Sherborne Times December 2016

Page 1



A HELPING HAND Behind the scenes at Sherborne Food Bank



o, here we all are. Seemingly, from out of nowhere, December appears once more — bringing with it excited children on best behaviour and shop windows fizzing with light and promise. Sherborne comes into its own this time of year. Like an oil painted winter past of warm glows, gloves and carol singers, we could well be ruddy-cheeked characters in a Christmas card. This year the town gathers in celebration on Sunday 4th December for Sherborne’s Festive Shopping Day. A sterling logistical effort from our Chamber of Trade sees Cheap Street swell with street performers, choirs, market stalls, pop-up shops and, of course, a visit from a certain special someone. This beautiful town, however, is something of a paradox. While we sing, laugh, buy gifts that may never be used, and food that may never be eaten, people are going hungry. Before you roll your eyes at this clumsily delivered Christmas cliché, consider this — they are your neighbours. Here in Sherborne individuals and families are suffering to such a degree that agencies and volunteers are stepping in to offer help. They are not people seeking handouts, they are hidden from view and trying their best, quite often in the face of dire circumstances. We of course have opinions and, quite reasonably, consider some causes more worthy than others. But to know, that, on our watch, in our community, people cannot afford to eat, feels very wrong indeed. In this edition we visit the Sherborne Food Bank and see their admirable work in action. As I come to the end of my first year at the helm, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in bringing this humble and resolutely independent publication to life each month — contributors, advertisers, distributors and my cracking little production team. Thank you, the readers, too. Your kind words and enthusiasm make the long hours worth every minute. Wishing you all a tremendous Christmas and New Year. Glen Cheyne, Editor @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne

Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV

Design Andy Gerrard

Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup

Sub-editor Julia Chadwick Photography Katharine Davies Feature writer Jo Denbury Print Pureprint Distribution team David Elsmore Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Roger & Mary Napper Maggie Pelly Claire Pilley Judith Rust Geoff Wood Contact 01935 814803 07957 496193 @sherbornetimes Sherborne Times is printed on Edixion Offset, an FSC® 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 Sherborne 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. Sherborne 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 Sherborne Times. Additional photography: contributor’s own, Shutterstock, iStock and Alamy 4 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife David Copp Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me, Fine Stationery @DearToMeStudio Giles Dick-Read Reads Coffee Roasters @reads_coffee Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning Milly Furby The Slipped Stitch @ThSlippedStitch Paul Gammage & Anita Light EweMove Sherborne @ewemoveyeovil Mark Greenstock, Antonia Burt, Jan Pain & John Gaye Sherborne Literary Society Julia Hackforth BSc (Hons) The Sherborne Rooms Peter Henshaw & Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles @rileyscycles @DCNSherborne

Colin Lambert Helen Lickerish 56 London Road Clinic @56londonroad Adam Martin The Lawn and Landscape Centre Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet Kitty Oakshott Upstairs Downstairs Interiors @updowninteriors Lisa Osman All Hallows AGA Approved Cookery School @cooksandmakers Jan Pain Sherborne Scribblers Tanya Peck Robin James @RobinJamesAveda Lindsay Punch Lindsay Punch Styling @stylistmum Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic Jane Somper Goldhill Organics @GoldhillOrganic Joy Weafer Oxley Sports Centre @OxleySports

Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms @SanctuaryDorset

Sally Welbourn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife

Tamsin Holroyd Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep

Wayne Winstone Winstone’s Books @winstonebooks

Nicky King The Eastbury Hotel

44 6


What’s On

36 Interiors

84 Property

12 Unearthed

38 Antiques

88 Finance

14 Shopping Guide

40 Gardening

91 Tech

16 Charlie Dodge


94 Folk Tales

20 Wild Dorset

52 Food & Drink

96 Literature

24 Family

62 Animal Care

98 Short Story

32 Knitting Pattern

64 On Foot

102 Crossword

68 Body & Mind | 5

WHAT'S ON Listings ____________________________ Thursday 1st-Saturday 3rd 7.30pm Joint schools’ musical: Guys and Dolls Sherborne Girls School, Bradford Road.,

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Music and

Sunday 4th 10am-4pm

Selection of festive food from Britain and

Festive shops and stalls, pop-up

between the association and the singers.

entertainment, Santa’s grotto, shoppers’

readings about the Christmas season.

Sherborne festive shopping day

other countries, raffle with profits shared

shops, Dorset Farmers’ Market, street

£5 for everyone, members and guests.


carols in the Abbey at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, and much more! Tree

01935 812245

Saturday 3rd 10am-1pm


Table top and cake sale

lighting at 4pm.

Friday 2nd 3.30pm-5pm

Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. £10 per table.

Sunday 4th 2pm

Proceeds to UK Veterans.

Special festive guided


walk of Sherborne

Boot Lane, Thornford

Saturday 3rd 1.30pm-5pm


Christmas fayre

Enjoy a gentle stroll around Historic

Friday 2nd 1.30pm

Hayes Residential Home, Long Street.

Thornford Primary School Christmas fair

Chamber orchestra recital Tindall Recital Hall, Sherborne School

Refreshments available, everyone welcome. ____________________________

01935 812249. Free performance

Saturday 3rd 7.30pm


Sherborne on festive shopping day and

learn more of its ancient past with Blue Badge Guide, Cindy. £5. No need to book, just turn up.


by the students.

From Darkness To Light

Wednesday 7th 7am-9am Early bird business exchange

Friday 2nd 6pm

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ.

Sherborne Chamber Choir sings great choral music to celebrate Advent,

Castle Gardens, Sherborne. Meetings

incl Byrd, Finzi, Gibbons, Schutz,

to exchange ideas, leads and knowledge. A vibrant and welcoming group.

Norwich Puppet Theatre: The Tinderbox Yetminster St Andrew’s Primary School. Norwich Puppet Theatre breathes new life into Hans Christian Andersen’s

Rachmaninov, Jackson and MacMillan. £5-£16 from Sherborne TIC



classic tale of magic, bravery and love

Saturday 3rd 9am-11am

Wednesday 7th 2pm and 8pm

with puppetry, animation and music.

Big butty Christmas breakfast

Christmas lecture:

01935 872430, £6, £5

Art Inspired by Wine

u18s, £20 fam. Suitable 4+

Alweston Village Hall. Christmas raffle,


cakes, preserves, mince pies, children’s

activity table. Free child’s (up to 10 years

Digby Hall, Hound Street. John Ericson

old) butty breakfast with the purchase

examines paintings of wine being made and consumed since the time of Noah,

Friday 2nd 7pm Holwell variety performance night Holwell Village Hall, DT9 5LL. Live

music, SwapShop, B.Y.O. booze. Snacks,

of an adult’s. Food Bank collection at the hall.


the creativity and beauty of wine labels and artwork of Ronald Searle. Run by Sherborne Decorative and Fine

soft and hot drinks available. A monthly

Saturday 3rd 11am

Arts Society, new members welcome.

games or any other form of shared

The Tinderbox £4 donation.

Puppet Theatre breathes new life into

Shape and style masterclass with

magic, bravery and love with puppetry,

Sherborne (contact for venue details). £6, £5 u18s, £20 fam.

how to shop for your figure, lifestyle and

evening of music, poetry, art, storytelling,

Norwich Puppet Theatre:

entertainment we can all enjoy. Music@

Sandford Orcas Village Hall. Norwich

Thursday 8th 7.30pm-10.30pm


Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of

personal stylist Lindsay Punch

animation and music. 01963 220163,

Learn how to look and feel good, discover

Saturday 3rd 2.30pm ‘A Seasonal Miscellany’ by Gillingham Singers, in association with Blackmore Vale and Yeovil National Trust Association 6 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Suitable 4+



budget. £30. 07969 557004

DECEMBER 2016 gives an introduction to the beautiful

Sherborne Town Band and Abbey Choir.

Egyptians. Pre-book 01935 389611,

Tuesday 13th 6pm-8.30pm

£10 including refreshments.

Sherborne Chamber members

followed by the Christmas party.

Saturday 10th 7pm £15.


Cheap Street Church. A Christmas

Wednesday 14th 7.30pm


but complex language of the ancient

Thursday 8th 2.30pm Sherborne and district Gardeners’ Association talk Digby Hall, Hound St. Florist Judith

Searles discusses festive arrangements.

____________________________ Members £8, non-members

Christmas Drinks for


The Green Restaurant.

01935 813679.

Music, mirth and magic

Friday 9th 10am-3pm

Extravaganza. £10 from Sherborne TIC.

ArtsLink flicks: Absolutely


Fabulous: The Movie

Around the World with art

Sunday 11th 7.30pm

historian Julian Halsby

Near-ta Theatre:

Memorial Hall, Digby Road.

Eastbury Hotel, Long Street. Lectures,

Christmas. Time.

01935 813131.

adventure through Dickens, pantomime,

Thursday 15th 3pm

Christmas films! 01935 891744,

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ

Suitable 10+

Thursday 15th 7pm


‘A Quieter Christmas’ service

entertain you with medieval music and

Sunday 11th 5pm onwards

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ

served after the performance. Contact 261056, or friendsofholnest@gmail.

Church DT9 5JB. Village carols and songs

the Rendezvous parents’


Memorial Hall Digby Road. Tickets from

Lunch and learn: Impressionism

____________________________ £6 from Sherborne TIC.

lunch, refreshments and wine £45.

Halstock Village Hall. A fantastical


musical, Christmas dinner and

Carol Service for Steam Train £9, £7 u18s, £28 fam.


Friday 9th 7pm, doors open 6.45pm Medieval Christmas at Holnest Holnest Church. Frances Eustace will


readings. Christmas refreshments will be

Theatre of Past Delights: A Victorian Christmas

Friday 16th 7pm

Luke Mouland on 01963 210635, 07760

Denman & Gould Studio, Haydon

Quiz night in support of

com. £5 Friends of Holnest members, £7

from the Victorian times by candlelight.

support group


Monday 12th 7.30pm-9.30pm

Saturday 10th 2pm-4.30pm

Sherborne Christmas

Sherborne TIC and the Rendezvous, under

Write like an Egyptian

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ. The Abbey’s


Somerset & Dorset Family History

Society, The Parade. Dr Patricia Spencer

Box Office:

01258 475137 Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1FH

gift to the town, featuring a variety

of music from local school choirs, the


Cheap Street Church, 01935 814496, £5 including

complimentary drink and mince pie.


Barrelhouse Blues Orchestra – Christmas Special

The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars

Tickets £15

Tickets £17.50

Friday 30th December, 7:45pm Blow away those post-Christmas blues and get ready for 2017! We promise that this will not be a quiet evening!

Saturday 28th January, 7:30pm Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club, the quintet led by the club’s musical director, celebrate ‘The Ronnie Scott’s Story’. | 7

WHAT'S ON Friday 16th 7.30pm

Sunday 18th 3pm

Saturday 24th 11.30am and 5pm

Christmas hootenanny

Abbey carol service

Christmas Eve services

Church House, Milborne Port. To book

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ. 5pm, 01963 251533

Sunday 18th 7.45pm


The Man Who Was

tree, 11.30pm the first Eucharist of

Saturday 17th 12pm,

Born To Be King

1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Cheap Street Church Hall, Sherborne.

Sunday 25th 8am,

written for broadcast by Dorothy L.

Christmas Day services


Holy Communion BCP, 9.30am Parish

a performance slot or for further info


Blessing of the crib and lighting of the Christmas.


A play-cycle on the life of Jesus Christ,

9.30am and 11.15am

Sayers. 01935 818427 or 01935 817284.

Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ. 8am Said

Saturday 17th 7.30pm-10pm

Sunday 18th-Monday 19th

Christmas sing-a-long

6.30pm both nights, plus

Eucharist for Christmas Day, 11.15am

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Sherborne

2.30pm on Monday 19th

Shoppers’ carols Sherborne Abbey, DT9 3LQ. Just turn up and join in!


Festal Mattins.


Town Band and Youth Band performing

Sherborne Amateur Pantomime

Sunday 25th

all your favourite carols. Teas, coffees,

Society: Cinderella

Christmas lunch

mince-pies and a raffle in the interval. Tickets from Sherborne TIC.

Digby Hall, Hound Street. £8 from

Sherborne Churches Together host


Sherborne TIC, under 2s go free.


otherwise on their own at Christmas.

a Christmas Day Lunch for those





Taylors Mystery Christmas Meal

Newquay Tinsel & Turkey

Sunday 11th December

12th - 16th December

£33.50, Club £31.50

5 Days £335

____________________________ Winchester Christmas Market


Sunday 18th December £20, Club £18


2017 Day Trips and Excursions brochure available soon. 01935 423177 | 8 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

DECEMBER 2016 If you would like to join us or volunteer

Pannier Market

01935 812452. For more info, 01935

Saturday on the Parade

sessions free. For more details go to

to help, please contact Parish Office

Every Thursday and

813962 or 01963 210548.



Country Market

Sunday 1st Jan 2pm

Thursday mornings 9.15am-11.15am

Sherborne RFC

New Year’s Day walk

Church Hall, Digby Road

1st IV, Southern


Counties South Division

more of Sherborne’s ancient past with

Farmers’ Market

Gainsborough Park, The Terrace Playing

chocolate afterwards in Vida Comida,

each month 9am-1pm


From Sherborne Abbey porch. £5. Learn or call Jimmy on 07887 800803


Blue Badge Guide Cindy. Optional hot

Every third Friday in

Swan Yard, £1.

Cheap Street


Saturday 10th 2.15pm

Sunday 1st Jan 2pm-4pm

Monthly table-top

Sherborne v

Divine Union Soundbath

sale and SwapShop

Devizes (H)

Oborne Village Hall, Oborne DT9 4LA.

Saturday 3rd 10am-1pm


Dean 01935 389655 or email ahiahel@

Saturday 17th 2.15pm, £12

Holwell Village Hall, DT9 5LL

Dorset Dockers v

book in advance Used items, produce and crafts, clothes,

Sherborne (A)

cookware, books, CDs, DVDs, bric-a-


provided), set up from 9am.

