Contact Uplyme Morris on Facebook

& social dancing. Info: 01308 538141


or The Squire on 07917 748087

Every 4th Wednesday 7.30pm


Philosophy in Pubs


Tuesdays 7.30pm-9pm

Mondays 7.30pm-9pm

Bridport Sangha

George Hotel, South St. (Read Kelvin

Bridport Campfire -

Meditation Evenings

Women’s Coaching Group

Quaker Meeting House, South St.

Every 1st Thursday

Will 07950 959572

Community Coffee Morning

Bridport Choral Society

Every 2nd Tuesday 7.15pm

No auditions, just an enthusiasm

Bridport Sugarcraft Club

Free coffee, cakes & parking

Road, DT6 4AB. £5, first visit free

Bridport Embroiderers

Tuesdays 10am-1pm

Every 2nd Tuesday 7pm-9pm

Art Class

Co-operation Bridport

01308 456168

dancing with recorded music. 01308 423442

67 South St. £5, all welcome

____________________________ Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Clayton’s monthly article on page 86)


You are most welcome. Contact David



St. Swithun's Church Hall, Allington. ____________________________

for singing required!

Ivy House, Grove Nurseries, West Bay

Every 3rd Friday 10.30am-3.30pm



St Swithun’s Church Hall, Allington.

6 | Bridport Times | April 2019


D I S C O V E R | E AT | S H O P | S T AY | C E L E B R AT E

Welcome to Symondsbury Estate, set in the beautiful Dorset countryside just a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast. Join us for lunch. Browse our home, garden and gift shops. Explore our fabulous walks and bike trails. Relax and unwind in our holiday accommodation. Celebrate your wedding day … … isn’t it time you discovered Symondsbury Estate? DIARY DATES Country Fair, Saturday 18th May Open Farm Sunday, 9th June


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

WHAT'S ON St Swithun's Church, Bridport. Tickets

Every Saturday 10am-12pm

Friday 5th 6.30pm

FREE Chess Club

High Sheriff to High Seas:

LSi Bridport, 51 East St.

Sailing the South Atlantic


Jennifer Coombs. Proceeds to National

Sunday 7th 5.30pm


The Ropemakers, West St. £1/ticket from

£10 on the door, children free entry.

Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF. Talk by

Monday 1st 10am-2pm

Coastwatch Institution. £7

A Grand Bottle Tombola

Bridport Millennium Green

Friday 5th 7.30pm-9pm

Essence Lingerie, 3 Barrack Street.

Dorset Wildlife Trust Talk -

group members or The Ropemakers.


Bridport United Church Hall, East St,

Coffee Morning in aid of


01308 422650. In aid of The Living Tree

Info: 01308 425037

Wessex Water & Wildlife

Monday 1st - Monday 29th

DT6 3LJ. Talk by Sarah Williams

Sunday 7th 6pm-8pm


Therapeutic Writing Workshop

Underwater Fashion Photography

Saturday 6th 10.30am-12.30pm

“Telling Tales”

LSi Bridport, 51 East St. 07780 588007

FREE Charleston Beginners

Bothenhampton Village Hall. £15. 07747


The Chapel in the Garden, Bridport.

20Ft Under - FREE Exhibition of

& Stepping Out cancer charities




Tuesday 2nd 9.30am-12.30pm

Registration essential

Tuesday 9th 2.30pm



Bridport History Society - Convict


Ship Museum Visits Dorset

DT6 3SA. All materials including

Saturday 6th 7pm-8.30pm

United Church Hall, East St.

All Saints Church, Mapperton.

Wednesday 3rd 7.30pm


Thursday 11th 7pm-9pm

Talk & Readings - Geoffrey

Saturday 6th 7pm

Organic Wine

Chaucer Life & Work

The Pursuit of Beertails:

Masterclass Tasting

Sladers Yard, West Bay, DT6 4GD.

Drink-Mixing Workshop

Seaside Boarding House, Burton

01308 459511

£25 01308 807053

Beachhut Appliqué Workshop Boarsbarrow Gifts & Crafts, Loders frame & refreshments provided. £45.

Brahms Clarinet Quintet Concert



£12.50, £30 with dinner from 5.30pm.

Ivy House Restaurant, Groves Nurseries.



Members £1, visitors £3. Tea & biscuits. 01308 425710


Bradstock. Emmanuel Byilingiro of Vintage Roots. £20 per person


Wednesday 3rd -

Saturday 6th

Thursday 11th 7.15pm

Saturday 6th 7.30pm

Brave New World

Cantamus in Concert -

Bridport Musical Theatre

Salt House, West Bay. All American

Hope, Faith, Life, Love

U16 free.

Bridport DT6 6RQ. £10 on the door.

Company presents: Showstoppers Electric Palace, 35 South St. £12.50 from Bridport TIC. 01308 424901

music on clarinet & piano. £9 at door.

Whitchurch Canonicorum Church,



Sunday - Thursday

Thursday 11th 7.15pm


until 22nd 10am-5pm

BridFringe presents

Friday 5th -

Secret Garden Easter Trail

Jonny Fluffypunk

Wednesday 10th 11am-5pm

Mapperton House & Gardens. From £11

Clocktower Music, St Michaels Art &


word theatre. £5 from Bridport TIC.

The Garment Maker’s House 15 Pound Street, Lyme Regis, DTZ 3HZ.

in advance. 01308 862645

Clothes designer Kat Bazeley’s spring

Sunday 7th 3pm


Orchestra Spring Concert

collection & paintings by Nick Ivins.

8 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Bridport Chamber

Vintage Quarter DT6 3RR. Spoken

01308 424901

____________________________ Thursday 11th 7.30pm

APRIL 2019 The Salt House, West Bay, DT6 4EL.

Utopia: Under Construction

Saturday 13th

The Lyric Theatre, Barrack Street

Come & Sing A Cappella

St John’s, West Bay. £15. Info &

Friday 19th -

Friday 12th (6pm-9pm) -

(Parnham Voices News) or saffas73@

Cadbury's Easter Egg Hunts


DT6 6RA & Hive Beach, Burton


Comedy - pay what you feel.

with Parnham Voices


application forms via Facebook

Saturday 20th 11am-3pm

Golden Cap Estate, Stonebarrow Hill,

Sunday 14th 11am-5pm Exhibition - ‘SUN - BURN’ Eype Schoolroom & Community


Bradstock, DT6 4RF. £2.50 per hunt.

Trust, Pilgrims Latch, Eype DT6 6AL.

01297 489481



Friday 19th April -

Saturday 13th 8am-5pm

23th June 11am-4pm

Record Store Day

Warm Beer & Cabbages

Bridport Music, 33a South St.

West Bay Discovery Centre, DT6 4EN.

Exhibition of American GIs based in

(Read Steph Garner's preview on page 12)

Sunday 14th 11am-4.30pm


Secret Belgian

Saturday 13th -

Bookbinding Workshop

Sunday 28th 10am-4.30pm

Ink & Page, 39a West Allington DT6 5BJ.

Saturday 20th 11am

St Swithun's Church, Bridport. Free.

artists on Saturday 13th. (Read Kit

Sunday 14th 2pm-4pm


Bridport Unitarians, 49 East St,

Saturday 20th 7pm-9.30pm

Hornby in Concert

Quaker Meeting House, South St.

Tuesday 16th - Wednesday 17th



6 Bridport Artists Eype Centre for the Arts, Mount Lane, Eype, DT6 6AR. Free. Meet all the

West Bay prior to D Day. Free 01308 427288


Materials included. £85. 07425 163459

Children's Easter Egg Hunt


Wellies recommended! bridport-team-

Glaisyer's preview on page 22)

Divine Union Soundbath

Saturday 13th 10am-4pm

DT6 3JX. £12. 01935 389655

Joey Clarkson & Elizabeth


The Chapel in the Garden, DT6 3JX.

Plant Medicine: Healing & Connectivity to the 'More Than'


Donations £10 - £40 bring & share

11am-1pm or 2pm-4pm Children’s 3D Art Workshop

Monday 22nd 7.30pm


with Darrell Wakelam

FREE West Dorset Jive

Saturday 13th 2pm

West Bay Discovery Centre, DT6 4EN.

Community Evening

No need to book!

Talk - A Fine Meeting There is There - Bridport & The Quakers Loders Village Hall. Visitors £3, members


Donations welcome. 01308 427288

Chideock Village Hall, DT6 6JW.



£1.50. 01308 425710

Thursday 18th 7.30pm

Tuesday 23rd 2pm


Bridport & District

AGM & Talk by Martin Lloyd –

Saturday 13th 7.30pm

Gardening Club - Growing

‘Passport Stories from History’

Quiz in aid of Bridport

Clematis Successfully

Millennium Green

WI Hall, North St. £2

Bridport United Church Hall, East St.

British Legion Hall, Victoria Grove.

£7.50 (members £7) inc. light supper. 01308 425037


Non-members £2. ____________________________


Wednesday 24th - Sunday 28th

Friday 19th 10am-5pm

Page to Screen Festival

Bridport Art Society Exhibition

Bridport Arts Centre. Film adaptations | 9

WHAT'S ON with additional talks, workshops &

£12, 01308 456297

(Read Ines Cavill's preview on page 14)

Saturday 27th 7.30pm-11pm

events. 01308 424204


£85, 07704 093016,


Bridport Folk Dance

Fairs and Markets

Club Annual Folk Dance


Church House Hall, South Street,

Every Wednesday & Saturday


South, West & East Street

DT6 3NW. 01308 423442

Weekly Market

Saturday 27th 7.30pm


Dorset Police Male Voice Choir

Second Saturday of

Bridport United Church, East St. £10.50

the month 9am–1pm

Refreshments. 01308 424901

Bridport Arts Centre

EX13 8TU. FREE but booking essential

Saturday 27th 8pm

Every Saturday, 9am–12pm 01297 631113

Three Cane Whale

Country Market

____________________________ Thursday 25th 10.45am

Sladers Yard, West Bay, DT6 4GD.

Ancient folk with modern classical ideas.

WI Hall, North Street

£15 / £33 with dinner. 01308 459511

Every Sunday, 10am-5pm

(See Evolver preview opposite)

Customs House, West Bay

01308 427288

Sunday 28th 7.30am

Last Sunday of every month,


Jurassic Trail Run


Thursdays 25th April -

Marsh Barn, West Bay. 4 route distance

Bridport Vintage Market



____________________________ Wednesday 24th 10am-12.30pm Botanical Stroll With Mike Lock, Trill Farm, Musbury

Discover the Nature of West Bay: Stepping into Nature Walk around West Bay. All ages.

Donations welcome, book in advance.

from Bridport TIC (& rotary members).

Farmers’ Market




Local Produce Market



options. From £32.50

St Michael’s Trading Estate, DT6 3RR

Bothenhampton Village Hall

Sunday 28th 6pm

Saturday 6th 9am-3pm

5 week course £35, 07747 142088

Whitchurch Occasional Choir -

Arts & Craft Fair

Traditional Choral Evening


Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF.

Thursday 25th 7.30pm

Whitchurch Canonicorum Church, Bridport DT6 6RQ

23rd May 1pm-2pm Therapeutic Writing Course

Budapest Café Orchestra Burton Bradstock Village Hall. Folk/


01308 424901

____________________________ Saturday 13th 10am-2.30pm Bridport Vegan Market

gypsy band. £12, £11 65s+, U16s free

Planning ahead



Saturday 27th 10.30am-4pm

Wednesday 1st May

Memoir Writing Workshop


To include your event in our FREE

Bridport Quaker Meeting House.

Creative Writing Walk

listings please email details (whole

Book in advance, £45 0782 4617453

listing in approx 20 words) by the 1st

Trill Farm, Musbury EX13 8TU.


£45 01297 631113


Bridport Town Hall, DT6 3LF.


of each preceding month to gemma@

Saturday 27th 3pm

Sunday 5th May 10am-5pm

Concert - Martin Schellenberg

The Well Life Lab - Spring

Due to the volume of events received

(organ) & Winston Leese (trumpet)

Cleanse One-Day Retreat

we are regrettably unable to

St. Mary’s Church, Beaminster.

Kingcombe Centre, Toller Porcorum.

acknowledge or include them all.

10 | Bridport Times | April 2019

PREVIEW In association with

THREE CANE WHALE Three Cane Whale is a multi-instrumental acoustic chamber-folk trio, based in Bristol. Paul

Bradley (acoustic guitar, miniature harp), Pete Judge (trumpet, cornet, rotary-valve tenor horn, dulcitone, harmonium, chimes, glockenspiels, lyre-harp) and Alex Vann (mandolin, bouzouki, bowed psaltery, tenor banjo, zither, hammered dulcimer) inhabit an instrument-strewn stage. Beguilingly unusual combinations make for a striking auditory experience, with instruments such as an eerie bowed psaltery and a late-Victorian Scottish acoustic keyboard creating a soundworld unlike any other.

________________________________________________________________ Saturday 27th April, 8pm Three Cane Whale Cafe Sladers, Sladers Yard, West Bay, Bridport, DT6 4EL.

