Page 1



Exclusive reader offer Amelia Rose Bespoke Beauty


with Jane and Robin Cannon of Newton House Gin



hristmas – a word that has been stuck like a nut in my throat for fear of being said too soon – is now a just about permissible topic of conversation. To be honest, our two boys have been talking about it since the end of summer, counting the days with gathering gusto. Come December, anticipation will reach frenzied heights, with days counted in hours and minutes. But for now, at least, let’s enjoy November. Our pages are thick this month with contributions from teachers to tea merchants, acupuncturists to architects. We meet Mark Ashley Miller of The Present Finder, Jayson Hutchins of Old Barn Framing and visit the beautiful Newton House to hear the story of local gin producers Robin and Jane Cannon. We learn about the history of Trendle Yard, of hidden shoes, secret lives and vintage port. We celebrate 80 years of protecting our countryside and wallow in the giddy aromas of Val and Sasha’s kitchens. A captivating and emotional talk from historian Joshua Levine at the recent Sherborne Literary Festival inspires us to close with a poignant tale, memories, a musing and a light-hearted anecdote about vicious chickens. 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

Adam Ansty Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep

Amanda Hunt The London Road Clinic @56londonroad

Simon Barber Evolver Magazine @SimonEvolver

Nicky King The Eastbury Hotel & The Three Wishes @eastbury_hotel

David Birley Elisabeth Bletsoe Sherborne Museum @SherborneMuseum Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV

Illustrations Elizabeth Watson

Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup

Print Pureprint

Ali Cockrean @AliCockrean

Distribution team David Elsmore Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Alfie Neville-Jones Maggie Pelly Claire Pilley Geoff Wood

Michelle and Rob Comins Comins Tea House @cominsteahouse

Contact 01935 315556 07957 496193 @sherbornetimes 81 Cheap Street Sherborne Dorset DT9 3BA 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 | November 2017

Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife

Samantha Kirk Oxley Sports Centre @OxleySports Colin Lambert Loretta Lupi-Lawrence The Sherborne Rooms Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Jack McCarthy MVB MRCVS Kingston Veterinary Group @TheKingstonVets Peter Neal Dorset CPRE @DorsetCPRE

David Copp

Kitty Oakshott Upstairs Downstairs Interiors @updowninteriors

Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me Studio, Fine Stationery @DearToMeStudio

Lindsay Punch Lindsay Punch Styling @stylistmum

Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers

Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic

Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning Andy Foster BSC(Hons) BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) CEng MIStructE RIBA Raise Architects @raisearchitects May Franklin-Davis Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife Paul Gammage & Anita Light EweMove Sherborne @ewemoveyeovil Jan Garner Sherborne Scribblers Julian Halsby MA (Cantab) FRSA RBA Peter Henshaw & Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles @rileyscycles @DCNSherborne Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms @SanctuaryDorset

Paul Stickland Black Shed Flowers @NaughtyDinosaur Jonathan Stones Sherborne Literary Society @SherborneLitSoc Val Stones @valstones Reverend Jono Tregale St Paul’s Church Simon Walker Mogers Drewett Solicitors @mogersdrewett Hannah Wilkins Vineyards @vineyards_wine Wayne Winstone Winstone’s Books @winstonebooks

72 8

What’s On

NOVEMBER 2017 58 Antiques

116 Finance

20 Exclusive Reader Offer

62 Architecture

118 Tech

22 Shopping Guide

64 Gardening

120 Folk Tales

24 Profile - Mark Ashley Miller


122 Short Story

28 Wild Dorset

78 Food & Drink

123 Literature

32 Family

90 Animal Care

124 Directory

34 Unearthed

92 On Foot

128 Crossword

42 Art

94 Cycling

129 Pause for Thought

46 History

96 Body & Mind

130 Councillor David Birley

48 Interiors

110 Property | 5

E-tron. Our Plug-in hybrid coming soon to Yeovil Audi.

Yeovil Audi. Look No Further.

Yeovil Audi Houndstone Business Park, Mead Avenue, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8RT 01935 574981  

8 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

NOVEMBER 2017 Listings

Hunger. 01935 812212



Tuesday 7th 8pm

First Thursday of

Friday 3rd 7pm-10pm

Sherborne Historical Society

each month 9.30am

Charity Barn Dance

Talk: What are the historical

Networking Group

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd.

roots of today’s toxic

support from folk group Trio Fremsley.

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Talk by John

available (bring your own alcoholic

dispute has become so significant. SHS


Outside Olivers coffee shop. Want to

meet other small business owners and

entrepreneurs? We use the footpaths around Sherborne or quieter areas of the town

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

you bring the desire to move your business

Ceilidhs Comet Barn Dance Band with

sectarianism in the Middle East?

Bring a plate to share, hot & soft drinks

McHugo on why an ancient theological

drinks). £5 entry, under 16s free


forward as well as helping others to do the

Saturday 4th 10am-4pm

members: free. Non-members: £5.


same. Visit @yourtimelifecoaching or yourtime

Sherborne Christmas

Wednesday 8th 10.15am for more information

Craft & Gift Fair

Probus - Better Than Church

____________________________ Wednesday 1st 2pm & 8pm

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. An old-

fashioned fair for everyone; an enjoyable

Slessor Club, Long St. With guest

Christmas shopping experience. 01749

welcome, for more information 01935

Arts Society talk - Culture of Imperial Russia - Art and Society Before 1917



speaker Barry Brock. New members 851641 or


Digby Hall, Hound Street. Rosamund

Saturday 4th 2.30pm

Wednesday 8th 7.30pm

Bartlett examines the major ‘players’

Blackmore Vale & Yeovil NT

Sherborne Flicks: The Odyssey

in the arts in Imperial Russia from the

Association talk - Mediaeval

early 18th century to the abdication of

Masons and Tumbling Towers

Memorial Hall, Digby Road. A visually

Nicholas II in 1917. £5. 01935 474626

Digby Hall, Hound Street. A talk by


Pam White (NT Corfe Castle): £3.00 / £5.00 (includes tea and biscuits)

Thursday 2nd 2.30pm (doors open at 2pm)


stunning biopic about ocean explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. In

French with subtitles. Tickets £6 from Sherborne TIC. Pre-film supper £12


Sherborne Museum’s

Saturday 4th 5pm

Thursday 9th 2.30pm

Winter Talks - Hospital Blues:

(fireworks 7.30pm)

Sherborne District Gardeners’

Nursing in Sherborne During

Sherborne Castle

Assoc. Meeting and Talk

the First World War

Fireworks Extravaganza

Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. The

Entertainment featuring the cast of

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Talk by Mr

explores how Sherborne played a pivotal

Refreshments/food and live music from

Museum’s archivist, Luke Mouland,

role in nursing the wounded during the First World War. Tickets £5, members free. Tea and cake provided.

____________________________ Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th 10am-5pm

Peter Pan from the Octagon Theatre.

Alan Eason on Madeira - Island of Flowers. 01935 389375


Headland. Prices - Adult £8, Child (5-16

Thursday 9th 7.30pm

Free, car Parking £4. Tickets on 01963

The Exchange, Sturminster Newton.


Bartok, Haydn. Bar and ample parking.

years) £6, Senior Citizen £6, Under 5s

Blackmore Vale Orchestra

364399 or

Free inaugural concert - Mozart,

Richard Bramble Open

Monday 6th 7.30pm

Studio Sale Weekend

Insight Lecture: Feeling Mortal

Off Bradford Road. Offers on ceramics,

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd

Thursday 9th 7.30pm

Marine Conservation Society, Trout &

from the Parish Office, Abbey Close.

‘Mata Hari: Female Spy’

textiles & pictures. Raising money for Salmon Conservation and Action for


Talk by Andrew Edmeads. Tickets £5

Company Gavin Robertson –

01935 816779

Sandford Orcas Village Hall. The Great | 9

WHAT'S ON War: while millions of men struggle and

Country Diarist and freelance editor for

talented students of Sherborne School. Free.

one woman’s story begs to be told. Mata

us to talk about unearthing stories buried

Friday 17th 7.30pm

folk songs from Dominie Hooper &

“The Concealed Revealed”

bakes from Comins Tea, wild drinks and

Houlbrook discusses the fascinating

fight in the mud and hell of the trenches, Hari, the most notorious female spy in

history. Or was she? 01963 220208. £10, £6 u18s, £25 family

____________________________ Friday 10th Free Facial Friday The Sherborne Rooms, Cheap St. 30

Little Toller Books, Sara Hudston joins

in the landscape. Plus traditional English

Sherborne Museum presents

Nick Hart, tastings, dumplings and

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Dr Ceri

cocktails from Into the Gathering Dusk.

folklore ritual of deliberately concealing

Suggested voluntary donation £7.

minute slots with skin consultation and

Monday 13th 9.30am-3.30pm

Booking essential 07545 328447

Sherborne & District

Friday 10th 1.45pm

with optional workshops, £15 booked in

mini facial using Neal’s Yard Remedies.

West Country Embroiderers


Digby Hall, Hound Street. Meetings

Chamber Music by Sherborne School Students Cheap Street Church. 01935 810518



advance on 2nd Monday of each month, new members welcomed. Details Ann 01963 34696

objects within the fabric of the home.

Local residents can bring their own found items and there will be an opportunity to view the artefacts held by the Museum. A glass of wine and light refreshments

will be provided. Admission is free but

donations will be welcomed. Reservations available at hidden-in-the-home



Saturday 18th 10am-3pm

Friday 10th 7.30pm

Wednesday 15th 2.30pm

(bacon rolls from 10am)

Jo Burt - Acoustic by Candlelight

Sherborne W.I. Meeting Catholic

Thornford Pre-School

St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster. In the

Church Hall, Westbury

Christmas Fair

beautiful surroundings of St Andrew’s

Church, ablaze with candlelight, Jo and

Making Christmas decorations for

Thornford Village Hall. Please come

the girls will entertain the audience with

our entry into this year’s Cheap Street Church Christmas Tree Festival. New

there’ll be a range of stalls, traders, a

acoustic versions of his own music - in his

trademark positive, uplifting style. Raising funds for the upkeep of the church. Tickets £10, available from Sherborne TIC and

other places, see for more details.

members and visitors welcome at a cost of £3, inc. refreshments. henry.barham@

Alweston Christmas Market

The Secret Life of a Dormouse

Alweston Village Hall, DT9 5HT. Unique local crafts, gifts, decorations & produce. Refreshments in aid of local charities


Digby Road, Sherborne

Sunday 19th 1.30pm-4.30pm


Sherborne Folk Band workshop

Thursday 16th 7.30pm

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Learn to play

Tindal Recital Series: Clare Hammond

Church Studio, Haydon, nr Sherborne

____________________________ Saturday 18th 10am-3pm

Digby Memorial Church Hall,

Other Side with Sara Hudston

Christmas will be visiting!!!

Wednesday 15th 7.30pm-10.00pm

Warden, Dorset Wildlife Trust.

(talk 7.30pm)

raffle, face painting and more. Father


by Steve Oliver, Mid Dorset

Saturday 11th 6pm-10pm

and support our village preschool,

Tindall Hall, Sherborne School. Piano recital. £10 from the school reception. 01935 812249


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

DT9 5JB. A series of free talks, live

Friday 17th 1.45pm Woodwind Recital

Monday 20th 7.30pm

Sherborne Food Bank. Writer, Guardian

Cheap St Church, Sherborne. By the

Moviola - Churchill (PG)

performances and screenings in support of

10 | Sherborne Times | November 2017


NOVEMBER 2017 Leigh Village Hall. Winston is haunted

Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. Roger Marsh

door. Doors (and bar) open 7pm. Interval

respectively about the 1913 railway

by his past as D-Day nears. £6 on the

ice creams.

____________________________ Wednesday 22nd 10.15am Probus - Bridge Over The River Kwai Slessor Club, Long St. With guest

and Graham Bendell will be talking

disaster at Yeovil Pen Mill station, and

the development, decline and renaissance of the railway in Sherborne. 01935

389611 SDFHS Members: £8. Non-members: £10


speaker Kevin Patience. New members

Sunday 26th 2pm-4pm

Children Please share your recommendations and contacts via or


welcome, for more information 01935

Divine Union Soundbath

Sundays 11am to 1pm

851641 or

Art Club@Thornford


Oborne Village Hall, Oborne DT9 4LA.

Wednesday 22nd 7.30pm

Experience therapeutic pure sound with

musician and sound healing facilitator Dean

No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

Carter using crystal and Tibetan singing

DT9 6QE. Aimed at youngsters with

a passion for art who want to improve

Science Café: Memory: The good, the bad and...what did I come into this room for? Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd. Professor

Vincent Walsh, University College, London.

bowls and vocal overtoning, promoting a deeply relaxing and healing state for

body, mind and spirit. £12. Contact Dean 01935 389655


their drawing and painting. Fun and

informal. 8 years and upwards welcome. All materials provided. £15 for 1 hour

or £30 for 2 hours. Call 07742 888302, email or visit for more info.


Monday 27th 7.30pm

Friday 24th 7pm

Insight Lecture: Made In The Image

Sherborne Literary Society -

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd.Talk by Amy

Tuesday 14th

Office, Abbey Close. 01935 816779

Abbey Road, Sherborne


people to come with children, but still


Orr-Ewing. Tickets £5 from the Parish

Doodles Play Cafe Opening

Relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for

Winstone’s Bookshop or at the door.

Tuesday 28th 8pm


Sherborne Historical Society Talk:

get great quality food and coffee. Play

Friday 24th 1.45pm

Egypt’s Valley of the Kings: ancient

Percussion Ensembles

tombs and recent discoveries

Cheap St Church. Free recital by

Digby Hall, Hound Street. This talk will


of the burial place of some of ancient

Friday morning


Cheap Street Church Hall

and browse our gifts. Free gift wrapping

Wednesday 29th 6.30pm

and toddlers to 2 1/2 and 2 1/2 to 4yrs.

all orders above £30. £50 free shopping

Castle Gardens, New Road. Sherborne


concert at the Weldmar Hospice’s Light

1.45pm until 3pm

people a chance to remember the lives of

Trent Youngs School. Call 01963 850496

the work of the trust.


Poetry Plus – An Evening of Verse and Music Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. Seasonal

canapés and mulled wine. Tickets £5 from

students of Sherborne School. Friday 24th 7pm-late

Christmas Shopping Evening The Sherborne Rooms, Cheap St. Come

look at the development and history

area includes a castle play house, role play kitchen, dressing up costumes and more. Drawing and a selection of board games for older children @doodlesplaycafe


Egypt’s greatest pharaohs, by Dr Patricia

Toddler Tunes


Fun sessions making music for babies

service. Gift list service. Receive 10% off

‘Light Up A Life’ Carol Concert

to be won!

Town Band will perform a short carol

Every Friday during term time

Up A Life carol concert, aimed at giving

Trent Toddler group

those who have passed and to celebrate

for more details

Saturday 25th 2pm Somerset & Dorset Family History Society Talk - Tales of Local Railways

Contact Amanda 07721 991401

____________________________ | 11

WHAT'S ON ____________________________ Wednesday 29th 7.30pm Illustrated Lecture with Julian Halsby - Modigliani and Bohemian Paris 1906-1920 Digby Rd, Hound Street. An exploration

of Modigliani’s art, family and Bohemian lifestyle. £8.50 from Sherborne TIC or Eventbrite. Door and bar open 7pm.

Sherborne Venue. Want to update your

Catherine Ann Pitchford

where to start? Join us for this fun &

Expert tuition for all abilities. You could

look for the season but don’t know

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne

informative evening full of personal

make this years’ Christmas cards. £50 or

shape & style advice to find good quality, affordable and flattering styles. Email for more information or other dates

£45 (Friends rate) inc. all materials and

equipment from ArtsLink 01935 815899



Thursdays 2.30pm-4pm

Thursday 23rd 7.30pm

(weekly except 2nd November)


Colour Analysis Class

ArtsLink Parkinson’s Dance

Thursday 30th 7.30pm

Sherborne Venue. Want to know the

Tinney’s Lane Youth Centre, Sherborne

youthful glow? Join us to discover your

with movement specifically designed

Sherborne Floral Group Christmas Open Meeting Digby Hall. “BAH HUMBUG” by Nick Grounds, national demonstrator and

horticultural auctioneer. Phone 01935

812722 for tickets, £12 in advance or £15 on the door to include refreshments.


Planning ahead… ____________________________

best colours to wear to give you that

most flattering colours and learn how to build a versatile wardrobe. Email for more information or other dates

____________________________ Thursday evenings 7.30pm-9.30pm Art Club@Thornford for Adults No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

A fun, supportive and therapeutic class for those experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s. These sessions, led by fully trained specialists, are finished

with a cup of tea and social time. Free with donations welcome. New people

welcome. Find out more from ArtsLink 01935 815899


DT9 6QE. Tutored art with Ali

Fairs and markets

including beginners. Pay as you go, £10

Thursdays and Saturdays

included). Limited places. Please call

The Parade

com or visit for more info.

Thursday mornings 9.00am-11.15am


Country Market


The Slipped Stitch

Shepton Flea Market

The Julian, Cheap St, Sherborne.

Church Hall, Digby Road

Sunday 3rd December 10am–4pm Sherborne Christmas Market Digby Hall, Hound St. Sherborne

50+ local makers, gifts, crafts, jewellery, decorations and produce refreshments in aid of local charities

____________________________ Sunday 3rd December

Royal Bath & West Showground,

Shepton Mallet BA4 6QN. 250+ inside

and outside stalls, restaurant, cafe. £4.50

per adult, accompanying children are free


Workshops and classes

Cockrean. Suitable for all abilities,


per session (tuition only) or £15 (materials

Pannier Market

07742 888302, email alicockrean@gmail.