Sherborne Town FC


1st IV, Toolstation Western

Book Fair

League Premier Division


Saturday 17th 9.30am-4pm

The Slipped Stitch

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, 01803

Raleigh Grove, The Terrace Playing Fields,


Workshops and Classes The Julian, Cheap Street, 01935 508249,

Monday 19th 10am-12pm Sewing Christmas decorations

brac and toys. Sellers: £5 per table (tables

613356, colinbakerbooks@btinternet.

com. New, second-hand and antiquarian

Fields, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5NS


Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5NS


books, also magazines, prints, postcards

Saturday 3rd

and ephemera.

Bitton v


Sherborne Town (A)

Vintage Market


and robins.

Saturday 10th 8.30am-3.30pm

Saturday 10th Buckland Athletic v

We are hosting a pop-up gift shop on

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, 07809

387594. 30+ sellers of quality vintage

Sherborne Town (A)




Saturday 17th

Wednesday 21st 10am-12pm Needle-felted Christmas puddings

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th with a range of handmade gifts.

Knit and Natter runs every Tuesday and


Sherborne Town v Wells City (H)

Thursday, 10am-12pm (last Knit and



Natter of the year is Thursday 22nd), plus

Every Tuesday and Thursday

Monday 26th

crochet, knitting and needle-felting classes.


Sherborne Town v


Mixed Touch Rugby

Gillingham Town (H)

Sherborne School Floodlit Astroturf,


Fairs and Markets ____________________________

Ottery Lane. DT9 6EE. Novices very welcome. £2 per session, first four | 9


Christine Roberts Robin James Sherborne

“I’m only as good as my last haircut” Christine Roberts introduces herself with the same energy and enthusiasm that she puts into all she does. “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Christine is neither, she’s possibly overflowing!

And she says her approach to her hairdressing is equally positive and optimistic. “I see myself as a good communicator” says Christine “that is so important in hairdressing”. Her career which includes opening salons in Asia, the middle east and the USA. She has coiffured royalty, Bollywood stars and top models, winning some major

hairdressing awards along the way. Last year Christine closed the book on her globe trotting and decided it was time to put down roots. Why Dorset and why Robin James? “Dorset is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and believe me I’ve seen a lot of this planet. I love Dorset and this is where I


want to be for a long time. Having made that decision the Robin James bit was obvious. I am so excited to be a part of their Sherborne salon. I adore the town and the salon is fantastic. I needed to work in a salon where my high standards of hairdressing and customer service would be expected. My strengths are cutting and my mantra has always been that I am only as good as my last haircut. Therefore I make sure every haircut is my best one! I share Robin’s principle that a great haircut should be so precise it doesn’t just look beautiful on day one, it grows out beautifully too. I’m also very excited that the salon has it’s own dedicated colour studio so I can do my beautiful haircuts and there are very

talented colour technicians who I can work with to complete the look with stunning colour results. The Robin James approach to lifestyle and wellness really appealed to me too. I’m just buzzing being here and I’m very much looking forward to making everyone look fabulous”. To book a free consultation or an appointment with Christine call 01935 812112 or go to to book online Robin James Salon Spa, 69 Cheap Street, Sherborne DT9 3BA Find us on Facebook and Twitter!


Trent Young’s Endowed Primary School and Panthers Martial Arts Academy


on’t let that cheeky grin fool you. Beneath the cute exterior of eight-year-old Melissa Rogers lies an unnervingly aggressive fighter. The pint-sized powerhouse has recently stormed her way to becoming the U12 female 30kg kickboxing world champion. Melissa took up kickboxing after spending evenings watching her elder sister train at Yeovil’s Panthers Martial Arts Academy. As soon as she was old enough, at the tender age of four, Melissa leapt into the sport and has been battering unsuspecting opponents ever since. Her first competitive encounter, however, left her beaten and with a bloodied nose. Rather than put her off, this fight simply fuelled Melissa’s determination to better herself. In response, she has adopted a startling, Gatling-gun style of attack, unleashing a blur of small fists that forces her opponents into a desperate retreat. This might sound a bit brutal for an eight-year-old but Melissa is beyond her years, brimming with drive and fiercely competitive. Her parents, Pete and Zena Rogers, are understandably squeamish – terrified, even – at the thought of their daughter being hurt and are advised to keep away from the ring during fights. Melissa trains twice a week under the protection and guidance of Panthers’ sensei, Kire Antoski – who, incidentally has produced two world champions this year. Staff at Trent Young’s Endowed Primary are glowing with pride and describe a very different, almost demure girl. Indeed, when Melissa isn’t kickboxing, she loves to sing and also plays the piano to a high standard. Her mother, Zena, tells us how Melissa’s ambitions change on a daily basis, with dreams of becoming an actress on a Monday, model on a Tuesday, charity worker on a Wednesday and an international kickboxing pro on a Thursday. Whichever path Melissa does eventually take, I have a feeling she won’t let much stand in her way.,

KATHARINE DAVIES PHOTOGRAPHY Portrait, lifestyle, PR and editorial commissions 07808 400083

12 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Bespoke Kitchen & Cabinet Makers

J Smith Woodwork Ltd Staffords Green Corton Denham Sherborne Dorset DT9 4LY 01963 220147 | 07773 701812 |

Jumper, £45, Selfish Mother x Save the Children in collaboration with model David Gandy (thefmlystore. com or at the newly opened FMLY Store in Bruton)*

*50% of the price of each jumper sold is donated to Save the Children

Cashmere sweater, £350 (The Circus)

Frankincense and myrrh candle, £30, Corpo Sancto (The Yard, a newly opened pop-up above Vida Comida)

Cream liqueur, £19.95, Magnum (Vineyards) and Pandoro panettone, £3.35, Virginia (The Pear Tree)

Christmas star, £12; and arnica muscle salve, £10, Neal’s Yard Organics (The Sherborne Rooms)

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES Jenny Dickinson, Dear to Me Studio Light a candle, don your favourite jumper, then sit back, liqueur in hand and lose yourself in the two-part crackle of old vinyl and an open fire. 14 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Greetings cards, £14 per set or £3.60 each; wrapping paper, £1.75; and wish list card, £2.60, Dear To Me Studio (

Child’s jumper, £36 including coordinating trousers, Mayoral (Ginger & Pickle)

Record player, £99, GPO (E.B. Marsh & Son Ltd)

Handbag, £340, Sherene Melinda (The Circus) | 15

CHARLIE DODGE Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


harlie Dodge’s day starts early. Around 5.30am, to be exact, when her young son Raffy, aged four and a half, wraps his small hands around her face and says, “Time to wake up, Mummy.” Then there is the usual myriad of tasks, including negotiating breakfast, making a packed lunch for school, checking the school bag, re-checking the school bag, finding shoes and then the school gate before Charlie finally sits down at her workbench at 10am. She works at home in Long Street, producing a collection of jewellery each season for an increasing army of fans, who enjoy collecting and wearing her work. “Making jewellery is something I began doing as a ‘filler’ between jobs,” she says. “I worked for a while in London as a make-up artist for films [Tomb Raider was her first] but when there was a break between film jobs, I would make and sell jewellery.” Hers is a collection of super-cool handmade jewels. Think luscious earrings that brush the shoulders, a sprinkling of Swarovski crystals and the rock ’n’ roll glamour of gold- and silver-plated resin skulls. A collection of simple floating black or natural pearls are arguably the most seductive and feminine. “I just love the way pearls age,” says Charlie. A trip to Africa to travel among the Maasai people had a huge influence on her work. Their distinctive mix of bright beads and incorporated natural forms was something she wanted to weave into the jewellery she produces. Family trips to the Dorset coast with Rafe and husband Jody, to Burton Bradstock in particular, are what inspire her now. “We spend a lot of time hunting for shells and pebbles,” she says. “I just love working with natural forms – my collection for next year will be

16 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

based on a series of gold-dipped shells.” The majority of her work is by commission. A lucky stone you might have chanced upon, for example, could be turned into a pendant that celebrates a marriage between nature and glamour. She also enjoys reworking jewellery – items that have lurked, unworn, in the bottom of the jewellery box for too long, or inherited pieces that are precious, but need updating. Creativity comes naturally to Charlie. Her parents were interior designers and she grew up surrounded by fabric and paper sample books. A Sherborne Girls alumnus, her ancestry is closely interwoven with the town. Augustus Dodge, her great-great-grandfather, set up shop here in 1846 to sell riding boots. His son went into old books, then her grandfather specialised in antiques. After a four-year stint working in London, Charlie is glad to have moved back to Sherborne. “It is so friendly here,” she says. “On a Saturday morning I like nothing better than to walk into Cheap Street for the market. We always buy our vegetables and bread at the stalls and it has such a lovely atmosphere.” Now that her sister Sam and cousin Isabella have opened The Circus in Cheap Street, she is able to start her day with a coffee at their shop. “It is a great way to catch up with news and also to see any new fashion lines they might have in, so that I can design jewellery to go with it – a new jumper or colour range, for example.” Charlie’s jewellery is available at The Circus, 33 Cheap Street or made to order. | 17


Consistently Overachieving


Merry Christmas!

11+ and 13+ scholarships are offered in academic subjects and Art/Design (13+ only), Music, Drama and Sport.

Closing date for applications: Monday 16th January 2017 To find out more please contact us on: LEWESTON SCHOOL . SHERBORNE . T: 01963 211 010 Gaudere Et Bene Facere ~ Rejoice And Do Well 18 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Open 9-5 Monday to Saturday 41 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PU Call 01935 816111 |

01935 590 021 @KFSherborne *since Brexit

Wild Dorset


Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust


he much-loved robin is one of the UK’s favourite garden visitors. Adorning Christmas cards at this time of year, the robin is a truly iconic species, often associated with winter. Perhaps one of the nicest things about the robin is that it’s easily identified – brown, with a white belly, the famous red breast make it unmistakable, even for the wildlife novice. Often seen using gardens and local green spaces, they make their presence known with a loud, territorial song which they sing all year round, so they’re hard to miss. Whilst they can be found in the most unusual places such as plant pots, old wellies and shelves, shrubs – and particularly ivy, another festive favourite! – are their favoured places for nesting. Fiercely territorial birds, during the breeding season (April to June) the female is allowed into the male’s territory where she sets up a nest of dead leaves, moss and hair. Like any other garden visitor, robins need a helping hand during the winter as they can be adversely affected by cold snaps. Robins are small and smaller birds can often suffer the most in colder conditions. Often, if a robin visits your garden just once, they are known to return time and time again. Finding food is a constant occupation for them and whilst ivy provides rich, delicious berries, robins will appreciate any offerings you have for them in your garden as the winter draws in. By encouraging robins or other birds into your garden, you will be rewarded with a display of red plumage and beautiful bird song. It’s no surprise that, in 2015, the robin was voted favourite to be the UK’s first national bird. Dorset Wildlife Trust always loves hearing about what you’ve seen. If you have a keen pair of eyes, their ‘Species of the month’ wildlife recording scheme will keep you busy throughout the year. Visit or contact them on facebook/dorsetwildlife or @dorsetwildlife on Twitter.

ROBIN FACTS: • In winter, robins puff up their plumage to insulate their bodies against the cold. • Victorian postmen were nicknamed ‘robin redbreasts’ because of the red suits they wore whilst delivering Christmas cards! • To help further with identification, the males and females look identical. Young robins are mottled gold and brown with no red breast. • You might see a robin nearby if you’re digging in the garden – they are searching for newly disturbed worms. • You can hear them singing at night, often next to streetlights! 20 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Image: Steve Davis | 21


Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Sherborne Group Committee


ll the Christmas events are commencing and we are into the last weeks of 2016. In December, the Sherborne Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) Group does not have a meeting. There is a Christmas craft sale on the weekend of 3rd/4th December at the Kingcombe Centre, where DWT’s 2017 Calendar will be available and also a selection of Christmas cards by local artists and photographers. This year the calendar features pictures of Dorset from above. These items and other gift ideas are available from DWT’s headquarters, between Sherborne and Dorchester, and the website shop. A different gift might even be found there – how about adopting a Dorset seahorse or red squirrel? Holly is a popular Christmas symbol. However, bringing it and other evergreen boughs into the home is a pre-Christian custom. We have few holly trees in our region, as they prefer the acid soils in the Poole basin. The book Great Trees of Dorset suggests that the oldest holly tree in Dorset is at Brenscombe, near Corfe Castle. The flowers on the male and female trees pass almost

22 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

The Kingcombe Centre. Image: Stephen Banks

Wild Dorset

unnoticed in early summer, but the glossy red fruits brighten a winter walk. DWT currently has a campaign to raise money to allow winter maintenance work on hedgerows. Hedgerows, as verges, are vital to our wildlife as they are used as corridors for safe travel through our countryside. The early results of Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count confirmed my feelings that 2016 has not been a good year for butterflies. Red admirals and green-veined whites were the only species to show increased numbers. Sightings of peacock butterflies also continued to be much lower than usual. They overwinter as hibernating adults and any warm sunny day can bring them out of hibernation; keep a lookout for one. Other species overwintering as adults are brimstone, small tortoiseshell and comma. I have formed the view that friends living in Sherborne saw more peacocks in their gardens this year than those of us living out of town.