Tickets ÂŁ15. 01308 459511

________________________________________________________________ | 11

What's On



Steph Garner, Bridport Music

he biggest day in our calendar is approaching. The 12th Record Store Day will take place on Saturday 13th April. It is a day that celebrates independent, brick and mortar record shops which support the record companies who supply us with new and back catalogue physical products every week. Each year Record Store Day gets bigger and better. As usual, it will be an early start for us feeding the early morning queuers with tea, coffee and cake (last year the first person was here at midnight!). Doors open at 8am for people to finally get their hands on all the lovely, special, vinyl releases. Once we’ve cleared the initial rush it will be time for some live music. We will have several live acts on throughout the rest of the day. Phil Jinder Dewhurst, The Gravity Drive and Aidan Simpson will all be showing off the great new material they’ve been working on. Jake Miller and Grace Gillan will be performing for us too. Composer and musician Michael J. Bolton

Musical Instruments • CDs DVDs • New Vinyl • Accessories DAB Radios • Music Books Styli & much more 33a South Street Bridport DT6 3NY T. 01308 425707 Twitter: @BridportMusic

12 | Bridport Times | April 2019

will be showcasing his album Earthrise (contemporary jazz, Latin fusion, funk, progressive rock). His music has been edited to sync with original archive footage of the NASA Moon landing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event this July. You will be able to see this edited film footage set to his music between 2pm and 3pm. He will also have some vinyl copies of the album to sign and sell on the day. This year it’ll be 45 years since a family member started the business, as Bridport Record Centre, in a corner of a general shop further down South Street. Some of you may remember that we celebrated 40 years in 2016 but evidence has since revealed that the business actually began in 1974. We’d better bake another special cake! Join us at 4pm for some celebratory cake and fizz while Mitch plays us out.

DIANE CLUCK Friday 26th April

doors 7pm, performance 8pm Advance tickets £8 - £10 (+ booking fee) from

“She made me rethink my singing instincts. Diane is not just an amazing and interesting singer, she’s a philosopher.” Sharon Van Etten “I grew up on 60s music, but my first contemporary music love was Diane Cluck.” Laura Marling “She is likely one of the most refined and elegant songwriters in all of neo-folkdom. A brilliant idiosyncratic guitarist, a witty and wise lyricist, an imaginative melody writer with a powerful voice; her dark and introspective tunes are utterly captivating. Watch her spellbind the room.” Village Voice, NYC “When Diane sings, I am lost in a realm of infinite possibilities. She breaks me down, she gives me chills, she makes me cry–this is when I love music.” Bianca Casady (CocoRosie) “She takes the voice to the brink of a new and beautiful language.” Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) CHURCH STUDIO HAYDON DORSET DT9 5JB

A series of talks, live performances and screenings + food and drink of an interesting ilk In association with | 13




Ines Cavill, Bridport Arts Centre

he 11th ‘From Page to Screen’ film festival is taking place from April 24th- 28th. The only film festival to celebrate and explore adaptation, it's presenting a dynamic mix of cinematic classics, rare gems and new award-winners - plus the chance for Bridport to see an exclusive preview screening of Tell it to the Bees. This adaptation of the critically-acclaimed 2009 novel by the writer Fiona Shaw was first shown in September as a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival and had its UK premiere in Glasgow last month, but it won’t be on general release until June. Tell it to the Bees charts the forbidden bonds between Lydia Weekes (Holliday Grainger), a destitue young mother in 1950s rural Scotland, and a new friend, Dr. Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) who offers refuge in her large country house. Lydia's son Charlie is entranced by the garden's beehives- and oblivious to the punishment that awaits his beloved mother. Producer Daisy Allsop was especially keen to bring the film to ‘From Page to Screen’. ‘My family has spent lots of time in and around Bridport since my grandparents moved to the area in the late 1960s. When I got married ten years ago, we chose to have the reception in the Bridport Arts Centre’s stunning Allsop Gallery; this was named for my grandfather, the broadcaster, naturalist and writer Kenneth Allsop, who was involved with the establishing of the BAC and is where my dad, Tristan, now volunteers as a film projectionist.’ Tristan Allsop is a retired documentary-maker who channels his own love of cinema into supporting local screenings, including the Bridport Film Society which chooses the daily 11am slot at the festival. This year’s 11am theme is European Cinema and includes cult classic The Leopard. Tristan says, ‘Film-lovers are so well-served in Bridport. Between the Electric Palace, Arts Centre, Film Society and From Page to Screen we can see everything from foreign-language art house treasures to the latest big screen hits - and audiences get to engage with filmmakers at revealing Q&As’. After the preview screening at The Electric Palace on Friday April 24th, Daisy will be joining novelist Fiona Shaw to explore how they took Tell It to The Bees from book to film. Daisy is currently finalising her own original feature, The Aquarium, but has worked for 20 years in script development with a particular focus on literary adaptation, including her childhood favourite, Five Children and It, and David Almond’s novel, Skellig. ‘I love the challenge of creating cinematic characters without losing the heart of the original story - the essence of Tell it to the Bees is a connection between two women with ambitions ahead of their times, women who want more than their ‘50s small town society will allow them. The film retains that core but we altered the ending (with Fiona’s blessing) and the visually stunning director Annabel Jankel used her background in animation to take the bees themselves to a whole other level...’ Other festival highlights include more new films with speakers, such as A Private War on Wednesday 24th and Vice on Thursday 25th plus family screenings of an old-school Godzilla on Friday 26th and the brand new live action Dumbo on Saturday 27th. This year’s curator, Christine Langan, CEO with Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions, is bringing her own favourite adaptation, The Queen, (as well as The Favourite) on Sunday 28th and key inspirations such as Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, State of the Union and Mr Smith Goes to Washington.

14 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Tell it to the Bees (2018)

Tell it to the Bees (2018) | 15

What's On



tanding on the shingle entrance to East Beach, the old Methodist Chapel on the beach in West Bay has been given a new lease of life and, following a sympathetic restoration of the 1849 building, opened in August 2018 as The West Bay Discovery Centre. It now offers a treasure trove of stories and information celebrating West Bay’s unique character through its history, weather, industry and wildlife. The Centre aims to encourage visitors to explore and discover all that the area has to offer through displays, activities, trails, walks, school visits and more. It has a programme of temporary exhibitions which this year include model boats, the World War II American GIs who lived and trained in West Bay, and shipbuilding - an often-overlooked but important industry in the history of Bridport Harbour, as it was known until 1885. By the time the shipbuilding exhibition comes around this summer, the Chapel should have a new installation, courtesy of local artist, Darrell Wakelam. Darrell's work can be seen in many different venues, and includes the realistic bookcase he created in the Literary and Scientific Institute in East Street. Working with children, and using cardboard, papier maché and employing collage techniques, Darrell's workshops are a fun and imaginative way for youngsters to help create a permanent piece of art, and the 3D sculpture he is 16 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Image: Pete Millson

planning to bring to life at the Discovery Centre is certainly ambitious: a ship in full sail surging through one of the Chapel’s west-facing windows. Children don’t have to be artistic; this is a chance for them to have fun creating a sculpture that reflects a part of West Bay’s history. When it’s installed in its window, they can revisit and proudly tell everyone, “I built that!” Visitors are often surprised when they learn that West Bay had a successful shipyard which built some of the largest and fastest ships in the country in its heyday. When the project is installed, it will be positioned just along from the shipbuilding exhibit and will really bring that element of West Bay’s past to life. By the end of February 2019, the Discovery Centre had welcomed over 8,300 adults and 1,800 children. With plans to celebrate and reward the 2,000th child through the door, which it is estimated will fall sometime in April, now is a good time to be planning your family's visit to this little gem. Darrell will be running his two-day workshop at the Discovery Centre over the Easter holidays on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th April. Accompanied children are invited to drop into the Chapel to lend a hand.

NEW SHOPPING EXPERIENCE GIFT & LIFESTYLE SHOP NOW OPEN Staddle Stones Restaurant serving delicious home cooked food 11 individual craft studios | Crafting courses & workshops Large FREE car park | Disabled access to most of the Centre Dogs on leads welcome | Free wifi FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK CALL: 01308 868362


Arts & Culture

THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE: BRIAN GRAHAM Anna Powell, Director, Sladers Yard


s a child, artist Brian Graham wandered freely, playing on the heath outside his home on the outskirts of Poole. Bronze Age burial mounds there were a source of mystery and fascination to his vivid imagination, as they have remained throughout his life. He has made his name painting a kind of archaeology of the imagination, feeling his way back in time to man’s earliest beginnings. His paintings have caught the magic to such an extent that they have been bought by the leading experts on early man, for the Natural History Museum, the National Museum Wales, the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London as well as by the art galleries of York, Huddersfield, Southampton and Leicester amongst others, and by many private art lovers. Brian did not read Thomas Hardy until his early twenties, when his wife Carol introduced him to novels that spoke to the heart of his own experiences. Hardy’s Egdon Heath, a ‘part real, part dream country’, stretched from his family’s cottage outside Dorchester all the way to Poole. Hardy’s grandmother must have remembered the great heath as it was until 1800 when it covered most of East Dorset, ‘colossal and mysterious in its swarthy monotony,’ just as Hardy describes it in The Return of the Native. 18 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Image: Hattie Miles

Although much of the heath is now developed or turned into farmland and forest, areas are being cleared and restored back to heather and gorse with the occasional stunted thorn. Heathland is one of the most important habitats for wildlife in Britain and multiple agencies, including the Dorset Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the National Trust, are working together to save it. Heathland is a ‘cultural landscape’ or one which relies on humans to keep it cut and grazed. Like much of southern England, the heath began to be cleared by Neolithic Man towards the end of the Stone Age. The many Bronze Age tumuli, fascinating to Hardy and Brian Graham, show how active people were there then. The heath continued to be maintained for the next two thousand years. Puddletown Heath, an easy walk from Hardy’s cottage, retains its intriguing features including the deep and sudden swallet holes, the Rainbarrows that rise above the tops with views almost to the sea and the recently re-discovered 85-foot-wide Roman road, built when the Romans first arrived in Britain probably to intimidate the locals en route from Exeter to London. It’s the metaphorical power of the heath that Hardy really brings into action, just as Shakespeare does, >

To Lasting Barrows and Long Vanished Barracks | 19

Arts & Culture

20 | Bridport Times | April 2019

when the storm on the heath reduces King Lear to, ‘a poor bare forked animal’. In The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Return of the Native, Nature, in the form of the heath, seems indifferent to human suffering. At the same time the wildness, storms and the relentless sun work as metaphors for the passions inside the characters’ heads and hearts. In taking his titles and subject matter from Hardy, Brian Graham is entering that same wild, internal territory. His colours are thoughtfully applied and subtly nuanced, suggesting mood in a way similar to that by which music evokes feelings. This is visceral mood which feels physical just as the paint itself is physical and textured. ’You have to face it,’ Brian says, talking specifically of melancholy, ‘because inside it there is always light.’ Light and colour, water, time and traces of what has been, all can be found and experienced in these paintings. Brian works in acrylic, layering paint, adding texture and working back into it to uncover areas from underneath. Peeling back the layers of time, feeling into his subjects, his colours drift like clouds. Nothing is absolute. There is a softness, an ambiguity. These carefully considered gradations of tone and colour are invitations to explore and make your own discoveries. Brian’s first show at Sladers Yard in 2014 was entitled Palaeoscapes and was part of a great body of work completed over many years, exploring all the sites where Palaeolithic remains had been found in this country. Including references to the physical places as they are now, the paintings explored themes of hearth and shelter, rocks and sediment, tools and traces of humanity. Last year Brian’s solo exhibition, Towards Music, at Salisbury Museum and later at Southampton University, considered the evolution of music and dance, with each painting linked to a particular piece of music and its composer. Now in his seventies, Brian Graham is bringing his gaze close to home, using the language in paint that he has created over a lifetime to explore his own beginnings, and those of us all. The Great Heath: recent paintings by Brian Graham with ceramics by Adela Powell and furniture by Petter Southall is at Sladers Yard Gallery from 16th March to 6th May 2019. Brian will be in conversation with Professor Simon Olding on Friday 26th April at 6.30pm.

