Page 1



SECRET GARDENS with Sherborne's Allotment Holders



ith chipped nails and tired bare feet, summer drifts into her well-earned slumber, giving way to the bookish charms of autumn. No demands or disappointments, no high jinks or hilarity, autumn beguiles with her stillness and a calm disarming smile. And so to September, I am sure you will all join me in welcoming back to the fold our resident cycling writer Peter Henshaw. Peter’s recent disagreement with the bonnet of a car means he won’t be cycling for a while, but thankfully he’s happy at least to write about it. We also welcome Elisabeth Bletsoe, curator at Sherborne Museum, and Peter Meech of Sherborne Historical Society in a new series of history articles. The credits do, however, roll on a fascinating six months of writing from Alex Ballinger. He finishes on a high note celebrating the work of our many local film societies. The ST’s answer to Thelma and Louise – Katharine Davies and Jo Denbury – explore the rich tapestry and tales of Sherborne’s allotments. Resident architect Andy Foster ponders our sense of ‘place’ and the part we can all play in making it ‘special’ – a message very close to our heart. Indeed, if the Sherborne Times were a house, we’d like you to think of it as home. Have a wonderful month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne Design Andy Gerrard Sub-editor Julia Chadwick Photography Katharine Davies Feature writer Jo Denbury Editorial assistant Helen Brown Print Pureprint Distribution team David Elsmore Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Alfie Neville-Jones Maggie Pelly Claire Pilley Geoff Wood Contact 01935 814803 07957 496193 @sherbornetimes PO Box 9170 Sherborne DT9 9DW 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 and iStock 4 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Sarah Attwood Thrive Health and Wellness @thrivehw Alex Ballinger @lexBallinger Simon Barber Evolver Magazine @SimonEvolver David Birley Elisabeth Bletsoe Sherborne Museum @SherborneMuseum Adrian Bright Sherborne Community Church Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup Ali Cockrean @AliCockrean Michelle and Rob Comins Comins Tea House @cominsteahouse Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife David Copp Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me Studio, Fine Stationery @DearToMeStudio Emily Eccles Mogers Drewett Solicitors @mogersdrewett Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers Nick Folland Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning

Jackie Hart M.St. Psychodynamic Practice (Oxon), BACP Accredited The London Road Clinic @56londonroad Peter Henshaw & Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles @rileyscycles @DCNSherborne Sandie Higham Sherborne Scribblers Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms @SanctuaryDorset Nicky King The Eastbury Hotel & The Three Wishes @eastbury_hotel Samantha Kirk Oxley Sports Centre @OxleySports Gemma Loader BVetMed MRCVS Kingston Veterinary Group @TheKingstonVets Loretta Lupi-Lawrence The Sherborne Rooms Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Peter Meech Sherborne Historical Society Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet Kitty Oakshott Upstairs Downstairs Interiors @updowninteriors Lindsay Punch Lindsay Punch Styling @stylistmum Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic Val Stones @valstones

Andy Foster BSC(Hons) BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) CEng MIStructE RIBA Raise Architects @raisearchitects

Sarah Tait Sherborne ArtsLink @RealArtsLink

Paul Gammage & Anita Light EweMove Sherborne @ewemoveyeovil

Sally Welbourn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife

John Gaye, Jonathan Stones, Deborah Bathurst Sherborne Literary Society @SherborneLitSoc

Eleanor Wilson Garden Angels @GardenAngels_ Wayne Winstone Winstone’s Books @winstonebooks

64 8

What’s On

SEPTEMBER 2017 56 Antiques

112 Finance

20 Unearthed

58 Gardening

115 Business

24 Shopping Guide

64 Sherborne’s Allotment Holders

118 Tech

26 Wild Dorset

72 Food & Drink

120 Short Story

30 Family

80 Animal Care

121 Sherborne Literary Festival Preview

36 Art

86 On Foot

124 Directory

40 Film

88 Cycling

128 Crossword

42 Interiors

91 Body & Mind

129 Pause for Thought

50 Architecture

106 Property

130 Councillor’s Dog Rosie Birley

52 History | 5

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WHAT'S ON Listings

presents - Lawrence of Arabia –

Saturday 9th &


Excavating a Legend

Sunday 10th 11am-4pm

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10.30am

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Dr Neil

Sherborne Steam &

broadcaster examines the most recent

Oborne Road, Sherborne DT9 3RX.

his pivotal role in the Desert War of 1916-

engineering, inc. the 26ft diameter

Sherborne Town Walk Walks start from Sherborne TIC, Digby

Rd. 1½-2 hrs gentle stroll with Blue Badge Guide Cindy through this historic town. A thousand years of history for only £5. 01935 815341

Faulkner, historian, archaeologist and

Waterwheel Centre Open Day

discoveries relating to T E Lawrence and

An extensive collection of Victorian

18. But does the legend reflect reality?


waterwheel built in 1869. 01935 816324

First Thursday

Saturday 9th - Sunday 17th

of each month 9.30am

Bridport & West Dorset

New Networking Group

Open Studios

Outside Olivers Coffee Shop. Want to

76 artists open the doors to 53 venues

meet other small business owners and

entrepreneurs? We use the footpaths around

across Bridport and West Dorset. An

exciting and intimate view into the area’s

Sherborne or quieter areas of the town

Friday 8th 6pm-10pm

pulsating art scene. For full details please

you bring the desire to move your business

talks, lectures, live performances

the same. Visit @yourtimelifecoaching or


DT9 5JB. Spellbinding soundscapes, tea

Friends of the Yeatman

Tea, wild drinks and cocktails from

Terrace Playing Fields, Sherborne.

open studio and selected works from

boot field. 07790 863518

to walk and talk. It’s free, we just ask that

Other Side - A series of free

forward as well as helping others to do

and screenings. Evening #1 The

Sunday 10th sellers from 8.15am

Diamond Family Archive.

(£5 per car), buyers from 9am for more information

Church Farm, Haydon, Sherborne,

(50p per person)

Saturday 2nd 2pm-4pm

tastings and dumplings with Comins

Hospital Car Boot Sale

Emma Roberts & The Rambling Rose,

We regret dogs are not allowed in car

Oborne Fete Story teller, Wriggle Valley Jazz Band, BBQ, local beers and Pimms and

Petanque. The great Oborne Mouse

Hunt, Granny’s Attic, the Human Fruit

Denman&Gould. Suggested donation



£7. Proceeds to Sherborne Food Bank.

Sunday 10th 11am-3pm

produce, and a grand raffle. Duck Race

Saturday 9th from 9am

Scenes at Sherborne Museum

on the village stream. £1 per party for a

Big Garage Sale

programme, proceeds split between the

We are opening up the museum on a day

village church, hall and playing field.

Thornford Village. In aid of our

Info: Karen 07866 933736.

Defibrillator Appeal. A map showing

the homes taking part will be available

Machine, bottle tombola, cakes and

____________________________ Saturday 2nd 1pm-4pm Church of The Sacred Heart and St. Aldhelm Fete

at the Village Hall plus tea/coffee/cakes

will be served. Loads of bargains to snap up! 07970 267607


Heritage Open Day - Behind the

not usually available to the public and

inviting you to come and see some of the reserve collections as well as to browse

the existing displays. The curator will be

available for personal tours and there will also be conservation in action.


Pageant Gardens, Sherborne. Stalls,

Saturday 9th 12pm-4pm

Monday 11th 9.30am-3.30pm

music & entertainment for all ages inc.

Leigh Village Fete

West Country Embroiderers

Sherborne Town Band. Irish dancers,

Sherborne & District

martial arts, circus skills. 01935 817884

Leigh Village Hall. Stalls, beer and cider


bar, tea, cakes, fun and games, children’s

activities and more. To be opened by Kate

Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne

Adie OBE DL. £1 entry, under 16s free.

Meetings with optional workshops, £15 booked in advance on 2nd Monday of

Wednesday 6th 2pm & 8pm The Arts Society Sherborne 8 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


each month, new members welcomed.

SEPTEMBER 2017 Details Ann 0196334696

Saturday 16th 11am-3pm

Sunday 17th 1.30pm-4.30pm


Sherborne Museum’s

Sherborne Folk Band workshop

Tuesday 12th 6.45pm

Cider Saturday

“More Wow - Less Work” -

Join Ben Weller from Twisted Cider and

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Learn to play

talk by Neil Lucas Charlton Horethorne Village Hall. Neil is renowned for pioneering the use of grasses and flowering perennials in a

naturalistic style. £7.50 in advance from

Alison Bentley 01963 251598. Organised by Charlton Horethorne and District

other award-winning local cider-producers and apple growers in our celebration of

the autumn harvest. Learn about cider making in the area, Sherborne’s “lost”

orchards and old apple varieties. Plenty of samples to try. Family friendly and free.

folk tunes by ear, experiment with chords and arrangements. Suitable for all levels

and all instruments. £10 in advance/£12 on the door/£25 for 3 consecutive

workshops. To join: laurelswiftfolk@gmail. com or Julia: 01935 817905



Sunday 17th 7pm

and Milborne Port Garden Clubs.

Saturday 16th 7pm

Music for a Summer’s Evening


Treorchy Male Voice Choir

with Andrew Bernardi

Wednesday 13th 10.15am

Sherborne Abbey. The world-famous

St Mary the Virgin Church, Glanvilles

in Sherborne for one night only.

and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Andrew

Probus - Fun and Games - The Victorians at Leisure Slessor Club, Long St. With guest

speaker Felicity Herring. New members welcome, for more information 01935 851641 or

Welsh Male Voice choir perform

Raising funds for the Gryphon School Duke of Edinburgh Awards & Ten Tors Challenge. Tickets £12-£25

Wootton. J S Bach, Elgar, Fritz Krielser will be joined by friends from the local area. 01963 210267


from Sherborne TIC or online:

Monday 18th 7.30pm

Insight Lecture: Theo Hobson –


God Created Humanism

Sherborne Artslink Flicks:

Saturday 16th 7pm

Their Finest

A Concert to Herald

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne.

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne.

The Coming Of Autumn


evening of light musical entertainment

Sherborne W.I

Bednall, Emily Topham and Thomas

Catholic Church Hall, Westbury,

Yetminster. Tickets £10 from Graham

New members and visitors always welcome

____________________________ Wednesday 13th 7.30pm

£5 from the Parish Office, Abbey Close.


£6 from Sherborne TIC.

St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster. An

Wednesday 20th 2.30pm

Thursday 14th 7.30pm

with singers and musicians David

“Picking Mr Darcy’s Pocket”

Williams in aid of St Andrew’s Church,

Sherborne. A talk by Gordon le Pard.

Sherborne District Gardeners’ Assoc. Meeting Digby Hall, Hound Street. Talk by Mr

Ian Hallett, R.H.S. Judge on Preparing for the Show bench. 01935 389375


Plaice 01935 872921 Spar Shop Yetminster or on the door

at a cost of £3, includes refreshments.



Antique Antics With Eric Knowles

Thursday 26th October, 2:30pm. Tickets £15

Box Office:

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

A Swingin’ Affair

With Claire Martin & Ray Gelato

‘What’s it worth? The bigger picture’

Saturday 30th September, 7:30pm Tickets £18/£17 | 9


Children ____________________________

In association with Please share your recommendations and contacts via or email ____________________________

welcome to attend. They may include a creative book-related activity.

Sundays 11am to 1pm

Monday 2pm-2.30pm

Art Club@Thornford

Craft session

No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

Sherborne Library. Free session

Friday 10.30am-11am

a passion for art who want to improve

run by a staff member

Sherborne Library. Rhyme time sessions

informal. 8 years and upwards welcome.

Tuesday 10.30am-11.00am

2 with their parents and carers (but all

or £30 for 2 hours. Call 07742 888302,

Sherborne Library. A fun interactive for more info.

with their children, with a good mix of

DT9 6QE. Aimed at youngsters with their drawing and painting. Fun and

includes a story, a song and a craft

Rhyme Time under 2’s


are aimed at babies and toddlers under

All materials provided. £15 for 1 hour

Library gets Lively under 5’s

email or visit

session for parents and carers to share



stories, rhymes and songs. The sessions

children are welcome). The session is

based on sharing nursery rhymes, action songs, musical instruments and board books. It is fun, interactive and noisy!


are aimed at under 5’s but all children are

Friday 22nd 6.45pm for 7pm

Royal Academy of Music bring you


Tickets £15 including wine terry@

Sherborne Historical Society

music by Haydn, Schubert and others.

Tuesday 26th 8pm 01963 362 692

- Edward I: A Mighty English

for his striking and sympathetic works of

Saturday 23rd &

Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne.

(1993), and now The Horseman (2017).

The Holnest Country Fayre

Sherborne Literary Society AGM and Words with Wine Raleigh Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne DT9 3NL. With speaker Tim Pears, known

fiction including The Place of Fallen Leaves

Sunday 24th 10am-5pm

£5 entrance fee

Rylands Farm, Boys Hill, Holnest,

Saturday 23rd -

machinery, traditional crafts, food tent,

Sunday 8th October Somerset Art Weeks Festival, 2017 - ‘Prospect’ With exciting new commissions,

group shows and education projects, Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2017

Sherborne DT9 5PS. Vintage working

Medieval King Talk by Dr Marc Morris on the career of Edward I and his impact on the British

Isles. SHS members: free. Non-members: £5.


farm tours, main arena events, kids zone,

Wednesday 27th 10.15am

in support of Future Roots Care Farm.



speaker Bill McNaught (ex Member).

chef demonstrations, stalls and music, all

Probus - Sir Richard Burton -

£5 per car.

Slessor Club, Long St. With guest New members welcome, for more

features inspiring exhibitions, events

Sunday 24th 8am start


in Aid of Multiple Sclerosis

Saturday 23rd 7.30pm

Playing Fields. Two courses for all

Sherborne Science Café: The

raffle. For information and sponsorship

of Greenland and Safeguarding

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, Sherborne.

and workshops in 120 locations across

Concert by the Halcyon String Quartet St Peter’s Church, Stourton Caundle.

The award-winning graduates from the 10 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Sponsored Bike Ride

information 01935 851641 or david@


Sherborne Rugby Club, The Terrace

Wednesday 27th 7.30pm

abilities. BBQ, drinks, bouncy castle and

Glowing, Colour-changing Rocks

forms contact Rich 07894 123759

the Pound in your Pocket

SEPTEMBER 2017 With Professor Mark Weller, President

Church Farm, Haydon, Sherborne,

Planning ahead…

Chemistry Division, Prof of Energy

themes exploring unknown wilderness

Friday 6th October 7pm for 7.30pm

portrayals of real-life subjects. Tea

talk - “No More Champagne” (talk

Tea, open studio and selected works from

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road,

£7. Proceeds to Sherborne Food Bank

Winstone’s Bookshop or TIC

of Royal Society of Chemistry Materials, Materials, University of Bath. sherborne.

DT9 5JB. Ben’s work ranges from


territories to candid and intimate

Sherborne Douzelage fund-raising

tastings and dumplings with Comins

about Churchill’s money)

Denman&Gould. Suggested donation

Sherborne. Tickets £10, available from

Saturday 30th 7.30pm Sherborne Town Band: Last Night Of The Proms Saturday 30th 6pm-10pm Other Side - A series of free talks, lectures, live performances and screenings. Evening #2 Award winning artist and experimental

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne DT9


Workshops and classes

3AA. Town Band & youth band, great


participation. Tickets from Sherborne

Colour Analysis Class


you want to know what colours will leave

music, entertainment and audience

Thursday 7th 7.30pm-10pm


Sherborne Venue. This class is perfect if

you feeling and looking radiant. £45 pp -

filmmaker, Ben Rivers

DAYS OUT & HOLIDAYS with TAYLORS COACH TRAVEL Days Out ____________________________


Wyevale Garden Centre

Exmoor Drive & Lunch

& Sidmouth

Sunday 12th November

Sunday 10th September

Adult £29.00, Club £27.00

Adult £14.50, Club £12.50


____________________________ Tewkesbury Saturday 16th September Adult £17.50, Club £15.50




Mottisfont Abbey & Gardens

Leeds Castle Fireworks

Sunday 24th September

4th - 5th November

2017 Day Trips & Excursions

Adult £27.00, Club £25.00

2 Days, £135.00 pp

brochure available. To join


our mailing list for our 2017

Autumn Mystery Drive & Lunch

Tinsel & Turkey – Isle of Wight

brochure call the office now!

Sunday 15th October

11th – 15th December

Adult £37.00, Club £35.00

5 Days, £375.00 pp

01935 423177



____________________________ | 11

WHAT'S ON includes colour swatch, 6 spaces available.

Every Tuesday &

Mike 07443 490442

Email to book

Thursday 10am-12pm


Knit and Natter

Every Tuesday and Thursday

Thursday 14th 2.30pm



Colmers Hill Fashion Autumn Style Class

Fairs and markets

Colmers Hill Fashion Boutique,


what shapes and styles flatter your figure

Pannier Market

session. £20 pp - includes shopping



Mixed Touch Rugby Sherborne School Floodlit Astroturf, Ottery Lane. DT9 6EE. Novices very welcome. £2

Symondsbury, Nr Bridport. Learn

Thursdays and Saturdays

per session, first four sessions free. For more

with this fun and interactive shopping

The Parade

discount and refreshments. Email

Thursday mornings 9.00am-11.15am

Sherborne RFC to book

Country Market


1st IV. Southern Counties South Division.

Thursday 28th 7.30pm-10pm

Church Hall, Digby Road


details go to or call Jimmy on 07887 800803


Gainsborough Park The Terrace Playing Fields.

Shape & Style Class

Every third Friday in

Sherborne Venue. Find your your way

each month 9am-1pm

Saturday 9th

with what to wear, spend less time in the

Farmers’ Market

Sherborne v Swanage & Wareham

changing room and make the most of


your existing wardrobe . £35 pp - includes

Cheap Street


Saturday 16th

Style Guide, 6 spaces available. Email

Every third Saturday 9.30am-4pm

Trowbridge v Sherborne to book




Saturday 30th

Wednesday & Thursday evenings

Church Hall, Digby Road


Sherborne v Walcot


Every fourth Saturday (exc. April


Art Club@Thornford for Adults

and December), 9am-4pm

Sherborne Town FC

No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

Saturday Antiques & Flea Market

1st IV. Toolstation Western League

Cockrean. Suitable for all abilities,


DT9 6QE. Tutored art with Ali

Church Hall, Digby Road

including beginners. Pay as you go, £10

Saturday 9th 10am-4pm


Premier Division. Raleigh Grove, The

Terrace Playing Fields. ____________________________

per session (tuition only) or £15 (materials

Antiques & Collectors’ Fair

Wednesday 6th

included). Limited places. Please call

Sherborne v Welton Rovers

07742 888302, email alicockrean@gmail.

