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WORKING THE LAND with Printmaker, Liz Somerville

e Exclusoivffer r e read

at 30%Saonctffuary

The ooms Beauty R

Liz Somerville. Chapel on the Hill, Version 2 St Catherine's Chapel and Chesil Beach 600mm x 810mm



t’s a wonderful thing, waking up to birdsong. An all too fleeting moment of connection and synchronicity, a precious opportunity to simply listen. The velveteen chimes of the collared dove and wood pigeon, the distant crunch and crackle of crows, and the heartbreaking free-verse of the blackbird, all playing their perfect, intricate part in the opening bars of spring. And so to March‌ We meet more earthly music makers in the form of Milborne Port Opera, an award-winning company of talented local performers who have been raising the roof of their village hall for 28 years. We discuss the work and influences of artists with Mark Jerram of the Jerram Gallery, ahead of his forthcoming Carry Akroyd exhibition and as he celebrates 10 years in Sherborne. Michelle and Rob Comins take us to South Korea, David Birley shares his love of Italy and David Copp leads us on a wine tour of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Katharine and Jo meanwhile bring us safely home to the hills of Dorset as we meet the acclaimed printmaker Liz Somerville at her Ryme Intrinseca studio. Thank you as ever, contributors, advertisers, readers and production team for playing your own intricate part in our ever-growing but no less humble endeavour. Have a wonderful month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne Design Andy Gerrard @round_studio Sub editors Jay Armstrong @jayarmstrong_ Elaine Taylor Photography Katharine Davies @Katharine_KDP Feature writer Jo Denbury @jo_denbury Editorial assistant Helen Brown Illustrations Elizabeth Watson @DandybirdDesign Print Pureprint Distribution team David Elsmore Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Mary & Roger Napper Alfie Neville-Jones Maggie Pelly Claire Pilley Geoff Wood Contact 01935 315556 @sherbornetimes

Jeremy Acton Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep

Richard Gaunt Milborne Port Opera @MPOpera

Scott Armstrong Cdr RN Retd

Caroline Gillespie MA VetMB MRCVS Kingston Veterinary Group @TheKingstonVets

Sarah Attwood Thrive Health and Wellness @thrivehw Simon Barber Evolver Magazine @SimonEvolver Rebecca Beresford Mogers Drewett Solicitors @mogersdrewett David Birley Elisabeth Bletsoe Sherborne Museum @SherborneMuseum Adrian Bright Sherborne Community Church Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV Bill Brown Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup Ali Cockrean @AliCockrean Michelle & Rob Comins Comins Tea House @cominsteahouse

Nicholas Goodden @gr8thingstodo Mark Greenstock Sherborne Literary Society @SherborneLitSoc Peter Henshaw & Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles @rileyscycles @DCNSherborne Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms @SanctuaryDorset Loretta Lupi-Lawrence The Sherborne Rooms Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet Kitty Oakshott Upstairs Downstairs Interiors @updowninteriors Ian Pollard The London Road Clinic @56londonroad

Homegrown Media Ltd 81 Cheap Street Sherborne Dorset DT9 3BA

Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife

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.

Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me Studio, Fine Stationery @DearToMeStudio

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

Eleanor Farr Oxley Sports Centre @OxleySports

Paul Stickland Black Shed Flowers @NaughtyDinosaur

Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers

Val Stones @valstones

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 | March 2018

David Copp

Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning Andy Foster Raise Architects @raisearchitects

Lindsay Punch Lindsay Punch Styling @stylistmum

Sally Welbourn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife Bridgett Wilson Sherborne Scribblers Wayne Winstone Winstone’s Books @winstonebooks

68 8

What’s On

MARCH 2018 50 Interiors

108 Property

18 Shopping Guide

52 Profile - Mark Jerram

116 Legal

22 Milborne Port Opera

58 Antiques

118 Finance

26 Wild Dorset

60 Gardening

120 Folk Tales

30 Family


122 Tech

36 Motoring

74 Food & Drink

123 Directory

38 Art

84 Animal Care

127 Sherborne Scribblers

40 History

88 On Foot

128 Crossword

42 Renovation

90 Cycling

129 Literature

44 Architecture

92 Body & Mind

130 Pause for Thought | 5

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Listings ____________________________ Every Monday 2pm-3.30pm ‘Feel Better with a Book’ group Sherborne Library, Hound St. Do you love classic stories & poems & would

enjoy listening or taking part in shared reading aloud with a small, relaxed &

friendly group? It is free & you can attend

small business owners & entrepreneurs?

For more information call Sarah 01935

quieter areas of the town to walk & talk. It’s


We use the footpaths around Sherborne or

601499 or Richard 01935 816321

free, we just ask that you bring the desire

Thursday 1st 2.30pm

helping others to do the same. Updates on

Castle Gardens, Garden Centre, New Rd

@yourtimecoaching Twitter @yt_coaching


to move your business forward as well as

Pruning Shrubs & Roses

Facebook @yourtimelifecoaching Instagram

Free talk. 01935 814633


Friday 2nd 7.30pm

as regularly as you wish. 01935 812683

First Thursday

Neil Maya Quartet:


of each month 2pm-3.30pm

The Brubeck Project

First Thursday

“My Time” Carers’ Support Group

of each month 9.30am

The Shielings, The Avenue, DT9 3AJ.

Village Hall, Milborne Port. Cool jazz at

Netwalking From Bean Shot Café, 3, Johnsons

Courtyard, South St. Want to meet other 8 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Drop in for a coffee, cake & a chat.

Good company, advice, information,

relaxed atmosphere & more, just for you!

its best. £10. 01963 251028

____________________________ Saturday 3rd 10am-4pm Linocut Printmaking with

MARCH 2018 Catherine Anne Pitchford

Spencer & Juncture

Trees of Stourhead

Digby Hall, Hound St. All equipment &

Tindall Recital Hall, Sherborne School.

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Blackmore Vale

& those with some printmaking

Abbey Road. 01935 812249

members welcome. The annual fee is £5.

materials supplied, suitable for beginners experience. £50/£45 Friends of Artslink.

Tickets £10 from School Reception,


& Yeovil National Trust Assoc. talk. New 01935 425383 01935 815899

Thursday 8th 7.30pm


Fluff Productions present

Saturday 10th 2.30pm

Tuesday 6th 10am-12pm

‘Agent of Influence: the Secret

The Jim Gibb Lecture - The

Information & Benefits Advice

Life of Pamela More’

Dissolution of the Monasteries

Surgery & Coffee Morning

Melbury Osmond Village Hall. Everyone

Catholic Church Hall, Westbury. Talk

have you completely enthralled! Fluff

Modern History, Uni of Southampton.

The Rendezvous, under Cheap Street

Church, Cheap St. Age UK Dorchester is

working to help older Sherborne residents maximise benefit entitlements & obtain information on all matters pertaining

to the over 50s. Age UK Dorchester on

loves a good spy story & this one will Productions are an all-female theatre

company dedicated to performing new,


by George Bernard, Professor of Early

£5. 01935 812252


innovative & exciting writing. £9, £6 u18s,

Saturday 10th 7.30pm


Martock Church. Playing Haydn,

£25 family. 01935 83453

Clayhanger String Quartet


Thursday 8th 8pm

Wednesday 7th 2pm & 8pm

Sherborne Historical Society

Borodin & Dvorak. Tickets 9 on door,

Arts Society talk - Giles -

Talk: Royal Saxony

His Life, Times & Cartoons

Digby Hall, Hound Street. Journey

Sunday 11th 11.30am-3.30pm

5th Century to the present, by Frank

Waterwheel Centre Open Day


An extensive collection of Victorian

01305 269444

Digby Hall, Hound Street DT9 3AA.

£8 from 01935 822706


through the history of Saxony from the

Sherborne Steam &


Oborne Road, Sherborne DT9 3RX.

visitors (£5) are welcome. 01935 474626

Friday 9th 7.30pm

engineering, including the 26 foot


Cheap Street Church. Jazz with vocalist

Barry Venning examines Carl Giles,

satirist, war correspondent & cartoonist

for the Daily Express. New members &

Sunset Café Stompers

Wednesday 7th 7.30pm

Joy Parker. Tickets £10 from Sherborne

Cinematheque - Certain Women Yeovil College. A portrait of independent

TIC. 01935 815565


diameter waterwheel built in 1869. Entry by donation. There is limited parking on

site, additional parking available nearby on Oborne Road. 01935 816324


women in a small rural town in

Friday 9th drinks

Monday 12th 9.30am-3.30pm

Montana. Reichart’s unfussy style is

7pm for 7.30pm start

West Country Embroiderers –

beautifully eloquent. Non-members £5

Sherborne & District Society

3D Stitching with Sheila Davies

01935 421905

CPRE – AGM & illustrated talk


‘Cottages Ornes’.

Digby Hall, Hound Street. West

Thursday 8th 2.30pm

The Rayleigh Hall, Digby Road. Based

Blandford’s Young Museum Volunteers: Attracting & Engaging Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. Talk by Sylvia Andrews, Director, Blandford Forum Town Museum. £5. 01935 812252

on his recently published book Roger

White will trace the history of cottages ornes (ornamental cottages) & will

offer an engaging survey of an often-

Country Embroiderers Sherborne & District meet on the 2nd Monday of

each month with an optional workshop £15 payable in advance. New members

very welcome. Details: Ann 01963 34696 ____________________________

overlooked architectural genre. New

Monday 12th 2pm-3pm


Cheap St. Church. U3A choirs sing a

members & visitors welcome.

Gonna Rise Up Singin’

Thursday 8th 7.30pm

Saturday 10th 2.30pm

Tindall Recital Series: Henry

AGM & The Remarkable

medley from 16th Century to present day.


Something to suit all tastes! Free admission, | 9

WHAT'S ON proceeds to St Margaret’s Hospice

‘cello concerto, Mendelssohn: String

Buckland Newton Village Hall. Brave

Monday 12th doors & bar open

Suite. Tickets (include tea) £9 from

with humour, about love, courage &

____________________________ 7pm, film starts 7.30pm MOVIOLA: Murder on the Orient Express

Sinfonia No 1 & Ireland: The Downland Sherborne TIC or £10 on the door. In aid

of Sherborne Douzelage Young Musicians ____________________________

Folk is a mystical Nordic tale fizzing

knowing when to act. £9, £7 u18s, £28 family 01300 345455


Leigh Village Hall. Star-studded Agatha

Wednesday 21st 2.30pm

Friday 23rd 7.30pm

Christie, Kenneth Branagh delivers a

Sherborne W.I. talk - How to

Dinner & Jazz

visual feast. £6 on the door. Interval ice

Write a Life-Changing Novel

creams. Contact Bob 01935 873269

Dining Hall, Sherborne School. Tickets

Catholic Church Hall, Westbury. A talk


by Susan Elderkin. New members &

visitors always welcome at a cost of £3, to

£30 from School Reception, Abbey Road. 01935 812249


include refreshments.

Friday 23rd – Saturday 14th April


9.30am-5pm (open Tuesdays

Memorial Hall, Digby Road. Hear how

Wednesday 21st 7.30pm

to Saturdays)

Sherborne & surrounding villages set

Dorset Wildlife Trust presents:

Exhibition of New Work by Carry

trends in nursing both for Dorset & the

‘The Hedgehog Predicament’

Akroyd - Found in the Fields

country in WWI. £5 from Winstones & The Abbey Bookshop

Digby Memorial Hall, Hound St.

Jerram Gallery, Half Moon St.


Talk by Colin Varndell. 01935 872742



Wednesday 14th 2pm for 2.30pm Hospital Blues

01935 815261, gallery viewable

Wednesday 14th 7.30pm

Thursday 22nd 7.30pm

Cinematheque – Truman

Sherborne Flower Club

Saturday 24th 10.30am-4pm

Yeovil College. A bittersweet comedy

Floral Demonstration –

Artisan Route by Clive Webber,

about the ups & downs of life & coming to

‘Stars in Your Eyes’

Spring Season Open Day

terms with its limitations. Non-members £5 01935 421905

Catholic Church Hall, DT9 3EL.

Digby Hall, Sherborne DT9 3AA. Alpaca


Demonstration from Elizabeth Witcombe, with raffle of arrangements. Members &

woven silk scarves. View our collection in

Wednesday 14th 7.30pm Sherborne Artslink Flicks:

visitors very welcome. 01935 812722


Goodbye Christopher Robin

Thursday 22nd 8pm

Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. A film that

Sherborne Historical

Milne & his son, whose toys inspired

The Russian Connection


Liddington. Sometimes a drop of

explores the relationship between A.A.

Society Talk: Wilton House -

Winnie The Pooh. £6 from Sherborne TIC.

Digby Hall, Hound Street. By Ros

Thursday 15th 7pm for 7.30pm

foreign blood has been shown to make a

AGM For Sherborne Twinning Association


knitwear, Pima cotton tops and hand-

advance at or phone for a brochure 01896 823 765



Catholic Church Hall, Westbury.

Friday 23rd 2pm-3pm


01963 251081

Sherborne Then & Now

Saturday 24th 6pm-10pm Other Side with live performance

Sunday 18th 3pm

Sherborne Library, Hound St. Talk with photographs from Sherborne Museum.

from Follow the Sun

Free to attend. 01935 812683


Church Studio, Haydon nr Sherborne,

Friday 23rd 7.30pm

DT9 5TB. “Immersive transcendental soundscapes exploring the widths and

Wessex Strings Concert with Adrian Brendel & Jacky Siu Cheap Street Church, Sherborne.

Programme includes Vivaldi: Double 10 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Farnham Maltings - Brave Folk

depths of dark and light” + authentic

MARCH 2018




Tuesdays 10am

Sundays 11am-1pm

Please share your recommendations and contacts via Sherborne-Parents or mail@

Toddler swimming lessons

Art Club@Thornford

Sherborne Sports Centre. Great way for

No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

safety & have fun! £4 pay on the day.

a passion for art who want to improve

Tuesdays during term time



parents & toddlers to learn about water Contact Sports Centre 01935 810548

from 9.30am-11.30am

Friday morning

Baby & Toddler Group

Toddler Tunes

Nether Compton Village Hall. A small

Cheap Street Church Hall. Fun sessions

well as crafts, songs & snack time. £2

& a half and 2 & a half to 4yrs. Contact

& friendly group with plenty of toys as per child (50p per additional sibling)


making music for babies & toddlers to 2

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

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

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


Amanda 07721 991401


01935 815341

Workshops and classes

liqueurs and cocktails from FORAGER

Tuesday 3rd April 7pm


Talk and Signing with Author

Thursdays 2.30pm-4pm

£7. Proceeds to Sherborne Food Bank.

Robert Goddard

ArtsLink Parkinson’s Dance

Sunday 25th 2pm-4pm

Winstones Bookshop. Tickets £3,

available in store

Tinney’s Lane Youth Centre, Sherborne.


movement specifically designed for those

Sri Lankan curries from HARI HARI,

Contact TIC for more information on

COMINS tea, Handcrafted spirits,


tea tastings, dumplings and bakes from

SPIRIT . Suggested voluntary donation

Crystal & Tibetan Singing Bowls Village Hall, Oborne DT9 4LA. Pre-

Wednesday 4th- Saturday 7th April

book: 01935 389655

Milborne Port Opera –


‘Trial by Jury’ & ‘The Murder

Wednesday 28th 7.30pm

at Shakerley House’

Sherborne Science Café: Funghi

Milborne Port Village Hall. A

Will Save the World Raleigh Hall, Digby Road. Talk by Lee

Davies, Fungarium Curator, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Planning ahead… ____________________________ Monday 1st April 2pm from TIC Bank Holiday Monday Walk ‘The Coming of the Railway’ From Sherborne TIC. Guided walk led by Blue Badge Guide, Cindy Chant.

hilarious musical double-bill. Booking:

A fun, supportive & therapeutic class with experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s. These sessions, led by fully trained

specialists, are finished with a cup of tea & social time. Free with donations welcome. New people welcome. Contact ArtsLink 01935 815899.



Thursday evenings 7.30pm-9.30pm

Sir Walter Ralegh Celebrations

Art Club@Thornford for Adults

It’s 400 years since Sherborne’s adopted

No 1 Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

executed. If you’d like to help organise

Cockrean. Suitable for all abilities,

son, Sir Walter Ralegh (sic) was unjustly celebrations of the life & times of his

significant contribution to Sherborne,

please contact Bob Walden bobwalden@ or 01963 251081, or Cindy Chant


DT9 6QE. Tutored art with Ali

including beginners. Pay as you go,

£10 per session (tuition only) or £15

(materials included). Limited places. Call 07742 888302, email alicockrean@gmail.

com or visit for more info. ____________________________ | 11

WHAT'S ON Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am-12pm



Knit & Natter at The Slipped Stitch

Thursday mornings 9.00am-11.15am

The Julian, Cheap St. To book call 01935

Country Market

Memorial Hall, Digby Road DT9

or online


3NL. 1000s of collectables, antiques

508249, email

Church Hall, Digby Road


Every third Friday in

Sunday 25th 1.30pm-4.30pm

each month 9am-1pm

Sherborne Folk Band workshop

Farmers’ Market

Saturday 31st 10am-4pm

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road DT9

Cheap Street

PBFA Book Fair

experiment with chords & arrangements.

Every fourth Saturday

01935 850210

£10 in advance or £12 on the door. Contact

Saturday Antiques & Flea Market


3NL. Learn to play folk tunes by ear,

and crafts. An old fashioned fair for everyone. Free entry. 01749 677049



Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Entry £1.

Suitable for all levels & all instruments.

(exc. April & December) 9am-4pm

Julia 01935 817905

Church Hall, Digby Rd




Saturday 10th 10am-4pm

Every Sunday 9am

Spring Craft Fair

Digby Etape Cycling Club Ride

Memorial Hall, Digby Road. Free entry.