Above the Plain Rose the Hill @sladersyard | 21

Arts & Culture

Kit Glaisyer Eggardon Sunset

6 BRIDPORT ARTISTS Kit Glaisyer, Artist


rom 13th to 28th April I’m taking part in 6 Bridport Artists, a group exhibition with Caroline Ireland, David Brooke, Marion Taylor, John Boyd and Charlotte Miller. The exhibition, at Eype Church Centre for the Arts, will be our first reunion exhibition since we all lost our workplaces in a fire at St Michael’s Studios last July. For many years the six of us exhibited together for regular Open events at the studios. Now, however, we’ve been scattered to the four winds, and it’s been a time of change and uncertainty for us all. Happily, we’ve been able to support and encourage each other over these many months, so this poignant exhibition will be a celebration of both our resilience and camaraderie. Visitors will have an opportunity to see what we’ve all been up to since the summer and to appreciate how we’ve adapted to our changing circumstances. Some of us have been lucky enough to find alternative studios, while others have converted rooms in their homes into temporary studios or, instead, set off on travels around the country. John Boyd decided he really needed a change of scene after months of looking for another studio. So, over Christmas 2018, he decided to make a 10-day trip around Great Britain, sketching and painting along the way. He made his way to the Lake District and then up to Scotland, through Glencoe to Western Ross, the Isle of Skye, back down through the Cairngorms to Northumberland and then across to the Peak District, finally ending up at The Malverns. John has been painting and drawing full time now for nearly 30 22 | Bridport Times | April 2019

years after a period working in London in the printing business. He is completely self-taught, gathering skills from painting outside in the landscape and gaining influence from many artists past and present. He often alters his media but his favourite practice is working in oils as the versatility appeals to him. His new paintings are a celebration of a tour of the country that really opened his eyes to the beauty of the British Isles. For Caroline Ireland, it’s been a challenge to find her way back from such a dark episode, since her work is derived from inspiration and a sense of joy in the world around us. She moved to a small, rural studio, surrounded by ancient hills, with glimpses of the sparkling sea, and her new acrylics on canvas explore the themes of hope, love and new beginnings. As usual with Caroline’s work, each piece is executed in dazzling colour, with compositions reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscripts, where figures move through enigmatic landscapes on their own internal pilgrimage. In the recent paintings of David Brooke, you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking through fabulous stained-glass windows, yet each piece has an individual, enigmatic quality as if its story is yet to be written, waiting for the viewer to enter and spend time unravelling the mystery. Figures morph into foliage or fight their way through the undergrowth to achieve what seem like impossible tasks: plucking a hair from the sleeping beast seems fraught with difficulty and obstacles, but somehow we feel reassured that, having completed the dangerous task, a magical transformation will take place, and we >

David Brooke Walking on the Backs of Fish | 23

Arts & Culture

Caroline Ireland The Blackbird's Song

Charlotte Miller Autumn Walk 24 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Marion Taylor Sweet Peas

John Boyd Sennen 2

will move into another phase of our adventure. Although their studios remained intact, after the fire, artists Marion Taylor, John Boyd and Charlotte Miller were unable to return to their workspaces due to safety and concerns over access. After months of uncertainty and reflection, Marion is now working from home, with renewed enthusiasm and a subtle change in the direction of her work. Images of semi-abstract flowers and bruised blooms are now seen beside her usual muse - Colmer’s Hill - along with a new series of paintings with petals and perfume at their core, inspired by her original training as a textile designer. Charlotte Miller is inspired by the beautiful landscape and coastal paths of West Dorset, painting in oils and acrylic. She walks each day near her home beneath Eggardon Hill, drawing inspiration for her narrative and sketched images. In the winter months she notices how the landscape reveals raw and skeletal structures and she aims to represent these hidden areas in her paintings, layering the paint, scarring and removing areas to create shape, light and colour.

For my part, I’ve been busy working at my home studio in Bradpole, on the outskirts of Bridport, focussing on a new series of landscape paintings that are both gentle and meditative in nature. Some might notice a renewed sensitivity and quietness within these recent pieces, perhaps inspired by my experience of living closer to the countryside where I’ve been enjoying the tranquil atmosphere of deep peace and calm, far from the lively buzz and social distractions I once enjoyed at St Michael’s Studios. As I’ve adjusted to my new circumstances, these paintings seem to be reflective of recent events while suggesting a fresh, uplifting vision of the future. 6 Bridport Artists runs from Saturday 13th to Sunday 28th April, 10.30am to 4.30pm, at Eype Church Centre for the Arts, Mount Lane, Eype, Bridport DT6 6AR. There will be opportunities to meet the artists throughout the day on Saturday 13th April. | 25

Arts & Culture



live in a cottage built in 1807 of Blue Lias stone, with window openings supported in Bothenhampton brick arches. With many southfacing windows, sunlight floods in (when it shines) and it’s still standing strong after all these years. A place of beauty with soul, which grounds me and fills me with joy. It was a way of life then to build from materials found at one’s feet and with an understanding of the direction the property would face. There was no planned obsolescence of the building, it was made to last for generations: the builders were building with love, creating history, maybe without an understanding that it could be restored, but potentially with a thought that it could continue to be cherished and lived in for many years beyond their generation. What has changed in how we build today, the materials we use, our perception of repairing, not only in architecture but also in the day-today objects we use? Vernacular architecture sings with a native sense of place, an understanding of using materials found at one’s feet. This relates to so many practitioners around us, from the buildings they exist in to the materials they use to create items. Jeremy at the foot of Eggardon Hill with his family-run business Chalkbarn Joinery - can anyone guess what material his workshop is built from? Tim Hurn in Bettiscombe firing pots in his wood-fired kiln. Malcom Seal’s beautiful baskets made from south-west grown willow in the converted farm building behind mine. This is just a glimmer of the wealth of artists existing, giving, making and taking from the landscape in which we exist. As a creative person, it is hard sometimes to distinguish between work and home life. If you are doing a job because you are passionate and believe in it, the threads run through your daily life. Believing in and understanding materials isn’t just about the buildings we live in, the objects we make or buy but also, most importantly, the food we eat. The resources we have at our feet in rural Dorset are magical. There has been a positive turn nationally in how we think about the food we buy, the packaging it comes in, where it comes from and how it is made. Is there a movement happening in the architecture we build and the objects we create and consume? 26 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a place to grow vegetables, but here we are lucky to be able to buy local produce from Trill farm, Tamarisk Farm, Washingpool Farm, Haypenny plot - the list is endless. There are links not only straight from source but also between businesses and the community, helping each other to grow - raw milk from Modbury turned into gelato at Beppinos, for example. In the same sense, not everyone has a pottery wheel or a workshop in their garden but we can support our community by buying from independent shops or straight from the creative - treasured objects that are beautiful and made to last beyond lifetimes by local artisans. We live in a fast-paced world of mass consumption with the expectation that everything can be ordered online, wrapped in plastic and arrive the next day on our doorstep. Are we losing touch with how things are made, and making ourselves? There used to be a culture of fixing and repairing, the same as giving old buildings a new lease of life, which adds to the story and means so much more than how we live now in our throwaway society. Despite this trend, our locality is filled with passionate makers of all types, engaging their hands, hearts and minds and, in the process, building their businesses, supporting their community and leading a creative and fulfilled life. Can we learn to think beyond our current generation and create whilst caring for those resources at our feet that we can’t live without? I relate this to the resource of which I use so much. I fear the large hedgerow oaks falling and no new ones peeping through, a sight so magnificent as I drive the country lanes, and dream of creating and planting a forest that keeps on giving for generations to come. As the trees begin to leaf and the landscape turns luscious, think of the view as your resource and protect it for the future. In rural places this is a time of year when we can’t help but feel in tune with nature. Coming out from hibernation, look beyond the leaves and learn to understand how we can all work together and use the resources at our feet in our everyday lives.

Image: Katharine Davies | 27



Graham Avis, Research Volunteer


n the 19th century, politics, even in sleepy Bridport, was an emotive topic. For nearly 600 years Bridport had two Members of Parliament (MP). In 1868 the constituency was reduced to a single MP and in 1885 it was absorbed into a new constituency of West Dorset. At the beginning of that century, electing MPs was very different from today. The voting could take place over several days. Those entitled to vote presented themselves to the Town Clerk, identified themselves, showed proof that they were entitled to vote, and then indicated which two candidates they wished to vote for; they could, if they wished, vote for just one candidate, a stratagem known as plumping. The votes were recorded, identifying each voter; at the end of the election this allowed the candidates, on payment of a fee, to see who each individual had voted for. Secret ballot it was not! The Bridport Local History Centre has a copy of the 1832 election showing how the results were recorded. Why should candidates be interested in who didn’t vote for them? The History of Parliament online for the years 1820 to 1830 gives us a clue. It describes Bridport as ‘open and venal,’ and suggests that it had long been ‘unmanageable’. It seems that it cost a lot of money to be elected as an MP in the early 1800s: in 1818 one candidate notched up expenses of about £2,500 and itemised the payment to 157 voters and 3 plumpers of £10 each. These costs, which rose in later contests to £20 or £30 per voter, were seen as a voter’s right. Indeed, in 1831, the Sherborne Journal reported that, in a meeting at the Antelope Inn, 160 electors had decided to exclude the sitting MP at the next election unless they were paid the £10 due from the last election! One further incident occurred in 1835, following the introduction of the Municipal Corporations Act, when the Town Clerk, Edwin Nicholetts, was accused of corruption. The judge at the hearing expressed the opinion that, although Nicholetts’ interpretation of the 28 | Bridport Times | April 2019

new act was faulty, he was doubtful whether corruption could be proved. The jury dismissed the case without hearing the defence. The evidence does give a clear description of the voting process. Each candidate could inspect any or every vote on payment of one shilling per vote. Nicholetts had insisted this be paid in coin for each vote inspected and would not allow candidates to pay up front in the form of a bank note! The Great Reform Bill threw up some discussion. Bridport seemed destined to be reduced to a single MP, however the Boundaries Commission decided that, by including parts of Bradpole and Allington in the Municipal Borough, the size of the Borough

Interior of Town Hall c1900, W. Shephard (courtesy of Bridport Museum)

was sufficient for two MPs. There was a difference of opinion between the Borough’s returning officers and the Commissioner, with the returning officers suggesting that there were 13 houses that were part of the borough but outside the parish. The Commissioner decided there were 254, by including Allington and the parts of Bradpole close to the Borough, which led to a proposal to make the parish boundary the same as the Municipal Borough. This was, however, strongly resisted by both Allington and Bradpole parishes, and was eventually rejected. Another feature of the 19th century was the use of handbills, even satirical verse, to get points across. Bridport fostered some interesting examples regarding

the Bridport Railway and the state of the water supply. One, entitled Boroughmongering, was produced to encourage support of the 1832 Reform Bill and makes interesting reading! It is not difficult to imagine some of the gripes being heard today in some parts of Bridport! And, in case you were wondering, as I was, Dr Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary states that ‘bum-bailiff ’ is a corruption of the term Bound Bailiff, a bailiff employed in arrests! @bridportmuseum @BridportMuseum | 29



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

Trill Farm, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TU 30 | Bridport Times | April 2019


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Your local holiday cottage specialist is currently looking for properties in the area to add to their ever-growing portfolio in Dorset. If you are considering letting your holiday home, we offer free, honest, expert advice on how to get the most out of your holiday property and the potential income you could generate through marketing. Call us: 01297 443550 44 Church Street, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3DA

Wild Dorset

ALL AFLUTTER Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust

Massimiliano Paolino/Shutterstock


s spring gets underway, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is asking everyone in Dorset to do at least one thing to help declining pollinators in their gardens as part of its new Get Dorset Buzzing campaign. Bees are probably the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘pollinators’, but there are many other species of wildlife which also carry out the all-important process of pollination, including beetles, moths, hoverflies and butterflies. This time of year, besides the emergence of bees, you’ll also start seeing butterflies flying around between flowers and brightening up our gardens and landscapes. DWT’s regular ‘species of the month’ for April is the brimstone butterfly – one of the earliest appearing. Unlike many butterflies, brimstone’s hibernate through cold weather in adult form. They may be seen flying on warm days throughout the year, although they are most common in the spring. It’s a distinctive butterfly which is easy to spot – it’s fairly large and pale yellow in colour, with leaf-shaped ‘veiny’ wings. They’re also excellent pollinators as they use their especially-long ‘proboscis’ (nose) to consume nectar from flowers that are beyond the reach of many other butterflies. If you’d like to see brimstone butterflies in your garden, there’s plenty you can do. Planting buckthorn 32 | Bridport Times | April 2019

is a great place to start, as that’s what the brimstone larvae eat. One of the biggest challenges for pollinators is finding habitat, so planting ivy and allowing it to climb around trees or structures will give them a safe area to hibernate. As with all pollinators, they need lots of nectar-rich plants – why not create a border in your garden? If you sign up to the Get Dorset Buzzing campaign on our website, DWT will send you some pollinator-friendly wildflower seeds so you can get started on welcoming pollinators into your garden.

Facts: • The males have a slightly brighter, yellow tone, whereas the females are a paler green tone. Both have a small orange-brown spot on each wing. • The brimstone is named after an archaic word for sulphur. • When picked up, the brimstone becomes stiff and hides its legs from view in order to increase its leaf-like appearance and decrease its chances of being recognised. • Brimstone’s are most attracted to purple flowers.

Sign up to our Get Dorset Buzzing campaign and join our buzzing community to help pollinators in your garden.

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Photos Š Cat Bolado, Ken Dolbear MBE, Katharine Davies.