To book call 01935 508249, email

Every third Friday in

Farmers’ Market

Needle-felted robins

____________________________ or online

each month 9am-1pm

Saturday 18th 10am-4pm

Cheap Street

Tuesday 28th 5.30pm-8.30pm

Every fourth Saturday (exc. April

Crocheted snowflakes

and December), 9am-4pm

Every Tuesday &

Saturday Antiques & Flea Market

Thursday 10am-12pm

Church Hall, Digby Road

Knit and Natter




Every third Saturday 9.30am-4pm

Thursday 2nd 7.30pm

Saturday 25th 10am-4pm

Monthly Book Fair

Shape & Style Class

Lino Cut with

Church Hall, Digby Road. New, second-

12 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

NOVEMBER 2017 hand and antiquarian books. 01803


Sherborne Town FC


Every Tuesday and Thursday



1st IV. Toolstation Western League

Saturday 11th 10am-4pm

Mixed Touch Rugby

Sherborne Annual Christmas

Sherborne School Floodlit Astroturf,

Craft & Gift Fair Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Over 40

stalls selling unique & unusual crafts & gifts for Christmas & the home. 01749 677049


Sport ____________________________ Every Wednesday 6pm

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

Premier Division. Raleigh Grove, The

Terrace Playing Fields. Toolstation Western League Premier Division 3pm start Saturday 4th

sessions free. Visit or

Chippenham Park v

call Jimmy on 07887 800803

Sherborne (A)


Saturday 11th

Sherborne RFC

Almondsbury v Sherborne (A)

1st IV. Southern Counties South Division.

Saturday 25th


Sherborne (A)

Gainsborough Park, The Terrace Playing

Malmesbury Victoria v

Saturday 4th


Digby Etape Cycling Club Ride

Sherborne v Devizes (H)

From Riley’s Cycles. 20-30 miles,

Saturday 11th

To include your event in our

average 12-15mph. Drop bar road bike

Frome v Sherborne (A)

FREE listings please email details

recommended. Facebook: Digby Etape

Saturday 25th

(in approx 20 words) by the

Sherborne Cycling Club or text Mike

Sherborne v Marlborough (H)

5th of each preceding month to

07443 490442


DAYS OUT & HOLIDAYS with TAYLORS COACH TRAVEL Day Trips ____________________________


Winter Wonderland - Hyde Park

Taylors Christmas Meal

Sunday 26th November

Sunday 17th December

Adults £21.00, Club £19.00

Adult £34.00, Club £32.00

____________________________ Dunster by Candlelight


Friday 1st December


Adults £19.00, Club £17.00



Tinsel & Turkey - Isle of Wight

Cardiff Shopper

11th - 15th December

Saturday 2nd December

5 Days, £375.00

2018 Day Trips & Excursions


brochure available soon.


Christmas Carols

To join our mailing list please

Bath Christmas Markets

at the Royal Albert Hall

call the office now on

Sunday 10th December

16th - 17th December

Adults £15.00, Club £13.00

2 Days, £199.00

01935 423177

Adults £20.00, Club £18.00


____________________________ | 13

PREVIEW In association with


‘Ninety Six’ by Sandra Cocks (Woodcut) Winner of this year’s RWA Open Evolver Front Cover Prize

RWA 165 Annual Open Exhibition Until 3rd December Royal West of England Academy of Art, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol BS5 6AA. 10am-6pm. £6.95 / £4.95

The South West’s biggest and most prestigious annual open

exhibition returns to the RWA for its 165th year, showcasing

well-known and undiscovered artistic talent in all disciplines.

disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textile, film and installation.

As Bristol’s first art gallery and the UK’s only regional Royal

This year’s exhibition will include work by two renowned artists

Academy of Art, the Annual Open reflects the RWA’s ongoing

Brun, and photographic artist Tom Hunter RA. Over 2,700

creating opportunities for new and emerging talent.

- painter and President of the Royal Academy Christopher Le

works have been submitted by over 1,000 artists from across the

commitment to championing world-class art in the region and

country and beyond.

Evolver editor Simon Barber selects two prizewinners each year

Marie-Anne McQuay, and writer, curator and lecturer

Sandra Cocks (above) to appear on the cover of its November/

This year, the selection panel included acclaimed curator

James Russell, alongside RWA President Stuart Geddes and

Academicians Stephen Jacobson, John Maine, Rachel Ara and Sara Dudman.

This year the RWA has seen submissions across all

14 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

from the RWA Open, and this year has chosen ‘Ninety Six’ by

December issue, and artist Oliver Teagle for a profile feature in its January/February issue.


SARA HUDSTON Writer, Guardian Country Diarist and freelance editor for Little Toller Books

“The wild is in us and we are in the wild.” Sara joins us to talk about unearthing stories buried in the landscape.


Traditional English folk songs from DOMINIE HOOPER & NICK HART Tastings, dumplings, samosas and bakes from COMINS TEA Wild drinks and cocktails from INTO THE GATHERING DUSK


“If Morrissey joined the Pixies and started listening to Low”


Handcrafted spirits, liquers and cocktails from FORAGER SPIRIT Authentic paella and tapas from VIDA COMIDA Alternative, emotive edibles from THE BAKEMONGER

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

Suggested donation £7



Saturday 16th December

JERSEY BOYS TRIBUTE Thursday 21st December

BIG BAND SWING NIGHT Friday 22nd December

Don’t forget to ask about our accommodation offer. Stay for £85 per room

£45.0s0on r per pe3 course g inc ud in & d isco d in ner

George Albert Hotel Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW Tel: 01935 483430 16 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

To reserve your table ca ll

01935 483430

For two months each year an For two months eachChapel year anin unassuming Victorian unassuming Victorian Chapel in Sturminster Newton Sturminster Newton metamorphoses into a metamorphoses glowing beacon hope for all those whofor all into a of glowing beacon of hope quail at the thethought dreaded those whothought quail atofthe of the Christmas dreaded shopping Christmastrip. shopping trip. Over 60 local artists, designers Over 60 local and makers, andartists, one ordesigners two from and makers, andhave one work or twofor from further afield, salefurther in this unique pop-up Textile afield, have work gallery. for sale in this artist, Rose Hatcher, started unique pop-up gallery. Textile artist, ‘Handmade for Christmas’ in 2012, Rose Hatcher, started ‘Handmade asfor ‘a bit of a laugh’ and, although Christmas’ in 2012, as ‘a bit of it is still an indubitably jolly affair, a laugh’ and, although it is still an it has gained a seriously serious indubitably jolly affair, it has gained reputation for the huge diversity a seriously serious for the and the excellence ofreputation the work on huge diversity and thethe excellence of display, not to mention very the work on display, not to mention warmest of welcomes. This year the very warmest of welcomes. ‘Handmade’ will be open every dayThis during November and year ‘Handmade’ willDecember be open every (barring the big day itself) – go day during November and December and take a the lookbig – Iday promise (barring itself)you – go and take won’t regret it! a look – I promise you won’t regret it!


at the Corn Exchange November Highlights



Thursday 2 November Singing Workshop & Concert St Peter’s Church, Dorchester

Wednesday 8 November Ashton Barn, near Dorchester



Sunday 12 November Family Concert Dorchester Corn Exchange


THE ENCHANTRESS OF SEVILLE Sunday 26 November Classica Music. Corn Exchange

For full event listings, visit our website Dorchester Arts, The Corn Exchange, High East Street, Dorchester DT1 1HF

01305 266926 | 17



is the season once again when Sherborne comes alive with festive cheer! Lights begin to twinkle all over town, while the choirs of carol singers and the fabulous Sherborne Town Band spread joy and anticipation to locals and tourists alike, as the countdown to Christmas begins. We are of course referring to the town’s Festive Shopping Day, held this year on Sunday 3rd December. The town’s ever-popular ‘Love a Local Christmas’ event offers a fabulous family day out, while raising awareness for many local charities. Each year, the shops outdo themselves with their beautiful Christmas displays and window dressing. Every one is bursting with present ideas, even for those people who are most difficult to buy for! Delicious local produce will be available and pop-up shops and stalls will offer individual and imaginative gifts for all the family, while the town’s many coffee shops, pubs and restaurants are always alive with people enjoying delicious seasonal treats. Grown-ups can even enjoy a glass of two of mulled wine while soaking up the atmosphere. During the day, the town puts on a whole host of different musical, fun and entertaining activities for guests of all ages. This year, highlights will include dancing from Hobos Morris, clog dancing from the Treacle Eaters and choirs from Sherborne Girls, Sherborne Boys School, Sherborne Preparatory School and Leweston, not to mention the wonderful Sherborne Abbey Choir. There will be face-painting and balloon animals to entertain the children – and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Father Christmas’s very own reindeer ambling through the town! The man in red himself will once again be taking up residence in his grotto outside the post office. In return for a small entry fee of £2, each little visitor he sees will receive a gift. Carol services will be held in the Abbey throughout the afternoon. Visitors are welcome to attend and enjoy the stunning backdrop of its spectacular ceiling-high Christmas tree and traditional Nativity scene. Cheap Street Church stages its ever-popular Christmas Tree Festival too, featuring dozens of sparkling trees, all delightfully and individually decorated. Meanwhile, Castle Gardens’ award-winning Christmas display is just a short walk from the centre of town and will be open to visitors until 6pm. For those who enjoy something a little different, visitors and locals alike can take a gentle guided stroll around Sherborne with Blue Badge Guide Cindy Chant, learning more about the town’s fascinating history. The walk starts at 2pm outside the Tourist Information Centre in Digby Road and costs just £5. There is no need to book – just turn up! The parade along Cheap Street is always the highlight of the Festive Shopping event. Everyone is invited to join in the parade, which gathers at the top of Cheap Street at 4pm and culminates in the illumination of the Christmas tree lights at the Conduit. The day ends just in time for visitors to join Sherborne Abbey’s annual family-friendly Christingle service at 5pm. So please do come along to our Festive Shopping Day this year and support Sherborne’s glorious and unique high street. At this time of year, it really is at its best. Keep up to date with the latest news on Facebook @shopinsherborne and Twitter @SherborneCOT

18 | Sherborne Times | November 2017



Sunday, 3rd December

Supported by

Organisers @ShopinSherborne @SherborneCOT

The it du Con















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Shopping Guide

[Swarovski] Bra, £102.90 (sizes AA to K available); and briefs, £77.90 (Bellissima)

Bra, £79.90 (sizes AA-K available); and briefs, £49.90, Barbara (Bellissima)

Knickers, £10, Kinky Knickers (The Circus)


Jenny Dickinson, Dear To Me Studio We may be piling on the layers but that’s no reason to neglect your underneaths. These beautiful buys will bring on your feel-good factor inside and out. 22 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Dressing gown, £69 (Melbury Gallery)

Pyjamas, £281.90, Lise Charmel (Bellissima)

Men’s pants, £16 (White Stuff )

Pants, £9, Pico (

Ladies’ socks, £45, Pennine (

Children’s socks, £16, Pennine ( | 23


PRESENTS OF GREATNESS Mark Ashley Miller, The Present Finder Words Jo Denbury Photograph Katharine Davies


ark Ashley-Miller, joint founder of Sherborne based The Present Finder, isn’t short on zeal. Once he has the bit between his teeth, he likes to run with an idea and it see it through to fruition. The idea for The Present Finder came about in 2000, when Mark was made redundant from a farm management company. By chance, around the same time he had heard a feature on the radio about a growing new phenomenon named the ‘internet’ and immediately believed it was the future. So, at the kitchen table, Mark and his wife Fiona cooked up the idea of a company that bridged the gap between people who like to browse and people who actually like to ‘touch’ the product before they purchased. So it was that The Present Finder landed in Sherborne. “We were one of the first true multi-channel retailers to be launched,” says Mark. In fact, despite having recently moved the shop-front from Cheap Street to the South Western Business Park, they are very much open for business and anyone who would like to view their choices before payment or click-and-collect are welcome to visit. “I have always been passionate about finding things,” says Mark. “And I pride myself with buying interesting presents for my nine godchildren. I feel I have succeeded when they say, ‘Now where did he find that?’” In fact, this man – who prefers muesli over eggs and bacon for breakfast and starts every day with a blasting 20-minute spin on the stationary racing bike “to get the metabolism going” – is such an impressive present finder that he has just had his almost litre-sized gin glasses go viral online and sell out in two days. “They caught the imagination,” he says of the surprise hit, but he has more on order for 24 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

those who lost out. Mark’s other great passion is the town of Sherborne. “It is such a perfect market town,” he enthuses. “We have castles, an abbey, schools, a beautiful landscape… It’s like a town out of one of Richard Scarry’s illustrations. And Cheap Street has one of everything that you need. I feel we have been very lucky to be able to grow our business here without having to move house – that, along with attracting

people to work with us, has been the greatest pleasure.” The family live in Lillington and one of Mark’s favourite walks is across the fields near to the village. “I never get bored of that view,” he says, “and I love our little church in the valley.” This year, while walking the fields, he has come up with the idea for a grotto at The Present Finder. It will be a place where customers can visit, browse and choose. “In effect we have done the first big selection for people,” he says of the launch that will

make Christmas shopping that much easier. It sounds like a busy time, so what will he do to keep the energy up? “Chocolate – and lots of it,” is the retort. That and perhaps a pop at Prosecco Pong: “It’s fun, it makes people smile and I wish I had thought up the idea,” he adds. Then he’s off, no doubt in search of the next latest craze. | 25


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Wild Dorset

Dormouse - Anna Muckle



May Franklin-Davis

ell known for being the dozy, snoozing ball of fur found in our hedgerows, the dormouse is a tiny mammal that is seriously under threat of extinction. There are almost 30 different types of dormice globally and one of the most widespread in Western Europe is the Hazel Dormouse, though here it only occurs in England and Wales. A rare sight for many as they are predominantly

28 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

nocturnal, their favoured habitats are coppiced woodland and thick hedgerows with abundant hazel. Unfortunately these have been rapidly decreasing in our countryside and this has been driving declines in dormouse numbers. Highly resourceful, the dormouse weaves its own nests out of honeysuckle bark, together with leaves and other shrubbery such as bramble and they will

also use old birds’ nests. Their diet mainly comprises flowers, buds, berries, nuts and seeds according to what is available seasonally, but also insects such as caterpillars and aphids to increase their fat stores ready for hibernation. Typically, they will hibernate for seven to eight months within nests tucked under leaves or logs on the ground in woodland or hedgerows. A female dormouse will usually have one litter a year in late summer, but sometimes breed earlier and have a second. Averaging four offspring, these take around a month to mature and venture off on their own. Dormice are slow breeders and poor at dispersing, so their populations do not expand much and struggle to recover losses. Their numbers in Britain have dropped over 70% in the past two decades, leaving them vulnerable to extinction. Though owls, weasels, cats and even grey squirrels will take them, predation is not thought to be a major cause of decline. Instead, it is a combination of factors affecting their habitat suitability, such as land use, climate changes and lack of woodland management. Fortunately, numerous conservation efforts have helped bring this delightful, legally protected creature back from the brink. Dormouse fact file:

• Marked as rare and vulnerable to extinction. • Hibernate between October and May. • Weigh the equivalent of two £1 coins – though fatter when ready to hibernate. • Live up to five years. • Nocturnal. • Correctly called the hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius. _______________________________________________


Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group Committee

n torpor, our favorite little furry friend has a particularly photogenic image, neatly curled up with its furry tail wrapping across its chest and face. The Sherborne DWT talk on 15th November is ‘The Secret Life of a Dormouse’. Our speaker is Steve Oliver, who is the mid-Dorset warden of DWT. His summer is spent

on surveys and monitoring work and his winters doing habitat management. A recent paper about dormice had me confused, as the language slipped between ‘dormouse’ and ‘hazel dormouse’, while another source used the term ‘common dormouse’. They are in fact all the same, Muscardinus avellanarius, and the UK’s only native dormouse species. Another dormouse species found in the UK is the edible dormouse. It escaped from the Rothschilds’ private collection at Tring in Hertfordshire in 1902 and has slowly increased its range. The edible dormouse is larger and has a bushier tail than our dormouse, in addition to which it is thought to be a potential danger to native flora and fauna. The dormouse has the highest level of legal protection, meaning that it can only be handled under legal protection. Some years ago we were invited to join Sue Eden on her walk at DWT’s Kingcombe Meadows, my favourite reserve, to check her dormouse boxes. Sue is a West Dorset dormouse expert, who discovered them living in the shrubbery at the bottom of her garden. After several boxes devoid of dormouse activity but containing evidence of other mouse visits, a box was found containing a sleepy and cutely curled dormouse – what a delight and privilege to see one in the wild. I read a disturbing report recently about the threat to oak trees, which could eliminate them from our countryside. Sudden oak death is said to strike only old trees. In Dorset we have many ancient oaks – how tragic to lose one, let alone all, to this condition. Of the 36 great trees of Dorset listed in Andrew Pollard and Emma Brawn’s excellent The Great Trees of Dorset (both Pollard and Brawn were DWT employees at the time of writing the book), 14 are oaks. A magnificent specimen is Judge Wyndham’s Oak at Silton near Gillingham. When the book was written in 2009 it had a girth of 10.5 metres. Oaks support an amazing amount of our native fauna and what a tragedy it would be to lose these wonderful behemoths to an imported fungal-algae condition. ‘The Secret Life of a Dormouse,’ a talk with Steve Oliver, Mid-Dorset Warden, Dorset Wildlife Trust, 7.30pm, Wednesday 15th November, Digby Memorial Hall | 29

Wild Dorset

80 YEARS OF CAMPAIGNING FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE Peter Neal, Vice Chairman, Dorset CPRE Trustees, and Chairman, Sherborne and District Society CPRE


he Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) campaigns for a beautiful and living countryside. We work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, as well as to ensure the countryside is protected for future generations. This year the Dorset Branch celebrated its 80th anniversary – the first meeting was held on 16th April 1937. The meeting was attended by 400 people and chaired by Lord Shaftesbury, Lord-Lieutenant of the County. Sir Kingsley Wood, Minister of Health – for the Ministry was, at that time at least, as concerned with housing as with health – wrote that the proposal to form a branch was “singularly opportune,” since the whole of the county, with the exception of the Portland urban district, had recently under the leadership of the county council been brought within the scope of the Town and Country Planning Act; a planning scheme for the then-urban district of Sherborne had already been submitted. “An important factor in the preservation of amenity,” continued Sir Kingsley, “is to secure that the buildings which are erected are in harmony with their surroundings and with each other.” Lord Ilchester proposed that “a county branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England be established in Dorset.” Unity would be strength – and that was why he was asking those attending to pass the resolution. This was seconded by Lord Rockley and the resolution was carried unanimously. 30 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

In the early 1970s The Sherborne and District Society was founded to help save Swan Yard. Shortly afterwards it became the local group of CPRE, covering all of the DT9 postal code. Eight decades on, Dorset CPRE is still very much alive and kicking. Over the years CPRE played a leading role in establishing National Parks, Green Belts, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the town and country planning system. Locally the society has fought inappropriate development in Sherborne, Charlton Horethorne, Milborne Port, Thornford and Yetminster. It has helped establish conservation areas and works with council planners on planning strategy, as well as landowners and developers on trying to ensure betterdesigned projects. The Nancy Spencer Trust Fund has helped finance about twenty local projects including the museum, Paddock Gardens and the Tinney’s Youth Club. In essence, we stand for the same thing now as we did back in 1937 – to retain a beautiful, diverse countryside for the benefit of everyone, wherever they live. A countryside that can give us the big views, open skies and tranquillity when we need to get away from it all, but also a vibrant, productive countryside that provides good livelihoods and the natural products we will need forever – like food and fresh water. A great deal has changed, a great deal has been lost – but Dorset still has a glorious countryside which needs CPRE’s care and protection.