Wide range of scholarships available from Year 3 upwards For more details please contact the Registrar, Aurora Mercer 01935 810911/



‘PRESENTS’ OF MIND Tamsin Holroyd, librarian, Sherborne Preparatory School


ith Christmas approaching, you might already be planning gifts for the children in your lives. Book tokens make a wonderful present and are always very popular. They are easy to post with a Christmas card and you send the excitement of anticipation involved in planning a trip to the bookshop. We are lucky to have Winstone’s in Sherborne, a top-notch independent bookshop where the process of choosing is enhanced in every way. After all, in the words of Walt Disney, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” If you plan to give a personal present that will also look pretty under the Christmas tree, I can recommend the short book, “The Story of Holly and Ivy” by Rumer Godden, which was first published in 1954. This is suitable for children from around six years old to read to themselves or is perfect to read aloud to boys and girls of any age. This is a story about wishing. Ivy is a little orphan girl, who is to be sent to an Infants’ Home because she has nowhere to go for Christmas. She wishes for a doll to hold and a family to love her. Holly is the Christmas doll who wishes for a child of her own to love her and Mrs Jones knows that something is missing from her Christmas preparations. I love Ivy, the audaciously brave little six-year-old heroine, who tenaciously takes her fate into her own hands on Christmas Eve. She provides a strong female role model and we admire her vivid imagination and stubborn belief. She says, “I don’t care!” and insists that she has a grandmother. When reading the part where she defiantly steps off the train at the wrong station, children often comment that she is a VERY naughty little girl, with wide-eyed awe and admiration. She is alone at night in a strange place and we fear for her safety, but Ivy is not afraid. Rumer Godden writes beautifully; the story is expertly crafted and the three strands come together in a delightfully unexpected way. Perennial classics like this ignite a lifelong love of stories. 24 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

I always ask children to record as much as they can from their own lives, as it will become part of their own story. They are encouraged to keep diaries, journals, storybooks, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, quotation books and reading records, which are adapted to suit them individually. I also advise children to inscribe their own books with their names, the date and place where they read the book and anything else that they would like to record. When I show them my old books and journals, they are fascinated by how much information about my life is there. Personal inscriptions in books make the

"A cherished book becomes part of the child’s life"

present even more special and the message you write is there for posterity. A cherished book becomes part of the child’s life and, with it, your words tell their own story. Perhaps you could wrap this book with some matching holly and ivy wrapping paper or a real holly and ivy garland. Christopher Marley said “When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue, you give him the possibility of a whole new world” – what a wonderful gift for anyone. | 25


Children’s Book Reviews Wayne Winstone, Winstone’s Books, Independent Bookshop of the Year 2016

It’s always a challenge trying to find the right gift at Christmas, but books are somehow different. They seem to have more value than the sum of their parts – and you could be making a purchase that will inspire, entertain and provide enjoyment for the recipient over and over again. Here are my suggestions for the youthful contingent in your life this Christmas. Greatest Animal Stories, chosen by Michael Morpurgo (Oxford University Press) £14.99 A treasure trove of animal delights by the UK’s best-loved storyteller, former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo. Here, the awardwinning writer has plundered the canon for the best in beast-based yarns from around the world. The

26 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

collection features old favourites including Puss In Boots, The Ugly Ducking and Peter and the Wolf, sure to captivate readers aged five years old and above. It is also illustrated beautifully to provide a sumptuous edition of animal stories for all to share. From squeaks and peeps to growls and howls, brave mice and hungry wolves, mischievous spiders and hungry cats, all animal life is here.

ABC Animals!, by Rufus Butler Seder (Workman) £11.99

The Girl Who Saved Christmas, by Matt Haig (Canongate) £12.99

AniMalcolm, by David Baddiel (publisher TBC ) £12.99

In this romping journey from A-Z, all the animals come alive – four on each page, for a total of 26 moving images. The Scanimation author is back with this new instalment in the series, which has sold over 6.3 million copies to date. His invention, Scanimation, uses a state-of-theart six-phase animation process inspired by a love of antique optical toys. Watch the A-for-alligator snap, the B-for-bats swoop and the C-for-camel trot. It all culminates in Z-for-zoo, where the animals convene for the largest Scanimation yet. The alphabet as it has never been seen before, this book will delight and amaze toddlers and parents.

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end? It’s Christmas Eve 1842 and, when Amelia wants a wish to come true, she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas. Matt Haig’s follow-up to the phenomenally popular A Boy Called Christmas is here and, given that novel was dubbed “An instant classic” and “The most evergreen Christmas story to be published for decades,” it’s going to take some beating. Fortunately, this sequel does not disappoint. Set in a Dickensian London, centred on a young heroine struggling with parental illness and child labour, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is something other than laugh-a-minute. But Amelia is a firecracker of a protagonist and it transpires that, with riots in Elfhelm, Niklaus might need help if Christmas is to be saved…

Malcolm doesn’t like animals. So it comes as some surprise when, attending a school trip to a farm, Malcolm suddenly realises what it’s like to think… speak… and smell like an animal. This new children’s novel comes from the bestselling author and comedian David Baddiel, of Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned fame. Following on the heels of his acclaimed children’s literature debut in 2014, The Parent Agency, AniMalcolm promises to deliver giggles and guts in equal measure. After all, as Malcolm finds, sometimes the hardest thing to become is…yourself. | 27


BALANCING ACT Peter Henshaw, Dorset Cyclists Network Mike Riley, Riley’s Cycles


emember the first time you rode a bike unassisted? No parent’s hand on the back of the saddle, no wobbly stabilisers. Just that feeling of flying along, with you in sole control. I certainly do. For years (or so it seemed when I was five) I wobbled along on those horrible stabiliser wheels, too scared to go solo. Then one day, it just clicked. Suddenly, I was riding round and round a friend’s front garden on two wheels and, yes, it did feel like flying. (If the wind’s in the right direction, it still does). However you describe it, it’s a feeling every child has to experience. Years later, I watched my nephews learn to ride on something called a balance bike – and what a brilliantly 28 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

simple idea they are. If you’ve not seen one of these before, it’s just a very small bicycle with no pedals, low enough to the ground for kids to paddle themselves along. Naturally, after a bit they start paddling faster, then discover that they can lift their feet off the ground and ‘freewheel.’ Very soon they’ve learnt how to balance, without having to think about pedalling. Then when they’re ready for their first ‘proper’ bike, they can hop straight on and concentrate on learning how to pedal. The market for balance bikes has exploded in the last 10 years and now there’s a huge variety to choose from. My personal favourite is the Kiddimoto, Somerset-based and a pioneer back in 2003, when founder Simon Booth

bikes altogether. Instead of buying a bike for your sevenyear-old, you’ll rent it for a year or so then return it to the manufacturer, who will refurbish it before renting it to someone else. The bikes will be sturdier, longer-lasting and – get this – they will be made in the UK. That would all make them prohibitively expensive to buy, but we’re not being asked to do that. Actually, there’s nothing new about this idea. Personal contract plans (PCP) now dominate the new car and mobile phone markets – you pay a monthly fee and hand the car or phone back at the end of the contract. It makes sense in lots of ways. Anyway, the PCP kid’s bikes sound like a great idea to me. In the meantime, if you are buying a bicycle for a small one this Christmas, go for quality, make sure it fits them well, then stand back and listen to the shrieks of delight on Boxing Day. Worth every penny. Mike Riley from Riley’s Cycles adds:

That magic moment of transition from wobbling to balancing is a shared joy for parent and child. Children develop motor skills and strength in stages, as balance bikes break down learning into manageable chunks. My top tips for teaching them to ride: 1 Use a balance handle as you trot alongside, it saves your back and you can let go briefly, then tell junior they have ridden unaided, which boosts confidence. Some frames allow a broom handle to be stuck behind the seat tube; if not, bolt-on handles are available. 2 Pick a clear area that slopes gently downhill and has a soft landing. 3 Make sure the bike is the right size for the child, operates correctly and is not too heavy. had the bright idea of building a balance bike styled like a motorcycle. They’re not made in Somerset any more because some children’s bikes are built down to a price – and you can see why. What parent will spend hundreds of pounds on a child’s bike that may only be used for a year before it gets outgrown? So the cheap bikes become disposable items and, if there’s no younger sibling to pass them on to, get stored in the back of the garage or even thrown out. Either way, in a world that needs to cut its carbon footprint, it’s a waste of resources. Enter child’s bike specialist Islabikes, which has come up with a plan to change the way we buy these

For older children who may want to ride further or enter junior competitions, Worx bikes are specialist lightweight bikes for duathlon/triathlon and have good reviews, while the Dawes range includes Academy bicycles and lightweight versions of their popular children’s bikes. Children’s bikes are sized by wheel size up to 26-inch with frame size choices as well. Dawes and Merida make lighter aluminium framed bikes with 26-inch wheels in small frame sizes, which means more room for growth. | 29

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FINGERLESS GLOVES Millie Furby, The Slipped Stitch


hese fingerless gloves are a great quick knit Christmas present. Tie them up with a piece of ribbon and pop them under the tree.

You will need:

50g Stylecraft Batik DK wool, 3.25mm needles and 4mm needles, Cable needle Right glove

Cast on 40 stitches using 3.25mm needles. Row 1: *k2, P2* rep from * to end of row. Row 2: *P2, K2* rep from * to end of row. These 2 rows form 2x2 rib Repeat rows 1 and 2 six more times. Next row: (K6, inc 1) 3 times, K5, P1, inc 1, P2, (k2, inc 1) twice, P2, inc 1, P1, K7 (47 stitches) Change to 4mm needles Row 1: P7, K4, P6, K4, P26 Row 2: K26, P4, K6, P4, K7 Row 3: as row 1 Row 4: As row 2 Row 5: As row 1 Row 6: K26, P4, CB6, P4, K7 Repeat rows 1-6 twice more Then work rows 1-5 once more Change to 3.25mm needles Next row: (k5, k2tog) three times, K5, P2tog, P2, (k1, k2tog) twice, P1, P2tog, P1, K7 (40 stitches) Starting with row 2 of 2x2 rib works seven rows. Cast off in rib.

32 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Left glove

Cast on 40 stitches using 3.25mm needles. Row 1: *k2, P2* rep from * to end of the row. Row 2: *P2, K2* rep from * to end of row. These 2 rows form 2x2 rib Repeat rows 1 and 2 six more times. Next row: K7, P1, inc 1, P2, (k2, inc 1) twice, P2, inc 1, P1, K5, (inc 1, K6) three times (47 stitches) Change to 4mm needles Row 1: P26, K4, P6, K4, P7 Row 2: K7, P4, K6, P4, K26 Row 3: as row 1 Row 4: As row 2 Row 5: As row 1 Row 6: K7, P4, CB6, P4, K26 Repeat rows 1-6 twice more. Then work rows 1-5 once more Change to 3.25mm needles Next row: K7, P1, P2tog, P1 (k1, K2tog) twice, P1, P2tog, P1, K5, (k2tog, K5) three times. (40 stitches) Starting with row 2 of 2x2 rib works seven rows. Cast off in rib. Fold glove in half with right sides facing. Sew up the sides leaving a 1.5in gap for your thumb. Tip: make your fingerless gloves longer by repeating rows 1-6 for a third time before working rows 1-5. | 33


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SPARKLING REFLECTIONS Kitty Oakshott, Upstairs Downstairs Interiors


eck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la.” While Christmas decorations may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are plenty of ways to bring sparkle and light to the home during the long wintry nights. Seeing everything glittering brings a warm, festive cheer to my heart and, for me, Christmas is a time when more is definitely more. All that glitters may not be gold, but a variety of fairy lights, lamps and candles add ambience to the home. I would recommend putting up extra mirrors to reflect as much light as possible, doubling the effect of the Christmas lights you may have used to decorate the house. Fairy lights are a wonderful adornment to so many areas of the house and should not be restricted to the Christmas tree. Another option is to use glass lamp bases that can be filled with all kinds of decorative items, but look gorgeous filled with tiny bulbs. There are many ways with which to add a small touch just here and there and it’s a time of the year when you 36 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

can have a whole lot of fun in the process. Play your favourite music, pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple and have a look around. Areas that you may never have considered before could be up for a sprinkle of seasonal elegance. Curtain tiebacks with a splash of diamanté, or curtain poles with crystal-effect finials will spread the light in a subtle way. Should you have any spare Kilner jars after the pickling season, you can use these as a safe way of having candles around the house – on the stairs to light your way up to the bedroom, or perhaps on the mantelpiece. The opportunities are endless and, because there is more darkness to light up, you get to enjoy the benefit of your efforts for longer. Feasting is another main feature of the season, when your dinner table becomes the centre of attention. We place a lot of emphasis around the actual Christmas meal itself, but don’t forget that you will probably have many meals during the festive season long before the actual day arrives. To help blend the



table into the festive atmosphere you’ve created, I would recommend thinking of a versatile table cover that will add to the whole colour scheme. You might consider a gingham table cover or runner, or perhaps plaids that have festive colours running through the pattern. Alternatively, velvet and tartan are rather fashionable right now. For a more casual table, place candles in Kilner jars in the centre, perhaps with some foliage running between them. For a more formal look, candelabra add a lovely touch of grandeur to your hard work. I enjoy a mixture of both crystal-effect and pewter candelabra, which are very in flavour at the moment. Whatever the mood or style that makes your season that much more special, I sincerely wish you all a merry Christmas and hope it is filled with lots of love, joy and happiness.



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Richard Bromell ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


ost days we see items that have been inherited by clients who do not know quite what to do with them. A good number of people in this situation feel morally obliged to keep the item, items or collection. I feel that this has been compounded by The Antiques Roadshow television series (which Mrs B tells me I am not allowed to watch, as my blood pressure can get quite high), since one of the first questions asked is always, “Has this been in the family for long?” I suspect what they really want to ask is usually, “Did you buy this at a car boot sale,” or “Did your uncle nick this 30 years ago?” Perhaps the most amusing reply to this question I know of, when I was working with Eric Knowles on a charity valuation day, was, “Yes, been in the family for years”. Needless to say, any plate that has “Suitable for the microwave” and “Dishwasher-proof ” printed on the underside has probably not been in the family for that long at all. Anyway, back to the point of this. What do you do with inherited items? Most of us already have homes full of our own rubbish and do not need to add to it. Items might be of a specialist nature, such as a case of Château Lafite Rothschild which needs to be properly stored to protect its value. Sometimes we simply have little interest in the subject. It was just the other day that a client turned up in reception with a boot full of items inherited from his late father. His father, who lived in Ireland, had always

38 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

had a keen interest in military history. Over the years, the son had been dragged around militaria fairs and had spent time on the sidelines watching his father partake in various military re-enactments. During this time, his father had collected (or amassed) a small arsenal of edged weapons. Moving forward to 2016, a couple of years since his father passed away, the son decided it was time to sell his father’s collection of edged weapons. Whilst he had happy memories of them, his interests were very different from his father’s and they took up quite a lot of space under his bed! We were recommended to him and, although he lives in Hampshire, he loaded up his Nissan Micra with 40 bayonets and swords and drove for a couple of hours to our sale rooms in Sherborne. When he arrived he appeared a little nervous – as though he were concerned the police might come along as he was unloading his car – but all was well. I think he was also apprehensive that we would not want to sell them for him, which could not have been further from the truth as we have regular specialist auction of these sorts of items. Indeed, these particular weapons will be sold in our militaria and collector’s auction on 16th December. At any rate, after we completed a receipt for him, he was happy to head home again, safe in the knowledge that his late father’s collection will be going off to new collectors and enthusiasts later this month.