Wild Dorset

BEGINNING Ellen Simon, Tamarisk Farm


ur cows’ main job is to be mothers, and they are very good at it. We can recognise the start of each cow’s mothering by hearing her talk to her young one. She will start when she is beginning labour and uses her special mother’s voice only for the next day or two. As human beings we raise the pitch of our voice when we speak to our babies. Cows lower theirs, making a very particular sound, one we never hear at any other time. If we hear the characteristic quiet, brief lowing as we go out in a darkening evening to check the cattle, we know for certain that there will be a calf newly dropped or one about to appear. It’s a mother calling for her little one. Over most of our calving time the cows are housed beside a path from the market garden to the farmhouse; everyone walks that way whenever they can, not only to enjoy seeing calves fresh in the world and then playing together when they are a few days old but also to notice whether all is well. We know that almost all of the cows will labour and calve by themselves but still we make a point of knowing what is happening most of the time. 34 | Bridport Times | April 2019

It is not necessary to attend but it is prudent. However good they are there may be some reason to stay, but whether or not we need to be there, we like to be. There are distinct physical signs when a birth is imminent and also more emotional ones: a cow may be restless, stand apart, maybe take herself to a quiet place. If she is young, her mother or sister may stay with her supporting her privacy. We watch for the signs and teach them to anyone who might be walking the path, asking them to tell us what they see. Thus, we often know which cow will be having her calf next and look out for its arrival. We like to tell local children if a calf is on its way; they stand quietly where they can see but not disturb the mother. The cows are professionals at this; it is after all their raison d’être and, ignoring us, they get on with their work which is strong and physical. Our work is observation: we check how the calf is lying ready for birth, ensuring that it is diving out, one front foot coming first with the next one just behind it and with a nose to follow, and we check that the cow is feeling active and strong. If all is well, we simply

watch. She has chosen where she wants to calve and now will choose her position, turning around, lying down and getting up again in response to the promptings of her labour, eventually working hard, pushing in waves. We watch the calf finding its way into the world, sometimes inch by inch showing a flickering tongue and then a blinking eye, and sometimes in one big whoosh. Once born they lie for a few moments, head on the straw, becoming familiar with the sensations of their body in its new world. It is as if they are making sure that they are still the entity they were, that their heart is still beating and that they are ready to breathe air, which they have never done before. As moments go by their breath becomes ordered. They blink but show no sign of seeing. Soon they blearily raise their head and shake it, wet ears slapping from side to side, and then look around, not yet seeing clearly. They stay as they are for a while, then re-arrange their legs, taking them from a collapsed tangle to an organised fold beneath their body, now sitting neatly. Now they seem

to be taking in what is before their eyes as they look about, turning towards their mother and away again. Within minutes they are ready for the next stage: trying to stand, back legs first then front. However, they’re still developing their co-ordination and rarely manage first time. They start with getting onto their knees, then raise their backsides high and balance in a triangular posture for a moment, hind legs extended, front legs still folded under their shoulders. An inadvertent extra push with the back legs throws them forward and they end up with their faces on the ground, or they push too much from the knees which sends them sideways. Again and again they find themselves in their ungainly version of the ‘downward dog’ yoga posture, and again pitch themselves down. Eventually they balance long enough to lift their front legs fully and are finally held by all four feet, swaying. Their next move is to stagger, preferably forwards, and eventually to the udder, where they will grasp a teat and help themselves to the life-giving colostrum, that first rich milk full of antibodies and precisely the food to satisfy them completely. All this time, the mother has been doing her bit in this great endeavour. She has been busy making sure the calf is warm and dry, using her rough tongue to clean the sticky wetness from the calf ’s wavy coat, leaving it clean and shining. But a cow is a heavy animal and each lick uses her whole head: often the precarious balance is broken by these loving ministrations and the calf tumbles yet again. In farming, both in the long past and now, cows are sold with the plaudit, ‘never seen calving’, meaning that they routinely get on with the job without help, doing it as nature intended and in the best way for the farmer. Our cows generally live their whole lives with us but, were we to sell, many of ours could be given that recommendation, although perhaps fewer than deserve it. We so often watch them calving when there is no real need, simply for the joy of seeing the calf slither into its new world, the cow feel the satisfaction of giving birth, and hearing her express it in her quiet mother’s voice. A big thank you to all the Bridport Times readers who came and chatted with us on the Real Bread Week stall following last month's article. If you took away a starter and some flour we'd love to hear how your first sourdough loaf has gone. We'll be holding a lambing day on April 28th, starting at 11am to visit new lambs and see it all happening. | 35




yme Regis is the perfect setting off point to explore the West Dorset/East Devon coastal landscape with your four-legged friend and either side of the summer season, before the leaves are on the trees, is when it’s at its absolute best. You can look out across the Jurassic Coast without obstruction. The sandy town beach is open to dogs until 30th April 2019 and there is a great choice of dog-friendly places to stay, plus independent cafés, bars and shops. Here are some ideas for a perfect dog day out for you and your furry friends. The Undercliff

Park at Holmbush car park (satnav DT7 3HX) and set off in a south-westerly direction to Pine Walk leading onto Ware Cliffs. At the kissing gate you’ll see a wooden signpost. Head in the direction of the ‘Coast Path’. At the top of the hill is a bench with spectacular views to the Cobb and harbour boats below. It is a doggy paradise where locals bring their dogs to run around on the safe, open pasture. Retracing your footsteps and bearing right before you rejoin Pine Walk leads to a woodland path down to the beach. The beach

Dog walkers wishing to head to the Cobb and beach front should follow the wooden signpost marked ‘The Cobb’ from this open pasture, through a gate and down steps through woodland alongside a rushing stream. You’ll emerge between beach chalets that sit above Cabanya car park. Dogs are allowed on Monmouth Beach all year round but my old lurcher, Bunny, doesn’t enjoy the stones so we go there at low tide when soft sand and large ammonites are exposed. Dog-friendly refreshment

Head east along the sea front, known as Marine Parade, to the Baboo Gelato kiosk for homemade ice-cream. Their Doggy Doggy Yum Yum is a dairy-free frozen treat for your hound. It contains bananas, peanut butter and organic coconut milk and coconut sugar. 36 | Bridport Times | April 2019

Enjoy your ice-creams on the sandy town beach. This is a great place for your furry friend to dash about and meet other chums, especially at low tide. My whippet, Blink, and even old Bunny, gallop like racehorses along the shoreline and their delight is exhilarating to watch. The diversification of breeds on show is phenomenal – pugs and chihuahuas rub shoulders with Hungarian vizslas and greyhounds. A dog-friendly place to eat, slap-bang on the seafront, is the recently opened ‘Swim’. Its terrace overlooking Lyme Bay has become the ‘go-to’ destination for outdoor breakfast, lunch or supper, or evening drinks with dog and human companions. Well-behaved dogs are allowed inside the bar; the other evening our laid-back whippet joined us for burgers, lounging on the bench seat alongside the children. Continue walking east past the beach huts to the clock tower and beyond and you’ll reach the Lyme Bay Café next door to the contemporary Museum shop. The café offers another vantage point to look out across the bay while you and your hound keep out of the weather if needed. The high street stores

Head up the high street to Pug & Puffin, the town’s independent dog boutique with their chic selection of oilskin dog coats. The two supermarkets have dog tethers outside and Fat Face has a water bowl - even the chain stores are doing their bit to recognise the importance of dog facilities to the retail success of a small town. Thursday 18th - Monday 22nd April, 11am-5pm at ‘The Dog House’, 15 Pound Street, DT7 3HZ. Artist’s Open House including a dog photography studio (£20 per dog). Dog-related items for sale from well-known artists and makers, including Domenica More Gordon, Sophie Ryder, Rapson de Pauley’s leather collars and leads, and a selection of designer dog coats and knitwear. All images: © Nick Ivins | 37


THE MIGHTY STELLER’S Martin Ballam, Xtreme Falconry


n one’s career there is often a certain subject that becomes a want, a wish, a passion to be part of. For over 20 years I have had a dream. The Steller’s Sea Eagle. This is not just a bird of prey, this is a beast. If only I had a pound for every occasion I have been asked, ‘What is your favourite bird?’, ‘What is the biggest bird you have?’, ‘Which is the hardest to train?’ And so on and so on. Well, here she is! The Steller’s is a big bird. Is it the biggest raptor in the world? This is a difficult question to answer as there are three main contenders. We will remove the obvious biggest in the world: the Andean Condor. With a maximum weight of around 15kg and a 3-metre wingspan, it is huge but it’s basically a giant American vulture. We want to talk about hunting raptors and the contenders are the Harpy Eagle, The Philippine Eagle and the Steller’s Sea Eagle. The Harpy and the Philippine are big, the Harpy coming in at 9kg and the Philippine coming in at 8kg. However, these are forest eagles, with short wings but very long tails for agility through the canopy. The dimensions from beak to tail are great because of this. Now let’s consider the Steller’s; also weighing in at up to 9kg it is certainly a contender for the title of biggest in the world of eagles, with a huge and powerful wingspan for lifting large fish from water and, boy, what a beak it has! I saw my first captive Steller’s just over 20 years ago. My good friend Travis and I took a long drive to what was, at the time, the only centre in the UK to have a pair of Steller’s. It was a moment neither of us will ever forget: two hardened men who have trained hundreds of raptors standing in front of an aviary that housed two Steller’s. We stood there, quietly, open-mouthed, basically speechless and almost dribbling. These were awesome birds. Captive breeding of raptors has come a long way since that day and a small handful of people (mainly in Europe) have been successful in breeding this beast of a bird. Could I ever own a Steller’s and, even more importantly, could I ever become part of a 38 | Bridport Times | April 2019

breeding programme? Early in 2017 I was contacted by a friend in Holland who had a small raptor park. He owned a female Steller’s aged 3 years who was rather ‘difficult’. The bird in question was captive-bred in the Czech Republic and had been housed in a secluded aviary with no real training, conditioning or acceptance of people nearby or within its presence. I agreed to take the bird on and drove to Holland, via Germany! We are part of a breeding programme for Africa’s largest eagle, the ‘Martial Eagle’, and a new male was to be collected as part of this, hence the Steller’s would be collected on the return journey from Germany. Coming through customs was really rather funny: ‘Have you got birds on board sir?’ ‘Yes, here’s the paperwork,’ I replied.

Andre Anita/Shutterstock

‘Are they big?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Are they aggressive?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Have a good trip, gents,’ was the final reply! We had a long-term plan for the Steller’s: to get the bird in a stable frame of mind to become part of our future on-site raptors, with potential breeding being the ultimate goal. As a wild bird, this is a tough, bold species. Originating from Northern Japan and Eastern Russia, especially around the Kamchatka peninsula, their numbers are falling due to industrialisation of the coastal areas. Only 2-3000 pairs exist and the probability of ‘Endangered Species’ listing by the International Union for Conservation of Nature seems imminent. Large salmon are a major part of their diet, along with

various carrion items, and pollution and habitat loss is highly detrimental to their survival. When you see their piercing eyes and watch the perfectly designed enormous beak tear into a fish, it’s a bird that grabs you - hopefully not physically though! So, my dream is nearly there with ‘Jaidy’, our female Steller’s Sea Eagle. We have started initial training to stabilise her mentality and will continue basic training to ensure she is a potential breeding bird. Visitors to Xtreme Falconry’s new site, ‘Dorset Falconry Park’, will be able to see her late spring/early summer. As for a potential male for her? Well, we are actively searching the Steller’s equivalent of matchmaking sites and there are two potential suitors out there so watch this space! | 39


40 | Bridport Times | April 2019

On Foot


Distance: 5 miles Time: Approx. 3 hours Park: West Street car park, Bridport Walk Features: A walk which uncovers lesser-known Bridport and West Bay, exploring the history of the area. It’s a fairly straightforward, flat route which traces the outline and origins of Saxon Bridport between the Rivers Asker and Brit as well as stopping at a few points of interest. The outward route to West Bay follows the Brit before returning via the old railway line. Refreshments: An abundance of fabulous cafés, pubs and restaurants cater for all tastes on this walk.


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 April, we have linked up with Bridport Museum and devised a route which takes in some of the locations which you can visit on one of their Historic Guided Walks, which start in April. We take a ramble around Bridport, looking at the origins of the town as well as more recent industrial history, before heading down South Street and towards West Bay. Space only allows us to touch on some of the things we’ve included so, to find out more, see details about the official Guided Walks at the end of this article. > | 41


Start: SY 464 928 West Street car park 1 Leave the car park along Tannery Road back to West Street and then turn right at the mini roundabout, heading towards the town centre. The red brick building at the bottom of West St. is West Mill, an early 3-storey corn mill which was powered by the River Brit. On the right is St Michael’s Lane, the site of St Michael’s Priory. After 200 yards, turn left into North Street. Walk up North Street and then take the first right into Rax Lane, which was the northern boundary of the town in the 1200's. Continue all the way along until it reaches Barrack Street. Turn right into Barrack Street to pass the Lyric Theatre, originally built in 1672 as a dissenter's chapel, on your right. Cross East Street into King Street. Walk down King Street and, after a few yards, look left into East Street car park where you will see The General School, which was opened in 1850. Pass through bollards, continuing along King Street with a row of cottages to the right. At the end, turn right into Folly Mill Lane then left into Church Street. After a few yards, the road bends round to the left; keep straight on between a wall and the car park into South Mill Lane. Carry on along South Mill Lane until the lane turns slight left to meet the River Asker. 42 | Bridport Times | April 2019