From Riley’s Cycles. 20 - 30 miles,


bike recommended. Facebook: Digby

Fairs and markets ____________________________ Thursdays and Saturdays Pannier Market The Parade

01749 677049


average 12 to 15 mph. Drop bar road

Etape Sherborne Cycling Club or text

Saturday 10th 10am-4pm


Saturday 24 March, 2.30pm & 8pm This highly-acclaimed production of John Godber’s classic comedy follows life at a struggling ‘sink school’ for Mr Nixon, an unsuspecting new drama teacher. Teechers is more relevant today than ever, a modern classic.


Wednesday 14 March 1, 8pm (doors & bar 7.30pm) £15 / £13 Members and concessions/£5 Live for 5 BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 winner returns by popular demand with a new programme of works for piano including Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev ‘The wit and colour in pianist Martin James Bartlett’s playing was thrilling.’ The Times

For full event listings, visit our website

Dorchester Arts, The Corn Exchange, High East Street, Dorchester DT1 1HF Dorchesterarts | 01305 266926 | 12 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

MARCH 2018 Mike 07443 490442


Saturday 17th


Sherborne v Bristol Telephones (H)

Every Tuesday and Thursday

Tuesday 20th 7.30pm


Bishop Sutton v Sherborne (A)

Mixed Touch Rugby

Saturday 24th

Sherborne School Floodlit Astroturf,

Warminster v Sherborne (A)

Ottery Lane. DT9 6EE. Novices very

Sherborne Town FC

Friday 30th

welcome. £2 per session, first four

Wincanton v Sherborne (A)

sessions free. Visit or

1st XI. Toolstation Western League


call Jimmy on 07887 800803

Premier Division. Raleigh Grove, The

Terrace Playing Fields. Toolstation Western League Premier

To include your event in our


Division 3pm start

FREE listings please email

Saturday 3rd

details – date/time/title/venue/

Gainsborough Park, The Terrace Playing

Sherborne v Calne (H)

description/price/contact (in


Tuesday 6th 7.30pm

approx 20 words) – by the 5th

Saturday 3rd

Portishead v Sherborne (A)

of each preceding month to

Devizes v Sherborne (A)

Saturday 10th

Saturday 10th

Sherborne v Almondsbury (H)

Sherborne v Frome (H)

Wednesday 14th 7.30pm

Due to the volume of events

Saturday 24th

Oldland Abbotonians v

received we are regrettably unable

Marlborough v Sherborne (A)

Sherborne (A)

to acknowledge or include them all.

Sherborne RFC 1st XV. Southern Counties South Division.


Short Breaks

Day Trips



Diana: Her Fashion Story,

Cardiff Shopper

Kensington & Afternoon

Saturday 14th April

Tea at Harrods

Adult £21.00, Club £19.00

11th - 12th May



2 Days - £195.00

Tiverton Horse Drawn Barge

Compton Acres & Poole


Saturday 28th April

Sunday 27th May

Austria - Imperial Vienna

Adult £32.00, Club £30.00

Adult £23.50, Club £21.50

11th - 18th October


8 Days - £965.00

Crab Fest, Salcombe


Sunday 6th May

Brussels – Carpet of Flowers

Adult £22.00, Club £20.00

17th – 20th August 4 Days - £365.00


____________________________ Lynton & Lynmouth Sunday 13th May Adult £21.00, Club £19.00



2018 Day Excursions & Holiday brochures available. To join our mailing list please call the office on

01935 423177 | 13

PREVIEW In association with

Mary Gillett: ‘Scribing Earth & Sky’ Friday 16th March - Sunday 13th May Tincleton Gallery, The Old School House, Tincleton, near Dorchester, DT2 8QR. Friday - Monday 10am - 5pm. 01305 848909

“Mary Gillett’s etchings almost look as if they have been eroded by the elements themselves. The metal plates have been scored and furrowed, scraped, burnished, rescored and re-furrowed until their history is symbolic of the very subject that confronts me. This tactile immediacy is of the essence and combines with the use of light and dark to create images of intense atmosphere. A selection of works by other gallery artists will also be on show.”

14 | Sherborne Times | March 2018


“Immersive, transcendental soundscapes exploring the widths and depths of dark and light”


Handcrafted spirits, liqueurs and cocktails from Tastings, dumplings, samosas and bakes from FORAGER SPIRIT COMINS TEA

Suggested donation £7

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


Music Festival

4-8 MAY 2018

up to

70% of concerts are FREE ENTRY!



See the full programme and buy tickets online at Book in person at Sherborne TIC | Digby Road DT9 3NL

Tel: 01935 815341




by cli ve w e bbe r


Ope n Day E v e n t – Dig by H a l l S at u r day 2 4 t h M a r c h We would like to welcome you to our Spring season

Artisan Route Open Day Event at Digby Hall at Hound

Street, Sherborne.

This special event will be held on Saturday 24th March

from 10:30 AM – 4 PM.

There is plenty of parking at the Digby Hall car park. We will be featuring our brand new Spring Collection of

Alpaca Knitwear, ʻPerfect Fitʼ Pima Cotton Tops, and

Silk Scarves – All by Artisan Route.

Evelina – Smart tuck stitch jacket in 4 fresh Spring colours. Knitted in 100% Peruvian Baby Alpaca.

Daniela – Links knit tunic. Knitted in 100% Peruvian Baby Alpaca. Worn with Handwoven Silk Scarf.

Nadia – Elegant notch neck tunic in a delicate ʻEnglish stitchʼ. Knitted in 100% Peruvian Baby Alpaca.

Caladita – Stunning tuck stitch jacket. Handmade in 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton.

Patricia – ʻPerfect Fitʼ Peruvian Pima Cotton long sleeved Crew. Available in 8 colours.

Pilar – ʻPerfect Fitʼ Peruvian Pima Cotton short sleeved Scoop. Available in 12 colours.

This is a young company and brand name, but please

remember that Clive Webber has had connections for

close to 20 years in Sherborne and really knows how to

produce top quality designs in Alpaca, Pima Cotton and


The beauty of the Open Day is that it provides the

opportunity for Artisan Route to show our products in

reality, giving customers the chance to see, touch, and try garments.

Personal service and attention is the focal point of our

small business.

Our very good friend Mel Chambers will be with us to

help and assist.

We are sure that you all know how to reach Digby Hall, but just in case, the postcode is DT9 3AA.

Please feel free to bring family and friends along ! Check out our collection of Alpaca Knitwear, Pima Cotton Tops and Handwoven Silk Scarves in advance at

w w w. a r t i s a n ro u t e . c o . u k or phone for a brochure. T : 01896 823 765 ( Monday - Friday 10.00 - 18.00)

Shopping Guide

Orchid in Glass £4.95 Almondsbury

Limited edition gin £38 (70cl) distilled live and onsite at Vineyards 10th March by ‘Still on the Move’. Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Candle £19 GIFT

Fair trade wall hanging £38 Melbury Gallery

Greetings card £3.60

WONDER WOMEN Jenny Dickinson, Dear To Me Studio

I know every day is a day to celebrate and spoil the women in your life, however, with International Women’s Day (8th) and Mother’s Day (11th), March seems the ideal time to treat your mum, daughter, sister, friend or support some of the many entrepreneurial women running great local businesses. 18 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Iron W artwork £18 GIFT

‘Super Woman’ sweatshirt £50 in Bruton (£5 from the sale goes to Stand up to Cancer charity)

‘We are all wonder women’ tee £30 in Bruton (£5 from the sale goes to Mothers2Mothers charity)

Silver clutch £30 Almondsbury

Cashmere trousers £295 Circus

Ortigia perfume £38 GIFT

Rings £18 Circus | 19



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ilborne Port is home to one of Somerset’s most successful amateur musical theatre companies, Milborne Port Opera (MPO), which has been packing audiences into its annual productions (always the week after Easter) since 1990. The company plays to full houses and regularly wins awards for its performances, high production standards and stage sets, against stiff competition from all over the county. In 1990 a group of village residents got together to put on an entertainment to raise funds for the new village hall. 28 years later, MPO can boast a large and talented company from all over Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, united in their desire to make music and have fun. You can join them. Some of the original members are still there. Peter and Linda Mumford, Trevor John and Scilla Copper were in at the beginning, and there are plenty of others whose membership dates back to the very early days - Geoff Allan, Andrew Armstrong, Chris Bailward, and Candice Marcus, all of whom have made enormous contributions to the development of this remarkable society. MPO’s staple fare is Gilbert and Sullivan, which is ideal for an amateur company. For a start it is royaltyfree, which helps keep production costs down, but more importantly it’s popular, providing great four-part choral numbers, some fabulous character singing parts and some beautifully woven, if ridiculous, plots which poke fun at some of our greatest institutions – the Law (Gilbert was a barrister), the Church, the Navy, the Army, the Civil Service, Marriage. MPO’s first performance was G&S’s Trial by Jury, and the company has performed every work by G&S, some more than once. (Trial is having its third outing this year.) The company has also diversified into other musical genres ranging from The Merry Widow to the very ambitious (and successful) Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, performed last year. In total some seven non-G&S productions have been staged, including three original works by MPO member Neil Edwards from Milborne Port, who joined the company in 2003. Neil’s three musicals - The Lost Continent, Murder at 22 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Shakerley House and Spring Fate - form a trilogy of madcap plots interwoven with some memorable and tuneful music written by himself or adapted from neglected or forgotten works by Lionel Monckton and Ivan Caryll (musical megastars in their day). They are enormous fun to watch and a joy to perform. Every year the company grows. Every production is more ambitious and different from its last, with ingenious sets and special effects. And it’s fun. The first production in 1990 had a single piano accompaniment. 28 years later, the company has a talented orchestra, recruited and directed by Caroline D’Cruz, the tireless and enthusiastic musical director for most of the shows since 2006. Her energy, commitment and professionalism are a key ingredient in the group’s success.

The group still performs in Milborne Port Village Hall, which is transformed into the nearest thing to a real theatre, with a full thrust stage, tiered seating and dazzling lighting. Everything is constructed, painted and erected by the cast, who also perform the miracle of restoring the hall into its original condition straight after the last performance, ready for it to host badminton matches or short mat bowls the next day. Earlier this year MPO performed in the Coarse Acting Festival at the Questors Theatre, Ealing. This is a cult event, where professional and amateur companies vie with each other to perform hilarious plays by fictitious, earnest, but incompetent theatrical companies. The genre stems from author Michael Green’s best seller, The Art of Coarse Acting – or how to ruin an amateur dramatic company. MPO carried off the Best Production

Trophy for a cut-down version of Neil Edwards’ Murder at Shakerley House, directed by Richard Gaunt, now a 3-time winner of this 45-year-old competition. Not bad for a bunch of farmers, accountants, teachers, florists, clergy, financial advisers, software engineers, web designers, underwater warfare experts, seed merchants, accountants, PR types, vets, health workers, tax officials and automotive engineers eh? Come and join us! Milborne Port Opera will perform a hilarious musical double-bill after Easter in Milborne Port Village Hall. “Trial by Jury”, by Gilbert & Sullivan and “The Murder at Shakerley House” (Coarse acting version by Neil Edwards) 4th-7th April. Booking: | 23




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DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST Photos Š Dawn Blight, Ken Dolbear, MBE Julie Herring, Sarah Morrish, Matthew Le Breton, Carla Taylor & Paul Williams. | 25

Wild Dorset

THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE TIT Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust


or the novice bird watcher, the blue tit is a great place to start when developing bird ID skills. Small, colourful and agile, the blue tit is one of the easier birds to spot in your garden or local green space. This time of year, as spring arrives, the flashes of blue, yellow, white and green will appear more regularly, as they are gearing up for spring when they will be focussed on two tasks: breeding and feeding. This time of year, when the weather is improving, fattening up after a long, cold winter is top of the agenda – birds need to be in their prime at the beginning of the breeding season. The extra energy produced from food will help them to produce eggs and keep the parents in good health for providing food to their chicks. Blue tits will be seen using garden bird feeders but also hunting for caterpillars, spiders and other invertebrates. For blue tits, this forms part of finding a mate: the amount of yellow on a male blue tit’s breast is indicative of how many yellow and green caterpillars he’s eaten and the brighter the colour yellow, the more attractive he is to a female. Blue tits are found in woodland, parks and gardens, where they nest in holes in trees, however they are also very happy to use nest boxes if they are available. They are known to favour aromatic leaves such as lavender, mint and curry plants, which they use to disinfect their nests while building them. The females build the nests entirely on their own using moss, feathers, fur and wool, which takes them between 1-2 weeks. This spring, if you make room for wildlife in your garden, you will be rewarded with the sights and sounds of a wonderful blue tit family living their lives right under your nose! • The blue tit eats seeds, nuts and caterpillars. • Blue tits look similar to great tits but they are smaller. • Great tits have black on their head while the blue tit has a blue patch on the top of its head. The great tit also has a black stripe down its belly, while the blue tit’s belly is plain yellow. • A blue tit weighs the same as a pound coin. • Blue tits have been known to open milk bottles to eat the cream on the top of the milk. • The clutch size is variable, ranging from 7-13 eggs.

26 | Sherborne Times | March 2018 | 27

Wild Dorset


Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group Committee


olin Varndell is one of Dorset’s great natural history photographers who has four times won awards in the prestigious International Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. His photos can be seen in DWT publications – magazines, books, cards and calendars – and also county and national magazines. We are delighted that Colin is the speaker at Sherborne’s DWT meeting on 21st March in the Digby Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. His presentation will be ‘The Hedgehog Predicament’ and will cover all aspects of the life of the hedgehog. The hedgehog was DWT’s species of the month last September. They received an amazing tally of over 400 responses from individuals keen to relate information about their sightings that month. One person reported a hedgehog and badger eating side by side in a garden. Over recent years they have become rarer but the gardeners’ friend, the hedgehog, is obviously special to many. Last month I mentioned Citizen Science with respect to submitting records to DWT, BTO and RSPB for their various surveys. On a recent BBC Countryfile programme, the New Year wildflower survey of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland was covered. Volunteers record all wild plants found in flower over the New Year period. 28 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Image: Colin Varndell

Their definition of a flowering plant includes grasses and trees which is much broader than the one we use in our own local New Year survey, completed on a short local wander since about 2008. Our maximum number during the decade is 26 species, nothing like the 532 discovered over Britain and Ireland in the 2018 BSBI survey. We have recently completed our RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Of the 25 species recorded in the garden in January, 16 managed to put in an appearance during our recording hour. The only regular who failed to appear was a male great spotted woodpecker. At the weekend Matthew Oates, nature conservationist with the National Trust, wrote in his Times ‘Nature Notes’ about his 2018 RSPB survey experience. He has the theory that all bird feeders in UK are full on this weekend and with a general glut of food all the regular garden feeders are in less demand. He particularly bemoaned how a handsome male brambling which had been a daily visitor since mid-November had abandoned his garden for the day. We too failed to have a visit from our less handsome male brambling which has visited frequently this winter with a trembling of chaffinches.

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@elizabethwatsonillustrations 30 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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ith the arrival of Elizabeth Ashford from America in September, I found myself in a role I have always rather fancied – ‘Master in charge of Golf ’! Elizabeth is a fine, young golfer who is well on the pathway to professional success. She started playing at just 7 years old, inspired by being with her family on the golf course that surrounded the family home in Texas. Elizabeth quickly notched up several wins on 9-hole courses. She became one of the elite players of the North Texas Junior Golf Association league. In March 2017, Elizabeth acquired her first full set of clubs and started playing 18-hole courses. Now, at just 12 years old, she plays off an age-defying handicap of 10. With her family based in the UK, Elizabeth regularly plays at Sherborne Golf Club and recently I challenged Elizabeth to a game. It seems that my ungainly ‘hit as hard as possible’ swing starkly contrasted the smooth, balanced, well-coached swing of Elizabeth’s and, I have to admit, I was put firmly in my place. Consequently, I reluctantly admitted in the following Assembly that, yes, Elizabeth was indeed rather better than I was! As well as her charm and kind nature there is that steely competitiveness and focus that any sports person needs. The mud and cold of an English winter makes it hard for her, but Elizabeth is a determined and hardworking girl with a bright future ahead of her. The next time I play Elizabeth I will be asking for some shots! Nick Folland, Head Master

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

32 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Children’s Book Review

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

Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll (Chicken House) ages 8+, £6.99 Exclusive Sherborne Times reader offer of £5.99 from Winstone’s Books


prize-winning story idea from Neal Jackson gave birth to this wonderful tale of adventure, spies and man’s attempt to be the first aeronaut. Emma Carroll has a wonderful ability to capture a particular time in history and make it accessible to her young readers. Beautifully written and perfectly capturing 18th century France, Sky Chasers follows Magpie, a young girl destined to stand out. Her dark skin sets her apart, however Magpie is an expert at performing the unseen as she excels as a petty criminal. She steals from those who can afford to lose a little in order to feed herself and her cockerel, Coco. Set during the reign of King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette, when France is racing against its enemy England to be the first to fly in a hot air balloon, this wonderful reimagining of real life events is full of adventure, peril and excitement. Emma has created a daring, courageous character in Magpie, a girl who

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

doesn’t quite fit but who, even with her differences, has a strong sense of loyalty and a desire, despite her criminal background, to do what’s right. She is a fantastic character and one that stands out as a strong-willed, intelligent girl with a ferocious determination to follow her own heart to achieve her dreams no matter what conventions try to hold her back. She proves to be a fierce and brave friend.

author. Shelley Fallows

‘Sky Chasers’ is dedicated to “all those names that don’t make the history books". It is testament to all the unsung heroes out there and is yet another fantastic offering from this superb children’s

Emma Carroll lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.