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with Mike Burks, Managing Director, The Gardens Group



n recent years, I have been collating lots of information about gardening folklore and my regular visits to local garden clubs have helped me gather lots of local tales. Many suggest Boxing Day as the ideal time for gardening chores. Traditionally, this was inevitably to do with limited time off work, so Boxing Day may have been the only opportunity to carry out such tasks in the garden. In more recent times, these chores are more likely due to the in-laws staying an extra day and your needing an excuse to get out of the house! Boxing Day chores include the planting of broad beans, including varieties such as aquadulce and the sutton. The reason for planting these varieties before the worst of the winter sets in is to get the plants established sufficiently so that they are too tough for the bean aphid to munch on, or so that these pests are no longer interested in them at the growth stage they have achieved. The earliest time I have found for broad bean planting is the day after Bonfire Night, followed by Armistice Day and then the shortest day – but Boxing Day is the favourite. It’s also a time for onion, shallot and garlic planting, although folklore suggests that the shortest day is the more popular day. Harvesting, certainly of onions, should take place on the longest day. While climate change may have messed with the latter date, the planting time is certainly still observed in many gardens. Perhaps a bit early for most seed sowing, Boxing Day is a good time to make a list of the seeds one might like to grow the following year. This is best carried out in the solitude of the greenhouse, preferably with the heater on and a small glass of sherry. Whilst sipping the sherry, you will inevitably realise that the greenhouse’s glass could do with a bit of a clean and the floor needs a 40 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

sweep but that, surely, is for another day. In the fruit garden, Boxing Day is one of the recommended dates for pruning autumn-fruiting raspberries. These varieties grow from the ground and produce flower and fruit all in one season – the traditional summer-fruiting varieties fruit every year, but the growth is on a two-year cycle. Having the fruit late in the season is an advantage and autumn varieties are increasingly popular. The simplicity of the pruning and the added excuse for getting out in the fresh air after Christmas is a bonus. Wassailing isn’t normally a Boxing Day activity

– the most popular date tends to be the twelfth day of Christmas. There are various forms but, in the garden, it involves making a lot of noise in the orchard around and amongst the trees using pots and pans and then, with due use of risk assessments presumably, the firing of shotguns into the boughs! This is traditionally accompanied by nakedness and a certain amount of tasting of the current cider brew. What could possibly go wrong? The benefit to the orchard in all of this is unclear, but some sources say that the trees get beaten during the process and this could be a form of pruning. I would prefer the use of secateurs to a shotgun for a better, neater

cut. After such pruning apply Arbrex or Medo to the wounds. I’m talking about the wounds on the trees – not on the revellers who got in the way of the shotgun. These activities on their own will be enough to get one through to Boxing Day lunch at least, by which time you can trudge back to the house, make hard work of taking off the boots, hanging up the secateurs and, unless you have been wassailing, take off the gardening clothes before another round of Christmas cheer. Don’t worry, it will soon be spring! | 41


REFLECT, RENEW AND REFRESH Adam Martin, director, The Lawn and Landscape Centre


uring December the garden can be a lonely place – the occasional foray to retrieve some berried holly for the Christmas wreath may be the only visit to the garden. However, I find the winter months give the busy gardener a time to catch up on the things that just did not get done during the growing season. Here is where a notebook or diary is invaluable for a dull day in the shed, getting the list of must-do jobs prepared. Reflect on what has been good in the garden and what has not – and ask the reasons why. Quite often we forget about the value of the soil and what is contained within. The winter is an ideal time to spread mulch, letting the worms dig it in for you. If you have plants you wish to move, now is a great time of year to do this, too. It’s also time to view change and change views, see how wet areas may be alleviated by drainage – why is the corner of the shed damp? Could I be harvesting more rainwater? With the January sales round the corner it would be prudent to be prepared for those helpful bargains. Be aware of what may be happening to your lawn. The winter can see the first evidence of damage by the leatherjackets (the larvae of crane flies). The winter birds pecking at your lawn may well give an indication of their presence – check by lifting turf on a damp day at the edge of a suspect area. They can be hard to find, but a wet day will bring the larvae to the surface. There are several species of leatherjackets that feed on the roots and stem bases of lawn grasses and other plants. The adult crane flies – or daddy long legs – mostly emerge and lay eggs in

42 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

the turf or soil surface from August to October. Renew the things that you treasure during the year, the things that are just about holding together. It will soon be spring again and another winter on the worn spade handle will be enough to see it past its useful life. Your machines at this time of year, if not already done, should be cleaned and serviced. Always look to sharpen blades, change oil and spark plugs, so that your faithful mower, blower or strimmer will not disappoint on your first enthusiastic spring outing. Refreshing the garden in the winter means looking back to a generation of disinfecting fluid and swashing grandparents, busy scrubbing and cleaning every surface in the garden to make sure next year’s veg had every opportunity to be better than before. I think we need to renew this vigorous approach to cleanliness in the garden. Cleanliness will help kill the overwintering bugs and insects, minimising their population for the following year. However, we must be careful, as we also need to look after our smaller, helpful friends in the garden. I feel a lot of disappointment in the garden can be put down to a lack of hygiene. The restrictions on harmful chemicals have now made it more difficult to react to problem pests, so a more holistic approach would be to address cleanliness, look at crop rotations in the veg patch and be vigilant in catching infestations early. So escape the family for an afternoon, grab a mug of tea and go to your shed. Reflect, renew and refresh.

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SHERBORNE FOOD BANK Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


ere’s a fact: this Christmas, over 200,000* children in the UK will rely on a food parcel for a decent meal. Here’s another: this year in Sherborne and its locality, approximately 700 food parcels have been delivered to households in need. The Sherborne Food Bank was set up five years ago to feed the hungry of this town and the surrounding communities. Now a registered charity, it is run by a committed team of volunteers and trustees chaired by Rev Jono Tregale, vicar at St Paul’s Church. According to a recent survey by the University of Oxford* there is a strong link between increased benefit sanctions and higher food bank use. Ordinary people find themselves in need of a food bank for a number of reasons. These range from redundancy or bereavement to welfare problems, or receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. The fact is, they are helped because they are hungry. “The food bank gave me faith that there are people who understand and who you can trust,” says Marcella, 32. A former veterinary nurse, Marcella suffered a chronic spinal condition. Unfortunately her health deteriorated and she required an operation. Marcella explains, “Even on a budget, sometimes it’s very difficult to get by. With rents and utilities being so high, surviving the month is often the best I can manage. But surely people should not just survive.” >

44 | Sherborne Times | December 2016 | 45

46 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Marcella never dreamed of having to use a food bank, but when her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was switched to Job Seeker’s Allowance ( JSA), the payment that she so desperately relied on was delayed and she found herself in need of help. “I felt ashamed at not being able to support myself, but the people at the food bank took the pressure off. They made me feel comfortable and reassured.” Marcella was helped by the Trussell Trust, another food bank organisation. The difference between the Trussell Trust and the Sherborne Food Bank is that the latter actually delivers the food parcels. This ensures that those in outlying rural communities, who may lack transport or a local bus network – which would prevent them from attending a food bank – are not left in need. This kind of operation requires careful management and efficient procedures. One new volunteer, Michael, spent 37 years in the Royal Navy before retiring and has been involved in a number of causes in the town. Since the summer, he and his wife have joined other volunteers in implementing further organisational processes, much needed in the face of the food bank’s growing demand. There are three main collection points: Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and the basket at the back of Sherborne Abbey church. Once a week a team of volunteers will collect the donations and take them to a local sorting

point (a repurposed village hall). Here another team congregates and, over a quiet cup of tea, sorts the food and essential items by date and type. They are then relieved by the afternoon shift, who bag up the deliveries. In Sherborne there are four types of parcels provided: a single person’s, an adult couple, a standard family, and a large family. The approximate monetary value of these parcels is £15, £25, £40 and £50 respectively. But because the food bank is reliant on donations, there are often short-falls of specific items which can vary from week by week – and the charity needs funds to buy these items directly. This is where cash donations to the charity become a vital part of the system. Last year, over 100 local pupils from Sherborne Girls and The Gryphon School took part in a successful carolsinging fundraiser at Waterloo station, in association with South West Trains. It raised over £3,500, which was shared between Waterloo and Sherborne food banks. With the food parcels packed and ready, a team of volunteer drivers then arrives to collect and distribute. The Sherborne Food Bank provides enough emergency food for a week at a time delivered according to need. It operates over a wide area that stretches from Bishop’s Caundle to Henstridge, Charlton Horethorne to Bradford Abbas, as well as the town itself. Many of the recipients live in rural isolation – drivers have even > | 47

48 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

delivered to homeless people living in vehicles on lay-bys. No one wants to be reliant on a food bank. Being hungry is the symptom of a situation – and that situation might be incredibly complicated. Almost all recipients are referred to the Sherborne Food Bank via agencies and organisations, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Home Start, Magna Housing Group, local GPs, schools, Tinney’s Lane Children’s Centre, The Rendezvous and other frontline care professionals and volunteers. So how has this burgeoning need come about? The answer is, of course, multi-layered. Most people will feel it is the breakdown in the administrative social care systems, causing delays and leaving people without. Anyone who has seen Ken Loach’s recent Palme d’Orwinning film I, Daniel Blake will appreciate that things can go from bad to hopeless very quickly. According to Debbie Abrahams, who was the shadow secretary of state for work and pensions until June 2016, “It is clear that delays in benefits payments and changes to eligibility are a major cause behind [the] increase [in people requiring food banks].” But, setting politics aside, here is one last fact: £5 can feed somebody for several days. For the cost of a coffee and a bun you can make a very real difference to someone’s life, here in Sherborne, today. As Marcella says, “We need to stop judging and try instead to listen. Allow people to tell us how they have arrived in their situation and ask how we can help them out of it.” In a shifting society and precarious economy, where any of our circumstances could change without warning – this surely, Christmas or not, is a time to demonstrate how bonded a community we are. How you can help

Collection points can be found at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Sherborne and at the back of Sherborne Abbey. The food bank is particularly keen to receive long-lasting protein or meat products such as tinned pies, as well as funds to make up stock shortfalls and to purchase baby products. To offer your services as a volunteer, or to donate, please contact or visit If you know of anyone in need of help from the food bank please encourage them to get in touch with one of the agencies listed in the article and a referral can be made on their behalf. With thanks to Liz Burt and the pupils of Thornford Primary School.

*Information provided by | 49

From our table to yours

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T: 01935 862332 50 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Speciality coffee roasted on your doorstep, delivered to your door. 14 single estate coffees from three continents to choose from. Three award winning espresso blends and some of the best decaff you will ever taste! Free weekly delivery in and around Sherborne. Order by Tuesday for delivery by Friday. We also post and courier all over the UK.

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Food & Drink

A CHRISTMAS TALE… Giles Dick-Read, Reads Coffee Roasters


hristmas looms large on the horizon and so disappears another year in a flash! With thoughts turning to Biblical lands and no small dose of geographic licence, I was reminded of the story of how coffee came to be… Let us picture Ethiopia, some time shortly before the turn of the first millennium. A young goatherd of the Galla tribe – clearly with no regard for health and safety – sits, intrigued by the way his hircine charges get frisky after chewing the fruit of a particular shrub. He tries a few of the red berries for himself. Miracle of miracles, not only does he survive, but he feels perkier and finds it easier to keep awake through the long star-lit nights. For humanity, coffee is discovered – for goats, nervous times lie ahead… Time passes, berries progress from being chewed to boiled, pulped, cooked then the seeds roasted, ultimately ground up and mixed with animal fats to make a drink. 52 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Fast-forward to Turkey some time in the fifteenth century, where merchants have been busy importing this crop with such life-giving medicinal powers. Not only has coffee-drinking taken a firm hold but, believe it or not, laws have been passed permitting women to divorce their husbands if they don’t produce a certain daily quota of the stuff…Harsh! All coffee fads produce new toys and this was to be no exception. As, in the 1950s, it was the Italian espresso machine, in the 1500s it was the turn of the cezve, or ibrik as it’s more commonly known…the first of many hard-to-conquer coffee brewing tools. I expect many of you may have one on ornamental duty somewhere in the house. Proper ones are pretty, conical copper pots with a long handle to keep fingers away from any flames. They come in various sizes and are capable of producing a completely unique and wonderful brew, the mastering of which makes for

perfect experimental entertainment over Christmas. I make no great claims about my own expertise, but here’s how to get started. As is always the case, the key to the best result lies in starting with fresh coffee that’s ground exactly right for the method of brew. In this case, the grind has its own entity: ‘Turkish,’ which means very, very fine indeed. Resembling talc, Turkish coffee is unique in that the grounds end up being drunk with the brew. To make a start, fill the pot no more than two thirds full with cold water. If you’ve got a set of digital kitchen scales, as was clearly the norm in fifteenth-century Constantinople, use a gram of coffee to each 12ml (or grams) of water. It’s better to err on the high side than the low. For the full experience, mix in a teaspoon or more of caster sugar and either a pod or pinch of finely ground cardamom. The ibrik is best used over a gas flame, so try using a camping stove if you’ve gone induction. As a rule, start heating the mix over a high flame. Do not stir. The trick is never to let the brew boil, but to get it so close to that point that a foamy layer develops, rising up the narrow top section of the pot. As soon as the first rise is underway, take the pot swiftly off the heat. After twenty

seconds or so, return the pot to a reduced flame and bring back to a second rise. Off the heat again, go for a third then swiftly pour the thick brew into demitasse cups, spooning the creamy layer into the cups if needed. It takes patience and practice to become an expert with an ibrik, so don’t be put off if it doesn’t work perfectly first time. You can feel the boil building through the handle so, with time, you should be able to work out exactly when best to whip the pot away from the flame. Remember one thing, Turkish coffee is a brew drunk black – milk is a no-no. Once mastered, you’ll discover a uniquely rich, chewy brew that, with a little imagination, will transport you straight to a desert night, where shepherds huddle around a fire on heavy rugs, watching their flocks under the canopy of a huge night sky. Above them, a huge star points the way to Bethlehem, while a group of wise men plod steadily over the horizon. Meanwhile, the youth of their day lurk out of sight, experimenting with new and as-yet untried berries in an apparent prequel of Breaking Bad… How times have changed!