2 At the time of Saxon 'Brydian', (Bridport's original name), this area was a tidal estuary. Follow the river, keeping it to your left, past houses. Eventually South Mill Lane bends to the right and emerges into South Street. South Street features many wide front doors, shared by two houses, with long flagged pavements running between them; these were spinning walks for rope making. It’s worth turning right and heading back towards the town centre to see these as well as the Quaker Meeting House and Courtyard, and the Chantry, which is the oldest building in Bridport. It is believed to have possibly been a beacon for boats coming up the River Brit to offload at a riverside quay, or a toll house. 3 Continue down South Street, passing the Bridport Gas and Coke Company building on your right. The Bridport Gas and Coke Co. was the first in Dorset to produce mains gas for the town in 1831. The road crosses over the River Brit. Turn right before Palmer’s Brewery (the only thatched brewery in the UK) into Skilling Hill Road. Pass between the brewery buildings and, just after another bridge over the River Brit, turn left onto a path to follow the river. After 250 yards, the path reaches a cottage through trees - turn left in front of it then pass through a metal kissing gate, emerging into a field. The path continues under the A35 and then away

from trees on the left, heading for a gateway in a hedge. Go through this into another field and cross to another gateway. Head along the path by a tree-lined hedge and you will soon reach West Bay holiday park. Walk through the park, with the River Brit just to your left. As you leave the park, look out for the Salt House, a small building from the 18th Century Newfoundland salt-cod trade. 4 In West Bay, take time to visit the recentlyopened Discovery Centre near the beach, housed in a former Methodist Chapel. Sladers Yard is also well worth a visit, now a contemporary art gallery housed in a Georgian maritime rope warehouse. Walk along Station Road and, after a few yards, turn left, heading towards West Bay Station, which was built by the Great Western Railway with the intention of turning West Bay into a significant holiday destination. 5 From the station, head north along the line of the old railway back towards Bridport. After 450 yards cross a road and continue along the track. After a few more yards the track climbs and emerges near Burton Road. Turn left onto a side road which becomes a path following the Burton Road. You soon turn left into the car park for the Crown Inn; go through the car park and then cross West Bay Road, making for the underpass which takes you

under the A35. On the other side, follow West Bay Road back towards Bridport until it meets the junction with South Street by Palmer’s Brewery. Turn left to retrace your earlier steps down Skilling Hill Road. At the bridge, turn right and follow a footpath with the River Brit on your right. This marks the western edge of Saxon Bridport. After passing the football club and recreation ground on the left, turn left, past allotments, and then right in front of houses, now alongside the River Simene. Follow this for a few yards, then turn right before the river, in front of the Dreadnought Trading Estate, to meet Magdalen Lane. Turn right and follow the lane until it reaches West Allington. Turn right again onto the main road and follow this back towards the mini roundabout near Balsons. At the next mini roundabout you’re back at the start. Many thanks to Chris Prideaux for help advising on Secret Bridport. Historic Guided Walks with Bridport Museum Volunteers, all at 10am leaving from the Museum, £3.50 per adult, children free: Tuesday 9th April, Thursday 11th April, Tuesday 16th April, Thursday 18th April. For more details see the museum website: | 43


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


any people across the country will have heard of Poole Pottery, set up by Jesse Carter after he bought a run-down builder’s merchants and ironmonger’s site in 1873. Poole was a good place to set up business, with its harbour and the abundance of red clay to the north of the town. At first it produced tiling and architectural products, then Carter’s son Owen developed art pottery. However, not many people will know that pottery production was taking place here in Poole two millennia 44 | Bridport Times | April 2019

ago. Called Black Burnished Ware #1, it is a type of Romano-British, coarse, gritty, hand-made ceramic. BBW #2 is a finer, grey-coloured, wheel-thrown, fabric and made on the Thames Estuary. BBW #1 can contain black iron ores, flint, quartz, red iron ores, shale fragments and white mica, which stops the pot fragmenting in the kiln. Standard forms include jars with everted rims and bowls with upright or flat, flanged rims. The body of the pot is highly burnished and decoration is sometimes a lattice design engraved

Cremation pots were found within them and dated from between 1600 and 1100 BC. This ceramic included distinctive globular vessels with fluted or channelled decoration. Squat and thick-walled bucket urns are of this form too, with cordoned decoration and rims marked by fingernail impressions. It is one of the most exciting experiences, as an archaeologist, to be able to feel someone’s fingers on a pot from over three thousand years ago. Many thoughts can pass through the minds of any digger relating to the life of the person who sat and made this particular piece of pottery so long ago, especially if one can still see the faint mark of fingerprints impressed in the once-soft clay, frozen forever by the heat of the kiln. Handling these pots can make a big impression. Here is a quote from A Description of the Deveral Barrow, opened AD 1825 by W.A. Miles: ‘In some cases, when night was stealing on, and an urn had been but partially discovered, in order to ensure its preservation I have bivouacked around the fire with my labourers till near midnight... a red and flickering gleam played upon the countenances of the labourers who stood around the fire, speaking in low and smothered tones, allowing their fears to work upon their imaginations, their eyes fixed upon the flame and dead men’s bone... afraid to look into the surrounding darkness... The effect produced by the narrative of the village thatcher added most strongly to the horror of their situation, as he gravely declared that his father and his elder brother had been most cruelly dragged about and beaten by some invisible hand, on the very down on which we stood. There was no danger of a deserter from my party, as fear kept them together...’


very finely, so fine that one has to hold the pot up to the light to see it clearly. In the case of bowls and dishes wavy lines are used. The pottery was distributed throughout Britain, primarily from the mid-second century AD into the fourth century AD. Jesse Carter would not have known that he was carrying on a tradition established here many centuries before him. Dorset can also lay claim to another important ancient British ceramic, Deverel-Rimbury, named after two Bronze Age barrow sites dug here in the 19th century.

The imbibing of cider may have had a hand in this ‘beating’. Back in the real world, for archaeologists pottery is one of the best ways of dating a site or layer of soil which one is digging, because people change pottery shapes and decoration relatively quickly. It’s like looking at pictures of cars from different periods and knowing from shape and form which decade they were made. But we never forget that it can also bring us into direct contact with individual people from the past, a connection that makes archaeology so special. There will be a 6-week course on Art and Archaeology taking place in Bridport in May. Further details on Chris's Facebook page when confirmed. facebook/archstories | 45

STEVE GROVES Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


t’s the kind of day when spring starts to emerge from the dark mesh of winter. Inky clouds are rolling in over the sea, a strong north-westerly is biting at our hands and cheeks, and we can hear the waves heaving themselves onto the shore of the Chesil Bank. Steve Groves and I have met at Abbotsbury Swannery where he works as the swanherd. Steve and his team are busy preparing for the nesting season. It’s Steve’s job to look after the colony of mute swans and maintain over 50 acres that make up the swannery. >

46 | Bridport Times | April 2019 | 47

48 | Bridport Times | April 2019

The colony was founded in the eleventh century by the Benedictine monks who had established the monastery in Abbotsbury. However, Steve believes it’s quite likely that there were already swans living by the Fleet. ‘The monks farmed the swans for food,’ he explains. ‘They had strict dietary restrictions and could only eat meat on certain days. Swans, because of the fish taste of the meat, counted as fish which meant they could eat swan meat more frequently.’ Nowadays swans are protected and it’s illegal to kill them, however the irrigation systems and islands that the monks built to farm the birds have made the area a perfect location for the colony to thrive. The highest count of over-wintering swans at the colony was 1,300 but generally the figure is closer to 600. ‘The swans come here because the habitat is perfect for them,’ explains Steve. ‘The shallow waters of the Fleet are ideal as the swans can reach the eel grass which is their primary food source.’ The Fleet is also ideal because the water has low salinity: although tidal, the lagoon is fed by fresh water run-off and streams, making the water brackish. As Steve points out, ‘Here at the Abbotsbury shore we have three streams flowing into the Fleet. The brackish water makes it a perfect nesting site — high salinity would kill the cygnets — and there

is access to food for the adults.’ There are reeds growing in the fresh water and, whilst some are cut and used for thatching, they are perfect for the nesting birds. Swans like to nest beside watercourses or on islands but they are lazy builders. Steve and his team give them a hand by cutting the reeds and placing bundles in ideal spots. The swans give the bundles a nudge and that’s good enough for a nest. A juvenile will live with the herd for about three years until it reaches maturity. The females then tend to nest where they have hatched. Males from other colonies, such as the ones on the Somerset Levels, arrive in search of a mate and, once they’ve paired up, they’re here to stay. On the other hand, a female who has flown in during the winter to feed might meet an ‘Abbotsbury’ male and he’ll leave with her come nesting time. Swans mate for life and tend to live for about 12-13 years so it’s a long-term relationship with few separations. ‘Swans are normally territorial – it’s unusual for them to nest in a colony and even here they compete for space,’ says Steve, as we walk along the path that weaves through the reeds. At that moment the only Australian black swan pair (who escaped captivity and have commandeered an entire pool for themselves) > | 49

50 | Bridport Times | April 2019 | 51

52 | Bridport Times | April 2019

are busy plumping their feathers and hissing at an unsuspecting mute swan that has wandered into their territory. ‘These Australian swans are particularly aggressive,’ laughs Steve. Word is that black swans are prone to cheating although this pair is a bit stuck as they only have each other! A swan can lay up to 13 eggs but generally the size of the clutch is nearer 6. The female will lay an egg every two days or so and that egg will lie dormant for up to a month whilst the female finishes laying her full clutch. It’s only when the last egg has been laid that she will sit on the nest. Steve explains, ‘She does this to ensure the eggs all hatch on the same day as this will help the swans with rearing the cygnets. They are very different from eagles, for example, who will incubate the egg from the start and rear young of different ages. Then, if food becomes short, they will feed the youngest sibling to the oldest.’ (Yikes) Mortality rate is very high among the cygnets. ‘We do have problems with great black-backed gulls taking them as food,’ says Steve. ‘There are also foxes. Some actually live permanently on the Chesil Bank (across the lagoon from the Swannery) and hunt the cygnets from there.’ He tells me that only about a third of cygnets make it to adulthood. As we ponder the misfortune of losing cygnets, our conversation is interrupted by the distinctive sound of hefty flapping. Five swans scramble across the water in an attempt to become airborne, their cumbersome bodies finally lifting, but we see that one hasn’t quite made the height it needs. It hits a tree and we watch with horror as it tumbles through the branches, its wings flailing against the twigs as it makes a last-ditch attempt to save itself. The trembling white feathers look so vulnerable as it turns upside down, its elegant neck screwed round, and falls head first to the ground. We all hold our breath for a moment… then slowly, the swan rights itself and pads back to the lagoon. He’s lost his friends for now but thankfully there are no broken wings. It’s a sobering reminder how hazardous life can be even within the relative safety of a colony. Steve is a Dorset man, born and bred. He grew up in Chickerell with the Chesil Bank as his playground. ‘My father worked in a factory in Weymouth,’ he tells me, ‘and he was in the mackerel team of a leveret boat in which my uncle had a share. He worked it off the beach at Abbotsbury and I can remember going down there when I was small. I’d help when they brought the

nets in and sort the fish.’ It’s funny that we have both shared the same experience; I can remember my own mother going down to the beach with her basket to buy fresh mackerel or stopping at one of the cottages in Abbotsbury from which mackerel was sold. Steve has always loved the sea and birdlife. After a few false starts in various jobs and a period of unemployment, he began volunteering at the Fleet Nature Reserve at Ferrybridge. ‘I worked there for a while and then was asked to come up and help at the Swannery. That was in 1989,’ he says. ‘Eventually I became deputy when Dave Wheeler took over and then, when he retired, I became the swanherd.’ This unique location is the only place in the world where you can walk amongst nesting mute swans, although there was quite a bit of hissing as we walked around the nests. ‘I love the herd,’ he says ‘but the swans hate me because we have to move their young or ring them. After the cygnets, we have the annual moult; the swans moult from the end of June for six weeks. We then have to round them up and vaccinate them. This year we will ring them on the 20th of July, when we are open to the public. We’ve been ringing the swans since the 1970s. A yellow ring signifies ‘Crown Birds’ and a white ring is for the Ilchester Estate. There was a time when the swans were fattened for Lord Ilchester’s table but those days are long gone.’ Steve is a passionate bird-watcher. ‘We have all sorts coming in here,’ he says, ‘I think our record is 270 wild bird species. Recently, we had a spotted sandpiper, which is a rare American wader, and we have visitors like whooper swans that have ended up staying. There’s the common tern, the Brent geese and of course Canada geese come in. They’re a bit of a nuisance really because they’re very aggressive to the swans and they eat all the food, particularly the reed shoots.’ As we come to the end of our walk, it’s feeding time. Steve pushes a barrow of food out to the water’s edge and calls to the swans. For a moment it feels as if time has stood still as the call of the swanherd fills the air, just as it has done over the last 900 years, man and bird communing against the ancient backdrop of the Chesil Bank. Hundreds of swans push, paddle and plod towards him as fast as their heavy bodies allow. ‘I grew up a stone’s throw from the Chesil Bank,’ he says, ‘and I feel spoilt that I’m able to live and work in a place like this.’ Looking around, I can see why. | 53



International Airport



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Food & Drink



his salad is all about the crunch and bite of the raw, and the honey-sweet warmth of the punchy dressing that brings it all together. I always look out for a firm, pointy spring cabbage like the hispi, which is refreshing and crisp. You can pick up sprouted lentils and beans or ‘mixed sprouts’ in most supermarkets. They are moist, super-healthy and packed with an iron flavour that goes beautifully with the ‘spike’ of the dressing. Once you have everything to hand, this salad comes together in minutes, making a perfect quick lunch or light supper. Ingredients Serves 4–6

1 firm hispi cabbage (about 400g/14oz) 4 white or red spring onions, thinly sliced 150g (51⁄2oz) mixed sprouted lentils and/or beans 2–3 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted For the dressing 20g (3⁄4oz) ginger root, peeled and finely grated 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated juice and finely grated zest of 1⁄2 orange 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce 1–2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes 50g (13⁄4oz) runny honey 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed 2 teaspoons sesame oil