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The Partner Practice represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Peter Harding Wealth Management is a trading name of The Peter Harding Practice Ltd.

32 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Wide range of scholarships available including 2 major 11+ awards To find out more about us or to arrange a visit call 01935 810911

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UNEARTHED ELEANOR THOMAS, AGED 12 (just!) Sherborne Prep


leanor is something of a musical star, despite her tender age. After auditioning for the Sherborne joint-schools orchestras, she was snapped up for the symphony orchestra – the youngest musician by some way, as this orchestra is usually reserved for more senior pupils. Eleanor is used to large orchestral pieces, though: having played with the Dorset Youth Symphony Orchestra, she is not in the slightest fazed by being surrounded by people much bigger and older than her. Eleanor comes from a musically talented family. Since the age of seven, she has been taught by local bassoonist Katy Ashman, who has brought out the musical best in Eleanor – developing not only her skill and discipline, but also her confidence to perform. Eleanor joined Sherborne Prep this year and has already immersed herself in the music at her school. She already participates in the close-harmony chamber choir, senior choir, school orchestra, music theory club and the Castle Trio (flute, clarinet and bassoon). She is already working towards Grade 6 bassoon after passing her Grade 5 with flying colours and is also about to take her Grade 5 singing. Mrs Fawbert, director of music at Sherborne Prep, commented, “Eleanor is a delightful and impressive girl and, at twelve years old, she is showing a musical maturity beyond her years.” Eleanor has a very bright musical future and is certainly one to watch. However, she has more than one string to her bow (or should that be reed to her mouthpiece?) being talented both on the hockey field and academically too. Whatever the future holds for Eleanor, we are sure that she will continue to impress audiences with her musical flair.

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

34 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

A vibrant and dynamic mix of boys and girls, based on a beautiful parkland site Accredited Forest School Full, weekly and flexi boarding available for girls from age 7

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Scholarships Year 5 entry in Academic Excellence, Music and Sport Application deadline: 6th November 2017 For more information contact the Admissions Team: call 01963 211010 | 35


JUST GOOGLE IT? Adam Ansty, Head of IT, Sherborne Prep


am often amazed at the rapid advancements in technology in my lifespan. We have come to rely on the internet for communication, entertainment, work and even home – in the latter, for example, remotely switching on heating and lighting, or sending instructions to the cooker. Dial-up internet was often a cause of frustration in my childhood home. During the 90s when my mother wanted to make a phone call, she would have to patiently wait as I researched exactly how many wives Henry VIII had for my history prep while using our 10kbps connection. It was not uncommon for many of my internet searches to grind to a halt as the home phone rang and cut me off, or for my mother to brandish a book at me and insist I switch off the machine. Even then, the internet offered exciting opportunities to learn in a multitude of ways. These days I am able to enjoy a super-fast wireless connection of up to 200Mbps while I look through my search history on my smart phone. My magical internet key can turn me into an expert in changing lawn mower blades, predicting Cornish sea swell and identifying rare breeds of butterfly. Whilst I would not feel confident working as an oceanographer or lepidopterist, I can access a vast array of knowledge at lightning speed. The children I teach now hold more computing power in the palms of their hands than super computers did in the 1980s. I impress upon our pupils at Sherborne Prep that, when used wisely, the internet accessed on their tablet provides them with incredible learning opportunities. However, to quote Spiderman’s Uncle Ben(!), “great power brings great responsibility” – and as teachers, parents and as a community, we have a duty to steer our children in the right direction, encouraging them to ask the right questions to further enhance their interests while remaining safe. Growing up, I would never be allowed to use our rather large desktop computer by myself. My parents acted as the physical filtering system. Fortunately, internet search providers now offer software-based filtering in our own homes to keep our children safe and these are widely used to good effect in schools. However, it is essential to establish clear expectations and boundaries both in school and at home, to teach children to take responsibility for sensible internet use themselves and to make good choices. We also offer training to our parents in this rapidly developing internet age, introducing them to new software and social media platforms and showing them how to set up filters and safety nets on their devices. With developments emerging almost daily within the world of computing intelligence, it is not going to be long before my fridge-freezer is searching how many wives Henry VIII had for me, as well as automatically re-ordering my supplies. Exciting times lie ahead and we need to help parents to keep up with their computer- and app-savvy offspring! 36 | Sherborne Times | November 2017 | 37


Children’s Book Review

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

My Name is Victoria, by Lucy Worsley (Bloomsbury) £6.99 Exclusive Sherborne Times reader offer of £5.99 at Winstone’s Books


ou are my sister now,” Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. “Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.” Revered and deservedly popular as Queen, Victoria was much less successful and celebrated when she was still a princess. TV historian Lucy Worsley spins a wonderful adventure around the childhood of the queen as seen through the eyes of a girl of the same age, brought in to be a playmate for the headstrong young princess – and to spy on her. Packed with sinister intrigue and adult dishonesty, the adventure is gripping. So too is the portrait of a difficult young royal being brought up in very challenging circumstances. Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to

become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V. soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Miss V.’s father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V. has a decision to make – to continue in silence, or to speak out. By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.

Children’s Event

Curator, writer and TV Historian Lucy Worsley talks Queen Victoria Saturday 11th November 2pm, Cheap Street Church Tickets £5 available in store See for more details


'Independent Bookseller of the Year 2016’ 8 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PX Tel: 01935 816 128


Simon Walker, Associate Solicitor, Mogers Drewett


have been practicing family law for 13 years in the South West of England. As a general family lawyer, I deal with all aspects of family breakdown and helping the family in an holistic way. It has always been my intention to assist families with their difficulties and not to make things worse. Despite the drive to embrace a more conciliatory approach in family law, we are still dogged by statute law in relation to divorce, which encourages animosity and discord. Before divorce proceedings can be contemplated, parties need to have been married for a year. After that time, the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to satisfy this criterion it is incumbent on the petitioner to show one of the five following facts: Adultery Unreasonable behaviour Desertion 2 years separation by consent 5 years separation without consent.

Most divorces are based on either adultery or unreasonable behaviour, as these are the only two facts that will allow the petitioner to proceed with a petition without waiting for a period of two years. No-one likes to see their own unreasonable behaviour set out in black and white, let alone put before the court. If the particulars of unreasonable behaviour are provocative, then the respondent has the option of

40 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

challenging the petition. Such a challenge will cause distress for all parties and increase the cost of divorce, despite both parties wanting to end the marriage. Lawyers tend to address this issue by working together, often watering down the allegations and subsequently reaching a consensus before filing the petition with the court. However, this approach was recently interrupted by the courts, much to the surprise of the legal profession. In the case of Owen and Owen [2017] EWCA Civ 182, His Honour Judge Tolson stated that the wife failed to prove that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him. The judge found the particular of the husband prioritising his work life over home life was a conventional form of words with no application, suggesting that the wife needed to show a consistent and persistent course of conduct to satisfy the test of ‘unreasonable behaviour’. The decision has reinvigorated the call by lawyers and their clients for no-fault divorce. The case is to be considered by the Supreme Court and practitioners await the outcome in the hope that a more conciliatory approach to family law will continue to be encouraged. In the meantime, practitioners will need to find a balance when drafting the particulars of unreasonable behaviour, so they are sufficient to satisfy the court, but not so aggressive as to encourage a challenge by the Respondent.

FAMILY MEDIATION SERVICES Relationship breakdown is inevitably a difficult time for all; especially when children are involved. Choosing a constructive way to resolve any issue arising from a separation can help make the process easier for your family. With the assistance of a trained specialist, Mediation allows parents the security and space to have discussions, with the aim of reaching joint decisions that meet your family’s needs. Reaching these decisions together can assist you in co-parenting as a separated couple, both now and in the future. If you would like more information please contact: SIMON WALKER ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR

T 0800 533 5349

Family | Sherborne Office: 01935 813691




Or at least they are my top ten, based on how many times I seem to repeat them to my students! Ali Cockrean

1. DON’T be too hard on yourself

3. DON’T paint when you are tired or frustrated

I’m not sure whether it’s because the tools an artist uses look like such simple devices – a wooden handle with either bristles or metal at one end – but people seem to assume that they should master the art of painting with brushes and palette knives within minutes of picking them up. The honest truth is that good painting technique is a skill, not unlike learning to play a musical instrument. It takes dedication and practice to become really adept at manipulating them. Consequently, this takes time. So limit your initial expectations and enjoy the journey!

Painting well can be challenging, even when you are fresh and fully focused. It requires your full attention and is tiring over a period of time. Wise artists avoid making important decisions about the progress of their work when they are tired. Always take a break at these times and give yourself the chance to go back later and tackle issues. Similarly, if you find yourself getting frustrated with your work, recognise that fact and take a break.

2. DO put enough time into preparing to paint

Many leisure painters see mixing their colour palette as a chore or a necessary evil before they get to the exciting bit of applying paint to canvas. The reality is that good preparation is essential to producing a great painting. At the heart of this is the thought that goes in to your colour choices and the relationships these hues have with each other. Limiting the palette ensures that you achieve harmony and balance. 42 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

4. DO mix enough paint

My students will tell you that I am constantly encouraging them to mix enough paint to complete a painting. In acrylics, this requires you keep the paint in a stay-wet palette box. Once you start work on the canvas, you really don’t want to constantly break the flow of painting with the distraction of mixing paint. Yes, all artists ‘tweak’ the colours as they work, but the core of the colour preparation is done before they start. It also saves you a lot of time if you don’t have to keep remixing and matching colours!

painting can be completed in a couple of hours, whereas a small one can take 15! I sometimes hear students say, “I’ll spend another two hours on this and that’s it – it’s taking too long.” Paintings evolve and change constantly as they move towards a conclusion. Great artists know that they simply take as long as they take to get there and accept that you can’t paint to the clock. 8. DO consider tone ahead of colour

Colour is far sexier to leisure painters than tone, but tone is an essential component of skilful painting. Getting the nuances of light and shadow right is the key to accomplished painting. The first layer of every painting should consider tone ahead of colour. 9. DON’T give up too soon

My experience of working with new painters over many years is that often they assume that one to two layers of paint should finish a painting. The reality is that it can take many layers to add in all the subtleties required in a good work of art. 10. DO expect to revise, correct and rework constantly

5. DON’T be scared to make mistakes and take risks

Trying to avoid making mistakes and taking risks makes you a dull painter. It is only by pushing the boundaries that you learn and grow, becoming more accomplished and skilful at your practice. The best art generally comes through experimentation. 6. DO manage the paint and your palette properly

Bad paint and palette management make the job harder. Lay out your colours in a way that makes sense for you - usually by tone or colour range. Mix paints with a palette knife if working in oils or acrylics, as they are easier to clean and save you ruining your brushes. When you finish a painting session, protect the paint from the air with a cover. 7. DON’T set a time limit to complete a painting

Every painting is unique and no two will take the same length of time to complete. It has nothing to do with the size of the painting either. A large

Another new painter pitfall is expecting to get it right first time. It can take a while to realise that constant revising, correcting, adjusting and reworking is simply what painting is about. Very few artists ever get it right first time. Just look at the BBC programme Fake or Fortune. When they forensically examine paintings that later prove to be authentic, so often the fact that all the artist’s re-workings are evident under the microscope is the proof the experts need to demonstrate the hand of an old master. I suspect a lot of people reading this will find themselves falling foul of one or more of the above! Believe me, they are very common pitfalls in painting. I sincerely hope that these points help address some of the challenges leisure painters face as they strive to improve. One final thought – remember, most artists are rarely happy with their work and never know when they’ve reached the top of their game. That’s why painting is a lifelong journey and a true passion, whatever level you are painting at! | 43


Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz 1916 Oil on canvas 813 x 543 mm. The Art Institute of Chicago



Julian Halsby

n 23rd November a major exhibition devoted to the work of Amedeo Modigliani opens at Tate Modern – and it is likely to be a blockbuster event, as the work of Modigliani is hugely popular with art lovers of all generations. Extremely handsome and – when sober – totally charming, Modigliani was born into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy, and settled in Paris in 1906. He lived a Bohemian life, always short of money, addicted to both drugs and alcohol, drifting from studio to studio in Montmartre and later Montparnasse, a popular and well-known figure in the cafés, but always struggling to sell his work during his brief career. Yet beneath 44 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

this Bohemian and often wild exterior lay a highly intellectual and perceptive artist. He revered the artists of the Italian Renaissance, whose work he knew intimately, and he always carried a copy of Dante’s Inferno in his pocket as well as the more mystic The Songs of Maldoror by Le Comte de Lautreamont. He made perceptive comments about the direction of modern art, having severe reservations about Futurism and even many aspects of Cubism and abstract art. He should have been an enormous success during his lifetime, but his finger always hovered over the self-destruct button and he died on the verge of success, destroyed by years of self-abuse and neglect. He stands with Van Gogh and

Gauguin as one of the tragic heroes of modern art. His first years in Paris were spent in Montmartre, working on sculpture hewn from solid stone and reflecting his passion for Egyptian, African and Easter Island sculpture, which he studied in the Louvre. His early sculptures have the elongated form and stylised faces which he later developed in his works on canvas. He was a great draughtsman with an extraordinary sense of line, elegant, subtle and expressive. To raise money, Modi – as he was known to his friends – would tour the cafés, selling his drawings for a few francs to tourists. "A beef steak is more important than a drawing,” he said. "I can easily make drawings but I cannot make a beef steak.” In around 1910 Modigliani moved to Montparnasse, along with many other artists who wanted to escape the increasingly touristic Montmartre, and soon gathered around him a wide group of friends. His closest friends were Maurice Utrillo, the alcoholic painter of Paris, and Chaim Soutine, an uncouth but brilliant artist from Russia. He knew the Cubist group around Picasso, Jean Cocteau – who greatly admired his work – Jules Pascin, known as ‘The Prince of Montparnasse’, the writer and mystic Max Jacob and many Jewish emigrés from Russia and Eastern Europe such as Moïse Kisling and Jacques Lipchitz. Modigliani painted these friends and his portraits have given us a wonderful insight into the artistic world of Montparnasse at the height of its influence and creativity. Modi was also, of course, irresistible to women. He had a string of lovers including Anna Akhmatova, the Russian poet, Nina Hamnett, an English artist and associate of the Bloomsbury group, and Beatrice Hastings, the South African journalist and lover of Katherine Mansfield, who described him as, "A complex character – a swine and a pearl." But the love of his life was Jeanne Hébuterne, a young Parisian girl brought up in a strict Catholic family, who turned her back on her family and became Modi’s lover, bearing his daughter in 1918. Tragically, after Modi’s death in 1920, Jeanne committed suicide by jumping from a first-floor window onto railings below. That Modi loved women is evident in his superb and sensual nudes, painted with the help and encouragement of Léopold Zborowski, a Polish art dealer who supported Modi both financially and morally in his later years. The composition of theses nudes is often complex and the poses look back to the great nudes of Titian, Giorgione, Bordone and Botticelli, yet he manages to combine art-historical references with a pulsing

sensuality and sense of realism. The viewer is acutely aware of the artist’s passion for his subject. What is it that makes Modigliani’s work so popular? Maybe above all he represents an alternative, more approachable style of modernism based on observation, drawing and fine technique. Indeed his technique is outstanding, in particular his extraordinary sense of colour, which he modulates with a skill derived from one of his heroes, Paul Cézanne. His application of paint is masterly and very tactile. We know that he worked fast and furiously, always completing his pictures in one session, applying his paint beautifully and instinctively. At the same time his portraits really convey the character and appearance of the sitters, something we can judge by comparing his portraits with contemporary photo-graphs. So his mannerisms – in particular the long necks and closed eyes – fight with his sense of reality. This conflict somehow brings his sitters to life, so we meet the real Picasso, the real Max Jacob, the real Jeanne Hébuterne and the real inhabitants of artistic Montparnasse. Lucky in his looks and talent, Modigliani was maybe unlucky as an artist – he certainly believed so. His only one-man exhibition at Berthe Weill Gallery in Paris in 1917 was closed on the first day by the police because they considered his nudes indecent and he always felt that Picasso and his circle achieved the success that was unfairly denied to him. Modigliani died in 1920 on the verge of success, his work having been exhibited and sold in an exhibition in 1919 at Heals Mansard Gallery in Tottenham Court Road. As Jean Cocteau wrote, "There was something like a curse on this very noble boy. He was beautiful – but alcohol and misfortune took their toll on him." Maybe the truest epitaph is the one inscribed on his grave in Paris: "Death overtook him as he came to Glory”. Julian Halsby is giving a lecture, ‘Modigliani and Bohemian Paris 1906-1920’, at the Digby Hall on Wednesday 29th November. Tickets are £8.50, to include a pre-lecture glass of wine. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets available from Tourist Information Office and Eventbrite at modiglianiparis. The lecture is a joint Sherborne Artslink and Sherborne Arts Society event. Modigliani at Tate Modern, 23th November 2017 - 2nd April 2018 | 45