Lots in store this Easter



Awakening Young Minds Jeremy Acton, Religious Education, Sherborne Prep


teach Religious Education at Sherborne Prep which, like many schools, has pupils brought up in families with different faiths and in families of no particular faith. However, like all schools, it has a legal requirement to teach RE. The Prep has Christian foundations. This is reflected through the daily hymns and the weekly ‘sermon’ delivered to our pupils by the Rev. Becky Ayers-Harris. We conduct an Easter service in The Boys School Chapel, maintain a strong presence (currently nine pupils) in the Sherborne Abbey choir, and enjoy a wonderful end-of-Michaelmas-term carol service in the Abbey. However, there are no formal prayers and Eucharist celebrations, so it is done with a light touch. My role as an RE teacher in the 21st century has therefore changed. I have found that I am no longer teaching pupils to have faith but rather I am teaching about a ‘Faith’ – such as Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. Through this process, the pupils learn to express different theological ideas and also to reflect on whether these religions hold views of the universe which chime with their own experiences. However, I believe by far the most important role of RE at the Prep is to awaken and keep alive the spiritual aspect of their characters. I do this by teaching them the ‘New Creation Story’ as told through science. We learn about the ‘The Big Bang’ some 13.5 billion years ago, up to the present day. I show them pictures from The Hubble Space Telescope of exploding stars, and then immediately play a clip of a concert pianist playing a moving piece of Bach. ‘Why has the universe organised itself into a being as beautiful and highly complex as this?’ I might ask. There 34 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

is no universally accepted, direct answer (let me know if you find out!) but I am always trying to invoke a sense of awe and wonder through what we know. This is why we also delve into the micro-universe and study the interior of an atom in RE! Life becomes extraordinarily strange when we travel to the smallest known parts of our universe. In fact, as yet, they cannot marry up the laws of the macro-universe with the quantum laws inside the atom. There is a deep mystery still at the heart of our existence. I am one of those people who do not see a conflict

between science and religion. Science is magical. Anyone who has enjoyed the BBC programmes about our solar system and the known universe, narrated by Professor Brian Cox, will have noticed Brian’s tone of voice; it is full of wonder and a sense of awe. He is often teased about this, which strikes me as entirely unfair. How can you not be profoundly moved by the knowledge that all life in the known universe began in a singularity smaller than the dot at the end of this sentence some 13.5 billion years ago, and that the universe has made itself into the blinking, sentient being that is reading these

words right now? Awe and wonder, in my mind, are the very fuel that drives great RE. All our pupils leave with a sound understanding of the world’s biggest faiths. However, more importantly, they leave with, I hope, a fledgling spiritual flame flickering inside of them, one they can fire up later in life when pondering the bigger questions of our existence; an important and profoundly human thing to do. | 35



AUDI Q5 S LINE QUATTRO Scott Armstrong, Cdr RN Retd


hen you see the words ‘Audi’, ‘Quattro’ and ‘S Line’ you have certain expectations that everything must not only work and be of the highest quality but also be a pleasure to use. There are of course plenty of cars with fabulous boot capacity and lots of leg room in the back, and much has been written about comparing bhp or CO2, but what was most important to me was to decide whether I would be tempted to buy the Q5. Simple really. 36 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Climbing into this honed, white SUV, the first thing that strikes me, even without the branding being obvious, is that I immediately know I’m in an Audi. Perhaps it’s the familiar curves and lines, or the overall impression that it had been designed by an inspired and cohesive team, not an excitable, jostling committee. The leather seats are firm yet comfortable, and easily adjustable to give better sight over the long bonnet. The controls are beautifully designed and engineered, and the

doors close with a satisfying, NASA-worthy, hatchsealing whump. The Q5 steers like an Audi should: solid, but not a gym workout in itself. It also shifts like a Quattro should, not so much its acceleration taking you by surprise but rather carrying out the order politely and without question. As locals know, however, the most important test of a car’s manoeuvrability is not the muddy labyrinth of our country lanes and their cute

bottleneck villages but the scrum that is the Waitrose car park on a Saturday morning. Task in hand, I have to say that whilst I was mildly worried about the length of the bonnet, the beeps and simple graphical representation on the multifunction screens were enough to let me get close to but not worry about nudging fellow shoppers’ cars. When it comes to loading the boot, it has a handy power-operated tailgate — very satisfying when your hands are full. The Q5 isn’t so large as to induce a red-faced struggle in tight spots and it easily navigates the delivery vans on Cheap Street without needing to trouble pedestrians. I’m pleased to say that the Q5 passes the Sherborne test. Being of an age where I can just about hold my own in the digital realm but not necessarily help others do the same, I was impressed with how easy the Audi MMI ‘infotainment’ system is to use. At first glance at the large screen you might not think so, but the large rotary knob the size of a jam jar lid is intuitive to use and the buttons have just the right amount of positive click to let you know you’ve pressed it before losing yourself in a maze of sub-menus. Back out on the road, the LED headlights are lighthouse-bright and the ride quality is solid and reassuring. Juggling the tricky act of saving your life and the planet, the Q5’s ‘Quattro on-Demand’ responds instantly to conditions and driver behaviour, switching between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive as it deems necessary. Fuel consumption and emissions are thus reduced without compromising the benefits and joy of quattro. I’m half tempted to whizz up to visit my relatives in Scotland and see how the Q5 (and my back) fares on a long haul but I’m needed back home to cook lunch. I’m sure there are many reviews of the Q5 discussing the various engines and suspension types available, and if I fully understood the S-tronic dual-clutch transmission system I would happily sing its praises – who would turn down a set of flappy paddles? But if you’re baffled by torque settings and ride functions, are capable of negotiating Cheap Street in something bigger than a Nissan Micra, and want something other than the ubiquitous Dorset 4x4, I would recommend you visit an Audi dealership and test drive the Q5. It’s a solid, spacious, handsome and very clever piece of kit, but don’t get your hopes up. There’s a very long waiting list apparently. | 37




y passion for acrylics began in 2004. Up to that point I had been an oil painter and, like many artists of the time, I was fairly disparaging about acrylics, considering them to be a poor relation to oils and with little to offer serious painters. However, my work was changing dramatically at the dawn of the new millennium. Having always taken a traditional approach to my work, I followed my intuition and began to paint in a freer, looser, abstracted style. 38 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

This shift brought with it a desire to express myself exclusively through colour and texture rather than form. It was at this point that I hit a stumbling block with oils. I needed to work quickly, building deep texture, often scraping back and creating deep furrows, before overpainting with thin or thick layers of wet paint. The texture needed to be dry for me to get the effects I wanted; drying times using oils simply made these techniques impractical, hence I was forced to re-

evaluate my medium of choice and someone suggested I experiment with acrylics. To say I was less than enthusiastic would be an understatement but, with no other obvious options offering themselves, I gave it a go. Little did I know then that I would spend the next 15 years as an ambassador for this much-underrated medium. After spending the best part of the first 12 months putting acrylics through their paces and pushing their capabilities to the extremes, I emerged proud to call myself an acrylic painter, appreciating for the first time that they offer unparalleled flexibility and versatility of use. Spending so much of my time in recent years extolling the virtues of acrylics means that I hear many misconceptions about the medium from sceptical members of my audiences. So here are the most common objections and my responses to them. “The colours are so brash and unsubtle.”

Not nowadays folks! Acrylic paint is a man-made substance and, like most technologies, the paint has improved beyond all recognition since they were invented in the 1960s. Today they offer the same colour integrity and colour-mixing sensitivity as oils. “They dry out so quickly I can’t work with them.”

Acrylics behave very differently from oil paint and therefore need to be managed and used differently too. It’s just a case of learning how to use them effectively. The fast drying makes them perfect for texture building or mixed-media work, while layering wet on wet allows for the same subtle blending capabilities as oils. However, they are also great for layering in thin tints or using for glazing techniques. Once you understand that their quick-drying nature can be used to your advantage a whole wealth of opportunities opens up. “There is a colour shift between wet and dry which makes them difficult to predict.”

This issue has largely been addressed by the manufacturers. In the 15 years I’ve been using them, the degree of shift has noticeably decreased. There are also ranges of acrylic paints with no colour shift at all. I have yet to meet a student who has found any minimal colour shift a problem. “Acrylics look so flat and matt when they dry.

They don’t have the sheen of oils.”

This is essentially true. As the paint dries it loses its wet sheen, which can make colours look less intense. However, it is a problem that is easily solved. Once the painting is complete and has been allowed to dry thoroughly, simply apply two thin coats of acrylic satin varnish (24 hours apart) and the luminosity, colour and sheen magically returns. The varnish will also protect your painting. “Acrylics just don’t produce as good a quality work as oils.”

I would beg to differ on this. It may have been true in the 1960s but nowadays it takes a highly attuned specialist eye to spot the difference between a good acrylic painting and a good oil painting. I met an Australian artist several years ago who tested this theory in his homeland, putting forward an acrylic painting for a high-profile national oil painters’ exhibition. His work was selected and went on to win a much-coveted award. Forced to stand on a podium to receive his prize, as the merits of his wonderful “oil” painting were extolled to the appreciative audience, he felt increasingly uncomfortable. He stood there wondering whether he should come clean and admit that his submission was actually a rebellious experiment but decided that it would be far too embarrassing for the much-esteemed judges, so chose to keep quiet! Finally, acrylic paint also provides the perfect learning medium for beginners. Why? Because new painters learn most when they can correct mistakes and see the transformation. There is no other medium which accommodates this requirement better than acrylics. Once a layer of paint has dried, corrections are simple, even if you are adding light over dark tones. I find that this accelerates a student’s learning curve and allows them to relax and enjoy the experience of painting. Sundays 11am-1pm Art Club@Thornford for Children Thursday evenings 7.30pm-9.30pm Art Club@Thornford for Adults See listings for details. | 39


RIDERS BRITISH MERLIN ALMANAC 1687 Elisabeth Bletsoe, Curator, Sherborne Museum


his little gem, much damaged by mould and pests, was found concealed in a cottage loft in Trendle Street, Sherborne. Straw from the thatch still adhered to its pages. It is an almanac, something which provided entertainment, instruction and useful information at a time when reading matter was scarce. They were a popular publishing phenomenon of the 16th to 18th centuries, and, as well as providing traditional calendrical data, facts and statistics, moral precepts and proverbs, were practical in their secondary role as a diary since they were very portable. Originally they contained astrological matters and predictions for the future; much of this “sensational matter” had disappeared by the eighteenth century but they continued in popularity and evolved into a kind of folk literature. This particular version, Rider’s British Merlin, first appeared in 1656 and continued into the 19th century, published under the control of the Stationers’ Company which aimed at efficient printing at minimal cost. It was therefore affordable to the masses, although it was mainly bought by yeomen, husbandmen and artisans. It was originally compiled “Bedeckt with many delightful Varieties and useful Verities” by Cardanus Rider. This name is a near-anagram for Ric_ard Saunder_ or Richard Saunders, a seventeenth century physician and astrologer. Our almanac was brought out in 1687 and contains a calendar of the year, records of various astrological phenomena, phases of the moon, high and low tide schedules, weather predictions, seasonal medical suggestions, a table of kings and queens, a geographical description of the world and a “computation of the most remarkable passages of the times from creation” 40 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

- the most recent being the beheading of the late Duke of Monmouth “for Rebellion and Treason”. One of the lengthiest sections is that devoted to the dates of fairs in England and Wales, both fixed (those held on a set day, usually associated with a saint) and moveable (the second Monday in October, for example). This highlights the importance of fairs not only for buying and selling but also for demonstrations of innovative husbandry, information exchange and the hiring of labour. Horticultural advice for March urges, “Cover the roots of fruit trees with fat earth” and the sowing of all manner of garden seeds. To improve the health this month, one should “forbear all things salt, purge the blood by potions and blood-letting”. This explains the inclusion of a “Zodiacal Man” (pictured) which reveals the persistent influence of the medieval world-view that man was a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm of the Ptolemaic universe. Earth was divided into regions governed by the planets; the body of man, therefore, was divided into regions governed by the signs of the Zodiac. The diagram instructed doctors and barber-surgeons whether it was safe to let blood or perform surgery; if the Moon was in the sign of the body-part in question these procedures were not recommended. The almanac can be seen in a small display of deliberately concealed objects, part of the wider context of this season’s main exhibition “Text & Textile”. Winter opening Tues and Thurs 10.30 am - 12.30 pm. Summer season starts Tuesday 27th March.

The Joinery Works, Alweston Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5HS Tel: 01963 23219 Fax: 01963 23053 Email:





e left London for the country with an ambitious project of restoring a typical Dorset 19th century shepherd’s hut which had been in our family for over a century and was in real need of attention. I always follow my gut feeling and don’t believe much in coincidences or luck; everything happens for a reason, however random it may seem. Our last London address was 12 Shepherd’s Hill. Can you guess the name of the last shepherd who used our shepherd’s hut? Shepherd “Hill” and I’m afraid I can’t help but take it as a sign. January being January, the weather didn’t help us make a significant amount of progress and to stay motivated we 42 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

did some essential research on shepherd’s huts. We decided to visit Richard Lee at Plankbridge Shepherd’s Huts near Dorchester, at the heart of the Piddle Valley. Plankbridge is a company which restores and builds magnificent huts. Featured on the BBC and at the Chelsea Flower Show, they also gifted a birthday hut to Prince George as a thank you to the Prince of Wales for helping to establish the company with a Prince’s Trust loan. Richard was generous with his time considering I have no intention of buying a hut from him, allowing us to take many photos of his workshop and huts for future reference and highlighting key areas to pay attention to

"Apparently, shepherd’s huts, often in discreet locations, had a tendency to attract local couples who knew when the shepherd was away and well… need I say more?"

when rebuilding ours. He also recommended we speak to David Morris, an expert on the subject and author of the book Shepherd’s Huts and Living Vans which I was given as a gift and can highly recommend. David is the curator at Yeovilton museum and actually contacted us first after reading an article I published online about this project. He was very keen to come and see it as soon as possible. According to David this is a very well-preserved hut and his advice was that, since it is in such good condition, we ought to simply repaint it and replace the roof that had gone beyond repair. This would extend the century-old hut’s life by another 40 years while remaining basic in appearance. I pointed out a “romantic” inscription on one of the walls of the hut and he explained that he too had found a love poem in his own hut. Apparently, shepherd’s huts, often in discreet locations, had a tendency to attract local couples who knew when the shepherd was away and well… need I say more? For a few days I thought about his valuable tips but decided to stick to my original plan. I would take it apart with the utmost care, bit by bit, from the roof down and establish if each part would either be restored or replaced by a new one made to measure. Why ignore the expert’s advice? Our motivations are different. David has a love affair with shepherd’s huts and cares about preserving heritage, and I respect this greatly. Since I’m going to invest a lot of time and money in this project, I am looking for a way to monetise it in the future, even if only slightly, by renting it as a tiny B&B. This is only possible if the hut is “upgraded” from a basic shepherd’s home to a modern living space. As a curious child, to my parents’ great despair, I would take apart most things in my possession. By taking the hut apart I can understand better the building process. It’s something I have to do and instead of adding 40 years to its life, it may outlive me. Now empty of its content, the work has begun and that’s a terribly exciting mountain to climb. The corrugated tin is coming off as well as the roof, which isn’t easy considering all the screw heads are damaged. Next month we’ll hopefully have made sufficient progress and taken down the top part of the hut all the way down to the chassis, provided the rain gives us a little break. Finally, I will need to build a shelter that I can rebuild the hut under, however that may have to wait for Spring. We’re doing this not only to preserve a piece of local history but also to prove to ourselves that we can. | 43


IN EVERY CITY, THERE ARE MANY CITIES Andy Foster, Director, Raise Architects


rtist and writer Austin Kleon wrote a blog post recently entitled, “The art of finding what you didn’t know you were looking for” - a concept which should be familiar to everyone of a creative disposition. In it he discusses the importance of keeping your archive of inspiration, interesting finds, ideas and unfinished work in a deliberately semi-chaotic state. The theory being that if your filing system is too regimented or structured, you won’t stumble upon things that you had forgotten about which might prove to be useful in shaping future projects. If what Kleon describes is a handling strategy for finding past influences and inspiration, I wondered what strategies might exist for finding new influences and inspiration when you need them. I thought about my own work and realised that I have two strategies: the first is to do with books or, more specifically, libraries and the second is to do with cities. Although libraries are perfectly structured in familiar ways, they can become semi-random providers of inspiration if approached correctly. At a simple level, a seemingly aimless shuffle along unfamiliar aisles will invariably lead to areas of interest: a subject that is new 44 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

to you, a never-heard-of author, a description of a way of doing something that had never occurred to you. The key is to find ways of steering clear of known subjects. Also key is the fact that it is a real, non-digital experience, occurring in real time, around real people, within physical surroundings (hopefully good architecture). City visits seem to work for me in a similar way. I don’t need to spend very long in a new city, walking the streets, riding the transport systems, visiting landmark buildings, before my mind is racing with new ideas. But it doesn’t need to be a new city, a familiar one will do. You just need to find new ways of experiencing it: visit an unfamiliar area, try different times of day, get up high or perhaps try to imagine how the city is experienced by other people. These approaches have worked for me on many occasions. I think it has something to do with new perspectives and the unfamiliar. They seem to work best when you’re really up against it. In fact, the more up against it, the better. Properly stuck is good. Or at least totally frustrated that your work is nowhere near as good as you’d like it to be and you only have a short period of time to meet the deadline. That’s the time to stop. It always pays off.