COFFEE BREAK Kafe Fontana 82 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ 01935 812180 kafefontana @kafefontana

Oliver’s Coffee House 19 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU 01935 815005 Olivers-Coffee-House @OliversSherbs

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The Three Wishes 78 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ 01935 817777 | 53

Food & Drink


DECEMBER Lisa Osman, All Hallows, AGA-approved School for Cooks & Makers


ne of my earliest food memories is of watching my great grandmother, Ada, whom I would call ‘Grannie Allen,’ prepare the brussels sprouts for our Sunday lunch. On the farm, our midday meal was known as dinner, possibly because it was a substantial two-course hot meal that was cooked and served at one o’clock every day. Sunday was always a roast, usually chicken (my favourite) or lamb, which I disliked. There were always at least five vegetables as well as potatoes. We were fortunate. Ada was a frugal cook. This skill was learnt during the war years, when she ran a cafe in Poole with her partner, Bill. She could carve ham as thin as you like and the sprouts were prepared with the same meticulous

care. Removing the minimum of outer leaves, which would be saved in an old bucket that was placed on the floor ready to feed the hens, Ada would cut a neat cross on each tiny brassica, as if sealing it with a delicate kiss. I would watch her intently leaning forward on the kitchen table, whilst tipping backwards and forwards on my stool until my Grannie Bob, Ada’s daughter, would scold me and tell me to stop. At this stage it was probably time for me to help lay the table or go and feed the birds, so that they could have some peace and quiet and Ada could have her bottle of Guinness, which she said was the secret to her 97th year.



Love them or hate them, there is no denying that sprouts are good for us. They contain iron and potassium and, as long as they are not overcooked, they taste delicious. To enjoy them at their freshest, try and buy them whilst still on the stalk at the farmers’ market or greengrocer. For a winter salad, cut them into quarters and steam gently to serve with mizuna and rocket, drizzled with olive oil and toasted pine nuts, or shred finely and stir-fry with crushed garlic and bacon lardons. Alternatively, opt for a more traditional recipe and cook for no more than four minutes in a large pan of salted water brought to a rolling boil before quickly adding the sprouts. Continue to boil with no lid, then serve with cooked chestnuts and sage butter. Brush with rapeseed oil and roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes until caramelised and tender, or braise with cream and Dijon mustard to serve with pork.

These pale but sweet roots are usually roasted and their natural sugars will ensure that they caramelise beautifully. But, for the ultimate treat, I love a parsnip purée that has been enriched with double cream infused with bay and nutmeg. Or, for a satisfying lunch, try parsnips partnered with garam masala, softened onions and a homemade chicken stock to make a warming soup.

54 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Red Cabbage

Whether you are serving goose or turkey this Christmas, red cabbage eats well with both and is at its best this time of year. Pickle to serve with your cold cuts on Boxing Day or cook gently with apple for a vegetable dish that can be prepared well ahead of time and reheated when needed. Alternatively, slice thinly alongside an eating apple or two and some grated carrot for a winter slaw that can be dressed just moments before you serve.



1 small red cabbage, finely sliced 1 large onion, chopped 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and chopped 25g butter 1 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar 1 tbsp black treacle Seasoning to taste

In a large pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, add the onions and allow to sweat for a few minutes. Add the cabbage and apple, mix well and add the sugar and vinegar. Cover pan tightly and simmer gently over a low heat, checking regularly that it does not dry out. Add more liquid if necessary or place in a low oven 140C Gas Mark 1 and braise until tender. | 55

Food & Drink

BABUSHKA’S (GRANDMA’S) BORSCH Sasha Matkevich, head chef and owner, The Green with Jack Smith, apprentice chef A well-known Russian favourite and great winter warmer (try it cold in the summer too). This vegetarian option serves 8. Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 1kg young beetroot, grated 1 carrot, grated 1 tbsp tomato paste 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tbsp brown sugar 2L vegetable stock 500g potatoes, peeled and diced Bay leaf 700g white cabbage, finely shredded Chopped parsley Salt Cayenne pepper Crème fraîche

56 | Sherborne Times | December 2016


1 Put oil, finely chopped onion and garlic into a heavybottomed pan, sweat gently until tender without colour, about 5 minutes. 2 Add beetroot, carrots, tomato paste, vinegar and sugar. Sweat on a very gentle heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3 Add vegetable stock, potato and a bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. 4 Add finely shredded cabbage, salt and cayenne pepper. Turn off the heat and add parsley. Place lid on pan and leave for 10 minutes. 5 Remove lid and inhale the delicious aroma – serve immediately with a spoonful of crème fraîche. Приятного аппетита! Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon Appetit!)

ROASTED VEGETABLE TRAY BAKE Jane Somper, Goldhill Organics


t this time of year we are all surrounded by to-do lists which seem only to get longer each day. We are also surrounded by root vegetables – including the greenest of all, the awesome brussels sprout. A quick and delicious dish we often turn to is our roasted tray bake. If we have any sausages or chicken pieces hanging around we will add some in, too, but more often than not it’s just the vegetables and a lovely homemade pesto (frozen from the summer). Up the ingredients depending on how many you are feeding – this lot will be perfect for about four people, served with a dish of steaming brown basmati rice. Ingredients

4 carrots, sliced into long batons 1 squash (any one will do), sliced into thin pieces (we leave the skin on but we are lazy) 4 parsnips, sliced into long strips Big handful of brussels sprouts (boil gently and slice up) 1 red onion, sliced into wedges Salt and pepper Olive or rapeseed oil, enough to coat all the vegetables


If you don’t have any pesto, then you can whizz up any herbs you can get your hands on – parsley, coriander and rosemary, for example – with a couple of cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and a sprinkling of sugar, maybe a chilli if you have one and like heat, plus a couple of shallots. Whizz up (but not too much, as you don’t want a paste) and use later. Method

1 Toss all the vegetables in the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. Turn them over in the oven so they caramelise and then continue cooking for another 20 minutes. For the last 20 minutes, cook up your rice. 2 When ready, pop your lovely golden vegetables on top of a spoonful of rice and then drizzle over your dressing and enjoy. Merry Christmas! | 57

Food & Drink

MERLOT David Copp


n the past, merlot was regarded as something of an upstart, a Johnny-come-lately grape variety, not be confused with such classics as pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, long enthroned as ruling kings of red grape varieties. However, over the last few decades merlot has emerged as a classic variety in its own right, first as an alluring and perfect marriage partner to the more austere, more tannic cabernet sauvignon in the great classified growth wines of the Médoc. Then in a solo role, primarily in Pomerol, where Château Pétrus has become one of the most sought-after red wines on the planet, alongside such other greats as the pinot noir wines of the Domaine Romanée Conti in Burgundy, which exchange hands for £3,000-4,000 a bottle for great vintages. However, if like me, you love merlot but want to find something a tad less expensive – say in the £7-15 a bottle price range – the first thing to decide is the style of merlot you prefer. Do you prefer the old classical style of Bordeaux, with grapes picked at the peak of ripeness and sugar content, wines that mature well and add complexity as they age; or do you prefer the so-called New World style, made with the grapes gathered earlier to retain acidity, fruit flavour and freshness, to make more rounded wines which can be thoroughly enjoyed without long cellaring? The other important matter to consider is which country produces your preferred style of merlot. Cabernet sauvignon likes well-exposed, warm gravel with good drainage. Merlot prefers cooler, moister, clay textured soils with a ferrous streak in them, such as you often find on the sides of the gravels heaps in the Médoc, or inland sites such as those in Pomerol, Languedoc-Roussillon and Villány in the south of Hungary. In Pomerol, merlot accounts for around 75% of plantings. The region owes a great deal of its celebrity to the work of J.P. Moueix, whose utterly reliable wines are available through The Wine Society. Today there are more and more sound Roussillon merlots on the market. 58 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

I humbly suggest that the best of the New World style of merlots probably come from such regions as the Gimblett Gravels around Hawke’s Bay in North Island New Zealand; Stellenbosch and Paarl in South Africa; the Venezia-Friuli region of north-east Italy and the Maipo and Colchagua Valleys in Chile. New Zealand is of course well known for its sauvignon blancs but I find all of its varietal wines are made to a very high standard and have wonderful purity of fruit flavour. South Africa is noted for its chenin blanc but all its wines are coming on in leaps and bounds and Rustenberg and Meerlust have proved to be very reliable. However, Italy is the most intriguing new source of good merlot. The classical style is available from the area around Bolgheri on the Tyrrhenian Sea

Bolgheri and Castagneto at sunset

shore. Ornellaia’s Masseto is a super Tuscan, and way above my price level, but it shows what can be achieved here. The merlots of Venezia-Friuli are somewhat lighter in style, but really enjoyable and affordable. I noticed that Vineyards has several Italian merlots to offer at sensible prices. Chile has two absolutely superb merlot regions. Maipu and Colchagua Valleys have consistently shipped tremendous value-for- money wines through The Wine Society and Waitrose. In the 1990s, the American craze for merlot got a little out of hand. Now producers have settled down to make some very good wines. Take notice, too, that Washington State will soon be challenging other producers for good-value merlot. There is no doubt that merlot has become just as

popular as the other classic red varieties. Its future is assured while it continues to offer such outstanding classical wines and excellent, value-for-money day-today drinking wines. But the big question is: will merlot go with the turkey on Christmas Day? I would expect both classical and New World styles to cope with stuffing and cranberry sauce. I would be inclined to select a wine with plenty of body, but watch the alcohol. If you are looking for something a bit different for the big day, have a look at California old vine zinfandel with a few years bottle age, which should have lovely plum and chocolate flavours and good concentration, balanced by pleasing freshness. There are two main growing areas in California: the warm Lodi region and slightly cooler Mendocino, which will be a degree or so lighter. | 59

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Animal Care

HOMEOPATHY Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS, Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership


s emotive a subject as it is controversial, homeopathy is hotly debated by its protagonists and its detractors with equal vigour. Just about everyone knows the principle of homeopathic treatments – giving a tiny amount (or in many cases, none) of a substance that is related to the symptoms of the disease, in order to cure ‘like with like.’ I have never actively practised homeopathy, but over the years several clients have asked to be referred to a veterinary homeopath, something I am always happy to do. I have been intrigued by homeopathy and have tried to keep an open mind about this branch of medicine that, despite profound suspicion and criticism among many of the scientific medical fraternity, continues to appeal to people as an alternative to conventional therapy. Instead of dissecting the evidence for and against homeopathy, interested readers might want to do their 62 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

own reading – but I warn you that the way published literature is presented can have an important bearing on the impression it makes. For example, if a presentation claims to give examples of how homeopathy has successfully treated a serious disease like cancer, make sure it is cancer that is being discussed! I will also suggest some questions that all of us should consider when treatment of any kind is proposed for our pets and maybe even for ourselves. At first glance, there seems to be a similarity between homeopathy and vaccination, both methods using small doses of the harmful elements involved in a disease. However, we know how vaccination works – by boosting existing levels of protective proteins called immunoglobulins (antibodies) and activating immune cells (lymphocytes and others). At present, there is no known mechanism for the way homeopathy acts

and homeopathic ‘vaccines’ (called nosodes) do not boost antibody levels nor any other measure we have of immunity. However, although any mechanism for the action of homeopathy is unknown, the important question is, does it work? The answer to this simple question is at the heart of all medicine, whether it be conventional, Chinese herbal, homeopathic or anything else that purports to help solve a problem. The trouble is, answering the question of whether a treatment works or not is quite tricky. This is the territory we call evidence-based medicine, i.e. Is there reliable evidence that a treatment is helpful? It just isn’t good enough collecting a series of patients who enjoyed a successful outcome from a treatment and trumpeting the good news to the community. Don’t get me wrong, reports of individual cases or a series of cases are interesting and useful but they don’t test the treatment in the wider context of a larger population. To do this, we need to ask the question in a large number of patients, some of whom unknowingly receive a placebo or an alternative treatment and all of whom have the same disease. This is where things get difficult, as we are all different and our responses to the same disease can differ due to our genetics, environment and mental status. What we need is a study that irons out all the little differences between subjects and is not prone to bias. It should follow the fortunes of the trial subjects into the future, individuals should be randomly assigned treatment groups and neither the patient (or owner) nor the attending clinicians should know what treatment an individual receives. This type of study is known as a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised, prospective trial and is the gold standard for answering the question, does this work? Unfortunately, there are not enough of them around! Certainly there are far more in conventional human medicine than veterinary medicine, but there are effectively none in veterinary homeopathy. This might seem an academic point, but is central to the advancement of effective medical therapy. Homeopathy, if it works, should be able to demonstrate its benefits in the same trials used for other treatments. The reason for this lies with the simple fact that any beneficial (or harmful) intervention can be measured and should be compared to alternative treatments. Only then can we make an informed decision about what treatment to use. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean homeopathy doesn’t work – it means it hasn’t been properly tested. However, many procedures and medicines have been used for years without ever having been rigorously

tested either. Do we just think they work, partly due to our own experience and partly by being told they do by our teachers? Do these treatments appear to work because a proportion of patients get better anyway? It is natural for humans to attribute cause and effect to two events that coincide, i.e. treatment and benefit. So where does this leave us with homeopathy? Well, we do need some gold-standard studies on homeopathic treatments (and many conventional) to see whether they really work, not how they work. We will never demonstrate a scientific mechanism of action for homeopathic medicines, so let’s not try; instead, we should concentrate on measuring their beneficial effects, if indeed they exist. But with so many people convinced of the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, surely there has to be something in it? Well, maybe. Whatever a dyed-in-the-wool scientific clinician thinks about the true effectiveness of homeopathy, there are definitely lessons to be learned from all animal and human healthcare workers from the homeopathic method. The homeopathic practitioner spends much more time in the consultation and takes into account not only symptoms of the disease but the personality of the patient. Such detailed historytaking is rare in conventional medicine, but can give important clues about the diagnosis and the most appropriate therapy for that individual. This is where the homeopathic method can help define lifestyle factors related to the problem under investigation and address them in addition to dealing with the primary complaint. This might be the reason that homeopathy has found support when used for multi-factorial disorders that need a wide perspective in their treatment. Most people realise that good clinicians don’t just treat the symptoms, they try to get to the root of the problem. This is important, as acutely life-threatening or painful diseases such as stroke, cancer, septicaemia and heart failure need immediate, intensive and specific care. Clearly, good clinicians of any background must strive to recognise such conditions and deliver the most appropriate treatments based on what we know works best. Good clinicians also recognise the limitations of the medicines they use and their own abilities. Furthermore, they develop an open, questioning and persuadable mindset, keeping the welfare of the patient at the very top of their priority list. And all guided by reliable evidence, if available! | 63