56 | Bridport Times | April 2019


1 To make the dressing, combine the ginger, garlic, orange juice and zest, tamari or soy sauce, chilli flakes, honey, coriander seeds and sesame oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. 2 Trim off any rough or discoloured outer leaves from the cabbage. Slice in half from top to bottom, then remove the thickest part of the stem from within each half. Slice each half into thin ribbons, no thicker than 1cm (1⁄2 in) wide. Wash the shredded cabbage and drain well. You can spin it dry briefly if you have a salad spinner. 3 Scatter the cabbage over a large serving platter, or onto smaller individual plates. Spoon half the dressing over the cabbage, then scatter over the spring onion. 4 Place the sprouted lentils and/or beans in a small bowl. Drizzle over 3 tablespoons of the dressing, and tumble everything together. Scatter the lentils and/or beans over the plated cabbage and spring onions. Scatter over the toasted sesame seeds and finish by drizzling over the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. Gather by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25)

Image: Andrew Montgomery | 57

Food & Drink



nce again the wild garlic season is here. Along with daffodils in the hedges and lambs in the fields it’s a promise of longer days and warmer weather around the corner. Wild garlic is plentiful in Dorset and can be found growing abundantly in places with plenty of moisture - look in woodlands or along the edge of a stream. Being truly versatile, wild garlic is great in a variety of different dishes. It can be used in place of fresh bulb garlic by adding at the end of the cooking process as opposed to in the beginning. Use sparingly when the plant gets older and the leaves are larger as the flavour can get very strong. Blanching the leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds and then refreshing in iced water can make a milder dressing. For a very simple pasta sauce, put wild garlic leaves, olive oil, some toasted nuts and grated hard cheese (preferably Parmesan or Pecorino) into a food processor and blend until smooth; you’ll have a 58 | Bridport Times | April 2019

great and very green pesto. Toss it through some cooked pasta with a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water. Focaccia has been a constant favourite at Brassica Restaurant since we opened back in September 2014. We also bake it daily for Brassica Mercantile and it flies off the shelf by midday. It works very well without the potato topping by just using the anchovy and garlic oil. If you prefer something plainer, make a few random holes with your fingertips just before cooking and sprinkle with sea salt flakes, herbs and plenty of olive oil (reduce cooking time by approximately 10 minutes). Focaccia dough

500g stoneground organic white flour 7g fresh yeast 350ml warm water 7g fine sea salt 40ml olive oil



5 6 7


dough hook attached, add the rest of the ingredients and mix for 10 minutes on slow speed. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Place back on the machine and knock back by mixing for 30 seconds. Brush your largest baking tray (30x40 cm) with oil. Tip dough onto a well-floured surface and, using your fingertips, press out into a large rectangle. Fold over the back of your hand/arm to lift and lay into baking tray, then press out to fill tin. Cover and leave again for 45 minutes. Heat oven to 240°C. Drain potatoes and pat dry with clean tea towel. Chop anchovies and garlic and add to olive oil. Dab about ⅓ of this mixture across the foccacia dough then scatter with half of the potatoes. Season well with plenty of black pepper and salt. Add another ⅓ of the anchovy/garlic mix and then the remaining potatoes. Finish with the rosemary leaves, salt and pepper and the remaining anchovy/garlic mix. Put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and, if the top is browning too quickly, turn the oven down to 200oC (you want the potatoes to be a bit blistered) and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before eating!

Whilst the bread is cooking you can make the aioli. Aioli Topping

350g Desiree potatoes 6 anchovy fillets (Ortiz preferably) 2 cloves garlic Salt black pepper 50ml extra virgin olive oil rosemary leaves Method

1 In a large mixing bowl crumble yeast into warm water and allow to stand for a few minutes then whisk together. Add half of the flour and whisk again, then cover and leave in a warm place until bubbling (45 minutes approximately). Whilst you are waiting for this, scrub the potatoes and slice thinly on a mandolin or with a sharp knife, then rinse in water and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill. 2 Put the dough into the bowl of your mixer with

10-15 wild garlic leaves (well-washed) ½ lemon 1 tspn Dijon mustard 2 organic egg yolks salt 75ml extra virgin olive oil 150ml sunflower oil Method

9 Put garlic leaves, zest and juice of the lemon, mustard, salt and egg yolk into a small food processor and blend until smooth, then slowly add the oils until mixture is thick and glossy. 10 Switch off machine and check seasoning. 11 Serve with the focaccia still warm or can be made in advance and stored in the fridge overnight. Focaccia is available Tuesday-Saturday from Brassica Mercantile. @brassica_food @brassicarestaurant_mercantile | 59

Food & Drink


60 | Bridport Times | April 2019


ild sea bass is a fantastically sweet fish that goes well with the slight earthiness of the carlin peas. Carlin peas taste a little like an earthier chick pea. We get ours from a fantastic producer called Hodmedods; they produce great British grains, pulses and seeds. If you can’t find carlin peas you can use chick peas instead. Wild garlic (ramsons) is one of the best indicators that spring has sprung. It has a great mild garlic taste and can be used in many ways: use it in a pesto, add to broths, or blend and add to softened butter to store in the fridge. Use this to add flavour to sauces or place on grilled lobsters and steaks. The flowers look fantastic when used as a garnish. Ingredients Serves 4

4 x 160g wild sea bass fillets 150g carlin peas 200g new potatoes 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced 1 shallot, finely diced 1 carrot, finely diced 50g butter 1 bunch mint 1 bunch basil 1 bunch flat leaf parsley 1 handful of wild garlic 50g capers Juice of half lemon 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Extra virgin rapeseed oil Method

1 Soak the carlin peas overnight. Boil them in salted water until they are tender. Drain and set aside. At the same time, boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain and, when they are cool to the touch, slice to 1cm thickness. 2 Pick the mint, basil, parsley, wild garlic and place in a blender (if you can’t find any wild garlic substitute with 3 cloves of garlic). Add the capers, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and blend, adding the rapeseed oil until you have a runny pesto consistency. 3 Pan-fry the sea bass fillets skin side down in a medium hot frying pan. Once the skin is crispy flip over and finish for a minute or so. 4 Pan-fry the shallot, carrot and leeks until softened, add the carlin peas and potatoes and warm through. Add the butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. 5 Put the peas and vegetables on a plate. Place a fillet on top and drizzle the salsa verde around the plate. | 61

Food & Drink



rom 1980, when Simon Loftus, Chairman of Suffolk brewers Adnams, invited some colleagues to Southwold to assess the 1976 vintage from Bordeaux, to last January when 19 of us re-convened at Farr Vintners in London for what is now called ‘Southwold on Thames’, the major wines of Bordeaux have been tasted blind in flights of 12 within their appellations and ranked on the average of the total marks on the 20-point scale. Two bottles of each wine are collected from the chateaux and, for some years now, the second bottles are assessed at a ‘10 Years On’ tasting by the same group. This year the vintages were 2015 and 2009. 2015

The tasting covered 20 dry and 27 sweet whites and 214 red wines. The group knows which wines are in each flight but not the order of serving. Here are the results: • Top Right Bank First Growth and top wine overall – Ausone. • Top Left Bank First Growth – Haut-Brion. • Top Non-First Growth – Leoville-Barton. • Saint-Emilion – Canon and Figeac dead heat followed by Valandraud. 62 | Bridport Times | April 2019

• Pomerol – Lafleur followed by Eglise Clinet and Vieux Ch. Certan. • Pessac-Leognan – Smith Haut-Lafitte followed by Domaine de Chevalier and Carmes Haut-Brion. • Margaux – Brane-Cantenac followed by RauzanSegla and Palmer. • Saint-Julien – Leoville-Barton followed by Leoville-Poyferre and Leoville-Las Cases. • Pauillac – Pichon-Longueville-Lalande followed by Pichon-Longueville-Baron and Lynch-Bages. • Saint-Estephe – Montrose followed by Meyney and Calon-Segur. • Dry Whites – Haut-Brion followed by Smith Haut-Lafitte and La Mission Haut Brion. • Sauternes – d’Yquem followed by Doisy-Daene and Suduiraut. It is clear that 2015 is a better vintage than the four previous years, especially for the Right Bank, although not as great as the classic 2010 and the opulent 2009. It is probably just behind 2005 and 2000 and just ahead of the lovely 2001. The style is ripe, supple and approachable now but with some exceptions, lacking

the intensity and intrigue of a great vintage. For many of us, it recalled 1985. 2009

No dry whites had been retained, so our two-day tasting covered 25 sweet whites and 155 reds. Again, wines were tasted single-blind in flights of 12. • Top Left Bank First Growth and top wine overall – Latour. • Top Right Bank First Growth – Cheval Blanc. • Top Non-First Growth – Leoville-Poyferre. • Saint-Emilion – Canon followed by BelairMonange and Pavie. • Pomerol – Le Gay followed by La Conseillante and La Violette. • Pessac-Leognan – Pape-Clement followed by Branon and de Fieuzal. • Margaux – Issan followed by Kirwan and RauzanSegla. • Saint-Julien – Leoville-Poyferre followed by Saint-Pierre and Leoville-Barton and DucruBeaucaillou dead heat. • Pauillac – Pichon-Longueville-Baron followed by

Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Les Forts de Latour. • Saint-Estephe – Montrose followed by Cos d’Estournel and Les Ormes de Pez. • Sauternes – Guiraud followed by Rayne-Vigneau and Fargues. The view was that 2009 was definitely a Left Bank vintage. The First Growths received many 20/20s and I gave a modest 19/20 to both Latour and Margaux. These are great wines with a long future in front of them. For the rest, most have opened up well and are ready now. After both these fascinating few days, the group was asked to rank the vintages from 2000 in order of preference. Here is the result: 1 2010 2= 2009 2= 2005 4 2000

5 6 7 8

2015 2001 2014 2012

9 2008 10 2006 11 2003 12 2004

13 2007 14 2011 15 2002 16 2013

Next year we will taste the highly rated 2016s in January and the following month the 2010s ten years on. Will there be changes at the top? Watch this space. | 63








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Body & Mind

FREEDOM Jane Fox, Yogaspace

Vivian Syahed/Shutterstock

66 | Bridport Times | April 2019


tarting yoga in my twenties, I kept coming back weekly because it made me feel great. I would arrive with my mind full and preoccupied, heavy in my body, and leave feeling taller, lighter and happier. Yoga made me feel free. As my practice grew so did my love of this feeling. I used the practice to open my body and self into new places, new freedoms, new breath - and not only on the mat. It seemed to spread magically into my daily life. As my teacher, Larry Shultz, would say, ‘Good things come your way when you do the yoga. They just show up.’ Life was good; yoga was my ticket out of the mesh of my mind and I was loving it. Yoga is a fine balance and, over several years, I began to lose sight of that. As I deepened my commitment to the practice, it began to feed into my habit (Samskara) of unconscious avoidance, i.e. driving myself through difficult situations rather than being with them and cultivating a relationship of loving kindness with myself at these times. I needed something to wake me up and, perfectly on time, along came a non-yoga knee injury - just about the worst thing to happen to someone who loves using the body to wiggle out of feeling the feelings and being present with the here and now. Samskaras

In the yogic tradition, samskaras make up our conditioning. They can be both positive and negative and are mental and emotional patterns or routes, much like maps. The goal in yoga is, through the 8 limbs, to shine awareness on our darkness, to bring ourselves into the light and exchange our negative samskaras for positive ones. An image I love for samskaras is that they are like boulders in a glacier. As the glacier moves, the boulders leave fissures on the ground. As they move in our lives, those fissures are on our hearts. Our biography becomes our biology

Carolyn Myss writes extensively on how our bodies hold our lives within them. Indeed, our lives form our bodies. ‘ Your emotions reside physically in your body and interact with your cells and tissues. In this way, your biography – that is, the experiences that make up your life – becomes your biology.’ Useful injuries

Many years ago, the knee injury took me out of my asana practice for months. It gave me the opportunity

to focus on some of the other limbs of yoga. I started meditating (Dhyana) and working with my breath (Pranayama). More than anything it helped me to drop inside and feel. Moving with a new depth of consciousness in both body and mind, I literally learned to walk again. Using these other yoga practices also showed me a new way to access that same feeling of expansion and freedom. Over the past year, working with my most recent non-yoga injury made me look again at the unhelpful habits of my practice. It has taken me on quite a journey but our bodies are great teachers if we listen to them and they deserve our love. Let the yoga do you

‘A lot of times in yoga we use our body to do the pose. At some point we have to stop doing that. At some point we have use the pose to understand the body.’ ( Jason Crandell) As a teacher, I feel that working with injury in asana practice can deepen our relationship both with ourselves, physically and emotionally, and to the practice itself. I would suggest safe modifications, poses to avoid and encourage a new depth of careful awareness to feel into each pose. A few tips for working with injury at home or in class

1 Set an intention – Sankalpa - for your practice. 2 Do a full body scan, noticing where tension or pain might be being held and giving that area more breath and space, more kindness. 3 Let the practice and breath do the work; no ‘pushing through’ anything. 4 Ask yourself questions: • ‘How am I approaching my practice?’ • ‘Am I goal-orientated and attached to certain outcomes?’ • ‘Can I just allow myself to be exactly where I am today or am I fighting myself ?’ Our bodies can give us priceless insights as to what obstacles or veils may be obstructing our perspective and blocking our light. With the help of our yoga practice, whatever form that might take - acro, meditative or modified - we can gently invite ourselves to move to exactly where and who we should be. Hopefully free. Janie returns to teaching Vinyasa Flow yoga from Friday April 26th at The Bull Hotel, Bridport. | 67