Here’s a tale that links both of my strategies. Towards the end of my architectural studies I joined a field trip to Vienna. We hired a clapped-out doubledecker bus and travelled overland through France, Germany and Austria. Prior to the trip I was in the university library working on my latest design project. I took a break, went for a stroll and found myself, unusually, in the literature section. Enjoying some discoveries from various European regions, it occurred to me that I should select one 20th century novel for each of the countries I was about to visit. For France I chose Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Le Voyeur, for Germany, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and for Austria, Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities. The following year I returned to help lead a similar field trip to Venice. This time, of course, I headed for the Italian literature section and this led me to Primo Levi (The Wrench and The Periodic Table) and Italo Calvino (If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller and Invisible Cities). Thirty years later I can report that all of these books have continued to be companions on my journey, constantly influencing my ideas and philosophy. I can state this as fact as I know it to be true but, if you were

to push me, I would probably find it difficult to give you specific examples. However, it is Calvino’s book, Invisible Cities, that is most relevant in the context of this article. In it Calvino describes a fictitious encounter between the explorer Marco Polo and the ageing emperor Kublai Kahn. Polo is apparently describing the wondrous and fantastical cities in the outer reaches of Kahn’s expanding empire. Kahn marvels at the descriptions provided by Polo but points out, after many tales, that he has said nothing about Polo’s home city of Venice. Marco Polo replies, “Every time I describe a city, I am saying something about Venice.” If I was to sum up what I’ve learnt from all of this, it would be to say that it caused me to recognise the immense power of narrative, not just in writing but also in my chosen fields of architecture, urban design and place-making. Or, to put it another way, narrative serves as a powerful reminder that what is most important in architecture is not buildings, or spaces, or materials, or craft, or ideas, or even creativity. It’s people. | 45


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MARK JERRAM JERRAM GALLERY Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


his year, Mark Jerram celebrates 10 years at his eponymous gallery on Sherborne’s Half Moon Street. “We were so lucky to find a premises with these large double windows” he enthuses, bathed in the gallery's natural light and sitting amongst a meticulously curated selection of work. Mark’s passion for 18th and 19th century art began whilst working at a gallery in London. He moved to the West Country in 1990 to open Sotheby's Salisbury office, remaining there to open the Jerram Gallery 3 years later. In 2008 Mark moved the gallery from the bustling cathedral city to Sherborne. “It is my background in earlier British pictures that guides me, although my focus is now contemporary painters and 52 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

sculptors.” I am interested in the artist’s approach and skill, not just the decorative and superficial.’ This month he is holding a solo exhibition of the landscape artist Carry Akroyd’s paintings, drawings and original prints, entitled Found in the Fields. Carry is a member of the John Clare Society and is a great fan of his 18th century “Peasant Poetry”; Clare’s work is never far from her mind when she is painting. Carry is based in Northamptonshire but paints around the UK and has recently been working on a series inspired by Kingcombe Nature Reserve here in Dorset. Her work is heavily influenced by the workings of the countryside, in particular the changes in rural life, how it affects field patterns and how geology dictates the agriculture of a

district. The exhibition will include over 40 paintings and drawings alongside the artist’s set of hand-drawn lithographs that incorporate texts by John Clare. Clearly the countryside has also had an influence on Mark. He lives near Tisbury and, although it’s ‘bit of a drive’ to Sherborne, he lives happily close to the chalk streams that feed his favourite pastime of fly-fishing. ‘I grew up in Lower Wraxall (near Dorchester) and we were surrounded by trout-filled rivers,’ he muses. When he isn’t fishing, Mark and his wife Nicky, like to climb Eggardon Hill with their two black Labradors. ‘It is a magical place,’ he adds. Mark has over 30 artists on his books and exudes enthusiasm for his work. ‘The highlight for me is visiting

the artist’s studios and discussing their work,’ he says. ‘It is so interesting to see all of their paintings, not just the ones that have ‘worked’ but also those that haven’t. A show is two and half years in the planning, often with 30 pieces in a show, and that takes an artist a lot of time. They don’t just produce 30 paintings and be done with it. Some go wrong, some they will put aside because they don’t like them and so on. The fun for me is in the curation’. He has many clients who visit the gallery to choose a painting for a particular space in their home. ‘My tip is, don’t be too specific. It is a gut reaction,’ he says. ‘You can’t walk into a gallery with a “shopping list” because you’ll inevitably be drawn to a particular style. Really, choosing a painting comes about because something clicks.’ Mark believes in letting clients trust their instincts and not thinking about where the work is going to hang. ‘A painting will find its place,’ he explains. ‘I am all for someone borrowing a painting and trying it out in their home.’ And he is quite happy for buyers to spread payments on a painting with which they have particularly fallen in love. You could spend all day discussing the influence of earlier artists in contemporary paintings with Mark. For him the detail is all. His artists are all British and live in the UK, except for one based in Spain. ‘And you can immediately see the influence of that in his work,’ he says. He moves on to compare Scottish painters of the 19th century who by-passed London and went straight to Paris, with traditional English painters, and their consequently contrasting approach. Clearly Mark misses the old days in London when he would spend weeks seeking out a particular painting by a historical artist. ‘I do miss an element of dealing in earlier work,’ he agrees, ‘but what is so exciting here is finding new artists.’ Mark says it is hard to find younger artists who work in a figurative manner and he likes to discover those – such as Carry Akroyd – who have their own style yet draw on earlier influences. After all, this is a man who likes to read his daily newspaper ‘from the back to the front, first the obituaries because they are always so interesting and then the arts pages to keep in touch with what’s happening.’ Mark’s clearly not interested in a ‘quick hit’. For him the truth of any story or painting is to be sought deep within the detail. Found in The Fields, paintings and prints by Carry Akroyd 24th March – 11th April | 53


Samui Heather

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Leopard Walk

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BIRDS, BUGS AND BEASTS Kitty Oakshott, Upstairs Downstairs Interiors


s we approach spring, birds, bugs and beasties will start to emerge. Why not welcome them into your home? We are seeing lots of fabrics and wallpapers showcasing all types of glorious creatures in great spring colours. Introduce some pastel shades into your home to bring a fresh feel. Whether you choose to update your home with new curtains, blinds or a re-upholstered piece of furniture, birds, bugs and beasties come in all shapes and sizes to suit you. There’s an amazing choice, with embroidered beetles on natural linens or bugs hidden in florals. 54 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Some even merge into bold geometric patterns and it’s not until you look closer that you see their true beauty. More obvious choices include neutral tones with scenes of birds and hares, which would look great as a Roman blind or a collection of scatter cushions. Why not try mixing designs to create a menagerie of beasties on your sofa? Give new life to an old chair by re-upholstering it in a bold bird print to create a real statement piece that will have your guests in awe. Surround it with subdued florals or botanical prints to keep on-theme. Not so keen on bugs? Animal prints have been

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COLLECTORS COLLECT Richard Bromell ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


t is difficult to say what drives people to collect. had to send one of our Charterhouse vans, with two of Squirrels collect nuts. The nuts they collect are the Charterhouse Crew, to pick them up. not for an art installation in their nest, but to feed What drove the aunt to collect we do not know. I them over the months when they cannot get hold of suspect it was because her father collected stamps in the alternative food. Most humans do not need to make early to mid-20th century and she decided to continue a food store as there is always a supermarket open the collection when she had the time and funds to do somewhere – though perhaps more further afield for us so. She certainly went out on a mission to collect the rural village folk. We do not need to squirrel food away. stamps, which are usually mint, although occasionally As an auctioneer and valuer, I see collectors every day. accompanied by a matching used set too. Some can become obsessed with As is often the case with a proper their particular collecting field. This stamp collector, they are beautifully can lead them to write a book on the displayed in their respective albums, subject based on their knowledge all by country with the exception and expertise amassed over time, of a few albums devoted, rather but it can also lead some to become bizarrely in my opinion, just to secret hoarders. Often family stamps relating to Disney. I guess members and close friends are it shows her broad interest and unaware of what has been collected fascination in the subject. Certainly, until there is a bereavement. At The Mauritius 1 rupee Windsor Castle the collectors I have shown the has a printing fault to the left of the these difficult times, we are asked numerous albums to are getting flag on the tower, making it a £100to step in and help as the executors pretty excited and are looking 150 stamp at auction. Without this fault is probably less than £5. need expert advice. forward to the auction on Thursday Recently I was asked to advise 15th March. a client on her aunt’s stamp collection. As a general Perhaps what will surprise some reading this article rule, if you are under 50 years of age you will have little is that it is not always the older stamps in the collection interest in philately (or stamp collecting). Fortunately which have the higher values. Many of the more valuable for the lady, I am (just) over 50 and, having had a stamps either have an imperfection, a mis-print or are passing interest in stamps over the past 40+ years, have from China in the 1950-1980’s. To me, this is no great some knowledge in this particular field. During my surprise as collectors like to collect and there does not lifetime’s interest in stamps, I have only seen a handful have to be any reason for doing so other than because of collections as extensive as this. There were hundreds they can! of albums containing tens of thousands of stamps. There were so many they would not fit in my estate car, so I 58 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

CHARTERHOUSE Auctioneers & Valuers We are now accepting entries for our forthcoming auctions: Coins, Stamps & Medals Thursday 15th March Model Trains, Cars & Collector’s Items Friday 16th March Classic & Vintage Cars Wednesday 11th April Hunting, Shooting & Fishing Items Thursday 19th April Asian Works of Art with Pictures & Books Friday 20th April Contact Richard Bromell or Beverley Garrett for advice and to arrange a home visit The Long Street Salerooms Sherborne DT9 3BS | 01935 812277

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@elizabethwatsonillustrations 60 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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62 | Sherborne Times | March 2018



Mike Burks, Managing Director, The Gardens Group

n odd phrase that you often hear gardeners say at this time of year is, “A pinch of dust in March is worth a King’s ransom” - sometimes the “pinch” is replaced by “peck,” which is an old measure of dry goods equal to eight quarts. I find this phrase rather interesting. The ‘King’s ransom’ has a monetary figure against it, as King Richard’s ransom of £100,000 was paid in 1193, and a modern bag of compost is about 48 quarts, making potting compost extremely good value these days! Despite it being an odd phrase, gardeners will understand it fairly quickly. A dry March is valuable to all gardeners, especially if it’s sunny, because not only is it great to spend time outdoors gardening but also it’s the perfect time to get the garden going and crops sown for the summer ahead. Other odd phrases you might hear from gardeners are: “Gardeners should be naked when they sow crops” and “If you can sit on the ground with your trousers down, it’s safe to sow your seed.” I’m not sure if these originally came from gardening, however they all indicate that if it’s warm enough to be naked outside then it’s time to start sowing crops! Whichever phrase you decide to have as your gardening mantra, it’s always a good idea to be ready for the season ahead, starting with preparing the soil in the vegetable garden when conditions are right. If the soil is too wet, and on clay soils you’ll know all about this as your boots will double and triple in size as the soil sticks to them, rather than improving the soil you are in fact damaging it, so wait for a drier day. However, if it’s the only opportunity you have then lay a good depth of garden compost, soil improver or composted bark on top of the soil and stand on that while you dig. As you move backwards over the soil, you’ll keep clean and the compost will be incorporated into the soil, helping to open up the structure. In sandy soils, digging will be easier but I would also recommend adding compost to help create the structure binding the particles together. In terms of what to sow in the vegetable garden at this stage, there is a wide choice; beetroot, parsnip, broad beans, and peas are all good crops to start with. As for the ornamental garden and, in particular, bedding plants, these will need to be sown inside at this stage, although a few can go straight into the soil. It’s always best to have a good look around at the spaces available in the borders and work out what could be used to fill them. It’s also time to prune back shrubs such as the late-flowering Spirea and those with brightly coloured young leaves, all of which will colour up better as the result of having fresh growth. If you have roses in the garden then finish off pruning these, and as soon as the leaves start to appear on Dogwoods, prune them hard back to create lots of new fresh growth, which will have the best colours the following winter. On the patio, winter tubs may be looking a little tired by now but it’s too early to get rid of them as summer bedding is still at least two months away. Spice them up with the addition of some fresh Primulas and the early-flowering Pansies and Violas. If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse, make sure that it’s clean inside and out in time for a new season of hard work. Even unheated, it’s the perfect tool for preparing the garden for spring as it’s the right place for seed sowing, potting on or growing crops that need extra warmth such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. So, whether you have a pinch of dust or you decide to head outside without any clothes on, there’s lots to be getting on with in the garden! | 63



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


s the idea of creating a cut flower farm grew, we soon realised that weddings were going to be very important for us. Getting married never goes out of fashion and flowers are a very important part of that special day. Every couple has a vision of their day and it’s usually garlanded with flowers. Those visions can be very different and it’s great fun working with our range of flowers and foliage to come up with something fresh and full of life and colour! Fashions change constantly and it pays to keep abreast of the latest trends, colours and styles. We grew a lot of white and pastel colours but we soon found that today’s couples are drawing on a far wider colour palette. Last year our soft orange and apricot dahlias were in huge demand, as were our gorgeous peach foxgloves. Rich deep reds and crimsons were very popular and, at the other end of the spectrum, our creamy Dahlia, ‘Cafe au Lait’ had everyone’s hearts. We’ve been delighted to supply some of the top wedding florists in the South West, whose amazing creations grace the incredible range of wedding venues that surround us. I love our florist clients, they’re truly passionate and knowledgeable about flowers, colour and design. Efficient and organised too. For each wedding, we’re given a list of numbers, colours and species needed. We post up-to-date photos of our range on social media and we can easily pop out into the field with a phone and quickly show them exactly what else we have. When they come to collect, they know that they’re getting field-fresh flowers and are usually tempted by some of the other gems that we’re growing too! Not everyone can afford the fantastic service that a top wedding florist can provide, and we can help in many ways. We’re always happy to create something special in our own inimitable Black Shed style of course but a really popular option is to go the DIY route. DIY wedding flowers can be great fun to do, with everyone getting involved, mucking in and lending a hand. We discuss and choose suitable species and then cut and condition buckets full of flowers and foliage, so that the families can decorate the wedding venue. Everyone seems to love the experience and it’s a great way to bring 64 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

two families and their friends together I’m told! Our very first wedding as Black Shed was in the beautiful surroundings of Burgh House in Hampstead. We were understandably nervous. We’d sought inspiration online, in books and we’d talked to florist friends. We were given a very open brief by the couple, which was just as well, as we weren’t even sure what flowers we’d have at that early stage. Our plants were growing really well at Blackmarsh Farm but, as the date drew near, it was clear that we would have to use an eclectic mix, some grown and some ‘found’... On the day before the wedding we picked all our new flower farm treasures and started to fill the kitchen with buckets full of flowers. It was all looking very colourful and exciting but we needed more fillers and foliage. We pinched some of the stunning architectural maize foliage from the Toy Barn’s Amazing Maize Maze but we needed more, so we took a trip up to our much loved but rather neglected allotments. We grow native plants and flowers on our plots to encourage wildlife, so we were pretty hopeful of finding something interesting and useful. We weren’t disappointed. Clouds of our small, native lilac scabious and a sea of white campions would make perfect informal fillers. The neglect paid dividends too; tall grasses and wild oats would look great in the mix but the surprise for me were the rusty plumes of dock flowers. Docks are a terrible weed, even if useful for nettle stings, but they are also tall and statuesque; they made a fabulous foil to our flowers and later just glowed in the evening sun amidst the wood panelling at Burgh House in London. We’ve given two of our allotments back now so that someone else can enjoy them. We don’t have the time to maintain them in the way we’d like to but, before we handed them back, we cleared a lot of our plants off, taking seedlings and offsets down to the flower farm. I even found myself doing something I doubt any gardener ever does: searching for and digging up a clump of those docks and transplanting them to a new home down at the farm.

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Hand-dyed silk ribbon by Hetti Brown @hettibrown_ | 65

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66 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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LIZ SOMERVILLE Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


iz Somerville’s light-filled, rustic studio is the epitome of an artist’s workspace. Prints hang in various stages of production whilst brushes and tubes of vibrant paint fill most available surfaces. Dust kicked up from the wooden floor hangs in the shafts of light that pour in through the high windows. Despite the wood-burner, there’s a chill in the air and Puffin the terrier is wearing his best Fair Isle jumper. ‘I’m sorry it’s so cold,’ says Liz, stirring the coffee that’s been keeping warm on the wood-burner. ‘Sometimes it’s so damp in here I have to keep the dehumidifier going all day just so the paint will dry.’ Her dark eyes are piercing and she’s strikingly tall, with an ethereal presence that could be unnerving. But what is most striking are her hands – you can tell a lot about people from their hands. Liz’s hands are those of a maker: strong and capable. >

68 | Sherborne Times | March 2018 | 69

70 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Liz was born in Dorset but spent her childhood in the Kent North Downs. The family often returned for holidays, and after working for 11 years in London in textiles, it seemed natural to return to Dorset and the familiarity of the landscape that Liz cites as having a great influence on her work. She produces about six new linocuts a year, not many but if you consider the work that goes into each one of her hand-coloured prints and paintings (and there might be up to 800 prints produced) plus commissions, it is quite considerable. Her method is one of letting the landscape talk to her. ‘For me my work is narrative,’ she explains. ‘It’s about being in a particular place and I will often visit that place many times before I decide to work on it.’ ‘I’m interested in composition and story, not pictures of places. There’s always a story to the scene and I want the viewer to enter the picture and discover it. I want to say something about the place through my work,’ she explains. ‘My attention is drawn to the lie and flow of the land, to the unexpected colour and the traces of its past use. You do what you need to do to make that picture, to make the colours more intense and use the paint in a looser way – to keep pushing the work.’ She cites Paul Nash and the illustrations of Edward Bawden as influences on her practice. ‘But I’m also a huge reader and am equally influenced by my favourite authors, such as the magical realism of Angela Carter or the work of Lorna Sage. I’m fascinated by the minutiae of life – the little things – as well as fantastical imagery.’ You can see how this translates into her work, not only in its range of marks, which have a lyrical quality, but also in the detail of the motifs. ‘When I am working, I do imagine a story in my head about the place that I’m working on but it’s subconscious,’ she explains. For example a recent commission has a shed tucked away in the trees and she imagined a story about that shed. We ponder for a moment on whether art is a refuge, an ‘inner shed’ where the artist can go and Liz agrees that when she’s drawing it’s often the subconscious that takes over and that afterwards she often feels ‘separate’ from her work. But rather than it being part of the psyche, she compares it to how a child becomes utterly absorbed while drawing and it’s that freedom that she continues to draw on. As a child she was lucky enough to be able to spend the days roaming outdoors in the countryside and it’s this being ‘at one’ with the countryside that has remained with her. We agree that it’s only as a child when you have the time to absorb the detail of your > | 71