On Foot

STURMINSTER NEWTON Nicky King, The Eastbury Hotel


he rain the night before almost put paid to my planned walk, but I was keen to revisit this place whilst the ground underfoot wasn’t completely saturated. With our son, Tom home for the weekend we decided we would take our new border terrier, Otto, out and so it was that we drove off to Sturminster Newton to the start of this five-mile walk. Very sadly our faithful and always cheerful Charlie found life with arthritis in his back legs too much to bear. He had found it increasingly difficult to walk and our nightly ritual up Cheap Street, right to Waitrose 64 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

and back home was reduced to a stiff stroll around the Conduit and a possible visit into the Cross Keys. When even that became too much for him it was clear that the pain was too great to bear. Much of Charlie’s old character feature in Otto’s make-up – he is willing, keen and very playful, in fact he can’t get enough of other dogs. It was a perfect day, still warm enough to walk without a coat (I wish I’d known that before I started) and with the rain clouds keeping their distance. The helpful orange markers guided us along the meadowland west from Sturminster Newton to the very beautiful

Fiddleford Manor and eventually onto the Fiddleford Inn, which is looking splendid, with its refurbishment, and busy – it might have something to do with serving Sunday roast from 12-8pm. The views all along the valley are stunning and, for a significant amount of time, we were walking to the burble of the Stour River. Fortunately, crossing the A357 proved easy and soon we were high on the hill walking through Piddles Wood and back to Sturminster Newton via Broad Oak and Newton Mill. A lovely two-hour walk, just perfect before eating our own Sunday roast. I found some great walking ideas on a couple of websites I came across. One, John Harris’ Walking in … England ( has walks organised by county and includes downloadable maps. Map My Walk ( shows walks undertaken by other people and can also be quite inspiring. In both instances, however, I found I needed to get my OS map out to plot my route – there’s nothing I like better than the security of a piece of paper in my hand! Life at the Eastbury and The Three Wishes continues to be busy, although I am rarely at the latter these days. Lyn and her team have got it very much under control and a visit from me can prove to be more disruptive than helpful, or so she tells me! Looking back over the recent award season, I had the pleasure of attending two awards ceremonies. The first was at Lulworth Castle, hosted by Dorset Magazine’s Helen Stiles and her team, and was a splendid affair with exceptional food. We had the very great honour of receiving the Best Hotel Restaurant Award. This was followed just a week later by an evening at the impressive Bovington Tank Museum, which catered for an incredible 250 people amongst their collection of tanks. Again, we were victorious against an impressive list of finalists, winning best restaurant/ bistro in Dorset. Local art historian and Sherborne Times contributor, Julian Halsby, will be at The Eastbury Hotel on Friday 9th December with a lecture and workshop on Impressionism Around the World. The second of their Lunch & Learn events, the day starts at 10am and includes all refreshments, three-part lecture and a twocourse lunch with wine. Tickets £45. 01935 813131 or email | 65

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Body & Mind

SHERBORNE’S AUTHORITY ON COLOUR Tanya Peck, leading colour technician, Robin James


kay, so I’m going to put it to you. I could spend the whole of this column telling you what I predict to be the ‘in’ colour trends this winter. I could write all about the gorgeous rich tones leading to brighter, lighter mid-lengths and ends, achieved by hand painting the hair. I could spend the rest of the article raving about our new colour studio, which is ‘the emporium’ for colouring hair. Or I could compose a whole page about the many amazing and inspiring training courses I’ve attended recently to ensure I am ahead of the competition. But, instead, I want to talk to you about communicating with your colour technician. Because, no matter how good I am or how amazing our colour studio is, none of this counts at all if ‘the conversation’ does not get to the bottom of what you really want – and what would be the best solution for you, your hair 68 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

and your look. The consultation must inspire thought, allow you to imagine something you’ve never imagined before. Flirting with a new idea doesn’t mean you are committed to seeing it through, but it means we have explored all the possibilities. So when you are discussing colour with your hairdresser, don’t accept the immortal words, “What are we doing, then?” as the extent of your consultation. Expect inspiration. Expect consideration of your lifestyle, hair type, face shape and suitability. Yes, hair colour can be used to create the illusion of texture, height, width, length, movement. Expect to be considered as an individual: there isn’t another one of you, so why would you want an ‘off-the-peg’ look when you can have haute couture?

WHAT TO WEAR Lindsay Punch, personal stylist


he festive social season has arrived! Now that you have a diary full of Christmas gatherings, it’s time to become party-season ready. Whether you’re attending a cocktail bash or are simply heading to the office party, there are a number of factors to consider which will influence your fashion choices – and all can be fulfilled in Sherborne. If the thought of dressing up is daunting, don’t stress! Treat it like any other social night out and wear something you feel comfortable in. However, if in doubt, always overdress and wear the outfit you think you look best in. My big motto is, “Dress like you’re going somewhere better later.” Everyone appreciates glamour, so the compliments will flood in and give you an instant confidence boost. When it comes to colour, embrace wintery hues such as rich burgundy, icy greys, navy, nudes and metallics. This is the time of year when you can go all-out with sparkles, have fun with colour combinations or keep it simple with neutrals. Pairing dark tones with softer contrasting colours such as white and blush adds a touch of sophistication and glamour. Metallic knits, silk blouses or embellished tops from White Feather form standout separates and fulfil the brief of either after– work chic or dinner party elegance. For a dressy, feminine look, opt for a demure midilength skirt or dress with a simple heel. Experiment with textures such as metallic pleats or fitted lace pencil skirts from Phase Eight. Midi dresses look sophisticated and

elongate the frame. Generally speaking, the most flattering hem length should hit your slimmest part, so select a length slightly above your mid-calf. Adding definition to your waist with a midi skirt or dress is most flattering, so cinch in a dress with a thin belt, wear an A-line silhouette or tuck in a fitted top to a high-waisted midi skirt. No Christmas party look is complete without statement accessories. Sometimes a simple, classic look can be enhanced by an opulent pair of shoes or bag. Head to The Circus for metallic or embellished clutch bags. The sheen of a sparkly bag will dazzle the other guests and can be enough for a conversation starter. Single-strap sandals, red or leopard-print shoes are classic wardrobe staples and can also refine a casual look. Elegant drop earrings, sparkly chokers and delicate bracelets from are the little extras you need to take you from day to night. Lastly, don’t forget that temperatures have dropped – though this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style over warmth. You won’t want to be caught in the cold if your transport home is late, so opt for a cashmere fur-trim wrap or cape from White Feather to stay glam in the chill. Otherwise, a trusty wool coat from your existing wardrobe will do the job just as well if the mulled wine just isn’t enough to keep you warm! | 69

Body & Mind

PARTY SEASON SKINCARE Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms


arty season is fast approaching and, with it, plenty of opportunities to dress up, make-up and get our sparkle on. It’s the season of indulgence and, when there’s a chance we might find ourselves burning the candle at both ends, it’s important to remember to pamper ourselves a little bit more. There’s no doubt the cameras will be flashing and we want to ensure we look and feel our best! 70 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

Start from the inside out. Drink a couple of extra glasses of water a day – perhaps while the kettle is boiling – and you will see the benefits within a month. Visually, your skin will be brighter and fine lines reduced, all down to better toxin elimination. You may even improve the stubborn dark circles under your eyes, which can in part be from a lack of sleep, but can also be a sign of excess toxins in your kidneys.

An all-over body exfoliation – hands and soles of feet included – is a super-invigorating and brightening skin pick-me-up. Use a gritty cream paste, mixed with water and massaged in with circular motions before rinsing gently. Alternatively, another great inexpensive method is reusable exfoliating body gloves, lathered up with a good foaming shower gel. Once you’ve removed the dead skin and debris, hydrate and nourish with cream or rich body oil. This preparation will help hugely, whether you’re applying selftan for a winter glow, or going for body-baring perfection and treating yourself to a flawless golden spray tan. With a glass (or two!) of something fizzy in your hand, all eyes will be on your hands and nails – and whilst weathered and ungroomed hands might be a telling sign of a fantastic garden, they can detract from your fabulous outfit or gorgeous new lippy. A shiny application of gel polish will see you through the festive period and make you smile every time you admire them. At The Sanctuary, your treatment will include professional cuticle maintenance and nail shaping to suit your hands and fingers. Whatever glorious colour you

choose it will dry instantly, leaving you free to crack on with your never-ending Christmas to-do list. Seek advice on your skincare routine and make-up application. You can brighten and smooth your face instantly just by using a gentle facial exfoliator once or twice a week at home. This will allow deeper penetration of moisturisers and provide a better base for make-up. Skin preparation and a good base will prevent makeup from creasing and make blending easier. Make-up primers can create the look of naturally glowing skin, but be aware that many can contain skin-blocking waxes and fillers, which can cause breakouts and sensitivity. A great primer should give skin benefits, protect, illuminate and prepare the skin for extended make-up wear. And don’t forget your crowning glory! Make an appointment with your hairdresser to refresh and style those locks. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. May you be happy, healthy – and confidently selfie-ready!

Julia Hackforth, BSc (Hons) Nursing, Aesthetic practitioner, The Sherborne Rooms


et’s face it (excuse the pun) we all want to look our best. To achieve this takes some effort, but is well worth it for the results – just think how great you feel after a good haircut. Our skin should be no exception to this, but changes in temperature when going from heated houses to cold wind can have a profound effect. You could banish your frown lines or crow’s feet with anti-wrinkle injections using botulinum toxin (botox), perfect your pout with fillers, give your skin a healthy glow with skin peels, freshen your look with microdermabrasion, give yourself longer lashes without using extensions or get back your summer glow with a spray tan. There is also the non-surgical face lift and facial rejuvenation using micro current technology, ultrasound and photon light therapy. These treatments can be used as anti-ageing, to treat pigmentations, acne, acne scarring, stretch marks and many other conditions, though some of these may require a course of treatment for the best results. In addition to these are cosmeceuticals. Botulinum toxin has been around for centuries and is one of the safest, most rigorously tested drugs of

all time. It is used to paralyse the nerve endings that enforce contraction of the muscles where it is injected. Facial lines and wrinkles are formed by movement, sleep or gravity and these can be treated with botulinum toxin. This helps to give a natural look rather than the ‘frozen’ effect that is often seen. The substance used in dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid and this is naturally found within the body, making it far less susceptible to reactions. Dermal fillers can be used in multiple sites on the face, but is most widely known for use in the lips. If you are curious as to what lip fillers would look like but are nervous about committing to the procedure, then why not try Cinderella lips? Instead of filler being injected, saline is used as an alternative, which is quickly reabsorbed into the body. The effect lasts for 24-48 hours and is a fraction of the cost of fillers. An initial consultation is free and Julia is offering 10% off all first treatments booked throughout December. | 71

Body & Mind



Helen Lickerish BSc(hons) EMDR therapist, 56 London Road

any of us suffer from nerves when we have to do some sort of task that will, in some way, be under scrutiny from others – perhaps a job interview, giving a public talk, a seminar to colleagues or important business associates, or performing on stage. Even though we may have actively chosen to take on this role it can, nevertheless, cause us sleepless nights, anxiety in the days leading up to it. As the big moment arrives, we can feel sick, sweat profusely, feel our faces flushing, experience giddiness and, in severe cases, simply run away or wet ourselves. When we actually begin to perform, initially we may become more and more strongly aware of ourselves. We may hear our own voices, booming and distorted, in our head, while the voices of other people seem to fade away into the distance. These symptoms are all common and, luckily, many of us only suffer from them in a small and manageable way. Of course, not everybody feels like this. For others, however, the unpleasantness of these nervous reactions inhabit their world for much of the time, making their lives difficult and scary at best. At worst, they feel tormented and terrified by them, leading them to avoid any situation that could trigger a reaction. Situations such as going to work, starting a new educational course, going to school or speaking to crowds of people (even if they are friends) becomes almost impossible and may lead them to request anti-anxiolytics from their doctor. They may believe they are going mad, or are incapable, and self-esteem, hope and joy can go out of the window. The first thing that will help is to realise that they are going through a normal physiological set of body responses. What they are experiencing is an anxiety-

72 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

related trigger that sets the sympathetic nervous system into its ‘fight or flight’ mode, whereby adrenalin is released quickly into the body, making it ready either to run away from the situation or fight its way out. When neither action is appropriate they are left with the adrenalin and various other hormones pumping through their body, which increases the heart rate and breathing, stops the blood flow to the gut (digestion is not a priority at these times) and alters the blood flow around the brain, so that different parts become more and less active; hearing is accentuated, for example, while vision becomes narrowed. Counselling, eye movement, desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and coaching are all ways by which someone can begin to change their relationship with anxiety. By understanding what the triggers are and getting to the core of why it really is so threatening to them (and there will always be a good reason), you can begin to diffuse the automatic reaction and take charge of your life again. EMDR can be particularly useful in this process and desensitise people from the triggers. One very simple way to reverse a feeling of overwhelming panic is simply to count each breath (for example, it may be that you count to four on the inbreath and then breathe out for a count of three). Now increase the time you spend breathing out, so that it is slightly longer than your in-breath. This simple act tells the brain to stop releasing adrenalin and the panic will begin to recede.