THE CONCEALED SHOES, C.1730 Elisabeth Bletsoe, Curator, Sherborne Museum


his rather unprepossessing pair of shoes, dated about 1730, covered in mortar dust and with evidence of woodworm in the heels, should not be lightly dismissed, as they provide fascinating insights into Sherborne’s intangible heritage. Folklore not only enriches the identity of a locality, but also allows us into the mindset of our forebears and has been described as “revealing the invisible links in the chains of the world”. These were discovered hidden within a wall cavity at Boyle’s School in Yetminster, where an extension was being created. Shoes are the most common objects to be found deliberately concealed, usually in domestic buildings in chimneys, fireplaces, hearths and disused ovens, behind the laths within walls or in the roof-space, often where major alterations were made, at the juncture of old and new, as well as within voids in the fabric or at points of entry and access. These areas would be seen as most vulnerable to supernatural assault, necessitating a charm of protection. This is reinforced by the fact that shoes are often found in what archaeologists call 'spiritual caches' alongside pages torn from a Bible, pierced pebbles, animal bones, dried flowers or dolls. Long associated with fertility, shoes are still thrown after a departing newly wedded couple to ensure good luck and a safe return. It seems that boots or shoes were considered an effective trap for evil spirits, although sentiment could have been an additional underlying motive for some concealments. Worn items were chosen, as the shoe’s ability to deform allows the imprint of the wearer and it can therefore 'stand in' for 46 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

the person, retaining their essence through intimate association. This 'spiritual graffito' offers the house protection by the former wearer through the supernatural plane and it is believed unlucky to remove such items from their hiding place. Sometimes the shoes are so deliberately slashed and mutilated as to suggest malevolent magic. Even the drawn outlines of shoes seemed to possess a strange virtue, as they are sometimes found scratched on lead roofs, especially of churches. The practice has so far been recorded as occurring from the C13th to as late as the first part of the C20th, being particularly common during the C16th and C17th as well as generally increasing during times of war. Although many types of folk ways were discussed by contemporary scholars, deliberate concealments appear to have escaped attention until recently, perhaps because secrecy was considered essential for the efficacy of the rite. If you are intrigued by these hidden objects, come to the free talk hosted by the Museum in the Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road at 7.30pm on 17th November and given by Dr Ceri Houlbrook of Hertfordshire University, an expert in this field. This forms part of the Being Human festival 2017, the theme of which is 'Lost and Found', where you will be able to see more of the curiosities found within the building fabric of our town. Reserve your place on

48 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

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love of or need for hygge (pronounced ‘heugah’) is an important part of the Danish psyche. Now a familiar and oft-used term in UK lifestyle columns, hygge is usually inadequately translated as ‘cosiness’. This simple translation just doesn’t do it justice. The term can encompass countless moments, from slipping into a hot bath to enjoying a cocoa by candlelight – just two of many examples of the national practice of ‘hygge’. You can hygge curled up on the sofa with a good book, or relax with friends around the fire. Bringing warmth and comfort into your home this winter is exactly what we all want to be doing. Get the essence of hygge first by lighting a room with an array of dimly lit lamps. Bright central lights are a no-no, as a warm glow from the corners of a room create atmosphere and a sense of cosiness eliminated by an overhead glare. Metallic-based lamps will reflect the golden hues 52 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

around your room, while a fabric lampshade makes for a soft, diffused glow. Why not match the fabric to a key piece of furniture or cushions in the room? Denmark is one of the biggest consumers of candles worldwide. Light some wicks around your home – scented or non-scented, any size, any shape. A flickering candle light of any kind brings an essence of calm. You could also gather a mix of soft textures. Perhaps update an old chair by reupholstering it in a classic wool, or garnish your living-room space with cosy textiles. These could include a sheepskin rug on the floor, scattercushions on the sofa in velvets and faux furs, or lots of lovely throws for snuggling under on a cold evening. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Denmark boasts the happiest workforce in the world, as we could all do with some hygge after a hard day’s work! Go on, treat yourself.

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Coach House | 53

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A LOT OF BOTTLE Richard Bromell ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


ver the centuries we have commemorated just about everything, from invasions to weddings. After the industrial revolution, the 19th century produced a vast array of commemorative items. Rarely a day goes by when we do not see a piece of Victorian (or later) commemorative pottery. Queen Victoria celebrated her numerous jubilees with her subjects and many potteries viewed this as an opportunity to churn out cups, saucers and mugs. Sadly all but a few have any great value at auction today, as there are just so many of them. Moving into the 20th century, the theme of producing (usually inexpensive) commemorative wares continued as monarchs came and went, various entente cordials were stuck up or exhibitions celebrated. So really, we need little encouragement to produce a commemorative item. One of the problems with a good number of commemorative items is that they were designed to be kept, the result being that many that were made still exist today. I wish I had a penny for every time I have been asked to look at a newspaper supplement for the coronation of King George VI, or one for VE and the end of the Second World War. Moving forward to more recent times, the Millennium produced a marketing bonanza for savvy businesses who wanted in on the game. Although I did not visit the exhibition at The Millennium Dome, my kids did bring me back a commemorative mug. However, after a couple of years of going through the dishwasher, the pattern totally wore away – and, being honest, today I have no idea where it is. 58 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

That being said, it is not all bad news for commemorative lots. Items made in precious metals such as silver or gold will always have a value and, if combined with small production numbers, can turn up some great results at auction. Equally, pottery or porcelain items (generally) made before 1840 are highly sought after by collectors. As usual, condition is important, although buyers can be more tolerant when sourcing some of the rarer pieces. However, often we see a crossover of collectors and when this happens, it can get interesting on the rostrum. It looks like one of the lots in our November two-day auction which should get the buyers bidding. There are many collectors of bottles and many people like port, so a set of two commemorative bottles of port we have up for sale will tick the box for lots of bidders. One of the bottles, produced by Sandeman, commemorates the silver jubilee of King George V in 1935. The other celebrates – rather bizarrely in my book – that Commendador port was the only port supplied at the banquets given by the President of France to the Kings of England in the early part of the 20th century and, most recently, at the banquet which King George VI attended in July 1938! Whether or not the two bottles – being sold as one lot in our wine, port and whisky auction on Thursday 16th November – sell to a port connoisseur or a bottle collector, one thing is for sure: at £500 for both bottles, it is a little above my weekly budget!

CHARTERHOUSE Auctioneers & Valuers We are now accepting entries for our forthcoming auctions: Classic & Vintage Cars Sunday 5th November Silver, Jewellery & Watches with a selection of Wine, Port & Whisky Thursday 16th November Ceramics, Antiques & Interiors Friday 17th November

Friday 15th December £400-600

Coins, Medals, Stamps & Collector’s Items Friday 15th December

Contact Richard Bromell for advice or to arrange a home visit

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The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne DT9 3BS 01935 812277

Next Auction Next Auction Next Auction Next Auction 16 October 2014 9 July 2015 30 November 2017 16November October 2014 Athelhampton House 30 2017 Athelhampton House

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62 | Sherborne Times | November 2017


ne of the first site-based jobs I ever did was in St Helier, the capital of Jersey. The project was the refurbishment of a Victorian bank building, known locally as ‘the wedding cake’. It had earned its moniker thanks to its somewhat over-the-top, ornate plastered facades. My role was to arrange for the plasterwork, which had become badly cracked over the years, to be repaired. The project was interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, I was on Jersey for the whole of the summer and I was single with time on my hands. As far as the job was concerned, I only had one problem to solve. There was nobody to tell me what to do or how to do it. I had the opportunity to learn how to do one thing well – and how often does that happen? But I was curious. I wanted to learn more than just practical crack-fixing techniques. As an architect, I recognised that technical expertise was important, but so too was the need to understand the social and aesthetic context. In the case of my building, people thought the cracking was just ugly and that something needed to be done about it. It was the physical manifestation of a mistake that had been made many years earlier; namely, to build in a form of rigid construction on ground that was susceptible to movement. So I opened a file and named it ‘The Philosophy of Cracking’. I learned about how people’s appreciation of defects varies and how it is different in different cultures. I re-discovered the concept of ‘wabi-sabi’, which had been introduced to me in architecture school – that facet of Japanese culture, of ‘beautiful imperfection’, that is so intrinsic to the way of life in Japan and I remembered the concept of entropy from my school days. I looked into the arts and recognised how the concept of ‘flaws’ is important to many artists. How, in some cultures, it is normal practice to deliberately introduce a defect into a work of art, in the belief that only God is perfect. How the cracking of oil paint is used to determine authenticity and provenance in fine art and how cracking is used in pottery, particularly in techniques such as raku, for aesthetic effect. I remembered from my engineering studies the subject of fracture mechanics and how, in material

science, materials are described as being brittle, ductile, hard, soft, malleable, or tough. And I realised that the characteristics of materials are not unlike those of people; that some are more likely than others to crack when stressed. You tap the area that surrounds a crack and the loose material falls away to reveal that, underneath, everything is connected to everything else. I became particularly aware that my new-found knowledge had changed not just how I saw the world, but also what I saw. Once seen, it was difficult to unsee. For months and possibly years afterwards, wherever I went I couldn’t look at something without seeing cracks. If you concentrate for a while, you will be able to see them too and when you do, you will be forced to conclude that the whole world is cracked, that our man-made environment is continually on the verge of crumbling. It takes great care and constant attention to maintain the facade. Soon after my sojourn in St Helier, I remember visiting the house of a new client for the first time. Part-way through our meeting they stopped me to ask if everything was OK. I realised that I’d been inadvertently studying the cracks in the walls of their home as they explained their project to me. I couldn’t go for supper with friends without my mind wandering off at some point during the evening to follow a hair-line crack in the ceiling. “Everything alright?” they might say. “Oh! Er… Sorry. It’s nothing,” I might reply. But it wasn’t nothing, it was something. It was becoming a real problem. But gradually knowledge and know-how fade if not used and all of that was a long time ago. I think I’m over it now. I’ve moved on. These days I prefer to keep my crack-fixing expertise to myself. It’s under control and I only allow it to surface when strictly necessary. I no longer trace crack patterns when in social contexts but, if I did ever suffer a relapse, I’m confident that you wouldn’t notice. “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen | 63

64 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

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NATURAL DEFENCES Mike Burks, Managing Director, The Gardens Group


t occurred to me one day, while putting together a list of herbs used for culinary purposes followed by a list of plants used as natural insect repellents, how many of the plants appeared on both lists. Around that time, I was reading a book about a scientist working in the rainforest in Brazil, who described how at meal times, she would stop her food from being attacked by ants with cinnamon bark, which repelled the ants and resulted in her food being spared. Although not in a Brazilian rainforest, we had something similar in our house, where we were under attack by a particularly persistent tribe of ants sneaking in alongside the gas pipe for the central heating. I had tried all sorts of proprietary treatments from an excellent garden centre, but these were persistent blighters and numbers were on their side. Now don’t

66 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

get me wrong – I am an admirer of the ant, who is normally a decent fellow and a team player, but on this occasion we had a slight disagreement, as I needed my utility room for my own purposes. Having read into cinnamon bark, I rushed into the kitchen. Though I couldn’t find any cinnamon sticks, I did locate the powdered equivalent. After dusting the ant trail, they immediately stopped and had a get-together before turning tail and heading back out through the wall into the garden. I monitored the situation for the rest of the afternoon and for two hours there was no activity – or so it seemed! In fact, back at base the ants had been deep in discussion, firstly to discover how I had found out about cinnamon and then assessing what they could do about it. With their decision made, the ants returned for one

final try, only this time via a three-inch detour around the cinnamon powder. Knowing the cinnamon had them on the run, I sprinkled it directly alongside the gas pipe which stopped them altogether – and I’m pleased to say they didn’t return this year. Personally, I don’t find cinnamon a naturally appealing taste. Of course it’s associated with winter cooking and Christmas, so I enjoy it for that reason, but I rarely use it in any other cooking – and why would you? My theory is that it was originally used as a deterrent for insects that came along during the winter months, with the same being true for most herbs. For instance, a single bay leaf can be enough to keep a hundred-weight bag of flour free from pesky flour weevil, which is potent! Again, it’s a taste that I don’t think anyone finds pleasant on its own, unless of course Delia or Jamie suggests adding it to a casserole, in which case it’s perfect. Basil, too, is associated with Mediterranean cuisine, but it’s also a powerful insect repellent, often used on restaurant tables to ward off mosquitos. Maybe this is

how basil got introduced to food, or perhaps it fell into a dish of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes by accident and before you knew it, bruschetta was born. I also find it slightly hard to believe that, after a long day of hunting, a caveman would return with a feeble scrawny rabbit, only to be told to head back out to collect the young shoots of rosemary or thyme. These hunter gatherers were hungry and didn’t care too much about the delicate flavours infused in meat, or cooking it for that matter! Plants are incredibly powerful for many reasons – whether it’s battling against an insect attack, preserving food or for medicinal purposes. In an era of so few manufactured products to effectively combat these issues, their original purposes are once again being remembered. We also mustn’t forget their use in companion-planting regimes. I’m increasingly seeing more of this in gardening and, what’s more, there’s nothing better than the taste of your own homegrown herbs. | 67



Diary of a First-Time Flower Farmer Paul Stickland, Black Shed Flowers


t was all very well growing several thousand gorgeous cut flowers, but how were we going to sell them? We’d done our research and we knew there was a rising tide of interest in fresh British grown blooms – the papers were full of articles, the National Farmers’ Union had got behind the movement and top florists such as Simon Lycett, Jonathan Moseley and Shane Connolly had been spreading the word. Covent Garden was taking note and groups such as Flowers From The 68 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Farm were doing an amazing job putting British growers in the limelight. Our aim was to create a ‘destination,’ in order to see the flowers growing in the field, to choose or pick your own, a family day out and a unique floral experience. We knew that sharing our site with Peter and Amanda Hunt’s wonderful Toy Barn, with its classy toyshop and garden full of adventure toys would make a great experience for our customers. A simple, fun and quirky café in our own Black Shed

style would be a vital part of the mix. Think corrugated iron and timber, patinated-and-worn versus shiny galvanised tin. A great cup of coffee or yummy ice cream to enjoy whilst your loved ones pick a beautiful bouquet, zoom around on a go-kart or bounce on a trampoline. We just needed to get the word out… Facebook and Instagram would play a great part in this. I’ve always loved taking photos, so the flowers themselves would be our ambassadors. I use Instagram as a visual diary, to record the story of our flower farming journey. Follow us and you’ll be able to see the full story! We created a Facebook page and started posting photos of our flowers and first forays into floristry. Our friends would learn of our fledgling business and hopefully word of mouth would kick in. Then Peter had a great idea. Anyone who knows Peter knows that he is full of energy and enthusiasm, with no shortage of interesting ideas. He’d offered us the whole five-acre field, but we wanted to start small and grow as we needed to. So we fenced off just one acre to get going, leaving four acres ploughed and ready for something. “So let’s plant a maize maze,” he said. “It’ll drive traffic through the flower farm and make a great day out for all the family.” Brilliant – except we’d have to be open for customers by first week of the summer holiday… This was a tough call. It was May and we were staring at a bare ploughed field. We had to lay out and prepare the beds as well as sow hundreds of square metres of grass paths to be ready for the first visitors in July. Using every daylight hour we got the grass sown, then planted our first beds in June. We don’t dig, instead planting our seedlings and tubers then mulching heavily with garden waste compost. The fantastic stone-free soil made for easy preparation and wonderful growth, so by

the start of the school holidays we were ready for action. Pete’s maize maze was a great idea and the car park was starting to fill. The need to get the café up and running became pressing. We have the use of one of the corrugated iron grain silos in the farmyard, so out came the angle grinder to cut a doorway. I made a couple of doors, opened an account at Hunt’s, put the kettle on and we were off. We’ve been busy ever since. The car park filled up with customers as word got out that you could have a whole day of fun at the Toy Barn and Black Shed Flowers. Every grandparent for miles around came, had a cup of coffee and chose a bunch of flowers whilst their little darlings wore themselves out on the swings and slides, or were lost for hours of fun in the Maze. Visitors were posting photos of their flowers and the gardens on Facebook and Instagram too, which was incredibly helpful. The maize maze is now gone for this year and being enjoyed by Pete’s cows, but it really helped get the word out there. We’ve had hundreds of customers who love our simple idea, we’re supplying wonderful wedding florists, colourful DIY weddings and our Pick Your Own Sundays have proved a great success. It’s been a steep learning curve and incredibly hard work, but enormous fun and very rewarding. What are we doing now? Apart from digesting all that we’ve learned, there’s the massive task of digging up all those dahlia tubers, preparing another 500 square metres of beds, ordering and planting bulbs, seeds, perennials and shrubs, planning flower-filled events, workshops and summer parties… Enjoying it? We’re loving it! | 69