72 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

surroundings, albeit unconsciously, so that it can become part of the psyche and drawn on time and time again. ‘I like to work in isolation,’ says Liz. ‘It’s important that what you produce hasn’t been influenced and I am such a sponge that I have to make sure I’m not being influenced by other work. I do a lot of thinking and walking of the location. It’s always the location that comes first. I consider what do I want to make of it, how does it make me feel and why?’ With so few ‘cuts’ each year and each one being hand-painted, it’s a timeconsuming process. Recently she has taken to using the ‘Sgraffito’ technique for her first drawing after initial sketches. Liz makes her own boards using gesso and ink and then scratches into the board (it is similar to scraperboard) with a scalpel. This produces her master drawing and from that she can make a cut into lino and then produce prints that she hand-colours. ‘From start to finish the whole process takes from about two days to a week,’ she says. ‘It’s a slow process and it has to be right so there are

a lot of sketches beforehand.’ It was the artist Grayson Perry who said ‘a career in art is like a marathon’ only it’s a marathon that doesn’t come to an end. But for any artist the need to express their craft is deeply primitive. Liz agrees. ‘In every artist there is a hard kernel of creativity, just something that feels driven and I have always felt it ever since I was a child and used art to create my own world.’ But if you ask her what really keeps her going, because, let’s be frank, it’s not always easy to wake up every morning and produce new work, Liz is quick to answer. ‘It’s still the thrill of lifting the paper after printing. There are marks you can get through print that you can never get through paint. And I’m always excited to see that.’ One Hundred Thousand Cuts (and other stories) will be showing at The Art Stable, Child Okeford, until 24th March. | 73



Old School Gallery

Oliver’s Coffee House

The Three Wishes

82 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ

Boyle’s Old School, High Street, Yetminster, DT9 6LF

19 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU

78 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ

@kafefontana kafefontana 01935 812180

@yetminstergalle 01935 872761

@OliversSherbs 01935 817777 Olivers-Coffee-House 01935 815005

74 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Little Barwick House Restaurant with rooms


Delicious, classically based dishes with a modern twist, served in an elegant, but relaxed, fine dining atmosphere. 01935 423902 Rexes Hollow Lane, Barwick, near Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 9TD

Mothers Day 11th March 2018

Treat mum this Mothering Sunday to a succulent carvery

2 Course Carvery

Adults £17.50 per person Children * £8.00 per person *Applies to under 12 year olds

Pre booking your table is essential Your gift for mum sorted, she’ll love a voucher for our onsite spa,

To purchase, call the spa on 01935 483435 George Albert Hotel Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW Tel: 01935 483430 | 75

Food & Drink THE CAKE WHISPERER Val Stones


This celebration strawberry cheesecake serves 8-12 and would make a perfect Mother’s Day treat


y sister and her family have lived in New York for 10 years and I had my first experience of a true cheesecake in the Magnolia bakery in the food hall of Grand Central station. It was sublime. I bought the Magnolia cook book and worked on the recipe until I made it one of my signature bakes, which always gets requested for parties and family get-togethers. A real New York cheesecake has to have a sponge base and, once you have tried it, you won’t want to go back to the biscuit bases. Someone eating this cheesecake said it was the best cheesecake she had ever tasted and that I should apply for Bake Off. What she didn’t know was that I was already into the second week of baking! The cheesecake can be made gluten-free by replacing the flour in the base with Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour. Don’t be put off by the number of bowls you need - the end result is well worth the 76 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

washing up! Also, it’s one of those ‘slowly does it’ recipes where to rush would spoil the end result; it really does pay to stir in love with this one. Prep

30mins for putting together 1 hour to bake 4 hours to chill What you will need

23cm springform cake tin A roasting tin to use as a bain-marie A serving plate/cake platter for the finished cheesecake A cake lifter is very useful as this will help you lift the baked cheesecake onto the serving plate Large piping bag A six-point star nozzle (number 844, or whatever you have for piping cream)


For the base 50g self-raising flour 2g baking powder A pinch of salt 2 large egg yolks 50g caster sugar Zest of half a lemon 30g melted butter plus extra for greasing 2 large egg whites 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar For the filling 800g full-fat soft cheese 40g custard powder 100g caster sugar 4 medium eggs 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 240ml double cream For the topping 250ml double cream At least 12 strawberries 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 40g icing sugar To make the base

1 2 3 4 5

6 7


Pre-heat the oven to 175C/160C fan oven/Gas 4. Butter a 23cm springform cake tin. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and beat for 2 minutes with an electric hand whisk. Add two tablespoons of the sugar and beat until the mixture becomes thick, so that when you lift the beaters out, it leaves a trail of mixture behind that sinks very slowly back into the mix. The proper term for this is “the ribbon stage� and it can take up to 5 minutes to get to this stage. Add the flour and fold in using a metal spoon, then fold in the lemon zest and melted butter. In another bowl beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually add a teaspoon at a time of the remaining sugar, beating well between each addition of sugar, until the egg is glossy and holds in firm peaks. Fold the egg white mixture carefully into the egg yolk mix, trying not to lose any of the air, then pour the mixture into the cake tin.

9 Bake for 12-14 minutes. It is ready when the sponge springs back when touched and if you listen to it there will hardly be a whisper of a crackle. Place the tin on a wire rack and leave the sponge cake to cool in the tin. 10 When the tin is cool wrap the outside of the base in tin foil. To make the filling

11 Take 200g of the cream cheese and place in a large bowl with the custard powder and 25g of the sugar. Beat very slowly with an electric whisk until smooth. 12 Add another 200g of cream cheese and 25g sugar and very slowly whisk the mixture until smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl to ensure no cream cheese is left unbeaten. 13 Repeat the above mixing twice more until all the sugar and cream cheese are used; do not rush this process as it is this careful slow and steady beating that make the filling so silky smooth. 14 Add the eggs one at a time mixing on medium speed, beat the mixture well between each egg. 15 Add the vanilla extract and the double cream, beating the mixture until just blended. 16 Pour the mixture over the base and level out gently if needed. 17 Place the cheesecake in the roasting tin and pour cold water into the tin until it comes 2.5cm up the side of the cheesecake. Bake for 1 hour. The cheesecake is ready when the edges are slightly golden and the middle is slightly wobbly. Remove from the oven, lift the tin out of the bain-marie and place it on a cooling rack until completely cold. 18 Cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. To decorate

19 Place the cream in a mixing bowl, add the vanilla extract and the icing sugar and whisk until it stands in peaks (as the cream thickens slow down the beaters - the cream can be over-beaten and you will have butter). Top the cheesecake with the whipped cream and strawberries. Serving alternatives: the cheesecake can be served plain, scattered with a few soft berries or drizzled with salted caramel. Enjoy! | 77

Food & Drink

SOUTH KOREA Michelle & Rob Comins, Comins Tea

78 | Sherborne Times | March 2018


ne of the areas on our list to visit this year, and one that has been in the spotlight recently with the Winter Olympics, is South Korea. Sitting below China, it is separated from Japan by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. With such influential neighbours it is no surprise that Korea’s tea history is entwined with theirs. Tea was not established in Korea until the 6th or 7th century when Buddhist monks visiting China were introduced to tea drinking. Royalty favoured tea and in 828 the order to grow tea was given. Soon tea was thriving and it became an important part of life for all classes of the population, unlike in China and Japan where it was for the wealthy or aristocracy. The popularity of tea stopped with the advent of the Joseon (Choson) Dynasty (1392-1897) and the seizing of power by the Yi family. They replaced Buddhism with Confucianism, resulting in an end to Buddhist ceremonies and the destruction of many monasteries. Tea disappeared completely even from the ruling classes at this time. The situation was only to get worse as the few tea fields left in the southern provinces were destroyed in the Seven Year War with Japan (1592 -1598). There was a slight resurgence in the late 1800s due to a returning interest in Buddhist ways, but the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945), World War II and the Korean War (1950-1953) all inflicted further destruction on an already fragile industry. However, from then until the current day there have not been any significant hurdles preventing the rebuilding of Korea’s tea culture. By the 1960s tea agriculture had begun to grow again but, unlike previous times when production had mostly been done for religious purposes or on a national level, farmers were now growing tea as a business. This marked a distinct change. One of the biggest differences with Korean tea drinking is the lack of strict ceremonies such as those that can be found in China or Japan. Tea should be, ‘drunk quite naturally, in the course of daily life, and should not be made the subject of unnecessary constraints.’ (Hyo Dang, 1974). Compared with the rest of Asia, Korea produces a very small amount of tea every year, with a limited amount being exported. Although it is grown in North Korea, it is South Korea that produces the majority of the tea on this fascinating peninsula, mostly in locations towards the southern tip. These areas produce mostly high-quality green tea or ‘Nokcha’, which is often referred to as ‘Jaksul’ when it is high-grade ‘artisan’ tea. ‘Jaksul’ translates as ‘sparrow’s tongue’ - a reference to how the picked leaf resembles the narrow point of a sparrow’s tongue. There are also many oxidised teas made in Korea, often referred to as ‘Balhyocha’. This lack of categorisation can cause a little confusion to the western buyer but seems not to in Korea itself. We first tried Korean tea when an enterprising garden sent some samples to our Teahouse. We were blown away by the difference in flavour from our more well-known Japanese and Chinese green teas and, as a result of this chance tasting, put Korea firmly on our list of countries to visit - more later in the year! | 79

Food & Drink


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

Wild garlic is a real seasonal treasure that, in my kitchen, we wait for every year with great anticipation. Serves 4-6 Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes 50g butter 3 tbsp sunflower oil 3 onions, finely chopped 2 small cloves of garlic, crushed 3 beetroots, peeled and grated 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 large bunch of wild garlic, leaves picked 3 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked ½ tsp cider vinegar 2 free range eggs, hard-boiled and grated Cornish sea salt and black pepper, to taste Method

1 Place the potatoes in a large pan with 1.5 litres of cold water. 2 Place over a high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook until tender 80 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

(about 15 minutes). 3 Meanwhile, place the butter and oil in a large pan over a medium heat. 4 Once the butter has melted, add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring continuously until soft and just turning golden (about 15 minutes). 5 Add beetroot, carrot and vinegar to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, until just tender. 6 Once the potatoes are tender, drain through a colander, reserving the water. 7 Add potatoes to the pan with onions and beetroot mixture. Poor just enough of reserved water to achieve desirable soup consistency. 8 Bring to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. 9 Add fresh wild garlic to the pan and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. 10 Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool for 5 minutes. 11 Serve immediately, garnished with grated egg and tarragon leaves.










BRAZIL MANTIQUEIRA DE MINAS 100% Yellow Bourbon Malty, smooth, with distinct chocolate notes

Vintage Mobile Caravan Bar Available to hire for corporate events and celebrations. Bespoke packages designed to meet your specific requirements. Telephone: 01963 363143 Mobile: 07531 963062 Email: Facebook: @junipersginjourney


Free delivery in Sherborne call 01935 481010

Farming the same land for 300 years

SOMERSET SPRING LAMB Offering the taste of Spring, our delicious selection of local Somerset lamb cuts provide a variety to suit every occasion

Linley Farm, Charlton Musgrove, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 8HD

Telephone: 01963 33177 | 81

Food & Drink



entirely agree with David Birley who wrote in his ‘Out and About’ column last month that it is impossible to get bored in Sherborne because there is such a plethora of activities. He mentioned quite a few, and I can think of others, but the one that intrigues me most as a wine man is SWIG, the Sherborne Wine Interest Group. SWIG is a member’s club with a £10 life membership fee, and it organises three or four themed luncheons or dinners each year. Started in 2001, it is still going strong. It works because it has an adventurous programme for people who like to enjoy wine together without pretence, people who have tried most things but are always interested in what they don’t know. For their February dinner they asked me to find interesting wines from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and I thought I would share the chosen wines with you. First, I should tell you how excited I was about this tasting because the wines I chose were from the regions in which wine was born and developed as a beverage, and I don’t get many opportunities to taste them. The sales of wine from Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Thrace, Greece, and Santorini may have been overtaken by producers in northern Europe, North and South America and the Antipodeans, but these countries still have the soils and climate, the terroir, to produce great wine. The big difference is that, freed from the ‘great social experiment,’ they have the investment and, above all, the personnel (trained in successful wine-producing countries) to produce excellent wines. Landscape, culture and climate are essential in the first place but it is people who make the difference, people who can express a sense of place and human imagination. That is what makes wine so interesting, particularly when enjoyed with good food and in company. We will start with a blend of white grapes from Slovenia. I love the green hills around Jerusalem Ormoz and in the Vipava Valley in the Slovenian Littoral, south west of Llubljana, which rubs shoulders with Friuli 82 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

where some of the very best Italian white wines are made. The foothills of the mountains seem to add a dose of freshness to the grapes, in this case furmint, pinot grigio and riesling. The key as always to good white wine is low yields from ripened but early harvested grapes, treated with a lightness of touch. The second wine is from Santorini, a volcanic island in the Cyclades; it came under Venetian influence, which accounts for its position as brand leader in Mediterranean markets in the C16. It was also adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church as its Eucharistic wine. It is a full-bodied wine that keeps and which has a smoky, mineral flavour, as you would expect from grapes grown in volcanic soils. Lime and lemon flavours give it zest. The third wine is Prince Stirbey’s Tamaioasa

Fira, Santorini

Romaneasca 2016, an indigenous grape with a dry, Muscat fragrance and lovely rounded flavour. This beautifully sited vineyard on a narrow ridge overlooking the River Olt has been restored by the original aristocratic owners who have brought in a superb German winemaker, Olivier Bauer. The first red is Sant Ilia from the Thracian Lowlands. Remember Sainsbury’s own label Bulgarian cabernet sauvignon, Britain’s top selling wine in the 1980s? This is the modern version and shows what can happen to grapes when they get the right treatment. Italian investment has a lot to do with it. We then go on to Chateau Purcari from Moldova for a rich, spicy, fruity, velvety wine, and a reminder that in the days of the Tsars, Moldova was the preferred supplier of wine to the Kremlin. Think Burgundy!

Next to Upper Galilee in Israel. When I visited Israel in the 1990s I went up into the Golan Heights to see new plantings of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. From the start Lenny Recanati pursued excellence. The freedraining gravels and limestone overlain with volcanic soils gave his vines a good start. Experienced Californian winemakers have finished the job well, showing they can produce world-class wines. It is generally agreed that Upper Galilee produces Israel’s finest red wines. The last red wine is from Georgia, the bridge between Europe and Asia, which claims (with Armenia) to be where wine-making started (Noah’s vineyard was on Mount Ararat). Georgians love wine and claim it is responsible for their reputation for living a long life. They make potent and nutritional wines of which the Orovela Saperavi 2008 that I have chosen is a good example. | 83

Animal Care


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


here are few normal days at the clinics, the unpredictability of veterinary medicine being the very reason many of us find the job so interesting. Despite that, we see common ailments, well, commonly, as you would expect. The top three are probably skin conditions (hence visible), gastrointestinal upsets (hence messy) and lameness (hence painful). Let’s think about the lameness. Why? Usually because it hurts, although there are other, more rare, reasons (reduced range of movement of a joint; nerve or muscle dysfunction). We often don’t appreciate the pain that an animal feels as evolution and the lack of a readily understandable vocabulary means a limping dog can still run after the neighbours’ cat (or away from the local munching dog) without apparent disability. When 84 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

the adrenaline wears off, the true picture emerges and it’s usually obvious that pain is present. So, if your cat or dog is lame, most likely it’s in pain. What can you do before calling the vet for a consultation? If the affected limb cannot weight bear at all, if there is evidence of direct trauma or a fall and if more than one leg is affected, go straight to your veterinary surgeon. If the problem is not so serious, whether it’s a dog, a horse, a cow or a cat, the place to start is the foot. Which one? If the leg is held up and waved in the air, it’s easy. If there’s just a limp, it’s the front leg that makes the head lift at the walk and the hind leg that’s favoured. If you can decide which leg is the problem, have a really good look starting at the foot, gently pinching each pad and toe and check the delicate

skin between them. Trouble is, many animals are really ticklish and can over-react to the gentlest touch, so beware. You are looking for any swelling, skin wound or specific pain that can localise the problem. Good restraint is essential and performing your examination in an unfamiliar place is helpful as the distraction factor can make all the difference. This is why we can do things so much more easily in the clinic than you can at home. So, what do you do if you find a wound? That depends on a few things - namely, is it infected, does it involve a joint, what’s the duration of the problem? Puncture wounds to the pads and interdigital skin have the potential for a foreign body to be resident in the sensitive tissues of the foot - grass seeds in summer, hedge-flailed blackthorn in winter. If you see it, pull it out! More often than not, there is nothing sticking out and it’s just sore. Epsom salt soaking will always help and can never do harm but if there is a deep bacterial infection or joint injury, it may not fix the problem. Pain relief is among the most important things we vets do so, if you have no licensed analgesic, it’s usually safe to use paracetamol in dogs BUT NOT IN CATS! Paracetamol does not have a veterinary licence, meaning it has not been rigorously tested but it is widely used at a dose in dogs of 10mg/kg (i.e. 250mg for a 25kg Labrador) but NOT in cats, paracetamol being one of the most potent toxins for this species. You need a licensed analgesic in cats and there are none available over the counter, so consult your vet. If the source of the pain and lameness can be identified, the treatment depends on the cause. Hot, swollen and painful means infection in most cases and so antibiotics may be necessary. Time to call the vet. Nail-bed infections are particularly troublesome and can lead to osteomyelitis (bone infection) so a painful, swollen and discharging nail bed should not be ignored. Your vet might recommend removal of the nail, requiring sedation and local anaesthetic at the very least. However, most older lame dogs have arthritis somewhere (usually elbows, knees and hips) which need X-rays or CT scans to identify and then longterm management to control pain as we don’t have a cure for chronic arthritis. Most of these have a gradual onset, in contrast to the commonest hind leg injury in dogs which is cranial cruciate ligament rupture... the topic of a whole new article!