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne,


com or visit for more info.

DT9 3NL. 1000s of collectables,

antiques and crafts. An old fashioned fair

Wednesday 13th

for everyone. Free entry. 01749 677049

Sherborne v Cheddar



Saturday 16th

____________________________ The Slipped Stitch The Julian, Cheap St, Sherborne.

To book call 01935 508249, email or online


Sherborne v Ashton & Backwell United



Saturday 23rd 10am-12pm

Every Wednesday 6pm

Saturday 23rd

Dorset Button posy

Digby Etape Cycling Club Ride

Sherborne v Chippenham Park

brooch workshop

From Riley’s Cycles. 20 - 30 miles,


bike recommended. Facebook: Digby

Sherborne v Keynsham

Saturday 30th 10am-4pm Norwegian Selbu Mittens workshop with Anniken Allis 12 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

average 12 to 15 mph. Drop bar road

Saturday 30th

Etape Sherborne Cycling Club or text


THE DIAMOND FAMILY ARCHIVE “Mesmerising, melancholic psychedelic soundscapes”


CHURCH STUDIO HAYDON DORSET DT9 5JB Tastings, dumplings, samosas and bakes from COMINS TEA

Open studio and selected works from DENMAN&GOULD

Wild drinks and cocktails from EMMA ROBERTS & THE RAMBLING ROSE

Suggested donation £7

A series of free talks, lectures, live performances and screenings in support of

PREVIEW In association with


Fieldfares and Worm, carved and painted driftwood, 33 x 43 x 21 cm

Guy Taplin: ‘The Birdman’ 16th September - 4th October The Jerram Gallery, Half Moon Street, Sherborne, DT9 3LN.

Tuesday-Saturday, 9.30am-5pm. 01935 815261 Guy Taplin’s bird sculptures embody our longed-for harmony

previous lives. Weathered by time and the elements, each

beyond their beauty to their endurance, intuition and

the outline of a wing or layers of plumage. His apparently

with the natural world. His obsession with birds extends

symbolic loyalty. Each bird is cleverly composed to capture their specific habits and character. His simplified, stylised

forms seem to breathe each bird’s very essence. Sculpted from found driftwood, which he forages from coasts and estuaries around the world, Taplin’s birds are therefore enriched by 14 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

piece of wood bears marks that enhance his design, suggesting simple forms belie a mastery of his subject and is all the more appealing for having been ‘liberated’ from the driftwood he has chosen to work with.



CHURCH STUDIO HAYDON DORSET DT9 5JB Tastings, dumplings, samosas and bakes from COMINS TEA

Open studio and selected works from DENMAN&GOULD

Suggested donation £7

A series of free talks, lectures, live performances and screenings in support of

Courtesy of Ben Rivers and LUX, London

Artist and experimental filmmaker

PARKINSON’S DANCE Sarah Tait, Sherborne ArtsLink


arkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects approximately one in every 500 people in the UK. While the symptoms of Parkinson’s are varied and diverse, there are common symptoms including difficulties with balance, coordination, turning around, posture and walking. In Sherborne and the surrounding area, there are over two hundred people living with this condition. In April last year, Sherborne’s arts charity ArtsLink gave their support to Pavilion Dance South West to establish ‘Parkinson’s Dance’ classes in Sherborne, adding to the growing number of similar classes across the country. They aim to address the symptoms of Parkinson’s in a way that is fun, stimulating and motivating. National evaluations for this type of activity have concluded that ‘Dancing aids fluency of movement, helps expression of personality and communication and promotes a sense of achievement for people with Parkinson’s. It may also improve balance and stability’. It also found that, after dance sessions, ‘mood disturbance, anger and fatigue were reduced’. The Pavilion Dance South West model of Parkinson’s 16 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Dance is especially effective, as it was designed by a neurological physiotherapist and a dance artist to offer strategies for coping with some of the common challenges for sufferers, whilst allowing them to enjoy the medium of dance itself. The class also incorporates work on vocal strengthening and projection, which many people with Parkinson’s find difficult. Two teachers lead this multi-level class, providing the dancers with seated and standing variations and encouragement throughout. Partners and carers are invited to join the sessions although, over time, many of the participants have found they are sufficiently confident to come independently. Those who have regularly taken part in Parkinson’s Dance sessions in Sherborne gave as their main reasons for attendance the ‘benefit to movement’, followed by dance, fun and social interaction – including being amongst others with Parkinson’s, while sharing an artistic and enjoyable afternoon. A retired neuro-physiotherapist who regularly volunteers at the group said, “Attendees have visibly grown in confidence and in their ability to try

movements standing rather than sitting… this is a very exciting and worthwhile project which I feel needs continuing support, as there is little on offer in the community which is designed solely to help people with Parkinson’s.” The ArtsLink charity is always seeking to extend its reach to support different groups and to enhance more lives through creativity. Attending regular activities in a variety of artistic disciplines can make a real difference to the lives of individuals, through social interaction with benefits to self-confidence and selfesteem, as well as offering the physical benefits that accrue with exercise. Parkinson’s Dance classes take place weekly on Thursdays from 2.30pm-4.00pm at the Digby Hall, Hound Street, and is free to all who attend. From the 7th September classes will be held at our new permanent home at The Sherborne Area Youth and Community Centre, Tinneys Lane. There is no need to book, but if you would like further more information please see or contact the ArtsLink office on 01935 815899




@SAW_Somerset somerset_art_works somersetartworks | 17

Bespoke carpentry and handcrafted oak framed buildings, inspired by traditional and contemporary design. Contact James on 07745 591489


18 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

bridport & west Dorset open studios

free guide

9-17 september 2017 Celebrating Bridport's Vibrant Art Scene

78 artists 54 venues





f you peek into Oxley Sports Centre swimming pool at 5.30am, chances are you’ll see these four teenage swimmers clocking up the lengths while their peers are still in bed. Aaron Bartlett, Jessica Carroll, Jasmine Moore and Harriet Watts are all members of Yeovil District Swimming Club and these early-morning swim sessions are part of their weekly 16-hour training schedule. All four joined the club at around seven years of age and have enjoyed training at both Oxley and Sherborne Sports Centre pools. Firmly committed to their sport and with a comprehensive programme delivered by the club’s innovative head coach Rebecca Richards, these four young athletes have performed at national level this summer. Carroll and Watts, both pupils at Sherborne Girls School, competed at the British Summer Championships, with Jess qualifying for 50m and 100m breaststroke despite having the extra pressure of studying for her GCSEs. Harriet competed in 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, reaching two finals and finishing in very impressive fifth and sixth places. Jasmine Moore, of The Gryphon School, and Aaron Bartlett of Preston School Yeovil, represented the club at the Swim England Summer Nationals. Jasmine has had a remarkable year, qualifying for the first time in 50m and 200m back stroke and 50m butterfly, demonstrating her versatility as a young athlete. Aaron was returning to the meet for the third time, hopeful that he would defend his 50m breaststroke title, having won the previous year. He did not disappoint and was victorious again. Looks like you’ll have to get up early to beat these four.

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

20 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


Tel: O1935 814O27


Tel: O13O5 265223 CLOTHES



p e o p l e w i l l s t a r e m a k e i t w o r t h t h e i r w h i l e


OPEN 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM, 33 CHEAP STREET, SHERBORNE DT9 3PU PHONE 01935 816551 22 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


Shopping Guide

Pencils, £14.62, Art pad, £12.95, The Little Art Shoppe Card holder, £6.99, Present Company

Unicorn tape dispenser, £9.99, Present Company

BACK IN BUSINESS Jenny Dickinson, Dear To Me Studio The summer is slipping away and whether you’re heading back to school, college or work, here are some great ideas to help you get organised in style 24 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Pen, £2.99, Present Company

Stickers, £6.75, The Circus

Shirt, £170, Diva

Paper clips, £6.75, The Circus

Skirt, £129, Diva

Desk planner, £12, Dear To Me Studio

Shoes, £129, Diva | 25

Wild Dorset



Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust

his year Dorset Wildlife Trust has been lucky enough to host a webcam, recording the lives of five barn owls who have successfully fledged from their box at Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve in Weymouth. There have been reports of other successful large broods of barn owls in the South West during 2017, which is welcome news as back in 2013, barn owl numbers were at a record low in the UK. There are a number of factors that affect the survival of barn owls, such as wet weather. Their feathers are evolved for silent flight and when they get wet it can increase their body weight to such an extent that they are unable to fly, or hunt. Loss of habitat for barn owls’ prey, such as field voles, is also a concern. Field voles need rough, grassy field margins to survive. This was encouraged under previous farm stewardship schemes, but we have seen a loss of these margins in recent years. There are things we can all do to help barn owls. Making and putting up barn owl boxes – which can be sited in barns and trees – will give them a safe place to thrive. The boxes are built with owlet safety in mind, with high openings so that baby birds can’t fall out. Boxes can also be incorporated into newer buildings such as the Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre, which has an entrance and ‘corridor’, making it really safe for this year’s owlets. As well as modern boxes, barn owls can also make their homes in hollow trees – and often in unconventional places. When they find a mate, they will make a small nest with their own ripped-up pellets and they don’t always need a lot of space. This year’s success with the DWT barn owl chicks is encouraging. However, the barn owl population has many threats, so we should not take these magnificent animals for granted. • The barn owl population fell by an estimated 70% between the 1930s and the 1980s. • When a barn owl has wet wings, their body weight increases by 77%. • The feathers that give barn owls’ faces a distinct heart shape reflect sound to their ears. This means that when they are hunting they can fly looking downwards, listening for prey. • An owlet who tumbles out of its nest before it is able to fly back to safety will be ignored by its parents.

26 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Three of the five barn owls at Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve. Š Paul Williams | 27

Wild Dorset



Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group Committee

ur programme of talks held at Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road, recommences on Wednesday 20th September at 7.30pm. The speaker for this meeting is Chris Andrew, the education officer for the Lyme Regis Museum, and the title of his talk is ‘Fossils and Fossiling at Lyme Regis’. Last year Chris led a field meeting walk for us along the shoreline to the west of Lyme as far as the ammonite pavement. His detailed knowledge was amazing. Perhaps during the summer you visited the Jurassic Coast and took a wander along the shore in the hope of finding a fossil, or even joined one of the Fossil or Mary Anning Walks organised by the museum. Come and ask Chris about those things of which you were uncertain, or even bring some of the fossils you found for identification. Continuing the fossil theme, in October we have the final field meeting for 2017 to Wolfgang Grulke’s private fossil museum. In May we had a talk about Wildlife Crime in Dorset from Dorset’s Rural Crime team co-ordinator. Her message was, ‘If you don’t tell us about a problem, then we cannot do anything about it’. If you observe a wildlife crime, telephone 999 and, if possible and without 28 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

endangering yourself, take photographs. Otherwise, report the event subsequently by phoning 101. Last month I mentioned the chance of seeing a swallowtail butterfly near the coast and that this would be slightly different from the subspecies britannicus, which is confined to the Norfolk Broads. Within days of writing this there was a press report that at Hickling Broad, Norfolk, the home of the English subspecies, someone had dug up and removed five milk parsley plants, the food plant of the swallowtail caterpillars, along with the associated caterpillars. Whoever committed this crime knew their target. C. W. Dale, writing in 1878 about his father’s observations around the Glanville’s Wootton area, recorded that the splendid swallowtail used to be relatively common here before the year 1816 – and that in June 1816 he saw one settled on a thistle on Dungeon Hill. He felt changes in agricultural practices, even that early, were the chief cause of the disappearance of the species from Dorset.

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SPORTING AMBITION Nick Folland, Headmaster, Sherborne Prep


ome years ago I was invited to speak at the Boys’ school, when I was playing cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club. It seems like a distant memory in some ways, but I spoke about the differences between a professional changing room and an amateur one. My happiest sporting days – before becoming a headmaster, of course – were when I played amateur cricket, not professional. However much I enjoyed my cricket (and indeed I competed fiercely) I have always tried to maintain a balance and a life outside the game. Sport plays an incredibly powerful role in schools, particularly in the independent sector. Children want to be actively involved in teams, parents love to support and there is significant peer-group pressure to be a part of teams, from pupils and parents. I completely understand this. Frequently, but not always, when one asks an active boy or girl what they want to be when they are older, they will quickly say a professional rugby player, hockey player, netballer, footballer – a top sportsman or sportswoman. They want to represent their country, win a gold medal at the Olympics, score the winning goal in a cup final. A few may go on to achieve this, but not many. The competition is ferocious, often unhealthy and, increasingly, children seem to have to specialise at a younger and younger age in order to stay up with the game. As a much older retired cricketer, I can now reflect on what my experiences taught me. Nobody remembers me as an ex-Somerset player, the children under my care would look blank at the mention of Botham, Gower and IVA Richards, let alone me. “Who?” they would say. Why did I bother, then? Well, it is certainly not about being remembered, that is for sure. I get just as much satisfaction from being surrounded by children and trying to support them, as I did from my cricketing days. I would never, as a headmaster, try to dampen any of this ambition in children. All children should aim high, whatever their passion; but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter whether you become a superstar – it is the values that sport participation teaches you that mean the most. We do indeed all find our own level and this has also fascinated me over the years; my conclusion is that it mostly boils down to sheer application and mental toughness. The important elements of the process are the learning and fun, striving to do better, coping with successes and failures, the people one meets – including the selfish and conceited, as well as the modest and supportive – the challenges it offers, the highs and the lows, the people skills, the health and fitness, the nerves and the patience, the arguments, discussion and thinking that sporting competitions demand. Not many of us become international sportsmen or women. It is not the be-all and end-all and few reach the very highest levels. Those that do may ask themselves at what cost these levels are reached. To have a sense of pride and to give of one’s best should be the aim, to enjoy the journey to whatever level, to meet people along the way. The same principles apply to academic, musical, dramatic and artistic performance. This is what we try and teach our children at Sherborne Prep and I hope that will always continue.

30 | Sherborne Times | September 2017 | 31

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reating a work of art is a challenging business, even when working in the familiar surroundings of your own studio. Now add into the equation a live audience of over 10 million people worldwide, a swaying bridge, torrential rain and gusty wind, a television crew and a contractual obligation to create an historic piece of work – despite all of the above – and you start to get a feel for the enormity of the task I undertook in 2012. As one of twenty artists selected by the BBC to paint the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant live as it happened on Sunday 3rd June, I was absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to record this unique and historic event in such a personal way. We were given an exclusive vantage point from one of London’s most iconic landmarks – the Millennium Bridge by St Paul’s Cathedral – which was closed to the public. It was probably one of the best seats in the house. From there, we were charged with the task of capturing the pageant as part of BBC1’s live coverage of the event. Television presenter Anneka Rice was there to chart our progress. My aim was to capture the sky, river, hard landscape and the crowds before the flotilla – made up of more than 1,000 boats – arrived. There was a lot going on 36 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

around us, too. Cameras, crew, security and a steady stream of appreciative people were watching us work and asking questions. Anneka Rice had really done her homework – she had studied the work of all the artists present before the event. She was supportive, friendly and clearly passionate about painting, taking far more than just a passing interest in what we were doing. Despite the light drizzle falling continuously in the late morning and early afternoon, the painting progressed well over the first three hours. We all got used to the producer shouting, “Going live in two minutes.” Sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t. That’s just the way it goes with live broadcasting. Things can change and adjustments are made with seconds to spare. I succeeded in preparing my painting for the arrival of the boats, despite the light rain keeping the paint wet longer than I wanted. I adapted my technique with the palette knife to ensure I didn’t over blend the colours. I worked with a subtle palette to reflect the soft greys and pinks in the sky, the lightest greens and browns in the water. All was progressing well, I was happy with the direction the painting was going and the mood and atmosphere the piece was taking on.

Then the boats came into view. What an amazing, breath-taking sight. We all stopped work, spellbound, as more and more small boats appeared on the horizon. Colourful boats of every conceivable shape, flying flags, oars keeping time impeccably, stamina, human muscle and power keeping the flotilla moving ahead in perfect formation. This was the only point in the day when I felt any sense of rising panic. How was I possibly going to capture the enormity of all this? I don’t think I was alone in that thought. I started to paint in boats that captured my attention, working quickly to keep up with the ever-growing number that now filled the expanse of river in front of us. When the royal barge came into view the bells of St Paul’s began to chime, I laid down my paintbrush. Suddenly the day wasn’t just about capturing an image or being on TV. It was about savouring a truly unique and historically significant moment in time. It was about simply being there. I hadn’t noticed how heavy the rain had become until I returned to my easel. Horrified to see rivulets of water creating their own tiny but destructive course through the paint, I watched as the image blurred and simply washed away. In an attempt to save what remained, I covered the work with a bin bag, but this merely made things worse as the plastic adhered to the surface of the painting. However it didn’t dampen my spirits. I’m an experienced enough painter to know that I could recover my work in the warmth of my studio. As an expressionist artist, I prefer to work from memories, so I only paint the really important stuff. The rain couldn’t wash away the images now in my head. Again came the shout that we were live in two minutes. I suddenly became aware of Anneka at my side. “So what’s happened here?” she asked. Live on BBC1, in front of 10.3 million viewers across the world, I revealed my ‘lost work’. Was I worried? No. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, every single wet and windy second of it. Was it a disaster? No. Not in the slightest. I had my memories and recreated my personal interpretation of the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, which sold as prints across the world for over a year. Even as I squelched my way home, soaked to the skin and clutching a painting that had held so much promise until the rain all but washed it away, I felt honoured to have been part of such a unique and historic occasion.