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The Lawn & Landscape Centre Marston Road, Sherborne, DT9 4SX

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For more information visit our website or come down to the showroom. Unit 1a > South Western Business Pk > Sherborne > Dorset > DT9 3PS T: 01935 816 168 > >

NEWTON HOUSE GIN Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


t was when I gave Robin his Christmas present in 2014 that the idea really took hold,” says Jane Cannon. She is talking about her husband Robin’s passion for artisan gin. Gin had been a bit of ‘hobby’, not only for Robin, but for them both. The couple had always enjoyed sampling it, so Jane decided to take the next step and give her husband a tour of a distillery in the south of England as a yuletide treat. “That was the catalyst for a new venture,” she smiles. Newton House Gin was born. Newton House is the name of their home, a Jacobean manor in Somerset which they purchased in 2007. It was in a state of complete disrepair and they have since spent 10 years lovingly restoring the house and its gardens to their former glory. The grounds are spectacular; the walled garden in particular is perfect for growing the fruit and botanicals they use in their gin. >

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It has taken just over two years to develop the project and turn what was once the dairy into their distillery. But it is a journey that was waiting to happen in such a natural habitat for a locally produced gin. Hidden among the foliage is a spring that produces clean, crystal-clear water for the gin, while the botanicals are largely foraged from the garden. Lining the wall of the garden are large glasshouses, at least 90 foot long, that house lemons, oranges and peaches. The mint and blueberries, two of Robin and Jane’s favourite flavours, are picked from nearby garden borders. To those they add the all-important juniper berries, coriander seed, bergamot, yellow grapefruit, liquorice root – this was Robin’s particular choice – almonds and angelica root. The latter, says Robin, “particularly sets the flavour”. They have clearly had a lot of fun developing their gin. The first foray began with ‘Hermione’, their 10-litre copper still, which was used for much of the experimentation. Once they had settled on the recipe, ‘Henrietta’, a somewhat chunkier 60-litre copper still, was installed. “We named them both over a boozy newyear lunch,” says Jane. Luckily, the girls seem to get on. Despite all the fun there is to be had, artisan gin has become a serious business, as more and more distilleries are opening up. We Brits have always enjoyed this tipple.

It is said that gin was invented in the 17th century by a Dutch chemist called Franciscus Sylvius. It was initially intended for medicinal purposes and used to treat a range of illnesses ranging from kidney ailments to lumbago. In England, however, its popularity really began to soar in the 18th century, when the brandy tax went through the roof and a ‘gin’ craze overtook the country. It is said that, around that time, 11 million gallons was consumed in a year – with an average of 90 bottles a year downed by man, woman and child. Thankfully, we have now become a little more discerning and prefer to discover the ‘nose’ of the beverage. Although there is still a defining stipulation for gin that no sugar be added, there must be juniper present and a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% – Newton’s stands at 43.2%. For connoisseurs, it is the scent of the botanicals as they hit the palette that has become the ultimate quest. Robin is covert when it comes to his particular recipe and likes to leave the imbiber to discover the particular sensory ‘notes’ of Newton House Gin. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that this is a slow-pressure gin that won’t be rushed. “Our aspiration is only to produce gin on a small scale and to keep it hand-crafted,” explains Robin. “At the most we will only be able produce 1,000 bottles a week.” > | 75

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Over the past year Robin and Jane have been busy making the gin themselves. While Robin has been in charge of operating the distilling side of things, Jane has managed the labelling and bottling. However, Tristan Jorgensen has recently joined the business from Islay distillery in Scotland and will take over the distilling for them. The truth is that, despite being apparent fledglings, these are not people who do things by halves. “Gin has always been my tipple of choice,” says Robin – and, with that, he leads me into the personal gin bar. It is a warm, glamorous corner in the house, where he keeps a collection of over 300 different bottles of gin, both vintage and new. “If I start something, I have to go the whole way,” he explains. “And if it’s something I can collect, I just collect and collect.” Such a passion has led them to open a bespoke ‘Gin House’ in the former stable and coach house, where they host gin and jazz nights with a supper. There will also be ‘gin and ginger cake afternoons’, to be held on days when the gardens will be open to the public. But the most exciting prospect of all, is that Sherborne will have its own nearby distillery, one that produces an aromatically balanced gin made from waters that flow into the river Yeo. We can all raise a glass to that. | 77

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Open to all for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week Bar open 11am - 11pm Long Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3BY T: 01935 813131 E: W:

A big “thank you” to everyone who has made our first year a truly memorable one. We love being part of Sherborne. We have recently introduced some delicious semifreddi. These desserts can be served straight from your freezer and are perfect for a celebration. You can also order a slice in our shop to have with your coffee!


Open to all for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week Bar open 11am - 11pm Long Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3BY T: 01935 813131 E: W: | 79

Food & Drink

Image: Katharine Davies




hen I was teaching full-time, the October half-term was always when I made my Christmas mincemeat, puddings and cakes. I’m now ‘retired’ and can make them whenever I like, but old habits die hard and I start making preparations from mid-October onwards. I don’t think it is necessarily correct to say that cakes, puds and mincemeat need to be made so many weeks ahead – with the right amount of pre-soaking in alcohol (the bakes, not me), they are 80 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

perfectly fine. The recipe below can easily be made in late November and no one will know that they haven’t been maturing for weeks. This mincemeat is an adaption of one I learned from my husband’s grandmother. She used very little alcohol, but mine is definitely boozy. These ingredients make two jars, sufficient for a dozen mince pies, but you can double the recipe and package it up as a Christmas gift.


1 medium-sized Bramley apple, around 150g with peel 1 medium eating apple 150g light brown sugar 150ml barley wine Zest and juice of 1 small orange Zest and juice of 1 small lemon 30g unsalted butter 100g raisins 25g pre-soaked prunes, chopped 50g dried cherries, chopped 50g dried cranberries, chopped 150g sultanas 1 tsp mixed spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 3 tbsp of brandy 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur Method

1 Peel and grate the apples and place in a pan with the brown sugar barley wine, zest and juice of the orange and lemon. Stir well and place on a medium heat. Gradually bring to the boil, stirring frequently until the apples are soft. 2 Add the butter, dried fruits and spices to the pan and simmer until thickened (about 30-40 mins), stirring frequently. 3 Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, stir in the brandy and orange liqueur. 4 You may jar the mincemeat at this time, or put it in a container and keep it in the fridge. It can be used straight away, or will mature if you wish to keep it.

COFFEE BREAK Kafe Fontana 82 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ @kafefontana kafefontana 01935 812180 Old School Gallery Boyle’s Old School, High Street, Yetminster, DT9 6LF @yetminstergalle 01935 872761 Oliver’s Coffee House 19 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU @OliversSherbs Olivers-Coffee-House 01935 815005 The Three Wishes 78 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ 01935 817777 | 81

Food & Drink

THE GREEN PARTY Michelle & Rob Comins, Comins Tea


hen people start to become more conscious of their health, they often begin to drink green tea. Rob has just returned from a tea trip to Japan and Taiwan, so what better time to explore this diverse category? As with white, oolong and black teas, green tea is a product of the camellia sinensis plant. The defining characteristic of green tea is that it is made up of leaves that are prevented from oxidising. Strictly speaking, green teas are not totally un-oxidised. This is because tea leaves begin to oxidise slowly as soon as they are picked, and processing may not start for a 82 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

couple of hours after this. So what we mean when we say ‘un-oxidised’ is that oxidation is not promoted in any way, but simply stopped as early as possible. ‘KILL-GREEN’

Oxidation is halted by heating the leaves shortly after picking. This denatures the enzyme that is part of the chemical reaction of the oxidation, stopping the browning so that the leaf remains a green colour. The process, commonly called ‘kill-green’, is named after the Mandarin ‘shaqing’, which means ‘killing the green’.

and taste the latest from Rob’s trip! Other methods are the use of an oven, a bamboo basket over charcoal (for example, Mao Feng) and even sun-drying (rare). ROLLING AND DRYING

After heating, the leaf is rolled and dried. How this is done varies by region and producer preference. Variation in these steps can produce very different tea flavours and textures. Rolling is undertaken by hand or machine. The leaves are simply rolled into needle-like shapes (as with Japanese Sencha) or balls (as with Gunpowder). Finally, the tea leaves are placed in a drying room or an oven to drop their moisture content to around 3-6%. This stops any further chemical reaction and stabilises the tea. However, oxidation can never truly be stopped, which is why tea can become stale after a period of time – though this is usually a few years with most greens. HEALTH AND GREEN TEA

Image: Katharine Davies

This heating can be done in a variety of ways, depending on what is traditional or what tea is required. The main methods are pan-firing and steaming. Pan-firing is the preferred method in China, where the leaves are pressed or tossed in a dry, hot wok for one to two minutes. Examples of teas processed this way are Gunpowder and Long Jing (Dragonwell). Steaming, more prevalent in Japan, entails the leaves moving through a rolling, steaming tunnel for 60 seconds or less. Sencha, Gyokuro and Matcha are examples of teas produced this way – call in to hear

When it comes to how good tea is for you, there are a myriad of claims and counter claims. This is a topic that needs a blog to itself, so in the meantime I will focus on just a few key areas of interest. The type of processing discussed above retains the maximum amounts of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds in the processed tea. This controls aroma and taste, but also has health implications. One such compound is the antioxidant compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that may also hold cancerfighting properties. EGCG is fairly simple to extract and use for pharmaceutical purposes and is continually being researched and refined. Green teas have also been said to be linked with weight loss, in that they boost metabolism. We would encourage you to read more widely, check all the information available for yourself and seek expert opinion if tea and health is a particular area of interest for you. BREWING

In most instances, green tea should be brewed at 80°C for one to two minutes. However, depending on the cut of the leaf and the level of processing, the brew time may be longer. There are some teas that require a lower temperature, such as Gyokuro, a Japanese shade-grown tea. So what are you waiting for? Get exploring! | 83

Christmas Day 2017 Let someone else do the shopping, prep, cooking and ALL the washing up

Glass of Bucks Fizz on Arrival (plus Alka Seltzer for fragile adults), Party Poppers and Hats, Balloon Artist, Live Music, Father Christmas (with a gift for all children)

Traditional 2 Meat Christmas Carvery

(3 Course Set Menu) Vegetarian Option Available

ÂŁ55 per Adult ÂŁ22 per Child (10 and under)

Fun starts at


Book earlyd

L im ite it y bil Ava ila

George Albert Hotel, Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW Tel: 01935 483430 |

Farming the same land for 300 years

ORDERS NOW BEING TAKEN Home-grown Christmas Meats and Gift Hampers

Linley Farm, Charlton Musgrove, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 8HD 84 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Telephone: 01963 33177

COFFEE OF THE MONTH ethiopia yirgacheffe

Free Drip-Filter kit with your first bag of coffee, the perfect way to enjoy this very special Fairtrade, organic bean.

01935 481010

Lunch du jour

Two courses £15.00 per person Monday – Friday 12-4pm

Christmas party

Menus from £24.95 1st – 23rd December, Monday – Saturday

New Years Eve magical themed party £75.00 per person, including free taxi home within 8 mile radius. 7.30pm -1.30am

Food Serving Times Monday – Saturday 12noon – 9.30pm. Sunday 12noon – 8pm The Queens Arms, Corton Denham, Sherborne DT9 4LR @QueensArmsPub T 01963 220 317 E @TheQueensArmsPub | 85

Food & Drink

SWEET POTATO AND CUMIN SOUP Sasha Matkevich, Head Chef and Owner, The Green with Jack Smith, Apprentice Chef

This is a slightly spicy, sweet and deeply warming soup recipe. Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter 2 large onions, peeled and finely sliced Pinch of Cornish sea salt 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds 2 litres vegetable stock 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 150 ml double cream 1 tbsp Sherborne honey 2 tbsp tamari 1 lime, juiced Freshly ground black pepper

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1 Melt the butter in a large saucepan. 2 Add the onions, along with a pinch of salt and the cumin seeds. 3 Cook gently for 5 mins, or until soft and translucent. 4 Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook gently for 25 mins or until the sweet potatoes fall apart. 5 Remove from heat and purĂŠe the soup in a blender or food processor. 6 Strain the soup through a fine sieve back into the saucepan and reheat gently. 7 Stir in the cream, honey, tamari and lime juice. 8 Check for seasoning and serve warm.

THE ‘SPIRIT’ OF THE SOUTH WEST An exploration of the best local tipples Hannah Wilkins, Vineyards There is nothing better than enjoying local produce that has been lovingly crafted and has a provenance that you can relate to. Fortunately, the South West has a lot to offer our drinks cabinets in terms of quality and interest. So, with that in mind, I decided to highlight some of these wonderful showstoppers… Porter’s Perfection Vodka, £29.99

This is made by the lovely people behind Liberty Fields, using apples grown in their orchards (Halstock) along with wheat grain, botanicals and spring water. The vodka is left for around five weeks, so the colour from the apples comes through. It is then triple-filtered to give it a clean, smooth taste. A delicious vodka that can be enjoyed just over ice, or with a premium tonic and a wedge of lime. Lilliput Gin, £35

The new kid on the block. The awesome Andy Woodfield started distilling back in January this year and the result has been amazing. Distilled with 11 botanicals intended to evoke feelings of being by the coast, this is a gin that is refreshing in style and explosive to the palate. All the botanicals, including basil, thyme, olives and rosemary are infused separately with the base spirit, so that Andy gets the flavour and balance just right. I like to garnish my Lilliput G&T with a sprig of rosemary or a simple slice of lemon, not forgetting a splash of Mediterranean tonic! Conker Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, £30

Launched this year by the splendid people behind Conker Gin. Head man Rupert has taken the wheat spirit he uses for his gin and combined it with two different coffee beans, which he sourced through Beanpress Coffee Co, and a touch of demerara sugar for

notes of vanilla and caramel on the nose and palate. It is one of the best coffee liqueurs I have tried and perfect for an espresso martini. Somerset Pomona, £9.95

One of my long-time favourites, created by the amazing bunch at The Somerset Cider Brandy Company in Kingsbury Episcopi. Their secret blending of apple juice with Somerset cider brandy, which is then matured in small oak barrels, results in a wonderfully smooth product. My perfect drink to accompany a flavoursome cheese board. Sherborne Castle Brandy, £29.95

This tipple is produced using grapes grown on the Sherborne Estate, which in turn are sent to Julian Temperley of The Somerset Cider Brandy Company to be distilled into brandy. The brandy is aged for a minimum of 13 years before being bottled and hand-labelled. It truly gives some well-known brandies a run for their money and to think it is grown within a mile or two of Vineyards, we are very lucky! All five products (plus extras) will be open to sample for FREE on Saturday 18th November, 11am-4pm at Vineyards, Digby Road, Sherborne | 87

Food & Drink



n 1983 my Burgundian friend Paul Bouchard persuaded me to visit Australia. “Their wine growers have a refreshing, innovative and pragmatic approach to winemaking, which will make a telling influence to the quality of their wines,” he advised. I first went Down Under in 1983, again in the 1990s and yet again in 2008 as a guest of the Australian Wine Board when, with fellow wine writers, we made a comprehensive three-week tour of eastern Australia. In the 25 years between 1983 and 2008 Australia became one of the world's leading wine exporters. She produced large quantities of very palatable chardonay and cabernet sauvignon, and small quantities of very fine wines. Since 2008 she has focused on developing her best quality regional wines. How did the Australians achieve such a successful outcome so rapidly? The answer in a nutshell is because Australians learn very quickly and are constantly adapting and improving their viticulture and viniculture. Wine production in Australia started with vines brought from South Africa by Captain Arthur Phillip when he was appointed the first Governor of New South Wales in 1788. The vines were from the Cape

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of Good Hope, but they did not survive in the humid climate close to the ocean above Sydney. Indeed it was 50 years before any real progress was made, largely due to the zeal of James Busby, a gifted Scots botanist, who came back to Europe to select vinifera cuttings from European vineyards which he believed would survive in Australia. About the same time, the establishment of the Free Colony of South Australia in 1836 attracted hundreds of British and German immigrants who were interested for one reason or another in producing wine. Among the incomers were Dr Penfold from Brighton, John Riddoch, a fruit-farming Scot who pioneered Coonawarra, Samuel Smith, a brewer from Dorset who settled in the Barossa Valley and Thomas Hardy, a Devon farmer’s son who began in McLaren Vale. In the 1850s the Victorian gold rush brought some 40,000 prospectors to the state, while the British investor George Angas brought in two boat loads of Silesian Lutheran farmers to the Barossa. They made some progress, but two decades later the vine pest phylloxera wiped out most of their vineyards. By the time they recovered, two World Wars and world

economic hardship discouraged progress. Things changed for the better in the 1950s, when there was a demand for inexpensive fortified wine and Penfolds sent its winemaker to Portugal to study Portuguese methods. Having completed his studies in Oporto, Max Schubert took the opportunity of visiting Bordeaux. He was so impressed with the quality, complexity and longevity of its finest wines, that he determined to try and emulate them in Australia. His first efforts were laughed at by his colleagues – who had not experienced wines matured in good French oak and were not aware of its advantages – and the Penfolds board directed him to stop wasting his time. Schubert persisted and, at the end of the decade, began to produce wines that made critics revise their thinking, sit up and take notice. Shubert’s experience encouraged other growers to produce fine wine. McWilliams in the Hunter Valley still produce one of the finest Semillons that I know; Wynns and other Coonawarra cabernets are some of the very best I have tasted anywhere in the world; while in Western Australia three other British wine-loving doctors, Cullity, Cullen and Pannell, made wonderful wines in the Margaret River region. They in turn encouraged two brilliant, visionary young Australian growers, Brian Croser and Andrew Pirie, to find cooler sites in the Adelaide Hills and Tasmania respectively, to produce world-class wines. Similarly, a wine-loving botanist, Bailey Carrodus, showed the potential of the Yarra Valley in Victoria.