A VERY SPECIAL VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY Become a SAMARITAN and you become part of a superb local team that offers emotional support 24/7 Find out more about our exceptional training programme and the chance to make a real difference at a Prospective Volunteer Information Session on the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm. These are held at our centre (address below) We are keen to hear from anyone over 18 with time in the evenings and weekends. Call 01935 414015 and let us know when you are coming or email Yeovil Samaritans, 25 The Park, Yeovil

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Walk in, relax. No appointment necessary 56 Cheap St, Sherborne DT9 3BJ | 73

Body & Mind


Joy Weafer, resident practitioner, Oxley Sports Centre


fairly new technique (compared to other ancient therapies like reflexology and acupuncture), bowen is a soft-tissue remedial technique that was developed by Tom Bowen in Australia and is rapidly gaining in popularity and respect amongst other practitioners and healthcare providers. The therapy may assist in the relief of many health issues and, similar to reflexology, works via stimulation of the autonomic nervous system. Clients experiencing this gentle technique have reported feeling relief from long-standing issues including sciatica; shoulder; hip and back discomfort; fibromyalgia; hay fever; migraines; and sports injuries. There are many theories about the physiological mechanisms that the technique uses, but rather than focusing on a single issue, bowen addresses the entire body. During sessions clients often drop quickly into deep relaxation or fall asleep. A common observation is that bowen sessions seem to reactivate the recovery process in situations where healing from trauma, sickness or surgery has stalled or reached a plateau. A treatment consists of a series of gentle rolling moves with frequent pauses in between, giving the body time to benefit from each set. Practitioners treat the body as a whole or can target a specific problem, as they 74 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

are able to pinpoint stress build-up in muscle groups and then release it. Recipients of the treatment are generally treated fully clothed. As the muscle is held, prior to the move being made, it is gently stretched, sending sensory information to the brain. There are thousands of these stretch receptors and thousands of times a second they repeatedly send this information to the brain about the status of the muscle that is being treated. The brain sends corrective information back to the individual muscles. The moves produce good results by penetrating to a deep cellular level – making use of the body’s own ability to heal itself. Moves begin to achieve holistic balance straight away, embracing the client’s physical and emotional aspects. The bowen technique both balances and stimulates, the restorative process beginning once the body is relaxed. It’s referred to as ‘complementary,’ meaning it will enhance and complement other medical treatments. The Treatment Room at Oxley Sports Centre has been established for six years. Resident practitioner, Joy Weafer, specialises in bowen therapy as well as reflexology and other massage techniques.

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Body & Mind

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME – BEAT THE BLOAT! Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom, GP and complementary practitioner, Glencairn House


rritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an extremely common problem affecting approximately 30% of the general population. The causes of IBS are varied and often complex – the commonest are food allergy, food sensitivity, lactose intolerance, post-infection irritability, stress and gut flora imbalance. The symptoms of IBS are also varied and usually include bloating, excess wind, colicky pains, gurgling and variable bowel habit. Other conditions that should be excluded are diverticulitis, coeliac disease, colitis and, most important of all, bowel cancer – if there is any change in bowel habit or there are new symptoms such as blood in the stool or weight loss, you must consult your GP for advice and investigations. As the underlying problem in IBS is spasm of the colon and wind trapping, the conventional treatment is antispasmodic medication such as Mebeverine or Colpermin. Other treatments are anti-diarrhoeal medicine (e.g. Loperamide), bulking agents (e.g. Fybogel) and SSRI antidepressants (e.g. Prozac). As IBS can be due to food allergy and sensitivity, elimination of the food responsible for symptoms can bring relief. A food allergy can be found by skin-prick testing or blood tests. Having excluded food allergy, an adverse reaction to a specific food is probably due to the poorly understood condition called food intolerance. The commonest cause of this is wheat allergy, which is especially responsible for bloating in IBS. An inability to digest dairy products due to lactase enzyme deficiency is another common cause of gut symptoms that can mimic IBS. The supermarkets have a very good selection of lactose-free products for those people who cannot

76 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

tolerate milk or cheese. Following a tummy upset, the bowel can be extremely loose for months on end. This can be due to an imbalance to the colonic ‘friendly’ bacteria. You can restore the balance by taking probiotics – in capsule form from health food shops or yoghurt-like drinks from food outlets. Complementary medicine can also be effective in IBS symptoms. Homeopathic medicines such as Lycopodium, Aloes and Carbo Veg can be helpful. Advice from a homeopathic practitioner is recommended so that the symptoms are matched to the most appropriate medicine. Herbal medicine can also be helpful – peppermint oil and artichoke leaf extract have been shown in studies to relieve IBS symptoms. Chamomile relieves spasm and colic, especially when IBS is associated with anxiety. As IBS is also exacerbated by stress, it is logical that methods of stress reduction can be helpful. Mind-body techniques such as relaxation therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation and mindfulness can all help. As IBS is multifactorial in its presentation as well as its causes, a combination of treatments as outlined above will be effective in relieving the symptoms. However, before embarking on self-treatment it is very important that any new and unexplained gut symptoms, as well as a change in your normal bowel habit, are reported to your GP in order to have more serious conditions excluded.


*DECEMBER LATE NIGHT OPENING* Swan Yard, Sherborne is open late on Thursdays during December! Visit us on 1st, 8th, 15th or 22nd December from 4.30-7pm for festive treats and an informal chat about your hearing needs. No appointment required.






| REPAIRS | BATTERIES For the most advanced hearing advice and technology available, contact your local, independent, hearing expert

Tel: 01935



4 Swan Yard | Sherborne | Dorset DT9 3AX


Brister&Son Independent Family Funeral Directors

When your family suffers the loss of a loved one, we are here to support, guide and reassure you – every step of the way Call Daniel on 01935 812647 100 Lenthay Road, Sherborne DT9 6AG Email:

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78 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

The Old Vicarage Leigh, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 6HL

01935 873033

We are delighted to announce that following our recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission we have been awarded a rating of Outstanding. This means we are in the top 1% of care homes in England.

The Old Vicarage CQC overall rating

28 January 2016

Set in its own secluded, beautifully landscaped gardens, woodland and meadow, and with stunning views overlooking the Dorset countryside, it’s hard to resist the charms of the Old Vicarage. As soon as you step through the front door of this charming country house, you’ll discover an oasis of comfort, warmth, calm and relaxation. Our highly trained staff ensure that everything - from the mouth-watering food and drink and the stylishly cosy bedrooms to the wide range of activities - will make the Old Vicarage truly a home from home. We have been recognised by the Cinnamon Trust as being one of the best pet friendly care homes in the country.

To arrange a visit please call on 01935 873033 or email


NEVER MISS A COPY 12 editions delivered to your door for just £30.00 To subscribe, please call 01935 814803 or email

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Castle Cary Substantial period family home, offering: two receptions, study, cellars, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, gardens and parking.

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Independent Letting Agent representing town and country property throughout Somerset and Dorset

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Nr Evershot Former lodge, offering: study, new kitchen, boot room, wet dog room, utility, sitting room, two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, gardens and parking.

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Want to know what your home is really worth? We offer a free, no obligation valuation service. There’s no hard sell and it only takes 20 minutes. Given the recent property price increases we have witnessed across the county, this is a perfect opportunity for you to understand the value of your home should you wish to sell, or are simply interested in what your home is worth.

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THE POST-BREXIT LANDSCAPE FOR LANDLORDS Anita Light & Paul Gammage, Ewemove Sherborne


recent survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) revealed some interesting statistics: 35% of landlords are worried about the effect Brexit will have on their ability to attract new tenants. With Theresa May’s conference announcement that the Brexit process will be triggered as early as March 2017, it’s an issue that’s suddenly become even more pressing. With that in mind, is it possible to predict the future landscape for landlords and is there anything you can do to protect your portfolio? A quick look at the past

If you’re a worried landlord, it’s important to take stock for a moment. The last year has definitely been a tempestuous one for the property market. With the tax changes at the beginning of April and a 3% increase in stamp duty, there was inevitably going to be some fallout. Then came the shock of Brexit in June. It’s no wonder you’re concerned. According to a recent podcast by the NLA, the market did slow down in July, unsurprisingly, with rates at auction dropping from a buoyant 80%+ before 1st April to closer to 50 or 55%. First-time landlords have definitely been deterred. Landlords are also putting their properties up for sale. But it’s not all bad news, honestly. On the upside, house prices have continued to rise (albeit at a slower pace) and the general trend of the predictions is that they will continue to do so. The housing market does seem to be recovering after a slowdown post-April and then again post-Brexit. However there is a suggestion that a weaker pound may encourage foreign investment which may support, if not boost, current house prices.

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There also remains a strong demand for rented properties and a housing shortage – particularly in the south, even if it’s in a more regulated and expensive space. So what next?

The next significant event will of course be the Autumn Statement. With a new chancellor and a new approach, it will be interesting to see what stance it takes. There’s been a lot of lobbying to remove the 3% increase in stamp duty and, although I think it unlikely, it’s not completely inconceivable. Of course, it’s also going to be important to keep a careful eye on the Brexit negotiations and what impact they have on the landlord and tenant scene. It’s time to plan

Perhaps more important than ever before if you want to continue as a landlord, is the fact that you now need to start putting in place an investment plan. You may have a number of options to consider, such as buy-tosell, land development or setting up a limited company. Which is right for you will probably depend on whether you’re more of an accidental landlord or a professional investor – and you ought to take professional advice. The other consideration to bear in mind is that being a landlord for many is a long-term game. Throughout the last few decades there have been periods of storm and despair, followed by periods of boom. To some extent, it is a case of having a clear idea of your expected growth and profits, putting in place whatever structures you need to best protect yourself and then riding out the storm to happier, more stable times.

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FROM LITTLE ACORNS… Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS, Certified and Chartered Financial Planner, Fort Financial Planning


ecently I was walking through the beautiful grounds of Coombe Country Park in Coventry. I was fortunate enough to watch a squirrel collect an acorn and bury it only yards away from me. Comically, it then very carefully, delicately and precisely covered up the burial site with two freshly fallen leaves – which promptly blew away only a few seconds later. Squirrels don’t eat every acorn that they come across – they bury them to be retrieved at a later point when food may have become scarce. Such a strategy could be considered one of the principles of financial planning. Rather than spending every penny that is earned, it is considered prudent to put some money aside, by saving or investing, for a rainy day. At Fort Financial Planning we often refer to this as ‘delayed gratification.’ Delayed gratification can take many forms – it might mean having more money to spend in retirement or retiring five years earlier than normal. It might mean spending less on day-to-day needs to help fund a trip of a lifetime. For younger people, it might mean saving for a deposit to buy their own house. A cup of coffee and cake, every working day, can easily cost £100 each month. The latest smartphone – and there’s always a new model around the corner – can easily cost £50 per month. By being more careful with current expenditure it is relatively easy to build up a cache of money for the future. By saving approximately £266 per month, rising in line with inflation (3%) and obtaining a return of 5% a year (straightforward if you don’t only invest in cash) a deposit of £20,000 can be built up in as short a time as five years. For longer-term savings goals like early retirement, the magic of compounding can come into play. Saving the same amount as shown above – £266 per month, rising in line with inflation (3%), would increase to over £250,000 in around 27 years. These are life-changing amounts of money. Real financial planning, when properly implemented, enables people to live the life of their dreams. While it may sound simplistic, we can fulfil many of our dreams if we control what we waste. We all fritter money away, but if we can stop frittering too much away – and, crucially, invest the saving – we will be able to do so much more than we ever imagined.

88 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

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90 | Sherborne Times | December 2016



’m writing this at the beginning of November while sitting on a balcony in the Canaries. I have no idea who the USA is going to vote for in a few days time but, by the time you read this, it will all thankfully be over. I just hope they don’t shoot themselves in the foot like we did recently! Anyway, I’m on holiday so I’m not going to talk about computers at all this time. I’ll just ramble on about a few things that have caught my eye recently – and what is hot this Christmas. With regards to the latter, the answer is anything retro, it seems. Vinyl is back – and a good thing too, mostly. I do love the background hiss and crackle on a vinyl recording, because that was how it was recorded and that was how it sounded when you first heard it. Of course, I’ve got most things recorded digitally on my media player but sometimes I like to remember how it used to be. However, I can’t buy my current wife a turntable for Christmas because it’s got a plug on it… I’ll have to move on. Talking of wine, I note that you can now get an app for your phone that allows you to book tours and tastings at loads of French wineries (ruedesvignerons. com): now that’s more like it! We could take a selfie whilst we’re there – or is that just so yesterday? I saw somebody on the beach yesterday with a selfie stick and thought, “Last year, mate!” Perhaps the joke’s on me. Dining out somewhere special is always popular and I spotted Heston Blumenthal is doing his annual

ski-and-dine experience again ( gourmet-ski). It looks fantastic but there aren’t any prices on the website, so I guess if you need to ask, you sadly can’t afford it. I’ll put it on my list for another year. I don’t know about you, but travelling to foreign climes always embarrasses me when I can’t speak the lingo. I’m alright with French, but the best I can manage in Spanish is, “Another bottle of rosé, por favor.” After Chinese, Spanish is the most-used language in the world, so lessons for two could be on the list. Whilst flying here I did question why ‘speedy boarding’ still exists, as all seats are now pre-allocated. We sat quietly and watched the special queue board first, then watched whilst the rest jumped up and jostled for position in a mile-long line. We joined in once it reached the door, got on the same plane and went to the same destination. I ask again, what purpose does speedy boarding have now? Okay, enough of Mr Grumpy! I’ll keep the tales of woe and destruction for January. All that remains is for me to thank you for reading my waffle all year long, to hope that you’ve all had a good 2016, to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2017. Coming Up Next Month… Public Wi-Fi and how to stay safe. | 91

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FOLK TALES with Colin Lambert


(Some call him Gabriel)

Synchronicity: A concept, first explained by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, which holds that events are ‘meaningful coincidences’ if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related.