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Alex Ballinger, Film Writer

ver felt frustrated by the lack of world, independent or just plain quirky films at your local cinema or multiplex? Or perhaps, worse still, you’ve earmarked a potential film only to find that it’s disappeared from your local screen. If this is the case, then I recommend you head down to a local film society, who will refresh the parts that other cinemas cannot reach. Fortunately for Sherbornites there are six flourishing film societies in the area kicking off their 2017-2018 seasons this month. Shaftesbury Film Society

SFS is the granddaddy of Dorset’s film societies: it was established in 1957 and operates from Shaftesbury’s Arts Centre, in the old covered market. It programmes eighteen “high-quality films of international stature” from September to May, which also include senior’s and children’s screenings. I’m looking forward to its “Black Films Matter” special event in February, where Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro double-bills with Barry Jenkins’ electrifying Moonlight. If you fancy something more Somerset-based, then I’d book tickets for The Levelling, which unspools there in March. 40 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Dorchester Film Society

The DFS celebrates its diamond jubilee this year and is in rude health, with a 200-strong membership. Chair John Herbert describes its ethos, “Our films are contemporary – usually not older than two years – highly acclaimed and frequently of foreign origin and shown with subtitles in the Corn Exchange. In addition to these, we have an arrangement with the Dorchester Plaza to show six films, one per month from September through to February, usually Englishlanguage, where we can have superior sound and picture quality.” Unmissable films this season are its heartbreaking but hilarious Argentine opener, Truman, preceded by a glass of wine and chat with the society’s indefatigable committee in September, and a screening of its inaugural 1958 film, Louis Malle’s nail-biting thriller Lift to the Scaffold in December. Bridport Film Society

Now in its sixth decade, the BFS operates from Bridport Arts Centre and shows twelve films per year. As its chair Dr Christopher Pike explains, “We offer a carefully curated programme of world cinema. Our next season

includes films from Brazil, Spain, Colombia, Palestine, Sweden, Romania, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Germany, France and the USA. Very few of the films have shown in commercial cinemas locally. Sometimes our showing of a film is the only public screening in Dorset.” Film folklore has it that it was a suggestion made by one of its members to a visiting Bill Douglas in the 70s that led to him writing and directing his masterpiece Comrades (1986), about the Tolpuddle martyrs. Two of its upcoming films are the charming Hunt for the Wilderpeople starring Sam Neill in September and the Colombian marvel, Embrace of the Serpent in November. Blandford Forum Film Society

Based at Blandford School since 1986, BFS has pedigree: its first president was the late Oscar-winning cinematographer Ossie Morris (Oliver!; Fiddler On The Roof). It’s a friendly, quirky set-up with fourteen screenings per season. I’m tempted by its archival screening of Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 jet-black comedy, The Ladykillers in February, but if you fancy something more contemporary and hard-hitting, then I’d recommend Ken Loach’s gritty 2017 Palme D’Or winner I, Daniel Blake. Film viewing however, doesn’t have to end at the Arts Centre, as members can borrow DVDs from the society’s extensive film library. Yeovil Cinémathèque Film Society

Based in the collegiate atmosphere of Yeovil College, the

YCFS has been providing an eclectic film programme for its 100-strong membership for nearly forty years. Chair and ex-film studies lecturer Ralph Willett recalls an incident which embodies the response that a challenging film programme excites. “I remember a member stopping me in Cheap Street some years ago and telling me, ‘I hated the last film you showed, but it didn’t matter!’” Two films from this year’s provocative programme: Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi marvel, Arrival in September and Jim Jarmusch’s poetic Paterson in January. ArtsLink Flicks

Despite offering a less diverse film programme than its sister societies, Sherborne’s film society – allied to the charity Moviola rather than the more established British Federation of Film Societies or Cinema For All – has many advantages. It’s based in the handy Digby Hall and its monthly screenings (except August) are preceded by a hearty £12 two-course supper at the Raleigh Hall next door. Start practising your frogman’s back flips in preparation for the Jacques Cousteau biopic, The Odyssey screening in November. In September 1983 I was first in line to enrol in the Ampleforth College Film Society and it changed my life. I’m not suggesting that joining your local society will change yours, but it will open your eyes to a wealth of cinema that rarely, if ever, reaches your local cinema. @lex_Ballinger | 41



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pots and stripes have always been a staple when it comes to updating your home. Either as complementing fabrics or standing tall on their own, it couldn’t be easier to find a spot or a stripe that works for you. A variety of different stripes has got to be one of the best combinations. Mixing colours and sizes of your stripe can add style to any sofa, chair or window seat. Why not also take stripes outdoors, choosing a bright, multi-coloured stripe to really pop amongst the greenery? Try using the pattern for deckchairs and seat pads, adding a funky trim on your parasol to tie everything together. If that is too bold, a tonal stripe can be more subtle and look lovely too. A woven striped voile framed by a pair of 44 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

tonal striped curtains adds elegance to a neutral room. For an English country cottage feel, mix traditional ticking stripes in reds and blues with cream and natural tones. Striped cushions with contrasting striped piping can really stand out and is a little hint of fun. Talking of fun, don’t forget those spots. Spots don’t have to be generic. You could re-invent polka dots with a pebble type print, or choose spots varying in size; there are some very pretty spotty designs around. Textured and embroidered spots will update a solo chair or make a great statement cushion. Have fun, get creative and see how you can bring spots and stripes into your home.


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YOUR PLACE OR MINE? Andy Foster BSc(Hons) BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) CEng MIStructE RIBA, Director, Raise Architects

50 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


t this year’s Hay Festival, I was fortunate enough to hear a talk by the geographer Nicholas Crane. He spoke about his latest book The Making of the British Landscape which describes the development of our islands over the last 20,000 years. During his presentation, he used a word that was new to me – ‘topophilia’, from the Greek ‘topos’, meaning ‘place’, and ‘philia’, meaning ‘love of ’. He explained that we are all topophiliacs. The human race, it seems, has a predisposition to attach significance or meaning to places. This can be traced back to our ancestors, who held special events, rituals or ceremonies at striking features in the landscape; an unusual rocky outcrop, a hill or natural clearing, for instance. Places would become special due to certain circumstances – because there was a ford in a river, abundant food, or natural resources were readily available, for example. Also, places where significant events such as a battle, a rendezvous or a celebration had occurred might also acquire special meaning. An architect’s interest in place is manifold. At this point, it is worth noting that ‘architecture’ isn’t just about buildings. The broader term ‘place’ is more fitting in many ways, as it can encompass anything from a chair to a home, to a town. But what is evident is that places don’t become special simply because we say so, they become special because of some association or meaning that is important to us. A beautiful place is not necessarily a special place. ——————————————————————— “Architecture is interesting but by itself, it means nothing.” M. Fuksas ——————————————————————— On the one hand, this makes life difficult for an architect who sets out to design a special place, as it is up to the users of the place to give it meaning and thereby make it special. On the other hand, it can be liberating since any place can become a special place, subject to what it means to us. Of the places in our lives that are important to us, there are, perhaps, two that are more important than any others – our home and our town. The phrase ‘making a house a home’ refers to the process we go through in making the place in which we live special. This process includes the way we decorate

our house and how we show off the souvenirs from our lives. Both of these things reveal who we are, to ourselves, our family and our friends. The process also includes the simple act of living, of dwelling; the dayto-day things that happen – going to school, having supper, throwing a party; and the relationships that grow – husband and wife, parent and child. Not all houses truly become homes. A house might be stunning and perfectly functional, but we have work to do to make it ours. Giving meaning to a place takes effort. Ultimately we know that we have been successful when we feel a deep sense of belonging to the place. ——————————————————————— “To dwell is to belong to a given place.” C. Norberg-Schulz ——————————————————————— Similar things can be said about the town where we live. We may have chosen to live somewhere because we sensed it was a nice or beautiful place, but to achieve a sense of belonging, we must engage with it in some way. This is what will make the place special to us. Involvement in local business, community or institutions is an important thing to do, for its own sake but also to provide us with a sense of worth by contributing to make our town a better place. That’s the more subtle, day-to-day side, but now and then there will be an opportunity to make our town better by providing a new building, facility or element of infrastructure. To do something in bricks and mortar; to change the nature of the place. A chance to contribute to the physical reality of a place is a chance to leave our mark. An opportunity for us to say, “We did this, against all the odds.” A chance to leave a legacy. Places are not static – they evolve. When opportunities arise for evolution, we must seize them. They are opportunities to build community, to provide a sense of belonging, to make our place better. A chance to make our place special. To make it ours. ——————————————————————— “If you want to live in a special place, you have to contribute towards it.” Thomas Whitley ——————————————————————— | 51


NEOLITHIC POLISHED AXE HEAD Elisabeth Bletsoe, Curator, Sherborne Museum


thought I would begin this series with a humble object that many people might overlook while visiting Sherborne Museum; it represents, however, an amazing advance in human development. It is made of flint, measures only 18cm long and 8cm across at its widest point and belongs to the Neolithic Age, which in Northern Europe was approximately 4000-2500 BCE. It is, in fact, a polished axe head, the iconic tool representing the Neolithic period in the archaeological record; an easily recognisable item. Yet it not only demonstrates evidence for learning in prehistory, it also shows intent and reveals a window into the minds of our ancestors. This ’Swiss army knife’ of the Stone Age was an essential piece of technology with multiple uses. The narrower end could be used as a drill, while the long edge could fell small trees and cut meat, or it could be used to scrape bark or skin. This tool was hafted and would have enabled our Neolithic ancestors to clear spaces in wooded areas in which to evolve a more sedentary and agricultural way of life, including developing pottery and woven materials. Enormous amounts of time were required to create an axe head as it needed to be rubbed against a stationary block of, say, quartz sandstone, while using water as a lubricant. Ours is not as highly polished as some, while marks of percussion and signs of flake removal are still visible. On one side you can see the original surface from the core of the nodule, a typical Dorset dark-grey flint which has developed a lighter grey patina through polishing. 52 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

The axe head has not been thinned as much as usual, because the flint was particularly tough and the maker either became disinterested or decided not to risk breakage. An axe head like this would have been extremely difficult to make and is much more versatile than its modern equivalent – the result of planning, sophisticated mathematical skills, learning and refinement over time. It required manual dexterity as well as a conceptual leap of thought to be able to visualise the potential three-dimensional shape concealed within the rough stone. Recent research involving brain scanning apparently reveals that the parts of the cerebral cortex activated while flintknapping have considerable overlap with those required for creating speech, so shaping tools may well be connected with shaping language. The amount of effort involved invested the axe head with spiritual as well as social significance and, as such, they are often found buried in graves or in ritual deposits. Our axe head was found in a field north of East Farm in Bradford Abbas, a site noted for its early human habitation and production of flints. The museum, which is free to visit, displays an array of local finds from prehistory, so come and appreciate the skills of these ancestral Sherbornians. Museum opening times during the summer season are Tues-Sat 10.30am-4.30pm

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ational history was made in 1957, when the Queen delivered the first televised Christmas speech. Earlier that year, local history had been made when a group of Sherborne townspeople decided that “an Historical Society would be an asset to the town and its environs”. For an annual subscription of five shillings (£5.75 in today’s money) or 2/6 for students, the initial 60+ members would be offered a range of activities relating to Sherborne “with its Rural District”. Among these were a lecture series illustrated by lantern slides, mainly on local historical topics, plus visits to places of “archaeological, architectural and historic interest”. Additionally, for a number for years the society published an annual newsletter and organised essay competitions and quizzes on local history. Eight years after starting the society some of its members were instrumental in establishing Sherborne Museum, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. The past 60 years have seen some changes in the way the society operates, but there is still much that its founders would recognise – and, we hope, approve of. The autumn and spring lectures remain its principal activity, nowadays given in the Digby Hall, Hound Street, rather than the old Abbey School or Foster’s School. Every year from September to March 54 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

twelve high-quality speakers continue to address topics of historical interest – though no longer with lantern slides. Some of these topics have obvious local connections, such as The history of pubs and brewing in Sherborne or The Dorset Regiment from the 18th to the 20th century. Others range more widely, both chronologically and geographically. This coming year, for example, we can look forward to Edward I: The Plague, 2000 BC to 2000 AD and Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. The annual membership fee of just £15 includes complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits and, in addition to the programme of talks, the society also organises visits in the summer to places and events of particular historical interest. For 60 years old, the society is in remarkably good health, with membership nudging 400 and a healthy bank balance. But the cautionary words of Gerald Pitman, chairman and a founding member of the society, are as relevant today as they were in 1982: “We must never stagnate, never be satisfied”. The society’s full programme for the coming year can be seen at New members are always welcome, as are visitors. Please contact Peter Meech, at



Richard Bromell ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


es, I wear glasses – or maybe I should call them spectacles, working in auctioneering. And, yes, being in a certain age group, they have varifocal lenses fitted and are most excellent at enabling me to see correctly whether looking to the horizon or trying to decipher the tiny hallmarks on a silver spoon. Having worn glasses for the past 35 years or so (clearly I did wear them at a very, very young age…) the frames have been in all shapes. This is along with the lenses, which have come in various degrees of thickness. Needless to say, I was immensely proud of all my ‘fashion’ frames at the time, otherwise I would not have worn them – although my children beg to differ, as they regularly laugh at me in old photos. Eyes are important to all of us. In my profession we spend our time looking at shape and form. We also need to look at detail, which will show you true craftsmanship over a clever pastiche, as well as being able to look out for repairs and restoration. However, sometimes my eyes play tricks on me. I know it is not just me, but it can be a strange sensation when you look at something knowing what you are looking at, only for it to appear different from what you thought you were looking at. This happened to me in the salerooms recently. A London-based family had bought a house near to their children’s boarding school in Somerset so they could be close to them, see them at weekends and watch them playing their favourite team sports. The family had bought a fairly substantial property with outbuildings, which they soon filled up with broken hockey sticks and furnishings surplus to the main house, which they had inherited. As usual, if you have space you end up filling it. Now, with their children’s education over, the family decided it was time to sell the house and return to their London accommodation, which they had 56 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

retained during their time in Somerset. With so much furniture and other items in Somerset, and with the house they were moving back to already furnished, it was time for a major sort-out. This is when Charterhouse was called in to remove, sort, catalogue, research and value items – and it was looking at one of their lots that I thought I was seeing double. In England, you are never far away from the sea. Indeed, we are a great seafaring nation and, over the centuries, our maritime exploits have been well recorded, documented and made into art, which can be highly collectable. Over the years I have had the pleasure of selling a large amount of maritime art from sailor work pictures, to paintings, to uniforms, to medals. Some of these are in bountiful supply, but there is one piece of this specialist art which I have only seen and sold just a few times – and this is a ship’s half-hull model. Back in the day before computer-aided design had been invented, ship builders would make models to show to their clients. With these models, the clue is in the name, which is why I was surprised to see a full-hull model and not just a half. It was quite exciting to see a full-hull model, perfectly to scale in a fitted case, with a plaque that identified the ship as the steam trawler King’s Grey, built by Messrs Cook, Welton & Gemmell of Beverley and launched in 1915. It was whilst reading this plaque I realised that it was a half-hull model, just as I thought: in the back of the case there was a mirrored panel, reflecting the half hull to make it look like a fullhull model. Maybe it is time for me have my eyes tested again, but what is not in doubt is my estimate of the steam trawler of £1,500-2,500 when it goes under the hammer in our September 22nd collectors’ auction!

CHARTERHOUSE Auctioneers & Valuers We are now accepting entries for our forthcoming auctions: Classic & Vintage Motorcycles Friday 1st September Classic & Vintage Cars Wednesday 13th September Coins, Medals, Collectors’ Items & Antiques Friday 22nd September 1950 Norton Manx 30M £20,000 - 25,000

Contact Richard Bromell for advice or Justine Jackson to arrange a home visit The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne DT9 3BS | 01935 812277

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Open Monday-Saturday 9.00am-6.00pm & Sunday 10.00am-4.30pm (tills open at 10.30am) Castle Gardens, New Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5NR | 57



Mike Burks, Managing Director, The Gardens Group


t a recent family funeral, I was asked to select and read a poem to reflect a love of wildlife, particularly wildflowers, butterflies and birds. My daughter had lots of advice and inevitably set me some homework, which involved a visit to Winstone’s to purchase some poetry books. I was recommended a range of poets, including Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, which my friend Tony Bates, MBE from Dorset Wildlife Trust, also suggested. After much research, I eventually chose a poem called The Skylark by Christina Rossetti, but it was the following one-verse poem by Emily Dickinson that got me thinking. The pedigree of honey Does not concern the bee; A clover, at any time, to him Is aristocracy Inspired by this and the wonderful gardens that were entered into the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Gardening Awards, plus the excellent talk given by Kate Bradbury at the ceremony, I got to thinking about how it’s the ordinary plants that wildlife tends to enjoy the most. A classic piece of wildlife gardening advice is to avoid choosing double flowers, as it’s physically trickier for insects to head in and collect the pollen from the flower. Emily Dickinson’s poem describes this very well, as bees aren’t necessarily impressed by unusual plants. In fact, one of their favourite sources of food comes from common ivy when it’s in flower during the autumn and early winter. Of course, this might be due to the lack of other flowers, but the hum of insects on ivy is quite something. 58 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

The reminder in the poem that clover is a bee’s favourite was brought home to me as we returned from a few days away. Our shorter-cut wildflower lawn was bursting with clovers in flower, which attracted a whole host of insect activity – and you can understand why on closer inspection, as the scent from clover really is quite something. Teasel is also a useful food for both insects and birds during the summer, when it’s in flower. It’s also an amazing plant due to its cup-shaped formation, which collects water where it branches and becomes alive with insect and micro life. The poem also awakens the importance of delaying the autumn clean-up. We mustn’t be too tidy in the garden since much of the debris

including seed heads are a great food source for birds and can act as a place of shelter for insects and small animals. The structure of plants as they fade back in the autumn can also be where the wonderful displays of autumn mist get held. Later, the shapes and colours created by frost could be viewed as a feature in the garden and not a mess. Inevitably you’ll want to tidy this up but try not to be too hasty, as the longer it’s left, the better it is for local wildlife. While working in my own garden one early spring, I noticed a loud scraping sound. Once I eventually tracked it down to the other side of the garden, I found a wasp working away at the dried stem of a stinging nettle, collecting material to make its nest! Although they can be irritating in the summer, I’m a fan of

wasps, as they’re a very useful predator to all sorts of insect pests in the garden. Dickinson’s poem is also a reminder of how adaptable bees are. In the garden centre there’s a purple-leaved plum which flowers very early in the spring, usually before bees are active. Due to the warm spell we experienced this year, which coincided with the plum being in flower, the bees got an early treat and awoke to the unusual grub, which they loved. The whole tree was buzzing and was the perfect example of the adaptability of insects, but also the need to provide food sources throughout the year – especially with the changes in our weather patterns and the climate overall. | 59


NAME-CALLING Eleanor Wilson, Garden Designer, in association with Garden Angels


ardening and horticulture can be a very serious subject for many people. I am conscious that some of my clients feel that their plant knowledge is inadequate, their tastes are dated or that they are a ‘rubbish’ gardener. The truth, of course, is that whatever age you come to appreciate plants and gardens, you have to start somewhere. Some of the most talented gardeners I know don’t know their own skills and hide behind self-induced fears, such as not knowing the names of plants. Knowing the Latin names can help one understand what sort of conditions a plant may thrive in, its colour and growth habit, for example. However, having a good memory for Latin plant names does not, in itself, make one a good gardener, in the same way that individuals 60 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

who rely on a good memory to pass exams are not necessarily the best future employees. I find something gently amusing about people who are very keen to show off their extensive knowledge of Latin plant names, but who rarely get their hands dirty and have no idea of the glories of soaking in a hot bath after a long, hard session in the garden! In any case the old English names for many plants are often easier to remember and more evocative. Who wouldn’t remember ‘love in the mist’ and ‘forget-me-not’? In helping people to feel more confident in their skills and encourage them into the garden more often, I try to incorporate a plant in their design that has a memorable name. Often this incorporates their own name; so we’ve had a sweetpea called ‘Dawn’, a clematis

called ‘Miss Christine’ and the fabulous hawthorne tree ‘Paul’s Scarlett’ – although I have to admit to struggling with ‘Dwayne’. It’s well known that names sell plants – roses in particular are frequently named so that occasions can be marked, hence we have ‘Happy Anniversary’ and ‘Silver Wedding’. I recently bought my uncle and aunt a rose called ‘Restmoor’, which was the name of my Grandma’s house; we were close to her and miss her so it’s a happy way to remember her. I bought a colleague, of whom I was particularly fond, a rose called ‘Queen Elizabeth’ when she retired, as she had worked on board the QE2 earlier in her career. She was really emotional when she read the name and realised the connection.