The Melbourne Olympics (1956), the first Boeing Jet Services (1962), the opening of the iconic Sydney Opera House* (1973), victory in the America’s Cup (1983) and the award-winning Australian film Crocodile Dundee (1986), combined to draw the world’s attention to Australia. At the same time, internal legislation ended ‘the six o’clock swill,’ the name given to the hour after work when inns were licensed to sell alcohol. Restaurants and wine bars opened and gave dynamic to the home industry, while exports led by brilliant marketing and a favourable exchange rate mushroomed. But what was once a mass market effort is now sustained by a distinctive range of top-quality wines which is, in my opinion, only second to France’s. But I have left myself no space to tell you about them. Very fortunately, however, I am due to meet with Patrick Haddock, a successful Australian wine bar owner and international wine competition judge, who will be visiting his father John in Long Street, Sherborne. In next month’s Sherborne Times I will take advantage of his more recent experience to update you on the further progress of Australian wines and the best the country has to offer. *Mention of the Sydney Opera House leads me to recall that its spring 2018 programme includes La Bohème, directed by Old Shirburnian Andrew Morton, which I understand is likely to be ‘beamed’ into Cineworld Yeovil. | 89

Animal Care

ITCHING TO KNOW Skin conditions in horses

Jack McCarthy MVB MRCVS, The Kingston Veterinary Group


ffective treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis. Skin diseases are caused by infectious agents (bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses), allergies (to insect bites, dietary factors, drugs or the environment), abnormal reactions to sunlight, or they can be cancerous in origin. Many disorders share the same appearance, which includes hair loss, itchiness, being painful to the touch, or swelling. All of this leads to a difficulty in diagnosis. While clinical signs are sometimes all that’s needed to identify the problem, other skin conditions require tests. These may include skin scrapes, skin brushings or culture. Dermatophilosis (rain rot, rain scald, mud fever)

Dermatophilosis is a bacterial infection that is caused by 90 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

excess moisture on the coat (a favourable condition for bacteria to grow) and trauma to the skin (which allows bacteria to enter the body). It is spread by carriers and the lesions appear as crusted moist mats of hair that look like paintbrushes. These lesions are commonly found on the back, face and neck and are not pruritic. Treatment involves washing the affected areas daily with chlorhexidine or, in severe cases, applying antibacterial cream. Prevention involves keeping the horse dry. Dermatophytosis (ringworm)

Dermatophytosis is caused by various fungi, where the organism invades the hair shaft, weakens it and causes it to break off. Predisposing conditions can include age (young and old animals tend to be affected), crowded

Culicoides hypersensitivity (sweet itch)

Sweet itch is an allergic response to a fly bite and is typically seen in the summer months, but can be seen all year round in severely affected animals. This is an extremely itchy condition that can lead to self-trauma. Most commonly affected areas include the face, mane and tail. The condition is managed by keeping the horse in at night, because the fly that affects horses primarily feeds at night. Use insect meshes and insect repellent sprays as well as steroid medication, which can be given to relieve the inflammation. Sarcoids

This is the most common skin tumour to affect horses. It is caused by a virus and is locally aggressive. They can be classified into various groups by their appearance – occult sarcoids appear with hair loss, skin thickening and scaling, verrucose sarcoids are wart-like in appearance, whereas malignant sarcoids tend to be locally invasive and aggressive. A definitive diagnosis can be obtained by biopsy and treatment involves surgical removal, application of topical creams or radiation therapy. Melanoma

conditions and poor nutrition. The fungal spores can persist in the environment for up to a year and horses are commonly re-infected. Spreading of the infection occurs by sharing tack and blankets. Ringworm will be seen as circular areas of hair loss, with broken hair shafts on the margin of the lesion and scaling in the centre. A diagnosis can be obtained by plucking some hair and culturing it. Ringworm is self-limiting and normally resolves in 6-12 weeks. However, treatment with fungicidal washes such as imaverol can limit the spread and is used to decontaminate the environment. Ringworm is a zoonosis – in other words, humans can pick up the condition, so it is important to wear gloves when handling these horses.

This is a tumour found in old horses and is especially common in greys. Diagnosis can be confirmed by taking a biopsy. Melanomas are commonly found under the base of the tail and in the perineal region. They can undergo malignant transformation and spread to other parts of the body. These tumours are not treated unless they are in an area interfering with function, in which case treatment usually involves surgical removal or chemotherapy. Urticaria (weals, hives, heat bumps)

Urticaria is a common allergic reaction caused by diet, insect bites or drugs. It appears as a sudden appearance of hive-like lesions anywhere on the body, but mainly on the head and neck. These lesions typically last from a few hours to a few days. Treatment involves identifying and removing the causative agent, but in severe cases it is treated with steroid injections. If you have problems with your horse’s skin, please contact the Kingston Veterinary Group on 01935 813288 and ask to speak to one of the equine vets. | 91

On Foot


Nicky King, The Eastbury Hotel and The Three Wishes


his past month has been one of the busiest of the year for us, with a wonderful combination of group tours, plentiful weddings, short-stay visitors, children returning to school and significant birthday and anniversary celebrations. They have all been a huge success; it is a real privilege to be entrusted with people’s special celebrations. It doesn’t get more special or nerve-racking than being asked to look after a very dear friend’s 60th birthday party. Luckily, with such a great team here at the hotel I was able to relax and party along with all their guests. Judging by all the feedback we have had, it was a party to remember! Going on new and different walks has been a little difficult to achieve this month and at times like this I tend to fall back on old favourites. I have concluded that the area around Plush in the Piddle Valley just keeps giving in terms of walks. It seems you can head off in almost any direction from the village and be greeted by extensive views in all directions. I have in the past been able to see almost as far as the coast. One of my favourite paths is the Wessex Ridgeway – the chalk ridge-top route that creates the backbone of Dorset and which forms part of the ancient trading highway between Devon and Norfolk. I have promised myself that I will walk the length of it, starting in Wiltshire, but fear that this won’t be achieved until I am retired! Sadly, on the day we were walking we were deprived 92 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

of views, as it was so misty. I always find that on the top road to Dorchester, I seem rarely to drive along it without at least a bit of it being misty, even if we have a clear day in Sherborne. Our walk started along the road between Mappowder and Plush. My friend and I parked on the right-hand side of the road near Folly and headed up to the right. It is a little strenuous to begin with, but once you reach the top it is a steady circular walk on top of the hills. The two terriers had a wonderful time chasing pheasants, which seem to be in plentiful supply at the moment. Though thankfully too slow to catch any, we’re sure that they managed to walk three times as far as the five miles that we did. It was the perfect post-party walk for me, although I am not sure I was much company, as stringing sentences together seemed to be beyond me! As those of you who read my articles will know, I tend not to write very much during the wet winter months. I usually end up just walking where I won’t get stuck in the mud – I hate welly boots and my walking boots are rarely up to some of the muddy paths we come across. So I will sign off till the spring and wish you all a wonderful winter. I hope that all the festivities that this time of year brings are happy ones! Don’t forget where we are if you are looking for delicious food or a wonderful venue for a special celebration.

Sherborne Surgery Swan House Lower Acreman Street 01935 816228

Yeovil Surgery 142 Preston Road 01935 474415




Swimming Pool Fitness Suite

Group Exercise Call reception on 01935 818270

for more information or go to our website | 93



Peter Henshaw, Dorset Cyclists’ Network & Mike Riley, Riley’s Cycles


ext time you're in Trendle Yard, have a close look at some of the brickwork. A couple of bricks have dates and initials carved into them by successive cycle shop owners – and this year marks their half-century. Like all of central Sherborne, Trendle Yard has a long and chequered history. So to celebrate 50 years of cycle shops on site, here's a potted version. Restrict yourself to living memory and the yard's history includes a cobbler’s, a café (twice), a grocer’s (Bob Hyde), a fishmonger, an army surplus shop, a Victorian fireplace restorer (Pete Nash), an antique shop, a carpenter’s ( Jack and Ian Fay) and a coffin maker. Back in the 15th century, it held the Abbey workshops, kept busy in the years after 1437 when the Sherborne's finest was damaged by fire. Then there's a bit of a gap, but we do know that the place housed a brewery in around 1700, with Chapter House Books forming the brewer's house. What is now Riley’s Cycles is thought to have been the stable. Prout's Barn and Quirk's Barn are named after long-ago owners. Jock Quirk was the fish-and-chip man in Westbury, while the Prout family were hauliers, associated with a slaughterhouse in Quirk’s barn. For evidence of that, look for the blood drain in the barn – it's still there. In the days before humane methods of despatch, the story goes that cattle would be killed by pulling their head down onto a spike between two of the barn's pillars. True or not, the slaughter-house was closed after a bull escaped, gored the slaughterman and galloped off into town. Moving on again, Bob Lelliot and Mike Bird serviced cars and motorcycles here in the 1950s and 60s. A steel beam, used for hoisting out engines, is still in the shop. One brick by the door bears the inscription, 'Bob 4/4/67', probably from when Bob Lelliott retired. Mike Bird carried on, now selling bicycles as well as motorcycles, joined by young me-chanic Brian Hoppe. Brian preferred bicycles to motorbikes, so concentrated on those when he took over from Mr

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Bird in 1971. He would be the bike-shop man until he retired in 2013, but not before scratching his name and dates onto one of the bricks. When Mike Riley took over, clearing out the shop brought much of its history to life. “We found a cobbler’s last for a child's shoe, various motorcycle parts, door furniture from the cabinet makers, drums of old engine oil,” he says. “Frankenstein-ish adaptations included a sheep-shearing machine, modified to cut car body panels, and a treadle sewing machine stand adapted as a bench saw!” “When we installed a new stove and lit it, the workshop floor started to bubble! It had a thick layer of oil and who knows what from years of workshop use, which took hours to scrape off,” he recalls. "Some items have been repurposed – the sawing sewing machine stand is now a small table and the the pit is awaiting a new purpose - perhaps a baptistry or wine cellar. The 1918 lathe – originally from a naval destroyer – went to Portland, cheerily carried out by a ‘chapter' of bikers wearing their colours!” As for the future, will there always be a cycle shop in Trendle Yard? Mike points out that independent cycle shops are having a tough time, with competition from the internet, social enterprises and the monopoly of huge chain stores. The bright spot for Riley’s has been electric bikes, with around 200 sold so far, plus the thousands of repairs they've done to bikes of all sorts. “I hope by embracing change, investing in knowledge, good products and equipment with high standards, there will still be a bike shop in Trendle Yard in 50 years’ time,” says Mike. "And 'MR' will be inscribed on a brick by the door.” Thanks to Mike Riley and Pete Nash for their help with this article. Please pass on any comments or clarification about the characters, events and businesses mentioned here to Mike. | 95

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01935 815501 | 6a Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PX /jps_barber_shop

Body & Mind

HIGH BROW Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms


one are the days when women neglected their brows. Brow maintenance is a serious business, because of the power brows have to transform your entire face. No doubt largely influenced by the fresh crop of famous faces who have rebelled against the pencil-thin eyebrow trend of the 90s, full brows are now one of the most coveted looks of the 21st century. Understandably, it is easy to be a little hesitant in experiencing an entirely new approach to taming your eyebrows. After all, not everyone wants to emulate the current full-on statement brows seen on celebrities. While a strong, dark eyebrow is on trend, there should be a defined look that is adapted to suit you and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It is all about the art of design – crafting a set of perfectly groomed eyebrows that work to compliment the uniqueness of your own face shape, colouring and taste. There are many retail products including pencils, powders and gels that set the brows in place and provide temporary colour and coverage at home. However, the use of these can be frustrating when it comes to mastering a matching pair in the morning! Alongside catering for those who wish to follow the hottest fashion-led looks, professional treatments can be adapted to rectify an array of brow woes. From sparseness due to the effects of over-plucking, or for those who have hair loss from age-related factors or illness, there is a treatment for you.

Eyebrow shaping encompasses methods such as waxing, tweezing or threading and should include advice on how to create the best shape for you. Eyebrow tinting is a popular treatment to match brows to a new hair colour, cover the ’white ones’ or replace lost natural pigment. Brow tinting involves applying a vegetable-based tint to your brow hairs, helping to define and intensify their presence. This lasts around three weeks before it fades. There are also professional brow treatments to build longer-lasting volume and colour to the brow, which can last several weeks and avoid the daily application of make-up. Wax pigments are blended to create the desired colour and add density by imitating brow hairs and filling gaps. Eyebrow extensions are new to the market, helping to create the dimensions and depth of a brow where hairs have been lost permanently. For a more permanent brow there is microblading, where the therapist uses a specially designed blade to implant pigment under the skin in order to create naturallooking hair strokes. Pigments are matched to the client’s brow colour and the treatment is proving popular with those suffering from hair loss conditions. Brows have the power to frame your face and the right brows give such a feel-good factor. So whether you want a designer brow or simply a shape to suit your face, the treatments are out there to keep your brows on point. | 99

Body & Mind

WHAT TO WEAR Lindsay Punch, Stylist


s it right that what we wear defines us? Are people really judged on appearance? We should of course be judged on our achievements, values, kindness and personalities, but this sadly does not happen when it comes to first impressions. It sounds shallow doesn’t it? But when it comes to the workplace, research shows that your appearance strongly influences other people's perception of your success, trustworthiness, intelligence and suitability for business. So what do your clothes communicate about you or your business and how can you use your wardrobe to change how others perceive you? What we wear also affects us, our approach and how we feel. Last month I was lucky to work with Sherborne Times photographer Katharine Davies on a business branding photoshoot for a client’s book launch. When it came to finding the perfect outfits for her photoshoot, our client felt overwhelmed at the thought of doing it on her own. Finding complete outfits that reflected her personality and her business and showed off her best features to help her look great in front of the camera, and making sure the look complemented what was in the background, required a lot of thought and planning. This is why hiring a stylist to take the pressure off planning a shoot can save a lot of time and money. There is no one piece or style that makes a person look successful. In fact on this shoot, there were eight looks for two different websites. So what would I recommend when it comes to reflecting a positive image in photographs? Keep it simple with classics

With basic wardrobe staples such as a blazer, white shirt or court shoe, your look will stand the test of time. It will also appeal to different age ranges, no matter who 100 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

your ideal client is. If you have a creative business or a dramatic style personality, these can be lifted with small pops of colour in the rest of your outfit. Wear clothes that fit you well

Tailoring is a simple way to make clothes look more flattering and polished. Oversized, slouchy or baggy items will only add inches on the camera. Don't show too much skin

Avoid short skirts, strapless tops and plunging necklines. This means that the beautiful boudoir shoot you are eager to share is best left for your home walls, rather than your website pages. Don't wear wrinkled clothing

A well-ironed outfit will always look neat and puttogether. This is why, when shooting, a steamer always travels with me! Wear appropriate shoes and accessories

Avoid wearing jewellery that is too flashy, unless your business is selling statement necklaces! Wear clean shoes that finish off a look, without taking over. When it comes to make-up, you may need a little more than your everyday natural look – but don’t overdo it! So there you have it. The clothes you choose send messages to those around you, so always think about what that message says about you. After all, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

Abbey Brides

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


treat yourself to an Essie gel polish manicure + receive a 1/2 price mini pedicure

@ The Farm West Down Farm, Corton Denham, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4LG 01935 350008 / 07729 384241

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

Helping you to move on with your life following divorce, separation or loss of a partner through bereavement. One-to-one personal coaching designed specifically for you. For further info or to book your initial free consultation contact Debbie Wesley on 07712 068334 or e-mail

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 | 101

Body & Mind

THE SCIENCE OF CRYSTAL CLEAN Ultra-violet water treatment Eleanor Farr, Oxley Sports Centre


ow do you like your water? I think most of us would agree that whether you’re drinking it, bathing or swimming in it, the cleaner and more natural the better. We are lucky enough to have safe, clean water delivered straight to our taps at home, though some of us do filter water to further reduce heavy metals and residues that may be present near farms or industrial areas. This is personal choice of course, but bottled water companies take full advantage of our concerns with images of water tumbling down glaciers, evoking feelings of purity, clarity and, of course, referencing its natural source. One bottled water is reportedly linked to wells that are blessed by the clergy – the nearest some of us might get to holy water! Aside from our drinking water, we also need to take into account water that we bathe or swim in. Is this clean and pure enough for us? Our skin is after all the largest organ of our bodies, so we need to be mindful of exactly what chemicals are in our water when we swim, whilst also protecting ourselves from potentially hazardous bacteria and micro-organisms. This is something the leisure industry has been working on for quite some time, in order to produce cleaner and greener alternatives. Traditionally chlorine has been used to disinfect swimming pools, making it safe to swim. However, large doses can have side effects such as burning eyes, red or itchy skin, an overpowering smell and even corrosive effects on the buildings themselves, over time. The main reason for these problems is the production of chloramines in the water, caused by the reaction of free chlorine residuals with organic materials, such as the bacteria brought in to the environment by pool users. 102 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Chlorine is a very effective way of ensuring pool water is safe for everyone and has meant that people have been able to swim safely together for years – but is there a better way, one that doesn’t have the potential side effects of chlorine? Luckily science may have the answer – ultra-violet water treatment. This is a relatively new treatment in which a medium-pressure UV system breaks down and removes problem chloramines, which are formed when free chlorine reacts with organics such as sweat, body fats and urine, brought into the pool environment by bathers. It is these chloramines that can cause reactions. Additionally, medium-pressure UV systems provide an increased level of disinfection, protecting against the 17 known chlorineresistant micro-organisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia – which have a thick outer membrane, making them highly resistant to traditional chemical disinfection – increasing safety and limiting the risk. Chlorine is still used, but in much lower levels. Anecdotal evidence suggests that even those with sensitive skin are able to swim in pools treated with the new ultra-violet treatment systems. Problems with itchy skin, burning red eyes, chlorine smell and corrosive condensation are eliminated and the pool water is safely transformed to sparkling and glacier-clear, offering a much more inviting and healthy bathing environment for everybody. If you are interested in the new ultra-violet treatment system, Oxley Sports Centre has just installed the new technology. Initial feedback is good, but why not try for yourself ?