Nah, hippy dippy mumbo jumbo. I have lived here for seven years. My journey home takes me along the Bristol Road, left fork at the red post sign, left again at the sign for Queen’s Arms then, one minute later, I can put my feet up and relax. Occasionally I pass an angel Gabriel-like presence, gliding peacefully along. He never seems to be in distress so I assume he must be happy. I sometimes wonder what life must be like on ‘his side,’ especially as he seems to have a calmness and serenity about his very being. It’s late September, I’m just back from a business lunch in London and it’s been a difficult week. The rain is torrential as I drive from the station and the Gryphon School floodlights sparkle in the mist. Left at the red post, left again and I can almost taste the beer as home looms. Instead, I slam on the brakes and skid to a halt as I see a tall, raven-like figure smiling at me. David’s home was a short drive away, but long enough to discover he was born at the Yeatman Hospital and was the middle child of five. His father was a director at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and his mum a housewife. His dad commissioned and built the large house opposite Sherborne Golf Club. He received a private education, discipline, structure and the rest. All this relayed, he thanks me for the lift and I bid him farewell. Mid-October and I’m late for my train to London 94 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

– but mustn’t be late for my date and the classical piano concert at Rudolf Steiner House. As I leave home, the heavens open. Car lights on, spray everywhere, The Gryphon School flashes by on my left just as – going in the opposite direction – a very wet angel Gabriel’s shadow (David) catches my eye. We had even less time to chat on this occasion, but I discovered he had wanted a different life from an early age. On leaving school he qualified as a state-registered nurse. In his early 20s he went to college in Bristol to study for a certificate of education. He loved it, grew his hair and typified the archetypal schoolteacher of the day. After dropping him off, I make the train with seconds to spare and my concert on time. Rudolf Steiner School is home to the Anthroposophical Society. It was founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1923, who described the society as, “An association of people whose will it is to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.” I found myself crying as I listened to the concert. I looked around the school and couldn’t help thinking how such an education would have suited me, rather than our formal, exam-orientated world. Home from London on Saturday, just in time for a beer in the Digby Tap, chicken tikka at Paprika and, for once, it’s not raining as the Gryphon floodlights brighten the road. Now this is getting silly. You guessed it: David is walking home. He climbs in, explains how he needed groceries so went into town late and is fully aware walking on the road, in the dark, is daft.

I am invited into his home, a small cottage with sitting room, kitchen and store to the rear. Radio 3 is a constant companion. I see copies of Sherborne Times neatly arranged on his bookshelf; I show him my efforts and he smiles. His mum’s paintings hang on the walls. This proud man has a passion for gardening and a love of nature. I discover he doesn’t have a mobile phone as funds are low, he has no oil for the boiler and his broken washing machine is beyond repair. We chat for what seems like hours: life, dreams and the rest. I discover we are likeminded in many of our values and beliefs and I suggest we chat some more. Our fourth meeting was to write this article. The first three were all coincidences. He tells me, “I loved the idea of being a teacher but just before qualifying my parents divorced, the family imploded and the rest is history. On my teaching practice, I worked in an amazing school, it was everything I wanted to be and do. Their ethos took account of the needs of the whole child – academic,

physical, emotional and spiritual, developing a love of learning and an enthusiasm for school.” Just listening brought a lump to my throat. He would recite stories and fairytales from memory, watching the joy on the faces of the children as he captivated their imaginations with his rich voice. One of his big regrets was leaving before taking up the opportunity of playing Oscar Wilde’s selfish giant in a school production. This man is articulate, intelligent. We hug as I leave. Climbing into the car I ask, “Just where was that amazing school that you fell in love with?” “Oh, it was the Rudolf Steiner School, St Christopher’s in Bristol,” he answered and smiled. As Carl Jung said, there is no such thing as coincidence! Listen to Colin in conversation with David live on Abbey104 fm, Sunday 11th December at 11am, or catch-up at | 95


LITERARY REVIEW John Gaye, Sherborne Literary Society

The Cyclist who went out in the Cold, by Tim Moore (Yellow Jersey Press) £14.99 Exclusive reader offer price of £13.99 at Winstone’s Books


im Moore is an intrepid cyclist. He is also a very amusing and evocative writer, whose observations about the national characteristics of those he meets on his travels have drawn favourable comparisons with Bill Bryson. His latest adventure, about which he spoke most engagingly at the Sherborne Literary Festival in October, is an epic journey on a 1970s ‘shopping bike’ along the 8,558 km length of the old Iron Curtain. This took him from northern Finland, way above the Arctic Circle in their winter, to the Bulgarian Black Sea in the extreme heat of their summer – a 58C difference. When asked why he did not take the more logical route of starting in Bulgaria’s winter and heading north to the Finnish summer, he responded by pointing out that he much preferred the idea of travelling downhill from the north. To really appreciate the scale and difficulty of this journey one has to see the bicycle, which he had brought along to illustrate his talk. This is no long-distance light-weight bike with multiple gears and disc brakes, both of which would have been particularly useful on the mountain stretches. Rather, it is a very poorly constructed and relatively heavy bike with the added sophistication of two gears, but without any really useful form of braking. It was never designed to do more than convey the East German hausfrau to her local Soviet-stocked grocery shop. It was a two-wheeled version of a Trabant car, that iconic leftover from the days of the Iron Curtain, with added panniers to convey Tim’s vital supplies. 96 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

But this book is so much more than a description of an arduous bike ride. It is a wonderful insight into our recent history, when Europe was split into two totally different cultures and ideologies, and an amusing commentary on the many national characteristics that Tim encounters as he travels through 20 different countries over three months, seeking guidance, accommodation, sustenance and support. In Finland he encounters ‘Arctic Karma,’ where he was told that, ”When you live in a difficult region and find a bad situation, you must depend 100% on other people.” In contrast he encounters total indifference in Russia, where survival depends entirely on your own efforts. Modern-day Germany provides efficient and clean facilities and wonderful dedicated cycling paths; while a short spell in tiny Slovenia echoes its surrounding influences – Italian food, Austrian cleanliness, Hungarian roses and Croatian lymphaticdrainage massage. While in Germany, Tim visits the factory where his little bike was made and where they still manufacture bicycles more suited for the modern day. Here, the proprietor offers to swap Tim’s 1970s model with one rather better made and fitted with all the gears, brakes and equipment of the 21st century. Much to his astonishment Tim turns down the offer. But then, he is British, they are German and there are still certain elements of the British eccentricity that others will always fail to understand.

CHRISTMAS GIFT SUGGESTIONS Offered by Antonia Burt, John Gaye, Mark Greenstock & Jan Pain, of The Sherborne Literary Society

Nothing is True and Everything is

The Splash of Words: Believing

Possible, by Peter Pomerantsev

in Poetry, by Mark Oakley

(Faber & Faber) £8.99

(Canterbury Press) £12.99

A fascinating account of Russia in the early 2000s, which recounts the huge power enjoyed by Putin. The State infiltrates anything that takes its fancy – your home, your work, you. Not an uplifting story of the Russia that still endures today, but it tells it as it is.

Wonderfully written with insights on every page. Oakley explores some 30 poems from different ages and traditions. A volume to rekindle faith in God, humanity and poetry.

The Lost and Found Life of

No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A

Rosy Bennett, by Jan Birley

Daring Escape, A Perilous Climb,

(Acorn Independent Press)

by Felice Benuzzi (Quercus/

£3.99 Kindle edition

MacLehose Press) £9.99

A thoroughly enjoyable read. Light and highly entertaining escapism; gutsy chick-lit with heart. Plenty of emotional turmoil without overdoing it and plot twists a-plenty. Perfect pick-up/ put-down holiday reading.

An hilarious and utterly true account of the escape of three Italian prisoners-of-war from a British concentration camp in 1944. A welcome reissue of one of the greatest of escape (and re-entry) stories.

How Long Is Now?: Fascinating

Explorers’ Sketchbooks:

Answers to 191 Mind-Boggling

The Art of Discovery &

Questions, by New Scientist

Adventure, by Huw Lewis-

(John Murray) £7.99

Scientific answers to 191 mindboggling questions, taken from New Scientist magazine’s column ‘Last Word’ over the years. Why do zebras have stripes? Can the sun be extinguished? Why does my stomach rumble when I’m hungry? Plenty here to satisfy everyone’s curiosity, no matter what their age.

Jones and Kari Herbert (Thames and Hudson) £29.95

Something a bit different and certainly highly suitable as a Christmas present is this fascinating and engrossing book, which lists about 70 explorers – some well-known, others less well-known – and their notebooks, journals and sketchbooks. Beautifully illustrated and with a highly descriptive text, it is riveting reading. | 97

Short Story



ave you ever thought where Santa Claus stores your Christmas presents? You might be surprised to hear that he has an immense igloo, like an oversized Inuit house, which is his warehouse! The igloo is very convenient, being circular and having built-in shelves on which are stored the carefully arranged toys. Ladders are dotted about so that the elves, who are Santa’s helpers, can quickly shin up to the top, which he can no longer do because he is quite old. This arrangement works well and, if you have ever seen an igloo, you will know that it is made out of blocks of ice. You would think it would be the coldest house in the world, but inside it is warm and cosy. You just have to remember to close the door against the fierce Arctic wind. With everything beautifully organised, on Christmas Eve when Santa has harnessed his reindeer to the sleigh, he can collect the parcels without getting in a muddle. On board he has an inventory, which is a rather grand word for a list. As the elves load up the sleigh, he is there with a red felttipped pen to put a tick beside each present. Square presents in boxes, like Lego, toy cars and board games are put on first, followed by more awkwardly shaped things such as cuddly toys, footballs and dolls of every shape and size. He never forgets the chocolate

98 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

coins, wrapped in gold paper, that look like real money! Then, everything is covered with a big fur rug, made from the skin of a polar bear, so it is very white like the snow. When Santa sets off, the sleigh shows up nicely in the velvety midnight-blue of the sky. It may therefore astonish you to hear that one Christmas, Santa’s deliveries did not go according to plan. He thought, as usual, that everything was wedged into the sleigh and would not move until he landed on the first roof top. But that year he had on board a fairy doll who was a fidget. As soon as they set off, she started to wriggle, peeping out from beneath the rug. She was dressed like a ballerina in a pink tutu with dancing slippers on her feet, as she was very fond of balancing on her toes. She crept out and stood on the edge of the sleigh, looking down at the lights in the world below. Now, Santa is a careful driver but, as you will know if you are in a car or a bus, sometimes it’s necessary to brake or swerve suddenly. To the fairy doll’s alarm, she could see they were about to collide with an enormous star and, sure enough, Santa abruptly changed direction to avoid it. In that moment, she fell into the blackness. Down and down she went, becoming colder by the minute, as icicles formed on her ears and nose. Luckily for her, the tutu became her parachute, billowing out its pink gauze skirt so that she landed safely in the branches of a fir tree. So breathless and tired was she from her unexpected flight, she curled up and fell asleep. On Christmas morning, a farmer and his little girl were walking through the wood exercising their dog. The dog bounded on ahead, scattering leaves as he went. He was a very alert little terrier who often stopped suddenly, cocked his head on one side and warily watched the big black crows in the trees. That particular morning, he didn’t just stop, but started to bark madly. “What is it, Skip, old fellow?” asked the farmer, looking up and spying the scrunched-up little pink bundle in the branches. “What on earth can that be?” he asked his daughter. “It looks like candy floss,” she replied. “Could you get it down for me, Daddy?” With the long stick he always carried, he was easily able to reach the fairy doll, who fell to the ground with a plop! “Oh,” gasped the little girl, “it’s just what we need for our Christmas tree. We have a silver star and twinkly lights, but not a fairy doll.” Carefully, she picked up the dainty creature, tucking her inside her warm fleece. As you may imagine, Santa was puzzled when he checked his inventory on returning to the North Pole. The item, 1 fairy doll, dressed in pink, was not crossed off, so he reported her missing. But now you have heard this story, you could tell him where she is, couldn’t you? | 99

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Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 section contain all numbers between 1 and 9 NOVEMBER SOLUTIONS



1. Raised floor or platform (5)

1. Now and then (9)

4. Tropical disease (7)

2. Shorten (7)

7. Starts to bubble (of liquid) (5)

3. Cost (7)

8. Distinction; high status (8)

4. Fail to hit a snooker

9. Sing softly (5)

ball cleanly (6)

11. Took in (8)

5. Love affairs (6)

15. Relating to the Middle

6. Ice dwelling (5)

Ages (8)

10. Disregarded (9)

17. Loans (anag) (5)

12. Codes (7)

19. Person who repairs cars (8)

13. Exacted retribution (7)

20. Small woodland (5)

14. Art of growing dwarfed

21. Catches fire (7) 22. ______ with: supported (5)

trees (6) 16. Constructs a building (6) 18. With a forward motion (5)

102 | Sherborne Times | December 2016

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