Some names are just memorable in themselves. I have a beautifully scented rose in my garden called ‘Jude the Obscure’. I bought it simply because the name appealed to me. My then four-year old son chose to grow a variety of tulips because they were called ‘Hot Pants’. He still remembers the flowers six years later, as there is of course something terribly amusing about the word ‘pants’! Along with plant names there can be awful snobbery about show garden design. Show gardening is an art that is quite different from garden designing for a residential garden; the planning, preparation and cost involved is simply mind-blowing. The accommodation bill alone for Cleve West’s amazing garden design at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 was rumoured to be in excess of £70,000 and the final bill for the garden ten times that figure. There’s often a conceptual element to show garden design that can be quite difficult to grasp; it is always the case that the ‘people’s choice’ award at shows goes to a garden that is beautiful and can be imagined as a back garden. Of all the show gardens I’ve seen, the one that sticks in my mind is by a relative unknown called Robert Grimstead, built for Gardeners’ World Live and called ‘The Man Garden’. It did what it said on the tin – it was a garden for a man. Or, more precisely, “a 30-something bachelor who enjoys the finer things in life. The hard landscaping was clean and modern, the planting relied mainly on texture and it incorporated a large entertaining area that included all kinds of technological gadgets ranging from an outdoor, wall-mounted gas fire, to moving Perspex screens and a sensational wall mural. It didn’t win any medals, but I thought it was brilliant. I’d love to see more top show-garden designers have fun with their designs; Diarmuid Gavin is great, he incorporates fantasy, imagination and fun and you can see people smiling as they view his creations. Quite simply, his designs make people happy and that, in my mind, is what gardens should do! Chris Beardshaw is another garden designer with a bit of a twinkle in his (very blue) eyes and, as those of you who’ve heard him talk will know, an amusing turn of phrase. I wonder if he’d accept my challenge to design a slightly naughty show garden that would make people laugh? It would have to incorporate Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ and Rosa ‘Hanky Panky’, not to mention the exceptionally beautiful Ipomoea purpurea… but I’ll leave you to look that one up. | 61

With dedicated and experienced staff, specialist equipment and passion, Queen Thorne can develop and maintain gardens for all to enjoy. Tel: 01935 850848

62 | Sherborne Times | September 2017




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Unit 1a > South Western Business Pk > Sherborne > Dorset > DT9 3PS 01935 816 168

HOME-GROWN TALENT Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


his is, or perhaps should be, the age of the allotment. These beautiful, modest places offering answers to some of modern society’s biggest questions. Concerns over the environment, health and social cohesion are being quietly addressed on small plots of fertile soil across Sherborne and the country at large. These are spaces where individuals can commune with both earth and neighbour and return with armfuls of food for the table. Just a few spuds, beans, artichokes and raspberries will do it. I tried it myself this year, with rainbow chard, beans and kale and was surprised at how liberating it is to be freed from the treadmill of supermarket food. “I just wanted my children to know where food came from,” says Rachael Brooke Witton. She took her allotment – based at the Westbridge Park, where the old pig sties are now used as sheds – four years ago, when her youngest was only six months old. “My mother-inlaw bought me a book on the allotment calendar and away I went,” she smiles. “I do all the digging myself. It’s better than going to the gym – and a lot cheaper.” >

64 | Sherborne Times | September 2017 | 65

Rachael has made a point of allowing for grass paths between her vegetable beds, in order to allow the children run around and enjoy the produce. As we chat, her children Rufus, six, and Phoebe, four, have found a green shield bug and are letting it wander over their hands as they nibble on the raspberries. “They pick the fruit and vegetables and eat them on the spot, if they can. It doesn’t matter that it is a little bit dirty – that’s how vegetables come. They are happy to try anything,” explains Rachael, while supervising the release of the bug. Rachael visits the allotment at least two or three times a week. When her youngest starts school, she hopes to work on it more. “It’s all been trial and error,” she admits. But she is adamant that she wanted to teach her children that you can grow vegetables yourself and are not obliged simply to go to the supermarket and pick them off a shelf. “The children love being outdoors, it’s like an extension of the garden.” The allotment is certainly bountiful. There are raspberries, apples, blackand redcurrants, rhubarb, tomatoes, onions, a variety of salad leaves, kale, beans, carrots… The list goes on. Rachael clearly relishes the opportunity to grow as much as she can. “It’s also a great community here,” she adds. “The kids go and help on other allotments and some people have been here for 30 years. I did it for the kids at the beginning, but now it is also for me. I love it.” Bill Anderson agrees. “Working the earth is almost spiritual,” he says. “When you plant a seed in the ground, something magical happens. And it is having that connection that is important for me.” The rain is hammering down and Ruby, his dog, is waiting patiently as rivulets of water run off her shiny black coat. Bill is gathering runner beans for lunch. Not too many – just enough so there won’t be waste, and they will be utterly fresh with every vitamin still intact when they reach his family’s table in an hour or so. With beans in hand, he makes a run for the car that’s parked just outside the allotment. “I must build a shed for these moments,” he laughs, as the tropical-sized raindrops hammer on the roof of the car. Bill took over the allotment nine years ago. “I was working in an office at the time and I wanted a link to the outside, so I took it on.” For Bill, gardening is in the blood. “My Dad had also always grown his own veg, so I learnt a lot from him as a child. I still have his hoe and, as I work, it always reminds me of him.” At first, he says, it was like a rubbish dump. “I spent hours removing old bedsprings and the like. It’s five lugs, which is approximately 25 square metres, so there was 66 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

quite a bit to do. I read John Seymour’s Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency and adopted the no-dig method.” Bill’s allotment already absorbs a lot of his spare time, so he restricts what he grows. “Raspberries are good because they tend to look after themselves.” He finds the autumn fruiting varieties more successful. Then there are the beans and the pink fir potatoes, squash and artichokes, onions and elephant garlic, whose sheer size gives a globe-trotting swagger to any allotment. As his family has grown up the need for an allotment has become less, but Bill still likes the community spirit. “There is always somebody up there and we all share our surpluses,” he says. “It’s a combination of the satisfaction from growing our own food, plus the community habit that keeps me going.” Community is something Robin Debell is hoping to extend through his allotment. He took on three extra allotments in 2004 and planted a vineyard. “I had always fancied having a vineyard in the south of France and this is my version of it,” he explains. “We planted in April 2005 and got our first harvest in late September, early October 2005. We took 180 bottles of still wines that year, but subsequent harvests have reaped on average about 350 bottles of sparkling wine. The best year has yielded 600 bottles.” The site had not been used for 23 years and was “covered in stinging nettles” before Robin took over, so the work to bring the soil up to vineyard quality was heavy. First a farmer was enlisted to plough the plot, then Robin dug it over twice by hand to level it. While he worked the soil he kept the rocks, which have now been repurposed to protect the roots of the vines. “We manually moved 40 tons of rocks,” Robin explains – but it was worth it, as they now keep the warmth in the soil. Climate change seems to be working to Robin’s advantage and the vines look incredibly healthy and are groaning with fruit. “Our climate is good for acidity. You need the acidity for sparkling wine, which is what my allotment vineyard largely produces,” he says. These welcome changes are clearly why the French are now investing in English vineyards, but the vines are a labour of love, requiring more than 200 hours of work from Robin and his friend José. They are hoping to find other keen volunteers, the reward being take-home quantities of this high-quality artisanal ‘garage’ wine. “If anyone is interested in mucking in and sharing the bounty, please do contact me,” he says. Paul and Helen Stickland are a couple whose allotment took them on an unusual journey. They took > | 67

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over three allotments eight years ago at a site close to The Gryphon School. “We were rubbish at vegetables,” grins Helen. “It wasn’t until dahlias came along that we got ignited.” Paul agrees. “We love colour and flowers in the house and it is a stipulation of our relationship that flowers should be in our life.” When the allotment came up it was Paul and Helen’s ‘eureka’ moment and, since they find gardening in their courtyard at home more of a challenge, the space has essentially become their garden. For their daughter Tabitha, eight, it is a home from home. “She is always out there with us,” says Helen. “We grow some fruit and berries and she spends her time grazing. Nothing comes home with us.” However, it was the dahlias that did it. “Helen bought me a whole set of dahlias from Penzance National Dahlia Collection,” says Paul, “and that was it.” Their allotment became a plentiful mass of glorious flora and people began to take notice. People began to ask if they could use their dahlias in decoration and last year Helen created a decorative installation in Eype church, where the band she sings with played. A few pictures went on Instagram and before the Sticklands knew it, florists were contacting them. Right now there is a movement towards flowers with provenance. As with food, people are moving away from flowers imported from far-off places; florists in particular are seeking ways to source this demand from the UK. “We can’t sell from our allotment,” says Paul – that is one of the rules – “but this has given us the opportunity to try our skills as flower growers.” So with an acre of land rented from Peter and Amanda Hunt of The Toy Barn and Blackmarsh Farm, the couple have launched ‘flowers from the farm’, under the name Black Shed. “We are starting very small as we want to keep it manageable, but our hope is to provide flowers for the local community,” says Paul. “We don’t ‘force’ flowers, but plant what grows naturally in our climate,” he explains. The result of their toil has been spectacular and is already quite the local attraction. In the meantime, Paul and Helen’s beloved allotment along with those of their many green-fingered neighbours, will continue to provide a regular source of food, health and happiness, not to mention years of magical childhood memories for Tabitha and friends. If you would like find out more and register for an allotment in Sherborne, contact To join Robin in his vineyard, contact For further information on Paul and Helen’s flowers visit | 71

Food & Drink

TEA & CAFFEINE Michelle and Rob Comins, Comins Tea

Rob tea tasting in Darjeeling


e are very lucky to be asked a great number of specific questions in our teahouses. One of the most common topics is caffeine, so this month we thought we would share a little more information from one of our previous website blogs. Firstly, all true teas – those made from the camellia sinensis plant – contain caffeine. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is soluble in water and extracted when brewed. Teas in general have around a third of the caffeine of a similar serving of coffee, although as we will see there are many factors that affect this. Simply put, it 72 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

is not possible to generalise about caffeine levels in tea. However, there are some factors that allow an informed decision to be made. The best explanations I could find were in an article by tea expert Nigel Melican and also in Jane Pettigrew’s book The New Tea Companion, which you can buy online or at our tea houses. Before getting into the details it is useful to understand that caffeine is a methylxanthine, a compound used by plants to discourage the nibbling of new buds or shoots. This helps explain why many of the various factors explored below effect the level of caffeine in your tea. So let’s go into detail.

Factor one: the plant

A. The variety. Two varieties of the tea plant camellia sinensis are ‘assamica’ and ‘sinensis’, meaning ‘from Assam’ and ‘from China’ respectively. The Chinese ‘sinensis’ has smaller leaves of 5-12cm with bushes growing up to one metre high, while the Assam ‘assamica’ has larger leaves of up to 20cm with trees growing up to 20 metres. In general sinensis plants are lower in caffeine than assamica ones, so African teas that are mainly assamica variety are higher in caffeine than Chinese ones. B. The varietal. Taking this to a smaller scale, we can look at the different varietals – or bush varieties – of the tea plant. There are variations in caffeine levels between all these, caused by the plant evolving over time to best suit its environment. This change can also be controlled by the farmer, by his or her propagation of plants and the choosing of a certain plant because of a desirable characteristic – increased resistance to insects for example. C. The altitude. Another controlling factor is the altitude at which the plant grows. The higher the growing environment the lower the caffeine level, presumably due to the reduced numbers of insects. This variation in insect numbers may also be why growing season is also a factor. The faster growing seasons of spring and summer produce greater levels of caffeine. D. How the plant is grown. The final element concerned with the plant itself is how it is grown in the first place. If it is from clonal vegative propagation (a cutting fixed to root stock) rather than planted as a seedling, caffeine levels can be 100% higher. A real-life comparison is between well-fertilised, fast-growing young tips in African clonal plants, which yield caffeine levels of 5-6% source, and older-leaf, China-type seedling bushes, under-fertilised in the autumn season, which have low caffeine levels of 1-1.5%. Factor two: human impact

A. The actions of the grower. When a plant is given a lot of nitrogen fertiliser, caffeine is higher. This is common practice in Japan. Staying in Japan, another human action increases levels. This is the practice of leaf shading whilst the plant is growing. Leaves for gyokuro, for example, can be shaded for around twenty days before picking. This increases caffeine, but also increases an

amino acid called L-theanine, which has the affect of moderating the release of caffeine, so the higher amount is released over a longer period of time. B. The part of the tea plant that is picked. A tea that is made from leaf buds and tips has more than one using only the leaf. Young leaf buds have the highest concentration, as this is the time when it needs the most protection from insects. It also matters how the plucking is done – the higher the standard, the higher the caffeine. C. Production methods. The instant the leaf is picked it starts to wilt, a process called withering. Slow withering at a moderate temperature results in the highest caffeine. Another step in the processing of some teas – oxidation – reduces caffeine. Oxidation is what causes a tea leaf to become darker and more astringent in taste. Green teas are not oxidised, whereas black teas are fully oxidised. D. How you prepare the tea. Once the processing is finished and the tea is in your cup, you can still impact on the caffeine level. The higher the water temperature you use, the higher the amount of caffeine released and the faster the speed of extraction. E. Decaffeination process. The last area to look at is decaffeination of tea. One important thing to know is that none of the processes available completely rid the leaf of caffeine. They can, however, leave chemical residue behind, greatly reduce the flavour or make a cheap tea expensive. It is far better to explore the various caffeine-free infusions available. In conclusion, without chemically measuring each spoon of tea leaf you use, it is impossible to say how much caffeine there is in it. All you can hope to do is make a rough estimate, but for this you need to know where you tea is from, how it was grown, processed, picked and brewed. We drink our teas regularly and over time have developed a knowledge of how they affect us all. Of course the effect of caffeine is different for everyone, but my advice is that if you prefer your tea to relax rather than stimulate, come in to ask us which teas to avoid and which to try. References : Caffeine and Tea: Myth and Reality by Nigel Melican The New Tea Companion, by Jane Pettigrew | 73

Food & Drink




really do think that September is the most bountiful month. The gardens are giving us their harvest and the hedgerows, too. I love to pick blackberries, or brambles as they are often called, and I also pick apples, figs, grapes and plums from my own garden, which provides us with pies, tarts, jams and chutneys in abundance. 74 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

This month’s recipe is one of my ‘standby’ recipes; if unexpected visitors arrive I can prepare a pudding in a matter of minutes, as I always keep a stock of ready-made meringues and nests. The fillings can be any fruit in season – which, in September, can include blackberries.