Sherborne Surgery Swan House Lower Acreman Street 01935 816228

Yeovil Surgery 142 Preston Road 01935 474415


• Available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays • CRB checked and fully Insured • Level 3 Qualification in Dog Grooming and Behaviour • Home visits while you’re away

Call Sue on 07920 044930 | 85




t this time of year, in the equine veterinary world we see a fair number of coughs and nasal discharges. What with the cold weather, increased stable time, feeding hay, and moving horses around, respiratory issues often pose a problem, most of which will not be infectious. Some, however, will be. Few yards routinely practise quarantine or have biosecurity protocols to avoid the disruption and upset that comes with an outbreak of respiratory disease. It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you, however giving some thought to prevention on your yard could mean avoiding being shut down in the middle of a busy season - the last thing you need! Two of the most troublesome diseases that we encounter are Strangles and equine influenza. Equine influenza, of course, we routinely vaccinate for, as required by the Jockey Club and Pony Club rules. Incubation takes 1-5 days and is followed by a high fever of over 39 degrees, loss of appetite, cough, nasal discharge and malaise. The virus spreads quickly and its effects, as in man, can last weeks and affect athletic performance for far longer. The vaccine used induces immunity against the commonest strains found in horses and causes the immune system to identify and produce an immune response to a live virus more effectively and efficiently, meaning that a vaccinated horse can still become infected but will not be affected by such severe symptoms. Strangles (Streptococcus equi equi to give its proper name) is a bacterium that typically causes a respiratory infection characterised by high temperature and nasal discharge, with or without abscesses under the jaw. It has an incubation period of up to two weeks, giving a time-consuming wait to see spread on a yard. Blood samples can show if a horse has been exposed to the infection but confirming freedom from disease after an outbreak takes endoscopy and samples washing from the

86 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

guttural pouches; this involves a lot of expense and time, especially if you have a whole yard to consider. So, with competitions and new arrivals on the yard, how do you stop infection arriving? Firstly, by checking current vaccination status for all new horses moving to a yard. Influenza cover requires annual boosters and begins with a primary course, all of which are recorded in a horse’s passport. Secondly, pre-movement Strangles blood testing is an excellent way to weed out carriers of the bacterium and prevent them coming into a yard. Horses should be blood sampled before moving, to avoid any risk. If the results are negative, all is well, but a positive result needs further investigation and could help you avoid future cost and disruption if an asymptomatic carrier comes onto the yard causing infection at a later date. Thirdly, have proper quarantine measures in place - this means a box/boxes with separate air space and ability for its own access so that care and movement can be totally independent of the yard. New arrivals should be kept separate for 2 weeks if they have not had a blood test, and their temperature should be taken daily, as this is often the first sign to appear. If quarantine is observed and followed, then any problems will not affect the rest of the yard and business can go on as usual. Having a designated quarantine area set aside can be invaluable and is worth thinking about when things are good, just in case. Always seek the help of a professional and ask your vet about preventative measures and making action plans for your yard - after all ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’! If you would like any further advice on the above topic or if you have any questions, contact The Kingston Veterinary Group on 01935 813288 to speak with one of their equine vets. | 87

On Foot



he year is c.1937. The scene is Stowmarket railway station in Suffolk. A small boy is standing on the bridge over the railway. He is watching as a train puffing out smoke approaches. Just as it reaches the bridge, the small boy runs, excitedly, across the bridge through the white cloud out to the clear air on the other side. That small boy was me! The underlying themes, then, of these final three sections of our circular walk around Sherborne are memories, some distant, some more recent. Let’s make a start. Refreshed by our visit to the King’s Arms in 88 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Charlton Horethorne, we walk down past the village hall, turn right along Cathill Lane then left uphill, signposted to Cabbage Row. We walk steadily uphill and then right along the ridge before coming out onto a country lane where there is a thoughtfully placed bench where we pause and admire the splendid views. Down the lane is Stowell church and shortly we turn left on a track signposted to Bowden Road. We will soon come to a bridge over the railway. This is an excellent place to pause and imagine what it was like before the coming of the railway.

Bill Brown, 80 years on and still looking out for railway trains

It is relatively easy to picture the landscape before hundreds of navvies, often using little more than picks and shovels, hacked their way through the hillsides, but what of the effects on the people? It was truly revolutionary. Here are just three examples: folk could now travel as never before - a million or more were drawn by the railways to live and work in London; the shape of farming was altered - thousands of gallons of milk were taken every day by train to the expanding capital; and it was by running rail excursions that Thomas Cook started the travel industry we know

today. At the beginning of this article I wrote of my first memory of trains; I’m sure you, too, will have yours as we set off on the next part of our walk. We now walk uphill to join another of Somerset’s high green ridges, Toomer Hill. There are more trees up here than on the Corton Ridge as we make our way south along its lanes and tracks. The main views are now over to the east as we try and pick out Duncliffe Hill... and is that Shaftesbury? We shall need to take special care as we cross the A30. It’s not long before we turn right down to Purse Caundle where there is a fine church that wasn’t ‘got at’ by Victorian restorers and a Manor House which was the home of a fighting bishop and which is haunted by ghostly hounds. On our final section back to Longburton we follow quiet country lanes for most of the way. Oak trees line these lanes and primroses too in the springtime. As we walk along it’s a good time to think back over our walk. For many years my passion was walking from alpine hut to alpine hut in Austria. I was inspired by Frank Smythe’s Over Tyrolese Hills. In this book he compared car travel with walking as a means of enjoying the countryside. He argued that, “memory is the only just measure of pleasure” and the memory of scenery crossed rapidly by car is, “as meaningless as the memory of a cigarette – it stimulates momentarily, then is forgotten”. But for those who travel across country by foot, “their memories are more precious than gold”. Should you decide to walk the Sherborne Country Way this springtime – and I trust you will – then it’s my hope that, as you near the end of your journey, your memories too will be “more precious than gold”. At Folke church we turn right to Longburton where our journey ends between the church and the pub, so we can give thanks for our survival or celebrate our arrival... or both. I wrote the Sherborne Country Way booklet as a “Thank You” to the Macmillan Cancer Unit at Yeovil Hospital. Soon after I started work on this guide both my wife and my daughter discovered that they had cancers. They are now clear but my cancer remains a ‘work in progress’. The unit has been a beacon of hope in our lives and it is good that in a small way we are able, through the sale of the booklet, to give something back to those who give us all so much. The booklet costs just £2.95 and is available at bookshops and the tourist office in Sherborne. At least £1.00 will be given to the Cancer Unit for each booklet sold. | 89




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

lassic cars, vintage clothing, retro whatever – in almost every area of life, or so it seems, there’s a thirst for older and more collectable examples of just about everything. I’m waiting for the day when Gammon Steak Hawaii, Black Forest Gateau and Prawn Cocktails adopt the label ‘retro food’. It really can’t be long. Anyway, this fascination with the way we were applies as much to bicycles as to everything else, and not just to vintage black roadsters from the pre-war era. Remember the Raleigh Chopper? Hi-rise handlebars, tombstone seat and central ‘gear shifter’? Lusted after by 12-15 year olds in the 1970s, seen as a bit of a joke by nearly everyone else, it’s now a valuable collector's item. Drop-handlebar road bikes from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s have their own following of retro enthusiasts, and if you have a look round Mike Riley’s shop you’ll find several because he collects them. “As a youngster I grew up in Portsmouth,” he says, “and I have three significant sporting memories: freezing Saturdays at Kendal FC matches because Uncle Nev was player/manager; tennis on the wonderful municipal grass courts on summer evenings; and Bill Harvell’s cycle shop.” Mr Harvell, it turns out, was a former Olympic medal winner and local cycling hero. Young Mike was struggling with a heavy Raleigh roadster, until a local rider gave him a ‘retired’ track racing frame. Mr Harvell himself helped Mike build it up as a single-speed track bike. “I didn’t win any medals,” remembers Mike, “but I could beat the bus to anywhere in the city! It taught me that combining quality, smooth-running components and a lightweight frame produce a bicycle that is quick and a delight to ride.” They say early experiences affect you for life and that first decent bicycle obviously made its mark on Mike, who still has a fascination for drop-bar classics, bikes defined by their simplicity, light weight and lithe looks. Take his 1950 Claud Butler with a lugless frame. Instead of its Reynolds 531 frame tubes being soldered into lugs, they are welded directly together, saving weight without sacrificing strength. The Italians have long been masters of lightweight road bikes, and Mike’s 1963 Cinelli Riviera is typical. 90 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

“I bought this as a rough frame,” says Mike, “and have spent three years building it up, including a paint job and obtaining the correct parts. A unique Aztec pattern seatpost clamp was tracked down in Germany after two years hunting for one, and the correct forks were located in America late last year.” He adds that vintage bike restoration can become obsessive and requires patience... Really Mike? Peugeot is one of the world’s oldest cycle manufacturers and the white racer hanging up in Riley’s Cycles showroom is a 1971 PX10, a replica of the team bikes ridden by the likes of Tom Simpson and Eddy Merckx. Tom Simpson is best known now for collapsing while climbing Mont Ventoux in 1967 –

he rode a bike just like this one. The PX10, as a sticker on the frame proclaims, is made out of Reynolds tubing. Exotic Italian frames were often built from Columbus tubing, but Reynolds of Birmingham were the choice of a whole generation or two of artisan builders. And they had to be good. Reynolds specialist 753 steel tubing was very lightweight and stiff but needed great skill to weld together – the company would only sell it to bike builders who had passed a competence test. Stan Pike was certainly a skilled builder of bikes and, with a workshop in Crewkerne, he built the bike in Mike’s collection with the strongest local connection. Originally from London, Stan retired from racing to set

up shop in Crewkerne and built bikes for elite riders, including some of the Chard Wheelers. The most famous was time trial champion John Woodman, who set a new Lands End to John o' Groats record in 1982 on a Stan Pike bike built specially to order using Ishiwata tubing. He rode 848 miles non-stop in 45 hours, a record that stood for 10 years. “Sadly, Stan died young,” says Mike, and the Ishiwata tube company lasted only a few years, so the Stan Pike is one of my most prized bikes.” And quite right too. Here’s to Stan Pike and all those other builders of classic lightweights. | 91

@elizabethwatsonillustrations 92 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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Body & Mind

FRESH FACED Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms


odern life is just rife with irony. Today we keep our breath fresh with various minty products, deodorise several parts of our bodies and we ward off germs with anti-bacterial gels. Yet – and here’s the irony – most of us are walking through the world with dirtier skin than ever. Research conducted by The International Dermal Institute indicates that most people only spend 20 seconds washing their face, which is odd when you consider how long we spend on hair and make-up in the morning. Simply put, 20 seconds is not long enough to get the skin clean from a day in the 21st century. Our skin is actually ‘dirtier’ than it was in our mothers’ and grandmothers’ times because we do more, apply more and are exposed to more – increased environmental pollutants and cosmetics such as waterproof and extended-wear make-up and sun-block can build up on the skin. These environmental hydrocarbons and products mix with the skin’s naturally sticky sebum secretions to form a coating on the skin by the middle of the day. Understandably, a splash of water and 20 seconds of cleansing can’t penetrate this layer of oil-based debris that 94 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

coats the skin’s surface. Furthermore, using shower gel or soap as a facial cleaner can leave the skin sensitive and dehydrated, as the alkaline nature of these products upsets the balance of the skin. Far better for gents with only the grime of the day to wash off to get a specific facial wash that is balanced for use on this more exposed skin. When we apply a cleanser or facial wash we generally use a gel-based, sudsy or milky cleanser. All contain surface active ingredients (surfactants) that provide the primary cleansing action. During the initial cleansing process, the water-based portion of the cleanser dissolves water-soluble debris, namely sweat and some environmental factors. The surfactants then emulsify fatty debris such as sebum, make-up, pollution and sunscreens allowing them to dissolve into the rinse water. Considering the amount of material that potentially clings to the skin, this initial cleansing will only remove superficial debris and is certainly not adequate unless you perform a second cleanse. However, a double cleanse with only a water-based cleanser will not dissolve all oilsoluble substances applied to the skin or effectively clean an oily skin. The purpose of cleansing the skin is not

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to achieve a squeaky and tight-feeling skin, but to clean and condition without compromising the skin barrier function. The most effective and deepest cleanse can be achieved by first using a cleansing oil – but how can an oil make me cleaner? In chemistry it is said that like attracts like and like dissolves like, hence cleansers formulated with plant-based oils can easily melt the oil-based debris on the skin as the oil molecules bond to each other. These oils then emulsify with the addition of water to encapsulate and remove the trapped dirt and products. Once this is sloshed away with water, the second cleanse with a water-based cleanser can then penetrate even further without making the skin feel too dry or stripped. Don’t skimp on the cost of a proper cleanser and seek advice and samples to find the best choice for you. Although only on your skin a short time, the right cleanser can be as valuable as the right moisturiser.

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Body & Mind

WHAT TO WEAR Lindsay Punch, Stylist


hen life is hectic we can be forgiven for not looking our best every time we step out of the front door. However, the whole process of getting dressed and looking ‘put together’ is not complicated or expensive. It really is effortless when you know how, but it does need some background work! Effortless style is all about keeping your style simple, but never boring. You can appear as though you randomly threw a few things on giving the illusion that you didn’t even try, once you know what suits you and you have an organised wardrobe. Following some of these guidelines can help you to succeed in effortless styling as well as saving you a lot of time deciding what to wear. Learn what suits you

Taking photos of you wearing your clothes and trying different combinations can help you recognise which silhouettes compliment your figure and create balance. 96 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

For example, if your top has more fluidity and volume, opt for a sleeker, more fitted trouser or skirt. Equally, a wider trouser is balanced out with a more tailored top. If you still struggle to work out complimentary shapes, consider hiring a personal stylist to help you dress the lines of your body. If you have ill-fitting clothes, it is time to find them a new home. Wear classics

Investing in classic pieces will set you up for a lifetime. Wearing classics does not mean you have to stick to plain and neutral. You can dip your toe into some of the runway favourites, with the 2018 Spring trends seeing the return of trench coats, tailored trousers and classic prints. When looking at tailored trousers you can shop Spring brights, soft pastels or neutral plaids as they will all dominate the shop floors this season. If you are a staple stripe lover, you can mix things up with monochrome polka dots in modern shapes.

Wear quality

There can be a misconception that good quality comes with a higher price tag. However, quality does not mean expensive or high maintenance. I have cashmere from Uniqlo (starting at £29) that has washed as well as a £250 Ralph Lauren sweater (I worked for RL for 6 years and received a pretty hefty discount!). Silk shirts are no longer dry clean only. Boden have upped their style game, offering a washable silk in an array of colours. High street denim from Next, Oasis and Topshop with a high waist and good stretch will rival the more expensive brands of J Brand, M.I.H and Not Your Daughters Jeans and will still feel like a second skin. Be practical

Effortless style means dressing for your lifestyle, being comfortable and looking polished while doing it. This season sees the return of smart sneakers, perfect if you walk a lot and can be paired with your tailored trousers for a smart/ casual look. The annoying backless loafer from last season, which you cannot keep on your feet, has been replaced with pointy slingback flats, both chic and comfortable. Trench coats will keep the rain off and, paired with a hat, will save yourself from appearing like a drowned rat if you forgot to check the forecast!