Body & Mind


Caroline Butler BSc (Hons) MNIMH, Medical Herbalist


round ivy, Glechoma hederacea, is no relation at all to common ivy. Apparently, its name comes from the similar appearance of its leaves to those of genuine ivy, however this has always puzzled me as they don’t look alike at all! Ground ivy is a low-growing, perennial herb with creeping stems that root at intervals (its only similarity to true ivy), and softly hairy, kidney shaped leaves. These are a lovely dark green, though the upper, growing tips can be tinged purple, setting off the whorls of purplish-blue flowers. Its growing habit varies depending on where it is, either being very floppy and trailing or growing compact, upright stems. Either way it is often overlooked but, once you learn to watch out for it, you’ll see it everywhere, growing amongst other foliage in semi-shaded spots. In herbal medicine it is also often overlooked and is not as well known as other plants with similar uses, although it has an impressive array of actions and has been used since at least the 12th century for a variety of conditions. I use it mostly as an anti-catarrhal for hay fever, coughs, colds, and ear infections, as it has a toning effect on the respiratory tract. It is one of the few herbs specifically thought of for tinnitus and, in the past, was used for headaches, either drunk as a tea or the dried leaves crumbled and snuffed up the nose. It’s also a gently stimulating and tonic digestive herb, useful for upset stomachs and weak digestion. Culpeper wrote that it, ‘… easeth all griping pains, windy and choleric humours in the stomach’ which is a vivid description of its effects there! It works well in combination with other herbs for irritable bowels and dyspepsia. Historically it was used for lead colic in painters and as a liver stimulant. For centuries it has been used to treat kidney disease and is still used for cystitis and 68 | Bridport Times | April 2019

other urinary tract infections. It also makes an external wash for sore and failing eyes, and to clean sores and abscesses and heal fresh wounds. The fresh juice seems to have gained a reputation as a cure for black eyes and bruises, though I have never tried this myself. Before the introduction of hops, ground ivy was used to clarify beer, improving the flavour and its ability to keep, which earned it the name ‘Ale-hoof ’. It has a strong, aromatic taste, almost smoky, which people seem to either love or hate. I’m definitely one of its fans and like to drink it hot for any kind of catarrhal congestion. In the past it was known as ‘Gill tea’ when sweetened with honey and then drunk throughout the

day, for persistent coughs and ‘purifying the blood’. Generally, when a herb is used for both the respiratory and urinary systems, a hot tea has more effect on the lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, and a cold tea more effect on the kidneys and urinary tract, though this is not an absolute rule. I use ground ivy as a tea, either fresh or dried, and as tincture made from the fresh plant. The main reason I don’t use this plant more myself is that I can’t bring myself to buy it, so can only use it while it’s in season or for as long as my own collected and prepared stock lasts. This herb can be very effective but only when it is of good quality. Stronger herbs such as thyme seem to survive careless drying and storage

better but ground ivy’s qualities are more easily lost during the process of collection and transport. Because of this, I prefer to dry my own for tea and make a fresh plant tincture that will preserve its constituents and abilities; when it runs out, I use something else and wait for it to flower again the following year. Caroline will be running a seasonal medicinal herbal tea workshop on Saturday April 27th, from 10.30am-12.30pm. For more information email or call 07956 780849. | 69




O Girls are attempting to raise ÂŁ50,000 to support the funding of awareness campaigns to educate women about the five gynaecological cancers: ovarian, cervical, endometrial, vulval and vaginal. Every day 58 women receive a diagnosis of, and 21 women die from, a gynaecological cancer. Diane Oxberry, the wellknown weather presenter, recently passed away from ovarian cancer, a cancer in which survival rates have flatlined for over 20 years. Sadly, there are many more women like Diane, both those who are going through treatment and those who have passed away from the disease. GO Girls want to raise awareness as this is an area of health that is shrouded in taboos and which often receives much less funding than other cancers. To take part in the One Million 5p Challenge simply 70 | Bridport Times | April 2019

take an old, recycled bottle and fill it up with 5p pieces - a 500ml bottle will take approximately ÂŁ30 worth of coins. Download a label from the GO Girls website and attach it to your bottle. Once filled, drop the bottle into Porter Dodson, the GO Girls campaign partner, at their Bridport office at 21 South Street. Then you can start again with another bottle! This is a great community challenge and GO Girls are hoping the whole of Bridport, including local schools, will get behind this campaign in order to ensure future generations are protected. Over 12,000 people live in Bridport and, if everyone were to get involved, it could potentially raise ÂŁ360,000. GO Girls would then be able to support all 5 awareness campaigns and invest the remainder in research.

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ALL IN A DAY'S WORK Molly Bruce, Interior Designer


o, how does this interior design assistance work?” I do love a straightforward question! I get asked this a lot in many different ways but the above is probably the most direct enquiry I’ve had so far. So, this month I discuss how I approach my work and what I love about my job, from the first meeting with a client to talk through ideas, to seeing the design process through to fruition. Hopefully this article will answer some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis. Before writing this, a question popped up in my own head and I turned to Instagram to ask how people perceive interior designers. I am still considering the many and varied responses I received. On the whole, people still seem to assume that employing a designer is only for the rich, with the perception of a snobby, bossy, primadonna who strides in to your home, declares it a disaster, announces that you need to change everything and purchase the new and often expensive trends, regardless of whether they have anything in common with who you are or not. There was a time when I felt this way about the industry and wondered where I fitted in amongst the lavish soft furnishings and crystal chandeliers. I now know that there are all kinds of interior designers, however I can only speak for myself and my approach to design could not be more different from the above. Whatever the project, be it family home or commercial enterprise, a one-off consultation or a complete design, it’s about the customer and not about me. Of course, every designer has their own style, but there has to be room for manoeuvre when it comes to incorporating a customer’s tastes and needs into a design. The ability to adapt a concept is an essential skill. I love to meet people who are embarking on a creative endeavour, to listen to their dreams and plans; if I am to be any use at all I need to get to know and understand who they are and what is important to them. This saves time and money in the long run, and knowing what someone does or does not like helps me to make informed choices when working on a design. There is fresh knowledge to be gained on every project; I will learn as much from my clients as they will from me along the way. It should be a mutually inspiring experience for all involved - from those initial ideas that

develop into a reality, the design journey is as beneficial as the end result. Every person and project is different, everyone has something to bring to the table, and there is always another angle to design that I enjoy seeing through the eyes of others. I believe every space should evoke a feeling and tell a story. A design must take into consideration its future occupants and their possessions; in a world where we need to reduce waste, reusing and restoring our belongings means they can confidently sit alongside the new purchases and decor. Some can go shopping and spend a fortune on jaw-dropping statement pieces, and I love to see what’s out there, but the challenge I revel in from day to day is to make the most of what we already have before adding anything else, especially if the customer is on a tight budget. I find my home town of Bridport and its surrounding areas to be a very creative community. Some people need only a short consultation to pick my brains and bounce ideas off me before embarking on a decorating project by themselves – just as you might invest in a sample pot of paint before decorating a whole room. Others need more support to make the changes from start through to finish. I often find that people are dying to be bold but lack the confidence to go for it. I enjoy encouraging customers to trust their instincts and express their personalities within their homes whilst achieving some balance and harmony, as opposed to a car crash of colour, texture and pattern. At times I have the challenge of keeping the peace and managing the relationships within the household. Marriage counselling can sometimes come into the equation if a couple have conflicting tastes; achieving a design that pleases all and doesn’t end in divorce is always a plus. Most important of all, I love to help others who feel their talents lie elsewhere but still want a cosy, stylish habitat to relax in at the end of a busy day. I am humbled by their trust in me and returning to the places I have had a part in creating, hearing how they are enjoyed by others, makes me feel very fortunate to be doing what I do. @mollybruceinteriors | 75

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WONDERWALL Suzy Newton, Partners in Design


hatever you have in your rooms, think first of the walls: for they are that which makes your house and home.’ So said William Morris, one of the founding fathers of 19th century wallpaper design. Even five years ago there was a move away from using wallpaper in favour of the subdued off-greys and taupes of designer paints. Today, however, wallpapers are enjoying a comeback. Of course, the rooms we live in today are generally on a smaller scale than those of Morris’ day but there is still a huge variety of wallpapers, all with the potential to create unique and striking interiors. There has been a move away from the stark, contemporary designs in wallpapers we saw a few years ago in favour of heritage-inspired styles. Period printed papers have been reinterpreted with a contemporary twist. Fabric houses have raided their archives and released period designs in dramatic shades. Wallpaper is a design staple that can add subtle sophistication to one room and make an exciting statement in the next, allowing you to channel your unique sense of style throughout your home. While patterns are often varied, a cohesive look is achieved by keeping to the same colour palette. Increasingly, wallpapers are the longer background to artwork but, in many cases, are considered as artwork in their own right. Dramatic statements such as these are often used to great effect on feature walls, with some of the recurrent tones pulled out in plain fabrics or woodwork colours to balance the scheme. If you are nervous about using bold or large-scale papers, you can achieve interest and depth with textured, plain wallpapers. James Hare have backed over 500 of their beautiful silks, both plain and embroidered, to create wall coverings with a natural feel, luxurious look and great intensity of colour. For advice in terms of wallpapering rooms with various aspects - in general, north facing rooms have light which is cooler and 78 | Bridport Times | April 2019

harsher making it more challenging to create a sense of space and light. Don’t fight nature but rather embrace the darkness and go with a more dramatic, intimate interior. You can achieve this using strong colours and motifs such as deep reds and purples in the wallpapers. If you would prefer to use lighter colours, avoid green- or grey-based colours and opt instead for warm yellows and creams which will help bounce light around the space.

Wallcovering: Designers Guild, Arjuna Leaf

South facing rooms are full of warm light throughout the day so most colours will look good here. Pale blue and greys in the paper will enhance that feeling of space while using a bright white on the woodwork will give the room a crisp fresh look. In the main, the rule of thumb is to avoid largescale patterns in a small room and vice versa. However, the occasional use of statement wallpapers in small rooms creates a ‘wow’ factor and adds that element of

surprise and delight when a door is opened. Think of a downstairs cloakroom, boot-room or statement wall in a kitchen. As an inexpensive option to completely change the look of a room or a definitive creative expression around which to anchor a room scheme, wallpapers are back with a vengeance! | 79


HARDENING OFF, GROWING ON Will Livingstone, WillGrow


he renewal of life in spring has the ability to reinvigorate a gardener’s enthusiasm for all things green. Remembering forgotten plant names, the smell of sun-warmed soil, new shoots and the spritely song of nesting birds produces the chestfilling excitement that each new season brings. I always get ahead of myself, trying to sow too early or prep beds in heavy rain and I must annually remind myself that my eagerness will be better placed in a couple of weeks. There is still a risk of frost in April, so watch the weather and cover tender plants that are already planted out. Having space for propagation is crucial to a happy, healthy garden. Giving your plants the best start possible will ensure that, when it comes to planting out, your seedlings will be more likely to tolerate what outdoor life throws at them. Having a greenhouse space will also give protection from pests who are at their hungriest at this time of year. Light, warmth and protection from the elements are the three core requirements for newly emerging seedlings; it’s vital to remember these factors when raising your plants. A polytunnel or greenhouse is ideal, as they offer good protection from wind, 360° light and the warmth needed for germination. Polytunnels, although not as beautiful, are a more accessible choice as they are much cheaper than glasshouses (to buy, build, maintain and repair) and are the top choice for most keen gardeners. There are a few drawbacks to polytunnels however, one of which is that they should be re-skinned every five years as the plastic becomes brittle over time. When purchasing a tunnel, make sure the plastic has some form of UV-protection and a guarantee. Whichever you choose, keeping the plastic or glass clean on your tunnel or greenhouse is important - you want to maximise light levels as much as possible. If space does not permit, a conservatory or bright porch works well too. Propagating on a windowsill can be beneficial early in the season, as you have much higher ambient temperatures than out in the greenhouse. Keep a window open a crack to allow airflow and prevent problems. As the season progresses, it is wise to develop 80 | Bridport Times | April 2019

a routine of watering early in the morning or in the evening, as the sun and warmer weather can scorch the leaves of tender plants if watered in the heat of the day. And, as always, water-in newly planted seedlings very well to settle them in position. As April accelerates towards summer, the garden erupts into life. Despite being a busy and comparatively stressful month for the gardener, this is far outweighed by the excitement of knowing that blossoms, bees and bountiful spring crops are heading our way. Keeping your young plants in good condition is vitally important for success going forward. Plants in cell trays or pots can dry out very quickly as the weather warms up in April, so be consistent with your watering. I would suggest having capillary matting on your potting bench; this retains some water and really helps with keeping the bottoms of your trays from drying out. If it seems that your seedlings are outgrowing their pots, transplant them into bigger containers before planting into their final positions – this will prevent them becoming pot-bound, which would ultimately stunt performance. When your plants are ready to plant out (usually when you can see a few roots poking out from the bottom of the pot or tray) they should be fully turgid - this means they have the maximum amount of water in their cells, which will give them the best start possible. It is also important to harden off, which will acclimatise them and get them used to outdoor temperatures, preventing them from being set back. Taking your plants outside in the day and then bringing them in at night for a week or so should do the trick. Using a cold frame, if possible, allows you to open and close the lid depending on the air temperature. Learning to propagate your own plants is one of the most joyful parts of gardening. It allows you to be experimental with variety, as well as giving you the satisfaction of knowing that what you’re eating was started from scratch, by you. The true way to grow your own food. | 81