180g egg whites, at room temperature* 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 320g caster sugar 1/4 tsp vanilla extract Gel food colours, in red, orange, yellow, green and blue 300ml double cream 1 tsp icing sugar 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 500g fruit in season, such as blackberries, strawberries and blueberries Icing sugar, for sprinkling Mint or thyme sprigs, to decorate *I weigh egg whites for accuracy and leave overnight in a covered bowl so that some of the water evaporates


What you will need

• Two flat baking sheets, ideally without a lip, lined with either baking parchment or silicon liners. Draw six 10cm circles to guide your piping and place the parchment upside down on the baking sheet, so the pencil won’t be in contact with the meringue • Large piping bag, fitted with a JEM 1G star nozzle, or a round 2cm nozzle • A fine, artist’s paintbrush, bought specifically for culinary use. Don’t use one you have been painting with! • A stand mixer with whisk attachment saves a lot of your time and effort, but an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk will do Method

1 Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and set the oven to 100C. 2 Place the egg whites with the cream of tartar in the mixing bowl and whisk on medium until the mixture reaches soft peak stage. Add the vanilla extract and turn the mixer up to high. 3 Gradually add a teaspoon of the caster sugar to the




egg white at a time, allowing a few seconds between each spoonful. Continue whipping until the whites are shiny and hold stiff peaks. Take a little mixture between your finger and thumb; it should feel smooth. If it feels gritty, beat the mixture a little more to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. Stand the prepared piping bag inside a large glass and, using the paint brush, paint a line from the nozzle end of the inside of the piping bag towards the edge of the bag in the colours of your choice. Place about half of the mixture in the bag, but do not overfill as this will require you to squeeze too hard, losing some of the precious air bubbles in the mixture. TIP Blob a small amount of mixture to the underside of the parchment at this stage to stick it to the baking sheet. Holding the piping bag vertically, start at the middle of the circle guide and pipe around in a spiral shape until you reach the outer edge of the circle. When you reach this point, lift the piping bag a little higher and pipe on top of the outer circle of meringue. Do this three times to build up the sides of the nest, trying not to take the flow of the nozzle away from the nest. When the nest is the required height, quickly pull the nozzle away sideways to finish off neatly. Using a little cold water on your finger, dab the last piped spot to create a smooth finish. Repeat this with all the circles, refilling the piping bag when required. If you have any mixture left, use the second sheet to pipe meringues for sandwiching together. Place the meringues in the oven and bake for 1½-2 hours, until the meringues are firm enough that they release easily without sticking. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar to allow the meringues to continue to dry out; two hours is usually enough, but you can leave them overnight. Store in an airtight container until required. TIP If ever I find a little bag of silica in any bought items, I save them and place them in my container of meringues to absorb any moisture. However, do not allow them to be in contact with the meringues. To fill the nests, place the double cream in a bowl with the icing sugar and the vanilla extract and beat with a hand electric mixer until soft peaks are formed. Either spoon or pipe the cream into the nests, top with the fruit of your choice and decorate with mint or thyme. Just before serving, sift a little icing sugar onto each nest. | 75

Food & Drink



Sasha Matkevich, Head Chef and Owner, The Green with Jack Smith, Apprentice Chef

ennel has an unusual but great flavour and it’s extremely good for you. I use the bulbs of Florence fennel or Fenchel, an alpine variety harvested in the early winter. Also, if you are lucky enough to get hold of some small fresh ceps, they make a perfect garnish for this dish when thinly sliced and tossed in a little lemon juice with olive oil. Serves 4 76 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


300g organic spelt 3 cloves garlic 1 lemon 5 sprigs thyme 50g butter

½ large onion, diced 100ml white wine 2 heads fennel 1 litre vegetable stock Salt and pepper


1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add two of the cloves of garlic, the sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper to the water. Chop off the fennel tops and cut the bulbs into halves, then add to the water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. 2 While the fennel is braising, make the risotto. Melt

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butter in a pan and add the onion and one minced clove of garlic and cook on a low heat until the onion is translucent. Next, add the spelt and the white wine, stirring until the wine has evaporated completely. After this, begin adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time, making sure to keep stirring in between ladles. This process should take around 20-30 mins. Once the spelt has become soft, season to taste and add some of the cooking water from the fennel to finish. 3 To serve, colour the fennel in a frying pan with olive oil, thyme and garlic, place on top of the risotto and garnish with fennel tops and balsamic vinegar.

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Food & Drink

THE LOIRE David Copp


he Loire valley is one of the most historic regions of France and also one of its most beautiful. From source to estuary, the royal river flows 1000 kilometres past majestic châteaux and stately homes. Its history, art and architecture, its literary associations and its wines make it attractive to visit. It is also the closest of the great French wine regions to Dorset. The Loire valley offers an extraordinary range of microclimates. This is ideal for the production of fine and distinctive wines, which tend to be lighter in body and style than the wines of more southerly French wine regions and adds to their charm. It is not only the leading region for the production of French still white wines, but also some truly excellent sparkling wines and top-class cabernet franc reds. 80 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Since the successful 1986 launch of Cloudy Bay, New Zealand’s signature wine has been sauvignon blanc. There is a tendency to forget that the middle Loire was the birthplace of sauvignon blanc and still produces some of the most delightful white wines in the world from two village appellations, facing each other across the river. Sancerre is slightly fuller bodied; pouilly-fumé more perfumed, as its name suggests. I like the mineral edge of Sancerre, but both wines will keep at their best after two to three years. The same region also produces excellent lighter-style pinot noirs and I am grateful to William Christopher for introducing me to Jacques Rouzé’s 2014 Domainebottled Reuilly, 12.5 abv. Travelling down-river towards the Atlantic, the

next classic fine wine region is Vouvray. It produces a range of beguiling white wines at different levels of sweetness, from dry, through off-dry, to medium dry to sweet. Domaine Huet owns some of the very best vineyards and produces some of the most exquisite and distinguished fine wines I have tasted. Don’t rely on my word; go and see for yourself. Having visited Vouvray proceed further downstream to Saumur-Champigny, where cabernet franc really comes into its own in Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil. There are few places in the world – St Emilion, of course, and Villány in southern Hungary – that can better the freshness and aroma, the purity of fruit, the sound tannic structure and the fine colour of the Loire cabernet francs. It is the freshness of

the brambly fruit flavours that I like, particularly when served lightly chilled. Climate change has helped the Loire’s red grapes ripen more fully. Apart from gracious pinot noirs and brambly cabernet francs you will find some truly delightful expressions of gamay, the grape of Beaujolais. I write with affection about Chinon, the first Loire red I ever tasted. In 1957 they were fairly straightforward light red wines, but ideal for a student on a modest budget. However, over the last 60 years Chinon has come of age and now offers excellent domaine wines with gorgeous deep red colours. Chinon is a pretty place to visit; inevitably there is a château. But it is also where François Rabelais was born, where Richard the Lionheart died and where Joan of Arc came to entreat Charles VII to allow her to do battle with the English in 1429. Saumur is the centre of the sparkling wine industry because the limestone hills on the north bank produce wonderfully balanced white wines and allow deep cool cellars to be built for storing the precious liquid. Many leading champagne houses own vineyards in the region, producing stylish, top-quality sparkling wines at reasonable cost. The secret of their success is ripe fruit, méthode champenoise production and ageing in deep, cool cellars. Anjou, another forty kilometres downstream, originally intended to build its reputation on sweet white wines from hand-picked, late-harvest chenin blanc grapes. Sweet wine is still made in the Côteaux du Layon, a large growing area ten miles south of Angers, before Bonnezeaux. However, the region became well known for its sweetish rosé wines. It has now graduated to delicately scented, off-dry, cabernet franc rosé wines, altogether a different proposition. Perhaps the finest Anjou wines are made on south-facing slopes north of the Loire at Savennières, where La Roche aux Moines and La Coulée de Serrant, individual vineyard appellations, are excellent. At last the long, lazy Loire reaches ‘Neptune’s vineyard’ on the shores of the Atlantic. This is where Muscadet is produced, which tastes so marvellous with mussels and other local seafood. I find Muscadet, made from the melon de Bourgogne variety, a sibling of Chardonnay, more interesting when bottled straight from the fermentation vat and labelled sur lie. This is because the lees of the wine deepen its flavour and texture. Sancerre to Muscadet is a long journey, but one worth taking if you like kind, gracious, hearty wines. | 81

Animal Care



Mark Newton-Clarke, MA VetMB PhD MRCVS, Newton Clarke Veterinary Surgeons

hat goes around comes around; an old saying that so often proves to be true. When I qualified I worked in Grantham and saw first-hand many infectious diseases that, happily, are rare in this part of Dorset. However, the ease with which animals can cross borders and the rise of pet imports into the UK has resulted in an increase in both novel (to these shores) and traditional diseases that were uncommon until recently. Several factors can be identified that contribute to this unfortunate state of affairs – fashionable breeds bred on a large scale in Eastern Europe find a seemingly unlimited market in this country and puppies ‘rescued’ from Eire can travel via Northern Ireland to the mainland with few or no safeguards to their health or welfare. Parvo is a viral infection of dogs that primarily affects puppies and causes life-threatening dysentery 82 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

and heart disease. It began, we believe, with a mutation in the feline equivalent, which we call panleukopenia or feline enteritis. The mutant virus was able to cross species to affect dogs and in the early 1970s an epidemic caused widespread death and suffering. The vaccine manufacturers responded with an effective vaccine, resulting in a rapid decline in cases. Now the disease is endemic, meaning it exists in the population at a certain level. This level is measured using incidence (appearance of new cases) and prevalence (number of cases at any one time). Being highly infectious, whole litters are often affected as the disease is spread by faecal contamination, either through direct contact or indirectly on shoes and clothing. Parvo is also quite a tough virus, able to survive outside in cold, wet muddy conditions for weeks or even months. For this reason I recommend that puppies yet to receive their full vaccination course stay away from

ditches and streams – leptospirosis being an additional reason for this advice, since it is water-borne. I have not seen more than a handful of parvo virus cases in this area in the last 18 years, until now. All were in imported puppies or from unknown breeders, so take heed. The incubation of the disease is usually five to seven days and the symptoms start with vomiting, abdominal pain and then diarrhoea which contains blood. Many puppies suffer from mild gastroenteritis after arriving at a new home, but they are bright, eating well and do not look ill. This is very different from the parvo case, in which the little pup looked forlorn to the point of collapse, was unable to keep even liquids down and needed intensive care just to have a chance of survival. The high-dependency nature of the treatment is not the only challenge, as the infection needs to be contained with barrier nursing, with other in-patients protected or preferably removed to another treatment centre. The best protection against parvo virus infection in dogs is vaccination of the mother, so that the puppies gain antibodies before and after birth, and vaccination of the puppies when this protection starts to fade around at seven or eight weeks. Vaccines available differ in their quality – the best ones should provide protection for at least three years after your dog has reached adulthood and been boosted at 14 months’ old. An antibody titre test can help determine the need for further booster vaccinations but most people opt for three-yearly vaccination, not forgetting the leptospira vaccine must be boosted every year to give continuing protection. For this reason, we do not give the same vaccines every year, choosing those that are needed at the time. We need to re-learn the lessons of the past, balancing the modern requirements for free trade across borders with common-sense application of animal welfare standards and prevention of the spread of infectious disease. Quarantine for rabies was commonplace 20 years ago, before the widespread use of vaccination, and used to last for six months due to the extended incubation period of the disease. Parvo needs a much shorter monitoring period due to its relatively short incubation of a week or so. If the import of puppies is to continue on the present scale, the UK needs to take back control of its borders. Where have I heard that before?

Sherborne Surgery Swan House Lower Acreman Street 01935 816228

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Animal Care

84 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

ALPACA CARE AND HUSBANDRY Gemma Loader BVetMed (Hons) MRCVS, The Kingston Veterinary Group


lpacas are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Many of the problems we see as vets are often due to inadequate care and husbandry. There are no licenced vaccines or medications for use in alpacas in the UK, so their use is dependent on veterinary advice, previous experience and independent drug trials. Reproduction

The gestation of an alpaca is approximately 11.5 months. However this can vary quite considerably, so realistically +/- one month of this. Female alpacas should be mated from approximately 14 months of age, when they have achieved at least two thirds of their adult bodyweight. After calving, the female can return to oestrus rapidly and may be caught by the male again from seven days post-birthing. However, it is advisable to wait at least a couple of weeks before re-breeding. Females are induced ovulators. This means that they will only release an egg from the ovaries once the male has served them. Once this has taken place there is what is known as a ‘spit-off ’, which can confirm to you that the female is pregnant. Commonly the female will reject the male once she has been served and spit at him to demonstrate this. There is generally a three-time ‘spit-off ’, with a week between each – once when the egg is released from the ovary, secondly when the egg is fertilised and thirdly when the pregnancy has held. If a female is receptive to the male after previously being served, this generally means that they haven’t conceived. Care of the cria, or newborn

Crias should have their navel dressed with iodine solution (1-3%) as soon as possible after birth to avoid infections tracking up through the umbilicus. Crias should receive 250-500ml colostrum (mother’s first milk) in the first six hours of life and gain approximately 10-20% of their bodyweight during the first 24hrs of life. Ascertain the cria is naturally suckling and bonds well with its mother. It is worth checking the mother’s udder to ensure that it is full and that the teats are expressing milk. If there is an udder problem or for some reason the cria is not suckling well you may need to intervene, firstly by encouraging the cria to suckle mum via gentle persuasion

beneath the mother and secondly by supplementary feeding. Goat or cow colostrum can be used as a substitute. Diet

This is a fairly complex area, but basic guidelines are: primarily alpacas require a grass diet, plus hay or haylage as a forage supplement when grass is sparse or of low nutritional value at certain times of year. Concentrate feeding – otherwise known as nuts or mixes in bags – are needed as a source of protein and vitamins and minerals, but beware not to overdo the concentrate and cause the alpacas to become over-fat. The best concentrate ration is camelibra. Alpacas have evolved to live in an environment that receives a large amount of sunlight. Vitamin D is produced when UV radiation is absorbed by the alpaca’s skin. Vitamin D is important for bone health and growth and also for regulating calcium and other minerals in the body. When there is a lack of UV exposure – such as when living in the UK – alpacas are at risk of developing a similar condition to rickets, whereby their bones become weak and bendy due to the lack of calcification, which in turn arises from a lack of vitamin D. It is therefore necessary to supplement alpacas with vitamin D, which can be via oral route or injection. This needs to be delivered during the winter months at two-monthly intervals (Nov, Jan and March), but may also be supplemented at other times of the year depending on the weather and levels of sunlight. Common problems

Teeth are often an issue in alpacas, as their incisor teeth are constantly growing but are generally worn down through grazing. However, if there is some form of malalignment or the diet is not quite correct, resulting in no natural grazing wear, these teeth can become overgrown. If this occurs, they may need filing down. It is wise not to breed from animals with malaligned jaws or teeth, as this abnormal trait should be bred out of them. For any help with your alpacas contact the Kingston Veterinary Group on 01935 813288 | 85

On Foot



Nicky King, The Eastbury Hotel and The Three Wishes

alking with friends is a very enjoyable way to spend a morning – and when you combine it with lunch, it’s even better. Having said that, my return to work in the afternoon proved very difficult as I was feeling rather too relaxed! This week I enjoyed a fabulous walk with my friend (and frequent Sherborne Times contributor) Lisa Osman, who runs a delightful farmhouse bed-and-breakfast and cookery school in Wimborne St Giles. She managed to sneak away from her busy schedule of Aga cookery courses, and I from the hotel, to meet and undertake a stunning walk on the Cranborne Chase. Seeking inspiration, I looked on online and found a manageable walk of five miles – the perfect length if you’re planning a leisurely lunch. It started in Chettle on paper, though we started halfway round in Farnham. First published in April 2016, this walk takes in the villages of Chettle, Farnham and Minchington. The beautiful Chettle House, described as being one of the finest baroque houses in the country, was nestled under some scaffolding and tarpaulin; clearly a huge amount of restorative work is being undertaken on what is a stunning Queen Anne house. The walk proved to be perfect for ambling walkers, with only one stile and a wonderful combination of tracks, lanes and footpaths, with just a gentle undulation. Even after the heavy rain we have experienced in the last few weeks, there was little mud underfoot. An added bonus were paths wide enough for us to walk two abreast – perfect for catching up! Lunch at the museum in Farnham topped off the walk perfectly and the three exhausted dogs had a well-earned rest. Running a hotel can often result in snatched catch-ups with friends, but this was leisurely and allowed us to spend time comparing notes about running premises offering accommodation – even if we were comparing a 22-bedroom hotel with a two-bedroom B&B! The joys and perils of Trip Advisor exercised our tongues for a very long time, as did tales of challenging customers! A lovely walk, good company and a welcome diversion before heading back to the hotel to finalise Christmas menus – yes, really! For details of this year’s Christmas celebrations contact or call 01935 813131

86 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

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THE MISSING LINK Peter Henshaw, Dorset Cyclists Network & Mike Riley Rileys Cycles


magine a road with no cars on it. A smooth surface sweeping through beautiful countryside with no traffic. Just walkers, other cyclists and maybe the odd horse rider. That, my friends, is a traffic-free path. Although Sherborne doesn’t have any, more’s the pity, there are some good networks of these things in Dorset – and not too far away. Traffic-free or ‘shared use’ paths don’t allow motorised traffic, so they make for safe, hassle-free cycling. Ask many people why they don’t cycle more often – or at all – and fear of speeding cars and HGVs often tops the list. For them and for families with kids learning to ride, these paths are ideal, offering a safe environment to learn bike control before venturing out onto the road. In towns, they often run through parks and along seafronts, but in the country disused railway lines provide the ideal base; railways were built to avoid big hills and they still do. Older readers might still have distant memories of the old Somerset & Dorset Railway, which closed back in 1967. Originally it linked Bath and Bournemouth by train, but bits of it have been rebuilt as traffic-free paths. The most spectacular of these runs from Sturminster Newton to Blandford, a good 10 miles of easy riding with fine views of Hambledon and Hod Hills. There are a couple of diversions, but it’s fairly uninterrupted 88 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

and there is easy access from Sturminster’s market car park. Dorset County Council is especially proud of the last few miles into Blandford – wide, well surfaced and looking out over the Stour valley. For tea, cake or racier refreshments there are a few pubs en route, plus the restored Shillingstone station. Eventually, the North Dorset Trailway Network charity would like to reopen the entire Somerset & Dorset Railway as a traffic-free path. They have already extended it a couple of miles down to Spetisbury and a link-up to Stalbridge is on the cards. Talking of plans, there’s a long-term one to convert the old Bridport branch line for walkers and cyclists, which would make up another 10 miles spanning from Maiden Newton to West Bay. A mile has been built so far and there should be more on the way. If you fancy a bit of beach cruising instead, then it’s worth knowing that you can cycle the entire length of Bournemouth seafront. That’s 10 flat miles from Sandbanks to Hengistbury Head and, with a salty breeze, accompaniment all the way. It can get busy, especially in the summer, and in July and August you can only ride before 10am and after 6pm. Pedestrians have priority too, so it’s definitely one for cruising rather than racing. To get there, catch a train to Poole and ride round the harbour to Sandbanks – another nice route. Or, if

you’re feeling more ambitious, ride from Sherborne to Sturminster, then the North Dorset Trailway to Blandford and a quiet back road to Wimborne, where you can pick up the Castleman Trail – yet another old railway path, which takes you down to Poole Harbour. Maybe that one is more of a weekend trip, with a stay in one of Bournemouth’s clifftop hotels. Finally, remember the 2012 Sailing Olympics at Weymouth? There was lots of talk at the time of an ‘Olympic legacy’. Well, it exists in the form of a superb network of traffic-free paths from Dorchester to Portland. As an aside, even Sherborne has its own modest Olympic legacy – the cycle parking outside West End Food Co-op is genuine ex-Weymouth Olympic infrastructure. Anyway, the upshot of that 2012 largesse is that you can now get on your bike in Dorchester and ride all the way to Portland without touching a road. Actually, that’s not quite true, you do have to cross the very busy Dorchester bypass – a glaring oversight, but one easily avoided by taking Herringston Road out of town. Then it’s a wide path up and over the Ridgeway, with a good view of Weymouth Bay on a clear day, past Radipole Lake and linking up with the Rodwell Trail – yet another repurposed railway – which takes you down to a final stretch of shared-use pavement alongside Chesil