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Do not over-style

Over-thinking your look will make you look overstyled. Refrain from appearing too elaborate or ‘matchy matchy’. Roll up sleeves, cuff jeans - but not too neatly. Do not worry about matching shoes with your handbag. Accessories can complete an outfit but opt for a singular statement piece rather than three! I have fully embraced effortless chic as my dayto-day choice ever since leaving the retail world. It is relaxed and comfortable without compromising elegance and femininity, and it leaves me a lot more time to think about the more important things in life. Lindsay is joining a panel of health and wellbeing experts in Sherborne on Thursday 26th April for the ‘Wonder Women’ event. This collaboration is to help educate and support women with workshops focusing on self-awareness, self-image, inner and outer health, and reaching goals. For more information please visit

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Body & Mind

ROCK STAR HEALTH Eleanor Farr, Oxley Sports Centre


e all want rock star health, don’t we? When I say rock star I mean the body to wow on the red carpet, the fitness to run with our children like wild horses across fields without fear of injury or having to stop for breath, and the well-being and happiness that comes from released and prolific endorphins whizzing around our body making us feel good, even when the sun is hiding behind a cloud. The thing about rock stars, or so we tell ourselves, is that they have the time to keep fit, the money to have personal trainers and probably a chef to cater to their every need. While this may be true to an extent, we often follow this up with something like, “It’s not so easy for me because…” and then we list our busyness from dawn to dusk and our limitations. Most people don’t realise that the real difference between rock stars and themselves is that the rock stars are out 98 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

there doing it, making time, investing their money wisely in their health and fitness. Meanwhile, we sit at home complaining and then wonder why, when we woke up this morning, we couldn’t turn our neck in one direction, and have to invest £25 - £30 per session at the chiropractor just to get back to full neck movement, often taking five to ten sessions. We could get ahead of the curve and invest our money just once and wisely to prevent injury, rather than paying to have an injury put right. The reality is that we can all choose to have rock star health if we want to. Our health is our responsibility and that is becoming more and more evident as the burgeoning NHS begs us, “Don’t get ill”. While this may be an extreme and unrealistic example, we can definitely reduce our risk of serious illness as we get older by embedding exercise into our daily routine. Essentially, we all know that we can make time for

exercise if we choose. We can go to bed earlier and get up earlier to make time for a run or we can choose to walk to school instead of drive. Regarding having the money for a personal trainer, well it’s all about priorities. Many people would think nothing of spending £25 to go out for the evening but would baulk at spending that to ask an expert personal trainer how to retain fitness long-term. We wouldn’t think twice about getting a mechanic to look at our cars and maintain them, so why don’t we bother to get expert nutritional and fitness advice from professionals in order to maintain the most important piece of kit that we own, our health and bodies, without which we would be sunk?! Things have changed so much over the years. Whilst in the seventies an easy walk wearing floorgrazing flares and humming Fleetwood Mac was sufficient, now it seems we need to do a little more to get our heart rate up, to do something to create load-bearing exercises for our bodies. Bin those flares because they are going to be a trip hazard at speed! Most gyms will offer personal training. You can go for one session to see if you like it or buy a block, which does make it more cost-effective in the long run. Some people buy a block of ten to educate themselves on what will work for them and how to perform exercise correctly, and then build this into their lifestyle themselves afterwards. Others love having someone there to motivate them each week and keep them on track. Personal trainers will also visit you wherever you are and take you for a jog, check your body statistics and nutrition, recommend foods that will help to control weight and benefit your health and fitness, and create an exercise programme tailored just for you. So just one block of ten sessions could help to embed healthy lifestyle changes for you for a lifetime. The thing is, we all need a little help to understand what we need in order to achieve health and happiness, and sometimes an investment in ourselves makes it easier to look after those we love into the future. Not to mention that it is much more fun running through fields than standing breathless by gates! My last word… want to have rock star health? It’s yours for the taking. Find out more about personal training at



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Body & Mind

BOUNCE INTO SPRING Loretta Lupi-Lawrence, The Sherborne Rooms


here is something so wonderful and uplifting about Spring finally being here; there is a lightness to the air, flowers and buds in the ground and on the trees, there is colour all around, young animals jumping through the fields, longer days again and everything feels just a little brighter. Getting back into the swing of Spring after our hibernation mode can be pretty tough. Self-motivation can be an enormous uphill struggle. The Spring Equinox marks a real shift in nature, as does the Autumn Equinox. Both of these mark real changes in our seasons. As humans we need to understand that these will affect our bodies; our skin needs different routines to adapt well and stay healthy. March is a month that you should be feeling uplifted and wanting to do more with the longer hours of daylight. Change is everywhere and that means that now we have woken from the dark days of winter, we should think 100 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

about changing our diets, skincare and wardrobes. I can’t help with your wardrobe, nor am I a nutritionist, but what does Spring skin look and feel like? A certain radiant glow, that’s the aim. Winter means using oils and thicker creams to protect and nourish or feed the skin during those colder months. Spring skin care means doing the opposite: shedding the dull skin and brightening your face to match the new season. Try swapping your regulars for some organic skin care. • Exfoliate away winter skin. Keeping this up twice a week will nurture and uplift your skin - try Rehydrating Rose Facial Polish. • Use a mask weekly to revitalise and gently detoxify, preferably a mask containing essential fatty acids in it (this helps revitalise) - try White Tea Enriching Facial Mask. • Swap your oils for beautiful serums that will nourish

and smooth out the skin with a light touch - try Wild Rose Beauty Elixir. • Moisturise using a lighter cream than you have done throughout Winter - try Rehydrating Daily Rose Moisture. • Drink lots of water to detoxify the body and bring back the sparkle in your eyes. Your body too will need some awakening after being wrapped in blankets on sofas, wearing soft woollen jumpers and having the heating dial turned up against the cold. • Exfoliate your body with some dry brushing (brush upwards towards the heart) to stimulate circulation. This will detoxify the skin using the body’s lymph system. • Target cellulite! Start now for the warmer months by combining regular exercise and using Neal’s Yard Remedies Firming Body Cream (it refines and smoothes the silhouette) – its ingredients include a blend of organic green coffee, marine algae and oat kernel extract. • Get some elastic back in your skin by using Toning Body Cream to deeply nourish and give softer and firmer skin. It moisturises the skin, restoring suppleness, texture and tone. • Restore and boost vitality by taking regular Vitamin B. This month my ‘Dinner with …’ series continues with Hayley Frances, Nutritionist, where we can help you get back into the joie de vivre. Next month a new movement, Wonder Women, begins with a brand-new concept to help women become confident, feel good, be healthy, glow and meet other women just like themselves. Join Loretta at her new dinner workshop with Hayley Frances Nutrition, “Bounce into Spring” at the Sherborne Rooms on Thursday 8th March from 7pm. Ticket price £20, to include a light meal and a glass of something. Free Facial Friday, 9th March. Free 30-minute facials - booking essential. 07545 32447. Neal's Yard Opportunity Evening, Wednesday 14th March, 7pm - 8pm. Drop in.


Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm Saturday 7.30am - 4pm Walk in, relax. No appointment necessary

Stockists of Men’s Hair & Beard Care Products Barbering team this month Henri, Sadie, Shawna, Tom & Helen

Order your Neal’s Yard Remedies here This month at the Sherborne Rooms: Free Facial Friday 9th March (30 minute slots) Bounce into Spring Workshop Thursday 8th March, 7pm Dinner, Wine and discussing the Spring Equinox with Loretta and Hayley Frances Nutrition. Tickets £20 Neal’s Yard Remedies Opportunity Evening Wednesday 14th March, 7pm - 8pm (drop-in) Come along and see what joining my Neal’s Yard Remedies team can offer you Booking Essential for all events

07545 328447 email or visit

56 Cheap St, Sherborne DT9 3BJ | 101

Body & Mind

THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT Sarah Attwood, Cert. ASK Kinesiologist, Thrive Health and Wellness


y brother jokes that I have spent half my life asleep (through years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) yet I still crave a good night’s sleep. It is thought that a third of people will suffer with insomnia during their lives and I’m sure a lot of us feel that we want to throw the alarm clock across the room most mornings.

contribute as we stress our adrenals and send cortisol rocketing. For those with children, just have a think about how much effort you put into creating a bedtime routine with an early dinner, warm bath and bedtime story to allow their minds and bodies to unwind. We know how important it is for them yet often fail to heed this advice for ourselves!

Why is sleep so important?

What can i do to help?

The scientific evidence of sleep is quite alarming and regularly experiencing poor sleep puts you at risk of medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and impaired cognitive function. Sleep is nature’s way of restoring and recharging both mind and body for a new day. As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.

In my kinesiology clinic, we ask questions relating to your whole lifestyle and then delve further into the endocrine, nervous and digestive systems. The best advice is to create a bedtime routine for yourself - simple but effective. Try choosing 2 or 3 actions: • Create relaxation time to help quieten your mind. Try a herbal tea with chamomile, a warm (not hot) bath or reading a book to let the mind switch off. • Jot your worries in a diary, write a to-do list and then put it to one side. • If you stay up late to watch a film, give yourself some time afterwards to wind down as screen time stimulates the brain. • Make your bedroom a peaceful zone & ideally technology-free (or at least switched off ). • If you wake up in the night, focus on deep breathing and allow your body to relax.

How does it affect my body?

At this time of year the lack of sunlight can have a direct impact on our body’s endocrine glands and result in feeling tired, lacklustre and experiencing a low mood. Serotonin levels affect our mood, sleep and memory as well as impacting on our behaviour, while melatonin relates to the pineal gland, the body’s natural circadian rhythm. When these are out of balance through stress, mental tension or anything to upset our natural body clock, we can struggle to fall asleep. Why do i struggle to fall asleep?

Our modern lifestyle of working and eating late may 102 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

World Sleep Day is on 15th March. To help you prepare for this, Sarah is running the popular Sleep and Relaxation evening on Thursday 8th March, 7pm-9pm. £20 per person, register at


How Watching The Winter Olympics Could Improve Your Golf Swing Ian Pollard, Soft Tissue Therapist, Sports & Remedial Massage, 56 London Road Clinic


f you watched the recent Winter Olympics you might have been enthralled by the grace and poise, or the dynamism and power, of the athletes in their respective sports. All the action could be considered ‘beautiful movement’ when performed with such precision and control, and all need fantastic agility, balance and coordination to deliver the required performances to succeed to such a high standard. The explosive push-off down the skeleton run has to be immediately matched by the most subtle movement while hurtling headfirst down the icy track; the curler delivering the winning stone with such precision is assisted by teammates franticly sweeping to help it on its way; then there is the poise and beauty of the ice dance and figure skaters. Marked contrasts were clear to see, especially with the more obvious examples of physical robustness in the skiing and snowboarding events or those of the ice hockey and speed skaters. As the top exponents of their sports, what can we learn from these Olympians? What is the relevance to us in our daily lives, work and own recreational sports? What enables their precision and quality of movement is the elasticity and flexibility which we all too frequently overlook. Fitness is not just about endurance, speed and strength, the traditional ‘huff and puff ’, for these rely greatly on elasticity and flexibility within the body structures for efficient and effective movement. They give us the ‘functional’ platform to move well and help maintain

us through injury prevention. What ties all this wonderful movement together are linked chains of muscle and soft tissue structures connected throughout the body. Working in unison, they mobilise the body as a whole, whether we are aware of it or not, to facilitate our every movement and action. It is all too common to see poor flexibility in over-tight bodies impeding day-to-day movement. So, if we could move better, would that help us feel better in our daily lives? Would we cope better with our office or physical work; would we be less achy after a day spent gardening or walking the dogs over soggy fields? Releasing the tension in your body may help you improve your tennis serve, help you cope better with your HIIT session in the gym, or allow you to enjoy and progress your running (especially on long runs, half- or full marathon training). And for golfers, ask yourself the question: is it your grip or actually your tight back that’s inhibiting your swing? There are many ways to improve your movement and doing so should be considered key to any fitness programme or activity you may choose. At London Road Clinic we often see the uncomfortable effects of tight bodies, so if you’d like us to help with your own movement limitations please get in touch. We might not get you to the next Winter Olympics, but we can certainly help improve your golf swing! | 103

Body & Mind



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

llergic conditions can be caused by various trigger factors that we are exposed to in our houses. The trigger factors that precipitate the allergy can be identified by allergy testing. Having found a cause for your allergy it is possible to eradicate it in order to prevent troublesome allergic symptoms. The commonest factors in the home that precipitate allergy are house dust mites and mould spores. These allergy precipitants are present all year round, unlike the seasonal pollens that cause hayfever. Other household allergic triggers can be due to dog and cat allergy - the dandruff skin flakes from the dog coat and saliva on the fur of the cat. The commonest symptoms associated with allergies within the house are sneezing, runny nose with clear discharge, and nasal blockage with snoring. These in turn can lead to conditions such as recurrent sinus congestion, persistent post-nasal catarrh and throat clearing. Asthma wheezing can also be brought on by household allergies. Studies have shown that childhood eczema can be caused by the presence of house dust mites. The house dust mite is a tiny creature present in all households to varying degrees. They thrive at temperatures of 25-28C and 75% humidity which exist in our homes due to central heating, double glazing and poor ventilation. These little mites feed on skin flakes that are shed by us all. Their droppings, circulating freely in the air, are responsible for the allergic symptoms and conditions. They occur throughout the house but especially in the bedroom. Their numbers can be reduced by regular vacuuming with a modern air-filtration system machine. Don’t use an older machine as these circulate the droppings and worsen the situation. Cover the mattress with a micro-porous fabric that allows through water vapour but not the mites. Use synthetic duvets and blankets that are washed regularly at 55oC - any less won’t kill the mites. Don’t forget to discreetly put your child’s beloved teddy in the wash (preferably without their knowledge to avoid separation crisis!). It probably sounds a little harsh, but carpets should be replaced by wooden flooring in the houses of those 104 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

who have particularly troublesome asthma or eczema – instead put down rugs that can be beaten outside. Mould grows in our houses for a number of reasons. Old houses tend to have damp areas as they don’t have wall-cavity insulation or a damp course. Newly built houses are usually double-glazed, draft-proofed and have less air circulation. Reduced ventilation increases humidity levels. Mould thrives in all these situations. Management of any of these conditions can be improved if an allergic factor is identified. The easiest and most reliable method is skin prick testing; this is scientifically validated and supported by research, unlike others such as hair analysis, kinesiology, Vega testing and internet-sourced finger-prick blood tests. If the test is negative, you can be comforted that your conditions such as asthma, catarrh and eczema are not due to allergy. If the skin prick test is positive, you can eliminate the identified trigger factor house dust mite or mould as outlined above - in order to reduce its effect on these allergic medical conditions. Besides these practical measures of mite elimination and mould clearance, the allergic symptoms can be controlled by conventional and homeopathic treatments. Conventional treatment is with anti-histamines and nasal steroids. These can be bought from the chemist Cetirizine 10mg is a once-daily anti-histamine that does not cause the sedative side-effects of Piriton. Beconase nasal spray is an inhaled steroid that does not get into the circulation and so is safe when squirted up the nose over a prolonged period. Homeopathic treatment is with the use of the trigger factor in homeopathic form, i.e. the house dust mite or mould that is responsible for the symptoms. There are respected studies that support the validity of these medicines, thus disproving the belief that their effectiveness is due to a placebo response. There are also homeopathic medicines for the troublesome allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, catarrh and nasal congestion.

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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.

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@elizabethwatsonillustrations 108 | Sherborne Times | March 2018


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Simon Barker MRICS Partner Simon has been selling country houses from the Sherborne office since 1995. He mainly concentrates on the sale of properties up to £1,250,000. He has also assisted with a number of sales over this price point, since joining Knight Frank.

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uscany is rightly world famous for many reasons. It is home to some of the finest Renaissance cities and its wine and cuisine are admired the world over. Florence has many of the greatest art treasures in the western world. Other cities such as Siena also have outstanding works of art. Much of the Tuscan landscape is fairly arid, hence the colour burnt sienna. However its southern neighbour, Umbria, is very different. We have had a house on the Umbria/Tuscany border for twelve years but, until we discovered the area, we did not know there was so much greenery and such unspoilt countryside in the region. Not for nothing do Italians call Umbria the green heart of Italy. Our house is on a hillside and we can see for over ten miles down the valley; we are surrounded by woodland and rough pasture which is only really suitable for sheep. It is only just over 150 years since Italy became a united country. Prior to that Umbria was one of the Papal states and was neglected and overtaxed. In the 14th century, in an attempt to boost revenue, the then Pope imposed a tax on salt. The Umbrians, however, decided they could do without salt which is why there is no salt in the local bread today. Slowly but surely the area is being discovered by holidaymakers and those wanting a home in the sun. For over ten years Ryanair have been running regular flights to Perugia, the main town of the province. Perugia has a world-renowned university, a great art gallery, underground medieval streets and the Collegio del Cambio, the seat of the exchange guild, which has some superb frescos. There are so many stunning towns that it is perhaps invidious to single out some examples. However, I must mention Assisi which, apart from having the Basilica of St. Francis, is also a World Heritage Site; Orvieto with the mosaic façade of its cathedral; Gubbio with its bronze tablets in the ancient Umbrian language; Spello with the beautiful Capella Bella frescoed by Pinturicchio; Montefalco with its churches and wines;

112 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

and Deruta with its pottery. There are many other great places to visit such as Spoleto, Todi, Foligno and Bevagna to name but a few. The area abounds with pretty hilltop villages, all of which have an unspoilt charm and stunning views. Our own village, Preggio, is a typical example. In medieval times it was an important fortified site that controlled the pass through the valley. Today it is home to around two hundred people who nearly all work on the land. It has two churches, one of which has a fresco any world art gallery would want. There is a laid-back restaurant, La Castagna, where you can enjoy a prosecco and watch the sun go down over the hills. Much the same as in the UK, the village has been affected by population and economic changes. Gone are the school, the post office and the little shop that were there when we arrived. We are lucky in having a very musical priest who organises a music festival every year, the highlight of which is an opera performed in the church garden. Umbrian cuisine has many delicious specialities. Umbertide, our local town, has a market every Wednesday where you can find many of the region’s cheeses and porchetta. This is a pig which has been boned, stuffed with liver, wild fennel and other herbs and then roasted. It makes a delicious panini. There are many good restaurants; two of our favourites are La Campagna which does traditional Umbrian cuisine and is hard to beat, and the Abbazia di Montecorona which serves great food in the cloisters of an old abbey. There are many excellent local wine producers and it is great fun going around the vineyards and tasting the wines. Perhaps the best known are the reds from the Montefalco area. Montefalco is a beautiful small town with a great cathedral, stunning views and a fine selection of wine merchants. Our favourite producer is Brogal Vini who produces really good red and white wines and are particularly helpful. I hope this has given you a taste - in more senses than one! - of what Umbria has to offer. There is so much to see and do, too much in fact for one article.

Simone, owner of L'Abbazia

Antonio, owner of La Campagna

Marcello, president of Brogal Vini | 113

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Rebecca Beresford, Partner, Private Client Team, Mogers Drewett

common feature in our ageing society is the appointment of someone with a power of attorney or deputyship to look after another person’s affairs when they become incapable of doing so themselves, either due to a sudden accident or a long-term condition such as dementia. But are there differences between a power of attorney and a deputyship, and do they matter? The short answer to both these questions is yes. Power of attorney

The key point about a lasting power of attorney is that it is set up in advance, when the individual in question still has capacity. The individual appoints someone as their attorney, who then has the legal authority to make decisions concerning the individual’s property and financial affairs or health and welfare should there come a time in the future when they are no longer capable of making decisions themselves. The attorney can start making decisions on property and financial affairs while the individual still has capacity if the power of attorney is set up that way (for example, if the individual has simply decided they no longer want to make decisions themselves, even if they are still mentally capable of doing so). Deputyship

A deputyship applies when an individual has not set up a power of attorney and then loses capacity. Someone needs to make decisions on their behalf but no attorney has been appointed, so an application needs to be made to the Court of Protection who can then appoint a deputy. This deputy will have a very similar role to an attorney, although their authority is normally confined to property and financial affairs. There are other significant differences that it is important to be aware of. Longer to set up and more expensive

Firstly, it can take quite a long time for a deputy to be

116 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

appointed and it can cost a lot more. This is because a deputyship application has to be considered by the Court of Protection and close family members must be notified and have the right to object. More onerous role

Being a deputy is also a more onerous position. Deputies have to report every year to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which oversees them. This report must account for all expenditure during the year. The deputy also has to pay an annual fee to the OPG to contribute to the cost of the OPG’s supervision. Deputies may also be visited periodically by someone from the Court of Protection to talk through their deputyship and ensure they are taking decisions that are in the best interests of the individual. In short, there is much greater scrutiny and supervision of deputies as well as it costing more to become one and remain one. Attorneys, meanwhile, have a relatively free run. They are left to get on with managing the individual’s affairs once the attorneyship has come into effect. The benefits of thinking ahead

From this, you can see that it is in everyone’s interests to set up a power of attorney rather than a deputyship if possible. There are real benefits to thinking ahead, whether you are the individual yourself or whether you perhaps have an elderly parent or other relative that you want to raise the question with. If an attorney is not appointed, then a deputyship can work just as well but it will cost more, take longer and place greater demands on the person acting. At Mogers Drewett, we have long experience of setting up both powers of attorney and deputyships. Whatever your situation, we would be delighted to discuss and help you think about what’s best for you and/or your loved ones.