THERAPY ROOMS & OFFICE SPACE 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

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.

Pop in for more information or call

01935 507290

email or visit


56 Cheap St, Sherborne DT9 3BJ

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

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 | 103

Body & Mind

'TIS THE SEASON… Loretta Lupi-Lawrence, The Sherborne Rooms


nce the bonfires have petered out and the last sparkle of fireworks have disappeared into the night sky, November is the month I always feel I am limbering up for the marathon that is the festive season. Though it can bring joy, laughter and happiness Christmas comes with a side of stress, anxiety and pressure if you are a busy person. Moreover, a busy person with children is likely to be even more caught up with the incessant chatter and excitement of what it will all bring! Every year I swear blind I will be more organised, a serene host and completely unfrazzled. Every year, this is not my reality! I have a feeling I will be no better this time around, since my toddlers finally understand who Father Christmas is… But that‘s my home life. At work I seem to morph into a completely different person – one my husband would like at home, I expect. At work, I am unfazed by other people‘s panic, the hostess with the mostest, jolly and full of festive cheer! So let me impart some good advice; advice I will be giving to myself at home this year, too! First and foremost, use this long month to your advantage by aiding your mind and body with some simple but effective tips. For your mind…

• Organise yourself and write lists. You’ll need one for gifts, guests, parties and home preparation – and don‘t forget your own Christmas wish list; after all this extra work, why not get what you really want for Christmas? Take control now rather than running around an hour before you need to be somewhere. • Diffuse some essential oils. Keep yourself calm. Essential oils work on your enhancing your mood and will help revive, uplift and relax you. Try the Calming or De-Stress blends from Neal‘s Yard Remedies. • Get some early nights. You know you will be partying until dawn and bringing out your inner teenager at 104 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

those festive gatherings, so get your rest now! • Book your babysitters. This one is mainly a reminder for me, as I always leave childcare options until the last minute, then regret it when I am at home on the sofa and my friends are having a jolly good time! For your body…

• Work out. For me this is yoga and jogging, but do whatever makes your endorphins happy! • Take long, leisurely baths. Rest and soak away the day, adding some essential oils to the running water to diffuse them in the steam. • Enjoy the peace of cosy nights in. Your dancing shoes and party frocks will be out soon enough! • Take supplements and superfood blends. Support your immune system and wellbeing in preparation for the days and nights ahead. Use the Neal‘s Yard Remedies Cleanse blend to aid your gut health and digestion. Take the Radiance blend for beautiful glowing skin and increase relaxation with the Rebalance blend. • Look after your skin. Let‘s face it, your skin may well be compromised soon enough with a generous consumption of alcohol, late nights and lots of party food, so get it prepped. Exfoliate, use a good moisturising mask and some replenishing and nourishing creams. However you get yourself ready for this time of the year, make sure you put yourself first. If you are frazzled and running around in all directions you will not enjoy it – after all, what is Christmas if not a time for laughter, giving and love? The Sherborne Rooms Christmas Shopping Evening, Friday 24th November, from 7pm until late. Free Facial Friday, 10th November. Booking essential

BEATING THE WINTER BLUES WITH ACUPUNCTURE Amanda Hunt, Acupuncturist, 56 London Road Clinic


any people feel down as winter approaches. It’s cold, it’s dark and Christmas can be stressful! Winter brings shorter days and darker, colder nights – all of which can affect our mood and impact on our sleep patterns, eating habits and energy levels. Our physical wellbeing and even our performance at work can start to take a noticeable dip during the winter months. For some people, the effects of this time of year can be even worse. Sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may experience symptoms of depression such as anxiety, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating and remembering, as well as not be able to enjoy the things that normally give them pleasure. At least one person in every six becomes depressed at some point in their lives, with one person in twenty diagnosed as clinically depressed. Complementary therapies are playing a bigger part than ever in the way people deal with mental health issues. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – and acupuncture in particular – has been recognised for its benefits in treating depression and low mood. In China it has a long history of use in the treatment of psychiatric disorders and now in the UK it is increasingly being used both on its own and alongside other therapies and conventional treatment. TCM does not separate the mind and the body. Rather, they are seen as part of a whole, so that when an individual has an imbalance of qi (pronounced ‘chee’) or vital life force, both mind and body can be affected in terms of physical and mental health. In winter, the colder, damper climate means that blockages and stagnations of qi are more common and can give rise to some of the symptoms already mentioned. For some,

this disruption in the healthy flow of qi can have serious consequences in terms of mental wellbeing. In TCM, the yin and yang forces of the seasons coincide with those of the body. The highest authority on the subject,The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, says that “people and nature are inseparable.” While yang’s warmth, activity and brightness work through the spring and summer months, yin’s passivity, coldness and darkness begin in autumn and continue through to the Spring Equinox. The winter months, which represent the height of the yin cycle, can cause those whose constitution tends towards yin to feel the effects of the season more acutely. Many of us notice that our moods and energy levels can fluctuate with the seasons. TCM understands these cycles, but modern life does not. These days, we are expected to be active, productive and creative all year round. There is no accommodation for a slow, quieter winter! Acupuncture works by balancing and harmonising qi by inserting tiny hair-like needles at specific points along channels or meridians, pathways in the body that correspond with the nervous system. An acupuncture session completely focuses on the patient and hears what they experience. It involves one-to-one time in order to understand them as an individual, while their treatment plan will be tailor-made and also address factors such as what we should eat and how we should reserve our energies in order to get through the winter months. This one-to one attention, in combination with needling to lift the mood, can be very powerful in combating those winter blues. | 105

Body & Mind




Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom, GP and Complementary Practitioner, Glencairn House

uring the cold and wet months, arthritic joint problems are a common presentation in my general practice. Patients suffer from pain, stiffness and restricted range of movement in the large weight-bearing joints such as hips, knees and lower back. This ‘wear and tear’ process, known as osteoarthritis (OA), leads to degeneration of the cartilage that protects the bone ends and inflammation; this is seen as irregular growth and swelling of the underlying bones on x-ray. This is effectively treated with conventional anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or Nurofen and may eventually require surgical joint replacement. However, my patients are increasingly looking for alternative or complementary methods to deal with their joint OA aches and pains. Lifestyle measures such as regular exercise to strengthen the muscles around joints is important. Swimming is particularly recommended due to its low-impact effect. Weight loss is also recommended, as it reduces the load exerted on weight bearing joints. Gentle stretching exercises such as yoga and Pilates are also very useful for maintaining range of movement and suppleness of the ligaments around joints. Manipulation techniques with physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy treatments are also helpful for OA joint mobilisation, alignment and ligament stretching. Nutritional measures may also be helpful. Try to avoid acidic fruit and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, rhubarb and tomatoes. Omega-3 fatty acids as a supplement or in oily fish have antiinflammatory properties. Glucosamine is an essential constituent of cartilage.

106 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Trials have shown that it reduces pain and joint space narrowing in OA. This is a supplement often taken with chondroitin, which draws fluid into the cartilage, thereby increasing its spongy shock-absorbing qualities. Homeopathic medicines have been shown to be effective in a systematic review of clinical trials. Over the years I have seen great response with Rhus Tox, Ruta and Bryonia, depending on the features affecting the OA sufferer. Herbal medicines such as turmeric, rose hip, ginger and bromelain are also worth trying. These, as well as the homeo-pathic medicines, are available in health-food shops and pharmacies. Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in both small- and large-joint OA. It can be helpful in chronic low back pain. It is particularly useful in treatment of lumbar facet joint pain as an interim measure whilst awaiting spinal cortisone injections. In summary, once the diagnosis of OA is confirmed by your GP, I would advise gentle regular exercise – preferably swimming – as well as weight loss if needed. Take omega-3 fatty acid twice daily and glucosamine and chondroitin, 1gm daily. Experiment with herbal preparations and homeopathic medicines, depending on the features of the condition. Acupuncture would also be helpful, particularly for chronic low back pain. Yoga and Pilates should also be considered to maintain joint suppleness. Hopefully a combination of these therapies will help you deal with those troublesome and niggling joint pains.

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Introducing Insera ITE from Unitron Now available at Girlings, Insera provides the best directional performance in custom hearing appliances, so speech is easier to understand and everything naturally sounds just the way it should. Come and see us to try this newest hearing innovation.






For the very latest technology and impartial, independent hearing advice



01935 815647

Girlings Complete Hearing Service | 4 Swan Yard | Sherborne | Dorset DT9 3AX


Brister&Son Independent Family Funeral Directors

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

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 108 | Sherborne Times | November 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

110 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Our clients say... “A professional team produced a stream of viewings resulting in a sale within 8 weeks. Fantastic people to work with and definitely knew the market locally.” Vendor

 “Luke and his team have been very impressive in this transaction - knowledgeable, proactive and ultimately securing a great result for both buyer and seller. I look forward to working with you again.” Solicitor

 “A huge thank you to Luke, Simon and the rest of the team at Knight Frank in Sherborne for helping steer us through the sale of our family home. We are happy that we chose to work with such an experienced and knowledgeable team.” Vendor

 “We have today completed the sale of our latest project just outside of Gillingham. From conception we found the advice of the team at Knight Frank, Sherborne invaluable. Prior to completion they sold the property for full asking price. We constantly deal with a number of various agents in the Dorset area, but have to admit that they are head and shoulders above the rest. If you are considering selling I strongly recommend them being your first port of call.” Developer

 “Pro-active, switched on well measured; seriously impressive agency. Luke Pender-Cudlip and Simon Barker are a pleasure to work with producing first class and timely results.” Solicitor

 “A very big thank you to Simon Barker. He was supportive and helpful and committed to ensuring the purchase went as smoothly as possible despite a buyer dropping out.” Vendor

 If you’re looking to move, please contact us. We’d love to help you. 01935 590 022





Paul Gammage & Anita Light, Ewemove Sherborne efore you fall in love with your next home and start packing your bags, watch out for these five common mistakes made by home owners.

1. Not preparing your house for sale

A thorough de-clutter, clean and freshen-up is essential. You don’t necessarily want to replace bathroom and kitchen units – because you rarely make your money back – but you do want to give your property some TLC. Light, bright, neutral colours are best. The last thing you want is for potential buyers to trip over smelly running shoes in the porch and find a stack of dirty dishes in the kitchen. First impressions count. It may be that some remedial work in advance will make your home more attractive to buyers. Be realistic about the state of repair of your home. If you feel the need, get a survey done or ask a trusted local builder for advice. If you know what needs to be done and the cost of such work, it immediately puts you in a better position when deciding on your asking price or during any negotiation with buyers. 2. Not getting advice on valuation

It can be very tempting to overprice your home. There’s a tendency to think that, if you overprice, it will test the market and you’ll end up getting more for it. More often than not, the opposite is true. Buyers have a lot of information available to them, including price comparisons, so over-valuing really doesn’t work anymore, if it ever did. Equally, don’t make the mistake of loving your home so much that you are completely unrealistic about what it’s really worth. It’s simple to check properties that have sold in your area on the property portals. It’s worth investing some time doing this, as your buyers will! 3. Not double-checking your agent’s terms

Not many people like the small print, but it is so important to check it. You want to avoid being tied to one estate agent for a period of time and you need to be clear about their fees and what happens in the event of a non-sale. Your estate agent is obliged to let you know 112 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

what their terms are, but double-check whether there are any hidden extras such as photography, floor plans, viewings or sales negotiation. Ask why an agent would want to tie you into an exclusivity period when stock is low and demand is high. 4. Failing to check advertising material

I’m still often shocked at the poor quality of some photographs, floor plans and descriptions. Check the quality of your photos – is the lead photo going to make your home stand out and get prospective buyers looking at the detail? Is there a big pile of rubbish in the corner of the picture? Was it pouring with rain, meaning your photos make your home look grey and dull? These things make a difference to how eye-catching your property is. Check the written description and any floor plan too, to make sure they are both accurate and make your home sound attractive. 5. Not preparing for the after-sale

Just because you’ve accepted an offer doesn’t mean it’s all going to be plain sailing – approximately a third of sales fall through. If you do everything you can to make the process quick and efficient, hopefully you will not suffer that fate. Decide on who’s going to do your conveyancing early, so that you are ready to proceed as soon as you accept an offer. Keep in touch with your agent so that you can provide all the information they need promptly. Make sure you are in a position to move. That means both finding somewhere else to live and making sure you have a mortgage offer in place as soon as possible. Take time to read and understand the terms of the sale. This includes the small print, as otherwise you could be legally bound by something of which you were unaware. The above isn’t rocket science, but they are very common mistakes that can scupper a deal and cost you dearly. The expression ‘make sure your house is in order’ has really never been more apt than when it comes to moving house. Don’t be one of the ones who isn’t prepared.

How Our Customers Felt After Choosing EweMove

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 Thousands 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.

Anita Light & Paul Gammage, Branch Directors Call: 01935 350 350 Visit:

Nr Wincanton 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 114 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

Well presented ground floor apartment, two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, large sitting room, kitchen/breakfast with all appliances, garage and parking, communal grounds with tennis court. ÂŁ750pcm

Halstock Detached family home, study, dining room/kitchen with Aga, sitting room with fire, four bedrooms two bathrooms, large level garden, ample parking, grazing available.


Live for today and plan for the future

Sherborne Office

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y articles over the last few months have endeavoured to describe real financial planning and how it can benefit different types of people – the ‘Not Enough’s, the ‘Got Too Much’s as well as the ‘Just Right’s. I have tried to explain that real financial planning is not simply about investing, rather it is about identifying the life that you wish to lead and making sure that you live your life on purpose. It is about taking the right steps to realise your dreams, recognising that some people have never allowed themselves to dream! The development of a proper financial plan enables more sensible investment decisions to then be made. The art and science of investing, as I’ve previously described it, enables an investment strategy to be built that will dovetail with your financial plan as well as the degree of comfort that you have with financial risk. The aim is to make a successful outcome more likely than would otherwise be the case. It is often about building and maintaining a strategy that allows the accumulation of wealth through patience and discipline. Real financial planning is an ongoing process. You can’t go to the gym once and then be fit for the rest of your life – you have to keep going! Understanding your financial ‘bucket’ and getting some clarity over where you are heading can give you a fantastic advantage, but you have to keep it under review. Financial planning is an ongoing process as well – a one-off financial plan won’t work. Period. A aeroplane flying from London to New Zealand is actually off-course around 95% of the time. Countless factors combine to constantly knock the aeroplane away from its intended route. The reason it finally ends up in New Zealand is that the autopilot constantly corrects course, pulling the plane back on track. It’s the same with financial planning – it’s an ongoing process. Things change – a lot – many of the changes being outside our control. However, we can control how we react to them. Over time, making little tweaks here and little tweaks there as you get closer to your target, the easier it will be to hit. Real financial planning can be fun. After all, it’s your life that you are planning. With just a little awareness in your day-to-day thinking about your choices and actions and their effect on your ‘bucket,’ this can help you to stop wasting money so you build up your bucket. The art and science of investing can help you to design a broadly diversified investment portfolio that is likely to stand the tests of time. Working with a good real financial planner will keep you on your toes and make sure you live life to the full – enjoying your money! Remember, you only have one life.