Beach to Portland. Not a completely flat 9.5 miles, but they’re all good fun. Now imagine a link like that between Milborne Port, Sherborne and Yeovil – that’s worth lobbying for. PH ———————————————————————


eter and Anna are admirable advocates for cycling and eschewing car use, however many of us have cars and can access off road rides that are less convenient to reach. Alison and I have explored several routes travelling to the start/finish by car. As well as enjoying the aforementioned Poole and Sturminster trailway rides; we have cycled Chard to Ilminster, Curry Rivel along Bridgewater Canal, Bristol to Bath (easily reached by train), Tarka trail from Barnstable and alongside the canal from Brassknocker Basin to Bath and the Camel trail in Cornwall. To find cycle routes there are some excellent resources including Sustrans maps (, Tourist Information guides, web sites such as and We keep a few guides and maps at Riley’s Cycles to help folks find routes. MR | 89


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Body & Mind

EYES FRONT Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms


any people struggle with various creams and serums in a bid to make their eye problems less visible. Often a sign of ageing or tiredness, under-eye bags, dark circles and puffiness are something that everyone will experience at some point, particularly after a late night or early morning. The eye area is one of the more vulnerable parts of your face and requires a different approach due to the thinness and structure of the skin. From our late twenties onwards, it is good to use a specialist product to moisturise and condition the area around the eyes. Before this time allowing a little of your facial moisturiser to venture closer to the eye is sufficient. However, as we age our skin becomes dryer and thinner and using face creams in this area will eventually lead to puffiness and drainage issues. Eye products vary in their consistency and, whilst it is largely down to personal preference which one you use, some textures have greater benefit for different conditions. For example, a gel is particularly good for puffiness and dark circles due to its cooling action. Creams are generally more suited to drier skin types and serums are a lightweight cocktail of anti-ageing ingredients that work on a deeper level. Your eye product should become a vital part of your daily skincare routine to delay the early onset of ageing. After cleansing, gently use a fingertip to apply a small amount to the whole eye socket and take it out

towards the temples. As the skin is so thin here, it only needs a small amount. A general rule of thumb for eye products is to use a blob the size of a grain of rice; this should be sufficient for both eyes, top and bottom. Any more is a waste of product as the skin can’t absorb it all, which potentially blocks the delicate lymph capillaries – resulting in puffy eyes in the morning. Another common occurrence in this area are milia, particularly under the eye, but they can also occur on the eyelids. Milia are small white pearls or bumps that form under the skin surface due to too-rich or too much of a product being applied. These can be removed by an experienced beauty therapist. Your eye area may require a different eye product for day and night to fully address concerns around the clock. For example, a brightening gel could be used in the morning, containing ingredients such as antioxidant vitamin C and stimulating caffeine. This could be followed in the evening by a richer eye serum containing hyaluronic acid and retinol to work on smoothing and firming the skin. Facials and microcurrent non-surgical face lifts can help to lift and drain the eye area, which gives a more youthful appearance. Wearing sunglasses will also help to shield the eyes and reduce the fine lines caused by squinting in the sunshine – assuming we see any! | 91

Body & Mind

WHAT TO WEAR Lindsay Punch, Stylist


hile some of us would love a wardrobe that resembles a movie star’s and a shoe collection to rival the Harrods shoe room, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your existing wardrobe. From accessorising to tailoring, here are some of my tips for refining your current collection. Keep it simple. As Coco Chanel said, “Simplicity is the key note of all true elegance”. Clean lines and simple silhouettes created with wardrobe staples such as a crisp white shirt are the ultimate look of sophistication and provide the perfect backdrop for a statement necklace. Don’t overdo it with too many accessories; if in doubt, take one off before leaving the house. Some prints can easily look outdated; what you love one season may not take you through to the next. However, leopard print will always be a classic and has been since Christian Dior introduced it into his collection in the 1950s. Adding a little leopard to an outfit, like black, upgrades and harmonises any look. Tailoring Nipping in a waist or taking up a hem line to follow the lines of your body adds instant polish to the most worn-in wardrobe staples. Adding a little budget for tailoring an inexpensive high-street buy to create the perfect fit can elevate your item way beyond its actual price tag. Think about a man in a perfectfitting suit compared to one in a a baggy, ill-fitting equivalent. Which one would you assume spent more on their look? The same rules apply to women! Layering Layering with timeless outerwear elevates denim, floaty dresses and straight-leg trousers. Draping a structured blazer or leather jacket over your shoulders oozes confidence, sassiness and style. A sleek look with 92 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

minimal effort. Go monochrome If you are a follower of my social media channels on Facebook (@LindsayPunchStyling) or Instagram (@StylistMum) you will see I am a lover of black and white and head-to-toe neutrals. Well, that is how my style personality is wired. Not only is it elongating, but a tonal outfit will always look puttogether with minimal effort. Layer shades of grey, camels and creams and bright whites on white. Accessorising Well-chosen accessories can make or break an outfit. Silk scarves on any budget add a touch of Parisian glamour; tie them round your handbag, neck or wrist for a classy colour pop. There used to be a time when gold costume jewellery looked brassy, yellow and cheap. However, there are now affordable gold statement accessories available on the high street to take your outfit up a notch and make it look like you’ve just stepped off the runway. Choose a brushed or imitation antique gold for a more luxurious look. There is one thing I’ve noticed as a personal stylist is that most people want to feel like a millionaire, regardless of their budget. So if you do want to feel chic and put-together with minimal effort, sometimes less is more. Having said that, you can dress simply all day, every day, but if it doesn’t fit or make the most of your shape or personality, it is not a good investment. Lindsay holds style classes to help you find good quality, affordable clothing, make the most of your existing wardrobe and flatter your shape and style.

Abbey Brides SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 10.00 - 13.00

WEDDING WONDERS + CREATIVE CREATORS Meet the creators behind the creations at our FREE Saturday gathering

Beautiful bridal gowns & dream dresses 81 Cheap Street, Sherborne Contact Alison 01935 321375 | 07890 708552 @AbbeyBrides


Including Ecco Gelato, Love+Grace, Mane Attraction, Ham Hill Cider and many more! Book your FREE ticket online at

Booking essential

It’s free to join in but we kindly ask for a donation to our charities.

@ The Farm West Down Farm, Corton Denham, Sherborne, DorsetDT9 4LG 01935 350008 / 07729 384241

"Leave the house confident in the colours and shapes that make you, you"

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

You could change someone’s life – maybe your own

Colour Analysis, Shape & Style, Consultations, Wardrobe Re-styling, Personal Shopping, Online Shopping, Mens Styling, Bridal Packages, New Mum Styling, Colour & Style Parties, Skincare & Makeup Advice, Gift Vouchers Available 07969 557004 INFO@LINDSAYPUNCHSTYLING.CO.UK WWW.LINDSAYPUNCHSTYLING.CO.UK | 93

Body & Mind

POST-SUMMER BLUES Samantha Kirk, Centre Manager, Oxley Sports Centre


eptember is the month for change. The leaves are turning yellow and everyone is going back to school or work. There is a freshness in the air, leaving people feeling positive and open to changing hesitant attitudes towards exercise. I think everyone has that image in their head of themselves looking fit and wearing what they want or have seen advertised in the latest fashion magazine. However, reality is not quite the same and so we often spend hours a day dreaming about exercising and how it will change us. We all know that exercise is a great stress reliever and can help with depression, but it also has many other added health benefits. It strengthens your heart, increases energy levels, lowers blood pressure, improves muscle tone and strength, strengthens and builds bones, helps reduce body fat and makes you look fit and healthy. There are also plenty of options available to everyone. Whether it’s one-to-one personal training or group exercise, running or just walking the dog with friends to increase your physical activity, if you just add 94 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

one extra activity to your schedule, you’re already on your way to success. A routine is the key. Find something that suits you and fits into your week, every week, then you will stand a better chance of continuing into the next month. It will soon become a habit and you’ll suddenly find it hard not to do it. Once you have made that commitment to changing your routine, stick with it. The first couple of weeks will seem easy and you will be enjoying your new-found fitness and energy. However, after a month or so you may start to flag. This is the danger zone – excuses will start popping into your head and life will try to get in the way. Don’t give in, but push on through this time and you will find that your resistance to quitting will pay dividends. The endorphins will start to kick in and you will not only begin to feel fitter but happier, less stressed and mentally brighter. So what are you waiting for? Get up off the couch and start planning your new regime today! For more inspiration, go to to see what’s on offer

THERAPY ROOMS & OFFICE SPACE Our therapy rooms hold a diverse clinic of practitioners each running their own practice. We use and sell Neal’s Yard Remedies products within our therapies. Pop into the shop to order your bathroom essentials or book a free one to one skin consultation & mini facial. Parties & workshops available. We have rooms ready to be rented for either long or short terms or meetings. Quiet space with heating, desks, seating and wifi. T 01963 220937 W Find us at: West Down Business Centre, West Down Farm,Corton Denham, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4LG

Pop in for more information or call

01935 507290

email or visit

56 Cheap St, Sherborne DT9 3BJ


With Group Exercise the Gym and Swimming All on your doorstep For more information please call 01935 818270 or go to our website Bradford Road, Sherborne DT9 3DA

OPENING HOURS: Monday: 8.30am ~ 5pm Tuesday: 8.30am ~ 5pm Wednesday: 8.30am ~ 5pm Thursday: 8.30am ~ 5pm Friday: 8.30am ~ 5pm Saturday: 7.30am ~ 4pm Walk in, relax. No appointment necessary

56 Cheap St, Sherborne DT9 3BJ | 95

Body & Mind

BACK-TO-SCHOOL BUGS Loretta Lupi-Lawrence, The Sherborne Rooms


ack-to-school signifies change for us all – a brand-new season, new weather and new opportunities and challenges. The new season will bring a colder autumnal climate, meaning we change our wardrobe choices, how we socialise and rethink our skin routines. We light fires, start making stews and ditch the BBQs; we light our houses up earlier and get cosy with hot chocolate on tap. It’s all about change and often we don’t give it too much thought, other than the obligatory moaning about cold weather! Personally, I love this time of year. With the shift in focus, it feels like a fresh start. However, there is one detail I really dislike about this time of year: the germs that creep back into our lives through our children! Our family are well versed in how to cope with colds and coughs, given that our twin toddlers always seem to have something brewing during these months. Nurseries and schools seem to be the place to hang out in order to catch something horrid! It’s exhausting to deal with a constant stream of illness whilst trying to ward it off yourself. Add in the pressures that ‘back-to-school’ brings and you’re on your knees before you know it! So how do I help our family get through this constant barrage of runny noses and chest infections? I draw on my Neal’s Yard Remedies toolkit and for us it’s lots of early nights, green vegetables – which I juice for them so the vegetables are unidentifiable – and freshly squeezed orange juice with added vitamin C, since 96 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

protecting your cells means a greater chance of health and vitality. Elderberry syrup is firmly in the arsenal and I view this bottle as if it’s wearing a superhero outfit!! Elderberry is a potent anti-viral herb which destroys the ability of a virus to infect a cell. Now, how cool is that? Our children love a warm cup of elderberry syrup – it is really soothing and they think it’s a treat! Other essentials are Honey & Thyme Syrup, Eucalyptus pastilles and Eucalyptus salve, which I smear on their chests and the soles of their feet. If you diffuse the oil, it helps them to breathe whilst sleeping. For daytime, I send them to nursery wearing the Eucalyptus & Cleanse essential oils on their clothing to ward off bugs and help their little noses – and, of course, dollops of love and plenty of hugs. So what about us adults? Apart from all of the above, I think the best prescription is a glass of prosecco with some elderberry syrup in it for healthy good measure, a warm bubble bath with candles and the bathroom door shut! Obviously much more effective once the little ones are hugged, soothed and tucked up in bed. Neal's Yard Remedies Catalogue Launch & Meet the Therapist. Friday 8th September, 6.30-8.30pm. The Sherborne Rooms, 56 Cheap Street. Meet the Sherborne Rooms therapists; reflexologist, osteopath, life coaches, acupuncture, counsellors, sports massage, VHT & EMDR. Free entry, refreshments and goodie bags.

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Body & Mind

THE HIDDEN BATTLE Sarah Attwood, Cert. ASK Systematic Kinesiologist, Thrive Health and Wellness


ired all the time, poor memory and concentration, muscle pain, headaches, low mood, sensitivity to light and noise, disrupted sleep… Imagine having to feel that way day in, day out. This was my life for eight years. The symptoms are widespread and changeable, but for the estimated 250,000 sufferers of CFS/ME (chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalopathy) that’s exactly how they feel every day. I was diagnosed with ME after failing to recover from a bout of glandular fever during my GCSEs. Over the next few years, my health continued to decline until my mother was having to wash me, feed me and push me in my wheelchair when I was unable to walk. Often the most frustrating part about this illness is the battle you fight behind closed doors. I felt like I was wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, as people couldn’t always see or understand the symptoms. 98 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Reactions from friends and family were polarising and often strained. After all, it’s just not normal for a previously healthy, over-achieving teenager to become chronically ill. The illness was – and indeed remains – relatively misunderstood, with multiple theories on its causes from a virus, response to a stressful or traumatic experience, to mitochondrial disruption. Children and teenagers are often the worst affected, but adults can also suffer – especially between their 20s and 40s. Hormone changes and increased stress levels, especially in the exam years for children, trigger all sorts of chemical reactions within our bodies. “It can be a difficult diagnosis to make,” the ME Association explains. “In some the effects may be minimal but in a large number, lives are changed drastically. In the young, schooling and higher education can be severely disrupted; in the working population,

employment becomes impossible for many. For all, social life and family life become restricted and in some cases severely strained. People may be housebound or confined to bed for months or years.” Einstein’s definition of insanity is to “keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. I kept trying to battle on, to try to pace and manage my energy. But I would get too excited on a ‘good’ day and overdo it, resulting in two ‘bad’ days for recovery, hidden behind closed doors. In order to break this cycle I had to do the following: Step one: Accept there was a problem. Step two: Be willing to work towards a solution, rather than burying my head in the sand. I just wanted to be normal and to be healthy. I didn’t want to spend time finding solutions, I wanted a magic wand. But as we all know, that doesn’t exist. A quick fix would not provide long-term relief. Through various treatments, including kinesiology, I worked to identify the root cause and find an approach to help manage multiple symptoms. Recovery is a long process and there will be obstacles and detours, which in hindsight often provide our greatest learnings. Managing lifestyle and stress levels are hugely important in leading a healthy, balanced life. For me, it’s an ongoing process. As life evolves, so have my methods of treatment. What worked for me in my twenties has been adapted and reviewed to have relevance in my thirties. I’m not perfect – don’t tell my husband! – and could always do more, but it’s having the willpower to return to the basics (steps one and two above) and courage to accept where things need to change. This is why having a diagnosis or label can be so helpful. We all like to know what we are facing. ME, CFS and post viral fatigue syndrome are umbrella terms and all have a plethora of causes, triggers and solutions. Diagnosis is an emotional time. Some people need labels, other do not want to be restricted by them. Whatever your approach, it is unifying to acknowledge your symptoms, to share them with your practitioner and look for commonalities. Sarah is running a workshop on ‘Stress Busting and Energy Boosting’ on Monday 2nd October 7.30pm. Book tickets via her website

Kinesiology Digestion, energy & sleep | Skin eczema & acne Food intolerance testing | Baby & Children’s clinic Nutritional support & supplements | Health talks & workshops

Thrive Health and Wellness, Sherborne Sarah Attwood Cert. ASK 07708 926000

LONDON ROAD CLINIC Health Clinic • Acupuncture • Osteopathy • Counselling • Physiotherapy • EMDR Therapy • Shiatsu

• Podiatry and Chiropody • Manual Lymphatic Drainage • Soft Tissue Therapy, Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy • Hopi Ear Candle Therapy

Tel: 01963 251860 Email: 56 London Road, Milborne Port, Sherborne DT9 5DW Free Parking and Wheelchair access | 99

Body & Mind

AN EMPTY NEST Jackie Hart, Psychodynamic Counsellor, M.St. Psychodynamic Practice (Oxon), BACP Accredited, The London Road Clinic


he revision has been done, the end-of-school prom attended and the A-level results are out. Your beloved son or daughter is off to university. Once the celebrations have ceased and you have tried to ensure that your child can operate a washing machine, cook a meal and manage their money to some extent, you are ready to deliver them and their stuff to university. For many of us this may be the first time our children have been away from home for any period of time. You may be surprised by feelings of sadness and loss. As a dedicated parent you may also wonder what your purpose is now. For some this may be a major life change. These feelings are completely normal – after all, it is the end of an era and the start of a new one. You may worry about how your child will cope and you may find that the family dynamic has changed. Gradually, however, things will settle down. Family members will readjust and you will discover that your child can function without you. You can also help yourself and your family navigate this journey by considering the following: • Feelings of sadness and loss are normal. Acknowledge and accept your feelings. • Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling. If 100 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

this doesn’t help and you continue to feel swamped by your emotions, consider talking to a counsellor. • Keep in touch with your child by whatever means works for you both – text, Skype, social media… • Remind yourself that the goal of parenthood is to raise a confident child who can function independently – congratulate yourself on a job well done! • Give your child ‘permission’ to leave home. Be positive and encourage and support them to be independent. • If your child starts to really struggle at any time, suggest they contact the university’s student support services. Universities provide – among other things – financial, academic and wellbeing support. • Be mindful about siblings – how are they coping with the departure of their brother or sister? • Rediscover and reinvest in your relationship. Enjoy some couple time. If your child’s departure has unfortunately led to tensions in the relationship that can’t be resolved, think about some couple counselling. • Factor in some ‘me time’. Now that your taxi duties are over – or at least reduced – look upon this as an opportunity to develop new interests; salsa, yoga, swimming or whatever works for you.