THE QUEEN’S GARDENS Charlie Groves, Groves Nurseries


pril 21st is the Queen’s birthday, her actual birthday not her official one. It got me thinking about whether she ever took time to do a spot of gardening in any of her many residences. I know Prince Charles is a hands-on gardener at Highgrove, as was the Queen Mother; she adored roses and created a stunning Italian garden at Glamis Castle in Scotland. So, I wondered if the green fingers ran in the family or had skipped a generation, by-passing Her Majesty. Well, I did a bit of digging – no pun intended. It seems she did take an active interest in the regeneration of the gardens at Frogmore House in Windsor, so much so that, for her 90th birthday in 2016, her friends gave her plants for the new beds there. The following year, during a BBC broadcast at Frogmore to celebrate Gardeners Question Times’ 70th birthday, the Queen revealed she was not an expert in gardening but said, ‘Plants, trees, and flowers have been a source of pleasure throughout my life’. In the same broadcast, the keeper of the gardens 82 | Bridport Times | April 2019

at Frogmore House, John Anderson, revealed the Queen’s favourite flower was the sweet wild primrose. However, when it comes to hands-on, I think it’s a ‘No’ for Her Majesty. John Anderson said that Her Majesty will go on a walk with her head gardeners around the grounds of her many gardens and discuss ideas but that it’s her team of dedicated gardeners at each royal garden who keep them in shape, tastefully integrating the plant presents she regularly receives from foreign dignitaries, horticultural societies and other well-wishers. So it’s obvious she likes her gardens but just how many does she have? Well, with 6 royal and private dwellings it’s 6 gardens. Some come with the title while others came from inheritance - but what’s the lay of the land in the outdoor space of each residence? Buckingham Palace

Home to the monarch since 1837, it has 42 acres of gardens in the heart of Westminster with varied

Holyrood Palace

The official Edinburgh residence of the monarch was initially founded as a monastery in 1128. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Arthur’s Seat, the beautiful 9-acre gardens are, during the summer, a kaleidoscope of colour and include the Jubilee Border, originally planted with silver plants in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Each summer, the Queen hosts an annual Royal Garden Party at the Palace. Balmoral Castle

This has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. The gardens, which were started under the supervision of Prince Albert, have been expanded and improved by successive members of the Royal Family. The Duke of Edinburgh incorporated a large kitchen garden that’s harvested between August and October during the Royal Family’s summer holiday. Sandringham Estate


and exotic planting plus a mulberry tree dating back to James l. Described as ‘a walled oasis in the middle of London’, it boasts more than 350 types of wildflower, over 200 trees and a three-acre lake. Every summer, the Queen hosts three Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace to recognise and reward public service. Windsor Castle

Her Majesty first moved here with her sister, Margaret, during World War II for safety, and it’s home to Queen Elizabeth as long as she is ruling monarch. She spends most of her private weekends here and it’s also used regularly for ceremonial and State occasions. The 5,000-acre Windsor Great Park consists of sweeping historic parkland, award-winning gardens, ancient woodland and forest trails and the Queen no doubt has her own private outdoor area near her state apartment.

This is Her Majesty’s much-loved country retreat and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862; every generation has added something of their own taste resulting in perhaps the finest of the Royal gardens. The house, set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, is the most famous stately home in Norfolk and is at the heart of the 20,000-acre Sandringham Estate, 600 acres of which make up the woodland and heath of the country park. Hillsborough Castle

The monarch’s Northern Ireland residence has glorious gardens bursting with colour in summer, with ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens. This April will see the re-opening of the newly-restored Walled Garden. With such an array of stately royal gardens I think it’s terrific that the humble wild primrose is the Queen’s favourite flower. Aptly, Primrose Day is April 19th, just two days before Her Majesty’s birthday. It’s also the anniversary of the death of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. The primrose was his favourite flower too, and Queen Victoria would often send him bunches of them from Windsor. | 83


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84 | Bridport Times | April 2019

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re feelings of disappointment essential and intrinsic to the human condition? Or are they something we should strive to eradicate? For many people, such feelings are part and parcel of any endeavour, an absolutely necessary corollary to any achievement that doesn’t come easy, that needs to be worked at. For example, Robert Peary, the first person to reach the North Pole, expressed his sense of accomplishment and contentment after finally achieving his goal following ‘twenty-three years of effort, hard work, disappointments, hardships, privations, more or less suffering, and some risks’. It seems that there may be a strong relationship between the amount of disappointment felt along the path to some personal achievement and the sense of satisfaction and contentment felt at its successful completion. But what if we don’t achieve our goal? Or worse, we rarely achieve any goal? What if feelings of disappointment seem to dominate our sense of who we are? As the philosopher Alain de Botton has pointed out, this may be the result of us having a rather distorted sense of reality. If a solid brick wall is blocking our path, constantly running at it, throwing our full weight at it in our determination to get through it, will only ever end in disappointment – and quite a bit of pain! In such cases we would be better advised to revise our goals, perhaps slow down and consider some way to by-pass the wall, or perhaps take a different path altogether. So yes, the euphoria of achievement can be great and long-lasting, but only if the goal is achieved. Deciding what is achievable and what isn’t, however, can be a very finely balanced call. The ancient Stoics can be helpful at this point. Whilst Epictetus’s proclamation that, ‘a student should practise how to expunge from his life sighs and sorrow, grief and disappointment, exclamations like ‘poor me’ and ‘alas’’ is often judged to be a rejection of what it means to be human, I think the Stoics often get a bad press. What Epictetus meant was that we should learn how to live and act ‘in harmony with nature’. Doing so would allow us to learn the difference between that which is within our power to change or bring about, and that which isn’t. That which we cannot change, like solid walls and death, should not concern us. We should just accept such things with serenity. On the other hand, we should develop the strength to change those things that are within our power to change. The wisdom, of course, comes from learning how to differentiate between the two. 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

86 | Bridport Times | April 2019


LITERARY REVIEW Antonia Squire, The Bookshop

Cloud Boy by Marcia Williams (Walker, 2019) RRP £6.99 Bridport Times reader price of £5.99 available only from The Bookshop, South Street


ngie Moon isn’t very good at keeping diaries but people will insist on giving them to her and so, once again, as she received one for her birthday, she is going to give it another go. She had an amazing birthday this year and an awesome party that she shared with her best friend and next-door-neighbour, Harry. Harry and Angie met in hospital on the day Harry was born (Angie had been born two, very important, days earlier!). Harry’s and Angie’s dads announced at their party that they were going to build the kids a treehouse that spanned their back gardens which each could access from their own side. The treehouse was also going to have windows in the roof so that Harry could look up at the clouds. Harry was absolutely obsessed by clouds, he knew everything about them. Angie liked drawing clouds but she ended up learning lots about them too because Harry was her best friend and talked about them a lot! Unfortunately, their dads also told them that they weren’t allowed to help because they kept getting in the way which was super unfair, but that’s what you get with dads. Harry and Angie spent a long time looking up at the treehouse being built, which seemed to give Harry a headache. They also ate a lot of cake which made Harry sick. But, as time goes on and the treehouse is

finished, and Harry and Angie start decorating, Harry still keeps getting sick and his head still keeps aching aching to the point where he has to go to hospital and have surgery and take medicine that makes him tired and grumpy and not very well at all. Angie has a difficult time at school without her best friend, especially when people who have never been very nice to her are suddenly very nice to her. One of the things that help Angie and Harry through some of the dark times when Harry isn’t very well at all is Angie’s Grandma Gertie (actually her great-grandma) who reads them the letters she wrote from the Japanese prison in Singapore during the war. Things were so terrible for Grandma Gertie it makes Harry and Angie feel they can survive anything. The letters give Harry and Angie hope. But sometimes things can’t be OK again and hope isn’t enough. This is Marcia Williams’ first novel (having previously written non-fiction books for children in cartoon format) and it is an absolute treat. I laughed out loud and cried at the end but, all in all, it’s a wonderful and evocative story. Recommended for ages 9+. | 87


Eric Ravilious Wet Afternoon c.1938

APRIL An extract from The Natural History of Selborne, By Gilbert White, illustrated by Eric Ravilious (Little Toller Books, 2014), RRP ÂŁ14.00  Dear Sir,

Letter 50

Selborne, April 21, 1780

The old Sussex tortoise, that I have mentioned to you so often, is become my property. I dug it out of its winter dormitory in March last, when it was enough awakened to express its resentments by hissing; and, packing it in a box with earth, carried it eighty miles in post-chaises. The rattle and hurry of the journey so perfectly roused it that, when I turned it out on a border, it walked twice down to the bottom of my garden; however, in the evening, the weather being cold, it buried itself in the loose mould, and continues still concealed.

88 | Bridport Times | April 2019

As it will be under my eye, I shall now have an opportunity of enlarging my observations on its mode of life, and propensities; and perceive already that, towards the time of coming forth, it opens a breathing place in the ground near its head, requiring, I conclude, a freer respiration, as it becomes more alive. This creature not only goes under the earth from the middle of November to the middle of April, but sleeps great part of the summer; for it goes to bed in the longest days at four in the afternoon, and often does not stir in the morning till late. Besides, it retires to rest for every shower; and does not move at all in wet days. When one reflects on the state of this strange being, it is a matter of wonder to find that Providence should bestow such a profusion of days, such a seeming waste of longevity, on a reptile that appears to relish it so little as to squander more than two-thirds of its existence in a joyless stupor, and be lost to all sensation for months together in the profoundest of slumbers. Because we call this creature an abject reptile, we are too apt to undervalue his abilities, and depreciate his powers of instinct. Yet he is, as Mr Pope says of his lord, . . . much too wise to walk into a well; and has so much discernment as not to fall down an haha; but to stop and withdraw from the brink with the readiest precaution. Though he loves warm weather he avoids the hot sun; because his thick shell, when once heated, would, as the poet says of solid armour ‘scald with safety’. He therefore spends the more sultry hours under the umbrella of a large cabbage-leaf, or amidst the waving forests of an asparagus-bed. But as he avoids heat in the summer, so, in the decline of the year, he improves the faint autumnal beams, by getting within the reflection of a fruit-wall; and, though he never has read that planes inclining to the horizon receive a greater share of warmth*, he inclines his shell, by tilting it against the wall, to collect and admit every feeble ray. Pitiable seems the condition of this poor embarrassed reptile: to be cased in a suit of ponderous armour, which he cannot lay aside; to be imprisoned, as it were, within his own shell, must preclude, we should suppose, all activity and disposition for enterprise. Yet there is a season of the year (usually the beginning of June) when his exertions are remarkable. He then walks on tiptoe, and is stirring by five in the morning; and, traversing the garden, examines every wicket and interstice in the fences, through which he will escape if possible: and often has eluded the care of the gardener, and wandered to some distant field. The motives that impel him to undertake these rambles seem to be of the amorous kind: his fancy then becomes intent on sexual attachments, which transport him beyond his usual gravity, and induce him to forget for a time his ordinary solemn deportment. While I was writing this letter, a moist and warm afternoon, with the thermometer at 50, brought forth troops of shell-snails; and, at the same juncture, the tortoise heaved up the mould and put out its head; and the next morning came forth, as it were raised from the dead; and walked about till four in the afternoon. This was a curious coincidence! a very amusing occurrence! to see such a similarity of feelings between the two ‘φερεοικοι’! for so the Greeks called both the shellsnail and the tortoise. Summer birds are, this cold and backward spring, unusually late: I have seen but one swallow yet. This conformity with the weather convinces me more and more that they sleep in the winter. Several years ago a book was written entitled Fruit-walls improved by inclining them to the horizon: in which the author has shewn, by calculation, that a much greater number of the rays of the sun will fall on such walls than on those which are perpendicular. | 89

Pete Millson | photographer

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ACROSS 1. Give up one's rights (4) 3. Well-rounded (8) 9. Soft-bodied invertebrate (7) 10. Ellipses (5) 11. Prediction or expectation (12) 13. Pour from one container to another (6) 15. Relating to stars (6) 17. Intolerable (12) 20. Very large (5) 21. Smoothing clothes (7) 22. Sorriest (anag) (8) 23. Eager (4) 90 | Bridport Times | April 2019

DOWN 1. Soldier (8) 2. Glazed earthenware (5) 4. Consider to be true (6) 5. Gradual reduction in value (12) 6. Strident noise (7) 7. Stage of twilight (4) 8. Part of the mind (12) 12. Substance causing a reaction (8) 14. Where you watch films (7) 16. Sheep known for its wool (6) 18. Illegal payment (5) 19. Slightly open (4)



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Bridport Times April 2019  

Featuring Swanherd Steve Groves + What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home, G...

Bridport Times April 2019  

Featuring Swanherd Steve Groves + What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, Home, G...