116 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

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thought it was about time we had a look at this to help you, humble reader, to better understand how it affects you in today’s world. The IoT is a term used to describe the network of internet-connected devices that can communicate with you, each other and their maker, with or without human intervention. For example, your new printer can order its own ink to be delivered to your house in time for you to need it, without you even being aware of it. There are huge benefits to be had, both for the manufacturer and end user, from this type of communication. For you this means that you don’t run out of ink; it gets delivered just before you run out. More usefully, though, your car can remind you that it needs servicing, fuel and water, without you having to check it every Saturday morning. There are smart systems of home heating and lighting controls that you can manage remotely from your mobile phone. The system learns your family’s routines and will automatically adjust the temperature based on when you’re home or away, awake or asleep, hot or cold, in order to make your house more efficient and help you save on heating and lighting bills. There are smart sockets and smart bulbs for you to control remotely, there are alarm and CCTV systems, there are health monitoring and fitness tracking systems, plus movement sensors to track activity, enable medication reminders and send out alerts for things like missed meals or decreased physical activity. IoT products like the ‘Lively’ system are helping more seniors live independent lives, instead of requiring in-patient or assistive care. From a business point of view, IoT not only helps with market research and product design by getting 118 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

automatic feedback from the devices as they are used, but also in the logistics of running the business. For example, DHL provides shipping, warehousing, distribution and supply-chain management all over the world and they use IoT technology that includes vehicle monitoring and maintenance, real-time tracking of packages, environmental sensors in shipping containers, information-gathering on employees and tools and many safety-enhancing features for vehicles and people. Remote monitoring and access to the equipment used in manufacturing could greatly improve efficiency, allow issues to be resolved more quickly and, in the end, result in production being increased. Now it could be that making a cup of tea from your mobile phone so that it’s ready when you get home from walking the dog is not really important for you, but imagine the benefit if you were incapacitated or permanently disabled. The Internet of Things is a fascinating field and connecting everyday devices to the internet can be hard to wrap your head around at times. But with the technologies above and others coming along every day, the world is moving towards a future where devices are smarter, we’re more in control and we’ll be able to use technology to live more efficient, intelligent lives. As always, if you need help with this or any other related technology, you know where to come! Coming up next month… Antivirus and internet security – revisited by popular demand.

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FOLK TALES with Colin Lambert

JAYSON HUTCHINS Divorce is Painful


herborne Photographic Shop and Cheap Street were a perfect match. However, the landlord filed for divorce (or stay and pay double the rent) and two weeks later the shop closed. All separations are painful, but only by accepting change do we grow. Have you learned from your separations? I know I have. Six years ago I needed some new business cards. I designed something badly in Photoshop and put it on a USB stick. I drove into town, parked at Waitrose and walked into Sherborne Photographic. In the back office sat their graphics whizz-kid, Jayson Hutchins. I waited while he patiently helped a 90-year-old create a photo album and framed prints ready for Christmas. I noticed a poster of The Beatles on the wall – except there were now five and the fifth looked very similar to Jayson. He helped me create some business cards and headed paper. Charming, polite and helpful with very spiky hair; I remember thinking, “Wow, he must have an interesting story to tell.” Oh yes, I was bemoaning the loss of Sherborne Photographic by a less than philanthropic landlord. It always saddens me when local businesses are replaced by fashion stores and coffee shops paying inflated rents. Something about Zone A’s and caffeine or sugar addiction. Jayson was born at the Yeatman and schooled at St Aldhelm’s, now The Gryphon. He was – and still is – a dreamer, always drawing or messing about with a guitar and keyboards. In his teens Jayson helped out at a playgroup, showing the kids how to draw dragons 120 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

and spaceships. A dad spotted him and he was called for trials at Ecoprint, the local printers of their day. Jayson impressed with his deft touches and mouse-dribbling skills. A job for life, he thought. He joined a band as a keyboard player, grew his hair to his waist, gigged at weekends. Jayson also married, had children and separated, as you do. My own divorce is always very draining, so we quickly move on. Redundancy struck and another kind of separation ensued; the Ecoprint site is now two houses opposite The George pub. Sherborne Photographic came to Jayson’s rescue with a job running the back-office graphics. Jayson cut his hair, made it short and spiky. “Hair like that in Sherborne?” I ask. “I was a little worried that customers might treat me differently, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” he says. He loved the job and built up a client base over thirteen years; it was a great marriage. That was until the dreaded P45 arrived and another separation. Landlords in search of more rent never see the shock, anger, despair that follows when a business is closed. Two weeks later, in his early 40s with rent to pay and mouths to feed, Jayson was pretty fed up. “Brian and Jenny at Abbey Décor offered me a job, even though I know nothing about tools and stuff. I was close to selling my retro-style BMX when a man called Calvin, who I went to school with, invited me for a chat. He created a job for me and here I am at the Old Barn Framing

Image: Katharine Davies

Gallery in the Old Yarn Mills, Sherborne.” We sit in his studio surrounded by Old Masters in frames along with a black-and-white photo of the Royal Family. Jayson is perfectly at home in the shot! “Is there a demand for this sort of thing?” I ask. “Oh yes, we can also restore, re-colour and refresh old photos or paintings and reproduce artwork.” He points at the Mona Lisa. “I really enjoy bringing an old image back to life and it’s fun to be creative,” he continues. “It’s all very satisfying.” “What about your other skills?” “I love Photoshop. Movie editing and animation are great fun. I love photography and creating music.” “Breakfast?” I enquire. “Cheese and marmite. I like chicken, but not for breakfast.” “So, what about your musical skills?” I ask. “I write my own lyrics and sing them, as well as playing with computers as a way of switching off.” “Do you still do gigs?” “No, but I attend ‘Jimstonbury’ in Sherborne every summer.” “Jimstonbury?” I enquire.

“It’s all weekend long. Mates, family and friends descend on my brother Jim’s home – about 50 of us this year, half kids. We build a stage in the garden, tents in the field and party into the night.” A big thank you to Jayson for sharing his folk takes with me and giving me a glimpse into a world of fake Mona Lisas, fifth Beatles, BMX bikes and the infamous local festival, Jimstonbury. You may recall I planned to go sailing ( July ST) this autumn, but those of you who read last month’s ST will know why I’m not. Hey ho. It brings home the fragility of our existence and how change is inevitable. However, it’s enabled Sheila to discover singing classes on Thursday mornings and Spanish classes in the evening. I’ve found touch rugby on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a town alive with activity if one looks just below the surface. Have a good Movember. Colin P.S. Movember is prostate awareness month. My PSA test result was 1.1 – do you (men only) know yours? | 121

Short Story



Jan Garner, Sherborne Scribblers

wo memorable things happened on the Sunday before Christmas in 1945. My dad killed Hitler and my six-year-old brother Freddy stopped wetting the bed. Now my mum was pleased about Hitler’s demise – as he’d become a real tyrant – and relieved about my baby brother; I was even more relieved than she was, because Freddy and I often shared a soggy bed. I don’t think it was any coincidence that the two events occurred on the same day. Freddy’s problem started one morning back in the summer, when we were woken by a strange clucking sound. We looked out of the window and were delighted to see three hens strutting about in the yard at the back of the scullery. Mum said they looked like Germans doing the goose-step and named them accordingly. We never knew where the chickens came from and didn’t dare ask. We were used to granddad ‘finding’ things and bringing them home. My brother’s initial delight was short-lived, however, as the trio took an instant dislike to him. Each time he went out to the lavatory in the yard at the back of the scullery they made a dash for him, pecking at his little white legs. Despite the smell, he locked himself in the outside toilet, too terrified to move. He stayed in there for ages, screaming and crying out until mum came to his rescue. It was strange that they never bothered the rest of us. Dad thought it was Freddy’s ginger hair that the birds didn’t like, as it was the same colour as their feathers. So mum knitted him a hat in dark-grey wool that covered his curls and it lived on a hook by the back door – but even that didn’t stop the attacks and Freddy never got over his fear of chickens. Back in October, in time for my aunt Lil’s wedding, Dad had dispatched Goebbels and Goering and they were a wonderful tasty addition to the meagre feast of spam sandwiches, grated carrot, mayonnaise rolls and a salad of sorts. Toasts to the happy couple were made in beer and lemonade, while a magnificently decorated, three-tier papier-mâché ‘wedding cake’ camouflaging a nearfruitless Dundee took centre stage on the sideboard. It was a wonderful spread, despite the rationing. Hitler had been spared the October slaughter and had been fattened up in readiness for our first Christmas since the war had ended. Things were still difficult, but there was a feeling of relief and hope in the air and my family – who fortunately had all survived those terrible six years – were determined to enjoy themselves. The house was filled with holly and mistletoe and a wonderful smell of chestnuts roasting on a blazing fire filled the air. We dressed the tree with beautiful robins that gran had made from an old felt hat and the chicken’s soft feathers, which were so lovely to touch. And as we stirred the silver sixpences into the Christmas pudding, we each made a wish. On Christmas Eve we went to bed early and listened out for the sound of any passing sleigh bells until, no longer able to keep our eyes open, we drifted off to sleep. Oh, the excitement in the morning when we opened our stockings to find them filled with a tangerine, some nuts and a few homemade presents. Then, before lunch, the whole family walked to church and the sound of the bells that rang out all across London brought not only a sense of wonderful peace to our hearts, but tears to our eyes.

122 | Sherborne Times | November 2017


LITERARY REVIEW Jonathan Stones, Sherborne Literary Society

Where Poppies Blow: The British Soldier, Nature, The Great War, by John Lewis-Stempel (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) £7.99 Exclusive Sherborne Times reader offer of £6.99 from Winstone‘s Books


rivate Norman Ellison wrote at Wailly, south of Arras, “I cannot recollect any spring that thrilled me more. One felt that man might destroy himself and his civilisation through the incredible stupidity of war, but the annual re-birth of nature would continue. Here was something assured and permanent, an established truth in a world of alternating values.” In this impressively researched and often profoundly moving work, the healing quality of nature – surviving even the wholesale destruction of the first industrialised war – is coupled by the author with his argument that, “for the generation of 1914-18, love of country meant, as often as not, love of countryside.” He then interweaves these twin themes with the stories of the animals, plants and wildlife that thrived and died alongside the fighting men, as reflected in private diaries and memoirs of the war. The book is divided into chapters dealing with specific aspects of the men’s links with various aspects of nature. Thus there are chapters on horses, birds, insects – mainly pestilential but also focusing on a fascination for lepidoptera in the trenches – rats and body lice (not for the squeamish), field sports, pets and gardening. The chapter on birding is especially fascinating to an irregular birder. In it, for instance, we meet Second Lieutenant C.C Baring who, as a teenager, had won the RSPB’s Silver Medal in the Public Schools Competition and who assiduously kept a birding diary when in France and Flanders. At the end of an impressive list of

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his ‘spots’ for spring and summer 1917 we read, “Cecil Baring, Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) died of wounds in March 1918. He was twenty. His brothers Arthur, Charles and Reginald also fell.” And even for non-gardeners, the chapter on the extraordinary extent of the gardening that took place on or near the front lines throughout the war must surely be nothing less than life-affirming, as it was for the men themselves. There were trench gardens everywhere on the 150 miles of the British front line. Captain Lionel Crouch was no exception; he wrote home to his “Dear Old Dad” at Chelmsford for some packets of nasturtium seeds, having already planted up a section of his communication trench. He told his father, “It is labelled ‘Kew Gardens – Do not pinch the flowers’.” A solicitor in civilian life, he was killed on 21st July 1916, leading his men in an attack on the Somme. The sense of a terrible waste of life keeps looming through the upbeat phraseology; one of the ‘interstices’ by which the author separates his chapters is a list of the British and Empire naturalists who died on active service in the war, a mournful roster of talent and creativity unfulfilled. But the overall achievement of this extraordinary work is an uplifting and even optimistic account against the backdrop of calamity. Thanks to this book, we shall remember them in a new way.

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128 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

DOWN 1. Act of making a statement clear (13) 2. Move from one place to another (5) 4. Cooking in hot oil (6) 5. Limitless (12) 6. Exceptional; not usual (7) 7. Fairness in following the rules (13) 8. Disregarding the rules (5,3,4) 14. Corneas (anag) (7) 16. Sagacious (6) 19. Adult insect (5)



5 6 8 2 3 4 9 1 7

3 1 9 8 7 6 4 5 2

















7 4 2 5 1 9 6 3 8








ACROSS 1. Large barrel (4) 3. People holding positions of authority (8) 9. In a nimble manner (7) 10. Underground railway (5) 11. Prologue (abbrev) (5) 12. Closest (7) 13. Provoke (6) 15. Building exhibiting objects (6) 17. Flowering shrubs (7) 18. Negative ion (5) 20. Important topic (5) 21. Release (7) 22. Final teenage year (8) 23. Substance used for washing (4)









3 5



16 17

3 2 1 6


2 7 6 4 5 8 1 9 3

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9 5 4 3 2 1 8 7 6

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Reverend Jono Tregale, St Pauls Church

s I think about the seasons – since we are now well and truly in autumn and heading towards winter – some months seem to have a very clear identity or focus, things that happen specifically then. In September and into early October we celebrate harvest in our communities, schools and churches. I know the Sherborne Food Bank is very grateful for all the generosity shown in extra donations over that time. December is obvious – Advent, preparing the way for the celebration of Christmas, God’s son born into human existence. But what of November? November is all about remembering. “Remember, remember, the 5th of November?” followed shortly afterwards by the sombre reflection of Remembrance Day. It is interesting to think about these two dates, so well entrenched in our British culture, because they are remembering very different things. On the first we remember the intent to kill and destroy, the plan by Guy Fawkes and others to blow up the Houses of Parliament and bring about the death of the King – a failed plot, of course, but nevertheless ‘celebrated’ with the destructive symbolism of bonfires and fireworks. The second date helps us to remember the sacrifice of those who have sought to bring peace to our world, but paid for it with their lives. The first was for destruction, the second was for peace. But what does it mean to remember? Is it passive, like recalling facts and figures we learn at school, or phone numbers and PIN codes? Or is it active? Because that’s entirely different. Active remembering spurs us on to do something. If we remember the older person who lives around the corner, active remembering might lead us to pop in and spend an afternoon chatting to them as a break from their loneliness, or doing their shopping for them. Passive remembering stops at mere acknowledgment of their existence; active remembering brings about real change. On 11th November we remember the sacrifice of those who have died in war for the sake of peace and freedom. To do this with active remembering might involve practical support of those affected by such conflicts, or working for peaceful solutions to situations of conflict in which we find ourselves, whether at home, at work or in our communities. The Bible verse commonly read on Remembrance Day is from John’s gospel: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The quotation comes from Jesus, speaking of his own future death; pop along to a church service to find out more about that. Love is not a thought – it is an action. Can we find ways of making our remembering of people more than a thought? Can we make it active? Can our remembering not just be about looking back, but making a difference in the here and now and into the future? | 129



David Birley, Sherborne Town Councillor

e will remember them.” These words are, for me, the very heart of our Remembrance Day service. Having been born in 1943 I am part of a generation that has not been called up to defend our country or to do National Service. Though many of my family fought in both wars, like so many, they hardly ever talked about it. To the young of today the Second World War, let alone the First, must seem a long time ago which of course it was. The Great War was called the war to end all wars, but that lesson has sadly never been learnt. One has only to read a newspaper or watch the news to learn of fresh conflicts and atrocities. The fact that even the smallest of our villages has a war memorial gives an indication of the scale of the conflicts. However, it is a visit to northern France and especially the Somme area that really shows the proportions of the conflict. The countryside is fairly flat and featureless except for the acres and acres that are covered in white crosses. Like all such sites, they are beautifully kept by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. I have three personal memories. Once we were driving back through France on Remembrance Day and I was listening to the service when we passed one of the massive cemeteries. I just had to stop the car, get out and stand in silence. My second memory is from when we were staying near Soissons and I saw a sign in the woods saying Carrefour D’Armistice. I followed the little road and came to a small clearing. There, on a small section of railway track, were the two carriages; inside were tables with place names of those who had signed the Armistice. The carriages and site seemed so insignificant when one thought of the hundreds of thousands who had lost their lives. Years later I took my family there and there is now a very good museum with many poignant photographs. My final memory is a family one. I knew that one 130 | Sherborne Times | November 2017

of my great uncles was buried in France, but had never known where. I knew he had volunteered in 1914 and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and had been shot down. Thanks to the excellent Commonwealth War Graves Commission website I was able to learn he was 24 when he died in 1914 and was buried in the communal cemetery of a village. The cemetery when I visited it was rather wild and overgrown except for the British graves, which are beautifully kept – and there is a book one can sign. One day I intend to go to the Menin gate at Ypres and hear the Last Post. While the land campaigns of the last war are rightly commemorated, little is done to remember those who took part in the Far East campaign. I had an uncle who was captured at the fall of Singapore, forced to work on the infamous Burma railroad, taken to Japan on one of the rightly named ‘Hell’ ships and then made to work in the mines. Until recently, survivors were not allowed to publicise their experiences. The books that have now come out are a vivid reminder of what these men endured and the sacrifices they made. They have been very shabbily treated by successive governments since the war and I hope that these heroes will receive proper recognition and honour. Earlier this year it was my privilege to do a reading at the monthly Remembering The Fallen service in our Abbey. The service takes place on the third Friday of every month and lasts around fifteen minutes. It commemorates those in the Dorsets, Devon and Dorsets, the Rifles and people of Sherborne who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars and subsequent campaigns. All are welcome at the service and I urge you to go. Finally, can I ask you please to remember the words from the Kohima Epitaph: “For your tomorrow we gave our today.”

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Sherborne Times November 2017  

Newton House Gin, What's On, Family, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, History, Interiors, Architecture, Antiques, Gardening, Food &...

Sherborne Times November 2017  

Newton House Gin, What's On, Family, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, History, Interiors, Architecture, Antiques, Gardening, Food &...