WE’RE PROUD TO SPONSOR ‘THE SECRET LIFE OF COWS’ with Rosamund Young | Sherborne Literary Festival 2.30pm 13th October

Shhh! GREAT HEARING IS NO SECRET You just need to know where to look... For local, independent, expert advice call us on: TEL 01935








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Body & Mind

MIGRAINE – TREATMENT AND PREVENTION Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom, GP and Complementary Practitioner, Glencairn House


igraine is characterised by recurrent, severe headaches that are usually one-sided and associated with visual disturbance and sickness. There may be other accompanying features such as alteration in sense of smell, temporary focal blindness, vertigo and even one-sided paralysis. The patient usually retreats to a darkened room for peace and quiet as well as shelter from the light. If your symptoms don’t fit this description completely, see your GP in order to have the diagnosis confirmed. Migraine tends to run in families. Migraine can occur in childhood but usually it presents as a mysterious stomach pain, called abdominal migraine. Migraine can be triggered by foods such as cheese, chocolate, caffeine and red wine. Some women have migraine before their period. Migraines can be stress-induced – which is often work-related, but strangely can also occur only at the weekend. Conventional treatment of a migraine attack is by taking ibuprofen and/or paracetamol, as well as Imigran obtained from the chemist. Anti-sickness tablets from your GP may be needed to treat the vomiting, in order to keep the pills down. If the migraines are occurring very frequently, preventative treatment is needed with other prescribed tablets. These include the beta-blocker propranolol, anti-neuralgia amitriptyline and the antiepileptic topiramate. If you prefer not to go straight to conventional or prescription medicine, complementary medicine should be considered. The herbal medicine feverfew has been used for treatment of migraine since the ancient Greeks. The Victorian herbalist Dr Culpeper recommends it for headache; one leaf to be taken daily

102 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

as a preventative. Homeopathic medicine can also be very helpful in patients with recurrent migraine. Features of the headache and associated symptoms are taken into account, while the whole-person or ‘holistic’ aspects of the patient are also considered in order to treat the ‘constitutional’ characteristics. In this process, the symptoms and the features of the patient are matched with a homeopathic medicine that catalyses or stimulates a cure. The supplements magnesium and omega-3 fish oils have been shown in studies to reduce the frequency of migraines. Try each in turn for a few months to see if they make a difference. As migraine can be triggered by stress and pressure, it is obviously worthwhile attempting to reduce these problems by addressing your work/life balance and interpersonal factors as well as considering mind-andbody techniques such as yoga, meditation, pilates or even a good game of golf ! Tension in the neck may also be relieved by manipulation – osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy and cranio-sacral. Acupuncture and Bowen Technique are also well worth considering. In summary, recurrent headache and migraine should be discussed with your GP if simple relieving medicines are not effective. If conventional treatments are not working, consider complementary and alternative medicine such as homeopathy, supplements and manipulative techniques, but also don’t forget to address any obvious precipitating factors relating to lifestyle and stress.

Hip, shoulder and back specialists on your doorstep Visit Circle’s new satellite clinic in Glencairn House, Sherborne Do you need an expert opinion? Would you like to learn more about your treatment options? Book an appointment with a consultant surgeon from Circle and get back to the things you love. Mr Andrew Chambler, shoulder & elbow specialist Mr David Shardlow, hip and knee specialist Mr Otto Von Arx, spinal specialist

Get in touch today Call 01761 422288 Email Visit Circle Satellite Clinic, Glencairn House, South Street, Sherborne DT9 3NQ

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:

A J Wakely& Sons Independent Family Funeral Directors and Monumental Masons - 24 Hour Service -

16 Newland, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3JQ Tel: 01935 816817 Please contact Clive Wakely or a member of the dedicated team for any advice or guidance 104 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

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



The Continuing Tales of George Haywood, Auctioneer by Mark Lewis


eter Cattrall was well-known as one of the leading farmers in the area but, following his wife’s death, he had struggled to cope with the farm. She had worked alongside him, helping with the milking and rearing calves, and they had been inseparable, only ever seen apart when Peter went hunting. He had built up a debt in the livestock market and George’s secretary, Mary, was as blunt as ever. “He’s lost the plot. You’d better go and see him and do what you can to help, but just remember you have a business to run. You are not a charity.” Arriving at the entrance to Manor Farm, George got out of his car and lifted the broken gate to drive the last few yards to the farmhouse. It was one of many dilapidations, including loose fence posts tied with baler twine, an abundance of weeds in the fields and the farmyard in a total mess. He knocked on the back door of the farmhouse and 106 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Peter came out. He was a good-looking, muscular man in his fifties, but his shoulders slumped with resignation. “I was half expecting you George. I need you to sell me up.” George shook his head. “Come on Peter, it’s not that drastic. Let’s sit down and talk about paying off your debts in instalments.” The kitchen was a cluttered mess, with pots and pans unwashed in the sink and the table strewn with copies of the local papers, Horse & Hound and Farmers Weekly. “Want a coffee?” George doubted there was a clean mug and gave his stock response. “Just had one Peter – thanks anyway.” George removed a cat from a chair and sat down as Peter tossed an envelope at him. “Letter from that idiot Hunter Crème telling me they want me out of the farm.” Randolph Hunter Crème, or Randy to his friends, Creamy to his detractors because he was thick and

wet, was George’s professional adversary. He worked as the – unqualified – land agent for the chartered surveyors Worthmores and represented Lord Waterman, Peter’s landlord. George read the letter with the accompanying notice to quit. “We could have fought this, Peter, if only you’d called me earlier,” said George. But a look from his client showed that he had little energy to challenge the eviction. “Bad husbandry, they call it,” said Peter, looking solemnly out of the window. George stood to leave. “I’m going to the hunt drinks at the Watermans’ this evening and, if I see His Lordship, I’ll mention it to him.” Peter scoffed. “You won’t see him in Dorset unless he’s got a day’s shooting.” As George drove to the drinks party, he pondered his client’s words. Lord Waterman was an absentee

landlord and rarely seen in the county, preferring instead to live in London. His disdain for country life made him unpopular with the locals, particularly as Lady Waterman was such a beauty. Speculation about why he deserted her was discussed regularly. Women were sympathetic and men invariably coarse, but few would mention it to Her Ladyship as she was a formidable woman. She greeted George at the entrance to the Manor House. “George! How lovely to see you. Thank you for agreeing to do the auction tonight. Whenever we meet, you are singing for your supper. You will raise as much as possible, won’t you?” George reassured her and, after the auction, Lady Waterman shook George’s hand. “A brilliant job, as always, and how lovely of everyone to be so generous. I was hoping to see Peter Cattrall, but he’s not here. Is he alright?” George knew that Lady Waterman’s husband made all the decisions on the estate, so he decided to tell her Peter’s story. When he had finished, she shook her head. “That poor man, he has been through so much. And now my pathetic louse of a husband...” She stopped herself and then looked around, saying calmly and yet with some determination, “Where’s Hunter Crème?” Two days later, George rang Worthmores and was put through to Randy, who was berating his secretary. “I ordered you to tell that toe-rag I was out!” George suppressed a laugh. “Hello, Randy. Just wanted to talk about Peter Cattrall’s rent review.” Hunter Crème treated George to some colourful expletives, before slamming the phone down. George was intrigued and visited Peter the following week. He was surprised to see the gate hanging easily on its post and new, taut, fencing down the drive. He parked in the tidy yard and was amazed to see the housekeeper from the Manor House come out of the farmhouse. When he knocked on the back door, it was opened by a clean-shaven Peter Cattrall, who invited him in to the immaculate kitchen. Before they could say anything, someone descended the staircase and there was a familiar voice. “Now then, darling, I still have enough energy...” She stopped when she saw George, but hardly missed a beat. “Oh, what a lovely surprise. Would you like a coffee?” George smiled at Lady Waterman. “That would have been lovely, but I’ve just had one. I’ll be on my way.” He decided that a discussion about Peter’s debt could wait a while longer. | 107

Lettings & Property Management

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

5 Tilton Court, Digby Road, Sherborne DT9 3NL T: 01935 816209 E:

Leave it to us this autumn Sherborne 01935 814488 108 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

Bourton (nr Wincanton) Attractive family home, five bedrooms, four receptions, kitchen with Aga, three acres of gardens (gardener included), outbuildings


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Connecting People and Property Perfectly. Our local experience, combined with our global network, means that you can rely on Knight Frank Sherborne to get you moving. If you’d like to know what your property could be worth, please contact us.

Luke Pender-Cudlip Office Head, Sherborne 01935 810 062

Simon Barker Partner, Sherborne 01935 810 064

James McKillop Partner, Country Department 020 7861 1528

Visit our unique, digital property tool at @KF_SouthWest


THE LANDLORD-TENANT RELATIONSHIP Paul Gammage and Anita Light, Ewemove Sherborne


hilst we have a shortage of homes, house prices continue to rise and first-time buyers find it increasingly hard to find the financing required to purchase, the number of people living in rented homes is going to increase. The key person in the letting cycle is the tenant. It goes without saying that a happy tenant that has a good relationship with their landlord or letting agent will stay in a home longer, thus avoiding potential void rental months for the landlord. Not only that, they will look after the property if they believe the landlord has their best interests at heart. Tenants fear landlord repercussions

A recent survey by the Citizens Advice Bureau found that 41% of tenants waited longer than they should for their landlord to carry out a repair. Of those tenants who took part in the survey, 57% told Citizens Advice that they didn’t want to force the issue with their landlord for fear of repercussions. Tenants numbering 30% said they had carried out repairs, while 14% had paid for repair work themselves. One family had spent £10,000 of their own money fixing a range of issues in their home, including a broken heating system, after repeated complaints to their landlord failed. Your responsibility as a landlord

Private landlords have a legal responsibility to fix problems within a reasonable time – usually in a month or less, or 24 hours for the most serious cases. If you fail to carry out the necessary work within a reasonable time, a court can order you to carry out a repair or award financial compensation. Current protection for tenants

New rules now apply to tenancy agreements taken on or after 1st October 2015. These protect your tenant if they complain about repairs or conditions in your property and you respond by issuing a section 21 notice. The new

110 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

rules mean a court can refuse to order eviction if certain conditions apply. If the council serves you with an improvement notice or notice requiring remedial action, the section 21 notice you’ve served on your tenant becomes invalid. Suffice to say, this is quite an in-depth topic that exceeds the scope of this piece – so what is the way forward? Steps you should take as a landlord

It should go without saying that if you’re a landlord, you should always carry out work as quickly as possible; try to imagine how you would feel if it were your family living with the issue that’s been reported. There is also more you can do: • Encourage your tenants to report issues and make it clear that you won’t retaliate. That might mean making a point of asking them on a regular basis whether everything is alright. If you don’t want to be that involved, make sure you have a good letting agent and encourage them to keep an open dialogue with your tenants. You or your letting agent needs to be proactive to show that you take your responsibilities seriously and will ensure repairs are carried out quickly, with no repercussions. • Make sure any repairs carried out are not done at unsociable times and make sure you give your tenants reasonable notice. It is your property, but it is their home after all. • Don’t leave repairs unfinished and make sure someone – you, or your agent – follows up with the tenant afterwards. At the end of the day, your tenants are likely to stay longer and treat your property better if they feel that you care about both your property and them. That has got to be a good thing for everyone. If you don’t treat them well and don’t carry out repairs quickly, you may find yourself falling foul of the new legal provisions.

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All of these reviews came from the independent customer review website

A Really Good Customer Journey Total Transparency and Honesty Anita & Paul run an estate agents like none you will have ever experienced before and believe me I have tried quite a few over the years! There’s total transparency & honesty at all times combined with expert communication – I knew what was going on every single day, not when someone decided I needed a weekly update. I had more viewings in 6 weeks than I had in the previous 6 months but from people who actually were interested in my property. Save your time, hassle and money and go to the best in the area – that’s exactly what I will be doing next time! Julie Warren Portman Court, East Chinnock

I used Paul and Anita from Ewe Move Yeovil after a rather unfruitful attempt via the traditional estate agent route. From the point of initial meeting it was clear to see the professionalism of Paul and Anita. After just two days they had over twenty interested parties and viewings started on the Monday after I signed the paperwork on Saturday, yes they moved quick. Every day I had reports as to what was happening and within the first week we had three positive offers on the table. Completion was swift. From a vendors point of view the whole experience was very satisfying, attention to detail, information on progress, communication, a really good customer journey was had. Mark Parsons, Lower Chilton, Chilton Cantelo

Estate Agents of the 21st Century Selling is a stressfull time. On this occasion however, I was lucky to discover EweMove who took the stress out of it by providing a brilliant service. They were constantly in contact and kept us up to date with everything. They are professional in what they do, yet put me at ease so I felt confident to ask them anything. Other more traditional agents are either unavailable or slow to respond. The photos, description & presentation of our house for sale have been superb. This has been a significant factor in securing us a buyer within hours of being marketed. I can’t recommend Paul & Anita highly enough Paul Slator, Shelley Close, Yeovil

Sherborne’s Most Trusted Estate Agent Based On Hundreds of Independent Customer Reviews on We know choosing the best estate agent can be difficult. One of the things our customers said which helped them decide was hearing real life stories from existing customers.

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

n effect, investors are often largely on their own when it comes to financial advice. There are great advisers out there, but it can be hard to tell the good from the bad, even when you are already a client. These five questions will reveal the good advisers. If you can answer ‘yes’ to all five questions, you have found an adviser with good process who acts in your interests, and one you can trust. 1. Does my adviser really know me and my risks?

Really good advisers around the world make sure they know at least three important things: • Your risk tolerance – how much investment risk you are psychologically comfortable with • Your risk capacity – how much you could afford to lose through investments without endangering your financial situation or goals, and • Your risk required – how much risk you need to take on to reach your goals. There will often be mismatches in these three components of a risk profile. For example, you may not have enough money to reach your goals through conservative investments, so you have to take on higher risk to seek higher returns. That extra risk may take you outside your psychological comfort zone. The art, expertise and talent of a good financial adviser is in helping you balance these important factors of your risk profile. 2. Has my adviser helped me consider alternative strategies?

Investments should not be the only tools in an adviser’s toolbox. Good financial advisers have many ways to help clients. Sometimes, the best solution is not a higher-risk investment. It might be another strategy like working longer instead of retiring, or revising your end goal to something more attainable for you. The best choice may be to make an investment, but

112 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

a good adviser will always discuss the other options with you first. 3. Does my adviser really know these investment products?

They will tell you that they do, but most of them don’t. Advisers work from ‘approved lists’ of investments. Most have not evaluated those investments themselves, because that’s what research people do. Most advisers only know the product is ‘okay’ to recommend, but they often have little clue about the investment’s possible risks and rewards. Without knowing about those potential variations in asset values, it is hard for you to decide if an investment is suitable for you. 4. H  as my adviser explained all the risks to me so I understand?

If you do not understand, it has not been adequately explained to you. Explaining risk as ‘standard deviations’ is useless if you cannot grasp this type of mathematics, and most people can’t. Similarly, giving you pages of numbers won’t help you if you think in pictures, or vice versa. Helping investors understand the risks in their financial plan and the investments within it is a critical step, which is often hurried or even overlooked. 5. Did my adviser get my ‘informed consent’?

Before they operate on you, doctors must get your ‘informed consent’. They must explain what they will do and all the potential outcomes, so you can then make an informed choice to proceed. Financial advice should be the same. The adviser should explain the risks – and why they are appropriate – in ways you understand. Then, they should have you ‘sign off ’ the plan. Some advisers do follow a process similar to this, but many others don’t. Many are reputable, but some are taking shortcuts. Use these checks to avoid the worst.

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HR Outsourcing Success

SMEs can benefit immensely by choosing to outsource their HR department. At a fraction of the cost of in-house HR, could outsourcing be the solution your business needs? Employment law is complex and coping on your own brings significant risk. Employers don't want to break the law or face expensive tribunals but few small businessesc an afford a full time HR professional or an HR department. Even so, all companies need access to reliable advice to help them take these important decisions. Outsourcing, rather than employing an in-house HR department, could provide the answer. Based here in Sherborne, The HR Dept offers personal and professional outsourced advice and support to local business owners. We offer all the knowledge and experience of a large corporate HR team at an affordable cost, together with up-todate expertise whenever you require it.

The HR Dept offer you tailored services that are designed to help you achieve the result you want. We pride ourselves on providing practical and pragmatic advice and support, leaving you free to focus on running and growing your business. We are currently offering a free HR health check on all your current contracts of employment and employee handbooks, offering you advice on whether your documentation is appropriately updated and legally compliant.

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Case Study “I just wanted to contact you to say how extremely impressed we have been with Nick Taylor and the HR Dept. Nick sold the service to us on the basis that he would be on hand just as if he was employed by us and we only have to pick up the phone or email to get a response. From the initial meeting he provided us with easy to use template letters and good general advice, these have become part of our company operating manual.

Nick is the first point of contact no matter how small or trivial the matter may be, this leaves us free to concentrate on running our business knowing that HR matters are being dealt with by a professional. It is extremely reassuring to have Nick on board and he is a great asset to your company. We would always recommend him to others.� Paul Giles, PG Security Systems, Stoke-sub-Hamdon

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Preventing People Problems



Emily Eccles, Associate Solicitor, Commercial & Employment Team, Mogers Drewett


he recent Supreme Court judgement that charging fees for industrial tribunals is illegal is good news for employees, but what does it mean for employers? Following a four-year fight by UNISON, the Supreme Court has held that Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 is unlawful and will be quashed. This is being hailed as a major victory for employees everywhere. Employment tribunal fees were introduced in July 2013 by the then-Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling and meant that any employee who had a claim against their employer – for example in the case of wage claims, breach of contract, unfair dismissal, race and sex discrimination – would have to pay a fee to bring their claim to tribunal. If a claim was submitted without the accompanying fee or application for fee remission, it was rejected. These fees put the option of a tribunal out of reach for many low-paid workers and will even have discouraged some better-paid workers if the fee was disproportionate because of a low-value claim. While it can never be known how many were discouraged, it is understood that the introduction of fees coincided with a 70% reduction in the number of claims being taken to tribunal. This judgement endorsing the fundamental importance of access to justice will be better news for employees than it will employers. While it is unknown if fees will be abolished altogether – a much-reduced fee regime may well remain in place – it will undoubtedly result in an increase in the number of claims brought to tribunal. There is also the issue of people who were historically discouraged or prevented from bringing a claim because of the fees. It remains to be seen whether tribunals will entertain the notion that it was not reasonably practicable to bring a claim when the claimant was significantly impeded or denied access to justice by unlawful fees. If this is the case, it is quite feasible that we will see the resurrection of claims in the light of the ruling. Employers should take heed and ensure that any issues in the workplace are dealt with correctly to reduce the risk of a claim being brought against them. Steps should be taken, before issues arise, to review the processes they have in place to ensure they are suitable, and consider whether they would benefit from external HR support to perfect their processes and practices, and better understand their responsibilities to their employees.