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

s I write this article the world’s stock markets are experiencing significant volatility. Markets fell by as much as nearly 5% in one day but recovered the next. Television and newspapers (we are told that good news doesn’t sell) are full of doom and gloom, reporting a global “sell-off ” of shares. Sadly, evidence tells us that many ordinary investors also panic during such periods, invariably damaging their wealth. Our message comes from Dad’s Army; after all, it was Corporal Jones who said, “Don’t panic, Captain Mainwaring”. We believe that there are seven key components of a lifelong investment strategy – the Art and Science of Investing, as we call it at FFP. Over the coming months we will endeavour to explain these components. Asset Allocation

It is widely accepted that strategic asset allocation – i.e. the setting of long-term allocations between equities, bonds, cash and other asset classes, and the subsequent adherence to these weightings – is the most important driver of long-term performance and volatility. Risk and return are related; they have to be as no-one in their right mind would take extra risk if there were not at least a prospect of it being rewarded. Buying shares, being a part-owner in a company, is considered riskier than buying bonds, lending to (safe) governments. While the return from shares, in the long run, is likely to be greater than the return from bonds, blending both asset classes can often increase returns as well as reduce risk. In order to set the right asset allocation, discussion is needed regarding future goals, the investment time horizon, risk tolerance, contribution and spending levels to name but a few. Many people understand their risk tolerance (how much risk they are comfortable with) but very few understand how much risk is required to meet their goals. After all, if you’re likely to have enough, why take unnecessary risk? Most investors do not know their asset allocation. In the main, they have portfolios based on “fund collecting” rather than being rational choices based on their own personal circumstances. The Financial Services industry is marketing led; “flavours of the month” sell much better than a sound intellectual framework for investing based on the enduring benefits of asset allocation, diversification and discipline. A simple, well thought out portfolio is likely to deliver performance at least on a par with many highly sophisticated and complex portfolios, at lower risk. In our next article we will explain the surprising benefits of regular rebalancing.

118 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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FOLK TALES with Colin Lambert

NICKY KING The Art of Selling


elling oneself takes many forms. From birth we acquire skills to satisfy our basic needs: a baby screaming for food, attention and comfort, or an adult seeking customers, clients and profit. It’s all about survival and growth. Some people are employed and some, myself included, work for themselves. However, running your own business requires time, effort and persistence. Ask any self-employed person the number of hours they work in a week and the answer will shock you. They work odd hours, strange shifts and, in Nicky’s case, are ‘on call’ 24 hours a day, six days a week. I first met Nicky perched at a long table in Oliver’s coffee shop in April 2016; we were fellow executive members of Sherborne Chamber of Commerce. We were both selling ourselves and our wares. I next met Nicky in the council chambers (I almost got married there – that’s for later) when we were both fellow committee members of Sherborne Tourism Forum. Nicky has an amazing smile and I couldn’t help thinking how cool and relaxed she appeared. I discovered we share the same personal trainer (Craig Hardaker, see Folk Tales, October 2016), we both love sailing, skiing, walking along the Corton Ridge (see Folk Tales, Bill Brown, October 2017) and we both realise life never stands still! 120 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

Back in time. Nigeria, June 1963. Nicky is three months old and it is very hot, as was Sierra Leone which followed. Aged 3, when Dad’s job changed, Nicky moved to Paris and primary school. Not surprisingly, she is fluent in French. Between the ages of 6 and 12, Tokyo was home. No Japanese to learn, just the boredom of a walled ex-pat compound. Aged 12, you guessed it, Dad moves again, and Chislehurst, Kent becomes home. Nicky’s daily commute required a walk through woods, the no. 161 bus to Eltham, followed by a train to Blackheath High School for Girls. Stability at last? No, Dad gets another job in New York, followed by Houston, Texas. Nicky stays put, this time at a boarding school in Croydon. ‘A’ levels beckon, but Nicky has discovered boys and the joys of commuting between New York, Houston and Croydon. Unsurprisingly she didn’t get the grades and did an extra year before embarking on a three-year degree course in Hospitality Management at Brighton Poly. Graduation, Japan, Australia, Bali and the rest followed before finally landing (literally given Nicky’s air miles) an assistant manager’s job in a Folkstone hotel. London soon called, running a YTS (Youth Training Scheme – City & Guilds) in hospitality management. London is fun. A love of the theatre blossoms. A man

appears, Paul. They manage a time-share resort in Wales, marry, have children BUT something is missing. They want their own business! Paul’s background was hotel management, so the search began. Now the late ‘90s with children aged 5 and 2, they are looking for their dream hotel. Shropshire proved not to be, they were gazumped in Sussex, but finally, in May 2000, the Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne was theirs. Fifteen bedrooms, all run down. Planning permission to build an extra seven bedrooms, convert the owner’s space and put a grand staircase (every wedding needs one) into the garden. In 2007, they expanded further, adding the Three Wishes café and building a hard-working and loyal workforce - approaching fifty staff. The recession followed and by 2013 they were exhausted; they put the hotel on the market, turnover fell even further and there were no buyers. One of the things I love about Sherborne is its energy. Folk come here on a mission to do things differently, more consciously, and bring vitality to the town. Nicky and Paul could have been forgiven for quitting; instead they rolled up their sleeves, put in the hours, Chamber of Commerce, tourism and the rest. They made it work, rebuilt the turnover and created the amazing venue it is today. All done with Nicky’s smile

and patience, even at 4am with false fire alarms, guests needing a hospital, and drunken revellers. I knew none of the above when booking the Eastbury for my wedding last December, rather than the council chamber. It was seamless, professional, accommodating and the whole place had a warm and welcoming energy. The head chef, Matt Street, is in his twelfth year (that’s amazing) and produced the most fabulous vegetarian Indian food for our day and evening. We laughed, danced, and sang the night away. We even had an impromptu Soprano sing-off, courtesy of guests and Abbey 104, our ever-growing local radio station. A tired but smiling Nicky greeted me the following morning and we shared the joy of an amazing event. She also told me of her desire for pastures new, something different. With children fleeing the nest, it’s time to move on. Nicky’s mum and dad have also finally landed; for them a cottage on the Isle of Wight. Thank you, Nicky, for sharing your Folk Tales with me and for making my wedding day the best ever. Meanwhile, I have gained ½ stone in weight, not made the gym for six weeks and am enjoying married life. Have a great March. | 121



think we’ve been here before, but there’s no harm in an update to what is one of the biggest technology complaints. In the beginning there was dial-up (buzzing modem noise), with speeds of up to 0.05mb (megabits) per second, and I think that this technology is now officially retired. Then there was broadband (DSL) with speeds of up to 1mb; this was quickly upgraded to up to 8mb and, in more recent years, up to 20mb. Both dial-up and broadband were delivered to your house over the copper wires of your telephone line from the local telephone exchange, however, the speed degrades over a maximum distance of 6km so the unfortunate ones living down a farm track near Charlton Horethorne had a pretty bad deal. Now we have fibre or, more correctly, we have fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), where super-fast speeds are delivered by fibre-optic cable to the little green boxes that have sprung up everywhere. Then the service is connected to your house over the good old copper wires. Unfortunately, the speed degrades over a shorter distance of only 2.5km, hence the need for loads of the green boxes. FTTC offers a huge speed hike of up to 40mb so it’s well worth it if it’s available in your area, and you can get up to 80mb if you pay extra. So, what’s next? is the latest development, with speeds of up to 1gb (gigabits per second), but is not yet being rolled-out. It’s still in its final development stages so don’t expect it soon. More importantly, let’s take a look at what slows your broadband down or stops it being as 122 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

fast as it could be. Distance from the exchange or cabinet I can’t change, although you could always move house! Always check that you have a little filter in every telephone socket where something is plugged in. One of my recent jobs in Sherborne improved from 5mb to 15mb just by getting the right filters in the right sockets. Poor telephone wiring in your house can cause problems so, if you’re still slower than expected, maybe a telephone engineer can check your wiring. Probably the worst offender is you trying to run your business while having 4 teenage children streaming TV, movies and on-line gaming with the X-Box all at the same time. It’s like trying to share a hosepipe with low water pressure. Before I go, just a quick word on the processor chip security flaw recently reported in the press and nicknamed “Spectre” and “Meltdown”. This issue affects all chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM since 1995 and allows unencrypted data stored in the chip’s temporary storage area to be accessed for potentially illicit purposes. Apple and Microsoft have now released updates to plug this hole and you should always check that you are upto-date. As always, if you need help with this or any other technology you know where to come. Coming Up Next Month … Operating System Updates.


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Bridgett Wilson, Sherborne Scribblers


nangagwa’s speech was reconciliatory, proffering words of hope for a rebirth of the nation, and a proper democracy, improved economy and employment, welcoming investors and foreign donors, dispelling indigenisation, and talking of compensation for farmers who had lost their land. A large majority of the people seem to be accepting that Mnangagwe is a realist, even though he was one of Mugabe’s original freedom fighters who fought the civil war to remove white rule, and was heavily involved in the murder of twenty thousand people soon after Independence in Matabeleland. They are hopeful he will hold free and fair elections and respect the result. He has strong links with China where he trained and which has a stake in Zimbabwe. A referendum requested by Mugabe in 2000 to enable him to reign for ever was lost and the belief was that Mugabe felt that the white farmers with their expertise and help to the opposition had been behind this losing vote after he had allowed them to prosper since Independence. The result was the violent seizure of the farms owned by the 4,000 white farmers without any compensation. These productive units were not handed to the people, but were taken over by members of the cabinet and supporters of Mugabe and were badly run. The country, known as ‘the breadbasket of Africa,’ which was thriving when Mugabe took over, with sales of tobacco and minerals and abundant maize crops, has been plunged into bankruptcy by the suspected plundering of assets by the leaders and the inefficient running of the economy. Diamonds were discovered at Maranga, one of the richest deposits in the world in 2006. There have been a lot of legal wrangles over the ownership of the site in spite of Zimbabwe being part of the Kimberley Process with De Beers which guarantees the high

price of diamonds. There was illegal mining as the first ones were alluvial, found easily in water, and had disappeared quickly. The proceeds from Maranga could have solved many a Zimbabwe financial problem but they were rumoured to have been stolen by the government and cabinet members. Mugabe himself is said to have amassed a fortune of over one billion pounds from numerous sources. Newly installed President Mnangagwa is reportedly offering a three-month amnesty window for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by both individuals and companies. He said the government would arrest and prosecute those who failed to comply with the February deadline. He has promised to tackle corruption. He is expected to announce a new cabinet shortly and has implied that his government would be ‘leaner’ than that of Mugabe. It appears that Mugabe will be left to retire in peace in Zimbabwe bearing in mind that he remains an icon among African leaders as in their view he successfully liberated Zimbabwe. The treatment of his wife Grace, who owns seven dairy farms, has yet to be revealed. I am sure the new President will understand that the recovery of the country will need to involve a hard currency. They have not had one of their own since 2009 as hyperinflation killed off the Zimbabwean dollar. There will need to be assurances made to any potential investors of the credibility and stability of the country and its leadership. The possibilities of creating a new and vibrant, productive country are boundless. There are many Zimbabweans living in London, in the UK and in other countries who may well wish to return to help in this task. They should be encouraged to so do. Will this crocodile’s lasting reputation be more benign that most? | 127

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ACROSS 1. Act evasively (11) 9. Smooth textile fibre (5) 10. Mythical monster (3) 11. Ordered arrangement (5) 12. ____ Sarandon: US actress (5) 13. Wine container (8) 16. Relating to an empire (8) 18. Delicious (5) 21. Competed in a speed contest (5) 22. Sense of self-esteem (3) 23. Showery (5) 24. Persistent harassment (11)

128 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

DOWN 2. Take back (7) 3. Fluctuating (7) 4. Casino _____ : James Bond film (6) 5. Ice cream is often served in these (5) 6. Runs at a moderate pace (5) 7. A parent's Mum (11) 8. Admit to be true (11) 14. Decipher (7) 15. Small flute (7) 17. Lunatic (6) 19. Breathe heavily at night (5) 20. Linear measures of three feet (5)

LITERARY REVIEW Mark Greenstock, Sherborne Literary Society

The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken (Macmillan 2018), £16.99 hardback


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his book is nothing if not thoroughly topical. At the time of writing, the failings of the Crown Prosecution Service are making headline news although, such are the transient whims of the media, they may have gone off-radar by the time you read this little over a month later. However, when a judge admits (in the context of the recent Liam Allan case, where a student was accused and convicted of a rape which he had not committed and which would have been disproved had relevant and available evidence been identified at an early stage): ‘Repeated failures by the police and the CPS are symptomatic of a situation that has existed for the last 6-8 years, and is due in large part to governmental cuts,’ public concern inevitably makes itself felt. This book, by a practising junior barrister specialising in criminal law who has chosen to remain anonymous in the interests of candour, does nothing to allay that concern; in fact, it stokes it. After a short survey of crime and punishment through the ages, we are introduced to the workings of what is termed ‘The Wild West of the Magistrate’s Court’: bail, remand, the Crown Prosecution Service, imprisoning the innocent, acquitting the guilty, legal aid, sentencing, appeal, prison. The whole legal apparatus is passed under review in a richly rhetorical and scathing indictment which leaves the reader in little doubt that, if even a quarter of the account is true, our far-famed justice system (‘the best in the world’) is so broken that nothing could ever fix it. No injection of funds, no recruitment of committed

and intelligent practitioners, no radical reform of principles of law. The author concludes, in the final chapter titled ‘My Closing Speech,’ that his or her ‘naïve, hopeless hope’ is that we might as a society reimagine a functioning, accessible criminal justice system as an item of universal insurance akin to the NHS. Because ‘there is much that is fundamentally good about our justice system.’ The building-blocks are all there. It’s just that it doesn’t work, and often spectacularly miscarries. There is a vein of mocking, sometimes selfdeprecatory humour that runs through the whole book and that may carry the reader with it. The verdict of the profession as a whole could be that it is over-wrought, unfairly selective and in places wildly over-generalised. I can’t say, not being remotely imbued with any kind of legal training apart from a nodding acquaintance with Roman Law. But this book will cause a stir (as have the blogs of the same Secret Barrister over the past couple of years). I carry away one unshakeable conviction (no pun intended): whatever happens, don’t get accused of a crime you haven’t committed. You will almost certainly lose your reputation, your friends, family solidarity, job associates, livelihood, a great deal of money and your peace of mind. You may even lose your liberty for a shorter or longer period. But, like the roadside notice ‘Beware Low-Flying Aircraft,’ the question arises: what on earth can we do about it?

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arch has arrived, the third month of the year, and Easter is fast approaching. I, however, lost the first two weeks of the year, being incapacitated by the dreaded flu; even my wife agrees it was the real thing, not just ‘man flu’. (I take this opportunity to thank our Australian cousins for their New Year gift and hold no grudge!) I was unable to carry out any tasks, however menial, without feeling I had run a marathon, and climbing the stairs felt like the ‘number 1’ favourite walk of our land, Helvellyn. Being held captive in the house I began suffering from ‘cabin fever’ too, missing my daily visits to the fabulous Bake Out for my morning coffee. I was fortunate to only be out of circulation for two weeks and certainly now I am fully recovered. How quickly something as virulent as a virus can spread, creating havoc for individuals and communities: bringing life to a standstill in some instances and for some, in severe cases, death. Bad things seem to spread swiftly, and we certainly see this over and over again in third world countries. So why should evil things get their own way all the time – what about good things? Is it not possible for good to be just as virulent? While taking my enforced rest, and pondering on passing on infection, I was reminded of the film Pay it Forward, which I watched with our boys many years ago. The story is about a young boy who works out mathematically how quickly acts of kindness can spread when one person carries out an act of kindness to three individuals and then those three folk do the same. Very quickly the kindness spreads. The effect on communities is significant, and in some cases brings life-changing experiences for individuals, some who feel they have never experienced the gift of kindness in their lives. The acts of kindness had to be carried out not expecting anything in return – I suppose they could be described as acts of grace, unmerited, unearned, undeserved. How different our society might look if we all acted in this way. I wonder if any of you took up the challenge from last month’s ‘Pause for Thought’ to carry out the ‘40 Acts of Stewardship’ throughout the Lent period; acts as simple as smiling at folk in the street, acknowledging other human beings that we come alongside but may not know. My own experience is that when we give out without expectation of return, we are blessed immeasurably and sometimes in amazing ways. Our own emotional well-being is undoubtedly improved, and certainly that of the receiver. As we move toward Easter, Christians will be thinking of and celebrating the amazing act of grace carried out by Jesus Christ, His sacrificial life and death and victorious resurrection bringing for each one of us the opportunity of life in all its fullness. For those who call themselves Christians, Jesus has called us to effect change for the better with all those we come into contact with. However, I believe we should all think more of the needs of others than ourselves. My prayer is that, like a virus, true love, grace and fellowship sweeps through our family, community, and nation effecting change for the better for all people.

130 | Sherborne Times | March 2018

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Sherborne Times March 2018  

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