116 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

GOOD PEOPLE WITH GREAT SKILLS ARE A BUSINESS’S MOST IMPORTANT ASSET. AS AN EMPLOYMENT AND HR SPECIALIST, SEAN COULDN’T AGREE MORE. Sean McDonough heads up our employment and HR team. Unsurprisingly, he’s a real people person. He understands that successful business is all about the people. Perhaps more importantly, he knows that coming across as a person first, and a solicitor second, can do so much to help his clients with their complex HR and employment issues. So whatever you need, Sean’s always the right man for the job.

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hose of you of a similar age to me will remember Tomorrow’s World from the 70s and 80s, when we were promised everything from personal robo-servants to the paperless office… That went well then! The reptilian overlords who rule us from afar must be crying into their primordial broth at the volume of copper and paper we consume in our technological time-saving lives. When Volta, Faraday and Ohm rubbed a bit of amber and learned how to manage electricity, their legacy is that every device we have has to be plugged into the mains at some point in its day. Even the latest toothbrushes and smart watches that use contactless charging have to have a base station plugged in somewhere and there is no technology on the horizon that is going to change this anytime soon. However, once you have accepted that, it is possible to get rid of nearly everything else. Wireless keyboards and mice have been around for years, wireless printers are now commonplace and you can now get a wireless screen – though sadly, it still has to get power from somewhere. So assuming that your desktop PC has a Wi-Fi adapter as well, the only thing that needs to be plugged in is the mains. Laptops, tablets and other hand-held devices have all been completely wireless for some time, except for charging, and apparently from 2040 your car and my van will be too! Now, as to the paperless office (or study or home) there has been some progress towards generating less paper. However, it seems that as fast as we get rid of some, more attacks us from another direction! Supermarkets are the worst offenders, giving us endless 118 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

reams of toilet paper thinly disguised as a till receipt with unwanted vouchers for more toilet rolls, and then they send us more publicity in the post… Sorry, I seem to have gone off-topic! The idea of paperless is that we simply stop printing! This seems to be a generational thing, with the younger age groups much less likely to print anything like documents or photographs, rather using technology to view and store. The older generation prefer a hard copy and there is a certain trust element in that, if its not tangible, then it can’t be trusted. We print every invoice we receive, process it into our accounting system and then file it for the statutory seven years. Why? Because we believe that the tax or VAT inspector will want it that way. Wrong! You only have to be able to prove your income or expenses and that can be entirely electronic. I think that from April next year we might give it a try; we’ll process incoming invoices without printing, file them electronically and encourage all our suppliers to send invoices this way. For our own, we’ll show customers their invoice on a tablet when they come to pay and give them an option to receive a copy by email. But old habits die hard! Now all I’ve got to do is to stop the credit card machine from printing its life history faster than Usain Bolt can run 100m every time we make a transaction. As always, if you need any help, you know where to come. Coming up next month… GDPR (What?)

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Short Story



Sandie Higham

became fully aware of you when, at 13, I started studying music at O level under the tutelage of Peter Maxwell Davis. Only later did I realise how fortunate I was. At school, we all had a huge crush on this handsome man who lived for music. He opened my eyes, ears and consciousness. He would sometimes play an LP, usually of your work, and we would close our eyes and then describe what we saw, felt, whatever. Quite an experience, I must say. It may please you to know that this was in a school near to your birthplace in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire – a village I knew well. When I closed my eyes, I was enraptured, listening to The Lark Ascending. I could see the bird climbing and soaring on the breeze as I listened. All I knew of you before then was Greensleeves, which I adored. Your music has enriched my life, especially Fantasia On a Theme of Thomas Tallis. I read that it was first played in Gloucester Cathedral. How special that must have been. It would be wonderful to hear it here in Sherborne Abbey. Could you put in a good word to the powers that be up there? I live in hope. To me, as a piece, it is both uplifting and emotional. It ranges from an ethereal feeling to one of power, then tenderness and an almost wistfulness with the plaintive sound of a lone violin. I never tire of listening to it. I saw that you went to the Royal College of Music and studied composition with Hubert Parry. That must have been a thrilling experience. He is another composer I admire. If we meet the right people at the right time, it is amazing the profound effect they can have on our lives, don’t you think? It is now 2017 and you would be amazed at the changes that have happened since you died in 1958. The computer is becoming ever more powerful and everyone has a mobile phone, but one of the constants is your music. It stands the test of time along with other greats such as your mentor, Hubert Parry. To me you are up there with Bach, Handel and Beethoven. I just want to say a big thank you for giving us all such pleasure through your music.

120 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


SHERBORNE LITERARY FESTIVAL PREVIEW Jonathan Stones, Sherborne Literary Society

The Lightless Sky by Gulwali Passarlay (Atlantic Books) £8.99 Exclusive Sherborne Times reader price of £7.99


he West loves dogs, almost as much as it loves war. Bush and Blair consummated their invasion, and we are the unwanted puppies of their bombing. They don’t want to let us in to the warmth of their fire – but they don’t have the stomach to kill us. So, here we are, locked out in the rain and the cold, fighting over whatever scraps fall from their table.” Such is the introduction to the infamous refugee camp in Calais, otherwise known as the ‘Jungle’, which the twelve-year-old Gulwali Passarlay receives from an embittered fellow migrant. He has travelled for a year over twelve thousand miles from his home in Afghanistan and endured a frequently brutal succession of hardships in the wake of the US-led war with the Taliban. Following the death of his father and grandfather in a fire-fight with the Americans – who evidently believe that Gulwali’s family have been stockpiling weapons for the Taliban – his mother makes arrangements at considerable personal sacrifice for Gulwali and his older brother Hazrat to leave Afghanistan for the West. Funds are deposited by Gulwali’s family with a mysterious agent known only as ‘Qubat’, in order to procure safe passage across Asia and Europe for the two children. But in the hands of a succession of traffickers, profiteers and gangsters, Gulwali and his brother are soon forcibly parted and it is with Gulwali’s account of his journey through the human underbelly of the world that we become absorbingly concerned.

In Gulwali’s company we encounter human squalor on an almost unimaginable scale, as he forms part of an enormous, suffering tide. In addition to enduring the more mundane privations of excessive heat, cold, starvation and thirst, Gulwali is shot at, abducted, imprisoned, thrown from a moving train and stuffed into stinking holes too small even for a child. In one of his many attempts to leave the Jungle for England, he is burned, blinded and hospitalised. He nearly drowns in a sinking, overcrowded boat on the journey from Turkey to Greece. He becomes an expert escaper, at one point jumping from a third-floor window. He trudges for miles without food or water and rides in many vehicles, including the one carrying bananas by which, as an unknown ‘illegal’, he finally enters England. Gulwali’s frequent attacks of despair during his journey and the many cruelties inflicted on him never quite overcame his extraordinary determination, ingenuity and optimism. This child of a deeply insular culture, who had been taken by his grandfather before reaching his seventh birthday to witness a woman being stoned to death – an episode which he describes in unflinching detail – has succeeded in his adopted country to an extraordinary degree, carrying the Olympic torch for one stage at the 2012 Games. Gulwali Passarlay will be speaking at the festival on Friday 13th October at 8pm | 121


SHERBORNE LITERARY FESTIVAL PREVIEW Deborah Bathurst, Sherborne Literary Society

Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding-Schools, 1939-1979 by Ysenda Maxtone-Graham (Plain Foxed Editions) £17.50


he size and shape of this small hardback is suggestive of the Christmas market stocking-filler, but should you put it in your loo amongst the cartoon books to while away a few moments, beware – as any visitors may spend the rest of their weekend with you reading the entire volume. At first sight, the subject of former life in girls’ boarding schools might seem a rather niche topic. However, much of the material reflects those times and would be recognised by many attending day schools of the period, be it unappealing school lunches, nicknames, cliques, bullying and a rainbow of teachers from the terrifying but admirable, the kind, the eccentric and colourful, to the meanminded, as well as the generally stricter discipline and parents being kept firmly at arm’s length. Where boarding schools differ, of course, is the lack of respite afforded by home life. While some enjoyed hours of unsupervised freedom in extensive grounds, others had to endure prolonged boredom, misery and homesickness, relieved for many by the forming of life-long friendships. Communication with parents was by letters, often censored. Many of the girls had parents working or serving abroad and might not see them for a year, or sometimes much longer; holidays were spent with relatives or family friends. A few depended on school friends inviting them to stay – a rather haphazard approach to parenting one might think nowadays, but which could lead to a striking independence of mind. This living testimony depends on the recollections of many women who attended boarding schools during this period and it is clear that schools varied enormously. Experiences could be very different even for siblings 122 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

sent to the same school. Choice of school often depended on parents’ concerns that their daughter would make suitable friends and learn good manners. Sometimes parents seem to have chosen the school in a rather cavalier fashion, with minimal information and little thought as to whether it would suit their child. Quality of education seems to have been far down the list of requirements for many parents and schools. Often fathers considered that a highly educated daughter would be at a disadvantage when it came to marrying. What seems extraordinary is how late into the 20th century this poor education was tolerated. Those who did get to university were exceptional and success depended on their own determination. There were notable exceptions, of course, such as Cheltenham Ladies’ College – one of a handful of girls’ boarding schools providing high-quality education for girls from early on, albeit in an austere atmosphere. The author explores the experiences that shaped these women’s lives and characters and how they now view their schooldays in retrospect. Interestingly, many – having married and had their families at a young age as was expected of them – felt hampered by their lack of good education and some took university degrees later in life. Terms & Conditions is an interesting, readable, sometimes amusing and often poignant book. If it does appear in your stocking do place it by your guest‘s bedside, or there may be a queue for the bathroom. Ysenda Maxtone Graham will be speaking at the festival on Saturday 11th October at 2.30pm. For the full line-up of speakers, go to

AUTHOR PROFILES John Gaye Sherborne Literary Society

Rosamund Young

Natalie Haynes

Kite’s Nest Farm in the Cotswolds is the family home of Rosamund Young and the backdrop for her book, The Secret Life of Cows. Rosamund, who will be talking at the Sherborne Literary Festival this year, runs the farm with her brother Richard and her partner Gareth. The farm is fully organic but, perhaps more pertinently, the livestock are also free to wander at will over 370 acres, rather than being directed by their human guardians. Rosamund has observed all their farm animals at close quarters. A lifetime of observations has given her an almost unique insight into the ways of her cows, sheep, pigs and hens and how they all inter-react with each other, given the freedom of choice. Each one has its own individual identity and behaviour characteristics. Recently books about farming lifestyles have been prominent on the bestseller lists. Rosamund’s style of farming is very different to that of some more conventional farmers and no doubt there is much we can learn from her. As a result of her talk you may well look at cows and sheep with a very different eye! Rosamund Young will perform at the Literary Festival on Friday 13th October at 2.30pm

Natalie Haynes will be very familiar to many listeners of BBC Radio 4, where she is a frequent performer in many different guises. She has been a panellist on Wordaholics, We’ve Been Here Before, Banter, Quote... Unquote, The Personality Test, and Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive. She has also featured on Great Lives and With Great Pleasure. Her stand-up comedic act featured on Front Row and Loose Ends on BBC Radio 4, and on BBC 7’s Spanking New. She has also appeared in the BBC Radio 4 ‘pick’ of the Fringe. But behind the humour and quick wit lies a classicist. She has had two series of Natalie Haynes Stands Up For The Classics on BBC Radio 4 and she brings alive the wonderful tales of the ancients to a younger audience. Her latest book, The Children of Jocasta, brings a new slant to a classical story. She promises to be a red-hot ticket for the festival’s Saturday evening feature. Natalie Haynes will perform at the Literary Festival on Saturday 14th October at 7pm. For the full line-up of authors and to book tickets, visit

Talk and Signing with

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For out of hours call Alistair Elder on 07734 955524 Bazeland Hill, Shaftesbury Rd, Henstridge, Somerset BA8 0TD | 127

All in the Balance

THOMAS FURNITURE RESTORATION Antique & Modern Alastair Thomas Est.1995

Vintage watch repairs, restoration and sales Telephone Michael on 07926 980381 or email:

Woodwork and Upholstery Sherborne â&#x20AC;˘ Piddlehinton 01305 849406 07989 935080 1







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ACROSS 1. Contrasts (8) 5. Coalition of countries (4) 8. Things to be done (5) 9. Saviour (7) 10. State of being very poor (7) 12. Precast (anag) (7) 14. Going out (7) 16. Contest (7) 18. Relating to knowledge based on deduction (1,6) 19. Baby carriage (5) 20. Semi-precious agate (4) 21. Judges (8) 128 | Sherborne Times | September 2017


DOWN 1. Felines (4) 2. Brawn; strength (6) 3. Forceful statement of fact (9) 4. Moon of the planet Jupiter (6) 6. Famous French museum (6) 7. Transporting by hand (8) 11. Genuine; real (9) 12. Capital of Chile (8) 13. Andy ___ : British tennis star (6) 14. Eagles' nests (6) 15. Pictorial representations (6) 17. Exercise venues (4)























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PAUSE FOR THOUGHT Adrian Bright, Sherborne Community Church Having moved fairly recently to this lovely part of the country, I have begun to explore the countryside and embarked on walks in the area that have continued to confirm for me the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. Whilst strolling through some rugged areas I was reminded of an incident that occurred a few years ago, when taking some school students out on the moors to explore aspects of survival. The students learned such things as navigation and map reading, shelter building, using survival equipment and eating from the land. Part of this involved returning to school and cooking the pheasant, which might have been found under other circumstances, though it was provided for us on this occasion. The students were initially reluctant to try the meat, but after some tentative efforts soon surprised themselves and found it quite delicious. They were tucking in enthusiastically when the door burst open and another student stuck his head round the door and said, “What are you doing?” The reply was heard, “We’re eating ferret!” Goodness me, not the answer you want to go home and be heard around the town, that schools are feeding students ferrets! Words. How powerful they can be – both positively and, sadly, negatively; misunderstood and misconstrued. We live in a social media age, where more often than not words are not spoken, but texted, tweeted and emailed. Minus body language and facial expression, it is sometimes difficult to interpret the intent of the message. Words can build up, or damage. We are informed that low self-esteem and the decline in mental health amongst the young in particular is increasing at an alarming rate, some of that caused by harsh and damaging words. In the Bible we are told of the power of words. “A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it,” we are informed by the Book of James. It continues, “It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world.” Finally the passage says, “You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue – it’s never been done.” How much better would our world be if the words we spoke to each other were always such that they built up a person; that they showed love, care and support. How much stronger would our young people be if our words were empowering rather than disempowering, words that developed rather than criticised. The Bible commands us to love God first, then love our neighbour as ourselves. So, in the coming days, my challenge to myself and to you is to ensure that anyone you talk to is better off because of the conversation they have had with you – empowered, supported, loved and cared for. | 129



Rosie Birley, Councillor’s Dog

unny things, humans. They claim we dogs are their best friends, but they say the rudest things about us. Take for example the phrase, ‘It’s a dog’s life’. The person who thought of that clearly knew nothing about dogs and still less about Sherborne. Sherborne is the most perfect place for us canines. Walking down Cheap Street is a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. I stop and sniff every now and then; humans don’t understand this but I call it reading the news, as I can then catch up with messages left by my friends. Our town society is very egalitarian, with some of us boasting long and proud lineages and names recorded in the annals of The Kennel Club. For example, his official name might be Solomon of Oborne, but at home he is known as Fred. Others have more recent pedigrees, while some are the result of a night out on the town – but we all get on. Another favourite place of mine is Purlieu Meadow. Here we can entertain our human friends by chasing balls and sticks that they throw for us. Neither I nor any of my friends can work out why humans like throwing things for us. Is it just to exercise their arm muscles? In the summer and indeed at most times of the year it is very refreshing to go for a paddle or swim in the river. We Sherborne dogs are very fortunate to have two excellent veterinary practices to look after our health. My own physician, Paul, is particularly knowledgeable and gentle and was very kind when I had my recent operation. I will not expand any further except to say it was a girl’s thing. While waiting to see my vet I often meet all sorts of other animals and canine friends. Hamsters and rabbits are fine fellows, but there is one creature I cannot stand. Indeed I cannot bear to mention

130 | Sherborne Times | September 2017

its name. Whilst it is extremely rude and hisses every time it sees one of us, we of the canine fraternity think it is also extremely unintelligent since its vocabulary seems limited to only one word – “miaow”. As further evidence of their stupidity, when have you ever seen one of them on Britain’s Got Talent? Whereas we dogs, as you know, frequently appear on the show. Another phrase that really gets up my nose – and you know how sensitive that is – is to describe something as ‘a dog’s dinner’. I am not quite sure what humans mean by this, but I think it means whatever they are referring to is a bit of a mess. Oh dear, they really don’t understand us. I will admit I have some friends who do not mind what they eat as long as there is plenty of it. Not only that, but they do eat very quickly; some might be so rude as to say they gobble it down. I and most of my friends are of the epicurean persuasion and like to savour our foods – and, indeed our owner’s meals. Some may call it begging but, goodness me, we would never behave so badly. A little nudge with one’s nose and, if necessary, a raising of a forepaw is only to remind people that I am here and am kind enough to offer to taste whatever is on offer – just to make sure it is suitable for my two-legged friends. At present I am on holiday in Italy, where they really understand us canines. I am welcomed in all cafés and restaurants and before I leave the owners always ask if I would like a takeaway of pieces of fillet steak or some other goodies, which I graciously accept. It is one of my projects to educate Sherborne cafés and restaurants in this respect. In the meantime, I am glad to report how many shops in Cheap Street keep treats for their most important customers and also often a refreshing bowl of water.

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Sherborne Times September 2017  

Sherborne's allotments, What's On, Unearthed, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, History, Film, Interiors, Architecture, Antiques,...

Sherborne Times September 2017  

Sherborne's allotments, What's On, Unearthed, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, History, Film, Interiors, Architecture, Antiques,...